Posts Tagged ‘ success ’

Win a copy of Young Professional’s Guide to Success. Comment on, tweet about or blog about blog posts posted from Dec. 15 to Dec. 21 to gain points to win. Read the contest rules here. I have three copies to give away!

boss chairMurphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” I’d like to add this is especially true of meetings.

Today, I helped pitch a magazine design to a company. The meeting started an hour late due to many problems. Ironically, we all knew better that to trust technology.

First, the laptop had trouble connecting to the big screen. Neither the wired or wireless internet would work and our presentation was stored online. A group member went to her car and brought in her external hard drive. Since she has a Mac, it didn’t work with the PC laptop. Back to square one, another member tried to save the presentation on another computer to her flash drive. The presentation was too big. At this point, we moved to another meeting room, where the Internet works, and saved the presentation on another laptop. But, the computer did not open Microsoft 2007 Finally, we’re able to present and it went great.

This presentation was a great lesson for young professionals. For my next big presentation, here’s how I plan to prepare for these technological issues:

  1. Arrive earlier to set up. If needed, tell the client you would like to arrive a little earlier to set up the projector and computer, if needed.
  2. Have the presentation in a variety of forms. Mac and PC files don’t always play well together. Also, consider the fact that some people cannot open Microsoft 2007 and Internet access is not always guaranteed.
  3. Prepare plan B….and C and D. If your flash drive doesn’t work, what will you do? If you e-mail yourself the presentation, how will you get it if your mail server is down? If the electricity goes out, how will you continue your pitch? Preparation is key and for my next presentation, I’d like to save my files on my flash drive, e-mail and a CD. As a last resort, paper copies of the slides also would do.

What do you suggest a young professional do before a big presentation?

For more tips on being a successful young professional, check out this interview by the author of the book “Young Professional’s Guide to Success.”

Win a copy of Young Professional’s Guide to Success. Comment on, tweet about or blog about blog posts posted from today to Dec. 21 to gain points to win. Read the contest rules here. I have three copies to give away!

ScrabbleRyan Kohnen, author of Young Professional’s Guide to Success, compiled advice and stories from CEOs, executives and community leaders for his book. Here is an interview with Ryan, who has donated three copies of his book to give away on this blog.

Is there a trait or attitude you see repeating in the stories that led these people to success?

There are two major traits I saw with these executives and leaders. First, they experienced as much as they could within every role they had. They threw the job description out the window and did whatever their superiors said to do AND more. Far too often, young professionals get asked to do things that they may feel are beneath them or not part of their job description. These were the opportunities that these CEOs and leaders used to differentiate themselves. The worst thing you could ever say is, “It’s not part of my job description.” Not only did these leaders willfully do these small jobs outside of their scope, but they embraced the experience and found learning opportunities in them.

Secondly, these executives and leaders were always extremely prepared. I’m not talking about the big events, such as an annual performance review. I’m talking about EVERY little event. For example, if your boss says you have a meeting in four hours, but does not say what it is regarding, anticipate what it could be about. Show up prepared on a variety of topics and issues. Sometimes you may not guess properly, but sometimes you’ll be more prepared than anyone else.

How can young professionals help set themselves up for success?

Among the other items discussed, I would encourage all young professionals to practice and engage in more face-to-face communication. I’ve noticed our generation is much weaker at face-to-face conversation and communications. The importance of communication, relationship building and public speaking skills is of utmost importance when you are in major leadership role. Go to lunch with your friends instead of texting. Go to a business luncheon and TRY to ask more questions and learn from people as opposed to talking or sitting their quietly. Instead of sending that email, call the person. Ninety percent of most communication between young professionals is through technology. Try to get that to 80 percent and when you’ve hit 80 percent, go for 70 percent and so on.

You refer to Generation Y as “Generation A.D.D.” Why is this and how can millennial overcome stereotypes?

A lot of the stereotypes about our attention spans, communication style and approach to work and life, are true! Yes, I’m part of Generation A.D.D. – and I embrace these things. I have grown up with the Internet, text messaging, video games and extreme stimulation from all angles. I don’t think its about overcoming stereotypes.  It’s about showing the value in our different way of doing things and thinking.

What is the biggest mistake young professionals make?

I would go back to the biggest opportunity young professionals have – experience everything! Young professionals sometimes have a bit of “Entitlement Disorder,” where they feel like they don’t have to do certain things or are “above” performing certain duties and tasks. A lot of us are ready for the next challenge or opportunity before we are actually given the opportunity. This is probably the biggest weakness of our generation. We need to slow down and embrace some of these other opportunities and find the value in it.

madWhen I was in junior high, I received death threats from two girls. It stemmed from petty jealousy issues. After I was named editor of the school newspaper during my senior year, I overheard catty comments and my Jeep got keyed.

Although people mature some in college and in the workforce, I’ve noticed the issues of dislike, contempt and jealousy continuously. After recently discussing it with another friend who has experienced the issue, I wanted to post on it.

“Understand that sometimes no matter what you do, you will be unfairly labeled. As long as you assert yourself fairly and honestly, don’t worry about being called names.”

(Source: Anita Bruzzese’s blog, 45 Things and her recent post about gender communication and the book, Taking the Leap)

I’m an introvert. I love discussing ideas, but I need time to myself as well. Unfortunately, some people have taken my quietness as being as sign as something else. I might be percieved as withdrawn, uncooperative, aloof or unmotivated. Through the grapevine, I’ve heard a lot of the things I’ve been called. It always gets around and eventually the message gets back to me. It’s always something petty and catty.

Here’s my opinion for others who have experienced this:

You don’t have to be liked by everyone, especially those with petty reasons for disliking you. Be true to who you are, work hard and strive for success.

The hard part about this is that public relations is such a relationship-driven field. Many young professionals faced with similar situations wonder what they can do to improve, or at least neutralize, the situation.

What do you do when you’re dealing with a petty/catty person?

  • Don’t stress over being liked by this person. In the scheme of things, it’s probably not that big of a deal.
  • It is impossible to make everyone happy, so just be civil and respectful.
  • Don’t let other people’s opinions dictate your actions. Do what is right for you.
  • Be confident in your skills if you know you rock at them. But, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”
  • Be honest with who you are and what you want.

About

Rachel M. Esterline works in public relations and marketing communications. Her blog, ExPRessions, contains her musings about PR, marketing, career and professional development, Gen Y issues, personal branding and more. Rachel also does freelance consulting and writing. She is originally from Genesee, Mich., and will graduate from Central Michigan University in May 2010.