Applying to the Big Firms

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With application season continuing all year round, it is imperative as a young professional to truly understand the logistics that goes into applying for a job, especially for the big banking, consulting, and accounting sector. For many of these companies, hiring managers are searching for reasons to rule out applicants. To help better prepare your application in the best light, make sure you invest a strong amount of your time to design a strong and viable foundation that can help design and showcase your personal and professional background and achievements in the best possible way.

Now to start, it is imperative that you understand the type of company and job you want. For many people, it is easy to say that you want to work for Goldman & Sachs or Bain Capital, but to have a strong and holistic understanding of the nature of the job, it is imperative to your job application that you do a sufficient amount of research and cross-examination for that desires and needs of your future employer. To help narrow down your options, think about the kind of position you want and the type of qualifications and assets that you can bring to the table. For many of these high-level positions, they are seeking world-class applicants that are the Jack-of-all-Trades if you will. While this may seem daunting, do not let this discredit your educational and professional work experience. Consider the field and the position and the skills that are required from you and your future employer. If you feel that you have an ample amount of knowledge and skills to handle said-position, continue doing your research. If you feel it may be a bit of a stretch, still do further research. There may be other alternatives for you to get to that position in a different path. The main thing here is for you to create strong and tangible goals that can help proliferate your professional trajectory in the best possible way.

Once you have done a strong overview of the various positions and companies that you are interested in, make sure you take a look at their recruiting timelines. While hiring may be an ongoing thing, do not make the mistake of missing specific recruiting applicant timelines. For many of these big firms, they take weeks, sometimes months to decide if an applicant is right for them. Because of this, they have set specific recruiting timelines in the Fall and Spring, most usually around January to seek prospective applicants from all different backgrounds. By paying attention to the recruiting timelines, you will be able to take advantage of any recruitment events and meet and greets that can get your foot into the door.

Once you have mapped out the recruiting timeline, go back to the drawing board and review the position and application requirements. During this process, you should only have a handful of companies to look at, especially if it is within one of these specific fields and firms. Make sure you do a strong amount of research on the company, the company’s history, and the company’s goals. In addition, look at the application requirements. For these positions, they will go beyond the standard background information and ask you to do various case studies. If they have a particular application toolkit, make sure you utilize that to your advantage. The more prepared you are, the better. In addition, take a look at this in this perspective, much of these interviewing processes are strong learning experiences for the next opportunity. What you say and do that be big factors in helping you move forward in getting that dream job. Now, last but not least, make sure you know what your position entails. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to only know the position by the title itself. Do your research and even ask and interview friends or mentors who are in similar fields. This can give you a greater insight into the type of work you will be doing in the future, while also highlighting your knowledge to a said-hiring manager.  

As you are going through the application process, just know that this will take a lot of time and dedication to truly know the ins-and-outs of the business. Every task and preliminary application case study you will be working on will speak loudly to the type of worker and application you are to whoever is reviewing your work. With that being said, make sure you give yourself an ample amount of time to work on your application. For these companies, they want to see an investment portion as well as the skill during this process. Be cognizant of any mistakes and take a third or fourth look before submitting anything. Any preliminary sloppy work can be incredibly costly to your chances. Remember, not many people have this shot to make it that far. Show them that you are the person that they need.

Last but not least, practice specific interview questions. In many of these situations, you will be asked to interview in a variety of ways: Skype, phone, or in-person interviews. To get you ready for those situations, make sure you have a holistic understanding of your resume, your application coursework, and your knowledge and understanding of the company and the position. Besides the standard application questions, try and think of higher order thinking questions about your previous jobs and what skills can be transferable to that new position. This can give them a greater insight of what you can do for them in the future.

Good luck.

Microsoft Acquires LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion

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While I usually post various ‘how-to’ articles on career and professional development, I felt that it was important to highlight the on-goings within the business sector today. Just recently, it has been reported that the global tech-giant Microsoft was able to acquire LinkedIn Corporations, announcing that they have entered a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction at a value of $26.2 billion dollars. While LinkedIn will still retain its distinct brand, culture, and independence, millions of people across a variety of different sectors are asking the $26.2 billion dollar question: What is next with LinkedIn?

