As we move into the New Year, we start making resolutions and goals for 2017. We often set goals for our career and do not stick with them.
There are many reasons why we don’t stick with our goals. Perhaps they are not goals we want to accomplish in the first place. Or our goals are too lofty to accomplish. Or perhaps our self doubts get in our way. Perhaps one of our greatest hindrances to achieving our goals is that we don’t have anyone holding us accountable.
It is common at the executive level for CEOs, Presidents or Senior VPs to have mastermind groups, round-table discussions, or peer coaching. One of the reasons they are so successful is because they have another set of eyes on their business strategy.
Sadly, it is not as common for mid-career professionals to seek the support of their peers. Peer accountability is one of the best means to help develop strategy to forward your career, increase your performance, and achieve your goals.
Here’s are the top 3 reasons peer accountability is essential for your career success:
1. Peer Accountability allows you to look at your goals from all angles: When we set goals we often do not see all sides of the situation. Having peer accountability helps bring perspective to your situation and carefully evaluate all aspects of your goals – from the sincerity, to the strategy, to the execution of your goals.
2. Accountability helps ensure you have an effective strategy: Once you have a stronger perspective, you are better positioned to form concrete strategies. Peer accountability allows you to build measurable goals and to identify specific benchmarks with a team to help you work out any roadblocks that could get in your way.
3. Accountability helps you stay engaged: Sharing your goals helps affirm and stick with your commitment. Moreover, it’s fun to celebrate your successes and wins with those who have been along the journey with you.
That is why I suggest that coming into the New Year, you do one of several suggestions in committing to yourself and career goals:
1) Set goals and hold yourself accountable: If you are going to set goals for this New Year, hold yourself to it. Do not allow yourself to not move forward and make your failed goal more proof that you’re not good enough or deserving. No more self-fulling prophesies of failure! It is better to set no goals then to set them and not pursue them.
2) Get an accountability partner and meet with them regularly: Make sure this is someone who is committed to themselves and to you. When you set meetings, stick with them. I recommend that you call to check in once a week and meet in person once a month. Set a format to your meetings and stick with it.
3) Join a peer accountability group: I’m hosting a monthly Peer Strategy Group on Feb 7th, March 7th, April 4th, May 2nd, August 8th, Sept. 12th, Oct. 10th, and Nov. 14th from 6-8 PM MST. You can join us in-person at my office off Colorado and I-25 or virtually using Zoom.
This group is designed to provide a safe space to receive insights and honest feedback about your career goals, to brainstorm solutions to problems in the workplace, and to build relationships. You will also connect with an accountability partner to support you in between meetings.
I will also be having top coaches in their field present on their area of expertise during each meeting. Topics include networking coaching, resume writing, financial coaching, and effective communication in the workplace.
To learn more or register, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 Things You Can Do If You’re Burned Out From a Job Transition
Published on SharpHeels: http://sharpheels.com/2016/12/making-a-career-change/
Have you been spending hours contemplating your career direction, applying to hundreds of jobs online, and talking about your next career steps? Are you sick of the pressure of everyone asking you “What’s next?” Are you at the point where thinking about your career for one more moment makes you feel like you are going to go mad? If you have answered yes to one or all of these questions, you are probably experiencing career transition burnout.
We are not properly taught how to handle career transition. Most career services teach us that we need to take career tests and network to make a transition. This is great advice when we are in the proper frame of mind. However, if we aren’t, this advice can be counterproductive and lead to compulsive job searching, eventual disillusionment, and burnout. It seems counterintuitive, but if we give ourselves the permission, time, and space to be introspective and reflect on what we really want, we can more easily pinpoint what is next. We need to take a break from the career transition process.
If you are burned out from your career transition, these four steps can help you re-energize so you can return to the process with more motivation and clarity.
- Give yourself permission to not think about your future career. This is easier said than done, but if you focus on giving yourself enough time and space, your next steps will become clear. We very rarely have epiphanies when we overthink, so limit how much time you allow yourself to ponder your next career next steps. Spend quality time with loved ones to distract yourself or think about other things that are important to you, redirecting your thoughts if your mind starts to wander. Even if you’ve already taken time off, if that time was filled with anxiety and pressure, it really was not time off. You will be amazed at all the “aha moments” that come when you give yourself permission to not think about your future career–usually when you least expect them.
- Cease all career research and job applications. It is amazing how addicted we can become to applying to jobs online. With access to job websites at the touch of a finger, it can be hard to take a break, but it is important to do so. When we are burned out, we are more likely to make mistakes on our applications and apply for roles that are not a good fit. Even a few days’ break will make you more mentally clear. You’ll be able to make better decisions about the type of jobs to target, less likely to make mistakes, and have more energy for the process. If you are really strapped for cash, you’ll be better prepared to evaluate, search, and take contract work to make some extra money.
- Schedule personal time and keep that commitment. It is okay to watch a little television, but make sure to fill your time playing, having fun, and doing the things you love. Having fun lets you re-energize and reconnect with your true self, providing tremendous insight to what you like and dislike. You’ll be more likely to identify careers that are a good fit and able to articulate to others what you are looking for.
- Do things and wear clothes that make you feel beautiful. When we go through stressful transitions, our eating habits often become irregular and we don’t dress as fashionably. Employers like to hire confident employees, and the way you dress expresses how you feel about yourself. Get rid of clothing that doesn’t make you feel good, and find ways to get outfits that make you feel beautiful, whether you purchase them or host a clothing swap with your friends. And do things that make you feel confident to reinforce your inner strength and beauty, because when you go back to your career transition, you’ll want to look as beautiful and self-assured on the outside as you feel on the inside.
