Tagged: job promotions

Practice These Behaviors To Be Ready For A Promotion

Nine Behaviors of Highly Promotable People

Gloria was a thirty-something member of the wait staff at a local restaurant.  She had experience gained while in college and was now picking up extra money on the early morning shift.

It wasn’t long before she was asked to become shift manager which was timely when her “day job” had been eliminated.  Within six months Gloria was working the busiest shifts, managing the other wait staff and substituting for the general manager as needed.

Here are the behaviors that made Gloria valuable.

She treated the restaurant as her own business, paying attention to the bottom line and her opportunities to add to it. She didn’t wait to be asked to do something but jumped in when she saw a job that needed doing; she also offered to help others when they were slammed with customers.

Gloria also listened to the customers, getting feed back on service, menu items and preferences.  By watching food production and service, Gloria learned to identify when a miscue was about to produce a delay in prep or timely service.  She was able to divert difficulties before they became bigger snafus.

Gloria’s flexibility led directly to the smooth running of the front of the house in harmony with the rhythms of the kitchen.

Solid employees bring positive energy to the job.  Their commitment to the success of the business distinguishes them from clock-in-and-get-a-paycheck Janes and Joes and elevates them to highly-promotable status.


90 Minute Blocks Make Time Tracking a No-Brainer

So, you’re wondering why I posted an article on time tracking.  you’d be amazed by the number of people who can’t tell you what they do all day.  Really.  In most circumstances it may not matter, but when you are about to have your annual review or ask for a raise, you need to be able to talk about how you use your time on the clock.

Time tracking is doubly important when you are considering changing jobs or career.  Time tracking is valuable for identifying skills and quantifying accomplishments.  Here’s the article you’ll find helpful.

How Tracking What I Do Every Day Helped Me Find Better Work-Life Balance

Melanie Pinola

Melanie Pinola
6/12/15 8:00am

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who enjoy tracking what they do with their time all day, and the rest of us, who’d rather watch paint dry. I used to be in the latter group…until I discovered I was doing it all wrong.

This is a big deal for me, as someone who hates even thinking about time. (Seriously, do not talk to me about time travel movies.) I’d rather dive into a project, work uninterrupted by the outside world, and somehow emerge from that stupor with something done. I know that’s not the reality for many workplaces, though, or even feasible with a flexible work schedule. The danger of this ignore-time approach is working too much and burning out—things I tend to brush up against often.

I’ve tried many time tracking apps before, but even the simplest ones felt like torture to me. Even automatic time tracking tool RescueTime, which can provide a ton of insights into your productivity, didn’t do anything for me, perhaps because it only tracks time on the computer, and I crave a more holistic view—not just of how productive I am while at the keyboard, but how well I’m using my time in general. I thought I just a hopeless cause when it came to time tracking and time management.
That all changed for me about five months ago when I started using a productivity planner called the Passion Planner. I got it primarily to help me write out my goals and break them down into tasks over the year. Surprisingly, it’s helped me start and enjoy time tracking.

How I Track My Time in the Planner

To be fair, any kind of weekly or daily planner would’ve worked. This one has a large two-page spread for each week, with each day divided by the half-hour. It’s meant for appointments and events and other scheduling, but my days are boringly event-free. (I’d rather have events on a digital calendar anyway.) Instead of using the space to block out time in the future, I decided to start jotting down what I did after every major task. And because I am a nerd, I invested in some pleasantly colored highlighters and Japanese planner stickers to color code and fancy up my days.

I try to work in focused (usually 90 minute) blocks of time. After each block, or before I take a break, I write down what I did and highlight it according to my categories (work, home/family, exercise/life maintenance, side work, creative projects, and friends/outings). That’s it. While this is neither an original nor clever concept, this method of tracking actually works for me, and has for months, when previous attempts failed miserably.

It works for me because:

It’s quick and simple. I just keep the planner open on my desk and it takes a second to write down the task. As easy as many time tracking apps are, they require too many steps to add a block of time in the past or future.
It’s tactile. As silly as it sounds, there’s a small but subtle pleasure reward in using the highlighter or even adding a sticker to the page. (I’m stingy with stickers, though.)
It’s colorful. Again, it’s the small things. On the days when I’ve forgotten or been too busy to keep up the log, those blank white columns are a sad reprimand. It’s like nothing happened at all those days, even though I know something must have, so I’m motivated to keep tracking.
It’s actually enjoyable, something I’d never thought I’d say about keeping tabs on every half hour of every day.
How Time Tracking Improves My Daily Life

Most importantly, time tracking has helped me think more clearly about how I spend my time. I can see at a glance where I’m spending too much time in one area and not enough in others and also find patterns in my behavior.

For example, I had a freelance project that I estimated should’ve only taken 2.5 hours, but in my weekly review I saw large green squares scattered across that week (reflecting back, I didn’t have the tools from the client I needed to get that project done as quickly as it should have been done). I’ve also been brutally honest with myself recording the days I got little sleep due to sleep procrastination and found that the days following required longer work sessions and more breaks. (You know it’s bad when you’re taking a nap at 8:30 in the morning. Forcing myself to write these things down, though, helps prevent myself from doing it too often.)

The system also keeps me accountable and focused. Knowing that I’ll have to account for each block of time, I’m less likely to pick up my Nintendo 3DS in the middle of the day for a break—especially since my time tracking has told me these breaks are rarely quick. I don’t jump around between different types of tasks as much either (20 minutes here, 10 minutes there), because it’s better to have tasks done in large chunks of time. And when I look at past weeks and don’t see enough blue (family), pink (friends and outings), or purple (creative projects) blocks, I make more of an effort to get those colors in. (Also, as an introvert, when I see too many pink blocks I know I need to balance with more alone time.)

When I first started doing this months ago, the weeks looked mostly covered in orange (work), with some other colors. These days, there’s much more variety in the areas of my life I’m spending my time. Even though time tracking can end up hurting your productivity if you’re tracking time just for the sake of it and not actually getting stuff done, I’ve found this simple method has helped me make better decisions about time—without having to think about it too much.

Your Resume is a Quintuple-Duty Doc

Today is a great day to bring your resume up to date and 5 practical uses for this important document.

1.  Handing your supervisor your up-dated resume when you have your annual  performance review is a great way to get the ball rolling.  She will be able to see at a glance how well you have accomplished the goals you set for yourself at your last review.  Putting your achievements on a resume makes it clear that you value your work and expect others to do so.
2. Congratulations! You’ve just completed a big project or landed a valuable client for your firm so maybe a salary bump is in order.  Take  your resume with you when you have the appointment to ask for a raise.  A resume will back up your request by quantifying your contributions to the bottom line.
3. A position above yours or in another department has opened up, one that you are qualified for.  If you are going to compete for the promotion, you will need a resume that demonstrates your ability to perform the tasks in the job description.  Re-wrtie your resume so that it reflects the traits and experiences that are looked for in filling the position.
4. Updating your resume frequently allows you to think about what you do daily, weekly or occasionally.  You’d be amazed by the number of people who can’t tell you what they do all day because they’ve never thought about it.  How many customers do you service?  How many projects do you handle at one time?  Do you integrate work with other departments or companies?  How have you increased the bottom line?  What efficiencies have you incorporated in your work?  What do you co-workers say about you?  Updating your resume forces you to think, quantify and organize work related data.
5. You never know when opportunity will show up so be prepared to be the first to up-load your resume, one tailored to your objective.  First and foremost, your resume represents you to people you haven’t yet met so keep yours current and handy!