Are You Valuable To Your Employer?

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Being seen as a value to a company is so important for your success and career ambitions. The more value you bring to your job will allow you the opportunity to ask for a higher salary or be given more opportunities.  In her book, The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace, business consultant Cy Wakeman provides a questionnaire that you can use to quickly rate the value that you bring to your organization.  Consider each of the questions that follow honestly, and give yourself a score of from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). Remember to rate your performance honesty.

  1. Am I consistent in my attendance, my work, and my results?
  2. Am I improving each year?
  3. Am I moving forward with purpose and not resting on my past accomplishments?
  4. Am I spending most of my time at work with top performers?
  5. Have I recently added to my job description on my own initiative?
  6. Do I set goals for myself beyond the ones my supervisor sets?
  7. Do I regularly ask for feedback on my performance from my boss and my peers?
  8. Does my performance compare favorably with my peers?
  9. Do I collaborate well with others and have good professional relationships?

After you add up your score, take a moment to see how you did. The lowest possible score is 9, and the highest is 45. The closer your score is to 45, the more valuable you are to your employer. Did you notice that you rate higher for certain questions compared to others? Use those low scoring questions to map out your plan for improvement for 2015!

How to Accelerate Your Career Goals

 

A study by Inc. Magazine shows that most people out of college grow an average of 10% per year. This statistic would mean that you should be twice as effective 7 years after graduating from college. If growing 10% per year seems too slow for your career plans, keep reading! There are many ways to advance your career, but we have broken down three great ways to get you started.

First, give yourself permission to fail. Many times we are scared of failure so we don’t put ourselves in a position to do just that, we take the easy way out. There is no way you are going to grow or gain new skills by doing something you are already good at. Where is the challenge in that? Put yourself in a positon where success will not be guaranteed.

Second, align yourself with smart people. You want to take a serious look at the type of employees the company hires. You want to be pushed and challenge by the people around you! If you aren’t able have that you can lose motivation, which is detrimental to achieving your goals.

Finally, find a company that gives their employees the chance to take on responsibility. This should be addressed in the interview process. Ask about growth opportunities; find out where other people in this position have moved within the company. The best roles for people wanting to grow are not in black and white – you want there to be a little gray! You need to have the chance to take on responsibilities above and beyond what the job calls for – this is an easy way to show management what you can do!

If you can’t find these qualities in a large corporation don’t forget to look at opportunities in the startup world. Some people find that they can grow at a faster rate in that type of company culture. It’s important to set clear goals but never close yourself off to opportunities you may not have factored into your plan.

 

How to Make Your Winter Mondays Better!

 

We don’t know about you but here at PCG we are already over this cold weather! What is worse than a cold winter day – a cold winter MONDAY! We have come up with 10 ways to make your winter Monday better:

  1. Ask a coworker out for lunch and if it’s too cold – get it delivered and sit in the conference room.
  2. Put a candy dish on your desk – everyone will appreciate this!
  3. Join a gym – get your heart pumping
  4. Find a mentor or offer to become a mentor to someone in the office.
  5. Bring in breakfast for your team!
  6. Do something fun that fits your company culture – bowling, movie after work or have a parfait-party
  7. Get a new desk lamp to counteract the dull overhead lights that are in most offices.
  8. Make an effort to talk to your coworkers and find out if you have common interests.
  9. If the sun does come out – make an effort to get outside and soak it in.
  10. Update your resume. That way you’ll be prepared should anything come up.

How to Find Creativity in a Uncreative Job

You can first start by turning your imaginative ideas into a reality. Creativity can be described as a skill that observes the world in new ways, discover patterns, make links, and produce solutions. This entails two methods: thinking then creating. If you have a great idea you should act on that otherwise your not being creative, you’re imaginative.

How can we do this in the work place?

Associating. Draw connections between problems, questions, or other unrelated subject matters. Use your thinking power to overcome these obstacles and be more involved with your task.

