OVERCOMING PROFESSIONAL STAGNATION by TBeo2ff8

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									[SLIDE 1)
OVERCOMING PROFESSIONAL STAGNATION
                           By Prof. Virginia I. Caintic
                       Director, Learning and Information Center
                                 University of Mindanao

      A paper presented during the PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF ACADEMIC
      AND RESEARCH LIBRARIANS National Seminar-Workshop on Scaling the
            Heights of Professional Development, 22-24 October 2008,
                    REGENCY INN, Villa Abrille St., Davao City



[SLIDE 2]
Objectives:
   1. Be aware of the symptoms, causes, signs, mistakes, sources and
      prevention of career stagnation or career plateau;
   2. Recognize the importance of balancing a career and personal
      development;
   3. Create a personal mission statement for a successful career road map;
      and
   4. Manage work and careers in the 21st century.


[SLIDE 3)
What is Stagnation?
      Stagnation is defined by Weber “as the state or condition of being stagnant,
absence or cessation of movement, growth, or activity to ones profession/career. It is
a phase of mature capitalist economic development characterized by a decline to
investment opportunities, an overaccummulation of idle savings, and a low level of
income and employment”.

What is career plateau?

      You take a job with a big company and decide to do the same kind of
work throughout your working life for the same company, or you keep on
changing companies as they offer better growth opportunities. Your keep on
scaling new heights in your career and keep on climbing up your career ladder.
Gradually there comes a phase where one feels that his likelihood of being
promoted is low, or where his learning rate won't improve. This period is
known as a Career plateau.

       According to Byars & Rue, 2006 Career plateau is “the point in a career where
the likelihood of additional hierarchical promotion is very low.”

[SLIDE 4]
Career plateau - “is a temporary period of stagnation during the career which leads
to low performance, sluggish promotion of the individual, frustration of mind and
finally quitting the job. “(http://www.naukrihub.com/hr-today/career-plateau.html)

Plateaued employee – “is an employee who reaches his or her promotional ceiling
long before retirement. “ (Byars & Rue, 2006)

      How can you tell when you - or a colleague - have hit that notorious
career plateau? And how often does it happen in your organization? Whether
we're talking about golf games, losing weight, or any number of other
endeavors, the concept of reaching a plateau is familiar. After spending a
period of time at a certain level of achievement, some people feel they're
"stuck in neutral," uncertain how to put themselves in gear and move forward.
Others may not acknowledge that they've reached a plateau; and still others
may recognize that they've reached a leveling-off point, but are quite content
to remain there.

[SLIDE 5)
There are four principal career categories :

1. Learners. Individuals in an organization who have a high potential for
advancement but are performing below standard (e.g., a new trainee).

2. Stars. Individuals in an organization who are presently doing outstanding
work and have a high potential for continued advancement.

3. Solid citizens. Individuals in an organization whose present performance is
satisfactory but whose chance for future advancement is small.

4. Deadwood. Individuals in an organization whose present performance has
fallen to an unsatisfactory level and who have little potential for advancement.

       Naturally, organizations would like to have all stars and solid citizens.
The challenge, however, is to transform the learners into stars or solid citizens
and keep the current stars and solid citizens from slipping into the deadwood
category. Furthermore, there is a tendency to overlook solid citizens. The
learners, stars, and deadwood usually get most of the attention in terms of
development programs and stimulating assignments. Neglect of the solid
citizens may result in their slipping into the deadwood category.

        [SLIDE 6]
       Career plateau can be classified as position plateau and contribution
plateau. Position plateau occurs when there is limited or no upward
movement within the organization possibly due to lack of opportunities within
the organization. On the other hand, contribution plateau occurs when there
is a stagnation in one's personal development and growth. Here, there is no
further development of one's skills and abilities. It is believed that position
plateau can happen to every employee and does not necessarily mean absence
of skills.

      On the other hand, contribution plateau happen to specific individuals
only and is incompetent due to lack of skills. An employee can be personally
plateaued or organizationally plateaued.

      An organizationally plateaued worker is an employee who has the ability
to perform effectively in a higher-level position, but a lack of job openings may
prevent his/her promotion. This type of plateau takes place in organizations
with pyramid-like structure. This means, career plateauing results because the
number of positions available decreases as one moves forward hierarchically in
the organization.

      In contrast, a personally plateaued worker is viewed by the organization
as either lacking the ability or the desire to move into a higher-level position. A
lack of technical skill or career skill may lead to an individual's lack of
promotional opportunity. http://www.naukrihub.com/hr-today/career-plateau.html
[SLIDE 7]
Are career plateaus good or bad???

       Career plateaus, as they are perceived, are not necessarily negative. A
career plateau, as we now know, is a temporary period of stagnation during
the career which leads to low performance, sluggish promotion of the
individual, frustration of mind and finally quitting the job.

     Plateaus in career can have positive impacts on one's job performance as
optimal levels of stress have. Some organizations believe that healthy plateaus
are necessary for keeping employees motivated and keep their energy and
enthusiasm high while on work.

      Career plateaus are valuable to the individual as they provide an
opportunity to explore new and ways of utilizing one's skills and abilities, take
more responsibilities and deliver better performances. Individuals who are
successful in coping with this stage are more likely plan better for the further
stages of their career development, and are less likely to experience frustration
and                                                               dissatisfaction.


[SLIDE 8]
What are the sources of career plateau?
     Career plateaus can be both subjective and objective. The subjective
aspects are linked to self-perception. When people perceive that they've
reached a plateau, their careers are sometimes so affected that their conviction
becomes self-fulfilling.

      At the same time, employees who might appear to others to be
"plateauing" aren't necessarily unhappy or inferior. In fact, human resource
management research has long recognized that "leveling-off" periods are
healthy and productive in an adult's development. In other words, the so-
called plateau could represent a period of stability, where employees master
work skills; pursue special family or personal interests; and improve functional,
professional, and personal skills so that they can contribute more to their
organizations.

       The objective side of career plateaus relates to the fact that they can be
observed even analyzed, by others. Human resource types might allude to
observable measurements, like future prospects for promotion, length of time
in present position, or length of time between promotions; but such
classifications are, at best, incomplete. They ignore, for example, the person
who is happy with his or her current position and deliberately forgoes
promotions; the person who retains a tide but is given added responsibility;
and even the person who is "kicked upstairs" - promoted, but with curtailed
responsibilities. Such personal twists obfuscate objective measurements of
career plateaus.

     Unfortunately, if they aren't handled properly, career plateaus can be
damaging to the employee as well as to the organization. Some insight into the
complex issues related to career plateaus can complement internal auditors'
perceptions of themselves, their organizations, and the risks.

      Researchers D.C. Feldman and B.A. Weitz, writing in the Journal of
Management, have identified six sources of career plateaus: individual
skills and abilities, individual needs and values, lack of intrinsic
motivation, lack of extrinsic rewards, stress and burnout, and slow
organizational growth. Obviously, all six factors are not inherently negative.

