4 Lies You Need To Stop Telling Yourself

When it comes to moving forward in your career, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your current state to assess what your next step should be. Often professionals have a warped sense of reality that keeps them hostage in a career they despise. The truth is, if you want to be successful in your career, you’ve got to quit telling yourself these lies:⠀⠀⠀⠀

“I don’t know how to do anything else.”

THE TRUTH: You’ve likely developed lots of transferable skills throughout your previous experiences, and you just don’t know how capable you are because you have not taken inventory. 😨 The thing is, all jobs require certain core soft skills like communication, time management, adaptability, etc. Completing a skill gap analysis will allow you to analyze just how much you CAN do.⠀⠀⠀⠀

“My company needs me too much for me to leave.”

THE TRUTH: If you were to leave tomorrow, the company would find a replacement. It’s nothing personal – just business. Sure, when you play a key role on a team, and they value your contributions, it’s going to sting when it’s time to part ways. The question becomes, do you really want to live a life of regret just to avoid a moment of hard goodbyes?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

“I have to do this because I went to college for this.”⠀

THE TRUTH: You can’t allow a decision you made in your late teens/early twenties to determine the rest of your life. Would you marry your toxic college boyfriend/girlfriend just because you chose to date him/her then? I pray your answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! Keep that same energy with your career. So you majored in Political Science, but you want to work in tech, DO IT! I certainly did (more on my story to come in a later blog post) 😅⠀⠀⠀

“I don’t have any other options.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

THE TRUTH: You have as many options as you believe you have. Here’s the thing – the possibilities are endless, but it will take work. So the question becomes, how much work are you willing to do to get to where you want to be?

If you’ve been telling yourself one of these lies, today is the day to finally acknowledge the truth! Once you know the truth, it’s so much easier to start moving in the right direction.

Need assistance determining your next steps? Drop me a line, and let’s chat!

 

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Don’t Become a Dinosaur: Why and How to Secure Your Job

Gone are the days of getting a “good job” with minimal effort in your youth and staying there for decades until you retire with “the gold watch package.” If you’re still following that overly optimistic way of thinking, we’ve gotta break it to you; you’re behind on the times, and you need to catch up! Those who don’t get left behind, and we all know how that story ends.

If you want to remain employed, it’s essential to understand today’s competitive, ever-changing market. While staying with the same company for an extended period may have been enough to keep our grandparents “safe”, it’s simply not enough these days. With the increase in certification and training programs, as well as additional opportunities to gain work experience through immersion programs, tenure on the job no longer remains the golden ticket to bypass layoffs.

So, how do you not get defeated in the “Hunger Games of Human Resources”? We’ll tell you.

  1. Expand the skills relevant to your area. Emphasis on YOUR AREA. Don’t try to be a “Jill of all trades.” It’s far better to be an expert at one thing than just okay at many things. There are many flexible opportunities to learn and develop your talents, like courses on LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Groupon, etc.

  2. Keep up with the latest industry trends. Knowing the latest trends can help you focus on the right skills. This means that keeping abreast of all the major news sources for your industry is a must. Research the most credible information sources and organizations, and follow them on social media, subscribe to their email lists, and even tune in to their YouTube channels. Also, joining a professional association can prove very beneficial for networking and sometimes being the first to get the latest scoop on industry updates and opportunities!

  3. Find a mentor in your field. We can all use guidance. Seeking out a qualified mentor, coach, or consultant in your field is a wise investment. They can offer you expert advice based on your personal needs as a growing professional. So, if you’re serious about being the most successful you, you will make this a priority in your budget.

Now that you have some of the major keys to success in securing your position – apply them! Do your best to research and execute the best strategies for your field, like your livelihood depends on it. Because guess what? It kinda does. So, heed this counsel and be blessed because you have the power to succeed!

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Less Hustle, More Strategy: How To Plan for a Promotion

As driven professionals, many of us strive for some sort of promotion at work – it’s this little common denominator called “ambition!” However, you shouldn’t have to work 80-hour weeks to be valued enough to get a raise or to move up the corporate ladder. Instead of spinning your wheels and experiencing burnout, come up with a strategic plan to set yourself apart from your coworkers!

