Managing Changing Expectations At Work

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Expectations determine what success looks like, and the communication of expectations ensures parties are on the same page. Without expectations, focus, productivity, and progress suffer because you’re working towards a cloudy goal. Setting and managing expectations can be a challenge for many reasons, especially because those set by your boss and colleagues may change over time. When expectations fluctuate, it can be hard to grasp the objective and deliver your best work.

As a colleague, team member, and employee, it’s your job to manage and adjust to change. Following these three steps is a great start to building your comfort level and success with adapting to changing expectations:

  1. Accept Change
    Step away from your comfort zone and embrace the change by diving into the “why”. What is the business reason that is driving this change? Be open to understanding the reasons why the change is happening. Then, be willing to learn what you need to succeed with the new set of expectations. Don’t be afraid to try new things at work, you may be surprised and find a new skill or passion!

  2. Communicate Clearly
    Clear communication is crucial when setting expectations and especially when they change. If you feel left in the dark and aren’t sure what’s expected of you with changes happening on your team, ask your boss directly. Without clarifying, you won’t be able to move forward in the right direction and succeed in your role. Spelling out the new expectations is a win-win for both you and your manager.

  3. Attitude is Everything
    Remain positive regardless of the circumstances. Get comfortable with the fact that not everything is within your control. How you choose to think and talk about your situation directly impacts your career and growth. Consider how you can leverage your skills and experience to succeed in your role. Attitude is everything.

Demonstrating agility with change will help not only help you grow as a person but it will also help you become a more valuable employee.

Looking for a career coach? We help individuals with everything from managing your current role to interviewing to negotiating salary packages.



Posted on May 21, 2019 and filed under Career.

The Wilbanks Consulting Group Appreciates Our Armed Forces

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Former President John F. Kennedy once said, "Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard."

May marks National Military Appreciation Month. It honors those who are active and former members of the United States Armed Forces. Take the time this month to thank someone in the military on one of these special days. It’s because of their selfless service that we have our freedom.

Armed Forces Day: May 18
A day set aside to give thanks to everyone serving in all military branches.

Memorial Day: May 27
Commemorating fallen soldiers while in active duty.

Ways To Show Gratitude To Former & Active Duty Military

Here are a few ways you can spread gratitude to former and active duty military.

  1. Send thank you notes to deployed active duty military or veterans.

  2. Get involved in local community gatherings to commemorate the Armed Forces.

  3. Volunteer your time at a local veterans organization.

  4. Simply say “thanks” to those you see in uniform.

Whether you’re a civilian wanting to show appreciation, or a family member of an active duty military person, take time this month to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices the United States Armed Forces took to help make our country great.

Active duty military and veterans receive a special discount on services with The Wilbanks Consulting Group. Contact our team for more information on how we can help you through a career transition!

Posted on May 14, 2019 and filed under Community.

Strategies for Changing Seasons of Life & Career

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Whether it’s personal or professional, change is a constant that we can count on. When we understand that change—like the seasons—follows certain patterns, we can work through the stormy days change with confidence that sunshine is right around the corner.

If you find yourself in a season of career change, you can make the transition more successful by navigating the path forward with a few simple strategies.

Navigating a Seasons of Career Change

Focus – Reflect on your current career. Do you want to make a change? Identify your big picture career goal – where you want to see yourself – and focus on that goal. With a clear focus, you can silence the job search “noise” and stay focused and committed to your goal. You’ll also want to spend time visualizing yourself in your new career. Is the lifestyle a good fit?

Prepare – Does your goal require a new skill or education level? Take strategic steps to prepare yourself for your dream career. Research and identify what’s needed to advance through your new path. Work on building your resume to help it stand out. Gain knowledge by taking a course or earning a certification. Engage with other professionals in the field and work toward bridging the gap between where you are in your career and where you want to be.

Search – A good career search starts with a strong foundation.This is the time to update your job search materials like your resume, references, LinkedIn, and career binder.

Fine-tune a new networking introduction. What’s your 60-second elevator speech? Spending time preparing can be the difference between getting your foot in the door or not.

Take Action – Once you’ve prepared your search, it’s time to take action. Apply to your targeted companies. Leverage your network for more opportunities. Keep your eye on the end-goal and work relentlessly.

Manage & Evolve – Once you’ve landed your dream job and negotiated salary and benefits, it’s time to kick off your new career! But things will continue to change and you must adapt. Make it a habit to check in with yourself and your goals to ensure you haven’t strayed from the path.

Need help navigating the seasons of career change? Contact our team for help you focus, prepare, search, take action, and evolve!


How Much Personality Should You Bring To An Interview?

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During the interview process, there can be a fine line between showing your personality and showing a little too much. Sure, you want to show the hiring manager you’re a good cultural fit but you don’t want to appear like you’re catching up with friends at a party. So, where is that line and how do you know where you stand? Here are some guidelines to help you be yourself within professional boundaries.