1. INDIVIDUAL SKILLS AND ABILITIES

When organizations fail to install appropriate audit staff selection systems or to
provide effective on-the-job training programs, the job performances of staff
auditors will be adversely affected. Similarly, ill-designed performance
appraisals and evaluations will likely decrease morale and work quality.

When these kinds of issues go unaddressed, problems usually arise. Increased
absenteeism and high staff turnovers are common symptoms. Appropriate
measures, quite simply, require redesign of the staff-selection process,
professional training, and performance evaluation systems.

2. INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND VALUES

In this category, the term "problem" is not always an accurate description.
Basically, the plateaued auditors in this group display no desire to make any
career changes, for any number of reasons. Many of these auditors are solid
performers and frequently display high job satisfaction. In such cases, the
internal audit function and the organization as a whole actually are likely to
benefit from these highly motivated, steadfast citizens.

When no problem exists, obviously no remedial action is needed. However, the
organization itself must understand what is happening in such instances. Value
to the organization should not be underestimated when individual preferences
create a typical career path.

3. LACK OF INTRINSIC MOTIVATION

While internal auditing is an interesting profession, its work sometimes can
seem repetitious, monotonous, or even downright boring. Overall objectives
can be obscured by minute tasks, and staff auditors might regard their work as
routine, inconsequential, and of no real value.

Typical symptoms include indifferent, "just-getting-by" job attitudes, marginal
performance, and low job satisfaction. Revitalization requires redesign of
current audit tasks. Job enrichment, whereby audit tasks are made more
dynamic and meaningful, and expanded responsibilities may help turn around
the situation.

4. LACK OF EXTRINSIC REWARDS

Inherently all employment relationships hinge on benefits and rewards. When
an employee perceives the reward system as unfair or unattractive,
performance will certainly be adversely affected. When employees see the job
as a "dead-end" situation with small pay raises and promotions not tied to
merit, plateauing is a likely to result. This category is by far the most
damaging to everyone involved because employees who fed they have been
denied appropriate extrinsic rewards might not honor their duty to perform
professionally; and damaging, vengeful behavior could occur.

Before instigating any countermeasure, the organization must do some soul-
searching. If the reward system is in fact inequitable, then needless to say it
should be corrected. However, if inequities are found to be purely subjective,
or they cannot be corrected in a timely and effective manner, then alternative
measures must be employed to minimize possible damages to the audit
function and the organization.

5. STRESS AND BURNOUT

Internal auditors surely are subject to their fair share of stress and burnout.
That stereotypical image of internal auditors as agitating, nit-picking detectives
is still prevalent; and it can be agonizing to auditors who resent it and yearn
for greater acceptance. Stressful situations can emerge as a result of
communication breakdowns between auditors and clients; hostility displayed
by fellow workers; lack of support by management; or an ambiguously defined
organizational role. These situations often create strain for internal auditors
and can culminate in mental and physical distress.

The problem surfaces through sluggish decision-making skills and
procrastination on assignments. Stress management programs may help, but
the parties involved must be able to see the problem. Directors of internal
audit, on the other hand, may be in a position to encourage staff to rotate
audit tasks and advise staff members to "take a break" when unusual, stressful
symptoms have been encountered. Unfortunately, these measures won't solve
the problem unless top management has educated all departments regarding
the true function of auditors as service providers and has emphasized the role
of auditors as team players.

6. SLUGGISH ORGANIZATIONAL GROWTH

It goes without saying that an internal auditor's prospects directly tie to the
organization's success. Sudden economic downturns can bring about pressure
for downsizing. Overstaffing brought on by inaccurate economic forecasts will
eventually need to be trimmed. Such business misfortunes are harsh but real;
and, in and of themselves, they can create plateauing behavior in the form of
frustration about the lack of promotional prospects. Workers normally perform
well in the short ran, but morale can be low, driving them to be continuously
on the lookout for better outside opportunities.

Strategically speaking, one must recognize that a slow growth firm eventually
cannot avoid making cuts. The logical move becomes one of retaining those
who are top, "star" performers and relocating the ones who are less likely to
contribute to the audit function. In other words, to maximize efficiency and to
cope with hard times, the limited audit budget should be reserved for "solid
citizens." Qualified, potential managerial trainees should be promoted in a
timely manner. Finally, staff members deemed less likely to succeed in either
scenario should be forewarned about the probable outcomes.

Chak-Tong Chau "Career plateaus - career stagnation". Internal Auditor. .
FindArticles.com.17Oct.2008http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4153/is_5_
55/ai_54250895




[SLIDE 9]
What are the signs of career stagnation?
(Hoffman)

1. Your role has become marginalized. If you're being bypassed for
promotions or interesting assignments, or they're consistently being offered
instead to IT workers in subordinate positions that would be an obvious sign.
2. You've stopped growing. If you're not learning every day, if you're not
doing new things, and if you're not improving it's time to move on. Red lights
should be flashing if you've effectively been in the same role for two or three
years and haven't taken on any significant new challenges during that time.

3. You're being excluded. If you're a CIO or other senior IT manager, the
warning signs can include not being asked to participate in new business
decisions or being excluded from formal or informal executive committee
meetings. The view is equally bleak if you're an IT staffer whose input on new
projects is no longer requested or is sought out on just a limited basis.

4.You're missing from the big picture. Most CIOs assemble a road map of
where they intend to take their organizations over the next 12 to 60 months,
including the top IT/business projects they plan to work on. So, if there are a
lot of upcoming projects that don't include your area of expertise or in which
you figure to play a minor role at best, that's a warning sign.



5. Continuous improvement isn't part of the mantra. Sometimes there
are organizational changes -- or lack thereof -- that you should regard as
career alerts. These include stagnation within a corporation or an IT
department. If your IT organization has been using the same application-
development techniques for 15 years and has made no effort to update its
approach, then something's wrong. If your company is unwilling to invest in
continuous improvement processes it may be time to seek a company that is
supportive of library development.

6. You no longer enjoy the work. Someone once told me that we're not
here for a long time; we're here for a good time. Sometimes people stay in
suboptimal situations because it's comfortable for them. You have to take
control.

7. Your level of influence is waning. A CIO certainly has more clout within
an organization than a network engineer. But all IT professionals possess some
level of influence within their work teams or at least among their own peer
groups. If you see your powers of persuasion shrinking, it's time to move on.

8. Greener pastures truly are greener. If you've reached a crossroads
where you've become disenchanted with your employer for one reason or
another (long hours, infrequent promotions, career malaise, etc.), and you've
received a job offer from another company, it may be the right time to jump
ship. In situations where things don't fix themselves -- if you hate what you're
doing, or you're not proud of what you're doing, or there's an issue you need
to talk to your boss about but you don't because you know it won't do any
good -- that's when it's time to look for a new job. (Can't find your desk? Look for the
door. )

In this situation, however, be certain that you're not jumping out of
the frying pan into the fire. Make sure you're moving toward a good
opportunity and not just moving away from one that has gone.



