Ways to Restore Equilibrium When Work is a B****h

Someone asks you how work is going. You roll your eyes, make a farm animal-like sound, and feel yourself gearing up for a diatribe.

Even if you love your job, there will be rough times. Times when the thought of going into work brings dread. Long hours, working weekends, and doing tasks that don’t play to your strengths.

In other blogs, I’ve talked about how to change your thinking so you’re getting the results you want at work no matter the circumstances. Today, let’s talk about how to get back to normal when things at work aren’t, so you aren’t damaging your evenings and weekends (and alienating friends and family).

For the purposes of this article, I’m focusing on what you can do outside of work, rather than changing what is happening at work.

Make physical activity a priority

For some reason, when we’re overworked one of the first things we take off our “to-do” list is exercise.

If you have to let some things go in your personal life during a stressful time at work, there are two things you MUST keep as priorities, and one of them is physical activity.

What can you do that you a) enjoy, and b) will give you the biggest bang in the shortest amount of time?

Get sufficient sleep

This is the other priority you MUST keep, no matter what is happening at work.

You KNOW you can’t possibly give your best effort at work if you are sleep-deprived. Further, your family and friends aren’t going to want to hang around you if you’re only half-awake.

Set a personal goal

Having a goal that has nothing to do with work can be a powerful motivator to make the best use of your non-work hours.

Do you want to train for a half-marathon, learn a foreign language, or hone your painting skills?

Identify something you’re passionate about and give it a regular slot in your schedule.

Cultivate your relationships

When you’re in a stressful period at work, it can be easy to forego plans with friends and family. It can also be difficult to initiate such plans if you’re afraid you’ll have to bail at the 11th hour.

The key here is to go for quality over quantity. You might not be able to set three or four social engagements during a stressful week at work, but can you schedule one? Or do you have a friend or loved one who is game for a last-minute activity when you find yourself with an unexpected open block of time?

Let go of the unimportant

When your personal time is limited, this presents a great opportunity to eliminate the unnecessary and inconsequential from your life.

What can you stop doing? What can you hire someone else to do, such as cleaning or yard work? Are there relationships in your life that no longer serve you? Can you create personal time by having groceries delivered or purchasing pre-made meals? Could you turn off the t.v. in favor of a workout or visiting with a friend?

Look at your daily and weekly activities with a critical eye, and eliminate or minimize those that aren’t enjoyable for you.

Ask for help

Let those closest to you know what’s going on at work, how long you expect it to continue, and ask for their help. Parents, a spouse or significant other, and your closest friends might be able to pitch in with such things as shopping, childcare, and simple errands.

Don’t suffer in silence! “No one can fill those of our needs that we don’t let show,” says the classic song “Lean on Me.” So true.


Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Work/Life Blend (Balance is a Myth)” click here:

050: Work/Life Blend (Balance is a Myth)


050: Work/Life Blend (Balance is a Myth)

Why Work/Life Balance is a Myth

Think about it: Work/Life balance, to me, is like Work is on one side of a teeter-totter, and Life is on the other side.

When one side of the teeter-totter gets “heavier,” meaning you spend more of your time and attention on it, the other side gets “lighter,” meaning you spend less time and attention on it.

In other words, focusing on Work is at the expense of your Life, and focusing on your Life is at the expense of your Work.

I don’t think this model serves anyone.

Rather, think of Work/Life blend, meaning a delicious mixture of both where the Work ingredients are indistinguishable from the Life ingredients.

Sometimes your recipe calls for a bit more Work. Sometimes your recipe calls for a bit more Life.

You always have a choice when it comes to what you put into your mixture. You may think you don’t, but I promise you do.

When Work Takes Up More of the Recipe

For example, let’s imagine you’ve just gotten a promotion. There’s a fairly steep learning curve for your new job, and you’re under the gun from day one to get a major project completed on time.

It may FEEL like your recipe will be all Work and no Life. But you actually have options.