STEP 1: CREATE YOUR 30/60/90 DAY PLAN

Having a clear and comprehensive 30/60/90 day plan can help you strategize and organize the most effective methods for reaching your goals! Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) vary between industries and companies, so you have to do your research to ensure these goals fit your industry and your company.

For example, suppose you are a Marketing Coordinator looking to move into a Manager role. In that case, your 30-day goals may include increasing the click-through rates on your company’s website, the open rates of email blasts, or the followers on social media. Your 60-day goals may include completing an online course in your field and consuming a certain amount of educational content on management. Your 90-day goals may include implementing a new strategy based on your expertise to improve your department’s efficiency.

STEP 2: REVIEW YOUR PLAN WITH YOUR MANAGER

The last thing you want to do is work super hard on the “wrong” things. While personal research is fundamental and will show your manager that you are serious about moving to the next level, there’s no better way to confirm you are on the right track than hearing it directly from the source.

Send a copy of your plan to your manager and schedule a meeting to review it. Let her/him know in advance that you will be looking for feedback on the plan. Make adjustments as needed based on her/his feedback. Remember, it’s essential to make sure you’re not just doing a lot but instead, you are doing the RIGHT things.

STEP 3: INCREMENTALLY REVIEW (AND CELEBRATE) PROGRESS

To ensure that you stay on track and successfully hit all of your targets, you should do self-review and manager-review at each benchmark to assess your progress. When it comes to your manager’s review, don’t simply ask, “Do you have any feedback for me?” Ask specific-pointed questions based on your plan. Ask, “What is one thing I should do in the next 30 days to take this plan to the next level?”

As a small source of additional motivation, treat yourself to something nice as you pass each milestone! For example, if you successfully meet or exceed your goals for the 30-day mark, treat yourself to a new pair of killer pumps or oxfords to pair with those power suits you’ll be wearing to the office!

All in all, you want to make sure that you are working smarter, not harder, to accomplish your dreams. We want to help you have a healthy work-life balance, and do it in style!

Need help crafting you 30/60/90 day plan? Drop me a line and let’s chat!

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Common Obstacles to Career Advancement & How They Present

While many people talk about the importance of career advancement, people rarely address the obstacles that arise along the way. Knowing (1) that these obstacles are real and (2) how they present are the first steps in preparing yourself for battle should any of them appear on your purpose path!

Fear “What if things don’t go according to plan?”

Raise your hand if you have ever avoided trying something new due to fear of how it would all turn out. Nobody can predict the future and have certainty of an outcome. However, that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your passions because if no one ever tried, no one would ever succeed. This sense of anxiety over the unknown is natural, but you shouldn’t let it hinder you. Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game!

Self-Doubt “What if I fail?”

Self-doubt will cause you to quit before you even try. When that doubt starts to creep in, just remember two things: First, it’s okay to not hit every target on the first go-round. Use these opportunities to learn, grow and progress. Second, doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. So just go for it!

Ignorance “I have no idea if my resume and LinkedIn are up to standard.”

There’s truly no excuse for this one in 2021 because there is an abundance of resources available at your fingertips. Whether it’s social media, e-learning, internet searches, or the hired help of an industry expert, use your resources to verify and improve your resume and Linkedin. This will not only optimize your portfolio, but it will give you the needed confidence to tackle your goals!

Complacency “I’m okay where I am.”

While it is totally okay to be happy with your current accomplishments, you should never limit your potential without good reason (ex: taking time to focus on self-care). Be the best that you can be (in all ways) and reap the rewards!

Weight of the Past “Because I didn’t do X, I’ll never be able to do Y.”

Leave the past exactly where it is… IN THE PAST! You should never let your past hold you back from a great future. As the old saying goes, “Sometimes it takes a small setback to breed a bigger comeback.” Use your lessons learned to strengthen you and move forward. Regardless of your past, you have the power to prosper!

