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Category: Decision Making

3 Times It Makes Sense to Take a Career Risk

Filed under: Career Advice, Decision Making, Goals, Job Search, Professional Development

In most situations, it makes sense to play it safe. Don’t cross the street without looking both ways, and never drive a car without wearing a seat belt. Both of those things make sense because there’s no upside to making the dangerous choice.

When it comes to your career, though, sometimes it does make sense to take risks. You shouldn’t be foolish or take risks just for the sake of it, but there are situations when the safe choice limits your upside.

If you take a risk and fail, you can always get another job. The prospect may seem scary, but if you take enough smart, well-considered risks, then hopefully some will work out for you.

When Your Integrity Is on the Line

Jason Hall: There are plenty of times when the best thing to do at work is “keep your head down” and focus on the work. Whether it’s avoiding office politics (or discussing real politics), gossip or correcting your boss when it would only cause you to catch their ire, these can be “high-risk, low return” situations that are best avoided. And there are other times it may go either way if there’s a real risk you could do permanent damage to your reputation if you have a plan or idea that fails.

However, there should be a red line when it comes to your integrity. This is because, in my experience, an employer or coworker who asks you to start letting “little” things slide will eventually expect you to start ignoring — or possibly even hiding — bigger things. And sometimes these can mean breaking the law and becoming an accomplice to a crime. Of course, it’s important to consider context here, but in general, it should be pretty obvious when you’re starting down a dangerous path.

But if you always make a point to be honest in your dealings with your employer, peers and clients, you can avoid a slippery slope that can ruin careers and lives. The bottom line is, no job is more important than your integrity. If you have to break rules or lie or commit crimes to stay employed, you’re risking a lot more by trying to stay with that company.

When You’ve Saved for It

Maurie Backman: I’m the first person to encourage others to pursue their dream careers, because having done so myself, I know how rewarding it can be. I worked at a hedge fund for almost five years after college, all the while wanting to move over to something more creative. When I finally took the leap, I knew it would involve a major pay cut, and I was OK with that. The reason? I had savings to back myself up.

We spend so much time at work that we deserve to be doing things we love. At the same time, we can’t neglect our bills. If you know you want to switch careers, or take a similar risk that might result in a drop in income, go for it — but save some money first. When I went from collecting a steady paycheck to freelancing, I knew it would take time to build up a client base, and so I saved enough to ensure that even if I didn’t earn a dime during my first six months of independent work, I’d be OK.

It’s brave to take a career risk, but it’s unwise to compromise your near-term and long-term financial security in the process. So don’t. Save money to buy yourself the option to take that risk. This way, you can approach your new venture head on without having the stress of getting evicted or running up credit card debt holding you back.

When You’re Stuck in a Dead-End Position

Daniel B. KlineA few years ago I was working as the editor of two small — some would say dying — local newspapers. My boss was a nice enough guy but we had differing philosophies on local news. I believed in cramming as many local stories in the paper as possible. He believed in spending as little money as he could.

It wasn’t a bad job, but it was dead-end. If I stayed I was never going to get a meaningful raise, a promotion (there was nothing to promote me to) and it was unlikely my boss would come around to my thinking as to how we could get back to growth.

I wanted to leave and could have left for better newspaper jobs. That, however, would have likely been trading the headache I knew for a different one. Instead, I joined a friend of mine and started a business.

You can read the rest of the article on Glassdoor.

4 Signs It’s Time To Change Your Job (And 2 Signs It’s Not)

Filed under: Career Advice, Decision Making

The working world isn’t the same as it used to be. With millennials changing jobs four times in their first decade out of college, according to a recent study by LinkedIn, we’re a long way away from the time where people stayed at the same company from first day to last.

While many bemoan the frivolous nature of the millennial generation for this constant chopping and changing, it’s not the CV faux pas that it once was. The availability of information and constantly changing job market have both contributed to increased acceptability. But how do you know when it’s time to make a move?

We all know an ideal job needs to be exciting and engaging, with the right culture to make you jump out of bed in the morning bright eyed and ready to start your day. But if you’re less sure about the pros and cons of your current job, how do you know if it’s time to see if the grass really is greener?

Click here to read the rest on Come Recommended >> 

 

How Successful People Do More in 24 Hours Than the Rest of Us Do in a Week

Filed under: Decision Making, Focus, Productivity, Strategy, Success

Everyone knows someone who works full time, volunteers, runs a successful blog, and somehow still finds time to go grocery shopping, cook organic Instagram-worthy meals, foster a loving relationship, walk his or her adorable Boston Terrier, and, oh—train for a half marathon.

These kinds of “super-achievers” have the same number of hours in the day as the rest of us, but somehow, they always seem to get more done. How do they do it?

As a psychologist and life coach who has spent thousands of hours working with clients over the past 28 years—including hundreds of hours with clients who meet this super-achiever character profile—here’s what I’ve noticed about people who consistently succeed. Plus: How you can tweak your mindset to become a high achiever, too.

Fully Commit

Whatever you’re doing right now? Be fully in it. Commit.

Click here to read the rest on The Muse >>

Don’t Get Fired for Honest Mistakes

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Communication, Decision Making

There are so many things that can get good, hard-working people fired. Honest mistakes often carry hard-hitting consequences.

What happened last Saturday is a perfect example. With the Texas Longhorns football team having lost their fourth game of the season, and the Texas Rangers baseball team under the bright playoff spotlight, someone from the Rangers’ social media team tweeted “Fire Charlie” (in reference to the Longhorns’ head coach) on the Rangers’ official Twitter account.

Naturally, the Rangers employee who typed the offending tweet meant to send it from his or her personal account. Still, it’s a slip of the thumbs that put this person out of a job.