Consider the Company and Industry

Context is everything. When you research the company, see what type of culture they have. Is it a casual start-up with ping pong tables and dogs in the office? Or is it a large corporate company where everyone wears suits and blazers every day? Based on this, you can determine how much of your personality to reveal. Startups often mean working long hours and possibly weekends to meet the demands of a new business, so the hiring manager will want to ensure you’d fit in with the team during long work weeks. On the other hand, an established corporation may need you to portray a sophisticated demeanor at all times because of frequent client visits.

Be Aware of Body Language

During the interview, the hiring manager will be looking for subtleties that make you stand out. If you approach them with a smile and handshake, you appear confident and professional. On the other hand, if you look down with your arms crossed, you appear disinterested and unapproachable. Mind your body language during interviews: sit tall, speak confidently and avoid nervous habits like biting your nails, tapping your foot, and using excessive filler words.

Avoid Controversial Topics

Regardless of how casual the interview is, don’t bring up controversial topics like religion, political views, or social issues.

Above All, Be Professional

Always act with the utmost professionalism. Be polite, courteous and humble. If you have to consider whether something is professional or not, it’s probably not.

Interviewing is an art that can be learned. If you’re considering changing careers and need guidance in the best responses to interview questions, we’d love to hear from you. Our team at The Wilbanks Consulting Group helps individuals with everything from search strategy and resumes to interview preparation and offer negotiation. Contact us to learn more.

Posted on April 30, 2019 and filed under Interviewing, Career.

Thank Your Administration Staff Today!

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In the day-to-day work routine, it can be hard to remember to stop and express thanks to those around you. When people are busy, they forget about being kind, especially to those in administrative roles. The truth is, administrative professionals do more than meets the eye. They organize, plan, solve, coordinate, assist, anticipate, and serve (among many other tasks) to keep the office running smoothly.

We encourage you to take time out of your day to express how thankful you are for them. Here are a couple of ways to show your appreciation.

Quick Ways to Show Appreciation

Notes - Simple thank you notes go a long way in expressing gratitude. If they helped you pull together a presentation in a pinch or booked your latest client dinner at a fantastic restaurant, send them a hand-written note thanking them. Learn how to write a great thank you note here.

Give them a Shout Out - Praise helps motivate people. Show the administrative staff how much you appreciate them with a public shout out. Either on a company-wide email, at a company-wide meeting, or on a company chat tool. Don’t underestimate what public recognition can do to make someone feel valued.

Use Humor - Humor tends to be more memorable than a simple “thank you.” Keep your thanks light-hearted with appropriate humor. For instance, you can say, “[name], you’re like a human Siri, always helping everybody out and asking nothing in return. You’re the best!” or “I’m sure you get frustrated on a daily basis — but you never show it! Thanks for putting up with us!”

Grab them Coffee/Tea - Heading out for a coffee run? Stop by the front desk and ask your administrative professionals what they’d like. Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness mean the most.

Taking a couple of minutes to quickly show appreciation can make your office administration professional’s entire day or week. What do you have to lose? Show your gratitude for them this week.

Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Community.

Helpful Tips For Taking Your Kids To Work Day

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“Take your kids to work day” is the fourth Thursday of April. The day marks a time when kids get a glimpse at the working world to learn what their parents do when they go to work. It’s an opportunity to show your children different aspects of your job so they can start thinking about career possibilities for themselves.

But this day is not as simple as bringing your mini-me into the office and carrying on with your normal routine. If you're planning to partake in the festivities, keep these helpful tips in mind.

Check With Your Manager

If your job has a “take your kid to work day” program in place, you’re in luck! If not, ask your manager for guidelines and ways to make the day go smoothly. Address things like if your child should stay the entire day, where they should sit, what meetings will be appropriate to attend, and if it’s appropriate to take a longer lunch break.

Plan The Day

Planning is crucial for a smooth day. Seek out parents who brought their kids into the office last year. Ask how it went and what they would do differently this year. Block off your schedule and make sure there are no important meetings or deadlines. That way you can work at a slower pace while you give an overview of what you’re doing and why, and welcome the kiddo’s questions.

Plan to show your kid around the office. Keep them busy by thinking out loud and sharing some problems and solutions you come up with. Engage them by asking questions and allowing them to try to do a few things on their own.

Identify What They’re Interested In

This day was created for youth to explore different aspects of the working world. Make the day about helping them explore office life. Are they interested in computer science? Let them meet an engineer. Do they love writing? Show them how to compose a professional email. Throughout the day keep in mind what they enjoy doing and incorporate that. While writing an email or a project brief may not seem fun to you, small things feel magnified when you’re young. It’s all about what they find fascinating.

Take your child to work day can be fun for you and your child with a little preparation. What tips for take your child to work day do you have to add to the list?

Posted on April 16, 2019 and filed under Community.

Spring Cleaning At Work

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Rebirth, regrowth and cleaning, all words synonymous with springtime. Are you on a Marie Kondo kick at home? Bring that cleaning attitude to work. Getting rid of those loose papers in your desk can really help clear the mind and adjust your focus on your goals.

