Before we begin, I would like to thank all the readers who have followed me here to this new site; and say that the best opinions are still to come. I am currently looking at a couple tools, when the analysis is complete; you will be the first to hear of it right in this very blog!
I would also like to thank Evan Carmicheal for the heads-up that I had been included in the October list “The Top 100 Social Media Leaders to Follow on Twitter”. I am humbled to be included again with such great company! If you are not already, follow me @thedanieljsmith- Opinions flow fast and furious and all the best views are retweeted for the community to share!
To part one of today’s business- Attitude or Aptitude; what is more important on the career front? Attitude is defined in Wikipedia as:” a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, event, activities, ideas, or just about anything in your environment,” and our pals over at Urban Dictionary sees it as “A position of the body or manner of carrying oneself:A state of mind or a feeling; disposition: had a positive attitude about work. An arrogant or hostile state of mind or disposition.”
This brings to my mind a real important question: As a new-comer to the company; or as a tenured employee in any company, should attitude be one of the things revealed often at the workplace or is it something best kept to oneself, and shared sparingly?
Since it can be viewed as both ‘good’ and ‘bad’; it may just be ‘the day’ which will provide the best guidance. Having a ‘positive attitude’ can keep you concentrating on producing some of your best work for your employer; whereas ‘bad attitude’ can make the day seem endlessly long, with very little positive momentum or task completion. Its not that you are unable to complete the task; at that moment- you just ‘don’t care’.
Believe it or not; this type of thinking WILL cost you promotions and plum assignments; plus possibly a bit of resentment among your co-workers. People, for some bizarre reason, seem to gravitate to the good, the shiny, the happy…(you get the idea) while those at the other end of the spectrum toil away alone, with their co-workers hoping for failure so that individual will be replaced on the team…..Interesting stuff!!
How you are mentally prepared for the day CAN affect your production; and that of those around you, inevitably leading to an effect on the individual and company reputation with your clients. And as we all know, sad clients tend to move on to a brighter atmosphere with little or no warning! YES, you ARE just one person; but think for a second what happens when your bad attitude is felt by others in your team?….Are they able to work, unaffected…or will you ‘rub off’ a little of the wrong way?
You could almost think the following: “Check Yourself to Protect Yourself!!”.
Have you ever wondered why there are opportunities missed when you are the leading candidate for the job? Have you ever wondered why you always get the same assignments, time and again, with little variation? (Okay, to your defense, possibly you ARE actually the one to turn to in this case). Take a long hard look in the mirror and reflect on your past behavior, and the quality of the assignments you have been turning in as of late….Is there alot of pride (personal and professional) in the picture?, or do you see alot of “going through the motions”?
Some of the greatest discoveries are completed by a synchronous and complimentary team. Very rarely do you ever see credit going to the ‘third wheel’ or those who were placed on the project to silence the bad vibe…Success breeds success, and positive energy flows easier through a cohesive team than one containing a ‘temporary’ bad apple. Like others; I, too, enjoy really good performance appraisals, pay-raises when the company does well, and being included in the ‘inner circle’ of the cutting edge projects.
Take responsibility for your actions; realize that there are occasions where your silence WILL do you more good than any negative energy you are currently feeling to the organization or your team leader. Look towards the BIG picture, and where you would like to be a week, a month, or a year down the road. Write this down on your ‘White Board’ and refer to it daily.
I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH- You provide a key part of the company reputation, and your own personal reputation WILL cloud the profitability of any company in a very short period of time. This you CAN change; and THIS IS all within your control. I have seen many a great employee passed over when promotions are handed out because the manager doesn’t see how more responsibility will affect poor production in a positive way…. I have also seen many a person change careers frequently because the system “is gunning for them; trying to bring them down; and lead them to failure”. Hmmmm, someone ELSE being responsible for YOUR failure….REALLY? (Believe it if you wish, I myself wouldn’t)
I have, on a number of occasions referred to my ‘TAKE’ on ‘Personal Branding’ as you being the individual in charge of all your actions..No one is holding a gun to your head (figuratively speaking) and forcing you to make the bad decisions. Yes, you do represent the company, because they provide you with the lifestyle and toys you are becoming more and more accustomed to; but more so, you represent yourself in all your dealings. People, for some reason are drawn to ‘like minds’ or those with the ideals to get the job done efficiently, on time and under budget. This is what raises the eyebrows of the power-brokers in your organization….and the more your clients speak up about you and what a pleasure you are in the workplace and on each project which you do well….The sky is the limit and success will arrive sooner than imagined.
The Take-Away for this section is: Attitude controls ALL your actions. Negative attitude affects the company culture, and sooner than you would like, it WIll bite you in the butt. Perception is 99% of any relationship- make sure you lead with your best foot each and every time! I would bank further profits on it. Teamwork is invaluable to any project and a well-oiled machine is not only sought after, but remain in demand long after the project is over. Place yourself on the WINNING PATH.
