New Positive Change with Carla Airing This Friday

Blogtalkradio

As previously announced on www.carlarjenkins.com, this week’s Positive Change with Carla will air on a special day. It will air Friday instead of Thursday. The new episode ‘Evaluating Your Annual Personal Career Brand Performance’ will delve into how to use your most recent performance rating to map out this year’s work performance strategy.

Check out the Blogtalkradio Positive Change with Carla episode link here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena/2016/01/22/evaluating-your-annual-personal-career-brand-performance

This Week in Positive Change Management : Getting out of the Middle

01182016 No More Middle

This is the time of your when people start looking at how they can have a better New year than last year. Oftentimes, receiving a promotion is at the top of the list. Well, there are certain things that are holding you back. I have four tips that you will get out of the middle and ascend up the corporate ladder.

Focus on your brand and not just a job

Unbeknownst to me, I focused on my brand early and I professionally benefitted from this. When you define your personal career brand, I looked at how my transferrable skills fit in with other positions. It is an egregious error to only identify yourself as your job. This is dangerous because you become confided to that box. Had I been so narrow to only economic jobs, I would still be a GS-11 economist. Once a layoff hits, then you are through. Identifying your transferable skills repositions yourself as a brand because you can work in other areas.  Your career brand transcends your job.

Obtain certification

Certification distinguishes you from the rest. Take my field, project management for example. Earning your PMP certification separates you from everyone else. PMP requires a certain amount of work experience. You don’t see many young or middle-tier professionals with PMP certifications. Furthermore, obtaining certification means that you are a self-starter. This gets you noticed internally and externally.

Expand your network vertically

The one reason why you’re stuck is because all of your networking friends are at the same level. You know everyone you’ve started with me but nobody one or two levels above you. That’s horizontal networking and that’s problematic when you truly want to advance. Find a professional organization and attend the formal functions (Christmas party, annual charity ball, etc.). These events have the board members and senior officials. Once they know your name, they can become your mentors and sponsors guiding your career upward.

Get out of career inertia

I broke out of career inertia by leaving my first fed agency. I saw career inertia upfront. I left my economist position to grow. Although disgruntled, many coworkers stayed because they were comfortable. Now this year, my formal agency is moving out of state. Those same coworkers are going right along with the agency even though they hate leaving DC. Career inertia sneaks up on you. You start getting comfortable then make excuses for your fear. Getting out of the middle means putting yourself in motion.

These four tips will help you lay the groundwork towards realizing this year’s career ambitions.

5 Ways to Convert Your Dream into Reality

01182016 Dreams to reality

 

What is your dream?

Whatever it is, everyone has one. It seems intangible like it will never happen but you hold close to you because your dream makes you feel like you are alive. When life gets mundane, it is the one thing that keep you going. Having a dream is commendable but it would great when you convert this dream into reality. Here are 5 ways to do just that:

Believe that you can accomplish it.

Believing that you can bring this into fruition is the first step. Don’t keep your dream inside. That’s irresponsible especially since you have the tools to actually bring it to reality. Currently, you are doing something different than your dreams. Now you can take baby steps towards shifting towards your dream.

Break down your big dream into smaller dreams

Oftentimes your dream is so big, it paralyzes you. Instead break down your very big dream into smaller dreams. I recommend creating a milestone list for your dream’s journey. For example, your big dream is home ownership and it takes 2 years. Break it down into smaller steps. Use the mortgage loan qualification process as a milestone list. It will guide you through the home buying process. More importantly, commit to writing it down keeping a dream journal if necessary to stay on track. Having a journal lets you not only keep track of your progress. It also chronicles your transformation.

Drop the deadweight in your personal and professional lives

Friends hold you back. The mistake that people make is that friends are temporary. There are 7 billion people on this earth. Certainly you can find some new people to support you.

Start shifting your behavior to support your new dream.

Bad habits are very hard to change. You can’t own a home if you’re buying the latest virtual reality gear over putting that money away in the bank. Write down your daily routine for one week. Look at your time wasters. If any of them are counterproductive, write down ways to eliminate them.

Detach yourself from the end result.

Be flexible. You may arrive at your goal quicker than expected. The result may even be different than your original dream. I have an example of this:

In late 2005, I decided I was sick of working temporary jobs and wanted to realize and be an economist. I majored in it during undergraduate and I needed to work in my major. It was dream. It was one thing to major in economics but working as an economist validated my dream. I applied for Cleveland State University’s Masters of Arts in Economics program. Initially I thought I would earn my MA degree in 2007 then start working as an economist. However, the Commerce department hired me as an economist in May 2006 and I only spent one semester at Cleveland State University. That experience taught me to be flexible.  Although I hadn’t completed my MA in Economics (yet), I had realized my dream of being an economist.

Bonus: Don’t fear being first.

