Having a plan for your career was important before the pandemic – and it’s even more critical now as companies are adapting and accelerating changes throughout their organizations. Do you know where you are headed? Below are steps you can take to develop a plan for the next months, years or decades of their careers.Know your skills and strengthsFirst, take a skills inventory to know your strengths and where they could apply in the future. Many soft skills like communication, creativity and leadership that helped you in a previous or current role can be transferred to future opportunities. To help with this process, use an outside resource that can help spot hidden strengths. The SkillsInSight tool, for example, is a free and short assessment that you can take to receive immediate feedback on what your personality traits say about your strengths and opportunities in the workforce. Have career conversationsThe organization you work for should seek to help you on your journey, whether that means developing hard skills or soft skills to take the next leap. Schedule conversations with your manager to discuss how they can assist. You can also check with your HR department to see what virtual tools or career growth classes they may offer, or if they provide tuition remission or other assistance to take ongoing education. Make your goals and plans known to those in the organization so they can help you succeed.Know your career optionsDo you want to seek out a new responsibility in your organization, and redeploy new skills to help colleagues? Or do you have an eye on a new kind of role in a different organization? Or are you excited to explore new emerging digital jobs that may not even exist yet? In any event, do research to see what options may exist in your immediate vicinity or beyond, and consider how they fit your short- and long-term career goals.No matter where you are in your career, taking the time to consider what you really want is an important strategy amid an ongoing crisis. Start planning today, and you give yourself the opportunity to reach where you really want to find yourself in the future.
Developing a Career Roadmap for Your Future
Top Communication Skills Employers Seek From College Grads
If you are a recent graduate, now is the time to work on refining certain skills to help your transition to the workplace.This summer, a new group of ambitious college graduates will hit the job market. Along with their energy and enthusiasm also comes inexperience. Here are the top communication skills that employers want to see from new grads. Listen, listen, listenWhen you are just starting out, you should listen more than you talk. Really hear what the other person is saying, instead of formulating your response. Ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings. The person speaking to you should be the most important person. Don’t multitask. This means that if you are speaking to someone on the phone, do not respond to an email, or send a text at the same time. Be clear and concise Maybe every once in a while, on occasion it could be said that a college student filled a 20-page paper will a few filler words to meet a minimum word count. In the business setting, however, time is money. Getting to the point in a presentation or meeting is a premium communication skill. Work on clearly articulating your point in a concise and direct manner.Project management skills In college, a big project rarely lasted longer than a semester, and usually were much shorter. But in the workplace, you are often expected to juggle multiple projects that can last six months, a year or longer. Set several milestone goals, check in on progress regularly, get feedback, and use the resources of others around you. Practice the art of meetings Meetings in an office are also different than the group meetings or the dorms at college. To respect others’ time, always send out an agenda before the meeting, giving participants enough time to prepare. At the start of the meeting, establish the ground rules for communicating, and any other expectations. Finally, send meeting minutes to those who participated or who will be affected by what was discussed. Organizations know that it will take time for new graduates to get acclimated to their new work environment. That’s also a two-way street. Spend time getting up to speed in your communication practices, and the transition will be smoother for everyone.
How to Move Past Setbacks at Work
After a setback or mistake at work, at one time or another, we have all questioned our abilities or if we were in the right role. But it’s important to consider the big picture and get stronger from setbacks. Here are questions to ask, ways to learn from your mistakes and come back stronger. Determine your core strengthsDo you feel like your work is an effective use of your talents – or are you lacking in a key skill? This may seem overly basic, but for a variety of reasons sometimes your skills aren’t where you can best align them in your role. You may have missed the mark if you didn’t have the proper training, support or understanding of your role. Talk with your supervisor to learn exactly what you need to succeed, and where you can grow. Take pride in your workEvery job has elements that can feel like chores. But take a deeper look if this is a temporary unpleasantness or a systematic problem. Many successful projects will have trial and error or even failure built in on the path toward meaningful changes. Ask yourself at the end of the day, where can you reflect on your work and have a sense of pride in your accomplishments and what you’ve produced for the world?Find support from mentorsEveryone has their own examples of coming up short, and often that’s people on your own team who can relate most to the same type of mistakes. Lean into these relationships when you need them and ask for support. A robust support system can help you get through frustrations and setbacks, and one of the best indicators of job satisfaction is the relationships you build with colleagues, bosses and others at your work.Focus on what you can controlWith setbacks, there can be factors outside of your control. But you will be more resilient if you focus on what you can control, such as upskilling, growing and improving. Learnability is the desire and ability to continually learn and grow throughout our careers. To keep that skill sharp, ask yourself what a setback can teach you, and what you can learn. After a setback, the key is to continue to understand what happened and adapt. Look to the future, understand that mistakes will happen, and make the experience a catalyst for becoming better.
How to Practice Gratitude at Work
Grateful people are successful people.“Gratitude is the ultimate performance-enhancing substance at work,” says Professor Robert Emmons, a gratitude researcher and professor of psychology at UC Davis.Employees who excel at work don’t wait for something good to happen to be thankful; it’s often the other way around. To get yourself on the gratitude track, here are ways to increase gratitude in the workplace.Notice the small thingsAt the end of the work day, make a list of three things that went right. Even if it was a challenging day, anyone can find three positives, such as finishing an important email, booking a meeting or committing to taking a lunch break. Put this in a prominent place at your desk where you’ll see it when you arrive the next day. Be thankful for small wins and use the moment to start the day with momentum.Compliment a colleagueIt’s easy to get wrapped up in our routine and challenges we face. But even when you’re busy – and especially when you’re busy – pausing to notice the accomplishments of a colleague and thank them will lighten your load. When you pay attention to catch your co-workers doing something right, you’re less likely to negatively stew over your problems. The positivity will be reflected back on your mood and productivity.Write simple thank you notesYou don’t have to make a big show of gratitude. A simple post-it note that’s left on your monitor or on a colleague’s desk will do the job just fine. It’s not the stationary that counts – it’s the thought.Create a digital gratitude folderWhen you get an email that means a lot to you, don’t delete it or let it sit in your inbox. Instead, start a gratitude email folder for compliments and projects you’ve accomplished. Scroll through it on days when you need the extra boost.Gratitude takes work, but it’s worth it. Being mindful of what’s right can help build momentum into a beneficial upward cycle. Thanks for reading – now pass it on.