Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Building Leadership Skills

Many people won’t choose to become an organizational leader explicitly. Meaning they won’t become a manager, director, or someone else expected to lead a group of people through various tasks.

However, all of us can become better leaders as a part of our daily work. I ran across a list of 12 leadership tips for people that aren’t explicitly in charge, i.e. not the boss.

It’s a good list, and while this might seem like common sense, I think there are some good items to think about for the future in here, not the least of which is communication skills (#4).

I think that this is one of the most important things you can do, and it’s why I constantly preach blogging and practice of your communication skills. This is fundamental to the way that most of us interact with others. We must convince them, or question them, or report to them, all of which require good communication skills.

If you write often, practice writing.

If you speak to others, practice speaking.

Learn to become a better communicator above all else, and then look through the other tips to see what you can do better to increase your ability to provide leadership in your career.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Keep Up with Connections

I realized today that I haven’t logged into LinkedIn in a few weeks. I usually try to check after an event, and get connections updated with new invitations. However after my last two events, I had a number of family items in between and after. I didn’t check.

However I got a message some someone that noted they’d sent me a note on LinkedIn and I hadn’t replied. Ugh, that’s bad.

I found this:

2016-03-10 09_58_42-Store

Yikes. That’s a lot in a month. I’ve tried to check every week or two, so perhaps I’ve had this many and didn’t realize. I spent a few minutes reviewing and accepting invitations.

Note, I accept all invitations. However I classify them.

I need an appointment to remind me, and I’ve set one up.

2016-03-10 10_06_00-Start

This is a good time for me, late in the day, just busy work to look at connections, which should be quick.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Who Do You Want To Be?

One of the things that I think is important is for you to look forward in life. Look forward in your career to the professional that you want to be. Hopefully this is a goal you get closer to, but never reach as you strive to always be better.

Even if you change directions, for example, for me moving from a software programmer to an administrator to a DBA to a manager, you are striviing forward in a new direction. It’s fine as long as you strive and work to improve.

However does your resume stretch you a little? Does it show your potential future employer were you want to go?

A little hint: it should. Part of your resume is what you want from a job (or client), and how your past supports you moving in that direction. Emphasizing this, highlighting this early in your resume, does a few things.

First, this allows the employer and you to quickly see if there is a good fit. If the employer needs someone to maintain old ASP technology and you are looking forward to data science, or vice versa, this probably won’t work for long. There’s nothing wrong with deciding this is a bad fit. It can save you from thinking you will find a long term position when you’ll be quickly bored.

Of course, this also gives the employer the chance to think about whether they want a short term fix for something.

The second thing is that you get the chance to drive yourself forward with the things you choose to emphasize about yourself. You achieve some focus here.

If you use it. That’s the hard part, but with some effort on your part, you can focus your efforts in small ways to drive your career actively.