To begin, we have to look at the remarkable growth that LinkedIn has accrued since its launch back in May 5, 2003. Starting off as a simple platform for professional networking, this Web 2.0 social media networking service has taken the world by storm with more than 400 million users to date. For many people, especially young professionals, LinkedIn provides hundreds of millions of users with the ability to connect with the world’s professionals and top companies in order to make more productive and successful growth within their soon-to-be established fields. In addition to networking, overall site allows users to create their professional profile and control their top search results for their name. But with social media becoming an ever-evolving monster, we have to consider the other possible changes LinkedIn will make to its platform in the future.

While Microsoft and LinkedIn do come from two different worlds, their goals and visions for the future are same. Like LinkedIn, Microsoft wants to power people and organizations to achieve more. With LinkedIn’s underlying goal of professional networking, Microsoft looks to leverage LinkedIn’s identity with strong and viable features where users can utilize Microsoft products such as Word, Excel, Skype, and Outlook for their daily use. For them, their idea connects to simple and short phrase, “a single source of truth.” With these new features, LinkedIn can continue to provide a stronger podium that provides definitive features for young professional to further connect and brand themselves in the most professional manner.

Another promising feature that was discussed was their overall enhancement for an ‘intelligent news feed.’ With LinkedIn Pulse (launched back in 2013) being an already great source for professional information, an intelligent newsfeed of this caliber can generate better-targeted content for each user so that they can stay up-to-date with any information or news within their specific fields.

Regardless of how you feel, this partnership between the two tech-companies will be a fantastic opportunity in connecting various users with the world’s professionals. In my opinion, LinkedIn working with Microsoft is probably the best option. With the site undergoing various criticisms the past few years, the new objectives and visions for the future seem highly positive. All we can do now is wait and see what LinkedIn will have in store for us this year.

Balancing your Work Life and your Social Life

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For many young professionals, the expectation to work overtime beyond the office norms has become an ever-growing problem in today’s society. While it is not an issue to stay a few hours after work and learn more about the company and or the trade of the business, the fact of the matter is that many individuals, especially young millennials, are going beyond the go-getter personality and overworking themselves to exhaustion. Don’t get me wrong; we have all been in situations where we need to stay late at the office. But with this constant trend continuing amongst the younger generation, various experts have resoundingly agreed and advised many companies and businesses to raise awareness for balancing their employees work life and social life. Avoiding this type of awareness can lead to various negative damages, both physical and mental to the individual and the company.

When we talk about the effects of a company, you would think that employees who work overtime would be seen as a good thing. While there is a short-term benefit to the additional work they are contributing for your business, the long-term negative effects such as high burnout rates, employee turnover, and toxic negative culture can demise an entire company. As for the employee, a lack of balance between their work life and their personal life can lead to stress, self-doubt, low-morale, and eventually apathy. One thing to keep in mind is that work will always be stressful. There will always be a task that will require you to go above and beyond the 9-to-5 norms. But even with that there, it does not mean you cannot confidently take control of the situation and implement various logistics that can balance your personal life and your work life.

Now, one of the worst schedules you can be sucked into is when the day-to-day becomes somewhat clockwork. Yes, having routines is important, but if it does not provide value and action within your life, your burnout rate will only rise. Many young professionals find themselves within a black hole schedule where it seems like after work, they sleep and rest only to wake up for work again the next day. Unless you have unlimited vacation days, you will always go to work. But this does not mean you cannot do things you enjoy in between the workweek.

To accomplish this, make sure you organize your calendar. Some people use their phones, while others actively write it down. Whatever is your approach, make sure it is there. The more detailed you are, the better. This will allow you to optimize you schedule and iron out any logistics so that you can have a stronger sense of self-control. It will also give you and opportunity to find various slots where you can capitalize your free time into something fun and productive.