Taking a break will motivate you and give you the clarity to pursue your next steps. There will always be jobs to apply for, careers to research, and people to meet, but after your break, you will be able get back to your career transition with the positive energy that will get you hired.
4 Ways You Can Take Advantage of the Holidays to Find a New Career
Published on SharpHeels: http://sharpheels.com/2016/11/holiday-job-hunting/
We often believe that hiring slows down prior to the new year. This is a myth! Hiring managers are still searching for applicants, but interviews and hiring decisions may be slower because of the difficulty in getting a team of coworkers together during the holiday season. The holidays are an excellent time to get in the pipeline for the first-quarter hiring wave when everyone returns to the office in January. Below are four tips to take advantage of this time of year to find a new job or change careers:
Do you ever feel like you need time away from your loved ones during the holidays? Keep in mind that you are not the only one who feels that way! That’s why the holidays are a great time to network. The reason networking meetings (also known as informational interviews) are so effective in helping you get a job is that companies are more likely to hire someone through referrals. When you first begin to network, your goal isn’t to ask for a job, but to build relationships. After you have connected with someone, you can ask him or her to pass along your résumé to a hiring manager or inquire about upcoming career opportunities within the company. There are many articles available that discuss effective ways to schedule a networking meeting. Below are a few quick tips to guide you.
- First, reach out to an old colleague, coworker, or friend who is working at a job, company, or industry you are interested in. If there is a chance that the person may not remember you, remind him or her of who you are and when you met last. Include your headshot in the signature of your email. Share what you have been up to (employment, education, etc.), the reason you want to meet (do not ask for a job), and invite him or her to meet you for coffee.
- During your meeting, ask questions about his or her career, company, or industry to obtain information that you cannot find on the internet.
- Toward the end of your meeting, ask if he or she would be willing to introduce you to other people with whom you want to connect. Be specific about the individuals you are interested in, e.g., “Do you know of anyone who is in x role and x company? Would you be willing to make email introductions?” You are more likely to have a new contact agree to meet with you if you are introduced by a mutual contact.
- Lastly, be sure to send a note thanking the person for his or her time, advice, and support.
You will be surprised how many people are willing and able to get together this time of year because work slows down. Take advantage of it!
Show Your Gratitude
When you are looking to change careers, you are going to want others to share job leads, provide references if you are offered a position, and advise you along the way. That’s why relationships are so important for your career success. One of the best ways to foster your relationships is through gratitude. If you are still connected with people who have helped you in the past with your career, send them a holiday card, email, or even a gift, if it is appropriate. You will probably need their help again, so these small gestures show that you care and appreciate their support. If the people who have helped you in your past realize that you are grateful, they will most likely help you again in the future.
Update Your Cover Letter, Résumé, and LinkedIn Profile
Because the trends for cover letters, résumés, and LinkedIn profiles change every year, the holidays are a great time to update them, especially if you have not applied for a position in a while. Spend some time researching the most common trends from reputable career, recruiting, and business magazines. Compare your résumé with the job descriptions you want to target and make sure you are mirroring the roles and responsibilities, industry language, and keywords. Also, research others on LinkedIn who are in similar careers, companies, and industries, and update your application materials as necessary. If you know someone with excellent editing skills, ask him or her to review your documents–you don’t want any mistakes on your application materials! Also, if you know of anyone in a job, industry, or company similar to the one you are applying for, have him or her provide feedback on your cover letter, résumé, and LinkedIn profile, as well.
Take on Side Projects
As New Year’s Eve quickly approaches, so do the resolutions. Many business owners want to reorganize their office, catch up with administrative work, or market their business. The new year is an opportunity to provide temporary support to a small business while building your portfolio. If you are highly organized, know how to use Microsoft Office, or have other applicable skills, offer to help a small business owner and see if he or she would be willing to compensate you. This is a great way to build your résumé, demonstrate your skills, and fill in any employment gaps. If you find it challenging to find paid work, then volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to build your skills, receive training in a new area, and network with a nonprofit or people who could potentially hire you.
Whatever you do, don’t slow your job search efforts this holiday season. Get yourself out there, touch up your application materials, and keep the job search going. Don’t let the holidays pass you by; take advantage of this time of year, when most people are in a generous mood and are happy to help others.
I have to admit, I’m having a hard time being productive today. How about you?
This election cycle has been unlike what many of us have ever seen. The use of fear-based messages about the past, present and future of our country during this campaign has been non-stop.
I’m upset and shaken to my core. I had a laundry list of items to get done today and I can’t seem to get through them.
So here’s what I’m doing instead. I’m reaching out and connecting. I’m emailing former clients to check in, calling colleagues to set meetings, and reaching out to friends to share my love.
We know that our relationships are instrumental to our career success. The more we cultivate them, the easier it is to tap the hidden job market and make transitions when we are ready to make a change. In a time in which our country is divided, there is no better time to reach out and connect.
I wanted to send positive thoughts your way. And if you can’t get anything done today, perhaps just reach out and connect.
With the arrival of fall, change is in the air! I’ve noticed that many of my clients have been making major changes in their lives, whether it be internal such as mindset shifts or external such as changing careers. I’ve also been making some major changes including selling my home, moving into an apartment downtown, rebranding my […]