You could:

-Turn the promotion down

-Negotiate with your new boss for help with the project

-Look for a new job that won’t require as much of your time and attention

-Seek help with aspects of your Life you can delegate, such as housecleaning, grocery shopping, and errands, so you can focus as much time as you need to on your new job

-Eliminate some time-stealers from your personal life in favor of engaging in more meaningful activities

When Life Takes Up More of the Recipe

Let’s imagine one of your parents has just been given a terminal diagnosis, and you are the person to take care of your parent during the illness.

You could:

-Seek help with your parent from other family members or close friends

-Seek a facility that will provide your parent with needed care

-Quit your job so you can focus entirely on your parent

-Ask for a leave of absence from your job

-Speak with your boss about sharing some of your workload with others

There are probably many more options you might consider. The point is, you have options, and it doesn’t serve you to think “I’m trapped,” or “How am I going to manage this?”

Particularly in times when one area of your life is “heavy,” it’s a good idea to set goals for the other area of your life so you’re getting maximum bang for your buck.

Think of it this way: What one ingredient can I put in my mixture that will make the most impact?

How to Make the Most of the Time You Are at Work

-Complete something you’ve been working on a long time

-Organize your physical space and/or computer files

-Get on a committee/project that won’t take a tremendous amount of your time, but will have a high return for your professional reputation and career

-Go deep with the aspect of your job you most enjoy…perhaps it’s creativity, analytical, organizing…

-Take a critical look at what you are currently doing: What can be eliminated? What can be put on the back burner? What can be delegated?

How to Make the Most of the Time You AREN’T at Work

-Make time for exercise. What can you eliminate from your Life to make this a priority? Is there a different type of exercise or way of exercising you could use during this time?

-Look for time wasters, such as watching t.v., and replace them with more satisfying activities.

-Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

-Get creative with your meals to eliminate time spent in preparation, without sacrificing food quality. Especially during this time, you need your nutrition to support you.

-What activity restores your equilibrium? Here are some possibilities;




-Getting out in nature

-Spending time with friends/family

-Learning (something that has nothing to do with work)


-Making art or music

The bottom line, then, is to make sure your ingredients are meaningful to you. When you have less time to spend on Life, make sure the time you do spend gives you the greatest ROI. When work has to be diminished because of things going on in your personal life, make sure you’re focused on the most important aspects of your job…and be willing to put others on the back burner.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here


049: What to Do if You’re Not Growing at Work

So you’re not growing at work.

There are two facets to this topic I want to cover:

-You’re not being given new tasks or assignments to stimulate you (this is a management issue)

-You aren’t feeling motivated to do the work anymore (this is an internal issue)

You’re not being given new tasks or assignments.

If you’re not being given new tasks or assignments, it’s time to speak with your boss.

Be sure to listen to episode #47, where I talk about internal professional development possibilities, and how to take advantage of them.

For some of you, the boss is the reason you’re not being given new tasks or assignments. What do you do then?

I think it’s useful to figure out what’s really going on. Here are some possibilities:

-Your boss is afraid you’ll take her position and wants to hold you down.

How do you know if this is your problem? Look for evidence that your boss is an insecure person. Defensiveness, blaming others while refusing to take responsibility for her mistakes, and a general nervous energy are symptoms of an insecure boss.

Solution: Many times, this is a situation that requires you either move elsewhere in the company or leave the company altogether.

-Your boss isn’t aware that you want more of a challenge, or of all the skills and talents you have.

 How do you know if this is your problem? Your boss isn’t tuned into her employees, either professionally or personally. She doesn’t make an effort to get to know you or her other employees through such things as team building activities, happy hour, or going to lunch together. Distant, detached, uncaring are words you might use to describe your boss.

Solution: Set up a meeting with your boss to express your goals and concerns, without placing any blame on your boss. Let her know, directly and respectfully, that you want more challenge. Bring with you to the meeting ideas you have for ways in which you can better utilize your motivated skills.

-Your boss has so much on her plate that developing her employees has gone to the back burner.

 How do you know if this is your problem? As opposed to the previous situation’s detached and uncaring boss, this boss is overworked, overwhelmed, and overcommitted. She’s probably not a good time manager and may have trouble saying “no” to her boss. She may frequently cancel staff meetings at the last minute, she barely slows down all day, and seems distracted when she’s with you.

