Wednesday, December 23, 2009


As the year comes to a close, it is a good time to start thinking about goals for the New Year. Goals target areas you want to improve and are especially helpful for career success and career advancement.

What do you hope for next year?

  • Do you need to find a job following a layoff or downsizing?
  • Do you want to find a new, more rewarding career?
  • Do you need to improve your skills to keep your current job or advance in it?
  • Do you have your sights set on a higher-level position than you currently hold?
  • Are you looking for more satisfaction in your current position and your career?

These are all considerations you will want to keep in mind as you begin to formulate goals for 2010. In addition, you will want to review your 2009 goals and see where you need to adjust them.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Positive Attittude - Positive Career

Keeping a positive attitude in today’s economic climate takes some effort but is rewarding. When employees have positive attitudes, productivity seems to improve, as does general office morale. Working in a pleasant environment with agreeable people is preferable to being faced with daily negativity.

Do your part to maintain a positive attitude and pleasant work environment.
  • Eliminate negative words from your vocabulary.
  • When problems occur, look for solutions rather than complain.
  • Think pleasant thoughts if you feel your mood slipping.
  • Be grateful—after all, you still have a job.
  • Be flexible.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Follow the Rules to Career Success

Company rules are put into place to maintain discipline and order. Employers lament the lax attitudes of many employees when it comes to following rules. When employees routinely break the rules, a chaotic environment will likely result. Follow the rules to increase your value to the company.
  • Start work on time and get back from breaks on time.
  • Do your work during the required hours.
  • Avoid doing personal work on company time.
  • Follow the dress code.
  • Do not socialize during business hours.

Breaking rules sends the wrong message to management, coworkers, and customers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hold Yourself Accountable for Your Career Success

Your boss and your company will hold you accountable for your workplace behavior and accomplishments. Go one better and hold yourself accountable.
  • Perform your tasks to the best of your ability, completing them in a timely manner.
  • Maintain a positive attitude daily.
  • Adhere to a strict code of personal behavior.
  • Keep skills up to date and learn new ones as required.
  • Become an expert in your field.
  • Use good judgment.
  • Speak kindly and tactfully.

Taking responsibility for your actions and words will preserve your value to the boss and company.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Article

Here is an interesting link on local Western PA writers tha included my latest book.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stand Out for Career Success

In today economy it is not enough to be as good as your coworkers. Strive to be better. Show the company your value through high personal standards and your ability to do the job well—consistently.

Meet commitments in a timely manner and then find ways to go above and beyond your current job requirements. Demonstrate your willingness to get the job done. Do you need to brush-up on your skills? Is there a new skill you can learn?

There are lots of ways you can show you are willing to take on extra responsibility.
  • Is there a special project for which you can volunteer?
  • Can you pick up a few duties from someone who was let go?
  • Can you start a company newsletter or other relevant undertaking?

Figure out what needs to be done and, if it is within your scope of responsibility, do it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Is No Time to Waste Time

Employers are cutting employees in record numbers and making do with less people on their payrolls. To that end, this is no time to waste time at work. Each person must do his or her share to keep productivity and profits up. When you are at work—work. Avoid the following timewasters.
  • Using office phones and copiers for personal business.
  • Wasting time on personal business.
  • Misusing the Internet.
  • Chatting idly with coworkers.
  • Showing up for work late.
  • Leaving work early before quitting time.
  • Coming back from breaks and lunches late.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Go With the Flow—Get Along With Others

Most people get fired from a job because they cannot get along with others. In an economy with double-digit unemployment, don’t let this happen to you. Find a way to get along with your coworkers, clients/customers, and supervisors. Look for common ground on which you can build a professional relationship.

  • Be aware of miscommunication and the damage it can do to relationships.
  • Avoid gossip and slander.
  • Don’t pass the blame or make accusations.
  • Observe how coworkers act and react so you have a better idea of how to deal with them.
  • Respect others’ views and differences.
  • Show an interest in others.
  • Be pleasant and positive.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giving Thanks

As we draw closer to Thanksgiving, we should be more aware of all those things for which we should offer thanks, and we should be writing them in our gratitude journal. If you do not have a journal, a mental thank you would be appropriate.