[SLIDE 10]
What are the top career mistakes? (Thakkar)
Held, guilty of career stagnation -- of course, no one is ever going to pass that
sentence on you, but by ineffectively managing your career, you could easily
find yourself making the same career mistakes most individuals make.

1. Randomly pursuing jobs. Apparently, even the greatest of strategists do
not have a clear plan when it comes to their own careers. Most, just accept
jobs or opportunities that come their way, without ever thinking about where
they will lead them. Let’s just see where this job takes me, is what most
professionals    tell   me    when     they    accept   a    new    position.

2. Ineffective networking. An ineffective -- or worse still, non-existent --
networking strategy is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why even extremely
talented individuals don’t succeed as well as they should. Active networking
should be an integral component of any career success campaign.

Conferences, professional development events, trade shows, workshops,
networking events (direct and indirect) -- all of these are valuable avenues for
multiplying your network, and thus your growth prospects. Every individual
you meet is a potential contact and how you build and use the relationship is
entirely                    up                       to                    you.

3. Sacrificing work-life balance. Lack of work-life balance could seriously
impact your career progress. Our bodies are not designed to work 25 hours a
day. Our careers form an important part of our lives, but there are other areas
that          need          our           attention           as           well.

We need to rest and recharge to deliver optimal performance. Working
unreasonably long hours can wear us out and deprive us of the ability to
provide fresh and creative ideas -- and ideas are the fuel on which the career
engine                                                                   runs.

4. Allowing the opportunities pipeline to run dry. As individuals, we are
not just employees; we are CEOs of our own careers. As such, we must make
constant attempts to grow in our careers. This is applicable not only to job
leads but also to internal opportunities, such as new projects and training
initiatives. Don’t ever allow the disease of stagnation to seep into your careers.
You shouldn’t go job-hopping by any means, but rather generate as many
opportunities as possible to enrich your experience and profile. Take charge!

5. Not investing in professional development. We are knowledge workers
in this Information Age. Knowledge is constantly changing and by failing to
stay abreast with what is happening in our professions, we are certainly losing
out                 on                 valuable                 opportunities.

Create a professional development plan that will help you stay cutting-edge.
Even if your employer doesn’t sponsor continuing education, set aside a
budget. If you undertake the right training, this investment will pay for itself
many times over.

[SLIDE 11]
How to prevent career stagnation?
1. Evaluate your job. Take a few moments to reflect on your job itself in
order to identify whether it is worth your time to continue doing. Does your job
fit into your long-term career plan? Does your job (and organization) allow you
to grow your career in a healthy fashion? Can you see your current job in a
less stressful state 3 months from now? If you don’t feel comfortable with the
answers to these questions, then perhaps the best use of your time right now
is to start searching for another job opportunity.

2. Talk with your supervisor. Often, people don’t let their supervisor know
that they need to change their current job to better fit their career needs.
Make an appointment with your supervisor to discuss opportunities for
growth/education, as well as motivation, compensation, time, and procedural
changes.

3. Take a vacation to rejuvenate yourself. Be sure to take a vacation
where you have ample time to relax. Some vacations such as boat cruises pack
your time with tours and activities that will leave you feeling drained. Never
take work with you on vacation!

4. Get organized. A typical job position involves more tasks over time.
Sometimes these new tasks can outgrow your current strategies for organizing
time. In that case, it may be time to explore new ways of managing your time.
Using a PDA, Outlook or Google Calendar to organize your events may allow
you to better organize your tasks and reduce your job stress.

5. Sit a course. Attending a class is one of the best career motivators. It
allows you to broaden your horizons, learn new technologies, and interact with
other classmates in your field. Each time I have attended a course in the past,
I left energized about my career path!

6. Participate in a new outside activity. In high-stress jobs, I find it best to
embrace the phrase: work hard play hard. Make some time several times a
week to engage in an activity that has nothing to do with your job.

7. Eat right. The food we eat can affect our health as well as increase or
reduce the amount of physical stress that we have. Adhering to a healthy diet
will not only make you feel better, it will likely help with your bad job stress.

8. Buy a motivator. For most IT people, there is nothing more satisfying than
buying the latest PDA or laptop to help you with your work. It may sound silly,
but it works – try it!

[SLIDE 12]
Why rehabilitate ineffective plateauees?

            Job knowledge. Plateaued employees have usually been in the
             job for quite some time and have amassed considerable job
             knowledge.
            Organizational knowledge. Plateaued employees not only know
             their jobs but also know the organization.
            Loyalty. Plateaued employees are usually not job-hoppers but
             have offers demonstrated above-average loyalty to the
             organization.
            Concern for the well-being of plateauees. If the organization
             were to terminate all plateaued employees, this could have a
             disastrous impact on other employees. Also, the number of
             plateaued employees may be large.

[SLIDE 13]
Given that an organization’s management team wants to rehabilitate plateaued
employees, what can be done?
     1. Provide alternate means of recognition. If the chances for the
        employee to receive recognition through a future promotion are slim,
        look for alternative methods of recognition. Some possibilities include
        assigning the employee to a task force or giving other special
        assignments, participation in brainstorming sessions, representation
        of the organization to others and training of new employees.

     2. Develop new ways to make their current jobs more satisfying.
        The more employees can be “turned on” by their current jobs, the
        lower the likelihood that they will remain ineffective. Some
        possibilities here include the relating employees’ performance to total
        organizational goals and creating of competition in the job.

     3. Effect revitalization through reassignment. The idea here is to
        implement systematic job switching to positions at the same level that
        require many of, but not necessarily, the exact same skills and
        experiences as the present job.

     4. Utilize reality-based self-development programs. Instead of
        assigning plateauees to developmental program designed to help
        them move into future jobs (which a majority of development
        programs do), assign them to development programs that can help
        them perform better their present jobs.

     5. Change managerial attitudes toward plateaued employees. It
        is not unusual for managers and supervisors to give up on and neglect
        to plateaud employees. Such actions are quickly picked up by the
        affected employees and only compound the problem.


[SLIDE 14]
Overcoming Professional Stagnation, Part 2

     Creating Personal Development Plans

      Self Development & Advancement Suggestions
     Steps to Follow When Setting an Effective Goal
     Writing Your Personal and Career Vision-Mission Statement
     WORKSHOP

[SLIDE 15]
Creating Personal Development Plans
Every librarian should undertake a focused approach to the development of a
career plan. Addressing the key components of development will clearly define
what steps should be taken to achieve career goals. There are five phases of
this process:

        Environmental scanning
        Self assessment and reality check
        Creation of a career vision
        Development of strategic career plan
        Market yourself
        Build a strong contact network
        Polish your interviewing and negotiating skills
      Each of these phrases moves the individual closer to his or her career
goal either by providing necessary information to help decision making or by
using that same information and allowing the development of specific pieces to
the career plan. Following the completion of the scanning and assessment
phase, the librarian needs to ask the question, “Where do I go from here and
what is it that I want most out of my career?” The information gained through
the scanning and assessment phase will allow the librarian to begin to form a
career vision and develop a strategic career plan.

