(Re) Starting Your Career #3 – Volunteer

When I’ve been asked for career advice, whether somebody is stuck or just starting, there are a couple of things I always recommend, including keeping up your professional relationships, and learning to speak coherently in front of a group of people

At some point you’re going to need to put your learning into practise. Not many jobs will allow you the daily practise of doing your job and preparing for the next one. Unless you’re very lucky, have a great boss, and the ideal situation. In which case why are you wasting your time reading blogs? Don’t you have better things to do?

Volunteering meets your needs. It allows you to network. It allows you to practise leadership, teamwork, negotiation, public speaking. You’ll get training you wouldn’t get otherwise. And last but not least  it’s good for the soul.

Personally I had a great time being a Scout Leader. I have a great time volunteering for PMI. Both together led me to the business consulting I know and love today.

So find something that helps you give back to your community or the world, and if it helps you become a better person, then it’s win / win for you and the world.

Bernie works with small, medium (and sometimes) large companies, start-ups, and volunteer organizations to help them set a vision that is executable, effective, and to surround themselves with people who will help them succeed. I believe the workplace is a place to thrive, not just survive. Call me if you want help transforming your business. 

(Re) Starting Your Career #2 – Learn to Speak

Going to school doesn’t teach you to balance your cheque book (does anybody still balance cheque books?). The point being there are other things you need to learn to have a successful career / life than what they teach you in school. Like making  and keeping professional relationships (networking), volunteering, and that thing that . . .

What Most People Hate

Some people say they would rather die than speak in front of a group of people? If you’re one of those people it’s not funny. I had one project coordinator working for me who actively avoided having to get up in front of a group. Which is fine, but it held her back. She could have been a good project manager, but presenting to your bosses is a part of having a leadership role. She was never taken seriously because she never lost her “worker bee” label.

Public speaking not something you need to do be world-class at, but it helps if you can speak coherently in front of a room of your peers, make your point, or even persuade.

On Being Competent

Being nervous doing something badly for the first time  is natural. Doing something important badly the first time is avoidable. With practice and feedback you can get better at public speaking (or whatever skill you’re trying to acquire).

So get yourself down to a Toastmasters meeting, or find other opportunities to practise (debate club – do they still have debate club?), and get better at it, before you need it.

And remember, you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be a little better than your competition.

Bernie works with small, medium (and sometimes) large companies, start-ups, and volunteer organizations to help them set a vision that is executable, effective, and to surround themselves with people who will help them succeed. I believe the workplace is a place to thrive, not just survive. Call me if you want help transforming your business.