January 10, 2019

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How to Add a Bit of Personality to Your LinkedIn Profile

These days, applying to job applications online and networking via LinkedIn can make the whole job search experience feel cold. How can one truly connect human-to-human if all we’re doing is clicking and reading? It’s possible, and the effort it takes is well worth your time. Not only will you stand out from the rest, but you’ll leave people wanting more… which means they’ll just have to meet you in person!

  1. Your profile photo. Look at the camera directly as if you’re staring confidently into the eyes of someone you just met for the first time. It’s ok to smile, laugh, and show a bit of personality with a colorful top, an interesting background, or an outdoors setting. If possible, ask a friend with a high quality camera to capture a well-lit shot. Quick photo tip: avoid direct mid-day sun that creates harsh shadows.
  2. Your writing style. If you met someone for the first time, would you talk about your background in the third person? Write using the first person, using words like “I” and “my,” in a conversational and friendly tone. Pretend you’re sitting in a job interview. What would you want the interviewer to know about you?
  3. Your personal life. Weave in a few interesting bits of information about yourself. Whether it’s a sentence at the end of your bio that gives a glimpse into who you are after work or a fun fact dropped within a position description, this information will help people connect with you on a human level. Make them want to meet you.

Image via @rawpixel/Unsplash. 

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January 8, 2019

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What’s More Important: Experience, Education, or Network?

Ask ten different people this question and you’ll likely get ten different answers. That’s because education, experience, and your network are all valuable assets to everyone’s career success. But are they weighted equally? That’s what’s up for debate.

According to the 70-20-10 model, which was created in the 1980s by three researchers, the “optimal sources of learning” can be broken down as such: 70% from your work experiences, 20% from your “interactions with others”, and 10% from your formal education. So day-to-day hands-on learning by far is the best way to improve your skills and therefore up your career potential.

But don’t dismiss interacting with others. That includes anything from networking to career mentors to insight from coworkers. We can always learn a lot from others. Anyone who’s looking to grow in their careers and progress in their field should be dedicating time to this pursuit.

When it comes to professional development, just 10 percent should be coming from formal training and education. It turns out we just tend to retain information better from hands-on learning on the job. It makes sense because we tend to get feedback–both good and bad–which means we can learn even more and drastically improve our skills. Not bad!

How do you think these three variables have affected your career success? Comment below!

Image via Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash.

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January 4, 2019

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Do You Manage Yourself?

Maybe you’re a manager. Or maybe you’re managed by someone else. But have you really considering how you manage yourself? Say what?

Sure, there’s likely someone you report into who is guiding your career in some shape or form. That person may be giving you an annual review or keeping track of your weekly or monthly goals. However, truly successful people don’t let others take the reins–they manage themselves.

It’s up to you to manage your day-to-day schedule from your wake-up call to your bedtime. It’s up to you to consider how you will best get your work done today, this week, and this month. And it’s up to you to take a look at your career trajectory and decide which step is next.

So, how would you say you’re doing? Are you a good manager? Give yourself the same amount of respect and attention that you believe you deserve from someone else. These not-urgent-but-important tasks like learning new skills, getting your life organized, and prioritizing your goals easily get pushed to the wayside. But a good manager carves out time for the things that will yield big results. So what are you waiting for?

Image via Laurenz Kleinheider/Unsplash.

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January 2, 2019

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Forget the To-Do List. Get More Productive with This Trick.

You know those not-urgent-but-super-important tasks on your to-do list? They likely have sat on your to-do list for, well, an eternity. They’re constantly overshadowed by the urgent-but-not-important tasks as well as whatever easy tasks can get crossed off quickly. Because when we cross things off our to-do lists, well, we feel productive! Yet somehow we’re still behind on life and not achieving our goals. What gives?

Perhaps the issue is the time-old to-do list. Maybe it just doesn’t work the way we want it to, at least that’s what the Harvard Business Review suggests. But thankfully they have a solution, and it’s called time-boxing. It’s essentially migrating your to-do list to your calendar. You calculate how much time you need for a task and then you schedule it into your calendar. Hour by hour. Box by box. Day by day. Week by week.

There are a lot of reasons why this practice will make you more productive. For one, you’ll have a record of your time (no more “Where did the time go?” excuse!). When you plan ahead like this, there’s little chance of majorly missing a big deadline. And we all know that we tend to drag out work to fit within the time that is available to us instead of the time we really need. (Which can be both good and bad!) Giving yourself a limit and a restraint can help you stay focused and dedicate the proper amount of time to our projects.

