Category Archives: Bad Behavior

(MO)tivator or (N0)tivator: You Represent?

baby wolf by Jose Inesta
baby wolf by Jose Inesta

Too often we game ourselves into believing work performance and attitude tell the story of MOtivation… unfortunately, many are fooling themselves by representing NOtivation to all but themselves.

Several key words/terms in the above sentence need to be unpacked before the looking glass:

  • Tell the story: This refers to the message of your behavior as defined by your supervisor, co-workers, and customers being served. Truth is, don’t matter what you believe to be truth, others define every step you take, every move you make, and every breath you take (yes, they will be watching you).
  • Motivation: Do the actions and messages you perform represent enthusiasm? Wondering how enthusiasm is displayed? Here’s a quick tutorial: desiring to learn (and do) more than minimum job responsibilities and expressing a good attitude. Supervisors and co-workers notice those who are willing and wanting to grow with the company; willing and wanting to take on new challenges; willing and wanting to represent.
  • NOtivation: Does the mere thought of getting to work cause cramps or undue anxiety? Truth is, the vast majority of employees are not satisfied with their employment situation. Tall-tell signs of being a NOtivator include being late, performing the bare minimum (just enough to get by), rarely assisting others though you are caught up and able to do so, navigating the Internet or your personal phone during business hours, declining cross-training opportunities, holding a “not my job” attitude, and watching the clock with quivering anticipation. Naturally these are just a few of the obvious signs for the NOtivator as there are many more.

After reading the above, if your reaction was “who cares,” congratulations, you are swimming with the majority of folks out there and boxed yourself in as a NOtivator. How long do you tread?

Ever wonder why you keep getting ignored when it comes to job promotions or pay increases?

For the record: Promotions and pay increases are not a right, they are a privilege; a privilege rarely earned (or given) to the NOtivators in the world.

Take an objective look in the mirror. Reflect on what the person looking back sees… not just the surface, but the actions and attitudes behind and beyond the blind.

If you dare, imagine what the customers experience when you assist their needs. Imagine what your co-workers define and if respect has been earned. Imagine if you were your supervisor or owner of the company… would you give the person looking back a promotion or pay increase? If so, why? If not, why not?

Looking glass moment: through the eyes of the customer and company, what do your ACTIONS represent?

One of the most difficult (and bravest yet rewarding) things in life is self-examination. Truth is, until you see who that person looking back really is, you’ll reside behind a sheath of disillusion preventing progression and personal/professional happiness.

I won’t ask the question again… for now.

Seeking employment insight and career collateral, visit www.edu-cs.com or if you are seeking material designed for those transitioning out of prison, check out www.CareerBreakOut.com and consider the most powerful book that will change your life: Walls, Bars, and Razor Wire… You Choose.”

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
dhuffman@edu-cs.com 321-972-8919
Education Career Services: http://www.edu-cs.com
Career Break Out: http://www.CareerBreakOut.com

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Promise Without Practice

Over the past month we’ve been accompanying David and his journey after being terminated from Chity College. Today, we are taking a turn onto a subject itching to get the rub.

DSC_0004Throughout my years as a career coach, college instructor, business owner, and employee, I’ve had the pleasure to hear excuses justifying poor behavior. Truth is, when it comes to one’s personal and professional life, promises are meaningless unless partnered by practice.

Before scratching your head, let me share what most have heard and many have used: “I get paid XX amount of money per hour and that is all I will give them, no more.”

If you’ve stated the above, reflect to your initial interview when you accepted “XX amount of money” to perform a job. Is your acceptance of a job at a specific rate of pay a promise with or without compromise?

To say it is with compromise is to say I will work at a pace “I believe” is equal to the amount of pay being returned for my labor. In other words, I will work half-ass because I am getting paid half-ass.

To say it is without compromise is to say “I agree” with my promise and will work 100% at all times. After all, I agreed to the rate and the employer agreed to my labor.

