A Change in Career a Change in You

Some of us are lucky (or unlucky) enough to start our own business, we work all the hours under the sun and moon and think that this is it, this is going to make me, I will be happy and have no worries about bills and the future. Sadly,it’s not quite like that. If you’re into manual labour you generally end up with no money and all sorts of

ailments like back pain, trapped nerves (very painful!) or even the odd limb missing. All from slogging your guts out 24/7! And if you do find that job you always wanted?

Are you still there? I’ll bet your not or you won’t be in the near future. Why? Because you aren’t getting the appreciation you feel you deserve, you know you do a good job, and you know you could do it better but something’s stopping you, stopping you from progressing and stopping you.

Why is this? Have we been brought up to be like this? For the average person we weren’t taught how to look after our bodies or our minds at school, we were doing homework on Arithmetic’s, English, French, Geology and Physics to name a few, all good if you knew what you were going to do in life! Society didn’t teach us how to make money or be happy or to look after ourselves, it just taught the basics so that we could fit in.

But fitting in doesn’t work!…..we all have that built in desire to be successful, to be better than we are, it’s only with us for a certain period of time and you know when

it’s running out, it’s inbuilt, we are human and it’s natural. You have to take a look at yourself and almost go back to school, your school! Do it the way you want to be taught not how society taught you.
Your school, what is your school?……….It’s anything you want it to be!

You just need knowledge, only WITH THIS TIME its knowledge you want to learn and you can get enthralled in. You can work any amount of hours in the day as little or as much as you want, but the big difference is that you will be enthralled with your new venture, you will want to work all the hours life allows (and your family) and the

appreciation will come from yourself.

Your life that has passed by (which goes too quick in my book) has gained you a wealth of knowledge that YOU know, that you can pass on to others that need that information.

Information that is valuable and easy for you to convey to others, it’s called a niche.

So you see, to all those out there with yearn and the willpower (and we all have it, it’s natural) you have an opportunity that no society has had before us. The world is a small village, and the reason for that s…………………….. the INTERNET.

Are You Serious About Working At Home?

Are you so serious about working at home that you would pay money to prove it? If you answer yes to that question, you are a prime target for scammers because this is one tactic they love to use. They may word it differently on various websites and advertisements, but the main point they want to get across is that by sending them your money, you will be “proving” how serious you are about working for them.

Nothing could be more ridiculous. Have you ever seen a legitimate company do something like this? Imagine applying for a job at any established company, and as you are handing your application to the receptionist, she says, “Thank you, Mr. Smith. In order to prove you are really serious about working for us, we will need to charge you a $19.95 application processing fee. Will that be cash or credit card?” Ridiculous, right?

Yet, that same intelligent, hard-working Mr. Smith would think nothing of sending his money to an obscure Paypal account if the owner claims to have work at home jobs available. It’s just one more example of how scammers prey on your desperation to work at home. They know you are eagerly searching for a way to earn an income from home, and they know that you’ll do anything to make that happen.

The good news is that this tactic makes the scammers incredibly transparent and easy to avoid. By asking for your money, they are “proving” that they do not have anything to offer you, because legitimate companies will not charge you any money to work for them.

So, how do you prove you’re serious about working for a company that does offer legitimate work at home? It’s a little more complex than whipping out the credit card. Here are three ways to make telecommuting employers sit up and take notice:

1) Make sure your resume and cover letter are in top form. If you’re not confident about your ability to write your own resume and cover letter, definitely pay a professional to do them for you. A good cover letter can be all it takes to grab the attention of a hiring manager, while a targeted resume can accurately portray your skills and experience, which will result in getting that coveted interview.

2) Apply for jobs you are truly qualified for. While it may be tempting to apply for any home-based job you come across, your application will carry more weight if you focus on jobs that complement your experience and qualifications. Avoid applying for jobs that you are grossly overqualified or underqualified for, or jobs that have nothing to do with the experience you have. If an advertisement specifies that no experience is necessary, you can certainly apply, but be sure to mention in your cover letter why you feel you would be the best one for the job. Highlight any experience you do have that would help you to excel in this job.