Solution: You have a chance here to offer to take something off your boss’s plate. You can take on an activity you’re excited about while relieving your boss a bit. Win-win.

-Your boss hasn’t been properly trained on how to lead and manage others and doesn’t understand that developing her employees is part of her job.

How do you know if this is your problem? This often looks like someone who isn’t comfortable in the supervisory shoes she’s been placed in. She consistently says and does the wrong thing in supervising her employees, or conversely, avoids actually supervising anyone. There’s also an element of fear here, because she may be terribly afraid she’ll be “found out” as incompetent. Often times, these people don’t recognize the failure of their own bosses to properly train them.

Solution: There’s not much you can do here, so this is a situation that probably requires looking for another job. If developing employees is not a company value, then an internal move probably won’t resolve the problem – you’ll need to look outside your current employer.

-Your boss is narcissistic, concerned only with her position and status within the company and not her employees.

How do you know if this is your problem? Appearances are everything to this boss – it’s all flash and no substance. You are certain she would throw you under the bus without a second thought in order to make herself look good. You certainly aren’t going to get the leadership, coaching, and mentorship you want from your boss if she’s a narcissist.

Solution: Run, don’t walk, because narcissists think only of themselves and won’t have your back when you most need it. Seek an internal transfer or look outside your employer.

You’ve lost your motivation.

If the problem is you’ve lost your motivation, here are my top tips to get it back:

Your thoughts

I promise you the lack of motivation you’re experiencing is a result of thoughts you’re having about your job, your boss, your coworkers, or your employer. NOT the job itself.

The first step is awareness of the thoughts you’re having.

The second step is to gently direct your thoughts to ones that serve you better.

For example, if you’re thinking “I hate my job,” you might redirect your thoughts to “I have a job.”

From there, you can practice thinking more positive thoughts about your job.

Shake Up the Repetition

Often times, a dip in motivation comes from feeling like you’re in a rut…doing the same things day after day, in exactly the same way.

How can you shake up what you do, how or when you do it, to infuse some motivation into your work?

Get creative here. Design a new system, process, or tool to help you do your job better. Is there the possibility of doing your work in a different physical environment? How can you look at your work through new lenses?

Helping Others

Who can you help at work?

Mentoring another employee, volunteering through your employer, or joining a committee that is doing meaningful work can all be ways to infuse your motivation.

Do It Anyway

Give your best every day regardless of whether or not you are motivated.

Sometimes, my biggest accomplishments come from plowing through a completely uninspired day to do the work anyway.


Celebrate even your smallest achievements at work.

Make a game of rewarding yourself for little things…make it fun! If your department doesn’t have any fun awards, set one up and lead it yourself.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here



Five Quick Ways to Get Branded as Unprofessional

In last week’s blog, I defined professionalism, the characteristics of a professional, and how to polish your professionalism.

The flip side of professionalism, of course, is being unprofessional.

Merriam-Webster defines unprofessional as “below or contrary to the standards expected in a particular profession.”

Here then, are my top five ways to quickly become branded as “unprofessional.” I’ve described them as you might talk about someone who is unprofessional, and given you some of my real-world experiences with unprofessional behavior.

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Years ago, I worked with an IT person who, when I hired him, was up-to-date with his IT knowledge. He didn’t continue to hone those skills, however, so by the time he was terminated, his skills were completely out of date.

Not only did this mean he wasn’t going to get a glowing recommendation from me as his most recent boss, it also meant he was going to have a hard time landing another position in IT.

“She always blames someone else when something goes wrong.”

Gaining a reputation as a blamer is a sure-fire way to get branded as unprofessional.

While I can’t say I’ve worked with a chronic blamer, I have worked with multiple employees who wouldn’t accept responsibility for their own actions.

A particular coordinator I worked with was engaging in some very unprofessional behavior. When I confronted her about this, she denied saying and doing the things I knew were true. Her denial made it very difficult for me to try to fix the damage her behavior had caused.

“You can’t count on him to come through.”

You simply won’t be given the tony assignments if you cultivate a reputation as a ball-dropper.

