Class is Earned and Learned

People notice more about you than you might think. One of my favorite clients shared, recently, that she was so appreciative of having a boss who walked his talk and was a leader everyone respected and enjoyed working for. “It’s the little things people notice and appreciate about him,” she explained. That conversation led me to think about some of the “little things” we can all do that reflect professionalism. Here are a few to keep in mind: Keep your word! If you tell someone you’re going to do something, such as get your resume done on a certain date, follow through! Continuing to ignore promises or to break your word sets up a pattern. Many people have wonderful start-up skills and then drop the ball sometime before the project is completed. Following through is as important as making the commitment. Never burn bridges (unless you’re a carpenter)! Ever had a confrontation over a misunderstanding? Taking responsibility is the mark of a true professional. No matter what … [Read more...]

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot: Five Career Change Blunders and How to Fix Them: Part II

Last month, we explored career change mistakes and how to fix them.  In the conclusion of our blog post on career change mistakes, we’ll look at the value of doing your homework, updating your resume, and more. 6. Not Doing Your Homework Once you’ve committed to making the change, you jump in with both feet. You apply for every job available, but are surprised when you don’t receive any calls. Why isn’t your new industry welcoming you with open arms? The reason could be that you didn’t stop to do your homework on your new field. What’s a reasonable position you might be able to acquire with your experience? What salary range should you expect? In what ways should you beef up your resume, and what skills should you acquire? Taking action is great, but having a smart plan first will ensure your action yields results. The way out of the blunder: Where you do look for information on your new career? Try the Onet, http://www.onetonline.org, professional association websites, or … [Read more...]

Branding Stories: WWIFM (What was in it for me?)

Several clients have graciously shared what important outcomes they’ve received from our Personal Branding Process. I’m proud to share some of them: Extract Your Brand: Bring Your Passions to Work Remember your first job? The excitement and high energy level you brought to work? Now, perhaps the days aren’t quite that exciting. Even when you love the work you do, there’s a reason it’s called WORK! (Know what I mean?) Why not consider bringing reminders to work of those outside activities or projects that pep you up, revive you, or are just plain enjoyable. Call them your passions. My colleague Nancy Perry, senior leader at a large organization, is proud to display her hobby. “Needlework is relaxing to me. I feel a sense of accomplishment seeing the finished picture,” she told me. When someone new comes into Nancy’s office, they usually comment on her artwork. There it is — an instant conversation starter. Express Your Brand: Fashionista Turned Teacher Kelly is … [Read more...]

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot: 5 Career Change Blunders and How to Fix Them

Changing careers can be a complicated maneuver –and a mistake can set you on a course in the wrong direction. Read below about five common career change blunders and how to fix them. 1. Running from your career because you're burnt out If you're been struggling in your current position for a long time, you’ve most likely grown to hate your job and you want to run as far away from it as possible.  Take this example from one of my clients: Mary couldn’t stand her profession, so she ran to a new field: marriage and family therapy.  Living the professional identity of a therapist – and dealing with the dark side of human experience – was not what she wanted.  Mary needed a second reinvention to find what truly worked for her. The way out of the blunder: Don’t wait until you are desperately unhappy in your current situation to make a change. Wherever you are today, reclaim your power in it.  Make your situation better by building more respect, finding your voice, growing your … [Read more...]

5 Easy Ways to Do it Right- In Gratitude

Stay alert! Or you might miss a blessing. In our hurry scurry world, it’s easy to miss those little things that can make life more meaningful. Someone went out of their way to help you. A stranger said something nice to you. A friend from the past called you out of the blue. Here are easy ways to show gratitude! Say thank you in person. Texting and email is the easy way out. It is much more impactful to acknowledge someone in person. Learn together. Strong leaders teach others to be leaders! If you’ve learned something relevant, share it. If you’ve read a great book, share it. If you’ve attended an exciting webinar, share it. Give - just because.  It’s always nice to receive a card for a special occasion. It’s extra special to give someone a “just because card” when they least expect it! Thankful Thursdays. How about setting aside a few minutes on a Thursday to do or say something in gratitude? It’s a habit worth repeating. Give with no strings attached. When you see … [Read more...]