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There are misconceptions about every job. And the longer you stay in the same line of work, the more misconceptions you’ll hear from those not familiar with what you do. Executives in particular have had many years to discover the misconceptions about their work.
We recently asked our leading executives what the biggest misconception about their job isâto gain some insight about their profession.
Here are their responses…
Jim Black, Engineering & Technical Executive
I am an engineering executive, and I am very technical in nature. I also admit I am a NERD. My job expects me to be a nerd, and I know many things. I lead a highly specialized aviation testing group with over 100+ years of experience. These men and women are the best in the industry. I work every day to keep up with their expertise as an outsider.
The misconception about my line of work is simple… I rarely have all the answers. I need to rely on my team, my peers, my network, and my friends to share ideas. By collaborating with my team, I can find solutions. By working with peers, I can help guide the group to improve. Friends and colleagues often lead me to new insights and better ways of thinking.
Engineers come off as “know-it-alls” and experts in their field. We did not get there overnight. We worked with many people and collaborated over time to gain this expertise. Very, very few engineers and scientists are like “Sheldon Cooper.” Many of us work with great people to share ideas and develop new solutions for today’s problems. Our secret weapon is our ability to collaborate and combine experiences. Rarely do we work alone or have brilliant ideas given to us by divine intervention. Our solutions require hard work and sharing with others.
Jim Black is an engineering professional focused on the development of technical professionals. He is also a professional bass player.
Andrea Markowski, Marketing Executive
Some people may think that marketing executives spend all day placing advertisements. Advertising is certainly an important ingredient in the overall marketing pie, but it is only a small slice.
The supporting crust of the marketing pie is an in-depth understanding of the target consumer and how to best communicate to them the value of a product or service. This is done through loads of research and data analysis (the ingredients) that inform strategies (the recipe) and, ultimately, actionable tactics (assembling the pie).
One of those tactics is often paid promotion in various channels, AKA advertising, which is viewed as the whipped cream and cherry on top!
Outsiders usually only see that delicious pie topping and donât realize all the work that went into baking the pie that supports the topping and makes it appealing enough to eat. Bon appÃ©tit!
Andrea Markowski is a marketing director with specializations in strategy development, digital tactics, design thinking, and creative direction. She has superpowers in presentations and public speaking.
John Schembari, Senior Education Executive
Since schools tend to seek out consultants during periods of challenge, they often are looking for quick fixes to their problems and expect education consultants to direct them accordingly. While expedient, client schools wonât grow in their expertise around best schooling practices and/or systemic processes if consultants “tell” schools how certain opportunities for school improvement should be addressed. Consultants aren’t the people necessarily doing the day-to-day implementation work; long-term positive change happens best, therefore, when staff is consulted/vested in the next steps.
An education consultant serves as an outside thought partner when looking at school/community-based data, listening to stakeholders about wants/needs, and helping schools develop effective strategic improvement plans. Yes, education consultants should share knowledge of best practices gained from having worked within many school settings but, ultimately, the chosen course of action needs to be owned by the school. It is the consultant’s responsibility to follow up consistently with the client, throughout the length of the contract, to ensure that improvement milestones are being met. Good education consultants work themselves out of a job.
John Schembari is a current K-12 teacher/school leader academic improvement coach and former school building and district administrator. He loves to draw, travel, swing dance, and read nonfiction.
Lisa Perry, Global Marketing Executive
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about marketing. Too many to list here. The biggest misconception about marketing is that it is an external activity. For example, if you have a campaign, advertising campaign, or email campaign, these are external activities. Marketing is an internal process of exploring, creating, and delivering value to meet the needs of a target market in terms of goods and services. Itâs the strategic work you do, figuring out who your customers are, what their needs are, where they are, and how to communicate with them. Make no mistake, marketing is a leadership function that, when done correctly, will develop the strategies that drive lead generation, conversions, fulfillment, and revenue.
Lisa Perry helps companies build leadership brands, driving loyal customers & delivering profitability. She does this through a process that builds brands consumers love. Her goal is to help companies develop, monetize, and grow their brands.
Dr. Hannah Hartwell, Learning & Development Executive
âOne common misconception about learning and development is that âeverythingâ can be solved with training; that is, offering training is the only way to solve business problems. Itâs empowering for professionals to think training can have such amazing business problem-solving skills. However, training is not always the solution. I would need to ask more about the business problem, including the direct impact, the audience, the resources available, and the desired timeline. Often when I meet with clients and colleagues, we figure out more appropriate solutionsâsometimes itâs training but not always.
Dr. Hannah Hartwell is a learning and development executive and change management practitioner with 15+ years of business transformation experience in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, higher education, and professional services industries.
Carla Biasi, Personal Stylist
The biggest misconception is that we shop all day. While we do shop to learn about current trends, merchandising ideas, and services, we study trends and learn how to incorporate them into everyday living. We study color and body type analysis so our customers look and feel their best.
