So I spoke with another person today who is interested in making a job change; this individual wants to move into management and another industry but they have no experience. While I wouldn’t suggest that this is impossible, my questions to this person, whom I’ll call ‘Phil,’ revolved his reasoning. Phil’s story included fifteen years of work history but mainly as an employee and not as a manager and with several years in three different industries. He related that he wanted to move into management as he was “tired of making a lower wage.”
This raised a red flag – when we only do a job for the money it probably will not give you the satisfaction you believe it will give you. Management is hard, as is evidenced by so many articles, books, and programs out there on how to be a more effective leadership, and not everyone has the capability to be one. A good leader needs to be skilled in communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, visioning, and sometimes taking the ‘hard stand.’ Phil was not sure if he had those skills (seriously, Phil!)
One of the first steps I focus on with clients is their “Why” or the reason(s) they are wanting to make a job change. This is one of the most fundamental questions you need to ask if you are also wanting to make a change. Without a full understanding it can lead you to taking a job that you might not be fully prepared for and can leave you feeling stressed and unhappy. Here are a few steps to help you uncover your “Why”:
1. Make a list of all the areas that you believe are not being met in your current job – look at areas to include: money, benefits, bonuses, training opportunities, career pathing, challenging tasks, the type of environment you work in, etc. You have to know what is lacking in your current job and assess any opportunities to get them as you could be missing out on ways to get your needs met in your current job.
2. Be very specific about what it is that you want in a job, which kind of goes along the lines of what you don’t want but this list is much more specific: how much more money do you want to make, i.e. $10,000 more or a specific salary; what type of career pathing do you want/need, i.e. tuition reimbursement to continue your education, coaching, or a plan to move up the ladder. Being very specific will be much more motivating so you will go after them – ask and the universe will help make it happen.
3. Create a visual picture of what that ideal position looks like – this will solidify and justify making a change. Now, you can do the research needed to find it as well as to identify salary and companies that hire for that job. You can now target your search which will streamline your search, your time and your frustration level
If you are thinking about making a job transition, or are currently in one, please go back and take the time to really self-assess your reasonings as well as your specific desires so your change will an easy one.
If you’re needing help in making a successful job transition, contact us at cyscoaching.com to get started!
One thing that really upsets me is when I hear someone debase themselves when they are talking about making a career transition. They say they want to get a new job or to start a business but then they stop themselves from going forward from feeling that they don’t possess ‘enough’ knowledge or experience. In relating their work history, it becomes apparent – at least to me – that they are knowledgeable and are accomplished so it saddens me when that person can’t see that within themselves.
We’ve all faced having self-doubt at some level but diminishing the skills you possess and brushing off your accomplishments will only lead to feeling bad about yourself; you will not go after the very things you want and will stay exactly in the one place you don’t want to be. This is why self-belief is critical to having the career or business you desire. To put it another way, would you do buy from someone who claimed they knew nothing or didn’t have the knowledge and confidence about their service or product?
To turn this around and get the career success you desire, here are some vital steps you need to take to get out of this ‘rut':
- First off, stop the pity-party – I know that sounds harsh, but this type of thinking keeps you in victim mode and holds you back from taking any type of action. It’s time to stop the “I want to but…..” talk. From now on, it’s “I will …..”
- Go back and self-assess – this is a step I firmly believe in; you can’t go anywhere or do anything if you don’t know who you are and what makes you you. Take an inventory of your skills, strengths, personality, values, passions, aptitudes, and the like; also list your accomplishments, both major one as well as those you might not think mean alot, such as helping out a coworker with a task. While you may think these are not a big deal, they do make a difference to someone.
- Commit to taking some type of action towards what it is you say you want – starting small isn’t as scary so the more you do, the less fearful and easier it becomes. As you start to do the more masterful and in control you will feel. Your confidence will rise and you will begin to embrace what you want to create. Not doing won’t be an option.
If you’ve been holding back because you think you don’t know enough or are ‘too new,’ I strongly urge you to take a good look at yourself and all that you’ve done up to this point – as they, “seeing is believing!”
We all know that the majority of companies want you to submit an online application or to upload your resume (or both); they are scanned through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to see how your skills, experiences, education and the like are a match to the job you are applying for. From the feedback I’ve gathered from clients I’ve worked with, this is a lesson in futility and it can seem as if your uploaded information has gone to ‘the black-hole,’ never to be seen again.
