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Take a Risk with Your Career!
Taking a risk with your career may seem counter-intuitive amid our economic crisis, but according to this article I found on Yahoo! HotJobs, I think it could be a fantastic idea!
"4 Career Risks Worth Trying
" by Denene Brox features four "calculated" risks that could mean a brighter future for your career."RISK: Going Back to School"
I know this can be a huge investment in time and money, but with all of the online programs now available to us - where we can pay less for a quality education, and come and go as we please from the comfort of home or even the office - it can be an excellent stepping stone to success. As the article states: "...determine if going back to school helps you achieve this goal [a raise or changing career paths] by talking to your boss and mentors." In my business, I've always encouraged my employees to never stop the learning process, and like my company, many organizations will even foot the bill (or at least part of it) if it will add to your value and the value you bring to work."RISK: Changing Careers"
I've said this time and time again: do what you love! And the article agrees: "With increased company layoffs, no one is immune to losing a job. Finding work that you love should be a priority in your career." This decision is a biggie, so make sure you carefully examine the pros and cons of a career move, and dig down deep to figure out what you really want to do. Is it something you're GOOD AT as well as enjoy? Consider this carefully because as many of us know, just because we love doing something, that doesn't necessarily mean we're skilled at it (see: "American Idol" contestants during the try-out weeks!)"RISK: Saying 'No' to Added Responsibility"
At first you might think, "Are you crazy?! Saying 'no' at work?! That's the surest way to a pink slip!" In some cases, you may be right, but the article makes a great point: "If your boss is saddling you with more responsibility with a project or promotion, be sure you understand exactly what that will mean for your success. Not all promotions are created equal, and you can quickly become the office doormat if you constantly take on projects that may not have high enough visibility to move your career forward." I'd like to add a note to this and say, if you do turn down a project, make sure it's for the RIGHT reasons. Too many of us turn down opportunities to advance our careers because of fear - fear of failure, fear of putting our ideas out there, etc. - and that's definitely NOT the right reason. When offered more responsibility, think about it carefully and honestly before accepting or refusing."RISK: Starting a Business"
As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand the trials and tribulations (and satisfaction and rewards) of starting a business. It takes total commitment, a willingness to sacrifice, and a LOT of hard work. If you're not ready to say "yes" to all of that - and more - starting a business probably isn't right for you. But if you're ready to dive into the world of entrepreneurship, my best advice is the same as the article's: "Do your research (including health care options), save money, and build contacts in your industry while you're still working in your current job."
Check out the full text of the article here
, and thanks to Denene Brox and Yahoo! HotJobs for posting such helpful advice. I recommend that you carefully digest this food for thought if you're stuck in a rut at your current job, if you're ready to take on a new challenge, or if you're wondering where to go next in your career.
Labels: career opportunities, career risks, career-advancement, economic crisis, education, entrepreneurs, job satisfaction, networking, personal growth, small business, strategy, workplace-survival
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Job Satisfaction: Where Can I Find It?
With the economy still in its current slump, ask someone to define "job satisfaction" and I guarantee you that most of them will say: "Having a job. Period."
There is definitely some truth to that, I admit. But I am still a firm believer in doing what you love for a living and finding happiness and satisfaction in your job - no matter what the stock market says. After all, we spend most of our waking lives at work...don't we deserve to enjoy it just a little?
So if you're currently in a job that makes you happy (at least for a good portion of the time), then I congratulate you. Stick with it and thrive!
But if you're waking up every day wishing you could call in sick and then grudgingly trudging off to work, maybe it's time to start taking a peek into the job market.
Now, I'm in no way advocating that you should chuck your current job and set off into the world, searching for your next career. That would be madness during ANY economic time, but especially this one. Rather, I'm suggesting that while you continue to work at your current job, start thinking about what kind of work would satisfy you.What kind of experience do you have?
(And can you translate that experience into another field or industry? You'd be surprised to find out how universal some of your experience can be.)What kind of skills do you have? What are you truly great at, and do you love doing it?
