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Monday Rx: 7 Simple Steps to S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

What is success? Whatever answer you come up with will be correct, as success means different things to different people. I read a quote recently that said “If you fail and learn something from it, that’s success too.”  Isn’t that amazing?

These seven simple steps won’t tell you how to get a promotion or how to make more money. They are more basic than that. They will guide you into making simple changes to your thought processes and set you on the path to achieving your success. You see, there certain things we all have to get out of our way before we can begin to see success.

S

STOMP out all the ANTs – those Automatic Negative Talks that you engage in with yourself. Crush those negative self-talks. If you don’t you will be impeding your ability to succeed.

 

U

UNDERSTAND that no matter what you are going through, no matter how bad your circumstances appear, you are never alone. Someone else is going through the same or worse than you are at this moment.

 

C

Be open to CHANGE. When you become too rigid and develop this “it’s my way or the highway” mentality, you are stalling your growth, so be open to change. Be flexible!

 

C

Learn to COMMUNICATE your value to everyone with whom you associate. What is it that you do better than anyone else? Learn to answer that question and then communicate it in a way that it’s easy for people to understand.

 

E

Reach out to EXPERTS. If you are struggling with an issue, there is always someone who knows a little bit more than you do and is willing to offer assistance. Seek him or her out. It’s never a weakness to ask for help.

 

S

SURROUND yourself with positive people. Those who will engage, motivate and build you up rather than drag you down. They will inspire you to keep on going when the going gets rough.

 

S

STAY focussed on your goal. Don’t allow small setbacks to stop you from moving forward. The road may be winding but don’t deviate. If you stay focussed on where you are going you will be successful.

Do you have anything else to add here? Post your comments below, and have a succesful week!

Monday Morning Rx: Who Can You Network With Today?

Are you someone who believes that networking doesn’t work for you? If you do, then you may have the wrong concept about the process. It is not schmoozing or ‘brown-nosing’, it’s not about handing out business cards, and it’s not about asking for a job. Networking is about building relationships. Getting to know people who can offer you assistance and who you can also help, and…there are many people out there just waiting to be asked for help.

It is said that between 65-80% of opportunities – job or business – are found through networking. Networking opens the doors to the hidden job market, but most job seekers use it the wrong way. They believe networking is all about asking for a job, and so they irritate people by telling them, on first meeting, how long they have been unemployed and can they help them find a job. They miss out on the relationship-building piece.

Author Job & Success Expert Harvey McKay said, “If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I’ve met in my lifetime, I’d have to say it’s the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts.” 

What are your networking plans today? Make an effort to contact someone you have always wanted to meet and start the relationship-building process.  Nurture that relationship and see what happens!

If you are stuck in a career or networking rut, pop into our CareerTips2Go Cafe, and let’s talk!

Monday Morning Rx: Know Your Value…Promote Yourself

Today’s post is about recognizing your value and asking for what you want, whether you are a man or woman!

Over the past several months I have become a fan of Morning Joe on MSNBC, with Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist. After watching Mika interview some of the women profiled in her book “Knowing Your VALUE – Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth”, I decided to buy a copy. It’s an excellent read. She talks about how difficult it is for women to ask for what they want, especially asking for a raise or a promotion. While men are comfortable promoting themselves, and almost demanding what they want, women prefer to work, work, work hoping the boss will take notice.

While reading the book, I was struck by a couple of quotes from Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s senior advisor.

“I felt like if I was deserving, then my boss should recognize that I was deserving.”

After one of her mentors said to her, “You can’t sit around waiting for people to recognize your work, you have to ask for it”, she gathered her courage and went to her then boss.  Soon after that discussion, she got the promotion and the front office she had wanted.

That bold, courageous move prompted Jarret to say, “If you’re not asking for a promotion…you’re not going to get the gold ring”.