Interested in learning more? Read about time boxing at the Harvard Business Review.

Image via @rawpixel.

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December 28, 2018

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How to Get Organized at Work in the New Year

Looking to be more productive and less stressed in the new year? Take an afternoon to get organized–for real–at work. Clearing the clutter will not only help you look like you’re more in control. You’ll also feel more in control. And you’ll work more efficiently because of it.

  1. Get rid of it. The first step in getting organized is to simplify. Clear out the obvious clutter but go one step beyond that. When it comes to various office supplies and unimportant files, if you haven’t used it in a year get rid of it. Make this step a part of your monthly routine.
  2. Find a place for everything. The idea is that when everything has a perfect place, you’ll be able to put it back in that place every time. No more mess! And no more time spent stressing out about where things need to go. Instead, come up with a system that works for you and that you can realistically and easily follow.
  3. Don’t forget the digital stuff. Clear your desktop of the clutter. It’s okay to keep a current project folder or two in plain sight, but file away the rest. And be strategic about how you name your files as well as what you put inside of each one.
  4. Do the end-of-the-night clean-up. Before you leave the office, spend just five minutes tidying up both your digital and physical space. Your future self will thank you tomorrow morning.

Image via Mary Cullen/Flickr.

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December 26, 2018

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Spectrum Brands 2018 Year in Review!

2018 was a great year for Spectrum Brands. But we wouldn’t be where we are without our wonderful employees! Here are just some of their amazing highlights from the past 12 months:

  • Our employees got active during Bike to Work Week and Global Running Day, especially at our World HQ in Middleton, which is located steps away from a bike path.
  • Our employees put others first over the holidays, and we couldn’t be prouder about the way they choose to spend their time.
  • Our employees win awards. Tammy Chaffee Tecklenberg earned an All-Star Award for her work as VP, Global Sales and Marketing Operations at Global Auto Care.
  • Our employees give back. Our nationwide day of service was a huge success this year with employees helping their communities in WI, OH, VA, CA, MO, TX, FL, and CT.
  • Our employees take the world by storm. We can’t believe that Olympic Gold Medalist and curling hero Matt Hamilton is one of our own.
  • Our employees speak out! Patty Glines-Kotecki, our Organizational Effectiveness Leader, often speaks as an expert in her field.
  • Our employees get promoted. We’re proud to announce that Randy Lewis is our new SVP and COO. Congrats, Randy!
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December 20, 2018

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15 Motivational Quotes About Taking Charge of Your Career

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” — Sir Edmund Hillary

“Do or do not. There is no try.”  —  Yoda

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  —  Henry Ford

“Nothing will work unless you do.” — Maya Angelou

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” — Arthur Ashe

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”  —  Chris Grosser

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” — George Addair

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”  —  Alice Walker

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” — Dr. Robert Anthony

“Fortune does favor the bold and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.” ― Sheryl Sandberg,

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” — John Maxwell

Image via Ruin Raider/Flickr.

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December 13, 2018

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Why You Should Visualize Your Worst Nightmare

Have you incorporated visualization into your career goals? Another word for visualization is “positive thinking.” And it’s true that focusing on the best possible scenario can assist you in actually making that goal a reality. But there’s another side to the coin: failure. Luckily, visualization can still help.

If you’re scared of failing at something, imagine the worst possible scenario–and how you would react to it. How would you feel? And more importantly, what exact steps would you take to climb out of the mess? It’s probably not as bad as you think.

Productivity expert Tim Ferriss calls it “fear-setting.” He claims it’s the “most powerful exercise” he does each month. In Ferriss’s case, he realized that his worst nightmare was really only going to temporarily impact his life on a scale of 3 or 4. But if things went well, his life would be permanently changed to a 9 or 10.

When you visualize the worst case scenario and compare that to the best case scenario, it might help you take a leap of faith. You may become a more “risky” person, but you can feel confident knowing the risk is worth it–and possibly minimal at best. This exercise can be applied to smaller every day decisions or big life changes. Seriously imagine: what’s the worst that could happen?

Image via Matt Reinbold/Flickr. 

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December 11, 2018

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15 Career Quotes to Motivate You in 2019

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” ― Sheryl Sandberg

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  ― Michael Jordan

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ― William James

You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ― Stephen Covey

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Confucius

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” ― Oprah Winfrey

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ― Milton Berle

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” ― Steve Jobs 

The future depends on what you do today.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”― Elon Musk

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ― Sheryl Sandberg

Whatever you are, be a good one.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” ― Vince Lombardi

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”― Dalai Lama

Image via Mish Sukharev/Flickr.

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