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Succeeding in the Workplace

Man Giving presentation representing Kevin Dee at PDW 2013

Yesterday I was a speaker at the 50th Anniversary Professional Development Week conference in Ottawa.  This event is for technology workers in the  Canadian Federal Government and is held at the beautiful Ottawa Convention Centre.

What a fantastic conference they have organised this year with keynote speakers including Steve Wozniak (The Woz), David Suzuki, Peter Mansbridge and Rick Mercer (and of course Kevin Dee)!

My talk was about how to be successful in our changing workplace.

First I talked about WHY the change is happening:

1.  The speed at which technology is advancing … with references to some of the innovations in just my lifetime.

2.  The impact of demographics, the retiring boomers, the smaller workforce following on and the inevitable need to increase our tax paying workforce as our tax system copes with the increased burden of an aging population.

3.  The impact of globalization including access to low cost talent in other countries.  Here in Canada we saw our manufacturing base eroded significantly this way, and we have seen off-shoring of tech jobs too.

4.  The fiscal realities we now face.  The recession was devastating and many economies have still not recovered, the markets are still fluctuating and this appears to be our new reality … so the creation of jobs is affected.

My message to the audience was that they are responsible for their own destiny, and that if they want to change theri situation they need a plan.  If they think of themselves as a company and develop a Mission, Vision and core values this would be the foundation they could build upon.

I provided some practical advice in four areas in order for people to reach their goals … Attitude, Personal Branding, Lifelong Learning and Networking.

The reality is that all of us NEED to work … and therefore if we are going to put that many hours into work then why not do it with a positive attitude.  Attitude was the first thing that needs to be “worked on” in order to successfully transform your life.

I wrote a blog entry called Your Attitude Defines You… which gives many of the points I talked about in my presentation on the subject of Attitude.  Take a read.

The next area I focused on was Personal Branding … which basically mirrored a blog entry I wrote about Enhancing Your Personal Brand.  The question is really about what image you want to project, how do you want to be viewed by your bosses, coworkers, potential employers etc.  This includes both physically and virtually … what do you want people to see when they Google you?

I have written about Lifelong Learning many times so the message that we become obsolete fast in our ever changing world is probably getting a little old.  I did provide some pragmatic things you can do to help yourself and a blog entry I wrote called How to Get Smarter covers most of them.

The final area I covered was networking, and recognising this an an area most people struggle with I again tried to provide some concrete suggestions for expanding your network.   A blog entry entitled 10 Tips for Networking in Today’s World is probably a little old, but the content is still relevant and contains much of what I shared with the audience.

I finished up with a slide that talked about some Rules to Enjoy LIFE … and I define my life as a holistic entity comprised of both work and home, which are inter related.  A blog entry I wrote called Living Your Life contains much of that content!

The presentation seemed to be well received … I hope you find something of value here.