If you are working from home, uninspired by your day-to-day and thinking of starting your own business. Or browsing LinkedIn, after-hours, looking for the next opportunity. Or simply wanting to make a career pivot but unsure of where - you are not flying solo. The pandemic pause has caused us to re-evaluate our priorities, and our careers.
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I hear friends say, “I don’t love my job, it pays the bills and I have security, but I’m not challenged or excited about work anymore.” But, they feel stuck. They’ve already committed a ton of time and money to this career.
This is a familiar story for me. In my mid 30’s I felt that same way. I had started a career in Early Childhood Education as a preschool teacher, then as a community college teacher and finally ended up directing childcare centers. I had spent over a decade working hard to be what I though was at the pinnacle of my career.
Instead I had a lot of school loans and was feeling unfulfilled. But, I thought how I can I leave this field when it’s all I’ve done.
And then, I knew that it wasn’t all I’ve done. I’ve taken risks, challenged my supervisors to do things differently, advocated for my employees, managed hundreds of thousands of dollars and a staff of up to 60 people. I developed skills and used my strengths in capacities I didn’t realize….until I did, and I left my job, my career and I started something new.
This was not an easy decision and I’m a person who thrives on change, loves adventure, and is comfortable with risk. I spent 8 months working part-time to pay the bills while I figured out what to do next.
I searched job boards, researched parallel careers and talked to my friends. But, I wasn’t making any progress. I need to change my strategy. So, I did a few online assessments, including strengths finder 2.0, and a skills inventory. I did a deep dive into my values and what I really wanted to do. And I realized that I still want to help people, advocate for and empower others, teach, mentor and guide to make an impact.
I did some networking in Higher Education, and after many many informational meetings, I spoke with a career counselor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She talked with me about my resume, and how I can use my skills in a new career. And boom, it was my “aha” moment. I looked at her and said,” I want your job, this is the career for me, as a career coach. I was so excited I found my calling, my purpose.
I enrolled in a certification program, volunteered with a local non-profit, and got a career coach mentor.
Looking back, I realize if I would have hired a career coach to guide me through this pivot, I could have done all this in half the time. Instead it took much longer.
Seven years later, I’ve gained diverse experience as a career coach in non-profit program management, outplacement career consulting, and starting my own business. I’m happier than I could imagine, living a fulfilling life, loving my work, and feel so grateful that I took the leap.
And, you can too.
Is is enough to just have an okay work life, or do you want more? What is your legacy? What do you want to leave behind?
That’s my career story. I would love to support you in taking a leap of your own to re-invent your career. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently I did a brand personality quiz to identify my own personal brand archetype and and guess what, I'm an Explorer.
The Explorer finds inspiration in travel, risk, discovery, and the thrill of new experiences. They crave adventure and want to discover the world for themselves. Adventure is a means of enlightenment and explorers are focused on self-discovery and self-sufficiency. The Explorer's design theme includes maps, rugged-looking fonts as well as natural colors like green and brown.
The Explorer is also known as the Adventurer, Pioneer, Seeker.
Explorer brand helps others feel free by showing them they have the power to walk their own path. Their tone of voice encourages others to step outside of their comfort zones and follow their heart. They want you to be free, whatever that means for you.
This brand archetype resonates with me as it speaks to how I've always lived my life. Exploring new places, adventuring in various countries and always excited to meet new people. Spending time outdoors. Being free.
I work with clients to identify their own personal brand and how to communicate it in an authentic way on their resume, LinkedIn profile and when they are talking about themselves in a networking meeting.
I often hear, this is the hardest work we do together. I get it. It's not easy to formulate your brand in a way that speaks to your own career story. I challenge you to think about a theme in your personal and professional life and weave that into your story.
If you would like more support with creating your personal brand and message, please contact me.
I just finished the Positive Intelligence, or mental fitness training program and it was challenging to say the least.
I found myself struggling and battling my judge (that person in my head who tells me I can't do it, or I'm not good enough), and then noticing my Saboteurs, (those restless thoughts that keep distracting me), and I realized it's hard to change your though patterns and neural pathways to the Sage (that place where things just flow, and every challenge can be turned into a gift and opportunity.
Mental fitness is a measure of your positive mental muscles (Sage) versus your negative mental muscles (Saboteur). The measure of your mental fitness is called Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ). - Shirzad Chamine
By using specific techniques to weaken the Saboteurs and strengthen the Sage, we can feel less stressed, more peace, and consistent happiness.
