Career Advice | Mentoring | Employment |Professional development
By Waajida L. Small on February 22, 2017
Do more, achieve more, stay relevant
You’ve made it through the first 18 months of your social-impact job! Give yourself a pat on the back. I know it wasn’t easy but you didn’t break, and now you’ve made a name for yourself.
As I mentioned in part one of this series, You’ve Got the Job…What’s Next?, once you’ve been at your job for 12-18 months, you should be working toward “Superstar Status” by stepping outside of your role and establishing yourself as a leader. You’ll need to be more and do more in order to stay relevant.
Here’s how to stay relevant at the workplace by excelling at your work and stepping up for new challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities:
Be an advocate and an ambassador
Career advice | Coaching |Mentoring
February 27, 2017
Mentorship comes in many flavors. It doesn’t always work unless leaders bear in mind a few common principles.
Over the past three years, as part of my forthcoming book, I’ve been researching how leaders can better judge and develop their talent in light of a changing, more purpose-driven, more tech-enabled work environment. Having interviewed close to 100 of the most admired leaders across business, culture, arts, and government, one important characteristic stands out: They do everything they can to imprint their “goodness” onto others in ways that make others feel like fuller versions of themselves. Put another way, the best leaders practice a form of leadership that is less about creating followers and more about creating other leaders. How do they do that? I’ve noticed four things the best mentors do:
Put the relationship before the mentorship. All too often, mentorship can evolve into a “check the box” procedure instead of something authentic and relationship-based. For real mentorship to succeed, there needs to be a baseline chemistry between a mentor and a mentee. Studies show that even the best-designed mentoring programs are no substitute for a genuine, intercollegial relationship between mentor and mentee. One piece of research, conducted by Belle Rose Ragins, a mentoring expert and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, demonstrated that unless mentees have a basic relationship with their mentors, there is no discernable difference between mentees and those not mentored. All this is to say that mentoring requires rapport. At best, it propels people to break from their formal roles and titles (boss versus employee) and find common ground as people. Read more…
Caroline Beaton Aug. 29, 2016
According to a recent millennial leadership survey from The Hartford, 80% of millennials see themselves as leaders today.
Yet only 12% of Gen Y held management roles in 2013; and less than a third of The Hartford’s sample reported that they’re currently business leaders.
Maybe we’re entitled and delusional. Or maybe, explained millennial expert and author of “Becoming the Boss,” Lindsey Pollak, we have a progressive understanding of what it means to be a leader. “Millennials believe they can lead from whatever position they’re in,” she said. We know we don’t need an official title to impact our organization.
But if millennials really are leading from behind, why aren’t we getting promoted?
If you’re ambitious but stuck on Level 1, below are six possible reasons. (Warning, tough love ahead.) Read more…
June 14, 2016
I’ve been a professional career coach since 2002. Over the last 10+ years, I have learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to be an effective career coach. [Click here to learn more about becoming a career coach.]
Back when I became a coach, the concept wasn’t as widely accepted as it is today. In fact, my clients were afraid to admit they were working with a career coach because they felt like it indicated there was something wrong with them. Today, we now understand career coaching isn’t a sign of weakness, but a path to greatness. It’s why all the top pro athletes and business executives use them. If you want to optimize your performance and achieve new levels of success and satisfaction in your career, it’s more than likely you’ll work with a coach at some point. Why? If you could do it on your own, you would have by now.
I Learned These Lessons The Hard Way
Having worked with literally thousands of people on their careers, I have learned some valuable professional lessons. In the beginning of my coaching career, I thought I could help everyone. I was wrong. You can only help people who are ready to be helped. I wasted hundreds of hours on people who just weren’t ready to succeed. I learned the hard way the following five things:
People only turn to career coaching when they are in pain.
School teaches us everything except how to manage our careers. As a result, nobody enters the professional world with the right set of skills and abilities to successfully manage their careers. Unfortunately, it isn’t until a person makes a major mistake or has a career setback that they seek coaching. Only then do they have the Ah-ha Moment that they need to close the gap in their knowledge and abilities so they can get back on track. Read more…