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Is it Time to Hire a Career Coach if You Want to Get Ahead?

Are you feeling frustrated in your job? Do you find yourself feeling dread before the work-week begins? Have you found yourself passed over for a promotion or good projects and not sure of how to get noticed? Do you want to just feel happier in your job and your career? Are you tired of the struggles? If so, then it sounds like the perfect time to hire a coach who can help you along this journey.

A Career Coach is someone who is knowledgeable in coaching techniques, as well as industry standards, and who can help you uncover the answers you seek; help you formulate specific goals, plans and strategies to go after what you want; and then hold you accountable for the actions you set until you reach them. Often, we can’t always see the options or possibilities in front of us, nor can we see what might be blocking us which hold us back. A Coach can.

Getting to the root of a problem is a critical component to solve any problem, which includes any frustration with your career. Feeling frustrated might mean that you’re bored with the tasks you do, that you are not aligning with the culture – or the people- in the organization, or that you don’t feel valued or recognized by your leader. Feelings of dread can lead to not feeling you have options of what to do or where to go, are not finding passion for the job any longer, or it might mean you need to have a conversation with your boss but hold yourself back out of some type of fear.

The point is, until you get to the root of the issue you won’t move forward to find your own happiness. Having an outside perspective, along with some deep questioning to get into your ‘stuff’ will bring out the answers you seek and the clarity you need. You are the one who leads coaching sessions by setting the agenda. It all starts and ends with you; but I think you will leave feeling more focused on your path, have specific plans and strategies in place as well as actionable steps that will put you in control of you and your career. I encourage you to reach out and have a conversation with a Coach to see what they can offer and if you and they are a ‘fit.’ Usually, these discovery sessions are free or low cost so you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain, which includes career fulfillment. (If you’re ready, reach out as I’d love to help you on the journey – http://www.cyscoaching.com)

How Important are Values within an Organizational Setting?

If you ever find yourself feeling out-of-line with your job and/or workplace, you might want to check yourself and see where you stand on your values as this is one of the biggest problems I see when I hear discontent in the workplace. When values clash, problems result.

Values can be defined as “important and lasting beliefs one has about what is good or desirable, and what is not; values have a major influence on a person’s attitudes and behaviors and serve as a guideline in situations.” (businessdictionary.com) Often, our beliefs are developed early and usually are those we take on from our family of origin; they can come from school or associations/clubs/groups we belong to.

The bottom-line is that beliefs are hard to change, so values lie deep and can cause friction or discontent when dealing with those who don’t share the same ones. In the workplace, values are often the mission statement and what the company stands for; however, leaders have their own as they manage the company or department which can lead to conflict. Coworkers and customers also have their own which can lead, again, to misalignment of some type.

The best way to deal with any misalignments that might lead to a level of unhappiness is to be sure you are aware of your values and how strong they are. Some values may be more strongly felt than others; for example, if your value is hard work and you see a coworker not doing their share then frustration will occur. If you’re not sure about your values, here are some samples to get you thinking deeper:

  • Acceptance                       Determination                    Passion
  • Abundance                        Directness                        Patience
  • Accountability                    Empowerment                   Productivity
  • Accuracy                           Enthusiasm                      Recognition
  • Affection                            Excellence                       Respect
  • Ambition                            Fairness                           Romance
  • Awareness                         Flexibility                          Safety
  • Balance                             Forgiveness                       Service
  • Being the best                    Fun                                  Strength
  • Belonging                           Happiness                         Tact
  • Bravery                              Harmony                           Thankfulness
  • Capability                           Humor                              Trust
  • Caring                                Independence                    Timeliness
  • Calm                                  Integrity                            Understanding
  • Competence                       Kindness                            Wealth
  • Competition                        Love
  • Cooperation                        Loyalty

This is just a partial list but I’m sure this will give you an idea for you to check what your values are and how they may e leading to not just job unhappiness but to any and all relationships you have. Knowing this will definitely help to change your current status as well as ensure you find a company who ‘fits’ as you are in your job search. I encourage you to spend time uncovering your values and to look at situations that have been conflicted, even within yourself, to see when you might not have been honoring them. When you are aware and live by them, you will have career happiness. I’d love to see your thoughts on this!

