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Find Those People
"The Emperor's New Clothes" was a favorite childhood story of mine. It made me laugh. I couldn't believe that all those adults were standing around, watching the emperor make a fool of himself and not telling him the truth. When I grew up and went to work, I discovered it wasn't that easy.
In twenty years in management, I noticed the majority of people operating like the Emperor's ministers. I saw people more concerned with personally looking foolish, than venturing feedback; more concerned with what they thought they should say, than saying what needed to be said; and more concerned with figuring out what they thought the boss wanted to hear, than offering their point of view. Luckily, there were exceptions. If you want to be winning at working, find some of them.
In order to succeed, I needed people to stop me from being like the emperor in the children's fable. I needed people willing to state the truth, at least the truth as they saw it; people willing to push back, challenge, and tell me things I may not have wanted, but needed, to hear. Now that I'm a columnist, writer and speaker, my criterion remains the same. I need people to tell me the truth when the truth needs telling, whether I ask or not.
I may not always like what they have to say, but I'm glad they said it. I may not always take their advice, but I appreciate they offered it. And I may not always agree with them, but I know to listen deeply and consider it. I've been saved from countless mistakes, errors in judgments and blind spots by these exceptional people offering their truth-telling gift. They've helped me keep my balance, gain perspective and make decisions.
"Your idea is way off-base," she ventured. "It's not going to connect with people." Words from a trusted colleague cautioned me to rethink an important launch. In the end, she was right. It wasn't a good idea. Her words saved me more than the certain embarrassment of a failed initiative. Money, resources, and time were at stake, too.
If you want to be winning at working, look for people like this to help you. You'll know them from their candor. They're the ones not working a personal agenda who have your best interests at heart; the ones able to see the big picture who are comfortable offering their no-strings attached perspectives. They're the ones telling you the truth as they see it, who are willing to pull you back from the edge or push you out of a do-loop. I'm indebted to these people in my career.
My advice? Realize you need all the help you can get. Find a few truth-telling people you can trust. I look for people who have courage and forthrightness, like the child in Hans Christian Andersen's, "The Emperor's New Clothes." You see, if I'm out there without my clothes on, it's a sure bet I want someone to tell me.
(c) 2005 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at http://www.winningatworking.com. Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and instructor. Visit http://www.nanrussell.com or contact Nan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have You Given Up On Yourself?
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The dreaded job interview is the Number 1 source of email enquiries to Confidence Club. The following email is typical:
Are You Bored By What You Do?
Is your working life in the doldrums? Do you feel stuck in a rut? Uncertain about the future? Depressed by what you can see ahead? Still looking for a job that will fully engage your interest?
Create Your Plan B Before the Layoff Axe Falls
In one short week, the axe fell at a number of companies and thousands of employees were without jobs. Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Ford Motor Company of Canada, PNC Financial and Kimberley Clark each had to make critical business decisions and lay off large numbers of employees. Reasons ranged from "maintaining a tighter rein on costs" to creating a "simpler nimbler" organization". Although the news is usually shocking, layoffs don't just happen. There are usually some subtle signs that changes are coming. How does one prepare for such an eventuality? By having a plan in place...creating a Plan B. Make it your responsibility to manage your own career, to swim out and meet your ship, not wait until it comes ashore. Such a mindset will help lessen the impact of a layoff, and will enable you to weather the storm if and when it comes. Here are some tips to help with your preparation:
Youre Bright And Talented -- TooT Your Own Horn --
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Job Hunting Tips: Assessing Personal Value
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Why Employers Want an Employee with a Degree
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A Look At Some Out of the Ordinary Jobs
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References: Choose Wisely
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10 Steps to Getting the Most Out of Job Fairs
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Jesse And Al Should Read This!
Instead of getting all bent out of shape over innocuous remarks made by the President of Mexico, perhaps the Lord and Prince of African-American Ideological Imperialism (that's Lord Jesse and Prince Al) should know just how Americans apply for those jobs they so vehemently claim Mexicans are stealing.
Resume Posting: Tips for Jobseekers
Recruiting firms, like most businesses today, must embrace technology in order to prosper. Part of modern recruiting is understanding the value and benefit of internet job boards. They give recruiters and HR professionals the ability to both publicize potential job opportunities and search through large databases of prospective candidates. In order to best serve our clients and maximize our time each day, we employ very bright people called "RA's", short for Research Assistants. RA's spend a considerable amount of time each day scouring the databases of high profile job boards for potential candidate sources. Most of the time their efforts pay off in the end by either leading us to a suitable candidate through direct contact or referrals to suitable candidates. For those considering posting their resume online, here are a few tips directly from the RA's:
How to Make Money as a Reflexologist
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Job Lead Websites To Use in Your Telecommuting Search
Let me ask you a question: are you tired of using job sites only to find scam after scam? I bet you're nodding your head in agreement to that question. I know that I was sick and tired of spending all my time online searching for telecommuting jobs only to find scams. Any type of free job site is going to have a few scams, but some sites have more legitimate jobs than others, and some are easier to use than others.
Update Your Resume Today
A friend was just promoted to a position of vice-president of a company. I am happy for him and the first thing I told him after congratulations was "update your resume". He is now in a new league and if and when a headhunter should call or an opportunity to advance presents itself, he must be ready with his paperwork. Ready now, not tomorrow. A prospective employer's first impression of you should be one of preparedness.
Continuing Professional Development
Continuing professional development (CPD) is promoted by the CIPD to support the systematic development and accreditation of its members. The aim is that the continuing search to improve knowledge and skills through exposure to new experiences benefits both the individual and the business. The CIPD actively encourages CPD along with other bodies for professionals such as lawyers, accountants and surveyors.
Hospital Staff at Great Risk of Attack and Injury Whilst at Work
There are millions of people working extremely hard every day in the UK to ensure that the public are healthy and recover from illness or accidents. Countless medical staff around the country study hard to become doctors and nurses and then work long hours and endure stressful situations in order to save the lives of men women and children every day. These people are present day saints and have chosen the caring professions because they genuinely want to help others. Sadly though, their efforts sometimes are not appreciated.
The Changing Values Landscape of the U.S. and How It Impacts Midlife Job Searchers
Imagine a huge river that has been flowing for centuries: See the thick underbrush that has grown up on either edge of the river's expansive banks and the moss-lined stones that litter its shallow edges. Feel the power of water so deep and so strong because it has been pulsing through this landscape since the Renaissance, yet now this mighty river approaches a "Great Divide" such as has never been seen before in human history.
Travel Light to Work
As a frequent traveler, my goal for each trip is to travel light. Despite thoughtful planning, sometimes that goal is shattered when I go to close the suitcase and realize I need a larger, or even second one. I can't always get my packing right and end up taking more than I need. When that happens it's frustrating. I hate lugging extra baggage and feeling encumbered.
What is a Career Anyway?
A career is the sum total of all of your work-related contributions to society in a lifetime. This includes time and effort spent to provide goods, services, or benefit to others. A career includes paid, un-paid, volunteer, part-time, and full-time positions. Your career includes many life roles you may not think of: student, homemaker, babysitter, office worker, doctor, lawyer, etc. A career encompasses all the roles you play and duties you perform. You may have many jobs or positions that make up your career, but you only have one overall career. There are various career options in the modern world of work: Self-Employed, Organization Employed, or Project-Employed.
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