Archives for career change

When You’re Waiting On An Offer So You Can Have a Better Holiday

I know some of you waited a long time for something to finally come through in your job search. When you have no idea how much your new income is going to be it’s challenging to know how much to spend on presents.

People fall all over the spectrum in their thresholds for how much to spend in the face of uncertain income from super-hopeful “it’s in the bag and it’s going to be a very prosperous new year” to “this could fall through just like the ones before it and we’ll make homemade gifts this year just in case.”

Few people I’ve met are comfortable in a state of flux, though most would admit it’s much better when a good prospective job offer could come through any day.

By now, with many offices operating on essential personnel only, if they are operating at all, the chances of receiving that job offer with all the specifics to accept seems pretty slim.

I’ve made a Christmas wish come true before and extended a job offer around Christmas. It was one of the highlights of my recruiting career! Any recruiter would be happy to make it happen if they can.

But here you are, without a clear vision of what the new year will bring, how you’ll pay your bills and what kind of surplus you might have after that, what kind of vacation time you’ll have to plan trips with family and friends, and what kind of health benefits you’ll have and what doctors and specialists will be in network. You have little control over what happens until the offer actually comes, and then you have to face the idea of having to ask for more and risking being perceived as demanding or ungrateful.

Feeling anxious is justifiable, but ultimately doesn’t serve you. Being present is easier said than done, though. Logically you know that feeling nervous or anxious won’t bring about a better outcome. But so many decisions you’ve had to make have hinged upon this outcome, and each one has induced anxiety and worry.

I get it! One Christmas I didn’t have an income and even investing $83 in an ancestry.com membership so that I could give my family the gift of a genealogy report (this was way before the 23 & me days.)  Even that investment seemed steep when I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to afford to bring something for Christmas dinner. The next year, when I finally had an income, I went all out having so much fun shopping.

That’s what I want you to hold on to – a picture of what next year could look like. When you can’t be present and you can’t make something happen, start imagining how great things could be next year.

Here’s why – not only does the motivational center of your brain start activating problem solving centers of your brain, and you’ll feel better with any plan you might devise to take action and take control, but you’ll also make yourself less likely to settle for an opportunity that falls VERY short of making that vision a reality. You’ll ultimately be more incentivized and empowered to negotiate on your own behalf when an offer comes and be more likely to turn down offers that do not represent an opportunity to become more aligned with the life you envision.

Let your heart be light, though your troubles may not be out of sight. Get carried away with the magic of the season. Let yourself believe in miracles. Have yourself a bright holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Chaka Khan – This Is My Night (original video)

This is the original video of This Is My Night by Chaka Khan

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

3 Things To Do Over Winter Break If You Want to Land a New Job by Q2 2019

 

January is traditionally the biggest hiring month of the year. If you want to take advantage of it, you’d want to have your résumé and LinkedIn profile keyword optimized and branded to convert readers into excited employment prospects. If you haven’t gotten that far yet, hold the presses.

Yes, of course, I think you should have a fully keyword optimized and branded résumé and LinkedIn profile (especially the LinkedIn profile,) but you can be in action without them. It takes quality time (and/or an investment for services like ours) to produce highly effective content. Get on that ASAP so that you can be responsive to opportunity, but I would encourage you to be proactive over being responsive over winter break because few employers are going to be monitoring incoming candidates.

The proactive piece of the job search is what MOST people are missing or fail to continue once momentum starts to pick up. Then, if a few opportunities stall or die, they have to start back up from 0 momentum. Allocating time to proactive search methods is the key to building and sustaining momentum so that you get to a point where you have 4-5 viable opportunities in play, any one of which could turn into an acceptable offer at any moment.

Then you have a new problem – figuring out which one is the best one. That’s a problem I love my clients to have.

So over winter break lay the groundwork for a proactive job search, while perhaps preparing yourself to be responsive.

  1. Make a list of the problems you want to solve in 2019 for which you have solutions and skills
  2. Make a list of who potentially have those problems
  3. Make a list of people to know these people who have these problems

Then, in spite of traditional advice that has you setting up time-consuming, hard to schedule one-on-meetings with the people on your lists, schedule 15-20-minute tele-coffees (a term I borrow from Neen James) with a specific agenda – learn more about if your solutions are right for the peoples’ problems and if a more extensive conversation is justified, which may just be an interview. You’ll also be finding out if your contacts have other problems you might easily solve by referring to someone or something. When an interview isn’t the result, aim to get 3 referrals/introductions.

