Tag-Archive for ◊ Workplace ◊

• Monday, December 09th, 2013

Staying productive while snowed-in

You can stay productive while snowed-in today!

Many of us along the Eastern seaboard are stuck inside after a brutal snowfall over the weekend, resulting in slick streets, icy roads, and general weather yuckiness. Sure, we would like to go out and make snow angels with the kids, or catch up on some guilty pleasure TV (cue the Housewives of whatever city), but the truth of the matter is that we still have to work.

So, here are five tips to keep you focused and productive while you are stuck indoors working.

Play first, then work

If you are like me, snow is actually a welcomed friend that I’m happy to see. So, to shake off the excitability and get focused, allow yourself time to revel at the winter wonderland for a few moments, including calling your loved ones to commiserate, and then get your workspace ready and operational. Having satisfied the kid inside of you before getting to work, you can reduce the urge to stray away from work.

Prioritize your day

You probably prioritize work responsibilities anyway, so tweak your agenda to include unanticipated interruptions, scheduling a play date for the kids because school is closed, shoveling the sidewalk, impromptu office teleconferences, and altered project due dates. If you are the most productive early in the morning, work on the most complicated tasks, or the assignments that take the most time to complete, at the beginning of the day.

Give yourself a break

For some people, working solo at home means that they can work nonstop with little interruption. That means progress, right? Sometimes, it can lead to burnout, brain freeze and frustration. So, schedule brief reprieves during your home-day workday. Take a coffee or tea break, make sure you have a bite to eat for lunch, and give those fast fingers a break from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Stay connected

Staying connected with co-workers and team members while working from home during bad weather creates camaraderie, and keeps you on task. Checking in also helps you stay in touch on project updates, gain management input, and inspire collaboration through trading ideas in a more relaxed environment (your home!) and one-on-one conversations that may not happen during a normal day at work.

In addition, if snowy weather gets you down, staying connected to co-workers can help ease the effects of cabin fever.

Establish a routine and stick with it

Discipline can be tough in the best of circumstances. Staying on task when working alone at home can test your resolve, so it is a good idea to establish a work routine – especially if you anticipate being at home for more than one day – to help you keep on track with expectations from your supervisor, client, and colleagues on your project team.

Do you have any tips that help you productive during a wild weather shut-in? Share in the comment section below, or Tweet us @CareerConnectDC using hashtag #CCSnowDay.

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women’s issues. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content is the property of Ask The Strategist and affiliated companies unless otherwise noted. We occasionally address questions from our readers and subscribers in posts. Send your question or conundrum  via video or regular email to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Prosperity, Opportunity, and Freedom

1963 March on Washington, Wiki Media Commons

At 3:00 p.m. today, bells rang across the country to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington, DC, and the stirring I Have a Dream speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Half a century ago, marchers flocked to the Nation’s Capitol to rally for civil rights, including jobs and economic opportunity.

Many still debate if the quest for the American Dream is reasonable, or attainable. Fifty years ago, despite challenges that impeded progress at the time, hopeful marchers believed fervently that all should have access to the pursuit of the dream,  in the workplace and beyond. While many meaningful strides have been made since the historic gathering in Washington, DC, there remain hurdles to scale. Women account for only 16% of corporate board leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies (source: Catalyst). Sixteen percent of the population - almost 50,000,000 people - live in poverty (source: U.S. Census Bureau), and, while the nation’s overall unemployment rates have decreased, almost 24% of teenagers are out of jobs (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Let us all continue to ring the bells of prosperity, opportunity, and freedom in our own lives by committing to:

  • Proactively seek opportunities to cultivate skills that bolster or benefit our professional expertise
  • Celebrate those who fought for progress during the Civil Rights movement and vow to make a difference for good in our individual communities
  • Enthusiastically mentor a teen or Tween and help him/her prepare for internships and career opportunities
  • Courageously confront barriers that block your progress, whether internal or external
  • Consistently and positively use skills, talents, and abilities to gain workplace promotion or establish a business

How will you pursue prosperity, opportunity, or freedom in your own life? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Related:

Declare Your Own Independence

New Year, New You

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women’s issues. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content is the property of Ask The Strategist and affiliated companies unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced without express written permission from the author(s).

