Interesting Career Paths: A Case Study

Interesting Career Paths: A Case Study

This month, we’ve been putting the pieces of career decision together. We’ve talked about the role of motivated skills, core values, personality, and expertise in making career decisions.

We’ve also talked about the macro- and micro-levels of this decision. On the macro-level, you’re using this self-knowledge to decide your career path. On the micro-level, you’re evaluating individual job opportunities against your criteria.

As we wrap this month’s topic up, I wanted to give you a case study of an interesting career path.

Lesa’s Story

Yes, you quick people…we’re talking about me. Here’s my story:

As an ENFJ, it is important for me to do work that helps others achieve their goals (in my case, their career goals). I need to interact with people on the reg, and I need to be able to use my creativity and imagination.

My top Motivated Skills (what I’m really good at AND love to do) are Writing, Presentations, Professional Image, Coaching, Creative or Imaginative with ideas, and Organization.

My most important Core Values are Ability to Exert Influence, Ability to Serve Others, Ability to Teach/Train Others, and Flexibility in Schedule.

My Areas of Expertise include resume writing, LinkedIn (writing profiles and coaching people on how to use LI), career coaching, interview coaching, writing blogs and other career materials, podcasting, the MBTI, and facilitating training.

Let’s talk about the career path I’ve had. With an undergraduate degree in music education, I started my career as a public-school music teacher. (Loved the kids; didn’t love the lack of flexibility with my schedule.)

After three years of that, I changed careers to corporate training. (Loved the training aspect and the fact that I traveled extensively; didn’t love that I had no say-so into the curriculum.)

Three years after that, I went into higher education—first in continuing education, then 20+ years in career services. (This is where I cut my teeth on career development, but didn’t love the lack of flexibility or the bureaucracy of higher education.)

Throughout my previous careers, I’ve woven entrepreneurial ventures, including selling Amway, teaching piano lessons, and making jewelry.

Now, as a full-time entrepreneur, I have found a near-perfect fit with my skills, values, personality, and areas of expertise. I have a huge amount of flexibility in my schedule, get to help people every day, and frequently get to give presentations.

Can you see how what I do as a career coach and resume writer fit perfectly with who I am?

 

Why this Matters

Here’s the upside of this person/environment marriage: There is beautiful flow between “work” and “life.” I talked about this recently on a podcast – that melding of the various aspects of your life into a blend in which the individual components are virtually indistinguishable.

I invite you to do a similar analysis of yourself. If you love what you’re currently doing, this exercise will help you get crystal-clear on why. If you don’t love what you’re currently doing, you’ll gain tremendous insight into what’s missing (or what’s present that shouldn’t be).

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Career Decisions: Bringing it All Together,” click here:

055: Career Decisions: Bringing it all Together

 

 

 

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Which Areas of Expertise Are Most In-Demand Right Now?

In-Demand Areas of Expertise  

This week’s podcast talks about identifying your Areas of Expertise.

I like to think of Areas of Expertise as being specialties within a Skill Set.

For example, one of your Motivated Skills (what you’re really good at AND love to do) is Management and Supervision, which is defined as “Skilled at overseeing, managing, and directing the work of others. Able to motivate individuals to perform at their peak level. ”

You have had the opportunity in your job to supervise the summer college interns for three years, which you excel at and enjoy doing. You now have the Area of Expertise of “Supervising College Interns.”

See how that works?

What’s in Demand?

Let’s talk about some of the most in-demand Areas of Expertise. Not surprisingly, many are in the tech area:

Cybersecurity

Cloud Computing

Applied Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence

Data Science

Mobile Application Development

Data Storage Systems and Management

Middleware and Integration Software

Web Architecture

Algorithm Design

Java Development

Tableau Software

User Experience Design

C++ Programming

MySQL Programming

Swift Development

Chat Support

Android Development

Unity 3D Game Development

 

Within Marketing, the areas in demand are also tech-based:

Digital Advertising

Content Curation

Online Content Strategy

Digital Monitoring and Analytics

Marketing Automation

Pardot Marketing (I don’t actually know what this is)

 

Another frequently mentioned Skillset is multiculturalism. What is the Area of Expertise you can develop within that broad skill?

