Browsed by
Author: Kelly L. Howarth

Yes, Your Interpersonal Skills Trump Your Technical Abilities

Yes, Your Interpersonal Skills Trump Your Technical Abilities

Do you know the number one skill employers tell me they look for in potential information technology (IT) hires when I visit my students completing IT work internships? You might say “Excellent technical abilities.” While you are partially right, technical abilities are not the most sought-after skill because technical skills are a given and can be learned as the technology field constantly changes, and keeping up with new developments remains critical. So, what is the sought-after gemstone? Interpersonal skills or…

Read More Read More

Improve Your Self-Management Skills

Improve Your Self-Management Skills

A bird doesn’t question whether it should fly to move forward; it just flies. This is how the bird survives, a powerful instinct with which we are all born. Unlike the bird, sometimes we get in our own way. How can you get out of your way and control your destiny forward? Improve your self-management skills, those essential skills for thriving and progressing in your life. Learn to manage YOU in order to take responsibility for yourself and your life!…

Read More Read More

Work-Life Balance and Vacation

Work-Life Balance and Vacation

Summer is here once again and so are vacations–days off, long weekends, or a multiple-week haitus from going into the workplace. It’s called “vacation” for a reason. I notice that far too many colleagues remain accessible while they are purportedly on vacation. Having recently taken my first disconnect-from-all-things-work in a long time, I became aware of the pressure to remain available via technology, especially email. Technology, while eliminating reams of paperwork, is supposed to make life easier. Instead, technology has…

Read More Read More

Having Difficult Conversations

Having Difficult Conversations

No one likes confrontation. When dealing with conflict, we adopt a fight or flight response: we stay or we go. However, another approach is to freeze or to avoid the situation altogether. This is not helpful for building relationships and working harmoniously with others. Moreover, when we hold onto words that need to be said, this can build resentment. Resentments can fester. Next thing we know, the issue snowballs and may become even more difficult to approach or resolve. Follow…

Read More Read More

Polish Your People Skills

Polish Your People Skills

You prefer working with things rather than with people. You like to be alone in your corner doing your job. You work well autonomously. While you score points for these, you’ll get more points for the essential skill of relating to others or for your people skills. Did you know that 85% of your career success depends upon your people skills, while only 15% of your technical skills account for the rest of your success? Yes, employers value people who…

Read More Read More

Ace Your Next Job Interview

Ace Your Next Job Interview

Say this at the end of your next job interview when asked if you have any questions: “You’ve hired me and it’s been a year and you’re reviewing my performance. You rate my work very positively. What have I accomplished for you to give me such a stellar review?” What asking this direct question does: It gets the interviewer visualizing you for the job It demonstrates confidence and a willingness to meet the challenges It gives you wonderful insight into…

Read More Read More

Change = Transition = Adjustment = Stress

Change = Transition = Adjustment = Stress

Even positive change can feel stressful, very stressful. The Life Change Index lists significant life changes that we experience, along with a rating scale. You can check off life events to appreciate the degree of stress brought on by transition. I had happened to be living five such life events simultaneously just over a year ago—all due to to saying “Yes!” to the man I wanted to marry. The resulting buying a home, renovating, move, and marriage felt so overwhelming….

Read More Read More

Make 2017 the Year You Net your Next Job

Make 2017 the Year You Net your Next Job

Out with the old, in with the new! A new year presents us with the opportunity for a do-over. And there is no better time for a job do-over than at the start of a new year. Whether you’re networking with friends and colleagues over the holidays or surfing the job boards online, besides your very best resume, it all starts with targeting the job for which you are qualified. Enter the Job Advertisement or Job Posting. Always send your…

Read More Read More

Set Your SMART Goal for 2017!

Set Your SMART Goal for 2017!

Forget the pressure of making a list of New Year’s resolutions, which risk becoming a distant memory by the end of January. Instead, set SMART Goals. SMART is the acronym for: • Specific • Measurable • Attainable • Realistic • Time-Bound Each of these elements must be present for us to achieve any goal we set out to accomplish. When we set a goal without a plan for achieving it, we are missing a key ingredient for successfully achieving that…

Read More Read More

Is stuff taking up too much of your physical AND mental real estate?

Is stuff taking up too much of your physical AND mental real estate?

Imagine that you’re moving house…. you don’t want to pack up all that stuff you no longer use so you only take what you absolutely need, want, and love and turf the rest. Yes, you read that right. Unused, unloved and unwanted items should be discarded or donated because they often take up valuable physical AND mental real estate. That dusty souvenir from Aunty So-and-So that we keep in case she comes to visit, that too-tight piece of clothing we…

Read More Read More