Posted on November 13, 2019
If someone asked whether you would quit your job without a new one lined up, what would you respond? Most people would say the sensible answer is to snag a new position before you abandon your current one. In essence, you might find multiple reasons supporting that view and very few going against it.
Although throwing away a job you already have doesn’t usually make good sense, some people do it anyway. Why? Often it happens because you get fed up with conditions at work–maybe they’ve gone on too long or something has sparked too much frustration.
So you erupt with anger, despair, or other negative emotions and submit your resignation effective now.
Then you do your best to deal with the fallout, which could include several actions more or less at the same time:
Posted on November 5, 2019
Workplace ageism in a job search and on the job can crop up in your experience unexpectedly. But it shouldn’t catch you by surprise when it appears! Instead, recognize that it occurs–all too frequently–and take steps to ensure you’re ready to handle it if needed. That doesn’t mean you peek around every corner to see if ageism lurks in wait for you! You just stay alert and prepared overall.
So can you fight workplace ageism and win? If you limit that question to legal action (suing an employer or potential employer for age discrimination), I would most likely say, “Rarely, if at all.”
As most people know, age discrimination can be hard to prove; sometimes it’s impossible. Not only that, but if you take an employer to court over it, you can find yourself viewed as a liability later.
On the other hand, consider the idea that fighting ageism doesn’t have to involve the courts. For instance, you might adopt a less confrontational approach, using more creative methods to gain the ground you’re after. The end result you’re aiming for matters more than how you pursue and achieve it.
No matter how stupid it is for companies to practice ageism, many do. Yes, the practice is shortsighted and narrow-minded, to name just a couple of its shortcomings. However, consider yourself lucky if you haven’t yet run into it. Sometimes, trying to fight it turns into a real no-win situation. You might succeed in a court case, for example, and end up wishing you hadn’t.
If a company is a lousy place to work, landing a job there against the odds doesn’t make it better. Discrimination in the company’s hiring practices can turn out to be only the tip of the ageism iceberg.
When a company is forced to hire you or kept from letting you go, the outcome usually ends badly. You need employers to want you urgently, to appreciate the talents and enthusiasm you can bring to them that have nothing to do with your age.
Posted on October 27, 2019
A toxic boss can make your work life a living nightmare! (If you have one, you already know this.) What’s more, they don’t always show their true colors until you decide to quit your job.
So the question is: If you find out you have a toxic boss, should you quit? If the answer is yes, how do you handle the situation?
Just because your boss gives you grief now and then doesn’t mean he or she is a genuine toxic boss. In fact, anyone can have a bad day, even a bad week. After all, you probably experience that yourself at times, right?
Therefore, your first priority centers on deciding whether you have an actual toxic boss or merely one who flares up on occasion. What’s more, how big are those flare-ups? For example, does your boss scream, call you hateful names, rake you down in front of others?
If not, maybe you only need to have a heart-to-heart with your boss, in a professional manner (that is, without venting hurt feelings or anger).
On the other hand, if your boss exhibits abusive behavior , you might face the choice of “quit or be fired.” That’s not a great situation to find yourself in!
So what’s next?
Posted on October 3, 2019
What’s the last thing you want in a job search? To have employers toss your resume aside as not worth their time. How can you get to first base with them if your resume turns them off? Hint: You need to avoid running afoul of recruiter pet peeves about the resumes they receive.
According to a recent survey by Career Directors International, these resume slip-ups top the list of recruiter pet peeves:
As if the above items weren’t enough, you also need to watch out for the following:
Posted on September 4, 2019
If job search success is your goal, always give it your best! You might have personal challenges or just face roadblocks from employers’ automated hiring practices. Whatever the situation, put as much thought, energy, and time into your job search campaign as you can.
As with most things worth having, attaining job search success depends hugely on what you put into it. Start with what you know you have to offer and can do to add value to employers. What’s more, refuse to sell yourself short, either in your own mind or in your interactions with potential employers. Self-confidence does not mean conceit or arrogance. It does mean you’re prepared to present yourself as a compelling candidate and to pursue your search with vigor.
In other words, don’t let barriers scare you off too soon or easily. Deal yourself as strong a hand as you can at the outset–and sustain your effort over the long haul as needed.
