Tag Archives: career

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workplace popularity

The Workplace Popularity Myth

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Do you believe that workplace popularity works? Does popularity really matter?

Connect to one person, in one topical area on Instagram and then heart a post. Next, you’ll be amazed at how many additional people want you to follow them.

Somehow, I’ve become connected with topical areas that really don’t interest me that much. To be honest, I’m not sure how that happened.

In Search of Viral

Popularity seems like a big deal. It is a big deal for going viral. It is the picture, the video, the blog or podcast. Lots of people wanting to go viral.

There are a lot of kids playing football, baseball, or soccer in high school. A subset of those kids go on to play the sport in college. A smaller (much smaller) subset make it to the professional sport. Then a few of this very small set actually get paid really big money.

On a smaller scale the same is true. If you work in a one-hundred-person company you may be able to be one of the top three in sales, or engineering.

Is this a good place to be or should you strive for something much bigger?

Workplace Popularity

In a crowd of one hundred, you may be recognized as a best in class. Are you popular? Yes, maybe.

Things change though when you attend the national conference. Now, you are just another attendee, unrecognized as a best in class.

It seems that in today’s World too much emphasis is being placed on being popular. It is a race to clicks, likes, and recognition. Gaining you what? Popularity?

Only a very few of even the most popular will go on to something bigger.

For your career, or small business venture maybe it is better to stay focused on the smallest viable crowd. A crowd where your efforts and rewards are earned and matter more.

The big fish in the smaller pond.

Growing authentically is more powerful than dubiously.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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scaling costs

Scaling Costs or Staying The Same?

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Have you considered scaling costs? Scaling can be scary. It is true for business and true for your career.

Are you trying to scale up? What will it take for you to make a difference in the next six to twelve months?

Scale up or else you’ll scale down.

Both Business and Career

For the small business or large enterprise there are costs associated with scaling. There are expectations, forecasts, and marketing expenses. There are operating costs, infrastructure costs, and capital investments.

For the career navigator scaling costs are similar. You have expectations based on where you are at, where you want to be, and consideration for how you will get there.

One of the costs associated with scaling often not considered is the cost of not scaling.

The small business or large enterprise is built around movement. Ideally forward movement. Within the operation there are both successes and failures, but the flow of motion should be forward.

It is the same for individual careers. C-suite to front-line employees, forward motion is the objective for many.

Scaling Costs

For all scaling endeavors the cost of inaction is often the highest cost of all. This includes the costs associated with all resources, and especially your most precious resource, time.

Organizations are driven by culture, culture means people, and people means careers.

Both businesses and people are driven by habit. If the habit becomes an indecisive stall, you’ll face the highest cost of all.

Scale up because coasting only happens when you are going downhill.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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another candidate

Sorry, We Selected Another Candidate.

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Many people have heard these words, “Sorry, we selected another candidate.” The truth is, more people hear these words when compared with, “You’re hired!”

Jobs advertisements are everywhere. Hundreds and thousands of people applying. Often there is only one position, maybe two, to be filled.

Therefore, it is safe to say that most people won’t get the job. It is also true for the promotion.

Selected Another Candidate

Those applying often think about what it will feel like, how their family and friends will respond, and that satisfactory feeling of being chosen. There are opportunities that might change your life, your standard of living, or your ability to provide something more for your family.

All of it is often washed away in the moment you get the news.

Being the successful candidate means you’ve won. For the unsuccessful it is a loss.

That is exactly why it is so important to consider how you will navigate your loss. Will you blame someone else? Will you retreat back in to your shell and never take the chance again?

You certainly don’t want to create a self-fulfilled prophecy to lose, yet the statistics are almost never in your favor.

Navigating with Grace

Preparing to lose gracefully will create more opportunity. Being unprepared and losing without grace does not.

Remember all the basics. Reflect on what you’ve learned, what you can improve upon, and focus on how you might make some future changes.

Most of all, remember that persistence is enemy of complacency. Slowing down or doing nothing won’t help. You can’t coast because you’ll never coast uphill, only down.

Enter to win. If you don’t, be sure to lose with grace, dignity, and style.

Your next opportunity is waiting.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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likeability matters

Likeability Matters for Your Career

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Many people don’t want to believe it or face it. Likeability matters and will play a role in what happens next for your career.

You may see likeability connected with, and labeled as, bias, unconscious bias, or even stereotyping. Regardless of the label it matters for what happens next.

Two kids in the lunch room. One belches loudly and other kids giggle, a different kid does it and for some unknown reason it is totally unacceptable.

Does something like this ever happen?

The Hypocrisy Of It All

We see this play out in the grown-up world too. One person seems to get tolerance or acceptance while another with very similar actions or behaviors is granted none.

If you watch any news, it is in politics too.

