At one time or another, whether you are new to your job or a long-time pro, you have complained about where you work. Maybe it’s the people you work with, the clients, or maybe the job itself. Regardless, once those thoughts enter your mind, it’s tough to let them go.
I speak from experience, since it wasn’t too long ago that I could not stand where I worked. Every single day was a pride swallowing siege, something I would never want to see any person go through. Can you just pick up and quit? Sure. But, if you have responsibilities like paying the mortgage and putting food on the table, telling your boss to “take this job and shove it,” isn’t exactly the smartest thing.
So what the heck should you do? Well, let me offer some advice:
1) Find something you truly like about the job- Maybe you are passionate about a project you are working on. Put your energy into making that project the best. Turn that negative energy into a positive.
2) Take short breaks throughout the day- Sitting at your desk for 8 hours straight isn’t good. Don’t always eat at your desk. The more time you spend inside those four walls will drive you batty. Get up and go for a walk. Work in the city? Step out to a food truck or Starbucks. Clear your head!
3) Accentuate the positive- Sure your boss is a knucklehead, but he’s your boss. Think about YOUR future while focusing on the task at hand. Take something from each experience and turn it into an opportunity down the road.
4) Blog- Wow, that was simple right? In all seriousness, writing can be a great part of keeping balance. Sometimes at our most frustrating points, typing/writing can bring great relief. It has worked for me numerous times.
5) Talk it out- Whether it’s a trusted co-worker or your significant other, take a moment to vent. Now, I’m not talking about discussing everything from your first day on the job until now. Tell a friend your predicament. You never know the great advice you may get.
What do you like about where you work? What keeps you there if you aren’t motivated/happy/fulfilled? Let me know in the comments.
A little over a week ago, I posted a question in the #u30pro Facebook group regarding what people’s ideal job would be. Would it be working from home or do you need the office setting? I’ve always had an ambition to work from the comforts of my home, but I have no issues with the office. The answers from the group were mixed, which is actually a good thing.
For some, the office brings a chance for structure, collaboration, and face time with co-workers. The home side? You can (most times) work at your own pace and are very mobile.
Thanks to the snowstorm that hit a good portion of the U.S. on Feb. 2, I needed to work from home. It was an opportunity to put things I have heard and read to the test. The day was productive beyond my expectations. If you find yourself working from home or end up running your own consultancy, here are some tips that I found helpful.
1. Have a plan- This is probably the most obvious because, as with any project/job, you need a plan. Maybe you have white board or a legal pad, but write down all the tasks you need to complete.
2. Stay Focused- Just as there are distractions in the office, the same can be said by working at home. It may be kids, the dogs, whatever. The better you can focus on your work, the more productive you’ll be. Which leads to…
3. Location. Location. Location- You need to have a spot in your home where you can avoid the distractions. If your house isn’t a good spot, hit the local library or coffee shop. But keep in mind those around you, too. They may not want to listen to your business pitch while sipping their mocha.
4. Be prepared- If you don’t normally work from home, you may not bring anything with you from the office. In all honesty, though, you just never know when something may pop up. Make it a habit to carry a USB drive or forward any documents you think you should always have with you to a BlackBerry or iPhone.
5. Relax- You have created the environment, now enjoy it. Even if you are working hard, relaxing is an integral part of making this work. Grab a coffee, put on some good music, and be productive!
How do you stay productive when working from home? What would you add to this list? Drop a comment!
There’s nothing like a vacation to rest your mind and body. It’s also a great time to stimulate your brain and get those productive juices flowing again.
Part of our family vacation was spent at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort. It’s a very cool place where wild animals roam the grounds. We could look out our window and there would be a giraffe about 25 feet from us.
One of the many great things about Disney is their staff, or “cast members.” They always greet you very warmly and with a smile. Case in point, whenever we returned from the Magic Kingdom, someone said,”Welcome Home” to us. I was taken aback a bit. I’m clearly not “home,” but ok.
It wasn’t just the welcoming cast members, it was also how they treated us during the stay. At dinner, they always made our kids feel on top of the world with their respect and kindness. One woman always asked my daughter what she thought about Disney. It added to her enjoyment.
