Saturday, May 19, 2012

Are You Doing What You Are?

Paul D. Tieger, in his book entitled Do What You Are, makes a very simple point: understanding yourself and your personality will enhance your success on the job.

Do you know yourself well enough to do what you are? Do you want to discover a perfect career just for you? If so, try these simple ideas to start the process:

Discover Your Strengths

The avid professional will do what it takes to prove himself, but without working from a person's inherent strengths, working hard will eventually lead to burnout. Try StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tim Rath. It will get you fired up about you, and it may point to the fact that you've worked on your weaknesses for too long.

Take a Personality Assessment

If your company will allow it, ask them to sponsor an assessment like the MBTI® or Everything DiSC. The more you know about yourself, the more these instruments can help you target specific jobs with specific tasks and projects that will energize you and complement your strengths.


Are you willing to do what it takes? The Panorama Personal Development Group, LLC, can help you with the Learn | Innovate | Communicate™ process as you discover yourself and what you do best. Let us know if you have any questions. Best of luck!

Monday, April 16, 2012

LinkedIn: To Connect or Not to Connect: That IS the Question!

So, you're sitting at your desk checking emails when you see a LinkedIn profile of someone with whom you'd really like to connect. There's one problem: You have no idea who this person is, but you attempt to connect anyway. What's wrong with that?


There's been a lot of debate around making connections with individuals on LinkedIn, and the general rule is this: don't connect if you don't know them. Why? You'll be penalized. Check this out:


Making professional connections is the best way to do business and to continue building relationships with those in whom you trust, so follow the rules. If you see a profile of a potential connection you'd be interested in learning more about, do some simple research to see if they are a second or third line connection with someone you know, and ask those who know them to introduce you. LinkedIn generally sees this as a more constructive, less invasive way to produce results for you. Here's how:


Just like many relationships, if you don't follow the rules, you'll be in trouble. LinkedIn will penalize you by asking you to provide a contact email for EVERY future request to connect, whether known or not. Don't go there! The economy appears to be shifting, however slightly it may be. As such, if you feel the urge to make connections with professionals in your area and wish to begin those relationships quickly, this process will be well worth the simple steps above that LinkedIn provides for you. With the job market being what it is, you simply can't afford to do otherwise.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Social "ME"dia: What Are You Waiting For?

Like it or not, social media has become one of the primary venues for communication regarding business networking and online job searches and applications. As of July 2011, professional social network giant LinkedIn reported that they would be providing a plugin that allows candidates to apply for jobs listed by employers using their LinkedIn profile. Today, at least 150 million use it, anyway.

Hiring managers are looking to use social media to hire qualified employees. Will you be among them?


Career Advisor Heather Huhman addresses many things social media-check her out. I've met many lately at various networking events that have no desire to create social media accounts that translate to an online presence. I add this to Heather's thoughts: why might you be afraid? In short, employers harness these platforms to make professional connections and to recruit talent. If you're not in, you're out.


Not familiar with social media venues such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for business? Take an online tutorial. has many free resources, and each social media platform has many training pages available to help you navigate creating an account with them. Most are free. Most can help you land the best job you've ever had.


When using social media, you control the content. Be honest. Use connections with past career relationships that will help you. Get recommendations. Post your resume. Use the search engines they provide to apply for jobs in which you're interested. Market yourself. If you're not great at doing these things, find a friend who is and get some help with it. It's your life!


The days of background checks and paper resumes remain. However, social media is fast becoming the best way to network and get a great job-quickly. The data is out there. So, do you want a great job? Do you want to be competitive? I challenge you to get on board. Don't wait. Chances are, hundreds are applying for the same position. Will you stand out online?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Organization and Time Management: Frenemies?

Are you a leader who is organized by design, or do you simply watch pensively as your seemingly mundane responsibilities pile up right in front of you? For some, this can be a challenge to the point where delegation of duties to employees is the only solution to "stay on top". Unfortunately, under the direction of those leaders who suffer in this area, employees trend toward marked productivity issues. Here are some things I've found helpful so far...


