055: Career Decisions: Bringing it all Together

Bringing it All Together

This month, I’ve done episodes covering Motivated Skills, personality preferences using the framework of the MBTI, Core Values, and Areas of Expertise in making career decisions.

Remember, I’ve talked about the macro- and micro-level of career decisions. On the macro level, you are making a decision about the career path you will follow.

On a micro-level, you are using this information to make decisions about which jobs to take. On an even more micro-level, you are using the knowledge to guide projects, programs, committee assignments, and job duties…or to help you boss make these same decisions.

Today I want to bring all of these things together. First, a refresher.

Motivated Skills

Those skills that you are both very good at and get a great deal of pleasure from doing. The reason they are called Motivated Skills is that the more you do them, the more motivated you will be about your work.

The opposite of Motivated Skills is Burnout Skills. Burnout Skills are those skills that you are very good at, but DON’T get pleasure from doing. In fact, these skills suck the motivation right out of you. The more you have to perform Burnout Skills in your work, the more likely you are to…you guessed it…burn out.

 A few examples of Motivated Skills are Writing, Presentation Skills, Customer Service, Working with Numerical Data, Research, Mechanical Reasoning, Troubleshooting, Teaching, and Planning.

Personality Preferences

Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as the framework, it measures personality preferences on four scales and identifies one of 16 personality types based on your responses. The MBTI identifies your innate preferences…the way you prefer to handle a situation or task if given the option.

The preference pairs of the MBTI are:

Extraversion vs. Introversion, which is your orientation to the outer world…where you get your energy from.

Sensing vs. Intuition, which is your preferred way of taking in information, and the type of information you prefer to work with.

Thinking vs. Feeling, which is your preferred decision-making style.

Judging vs. Perceiving, which is how you order your world.

 

Core Values

What is most important to you in an employer, a work environment, and the specific work you’re doing.

Identifying these “non-negotiable” values helps you align your career choices with what is most important to you. And alignment increases your chance for career success, higher compensation, and satisfaction.

 Here are a few sample Values:

-Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize courage and take risks

-Utilize creativity and originality

-Opportunity for advancement

-Ability to do a job as efficiently as possible

-Receive recognition for accomplishments

-Ability to exert power and influence

-Higher than average financial rewards

 

Areas of Expertise

What are You REALLY Good At? We’re talking about capitalizing on your Areas of Expertise.

If you’re just getting out of college, your Areas of Expertise are probably vague ideas…shadows of what is to come. But if you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you should have at least 2-3 Areas of Expertise, with more to develop as you progress through your career.

I connected the Areas of Expertise to your Motivated Skills, because I see your Areas of Expertise as sub-sets of your Motivated Skills.

Let’s say, for example, one of your Motivated Skills is Writing, which is defined as “Possessing excellent writing skills. Able to create business or technical documents, correspondence, and other effective written communications.”

So you get a job in the Public Relations office of a company, where one of your main duties is to write press releases. Because of this experience, one of your Areas of Expertise becomes “Writing Press Releases.”

Let’s put all of this information together in a couple of case studies that will hopefully help you get the idea.

 

Case Study #1 – Danielle

Danielle is a 25-year-old college graduate who studied communications in college and has been working in the entertainment industry since graduating. She is looking to make a career change because she finds her current field to be too competitive and not meaningful enough for her.

Danielle’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Writing

-Public Relations

-Organization

-Creative or Imaginative with Ideas

-Decision-Making

Her personality type is ENFJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative HARMONIZERS; at their best when winning people’s cooperation with insight into their needs. They value:

  • Having a wide circle of relationships
  • Having a positive, enthusiastic view of life
  • Seeing subtleties in people and interactions
  • Understanding others’ needs and concerns
  • An active, energizing social life
  • Seeing possibilities in people
  • Follow-through on important projects
  • Working on several projects at once
  • Caring and imaginative problem solving
  • Maintaining relationships to make things work
  • Shaping organizations to better serve members
  • Caring, compassion, and tactfulness

Her Core Values are:

-Utilize creativity and imagination

-Ability to help/serve others

-Close relationships with co-workers

-Working on multiple projects simultaneously

-Flexibility in work schedule

How would you coach Danielle? Here’s what we talked about:

-She needs a career that is meaningful to her in that she is able to help others while utilizing her considerable creativity. She prefers freedom in her work hours – as long as she gets the work done, it shouldn’t matter when she does it. She also wants to wear multiple hats, so a start-up would be a good fit for her (smaller company = more jobs to be done).