See, even high profile people like Valerie Jarrett, Mika Brzezinski and others quoted in the book, found it difficult to ask for what they truly deserved, and when they did, they got what they wanted. You are no different! You are ‘high profile’ in your own right. What is it that you would like to ask for, but are fearful about? Are you afraid to ask for the job during the interview? Are you worried that in the current economy you can’t ask for a raise? Are you waiting on your boss to give you the promotion that you know you deserve? As a small business owner or a coach, do you feel uncomfortable charging the fee you deserve for the services you provide?

Whatever it is, you owe it to yourself to ask for what you want…today! Go ahead, promote yourself, and see what happens!

Have a productive Monday!

Monday Morning Rx: How to Be Happy at Work

In May 2010, I began sending little picker-upper nuggets called ‘Monday Morning Rx’ to my newsletter subscribers. Sometimes it was a quote, sometimes something longer. You see, Monday mornings are tough for a lot of people whether or not they are in the job search. Anyway, I got busy and stopped a few months afterward. I believed then, as I do now, that everyone of us, at some point, needs a picker-upper when the going gets tough, so I recently restarted the Monday Morning Rx. Some posts have and will relate to career and job search, others will not.

Reflect on Today’s quote taken from Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus, and other books.

“Don’t Seek Happiness – Ironically if you want to be happier don’t seek happiness. Instead share your strengths and decide to work with passion and purpose and happiness will find you. The research shows that people are most energized when they are using their strengths for a bigger purpose beyond themselves. Whatever your job, decide to bring passion to it and find purpose in it. I’ve met bus drivers, mortgage brokers, janitors and fast-food employees who are more passionate about their jobs and happier than some professional athletes making millions of dollars. Every job will get mundane and “old” if you let it but purpose and passion keep it fresh and make you happier.” ~ Jon Gordon’s Positive Tip: 5 Ways to Be Happy at Work

Pass it along and help someone have a happy Monday.

Have a productive Monday.

 

Social Media Tools for Job Search is not Popular with Canadians

In a survey conducted by The Wright Career Solution in 2010, 65.6 percent of hiring managers and recruiters use social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) to look for candidates, yet in another survey by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), almost half (46%), of Canadians report that they do not use, nor are they interested in using social media to advance their career goals. What a disconnect!

Get a copy of The Wright Career Solution’s report here: Survey Results of Canadian Hiring Managers and CERIC’s at  Public Perception of Career Development and the Workplace.

Feel free to add your thoughts here

The Green Economy & its Impact on Your Career

We have been hearing about the green economy and green careers, but many of us do not really understand what this means, and staying on top of this rapidly developing new economy is time consuming and can be overwhelming.

On Wednesday, April 28, I will be interviewing Carol McClelland, PhD, one of the leading green career experts and founder and executive director of Green Career Central.  We will be discussing the greening of the economy and its impact on one’s career. This is a timely topic, as it was quoted in the Globe and Mail a few days ago that the Government of Ontario will be investing $8 billion in green energy, which is expected to create approximately 20,000 jobs. In addition to the energy jobs, there are a lot of other green career options for technical and non-technical people.

During the show, Carol will talk about the industries and sectors that make up the green economy and this will help you discover where your skills, interests, and education fit in. Carol will also talk about actions you can take to figure out your green career focus and offer practical strategies you can use to transition into your green career.

Want more details? Visit the CareerTips2Go show page, send an email to careercoach@thewrightcareer.com with Green Careers in the subject line, or post your questions in the comments section below.

Be sure to join me on the call with Carol on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 2 pm Eastern.

Seven Job Search Mistakes to Avoid

How many times have you heard that “first impression counts”? Many job seekers believe that a professional resume package is all that’s required for a successful job search. They don’t realize that an email address, the message on an answering machine, or the inappropriate use of cell phones could severely derail their job search.

The seven mistakes outlined below are real situations culled from unsolicited information that either arrived in my Inbox or was mentioned in conversations with an individual or two. None of the individuals are clients, so the element of confidentiality does not apply.

