walking-away

When It’s Time To Walk Away

If you are reading this — you probably are not the type of person to give up easily. Neither am I. You are ambitious and skilled and continue to push forward regardless of what obstacles are in your way. And that makes you successful.

 

But here’s the secret, sometimes it’s wise to turn your back and walk away. Sure, it’s painful to admit defeat but when you are in a “no win” environment it’s often the only action that can save you and your sanity.

There have been a number of times in my own professional life when I identified a big hairy problem and after struggling against it for at least a year, decided it was best to move on. And every time my life has benefited and I have gone on to create more happiness for myself and others. The key is that I identified the problem, spoke clearly about it with those who could help me resolve it, and only decided to give up when it was obvious that they would not help and I would be better off doing something else.

In those instances, giving up meant looking for a new project and moving on. If you are in a long-term dysfunctional environment, continuing to do the same job and putting up with the same crap is disastrous for you and people who depend on you at work and home.

The problem is that when you try to persevere, you are in survival mode and a personal hell. You just don’t care about the quality of your work and results anymore. Just walk into the local Post Office or DMV to understand what I mean.

Now, I want to acknowledge that for some it’s easier to walk away than for others. Your level of control depends on your career and financial status and I do not want to overlook that. However, I suggest that no matter your situation — you do have the power to pursue a different course which in most cases will ultimately lead to a new job that will improve your life.

Let’s take a look at how you know the time has come to move on. First, let’s start with what creates a happy work environment and job joy. I think that job satisfaction is based on four forms of alignment. The more your job is aligned in each one of these areas — the happier you are.

And here are the signs to look for in each area that may be telling you it’s time to walk away. However, just because you are not aligned does not mean that you can not become so. It’s important to consider how long you have been trying to find alignment and if it’s likely that you will get there.

If you have been struggling for over a year in any one of these areas, it might be time to move in a new direction.

Alignment with ambition Are you working for a company and in a role that is getting you closer to your goal? This is a fundamental question to ask yourself and unfortunately most people never do. Because without a goal it’s impossible to know if you are headed in the right direction. I often recommend a “goal first” approach to business planning, but it’s also the first place to start as you think about your own direction. If you have never taken the time to write down where you want to be in three, five, and 10 years, now is the time to start.

Alignment with skills The most enjoyable jobs fully tap our exiting skill sets and challenge us to grown new ones. Are you a master of the domain you are currently working in or are you on your way? If the answer is yes, you are probably fairly satisfied with the work you do. If the answer is no you, your confidence has likely been battered and you are constantly looking over your shoulder. Now, if you are out of your element a good boss and training can counteract any suffering and help you regain your mojo.

Alignment with reward expectations There are two types of rewards and both are important. Intrinsic rewards are based on the personal fulfillment you get out of a job well done. External rewards include your salary and any other material benefits you receive from your employer. Your reward expectations need to closely match reality for you to be satisfied. If there is a disconnect here for too long, you will grow disenchanted with the work you do or worse. You might not be able to pay your rent or mortgage.

Alignment with boss It’s in vogue right now to suggest that people do not leave their jobs but instead leave their bosses. As you have already read, there are many reasons for leaving a job that have nothing to do with your boss. However, I agree that an unsupportive boss is at the top of the list driving folks to update their resume. I have left bosses who: chased employees around the office, did not allow their staff to speak with other managers, and threatened retribution when someone quit. Does your boss have your best interests in mind?

If you have misalignment in any one of these areas I suggest you admit it to yourself first. Next, have a conversation with your boss or a trusted adviser in the organization who you think can help you.

I want to be clear that you are responsible for trying to overcome the challenge and owe it to yourself and the organization to try and work through it. But, if you can look at yourself in the mirror and are comfortable saying out loud that you tried, you may need to move to plan B. If there really does not appear to be a way out and your misery is increasing, it’s ok to admit defeat and walk away.

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Featured on: Your Career

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He has been the founder or early employee of six cloud-based software companies and is the CEO of Aha! — the new way to create brilliant product strategy and visual roadmaps. His last two companies were acquired by Aruba Networks [ARUN] and Citrix [CTXS].

 

digital profile

What Your Profile Really Says About You

What does your profile say about you?

