August 16, 2018


InBusiness Magazine Features Spectrum Brands’ Own

This month’s In Business magazine features Spectrum Brands’ own Patty Glines-Kotecki and her appearance at Madison’s CultureCon event. CultureCon is a two-day event “on a mission to impact the workplace by connecting humans to spread positive change around organizational culture.” Glines-Kotecki led a breakout session and shared her thoughts on managing change in the workplace.

“Patty Glines-Kotecki’s title with Spectrum Brands is Organizational Effectiveness Leader, but she’s a social scientist at heart. As such, she likens the 15,000-employee organization she works for to a laboratory.

During the recent CultureCon event at the Madison Concourse Hotel, she spoke on building a change-adept culture and, in so doing, offered lessons from a change manager. Her basic message is an oft-repeated one: change is inevitable. Are you ready to manage it, especially as it becomes more and more complex?

Another part of her message is that while change is inevitable, well-managed change is not. She offers a simple model for change management that is heavily dependent on continuous learning for managers, which might meet with more resistance than the actual change itself, and she offers ways to do battle with the inevitable barriers to change.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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August 14, 2018


Why You Should Tell Everyone You Lost Your Job

You got laid off. The last thing you want to do is shout it from the rooftops. You’re hurt and stressed out no doubt. But seriously, it’s time to push your feelings aside and tell everyone–and I mean everyone–that you lost your job. Huh?

Let’s be honest: if you’re unemployed, you need help. And your network can give that to you. Friends, family, and strangers that you meet at industry events or connect with online are all potential job leads. When it comes down to it, you’ll probably be surprised how many people want to help.

Don’t turn down any opportunities. And treat them with the same professional manner in which you would treat a job interview. Come up with a bit of a revised elevator pitch that focuses on what you want to do next. Briefly mention the fact that you got laid off, but then move on to bigger and better things.

What do you miss about your old position that you’d like to pursue in a new position? What don’t you miss that may inspire you to pursue a different path? Are you taking a class or reading a book that is expanding your potential? Create a story surrounding your journey, one that will inspire others to help you. And remember the golden rule: be sure to return the favor in the future.

Image via hedera.baltica/Flickr.


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August 9, 2018


How to Reenergize Yourself

We focus a lot of managing our time, but what about managing our energy? It’s no secret that you’re more productive during certain parts of the day. And that burning the wick at both ends affects your productivity–and your happiness. Here are a few ways you can manage your energy during the work week, and use your energy to your advantage:

  • Pay attention: When are you naturally most productive? If the answer is early in the morning, schedule your most important task for the day at that time. Save email checking or meetings for later in the day.
  • Get up earlier: This may sound counterintuitive at first. But having plenty of time in the morning can lead to a more restful day. An earlier wake up call might mean you have time to do something majorly beneficial such as working out, eating a healthy breakfast, making a lunch to-go, or spending some time with your family.
  • Reassess your (negative) habits: If you’re feeling burned out at the end of each day, get down to the root of the problem and make a change. Do you stay up too late watching TV? Do you depend too heavily on caffeine? Do you eat an unhealthy lunch or sugary snacks every afternoon?

These small changes can not only make you feel better, but can make you more productive. That means more time do the things you love, which is energizing in itself. And who doesn’t want that?

Image via Shawn Carpenter/Flickr. 

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August 7, 2018


Three Magic Tips to Help You Get Stuff Done

Is your to-do list growing instead of shrinking? Don’t you wish you could just make it *poof!* disappear? The reality is that we’ll never reach the bottom of our list–there will always be something else calling for our time. But surely your to-dos include a few items that have been holding space on your list for weeks, months, or even years. If you’re hoping to tackle those unavoidable big ticket items, there are a few strategies you can take to get stuff done:

  1. Break it down: Cut your to-do item in half, or even in thirds. Outline smaller steps that will help you reach the final goal. Pencil in a specific day and time for each step. Heck, you can even ask for help along the way. Don’t be above admitting when you need assistance.
  2. Clear your schedule: Something has been nagging at you for months? But you’ve been avoiding it at all costs? It’s probably because you knew it would take a lot of time. So commit one entire day to the task. When your mind can be completely focused on the task at hand, it will make it seem less overwhelming.
  3. Re-prioritize your list: We spend a majority of our time on urgent but unimportant tasks, like checking email. These kinds of tasks are easier to accomplish and make us feel like we made a dent in our list. Instead, tackle the items that will make the biggest impact in your life.

Image via ThaQeLa/Flickr.

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August 2, 2018


How to Get Back on the (Career) Wagon

Missed out on a promotion? Didn’t land that job opportunity? Got laid off? It’s easy to feel angry, as if you were treated unfairly, that you’re unlucky, or like you’re not good enough. But letting your inner critic send you into a spiral of shame is completely unproductive. What can you do? Exactly. That’s exactly the question you need to ask yourself.

When things don’t go your way, there is only one thing you can do: focus on the things you can control. You can update your resume. You can apply for another job. You can ask for feedback. You can do your best until the next opportunity arises. What new goals can you pursue?

Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, focus on your strengths. Instead of focusing on what you did wrong, focus on what you did right. And what you’ve done right throughout your entire career. Surely this isn’t the first time you’ve had a setback. How did you overcome it last time?

