Posted in Career Management, Retirees, Unemployment, Women @ home

Seek Clarity in Tough Times

Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds. – Marta

Yes, they are tough times. I know.

I know because I live in a community as well and meet people of all parts of society and can see that we are living interesting times when it comes to unemployment. Having said, there is some goodness to what is happening and while you might not recognize that today, you will eventually.

First of all let us agree that times are tough.

Second of all, let us agree that just before times got tough, you were questioning your career and its future direction. While this may not apply to all, my experience in talking to others, it is the case more often than not.

So then what?

In your career and job search, you must must must take the time to define your ideal career opportunity.

If it is entrepreneurship, be clear on what that looks like and make sure that it is what you see as ideal and NOT as a fall back position to unemployment.

If it is a job, what are you doing day to day? Not 100% of the time but what would your job role typically focus on the majority of the time? Sales? Writing? Researching? Driving? Thinking? Talking?

What does your ideal workplace look like? Is it an office? Is it based from home?

Are you restricted in terms of geography? Language?

Once you do this, you will know what you are searching for, who to contact and why … and that is what gets you the opportunity you seek even if you are retired and seek to continue working.

You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events. Joel Osteen

Don’t give up, you are almost there!

 

 

Image courtesy of phochi at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

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Posted in Career Growth, Retirees, Unemployment, Women @ home

Introducing, the “Empreneur”

“To me, entrepreneurship means something different. I think of it as identifying and valuing opportunity” – Glenn Hubbard

I would like to introduce the “empreneur” … the employee who is entrepreneurial in their role at a multi-national corporation.

I would like to introduce the “empreneur” … the commission-based contractor who assists the new small business owner setup and grow their venture.

I would like to introduce the “empreneur” … the consultant who generates ideas for growth and differentiation for their client.

I would like to introduce the “empreneur” … the freelancer who helps an organization solve problems by day and works on their own book or invention by night.

I would like to introduce the “empreneur” … the “formally” retired thought leader who provides advice and coaches those working towards their goals.

All these “empreneurs” identify valuable opportunities to succeed while benefiting themselves and others.

Who said there was only one way????

 

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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Retirees, Unemployment, University, Women @ home

Networking During Your Job Search

We all need each other. – Leo Buscaglia

This is a fact. There is no way we can live this life alone and as much as we would like not to ever seek anyone’s help, there is something humbling about it, and in fact, if done right, it can uplift us as we connect with the human side of us and others.

I personally was never a fan of “networking” in the sense that it involves attending receptions, cocktails, etc… and I also did not like the idea of organised networking either as it forces people to think about what they can give to others and what others can give back, i.e. focuses on the exchange as opposed to real connection which is often what gets people together to begin with.

As always, I looked within and around me and I realized something fundamental about networking during a job search, and that is that it was absolutely necessary.

Thinking, ironic, right?

Elaborating on this, I see networking as a result of years of experience in meeting and connecting with people be it in University, in companies we work for, in companies with work with and our social network including family and friends. We each have at least 100 people who we have connected with, or let us say, on average, we meet at least 5 people some of whom are our family members. That is the network I am referring to.

Then comes the key question then, what does this network have to do with networking and the job search?

They are a key source of jobs and client opportunities … with the caveat of two questions that you have to ask yourself:

  1. Do you consider them professionally successful? Are they working in an industry that is similar to or conducive to or with connections to the one you would like to work in?
  2. Are they humble? Are they non-judgmental and open? Are they givers?

If the answer to these two questions is yes, then they are a potential source of opportunities that you should not ignore as long as you are ready to answer two questions,

  1. What have you been doing?
  2. What do you want to do and why now?

Go ahead … reach out … I know it is uncomfortable, but be genuine, be yourself and remember, we are where we are because of each other.

It doesn’t matter if you are unemployed … a recent grad … retired and want to return to employment or grow your business …

Today you need others, tomorrow, others will need you.

Be committed to that.

 

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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career

You Carve Your Own Career Path

“Companies no longer offer people careers. People make their own careers” – Y Mansoor Marican

If you are currently working for an organization or hope to work for one, be aware that no matter how many opportunities are provided, the reality is that you are the one carving your own career path and it is not the company. Even if you are provided with a mentor, you are carving your own career.

Years ago, companies were interested in retaining their talent, providing them with opportunities for growth and learning. Companies progressed to worrying less about retaining talent and but still providing employees with opportunities to make them a preferred employer.

The reality now is that you are responsible for your career and one can neither expect to be provided opportunities nor are companies interested in being a preferred employer as there is a perception that there is more talent out there than there are opportunities.

The reality now is that you are building your own empire from education and experience and so to expect a company to sponsor your career growth, even if they say they will especially for early grads, you must always ask yourself,

is this what I want to do now and how does it fit with my long term vision?

and you must in turn be ready to answer why you should be hired.

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Posted in Career Growth, Career Management, Retirees, Women @ home

Stay up to date … Stay ahead … Open Door to Opportunities

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. – Henry Ford

learnWe are being inundated with media that makes us fear our own jobs … our own careers … our own value. The truth is that it is the same be it one hundred, one thousand, or ten thousand years ago, there will always be someone to be the voice of fear in your mind.

The one trick that has always helped people stay up to date or even ahead, is to always be learning.

Ask yourself, what am I learning today?

If you are not learning, you need to start!

