Category Archives: Career

Fess up, sometimes you’ve got horrible body language

nonverbalcommimage

We are all guilty of displaying improper and off-putting body language at some point in our careers. Whether avoiding eye contact during an interview, or impatiently tapping our fingers on the table during a management meeting, our nonverbal communication conveys a distinct impression – no matter your intended message.

This week, the Business Insider published an article calling out nine nonverbal behaviors that generally turn people off and can be really annoying.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am guilty of the crossed arms. When engrossed in a conversation, it is an automatic response that says I am in deep thought and listening; however, according to the article, my body language suggests that I’m hoping my co-worker leaves me alone and goes on his merry way.

The good news is that my nonverbal communication does not channel Kanye West, the article’s poster child for forgetting to smile.

It’s always a good thing to do a mental and visual check-in to ensure we convey the true meaning of our intentions. Think I hear a New Year’s resolution calling…

What’s your nonverbal no-no? Leave us a reply below.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

 

Congresswoman Edwards’ 7th Annual College & Career Fair Provides Insight, Youth Resources

For the seventh year, Maryland Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards hosted her annual College and Career Fair for students in Maryland. The event, held at Annapolis High School in Anne Arundel County, MD on Saturday, October 10th, drew more than 1,500 high school, middle school, and college students and their parents.

Representatives more than 100 schools, companies, nonprofit organizations shared resources with students to provide college resources and answer questions, exhibitors gave tips on essay writing, financing education, and requirements for students seeking to attend participating colleges and universities. Many of these institutions of higher learning also conducted on-site interviews, and had alumni representatives who shared their perspectives on the college experience with students.

Photo credit: Congresswoman Donna Edwards Staff
Photo credit: Congresswoman Donna Edwards Staff

In addition, students received career resources to help them plan for future opportunities, learn more about internships, and identify important skills needed for jobs – STEM and beyond – and how they can begin developing them now. Ask The Strategist owner and Editor, Kesi Stribling (CEO of KSG Strategic Consulting), participated as an exhibitor for the fifth time. She shared the Career Development Checklist covering action items for students in middle school, high school, and college and the Three Es of Career Preparation.

The fair featured workshops to assist students in their academic and career pursuits, including SAT & ACT Information Sessions, Exploring STEM Careers, Financial Aid Resources for Post-High School Education, and It’s Never Too Late to Think About College.

A snapshot of participating exhibitors include AmeriCorps, Anne Arundel Community College, Bennett College, Lockheed Martin, Morgan State University STEM Expo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation, Patriots Technology Training Center, State Farm Insurance, Tufts University, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

For more information about Congresswoman Edwards’ College and Career Fair, visit her website or follow #RepEdwardsCollegeFair.

DISCLAIMER: Since its original debut on MySpace in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.

It’s a New Year, Become a New You

NewYearNewYouSucessIt’s a brand new year and of course, we all have at least one resolution – or goal – to improve something about ourselves. A new career, new adventure, new life all sound like great things for which to strive. But, how many times have you resolved to change at the start of the new year, only to fall short and neglect the promise you are so eagerly committed to keep? No matter the goal, whether it’s simple or complicated, the frustration we feel when an interruption comes and challenges our commitment to the goals – often a lack of resources or will power – causes the resolutions to fall by the wayside.

No matter your goals, having the right- perspective and plan can help you meet- your goals for the  year.

Pick one goal to focus on and pursue it

Having a checklist of numerous resolutions can be overwhelming, and unrealistic. During my yearly personal strategic planning session, I identify the areas that may need improvement or adjusting, and prioritize the “to do” list, selecting just a few to focus on and pursue. Using the same approach to a New Year’s resolution can prove an efficient way to identify the top 1 or 2 concerns, allowing an opportunity to make real progress, since you are not overwhelmed with a laundry list of action items.

For example, if your goal is to get a new job, make that your primary focus and work on a plan for doing so, such as tweaking your job search process, updating your LinkedIn profile, working with a career coach, or actively participating in a networking event that draws potential employers in your job industry.

Get a support system

It is not always easy to pursue goals, and it can be downright daunting when you face challenges on your own, with no one to spur you on, or give you a little insight. Put together a support system, your personal cheerleading team, to help you with your resolutions and encourage you when difficult times arise.

