your compensation and career advancement

Good Work Must be Visible

My business performance client Mary looked at me across the table. Her eyes grew distant as she said, “It’s just so frustrating. I work hard and produce solid results. I’m dependable and I never make waves. But no one seems to notice.”

Sound familiar? I’m guessing if you follow along with the ideas and examples I share in my live programs and here on my website, you might be feeling the same way as Mary. Good solid work; minimal confirmation that anyone notices. Often just taking your dependability for granted.

Granted, there is certainly a delicate balance that must be struck between working quietly and blowing your own horn. But at the end of

your compensation and career advancement

The DO WHAT YO CAN SYSTEM | You’ll get results while making our world a better place. You’ll serve others while meeting your own obligations. You’ll think and you’ll dream. Most important, you’ll take action that moves you in a meaningful direction. How? By following a system that empowers you to reach personal and professional goals … and propels you to achieve extraordinary results!

the day, your good work must be visible – even obvious to others who can influence your compensation and career advancement.

Here are four action suggestions you should consider.

First, you must continue to build your foundation of solid reliable results. In short, do good work every day. Strive to avoid both careless and serious mistakes; deliver before deadlines; write clearly, logically and persuasively; keep everyone informed of progress and challenges; anticipate and work through barriers that get in the way; and help others in their work. And never forget to make your boss look like a hero.

Second, write. One overlooked opportunity to showcase our abilities is to write. Everything from brief ‘how to’ articles on:

  • How to review a time report
  • How to manage a financial budget
  • How to provide performance feedback and career development coaching
  • Better use of PowerPoint
  • How to create a meeting agenda document
  • How to get Better Results in (you fill in the blank!)

Do you notice the common theme? All of these ideas and yours should focus on showing others ‘how to’ do something relevant. Publish your ideas in in-house and client newsletters, blogs, and on social media sites, and submit them to professional journals.

What a great way to document your expertise and make your good work visible. You will both help others with your ideas and reach a wide audience of readers. Who knows where that might lead!

Third, speak. That’s right: look for both formal and informal opportunities to stand and speak. Make a point of practicing your message out loud. Be concise, be clear, be helpful. Adopt the point of view of the listener. Always ask yourself, “What’s in it for them?” Look at every business conversation, meeting and presentation as an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. But don’t wing it. Practice in advance. I know that’s common sense, but it’s not common practice.

On of my favorite quotes on this topic is from Bill Gove. Gove was one of the pioneers of professional speaking and the first president of the National Speakers Association. He said, “Everyone sells their ideas every time they open their mouth – so why not get good at it.”

Fourth, volunteer. Every day in our work environment, opportunities pop up to volunteer. When your boss says we are looking at new ways to (fill in your own blank here). When a co-worker expresses frustration with how to implement a new policy or use a new piece of software. When a customer tells you that they wish your company’s service was better, ask them how. And then pass along the ideas to your supervisor with the offer to get personally involved. You and I both know that in many situations, your offer will be declined – but volunteer to help anyway.

Try these four ideas to make your good work more visible to others. Be tactful and modest in your approach. But make sure as many people as possible know you as someone with great ideas who is willing to put them into action. Get started right now.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

small dull trophies

Small Dull Trophies

With the passage of many years, I’m sure I have the details wrong. But this is the way I remember how it happened. Soon after retirement, my parents made the move from their long-term home to a smaller and easier to maintain apartment. The transition involved sorting out and packing up the mountain of stuff that a large family accumulates. Among the results were two boxes – one labeled ‘Bright Shiny Trophies’ and the other ‘Small Dull Trophies’.

The Bright Shiny Trophies belonged to my younger brother Rick. Rick was a gifted basketball player. In high school in Philadelphia – an acknowledged tough basketball town – he was brilliant in his leadership of our school team. Result: an accumulation of awards and recognition marked by “Big Shiny Trophies”.

small dull trophies

You don’t have to make changes. However, you are responsible for the quality of your life. To achieve the degree of quality you want, you need to decide on the changes to make. It’s time to bring those thoughts of improvement to light, make them a priority, and turn them into reality. It’s time to do what you can. It’s time to take a few simple steps to achieve extraordinary results!

