Monthly Archive for September, 2008

CAREER ADVICE: HOW TO OVERCOME A CAREER CRISIS

No one is safe. A career crisis can strike any day, especially in these turbulent times.

You have been sailing along your career path happy as a clam. Your career is in good shape. Promotions have been coming right on schedule. You are feeling good about your prospects for reaching your career goals. Suddenly, you hit turbulence on your career path. You continue to do good work, but nobody appears to notice. One or two of your peers, no more capable than you, are getting ahead of you. Your career seems to be on hold.

You know people who have lost their jobs. Job security seems to be a thing of the past.

The job that once was so much fun is now drudgery. Malaise is the order of every day.

It is becoming crystal clear that the road to the corner office is getting narrower. You recognize there is not going to be room for everyone behind the big desk. You begin to wonder if you will be able to achieve your goals … on schedule or at all.

You are facing the headwinds of a career crisis.

I CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH AN ACTION PLAN TO OVERCOME A CAREER CRISIS

The current issue of my free newsletter, The Career Accelerator (c), spells out an action plan you can execute to overcome this threat to your career success and to your peace of mind. To get a copy just e-mail me at ramon@commonsenseatwork.com. Enter in the subject line: Overcome Career Crisis. Provide me with your first name and I’ll send you a copy. No charge/no obligation.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

FREE CAREER ADVICE

I’m sitting at my desk on a Sunday afternoon trying to keep my head screwed on with all of the confusing news about the U.S. government bailing out the wobbly economic system. One thing I know for sure: these sorts of conditions pose challenges for anyone working to build a successful career. I’d like to help you if that’s true in your situation.

So, I’m offering to provide free personalized career advice via “Your Blog For Career Advice” from now until the end of the year.

All you have to do is “Post A Comment” below, describing any issues that may be affecting your career. I’ll respond with my best opinion as to actions you may take to solve the problem. Hopefully, others who visit the blog will share their thinking, too.

Please post your comments anonymously.

I can’t guarantee the results, but I do believe participation in this blog can help you deal with the challenges you are facing everyday on your job.

I publish an Internet letter, The Career Accelerator (c), twice each month. It is loaded with common sense career advice that you can use every day on your job. It’s free of charge. If you’d like receive The Career Accelerator please click here:
Career Advice.

Let’s work together to accelerate your career success despite all of the dreary news of these times.

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
www.commonsenseatwork.com

Career Coaching: Don’t Be Afraid To Change Jobs

Time was, not very long ago, when the accepted wisdom held that the path to career success meant signing on with your first employer, making your best effort, climbing the ladder rung by rung until retirement. Frequent job changes amounted to a red flag indicating instability on the part of an employee.

That’s old school thinking in today’s world where change is the order of the day.

More professionals are on the move more often than ever
before. Job changes in a deliberate pattern that show increasing abilities and responsibilities and paychecks are actually a plus on a resume.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median tenure with current employers is about four years. The median tenure for employees between the ages of 25 and 34 is only 2.9 years.

Don’t be afraid of changing jobs if such a move serves your purpose. Employers can no longer can be counted on to provide womb-to-tomb security. Your first loyalty is to yourself, not to your employer.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

P.S. I invite you to visit my website for more free career coaching. Click Here.

WE’VE GOT A PROBLEM IN COMMUNICATIONS

Everyone I know agrees–or at least say they do–that effective communications are necessary for career success and a smooth-running organization.

Despite all the lip service and investments of time, money and effort, large numbers of employees at every level give internal communications poor grades.

The result is a “trust gap” between employer and employee.

Why Does The System Breakdown?

There are five major reasons for a breakdown in internal communications.

1. Failure To Listen, Provide Feedback

Most of the investment in communications is spent on sending messages. Successful communications require good listening and feedback…a two-way street.

2. Sporadic Communications

Many organizations cripple their ability to communicate and earn credibility with an on again-off again program. This usually manifests itself when an employer rushes to communicate when the news is all good, then shuts up like a clam when things turn sour.

3. Dishonest, Misleading Communications

Many employers are foolish enough to believe that they can outright lie or mislead their employees. That never works in the long run.

4. Actions Don’t Jibe With The Words

Actions are the most powerful communications media. Frequently, employers send out messages that are totally contrary to their actions.

5. Communications Are Confusing And Irrelevant

Employers often communicate in management-speak rather than in the language and of viewpoint that the rank and file of employees can understand and embrace. Or the media are filled with fluff that serve little purpose other than to entertain and pay lip service to a commitment to communicate.

You’d be wise to look around your organization. Try to change these conditions if they are in play where you work. These practices spell trouble in today’s competitive world for employees and employers alike.

Receive Email Alerts

Now you can receive email alerts every time I provide new postings on Your Blog For Career Advice. Just enter your email address in the box in the right hand column and click on the Subscribe icon. Feedburner will send you an email immediately to let you know there’s been a new posting. (There’ll be at least two new postings each week.)

If you have a RSS reader, add our feed to your reader. Just click on “Subscribe to a feed in a reader” beside the orange icon in the right hand column.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

P.S. If you find career counseling such as this to be helpful, I invite you to visit my website and sign up for my free semi-monthly e-newsletter, The Career Accelerator (c). When you do you will get a free copy of my e-book, HOW TO GET A RAISE. Click here to make it happen.

