Tag Archives: career

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job satisfaction

Job Satisfaction May Be What You Create

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Monday is the drag yourself to work day, Wednesday there is a glimmer of hope, and Friday is the day many wait for anxiously. Does this sound like you or someone on your team? Is job satisfaction something that each person can create?

Why We Work

There are of course, people who only want to work for one reason. By choice or by submission to the years of drudgery, they are paycheck only employees. Certainly though, there are those who are enthusiastic and career minded.

For the career minded, one of the most popular ways to create your career is to predict it. You graduate from high school. You make a decision about college or no college. Observations of family and friends occur. Then you listen to guidance from teachers, elders, and those who want to sell you a path.

That isn’t all though, you make a choice to make an investment. Usually connected to time, money, and amount of effort, what you are really hoping to do is get the prediction correct. What you see for the future and the place that you want to be is a prediction.

There is a sizable lot that does this, and does it effectively. When you look around though, you are really making a prediction. The best prediction of all may be that predicting your future is unlikely.

Career Changes and Job Descriptions

Millions of people make career changes. The factory closes, the technology shifts, or the difference between a paycheck and career start to sink in. Predicting your future or your job satisfaction is difficult, but creating a better outlook for your future may be something you can control.

When I work with small businesses, the percentage of those who have job descriptions for all employees is something less than fifty percent. If you were to add in the relevance of the work performed as compared with what is on the job description you would find an even deeper discrepancy in accuracy.

Employees can get nervous about their job description. Often they shudder with the thought that they will be targeted for poor performance or that the description will list a task or duty that they find undesirable. Sometimes this may happen and in other cases, it is simply a negative fantasy.

Job Satisfaction

Instead, what if your job description is considered an opportunity? Imagine if the job description has the possibility to be co-created. When the supervisor asks you to create a list of your duties as you see them, is that a problem or an opportunity?

The best path for your job satisfaction may not be in predicting the future. Perhaps the best path is to create it.

You may not be able to create one hundred percent of it. In fact, complete creation is unlikely. However, every chunk, every point, and every opportunity you have to steer, will make a difference across time.

Job satisfaction is not an image or comparison, for many positions, it is what you create.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Attitude everything

Is Attitude Everything or Just Something?

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Recently someone asked me what makes an employee special. The conversation was centered on a particular employee known to both of us and how he, or why he, was promoted. My suggestion was that his attitude made the difference. Is attitude everything or just something?

Skills and Attitude

Skills are important and nearly everyone focuses on skill building. Is attitude a skill? We know that hammering a nail requires a little skill and a little energy and there is labor involved. The same is true about attitude. We often just don’t understand the aspects of emotional labor.

Most jobs require specific skill. Therefore, nearly everyone has demonstrated that they have acquired the skills necessary to do the job. You don’t have to look far to find someone who has more experience, a different or better education, and perhaps even some natural talent that sets them apart.

Leverage and Labor

Recently, I was asked to speak to a small group about entrepreneurship. One of the underlying principles of my talk was about leverage. In my business, leverage is everything. Most of the work, the marketing, and the building of intellectual property, it is all leveraged.

Leverage and your emotional labor are what sets most people apart.

People pursue the degree, not a bad choice.

People work hard and for great lengths of time, which is reputable, respected.

In the workplace, people with the wrong attitude are seldom promoted.

Your knowledge, skills, and abilities are only the minimum requirements. Consider the decisions and choices that people make throughout the day, for many days, for the time that some people will call a career, this is what makes the difference.

Is Attitude Everything

When you endure the emotional labor, you’ll create something.

Prove you have the ability to navigate the political currents, adjust your habits, set your ego aside, and work to help not just to finish. Most of all, when you bring your energy, demonstrate resilience, and show up better than the rest you’ll have leverage.

Is attitude everything? Your attitude is not just something. When attitude is what you stand for, you’ll stand out.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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volunteering

Volunteering and a Promise Kept

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Enthusiasm is a great thing. Most workplaces praise those who are enthusiastic. Are you volunteering for things you cannot deliver? Are you just hanging out or are you offering to constructively jump in and get things done?

Fresh Enthusiasm

Sometimes it is in the heat of the moment. You hear the new idea, you feel the fresh enthusiasm and you want to be an integral part of building something great. In fact, you may see it as a legacy building moment. Something you can get your good name attached to.