This brings me to, so what does this have to do with changing careers or looking for a job. Well everything. If you can use mental fitness to stay positive, shift your mindset to the Sage perspective and not listen to your Saboteurs, anything is possible. Including finding your dream job.
If you want to learn more, please contact me for a strategy session at Tara@careerfitconsulting.com
Thinking about working with a recruiter in you job search? Here's everything you need to know. Watch the interview on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSbRN70tocMFZwsjLqzmo5Q
1. What’s most important to you when you look at someone’s resume?
Short answer is keywords. But more involved answer: is to make it easy to understand what they have done and the impact they've made.
This is especially important if you're changing industries or job type. Also important when applying to a specific Job Description.
When applying to a specific Job Description:
Read thru the JD and be honest with yourself about the things you're targeting. If the company is saying they want someone with B2C consumer experience and you have all B2B or Saas, ask yourself if you're really qualified.
2. When you search for candidates on LinkedIn, what draws you in from their profile?
LI is all SEO - recruiters are mostly searching via keywords.
3. From your perspective, how often do companies use ATS systems, and what’s your suggestion to get your resume processed through them?
Keywords - ATS systems highlight the things the recruiter is looking for and those that have those keywords the highest match.
4. How does a candidate stand out in an interview your opinion?
In an interview
5. What's the difference between an internal recruiter, an external recruiter, and HR and what's the best way for candidates to work with each?
I can talk about how these different parties work, how they work together, and how candidates can leverage each one to get the most out of their job search.
6. Any tips on negotiating salary or compensation during an interview process?
1. Get clear on what's most important to you and why (i.e. if you're changing positions maybe you make a lateral move into a better sector, and then seek a growth path)
2. Do research on typical/common ranges for the industry, position and experience (glassdoor, levels, salary.com, etc)
3. Be up front about your limits and expectations
4. Why candidates are afraid of sharing salary
Afraid to be low balled - it really comes down to what you're willing to accept
Afraid to be priced out - it comes down to what things are imp to you and where you're willing to flex
I highly recommend my clients take a strengths assessment to understand and articulate the unique talents they bring to any organization. My favorites are StrengthsFinder and ViaSurvey.
A professional networking group is a way to share challenges, successes and connections. All great ways to feel supported in your job search.
Feeling passionate about a new hobby, interested in reading a book related to your field, or taking a skill to the next level? Learning something new not only stimulates neurons in your brain, it also gives you something to talk about when you’re asked, “so how have you been spending your time while being unemployed.” LinkedIn Learning and Udemy are great platforms for online courses.
With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
– Dalai Lama
How to Shift your mindset about networking in your job search using positive psychology.
Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living” (Peterson, 2008).
To push this brief description a bit further, positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behavior, with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).
I often hear the comment “I’m nervous about putting myself out there, or networking makes me uncomfortable.” Feeling that way is common, especially when you may feel vulnerable, or searching for a job.
I challenge my clients to shift their mindset in the networking approach. Instead of focusing on the “I need a job” aspect, focus on the curious part of what you’re seeking - Why do you want to talk to this person? Are you interested in the company’s product? Or the person’s role? Do you have something in common with them? Do the company’s values align with your own?
I encourage you to reframe your thoughts around networking and think of it as building a relationship that can help you determine your fit with a company.
If you’d like to learn more, reach out to me at email@example.com.
What is an expert? I often talk to my clients about their areas of expertise and it reminded me of a time in my Graduate school psychology class when I had to think and write about someone who I viewed as an expert in my life.
I thought long and hard about who in my life who had what the dictionary defined as “having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience” and I landed on my tailor in Denver.
She was an expert in many ways, not just in her trade of mending, sewing and fixing all my clothing that I thought was impossible to do and in a way that you couldn’t even tell was adjusted; but she was an expert in customer service and greeting people with a friendly demeanor, an expert in injecting humor at the right times, and absolutely an expert at creating an affordable yet reasonable price for customers and knowing the market. All of these things made me think, yes, she’s the one I’m going to write this paper about.
In my field of career coaching, I focus on these same skills and areas of expertise that clients should put on their resume. It’s so important to highlight what you have expertise in through your knowledge, training or experience, and communicating it in a way that tells the reader why they should hire you over someone else.
I encourage you to make a list and write down your top 10 skills, and how you’ve used them and you’ll be on your way to an impactful resume!
Thanks for reading. If you'd like to learn more please reach out to me at tara@careerfitconsulting or set up a free strategy session at https://calendly.com/careerfitconsulting/15min.
Tara Skredynski is a certified career coach focused on helping purpose driven women achieve their career goals.