Being a PMP (Project Management Professional) is a highly desired certification. If you choose to obtain (or already hold) the PMP designation, what Area of Expertise can you specialize in?

 

Skills in Demand

The Top 5 skills at the top 10 companies, according to one list, are:

Management

Communication

Leadership

Operations

Customer Service

Think about the Areas of Expertise you can develop within those broad skill sets.

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Identifying Your Areas of Expertise,” click here:

054: What are You REALLY Good At? (Areas of Expertise)

 

 

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054: What are You REALLY Good At? (Areas of Expertise)

Areas of Expertise

So far this month, I’ve talked about how to incorporate knowledge of your Motivated Skills, personality preferences, and Core Values into your career decision. Today’s topic is “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.

Connecting Areas of Expertise with Motivated Skills

I want to connect these Areas of Expertise with your Motivated Skills because they are closely related. Let’s say 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.”

Here’s another example: One of your Motivated Skills is Planning, which is defined as “The ability to plan and develop a program or project through organized and systematic preparation and arrangement of tasks and schedules.”

In your job as an Office Manager, you have the opportunity to coordinate other people’s schedules, come up with more efficient systems and processes, plan the work of others in the office, and even manage a major project. Your Areas of Expertise become “Coordinating Schedules,” “Project Management,” and “Supervising Employees.”

One more: One of your Motivated Skills is Teaching, which is defined as “The ability to explain complex ideas or principles in an understandable manner; able to provide knowledge or insight to individuals or groups.”

However, becoming a school teacher was not of interest to you…so you looked for alternative ways you could teach others. In your job, you were able to volunteer as the safety officer for your department, giving monthly safety talks and demonstrations to the employees.

Your Area of Expertise becomes “Safety Training.”

See how this works? The Motivated Skill is broader, and the Area of Expertise is a particular subset of that Skill you’ve developed.

How do you Become an Expert?

What makes something an Area of Expertise for you? It’s when you have a better-than-average grasp of that thing…at least initially. You’ll find that as you progress through your career, your Expertise will become more pronounced…to the point where others are calling you “the Expert in _____”

Once again, if you haven’t grabbed my 5-day course on “Finding Your Professional Purpose,” I highly encourage it, as day 2 of the course gives you a Motivated Skills Activity. The URL:   http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

A Challenge

Here’s my challenge for you: Identify your Motivated Skills, then do one of two things depending on where you are in your career:

If you are entry-level, identify a potential Area of Expertise you would LIKE to develop for each of your Motivated Skills. Bonus points if you’re willing to schedule time for the first step in acquiring that Area of Expertise.

Here’s an example: One of your Motivated Skills is “Creative or Imaginative with Ideas,” which is defined as “Using imagination to create new ideas, projects, or programs; able to conceive existing elements in new ways.”

What aspect of creativity do you a) want to become an expert in, and 2) can do in your current job?

Let’s say you decide you want to develop your graphic design skills. You studied a little bit in college and found it fun; there’s no one else in the office with that Area of Expertise, and there’s a need for it.

You volunteer to take on some graphics projects for the office, then a few more, and then a few more…next thing you know, you’re the office expert in graphic art.

If you are a more experienced worker, identify an Area of Expertise you HAVE developed for each of your Motivated Skills. Bonus points for you if you can identify a way to take that Area of Expertise deeper in your current job.

You can also develop your Areas of Expertise outside of work through volunteering with civic or professional organizations, or charities with a cause you are passionate about. Areas of Expertise often emerge as side hustles in the more entrepreneurial among us. It sure did for me – and then it became my business.