The idea of blowing the barriers out of your path might seem a bit ambitious. However, keep in mind that the effort you make now can lead to satisfying results down the road. Success doesn’t always make an instant appearance!
Posted on August 24, 2019
Does your job search success approach look more like a rocket launch or a steady climb? Should you worry that you’re moving too fast or not fast enough? What’s the “right” or “best” method for success? (Hint: That last question’s a trick one.)
In theory, you can blast off in your job search. Set your sights on the goal, jump-start your job search activities, and don’t let up until you see interviews start coming along, followed (you hope) by job offers. If you don’t have anything much else going on in your life, that theory might hold up. When you focus intensely on a goal, you’re more likely to achieve it than if you adopt a casual pace.
However, this outlook assumes you encounter few, if any, obstacles in the path your rocket is streaking along. That might bear little resemblance to reality. Job-search glitches tend to be a fact of life at times.
Good news, though: A certain amount of urgency and high-energy progress can boost your job search success, even if you do run into some roadblocks. It depends a lot on how well you plan for contingencies and how quickly you respond to the current challenge.
Think about the fable of the tortoise and the hare. In that case, busts of speed were a lot less important than focus and steady progress. Your job search might work quite well for you if you keep your eye on the desired goal and make sure you continue taking the steps you need to reach it.
Climbing the job search success ladder one rung at a time might not sound glamorous, but glamor doesn’t always land the job you want. (Unless maybe you’re after a career in Hollywood!) Furthermore, you could lose focus if you get distracted by the unglamorous aspect of the “slow and steady” climb you’re engaged in.
Posted on August 9, 2019
If words have power, I have two related questions for you: On or off the job, have you ever said/written words you later regretted? Maybe almost as soon as they went out of your mouth or fingers?
To be honest, I have–although I want to add in my defense that it happens very rarely.
I’m pretty sure most of you have experienced this as well. We’re human, after all.
I find this quote very much to the point and helpful to remember:
“Ask yourself the three things you must always ask yourself before you say anything. 1) Does this need to be said? 2) “Does this need to be said by me? 3) Does this need to be said by me now?” (Craig Ferguson)
I think we could all benefit by giving some careful thought to it–whether we’re addressing a boss or colleague, a family member or friend, or the general public at large. If we did, we might have fewer things we should afterwards be apologizing for![Note: I originally published this item on my LinkedIn company page. Since I try to keep those entries short, I wanted to add a little here.]
We can’t take back words we’ve spoken or sent out into cyberspace via social media or other means. We need to think about them carefully before we turn them loose! When we express something we wouldn’t want directed at us, we should remember that “what goes around, comes around” in some way or other.
I try always to remember the “Golden Rule,” which in my view still has importance, even though many people seem to have discarded it. We can help or hurt, bless or damage, by the words we express and the actions we take.
By the way, my business involves the use of words–a lot of them. I choose those words carefully, too. I don’t do that because I worry about saying the wrong thing but because I know how important it is to my clients to say the right things and to say them well. I just need to remember how important that is outside of my work life, so I don’t say words I’ll regret.
Posted on August 4, 2019
Whether or not you tend to make lists for your work and personal life activities, you probably know about to-do lists. However, what about to-do list overload? If your list has grown like Pinocchio’s nose, you have overload that most likely seems overwhelming.
Having “been there, done that,” I’d like to share some ideas about to-do list overload and what you can do about it. To be honest, this lesson seems to be one I need to relearn at least every few years, so I can’t pretend to be expert in all aspects of it. On the other hand, experience can serve as a great teacher when we let it, so maybe mine will help shed some light for you.
I like to think of myself as a reasonably well-organized person. After all, how can I run my business (resume writing and job search coaching) if I’m disorganized? That should mean my to-do list is manageable, right?
Well, yes and no.
Several weeks ago, I saw that business was entering an “uptick” pattern–nice amount of inquiries and potential projects coming along, including client referrals. So what did I do about that? I started tracking inquiries, my responses, calls being scheduled, and so on. Of course, my intent focused on controlling the flow of committed projects and their delivery deadlines.
For a few weeks, the system worked pretty well. Then the dam broke! Suddenly I had more potential client projects than I had time for.