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• Monday, January 14th, 2013
The New Face of Diversity: President and CEO of the American Conference on Diversity, Elizabeth Williams-Riley, joins us on The Strategy Sessions radio show on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. ET.

November’s election included sweeping legislative changes for many states, including the DREAM Act and same-sex marriage. In America, diversity has long been a discussion topic at work; however, it has taken on new meaning as social issues, including immigration and advocacy for women. Our guest, Elizabeth Williams-Riley, President and CEO of the American Conference on Diversity, joins us on The Strategy Sessions radio show to highlight how the conversation on diversity is re-shaping the workplace and communities.

Elizabeth Williams-Riley

 

TOPICS COVERED:

  • How the definition of diversity has changed as legislative and societal changes have evolved
  • The impact November’s election will have on the workplace and the community, including states’ support of Same-Sex Marriage and the DREAM Act
  • The relevance of diversity training as women and people of color make strides in the workplace
  • How diversity impacts youth – bullying, leadership, and education
  • American Conference on Diversity programming to raise awareness, train, and prepare tomorrow’s leaders

Listen LIVE: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions

Have a question or comment for our guest?

Call (347) 539-5143

Email talkback@ksgsc.com

Tweet us @KesiStribling

For more information about Elizabeth Williams-Riley, or to view her bio, visit www.ksgsc.com/thestrategysessions.

 

ABOUT THE STRATEGY SESSIONS

Listen live

A radio show featuring industry leaders who share tips and strategies on business, careers, travel, health, and more, The Strategy Sessions airs live on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 11:00 a.m. ET. The show has featured luminaries representing corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations such as the U.S. Small Business Administration; Internships.com; AAA; American Express; Women Impacting Public Policy; LifeLock; Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship; Aetna; the American Heart Association; and, Lockheed Martin. For more information, or to download the podcast, visit www.blogtalkradio.com/thestrategysessions. Twitter hashtag #TheStrategySessions

 

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• Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

 

Workplace Primer for College Students (part II)

In part I of the Workplace Primer for College Students, we detailed the importance of tailoring the job search and preparing a flawless cover letter or resume. Part II focuses on the interview, specifically what collegiate job seekers should do before, during, and after the meeting with prospective employers.

Prepare for the interview

You're hired! Interview preparation can score big points for your career.

Your cover letter and resume have passed muster and the company you eagerly want to work for has contacted you for an interview. There are several tips to help you prepare for the face-to-face meeting (or telephone screening, as is the trend these days). From selecting an appropriate wardrobe to asking a potential employer the right questions, interview preparation requires a lot of thought – and action.

Look the part: It is essential to select appropriate attire for the interview; and, the accessories that make the outfit, which complete your overall appearance. Ultimately, the interview wardrobe should be professional, and make you blend in, rather than stand out, from the company employees. The reality is that companies want new employees who reflect the current corporate culture, and that includes attire.

Men should wear slacks, a crisp shirt, and matching blazer. Of course, the tie completes the look – not a clip on! Freshly shined shoes and simple accoutrements, such as a watch, sans bling, and conservative cuff links complete the professional look. Interviewees can look stylish, no matter the budget constraints.

Related: professional attire for men

Women do not have to sacrifice style when preparing for the interview.  A modest length and well-fitting (not too tight) skirt or dress is appropriate, with a conservative shirt and blazer. If suiting seems a bit boring, or if the industry has a more relaxed approach to dressing in the workplace, it is okay to pair trousers or a skirt with a cardigan set. Moderate heels or sling backs should be clean and not scuffed. Understated jewelry rounds out the interview outfit.

Related: professional attire for women

Even if the industry usually calls for khakis in the workplace (think technology), you can wear the corporate style once you land the job. For your interview, avoid the casual Friday look.

Women's professional attire on our pinterest page

Research the audience: Knowing one’s audience is imperative. Conduct research about the company in advance, including reviewing the corporate website, Facebook fan page, and Twitter account. Being armed with information about the company helps during the interview. Potential employers will appreciate the initiative, and will view the well-informed candidate as one who possesses a can-do attitude.