3) Portray yourself as a true professional in every way. From the moment you begin composing your application, it is imperative to demonstrate why you would be an asset to the company. Give special attention to your application and review it several times to be sure there are no errors. Learn as much as you can about the proper way to apply for jobs, interview strategies, and professional etiquette. It may seem like a lot of effort, but it is time well-spent! The attention you put into the process will reveal a lot about you, and make you stand out from the other applicants who may be more careless.

See how easy that is? Okay, maybe it’s not as easy as shelling out $19.95, but this way you’ll actually EARN money, instead of losing it! It may take time and determination to get a legitimate work at home job, but if you do all you can to prepare yourself and approach it in the right way, you will be successful. And the next time someone asks you if you’re serious about working at home, you can honestly answer yes — and you won’t have to touch your wallet to prove it.

Another Chance to Shine – Following Up on the Interview

The interview follow up letter can make or break your chances of becoming hired. For that reason it should become an essential part of your job hunting tool box, right in there with the other tools you use: resume, cover letter, thank you note, reference sheet and salary history.

Think of the letter as a second chance. Some people don’t interview in person as well as they can write. Living up to the standards your resume set for you may be difficult. If that is the case, then the interview follow up letter will improve your appearance after the fact. Other people interview well in person, and are able to use this letter to reemphasize key points discussed with the hiring manager, and remind the hiring manager of the good points about the applicant. In either case the interview follow up letter is essential and if prepared properly will help the applicant get the job.

The following sample interview follow up letter gives an idea of what should be included.

The time I spent interviewing with you today gave me a clear picture of your organization’s operation as well as your work environment. I want to thank you for the thorough picture you painted of your organizational needs.

I left our meeting feeling very enthusiastic about the scope of the position as well as its close match to my abilities. I believe the key strengths that I can offer you are:

• Experience in dealing with people of all types and backgrounds through my life experience, education and training.

• Proven ability to operate a business at a profit, supervise and train personnel, facilitate activities to improve morale and cash flow, and interact successfully with both staff and customers.

• Excellent communication skills—particularly the ability to gain feedback and summarize succinctly.

With my energetic work style, strong people skills and attention to detail, I believe that I am an excellent match for this position. I welcome a chance to meet with you further to elaborate on my background and possibilities of future association.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting with you soon.

Sincerely,

John Doe

You’ll notice that it is written in a positive and upbeat style. In sales, many successful salesmen assume the close. This does essentially that. The applicant in writing this letter is controlling the conversation and steering it towards positive attributes that he or she possesses, which would make the applicant appear valuable to the company. In addition, by using an interview follow up letter an applicant is “walking the walk as well as talking the talk” simply because most applicants fail to use an interview follow up letter after an interview. Using a letter like this shows that the applicant is conscientious, thoughtful, intelligent, and just the kind of person the company needs. Using an interview follow up letter will lead to more job offers and more jobs.

A Career Built On Character

“Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.” ~Elmer G. Letterman

“The best job goes to the person who can get the job done without coming up with excuses or passing the buck” ~Napolean Hill

What About Politics?

Political Astuteness is something that you may not learn in school; however, it plays a significant role in success in business.

“Man is by nature a political animal.” ~Aristotle

Take Control
It’s important to keep in mind that you are responsible for your own career. Don’t Expect the Human Resources Department to plan your career. In fact, don’t expect anyone else to be concerned about it either.

There have been times in my career when someone has taken an interest in my promotion; however, it has always been in their own best interests to do so. Remember, companies are in business primarily to make money.

Dress for success
There is a clear distinction between how a President, a Senior Vice-President, a Vice-President, and District Manager dress. You should dress just a cut above your current level.

Above Everything, Have Integrity

“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” ~Alan Simpson

You will find that the concentration of integrity increases the higher you go in an organization.

Remember Who You Work For

Always Support the Company
It’s true that where your treasure is, your heart will be also. There will be ample opportunities on a daily basis to bash your employer. Resist those opportunities. Keep in mind that (1) you chose this company, (2) they pay you, and (3) you can leave if you want. The leaders of the company will not be impressed by your ability to complain.