Does anyone out there see anything written here a little differently? If so, I would like to discuss it at your leisure, through this site, via Facebook: Facebook.com/thedanieljsmith (like the page if you like this blog) or on Google + where I would like to discuss this live with the Socialytes at a time of your choosing.
Later today I will post part 2 on Aptitude and how it affects the equation- both here and at my own blog ‘Daniel J. Smith AND Something to Think About”
Until then: Think about your actions, change what you can and minimize the damage when you can’t. If everyone thought like you, behaved like you, was as involved as you…where would the company be?
Later, time for some cowbell, some sessions, and a little PS3 to blow off some steam (online id: thedanieljsmith….you expected anything else?) Win or Lose, Actions create conversation; conversation creates positive energy; and positive energy leads to success!!
All Aboard the “Success Express”
“Maybe….Could it be….Possibly those of us who worked hard to be denied most job/promotion understand things different from those who were handed everything? Life experience on occasion trumps book smarts….hmmm maybe my own little blog is in that seed….” May 2012
This is a long-overdue blog created by a conversation on Facebook I had with Rayanne Thorn discussing the shape of the new employment industry; and how various age-related groups fit in the new status quo. Over the past number of years, I have noticed a change in the way people operate in the workplace. Basic rules of politeness seem to have been replaced with a “I need it NOW” mentality- Meaning that ‘Please’ and ‘Thank-You’ and rules of courtesy are reduced to ‘Move, I need xxxx NOW, or the job won’t get done”
Panic (or a state thereof) never really accomplished much, neither did the fine art of ‘Doing Everything Yourself’. Sometimes we all need assistance; the smart people figure out how to get that accomplished, while making their volunteer think their service is for the ‘Greater Good’
I guess what I am trying to say is Take Ownership in everything you do. If the credit is good, you will see it- but be prepared and grown-up enough to politely accept the criticism for a job not done to your usual standards. Ownership allows you to step back, look at your work/project, and think of what the realistic expectations should be of the results.
Being of a different (yet still cool) generation; I can’t help but notice a lot of things get done with the bare appearance of effort; something I like to class as “I Don’t know about this, but it is my assignment, so I will do it my way and hopefully not be asked again…” Whereas individuals of my generation gather information needed on the job, look for every solution, choose one, and successfully have the job done.
What’s frightening even more, is that a lot of resumes go unread for key positions if they are not matched with a credited education. When I was a little younger, I remember hearing “Book Smarts will get you so far; it’s your life education/ learning that will carry you through,” Nice stuff to remember.
Then come “the age game”. Yes, any potential employer is not supposed to ask for age; however a good look at the resume will answer that question and show that, although you may have the qualifications which are being looked for, you won’t have potential tenure to enjoy a long career with this firm. Somewhat biased, but things are what they are, and as management gets more savvy and younger, all employees have to learn the new rules of survival; know when to ask questions, and when to sort the issue out themselves. Ownership, it’s the one thing you can be honest about regardless of the occupation. Take it and run, and maintain the pride of your project.
A sense of Ownership seems to still resonate in today’s workplace. People are ecstatic, and justifiably so, when a job gets done well, and their ‘bag of tricks’ have served them well once again. I notice that blame gets shares all to easy, or tasks get done with little research or forethought, leading to blame being given or shared with anyone who even looked at the project. Not necessarily fair, just the way of the new world!
Education is good. Continuing your education in your chosen profession is awesome. It takes time to become good at something; and it takes more time to excel- that’s the difference between ‘okay’ and ‘Wow’- Myself, I will take the ‘Wow’ moments to the back every day of the week- as it means that I did the job right, and my reputation has become that much better as a leader, or as a doer of great work.
Younger management doesn’t faze me; so long as they are prepared for a little advice from time-to-time on how to best handle an account, a job-list, or a project being fast-tracked on a tight deadline. Know when things are getting a little out of the wheel-house, and that you need to lean on someone who has been there before. Most workers know their place in the ‘Org Chart’; and try not to step on toes, or get involved in things ‘over the pay-grade’. To them I suggest: Never be afraid to share your knowledge! In the long run it will be appreciated and you should see some form of reward. Being the ‘New Kid’ can be cool for a short while; being ‘Dependable and authentic with your actions’ make you irreplaceable.
The Take-away from this blog would be that age is a number; and knowledge is ageless. Never accept being overlooked because of your physical appearance, especially if the job requires more brain that good looks. Nothing is given out for free these days; stay on top of your game, stay concerned with your actions and your reputation (which has taken you years to develop) and (sometimes) quietly be the leader by making the suggestions seem that they came from up the ladder. If it is good for you, probably it is good for the business.
Enjoy these thoughts on ‘Career Evaluation 101’
The Best Service is done by People who Learn something NEW everyday
One of the first things that you really should concern yourself with as a new employee is how you provide service to your client. I know this can be seen as a two-way street; as most of us spend numerous hours when we are not working, spending our hard-earned money as consumers. Don’t let what you experience become the example of providing service. Set your own bar, and set it high! Good customer service can be defined by the number of returning customers to your business, and the number of friends they tell of your exceptional service. That is one of the big things you wish to be known for: EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE!
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