Before the interview, practice responses to potential questions that may be asked. Ask a trusted mentor, friend, or family member to conduct a mock interview, and assess your performance. Pay particular attention to the use of fillers when responding to questions  (um, ah, and you know), so that you can avoid them. Record the mock interview, and look at it a few times to improve your delivery. Doing so will help nervous candidates  ace the interview by being ready to talk about tasks undertaken in the current job, or skill sets and special talents that can translate to the job being applied for at the company.

Arrive early for the interview: One of the most important aspects of the interview is arriving on time to the meeting. Even if you’re familiar with the geographic area of the company, identify a preferred and alternate route to get to the interview. If there is an accident, detour, or water main break, taking an alternate route may be the difference between getting to the interview on time, or missing out on the opportunity by being an hour late. Drive to the location, if possible, the same day of the week and time the interview is scheduled, beforehand.

Professional attire for men on our pinterest page

Arrive early (not more than 30 minutes ahead of time), or on time, but never late. Companies often ask candidates to complete applications prior to the interview. Remember, the interview actually begins as soon as you arrive at the location. Be pleasant when speaking to or interacting with anyone in the office. Do not be haughty, put off, overly friendly, or flirt with the staff. By the way, waiting patiently until called in for the interview means no texting, listening to your iPod, or talking on your cell phone with or without your Bluetooth.

Ask the right questions: Be sure to ask at least one question during the interview. It should be one that is of genuine interest and not something that the interviewer has already covered. After the meeting is over, send a thank you note. Conventional thought is that a handwritten note to the interviewer is the way to go, it is also okay to send a brief, error free email thank you note.

Once the company has offered you the job, there are a number of questions to ask, not just those related to salary. Detailed questions include those related to annual and sick leave, retirement contributions by the employer, corporate culture, employee expectations, and other details about the position that may not have come up during the interview (i.e. the position’s funding is contingent upon grant money received).

 

Next: Part III (final) of the Workplace Primer for College Students

© Copyright 2012 Ask The Strategist™

 

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that addresses business, career, workplace and etiquette issues. Any advice dispensed by Ask The Strategist is purely for informational and entertainment purposes. Take the advice and opinions at your own risk – and betterment! Follow @KesiStribling or @CareerConnectDC on Twitter. Post your questions/email your conundrum/send your question via video to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

 

What successful people do with the first hour of their workday

How do you begin your day?

ASK THE STRATEGIST: When people conjure up images of successful business moguls, we often envision them waking up in the morning, reaching across a sleeping spouse to check their iPhones, and thus, the power plays begin. Kevin Purdy, blogger for Lifecompany, says that truly successful people take a moment to be reflective, and that surely does not include compulsively checking email first thing in the morning.

 

What successful people do with the first hour of their workday

by Kevin Purdy – Lifecompany – August 22, 2012

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list. Read the entire post>> >

 

Talk back to us: How do you start your day? Tell us in the comments section below.

© Copyright 2012 Ask The Strategist™

 

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that addresses business, career, workplace and etiquette issues. Any advice dispensed by Ask The Strategist is purely for informational and entertainment purposes. Take the advice and opinions at your own risk – and betterment! Follow @KesiStribling or @CareerConnectDC on Twitter. Post your questions/email your conundrum/send your question via video to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of Ask The Strategist. Names and other identifying information may be changed to protect the person asking for advice.

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• Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Nominations now open for Employee of the Month

Shout out the hardest workers in the DMV!

More than 711,000 employees make Washington, DC run efficiently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Add the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia, and the number grows to more than 1,000,000 people who drive business, revenue, and services in, and around, the nation’s capital. We seek to sing the praises of many of these hardworking and talented employees in our new article series, Employee of the Month on Examiner.com.

In order to make Employee of the Month a success, your nominations – and spreading the word about the friendly competition – are vital.