On the other hand, I wasn’t very good. Average at best. No school team position for me, I preferred playing in pick-up games and summer leagues in local playgrounds and in the alley behind our house. Result: a modest-sized box of “Small Dull Trophies”. “Fourth Place Team”. “Honorable Mention”. And my favorite: “Most Improved Player”. Nowhere to go but up for me.

Small and dull.

Now I don’t know who took out a magic marker and labeled our respective boxes before we picked them up at mom and dad’s house. There are several viable suspects among my brothers and sisters! But I do know that I wish I still had that beat-up old box and the mementos of modest success that it held. All of those years of running and jumping, yelling and bumping, sweating and cursing. All those years of playing just for the pure unbridled joy of playing. Just –JOY!

What Brings You Joy? Is it your family? Your work? Your hobbies or your faith? What makes you happy regardless of whether it is recognized or marked with a life trophy of some kind? What do you do each day that simply makes you smile?

In the comedy movie “City Slickers” starting Billy Crystal, Crystal is struggling with balancing family, job, marriage, middle age, and host of other day to day challenges. He is in a rut. But his wonderful movie-wife gives him the great advice – “Go and Find Your Smile”. One of my favorite movie lines ever.

My purpose is to give you ideas you can use on your terms to advance your performance towards your goals. To help you ‘find your own smile’ in your results on your terms, whatever they may be.

Let me know what you think. Please write back with your own examples of what makes you happy. What makes you smile.

And if someone you know might benefit from our ideas for Better! results, please send them the link to my website www.JohnHallSpeaker.com and have them sign-up for free to receive the blogs, videos, white papers, and other special offers we’re building right now. Or just send me their email address, and I’ll reach out for you.

Best wishes for Better! results and more smiles on your terms.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

how to establish influence at a new job

How to Establish Influence at a New Job

So you’ve got a new job. Congrats! But now you face the challenge of adapting to your new workplace and building your reputation and influence within the organization. This can be a pretty daunting task to even the most seasoned supervisors and employees, but it’s important that you dive right in and start carving out your role and reputation without delay.

As you concentrate on mastering the tasks required during the first few weeks of your new position, it’s important that you also gain an understanding of how the organization works as whole and determine the cultural dynamics of the workforce. This will help you gain momentum quickly as you work to build legitimate influence and provide measurable value in your new position.

Here are some tips for doing just that:

1. Become the go-to person for whatever you do

When you introduce yourself to other people within your new organization, you should establish yourself as an authority in your position and offer to be of assistance. When you make the introduction, explain what your role and responsibilities are and why others should come to you when they need assistance with something in your realm of expertise. Once you’ve build yourself up as an authority in one particular area, people will start establish influence at a new jobseeking you out for assistance even in areas outside of your job description. The goal is to be in demand because of how good you are at whatever you do.

2. Make friends in high places

Seek out people who are well respected in your new organization This person could be your direct superior, a project manager or others who are well respected regardless of their position or length of service. Arrange time to chat, and let them know that you’d love to have their advice as you acclimate to your new position. Having an influential person in a mentorship or coaching role will help you to build your skills and influence. Start with your new boss; it’s always a good idea to find ways to help them meet or exceed their goals.

3. Really listen to coworkers

Get to know your coworkers and their goals, challenges, and responsibilities. Find ways to help them be successful. Go out of your way to help them when they need assistance. You can only build influence if you have the admiration and respect of the people that you work with. But remember: this isn’t about building paybacks due to you; it’s about being seen as an invaluable resource.

4. Invest constantly in your most important product – YOU

Work each day on improving your skills in these critical areas.

  • Core business, administrative and time management skills
  • Technical skills required of your current position and desired future positions
  • Interpersonal and communications skills

All three areas are critical to your success. Study, practice, ask for help, and improve every day. Let others will see how dedicated you are to mastering your number one product – YOU!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

I've been working from a home office for over 25 years. Here are some tips I've learned from that experience:

Staying Productive While Working Remotely

There are so many people who believe that working from home is a “dream” situation. The reality is that while working from home does offer you some flexibility and freedoms you can’t get in a traditional office, there are challenges that could turn working remotely into a nightmare situation. At the top of this list is, “How do you stay productive without the discipline of an office setting – especially when so many distractions are right at your fingertips?”

