Summer and holidays are a time when most people sit back, relax and do their best not to think about work but, for many, it’s a time to contemplate a new career altogether.
These breaks in your regular routine provide an opportunity to take stock and reflect on your working life and consider taking a big leap to do something different.
As part of that decision, you will need to have a strategy.
For beginners, Avoid these 5 common pitfalls.
- Don’t jump into a new career before some serious reflection
You might be miserable or unfulfilled but make sure you don’t just make the change to escape your current situation. Take the time to complete some self and career assessments as well as researching a “day in the life of” that profession you have interest in pursuing. A good resource is www.Onetonline.org, especially when combined with connecting with someone already in the job so you can ask candid questions.
- Don’t chase what is popular; make sure you see yourself in it for awhile
Research the forecasted workforce needs of your newly discovered interest to make sure you don’t make the change to only discover the job soon becomes obsolete due to technology or lack of Continue reading
Before becoming a Career Coach, I was an HR “purist” and my entire corporate career (25+ years) was spent recruiting, interviewing, selecting, managing, developing and counseling employees. Additionally, as an HR manager, I hired almost 40 people to work with me and many of them came from other occupations with no experience in HR.
All of these professionals had two things in common:
- A strong desire to work in the field of Human Resources
- Absolutely NO experience in Human Resources
But they all had common experiences and strengths:
- Communications – verbal and written
- Problem Solving
- Analytical expertise
- Conflict Management Skills
- Influential Ability
- Ability to “Work in the Gray” and See the Big Picture
Shawn was a stubborn client. Though successfully employed as a Sales Manager of a highly recognized Fortune 500 biomedical company, he was eager to be promoted to a Regional Sales Manager and expand his territory as well as his influence and compensation. When we first talked about how I worked with career coach clients, I explained that I could help him stand out in the job search against his competition – potentially hundreds of other candidates who had similar backgrounds as he. Shawn was quick to tell me about his many successes in gaining and retaining new businesses and how well liked and respected he was by customers, colleagues and his manager. But he struggled with the HOW and WHY of his career success on his resume.
A few job seekers can explain how they overcame obstacles, in the work setting, to contribute greatly to the company for which they work. But most can’t really put their finger on why they think they are qualified for a promotion, internally or externally.
“SHOW employers your value – don’t just TELL them”
The Most Qualified Candidate is Hired
That is what you would expect, right? Shouldn’t the candidate with the most relevant education and experience be hired? In a perfect world – yes; however, many candidates do not convey their value in the job search process. That’s exactly what I help people to do in my career coaching practice.
- Do you know and communicate your strengths?
- Does your resume and linked in profile convey your most significant achievements?
- Are you able to provide examples to hiring managers of how you can transfer your past experience and knowledge to their organization?
- How well do you respond to the behavioral interview questions?
- Are you ready for the emotional intelligence-based interview questions?
Even If Not Hired, You Will Be Told Why Not
If you have been in the job market during the past few years, you have not been contacted unless chosen for the interview and or position. If you are not considered qualified, it is likely you will hear nothing from the organization. Even if you go through the multi-stepped interview process, possibly take time off from a current job, incurred the cost of childcare in order to interview, and complete background questionnaires, you may not hear anything unless chosen for the job. And it is even more likely that you will not hear anything from the recruiter or hiring manager about why you were not selected. Continue reading
And it is possible to find yours. Meet the Career Match Maker.
Cindy came to me, a burned out high school teacher of honors English students. First a lawyer, then teacher for 12 years, Cindy was practically in tears describing her frustration at still not finding a career that was just right for her. I reassured she was not alone and suggested the Myers Briggs Assessment as a starting point for me to help her with her Career Exploration. Using other career assessments, she identified her key career strengths and interests as well as her preferences. That was almost a year ago. Now, she is a communications specialist working for a large financial services company and is so happy because, as she says, “I am doing what I love to do, in an environment that is just right for me: learning new things, researching and I have just the right amount of people contact – not much.” I heard her giggle as she emphasized the last two words.