Focusing on your career, what are the consequences of promising without practice and what (if any) the advantages of practicing what you promise?

If You Promise But Do NOT Practice: Don’t second guess yourself, your supervisor knows…

  • Job dissatisfaction increases (latest statistics suggest over 70% of employees are not satisfied with their work—are you?)
  • First out the door (not talking about end of shift out the door, I’m talking about the first to fall prey to downsizing… if you wonder why, you need two doses of reality)
  • Limited promotions and positive recognitions (wonder why the other guy (or gal) is getting the promotion and increased compensation. Really?)

If You Practice What You Promise:

  • Recognition and rewards finding their way to you are enhanced
  • Job satisfaction increases as the constant inner complaining voice no longer haunts or drags the day
  • Your value as an employee magnifies through cross-training, team building, and attitude

When I moved to Orlando, many years ago, I responded to a job posting with a starting hourly rate of $8.65. Given my education and professional background, I was surprised to earn an interview. During the interview I was once again informed of the entry-level pay. I accepted the position, promising to practice without compromise or complaint.

Six months after hire, I was managing the department, two years later I earned the title “Vice President of Operations.” Not bragging, just supporting the concept that those who do not compromise their work ethics or performance are subject to positive reinforcements.

When it comes to character, what defines you personally and professionally? For a few moments, jot three promises you make consistently but fail to fulfill. Once completed, take a look at the proverbial mirror and scribe the many ways you justify not practicing what you promise. Don’t fool yourself, we all fail fulfillment, that’s being human.

If you are entering the employment scene for the first time or are a seasoned professional and desire promotional considerations, I suggest practicing what you promise. If you are not committing yourself completely even though you agreed upon the rate of pay, rethink that strategy.

Next time you find yourself making excuses to milk the clock, do a half-ass job, or pretend to perform, recognize the mirror reflects two ways.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? For those at a career disadvantage, take control by taking advantage of one of our most popular guides and learn ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support or contact me at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com

Want or Need… What does it matter?

March 2011 050In the midst of this Quarter, many try to abide in their resolutions by expressing to themselves and others of their optimistic future.  Truth is, many resolutions are broken due to lack of confidence in oneself, by not making a commitment to one’s own priorities in an adjusted manner, or by splurging on wants, while ignoring the needs.

If you stumble, don’t give up… You are not alone.  We live in a fast-based world in which many of us waste valuable time not “listening” to ourselves along with not creating our own specific financial goals.  This is where the power of picturing comes to play.

It’s essential to set financial goals because visualizing gives us something to strive for.  Creating goals in the form of images gives focus and a sense of nobility.  Additionally, developing clear pictures create a realistic spending plan and will assists in obtaining financial success.

Having a sense of self-discipline gives us the boost that which is needed into making our dream goals our own reality.  Motivation gives us the push that we all need everyday so that we become that much closer to our own success.

Truth is: The need for persistence and optimism is essential to reach full potential.  Motivation is important in financial success because it drives our dreams while providing guidance each day.

There are multiple benefits when one organizes our lives in a way that promotes financial goal success.  There are many ways in this can be done, though analyzing ones priorities makes it easier and minimize stress each day.  Though, many rely upon a budget to safeguard their ways of staying on track with finances, you need to find a system that works best for you.

Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time to get things completed or enough time to enjoy the world in which we live.  Having a managed financial budget guides time management more effectively, offering you a clearer path goal attainment.

With a proper analysis, you will also be able to differentiate between what is needed versus what is wanted.  The things that we need should be the top priority of keeping our finances in check. Keeping the value of what we need pulls us closer to having the financial success via waste control.

Truth is, want or need… it does matter. After all, once we recognize the wants in our life are taking away from the things we need in our life, the world opens up.

Your CC Connection
Dawn French

The Promotion WAS Mine!

DSC_0169So… you were so sure you were the next one in line for that promotion. Feeling confident, you began dreaming of a new life until you sense pinching fingers. Upon waking up you were told the chosen one was NOT you. Difficult to digest, to say the least.

