Category: Career Advice

Check Yourself, Before You Wreck Yourself: 4 Mistakes to Avoid at Work

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Branding, Career Advice, Self Reflection

In the world we live in today – family, work and school may only be among the few things that occupy our minds on a daily basis. From the moment we wake up in the morning down to the last second before going to sleep, it is not uncommon for our actively thinking minds to never catch a break. However, it is very important for us not to lose ourselves despite all the chaos.

On average, we spend about 8 hours a day or more at work – that may be longer than the hours of sleep we get each day! Yet, many of us tend to be so consumed with our day to day responsibilities that we end up giving less importance to the actions that we should be taking for our own good. Unfortunately, many of these actions which we are/are not taking are putting us in a position which may hurt us in the future. I decided to compile a short, but important list of mistakes we should all do our best to avoid making at work – for the sake of our own progression!

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Why Being TOO Humble Is A Bad Thing

Filed under: Attitude, Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Personality

No one likes a show-off. Arrogance can push people away and make it difficult for others to like you. Having confidence is important to have, but being cocky can definitely get beneath people’s skin.

So, we’re taught to be humble and let our actions do the talking. What you have been able to accomplish, and how you influence the people around you will always speak louder than words.

But, is it possible to be too humble?

Humility is a virtue, but can you have too much of it?

Based on my own personal experiences throughout not only my professional and college careers, but my life in general, I’ve learned that the following are reasons why being too humble is a bad thing:

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Three Ways to Turn Your Ideas into Action

Filed under: Career Advice, Good Habits, ideas, Productivity

The difference between a great idea and a spectacular innovation can be summarized in one word: action. Unless you take action to implement your ideas, they are little more than wasted potential. To help you turn your ideas into action, here are three simple but proven principles:

Keep it simple: The best ideas are so insanely simple, you feel like an absolute idiot for not thinking of them earlier. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all simple ideas. So is microcredit, which we used to call loaning someone a few bucks.

If you need three pages to describe your idea, and 30 more to “prove” it will work, it won’t.

Consider the first human who thought, “What if we could start a fire without waiting for lightning to strike?” Think about how the world’s greatest invention ended up in the form of matchbooks that are often given away for free. Simple and powerful ideas spread like, no pun intended, wildfires.

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How to Ask for What You Want in the Business World

Filed under: Career Advice, Communication, Good Habits, Quick Tips

How do we appropriately ask for what we want from others in the business world? Is there a right way and a wrong way? I am approached somewhat frequently by job seekers and business development professionals seeking new clients. These requests for help are from both professionals in my network as well as people I don’t know. Some requests evoke an immediate favorable response from me. Some make me hesitate and carefully consider if I will help and still others make me cringe because of the way I am approached. Why the broad spectrum of reactions?

Before beginning this post, I chatted with a few other professionals about their experiences on this topic and analyzed the last several requests for assistance I have received. What I learned from this exercise is that many people seeking help are often not self-aware and fail to recognize how they come across to others. They often have a genuine need for help, but the way the need is communicated may come across as one-sided, self-serving and at times obnoxious.

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5 Ways Emotional Unavailability May Be Affecting You At Work

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Best Advice, Career Advice, Distractions

We usually think of emotionally unavailable people as people who are unable to commit in romantic relationships. The reality is that all humans are emotionally defended to some extent. We humans tend to have a very poor understanding of ourselves. We are often overly aware of how others may be mistreating us and yet completely miss the subtle and not so subtle ways in which we may be pushing other people away. In this post I will focus on some ways in which emotional unavailability shows up at work

1. Remaining closed to others

Some of us complain about problems with co-workers and bosses but when others listen and offer solutions we always reject their ideas with an excuse “but that won’t work because of blah and blah”.

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7 Ways To Prepare For Your Next Networking Event

Filed under: Career Advice, Insights, inspiration, Networking

Have you ever gone to a networking event, met a lot of people, and then nothing ever resulted from it? This is a common situation, but when you are seeking to advance your career, you absolutely cannot afford to not take full advantage of networking opportunities. A study by the outplacement firm Drake Beam Morin, revealed that 71% of jobs are filled through networking. Here are 7 ways you can prepare for your next event.

1. Think of topics you like to discuss– How to start a conversation is a common fear among networkers. Tackle that fear by thinking of things that you like to discuss such as movies, books, hobbies, traveling, pets, or kids. This mental preparation helps with conversation starters.

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Stop Being So Nice & Start Being More Real

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Best Advice, Career Advice, Good Habits

People are obsessed with happiness and “positive thinking”. They want to be happy all the time and often delude themselves into thinking that “its all good”, even when it’s not. They somehow believe that labeling things as positive can make them positive. However, just thinking that everything is wonderful does not make it so. That’s not being positive, it’s being delusional!

How can everything in the world be wonderful? Some things are bad. Some people cannot be motivated to do anything useful. Some people are evil. There is corruption, poverty, murder, dysfunctional politics, pollution, etc. The real world is full of both good and bad things. No amount of positive labeling or dreaming will change this fact.

While real happiness is a desirable human emotion, living in denial of problems that must be addressed prevents improvements and innovation. In other words, if you convince yourself that everything is great, why change anything? It’s already great! Why allow yourself to see problems, they will detract from your happy state?

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3 Ways To Increase Your Job Satisfaction

Filed under: Career Advice, Happiness, Insights, Your Career

Although it’s no secret that many of us feel less than fulfilled in our work life, a Gallup poll recently revealed that a mere 13% of employees worldwide are actually engaged.

Considering that most of us spend the better part of our days at work, this is clearly not ideal. But what is the solution, if any?

Money is often thought to be the biggest predictor of job satisfaction, but a recent survey that ranked nearly 300 jobs from most to least satisfying shows that although money does play a role; it’s not the only motivator.

For instance, Internet technology and telecommunications professionals ranked at number 147 on the list, while farm workers were rated as the 23rd most satisfied workers, despite earning only about half as much as IT people.

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8 Tips For Dealing With Difficult People

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Communication, Good Habits

Like the old Saturday Night Live character, Debbie Downer, some people are only happy when they’re unhappy and bringing down everyone else around them too.

Here are eight tips for dealing with difficult people at work.

1.   Don’t get dragged down—The old saying is “Misery loves company.” The most important thing is to be aware of who the Debbie and David Downers are in your company and to make sure they don’t suck you into their world of negativity.  Keep your guard up!

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5 Tactics to Use When You Are Really Stuck

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Good Habits, inspiration

We all get stuck from time to time. A mental block, a change in plans or the proverbial brick wall. Dealing with such impasses is challenging and can create periods of stress and low productivity. They are nothing to be ashamed of and in fact we often find that when we overcome these sorts of issues we are rewarded with valuable skills and experience that benefit us from that point on.

In this post I’d like to share a few methods I use that can help you deal with these sorts of scenarios. Not all are applicable on every occasion, but hopefully there are at least a couple that can be applied to a particular situation.

1. Retreat, regroup and redeploy

The first option is to set the issue aside and return to it another day. Sometimes a short break to clear your mind can help. Sometimes you might need to sleep on it. The aim is to give your mind chance to discard the irrelevant information that can cloud your thought processes and to give yourself chance to organise what is relevant.

Our subconscious is also a great help if we can give it enough time to work on an issue. How often have you come up with a solution to something in the middle of the night or whilst you were having a shower.

Giving ourselves permission to come back and resolve our problems later can pay dividends.

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