Monday, December 5, 2011

Considering Working Abroad?

Recently, I had my first experience with a client who along with his spouse wants to work aboard, specifically in France. For the client, not only would his working location change, but also his profession. For his spouse, the work location also would be changing, but she would at least be reverting back to a variation of a previous career. I researched options for this couple, and came up with four. Given the world economy and the challenges of finding employment for a non French citizen in France, two of the options we deemed the most viable, and based on these, we discussed next steps including further education and research on their part. Dreams can only come true with thorough preparation and understanding. Opportunities can be realized by planning and consultation with a career development professional. My client was eminently satified and ready to continue to dig deeper on his (their) own.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Are You Cooperating with Your Career Transition Specialist?

What does it mean to work with a career coach/counselor/career-job transition specialist? You as the client makes the contact, and I hope that you are talking to more than one potential coach. Then you choose, perhaps even meeting the coach before you decide. Once you decide on whom to work not think that all onus passes to that person. The onus is on you!
This is your career/job transition, not the coach's. You are the person who has to do the work. Will it be frustrating at times...time consuming...seemingly endless?? You bet! Why?- have a look of our economy for the answer. Unless you are fortunate enough to be a part of a profession where there is demand, and you can follow that demand, be aware. Remember that if you work 40 hours per week, it can and will take 40 more hours per week to find new employment, unless you are one of the lucky few.
You have someone in your corner, however...your coach. Cooperate with him/her. Book and keep your appointments on a steady not lose momentum. Work your network, keep your spirit strong, build your skills and take care of yourself and keep trying. Those are today's tickets to success.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Are You Waiting for?

Are you unhappy in your career? Are you unhappy in your job?

If you are, there are many people out there just like you. So what do you do? Do you do the "same old, same old" and expect something to change? Do you do something (like work with a career coach) and then not follow through with assignments or make and/or keep appointments? Do you whine and complain that things are not happening fast enough or at all?

If any of the above describes you, it's time to get moving! Nothing will change unless you begin and then stay with the process. It only takes one networking contact, one job lead, one effort to turn the corner in your career. Be positive, keep at it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Can You Write? Can You Speak?

If you think that your career might be stalling because of your poor writing and/or public speaking skills, and you are looking for coaching in either or both, contact me at I am a CT and VA certified English teacher, who has also taught Writing, including Business Writing as well as Public Speaking on an university basis.

I will not write business reports, etc for you, but I will edit and proofread, at the same time coaching you to do the same. I will not write your public presentation for you, but I will get you ready to write and present it yourself.

Let me help you present your best self and finally learn those skills you never quite got when you were in school.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Have an Interview Appointment? Are you ready to Sell?

Modern interviewing may no longer be the standard one on one conversation in a private room, or even one versus a panel of interviewers in a private room. Today's interviewing may and can include time spent with potential colleagues or direct reports, and even a formal presentation to an audience of any size.

Be aware that when you interview, it may be suggested first that you sit with some future colleagues and/or potential direct reports to you. Do not be fooled...this is still an interview and how you interact...the comments you make, the questions you ask, will all be mulled over and reported back to the hiring manager. ...will you fit in? are you knowledgeable about the company...the industry? Be yourself...but be prepared.

The next step may also be a formal presentation, with you as the presenter. A topic will be suggested and you will be expected to prepare and speak for the amount of time allotted. What do you do? You research your subject, practice your presentation, have a look at the room and check your equipment beforehand, dress appropriately, know everything that you can about your audience before you meet them, and then do your best. The key here is preparation, so call in a consultant with a background in public speaking preparation (like me!) to get you ready. Remember, the most sought after skills by any employer today are communications skills...the ability to read, write, listen and speak well. If you can do all of these well, you can do anything.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Add Google + to your List

Think LinkedIn is enough these days when job seaching? While LinkedIn is still the number 1 source to get and give information when career changing and/or job searching, Google+ is up and coming. I advise my clients to have a LinkedIn (and use it), a Facebook page and now a Google+ presence. Fill each and everyone of these with keywords that reflect your area of expertise. Make yourself easy to find by hiring managers and recruiters. Use these tools to search out information on others.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Is Your Career Stagnant?

I see clients every day who profess a real need to change careers. They are convinced that their present situation is so unpalpable that a 180 degree change is necessary. One question that I ask right up front is whether or not the present career can be "sculpted" to make it less stagnant and more rewarding. Many say no.....but frequently, most begin to consider it, based on the current uncertainly of today's economy. What do you do when you think your current career is stagnant?
First, realize the importance of your mind set. Look at what you enjoy in your present career. Look at what is working and how you can get rid of, or at least lessen, what is not. Be more positive and more flexible.
Second, self-consider. Consider what your ideal work world would look like and then think about how to get there.
Third, how are your skills? Are there job tasks that you do now that you need to do better? Be open to further training and education and take advantage of any offered. If it is not offered, go get it yourself.
Fourth, do something. Action can mean progress. Talk to a career coach, to your boss, to anyone who might help you. You will be glad that you did.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Start Up of You

Thomas Friedman, the author, recently posted a blog on this topic in the New York Times. He commented on his vision of the hiring future in this country and it will truly be survival of the fittest. Employees of the future, according to him will have to "turn on a dime"; in other words constantly stay current, constantly add value, constantly reinvent. Entirely new mind sets and skills sets will be necessary, including getting rid of the "grand plan". Perpetual career planning will be the key; keeping on top of what industries are working and growing will be necessary, and being able to "role with the punches" will be paramount.
How will our schools adapt, especially the schools of higher education? Who will be responsible for training these future employees, especially in encouraging entrepreneurial vision? I think that the responsibility for training the future US workforce will lay squarely on each individual in it. As I mentioned above, survival of the fittest will be the name of the game. Think about it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Background Checks, Anyone?

