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!



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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, 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.



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

Series – What do I want to do?: Barriers to Action

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. – Michael Jordan

hurdlesOnce we start to take action in the direction of our goals, we will undoubtedly face what we see as barriers, or more often, fears.

Barriers are more easily dealt with, as we first must see them for what they are, challenges that we need to work around or solve to get something better than we had even originally planned. They are easy to solve, even if we don’t think they are. The key is to keep it simple.

The more challenging ones are the fears. What if what I want to do:

  • has already been done by someone who does it better? – Fear of Failure
  • makes others move away from me and end friendships? Fear of Disapproval
  • will not be appreciated by anyone? – Fear of Rejection
  • is something that will expose parts of me that I am ashamed of? – Fear of Losing Image
  • is impossible to do where I currently live? – Fear of Helplessness
  • is something nor I nor anyone else believe I can do? – Fear of Success
  • is good but someone then copies me and does better? – Fear of Being Vulnerable
  • pushes me to make peace with something that I don’t like in my life? – Fear of Being Vulnerable
  • is something I will fail at? – Fear of Loss of Image and Fear of Failure
  • is possible but I have no one to trust and I have to do everything on my own? – Fear of Being Conned

And the list can go on and on.

We all have fears but can we approach things by feeling these fears but moving on knowing that the only thing worse than failure, or success, or disapproval to materialize is never doing anything about it! The reality is that these fears may materialize but at least you did something. Clarify your values and then go for it … clarify what risks you can handle that will not put you or your loved ones in jeopardy and then go for it.

How many times have you thought of an idea, a good idea, and next thing you know someone else did it? It is not that you missed the boat but the fact that there are people of action and people who don’t take any. Those who don’t take any lose nothing, they lose everything!



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

Series – What do I want to do?: Affirmations for Action

nowHere are some thoughts and quotes that should help you stay on track.

We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile. – Earl Nightingale

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it! – Susan Jeffers

Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence. – Thomas Szasz

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness! – Susan Jeffers

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. – Steve Jobs

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

Series – What do I want to do?: Turn Strengths into Actions

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. – Bradley Whitford

runNow comes the easy part … action.

Now that you have reviewed your week and looked at what you do, what gives you energy and what doesn’t, simply and quickly, find ways to stop doing the things that drain you and do not belong in the life necessities and requirements area.

Following that, manage and organize the life necessities and requirements tasks either by outsourcing if possible or setting a schedule for them and a daily contingency and expectation that something might surprisingly come up.

Then focus on the things that give you energy. What kind of roles would these things fit under? Consultant? Designer? Speaker? Coach? Manager? Don’t assess them for now, just list the possibilities.

For example, you love talking about careers with people, the possible roles are: writer, coach, career counsellor, author, HR Performance Manager.

Another example is loving to shop, the possible roles are: personal shopper, writer/blogger, copywriter in social media, marketer for products and services.

Feel free to talk to people who have more experience than you do or those you look up to and trust that they have your best interests at heart.

You then look at which ones are easy to implement both in terms of time and affordability (if you have to setup your own thing), and have both the necessary knowledge and experience (not necessarily formal) to do it.

Then get started and plan the steps necessary from training, to licensing, to networking, to marketing keeping in mind the most important two ingredients; courage and sharing your plans with people who love and support you.



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