Make Your Boss and Your Boss’s Boss Look Good
As a practical matter, you are most likely working to take your boss’s job. Hopefully, your boss will be promoted, which will leave a vacancy. If your boss is not going anywhere, then the next level will have a major impact on your next position.

Who are the Leaders of the Company?
Find out the background of the company executives. What career path did they take? Chances are, they will value those credentials above others. Take note of great people in the company and get connected to them. If possible, find a way to work for them. If not, establish a network with as many of them as possible. The best possibility is to ask one of them be your mentor. You will be surprised how many people will be interested in helping in this regard.

Learn the Rules

“Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.” ~Spanish Proverb

Watch What You Write or Say. Assume that anything you write or say will be read or heard by everyone in the company. E-mail makes it easy to respond emotionally. Before you respond to an irritating e-mail, take a minute to calm down, then, write the e-mail. If you have a tendency to send harsh messages, save a draft and review it sometime later to ensure the tone is business appropriate.

A corollary to this principle is Happy Hour – don’t go! There is a huge risk of saying something you shouldn’t say, getting out of control, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You should stay out of office politics. Don’t say anything bad about anyone, ever.

Arrive Early and Leave Late, but Not Too Late. You want the reputation of a hard worker, but not one that can’t get their work done. This principle also applies to taking work home. Over the long-term, you want to have a life outside of work. Maintaining a work/life balance will keep you engaged in your job; therefore, more productive.

Find Out What Your Boss Wants and Deliver. Regardless of your personality, relationships, or good looks, you must be productive. For your boss, it means doing what they want, no matter how silly it may seem to you. For example, I had a boss that wanted to know how many Dairy Queens between Dallas and Houston served a particular yogurt.

Always say, “Yes!” to a request from leadership. For your boss, there are ways to provide better solutions without damaging the relationship.

“Always do more than is required of you.” ~General Patton

Give People Credit. Don’t take credit for yourself. This is important for a variety of reasons. First, you need people to help you get things done. Second, when people recognize people who work for you, you get the credit as well. Third, it’s the right thing to do.

Conclusion

When It Comes to Your Career

  1. You’re Responsible
  2. Remember Who You Work For
  3. Learn the Rules

As Bill Karnes put it, “Eagles don’t flock; they fly alone. And eagles soar above the rest of their world. So, too, do people who start things, who lead groups or who otherwise set themselves apart from the crowd.”

17 Important Things To Remember As You Prepare For An Interview

Several Days – One Week Before the Interview

  1. Spend some time to research the organization and the position at hand. To find company-specific information, visit your local library, run a search on the internet, or talk to current or former employees about their experiences and impressions of the company. Study up on the company’s products and services, industry, target market, annual sales, geographic location(s), structure, history, officers, and any other key information. Are there any new trends in the industry?
  2. Identify the organization’s major competitors and do some basic research on how they differ (either positively or negatively) from the company at which you are interviewing.
  3. Prepare specific examples of how your skills and experience make you a strong fit for the organization’s needs. Practice answering directed questions about your experience, education, and skills and how they relate to the position at hand. Being prepared to draw colorations between your experience and the needs of the organization is one of the most important interviewing skills you will need.
  4. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared to talk about your weaknesses, but find a way to frame them positively. For example, “My biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist. It may take me a little extra time to get a project done to my satisfaction, but you can be guaranteed that the work will pass even the most stringent review, be 100% accurate, and that no detail will be overlooked.”
  5. Prepare several intelligent questions about the company and position that will demonstrate your knowledge of the company and your sincere interest in the position.
  6. Try on your suit and make sure that it is still well-fitting and in good repair. If necessary, make arrangements to have it altered or find alternate dress.

The Day before the Interview

  1. Contact the company to confirm the date and time of your interview. Also confirm the name and title of the individual(s) you will be meeting.
  2. Get directions to the interview site. Be sure to double check the directions using a map. This will ensure that you know the way and also give you an approximate travel time – don’t forget to allow for extra time for rush hour!
  3. Lay out your entire interview outfit. Check it for any spot, wrinkles, or snags.
  4. Print off a few extra copies of your resume and cover letter on nice paper. Even if the interviewer has a copy of their own, it’s always a good idea to have a backup copy. This is also helpful if you end up interviewing with multiple individuals, since the head interviewer may be the only person with a copy of your resume.