[SLIDE 16]
 1. Environmental scanning. This is a technique that is used in business
planning and is applicable to career planning for librarians. This involves
examining what is currently the reality in your work, the world, and your
personal situation. This is not an activity that occurs in isolation; it should
become a regular part of professional development. The knowledge gained via
environmental scanning will lay the foundation for a strong career planning
process.

[SLIDE 17]
2. Self assessment and reality check. This is a critical piece in the
development of a career plan. Self assessment will help the librarian identify
both strengths and weaknesses in skills, knowledge, experience and values.
For example, if the career goal is to become a chief librarian, which requires
certain skills and managerial experience, then achieving those skills and
experience would be a critical part of the career plan. The librarian should not
only perform a personal self-assessment but also ask others to evaluate and
discuss their perceptions of the career plan. Take a personal inventory -
Identify past successes, current strengths, overall work style and personal
preferences.

[SLIDE 18]
3. Creation of a career vision. Developing a vision for a career can be an
exciting but humbling activity. Data have been gained via the scanning and
assessment process; therefore, you now know what is achievable with your
current skills set and what will require obtaining new expertise. The vision can
be broken down into shat is possible in the short term and what is possible in
the future. To achieve the long-term goal it might be necessary to look at your
vision for the next year, 3 years, 5 years, and so forth. Refine your career
objective - It must be clear, focused and realistic – based firmly on your
greatest strengths.

[SLIDE 19]
4. Development of strategic career plan. This is describe as a blueprint for
action which enables the librarian to specify the activities, timelines and
resources he needs to help him achieve his career vision and goals. Identifying
what you want to achieve in your career and the steps necessary to achieve
that goal should be written down and formalized. This is the plan of action for
your career transformation. Using this type of format formalizes your thoughts
and allows you to lay out your ideas about how you want your career to be and
what steps will be required to achieve that goal.

For example, if your career goal were to become a chief librarian, the specific
steps to gain the administrative knowledge necessary to fulfill that role would
need to be achieved. Your career path might lead you to a program in library
systems management or a master’s degree in library and information systems
with a focus on administration. Examining what you want to accomplish and
what qualities you need to possess will help you develop your career plan.
 [SLIDE 20]
5. Market yourself. What makes you different or stand out is an important
aspect of what you will bring to a new position. Being able to articulate this
and let others know these traits is crucial to marketing yourself. Promoting
yourself should be part of a continuum that demonstrates growth and
consistency. This type of self-promotion normally begins in your internal
environment such as on your unit or in your school setting. Developing
leadership skills such as doing presentations at unit in services, performing
project management on the implementation of a new medical record system,
or assuming a leadership role in certification renewal courses for other staff
librarians all help you begin to develop a professional reputation. Make a
dynamic presentation of what you offer - Your CV and self-presentation
must show you at your highest level of effectiveness. It must be powerful
and yet adaptable to a variety of situations. Create a self-marketing
strategy - A sound strategy will enable you to use your time most efficiently,
and will be essential to the successful outcome of your market campaign.

[SLIDE 21]
6. Build a strong contact network

This is one of the most important methods to promote your career. Networking
has been known to many as the favorite and most effective vehicle for growth.
Knowing the right people, both within and outside the organization (especially
experts, authors, and industry leaders) can do wonders for your career. If you
don’t have a mentor, consider having one. The right mentor can make a
significant difference in your career.

[SLIDE 22]
7. Polish your interviewing and negotiating skills - Effective interview
skills can convert opportunities into job offers. Be thorough and persistent in
managing your search - Write effective letters; conduct productive meetings
and follow up on opportunities. Your commitment to implementing the plan will
ensure a successful outcome.


[SLIDE 23]
Self Development Suggestions (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 1998)

1. Create your own personal mission statement. Like an organizational
mission statement, a personal mission statement should indicate the business
you’d like to be in and the role you’d like to play. You should see the
statement as changeable over time, not a commandment to which you must
blindly adhere regardless of situational or personal factors.

The process of developing the statement can reveal personal values and
preferences you may not have realized you have. Once completed, the
mission statement should help you set your strategic direction, clarify your
priorities, and avoid investing time and energy in pursuits that are not
instrumental to achieving your mission.

[SLIDE 24]
2. Take responsibility for your direction and growth. You should not
place all of your hopes in a company-provided development program. Things
change, and steps in a career path can be eliminated as a result of downsizing
or reorganizing. Organizations may also eliminate or replace development
programs. Such changes could be devastating for people who place their
future entirely in the hands of their organization.
3. Make enhancement, rather than advancement, your priority.
Organizational flattening and downsizing mean that there will be fewer
opportunities for advancement in the coming years. Even today direct upward
paths to desired higher-level positions are rare. It is best to accept this reality
and search for opportunities to broaden your skills in the shorter. Enhancing
your skills in the shot run should lead to advancement in the longer run.

4. Talk to people in positions to which you aspire and get their
suggestions on how to proceed. People who are currently in the kind of job
you desire can give you valuable suggestions.

[SLIDE 25]
Self Advancement Suggestions

1. Remember that performance in your function is important, but
interpersonal performance is critical.            Advancing in an organization
requires excellent interpersonal skills. The abilities to communicate (both one-
on-one and to groups), to collaborate, to listen, to summarize, and to write
concise reports and memos are essential to being considered a viable
candidate for advancement.

2. Set the right values and priorities. Your worth to an organization
increases after you have discovered the organization’s values and priorities and
aligned yourself with them. For example, some organizations place a high
value on collaboration and teamwork, while others emphasize independence
and individual contribution. Aligning your behavior with the organization’s
values, improves your chances for advancement.

In career transition it is important to review what motivates you at work,
what matters to you most and what you need from your working
environment. Some of our values may stay throughout our lives, others
may change through maturity or particular experiences.

What is the relationship between values and job satisfaction? A study was
conducted on career plateau and work attitudes by Tremblay, Roger &
Toulouse (1995). Two types of career plateaus were studied, objective plateau
(objective career) and subjective plateau (subjective career). The results show
that satisfaction with work itself is strongly related with the feeling of being
plateaued. It is often suggested that the jobs of people who have reached a
career plateau offer fewer intrinsic benefits than those of more mobile people.
They observed that subjects who have not attained a career plateau
tend to perceive greater autonomy, feedback, skill variety, and
meaningful tasks in their jobs than those who have attained a career
plateau. A longitudinal study has shown that subjects whose responsibilities
had not changed tended to perceive fewer opportunities for development in
their current jobs than those who had experienced a movement, and that their
attitudes became increasingly negative over time.

                   Shared Values + Shared Interests = High Job Satisfaction

[SLIDE 26]
3. Provide solutions, not problems. Nobody likes to hear complaints. So,
rather than voicing complaints and pointing out problems, take some time to
think issues through and offer potential solutions. You’ll be perceived as a
much more valuable member of the organization.
4. Be a team player. You should not try to steal the limelight for your work
group‘s accomplishments. Rather, you should try to shine the spotlight on the
group’s efforts. When you do, you’ll be viewed as a facilitator rather than a
grandstander.    However, you should be sure that those responsible for
evaluating your performance know of your personal accomplishments. One
way to balance these concerns is to refuse to seek public praise for your
performance but not be afraid to call attention to your successes when
appropriate.

