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.
Posted on August 3, 2019
[Note: As of today, I am starting to share posts from my LinkedIn company page, A Successful Career, on my website blog. These posts will not follow the blog format. Generally speaking, they might also be somewhat shorter than the blog posts. Occasionally I will add a bit of text to what originally appeared on LinkedIn.]
I’m not a farmer–for which I should thank my lucky stars. However, I’m know the food I eat depends on those people and they’re experiencing very tough times these days. (See below.)
If I encounter a business slowdown, I might struggle for a bit, until things pick up again. However, I also have some support behind me that can help me over the slow patches. Our farmers don’t have that, for the most part. My heart goes out to them, and I pray they begin to see a brighter future soon.
“Since trade tensions began in 2018, farmers have faced major financial challenges, since China was once a major U.S. agriculture buyer. And losing customers has become a major issue…. ‘All these countries went to different countries to get their grain,’ Nuylen said. ‘How are we going to get the relations back with them to buy our grain again and be our customers?'”
P.S. What would you do if the income from your job, career, or business suddenly dried up or at least dropped substantially? This is something to consider when you’re planning a job change or other key move that might affect your overall career success and financial well-being. Below is a short list of items to check out.
Posted on July 4, 2019
What does “freedom” mean in your work life? Do you have work-life freedom now? That’s not a rhetorical question. Think about it–how free are you to choose what you do for a living, what kind of career you set your sights on, etc.?
Let’s start with something basic-a definition of the core concept of freedom (courtesy of Merriam-Webster):
Some people have little or no choice in how or where they live, much less what kind of work they want to do or where. Hopefully, you’re not one of those! However, if you’re feeling trapped by circumstances related to your job or career, you probably want to change that feeling to one that gives you more sense of control. In other words, you want more choice about what your work-life freedom looks like.
For example, suppose your company resembles a pressure cooker–that is, pressure to perform nonstop is implied if not explicitly stated. This picture doesn’t suggest much freedom of choice, does it? What’s more, if you can’t make room for a life outside of work because your employer consumes basically all your time and energy, you might have difficulty seeing an opening to achieve some freedom.
Your choice could involve leaving the company. Understandably, you might think twice about making that choice. It’s not easy.
Posted on June 10, 2019
If you have a career outside the home, you probably have a professional reputation. The question is: Do you know what yours is and what it says about you?
A professional reputation contains two main elements: what you say and what you do. As automaker Henry Ford once said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
Did you enter this life with a professional reputation? Of course not! In fact, you didn’t start out with any kind of reputation whatsoever. A reputation–professional or personal–comes through experience.
You have to build your professional reputation over time. Furthermore, if you don’t consciously work to gain the reputation you want to have, you could end up with one you don’t like! Let’s say you want people to respect you as a wise leader and valuable contributor in the company. How do you achieve that? First, remember that people are more likely to respect you and follow your lead when you’ve proven they can count on you to deliver value. To do what you say you will. To keep your promises.
Posted on May 26, 2019
The short answer is: Maybe not what you think it does. No, I’m not about to give a lecture on time management and why it’s important to your career success. I’ve struggled with time management enough over the years to know I have no business preaching it to others! However, in researching what some experts say on the subject, I’ve gained food for thought. I’d like to share that with you in case you find it useful, too.
If you want to achieve career success–or success in any area of your life, for that matter–it takes time and effort. That doesn’t mean you can use lack of time as an excuse for not moving forward. Sure, you’re busy. We all are! (Most of us, anyway.) The question is, what are you busy AT?
Whether or not you want to admit it, you do have time. How you use your time is what makes the difference. When you know where you’re heading, you have to decide how much time you will devote to reaching that destination. Not just “can devote” but “will.”
After all, as Zig Ziglar puts it, “We all have twenty-four hour days.” Basically, every situation where you decide to do something other than work on your career success means you’ve made a choice that takes you in another direction.
Is that wrong? Maybe not, if you made the choice consciously and for a good reason. So it depends on the situation and why you chose what you did.
Posted on May 15, 2019
If you accept a job offer, what happens if another–possibly better–offer comes along almost right away? You might think, “Multiple job offers? I’d love to have that problem!”
However, what if the second job offer surfaces after you’ve started your new job?
Recently I read a post on Ask The Headhunter titled “Should I quit Microsoft after a week to join Facebook?” (I obviously can’t quote it all here, but it’s worth clicking the link to read the whole item.)
In his post, Nick Corcodillos makes several key points. These two stood out to me in particular:
I love how Corcodillos puts it regarding employer loyalty–or lack thereof:
“Sometimes employers make a new hire walk the plank early or even before they start the job — it’s a business decision.”
In other words, the company that hired you could decide next week to let you go–and as far as I know, you have no recourse in an employment-at-will state. [Caveat: I’m not a lawyer!]
So what should you use as a guide to making a decision?