Whether you are home with your kids who are home from school, or you have family visiting, like so many this time of year, tele-coffees (or tele-teas or tele-happy hours) are usually something you can still accommodate. Leverage the time that can be spared to make some progress, deepen connections, and expand your network rather than taking time away from people to be with your computer screen.

Get the rest you need and deserve. Immerse yourself in the hum of holiday hoopla, but when the humming starts to get irritating, take a little break and do something for you that will move you forward toward a happier new year.

It doesn’t take as much time, effort and energy as most think to build sustainable job search momentum. In fact, finding ways to minimize how much time is required is paramount to being able to form good habits around job search activities that produce results, which is how you make sure that momentum continues, peaking when you receive not just one, but competing offers.

James Brown – Just Do It

A song from one of the underestimated King’s albums, “Universal James”.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Listen to Daylin Leach’s Epic Career Tale

Listen to Daylin Leach’s Epic Career Tale

Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach changed my mind about what being a politician means. I might have continued to believe that in order to become a politician, you had to be vanilla, tone down your EPICness, cohort with crooked people, or live in constant scrutiny. You may disagree with Senator Leach’s platform and his party, but I hope you will appreciate his candor, personality and his reasons for pursuing the EPIC career of a politician. We also have video of our interview.

“Why Did You Become a Career Coach?”

Cross Country Coach by John Brooks of Flickr

Cross Country Coach by John Brooks of Flickr

A client asked me last week, “Why did you become a coach?”

My simple answer at the time was, “I get to help make people’s lives better.”

Often when I tell my story, recalling the moments when I started to realize that recruiting was really not bringing me fulfillment, I remember a couple of months in a row that I didn’t place anyone – not one single soul. There had been a lot of changes internally: new people, new mottos, new metrics, and new matrixes. I thought about just changing firms. I thought about moving to a corporate recruiting role, wondering if I would be more fulfilled helping one company build its workforce and contributing to its culture and profits. Something in me knew that while I might find that new and exciting for a while, there was something else calling me.

There were three significant events in my career that led me down this path, and if I had not been able to see these events as gifts, I would have definitely grown bitter and cynical. I imagine that would have bled into my relationships and my health, and I can really only imagine how detrimental that would have been.

I’m not saying that I always looked at everything as a positive. The positive was not always easy to see, but I’m thankful that I had people in my life that challenged me to turn something negative into something positive, and who believed in me enough to know that I would succeed.

After college I moved to New Jersey to live with my boyfriend. This was my first really significant relationship and I felt certain we would get married. At the time, I was working in radio and I thought that was going to be my lifelong career. It took some time to realize neither my boyfriend nor radio were true fits for me. It was not easy to say goodbye to either one of them. It became easier to say goodbye to my boyfriend when I found out he been cheating on me. Saying goodbye to radio, however, meant deciding on something else. With student loans looming, I really did not want to be wrong about my next choice. In one way, it felt like I was surrendering, as I was moving back home as a 20-something. I was definitely more scared than ashamed because now I had to figure out who I was all over again. I wish somebody could have told me then that reinventing yourself, however intimidating of a process, can be one of the best things you do in your life.

After a summer home, I landed a job in executive recruiting working for a woman who would become a very influential entrepreneurial role model. I found the work challenging at first, but it was not long before I was craving greater responsibility and the opportunity to interface more with candidates and clients. I was learning a lot, but I did not feel like I could really apply it as much as I wanted. Then one day the owner brought in a television and as we watched the towers collapse, we thought only of the direct impacts of the lives lost and the wars that would take others. It would take months before we would realize how our everyday lives would be impacted.

Our clients grew quiet. Hiring was at a standstill. How was the firm going to survive? How could I possibly find another job in recruiting if no one was hiring? How was I going to grow as a recruiter? How could I continue on the path I finally discovered to be a fit for me?

The owner, recognized that the firm she had invested blood, sweat, and tears into growing, needed new revenue. She assigned me to perform market research on the executive coaching industry, and a new hope and vision for my future started to germinate. I started to think less about how prevalent the unemployment problem was. Instead, I thought more about how quickly an economy can rebound and grow when corporate leaders are in jobs that capitalize on their innate talents and strengths, when they are receiving the right support and advice to reinvent their companies’ future, and furthermore, when they find, recognize, and hire the right people to make it happen.