5. Be customer oriented. Always keep in mind that anyone with whom you
have an exchange is your “customer.” Whether these interactions are internal
or external, understanding and satisfying customer needs should be a top
priority. When you take a customer-orientation approach to your job, the
organization will recognize you as a high-quality representative who can be
expected to accomplish things.

6. Act as if what you’re doing makes a difference. A sure way to be
overlooked for advancements to display an apathetic or negative attitude. Not
all tasks or protects to which you’re assigned will spur your interest, but if you
approach these activities with a positive attitude, others will see you as a
contributor and a valuable team player.

[SLIDE 27]

   Development + Advancement = GOALS


[SLIDE 28]

      Let’s have an exercise:

            Which one is a goal?

                  I will lose 15 pounds
                  I want to run a marathon
                  Quit smoking
                  All of the above
                  None of the above


      The correct answer is (5) – none of the above. The first three are
      wishes, not goals.      However, you are not alone if you answered
      incorrectly because research has shown that less than 1% of the
      population actually understands how to effectively set a goal. This is
      why so many New Year’s resolutions get broken and why so many people
      try keep failing at the very same goal. The desire to better ourselves is
      genuine, but the process we go about while seeking this desire is faulty.


[SLIDE 29]

      Here are five steps to follow when setting an effective goal:

      1. Your Goal MUST be meaningful to YOU.

         This means that you have to be the person to create it – not your
         spouse or employer. Make sure that the things you have investing
          your time and energy into are things you are passionate about.
          When you achieve it, you will be fired up about it.

      2. Make your goals specific (quantifiable) and measurable (end
         date).

           I will lose 15 pounds by October 31st, 2008 is a goal because you will
          know at the end of the time period if you did it or did not achieve it.
          Many people do not give themselves an end date because they are
          afraid of failure. In addition, not having an end date allows you to
          procrastinate.

      3. Make your goals the right size

          Goals should cause you to stretch and grow, but not be unrealistic.
          For instance, earning one million dollars your first year out of college
          has been done, but for most it is unrealistic. On the flip side, if your
          goal is to run a mile in 6:59 versus 7 minutes, you have not pushed
          yourself enough. Also, focus on a few achievable tasks at one time
          and move on as you reach them.

      4. An Effective Goal is always written down

          This is extremely helpful and essential because there will be times
          when your goals will make you uncomfortable and you may lose site
          of them. When this happens, you need to have them written down to
          keep yourself on track and accountable. Posting your goals on the
          refrigerator, bulletin board, or in your planner ensures that you will
          be reminded of them on a daily basis.

      5. Review them on a weekly basis

          You must review your goal in order to stay on track. Reviewing them
          causes you to commit to their achievement.

          The positive results of achieving any goal are unforgettable. An
          individual’s failure to achieve is seldom because they are
          incompetent. Rather, it is because they simply do not know the
          process of success. Follow these guidelines, be patient, and celebrate
          your success to come.


      (INSERT HERE THE STORY WHY THE
         SQUIRREL KEPT WINNING!)

[SLIDE 30]

Writing Your Personal Vision/Mission Statement
        A personal vision statement is the framework for creating a powerful
life. It is a picture of your True Self in the future. An effective personal vision
includes all the important elements of your life and career; it is who you want
to be, what you want to do, how you want to feel, what you want to own, and
who you want to associate with. Although, your personal vision helps you to
see into the future, it must be grounded in the present. It is a statement of
who you are, and who you becoming. It is the framework for the process of
creating your life. Your vision is where you are headed, how you get there is
your mission statement.

      A Personal Mission Statement is how you will manifest your Personal
Vision in your daily life. It may be a few words or several pages, but it is not a
"to do" list. It reflects your uniqueness and must speak to you powerfully about
the person you are and the person you are becoming. Remember, it's okay to
be where you are, while heading somewhere else. In fact, the only place you
can start, is where you are right now. Having a personal vision does not mean
your life changes overnight. But it will change. Your personal mission
statement provides the steps to get you there.

[SLIDE 31]

Your Personal Mission Statement should answer three questions:



   What actions do I take to manifest my Purpose and my Values?

[SLIDE 32]

Stephen Covey writes that an empowering Mission Statement:

Represents the deepest and best within you.

It comes out of a solid connection with your deep inner life.

Is the fulfillment of your own unique gifts.

It's the expression of your unique capacity to contribute. Addresses and
integrates the four fundamental human needs and capacities in the physical,
social/emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. Deals with all the significant
roles in your life.

It represents a lifetime balance of personal, family, work, community-whatever
roles you feel are yours to fill.

Is written to inspire you-not to impress anyone else. It communicates to you
and inspires you on the most essential level.

"Creating a Personal Mission Statement will be, without question, one of the
most powerful and significant things you will ever do to take leadership of you
life. In it you will identify the most important roles, relationships, and things in
your life - who you want to be, what you want to do, to whom and what you
want of give your life, the principles you want to anchor your life to, the legacy
you want to leave. All the goals and decisions you will make in the future will
be based upon it. It's like deciding first which wall you want to lean your ladder
of life against, and then beginning to climb. It will be a compass - a strong
source of guidance amid the stormy seas and pressing, pulling currents of you
life." Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

A Personal Vision/Mission can help propel you into a new job, or make your
present job work better for you. The more connected your Personal

Vision/Mission is to yourself, the better it can guide your career and your life.
[SLIDE 33]

    How to Create a Personal Mission Statement
           To clearly reflect a true personal vision and reach the core of your
    being, you must be capable of peeling back layers to achieve the depth
    of thought needed to define personal vision. There is no perfect path to
    a writing a personal vision statement, but there are some general steps
    and exercises that can be useful in developing a working statement that
    can be refined into a useful document.

         A personal mission statement is what you make of it. A
    successfully written one should always be open to changes as you
    yourself change, learn and grow. Drawing from it as you continue to
    pursue your goals in life will help guide you in the positive direction you
    want your life to go.

    Step 1. Define what values you hold high – the things that have
    an important impact on your daily living. These are things that you
    exert your energies the most   towards achieving.

    Step 2. Write these values down. This will help you to better
    visualize exactly where you are now and where you want to be.

    Step 3. Determine how you can put these values into action.
    Write down specific steps on what you need to do to achieve each of
    them. Think of how your actions can have a positive affect on your
    family, friends, and even how you perform your job.

    Step 4. Add in any changes that you would like to make in your
    life. Detail how you plan to make these changes. This is a part of your
    personal mission statement that will always be modified as you continue
    to reach your milestones and create new ones.