Get a good night’s sleep!

  1. Your brain needs fuel to run at peak performance and if there is ever a day you needed 110% from your brain, it’s today. So don’t skimp on meals. Be cautious about eating large amounts of carbohydrates right before your interview though, since carbs are know to cause sluggishness and may lead to a “post-lunch” naptime.
  2. Get dressed early so you do not feel pressured to dash out the door. Pay attention to the details (brush off any lint, comb your hair, brush your teeth, use deodorant, etc.) and remember that a first impression can reveal a lot about you and your character.
  3. Don’t forget to take copies of your resume, your cover letter, and your portfolio if you have one.
  4. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your interview. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, it’s best to wait in the car or outside the building. Arriving too early gives off the impression that you have a lot riding on the interview (and have nothing better to do with your time), and also pressures the interviewer(s) into feeling that they have to adjust their schedule to accommodate you.

5.Smile and shake everyone’s hand when you are meeting for the first time – you should also smile and shake hands when the interview concludes.

  1. Relax! If you have done your homework you are well-prepared for the interview. Take a deep breath and spend a moment collecting your thoughts if you need to when being asked a question. Ask confused about a particular question you are asked, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

After the Interview

Write a quick “Thank You” message to the individual(s) who interviewed you.

10 Tips To Resign Your Job With Professionalism And Pride

Congratulations! You just got an offer for a wonderful new job. There’s just one catch. You have to say good-by to your current employer.

Maybe you loved your job and you face an emotional farewell. Or you maybe you hated every minute and you’ve been counting the days till you could walk out the door one last time.

Clients often admit they’re nervous about making the departure announcement. They’re afraid the boss will be angry. They feel guilty about the work they’re leaving behind. Maybe someone else has to take up the slack for awhile.

But clients also wonder how to resign gracefully yet still protect their own longer-term career interests. They suspect their departure style will influence their careers for a long time,

They’re right.

Here are some guidelines to move to your next position with grace and style.

  1. Give the correct amount of notice required by your company’s written policy.

Every so often my clients feel sorry for their former colleagues. So they stick around an extra week (or even an extra month). Inevitably, they begin to feel like a fifth wheel. Nearly everyone says, “Next time I’m leaving right away!”

  1. After you leave, do not accept any job-related calls from your company unless you have a written consulting contract.

Your boss required two weeks notice – but belatedly realized she needs four weeks for a smooth transition to your successor.

Your boss made a business decision to require two weeks notice. When she miscalculates, she needs to accept the cost, just as she’d accept the cost of late payments to a supplier.

If your company needs additional help, offer to work as a paid consultant with a contract. But get everything in writing and make sure your new job becomes your Number One priority.

  1. Study your current and future company policies regarding disclosures and no-compete agreements.

Some companies are extremely proprietary about their process and their people. Once you resign, you may have to leave the workplace immediately. Or your new company may ask you not to work for your former employer, even on a part-time basis.

  1. Resign to your boss in person, if at all possible.

Phone is second best. And tell the boss before you tell anyone else – even your best friend or golfing buddy.

  1. Expect your boss to be professional.

Clients often fear the boss’s reaction. However, bosses rarely are caught by surprise. Good bosses are happy to see their employees move ahead. Thank her for the opportunity to learn, which has led to your newest and most wonderful career move.

  1. Thank your boss and your coworkers, even if you hate them all and can’t wait to leave.

You may regard them more fondly through a haze of memories than a glare of office lighting. You may encounter them at conventions and networking groups. And most likely you will benefit from strong references and goodwill.

  1. Decline a counter-offer.

Recruiters consistently tell me, “Sixty percent of those who accept a counter-offer are gone in six months.” If you decide to stay, get a written job contract.

Exception: A few companies and industries actually demand proof of an outside offer before offering you any kind of internal raise or reward. College professors often work in this environment.