The afore-mentioned IT tech was in charge of a very important annual report with implications for the entire university. After he was terminated, I discovered that he had used the previous year’s stats to create the current year’s report. I can’t even tell you what a nightmare that was.

“She is rude and inconsiderate.”

People won’t continue to help you, or even work with you, if you’re rude and inconsiderate.

At a former employer, the Director of Public Relations had the reputation of telling you what you were going to do, rather than asking for your help. Further, she wasn’t thankful or appreciative in the least when you did it.

People learned to avoid this individual, get their bosses to say they couldn’t do the thing she was asking them to do…anything to avoid working with her.

“He came to the meeting without the materials he needed, and he clearly wasn’t prepared.”

My favorite example of being unprepared is from a job interview I conducted years ago.

The interviewee, when asked if she had any questions for us, said “Am I going to get another interview? I need to know whether or not to do some research on [company].”

Can’t get much more unprepared than that, and then she telegraphed her lack of preparation.


Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Here’s a link to this week’s podcast, “External Education Opportunities:”

048: External Education Opportunities



048: External Education Opportunities

In episode 47, I talked about taking advantage of your company’s internal training opportunities. I also talked about 7 strategies for creating one-on-one professional development opportunities for yourself, regardless of whether or not your employer has formal programs like these.

Today, let’s talk about continuing your education outside your current employer.

University Continuing Education Departments

Most universities, particularly those in larger cities, have a Continuing Education department. These departments are an external arm of the university, and typically offer a range of professional development courses.

These courses generally fall into one of three categories:

-A cluster of courses leading to a certification or other professional credential

-Stand-alone courses that provide you with targeted knowledge

-Courses created for a specific employer/industry, with training specific to that employer or industry

A note about any training you attend: keep a folder so that, when you update your resume, you’ll have ready access to the specifics of your professional development. This folder can also be a handy place to keep any certificates or other documentation you receive for attending.

For-Profit Training Companies

When I worked in higher education, I regularly got brochures from Fred Pryor, Skill Path, and other for-profit companies that were providing in-person training in a city near me.

I’m sure some of these companies no longer exist and others have sprouted up, and not all of them have a great reputation. So do your due diligence if you see a course you’re interested in to make sure it’s a good expenditure of your employer’s money.

These for-profit training companies can be particularly effective for you to get training on a targeted subject that your employer isn’t likely to offer.

Targeted Coursework at a University as a “Non-Degree-Seeking” Student

Perhaps you want to take a course in marketing or accounting at a university as a non-degree seeking student. You may also be able to audit a class, which simply means you take the course but don’t get a grade or any formal recognition that you took the class.

Many of my clients seek out courses they can take at Ivy League schools, so they have that university’s name on their resume.

Conferences, Workshops, or Seminars Offered Through Your Professional Associations

Your professional associations are often the best source for professional development that is specific to the work you do. Many offer an annual conference, along with more frequent workshops and seminars that may be offered in-person or online.

Attending conferences has the added benefit of exposure to other professionals in your field. Many have an infrastructure in place for employers with open positions to source candidates at the conference, and even interview on-site.

Another benefit of professional associations is the opportunity to serve on committees that give you exposure to a wide range of people in your field. I have served on committees for new professionals, the planning committee for the annual conference, and on executive boards. Many of the people I met on these committees are still my friends today.

The Graduate Degree

How do you determine if it’s the right time for you to pursue a graduate degree? How do you determine if you even should pursue a graduate degree? Here are my guidelines:

DO seek a graduate degree IF:

-You are very clear on your career path, and know that a graduate degree will help you move up, OR

-You have maxed out in your career field without a graduate degree, AND

-Your work schedule will allow you to fully commit to the program once you’ve entered

DON’T seek a graduate degree:

-To avoid entering or continuing in the job market (there are less expensive ways to hide from your life), OR

-If you are unclear about what you want to study, OR

-Just because you have an interest in a particular field (unless you are independently wealthy), OR

-If you’ve started a new job less than a year ago. You have a learning curve for your job that doesn’t leave much room for anything else, AND

-If your work schedule is erratic, you work incredibly long hours, or in any way can’t fully commit to the program.