Being on the committee or team means you have a responsibility. Certainly some of your responsibility is to help make good decisions and drive future direction. Do you volunteer for action items that spark your interest and imagination? Are you one of the first to raise your hand, or are you the last?

Showing up at the meeting is important and being on time helps. Being the person who jumps in to offer assistance, to volunteer, or to shout out that you’ll lead is great. Are you able to keep that commitment?

Unspoken List

There is often an unspoken but lengthy list of volunteers who offered to help, expressed a deep commitment, and after a short burst of activity, they failed to keep things moving.

If you want to lose credibility, breakdown trust, and tarnish your reputation, failing to perform after you’ve promised is a fool proof method.

Volunteering

When you view yourself on the podium, picture yourself getting the praise, or leaving a legacy that shapes the future it seems like a good idea to raise your hand. You may even be thinking about a monetary increase or job promotion. This is the fun and easy part.

The hard part is actually making it happen. When it comes to volunteering keeping your promise is more critical than most people realize.

Did you keep your last promise?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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born or made

Born or Made, Is This What Defines Your Career?

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It has been a debate for a long time. Are people born with talent, skills, and abilities, or do they work differently, harder, and with enough persistence to attain a higher level. What about your career, is it born or made?

When we see a really old tree, we wonder how it weathered all of those years. The cycle of the seasons, unexpected weather conditions, predators, insects, and even a human with an axe. There is almost a level of respect for its survival. It wasn’t born this way, it was made across time.

It is similar for the athlete. A fit, slender, or muscular shape, a stride or walk that displays confidence, they weren’t born this way. Most people give respect, because they know that it took hours of hard work, a good diet, and the discipline to stick with it.

About Your Career

Some people wonder, is a skill, talent, or simple good fortune born to you, or is it made? Certainly, some families have achieved levels of financial wealth, political positioning, or Hollywood status that jumps starts the career of their offspring. This is true for very few.

For everyone else, the extra effort is required. Everyone has a story of shortcomings, being overlooked, passed over, and unrecognized for what they offer. Additionally, many of the most successful have a story of countless hours and gigantic sacrifices they made along the way.

Of course, we can’t forget the envious, those with the misfortune, diversions, or a lack of money to really make it big. Certainly, these may be real factors that affect the speed, timing, and the ability to sustain. They often become an excuse, valid or not, about why some cannot achieve.

Does this answer the born or made question?

Born or Made

We see both ends of the continuum, but what is the third element? Either side has reasons for their position. Everything else is just in the middle, the mean, an average.

Some will talk about excuses. Others will express a lack of interest, a lack of desire, or unlucky breaks. Still others will proclaim that they weren’t born with it.

If you aren’t making your story better, maybe it is time to turn over a new leaf.

A tree may be born from a seed, how it grows is a different story.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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will you arrive

Career Advancement: When Will You Arrive?

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Finish school, go to college, do an internship, get a starter job, and be persistent. That is the advice of many. It isn’t bad advice but when will you arrive?

What do many people who are serious about their career do? They follow the advice of others. They observe those who appear to align with their definition of success. Perhaps in some ways they attempt to mimic or follow a similar path. Will this lead you to the point where you will arrive?

Faux Arrival

I remember in high school when I thought I had arrived. I had a full time job with benefits before graduating at the mature age of seventeen. At the time, I thought I had arrived.

Within a very short twelve-month period, I realized that I hadn’t really arrived. I needed to do something more. I enrolled in a community college, attained a two-year degree, got a full time job in my field. At the time, I thought I had arrived.

Life continued. Chasing positions, titles, and ever increasing income. Each time I thought I had arrived. Each time later, I realized I hadn’t.

As a non-traditional (thirty something) student I pursued a bachelor’s degree and got it. I enrolled in a graduate program, pursued that degree and got it. For sure, now I had arrived.

Still after each successive advancement, I felt the arrival hadn’t yet occurred. I started a business, pursued my passion, had some incredible experiences, made some money, made some mistakes, but still felt I needed to arrive.

Do you see a pattern here? It has taken me my entire career of more than thirty years to both see and understand when people really arrive in their career. When will you arrive?

Define Arrival

For everyone who is pushing, everyone who is dreaming, those goal oriented unstoppable people who are pursuing more in their career. The answer is simple.

Just like the GPS device offers, there is always another journey. Another chance, a different direction, an alternative route, the route someone else chose, the detour, the storm, the straight road, high road, swampy road, and the one with the most curves.