Remember, the one piece of advice about creating a balance between your personal and professional life is staying active. Working constantly is just not sustainable. To prevent you from diving into the ‘schedule of doom’ try looking at extracurricular activities that interest you. This can be anything sports related such as a gym or a recreation league or anything social that can help refresh your batteries like a happy hour session or a vacation. Whatever is the case, make sure you find ways throughout your workweek where you can enjoy these interest. This will give you something to look forward to, while also relaxing you for the next day.

How to Stay Organized at Work

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It is not a secret that recruits and hiring managers are looking for an individual with strong organizational skills. For them, productivity is everything. The more you can do in less amount of time is something that speaks loudly to the efficiency and effectiveness of your day-to-day logistics. That is why it is imperative that you take control of your day and focus on these two segments of your life: 1. Time and 2. Mindset.

Time: “Having a clear mind and a clear space allows you to think and act with purpose.”

One of the biggest flaws to a person’s professional career is getting acclimated to the workload. While you may be new to the job, you will be expected to quickly organize yourself in the most optimal and professional manner. For some people, it can take days. For others, it will take weeks. Whatever is the case, make sure you are able to hone the logistical operations of your day. To do that, you need to be cognizant of your time.

Start the day by structuring your time by either creating a work ‘to-do-list.’ As minimal as it may seem, that will allow you to map out a holistic overview of your day. For many successful professionals, they usually go through their emails and social media updates at the beginning, middle, and end of the day so that they are not overloaded and overstressed. In addition to your emails, make sure you commit to a specific time period when coordinating and scheduling your task. For example, if you have a report or a task due, try and give yourself a particular deadline so that you can continue on to the next task. This will allow you to hit your objectives while also adjusting anything within your schedule as your day continues.

For meetings and breaks, make sure you note that in your schedule. At many companies, they will usually have weekly meetings at specific times. To help get you on track, enter those dates and time in your calendar. One useful tool many people use is Google calendar. Google calendar will help you stay on track while also notifying you of any upcoming deadlines or meetings within the week. Remember, the more logistically sound your schedule is the better. This will eventually give you a specific routine within your day to work at your best with minimal effort.

Mindset: “Never underestimate your strength, never overestimate your weakness.”

When it comes to the job at hand, you have to understand that a majority of your success comes down to your confidence and awareness of a situation. Rather than allowing the situation to overcome your day, take control and focus on doing the right task for the right moment. This will require you to manipulate your schedule when need be. In turn, you will be able to reduce the feeling of overload and procrastination associated with taking on big jobs. To do this effectively, make sure you understand the importance of each day-to-day task. If you have a big project on the line along with a report, try focusing on the more pressing issues. This will give you back the power, even when your schedule may seem overbearing. Try and utilize your checklist as a way to order (or reorder) your day-to-day objectives by importance and priority. That mindset will allow you to stay organized and confident as you accomplish each task on your list.

Now there will be times where things may seem a bit overbearing and downright daunting. Whatever is the case, do not allow this to psych you out. Instead, utilize your list and organizational skills to take control of the matter. That type of confidence will allow you to overcome the hurdles that may potentially block you from succeeding day in and day out.

Avoid these Common Mistakes New and Inexperienced Managers Make

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Congratulations! After all of the time and sacrifice you have put into your company, you have finally been promoted to the position you rightfully earned. This type of achievement is something that will definitely not go unnoticed. But like with anything in life, the higher the climb, the bigger the fall. As a director, supervisor, or manager of your company, it is imperative you understand and internalize the overall struggles that these leadership positions will entail. For many novice and inexperienced managers, they make the big mistake by not internalizing the various ramifications their actions can have on the company and their employees as a whole. Without understanding these flaws, you can find yourself in a very difficult position later on down the road.

To be an effective business leader, it is imperative you understand these overarching mistakes. By highlighting the political, control, and motivation hurdles, you will be able to lead your team in achieving their goals each and every day.

