General Career Coaching

Unhappy at work? Reflect on your values!

If you’re unhappy at work, take a moment to jot down what’s most important to you. For example:

🖋Connection with loved ones
🖋Autonomy in my job
🖋Making a difference
🖋Having fun
🖋Being a subject matter expert

Next, evaluate these values across three levels: the role, your manager, your company culture.

Review each value against each level and ask, is this value honored by my role, my manager, my company culture?

When your values aren’t honored by the inherent aspects of a role, this could mean career transition is in order.

When your values aren’t honored by your manager, moving to a new team in the organization could be in order.

When your values aren’t honored by the culture, departing the company could be in order.

Knowing where your values are violated is almost as important as knowing what you value.

I hope you find this as helpful as I did. This very exercise led me to quit my job and found Virtus Career Consulting.​

​What’s your greatest weakness?

Interviewers ask this question to:
✔Look for red flags, personality flaws, or traits that could lead them to not want to work with you.

✔Determine willingness to grow – Do you ignore your weaknesses and expect everyone else to? Hiring managers must see you’re willing to grow.

✔Gauge self-awareness – Knowing your weaknesses demonstrates you’re aware of and own your short-comings. No one wants to work with someone who thinks they’re perfect.

Avoid answering with a humble brag: “I’m a perfectionist,” or “I work too much.”

Share a true weakness that’s NOT core to the role, but not completely unrelated, either.

Avoid interpersonal weaknesses unless you can demonstrate improvement. Personality issues are the #1 cause of termination.

Be VERY brief. Don’t elaborate or story-tell the weakness. It will stick in their mind through story.

Shift immediately to share what you’ve learned or done to improve.

A great approach is to share feedback you received that you acted upon to improve. Show you’re coachable and take feedback.

“My manager gave me feedback in my review that my emails are too long and detailed. I’ve been taking a Succinct Writing course online and I’m improving daily.”


I’m doing everything right. Why am I not getting an offer?

I’m asked this a lot.

→ I’ve done my research
→ I asked great, employer-centric, questions
→ I nailed “What are your strengths?”, connecting it to the job
→ I was confident, not cocky
→ I had answers ready for their questions
→ I provided accomplishments relevant to their need
→ I mapped my stories to their job description
→ I don’t have off-putting behaviors based on mock interview feedback
→ I listened at least as much as I talked
→ I didn’t ramble or spend 5 minutes telling one story
→ My body language checks out based on video mock interviews
→ I was on time
→ I’m not showing lack of passion

Note: Unconscious bias is real, but out of scope here.

1 in 3 of 2,000 surveyed hiring managers say they know within 90 seconds if they’ll hire you, according to Jobvite.

Why? They’re subconsciously assessing 3 things:
1. Do I respect you?
2. Do I trust you?
3. Do I like you?

Reflect on the first 90 seconds of your interviews. Did you make a strong connection?

Your #1 job is to build rapport.

Smile and make eye contact.
Share common ground from their LI profile or something in their office.
Mirror their pace: If they’re calm and you talk fast, maybe that’s an issue.

People hire people they like.


Changing Jobs? Avoid Buyer’s Remorse!

Changing jobs? Don’t jump from the pan to the fire!

How to pinpoint what you love and hate to avoid the same (or worse) situation.

1. LIST top DISLIKES of your job in 3 areas:
✔ Job responsibilities
✔ Manager’s shortcomings
✔ Company culture

2. LIST what you LIKE across same 3 areas, above.

Prioritize each list by most important.

✔ Create interview questions based on top priorities
✔ Research the company based on your lists (e.g. read, reviews)
✔ Have conversations with people about the company (leverage your network)
✔ Contact HR at the company with questions about the role or company

Top DISLIKES in current job:
A. Manager micromanages me
B. Project team misses deadlines; I’m held responsible, others aren’t

C. Collaboration among peers on team
D. Allowed to work from home

Sample questions to ask:
A. Can you describe your delegation/management style on a recent project?
B. How would you describe the company culture toward accountability?
C. Can you share how the team works together and give an example?
D. How is the team distributed? Is everyone in the office?

Tip: Use Google!
e.g. “Interview questions about ________”

Avoid buyer’s remorse through reflection and preparation!​


Assumptions really are termites to relationships. I hear assumptions every day because the bulk of my leadership coaching is helping people manage their people problems and conflict.
“She’s dismissing my ideas because she’s threatened by me.”
“He’s not promoting me because he doesn’t like me.”
“She’s not including me in decisions because she’s a control freak.”

For any given situation there are MANY possibilities to explain what might be going on. Some of our problems might even be caused by our own blind spots.

Instead of assuming, ASK. Open, honest communication works best. Try something like this:

“The last few weeks I’ve observed _________. Could you help me understand what led to that decision?”

“I’ve presented three ideas this quarter that were declined. I’d be interested in receiving feedback on how I could present my ideas differently to increase receptivity.”

The next time you catch yourself making an assumption, challenge yourself to consider possible alternatives, give the person the benefit of the doubt, and ask!
The gap between love and hate is created by misunderstandings.