Posts

Jachym Michal

[#WorkTrends] Strategic Learning: How to Upskill, Reskill and Retrain

How do you define strategic learning? How does your organization upskill, reskill, and retrain employees?

Did you know? Only 57% of the 350 HR pros we surveyed report they use their payroll or HCM systems to store data on training and development. Even worse: Many HR teams are still keeping track of who learns what on paper. Yes, paper.

Clearly, we have a long way to go when it comes to leveraging the technology and tools used to support the training of our people — and how we keep track of that training. And our recent transition to remote working only serves to give this issue an even higher sense of urgency.

Our Guest: Dickens Aubourg of Paycom

On this episode of #WorkTrends, I welcomed Dickens Aubourg, Director of Client Learning at Paycom. We talked about the need to make employee training — reskilling, retraining, and upskilling — a key business strategy. As we already know, developing from within has always been a smart approach. But it makes even more sense in the context of today’s remote workplaces. The first question I asked Dickens: “Do you see a gap in terms of how learning and development are being delivered, and what is required?”

Dickens didn’t pull any punches with his response: “I do, Meghan. I see a gap in how training is delivered and defined.” Dickens explained: “Learning is happening all the time within the workplace. So, it’s important to also recognize informal learning. After all, informal learning coupled with formal learning creates the knowledge and the experiences employees and leaders need to drive business impact and results.”

Our insightful guest’s next thought perfectly summed up the challenge many companies face when building a strategic learning program, especially for top performers: “True learning happens when it’s engaging through the work we do every day,” Dickens said. “That form of learning brings context and relevance. There has to be that connection, that collaboration. And we’re seeing that emerge in learning-focused HR products and platforms.”

The Key to Strategic Learning: HR, Upskill Thyself

Sensing Dickens and I were on the same page, I asked him about what I see as a disconnect between the importance of continuous development of existing talent and the need to hire new talent. As I told him, it seems like HR, recruiting teams, and L&D need to sit down and have a serious talk about the need to upskill, reskill, and retrain employees. He agreed: “This is so important and relevant. Especially right now, when so many organizations and companies are dealing with a post-pandemic rebound. Now, organizations not only need to survive this pandemic… they once again need to thrive.

“And in order for you to thrive, you have to be nimble enough to seek out new approaches. You have to incorporate new technology and new tools.” Dickens is so right. We in HR can’t keep doing things the same old way. 

In order to upskill our employees, we must first upskill ourselves.

I really enjoyed this conversation with Dickens Aubourg. I know you will too. Listen in. Then decide how your HR team will up your organization’s upskill, reskill, and retrain game.

Find Dickens on LinkedIn.

 

This podcast was sponsored by Paycom.

 

Editor’s note: #WorkTrends podcasts and Twitter chats have evolved! Our goal: To better meet your needs! Check out the new FAQ page and #WorkTrends Podcast page. Then let us know how we’re doing!

 

How 3 Innovative Companies Are Rethinking Learning at Work

According to a 2017 survey, 71 percent of employees have had to undergo training to either keep or advance forward in a position. Nearly half say they have not been able to advance due to a lack of training.

This is a twofold problem for employers. Companies not offering learning opportunities may be hindering the professional growth of their employees, which in turn negatively affects the organization. But even when companies provide opportunities to learn, training is often perceived as being cumbersome, time-consuming, inconvenient and even irrelevant.

Looking for new ways to get employees involved in their own professional development? Take a page from three innovative companies that are rethinking their approach to learning at work, and producing a more engaged workforce.

Deloitte

Deloitte’s learning process integrates gamification: The company has literally made learning a game. The firm originally struggled to get employees and client companies to take online courses in executive training through The Deloitte Leadership Academy. By incorporating game mechanics — such as leaderboards, badges and missions — Deloitte reported a 50 percent faster course-completion rate and a 36 percent greater weekly retention rate. Deloitte’s use of competition, fun and design have helped to create a learning process that is informative and engaging.

Inspirus

Inspirus is taking another approach to make learning less cumbersome. Theresa Harkins, VP of Client Success and Engagement Solutions, understands the importance of making learning more palatable. “Delivering learning in a fun and interactive manner drives business outcomes while engaging employees,” she says.

The Inspirus approach involves microlearning. “Microlearning consists of short, five-minute bursts of content available via mobile devices that can be easily blended into a workday, and that empowers the user to learn anywhere at any time,” Harkins says. “Our clients are realizing that employees don’t have as much time to attend a training class or take an hourlong online course.”

Four Day Weekend

Four Day Weekend is committed to making learning more fun for everyone. The improv comedy troupe has a corporate division that meets with companies to build communication and other skills through skits. Every high-energy show is different, since it’s tailored for each client. The troupe’s roster of clients includes American Airlines, FedEx Office, Southwest Airlines and Hyatt Corporation.

One key theme in their work is the build-upon concept of “yes, and” as a way to encourage creativity and embrace new ideas. The goal of such a skit is to never say no, and that leads to some pretty funny scenarios. The troupe allows the audience to participate by suggesting words that can worked into the skit.

These are just three companies using new approaches to make learning both informative and engaging. Use these as a jumping-off point to innovation in your own organization.

Coaching: The Secret to Retaining Top Talent

Figuring out how to retain the best employees remains a top priority for every business owner. This shouldn’t be a surprise: according to a study by the Center for American Progress, the typical cost of turnover is 21 percent of an employee’s annual salary.

Retention has become even more of a hot-button issue as Americans’ attitudes toward changing jobs begin to shift. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workers born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48, staying at each job for around 4.4 years. But a startling trend has emerged among millennials – the oft-maligned generation born roughly between 1980 and 1995. Ninety-one percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, and according to a 2016 study by LinkedIn, the average number of companies that Americans work for in the five years after graduating college has nearly doubled over the past 20 years.

In many ways, millennials are a generation at odds with traditional corporate culture. Millennials expect transparency in the workplace — they want to be a part of the decision-making process and are comfortable with the idea of dashing off an email or Slack message directly to the CEO. This is just one of the qualities that can lead to a significant expectation gap between managers and employees. As highly skilled as they may be, millennial employees sometimes don’t meet the standards older managers come to expect in terms of communication and general business practices.

The expectation gap goes both ways, however. Nearly 90 percent of millennials say professional development opportunities are critical when evaluating a job. Essentially, millennials are telling their employers, “If we don’t pass muster, give us the tools to get better.” Employers who fail to provide the support their employees need will soon find themselves on the losing end of the job-hopping trend.

When it comes to bridging the expectation gap, personal business coaching has proven to be an invaluable tool for both managers and their subordinates. Individual coaching in a variety of business practices can help workers substantially increase their productivity, resulting in an ROI of nearly seven times the initial investment. Unlike consulting — which focuses on remedying an immediate problem — coaching helps professionals develop and refine skills that will allow them to confront future challenges more effectively using a clear, level-headed approach.

Allowing employees to take charge of their own professional development with a self-directed approach can further cement the benefits of business coaching. With self-directed learning, the students (in this case, the employees receiving coaching) remain in the driver’s seat. They can learn at their own pace with a coach they’ve personally selected. Since they are responsible for evaluating their own efforts, the focus remains on the process of learning itself, rather than external assessments.

Giving employees control over their own professional development can be tremendously empowering, and this ties into one of the most valuable outcomes of individual business coaching. Beyond helping employees learn new skills, coaching helps improve self-confidence and morale; eighty percent of professionals who received coaching reported an improvement in their self-esteem, and 63 percent saw a positive change in their overall wellness. This makes sense, after all — especially when it comes to millennial employees. When you give people the tools they need to do their jobs better, it follows that they will be happier and more confident at work.

Establishing a company-wide coaching program serves as a vote of confidence in employees. Everyone wants to feel valued — not just millennials — and there’s no better way to demonstrate that than by investing in their professional future. In this case, independent coaching offers a flexibility that traditional management styles (or internal HR departments) simply can’t provide. When a company partners with a platform like Ace-up, employees can find and engage directly with coaches who meet their precise needs, putting the power to grow and improve in their hands.

Forget beer pong Fridays or foosball tables in the office — individualized business coaching gives employees the skills and confidence that make them want to stay with the company. It’s a critical business priority not just for retention, but also for the productivity and growth of the company.

As the old business joke goes: a CFO asks his CEO, “What happens if we invest in our employees and then they leave us?”

The CEO responds, “What happens if we don’t — and they stay?”

Photo Credit: xandearaujo Flickr via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends Recap: #SHRM16 Preview: Professional Development & Relationship-Building

In the world of Human Resources, professional development, networking and relationship-building are not just nice-to-have; they are must-haves. Luckily, conference attendance is a solid way to maintain these important connections. With the workforce and workplace changing rapidly, regular conference attendance informs attendees about the latest trends and best practices, which are vital for career growth.

Attending the right conferences also affords busy HR professionals an opportunity to accumulate educational credits to maintain their certifications. From learning to network to sharing what life is like on the “front lines,” being around other HR professionals is invaluable.

This week, Elissa O’Brien, Vice President of SHRM Membership, and Alex Alonso, Senior Vice President of Knowledge Development of SHRM joined the #WorkTrends show to discuss the importance of networking, relationship-building and professional development in HR.

Here are a few key points Elissa and Alex shared:

  • Impactful networking starts with the question: ‘what can I do for you?’
  • HR thrives on professional development – without it we wouldn’t grow
  • Conferences are a great way to expand your network

You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here.

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to today’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next Wednesday, June 22, special guest host Tim McDonald will be joined by Brian Fanzo, millennial speaker and change evangelist to discuss the explosion of live video online.

The TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following the #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

Photo Credit: Andrew Bohuslavizki via Compfight cc

#WorkTrends #SHRM16 Preview: Professional Development & Relationship-Building

In the world of Human Resources, professional development, networking and relationship-building are not just nice-to-have; they are must-haves. Luckily, conference attendance is a solid way to maintain these important connections. With the workforce and workplace changing rapidly, regular conference attendance informs attendees about the latest trends and best practices, which are vital for career growth.

Attending the right conferences also affords busy HR professionals an opportunity to accumulate educational credits to maintain their certifications. From learning to network to sharing what life is like on the “front lines,” being around other HR professionals is invaluable.

Next week, Elissa O’Brien, Vice President of SHRM Membership, and Alex Alonso, Senior Vice President of Knowledge Development of SHRM will join the #WorkTrends show to discuss the importance of networking and relationship-building.

Professional Development, Networking & Relationship-Building in HR

#WorkTrends Logo Design

Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, June 15 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro and guests Elissa O’Brien and Alex Alonso as they discuss professional development practices.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, June 15 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1. What are the keys to impactful networking? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q2. Why is ongoing professional development so important in HR? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q3. What are some other benefits of attending conferences? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. We invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community, LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. Feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!

Subscribe to our podcast on BlogTalkRadio, Stitcher or iTunes:

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Join Our Social Community & Stay Up-to-Date!

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Photo Credit: MSOFT Technologies via Compfight cc

Bring Your "Genius" To Work #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details of this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

“The whims and vagaries of team life sometimes are not so much fun, but more often than not, there’s a great feeling of brotherhood amongst everybody that works together.”  Geddy Lee, Rush

Have you felt that kind of harmonic convergence in the workplace? Brotherhood and sisterhood. A deep sense of interconnectedness and shared purpose that moves you forward. Participation in a team whose members continually learn from one another and push one another to contribute their best.

Collaborative energy can be a powerful creative force — just as it has been for more than 40 years with my favorite band, Rush. Geddy, Alex, Neil. Each has lived, lost and loved his work, with every fiber of his being.

OK, I’m a fan. I romanticize. But the proof is in the music. They take their craft very seriously — blending bass, keyboards, guitar, drums and evocative lyrics. They also have fun. Lots of serious fun. And failure. They’ve seen their share of failure, too.

They’ve pushed themselves individually — and as a team — with a kinetic energy that knows no bounds. To me, this is refreshing, because I constantly hear the world of work cliché about how easy it is to find your passion and be happy with what you do.

It’s not that easy. It takes introspection and homework, plus a lot of practice and perseverance. But the good news is that the investment that pays off in ways that you can apply in your life. It’s not about becoming a big-time rock star. It’s about understanding your particular brand of “genius” — something you can get your heart around, and rev over and over again, until the vibe is right for you. It’s the full measure of your unique skills, experiences, passions, interests, talents, abilities, and attitude that you possess.

This week at #TChat Events with guests Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands, the TalentCulture community examined this “core genius” in all of us. And I learned a two-step lesson:

1) Choosing Incremental Steps  Big leaps aren’t in most people’s risk-adverse DNA. For many of us, discovering what we can do (and what we’re here to do that only we can do) naturally unfolds one small step at a time. It’s like learning to play as a team, but internally, and with continuous refinement. My first step came as a child, when I began connecting words into honey-laced phrases. I’ve covered a lot of territory since then (with multiple side trips), but I’ve never looked back.

2) Can Lead to Monumental Outcomes  The operative word, here is “can” — but the point is that legitimate breakthroughs are possible from incremental steps. Finding your core genius is a very personal, soul-searching endeavor that requires self awareness, reflection and prioritization. Before you brainstorm life-changing career possibilities, you have to start with a meaningful decision framework. You need to learn what’s important for you, first.

How can TalentCulture support this process? Wherever you are in pursuit of professional bliss, we hope you’ll keep sharing your experiences with us here and on social channels. This is a safe place to test ideas, find resources, and exchange information. Your #TChat brothers and sisters are with you on this journey. We’re all in this world of work together. So let’s rock on.

#TChat Week-In-Review: Bring Your “Genius” To Work

Maggie Laura

Watch the #TChat Preview hangout now

SAT 2/1:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring a “sneak peek” hangout with guests, Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands. See the #TChat Preview now: Careers: Better Choices Mean Better Business.

SUN 2/2:
Forbes.com Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered her perspective on why and how business leaders should encourage employees to develop their unique talents. Read Unleash Your Employees’ Super Powers.