For the new entrepreneur, your team of cheerleaders should include a mentor, at least one person who has expertise in your industry and viewed as an ally rather than a competitor, and a good friend who does not judge you and supports your dreams, but always tells you the truth. If you are graduating with an advanced degree this spring, your support system should include a trusted academic advisor, campus career center, and members of your professional or civic organizations who know you well. They are all resources for potential career opportunities, as well as resources for changes in the industry that may have occurred while you were pursuing your Master’s or Doctorate degree.

Celebrate the accomplishments

While pursuing a goal, it is always good to celebrate successes. In a culture where instant gratification is the norm, we can often be hard on ourselves if we don’t see immediate results. Focusing on the end-result without learning from and enjoying the process adds pressure, and you may, in frustration, give up on your goals.

Take a moment to appreciate each milestone and celebrate it! Take yourself out to lunch at a favorite restaurant, put on some great music and dance, check in with your cheerleaders, or give a token of appreciation to the mentor who coached and encouraged you until you reached your goal.

Shake off the setbacks

It is easy to celebrate our accomplishments, but it is often hard to be cheerful when we encounter a setback. Feelings of failure and frustration can erode progress made. While it can be difficult, view your setback as an opportunity for a do-over, and work on getting it right the next time.

Instead of abandoning a goal goes awry, use the setback as an opportunity for assessment and moving forward with your resolution. Evaluating why and how you detracted from your goal can help you zero in on how you can resume your progress, change your approach, or even abandon it if necessary.

Become the change you seek

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Become the change you seek in the world.” As it relates to maintaining your New Year’s resolutions throughout 2015 and beyond, your attitude will determine your ability to stay the course until your goal is fulfilled.

A popular practice is to create a vision board, a visual of what you want in life that you can look at to encourage you, or reinforce commitment. Whether you create a traditional vision board, or take to Pinterest or Instagram to create one online, they can be helpful in helping you identify your goals and motivate you to press on toward them.

What are your goals for 2015? Leave us a reply.

 About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

 

DISCLAIMER: Since its original debut on MySpace in 2004 as Midweek Musings, ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.

The Rules of Civility

In an era of seemingly uncivil people (cue any Real Housewives franchise slap fest), I recently stumbled upon Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace, edited by Richard Brookhiser.

Originally published in 1997, with a healthy update from Brookhiser in 2003, Rules of Civility pre-empted the onslaught of reality television, and stories of soccer moms behaving badly on the field. This book takes a refreshing look at sage advice President George Washington followed, notions he learned as a child in the 1700s.

TheRulesofCivility-RichardBrookhiser While a few rules appear outdated (rule #9 – spit not into the fire, nor stoop low before it), the majority of ways to conduct oneself are practical, especially when it comes to governing ourselves in business. More than a primer on etiquette, Rules of Civility focuses on the motivation beyond the action. For example, rule #23 admonishes that “when you see a crime punished, you may be inwardly pleased, but always show pity to the suffering offender.” The motivation is to treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Here are the top five career-related rules:

1. Rule #12: Shake not your head, feet, or legs, roll not the eyes, lift not one eyebrow higher than the other, wry not the mouth, and bedew no man’s face with your spittle by approaching too near him when you speak.

These are a few non-verbal communication deal breakers that job seekers interviewing for a position, and entrepreneurs meeting with potential clients and investors, should avoid.

2. Rule #15: Keep your nails clean and short, also your hands and teeth clean, yet without showing any great concern for them.

Be neat, tidy, and professionally garbed when you interview for a job, or go to work everyday; however, take care not to overly emphasize your appearance, for it can make you appear conceited and superficial.

3. Rule #35: Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.

Brevity, when speaking with business leaders – men and women – is always a plus. We can all do without listening to a monopolized company meeting, whether it’s the supervisor or employee.

4. Rule #40: Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.

The boss – or customer – is always right. Also, do not be heavy handed with your judgment, so as not to embarrass your co-workers or become the office know-it-all.

5. Rule #82: Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.

As the adage says, under-promise and over-deliver. Enough said.

 Which of these rules hit home the most for you? Let us know in the comment section below.

NOTE: This updated post first appeared on the original Ask The Strategist website on August 6, 2011.

About the Blogger: Kesi Stribling

Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist
Kesi Stribling, Editor, Ask The Strategist

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: ASK THE STRATEGIST is a blog that highlights information on business, entrepreneurship, careers and the workplace, health, community, and women. Any content or advice dispensed through Ask The Strategist is solely for informational and entertainment purposes. Never miss ASK THE STRATEGIST blog posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing. All content, unless otherwise noted, is the property of Ask the Strategist and its affiliates, and may not be re-published without express written permission from the Editor.