Then there is Rafael, who moved to the U.S. from Central America, where he worked as a financial analyst for his family business. When we first talked, he told me he needed help with his resume and linked in profile in order to find a job doing what he loves most – talking to people all day to help them solve problems. Rafael is now a successful real estate account broker for an upscale boutique realtor.
Both Cindy and Rafael’s career changes were made possible, in part, by one of the most popular personality assessments in the world: Myers Briggs or MBTI for short.
Even though the Myers Briggs assessment was not designed exclusively as a Career assessment, is it no surprise that if 1.5 million people take the Myers Briggs assessment each year, and many
Solve the Puzzle of the Hidden Job Market
I remember reading the Nancy Drew books, as a young girl, and was fascinated when I learned the “Secret of the Hidden Door” and other mysteries. If you are a job seeker, one of the biggest mysteries of our time is the Hidden Job Market.
It is estimated that 80% of job openings are not posted. This is called the hidden job market. As frustrating as it is, there are legitimate reasons why so many positions are not advertised on job boards or publicly . Your job is to understand why and know where you can find them.
Let’s Start with Why
There are many reasons why an organization may not advertise a position. Here are some:
- The position is not yet budgeted or approved
- Due to pending mergers, reorganizations or acquisitions, an official announcement of an opening would be premature
- The employer is replacing someone currently in the position and whose departure has not been finalized
- A variety of reasons may require a confidential search
The most common reason, though, is SHEER VOLUME. Posting a position on a major job board Continue reading
There’s a lot of talk about finding your life’s passion. Webinars and books abound but everyone has a different path to finding a career passion.
How about you?
Should you pursue your passion?
Do you KNOW your passion?
Are you experiencing the joy of using your strengths daily in your work and knowing the exhilaration that comes from knowing you are doing what you are meant to do?
For those of you who don’t relate, I understand. I didn’t truly discover what I was best at and what my passion was until 5 years ago, some twenty five years into a career that was successful by most peoples’ standards.
Nobody should wait that long.
And that’s why I do what I do as a career coach.
In discovering your best career options and what to do in your next career chapter, you need to answer these questions:
Identify your Strengths through Obstacles & Failures
There is a lot of talk about knowing your strengths, leveraging your strengths and sharing your strengths toward career success. If you have been interviewing for a new job recently, you were probably asked to explain your strengths and weaknesses, usually one of the hardest questions for job seekers to answer.
Several best sellers have been published which promise a method for you to identify your
ID your Strengths gained by past challenges
strengths by answering a quiz or series of questions about yourself. These are all quite good but you might still come up empty when asked the question during an interview and you cannot come across with a text book answer; you have to be authentic. You have to be you! When coaching job seekers, I ask them a question that results in a quizzical look on their faces.
“Let’s talk about the last huge obstacle or challenge you faced at work.” But, they usually respond, “I thought you wanted to know my strength.” Continue reading
Note: This post was originally published June 22, 2014 and, due to extraordinary interest on the topic, I am re-posting.
In the beginning, you might experience a gnawing, a feeling of frustration, exhaustion or disappointment. It grows in intensity until one day you realize all the energy you put into your work is not enough. It may have been at one time. Yes; at first, it’s thrilling to get a steady paycheck and buy nice things. Or you see your name on the business card, moving up the organizational chart or on a management report you co-authored.
Discover your Career Passion
Your job fails to satisfy your soul anymore
Other days, you wonder– will I still be here in another 5 years, doing the same job, in the same office, and working with the same people another 5 years, another 10 years?
And you start to take stock of your talents, your strengths and realize you aren’t doing the things you do best and, more importantly, enjoy doing. Your “bucket isn’t getting filled anymore”.
And you ask yourself “why”. Or worse, you may have a work “melt down” and realize that you cannot continue to do what you’ve been doing much longer. Folks, that may be the first step of discovering your passion and know you must make a change in order to share that knowledge, expertise or that “something special” that only you can do or you will explode. Your career passion requires you to take a risk. Continue reading