RELATED POSTS:

Managing Your Career: What Would Richard Branson Do? — by James Clear
Shifting Focus: Aptitudes Instead of Attitudes — by Dr. Nancy Rubin
Soul Search — Then Job Search — by Maggie Mistal

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

WED 2/5:
#TChat Radio: Host Meghan M. Biro and I talked with Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands about what it takes to tap into your career “genius.” Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Maggie, Laura and I moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream, for a dynamic open conversation with the entire TalentCulture community. Moderator Dr. Nancy Rubin led hundreds of participants through a discussion focused on 5 related questions.

See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Better Career Choices Mean Better Business

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/careers-better-choices-mean-better-business.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands for sharing your perspectives on how each of us can find our core genius and apply it to our career. Your enthusiasm and expertise are infectious!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about career strategy or professional development? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how employers can be more proactive in forging employee relationships. Our guests are Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse, and Kevin Herman, Director of Worksite Wellness at The Horton Group. It’s a discussion that speaks to the heart of talent-minded professionals everywhere, so save the date for this very special Valentine’s Week Event — Wednesday, February 12!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our NEW Google+ community, and elsewhere on social media. So stop by anytime.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: MenfiS at Flickr

Bring Your “Genius” To Work #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details of this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

“The whims and vagaries of team life sometimes are not so much fun, but more often than not, there’s a great feeling of brotherhood amongst everybody that works together.”  Geddy Lee, Rush

Have you felt that kind of harmonic convergence in the workplace? Brotherhood and sisterhood. A deep sense of interconnectedness and shared purpose that moves you forward. Participation in a team whose members continually learn from one another and push one another to contribute their best.

Collaborative energy can be a powerful creative force — just as it has been for more than 40 years with my favorite band, Rush. Geddy, Alex, Neil. Each has lived, lost and loved his work, with every fiber of his being.

OK, I’m a fan. I romanticize. But the proof is in the music. They take their craft very seriously — blending bass, keyboards, guitar, drums and evocative lyrics. They also have fun. Lots of serious fun. And failure. They’ve seen their share of failure, too.

They’ve pushed themselves individually — and as a team — with a kinetic energy that knows no bounds. To me, this is refreshing, because I constantly hear the world of work cliché about how easy it is to find your passion and be happy with what you do.

It’s not that easy. It takes introspection and homework, plus a lot of practice and perseverance. But the good news is that the investment that pays off in ways that you can apply in your life. It’s not about becoming a big-time rock star. It’s about understanding your particular brand of “genius” — something you can get your heart around, and rev over and over again, until the vibe is right for you. It’s the full measure of your unique skills, experiences, passions, interests, talents, abilities, and attitude that you possess.

This week at #TChat Events with guests Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands, the TalentCulture community examined this “core genius” in all of us. And I learned a two-step lesson:

1) Choosing Incremental Steps  Big leaps aren’t in most people’s risk-adverse DNA. For many of us, discovering what we can do (and what we’re here to do that only we can do) naturally unfolds one small step at a time. It’s like learning to play as a team, but internally, and with continuous refinement. My first step came as a child, when I began connecting words into honey-laced phrases. I’ve covered a lot of territory since then (with multiple side trips), but I’ve never looked back.

2) Can Lead to Monumental Outcomes  The operative word, here is “can” — but the point is that legitimate breakthroughs are possible from incremental steps. Finding your core genius is a very personal, soul-searching endeavor that requires self awareness, reflection and prioritization. Before you brainstorm life-changing career possibilities, you have to start with a meaningful decision framework. You need to learn what’s important for you, first.

How can TalentCulture support this process? Wherever you are in pursuit of professional bliss, we hope you’ll keep sharing your experiences with us here and on social channels. This is a safe place to test ideas, find resources, and exchange information. Your #TChat brothers and sisters are with you on this journey. We’re all in this world of work together. So let’s rock on.

#TChat Week-In-Review: Bring Your “Genius” To Work

Maggie Laura

Watch the #TChat Preview hangout now

SAT 2/1:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring a “sneak peek” hangout with guests, Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands. See the #TChat Preview now: Careers: Better Choices Mean Better Business.

SUN 2/2:
Forbes.com Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered her perspective on why and how business leaders should encourage employees to develop their unique talents. Read Unleash Your Employees’ Super Powers.

RELATED POSTS:

Managing Your Career: What Would Richard Branson Do? — by James Clear
Shifting Focus: Aptitudes Instead of Attitudes — by Dr. Nancy Rubin
Soul Search — Then Job Search — by Maggie Mistal

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

WED 2/5:
#TChat Radio: Host Meghan M. Biro and I talked with Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands about what it takes to tap into your career “genius.” Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Maggie, Laura and I moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream, for a dynamic open conversation with the entire TalentCulture community. Moderator Dr. Nancy Rubin led hundreds of participants through a discussion focused on 5 related questions.

See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Better Career Choices Mean Better Business

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/careers-better-choices-mean-better-business.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands for sharing your perspectives on how each of us can find our core genius and apply it to our career. Your enthusiasm and expertise are infectious!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about career strategy or professional development? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how employers can be more proactive in forging employee relationships. Our guests are Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse, and Kevin Herman, Director of Worksite Wellness at The Horton Group. It’s a discussion that speaks to the heart of talent-minded professionals everywhere, so save the date for this very special Valentine’s Week Event — Wednesday, February 12!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our NEW Google+ community, and elsewhere on social media. So stop by anytime.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: MenfiS at Flickr

Soul Search — Then Job Search

Written by career consultant, Maggie Mistal

Most of us assume that the best way to find a job is to look at what’s available in online listings, or to follow someone else’s advice. However, these methods often lead to unfulfilling career choices.

You only need to look at the latest job satisfaction surveys to recognize how unfulfilled most workers feel. For seven straight years, The Conference Board has reported that less than half of U.S. workers are satisfied in their careers. So what can you do to find job satisfaction and fulfillment while still making a great living?

Uncover Your Core Genius

“Core genius” is the special contribution that each of us brings to our professional life. It’s what you are in this world to do that only you can do. It’s the unique package of skills, experiences, passions, interests, talents, abilities and attitude that you possess.

Take my client Laura Rolands. Laura was a hard-working Human Resources executive at Chrysler. She’s also a mom. When Laura’s son was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), she got to work and investigated how to best help him with attention strategies at school and in life. Through this experience and through our career coaching work together, Laura realized she had a talent and an interest in helping people with attention issues.

It led Laura to start an attention coaching business shortly after accepting a voluntary buy-out from her position in the automotive industry. Her business is in a relatively new field, focused on coaching people to overcome challenges associate with ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Actually, you don’t need a diagnosis to benefit — anyone who feels overwhelmed or distracted in today’s hyper-connected environment will find value in Laura’s services. Her clients have developed time-saving personal routines, and have improved their academic and business performance.

The Path to a Successful Career Fit

In 10 years of coaching, I have seen that we are each uniquely built to fulfill a specific purpose. And I am proud to have many success stories such as Laura Rolands. However, too often people take their unique talents for granted. In fact, the real challenge is that most people have no idea what their purpose is. That is where I help.

I believe the best way to find your purpose — your core genius — is to conduct a formal Soul Search, and get specific about all the elements of your ideal career. It starts with helping clients assess themselves in 8 essential dimensions, as part of the “Soul Search, Research and Job Search” process I developed.

These elements include: 1) your top interests, 2) key motivators, 3) skills you want to employ, 4) ways you want to contribute, 5) best qualities, 6) best work environment, 7) activities you enjoy most, and 8) salary and benefits.

Soul Search Before Job Search

By working through exercises and self-reflection questions, we prioritize what’s most important and brainstorm career possibilities that match those elements. You can gain even deeper clarity with my downloadable (PDF) Soul Search workbook.

This workbook contains over 30 pages of exercises to help professionals uncover the eight core elements of your core genius. The insights developed from each exercise are designed to correspond with a section of your own personalized career guide. This helps you easily organize and interpret the information as the basis for brainstorming new career possibilities and making sound decisions about the best options for you.

So stop looking at want ads and instead start talking to anyone and everyone about the ways you are already of service. Carefully process all of that input, and you’ll see viable new options ahead. Take seriously the value you bring to the table, and (like Laura Rolands) believe that you can get paid to deliver it. Let others know about the high-value service you are prepared to provide. Then deliver it consistently and professionally. Soon, you’ll find you have more than enough work in your new role — and you’ll be making a living while loving what you do.

Have You Discovered Your Core Genius?

Are you in touch with your core career strengths? What steps did you take to gain that awareness? And how have you applied it to your career? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

Maggie Mistal(About the Author: CNN dubbed Maggie Mistal “one of the nation’s best-known career coaches.” A former Learning & Development executive at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she is a certified life purpose and career coach who, for seven years, hosted “Making a Living with Maggie” on SiriusXM, and now airs a monthly podcast on iTunes. Maggie has been featured across major media, including NBC’s Today Show, Fox Business, CNN and The New York Times. Connect with Maggie on Twitter, or LinkedIn or Facebook.)

(Editor’s Note: For a limited time, in conjunction with her February 2014 appearance at #TChat Events, Maggie is offering special pricing for her “Soul Search” career planning workbook to anyone who mentions #TChat when contacting her. Don’t miss this opportunity to get a fresh perspective on your core genius!)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Careers: Better Choices Mean Better Business #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for full Storify highlights + resource links from this week’s #TChat Events? Read the #TChat Recap: “Bring Your ‘Genius’ to Work.“)

Happiness at work
. Passion for your profession. Finding your bliss.

These days, we hear a lot about the importance of being emotionally connected with our careers.

Sounds like a nice idea — but it’s much more than that. Research shows that it’s a key driver of professional performance. It’s also an essential aspect of employee engagement. Yet statistics show that, for most of us, it remains an elusive goal.

Bucking the Trend

This week at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how each of us can defy those statistics by gaining better understanding of our individual strengths and motivations — and by putting those insights to work through better career choices.

We’ll also look at why it’s smart for business to encourage this kind of investigation and discovery.

And who better to help lead this discussion than career management expert, Maggie Mistal? Before establishing herself as the personality behind the long-running SiriusXM radio show, “Making A Living,” Maggie was Director of Learning & Development at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Also joining us is Laura Rolands, a former HR executive at Chrysler, who, with Maggie’s guidance, launched a rewarding practice as an ADHD coach.

Sneak Peek: Finding Your “Career Core”

To frame this week’s events, I spoke briefly with both Maggie and Laura about how and why it pays for all of us to pursue careers that leverage our strengths. Watch the hangout now:

This discussion has potential to help each of us find more fulfilling work lives, while helping organizations develop more effective talent strategies. So join the #TChat crowd this week to share your ideas and opinions with other “world of work” professionals!

#TChat Events: Claiming Your “Core” Career

#TChat Radio — Wed, Feb 5 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Maggie Mistal and Laura Rolands critical about how to find and claim your core career “genius.” Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Feb 5 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community, in a live chat moderated by Dr. Nancy Rubin.

Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: How can we align our career aspirations with our strengths?
Q2: When a job isn’t fulfilling, what can we do to take charge of our career?
Q3: How can we continually identify and develop skills and talents?
Q4: What value does business gain from encouraging “career genius” in employees?
Q5: How can new technology help us redirect and manage our careers?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and on our new G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Psst! Leaders, Are You Really Listening?

Listen: ˈlɪs(ə)n/

Verb: To give one’s attention to a sound.
Synonym: hear, pay attention, be attentive, concentrate on hearing, lend an ear to, and to be all ears.

We all understand the mechanics of listening. But too often today, when we have the opportunity to listen, we’re content with just passively letting sound waves travel through our ears. That’s called hearing. Listening is something entirely different. It’s essential for leaders to pay attention when others around us have something to say. Why? Because developing better listening skills is the key to developing a better company.

Lack of Listening Puts Organizations at Risk

Because leaders live in the ‘time is money’ zone, information gathering tends to focus on immediate requirements:

I need an answer! Give me a snapshot, infographic or sound-byte. GO, GO, GO!

However, when input actually arrives, how authentic are you about listening? Do you pretend to care, just for the sake of getting at what you think you need? Or are you receiving, absorbing and processing the entire message?

We’ve all had moments when we politely smile and nod throughout a dialogue. The speaker may feel heard and validated, but we miss out on potentially valuable information. Or how about those moments when we greet someone in passing with a quick, “Hi. How are you?” and continue moving forward without waiting for a response.

Occasionally, that may happen. But what if it’s a habit? What if others in your organization learn to expect that behavior from you? When people assume their ideas and opinions don’t matter, communication quickly breaks down. This kind of moment isn’t just a missed opportunity for meaningful interaction — it’s a legitimate business issue that puts your organization at risk.

Why Don’t We Listen?

When we’re part of a conversation, but we’re not paying attention, we send the message that we just don’t care. However, our intentions may be quite different. These are the most common reasons why we fail at listening:

  We’re developing a response. Instead of maintaining a clear, open mind when others speak, we quickly start composing our reply or rebuttal. Many smart people tend to jump into that response mode — usually less than 40 words into a dialogue.

  We’re preoccupied by external factors. In today’s multitasking environments, distractions abound. We’re bombarded with noise from things like open floor plans, and a constant barrage of texts, tabs, emails, calls, and calendar notifications.

•  It’s not a good time for the conversation. Have you ever been rushing to prepare for a meeting when someone stopped you in the hallway with a simple “Got a moment?” While it may be tempting to comply, it’s wise to simply schedule the discussion for another time. You’ll stay on track for the meeting, and can focus on the request as time permits.

Checked Out? Ideas For Stronger Communication

I ask my team questions and invest time in discussions because I’m interested in their answers. Actually, I need those answers. After all, employee feedback is critical for a more engaged, productive, fulfilled workforce.

To foster better understanding, try asking follow-up questions to verify what people intend to convey, and discover how they feel about what they’re saying. This simple gesture will cultivate a culture of openness and camaraderie. Also, we can use tools to streamline the communication process and help us ask smart questions that reveal more about employees.

However, there’s no point asking questions if we only respond with a nod and then move on. If your mind is too cluttered and your day too busy to engage fully, be honest with your team. Assure them that you’ll get back to them when you’re able. And of course, don’t forget to follow up.

How To Make Mindful Conversation a Habit

Still, many leaders struggle with the art of active listening. That’s why it’s important to learn useful techniques and make practice a part of your life.

