10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before My First Job

May 24, 2017

group of graduates  taking picture with cell phoneGraduating from college? Congrats! Now it’s time to find a job and begin your career. If you’re feeling nervous, don’t worry –  starting a new job often strikes fear into the heart of even the strongest person.

As one of my career coaching clients said, “Starting your first job is like the adult version of your first day of school. In most cases, you don’t know anyone, you’re not sure if the other ‘kids’ will play nice or be mean to you, you don’t know the layout of the new workplace or even where to find the bathroom, and you’re not sure if you’ll fit in.”

One way to ensure success in a new job is to learn from others. Soon after my own college graduation, I remember asking a family friend what she wished she’d have known before starting her first job. Read the rest of this entry »

Working For A Micromanager? Here Are The Survival Skills You’ll Need

May 17, 2017

iStock_000026324486Medium_150“Sheila” accepted a new job and then realized her boss had some severe micromanaging behaviors. For example, after he would give an assignment, he would check in with Sheila multiple times a day to find out her progress.

“The worst was the day when he pulled a chair into my cubicle and sat next to me, pointing at my computer screen and asking questions while I was working,” Sheila told me. “It wasn’t helpful and slowed me down. By the end of the day I was so angry with him I felt like I might explode.”

Because she was new to her job, Sheila didn’t want to leave. “I like the company and I enjoy my work. It’s just his management style that I hate. He could be a good manager if he wasn’t such a control freak.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ending Gender Bias Begins With ‘”Office Housework’”

April 26, 2017

startup-593344_150If you’re a female in the workforce, chances are high that, at some point, you’ll be asked to do “office housework” activities, such as taking notes during a meeting, finding office supplies or fetching someone coffee.

While you might wish that gender bias no longer existed, it’s still prevalent in many companies around the world.

A female friend of mine is a computer engineer at a large, global corporation. The real-life story she related, while funny, is typical of what continues to happen to women everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Combating Gender Discrimination: 6 Tips For An Inclusive Organizational Culture

April 19, 2017

Portrait of an Indian female office executive standing in an office.At a recent mentoring session, I asked the group of young women and men for their opinions on how they would handle themselves in this situation:

You’re a female at the executive level of a Fortune 500 global corporation. Most of the executives reporting to the CEO are male. You are being left out of important meetings. When you are in meetings and speak out with an idea, the males in the room ignore you, interrupt you, talk over you or claim your idea as their own.

I stared at the shocked looks on the faces around the table. “What do you do?” I asked.

“That’s terrible!” exclaimed one male in his mid-twenties, shaking his head. “Why are the men at that company so afraid of women?” Read the rest of this entry »

Overcome The Pain Of The Old-School Annual Appraisal

April 5, 2017

iStock_000059847428Medium_150At the beginning of this year, you probably spent a lot of time reading your employees’ self-evaluations, writing a 2016 performance appraisal for each person on your team, meeting with each employee to discuss their annual review and then tying the performance outcomes into the company’s financial incentive system.

It most likely took you a lot of time and effort – and then you had to get caught up on all the other projects you had put on hold while you were writing and conducting performance reviews and handling what probably felt like a mountain of electronic paperwork.

While you may be wishing your company would follow the lead of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell, IBM and other technology companies and move away from the old-school, labor-intensive annual review process, senior management at your company isn’t comfortable with the idea (yet).

If your company isn’t quite ready to abandon annual reviews, here’s how you can make this process less painful for the next time. Read the rest of this entry »

One Of The Biggest Boss Fails? Not Setting Expectations

March 22, 2017

offer-442903_150I once had a boss tell me, “But you didn’t achieve my number one priority for what I wanted you to accomplish.” The problem? He never told me about this item.

During the time I had worked for him, I had provided a weekly update (hardcopy and electronic) on all my key projects and activities, but my boss had failed to share this additional goal.

As a manager, this is one of the fastest ways to lose respect from your employees: Failing to clearly define your expectations and priorities. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Grit Is More Important Than IQ When You’re Trying To Become Successful

March 8, 2017

person-801829_150You attended the party of a long-time friend and ran into a lot of people from high school that you hadn’t seen in years. During chit-chat over appetizers and drinks, you could feel the friendly competition heating up.

While comparing career accomplishments, you were shocked to learn that the kid from school with the genius IQ, the one all the teachers thought would be spectacularly successful, had struggled with his career. How could this be, you wondered. This was the person everyone thought would invent something that would change the world.

It turns out that intelligence might not be the best indicator of future success. According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, the secret to outstanding achievement isn’t talent, instead, it’s a special blend of persistence and passion that she calls “grit.” Read the rest of this entry »

5 Ways To Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day (Friday, March 3rd)

March 1, 2017

thank-you-490607_150During their careers, most employees will spend more time at work than they will in any other activity, except sleeping. This Friday, March 3rd is Employee Appreciation Day – a great time to show how much you appreciate all the hard work and loyalty of your team.

Wondering what you can do for your staff to thank them for all their efforts? Here are five ideas: Read the rest of this entry »