The sooner you snap out of your negative mindset and shift into a positive one, the faster you can get back on track. You’ve got this!

Image via Angry Idol/Flickr. 

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July 31, 2018


How to Find Time for Vacation…Even When You Can’t

Wouldn’t we all love to take a two week break to recharge every year? From lounging on the beach for the ultimate relaxation or bouncing around Asia for the ultimate adventure, let’s face it: a vacation is a luxury. Not only in money spent but in time spent. So what is one to do when an extended vacation is a pipe dream but you need a break?

  • Take off a day mid-week: A random Wednesday off can work wonders for the soul. Make it a “me day” where you hit up the spa, the gym, the beach or wherever else you find most relaxing and rejuvenating.
  • Take off a Friday or a Monday: Give yourself a long weekend every so often. You’ll instantly feel like you’re on holiday when you know you have an extra 24 hours to yourself this week. Be sure to schedule something fun or relaxing so you’re not just tackling your to-do list.
  • Take a staycation: Not only are staycations more affordable (no flight!) but they can also be less stressful. (No airport! No lines! No crowds!) Ever feel like you needed a vacation from your vacation? That won’t happen this time around.
  • Take a weekend trip: You don’t need a whole week to get out of town and recharge. There are plenty of “48 hours in…” articles that show how you can experience a destination in a short amount of time. Pick a location within a three hour direct flight of your hometown and go explore!

Image via Chris Goldberg/Flickr.

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July 26, 2018


Recent Study Warns Summer Interns: Don’t Act Entitled

Hoping to land a job offer after your summer internship? It’s no secret that you’re a newbie and you’re there to learn. But while interns can get an occasional free pass thanks to their student status, you still need to be on your best behavior. In fact, many will say that an internship is simply an extended job interview.

There are more than a few deal breakers that you need to avoid during your three-month stint. A recent study by Korn Ferry, a global consulting firm, found the number one performance deal breaker: entitlement. Thirty-seven percent of professionals surveyed were turned off by an intern who acted entitled. Other deal breakers (in order of most to least) included a bad cultural fit, not understanding the company, and showing up to work late or leaving early.

In contrast, about 2/3 of the professions were turned on by an intern with passion. Passion was the top attribute employers looked for in an intern–even over performance. There’s more good news: 99% of the professionals surveyed said they’d hire an intern who performs well. So keep that in mind and put your best foot forward every day on the job.

Read more about the study here.

Image via C YL/Flickr. 

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July 24, 2018


What To Do the Morning of Your Interview

You wake up knowing today’s the big day. How do you feel? The morning before an interview can be tense. You may be nervous or unsure of yourself, overly excited or totally intimidated. But there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure a smooth interview just hours before it happens.

  1. Eat.
    A well-balanced breakfast will keep your blood sugar stable. Don’t choose this morning to skip it, even though you may be feeling rushed or not as hungry as usual. Try a banana and yogurt or oatmeal with berries.
  2. Work out.
    Get the nerves out by breaking a sweat. If you don’t have time to squeeze in a full-blown workout, try a 15 minute walk around the block. Even a short burst of movement can help you calm down and find clarity.
  3. Talk.
    Have your partner ask you a few generic interview questions or just talk out loud to yourself as you get ready. Speaking out loud will help you dust off those pipes and get your brain in the right mindset.

Image via Susanne Nilsson/Flickr.

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July 19, 2018


What To Do When You Need More Direction

No one likes feeling stupid. But sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we are completely, well, lost. It may be a project we’ve been tasked with, a meeting we’re feeling unprepared for, or a new initiative we’ve been asked to join.

Instead of wasting time stressing out and making no progress on your own, ask for help–sooner rather than later! There’s a brief window of opportunity where you can ask for clarity without feeling silly. Don’t wait too long or your boss will wonder why you’ve been wasting time in the dark.

Here are some questions to ask when you find yourself in this situation:

  • What’s the overarching goal?
  • Can we set up a meeting to talk through the details?
  • Is this what you were thinking?
  • Where do you see this going?
  • Can I have more clarity on this?
  • Mind giving me a little more direction?
  • Does this sound like I’m on the right path?
  • Can you share an example?
  • What first step would you take?
  • What do you think about this?
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July 17, 2018


The Power of “Yet”

Throughout your career, it’s easy to feel down. You may be longing for a promotion, or a raise, or a chance to work on a great project. Perhaps you are hoping to switch careers or switch companies. Or maybe you want to become more productive or more outgoing or a better communicator.

While these thoughts are running through your head, there’s one key word that can change your mindset: “yet.” Seth Godin covers “the danger of ‘not good enough’” in a recent blog post. In summary, we’re capable of a lot more…if we try.

Here are some ways to apply this philosophy to any negative thoughts you are having:

  • I can’t imagine giving a speech like that in front of the whole company…yet.
  • My boss won’t consider me for that promotion…yet.
  • I won’t get asked to be a part of that project…yet.
  • I’m not qualified to get a job like that…yet.
  • I’m unable to demand that kind of salary…yet.

“Yet” leads to possibilities. But the work doesn’t stop there. Changing your mindset is one step, and taking action is the next. Now’s the time to map out those possibilities and the steps you can take to get there. You feel better already, right?

Image via Image Catalog/Flickr.

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