Deepak Chopra, MD, observes that leaders and followers ideally form a symbiotic relationship. “The greatest leaders are visionaries, but no vision is created in a vacuum. It emerges from the situation at hand.” Effective leadership begins with observation — knowing your audience and understanding the landscape. Even the most eloquent, powerful speech will fall on deaf ears if the speaker doesn’t listen to the pulse of the audience.

It’s never too soon to start practicing this art. Here are 4 easy tips to improve your ability to listen and lead:

1) Repetition. Repeat anything you find interesting. This helps you recall key points after a conversation ends. It’s also a smart technique when you meet someone new. Repeat their name throughout the discussion. This not only solidifies the name in your memory, but also helps build rapport and trust.

2) Read Between the Lines. Pay special attention when a speaker changes tone and volume, pauses, or breaks eye contact. These subtle signals are clues that can reflect emotional highlights or pain points (anger, sadness, happiness). And body language often reveals what words don’t say.

3) Mouth/Eye Coordination. Looking a speaker in the eye establishes a connection and lets them know you’re listening. But don’t hold their gaze too long. Recent research suggests that eye contact is effective only if you already agree with a speaker’s message. Instead, try looking at the speaker’s mouth. That may feel awkward, but this keeps you focused on what they’re saying — and they’ll know it.

4) Reflection. Seal the deal by thinking back to extract meaning. You may be exhilarated by a great conversation — but without a mental debrief, much of it can be forgotten. Reflection is critical in developing the takeaways (and subsequent actions) that make the discussion valuable. Try mentally organizing important points by associating them with a relevant word or two. Then, in the future, you’ll more easily recall the details.

The art of listening is about much more than exchanging facts. Active listening helps those in your company feel validated and connected with you and your organization. Genuine conversations weave their own path. Give them your time and attention. Along the way, you’ll solve problems and generate new ideas that will have a lasting impact on you, your team and your business.

Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome to participate; or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

#TChat Road Trip: Going To The Next Level Together

There are many possible paths through life and career. Every so often, we’re presented with a decision: Take one path (maybe it’s a new job with an existing employer), or choose another route (maybe it’s an uncharted role at a new company with no clear business model or understanding where it is headed).

More than three years ago, I chose the second path — launching a talent-focused management consulting practice, creating #TChat as a TalentCulture community beacon, and embarking on a life at the crossroads of social media, knowledge sharing and collaboration. And what an incredibly interesting and rewarding journey it has been!

There have been too many high points to mention — the exhilaration of weekly Twitter chats; the roller-coaster dynamics involved with growing a professional online community; the great times Kevin W. Grossman and I have had connecting with many of you at live events — SHRM, HR Demo, Recruiting Trends, HRO Today, HR Tech, HR Evolution and so many others. It’s fun to push the technical limits with experimental “simulcast” chat/radio shows, and other new ways that connect our global community with the best minds and forums in the HR and social media realm.

Along the way, we’ve had the opportunity to meet hundreds of HR practitioners, business leaders and social influencers, both via #TChat and in person. I became a blogger – contributing to many niche blogging communities with whom I’ve been fortunate to forge strong social partnerships. These three years have opened my eyes and heart to new ideas and friendships that have enriched me more than I could have imagined.

Throughout this TalentCulture adventure, I’ve been guided by a vision of community, leadership, learning and innovation in HR. It’s the same today as it was the very first day — everyone is invited and everyone’s unique voice matters. Together, we’re exploring innovative topics – emotional intelligence; collaboration; evolving social and HR technology; the multi-generational workplace and the natural tensions that exist among Boomers, Gen X and Millennials; as well as the role that trust, influence and intent play in today’s most innovative organizations.

We had the courage to take this winding road, to live this social experiment, and we did it without a safety net of financial support. Like many bootstrapped ventures, we lived an online experiment, while sometimes risking our own security during past three years. We became, and are, the #1 and longest running Twitter Chat focused on “The World of Work” in the HR, Leadership, Innovation and Social Business niche. And I am proud of the way we navigated to that destination. This “organic” effort was the right approach. It gave us the freedom to stretch our limits, and really listen to our inner voices — even when others cautioned us that this endeavor was a huge time sink.

I’ve learned a lot during these past three years:

1) Patience.  It takes time to create a community that’s designed to be a metaphor for the social workplace. It takes take time to connect, share, and earn trust. Initiative is imperative — but when relationships are on the line, patience can be even more important.

2) Courage. We didn’t chase after easy money. We stayed with a bootstrapped, organic growth model — and it gave us the freedom to find our true voices and passion. We believed that the community would guide us, even when the road wasn’t clear. And the community has risen to the challenge.

3) Perseverance. It isn’t easy to work 10-20 hours a week or more without compensation. But we stuck to it. We kept showing up. That commitment has made it possible for us to arrive at this third anniversary of #TChat.

4) Engagement Through Trust. Since Day 1, everything we’ve done has focused on engaging with a larger community of HR practitioners, workplace visionaries and leaders. This is a big open tent, filled with people from a vast spectrum of expertise and interests. That’s what makes it such a vibrant, interesting place to be! What makes it possible? Mutual trust. It’s our foundation — and it’s the thing I value most. Above all, we are a community of trust.

5) Learning And Moving On. Through the years, I’ve discovered that growth means leaving some ideas behind. From time-to-time, we need to mix things up, as we continue our mission of serving this eclectic community of practitioners, partners and constant learners.

Change is in the air again, as we look ahead and consider new ways to serve our community’s mission.

This week, which marks #TChat’s third anniversary, presents us with another set of paths. We can continue the community as is, without funding. Or we can embrace a new model that involves careful monetization to fuel additional growth. The second path will give us the financial support we need to add new capabilities for better communication and interaction, integrate new channels for commentary and thought leadership, and create new opportunities to engage with and influence a broader “world of work” for the benefit of all. I’m excited by the challenges these choices present, and I’m eager to move TalentCulture to another level in its growth. But most of all, I’m humbled to lead such an extraordinary community at a time when the very nature of work, itself, is being reinvented.

For three years, we’ve been engaged in an experiment to understand how social innovation can transform work culture, evolve leadership practices, develop trust, and inspire continuous learning. Now, we’re ready to take our first steps toward the next horizon. We hope you’ll join us on that journey. The road ahead may not be entirely clear, but the path is wide, and there’s room for all.

The adventure continues!

Image Credit: Pixabay

We’re Turning Three! Let’s Celebrate Community #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for complete highlights and reference links for the week’s #TChat Events? Read the #TChat Recap: Going Social: Learning In Action.)

What does #TChat mean to you?

To me, it’s so much more than metrics. But the numbers do tell a story of their own…

#TChat By The Numbers

3 years
100+ radio shows and hangout video interviews
150+ high-intensity Twitter chats
550+ blog posts
1 simple goal

Those of us who plan and produce #TChat social learning forums hope that TalentCulture community events educate, energize and enrich everyone who participates. We’re grateful for your involvement — which educates, energizes and enriches us all, in return.

This metaphor for the social workplace isn’t just a random fluke of Twitter nature. It’s an intentional human exchange that continuously flows and shifts in ways that are now bigger than the sum of its parts. Still, each of us is an essential element — with a unique voice that adds depth and texture to the fabric of our talent-minded “tribe.”

#TChat Turns Three: Learning Through Community

So, during this 3rd Anniversary #TChat week, let your voice be heard. Let’s gather on social channels to celebrate the individual, mutual and collective growth that every community of purpose strives to achieve.

Ambrosia Humphrey Hootsuite

This week’s #TChat guest, Ambrosia Humphrey

Who better to help us celebrate the value of digital learning communities and collaboration than a valued friend of #TChat, who is also an expert at social media strategies in the world of work?

Our guest this week is Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at HootSuite! Team Hootsuite will be celebrating along with us as well. Social engagement in action.

As a special treat for this week’s “sneak peek” video, we asked our own Community Manager, Tim McDonald, to compare notes with Kevin W. Grossman about the meaning and value of #TChat. The resulting video is a delightful journey into the minds and hearts of two men who are walking examples of community spirit! Watch the hangout now:

Share Your #TChat Story! The Conversation Starts Here

Tim and Kevin aren’t the only ones who are talking about TalentCulture’s role in their professional and personal lives. We’re gathering a collection of quotes and videos from all over the community landscape, and sharing that feedback on #TChat Twitter and other social channels this week.

We’re also launching a special “Buzz!” page right here at TalentCulture.com, to highlight community comments now and in the future. We invite you to share your thoughts — in whatever form you wish.

So, please join this week’s conversation about the power of social learning communities, and tell us what this particular community means to you. The #TChat channel is always “on” and everyone is welcome to participate in whatever way is most beneficial for you. Don’t be shy!

#TChat Events: Online Communities And Professional Growth

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 20 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Ambrosia Humphrey about the evolution of social communities in the world of work — and the road ahead. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 20 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: What are the key ingredients for online learning communities? Why?
Q2: Why do you participate in Twitter chats like #TChat?
Q3: How can organizations capture learning community magic internally?
Q4: What’s the future of Twitter chats in building communities?
Q5: What topics would you like #TChat to explore in 2014?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!

We're Turning Three! Let's Celebrate Community #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for complete highlights and reference links for the week’s #TChat Events? Read the #TChat Recap: Going Social: Learning In Action.)

What does #TChat mean to you?

To me, it’s so much more than metrics. But the numbers do tell a story of their own…

#TChat By The Numbers

3 years
100+ radio shows and hangout video interviews
150+ high-intensity Twitter chats
550+ blog posts
1 simple goal

Those of us who plan and produce #TChat social learning forums hope that TalentCulture community events educate, energize and enrich everyone who participates. We’re grateful for your involvement — which educates, energizes and enriches us all, in return.

This metaphor for the social workplace isn’t just a random fluke of Twitter nature. It’s an intentional human exchange that continuously flows and shifts in ways that are now bigger than the sum of its parts. Still, each of us is an essential element — with a unique voice that adds depth and texture to the fabric of our talent-minded “tribe.”

#TChat Turns Three: Learning Through Community

So, during this 3rd Anniversary #TChat week, let your voice be heard. Let’s gather on social channels to celebrate the individual, mutual and collective growth that every community of purpose strives to achieve.

Ambrosia Humphrey Hootsuite

This week’s #TChat guest, Ambrosia Humphrey

Who better to help us celebrate the value of digital learning communities and collaboration than a valued friend of #TChat, who is also an expert at social media strategies in the world of work?

Our guest this week is Ambrosia Humphrey, VP of Talent at HootSuite! Team Hootsuite will be celebrating along with us as well. Social engagement in action.

As a special treat for this week’s “sneak peek” video, we asked our own Community Manager, Tim McDonald, to compare notes with Kevin W. Grossman about the meaning and value of #TChat. The resulting video is a delightful journey into the minds and hearts of two men who are walking examples of community spirit! Watch the hangout now:

Share Your #TChat Story! The Conversation Starts Here

Tim and Kevin aren’t the only ones who are talking about TalentCulture’s role in their professional and personal lives. We’re gathering a collection of quotes and videos from all over the community landscape, and sharing that feedback on #TChat Twitter and other social channels this week.

We’re also launching a special “Buzz!” page right here at TalentCulture.com, to highlight community comments now and in the future. We invite you to share your thoughts — in whatever form you wish.

So, please join this week’s conversation about the power of social learning communities, and tell us what this particular community means to you. The #TChat channel is always “on” and everyone is welcome to participate in whatever way is most beneficial for you. Don’t be shy!

#TChat Events: Online Communities And Professional Growth

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 20 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Ambrosia Humphrey about the evolution of social communities in the world of work — and the road ahead. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 20 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: What are the key ingredients for online learning communities? Why?
Q2: Why do you participate in Twitter chats like #TChat?
Q3: How can organizations capture learning community magic internally?
Q4: What’s the future of Twitter chats in building communities?
Q5: What topics would you like #TChat to explore in 2014?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!

What Do Interns Really Want? [Infographic]

Developing an extraordinary internship program can be a long and winding journey. You’ll face plenty of bumps in the road, and perhaps lots of trial and error. And as we’ve seen in the news recently, you may even discover some controversy.

But overall, internships can be very beneficial for organizations — not just because enthusiastic young workers are contributing to your business goals. Internship programs can also open the door to a more diverse workforce, help add fresh perspectives to your brand, attract other young talent to your organization, and more.

Of course, employers aren’t the only ones who benefit. Although the state of the internship has shifted over time, its overarching goal remains the same — students and recent grads should gain something educational from their work experience. So, what do today’s interns really want to accomplish, and what else should employers know about them?

The following infographic, based on student employment data from InternMatch, offers insights to help employers map out a more effective internship program. Here are some highlights:

•  38% of interns want better pay
•  30% want opportunities to perform meaningful work
•  47% are interested in access to executives and mentorship
•  California, New York, and Florida are three of the top states for finding college talent

Do any of these statistics surprise you? Check out the full infographic below, and share your thoughts in the comments area.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced these trends — as an intern or as an employer?

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

HR Flashback: The Way We Worked

(Editor’s Note: Want to learn more from Kevin and TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro about the transformation of HR and workplace learning? Listen to their CLO Magazine on-demand webinar.)

“What do you do?” asked my airport shuttle driver (I’ll call him Ben).

“I work for an HR software company,” I answered.

He nodded. “HR, huh? I remember when I worked in personnel.”

“Personnel.” That term got my attention — precursor to the “human resources” profession we know today. I asked Ben about his experience, and he told me about his days at Polaroid in the Boston area during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

By my estimates, Ben is in his early 60s — a fit man with short salt-and-pepper hair, a neatly trimmed matching goatee, and an infectious storytelling style.

Back in his Polaroid days he worked the line that manufactured the shutterfly housing for a new camera at the time. Two years later he was offered a personnel job.

“I thought I was going to have my own corner office, enjoy long lunches and play golf with the management team,” he told me, shaking his head. “I was 21 years old and extremely naïve. I had no idea the job would be as hard as it was.”

“HR is no free lunch. Not then, not now,” I said.

“Well, it certainly wasn’t then, that’s for damn sure,” he said.