Submission Process and Guidelines

Anyone may submit a nomination for consideration for Employee of the Month, including those who wish to self-nominate. Eligibility is based on two criteria:

1. The nominated employee works in the metropolitan Washington, DC area (i.e. the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia – Fairfax County, Prince William County; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County; Howard County, MD)

2.  The nominee must work for a company, nonprofit organization, federal/local government, or educational institution; be support staff, a manager, executive director, administrator, intern, or anyone who works there; and, be a part-time or full-time employee of the company

Winners are selected based upon how well the nominator documents the employee’s contributions to the workplace. Nominations should be sent in Microsoft Word, and contain no more than three paragraphs. Include the nominator’s AND nominee’s name, telephone number, and email address.

Tips for writing a successful nomination:

  • Include specific contributions to the workplace
  • Indicate nominee’s work title and employer
  • Specify why the nominee should be selected asEmployee of the Month

Employee of the Month Submissions

Email nominations to eotm@ksgsc.com. Winners will be featured in an upcoming article on Examiner.com.

For complete details and submission guidelines, visit www.ksgsc.com/eotm. Follow us on Twitter @KesiStribling or @CareerConnectDC.

This story also appears on Examiner.com.

 

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• Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Employee of the Month

It’s time to recognize the hard-working, innovative, and dedicated employees in the metropolitan Washington, DC area! Beginning in January 2012, my new article series, Employee of the Month on Examiner.com, will sing the praises of employees who work tirelessly to contribute to their workplaces. In order to do that, we need your help.

 

Nominate an Employee of the Month!

Nominate a deserving employee to be featured in our new article series on Examiner.comEmployee of the Month. Anyone is eligible to nominate an Employee of the Month, based on two criteria:

1. The employee works in the metropolitan Washington, DC area (i.e. the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia – Fairfax County, Prince William County;  Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County; Howard County, MD)

2.   The nominee can work for a corporate or nonprofit organization, be support staff, a manager, executive director, administrator, intern, or anyone who works there, and be a part-time or full-time worker

Employee of the Month Nominations

Nominations open on January 1, 2012. To view the nomination guidelines and submission process, visit www.ksgsc.com beginning December 30, 2011.

Winners will be featured in an upcoming article on Examiner.com, and on our affiliated social media pages, blogs, and in our publications.

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• Wednesday, December 07th, 2011

Your gift choices will give you away every time.

 

In Washington, DC, the land of political correctness, the ability to act without offending extends to the workplace, especially during the holiday gift-giving season. No matter how cool you are with your company execs and fellow entrepreneurs, discretion – and serious consideration – should dictate the holiday gifts you exchange.

Sure, maybe you and your supervisor secretly share a penchant for Maxim magazine, but giving a yearly subscription to the risqué magazine is completely unprofessional. Okay, maybe that gift-giving gaffe is obvious to you; but, if you need tips for finding the perfect gift for your office mates, not to worry. Here is my list of the top five gift suggestions for 2011.

 

 

Great gift ideas

  1. Books that highlight the recipient’s areas of interest, such as biographies, golf, knitting, or the latest publication by his favorite novelist
  2. Technology-related gift cards including the iTunes store, Best Buy, Amazon.com, or the recipient’s cell phone carrier
  3. Gift cards that promote healthy living such as a visit to a local day spa, a salon to get a relaxing manicure or pedicure, or a yoga class
  4. Magazine subscriptions are a great idea for coworkers who prefer to read publications in hand rather than scroll through content online, such as Entrepreneur or Inc. Magazine; professional membership subscriptions are also a great idea, especially for budding young professionals who may not be able to afford to join the Society for Human Resource Management or the American Marketing Association

Read the entire article on Examiner.com – more careers and workplace culture articles

Have gift ideas? Comment below to share your picks for the best holiday 2011 gifts.

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• Friday, April 22nd, 2011
 
 

5 Things To Do In the Workplace on Earth Day

Earth Day 2011

Today is Earth Day, an annual reminder to be a little kinder, gentler to our planet and the communities in which we live. Following are five simple things you can do in the workplace to commemorate Earth Day, while taking steps to incorporate green activities on a daily basis.