Danielle decided to pursue careers in non-profit marketing – finding a non-profit she is passionate about, which is fitness, and marketing that non-profit to the appropriate audiences.

Case Study #2 – Brandon

Brandon has just graduated from college with a degree in business but doesn’t know where he wants to go. He interned with Enterprise Rent-a-Car while in college and liked the variety of work but didn’t like the front-line management part of his job or how little structure there was to his daily duties.

Brandon’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Selling

-Negotiating

-Customer Service

-Work with Numerical Data

-Planning

-Detail Management

Brandon’s personality preference is ESTJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Fact-minded practical ORGANIZERS; at their best when they can take charge and set things in logical order. They value:

  • Results; doing, acting
  • Planned, organized work and play
  • Common-sense practicality; usefulness
  • Consistency; standard procedures
  • Deciding quickly and logically
  • Having things settled and closed; orderliness
  • Rules, objective standards, fairness
  • Task-focused behavior
  • Directness, tough-mindedness
  • Systematic structure; efficiency
  • Scheduling and monitoring
  • Protecting what works

Brandon’s Core Values are:

-Open for Advancement

-Ability to Do Job as Efficiently as Possible

-Highly Structured Environment

-Work that Mentally Challenges You

-Performing Clearly Defined Tasks

How would you coach Brandon? Here’s what we talked about:

Brandon liked the sales aspect of his internship with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and had also had part-time jobs where sales was a component of his job. He likes the idea of being highly compensated for superior performance in sales.

What Brandon DOESN’T like about sales is the unpredictability of it…how flexible you have to be. Brandon LOVES structure.

So where do we go from here?

One of the top careers for ESTJs is Business Administrator, and the administrative aspects of his internship appealed to Brandon. He admitted that, once he was older and more experienced, he wouldn’t mind supervising employees…he just didn’t feel qualified to do that as an intern.

Brandon decided to pursue jobs as a sales compensation analyst, where he could use his sales experience coupled with his love of structure to research ways to attract and retain top-notch salespeople.

From there, Brandon could see himself moving into other business administration roles.

Case Study #3 – Sadie

Sadie has been out of college for eight years; she majored in psychology. When she began that degree, she planned to get a Ph.D. in psychology, but as she went through her coursework that became less interesting to her.

After graduating, Sadie got a job in human resources as a generalist – some hiring, some benefits, all kinds of personnel issues. She liked the variety of the work but didn’t love the constraints around how she could help the employees. She stayed in this job for three years.

The next job Sadie had was also in human resources, at a larger company where she specialized in recruiting employees. She liked feeling like she was really helping people but found the career fairs and other large recruiting events to be extremely draining.

Most recently, Sadie has worked as a Recruiter for a recruiting firm. This has been a step back in that she feels overwhelmed by the volume of people contacting her and the volume of contacts she has to make each day. She’s ready for a complete change.

Sadie’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Writing

-Counseling

-Negotiating

-Performance Improvement

-Creativity or Imagination with Ideas

Sadie’s MBTI type is INFP; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative, independent HELPERS; at their best when their inner ideals are expressed through helping people. They value:

  • Harmony in the inner life of ideas
  • Harmonious work settings; working individually
  • Seeing big-picture possibilities
  • Creativity; curiosity; exploring
  • Helping people find their potential
  • Giving ample time to reflect on decisions
  • Adaptability and openness
  • Compassion and caring; attention to feelings
  • Work that lets them express their idealism
  • Gentle, respectful interactions
  • Showing appreciation and being appreciated
  • Close, loyal friends

Sadie’s Core Values are

-Help/Serve Others

-Ability to Teach/Train

-Ability to Give Ideas/Input/Suggestions

-A Quiet Workspace

-Unstructured, Open Environment

How would you coach Sadie? Here’s what happened:

Sadie talked about considering a Master’s in Counseling so she could become a Certified Counselor, but decided she was more interested in being a coach. Because I have considerable knowledge in this area, I was able to educate Sadie on the types of coaching out there, the industry as a whole, and how she could proceed.

