Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Take Control

Sometime it feels like everything is out of control. The subway is having mechanical problems, it's raining, it's taxi change over time, you can't find an Uber, some man spills his coffee on you getting off the bus, and you have that important 9am meeting.

Even though you are having a terrible morning where unpredictable circumstances leave you off centered, you still have control of what happens the rest of the day. It's hard to feel that way in the moment, but you still have many choices on what happens next. Let's explore.

Option 1- You walk into your meeting clearly frustrated and disheveled. You apologize for being late and jump right into your presentation feeling unnerved.

Option 2- You contact the people who are in your meeting, let them know about the unfortunate coffee spill and tell them you need an extra hour to stop home and change.

Option 3- You pull a shirt off the sample rack (this is a fashion industry blog, so it's likely there are samples around) quickly change in the bathroom, enter your meeting a couple minutes late with the now entertaining morning you've just had.

There are probably 10 more things you could choose to do in the moment. What sounds like the best option? The point, there are always options.

Things happen that are out of your control: the boss that hired you leaves the company, your company gets sold to a private equity firm, your division is being moved to New Jersey, or your partner on a key project just took all the credit on the work you did. It's how you react to those situations that will stall your career or keep you moving forward.

First, decide what you want out of your career. What type of leader or teammate do you want to be?

Then, think about your situation carefully. What options do you have? There are usually two obvious ones, but there are generally several others that aren't so easy to see at first.

Finally, make a decision and take control. How will you reflect back upon the decisions you are about to make? How will you be perceived based on your planned reaction?

If you believe things are out of control and you are powerless in a situation, you are powerless. If something happens that's out of your control and you make a decision on what happens next, you have control. The decision is yours.

To learn more about career coaching, go to www.katekibler.com

Monday, August 8, 2016

Time to Think

There are lots of things that go into being a great leader. There are all the standard, yet important components of being a great leader like listening to your team, developing people, the ability to make decisions, clear communication, building and sharing a vision, the list goes on and on. What you don't hear a lot about is how a leader can accomplish these things.

Being a great leader means making time to be a great leader. It means not filling every single second of every single day with meetings or tasks. Balancing the time to give your team what they need, and taking time for yourself to think will enhance your abilities as a leader. How much time do you make to really think?

Thinking time is critical to building your vision and innovating as a leader, but it can easily be pushed to the side for more tactical pursuits. Time contemplating gives you the ability to take what you've heard from your team and synthesize the information into actions and decisions. Thinking helps you understand the market landscape and to see the bigger picture, or "see the forest through the trees" as they say. While it seems as though you are making a trade off between crossing that meeting off your list, getting home to your family an hour earlier or and taking time to think, you can almost guarantee that time reserved to think will save you time in the long term.

When do you usually make time to think? How do you find time to think? Where is your favorite spot to focus your thoughts?

Working with a career coach can help you carve out time to focus on your refining your leadership. To learn more, go to www.katekibler.com

Monday, July 11, 2016

The fashion industry

How can I get into the fashion industry? I hear this question a lot. Before asking that question, I recommend asking yourself, “is the fashion industry right for me?” There is a unique culture to every company/ industry and that is also true for fashion. Movies and runway shows don’t really tell the whole story. People think the fashion industry is glamorous. While it is true that there are some cool perks, there are also some major downsides. In terms of perks, in most roles you get to travel the world, meet interesting people, some celebrities, and eat in some great restaurants (generally speaking). On the downside, you will work late hours, weekends and sometimes holidays. There are few boundaries between your personal and professional life. 

While neither positives nor negatives, there are some definitive traits of the fashion industry. Fashion is more irreverent than most. The definition of professionalism is not the same as it would be in say, the finance industry for example. You will be in a very heated, serious conversation with someone for an hour talking about a button or thread color. People are very passionate about… well, it could be anything. The industry is subjective and you need to be comfortable with ambiguity and change. Things are done in the name of ‘brand’ rather than what makes sense on paper. Gut is as important as the analysis.

After hearing a little more on the fashion industry, how do you feel? How does your current skill set align to some of the descriptors you read above? Where do you think you would fit into the fashion industry?

To learn more about career coaching, go to www.katekibler.com

Monday, January 25, 2016

Making time

It has been over four months since I have posted on this blog. I am sure many of you are wondering why I've gone MIA. I can make lots of excuses as I've started a new job, moved, done a ton of traveling, and the holidays, but the reality is I just need to make time to get back on track with my blog. Day to day activities like work, travel, and even laundry can take up every minute of every day if I let it.

What is interesting is that the same phenomenon happens at work. There's always that project lingering that continually gets pushed out because there are too many immediate day to day tasks that need to be accomplished. Getting your day to day job done will make you a solid employee, but tackling that big lingering project will likely get you to that next level. If you want to grow in your career, you need to make time to get beyond your "day job". For me, I block time on my calendar to be strategic or to tackle that big project that is looming in the office. I hold that time as sacred and turn off my email and hide my phone so I don't lose focus. It looks like I need to set up 'untouchable' time to write my blog as well!

How important is it for you to grow in your career? What are some tactics you can use to get past the day to day tasks on your plate? What are the obstacles in your way to get to the next level in your career?

To learn more about career coaching, go to www.katekibler.com