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????

 

Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

 

Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

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.

Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

 

 

Image courtesy of Graphics Mouse at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Leadership, Retirees

Do Not Miss This Opportunity, Say YES!

No one has ever become poor by giving.― Anne Frank

yes

… Quite the contrary, people gain by giving.

There is a disturbing trend, people hesitating to answer a question, to offer advice, to “waste” whatever little time (in a fast paced world) they have or provide information that they may have wanted to keep to themselves for some future need. More simply, people are “too busy”and the world around them is “not a priority” … at least that is the message conveyed.

I have dealt with people who portray one image online or in public and a different one one-on-one. It doesn’t matter how successful they become in the eyes of the public, it is in those critical moments where an impression is made. I have been witness to people complaining about others who ask for help, my feedback is consistent, “why does it bother you so much?”.

The truth is, missing the opportunity to help is like missing a rare opportunity to build and evolve your career, reputation and engage in self-reflection … and what we forget is that what we give, is what we get, especially for those in mid-career.

From experience, there is nothing more satisfying than helping someone else solve a problem, nothing, not even a raise or a promotion! Unless that raise or promotion will help someone else as well.

Next time someone emails you with a question, answer it even if you don’t know … don’t ignore it.

Next time someone asks you to advise them, go ahead, listen and share the best that you know … don’t hesitate.

Next time someone asks you to help them review something, find an hour to spare … don’t belittle what they are asking for.

Do not miss this opportunity !

 

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, University

Learning from Careers: Jeff Skoll

I’ve come to realize your career is all about the choices you make. Every single one matters. – Demi Lovato

jeff

I have mentioned before that one of the fastest ways to know the next steps to take and decisions to make in our careers is to identify 10 people we think are doing interesting things, one of them for me is Jeff Skoll.

An Engineer by background, entrepreneurial in growth, passionate about social change, here are some of my learnings from his career*:

  • Careers need not be complicated, they can be simply made up of a few ‘yes’ decisions
  • Sometimes it is about who you happen to meet, so take every meeting seriously
  • Take a chance, if you can, the best careers are not always with large stable organisations
  • Our degrees give us the knowledge we need to think, what we do in our careers does not always match what we “study”
  • Being interdisciplinary is good
  • In your career, the bigger your service to others is, the bigger impact you have on people, and the more rewarding (both financial and reputational) your career will be
  • Give back to those who have helped you along the way

 

* based on my Wikipedia / Google search

 

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

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

Do what you love?

If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are. – Dale Carnegie

VIPEver since I can remember, career coaches and advisors tell us to do what we love … choose a job that you love, choose a volunteering opportunity that you love, choose an industry you love, etc….

I always supported that view but at the same struggled with it.

You see, love is both restrictive and generalist at the same time. It is restrictive in that it advocates one or two things that I “love” and go find a job / opportunity / place that supports that. It is also generalist in that it advocates “love” that is so relative, you see I love eating … and I love art … so will I go and rush to become a food critic / restauranteur or gallery owner in a rush?

I came across the quote above and thought that maybe we ought to start asking people about appreciation … what makes you feel important?

While some may see this as self-involved, isn’t that the whole point?

When we tell people to do what they love … we are asking them to follow a desire irrespective of impact. But when ask them to do what makes them feel important … we are ultimately asking them to take their passion and apply it to an area, place, action, words, etc… where they feel appreciated, i.e. making an impact.

This appreciation translated to motivation to keep on learning and improving.

Whether you are in high school, university, early career days, stay at home parent or experienced professional assessing goals, what makes you feel important?

The clarity that emerges will no doubt surprise you.

 

 

Image courtesy of Supertrooper / freedigitalphotos.net