Blog

Category: Professional Development

9 Things Highly Effective People Do After They’ve Been Away on Vacation

Filed under: Focus, Good Habits, Productivity, Professional Development

As an American, you legitimately could spend every day of your life on vacation–and still make a good living. But the truth is, few of us actually do this. Instead, we work hard, take time off when we can, and face the inevitable letdown when it’s time to get back to work.

I spent last week at the beach, and now I have to go back to work. So, while I was gone I asked entrepreneurs, business leaders, and others for their tips on how to get back to work productively after a great vacation.

Here’s the best advice they gave me.

1. Come back on a Wednesday or Thursday.
The No. 1 tip I heard from people was not to go back to work on the first day after vacation. However, Dr. Chris Allen, a psychologist and executive coach with Insight Business Works, takes it a step further.

“If possible, return to work on Wednesday or Thursday,” Allen says. “Then you only have to get through work for two or three days and you have the weekend off. It’s a good way to ease back into work. Airline travel is cheaper mid week too.”

 

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

If You’re Not Outside Your Comfort Zone, You Won’t Learn Anything

Filed under: Professional Development, Success, Your Career

You need to speak in public, but your knees buckle even before you reach the podium. You want to expand your network, but you’d rather swallow nails than make small talk with strangers. Speaking up in meetings would further your reputation at work, but you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. Situations like these — ones that are important professionally, but personally terrifying — are, unfortunately, ubiquitous. An easy response to these situations is avoidance. Who wants to feel anxious when you don’t have to?

But the problem, of course, is that these tasks aren’t just unpleasant; they’re also necessary. As we grow and learn in our jobs and in our careers, we’re constantly faced with situations where we need to adapt our behavior.

Click here to read the rest on Harvard Business Review >>

 

7 Character Traits That the Best Employees Share

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Personality, Professional Development

The difference between success and failure in business usually comes down to one thing: good teamwork. If someone is going to be an employee, he or she needs to work well with me and other team members. For that reason, it’s important to identify and hire based on the qualities that predict teamwork and success.

Here are seven qualities that the best employees have in common.

1. Reliability
Your employees are only as good as they are reliable. But, how do you determine how reliable new hires will be before you work with them? The value of credentials has all but vanished in today’s economy, so you have to look elsewhere.

Click here to read the rest on Entrepreneur >> 

 

4 Ways to Stay Motivated When Faced with Rejection

Filed under: Focus, motivation, Professional Development

Rejection is simply one of the most hurtful things that can happen to any person. What makes it even more painful is the fact that whether we like it or not, it is bound to happen.

More so, anyone can face rejection in any area of their life. Regardless of where it occurs, the effects of rejection are the same. It hurts, it’s no fun and it happens to be the number one reason people are afraid to try. When faced with rejection, it is super important to have the strength to face rejection head on, accept it, learn from it and simply keep on pushing on.

But of course, this is easier said than done. All things equal, the number one major weapon that one needs when containing and dealing with rejection is motivation. Mind you, it is a difficult weapon to master when dealing with rejection which coincidentally has a devastating effect on one’s personal motivation. However, if you are struggling with staying motivated in the face of dealing with rejection in business or life, take a look below.

Here are 4 ways to help you stay motivated and conquer rejection in its tracks:

1. Be coachable

You try, you get knocked down. You keep getting knocked down and can’t seem to figure out why? We have all heard it, it is probably one of the most popular definitions floating around today.

Click here to read the rest on Addicted 2 Success >>

What Type of Job Hopper Are You?

Filed under: Goals, inspiration, Professional Development, Strategy

I confess: I’m a job-hopper. Just a glance at my resume gives it away… one year each at my first two jobs, five years at my third job, 20 months at my fourth job, one year at my fifth job, three-and-a-half years at my sixth job… I could go on, but you get the picture. I am on my ninth job in 15 years.

That’s one reason a recent story by Bryan Borzykowski for BBC Capital (that’s the site I edit now, in job number nine) really caught my eye. It asked: Are you job hopping to nowhere? I was afraid to find out the answer.

Job-hopping, that is, moving from company to company every two years or so, is becoming more common. And with that commonality, some of the stigma associated with not staying one place very long is also fading–sometimes. And that’s the key. I have found that the circumstances around moving from job to job matter far more than longevity at a prior employer.

So, what kind of job-hopper are you?

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>

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. >> 

You Can Love What You Do for a Living, but Still Think it Feels Like Work

Filed under: Attitude, Focus, Professional Development, Rational Thought, Self Reflection

Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.

Yes, we’ve all heard that sentiment countless times. We repeat it to recent graduates like it’s the only career advice they’ll ever need. We print it on motivational posters, bumper stickers, and encouraging note cards. We incorporate it into commencement addresses. Heck, I’m sure it’s even embroidered on the occasional throw pillow.

But, does this treasured piece of advice even ring true? Will finding a career that you’re insanely passionate about make your entire life feel like one big tropical vacation?

No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s perfectly normal to love your job and simultaneously recognize the fact that it’s hard work.

That’s right—just because you sometimes feel stressed, overwhelmed, or even a little tired doesn’t mean that you’re in the wrong line of work. Here are four facts that debunk that infamous (and misleading) proverb.

Click here to read the rest on The Muse >>

11 Ways to Get What You Want Out of Your Review

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Communication, Confidence, Professional Development

Second only to the interview that landed you the job, performance reviews with your boss can be rife with trepidation. You’re going to be evaluated, asked to give your own critique, and more than likely, this is your shot to discuss a raise and/or promotion. Yikes. But as daunting as these topics can be, once you get over the initial nerves and dread, you can see it for what it really is: an opportunity to distinguish yourself.

To help quell anxieties and learn tricks of the performance review trade, we looked to three of our go-to career experts to outline how to prepare and tap into our inner #GirlBoss. No sweaty palms, here…

1. Over-prepare. Too many people miss important opportunities by not putting their heart into preparing for a review. Spend some time being thoughtful about the last year—and the next one. Write out answers to the following questions in advance:

Click here to read the rest on Marie Claire >>

The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

Filed under: Attitude, Communication, Personality, Professional Development

I have a serious issue with the term “soft skills.” You know, those skills that the United States Department of Labor lists as Communication; Enthusiasm and Attitude; Teamwork; Networking; Problem Solving and Critical Thinking; and Professionalism. Every one of those skills is absolutely critical to success in today’s business environment, and calling them “soft” subtly diminishes their importance. Like A Boy Named Sue, soft skills have an image problem, and we need to change that.

“Hard” skills don’t have that image problem. “Hard” connotes tangibility, certainty, and measurability. You have that knowledge, you have that skill, and you are hired to use that knowledge and perform that skill and bring value to the company. Hard skills are essential, because without skill and knowledge nothing gets done.

But today, relying solely on hard skills won’t get the job done either. As we move away from the literal and figurative bricks-and-mortar production model, and toward a more virtual and collaborative work space, soft skills are arguably more essential than hard skills. After all, when breakdowns happen at your organization, is it because your employees didn’t have the specific knowledge or skill to do the job? Not really. We can determine hard skills fairly easily and get people in the right jobs. Failures are far more likely to arise when there’s a communication breakdown, a toxic team dynamic, or a lack of critical thinking. Soft skills don’t seem so soft when you think about it that way.

Click here to read the rest on Inc. >>

4 Ways to Figure Out What You’re Good At (Not Just What You’re Passionate About)

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Confidence, Professional Development, Psychology, Self Reflection

It’s a universal dream to do what we’re passionate about. The only problem with this aspiration is that sometimes the thing we most care about isn’t what we do best. As Gloria Steinem famously said, “We teach what we need to learn, and write what we need to know.”

Don’t worry! This doesn’t mean your dream is dead. It just means that you need to figure out how to bring that dream to fruition—using the skills you currently possess. Sure, your dream will be tweaked and altered. But, at the end of the day, you’ll still be able to do what you’re passionate about.

Here are four questions you should ask yourself to help make that happen:

1. What Skills Have Helped You Thrive?

During your childhood and college years, you’ve no doubt developed certain skills out of necessity.

Click here to read the rest on The Muse >>