There’s a reason why spring cleaning is so popular, it allows you to cleanse the excess you accumulated during the winter and get back to what’s really important. Here are some ways to spring clean at work, and prepare for a productive and efficient summer.

Go Digital

Use technology to help you stay organized. If you have performance reviews, old training materials, or other important documents you want to keep for reference, scan them and keep them on your computer or put them on a USB drive. Cutting down the paper clutter around your desk will help you stay organized and focused.

Use Organizers

Are you the type of person to keep a little bit of everything in your desk because who knows when you’ll need chapstick or breath mints? Invest in desk organizers. They help you locate items quickly and allow you to group similar items together.

Throw Things Away

After you’ve taken the steps above, throw out/recycle/shred papers that you don’t need and that extra stapler you’ve been hoarding. If you haven’t looked at or used something in a month, toss it.

Go Through Digital Documents

The documents, spreadsheets, and papers you have on your computer need attention too. Spend some time taking inventory of digital documents. If they’re important, create a folder on your computer and compile similar documents with it. If not, trash them!

If you use your desktop as your digital catch-all, create a few key folders that you know you will access regularly. A busy desktop is the same as a cluttered desk. Plus, it slows down your computer’s performance!

Refresh your Career Binder

Did you give a stellar presentation or receive impressive praise from your boss? Keep those items in your career binder. It’s easier to refresh your digital portfolio regularly than it is to do it while you’re on the job hunt. What better way to celebrate Spring than to acknowledge your own accomplishments by updating your career binder!

Want to learn more about putting together a career binder? Here’s a blog on how to put one together and what should go in it.

Don’t let spring cleaning overwhelm you. Make small goals and tackle one or two small things a day. You’ll be surprised at how great you’ll feel to see the progress!

What will you be spring cleaning this month?

Posted on April 9, 2019 and filed under Career.

How To Build Your Career Without Regrets

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No one wants to live a life full of regrets. Professionally, the fear of regret can stall success by delaying big decisions. Maybe you’re on the job hunt and you aren’t taking a chance on the dream job that’s open. Or maybe you are established in your career but not progressing how you’d like for fear of making a mistake.

How can you build your career without regrets? Follow these four strategies to seize the moment – and your career.

Define your Passion & Find a Career that Fulfills It

It’s important to find a career you’re passionate about. After all, you spend a good chunk of time at your job and with your colleagues. Start with a personality assessment to discover which career you’re most suited for based on your key traits. Putting time upfront to discover more about yourself and your passions will leave fewer chances for regret down the line.

Once you’ve identified your passions, start searching for career paths that fulfill that. Let’s say you’re passionate about helping people. Career paths that align with that include healthcare, client services, or real estate. A possible next step is to shadow or intern in the career paths you’re interested in. Once you’ve learned a bit more, determine if the field requires additional education or certifications. If you need more insight on career exploration, we’d love to hear from you.

Set Goals & Establish Check-ins

Whether you’re at your dream job or looking for your dream job, you need goals! Define them, write them down, and refer to them often. If you already have your dream job but need to take the next step, one goal could be to gain more experience so you qualify to be promoted. Hold yourself accountable to your goals by establishing regular check-ins. The best goals are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

When you have clear goals that you set and reach regularly, regret doesn’t have much room to work.

Balance Your Time

As you progress in your career, don’t neglect to make time for friends, family, and yourself. Your profession should be a part of you, not all of you. Schedule time for rest and relaxation – things that make you happy. Make time for yourself a priority, even if it’s something small like taking a nap on the weekends or snuggling up with a great book. Striking the balance between work life and personal life is so important to remain guilt- and regret-free.

No Regrets, Just Readjustments

“I wish I had more time for ___.” “I regret not doing ___.” “Time flew by and I never ___.”

Life is all about choices. You can choose to have regrets or you can reflect, make readjustments, and move forward.

If you feel like your career path isn’t aligning with your purpose, get in touch with us. We work with individuals who are ready to make a change in their lives and discover a passionate career path.

Posted on April 2, 2019 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

Creating A Clean Personal Brand

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Personal branding is how others view what you do and who you are online.

A personal brand in 2019 is a necessity, as so many business and networking opportunities start digitally. An effective personal brand needs to be unique, relevant and appealing. It’s worth spending some time investing in your brand and making it worthwhile.

You may have a personal brand whether you know it or not. When job hunting, it’s even more critical. It’s estimated 93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. Is your profile helping or hurting you? Here are some ways to build and maintain a clean personal brand for 2019.

  1. Polish Your Online Profiles - Clean up your photos (including tagged photos), make sure your bios are up-to-date and reflect your most recent experiences and goals.

  2. Google Yourself - Make sure the results link to profiles you’d be proud for employers to see. If not, make changes. Deactivate the social sites you’re no longer active on and refresh the profiles you still use as a great starting place.

