Tag Archives: career

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career speed

Career Speed Is More Like Coffee

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Anticipation was keeping kids waiting in 1979 with Heinz ketchup. It seems like things have developed improved speed across the years, but faster isn’t always better. What about your career speed, is it worth the wait?

Anticipation

For years and years, I used a Mr. Coffee brand electric drip coffee maker. You know, some water in the reservoir measured just right with ground beans in the paper filter that sits in the basket.

Push the button or throw the switch and in a few moments, you’ll hear the water heating and the tiny electric pump start to drop hot water over the fresh coffee grounds. Eventually it drips to your pot and the pot begins to fill.

The anticipation can be incredible.

We could also go with the more modern single cup coffee makers. They introduced a trendy, faster, single serving.

Of course, if we have a daily commute, we could veer off course slightly and stop at a nearby McDonald’s or other choice franchise coffee shop.

Let’s not forget the barista. Gourmet, brewed while you wait is trendy. It has people anticipating a slow brewed, usually more expensive cup, in a cozy little shop.

There are a lot of choices, and each one requires some time. Some more than others, but then the quality or value also seems to become more important.

Career Speed

Regardless of choice or speed, most people estimate their wait time and they don’t abort early. The anticipation may feel a bit painful but they can see the pot filling, the cup steaming, or the barista taking the time to make it just right.

Your career speed may be similar. You have options and choices, but in the end, you still have a career.

The best careers are not the result of a single day, month or year. One drop at a time they are creating your masterpiece.

Speed may not be as important as satisfaction.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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career story

How Are You Creating Your Career Story?

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Everyone has a story, right? What is your story? I hear a lot of stories about doom and gloom. I hear a lot of embellished stories, and stories that may not even be real. What is your career story?

Career Story

If you aren’t happy with your story, the good news is that you can change it. It really doesn’t matter if you’re early in your career, mid-career, or even in the sunset. Your career is about your story.

We have stories all around us. There are biblical stories, stories of the land before time, and stories about developing nations, economies, and intellect. Your career is not about a single moment. It’s built across time.

If you don’t like how your story is starting you can change it. If you don’t like the flow, or the emerging ending, you can change it.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle is understanding your career is not a job. It is not a place, a city, a town, or an industry sector. It is something you’re building.

Seeking Change

If you feel that you need to do something different, don’t wait. You’re going to have to get involved. Make changes, grow your network, find more moments that build your story.

It may begin with what you’re telling yourself. Have you assessed your competencies? Do you need new skills, retraining, or updating? Perhaps.

Keep in mind however, that many people get the opportunity of a lifetime in an area that they aren’t so skilled. And now you’re asking, “How?”

The answer is easy, they have some boxes checked, but they are using their relationships (networking) to create the next opportunity.

What is your next moment? What if you look for the next part of your story, instead of a job. Invest in doing something that feels natural, feels good, and creates connection?

It’s time to build more of your story. People are waiting to hear it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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career moments

Career Moments, Building it Inch-by-Inch

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Careers often feel like they are a title, a spot, a position, or a place in time. They are more often the sum of many moments. What are your career moments and how much do they matter?

Inches Matter

I watched my favorite football team lose their game. They were down by one point. A field goal for three points or a touchdown for six? Field position with only five seconds remaining in the game called for a field goal attempt.

It was missed by inches. The game lost.

It is similar for the photo finish at the race track, or the basketball that goes through a hoop (or not) just slightly larger than the ball. We see it on the golf course, the ball ever so close to tumbling into that tiny hole.

Do inches matter?

Career Advancement

It often feels like your career is getting the big job, the larger salary, or special perks. It is the perceived feeling of being invited to the next level of meetings, having a role to supplement the conversation, and working with a bigger departmental budget.

All those things matter. They do make a difference. Are they really the defining moments for your career? Unlikely.

A career is the sum of many defining moments, moments added up across time.

Career Moments

Your career, just like the game, seldom goes into overtime where you have more chances for another moment. The time is fixed. Your career is finite.

