January 6, 2013

 It’s the first Sunday of 2013. Many folks have taken time off for the holidays and tomorrow marks the official beginning of the new work year. Before you launch into your work, I encourage you to take a moment today and take stock of where you want to go in the year ahead. What are some changes you would like to see happen in the realm of your career?  How will you cultivate work/life balance this year? What are the new skills you want to hone or acquire in the year ahead? Hmmm.

As you focus on your own responses to those questions, I would also like to provide a few useful links offering perspective on how to ring in the new year for your career.

new year

ResumeBear’s Top 10 New Years Resolutions for Job Seekers presents logical steps to take to bolster career management. While these steps are common sense, it is always good to be reminded what steps you should be taking.

Doostang’s 4 Career To-Dos Before Ringing in the New Year  may technically be geared to things to do before the new year, it is not too late to try them out.

InterviewIQ’s 5 Career Resolutions to Banish Your Workplace Woes by Susan Wareham McGrath offers an Australian perspective to career management but it is all very relevant and applicable.

carpe annum!

(photo credit: courtesy of Darwin Bell)

December 6, 2012

It may seem that the holiday season is not an ideal time to be looking for work — people are distracted with family vacations or preoccupied with holiday parties while winter weather can wreak havoc with the best laid plans… However, I encourage you to think otherwise. People also tend to be open minded and festive at the many parties and holiday gatherings this time of year. The spirit of giving back is in the air. It is the perfect time to make new contacts and sell yourself in a non-threatening way.  

Seeking more encouragement to job search over the holidays?  

Check out these articles:  

The first is by Mary Eileen Williams from Huffington Post, “Holiday Job Search: 4 Reasons to Make Merry and Land Your Next Job.” 

Another timely and informative piece is this post from Dr. John Sullivan entitled, “Tis the Season for Recruiting — 20 Reasons Why December is a Powerful Recruiting Month.”

While you get gussied up for those holiday parties, be sure to brush up on your people skills. Here are my picks of three useful articles to read before you step out and make merry: 

Networking Skills ~ How to Power Up Your Networking Skills [Top 10 Tips] by Mary Hope

Communication Skills ~ Five Tips To Be A Better Communicator by Paul Morin

Listening Skills ~ The Discipline of Listening by Ram Charan

Wishing you a very happy and productive holiday season.

November 13, 2012

Last night I had the opportunity to see an amazing documentary called, Miss Representation. It is a provocative film that talks about, among other things, the lack of women political representatives in our society. At one point the following statistic flashes on the screen, “Women make up 51% of society, but only 17% of Congress.” While the movie brings up many important issues such as the power of the media, the overwhelming presence of men in positions of power in media, women’s body issues, media’s treatment of strong female politicians, it has gotten me thinking a lot about the path to service.

While the results of the most recent national election did yield the greatest number of female senators ever elected (20), I wanted to provide a few suggestions for how women, in particular, could get involved in public service careers.

Emerge — Emerge CA is “the premier training ground for Democratic women.”

The White House Project — states that it “ignites the leadership of women in business and politics.”

Coro Fellowship — is a “full-time, nine month, graduate-level experiential leadership training program that prepares diverse, talented and committed individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena.” The fellowship operates in 4 cities across the US.

Volunteer — Another great way to learn more about the ins and outs of running for political office is to volunteer at the grassroots level for the candidate of your choice. It could be for a president, senator, congressman or woman, mayor, supervisor, school board member, judge or other elected official.  Just head into their campaign headquarters ready to roll up your sleeves and help out in whatever way is needed. This might mean making telephone calls, canvassing by walking door to door to share literature about the candidate, helping register voters, holding fundraisers, holding up signs on voting day to provide visibility, helping take voters to the polls. There are usually multiple points of entry and you can usually volunteer as much or as little as you like.

“Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

October 31, 2012

It’s Halloween time again which conjures up images of monsters, ghouls and sweet treats. While my daughter is counting the minutes till it’s time to don her Butterfly Princess costume and collect treats, this holiday has gotten me thinking about its emphasis on scary things and tricks.

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I would share some of my favorite picks on the scariest career mistakes to avoid. Out of the gates, I would like to draw your attention to a piece by Penelope Patsuris from Forbes.com on the Nine Worst Resume Mistakes.  Even though this article is a bit dated — written almost 11 years ago to the day, the items it mentions are still spot on.

BOO — did you jump?  It can be fun to scare folks but don’t cross the line and make them angry. When looking for a job sometimes people can get a little eager and jumpy, but I urge you not to anger recruiters.  Check out this piece from Monster.com on Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You. If you are working with a recruiter the last thing you want to do is anything that might jeopardize their willingness to go to bat for you.

One more treat for your eyes. I encourage you to check out this amusing post shared by Jessica Liebman at Business Insider entitled, Here are 12 of the Worst Cover Letters We’ve Ever Received. They are certainly frightful and funny. Be sure to avoid the problems she outlines such as emphasizing your shortcomings.

Halloween bonus: check out this link to AOL job‘s story on 10 Truly Scary Jobs.

Happy Halloween!

October 11, 2012

As the old saying goes, “If the shoe fits, wear it.”  This advice may not be as helpful as you think. Recently, Monster.com came out with an interesting survey of close to 1,000 people questioning whether they are on the correct career path.  The results were startling, “only 12% of respondents answered that they feel they are on the career path they want to stay on for the rest of their careers.”  What is more important is that 78% of respondents chose, “No, I need to make a change.”  Of of 944 respondents, that means 736 are dissatisfied with their current career path. Pretty huge.

This got me thinking about the 78% who are not in the right job. What then?  I suggest it is time to take stock and begin conducting a job search. Here are a couple of resources to check out to kick start the process: 5 goals to improve your job search — this useful blog post from The WiseJobSearch.com which offers some easy to manage, logical steps to take to get your job search started.

I also found this post on 50 Job Search Tips from Recruiters complied by Jason Buss. I like that he categorized the tips (e.g., personal brand, research and prep, resume) making it easier to hone in on the areas you most need help or advice. This is a very handy list and it provides good insight from the folks who tend to do the hiring.

If you feel you have not yet found your true career path don’t panic, you are not alone!