Become a Master at What You Do in Order to Find Your Passion

moneyWith so many careers to choose from how do you select just the right one that will drive you to be successful and fulfilled?

In my early college days, I already knew that I wanted to be in the commercial arts. In fact, I knew early on that I was going to be a creative in some capacity. In order to make steady income, many of us artists went the commercial route. Yes, this was B.C. (before computers)

After being employed and learning the trade while attending college classes, I learned that an art director could make up to at least $65k/year back in the early 1980s. So, I tried to achieve that goal but for some reason, while my work was good, the opportunity never presented itself to me for a variety of reasons, and so I settled for lower wages as just another staff artist.

Continue Reading →

Managing Managers’ Feelings

Business HandshakeIt’s probably happened to all of us at one time or another, when we have a manager that just doesn’t like us for some reason. Who knows why? You try your best to figure it out with coworkers and friends, and still you get a weird vibe. What’s this all about?

Well, managers are human too and so are personality clashes. That’s a very human trait and sometimes you don’t even know why you clash with someone. But underneath it all, there is a reason and you have to do some brainstorming to get to the bottom of it. But how?

After just writing about a jealous boss, maybe there’s a social case where it’s not jealousy but a genuine personality clash. Personality clashes can be as intricate as personalities themselves. You don’t have to have the same kind of personality to have a clash. You could be two polar opposites whereby you’re not liked for you’re A-type, bombastic personality, while your manager is B-type, quiet and reserved.

Continue Reading →

Tip 7 – Coach Your Employees

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

Football Coach Talking to Two PlayersAfter your annual review and all the comments read from your superiors and possibly, coworkers, what happens next? A promotion? More training?

Our tips book says that the role of a manager is to inspire and coach employees to their highest levels of performance and coach them so they understand their responsibilities and what is expected of them.

What if your manager is not is not doing this? You may want to reach out and ask, “How can I measure and track my own performance?” Specifically, “I would appreciate it if you could guide me through the [name] project to ensure I have it all down-pat.” If your manager is willing to coach you by acting on your questions, keep a journal of the progress so that when it’s review time next year, you can show your detailed accomplishments on paper. This is how you measure for improvement.

Once you have improved in areas your manager considered weak, it’s up to you to show that you have strengthened your abilities in that area over a given period of time. It’s fine for a manager to coach, but the student has to be willing to learn and be tested.

Tip 3 – Develop Your People

Age should not be a factor

HappyToLearn

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the  “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts.

Tip #3 from our new booklet, “8 tips to Engage Your Employees,” discusses developing people in order to achieve success as a manager. “Opportunities for growth and development are a key driver of employee engagement as well as organizational success.”

Just when you think you have all the experience you need to be successful in your career, you might find yourself needing more education and training. Ugh! The thought of going back to a classroom may be pretty daunting in your forties and fifties. I remember my father having to go to management school for 3 years while he was in his forties in mid-stream of his working career with the Northern Illinois Gas Company. My father had no formal education other than high school. The Gas Company cared enough about him to send him to college for management training. He forced himself to read book after book on management and writing assignments every night until he graduated. The hard work paid off. The education was a great boost to his career and eventually led him to a much better stipend and a company vehicle.

Continue Reading →

Good Leadership Drives Employee Engagement

maestro

I read a great “bloggicle” (blog-article) written by Justin Locke which posted today, May 21, 2014. It’s entitled, “The Flip Side of Employee Engagement.” The title tells me a lot already and then after reading it, learned just how vital leadership’s role is.

You can have plenty of engaged employees but if management cannot or will not foster a healthy work environment in order for engagement to thrive, you will soon have a toxic environment that can lead to exiting employees.

Yes, good leadership drives employee engagement, and as Locke puts it, “…’engagement’ is no longer a nice thing to have, it is now essential to your bottom line.” To that end, wouldn’t it be wise to train managers to acquire more people skills? Nowadays, many managers not only have to manage their people, but they too, are doing the work alongside them. Do they have time to work on people skills? Perhaps they should make the time. Even having a manager’s forum or meeting once a month to discuss issues with HR or the organization’s top leaders could provide them with the soft skills required to invoke employee engagement.

You Don’t Deserve What You Ask For —

You Deserve What You Negotiate

Lunch Meeting

My friend, Alan Geng, who emigrated from China, once told me, “We have a saying, ‘You don’t deserve what you ask for, you deserve what you negotiate.’” This was one of many sayings from Alan, which I started a file folder called, “Alan Geng’s Wise Sayings.”

Oftentimes it takes me quite a while for some things to sink in. At the time Alan told me that, I probably thought, “Oh there he goes again, with those old Chinese sayings. What the heck is he talking about now?”

One day, the saying dawned on me when thinking about asking my boss for a raise. I’ve held out my hand before for more money, and walked away rather embarrassed—and empty handed. I felt I deserved more money because I go above and beyond my job description, but that won’t cut the mustard in the eyes of the boss. Therefore, that saying finally made sense to me. I just couldn’t simple ask for a raise, I had to prove I deserved it by negotiating. And how does one negotiate more earnings?

Continue Reading →

Trade Secrets: The Best Vocational Schools

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1007380Every so often, our readers want to share some information and yes, it’s a plug for their business, and that’s a good thing because in this case it never hurts to enhance one’s education no matter who you are, how old, or what your current job is. So, if you’ve been thinking about furthering your education, check out this great info graphic at http://www.bestcollegesonline.org/trade-secrets/ by Jayden Summer.

Modeling Engagement

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1016872For anyone who works in a position of authority, employee enagement is a difficult concept to tackle and develop in one’s staff. To even begin thinking about creating an environemnt for employees that is more engaging, one must take much time to plan and assess the needs of the department or organization. So how does a manager or supervisor even begin to engage his or her employees when there’s barely enough time to get the essential day-to-day tasks done? Model engagement. Continue Reading →

The Biggest Predictor of Success

http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=1007380Have you ever noticed that some coworkers, who are supposedly extremely intelligent and talented, fall short of others who do not possess the same skills? Do you ever see that employees who may not have the most impressive credentials are actually very successful in their work? If so, you may have witnessed a pattern that has been recently studied and described by psychologists, such as Angela Lee Duckworth at the 2013 TED conference, that explains why this can occur. Continue Reading →