Your Career Management Plan: Born from Your Obituary

A tweet on Twitter this morning caught my eye. In relation to today's holiday – Martin Luther King's birthday – the question was asked, "What will be your legacy?" It seems that most of us today are so caught up in day-to-day living – or even surviving - that we haven't pondered that question much. It's amazing, though, that if you do start to think about it, ideas regarding career management begin to surface. One hundred years from now, what do YOU want to be remembered for?

Curiously, this same issue was brought up on a movie I watched on television over the weekend – remember "Cocktail" with Tom Cruise? Tom – or rather his character, 20-something Brian Flannigan – was seeking ways to earn his life's fortune. He sat down with pen and paper and began writing his own obituary. When he did that, ideas flowed.

So, my career coaching assignment for career changers this week is this: write your own obituary. You can do it; just give it a try. Imagine the story your grandchildren will tell about how you made your mark on the world. What will they talk about? What do you want them to talk about? Consider all ideas, no matter how crazy they may sound. From all ideas, bits and pieces can be pulled together to gel into one cohesive plan.

Wishing you much career success in 2010!

Meg

Job Dissatisfaction Running Rampant: Are You Running With It?

How unhappy we are at work these days! Job satisfaction is at an all-time low, yet most workers are afraid to even contemplate making a career change. Fear rules most career decisions.

For the past couple of days I've been blogging about career change – how people want it, but many are afraid to take the leap, especially in today's uncertain economy. Everyone needs a paycheck, and most are willing to do anything to keep one coming in. Yesterday the Herman Group published their weekly alert quoting a respected source about employee job dissatisfaction:

"The Conference Board research group recently reported job satisfaction has fallen to a record low of 45 percent, the lowest level ever recorded in 22 years of surveys! Extrapolating from that number, more than half (55 percent) of US workers state that they are "dissatisfied" with their jobs. It is also logical that the most dissatisfied group is workers under the age of 25—64 percent of whom said they are unhappy in their jobs." (Read the full report from the Herman Group – Herman Trend Alert, 1-13-10)

It's so much easier for people to identify what they don't like, than to bravely venture out into the unknown to identify what they do like. Fear is a powerful emotion that will cripple your creativity – creativity that's essential for new career directions to be discovered, let alone be acted upon.

Don't get stuck in one place like the proverbial deer in the headlights. Take the first step to evaluate what your values, skills, and interests are that you'd like to transfer to a new career direction. You don't have to hurry the process, but do go beyond the fear to find your next career path to job satisfaction. You deserve to be happy! And believe it or not, that option does exist – even today.

Managing Career Change: Shift Your Attitude!

Whether you've been laid off or just burned out with your job, it's important to understand that the biggest factor affecting most worker attitudes today is a rapidly changing work environment. Change is occurring at warp speed all around us, and human nature tends to resist change. Why?

  • Change can mean that you need more education to qualify for a new position, one that didn't even exist when you earned your college degree and thought you were done with studying. (Does that anger you or entice you?)
  • Change can mean having to motivate yourself to meet new people and network to make connections to help lead you to your next position. (But what if you're shy or don't know the social rules of networking?)
  • Change can mean asking for more responsibility at work – cross training – so that you can provide more value to your employer. (What if you feel you already work enough hours and are unappreciated?)
  • Change can mean letting go of outdated ideas and embracing new methods, techniques, and ways of doing business. (But isn't it more comfortable sticking with what you already know – no matter how bad for you - than taking a risk by going into the unknown?)

Change means accepting personal responsibility for your own career management by proactively designing and following a plan to achieve your goals. (Just because you want to change employers, it doesn't mean you are willing to change your attitude – does it?)

Change can be fun, exciting, and full of promise and hope. Or it can be frightening, depressing, and just not fair. It's all up to you – which perception of change do you choose to influence your attitude? Are you letting your attitude block your opportunity to work your passion because you're not willing to change?

Most changes are not easy, but many, especially career change, can be very rewarding. Change will happen whether you want it to or not. Don't fight it. Adopt a flexible attitude toward change, become friends with it, and you will discover how to have less stress in your life and more opportunity for career growth.

Wishing you career success in 2010!

Meg

Career Change for You in 2010?

OK, admit it – haven't you been wondering what it would be like to work somewhere else? Aren't you tired of the long hours, reduced benefits, and while we're at it, when was the last time you got a raise?

According to recent surveys, about 50% of all currently employed U.S. workers are ready to find that elusive "better job." Before quitting what you have (especially if you have some degree of comfort there), take the time to evaluate your options. Know what's most important about the next job you go to. Is it the Money, the Work, the People? What really matters most? Perhaps you just want some work/life balance. Or a little fun – what a concept!

Whatever your reason, get the help you need to make a successful career change. On this blog you'll see the link to go grab my f*ree assessment, "The Top 17 Signs You're Due for a Career Change and What to Do About It." Sign up for this, take it and see what you learn. You may be ready to take the leap and didn't even know it!

Wishing you career success in 2010!

Meg