Financial Literacy - Careers
Lois Frankel
Women still lag in pay, business status

One of the things I tell my clients is that you need to spend about 5 percent of your work week building relationships.

That means that if you're the kind of person who just sits in your office all day and does your work and maybe gets up to eat lunch by yourself, you're not the person who's going to get noticed and promoted most likely.

So what you need to do is put on your Outlook calendar or some kind of reminder to yourself, to get up from your desk, go into somebody else's cubicle and have a casual conversation.

You have doorway conversations and if you're the shy type, once a week you have lunch with a different person.

q_v2.gifFor about the past 10 years, people have been talking about developing your brand. What does that mean, and how can it help in managing your career?

a_v2.gifEveryone has a personal brand, and that is what people say about us when we walk out of a room or when we give a presentation. Essentially what they say about us behind our backs -- that is our personal brand. And you can craft that brand.

When you think about brands, branding is important whether it's Kleenex or Coca-Cola or Xerox. We tend to like to buy brands that we know. We can rely on them.

You need to see yourself as having a brand that does those things as well. So you need to start building your brand by writing a sentence, 25 words or less. What is someone going to say about you when you walk out of a room or hang up a phone?

Typically you can start the sentence by something like, that's Sheyna, there goes a woman who ... Now what do you want people to say about you?

q_v2.gifWhat is the single most important thing someone can do to get ahead?

a_v2.gifWhat is the single most important thing -- it's to identify what am I not doing. Until you know what it is that you are not doing, you are not going to achieve your goals.

In another book I wrote, "Stop Sabotaging Your Career," based on my early work coaching people, I found that the No. 1 thing that holds people back is they over-rely on the messages that they were given in childhood about what it meant to either be successful or how you were supposed to behave.

Most often it's what was valued or prized. And we have to go back and find out what is the old message that we continue to believe will be the ticket to success, even though it doesn't work.

For instance, in the case of someone who says the most important thing is that you be nice: I worked with a very religious man whose family message was turn the other cheek. He was getting eaten alive at work and I said, "You need to stand up for yourself."

Not necessarily that he had to be like them, but stand up for himself.

To be successful, everyone must figure out what is the message that they are over-relying on that is not working, and learn complementary behaviors.


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