When you arrive, that is it. You’re finished, but only for now.

As it turns out, for many, it has never been about arriving, maybe because there is still something more, something to pursue, a goal or a bucket list.

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t about arriving at all. Perhaps it is much more about the life you lead along the way.

Will You Arrive

You can relax more when stop asking yourself when you’ll arrive. Your career really is not made upon arrival.

Your career is made each and every day you continue to pursue the arrival.

The journey is more important. You’ll arrive at your final destination only when you stop.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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hard work

Hard Work Is The Best Way To Get Lucky

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Do you count on luck to carry you forward? Does hard work have anything to do with luck?

Look around on your daily commute. There is someone thinking that they need more luck. They need luck to get a better job, advance in their career, or find a way to rapidly increase their retirement account.

Do People Get Lucky?

It does happen. Publishers Clearing House claims it will release $7k a week for life to someone who finds luck. The convenience store is always selling lottery tickets.

Some will flock to the store that sells winning tickets, because of course, that store is lucky.

Luck probably has something to do with your odds, your chance of winning, right? Can you get lucky with your career? Is it really all about luck?

Often your odds of winning in any kind of large lottery pool are slim. Buy a single ticket or buy ten. It doesn’t change your odds very much.

Lucky Job

Are people lucky with their job? Do they get the best job because they are lucky? Those who are in stop and go traffic, or cruising along on the interstate, will they get lucky? What about the people on the train or those boarding the plane, will they get lucky?

I don’t believe much in luck. I seldom play the lottery. However, I do believe that we can put ourselves into better positions to get lucky.

The singing sensation probably sings more in order to get the lucky break to be discovered.

An entrepreneur or an inventor knows that more visibility will increase their odds of market success.

People counting on luck to find a new job are probably putting themselves into a position that allows luck to work in their favor. Perhaps more networking, replying to job ads, or doing more of their best work.

Hard Work

Will hard work help you get lucky? What will increase your odds?

Don’t quit too early, don’t give up too soon. The harder you work the better your chances.

Luck rarely happens to those who are not giving luck a chance.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Writing skills

Writing Skills, The Most Important Skill For Success?

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In a world of social media, often inclusive of pictures and video, why are writing skills so important? Perhaps, you are not so certain that they are important, are you? There are a few things to consider.

Selling Something

Most business professionals are selling something. Certainly not everyone is in the department we fondly know as Sales, but still nearly everyone sells. They sell ideas, they sell themselves for job positions or even to get the best picks for work assignments. So why is writing important?

Society today perhaps has more dreamers than ever before. We often live somewhere between the real world and virtual reality. We can escape with books, movies, and of course video games. We can escape with social media posts, pictures, and videos of a life we dream about.

We can live vicariously through others.

Writing Matters

Have you considered that writing matters now more than ever before?

Everyone needs the skill. Why do you read? Why do you read a social media post, a blog, an article or an entire book?

You may read because it is something:

interesting about a public figure;

that shouldn’t be happening or feels surreal;

shocking such as natural disasters;

about a product or service you have interest in;

or that allows you to escape your own reality.

When you look at the Instagram picture or video, you want to see the text that accompanies it, the same is true for Facebook, or even LinkedIn. It seems the story represented in pictures or short videos becomes more complete with a touch of the written word.

We feel more connected when we have a deeper understanding. It may be about our own experiences, an experience we want more of, or even about an experience that gives us peace of mind, solace, or empathy. We know more, we understand more, and the message becomes clearer.

We sense confidence, acknowledge expertise, or are otherwise attracted (or not) by the expression. Do you have writing skills?

Writing Skills

Certainly, it is often more than the written word. It includes the combination of visual stimulation or confirmation to bring us full circle, and complete the connection.

Whatever it is that you are selling, you better be able to write about it.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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advance your career

Extra Effort Will Advance Your Career

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Many people have spent their life, up to now, deciding on how they will advance their career. The advice to work harder seems impractical and working smarter feels more welcoming. For the career minded person, it may be about understanding the norms. Will you advance your career?

Life is full of averages. The things that we feel, see, and experience are always based on our expectations and perceptions.

Averages and Norms

Fifty years ago we couldn’t carry a telephone in our pocket, access information or data by sliding and swiping, or watch a video on a three inch by five inch electronic device. Today it is expected.