1. Email Address. Cute email addresses should be used only with your cute family and friends. They will not be considered cute by potential employers. All correspondence that pertains to your job search should have your real name or something that demonstrates professionalism. Consider the young woman whose email address was lazygirl@xxxxx.com. (The domain name has been changed to protect her identity). This young lady was looking for a job in a restaurant where they required someone to work in a fast-paced environment. Why would an employer hire someone who is announcing that she is a ‘lazy girl’?

2. Voicemail. Your voicemail should convey your professionalism. In your absence, it becomes another tool to market yourself. Give yourself a call and listen to your message. Is it short, clear and businesslike? Don’t be like this other young woman I met at a job fair who wanted to know what she was doing wrong why she couldn’t find a job. When I called her home to follow-up, part of her voicemail message said “If you got this message, you may be someone I don’t want to talk to, and if you are someone I don’t want to talk to, you know what to do”. Why would a hiring manager give her a second call after such a message?

3. Résumé. Don’t be a part of the ‘cheating culture’ by submitting someone else’s résumé as if it’s your own. That is never acceptable, particularly when you didn’t take the time to remove the other person’s name. A man sent me an email asking me to hire him. The name on his email address was different from the one he had as his signature, and the name on the résumé was also different. Three aliases! When I wrote back suggesting that he decides who he really is, his reply was “do u think i am dumb?”

4. Cover Letter. Take the time to write a proper, professional cover letter to accompany your résumé whether you are applying by email or sending it by snail mail. Your cover letter is another opportunity to market yourself to the employer; an opportunity to draw attention to your special skills or to explain something that was not covered in your résumé. The majority of hiring managers still want to see a cover letter whether or not the job posting asks to “fax a résumé”. The man referred to above (the one who wanted me to hire him) had as his subject line “looking 4 work”, and his one-line cover note said “I am looking for permanent work. Please hire me”.

5. Interview. Your résumé and cover letter brought you to this important stage. It is now time for you to shine; to tell the interviewer why you are the best candidate for the job. It’s inevitable that you are going to hear the question, ”Do you have questions?” You should be prepared with a few good ones. Do not be like the candidate who answered “No” to the question, then went home and sent an email with a long list of questions to the interviewer.

6. Job Offer. If you have reached the stage where you have been offered the job, it means the company really wants you. While it is normal, and sometimes expected, that a certain amount of negotiation will take place, don’t blow your chances by asking for the impossible. One young man, fresh out of graduate school, thought he should push the envelope by informing the interviewer that the other company was offering him much more money. He lost out on an opportunity as this company could not match the offer, and the other company didn’t exist.

7. Cell Phone. Watch your cell phone manners. One of the last things you do before going into an interview is to turn off your cell phone. Do not put it on vibrate, but turn it off. Not only will it be embarrassing to you if it rings during the interview, but it could spell disaster to your job search. A salesman was at an interview when his boss called. In the midst of the interview he told the boss that he “was meeting with a client”, and could he call back.

Your job search is much more than a resume and cover letter. It entails honesty and professionalism starting with your first contact with the company. Overlooking proper job search etiquette could be detrimental to your career success, so beware.

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Daisy Wright is Chief Career Strategist at The Wright Career Solution and author of No Canadian Experience, Eh? A Career Survival Guide for New Immigrants. Email: careercoach@thewrightcareer.com.

Don’t Sabotage Your Dreams with ‘Buts’

How many times have you said to yourself?

“I would like to find a new job, BUT I am too old.”

“I would really like a pay raise, BUT my boss will just say no.”

“I would like to change careers, BUT I am afraid it might not work out.”

“I hate my job, BUT if I leave it I won’t be able to make the same amount of money.”

“I would like to start my own business, BUT I don’t have the money.”

“I would like to … BUT my (friends, coworkers, family, spouse, kids) keep telling me I would be crazy to do such a thing.”

Can you relate to any of those? What’s getting in the way? The big ‘BUTs’ – no pun intended. Everywhere you turn, there’s a ‘but’ that stops you in your tracks. These ‘buts’ are your fears that tell you that you don’t have the time, the money, the education, the nerve, or the skills. These ‘buts’ tell you that you should stick to the evil you know of and not venture into the unknown. These ‘buts’ cripple you and prevent you from going after your dreams.

