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Workplace Assessments

Assessments such as the Myers Briggs or DISC can be a great team building exercise that not only helps individuals understand each other better, but also helps them personally.  In this video Tom and I dive into Myers Briggs (MBTI) and Energy Leadership Index (ELI) assessments with our experience using them.  Tom is certified in MBTI and Terry is certified in the ELI.

Click on the Brochure for more information about the ELI assessment.  Energy Leadership ELDS Brochure

Elevator Pitch

What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

I see the deer in the headlights look on your face and the “HUH?” coming out of your mouth.  Let me explain what it is and why you need one.

An elevator speech is a very short 30 second version of who you are and what you are all about.  It’s called an elevator speech because you only have the time it takes to get from the lobby to the floor selected to introduce yourself.  It’s short, meaningful, interesting, and all about YOU.  It’s how you respond when someone asks “what do you do?”.  It’s the summary that goes on your LinkedIn profile and it goes on your resume too.  It’s your personal brand.

And yes, you need one!

It should be true and compelling.  You need to figure out the point you’re trying to make, then tailor it to be concise and clear.  The person to which you’re speaking needs to be able to get your point or career without much thought.  It needs to be easily understood by people that DON’T know you.

You will use the summary you create over and over again.  You might need to adapt it for an interview or on your resume to more closely match something on a job description. The key message about you doesn’t change, just a few points to match the job application.

Practice your elevator speech in the mirror, get comfortable with saying it out loud so it comes naturally.  Make eye contact, be enthusiastic in your delivery, speak with authority and passion about who you are and where you want to go.  Make a believer out of everyone you meet.  They may even remember you when an opening comes up in their place of business!

As an example, here’s mine: I actually have 35 years of IT as my background, but switched careers a few years ago, I’m now a certified coach.  I do workshops for organizations or work with individual clients to help them reach whatever professional or personal goals they want to achieve.  Together we figure out what’s holding them back from success, fulfillment, and growth.  It’s just awesome when they get that aha moment and begin to think differently!  I help my clients thrive and I love what I do.

At this point you’re probably nodding your head and saying “hmmm, what’s MY elevator speech?”.

Get cracking and write it now.

It could land you the job you didn’t even know about!

Your First Job

You’re in college, majoring in whatever…  You start to panic about graduation and thinking about what happens after school is over.  You realize that graduation means you have to begin looking for that first all important job.

YIKES

 

You start mumbling to yourself “What do I want to do?  What do I like?  Why the heck did I take that last art history class and how will that help me land a job?”

Many people either take the first job a family member or friend offers them, whether or not it’s aligned with their desires or get a job doing what they like at that time.    If it’s the latter, it means that your first real job is something that makes you happy.  You like animals so think it’s a great idea to be a cashier at a pet store or an admin with a veterinarian.  Or maybe you like animals but also want to give back to the community, so you apply to a charitable organization that saves animals.

You get the picture.

 

Fast forward five years… Now what?  You’re still in that same low level job and you’re not making any money.  You still like animals but hate that there’s no growth and no real opportunity for advancement.  When you made that initial job decision it was based on a short-term idea when you were young and idealistic.  You didn’t think it all the way through or map out a longer-term goal or vision for your future.

Now you’re asking “what should I have done?”.  Let’s take the animal example and add a twist.  You still like animals but you majored in finance, have amazing math skills, and enjoy working with numbers. That would be a strength.  Don’t most businesses need a finance person?  Wouldn’t a Pet Store, Veterinarian, or Zoo need a finance person?

See where I’m going with this?

 

Figure out your strengths, likes and dislikes, as well as your passions.  Then align those strengths with careers, businesses, etc.  That’s how you find a job that will give you fulfillment, one that you can be enthusiastic about, one that may keep you happy for many years.

Don’t jump at the first job that someone offers you because you’re scared or worried.  Take a job because it will get you excited to make a difference, because it’s a role you can sink your teeth into, because you really, really want it!

Do a little soul searching, then do a bit of internet searching.  See what matches up for you and go after it with gusto.  Friends and family mean well but only you know your own values, aspirations, and desires.  Look for the job that matches up with who you are now and who and where you want to be in the future.

That isn’t to say that your career is static or that your dreams can’t change.  Obviously, they do and can, but your first job should at least get you on the right path for your short term goals and just maybe be the stepping stone for your long term vision.

Do You Hate Your Job?

How do you know if you really, really hate your job???