  3. Highlight Your Uniqueness - What makes you different from everyone else? Is it your experience in a certain field or perhaps it’s your cross-channel expertise. Make sure your unique skills are showcased within your personal brand.

  4. Be Authentic - Your social media accounts are important but your personal brand extends beyond them. The way you hold yourself, your interactions, and the values you portray in real life (both inside and outside work) set the stage for your personal brand. Online profiles are important but don’t get too caught up in the online portion of building a personal brand and overlook authentic, true interactions.

There’s no doubt a poorly defined personal brand can be detrimental to your professional image. If you don’t define an image for yourself, others will define one for you. And it won’t necessarily show your best side. At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, our team can help you portray a polished personal brand that speaks to your goals and depicts your experiences. Get in touch with our team to learn more.

Posted on March 26, 2019 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.

Managing Madness At Work (Tips For Stress Relief & Organization)

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Sometimes work can feel like the last game of the NCAA March Madness – stressful, frantic, and anxiety-filled. You’re on the edge of your seat hoping to achieve your objectives for the day before the buzzer goes off. We’ve all been there, and while some workplace stress is inevitable, there are ways to manage the madness and excel in your career with minimal stress and organization.

Track Your Stressors And Develop Healthy Responses

What heightens your stress levels and how do you respond? These are completely different from person to person, but it’s important to identify what puts you on edge and how you naturally respond to it. Once you identify this, develop healthy coping methods. Relaxing with a good book, spending time with friends or family, doing yoga, or exercising are a few great ways many people cut stress.

Also make sure to get enough sleep so you’re refreshed and mentally prepared in the office. Sleep may be the first thing to slip when work gets tough, but that’s the time you need to make sleep a priority. If you're holding onto office stress at home, consider setting an alarm to get ready for bed. Brush your teeth, shower, play relaxing music, to clear your mind and prepare for sleep.

Prioritize Organization

Planning ahead and staying organized can greatly reduce stress. Manage your time and tasks more efficiently with a method that works for you. Whether using calendar reminders, time tracking tools, or traditional pen and paper, make sure you’re prioritizing organization.

Ditch Multitasking

While multitasking seems like a great way to get more done at once, studies show it actually decreases your productivity by 40%. When you have a long to-do list productivity needs to be on your side. Say no to multitasking and focus on completing one task at a time.

Has the workplace stress become too much to handle? If you’re considering a job change or big career move, we’re here to help you find your dream job. Our team of career coaches can help you identify your unique talents based on your personality traits and help you find the career that’s best suited for you. Contact us to get in touch with our team.

Posted on March 19, 2019 and filed under Career.

Helpful Career Habits For When The Time Changes

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Spring is in the air! The weather is taking a warm turn and daylight saving time is among us. That means we’re rapidly approaching the second quarter of the year. How are you doing on your 2019 goals? What changes need to be made to help you stay on track?

While good career habits should be practiced year-round, daylight saving time is a great time to re-energize your productivity at work.

Stay (Pro)Active

Springtime means we can get active and spend more time outside. Carry this momentum into work and be proactive with your projects. Jump on opportunities for responsibility even if they’re outside your job description. Check passivity at the door and take the driver's seat in your career. Not only will this help you learn, but your boss will likely take note the next time performance reviews come around. If you are eyeing a promotion, this is an amazing way to get a foot in.

Practice Time Management

Do you have an important project with a looming due date but you can’t get past your email? Activities like checking your inbox, rewriting to-do lists, and unnecessary meetings can derail your productivity.

Take control of your days by employing effective time management practices. Aim to complete the most important task first thing in the morning. Not all tasks are created equal, so organize your tasks based on importance and urgency using the Eisenhower Principal.This will help you identify the “fires” among the flames.

Another great time management tool is the Pomodoro Technique. For this method, you eliminate all distractions and interruptions during a timed 25-minute period. At the end of the 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Repeat this four times, then take a longer break. You’ll be surprised how much you can get accomplished with laser focus on one task per Pomodoro.

Cut Bad Work Habits

Bad habits are just those, habits. And habits are hard to break. Start by identifying them, then work on correcting them. Do you give into office gossip? Or maybe you procrastinate on your projects? We all have bad habits, and it’s how you overcome them that makes the difference. With proactive behavior and a positive mindset, you can overcome your negative patterns and instead create productive actions. Need more help eliminating bad habits? Here are some more tips.

Build On Good Habits

Many thought leaders of our generation have certain habits that boosts their productivity and creativity. Try these examples and see if they work for you. Who knows, maybe waking up at 5 am to workout before heading to the office is exactly the habit you need to start work refreshed and productive.

What work habits do you want to work on this season? At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, we’re committed to helping you achieve your career goals. Our blog is one way we do that! It’s full of helpful articles post to peruse to keep your career on track.


Posted on March 12, 2019 and filed under Career.

Do You Have a Bracket For Your Job Search?