    [SLIDE 34]

    When you write your personal mission statement you define your main
    values and purpose in life. It acts as guidance in your career
    development and can be seen as your compass. There may be times that
    you need to consult your compass to find direction again. It is for this
    reason that you should take time for proper planning when you write
    your personal mission statement. One way that you can distinguish
    between the two is that your personal mission statement contains your
    main values and aspirations, while the career statement is focused on
    what you want to achieve and contribute to a certain career or job field.

    [SLIDE 35]

    Step5. Place your completed mission statement in an easily
    accessible place that you can refer to often. Don't hesitate to make
    any changes along the way. The more deeply you reflect on what it is
    you truly desire, coupled with putting these changes and how to
    implement them in writing, will help you to focus on actually reaching
    your goals.
      [SLIDE 36]

      Personal mission examples

      Example 1

      I am loving, kindhearted, and trustworthy.
      I care about the poor and keep my promises.
      I aim to motivate and inspire people to reach their potential.
      I believe that success comes from within and that my attitude
      determines how successful I will be.
      I am open to new ideas.
      I confront challenges head on and don't shy away from taking
      responsibility for my actions.

      [SLIDE 37]

      Example 2

      I am trustworthy and empathetic towards others.
      I strive to build trust based on performance.
      I am committed to growth in my personal and work relationships.

      Example 3

      I aspire to gain the respect and admiration of others by being open,
      honest, fair and reliable.
      I will treat all people with the respect I want and will expect little, but will
      give a lot.
      I will keep to my word and will finish what I have started.

      Who needs a personal mission statement?

      Anyone who wants to do proper career planning, change careers or wants to
      find the perfect job should have a statement that summarizes his or her goals,
      aspirations, main values and social responsibility.

      Keep in mind that your personal vision statement can also change over time,
      depending upon what is happening in your life. You will be amazed, however, at
      how many components remain consistent over time. I first articulated this
      vision for my life in 1984; this personal vision statement guides my life.

      http://www.cvtips.com/introduction_personal_mission_statement.html

      [SLIDE 38]

How to Create a Career Mission Statement
Your career mission statement is the most important paragraph you will ever
write. Even though it may only be one to two sentences long, it has specific
attainable goals set in time. It will specify your goals, highlight previous
successes, emphasize personal values and identify the unique contribution you
will bring to your potential employer and society.

[SLIDE 39]

Once you've listed all your goals, values, possible contributions etc. and know
what you want from life, relationships and your dream job, you are ready to
write your career statement. Your career mission statement is the most
important paragraph you will ever write. Even though it may only be one to
two sentences long, it has specific attainable goals set in time. It will specify
your goals, highlight previous successes, emphasize personal values and
identify the unique contribution you will bring to your potential employer and
society.

[SLIDE 40]
Why write a career mission statement?
Writing your mission statement will help to define what's important to you and
give you the opportunity to make a decision to stick to those values before you
venture in the market place. It will allow you to identify enterprises, businesses
or institutions with the same value system as yours. This also enables you, the
job hunter, to better evaluate and calculate the costs and advantages of any
new job opportunity.

[SLIDE 41]
How to write your career mission statement?
Now that you know what and why, the last hurdle you need to overcome, to
secure that dream job is actually writing your statement. To assist you in
writing your career mission statement you can use the step by step writing
plan shown in this article.

Remember to take your time and use the opportunity to do some
introspection, be honest with yourself and highlight the areas where you would
like to better yourself and set a time frame in which to achieve them.

Write down all your best characteristics, gifts and talents. Writing your
personal mission statement will require you to delve deep and to be honest
with yourself. And to help you better understand the process of writing your
statement, we've included some examples of the personal mission statement.

[SLIDE 42]
The basic guidelines to follow:

First: of focus on past accomplishments.

Identifying three or four examples of personal accomplishments you achieved
in the last 2 to 5 years. These achievements do not necessarily need to be in
your career, think of things you have achieved in your personal life, in your
home environment, etc. Write them down. Try to recognize what these
examples have in common and again make a note of this.

[SLIDE 43]
Follow up with your main principles

Compile a list of characteristics or qualities that best describes you and the
principles you live by. There is no limit to this list but once you have compiled
the list try to order them from strongest or most important to least. Take the
top four or six and out of them choose the one most important to you.

One step closer: Contributions.

List where you can get involved to enhance the quality of peoples? lives:
      humankind
      family members
      your current and future places of employment
      your acquaintances and friends
      your neighborhood and community

[SLIDE 44]
Almost there: Set your goals, objectives and aspirations

Take your time on this and write down the goals and objectives you have set
for yourself and also include your priorities. If you've never set goals for
yourself now is a good time to think about this and set some attainable one to
five year goals. List these as short, medium or long term, personal and general
objectives.

[SLIDE 45]
Final step: drafting your statement.

Now using the first four steps you should have a new and better understanding
of yourself. Using the information you have about yourself, progress to the last
important step: your career mission statement.

Example of a well crafted and highly effective career mission statement that
can be used as part of your CV:

'My personal mission for my career is to become an expert of the main
software design applications and to contribute to web development in
the educational field.'


[SLIDE 46]
Career statement examples

Example 1

My career mission is to develop into an outstanding person in my work and to
contribute to the understanding of left-handedness in education.

Example 2

My career mission is to become the first women CEO of Software Engineering
Inc. and to build a network of companies related to this field, which will
contribute to the development and wide spread usage of the company's
software packages.

Example 3

My career mission is to develop a product that will revolutionize the way that
windscreens are repaired

http://www.cvtips.com/career_mission_statement.html



[SLIDE 47]
Exploration to Prepare to Write the Personal Vision Statement

Use these questions to guide your thoughts.
     What are the ten things you most enjoy doing? Be honest. These are the
      ten things without which your weeks, months, and years would feel
      incomplete.
     What three things must you do every single day to feel fulfilled in your
      work?
     What are your five-six most important values?
     Your life has a number of important facets or dimensions, all of which
      deserve some attention in your personal vision statement. Write one
      important goal for each of them: physical, spiritual, work or career,
      family, social relationships, financial security, mental improvement and
      attention, and fun.
     If you never had to work another day in your life, how would you spend
      your time instead of working?
     When your life is ending, what will you regret not doing, seeing, or
      achieving?
     What strengths have other people commented on about you and your
      accomplishments? What strengths do you see in yourself?
     What weaknesses have other people commented on about you and what
      do you believe are your weaknesses?



[SLIDE 48]
WORKSHOPS on Creating a Personal and
Career Mission Statements


PART 3
[SLIDE 49]
Managing Work and Careers in the 21st Century
        o   Taking ownership for your own career
        o Understanding your skills, motivations and needs and how you
          integrate these in your chosen career/organisation
        o Alternative ways to develop your employability outside the work
          place

[SLIDE 50]


“In order that people may be happy in their work, these things are
needed: they must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it; and
they must have a sense of success in it”

                                        John Ruski

[SLIDE 51]

Career management is for life, not just for career transition! Over recent
years we have seen unprecedented change in organisations, which has
transformed work and career possibilities. There are some key drivers for
change in the wider world of work. Some of these may have impacted
already on you; others may do so in the future.
                  Globalisation
                  Competitiveness
                  New Technologies
                  Demographic Change
                  Environmental & Political Concerns

[SLIDE 52 ]
What are the strategies/activities to achieve a successful
career?

