Archive for the ‘Self-Improvement’ Category

Quarter-Life Crisis

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

In other words, what are you going to do over the next four to five decades to earn a living that is meaningful? I heard this question echo from twenty talented, motivated, and ambitious Gen Y’s this past week. It’s the never ending nagging question that shows up when considering a possible college major. Graduate school program. Or career path. It’s the question that ignites panic. Fear. And depression. Why does it trigger such scary feelings?

Because your answer may differ from your parents’ idea of what you should be doing. From your friends. Or from other important influencers who think you should be choosing something practical. Something that pays well. Provides status. You have friends following the straight and narrow. They know what they’re doing. Their certainty makes you feel inadequate. Ashamed of lacking the certainty they have. What makes it harder is you feel there is no room for a  mistake. Opportunity knocks once. Make a mistake now and you will be too old.  Too old for that graduate school. Too old to get on the right career track. 

Hold on! (more…)

#53 Mr. Employer Meet the Millennials

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Are today’s Baby Boomer-led workplaces really ready for Generation Y? We found one IT manager who is not only ready but excited about the vast potential many of these new 20-something workmates bring to corporate America. Music this episode includes Generation Y by Clint VanSchiver and It’s Your Lucky Day Now by AJ and The Frozen Tundra Blues Band.

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#52 Four things you must do in a really tough job market

Monday, June 30th, 2008

GenY and GenX, listen up. This show is for you. Whether you are looking for work in a struggling economy, or trying to move up when others around you are being downsized, here are four essential things you must do to stand out, get ahead and stay ahead of the competition. My guest is Sean Harvey, a NYC-based career development consultant whose clients are 20 and 30-something professionals. Music includes "It’s Your Lucky Day Now" by AJ and The Frozen Tundra Blues Band.

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Getting Ahead

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Harriet KatzMaybe it’s because of the political season. Maybe not. But I’ve been getting complaints about office politics, none-stop. They come from the young who are new to the world of work. Those who’ve been at the game a while, refer to office games as energy guzzlers. Retirees say it’s the thing they miss the least. Seems the only ones who get off on office games are the folks who spend the bulk of their time promoting themselves instead of doing the work. You can’t entirely ignore the games. But there is a better way to get ahead. 

In addition to performing really well, here are a few tips. 

  • Take the time to create your Career Plan. Think at least 5 – 10 years out. What kind of work would you like to be doing? At what level. What experience do you need to get there? What new skills? Knowledge? Consider opportunities in your organization. Identify possible outside opportunities. Power comes from unambiguous clarity of purpose.
  • Communicate clearly and frequently to important stakeholders about how well you are doing. Your importance and shelf life dwindle when communication ceases. Your stock goes up when you relay frequent, brief contacts about your accomplishments and progress. 
  • Take control.  You be the one to step up to the plate. Set the strategy. Take action. Always mind your manners. Bad behavior is usually a power play to intimidate. Don’t get caught in someone else’s game. At work there are no winners or losers. There are those who take control. And there are those who lose it.
There’s lots more to talk about. What lessons have you learned at work? What have you faced? Has it soured you? What did you do to get past it? 

Downsized, Moving On

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Harriet KatzThese past weeks I have found myself under an avalanche of layoffs. I have been working with fabulous professionals who have been “downsized.” Most recently, they have spanned the fashion, finance, and manufacturing industries. The headliners that initially overpower people are the amorphous mass otherwise known as the lack of structure during the day and the sudden plunge in confidence when you have lost your place.

About the amorphous mass, it’s true. Structure is incredibly helpful. It is what helps to provide you a place. Tells you where you need to be. Tells you who to call. It is the infrastructure that eases you through the day. Confidence plunges when you lose your place with the team. When you lose your connection with what you do. When you no longer get reinforced with a paycheck or camaraderie.

What can you do? Plenty. When you no longer have a daily place to go to, you must create your own structure. Do this by making appointments and blocking out time on your calendar to do research, to make calls to set up appointments, or to take breaks to run errands and renew yourself. To build confidence, reconnect with people who can and will support you through the process.

Have you been downsized? What have you found that works for you? How soon? Were there other options open to you that you could have taken at the time? What did you learn from it? What would you do differently today?

Micro Managers

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Harriet KatzI got an earful from John the other day. His boss won’t let him breathe. Since the new guy took over his department, John’s interest and enthusiasm has dropped. He says this guy is always looking over his shoulder. Criticizing his approach. Openly or not so openly letting him know his way is the only way.

There’s a lot of talk in organizations about performance. Raising performance. The big question is how can anyone perform who can barely breath? Does that mean John or anyone in that situation needs to leave in order to move their career along? Depends. (more…)

#48 – Girls Don’t Need Calculus

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Wall Street power brokers take notice. If Christina DelliSanti-Miller has her way your days of being a boys club are numbered. Meet "Athena" and the woman who founded it to help young women break down barriers at high-powered financial institutions. Music heard on this show includes "Money" by Pink Floyd.

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Betrayed Wives

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Harriet KatzI’ve been thinking about conversations taking place between husbands and wives around the world since Eliot Spitzer’s betrayal of his wife Silda hit the news. Why does their problem resonate so loudly to so many? Because betrayal is more widespread than we’d like to believe. Once discovered, trust is broken. Trust is the very foundation of a relationship. The question is, can it be repaired? (more…)

Big Brother

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Harriet KatzTurns out that what you put out on You Tube and other places in the Citizens Media can come back to bite you in major ways. That is, according to an article in Information Week that Ken sent today.

On Blame Game we talked about employers checking out social networks. But did you know the CIA closely follows You Tube and chat rooms for “honest-to-goodness intelligence”?

These are public spaces. Postings made in public are fair game for everyone. That includes the CIA. Schools. Employers. Voyeurs. Makes me think even more about the importance of using good judgment. Necessity of managing a hot temper. And how someone you never met may interpret your words. Food for thought.

Losing It

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Harriet KatzDown in the gym this morning I overheard Lola pleading with Shawn, her personal trainer. I’m losing it. Can’t do it. This is too hard. I could easily relate to her pleading. I work with Shawn on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This was her day to struggle. As I listened to Lola, my mind drifted to conversations I’ve had with clients, friends, and family. I was reminded once again that life lessons can be found in many arenas.
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