If you’re not giving enough thought to your online profiles, you may be sending mixed messages to potential employers. Consider what your profile may be saying:

  • No picture — Not having a photo says, “I am not confident enough to show my face.” If you don’t have a photo you’re proud of, find a friend with a camera and start shooting. Look straight at the camera and smile for the best impression.
  • Logo or something else as picture — Again, I worry about the person’s confidence when there’s a logo or avatar instead of a picture; or I worry that they have no personality.
  • No recommendations — A profile with no recommendations screams, “No-one else believes I am as good as I say.” Reach out to a few friends or colleagues for recommendations to remedy this ASAP, and be sure the skills you’ve listed mirror your real-life skills.
  • Incomplete profile — To me, this just smacks of laziness. It says, “I have nothing to say or am too lazy to put it here.” Whenever you have the opportunity to include more information to make a good impression, you should do so.
  • Not up to date — If you haven’t updated your profile since 2009 but are actively looking for a job, that’s a disconnect. I would wonder if perhaps your heart wasn’t in it or if you truly had a keen eye for detail.
  • No contact details — This is like saying, “Call me!” but not giving out your number. If you are overly concerned about privacy, create a new email address and Google Voice phone number specifically for job hunting, but make certain whatever you do that your potential interviewers don’t have to work to contact you.

Putting your profile to work

Once you’ve put your best foot forward, so to speak, and filled out your profile completely and correctly, you can take it to the next level. Some other tips to consider:

  • Ask for an introduction. Instead of a totally blind date, it helps to have an introduction. Work your contacts and discover who in your network might be able to make an introduction or recommendation at your dream job.
  • Cultivate connections. Connections who work within a company to which you’re applying can also give excellent insights into the company culture and tidbits that can come in handy during the interview phase.
  • Appeal to your ideal match. Use the descriptions of your previous positions to tell the story job recruiters are interested in hearing. If you know that your ideal position is with a company that values independence and self-direction, for example, highlight your past accomplishments in those areas.
  • Get specific. Just like potential mates get tired of reading about “long walks on the beach” and people “looking for someone with a good sense of humor,” recruiters start to glaze over clichés as well. Be as specific as possible with your profile to make yourself stand out in the crowd.
  • But don’t be tempted to exaggerate. In this Internet age, your resume can be double checked in the fraction of a second it takes Google to return a result, and any exaggeration can be seen as outright dishonesty.
  • Follow up (but don’t come across as desperate). It’s always appropriate to follow up after a first meeting, but don’t be a pest, and don’t come across as desperate; it’s a turn off.

Photo: Shutterstock

Posted by: 
About : Bernard Marr is a globally recognized expert in strategy, performance management, analytics, KPIs and big data. He helps companies manage, measure and improve performance.

 

career

The Educators Road Map For The Next Generation of Work

This road map for the next generation of work is for the up and coming generation to make sure they start on the right foot.

What happens when the tools & technologies we use every day become mainstream parts of the business world?
What happens when we stop leading separate “consumer” & “professional” lives when it comes to technology stacks?

The result is a dramatic change in the products we use at work and as a result an upending of the canon of management practices that define how work is done.

New tools are appearing that radically alter the traditional definitions of productivity and work. Businesses failing to embrace these changes will find their employees simply working around IT at levels we have not seen even during the earliest days of the PC. Too many enterprises are either flat-out resisting these shifts or hoping for a “transition”—disruption is taking place, not only to every business, but within every business.

The Educators Work Culture

Continuous productivity is an era that fosters a seamless integration between consumer and business platforms. Continuous productivity manifests itself as an environment where the evolving tools and culture make it possible to innovate more and faster than ever, with significantly improved execution. Together our industry is shaping a new way to learn, work, and live with the power of software and mobile computing—an era of continuous productivity.

Continuous productivity is possible

Continuous productivity shifts our efforts from the start/stop world of episodic work and work products to one that builds on the technologies that start to answer what happens when:

  • A generation of new employees has access to the collective knowledge of an entire profession, experts, or enterprise.
  • Collaboration takes place across organisation and company boundaries with everyone connected by a social fibre rather than the organisations hierarchy.
  • Data, knowledge, analysis, and opinion are equally available to every member of a team in formats that are digital, sharable, and structured.
  • People have the ability to time slice, context switch, and proactively deal with situations as they arise, shifting from a start/stop environment to one that is continuous.

