Monthly Archive for June, 2010

Who’s At Fault If You Are Not Promoted?

Who or what is to blame if you are not getting the promotion on your career path that you want and think you deserve?

Many factors can be the cause, but one thing is certain. Like it or not, you must take most of the blame or credit for whatever happens in your career.

There is valuable insight into all of this in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” Cassius is advising Brutus as they consider their ambitions: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Let’s examine four of the more frequent reasons (or excuses, as the case may be) given to explain why people are not promoted and the courses of action that can be taken to deal with them.

Career Coach Says: Four Reasons Promotions Are Stymied

1. You fail to win the promotion because you are not qualified to take on the bigger responsibilities. Two things can be happening here.

One is you haven’t made the effort to learn the new responsibilities. Hopefully, your employer has a training program.  If so, get enrolled without further delay.  If there is no such program, it is up to you to find a way to learn how to handle the bigger job. Continue to be successful on the job at hand.  Be patient, but persistent.  Convince your boss that you are ready to work for the promotion.

The second condition is the job you covet is simply beyond your capacity. Every human being has limits to his or her capabilities. You have at least two options: make the best of where you are; or strike out in a different and more realistic direction where your abilities can be put to better use.

Employees with an online MBA aren’t guaranteed a promotion, so watch out.

2. You can’t be promoted because there is no one to take over your present responsibilities.

Your employer should have a training program to provide lines of succession for all key positions.  But, if your place of work is not so prepared, it is up to you to make certain that at least one person is ready to step in and take your place.  Pick out a likely candidate and train him or her to fill your shoes when you get promoted.

3. “They” don’t know what you have been doing; how much you can do; how ready you are for a promotion.

It is often said, “There is no limit to the good a man can do if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.”  That is a laudable ideal, but unfortunately, it doesn’t square with reality when it is applied in the competitive world of work. Think of yourself as a product that must be sold to advance your career.  This means making sure your superiors who make decisions are fully aware of your good qualities and your potential for growth. Be sure to communicate the facts about your career qualifications and your ambitions. Modesty won’t advance your trip on your career path.

4. You have tried repeatedly to get a promotion.  Everything is locked up, nobody is leaving, and the business is stagnant. There is no room to grow.

There are two things you can do.

First, consider the pluses in your current job. Will they continue at least as they are? Are there personal considerations dictating that you stay where you are for now? Are the benefits worth the price you are paying to live on a plateau below what you believe to be your potential?  If so, you can stay put and hope for things to get better.

Second, if your unmet ambitions are burning you up inside, make a move to another organization where you will have opportunities to advance.

The first step toward getting promoted is to understand that the credit or the blame for your career and where it goes is strictly yours.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work

Seven Steps To Ensure Your Vacation Pays Off

This may be a difficult time to take a vacation, but remember this: Time away from the job will improve your efficiency and help accelerate your career. In the end, personal down time will benefit your employer as well. Hopefully, you have the courage and wisdom to act on this axiom.

Career Coaching: Seven-Steps To A Successful Vacation

Let’s all hold up our right hands and swear we will abide by seven common sense ideas that will help assure that our vacation times will serve their best purposes.

1. Come to grips with the fact that your employer can get along for a few days without you. However, it is to be hoped that your absence will cause everyone to understand and appreciate how much you contribute when you are on the job.

2. Reject the macho idea that long hours with your nose to the grindstone demonstrate strength and commitment. It’s what you produce that counts for your employer and for the advancement of your career. Even an ox needs time out of the yoke.

3. Plan your vacation in advance. Hold to that date, come hell or high water. Cancel it only on a direct order from your boss. If your employer forces you to cancel your vacation, make sure he has a good reason. Absent a sound reason, consider whether you are working in an environment that will nurture your work to reach your career goals.

4. As you near the date of your vacation, establish a plan to cover your responsibilities while you are away. Do work in advance. Delegate. Advise those with whom you work of your plans and what you expect to happen while you are away.

5. Name a “gatekeeper” through whom you can be reached. Be sure this is a person who will protect your turf and time. Don’t check with the office while you are on vacation. Someone will call you if you are needed. Don’t panic if they don’t contact you. Take satisfaction that your vacation plan is working.

6. Flush work out of your mind. Put the components of your life in perspective. Recharge your batteries. Read things totally unrelated to your work. Get plenty of rest. Rebond with your friends and family.

