Ok, so... January is almost over and you are struggling with continuing to get in shape and pay off the holiday credit. (You're in good company! I'm right there with you!) Have you taken a few moments to figure out how to make yourself a better candidate for a new job opportunity in 2014?

Whether or not you are currently employed, take a moment to think about self improvement. What did you do in 2013 in order to make yourself more valuable to the company you work for, your manager, or your future employer?

Many people expect that they have the right to be promoted/hired while doing nothing out of the ordinary. Those individuals getting promoted are doing quite a bit out of the ordinary of their everyday job. Some ideas may be:

-Take a class in your field. Better, enroll towards a higher level degree than what you currently have! In my years of recruiting, I have never heard someone being passed over on a promotion for having too much education. It's never too late, and there are many online courses to assist older students with families and careers in completing collegiate degrees.

-Start a blog. Get intricately familiar with your subject of choice! Your writing and communication skills are sure to improve! Talk to them. Maybe even help them too! You can start a local networking event if you know enough people from various industries.

-Get involved in your community. Becoming a more well-rounded person makes you a better employee.

-Most importantly, make sure your attendance is impeccable! Nobody likes a pilot who cancels at 3 am before a flight! Stay until the job gets done. Put in 100%, consistently, every day.

Let's set the bar higher for 2014! No more mediocrity. Let's show the world how it's done and all get promoted!!!
The 4th of July has people blowing up stuff. In honor of that, let’s blow up some myths that many managers still hold near and dear! 

Myth #1: It is productive to encourage employees by downplaying their accomplishments.

Everyone likes to hear that they are doing something right. Rather than motivating by downplaying what they have yet to accomplish, share some positive encouragement of what the team is doing well. They will be more invested and happier with the management style and more enthusiastic about reaching their outcomes.

Myth #2: Employees don’t need praise or raises. They should be grateful they have a job.

I heard this recently, and my first thought was: “I am employable!” Why the hell would you ever say this to someone, especially someone you want to keep on your team?

Myth #3: Conference calls are great ways to bring our team together from various locations.

Conference calls should be a 10 minute get-to-the-point way of notifying your team of a few key pieces of information. Otherwise, your team is making shopping lists or checking out new bags on Coach’s website. Just saying…

Myth #4: Everyone loves a PTO commando!

I earned my PTO. And I am going to take my PTO, or a sick day if I am sick. Being a PTO commando is like telling someone that they cannot use their health insurance or 401K.

Myth #5: Micromanagement keeps employees focused.

Micromanagement is only necessary for your weakest employees (those who are in training and those who are dead weight and really should be replaced.) Competent employees will be proud to share their latest accomplishments with you as a manager, and do not need to be ridden like a horse! Let them do their job and they will happily complete their tasks well.