CAREER ADVICE: "THE SECRETS OF AMERICA’S GREAT PRESIDENTS"

With the country up its ears in a sea of hype coming from the presidential candidates, the September 14, 2008 issue of PARADE Sunday magazine carries an interesting and informative article titled “The Secrets Of America’s Great President”.

Written by renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, this article takes Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt as guides to identify 10 attributes that distinguish truly great Presidents.

Ten Traits of Leadership

1. The courage to stay strong…the ability to withstand adversity and motivate himself in the face of frustration.

2. Self-confidence.

3. An ability to learn from errors.

4. A willingness to change.

5. Emotional intelligence…ability to encourage closest advisors to give their best and remain loyal.

6. Self-control…manage emotions and remain calm in the midst of trouble.

7. A popular touch…an intuitive awareness of public sentiment, a sense of when to wait and when to lead.

8. A moral compass…have the courage and integrity to follow one’s convictions when the risk of losing popular support is great.

9. A capacity to relax.

10. A gift for inspiring others…ability to communicate goals and shape public opinion.

Common sense says that careerists who aspire to achieve career success would do well to study these traits and adopt them as guidelines on their career path.

I recommend going to Parade.com to read the full article.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

CAREER ADVICE: LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY

Your life will be more effective and happier when you come to realize that it’s perfectly okay to choose the option–lead, follower, or get out of the way–that best suits your needs and desires. Your career success is not defined by what someone else expects of you.

If you are not performing at your best in the role that suits you, you are in fact a liability to yourself and the organization that employs you.

Get right with your world: make a decision and act on it today and everyday to reach the career goals you set for yourself.

If you opt to be a leader, be prepared to pay the price of commitment and effort the role demands. If you are not ready to step up to meet the requirements, you are programming yourself for limited achievements and disappointments.

At the same time, if you elect to be a follower, embrace that role with all that it entails and be a good follower. To do otherwise is to muddy the waters for everybody. Leaders can’t lead without good followers.

Whatever you do, for gosh sake, for the benefit of all concerned, make a choice and get on with it. So long as you are vacillating between leading and following, you are fouling the nest for the entire flock.

Do everybody–yourself included–a favor: lead, follow, or get out of the way.

RECEIVE EMAIL ALERTS

Are you taking full advantage of Your Blog For Career Advice as a vital source of career coaching?

Now you can receive email alerts every time I provide new posting on your blog. It’s easy. Just enter your email address in the box in the right hand column and click on the Subscribe icon. Feedburner will send you an email immediately to let you know there’s been a new posting. (There’ll be at least two new postings each week.)

If you have a RSS reader, add our feed to your reader. Just click on “Subscribe to a feed in a reader” beside the orange icon in the right hand column.

MORE SOURCES FOR CAREER COACHING

I’ve also added a feature to our blog that will enable you to easily subscribe to additional newsletters, blogs and other resources for career counseling to accelerate your career. See Blogroll immediately below the Archives in the right hand column.

I invite you to email me at mail to:ramon@commonsenseatwork.com with suggestions for adding other resources that you have found to be helpful in achieving your career goals.

Recommendations for improving and expanding Your Blog For Career Advice are always welcome.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

Career Advice: Admits Your Mistakes To Build Your Strengths

Here’s some career tips that will help pave your path to career success.

Forget the macho mode. Nobody is expected to know all the answers and hit a home run every time he comes to bat.

Never be afraid to admit you need help and then ask for it. Many otherwise smart managers hamstring themselves by fearing they will lose face if they say, “Hey, I don’t understand this problem, much less what to do about it. Will you help me?”

Such an admission is not a sign of weakness. It is just the opposite. It’s a sign of strength and maturity when you ask for help. You are saying, “You know something I don’t know. Help me.”

Who doesn’t like to be asked for help? Few will decline. Strangely enough, those who help often find themselves in your debt.

When you get help, be sure to seal the deal with a sincere, “Thank you.” Many people don’t take this step.

If you ask for help and no one responds, look out. You may be in an unhealthy situation.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

P.S. If you find career counseling such as this to be helpful, I invite you to visit my website and sign up for my free semi-monthly e-newsletter, The Career Accelerator (c). When you do you will get a free copy of my e-book, HOW TO GET A RAISE. Click here to make it happen!

Career Advice: Five Steps To Chairing Successful Meetings

(This is the fourth and last posting on holding successful meetings.)

There are five steps a truly effective chairman takes to insure the success of a meeting.

1. Clearly state the purpose of the meeting and set a time limit; provide an agenda and clearly state the issue(s) to be discussed. This is to be done in writing. In advance.

2. Be sure all points of view are given a respectful hearing, but firmly cut off discussions that stray from the purpose of the meeting or are out of sequence.

3. Insure there is only one discussion going on at a time.

4. Make certain the meeting comes to some recognized conclusion, with “next steps” understood and agreed upon.

5. Send out minutes of the meeting within 24 hours. These minutes record decisions made and assign follow-up duties.

Since it seems that meetings are going to be around long as there organizations, it is worthwhile to have chairmen that know how to make them work.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, Head Career Coach
Common Sense At Work

By the way, have you signed up to receive email alerts every time I provide a new posting? Just enter your email address in the box in the column to the right. Don’t miss at least two new postings each week.