Sunday, June 29, 2008

Don't Grumble...Seminars & Workshops Can Be Good Things!

When was the last time you attended a seminar? Was it worthwhile, did you enjoy the experience? Did you grumble and drag your butt to the event, then check your watch every 20-30 minutes - while praying that the speaker would not call on you...and hoping to be home by 4pm? Well there is a very good reason to reconsider your opinion of professional development activities (seminars, workshops, conferences, lectures, retreats, etc.). They don't have to be dull and torturous, they just need to peak your interest! So instead of being told by your employer that you have been registered for yet another seminar such as, Teamwork - Cheerleading for the Disgruntled and Underpaid Cubicle Dweller, try turning the tables on your employer. Get pro-active and seek out a seminar/workshop that you truly find appealing - something that will challenge you, expand your knowledge base and broaden your skills.

Think of it this way, ask your employer to pay for or reimburse you for a seminar you select, one that just might motivate you, and the bonus is that you get a nice change of environment for the work day. Even if your employer won't pay for the event, you should pay for it out of your pocket, if the topic is something you are really excited about. If you can walk out of a one day event with even 1 or 2 practical ideas to put into play, then the event was beneficial. A few other bonuses include the opportunity to demonstrate to your employer that you are engaging in professional development activities (a talking point for that annual performance review), a chance to network with peers who share your attraction to the seminar topic, plus you have new content for your resume (always add relevant activities to your resume under the heading of Professional Development). So find a seminar that looks really promising and sign up ASAP. Here is a nice link to search for seminars of interest:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Time for a Change?

When you're feeling like it might be time to make a change in your career, it might be wise to start by considering two basic questions? First, "is it my work/role or is it the environment or organization that I'm working in?" There may just be a disconnect between your current career values (what is truly important to you in your work) and the values (or lack of values) that exist in the organization that you represent each work day. Maybe it's the size of the company, their management style, their areas of focus (profit, people, social responsibility, ethics), their structure...any number of items. The second question you should ask yourself is "have I reached a saturation point - the point of burn out - in this career, where I no longer enjoy my work/role?"

So when struggling with the issue of whether or not to make a change, take a few steps back and spend some time reflecting on these 2 questions. This self assessment should help to clarify the potential next organization vs. new career focus!

Have you found yourself battling this question of change?