The URL for the 5-day “Finding Your Professional Purpose” course again is  http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

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The Macro- and Micro-Levels of Your Career Choice

The Macro- and Micro-Levels of Your Career Choice

This week’s podcast is about identifying and incorporating your Core Values into your career choice.

Let’s talk about this at the Macro, Micro, and Micro-Micro level (I totally made that last one up).

Example #1

Perhaps one of your Core Values is “Earnings Directly Tied to My Contribution.” You choose the career field of sales because you know the more successful you are in your job, the more money you will make. This is the Macro-Level.

You accept a sales position with a company that is 100% commission. However, once you get in the job, you find that the compensation system makes it very difficult, if not downright impossible, to earn more than about $100k. This is the Micro-Level.

Let’s say you are a pharmaceutical rep who is selling an older drug, one for a disease state that has recently seen a flood of new drugs on the market. You are, in essence, selling old, unsexy medication. On the Micro-Micro level, you might have to work your tail off to earn much selling your drug.

See how this works?

Example #2

One of your core values is “A Collaborative Work Environment.” You’ve chosen the career field of teaching…what could be more collaborative than that? This is the Macro-Level.

You accept a teaching position in a school district that is facing severe budget cuts. The teachers all have large class sizes, and there is rampant fear of more personnel getting the ax. As a result, no one is helping anyone else…everyone is looking out for themselves. This is the Micro-Level.

You, however, have the opportunity to affect the English department at your school, of which you are a member. You bring some creative team-building activities to the table and decide you are going to help your fellow teachers in any way you can. This is the Micro-Micro Level.

Get it?

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Incorporating Core Values into Your Career Decision,” click here:

http://media.blubrry.com/theexclusivecareercoach/content.blubrry.com/theexclusivecareercoach/Podcast_53-Translating_Core_Values_intoYour_Career_Decision

 

 

 

 

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053: Translating Your Core Values into your Career Decision

Core Values

This month’s podcasts are covering the importance of incorporating your skills, values, personality, and areas of expertise into your career decision. Today, we’re talking about Core Values.

Remember that your career decision is on a macro- and micro-level: Choosing the career field you will pursue, and the jobs within that career field. Even on a more micro-level, this self-knowledge will help you decide which assignments, projects, or committees you volunteer for – or you ask your boos to assign you to.

Today, I want to talk about your 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 chances for career success, higher compensation, and greater satisfaction.

If you’re interested in doing a values sort activity, I recommend you opt-in into my 5-day course, “Finding Your Professional Purpose.” Here’s the URL: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

In this activity, you go through a list of values and determine where each value falls for you, Least Important through Most Important. You are forced to minimize the number of values in each column so that you come up with a maximum of 10 that are Most Important to you.

How to Use this Information

-If there is a career or specific job you are considering, evaluate it against your core values to determine how well it meshes with your values.

-If you are exploring careers, look for those that hold your most important values. No matter how many “niceties” the career might have, if it doesn’t offer the values you hold most important, you won’t be satisfied.

Note that some of your values may apply to a career as a whole; other values may be job-specific. For example, “Using physical strength/coordination” is a universal value for a career in physical therapy. Within the career of physical therapy, however, some jobs may satisfy a value of “work on a team,” whereas other jobs may be geared more towards a value of “opportunity to work independently.”

The Values

Here are a few of the values on the Values activity:

 –Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize creativity and originality

-Opportunity for advancement

-Receive recognition for accomplishments

-Higher than average financial rewards

-Ability to help and serve others

-Close relationships with co-workers

-Opportunity to work independently

-Good relationship with manager

-Ability to complete tasks with autonomy

-Flexibility in work hours and schedule

-Work on a team

-Quality, luxurious surroundings

-Earnings directly tied to your contribution

-A quiet workspace

-Opportunity to travel frequently

-Variety of work tasks

-Having a fixed set of tasks

-Working on multiple projects simultaneously

-Working on one project at a time

-A competitive work environment

-Work that mentally challenges you

-Receive clear instructions

A Few Examples

Let’s play out a couple of examples. Let’s say your 5 top values are:

-Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize courage and take risks

-Respond to problems or emergencies

-Unstructured, open environment

-Opportunity to travel frequently

Does this sound like the values of an accountant? A school teacher? A writer? What comes to mind is someone who takes groups out on extreme vacations…hiking, rafting, horseback riding.