      If you are young or old, the first and last question in your mind should
always be growth and progress - whether this would be in your personal or
professional life. However, wishing for it would not be sufficient. To advance in
your career you need to take some concrete steps and adopt a certain style of
working.

      1. Identify your weaknesses and strengths - it is very important
that you know what your weak points are. Many people stumble in their
professional life because they have not identified their weak areas, for which
they continue accepting tasks that result into mediocre or bad jobs. Similarly
you should know what your forte is. Check out carefully and find out what
exactly is that you can do. Build on your talents aiming at becoming an expert
in your field. Just as a product needs to have niche where it is the best, you
too would need to be the best at something. That 'something' should be known
to you as much as the others and more - and this is possible when you accept
tasks in that particular field.

[SLIDE 53 ]

      2. Acquire new skills and challenge yourself. Do not let stagnation
enter into your professional life. Growth or progress in your career can happen
only when you evolve; and evolution is possible only when you keep learning
new things. Take up certificate courses, attend seminars or workshops,
undergo specialization training and so on. Be sure you learn something new
every year to stay ahead of your competition.

Top professionals constantly challenge and reinvent themselves, pushing the
bar to achieve more every time. If you are able to produce 100%, try for
110%. Constantly challenge yourself to achieve more every time.

[SLIDE 54 ]
      3. Become a valuable resource. Do people come to you for advice
very often? If not, take steps to become an expert in your profession. From
internal employees to the media, you must be viewed upon as a valuable
resource. Look for publishing (articles, books, etc.) and public speaking
opportunities in your profession.

[SLIDE 55 ]
      4. Become a better leader. The corporate world values leadership skills
like no other. Irrespective of your profession or position title, leadership skills
are always desirable. Be proactive and develop your leadership skills

[SLIDE 56 ]
      5. Improve your visibility. Do you attend company events,
conferences, etc? Does your boss know what results you are producing? If not,
you might be missing out on great opportunities.
[SLIDE 57 ]
      6. Take calculate risks. In order to grow, you need to take risks with
your job. Check out the vacancy list of organizations which are upcoming fast
and move, move, move. In order to reach the right employment, you would
need to hop around a little, until you find your ideal job. Do not be afraid to
take the risk and shift your job as often as it is needed.

[SLIDE 58 ]
7. Do not be afraid of change. Many people stagnate because they are
afraid to let go of their comfort zone, even if they are not really happy with the
job they do. Change is almost always good for you. Learn to embrace
opportunities for change.

[SLIDE 59 ]
     8. Learn to work through the political machinery. You don’t have to
become a conniving politician in order to achieve career growth (success). Just
know what to say and when; avoid confrontations, disputations, etc.

[SLIDE 60 ]
         9. Professional development. Learning never ends, they say.
Continuously investing in professional development -- training programs,
professional associations, education, certifications, reading professional literature, and
the likes -- will help you stay abreast with the latest advancements in your
field, and also a step above the competition. Set aside an annual budget (if
your employer doesn’t sponsor) for your professional development and growth.

[SLIDE 61 ]
      10. Follow professional ethics. Qualities like punctuality, reliability,
precision, diplomacy, enthusiasm, positive attitude … are always valuable. The
stronger your professional ethic, the more successful your career will be.

[SLIDE 62 ]
      11. Love all, serve all. No, I am not trying to preach. Try volunteering
on projects, community initiatives, company presentations, internal
committees, etc. Take on extra tasks. The rewards of such service (translation:
the extra mile) will go beyond the professional frontier. Being perceived as
“helpful” and motivated could do wonders for your career.

[SLIDE 63 ]
       12. Set your sights on large or upcoming companies. 'In order to
launch large ships, you need to go in deep waters'. You can never grow to your
full potential if you work for a small or mediocre organization. Set your sights
on the best there is in your field, and work to reach there as diligently as you
can. The career and professional growth is the best in large companies.

[SLIDE 64 ]
      13. Set a time-plan and strategy for your career. Where would you
be five years from now' is a good question to put yourself every time you join a
new job. Have a plan of action with a goal and concrete achievable steps.

      An impressive and consistent career growth record is every professional’s
dream, a dream that most would do anything for. Yet, many believe that
achieving professional success is an impossible feat requiring complex
Machiavellian maneuvering. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no mystic
mantra for achieving career success. The strategies for achieving career
growth and success combine plain old hard work, planning, and common
sense.
[SLIDE 65 ]
      14. Reprogram your mindset. Many individuals approach their work
with a “need-the-job-to-pay-my-bills” attitude -- not a winner’s strategy.
Adhering to employer-laborer dynamics, reminiscent of the nineteenth century,
provides very little motivation to the workforce. Work becomes a forced
endeavor with such a mindset and there is no desire to make a difference or to
go the extra mile. The end results of this approach are minimal professional
growth and a lack of satisfaction.

[SLIDE 66 ]
      15. Build powerful allies. It may be lonely at the top but those who
reached there did not walk alone. Networking is a crucial component of any
career success campaign. From growth prospects to new job offers,
opportunities always knock at the doors of the well-connected.

Start building alliances within the organization. Supervisors, peers, team
members, vendors, customers -- all of these are potential networking contacts.
Even better, each of these contacts may know many others, and if one were to
tap into this pool of “friends of friends,” the list of allies could snowball to
sizeable proportions within a very short period of time.

Let me share with you a 6-step process that I’ve used for the last 8th years
that I know will help you: 1) choose more wisely in the future; 2) set your
intention and expectations first; and 3) know what you want to give back.

[SLIDE 67 ]
     This 10- minute exercise will save you time and money as well as make
money and create with smarter choices in the future:

      1. Make a list of current memberships of all your professional
      organizations.

      2. Ask what was your intention for joining this organization at that time?

      3. Does that intention still fit?

      4. What are my expectations for my membership?

      5. Prioritize each membership. Which one do you value most? Least?
      What do you value most? What does that one have that the others
      don’t? Is it something that you have the power to change? What needs
      to change to make them all valuable to their fullest? Is it even possible?
      Realistic?

      6. How can your membership in each organization help you with your
      goals in the future? Match your goals with the organization’s value.
      What does it add to your life, family, or business?

[SLIDE 68 ]
       16.Fire up the PR ammunition. Gone are the days when PR strategies
were the exclusive domain of commercial enterprises. We live in times where
individuals,   too,  can  leverage  PR    tactics   to   their    advantage.

      With a plethora of publishing and speaking opportunities, it is very easy
to boost visibility and establish one’s image as an expert. Blogs, articles, trade
journals, teaching opportunities, seminars, webinars, conferences -- all of
these are excellent avenues to showcase professional expertise and to
generate                                 some                                 buzz.

[SLIDE 69 ]
      17. Position effectively. A very powerful mantra: “To be successful,
be different”. Almost every successful brand would swear by his words.
Although success doesn’t come overnight, common sense, hard work, and
careful planning is what it takes to catapult even an ordinary career to enviable
heights.