Questioning. Asking questions is always a sign that your mind is trying to process the task at hand. This is a great way to get your ideas flowing and becoming more focused.

Networking. Meeting other people with different personalities and ideals is a great way to add onto your creativity.  These people may influence different perspective to things and open to your mind to new possibilities.

Experimenting. This goes along with taking risks at work. If you have a good idea for a pitch or any task at hand, try it and see how it works out. These risks you take will only further your knowledge and growth in a company.

How Being a Perfectionist Could Ruin Your Career

The aspects of being a perfectionist can be helpful in trying to maintain your workflow. But the behavior of a perfectionist will delay your personal and professional development.

Avoid taking risks

Being perfect means you set a very high unrealistic standard for yourself. You endeavor to be the best at every little thing you do, which will cause an enormous amount of stress that you may fail. Don’t get stuck living the status quo, breathe and know there is always room for improvement. Also if the fear builds up so much that you tend to work perfectly at only what you can achieve. This will stop your growth to take risks in your career and move further in your company.

Not flexible

In todays world things are constantly changing, especially within a company. As these changes are made, you as an employee need to adapt quickly to different circumstances. Perfectionists struggle with this concept because they are so set in their ways of what is right and wrong in their eyes. This means that your work will struggle to show any creativity or innovation that which business tends to strive for to grow.

Take too long to achieve any tasks

If you are constantly checking and rechecking your work you are delaying your productivity. If the task you perform takes to long to complete because you have to make sure it’s absolutely perfect your interrupting your work flow and your business from advancing.

Relationships with employees and coworkers

When you feel that you are setting the bar of high standard you except everything else around you to do the same. This causes tension with others who feel they can’t live up to your expectations or deem them unnecessary. This can hurt your networking and social capabilities with others.

Holiday Party Style Advice from Rachel

Rachel

Happy Holidays Ladies and Gents- it’s time to party! When you are selecting your look for the annual company event, it’s important to make an impact by showing you understand how to elevate your look while staying true to your company’s culture and brand. These evenings out are always a great opportunity to strike up conversations with colleagues you’ve aspired to impress, you never know who you might meet in line for the bar!

There are stunning (suit) jacket, pant, and dress options that are everyday basic silhouettes tweaked for special occasions – think velvet and leather, and for ladies definitely lace. How about incorporating a great shade of burgundy that you don’t normally wear? Finishing your outfit is key everyday, and so much more fun for special events. It’s the perfect time to take those beautiful special pieces out of your closet and give them life. Don’t leave your grandmothers cocktail ring or your watch your received for your anniversary behind.

Transition your look from desk to drinks by popping a show stopping accessory on before you head out the door – how about over the top statement earrings or a leather tie!

For the ladies, put your handbag system to the test. Don’t invite your oversize work tote- stick with shoulder bags or oversize clutches that can handle the days essentials and style well with your evening look.

For everyone, have a wonderful holiday season with your colleagues, friends, and family!!

PCG Partners: Career Contessa

Promo Material LogoWe are back with our PCG Partners introduction to Lauren McGoodwin and Career Contessa. What we love about CC is that they go beyond resume tips by showcasing the careers of successful women. We wanted to share the second part of our interview with Lauren, finding out a bit more about the site and how she finds great contributors for her readers.

What qualities to do look for in your Contessas?

​The quick answer is that we look for women who we are personally inspired by through their career path, actual job, or the woman in general. The longer answer is that we feature modern, educated and influential women who are passionate about starting a fresh new conversation around women and careers.​

What have you found to be the most rewarding part of creating the site?

​The impact it’s been able to make in women’s lives. Loving your job and finding a great company fit can make a dramatic impact in everything else in your life.

Are there topics or subjects you feel like you revisit a lot because they are not covered enough in other media outlets?

​Our Contessas interviews focus on answering what her job is AND how she got there. I think may outlets gloss over the nitty gritty details of how someone discovered the job they love or the interview process. We make sure to tailor our interviews so the readers gets that inside information.​

How do you engage your readers?