The good news is that you CAN get through this. Let’s take a look at “twenty tips” to get you through a promotional disappointment:

  1. The first day you find out. Calm down to begin with, you CANNOT change what happened.
  2. Abstain from speaking to anyone right away or at least think twice about what you are going to say… who you are kidding!!! Think five times before you speak to anyone at your workplace.
  3. Go to the restroom and wash your face with cold water, time to get the bad mood off your face.
  4. Don’t behave resentfully.
  5. Don’t shelter or focus on negative thoughts. This may be the perfect time to take a quick break, walking off the negativity.
  6. It is expected your co-workers will ask and it is ok to say “This is disappointing” “I really wanted it.”
  7. Remember people won’t mind knowing you are disappointed. What everyone will mind is the endless whining about the rejected promotion. This makes you look BAD.
  8. GO HOME and scream to the top of your lungs how much you wanted this, or speak to your other half or whomever you tell your things too (preferably no one from your workplace) and spill it out, talk about till you can talk no more.
  9. Truth is, you will not be able to focus on an action plan YET, therefore DISTRACT yourself with a positive outlet.
  10. Go to the gym and run, run, run till you drop for the next few weeks to clear your mind.
  11. Ok… a few weeks have passed and everyone forgot about it and you should feel a bit better about it. LET’S MAKE AN ACTION PLAN!
  12. Do a vision board! It’s fun and can re-ignite focus by placing yourself in the future. Career roadmaps are a proven method of getting back on track.
  13. Ask yourself why do you want a promotion? Take for example, more pay, different responsibilities (more challenge), or a new career
  14. Learn the goals of those who have a decision making role in your career.
  15. Ask questions about the goals of the company but DON’T ask questions on “what are you doing for me.”
  16. Focus in the future and PLAN on making things better.
  17. See any career stumbling blocks as a learning opportunity.
  18. Request a meeting with your manager and ask for a review. What can you improve on? Learn your weakness and strength on the job.
  19. Start focusing on the things you need to improve on and TAKE ACTION.
  20. “The brick wall is not there for you, is there for the ones who don’t want it” (Pausch, Randly 2007)

Believe in yourself! Good luck… I am confident the next one is yours.

Career disappointments are never easy. Unfortunately we have all experienced the wrong side of either not getting that promotion or not given the opportunity to prove ourselves. You are not alone… so get over it and get on with life.

Truth is, now is the time to refocus and walk with confidence. With a professional plan in hand, the road to success may be just one or two steps away.

Azalia C. Arias
Your CC Connection

Why were you fired?

“You’re fired!”

DSC_0085These two words are probably the most dreaded and hardest of things to hear or experience during your career.  (Unless you have been lucky enough to never have been, then congratulations and well done Saint Whoever).

Good news: Being fired doesn’t mean you are a bad person, it just means that circumstance, or not so good choices were made and you had to face the consequences of such.

Unfortunately though, if you have been fired, you know full well that it can be quite devastating and such a knock to ones self-esteem, no matter the reason.  True enough, being fired can make one feel as if you committed a major felony no matter how trivial the reason.  Even harder yet is explaining the reason to a future employer, whether on an application or during an interview. On this note, getting fired can happen to ANYONE, as a friend of recently learned.

Sarah worked for a large corporation for a few years.  Hard worker, loyal and dependable, wore many hats and was able to take on any task given to her.  During a time of enormous downsizing, something awful happened.  One day Sarah forgot to clock out from lunch. On the following day she was called into the human resources manager’s office; in a matter of minutes, she was terminated.  Sarah was told that she “stole time” from the company.  This was what one could say, a definite “wow” moment for her.

Feeling stunned, devastated and hurt, she couldn’t believe that after all she had done for the employer they would do such a thing for something so petty.  Had she been a repeat offender then it would be understandable for their reasoning but this was not the case as the consequence of her action seemed quite harsh.