  1. Treat the exit interview as a business formality, not a therapy session.

When a Human Resource professional asks why you are leaving, be upbeat and positive: “for a better opportunity.” Talk about how much you loved the company and your job. You never know where your comments will turn up, mangled and misinterpreted.

  1. Resist entreaties to share the details of your future position with anyone.

Occasionally a colleague will try to assess your salary or other information “so we can stay competitive in recruiting.” Helping your company recruit is not part of your job and anyway, do you really believe this?

Details of your future employment should remain confidential, even from your close friends in the company.

  1. Focus on your new opportunity – not your past expeience.

Once you’re gone, you’re history. The very same folks who loved meeting you for lunch will barely remember your name a week later.

And, if you haven’t changed jobs for awhile you may be in for a shock. Your first day in a new position can be a real eye-opener!

10 Career Change Myths




Career Myth #1: You can’t make a living doing something you really, truly love

This is the grand-daddy of career myths, the belief that you can’t have a “practical” career doing something that you were passionate about. It has to be one or the other.

This myth is rooted in fear. Fear that we have to sacrifice our happiness to make a living. Don’t buy the myth that you can’t earn a living by doing what you love.

When I first started coaching, I heard from plenty of people that it would be very difficult to make a living doing this work. I just decided to find coaches who were successful, and to learn from them (simple, eh?).

If you find yourself buying into this myth, consider this question – As you look back on your life, what will you regret more? Following your passion or following your fears?

Career Myth #2: It’s a tough job market/economy

Even when the newspapers and other news sources say that unemployment numbers remain steady, that job growth is at a standstill, or that we’re experiencing slow economic recovery, not to mention downsizing and outsourcing, don’t believe it.

It’s a myth because it doesn’t reflect the whole story, the fact that that it’s a different job market today. It’s a changing economy. How we transition from job-to-job is different. Hiring practices have shifted. So the job market has changed, but that doesn’t necessarily make it tougher. What makes it tougher is that we’ve been slower to change. We’ve held on to old practices and old behaviors. That’s not to say that old ways still don’t work, but they’re just not as effective.

So I challenge you to just believe that it’s a perfect job market for you to find work. I’ve had my college students try this, just for a week, and, more times than not, several of them find job leads or make important connections during the week.

Career Myth #3: Changing careers is risky

What’s riskier than leaving what you know to pursue the unknown? Changing careers means leaving behind a piece of your identity – your “I’m a lawyer” response to the “what-do-you-do?” question. It might mean admitting to yourself that you made a mistake with an initial career choice. Or it might mean acknowledging that you’re unsure of what’s next. And smart people always know what’s next, right?

Nope. Successful career changers often don’t have a plan. In Working Identity: How Successful Career Changers Turn Fantasy into Reality by Herminia Ibarra, she provided evidence that waiting until you have a plan is actually riskier than just doing and experimenting.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is riskier than not changing careers if you’re longing to do so. Here’s why: The longing won’t go away. It will always be there, under the surface, waiting for you to do something about it.

Career Myth #4: Always have a back-up plan

Sometimes having a back-up plan is the smart and prudent course of action. Back-up plans are so grown-up and responsible. But what happens when you’re standing with one foot in and one foot out? In my experience, we usually close the door and retreat. We are reluctant to commit to ourselves, and we end up denying ourselves the satisfaction of playing full-out, getting dirty and sweaty. We end up with feelings of regret and the nagging “What if?” question.

Back-up plans diffuse our energy. Diffused energy equals diffused results. Give all that you’ve got to your dream/passion/risk and you’ve got a better chance of being successful.

Career Myth #5: There’s a perfect job out there for everyone

How long have you been searching for yours? You just know, deep inside, that there’s an ideal job that’s perfect for you out there. It matches your personality, skills, and interests to a tee. And it pays well. If only you could figure it out. If only you knew what it was.

Is there a perfect job out there for you? No. And here’s the good news – there are more jobs than you can imagine that would be “perfect” for you. Chances are you’ve even come very, very close to a few of those perfect jobs already. So what happened? And how do you recognize one of these so-called “perfect jobs”?

