July 27, 2012

lessons learned from sheriff andy taylor

Welcome back to awesome guest writer Zach Buckley with a good ol' inspirational post to get us motivated towards a successful life. Enjoy!

The recent passing of Andy Griffith at the age of 86 is the loss of a television legend; one of the early pioneers of sitcom TV who was the face and namesake of one of the most popular television shows of all-time. The Andy Griffith Show ran from 1960 to 1968 and was beloved for being downhome and wholesome—words also used to describe Griffith himself.

In that career-altering role, Griffith was Sheriff Andy Taylor, the widowed sheriff of a fictional North Carolina town. Surrounded by dopey deputy Barney Fife—played by close friend Don Knotts—as well as the motherly Aunt Bee and Taylor's young son, Opie, Taylor often dispenses life advice and serves as a mediator handling many of the townspeople's trivial problems. He also struggles to juggle his job's responsibilities with his duties as a single parent while also keeping Barney and Aunt Bee in check.

In doing so, the show also provided its viewers with regular morals and life lessons, often delivered from Sheriff Taylor himself. In light of Griffith's recent passing, here's just a few of the lessons we learned from his most famous role.

1. When making decisions, trust yourself -- not the letter of the law
One of the predominant themes of The Andy Griffith Show was that, while laws and rules are meant to be followed, nothing can substitute for one's personal sense of judgment. Sheriff Taylor often taught his son that when problems arise, it's sometimes best to follow what your heart is telling you to do.
The lesson is one that can be applied to all walks of life, including business. Even though project management, personnel issues and other demands of business are often governed by specific rules and policies, many business leaders are put in their positions because of their strong sense of judgment and their well-developed problem-solving skills. Like anything else, it takes time to acquire these skills, but there is a lot of value in having the confidence to make decisions that feel right, even if they aren't the most popular approach.

2. Compliment the skills of your business and co-workers
Throughout the television series, Taylor was known for his ability to calm the impulses of the townspeople while calling for more perspective and deliberation. His personality contrasted that of the townspeople, and the town as a whole appreciated this role because he helped bring the town into balance. The suggestion made from the show is that leaders of companies should be a compliment to the styles and tendencies of the organization as a whole. The end result is more balanced decisions that have looked at a given issue from a variety of perspectives.

3. Embrace loyalty
In today's fast-paced, cutthroat business world, it's tempting—and easy—to cast aside virtues. Sheriff Taylor constantly reminded us of the importance of remaining loyal, both in business and in life. He constantly stood beside his friends, family and son even in the midst of bad decisions. Instead, Taylor focused on the positives and used his status as a local leader to lift up those around him—even if it ultimately hurt his own reputation. It's a tough lesson to learn and embrace, but loyalty's rarity makes it a precious commodity.

More than half a century after it first aired, The Andy Griffith Show can still be seen on TV in reruns. It has endured not only for its quality programming, but also for the timelessness of its humor and morals. As the world keeps spinning without Andy Griffith, the values of his life's work continue to live on through his show and its fans.

About the author: Zach Buckley is a freelance writer based in the Midwest. He enjoys exploring developing trends in education, technology and culture.  When he isn’t reading or writing blogs, he enjoys sampling good music and good food. Follow him on Twitter! @Zach_buckley

July 26, 2012

standing out without grandstanding

Welcome to first-time wannabe | employee guest writer Samantha Gray! This is one of my favorite topics to read/write about - being an AMAZING employee - for real. Enjoy her post!

There's probably not one single employee out there, who, at one point or another, wanted to impress their superiors at work. It's only natural that you want to stand out, make a good impression, and be considered for a promotion or raise in the future. If anything, you want your ego stroked, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. We all seek praise, and we all want to be rewarded in whatever way for a job well done.

Of course, part of getting noticed at work is excelling at your daily tasks. But there are other strategies you must employ for people to really pay attention to you. At the same time, you don't want to be the office grandstander. Remember those annoying people in class who would raise their hands constantly and talk just for the sake of hearing their own voice and getting noticed by the professor? Don't be that kind of employee. Here are a few tips:

1. Be sincerely helpful
When taking on extra tasks while at work, don't make it obvious that you are doing so just to get ahead. Develop a sincerely caring and curious disposition in which you take on extra work the sake of helping others who are overloaded with tasks. Asking for too much extra work just for its own sake can backfire, especially when you overload yourself and can't deliver as you promised.

