Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 20, 2007


The following is an excerpt from my new book, "MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD - A Handbook for Entering the Work Force" which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life. The book offers considerable advice regarding how to manage our personal and professional lives. As a part of this, I found it necessary to discuss why it is important to create a sense of professionalism as it applies to a young person's career.

Creating a Sense of Professionalism

Although you may want to excel in your chosen profession, it may be difficult if the corporate culture doesn't encourage you to do so. Employees are sometimes ridiculed for aspiring to rise above the status quo and take on a more professional attitude towards their work. Even worse, jealous employees may even undermine your efforts. These are people who have surrendered to the status quo and put forth little effort to rise above it. This is what I refer to as the "Misery loves company" phenomenon. It takes a strong willed person with considerable perseverance to rise above the status quo.

As an individual, you have to find your niche, your area of specialty, and then master it. To do so, become a student of your profession. In addition to mastering your subject area, develop a sense of history to understand how the profession has changed and where it should be heading. Further, resist the temptation to produce mediocre workmanship and strive for perfection.

In addition to your continued professional development, you have to cultivate a certain image or persona that allows people to know you take your work seriously. This can take many forms: your physical appearance, your demeanor, but more importantly your resourcefulness and job performance. Be careful though not to violate the social norms of the corporate culture. If your appearance or actions are radically different, the culture will begin to resist your efforts even if you have the best intentions. To overcome this problem, solicit support from like-minded individuals and work together towards improving the professional standards in your department. In fact, you have a better chance of raising the sense of professionalism when your manager truly supports teamwork. If you can embed professional conduct into a team, it will inevitably become a part of the overall corporate culture.

One last thing in this regards, if you are really trying to cultivate a professional image, you might want to reconsider any listings you might have in, or any other such Internet listings. This might have been fun as a kid, but is this something you want your boss and coworkers to see?

Career Planning

Like it or not, the era of twenty or thirty years of employment are over. Even in Japan, the custom of "lifetime employment" is quickly coming to an end. This is probably due to the fast-paced world economy we now live in. Regardless, there is no longer any trust between management and its workers, and corporate loyalty is a thing of the past. Instead of having a career path within a single company, employees now realize their career path will probably take them through several different companies. Because of this, do not be afraid to leave a company if you feel your career plans are being delayed or sidetracked. Also understand the difference between a true promotion and a lateral move to another area in the company. Sometimes a lateral move can be helpful in that it may offer you an opportunity to shine where you couldn't before, but on the other hand, it could also be a hint to you to move along to another company and job, particularly if your new area is a dead end.

Before you decide to resign, make sure you have a better job lined up first. This means an employee should always keep his resume and skills inventory up to date. Further, if you are going to leave your job, try to maintain amicable relations with your company and workers, you never know when this might come in handy. I realize this may be difficult to do, particularly if you and your employer have little regard for each other, but you should not get in the habit of burning your bridges. And understand this, in today's litigious society, company's rarely give references. Most will only confirm your job title and the length of your employment, and little else. It is not that they want to give a good or a bad reference on you, they simply fear the legal repercussions for doing so.

If you decide to go back to the job market, there are now many more ways to get your resume in front of others than just a few years ago, particularly through the many Internet job portals now available. There are also job recruiters you might want to work with to locate a job for you. In this event, realize the job recruiters do not work for free and, as such, someone has to pay for their service, either you or the company recruiting you. Either way, make sure this is clear before entering into a contract with a recruiter. Sometimes companies like working through recruiters, others have policies prohibiting the use of them.

If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

OUR BRYCE'S LAW OF THE WEEK therefore is... "It takes a strong willed person with considerable perseverance to rise above the status quo."


Friends, as mentioned, we have just published a new book entitled, "MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD - A Handbook for Entering the Work Force" which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life. Reviewer Bill Petrey praised it by saying, "Every young person entering the workplace for the first time should be given a copy of this book." The book includes chapters to describe how a young person should organize themselves, how to adapt to the corporate culture, develop their career, and improve themselves professionally and socially. Basically, its 208 pages of good sound advice to jump start the young person into the work force. Corporate Human Resource departments will also find this book useful for setting new hires on the right track in their career. It not only reinforces the many formal rules as contained in corporate policy manuals, but also includes the subtle unwritten rules we must all observe while working with others. The book lists for $25 and can be ordered online through MBA or your local book store. Complementing the book is a one day seminar of the same name which can be purchased separately for $4,000.00 (U.S.) plus instructor travel expenses. For more information on both the book and the seminar, visit our corporate web site at:
ISBN: 978-0-9786182-5-4


In talking to my network of friends and business associates, I've discovered that everybody seems to have a family skeleton in their closet, a "Black Sheep," meaning there is some relative who you can count on to disrupt the harmony of the family. This could be a nutty aunt or uncle, a brother or sister, son or daughter, you get the idea. Time and again they seem to go out of their way to embarrass the family. Consequently, we like to keep them locked up at major family functions such as at weddings or get-togethers. We keep them at arm's length as we do not want their screwy life to disrupt our own and pray they do not drain the family emotionally or financially.