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March Madness brackets are due March 17. It’s that time of year where we “bet” on top college basketball teams in hopes of a promising end to the season. If you pick a March Madness bracket – what’s your strategy? Do you choose your favorite team no matter how well they performed during the season? Or do you research the best teams and make your best bracket based on that? It can feel overwhelming to narrow down the teams based on their performance.

In many ways, you can set up a bracket for your job search. Start with a wide net of job prospects and narrow them down based on fit and secured interviews. Think of yourself as the NCAA championship trophy and the potential employers as the teams. When you match the trophy with the best-suited team – YOU with the best potential employer – you have a winning pair.

Here are a few ways to set your job search up with a bracket:

  1. Get Organized - Whether you’re planning your March Madness bracket or your job search bracket, the first step is to get organized. Research and list all the relevant potential employers and job openings in your region. If you’re open to relocation, list employers in those regions too. Use spreadsheets to stay on top of your communication, status, and next steps. Housing all this information in one spreadsheet will put you in scoring position for your next job.

  2. Start Broad - Cast a wide net and start narrowing it down based on your experiences with the employer. You won’t win every interview, but play the long game and stick it out. Not every job will match your skill set perfectly. If you’re really interested in a company, keep them in your bracket. While it may not be a slam dunk, at least you gave it a shot.

  3. Invest the Time - The job search, like March Madness, is a time-intensive process. But it’s worth it to find your dream job, so stick with it! Invest the time upfront selecting the teams and roles you could see yourself fitting in with best. Tweak each resume and cover letter personally to the employer and role.

  4. Find Takeaways - Job hunting and interviewing is a tough process, but aim to focus on the positives each step of the way. You may discover new must-haves for a job, or things you can do without. Every interview is a learning experience where you can reflect and improve for the next one.

  5. Play Until The Buzzer Rings - Don’t stop pursuing other opportunities simply because you found your ideal job at the ideal company. You never know how things will play out until the offer letter is signed. You may find out your dream job has mediocre benefits or less than ideal salary. If you don’t play your best with the other employers in your bracket, you may lose your opportunity. Stay strong and play out each game.

Are you ready to get the ball rolling on your job search but don’t know where to start? We admit it can be overwhelming. At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, we help people identify their strengths, prep for the interview, and coach throughout the entire job search process – from the application all the way to negotiation. If you need help setting up your job search bracket, we’re here to help.


Posted on March 5, 2019 and filed under Career, Search Strategy.

Tips for getting along with difficult coworkers

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You won’t get along with everyone. That’s a fact. We’ve all had experiences with coworkers who we just seem to butt heads with over and over again. Since you’re likely spending more time with your coworkers than anyone else, it’s crucial to put personal differences aside and be cordial for the sake of your job, and your professional satisfaction.

Here are a few tips to get along with difficult coworkers:

1. Leave Emotions at the Door

No matter how much that coworker irks you, check your emotions at the door and start each day with a positive attitude. Positivity attracts positivity, so when you think and act this way, you may be surprised how even the most difficult people respond.

2. Be Kind

Showing kindness and “doing the right thing” will help you feel happier and more fulfilled at work. Professional kindness can come in many different forms, from grabbing an extra coffee for your coworker to lending a hand when bandwidth is tight. Giving back and showing your coworkers you care will always do more positive than negative for your professional relationship.

3. Respect

Every workplace relationship needs respect to be productive. You don’t have to like everyone you work with in order to show respect. Some ways to demonstrate this are cleaning up after yourself, listening to everyone’s ideas, and not taking the credit for others’ work.

4. Avoid Controversial Topics

Some colleagues are easier to get along with than others, likely because you have a lot (or nothing) in common. For those working relationships that are not so easy, stick to work-related or light topics. Avoid talking about things you know may spark an argument like religion or politics. Also, avoid topics relating to your personal life. As tempting as it may be, save those conversations for friends or family.

5. Avoid Gossip

Whether it’s true or false, it should not be spread in the workplace. Gossip does nothing but distract and contribute to a toxic work environment. How to avoid it? Refuse the temptation to talk about your coworkers behind their backs.

6. Limit Your Time

There’s no need to spend a lot of time with someone who is difficult. Keep your interactions focused and work related. Before going to them, plan your objective for the conversation and stick to the topic on hand. By limiting your time with difficult coworkers, you’re able to focus your efforts on productive, work-related conversations.  

Our team at Wilbanks Consulting Group can help you manage difficult career circumstances and identify an ideal career path for you based on your experience and personality. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Posted on February 26, 2019 and filed under Career.

Do you love your boss? (& Do they love you?)

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A good employee-boss relationship can be the difference between a miserable job and an enjoyable, fulfilling one. Your boss can be a lot of things to you – a coach, mentor, and maybe even friend. The relationship you have with your boss can open future career opportunities and have a big impact on your future professional life.

But what exactly does a good employee-boss relationship look like?

