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Hope for Mid-Career Workers

If you’re a mid-career worker, I’m telling you to not give up hope regarding your career. It has seemed that this generation is being overlooked, discarded and forgotten. But that’s only if you read ‘the news’ that’s out there.

Mid-career workers have an abundance of knowledge and experience to offer an employer that is lacking with newer ones, just by virtue of the years they’ve spent in the workforce. This is just a fact-of-life. Younger workers have years ahead of them to hone their knowledge and skills; it’s the path of evolution.

I was very heartened at a recent panel discussion I served on, where the topic of older workers being ‘viable’ came up. The consensus across the board is that mid-career workers are still valued and needed. It was also encouraging that one organization in the audience asked for the best way to recruit them – yeah!

Some advice that came from the panel:

  • the language to recruit mid-career workers needs to change and be more appealing in addressing their knowledge and skills, which is what they value most
  • go where they ‘hang out’ – meetings, alumni associations and the like to market your organization
  • hold open-house hiring events to encourage them to come to you
  • be open to allowing them to apply in person (the old way) and have a designated person who can speak to them, which can expedite long hiring processes that often discourage them
  • change the overall view that seems to only focus on hiring younger workers, which will encourage mid-careers to apply; this also will create more diversity within your organization
  • change the perception that mid-career workers are not technology-focused – highlight those skills you do have to change this perception with employers by highlighting skills you do have (if not, go take a class to learn more). This seemed to be one of the biggest detriments to hiring/keeping them.

Mid-career workers are, and will continue to be, vital to the work force. Their success is contingent on both sides – employer and worker. Changing perceptions and focus won’t be easy but is desperately needed as new generations enter the workforce. The viability and success of your organization is dependent on this.

If you’re a mid-career workers and need help entering or continuing successfully in the workforce, let’s talk. Contact us today at http://www.cyscoaching.com

Taking Ownership of Your Workspace

If you want to feel empowered at work, an easy way to do so is to take ownership of the space you call ‘home’ in your workplace; that may be an actual office, a cubicle, a counter, cash register, or even a broom closet (not unheard of). You may work from home or a remote location. The point is, making your workspace your own, and ‘owning’ it, will create feelings of self-efficacy and more involvement in that work. It creates a psychological bond which leads to more commitment and overall job satisfaction.

Two years ago, while attending a conference, I had the opportunity to speak with the CEO of a large corporation who was sharing some really great results his team had from using some simple interventions aimed at getting them to take more ownership and to be more engaged in  their work. One of the most impactful ideas, to me, was allowing workers to take ownership of their space; he related that they brought in tools and took down the walls between their cubicles so they could talk and interact more. Another successful idea was allowing these workers to redecorate the ‘dreaded’ conference room, the place where it created fear if you were called there.

The CEO related that the employees repainted the walls, brought in pictures and other items that made it more livable, so that now they refer to it as “my conference room.” That has stuck with me since that a very easy way to reengage workers and show them they are appreciated is so simple and inexpensive. It’s not always about the money. I think of how good those workers felt once the renovations were completed, and how closer the team were from their concerted efforts.

We all have the opportunity to make small upgrades to our workspace and feel more connected to the work we do. It starts with reframing our mindset and choosing to be more positive. Making a small change or addition, such as cleaning up the space, bringing in a picture or a flower, or other close item, can help you to feel more connected. If you like the beach, bring in a picture of a beach scene to help calm when you feel frustrated; a motivational quote or a picture that makes you smile are other suggestions. You may not have much control over your space but you do have the control, and the choice, over how you think about it – make the decision, make the choice, and see how you can take ownership of your work. One positive result? Loving (or liking) your job. (If you are the boss, then use these suggestions as motivators for your team.)

 

Creating Rituals to Get Things Done

We’re now on Day 3 of the 30-Day Challenge – I hope you’ve jumped on board. This is one of the best ways to begin a habit you’ve been trying to start. Habits, according to new brain studies, can take anywhere from 60 days up to one year to form and stick. That’s a long time in the bigger realm as we do have to unlearn old habits and then we have to practice the new. This is why committing to a specific task will lead it to becoming a positive habit.

 

While you’re on this journey, I think it’s important to create one, or a few, rituals that will get you excited and prep you for the tasks you will take. For myself and my blog challenge, these include:

  • practicing gratitude each morning as I find this sets the tone for the day – positive begets positive
  • read – I make it a habit to read something each morning, such as an article, a magazine such as Success, Entrepreneur, or Talent Management. This helps to set a positive mindset, educates, as well as gives me inspiration on what I’d like to write about
  • daily crossword puzzle – as one way to increase neuroplasticity and strengthen the brain, I work on a crossword puzzle daily; not only does it challenge me but I learn new words and meanings to add to my ‘repertoire’
  • eat healthy – this helps with energy
  • write topics and ‘to do’ lists – I take 10-15 minutes to free-think topics to write during my challenge, as well as listing tasks I need to get done for each day. Free-thinking, unlike brainstorming, is where any and all ideas are accepted and gets the creative juices flowing more. Lists keep me on task and feeling accomplished as each task is completed and crossed off

I hope these give you some ideas of rituals you can develop as you move through these next 30 days. Another checked off – TGIF!