I always found it interesting that American presidents have had to keep a lid on certain relatives. For example, Jimmy Carter was always worried about the antics of his brother Billy who was best known for his beer and registering as a foreign agent on behalf of the Libyan Government. Ronald Reagan worried about what his offspring might say in public. I think Patti's pictorial in Playboy probably pushed him over the edge.

But the presidents are not alone in this regard. I think everyone has some relative, either distant or close, that has caused heartbreak for the family either because of money, substance abuse, something said out of turn, committing a crime, or just their whacky personality. I remember my father-in-law had an estranged brother living in Florida whom he hadn't spoken to in years over a fallout they had regarding the care of their elderly parents. Once a year though he would call his brother on the phone; if the brother answered, my father-in-law would promptly hang up on him before saying a word. He just wanted to know "If that bastard was still alive."

It seems strange we all have some dysfunctional person in the family we have to deal with. It is very awkward for all involved and is something we don't like to openly discuss with others but I think it's a fact of life. I think the old adage sums it up nicely, "You can pick your friends, but you cannot pick your family."

Maybe this is why we liked such shows in the 1950's like "Leave it to Beaver," "Father knows Best," or "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" ("Adventures"?) Critics claimed their squeaky clean personas were unrealistic but it was a lifestyle we all yearned for. Today, shows like "The Simpsons" and "Married with Children" reflect life as we know it, complete with embarrassing relatives and situations which many claim are more realistic.

Frankly, I think if we honestly had a choice, we would rather live more like Ozzie and Harriet than Homer and Marge Simpson. But such is not to be.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.


Folks, a couple of years ago I started to include my "Pet Peeve of the Week" in these "Management Visions" podcasts. They have become so popular that I now syndicate them through the Internet and they are available for republication in other media. To this end, I have created a separate web page for my writings which you can find at Look for the section, "The Bryce is Right!" Hope you enjoy them.


I received quite a few responses from my "Pet Peeve" regarding "The Age of Specialists":

A P.S. in Montreal wrote:

"I'm in total agreement on this one. I often joke that I will die with perfect teeth, as a sign of specialization gone wrong. I believe the problem is compounded by the 'me-and-myself' selfish attitude so frequently seen nowadays. People rarely consider other people's interests and needs."

A D.O. in Illinois wrote:

"That desire to know everything about everything related to computers is an affliction that I suffer from. The problem is that I can't know everything about programming (even a few languages) and networking, security, sysadmin, hardware repair, etc. Curse you limited time!"

And finally, an A.L. in Turkey wrote:

"I totally agree with you and am proud of being a Jack of all trades."

Thanks for your comments.

Keep those cards and letters coming.

MBA is an international management consulting firm specializing in Information Resource Management. We offer training, consulting, and writing services in the areas of Enterprise Engineering, Systems Engineering, Data Base Engineering, Project Management, Methodologies and Repositories. For information, call us at 727/786-4567. For a complete listing of my essays, see the "PRIDE" Special Subject Bulletins section of our corporate web site.

Our corporate web page is at:

Management Visions is a presentation of M. Bryce & Associates, a division of M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. The program is produced on a weekly basis and updated on Sundays. It is available in versions for RealPlayer, Microsoft Media Player, and MP3 suitable for Podcasting. See our web site for details. You'll find our broadcast listed in several Podcast and Internet Search engines, as well as Apples' iTunes.

If you have any questions or would like to be placed on our e-mailing list to receive notification of future broadcasts, please e-mail it to

For a copy of past broadcasts, please contact me directly.

We accept MP3 files with your voice for possible inclusion in the broadcast.

There is no charge for adding a link to "Management Visions" on your web page, for details and HTML code, see the "Management Visions" web site.

Management Visions accepts advertising. For rates, please contact yours truly directly.

Copyright © 2007 by M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. All rights reserved. "PRIDE" is the registered trademark of M&JB Investment Company.

This is Tim Bryce reporting.

Since 1971: "Software for the finest computer - the Mind."


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home