Archive for the ‘Career Pathing’ Category

Time to Make Career Goals for the New Year

If you’re like most people, you’ve made some goals for what you’d like to accomplish this year. I hope that you included your career goals; yes, these need to be made and updated on a yearly basis. Doing so helps to set the bar higher for your performance, new positions you want to attain, and skills you’d like to add or hone. Not doing so will keep you on ‘cruise mode;’ somewhere along the way, you will start to feel bored, frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, a hostage, and the like.

When you set goals for your career, you will be in control of how it progresses and gives you direction on where you’d like it to go. Even though it may not seem like it, you do get a choice in the types of jobs you take, the company you work in, and how far you’d like to go. Expanding your thinking in this area will help you to see more possibilities you can aspire to achieve. Here are some areas to consider:

  • type of job – this can include a particular occupation or industry you’d like to work. Include why you’re passionate about this or what draws you to it as it will uncover motivation and appeal. A goal might include researching the job and what it takes to be in it; talking/interviewing 5 people who are in this occupation to get their view and advice
  • a particular company – you may have a desire to work for a large company, like Apple or Google, or perhaps you want to work for a cruise line. Again, knowing why a particular company appeals to you will help you to do the work to get there (yes, some of these take effort to get hired by them). Doing research as to the benefits of a desired company will uncover their mission and values, the type of leadership they have, perks of the job, and what employees (or former employees) say so you can get a feel for how you workplace and culture will be
  • the position you want – maybe this year you would like to get into a leadership position, or perhaps move into Human Resources (HR); knowing your next position (or job title) will allow you to work toward the skills it will take. One way to do so is to get the job description for that title and see what they are looking for; the next would then be to take on more projects, raise your hand to help out, and to just have a great attitude, all of are employers want
  • the money you want to make – we all have a desired money amount we would like to make so keeping that figure in front of you helps you to remember what you are working for. Maybe this is the year you have to ask for a raise; if so, begin writing down your accomplishments and outcomes of the work you’ve done, classes or trainings you’ve taken, recognitions, beginning with what goals you’re boss set for you in your last performance review. You can also include alternative ways to get to that money figure, such as taking on a second or part-time job, doing some freelance work, or looking at several other ways to take on side-work (monetizing your hobby, selling stuff, such as on eBay or Amazon, etc.)
  • skills you want to improve on or learn – we all need to be the best in our work, no matter if you work for yourself or for a company, so why not look at particular skills or a new trade you’d like to learn that could improve or add to those you currently possess. If you work in IT, take a coding course; if you work in HR, get a coaching certification; if you are in personal development, take a certification course in an assessment tool (MBTI, Fascinate, 360 Assessment, as examples). We all need to improve our skill-set, as we can become ‘rusty’ over time so setting a goal in this area can revitalize how you feel about the work you do

It’s important to recognize that you don’t need to just set one goal; I’d challenge you to have a goal in each of the areas described. One other to add could include moving into starting your own business, or retirement. Having goals, and then breaking down the actions that will take you to reaching them, will keep you happier about your career and the current work you do. Isn’t that a compelling reason for having them?

If you’d like help in managing your career, whether that is being better in the one you have, or moving into a new one, let’s chat; contact to get started today!


You Have a Degree but Not Satisfied: Now What?

Not sure if this is a (growing) trend or not, but I’m seeing more clients who have graduated with a degree win what they thought was the career of their choice, but who are now finding dissatisfaction and unfulfillment.The reasons vary but it seems to lead into an aspect of once they got into the workplace. One client did not like how the business was run, while another did not like the poor treatment coworkers showed each other. Still, others have said poor leadership and follow-through as contributing factors.

Why would one pursue a degree that is not bringing them all they hoped? I can think of several reasons:

  • they were ‘pushed’ into the career path by their parents
  • they thought that career or industry sounded good
  • they did not do a career exploration, or it was inadequate, to research all about the job and the organizations that hire for them
  • unmet expectations between what they thought the career was and the entry into that career versus what they actually expereienced

Career exploration is critical as you approach entry into the world of work; this entails: assessment of the self, the preferred work environment and the industry your degree is leading you to. Self-assessment basically covers your skills, experiences, aptitudes, interests, passions and all that helps you do work tasks. The preferred work environment is the type of organizational structure which allows you to do your best work, whether you prefer a top-down or bottom-up environment, or you want a quiet or a relaxed/fun environment. The industry includes companies who hire for the path you chose, how viable the industry is (i.e. longevity or robust), and typical salaries.

All of the information gleamed from this exploration will help you to make better informed decision prior to getting into a chosen career. The other step is to determine the expectations you have and then, through  the research – which will help you ease into your degree path easier.


Degree or Certification – Which is Better?

A big question I get asked from clients who are looking to get ahead in their career is whether they should pursue a (another) degree or pursue a certification. Or, do nothing at all. I think the answer depends on several things:

  • the industry you are in, as a degree is the only way you get access or move up, such as in healthcare or the science fields
  • the ease of getting into a position and then moving up through gaining a certification or on-the-job experience
  • the level you are looking to pursue – managerial positions most often require a Master’s degree; the counseling field also requires it
  • the level of commitment you are willing to make to get a degree; certifications are not as lengthy but still require commitment and work
  • your financial situation – determining if you can afford to get a degree, or able to get loans, or if your employer offers tuition reimbursement; certifications are not as expensive and employers are usually more willing to fund these as it is an investment in your role, such as project management
  • time commitment – determining the level of disruption in schedules, both personally and professionally
  • the level of support you have from family and friends, coworkers and employers
  • your motivation and desire to have one or the other; some do it for the job while others pursue one of these for personal fulfillment

One way to know would be to look at the requirements for the job you want; what skills, experience and education are required and which are preferred; required means there is no consideration without having one of those qualifications, while preferred means it won’t take you out of the running if you don’t but would put you in a higher category for consideration. My advice for someone who has years of experience but isn’t moving up would be to first, have a conversation with their upline to get feedback on reasons why; I would encourage them to get a certification in a specialized area before going back and getting a degree.

