All too often, I go through cycles of what I call the 'blah,' a funk, a rut or simply a time where things just don’t go right - or go at all. During these times, I have to fight off depression, complacency, laziness, and the desire to stop working towards my goals. But the optimist in me tells me that I am going through this because I am about to have a life-changing breakthrough, as long as I keep pushing! Related:Career Failure: Take The Hit And Keep Playing I am a fan of Sir Winston Churchill’s leadership and tenacity. One of his famous quotes is “When you are going through hell, keep going." I use that quote a lot because it is true. The difference between a success and a failure is the ability to push back against adversity. Adversity comes for all of us, no exception. No matter where you begin, your journey with adversity is coming. Even Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Carlos Slim deal with adversity. Granted, their adversity is rarely, if ever financial, but they do face challenges. But back to you and I. These ruts come to teach us something; they help prove our inner (and sometimes outer) critic wrong. The 'blahs' help force you out of your comfort zone; they help you realize that you have to make a change somewhere in order to change your circumstances. The 'blahs' are the basis of the breakthrough. Anyone can create in the perfect space when everything is right, and resources are in place and support is high. However, it takes a special person to create, build, design, or implement when you have to search for funding, ideas, or partners. The 'blahs' pull your passion and purpose out of you. When we are flying high, it's easy to do everything we talk about, but in those quiet moments of doubt, your passion and purpose come to remind you of why you set out to achieve this particular goal. Renewed vigor is born in the 'blahs,' that spark of innovation comes in the 'blahs'. As bad as the 'blahs' can be, they come to an end with small inspirations - a simple random idea that just clicks. The 'blahs' are where Oprah Winfrey “ah ha!” moments happen. My most recent 'blah' became a breakthrough when a reader reached out through social media to ask me a question. All of the frustration, writer’s block, and unanswered requests were now worth the struggle because my 'blah' was this reader’s answer. I just went through what the question was about! Had I not gone through my rut, I may have had a totally different answer. The conversation we had has given me renewed energy and focus on my mentoring and coaching that will definitely affect my speaking. My 'blah' was where my breakthrough found me. It is a necessary part of the cycle; we will have to slow down, we will have to make adjustments and we have to start each new idea at the beginning. We won’t be successful if we start working solutions from the middle; the beginning is where the 'blah' ends and the breakthrough starts.
Have you interviewed for a job and got caught off guard with the salary question? Do you struggle to identify a reasonable salary range that you feel comfortable with? If so, we're here to show you the right way to conduct salary research!
These days, the hiring manager or recruiter will most likely ask about your salary expectations in the first or early round of the interview process. If you aren’t ready for this conversation, it can make you look unprepared, diffident, or worse….costing you the entire job opportunity.
So, let's show you how to avoid that and talk about your desired salary with confidence!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Figure out the correct sites to explore while doing salary research
- Identify the tools you need to figure out your market value
- Choose a salary range that you feel comfortable with
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, September 28th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
In my last article, I talked about an example of someone who was working 60 hours a week and then went through a big life event (like having a baby) and now only wants to work 40 hours a week. If you're in the same boat, how can you reset work expectations with your boss and still get a good performance review?
Here's my advice on how to successfully manage work expectations without hurting your career...
It's Usually Easier To Get A New Job Than Reset Work Expectations
@j.t.odonnell Replying to @carolinecc1 How to reset work expectations with your boss. #worktok#careertok#jobtok#careertiktok#careeradvice#quietquitting#quietquittingmyjob#career#job#learnontiktok#edutok#worklife#work#workmode#boss#expectations♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell
In my 20+ years of experience as a career coach, about 50% of the time it's just easier to get a new job if you're looking to reset work expectations at your current job. At a new job, you can set your ideal expectations from the get-go.
But if you really like where you are right now and want to stay there, follow the three steps below to reset your work expectations.
How To Successfully Reset Work Expectations With Your Boss (If You Want To Stay)Bigstock
Step #1: Do Some Homework
Get out a piece of paper and create three columns. In column #1, list all the things you were hired to do, looking back at the job description for your role if you have to. In column #2, list everything that you've taken on since then because if you're working 60 hours a week, you've taken on a lot of additional responsibility. Then, in column #3, think of one or two things that you could take off your boss's plate. Something that's a real headache to them that if you took it off their plate, you'd be super valuable to them.
Step #2: Meet With Your Boss
Next, set up a one-on-one meeting with your boss. Type up your three-column list, sit down with your boss, and have a conversation. Here's an example of what you could say...
"When I first started at this company, I was working 60 hours a week to get myself up to a level of value. But now, as you know, I've had this life event and I really want to stick to 40 hours a week but continue to give you a high level of value. So here's what I figured out. Here are all the things I was hired to do in column #1. Here are all the additional things I'm now doing in column #2. And here are some things that I would love to do for you to make your life easier in column #3. But in order for me to do that, we'd have to take a couple of things off my plate in column #1 that maybe somebody else with more junior skills could handle."