Below, I have highlighted some mistakes new managers have made or seen. While you may still experience some of these mistakes later on down the line, you will be able handle them in the most efficient and effective way possible. To help aid the process, I have broken these flaws into four different categories:

  • Performance Management
  • Career Development
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Skills

Performance Management

As a supervisor or manager at your company, it is important that you maintain a high level of performance and responsibility within your job. One of the biggest mistakes many novice managers make is being slow with dealing with performance issues. Yes, you are essentially the new kid on the block. In fact, you may have employees who undermine your authority because of your age and experience with this leadership position, but this should not deter you away from putting out the fires within your team. If you are noting specific performance issues early on, you will be able to give and create helpful feedback and viable solutions to ongoing or future performance issues. Now while all of this is happening, make sure you document any type of performance, whether they are positive or negative. Understanding the strength of your team will help you adjust your own strategies in leveraging the best out of your employees. If you find that the situation has escalated to unforeseeable outcomes, these notes may give you enough reason to terminate a particular employee. In addition, understanding the strengths of your employees will alone, provide a stronger and more holistic understanding to  those who can handle any high-level task. Remember, play the cards that are dealt. While some might not be in your favor, try and strategize so that they can benefit you your team as a whole.

Career Development

It goes without saying that a great leader is not a person who sets out various objectives, but inspires innovative and strategic action. To do this, it is imperative that you know your employees. Take the time to understand their personal and professional goals. Ask them overarching questions of their feelings about the job and where they see themselves five (ten, twenty) years from now. By understanding their own personal objectives, you will be able to help move them into either a better position or a different company. In addition, make sure you understand their strengths and weaknesses. While I have already mentioned this before, internalizing and noting the strengths and flaws of your workers will give you areas that you know your employees can excel and thrive in. It will also give you areas in which they themselves can grow and professionally develop in the future. Start off with their work. Understand their own personal work ethics and various tasks they can do well. If you know there is one particular flaw that they have, be sure to notify them of that weakness. For some employees, they are unaware of that limitation and can oftentimes overlook their own work ethics. This will give you the opportunity to showcase your leadership skills and build them to be efficient, effective, and consistent rock stars later on in their careers.

Leadership

While leadership has become more of a buzzword within the business sector, you have to understand the various attributes that align to it. Strong and successful leaders look to create and grow opportunities for their team. They will not only allocate any resources that can aid them in their efforts, but also specify what objectives they want to hit each and every day. Now, as much as I can talk about the organizational and managerial skills all leaders encompass within their professional careers, I have to highlight the true goal of a leader, inspiring action. The art of a leader is not to simply dictate various tasks. Instead, they are to inspire creativity, ingenuity, and action. This type of leadership is something that can take a mediocre team in hitting their objectives each and every day. To do this, be positive and transparent. Be informative and creative. And most importantly be decisive and confident.

Organization

Successful managers are great at their jobs because they are simply organized with their day-to-day task. As a manager, your role will require you to create a logistical system that workers in overseeing your employees’ task and your own. One of the biggest mistakes novice managers make is not taking a holistic approach is preparing their systems. Make sure you spend an hour or so compiling a system that works for you. The more organized and sound your logistics are, the better off you will be in executing any task that comes your way.

What to do When you Start a New Job

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Starting a new job is an opportunity for reinvention. Unlike your previous job, you are able to establish a new positive perception that can solidify your personal and professional brand within the office. For this to be beneficial, you have to of course think about the person and employee you want to be. As much as you can be the entertaining guy at the office, you want to make sure your actions and thought process are geared towards career success. To do this, align your actions with your goals. This type of mentality will allow you to clarify and foster the person you are meant so that you are ready for your big first day.

Now as exciting as it may be to enter into a new position at a different company, you have to understand that you are still technically on a probation period. To secure your job and establish that positive presence within the office, you want to provide a strong first impression amongst your peers and management. Unlike college, a quirky joke or a favorite sports team will not be the saving grace in establishing that positive image. Instead, being thought provoking, strategic, and hardworking will help specify your presence within the office

To help you through this process, I have provided various helpful tips that you can utilize on your first day. Like it or not, first impressions do matter. And if you are looking to grow and succeed at this new company, you want to make sure you start things off on the right foot.