Reality check: It DOES happen, proving once again that we are all expendable.

After this incident she brushed herself off and searched for another job.  In the following interviews Sarah explained briefly what had happened to her, was honest and remained pleasant and upbeat.

Silver Lining: Sarah remained positive and was employed quite quickly and is happier now than she was before.

If fired, how does one go about tackling this dreaded question?  Of course like my dear friend, be honest but be tactful.  Everyone makes mistakes, even the best of the best have faltered along the way, knocking their halo a little off kilter.

One of the best ways to handle this question during an interview is to not be too detailed or defensive.  Keep your response to the point, positive, and then move on with the rest of the interview.  Though it may be difficult, do not be negative.  More often than not, the interviewer is looking at how you answer the question as opposed to why it happened, meaning your tone and attitude about the situation.  If there is a brief moment of silence, take the lead and subtly segue by asking a question of your own at this point.

To help you along the way, prepare yourself now by answering the following questions:

  • How…did you handle the situation after being fired?
  • How have you learned from it so as to not make the same mistake again?
  • How can you persuade your future employer to trust that you won’t make the same mistake again?
  • Did the experience prompt you into changing your career entirely?

No matter how hurtful the experience is to ones ego, often it is an opportunity presented to us that a career change may be for the best and more advantageous in the long run.  Looking back, think to yourself, were you really truly happy in that position?  As the saying goes, “One door closes, another door opens.”

One more thing, there are many other ways of saying you were “fired” without saying the dreaded “fired” word.  For example, “let go” or there was economic downsizing in the company and you were one of the ones downsized.  Or that you were laid off and then pursued other opportunities.

Don’t beat yourself up because of what has happened no matter how angry or upset you are.  Take this opportunity to start looking for another job, one that is more than likely going to be everything that you ever wanted, never stop striving for what you want in a job.

The sky’s the limit, so reach for the stars and shine on.

Wishing you nothing but the best,

Yolande Kennedy-Clark

Avoid Bad Goodbye’s

Thought this job would be different.”
What did I get myself into and how do I get out?”
The company culture’s not what I thought it would be.”

DSC_0143Truth is: Great career matches don’t always happen.

The interview went well. The company appeared to be consistent with career goals. The culture felt comfortable…

. and then the honeymoon stage suddenly crashes to a screeching end as testified by new tossing, turning, and teeth grinding that not-so subtly replaced peaceful slumber.

Maybe this job and company isn’t the match I thought it would be.”

Coming to the realization that your job is not what you thought it would be, there are options when it’s time to part ways. As a career coach, I’ve heard and seen them all (well, almost all).

Let’s examine a few farewell options and potential consequence(s):

  • Remain silent: Don’t bother showing up the next day; becoming invisible by hiding your phone and not responding to any form of communication. Simply stated, this is not a positive way to say (or not say) goodbye.

    I know it can appear to be the path of least resistance but there are potential consequences you should be aware of. For example, as you move from company to company, so do others and, as a result, paths may cross once again. Imagine going to a final interview and the decision-maker happens to be the same lady you walked out on. Need I say more?

  • Saunter the alleyway of dishonesty: Placing the burden of departure on a third party or out of control circumstance may seem appealing but can also be lined with rusty edges. With social networking and transparency, deceit has a way of catching up with the most noblest of causes. In many industries, clubs, associations, and networking events more often than not bring out the truth.

    Take for example what happened to me not too long ago… after two months of working remotely, one of my employees kept delaying projects, blaming a destroyed hard drive, a broken engagement, a medical condition, and Internet issues as the reason(s) for not delivering material. Needless to say, I later found out this employee accepted a job from another publishing company and has been on the clock for both companies during a four-month period. Knowing the manager at the other publishing company, we engaged in a chat… the young lady who had two jobs at once suddenly had no job at all.

