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Top 10 Career

Top 10 Career

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Published by AZDOLMAN

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Published by: AZDOLMAN on Mar 22, 2011
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n today’s world, it is as important tobe interpersonally fit as it is to bephysically fit. You can work at beinginterpersonally fit by investing inyour relationships with people and con-tinually developing your presentationand communication skills. Whether youare working on a team, supervising em-ployees, training and developing staff,interviewing applicants, networking, ortrying to improve your relationship withyour boss, it will always be important toexpress yourself clearly, understand oth-ers, exchange feedback, resolve conflict,and assert your needs. The following tentips will help you do this:1. Develop a self-awareness thattakes you where you want to go.2. Clarify and focus on your goals.3. Become an employee your orga-nization wants to retain and promote.4. Think about the strategies and tactics that will helpyou be more successful in working with others.5. When you have a complaint, offer a solution or arecommendation, too.6. Practice good telephone manners.7. Use performance evaluations as career devel-opment opportunities.8. If you are planning to look for another job orchange careers, think about and assemble the tools youwill need.9. Hone your negotiating skills to get what you want.10. Develop and nurture a professional network.
Develop a self-awareness
It is important to have awareness of self in business —how you are perceived by others, including managers, col-leagues, and subordinates.You might want to use some assess-ment instruments, especially theMyers-Briggs Type Indicator, whichmeasures personality preferences orstyles (extroversion vs. introversion,sensing vs. intuitive, thinking vs. feel-ing, and judging vs. perceiving). Forexample, have you ever wondered whysomeone on your team couldn’t keepquiet or why another person wouldn’tspeak up? Some people have a prefer-ence for extroversion and others for in-troversion. This means that they are en-ergized in different ways for the tasksat hand — one group wants to talk things out, while the other wants to re-flect in private first. The extrovertswant to explore ideas through conver-sation, processing new information asthey go, whereas the introverts don’t re-ally want to voice their opinions untilthey thoroughly understand their own position. Put themon a team together and it is easy for one group to misin-terpret the other’s motives or behaviors.Understand your own preferences, and try to becomeaware of those of your coworkers. Then, use this knowl-edge as you do your job, work with others on teams, andmanage your career to the best of your ability.
Focus on your goals
Identify the outcomes you want to achieve in your cur-rent job. What is the situation at work? Do you want tostay in the same department? Are you looking for a raise ora promotion? Are you having problems with your manager,a colleague, or a subordinate? Do you want to leave yourcompany and, if so, what kind of job are you looking for?The more clearly you can state your goals, the moreeasily you can develop and implement a plan and achieve
Career CatalystGet “interpersonally fit” by improving your workrelationships and honing your communication skills.
92
www.aiche.org/cep/ July 2001
CEP
10
Tips
for
M
a
n
a
g
i
Your
Career
Bettina Seidman,
SEIDBET Associates
 
I
 
CEP
July 2001 www.aiche.org/cep/ 
93
them. As you think about your goals,evaluate your ability to move forwardand identify what’s missing. Skill gapscan exist in technology, education, ormanagement experience.Choose a profession you love. Assessyour values, interests, accomplishments,and skills, and use that information toget a job that you will find satisfying.
Make yourself promotable
Become an employee your company wants to retain andpromote. Use your intelligence as if all results depended onyou. If you don’t know the answer to a question, know whereto find it. Support and make your boss look good in public.Be aware of organizational structure. Look at the orga-nization chart and understand where you fit, where yourdepartment fits, how many people report to your manager,and so on.Follow trends in your industry. Be one of the first peoplein your department to read about news regarding your in-dustry or your company. Keep abreast of developments byreading
The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Busi-ness Week,
and industry-specific publications — such as
CEP,
of course.Seek the spotlight you deserve. Identify projects thatmight benefit from your participation and ask to be assignedto them. Keep track of your successes and make sure thatmanagement and other stakeholders are aware of them.Reach an understanding with your boss about howmuch time a project should require before undertaking it.As you begin new assignments, check back with your su-pervisor or team leader periodically to confirm that you areon the right track.Don’t miss deadlines. If it looks like you’re going to havea problem, negotiate a revised schedule and get help.Be visible by overworking the first few months in a newposition. You’ll be perceived as a hard worker for muchlonger than that.
Work well with others
Think about the strategies and tactics that would help yoube more successful in working with other people.Try to be flexible. Think about your reaction to change.How do you deal with change in your personal life and inyour professional life? This is very important in today’smarketplace, because we are living in a climate of change.Evaluate the input of others on a project and give praisewhere praise is due. Be sure to give recognition to those whodeserve it.Know how to accept constructive criticism. Unless a com-ment stems from a misunderstanding, swallow the urge tojustify yourself.Try to understand what is motivating the person on theother side of an argument or discussion.When you are going to be out of theoffice, tell your manager and your assis-tant where you will be and when youwill be back.Return telephone calls and e-mailmessages promptly.
Don’t just complain, do something
Nobody likes a complainer. But every-body likes employees with good ideas. Itis important to be thought of as “positive.”So, if you see a problem, think it through and try to find a so-lution as well.Always offer a new idea, a recommendation, or a sugges-tion when you talk to your manager or another departmenthead about a problem.
Use the telephone effectively
Before you make a business call, jot down a few notes,or “talking points.” Prepare to be concise. Give just enoughdetail, but not too much, and leave only one phone number(if appropriate).When you dial the phone, you don’t know if you willreach the person you want, reach a coworker, or get voice-mail. It is important to be prepared for all three possibilities.If you reach the individual with whom you want tospeak, be courteous and ask, “Is this a good time to talk fora couple of minutes?”If you reach a coworker, just leave your name andphone number, and ask what would be a good time for youto call back. There’s no need to tell a long story. However,it is often helpful if you give some indication of the reasonfor your call so the person you’re calling can prepare forthe conversation.Anticipate reaching voice-mail, and be prepared to“charm” the machine the same way you would a person.The opportunity to leave a recorded message can help youget your point across. Be brief and to the point. If you leavetwo or three messages that are not returned, the next timeyou call, say when you will call again — this may create apsychological obligation for the person to call you back.During the workday, instead of leaving a voice-mail mes-sage, you can try dialing “0” to reach an operator, who maybe able to tell you if the individual is in and when he or shemight be reached.If you have trouble reaching somebody, try calling be-fore 8:00 a.m. Some managers and professionals like tocome in early to take advantage of the quiet period beforemost of the staff arrives.
Prepare for performance evaluations
A good performance evaluation process is based ondeveloping staff, not “hitting people over the head” be-cause of their mistakes. So, focus on the developmentalpurpose of the meeting.
“If you tell me,I will listen.If you show me,I will see.If you let meexperience,I will learn.”
— Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher,6th century B.C.

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