See how these values play into that career choice? Here’s another example:

Someone’s top 5 values are:

-Ability to exert power and influence

-Higher than average financial rewards

-Competitive work environment

-Work that mentally challenges you

-Quality, luxurious surroundings

These would be ideal values for someone entering the field of law, particularly in private practice (their value of higher than average financial rewards might not be satisfied working for the DA’s office, and they probably wouldn’t have quality, luxurious surroundings there, either).

There are no right or wrong answers here, and there are an infinite number of values.

These values then become one of the yardsticks by which you measure a career field and job opportunities within that field. It helps you not be swayed by other things that are nice enough – but not one of your Core Values.

For example, if one of your Core Values is having a quiet workspace…you know you won’t be able to do your job without a fair amount of solitude.

You interview for a job and learn that your office will be the first one in the door. People will be sticking their heads in all day every day, and you are the first line of defense when there’s a problem.

You have a couple of options: You can decline the job if it’s offered or you can negotiate a different location for your office.

To optin to my FREE 5-day course that includes a Values activity: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

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Personality Type in Career Choice: Case Studies

Personality Type in Career Choice: Case Studies

In this week’s podcast, I talk about the role of personality type in career choice. I use the framework of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), of which I am a Master Practitioner.

The MBTI is the world’s most widely used personality assessment. It is a psychological tool designed to reveal your personality preferences…the ones you were born with.

Based on your responses, the MBTI assigns one of 16 personality types to you. Much research has been done around the link between personality type and career choice.

Here are a few personality types and the careers best suited to them:

ESFP: Realistic Adapters in Human Relationships

ESFPs are at their best when free to act on impulses. They value:

  • An energetic, sociable life, full of friends and fun
  • Immediately useful skills; practical know-how
  • Learning through spontaneous, hands-on action
  • Trust and generosity; openness
  • Concrete, practical knowledge; resourcefulness
  • Caring, kindness, support, appreciation
  • Freedom from irrelevant rules
  • Handling immediate, practical problems and crises
  • Seeing tangible realities; least-effort solutions
  • Showing and receiving appreciation
  • Making the most of the moment; adaptability
  • Being caught up in enthusiasm

ESFPs want work that has practical value; as much work flexibility as possible, and a collaborative work environment.

What careers do ESFPs often pursue? Here are a few:

Sales Representative

Counselor

Social Worker

Consultant

Photographer

 

INTJ: Logical, Critical Innovators of Ideas

INTJs are at their best when inspiration turns insights into ideas and plans. They value:

  • A restrained, organized outer life
  • A spontaneous, intuitive inner life
  • Planful, independent, academic learning
  • Skepticism; critical analysis; objective principles
  • Originality, independence of mind
  • Unemotional tough-mindedness
  • Freedom from interference in projects
  • Working to a plan and schedule
  • Seeing complexities, hidden meanings
  • Improving things by finding flaws
  • Probing new possibilities; taking the long view
  • Pursuing a vision; foresight; conceptualizing

 INTJs prefer a work environment that involves complex ideas and concepts and allows them to develop creative, innovative solutions. They are all about possibilities and originality.

What careers do INTJS often pursue? Here are a few:

Scientist

Engineer

Medical Doctor

Business Administrator

Attorney

ENTP: Inventive, Analytical Planners of Change

ENTPs are at their best when caught up in enthusiasm for a new project. They value:

  • Conceiving of new things and initiating change
  • The surge of inspiration; emerging possibilities
  • Analyzing complexities
  • Following their insights, wherever they lead
  • Finding meaning behind the facts
  • Autonomy; elbow room; openness
  • Ingenuity, originality, a fresh perspective
  • Mental models and concepts that explain life
  • Fair treatment
  • Flexibility, adaptability
  • Improvising; looking for novel ways
  • Exploring theories and meanings behind events

ENTPs seek work that utilizes their creativity and originality in a flexible work environment; work that allows them to dig for deeper meaning, insights, and possibilities.

What careers do ENTPs often pursue? Here are a few:

Psychologist

Engineer

Scientist

Marketing Representative

Systems Analyst

I encourage you to go through these lists and make sense of the connection between the characteristics of each personality type and the careers often pursued.

If you’re interested in learning about your personality type, I encourage you to work with a qualified practitioner or a Master Practitioner like myself. Otherwise, you’re taking an assessment online with no one to interpret your results for you.

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Using Personality Information in your Career Choice,” click here:

052: Using Personality Information in your Career Choice

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052: Using Personality Information in your Career Choice

The Role of Personality in Career Decisions

This month, I’m talking about using critical information about yourself in your career choice. Last week, I talked about Motivated Skills; this week I want to talk about personality.

I am a Master Practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the world’s most widely used personality assessment. It is a psychological tool designed to reveal your personality preferences…the ones you were born with.

Here’s the analogy I use with my clients: I have them write their name. Whether they use their right hand as most people do or their left hand (like me), we identify that the hand they wrote their name with is their preferred hand.

That hand is their innate preference.

Next, I have them write their name with their non-preferred hand. We talk about the fact that it was a much more conscious task with that hand…and that the results weren’t nearly as good.

The next step is to have them imagine their preferred arm is broken and it’s in a cast for six months. During that time, they are forced to write exclusively with their non-preferred hand.

They will no doubt get better at using that hand during those six months, right?

I then have them imagine that a co-worker exclaims, “Oh my gosh…your arm is broken! Is that the arm you write with?”

Of course, their answer is “Yes!” Even though they are using their non-preferred hand exclusively, it doesn’t change the fact that that isn’t their preferred hand.

And, as soon as that cast comes off, they are back to their preferred hand.

The MBTI identifies your innate preferences…the way you prefer to handle a situation or task if given the option.

What’s the Flip Side?

Here’s the thing: All of us must access the non-preferred side of our personality on a daily basis.

The Introvert who has to go to a two-day team building event with coworkers and finds it incredibly draining.

The Perceiver whose boss expects her to stick to a tight schedule.

The Thinker whose coworker comes to him very emotional, with a personal problem.

The Intuitive whose project assignment requires her to complete her tasks in a very sequential manner.

What Does This Have to Do With Career Choice?

Career choice, and the role of your personality in that choice, is a macro- and micro-level decision.

On a macro level, you are choosing a career field that meshes with your personality.

On a micro level, you are evaluating job opportunities based on those same criteria. Because sometimes what holds true for the career as a whole doesn’t hold true for a specific position.

Here’s an example: I once worked with a YMCA Assistant Director who was underperforming at work. Turned out (much to everyone’s surprise) that he was an Extravert. You would think a job at the YMCA – specifically organizing the recreational sporting events for children – would be a great fit for an Extravert. And you would be right.

However, at this YMCA the Assistant Director’s office was at the end of a dark hallway – isolated from the patrons coming in and out, and from the other employees. He hated that aspect of his job.

So what are the preference pairs measured by the MBTI?

EXTRAVERSION – INTROVERSION

This pair has to do with where you get your energy. Extraverts get their energy from the people and activities going on around them; Introverts get their energy from being by themselves.

Extraverts are generally comfortable meeting, and speaking with, strangers; Introverts would rather not approach strangers and find it difficult to start a conversation with someone they don’t know.

Extraverts tend to be “open books,” meaning they freely share what they are thinking with those around them. Introverts are much more closed about what they share until they know someone well and feel they can trust them.

SENSING – INTUITION

This pair has to do with how you prefer to take in information. Sensers take in information by way of the 5 senses – sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell. Intuitives take in information by way of their sixth sense – their intuition.

Sensers prefer to deal with concrete information that has practical value; Intuitives prefer to deal with abstract ideas and concepts that involve creativity and imagination.

Sensers tend to trust what has worked in the past and aren’t likely to want to make changes to something if it’s working. Intuitives want new and different and will make changes to things even if they are working.

 THINKING – FEELING

The Thinking-Feeling pair addresses your preference for making decisions. Thinkers make decisions using cool, impersonal logic – they make their decisions with their head. Feelers make decisions using sympathy and values – they make their decisions with their heart.

Thinkers tend to stick to established rules and regulations – treating everyone fairly by treating everyone the same. Feelers tend to consider the circumstances – treating everyone fairly by treating everyone differently.

Thinkers will be brutally honest in evaluating work performance and can come across as harsh because they are telling you the unvarnished truth. Feelers will consider your feelings in giving you feedback; while the interaction may be more pleasant, you may not be given the information you need to improve.

 JUDGING – PERCEIVING

Judging-Perceiving addresses how you organize your life. Judgers love planners, calendars, and systems that create a superstructure of organization in their lives. Perceivers want the freedom to do what they feel like doing at any given time.

Judgers avoid the pressure of last-minute work, whereas Perceivers do their best work at the last minute.

Judgers want structure in their work and prefer jobs with schedules they can control. Perceivers like jobs that are unstructured, and they are at their best when responding to emergencies or changes in plan.

Why Does This Matter?

A lot of research has gone into career fields most frequently chosen by different personality types. I want to lay out just a couple of examples for you:

ENFJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging)

When you combine the four letters of your preference, you get a four-letter code that says volumes about your preferences.

Here’s a brief description of an ENFJ:

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

What careers do you think ENFJs most frequently go into? Fields that involve helping others achieve their goals – looking toward the future to become what they want to become. Using their creativity is essential to ENFJ’s job satisfaction.

-Public Relations Manager

-Social Worker

-Career Counselor

-Editor

-High School Teacher

-Human Resources Manager

-Advertising Manager

-Marriage & Family Therapist

 

ISTP (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving)

Here’s a brief description of ISTP:

Practical ANALYZERS; at their best when analyzing experience to find logic and underlying properties. They value:

  • A reserved outer life
  • Having a concrete, present-day view of life
  • Clear, exact facts
  • Looking for efficient, least-effort solutions
  • Knowing how mechanical things work
  • Pursuing interests in depth
  • Freedom from organizational constraints
  • Independence and self-management
  • Spontaneous hands-on learning
  • Having useful technical expertise
  • Critical analysis as a means to improve things
  • Solving problems with detached, sequential analysis

What fields do ISTPs pursue? Those that allow for freedom…of schedule, or daily work…or the setting in which the work is done. Variety is very important to ISTPs. They also like work that is hands-on and practical.

-Building Inspector

-Forester

-Chef

-Athletic Trainer

-Financial Manager

-Software Developer

-Mechanical Engineer

-Police Officer

Using personality information in your career choice allows you to align your preferences with your work. Think of my analogy: if you don’t do this, it will be like writing all day, every day, with your non-preferred hand. It will be tiring, less fulfilling…and you won’t excel to the degree you could.

A note about taking the MBTI: There are lots of online “knock offs” of the assessment. If you want to take the actual MBTI, I recommend doing so with a qualified professional who will interpret your results with you. Otherwise, you won’t know what to make of the information contained in your results. The MBTI is a psychological assessment, and as such, and only be administered and interpreted by a qualified professional or Master Practitioner like myself.

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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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No One’s Ever Indispensable at Work

In this week’s podcast, I talk about how to make yourself indispensable at work.

In this blog, I’m telling you that no one is ever truly indispensable at work.

Nope, I’m not schizophrenic.

While I want you to make yourself as invaluable an employee as you possibly can be, s**t happens.

