Tag Archives: career

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building personal brand

Building Personal Brand Is About Value

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Mike Tyson has a different brand when compared with Sarah Jessica Parker. The same is true for Jim Parsons when compared with Daniel Tosh. Building personal brand depends on the value you are trying to create.

What is your value about? What is the image of your personal brand?

It is common when we speak about personal brand that the conversation may shift to money. Who can achieve the biggest salary, the most perks, and the best benefits?

Chances are great that there is a small local grocer who has a reputation for high quality food, friendly service, and a reasonable price. The same may be true for the hair salon, the hardware store, and the pizza shop.

People will go out of their way to get what they desire. If they are more interested in image, they may shop the trendiest place. Regardless of price or value.

For most, the workplace as we know it has been disrupted. Many are trying to reinvigorate commerce. When it comes to people and jobs, what will be most valuable now and in the future?

Building Personal Brand

You have to keep in mind your personal brand. What does that look like and who should hire you?

Employers will largely hire (or keep) based on their perceived need. From their perceived need, they’ll be considering value.

A Chevrolet Sonic will get you across town, so will a cab. You could also drive a Bentley to get there. Price varies substantially, so does the cost of ownership.

If an organization does not see the value that you bring to them, they may make a different selection.

Not everyone is a Bentley, and not every employer would want to drive one.

Remember that some organizations will make hiring decisions that don’t seem to align with price.

Perhaps because they see value as more important than price. Yet, some will see price as an identifier of value.

Choose your market and build the appropriate brand.

Mike Tyson and Sarah Jessica Parker both have something to do with knockouts. A Sonic or a Bentley will both get you across town.

You decide.

-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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average workers

Average Workers Need Not Apply

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You find the average by examining the rock stars and those performing below expectations. Average workers are all the folks that tend to fall in the middle. Do you have a team of average workers?

The under-performing self-identify. Their work is lousy, their attendance poor, and even when they show up, they haven’t really arrived.

Rock stars are also often easily identified. They are always there when they are needed, pull off some great work, and are self-starters looking for more.

Unexpected Change

The Worldwide pandemic of 2020 has caught some attention. It is a political and media frenzy. Political figures and medical experts getting their five minutes of fame. It’s a serious issue, yet many people question the details.

When you shut down a first world economy, people notice.

Workplaces everywhere are going to change. There will be a new definition of normal, at least for a while.

The handshake is gone, at least temporarily. Seating arrangements, office space, and personal protective equipment, it is going to see some changes.

What may also be gone is the average worker.

Average Workers

Unemployment numbers in the U.S. economy have soared beyond 25 million. How many are average workers?

Like most things. There are some great people in those numbers. There are also some poor performers. Somewhere in the middle is the average worker.

Belts are going to be tightened.

Poor performers will be the last selected.

It is the grade school playground all over again. The best will be picked first. Unpopular, skill lacking, or the non-committed will be picked last. Average workers will wait with heavy anticipation.

Now is the opportunity you have been waiting for. The playing field has been leveled and what happens next is up to you.

Rock stars will be selected first, paid more, and be leading the way.

-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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better choices

Better Choices Come From Better Habits

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Are you able to make better choices? Is it your job to make better decisions, to think more critically, or to choose the best path?

Chances are good that everyone has some of this responsibility. If it is true for you, how are you ensuring your choices produce the best outcomes?

“Every dog has its day.”

Nearly everyone quickly recognizes the meaning of this phrase. It is to suggest that at some point, everyone gets some luck or stumbles onto some good fortune.

Many people believe that the best of the best get all of the breaks. The view is that life is easy and good fortune is always coming their way.

It is true for the view of individuals and often also true for the view of businesses or organizations.

Lucky Breaks

Have you ever had a streak of good luck? What about a streak of bad luck? Many will tell you that bad luck comes in three’s and so you look for it to stop after a self-identified, third event.

Streaks of good luck or bad luck don’t continue on forever. That is why we call them a streak.

Studies on the concept of luck have concluded that we all have about the same amount of luck. It is how we manage our luck that determines the future outcomes.

With all of this in mind it would seem logical that your daily habits are what make the most difference.

Better Choices

Each day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, positions you to make the best choices and decisions about what will happen next.

Today you’ll make some choices. Tomorrow the path might be altered ever so slightly (or drastically) to create a new beginning.

Diets and exercise don’t change a physique on a single day. Getting better at your craft doesn’t flip the switch over night. Your career or your business venture isn’t about a single day, a single moment, or a specific spike or decline.

What happens across a career is about choices. The choices you make are connected to the habits you follow.

Today is a good day to figure out what those are.

-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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stuck waiting

Stuck Waiting Won’t Get You Very Far

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Needless to say, it is a very interesting time. Many people feel like they are stuck waiting.

Stuck waiting for what?

People are stuck waiting for the virus to clear, the stay in your home to be lifted, or for the government to do something about it.

Others are healing, trying to quell their nerves and stop the worry.

Still others are working, some are working harder and with more dedication than they ever realized they had.

For everyone who feels like life is on a timeout, what will you do? If you are career minded what are you doing now? If you’re running a small business that is temporarily disabled what is most effective right now?

Perhaps you take a break for a day, maybe two, but then you don’t stop. A shut down doesn’t mean you’re knocked out. Even if the business you worked for or the business you owned may not reopen it isn’t over.

How will you spend your time, right now?

Stuck Waiting

Spending time to worry isn’t going to change anything. What is your alternative?

The alternative is to start focusing on the future. Make no mistake, things are going to change. The future will be different, a new normal.

Your thought pattern shouldn’t be focused on getting back to normal it should be focused on what does the new normal look like?

Consider all of your life experiences, your knowledge, your skills, and your abilities. How will you put them to use in the future? What strengths do you have and how can you build on those?

Today may be the first day of something new.

How are you going to arrive?

-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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Career futures

Career Futures Are Important Today

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In finance we’ve heard of the term, futures. What about career futures? How is what you’re doing today connected with tomorrow?

Careers last a long time. For many people, somewhere around forty-five to fifty years. Recognize, that is a half-century.

Much can happen across the course of a career. Economic changes, societal changes, and even changes in your self-interest.

You may go through periods of time where you have different monetary needs, work-life balance needs, and different expectations of job roles and duties.

It is always the challenge on the outside looking in. Wondering why or how what you are doing right now will impact your future.

Honestly, it is easy to get comfortable and complacent.

Learning for the Future

Many college students struggle to see why they are required to improve writing skills when they are not going to be a writer. Why there is a foreign language requirement when you are not planning to work in a different country. Once upon a time, typing was considered a secretarial duty, “Why should we learn how to type?”

The answer is easy, futures.

It may not always be a matter of now. It is more about a matter of when.

It is not just about students, education, or college.

It is happening right now, in your career.

Career Futures

People fail to make connections or build relationships. They skip on building a LinkedIn profile because they believe that it is only for job seekers. When there are opportunities to learn more about their job, they’ll pass them up, because, well, they already have it so there is no need to impress.

Then something changes.

The economy shifts, the business shifts, things grow or decline. Businesses are bought and sold. Leadership changes and so does the mission and vision.

Suddenly, they are not the right fit and there is nowhere to turn.

Why?

Because they haven’t paid attention to their career futures.

Managing the Future Today

Managing the future aspect of your career is simple. When you need to tap deep into addition resources, you must already have the resource, not start trying to build it or collect it only when the need arises.

All of your learning, growing, and being committed will matter. Career futures allow little tolerance for coasting.

You’ll need to be prepared for change.

The only unknown is, when.

-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 complacency

Workplace Coasting Is a Downhill Slide

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Is workplace coasting dangerous? It definitely may be a downhill slide.

Statistics show us that motivation and engagement drop drastically after the first six months on the job. That slide continues until about year six, seven, or eight, when somewhat surprisingly things start to pick up.

Of course, it is a stat, and not applicable to everyone.

Caught in a Trap

There is a trap. A trap connected to comfort and complacency.

Eventually, many people find themselves just trying to make it through each day. They show up, get some stuff done, and coast.

Certainly, they don’t always recognize that they are coasting. Their belief often is that they are making appropriate contributions. They insist they are committed and working hard.

In some ways, they might be. Yet, in other ways, they may really be coasting.

Workplace Coasting

Stretch a conversation about commitment and complacency far enough and you’ll find people who insist that their continued commitment outweighs any coasting.

I come in fifteen minutes early every day so I also leave fifteen minutes early.

What’s in the break room for breakfast? I’m hungry this morning?

Let’s find a conference to go to. I need a few days out of the office.

