Archive for December, 2009

Resolved: some thoughts for jobhunters

December 31, 2009

Here are some pieces of advice contributed by clients, friends, and me as we enter 2010.

  1. Stay flexible.  The job force is not the same one you may have left some months ago.
  2. Stay firm.  Remember what you want and what makes you happy.  Remember what makes you miserable, too.
  3. Never lose your sense of humor.  You’ll need it when confronting the tug between points 1 and 2.
  4. Do a good deed.  And then do another one tomorrow.
  5. Develop the art of follow-through. (If you said you would call back, then do so.  If you said you would send someone an article, do it.)
  6. Get your name online.  This could be an intelligent review of a movie or book.  It would be a professional profile on LinkedIn.  It could be a letter to the editor.  When a potential interviewer searches for your name, you’ll be ready!

I wish you success and prosperity in the New Year.  I believe it will be a more productive year than the last one, and I look forward to hearing your stories.  Happy New Year!

Career Resolutions for the New Year

December 29, 2009

Okay, folks, you have two days to submit ideas for the New Year’s Day blog posting on New Year’s Resolutions.  If you have a job, what is it you resolve to do to grow/survive/prosper there?

If you are in a job search, what do you need to do better?  What do you resolve to do in 2010?

Be specific, please!  I’m going to publish a few ideas on January 1, and I’d love to include your suggestions.  You can add them here as a comment.

Won’t you be glad to see the end of 2009?  Let’s plan together for an effective new year.

Career Gifts: what did you get?

December 26, 2009
  • What did Santa bring you?

Or let me say this more professionally:

  • What did someone do for you this year? How did you grow occupationally?

I would like to suggest that it is time to look at 2009 and the career gifts you were given. Did you experience any of the following?

  1. Someone gave you honest feedback about your performance.  It was specific enough to be helpful to you.
  2. You were given a new opportunity.  This might have been a new job or a new task in your existing one.
  3. You acquired new information.  Maybe it was a training class, maybe it was a college class, maybe it was an article you read.  You were smart enough to take it in and make use of it.
  4. You expanded your network.  You said yes to a lunch date.  You spoke to someone after a staff meeting.  You hit it off with the newcomer.  You found things in common with a co-worker you barely knew.
  5. You acquired a new perspective about your world.  The raise that didn’t happen, the opportunity that went to someone else, the team for which you were not chosen – this is survivable.  You have health, your future, your friends/family/talents.

For these blessings, give thanks. Personally and professionally, I’m grateful for my readers who let me know that this blog matters.  I started it two years ago, and have been amazed that what sometimes feels like a chore becomes a joy as the words appear on the screen.  Thank you for being there.  Thank you for adding comments and for telling your friends about the blog.

I hope/believe/pray that 2010 sees our economy continue its recovery, including full-time opportunities for you.  May you look back on this new year with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment.

Career Counseling: alternative settings

December 13, 2009

The voice comes clearly through the phone, and it’s a surprise to me that the caller is from Australia. He  wants career help.

Lower international phone charges and the world wide web have made such conversations more likely than ever before, although it’s still not a daily occurrence for me.  He found my blog and my website and wants to work with me.  First, I’m complimented.  Second, I’m apprehensive about the challenges of career coaching via phone and email.

After negotiating time differences and payment options (bless you, Paypal), we set up a time for our first session.

I couldn’t have imagined this scenario when I took graduate courses in counseling and career development some years ago.  I expected to see people face to face.  I took for granted that I would see smiles or frowns, that I would determine when a question was in the air, even if unspoken, that I would have body language to interpret.

And now there are clients I will never meet, with whom I struggle to establish rapport, to understand, to provide career guidance.  Often, they tell me I am successful, and occasionally we stumble.  Someone may speak faster than I do.  Someone may need time to think.  My day may be beginning as someone else’s day is ending.

The phenomenon of long-distance career work still induces awe.  Someone wants to talk with me!  Someone values what I might be able to share.  Someone wants to share his or her story with me, a stranger.  I’m here, ready for the next contact.

Have you had experience with telephone coaching?  I’d love to hear your story;

  • what worked?
  • what didn’t work?
  • what techniques did you use for successful communication?