Employee: Are You Performing in a Profitable Way?

stuart miles via freedigitalphotos.net

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

A recent ERE.net article, “Helicopter Parents,” addresses the idea of companies “adjusting … business practices and offerings to meet [millennial generation] expectations.”

The conversation around how employers should cultivate an enriching culture that indicates employers are going to mentor, coach and care about the advancement and overall career satisfaction of their employees is valid. This topic is well-covered publicly in the media and privately, behind the scenes.

With the transparency of the Internet and social media, journalists, bloggers and others aspire to hold employers accountable for their business operations and human resource practices as well as how they impact the employee and the world at large. While not all companies abide by these methods of employee care, the topic is contemporary and top of mind.

Millennials are not the only ones seeking out more employee-friendly environments; all other generations up to, and including, Boomers desire work culture change, too. They seek increased freedom, flexibility, emotional rewards and collegialism.

With that said, and with all the talk of culture and work-life balance, are dialogues around what makes a company survive and thrive being diminished? Is discourse about productivity, performance and profits getting lost in the shuffle?

Perhaps not. If you search online, you will find hundreds—even thousands—of articles and blog post on this topic.

However, the dominance of the employee engagement and culture mantra is pervasive and perhaps is reducing, to some extent, the volume of the employer’s message that says employees also have responsibility to the overall culture process, and as importantly, to bottom line goals.

With that, following are five tips for employees to help take accountability in providing value to not only the culture but also to the company’s financial goals. This will help ensure workplace culture plays a part in sustaining future financial goals, enabling you more flexibility and free time to enjoy your life in and out of work.

1. Remember to work hard every day. It’s not just about working smart so you can get home, change clothes and go out with friends for happy hour or to volunteer at your favorite charity. It’s not just about the most efficient way to get from A to Z, so you can stop concentrating so vigilantly and pop into Facebook for a status update. It’s not just about feeling good about every task that you perform because you think work should always be fun and/or satisfying.

2. Ask your boss for one or two critical areas he or she could use your help beyond your job description. Inquire how you can help with a burning issue, problem, project or task that may help unfurl his tangled sails and get back on the right course. Problem solving is a key trait that employers look for. They not only need it in their staff, but they require it, and even if they don’t say it, it is an implicit need. Don’t ignore their needs.

To read the other three tips, please visit the full post over at Glassdoor:  “How To Care About the Bottom Line and Improve Company Culture.”


image via Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net

Is Staying In Your Pajamas All Day Stalling Your Job Search?

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Unbridled stress and angst can exacerbate today’s job search. The economy is uncertain, bad attitudes are ablaze and the competition is fiercer than ever. No wonder job seekers struggle with maintaining poise, hope and focus. With that said, targeted, positive and actionable behaviors are what create the perfect storm for meaningful outcomes in today’s job hunt.

Avoidable job search behaviors abound. We’ve unearthed six more unhealthy job search habits you must steer clear of to ensure a more robust result.

slippers, winnond via freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy of ‘winnond’ via freedigitalphotos.net

1. Staying in Your Pajamas All Day. It takes time to freshen up and put your best face forward. By remaining unkempt, you are unavailable for impromptu face-to-face meetings such as a Skype call or someone who may want to meet you on-the-fly. While being perfectly coiffed at 8 a.m. may not be the only way to go, at the least, make it a habit to be showered and dressed before lunchtime.

2. Being Constantly Plugged In. If you are always “on,” your brain will never defrag from all the bits and bytes of information that you continually absorb from Google or LinkedIn searches, blog posts, job boards, company websites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more. As well, constantly texting or private messaging friends, colleagues or family to chitchat about this or that, to kvetch or to discuss job search strategy is not healthy. You have to give your brain and your emotions a break in order to present your value, with focused, unfettered energy and optimism.

If the weather permits – and it almost always does regardless of your climate – step outside and take a brisk walk. This time of year, you may need a jacket or heavier coat, but after just a few minutes, you will warm up. Amazingly, your blood flowing, the crispness of the air against your skin and fresh air will help you clear the cobwebs. By invigorating your body, you may even unconsciously solve underlying job search and networking problems.

To read about all 6 Job Search Behaviors to Avoid, please visit my latest Glassdoor post, here: “6 More Job Search Behaviors to Avoid.”

Are You Steering Your Career Ship?

sailboat for blog

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

The wife of a prospective client called me this week. Her husband, she said, is winding up two of the most successful years of his career. Monetarily-speaking, he is ecstatic; as well, he has forged a strong reputation in his industry.

Culturally, though, he is in a funk, as the fast-paced, high-risk and competitive nature of his job has him stressed and often unavailable, even when he is at home with his growing family. He (and his family) are not buying into the 24/7 work culture lifestyle. Always plugged in amounts to never being fully present, personally.

His wife wants him to be happy. He wants to be happy. The idea of a career move, though, is unsettling. Will he have to endure a pay cut? Can he afford to do that and still take care of his young family? He feels he must stay put for a while longer before initiating a move.

Potential career influencers and hiring decision makers seek him out; the conversations stall when he has no resume to share with them. He continues to plod to work every day, frustrated, but dutiful.

His wife calls me to start hatching a plan to help her husband, and family, get unstuck. It is clear she has a finger on the pulse of her husband’s value that extends beyond his current company situation. We brainstorm. I encourage her regarding ways to motivate him and describe the first step: getting traction through introspective resume story-building.

How liberating it is to begin steering your own career ship. It is powerful to own your career.

Shortly after speaking with this woman, I read my friend and Career Strategist, Dawn Lennon’s, blog post on “driving your career.” I forwarded the article to the wife.

One line from Dawn’s post particularly struck me: “Career problems arise when we forget that we’re doing the driving.”

Here is a link to the full article. It’s well worth the read: Finding Yourself in Your Work, or Losing Yourself in It? | Pursuing Growth.

Are you currently feeling rudderless in your career? Give me a call (903.523.5952) or email me at jacqui@careertrend, when you get a moment. I may be able to help.

In the meantime, perhaps you will enjoy this tiny, 5-second video of me, “steering a ship.” I don’t believe there is a much more emancipating experience.




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