The IT field is one of those areas where you can get a well-paying job without a degree but they would value certifications, as well as a portfolio of work done. Human Resources (HR) is another field that a degree is preferred but certifications are more valued, such as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR). These show commitment and specific knowledge related to job roles. If you are in this position, I encourage you to go answer the questions above, look at job descriptions, network with individuals in those roles (or departments/organizations) to see which is preferred and what might exclude you from moving into a higher role.


Put Yourself Out There to Improve Your Career Path

One of the best ways to move up in your job is to get noticed by your boss and other higher-ups. The sky can be the limit to opening up your career path when you accept your expertise and share it within (and outside) the organization. While you get hired for your skills and knowledge, if you aren’t sharing them – and taking risks to do so – then your path will be much slower and more frustrating.

So how do you stand out among the crowd? Here are a few suggestions you can try:

  • raise your hand – when there are projects that need help, or extra work, be the one who offers to help. The work will get done and you will get recognition for your efforts and expertise
  • write – if your company has a newsletter or sends out a messages or stories through the intranet, offer to contribute. Sharing best practices, team success, trends in the field, or productivity tips can set you apart as a the ‘go to’ person; it can also build relationships as you talk to and recognize your peers on their achievements
  • speak – don’t be a mute at team or department meetings; ask questions, give recognition, point out actions that have made a difference; offer to represent your company at professional meetings or conventions. This will raise your visibility and position
  • be positive – don’t be the person who acts like they don’t want to be there or are unhappy – smile and find reasons to love your job, even for the day. Look at skills you want to use or the difference you want to make; smile, read motivational quotes, or listen to music as all of these raise your vibrational level and increase dopamine levels, or your happy chemical. IF anything, it will make others wonder what you’re up to and is contagious

Doing any and all of these will show your knowledge and expertise and make others take notice. Do what comes naturally and is authentic and soon you’ll be rising among others towards a successful career.

Good News in the Hiring Department

A new report from CareerBuilder is very encouraging in the way of hiring for the coming year. If you are in job-search mode this is good news. According to their latest results from a survey they did regarding job forecasting, companies are planning to not only hire more but also to do better work in the area of retention and rewards, particularly for high performers (which is why you want to be one).

Here are the areas where hiring is predicted to increase:

  • Customer service—32 percent
  • Information technology—29 percent
  • Sales—27
  • Production—24 percent
  • Administrative—20 percent
  • Marketing—18 percent
  • Business development—16 percent
  • Human resources—16 percent
  • Accounting/finance—15 percent
  • Engineering—13 percent

Forty-two percent of larger companies plan to hire more while twenty seven percent of smaller companies plan to do so. If you work in any of these industries you have more opportunity: healthcare (43%), financial services (46%) or information technology (IT) (44%).  Another fact from the report is good news for high school and college students as 25% of those surveyed stated that they would offer internship opportunities.

Time to dust off that resume and get prepared to apply for your next career opportunity!

If you’d like help with job search preparations, contact us today to get started:

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 –

Are you Taking Your Career Seriously?

In this fast past world we live in, it can be all one can do to keep up with it.  With so many ways to go and for how to do anything, it can be exhausting.  It almost makes you laugh at how insane it all can feel.  But one area that should not be taken lightly is your career.  This is one are in our life that helps us survive as well as defines who we are; our identities are tied to our career choice and, if not considered carefully, can either make or break us either financially, emotionally, or both.  If you had never really thought about a career and its importance, then you are missing the boat from flourishing and living a good life, whatever that might look like for you.

As both a career coach and a professor teaching a variety of course that all relate to the workplace, including career management, I am always taken back when I hear how little the majority of people truly are attentive to their career and usually do so when needed, such as when they want a  job or a new job.  They really have not put much thought or effort into truly delving in and uncovering their best self and how these relate to their best career. It begs to ask how seriously they are about their career and the path they have chosen; yes, chosen.  Whether you are in your dream job or you are just in ‘a job,’ you made the decision to do so.  And how that job goes is, again, your choice to make: you can either take it very seriously and work at your peak performance or you can show up and work.

There are so many facets that go into knowing and choosing a career path that fits with who you are, namely your skills, abilities and talents; it means knowing the right type of work environment that works for you; and it means using them to land in the job where you are working at your full capacity.  When you are serious about your career, you are the one charge of it as opposed to feeling it is controlling you; you are involved and engaged in both your job tasks and with the culture of the organization, and you are showing up ready versus showing up.  If you’re not getting ahead in your career, if you have lost the passion for your work, or if you feel like Dorothy at the crossroads in Oz, then it’s time to get serious, I mean really serious – make the commitment, make the decision, and then take decisive action on how you want your career path to go.  You can either complain about it or do something about it. The choice, again, is yours to make.  Isn’t that empowering?

If you would like help to find your best career, or want to increase your performance to get noticed, then contact us today to get started.  You can also sign up for our newsletter there.  I’d love to hear how you control your control so leave a comment below.  Feel free to share this with others who may benefit from this.

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