career advice

Career Transition Planning for Year's End


Grateful… Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Today as I was thinking about the holiday season my head started thinking of the old Beatles song with a lot of Yah’s in it.  Why, I don’t have a clue, but since this is a time of giving thanks many in the transition journey would probably say, “Thanks, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, right”, but you can feel more thankful when giving more effort into the process during the Season.

How can we make the most out of this time in our life with more than a lip sync kind of feeling? 

1.      Make a lists

List what you are grateful for today, this week, this month and this year.  Even if the list is short make it count.  Look back at the things that were accomplished even though difficult, family, friends, the opportunity to do something for others that you may not have been able to do if not in the journey.  Also, look ahead at what things you can be grateful for in the new year. 

2.      Spend your time wisely

Spend your time wisely when not working on your job search activities.  Take the time to bake the cookies with the kids, sing in the choir, feed the homeless and elderly, babysit for someone who needs to go shopping, take the dog to the park, participate in the Christmas play, take a drive to see the lights or watch a great old movie that makes you happy.  The ultimate challenge is to see if you can capture the feelings you had as a kid during Christmas time.

3.      Discover your “Why” 

This means figure out why you are here on this Earth, in this family and on this journey.  Take the time to discover yourself by taking a breath and looking around for all the greatness you see.  Some would say to stand at the ocean’s edge and feel small while others may look up at the night’s sky to see all the stars to feel the wonder of the universe.  What ever it takes, use this opportunity to learn about yourself and discover your purpose again.

4.      Say Thanks

Just keep saying “Thanks” and professing your appreciation for everything you have.  When you rise in the morning give thanks for a new day.  When you sit down for a meal give thanks for what you have on the table.  When you take a walk give thanks for health, nature and natural resources we have access to daily.  Hey, if nothing else give thanks that we have modern plumbing in the home.  For one, I would not want to live without it.  Find the little things that are taken from granted and be grateful for each.

It does not take much, but it does take awareness to be grateful in a serious and meaningful way.  We don’t have to glaze over the real meaning of this Season just because our journey is difficult or long.  Give thanks and appreciate all you have… Yeah.

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Leverage Advisors

Takes More Than Positive Thinking


Stay Positive
In the world where we don't always get what we want it is sometimes very hard to stay excited in a career search, much less keep a positive face. We all hear, "Just stay positive", or " Keep a good attitude". But... for those who have been in a career transition for weeks, months or even years it becomes very difficult to stay in that positive mode and believe we will triumph in landing that next opportunity. This is the time when we must dig deep within ourselves to find the bedrock of who we are and determine the reasons why staying in the fight for this career path must continue.

Have Tenacity
It does not matter why you are in a career search, what matters is that you keep thinking in a positive manner as you go through the process. How does a person keep going when all they have gotten is rejection time and again you ask? My only word to share is "Tenacity". Positive thinking is more than just an attitude or a feeling. Remaining positive sometimes just requires grit to keep going and stay the course. When everything is going in the wrong direction this is the time to reaffirm your commitment and put that self belief to work even harder. Tenacity means we refuse to let the negative influence our thinking and actions daily. It means we refuse to let other's opinions or rejection dissuade us from our goal.

Wear Your Game Face
Tenacity also means that we put our warrior face on as we work to make our goals come true. As a friend once said to me, "No body wants to hire someone with little self esteem or who looks like they are begging for the job." When we have the onsite interview opportunity, the phone interview or even meet people in a social setting we have to be putting forth the image, the face, the attitude and demeanor saying we are positive in our self, our accomplishments and have faith that we will get the job of our choice. I know it is hard, been there, done that more than once! However, if we look determined and assured, then others will think of as such.

Be Strong, Assured and Determined
Staying positive with a tenacious attitude has always won over the negative view and opened doors that were impossible options. In addition to putting on the face, we also have to speak in a positive manner. Using such words as "Maybe" or "We'll see", are not the expressions of a positive person. We must speak with authority on our best known subject... Us. We must be outlandish in our claims to the point that others see us landing our dream job as inevitable. Here is another point, people want to help those who are strong, assured and determined. Think about this, how many times have you wanted to help someone who looks and talked like a powerhouse? Yes, positive thinking and actions draw strong people together.

Keep Moving Forward
So, if you are thinking negative thoughts or acting dejected, stop it now! Pay yourself forward and keep moving in a positive way with positive self image, positive speak and do so tenaciously.

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors

Laid Off! Now What?


Many individuals do not have the benefit of living in an area where career groups and free services abound to help you deal with the monumental issues of a job search. If you don’t have this type of help, here are a few ideas that might be beneficial.

1.  Sign-up for Support

Sign-up with your state unemployment office not only for financial services, but for connections to employers and jobs in the community. The state-run service centers usually have a long list of jobs from entry-level to mid-level roles. For higher-level jobs, you will need to depend primarily on networking.

2.  Move On Quickly

Get prepared for the journey as soon as possible. If you have been laid off or suffered a termination you are in a state of shock or emotional turmoil for a few days or weeks. The feelings you have are normal, but you need to quickly get past this phase if you hope to interview well. If you need help, seek out a local counselor, job coach or at least a friend to talk through the pain.  The longer your dwell on the negative the longer it is going to take to move forward.

3.  Make Time to Contemplate

Now that you have an opportunity to do something different than you were doing (if you did not like what you were doing) take the opportunity to change your career focus. To help in this process you can take the usual Wonderlic or other tests suggested by a coach, but I find the answers are already inside waiting to be discovered. May I suggest you begin this by writing down how you wish your life to look in five years. Just write down words, phrases or descriptions. You don’t have to do long sentences or paragraphs of descriptions. Then you want to meditate or think on the topic of “What do I want to do for a career”. Upon completing your meditation time do a data dump on paper again writing down words, phrases or ideas. After 24 hours or so revisit and organize the info into categories that make sense. Compare the data dump info to the five-year list. See if there are any trends or connections that you can draw from the information. If so, this is your path to the future. 

4.  Your Resume

On your resume use “Key Accomplishments”, key words and show metrics where possible. Recruiters today are pressed for time so a resume may only get about 8 seconds of review in the first pass. Make a friend by designing an easy to read document and point to the most important facts using bullet point lists instead of long paragraphs. You will find the recruiters like this style and will tend to read the whole resume more quickly.   

5.  Apply everywhere

Apply on every board, to all services and tell everyone you meet that you are in a job search. Networking is where 80% of the jobs are being found today, but keep working the job boards too. Depending on the level of job you may find the job boards are better, but for the higher-level positions networking is best. If you can connect with others who are in search, use this group as your accountability partners and help each other in the journey.

6.  Stay positive

Your attitude makes a difference and shows in the interviewing process. No one will offer a job to someone who is down, negative or speaks badly about others. So, keep to the high road and paint a smile on your face always believing you will land your next great opportunity. 

Happy Hunting out there!

Kathy Goodin-Mitchell, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Career Advisor & Founder, Career Leverage Advisors