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.

 

Image courtesy of hin255 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.

 

 

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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 !

 

 

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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

 

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

Why Traditional Networking is Dead

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. – Charles Darwin

NetworkTraditional networking is dead. Be it in the form of networking events or even social networking (networking over social media).

You see, it is not that *networking* is dead … it is networking that doesn’t add value.

We are busy and unless something adds value, we are seldom committed to attend or participate. An exception to this rule is one who is generally extroverted and enjoys connecting and meeting people or one who has intended to meet someone specific at an event.

From alumni organizations, professional associations to job seeker and business oriented sessions, from connecting with fellow colleagues to someone who is in a field or job you are interested to connect with, it is time to move from traditional networking to value based networking.

There must an intent or aim to networking, there must be appropriate people who can add value towards the specific aim, and it must be transparent.

One idea is to utilize “speed meeting” formats where people meet based on a specific theme and run brief meetings with each other as facilitated by the host specifying specific matters to discuss.

Another idea for social networking is to move from the need for a general introduction or connection, to a specific introduction that states a purpose and expectations from both parties or use group setup and membership to connect like people with like aims and objectives.

In all cases, networking is a need and in these economic times, critical. What is more critical however is to make it count and not just say “here goes another hour or here goes another connection”.

 

 

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