The race won’t go for another lap. The hoops aren’t going to get bigger or closer. The golf ball once tapped, is on its own trajectory.

Getting the new job, the promotion, or landing in a new career may be a moment, but it is just that, a moment. One of thousands and thousands of other moments which inch-by-inch are either making a difference, or missing the opportunity.

All those moments add up to become your brand, your reputation, the view of your career.

Inch-by-inch.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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settling

The Evidence of Settling for Less in Your Career

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Often things start off with good intentions, how do they end? Are you settling for less in your career? What are the signs?

Newsflash, your career has a limit. It may seem like life goes on and on and on, especially when you’re shoulder deep in the daily grind. However, years pass by quickly and sometimes you may discover you’ve settled.

Not Everything

First, being average, or having what you may label as a decent career is perfectly fine. Not everything in life is about your career, or at least it should not be. So, it is OK if you haven’t reached every dream.

On the other hand, if you feel like there is still room for opportunity and growth don’t stop now.

Life tends to get in the way of progress. Days slip by, weeks drift way, a month here and a month there and suddenly years have gone by. Is this you?

Settling for Less

What is the evidence that you are settling? Here are three of my favorites:

  • Forgetfulness. Yes, forgetting may mean the years are passing you by in more ways than one. However, if you forget to stay on track with your goals it is probably a good sign that you are settling for the way things are. Being halfway finished eating a full-size chocolate bar when you remember that you are on a lowered calorie diet is an example of this type of sign.
  • Loss of Time. Good things take time. Honestly, you only have so much of it. There is a delicate balance between patience and wasting time. The years will roll around quickly. If you are not advancing towards your goal with notable milestones at least every three to five years you may be wasting precious time. This could be as simple as gaining additional responsibilities or as complex as a career change.
  • No Goals. Sure, you may have some idea of where you want to be. Have you been specific? Feeling like one day you want to become the manager is not really a goal. You’ll need some plans and checkpoints (milestones) that will help that vision become a reality. All milestones and goals should be regularly compared against time.

Have you been settling for less?

Do you need to get back on track or establish a plan? Coaching may help.

Did you forget about your self-commitments? Has time slipped away? What are your goals?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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developing positive energy

The Art of Developing Positive Energy

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Bad days happen. Tough times happen. Many have heard the aphorism, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” How are you using your energy? Are you continuously developing positive energy?

If you want positive energy why are your behaviors contradictory?

While this may feel like a provocative question. One that you quickly find disagreement with, it just may be one of the best questions you get today.

Many people, even people who claim positivity are often repeating, reliving, and existing in a mental environment that supports negativity. Sure, we want to help and support friends and family, but what about our own mindset?

Beating Yourself Up

Do you surround yourself in negativity when you make a mistake? After a bad decision, a wrong choice, or even a slip of the tongue you start to blame, often blaming yourself.

You may say things about yourself. Bad things, things that you certainly wouldn’t accept others saying about you. You point to faults, express hurtful criticism, and even chronically second, third, and fourth guess your actions or behaviors.

The is negativity at its finest. Ironically, it is self-inflicted.

Doing Your Best

Your best work won’t happen in this environment. Your best health won’t happen either.

This negativity takes away part of you. It causes you to freeze, not move, not take action, or just sit in silence. The pressure to improve is overcome by the intense feeling of failure.

No good work is going to happen here. This is not developing positive energy. Why allow this distraction when there is still so much you can do?

Developing Positive Energy

Although it doesn’t always feel this way, there is more positive happening as compared to negative.

Often the feeling of doom develops from comparisons. The view that someone else has it better. Someone else earns more, has an easier life, and never has to worry or feel down.

In modern times this feeling is even more compelling with social networks posting only the best photos, vacations, job changes, money makers, and lifestyles. Be very careful about what you believe.

Do you want more positive energy? Stop beating yourself up, focus more on the positive energies, talk about and relive the things that are good and going well.

