career advice, career management, Careers, personal brand management

Summer Rules: Roam, Learn, Create, Give

Mary Rosenbaum | June 27th, 2013

The lazy hazy crazy days of summer have finally arrived after a spring that never was and a winter filled with storms that left us pining for hot summer days. Longer days and a more leisurely pace provide the perfect environment for changing things up a bit.

What you want to do this time of year is to get out of your comfort zone. Winter is over and playing it safe is best done when days are short and nights are long and cold. Summertime is a great time to recharge. Adding new activities and people to your life make you and your life more interesting for yourself as well as for others.

I am sure many of you are scratching your heads and asking, what does any of this have to do with my career? PLENTY! You are made up of more than just the work you do and the value you provide.  More opportunities will open up for you both personally and professionally when you have more interests, a bigger and more varied tribe, a richer personal world, and a more open mind.

Here are four suggestions to make the most of the next two months.

1. Say YES more often. Summertime is a great opportunity to meet new people and try to new things. Expanding your circle of friends and acquaintances is a great way to learn from others as you build your network and strengthen your tribe. So whether it’s a barbecue, a festival, a concert or just getting together in the park, get out of your “neighborhood”, change your routine and explore.

2. Learn something new. Give your brain a vacation by taking on new learning challenges. The best way to sharpen your mind is to relieve it of the same old same old and put it to work on something new.

Learn a new language, write a book, take a poetry class, learn to dance, take scuba or snorkel lessons, learn to climb. Do something that interests you, stretches those muscles in your brain and your body. When you engage in a new learning activity your mind becomes much sharper and old problems and puzzles seem to almost resolve themselves.

3. Let your imagination roam freely. The only way for new ideas to enter your mind is to free your mind from the walls that usually enclose it. Take your imagination outdoors and give it room to breathe.  Let all your ideas, no matter how wild and improbable, bubble to the surface and just enjoy the experience. You never know where the next great ……(fill in the dots) will come from.

4. Go out and help someone. You may think your life is tough but there is always someone who can use your help. Reach out and make life better for someone else. Believe me, the feeling you will get from this is all the reward you’ll need.

So as NIKE says in all their ads: JUST DO IT!

Have any questions or need help managing your career, contact me.

Are You Living Your Plan A?

Mary Rosenbaum | June 7th, 2013

Spring means many things to different people. For me it’s a time of year when I find new projects to do around the house. It’s not that I enjoy doing this work but I know that certain improvements need to be made, not only to maintain the upkeep on my house but to enhance the quality of my life while I live there.

Searching for projects to improve your life should not be limited to your brick and mortar house. This same “walk around your professional house” can and should be applied to you, your career, and your business.

Have you stepped back lately and taken a long hard look at where you are in your career versus where you wanted or thought you would be? Some of us start out with a Plan – a Plan A. Your Plan A could have been developed early on in your career or been one that developed over time.

Either way, Plan A should be a moving target. If it’s not and you haven’t progressed in the way you wanted or anticipated, then you are living Plan B.

Having the presence of mind to ask yourself some important questions and answer them honestly will enable you to identify the changes you need to make to improve your positioning, give you greater career and business satisfaction, and put you back on track for accomplishing your Plan A.

What are some of the questions you need to ask? We can put them into categories as follows:

How Am I Doing:

– Is my career moving in the direction I expect?

– Does this work still satisfy?

– Is my work still challenging and am I continuing to grow?

– Am I living my plan A or have I inadvertently shifted into a Plan B?

What Do I Need to Make Things Better:

– Are there skills I need to add to improve my positioning?

– Are there other ways where I can add value to my company/clients?

– Are there people who need to be in my network and ultimately my tribe?

– What do I do to increase my visibility with management/target group/clients?

– What kind of help (professional, personal, collegial) do I need to move my career forward?

– Are my goals still realistic?

– Do I need to move out of my comfort zone and if so, how?

Let me be clear, I don’t fix things in my house because I love doing it. I do it because it needs to be done. The same holds true for your career. It’s not always fun to put up a mirror that shows every blemish or wrinkle but you can’t make yourself look better if you don’t recognize what’s wrong.

What other questions can you think of that would help you get a better reading on where you stand? Please share them here.

Do you need help in improving your professional house? Contact me.