Blog

Successful Professionals: How to Improve Your Communication

 

Strong communication skills are necessary for career success. Because every job requires human interaction, the more easily you facilitate communication with others, the more efficient and effective your work will be. This is why developing your communication skills should be one of your top priorities.

Implement these five tips to improve your workplace communication.

1. Pay Attention to Communication Styles 

Knowing how others tend to communicate helps you effectively facilitate conversations. For instance, passive communicators typically act indifferent or agreeable to keep the peace. Aggressive communicators often freely express their emotions and can be intimidating. Passive-aggressive communicators may appear aloof when they are upset or annoyed. Assertive communicators usually are considerate and express themselves in a clear, direct manner. Careful observation of others’ verbal and nonverbal communication can help you adapt your own style to build a foundation for mutual understanding.

2. Actively Listen

Pay close attention to what others are saying. Ask clarifying questions to show interest and understanding. This builds respect for the people you communicate with and facilitates collaboration.

3. Show Empathy

Demonstrate a shared understanding of others’ emotions. Showing you can relate to how someone feels helps you more effectively communicate with them. You can determine an appropriate approach and exhibit the proper feelings toward what they are talking about.

4. Be Persuasive

Convincing others to complete a desired action or behave in a certain way is important. It can lead to increased productivity and help achieve a goal. The stronger your ability to influence others’ attitudes and behaviors, the stronger your impact within the organization.

5. Practice Public Speaking

Increase the effectiveness of your presentations by repeatedly practicing them. For instance, begin each talk with something that immediately engages your audience and holds their interest. Also, use notes to guide your presentations. Additionally, maintain eye contact with your audience. Plus, project your voice and pace your discussion so the information is easy to process. Further, use visual aids and end on a strong note to leave a lasting impression.

Looking for a New IT Role?

RightStone has a variety of IT roles that fit your skills, experience, and interests. Visit our job board today.


How to Create a Career Development Plan

Managing your IT career helps maximize your happiness and success. Because you invest so much of your adult life by working, you want to make the most of your time. Having a plan helps you set milestones and accomplish your professional goals.

Use these tips to develop a plan for your IT career.

Start with Your Current Role

Think about where you are now. For instance, make a list of your skills, strengths, and experience. Also, include what you enjoy doing most, what gives you energy, and what keeps you motivated. Additionally, focus on whether you prefer leading, collaborating, or working independently. Plus, consider whether you have finished your education or would like additional certifications or degrees.

Include Your Destination

Figure out where you want your career to lead. For instance, think about what you want to be doing in 5 to 10 years. Then, focus on where you want to be in shorter increments. Also, decide whether you will be with the same employer in a more senior role, at another company, or in an entirely new career. Be sure your goals align with what motivates you the most.

Analyze Your Gaps

Use your career goals for the next 2 to 5 years to find postings for the type of job you want. See whether you have the education, skills, experience, and requirements for each role. Next, rate your list of education, skills, and experience against the job requirements. Use 1 to indicate no match between yourself and the requirement and 5 to indicate an excellent match. The lower the rating, the more time and energy you will need to invest in improvement. Then, group together the common skills and experiences you have a solid background in and those that require additional development. This shows the type of education, skills, and experience you should focus on.

Develop Your Career Plan

Use your list of the education, skills, and experience you need to develop to create your career goals for the next few years. Start by creating tasks related to each item and how you will achieve it. For instance, if you want to learn specific software, you could ask a colleague to show you or take a class. Then, organize a timeline for a logical direction in which to reach your goals. Begin with the short-term tasks you can quickly achieve, such as reading a book, before moving to the long-term goals, such as earning a master’s degree. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Give yourself start and end dates with milestones in between.

Measure Your Progress

Hold yourself accountable for making progress toward your goals. For instance, keep track of how your results align with your deadlines. Also, find ways to get back on course when needed. Additionally, revise your deadlines accordingly. Plus, celebrate your successes along the way.

Advance Your IT Career

Move forward in your IT career with help from RightStone. Visit our job board today.


5 Tips to Get Yourself Organized at Work

If you struggle to stay organized at the office, know that you are not alone. Many employees have this challenge. Fortunately, there are simple ways to overcome this obstacle.

Choose among these five ways to stay organized at the office.

1. Declutter Your Workspace

Keep only what you need in your work area. Maintaining adequate space helps you focus and be productive. For instance, move, discard, or donate what you do not need or regularly use. Also, make it a habit to keep things where they belong unless they are being used. Plus, clean up your desk before you leave for the day.

2. Maintain Your Inbox

Check your email three times a day: morning, afternoon, and before you leave work for the day. Maintain folders for urgent, important, informational, or other types of messages. Be sure to respond as needed or delete when appropriate. Also, unsubscribe to the newsletters and other emails you lack the time or interest to go through. Plus, when possible, use the phone or a chat app to convey information rather than send an email. Then, you will receive fewer emails in response.