I greatly wanted to help the owner to transform her practice to make this contribution, but instead I found myself laid off. As hard as it was to confront all the various emotions of being laid off, I started off enthusiastic that this was an opportunity to change course to something exciting. It would be months of heart-breaking rejection before I realized that as my former owner tried to tell me, a young 20-something is not someone people perceive as being able to provide much value to executives unless I’m entering their data or bringing them coffee. Having to concede that I had to jump off this path and find something else to pay my bills was probably harder to take than being laid off in the first place.

I finally started to apply good advice that led me to a job, which was a great revelation and helps me help other people today. Though that job, thankfully, didn’t last either. After being laid off again three months later, it only took me five weeks to land a job at a recruiting firm.

Three months after that I was promoted and I was finally able to interact with candidates and clients in a way I had always wanted. I did it with a whole new perspective, however. Without realizing it, I had a subconscious agenda to invest time learning how various companies make hiring decisions and what the successful candidates were doing to become noticed, hired, promoted and paid well. My discoveries, as well as being able to give someone the news that they were chosen, were the highlights of this job. However, there were a lot of other parts of the job that were leading to burnout, disengagement, and discontentment.

Having to tell people who had been unemployed for six months that our clients would not consider them, after having been out of work for 10 months myself, caused me a lot of inner conflict. Additionally, the parts of my job that I took the most pride in, investing time and getting to know candidates, making sure that our jobs were true fits for them, whether they were contract or not, were constantly butting up against the need to accommodate the metrics of success that were constantly shifting in my firm. I could not possibly spend more than 20 minutes with a candidate on the phone if I had to make 100 calls per day. On top of that, we were expected to conduct 10 in-person interviews per week. At an hour a pop, the culture that had been described to me upon my hiring as a work hard/play hard environment became a work hard/work long environment. In the midst of planning my wedding and dealing with typical dramas that can surround such events, I let my performance slip. I was put on notice.

I consider myself a very bright and high performer. To know that my reputation was not reflecting that brought me considerable shame and that certainly didn’t help my performance at all. However, as a result of this unfortunate event, and because of companywide morale concerns, I had the opportunity to work with a coach at the firm’s expense. Experiencing first-hand how to coach really impacts your life by helping you see what needs to be seen, by asking questions you would be to afraid to ask yourself, and by empowering you to make choices that may not be easy, but that make life easier in the long run. It was exactly what I needed to get back on my true course.

In June it will be 10 years that I have been a career coach. Being self-employed has not always been easy financially or logistically for myself or my family, but what has been easy is continuing to become better and better at coaching. What has made it the best decision of my life is what I have been able to do for so many other lives.

So, why did I become a coach?

To help someone relocate to be with the love of their life, to help them buy a house together and start a family together.

To help someone realize that they mistakenly dismissed the viability of finding an even more fulfilling job on the same island country as their husband that pays equally well as their US corporate job, and reuniting husband and wife. Then helping the wife land a job as a professor where she is fulfilled impacting the lives of dozens of students every year.

To help someone who was never able to use the six weeks of vacation that they were awarded because of internal corporate pressures and increasing scope, to move to a job where vacations are considered mandatory and now is enjoying seeing the world.

To help someone who gave up at reinventing himself, who resigned himself to stay at home with the kids while his wife supported him, discover that he can continue to stay home and raise his kids while working remotely making a meaningful contribution to his family’s finances.

To help someone foreign to navigating corporate inroads recognize and articulate the transferability of his creative and entrepreneurial ventures. To see him go from being in the hole to being a six-figure corporate rock star who revolutionizes medical technologies that help millions of people.

Now a question for you: What can I do for you?

 

A Gamer in the Real World

In the real world there is no save feature.

XBox Controller by Claran McGuiggan from Flickr

XBox Controller by Claran McGuiggan from Flickr

If there was I’d probably reload my life to a save from 1992.  That’s the year I entered college for marine biology.  Don’t even ask me why a total geek like me wasted even one semester thinking I should be a marine biologist.  If I had known what was possible in gaming back then my career path would have been an easy one.  I would have been studying computers and computer programing.

Instead I decided after three and a half years and three semesters that school wasn’t for me. I’d like to go back to 1992 and change a few things. In 2013 I’d be designing the greatest post-apocalyptic role playing games anyone had ever played! I’d be a celebrity in the gaming world.  At E3 they would chant my name as I took the stage to peddle my latest title…

But this is the real world and there is no save feature.

It’s never too late to change careers and put yourself on the path you wished you’d taken 20+ years ago. You don’t need to go back in time or “load a save game” to be the job seeker you want to be today. The tools and opportunities are here, now, in the present and they are waiting for you to take them up and be the person you want to be.  Today.

