Episode 53: Howard Prager Talks Working At Our Best

In this first episode of a new hour-long format, author of the book Make Someone’s Day and leadership expert Howard Prager stops by to share insights and career stories from the book as well as recommendations for how we can do our best work, including avoiding career self-sabotage, how to get a good start in a new role, how to discover our strengths, the importance of culture fit and more.

Howard also shares about his career journey and lessons learned, as well as his career regrets. He also tells us about those who’ve been influential for him in his career in a positive way. The opening segment features some career-related news stories and the show concludes with the weekly “Reignition Recommendation” career tip.

Show Notes:

[00:26] Welcome to Reigniting You® where we talk all things career transition for those age 40+. Great to be here with you today and our producer, Eric.

[01:34] Company use of employee surveillance tools.

[02:42] Eric and Lisa discuss.

[05:00] Geographic concentration of Artificial Intelligence work.

[06:20] Eric and Lisa discuss.

[14:06] Welcome back to Reigniting You® the show that focuses on all aspects of making mid-late career transitions.

[14:36] Excited to introduce today’s guest, Howard Prager. Welcome to the show!

[15:34] Lisa asks Howard to share his career path – started internally working in learning and development; started own business after being downsized; 16 year career in higher education; back into own business; last full-time job was at age 62.

[17:39] What would you say is a key lesson or two that you’ve learned along the way? Howard – nothing is forever; anything is possible; association work has been a constant.

[19:18] What was it that led you to write the book? Howard – had file of ideas – stems from an encounter with a petition worker.

[21:18] What else has been helpful to you as you’ve made career transitions? Howard – no limit to number of mentors we can have.

[22:33] Who would you say is a person or two who made a big impact on you? Howard – a friend and mentor met through a board association director; many others have been supportive.

[25:19] Were there any regrets on a career decision you made? Howard – we always say, “What if?”; a few times chose a different opportunity – choice between corporate and working for a consultant.

[30:06] Visit https://yournewaspect.com to sign up for career tips and take a free Career Transition Readiness Quiz or to contact Lisa.

[30:35] When people use the phrase “work at my best,” what are some examples that illustrate what this looks like in the workplace? Howard – when we’re engaged, motivated, and inspired.

[33:15] What would you say is the importance of culture fit in a workplace and what’s an example of when there’s been a poor fit between an employee and employer? Howard – when working at a search firm, executives wondered about fit; so important that where you work is congruent with your values.

[35:04] What are some ways that leaders can self-sabotage their careers and why do you think this happens? Howard – sometimes we try to run before we learn to walk and understand the organization and get a feel for what they need.

[35:56] There’s the phrase, “Happy employees make happy customers.” How have you seen this in action and what is the impact of it at work? Howard – only need to look at Richard Branson – believes that if he treats his people right, they’ll treat their customers right.

[38:24] Why is it important to find work that we enjoy doing and do what we love in life? Howard – so we can do our best work; made friends with security guards at one job and those relationships led to inspiration and looking forward to work.

[39:40] What, in line with the title of your book, can we specifically do to make someone’s day? Howard – VIP model – View and observe, Identify and consider, Plan and act.

[46:20] What’s an activity or exercise we can do on our own to discover our strengths and what could be a good career or role fit for us? Howard – exercises about values and beliefs and who you are; different types of exercises for strengths – what you’re best at and where you shine.

[49:23] What would you suggest someone do during their first 90 days at a new job to get acclimated well and make a good initial impression and build key relationships? Howard – learn, listen, observe and follow through – learn what the company’s like – get early wins to make a difference.

[50:52] How can people find you? Howard – can buy book on Amazon; website.

[52:37] Reignition Recommendation – check where you may be misaligned.

[53:15] A reminder to visit https://yournewaspect.com to sign up for career tips and take a free Career Transition Readiness Quiz or to contact Lisa.

[54:11] Join us next week when my guest will be realtor and business owner Deborah Peterson.

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