She had some homework to do! When she came back, she was excited about becoming a life coach. We drilled down a bit further, and Sadie decided she wanted to coach recruiters to become better at what they do – she saw a lot of problems with this industry and was confident she could help improve it.

She found a coaching program she liked, signed up, and went through the certification process while keeping her job as a recruiter. We worked on her thoughts about her job so it was more enjoyable, and we also strategized about how to leverage her contacts for when she opened her coaching practice.

I hope these three case studies have given you some ideas about all this self-information comes together in the career decision-making process. Of course, if you’d like to work with an expert in this process, reach out to me.

Remember, I am offering a FREE 5-day course on “Finding Your Professional Purpose,” which includes Motivated Skills and Values activities. To optin: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

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050: Work/Life Blend (Balance is a Myth)

Why Work/Life Balance is a Myth

Think about it: Work/Life balance, to me, is like Work is on one side of a teeter-totter, and Life is on the other side.

When one side of the teeter-totter gets “heavier,” meaning you spend more of your time and attention on it, the other side gets “lighter,” meaning you spend less time and attention on it.

In other words, focusing on Work is at the expense of your Life, and focusing on your Life is at the expense of your Work.

I don’t think this model serves anyone.

Rather, think of Work/Life blend, meaning a delicious mixture of both where the Work ingredients are indistinguishable from the Life ingredients.

Sometimes your recipe calls for a bit more Work. Sometimes your recipe calls for a bit more Life.

You always have a choice when it comes to what you put into your mixture. You may think you don’t, but I promise you do.

When Work Takes Up More of the Recipe

For example, let’s imagine you’ve just gotten a promotion. There’s a fairly steep learning curve for your new job, and you’re under the gun from day one to get a major project completed on time.

It may FEEL like your recipe will be all Work and no Life. But you actually have options.

You could:

-Turn the promotion down

-Negotiate with your new boss for help with the project

-Look for a new job that won’t require as much of your time and attention

-Seek help with aspects of your Life you can delegate, such as housecleaning, grocery shopping, and errands, so you can focus as much time as you need to on your new job

-Eliminate some time-stealers from your personal life in favor of engaging in more meaningful activities

When Life Takes Up More of the Recipe

Let’s imagine one of your parents has just been given a terminal diagnosis, and you are the person to take care of your parent during the illness.

You could:

-Seek help with your parent from other family members or close friends

-Seek a facility that will provide your parent with needed care

-Quit your job so you can focus entirely on your parent

-Ask for a leave of absence from your job

-Speak with your boss about sharing some of your workload with others

There are probably many more options you might consider. The point is, you have options, and it doesn’t serve you to think “I’m trapped,” or “How am I going to manage this?”

Particularly in times when one area of your life is “heavy,” it’s a good idea to set goals for the other area of your life so you’re getting maximum bang for your buck.

Think of it this way: What one ingredient can I put in my mixture that will make the most impact?

How to Make the Most of the Time You Are at Work

-Complete something you’ve been working on a long time

-Organize your physical space and/or computer files

-Get on a committee/project that won’t take a tremendous amount of your time, but will have a high return for your professional reputation and career

-Go deep with the aspect of your job you most enjoy…perhaps it’s creativity, analytical, organizing…

-Take a critical look at what you are currently doing: What can be eliminated? What can be put on the back burner? What can be delegated?

How to Make the Most of the Time You AREN’T at Work

-Make time for exercise. What can you eliminate from your Life to make this a priority? Is there a different type of exercise or way of exercising you could use during this time?

-Look for time wasters, such as watching t.v., and replace them with more satisfying activities.

-Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

-Get creative with your meals to eliminate time spent in preparation, without sacrificing food quality. Especially during this time, you need your nutrition to support you.

-What activity restores your equilibrium? Here are some possibilities;

-Reading

-Cooking

-Crafting

-Getting out in nature

-Spending time with friends/family

-Learning (something that has nothing to do with work)

-Writing

-Making art or music

The bottom line, then, is to make sure your ingredients are meaningful to you. When you have less time to spend on Life, make sure the time you do spend gives you the greatest ROI. When work has to be diminished because of things going on in your personal life, make sure you’re focused on the most important aspects of your job…and be willing to put others on the back burner.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

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What Makes a Great Employer?

This month on my podcast, I’m talking about professional development…how to take advantage of internal and external opportunities to grow professionally.