 1. Say goodbye to paper

Help Mother Earth by eliminating unnecessary paper in the office. Whether discarding old memos, outdated company procedures, or decades old personnel files, eliminating the deluge of paper can have a positive impact in the workplace. By scanning and electronically storing essential documents, offices can decrease paper use resulting in cost saving, the preservation of trees, increased storage space, and the reduction of mold and spores. 

 2. Turn off the lights

 Turn off the power in rooms at work – unoccupied offices, the restroom, and cafeteria – that are not in use. Energy efficient light bulbs, including those operated by automatic sensor to turn lights on and off, are easy to use and cost-effective. Conserving energy helps the planet, and reduces your office electric bill. Use those saved dollars for employee bonuses instead!

3. Ditch the plastic

Replace plastic utensils with silverware and bring your own coffee cups to work – ditching the Styrofoam and plastic cups. Using cutlery can eliminate waste and save corporate dollars. Some health experts believe that Styrofoam and plastic have a negative impact on the body. So, ditching the plastic may not only help the planet; it may benefit your personal health as well. 

4. Take on telecommuting

With gas prices on the rise, telecommuting is a money-saving and efficient way to better our planet. Telecommuting reduces traffic, emissions, and saves energy usage in the workplace. Working at home also has great health benefits, reducing stress that comes from driving to and from work during hefty traffic, being at home when the children arrive after school, and fostering a bit of peace and quiet that is not always present in the workplace.

5. Convert your coworkers

The best way to sustain green activities in the workplace is to engage your coworkers. Make your efforts to conserve energy a contest, work on projects together, and encourage other businesses in your work complex or community to join forces. Organize Earth Day activities, including initiating a recycling plan, planting trees, forming teams to present innovative ways to conserve energy during staff meetings once a month, or bring in an expert to help you and your coworkers implement a strategic green effort at work.

 Have a green tip that you have used in the workplace? Let us know in the comment section.

Article courtesy of KSG Strategic Consulting, and cannot be reproduced without express written permission.

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• Monday, March 28th, 2011

ASK THE STRATEGIST: Copycat Coworker
March 28, 2011

Dear ATS: I have a coworker who copies everything I do – how I talk and the clothes I wear. We were cool at first, but now I try not to associate with her unless I have to. She even changed her hair to how I used to wear mine. How can I get her to stop and let me be me? – Anonymous, Maryland

An old adage says imitation is the best form of flattery. We humans tend to like it when people embrace us and want to emulate our ways of thinking, values, and even our physical characteristics. However, when imitation goes beyond our comfort zone and becomes “weird,” what was once flattering can start to feel freaky.

Since your quest for advice primarily focuses on your coworker’s penchant for imitating your appearance, I assume that your coworker still acknowledges the boundaries insofar as work performance, i.e. not taking credit for your work, or throwing a temper tantrum if she is not partnered with you on a project.

Your coworker may be a young person who respects and admires how you present yourself in the workplace and merely wants to emulate it. If the employee seems harmless, then say nothing and let her infatuation drift off in time.

If her fawning severely impedes your productivity on the job, then you may want to talk, gently, with her over lunch. If you are good at humor, presenting your concerns in a light-hearted manner may be most effective. Whatever you do, avoid appearing as if you are chastising her, which inevitably will make your coworker defensive. If she makes you feel uncomfortable to the point that your gut instinct is telling you there is a potentially more dangerous issue, including stalking, you may want to talk to your human resources representative or an immediate supervisor for intervention or workplace training.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
THE STRATEGIST

Ask The Strategist - every Monday at 7:00 p.m. EST on Twitter @atstrategist

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is an advice column that seeks to address business, career, workplace, and etiquette issues. Any advice dispensed by The Strategist is purely for informational and entertainment purposes. Take the advice and opinions at your own risk – and betterment! Follow us on Twitter @atstrategist. Post your question/email your conundrum/send your video to ask@ksgsc.com. All submissions become the property of ASK THE STRATEGIST. Join ASK THE STRATEGIST on Twitter every Monday at 7:00 p.m. EST. Tweet me @atstrategist.

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