Mutual Respect

Even if you and your boss are friends outside of work, you need to show respect for them and their position at work. Treat them with kindness and be courteous of their time, privacy, and authority. In return, you should look for the same respect from them.

Friendly Professionalism

Being professional doesn’t mean you’re a robot. We’re humans working with humans, so aim to be positive in your communication and interactions while practicing active listening.

Be Open

Both you and your boss should be willing to accept feedback without getting defensive. Be open to listening to what your boss has to say about improving your performance and teamwork.

When providing or receiving feedback, pay attention to your body language. Being slumped over and closed off signifies low confidence and uncertainty. While standing tall and making eye contact asserts yourself as credible and capable.

How to Identify a Boss’s Management Style During the Interview Process

It can be hard to know if you and your potential boss will mesh well before spending a couple days in the office, and here are some tips to help predict if your personalities will align.

1. Ask About The Team Dynamic

Will you be working on a team? If so, ask about the team dynamic and how he or she, as the boss, fit into this dynamic. Listen for insights into the company culture and their management style.

2. Ask About Their Management Style

At the right time, ask your potential new boss about his or her management style. While it may seem like an uncomfortable question, it’s entirely appropriate to learn more about your potential employee-boss relationship. If their response is genuine, it will help you understand how to best work under his or her leadership. If it’s not...this boss may not be the best fit for you.

3. Be Aware of Their Email Communication

If you email your prospective boss during the interview process, pay attention to how they communicate. Is it short and to the point? Or does the email have a conversational tone and use exclamation points? Also, how quick are they to respond? Both tone and frequency can reveal a lot about their style and how well you’d get along with them.

If you’re considering changing jobs, we’d love to hear from you. We offer complete career coaching and exploration packages designed to help you discover your dream job.

Posted on February 19, 2019 and filed under Career.

How To Make A Hiring Manager Fall In Love Your Resume

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You’re sitting across from each other, making eye contact, and answering questions about yourself and your background. Is this a date? No, it’s a job interview. Similar to a first date, hiring managers use job interviews to see if you’d be a good fit, long term.

The interview process starts the moment the hiring manager reads your resume. Are you putting your best foot forward?  Make sure your resume follows these guidelines to land the opportunity for an interview.

1. Tailor Your Resume for the Job

Sure, this will take more time than sending the same resume to every potential employer, but it’s worth it! If you tie in job duties or achievements from your work experience to the job you’re applying to, it assures the hiring manager you’re qualified. Hiring managers likely see hundreds of resumes before deciding on the top candidates. By adding keywords from the job description to your resume, you’ll stand out among the competition.

2. Don’t Fib

As tempting as it may be, just don’t do it. Lying on your resume is a big no-no. It’s not a matter of if your lie will come out, it’s a matter of when. And when it does, you’ll suffer major consequences and could lose your job. If you’re insecure about your background, get in touch with us. We can help you articulate your experiences to make sure you have a fair chance, without stretching the truth.

3. Include a Summary of Qualifications

This section should be a couple of sentences below the header. Tailor it to the job your applying for and explain why you’re qualified. Be clear and concise.

4. Make Your Resume Skimmable

If your resume isn’t easy to skim, it will be disregarded immediately. Hiring managers have a tough job of screening countless candidates and if they can’t get the gist of your resume in the first couple seconds, they’ll move on. Some components of an easy-to-skim resume include a header, subheaders, easy to read fonts, good use of bolding and italicizing, and a place to easily locate your contact information.

5. Consider Adding Coursework Experience

Coursework and major projects are huge learning experiences, so add them! This also assures the interviewer you’re qualified for the job. However, there are some limitations. Only add this section if you recently graduated or if you’re making a major career change to a different industry. And once you have a couple years of work experience under your belt, loose this section.

6. Finesse the Resume Order

If you’re a recent grad, put your education summary before your work or volunteer experience, unless it’s extensive and relevant. Also consider adding clubs, organizations, and GPA to this section. This will create a more robust resume when you don’t have work experience. On the other hand, if you’ve been in the workforce for years, your experience on the job is more pertinent than the college you graduated from 10 plus years ago. Move this section below your work experience.

You can create a resume a hiring manager will fall in love with. If you want tailored tips for success, contact our team. We work with recent grads, those who want a complete career change, and professionals ready to level up their career with a stellar resume. We’d love to connect!

Posted on February 12, 2019 and filed under Resume.

Does work make you all warm and fuzzy?

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We all want a career that’s equally enjoyable and fulfilling. So what do you do when your career isn’t hitting the mark? It’s not always as simple as following your passion. For example, you may be passionate about baking, but pursuing a career as a pastry chef isn’t realistic for you. Instead, perhaps you pursue a career that allows you to use similar skills utilized when baking (i.e., precision in following a process with opportunity to apply creative elements throughout).

A fulfilling career allows you to help others by utilizing your passion.