He managed and staffed the “C shift” (11 pm to 7 am  — otherwise known as the graveyard) one of the hardest shifts to work, much less staff and manage. He had to continually wake up his team members as they dozed off on the job.

“C shift” workers were some of Boston’s poorest whites and minorities who had the basic skills to do the job. Ben had to interview, screen and hire 50 people a week for months, until he had a few hundred employees to help roll-out the new cameras.

And Ben managed it all manually.

“We had no HR software or systems,” he explained. “I was going through 150 to 200 applicants per week to hit my 50 target. We had a brief interview process and a skills proficiency test. Then there were tons of forms for each new employee, and all had to be completed in triplicate. There were stuffed file folders and cabinets that cornered me daily in my tiny office.”

“Mercy me,” I replied.

He continued. “Not only that. The new hire trainings were intensive and on-the-job, complete with product manuals that weighed about 100 pounds each. Needless to say, I got very close to the line I used to work with and the new line employees I was staffing for. These people struggled financially, had families to care for. Many were single moms. They had all sorts of personal stress outside of work that affected productivity and quality, but we managed to meet line quota every week.”

“Fascinating,” I said. “And painful.”

“Yes, it was. One of the hardest jobs I ever had.”

“It sounds like it,” I said. “I’ve only played HR on TV.”

He laughed. I sat fascinated by the conversation and the contrast to today. The whole time we talked, with my WiFi hotspot booted, I had logged into my company’s expense report system to review and approve reports.

Then I logged into our collaborative community platform to review some product marketing collateral and the latest entries in our organization’s global contest to name our corporate intranet. What a great way to promote creativity, diversity of thought and culture in a company that’s recently moved through multiple acquisitions, and now has multiple product lines and multiple office locations and many remote contributors.

There we all were, naming the very thing that kept us connected, and I was accessing it all from my tablet of choice.

I logged off, closed my iPad, and sighed audibly. Thank goodness we have today’s technology and software systems at our fingertips, I thought. It’s all about moving from the way we worked to the way we work now — complete with interconnected, platform agnostic devices tethered by the invisible magic of cellular and WiFi science.

Mobile recruiting has seen unprecedented recent growth, and now mobile screening, assessing, hiring, onboarding, training, learning, developing, recognizing, rewarding, and more are part of the “world of work” master plan — critical to an increasingly global, dispersed workforce of full-time, part-time and contract employees.

Again, thank goodness. Think about the old model of snail-mail offer letters, conference room paperwork and storage space stacked to the ceiling with file box archives. So horribly inefficient and administratively painful. Even e-mail has become cumbersome for many in today’s workplace, (although it’s not being replaced anytime soon.)

Fortunately though, highly configurable, mobile-friendly work spaces and systems are here. They mirror our day-to-day work experience and allow us to access the data we need, whenever its needed.

Your corner office is nestled comfortably in the heart of your favorite mobile device. I think Ben would like it that way.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Forbes Picks TalentCulture As A Top Career Site: 3 Reasons Why It Matters

“The people to get even with are those who’ve helped you.”
–J.E. Southard

Today it’s time for us to “get even” by expressing deep gratitude! Why? Because Forbes.com has selected TalentCulture as one of “100 Top Websites For Your Career.” Of course we’re thrilled — and not just for all the obvious reasons. So, in the spirit of lists everywhere, here are our 3 Reasons Why This Forbes List Matters:

1) It Matters For Our Mission

By including us, Forbes is acknowledging the rise of crowdsourcing and virtual communities of practice in today’s social business world. And, if you consider the breadth and caliber of the company we’re keeping, it truly is an honor to be featured.

2) It Matters To Others In The World Of Work

On this list, everyone is a winner because there are no rankings. Instead, as Forbes staff writer Jacquelyn Smith notes:

“Our goal was to assemble a comprehensive guide to smart and engaging…online destinations for interns, job seekers, business owners, established professionals, retirees, and anyone else looking to launch, improve, advance, or change his or her career.”

forbes-logoForbes has developed a highly eclectic mix of sites. It’s not just about wildly popular social platforms like Twitter; professional networking sites like LinkedIn; job boards like CareerBuilder; and reference sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes actually adds meat to those big bones with niche services like CareerBliss and PayScale, as well as informational sites like Lindsey Pollak and Jobacle.

However, for us, the most exciting sites on the list are the many valued friends, partners and participants in our TalentCulture community. For example:

Blogging4Jobs by Jessica Miller-Merrell
Brazen Life by Brazen Careerest
Come Recommended by Heather Huhman
Keppie Careers by Miriam Salpeter
The Office Blend by Dr. Marla Gottschalk
Tweak It Together by Cali Yost
WorkLifeNation by Judy Martin
YouTern by Mark Babbitt

3) We Hope It Matters To You

Most importantly, this recognition is a positive reflection on each of you — the tens-of-thousands of monthly visitors who rely upon TalentCulture as a resource for helpful “world of work” ideas, insights, connections and conversations with professional peers.

This milestone is also an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the hundreds of community participants who, for nearly 4 years have generously developed blog content, appeared as guests on our #TChat Radio shows, participated in our popular #TChat Twitter events, and shared knowledge and peer support continuously on our social media channels.

TalentCulture exists only because of the time, effort and skill that each of you contribute. That’s the beauty of community. This isn’t merely a “website.” This is a reflection of a continuous collaborative process that our founder, Meghan M. Biro, calls a “metaphor for the social workplace.”

Truly, in this case, we could not have done this with out you. So thanks to you all! And congratulations on what you’ve helped us create. Stay tuned to this site — and let’s see where our living learning laboratory will take us next!

Image Credit: redagainPatti at flickr

 

Showing Workplace Competition Who’s Boss

“How will I stand out in the crowd?”
“Do I really have what it takes to succeed?”

These classic workplace questions cross everyone’s mind from time to time. No matter where our profession leads us — sales, engineering, consulting, service — we must continually navigate through a sea of highly qualified talent. As our careers progress, so too, does the level of talent that we encounter. (We all experience secret moments of panic.)

Knowing this, I’d like to pause for a moment and pose a different question: “Is the way we traditionally view workplace competition getting in the way of our career progress?” For many individuals, this could be the case. So, let’s take a look at common barriers and consider how to deal with them.

Put Professional Competition In Its Place

Competition can be healthy. It does have the potential to drive us forward to excel. But if the very thought of competing derails us, we have a serious problem. Ultimately, we must face facts. We are likely to cross paths with individuals that seem more capable or successful than ourselves. (We may actually covet their role or career.) However, the very notion of competition doesn’t have to evoke debilitating stress and self-doubt. We need to remember that successful career journeys are built by capitalizing on our strengthswhile maximizing the opportunities that we encounter.

To master workplace competition, we ultimately must deal with our own feelings (and issues) with the concept of competition, itself. Here are some suggestions:

7 Ways To Deal With Workplace Competition

1) Accept its presence. Competition is ubiquitous. No matter where your career leads you, there will be ample competition to keep you on your toes — and it is ever present. Try to become comfortable and make peace with it.

2) Recognize it’s not a “zero sum” game. Opt for an “abundance mentality.” Don’t take the stance that if someone else succeeds, you are doomed to fail. Another individual’s promotion or good fortune doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be left out in the cold.

3) Identify your “comparison other.” How you gauge your career has much to do with those against whom you measure yourself. Who are your role models? Choose individuals that motivate you and possess skills that you wish to emulate. (This is one of my favorite techniques.) Learn from your competition. Ask yourself: What are they doing right?

4) Be the “best of you.” We’re not required to be all things to all people (and shouldn’t feel pressured to do so). Instead, find a way to acknowledge your strengths and create your own brand. Find a niche that makes you indispensable — create value and build on this strength. Take control of your own career and find paths to showcase your own talent. You’ll find that you focus less on the paths of others when your work aligns with the best of what you have to offer.

5) Build alliances and collaborate. Network without staying too close to the cuff (Use the 70-20-10 rule here.) Spread your wings to develop depth within your workplace relationships — be the “linking pin” between other departments or functions and solve problems.

6) Get a mentor or a sponsor. Many successful people speak of a mentor that has either inspired or guided them. However, you also need a sponsor. This is an individual that will help you gain exposure and facilitate “stretch assignments” that test your abilities.

7) Be aware. There is no greater confidence builder than becoming your own advocate. Of course, there is a dark side to workplace competition. Watch for individuals who “fight dirty” and have an unhealthy relationship with competition. (Remember, there is no shame in protecting your own interests.) Document your accomplishments, if you feel it is necessary — and take credit when it is owed to you. If an environment causes you troubling levels of stress, seek a change.

How do you handle the pressure of workplace competition? What has worked most effectively for you and why? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome. Learn more…)

(Also Note: This article originally appeared as a LinkedIn Influencer post. It is republished with permission.)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Showing Workplace Competition Who's Boss

“How will I stand out in the crowd?”
“Do I really have what it takes to succeed?”

These classic workplace questions cross everyone’s mind from time to time. No matter where our profession leads us — sales, engineering, consulting, service — we must continually navigate through a sea of highly qualified talent. As our careers progress, so too, does the level of talent that we encounter. (We all experience secret moments of panic.)

Knowing this, I’d like to pause for a moment and pose a different question: “Is the way we traditionally view workplace competition getting in the way of our career progress?” For many individuals, this could be the case. So, let’s take a look at common barriers and consider how to deal with them.

Put Professional Competition In Its Place

Competition can be healthy. It does have the potential to drive us forward to excel. But if the very thought of competing derails us, we have a serious problem. Ultimately, we must face facts. We are likely to cross paths with individuals that seem more capable or successful than ourselves. (We may actually covet their role or career.) However, the very notion of competition doesn’t have to evoke debilitating stress and self-doubt. We need to remember that successful career journeys are built by capitalizing on our strengthswhile maximizing the opportunities that we encounter.

To master workplace competition, we ultimately must deal with our own feelings (and issues) with the concept of competition, itself. Here are some suggestions:

7 Ways To Deal With Workplace Competition

1) Accept its presence. Competition is ubiquitous. No matter where your career leads you, there will be ample competition to keep you on your toes — and it is ever present. Try to become comfortable and make peace with it.

2) Recognize it’s not a “zero sum” game. Opt for an “abundance mentality.” Don’t take the stance that if someone else succeeds, you are doomed to fail. Another individual’s promotion or good fortune doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be left out in the cold.

3) Identify your “comparison other.” How you gauge your career has much to do with those against whom you measure yourself. Who are your role models? Choose individuals that motivate you and possess skills that you wish to emulate. (This is one of my favorite techniques.) Learn from your competition. Ask yourself: What are they doing right?

4) Be the “best of you.” We’re not required to be all things to all people (and shouldn’t feel pressured to do so). Instead, find a way to acknowledge your strengths and create your own brand. Find a niche that makes you indispensable — create value and build on this strength. Take control of your own career and find paths to showcase your own talent. You’ll find that you focus less on the paths of others when your work aligns with the best of what you have to offer.

5) Build alliances and collaborate. Network without staying too close to the cuff (Use the 70-20-10 rule here.) Spread your wings to develop depth within your workplace relationships — be the “linking pin” between other departments or functions and solve problems.

6) Get a mentor or a sponsor. Many successful people speak of a mentor that has either inspired or guided them. However, you also need a sponsor. This is an individual that will help you gain exposure and facilitate “stretch assignments” that test your abilities.

7) Be aware. There is no greater confidence builder than becoming your own advocate. Of course, there is a dark side to workplace competition. Watch for individuals who “fight dirty” and have an unhealthy relationship with competition. (Remember, there is no shame in protecting your own interests.) Document your accomplishments, if you feel it is necessary — and take credit when it is owed to you. If an environment causes you troubling levels of stress, seek a change.

How do you handle the pressure of workplace competition? What has worked most effectively for you and why? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome. Learn more…)

(Also Note: This article originally appeared as a LinkedIn Influencer post. It is republished with permission.)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Considering a Career Change? Take a 360 Snapshot

Written by Dorie Clark, Next Avenue

Thinking about reinventing yourself professionally so you can switch fields or move up the ladder in your current career? A good way to start is by giving yourself a “Personal 360” interview.

At some corporations, employees receive performance reviews based on what are called “360 reviews” (360, as in all directions). In a 360 review, the key people you work with — your boss, peers, subordinates and clients — provide anonymous, aggregated feedback about you and your performance. Firms conduct these reviews partly to uncover the suck-ups who get along perfectly with their bosses but are tyrants to everyone below them.

What a Personal 360 Interview Can Do For You

By pulling together your own Personal 360 interview, where you talk with assorted people about your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to begin leveraging your best talents for the next stage of your career. These people are not only your best hope of receiving honest feedback, they’re also the ones you’ll turn to for mentoring and (eventually) new business and referrals. It may seem like an imposition to reach out, but the truth is, it takes a village to reinvent yourself.

(Related reading: Why We’re Hardwired for Midlife Reinvention)

Personal 360 Process

Here’s how to conduct a Personal 360:

First, create a list of questions you think would be helpful in enhancing your self-knowledge. Executive coach Michael Melcher suggests paired questions. For example: “What’s my strength?” and “What’s not my strength?” Or “What career can you see me in?” and “What career can you definitely not see me in?” That format, Melcher says, “gives people permission to give the full picture; they don’t want to be too negative.”

A few good questions that aren’t paired:

  • What 3 words would you use to describe me?
  • If you didn’t already know what I do for a living, what would you guess, and why?
  • I’m trying to go from field X to field Y. What steps would you suggest?
  • What are my blind spots?

Picking Interview Targets

Next, identify the people you’ll be tapping for your 360 review. You need to be careful, especially if you don’t want to tip your hand to co-workers that you’re considering a career change. Focus on friends, trustworthy colleagues and family members you can depend on to provide honest feedback (no frenemies need apply).

Phyllis Stein, a career consultant in Cambridge, Mass., and the former director of Radcliffe College Career Services at Harvard University, suggests identifying up to 20 people who exemplify the interests, skills and values you admire. Ideally, you’ll want to corral a diverse assortment of men and women in different fields so you can get a broad perspective.