These are just a few common obstacles. Have any of them been holding you back? If so, drop me a line, and let’s chat!

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4 Simple Habits of Productive Job Seekers

2020 was a year that really did a number on the economy and caused so many individuals and companies to suffer considerable financial losses. Thus, there are myriads of great professionals in search of new job opportunities. With the dramatic increase in available talent and the perceived decrease in available opportunities, it’s important to exercise efficient and effective job-seeking habits. Here are four of the best habits to implement in your daily quest for a new contract or position.

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Check For Opportunities Within Your Current Network

While you’ve probably become very familiar with every job board available, you want to also take advantage of your network by inquiring directly about any vacancies that suit your skillset. You should aim to spend at least 30 minutes a day sourcing and messaging people in your network about potential job openings. The best way to do this is via Linkedin so that they can easily view your profile and have an informed response about positions that would suit you. Feel free to add your direct contact information as well for them to pass along to their HR team. While this tactic may seem untraditional, you’d be surprised the results it can yield! According to CNBC, nearly 70 percent of jobs in 2018 were filled due to networking.

Keep Track of All Applications/Updates

Keeping track of all your applications and updates in a centralized location is an extremely important habit many job seekers miss! I’m sure many of us have been here before – receiving a call from a company about your application, but you can’t remember what the position was or what the key qualifications were – *slowly raises hand because I’m guilty too*. Note: It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, keeping it simple will likely increase your chances of sticking with it.. so do that!

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Tailor Resumes Per Position

Did you just roll your eyes out loud? I know, many people cringe at the thought of updating their resume for each position because, well, it takes time. However, this makes you stand out as a candidate more than a one-size-fits-all resume because it highlights education and experience most relevant to the position. For example, if you are a sales and marketing professional, your resume for a Marketing Specialist role would likely focus more on creative abilities, research and strategy planning, and tech-savviness versus your resume for an Account Executive role that would likely focus more so on communication skills, funnel development, and competitive goal-driven nature to constantly hit commission targets. Note: You many also find two marketing positions that highlight different preferred qualifications as well. In this case, you’ll want to make sure each resume includes the qualifications specified.

Check Email and Voicemail Often

This should go without saying but – return missed calls, listen to all voicemails and follow up on all emails! Make sure that your cellphone remains charged and you make yourself available to chat with any employers who want to speak with you in a timely manner. As the old saying goes, sometimes “you snooze, you lose.”

These, among others, are fundamental to being proactive and productive in your job search! Follow these steps and you will optimize your search and yield best results.

 

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3 Career Goals Every Professional Should Have Each Year

Whether you’re an entry-level or C-Suite professional, career goals are vital to your professional growth and development. While you should definitely have goals that are unique to you and what you’re looking to accomplish, every professional should incorporate the following goals into their plan each year.

Learn something new.

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Take a course. Read a book. Subscribe to a podcast or YouTube channel. Pursue a certification. The possibilities are endless! There are so many budget-friendly ways to learn new things these days so you really have no excuse. I have a co-worker who spent an entire weekend on YouTube learning how to use Microsoft Project and now she’s the resident “expert”. When our Senior Director has an issue with a project plan, guess who he checks with?

The point: Add to your skillset.

Meet someone new.

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Drake’s “no new friends” motto has no place in your professional life. Depending on which source you check, businesses report that anywhere from 70-85% of jobs are filled through referrals. You can’t be referred if people don’t know you #IJS. If you’re unsure where to start, joining a professional organization can give you access to people who share a common professional interest with you.

The point: Add to your network.

Do something new.

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Doing the same thing year-after-year is not only boring, but also played out! Take on a special project at work. Volunteer with a relevant organization. Find a hobby. There are so many new opportunities waiting for you and, with a little research, you can find something that truly propels your career advancement.

The point: Add to your experience.

And remember, there’s no better time to start than right now. Set aside some time this week to figure out what new thing you’ll learn, what new person you’ll connect with, and what new project you’ll take on!

 

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