If your bad days at work far outnumber the good ones, then chances are you’re probably one of the millions of people who hate their jobs. For most professionals however, coming to the recognition that they’re dissatisfied with their jobs doesn’t always come with the decision to do something about it! And that is understandable, to a certain point.

There’s no doubt that making important work decisions can have a serious impact on your career as well as on your personal life, However, you must remember that sometimes staying on in an undesirable situation can have even worse effects on both your emotional and physical well-being too.

Making a change can be especially difficult if you’ve invested years (studying, training, practicing, etc.) into doing one thing, and discover that you’d much rather be doing something else. However, doing something you hate will not only halt both your personal and career growth, but will also eventually result in highly unproductive, inefficient, and most of all, unfulfilling work practices.

So, are you willing to stick it out at a dead-end job that you hate, or are you ready to take the big step towards the career of your dreams?

Identifying the WHAT and the WHY of the matter

The first step to turning your dream career into a reality is understanding what you hate about your current job and why it is that you hate it. You must be clear on what is not working for you, in order to make the right changes.

Working through the questions below will give you a better understanding of whether you hate your working environment (work set up, colleagues, management style, company values, etc.) or the actual field of your work (journalism, business, etc.) and your profession.

Three questions to identify the WHAT – What is not working?

  1. How do you feel at the beginning of a work day?

Do you dread waking up in the morning or are you excited to get started on the day’s tasks? What is it that you dread or what is it that you look forward to? And why?

  1. How does your work make you feel?

Do you find your work boring and pointless or challenging and meaningful? What aspects of the work do you hate, and which do you enjoy (if any)? Which tasks do you love doing? How much of your day is spent doing tasks you really enjoy vs tasks you don’t?

  1. How do you feel at the end of the work day?

Are you exhausted and drained or satisfied and fulfilled? What causes your exhaustion or fulfillment?

Once you are clear on the ‘what’ – that is not working, you need to understand ‘why’.

Three questions to identify the WHY:

  1. Are your personal values in line with the values that you are able to express/fulfill at work?

We all have our own personal values, which we cannot compromise on, they are a part of us and they influence our degree of happiness and fulfillment directly. You must have most of your values respected in your job, otherwise, you will find yourself struggling to be happy in your career.

How do your workplace values differ from your own values? Are you able to openly express your thoughts/ideas and if/when you do, are they respected and appreciated? For example. If you value health, how much of a work/life balance does your career give you?

  1. Do you see yourself being able to grow from your work experience?

Are you able to easily picture yourself in a higher position at your workplace in a few years or does the thought distress you? What does the future hold for you in your current job? and how do you feel about it? Does it align with your goals or is there a conflict between your long-term goals and what your current career can give you?

  1. What are your work relationships like?

You spend most of your day at work, relationships play a huge role in your ‘happiness’ at work. Are you, your colleagues and/or managers able to hold meaningful conversations or do you feel as though you aren’t able to find any like-minded people at your workplace?  How much of the ‘social’ aspect of your job is influencing how you feel right now – good or bad?

What Next?

Whether you decide to reevaluate and tweak your current career path or to have a complete career makeover, the first step to making a change is identifying and noting down what isn’t working and why. Get clear on your value at work as well, an exercise most professionals never do.

Then you can start to see whether it is your current career that needs to change or simply, the work environment, that is clouding your vision.

Remember, it’s never too late to either look for more satisfying work in the same field, or to acquire the knowledge, skills and resources required to start afresh in a new, more fulfilling area of work – you simply have to be willing to put in the effort.

If you dream of a better career for yourself, don’t let your dreams just be dreams! It’s better to do the groundwork now and have a fulfilling career for the rest of your life, then stay in a place you don’t want to be for the rest of your life.    Your life is what you choose for yourself.

Blog from Noomii.com

Check out our job workshop series for the Job DisSatisfaction webinars (part 1 and 2) to help you move into the career or role you really love.Job DisSatisfaction Part 1

 

Are you stuck in a job you want out of?

Working in a job you don’t like is not where any of us wish to be. The question is, what are you doing to improve the situation? In some cases, there might not be much if anything you can do. Many times it’s a matter of either sucking it up and dealing with it or finding the exit door. More realistically, you may feel trapped somewhere between sucking it up and heading for the exit. Many people develop a story that basically describes feeling stuck and unfortunately reinforces their situation.

What does it mean to be stuck and how to we end up there?

First of all, feeling stuck can be summed up as a lack of action. You may have a strong desire for something new but unless you act on it, nothing will change. Therefore, to initiate change, the logical solution would appear to be to take some sort of action. That’s where most of us run into trouble.