3. Avoid Multitasking

Focus on completing one activity at a time. This results in increased efficiency and accuracy. When you try to accomplish more than one thing at a time, the brain has trouble switching among tasks. This makes it harder to concentrate and make decisions, which reduces the quality of work.

4. Take Breaks

Step away from your desk at regular times throughout the day. Use these breaks to take a walk, read a book, or meditate. Also, use your lunch hour to fuel your body with healthy foods and talk with coworkers in the breakroom. You should return to your desk refreshed and focused.

5. Plan Your Week

At the end of each workweek, plan what you want to accomplish the following week. For instance, keep a broad overview of your meetings and the tasks you need to handle or delegate. Use this information to plan each workday the night before. Include the activities you want to finish and the times you will work on them.

Find a New IT Job

When the time comes to find a new IT role, include RightStone in your search. Follow this link to our job board.


You Didn’t Get Hired – Now What Do You Do?

You spotted the job post of your dreams. You thought “That’s it. That’s the role I’ve been waiting for.” So, you applied and got that first call back. After weeks of screenings, interviews, and the final interview, you find out you didn’t get the job.

Rejection stings at any point of the process. But rejection is also an opportunity. So when you’re ready, follow these next steps to make your next interview a success.

Say Thank You for the Opportunity

It’s not the letter you hoped or expected to write, but it’s important none-the-less. 

Saying “thank you” is always a smart move. First, it’s mature and it acknowledges what happened. Second, it leaves a good impression with the employer, which is good news in case the chosen candidate doesn’t work out or you decide to apply again in the future.

Either way, it’s nice to be nice. So, your first order of business is to accept the decision gracefully.

Keep It Positive

Finding out a company passed on you hurts, even if you half-expected it. While the desire to wallow is natural, you need to remember that making it through the interview process means you did succeed.

By making it through the process, you proved you were a qualified candidate. You wrote a great resume or cover letter, and the hiring manager agreed. You then made it through the interview process, which is no small feat.

Ask for Feeback

With a positive mindset, it’s time to seek out a new opportunity. The best way to do that is through feedback.

It’s important to remember that the reasoning behind the decision could be a monumental issue or a tiny, almost imperceivable difference. Sometimes you don’t get passed on for any reason other than a gut feeling. 

Your feedback doesn’t need to cover why you didn’t get the job. Instead, you should focus on getting information on your perceived strengths and weaknesses. Where did you do well? Were there any stumbling blocks?

Sometimes, feedback gives you closure, or the feedback will help you find a new path forward.

Are you on the hunt for your next big opportunity? RightStone is placing qualified consultants like you with excellent employers. Get in touch to learn about the RightStone 360 process and see a list of current jobs.


Stepping Up for the Challenge – How to Ask for More Responsibility at Work

You have a set of responsibilities associated with your role. They may ebb and flow throughout the year, but you know them well and find you can achieve them comfortably.

Getting too comfortable can lead to boredom and complacency. But you don’t need a new job to avoid feeling stuck. You can ask for more responsibility to create new challenges.

How do you ask your boss for more responsibility at work? Keep reading for a short guide.

Look for Opportunities

“I’d like more responsibility around here.” It’s what you’re thinking, but that statement won’t win you any favors. Managers aren’t in a rush to delegate new tasks because delegation takes work, especially training.

So rather than asking for more work or opportunities generally, identify those opportunities for yourself and ask for them. Can you see things within your wheelhouse that your manager is stuck doing? Even better, are there action points that you could take ownership of that would add value to current projects or even the business?

There’s almost always room to scale. Once you find the opportunities that could grow your career, it’s time to figure out how you’ll do them.

Create a Plan

Before you present your chosen option to your boss, you’ll need to flesh out the idea.

How will you get the extra work done? Where will you pick up the skills? How much will it cost? What value will it add? Where will the spare time come from?

You’ll also need to demonstrate the stability of your current workload. No one is going to give you extra tasks if you can’t manage what you have already.

Pitch It the Right Way

With your goals identified and a plan in place, it’s time to pitch.

As with anything, context is key, and timing is everything. Don’t pick a particularly stressful time to make the ask — even if it might add value.

When you pitch, help them envision what the goal will do for them. Share the impact of the results’ impact and provide them with milestones and performance measurements to track them.

If they can see the value off the bat, they’re more likely to tell you to run with it.

Use Responsibilities to Create New Opportunities

You don’t need to feel stuck in your role. If you’re ready for more, all you need to do is ask — just make sure you have a plan before you do it.

Are you looking for a new role with new responsibilities? RightStone is placing qualified IT candidates in challenging positions right now. Find the list of currently available jobs on our website.

 


  • 6029 Belt Line Rd, Suite 260, Dallas, TX 75254
  • 972-895-2555
Military Spouse Employment Partnership Forbes America's Best Temporary Staffing Firms 2020