1. First one In, Last one Out

As stated above, your first few weeks within this position is more of a probation period than anything. During this time, a majority of your coworkers, especially your managers, will be observing your work ethics and your work behavior. With that being said, embody the phrase, ‘first one in, last one out.’ Now I am not saying that you have to be the first one in the office. But if you are looking to make a positive impression on your managers and higher ups, try arriving earlier than most. In addition, just don’t hang out in your cube or relax in the break room. Instead, try talking with some of your colleagues and start working immediately.

2. Ask a lot of Questions

Remember, you are the new kid on the block. As much as you want to showcase your strengths, you have to understand that you are still miles behind the rest. To help you with this, make sure you ask a variety of questions. Constantly asking will allow you to learn more about the culture and overall role of your position. In addition, try going beyond the parameters of your position and connect and network with other departments. This may lead to something more positive in the future.

3. Network, Network, Network!

Regardless of your position or your field, network will never stop. In fact, the concept to connect with another person should be a natural tendency if you are looking to move and grow with your company. To learn more about the office and your colleagues, make sure you are connecting both in and out of the office. In addition, try networking with some of the higher ups. This can possibly provide them particular ideas, especially with promotional talks.

4. Do the Dirty Work

Like it or not, you are still the newbie and as much as you want to tackle the bigger clients or the more lucrative campaigns, you have to understand your place in the totem pole. During your first few months, make it a priority to volunteer your time to your team, especially if you are done with your work. This will, in turn, allow you to gain a stronger insight about your position and propel you to where you need to five months down the line. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere. So why not start by engaging and learning from those around you.

The Top Five Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

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In today’s world, young professionals have an incredibly distinct advantage than their predecessors. They are better educated, more ethnically diverse, and more economically active. But even with all of their great talents and academic accolades, many millennials are still having trouble having landing that dream job.

As competitive as the job market is, there will always be a way for you to improve and better yourself for that next job interview. To help, I have provided five of the most difficult questions and various tips in how to answer them. If you would like more practice, please visit my SlideShare presentation, 50 Job (and Graduate School) Interview Practice Questions by Geoffrey Byruch. This presentation provides fifty real life practice questions that are constantly asked at interviews for both businesses and graduate schools.

1. Tell me about yourself.

If you have not heard this question, then you have not been on an interview. While simple in its phrasing, ‘Tell me about yourself,’ requires a lot of thought to speak openly and candidly about yourself without having to sound too egotistical. To help with this process, first understand the overall environment of the interview. For many of these interviewers, they want to know the type of person that could potentially be working at their company. To do this in the most beneficial way, try walking through your resume with a theme in mind. The idea of ‘I’m a numbers person’ or ‘I constantly look for challenges’ can be great way to format and explain your personal and professional experience. Be sure to be organic and informative. If you can, try lightening up the mood with a bit of humor or empathy. Playing with emotions, especially if you have done charity or nonprofit work, can be an excellent way in reeling them in for more.

2. What interest you about this company?

No matter what program or job interview you go to, you will always be asked: ‘What interested you about this company?’ For those individuals who did not do their homework, this may be incredibly difficult to answer. But for those prepared candidates that were able to thoroughly research both the organization and the position, this will be your moment to shine. For many recruiters, they are looking for their candidates to have a strong grasp of their company. Whether it is the company’s history or the overall job itself, having those concrete points can showcase your investment and preparedness for the interviewer. To help you with this process, make sure you research the company, the company’s history, and the position. Take a few notes and highlight any points that stand out to you. These points may come in handy later on down the line, especially during your interview.

As for your answer, make sure you can relate it to your previous roles and future goals. Having that type of connection can showcase various transferable skills that you can bring to the table each and every day.

3. What are the most difficult challenge you had to face and how were you able to handle it?

For many recruiters, they want to know that you are able to handle the arduous ups-and-downs of the workday through an example of a difficult challenging work experience. While this question may not come as a surprise, many job applicants are often confused as to which situation they should speak candidly about that could best showcase their strengths. To make it easier on yourself, try and pick an example that you know incredibly well. Make sure the example is relatable to the situation and can highlight your strengths as a leader and a thinker. Last but not least, make sure you can tell it well. Even if you feel like you are telling the same story to every interviewer, stick with it. That story can help positively direct the type of candidate you are for their company.

