Is Your Career Ready for a Change? Are You?

We all know change is often uncomfortable, even when we initiate it. Are you avoiding a change because you’re not sure it’s the right time or direction…or because you’re just reluctant  to dive into the job search hassle? If so, you might need to nudge yourself to “bite the bullet” and get moving.

On the other hand, maybe you’re avoiding change because you’re happy where you are, doing what your job involves, but someone has told you, “You should make a change. That’s what you have to do to grow in your career.”

Not so fast! Sometimes change is necessary for professional growth and long-term career success. That doesn’t mean it’s always necessary or can’t be postponed for good and sufficient reasons.

Two Points to Consider about  Job or Career Change Decisions

Although there might be a number of aspects you’ll want to look at if you’re considering a possible job change (or career change), these two could help you choose:

  1. Am I feeling “stuck” or stifled in my present job situation? If yes, the time could be right to seriously consider making a change.
  2. Does my current situation make me happy to go to work each day and look forward to what I’m going to do? If yes, you can probably postpone any decision about major changes for now. Just keep your thought open to different possibilities that might occur later on to influence your decision in a new direction.

In other words, change can be a necessity or desirable–or not. It depends on your situation. How can you tell?

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Your Best Laid Job Search Plans

No matter how well you plan your job search, sometimes things go “wrong.” That’s life. All you can do is try to remedy the problem as well and as quickly as possible.

This is probably going to be the shortest blog post I’ve ever done. Why? Because for several days I’ve been struggling with a technology glitch that suddenly blocked me from accessing my website–from any device in my home office!

So how am I at least able to do thus mini-post? I turned off the wi-fi setting on my cell phone and figured out how to reach the key section of my dashboard for blog posts!

 

Ibviously this is an “emergency” measure, not a solution. We’ll have to keep searching for that. However, it does illustrate the importance of resilience and flexibility in your job search–because plans can and will go awry at times.

In the meantime, Happy New Year and best wishes for a successful 2018 😁!

 

 

Age Discrimination Rears Its Ugly Head – AGAIN!

You might have thought that age discrimination had diminished after decades of efforts to at least reduce, if not eliminate, it. Think again! Evidently age discrimination is alive and well–online.

I have to say that this whole ageism issue makes NO sense to me. Any company with real business savvy and foresight ought to be able to see that older employees offer a wealth of experience and expertise their business could benefit from. The stereotypes that company management has long held about those older employees have also been shot down significantly over the years–proven to be basically as full of holes as Swiss cheese.

Why would any smart company–one that wants to operate a thriving, long-term sustainable business–deliberately ignore a substantial resource it could easily tap into?

Maybe that’s the short answer: There must be a lot of non-savvy, non-smart companies out there–which is to say, management teams/senior executive leaders and/or boards of directors who willfully ignore what they don’t want to see.

(Side note: If a tree survives for a long time and is still thriving, that’s considered a great accomplishment. As a productive professional, senior executive, etc., why should you be viewed as  past your prime because you’ve entered your 5th decade or beyond?)

Technology and Age Discrimination in Partnership?

No, technology per se isn’t deliberately fueling age discrimination in the work place. It can’t–it’s not a person. However, people use technology, and that use can be detrimental to your professional opportunities and career success. One clear and disturbing discussion of this can be found in a recent article from AARP, titled “Age Discrimination Goes Online.”

According to the article, age discrimination is “thriving, with 20,857 such complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2016 alone. As more jobs are advertised and applied for online, evidence is mounting that it is easier to discriminate against older workers.”

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Job Search: It’s More Than Positive Thinking!

A successful job search requires much more than positive thinking, although that’s not a bad place to start. It’s certainly preferable to the polar opposite–i.e., negative thinking.

If you’re trying to push a huge boulder up the mountain by yourself, you’re probably destined for failure. Thinking positively that “I can do it” doesn’t usually supply the necessary motive-power for a successful outcome–for your planned job search or any other significant activity.

Why Positive Thinking Isn’t Enough for Your Job Search

You can find plenty of inspiring quotes about positive thinking, as well as some that are humorous or disparaging. The following quotes sort of sum up the situation for me:

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” (Willie Nelson)

“Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.” (Shiv Khera)

Those of you who are Willie Nelson fans might tend to agree with his statement. However, it’s my understanding that his life hasn’t exactly been a smooth road! If positive thinking is enough for solid and long-lasting success, maybe he didn’t do enough of it.