One way to do this is by understanding the why and the how of a win list. Try it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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developing habits

Developing Habits May Be Why You’re Overlooked

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Brush your teeth, go to work, and drink your coffee. Hit the gym, eat the low carb foods, and shower daily. Largely, most of the actions we take are based on habits. Are you developing habits? What are they?

Learn, Do, Repeat

Most of what we do is approached by learning first. Some of our work, often the best work, develops from the repetitive nature of execution. Time spent on the execution across many hours and we’re an expert.

There is an evolution for most careers and most organizations. They don’t exist just because they learned. They exist by what is replicated across time.

Online retail businesses, they market and advertise, they book orders, and ship.

Manufacturing, starts with a design, some raw materials, a build, and then ship.

Education teaches to curriculum, follows the plan, and diplomas or degrees are awarded.

It is mostly about a repetitive process. Executed day after day across time. Perhaps a habitual process that results in success.

Developing Habits

Often one of the biggest stumbling blocks for success in a career or for the organization is that they fail to develop the right habits. The habits that lead them to success.

People earn the degree, but work in a different field.

People buy the most expensive technology product but only use the simplest features. The ones they are comfortable with based on their habits.

Someone reads the book, watches the video, or attends the seminar. No new habits formed, no change occurs. Knowledge matters, but habits not knowledge create results.

Habits Are Impact

Nearly everything we do is approached by learning it first. It is the actions taken after the learning that are the most impactful.

For example, many people believe they are experts at customer service. Their belief is based on their mastery of knowledge. This knowledge often fails to translate to actions and habits that lead to better results.

You may know much, you may even know a whole lot more than the average.

What you do across time may be exactly why you’re being overlooked.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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grit

On The Subject Of Grit

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“Day after day,” an important part of the lyrics from Dobie Gray, in the hit song Drift Away. Day after day it feels like the grit required to get through becomes more challenging. People start their Monday and hope to survive it all until Friday.

Not bad for a Monday. 

It’s hump day!

Is it Friday yet?

People are required to show up day after day. Not just physically, but really, show up. For many people this is about 250 or more days per year.

Hanging In

What do you walk into each day? The same old grind? Or you have to love this one, “Same stuff, different day.” (If you can’t say it on TV, don’t write it.)

Do you want a better day, a better week, and a better career?

What may matter most is that you show up. It seems that showing up, having the grit to do the work that must be done is the single biggest factor for success.

That project you’re working on. It likely won’t single handedly change the culture.

The customer call you must make. It won’t shape the future of everything that happens next.

Your early morning sales or staff meeting, the one that always runs long, probably won’t matter much across the lifetime of the organization.

Certainly, all these things may contribute to the impact, they are all part of the build.

Grit

All the greats, they aren’t the overnight success they appear to be. Good companies that become great, weren’t just about a project, a day, or a meeting.

The grit that you are going to put in today, tomorrow, and about 250 days per year, across 40 or 50 years, that is a career. It all happens one day at a time.

If you do nothing else today, consider that your grit matters.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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little more

Humpfrey, Can You Do Just a Little More?

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Career minded people are trying to change. They want to achieve something better, greater, and more robust. The true love comes from what they do, what they become, and the good things that follow. Can you do a little more? Will you?

It is common that people in the workplace feel dumped on, piled on, and burnt out.

Camel Syndrome

Dumped on and piled on, you feel like a camel. Standing, waiting, looking over your shoulder. You see someone lingering with just one piece of straw, eager to throw it on someone’s back. Will it be yours?

It is difficult to dump the metaphoric load. The emotional labor required grows. No straws seem to fall off your back, just more piling on.

Carrying the load is often intensified because we relive that feeling. Even if the load is gone, we’re still carrying it. Worse yet, we feel compelled to share the story. We relive it once again, giving some burden to another weary traveler.

Big Loads

Of course, it is possible you’re carrying a big load. Perhaps the biggest load you’ve ever carried. It isn’t a test. It is reality.