Now, I battled writing this post because I didn’t want to be the one that wrote another “Why X can be used as an example to better your PR.” But, in this case, I can’t help it. The whole time I was at Animal Kingdom, I thought, “If we treat our clients like they are ‘home,’ they’ll be a lot happier.” Disney is a great example of this.
By making sure that guests feel at home, they are likely to enjoy their current stay and return in the future. We all (hopefully) do the same with our clients. By treating them with respect, we always make them feel welcome. This generates, most importantly, trust and comfort.
Think about it. Disney has built up a pretty good reputation over the years. It’s the same for us as PR pros. The first time you meet a potential client, don’t you want them to feel comfortable with you? They probably have a good idea about who you are and what you can provide, but they want to be sold.
By being open and transparent, we provide our clients with a comfortable feeling. We let them know that we are trusted partners with their best interests in mind.
Walt Disney said all your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them. Providing our clients with great service isn’t a dream, it’s a reality. But we can add a little more to what we do in PR everyday, by applying what the cast members told me every day of our stay: Welcome home.
Can we treat clients like they are at home? Let me know in the comments.
“Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?”
“Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.”
“Thank you, Simone.”
Ok, so maybe this isn’t the greatest example to show you how networking can be an advantage, but I hope you see what I’m getting at here. We are always networking… whether it be at work, out with friends, or online. Think about your last client meeting. Did you discuss how you can help with a plan or an event? You are networking.
One of the greatest tools for networking nowadays is social media. I find Twitter to be a wonderful opportunity to not just establish friendships, but grow them. But, it takes networking to foster those relationships. How many times have we seen people say that thanks to a Twitter friend, they were able to get an interview or even a job.
I posted this on Facebook recently:
Friendships can be the foundation for life. Some of us have many, others a few. It’s not the quantity, but the quality. Think about it…
We make our foundations stronger by the quality of people we surround ourselves with in life. One great example is when friend tells their friend(s) or colleague(s) about you. Maybe you’ve helped them in the past or provided advice. They’ve now networked and provided another opportunity to meet someone who could help you down the road.
Remember… the contacts you make today could result in success tomorrow.
What are some ways you’ve networked? Let me know in the comments section.
“And then? And then when I walked down the street people would’ve looked and they would’ve said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game.”- Roy Hobbs, The Natural
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had the chance to blog and to say things are busy would be an understatement. We’ve been stacked with a ton of client work in the office, which is a great thing. Now, this isn’t going to be some long soliloquy on the long hours and work load. I do want to say just how much of a GREAT learning experience it has been though.
Last week, I did a guest post at Samantha Ogborn’s blog talking about patience. (Thanks again, Sam!) I said that it’s a continuing process and that, yes, I am still learning to be patient. Part of what I talked about, I needed to put into action because I was feeling like I was in a slump. I didn’t feel confident in my work.
I decided to go into baseball mode. On Monday, I went over everything that I’ve been doing, kind of like what players do when they are in a batting slump. I looked at my routine, my work ethic, my approach to the day, etc. Here’s what I figured out. Sometimes we try TOO hard. We all want success, but you can’t be swinging for the fences every time. Level things out. That “home run” will come.
You can think strategically, but don’t over think. Does that make sense? The late Bill Robinson, who was the hitting coach for the 1986 New York Mets, had a hitting camp I once took part in as a kid. Now, I may not have turned out to be the next Gary Carter, but he preached the “Slow feet, quick hands” approach to hitting. I’ve actually used this approach in PR. What I mean is: by slowing things down and allowing yourself to think about your plans, the thoughts will come more quickly.
Remember, you need to put yourself in a position to succeed. I don’t mean that you should quit your job. What I do suggest is to think about how you can help your firm and your clients do well. Ask questions and be two steps ahead. It will show that you are invested in the overall success… your’s and the client’s.
Lastly, don’t fear striking out. You can’t bat 1.000. Be realistic and have a sound approach. That will breed success.
What is your approach? What are your “slump busters? Let me know in the comments.