7. Be prepared to double your efforts when you return from vacation to catch up and move ahead on your career path.

Career Advice: It’s well to remember that there is no record of anyone wishing on their deathbed that they had spent less time on vacation.

I wish you career success.

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work

Career Coach: It Is Not About You


I think you will find the following article by guest writer Alec Ford to be very interesting and helpful.

I wish you career success.

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work

I want to throw out a challenge to you about your job search. It is not about you, nor me.

I know this sounds less than supportive, considering how tough the job market is right now, but we all spend far too much time in the search focused on ourselves. To be fair, let me clarify:

-The resume, cover letter and initial communication should be focus on the hiring companies needs 
-Your research on the industry, company and role should focus on the identification of their needs 
-Your prep for the interview should be designed and tailored to identify and discuss meeting their needs as much as is possible

This is a really tough time to look for a job and I have been there, like you, spending all day sending out resumes and worrying and hoping for a response. I know that it is tough. But, to be candid, if the focus is getting your information out there, not solutions to employer’s needs out there, you may not get the result you want.

So, here is the action plan:

-Write out as many questions as you can think of that you would like to answer about the needs that the company has. This may include with whom they compete, how they measure success, what their competitors do well, and how the needs for great people in that industry are changing.

-Test out your conclusions with peers and colleagues. If you think you have a good handle on the needs of companies in consumer marketing, go show you top needs list to people who do that now. You can find them, look online.

Decide to make all your communication for your job search including your resume, cover letter and follow up communication about how you have either solved problems, met needs, identified needs, or will meet needs.

I know, even as tough as it is right now, that you can make this shift. It means thinking like your buyers, not like a seller.

Good luck and the best to you.

Alec Ford

Alec Ford has been working with executive job seeekers for 20 years and helping them get an edge over others. For more information, go to http://www.theoffereverytime.com Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alec_Ford

No Perfect Jobs

Accept the fact that the organization will never be a perfect universe. Organizations are no better or worse than the people who inhabit them. The organization will do things of which you do not approve; it will make mistakes.

So, don’t enter the organization with a do-or-die missionary zeal to purify the structure, its purposes and those who make it up. Focus your attention on making your best efforts to move yourself toward your goals and those of the organization.

If, after time, you find that you cannot achieve these objectives, you have two choices.  Compromise your standards or leave. That is the way it is.

I wish you career success.

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work

Career Coach: 13 Steps To Help Secure Your Job

There is no such thing as guaranteed job security in today’s tumultuous, paradoxical world of work. But there are  13 steps you can take to improve your chances of  holding on to your job.

Faced with falling markets for their products, companies are laying off workers. Many companies, where business is still relatively good, are using the soured economy as the rationale to cull their payrolls and turn more tasks over to technologies. Many of these jobs will never return. Other employees are outsourcing responsibilities to workers abroad or to contract employees here.

Meanwhile, paradoxically, more workers are quitting their jobs or planning to jump ship just as soon as the market improves. At the same time, an increasing number of persons eligible for retirement are postponing the day when they hang up their spurs. In other cases, where family incomes have been hit by layoffs of breadwinners, the number of persons seeking to re-enter the workforce is on the rise.

This means massive reshuffling of talent. There is a downturn in employee morale. “Employees feel disengaged with their jobs, which is going to lead to a lot of churn as we come out of the recession,” declares Brett Good, an executive with Robert Half, International, an executive recruiting firm.

In this environment, there are forces beyond your control that can disrupt your career path and put your job at risk. But there are at least 13 steps you can take to help secure your employment and advance you toward your career goals.

1. Come to work early and stay late. This schedule demonstrates, like nothing else, that you are making the extra effort. The extra time enables you to plan your day and review your performance at the end of the day. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to get to know the boss and his challenges.

2. Take on extra assignments with a can-do attitude. Volunteer to help others with their work.

3. Recognize that resources, once readily available, are probably now harder to come by. Find ways to do more with less. Be a solution, not a problem.

4. When you come to work leave your personal problems behind. Nobody really wants to hear about your troubles. Dwelling on them diverts your attention and saps the energy you could apply to reaching your career goals.