The reason I prefer the second quote is that Mr. Khera understands the need for positive thinking + action. Nothing much happens if you adopt a hopeful attitude but don’t do anything constructive to carry through on it. Read More

Crazy Job Search or Career Peace of Mind – Your Choice

As we get close to the end of 2017, some of you are probably feeling the stress of too much to do and too little time–both personally and professionally, in many cases. If you’re trying to plan a job search to launch with a bang on January 2 or needing to figure out a change of direction for your career path in the near future, the approaching holidays might not seem all that great to you.

Some conditions you can’t control. However, there are at least a few steps you can take to make it easier on yourself. Start with the idea of turning “distress” into “refresh.”

Feel Overwhelmed with a Crazy Job Search?

Your distress in this situation could stem from feeling that your life is so far out of balance, it’s not funny. While you can’t necessarily balance professional and personal demands perfectly, that’s no reason to think you’re “falling down on the job.”

Look at it this way: You can at least consider the possibility that one part of your life will require more time and attention than the other at a given moment. Take a few minutes (longer if needed) to refresh your outlook and see if you’ve been stressing-out more than you need to. As the slightly twisted saying goes, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow!”

Other Steps to Help with that Crazy Job Search Dilemma

  • Revisit your priorities. I keep “preaching” about prioritizing what you need to accomplish, but maybe it’s at least as important to take a look at your priorities periodically to see if something has shifted when you weren’t looking.
  • Take some deep breaths (mentally as well as physically). Silly as it might sound, hitting the “pause button” could give you a refreshing outlook that pays off in other ways for your job search, career management and overall peace of mind.
  • Look outside yourself for support and encouragement. No law says you have to do everything yourself. If you aren’t tapping into personal and/or professional resources available to you, start now!
  • Reward yourself when you accomplish one of your key career-related “to do” goals, even if it’s a relatively small one. Injecting some positive reinforcement can provide the energy that fuels additional–maybe much larger–career progress down the road.

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Are Your Job Search Expectations Unrealistic?

The primary objective of your job search is to get a job, right? However, you have quite a few steps to take to reach that goal, and you can stumble if you don’t start with realistic expectations for the outcome.

Unrealistic Job Search Expectations

For example, if you’re currently earning $50,000/year but aiming for $150,000 in your next job, you’re probably indulging in an unrealistic expectation. That’s a somewhat extreme example, but it makes a useful point: focusing on a goal that’s a huge stretch can result in major disappointment. Your job search plan should take that into account.

What you focus on matters a lot. For instance, if you concentrate on nice perks during a job interview and not on the needs of the position and the company, you can lose out. Why? The impression you give the prospective employer suggests you’re more interested in the benefits you’ll get than you are in the opportunity itself.

To strengthen your chances for a successful job search, you really need to think in terms of mutual benefit–for you AND for the employer. Both parties have to feel satisfied with the result.

Fine-Tune Your Job Search Expectations

Assuming you aren’t starting with outrageously unrealistic expectations, are you out of the woods? Maybe…or maybe not.

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Low Job Satisfaction – Time to Jump Ship?

When you look back on the year so far and think about where you are versus where you wanted to be, do you wonder if it’s time to jump ship into a new job and/or new company? Low job satisfaction can sneak up on you–be overlooked in the day-to-day press of getting things done–but it’s a situation to be taken seriously.

Why is Low Job Satisfaction Important?

You can sabotage your overall career success and risk costly consequences if you let low job satisfaction color your attitude and actions. Worst case, of course, you could find yourself suddenly reaching the boiling point and throwing your job away. Rarely is this a wise move–if it ever is.

You might be experiencing low job satisfaction consciously or unconsciously . The distinction is that you need to be aware of it, if it exists, so you can take appropriate measures to counterbalance or correct it before you recklessly conclude that anything is preferable to staying in that situation–or prompt management to make the decision for you!

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Career Management Lessons from a TV Show?

Believe it or not, you can learn valuable career management lessons from television shows. The lessons come in two flavors: good and bad.

Good or Bad Career Management Lessons

Successful TV shows can go on for years and remain popular with many viewers. Other shows limp out of the starting-gate and fall on their face before they get through season 1. What can you learn from this for your career management and job search plans?

For one thing, success depends on multiple factors, some of which are highly unreliable, such as fickle public tastes. Something is received enthusiastically for a while and then dropped, or a particular theme might resonate with viewers while one that’s similar fails to strike a spark with the public.

On the other hand, the television industry isn’t always known for innovation. The opinion seems to be that if something worked well once, it should work for multiple versions of that idea. Occasionally a “franchise” will develop a successful, long-term track record, but in other cases, that doesn’t happen.

You can learn at least a couple of things from these situations:

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