Friday, March 17, 2006

More Thoughts on Staying Motivating at Work

On Wednesday, I was on the Martha Stewart LIVING show on Sirius Radio 112. I had a BLAST chatting with Career Talk host Maggie Mistal about ways to stay motivated in the office. People called in from as far away as Indiana!

We talked about motivation from both the employee and manager perspective. Today, I wanted to share my TOP 3 Strategies for Managers to Motivate their Employees:
  1. Set appropriate expectations – as you create job descriptions and define project responsibilities. Give people a “line of sight” on how what they do contributes to your company’s success. People want to see where their jobs might take them. Help your employees see the internal career paths so you don’t lose their intellectual capital to your competitors!
  2. Keep communication lines open – Talk with your employees to find out how they’re doing on a regular basis, not just during annual performance discussions.
  3. Use creative incentives – Effective incentives can include non-monetary recognitions of a "job well done," such as a feature in the company newsletter, or an opportunity to represent your team or company at a special event.

Thanks, again, to Maggie for having me on her show! :-)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Reminder: Get Sirius about Your Career on March 15th!

Just a quick reminder that TOMORROW, March 15th at 6:00 PM EST, I’ll be on Martha Stewart LIVING Sirius Channel 112. I’ll be a guest on the Career Talk show sharing tips on staying motivated in your career exploration.

As a preview, I’d like to share my TOP 5 Strategies for staying motivated in the workplace:
  1. Recruit the right team: surround yourself with people who both support and challenge you. This can be a mix of people you work with, friends, family or other colleagues. Pick the RIGHT PEOPLE and you’ll get the RIGHT ENERGY!
  2. Create the right environment: figure out where in your office you are most productive. This might be at your desk, in a conference room or the cafeteria. When you need to focus on a task, go to that space to heighten your concentration. If you have less flexibility to move around, envision a FUN WORKSPACE, then CREATE IT!
  3. Plan for small successes: “chunk” your projects and goals into short-term objectives. That way, you’ll have little WINS to celebrate along the way.
  4. Build rewards into your work plan: celebrate as you achieve your short-term objectives. Remember to value your accomplishments, even as you plan ahead for future endeavors.
  5. Do the work: find a way to get started. Start with an aspect of the task that you enjoy or that is simple to complete. Then, work your way up to the less pleasing, more challenging aspects. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be done – “just do it!”

What do you think? Post your questions and comments here, or call into the show TOMORROW at: 866-675-6675.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sell Yourself into your "Dream Job!"

On the first birthday of Competent AdvantageTM, I’m excited to launch a NEW FEATURE for our online community. Each month, one of my HR colleagues will give us an “inside scoop” on career development and transition strategies.

Our first HR professional to share her views is Karen Robinson, Account Manager with Career Blazers, Inc. Career Blazers offers Temporary Staffing, Legal Staffing and Permanent Placement services to Fortune 500 companies in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

Since January 2003, Karen has managed recruiting for Career Blazers’ premier clients. (Think financial services, advertising, and other leading industries!) Karen describes recruiting as a “puzzle” – the client has one piece, the candidate another. She enjoys helping make the pieces fit together. Blazing her own trail in staffing and recruiting since 1992, Karen knows a thing or two about how to position oneself during a job search or career transition.

Here are Karen’s TOP 10 Suggestions to “Sell Yourself into Your Dream Job!”:
  1. Network, network, network – in creative environments so that you can practice telling your story in a relaxed environment.
  2. Join and participate in organizations – be active so that you can be noticed for your talents and “competent advantage.TM
  3. Identify the trends and changes in your field of interest.
  4. Incorporate visualization into your life. – If you can see it, it will become your reality.
  5. Research, research, research – identify competitors, latest news or anything that will give you an “educated edge.”
  6. Set goals – daily, weekly and monthly to help you plan ahead.
  7. Incorporate time management into everything you do.
  8. Have a current reference letter from a former supervisor or someone in upper management that highlights your accomplishments.
  9. Go on “Interview Runs” – Seek out opportunities to practice your interviewing skills, especially if you have been out of the market for a while.
  10. Once you “land,” spend the first few weeks getting the lay of the land. – Figure out who’s who, how the team works, and how upper management handles team relations.

So, what do YOU think? Have you tried any of these strategies? Which ones have worked best for you?

It's hard to pick the best one, but I rely a lot on # 5 – research. With all of our gadgets and technology, you can stay on top of trends in your industry in so many ways! It’s important during a search or transition to demonstrate how you can add value to an organization (using your skills and competencies). Staying aware of “in-demand” skills in your industry will help you know which previous experiences to highlight in an interview, or what training you might seek to improve your proficiency.

Thanks, again, to Karen for sharing her tips with the Competent AdvantageTM community!