Most employees can navigate through their own job description and can even go above and beyond when given clear, organized direction. In this economy, your understanding that workloads are more strenuous and that the lack of organization and time management dispensing from your leadership can be perceived as aloofness in terms of clear vision and goals for the forward movement of a division or of the company is paramount. Simply stated, this perception fosters an environment where loyalty will not survive and productivity will plummet. Start small. Be proactive. Displaying your ability to organize your time, meetings, calendars, and employee engagement opportunities will increase your bottom line. Do you want to improve these essential skills?


Myriad tools are available to organize your life and your work. Several include smart phone applications such as Evernote and OmniFocus for the iPhone.  For a streamlined organizational system,  Microsoft's Outlook including Task Functions, Appointment and Meeting Request Functions are available and can be used across many platforms. Additionally, several time-tracking applications abound, such as Klok.


Are you asking your employees to take of some of the slack for tasks that you find boring or routine? Do you find it hard to start a process of organizing your workload or tasks for which you are responsible? The bottom line is the bottom line: the more you are able to get done and the less you have to manage, the higher the profits and retention rates will be for your organization.

In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking--Sir John Lubbock

Monday, February 27, 2012

Employee Engagement: What Does It Take?

Many employers are looking for ways to involve their staff in the vision and mission of an organization. Moreover, employers want staff to become inspired in the work that they do while producing results that reflect product excellence and market leadership. So, what's the problem?

Employee engagement is a choice, and many corporations are trying too hard.

In recent years, companies have spent significant amounts of time, energy, and financial resources in engagement programs, skills inventories, and performance measures tied to well-being. The result? Many are still finding employees disengaged with their work and watching the clock. How do employers add value and harness the talent that they hired?

Ultimately, employees must want to be engaged and should seek to better themselves by taking initiative. Employees that feel they are stuck can find solutions, and those that succeed use the innovation and problem solving skills they were hired for to seek out opportunities to make a difference. That being said, how can employers encourage the type of environment where employees want to come to work?


Foster creativity and initiative. Listen to ideas--even if you have tried the same idea in 12 different ways. Find a way to encourage the employee to use that idea in a different context or in a way that strategically adds value to the bottom line. Responses like "we've done that before" reek of disrespect and in no way promotes loyalty.


Communicating to and including employees in the movement of the organization is paramount. Employees who feel like they are a part of the decision-making and direction of the company, no matter the size of the contribution, willingly become engaged and ready to support the organization's needs.


Sit down with your employees one at a time. Ask for feedback, and don't be afraid of the responses. The very act of initiating time with staff will reflect your desire to see them succeed and will underscore your reason for hiring them in the first place. Be sure to place the responsibility of engagement on the employee while fostering an environment that supports it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Work-Life Balance: Are You Kidding Me?

In this economy, many employees may feel that they have no right to ask for balance between their work and home life. Sadly, many employers would like to keep it that way.

If you are in a job situation that requires you to work consistent overtime and promotes a culture that rewards it, you are not alone. Many employers are seeking to gain profits by reducing the number of employees and increasing the workload of those who remain. What do you do?


This may be hard to do, but employers respect those who clearly state what they can and cannot accomplish based on the amount of time available and workload required. If you are dealing with a manager who insists that you work long hours, try negotiating comp time. Additionally, check out any legalities regarding overtime in your state and what expectations are not allowed.


Without a clear schedule that includes your personal goals and relationships, you'll be stuck. For special events, birthdays, exercise, chores, and even dreams, keep a calendar. Be sure to include goals that are specific and realistic. With technology at your fingertips, you can be reminded in many ways of your upcoming events.


Make sure you are consistently pursuing your passions even when your current job is not exactly what you hoped for or wish to continue. Invest time in yourself. Find areas in your job that you would want to incorporate in your future positions and learn those skills while you're there, as this will allow you to see the benefits of using what you have to get to where you want to be.