Monthly Archives: June 2016

Career Development That You Should To Know

A few short years ago, a widely coveredstudy by the MIT Sloan Management Review journal claimed that workers who telecommuted were less likely to receive promotions, big raises or good performance reviews than those who work in the office. This discrepancy was no reflection on how dedicated a person was to his or her job, the study found: Remote employees simply didn’t have the same “passive face time” as their in-office colleagues, and leaders evaluated workers differently based on whether they were seen in the workplace.

While companies are shifting away from the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, the fact remains that, unlike office workers, telecommuters can’t fake productivity by sitting in a cubicle looking busy — and they may need to work a bit harder to make an impression with their bosses.

“The stigma [that remote workers] ‘aren’t really working’ … is a thing of the past, and more people are working from home,” said Dennis Collins, senior marketing director at West Unified Communication Services. “[But] it’s up to the employee to make sure they don’t become invisible.”

The career challenges of telecommuters

While technology has made it easier to run an organization with telecommuting employees, workers who don’t report to the office have a very different experience than those who spend most of the week with their colleagues.Tom Schoenfelder, Ph.D. and senior vice president of research and development at Caliper, a provider of hiring assessments and talent-management solutions, said full-time remote employees often encounter the following challenges when managing their everyday work and career development:

Isolation from the company culture. Many telecommuters report a sense of professional isolation, which can often lead to work disengagement, Schoenfelder said. Telecommuters do not share the same social and psychological experience as their colleagues who commute into the office, and therefore are usually not as involved in the company’s culture.

Lack of “face time.” Employees who don’t work in the office aren’t able to visit face to face with colleagues, so “real-time” communication often has to happen via chat. If one party is away from his or her desk, it can cause obstacles to important information flow, as well as make it more challenging to establish the strong, trusting work relationships that aid collaboration, said Schoenfelder.

Fewer informal networking opportunities. Schoenfelder also noted that not being in the same physical location may affect a person’s ability to engage in informal communication and networking. This everyday “networking” is typically an important aspect of navigating organizational politics, and can influence decisions about which workers are considered for sensitive or strategic projects. Those workers who telecommute may find that they’re less likely to be aware of developmental opportunities or be assigned to stretch assignments, he said.

Time management. Despite the growing trend toward remote work, some telecommuters feel obligated to work longer hours simply to prove they’re working, Schoenfelder said. This may lead to additional job stress that ultimately counteracts their productivity and effectiveness. On the flip side, he said, if remote workers don’t take ownership of scheduling and clearly defining their work activities, it may appear that they’re not working as hard as they truly are.

Reach for Dream Job

From a young age, many people build up the idea of their “dream job” in their heads — and some strive for one their whole careers.

A dream job is the “culmination of dreams, sweat, sleepless nights, personal battles, reality checks and self-doubt,” said Raf Howery, founder and CEO of Kukun, a home remodeling marketplace. “Landing a dream job means that I am on my way and I have one more step before I reach my end goal, where I will feel like I have ‘arrived,'”

Although each person’s path to his or her dream job is different, it almost always has at least three requirements: hard work, perseverance and luck, Howery said.

“You will have to take nightmare jobs to make ends meet, which is OK since that experience will reinforce your will to pursue your dream and change your situation,” Howery said.

And although it may seem out of reach before you get it, landing your dream job doesn’t have to be impossible. Here’s what you can do to put yourself on the right track.

Know exactly what you want

Robert Mann, marketing manager at online gaming site Nutaku, realized he wasn’t happy in a former job situation.

“Seeing the long hours and atrophied social lives of the men and women in leadership positions made me dread the next promotion as much as I anticipated it,” Mann said. “I’d always valued my free time and quickly realized that unless I could combine my career with my passions, I’d end up comfortable but unfulfilled.”

You should make your career goals specific, said Kimberly Ramsawak, a travel career strategist and founder of Tourism Exposed. She said to narrow down the type of career niche, respective job function and title you want within a particular industry.

“This is important because hiring managers that are related to the job of your dreams will not hire someone who will ‘take anything,'” Ramsawak said. “They want someone who is qualified, who truly wants the particular vacancy they’re trying to fill. Remember, if you don’t know what you want, you’ll probably never get it.”

Build your network

Realizing what you want is a major step, but you should keep the momentum going by reaching out to the right people who can help you, said Courtney Kirschbaum, a career and life coach and founder of online training companyOriginal Experience.

“Once you find something you are enthusiastic about … [start] talking to people in that world,” Kirschbaum said. “Being in these communities and around [these] people, you’ll learn the language, behaviors and idiosyncrasies that are particular to the profession or industry that interests you, which communicates to people you talk to that you’ve made an effort to learn their world.”

Awful Job for Good Reasons

Going to a job you don’t like is exhausting. When the alarm goes off each morning, it’s like a siren sounding for the end of days. It may be a bit dramatic, but when you’re in the situation, it feels like nothing will fix the problem.

There will come a time when you need to evaluate your situation. Is it worth it? Are you just having boss troubles? Can it be fixed?

We asked some experts to guide you through your decision making. If more than one or, a few, ring true, it may be time to plan your next steps.

Sure, some days at work are more exciting than others, but if you find that every day in the office is a snooze-fest, it may be time to find a new gig.

As an executive career coach and former employee turned entrepreneur, Jessica Manca knows a few things about calling it quits. But she cites boredom as the number one sign that it’s time to throw in the towel.

Manca — whose company, Managing Mindspaces, helps professionals balance their paychecks with their passions — said that if you’re bored, have lost motivation, are just going through the motions or are procrastinating more than usual at work, you may want to consider looking for a more fulfilling job.

Being comfortable in your position is a good thing. However, being so comfortable in your position that you’re never challenged or intrigued is definitely not a good thing. If your job just doesn’t stimulate you like it used to, it might be time to move on.

“Once you stop learning and growing in your job, it’s time to look for something else,” said Adam Grealish, founder of Roletroll.com, a job recommendation engine for finance and tech workers.

Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and human relations specialist, agrees. Langerud said it’s time to quit when you want to develop new skills that you simply can’t learn at your current job.