Monthly Archive: January 2013

Jan 27 2013

Steer your career in 2013!

I have been working on different teams, doing different things and exploring new avenues in last few years of my career. However, lately a sense has starting developing within me – where am I going? What direction is my career going in? I did have some fantastic moments in my career in the past and I am doing great things in present as well – but can I keep doing that for rest of my life?

I realized that we become so consumed in our careers that we fail to really think about our careers.

As a habitual reader, I came across a wonderful piece of information which outlines some steps to avoid the trap. It is a fruitful exercise which must not take more than a couple of hours to reflect on one’s career – and plan the next year.

Let’s see how it goes:

Step 1: Review 2012. Review the past year, month by month. Make a list of where you spent your time: include your major projects, responsibilities and accomplishments. No need to over-complicate this.

Step 2: Ask, “What is the news?” Look over your list and reflect on what is really going on. Think like a journalist and ask yourself: Why does this matter? What are the trends here? What happens if these trends continue?

Step 3: Ask “What would I do in my career if I could do anything?”Just brainstorm with no voice of criticism to hold you back. Just write out all the ideas that come to mind.

Step 4: Go back and spend a bit more time on Step 3. Too often we begin our career planning with our second best option in mind. We have a sense of what we would most love to do but we immediately push it aside. Why? Typically because “it is not realistic” which is code for, “I can’t make money doing this.” In this economy—in any economy—I understand why making money is critical. However, sometimes we pass by legitimate career paths because we set them aside too quickly.

Step 5: Write down six objectives for 2013. Make a list of the top six items you would like to accomplish in your career in 2013 and place them in priority order.

Step 6: Cross off the bottom five. Once you’re back to the whirlwind of work you’ll benefit from having a single “true north” career objective for the year.

Step 7: Make an action plan for first 2 months. Make a list of some quick wins you’d like to have in place end of March 2013.

Step 8: Decide what you will say no to. Make a list of the “good” things that will keep you from achieving your one “great” career objective. Think about how to delete, defer or delegate these other tasks. Emerson said, “The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job here and there.”

A few hours spent wisely over the next couple of days could easily improve the quality of your life over the 8760 hours of 2013–and perhaps far beyond. After all, if we don’t design our careers, someone else will. (Greg McKeown)


Jan 26 2013

Are you planning to ask your manager for PROMOTION?

Before you even think about asking your boss for a promotion or a pay rise one of the key questions you need to ask yourself is do I know exactly how much I am worth?

We are obviously operating in a very challenging economic environment and for a company to give a member of staff a promotion or a pay increase there have to be some compelling reasons to do so.

At the same time it can be incredibly demoralizing and frustrating to feel that you are not being properly recognized or valued.

Don’t be too quick to knock on your boss’s door! First, take a look at the market and understand what others are earning, this will give you a rough benchmark to compare. Next, take a close look at your role and the contribution you make to your organisation. Where do you add value and how do you measure and define this?

It could be in terms of how much business you bring into your company or it could be in terms of the size of the department you run and how many people you manage.

If, after carrying out the analysis, you feel that you are not being rewarded sufficiently then I think it is reasonable to go ahead and ask for a pay rise or a promotion.

If you have got to the stage of looking to improve your situation then don’t play games with your employers. Tell them how you feel and point out the contribution you make and always be honest and open.

You also have to remember that employers have a responsibility to the rest of their staff. It’s a fact of life that people in the workplace always get to know how much others are earning.

The reasons for not getting that pay rise may not always be that clear but you have to remember it is the management’s job to ensure there is parity in the workplace and that everyone is treated fairly.

If you are good at your job then competitors will be aware of that. Firms run a big risk of losing their most valuable and productive members of staff if they fail to pay them a fair salary for the work they do. That is something you should bear in mind if you are thinking of asking for that promotion.

I liked this particular note from James Cann (CEO – Hamilton Bradshaw) and wanted to share.

Jan 23 2013

Creating the right culture

As read from a post by JAMES CAAN – CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw

ONE of the things that people often don’t understand or realize about companies is that their culture and style of working is not created by accident.

Creating the right atmosphere or vibe around a company is not something that happens by chance and often a great deal of effort and thought goes into the process.

Any large organisation or company has to think carefully about the culture or ambiance it creates if it is going to get the most out of its workforce.

If you take a look at digital and internet firms such as Google they are operating in an incredibly competitive market-place where attracting the right caliber of staff is key to driving the business forward.

When the rewards are roughly similar in industry sectors then it becomes even more important to create the right kind of culture in the work-place especially if you want to attract the best candidates. People perform better when they are working alongside like-minded souls in a setting where they feel comfortable, appreciated and most important of all part of a team.

Obviously every business culture is different and finding the right approach can take time. The truth is most people would not choose to go to work but that does not mean it has to be an unpleasant experience. And you can create the right atmosphere with just a little bit of thought and effort and with very little expense.

Just a few simple steps like supplying staff with a kettle, microwave, daily fruit and drinks, as well as, comfortable chairs and breakout areas can make a big difference. If people are going to spend a large part of their lives in the workplace then it is only fair that you make them feel as comfortable and valued as possible.

In fact I have found in my experience that spending lots of money on large events is not always the best way forward. The big corporate gatherings can work for training days and celebrations, but I much prefer the smaller informal gatherings for the team, which give people a chance to relax and enjoy themselves.

As I said it really doesn’t take a great deal of effort to create the right culture but the rewards in terms of staff loyalty and performance can make it even more worthwhile.

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