The company decides to eliminate your entire department.

The company decides to eliminate everyone in the company with your job title.

Your boss has to eliminate $X from the budget, and you’re a part of the casualties.

Each of these are situations my clients have found themselves in over the past year.

Here’s my point: You don’t want to be caught flat-footed when these things happen.

To avoid having to start from scratch when you receive the termination notice, here are five things you can do:

  1. Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile up-to-date.

I call this being ARFO – Always Ready For Opportunity. Here’s the way I look at this: Noah didn’t wait until it started raining to build the ark.

While everything is hunky dory, get your documents updated. And keep them that way. This is a best practice many of my clients engage in, and I highly recommend it.

2. Maintain your professional network.

PLEASE resist the temptation to put your networking on the shelf once you’ve landed in a job. By spending a bit of time networking on a regular basis, you will have a fully functioning network to access when you need it.

You won’t be starting from square one, begging people you haven’t had any communication with for ages.

3. Be open to conversations with recruiters.

Recruiters like to speak with happily employed candidates, using their  skills to sell you on the opportunity they’re offering.

Have these conversations. You might feel like you’re being disloyal to your current employer, but I promise you’re just taking care of yourself.

Here’s what else I see consistently with my clients: those who follow #1 are more likely to do #3. Otherwise, there’s that deer-in-the-headlights “My resume is ancient” thing going on in your head.

4. Keep your skills and certifications current.

Maintaining your professional credentials will make you much more marketable should you lose your job. A good way to know what qualifications employers are looking for in your field is to search online job postings. If there’s a new credential that seems to be in high demand, get it if possible.

5. Do a great job every day.

I’ve harped on this one of late, but it bears repeating: The best way to get a new job is do do a great job where you’re at today.

There is NO upside in slacking off at work, ESPECIALLY if layoffs abound or rumors of a reorganization are rampant. After all, you want your current boss/co-workers to be references for you in your job search.

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 “How to Be Indispensable at Work:”

034: How to Be Indispensable at Work

 

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The Antidote to the Vanilla Resume

This week’s podcast is “Resume Reconstruction Camp,” and I talk about the differences between what most people call a resume (I call it a “data sheet”) and a branded resume.

Spoiler alert: I’m fixin’ to go on a rant. (Yep, I’m from the South.)

The vast majority of resumes I see (and I see ALOT), are completely non-differentiating.

How do you expect to stand out in a crowded employment market with statements like this:

“Highly motivated entry-level candidate with strong work ethic and great interpersonal skills.”

“Hard worker, with a bachelor’s degree in BLANK and excellent communication skills.”

Here’s the problem with these statements:

-They don’t differentiate the candidate whatsoever.

-They are opinions, which carry no weight with a prospective employer.

-In many cases, they are the price of entry, i.e. “A bachelor’s degree.”

How can something that is listed as a requirement in the job description…something as basic in the U.S. as an undergraduate degree…differentiate you from your competition?

Oh, and while I’m ranting…don’t you DARE put an objective on your resume. A prospective employer couldn’t care less what YOU want…they want to know what you can do for them.

Besides, isn’t the objective of every resume to GET A JOB? That’s understood.

Calm down, Lesa. Calm down. Take deep breaths. After all, if everyone was a Master Resume Writer like you (and the other 21 or so in the world), the world wouldn’t need you like it does.

If you need more assistance putting together a strong resume, check out the examples on my website at www.exclusivecareercoaching.com.

If you want an absolutely fabulous resume AND the tools, strategy, and skills to get a great job, schedule a call with me here: www.timetrade.com/book/KRKLS.

Okay, rant over. One more thing, though: you can be sure the hiring managers and HR employees who are looking at those completely non-differentiating resumes are ranting too.

Wouldn’t you rather your resume be the one they want to show their co-workers because it’s so freaking amazing?

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, “Resume Reconstruction Camp:”

033: Resume Reconstruction Camp

 

 

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