Many employers offer tuition reimbursement for continuing your education, and this is a topic you can ask about in the job interview. Be sure to find out the finer points of the reimbursement program, such as length of time you have to be in the position before you are eligible, or how long you have to work for the organization after completing the degree.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here







What Makes a Great Employer?

This month on my podcast, I’m talking about professional development…how to take advantage of internal and external opportunities to grow professionally.

Which got me to thinking about what a candidate should look for in a prospective employer. The qualities and characteristics of a great employer.

Use this guide to evaluate your current employer or potential employers when you are job searching.

Flexible work schedule – What is possible varies by job function and industry, but great companies offer as much work flexibility as possible. This may include work from home, hours outside the typical 8-5, and compressed work weeks.

Fun and creative culture – While “fun” and “creative” will vary from industry to industry (and person to person), a great company will facilitate creativity and work to develop an environment people want to be in and can be engaged with.

Cultivating the whole person – Great companies don’t view their employees as robot workers, but are interested in seeing them develop holistically. This may include health and wellness, affinity groups, and encouragement of life outside of work. 

Eliminating under-performers – The great Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, terminated the bottom 10% of performers every year. Rather than generating an atmosphere of fear, this action encouraged employees to perform at their best. It can’t be overstated the damage done to the work environment and productivity when slackers are kept around, and great companies don’t tolerate under-performers. 

Rewarding great customer service – Great companies set a very high standard for customer service, and they make sure they reward employees for delivering. They eliminate any impediments to great customer service.

Encouraging balance – Great companies simply do not expect their employees to work 50 or 60 hours or more every week on an ongoing basis. They reward employees based on results, not hours spent “working.”

Inspirational mission – Great companies articulate an inspirational mission, then ensure that every unit and every employee act in accordance with that mission. Great companies don’t just paint their mission on the wall, they live it.

Competitive wages and a good incentive plan – To be a great company, they must pay at least the prevailing wages for the work they are asking people to do, and incentive plans must align with the company’s mission and goal.

Open to ideas and feedback – Great companies want to hear from their employees, and have an infrastructure in place for employees to submit their ideas. Further, employees can see that their ideas are being considered – and they are rewarded when their ideas are put into place.

Open and frequent communication – Great companies avoid silos at all costs by communicating openly and freely with all employees. No one feels like they are in the Mushroom Club – kept in the dark and fed s**t.

Views employees as partners – Great companies don’t treat their employees as slave labor; rather, that they are their most valuable asset. Enough said.

Forward-looking and future-focused – Great companies have a long- horizon view and are taking steps in the present to ensure even greater success down the line. Great companies are never caught flat-footed when new technology, trends, or market shifts emerge.

Recognition of employees – Great companies recognize employees for behaviors that contribute to the organizational mission.

 Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

To listen to this week’s podcast, “What to do if You’re Not Growing at Work,” click here:



What is Professionalism, Anyway?

This week’s podcast is on internal professional development options with your employer. Which got me to thinking about the word “professional.” Or, more specifically “professionalism.”

What is professionalism, anyway? Most of us can think of people in our universe who are “consummate professionals.” Most of us can also rattle off the names of a few “unprofessional” people we know.

But most of us would be hard-pressed to define or describe professionalism.

What the Dictionary Has to Say

Merriam-Webster defines professionalism this way: “The conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.”

The dictionary goes on to say that professionalism is “The skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.”

Characteristics of Professionalism

Daniel Porcupile, in an article on LinkedIn, gives these characteristics of professionalism:

Specialized Knowledge – According to Daniel, professionals “have worked in a serious, thoughtful, and sustained way to master the specialized knowledge needed to succeed in their fields; they keep this knowledge up-to-date so that they can continue to deliver the best work possible.”

Competency – Professionals don’t make excuses; they get the job done.

Honesty and Integrity – This quality speaks to standing firm on values and morals, no matter the situation.

Accountability – When professionals make a mistake, they own that mistake and don’t try to place blame.

