Quality Progress - May 2013 - (Page 57)

Career Corner BY RosemaRie ChRistopheR Boost Your Brand Soft skills are vital in today’s workplace In an ERa when many workplaces are work. You can prepare for certifications volunteers, you exercise skills such as con- in flux, it may seem like there is little op- and take coursework virtually or through flict resolution, teamwork, collaboration portunity to build your personal brand and instructor-led courses. and negotiation. Furthermore, this experi- influence organizational culture. I would While hard skills are certainly impor- ence offers you a non-threatening learning argue there’s no better time to do so than tant, professionals often overlook the environment (no one can fire you; you’re a when there is momentum for change development of soft skills as a continu- volunteer). already building around you. ing education opportunity. Soft skills are You don’t have to go far to find devel- increasingly important as roles become opment opportunities. Even mentoring is composed of your values, abilities, more multidisciplinary and job descrip- others or helping an overloaded col- strengths and limitations. These denomi- tions blur. Employers seek a greater league gives you extra experience that nators influence how you put your skills amount of direct collaboration as they may prepare you for your next career and experience to work. The most suc- struggle to do more with less of every- move—whether it’s at your organization cessful employees, knowingly or not, align thing, including human resources. In tak- or elsewhere. their personal brands with their organiza- ing on extra projects or responsibilities, tions’ cultures. you may find yourself needing soft skills change, it’s important to periodically that have been dormant for years or were evaluate our work preferences and goals, never fully developed. assess how we like to interact with others Your personal brand is your style. It Change causes a degree of disruption and chaos in the workplace. When an As both ourselves and the world and determine where we are on our per- organization is in flux, a specific brand is sought after. Employees that brand them- Opportunities are everywhere sonal continuous improvement journeys. selves as change agents, strategists or Soft skills, developed in good measure, Periodically evaluating soft skills using influencers are highly valued. In addition complement technical mastery. Just as online assessments is branding at its best. to being capable of adjusting to change, there are ways to develop hard skills, Formally assessing the power of your the most successful workers also will there are also ways to strengthen soft brand confirms to bosses, department demonstrate a willingness to help manage skills. The best approach to develop soft heads and colleagues that among the or carry out change. skills depends on individual career goals. ranks of keepers is a proactive and col- In my experience, many workers Verbal communication skills can be laborative strategist. Employers can only work with what give the impression that they do not like strengthened by joining a public speaking change. An unfortunate truth is that those and leadership skills-building club, such employees give them. Organizations real- who get stuck in ruts will lose out. Organi- as Toastmasters. Another way would be ize that there is a huge talent shortage zations don’t want to push boulders. Some to step up as a leader of an interest group that is not going away overnight. They personalities and generations are better at relevant to your organization or industry. are working diligently and strategically to going with the flow than others. If you’re When I decided I wanted to improve my retain top employees and recruit the best. not wired to embrace change, there are public speaking ability, I became visible in Now is the time to take control of your measures you can take to help you adapt. organizations that support my industries: brand and your career. QP ASQ, the Regulatory Affairs Professional Soften up Society based in Rockville, MD, and the Professionals often enhance their brand Board of Councilors of the University of by sharpening their hard skills first. One Southern California School of Pharmacy way to update hard skills—technical in Los Angeles. and scientific mastery—is to earn new Participating in an industry-focused certifications (ASQ alone offers 17) and group or association is also a way to gain complete continuing education course- management skills. By leading groups of RosemaRie ChRistopheR is president and Ceo of mei RxRs, a search firm for scientific and technical professionals in pharmaceutical, medical device, biologics, diagnostics and biotech companies in Glendale, Ca. she has a master’s degree in communication management from the University of southern California in Los angeles. Christopher is an asQ member and the chair of the asQ Food, Drug and Cosmetic Division. May 2013 • QP 57 http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - May 2013

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Balancing Act
Avoiding an Avalanche
What Makes You Tick?
Mood Righting
Innovation Imperative
Quality in the First Person
Standards Outlook
Statistics Roundtable
Special Section: ASQ Enterprise and Site Members
3.4 per Million
Career Corner
Career Corner
QP Toolbox
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
One Good Idea

Quality Progress - May 2013

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