Join The Educators Pioneering projects

The vast majority of organisations are struggling right now with how to face these challenges. Beside the ones who try to ignore this shift, majority of the organisations are trying to use this new technology to run their old system. You are welcome to join The Eductors as an individual and develop your teaching environment or join any of our current and futur group projects.

How Different is the way we work:

The availability of the information and communications tools has allowed us to move  from a hierarchical access model of the past to a much more collaborative and sharing-first approach. Every member have access to the raw “feeds” that could be material to their role. Teams become the focus of collaborative work, empowered by the data to inform their decisions. The increasing use of “crowds” and product usage telemetry able to guide improved our services, based not on sampling and forecasting but on what amounts to a census of real-world usage.

The following table contrasts the way we work (continuous productivity) and the current norms.

Traditional way
Continuous Productivity
Process Exploration
Hierarchy, top down or middle out Network, bottom up
Internal committees Internal and external teams, crowds
Strategy-centric Execution-centric
Presenting packaged and produced ideas, documents Sharing ideas and perspectives continuously, service
Data based on snapshots at intervals, viewed statically Data always real-time, viewed dynamically
Process-centric Rhythm-centric
Exact answers Approximation and iteration
More users More usage

The cultural changes encouraged and enabled by continuous productivity include:

  • Innovate more and faster. The bottom line is that by compressing the time between meaningful interactions between members of a team, we will go from problem to solution faster. Whether solving a problem with an existing product or service or thinking up a new one, the continuous nature of communication speeds up the velocity and quality of work.
  • Flatten hierarchy. Equal access to tools and information, a continuous multi-way dialog, and the ease and bringing together relevant parties regardless of place in the organisation flattens the hierarchy, this is the key.
  • Improve execution. Execution improves because members of teams have access to the interactions and data in real-time. Gone are the days of “game of telephone” where information needed to “cascade” through an organization only to be reinterpreted or even filtered by each level of an organization.
  • Respond to changes using telemetry / data. With the advent of continuous real-world usage telemetry, the debate and dialog move from the problems to the solution. You don’t spend energy arguing over the problem, but debating the merits of various solutions.
  • Strengthen organization and partnerships. Organisations that communicate openly and transparently leave much less room for politics and hidden agendas. The transparency afforded by tools might introduce some rough and tumble in the early days as new “norms” are created but over time the ability to collaborate will only improve given the shared context and information base everyone works from.
  • Focus on the destination, not the journey. The real-time sharing of information forces organizations to operate in real-time. Problems are in the here and now and demand solutions in the present. The benefit of this “pressure” is that a focus on the internal systems, the steps along the way, or intermediate results is, out of necessity, de-emphasised.

Follow the following article for further reading.

 

  1. Road Map For The Next Generation of Work – Paradigm shift (1)
  2. Road Map For The Next Generation of Work – Theory & Technology (2)
  3. Road Map For The Next Generation of Work – Examples and Checklist (3)

 

 

girl standing out

Self-promotion is not bragging

If you’re going to ask for promotion, you’re going to need to make the case for why you deserve it. That conversation can go a little smoother if you’ve been keeping your manager in the loop about what you’ve accomplished.

But talking about yourself — especially your achievements — can be uncomfortable.  Regardless of where you are in your career — whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or running a business — or whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s crucial that you’re able to convey your value to the people you’re working with.

What are the most important things to keep in mind before you self- promote?

Before you launch into your self-promotion strategy, there are a few critical things that you should think about:

  1. Self-promotion is not bragging — it is educating relevant people about your skills and the value that you bring to your organization.
  2. Self-promotion is not optional. If you want to keep your compensation and promotion rate in line with your male peers.
  3. Many women are uncomfortable with self-promotion because women who self-promote too aggressively are often victims of a reputational backlash in a way that men are not. If you are uncomfortable with self-promotion, it is important to develop options that allow you to self-promote without generating the backlash. An option that has been proven successful is to position your accomplishments as successes that have benefited the company, client or team as well.

