Career Advancement

Career Advancement

  • PLEASE UPDATE THE RSS FEED
    on April 25, 2024 at 8:00 am

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  • 4 Tips for Improving Work/Life Balance
    on September 27, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    “We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” ~ Arianna Huffington A hectic work schedule, increased responsibility, new technology, and the need to read and respond to a daily deluge of email and voicemail place huge demands on your work life. With all this pressure, you might feel as if your work is a prison that you can never escape. More and more keeps coming at you. Your family also needs and demands your attention—and you don’t want to miss out on extracurricular activities, helping the kids with homework, and family time. How can you manage to do it all—without burning out? In many workplaces, employees receive assignments from multiple people. You may find yourself pulled in various directions without understanding how to cope with the expectations of multiple people. Work/life balance might seem unattainable. According to the World Happiness Report, work/life balance plays a central role in happiness. In other words, if you’re always stressed and rushed, it’s hard to feel truly happy. And yet the U.S. ranks 30 out of 38 nations in terms of work/life balance, according to a recent study by Family Living Today and NowSourcing. Over a five-year span, one of my clients in the biotechnology field kept moving up through the ranks, from manager to senior manager to VP. His responsibilities and the number of decisions he had to make drastically increased. While he needed to make decisions quickly, it became more and more difficult to make the best ones. To thrive in this role, he needed to develop new skills for dealing with a never-ending stream of demands. He had to determine his most important priorities, along with when to say yes and when to say no. After he took the time to pinpoint his big-picture priorities and outline the stepping stones toward those goals, he grew confident in making bold decisions that would help the company achieve its objectives. Whether you’ve been promoted or are just trying to cope with the relentless pressures of the modern work environment, learning new ways to handle it all will help you achieve that important balance. You need to begin with yourself, changing the way you think about the demands placed on you. Below are four work-life balance tips that will help you to follow through on what’s most important while not overloading yourself. 4 Tips for Balancing Work and Life 1.Set realistic goals. Do you set lofty goals in the belief that even if you don’t meet them, you’ll still achieve impressive results? That sets you up to feel perpetually behind and always strapped for time. Reevaluate your goals, objectives, and timeframe, making them more realistic where needed. By doing so, you’ll make your workload more manageable. Determine for yourself how you’ll measure your success, too—that way, you’re not always trying to measure yourself by others’ standards (and obsessing about what those standards might be). 2. Underpromise and overdeliver. You’ll feel great when you send that report to your boss two days early rather than struggling to get it in by deadline. Underpromising is a key secret of those employees who always seem to finish their work on time, without struggling. If you have trouble evaluating the true amount of time a project will require, try this strategy: Take the amount of time you were tempted to promise, then add on one-third of that time to give yourself the full span of time that you need. You’ll find balance in your working life as you use this tip, and that will give you more time to relax with your family! 3. Maintain a strong support network. Communicating often with family and close friends about your priorities—and how much you value them—will help them understand your level of availability. They’ll continue supporting you when you consistently find small ways to show that you care, like making time for a lunch date with an old friend. In turn, you’ll reap the benefits of having strong social connections even when you have limited spare time. 4. Decide on family priorities. Talk with your family to figure out which events and parts of your daily routine should be your highest priority as family time. Do you want to make sure to eat dinner together every day, always read the kids a bedtime story, or have a date with your partner once a week? Establishing routines gives everyone family time that they can count on, showing you that you can always depend on each other. These tips for reaching work-life balance are a real game-changer, and you’ll soon find yourself with more energy and less overwhelm. Communicate with your boss—or bosses—to let them know that you’re working to improve your work/life balance. Emphasize that you feel your efforts will make you a more effective and productive employee by allowing you to better focus and prioritize. If they’re wise, they’ll support you in this endeavor—and encourage others to do the same! Struggling to create work-life balance? Joel can help you to get where you want to go in your career while improving your quality of life. Contact him today to get the ball rolling!The post 4 Tips for Improving Work/Life Balance first appeared on Career Advancement Blog.

