Everyone has had one of those fantasies…you walk into your boss’ office and say “I quit.” In your mind, you picture your boss being shocked and begging you to reconsider… you are ‘way too valuable to the organization…you hear his/her apology for taking advantage of you…for giving you too much work…for not giving you enough pay… (insert your own complaint here…). Let your imagination run wild but don’t do it!
I wish this was a perfect world and that managers of people would treat their staff fairly and with integrity. Unfortunately, we know this is not true. If you are in that situation, consider your alternatives. If the job is salvageable, take action(s) to try and correct and resolve your issues with your manager. Arrange a meeting and state your case objectively and calmly.
But if you have done as much as you can or you feel there are issues that conflict with your values and/or ethics, then make plans to find another position. Especially in today’s economy when jobs are hard to come by, people who quit without a position waiting for them are looked upon with suspect by potential hiring managers. Your fantasy of quitting, then walking out the door is not a good plan. Believe it or not, but you are not irreplaceable. The company will survive. You are the one who will suffer the most, both immediately in your wallet and potentially with future references. Have you heard that it’s a small world? Your boss and your boss’ boss know a lot of people. You never know who knows who.
Take the high road. Plan ahead. Be patient, continue to do good work, and start looking. Many people wait until they can’t stand it anymore.
If things don’t change after a reasonable period of time, decide what your next job target or target company is, get your resume tuned-up, your LinkedIn profile up and running, and start looking. Too often people wait until they see their ideal job and they are not ready to make their move. Don’t let that happen to you!
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Let’s face it, it is tough to get any response from your resume or application. So if you are selected for an interview, congratulate yourself! You must have solid qualifications or you would not have even gotten that far.
Your resume has gotten you into the door, but now you have to bring it home. Sure you know your background and experiences, but don’t think you can walk in the door and wing the interview. A good candidate prepares and anticipates what the hiring manager wants to know and their expectations.
How do you prepare, you ask. Start with the job posting. Look for key words in the posting and be ready to give examples of how you demonstrate those aspects. Go through your resume and review how you will expand on each of your accomplishments and responsibilities. Think of whatever you’ve written on the resume as talking points for the interview.
Also, spend time in thinking about answering behavioral based interview questions. They usually start with something like, “Tell me a time when…” Anticipate what the hiring manager might be interested in hearing about. To answer this type of questioning, think of real examples from the past. Do not say anything like, “…well, I would…” The interviewer doesn’t want to know your theoretical answer, they want a solid example from the past. Come up with your stories on examples of how you address a question on team work, how you solved a problem, an ambitious goal you achieved, a colleague you struggled with etc.
It helps to practice beforehand. If you have an interview coming up, contact me for my Interview Coaching program.
Do you have a goal you want to accomplish? Many people want to make a change in their job and/or their career, but they are not willing or able to to start down the path. Maybe in this generation of instant success, we imagine that we too, can wish it and make it so. Unfortunately, that doesn’t normally happen.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with where you want to go and all that needs to take place. My best advice is to keep your goal in your mind and heart, while you just focus on the next best step you can do. It’s easy to get discouraged, but just keep moving step after step.
If you reach an obstacle or find you are going down the wrong path, pause, then reevaluate your direction. Many times it may need a different plan. It’s all part of the journey after all. Unfortunately, it takes time—usually more time than we had planned, or want.
But think about where you’ll be in 2 years. Will you be further down the road or stuck in the hole you’re currently in. Momentum and motivation builds as you move forward, but sometimes you have to give yourself a little kick start!
Perhaps this has been the worst period in our lifetime when so many people have experienced rejection. And while this post is not addressing the kind of rejection you feel after a partner break-up, the emotions you go through are the same.
I wish I had some magic words that can help you through this period of your life. Here are a few of today’s work situations where you experience an emotional roller-coaster:
Company Lay-Off. Despite the fact that you know about the economy, many times you can’t help but feel, “why me”? Perhaps others did survive and you didn’t–what did you do wrong? Rejection.
Applying for Work. These days my clients wonder what they are doing wrong. They believe they have a good background–lots of good experience and yet, they hear nothing. Although most don’t even receive a rejection letter that was typical years ago, they still do feel that rejection.
Not Selected after Interview. The good news is that you landed an interview, but then you don’t get the job. It may be even made worse if you go back for follow up interviews, because the more time you put in, you start imagining yourself working at that company. It’s a hard blow when you aren’t the final candidate.
Here are some things to remember:
It’s not personal. Yes, it FEELS personal because it impacts your livelihood. Even if you are selected in a lay-off, many times it’s a numbers “game.” There is just so much money and so many people have to be eliminated. It really isn’t you. Matter of fact, many well-qualified people find themselves in the same situation. You are not alone.
