Stuck in a Career Rut? Allow us to point you in the "Wright" Career Direction

She is in Pain and Fighting a Hard Battle

This is an unusual story. It deviates from the career and job search articles I normally write, but life happens. It will cause you to pause and reflect on some of what could be going on in the lives of some of the people around us.

I had just dropped my husband off at the train station for a trip into Toronto. On my return I stopped at the grocery store for one item. I didn’t need a flyer, but it’s customary for me to pick one up as I am entering the store. The flyer stand was empty, but I saw one tucked far inside a shopping cart, requiring me to put in the quarter to retrieve it. I went straight to pick up the item I needed, but it was sold out. You are now wondering where I am going with all this detail, but bear with me.

Since I didn’t find what I went for, I decided to flip through the pages of the flyer anyway to see what else I could purchase. As I got to the back page I saw this handwritten message:

“God brought me into this world as everyone else. What’s my mistake in it? How am I supposed to be blamed for this? I have kids. I want to live for them; watch them grow into good human beings. I am really sorry if God made a mistake by bringing me into this world. What’s my mistake where no one loves me!!

My existence doesn’t affect[s] anyone!!

Life is like an extra baggage!! Fed up of it since last 12 years. I want to be loved by someone. Don’t I deserve to be loved!!

What’s the point of living!!

My In-laws hate[s] me!!

My husband hates me!!

I hate myself!! I hate myself!!”

Holy! My head started spinning as I re-read the note. I paid for the items and left. As I entered my vehicle, I thought of the pain that that woman was (and is) going through, wondered where she was at that moment, and said a prayer for her. This popular quote: “Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle”, kept going through my mind. Wouldn’t a kind word or a shoulder to cry on have eased her pain that day?

We interact with people every day: at work, on the train, in the mall, at the grocery store, and at home. Some have smiles on their faces; others don’t, yet we are not always aware of what’s going on in their lives.

As a career coach, I collaborate with people facing career and job search challenges, whether it is a resume that isn’t communicating value; difficulty landing a job after several interviews; lack of career progression in the organization, or someone who is stuck, confused and, yes, fed up.

I have also had individuals contacting me for job search services, but early into the conversation we both discover they are dealing with issues that need to be resolved before we proceed. While not often, there have been cases where the issues are far outside my professional competence. In such cases I would refer the individual to a therapist or mental health professional trained to handle such matters.

In instances where the problem is not as extreme, we will work on them. Sometimes it’s a self-esteem issue because they feel they are not good enough. One woman actually told me she felt she was suffering from Imposter Syndrome. At other times, someone’s confidence has been shaken because they are not nailing the interview and keeps missing out on job opportunities. These individuals begin to second guess themselves:

  • “Why me?”
  • “Why did my last assignment end within three months, instead of the six they had promised?”
  • “Why am I not getting the jobs even after so many interviews? Could it be they didn’t like me, or was I not a good fit?”
  • “How come I was acting in the position for more than a year, and they hired someone else?”

These are real life battles and a lot of baggage for some people to carry. How can we help? Or, how about you? Do you see yourself in any of the above scenarios? Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Are you having thoughts like the woman who wrote that note? If the latter, seek professional help, starting with your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if there is one. If not, find someone you can talk to, or search for local organizations that offer counselling support.

By this I hope you now understand why this article did not focus on the job search or resume writing, and why I went into details at the beginning. There was probably a reason I went to great lengths to get the flyer even though I didn’t need it. I could’ve walked straight in the grocery store, picked up the item and left. But, probably it was to give me something else to write about outside my usual career topics. I don’t know.

Life happens outside of our jobs and careers. Sometimes we need to pause from our own busyness, or a focus on self, and become aware of what could be happening to people around us, and even those we don’t know.

That woman who told her story on that supermarket flyer was crying out and sharing her pain. She could be a family member, a coworker, a neighbour, or friend. We don’t know. What we do know is that we need to help carry one another’s burdens. Sometimes it’s as simple as a short conversation, a listening ear, zipping our lips before a hurtful word escapes, or taking the time to be kind. Kindness doesn’t cost anything.