Organized religion doesn’t escape it. What is OK for someone in one religious community is often perceived differently by another.

Quickly, we may label some of this behavior as hypocrisy.

All of this is important for your career. It matters because building and forming relationships will impact what happens next.

Likeability Matters

There will always be the naysayers, those who say loudly whatever is on their mind. Those with actions or behaviors that are sometimes labeled as not having a filter. They seemingly say everything that comes to their mind regardless of the impact or impressions to others.

When people apply filters to words and behaviors it seems to make a difference.

The next time you have an impulse to say or do exactly what’s on your mind pause to consider the long-term impact.

Impulse is typically driven by an emotion. Anger, fear, or frustration to name a few.

Notice when you feel emotions coming on. Think twice before you impact everything you’re working towards.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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capture attention

Capture Attention or Face a Bigger Challenge

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For the majority of the people in the workforce today, the World has changed. Some suggest we are in an information overload society and we filter much more than we consume. What are you doing to capture attention?

When I was a kid, after school I would jump off the school bus and run as fast as I could to my house. It was an exciting time. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Get started on what? What captured my attention?

Whatever it was that a few friends or one of my siblings may have established for what you do after school. At times I played alone. It may have been with a ball, a matchbox toy, or throwing around a few sticks in the nearby woods.

Pace of Technology

Consider this, just a little over a decade ago there were no smartphones. Text messaging really started to take off around 2005-2007. YouTube was founded in 2005, and didn’t start to become largely known until a few years later.

What does this technology history lesson indicate?

If you are in the workforce today and you are more than 25 to 30 years old, things have changed dramatically. It has all happened, right in front of you.

If you lean towards the younger side of the workforce scale you may not really remember much difference. If you are in the middle to older side of the scale, change is very noticeable.

The challenge today for every career conscious workplace professional and every business endeavor is not so much about change as it is about attention.

How do you capture the attention of your marketplace?

Capture Attention

We’re all selling, whether it is our expertise and why we are the right choice for the job or promotion, or whether it is our products and services, or a third category is perhaps, both.

When I was a kid, on a lucky day I had just a couple of friends to play with.

Technology hasn’t made us more reclusive; it has opened up the World.

The challenge then, is being interesting and valuable enough to get the attention of your market.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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remember endings

Remember Endings Follow Beginnings

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Excitement for the beginning is great. It unleashes the energy and gets things rolling. Every customer order, every project, and even your career has a beginning and an end. Remember endings have just as much importance as the beginning.

When things start, it is often hard to keep in mind that things will end. The optimism and excitement of the beginning often gets everyone engaged in the flow. Flow means momentum and momentum is hard to stop.

After the Beginning

Your latest personal technology device is super cool on the first day or week. Eighteen short months later and it has often lost some of its luster.

It is similar for a new outfit, a pair of shoes, and a car. Awesome at first, but later not so much.

Certainly, it is similar for your job or your career. Even the greatest start is followed by an ending.

Unless it is the finale of something great, like a fireworks display, the end is often not desirable or attractive. In fact, it is a distraction.

At the same time having the foresight and recognition that often even the best things come to end is important for your career.

Remember Endings

Endings follow starts.

Starts are important, so are first impressions. Yet across time impressions and opinions often change.

How you navigate between the beginning and the end will continue to shape your reputation and your personal brand.

How you end will be remembered.

While you’re navigating your day keep in mind that what you do becomes part of the reputation that follows you. The beginning, the journey, the end.

It’s true for this day, and every day thereafter.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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understanding navigation

Understanding Navigation and Where You’ll End Up

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Understanding navigation may be more difficult than many workplace professionals quickly recognize. Yes, it is often about what we do and how we react and that defines how we navigate.

Just last week someone annoyed you in a meeting. Someone else didn’t complete a task, delayed the project, or simply decided not to show up.

This week there are schedule pressures. An update meeting with the boss and a report to complete.

There are countless opportunities to get annoyed in our workplace. Opportunities to see stress, feel stressed, and worry. Was anything different last month, last year, or at your old job?

Navigating The Same Stuff

Some things have probably changed but yet in reality you worried last year about stuff that just doesn’t matter this year.

You worried about sales being off, the budget not being balanced, or that a co-worker was trying to undermine your project.

You worried about what you said in the meeting, how you said it, and when the boss may have hinted (although you aren’t sure) that you aren’t measuring up.

None of those things matter this year. Although now you have an entire new set of somewhat similar challenges.

Are you navigating differently?

Understanding Navigation

Sure you may have grown. You attended the seminar, read a book, and listened to a few podcasts. You’ve chatted with colleagues, asked for feedback, and with some apprehension, listened to the critics.

Being stressed and worried doesn’t accomplish much. Feeling annoyed and getting irritated does not really serve a useful propose.