 

Let the Challenge Begin

It’s that time of year – the time when I begin my own 30-day blog challenge. With the Olympics coming up, this seems to be a great time to be in my own Olympics, so to speak. By doing so, I have found several facts that hopefully will inspire you to do your own challenge, whether that is blogging, taking up a hobby or exercise, losing weight, practicing gratitude, or stopping a nasty habit:

  • It’s only 30 days, not a year or forever. By looking at a short term end-date, our brains fear center relaxes so we can take action and not shut down before we even start
  • By doing one small task, or commitment, you will be starting a habit of which consistency and commitment are keys to following through. This is the Kaizen way – by doing the smallest task that feels the least threatening, fears won’t take over and soon you’ll be forming a new, positive habit
  • It’s not that hard – really. Think of past successes you’ve had when you may have said ‘this is too hard’ but eventually you did get it done.Reflect back on what specific actions you took then that you can apply now. Past success is a predictor of future success.
  • The challenge you choose is up to you, and not someone else, so you get to set the rules. This makes it all on you – both blame and success so think of which side you want to be on
  • Know that you are strong and can achieve anything you want; have the belief in yourself that you can and WILL see your challenge through
  • Set yourself up for success by writing your goal in detail, and then have a plan to schedule the task into your daily routine, and then celebrate your daily success. I think you’ll find that our motivation will increase, which will lead you on to the next day, and the next, and the next

If needed, get help if you really feel you can’t take action or follow-through on the steps you are taking. This challenge is about doing something that you’ve wanted to do to see if you actually can – see you on the other side of 30 days. I hope you enjoy the info I will be sharing with you. Let the journey begin!

Do You Care About Your Customers (End-Users)?

I just got off the phone, after at least 6 attempts, trying to reach a business who called me several times to discuss my account and marketing through them. What the person didn’t tell me is that the company is emailed-based. What the heck! If she had left this tidbit of information, I wouldn’t be so frustrated and irritated with them – doesn’t exactly make me want to continue with them.

 

This led me to wonder how often we don’t think about the end-user of our work, or the person who is benefiting from the product or service we provide. As I  do my work with clients who are very frustrated with their job, I always try to bring their focus back on who is really benefiting – are you doing the work for yourself or for someone else? This brings pause and takes the focus off of what they are not liking about the job to a more positive stance of ‘what can I do to make my work the best that I can to deliver the best to whomever is going to use it?’

Answering this question brings self-empowerment and taps into one’s intrinsic motivational needs of recognizing that ‘doing the right thing’ is the way to go.’ They take their focus off of the ‘lazy’ coworker who slows them down, to taking ownership and getting the work done. When we get in our ‘own space,’ it doesn’t allow us to see the bigger picture of why we are working; for some, that is just  paycheck or it’s for healthcare benefits. But we all have an inherent need to want to do the best we can and produce good work; focusing on the person who will receive your work helps with overall job satisfaction and higher performance and fulfill those needs.

 

Finding Your Career’Sweet Spot’

If you’re finding yourself questioning if you are in the right job or career, or perhaps you might just be starting out, then isn’t it time you figured it out? What is holding you back from making a decision – is it fear of disappointing someone (i.e. a parent or other family member, or yourself), fear of failing or not ‘making it,’ or an inability to fail? These are the three main reasons people don’t make a choice, although recognizing there are other circumstances.

Being afraid  won’t get you anywhere but where you are now, and the would, coulda, shoulda’s will eat you alive. Disappointing someone may not ever happen – you’re not a mind-reader; usually, the person won’t be as disappointed as if you never taking a stand. Failing is not the first choice we’d have but it happens; learning and living through is what gets us the end. I always am reminded of J. K Rowlings, of Harry Potter fame, who was rejected 12 times, while grieving the death of her mother, a failed marriage, and having to raise her daughter on her own.

She’s says of failure: “Failure meant a stripping way of the inessential….and I began to direct all my energies into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” Just like Ms. Rowlings, you can also push through and find the ‘sweet spot’ of your career and do the work that matters to you; this is the place that is an intersection between:

  1. What I like to do
  2. What I am good at
  3. Who will pay me (Wall, 2016)

It is when interests and abilities combine with job opportunities that are a match. Answering the three questions in depth, meaning you don’t leave any interest, skills, or abilities out as you never know themes that may emerge that you may ignore or attribute to ‘just coming naturally.’ The answers are the key to job satisfaction which then leads to higher involvement and performance.  If you are unsure of your career direction, the answers to the three questions above can be the way to find out; if you are in a job or career you enjoy, they will lend validation to your current choice. Taken control of your career now before it controls you by finding your career success.

If you’d like help with managing your career, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com

 

New Week, New Month – New Future

Happy May! This is the start of a new week and a new month – how optimistic do you feel? Your outlook determines the success you will have, mainly as it is the driver in taking action to make any success happen. If you feel iffy or fearful in some way, then you will hold yourself back from moving towards any goal you set; likewise, if you feel you can achieve anything – yep, you will. Mindset is everything: you can either think and feel positive or you will think and feel negative. The choice is yours.

That being said, I’m always a firm believer in starting over; just because something doesn’t work one time doesn’t mean it can’t a second (or third time – or more); it took J. K. Rowlings 43 times to submit her manuscript before it was accepted; Walt Disney was laughed at over his idea for Disney World, and even Einstein didn’t have immediate success with his Theory of Relativity. Point is – they did not give up. And you shouldn’t, either.

So, make today your ‘Do-Over Day’ – pull out all of those sheets of papers or notebooks that contain all your goals or things you want to do and see which make your heart race. Those are the ones you should not give up on. Once you’ve identified these goals, write them out with action words (i.e. I am achieving, I am working as a marketer, etc.) which the brain will naturally move towards that action, and then list specific tasks you think it will take to reach them. Determine what resources you need, i.e. time, money, support/people, etc. Now you can start taking one small step – not tomorrow or another day – NOW. You’re ready – just get to it. In the story of the tortoise and the hare, who won? The one who took the slow and steady course. So be a tortoise – GO!

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