Six Ways to Step up your Career Game in 2015

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Bonnie Low-Kramen, a workplace career coach, outlines six ways to be happier at work and step up your career game for 2015.

Have you crossed all your career goals off your to do list yet? Do you still want to make some big moves this year? Whether you want to earn a long-awaited promotion, increase your salary or have better communication in the workplace, Bonnie Low-Kramen, author of the best-selling book, Be the Ultimate Assistant, a nationally recognized speaker on career topics and trainer for assistants/support staff globally, summarizes six ways to be happier at your job.

“Today is the perfect time to outline your workplace goals and figure out what will make you happier and get what you want. Now that we are in May and half way through the year, it is critical to assess your career situation and make needed changes,” says Low-Kramen, who has coached thousands. “The average time people spend at work is 37 hours a week or 7.4 hours a day. Does it not make sense to be part of a workplace culture that you like being at day in and day out?”

Speak Up! In our 24/7 whirlwind of a workplace, it is easy for time to fly without ever having the ideal opportunity to ask your manager if he/she can sit down to discuss whatever is on your mind – whether it is for a salary negotiation, conflict in the office, vacation time, or an issue with a co-worker or bullying. Speak up clearly, specifically and respectfully. Do not assume that your manager knows what you need on professional issues. You don’t get it if you don’t ask. She recently launched a national call to action: so managers and staff can pledge to communicate more effectively. Low-Kramen notes that “suffering in silence in the workplace” is a big issue - especially for women.

Get What You Want. To get what you want, it is important to speak directly to the issues at hand. Write a list of five things you want to change in your current work situation and commit to changing them. Speaking truth to power will be appreciated and respected. Low-Kramen states that the #1 issue in the workplace is the inability and lack of confidence to actually speak up about concerns as employees are afraid they will be fired or create conflict.

Write it. Back up what you want in writing and be very clear. Nothing communicates your seriousness more than a professionally written letter. For example, the best way to prepare for an annual review is to create a beautifully formatted document that includes the job description you were hired to do, the job description that you are currently (and actually) doing including the number of hours per week that it takes for you to do it, a list of your achievements from this year, and a list of ideas and projects that you would like to be involved in the coming year. Listing your achievements and how you have contributed to the company you work for reiterates your commitment.    

Make a Better Impression. Time for a new look? Impressions are very important and Low-Kramen suggests evaluating your wardrobe and personal appearance and how you present yourself. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. So, if your goal is to get a promotion and higher increase in salary, it is time to “raise the bar.” Small but important changes in appearance can bolster self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect and can make the game-changing difference.

Be a Mentor. Find a Mentor. In the complicated workplace of 2015, one of the keys to success is mentoring. Generously extend yourself to others who would benefit from your skills. Don’t assume that others know your skills and talents. Say: “I’d like to help you on that project using my expertise in PowerPoint.” Become known as someone who helps others and doors will open.

Better Pay and Women in Charge.
Presently women earn 7 cents less on the dollar than men. In fact, women pay a higher price than men for taking time off to care for their children and they are willing to take less money for the flexibility. Men need to advocate for women – and it is slowly beginning to happen. To be happier at work, discuss the wage gap with your manager. Provide proof to justify your raise by illustrating efforts and achievements and what you plan to do in the future – for the betterment of the company. Getting the raise you deserve just makes for a better work experience.

An international speaker and corporate trainer, Bonnie Low-Kramen’s career for 25 years was as the Personal Assistant to celebrity couple Olympia Dukakis (Academy Award, Moonstruck, Steel Magnolias) and Louis Zorich (Mad About You.) One of the most respected leaders in the profession, Bonnie is the co-founder and former President of New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA), a networking organization for New York-based celebrity assistants. As an author, Bonnie wrote the bestselling book about the profession, Be the Ultimate Assistant, A celebrity assistant’s secrets to working with any high-powered employer (a best-seller) and has written many articles which have been published in magazines and newsletters around the world.

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Karen Parziale
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