  • 4 Tips for Improving Work/Life Balance
    on September 27, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    “We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” ~ Arianna Huffington A hectic work schedule, increased responsibility, new technology, and the need to read and respond to a daily deluge of email and voicemail place huge demands on your work life. With all this pressure, you might feel as if your work is a prison that you can never escape. More and more keeps coming at you. Your family also needs and demands your attention—and you don’t want to miss out on extracurricular activities, helping the kids with homework, and family time. How can you manage to do it all—without burning out? In many workplaces, employees receive assignments from multiple people. You may find yourself pulled in various directions without understanding how to cope with the expectations of multiple people. Work/life balance might seem unattainable. According to the World Happiness Report, work/life balance plays a central role in happiness. In other words, if you’re always stressed and rushed, it’s hard to feel truly happy. And yet the U.S. ranks 30 out of 38 nations in terms of work/life balance, according to a recent study by Family Living Today and NowSourcing. Over a five-year span, one of my clients in the biotechnology field kept moving up through the ranks, from manager to senior manager to VP. His responsibilities and the number of decisions he had to make drastically increased. While he needed to make decisions quickly, it became more and more difficult to make the best ones. To thrive in this role, he needed to develop new skills for dealing with a never-ending stream of demands. He had to determine his most important priorities, along with when to say yes and when to say no. After he took the time to pinpoint his big-picture priorities and outline the stepping stones toward those goals, he grew confident in making bold decisions that would help the company achieve its objectives. Whether you’ve been promoted or are just trying to cope with the relentless pressures of the modern work environment, learning new ways to handle it all will help you achieve that important balance. You need to begin with yourself, changing the way you think about the demands placed on you. Below are four work-life balance tips that will help you to follow through on what’s most important while not overloading yourself. 4 Tips for Balancing Work and Life 1.Set realistic goals. Do you set lofty goals in the belief that even if you don’t meet them, you’ll still achieve impressive results? That sets you up to feel perpetually behind and always strapped for time. Reevaluate your goals, objectives, and timeframe, making them more realistic where needed. By doing so, you’ll make your workload more manageable. Determine for yourself how you’ll measure your success, too—that way, you’re not always trying to measure yourself by others’ standards (and obsessing about what those standards might be). 2. Underpromise and overdeliver. You’ll feel great when you send that report to your boss two days early rather than struggling to get it in by deadline. Underpromising is a key secret of those employees who always seem to finish their work on time, without struggling. If you have trouble evaluating the true amount of time a project will require, try this strategy: Take the amount of time you were tempted to promise, then add on one-third of that time to give yourself the full span of time that you need. You’ll find balance in your working life as you use this tip, and that will give you more time to relax with your family! 3. Maintain a strong support network. Communicating often with family and close friends about your priorities—and how much you value them—will help them understand your level of availability. They’ll continue supporting you when you consistently find small ways to show that you care, like making time for a lunch date with an old friend. In turn, you’ll reap the benefits of having strong social connections even when you have limited spare time. 4. Decide on family priorities. Talk with your family to figure out which events and parts of your daily routine should be your highest priority as family time. Do you want to make sure to eat dinner together every day, always read the kids a bedtime story, or have a date with your partner once a week? Establishing routines gives everyone family time that they can count on, showing you that you can always depend on each other. These tips for reaching work-life balance are a real game-changer, and you’ll soon find yourself with more energy and less overwhelm. Communicate with your boss—or bosses—to let them know that you’re working to improve your work/life balance. Emphasize that you feel your efforts will make you a more effective and productive employee by allowing you to better focus and prioritize. If they’re wise, they’ll support you in this endeavor—and encourage others to do the same! Struggling to create work-life balance? Joel can help you to get where you want to go in your career while improving your quality of life. Contact him today to get the ball rolling!The post 4 Tips for Improving Work/Life Balance first appeared on Career Advancement Blog.

