Don’t Wait Until 2016 to Be Honest

10122015 Don't Wait Do It Today

This is the final quarter of 2015. Ask yourself a question: what do you want to drop for the New Year? Think about it. Okay, well why wait until January 1, 2016? Do it now in October 2015. Why stay miserable for another 80 days? Liberate yourself from the things that weigh you down because this kind of honesty saves time and money.

Time

You have a finite amount of time on this earth. Why waste it? Honesty improves time management and eliminates waste. Stop throwing good money after bad. Honesty helps time management. You sharpen your focus on what you truly want. Directed, intentional focus always increases productivity. Increased productivity means increased visibility. Increased visibility could mean increased promotions. Right now is the time to strike because everyone is preoccupied. People are already on mental autopilot with Halloween parties and setting up discount flight alerts for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why wait until 2016 to be honest with your time?

Money

How much money have you wasted going in the wrong direction? I admit that I have spent a couple thousands of dollars pursuing another certification because I thought that it would differentiate myself from others.  Although this additional certification would distinguish me from my competition, I’ve found another certification that more closely aligns myself with my future goals. Yes, I’ve wasted money but I’ve stopped digging and realized that I am going in another direction. I am better for it.

Conclusion

Instead of waiting until 2016, why not use this fourth quarter of 2015 to gain momentum towards your new goal. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Stop this madness by being honest with yourself now in October 2015. Your future self will thank you for it.

This Week in Positive Change Management: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

10102015 Life Begins At the End of Your Comfort Zone Photo

Last Tuesday I had my first radio interview promoting my http://positivitychange.com/ site. I admitted that I was scared because I had neither been an entrepreneur nor on the radio; yet I overcame my fear of the unknown. You can too move beyond your comfort zone by following these tips:

It Requires Courage

We are all creatures of habit and love routine. As humans we are scared of change because it is unfamiliar. Trying new things forces us to grow. With promoting PositivityChange, in general, and myself, in particular, I am going to have to speak up and give interviews. I cannot hide behind an Excel spreadsheet. Change takes courage to move beyond your comfort zone but it is necessary to get to the next level.

Face Your Fears

Although I had a Toastmaster competent communicator certificate, I was way more analytical letting the data speak for me. Now I had to speak for 20 whole minutes on a radio show. I did it and survived confidently. Facing my fears was essential towards communicating my brand and I live after the interview.

Know that worst thing that can happen when you try something new is that you might fail

I was the second of two interviewers. This order took some of the anxiety off of me, however, hearing the person preceding me made me nervous. This was not her first interview but it was mine. If I did not do well, I would had chalked it up to experience. Okay so what if I bombed my first interview? It happened to a whole bunch of newbies. Furthermore, at least the radio host was interested in me. However, I did not and managed to keep calm.

Make a Plan

Having some kind of organization calmed my fears. I wrote down my site and summarized a few articles. These things massaged my nerves enough to go on air and promote myself without any glitches.  I was able to confidently answer all of the questions.

Realize that the unknown will always be there

You can’t plan for everything so just set out with good intentions and do your best. I didn’t know that the interviewer would ask me about the future of the site. (I just started it in August so it was a curveball.). I survived that question by telling her about my dreams of expanding the site and possibly doing some cross-promotions. Also when she mentioned that my MBA/economics background was rare, that surprised me too. I had these degrees for over 13 years. Their rarities didn’t register with me because these degrees were second nature. I mentioned that just put one foot in front of the other and accepted no excuses. I didn’t know what questions I would be asked but by following these tips, I made it through successfully. Hey, if I survived the unknown and my first radio interview by moving out of my comfort zone so can you!

You can listen to my Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Sharvette Mitchell interview here on Soundcloud (http://bit.ly/1FYdyo5). Also check out http://positivitychange.com/ for more positive change tips.

This Week in Positive Change Management: Positive Attitude Month Resources

As you know October is positive attitude month. We here at PositivityChange.com have culminated this week’s top three resources to help you stay positive throughout this entire week:

  1. about.com: Make the Most Of Positive Attitude Month: http://stress.about.com/od/Holidays-and-Observances-for-Stress-Management/fl/Make-the-Most-of-Positive-Attitude-Month.htm
  2. Self-Growth: October is Positive Attitude Month http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/October_is_Positive_Attitude_Month_Tips_for_Maintaining_a_Positive_Attitude.html
  3. Self-Starter Zone: http://www.selfstarterzone.com/national-positive-attitude-month/

This Week in Positive Change Management: How to Stop Paralysis of Analysis

Stop Paralysis Analysis

Paralysis of analysis happens to everyone. We think about things too much and all of a sudden they snowball overwhelming us. Your original thought which was derived from good intentions became unmanageable. We’ve all been there. Here are my 3 tips for breaking free from paralysis of analysis.

Break the big goal into many smaller parts.

Paralysis of analysis is usually due to thinking too much about everything. To combat this arresting of thought, you must go from the general to the specific. This requires using a filter to whittle down the number of ideas swirling around in your head. Instead of doing 5 things at once, do 1 thing 5 separate times. Once you centralize your focus on one specific part, the paralysis stops and you can restart again.

Pick one small part and start working on it.

Working on one small part lets you generate small wins. These small victories bolster your confidence and builds your momentum. Using the 5 parts as an example, if you complete 1 of the 5 parts that equals 20% progress. Each completion puts you closer towards your 100% goal.

Celebrate the small wins to sustain momentum.

Once you’re done, take time out to celebrate your win. Focus on the present and not the future. Rather than loathing that you aren’t at 100% yet, acknowledge that the 20% that you’ve completed has put you closer towards your goal.

Implementing these three tips propel you further along towards accomplishing your overall goal and demolishing paralysis of analysis.

 

This Week in Positive Change Management: Employing the Three Cs to Improve Your Personal Career Brand

Now more than ever it is imperative that any professional has a personal career brand. It is no longer, just do your job and update your resume. The average person will have in between 7-10 jobs in his lifetime. You must actively manage your career to find the next job; hence, the importance of creating and maintaining a stellar personal career brand. The three Cs are clarity, consistency, and constancy. They are necessary towards creating your best personal brand. The combination of these three guarantees that you’ll attract the people and employers in your target market.

Clarity

Dictionary.com defines clarity as ‘clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.’ It is essential that you get clear about who you are, but, more importantly, who you ARE NOT.  Clarity provides you with an opportunity to thrive as a specialist rather than merely survive as a generalist. It is better to know what you are not because you can create clear boundaries. You don’t want to transmit mixed messages, thereby, diluting your brand. Clarity communicates a clear message of what you do. For example, if you are in HR, you don’t want people coming to you about sales & marketing. The next step is to identify your competitors.

Scanning the professional landscape to see what your competitors are doing, and more importantly, what they are not doing is critical towards how you’ll position yourself to stand out. Learn from your competitors’ mistakes and capitalize upon the areas that they aren’t already in. Being the first mover in an unsaturated area, positions you to become an expert. For instance, if you’re in HR but there aren’t as many people working with newly returned war veterans, then this is a niche where you can employ your transferable skills and become an expert. Once you’ve used clarity to identify your competitors, you can then you can focus on marketing your competitive advantage to the world.

Your competitive advantage is the one thing that you do better than anyone else. Having a clear definition of this advantage will attract more people and opportunities. In HR, do you compile benefits packages in a way that new employee understand? Your ability to translate industry-specific jargon into layman’s terms without diluting its content is your competitive advantage. You can convert this into a special niche being seen as an expert. Once you’re seen as an expert, more people will come to you.

Consistency

Consistency is defined as ‘steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.’ In order to keep current in this increasingly global and competitive landscape, you must be consistent. This means consistently communicating the same message offline and online. Take some time to review how your professional brand comes across because it’s imperative that you are consistent in both areas.

Make sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile are the same. If you’ve attained a new certification or a promotion, list them on both. An outdated LinkedIn profile sends an inconsistent message. For example, if you’ve been promoted from HR Specialist to Senior HR Specialist, you must list this change. Recruiters who might be interested in you for one job, may not know that you have a new job or certification. It would be bad for your professional reputation if a recruiter contacts you about a specific position but learns that you’re in another position. Recruiters talk with other recruiters who might work at the company that interests you. You don’t want this kind of mistake to precede you before applying for a job. Putting the most recent information on your LinkedIn page guarantees that recruiters can see if you are the best fit for a potential job.

Constancy

Constancy is defined as ‘uniformity or regularity, as in qualities or conditions; invariableness.’ Being highly visible online & offline to your target market is indispensable. There are many ways to increase your visibility to ensure that the right people see your talents. Offline opportunities include joining meetups, alumni chapters, and professional organizations. In addition, you can be visible through business cards and stationery. Handing out your personal business cards is an effective marketing tool generating high visibility. Furthermore, you can send thank you letters using your own stationery. Regarding online visibility opportunities, you can register for LinkedIn professional groups, follow people on Twitter or like Facebook pages of companies of which you want to work. Moreover, you can also start a blog. Continuing with the HR example, you can write about interviewing new applicants, dispensing benefits information, handling attrition and completing retirement packages.

Creating a Communication Plan to Incorporate the Three Cs

A great way to merge the offline and online visibility tools to achieve clarity, consistency and constancy is by creating a communications plan. Your plan manages how, what, why, when, and where to deploy your offline and online strategies. For instance, you decide to post weekly HR-related articles in your LinkedIn feed. This action achieves clarity (HR), consistency (on message) and constancy (weekly). Your communications plan ensures that you regularly do something constructive towards promoting your personal career brand. Incorporating three Cs of clarity, consistency and constancy guarantee increased demand for your personal career brand.

 

Accepting Positive Risk

Accepting positive risk is a passive strategy. You accept your current situation as is or what might happen. For example, you accept that your boss might give you a raise before the next annual performance rating. This is highly unlikely, therefore, you should accept that there’s room for proactivity towards managing your life and career.

Courtesy of PM Study Circle (http://pmstudycircle.com/2015/05/risk-response-strategies-for-positive-risks-or-opportunities/)

Accept Pic

This Week in Positive Change Management: Handling High-Visibility Projects as a Newbie

Follow these four tips towards handling high-visibility projects as a newbie.

  1. Be thankful that someone had entrusted you with this opportunity.

This is a positive change event. Instead of being overwhelmed, be happy to view this as a chance to prove yourself in the marketplace and increase your professional credibility and visibility. Taking this more optimistic viewpoint enables you to devise an approach towards capitalized upon this new assignment.

 

  1. Conduct project and personnel research

First review the project materials. You have to know what you are undertaking. Possessing familiarity with it lets you excel. Next, research the people. You can view their bios on the company Intranet or their LinkedIn profiles. It is essential to know your future colleagues’ personalities and previous work histories so that you can effectively create a staffing management plan to effectively execute the project.

 

  1. Create your own personal project schedule

Creating your own personal project schedule helps you envision it. You can also incorporate a what-if analysis covering any and every possibility because projects never go according to plan. These ready-made answers are necessary because management wants a definitive response regardless of how the people act and the project is going.

 

  1. Practice presenting your plan

Although you’ve never done it before, you are still the project leader and must exude confidence to your workers and management. Having these ready-made answers from your personal project schedule are necessary because management wants a definitive response regardless of how the people act and the project is going.

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