5. Meet deadlines. Stay on budget. Promise what you will deliver, and deliver what you promise. If you can’t deliver, say so up front and explain why. Be prepared to offer alternatives.

6. Don’t complain about your workload, especially to your boss. Accentuate the positive.

7. Don’t criticize your boss, your employer or your associates. Recognize and respect that they are under greater pressure on the job just as you are.

8. Understand the condition of your employer’s business. Know where you and your job fit in. Don’t pass along rumors.

9. Maintain and expand your network of contacts on and off the job. Keep your resume up-to-date…just in case things go wrong with your job.

10. Learn new skills that will improve your performance and prepare you for a promotion.

11. Maintain your sense of humor; but cut out the practical jokes and horsing around that disrupt work. Work with a positive attitude.

12. Don’t resist change. Be flexible. Manage new conditions and requirements to your advantage.

13. Be sure your boss knows of your contribution and accomplishments. If your employer doesn’t provide regular performance reviews, ask your boss to discuss your performance and your career goals.

These 13 steps can help assure career success in good times and bad.

I wish you career success.

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work

Career Coach: Six Proven Steps For Career Success

Achieving career success is not an exact process.  Nevertheless, there are common sense rules that winners follow to achieve their career goals.

Here are six of those real-world career guidelines.

1. Job Tip: Do not hire anyone you can’t fire, unless you are under pressure so harsh that you can not resist.

When you hire a new employee, hopes are high that the relationship will work out to everyone’s benefit, even if it’s a shotgun wedding.  However, the wise manager will take care to avoid a position where he can’t dismiss that person if things don’t work out.

This means resisting situations where employment is based on any reason other than the needs of the company and the particular worth and “fit” of the person being recruited.

When possible, run for cover when you are being pressured by a friend to hire his friend. Especially try to duck the bullet when the “do hire” message comes on a personal basis from the boss.

In the real world there may be no escaping.  If that is the case, protect yourself from the start. Have a clear understanding with all concerned of the basis on which you are acting.  Insist that everyone understands that so long as you are held responsible for the results of your department, you have the absolute right to hire and fire. You should insist on being let off the hook if that right is denied.

Be sure to document the performance of the offspring of the shotgun wedding.  You need facts, whether he or she is a raging success or a total disaster.

2. Job Tip: Live with the reality that the only reality in any organization is individual perceptions of the information that is available. Therefore, “reality” is what those in power say it is. Learn to live with it.

3. Job Tip: Recognize that the same attributes that make for a successful career – independence of thought, ambition, and assertiveness – are often in conflict with the culture of organizations. But if you focus these attributes on the success of your employer, you will be forgiven.

4. Job Tip: Accept the fact that the organization will never be a perfect universe. Organizations are no better or worse than the people who inhabit them. The organization will do things of which you do not approve; it will make mistakes.

So, don’t enter the organization with a do-or-die missionary zeal to purify the structure, its purposes and those who make it up. Focus your attention on making your best efforts to move yourself toward your goals and those of the organization.

If, after time, you find that you cannot achieve these objectives, you have two choices.  Compromise your standards or leave. That is the way it is.

5. Job Tip: Don’t expect your comrades to support you to the bitter end if you are in serious conflict with the organization.

If you and your associates are in a knock-down-drag-out squabble with the organization, be very cautious if your associates say, “We’ll hold your coat, Charlie; you go fight ‘em.”  Or the corollary to that, “If you get fired, Charlie, we will leave with you.”

That all sounds fine in the heat of the moment.  But if it comes to actual conflict, most people shy away and begin thinking more about job security and house payments than they do loyalty to the cause you once shared.

6. Job Tip: Know that most people are waiting for something to happen. For one reason or another, the majority of people spend most of their careers waiting for the spark to light.  They want someone to come along and tell them what to do.  They want to wake up some morning miraculously motivated to achieve success.

On the other hand, some people are impatient.  They are chomping at the bit to shape their world.  They win big or lose big in the process, but they get to choose the game and set the stakes.  Meanwhile, those who wait for career success are dancing to someone else’s music.

How do you travel your career path?

I wish you career success.

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work

The Attributes of Success

Recognize that the same attributes that make for a successful career – independence of thought, ambition, and assertiveness – are often in conflict with the culture of organizations. But if you focus these attributes on the success of your employer, you will be forgiven….and rewarded.

I wish you career success.

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work