Self-Regulation – Daniel describes this quality as “show(ing) respect for the people around them, no matter what their role or situation. They exhibit a high degree of emotional intelligence (EI) by considering the emotions and needs of others, and they don’t let a bad day impact how they interact with colleagues or clients.”

Image – There are two aspects to image: how you dress and how you show up. Professionals always dress the part, and they exude confidence and competence.

Improving Your Professionalism

Here are Daniel Porcupile’s suggestions for improving your professionalism:

Build Expertise – Stay current with the skills and knowledge you need to do your job.

Develop Emotional Intelligence – There are many aspects of emotional intelligence, but Daniel focuses on active listening and awareness of what is going on around you.

Honor Commitments – Don’t make excuses; do what you say you will do.

Be Polite – Be kind and considerate of others; and use good manners.

Have the Tools You Need – Always be prepared at work, whether for meetings, presentations, or whatever.

In conclusion, Daniel says this about the motivation for developing your professionalism: “This is why it’s so important that we work to earn a professional reputation in the workplace. True professionals are the first to be considered for promotions, they are awarded valuable projects or clients, and they are routinely successful in their careers.”

Here’s my final piece of advice: Ask 2-3 close colleagues (who will be brutally honest with you) how you score on each of the characteristics of professionalism. Then get to work on the aspect you need the most work on.

To listen to this week’s podcast on Taking Advantage of Your Employer’s Professional Development Opportunities:

O47: Taking Advantage of Professional Development Opportunities

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here


O47: Taking Advantage of Professional Development Opportunities

According to Inc.com, many companies provide professional development through eLearning and may provide reimbursement for employees to attend professional conferences or obtain external certifications.

Inc.com goes on to say that, while these are important and can be effective for employee development, on-the-job-development accounts for up to 75% of effective learning.

In 2014, the 100 Best Companies to Work For by Great Place to Work put employee development as a top priority, more than any other area. I expect this will remain a top priority and a key focus for many organizations over the coming years as we continue to see the landscape for recruiting great talent become even more competitive.

Not providing growth and development opportunities to direct reports and teams can have a lot of consequences. Probably the most damaging is that they decide to find development elsewhere and leave for another opportunity externally.

Here are seven tools for you to take advantage of on-the-job professional development. Your company may have formalized programs around one or more of these; if not, ask your boss if you or he/she can initiate something.

Stretch Assignments and Projects

Are there projects or special assignments coming up in your company that you would be a valuable team member on, and also allow you to grow professionally? Serving on a cross-functional team is particularly beneficial for you, as you are interacting with people from across the company.

This type of role will likely require time away from your primary assignments, so be sure to check with your boss about taking on any assignments outside your department.

Job Enrichment

Are there opportunities for you to augment your current role by making presentations at team meetings, joining a committee, or volunteering through your employer? Human Resources is often a good starting place to find out about committees and your employer’s volunteer policy. If you are able to take paid time off to volunteer, be sure to coordinate the time away with your boss.

Mentoring or Coaching

If you listened to podcast #37 where I interviewed Becky Cutright of the Federal Reserve Bank, she talked about mentoring as being one of the most important aspects of her career success. If your employer doesn’t have a formal mentoring program, find someone in the company who will share his or her wisdom, insights, and expertise with you – as well as someone who is willing to take the time with you.

If your company makes coaching with a certified coach available to you, I highly recommend that you take advantage of this. There is no better way to work on those things that may be holding you back than to work with a certified coach.

Job Shadowing

This is a great way for you to learn the critical elements of other jobs, which can also benefit you in your current role. It also allows you to explore potential career opportunities elsewhere in your organization.

If your company doesn’t offer this program and your boss isn’t on board, get creative. Can you come in early, stay late, or work through your lunch break to shadow someone in another department? Can you meet with that individual a few times to ask them questions about their work, essentially conducting a “virtual job shadowing?”

Job Rotation

If your company provides a rotational program, I highly recommend you look into the requirements for consideration into that program. Rotations can last for days, months, or years. Rotational programs are very effective in retaining young employees, as it increases the likelihood that you’ll find your niche in the company.

