When you were growing up, did your Mom, Dad, grandparents, or other person of influence want you to do or be something career-wise that you had no interest in doing or being? As a Baby Boomer, I remember the high school counselor told me I had three choices for a career: teacher, nurse or secretary – none of which I was interested in pursuing. While they are fine occupations – not for me! My Grandmother on the other hand, an elementary educator, encouraged me from the time I was a young child to get a college degree and make something of yourself. In one of her many library books, I discovered the phrase: Hitch Your Wagon to A Star, a quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This little phrase has served me well in making life choices and decisions – does this action get me closer to or farther from my star?
I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of job seekers and I am always interested in hearing their career path and how they wound up where they are. Sometimes, clients tell me they chose a particular career “because that’s what my parents wanted me to do” or because “that’s what my Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt or Uncle wanted me to be...follow in their footsteps.” What will you be when you grow up? Is it a job you want, or is it an occupation someone else wants for you? Here are a few thoughts to explore as you consider what’s next for you.
Ability / Aptitude: Do you possess the requisite skill, talent and ability to do the job – whatever it might be? Is the job a good fit with you and who you are? For example, let’s say your Aunt Hilda wants you to be a lawyer because her husband is a lawyer, her father is a lawyer, and her brother is a lawyer. The real question is: "Do you want to be a lawyer?" Have you taken the LSAT? Do you have the ability to pass the exam with a score high enough to gain admission to law school somewhere in the country? Do you have the ability and the aptitude for the work?
Action: Are you willing to commit to the steps required to achieve the career goal? What is your timeline? When will you start? When do you expect to complete your goal? How much will it cost in terms of time, energy and money? What sacrifices are you willing to make?
Ambition: Do you have a strong desire to achieve the career goal? Are you willing to put forth the determination and hard work it will take to get what you want? Are you self-motivated, disciplined, focused and driven to achieve your purpose?
Attitude: What is your perspective regarding your career goal? What words best describe your outlook on getting to the goal?? If you had to pick one word to represent your attitude right now, what single word would you choose? What, if anything, might you change about your attitude?
Attributes: Do you have the traits and qualities suited for the job? What are your greatest attributes? What qualities, if any, need some refinement?
Are you pursuing a job because it is what you want for you or are you tracking a job because someone else wants it for you?
Recently, a client asked “In your professional opinion, what is the single-most critical skill for a job seeker to possess in order to find new employment?”
If you were to answer my client’s question based upon the five choices shown below, which one would you pick?
Without hesitation, I asked: “Do you watch Cry Wolfe? He’s a private investigator – his name is Brian Wolfe – based in California – Tuesday evenings -- Investigation Discovery. The Cry Wolfe guy is relentless – he is crazy good; talk about mastery. So, in answer to your question, I would say, be an outstanding private investigator, a super sleuth and a really good detective. In my opinion, that’s the most important skill -- all else is expected; the P.I. part can help solve your case of getting from Point A to Point B."
Listed below are a few qualities and traits of a good detective. Perhaps you will use some of these skills to resolve your job search situation:
As I sat there, I started thinking about Fitting Rooms.
What a weird name – fitting room.
Who thought of calling a fitting room a “fitting room” anyway?
Why not “Try on Space?”
Or “Does This Make Me Look Fat Room?”
Or “Dressing Experiment Room?”
Or “You Look Awesome Room?"
Or “Test Market Room?"
Or how about “Should I Buy This" Room?
Nope, we seem to be stuck with Fitting Rooms or Dressing Rooms.
My client and I were chatting about finding a job that is a good fit.
Is your current job a good fit?
Are you wearing a job you have outgrown?
Are you investing in a career that you no longer love, or even like?
Are you stuck in a role that makes you uncomfortable from the time you arrive to the time you leave work each day?
Are you afraid to discard the job you now hold because you lack the knowledge, confidence and courage to explore other options?
If you are in career transition mode, are you trying on different job possibilities via the interview process before saying “yes” to the offer?
Are you asking tough questions during interview conversations to help you gauge both risk and reward?
Are you settling on the first thing that comes along because you think it is better than what you have now?
Whatever job you are presently wearing or hope to wear in the future, I hope you look absolutely amazing in it.
If not, there are plenty of possibilities from which to choose.
Find something that looks simply stunning on you.
Rejection – it’s everywhere. Here, there and everywhere when you are in job search mode. Do not let rejection distract you, derail you or disenchant you. Keep going. Keep moving. Do not stop until you are the Number One pick!
Realize that brands attract, brands repel. You have preferences; so do hiring managers.
Educate yourself on best practices of the job search.
Join conversations, meetings and groups, both offline and online to learn, grow and stay current.
Enlist the support, guidance and direction of a trusted team to navigate your way forward.
Connect with others on a consistent basis. Someone, somewhere knows somebody or something that would be good for you to know.
Transition is a process; track your progress to improve performance.
Exhibit excellence in all things job-search related.
Don’t quit on yourself or the search. Some organization, somewhere needs you.
What do you think?
Posted at 07:48 AM in Billie Sucher, Career Management, Career Transitions, Careers, Inspiration, Interviewing, Job Hunt, Job Search, Motivation, Outplacement, Personal Branding, Resume Writing, Twitter, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tags: careers, employment, interviewing, jobs, life, rejection, transitions, work
Let’s say your tooth gets knocked out. Know how to fix it?
Let’s say you are getting sued by your employer for breaking your non-compete. Know what to do next?
Let’s say you want to re-roof your residence? Know how to do that?
Let’s say you want to serve cake on your wedding day? Know how to bake it?
While many tasks are of a do-it-yourself (DIY) variety, for some, trying to write a first-class résumé is akin to shingling your own house, fixing your own tooth, representing yourself in court, repairing your own car, or baking your own wedding cake. Could you possibly do all of these things? Perhaps. Or perhaps it makes more sense in the long run to engage the services of someone who knows what they are doing – be it roofing, résumé writing or whipping up a wedding cake.
Here is a specific story to illustrate how one man’s résumé writing stress was transformed into résumé writing success – just like that. While I could share hundreds of similar stories, the following résumé writing story is one of my favorites. “Benjamin” owned a profitable business here in the Midwest. He decided after 25+ years of business ownership that he wanted to move to a warmer climate. As part of the job search process, he built a résumé from an online template. No problem. His daughter, a bright young college student majoring in English reviewed it, followed by a once-over by a few trusted colleagues. No problem.
He submitted his résumé via U.S. mail to the hiring manager. His qualifications, in his opinion, perfectly matched the employer’s requirements. When he did not hear back from the company, he followed up to see if the job was still open. It was. And to him, that was a problem. A Chamber contact referred him to me for “an opinion” on his résumé. We didn’t do a couple of minor changes – we did a total overhaul of his existing résumé document. He resubmitted the new résumé to the same hiring manager and the very day it was received, Benjamin got a phone call: “When can you be here to interview with us?” He did not mention the prior résumé submission, nor did the hiring manager bring it up. Bottom line, the newly created résumé opened the door just like that and ultimately, Benjamin got the job.
Can you do your own résumé? Sure. Absolutely. No question about it.
Can your DIY résumé generate results for you? I certainly hope so!
Perhaps, though, if your DIY résumé is not working for you, maybe you will do what Ben did. Ask around. Get a referral. Fix your résumé. Snag an interview. And get hired -- sometimes, just like that!
Suppose that you have been invited to a face-to-face interview after doing a superb job in your phone interview. Suppose that a 15-member selection committee will be present to witness your 60-minute PowerPoint presentation. Suppose that someone you trust suggests removing your large wedding ring that contains two carats of fabulous bling. Suppose that you did, though you wondered why.
Suppose that you are a trial lawyer who has retired. Suppose that you cannot stand the “monotony of doing nothing” (trial lawyer’s words) and that you pursue a job that will get you out of the house and make a few bucks to boot. Suppose that you are wearing a monogrammed shirt and cuff links to an interview for a job paying about $35,000. Suppose that a trusted confidante suggests that you wear a dress shirt minus the monogram and cuff links. Suppose you heed her counsel and immediately snag the job.
