General Career Coaching

Networking Tip: Help People Help You!

​Job seeker: Your networking outreach stinks! Okay, maybe not YOU, but most others.
No-no: “I’m looking for a new opportunity so please let me know if you hear of anything.”
Do some work up front to help people help you.

📌Identify the kind of role you’re seeking.

Next, list out:
📌Your related experience and what you do best.
📌The value an employer will receive.

Finally, create your three-part networking conversation starter:
“I’m currently seeking a customer service team lead role. I have three years of operations experience improving processes and solving problems, which helps my employer provide better, consistent experiences to customers, increasing recent customer satisfaction scores by 12% .”

Short and sweet is key!

If you don’t know what you want, or what you do best, you are in the career discovery phase, not the job search phase. Take a step back to get clear.

Got Goals? First, Do This!

​Don’t make the mistake of setting goals without first asking these questions!
1. What did I accomplish in 2017 that was important, or I valued?
2. What’s going well that I can leverage?
3. What could be different or better?
4. What’s getting in the way of improving #3?
5. What’s one thing I would change?
6. How might I get what I need to make #5 happen?

Take time to answer these questions and you’ll have a meaningful and focused foundation to plan what’s next.

What did you accomplish in 2017 that you’re proud of?

If you didn’t reach your goal, what one thing will you do differently to change that for 2018?

Managers – Does Your Team Trust You? Find Out!

​Are you exhibiting these 5 traits to your employees? If not, they don’t TRUST you.
A message and plea to people managers:
Employees who can’t stand one more year with their manager are getting ready to fly. I, and others, will help them leave.
Here are FIVE things you MUST do daily with your employees if you don’t want that to happen:
1. Be OPEN and HONEST. This is a two-way street: Be open with your team, and open to their ideas and input. Always tell the truth.

2. Be COMPETENT. You don’t have to know it all. If you aren’t competent in your position, your team won’t respect you. Find a mentor to help you create a plan to grow as a manager.
3. Be DEPENDABLE. Don’t promise things and not follow through. Do what you say you’re going to do.
4. Be FAIR. Playing favorites kills morale and will cost you.
5. Show you CARE. Your employees must feel you consider their well-being when making decisions and care about what’s important to them. Share their burdens.
Do you exhibit these 5 trust-builders? All five are needed. Not sure? Ask them.
In 2018, commit to invest in the time to become the manager your employees will be torn to ever leave.

I Dropped the Ball!

​I completely dropped the ball today. Not once: THREE times.
→ I was late for my first in-person client meeting because people in Charlotte drive like they’ve lost their mind when it rains. And I got every red light for miles.
→ I forgot my laptop charger at home so my computer died while I was going over a career report with my second client.
→ I completely forgot to call a third client because we scheduled over email instead of through my scheduling tool and I forgot to add it to my calendar.
Today was a life lesson that sometimes how we REACT to what happens to us ruins our day more than what actually happens to us.
I made a decision to refuse to let these set backs bring me down.
When the nits of life try to pull you down, hold up your fists and shout, “Get behind me! I’m not going down today!”

Want More Confidence? Know Thyself!

Socrates is credited with the quote, “The beginning of wisdom is to know thyself.” I suggest knowing thyself is also the beginning of the road to confidence.

socratesI’ve partnered with career coaching clients who’ve been at the proverbial bottom of the pit, and their confidence has taken a beating. From clients whose spouses have died or left them – never needing to be the primary wage earner before, to executives that were surreptitiously​ ousted coup-style by their colleagues, to countless others whose managers beat their spirits down through criticism (despite their own managerial deficits which contributed to my clients’ inability to be successful in their roles).

When doing career discovery and transition work with clients, my goal is simply to show them what they do best and help them determine the most desirable and feasible career options that align to those insights so they won’t dread Mondays anymore.

Not only do my clients and I accomplish that goal together, but I began to notice a trend. From the first time we spoke, until we finished working together, their confidence increased. They shifted from feeling uncertain, to feeling inspired about their future and their ability to pursue it. This has happened again, and again which has led me to conclude that people who are clearly aware of their strengths and abilities not only project confidence, but have achieved authentic confidence by internalizing it.

Some of the comments clients make after they go through the exercise of self-discovery have been:

“I’m so excited to learn so much about myself!”

“I felt so confident when I went into that interview!”

“I took my strengths for granted, and didn’t recognize them as unique abilities.”

“I have you to thank for guiding me in the right direction to have more confidence in myself and my abilities​.”​

This is why I love my work so much. I don’t just help people gain career clarity and the steps to achieve it, I help them gain confidence!

How do you increase your self-confidence? A potential first step is to understand your strengths. I highly recommend the Gallup StrengthFinder assessment. Read the Strengths Insight Guide that comes with it, and discuss it with people who know you, both at work and at home.

Ask people to share examples of how you’ve used your strengths, and then contemplate how you’ve used them from your perspective.

Next, take a free assessment​ to evaluate your character strengths.

From the VIA Institute on Character:

“Research tells us that individuals who use their character strengths lead happier, more satisfying lives. Only when you understand your unique character strengths can you begin to live a life that is engaging, exciting and rewarding to you.”

Again, share the insights you gain with people who know you. Ask them to share observations of when you’ve used these strengths.

Finally, assess what’s most important to you: your values. This brief exercise provides a third leg of the stool to have a source of pride in what makes you unique: your strengths, your character, and your values.

Our human tendency is to focus on what is wrong with us. When we focus on our assets, everything changes when we begin to appreciate what is right with us. We embrace our strengths, and hopefully start intentionally leveraging them!

All the best to you,