Blog

Category: Goals

3 Power Plays Millennials Can Use to Avoid an Epic Career Fail

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Goals, Millennials, Professional Development

This is an email I got from a Millennial client this week:

Dear J.T.,

I recently graduated from college. I did an internship my senior year tied to my major and realized I don’t want to be in the field. It’s been four months, and I’m still trying to find a new career path and first job. I’m having a lot of trouble and am stressed. My biggest fear is I’ll be overqualified for the work and be unhappy.

My response was:

The last thing you should worry about is being overqualified. In fact, your goal should be to find a job where you are ridiculously overqualified.

Qualifications Without Third-Party Validation Aren’t of Value

Millennials are the most educated generation to ever enter the work force. However, a college degree doesn’t provide proof of skill. Learning how to do something and doing it skillfully are two very different things. Employers know that. It’s why they put you in entry-level jobs where you feel overqualified. They want to see you exceed expectations so you can earn their trust and respect. This is how you fast-track your career and move on to work that leverages your strengths and lets you continue to grow.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >> 

7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Promotion

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Goals, Good Habits, Professional Development

Climbing the corporate ladder is a career priority for many modern professionals. Higher status within an organization means greater influence, greater responsibilities, a greater sense of impact, and of course, a higher pay grade. To the unambitious, promotions are something doled out in time, once a superior realizes how long you’ve been around and how much you’ve learned. To feistier candidates, promotions are a prize to be fought for, the result of tenacious hard work and constant attempts at self-improvement.

Regardless of your approach and your degree of commitment to earning your next promotion, there are several habits that can interfere with your chances of success–and you may not even realize you have them. Be wary of these seven common ways employees sabotage their chances of moving up:

1. Taking Credit for Things You Didn’t Do. This professional sin is easy to avoid in the obvious context–for example, most workers wouldn’t try to steal credit for a co-worker’s report. However, there’s a more subtle way this action can manifest itself. For example, if you’re a part of a team responsible for directing and executing a new marketing campaign and the campaign is a success, it might look bad if you try to make it seem like the result of your effort and work more than that of your team. Be sure to give credit to everyone involved, and never take credit for work you weren’t involved with.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

10 Reasons We Fail to Achieve Our Goals

Filed under: Career Advice, Distractions, Goals

Setting goals gives us something to strive towards and boosts our self-confidence each time we achieve them. More often than not, we are guilty of setting goals that we sometimes fail to meet. I have observed the following to be the major reasons we sometimes fail to meet goals we set for ourselves.

1. Excuses, Excuses, Excuses – We all make them! These are often easier to come up with than reasons why we need to do something. They can range from not having enough time to the stars not being correctly aligned. Whatever the case, they paralyze us.

I personally come up with mine when I am feeling fearful, anxious, uncertain or just plain old lazy. Sometimes it seems easier and safer not doing anything at all than tackling what needs to be taken care of.

2. Magnifying our fears more than we do our abilities – Fear of failure has killed so many dreams before they had the chance to take off. We are so accustomed to leaning more towards things not working out than to them working out and often allow this to dissuade us from taking on challenges or setting goals for ourselves.
Fear robs us of our self-confidence and allows us to come up with reasons why we can’t do things or make them happen. Grab your fears by the horns and stop underestimating yourself; you are more capable than you think.

Click here to read the rest on Huffington Post >>

Why Culture Matters More Than Goals

Filed under: Career Advice, company culture, Goals, Insights

What’s the culture of your organization? Is it an environment where things get done on time, every time? Or are deadlines more flexible? Do you believe in having fun, or is it more serious?

Every organization has a culture, so does every family. Culture is the, usually, unspoken beliefs about how things work around here.

Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

Culture is often what enables or prevents an organization from achieving goals.

For example, if an organization sets a goal to increase on time deliveries, but the culture tolerates excuses, it’s unlikely that the team will achieve the goal. The company can provide incentives, and it may drive a short-term spike, but in the end, the culture will ultimately prevail.

Why does this happen?

It’s a case of implicit versus explicit. Most leaders are explicit about goals, they write them down, share them, and measure against them. But when it comes to culture, it’s more implicit. We assume people should just “know” how to behave.

Click here to read the rest on Huffington Post >>

It’s Never Too Late (or Early) to Set Goals

Filed under: Career Advice, Goals, ideas, Your Career

This past weekend my wife was cleaning out some boxes she had received from her parents full of school projects from elementary school. Included was a timeline she drew up in 5th grade and after inspection, she came eerily close to achieving every goal she had set out for herself over 15 years ago. She predicted her college playing and coaching career, she predicted the completion of her Master’s degree (to the exact year) and even predicted she’d one day marry a prince. Okay, maybe I made that last one up.