As long as we draw breath it’s never too late!

By Jack Shipley © 2013

Here’s Your Sign – It’s Time For Change

Directions by Russ Allison Loar of Flickr

Directions by Russ Allison Loar of Flickr

I pursued the employment industry because I enjoyed matching people with opportunities and creating a win- win-win for the company, the candidate, and my firm. I moved into working one-on-one with job seekers because I gained invaluable knowledge that I knew many people needed to help them succeed; I wanted them to succeed. Being a great judge of character is a necessity to being a great recruiter. While I feel that I do have that talent, it was clear to me after several months that I would rather help these people than determine that they are not good enough to present to our clients. I stuck with it for several years, however. No regrets – the years that followed provided me with even more experience and knowledge. There did come a time when I had to recognize that it was time to move on.

In late 2005 after I was married, it seemed as though everything that I read or watched or overheard was intentional because most of it led me to the same conclusion: I needed to create something of my own to share this information and provide services for jobseekers in this area that no one else offered. From every different direction I was paying attention to inspirations, call them omens, that seemed to confirm that change was necessary. I even had a fortune cookie tell me that a change in vocation was coming. The help and encouragement of a career coach (Sheila Kutner) pushed me to bring my vision and mission to fruition.

When I was a recruiter, it was frustrating to know that people who needed a job were standing in their own way by failing to understand how to market and sell themselves, how to be fair to themselves and the employer in negotiations, and how to do the right thing for everyone involved. As a career coach, I use my experience and expertise to motivate and teach people to target the right job and effectively market themselves for it so that they accelerate toward it.  Still, I can only help the people who first recognize that changing their mindset and/or their activity is necessary to change their results. Many people insist on standing in their own way of happiness by not recognizing that a change is necessary, and worse yet, recognizing that a change is necessary and not empowering themselves to make that change happen.

I do understand, to a point, the psychology behind not changing. It is difficult and scary. What if the forces that be decide that you are not good enough? What if there really isn’t anything better out there? What if what you want isn’t attainable? I have seen my loved ones emotionally and mentally beaten down by work environments in which hostility between colleagues is tolerated while appreciation and recognition are scarce. The longer that they stayed there, the more it was reinforced that they were a disposable commodity. It was as though they should feel fortunate to be employed. It hurt to watch people that I know are unique, important, and deserving of so much more made to feel small and insignificant. They became resigned. Once I was recruiting it hurt more because I knew what they needed to be happy and believed it was so attainable. Regardless, it still had to be their decision, their resolve, and their commitment that made it happen. These days it is even harder to convince people that they A) do not have to settle for a consolation job just because they need a job and B) they can actually prolong their search (and misery) by pursuing something for which they have little passion.

Here are a few questions and answers that may indicate if it is your time to recognize the signs.

1. Are you regularly grumpy on Sunday evenings and every morning but Friday?

If you answered yes, this indicates that you have anxiety about going to work. Everyone gets grumpy sometimes. Even people that love what they do will have times when they wish they were somewhere else. Timing and frequency are the factors that have the most weight in determining the cause of the grumpiness.

2. While you are at work, are you spending more time finding personal business to tend to rather than critical deliverables that your boss is expecting?

While most people will admit that they tend to procrastinate from time to time, your job depends on your abilities to deliver. When you prioritize unimportant personal business ahead of what you need to do for you boss, that communicates that you only care enough to keep face, if you even care enough to do that. Your boss could very well be the problem and you may not be able to keep your position in that company and change your boss. You can certainly change something and you might as well.

3. When you come home from your workday, do you head straight for the television, your bed, or a drink?

We all are expected to output more these days. It can be exhausting. This is why it is even more critical to do work for which you have passion. It will be energizing more than it will be draining and it will allow you to come home and tend to personal matters and relationships rather than spending hours decompressing and zoning out until you can sleep, wake up, and do it all over again.

4. Do you encourage your closest friends and family to NOT use your company’s product or service?

If this is the case, it has to be a definite sign that you are not contributing your days and hard work to a company that is going to survive! Find a product or service that means something to you and then find a position within that company that allows you to use your talents and abilities to further their progress while you further your career.

5. Are you just brimming with ideas that no one at your company seems to hear, let alone implement?

Companies sometimes do not utilize the talent that they have to the fullest. This seems like such a waste of great energy and money! That goes for you, too, if you are staying there allowing all of these brainchildren to wither and die!

You know we are here for you if you agree that it is high time that you found a job that lets you UNVEIL YOUR BRILLIANCE! www.charesume.com