Time for a Change
Each new year ushers in hope for renewal, for reinvention, for change. This particular New Year marshals in a sense of urgency beyond the usual determination to get organized, lose weight, exercise more, improve finances, learn a foreign language, take better care of one’s health, stop smoking, study harder, travel more, contribute more time and money to charities and so on.
This year, students and young professionals are more deeply concerned than ever about wrapping up high school successfully and getting into college, graduating from college, paying off student loans, landing that first real job, keeping that job, moving into their own place, getting on the right career path, and advancing on that path or making career changes.
To that end, I’m pleased to introduce my blog, which I hope will provide some nuggets to help you reach your goals. Having worked with high school interns in a large corporate environment for nearly two decades, I understand the challenges involved in making the transition from classroom to workplace. To help ease this transition, and address the increasing emphasis that employers are placing on interpersonal skills and work ethics, I’ll be focusing on these all-important soft skills — which I call the Three E’s: etiquette, ethics & empathy — in the global workplace. My high school interns taught me that by providing them with the proper guidelines and tools, which I endeavored to give them on a daily basis as well as through workshops, they were able to develop their soft skills, or emotional intelligence, and shape their professional brands. I propose to do the same for you through my blog
So if you’re ready to make some changes to become a New You for the New Year, the effect of learning soft skills can be life-changing. Because the truth is whether or not you know how to smile, make eye contact, shake hands properly, work a room at an event, develop a powerful network, dine with grace and confidence, introduce people, speak effectively, dress professionally and influence others can make or break your career, regardless of your field of endeavor. And, you’ll be amazed at what mastering the soft skills can do for your social life!
Whether you’re a high school or college student or young professional starting out or managing a fledgling career, I invite you to take this journey with me. It’s my aim to help you reach 2013 with new energy and increased momentum in reaching your goals.
Making small but steady improvements in your approach, appearance and savoir-faire in the coming year will result in increased confidence in dealing with people and situations, developing prowess on campus, pursuing your career and cultivating a positive attitude that will lift your spirits and revolutionize how you feel about yourself and how others see you.
Following is a sampling of the topics to be addressed in upcoming Tuesday posts; I hope you’ll consider including them in your New Year’s Resolutions:
- Smile; it’s your most powerful tool!
- Making Eye Contact; how to use those “windows to the soul” to make contact.
- The Perfect Handshake; you need to get this right, because it lasts only seconds but will be remembered forever.
- Effective and Correct Introductions; connect yourself and others with grace and authority.
- Appearances Count, from tip to toe (but not necessarily open or peep!).
- Effective Networking, in person and online.
- Your Internet Presence, including how to prevent a Facebook fiasco, liaise on LinkedIn, etc.
- Difficult People and Situations; how to deal with workplace bullies and other disagreeable sorts, and manage those awkward moments.
- Business and Social Dining – In most industries, business is conducted over a meal at least half the time, and often job interviews involve a meal. It would be wise to know which fork to use, how not to use your napkin, how to avoid eating your host’s roll, what to do with your olive pit, which hors d’oeuvres to steer clear of, what not to order at a business lunch or dinner, how to pass the salt, and, well, it would be an excellent idea to read my posts on this topic!
- Workplace Readiness – The workplace is different in many respects from the campus and the classroom, and it’s smart to be prepared for the changes long before your first day on the job.
- College Life – Before setting foot on college soil as a freshman, it’s a prudent student who learns what to expect beyond classes and housing.
- Constructing Your Resume – This is not your parents’ resume! The modern resume is lean and mean; and, although it retains the core of its classic forerunner, the resume of the new Millennium has a fresh look and expanded purposes.
- Nailing the Interview – Like the resume, the interview of the 21st Century can take many forms and serious job seekers need to master the current structures, formats, formulas and techniques — not only for the entry-level position but for career survival and advancement.
We’ll be discussing and exploring these and many more topics, and I welcome your comments and feedback. And, please, feel free to explore the rest of my website!
Until next time,