The biggest reason we get stuck in a situation we don’t like is because we become complacent in our comfort zone. Breaking out of our comfort zone means changing routines and habits in order to step into the unknown. The comfort zone is safe and risk free. It’s everything that’s familiar whether we enjoy it or not. More often than not, there’s a lack of growth if any that results.

A great example is The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhymes. She was challenged by a family member to say yes to things she’d previously said no to, such as appearing on talk shows, doing a TED Talk and attending numerous gatherings she preferred to avoid. Saying yes instead of no, catapulted her into the unknown which was terrifying. However, she recognized after one year of repeatedly saying yes, she had not only grown through all her new experiences, but developed a great deal confidence. Saying yes to new opportunities became her new normal. She had let go of the habit of saying no to everything that scared her.

Being Stuck = The Comfort Zone

Most people have developed a fairly convincing story that reinforces their rational for remaining in the comfort zone. “I’m not marketable” or “I’m too young or too old or too spoiled by my easy commute.” The number of stories are endless. A client I worked with several years ago had a passion for Reiki but was unable to turn it into a career. Leaving her job with a high salary and nice benefits was too risky. Although her work was affecting her health, she felt she was better off because she was at least safe. She was in her comfort zone. Her argument for not making a change was strong but the stress of doing nothing was taking a toll.

Sometimes, being stuck is no big deal. It’s temporary and you know what you have to do and will make changes when the time is right. It causes very little discomfort. Other times, the thought of change is overwhelming and causes a great deal of discomfort. Taking it even further, the identification with the story is so strong, that it can require therapy to begin letting go.

The solution to inaction is naturally taking action. But how do you know when you’re on the right track? Here are 7 steps to help get you moving in the right direction. Be as descriptive as you can with your responses.

  1. What is the desired outcome?
  2. What will having that do for you?
  3. How will you know when you’re getting the results you want?
  4. What is stopping you from following through on this right now?
  5. What needs to change?
  6. How do you know this is what needs to happen?
  7. Based on these insights, what actions are you going to take and by when?

The answer to number 7 does not need to be the ultimate desired end goal, such as landing a new job. It might make more sense to first update your resume or get additional training for a new job. Or perhaps you want to reach out to a few people in your network. What’s most important is to commit to taking the action in number 7. One small step forward is usually all that’s needed to create the momentum needed to get you moving and guide you to your end goal.

Check out our Job Workshop series to buy our Webinar on Getting Unstuck Getting Unstuck

 

Career or Just a Job

Do you have a career or is it just a job?

Career or Job?  That is the question most people want answered.  Many people stay in a job because it’s a paycheck or it’s easier to stay than figure out how to make a change. But hating Monday mornings because you have to go to work causes stress. If you don’t like your job, you may not be engaged or passionate about what you’re doing. Ultimately, you’re setting yourself up for failure and that’s also stressful.

Let’s start with definitions and a small check list.

job1

jäb/

noun

1. 
a paid position of regular employment.

Let me help you figure out whether you in fact have a career or just a job.

  • You’re staying in your role primarily because it’s a steady paycheck.
  • There is no growth potential for you.
  • You understand the work but are bored out of your mind.
  • You don’t really care about the organization.
  • You don’t even like the work you’re doing.

To answer the question “Do you have a career or is it just a job?”, if these statements hit home you can be fairly certain that you have a job not a career!

But the real question is how do you feel about doing what you do now, for the rest of your working life?   Whoa, pretty heavy.

Let’s go to the next definition.

ca·reer

kəˈrir/

noun

noun: career

1. 
an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life with opportunities for progress in knowledge, responsibility and fulfillment.

A career is a vocation, profession, or calling.  It’s something you WANT to do.

I’m going to take a leap here and assume you do want a career; a role you can feel passionate about.  An occupation that interests and excites you.  You want growth, success, and something that makes you happy.

How would it feel if you could figure out why you don’t like your job, or effect a small change which could bring back a passion for what you do every day? What if you had a career instead of just a job?

Your first task is to figure out your strengths, what it is that that you have to offer an employer.  Then you rank them according to a happiness factor… If you are outstanding at math or number crunching but hate doing it, that’s a happiness factor of 1.  If you love it, I mean really, really enjoy it, that’s a 10.  Maybe you’re outgoing and enjoy working with people but you’re a customer service rep and dislike the stress involved: great skills, wrong job.  In what other capacity can you use that skillset?

Get the picture?

Once you’ve figured out where you excel and what you actually enjoy doing, you can start to research your next career.

