There’s few people these days that don’t wear multiple hats where they work. You might be applying for and holding the title of events coordinator, but you’re probably also dabbling in website updates, PPC marketing, marketing automation, and who knows what else. Employers love to do this for many reasons, not the least of which being that you might be very good at those other things too. This makes you much more valuable to your current employer. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do you any favors for your personal branding. You simply look like the proverbial “jack of all trades, master of none.” Don’t forget that you’re one of many in a sea of applicants trying to vie for the attention of the great employers out there.
Wherever you are, when you were growing up, there was a sport that was more popular amongst your friends than others. For me, we primarily switched between basketball and football (with an occasional straying into wiffle ball). We would play as long as there was light, and sometimes when there wasn’t. It was a great time full of memories. However, there was always the tenuous moments before you began playing where teams would need to get chosen. How did you get on the team you wanted?
As we live our days, we get consumed with the monotonous… We have to get ready for work. We might be getting others ready too. We eat breakfast (hopefully). We make it to work. We spend 8 or more hours almost consecutively crossing off tasks on our to-do list. Then we reverse this to make it back home to our family, pets, or Xbox. Throughout all of this is a large series of decisions and actions we’ve accumulated throughout the day. How many times did you stop to ask yourself, “Am I capable of doing this?”
No matter how short or long you’ve been “the boss,” communication will always be your most challenging aspect of the job. You’ll go through recurring phases of focusing on direction, feedback, motivation, correspondence, and more. (That is, if you’re worth your salt as a leader… You’ll be bettering your leadership skills daily.) Communications are always tricky. If I learned nothing else from Daniel Goleman’s Working with Emotional Intelligence, it’s that we need to focus on communication and that communication will always be different for the situation, person, and medium.
There are tons of topics and ideas where people feel confused. For some of us it’s financing. For others, it’s stocks. Some people get confused with sports. Not everyone understands why or how football works the way it does. In fact, nearly all of us use English words incorrectly every day. Simply put, we often take knowledge for-granted. In addition, if you hold a management or leadership title, it’s possible that you might not realize the difference. Being a leader and being a manager is not the same thing. Not by a longshot.
We all have that “thing” that everyone around you knows you for. For whatever reason, I’ve been the person my entire life that everyone I know goes to for advice. It’s always flattering to be trusted in that way, but it also means that I continue to do my best to keep myself fed with information. Probably the most common piece of advice I get asked is, “I have this great job offer. Do you think I should take it?” That’s never an easy question to answer, but here’s what I tell my friends…
Personal branding is very important. More and more, you’ll realize this. If you’ve ever known or been a hiring manager, you know all too well how hard it is for a single applicant to stand out in that tall stack of résumés when a job is open. You’re the proverbial needle in the haystack. Here are a few easy ways to get out of the haystack and in front of that next great opportunity.
There is an overwhelming truth that you need to realize… No one is looking out for you. No one. From the moment that you took your first job, you and your career have been in your hands. Even in the best companies in the world, your boss isn’t looking out for you. They probably already know this secret. That’s how they became your boss. Here’s a few tips on why you need to be thinking about your future every day.
We’ve all been there. It’s a group setting – most likely a meeting at work. Several of our colleagues are there, including our boss and maybe even the boss' boss. The topic. Anything. It might be something seemingly trivial, or a new direction for the business to follow. The inevitable question is asked by someone in the room, “What do we think we should do about X?” The ominous letter X. It’s used in math and everywhere else as a placeholder. Similarly, this could be any decision and it’s often made before the group realizes it.
Have you ever boiled water? Sure you have. It’s easy. First, you get a saucepan (preferably a clean one). Next, you turn on the water and fill the sauce pan about 3/4 of the way. Now you turn a burner on your stovetop between medium and high heat. Finally, you wait. Easy. But that’s not what this article is about. It’s about the pouring of hot water, and how it’s related to being a great leader.