  • Stress Reduction Techniques
    on August 27, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      “Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life.” ~Marilu Henner Client Elias asks: I feel like my work performance is being compromised by stress. And carrying all that stress is exhausting—sooner or later, I feel like I’m just going to collapse. How can I start dealing with it? Coach Joel answers: Elias, you’re not alone—work is a major cause of stress for 65% of Americans, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). And none of us should settle for feeling stressed at work all the time. A little surge of stress can be good—the kind that gets you in gear to meet a deadline—but chronic stress is debilitating. Workplace stress can come from small, repeated annoyances, or it can stem from major issues with your job role or organizational culture. Many of us suffer from “rush syndrome,” the fear of slowing down. Sometimes we don’t even realize how stressed we’ve been until we learn to relax. These 10 stress reduction techniques will help you start feeling like the superstar you are. Keep a Journal Keep a journal for a couple of weeks to track your stress, suggests the APA. Simply acknowledging your stress and affirming you’re going to address it feels good, and it’s a first step to making changes. Get Organized Clutter leads to stress, because we know it’s something that needs to be dealt with. It’s like seeing little tasks piled up in front of you—it creates a sense of overwhelm. Take a little time to clear out that clutter, and you’ll find your mind is clearer as well. Practice Good Posture Sitting up straight not only projects confidence, but gives you more confidence as well, according to Time. If you get into a crouched-down pose, it will make you more fearful and stressed, because your mind is responding to your body. These techniques for reducing stress can help improve your posture and make your body feel better, which brings more stress-reducing benefits. Engage in Deep Breathing According to Sharon Melnick in Success Under Stress, by regulating your breath, you can break unconscious emotional patterns that persist through short, stressed breathing. Set an intention to consciously take several deep breaths at different points throughout the day, ideally before you feel extreme stress coming on. Prepare for the Next Day Fretting over what you need to do the next day, or how a meeting will go, creates a lot of unnecessary stress. Instead, at the end of each workday, create a plan for what you’ll do the next day. Prepare thoughts you want to share at the meeting, along with a manageable “to do” list. This will help you avoid procrastinating and get high-priority tasks done on schedule. Create Work/Life Boundaries If you’re checking email at night, you’re probably carrying extra stress around. Set clear work/life boundaries for yourself, and stick to them, the APA advises. Get Active If you’re not getting regular exercise, make that a daily part of your routine. Even if you work out in the evening, add some physical activity to your workday, as active breaks can lower stress. Take a walk during your lunch break, for example. Check the Self-Criticism Write down your greatest accomplishments and words of appreciation from others on notecards that you can keep tucked in your desk or posted on your wall. When you feel self-criticism coming on, check this self-defeating behavior by reminding yourself of those moments. This will help you stay positive as you work to overcome your inevitable challenges. Laugh More Watch a silly video on your break, or share a story about something funny your kid did. Breaking the tension with laughter will put you in a better emotional state. Take Charge of Your Career Lack of job satisfaction, few opportunities to advance or grow, and unclear performance expectations are major causes of workplace stress, says the APA. If these things are contributing to your stress, make a career plan now. Talk to your boss to enlist support, letting her know you want to grow with the organization. Furthermore, try not to stress about your work stress. You’re not failing if you don’t address it all at once—implementing coping strategies takes time, as Martha Davis says in The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. Be patient with yourself as you begin using these techniques for stress reduction, knowing no one gets it all right all at once. Is stress holding you back at work? Contact leadership coach Joel Garfinkle for more support in reducing stress and changing your life, and read his book Time Management Mastery for more advice on reducing rush syndrome and enjoying work-life balance. The post Stress Reduction Techniques first appeared on Career Advancement Blog.

  • 6 of the Most In-Demand Skills for the Future Workplace
    on July 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    “Change equals self-improvement. Push yourself to places you haven’t been before.” – Pat Summitt The future workplace will require its leaders to have a particular skillset that allows them to be adaptable and effective within a climate of change. Recently, I shared insights on the most in-demand skills for the future that the leaders of tomorrow’s workforce need to develop. Several key competencies will aid in the development of all of those skills: The ability to think outside of the box, maintaining a healthy curiosity about how to best respond to change. An aptitude for thriving in ambiguity and remaining agile, ready to try new ideas, since change will continuously be occurring. A willingness to embrace the digital realm and continuously update your skills. Now, here are some strategies for developing the mix of skills that will prove essential to success in the coming years. 1. Highly specialized knowledge. Having a high level of specialized knowledge in a niche area will help you stay valuable and marketable. To develop this knowledge, attend industry conferences, networking with experts you admire. Get their contact info and share ideas. Attend seminars and panel discussions on cutting-edge developments in the field, and ask the experts how you can hone your skills to prepare for future transitions and which skills and knowledge they believe will be most marketable in the future. Leverage the resources they point you toward to continue learning. Find mentors who can encourage your growth and help guide your direction, too. Take classes, and read books and articles by leading experts. Then, consider positioning yourself as a thought leader in that area by sharing your insights and predictions through blog posts, clearly demonstrating what you can bring to the table as an expert and strategist. 2. Exceptional emotional intelligence. In the future, the most in-demand skills will include the ability to relate to others well. You can develop your emotional intelligence by frequently considering what leads your coworkers, clients, leaders, and direct reports to act in certain ways. Pause to consider how they might feel about a situation or decision, given their facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, and past reactions. Making yourself more approachable to others will also give you more input about how they’re feeling. Here are a few ways to do that: Use open body language, make eye contact, and smile. Invite them to share their feelings with you. Practice active listening. Do those things, and you’ll soon have a stronger grasp of how others feel at any given time—and they’ll be more likely to confide in you in the future. As a result, you’ll grow strong working relationships that enhance your ability to lead people. Develop techniques for managing your own emotions, too. Get your stress under control in ways such as the following: Talk through challenges with a trusted mentor instead of bottling up your anxiety. Keep a journal of how you navigate difficult projects and other challenges, so that in moments of stress, you can easily remember examples of how you’ve dealt with similar situations. Practice a meditation technique or another stress-relieving exercise that helps you feel more grounded and capable. Maintain a healthy diet, exercise routine, and sleep schedule for optimal mental clarity as well as physical health. 3. Ability to coach others. To begin developing your coaching skills, identify the leaders you most admire—whether they’re in your organization or outside of it. Make a list of the ones who have most strongly impacted your life. Then, list the traits each leader embodies beneath their name. Now, reach out to the top five leaders you most admire and ask them for advice on developing those traits. Meet with them for coffee or lunch, if possible, or have a phone conversation if they’re far away. Hopefully, you’ll end up with several mentors who can help guide your development as a leader and coach for your own employees. 4. Ability to work collaboratively. Practice working collaboratively with other key players across functions. For example, if you’re an accountant, take part in meetings on marketing strategy, product development, or personnel management where you can provide insight from a financial perspective. Explain hard data in a way that everyone can understand in order to inform the group’s decisions. There’s no better way to show your colleagues and superiors the value you’ll continue to bring than by demonstrating it now, stepping into the role you predict you’ll be filling several years down the road. 5. Ingenuity. The ability to generate creative solutions will help you navigate the waters of change, solving new kinds of problems with well-designed plans, says Clar Rosso, Vice President of Member Learning and Competency at the American Institute of CPAs. Unleashing your ingenuity means giving yourself time to reflect, brainstorm, and design new ideas. Spend time thinking about creative ideas for maximizing the success of your organization, building reflection time into your schedule on a weekly basis. Reflection time deserves to be a key priority, since the most valuable ideas tend to arise from the times when we pause to simply think, rather than constantly rushing from one task to the next. Then, take calculated risks by testing your ideas out after gaining buy-in. You’ll build both your confidence and reputation in the process. 6. Big-picture thinking. Engage in big-picture thinking by developing an in-depth understanding of how every department or function contributes to the success of your organization. Refresh your knowledge of your company’s vision and mission, and practice articulating them. Whenever you face a strategic decision, consider whether it supports the vision and mission. These practices will help you become a big-picture thinker who helps others think this way as well. As you cultivate the leadership skills that will be most in-demand in the future, you might see opportunities opening up that you never could have predicted. Keep learning and growing, and you’ll lead the way through the transitions to come! Joel can help your organization navigate the coming changes with grace and skill. Contact him to discuss how he can help your current and future leaders build a top-tier skill set.The post 6 of the Most In-Demand Skills for the Future Workplace first appeared on Career Advancement Blog.

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