Thursday, April 29, 2010

Career Development and Success--Keep Learning

I attended the St. David's Writers One-Day Conference on Saturday, which made me think about how we all need to keep learning and honing our skills. Employees today cannot merely be as good as their coworkers. They need to be better.
  • Take time to evaluate your skills and update as needed.
  • Never stop learning new things.
  • Read all you can about the latest developments in your field.
  • Attend workshops and conferences related to your field.

Staying on top in your field requires effort on your part. Take advantage of any learning situations that you can.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Provide Great Customer Service - Keep Your Job

I spoke at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon yesterday on indispensable customer service. Here are a few tips that just might help you keep enough customers to be able to keep your job. After all, if it were not for customers, there would be no jobs and no paycheck.
  • Make the customer feel good. No one complains about being treated too well.
  • Learn as much as you can about your customers. Identify their needs and wants and then try to come up with ideas to help them.
  • Provide the best possible products and services.
  • Obtain customer feedback - listen.
  • Act on problems and deal with complaints immediately.
  • Do something to make your customers feel extra special.
  • Keep your promises - always.

Keep those customers coming back by being indispensable to them and to your company.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Learn From Mistakes to Keep Your Career on Track

If you think you are beyond making mistakes, think again. We all make mistakes, no matter how skilled or experienced we are. It's human nature. Assume responsibility for mistakes and look for ways to correct them.
  • Find out exactly what you did wrong.
  • Admit your part in the mistake.
  • Brainstorm ways to correct the mistake.
  • Learn from the mistake. Determine what caused it and what you need to do differently in the future.
  • Put measures in place to prevent a similar mistake in the future.

Admitting and correcting mistakes builds your credibility and develops your judgment for making better decisions in the future.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Career Advancement

To advance in your career, demonstrate your value to your employer and those around you. Be highly visible and take charge of situations when warranted. Continuously challenge yourself and members of your team. Act like management material by following these guidelines:
  • Take advantage of every available opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Establish behaviors that stand out positively in the minds of supervisors.
  • Develop excellent critical thinking skills.
  • Be a self-directed worker who performs duties with proficiency.
  • Act professional at all times and display integrity and ethical behavior.
  • Take on extra responsibilities and help others.
  • Become an expert in your field.
  • Participate in lifelong learning to keep your expertise up to date.

Take a long, hard look at your personal qualities and adjust your strategies to align yourself closer to the way management level people behave. With an inner drive and a determination to achieve, you can position yourself to rise to a higher level.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Take Time to Enjoy Easter

Take time this Easter to enjoy family and friends and to renew yourself spiritually. Living a balanced personal and professional life is crucial to your successful well-being. Too much attention to your professional life to the exclusion of your personal life will cause you to miss out on important "self" time. Too much attention to your personal life and not enough on your professional life will cause career stagnation. Develop a routine that personally fits your life plans and make corrections when it is out of balance.
  • Take steps to maintain a healthy physical and mental balance.
  • Practice good time and stress management.
  • Get and stay organized.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.

When you think of balance, consider all areas of your life, including work, family, friends, health, finance, spiritual, hobbies, and everything else that fits into your life. Balance in all areas of life is a key to contentment.