Problems at Work? Your Face Might Be the Reason

Without fail, Julie (not her real name) makes sure she gets to work on time and is ready to get going on her job tasks. If you were to ask Julie, she would tell you that she loves her job and loves focusing on ensuring her customers are satisfied. However, Julie will also tell you that her work and ethics are not recognized by either her supervisor or her coworkers; in fact, she feels that she is often ignored or criticized by them. Julie is confused and frustrated. She also feels her job is in jeopardy.

Julie is right. But it’s not for the reasons she may believe. It really comes down to her face, particularly her facial expressions. For Julie, it’s her lack of expression that is putting people off. Julie has been told that she is ‘unapproachable’ and that she is not a ‘team player.’ This has led to problems at work for her that she does not know how to deal with. So Julie keeps to herself all day, focusing only on her work.

Something Julie wants to consider is that her face is leading to her problems at work mainly because she is not being open and inviting in her facial expressions; everything today is how you make me feel. So if her coworkers don’t feel that Julie wants to interact and be a part of the team, or her boss feels she isn’t open to direction or is creating an adversarial workplace, Julie’s troubles will continue until she leaves, either by her own volition or not.

I have seen this over and over with really high-level performers who are having difficulty in getting hired, getting a promotion, or are now a target of criticism. Our facial expressions say so much without us even being aware of what we are conveying. Some people are very intent listeners while others need time to process what’s in front of them; some people fear others anger or criticism or may be having personal problems. These are parts of one’s personality and, while they may be difficult to change, the situation is not hopeless.

One step I encourage my clients to do is to become more aware of their own behaviors; asking friends or family members to observe how their expressions come across leads to that awareness and working to change any adverse behaviors. The act of awareness can help to slow down and think of how you can come across in a more open manner. Smiling is another step to take; practice smiling in a mirror, think of something funny or pleasant, or put a pencil in your mouth – all of these will lead to a smile and create that openness to draw others in.

Another way to turn this around is to have more interactions with your coworkers – ask about their weekend or their kids, have lunch with them, or ask their opinion on something. We all want to know we’re important so finding something interesting about your coworker makes them want to interact more and they think more highly of you. The  mood of the workplace lightens and it feels more cohesive. Soon, coworkers will seek you out in a positive way.

Julie began to follow these steps; one she implemented immediately was putting a smile on her face. She reported that she smiled at her boss, whom she said did not expect it from the look on his face, but that he later did smile back as he passed by her desk. Julie truly did smile now and she can begin to turn things around to her benefit.

So, if you’re having problems at work, take stock of how you’re coming across to others and follow Julie’s lead to turn your situation around starting today.

Taking Responsibility for Your Own Job Happiness

One problem I almost always hear from a new client is “I hate my job!” As we work to uncover the source of their level of unhappiness, it always amazes me how many place the blame onto their boss, a coworker, or the organization. They never seem to take a piece of the ‘blame’ to themselves. I won’t deny that those external influences dictate how the work gets done, which can include processes, schedules, rewards, etc. All of which may cause some type of conflict against them and can lead to frustration and unhappiness.

But, each employee – you – have a responsibility for the work you do and how you do it; your attitude predicts your job success. Often, I have seen individuals who are their lowest point when they come in – they are frustrated, angry, stressed, have physical symptoms (chest pain, stomach upset, headaches, backaches) – because of their perceptions of what someone has,  or hasn’t, done to them. My advice? Take back the control, change your attitude, and take responsibility for your own actions – what you can control vs what you can’t (or think you can’t).

  • First, make the decision to do so; I once read a wonderful story of a woman who lost a lot of weight and she said a wonderful quote inspired her: “When you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, you will do something about it.” Enough said!
  • Go back to your job description and highlight all of the skills and tasks that you do, that excite you, and that you are good at. Focusing on these will help you to fall back in love with the work you do which should provide more motivation to continue.
  • Any other tasks that deplete you, but are necessary, you must determine how you can make them more interesting so the work gets done. Perhaps you need more training or education to increase your skill-level. You might need to have a conversation with your supervisor to see how you could reengage with those tasks.
  • Work to become more positive, which starts the moment you wake up. Say 3-5 things you are grateful for, plan how you will spend your time during the day, determine to ‘eat that frog’ of the hardest or most important task first, eat a good breakfast, breathe. Doing these every morning will turn you into a happier employee and human being.

