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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Would Your Resume Pass The Brand Test?

Would your resume pass the brand test? This is a question I ask my clients every time a resume review is on the agenda. Answering this question has a couple prerequisites – let’s discuss them.

You must know your ideal brand points. Choose 3-5 to highlight.

I use the term “ideal” loosely. These can’t be things that you “dream of being someday” – they have to be qualities that you currently possess or things that you are already passionate about. I say “ideal” because I’m sure you are lots of things, and some of them probably aren’t things you want on display to potential employers. Hey, we’re all a work-in-progress, right?

You must review your resume through the lens of your brand.

Let’s say one of your ideal brand points is “excellent communicator.” Is your resume well-written? Are there multiple bullets that demonstrate your ability to communicate well? Does your career summary highlight your accomplishments that relate to communication?

Remember, your resume is an extension of you and your brand – it shouldn’t just be a random assortment of job duties, skills and accomplishments. Your resume is meant to tell a story, with you as the author!

One way to give your resume a quick “brand test” is to have someone else review it and tell you the first 5 words that come to mind. Note: This is the only time I will condone having a friend/family member review your resume – simply because this part is subjective. If at least 2/5 words they choose line up with your brand, you’re likely in good shape.

So go ahead and give it a shot. If your resume doesn’t pass the brand test, take a close look at it and identify changes you can implement to improve the way you tell your story!

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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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The Settling Cycle: The 5 Phases of Faked Contentment

If I were to ask you if you’ve settled in your career, what would your response be? The hard truth is that most people don’t even realize that not only have they settled, but they’re actually currently stuck in the settling cycle. And it’s this vicious cycle that keeps many professionals from ever achieving career satisfaction.

PHASE 1: “I Want Something New.” 

The self-induced illusion of your phony contentment is finally starting to break. You’ve actually realized that you aren’t happy in your current state and would like something new. But, here comes the fear of the unknown with a dash of anxiety trying to paralyze you and keep you from moving forward.

PHASE 2: “I’m Just Starting To See Some Success, So I Shouldn’t Leave.” 

This is where you start to over embellish whatever small victories have come with your current state. For example, you could be well aware that your current position hasn’t allowed you to utilize most of your talents, knowledge, or skill set. Yet, you might justify this by citing those 3 times in your year with the company that your boss gave you a little creative freedom or the opportunity to take on a small task that you enjoyed. News flash sis, that’s not enough!

PHASE 3: “My Team Really Needs Me Now, So I Shouldn’t Leave.” 

This idea that employees should stay with companies or positions that don’t benefit them or make them happy just because they “need” them is toxic. It’s the same thing as that ex from your past who guilt-tripped their way into trapping you for way longer than necessary. Similarly, you need to just rip the bandaid off and facilitate the “breakup.” The longer you stay, the deeper the attachment. Also, let’s not forget that if your company needed to cut labor costs to reduce overhead, you’d be out the door in an instant. So, let’s not kid ourselves by thinking this is anything more than “just business.”

PHASE 4: “I’m Desperate! Now, I NEED Something New.” 

This is the point where you finally accept that you’ve been procrastinating this entire time and that you should’ve taken that leap long ago. So, you’re freaking out! You’re allowing all these feelings of time wasted and “ever nevers” to push you to your breaking point.

PHASE 5: “I’ll Just Take Whatever I Can Because I Don’t Have Time To Be Picky.” 

There it is. That devil of a predicament where you almost trick yourself into repeating the cycle ALL OVER AGAIN. It’s that “rebound” of jobs. This phase will have you taking any new job opportunity you can, just so that you can have that shallow, short-lived satisfaction of saying, “I left.”

If you’ve found yourself trapped in the settling cycle and would like some assistance freeing yourself, I invite you to join the 200+ others who have grabbed a copy of my 20-page Ultimate Career Guide. Because honestly, it will NEVER be “the right time” until you plan your time RIGHT.

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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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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.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

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.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

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.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

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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Crafting an Irresistible Career Summary

Raise your hand if you like to decide whether you want to see a movie based on the trailer.

That’s because the trailer typically gives you a good idea of what the movie is about, using some of the most interesting parts to capture your attention. Your career summary should do the same!

Your career summary acts as a teaser for the rest of your resume; you need to give the recruiter/hiring manager a reason to want to read more. Not sure what that looks like? Well, you’re in luck because I’m telling you exactly how!

  1. Save it for last. Although it appears at the top of your resume, you should make it the last piece you update – this way, you’ve already filtered through your most relevant accomplishments. From there, it’s easy to decide your most significant selling points!
  2. Keep it brief. After all, making it super long sort of defeats the point of having a career summary. Think about it – a 35-minute trailer just isn’t as appealing as a 2-minute trailer.
  3. Structure it well. Lead with your professional identity; be sure to include your number of years of experience. Follow that with highlights from your general experience. Close it out with your top achievement.
  4. Use quantifiable data to complement your skills where possible. Remember, numbers are much more persuasive than words. “Great saleswoman” is subjective, but “Increased department sales by 75% in one year” is MAGIC!
  5. Ensure it uses the keywords from your desired job description. This is where excellence and secret sauce intersect! You know what buzzwords applicant tracking systems, recruiters, and hiring managers are scanning your resume for? The words listed in the job description!

Here’s my real-life example:

Dynamic Program Manager with 10+ years of experience leading small to large-scale projects in healthcare technology, financial services, and business research. Proven track record in risk mitigation, building cross-functional teams, and coaching individuals to success. Experienced in managing $1M+ budgets and 20+ member teams.

Struggling to capture your awesome-ness via a career summary? Drop me a line & let’s chat!

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