In the workplace, we deal with average people. They are the people who do what is expected. Their contributions are normalized on the bell curve. It is where most of the mass is located. Certainly, there are people on both sides of the median, but what is expected is something close to the middle.

The other ten to twenty percent are different. They are either failing in their attempt to be acceptable, or they are on the side where their performance is well above the norm.

Extra Effort

Above the norm is rare. Expectations drive output, even the hardest workers sometimes relax because doing more than the norm doesn’t often feel like it matters. People blend in, fill gaps, adjust, slow down, and deliver less.

Extra effort will advance your career because it represents a surprise.

The person who delivers exceptional customer service does so because it represents a surprise. Can you recall one of your best customer service experiences? When you do, it is because it was a surprise. It was more than what was expected.

Advance Your Career

Extra effort and the surprise represent what you may need to do to become visible, memorable, and to keep moving. It isn’t about showing up, it is about showing up with a surprise.

Extra effort doesn’t cost nearly what it is worth. Having similar or even less pay in some cases isn’t the point. The point is that your extra effort will advance your career because it isn’t about what you are paid for it, it is about what you become for it.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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worth it appreciative strategies

What Makes You Worth It, Not Cheap

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People become so fixated on price, the price of gasoline, the price of the combo meal, and the price of your data connection. The pursuit of cheap is often a slippery slope. What makes you worth it?

Looking for Cheap

Unfortunately, some people don’t care about better, they care more about cheap. This lasts for a while, until they discover that cheap is more expensive.

I bought it on eBay, it was NOS (new old stock) but now I’ve realized it is used. It broke the first time I used it.

I grabbed the lowest priced coffee for our coffee maker. We have clients coming in today. It tastes terrible.

The repair shop gave me choices on a new battery for my car. I picked the cheapest one, now my car won’t start, the battery is dead.

So many frustrated people, the shortcut often doesn’t get you there faster and the lower price will often cost you more.

People and Organizations

This is true with nearly everything, and true with both people and organizations.

They go a little cheaper on their marketing or advertising budget. Sales haven’t been the same since. In fact, they are now worse.

Employees need training so they make it mandatory that everyone watches the video. Employees learn something new, but fail to understand how to apply the knowledge. There wasn’t an expert available to answer the tough questions. Now you have attorney fees and employees to replace.

They need a warm body to do some work, so they find the employee who will work for less. They ship the wrong product, provide poor service, and the organization’s reputation is changed forever.

Good Choices

As people, we have a choice. There are choices made and consequences of actions in every one of these examples. Is cheap worth it?

Make a conscious choice to not be cheaper, but to be worth it. Whatever you are selling, standing behind, or building a reputation on, don’t be cheap, be worth it.

Worth It

Do the hard work, work longer to make it better, stay late, come in early, provide reliability, be trusted, learn more, have some fun, and most of all, care.

The smartest people and organizations, the ones that really matter, they will notice. Everyone else is only interested in cheap.

It is a slippery slope. Be worth it instead.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Emotional labor matters

Why Emotional Labor Matters More

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The daily grind, the grit and effort it takes to go to work every day, to exist in the World of workplace politics, the boss’s pets, and a paycheck every other week. It is what millions of people feel about their job, it is laborious. Do you think emotional labor matters?

Frequent Questions

Many people have great jobs. Many people take for granted what their daily grind provides. Actually, that emotional labor that they are putting in, that is what will matter the most.

What high school did you attend?

Where did you get your degree?

Did you get your degree online?

The questions all appear to matter and they are the essence of the job applicant, the hiring committee, or the card puncher. What may really matter the most is if you have put in the emotional labor.

Attitude, Determination, and Persistence

Emotional labor answers the questions about your attitude towards work, your discipline across the long haul, and your ability to navigate shifting environments.

The questions that really need answered are more about what you’ve accomplished. How do you face adversity? What projects or teams have you led? What is your decision making style? How would you describe your level of integrity? How do you plan for the unplanned?

The online job application and your resume don’t often speak to what you are really capable of doing. The weight of who you are, your strength, determination, and the associated outcomes are not about a piece of paper, or your digital application.

Getting to the door and having it open often comes from your resume or curriculum vitae, but that is just a paper trail.

Emotional Labor Matters

What matters more is the illustration of your emotional labor. That will be the best determinate of your future success.

When people ask my opinion about what will happen next with an employee, a boss, or their significant other, I usually suggest that the best predictor of future performance is past performance.

Put in the emotional labor, it matters more.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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