Which got me to thinking about what a candidate should look for in a prospective employer. The qualities and characteristics of a great employer.

Use this guide to evaluate your current employer or potential employers when you are job searching.

Flexible work schedule – What is possible varies by job function and industry, but great companies offer as much work flexibility as possible. This may include work from home, hours outside the typical 8-5, and compressed work weeks.

Fun and creative culture – While “fun” and “creative” will vary from industry to industry (and person to person), a great company will facilitate creativity and work to develop an environment people want to be in and can be engaged with.

Cultivating the whole person – Great companies don’t view their employees as robot workers, but are interested in seeing them develop holistically. This may include health and wellness, affinity groups, and encouragement of life outside of work. 

Eliminating under-performers – The great Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, terminated the bottom 10% of performers every year. Rather than generating an atmosphere of fear, this action encouraged employees to perform at their best. It can’t be overstated the damage done to the work environment and productivity when slackers are kept around, and great companies don’t tolerate under-performers. 

Rewarding great customer service – Great companies set a very high standard for customer service, and they make sure they reward employees for delivering. They eliminate any impediments to great customer service.

Encouraging balance – Great companies simply do not expect their employees to work 50 or 60 hours or more every week on an ongoing basis. They reward employees based on results, not hours spent “working.”

Inspirational mission – Great companies articulate an inspirational mission, then ensure that every unit and every employee act in accordance with that mission. Great companies don’t just paint their mission on the wall, they live it.

Competitive wages and a good incentive plan – To be a great company, they must pay at least the prevailing wages for the work they are asking people to do, and incentive plans must align with the company’s mission and goal.

Open to ideas and feedback – Great companies want to hear from their employees, and have an infrastructure in place for employees to submit their ideas. Further, employees can see that their ideas are being considered – and they are rewarded when their ideas are put into place.

Open and frequent communication – Great companies avoid silos at all costs by communicating openly and freely with all employees. No one feels like they are in the Mushroom Club – kept in the dark and fed s**t.

Views employees as partners – Great companies don’t treat their employees as slave labor; rather, that they are their most valuable asset. Enough said.

Forward-looking and future-focused – Great companies have a long- horizon view and are taking steps in the present to ensure even greater success down the line. Great companies are never caught flat-footed when new technology, trends, or market shifts emerge.

Recognition of employees – Great companies recognize employees for behaviors that contribute to the organizational mission.

 Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

To listen to this week’s podcast, “What to do if You’re Not Growing at Work,” click here:

http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/2018/09/049-growing-at-work/

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Scheduling Your Job Search

This week’s podcast is “Active vs. Passive Job Search Strategies.” I discuss which job search strategies are active and which are passive; I also talk about the percentage of each you want in your entry-level job search.

Let’s drill down on how to create your job search calendar. Example #1 will be for a full-time job search; Example #2 will be for those of you who are conducting a part-time job search while still employed.

Example #1 – full-time job search

Sunday evening: Review job search schedule for this week; confirm Monday networking meetings.

Monday: 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. – Connect with 10 new people on LinkedIn; send 5 emails to existing connections

10:00 a.m. – Networking coffee with Joe Smith at Starbuck’s

12:00 noon – Networking lunch with Sue Jones at Panera

9:00 p.m. – Spend one hour reviewing, and applying to jobs on Indeed.com

Tuesday:  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Connect with 10 new people on LinkedIn; send 5 emails to existing connections

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Attend SHRM luncheon with David Williams; introduce myself and network with as many people as possible

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Attend Chamber of Commerce networking event with Lisa Brown; introduce myself and network with as many people as possible

9:00 p.m. – Spend one hour reviewing, and applying to jobs on LinkedIn.com

Hopefully you get the idea. Here are the main points:

-A full-time job search means about 30 hours per week, so decide when you want to work and when you want to play. Then stick to your decision.

-Create a schedule ahead of time, which gives you a blueprint of exactly what you’re going to do and when.

-You decide on your measures of success, so you know whether you’ve achieved your goal or not. For example, you will connect with 10 new people on LinkedIn.

-You plan your networking activities a week or two in advance so you’re not scrambling at the last minute trying to round up a networking meeting or event.

