Category Archives: Career Advice

Career Planning & Self-Development: Part 2

This article is the second in a two-part series on Career Planning & Self Development.

MushroomLast week, I invited you to ask yourself some foundational questions when planning your next career move. You need to know who you are and what you want, and you need to get curious about the opportunities around you.

But once you know those couple things about yourself, you’re ready to advance to the next level of your career planning!

Fill In the Gaps

Odds are, if you find a listing for your dream job, the required qualifications aren’t going to look like a photocopy of your own resumé. There are probably a few gaps along the path between you and occupational bliss. Whether it’s a certification you don’t have, a degree you never finished, or simply not enough years of related experience, it can be incredibly disheartening to realize you’re still far off from the thing you want.

But there’s good news: You can do something about it! Continue reading

Career Planning & Self-Development: Part 1

I love making plans. There’s something about figuring out what I want and how I’m going to get there that simply excites me. It’s a bit like a puzzle – if I want to get to point A, but I’m way over here at point Q, what’s the best way to close that gap?Video Game Guy 1

For me, it’s a little like playing a video game as a kid. I loved working my way through those old, pixilated games! As an adult, the sense of accomplishment when I put together a smart strategy is the grown-up version of clearing a difficult level in Super Mario Brothers.

It took me a while to realize that not everyone is wired this way.

Perhaps you’re like me and enjoy sitting down with a pen and paper and mapping out a strategy for achieving your future goals. Or, perhaps you’re not like me, and what I just described is your perfect recipe for a panic attack. Either way, when it comes to your career, a little bit of focus and planning can go a long way.

This article is the first in a two-part series where I’ll fill you in on the most important lessons I’ve learned about planning my next career move. In each article, I’ll touch on two major areas that, when all linked together, should help set you on the right path. Continue reading

Women in Leadership: Meet Griselda Ramos

“Take risks! Dive in! If you see a project of interest, volunteer for it. This marks you as a go-getter and someone who can be trusted with even more.”

Griselda Ramos has excellent insights for people early in their careers. She started her own career with Leggett 18 years ago as a Staff Accountant. “One of the things which really attracted me to Leggett straight out of school was handling several different kinds of accounting. There’s always a different flavor to what I’m doing!”

Griselda has worked in several roles during her tenure with Leggett. “I slowly moved my way up to Senior Accountant, Assistant Controller, and then Controller.” She currently serves as Regional Controller for our Fashion Bed Group (FBG).

Griselda and friends

Griselda Ramos (left) pictured with a few of her colleagues. From left to right are Wanda Bonilla (Customer Support Manager), Linda Hickey (Sr. VP of Operations for FBG), Debbie Choate (Customer Service Manager), and Julie Kee (HR Manager).

Her dedication and consistent performance are precisely why her manager nominated her for the Emerging Leader Academy, a Leggett program that provides training and development for our emerging leaders. “The Academy has been extremely beneficial,” she said. “It has really forced me to ask, ‘What can I do better in my role?’ and ‘What could I do differently for the company?’” Continue reading

Three Tips to Improve Your Creative Thinking

I’m not an artist. I don’t have the word “designer” in my title. I repeatedly fail to master those pesky Pinterest projects that haunt me at night. But I’m still creative – at least, I’m working on it.

There are two big misconceptions about creativity. The first is that creativity is solely artistry. Just because you can’t design a fancy graphic for a presentation or sketch your self-portrait, it doesn’t mean you’re not creative!

The second misconception is that creativity is a talent. Many believe that you are either born with a creative gene or you’re not. But creativity is a skill, and you can work to improve it over time.

If you’re trying to develop your creativity, keep these three tips in mind:

Get uncomfortable.

When was the last time you pushed past the easy ideas for that “aha” moment? As adults, leaving behind what we know can prove challenging or can really bother us. (Farewell, carefree nature.) Acting silly or being adventurous is often reserved for children – but it shouldn’t be. Continue reading

10 Customer-Relationship Commandments

Note: This material was pulled from our in-house class, Customer Focus, taught by Director of Learning & Development Alissa Owsley. For more learning content like this, check out our 2-part SlideShare series on The Art of Coaching Employees and 6 Truths about Persuasion.

At Leggett & Platt we equate good customer service with good relationship-building skills. The bond between you and your customer—whether within your company (say a peer or your boss) or external (the traditional “customer”)—is just that, a relationship that needs attention and takes work.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with 10 universal customer-relationship commandments. You don’t have to have “customer service representative” in your title to get something out of these. Continue reading

6 Quick Tips For Lasting Connections – Network Smarter Part 3

Networking Smarter 3 - Lasting Connections

Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series

By now I hope you’ve noticed an emerging theme: networking isn’t all about you. Like any other relationship, it’s a two-way street. If you take anything away from this mini-series, I hope you take this: giving is more important that receiving. You network smarter when you’re attentive to others’ wants and needs. It’s effective and it makes for lasting connections. Continue reading

6 Tips for a Great First Impression: Network Smarter Part 2

Networking Smarter 2 - First Impressions

Last week, in part one of the Network Smarter series, we talked about social media, personal brand, and your professional online presence. That may be the first step in networking but it’s certainly not the last. Here are six tips to help you make a great first impression:

1. Think about your appearance.

I agree with Oscar Wilde who said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Especially when it comes to first impressions. Initial reactions matter. Pay attention your appearance including accessories, clothes, etc., before your next meet-n-greet event. As unfair as it may seem, people will make assumptions about your personality based on what you’re wearing, your hygiene, and how you carry yourself. It’s just human nature.

Continue reading

3 Steps To Optimize Your Online Reputation – Network Smarter Part 1 of 3

Networking Smarter 1 - Social Media

Welcome to the first in a series of three articles written to help you network smarter, not harder. This week’s topic: getting started with social media.

While face-to-face interactions remain the best form of networking, social networking sites can help you connect with other professionals easier than ever. And, in our increasingly hyper-connected world, it’s now essential to have an online presence you’re proud of.

Step 1 – Assess the situation

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5 Things I Learned NOT To Do Before A Presentation

5 Things to AvoidBe it to peers or upper management, in-person or online, professional presentations can be scary. At least, they are for those who suffer from speech anxiety, including yours truly. However, I’ve found from experience that properly preparing for a presentation and avoiding the list below will help calm those speech-day jitters.


 

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Impress your Boss: 3 Management Styles and 10 Tips that’ll Dazzle ‘em

There are 130-plus employees in Leggett & Platt’s IT department and well over half of them manage either people or projects. As an entry-level IT employee, I get to work with all the management-style combinations you could imagine on a daily basis. It used to make my head spin, so I categorized managers (with the help of trainingmag.com terminology) into 3 main management styles. Then I analyzed the characteristics and came up with ways I could dazzle ‘em all.

 

Directing Management Style IconThe Directing Management Style

Managers who use this style tell employees what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done.  They like to poke holes in your arguments, they like to be in full control, and—if we’re all being honest— they can be a little intimidating. They know what they want and they expect no less than their vision (which is often brilliant). Continue reading