The ATS has become common-place in the hiring process as organizations attempt to deal with the volumes of applications they receive for one job; I had a recent client state that there were 1253 who applied for the position they did (it allowed the numbers to be seen) – it’s no wonder this person never heard back. I think there is no formula or cookie-cutter method to ‘beat’ these ATS’s as each organization inputs their own data differently; it can depend on what each is looking for in the job and for who is best-suited to fill that role. However, there are some guidelines that most career experts agree on in order to get you noticed and move on to the next steps; here are some guidelines to follow:
- Key Words – this is what the ATS is looking for; these are embedded in the job descriptions so it is vital that you really read them to pick them out and match them to your skills and experiences. This will not only ensure that you are qualified for the position but that you are matching skills to required skills.
- Formatting – the structure and style of your resume can determine if it gets read by the ATS or not (or a live person, for that matter). The cleaner it is the better, meaning that you don’t want too many lines or bullet points as they may not be scannable; the font and size also are important – use an alternative font, such as Tahoma, Verdona or Ariel as these can stand-out vs Times Roman. Also, putting the key words in bold will enhance the chances to get noticed (but not too many bold words).
- Don’t put in tables, graphs or pictures as they won’t scan and will automatically get your resume rejected; save them for the hard copy you will mail or bring in.
The more strategic and structured you are in your job search the better your chances of getting an interview and the less frustrated you will feel. By reading the job descriptions you will not only match your skills to that job but you will be able to format your resume in order to highlight what you have to offer, as well as help you to prepare for when you do get called for an interview since you will know about the job and will have answered how you are the best person for the job.
If you are in job-search mode and have been fortunate to get an interview, one of the most powerful steps you can take is to send the interviewer(s) a hand-written thank you note. This can actually make of break your chances of getting hired. In an interview, a recruiter from the Pursell Group stated that a hand-written note can be a deal-breaker as sending one shows respect and attention to detail, while not sending one shows the opposite.
The handwritten version, as opposed to email, can show an employer:
- that you have valued your time with them and appreciate that time
- it can show your eagerness for the position and allows you the opportunity to reiterate that excitement
- gives you the opportunity to highlight your skills or experiences and why you are a great fit for their organziation
- speaks highly of your character which makes you stand-out from the crowd
Not sure what to say or how to go about it? My suggestions are to make it short but powerful:
- Buy note cards that look professional, meaning nothing with flowers or pictures on them
- Address the interviewer by name
- State that you want to thank them for their time in meeting with you and how much you enjoyed your conversation, and learning more about the position and the organization I (I would add the day/date you met to remind them)
- Let them know how that after the meeting, you believe you are a great fit for the job and the organization and state one or two examples for why you believe this – you can highlight one of your experiences/outcomes that you want them to remember
- Close with thanking them again and then letting them know that you are looking forward to hearing from them or to hearing about the next steps; close with either “Sincerely” or “Respectfully” and sign your full name
Whether you have interviewed internally or externally, it is always a good idea to follow-up with the interviewer to keep you fresh in their minds and memorable and a thank-you note is a great way to do so!
If you want support in developing a job search strategy, or making a job transition, then contact us to get started; it’s proven that you can reach goals faster with a coach so don’t struggle any longer. http://www.cyscoaching.com
Whether you have interviewed internally,
There is a term in psychology called Self-Efficacy, which basically means that one has the belief that they can achieve whatever it is they want to do. If you ask most people if they feel they can perform a task or achieve a goal, they would most likely give a resounding “Yes!” But if that is the case, why is then that most are not reaching their goals or finding the life they desire? It’s usually because deep down inside they don’t really believe that they can; those nasty inner voices we all have seem to rear their ugly heads and put on their ‘debby-downer’ hat on as they negate anything and everything positive.
In order to overcome those thoughts and reach your desires, you have to fully – and without a doubt – believe that you possess the skills and strengths to do so. This is not as easy as it may seem; you see, those ‘debbie-downers’ have a strong-hold on the psyche and lie buried very deep in the mind, so even if you consciously say “I can do anything I want” they are secretly saying ‘you can’t.’ It can be pretty complicated but just know that we are driven more by the unconscious thoughts than what is in our awareness.
If you have problems in starting or reaching your goals, I’d suggest exploring your deeper thoughts to see if your belief system is what’s holding you back:
1. Take time to sit and think – sit in silence and focus on your breaths as this will calm your mind and allows your thoughts to surface. You can ask a question before doing so to give a bit more focus to what you want to uncover, such as “What is holding me back?”
2. Take time to write – often, the act of writing out your thoughts or exploring them will produce answers that can help you identify the barriers; writing can also help you to challenge your thoughts, as they are yours alone, which can help you to see that it may not be a rational one. Writing can also affirm all that you are doing so the irrational thoughts don’t hold weight – after all, you’ve reached some goals in your life, haven’t you?
3. Take time to affirm – telling yourself that you absolutely have all the abilities to do anything you want will elevate your ego and change the negatives to the positive (this doesn’t mean doing so one time); repeating a mantra daily, either by saying it or writing it, gets into the deeper parts of the brain which then changes the thought processes and ultimately the belief system. It does take patience and practice so consistency is the key.