4. What can you say are your greatest strengths? What about your weaknesses?

Having a deep understanding of your personal and professional strengths and weaknesses will always be incredibly important no matter where you go. For many hiring managers, they know that you are not perfect. In fact, no one is perfect. Because of this, they are looking for particular characteristics that you can leverage or utilize if you were hired with that company. In addition, they also want to make sure you personify the same traits as their own workers. To help you with this process, be honest about yourself. If you know you are weak at communicating, be sure to mention that. But make sure you follow it up with various solutions of how you are willing to improve on that skill.

5. Where do you see yourself in X years?

At the end of the day, hiring managers want to make sure that they are speaking to someone who is highly drive and ambitious. For you to showcase this, make sure you are able to speak openly about your goals and where you want to be in X years. One point you want to of course highlight is the leadership opportunities within the company. Talking about leadership will not only show ambition, but also commitment for said-company.

How to Deal with Difficult Coworkers

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At some stage of your career, you will more than likely run into a co-worker or manager that you will not exactly see eye-to-eye with. As frustrating as it may be, it is absolutely vital that you keep calm and relax about the overall situation. Nothing more can be done to exacerbate a tense relationship, but there are a few techniques you can utilize to help alleviate or diffuse difficult circumstances in the most amicable way possible.

To start, many tense situations arise because there is a miscommunication between you and the other person. I have seen these countless times where a coworker and I could not agree upon various decisions for a specific project. While personality does play a large role within these particular situations, it is imperative that you overcome your pride and ego and understand their perspective and mindset on the matter. In most cases, each person has a different understand at the overall steps for a particular goal. To alleviate this, start by proactively listening. Be sure to pay close attention to what the other person is saying and concentrate on points where there could have been a possible miscommunication. Once you have done that, begin by opening up a discussion on expectations. When any project is launched, there will always be a multitude of people and ideas involved. To help lessen any confusions of the matter, make sure you are able to discuss the various tasks and objectives everyone is going to do. This type of opened discussion can help clarify what you and your coworkers can do on a day-to-day basis. Last but not least, be sure to take responsibility for any type of miscommunication that was your own fault. Especially within the business sector, we are quick to point fingers at others to help sustain our professional reputation. If you know that it was your own mishap, own up to it! I guarantee you that that type of gesture will help calm any tension between you and your unfriendly coworker.

If you find that the animosity is not based on miscommunication, but personality, then it may be your best bet to try and avoid that person within your day-to-day. Now I know what many of you are thinking: ‘We work on a team’ or ‘I HAVE to work with this person directly.’ As difficult as it may seem, there is always ways in which you can easily avoid the situation such as planning your day around them. If you find this to be too taxing, you could possible bring your problem up to a manager or someone in human resources to help find you that much needed support. That way you will have an unbiased arbitrator who can help bridge a gap to your tense situation.

Now the last bit of advice I can give you is for you to change your personality. Unless you are completely aware of what you say and how you act everyday, you are more than likely overlook your own professional behavior. To help with this, start by treating people with respect. Even if your associate isn’t in the same field or job description as you, having that level of consciousness can earn you more admiration than stress.

How to Gain Respect at the Workplace

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Respect and recognition is not something that is handed to you. But it is arguably one of the most sought out titles a person will want within the workplace. While there is no step-by-step process of going about this, there are several areas that you can refine in order to improve your professional status within your company.

To start off, begin by demonstrating your worth and value as an employee. At any company, there is always a starting point. The process of gaining respect from both your colleagues and your superiors starts almost immediately when you enter the workplace. While this may not reflect your salary or your title, your attitude and office personality can highlight your underwritten role and importance at your company. To showcase this, come in with a positive and driven attitude. Believe it or not, many people showcase a variety of office personalities during their first day at the office. As much as you want to be personable or comical with your coworkers, you also want to be aware of the lasting impression your first appearance will make with the general public. Having a positive, friendly, and driven work ethic can demonstrate that much-needed professionalism that can get you noticed at your office.

