Posts Tagged ‘work’

9 Ways to Get Ahead Faster

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

From strollwithoutshoes. I’m not sure the list is comprehensive, but it’s all good advice.


From staying motivated to protecting your mental health, here are 9 ways to move closer to happiness, one focused step at a time.

Focus On Your Long-Term Goals

Whether it’s dealing with a difficult colleague or moving past the ending of a relationship, getting “stuck in the moment” is something that comes quite easy to the most of us.  Instead of placing what was said and done on a loop in your mind, think about what your ultimate goal is and use the “big picture” as a magnifying glass. You’ll likely navigate through your current situation with greater ease.

Respect Yourself

Think about the things you value, your goals and needs and what you consider to be respectful behavior.  While we all value different things and are motivated by our own specific moral code, it’s important that we honor what lies closest to our heart.  Pushing yourself to behave differently in order to “fit in” or with the hopes of finding happiness will only bring regret and sticky situations.

Be Grateful

Those people who support you, reach out to you, show you compassion and love?  They don’t have to do it, they choose to give you these gifts.  That job you complain about pays your bills.  That clean bill of health? A big deal.  If you need a little help appreciating something, simply spend a few moments to imagine it being taken away from you right this moment.

Respect Others

Mr. Buechner had it right when he said that people will forget what we say and do but will always remember how we made them feel.  I have also found that remaining calm and kind gets me through situations (and closer to the outcome that I want) much faster.

Be a Person of Honor

Be where you say you will be, do what you say you will do, be honest about your intentions and stay close to your values, even when no one is watching. Not only will this make life less complicated, it will keep your reputation polished.

Steer Clear of Toxic People

We all have periods when we feel depressed and defeated, but surrounding yourself with compulsive critics, procrastinators, complainers and drama kings/queens is going to do little more than pull you down, fog up your mental space, hold you back and get your name and persona associated with the negative emotions they evoke in others.

Stay Focused

In this digital age, there are more ways to distract yourself than ever before.  Sit down and plan out your day by placing yourself on a schedule.  Put in some “downtime” and remember what Will Smith said, “You may be smarter and more talented, but you will not out run me.” Stay on track.

Move “Onto The Next”

Know that life is a living and breathing (and moving) thing.  You don’t have to jump in and out of relationships, jobs, situations, but you do need to understand that everything will follow the times (and therefore it will twist, turn and morph). Be flexible and move with it.

Be Willing To Do The Work

Only children have an excuse to think that life will always be easy.  Adults  know that relationships will not always be easy, jobs will not always be secure, friendships will not always be happy, sex will not always be great and metabolisms will not always be high.   Everything worth having takes work, and successful adults roll up their sleeves to do it.


photo credit: denbyenergy

How to Succeed In Your Career

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Found a new blog today called “Adventures in Personal Development”. It’s pretty entertaining, and there’s some good content there. Here’s the post I liked the best:

Why do some people manage to climb to the top while others struggle to even make it to management? Why don’t the hardest workers always get promoted the fastest? The answer is as easy as pie: Performance, Image, and Exposure.

I first heard of this model from one of my mentors at my current company. It really resonated with me at the time and it’s stuck with me ever since. It’s a very simple model that applies to anybody who is interested in moving up into positions of greater responsibility.


The first piece of the pie is Performance. This is your entry ticket into even being considered for the next level of responsibility. Every day you should be coming in to work with the goal of creating as much value as possible. We all see things in our companies that could be changed for the greater good of the organization. Be the one who steps up and helps see that change through.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Make a difference on every job and perform every day with the goals of the organization in mind.
  • Develop a reputation for delivering results.
  • Do everything with a sense of urgency and a drive to win.
  • Take on stretch assignments… always be on the look out for the biggest challenge.
Your performance is key. You must continue to grow to stay above the bar as it is being continually raised.


Think of image as your personal brand. The way that others perceive you is important because often times “perception is reality.” The only way to truly understand how others see you is to simply ask. This can be done informally or formally through 360 degree feedback.