Components of a Fulfilling Career

To discover what career gives you the warm fuzzies, you need to combine the work you’re good at with work that helps others. It’s easier said than done – most people don’t know what they’re good at, or don’t have the confidence to pursue it fully. Identifying your unique traits through career exploration can help in discovering your dream job.

Another critical component is finding the right workplace and right boss. A bad boss can ruin your dream job. That’s why it’s important to find a supportive work environment. To unveil this during an interview, ask questions about the company culture and team dynamics.

What To Do When Your Career Isn’t Fulfilling

If you’re stuck at a job that doesn’t bring you value and isn’t in a supportive environment, satisfaction will never come, no matter how much money you earn.

If you aren’t in a meaningful career, it may be time to step back and assess your future career plans and goals. Your goals might include finding another job, going back to school, or changing career paths completely. It’s never too late to discover the best career for you.

If you find yourself needing to switch gears, a good place to start is identifying what you like and dislike about your current role. If your dislikes relate more to the company than the job, it could be time to explore other opportunities. If you dislike the work you’re doing, perhaps a career change is the next step.

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we know how challenging this process is. We’re here to help you discover the best career for you based on your unique strengths. We offer everything from career exploration to interview coaching and offer negotiation. Our team can help you find your dream job. Reach out to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more.  

Posted on February 5, 2019 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.

Plan Your Vacations Now For A Healthy Work/Life Balance

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Usually, planning for the new year includes goals and strategies for professional development. Land the job. Earn the promotion. Get a raise. Add a new skill to your resume. Finish your education.

We suggest tagging on an additional goal: plan out all of your vacations for the year right now. Every professional development plan should include scheduled vacations and rest for the next 12 months.

What Is A Real Vacation?

A vacation is time away from the office doing something you love. For some, that may include beach time, family time, art walks, theater outings, cooking classes – whatever makes you happy and helps you unwind.

A vacation is NOT time away from the office with your laptop and phone, checking emails frequently and answering texts and phone calls throughout the day. A real vacation is when you turn your brain off from the normal stress and responsibilities of your profession to rest and relax.

Why Vacation Needs To Be Scheduled Now

There are many reasons why you need to take a vacation this year:

  • Reduces stress

  • Good for your health

  • Improves productivity

  • Boosts creativity

  • Increases your happiness

  • Opens your mind to new perspectives

  • You need time for your family and yourself

You need to schedule your vacation now because if you don’t, you’ll find reasons not to take it.

“It’s such a busy time right now.”

“There is a big deadline coming up. I don’t want to do that to my team.”

“It’s just not a good time to take time off.”

If you schedule all of your vacation now, you can plan around your time off. When speaking with clients, let them know at the start of new projects that you have “blackout” dates. Put the time off in your team’s calendar so everyone knows and expects when you’ll be away.

Need help developing a career strategy (that includes vacations) this year? We’d love to help! Contact us today to set up a meeting with one of our career coaching experts.

Posted on January 29, 2019 and filed under Career.

The 3 Week Slump - What To Do When You Hit A Wall With Your Goals

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We’re three weeks into the new year. Many of you have set goals to land a new job, earn a promotion, switch careers, or improve your skill set.

How’s it going?

Are you on track to reach your goals? Or have you already started to derail?

Regardless of your answer, everyone experiences obstacles and internal resistance when implementing new habits and striving to reach challenging goals. While it’s to be expected, it can be very frustrating.

5 Ways To Get Through The Slump When You’ve Hit A Wall

If you feel you are hitting a wall when it comes to your new year’s goals, you’re in the right place. Let’s chat about 5 ways to get through the slump when you’ve hit a wall with your goals.

Be honest. Don’t pretend that you are on track with your goals if you aren’t. There are no heroes when you’re only limiting yourself. Most of your goals aren’t shared with anyone, so take the opportunity to really be honest with yourself and analyze how you’re doing.

Question yourself. What obstacles are getting in your way? Did you create these walls, or are they out of your control? Spend time brainstorming the issues the you’re facing, keeping in mind that some may be more obvious than others. Once you think you understand what is getting in your way, talk it out with a trusted mentor. Sometimes it’s easier to see problems from the outside.

Tap your creative side. Doing what you’ve always done is only going to yield similar results. How can you change what you’re doing to get back on track and reach your goals? Consider setting up an accountability partner, changing your routine, or even reframing your goals. The solution will be different for every person, and every goal. So be creative and figure out what will truly work for you!

Target smaller steps. It can be overwhelming to tackle your goals, especially if you’ve created challenging goals that are going to stretch you. Stretch goals are good (and healthy!), but if you find yourself hitting a wall, step back. Make smaller goals to reach your bigger goal and then focus on one step at a time. Set yourself up for success and target that first small step.

Keep going. Take a deep breath and release any guilt you feel over hitting the wall. Put one step in front of the other. Keep going. The first three weeks are always the hardest! Don’t let a detour or backstep deter you from reaching your goals.

If you need an extra boost, we’d love to coach you through the process. A career coach may be just what you need to keep going and make it over the three week slump. Contact us today!