Once you are able to establish your office personality, try and open your services to both your coworkers and your superiors. To do this efficiently and effectively, be sure to speak calmly and listen to others. One of the best ways to establish respect is first and foremost establishing trust within your office. Show your peers that you are able to take opinions and critiques before taking direct action or decision. In addition, be respectful, especially when collaborating with others. While there may be points where you want to showcase your leadership or knowledge to the group, you also have to understand that much of collaborative projects require you to work within a framework of a team. Because of this, make sure you are aware of your actions within a group setting. Be open-minded and welcoming to all ideas while also putting your best foot forward within any situation.

Now, respect cannot come about if you do not, first and foremost, respect yourself. With that being said, make sure you show a strong display of self-confidence. At the beginning of your career, you may have been intimidated or overwhelmed by the set of expectations asked by your superiors. While this type of timid display is understandable, it is important that you develop a level of self-confidence in your status and your work ethics at the office. Maintaining this individual identity will allow you to settle naturally within your position, while also improving your standing at your company.

To leverage this within your company, try and seek out various leadership positions, even if it is for a short period of time. Having this professional opportunity can showcase your level of commitment and importance at the office.

Last but not least, to gain respect for your peers and your superiors, make sure you show humility. As much as you want to showcase your strengths, being able to admit your flaws can gain the necessary respect needed to be a leader at the workplace. Many great leaders are those that can internalize their strengths and weaknesses. Show your human side but maintain a sense of bravado and self-assurance that shows you can handle any task given at hand.

Setting Goals for your Professional Career

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Regardless of who they are, successful people always have goals. When establishing yourself at the workplace, it can be easy to feel suffocated, confined, and worrisome with the lack of direction to help navigate your steps within your chosen field. That is why I highly recommend that establish your vision and goals for your professional future before making any type of actions at your company. Having a clear vision of the end-state will allow you to set necessary steps to achieve success during your tenure at your company. For this to be beneficial, you need to be crystal clear on what you are looking to achieve and how it will shape your professionally.

While easy as it may sound, creating professional goals are incredible tough. Yes, we can all throw the goal that we want to be the next CEO of a company. While I will not criticize your professional ambitions to make it to the top, I will question whether or not it is plausible, especially if you are unqualified for said position. When creating your professional goals, you want to make sure it will do two things. The first thing your goals should do is that it should challenge you each and every day. Many people need this type of motivation to get them through the mundane task at the office. They need to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Having the goal to move up within your company as a manager or director is a perfect way to start. Now, as much as you want to shoot for the stars, you also want to be tangible. This brings us to our second requirement when creating professional goals. While asking to be the next CEO or the next Mark Cuban is always fun to talk about, having this as a goal can be extremely detrimental to your overall success and growth as a professional. Your goals are meant to push you to be better than who you are. They cannot push you to your best if you know they are unattainable.

So how do you create professional goals? What should you do to make them as effective and beneficial as possible?

Start off by avoiding vague words. One of the hallmarks of a good goal is that they are well detailed and crystal clear about what you are looking to achieve in the future. Oftentimes, people create various goals like “get more clients,” or “make more sales.” While the concept is understandable, the actual goal itself is not. When creating your goals, try and be as specific as possible. Get it down to the number if you have to. Creating your goals in this manner will allow you to internalize what you are actually looking to accomplish each and everyday.

Now, just having a goal is not the only step in creating your goals. In addition to creating your overarching goal, you want to make sure you have efficient and effective steps that can lead you to your goals. Think of these as mini-goals. These particular objectives are meant to help you conceptualize your path for success. To help improve this, try and make sure these steps are able to measure progress. This will allow you to analyze whether or not you are on or off track when it comes to your achievement.

One big mistake many people make is that they are overly optimistic. Earlier I spoke of having tangible goals. The same concept applies here. Now there is nothing wrong with aiming high.  But creating unrealistic targets cannot only hinder your progress, but derail your success entirely. Remember, your goals are there to motivate you, not hinder you. Being overly optimistic of an unrealistic goal can backfire if you are unable to hit that goal. To help conceptualize tangible objectives, try talking to your manager. They should be more than happy to help break down your path for success. At the end of the day, you both are playing for the same team. Utilize this help, and begin building that action plan.