Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's About Communication: Some Four Letter Words Belong At Work

It's About Communication: Some Four Letter Words Belong At Work

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Do You Have Brand Capital?


When you’re standing in the pain reliever aisle of your local drugstore looking for something to get rid of the pounding headache you’ve had since before lunch, do you reach for the name brand stuff or the generic, significantly cheaper version of the name brand stuff? 

Generic drugs are required by the FDA to have the same effectiveness (dosage, active ingredients, strength, etc.) as their brand-name counterpart.   In other words, whether you purchase Tylenol or the CVS brand of acetaminophen, you should feel the same type of relief of your symptoms from either medicine. 

Why would anyone make the conscious decision to spend more of their hard-earned money to buy something they could have for much less, when they don’t have to?  

It's because our experiences with the brand and what we believe to be true about it, is what we consider above all else.

The brands we know and love weren't built overnight, just as our belief in them didn't happen overnight.  Strong brands are created through strategic messaging, deliberate actions, dependability, and most of all, consistency.  

As individuals we must approach our personal brands in this same way; communicating with purpose, taking specific actions, ensuring that our strengths are displayed in every deliverable, and being consistent about what we deliver.

Establishing your personal brand doesn't require spending money like the Tylenols', Honda's, and Apple's of the world.  Your personal brand is about owning your individual strengths, and using them as a foundation to execute.  

When this is done right - your chances increase of being the brand that's chosen for a promotion, or to be the leader of a project that has the potential to take your career to the next level.

So, do you have brand capital? 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Some Four Letter Words Belong At Work


If you’re at all like me, there have been times when you’ve been at work...sitting at your desk...staring at your computer screen...and wondering what exactly it was that you were supposed to be doing.  What’s even better is the fact that just minutes before, you were sitting in an hour-long meeting that was scheduled specifically to outline how to do exactly what it is that you still don’t know how to do.

It’s perfectly okay not to understand something after it was initially explained to you.  It doesn’t make you less capable, promotable, or competent than your peers and co-workers.  It makes you human. There’s no error in that.  I do think however, that we error when we don’t ask for HELP.  As unoriginal and intuitive as the idea seems, many of us are terrified at the very thought.  Some of us would probably chose public speaking over telling our peers or manager that we don't know what we're doing.

Not asking for help or further explanation is not communicating at a time when it’s critical to do so...and more importantly, not communicating proactively.

There’s a stigma when it comes to asking for help within the context of the work place.  We're afraid of being looked down upon by our boss or co-workers, and would rather save face than admit that we don’t understand something.  Why?  We're afraid of losing credibility.  We're afraid of losing our sense of autonomy.  Some of us worry that asking for help will negatively impact the perception our managers and peers have of us, simply because we may need a few extra minutes of their time.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Your Boss Deserves A Chance

Have you ever left a company, transferred, or just flat out quit a job because of a not-so-great relationship with your manager? Do you call your best friend, significant other, or anybody willing to listen to you vent about your boss day after day; the moment you get off of work?  Do you find yourself re-routing the walk to your desk the moment you spot your boss; hoping to miss out on an interaction with them?

It's been said that employees don't leave companies, they leave managers.  So...if any of my questions struck a chord or two, it's alright.  You're not alone.  But, I want to ask you just one more question.  

Have you ever had at least one honest conversation with your boss to discuss how you feel?  I realize it's a pretty radical idea, and such an action could have catastrophic results.  But, just stay with me for a few more paragraphs..

Everyone vents or complains to co-workers, family members, and friends about their bosses.   Nothing wrong with that.  Getting things off of your chest is always better than allowing them to sit and fester. Not to mention seeking feedback from a third-party; someone that can be provide objective input, is a great way to ensure that you’re evaluating the situation from all angles...not just your own.

Nevertheless, there’s one critical step that you shouldn’t neglect to do - talk with your manager.  At some point, you have to include them in the conflict/issues resolution process.  Believe it or not, they may not have any idea how their actions are coming across or being received.  As crazy as it is to imagine, it's very possible that your boss doesn't wake up every morning plotting your personal demise.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

To Make Waves In This Tough Job Market, You Need A Tough Resume!

According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Labor last month, the total number of private sector job openings has been steadily increasing since this number reached its lowest point in July 2009.  Now...this is definitely something to celebrate, especially given the financially tumultuous years that the U.S. has just fought its way through.

Now, here’s the rub…

The job opening-per-job seeker ratio is also the highest it’s ever been.  At the very beginning of the recession…in other words, before the stock market crashed in September 2008, there were 1.8 unemployed persons per job opening.  By the time the recession “ended” in June of 2009 there were 6.2 unemployed persons per job opening.  The most current data shows that today there are 5.1 unemployed job seekers per job opening. 

Hold on…it’s a little worse.

This number just divides the total number of unemployed job seekers by the total number of job openings reported nationally.  The number doesn’t factor in the total number of job applicants seeking any one position, for example the total number of employed in addition to the total number of those that are unemployed.  It also doesn’t factor that job seekers apply for multiple open positions.