Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Take the Lead: Tips for First Time Managers

You have your degree. You bring solid experience and expertise to the job. Now what? Management may be the next step in your career. This new role can be exciting and intimidating. The excitement of being a leader and putting your managerial skills to work is what you have been striving for but the unknown of what might be lurking around the corner can also be overwhelming. When asked about fears and concerns, first time managers have said that they worry about losing friends who were once peers but now they are direct reports. Others have worried about not being successful at their new role. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider this new chapter of your career.

You Are Not Alone. Identify other managers who you respect who can act as mentors. These mentors have been around the block, they have “been there, done that”. They can help side-step any landmines along the path to leadership. Set up an informational interview. This can be a mid-morning coffee break or lunch once or twice a week to explore strategies, discuss lessons learned and even set goals to help hone your skills. Joining professional associations can be another way to tap into other’s experiences.

Embrace feedback. It is important that your team trusts you and can depend on you to guide them. Active listening and genuine empathy can go a long way to instill and nurture that trust. Ask questions of your team and allow them to be honest with their answers.

Coach for Success. Do not wait for annual performance reviews to give feedback to your direct reports. Establish a consistent one-on-one meeting with each team member. This is a time for constructive criticism as well as praise. These meetings can be very productive to build trust and gain respect. This is an investment of time and energy but well worth it.

Strike a Balance. Managing processes and supervising employees takes time and energy. Not only are you responsible to make sure that the job is done well, on-time and within budget, but that your team is healthy and happy. Be careful not to spread yourself too thin. If you are too consumed by meetings and tweaking work processes, then you risk neglecting your team. If, on the other hand, you are too busy with your team, then you can risk having a mediocre work-product and shoddy performance. Track how you spend your time to see if there is a reasonable balance or a need to adjust accordingly.

Take Notes. One great way to record your lessons learned while on the job, as a first-time manager, is to keep a log or “Leadership Diary” of your daily experiences. This can be a fun way to reflect on your growth.

Visit the WGU Career & Professional Development website for additional professional development resources to assist in developing your managerial skill set. For personalized professional development tips or individual career assistance, contact your career advisor today! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Create a Public Resume in CareerBeam

Struggling to find time to make your next career move? Have employers contact you! A key feature of CareerBeam is the ability to make your resume visible to employers. As the WGU Career & Professional Development Center continues to build strategic relations with employers, more employers are utilizing CareerBeam to search for qualified candidates and post positions for WGU students and alumni.

Follow the steps below to create your public resume today!
  1. Review the brief Resumes 101 webinar for resume best practices.
  2. Select a Resume Type that aligns with your career goals. If necessary, you are able to reorder the resume sections so that the sections most relevant to your career goal are listed first. You will always lead your resume with a Professional Profile. Once the Create Resume button is selected and you are taken to the resume template, resume sections can be deleted that do not align with your experience and qualifications.
  3. Fill in each section. If you already have a strong resume, you can copy information from your current version into the resume builder. 
  4. Rename your resume by clicking on the green Rename hyperlink on the right-hand side of the page. The following name formatting is suggested: Last Name, First Initial. Industry Name Resume (McNally, L. IT Resume).
  5. Set your resume to Public. You can toggle between setting your resume to Private or Public. The default setting is Private. To change your profile to Public, click on the red Private button, select Make This Resume Public, and Save Settings.
  6. To make updates and edits to your resume, click the Edit button in the section you want to edit. Add new information or look to the right to edit information already included in your resume. 
  7. In addition to making your resume public in CareerBeam for registered employers to view, you can also download your resume in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format to share with other employers!
  8. For additional feedback to ensure a strong resume, download you resume as a Microsoft Word document and submit if for review to

Monday, May 8, 2017

May Celebrates Nurses All Over The Country

We celebrate nurses all over the country this month. You want to make sure and celebrate yourself as well! One way to start that celebration is to take some time to reflect on why you became a nurse and think about what you can do to continue developing in your profession.

Nurses tend to be a humble group. They do so much for so many people and add value that is incalculable in many ways. As with any profession, however, you can sometimes get stuck in the daily pressures of the job and lose sight of the reason why you became a nurse in the first place.

It is important to take time to reflect on the “Why?” of what you do. It can help you re-dedicate yourself to your profession if you have been in a rut or identify new areas for career progression and growth.

Complete the following exercise.

Write down why you are still in the profession. Take time to observe how you have grown and evolved over the years and then reflect on what that means to you. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
  •          Why did I decide to become a nurse?
  •          Where do I want to be in 5 years?
  •         Is my current job satisfying?
  •          What one thing could I do this year to positively impact my current work?
  •          What is one thing I could this year to begin moving into an advanced role?
  •          What are my strengths and how am I using those strengths in my career?
You may decide that you want to advance to the next level or maybe even try a different specialty. You might be surprised how taking time to reflect and then setting  goals based your observations can help re-energize you!

For more information on setting goals or developing professionally, please contact the Career & Professional Development Center. Happy Celebrating!