The pace of change is much much slower than what media and social media make it to be, but the truth is if we don’t take care of our knowledge, time will fly by before we know it.

We have access to so much training, research and experts … online and offline … don’t remove yourself from the list, always evolve.

Retired and want to get a job or volunteer? Stay-at-home parent with a goal to one day return to work? Take an online course … learn something new … it will definitely open up new opportunities.

 

Image courtesy of tigger11th at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, Retirees, University, Women @ home

Link between Social Media and Success

The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel – Steven Furtick

reelI have always liked Earl Nightingale’s definition of success, “the pursuit of a worthy goal”. Worthy, being beneficial to self, to others, without intentional harm.

In interacting and dealing with people throughout my career I have seen three stances on success (there might be more of course); there are those who share the above definition of success, with a clear goal and planning towards it; and others who continue to look for meaning and experiences that help them clarify what success means. A third growing stance is related to those who see success as a hierarchy of where one is compared to others.

Stuck in endless competition, comparing selves to others, seeing success as a hierarchy is one that may get us to our goals but will not allow us to enjoy its benefits as we are busy looking at how we can “beat others”.

Key platforms (related to career) where comparison is inevitable, even if subconsciously, are LinkedIn and Twitter.

Just browsing these two platforms can make one very quickly feel that they are on the wrong path, will never catch up, missed the boat or about to miss the boat, or that all they have done in their career is insignificant and basically, unless they fiercely fight and advertise their winnings, there is no way one could even smell success and it all looks gloomy from there.

So while keeping tabs on what is going on in those platforms and within our network, we need to approach it within the context of our goals and limit our emotional involvement, just like the news. The key question should always be,

How will LinkedIn and Twitter help me reach my worthy goal?

and devise your own social media strategy, specific to you and your goals.

 

 

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Posted in Career Management, Early Career

Personal Branding: A Reality Check

horn

If the world you wish to know,Never by its speeches go. – Edward John Turnour

Just browse your LinkedIn updates … you will quickly see that people are either on panel discussions and speaking opportunities or trying to land panel discussions and speaking opportunities.

Besidesgetting having an opportunity to sell or test out new products or services, self-promotion is a wasteful ac

See a powerful and influential conference or two is something that is well worth pursuing or accepting. They communicate to others that you have ideas, products or services, that are worth knowing about and would make a positive difference. To spend most of one’s time in more than that makes one question the value that that person brings to the table beyond thoughts and outdated ideas.

For you see, if you are mostly speaking … when are you actually pursuing your goals which really matter in the long run?

It is common to now hear about the importance of self-promotion, but the reality is that the rules of success never change, persistently know and pursue your goals. Why self-promote if it is not critical to your goals? Why self-promote if it will not help one accomplish their objectives*?

Being “known” is not an objective …

Like everything else in your career, ask yourself, is what I am doing bringing me closer to my goals?

A personal brand isn’t the sum of tweets that people so mindfully post. It isn’t the pictures that someone chooses to share. That’s just a small part of a reputation. The most important — and the hardest — part is the collection of actions, decisions and work that a person does day in and day out over a long period of time. (As seen in the Entrepreneur, Oct 31, 2014)

*There was an article within HBR that talks about the reality of self-promotion.

 

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Posted in Career Management

“People leave managers not companies” – Dave Wheeler

bad-bossPeople leave companies and roles; roles that they outgrow or roles they no longer feel passionate about, along with companies who may no longer align with an individual’s values. However, often, people leave managers.

In an economic recession, bad managers are an epidemic.

There are multiple reasons for this, in addition to the obvious “hire or assign the less costly and less qualified employee” during a recession, generally speaking, job availability goes down and hence, job changes decrease. As this happens, there is usually one common way out of a company, and that is being let go. Worried and stressed, underlying factors (insecurity, lack of support, passiveness, competition, dishonesty, disrespect – Huffington Post, Oct 21st 2016) that drive “bad managers” increase and hence, more and more bad bosses.

Having said that, and while bad bosses are accountable for such actions, I tend to hold companies even more responsible. The truth is, good organizations know what is going on within. They have effective HR functions, effective HR policies, and have leaders who can tell when employees are busy protecting their turf versus doing their best for the benefit of the organisation. More importantly, when employees speak up, companies must listen.

I am not advocating that bosses are let go, although in some cases that is a definite, but organizations must admit and recognize a bad boss. They must provide coaching and in some cases, a role change. Bad bosses are often the result of a poor hiring decision, unjustified or mistaken promotion.

For organizations, this is important for their long term survival, reputation and overall impact.

Since this blog is for you, all I can say is, if you find yourself in such a situation, understand that an insecure boss will always be insecure and nothing you do or say can change that. While there are options to deal with such cases when the HR function within your company is influential, unfortunately that is rare these days, and you usually have two choices …

weather the storm until your role or reporting line changes or seek another opportunity.

Yes, new jobs are less to come by in a recession, but they do exist. Fighting the storm is a waste of time and effort*.

While weathering the storm, assess your career direction, seek knowledge and become an expert in your field just by spending one hour a day after or, preferably before, work in the morning. That will help reduce your level of stress and when an opportunity comes, you will be more than ready.

*This does not mean that you are not assertive. Treat a bad boss the same way you would treat a bully. Tell them how it is, with respect. Never, ever aim to hurt that person. When asked by others, be honest.

 

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