I’ve been working from a home office for over 25 years. Here are some tips I’ve learned from that experience:

1.   Create a consistent schedule – and stick to it.

Consistency in your daily work routine helps you feel organized and increases productivity. Start at the same time each day. Plan your day to include your work responsibilities and deadlines as well as recurring and one-time personal commitments. Prepare for meetings and telephone calls just as you would in an office. Edit your written work carefully. And as you finish your day, prepare a ‘to do’ list for tomorrow.

Then just stop. Avoid the temptation to drag a few minor items to your living room to work on while you relax in the evening. Remember, you are working from home – not living in your office. I've been working from a home office for over 25 years. Here are some tips I've learned from that experience:

2. Block out a specific space to work – and protect it.

Block out your work space. This is your home office and it should be treated as a place reserved for business. Piling personal bills, mail, shopping lists, and your child’s school science project on your work desk is a recipe for distraction and inefficiency. In short, block out your time; block out your space.

3. Prioritize your tasks based on when you’re most effective.

Are you a morning person like me? If so, schedule your most important and creative tasks in the morning. Perhaps you operate better after lunch. If so, plan your most demanding tasks to be completed in the afternoon. There are likely going to be other, less-demanding tasks that you can accomplish during your “less effective” time periods. But it’s important to understand when you do your best work and which tasks are your priorities so you know when you can give them your fullest attention.

4. Keep focused on what you need to accomplish.

Be ever mindful of the pull of the ‘distraction box’ – also known as computers, tablets and handhelds. Never forget that just because you are alone, you are still working. Limit the amount of browser tabs you have open, and keep instant messaging services turned off. If music or television will distract you, leave them off. Focus your time, your energy and your attention. My favorite practice is limiting what’s on my desk to what I have to do right now. EVERYTHING else get put in a place where it can’t catch my eye until the task at hand is completed.

5. Turn off your email.

That’s right. I said it! The big heresy of business.

Consider starting your day by checking your email and limiting your start-of-day time to the most important messages that demand a response right now. Then turn it off for a few hours and focus on other important tasks that have to be done today. Check messages again before lunch, and then again at the end of the day.

Brendon Burchard – one of my favorite business coaches – refers to email as a wonderful system for other people to interrupt what you need to get done. Be respectful of the needs of others, but limit how much of your day you let get consumed responding to their email needs.

Try this trick. Plan the last hour of your day to respond to email. You’ll be amazed how efficient you can be when you are trying to shut-down and enjoy your evening.

Working from home can be great, but you really need to work at the way you manage your time for it to be the dream scenario that you want it to be. Common sense is pretty much all that’s needed to make it work. But as in so many areas of our personal and business lives, common sense seems to be in short supply.

Make common sense common practice, and if you’re like me you’ll love the flexibility of working from home.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

Selling Yourself

Selling Yourself With Your Resume

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking of your resume as a list of qualifications and accomplishments. What will really makes it work for you is to treat it as a sales brochure, highlighting all of the reasons why an employer should look at you for the benefits you bring to them.

Consider this: whenever you’re on the job hunt, you’re basically acting as a salesperson. The product you’re selling? You!


Sales professionals often give out brochures or other documents to provide additional, compelling information to potential customers. In exactly the same way you’ll give out your resume to potential employers to provide Selling Yourself additional, compelling information about you. A big part of making this an effective strategy is making sure you’ve established a clear narrative in your resume that makes it obvious that you are the right person for their job.

It’s amazing how many people I talk to who never tweak their resume to match the unique needs of a specific position; they just send the same version of the document to every potential employer. When you do this, you’re likely leaving many irrelevant former positions and skills in play. These become distractions to that important person who ultimately reads your resume and decides – often in seconds – whether you are a good fit for their needs.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t keep prior work experience on a resume if it’s not completely relevant to the position you’re seeking. But what you should do is make sure that you use that experience or other skills you have in a way that clearly explains how it makes you qualified for a given position. Show exactly how your skills and experience being specific benefits to their situation.

Here’s a quick example. Let’s say your entering the workforce without a long history of work experience. Yes you worked a job as a camp counselor every summer through your undergraduate years, but with your degree in hand you are now applying for a job with a marketing firm. While you wouldn’t necessarily focus on the duties of your former position, you could emphasize the leadership, organization, supervision and general people and event management skills you used every day in that work.

Take a good look at your resume before you send in your next application. Does it have a clear narrative that “sells” you to that potential employer? If not, it’s time to make some adjustments.

Good hunting!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”