057: Three Amazing Employers – Case Studies

What Makes an Amazing Employer?

This month’s theme for my podcasts and blogs is the most important qualities in an employer. Last week, I talked about what employees value most in an employer. Today, we are talking about what makes an amazing employer.

I chose three employers from this year’s Forbes’ list of top American employers. I picked companies from a range of industries who were amazing for very different reasons.

 

Case Study #1 – Michelin North America

Michelin offers a “purpose-driven career with a purpose-driven company.”

31% of their employees are Millennials; 22% of their workforce has a tenure of more than 20 years.

Michelin is dedicated to reducing CO2 emissions.

Employee Evaluations indicate the following:

-Great Challenges: 91%

-Great Atmosphere: 89%

-Great Rewards: 85%

-Great Pride: 93%

-Great Communication: 88%

-Great Bosses: 88%

 

Some of the benefits at Michelin:

-Tire service/tire rebate for family members

-Health incentives / subsidized fitness

-Corporate jet shuttle

-Parental leave

-Business networks for LGBTQ, Hispanics, etc.

-Onsite health facilities

-Partnership with Yellowstone National Park for service

-Flexible work schedule

-Job sharing

-Remote work option

-Compressed work week

-Onsite amenities, like cafeterias, mother’s rooms, and entertainment

 

Case Study #2 – Costco

Although I couldn’t find the wealth of information about Costco that I found for Michelin, the consistent thing I did see was employee satisfaction with compensation and benefits.

In fact, even part-time employees are eligible for benefits.

Growth potential was another strength of Costco.

I saw several articles that referenced the “family” atmosphere of the employees at Costco.

Although the information I saw spoke specifically of the in-store employees, I think it’s safe to assume that the family atmosphere, growth potential, and good benefits extends to the corporate offices in Washington.

 

Case Study #3 – Google

Here are the key aspects to Google’s ranking:

-Job satisfaction

-Mission

-Compensation

-Telecommute

-Low-stress

 

Perks:

-Free meals

-Fitness facilities

-Paid parental leave

-On-site childcare

-Passion projects

 

What’s the message here? Many companies are great; many are not so great. The important thing is for you to do your self-homework so you know what is most important to you in an employer. Then, do your research to find those companies that offer what you are looking for.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

056: What Employees Value Most in an Employer

What do you value in an employer?

I researched three online sites for this podcast. There are many similarities between these lists.

 

Zenefit.com

According to zenefit.com, the top 5 most important things employees look for are:

#1 – Company culture and mission

#2 – Approachable leadership

#3 – Opportunities for growth

#4 – Flexibility

#5 – Recognition

 

The Balance Careers

According to The Balance Careers, here are the top 7 things employees look for:

#1 – Competitive salary

#2 – Good benefit package

#3 – Flexible schedule

#4 – Opportunity to advance

#5 – Recognition

#6 – Effective management

#7 – Team atmosphere

 

High-Speed Training

The third source I used is High-Speed Training. Here are their top 6:

#1 – Fair salaries

#2 – Opportunities for personal development

#3 – Work/life balance

#4 – Recognition and a sense of purpose

#5 – Great company culture

#6 – Perks / benefits

-Medical/dental

-Sick leave

-Maternity/paternity leave

-Pensions

-Travel compensation

-Continuing education opportunities

 

What is this information telling us?

Here are my top 6 insights:

 

  1. Money isn’t everything.

 

  1. Company culture matters. A lot.

 

  1. People leave jobs most often because of their boss.

 

  1. Millennials don’t just want to know where they are going to start. They want to know where they can go.

 

  1. There is a wide range of perks and benefits available out there. Make sure you know the vocabulary and what’s most important to you.

 

  1. Recognition is important, and many companies do it poorly.

 

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

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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/

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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/

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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/

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

051: Identifying Your Motivated Skills

Identifying Your Motivated Skills

For the last quarter of 2018, my podcast and blog theme is “Making Crucial Career Decisions.” This month, we’ll be drilling down on your skills, personality preferences, core values, and expertise. Each of these things can, and should, play a role in your career decisions.

