May 28, 2010
Imagine that. According to a report from The Conference Board, only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. That means more than 1/2 of the working population spends the majority of their day dissatisfied. (I won’t even get started on the word “satisfied”.)
That’s really, really sad.
If you hate your job, leave.
That doesn’t mean you should get up, walk into your boss’s office and quit (unless you have the financial resources to do so), but you definitely should be taking the steps that will get you out of there- NOW.
I saw now so vehemently, because your next job must be one you love. No more wasting hours, days, months, years of your life on something that doesn’t make you happy. And- figuring out what that next job should be and how to get it could take more than a couple weeks.
If you’re not sure what to do to start the process, check out Forget the Parachute, Let Me Fly the Plane. All the tools you need to start down the road to career success are in there, from figuring out what your next career should be all the way through how to get it.
The sooner you start, the sooner you’re free. And more than satisfied.
April 26, 2010
I recently saw a post on twitter that referred back to an article on the AMA site about Peter Drucker’s teachings on personal growth. It is an older article, but it’s relevance is timeless. What stood out specifically was his statement about figure out your own uniqueness and applying it to both your personal and professional life.
Consider what’s unique about what you do, and in what areas you excel and contribute the most, both at work and outside of work. Focus on those strengths—your own core competencies—and find new ways to value and cultivate them. Odds are you can apply them to a variety of jobs, volunteer positions, and more.
Think about your life, both as it is now and where you’d like to be. Consider not just your work, but also your family, friends, interests, activities, and pursuits. Assess what’s working, what’s not, and what you might want to add or subtract to create more satisfaction and fulfillment.
This is one of the core ideas in Forget The Parachute, Let Me Fly The Plane. There is something you were meant to do, something at which you excel. There is a career out there that will fulfill you. You just have to figure out what it is.
Many people spend their lives wishing they were doing something that mattered, something that made them happy, something that made a difference, or any other number of somethings. Don’t spend your life wishing you were doing something else. Figure out what that something is, and start towards it today. There is no time like the present.
If you aren’t sure what career applies to your unique skills and characteristics, check out our e-book. The information and exercises are designed to set you on a path to career fulfillment.
April 14, 2010
Resumes seem to be on people’s minds a lot lately. It keeps coming up in conversations, not only from clients, but friends and family too.
One of the most common questions is “Is my resume really that important?”. My answer, it depends on the company and how you “got in” with the company, but in general, a strong yes. Regardless of if you are submitting your resume blindly or through a contact, it is a representation of you, your skills and background.
As an example- while Sarah, the Director of Sales, recommended you for the opening in Operations, it’s Sam, the head of Ops, and Pat, HR, who will actually see your resume. They like what Sarah had to say about you, but if you send them a resume that lacks relevant information, has typos, etc., it could hurt your chances of progressing. You want to come across as professional and capable as possible. Every piece of communication should relay why you are the person they need- from your phone calls, to your emails, to your resume, and on through the interview process.
There are a few things to pay attention to when writing your resume, and we’ve put together a list of the top 10 to help you get through the madness of creating/editing your resume.
It’s free, so go ahead and check it out!
April 9, 2010
A few months ago I met someone who asked me about my career. I talked about the Connected Career and described our goal- to help people figure out their dream career and how to get it.
I had barely finished my sentence when he asked me to help him get a job.
Here is how the conversation unfolded:
Stranger: So, can you help me get a job?
Me: I can help you figure out how to get the job you really want. What do you want to do?
Me: I’m sorry, that’s too broad. What do you enjoy? What have you enjoyed in the past or even something you’ve always wanted to try?
Stranger: Too many questions, I just want a job.
Me: How about you at least tell me your skillsets.
Stranger: I don’t know. Nothing comes to mind.
Me: If you don’t know what you want to do, what interests you or what your skillsets are, how do you plan on finding a job?
Stranger: Isn’t that what you do?
While this conversation was an extreme version of what we often hear, it is relatively common to hear of people wanting a change, wanting something different, but not knowing what that something looks like. And for that reason, we wrote “Forget the Parachute, Let Me Fly The Plane”.
Figuring out what you really, really, really want to do, are meant to do, doesn’t always come easy. Having a guide to help you through the process can take you out of what you know and push you. A little bit or a lot.
March 23, 2010
Instead of following tradition formats and patterns, think about ways you can be different, things you can do to stand out when going after a job you really want. If you are in a creative field, this is almost a given.
Some great approaches I have seen over the years include:
- A resume on which the list of skills formed a wave pattern on the side of the page. This caught my attention immediately.
- A carefully crafted portfolio was received a day after the applicant sent their resume. The portfolio included separate sections that detailed why the applicant fit each set of needs on the job posting. This was not for a creative position, which made it stand out even more.
- An invitation to take me out for coffee to talk about the position and their application. I couldn’t take them up on it, but the offer was so out of the ordinary, I did contact the applicant to discuss their qualifications and background (meaning, they got a call back).
As long as you are professional and know and understand your audience (the company to which you are applying), adding a little creativity can go a long way in attracting the attention of the person reviewing your resume.
March 21, 2010
I recently had someone contact me about how to get into a company I used to work with. They tracked me down online and sent a very professional email explaining how they found me, why they wanted to work at the company and very politely solicited my advice.
I replied the same day with advice and an offer to review their resume, even though I was swamped with work.
Because this person obviously put the time and effort into trying to figure out who to go to for advice for what they considered their dream job. In addition, they put the same time and effort into crafting an email that was professional, respectful and attention grabbing. For all that effort, I felt they deserved my time.
Sometimes you never know who can help you until you reach out. And when you reach out, make sure that the effort you are putting into the communication is equivalent to what it is you are asking for in return.