Posted on January 22, 2019 and filed under Career.

Bringing The Spirit of MLK Into The Workplace

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Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.”

MLK’s commitment to servitude inspired people around to globe to work for every person’s freedom, by any means necessary. His selfless acts of service to the country live on well past his death. Each January we reflect and remember the lessons he instilled. While Martin Luther King, Jr. primarily spoke on civil rights, his strong leadership can be incorporated into our work lives to inspire us to give back.

As we remember the great civil rights work of Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s consider how we can give back in the workplace.

Here are 4 ways you can give back at work and make a difference in the lives of your coworkers:

  1. Become a Mentor -  Use your unique experience to mentor a junior employee. Reflect on how you felt at the same stage of their career and empathize with their challenges, offering solutions to consider. If you don’t have years of work experience under your belt, consider reaching out to your alma mater and mentoring someone who shares the same major as you. Be a helping voice to others on a similar path.

  2. Give a Shoutout - Workplaces are often a thankless place. But a little thanks goes a long way! Did a team member step up and help you complete a project? Let them know! Did a client love the work your production team did on the latest project? Give the production team a shoutout and thank them for their hard work. By encouraging your coworkers on their “wins,” you’re contributing to a healthy and productive work environment.

  3. Champion Volunteer Efforts - There’s no doubt volunteering can help others, but it can also boost your overall well-being. For most of us, it’s not a part of the regular routine. Why not lead the charge and put together volunteering efforts for your company or team? Start by scoping out volunteer groups in your area, then ask your team which they would want to work with. You’ll be giving back to the community while also adding value and confidence in your workplace.

  4. Empower Team Members -  No matter your place on the organizational chart, you can give back by empowering others. Here are some ways to empower others, no matter your job title:

    1. Invite coworkers to share their ideas on a new project or client task. They may add a fresh perspective and feel empowered by learning more aspects of the job.

    2. Help your team members grow by giving direct, constructive feedback. Feedback is often viewed as uncomfortable, but most people want more of it. Structure the feedback in an empowering and constructive way. Don’t tear down but build up!

    3. Work with others to identify and develop skills they want to learn. Empowering them to explore new skills will help them gain confidence and become a more dynamic coworker.

    4. Demonstrate trust by not micromanaging. Instead, establish regular check-ins. This trust empowers your team members to do their job with feeling like you’re looking over their shoulder.

A team that empowers each other to do more, be better, and grow is a true testament to a strong culture. Give back and contribute to a positive culture by empowering those around you.

Interested in more ways to give back? Thank you notes go a long way in showing gratitude. Learn more about how to lead by serving.


Posted on January 15, 2019 and filed under Leadership.

Do You Have A Career Binder?

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We love tools that help make our professional development easier. One of our favorite tools is a career binder or portfolio.

What’s a career binder and why do I need one?

A career binder—also known as a brag book—contains the documents that back up the achievements on your resume. A comprehensive binder builds your confidence and can help you be prepared to impress your supervisor, hiring managers, and anyone else in leadership. It gathers the very best of who you are and what you’ve accomplished in one place, ready to share with anyone at a moments notice.

As you begin the new year, create a career binder now to help align your goal planning with the contents.

What Should Be in Your Career Binder?

You can use a career binder to prepare for an upcoming performance review, when discussing a promotion or raise with your supervisor, or when applying for a new position. Think of it as your emergency kit to always be ready to put your best foot forward to elevate your career.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what should be in your career binder:

  1. Introduction/Elevator Speech - Write a cover letter of sorts that introduces you, your personal brand, and your core competencies. Even if you never show this to anyone, it is helpful for you to have thought through these topics so you are ready to talk about them if the opportunities arise.

  2. Professional Background - An updated resume or CV highlighting your professional background should always be ready to go.

  3. STAR Behavioral Examples - Let your accomplishments shine! Most supervisors and interviewers will ask open-ended questions like, “Describe a time when…,” or “Tell me about…” Answer these questions using the STAR method which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Resolution. When composing your career binder, think of your best accomplishments and break them down using the STAR method. Having an overview in your binder for your supervisor or interviewer to review, will impress them. However, don’t write out word for word what happened, aim to keep the example in your binder concise. Use the interview to elaborate on the example.

  4. Recommendations and Awards - Add relevant recommendations or reviews from previous employers or professors. These don’t necessarily have to be formal recommendation letters or award certificates. If you receive an email with kudos for a job well done or a congratulations for completing training, print it and include it!

  5. Work-Related Documents - It can be helpful to include any supporting documentation that completes the picture of your work capabilities and achievements. This may include performance evaluations, publications you’ve authored, or other evidence of your skills.

Want even more career development tips and tricks? At the Wilbanks Consulting Group, we can help prepare you for your dream career – from creating your first career binder to negotiating your salary package. We have the tools and expertise to give you the competitive edge in your job search. Contact us to learn more.

Posted on January 1, 2019 and filed under Career.