Having the total belief that you can do and be all that you want is the key to long-lasting success; choosing to believe, which means quieting the nay-sayers, will elevate your ego and confidence so you can go and do and be your best. You can do it – I believe in you!
If you would like help with reaching your goals and feel ‘stuck, then contact me as I’d love to help you get there. http://www.cyscoaching.com
Happy May Day! Here we are at the start of another new month, which brings hope and feelings of anticipation at what can be. You can either look at this time as a positive or negative but the choice is yours to make. For those of you who have dealt with the bad storms, I pray that you and your families are safe. But this month has quite a few activities, such as May Day, Mother’s Day, Armed Forces Day, Victoria Day (for our Canadian friends) and Memorial Day. So how will you be spending your time this month – taking action on your dreams and goals or feeling like every day is groundhog day?
This is a perfect time to decide – no, commit – to taking massive action. Want that new job? Commit. Want to take that idea and start a business? Commit. Want to lose weight or begin an exercise program? Commit. I think you get the idea, but whatever it is that you want you can have – but you first have to commit to the idea. Once you do, you should feel a feeling of motivation and desire that will move you to taking action, no matter how big or small. In fact, as a proponent of the principles of kaizen, small is actually preferable. Create the plan and map out daily actions; have a reward and affirm your commitment on a daily basis. Be sure to celebrate your successes and get support, be that from a family member or friend, a coach or an app (there are thousands). You can always start anything over but if you plan it out right, as I’ve suggested, you will develop good habits that will serve you for life!
If you’d like help with goal planning and increasing your performance, contact us at http://www.cyscoaching.com as we’d love to start living the life you desire!
I was reminded this morning that is was seven years ago this month – Actually April 1 – that I walked away from my corporate job and started life as an entrepreneur; it’s funny that I didn’t remember until I kept getting all these congratulation notices on LinkedIn. It seems like a life-time ago that I made such a momentous decision. It’s actually funny how it came to be, as I never had been brave enough to think about owning my own business; it also isn’t ‘programmed’ in me as I had parents who both worked about 45 years each. According to my mother, owning your own business was a ‘pipe dream.’
But prior to going out on my own, I managed a federal program; it was the clients I had in this program who planted the seed for me to go out on my own – funny how others can sometimes see things we can’t. I started to do some research and planning and realized that I could get paid for what I know and help others; I hired a coach to help me and I launched, never looking back. My business has fluctuated and changed over the years, but I have survived the recession and have adapted and thrived. So as I savor this month and reflect on some lessons learned – hopefully these will help you to make a move if you’re on-the-fence or are already in business:
- Starting and growing a business starts with an idea and a (big) dream; I learned to honor my big thinking and to focus on my ‘why’ of helping others to succeed
- Starting and growing a business takes planning – I didn’t just leave my job one day and open up my own; it took me months of researching my market, the types of offerings and writing a business plan. Planning is the key as it will feel almost effortless when you do decide to launch
- I have never niched myself – I think I’m too eclectic to box myself in; I have recognized that I do have a niche area but it is very broad. However, as a researcher and trender, I have my ‘finger on the pulse’ of all things career, organizational, the workplace, and human behavior which allows me to speak on a variety of topics and expands my offerings and reach to those areas.
- I have learned, after much frustration and delay, that I am a round peg who will never fit in the square; in the past, I’ve recognized that I was trying to fit in with others, or was told to, which only led me to feel out-of-sorts; I questioned myself which did not serve me or the clients I work with. Honoring the self – and standing out – is becoming more comfortable.
- Starting and growing a business takes confidence and boldness – putting yourself and your products or services can feel scary and is risky if no one buys; however, focusing on the ‘why,’ building relationships, and marketing those offerings actually enhances one’s esteem and confidence which leads to taking bolder and upwards steps. It feels good when you know that you’ve helped someone or you get recognition from others.
- I’ve learned to seek out opportunities, as well as take advantage of those placed in front of me. This has allowed me to be on TV, the radio, newspapers, blogs and a book; sure it can feel scary but you”ll never know if you don’t so – I always have to ask myself how I’ll feel if I don’t go after them. Opportunities can come in all forms but if you put it out there to the universe and be open to receiving, they will come if you keep you eyes and ears open. Seeking support from others also helps.
- I’ve learned that there will be good days and not so good days but every day is mine to make; I’ve learned not to put my eggs in one basket, as the saying goes, and create multiple streams of income; I’ve learned to laugh and enjoy my business and to look optimistically to the future. I know that the best is yet to come – but that my business -and myself- are a work in progress so I have also learned to appreciate and to honor the gifts I’ve been given which allow me to do what I do.