It’s scary out there. In a world of constant career turmoil there seems to be a tsunami of lay-offs, re-orgs and career setbacks happening across the globe. So how can you turn the tides so that you’re in a position of more control, confidence, and just plain happiness?
The answer is by investing in yourself so that you have more career offers and opportunities!
A new client I’ll call “Jim” recently called me and said that he had gone through a change in management which resulted in losing his 7-year position as the General Manager of a prestigious golf course.
He told me that after one year of searching, he had taken the “only job he could get” which was working part-time in the golf pro shop at a different golf course. After talking for a few minutes, it became painfully clear why Jim wasn’t able to get back on his career path.
- Invest in Yourself.
Jim shared that the golf industry was changing and that companies were requiring a specific kind of training and certification to be a General Manager. But Jim wasn’t stepping up and getting the training. He’d rather fight the system (which he was losing) and not invest $2,000 for the training in the hopes of one day getting hired again as a General Manager. What Jim was actually doing was down sizing his career, his morale, and his paycheck by electing not to invest in himself.
Never let your career sit on a shelf longer than 6-months. Never! Keep the same drive and discipline that you had when you were employed. Get focused. Get a plan. Make it happen. Wallowing isn’t allowed. Create opportunities by using your “in-between” time to get any training or education you may need. If you’re not working, then start freelancing or consulting. Join an association’s Board of Directors, or at minimum, a committee. These strategies will help keep you visible, boost your resume and expand your network.
- Fish where the fish are.
Another mistake Jim was making was not having a solid job search plan. Where are your potential employers? Find out by reading trade magazines, industry publications, company websites and classified ads in your local newspapers to learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are.
Then, start attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Also, join professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com to get connected to industry leaders and company decision makers. Make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who can inspire you, hire you, or introduce you to potential employers.
- Be a resource to others.
Never give the impression that you’re hungry for a job. Instead, you want to be seen as someone who drives initiatives, solves problems and leads teams. This is one reason why you want to consult, freelance, or volunteer while you’re in between jobs.
Get personal with your professional network. Send out links to reports, case studies, press releases and websites that you think might interest them. Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers. Influencers are drawn to those who are resourceful.
- Give your resume the “it” factor.
When it comes to resumes – looks are everything! If you’ve been applying for jobs that you’re qualified for, but you’re not getting the interviews, then you need a stronger resume.
Hiring managers can have stacks and stacks of resumes piled high on their desk which means that if your resume doesn’t have the “it” factor – you’re toast. Don’t lose out on a great job because your resume doesn’t stand up against your competition. Instead, invest in a professional resume critique. You’ll get specific strategies based on your goals, strengths and accomplishments to get the attention of hiring managers and put yourself in high demand!
- Interview smart.
If you’re getting interviews, but not job offers – then you need stronger interviewing skills.
Interviewing brings up a lot of anxiety mostly because it seems that the interviewer has so much power and you, the one being interviewed, has so little. But there are things you can do to balance the scales of power. Invest in a session with an interview coach before your next interview. You’ll get crisp, solid strategies to learn how showcase your strengths, answer the tough questions and what to say to close the interview.
The point is that if you’ve been unemployed or at a lower level position for longer than six months, then you need to shake things up! Try different career strategies and start thinking outside the box. And never, ever give up your drive, ambition and courage that it takes to move your career forward.
Your job is out there waiting for you. You just need to go get it!
Invest in yourself so that you have more career offers and opportunities!
Make a plan right now to get any training or education you need to get your next job. Think ahead to the career that you really want. Read job postings to understand the qualifications and skills that are required. If you need training or education, then schedule time on your calendar to research options, costs and time commitments.
If you need experience to make your next career move, then invest your time in freelancing or consulting. Join an association’s Board of Directors, or at minimum, a committee. These strategies will help keep you visible, boost your resume and expand your network.
Make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who can inspire you, hire you, or introduce you to potential employers. Schedule time in your calendar to attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Also, join professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com to get connected to industry leaders and company decision makers.
If you’re feeling stuck and need some help reinventing your career, then consider hiring a career coach. A career coach can give you the tools, support and the roadmap to help you advance your career. Be prepared to come into a session with your toughest questions, biggest challenges, and an open mind to get new ideas, strategies and best practices to get your career on track!
How are you going to invest in yourself? Share your strategies with me in the “comments” section below…
Do you ever wonder how some people manage their career in a way that seems – effortless? A constant stream of plum projects, job opportunities, and even promotions seem to come easy and drop in their lap.
So how exactly do they do it, and more importantly, how can you do it?
The answer is “stickiness.”
In advertising, sticky products, companies, or brands keep people coming back for more. The stickier the product, the more likely it will fly off the shelf and be in high demand.
