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Build a Strong Team Culture

As the saying goes, great managers are made, not born. They become great leaders by continually learning and growing and focusing on ways to improve themselves and their management style. Just as it’s important to learn how members of your team are unique and work the best, you need to hone in on your own skills and interests and what makes you uniquely valuable. In today’s blog, we focus on tailoring your approach to make your team feel valued which in turn will improve your company culture. We also discuss what you can be doing personally to inspire your team to achieve their personal best.

To build a strong team culture you need to make your team feel valued and learn how to manage people who are different then you are. It’s important to recognize that what makes one person feel valued will not work for another and to spend time learning what motivates each employee and apply methods unique to each individual. Just as some learn best visually, while others learn from listening, and others from doing, it’s important to tailor your approach to managing and motivating your team. You may have heard of the 5 different “love languages” and similarly there are different languages of appreciation in the workplace. Some people appreciate words of affirmation (such as praise for completing a project) while others like acts of service (such as helping an employee finish a task that’s keeping them from going home to their family). If you lead a large team, and aren’t able to specialize incentives to each individual, think about having various incentive programs for employees. Have the work team volunteer for a worthy cause, have reward trip incentives, praise your team verbally for their accomplishments, etc. Employing a one size fits all approach to management and motivation doesn’t work.

When thinking about inspiring your team and building a strong team culture it’s also important to look within and what you are doing each day to lead by example. Are you focused on your own personal growth and career development? Are you continually learning and expanding? In today’s day and age, information and tools on career growth is at your fingertips and there are so many various experts and teachers you can learn from. Sometimes something as simple as a listening to a podcast or audiobook on your commute to and from work can be a source of inspiration and knowledge. Think about what things you can do in your day to day life to be a more effective boss. Are there books you could read? How about attending a webinar or training event on a subject you can improve upon? Doing these things will not only improve your career but will lead you to be a better manager and help the career development of your team. Once you have implemented new changes personally, you can also share your knowledge with your team and lead them to their personal best.

Build a Strong Team Culture

Questions to ask if you’re considering switching career fields

A lot of us have been there. Working our current job and wondering what it would be like to work in a completely different field. Perhaps it’s a career you’ve always dreamed about but you felt obligated to go into the field you currently are in, or it’s simply something you “fell into”. Regardless, there is this small voice in your head (and on somedays perhaps it’s shouting) for you to change course. In today’s blog we look at the questions to ask yourself if you are considering changing career fields and what steps you can take to start moving in that direction.

Why do you want to change fields?
First it’s important to distinguish the difference between being unhappy at work with wanting to change careers. If you’re going through a more stressful time at work where you are under extreme pressure and are having disagreements with your manager it’s probably that you want a way out of your current circumstances and not really a complete career overhaul.  Be honest with yourself and don’t make any rash decisions. We suggest writing out a list of what you don’t like about your job as well as what you do like. This will help you see what type of work environment you thrive in, why it is that you’re thinking of changing roles, and what is important to you should you decide that you want change course in your career. It might even put things into perspective and help you realize that you actually like the field you are in, just not necessarily that particular job.

What’s important to you outside of work?
When thinking about changing careers, people are often given the advice to “do what they love” because as the saying goes, “Do what you love and you'll never work a day”. While that’s a beautiful sentiment and perhaps something to strive for, it’s also important to take into account where you are in your life and what lifestyle you have outside of work. For instance, if you are a parent perhaps a better work life balance is important to you right now. Or if you’re someone who loves to travel, having a good amount of paid time off each year is important. In addition, it’s important to think about how your decision will impact others. Perhaps you’re financially supporting your family. It just might not be realistic to completely change careers where you would likely have to start at the ground level while learning and could take a financial pay cut. Take these factors into account when thinking about changing careers and ensure it allows you to live the life you want, not just at work, but also outside of work.

What other skills do you have?
If you’ve thought long and hard about it and had discussions with those that the career change will impact and still decide you’d like to pursue a new career you need to think about what skills you currently have that will help you enter into the new field. You may need to consider further education and training in order to transition into a new career. Do you have the financial means to make that happen? It may be something you need to save up for and staying in your current role may be necessary until you’ve built up savings to help provide a financial runway to make the transition.

We hope these suggestions are helpful to those considering a career change. Before making the jump, it’s important to be honest with yourself as to why you want to change course, make sure those impacted are on the same page, and have the means in place before putting in your notice.

Questions to ask if you’re considering switching career fields

Should you accept a lower-level job when returning to workforce after an extended break?

Coming back to the workforce after an extended break isn’t without its challenges. In fact, we wrote a blog with our tips to make the process a little less daunting. Some of our top suggestions included updating your LinkedIn profile, brushing up on your professional skills, joining networking groups/leadership conferences, and working with a staffing agency such at SNI Companies. For the purpose of today’s blog though we are going to look at another common dilemma: when re-entering the workforce should you accept a lower level position?

The question of whether or not it’s ok to take a position that is below where you were when you left is a common one. Your own concerns about a diminished or outdated skill set, a gap in your mastery of technology over time or changes in the market that you may or may not be aware of can easily give you the sense that you are operating from a position of weakness. Similarly, hiring managers may have concerns that the same person who is considering a pay cut may be overqualified for the role and would leave once they got a foot in the door.

We recommend viewing your starting position as a way of re-entering the workforce. You’ll want to make sure the career and salary make sense and are fair, but also don’t get hung up on the job title or whether or not the money is in line with where you were previously. Instead ask yourself: What is the next career move? Are there growth opportunities at the company you are interviewing at? Have they hired others previously who were re-entering the workforce and how has that gone? Readjusting to the corporate world can also pose its own challenges, especially if you have a family, and are now juggling priorities at home while trying to re-engage professionally. Considering taking a less stressful positon than you had before leaving the workforce, even if it pays less, may be a good way to adjust to your new schedule and commitments on both fronts.

In conclusion, taking a lesser position in the short term may seem like a step back but in the long run can help you reach your career goals and maintain a healthy balance. Depending on the length of your break, you may need to take a slightly less demanding role and brush up on your skills before you advance your career and get overly focused on compensation. Don’t let this discourage or deter you, it’s merely a step in the right direction.

Should you accept a lower-level job when returning to workforce after an extended break?