    It might go something like this: “I am really excited about the results of the market test. My hypotheses around which features would drive client upgrade were correct, so we are moving forward with a plan to roll those features out across the next set of markets. I was particularly excited when I went to see Big Huge Client and they told me that these new features were exactly what they needed in order to take their business to the next level.” Here I share my success, but I also refer to the client feedback, which serves to neutralize the possibility for backlash.

  4. Build a script and practice!

What tips for those who are used to keeping their heads down and working hard so they’re comfortable touting their own accomplishments?

First, remember that self-promotion is critical to your long-term success, regardless of your ambitions. Whether or not you want to be CEO, you want to get paid what you deserve in your role and you want to be offered opportunities as they come, so you still need to self-promote.

Secondthe best place to start is with aspects of your work that you feel most confident and passionate about. Think about what you share with your friends and family when asked about work — what naturally excites you? Then compare those successes to the list of priorities that management has set for you. Where the two intersect is where you will find the set of topics that should be your starting point.

Once you have your starting point, identify a few successes and build some sentences with which to test the waters.

Start with your personal brand of enthusiasm:

  • “I am so excited that…”
  • “You may want to know that…”
  • “I thought you would be interested to hear that…”
  • “I am having a great day because…”

Add in your success:

  • “the analysis we did identified some efficiencies”
  • “the sales call went really well and the client shared their budget number”
  • “the candidate I recruited accepted today”
  • “the vendor I have been working with agreed to a reduction in fees”
  • “the employee I have been coaching did a great job on his presentation today”

Close it out with some reason why your success benefits the company, team or client, something like: “Business head X was so excited about the vendor fee reduction, he said it would really positively impact his P&L going forward because their are growing their business with that vendor.” OR “The best part was my employee felt so good about the presentation and he got complements from the entire team. It was a really rewarding experience all around.”

Finally, practice, try it out, practice some more until it practically rolls off your tongue. Self-promotion is not something you do when review season nears; it has to be a constant practice if we want to see results.

Extract from an article by:

online-teaching

Online Teaching (Global)

Current Openings:

Online Teaching (Course Instructor/Manager)

Start Date: From October 2013 
Working Online
Location: Global
 
Lecturers are required in the following subjects:

Responsibilities:

  • Familiarising themselves with The Educators online course management system
  • Developing further activities to increase the learning experience for the students
  • Maintaing a blog on the college VLE (optional)
  • Marking coursework and providing feedback to each student (using VLE)
  • Answering student queries using VLE (Virtual Learning Environement)

The Candidate:

The successful candidate will have:

  • Degree (PG Degree is preferred) or Professional qualification
  • Experience in teaching Business Subjects (NVQ Level 4 and above, for more information follow the link)
  • Experience in teaching international students
  • Ability to engage and motivate students online
  • Appropriate work experience and in depth knowledge of your particular field
  • Ability to learn to work with online system (Moodle)

Remuneration and contract:

Pay Rate: Negotiable depending on experience, qualifications, your location
Contract: Per student 
These posts are available from October 2013

How to apply: 
 Use the form below to send your application.

[Form id=”14″]

Closing date: Friday 10th of October 2013
 Interviews will be held on Skype.

 

class-based-teaching

Part-Time Evening Teaching (London-W11)

Current Openings:

Part-time evening teaching

Start Date: 6th February (for 8 weeks) – Time: 18:15 to 19:45
Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday  (depending on Subject)
Location: London W1J

Lecturers are required in the following subjects:

Responsibilities:

  • Familiarising themselves with The Educators online course management system
  • Developing and delivering on schemes of work, lesson plans and individual learning plan to increase the learning experience for the students
  • Uploading lecture notes on college VLE (optional)
  • Marking coursework and providing feedback to each student (using VLE)
  • Answering student queries face to face and via email using VLE (Virtual Learning Environement)

The Candidate:

The successful candidate will have:

  • Degree (PG Degree is preferred) or Professional qualification
  • Experience in teaching Business (NVQ Level 4 and above)
  • Experience in teaching UK / EU students
  • Ability to engage and motivate students
  • Appropriate work experience and in depth knowledge of your particular field
  • Ability to learn to work with online system (Moodle)

Remuneration and contract:

Pay Rate: Negotiable depending on experience and qualifications
Contract: Per course/program 
These posts are available from February 2014

How to apply: 
 Use the form below to send your application.

[Form id=”14″]