While there are so many different strategies in regards to job searches, job interviews, work style, etc, there is one thing critically important and should be a number one strategy in all these areas. Do you always do as you say will do? While this strategy is important in every area of your life, “doing as you say will do” and having a 100% "do as you say ratio" is noticed more often than you think during your job search and in the workplace. Harmless statements people throw out there such as “I’ll call you later," “I’ll bring that article in for you,” or “I’ll follow up next week,” are oftentimes just that. Statements. But, the people who actually follow through and do them are the people who end up standing out. Doing what you say you will do seems so simple. But so many people don’t follow up and execute on their promises. When you are in the job market or at work, you are expected to follow through on your statements. If you write at the bottom of your cover letter that you will follow up next week then you need to follow up next week. Sometimes a hiring manager might be interested in you as a candidate but will not call you and will wait and see if you actually do "follow-up next week." It’s all part of the assessment of you as a candidate. Do People Even Remember All the Little Promises? Sometimes your promises or statements are small things and don’t matter all that much. Maybe you are at work one day and someone mentions how good the cookies were that you brought in a few months ago. You might say, “Thanks! I’ll make some up this week and bring them in." But, you don’t. You won’t get disciplined or written up for that but people who remember what you said are taking mental notes (and people tend to remember great cookies!). Subsequently, the more you do not deliver on your promises, the more trust people start losing in you. Even if you just neglect to follow through on the small stuff, but you do deliver on the important stuff, your lack of follow through on any one thing can hurt your career brand. And if you make promises on the big stuff and don’t deliver? You will likely be disciplined and if you continue to fail to deliver, you can be terminated from your job. It comes down to this: if you throw out a bunch of casual statements and do not follow through, it may or may not be brought to your attention. Whether it is or not depends on how important it is. But even if it isn’t, if you have a history of not doing what you say you will do in relatively unimportant things, your manager is likely to take that into consideration when evaluating whether or not you should have increased responsibilities or could handle a higher level position. This is a perfect example of "past behavior predicting future success." If you always do what you say you will do, no matter what it is, you will earn great trust and respect from those around you. The ironic thing about this is that it’s almost “normal” for people to throw out empty statements sometimes (such as “Let’s plan a time to have lunch sometime,” or “I’ll see if I can find that e-mail and forward to you”) and never do it. Normal meaning, it is very common. But when someone always follows through, it is impressive! It definitely gets noticed and really helps build up a strong career brand. Most importantly, always doing what you say you will do creates integrity and integrity is a crucial and necessary trait to have and a core value in most workplaces. When you think about it, this concept is so basic. It’s such an easy way to build up your brand and command respect and trust from everyone around you. Sometimes people just operate on auto-pilot and not following through on their promises in unintentional. They get caught up in conversations, they say things and then move onto to the next task or next conversation and simply forget about all the different little promises they made. If you want to have a 100% “do as you say” ratio then you need to really think about the things that come out of your mouth. When you are about to say something that you will do, stop yourself and ask yourself the question, “Do I have any intentions of actually doing this?” If the answer is no, then just don’t say it. If the answer is yes, then to assure you don’t forget about it, write it down. Sometimes some of the things that are necessary to build up a strong career brand are basic common sense items. This one is an easy one – just be intentional about what you promise and always deliver on your promises. Other people’s trust in you is critical to your career brand. Jessica Simko, is a senior level human resources professional and a leading career brand and job search expert/strategist. She is also the founder of Career Brand Authority. You are invited to visit her blog and download her FREE e-book, "Top Strategies that Get Job Interviews." Read more » articles by this approved career expert | Click here » if you’re a career expert Image from marekuliasz/Shutterstock
Balancing a career and family is a common concern for most individuals. However, it’s important to realize the smallest of changes can produce the strongest of impacts.
I’ve often worked jobs that required evening and weekend hours. The question is: What can we do?
1. Morning Gratitude Moment
When you wake up in the morning, don’t jump out of bed for your workout immediately, or drag yourself to the washroom. Sit up straight, relax, and close your eyes. Say to yourself, “I am grateful for those who support me, believe in me, and are always there for me.” Say this with a deep breath in between each time you say it, and I recommend saying it for a full five minutes. When you open your eyes and look at everything around you—keep that moment of gratitude with you, throughout your day, reminding yourself how you can’t wait to get home to your loving family.
2. Workout Partners
Begin your day by stretching with your family and doing some physical activity together. All you need is 10 minutes. You’ve accomplished a two-for-one: physical activity and family time!
3. Family Playlist
On your shared streaming service, make a playlist of your family’s favorite music. When you take a break at work or feel a negative moment getting the best of you, listen to that music, think about your family, and regain your focus. Music is a powerful voice and has the ability to affect our mindset. Your family playlist will energize you and improve your mood.
4. Daily Phone Call
At least once a day, call or text your significant other or your kids and repeat Stevie Wonder: “I just called to say I love you, I just called to say how much I care.” Let your family know they are always in your thoughts. Even in the face of a big deadline or an important meeting, that moment will relax you and make your family smile!
5. Clarify Your Work Hours & Expectations
Discuss with your boss his/her expectations of you in regards to your time and your position to foster a mutual and clear understanding of your role. Should your role involve evening/weekend hours, and tasks such as answering emails, working from home, or extra time needed for special projects, establish a strategy and discuss with your boss how to meet these expectations so you don’t feel overwhelmed and pulled between your family and your job. If you are a new parent, have family members who require special needs, or have personal circumstances which require attention, bring these up as necessary, so if you have to leave early, there is an understanding of why this is the case.
6. Socializing At Work
It’s common for colleagues to hang out after work. Say yes when your significant other and/or kids are also busy. This will balance things out more. There are times to have beers with colleagues, but there are also times to go home, relax, watch a movie, and simply have fun with your family.
7. Buffer Moment
We all deal with a lot at work and at times might get irritated or annoyed. Remember you are a human being, not a robot, and thus it’s acceptable to have a buffer moment for these feelings. Take a deep breath, zone into your happy place that involves your family, think about how your energy can be used towards something else, and move on.
8. Yoda Philosophy
As Yoda put it, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Don’t try to leave at 6:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.; just do it. Allocate the last half-hour of your day to do the following and leave at 5:30/6:00 p.m.:
- For two minutes, take deep breaths, in and out, looking away from your desk, feeling the moment of gratitude you felt in the morning. Turn back to focus on leaving to see your family at home.
- Organize your emails based on what is to be reviewed, what requires follow-up, and what needs a response after your breakfast/snack/meal. Your emails are emails, not a to-do list.
- Write out your to-do list, priorities, goals, and key items for the next day.
- Double-check that you have a water bottle and healthy desk snacks.
- Organize your desk so that your to-do list is in front of you, papers for review are next to your list, and keep a pen ready with blank paper to jot down extra notes. Don’t always rely on your computer; rely on yourself and your mind.
9. Phone And TV-Free Dinner
At the dinner table, leave your phone and turn off the TV. Focus on your family, not on work, and use this as a time to bring all your energy, your aura, and your being in the moment with the people who support and believe in what you do, and love you for the ability to do what you do.
10. Your Work Journal
Keep a two-week work diary: try to track every fifteen minutes of your work time. After that, analyze for, and attack, any inefficiencies! This will import balance in your day and yield a well-deserved coffee break, a breath of fresh air, and time to make your daily family phone call!
Does email control you and take you away from your priority list, and thus your work-life balance? Organizational skills are an important factor in how you balance your day, affecting your work-life balance. Get organized and get happy! You'll find that work-life balance sooner than you think.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.