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Career Tips and Advice

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Harness Your Need to Be Right to Improve Your Career

Whether you are the CEO or an employee striving for a position in management, a burning need to be right can be a career killer. Conversely, learning how to control this need can provide a measurable boost to your career. Here are some tips to help you harness the positives and eliminate the negatives of a need to be right.

Work to eliminate win-lose situations on the job. Like all winning athletic clubs, your teammates (co-workers) and coaches (management) are striving for the same goal: making your team (company) better. Win-lose conditions should only exist with your market competition, not with your co-workers. The more “right” you are at the expense of your co-workers, the less “right” you will be perceived.

Avoid constant win/lose or right/wrong debates.

Do not initiate or participate in the blame game. It matters not whether you are pointing to or are being pointed at as a winner/loser in these debates if you choose to participate. If you can rise above these counter-productive discussions you’ll often be known as the winner.

An attitude of “style and grace” when you’re right will earn positive responses from co-workers and managers. Sports fans understand the phrase, “Act like you’ve been there before.” Players who over-celebrate when scoring a touchdown or when hitting a big home run often generate a negative response from a positive accomplishment. When you’re right, act in a professional manner and you will attract goodwill from your peers and managers.

Get your action plans properly!

Identify your ideal job or industry. You can include related jobs that form branches of your ideal tree. This requires time and honest thought. You may be surprised at your results as you envision the perfect job situation.

List your skills, talents and interests. Keep your mind open and receptive. List all of your skills, not just those related to your primary specialty. For example, if you’re an accountant, you might think that your knowledge and appreciation of art is useless as a marketable skill. But suppose a lucrative position is available at an art museum? Your value-added skills and appreciation for art could tip your candidacy over the top.

Create a talent-based resumé. Along with noting your previous employers and employment dates, feature your achievements at your former jobs. Names and dates are necessary but add little to your candidacy. Your skill level and prior achievements for former employers, on the other hand, will be a hit with hiring managers.

Prepare thoroughly for every interview. Take no chances. Prepare and rehearse for every job interview as if you are accepting an Academy Award. While you can’t prepare for everything an interviewer may ask, you can become comfortable with the most common and pertinent questions you will face. You will also feel self-confident by being well-prepared for most of the important questions.

Measure your performance at each step of your action plan. Evaluate your success with each component of your game plan. Your optimism will increase as you check off each small goal you achieve. More importantly, you will feel more in control and your self-confidence will increase noticeably.

Give priority Get priority

fffIt’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the different tasks that you have to accomplish during the workday. Multi-tasking is a common characteristic of most jobs; with it comes the side effect of juggling multiple duties and responsibilities. A key to making your workload manageable is to practice the time management technique of prioritizing.

At the beginning of each day, spend time thinking about all of the different things you need to complete and record them in order of priority. Items that must be finished that day are, of course, prioritized higher than those that can wait a day or two. It’s important to lookat the big picture of all of the projects that you need to accomplish so that you can create a logical order with which to begin moving through your tasks.
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Be an Organizer

Success Depends on Organization

Success Depends on Organization

Many articles of advice have been written over the years to help you become more efficient. While most of these suggestions are valuable, the current work environment now mandates that you be organized if you hope to succeed.

Allowing your workdays to become a tangle of unplanned activities will prevent any serious success. Your dedication, commitment to excel and motivation will be reduced to mere words – not achievements – without organization.

There is a reason that time management is one of the most popular business topics of the day. Those who achieve good time management typically succeed, regardless of their position on the organizational chart. Those who can’t master strong time management typically don’t (or can’t) succeed. Consider these simple tips to make more efficient use of your time and help you rise up the corporate ladder.

Write It Down – Put all the tasks you want to accomplish each day on a written “to do” list. If these are not written, it’s easy to rationalize that they don’t exist. It’s alright to put a little pressure on yourself to get your day organized and complete tasks that are important. If your list becomes too long, just eliminate some of the tasks that can wait until another day.

Prioritize All Tasks – As important as your job may be, every task on your list will not be in the “critical” category. A presentation to the Board of Directors and a meeting with a vendor that wants to sell you pens may both be on the schedule, but don’t occupy the same level of importance. Rate the importance of each task you want to complete and rearrange your to do list accordingly.

Use Scheduled Meeting Times to Further Define Your Organized Day – Those tasks that have assigned times, such as team meetings, department meetings, company meetings, or appointments with clients, should be interspersed with their times noted. This organization task accomplishes two goals. First, it helps keep you aware and on time for pre-scheduled time slots and tasks. Second, you will have a good idea of the available time you have to complete your other tasks for the day, further organizing your game plan.

Start With Your Most Important Task and Follow Through to Completion – While multi-tasking is considered a valuable skill in contemporary business, it can quickly become a detriment. Trying to work on multiple tasks on your list at the same time can often result in completing none of your priorities for the day. Begin with your top-ranked task and complete it. If you have to work around meetings and appointments, so be it –just finish it. Only then should you move on to priority number two.

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