The Rangers aren’t the only organization to fire people for technological slip-ups. A recent study from the ePolicy Institute surveyed more than 300 companies and found that a third of them have fired employees for the misuse of company technology.

Companies are so worried about employee abuse of technology that 45% of those surveyed admitted that they track employee technology use (some all the way down to the keystroke), yet only two US states require employers to notify employees when they’re monitoring them.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Why Food, Sleep and Exercise are Critical to Success

Filed under: Decision Making, Good Habits, Success, Work-Life Balance

Small changes can make a huge difference

How we care for our bodies affects our performance at work. Skipping your twice weekly workout because you believe you are strapped for time leads to negative habits that impact your overall happiness and productivity. Similarly, ordering fast food instead of cooking to save the hassle of buying groceries and preparing your own meals hurts more than it helps.

Here are three arguments that will convince you to pay more mind to the way you eat, sleep and exercise.

1. Good food nourishes the body and powers a strong mind

Did you know that certain foods make you smarter? For entrepreneurs, the best brain-healthy foods include beets, fish, berries, lean protein and walnuts. Eat these to improve your concentration, focus, memory and sharpness. Also, to sleep well, try things like MCT oil, krill oil or raw honey before bed.

Click here to read the rest on Time >>

9 Players You Need on Your Management Dream Team

Filed under: Decision Making, Leadership, Relationships, Strategy, teams

I’d like to believe that over the course of 20 years, my co-founder and I have done a fairly competent job of building a senior management dream team.

In doing so, we’ve borrowed liberally from the vernacular of baseball, track, football and basketball to define and describe the exact qualities and characteristics we sought in building the team. Here are the players I think you’ll need to win the next Super Bowl.

1. The five-skill player

In baseball, a five-tool player is someone who can run, throw, field, hit and hit with power. In my business, PR, a five-skill player can attract new business, deepen existing client relationships, help set the agency’s strategic vision, write, and edit.

2. The rabbit

In group track-and-field events, every team needs a rabbit. The rabbit is the person who sets an incredibly fast pace early in the race. She forces the real stars to keep up, enables them to finish strong and, hopefully, set a new world’s record in the process. She’ll constantly be smiling-and-dialing, attending conferences, brunching with prospects and, in short, doing everything in her power to speed up the business development process.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

7 Challenges Successful People Overcome

Filed under: Attitude, Career Advice, Decision Making, Good Habits, Professional Development, Success

It’s truly fascinating how successful people approach problems. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to embrace and obstacles to overcome.

Their confidence in the face of hardship is driven by the ability to let go of the negativity that holds so many otherwise sensible people back.

Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania has studied this phenomenon more than anyone else has, and he’s found that success in life is driven by one critical distinction—whether you believe that your failures are produced by personal deficits beyond your control or that they are mistakes you can fix with effort.

Success isn’t the only thing determined by your mindset. Seligman has found much higher rates of depression in people who attribute their failures to personal deficits. Optimists fare better; they treat failure as learning experiences and believe they can do better in the future.

Click here to read the rest on Entrepreneur >>

How Positivity Makes You Healthy and Successful

Filed under: Attitude, Decision Making, Good Habits, Happiness, Psychology, Success

When faced with setbacks and challenges, we’ve all received the well-meaning advice to “stay positive.” The greater the challenge, the more this glass-half-full wisdom can come across as Pollyannaish and unrealistic. It’s hard to find the motivation to focus on the positive when positivity seems like nothing more than wishful thinking.

The real obstacle to positivity is that our brains are hard-wired to look for and focus on threats. This survival mechanism served humankind well back when we were hunters and gatherers, living each day with the very real threat of being killed by someone or something in our immediate surroundings.

That was eons ago. Today, this mechanism breeds pessimism and negativity through the mind’s tendency to wander until it finds a threat. These “threats” magnify the perceived likelihood that things are going—and/or are going to go—poorly. When the threat is real and lurking in the bushes down the path, this mechanism serves you well. When the threat is imagined and you spend two months convinced the project you’re working on is going to flop, this mechanism leaves you with a soured view of reality that wreaks havoc in your life.

Click here to read the rest on TalentSmart >>

4 Really Dumb Ways to Make Decisions That Derail Your Success

Filed under: Career Advice, Cognitive Ability, Decision Making, Good Habits, Professional Development, Psychology

Whether in business or in life, we all tend to have different perceptions of, or biases about, the people and circumstances around us.

There’s a degree of truth in the saying “perception is reality” but there are at least four false perceptions or biases that hinder our relationships, growth and success.

1. Associative bias.
This is a fancy term for linking unrelated events, patterns or outcomes together. While many innovators and entrepreneurs thrive and build successful enterprises making connections that other people don’t see, that’s a different type of mental leap than an associative bias.

An example of associative bias is throwing out the garbage, then realizing you can’t find your keys. The obvious reaction of many people in that situation is, “Oh my God, I threw my keys away!” They start pawing through the trash, when in fact they actually left their keys on the counter.

This is a time-wasting bias that causes unnecessary delays and rework.

Click here to read the rest on Entrepreneur >>

7 Ways Mentally Strong People Handle Stress

Filed under: Attitude, Behavior in the Workplace, Decision Making, Stress

While stress causes some people to crumble, mentally strong people continue to thrive in the midst of added tension. In fact, they view adversity as an opportunity for self-growth. Whether they’re dealing with financial setbacks, health problems, or workplace difficulties, mentally strong people don’t let stress drag them down.

Here are seven ways mentally strong people handle stress effectively:

1. They accept that stress is part of life.

While some people waste time and energy thinking things like, “I shouldn’t have to deal with this,” mentally strong people know that setbacks, problems, and hardships are inevitable. When stressful situations arise, they devote their efforts into doing what they can to move forward. Even when they can’t change the circumstances, they know they can always take steps to improve their lives.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>