Yet, another straw is hovering just above your shoulders waiting to drop.

If you want to make a difference for your career you are lucky then. You’re lucky that you have the opportunity to carry more.

It will show your strength. Your ability to overcome adversity and eliminate any perceived weakness.

A Little More

You should ask yourself, “Can I do a little more?” Can you push through the emotional labor? Will you find a way to be more responsive, more caring, and more patient?

Can you find the strength for one more straw?

Here is the thing, that one more, it makes you different, better.

If the journey is going to be tough the weakest camel is never selected.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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job frustration

Job Frustration and the Comparisons We Choose

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Feeling frustrated? Wondering where the six figure jobs are, how to get one, and why it hasn’t happened for you? Whether it is salary, perks, or a better office, job frustration is really about comparisons.

Compared to What?

If you were in the workforce prior to 1985 there is a good chance you started your career without much concern about Gigabytes. Much has changed.

Were you in the workforce prior to 1995? If yes, cellular phones were somewhat rare, texting phone-to-phone didn’t exist. Much has changed.

We can find data points and comparisons for 1975, and 2005 too. We are always living in a, “compared to what,” environment.

Perhaps comparison is the root cause of frustration.

Greener Grass

Many know about the, “grass is always greener,” or “keeping up with the Joneses.” We once wondered about comparisons and societal standings with the hit sitcom, The Jeffersons. Today it may be reality television with the Kardashians.

We can compare our lives, style of living, and even our career with reality television in a variety of flavors. If that doesn’t rattle our emotions we can tune in to an even broader perspective through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Does this lead to job frustration? It certainly can, and often does. We hear of six figure jobs, we see job advertisements with big promises, and we even check published public records just to see how the other side is living.

Frustration can lead to innovation.

A better can opener, coffee maker, and a convection oven. Are these innovative or mostly marketing hype? Many would likely suggest some of both.

If your job and career is important to you, great. What about doing a good job, finishing within budget, and delivering quality work? Is that important, if yes, great.

Does it make you happy?

Job Frustration

Comparisons often don’t make us very happy. Many times, there is some myth, the untold story, or a wild exaggeration. These comparisons make us frustrated.

Job frustration may be about the comparisons we choose. If it isn’t innovative, helping, or making you happy perhaps you need a different comparison.

Consider that there should be a difference between your personal data points and the ones that society suggests.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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career decisions

Career Decisions, Life Decisions, and Things That Move Us

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Many willingly admit that it is hard to pick a career path during your mid to late teenage years. Even people with decades of experience are making important career decisions. How do you make good choices?

Available Advice

Advice is always available. Everything from, do what your love and don’t worry about the money, to you must do this because that was the path of everyone in your family.

For good measure you can throw in the advice of, “You are too smart for that choice,” or “That will require you to make a life decision about where you will live.”

Tough choices, all of them. How do you know the correct path?

There are at least three philosophies on these choices:

  1. Let someone else make the choice. It sounds silly but it happens all the time. Parents have helped you save and guided you for a particular school. Now you feel you have no choice of your own. So, you follow a prescribed path.
  2. You are not good enough. You want to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, but it has been reinforced across the years that those jobs are for the elite. You’re not in that crowd so avoid it, you’ll never make it.
  3. Stay with the family. I’ve had personal conversations with dozens and dozens of people about career choices that involve maintaining continuity with the family unit. It may be a family business, a geographic area, or generations on a family estate.

Do you see any problems with these philosophies? Is there a pattern?

The pattern is simple because the input is consistent with others guiding the outcome. None of these are allowing you to choose for you.

Career Decisions

There is a key to most career outcomes. You must decide what you want to live with. Not everything is about money, education, or the dreams of someone else.

Some people make a life of making others happy. That is great. Other people wish to take the family crest to a new level. That too, is great.

Your career decisions, whether you are seventeen, or forty-two, may not be so technical. It really boils down to how you want to live, because that is really what you do.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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