Keep in mind that, whenever I talk about career decisions, I am speaking on a macro- and micro-level. The macro level is this: Does the career path you’re considering allow you to make optimal use of your skills and expertise? Does your personality type mesh with this career? Does this career fit within your most critical values?

On the micro-level, you are looking at particular job opportunities within that career. Keep in mind that, while a career may fit with your personality and values, etc., a particular job may not. The more you know about yourself, the more aware you will be of what is most important to you…I call them your non-negotiables.

Defining Motivated Skills

Today’s topic is “Identifying Your Motivated Skills.” Let’s start with a definition.

Motivated Skills are 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 because 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 the skills you are very good at, but DON’T get any 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.

Take the Assessment

If you’re interested in taking a Motivated Skills assessment, I recommend you opt-in to my 5-day course, “Finding Your Professional Purpose.” Day 2 includes Motivated Skills and Values activities.

To optin: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

Here’s how the Motivated Skills activity works: First, you sort each skill by your skill level with it. A “5” means you have a superior skill level; a “1” means you have little or no skill.

Next, you sort those same skills by your Motivation Level. A “5” is Superior enjoyment in using that skill; a “1” means you are completely unmotivated to use that skill.

The idea is to come up with a core list of just 5-6 Motivated Skills. Any more than that, and you are unlikely to find a career or job that includes them all…and you may sacrifice the most important ones for those that aren’t quite as essential to you. Any fewer than that, and you may be lacking in self-awareness…you just haven’t lived enough, or been present enough, to know what you like and don’t like.

Why This Matters

Let’s talk about why knowing what your Motivated Skills are is so important. Obviously, you want this information to inform your career decisions on the macro- and micro-level; knowing your Motivated Skills will also help you answer some of the tough interview questions you’ll likely get asked.

Even within a job, knowing your Motivated Skills will help you make intelligent decisions about projects, committees, and assignments you volunteer for.

Of course, sometimes you don’t get to pick these things. However, by letting your boss know what your Motivated Skills are, he will be far more likely to put you on projects, committees, and assignments that align with those skills. After all, you doing a great job makes him look great…so it’s a win-win.

The Alternative

What’s the alternative to identifying, and capitalizing on, your Motivated Skills? Here are five downfalls:

-You don’t find fulfillment in your work…that soul-satisfying need to do what you were put on this earth to do.

-You don’t excel in your work…thereby limiting your potential to move up (which you don’t really want to do anyway…at least not in that career).

-You jump from job to job, not realizing what’s really wrong.

-Your dissatisfaction at work bleeds over into the other 2/3 of your life…it impacts your personal relationships and your sleep suffers.

-People who need what you were put on this earth to do miss receiving that from you. If this sounds esoteric, I promise you…this is what it’s all about.

What are these Skills?

I hope I’m made a compelling case for identifying and capitalizing on your Motivated Skills. So what are these skills anyway?

There are general categories of Motivated Skills, under which you’ll find several sub-categories.

Under the general heading of Communication Skills, you have skills in all forms of communication including verbal, written, presentation, sales, and negotiation. This group of skills involves the transfer of information in an accurate, persuasive way.

For Marketing, Public Relations, and Customer Service Skills, there is a wide range of skills that include being at ease in social settings, the ability to identify customer needs and preferences, and the ability to translate objective feedback into self-improvement and self-identify deficiencies to improve performance.

The general heading of Quantitative Analysis Skills includes computer skills and the ability to compile and analyze numerical data.

Under the general heading of Analytical Research Skills are scientific curiosity, research, and the ability to understand and use engineering or industrial principles, tools, and equipment to improve processes, services, or products.

Technical Reasoning Skills include mechanical and spatial reasoning, working outdoors in a technical capacity such as construction, environmental, or landscape projects, managing operations, or gathering technical or environmental data. Technical Reasoning Skills also include technical problem-solving or troubleshooting.

Creativity and Innovation Skills is the ability to use color and shapes to create visually pleasing images and to create new ideas and forms with existing objects. It also includes the ability to use imagination to create new ideas, projects, or programs.

Under the general heading of Teaching, Training, Instructing, or Counseling Skills: These are pretty self-explanatory. You are conveying information to an individual or audience in a teaching/training/instructing capacity, or you are counseling people to improve some aspect of their lives.