(This is so important! You might be great at, say, accounting practices, but you might not really like crunching numbers all day. On the flipside, you might love being a salesperson, but fail to close a lot of deals. Both of these situations need to be taken into account so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your checkbook.)What do you like about your current job?
(Be thorough in your evaluation and get to the root of what you like. On the surface, it may seem that you like answering phones, but really, it's the contact with the clients that you like.)What don't you like about your current job?
(Again, dig deep to the root of the matter. You might think you hate dealing with expense reports, but really, it's the fact that you have to hunt them down from your co-workers that drives you crazy.)If you could be anything you wanted, what would it be?
(I know this seems like a "kid's" question, but I love it. It's been the starting point of many a successful career!)
Remember: don't just answer these questions from a "work" standpoint. Answer them from your personal life as well. How can you parlay your fascination or skill with a hobby into a great career (and subsequent satisfaction)?
I came across an article that can get you started on where to find job satisfaction:Where Do America's Happiest People Work?
by Kristina Cowan, PayScale.com
In this article, Ms. Cowan cites a study by the University of Chicago called "Job Satisfaction in the United States." She writes: "The study says the occupations where people report being happy overall, not just in terms of job satisfaction, involve helping others, technical and scientific expertise, or creativity."
That's some food for thought to keep in the back of your mind when you begin to evaluate new career opportunities!
Ms. Cowan goes on to list the top occupations (as found by the study), and they include:
3. Transportation, ticket, and reservation agents such as travel agents
5. Special education teachers
6. Actors and directors
7. Science technicians
8. Miscellaneous mechanical and repairing occupations
9. Industrial engineers
10. Airline pilots and navigators"
Go ahead and read the article here
. It might be just the catalyst you need to find your own source of job satisfaction!
Labels: career opportunities, career-advancement, economic crisis, job hunt, job satisfaction, personal growth, strategy
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New Business Speak: "Manage Up"
As I was perusing The Wall Street Journal
website, I came across an interesting article that introduced me to a new "business speak" term: "manage up."
Elizabeth Garone writes in her article "What It Means to 'Manage Up'"
that "when someone tells you that you need to 'manage up,' what he or she is really saying is that you need to stretch yourself. You need to go above and beyond the tasks assigned to you so that you can enhance your manager's work, says Rosanne Badowski, co-author of 'Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship With Those Above You.'"
Amen. As I've told countless clients again and again: if you want to succeed and advance your career, you've got to put yourself in the spotlight and prove your value by driving your career
, choosing high exposure projects
, and communicating with your boss
, as Ms. Garone points out in the article.
Communication above all else is the key. Do you know your boss's communication style? If not, find out!
You may be more comfortable talking about the big picture, but he or she may prefer bullet points of facts and figures...and if you can't present your ideas in that manner, it's likely that they're falling on deaf ears.The article
goes on to list other ways to "manage up" - there's a lot of great info so I suggest you give it a read-through
. I want you to ride out our economy's current crisis on a wave of success!
Labels: books, career opportunities, career-advancement, communication style, economic crisis, strategy, workplace-survival
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Remember a few weeks ago
, I alluded to a brand new program
that I was developing to help people get over their fear of public speaking (the #1 fear of most people!)?Well, it's ready to roll, and I'm so excited about it!
Check it out for yourself here
Knowing how to speak in public is VITAL to your success personally and professionally. Most executives that I know wouldn't be where they are today if they couldn't express themselves to their teams, their clients and their bosses. And the fear of opening your mouth in front of an audience - small or large - can be crippling to your career and your relationships.
My "Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking!"
video program shares my best tips for banishing those public speaking demons forever. As a professional speaker
myself and someone who has met other amazing speakers, I've gathered a world of experience, tips, and tools that I want to share with you through this video program.
Read more about it here
!(The response to this program has been astounding! Don't miss your opportunity to tap into my professional speaking expertise and learn how to communicate confidently in front of any audience!)
Labels: career opportunities, career-advancement, education, entrepreneurs, leadership, overcoming fear, public speaking
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Become a Career Olympian!
My apologies for staying away from my blog for so long, but between working with clients, traveling to Salt Lake City for a conference about SendOutCards.com
(you've GOT to check these guys out - their system is amazing and so much fun!), and getting my sons back off to college (the house is mine and my husband's again - woo hoo! But seriously, I love my kids and miss them, too), I've been using my few minutes of downtime to, you know, breathe.
And I've also been staying up way too late to watch the Olympics! I'm so proud of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen; they've been outstanding all around in their events. According to Yahoo! this morning, the USA has earned 101 medals so far (8 of which are the incredible gold medals won by record-breaker Michael Phelps - congratulations to him!).
While I love the thrill of the competitions, I'm truly amazed by the Olympians themselves. To paraphrase a comment made on "Project Runway" during their Olympic challenge, they are as close to real-live superheros as we can get. They are at peak performance levels, and they've trained endlessly to achieve their goals. Let's follow their example!
Today, I challenge you to commit to your career like an Olympian commits to his or her training. I want you focus on kicking your career into overdrive (especially if lately it's been chugging along like a golf cart), and I want you firing all cylinders as you work towards your career's peak performance level.
And as your coach, I'm going to give you the benefit of my knowledge with these 10 tips for advancing your career!1. Create a "life skills" line:
Record everything you know how to do - from birth until the present - and all the skills required to do them. What have you excelled at? (And they don't have to be just work-related...you'd be surprised how the skills you have in your hobbies translate into success into the workplace.)2. Make a "life activity" line
(layer it right over your "life skills" line). Identify the activies at work and at home that you enjoy doing. If your skill is problem-solving, activities you might like are troubleshooting at work or working on your car's engine. A career that is satisfying and challenging with incorporate some of those skills and activities.3. Rate your enjoyment and aptitude of each entry on your line:
1 if you're excellent at it and love doing it; 5 if it's one of your weaker areas or if you wouldn't want to do it for more than a few hours. And with this info, you're going to then...4. Create a clear picture in your mind of your next 5 career moves
(they're not set in stone!). They could be in order and progressing up through your organization, or they could be lateral moves into other organizations or industries. Plotting out these career moves starts to set you up with a strategy for career advancement (and we all know how much I LOVE strategy!).5. Map out opportunities within your organization.
You got those 5 career moves in your head - where are they in your organization? Create a "treasure map" that you can follow, leading you to each of those 5 career moves. Who's holding those jobs now? What are your chances of earning that position? If there's a star blocking your route of advancement (think Don Draper of "Mad Men") who shows no signs of budging, then you should first do everything in your power to succeed and prove your worth in your current position (a shift all the way up line might occur) or you might want to consider moving to another company, which leads me to...6. Map opportunities outside your organization.
What organizations are the leaders in your industry? Are they looking for highly-skilled people like you, and if so, what could they offer you? Look for industries that are complementary to yours. There may be opportunities to not only bring your insights into a new industry, but also for you to be invigorated by a new set of challenges.7. Assess people in higher levels of your organization.
Give them a report card. Who does a great job? Who might be on his or her way out? Who might be open to talking to you about their position? What are their skills...and do you have them?8. Make a list of people who would help you if they knew your career aspirations.
While it's a good idea to be tentative about who you share your career plans with (especially if they include chucking your current job for another), you have people in your sphere of influence that can help you attain your career goals if you talk to them about those goals. Be selective in who you share your dreams with, but make sure you share your dreams with someone!9. Use an interview as an excuse to go and speak to someone who has the job that you want.
Does your company have a newsletter or a website that highlights employees and bosses? If so, go to the head of these departments and ask if you can do a profile on the person who has the job you want. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to have some of the burden taken off them, and I'm sure that the person you interview will be flattered that you're so interested in them and their job. Asking for an interview is a non-threatening way to do your research and gather information.10. Join an industry organization.
This is a primo networking opportunity just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Learn about other companies in your industry, other positions you may be qualified for, and loads of other inside scoop that can help you strategize your next career move.
Now go out there and earn a gold medal in career advancement!
Labels: career opportunities, career-advancement, interview, job hunt, kitchen to corner office, leadership, mother's wisdom, networking, news, personal growth, strategy, workplace-survival