What happened last week or last month may have some impact but largely our career and the work that we do is about what is accomplished across decades of commitment and navigation.

Last week you weren’t a novice, an amateur, and now you’re an expert. It took you time, lessons learned, and navigation.

Don’t overestimate the impact of a single experience and don’t underestimate the value of the culmination of a decade.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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being average

The Frustration of Being Average

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Are you planning to excel in your career? Is being average the norm? By definition most people would fall into the average bracket.

It seems funny to me how controversial the subject of being average can be. I’ve had people unsubscribe and delete me from social media because they didn’t like a discussion about being average. It’s true.

Is it okay to be average? Certainly, but if my work was geared to just becoming average there wouldn’t really be much work to be done. My business depends on people who are working for something more.

Being Average?

When you consider the definition of average, you have to think about the middle. In manufacturing, if you build to spec, you are really building to the middle. In any service sector, most of your transactions are probably average.

This is a simple concept, because what falls below spec or is less than spec is poor quality, and once in a while if we stretch, we can go beyond average.

Most organizations are actually trying to hire for average. They look for what they define as “best fit.” Best fit is really about being average. Lousy work and you fall below, exceptional work and there isn’t enough room for you. At least, that is how things seem to shake out.

Frustration of Average

The argument for average is that we need certain levels achievement, but not so much achievement that you blow away the spec.

For most careers then, the goal of excelling in your work is counter intuitive. That is, unless there is room for advancement.

This is one of the cultural frustrations for the organization. It is what causes work in motion to slow down. It causes quality to be only about good enough, not about as good as it could be.

Sometimes we have to look beyond best fit. Yet, that is a risk that many choose not to take.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace currents

Workplace Currents and Getting To The Other Side

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Do you find navigating workplace currents a challenge? Are you fighting upstream, going with the flow, or simply trying to get to the other side?

What strategy for navigating workplace currents would you recommend?

Survivalists Message

Survivalists claim that the best way to cross a stream in waist deep water is to face directly across the stream. They suggest you shouldn’t face upstream, or downstream, but you should stay focused on an exit point on the other side.

The logic seems to be that facing upstream could cause you to slip, lose your balance, and topple backwards, possibly drowning. Facing downstream may get you across but not where you need to be as you would slowly be drifting away from your exit.

Is this similar to navigating workplace currents?

Workplace Currents

Certainly, confidence and approaching obstacles head on has its value. Yet, going with the flow feels like the easier route.

Perhaps it depends on the goal. For many, career growth is very important, yet it may feel like a catastrophic failure will seal your fate.

Sometimes surviving the workplace current is the most important aspect. You still want to thrive, but first you have to get through the current.

Much of what happens next depends on how you choose to navigate. Our belief systems and what we tell ourselves will have a significant impact on the outcomes.

So will the idea of keeping your eye on the prize.

Sometimes the hardest part is not the obstacle itself, it is the concentration and focus required to stick with your goal.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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stalled career

Stalled Career And What Will Cause Movement

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Career, work-life balance, and the daily grind, are things feeling a bit stalled or stuck? It may seem easy to self-assess and tell yourself, “I’m not sure about my options.” The feeling of a stalled career is common, mostly because people apply simple logic.

The logical examination considers all of the valuable reasons you are where you are. It considers the ease of the norm, the status quo, and perhaps the safety of no risk.

Feeling Logical

The norm feels comfortable. You know the routine. You’ve grown to appreciate and quietly value the repetitive nature of things being just the way things are. Mostly, you know what to expect, and often, when to expect it. That’s normal.

The status quo shields you from change. It is based on your expectations. Expectations of a secure job position, an annual salary increase, and accrued vacation pay. Work life exists during mostly fixed hours, and you are comfortable steering around long weekends, vacations, and holidays.

Your mind will convince you that this is logical, it makes sense. You can’t do this, or do that, because of the risk connected with a decision.

Sometimes you feel forced to make a move, or sometimes unfortunately your services are no longer needed and a new direction is required.

Regardless of the circumstances people still often feel stuck. Stuck because any other move has already been evaluated and the only choice is to stay right where you are.

The suggestion sometimes is that people will only change when they get miserable enough to make a move. Do you really want to be that miserable?

Stalled Career

I often ask people, “What are you going to give up?”

When our days and our time is completely filled, we have to give up something in order to do something new. Logically, this doesn’t always resonate, mostly because if you are truly stuck it is often hard to see what you can give up.

If you are going to get things moving again. If you’re going to get out of your career stall, you’re going to have consider doing something different.

Different is scary, not always the most logical, or it may seem unreasonable.

In many cases it is not a matter of different knowledge, it is a matter of old knowledge applied differently.

No movement guarantees one thing, you’re stalled.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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