A lot of anxiety and stress happens at the workplace. Considering many people spend many hours of each day in that space, it would be a great place to start being empathetic. The next time you are tempted to criticize someone, turn that criticism into kindness. Just think that this person could be having an ‘iceberg’ moment; a lot more going on beneath the surface. If a coworker snaps at you, invite them for coffee and listen, even in silence, or let them guide the conversation. If you are a manager and feel the urge to call out a staff member because they didn’t meet your expectation, turn the moment into a coachable one. Ask them a few questions and listen attentively to their responses:

  1. What is your dream?
  2. What motivates you?
  3. What would make your role in this department/company more fulfilling?
  4. Do you think you are currently performing up to your potential? Why or why not?
  5. What does success mean for you? What would a successful life look and feel like?
  6. If you could have anything in the world what would it be?
  7. What do you want the rest of your life to be about?
  8. Are you feeling overwhelmed? How do you release stress?
  9. What do you do to look after yourself on a regular basis?
  10. How do you enjoy yourself?

You might not have to ask or get an answer to all the questions, but that’s not the point. You shifted gears and took the time to make a difference in that person’s life.

On a scale of 1-10, life is not a perfect circle. There are ups and downs. If you are at a point where you want to take stock of your life or career, why not sit with a notepad in a quiet place and take a look at your life to determine what could be contributing to or impeding your progress or overall happiness? Find out what’s working in your family, job, career, friendships, finance, health, etc. and what’s not working. Rank them on a scale of 1-10. If they are low in most areas, it’s time to reach out for help from a trusted friend or a coach.

If you would like a free copy of an assessment tool – Brighten Up Your Life – which will indicate what a happy, satisfying life might look like for you in several areas, send me an email at daisy[at]thewrightcareer.com, and I will gladly make it available to you. (This tool will only work if you are committed to using it.)

In the meantime, take care of yourself and be kind to everyone you meet. They might just be fighting a very hard battle.

Need a quick chat about your career or job search? Give me a call pronto!

Welcome Aboard Flight 2015

2015_infographic_daisywright

Welcome Aboard Flight 2015! This is both a New Years’ greeting as well as a dose of my usual Monday Rx.

First of all, I am not the author of the original message, and I do pay homage to that person for his or her ingenuity. But, I thought it was such a classic New Year’s message that I decided to create this Infographic and put a slightly different spin on it.

Since it’s the first Monday of the year, I think it would be a good idea to think of what’s ahead for you as you board flight 2015. Let me ask you a few questions:

  • Have you set any specific goals for the year? If you haven’t, it means you have indirectly set one, and it is to remain where you are.
  • Have you decided if you will be a passenger or the pilot of your career this year? It’s up to you to determine if you will be taking charge of your career in 2015, or you will be assigning such an important responsibility to others.
  • Are you ready to eliminate the negative thoughts or people that surrounded you in 2014? My advice is, when negativity calls you on the phone this year, don’t argue with it, just hang up!

In addition to those thoughts, here are some wise words from famed basketball coach, John Wooden. Unlike resolutions, these are promises you can keep:

 

  • Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.
  • Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and that you value.
  • Promise to think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best from yourself and others.
  • Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
  • Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
  • Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
  • Promise to give so much time improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
  • Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.

We cannot rewind the past, but we can take advantage of the present, and leap into the future with great expectations. That’s my wish for you in 2015. Welcome aboard flight 2015. Enjoy the ride, and contact me if you need a career companion!

 

Dear Dreams…

Dear Dreams

Dear Dreams…You Get Bigger Everyday!

This is your Monday Rx, and that’s all the reminder you need this week. Your dreams do get bigger everyday!

Keep watching this space for our next job search blog post.

 

____

Ideas image courtesy of Chaloemphan of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Worry is a Total Waste of Time! [Monday Rx]

“Worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keeps you busy doing nothing.” ~Unknown

Ouch! Seems like a callous way to look at a serious matter! But, it’s the truth. Worrying about a situation doesn’t change anything.

Did you get up this Monday morning worried about something? Are you a ‘serial worrier’ – the ones who worry even when they don’t have anything to worry about. I hope not.

This edition of the Monday Rx is not an attempt to trivialize a genuine concern, but to put things into perspective. After all, we can’t be productive at work or in our personal lives if we are constantly worried. Here are three questions to ask yourself right now about your worries:

  • What can I do about it?
  • Who can I turn to for help?
  • What’s the worst thing that could happen if I do nothing?

Once you have an answer, write it down, then prepare to take action. Worry is only helpful if it propels us to action.

And to give you a positive perspective, here are some quotes that are worth worrying about:

“I don’t have time to do all the things I can do, so it doesn’t seem important to worry about the things I can’t do.” ~ Dr. Stephen Hawking

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha

“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its trouble; It empties today of its strength.” Anonymous

This is your Monday Rx! Have a great week!

______

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos

Begin Each Day With A Grateful Heart [Monday Rx]

 

Monday_Rx_Gratitude

Begin each day with a grateful heart! This image was scooped from Kimberly Allison’s Google+ Page, so attributes go to her (and the proper owner).