Lateral Moves

While not a promotion and typically at the same salary, a lateral move provides you with new challenges and the ability to develop new skills. Also, it is a great retention tool.

A lateral move may be a good option if you aren’t getting the support you need from your current boss, or there is some other situation that is hindering your chances for success in your current role.


Don’t be shy about asking about the criteria for promotion within your department or unit. Once you know the criteria, you should set out to meet or exceed all requirements – therefor virtually ensuring you’ll be seriously considered.


In addition to these one-on-one professional development opportunities, your company may offer a formal development program. These are typically offered either in person, online, or in a blended format that combines the two.

If there are options as to which courses you can take, or if the entire program is optional, speak with your boss about what you should take. You also want to get him or her on board with the time away from your work you’ll need to participate in these programs.

Be strategic about what you take, because you don’t want to become known as that employee who takes everything that’s offered regardless of its applicability to your job. Also, you will be much more likely to retain information that you can immediately apply in your work.

A final word that applies to in-person training: you will be in the classroom with others from across the company. How you speak, how you act, and even how you look is a reflection on your brand. If you want to cultivate a positive reputation across the organization, be on your best behavior in these trainings.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here







Why Appearance Matters

Appearances Do Matter.

I can hear you now. “It doesn’t matter what I look like, it matters if I can do the work.”

Nope. Big Nope. Absolutely Nope.

Appearances do matter – at work and in life.

The old saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is so true.

In this week’s podcast, my guest Abigail Hunter covers her top five tips for professional dress and grooming.

In this blog, I want to talk about the consequences of not taking care with your appearance. The potential damage you are doing to your career.

Not being taken seriously.

One consequence of not taking care with your appearance is that others won’t pay attention to what you say or do.

Whether they realize it or not, they are subliminally picking up on the fact that you don’t think you are important enough to take care of.

And, if you’re not important enough to take care of, why should they pay attention to you?

Not being seen as promotable.

Sloppy appearance is one great way to ensure you aren’t considered for a promotion in your organization, especially if that promotion will come with greater exposure to the outside world.

Your boss isn’t likely to want to release you on customers, potential customers, or external stakeholders if your appearance doesn’t reflect positively on the organization.

Creating mini-yous.

Should you be in a position of leadership in your organization, your sloppy appearance sends a message to those you lead.

“It’s okay to look like you just rolled out of bed when you come to work in the morning” you are telling your team.

They will look to your appearance for guidance. And you are, in effect, hindering their career prospects.

Hindering your networking.

Maybe you would like to seek a position outside your organization, and you are networking to achieve that goal.

An unkempt appearance will leave a lasting negative impression on those you network with. Why would they want to recommend you to their employer?

Worse yet, you may neglect your networking altogether because, on some level, you recognize that you’re not making a positive impression.

And finally…

Not putting forth your best effort.

There’s just something about dressing and grooming that facilitates your ability to put forth your best effort at work.

You simply show up differently…hold your head a bit higher…state your opinions more willingly when you’re dressed appropriately.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here


046: Dress & Grooming with Abigail Hunter

This week’s podcast covers all the bases when it comes to dress and grooming for today’s workplace.

My guest this week is the fabulous Abigail Hunter, who gives her top five tips for my ladies and my dudes.

Abigail HunterAbigail’s Top Tips

-The importance of knowing your company’s dress code and how to interpret it

-Building a professional wardrobe of high-quality staples that last several seasons

-How to dress for the job you want, rather than the job you already have

-How essential it is to know your personal style, and how to dress for your body type

-Key tips for grooming

I encourage you to connect with Abigail Hunter on social media:

Instagram: ab.k_

Facebook: Abigail Hunter

YouTube: Abigail Hunter


Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here



ALSO: During the month of August, I’m hosting a giveaway to shamelessly promote my podcast. You get points for rating, reviewing, and subscribing, as well as liking Facebook business page (Exclusive Career Coaching), following my LinkedIn business page, and following me on Instagram.

I’m giving away a $260 gift that includes 3, $50 gift certificates, a really cool computer bag, pen, umbrella, and computer/phone charger.

Here’s the link to enter: