Archive for May 2013

CONNIE’S CAREER CORNER: Career-oriented vs. Job-oriented

May 28, 2013

Tip for the day:  Your actions are a reflection of your character.

Dear Connie:  What makes someone career-oriented as opposed to job-oriented?

Dear Future-focused:  The American Heritage College Dictionary defines a job as “A regular activity performed in exchange for payment, esp. as one’s trade, occupation, or profession.”  The definition for a career is “A chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation.  The general course or progression of one’s working life.”

Some people will go to work in a job and will be content to stay in their initial position all of their working life.  There are jobs that do not lead to promotions.  The employee will need to gain additional skills or move to a different company to be promoted.

Some people do not want to “climb the ladder” in business.  They may not want the additional stress or responsibility that could come from moving up to the next position.  Many times people who stay in one job for their entire working career will make more income than someone who has a more “prestigious” position.  If they work hard, are dependable and efficient, their yearly raises can enable them to accumulate an income larger than their education or experience would afford them in a different work area.

Career-oriented people have a goal that involves constantly learning new skills in addition to being dependable and efficient.  They will focus on making each job an opportunity to develop skills leading to their next position or assignment.

Career-oriented employees have worked through the entry level jobs and know they can always learn a new skill to help them move up the career ladder.  A person has to gain experience in the area they wish to excel in.  There are some well paid employees who started out working at a fast food restaurant and moved into the “Manager Trainee” program.

Lastly, each person measures the success of their career differently.  Some career-oriented people measure their success by their income, while others measure their success by the number of people they are able to help.  Many people who work in the non-profit area or government may make quite a bit less than if they used their skills in the public workplace but feel successful because they measure their success by the impact they have on others.

People with careers are problem solvers.  In fact, career employees usually look at problems as opportunities.  A career-oriented person would probably develop a plan and start working their way through each barrier, never allowing themselves to be stagnant or to give up on their dream.

You can start now to practice the characteristics that a career person usually possesses and move from a “job” to a “career.”

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to ccc@NCACWorkforce.org.

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Connie’s Career Corner

May 2, 2013

CONNIE’S CAREER CORNER

“More ideas can lead to a better result.”

Tip for the day:  If you want a different outcome, try a different approach.  Unknown

 

Q:   Dear Connie:  I get so frustrated when my team is given a project to complete.  My teammates do not seem to work as hard as I work.  Can you give me any suggestions on how to get the rest of my team to work like I do?

A:   Dear Frustrated:  You might not be happy if your whole team approached the task exactly the same way that you do.  The best outcome comes from having diversity in your group, and this includes the different styles people use to approach projects.

To help reduce your frustration, take a little time and understand the different styles people use when completing a project.  There are many assessments you and your co-workers can take to help identify your work styles.  You might want to check out free assessments on the Internet.  Your human resource department may have someone who has been trained in giving assessments to further help your team understand how each team member approaches his work.

Here are four of the approaches people take in completing their work.  The Self-appointed Leader wants to get everything planned out and assigned (including a timeline for completions) while expecting everyone to work and work hard.  The Thinker wants to gather and process the information before any part of the project has begun.  A Thinker will have a hard time understanding how the Self-appointed Leader can plan and start something that may not even be the plan that is needed.  The People Pleaser will want to be sure that everyone in the group has the opportunity to share his ideas.  The People Pleaser will also want the whole team to be happy with their individual assignments.  The Socializer may not appear to be working on his portion of the project until just before the deadline.  He may then be willing to do what it takes to meet the deadline.  The Socializer will probably want to plan a lunch or party to celebrate the project being finished.

If you want to become an even more valued employee, you should learn more about different work styles.  Use your knowledge to help make your team the best it can be.  If you give the Thinker the task of doing the team research, you will have a team member whose knowledge base can help the team avoid delays due to lack of information.  Listen to feedback from the People Pleaser.  If you match the project assignments with what your team members prefer to do, they will be happier.  Happier workers generally turn out the best work.

You may have a lot of great ideas, but think of multiplying those ideas by the number of people on your team.  There does not have to be a right and wrong way to do most projects, but there is usually a good, better and best way to each project.  Stay focused on whether your team members get their assignments finished by deadline, not on whether their daily accomplishments match yours.  It is the quality of the outcome that truly matters.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to ConniesCorner@Nashville.gov .