This is how you begin the conversation. Now, as a bonus, I would suggest you go through and list how many hours a week you do each task in columns one, two, and three, and add them up to show your boss how all of those tasks take over 40 hours to complete. And if you could move things around together, what would they want you to work on? What would be the highest payoff activities for your 40 hours?
Step #3: Update Your Boss On Your Progress
The final step is to give your boss some time to review this information. Then once they approve your new work expectations, you are going to regularly update them on your progress. Communicate with them about what you're getting done in 40 hours. Market yourself because that's what people forget to do. They forget to market their value and prove to the employer that they're working smarter, not harder—without having to do it in extra time.
Once you shift this perception, you're going to see great results. A lot of times managers don't realize how much you're doing and, upon seeing this list, will reset your work expectations for you. But it's on you to bring up your concerns and try to find a solution where both of you are happy.
Need more help with your career?
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How do you know if you understand something?
I am a non-technical person working in an IT company. My colleagues will often tell me something technical. Sometimes I understand what they are saying. Sometimes I have no idea what they are talking about. Sometimes I think I understand what they are telling me when they are telling me, but then later I realize that I don’t understand it at all.
Understanding is complex. As communicators and trainers, we need to think about how understanding works to communicate and train effectively.
We are all communicators and trainers at one time or another.
What Is Understanding?
A quick Google search of “understanding” does not provide a clear answer.
Researchgate, quoting “Newton, 2000,” says, “Understanding implies being able to think, act and apply the knowledge in different ways in various situations.”
Robert Ryshke, writing in “gse.harvard.edu,” states, “Understanding a topic of study is a matter of being able to perform in a variety of thought-demanding ways with the topic.”
Artseducator.org says something very similar: “Understanding is a matter of being able to do a variety of thought-provoking things with a topic.”
Let’s Ask Again: How Do You Know If You Understand Something?
If someone explains something to you and then asks you if you understand it, you will probably reply based on how you feel.
As a trainer, you may well look at your trainees’ faces to see if they understand the material. When they don’t understand, they may look uncertain or give you the “What are you talking about?” look. (My two-year-old niece is very good at that!)
The feeling that you understand is sometimes deceptive. This is why educators use “output activities” or tests to see if trainees really understand.
How Can We Test Understanding?
The worst thing you can do is ask: “Do you understand?” It puts the burden of understanding on the trainee. If he doesn’t understand, it’s the trainer’s fault. She needs to explain the content in a different way.
When learning in groups, trainees may not say they do not understand for fear of looking stupid in front of their colleagues.
There are a number of options you can build into your training plan. These options are based on Wiggins and McTighe’s “6 Facets of Understanding”:
- Ability to explain the content: This has to be more than just repeating the material verbatim. Let’s imagine you are teaching sales agents a new sales script. If your trainees create a mind map to explain the material they received in a PowerPoint presentation, they are reformatting the information and engaging with it at a deeper level than they would by repeating it.
- Interpreting the content: To see how well your agents might understand the sales script, ask them to explain it to their colleagues as if the other person was five years old, their grandmother, or to an alien from another planet. Their challenge is to explain it to someone who does not have the same contextual knowledge that they do.
- Applying the content: When teaching your sales team the new script, this will include getting them to role play it. One trainee will be the salesperson and the other the customer. Role plays can include “what would you do if…?” scenarios to practice dealing with different types of customers and handling different objections.
- Having a perspective based on the content: You can build this into the role plays by asking the “customer” to play a specific kind of customer and behave as this kind of person might behave. In a business-to-consumer scenario, this might involve playing roles representing different demographics. In a business-to-business context, this might mean playing the roles of customers in different verticals who have different requirements and different ways of behaving. Builders have different needs and behave in different ways from bankers.
- Empathize: When adopting roles in the role-play training, ask trainees to imagine how customers might feel and put those emotions into the training. This could include angry and aggressive customers. This gives trainees playing the salesperson’s role the chance to test their skills in handling an angry customer, while it gives the trainee playing the “angry customer” the chance to imagine how the angry customer is feeling, and adjust how she handles him accordingly.
- Have self-knowledge: Some trainees may find this uncomfortable since trainees need to examine their own reactions and feelings towards the content. For salespeople, particularly after they have role-played a demanding conversation, this may help them to understand and manage their own emotional responses when facing, for example, angry customers.
The Ball’s In Your Court!
Are you planning some training? How do you know that you understand the content well enough to train it? What questions are you afraid people will ask? How do you plan to test your trainees’ understanding?
I’d love to hear more about it! Drop me a line!
The following article may be both relevant and useful: Explaining How Things Work: How To Do It And Why It Matters