Archive for December, 2013

Resolved …. Goals for the new year

December 30, 2013

Resolution #3: Set goals for the new year.

Remember SMART goals?  You may have encountered this phrase in management classes or on the job training.  SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  (I’d give attribution here, but I have no idea from whom this has been lifted.)

I’m not quite clever enough to work in fun and variety into Smart.  So how about this ?

FAVES,  as in my favorite things.  Fun, Attainable, Varied, Enterprising. and Social.

What if the pursuit of a goal were fun?  Like a rendez-vous with a friend or a trip to the theater.  Or a new volunteer job as an usher.  Think about whom you would meet!

What if the goal were attainable?  Not getting skinny, but down 10 pounds by spring.

What if the goals were varied?  A walk or a swim or a workout DVD or gardening every day.

What about enterprising?  Drafting more effective status updates on social media and doing them more often.  Writing a book or movie review.  Offering to tutor some students in a subject  that you happen to know.

What about Social?  For some, that’s the easy part, for others it is a headache.  But for all, it is an essential skill for a successful person.  Be in touch.  This was discussed more fully in Resolution #1, a posting two days ago.

Somewhere in the FAVES goal is something you won’t mind working on.  Do it.  And have fun becoming a more effective job hunter.

Have these three goals in a series been helpful to you?  Have you found something you can engage in during the new year?  I hope so, and I hope you will post a comment about changes you are making.

Meanwhile, I wish you a wildly joyous and exciting new year, doing more of what you love to do (yes, even on the job).  I’m planning to be busy, productive, and happy in 2014.  Join me!

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Resolved … Give!

December 27, 2013

Resolution #2:  

Give information:

  • I’m linking you to an article that reminded me of our last conversation.  Hope you like it.
  • Here’s the name of the customer service rep for the restaurant chain.  She’d love to hear from you.
  • Have you read this book on networking?  It is filled with some new ideas.

Give support:

  • How are your kids doing?  I know the holidays can be rough when someone is unemployed.
  • I have an extra ticket to the show.  Would you be free to join me?
  • You’ve survived the first month on the job!  How do things look now?

Give recognition:

  • You were the first person who complimented me on my writing.  I’ve always appreciated that feedback.
  • You gave me a second chance after I acted really unprofessionally.
  • I know you had a hand in planning this presentation.  All the details were taken care of, leaving us free to focus on the content.

Watch for the third and final resolution in this series, which can help you approach your 2014 job search a bit more focused, a lot more effective.

Resolved … for 2014

December 26, 2013

Are you looking for a job?  Are you looking for a career shift?  Read on…

As a career counselor for many years (I’m embarrassed to say how many), I have heard success stories that center around a few ideas that would make productive New Year’s Resolutions for you.  This series of three will be completed by January 1 so you will be ready to approach your job quest with a few specific goals in mind.

Resolution #1:  Keep in touch.

This includes the nice people you used to work with, courteous people who interviewed you and chose someone else, former neighbors, your second cousins, the former dog walker, the dental hygienist, a favorite professor.

The beginning of the year is a great way to get in contact once again.  A note or a call that begins “I’m taking advantage of the new year to get in touch, find out what you are doing these days, and (I hope) get together sometime soon.  Are you free for lunch on Friday?”

Please don’t turn this meeting into a monologue about yourself and what you are looking for.  That contact will feel used and abused.  You are to listen more than you speak.  You are truthfully just catching up.  You might remember to share a positive memory of your previous encounters.

Will it be productive?  Hard to say, much too early to say.  And not everyone will want to have lunch or coffee with you.  But some will, and you will have taken steps to turn yourself into a more effective networker.

Read this blog tomorrow to learn about Resolution #2.

It’s here!

December 12, 2013

You’ve heard it from me and (I hope) from school.  This is it – the week of code.

The tech giants (every company you can name in the field) have banded together to sponsor a unique program called Hour of Code.  Whether preschoolers, students at all levels, or just plain people of all ages and experience (or not), it is time to head for hourofcode.org and start exploring.

I’ve just been cruising through the site.  Animated holiday e-cards!  Getting your friends to be robots and follow your program directions!  Designing a game and then playing it!

This is fantastic.  So creative.  And if you can accomplish one of the projects, you can print yourself a certificate of completion.

I could go on and on, but my card isn’t quite finished.  Must figure out how to drag the squirrel onto the Christmas tree.  Cute!

While the young folks are coding – er – having fun, remind them occasionally of the job opportunities that are out there for programmers.  They just might thank you for this someday.