​There are many ways but our most popular is through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and our Ask Lauren weekly column. Readers can write in to ask a career-related question and we’ll answer them each week.​

Hope you enjoyed learning about Career Contessa and don’t forget to check out our other partners The Sill and Rachel Levin Style.

Pyramid Consulting Group + charity: water

HOLIDAY

There are 800 million people in the world living without access to clean water. We are doing our part to change that! This holiday season we are supporting charity: water with a donation that will provide clean and safe drinking water in Ethiopia. 100% of the money will be used to build clean water projects, and when they’re complete, we will send us photos and GPS coordinates so you can see the exact community we helped.

PCG Partners: Career Contessa

LaurenMcGoodwin

We are excited to introduce you to a new PCG Partner, Lauren McGoodwin and Career Contessa. We love finding others that are as passionate as we are about helping people find a career they love. We had the chance to speak to her about her motivation to create Career Contessa, an online platform that guides career-driven women to effective changes in their occupation, and she said:

“I was inspired to create Career Contessa after navigating my own professional learning curve. My less-than-perfect post-college job left me feeling lost and frustrated because, although I was ambitious, I had no idea what career to pursue. I discovered recruiting as a career during a work assignment in my first job and experienced a positive reaction to the recruiting work I was doing.

To find answers about the job and career path of a recruiter, I browsed the Internet for career resources and yet, I couldn’t find one that simply said, “Hey, here are real recruiters, here’s what their day-to-day is like and here’s how you can get the job.” So I started reaching out to strangers via LinkedIn to gather information about a career in recruiting. Speaking directly to people in recruiting provided the insight and direction I needed, but also was a very time-consuming process. As I continued to have conversations around recruiting I was able to really narrow down my focus to university recruiting and working for a startup. To this day, I’m convinced Hulu hired me, not because I had the most recruiting experience, but because I could clearly communicate why and how I could bring value to the company and the career. This process of researching careers, searching through online resources and ultimately carving my own path to a job in recruiting was the first spark of my idea to start Career Contessa.

The second spark came while I was writing my thesis on millennial women and career resources. As part of the project, I created a career resource to test on focus groups. The response was overwhelmingly positive and showed that there was really a need for a career resource designed for women. Building on that positive feedback and momentum from my thesis, I decided to create Career Contessa to bridge the resource gap, utilizing real career stories from successful women to help provide information, inspiration and direction for different career paths.​”

Check back next week to learn more about Lauren and Career Contessa!

5 Ways to Stay Focused at Work

Being attentive at work can sometimes be difficult. Especially, when you have had a long day or simply have other things on your mind. But if you do stay concentrated at the task at hand you may find that your day goes by fast. Here are some easy guidelines to follow:

  1. Avoid Distractions

Having a to-do list doesn’t mean you stay focused on your work, it only means that you have a plan for the day. Having a plan for the day is a great guideline for a no distraction plan. But remember you may waste your time due to your personal interruptions like twittering, messaging and facebooking.  Turn those things off, put your cell phone in your bag and only do your work at working time and do all those personal things during your break time and see how your focus immediately comes back.

  1. Prioritize tasks

Your first task should be the most difficult or challenging because the start of your day is when you’re most proactive. So think about this the next time your planning your list of tasks for the day.

  1. Perform small tasks right away

After you have finished your priority list, get those small tasks off your plate. For example, if you have an email waiting for you to reply immediately, reply since it would only take you two minutes, just do it. Thus preventing small tasks to pile up and build up stress.

  1. Organize your computer

Keep your computer organized and clean. Have shortcuts for your routinely used programs and list your task folders in order. Looking for those things on your computer wastes time you could spend working.

  1. Refresh yourself

Drinking water can revive your mind or even having some snacks could keep you energized. Keep water and snacks nearby, so you don’t have to walk all the time to get them and make yourself distracted from your work.