As a dreamer, you will be the first to do something. Don’t fear, do it anyway. The fear of the unknown can’t zap your dream. On my journey, I have been the first person: 1) with an economics degree, 2) intern with the Washington Center on Internship at my college, 3) earn my MBA, 4) travel to a foreign country and not be in the Army, 5) earn my PMP certification, 6) live in Washington, DC and 7) make over $100,000. At some point, you will be first when pursuing your dream. Do it anyway!

New Positive Change with Carla airing this Tuesday on Blogtalkradio

Blogtalkradio

 

Per www.carlarjenkins.com, Project Management Mondays will air Tuesday, January 19, 2016 due to the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. The two topics this broadcast will discuss are new 2016 PMP exam changes and PMBOK 4.2 developing project management plan. Check out the Project Management Institute’s link here: http://www.pmi.org/certification/exam-changes/pmp.aspx. Check out the Blogtalkradio show link here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena/2016/01/19/new-2016-pmp-exam-changes-and-pmbok-42-developing-project-management-plan

Thrive not Strive

01132016 thrive

 

Strive: 1:  to devote serious effort or energy:  endeavor <strive to finish a project>

2:  to struggle in opposition:  contend

Thrive: 1:  to grow vigorously:  flourish

2:  to gain in wealth or possessions:  prosper

3:  to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances —often used with on <thrives on conflict>

A lot of people call themselves strivers but do you really want to schlep through life? Do you really want ‘to continuously struggle in opposition to something’? Or do you want to ‘progress towards a goal’? Thriving is much better.

Ways to Thrive

Evaluate your current personal and professional routines looking for small ways to tweak them.

Examine your current personal and professional situations. Where are you? Where can you improve? Write them down then divide them into smaller parts. Find smaller ways to make a bigger impact. One strategy is called the 1% improvement. Instead of trying to make the big leap, just make small changes to your personal and/or professional routines. These small little things can pay big dividends.

For instance, what if lunch costs $10 a day and you pack your lunch every day for one week. This small change saves you $50 this workweek. During a 4-week month, this small change will save you $200. That’s a small change leading to something big. That’s a great example of tweaking your daily routine in order to thrive.

See yourself as world-class.

It’s hard when you’re stuck in the muck and mire, trying to pay your bills. You are caught in survival mode. You just want to get through the workday, get home and take care of your children; and, then do it all over again. However, you have to view yourself as more than a widget. You’re contributing something unique to the workplace. Playing to your strengths is a way to thrive in both your personal and professional lives. Read your original position description and look at why you were hired. This is one way of finding your competitive advantage. Do one thing showcasing it at work. You can do a presentation or demonstration of the new product or service. These are two ways to display your professional uniqueness. Once you own your uniqueness, you’ll start seeing yourself as a world-class contributor instead of someone who fills a cubicle punching a clock! Remember, companies are resourceful. They don’t waste money hiring duplicates.

The difference striving and thriving are small tweaks that will payoff huge. Commit to making these small changes so that you will have a bigger year!

This Week in Positive Change Management : Proactive for Positive Change

01122016 Be Proactive

This is the second full week of January where many people start sliding on their New Year resolutions. However, you must stay diligent and proactive on making positive change. We here at PositivityChange know that you are committed towards manifesting positive change. Here are resources that will help you keep your resolutions during week 2 and beyond.

American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx

LifeHack: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/7-steps-for-making-a-new-years-resolution-and-keeping-it.html

WikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Stick-to-a-New-Year’s-Resolution

Bankrate: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/9-ways-to-keep-your-new-year-s-resolutions-1.aspx

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/01/01/11-easy-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions/#2715e4857a0b5602b36dc328

PhraseMix: http://www.phrasemix.com/blog/5-steps-to-achieving-your-new-years-resolutions

Fitday: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/3-simple-steps-for-keeping-your-new-years-resolutions.html

 

Project Management Mondays Coming to Positive Change with Carla Radio

Blogtalkradio

 

I am happy to announce courtesy of http://carlarjenkins.com/ that I will debut the Project Management Mondays radio series on Positive Change with Carla. The debut show will air Monday, January 11, 2015 at 6pm. The inaugural episode will cover developing the project charter and my journey towards becoming a Project Management Professionally-certified manager. Check out my show link here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena/2016/01/11/developing-project-charter-and-my-journey-to-pmp

This Week in Positive Change Management: Setting CLEAR Goals

01032016 CLEAR Goals

 

There is a new way to do goal-setting that has come about due to agile methodology that has permeated the global work environment. It is called the CLEAR method. CLEAR stands for Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, and Refinable. For those unfamiliar with the word agile, the agile methodology has come onto the forefront in the late 1990s. Agile derives from the software industry. There are four agile platforms:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Here is the Agile Manifesto for reference: http://agilemanifesto.org/

Below is the CLEAR method’s break down for each letter:

Collaborative – No man is an island and teamwork makes the dream work. Collaborative is necessary because we’re in a global economy. Virtual teams spanning across the globe magnify the importance of collaboration.

