Posts tagged with ‘workplace expert’

26 jun

Corporate Dating Rule #1: This Is an Engagement, Not a Marriage

Kerrigan2So, you thought this would be about love in the workplace? Not really, except that the happy-ever-after in your career depends only on one relationship: the one you have with yourself.

I recently spoke with a college graduate who is beginning her job search. She wants to get a job in a prime-time newsroom because she hates change and thinks “newsrooms keep staff for years.”

What surprised me most is that anyone—especially a Gen Y—thinks they can marry a company anymore. Date? Yes. Be engaged for a while? Yes. Marry? No.

Let’s face it—today’s business world is fickle. Just think of your smart phone—the minute you fall in love with it, it’s altered completely or off the market. That’s how fast things change.

And that’s not a bad thing. Dating keeps you sharp and on your toes. There’s no time to get complacent or bored. And, it helps you become more grounded in your own abilities to adapt. And that’s the name of the game.

Make a commitment to yourself first and foremost. Develop your skills, stay current and connected, and bring your best to every company you date. That’s how to be more confident and successful in achieving your career goals.

Copyright 2013 Michelle Kerrigan

Michelle Kerrigan is an expert in workplace success who helps clients develop the practical skills they need to improve their confidence and performance. Michelle also writes and speaks on the impact self esteem has on success, and is currently producing and hosting a series for public TV, called Workplace Confidence. More at www.workplaceconfidence.com and www.michellekerriganinc.com

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Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on June 26th, 2013 in Career, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , ,

12 mar

Workplace Confidence: The Perfection Addiction

MichelleKerriganFrom 1976-1986, I was the sole copy editor for every piece of printed product for Columbia Records. We’re talking album covers, inner sleeves, cassettes, 8-tracks (yes, I said 8-tracks), record labels—you name it. I worked for artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan and Tony Bennett.

This was a time before digital production, when we worked with manuscripts, typesetting, mechanical boards and film—all mostly manual, labor intensive and very, very expensive.

At that time, one mistake by me could cost the company millions in reprint costs. It could also cost me my job. I made it a point to never make mistakes. What a pressure it was to always be dead-on accurate. This was one place where perfectionism really counted, because the costs were so high.

Perfectionism has its place, but it can get out of hand and affect everything you do.

When the digital revolution happened in the music business, having technology at our fingertips made it much easier for perfection addiction to spread. First, art directors finessed their designs to the nth degree. Sometimes, we had to literally pry the projects out of their hands as we rushed past deadline dates. Then, the label heads got into the act, and more excruciating tweaking began.

Here’s the double-edged sword: The wonderful thing about technology is that you can make changes easily. The terrible thing about technology is that you can make changes easily.

When we are addicted to perfection, we tend to over-think, over-analyze and over-finesse just about everything. We exhaust ourselves. We’re always looking for that solid armor of security that blocks any criticism. When we spend too much time perfecting one thing, other tasks that need our attention suffer. Then we begin to feel overwhelmed and depressed.

We get a limited amount of energy every day—just so many hours. My advice is to be very selective about which projects you want to refine to perfection. Avoid being counterproductive by being a stickler about everything.

Some ways to kick the perfectionism habit:

Focus: begin with the end in mind. Envision the big picture—what’s the true value of the project you’re working on? Does it merit all the extra hours of striving for perfection?

Set a timer: a deadline can be a wonderful thing.

Step away: taking a breather can often give you a fresh perspective.

Collaborate: getting input from a colleague whom you respect may give you a whole other viewpoint (and may silence your inner critic).

Put up a stop sign: Know when enough is enough. Perfectionists always tend to over-deliver. “It’s not good enough” is definitely something many of us have learned somewhere along the way. (Maybe a parent who always expected A’s.)

You don’t have to hit a bull’s eye every time. No one does.

Even when you think you haven’t hit the bull’s eye, often others will think you have. I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought I’ve done a so-so job, and have received more praise than I ever expected. We already have too much work now, and there’s more ahead of us.

Giving yourself permission to be imperfect is giving yourself permission to be human. And that’s a great thing. We’re all vulnerable in one way or another, and it’s at these moments that people relate to us. And that’s better than perfect—that’s life.

Copyright 2013 Michelle Kerrigan. All Rights Reserved.

For over 25 years, Michelle Kerrigan has been helping businesses and private clients surpass goals and achieve success by developing the practical skills they need to improve their workplace confidence, performance and productivity. Michelle also writes, speaks, and is currently working on a series for public TV about workplace confidence. More at www.workplaceconfidence.com and www.MichelleKerriganInc.com.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Michelle Kerrigan on March 12th, 2013 in Career, Global/Social Change | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,