Example #2 – Part-time job search while working

Sunday evening: Review job search schedule for this week

Monday: 11:30 a.m. – Lunch networking meeting with Joe Smith at Panera

9:00 p.m. – Spend one hour reviewing, and applying to jobs on Indeed.com

Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Attend SHRM luncheon with David Williams; introduce myself and network with as many people as possible

9:00 p.m. – Spend one hour reviewing, and applying to jobs on LinkedIn.com

Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. – Early coffee meeting with Sue Jones at Starbuck’s

9:00 p.m. – Spend one hour connecting with at least 10 new people on Linked

Here are the main points for a part-time job search:

-A part-time job search means about 10-15 hours per week, so you’re not likely to get results as quickly as you would with a full-time job search. Set your expectations accordingly.

-You’re still creating a schedule ahead of time that provides you with a blueprint of exactly what you’re going to do and when.

-You still decide on your measures of success.

-You’re still planning your networking activities a week or two in advance.

Regardless of whether your job search is part-time or full-time, goal-setting and scheduling are critical. The other absolutely critical element? Getting out from in front of your computer screen to conduct face-to-face networking.

I promise, they won’t bite.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

To listen to this week’s podcast on Active vs. Passive Job Search Strategies:

030: Active vs. Passive Job Search Strategies

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029: Interview with Human Resources Executive

This week’s podcast features an interview with human resources executive Gloria Reed, discussing the primary missteps she sees recent college graduates making in their first job out of college.

  1. Autonomy in college vs. job

College students may not think so, but they have much more autonomy over their schedules and their time than they will likely have in their first job.

Internships and other substantive work experiences prior to graduation really help prepare college graduates for the transition into full-time employment in this regard.

2. Soak up your environment.

Be willing to come in early and stay late to learn all you can from your boss, co-workers, and others in the organization.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more to do, especially in areas that interest you. Good bosses love it when their employees ask for more work.

Conversely, ask if you don’t understand an assignment you’ve been given. You’re not expected to know everything just starting out.

3. Seek feedback.

Set up a time with your boss to receive feedback, and be specific as to the type of feedback you want.

Some companies do a great job of providing on-going feedback; others are lacking in this area. Take responsibility for making sure you get the kind and amount of feedback you need.

Also, don’t hesitate to share your passion with your boss and ask how you can do more work in an area that interests you.

4. “Grass is greener” syndrome.

If you jump ship too quickly, you miss out on the opportunity to work through a challenging relationship or less-than-perfect assignments.

Getting a reputation as a job hopper will affect your job prospects down the line, too. Employers want to see that you’ve remained in positions long enough to accomplish big goals.

 

We also talked about what to do when your boss isn’t ideal.

First off, determine if this is just a difference in communication or learning styles, or is this really a “bad” boss?

Working through the former helps build critical skills, so as long as you are continuing to grow and learn, try to stick it out. The potential payoff is huge.

A final word: be open to constructive criticism, as this feedback is critical to helping you grow. If you get a reputation as someone who becomes defensive when faced with feedback, people will stop giving you this important information.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

 

 

 

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How NOT to Be the Generic Job Candidate

This week’s podcast, “Know the Product You Are Selling: You” for graduating college students, goes in-depth on these three points:

  1. Know yourself.
  2. Be consistent with your brand.
  3. Know what’s important to you in an employer you would want to work for.

Let’s talk more about this brand thing. Identifying your personal brand and translating that brand throughout your marketing materials – resume, LinkedIn profile, and verbal presentation – is crucial in positioning yourself as the name-brand alternative to the many generic candidates you will be competing with.

Generic candidates are those who, if they express any brand at all on their resume, say generic things like “Hard-Working,” “Team Player,” and “Strong Communication Skills.”

If you’ve listened to my podcast or read my blog before, you may have heard my analogy: It’s like going to the car dealership and asking the salesperson about a particular vehicle you’re interested in.

He replies with enthusiasm, “This car has four tires, an engine, and a steering wheel!”

You’re overwhelmed with the depth of information he’s just conveyed. Not.

He hasn’t differentiated that vehicle from any other vehicle on the planet.

The parallel?

“I’m hard-working.” (I have four tires.)

“I’m a team player.” (Check out my steering wheel.)

“I have excellent communication skills.” (I have an engine.)

Let’s think about some well-known brands, and my generic equivalent for their slogans.

Would you buy:

Nike…if their slogan was “We sell stuff you wear.”