So what’s stopping you?  Start your own checklist of strengths and the roles to which they apply to see where it leads.  Then make sure there is growth potential in the field so you can continue with your chosen career path.

Career or Job?  I think we all know the answer we want.

Tailor Your Resume

Why you Must Tailor Your Resume

We’ve all heard the 6 seconds bit… that’s how long it takes someone to say yay or nay to your resume. Read it or trash it. That’s if they even get to your resume. What if they don’t get past your cover letter?

If you’re looking for a job and you’re currently out of work, then looking for a job IS your job! If you’re currently employed and searching for a different, better, whatever new job, then it’s your homework after work or on weekends.  It’s still important and you should never skimp on your effort. That means you change your cover letter and resume for EACH and EVERY job before you apply!

Catch that?

There is no standard resume or cover letter that you mass mail to every potential employer. None. You read the job description and move your information around so that it highlights the stuff they’re looking for.  You have lots of skills and strengths, but only put the ones that matter to THAT job at the top of your resume.  You want them to see you have what they want.

Your summary paragraph should tell them something about you and what you’re bringing to the open job. Why you want that type of position and what makes you unique. If your summary doesn’t change for each new position you’re not selling yourself to them.  What you’re doing is selling yourself short!

Your job experience company, title and dates don’t change, but your actual work experience might. Move the important stuff you did around so it’s seen first, especially if it’s something listed in the job description.

Always list your certifications, especially if it’s something that would matter to the job. Awards too. They want to know how good you are and that you have what they want. So, show them your stuff.

Next, your cover letter needs to reflect who you are. If you can tell a short story about how you made a difference in a previous role that’s similar to the one your applying to… all the better. Make your cover letter shine, tell them why you’re applying, what job you’re applying for, how you can help them and always, always ask for an interview.

If you really want a new job you need to work at it.  Save each new resume and cover letter with the name of the company so you remember exactly what you sent them. That way when you get an interview you know which resume to bring with you or to update with the latest information.

Good luck with the job hunting!

Career Challenges

Career Challenges

How about that boss that has you report the same information in 3 different formats because he can’t make up his mind or really doesn’t know what he is looking for… Think Powerpoint, spreadsheet, Mindmap. Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! What an incredible waste of time, not to mention frustrating. And that’s just a piece of your boss’ incompetence.

Or the job you’ve just been transitioned to that sounded fabulous. Right up your alley, hits your strengths, plus a bit challenging, and working with people you respect. You’re thrilled to say yes and get started. You hit the ground running, get a few quick wins then tackle the harder stuff. Uh oh, now comes the pile on. They back the truck up, you hear a beep, beep, beep and bam they unload it at your office door. Here’s the rub, you did so well that the senior leadership added more to your plate. They added some long term strategic visioning (not in your wheelhouse). Added an offshore project, and for good measure let’s make you chair person of a steering committee. You were successful, now you’re not. You’re overloaded, frustrated, and maybe acquired a bit of self-doubt that you never had before.

Ok, a couple of interesting scenarios, but why am I describing these problems?

Would you be happy if you were either of these workers?  I think I hear a resounding NO. Of course not, you’d be miserable and rightfully so. Well the point is that you can either be miserable and plod on, or do something about it.

Believe it on not, both those scenarios are very real and they happened to me.  I loved my career and the company I worked for until I didn’t.  And when I realized that I no longer respected my boss or his boss for that matter, I lost engagement, passion, and enjoyment.  I hated going to work.  It wasn’t fun any longer and that made me sad.

With some help from a co-worker I saw a different view of my strengths and talents.  I have always liked working with people, helping smooth the way, mentor, coaching, etc. and as I went from Supervisor to Manager to Director, I mentored and coached more and more and was sought out to do just that.   It became apparent to me that switching careers was the right thing to do.  So I did.

I jumped ship after giving a month notice.  I tested the waters by going as a guest to  a Professional Coaching school and had an AH HA moment that first weekend in class.  Low and behold, knock me down with a feather… I realized that I really enjoy trying to figure out how to help people and I’ve been told that  I’m good at it.  Wow, I want to be a coach!

I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can!

I am.

I enrolled (and coughed up the big bucks… gulp); I graduated, got my certification as a Professional Coach as well as certified in an Energy Leadership assessment tool so that I can help others stay engaged and passionate about their lives and careers.  I know how to cut through the stuff that’s bothering people, I understand and have first hand knowledge about corporate America, and I have great tools in my repertoire.  I was plenty nervous starting my own coaching business; it’s a scary endeavor.  Yet I did it and I’m THRIVING!

