Sunday, August 30, 2009

Embracing Change

I heard from an old friend recently, who let me know that the company her husband works for was closing, and that he would be without a job by October. Her husband, Dan, is 53, and has worked for this company for over 25 years. In fact, he has never done any other type of work in his professional career. They were not worried, however. In fact, my friend told me that Dan was so excited, he could hardly wait for October!

How could this be? I coach people through this process every day, and very rarely hear this reaction. What makes Dan different? Only two things, his attitude and his approach to the situation.

You see, Dan works for a company in the automotive industry. He knew that, eventually, the odds were he would lose his job. He knew he had no control over that decision, and that it had nothing to do with the quality of his work. He could only control how he responded when it did finally happen. So, what did Dan do? He started making a list of all of the things he enjoyed, all of the things he was good at doing, and all of the things that were of interest to him. Dan then researched and found actual job roles in his geographical area that corresponded with his interests list. That potential jobs list now includes everything from an EPA water and soil testing specialist to a hot dog vendor!

When he went to work in his current job more than 25 years ago, it was an easy decision; good company, good pay, good benefits. However, Dan is now able to choose his next career. Where he works, whether for someone else or in his own business, and what he does, it's all up to him. By embracing the changes coming into his life rather than fearing them, Dan has transformed his own reality. He is not being downsized! Rather, he is being given the greatest opportunity of his life. He knows that it is within his power to make his next job his dream job.

Dan is so excited by the prospect of his new career, he wishes it were October already.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Personal Branding - It's Not Just A Resume

If you are currently looking for a new career opportunity, whether you are currently employed or not, odds are you are using the same resume that got you into your current position. Let me guess, it is a well written chronology of all your jobs, with detailed descriptions of what you did in each role. It may even have an updated list of keywords to improve the likelihood of your resume being selected in a database search. But does your resume do the most important thing of all - does it represent your personal brand? Does your resume tell the reader who you are, or only what you've done? Is your resume your only identity resource?

In today's highly competitive job market, it is paramount that you are represented to hiring companies in the best possible way. When a recruiter or hiring manager reviews your resume, they will spend less than one minute scanning for the required education, skills and experience. Assuming you meet the qualifications for the position, you may be one of hundreds of qualified applicants hoping for an interview opportunity. What will set your resume apart from the others? What will motivate the hiring company to interview you? The common factor in both questions is you. Your resume should be more than just a chronological description of your jobs and responsibilities. Your resume should be a written representation of you, and an extension of all other identity resources.

When a hiring company reviews your resume, they should immediately realize two things: one, that you are a qualified candidate for the position, and two, that you are someone they want to know more about. At that point, your resume should also point them to the other identity resource tools you are utilizing to imprint your personal brand, i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook, and professional blogs. The successful job seeker in today's market knows that a well designed resume is but the first step in their campaign to sell their personal brand.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

So, You've Been Downsized. Now what?

It's finally happened to you, the dreaded pink slip. There are many words for downsizing (i.e., restructuring, rightsizing, or de-staffing, to name a few), but the end result remains the same: you are unemployed. No matter the circumstance, it is difficult to cope with the idea that although you did a great job, they simply can't afford to keep you. The emotional process you are dealing with is similar to other types of grieving associated with loss, and may include denial, anger, or sadness. You are, after all, losing something that has been a significant part of your life.

So, what do you do now? You’re overwhelmed, emotionally drained, hurt and confused. But let’s be honest, you can’t control the economy, you cannot predict the future, and you can’t decide who gets laid off. Being proactive is the only decision you can control. Whether you are a new college graduate or have been with the same company for 25 years, the key to dealing with job uncertainty is to gain a sense of power and control over your career path. The old adage “when one door closes, another opens” is true, as long as you have the keys to unlock the doors of opportunity in your path.

Still overwhelmed? Our career transition coaches provide a unique personal learning program designed to provide supportive, targeted assistance for employees at any age or any employment level, who have recently been, or are about to be, affected by organizational and/or job changes. For organizations that have employees who will require outplacement transition services, we offer a comprehensive and cost-effective program of services designed to assist and guide them in their job search.

Today's displaced professional is likely to have a home computer with Internet access. Rather than providing office space and equipment, we focus on providing the displaced worker with what you really need -- one-on-one time with a Career Transition Coach who can help you identify your natural gifts and talents, and apply them to a career focus. We help you identify and overcome the initial emotional responses that naturally occur with significant life changes, and can become barriers that block your innate gifts and talents, and guide you to develop the resources needed to find your next job.

Our Career Transition Services will help displaced employees:

  • Discover your gifts and develop your talents.
  • Discover your passion and your best career path.
  • Provide you with a customized “personal brand” resume.
  • Find the best fit job openings for your talents.
  • Assist in your networking efforts to maximize your candidate potential.
  • Provide you with a personal image consultation to make certain you are presenting a visual image that matches your “personal brand”.
  • Introduce you to recruiters and search firms specializing in your target career focus.
  • Successfully navigate the interview process and prepare you to be a stand-out candidate.
  • Successfully negotiate future salary offers.

Just as athletes with exceptional skill and talent rely on the assistance of a coach to help them perform at peak levels, our career coaches can help you identify and refine your talents. We help you discover what you really want in your work and career, and help you harness your passion into your daily work life. We help you identify the barriers that block your innate gifts and talents, and guide you to develop the resources needed to find your dream job.

Are you ready? We coach you through the process of identifying the actions needed for you to successfully develop and grow in the next stage of your career. We help you discover. We help you define. We help you make it happen.