State Farm Insurance…if, instead of “Like a good neighbor,” their slogan was “Insurance you may or may not need someday.”

Frosted Flakes…if Tony the Tiger proclaimed that “They’re sugar and flour!”

I could go on. Years after “Where’s the beef?” was used as Wendy’s slogan, people still say that. Okay, maybe people my age still say that.

Here’s the point: a slogan…a brand…is meant to create a feeling.

You want a potential employer to have a feeling about you.

You actually want to repel some folks with your brand, because that means you will attract other folks.

The generic brand doesn’t attract anyone. The only reason anyone chooses the generic alternative is to save money.

Translation: good companies want to hire brand-name employees, and they are willing to pay for that. Not-so-good companies settle for generic employees because they are cheaper.

So…what makes you different from your competition? What do you bring to the table that is better than all other candidates? What do you stand for? 

This is really, really important. If you want help articulating and executing your brand, reach out to me. I’m here for you.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

To listen to this week’s podcast:

028: Know the Product You Are Selling (You) for Graduating College Students

 

 

 

 

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028: Know the Product You Are Selling (You) for Graduating College Students

There are three main perspectives I want to share with upcoming (or recent) college graduates related to your first “real” job search:

  1. Know yourself – what makes you different, and why an employer should jump at the chance to hire you.

Vanilla candidates are the human equivalent of the generic brand. No one ever chooses the generic equivalent for any reason other than cost—it’s cheaper.

You don’t want an employer to choose you because they can’t afford to pay for brand name.

What do you bring to the table that, in combination, they won’t find in any other candidates?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself (and others) to determine your unique brand:

-What are my three biggest successes in my life thus far?

-What was my “secret sauce” to those successes? In other words, what underlying skill(s) or quality(ies) did I utilize to achieve those successes?

-What feedback do I consistently receive from others about what I do well? (If you don’t know the answer to this one, ASK others.)

-I am brand YOUR NAME. Just like any product, I have brand attributes that are unique to me. What are my three top brand attributes? (Be sure these attributes are differentiating.)

  1. Make sure the brand work you do in step #1 is effectively translated to your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and ultimately to your job interviews.

Be consistent…if you feel like you keep repeating yourself, you’re doing it right. This repetition of your “selling features” will cement them in the listener’s—or reader’s—mind.

  1. Finally, get crystal clear on what’s most important to you in an employer you would want to work for.

Granted, you will further refine your “ideal employer” criteria as you go through jobs – often times, you learn what you do want by experiencing what you don’t want.

However, all employers ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL. I can’t say that one loudly and strongly enough.

Here are just some of the criteria that might be important to you in choosing an employer:

Industry

Products/services

Mission/vision

Public/private

For-profit/non-profit

Revenues

Number of employees

Organization culture

Geographic location

Commute distance

Some of these qualities aren’t necessarily ones you will share with the employer…they are internal (like commute distance). However, I can promise you that an extended commute will, sooner or later, affect your job satisfaction. This number is relative to were you live…I have a client right now who has a 90-minute commute each way, every day. For others, anything over 15 minutes is too long.

Other qualities—such as the organization’s mission or eco policies—are excellent to weave into your story about why you want to work for that employer.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your College Degree ≠ Your Career Path

This week’s podcast, “Choosing Your Career Path for Graduating College Students,” is Part One of a two-part series. In the podcast, I cover three main points:

  1. Don’t expect to land your dream job right out of college.
  2. Your degree does not have to equal your career choice.
  3. Follow your bliss, and the money will come.

Today, I want to dive deeper into #2. I’m giving you 10 examples from my clients (okay, one of the examples is me) who have followed non-traditional career paths with their college degree.

Hopefully, this gives you some perspective on what’s available to you, because I want you to do #3 (follow your bliss) instead of following a pre-conceived notion of what you can do with your major.

As if you had to consult your major to get permission to follow a career path. Nope.

Here’s this week’s food for thought:

  1. A music education major who is now a career coach (that’s me)
  2. German major who is an entrepreneur (something to do with bitcoin)
  3. Accounting major who specializes in human resources information systems
  4. Mechanical engineering major who manages a cleaning franchise
  5. English and Spanish major who does marketing
  6. Psychology/sociology major who is in human resources
  7. Rhetoric and legal studies major who is in corporate operations
  8. Biology major who is in healthcare patient satisfaction
  9. Animal sciences major who does facilities management
  10. Communications/public relations major who works for a utilities company to measure and improve the customer experience

If some of these seem far-fetched…they are. If I mapped out each person’s path from their major to their current job title, it would make more sense.

