By Steve Michaels
“At least half of our waking hours are spent on the job and going to and from work,” says John A. Challenger, CEO of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “It only stands to reason that improving this major component of one’s life can lead to greater overall happiness.”
If your goals involve career change or advancement, you’re not alone. A poll by MyGoals.com found that starting a business ranked second only to losing weight as the most popular goal for 2007. Other goal accomplishments on the list were being financially independent or starting the search for a new job or business.
If you want to be happier and more successful in your current business or in climbing the corporate ladder than you were last year, you need some focus. With that in mind, here is a list of goals worth considering for prospective entrepreneurs:
- Take risks: “You have to be brave and courageous,” says Beth Schoenfeldt, co-owner of Ladies Who Launch, an Internet-based consulting business for women entrepreneurs. “Do something that scares you every day and then push yourself to do more. You can’t play it safe or you’ll get run over by everyone else.”
- Assess the market: A comment made at the recent ATSI Owners Forum was, “My product is like everyone else’s.” Discover the bottom line for your customers. What do they really want and need from a call center? Once you discover the real reason they need you, provide them with that service. Ask yourself, “What can I offer my customer that is different from my competitors?”
- Look at your market: With the use of 800 numbers, T1s, and VoIP, the world is now your marketplace. Create an environment for happier, better-trained agents while reducing your costs by taking advantage of the home-based, virtual office in order to match or beat your competition. Hire competent, experienced staff that enjoys working from home. Besides the cost savings, you will be able to staff your operation when there is a workload, not when they are available.
- Focus: Find a niche and serve it. Whatever segment of the industry you want to serve, such as funeral homes, apartment complexes, medical accounts, and so forth, know it and do it well. Become the expert in what you do.
- Serve: Service is thinking about others and working on their behalf to deliver something they want, need, or value. Service isn’t about me, me, me.
- Perform a career checkup. Lynn Brown of the outplacement firm Right Management in Parsippany, NJ says the start of a new year is “an ideal time to take a realistic look at where you are, where you expect to be going, and how satisfied you are with both.” Investigate the options available and ask yourself where you want to be in five years. “Start recognizing yourself as a financial entity that has to survive in the workforce for at least half a century,” says Brown.
- Create a folder on your desktop at home called “Career Management” and take stock of your abilities, including any sales, operations, and business management. Realize that you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can hire the talent in areas where you are weak.
- Update skills. Ask yourself,”Do I need to learn a new computer skill or management skill this year? Am I always learning and performing my job as a visionary for my company?”
- Create Value through Innovation. “Helping your customers achieve their goals creates value,” stated Professor Gregory Carpenter at the ATSI Owners Forum. “Innovation begins with abandonment. If the way you operate just isn’t working, then abandon it. Innovation creates solutions.”
- Balance work and personal life. If you neglect your children this year, you’ll lose that time and never get it back. New opportunities have emerged in the telemessaging industry where you “can have your cake and eat it too.” With VoIP, the virtual office, and the latest technological advancements now available and affordable in today’s marketplace, you can afford to stay at home and be there for your children when they arrive from school. Every individual has to ask themselves, “Am I doing what I need to do for my work and my family this day? This week?” This month? This year?
The telemessaging industry is alive with opportunity. It is a business with recurring cash flow and can be run from an office or out of your home utilizing an affordable hosted system. Remember that you can have a fulfilling career while enjoying your life at the same time.
Steve Michaels of TAS Marketing can be reached at 800-369-6126 or firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is located at www.tasmarketing.com. Parts of this article were taken from, “Workers Can Keep Resolutions to Reach Top of Career Ladder” by Theresa M. McAlevy from The Record. Other comments and information came from this year’s ATSI Owners Forum.
[From Connection Magazine – April 2007]