What’s Your New Year’s CAREER Resolution?

career-changeIt’s a new year and once again, time to revisit personal and professional goals. Despite the best of intentions, “resolutions” alone do not support change. A 45% gym membership increase in January with a precipitous fall off in February alone points to very typical human behavior. We often imagine we have accomplished a goal by taking a single step. While that may indeed be a starting point, it is in fact, only the beginning. Without a plan in place, the likelihood of any change, let alone sustained change, is low.

According to this month’s Boston Business Journal survey, people do give increased attention to their career goals in January.
• 20% – Find a new job
• 17% – Do a better job of setting realistic goals and following through
• 17% – Achieve better work/like balance
• 14% – Get a pay raise
• 12% – Get more organized
• 10% – Delegate tasks more effectively
• 10% – Other

Finding a new job may certainly be doable, yet without specific steps, wishing, hoping and praying to be promoted or recruited isn’t the best approach. Begin with research.
• Are you doing work that you like and/or want to continue doing?
• Do you need a bigger challenge?
• Is the company/industry a good fit for you?
• Is there a new role you can identify there or elsewhere?
• Who’s doing something professionally that you would love to do?

There are multiple strategies to utilize in a robust job search beginning with an internal review of what you find most and least satisfying about your work. Sometimes we feel stuck because of personal or financial demands. It may be the department or the company that’s the issue but you love the career path you’ve chosen. Sometimes it’s truly a professional mismatch and time for a return to school or seeking new credentials. The clock is ticking and finding yourself in the same place in a year will be disheartening.

Quick tips:
• Review your LinkedIn profile. Is it up-to-date and with a professional head shot?
• Informal networking. Time to expand your circle.
• Hire a career coach to help you sort it out
• Start somewhere and keep going!



Tips for Effective Networking

MH90043755180% of jobs are unadvertised and found through networking

Whether or not you are currently engaged in a job search, networking is a fundamental activity that should be embraced for numerous reasons. With time at a premium for most working adults, adding more to an already full schedule may feel like another obligation. It’s true that unless there is a clear intention and purpose, attending an event with a general notion of making contacts is unrealistic. It requires a plan.

We recommend the 3-3-3 approach as a minimum goal for any event:
Choose a minimum of 3 people to connect with more than superficially. Listen. How might you help them?
Collect 3-business cards from people you spent time talking to
Call within 3-business days and follow up with another time to meet.

Networking doesn’t always mean carving out hours to connect and make introductions. Technology has created unlimited opportunity to reach out on LinkedIn, Facebook, Classmates, alumni and special interest groups along with many other sites. You can renew relationships with former colleagues, research new interests or connect with people who are doing interesting things.

Joining organizations that are not related to your area of expertise brings you into contact with new people, who don’t know you as (fill in the blank). This is especially helpful in a transition period where you may be looking at a career change. Attend an industry function as a guest to see if that demographic is a good fit. An added bonus is learning more about aeronautics, public relations, marketing or perhaps community theater.

Be curious! You never know how you may be a resource for someone else and likewise, how you can develop broader connections and learn something new in the process.

Freedom = Getting Things Done!

todolist“Taking on new projects is not necessarily a positive change. It may be a sign of recklessness and non-fulfillment. But going back to all the levels of non-completion and completing them is a sign of positive change.” – John Roger

How many lists do you have? Are they short and long term, numbered and highlighted in order of importance? Are they color coded? Has their creation and maintenance taken on a life of its own? Are you living with annoying post-its everywhere that only increase your level of anxiety and multiply mysteriously? Does it feel like you are pushing back the ocean, while conflicted about this selfish waste of paper or electronic data? Are these overwhelming and unproductive activities? Non-completion takes up a great deal of psychic space, often accompanied by finger wagging and other judgmental posturing and is very taxing.

According to David Allen,” Stress comes from unkept agreements with yourself. You can relieve that stress only by canceling the agreement, keeping the agreement or negotiating it.”

Begin by clearing out and collecting your thoughts, assessing each one for importance and then review your options. Here is a 3-step approach that can get you out of being stuck and on the road to taking charge.
1. Find your preferred method of recording information. Take 5 minutes and dump
everything that pops into your head. Do not censor or evaluate it, just write!
2. Assess each particle. What’s the next action? What will you commit to?
3. Which things will you do to fit the time, place and importance?

A constant part of worry is the nagging feeling that there is always something else to be managed. While that may be true, for now you have cleared out the cobwebs and dumped the brain drains to a place where they can be “seen” and not just “heard”.

• Make your list
• Dig deep…no self-censoring
• Notice how it feels different than usual

10 job search non-negotiables

career-development-modelBecause the employment world has changed so much in the last five years, job seekers need to change their game, too.

There are no shortcuts and no compromises on using the right techniques at every step of the process. Although the list below may look like a list of choices, it is not. You MUST do them all. You can’t do some and miss on others. At least not if securing your next job faster is a priority.

1. Goal setting: Write down your job goal “script.” Be clear and specific about your desired job title and roles/responsibilities.

2. Tracking: Build a spreadsheet or other useful tool so you track every piece of data you collect during your job search.

3. Sourcing: Based on your goal in the first item above, list the resources you will use to find your next job. Don’t just rely on one. There are many.

4. Social media groundwork: Learn how to maximize social media by taking tutorials specific to job search techniques on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

5. Obsessive research: Spend hours – not minutes– on every job opportunity prior to applying. Use the Web to research the people, company, division and function for the position for which you are applying.

6. Networking precision: Prepare to make your face-to-face and online networking most effective by writing out your networking plan. Then practice asking for support during your job search.

7. Application preparation: Find one job within your goal description and prepare a practice cover letter and résumé. Proof it and ask someone for feedback.

8. Interview prep: (Do this far in advance, not the night before!) Prepare your best interview attire and fill your briefcase with document copies. Be ready with two alarm clocks. A couple of days before your interview, drive to the location to find parking and the exact entrance. On interview day, if you’re not in the lobby 30 minutes early, you’re late!

9. Phone interview excellence: Print hard copies of your notes and the job description, then organize them within arm’s reach. Don’t forget to write three bullet points for all of the most common interview questions. Choose a quiet place to take the call and be ready 30 minutes early.

10. Follow up after every interaction: This is the single sloppiest part of almost all job searches. Without a tracking tool and calendar reminders, most followup is terrible. Every contact you make requires impeccable follow up as a short-term courtesy and for long-term networking.


source:  http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/news-wire/2013/08/15/10-job-search-non-negotiables.html?page=all