Archive for the ‘TGIM Workplace’ Category

Button Down for Opportunity

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Mark Twain said it best: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”

Well, that’s probably stretching it. You probably don’t go to work naked. But even so, there may be times when your workplace attire isn’t putting your best foot forward.

Executives are buzzing about inappropriate dress making some of their workers less promotable. It’s fast becoming one of the most talked about problems in companies. You don’t want to end up on that list.

Standards vary by profession, but here are some basic recommendations for what’s appropriate if you’re in a professional office.

Consider these things:

Ladies: Dressing for the nightclub (or the fitness club, for that matter) is not the same as dressing for work. At work, it’s conservative – no perfume, skirts right above the knee, clothes that are not too tight or pants dragging on the floor. And the biggest issue of all—if you want to be taken seriously, keep “the girls” under cover! Research shows that if you have “that line” showing even once, it tends to reduce the likelihood of advancement. Don’t make that career-limiting move.

I’m not saying you have to dress like Little Orphan Annie. There is a middle ground. It’s about looking like you could meet with a top prospect at the drop of a hat and be a respectable representative of the company.

Guys: You have it a little easier. Shirts in white or blue are best—no Easter egg colors or flashy ties. Grey, navy, or black jackets and pants complete a good professional look where you can’t go wrong. The biggest complaints with guys include not being pressed or not having hair your clean and well cut and face shaved. And by the way, Bigfoot – don’t forget to shave your neck.

Best tip of all: Watch to see what your manager wears, and start wearing that NOW if you want to ever want to be considered for a promotion. If in doubt, dress more conservatively and more professionally. A navy and black jacket will turn almost anything into a professional look. Invest in one of those.

You might say it’s not fair to be passed over if your performance is good. Let me just say it happens every day anyway because there’s an enormous subjective component to hiring and advancement, and how you present yourself and how you represent the company really does matter.

So get those neat, well-dressed ducks in a row to remove one more obstacle in your path to success!

Change Your Language

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Days are chaotic. You have to drop the kids off at soccer practice. You have to pick up the groceries. You have to rush home and prepare dinner. You have to attend Julia’s piano recital. You have to prepare the presentation for the meeting tomorrow.

But why does it have to be a have to?

What if you were to tweak your language ever so slightly by saying you GET to do all of those things?

Think back to the time you didn’t have kids yet. Maybe you dreamed about the future when you would GET to drop them at soccer practice or hear them play the piano. Remember how difficult it was before you had a job that paid the bills and gave you a chance to use your skills. Or think about people who are out of work right now.

Suddenly you have the opportunity to spend time with your daughter and ask her about her day. Suddenly you appreciate the fact that you have food to purchase. Suddenly you prepare the best presentation you have ever prepared. Suddenly you calm the chaos.

Live each day consciously monitoring your language. It may seem strange at first. Chances are, you are not accustomed to looking at things positively. But soon it will become routine. It’s a life-altering routine and a whole new perspective

Share Your Limits

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

There’s always more work to be done….am I right? But if you allow your work to bleed over into your home life too much, both will suffer—and so will you.

One of the most productive things anyone can do is set definite limits on the work you bring home. Sometimes working at home is unavoidable, and that’s fine. But when it becomes a norm to work all day, then come home and work through the evening, you are sapping your energy and reducing your productivity. And nobody wins that game.

This isn’t just an assumption. The burnout that results from allowing the spillover of work into home life has been studied in depth and detail, even resulting in a test called the Maslach Burnout Inventory. When you overextend yourself and don’t get enough downtime, it’s not just your home life that suffers. You’ll tend to do your job less effectively, your health declines, you feel less engaged and motivated in your work, and you may even end up more prone to depression.

So yes, limits are essential. And if you want some help in keeping those limits in place, there’s no better way than sharing them with those around you.

If you’ve decided not to work after 7 pm, tell your wife or husband and the kids. They’ll hold you to it, believe me! And both your work life AND your home life, not to mention your personal wellbeing, will be better for

Doing the Whole Job

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Mark, Mark, Mark. Do I ever remember Mark!

He was the golden child at one of the first jobs I ever had, a salesman who charmed the socks off every customer and brought in business like he was bringing in the morning paper.

But I noticed a funny thing at the end of the quarter when we looked at the numbers. No wonder he was bringing them in by the dozens—he was giving away the farm! Mark was so focused on getting customers to love him that he undercut our profits on every sale!

But here’s the thing—no one else seemed to notice, or if they did, they didn’t care. When I pointed it out to a colleague, she shrugged and said, “Hey, Mark does what he has to do. He’s a superstar.” (more…)

What did YOU do on “Thank God it’s Monday” Day?

Friday, January 14th, 2011

What did you do last Monday—the very first Monday of 2011? If you were like a gazillion other people around the world, you headed back to work with bloodshot eyes, six extra pounds under the belt, and pure eggnog in your veins.