If you are unhappy in your work, then I encourage you to use these steps to turn things around. If you truly think you can’t then that’s the time to look at finding another job that won’t deplete you; however, not knowing the source of the problem can lead you into the same – or worse- situation. I fully believe taking responsibility for the work you do and your attitude can lead to satisfaction and a higher level of performance. I encourage you to give this a try (these tips work as well if you love your job).

If you’d like help with your career or in taking your performance to the next level, I’d love to help you succeed. Contact us today – http://www.cyscoaching.com.

May 1 – A Chance for a Do-Over

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!

When in Job-Search Mode, You Need Support

Engaging in a well-defined and diligent job transition will go easier if you have support.  Looking for a new job can be anxiety-producing, to say the least.  Keeping up such a search, day-after-day, can feel exhausting; submitting resumes or having to actually go tell people you are in a job transition can be scary, and waiting to hear on a job can seem like a life-time – all of these can leave you feeling depleted and alone.

That is why it is important and very beneficial to get support to keep you focused, be your accountability partner, a sounding board, as well as a cheerleader.  It is easy to lose perspective during this time so having support can give you that ‘outsider’s view’ and help you remain in a good frame-of-mind.  Here are some types of support to consider:

  • A Career Coach – these are the ‘experts’ who can help you define your goals and create a strategic strategy for getting your next position; they also have resources, the accountability, and the ‘rah rah’ you need
  • A Career Support Group = finding a group of like-minded job seekers can help you feel not as alone and you can learn some ways that others are coping during their search
  • A Mastermind – this is a group who are very specifically coming together to help each other find work; you might be in the same industry or not but the idea is to brainstorm ways or identify people who will help find that next position
  • Family, Friends – these might be the first people you reach out but they also may not have the best perspective on the situation, especially if you live with them

Finding  a new position ,whether internally or externally, can still be challenging so finding support can help jump-start that transition and in a quicker amount of time.

Should You Be Working with a Career Coach?

If you have been umployed for longer than 3 months, you need to find a career coach – and fast!  Here are some benefits:

1. they can help you to regain composure when you feel thrust into unemployment and help you to regain your equilibrium

2. they can help you become focused and to set new career goals with action steps

3. they can give you “the scoop” on the job market:  who is hiring, where to leverage your skills and experience, using technology to market yourself

4. they can coach you on job search techniques, such as resumes, interviewing, business etiquette, and salary negotiations

5. they can help you to find your purpose and passion and take that into the workforce

6. they can help you to resolve workplace conflicts or stressors and help you learn more adaptive skills to cope with work life

7. they can help you to learn to manage your personal life and your work life

8. they can help you decide if you want to retire, and then help you exit the workforce on your terms

9. they can help you to leverage your skills and talents into a career path, possibly to get paid for what you know

10. they can help you to understand yourself better so you can manage your emotions and increase your attitude to be a highly engaged, highly motivated, and highly productive employee

A  job search can become tedious and demoralizing, as job searches are done and resumes are sent but there may be no responses.  It can become very depressing and frustrating.  Hiring a coach and spending money may seem like an impossibility, but the money you invest in yourself, and in your job search, can pay off enormously.  Having someone who knows the industry and who is focused on your success can help save you time that could be better spent on the right direction rather than the traditional way of job hunting.  A career coach can help you gain more money and benefits through salary negotion; they can help you to see how valuable you are to an organization.  A coach can help you to see your worth, to take more risks, and to grow your ego-strength, all of which will help you to believe and act on your behalf.  The end result will be a successful job search that will help you effectively manage your career and give you the preparation for the future should you need it.  Of course, these tips do not apply only to those who have lost a job as they serve well to all job seekers.  Shouldn’t you make the investment in yourself?

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