The biggest of these ‘buts’ is F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real. Eleanor Roosevelt said “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” You are afraid of what people might say. You are afraid to put one foot in front of the other just in case you might reach somewhere. You are afraid to take a leap of faith in your endeavours. You are afraid to fail, and in some cases, you might be afraid to succeed! Do you see the power that fear has? It has gripped you so fiercely that you hang on to the same job day after day even though it no longer gives you the satisfaction it once did.

The other big ‘but’ is the negative self-talk you engage in. Have you ever listened to some of the things you say to yourself? “Duh … what a ditz I am. I can’t do it. I’ll never be able to have that. I don’t deserve a raise. It’s my fault. Here I go again, making a fool of myself. They didn’t like me. I didn’t get the job because I am too old.” and on and on it goes. While you are wallowing in self-pity, you meet another negative person who agrees with every word you are saying about yourself. That’s destructive behaviour!

One of these days when you are having such a conversation with yourself, try this little exercise. Write down everything you are saying or thinking. At the end, pretend you are telling your friend what you told yourself. “Duh … what a ditz you are! You can’t do it. You’ll never be able to make it. You don’t deserve the raise. It’s your fault. Here you go again, making a fool of yourself. They don’t like you. You didn’t get the job because you are too old.” Wow! Would you really say those things to your friend? If not, why are you saying them to yourself?

You need to change that mindset. You cannot allow fear and negative self-talk to cripple you and prevent you from moving forward with an idea or a decision. If you set your heart on engaging in negative self-talk, consistently allowing the ‘buts’ to get in the way of your dreams, you are destined to remain where you are. Instead, ask yourself, “What if I moved forward in spite of my fears? What if I take a chance?” You could surprise yourself and succeed!

I have known many people (including me) who have been able to clear some of the ‘buts’ out of our way and move forward in spite of our fears. We were once where you are. At every turn we saw the ‘buts’, but never allowed them to thwart our progress. It took faith; it took belief in self and it took encouragement from positive-minded people.

Surround yourself with positive-minded people who will encourage you to follow your dreams. It’s okay to listen to the naysayers, but continue moving confidently in the direction of your dreams, anyway.

I hope you have gained some food for thought from this article. It doesn’t matter where you are in your career or your life, if you want to make a move, forget the ‘buts’ and JUST DO IT!

Radio Interview with Canadian Business Consultant & Venture Capital Expert

Do you have a great business idea and would like to find out how to raise capital to fund the business? Are you an aspiring entrepreneur under 30? Would you like to hear from someone who decided to create a job for herself rather than work for somebody else?

If so, join me on my radio show, The Career Achiever, on Wednesday March 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm, when I will be interviewing the Founder and Principal of Lemonade Capital, Prerna Chandak, a young woman who took a giant leap to move her career forward and start a venture capital and business consulting firm working with SMEs and young entrepreneurs across Canada. Prerna was honoured as one of Chatelaine Magazine’s 80 Amazing Women to Watch in Canada and in 2007, was a recipient of the National Top 20 Under 20 award by Youth In Motion.

Stay tuned for additional shows on career and job search topics.

Monday Morning Career Tips on My Radio Show

Just recorded 2 episodes of my radio show – one on Boosting Your Self-esteem, the other on 7 Career Survival Tips for Turbulent Times @ http://tinyurl.com/bxbvsy.

Self-esteem is based on how you see your abilities and your worth as a person. People with low self-esteem are usually negative about themselves and their abilities. They are afraid to accept who they are, yet self-acceptance is crucial to one’s self-esteem. Listen to this short Monday morning builder-upper, pointers that you can ponder on during the day and boost your self-esteem.

The doom and gloom frenzy seem to be taking over our ability to think straight. Don’t fear, the 7 Career Survival Tips in Turbulent Times will help you see things in perspective. Listen to it on my BlogTalkRadio show or copy and paste this link to read the full article at The Wright Career Solution: http://tinyurl.com/bugd2q