Don’t forget to think about all areas of life when giving thanks—spiritual, physical, mental, social. Include family, friends, pets, health and well-being, talents, peace of mind, etc. You get the picture. Take some time within the next couple of weeks, get centered, and open yourself to all of God’s blessings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Increase Your Efficiency on the Job

Always be on the lookout for better ways to complete your tasks. Is there is a more efficient, less costly, faster way to do your job. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Will better organization help me do this task more efficiently?
  2. Do I have the skills and ability to complete this task?
  3. Is it possible to complete this task by the required deadline?
  4. Can I make better use of company time?
  5. Is the usual way of performing this task the best way to complete it?
  6. Is there a better way of doing this task?
  7. How can I work smarter?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Combating 10.2 Percent Unemployment

Unemployment has finally topped 10 percent—not a good statistic. With so many people losing jobs, employees need to concentrate their efforts on providing value to their employers. Here are some ideas to add value to your company:

  • Raise your productivity level by completing tasks proficiently, correctly, and quickly. Compare your productivity to that of your coworkers. Do you measure up to their standards or surpass them?
  • Look for additional responsibilities to take on that are within your capabilities. Volunteer to take on tasks no one else wants.
  • If coworkers are laid off, assume additional work without complaint.
  • Be grateful if you have a job. Be positive if you are searching for a job.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Halloween is coming, but don’t get spooked by the fledging economy or the rising employment. Recession-proof your job by making yourself valuable to your employer. How? There are a number of ways, including doing more than you are asked.

Some people look at additional tasks as “more work piled on” instead of thinking of the new responsibilities as challenges. Learning new tasks is a great way to add value to your skills and to the company. In fact, ask for additional work responsibilities. Volunteer to do the jobs no one else wants to do. Prove that you are willing to earn the paycheck you receive.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Follow Your Passion to a Rewarding Career

What are you passionate about that you could make money doing? Is there a market for what you love to do? If so, that is the career path you should follow. Doing what you love turns work into pleasure, boredom into excitement. Focus on your passion—devote time to it—make it work for you.

Following your passion will not automatically guarantee you a carefree life and workplace, but it will make you care about your life and work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Take Action

Take action. Take action today on something that will enhance your life and the lives of those you love. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming action, but it can be. It can be a quick action, such as a hug or a prolonged action such as preparing a full-course meal. The action can be writing a one-page resume or doing an all-out job search. It can be simply dusting the family room or putting up new drywall.

The action you take only needs to be something that will enhance your life—a little or a lot.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nurture Yourself

As mentioned in my last post, fall is a great time to “fall” back on old routines. School is well under way, pools and amusement parks are closed, and nature takes on a new look with the changing leaves. It’s a time for nourishing both our bodies and our souls. Take advantage of cooler weather by hiking, doing yard work, reading, preparing favorite oven meals, and roasting hotdogs and marshmallows over outdoor bonfires.

Place your attention on the important blessings in life.
Find enough “me time” to mediate and relax.
Nurture yourself and your loved ones.
Let go of the frivolous, unimportant things that devour your time.
Start a gratitude journal if you do not already have one. If you do have a gratitude journal, write at least three things in it everyday. Being grateful has a way of nourishing one’s soul.

Enjoy the fall colors, sights, and smells.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


By now the schools are settled into a routine, and we have the opportunity to slow down after whirlwind summer festivities. Routines give us a familiarity needed to keep ourselves on an even keel. Routines also have the tendency to bore us. The trick is to get into a routine that works to keep us functioning efficiently while providing enough variation that life does not get boring. So what can we do? Make simple changes in your routine from time to time.
  • Eat a different cereal for breakfast or have breakfast at diner time.
  • Take a different route to or from work.
  • Change your pattern for getting ready for school or work.
  • Change evening activities. Instead of watching TV, turn you loose photos into beautiful scrapbooks.
  • Learn a new skill, language, or hobby.
  • Spend long evenings with family and friends.
  • Catch up on letter writing and phone calls.
  • Get organized.