Harmless norms? Harmless, yes, in simple terms they probably are. Norms, I’m not so certain.

Nothing wrong with some flex scheduling, yet, often the flex becomes more favorable to the employee instead of the business.

Breakfast, as a general rule, should be consumed before the start of your work shift. Not used as an excuse to stall on the work that awaits you.

Conferences largely should be about employee or business development. Not a mini-vacation on the company dime.

These may all be considered forms of coasting. Just cruising along. Getting by.

Coasters Surprise

Often coasting is met with a surprise. The company is bought, sold, or now under new management. Jobs are changing. People are being rearranged. Perhaps a time of growth, or worse, a time of decline.

This is when coasters get burned.

While they were coasting others continued to peddle.

Life or careers don’t always seem fair.

Keeping peddling because coasting will only take you 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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better boss

Finding a Better Boss Depends On Your Navigation

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Could you benefit from a better boss? Better than what?

Many career minded individuals feel frustrated with their boss. It may be because the boss supplies what feels like meaningless work. Perhaps he or she is too commanding, or is too close-minded. There may be more than a dozen other reasons.

The reality is that you always have some opportunity to shape your own future. That includes your interactions with your boss.

Opportunities Not Dead Ends

People sometimes suggest to me, “It must be nice to be your own boss.”

I’m typically quick to reply that at any given time I may have ten, twenty, or even fifty bosses. My clients are my boss.

Certainly, I have some ability to say whether I want that relationship or not.

It isn’t much different from traditional workplace roles. In a general sense, you work where you work by choice.

You’ll have things you have to do that perhaps you don’t enjoy. There are rules to follow that may not be your rules. There are organizational politics to navigate. And, work that may not always feel rewarding, efficient, or effective.

As for my job, it still has similarities to most jobs. You can make appropriate effort, or feel like a victim.

You can help by playing the role that needs played. That may be doing something creative, something necessary, or something monotonous.

Perhaps, you will also find opportunities to help by making suggestions. Have you ever considered doing it this way?

Not everything will be thought of as useful. Not everything will be welcomed with open arms.

Better Boss Navigation

There are at least three paths for your navigation.

  1. The boss (or client) welcomes your advice and that makes things different or better.
  2. You remain appropriately persistent. Eventually your contributions achieve a breakthrough and seem to matter. See number one.
  3. You pack up your toys and move to a different sandbox.

A fourth, alternative path, is to accept everything as is. Remember though, that is your choice.

Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help your boss. Whether it is one boss or many, you have the choice for navigation.

There are trade-offs everywhere.

Choose the navigation that fits you best. Blaming the boss isn’t a solution.

-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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authenticity

Your Authenticity in the Workplace

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People grow tired of fake fast. At least, on the surface this seems like a reasonable statement. Authenticity in your job or for your career may matter more than you realize.

Is your brand promise authentic? What about your value proposition? In the job interview are you faking it, to make it?

Real or Faux?

Once upon a time the wooden dashboard in most automobiles was converted to plastic. Plastic with the look of wood grain.

There are vegan chocolate chip cookies. How are they different from the real thing?

We even have Impossible Whoppers and there are some emerging chicken nuggets or boneless chicken wings that contain no chicken.

Why?

In all of these cases the product is design to simulate something else. A fake, an imitation, and arguably not authentic. Are they as good as the real thing?

There are people who ride stationary bikes. Some argue, “Why would I want to do that?” The same is true for the treadmill, stair climbers, or video simulation. Are these products authentic or faux, and if so, in what way?

Authenticity Reality

There is a battle for the creation and production of items that simulate a real thing. The desire is to get it as close to the real thing as possible. Make the experience the same, while the truth is different.

It is either the blessing or the curse of imitation.

The burger, chocolate chip cookie, or treadmill may not be the same experience as what people are expecting.

It leaves the door open for the greatest value of all.

Authenticity.

An automobile with real wood, probably expensive, but some will argue worth it. Some people want to cycle outdoors, with real hills, valley’s, and sunshine, not a simulation. Plenty will suggest that if vegan is so good, why all of the imitation?

For the purpose of your work and for the purpose of your career, authenticity may be the difference between high value or lousy imitation.

Accepting a fake seems okay, sometimes, yet it is never as good as the real thing.

-DEG

Interested in leadership, communication, or workplace coaching as it relates to authenticity? Read more…

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 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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