Archive for the ‘Career Transitions’ Category

Planning to Make a Career Move? Now’s the Time

It’s so hard to believe that we are almost done with 2016. I’m still in awe that next week is Thanksgiving – it feels like November just began! With that being said, this is the time that many people will decide to make a career move in the new year. If you fall into that category, now is the time to get started.

Many people will wait until the new year begins to think about finding a new job. I will say that you can get the advantage by planning and making the move now. Most organizations have already planning, or are in the final stages of, for what their labor needs are. You can beat the competition by being prepared so you can hit the ground running, if you decide to wait.

The end of the year is often the time when hiring managers are taking time to wind things up and, due to the holidays, don’t put major plans in their books. This means they will have time to review candidates and interview. Planning now, as I stated earlier, is vital to finding and landing a new job quicker.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Plan your schedule – meaning, put this in your calendar, time you will spend for your job search activities. By doing so, you will give this the same priority as you do shopping or appointments you need to make. You need to give a job search the same focus and commitment.
  • Review – spend time reviewing your past accomplishments and skills that you’ve used so far, and how they will relate to a new position you want. Review job descriptions for that job to see what the employer both requires and desires to see if you match; what skills do you need to improve on or education you need to have that will align with that position. You can certainly start to work on those. By knowing what you offer, you can work to translate this into language that will appeal to a potential employer.
  • Get your materials together – these include: your resume – time to update, add/delete, etc. This is your time to shine so make it great. If you aren’t good with this, hire a resume writer who can make you stand out. This also includes your cover letter and references (yes, they do check them). If you have any supporting materials, get those together; this might include projects you worked on, graphics you designed, and the like.
  • Practice – as you will be interviewing, practice your skills by getting questions you may be asked, as well as questions you will ask, so you will have ready answers and sound more at ease. Get your ‘stories’ together, as behavioral questions are asked to see how you’ve handled certain situations you may deal with in the workplace. Remember, employers are looking at how you will fit in with their culture so the more polished you are, the more you will stand out.
  • Research – include in your job search looking at either particular jobs or companies that would fit with you and then hone in on them. Reach out to those, as you will be less frustrated from feeling overwhelmed and going for ‘just any’ job; you can learn more about those organizations to help you know if it will align with your needs and speak to the employer as they do want to know what you know about them. We need to align our job tasks with the culture so this is a critical piece.
  • Get networking – once you identify either the job and/or the company, look at who you may know that works in them and reach out to let them know of your intent. Begin talking to people to let them know and see who they may know and can refer you to; find networking events to attend to get connected to people. These can include:  professional association meetings that are industry-related; alumni functions; Meetup groups; Eventbrite functions; or church functions, to name a few.
  • Set a target date – as part of your schedule, set a date that you would like to be in the new job (be realistic). This will make it more compelling to do the work involved when we have a finish date; one way this will help is to use Everest goal setting, where you work backwards, which helps you to identify all the steps you took that got you the position. Also, set the start date (today?) and begin

These are just a few steps I recommend. Even if you want to wait to change jobs until the new year, don’t delay in getting prepared as it will allow you to hit the ground running once January begins. Happy job hunting!

How to Do a Career Exploration and Why it Matters

Throughout the life of you career, you will experience highs and low; some jobs will be a great fit while others will leave you feeling frustrated and depleted. This is why it is important to do a career exploration evaluation, which  involves assessing not just the self but industries as well as work environments. If effectively done, you would know your interests, values and abilities as well as the type of environment you work best in, along with the types of jobs available that match (Greenhaus, Callanan and Godshalk, 2010, Sage Publications).

There are many benefits to uncovering these traits, which can also include: passions, aptitudes, and personality, so that you can now set good, workable goals that will lead to finding and reaching them for greater career success. Knowing your interests, abilities  and aptitudes will let you focus on finding work tasks that relate and keep you engaged in those tasks; knowing your values will lead to finding the work environment that aligns with them so you will be involved within that environment. Knowing our traits should lead to doing the research needed that will get your desired outcome – both short and long-term, as well as overall job and life satisfaction.

Here are some areas to evaluate, which should not just be done when you are looking for a job; these are great to assess often, such as every month or quarterly. Keeping your ‘finger on the pulse’ will ensure your career needs are being met or identify and correct when not:

  • values – the things you hold dear, or that you either would or would not tolerate
  • interests – what you like, dislike, what you like to do, etc.
  •  abilities and aptitudes – what types of activities are you good at or come naturally or with ease
  • personality – characteristics that include: thought, behaviors, emotions
  • beliefs – what do you ‘live by’ regarding how and when work should and should not be done; how much of a strong-hold do you live by these beliefts
  • decision-making – do you make decisions easily or are they difficult; can you make independent decisions, rash decisions, or do you need validation when doing so
  • conflict style – how do you respond when conflict occurs, i.e. stay silent, yell or in an aggressive manner, get back a someone, etc.
  • leadership abilities – do you like to lead people or projects (or not); do you enjoy being in the ‘limelight;’ can you handle a lot of responsibility; can you see the ‘big picture;’ what characteristics do you possess that are leadership material
  • skills – knowledge and experience learned either independently or on-the-job
  • communication – effective listening skills; ability to send and receive messages effectively; appropriate use of body language; ability to convey messages in multiple mediums, i.e. verbal, email, text, reports, others, etc.
  • preferred work environment – type of environment that suits identified traits
  • preferred type of lead to work for – type of personal interactions or traits desired in a leader, and how you want to be directed in the work you do
  • preferred co-worker or team – what type(s) of character traits would you like to spend your time with (like you, not like you)
  • wants/needs – what work activities and environments do you absolutely need to have, versus those desired (example – money you can live on versus wanting a high desired salary; location and proximity; benefits; work-life balance preferences)
  • tolerations – what you’re willing to overlook, accept, adapt or learn to cope/live with

This is  long list to assess but isn’t it worth it ensure you are in the right career, with your needs being met, as opposed to being in a j-o-b. As stated earlier, assessing these on a regular basis will validate what you are currently doing or to recognize and make changes.You can compare a potential job opportunity with these as well, to see how much of a match there is between your list and an organizations.  Aren’t you worth it?

If you’d like help to perform a ‘good’ career exploration or put a career plan together, contact us today for a complementary Discovery Session to learn more:


Ever Wonder Why You Don’t Get Called Back for a Job Submission?

If you’re a job seeker, or plan to be, I’m sure you’ve experienced this story:

You peruse job boards looking for a good ‘fit’ for your skills and experience; you’ve updated your resume and polished off your interviewing skills as you wait for the phone to ring so you impress and get hired. But then you wait….and wait… and wait. You then begin to wonder if something happened; then you get more frustrated and get angry that the potential company didn’t even have the courtesy to respond. It makes you feel like giving up some days.

Sound familiar? First off, know that you are not alone. So, this may share some light for you as to why you may never get a phone call back from an employer or a recruiter: volume and overload. Recently, I was in a meeting comprised of recruiters and that was the consensus form the group – they have too many applicants and not enough time to get back to everyone. But, the real message here – and agreed also upon by the group – is that there are too many people applying for jobs they are not qualified for, which is leading to overload.

Some of the stories are not far-fetched as I could see how one could match a skill for a preferred skill but, according to recruiters, why bother if you don’t have the exact match for the job description. In defense of recruiters, they are given a job description to follow and then seek out individuals who have all of the requirements for that job, so they are following what the employer tells them. However, if a job seeker is not being keyword specific or if really just sending out an application to try and find any job, then they will be out of luck.

The basic message here is two-fold:

  1. Ensure that you read the job description carefully for the exact skills and experience an employer wants
  2. Match your skills to that job and write the application/resume to them, ensuring you can back them up

It is loud and clear that those doing the hiring are not interested in you if you think you have the skills or experience for an open job; they want you to hit the ground running which is why this diligence in matching jobs-to-skills and finding the right candidate.

The next time you don’t hear back on a job submission, take heart that it might not mean you’re not a good candidate; it might mean you’re not a good candidate for that particular job. Being strategic in your job search will help set you up and ensure you are finding the ‘right’ positions to apply to. So before you hit ‘send,’ ensure that you are the best match. It will work if you do.

If you’re ready to make a job transition and feel ‘stuck,’ contact us today for a complimentary Discovery Session to learn more:



Commit to Learning One New Skill This Year

I don’t know what you’ve listed on your goal sheet for this year, but I encourage you to add to learning one new skill during this year. If you want to advance your career opportunities, becoming a master at a skill is one of the best ways to standout and get noticed.

The skill can be an existing one or one that you’ve desired to learn. Employers today are hiring for specific skills so being the best at one can lead you to work on bigger projects or become the problem solver when issues arise. In this crowded market, you need a way to stand out not fit in. Essentially, you will be the Subject Matter Expert (SME) in a particular area that is needed by an – or your- employer.

  • Take an inventory of all the skills you possess currently, such as: project management, computer coding, financials, inventory, or business analysis to name a few. Look at your current job duties to see which one you use the most.
  • Take an inventory of all the skills you may be lacking in or have an interest in (I’ve always wanted to learn that….) to see what you need to learn, get practice at, or develop further. These might be problem-solving, decision making, coaching, conflict management, or communication.
  • Taken an inventory of skills your employer (or what is ‘hot’ in the marketplace) wants or needs; what skills are they hiring for. Look at their niche area, the types of training they offer or require, as well as looking at the skills that top management has as to how they moved up within the organization.
  • Take an inventory of what is current regarding workforce issues, such as leadership development, generational issues, or diversity. You can find blogs, chat communities, books and publications that address these. Become well-read and versed in workplace issues, looking at them as how you can be a problem-solver.

Once you are armed with this knowledge, you can now decide on the best course for learning the skill you’ve chosen. This could be going to school or taking a course or training, going to a conference or workshop, or reading about it. You may need to hire a coach to help you develop the skill or find a mentor who can guide you. Begin to put the skill into practice throughout your workday as ‘practice makes perfect,’ as the saying goes.

Becoming an expert in a skill takes making the commitment to learning and honing one. I encourage you to begin today.

If you’d like help to enhancing your skill set to move forward in your career or business, call today for a free Discovery Session to learn more.


What’s on My Wish List

I don’t normally make a wish list for Christmas but this year, I am; these are what I would like to see from an organizational and workplace perspective as I think we would be back to having happier employees as well as fiscally sound organizations:

I wish:
1. That leaders of organizations would pay attention to the mental and emotional health of their workers, as the toll is over $650 billion dollars in lost revenue. This money could go to paying high wages or benefits
2. That leaders would be more transformational and use the strengths of their workers to do the work they hire them to do; ‘give a man a fishing pole and he’ll figure out the way to fish’
4. That organizations would develop leaders they put into those roles; just because you’re a good worker does not mean you will be a good leader without some further training or coaching
3. That leaders would also bring happiness back into the workplace, recognizing that when people are happier they will gladly dig in and get the work done
4. That workers will take responsibility for the work they do; it’s not the boss’s, the organizations, or anyone else’s responsibility for what happens in your career – it’s each individuals; paying attention to your career path will lead to more success
5. That the field of organizational behavior (OB) will be promoted more – everything centers around mindset and behaviors so having a deeper understanding of all that goes into OB will go a long way to better awareness and understanding areas, such as communication, conflict management, culture, negotiation, leadership, and motivation; it will also lead to higher performance and better relationships across the board

I have a more but I think these are a start to creating cohesive and more inviting workplaces. I think there are actions from both organizations and workers that need to be done to create the environments people want to be in. It starts with each of us doing out part. Let’s make 2016 a better year  – that’s my wish.

If you’d like help in moving forward in your career, contact us today for a Complementary Discovery Session to get started:


Are You Planning to Go it Alone in the New Year?

Now that we are just a few weeks away from the ‘ball drop’ to announce the New Year, what is going to change for you? Do you plan to continue on as things have been or would you like to know the secret to having and doing more? Well, here it is: get help.

I think it’s great that we have free will and can do/be anything we want. But there does come a point when we can’t do things on our own, particularly when it comes to moving past the struggles that have dogged us repeatedly. You say you want a new job but haven’t; you say you want a promotion but haven’t; you say you want to finally start that new business, but haven’t. You may have great ideas and intentions but, somehow, they don’t lead to results. And who holds you accountable to get them done?

This is when it is time to reach out and ask for the help you need. A coach (or consultant) can be that help to get you digging deeper into what you truly want, what has been preventing you from doing so, helping you to set really good, manageable goals, and then provide you the accountability until you reach them. Sometimes it can be tough love when you learn that the coach is not a softie  – you say you want something and they are there to make sure you do. Frankly, that why you hire them.

I think being held accountable to someone is a big factor in really getting to work and working the plan you’ve come up with; I myself  have worked with several coach’s and know how beneficial the process is. If you don’t, then you will stay exactly where you are – do you want to be looking back on your career a year from now and find you are in the same place? As Einstein said: “the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results. Why not make 2016 your best year yet and partner with an expert who can help you ensure it is.

If you’d like help on moving forward in your career or business, contact us today for a Complementary Discovery Session to get started:

Being Willing to Try and Taking Risks

Being willing to try and take a risk can sound very scary for some people but I think it’s a key factor to success. Being open to putting forth effort, no matter the outcome, only strengthens your resolve and pushes you to places you might ever go.

I see this weekly on the dance floor, of all places. I go line dancing at a local club and see all types of people who come out and get on the floor to try and dance. Line dancing has become more hip hop versus what some might think as old country twang. I remember I used to think that way when I first went to the club; I thought it was freaky and left quickly.

However, I did go back two weeks later and have never left. I am able to relieve stress through dance, be active in my passion; and I have made some of the best friends through the dance community, who come from all over the world. I see,weekly, college kids, older adults, and visitors from countries like Brazil and Germany who get out on the floor. They don’t really care what they look like but boy do they get out and try. Some succeed while others don’t.

But they are having fun and making new friends; the point is, they are willing to get out and try. The more they do, the easier the dances become and the better they become.These same principles apply to any actions you take, particularly in the workplace, such as learning a new skill or building on one.

It takes the willingness to try, which is the first step. Then, you need to act – it might not be perfect the first time but, as mentioned earlier, the more you do the better you become and the easier it gets. Find one thing you want to learn or do and put yourself out there; give it a try and monitor the result. I think you’ll find, like the ‘wanna be’ dancers, that it is not as hard as you might think and you’ll have a lot of fun along the way. Soon you’ll be dancing your way to success!

If you want to learn the steps to take your career to the next level, contact us today for your Complementary Discovery Session:

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