Many of us have heard the statistic that 93% of communication is non-verbal. This means that a mere 7% of what we are communicating are the words coming out of our mouth. Image includes your confidence, attire, demeanor, and attitude. Whether you like it or not, people take notice of the way you carry yourself.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The only way to see yourself as others see you is to ask others for an honest assessment of what they see.
  • If your goal is leadership, it is helpful to take a measure of your image and compare it with the qualities of other successful leaders in the business.
  • You can always change your image if you are open to self-improvement.
Comparing yourself with the qualities of other successful leaders that you admire does not mean you have to totally become that leader and lose your authenticity. Take the best characteristics of each leader and build your own personal brand. Never stop being yourself.


Exposure is all about managing your network. You own your own career and you are responsible for creating connections and opportunities for yourself. By being visible to those who can influence your career, you’ll find yourself being presented with a greater variety of opportunities. Learning to get to know others on a personal level and really listening when they tell you about themselves are important skills in any profession.

Remember, the word networking has the word “work” right in the middle of it. Which means it takes hard work! Successful networking requires the productive time of time and resources to achieve your desired outcomes.

Something that a lot of people forget is that the main goal of networking should be to create value for other people. Understand their needs and help them to come up with solutions, preferably by leveraging someone else in your network that might be able to help.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The main goal of networking should be to help other people.
  • It’s far more important to understand their needs before you tell them about your needs.
  • Always try to provide as much value as you can.
  • Develop the habit of introducing people.
  • Keep in touch through social media, lunch, phone calls, messages, emails, and personal notes

And remember, networking is important, but your performance always comes first. Without solid performance, all the networking in the world won’t help you a bit. It might actually hurt you.

Putting The Pieces Together

Performance is a given in a high performing organization. Everyone is smart and everyone gets their work done. So it’s the other two pieces of the pie that will really help you advance in your career.

You might be thinking to yourself, “That’s not fair! Why do I need to worry about all this other stuff rather than simply be recognized for my hard work?” Because companies are not like schools. There is no simple gradesheet that ranks everyone by their work.

Companies today need lots of employees, but for the few that they promote into leadership roles, they need more qualities. They need visionary, inspirational, passionate leaders who will be able to rally the organization together in the purpose of a common goal.

So always be conscious of how you are showing up in the office. Really think about the qualities that you need to be a great leader and start to internalize those. And if you’re not quite where you want to be yet, simply “fake it ‘til you make it.” One day you will wake up and find out that you have turned into the leader that you have been striving to become.

It Ain’t Easy…

November 17, 2011 Comments off

Came across a great post at the Burn Brighter blog. I bolded the part that I really appreciate – it’s at the bottom of the post.

An older woman once said to me, “I always thought that there would be a golden age between zits and wrinkles where my skin would be perfect and radiant without me having to work at it.”  I laughed.  Then one day I realized that I had this same attitude toward my life.  I thought there would be a point where I would come through all the countless tests and trials and questions that helped build my life and I would slide easily into the land of milk and honey where I could lean back and have all my dreams fall into place without any further work on my part – perfect and radiant.  Aaaaah, success.

It didn’t happen. It’s not going to happen.

Working towards your life’s purpose is tough. You give it everything – time, energy, finances, emotions, and more. You wonder if you’ll ever finally turn that corner where you feel you’re actually getting somewhere with it.  So many times you want to give up, but you keep fighting. Then one day everything comes together, everything is set in motion, you’re where  you’ve always wanted to be, you’re living the dream. If your life was an inspirational movie, this is where the music would swell, the camera would pan back, the credits would roll, and the audience would applaud.

But life purpose doesn’t wrap up so neatly.

You realize your grip isn’t quite as tight as you thought it was and you lose a chunk of your hard won dream and you ask yourself, “Did I miss a turn?  Did I miss everything? Did I not do enough? Do I go back and start over? Do I keep moving on from here?”  You feel as if your life is a tragic movie, the music clashing, the screen dimming, and the audience leaving silently.

You need to change the script.  It’s in your hands.

You have to maintain the momentum to keep it going, which can be rougher than what it originally took to get you there.  You realize that you’re not quite as satisfied as you were sure you were going to be and it’s time for your goals to expand a little more – which takes even more work.

You see, the work never really ends.  But the goal is not to conquer your purpose in order to sit back and enjoy your life.  The goal is to enjoy your life as you are working – hard – towards your purpose.