[SLIDE 70 ] 18. Balance life.
       Most people would agree that they are working harder than they used
to, and many experience a tension between work and home demands. How
can you juggle work challenges with leisure interests, family commitments and
self-development activities?

       Working longer will not necessarily help you to work more effectively.
Enjoyment and balance are essential to avoid burnout. It is vital to consider
the life balance picture that suits you. What are the things you hold dear?
How do you recharge your energy levels? Career health relies on your overall
well-being and use of resources – physical, mental, emotional and material.

[SLIDE 71 ]
Balancing a Career and Personal Life

   1. Personal goals. Too many people overlook the value of planning in
   their personal lives. Just as setting goals and establishing objectives helps
   focus one’s efforts in one’s professional life, planning in one’s personal life
   can focus one’s efforts on the accomplishment of one’s most important
   aspirations outside of the library.

      The planning process for one’s personal life follows essentially the same
      steps as that for one’s professional life.

   2. Family life. Librarians who balance their professional careers with the
   demands of family survive in a juggling act day by day. Like the performer
   who keeps dozens of plates spinning on the tops of tall poles, life can
   become hectic sometimes.

      Other librarians may have postponed family commitments while they
   concentrate on careers, waiting for the “right time.” This is not an effective
   long-term time management strategy because the right time seldom
   presents itself clearly.

       3. Daily Routine
       4. Delegation
       5. Shopping and Meal Planning
       6. Keeping Relationship Alive
       7. Household Record Keeping & Organization
       8. Avoid Time Wasters
       9. Avoid Over commitment
       10. Weekends with Family

Most Career stagnation results from inattention rather than                inability.
Successful people work at being successful as well as working hard.
[SLIDE 72 ]
The Ladder Of Professional Growth

There is a time in everybody’s professional life when the growth curve goes
flat. If this is a temporary phase, it is fine. However, if this becomes a
permanent fixture, a great deal of frustration can result out of such a situation.
Hence, it is always good to be on the move upwards.

It might not feasible to be promoted every year, so it is not right to
expect that even if it does happen sometimes. Nevertheless, a promotion
once in five years should be normal; if this is not so in your place of work, then
something is not right.

1. Be presentable, always. Look confident and project a positive impression.
When I say presentable, it does not mean you wear designer clothes;
nevertheless, have qualitative garments and pay extra attention to your hair,
hands and shoes. Invest in four to five good sets of clothing and work
continuously to project an impeccable image. Use deodorant, even if you think
you do not have body odor and if you want to wear a perfume (women) or
aftershave (men) ensure it is subtle and mild. Pay attention to your hairstyle.

[SLIDE 73] 2. Be emotionally involved. Do not treat your job as a chore
that has to be done. Put your heart and soul into it and ensure that you give
your two hundred percent in every task that comes to you. Go that extra mile,
without being pushed on by your boss or superiors. Feel for your company and
always do your best in your job to advance its vision and mission. When you
are emotionally involved your job would no longer be a 9-to-5 occupation, but
part of you. Hence, if there were work to finish, you would stay late without
being coerced into it, simply because you want the task finished on time.
These things are always noticed and appreciated.

[SLIDE 74 ]3. Be dependable. Whatever responsibility you are taking up, be
sure that you take it to its logical end (or next step). Do no wait to be prodded
into action at every step of the job. When you are given a task to do, the buck
should stop at you. Your superior should be sure that once a job is allotted to
you, it means that the job that is taken care of.

[SLIDE 75 ]4. Be ambitious. Let your superiors/ boss know that you can do
more and want more than you are entrusted with. Always show hunger for an
opportunity to prove yourself. Whenever you ask for a higher responsibility, be
very specific in what you want and what are the deliverables, since every such
extra task would pave the way for a promotion.

[SLIDE 76 ]5. Let your boss know that you want a raise/promotion and
that you are ready to take on more responsibilities/ work for this. Have a time
plan chalked out involving your boss all the way. Ensure you get a constant
feedback from your superiors so that you will know whether you are indeed
ready for the promotion you are asking for.

[SLIDE 77] 6. Be courteous. There is a golden saying, Everyone can be
courteous to a king, but it takes a real gentleman to be courteous to
the ordinary man. It does not matter to whom your talking, always be
courteous and considerate. Be extra nice to people whom everybody takes for
granted, such as doormen/security, sweepers, mail person, delivery people,
etc. They too, need a word of praise and appreciation. Besides, the grapevine
in an organization is often driven by such people. No matter where you are,
goodwill will always help you.
[SLIDE 78] 7. Be up-to-date. Professional stagnation starts when you stop
learning new things/ upgrading new skills. Unfortunately, we live in an era
where technology is advancing every day with giant steps; hence, no one can
really afford to ignore the speed with which such applications touch our day-to-
day professional lives. You should always strive to stay up-to-date about your
skills and their application in your job. This could be done through continuous
training, reading and networking with peers.

[SLIDE 79]8. Be innovative. Use your time innovatively. Make every second
pay you back. Train yourself in your free time by reading relevant material,
consulting videos, attending training workshops/seminars, through helping
others completed their tasks. Make the time answerable to you plan well ahead
on what you have to do and what you did.

[SLIDE 80]9. Be hardworking. Cutting the corners might get you ahead
initially. However, in the end you will not reach very far. You have to put in
serious work to be successful anywhere. There is nothing that succeeds like
hard work. Be the first to volunteer for any difficult project or task and do an
excellent job at it.

[SLIDE 81 ]10. Be persistent. Every person has a great ability to grow. Not
everybody can grow to his or her full potential through promotion. This is why
it is good to have a time plan and clarity of where you want to be when. Let us
suppose that you cannot reach your goal by being promoted in your present
job; no problem. Keep looking for openings within the organization and apply
for a higher position whenever you find it vacant. When you do so, your
superior/boss should be fully informed and agreeable to the idea though.

[SLIDE 82 ]11. Be ready to quit. If everything else fails and you have
overstayed 6 months to one year above your time plan without moving closer
to your goal, look for opportunities to grow outside your company.

The concept of career stagnation or career plateau is not new to librarians; the
pace at which it is occurring is accelerating. In the current climate, an
employee can reach a plateau in as little as two years. Thus, many librarians
are looking for opportunities to enhance their personal career profile, and equip
themselves with the requisite skills to advance their careers. A powerful
motivator is the fact that continuous lifelong learning is necessary to remain
competitive in one’s chosen field, and the half-life of knowledge is getting
shorter and shorter. Moreover, increasingly, the responsibility for career
development is residing with the individual rather than the organization.

[SLIDE 83 ]CONCLUDING STATEMENT:

                     “Champions aren’t made in gyms,

     Champions are made from something they have deep

           inside them –         a desire, a dream, a vision.”

                  Motivator, Jewel Diamond Taylor

[SLIDE 84 ]    References

[SLIDE 85 ]     Thank you.

								
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