FYI...You Are Responsible For Your Own Professional Development...YOU!

Thursday, December 1, 2016




Long time, no see Divas! Lots have been going on, but we'll catch up later because I have something on my spirit that I have to share. Every day, my boss sends around a "Thought of the Day," many of which make me want to do mini praise dance when I read them. Today, he sent around the Rollo May quote above. While I didn't quite do a praise dance, I was moved to jump on The Chronicles and quickly share my thoughts on the importance of taking charge of one's own professional development. All too often, I hear new professionals complain lament about not having adequate opportunities for professional development or growth. Many believe that going to work and doing a great job is the formula for professional growth. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this formula is not synonymous with growth...or with professional development. In fact, going to work and doing a great job is a given...standard...basic...a starting point. In my humble opinion, if this is all you are doing, then you are placing your professional development in the hand of someone else. You are waiting for someone to recognize that you come to work and do a great job, and subsequently give you more opportunities as a result. Usually with no extra effort on your part. You are merely waiting for an opportunity to come to you. 

Don't get me wrong...accepting opportunities based on a job well done is not a bad thing. It is great when someone takes an interest in your professional development; but this can't be where it ends. Nobody else should want you to succeed and progress more than you want it for yourself. To this end, you are the ultimate guide on your quest for professional greatness. Throughout your career, you should be taking the most active role in your own development; mold yourself. In doing so, you are not solely relying on someone else. How freeing is that!

So now that we've agreed that you should be the most active participant in your professional development and growth, what are some ways that you can do this? Well you know I have an opinion! Here are some tips (I hope to discuss many of these in detail on this blog really soon!):


1. Seek out your mentors; do not wait for one to find you.

2. Speak up at work. If you have an idea, let someone know. Be sure to think it through, and be ready to respond to any questions related to executing your idea.

3. Participate in work-related activities that are outside of your actual job responsibilities (i.e. attending a company-sponsored happy hour, participating in team-building outings, attending company-sponsored meetings and forums). Demonstrate to your superiors that you are interested and invested in your company's well-being. After all, you can't expect your company to invest in you if you are not willing to do the same. 

4. Never stop educating yourself. Stay abreast of the topics, changes, and trends associated with your profession. There's always something new to learn; you will never know it all, but keep learning.

5. Join and participate in professional organizations.

6. Be a well-rounded individual. Hobbies and interests not only keep you happy, but they are great fodder for discussion at networking events.

7. Speaking of networking, do it! Be sure to attend networking events related to your profession or your hobby/interest. You never know from where your next connection may come.

8. Work diligently to become an expert in your field. Perfect your craft!

9. Always go above and beyond. Remember, doing a great job is expected.


In sum, understand that no one is required to develop you professionally. It is not a right, and you should not depend on it. The one thing (or person), however, that you can depend on is you. You are responsible for your own professional development. Be diligent, take charge, and don't expect anyone else to do it for you.

That's all for me Divas! Please feel free to share any additional tips!


A Note About Credibility and Your Professional Reputation...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016




"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." Warren Buffett

Greeting Divas and Gents! I won't hold you long with this post, but there has been something on my spirit that I feel the need to release. Recently, I have encountered many instances of folks doing things that could have detrimental effects on their professional reputation. Things that I could not have imagined doing at any point in my career. Things that I would have hoped that common sense could have prevented. But here I am sitting at lunch writing this post because I am befuddled as to why one would make choices in the moment that have long-lasting effects. Whenever I see folks exhibiting this type of behavior, I remember something that my mentors have always said to me...the same something I am going to share with you all...because I share!

Over the course of your career, it is important to continuously make deposits into your credibility bank account. You do this by working hard, churning out excellent work product, and doing all of those things that lends itself to you being a great professional. You also earn credibility "dollars" by doing other things not directly related to your work product, like having an overall positive attitude, being a team player, and showing up to company-sponsored events and activities. All of these things build credibility and lends itself to a positive reputation. So for all of you professionals out there making it rain at the credibility bank, I urge you to keep up the good work...it takes time to build "wealth" in this area, so stay the course. I also caution you to withdraw from your account wisely. It's bound to happen at some point(s) in your career. Maybe you inadvertently missed a deadline. Or perhaps you showed up to a meeting late. Or not at all! The good thing about building credibility is that in doing so, you afford yourself the opportunity to make withdrawals when necessary. So imagine if throughout your career you fail to make any credibility deposits, and then find yourself in a position where you need to make a withdrawal. What happens then? Overdraft!




Okay, maybe I'm getting a little out of hand with this metaphor, so let me bring reputation into this really quickly. When building credibility wealth, you inevitably develop a reputation for yourself. If you are being a stellar professional, you will have created a reputation as...a stellar professional. Small missteps won't kill your reputation if your credibility bank account is fat. But if your account is slim, you cannot afford to  act up! In this instance your reputation is not that great, so you have insufficient funds to make a withdrawal. Similarly, continuously making withdrawals from your account is indicative of a declining reputation. 