Ever see the perfect gift for someone, but it was months till his or her birthday? Then when you go to find the item later, you can’t. Another lost opportunity and you, once again, berate yourself for not buying it when you first saw it.

So maybe you’ve run into a perfect job in the past, but because of the timing, you passed by the opportunity. Or maybe you were so focused on something else, that you missed an obvious clue. Instead of dwelling on the past, which you can’t change, vow to keep your eyes open and to look beyond the obvious.

Career Myth #6: Asking “What’s the best thing for me to do?” is the right question

This is one of the most common questions asked when considering a career change or a career move. It seems like a logical analysis – weigh the pros and cons and evaluate the balance.

Do not ask yourself this question!! It rarely leads you to the answers you’re seeking. It will lead you to feeling overwhelmed with options (sound familiar?), or feeling like you have to choose what’s practical over what seems to be impractical.

The question that will lead you to answers is simple (but not easy!!) It is “What do I really want to do?” This is a very different question than “what’s best?”

Career Myth #7: If you don’t like your job, you’re probably in the wrong career

Cause and effect, right? One way to tell if you’re in the right career is whether or not you like your job. If you’re dissatisfied with your job, it’s probably a sign that you need to re-examine your whole career choice. This is frequently what I hear from new clients who have decided to work with a career coach. They know something isn’t right because they don’t like their jobs. Their natural assumption is that their dissatisfaction is a symptom of a larger underlying issue – their career choice.

This is an example of false logic. Not liking your job might be telling you you’re in the wrong job. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the wrong career. It doesn’t even mean you’re in the wrong job. You could just be working for the wrong person or the wrong company. It takes a skillful approach to discern the source of discontent, and I think it’s very hard to do it on your own (shameless plug for career coaches here!)

Career Myth #8: Everyone needs a mission statement

Do you know what your mission is? Mission statements are supposed to guide us, keep us on track, and help us move forward. But what if you don’t have one? Does that mean you’re destined to never fulfill your potential career-wise?

A client who was a successful professional contacted me because she was at a career crossroads. She felt that if only she could find her mission in life, she would know which career path to take.

She had a clear goal for coaching – find her mission! Instead, the most amazing thing happened. She decided that she didn’t need a mission. She chose to trust that she was already fulfilling her mission statement, even though she didn’t know what it was. After the client shifted her focus from finding her mission to living her life, an amazing opportunity came her way and she pursued it.

Here’s a little tip: If your mission statement is elusive, stop chasing it. Be still and let it find you. And in the meantime, keep living your life and see what happens.

Career Myth #9: Expect a career epiphany

When you see a link to “Find Your Dream Job,” do you immediately click on it to see what’s there? Do you look at every “Top Ten Career” list out there to see if anything catches your interest? Do you know your MBTI type? If you do, you might be falling prey to the career epiphany myth.

I’d love, love, love it if most of my clients had a career epiphany that indicated to them, in crystal-clear terms, their next step. Instead, I see career “unfoldings” or a journey of discovery much more regularly. That is, being willing to not ignore the obvious, the pokes, the prods, and listen carefully to the whisper within. Yep, forget harp music and angels, for most of us, the career epiphany is a quiet whisper.

Career Myth #10: Ignoring your career dissatisfaction will make it go away

Oh, if only this worked in the long run!! Granted, it does work at first. When you find yourself beginning to question your career, you’ll find it’s rather easy to push the thoughts aside and pretend they aren’t there. You know what I’m talking about: the “what ifs” and the list of regrets.

Over time, the random thoughts become nagging thoughts. You spend more and more time daydreaming about options. You build your list of reasons to ignore your growing career dissatisfaction:

  • You’re too old.
  • You don’t want to take a pay cut.
  • You don’t want to go back to school.
  • You missed your opportunity 5, 10, 15 years ago.

With clients in this situation, we work on identifying and challenging these fears. Sometimes the fear of change remains, but there becomes a greater commitment to living than to feeling the fear.

Challenge

So now that you know that one or all of these myths have been holding you back, what are you waiting for?