Whatever you do to stir your routine, enjoy yourself.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fall is Here

Summer is winding down. Days are getting shorter. School children are heading back to school. All the signs are here that fall is upon us. As we wind up the fun-filled, hectic summer, we settle into a more structured routine.
  • Find time to fit in the things that are important to you as well as those that are necessary.
  • Nurture yourself by reading, writing, meditating, visiting friends or relatives, and so forth.
  • Take time to smell the last fragrant flowers of the summer.
  • Plant fall flowers to enjoy before winter.
  • Create one last summer adventure.

Only when we have balance in our lives can we achieve our best. Balance is best attained by attending to our physical, mental, and spiritual selves.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fleeting Summer Days

How is the summer to-do list coming?

  • Are you accomplishing what you had hoped for the summer?
  • Have you completed the summer maintenance projects?
  • Is the yard in tip-top shape?
  • Did you take time to enjoy family and friends, take some fun day trips--the zoo, an amusement park, hiking trails, swimming pools?
  • Did you collect enough warm-weather memories to last through winter and another year?

If you have not reached your summer goals yet, there is still time, but the days (and nights) are growing shorter. Don’t let the great weather slip by without taking advantage of the splendor it has to offer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Make goals your priority and focus on attaining them. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish. Take action today by asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I willing to do to attain my goal?
  • What am I willing to give up in order to attain my goal? (i.e., time? money?)
  • Do I have the ability and means to attain this goal?
  • If I do not have the ability or means to attain this goal, can I obtain the ability or means? (i.e. go back for retraining or college credits)
  • Is this goal a high priority for me?
  • Are there steps today I can take toward accomplishing my goal?
  • Do I take steps every day to reach my goal?
  • Is what I am doing now bringing me closer to my goal?
  • What steps can I take to reach my goal?
  • How will I organize the steps I need to take to reach my goal?
  • When will I begin working on this goal?

Develop a solid plan of action to attain your goals, and start today to bring them to fruition.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Have a “Professional” Summer

Enjoy the many benefits and the “fun” summer brings, but remember to keep professionalism alive at work. Nothing says, “sitting back and goofing off,” like inappropriate dress, language, and work habits. Here are tips to keep the professionalism in your job:

  • Read a good book like my new 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. It contains 101 of what I have come to know as the best ways to build a successful career.
  • Dive headlong into a dreaded project. As an incentive, set a timer for small increments of time (10-15 minutes) so the project does not look daunting. Breaking big projects into smaller parts keeps them from becoming overwhelming.
  • Set a routine and do frequent tasks on a specific schedule. For instance, handle phone calls between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. or read the mail between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Another suggestion is to do certain tasks on specific days of the week.
  • Look for new, creative ways to do your job in order to change your perspective. Rearrange or redecorate your office so it reflects summer’s sunny disposition.
  • Smile and have fun!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interview with Tory Johnson of Good Morning America

I had an exciting week interviewing with Tory Johnson of GMA Job Club with Tory Johnson. The link can be found at

I also received an author's copy of my new business trade paperback 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. It will be available July 3 in bookstores.

Hope you all have a wonderful, productive week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Moods

Summer is a great time to evaluate your mood and do a little upgrading if necessary. The sunny weather makes us feel good, which in turn gives us lots of reasons to be positive. A positive outlook can improve your relationships, your work, your health, and on and on. It is far better to be positive than negative, although it might take some extra work on your part.

Collect positive sayings in a notebook or post them somewhere you can see them on a daily basis. Read uplifting, positive books that make you feel good about yourself and others. Step outside on a sunny day and drink in the sun and beauty of nature.

When you have upgraded your mood to a positive high point, spread it around!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pennwriters Conference

I'll be heading to the annual Pennwriters Conference tomorrow. This yearly event always recharges my writing batteries and inspires me to create. Find a way to recharge your batteries that will open up your creativity and zest for life. It's a great way to "spring" into summer.

Friday, May 1, 2009

It's Spring!

Spring is in full swing. This is a great time to do some spring cleaning, not just at home, but at the office.
  • Purge old files
  • Toss out all those old, unread journals
  • De-junk your email
  • Tidy up your office.