Limited– Just focus on one thing at a time. By focusing on what’s immediately in front of you helps keep everything in perspective. Worry about the present. The future will take care of itself. For example, there are 5 phases in the process. Instead of focusing on the finish line, clear the 5 hurdles first. Each phase represents 20% completion. You can’t get to 100% completion without progressing through the 20%,40%,60%, and 80%.

Emotional-Buy-in is important towards goal completion. When people are on the same page, it makes work easier.

Appreciable-The Merriam-Webster definition for appreciable is ‘large enough to be noticed or measured.’ In this case, appreciable means disseminating big goals into smaller more manageable pieces. Appreciable is equal to the project management concept of decomposition. You use decomposition to subdivide the work breakdown structure into smaller parts called work packages. Focus on peoples’ strengths are necessary when assigning work packages. The goal to being appreciable is to create synergy from the bottom up in order to bring added value once the goal is complete.

Refinable-Done is better than perfect. Be flexible and add more information once it becomes available regardless of where you’re at in the process. The goal is to deliver the best project. If the customer demands change, get the required approval and change them.

The CLEAR method’s five steps enable people and companies to be more flexible, resilient and able to meet demands in the global economy.

Change is Messy!

12292015 Change is Messy

Change is messy. It really is. A lot of people want change in their personal and professional lives but want it to be nice and neat. Well, that’s not how change works. It is like growth. You cannot grow without some pains. Change is inevitable. It happens whether we are ready or not. This year is no exception. Here are four examples of changes that I have occurred this year and what I’ve learned from them.

Writing for LinkedIn Pulse

I am the first to admit that fear has kept me from writing for LinkedIn Pulse. There are so many ‘experts’ out there that I am thinking that I am disqualified. The turning point comes when I start seeing very bad posts with people misspelling words and writing crazy stuff. That’s when I realize that my material cannot be any worse than the bulk of what’s out there; and, I am right! My posts have been welcomed in my community. Also I have pushed myself to write insightful and educational articles benefitting people instead of trying to hawk merchandise (I mean at least give me a free sample chapter of your book!).  What I have learned about becoming a writer is that LinkedIn Pulse is always a great place to share ideas. I have broken my own rule of only posting once a week because I have so much knowledge to share. I post whenever I have a new idea or topic I wish to share. This platform has also let me promote my radio show which I love because it enables me to pursue another avenue of communication.

My radio show

I have been wanting to do a radio show since September. I love communicating and sharing information with people. Although there have been some false starts and people who think that I shouldn’t do it, I now have my own show. I have decided to go through Blogtalkradio because I see so many others use this platform. Here I’m thinking that all I have to do is create a Blogtalkradio page, talk into my phone’s video recorder and upload it onto my page like Soundcloud.

Wrong! Blogtalkradio is live not prerecorded so even if I do have my prerecorded audio, I still have to sit there at the appointed time and be in the studio. Also I learn that the system doesn’t take .m4a files forcing me to broadcast live. I admit that I still prerecord myself to hear how I sound before going on air. Furthermore, the hardest part is the planning. Radio takes work. I need to devise an interesting topic. I select a blog article then jot down points.

Developing a coaching network

I can be an introvert and I admit that right now my five closest people are all coaches. I am very singular in that respect because I have always relied on my intuition. Whether something is working well or not, I always conduct these self-checks where I evaluate my situation using my intuition. If something is going right, I ask myself how do I continue it going? If it not going right then how do I change it? This year, I have reached out to coaches in areas where I want to grow. I have a career coach, brand coach and business coach. I have even reached out and started seeking financial advice because I have landed my second six-figure job. Coaching has helped me improve my professional network. I have received important feedback.

I will admit that there have been some very rough patches with coaching. I have had some programs and masterminds haven’t panned out. In particular, I have to shell out my own money to do my website when I am supposed to go through the preselected website designer. I later learn after coming out of my own pocket that the leader has stopped referring clients to the designer.

Attending Conferences

This year I have decided to attend conferences outside of DC to expand my professional networking beyond the District and Cleveland. I have attended the Power Networking Conference in Dallas, the Periscope Summit in New York and the TCE Conference in Norfolk. I have acquired a whole lot of personal and professional knowledge that will aid me in my future. For instance, I have developed a new travel regimen, improved my elevator pitch, burnished my LinkedIn profile, and developed my own personal website (this is my virtual business card). Attending these conferences have made me step up my game because I know that I am capable of much more. Getting outside of the District, lets me see how other professionals conduct businesses at the national and global levels. It is quite eye-opening when you get out of your own bubble and see how others operate. The Periscope Summit stands out because this is the first one. You are literally on the ground floor seeing everything unravel in front of you. It is very much like a start-up and the backdrop is New York City. Hey, if I can survive there, I can survive anywhere.

What I have learned is to always be ready and not to fall prey to sales pitches. You aren’t obligated to purchase anything from the vendors. It’s all about your fit and your future vision. Remember, it’s your money. You’ve paid to attend the conference not the vendors. Another thing that I have learned is to develop a better system in order to get to the next level.

Here are my four examples of how change can be messy; yet, in each situation I have managed to learn new things that will help me in the future.