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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Did you build a Personal Brand to advance your career goals ?

Posted by Ravi Banda on September 14, 2010

Going to school on a Sunday morning didn’t sound like a good plan but the seminar on “Personal Branding” as part of Leadership Development series at UC Berkeley was very intriguing so I finally decided to go. I wasn’t disappointed as the speaker William Arruda gave a bunch of good tips on building a personal brand and using it to achieve our career goals.

Recently, the topic of “personal branding” is inviting lot of debate as some are taking a fanatical approach to it and on the other side we have people completely discounting it as another fad. I believe that there is a middle ground that we need to work towards and when rightly used – our personal brand can help us grow in our career as well as open up new opportunities.

I wanted to share the tips (again credit to William) that I gained from this seminar.

Stand out

    Peer comparison is something that cannot be avoided in an organization and as we grow up further in our career the competition gets intense so it’s important to distinguish ourselves and show or bring that additional value to our organization. I can give few examples that I am following in my work activity – “proactive in communication rather than reactive”, “build networks outside the organization and leverage the network to get things done“, “speak up more”, “contribute to strategic goals rather than just being in an project execution role”. You need to take a close look at the things that you can do to provide additional value to the organization and then work on it.

    Be your own boss

    This is taking your career management into your own hands as Meg said in “Are you fully utilizing your potential?”

    Forget the ladder

    We see the career progression as a ladder where we move up one step at a time and at the moment of taking the next step we get into a frenzy of activity like activating our professional network, brushing up our resume / skills and pulling in recommendations etc. Once we move up to the next step – we kind of settle into ease till we start the process all over again.

    So, instead of treating the career progression as a ladder, let’s look it as a “ramp” – so that we are continuously engaged in activities that are geared towards our career progression. The projects we are involved in, the new connections we build – let’s look at them as helping us to move forward in our career and at the same time let’s not forget – we also have to “GIVE” back to our network and help our network achieve their own career goals as well.

    Build your brand

    This is a 3-step process – Extract, Express and Exude.

    1) Extract – this step involves looking at your career goals, values, passions and see if we can align them. We can use Strengths Finder test to know our strengths and then do a 360 Feedback to really know the kind of image we are projecting and whether they are matching with our strengths. If they don’t match – we need to work on addressing them.

    2) Express – Evaluate our communication skills and focus on the strengths as well as areas of improvement and communicate them to the people that we interact with. Key thing is that when we are expressing our strengths / values, they  should be CLEAR, CONSISTENT and CONSTANT

    3) Exude – this involves creating an environment which represents our brand and this can be your communication, actions, one’s appearance, online profiles, blogs, newsletters and even simple stationary items.

    I have definitely started to take the steps towards building my brand and use it for achieving my career goals and blogging is definitely one part of the plan 🙂

    I will appreciate if you have anything to share on how you are building your personal brand and how that’s contributing to your career !!

    Posted in Career Development, goals | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

    Confessions of a performance review convert: no pain, no gain?…no longer!

    Posted by Louise Barnfield on August 27, 2009


    I’ve noticed that performance review meetings with my manager have evolved over the past couple of years, and my performance document looks very different too. It has become a living, breathing document over the course of the entire year, and, as a result it is more complete and more relevant, both as a history and as a roadmap.

    In the past, I admit I was prone to similar mistakes that Meg called out in an earlier post on performance reviews. Thanks Meg, I learned a lot from that post!

    Happily, over time, she and others have encouraged me to improve my own self-evaluation process, and this in turn has provided better input for my manager, enabling him to make more comprehensive and constructive comments himself. I spend more time on the process than I used to, because it matters to me more – and it matters to me more, because it’s very evident that it matters to our management team.

    Meg has strongly encouraged us to have more frequent reviews with our manager, to summarize progress on our goals, and adjust as necessary. On second thoughts, for ‘strongly encouraged’ read ‘mercilessly nagged’!! 🙂

    When I perceive the importance that’s placed on this process, then I’m willing to invest more in it myself.

    This has meant, for this past year in particular, that I’ve updated my performance document at quarterly intervals, which made the final summary far more manageable and more meaningful, as I could see my own progress over the entire year. Since I didn’t have to conjure up 52 weeks’ worth of information when faced with the end-of-year deadline, it also meant I spent that time more productively reflecting on the year’s events and on where I want to go in the future.