The final grouping is Project Management, Leadership, and Motivation Skills. These include managing and directing the work of others, motivating people to perform at their peak level, planning programs or projects, organizing people, data, or objects, and making decisions. It also includes the ability to manage detail-oriented tasks.

Again, I highly recommend opting in for my free 5-day course so you can take my Motivated Skills sort activity. That URL again is http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

049: What to Do if You’re Not Growing at Work

So you’re not growing at work.

There are two facets to this topic I want to cover:

-You’re not being given new tasks or assignments to stimulate you (this is a management issue)

-You aren’t feeling motivated to do the work anymore (this is an internal issue)

You’re not being given new tasks or assignments.

If you’re not being given new tasks or assignments, it’s time to speak with your boss.

Be sure to listen to episode #47, where I talk about internal professional development possibilities, and how to take advantage of them.

For some of you, the boss is the reason you’re not being given new tasks or assignments. What do you do then?

I think it’s useful to figure out what’s really going on. Here are some possibilities:

-Your boss is afraid you’ll take her position and wants to hold you down.

How do you know if this is your problem? Look for evidence that your boss is an insecure person. Defensiveness, blaming others while refusing to take responsibility for her mistakes, and a general nervous energy are symptoms of an insecure boss.

Solution: Many times, this is a situation that requires you either move elsewhere in the company or leave the company altogether.

-Your boss isn’t aware that you want more of a challenge, or of all the skills and talents you have.

 How do you know if this is your problem? Your boss isn’t tuned into her employees, either professionally or personally. She doesn’t make an effort to get to know you or her other employees through such things as team building activities, happy hour, or going to lunch together. Distant, detached, uncaring are words you might use to describe your boss.

Solution: Set up a meeting with your boss to express your goals and concerns, without placing any blame on your boss. Let her know, directly and respectfully, that you want more challenge. Bring with you to the meeting ideas you have for ways in which you can better utilize your motivated skills.

-Your boss has so much on her plate that developing her employees has gone to the back burner.

 How do you know if this is your problem? As opposed to the previous situation’s detached and uncaring boss, this boss is overworked, overwhelmed, and overcommitted. She’s probably not a good time manager and may have trouble saying “no” to her boss. She may frequently cancel staff meetings at the last minute, she barely slows down all day, and seems distracted when she’s with you.

Solution: You have a chance here to offer to take something off your boss’s plate. You can take on an activity you’re excited about while relieving your boss a bit. Win-win.

-Your boss hasn’t been properly trained on how to lead and manage others and doesn’t understand that developing her employees is part of her job.

How do you know if this is your problem? This often looks like someone who isn’t comfortable in the supervisory shoes she’s been placed in. She consistently says and does the wrong thing in supervising her employees, or conversely, avoids actually supervising anyone. There’s also an element of fear here, because she may be terribly afraid she’ll be “found out” as incompetent. Often times, these people don’t recognize the failure of their own bosses to properly train them.

Solution: There’s not much you can do here, so this is a situation that probably requires looking for another job. If developing employees is not a company value, then an internal move probably won’t resolve the problem – you’ll need to look outside your current employer.

-Your boss is narcissistic, concerned only with her position and status within the company and not her employees.

How do you know if this is your problem? Appearances are everything to this boss – it’s all flash and no substance. You are certain she would throw you under the bus without a second thought in order to make herself look good. You certainly aren’t going to get the leadership, coaching, and mentorship you want from your boss if she’s a narcissist.

Solution: Run, don’t walk, because narcissists think only of themselves and won’t have your back when you most need it. Seek an internal transfer or look outside your employer.

You’ve lost your motivation.

If the problem is you’ve lost your motivation, here are my top tips to get it back:

Your thoughts

I promise you the lack of motivation you’re experiencing is a result of thoughts you’re having about your job, your boss, your coworkers, or your employer. NOT the job itself.

The first step is awareness of the thoughts you’re having.

The second step is to gently direct your thoughts to ones that serve you better.

For example, if you’re thinking “I hate my job,” you might redirect your thoughts to “I have a job.”

From there, you can practice thinking more positive thoughts about your job.