But that’s not the point.

The point is: Follow your bliss (#3). Over the years, hundreds of college students have asked me the exact same question: “What can I do with a major in ____?”

My answer has always been the same: “That’s the wrong question. The correct question is “What do I want to do with a major in _____?”

Of course, identifying your bliss, and mapping out a strategy to get there, isn’t easy. Or quick.

Otherwise, everyone would be in their ideal job, loving work, happy as can be to go to work every day.

We all know that’s not happening.

Do you want quick and easy, or do you want bliss?

If it’s the latter, let’s talk.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Here’s the link to this week’s podcast, Part One of “Choosing Your Career Path for Graduating College Students:”

027: Choosing Your Career Path for Graduating College Students

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027: Choosing Your Career Path for Graduating College Students

There are three main perspectives I want to share with upcoming (or recent) college graduates related to your career this week:

  1. Don’t expect to find your dream job right out of college.

Instead, think of your career as a dart board, and your first job as the outer ring of the dart board. It will likely take three-four jobs, and possibly additional education and/or credentials, to land in the bull’s eye.

This is not to say that you won’t like…even love…your first job. After all, you are on your dart board.

  1. Your degree does not have to equal your career.

Some careers require a specific degree (think accounting, nursing, education), but even then you don’t have to follow that career path just because that’s what you majored in.

You can pursue virtually any career path with any major.

One of the exercises I have clients do is find 4-5 job descriptions that interest them, and then analyze why. This information can be incredibly insightful in telling you what job duties most interest you…and can help you move away from a pre-conceived notion of a job title that you’re “supposed” to seek.

  1. Follow your bliss, and the money will follow.

I just spoke this morning to a college student who is doing an internship this summer in social work (her degree is in social work). When I asked her if the population she will be working with this summer—homeless teens—is the population she wants to work with in her career, she immediately began talking about how little social workers make, especially those who work with teens.

We talked about how many people follow the money…only to find themselves stuck in a career that pays well but in no way feeds their soul. And 10-15 years down the road, it is much more challenging to give up that good paying career to follow your bliss, which often means a considerable cut in pay.

Here’s a good evaluation tool: You want your job to preferably fulfill two of these three things:

Money……………………….Intellectual Challenge……………………..Job Satisfaction

So, following the money if there is no intellectual challenge or job satisfaction won’t make you happy.

Conversely, an intellectually challenging job that doesn’t pay well and doesn’t fuel your soul won’t make you happy.

I will argue that a job that fuels your soul and gives you job satisfaction will inherently have enough intellectual challenge…you will find a way to get the intellectual challenge you require. So, will you make enough money to live?

Keep in mind that you’re much more likely to be successful in a job you love, and success usually leads to promotions and raises.

As opposed to a job you’ve taken just for the money, but you are an average performer at (because your heart really isn’t in it) and often passed over for raises and promotions. Meaning you get to spend longer doing the same job you don’t like.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

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026: Career Q&A with College Students (Part 2)

This week is part 2 of my Q&A session with two Florida State University students, Melizza Black and Jolana Alonso. Here are the questions they fired at me in this episode (to find out what I had to say, listen to the podcast!):

Q: What’s the best way to get letters of recommendation?

Q: How do I get more connections on LinkedIn?

Q: What’s the story with the Endorsements section of LinkedIn?

Q: How often should I be updating my LinkedIn profile?

Q: Should I have business cards, and how should I use them?

Q: I don’t know anyone in my field. How do I begin networking?

Q: What are some tips for making the most of approaching companies at career fairs?

Q: What are the best networking tips for someone who hasn’t networked before?

Q: What are the critical elements of an effective elevator pitch?

Q: How long should I wait after a job interview to follow up?

Q: What are some good questions to ask the interviewer?

Q: Should I bring up salary during the interview?

Q: As a recent college graduate, how much wiggle room is there in negotiating my salary?

Q: How do I showcase my personality in an interview?

Are you an upcoming college graduate with a career question that wasn’t answered in these two episodes? Leave a question for me in the comments section!

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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