As I coach and consult with clients, when we discuss job search techniques, I emphasize the importance of being careful with one's online presence. Not only do potential employers google the applicants to gain information, but now also scour the web, social networking sites in particular looking for digital dirt, and using this as a basis to say "no thanks" to an applicant. In fact, the Federal Trace Commission has authorized Social Intelligence Corp of Santa Barbara, CA to sell reports on checked applicants to employers and those files can last for seven years.
Be also aware that you might be very careful, but your Facebook "friends" might not be so. You could indeed be linked to someone nefarious and be cast aside due to guilt by association. Remember, this is legal; right now this company uses human analysis; however, before too long, this too may be "outsourced" to more and more hi tech software.
What can you do as a jobseeker to "remedy" this? Right now, not much. Your best bet is to clean up digitally as much as you can, and then blog, write articles etc. Establish yourself as an expert in your field, a "go to" person who writes authoritatively and well. At least as you add positive items to your web presence, you can push down any others that can potentially hurt.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Are You Female, Good in Math, and Want to Get a Job?

Recently, The New York Times published a blog by Ariana Gardella, who helped start Network Equipment Technologies, a company that went public in 1987. She is now chairwomen of Coraid. She is also a professor at Stamford.
Ms Gardella talked about how she got into technology because she was good in math and was economically motivated. She feels there is no real barrier to women in technology and urges women to take advantage of technology courses at the university level. CEO's she claims, do not come out of HR; they come out of product development and marketing in technology based companies.
She recommends that girls get involved in computing by first grade. She wants to see games and contests that appeal to first and second grade girls rather than boys. Little girls like the idea of saving the world, and she feels that technology solutions will play a large part in our efforts to build a better society in the future.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Change Careers

Before deciding if a career (and not a job) change is best for your at this time, consider the following:

Review what you most dislike about your current career. Make sure that the things you most dislike are not your boss' personality, etc. Make sure that your reasons for wanting the career change are sound and not colored by emotional issues. This may not be easy; is it the career or just some aspect of the job that needs to change? Do you want/need more salary? Changing careers may mean starting all over again. Do a cost/benefits analysis. Evaluate your costs for training/education against the anticipated starting salary in the new career. How long will it take you to see a positive return?

Visualize your "perfect' job. For whom are you working? What kind of a boss do you have? What are you doing? Where are you doing it? When are you doing it...time of day? Why are you doing it? What sense of value do you get? This comes from your work values. Make sure that your work values match those of the considered career. If they do not, and you cannot compromise on at least some, then the considered new careers may not be for you. FOCUS- get crystal clear about your core work values...Would you love this new career so much that you can happily put up with all the "stuff" that comes with it?

Make an action plan. Be realistic. This is WORK!

What are the skills needs in the new career? Do you have at least some of them? Remember that once you begin your new career it will be a shock, and having at least some transferable skills will help.

Research! Target a few people whose careers you admire and interview them. How did they get to where you think you want to be? Volunteer. Can you run "parallel" careers for at least a while? It may take several years until you are established. Look at this as a series of steps.

Do not change careers solely because of financial considerations. Do not do so because of pressure from others. Can you take your present career and "sculpt" it to make it more palatable? If so, it might not be worth it to change careers at this time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CareerXroads "Sources of Hire" Report/ How Important is Networking in Job Search?

Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler's recently published report from dated March, 2011 contains some very interesting data concerning where new hiring came from in 2010. Not surprising is the fact that nationally, 27.5% of all hires come from Referrals in 2010. This was the number one source of external hires. 24.9% came from Job Boards and 18.8% came from Career Sites. Career Fairs produced only 1.8% of external hires. 50.3% of all vacancies were filled internally. Our Metro area shows some similarities and differences, including the fact that far more of new hirers in this region came through Employee Referral than nationally. There is no question of the importance of networking as a significant source of job leads. Remember that networking, either online or in person, does not happen overnight. Networks must be cared for.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Harvard Study Suggests that Bachelor Degrees Are Not for Everyone

Harvard University recently published a study suggesting that the current emphasis in US culture on every high school graduate continuing onto higher education with the goal being earning a bachelor's degree is a poor idea. Why this is news to any of us is surprising. The poor state of the US economy in the past few years is in many ways a result of "College is for Everyone" thinking so prevalent in our society. Now it has taken Harvard to echo what so many other trustworthy voices have recently commented on....the need for more than one kind of respected educational track for our youth, rather than the one size should fit all idea that has never made any real sense. Go to O'Net. Have a look at the predictions for the jobs of the future. Many of them do not require more education than what a local community college offers. Start there, Youth of America. Learn some skills. Develop and grow those skills. Then consider, if you want, further degree work. Have a career plan, rather than just a college plan. You will be glad that you did.