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! While today is Columbus Day in the US, it’s Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada. It is an opportunity for us to look back and be grateful for what we have, knowing that so many people all around the world are facing arduous situations. What are you grateful for?

The five points in the image above are appropriate for today’s Monday Rx. They might not be the typical Thanksgiving message, but let them serve as encouragement to you, whether in your personal life or your job search:

  1. Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality. Well, if it’s a positive opinion and a true reflection of you, then you have nothing to worry about. If it’s a negative one that doesn’t ring true, don’t dwell on it. You have far better things to do.
  2. Never let a bad day let you feel like you have a bad life. How unfair this would be to the other 365 days? Put things into perspective. It can’t be all that bad.
  3. It’s never too late to be what you might have been. This is sound advice for those of us who gave up on a dream, or something, and are now lamenting the fact that we allowed ‘could’ve, should’ve, and BUTs’ to get in our way.
  4. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. Sometimes you have to be proactive. Take a risk; reach out for help or advice. Your effort could open a window of opportunity.
  5. Begin each day with a grateful heart. If you are able to read this; if you have food on your table; if you are fairly healthy; if your family is well, then you have much to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dare To Take Chances – [Your Monday Rx]

Monday Rx_CareerTips_Sept_27Have you ever wanted to do something – probably pursue a dream, or ask for a promotion – but got stopped by a big knot in your stomach? Or, did you allow a negative comment by someone to derail your dream? This happens all the time – in the workplace, at home, with friends, BUT…

Have those dreams remained dormant? Are you being haunted by regrets of “I should’ve…, could’ve…, If only I had…”? It’s not too late. You still have time to pick up from where you left off. It’s time try again. Social Media consultant Chris Voss said, The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”

Whether it’s an entrepreneurial dream, a dream of a better job, a promotion, or a career transition, here is what you need to know:

  • You don’t have to go it alone. Ask for help!
  • You don’t have to risk your life, limb or livelihood. Start small.
  • You don’t have to become overwhelmed with negative thoughts and by negative people. Banish negative thoughts from your mind, and surround yourself with ‘possibility thinkers’.

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, said “Most people live and die with their music still un-played. They never dare to try. Mary Kay Ash knew it all too well.

After seeing all the men she was training being promoted over her, she decided to write a book to help women survive in the male-dominated business world.  One of the things she did was to make two lists.  One list highlighted the things her employers had done right; the other had things she felt they could have done better.  After reviewing the lists, she realized she had inadvertently created a marketing plan for a business. The rest is history!

Whether you are a male or female, you too, can make your two lists. One list could be what you have done; the other could be what you can offer an employer or a customer. Those two lists could be the beginning of your own marketing plan for your job search marketing plan or your business. Whichever one it is, are you ready to step out in your boldness, and try again? Phil Knight, Co-founder of Blue Ribbon Sports, now known as Nike, told graduates of Standford’s Graduate School of Business (his alma mater): “Dare to take chances, lest you leave your dreams buried in the ground.” 

You don’t want to leave your dreams buried in the ground! “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions bigger than your words.” ~Unknown

This is another dose of the Monday Rx. Have a great day!

Related link: Find Your Calling and Ask for Help

The Best Day For Your Job Search

Monday Rx - Best Day to Job Search Job seeker, this is another sporadic dose of the Monday Rx, a picker-upper to help you get through Mondays. I say ‘sporadic’ because, honestly, it’s not every Monday that I write such a blog post!

Are you having a case of the Monday Morning Blues? Grab your favourite cup of coffee, perk yourself up, and get ready for some great news! Today, Monday, is the best day to submit your resume to the employer (or employers) you have been targeting.

A survey conducted by Bright.com (prior to its acquisition by LinkedIn in February 2014), indicated that the best day to apply for a job is on a Monday (at least in the US).

They analyzed more than half a million job applications revealing that 30 percent of people who applied for a job on Mondays went on to get interviews. On the contrary, Saturdays were the least successful day, when the success rate was only 14 percent.

Bright-Com_SurveyImage: Courtesy of qz.com

The report does not explain why Monday job seekers do best, simply confirming that they do. However, the assumption is that applications that come in on a Monday stand a better chance of being seen than ones that come in later in the week, as resumes pile up on hiring managers’ desks. Then, too, it’s possible that Monday applicants might be more eager, go-getters.

Take some time today to review your resume, make sure it addresses the employer’s needs and articulates the value you will bring, then put your ears, telephone, iPad and email services on alert. You might just be called for an interview.

By the way, there are other positives about Mondays. It is said that Monday is the best day to quit smoking, start a new diet or buy a new car. What are your thoughts about Mondays?

Related links:

Good Morning America Blog

Manjari Shukla (Indian Republic)

 

 

Canada Career Week – November 4 – 8, 2013

Canada Career WeekToday’s issue of the Monday Morning Rx is a salute to Canada Career Week.

The week, November 4 – 8, 2013, has been designed “to promote, showcase and celebrate career development nation-wide”, by the Canadian Career Development Foundation and its partners.

Canadians are, indeed, at a crossroads in their careers, and even though there are a plethora of services and resources available, many are still not sure how to access these resources and make them work to their advantage.

public perceptions about career development and the workplace

At The Wright Career Solution, we will be hosting a FREE Q & A on Thursday November 7, at 8:00 pm EST, to provide answers to questions about career, resumes, interview strategies, or the job search. Details are below.

Can’t attend? No worries…send your questions to: careercoach[at]thewrightcareer.com, and we will answer them live.

To join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device: Go to Canada Career Week at The Wright Career Solution. If you would prefer to join by telephone, the phone line is: 1(424)203-8450 (US/Canada only). Meeting ID: 474 467 653.

If you are a career professional, then I invite you to participate as well.

Related information on Canada Career Week and Career Development:

Sharon Graham’s Blog

Facebook

CERIC’s Online Survey of Public Perceptions About Career Development and the Workplace

 

 

 

 

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy_Thanksgiving_WCS

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, even if you are not Canadian, eh?

Most Canadians woke up this morning without the ‘Monday Morning Blues’. Why? They didn’t have to go to work today. It is our Thanksgiving. Whoopee!

It is so easy sometimes to become bogged down with the trials and tribulations of life that we forget to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for. Today’s issue of the Monday Rx reflects on what Thanksgiving really means. It is not only a time to eat, drink and be merry. It has a deeper truth. That of being thankful for the many things we take for granted.

Allow me to be vulnerable and mention 10 of the things I am thankful for:

  1. I am thankful to be alive.
  2. I am thankful for my family and friends who keep me centred.
  3. I am thankful for my 5-year old grandson when he says things like “I bounced into a boy and hit my teeth, and now my teeth are scared.”
  4. I am thankful for Canada, and all that it offers.
  5. I am thankful for my five senses as well as the ability to write, speak, think, laugh and cry.
  6. I am thankful for my fingers and their ability to type extremely fast.
  7. I am thankful for the 18+ years I had my cats, Vanessa, Simba and Valentino.
  8. I am thankful for the work that I do, and for the clients and non-clients I serve.
  9. I am thankful for my Mom’s Bible, and the little notes she wrote or underlined throughout.
  10. I am thankful for Whatsapp that allows me to instantly keep in touch with my family from far and near.

How about you? What are you thankful for today? Let’s hear them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others, Claim Your Greatness!

Orange Wish Identity to be AppleThis edition of the Monday Morning Rx is asking  you to stop comparing yourself to others. That is, on the assumption that it’s something you often do. Do you find yourself saying things like:

“She always seem to have it all together, what’s the matter with me?”

“He gets all the attention in meetings, why I can’t I?”

“Why did she get the promotion over me? We have the same qualifications.”

Have you ever said any of the above, or something that close? We all do, at some point or another. Even the image above is that of an orange wishing it were an apple. We should stop these comparisons. Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

While reading a Fast Company blog post recently, “How I Learned to Stop Comparing Myself to Others and Love My Own Ideas” it brought back memories of the poem Desiderata. One particular line says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” Isn’t that the truth? When we begin to compare ourselves to others, it makes us feel less about ourselves. Shouldn’t we be spending time valuing our uniqueness? Paraphrasing Meredith Fineman in the article, “In order to succeed, you have to be the best you.” 

It is a mistake to compare yourself to others. Why? Because you really don’t know what’s happening in the other person’s life. All that portrayal of having it all together could be a farce.  The Fast Company article suggests that, “…when we compare ourselves to others, whether it be a marriage, a career, or a specific achievement, we are only comparing ourselves to our perception of this person.” That’s right. We are making comparisons against things we don’t know or don’t have enough information about.

During the coming week, instead of comparing yourself to others, reflect on these words from Desiderata: “Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”

Here’s my personal message to you today: Opportunities are lost on those who spend time comparing themselves to others. Quit doing so, embrace your uniqueness, and get ready to play it big and win!