It’s also a good time to spring clean those relationships. Make peace with coworkers, family, and old friends. And, finally, get out and enjoy the beauty spring has to offer. It's a great way to renew your spirit.

By the way, I just finished a hectic three months of writing to finish 101 Ways to Get Ahead on the Job to be published by Cengage next month. Cengage rushed this project, because people need help with jobs in this economy. Look for more information next month.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Keep Learning

In this time of economic downturn, consider going back to school if you lose your job. A layoff could be the perfect opportunity to pursue your dream career. There are many scholarships, grants, and loans available to full-time students.

If you are still working full time, you might still consider taking a refresher course, learning a new skill, or pursuing a degree. Many companies pay for job-related seminars and workshops and also have tuition reimbursement plans for employees who take college courses.

This may be the best time yet to increase your skills and knowledge in the area of your expertise.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's Get Along at Work

One of the biggest reasons people get fired is because they do not get along with others at work. You must get along with everyone, even if you do not like him or her. Follow these tips:

  • Be easy to get along with
  • Support your supervisor and coworkers
  • Value customers
  • Respect everyone
  • Treat everyone as equals
  • Be patient and kind
  • Respect the fact that people are different

Friday, March 13, 2009

Keep That Job During the Recession

Today I am giving more job retention hints as the economy continues to lose jobs at an alarming rate.

  • Take personal responsibility for all you do at work (and elsewhere).
  • Be extra customer-friendly.
  • Follow directions carefully and produce error-free work.
  • Maintain a sense of humor.
  • Be extra kind to everyone--we all need it these days.
  • Pull your own weight.
  • Manage stress.
  • Learn something new each week.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Be a good communicator.
  • Take on extra responsibilities cheerfully.
  • Remain in control of your emotions.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Keep That Job

Continuing in last week’s vein, here are some more tips for keeping that job:

  • Give a good day’s work every day
  • Anticipate your supervisor’s needs and pitch in to help
  • Follow the company policies and procedures
  • Don’t waste company time on the phone and Internet
  • Keep personal business out of the office
  • Produce error-free work
  • Manage your stress
  • Learn something new each week that will help you grow professionally
  • Keep up on the latest industry information
  • Develop a sense of humor
  • Be kind

Friday, February 6, 2009

Job Value

As February moves in and the job market is eroding, here are some ways to make yourself more valuable in your current job.
  • Do more than is required; volunteer to take on extra responsibilities.
  • Be flexible.
  • Update your skills and/or certifications.
  • Offer to assist your supervisor and/or coworkers.
  • Show up for work every day and be punctual.
  • Avoid gossip and the rumor mill.
  • Get along with everyone
  • Be quality conscious.
  • Provide excellent customer service.
  • Look for ways to cut costs and balance budgets.
  • Contribute in meetings.
  • Take personal responsibility for your behavior and decisions.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Winding Down in January

With January winding down, it is a good time to put our goal action plan into place and work toward achieving our goals.

Keep your action plan within sight every day so it is not forgotten. Work toward goals by taking steps day by day to bring you closer to them. Put the steps you have recorded in your action plan on your daily to-do list, and see how many you can complete in a week.

As you make strides in your action plan, congratulate yourself and remind yourself why you are working toward the goal. For instance, if you want to save money, write down why you want to save. Is it for security? a vacation? a new car? a major purchase?

Once you reach a goal, celebrate your victory in a meaningful way.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year

Here we are at the start of a new year. What a great time to look back and celebrate the past year’s successes and see where we could use some improvement. It’s also the best time to set and/or revise goals for 2009.

Goal Setting Tips

  • Goals should be attainable but challenging enough to excite you.
  • Goals should be as specific as possible.
  • Goals should be measurable so you will know when you have reached them.
  • Set goals for multiple areas of your life—personal, professional, and spiritual.
  • Set a deadline for your goals.
  • Put together a workable plan to reach your goals.
  • Create both short- and long-term goals.
  • Use your strengths when considering goals and developing your plan of action.

Happy goal setting!