Suppose that you are a teenager or college student who wants a job at your local ice cream shop for the summer. Suppose that you roll up in your Mom’s Mercedes for the 20-minute interview. Suppose that the ice cream shop owner asks you the year of your Mercedes and you tell him it’s new. Suppose that the shop owner says he is going to give the job to someone who doesn’t drive a Mercedes. Suppose that you drive to another ice cream shop in your brother’s beater car and get offered a job on the spot.
Suppose that you are a successful executive waiting in the prospective employer’s lobby for the hiring manager to greet you for a job interview. Suppose that you are finishing up one of your favorite author’s romantic novels. Suppose you are holding the book in your hands when the Hiring Manager calls your name and offers “Ah, I see you like smut” to which you state you don’t consider that particular author a writer of such. Suppose the interview never gets back on track. Suppose that in your next interview you wait patiently for the manager to welcome you – no controversial book in hand.
Suppose that you received a new bottle of the hottest cologne of the season for your birthday. Suppose that you went to a job interview and the corporate recruiter asked “So who are you wearing” to which you replied the name of a clothing line. The recruiter tells you he is not talking about your attire, he is talking about your cologne and oh, by the way, the hiring manager is allergic to a lot of scents – gets a nasty headache.
Before you go to a job interview, ask yourself these two questions:
1. What, if anything, am I wearing, doing, or sharing that could compromise my candidacy?
2. When I exit the interview, how do I wish to be remembered?
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
~ Dr. Seuss
Recently, one of my clients asked: “So are there any specific questions you could give me that would help me think about what career I “should” pursue at this point? Before meeting you, I took some tests/assessments and so far, I am still confused.” I have been thinking about “Jed’s” question since he asked it. Listed below are 35 questions for you to consider if you are in the midst of a career transition:
What do you most like to do in the workplace?
With whom do you prefer to work?
Where do you prefer to live geographically?
What are your best skills?
What type of work interests you?
What have you always wanted to do workwise?
What, if any, additional training would you like to pursue?
Of the many skills you possess, which do you like the best and enjoy the most?
Describe your ideal job in detail.
Describe your ideal “boss.”
What are your salary expectations?
What is the going rate for your skillset (per three reliable resources).
What are your primary interests?
What values define you?
What needs some work as it relates to you and your brand?
How did you get from there to here in your career?
In the 7th grade, how did you answer this question: When I grow up, I want to be a ____________.
In high school, how did you answer this question: When I grow up, I want to be a ______________.
If you attended technical school/college/graduate school, how did you answer this question: When I grow up, I want to be a _________________.
And now, as an experienced worker, what is your response to this question: When I grow up, I want to be a _______________________.
Looking back, what, if anything, might you have done differently?
What choices are you struggling with/wresting with now?
If you could “start over” this very minute, what would you do?
What are the biggest concerns an employer will have about your current credentials?
What do you think you were built to do occupationally?
What’s in your DNA as it relates to the world of work?
How are you hardwired?
Who are your biggest fans and supporters right now?
What headline would you most like to see on your LinkedIn Profile?
What are you not interested in doing occupationally?
What are your three to five favorite skills of the hundreds of skills you possess?
Who does a job / occupation that is of interest to you and why?
What is your definition of “career success?”
What keywords would you choose to search for a job on Indeed.com?
If you could wave a magic wand and voilà, do the job of your dreams, what would you be doing and what job title would appear on your new business card?
If an employer asked you to submit a “tweet bio,” what would yours say?
If you attended a 250-person dinner party and presented a speech titled I Need Your Help Finding a New Opportunity as a (an) ___________________(job title) using these skills: 1. ____________ 2. ___________ 3.____________4.______________ 5.___________________ in the city/state of _______________________________ with an employer involved in the ___________________ industry, what would attendees hear from you?
Example: I Need Your Helping Finding a New Opportunity as an Outplacement Consultant using skills of 1. Career Counseling 2. Training 3. Resume Writing 4. Public Speaking and 5. Interview Coaching in Houston, Texas with an employer involved in the energy industry.
Posted at 02:31 PM in Billie Sucher, Career Management, Career Transitions, Careers, Inspiration, Interviewing, Job Hunt, Job Search, Motivation, Outplacement, Personal Branding, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: careers, choices, employment, job search, jobs, outplacement , personal branding, transitions, work