Monthly Archive for December, 2012

Career Advice: How To Survive The Company Holiday Party

This excellent advice from the staff at Ivy Exec.

The holiday season has arrived and many of you will face the company holiday party with a mixture of anticipation and dread – anticipation for the chance to mingle informally with colleagues and make a positive impression; dread about making a career misstep that could be a setback, if not career suicide.

Here are some simple rules to keep in mind that will maximize your enjoyment of the event and protect your professional reputation:

1. Attend:

Attendance is not optional. Plan your departure time in advance and stick to it. Arrive on time. Stay at least an hour before making an exit. Make sure any early exit is quick and discrete. On the flip side, don’t be the last to leave, either.

2. Dress For Success:

Be conservative in your sartorial selections. This is not the event to make a fashion statement. You do not want to be remembered the day after for what you wore (or didn’t…)

3. Network:

This is time to mingle and mix with colleagues from other departments and more senior managers. If you do this well, you can effectively begin building and even strengthening relationships.
• Do some research pre-event so you know who’s who, and think through some business relevant points you’d like to make if you have the chance.
• Be gracious and introduce anyone you bring as your guest to your colleagues.

4. Exercise self-restraint:

In this age of instantaneous social media, don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t be proud to share with the “world.”
 Don’t overdo the alcohol (e.g., pace yourself with non-alcoholic choices outnumbering alcoholic choices at least 2 to 1)
• Don’t overdo the food (e.g., probably not a good idea to stake out territory by the buffet table.)
• Don’t overdo it on the dance floor (e.g., take a pass on burning up the dance floor with your latest and greatest moves.)
• Limit “shop talk” as much as possible and engage in appropriate small talk (e.g., no gossip, off color remarks, or griping/whining/moaning )
• Do not flirt or pursue a “romantic interest” — save it for non-work related opportunities.5. Be Present:

Turn your cell phones off and be totally present in the moment. You can do this for an hour or two. Trust us!

A company holiday party is a business function that has social aspects. If you keep this fact up front and center at all times you’ll have nothing to dread and everything to gain. Just keep “moderation” as your mantra and relax and enjoy the festivities!

I wish you success with your career including a Happy Holiday and a Great 2013.

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times participate in Ramon Greenwood’s widely read Common Sense At Work Blog. His e-book, How To Get The Pay Raise You’ve Earned is available from Amazon.



Career Advice: Learn To Trust Your Gut Reactions

Do you trust your gut reactions when it comes to making decisions?

You may call it intuition, gut reaction, hunch, imagination or sixth sense. Whatever, until you are ready to depend on that “quick and ready insight” (Webster’s definition) that empowers you to make decisions based on “just knowing” beyond hard facts and figures, you will not function at full speed on your career path.

About 80 percent of CEOs use intuition in their decisions, according to a study at McGill University.

Albert Einstein believed that his theory of relativity was the result of a flash of insight, not his study of the objective, data-oriented research in his laboratory. “The really valuable factor was intuition,” he declared.

Dr. Jonas Salk, the creator of anti-polio vaccine, said, “It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely upon it. It’s my partner.”

How Decisions Are Made

Brains are made up of two hemispheres. The left side is the part where logical, sequential, rational and verbal processes take place. The right side is the place where imaginative, artistic and creative activities are conducted. The best decisions are made when both sides are hitting on all cylinders.

It’s far simpler and more comfortable to understand and rely on the process of gathering facts. But facts can take us only so far in the total process. If we are to make good, solid decisions that build career success we also have to rely on intuition. It is there that the facts we have gathered are rolled around in our mind, bounced off our sub-conscious storehouse of all we have experienced, felt and known (aka our universal information matrix).

Then if we are cooking on all cylinders the mysterious intuition factor comes in a flash. Eureka! We see the decision. (Often, the first idea will turn out to be the best.) At that point, the logical side of our brain comes back into play to measure the soundness of our finding.

Four Career Tips

There are four steps involved in intuition-based decision making:

1. Gather facts.

2. Let them stew or incubate in our intuition tank.

3. Feel the Eureka insight of a decision.

4. Verify the decision.

Discipline, Faith and Courage

The kind of good decision-making that translates to career success requires discipline, faith and courage.

Fact gathering must come to an end at some point. Else, we would grind to a halt…paralysis by analysis. Discipline is required because going back time and time again for more data is a cozy way to put off decisions and action.

We have to have faith that our intuitive powers are real and powerful. We often have to go against the tide and withstand the ridicule of our associates. The left sphere of our brain, the seat of logic, may try to persuade us to deny our intuition. Logic always has the potential to smother intuition.

Know at the bottom line that the power of intuition separates winners from also-rans on the career path.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work



Career Advice: 13 Steps To Cope With Losing Your Job

In times of economic turmoil anyone can get the axe at any time. It happens to good people and bad ones…hard workers as well as slackers.

Therefore, plans for your career path should include knowing what to do to survive and reach your career goals should you ever get the dreaded “pink slip”.

13 Career Tips To Survive and Prosper Losing Your Job

1. Keep in mind that the idea of womb to tomb job security is as dead as a hammer. Be loyal to your present employer, but never develop a romance with the organization. Know that the relationship can end at any time. There is enough suffering in store for anyone over the loss of a job without adding the pains of an unrequited love. Look out for yourself first.

2. Be alert and well informed at all times about the outlook for your employer and your job. If you know things are going down the drain, begin a below-the-radar search for other opportunities. If the axe falls, you’ll have a head start on finding another job.

3. Stay prepared financially.  Always try to have enough cash in reserve to cover at least three months living expenses.

4. Keep your skills up to date with the needs of the job market.  Capitalize on opportunities for additional training.  Read the literature of your field.

5. Maintain an up-to-date record of your accomplishments so you can produce a resume in 24 hours.

6. Nurture contacts with people in your line of work and with those likely to employ your type of qualifications.  Be visible through outside activities and positive publicity.

7. Help others who lose their jobs.  Also, be of assistance to those who are looking to recruit employees. They may help you some day.

8. Understand your emotions.

Psychologist Bill Weber says getting fired is very much like dealing with the death of a loved one.

“The first reaction is denial, or wishful thinking.  There’s been a mistake.  This can’t be true,” Dr. Weber says.  “Then the shock sets in, followed by anger, depression, frustration and fear.  Worst of all is the loss of self-esteem.”

9. Let it go. Allow some time for grieving, but not too much.  Don’t just sit there feeling sorry for yourself. It’s natural to be angry with your employer, but don’t let your feelings show. You may need his help in your job search. Negotiate the best possible severance package possible for continuing pay and benefits, particularly insurance coverage.  Don’t forget good references, too.

10. Start immediately to launch your search for another, better job. Use this time to reassess your career goals.  Define the job that will enable you to achieve these objectives.

11. Prepare a plan to market yourself.  Let it be known you are available; “advertise” what you have to offer.  Involve your network of friends and family in the job search.

12. Be patient. Recognize it will take time to find another acceptable position.

13. Don’t panic.  If you possibly can afford to wait, don’t jump on the first opportunity that comes down the pike, unless, of course, it really matches up with your objectives.

Fix two facts firmly in your mind for achieving career success in difficult times.

1. Anyone can lose their job at any time.

2. People often end up with better jobs than the ones from which they were fired.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work