  • Broken promises: Trying to mitigate the situation by promising to continue  on a project or return equipment without actually delivering is not in your best interest. Employers recognize matches don’t always happen and are well-prepared to such break ups. With this said, a deceitful separation can be the most damaging of all.

    Over the past few months I had to let go one of my employees. During the exit interview, he stated he would complete a committed project and would return borrowed equipment. Great, I thought, only the weeks passed and nothing thus far.

  • Honesty: The best policy is to respectfully discuss the parting; calmly and professionally explain to your immediate supervisor the cause(s) of dissatisfaction. For the vast majority this may be the most difficult as emotions have a tendency to get in the way of rational thought; after all, you just want to get out and never look back… right?

    Truth be told, employers admire employees expressing confidence and the guts to come forward. Though difficult for some, benefits far outweigh a few anxious moments leading up to the discussion. Even if you’ve been working for a short period, character and doing the right thing is a lifting trait. Over the past ten years I’ve had numerous employees (some under the probationary period while many with over five years of experience working for me) openly and respectfully discuss their parting intent and the reasons behind their desire.

    The benefit of up-front honesty allowed me the opportunity to fix the issue(s) and retain a possibly great employee… making it right for all. Another reason (and perhaps the most compelling for the departing employee) is the potential reference and networking opportunity. Within the past few years I’ve sent several past employees job leads and made numerous professional introductions…

    . when it comes to character, nothing could be more valuable for most positions.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you, to learn more about your company, and gain valuable insight. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the challenges and opportunities are something I can take advantage of right now…”

Saying goodbye can be a tricky proposition, filled with emotion, stress, anxiety, fear, and ultimate relief. Recognizing you are not the only party in the relationship, being open, respectful, and honest may be the best career move of your life. Hard to believe… but it’s true.

Career tip: Don’t have a bad goodbye. Do the right thing for all by controlling fear before fear controls your career.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? For those at a disadvantage, take control of your career by taking advantage of one of our most popular guides and learn ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

BlockBuster: An old-fashioned bait and switch

Armed by language manipulation and consumer not-knowing better, BlockBuster’s latest move crosses the line by adopting a marketing technique called “bait and switch.” Bait and switch, defined by www.investopedia.com refers to: “A dishonest marketing tactic in which a marketer advertises a very attractive price/rate/term that is really a teaser rate meant to attract customers. Once the customer comes into the store/office to inquire about the advertised price/rate (the bait), the advertiser will attempt to sell the customer a more expensive product (the switch).

Connecting the clearly laid out dots trailing this practice has been typically reserved for the mortgage industry. Oh how times have changed as greed bleeds across unsuspecting lines: Over the years BlockBuster has introduced trusting consumers within the movie/game rental business to the ugly workings of corporate gluttony.

Though today focuses on one avenue inducing deceit, mail-in exchange service, the concept of BlockBuster’s illegal activity is well documented (Goggle: BlockBuster bait and switch to become introduced to a wider view).

Not sure if you’ve fallen prey to commercial deception? Here’s what an Orlando BlockBuster customer is experiencing first hand. To eliminate confusion, we’ll go ahead and name him Zeke. Zeke and his family have been with BlockBuster since the beginning by joining in as mail-in/in store exchange client (three discs at a time). At a monthly price of $21.99 Zeke was sold on the concept of “unlimited rentals, free in-store disc exchanges, and an additional coupon for two free monthly releases.” Not a bad deal and, for close to a year, just long enough to attain a complacent consumer. For all practical purposes, all worked well.

After the first year, BlockBuster decided that two free in-store coupons was too good a deal and, as a result, sliced the deal to one without adjusting Zeke’s monthly bill.

Being content with the ability to watch between 20 and 25 movies a month without interruption, there was no cause for alarm. Within months Zeke noticed mailings began to stall; as opposed to receiving exchanges in a timely manner, movies crept back to his mailbox (on average) two days later than they should.

Consider this: The longer it takes, the fewer movies will be watched. The result, movie watching dipped from between 15 and 20 monthly… without a dip in BlockBusters monthly income.

