I know, it’s been a while since my last blog post…but I’ve been busy with a new job.
So here is something to keep you entertained until my next post — A shameless plug for my favorite entertainment in Columbus, Ohio. If you live in Columbus and haven’t been to one of their shows, check out their website to see a list of performances.
For a sneak peek at past performances, check out this playlist.
This is a skit from their recent show, Reckless.
Until next time…
I recently drove by a group of protesters picketing Walmart. Their signs, “Corporate greed,” and “Exploiting employees,” caught my eye. I’ve seen similar protesters in the news, but this was the first time I saw them in person at the Walmart in my neighborhood.
I shop at Walmart for many things, mainly because their prices are lower than other stores, for staples such as deodorant, toothpaste and cosmetics, for example. Every time I enter Walmart, a nice man greets me. The employees are helpful, and never once have I encountered a disgruntled-looking employee. Nobody looked like they were being forced to work there against their will. I highly suspect that most of the protesters don’t work for, or have ever worked for Walmart.
Minimum wage is a political football tossed about by politicians around election time. But there is something missing in this debate: The discussion about how to move from a minimum wage job to a higher-paying job. How to avoid staying in a minimum-wage job your entire life. This is the real problem that needs to be solved by individuals, not corporations.
Minimum-wage jobs are entry-level jobs. Although I’ve worked in several minimum wage jobs throughout high school and college, I never thought I would be doing this type of work forever. I wanted something better for myself and my career. It took me a while to get there; and I know from experience that you typically don’t start out in your career making a huge salary. Minimum wage was not intended to sustain you through a career.
6 tips for taking charge of your career
If you are unhappy working in a minimum-wage job, take responsibility for your career and do something about it. Here are a few tips for those who believe they are “victims” of exploitation by businesses.
1. Stay in school. It’s a known fact that most high school dropouts have a harder time finding jobs, let alone advancing in their careers.
2. Take advantage of opportunities to learn new skills. The Internet has made it incredibly easy to learn anything you want to learn. Knowledge is power. And just because you already have a college degree, doesn’t mean you should stop learning. The world is your oyster!
3. Volunteer to do extra work above and beyond your job description. Showing superiors your willingness to take on additional responsibilities will set you apart from your peers when it comes time for that promotion or raise.
4. Network. Thinking of changing careers? Reach out to those who are already working in your desired profession. Meet for coffee and pick their brain on the benefits, pros, and cons of working in that particular field. People love to talk about their jobs and offer advice, and the only thing it will cost you is a cup of coffee. The insights you’ll gain and the new contacts you’ll make are priceless.
5. If you can afford it, go back to school. Education is expensive, but many companies offer some type of tuition assistance. If you’re already working for a company that offers this benefit, take advantage of it. Jobs will come and go, but the one thing you can never lose is your education.
6. Plan ahead. Job security is not guaranteed. Have a backup plan before you lose your job, so you won’t have to start from square one when it happens. Do some research on the job market. Figure out what you want to do — what you like doing — and create a strategy to get there. What’s great about living in the U.S. is that there are endless opportunities to move ahead in your career — the only requirement is self-motivation and hard work.
Minimum-wage jobs provide opportunities to learn basic work skills in order to move to the next rung on the career ladder. Take responsibility to move ahead in your career. If you’re not happy with your current job, wages, or [fill in the blank], be proactive and do something about it. Be the change you want to see in your life.
This post has been slightly modified from the original version published on LinkedIn.
I recently appeared in a segment on WBNS-10TV. By accident. My friend Gay and I were walking into the Health & Fitness Expo when Josh Poland from WBNS approached us and asked if he and his cameraman could tag along with us while we visited the booths. We said, “sure!” Of course! Why not? I had virtually no makeup on and was dressed like I was going to clean the house. Ah, what the hell…we had fun.
Thank you Josh, for giving us our 15 minutes…we had fun hanging with you! xoxoxo
There have been many articles written on what it takes to make a great leader. The book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, explains one factor in how different levels of leadership makes some companies good and other companies great.
In his recent blog post “Leaders Don’t Hire Weak People,” Anthony Iannarino discusses how some leaders hire people who are weaker than they are, so they can maintain their superiority over their subordinates without having to worry that their power will be usurped.
One important point Iannarino makes is how some leaders try to be the “keeper of all knowledge” and the “holder of all relationships.” In other words, leaders who keep their employees from knowing more than they do believe they somehow maintain their power over them. Leaders who keep good employees from having relationships with others in the company, especially other leaders, can prevent certain employees from being “discovered” as promotable.
4 questions for leaders
Are you unknowingly a knowledge or relationship “hoarder?” Here are 4 questions to think about.
- Sales training. What kind of ongoing training are you providing for your sales team? Are salespeople actually learning something to increase their professional development, or are you and/or your managers just going through the motions to kill time in the weekly sales meeting?
- Sales tools. Are you keeping your reps from learning more about the existing tools they have at their disposal to increase their sales? Many media companies already own and have access to sales tools, but some leaders/managers don’t encourage sellers to use these tools. Many sellers are also unaware of the tools their media company has purchased because nobody took the time to educate and train them on their use.
- Accessibility. Do you stay in your office most of the day, or do you walk around the sales department and engage the team? People in higher-level positions tend to spend much of their day in their offices doing paperwork. It’s the rare leader who gets out of her office to see what’s going on in the trenches.
- Coaching. Are you a manager or a coach? How often do you ride on appointments with them? Mentoring your team by imparting knowledge through coaching is the most important part of your job.
I once had a sales manager who used to brag about the salespeople she managed, when they moved on from her department as a result of being promoted to higher-level positions. A true leader is someone who cares about the growth of his/her employees, and doesn’t feel threatened about how successful they become.
To read more posts about media sales and leadership, visit the Media Sales Today blog at MediaSalesToday.com.