Shake Up the Repetition

Often times, a dip in motivation comes from feeling like you’re in a rut…doing the same things day after day, in exactly the same way.

How can you shake up what you do, how or when you do it, to infuse some motivation into your work?

Get creative here. Design a new system, process, or tool to help you do your job better. Is there the possibility of doing your work in a different physical environment? How can you look at your work through new lenses?

Helping Others

Who can you help at work?

Mentoring another employee, volunteering through your employer, or joining a committee that is doing meaningful work can all be ways to infuse your motivation.

Do It Anyway

Give your best every day regardless of whether or not you are motivated.

Sometimes, my biggest accomplishments come from plowing through a completely uninspired day to do the work anyway.

Celebration!

Celebrate even your smallest achievements at work.

Make a game of rewarding yourself for little things…make it fun! If your department doesn’t have any fun awards, set one up and lead it yourself.

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

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

048: External Education Opportunities

In episode 47, I talked about taking advantage of your company’s internal training opportunities. I also talked about 7 strategies for creating one-on-one professional development opportunities for yourself, regardless of whether or not your employer has formal programs like these.

Today, let’s talk about continuing your education outside your current employer.

University Continuing Education Departments

Most universities, particularly those in larger cities, have a Continuing Education department. These departments are an external arm of the university, and typically offer a range of professional development courses.

These courses generally fall into one of three categories:

-A cluster of courses leading to a certification or other professional credential

-Stand-alone courses that provide you with targeted knowledge

-Courses created for a specific employer/industry, with training specific to that employer or industry

A note about any training you attend: keep a folder so that, when you update your resume, you’ll have ready access to the specifics of your professional development. This folder can also be a handy place to keep any certificates or other documentation you receive for attending.

For-Profit Training Companies

When I worked in higher education, I regularly got brochures from Fred Pryor, Skill Path, and other for-profit companies that were providing in-person training in a city near me.

I’m sure some of these companies no longer exist and others have sprouted up, and not all of them have a great reputation. So do your due diligence if you see a course you’re interested in to make sure it’s a good expenditure of your employer’s money.

These for-profit training companies can be particularly effective for you to get training on a targeted subject that your employer isn’t likely to offer.

Targeted Coursework at a University as a “Non-Degree-Seeking” Student

Perhaps you want to take a course in marketing or accounting at a university as a non-degree seeking student. You may also be able to audit a class, which simply means you take the course but don’t get a grade or any formal recognition that you took the class.

Many of my clients seek out courses they can take at Ivy League schools, so they have that university’s name on their resume.

Conferences, Workshops, or Seminars Offered Through Your Professional Associations

Your professional associations are often the best source for professional development that is specific to the work you do. Many offer an annual conference, along with more frequent workshops and seminars that may be offered in-person or online.

Attending conferences has the added benefit of exposure to other professionals in your field. Many have an infrastructure in place for employers with open positions to source candidates at the conference, and even interview on-site.

Another benefit of professional associations is the opportunity to serve on committees that give you exposure to a wide range of people in your field. I have served on committees for new professionals, the planning committee for the annual conference, and on executive boards. Many of the people I met on these committees are still my friends today.

The Graduate Degree

How do you determine if it’s the right time for you to pursue a graduate degree? How do you determine if you even should pursue a graduate degree? Here are my guidelines:

DO seek a graduate degree IF:

-You are very clear on your career path, and know that a graduate degree will help you move up, OR

-You have maxed out in your career field without a graduate degree, AND

-Your work schedule will allow you to fully commit to the program once you’ve entered

DON’T seek a graduate degree:

-To avoid entering or continuing in the job market (there are less expensive ways to hide from your life), OR

-If you are unclear about what you want to study, OR

-Just because you have an interest in a particular field (unless you are independently wealthy), OR

-If you’ve started a new job less than a year ago. You have a learning curve for your job that doesn’t leave much room for anything else, AND

-If your work schedule is erratic, you work incredibly long hours, or in any way can’t fully commit to the program.

Many employers offer tuition reimbursement for continuing your education, and this is a topic you can ask about in the job interview. Be sure to find out the finer points of the reimbursement program, such as length of time you have to be in the position before you are eligible, or how long you have to work for the organization after completing the degree.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail