Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stay Ahead of the Curve

The best professional advice I have ever received is to always keep learning.  Always stay ahead of the trend when it comes to your career.  Always know more than the person sitting next to you.  Know your craft and know it well.

I believe that even if you are at the bottom of the totem pole of your company, it is still important to keep up to date on your industry.  Otherwise, how else would you get to the top?

Below are five tips on how to stay ahead of the curve:
  1. Know your company:  Make it your business to know all about the organization you work for.  Review the organizational chart, know the history of the company, learn who the top officials are etc.  Most of all, you should know the mission and vision of your company, then ask yourself how you fit in with it.  Do you stand for the same things that your company does?  Knowing this will allow you to better discern your company and the role you play in it.
  2. Know your industry: You should be well acquainted with the ins and outs of your field.  Focus on specifics: what works, what does not, what are the average salaries, the educational requirements, how the field came about etc.  Know the rules, know the policies.  By doing this you will be more apt to recognize trends and thus identify where your industry is headed. 
  3. Stay challenged:  Even if your work is mundane, even when it no longer challenges you, find a way to make it challenging again. Take on new responsibilities, explore new departments, approach your daily tasks in a different manner- do whatever it takes to keep yourself excited about it.
  4. Move with the times:  The workforce is different now than it was even five years ago.  There are new job titles, some positions are now outdated, new positions have taken their place.  Technology is more important now than ever- do not be afraid to use it.  Do not cling to old-fashioned views that can infringe on the advancement of your career. 
  5. Use your resources:  Pay attention to what is offered or made available to you.  Attend trainings, meetings, fairs etc.  Go to the library and read about your field.  Go online and read blogs about it.  Never quit learning.
Read the article bellow:


Monday, November 5, 2012

Temporarily Coping With a Job You Hate

Have you ever worked at a job that you simply hated? You know, the job that makes you dread just waking up in the morning to go there? The job that puts you in a sour mood as soon as you walk in? The job that literally makes you cry the moment you think about it?
The obvious answer would be to just quit. Although, when one thinks about the current state of our economy, this is clearly a bad idea, such is not always the case. Some people cannot handle one more day in their current position- so they just leave. Interestingly enough, if financed correctly and with the right plan, their decision may work out for the best.
You can read one man’s success story here.
Nevertheless, this is just too much of a risk for many. Thankfully, there are ways that one can temporarily cope with a job that they hate. I say temporarily, because I personally believe that one should always continue to evolve as a professional- and that is impossible to do when you hate your job. Therefore if you are not pleased with your current position you should do whatever it takes to move on to one that makes you happy.
Bellow are three steps that are essential to getting by at a job you dislike:
  1. Think positive: Sounds cliche, however, this is the most important step to take. Changing your mind set will not make your job better but it will make your reaction to your job better- and this is just as important. As Greek philosopher Epictetus said, It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  There are several things one can do to improve his or her attitude while at work:
    • Do not engage in negative thoughts or behavior: If a group of your co-workers are bashing your boss, walk away. Participating in such behavior will just make you more restless and make you hate your job even more.
    • Continue to be a professional: Smile, be polite, say "Good Morning" to your co-workers. Giving attitude and being rude will not get you anywhere at work.
    • More here.
  2. Use your work resources: Every job, no matter how mundane, has resources. Use them to make yourself a better professional. 
    • Participate in trainingsTrainings allow you to gain new skills.  These skills that can help you obtain your next job. 
    • Learn from your co-workers & superiors:  For example, you may not like your boss but you must admit he/she gives great presentations.  Study him/her. Emulate his/her behavior.  What can you learn from him/her that will make you a better presenter?
    • Study your company:  If you are interested in the industry that you are in, study your company in relation to it. What makes your company successful in your field? In what areas can it improve? What can you learn from your company that you can take with you elsewhere in order to be a better a more knowledgeable employee?
  3. Do not take your work home with you: Keep the job at the job.  Do not let it consume your outside life.  Your time at home should be used for building- building relationships and building yourself.  Do not let the stress of the office cloud your personal growth. 
 Read more tips.