So here is my message (and the reason for this post) to all of you professionals whose reputations are unfavorable and/or on the decline due to continuous withdrawals: do better! Also know that not all deposits and withdrawals are created equal. Your great work product may be good for a $100 deposit, but getting wasted and showing out at the company picnic will cost you about $80. It's just like Mr. Buffett said: "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." So please take the time to think before you behave in such a way that will drain your credibility account and tank your reputation.

I hope all of this makes sense, and I hope that my sentiment was not loss. Let's talk about it!




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The 4 Types of People You Do Not Want to Be In the Office

Monday, June 6, 2016



Greetings Divas! The following post is one that I've been thinking about for a little while. A few months back, I started thinking about those characteristics that are not ideal in the office environment. More specifically, I tried to isolate specific types of individuals who are toxic to the workplace, and who can make your work environment more stressful and less productive. In considering these individuals, I started doing some self-reflection. By no stretch of the imagination am I the perfect professional, and I am certainly capable of improving in many areas...no one is above self-improvement. I started looking at instances when I was not at my best; when I was not as productive as I should be in the office. Instances when I was downright raggedy! Once I isolated those instances, and pulled the characteristics that I was exhibiting in those moments. And that, folks, is how I came up with this list of the 4 types of people one does not want to be in the office. Take a look, and be honest with yourself...have you, at some point in your career, been any of these people? If so, how did you check yourself?

1. The Negaholic - The Negaholic is the most toxic individual in the office. This is the person who turns any and every thing into something negative. The Negaholic always thinks the glass is half empty, and then works overtime to convince everyone to join in her pessimism. The Negaholic complains about everything, and never sees the good in anything. I once worked with a classic Negaholic, so I know from experience how toxic this individual is to an office and to a team. Trust me when I tell you...you do not want to be her!

2. The Slacker - This rule is simple. If your entire team is swamped, you should be swamped as well. It's the classic teamwork model. When the team is in the trenches and trying to complete a task, it's all hands on deck. Simply put, if everyone else on your team is working late every day for a week, you should also be working late. This may seem like an arduous notion for those of us with other pressing responsibilities. If this is the case, be sure to communicate your other obligations to your team.

3. The Gossip - There's at least one in every office environment...and you know exactly who she is! She's the one who is seemingly always standing around the coffee station, or the restroom, or at someone's desk with a fresh slate of gossip to share with anyone who will listen. This person does not typically care whether the gossip is true or not, but she is happy to forego a productive work day to spread said gossip around. Needless to say, the Gossip is not a productive member of the team and is possibly the source of a lot of angst that may creep into the office. Don't be the messy gossip...no one really likes her!

4. The Chatterbox - One of the most irritating individuals to work with is the Chatterbox. The Chatterbox is especially irritating when there's a lot of work to do. Think about it for a second. You are at your desk working hard on a project with an approaching deadline, and the Chatterbox shows up at your desk to talk about anything and everything but work. The next thing you know, twenty minutes have gone by and you are no closer to getting your project done. Although the Chatterbox may be friendly and generally means well, she is a distraction. The last thing you want to be is a distraction, as distractions are dispensable.



Ways To Maximize Your Tax Refund!

Monday, April 4, 2016


Greetings Divas! Please indicate by a show of heels if you still have not filed your taxes...I'll wait! Well, surprisingly you are not alone. There are many folks who tend to file their taxes on or in close proximity to the the April 15th deadline. But I'm not here today to chastise anyone on not yet completing his or her taxes...that would be hypocritical of me since I am one of those last minute folks (no judging please!).  The reason for this post is share suggestions on what to do with your tax refund. In the past, I have suggested ways in which you could maximize your tax refund (see here...and here!). Many of my suggestions focused on self-improvement, like paying down debt, investing in oneself with further professional training, or contributing to one's savings. 

As we approach Tax Day, I am happy to present the Infograph below, which was created by the good people over at the U.S. Tax Center. It presents some great ideas on how you can maximize your tax refund. Take a moment to check out these tips; they can be useful if you have already received your refund, or if you anticipate one in the near future. As always, if you are in the sharing spirit, add a few of your own suggestions in the comments. Enjoy and have a great week! 



Infograph courtesy of the U.S. Tax Center




Infograph: Mistakes Made During Job Interviews

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Greetings Divas! As promised, here is the second infograph from the Interview Laboratory. On Monday, I posted an infograph presenting  Pre-Interview, Interview, and Post-Interview tips. Today I wanted to follow up and share Mistakes Made During Job Interviews. This infograph outlines common mistakes made during job interviews in a really helpful and colorful way.  Again, this is really great information that may be useful during your next interview. So, check it out! Also, please be sure to check out the Interview Laboratory...they have some pretty useful information to share! See below for various contact information. Have a happy hump day!




Special thanks to the Interview Laboratory for permitting me to use their visuals. Please check them out:

Website: http://www.interviewlaboratory.com/en.php
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interviewlabor 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/interview-labor 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/interviewlabor 



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