Once you’ve selected potential members of your 360 posse, it’s time to approach them. Melcher suggests making it clear that you want them to set aside time, but not for friendly chitchat. “If you tell your friends you’ll be interviewing them, they’ll take it much more seriously,” he says. Explain that you’ll be spending about 20 minutes asking them about your personal brand so you can see how you’re perceived.

(Related reading: Why Delay Your Dream Job?)

The Face-to-Face Advantage

Face-to-face interviews often yield better responses than phone calls, emails or Skype chats because they let you probe answers further. But they’re not always possible. You might be in Miami and the interviewee in Mumbai, for instance. Or the person you want may be so busy that the best you’ll get is an email pecked out on a smartphone between layovers.

However, be prepared. You’ll need a thick skin to conduct face-to-face interviews. Sometimes the truth can be painful. So if your poker face isn’t up to snuff, you might just want to stick to doing your Personal 360 electronically.

No matter how you conduct the interviews, be sure the people you’re talking with agree to be brutally honest. New York–based career coach Alisa Cohn says you almost have to be forceful about this with friends because their desire to protect you is often so strong.

“Say, ‘I’m trying to develop myself and I know you love me, but I’d appreciate your candid feedback about my limitations,’” Cohn recommends. If your friend says, ‘You don’t have any,’ insist he or she takes your request more seriously.

How to Prompt Honest Answers

One trick, she says, is to bring up negatives about yourself so your 360 team doesn’t have to do so. “You can say: ‘I’ve gotten feedback in the past that I’m a tactical thinker — not strategic. I wonder if you’ve seen that and what you think?’” Cohn says. “When you rat yourself out first, they can add on.”

Conducting a Group 360 Interview

In addition to (or instead of) one-on-one conversations, another possibility is hosting a group gathering in your living room with 8-10 trusted friends and colleagues, assuming your network lives nearby. The benefit of this is that you can leverage the wisdom of crowds when one person’s idea sparks another. Think of it as a focus group where the focus is you.

Make sure you have enough comfortable chairs and, just as in real focus groups, bribe people with dinner and/or copious, high-quality snacks. If you’re able, it’s a classy gesture to provide each attendee with a small token of your appreciation, like a gift card for a coffee shop or bookstore. Keep the whole shebang to 90 minutes max, with 30 of those minutes upfront for mingling and to accommodate late arrivals.

Essential Jobs for a Group Interview

Two roles are critical: the facilitator and the scribe. If you’re a terrific moderator — you can keep meetings going efficiently, politely hush ramblers, probe interesting statements — take on the facilitator role yourself. But for most people, this can be a tricky assignment when the subject is you. So you may want to ask a friend or co-worker to fill the role. Just be sure to coordinate in advance with the moderator so you’ll be able to slip him or her notes for follow-up questions.

You might, however, be comfortable as the scribe. If so, sit silently in the back, don’t interrupt and just take notes. It’s a good idea, with your group’s permission, to record the session so you can play it back and review it in the future.

You may want to set aside five minutes at the end of the session to ask attendees to write down a short summary of their perceptions — three words that describe you, the most important skill you should develop and so on. Since some participants may be too shy to offer their thoughts out loud, this is a good way to ensure you’ve captured their insights.

It could also be useful to supplement your 360 interviews by reading over previous performance reviews and recommendation letters you’ve received at work, as well as by seeing what people have said about you online — positively and negatively. (A Google search can help you accomplish the latter).

(Related reading: A CEO’s Advice for the Third Chapter of Your Career)

How to Interpret What People Say

Once you’ve gathered all the input, it’s time to synthesize that information. Be sure you’re assigning the appropriate weight to what you’ve heard. Rather than obsessing about something one person mentioned in a 360 review, look for consistent patterns across comments you’ve received.

It’s easy for something negative to stick in your craw. But the power of one harsh appraisal can cloud your understanding of how you’re perceived in general. Remember, you’re trying to find patterns. To uncover them, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What adjectives did people use to describe me?
  • What skills did they say I possess or lack?
  • What aspects of me or my brand were most frequently mentioned?
  • Were any of those aspects cited as unique or unusual?

Now you have to determine what it all means. Be careful not to confuse kind words with traits that will serve you well in your career reinvention. “People may say, ‘I see you as thoughtful, methodical, and nice,’” Cohn says. “Those are lovely professional qualities, but they aren’t describing a leadership brand like the word ‘decisive.’ They’re not going to get you to the C-suite.”

Dorie Clark headshot(Author Profile: Dorie Clark is the author of “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future.” She is an adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and is a consultant and speaker for clients such as Google, Fidelity, and the World Bank. She also contributes frequently to Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Learn more about Dorie at dorieclark.com and follow her on Twitter @dorieclark.)

Editorial Note: Reprinted with permission by Harvard Business Review Press and Adapted from “Reinventing You,” copyright 2013 Dorie Clark. All rights reserved.

Read the original post at Next Avenue.

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Image credit: Pixabayi

Where’s The Love? Recognition DIY

Written By Ritika Trikha

Overworked. Undervalued. Now What?

You’re working your fingers to the bone – extra hours, extra projects, extra everything. And yet no extra appreciation is coming back your way. No one seems to notice your hard work. What to do?

No matter why or how you found yourself in this situation, you can turn it around. It’s time to take back control.

As Roxanne Peplow of Computer Systems Institute notes, “You cannot seek praise from others—it has to come from within.” Rather than waiting to be recognized and praised by others, choose to be proud of your accomplishments in their own right. Give yourself the credit you deserve. Shed light on your achievements when appropriate. And look for ways to acknowledge the efforts of others who contribute to your success — those on your team.

“If you feel that you are doing more than what is expected of you and it isn’t being recognized, you are making yourself a victim. When you victimize yourself, it’s impossible to be positive,” Peplow says.

Try these 5 steps to find the recognition you deserve:

1. Look Closer — Then Speak Up

If it seems like you’re swamped, first reexamine your workload. You may benefit from smarter ways to prioritize and minimize work. If that’s not enough, don’t be a hero. Talk with your boss.

“Many employees mistakenly believe their job is at stake if they say they can’t handle one more project. More projects equal less focus and lower quality,” says Steve Duffy, president of ListHere.com. Like many other managers, Duffy would rather have an employee deliver great results than take on too much and fall short.

Tell your manager. He wants to know. After all, his success depends on your ability to perform.

2. Do Something You Love — After Hours

Balance in other areas of life can make or break your workplace happiness. Fast Co.Create suggests that professionals develop a “passion project” outside of work.

Firstborn Creative Director Adam Rubin is also a children’s book author. He told Fast Co.Create that having a side project is not only personally gratifying, but also translates positively back to his work. For him, writing children’s books as a sideline “is an excellent exercise in simplicity and rhythm. It has helped me improve the brevity, clarity and pace of my writing.”

3. Stop Taking On Extra Work From Slackers

If you’re overworked because you’re picking up slack from one or more colleagues, enough is enough. Don’t wait until you’ve reached a boiling point, says Joseph Grenny, co-author of New York Times bestseller “Crucial Confrontations.”

Grenny led a study that suggests 93% of employees work with others who don’t pull their weight — yet only 1 in 10 of us actually confronts underperforming colleagues. If you feel uncomfortable speaking directly to offenders, you have two alternatives: 1) Just say no to helping in the future, or 2) Discuss it with your boss (see suggestion #1).

4. Get Enough Sleep

When you’re overworked, sleep is probably the first thing to go. “Work can keep us up at night, worrying about what is next or staying up because work still needs to be accomplished,” says Chris Ohlendorf, Partner at Versique Search and Consulting.

Realize that the more sleep you lose, the closer you are to burnout. And burnout won’t advance your career.

5. If All Else Fails, Start Searching For The Next Job

If your boss is simply not budging, you have no time to balance your life, and you’re surrounded by slackers, it may be time to reward yourself by jumping ship. Just make sure you’re not job hunting on company time, warns Lida Citroen, personal branding and reputation management expert at LIDA360.

Her advice: “Networking — online and in person — and studying industries, companies and business leaders will help you become more proactive in your career.”

Chalk It Up to a Lesson Learned

ListHere.com’s Duffy also offers some final words of wisdom for those who have reached the point of no return – treat any company the way it is treating you. “Remember that a company only hires you because you can add value to their bottom line.”

If you’re no longer moving forward in your career, accept the lessons learned from this experience, and find a new employer. But avoid repeating past mistakes. In interviews, be sure to ask questions that will help you determine whether or not that company will be a better fit:

  1. How would you describe your management style?
  2. How did this position become available?
  3. What kind of recognition system is utilized here?
  4. Can you tell me about the growth opportunities available to employees?

Take back control. Embrace and celebrate your achievements, while helping others see your value and respect your contributions. You have nothing to lose!

Ritika-Trikha(Author Profile: Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. When Ritika’s not writing, she’s obsessing over social media (and listening to Jay Z!). Connect with Ritika on Twitter!)

Republished with permission from YouTern.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Where's The Love? Recognition DIY

Written By Ritika Trikha

Overworked. Undervalued. Now What?

You’re working your fingers to the bone – extra hours, extra projects, extra everything. And yet no extra appreciation is coming back your way. No one seems to notice your hard work. What to do?

No matter why or how you found yourself in this situation, you can turn it around. It’s time to take back control.

As Roxanne Peplow of Computer Systems Institute notes, “You cannot seek praise from others—it has to come from within.” Rather than waiting to be recognized and praised by others, choose to be proud of your accomplishments in their own right. Give yourself the credit you deserve. Shed light on your achievements when appropriate. And look for ways to acknowledge the efforts of others who contribute to your success — those on your team.

“If you feel that you are doing more than what is expected of you and it isn’t being recognized, you are making yourself a victim. When you victimize yourself, it’s impossible to be positive,” Peplow says.

Try these 5 steps to find the recognition you deserve:

1. Look Closer — Then Speak Up

If it seems like you’re swamped, first reexamine your workload. You may benefit from smarter ways to prioritize and minimize work. If that’s not enough, don’t be a hero. Talk with your boss.

“Many employees mistakenly believe their job is at stake if they say they can’t handle one more project. More projects equal less focus and lower quality,” says Steve Duffy, president of ListHere.com. Like many other managers, Duffy would rather have an employee deliver great results than take on too much and fall short.

Tell your manager. He wants to know. After all, his success depends on your ability to perform.

2. Do Something You Love — After Hours

Balance in other areas of life can make or break your workplace happiness. Fast Co.Create suggests that professionals develop a “passion project” outside of work.

Firstborn Creative Director Adam Rubin is also a children’s book author. He told Fast Co.Create that having a side project is not only personally gratifying, but also translates positively back to his work. For him, writing children’s books as a sideline “is an excellent exercise in simplicity and rhythm. It has helped me improve the brevity, clarity and pace of my writing.”

3. Stop Taking On Extra Work From Slackers

If you’re overworked because you’re picking up slack from one or more colleagues, enough is enough. Don’t wait until you’ve reached a boiling point, says Joseph Grenny, co-author of New York Times bestseller “Crucial Confrontations.”

Grenny led a study that suggests 93% of employees work with others who don’t pull their weight — yet only 1 in 10 of us actually confronts underperforming colleagues. If you feel uncomfortable speaking directly to offenders, you have two alternatives: 1) Just say no to helping in the future, or 2) Discuss it with your boss (see suggestion #1).

4. Get Enough Sleep

When you’re overworked, sleep is probably the first thing to go. “Work can keep us up at night, worrying about what is next or staying up because work still needs to be accomplished,” says Chris Ohlendorf, Partner at Versique Search and Consulting.

Realize that the more sleep you lose, the closer you are to burnout. And burnout won’t advance your career.

5. If All Else Fails, Start Searching For The Next Job

If your boss is simply not budging, you have no time to balance your life, and you’re surrounded by slackers, it may be time to reward yourself by jumping ship. Just make sure you’re not job hunting on company time, warns Lida Citroen, personal branding and reputation management expert at LIDA360.

Her advice: “Networking — online and in person — and studying industries, companies and business leaders will help you become more proactive in your career.”

Chalk It Up to a Lesson Learned

ListHere.com’s Duffy also offers some final words of wisdom for those who have reached the point of no return – treat any company the way it is treating you. “Remember that a company only hires you because you can add value to their bottom line.”

If you’re no longer moving forward in your career, accept the lessons learned from this experience, and find a new employer. But avoid repeating past mistakes. In interviews, be sure to ask questions that will help you determine whether or not that company will be a better fit:

  1. How would you describe your management style?
  2. How did this position become available?
  3. What kind of recognition system is utilized here?
  4. Can you tell me about the growth opportunities available to employees?

Take back control. Embrace and celebrate your achievements, while helping others see your value and respect your contributions. You have nothing to lose!

Ritika-Trikha(Author Profile: Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. When Ritika’s not writing, she’s obsessing over social media (and listening to Jay Z!). Connect with Ritika on Twitter!)

Republished with permission from YouTern.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Smart Mission—Hire Vets: #TChat Recap

There are millions of stories in the world of work. But this time, it’s personal. For me, #TChat hit close to home yesterday, when discussing issues and opportunities associated with military veteran employment. Therefore, rather than recapping the event in detail, I’d like to illustrate some key points through one soldier’s story. …

(To see highlights from the #TChat stream, watch the slideshow at the end of this post.)

One Veteran’s Dilemma

A close friend is one of the 2.4 million Americans who have volunteered to serve in the War on Terror. As a “civilian soldier” deployed as an embedded trainer by the Army National Guard, he left behind his full-time job and his comfortable family life in suburban Chicago. Since returning from Afghanistan almost 5 years ago, he has struggled to re-enter the workforce, as so many in uniform must do in these challenging economic times.

It shouldn’t have to be that way. This soldier’s credentials are impressive:

  • Several decades of business experience — including 14 years as a technical sales specialist at one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies
  • An honors degree in communications from one of our nation’s most prestigious universities
  • Meritorious service in three branches of the armed forces

So why was it so difficult for him to find a good employment fit when he returned?

This thoughtful soldier would say, “It’s complicated.” Partially, it’s because businesses seem reluctant to take a chance on someone who could be recalled to active duty at any time. It’s also partially because some decision-makers seem intimidated by an impressive military profile. And, partially, it’s because his years of technical sales experience seem to over-qualify him for positions he would gladly pursue. (Ironically, as he has reminded me, he willingly traveled to a remote destination halfway around the world to perform tasks that were dirty, dangerous and sometimes mind-numbingly mundane, all in service of a higher mission.)

It seems ridiculous that business weren’t finding him attractive. It is even more ridiculous to learn that he was passed over not once, but twice, for a “troops-to-teachers” government initiative. Why? Apparently, the program didn’t feel that inner-city teens could learn English from a man who had trained poor Afghans to protect remote border villages from Taliban invasions, and had fostered productive relationships with wary Afghan tribal elders.

What’s happening here? It seems there are other factors to consider. It may not be obvious, but if we want to crack the employment code for returning veterans, it deserves a closer look.

Hiring Vets: More Than a Few Good Men (& Women)

Here’s my theory: If this soldier’s story is any indicator, we should recognize that this has been a very different kind of war — and its unique character fundamentally shifts the perceptions of those who serve.

Many missions include a strong humanitarian component. Objectives have centered on winning hearts and minds, while equipping Afghans to protect and sustain themselves through improvements in infrastructure, governance, agriculture, education and commerce.

Recent veterans have had a life-and-death hand in the future of the Afghan people. Regardless of their rank, they have contributed in a meaningful way, typically persevering in desperate and desolate conditions.

After such intense involvement in a mission, it’s a tremendous shock to return home to the U.S. and carry on as usual, without a strong sense of purpose. Perhaps that’s one reason why so many veterans sign up for subsequent tours of duty. Despite the clear-and-present need for an income stream, could it be that many vets aren’t simply searching for a job, but instead are seeking meaningful work?

With all the strengths that veterans bring to the table, perhaps some re-framing could lead both sides of the equation to a better sense of fit. Actually, come to think of it, couldn’t most of us benefit by re-framing our work lives as missions?

#  #  #

NOTE: Many #TChat participants offered constructive ideas to improve the re-entry, recruiting and onboarding experience for veterans. For highlights and links to helpful resources, scroll to the end of this post and check out the Storify slideshow there.

#  #  #

Highlights & What’s Ahead on #TChat

SPECIAL THANKS to this week’s guest moderator, Brenden “Bo” Wright (@BrendenMWright), director of information technology recruiting at Laureate Education. He’s also a Marine veteran who served as a nuclear, biological and chemical defense specialist. Brenden’s expertise in talent acquisition strategy and as a former member of the military brought tremendous depth and dimension to this week’s discussion. Did you miss the #TChat preview? Go here.

NOTE: If you’re a blogger and this #TChat session inspired you to write about veteran employment issues, we’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in the #TChat community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible. And we hope you’ll join us next Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are) for another #TChat, when we’ll be exploring issues related to government policy and human resources. Look for the preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Enjoy your weekend!

Image Credit: Quad-City Times

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: Veterans & Employment
by Sean Charles (@SocialMediaSean)

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-employing-our-veterans.js?template=slideshow”]

#TChat INSIGHTS: Employing Our Veterans

Storified by TalentCulture · Thu, Nov 08 2012 07:24:35

Here’s mine @DawnRasmussen http://twitpic.com/bb7zav #TChatDaveTheHRCzar
Q1: US legislation is creating skill certifications for military experience. What else could be done? #TChatBrenden Bo Wright
A1: Military service is not understood by most civilians – roundtables w/new hires to share stories & learning #tchatAlli Polin
#TChat A1 Skill certifications should count for college level creditFuji Fulgueras
A1: Opportunity to gain civilian certs during military service, documentation of experience (project management?) for certs #tchatJames Schmeling
A1: Clarity followed by autonomy to execute – but most people would benefit from that #tchatAlli Polin
Evening all. A1 Perhaps transition from military > civilian duties should begin well in advance of being relieved from the forces. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A1. The resources that are being pulled out of military should be channeled into the transition. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: #veterans are ready to serve in the private sector,private sector needs to be willing to create jobs that fit their background #tchatJen Olney
A1 Some of those skill certifications do not fully leverage the experience & capabilities of #Veterans. #tchatJoe Sanchez
#Tchat A1 There are thousands of public sector jobs out there. We list them everyday. Social technology can help bridge the gaps.GovernmentJobs
A1. Military veterans need tools and support for transforming internal obstacles. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: Companies can MAP their own skill reqs to the military certs so the Vets don’t have to interpret @MeghanMBiro @BrendenMWright #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A1. Maybe teach them a little bit about self-branding ? #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: Unless you are hiring for the Mafia, get over the stereotype that you are hiring trained killers. These people have talent! #TChatTom Bolt
A1: The military has evolved and the civilian sector has to be educated in the skill sets that have each member has received #tchatJen Olney
A1. 2/3rds of the jobs in near future will require certification and/or degree. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: If legislation included required targeting of vets rather than just reporting (VETS-100) then more vets would be hired. #tchatJoey V. Price
A1. The term experience needs to be redefined. Skills for managing conflict, leadership and communication show up in many ways. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1: Employers can bumble skills and experience screening. Don’t write off vets and/or long-term unemployed and/or part-time employed. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
#Tchat A1 Most transitioning military I know don’t want a handout. They want to earn their stripes in corp america like they did in militaryCyndy Trivella
A1: Military service is not understood by most civilians – roundtables w/new hires to share stories & learning #tchatAlli Polin
A1. Everyone must examine habitual thoughts-emotions-reactions towards all things military. #tchatMichael Clark
A1 These folks have unique skills – they are valuable! #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1: Military needs to do a better job transitioning #vets BEFORE their last 90 days of service. #TChatBrenden Bo Wright
A1: More information forwarded to employers so that they might understand military job skills better. #TChatRobert Rojo
#Tchat Would B nice to have gov reps who can work with employers to help them understand what programs, plans to have in place. A1Cyndy Trivella
@ReCenterMoment KEY A1- educate civilians. Wonder how this would work? #TChatMegan Rene Burkett
>> @cybraryman1 A1 make everyone aware of MOS (Military Occupation Specialties) and the training that had to be completed for them. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A1. Organizations have to educated about the diverse experience and skill sets of military veterans. #tchatMichael Clark
A1: Certifications for military service are great. But will employers really value them? #TChatBrenden Bo Wright
A1. teach them to be networking-savvy. even civilians have a hard time finding work without this skill. it’s crucial. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: How about in Co’s branding message about TRUE stories of how they’ve helped put Vets back to work #tchatSusan Avello
A1: During outprocessing more detailed explanation on how military skills translate into civilian skills. #TChatRobert Rojo
A1 IMO 4 #Vet: transition counseling, business coaching, interview training, PLUS education 4 Employers on the skills gained as #Vet #TChatPam Ross
A1 Let me cut to the chase: Our corporate “head” has no idea as to how a 24 yo who commands 200 fighters fits into biz #HRfail #tchatSteve
a1. Civilians must be educated about the reality of life in the military. #tchatMichael Clark
A1 Have to make everyone aware of MOS (Military Occupation Specialties) and the training that had to be completed for them. #tchatJerry Blumengarten
A1: Because it is true, of course, that not all Vets necessarily have leadership qualifications from their service, right? #tchatMark Salke
A1. Maybe partner with RPOs or staffing agencies to help line up temp or perm jobs once they get out #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1. We need stories more than skill certifications to better understand how military experience translates to biz success. #TChatBob Lehto
#tchat @BrendenMWright a1: most important is providing vets resources who help “translate” their qualities to corp jargon/build confidenceMila Araujo
A1: Take advantage of transition assistance planning (TAPS). Start a year out. #tchatWilsonHCG
A1: Perhaps increased patriotism in the workplace can help as well. I haven’t seen too many American flags in local office places. #tchatJoey V. Price
A1: US should offer more accessible & updated job search training to #veterans – don’t just point them to a job board #TChatJobsite.com
A1: Make sure there is understanding by employers and the general public as to what it all means. #tchatRob McGahen
A1. We must transform how people perceive the people that serve in the military. #tchatMichael Clark
A1 Possibly more career counseling before leaving the military (I am not an expert on the current guidelines.) #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
Valuable point! @levyrecruits: A1 legislation created by how many of our reps whove served? #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A1 MORE awareness like this chat or @meghanMBiro Forbes article > list of WHYs = beneficial to employers #tchatCASUDI
A1: First, employers can reshape job descriptions to match the diverse experiences #vets can bring to a position. #TChatAndrew Henck
A1: Increase positive sentiment about the impact vets can have on the private industry by increasing awareness of skills from service #tchatJoey V. Price
A1: I hope that US legislation includes HR and Recruiting Pros input. Problem is still miscommunication #TChatJobsite.com
A1: Training programs and networks in place to support #vets once on the job for 60 – 90 – 120 + days #tchatAlli Polin
a1. This work must be done from all sides; public, private, personal, professional. #tchatMichael Clark
A1) Need to help vets translate military experience into work experience (on resumes and interviews) #tchatnancyrubin
Agreed** @BrendenMWright A1 Cos can do better understanding skills developed during milit
ary service. Burden shouldnt be #vet alone. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A1 legislation created by how many of our reps who’ve served? #tchatSteve
A1: How do Vets demonstrate that their military experience translates “skill-wise” into civilian roles? #tchatMark Salke
A1 Offer ex-military rotating internships so they can gain experience, learn the corp culture nuances & select a career path. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A1: An outreach program to employers, to explain to them what the certifications mean… #TChatBrent Skinner
A1. More education of employere – not more mandates – Tax breaks at state & federal level for hiring Vets #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A1: Recruiters should take it upon themselves to recognize valuable skillset of #vets #TChatJobsite.com
A1 A “translation” of learned skill sets so they can be applied to jobs – #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1 more in-depth transition courses upon departure. Usually it’s a 2 day course and then “hadios” #tchatKeith Punches
A1: Organizations could do a better job of translating that experience into private sector leadership opps #tchatAlli Polin
A1. I would love to see them help #vets prepare for civilian transition months in advance. Increase transferable training #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: As employers identify skills gaps, consider how hiring a veteran can specifically solve staffing needs. #tchatJoey V. Price
A1 Like the idea of providing skills certificates. Have to make all employers aware of them and the training & dedication of vets. #tchatJerry Blumengarten
A1: Companies can do better understanding skills developed during military service. Burden shouldn’t be on #vet alone. #TChatBrenden Bo Wright
A1: Turn off stereotypes and employers look at the person who is applying for the position with a full breath of their record #tchatJen Olney
A1. We need national all-channel media blitz teaching civilians how to support transitioning military veterans. #tchatMichael Clark
A1 #Tchat Put ppl into place that can help ex-military with soft skills training to integrate into a corporate environment.Cyndy Trivella
A1: Given that OFCCP compliance is so strict, recruiters should have required training translating #vets to civilian skills #TChatJobsite.com
A1: We all need to know that it takes more than legislation. You can’t legislate “right” and assume it will happen. #TChatTom Bolt
A1: Increase access outplacement training and connect employers with veteran pipelines similar to college recruitment. #tchatJoey V. Price
A1 Are they also providing subsidies for companies hiring #veterans? #TChatPam Ross
A1: Not sure how this legislation gets communicated to employers, but has to have meaning… positive, not punitive to employers #TChatTom Bolt
Q2: What management styles work best when leading an employee with military experience? #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A2 Ex-Military tend not to ask a lot of questions. They want to power through a problem. Just know that extra help is appreciated. #tchatKeith Punches
#Tchat A2 Comps that encourage a culture of diverse ppl with different experiences may be a good culture fit.Cyndy Trivella
A2 would it be better to include vets in the team and lead like the others or isolate them for unique experience? #tchatJoey V. Price
A2. Based upon my experience, military veterans enjoy the collaborative, relatively free culture of the world of work. #tchatMichael Clark
A2 Ex-Military tend not to ask a lot of questions. They want to power through a problem. Just know that extra help is appreciated. #tchatKeith Punches
A2. The military pays in advance of services rendered! #tchatMichael Clark
A2: Vets have learned, first and foremost, the value of the team. #tchatMark Salke
A2. When I call a military person, they actually answer the phone! #tchatMichael Clark
A2 My experience with vets is they are human; all types of leadership style work. #tchatStephen Abbott
A2: Some of my #vet pilot friends also are also the most emotional individuals I know – They want leaders w/heart #tchatAlli Polin
A2 Military are used to taking orders so a more formal means of leading [in the beginning] should make them more comfortable. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A2. People in the military are clear about exactly what they are supposed to do in diverse situations. #tchatMichael Clark
A2 a leader that is not afraid to hire someone with more leadership experience. Not afraid to develop b/c vet will want to do more #Tchatcbpurdie
A2: On the lighter side, don’t raise ur voice. We’ve been yelled at by professional screamers. :) #veterans #usmc #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A2. Based upon my experience, the military has intense precision, focus, discipline. #tchatMichael Clark
A2. I think it’s no different for anyone… ASK your employees (military or not) what the respond best to, and collaborate from there #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2: Vets are focused on accomplishing the mission, see what they need as far as resources and you’ll be amazed. #TChatRobert Rojo
A2: I’m gonna go for the low-hanging fruit: hierarchical? #TChatBrent Skinner
A2: Probably most any style would work with a #veteran, as long as respectful management is taking place #TChatJobsite.com
A2 Veterans have seen & worked under a variety of leadership styles (yes, they exist in the military). Vets are very adaptable. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A2: Again, don’t begin with mil experience… they were not born with a uniform… They were and are real human beings. #TChatTom Bolt
A2: Veterans are mature and can handle more than their share of stress and demands. Respect them and they’ll work wonders! #TChatRobert Rojo
A2 Depends on their experience with their military CO ;) @BrendenMWright #tchatSteve
A2: A more direct mgmt style, but make an effort to promote collaboration and idea. #tchatWilsonHCG
A2: Clear and concise communication – directive and intentions must be understood , no BS #tchatJen Olney
A2 I’d leave the vets in the community answer that one… #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A2: Depends on the Vets experience and *aptitudes* – just like any population #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A2. Always have hard time w/generalization questions. Answers are never one size… We can’t fail to recognize the individual. #tchatJustin Mass
A2: Autocratic or Paternalistic mgmt styles both would work well, given the circumstance. #TChatJobsite.com
A2 Vets used to structure, planning, missions and staying on task. Clear communication is essential. #tchatJerry Blumengarten
A2: Indecisiveness is probably unacceptable. #tchatRob McGahen
A2 #Leaders in the military have to watch out for their teams first and themselves second – Lead by EXAMPLE #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A2. Military veterans have intensive training and experience in adapting to diverse circumstances. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: Trust. Mutual respect. Appreciation. Mission-oriented. And if u’ve served urself, an unselfish willingness to learn. #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A2: I think we’d be surprised that it’s not necessarily “Command and Control” leadership that gets results, Even IN the military! #tchatMark Salke
A2 Structure and clarity of instruction #tchatCASUDI
Set boundaries but give plenty of autonomy, ya? A2. #tchatJocelyn Aucoin
A2: Probably depends on what level of leadership the former military held while in the military – this understanding is imperative #TChatJobsite.com
A2: What management style? Respect and open communication isn’t a style but I would think that’s the starting point… #tchatJoey V. Price
A2. Military veterans do not fe
ar command and control. #tchatMichael Clark
A2: Some orgs could learn a great deal from the structure and routine of most veteran experiences #TChatAndrew Henck
A2 Personal experience w hiring a #vet ~ my management style too “loosey-goosey” ~ I had to adapt = more structure :-) #tchatCASUDI
A2: So many mgrs don’t even know what “Yes, Sir” or “Yes, Ma’am” sounds like they’d prob have a heart attack #TChatJobsite.com
A2 Vets are individuals no one size of MGMT style fit all #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A2: Basically these are very bright people… they are very adaptable to any situation… train them… they will learn. #TChatTom Bolt
A2: When mgmt. manages a former military employee, it important to know that the work will be done. #Preciseness #TChatJobsite.com
A2: Familiar with authoritative leadership from TRAINED leaders. Don’t be wishy-washy. #TChatTom Bolt
A2 #Tchat Respect. Clear Communication. No B.S. Hierarchy where information goes up and down chain of command.Cyndy Trivella
Q3: What’s the biggest challenge for veterans in the civilian world of work? #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A3: Translating your experience and intangible skills to the business world. Especially when you had an unusual job in the military #tchatDC
#tchat A3 19yr old soldier has lots of duties/responsibilities…25yr olds in corporations get the coffeeFuji Fulgueras
A3. With the pace of change, we’re all facing immense challenges in the world of work. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Need to hear vets answer this question and note the responses #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A3. stereotyped. Ppl think of them as vets and forgot vets=people like us, duh. #TChatLiChing Ooi
A3 Some employers think Veterans’ achievements resulted frm ppl having to follow orders. Forget *leadership is about influence.* #tchatJoe Sanchez
A3: I’ve been told by co-workers that only ppl who couldn’t get into college join the military. To my face. #ignorance #veterans #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A3 Trying to figure out what to do with my secret security clearance I got in the Army! Employers must recognize their service. #tchatJerry Blumengarten
A3. Feeling a sense of sole ownership to adopt new ways of being before walking through the door. Unfair burden. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3: My experience was having a difficult time translating my military qualifications to civilian requirements #tchat #vetsChance Casas
A3. The greatest challenge is inside each individual. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Vets will have a prob if they feel they R getting handout. They want to work for it. This ain’t charity, folks. It’s common sense #TChatTom Bolt
A3. Adapting to the unstructured flow of obtaining work is daunting. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: I’ve really got nothing for this question… #tchatRob McGahen
A3. Military parents, students, families face tremendous challenges. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: With recruiting pressures, I think it easier for a recruiter to move on to the next applicant. #TChatRobert Rojo
A3. bridging the gap between military language& civilian business language.need to find a happymedium of understandable communication #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3 – young vets may have never previously held civilian jobs, and while they’re adaptable it may be difficult at first #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A3. I can’t answer Q3. But I can ask how can I help? #tchatJustin Mass
A3 Recruiters unwilling to look creatively at transferable, more-than-employable skills. #TChatMark Babbitt
A3: Dealing with immaturity in workplace a challenge. There is an old saying that when you send a boy off to war he comes home a man #TChatTom Bolt
A3 I have hired a lot of vets and theyve lamented about lack of integrity and ethics from leadership. Couldn’t disagree either. #tchatJoey V. Price
A3 Many people dont understand how Military skills can be applied to their company~ they fear perceived aggression! #tchatCASUDI
A3. Most military people are keenly aware of how some people negatively perceive service. #tchatMichael Clark
A3 Learning that it’s OK to take a coffee break without being court marshalled for going AWOL. ;-) #TChatEnzo Guardino
A3: Perception – I think on both sides (employee and #Veteran) #TChatPam Ross
A3 – I think the biggest challenge for vets is CULTURAL, the military environment is nothing like most civilian employer/corp #TChatSylvia Dahlby
Any examples for us? and welcome! @JVPsaid: A3 inadequate job training. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A3: I want to know more abt vet-to-civilian translated skills. Biggest challenge is that recruiters don’t know more or want to know. #TChatJobsite.com
A3: I was stereotyped as too rigid, only able to follow orders. Uptight. Inflexible. #veterans #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A3. One of the greatest challenges is managing personal aspects of professional change. #tchatMichael Clark
A3 Annoying corporate culture “speak” can be a challenge. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A3: The misconception that they are not fit to serve in the civilian ranks #tchatJen Olney
A3: Perhaps stigma meets a lack of skill understanding in the world of work. Communication breakdown? #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A3: Finding meaningful work opportunities where their unique #strengths + experiences are leveraged for good #TChatAndrew Henck
A3: Transitioning in general..job roles/family/civilian life. #tchatWilsonHCG
A3 inadequate job training. #tchatJoey V. Price
A3: Civilians. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A3: #Vets can be viewed as different than civillians – instead of looking at how we’re the same & ready to contribute #tchatAlli Polin
A3. The transition into civilian life and work can be surreal and intensely challenging. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: Managers who do not take the time to understand a veteran’s full experience could be an impediment to vets #TChatJobsite.com
A3: Being treated as equals, instead of someone who speaks a foreign language. #TChatRobert Rojo
A3: Nature and veterans abhor a vacuum… if nobody is in charge they step in and get things done. #TChatTom Bolt
A3: This is theoretical, but the feel of the urgency behind priorities is probably subtly different? #TChatBrent Skinner
A3: Don’t forget that many Vets serve in Nat’l Guard and have extensive civilian experience, too. #tchatMark Salke
A3 Stereotypes #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A3: Biggest challenge is lack of a visible chain of command… Who is in charge? #TChatTom Bolt
A3: They just need to be given a chance, #Veteran work ethic is far superior to most civilians #TChatJobsite.com
A3. Military veterans need comprehensive support before-during-after civilian transition. #tchatMichael Clark
A3 #Tchat Biggest challenge is probably same one civilian employees have: Lack of proper onboarding by employer.Cyndy Trivella
A3: People don’t understand the full value of the #veteran experience and discount it #tchatAlli Polin
A3: “Civilians” are probably the biggest challenge to veterans. #TChatJobsite.com
A3: Being given an opportunity. #TChatRobert Rojo
A3: Stigma, lack of knowledge of skills, education, training of modern military members, and translation of skills, ability, traits #tchatJames Schmeling
A3: Transition to civilian life for a #veteran is extremely difficult, adjusting to different work and mgmt. styles must be insane #TChatJobsite.com
A3: Biggest challenge? understanding the changes in how business communication works. #TChatJobsite.com
A3 Biggest challenge for Veterans in the civilian world of work is getting plugged into and leveraging professional networks. #tchatJoe Sanchez
Q4:
Does long-term loyalty help or hinder the career of a veteran in today’s workplace? #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A4: Loyal to what – to the company, the brand, the people? I think people are more loyal to people than they are to companies today #tchatSusan Mazza
A4. The #TChat Recap should be required reading for all stake holders. #tchatMichael Clark
A4. Knowing how to connect dots between worlds transforms engagement and performance #tchatMichael Clark
A4 as long as skills stay shape loyalty does not hinder your career. But make sure salary is fair vs your value. #tchatJoey V. Price
A4 They have to learn to put the oxygen mask on themselves first. #tchatKeith Punches
A4: I tend to view most loyalty is from the employee to the employer and not the other way around. #tchatRob McGahen
A4 loyalty must never take a front seat* to skill sharpening and growth. Vet or otherwise. #tchatJoey V. Price
A4: Loyalty… in a world of it’s not what you have done; it’s what have you done for me lately! #TChatRobert Rojo
A4 how are you seeing loyalty hindering #Veterans @brendenmwright #TChatPam Ross
A4. We’ve got to bring colleges, universities, trade schools into the transformational process. #tchatMichael Clark
A4.recruiters sometimes cringe when they see job hoppers but the skills they might gain could be better than a person that had 1 job #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4 loyalty must never take a backseat to skill sharpening and growth. Vet or otherwise. #tchatJoey V. Price
A4: Loyalty is not a hindrance…it’s an asset. #tchatJen Olney
A4. I live in San Diego, the need is immense, the funding challenging #tchatMichael Clark
A4 It should help, I would think. Why are we thinking it hinders? #TChatPam Ross
A4: I don’t see how that can be viewed as a negative… #tchatRob McGahen
A4: Loyalty is great, but what distinguishes #vets from competitors is better. #tchat #TchatAlexandra Teague
A4: With the right employer, loyalty and commitment will speak volumes #TChatJobsite.com
A4. Organizations need to be educated about what military loyalty really means. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: I have worked w/ several #Vets – excellent colleagues & are devoted and always on time. Shock, especially among #GenY #TChatJobsite.com
A4. Growth & progress is as important (or more) as loyalty today, whether you are talking about military or civilian experience #TChatBob Lehto
A4: All I can say is – I sure wish I had a loyal “battle buddy” most days of my professional career! #TchatExpertus
A4: Long-term loyalty is what orgs and customers both want. For veterans, hell yea. Why is this a question? :) #TCHATChristina Brown
A4 #tchat Loyalty not reciprocated feels unjust. Employers must take care to give an honest view of their commitment to the vetMichael Leiter
A4: Just remember employers, loyalty should be a two-way street. #veterans #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A4: Loyalty, Team, Role, Mission… sound like undesirable attributes? Anyone? #tchatMark Salke
A4: Loyalty goes both ways. #TChatRobert Rojo
A4. People in the world of work are loyal to upward movement above all. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: The prob is that orgs don’t have the same loyalty these days as some individuals do #tchatAlli Polin
A4 Loyalty should be a big plus in hiring a #vet (there seems so little to go around these days!) {cynical smile} #tchatCASUDI
A4 For Vets loyalty = Total commitment..life-on-line. Civilians loyalty often means getting to work in time. Problem of perspectives. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A4. Sadly, I’m not sure that long-term loyalty helps veterans much less any job-seeker these days. By moving around, build a network #tchatGarick Chan
A4: Military is the most drug-free workforce in the US. Vets have higher rate of retention post-hire than general employee population #TChatTom Bolt
A4: A loyal employee is one that’s engaged in the mission and the vision – who wouldn’t want that? #tchatAlli Polin
A4. I must says that loyalty is getting harder to find . #Sendemmyway #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A4 Believing a company owes you loyalty or ignoring you own options is going to be a hindrance. #tchatStephen Abbott
A4: Loyalty is earned! #TChatRobert Rojo
A4: Long-term loyalty, for me, always a +. A major + if married to best-fit qualifications for the job in question. #tchatAnne Messenger
A4 Does long-term loyalty help or hinder the career of ANY employee these days? #rhetorical #tchatSteve
A4: Who woulda thunk loyalty could ever be negative? But it can be if #vet doesn’t see bad situation. #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A4. Military veterans are trained to think team first, world of work often me first. #tchatMichael Clark
A4 Nothing better than a loyal employee…valued, rare. #TchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4 Where I come from loyalty will never hurt you #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR
A4 Long-term loyalty is never a hindrance for anyone’s career. #tchatStephen Abbott
A4: Both. Helps because employers recognize loyalty. Hurts because career growth becomes stagnant #tchatChance Casas
A4. Long-term loyalty’s dead in the world of work. #tchatMichael Clark
A4: Long-term loyalty could also be interpreted as unwillingness to change or grow in a quickly developing company #TChat Sad, but true.Jobsite.com
A4: For company: Most loyal employees you can hire. For Veterans: Learn to look beyond today and don’t be guilty of blind loyalty. #TChatTom Bolt
A4 #Tchat LT loyalty can help with being accepted and being team a member. Can hinder b/c they R not exploring better opptys.Cyndy Trivella
A4: Long-term loyalty could be seen as a hindrance by hiring manager, might show inflexibility #TChatJobsite.com
A4: It helps and shows employers dependability and dedication. #tchatWilsonHCG
Q5: How can HR/recruiting tech help internally assess and translate veteran assets to employers? #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A5. Leaders, HR, tech all have priceless expertise to contribute. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 HR professionals know exactly what it takes to be successful in the world of work. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 help #vets learn to speak the civilian language, and translate their skill sets to something companies can understand #tchatChance Casas
A5: Recruiters should understand that many military folks are active on social media on their tours. Seek talent & depth! #milblogs #TChatExpertus
A5 I find HR professionals to be dynamic and helpful, eager to guide and support. #tchatMichael Clark
A5. HR people and military people share a dedication to service and people. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 tech wont differentiate vet skills unleaa vets consistently rate high on personality assessments and leadership assessments. #tchatJoey V. Price
A5: A reputation for hiring and successfully utilizing Vets’ skills might go a long way in employment branding… #tchatMark Salke
A5 By converting experience & skills expressed in military terminology to language relevant to civilian job & using video to show fit #tchatTim Barry
A5: Carefully construct and publish roles and responsibilities for positions – be clear of expectations and requirements #TChatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A5: We HR & recruiter types owe it to the #Vet community to understand what a Vet brings to the table. Who is ready to try? #TChatBob Lehto
A5: Be intentional about #veteran outreach – don’t just expect them to pop up in the ATS and get hired #tchatAlli Polin
A5. Via SoMe, connect military veterans with top teachers of workforce skill sets. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 its not HRs fault. So many companies lack succession plans and career dev
elopment. That is a senior leadership decision. #tchatJoey V. Price
A5: Include #veteran outreach and hiring in your workforce plan. Then do it. #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A5 Often, HR focus is on Veterans’ tangible skills like security. Know & understand applicability of intangible skills as well. #tchatJoe Sanchez
A5: Use #SocialMedia to learn from one another – look at the success of this chat! #TChatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A5. Organizations must be given incentives to hire military veterans. #tchatMichael Clark
A5. Accessible education, training and development are critical. #tchatMichael Clark
A5: Take your orgs #veterans with you to military job fairs. Don’t just sent ur recruiters. #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A5: By getting vets placed in positions where they can succeed with the skillset they bring to an organization, not to fill a quota #tchatChance Casas
A5: I think only an HR or recruiter that is a Vet will understand what a Vet brings to the table. #TChatRobert Rojo
A5: Tell them “Follow me” and then don’t be surprised. Tell them to lead and you might be surprised. #TChatTom Bolt
a5. HR builds bridges between organizations and military veterans. #tchatMichael Clark
A5: How about involving a #veteran in the interview process? Hmmmm? #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
Yes! “@MRGottschalk: Brilliant – @TomBolt: A5: Provide new hires with former military mentors early on in their career. #Tchat”Mila Araujo
A5 I will hire life experience over college degree any day #tchatRobert Moore
A5: Skill assessments and performance reviews are not only for #vets but will help orgs better translate & appreciate #tchatAlli Polin
A5 Charge your existing veterans with leading a mission to develop a program for your company #tchatSteve
A5) Learn to understand and translate military language into business language. #tchatTim McDonald
A5. help them find examples that will work well with specific behavioral interview questions #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5: Some of the most successful ppl I know w/o degrees are #Vets who were trained in service #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A5: Training is no only for the veteran. Co-workers who are non-vets are a key part of the success story. #TChatTom Bolt
A5 #tchat assessing vets skills requires a deep appreciation of ability w/o the prop of credentialsMichael Leiter
A5: If one solid vet hire is made because an HR Dept or Recruiter took the time to learn about cross skills? #GoodInTheWorld #TChatJobsite.com
A5: Create channels to link #vets with internal mentors to ease transition #tchatJen Olney
A5: Get involved. We’re hosting #OpTrans, which is completely free for all veterans, spouses and active military about to transition #tchatWilsonHCG
A5 Many traditionally attractive attributes have fallen by the wayside in today’s work culture. Like Loyalty & Integrity #tchatMark Salke
A5: Competencies and proven problem solving ability or specific experience? #veterans #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A5: Look at top skills/strengths against experience – think orgs may be surprised by #vets range of skills & impact #tchatAlli Polin
A5: Use tech configuration to protect against discrimination. #TChatKathy Herndon, GPHR
A5: Get in touch with orgs that assist vets in finding work – they will have vital information for the recruiter and Hiring Manager #TChatJobsite.com
A5 REALLY like the idea of Ex-Military Mentors !! Anyone know of any Orgs or associations like this? #tchatKeith Punches
A5: Employees should use valid and reliable skill and experience assessment for all who apply. Simulations depending on jobs. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A5. HR may be the most essential player in making this transition successful for military veterans. #tchatMichael Clark
A5 Folks in HR/recruiting need to become COIs at the local recruiting stations – they’ll learn very quickly #tchatSteve
A5: OPEN up communication channels and *create opportunity* for #Vets #Veterans to share their personal brands! #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5 Use the STAR system for interview and equate that to a company problem or challenge. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A5: Seriously assess the college degree requirement. Is is really required? Big roadblock for hiring enlisted vets. #tchatBrenden Bo Wright
A5: Provide new hires with former military mentors early on in their career. #TChatTom Bolt
A5 HR should learn military language for skills. It changes less often than corporate skill naming trends. #tchatStephen Abbott
A5: Target military candidates! Like other classes of people. And consider it a patriotic duty to coach them and hire them. #TChatTom Bolt
A5. what @wilsonhcg is doing – help them get their resumes looking good so recruiters can easily see how they fit within their org #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A5 Military must be GR8 listeners. Emphasize their listening and information-retention skills. #TchatCyndy Trivella
Jumping the gun on A5: Same as w/civilians? #TChatBrent Skinner

5 Activities to Strengthen Your Career Muscle

Planting words on my MacBook Pro stimulates me emotionally and intellectually as I sow client career stories from bud to blossom. This focused, brain-powered activity, though invigorating, is physically sedentary and potentially unsustainable if not combined with the appropriate amount of physical activity.

In Joe Lavelle’s recent post, “Exercise Like a CEO,” he underscores the importance of exercising your body. He asks, “What do you do routinely to exercise your body … to maintain mental acuity?” For many, the addition of a new or enhancement of an existing exercise routine will work wonders to add muscle to a soft career or even jump-start a stalled career.

A selection of other energy- and focus-boosting activities that will both propel your productivity and strengthen your career muscle follows:

1) Simplify Your Space

Simplifying your space may mean unwrapping yourself from a visual security blanket of ‘clutter.’ Doing so can free your mind and emotional energy to concentrate on individual projects and goals – the task at hand, if you will, versus the distractions all around you.

You may consider de-cluttering your primary work area into a clean, open, airy space that includes soothing paintings, memorabilia and perhaps even a desk-top water fountain to cultivate calm and inspiration. If you must express your clutter, identify a behind-closed-doors nook and, within these boundaries, go wild!

2) Big-Picture Your Schedule

Though your talent in creating calendars, check lists and project action steps shines, you also may find that you feel yourself drowning in a sea of details and deadlines, particularly as your career and business initiatives grow. If this describes you, consider big-picturing your schedule.

White-boarding your projects-in-progress as well as crafting a two- to three-month running whiteboard calendar of meetings and deadlines may quickly quell calendar chaos by creating a bird’s-eye view snapshot of your overarching initiatives.

Remember, project ‘detail-collecting’ within the associated project lists and files will provide the information you need to deep-dive into the specifics of your big-picture initiatives when needed. By maintaining this glimpse-able overview, you can better manage existing tasks and respond to new requests to which you commit your time and energy. With a quick glance at your calendar/project whiteboards, you can quickly accept or decline new projects.

3) Recognize That Little Choices Matter

Choosing a glass of water instead of sweet tea may be the linchpin to stay within you daily caloric intake parameters. As well, with business communications, that latest email, Tweet, Facebook message or LinkedIn invitation typically does not require your immediate absorption.  If you must, take a five-minute break every couple of hours to simply confirm receipt of new communications without fully partaking of a communications swap until a later, scheduled time.

And when faced with that emotionally-wrought virtual request for you to “drop everything and help me now,” remind yourself of the adage, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

4) Make Peace With Perfectionism

Though your next project for your boss or your customer may mean the difference between a promotion or a career-defining sales deal, most of the time this is not the case. When you single out and assess your initiatives, you likely will find that the results of your next deliverable, though important to the recipient, will not require you overextend and go that extra 10 miles to prove you are the #1 Sales Producer, Human Resources Leader, Marketing Manager or <fill-in-the-blank>.  Stop placing so much pressure and importance on yourself at every given moment of the work day.

Instead, allot yourself a reasonable number of minutes, hours or days to achieve the project goal, and then deliver!  You likely will be reminded of how sometimes the extra-mile projects fall flat while the, “I did my best and infused this project with my years of value and experience without over-analyzing” projects often net the most kudos and bottom-line results.

5) Align Yourself With Complementary Others

Finding colleagues, mentors, friends and cohorts who think a bit differently than you do may be a key to unlocking doors to new ways of thinking. Seeking to explore outside your comfort zone is an admirable trait and one we all must be reminded to tap into from time to time.

By connecting with individuals or groups of folks whose intellectual capital, like the arteries of a road map, shepherd you through unexplored and sometimes uncomfortable highways and byways, you may find new direction toward achieving the destination goal that you have been struggling to reach.

Image Credit: RightIndex

When to Walk Away From a Job Offer: 7 Red Flags

If you’ve been job-hunting for a while now, you may want to jump at any job offer you can get. However, it’s important to evaluate the offer before making any rash decisions. Consider any red flags that may have come up during the process to determine whether the job is right for you. Here are a few to watch out for:

It’s a big step down. In today’s economy, you might think that taking a job that you’re overqualified for isn’t so bad. But it can make employers think that you’re not resourceful enough to find an appropriate job for your experience and qualifications. You might have to be flexible in your salary requests, but don’t accept a title well beneath your qualifications. Know your worth and determine your bottom line before heading into an interview.

The company offers you the job—immediately. This may be an indication that the organization has experienced a lot of turnover in the position and desperately wants someone to fill the spot. While waiting for the right job offer can be frustrating and costly, it’s often worth the time to be at a company that’s the right fit for you.

The hiring manager seems to be concealing information. If you’ve asked questions about your daily responsibilities or your supervisor and have received the run-around, the hiring manager might not be telling you everything you need to know about the opening. Some employers might do this in fear that you’ll find the position unattractive—so be sure all of your questions are answered before signing a job offer.

You can’t see yourself working in the environment. If you can’t see yourself working in a particular company’s culture, it might not be the best fit for you. You’ll be spending much of your time at the office and you need to feel comfortable in order to put your best foot forward.

Something inside of you says it’s not a good idea. Your gut feeling is often the best indicator of when something is right for you. If you’re feeling uneasy about any step of the process, step back and re-evaluate the offer before putting anything in writing. Do this by asking more questions of the employer, doing some additional research or talking with former and current employees if possible.

There aren’t any available growth opportunities. No room to move up at the organization? You might want to continue looking if the employer says that promotions are atypical. Ask questions about how the hiring manager moved up in the firm and how promotions are typically handed out to determine the company policy.

You don’t think you would get along with your potential colleagues. Conflicting personalities and work styles can make for an unpleasant workplace to say the least. Observe the culture of the company when you head in for an interview and evaluate how well you get along with the hiring manager initially. If you feel that you might be uncomfortable or unhappy in this work environment, it’s probably best to look for a better opportunity.

What else should job seekers watch out for before accepting a job offer?

IMAGE VIA Flickr

Leveraging Your Career Culture

Developing Good Career Habits Early on Will Serve the Rest of Your Career.

Even the most mundane, front-line roles – whether doling out room keys as a front-desk motel clerk or dishing up burritos and serving beer at your local Mexican restaurant – are of value, not just to the customer, but to you, in developing your career reputation.

You may perceive your early roles as mainly a means to an end; e.g., for college students, jobs often tie directly to paying for textbooks, entertainment and basic living expenses while you prepare for your ‘real’ job. Therefore, you miss prime opportunities to create shiny, bankable career coins. By making regular deposits, you can nurture a positive reputation and network of career advocates that will help shepherd you to more meaningful roles.

I encourage all early careerists to realize that, whether you are 18, 25 or 45, each job in your career arsenal is potentially bankable and, if you attend to it with enthusiasm and as a problem-solving, customer-focused contributor, you can build a career-propelling resume, and as a result, the career to which you aspire.

March Madness, a Motel and a Mexican Meal

In a recent trip to Lake Texoma (Texas), my husband, Rob, and I played the role of customer in a series of initiatives that reinforced for us the value and impact of early-career, front-line staff members.

In one example, 30 minutes outside of Durant, Oklahoma, we vetted pet-friendly motels and dialed the Comfort Inn.

“We have no rooms for the night, Mr. Poindexter,” explained the youthful motel clerk. “In fact,” she asserted excitedly, “It’s March Madness, so you won’t find a room from here to Atoka!”

Frustrated by her sweeping response, but undeterred, we called the Days Inn, which was just across the street, and were met with a prompt and amenable, “Yes, we have rooms available!”

We instantly booked an overnight for two adults and one pet.

Rob and I were curious that the first motel clerk snapped to a conclusion that, essentially, we were out of luck in finding a room for the night in her city, or the neighboring town. Rather than take a moment of her time and suggest a possible alternative solution (such as the name of another motel in the area), in effect, she waved us off.

Checked into the Days Inn, we ambled over to a Mexican restaurant. This was a clean, calm venue that was underwhelmed by customers and appeared to have more than a sufficient ratio of wait staff to diners. A friendly young server approached us, and, though sweet, she was a bit sluggish in tending to our needs. It was as if she was on ‘island time;’ yet, there was no island, no ocean, no pleasant sea breeze to distract while we awaited our orders.

The first issue occurred when my dinner order was misinterpreted. After we alerted the server, she swept away the dish, along with all silverware, and the new meal perfunctorily was placed before me. We scrambled to locate replacement utensils.

Next, we ordered a Corona Light, which they had run out of; rather than being proactive and presenting us an alternative option, the server reflexively returned to our table empty-handed.

Moreover, throughout the dining experience, we were met with casual regard, and whether seeking out a missing set of silverware, a replacement for a wrongly delivered dinner or a substitute beverage, the minutes ticked by, and the onus, therefore, was on us, to direct our server to fulfill our needs.

In both of these instances, these young ladies overlooked opportunities to build value with us, and possibly expand their career reputation that could benefit them down the road.

Leveraging Your Ordinary Job to Create Extraordinary Career Value

No matter how lowly or ordinary the job may seem, it’s important to create your career culture early. Even though Rob and I realized the people serving us were probably not earning a lot of money, we were still the customer and were expecting good service.

Rest assured, careerists, though your simple gestures of problem-solving and customer care may seem small, in and of themselves, cumulatively they will sell your future value, and you never know whom you may meet who not only cares about how much you care, but who will also care enough to extend your message beyond the four walls of your diner, motel or other service arena and help lift your career goals to a new level. The impact, therefore, of your simple gestures, can be exponentially valuable to your overall career goals, and help you to be the culture you desire to attract.

So, your reputation builds and customer advocates multiply while your strategic problem-solving, customer service, leadership skills and talents also become more honed. Ultimately, your resume story becomes robust and compelling, advancing your career satisfaction and culture!

IMAGE VIA Flickr