Professional Development

Time Management: As Easy as Yes and No

Time Management is as easy as two words: yes and no.

When an opportunity comes your way you have two choices:

👍🏼YES: Which is saying no to something or someone else.

🛑 NO: Saying yes to something or someone else.

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It is so simple yet so hard to do well. Be conscious of the small words you dish out because the impact is great.

Casualties of poor time management:

➞ Your physical and mental health

➞ The people you love

➞ Your work and/or your team

The Match of Self-Talk: How Inner Dialogue Matters for Endurance

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Self-talk is a thing. For better or worse. Your inner dialogue matters.

I was reminded of this when I was on the tennis court for the first time after 13+ year hiatus of match play. Prior to this break, tennis WAS LIFE. In the past on the court, I beat myself up with words when I missed a point or was down.

Coming back last week, I was determined not to fall into those negative mental traps, but just like years before, with the swing of my racquet, I was bullied by my thoughts. I was both physically and mentally out of shape!

But something happened. I needed the focus to move forward. Out of breath and tired, I had to reframe my self-talk for SURVIVAL - I had to talk myself into playing the very next point!

Job seeker, where do you need to talk yourself into taking the next step? Language matters so much that researchers in a 2014 study found talking to yourself in third-person is more effective than referring to yourself as 'me' or "I".

When you need endurance, train yourself with positive thoughts.

Instead of: I can't do this another day.

Say: You can take the very next step, Meg. One foot in front of the other.

Just a Monday morning PSA: Be kind to yourself.

Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? How has it helped or hurt you in your career success?

April Open Door Interview: Dr. Camie Wright

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It's April’s Open Door Interview release day! As one of Indianapolis’ Monthly’s “Top Docs” and 14-year board-certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr. Cameual Wright took her patient’s career advice to pivot from full-time clinical practice to managed care after graduating with her MBA. 

Camie shares how words spoken over her by mentors came to pass and how her skills evolved to further her passion for health equity as Indiana's Market Medical Director at CareSource.

Listen in here.

Separate Work from Who are Are: An Introduction Change

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You don't have to be defined by your work. When you introduce yourself to someone new replace what you do with who you are.

Our identity tie to work is strong. I realized this when I decided to quit my job to stay home with my third child. It never occurred to me how I relied on my achievements at work to define who I am. I found there are no performance reviews for a stay-at-home parent.

Does who you are change because of work? Most definitely, but WHO you are is separate from what you DO.

So instead of: Hi! My name is Meg Applegate. I'm a resume writer.

Let's replace the formality with: Hi! I'm Meg. A woman of faith, driven by even the littlest of goals. I'm lit up by connections with people and prone to giggling at the cheesiest of jokes.

It's your turn. Who are you outside of what you do?

Need help discerning what makes you unique? Check out Meg’s DIY branded resume statement mini-workbook to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Work is Stressful: Five ways to combat the Daily Grind

No matter your gender, seniority or generation, stress at work leaves no one untouched. According to LinkedIn, the number one stressor is workload (as it relates to work-life balance) followed by future job security and career direction/purpose.

This report found executive Gen-Xer's are the most stressed followed by Baby Boomers and then Millennials.

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How can you combat work stress to ENJOY your life and work?

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✔︎ Learn to say no. Know and understand your own priorities in both your work and personal life. When you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else.

✔︎ Upskill. Own your own professional development as an eager student to add to your skill set.

✔︎ Own your life (and work) as a journey. There is always time to pivot or recalibrate your career trajectory.

✔︎ Laugh! Find humor in small things.

✔︎ Do something you love. Whether during work or personal time, make time to do what you enjoy. Running? Re-decorating? Reading? Just do it!

What are your keys to less stress?

Gameplay + Goal Setting: Create Levels to achieve your Goals

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Declaring a goal is not enough. Multiply your milestones.