The point is, it is remarkable how much writing down your goals prepares you to achieve them. I write down goals every day, every week, every month, every year and have a bucket-list of lifetime goals I’m hoping to accomplish in my personal and professional life. It’s a way to say “this is where I want to be someday,” if you don’t have the roadmap, how will you ever know where you going (or when you get there?) I’ve included some of the following tips for creating a goal list. This is the year to dream big, work big and live big.

Make your goals SMART

Smart goals are defined as: specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. Too often people make goals that sound like “lose some weight,” “workout more,” “save more money,” “get a promotion,” but none of these goals define exactly what it is going to take to get there.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

Boosting Your Credibility in the Workplace

Filed under: Best Advice, Branding, Career Advice, Goals

If you want to be successful in your workplace, you need to have a balance between credibility and competence. Getting ahead essentially means being able to show that not only are you capable of doing your job, you also have the skills to level up.

Check out these tips that are sure to give your credibility a boost:

1. Tell the Truth. Always.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.” – Sir Walter Scott

Credibility and trust always go together. That’s because you get to establish trust by being honest and reliable. If you lie, it’s a sure thing that sooner or later, someone will find out about your deceit. Regardless if whether the lie you made was minor or major, people will already doubt you and will wonder what other things you’ve lied about.

Keep in mind that it’s impossible to lie and be counted as credible. Hence, make it a point to always tell the truth. This isn’t easy and it may not make you popular among those who do this but remember, you can never go wrong with telling the truth.

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

10 Tips for Leadership When You’re Not the Boss

Filed under: Focus, Goals, Insights, Leadership and Management

When founders and CEOs look to hire and promote managers, they want people who exhibit leadership. But how can you exhibit leadership if you’re stuck in individual contributor roles? No one reports to you, and you’re not even a project manager.

Good news is, leader isn’t a title, it’s a group of characteristics, and you can acquire them, even if you’re not the boss. Here are 10 ideas:

1. Communicate clearly. Leaders don’t grumble behind closed doors when things don’t go their way. They don’t say yes when they should have said no. They say what they mean, and do so in a way that people understand. This is not advocating rudeness, but it is advocating dropping passive-aggressive behavior.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

The Top 6 Tech Skills You Need in 2015

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Goals, Technology

We’re not big on setting resolutions only in January at Pluralsight. We believe it’s important to strive for excellence year-round, rather than just once a year. That said, there’s value in using the year’s starter months to reassess your current skill sets and identify areas for improvement, growth, and learning.

Technology is one area that no one in any industry can afford to grow complacent about–tech is changing so quickly that skills you mastered last year may already be outdated. In such a quickly evolving industry, information decays at a rate of 30 percent a year, according to Research in Labor Economics, rendering nearly a third of last year’s tech-related knowledge irrelevant.

But don’t panic–there’s a solution. Staying up-to-date with emergent technologies and trends–as well as the skills needed to master them–will help you offset the lightning-fast pace of skills disruption and keep you ahead of the curve. Continuous learning is the key to maintaining an ongoing competitive advantage, both for individuals and organizations.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

How to Deliver Bad News Like a Pro

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

As a leader, you need to be able to share both good news and bad news effectively. Unfortunately, sharing bad news about an employee’s performance is a major part of running a successful company. If you aren’t comfortable telling someone why you’re pulling them off a project, why they aren’t getting a raise this year, or why their position is being eliminated, the conversation will not go well.

You can’t allow under-performance to linger without getting the employee to supply an explanation and work on making a turnaround. Similarly, you can’t inform an employee that you’ve decided not to give him a raise just by not giving it to him. If you’re the type of CEO who lets things lie or can’t be direct, your team will not respect you as a leader. There’s no room to be meek–you need to make a decision and explain it effectively.

“You need to have the right energy going into something like this. If you’re coming from a place of frustration–which can happen, we’re only human–it will not be a constructive conversation,” Betty Thompson, chief personnel officer at Booz Allen Hamilton, tells Harvard Business Review. “You have to think: ‘What’s the best way for this person to hear the message?'”

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

5 Priorities HR Can’t Ignore in 2015

Filed under: Focus, Goals, Insights, Productivity

How employees get their work done has changed remarkably quickly; unsurprisingly HR needs to change too.

Anyone who works in a global company doesn’t need to be told that their job has changed enormously in the past few years.

Even if their job title – and sometimes their job description – remains unscathed, the number of people they work with, the amount of information they use to make decisions, their day-to-day tasks, and the technology they use have all changed quicker than at any time in their careers.

The changing nature of work is one of five trends CEB’s research shows will shape global business in 2015. And, given the function’s role, this shift in how work is accomplished means a lot of change for HR professionals. Heads of HR and their teams should take five steps in particular to help their firm make the most of the new work environment.

Click here to read the rest on CEB >>