Months passed while neighborhood BlockBuster stores closed and, before long, Zeke was forced to travel extended lengths to exchange movie rentals. Frustrated by increased travel time and gas, in July of 2012, Zeke made his first call to BlockBuster as the promise of “unlimited monthly movie rentals” was quietly jeopardized.

Issue resolved? Do you really need to ask?

Fast forwarding a few months, while at the Altamonte Springs Blockbuster January 18th, Zeke was informed the store would be closing in two days. Feeling abandoned and tricked by an unsympathetic and uncompromising corporation, Zeke checked his bill and, though not to his surprise, $21.99 remained.

Zeke then called BlockBuster and had the pleasure of speaking to their first line of defense:
Zeke: “There are no stores for movie exchanges, what is going on?”
* “Sorry for the inconvenience but we do have three stores in your area for exchange.
Zeke: “The closest store is 15 miles away, the second closest is over 25 miles, are you telling me I need to spend at least an hour out of my day and a gallon of gas?”
* “Sorry for the inconvenience, if that is too far you still have unlimited movie rentals by simply dropping movies off in the mail box.”
Zeke: “But sometimes it takes over a week for a mailing exchange. I was promised unlimited movies and two free movie coupons when I began with BlockBuster. Now I will be lucky to get 12 movies a month through the mail without a building to exchange and still pay $21.99 each month for less than half the movies I was promised. What will BlockBuster do about the promises?”
* “Again, sorry for the inconvenience but you still have unlimited movies and I can decrease your bill three dollars and take the in-store coupon away.”
Zeke: “So, what you’re telling me I will receive half of what was promised but get only a three dollar reduction? I want unlimited movies as was promised. Let me speak to your supervisor.”

Within 60 seconds a gentleman with a strong accent came to the line:
* “How may I help you?”
Zeke: “I want what was promised, unlimited movies. I would be satisfied if my mailing queue was increased from three to six. This would allow me to have movies without interruption.”
* “But you have unlimited movies. Once a movie is returned, you receive another.”
Zeke: “Unlimited movies mean no interruption. Do you understand what the term ‘unlimited is’ and what I am asking for?”
* “I understand your concern.”
Zeke: “Not asking if you understand my concern, I am asking if you understand what ‘unlimited’ means? What will BlockBuster do to fulfill original promises?”
* “I will send an email to the higher-ups.”
Zeke: “In order to fulfill the unlimited promise, I will need my queue to be increased to minimize mailing delays. Have your ‘higher-ups’ thought about the promises or is this another case of bait and switch?”
* “I cannot answer that. I will send an email to my higher-ups.”
Zeke: “Tell me, why would I pay more than two dollars per movie I might get a week from now as opposed to going to Redbox where the price is half and delivery is instant?”
* “I cannot answer.”
Zeke: “Know what, neither can I. I expect resolution by this Friday, two days from now. This will give your higher-ups time to resolve what must be a countrywide bait and switch complaint.”
* “Thank you.”

Bait and switch is not a reality when two parties agree to terms and, if there are changes, all parties are aware and agree. Unfortunately for most consumers, deceitful corporations change conditions without revising, disclosing, or resolving concerns.

BlockBuster altered conditions, ignored promises, offered no resolve, and allowed no compromise; can you say “bait and switch?”

Zeke has yet to hear from Blockbuster and is still paying $21.99 monthly… for now. There has been no queue increase and no movies supplied for the past four days… maybe Monday will surprise with a disc. Then again, perhaps “unlimited movies” means different things to different people. For example, BlockBuster’s definition of unlimited movies seem to mean the consumer is allowed to watch one movie a week as many times as he or she wants… now that’s well worth $21.99 each month.

If you have fell victim to unethical practices, let WONO know about your experience(s) so we can help others before they too are deceived.

Leaving bait and switch for the unscrupulous, I am

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Amazon: Search “Danny at ECS” for a complete offering
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com