In Chip and Dan Heath's book, "The Power of Moments" they describe a next level goal setting technique that ditches the conventional S.M.A.R.T framework. Instead of stating a particular aim, create achievement levels that resemble gameplay to reach your ultimate goal.

For example, in a job search next level goals could be:

↣ Hone a job target and a target company list that spark interest.

↣ Meet twenty-five new people for coffee meetings (who have a job/work for a company of interest).

↣ Create custom career documents and LinkedIn profile that sing your unique value.

↣ Land a meaningful, new job in three months.

When you create levels, you commemorate progress igniting momentum toward your end goal. It's the progress principle!

Researchers Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer, founders of the progress principle, discovered that when people end the business day making real progress at work, they leave intrinsically motivated and therefore more creative! Employees are ready for vexing problems (with creative solutions) after days of making notable progress.

So, what do you think? Can modeling your goal setting like a game make you more apt to achieve them? Has this worked for you?

Career Passion: Destination or Process?

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“Do what you love.” “Follow your passion.” How many times have you received similar career advice?

I love what Angela Duckworth said in Adam Grant’s WorkLife podcast to “develop your passion" not follow it.

We treat career like a calling – something that needs to be found like uncovering a secret treasure. With this philosophy, there is even a possibility of missing it if we don’t dig around enough.

I love the idea of career passion being developed rather than found. It isn’t a destination; it’s a process. Have you missed opportunities by pursuing a singular focus? How can we encourage others in their career pursuits based on inquiry and learning rather than a linear, planned path?

Develop in a Group to land Higher Roles

Carrot Club. It got my youngest son to eat his vegetables. What partnership might you need for personal and professional growth?

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My three-year-old was not into veggies. My husband started face timing him at lunch to eat together. In an effort to prove carrots are in fact digestible and tasty, my husband would munch on his with great delight. My son totally bought it. Now, each weekday they bond over their carrots and eat lunch together. Hence, the start of carrot club.

Do you need a 'carrot club'? For women, in particular, your inner circle matters. According to a January 2019 research conducted by the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University, over 75% of women executives had an inner circle of 2-3 women. The research found that women in particular who communicated and relied on a small group of women placed at a higher job level.

So, who are your people? Who can you rely on to get you over the hurdles of personal and professional life?

If you haven't found your tribe - start one! Rally grad school friends or like-minded colleagues. Attend networking events to find your people. If you are local to Indianapolis, try Linking Indy Women

How have you seen the power of community work in your professional life?

Little things matter BIG!

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My library book haul this weekend is all about the little things. Daily decisions, little moments and even small, mundane choices. I'm learning the small stuff matters. They make an impact in life and in resume writing.

Magical little life things:

+ Playing board games with my son on sick days.

+ Exchanging secrets with my daughter at bedtime.

+ A lit candle and music playing during dinner prep.

Small resume touches:

+ Periods at the end of bullet points to tie a bow on a high-impact statement.

+ A clean, custom LinkedIn URL (instead of the gobbly-gook link provided).

+ Bolding a professional accomplishment to make it pop.

+ Sharp, distinct action verbs.

What small things are making a difference in your life or your job search right now?

Fall back in Love with you Career: Three Simple Steps

Have you fallen out of love with your career? Rekindle the flame by seeing your career path anew with these three steps:

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❣️Look in the past. I’ve had jobs that I would never want to re-live again, but I can look back and be grateful for the skills I developed and how the role contributed to my overall professional development. What are you grateful for in your career past?

❣️Look at the present. Perhaps your work environment is a bit volatile or your gig is getting old. See with new eyes today. Look for a few things that you can be thankful for. Maybe it’s just the office (insert name brand) coffee or perhaps you are celebrating big career win - either way, note it.

❣️Look to the future. Recall your career dreams. What do you hope for? What seems too ‘crazy’ to pursue? Move one step forward in pursuing your dreams today. Then do it again tomorrow and then the next day. Success is achieved through small wins. Take a step.

What gets you giddy about your career?