In the business world, sticky employees stay employed longer, bounce back from setbacks quicker, and discover hidden job opportunities that non-sticky people never even know about.
Below are four ways to make yourself sticky…
1. Get excited about your career!
Sticky people enjoy their job and enjoy sharing information to help project teams and companies advance. Having a great attitude, a sense of humor and a results-oriented, competitive spirit makes others want to be around you.
One more thing. Confidence is a must. Arrogance is a showstopper.
2. Become a jack-of-all-trades within an organization.
One way to be sticky is to become knowledgeable in several key areas so that you can float seamlessly between projects, teams, or even companies. This is an excellent strategy during turbulent times as companies are cutting staffs and shutting down lines of services.
Letting organizations know that you’re nimble, have two or three key skillsets, and add value in a variety of ways gives you a leading edge against other professionals they may be considering promoting, or hiring.
Another key ingredient for being sticky is having a professional network that’s deep and wide so that if you can’t answer a question or solve a problem, you know where to go to get the answer or support you need.
3. Carve out a niche for yourself.
Conversely to being a jack-of-all-trades is being an expert or the “go to” person in a specialized area. Learn everything you can through training, reading books, and mentors and then apply it to your teams and projects.
Become “the source” for information and sharing your knowledge freely with others will help make you sticky and indispensable to an organization.
4. Be a resource to others.
People are the jet fuel behind your career. They can promote you, hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you. So whether you’re employed or not, having a powerful professional network is critical to your career.
The key is becoming a resource for others. Send out quick e-mails with links to books, white papers, press releases, news articles, or websites that you think may interest those in your network. Volunteer to introduce your connections to others who may help them solve a problem, offer advice, or potentially advance that person’s career.
One of the key benefits of being a key resource to others, is the more likely you are to get career support when you need it such as a personal recommendation or a new job lead!
Make yourself sticky!
Identify three (3) people in your professional network who you could help RIGHT NOW by either giving them a piece of information, sharing some advice, or introducing them to someone else that you know.
By taking the time and initiative to help out others in your network, you’ll be creating a network who wants to help you advance your career.
The point is to take control of your career. Making yourself sticky means that companies and others in your professional network look to you as a valuable resource. So step up and get sticky! You’ll find that you’re able to stay employed longer, bounce back from setbacks quicker, and managing the ups and downs of your career will seem – effortless! Ahhhhhhh
How are you going to make yourself more marketable?
Yesterday, I was interviewed by NBC-TV Phoenix to share a few of my tips on how to be resilient in the workplace…
What do you think? Share you comments or thoughts…
Do you dream of starting a fresh, new career where people appreciate you? Where you can focus on your strengths and talents, and be valued for your expertise? Or maybe reinventing yourself into an entirely new job role or industry where you’re doing something more meaningful and inspiring?
Maybe you’ve been pushing away that thought because it seems impossible, or overwhelming, or maybe because you simply don’t know how to change your career?
But what if you can no longer silence the dream? When that voice keeps coming back to you, louder and stronger, saying “I need a new job!”, and no matter how many times you push it out of your mind it keeps coming back. What do you do then?
The reason so many people stay in unmotivating and unfulfilling jobs is because it’s easy to do. It’s familiar, it takes minimal effort, it’s easy to blank out and be a zombie for 8 hours a day, and there’s comfort in knowing you’re getting the bills paid.
It’s easy because there’s minimal risk and minimal effort. But there’s also minimal reward. Doing drudgery work actually drains us of energy, makes us cranky and lowers our quality of life. Do you think that if you’re energized about doing work that excites you, that you’ll be making more significant contributions, and therefore, have more opportunities for promotions, advancement and a higher quality of life?
Earlier in my career, I made the mistake of believing that if someone hired me, then that was where I was meant to be. BIG mistake!! Later in my career, I learned that I need to set the bar higher for myself. I learned that jumping into a new, and sometimes scary, career was worth the risk. I also learned how to create more options and how to make better decisions about where I work and who I work for.
I fully believe that life is way too short to stay in a meaningless job where you’re unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-valued. I’ve had a few of those jobs myself and I remember waking up every morning and dreading going into work. During those times, the highlight of my day was usually having lunch with a few close colleagues. If the highlight of your day is eating lunch – then it’s time to make a career change.
I’ve reinvented myself four (4) times and each time, I successfully landed in my dream career! For me, I tend to stay in a career 4-5 years, and then through natural curiosity (or ADD? ;)) I tend to want to jump into another job role or industry. And each one of my career changes started out the same way – by allowing myself to dream about career possibilities and then creating one clear vision.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT… Give your dream a shout out!! Tell the universe your career dream by writing it down (you can even write it down below in the “comments section.”
Once you write it down, you’ll be well on your way to making it a reality!