    In support of this frequent update process, a recent BusinessWeek article, The Trouble with Performance Reviews, states: “…reviews occur too infrequently to provide meaningful feedback.” Luckily for me, many of the negatives raised in the article no longer apply to my performance reviews: we do “make criteria more explicit and objective and have more people involved in the ratings process, so that one person’s perceptions and biases don’t matter so much”; we do “focus more on facts and evidence and less on benchmarking and unexamined conventional wisdom.”

    The annual task that I used to dread is no longer drudgery, it’s my opportunity.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not a breeze. I spent a long time thinking and working on this year’s self-evaluation, but it was a more satisfying process because I was able to focus my attention differently, and now that I see the positive outcome I certainly don’t feel the pain as I used to. So: less pain, more gain – gotta love that!

    For those of you who lack the benefit of your own Meg kicking you up the proverbial backside, I encourage you to do yourselves a favor: proactively keep frequent notes and write your own quarterly review – schedule it in your calendar and don’t (as I’ve been known to do) let it slide into obscurity in deference to seemingly(!) higher priorities.

    However, for those subjected to the same regular nagging that I am, be grateful that your managers encourage you to review your goals and keep them current. My management team recognizes the benefit of ensuring that team members are continually aligned to valid smart organizational goals, for the good of me as an individual as well as for the good of the team and the business.

    I’ve already updated my 2010 performance document twice in the past 2 months! Quite a change for the person who (like our Ken) was previously dragged, kicking and screaming, through the once dreaded annual process.

    Which are you, a diehard or a convert?

    Photo by Little Jeanne

    Posted in goals, management, performance, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

    MapQuest, Margaritas, and Career Development

    Posted by Ken Klaus on May 28, 2008

    I have a terrible sense of direction. Before MapQuest if you wanted me to come for a visit, you had to give me really precise directions, preferably without using any compass headings – which was about as effective as giving me directions over the phone using sign language. Here’s an example of what worked for me.

    From Highway 1 take the Market Street exit. At the end of the ramp, turn left. Take the second right onto Elm Street. At the first stop sign take a left onto Oak Street. Go 2.3 miles until you reach the Dairy Queen on your right. At the next traffic light make a u-turn and take the first right onto Shady Grove Avenue. Look for the sign in the yard that reads: Welcome Ken! I, along with the margaritas and guacamole, will be waiting for you on the front porch. P.S. I’m including reverse directions for the drive home, but just in case we finish the pitcher of margaritas I’ve also made up the guest room.

    Most workers require a similar level of detail when it comes to career development. The good news is our talent management solutions should do most of the hard work for us; but first workers need know where they want to go. This, in my opinion, is the sole responsibility of the employee, though having a mentor or a good manager as their co-pilot greatly increases the likelihood of successfully reaching their destination. Once an employee knows where they want to be, a good talent management solution should do most of the remaining work for them – in the same way MapQuest automatically generates custom driving directions. Here’s how it should work.

    First, the profile management application will help the employee understand where they are today, e.g. I’m an independent contributor with a specific set of competencies, skills, and experiences; for MapQuest this represents the starting location. Next, using the goals and development plan application, the employee will define where they want to go, e.g. I want to be manager; for MapQuest this represents the ending location. The learning management application should then provide a custom learning path (the driving directions) from where they are today to where they want to be at some point in the future.

    Many talent management solutions in the market place today have good learning management solutions, but lack integrated profile and goal management applications; which means the employee is forced to navigate through the learning catalog making less-than-educated guesses – usually based on complex or arcane competency models – as to which courses will help them reach their goal. A complete, fully integrated talent management solution avoids this problem by leveraging what we already know about the employee, their profile, their goal, and their learning history, in order to create a custom learning path that will lead them directly to their goal – no compass required (margaritas optional). Cheers!

    Posted in Career Development, goals, learning | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

    A case for goal setting

    Posted by Meg Bear on January 25, 2008

    littleenginethatcould.jpgBefore January is over I wanted to make a case for Goal setting and encourage you to consider taking a moment to invest in yourself in the new year.  Personally, I’ve never been a fan of new year resolutions but goal setting makes sense to me.  Goals are targets you give yourself, which by definition show a commitment and a belief in your abilities.  In fact, I think Lululemon has it right in their mainifesto where they say

    Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 2, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

    It’s possible that setting goals is just wasting your time.  It’s possible that  you are not disciplined enough to follow through.  But it also just might be possible that, by virtue of writing down your goals you will remind yourself of what is really important and will take action to focus some effort on those things that really matter. 

    Sure, there is a corporate benefit to aligning and cascading goals which I also believe in, but I think the benefits for ourselves is not to be ignored.  So, take a moment and set some goals before January is done.  I think you can!

    Posted in goals | Tagged: | 6 Comments »