Move on. The faster you are able to get over the anger and the hurt, the faster you can reach your desired goal. But do allow yourself time to feel the pain. Work is a big part of who we are–we feel it is part of our identity. However, we are MORE than what we do. Remember, we are human beings, not human doings.
Let it go. Control what you can, let the outcome go. Continue to do all the things you can in a job search. If you dwell on when you will get a job and how, you will drive yourself frustration.
I know this is all easier said than done. But keep your eyes focused on your future and not your past. Find support if you are struggling and you may need to get out of your comfort zone to find new ways to land that perfect job you want!
When I’m approached by folks wanting me to help them find their ideal job, there seems to be an inherent pressure on them.They want to finally get it right… this time. Most of them have the belief there must be only one right answer and unfortunately, they haven’t figured it out as yet.
Although I can certainly empathize (I’ve been there), we seem to put so much pressure on being “right.” We want to avoid unnecessary expenses by going down the wrong path and wouldn’t it be nice if we could just take the short cut.
Unfortunately, I have learned that even when we are listening to our heart and feel strongly we are headed in the right direction, there may be some surprising curves in our path.
When I got laid off back in 2006, I recognized it was an opportunity to follow my dream of becoming a coach. And I was right–my talents and interests were a natural fit for coaching. But what I didn’t expect was how starting my coaching career was just a beginning of another journey.
Initially I wanted to “step away” from business and HR in my coaching focus. It was time to take a break and I did…for awhile. But now 6 years later and 6 different business cards later–I look back and realize how much I evolved, grew, and became so much clearer than when I first started out.
And so my suggestions to my clients is to relax. Go with the best answer, the best direction…for now. Relax and enjoy the journey.
The big news today was that my NC area had the highest rise in unemployment rates in the state this past month. Not news that anyone wants to hear.
While it’s hard not to get caught up in doom and gloom when all the news seems to be negative, you have to pull yourself up and choose the path that leads to success. One road leads to giving up and the other one is focused on possibilities.
Understand what you have control over. You can’t guarantee interviews or job offers, but you can control the process and what you are doing that increases your chances for a successful outcome.
Are you organized? How do you track your progress or what you’ve done? One thing you can do is to create two spreadsheets. One for your networking contacts and the other for jobs you applied to, phone interviews and replies etc.
How does your resume serve you? I am surprised how poorly written most resumes are. Is your resume focused on your past responsibilities? Or have you taken care in identifying your position targets and have incorporated key words so that your resume will be selected for viewing?
Are you resisting the power of social media? Do you know how to utilize social media to your advantage? If not, there are many sites on line where you can learn more about how to make them work for you!
Are you trying to do your job search alone? It can be lonely out there! Find a few trusted friends who will support you in the process and help you keep up your spirits. A career club is a great way to get guidance on your job search and also provide you regular support from people who are in the same situation as you are.
As the old cliche goes, if you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. This is 2011–time to shake it up!
Sign up for a free critique on your resume or if you’re in the Asheville area, let me know if you are interested in my career club starting in February! (see my web site for more information)!
Searching for a job does not have to be DEBILITATING emotionally (or exasperating at best) Some people believe that jobs are even, (and I am going to whisper this so shhh, sccaarrrccceee). However, you don’t have to be a famished job seeker. Instead, be job savvy! I am passionate about empowering my clients to take exhausted and worn out resumes and turn them into resumes that scream, “I am ready to do my best for YOU!”
Why do I go the extra mile for my clients? Well, simply…because nothing is as important as your resume. These days, without having a resume that WOWS (rather than “just works”), you probably won’t ever get that interview in the first place.
One of the first decisions you have to make is to decide what it is you are looking for. Sure, you may have more than one target, and you may need to create two (or more) differently focused resumes depending on those unique targets. But being clear on what you are looking for is critical. One of the ways I help my clients get clarity is by an in-depth interview of their background and career objectives.
Secondly, a good way to start is to look through some of the job postings and job descriptions on career sites (sometimes called job boards) and scan them for jobs you are interested in. Note the particular responsibilities potential employers list and what kind of qualifications they are looking for. Look for themes between the various postings.
Then gather up any job descriptions and performance reviews you have and if you have an old resume, that will help as well. Start picking out the accomplishments and responsibilities that in particular, match the job you are targeting. You’ll want to highlight them in your resume so your potential employer can easily pick them out.
In this tough economy, employers want people who have the skills to hit the ground running. You must demonstrate through your achievements what you can do to fill their needs. Remember, your resume is not an autobiography. It doesn’t have to include a list of everything you have ever done in your life. Be selective in what you include!
More about turning up your resume in subsequent posts. I reserve Tuesday afternoons for tweaking resumes with my clients. It you’d like to be included on that list, email me and I will let you know when I have my next availability. If you’re ready to position yourself for success in 2011, email me at email@example.com.