2. Don't try to get noticed simply by bringing down other coworkers
Many employees try to get ahead by surreptitiously highlighting their peers' shortcomings. You might even be guilty of this without even knowing it. Instead of focus what others aren't doing, focus on what you are and aren't accomplishing. You'll get a lot more work done that way, I promise.

3. In order for people to notice you, notice others when a job is well done
In any pursuit to be noticed in any office around the world, likeability plays a big part, whether or not that's fair. But trying to be likeable to get ahead will always come off as insincere. Instead of slamming your coworkers, bring up morale by praising your peers even if it doesn't get you anywhere. When someone you work with does an excellent job, don't just congratulate them but tell your boss, too. It's in raising up and praising others that others notice you and your drive to make your team motivated and cohesive.

4. Be consistent with your work in both quality and quantity
Many who try to get noticed at work do so sporadically. They think, if I just really work hard today and the rest of this week, I'll get considered for a raise or a promotion. When employers are figuring out raises and promotions, however, they're doing so based on their overall impression of your work over the course of several months or a year. Instead of slaving away every few days, turn in quality work consistently, every single day. This tortoise approach is a much better ticket to getting noticed than working your butt of right before yearly reviews.

In the end, however, getting ahead can sometimes be race that's tedious and sickening. I don't think any employee should motivate himself solely for the purpose of being noticed by others. Just do your job, enjoy it as much as you can, and care about others with whom you work. You'll reap the rewards without even trying.

Samantha Gray is a freelance writer based in Houston, Texas, who offers college advice to those interested in furthering their studies and careers. She can be reached for questions or comments at

July 13, 2012

boosting your earning potential

Welcome back to guest blogger Liz Becker - we can all use a few tips on making changes in order to earn more. Thanks for sharing!

Although you are thankful to have a job, you would still like to boost your earning potential. Earning more money each year will mean you can put more into savings and have some left over for entertainment purposes. Whether you are new in your job field or have been working for several years, it is possible to boost your earning potential with a few strategies. It will take a lot of hard work and dedication to earn more income, but it can be done. Here are three tips for boosting your earning potential:

Go Back to School

One of the best ways to boost your earning potential is to go back to school. Whether it is a master degree or bachelor’s degree, more education can mean more money for you. Advanced degrees are usually required for most high earning positions like management positions anyway.

Don't Just Do the Bare Minimum At Work

If you want to get a promotion at work, you have to be willing to do more than just the bare minimum. For example, if you are working on a big project with some other co-workers, be willing to stay after work for a couple of hours to get more done. If your boss sees that you are doing more than just the bare minimum, he will be more likely to consider you for a promotion because you are a hard worker. Also, be willing to help a co-worker when she needs it.

Be Sure Your Boss Knows You Are Doing a Good Job

If you feel like your boss is not noticing the good job you are doing at work, be sure to tell him what you have been up to at work and what you have accomplished recently. If you talk about your accomplishments without bragging, your boss will give you more credit and possibly consider you for a promotion.

Following these tips can definitely help you boost your earning potential. Do not expect to be earning more next week, however. Boosting your income can take a lot of time, so you have to be patient. If you do everything it takes, you will start earning more money before you know it.

Liz is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University . She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community.

July 9, 2012

let's get this work week started!

I hope you all had a smashing weekend! I spent most of mine finishing my final assignment for the corporate coaching course I've been doing part-time, let's hope for the best! I enjoyed the course tremendously! Such a great intro to coaching fundamentals and practices, I look forward to applying them in my job! Speaking of jobs, I started a new one a few days ago - I am now a Group HR Manager and have had a blast so far! Looking forward to learning a lot and having loads of new career tips to share on my blog in future.

As for this post, I have selected a few interesting articles to start your week off right:

... and a little cartoon about a bad boss - just because...