We understand the human psyche and how to work with people of different backgrounds and personalities. Stylists help individuals build confidence and self-esteem. We work with their concerns and create images that propel people forward.
Our financial skills include creating budgets and how to save our customers money.
We are professional and can earn certifications.
Personal stylists can truly wow the executive community.
Carla Biasi is a personal stylist living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She currently has her own business and works part-time at an upscale women’s boutique and as a virtual and kit stylist for a womenâs specialty brand.
What’s the biggest misconception about your job? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily’s Executive Program.
Failure is a negative word. No one wants to fail. Many of us do all we can to avoid the risk of becoming “failures.” But have you ever considered what “failure” actually is?
Let’s think about it from a different perspectiveâas another step in life that takes us towards whatever we do next. Not everything we do is going to work out exactly as intended. But if you are failing, you must be the kind of person who is prepared to take some risks. And that means you are far more likely to ultimately reach your potential.
Failure isn’t the problem. Fear of failure is. You need to change your perspective and recognize failing can be the key to achieving success.
Failure Is An Effective Teacher
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” âC.S. Lewis
It’s easier to learn from failure than from success. It gives you the chance to analyze what’s not working and do something about it.
Even if some factors seem to be out of your control, think through what they are. Can you do anything to reduce their impact? Or is there a way of gaining greater control of them?
Failure Makes You Resilient And Persistent
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” âThomas A. Edison
By failing and then using what you’ve learned from the experience, you have the potential to become more resilient and more persistent. The more persistent you become, the less likely it is that you’ll be emotionally affected by not getting the outcome you hoped for. And that gives you a better perspective for analyzing what needs to be done to move you toward success.
Every “failed attempt” simply becomes a new learning experience to fine-tune your efforts.
Trying And Failing Is Far Better Than Not Trying At All
“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” âJeff Bezos
If something is worthwhile, it’s probably going to take quite a bit of work to achieve. So, build into your plans the expectation that it could require significant effort. But until you try, you will never know. And even if it doesn’t work out, you’ve given it a go and will have learned from the experience.
If you’re so busy worrying about failing that you never find the impetus to move forward, then visualize yourself in 12 months’ time dealing with a sense of regret for never even attempting it. Which feels worse?
When It’s Time To “Fail”
If you’re not afraid to fail, it will give you another valuable ability. And that is being able to recognize when giving up on a particular goal is the right course of action.
Perseverance is important and you should never become the type of person who gives up simply because something is harder than you’d expected or taking longer than you’d hoped. But maybe you or your situation has changed and your goal is no longer relevant. Maybe your skills and talents are better off applied elsewhere now that time has moved on. Or perhaps you’re doing the same thing over and over again in the vain hope of a different result.
If you’ve given it your very best shot and it still isn’t working, it’s time to change your approach. Would you call that failing? Or just applying some common sense about where to direct your energy?
Failure Is An Important Part Of Life
Think about your past and you’ll probably be able to spot times when making a choice that wasn’t successful helped refine your approach and eventually took you toward a better outcome.
Start viewing failure as a learning opportunity, use the lessons you gain from it, and take the first steps to setting yourself up for success.
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In case you are contemplating a major career modify, you may find the particular process a little mind-boggling at first. To assist organize your opinions and thoughts on the topic, inquire yourself the following 12-15 questions.
Inquiries to Ask Just before Making A Career Modify
Be sure you answer considerately and honestly. This will be for your eyes just. Also, be sure for you to write your answers straight down. Putting abstract thoughts and even feelings into words can assist you identify what’s really taking place and it adds some sort of tangible element to typically the reflection process.
1. The facts about our current career that is not working?
two. What does this fresh career offer that my personal current career doesn’t?
3. What will this new career fire up in my soul?
4. How really does the brand new career align together with my core values ?
5. What exactly are the long-term possibilities associated with this brand-new career?
six. What skills or sources will I actually need to take good thing about these long-term opportunities?
7. Who must i know who is currently within this career and could give me a respectable “insider’s” perspective?
eight. Will my friends together with family support this completely new career endeavor?
9. How long will certainly it take to produce a comfortable living in this kind of new career?
10. Will i have this financial resources to create the new career work? In case not, how could i get exactly what I need to really feel secure?
eleven. What struggles can My partner and i predict in my changeover to this new career?
12. Just what exactly can I do right now to minimize these possible struggles?
13. What particular experience do you hope to help gain in this career move?
fourteen. How will my earlier experience help me inside this new role?
15. Are these claims career move one step up a good larger plan? If therefore, how much does this new career need to provide throughout order to help me personally move forward?
Now that you possess all your answers towards these questions, you can easily better position yourself regarding a successful career alter! It’s exactly about being truthful with yourself and achieving obvious on your goals. As soon as you do that, the entire process becomes so a lot easier.
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We’d really like it if you agreed to Work It Daily’s Occasion Subscription ! Get your current career questions answered around our next live occasion!
This particular article was originally released at an earlier day.
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