So take a tip from me; it’s important that you enjoy what you do every day, because when you don’t it affects your mind, body, and heart.

If any of this resonates with you, Tom and I are ready and able to work with you.  We can help you fulfill your dream and thrive; you are worth it!

Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction doesn’t just come from employing your skills well, you need to be applying your most enjoyable skills most of the time. Here’s how to identify them:

  • List the jobs or roles you liked the most over your entire work career;
  • Now list what you liked about each role;
  • Now list why you liked the role and/or what was the accomplishment that you enjoyed?

For example:  my favorite role was as an International Operations Director.  I was responsible for all non US IT Operations personnel.

  • What I liked the most: Travel, learning new cultures, team building and interactions with the people.
  • Why: I realized I enjoyed the coaching and mentoring, which is what was needed most in that particular role.
  • The accomplishment: I helped create a stronger, better operating team with greater communications and camaraderie throughout the IT organization.

That’s how I ended up leaving IT and moving into a Coaching career.  What I enjoyed most was working with people and helping them, not necessarily the IT side of bits and bytes.

What does this tell you?

Just because you’re not happy with what you’re doing where you are now doesn’t mean you ditch your current career; it does mean you need to figure out why and, maybe, do it differently.  For example, you’re an attorney working for a large firm and realize you haven’t been happy with what you’re doing for a while.  Maybe it’s where you’re working or you’re feeling lost in the crowd (not able to stand out) or the type of work is uninteresting or unfulfilling.  But if you could be a corporate legal council for a small business that produces something you’re interested in, that may make all the difference in the world.

So think about it.  What would keep you engaged and passionate?

If it’s the right career – wrong organization: What changes do you need to make to feel engaged within your job again?  Should you stay where you are or are the changes needed so great that you have to leave?

If it’s the wrong career: What skills do you have that are transferable to another occupation?  Do you need to go back to school?  How about certifications?  Can you move to another position within the current organization?

Lot’s of questions that only you can answer.  You may need help putting it all together or clearly identifying your strengths, likes, and dislikes.  A Career Coach can be that help, but the answers still come from you!

Change is scary, but being unhappy at work is way worse!

Making a decision one way or another about your career will take a weight off your shoulders you may not even realize you have.  Once you accept your decision and create a clear path forward you’ll be happier, more engaged, and ultimately more successful.

Check out our videos and workshops to see if we have anything to help you move forward into a role meant for you.

The dreaded job interview

The Dreaded Job Interview

Does going on an interview terrify you?  You have sweaty palms, your shirt is sticking to you so there is no way you could take your jacket off, and you just keep thinking “am I good enough, will they like me?”

How would it feel to be able to calmly shake the interviewer’s hand without wiping yours on your pants or skirt first?   How would it feel to be able to have a two-way conversation with the interviewer and hold your own, not feeling intimidated or unprepared?

Here is some practical advice to build your confidence in advance of the meeting so that you’re comfortable and feel like you are on an even playing field.

Let’s first remember that you must have done something right since you were called for an interview.  That means your resume hit the points listed in the job description and you are qualified.  Kudos to you! You’ve made it over the first hurdle.

Now it’s preparation time.  That means you research the company, get comfortable with why you applied in the first place.  You work on your story – the story that will sell yourself.  How do you stand out?  What makes you qualified for this job, over all other applicants?  You need to sell YOU.

And while you’re thinking about how to sell yourself, think about your communication skills.  Make sure you look people in the eyes while speaking.  If that isn’t a strong suit, role-play with your family or friends, you can even practice in front of a mirror.  Ensure you can effectively speak about your accomplishments that show how and where you would fit into the organization.  Again, if that makes you uncomfortable, practice, practice and more practice.  Be comfortable with yourself and the interviewer will be comfortable with you too.

Back to your research on the company, why should they hire you if you’re not interested in the organization? Businesses hire people to fill a need.  During the interview ask about the main issues the company would like to solve.  Remark on something you’ve read on their website, or an article that was posted about them. Show them you’ve invested some time and effort.

Lastly, remember you’re interviewing them too.  They need to sell you on working for them as much as you need to sell yourself.  And don’t ever forget that it’s just conversation. So, be the awesome, uniquely qualified individual they can’t do without.

One more thing, don’t forget to follow up.  After every interview, follow up with an influence letter. Here you will briefly thank the person you interviewed with, recap the conversation, explain what excites you about the role and share why you would be a good fit.

Now go rock that interview!