Below is an excerpt from my latest St. Louis Post-Dispatch Career Column.
As a Career Coach, the “passion or purpose” question is my version of “the chicken or egg” query — which comes first?!
Let’s take a step back. Many people think of purpose and passion as the same thing, but they are actually quite different.
Passions are things we love, but they aren’t always relevant to our careers. For example, many of us are passionate about things like football, musical theater, cooking or landscaping.
COULD there be a career path in these areas? Of course. But if we’re honest with ourselves, those of us who aren’t destined to be a pro athlete or a chef usually know deep down when these things are best classified as hobbies. We know when there isn’t a realistic, tangible connection between this passion point and our career. We’re either not athletic enough (or too old!) to be a professional athlete, we don’t have the singing voice to be on the stage, or we simply don’t have the desire to take our cooking or landscaping interest beyond where it already is.
A purpose is different because it truly motivates us to do what we do professionally, going beyond just something we really like. But it’s often very hard to put your finger on your purpose. Let’s start by looking at what kinds of questions will NOT help us realize our true purpose:
• How much money can I make?
• What perks or benefits come with the company?
• Can I earn a big bonus or commission check within a short period of time?
• How fast can I advance?
Why do I say these things can’t determine your purpose? Because while these are “motivations” to work, they will never be the things that give you true satisfaction and joy in your career.
True purpose starts by identifying where your interests, natural abilities and acquired skills/education cross paths…
Read the rest of this article at its original home here.
The good news is that unemployment is down.
An surprisingly stressful result is that many companies are giving job offers on the spot in fear that they may lose them to someone else!
Now, this is obviously a good “problem” to have if you’re the applicant. But it may surprise you to hear that you should not accept the job right off the bat. What I always tell my clients is to accept the “offer”, but not the job quite yet. That may sound crazy, but you owe it to yourself to go away and think about it before you say “I do” to the job. I talk a lot more about this topic in my book, From Desperation To Deal.
Read the whole article for more insight into how you should handle this tricky (but in the end good) situation.
After many years of negative job openings numbers, we’re seeing some fantastic news as openings trend upward. Per this article:
The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed that job openings jumped to 5.75 million in July, the highest since the series began in December 2000.
This crushed economists’ expectations for a print of 5.3 million.
The quits rate — which reflects people who are comfortable leaving their current jobs — came in at 1.9% for a fourth straight month.
The layoffs and discharges rate fell to 1.1%.
These numbers are obviously great for all. So now the question becomes – is this the time for you to look for a new job even though you’re currently employed?
Or, if you aren’t employed and haven’t been able to find a job, what are you doing that’s wrong? I can tell you that it’s not you, but more likely the way you’re carrying out your job search strategy (or lack thereof).
If either of these scenarios fit you, maybe it’s time for a conversation…
One of the main things I work with my Career Coaching clients on is their personal brand – those things that make them unique and showcase their value above others in the professional marketplace.
But sometimes a brand needs to reinvent itself. Just think of the companies who DIDN’T reinvent themselves when the marketplace changed – brands like Kodak or Blockbuster. They were some of the biggest brands on the planet, but when their category changed and they didn’t, they got left behind in the dust.
The same thing can be said for our personal brands. Sometimes the market changes, business models shift, or we simply want to make a change happen ourselves because we’re not happy with our current career trajectory. When this happens, it’s time to reinvent your brand.
Mabel Valdiviezo recently wrote about this very topic in the Huffington Post. She tells the story of how she’s reinvented herself multiple times, citing 5 things you need to consider when reinventing your personal brand successfully:
Below is an excerpt from my latest St. Louis Post-Dispatch Career Column. You can read the whole column here.
All too often, I see professionals go about their jobs month after month, year after year without addressing their job concerns — present or future. Why is this?
First, let’s address why we have concerns in the first place.
All professionals have needs that vary depending on the length one has been on the job. But usually concerns arise because job duties are changing, there’s a lack of direction, no pay increases and/or a general feeling the professional is not appreciated for what they do for the organization.
Sometimes, it’s not that simple. All the time, people feel tensions at work, but can’t put their finger on what’s really bothering them. As a Career Coach, this is often where I come in, helping people realize what they need in reference to their job or development. After that, we determine action steps, assuming it’s even the right time to deal with it.
Now, once concerns are realized, why do so many people do nothing about it?
From my experience in both HR and as a career coach, many people simply hope their employers are pleased with their work (even if the employee is dissatisfied), so when the next big change comes along in the department or company, the employee will hold on to their job. In other words, they settle.
This isn’t acceptable. If you see yourself settling, it’s time to take responsibility for your own career happiness!
Don’t know how to go about taking action? Let me give you an example… READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT STLTODAY.COM.
Here’s a somewhat alarming statistic! Per Mercer’s recent Employee Views on Moving Up vs. Moving On survey:
The New York-based consultancy polled 1,520 employed workers in the United States and Canada, finding more than half (51 percent) of these respondents saying they receive “no input” or “input only once in a while” from superiors on how to perform better in their roles. In addition, 78 percent of employees indicated they would stay with their current employer if they had a better sense of their career trajectory with the company.
What does this mean for managers? That simply having an annual conversation with your employees about where you envision their career going can pay back huge dividends.
Read this article for more insight, and really consider how you can impact your team with a simple conversation!
I want to remind everyone to register for the first meeting of the Job Shapers Network – St. Louis’ newest and most unique career network!
Thursday, September 3rd (and the first Thursday of every month for 8 months)
Kirkwood United Church of Christ,
1603 Dougherty Ferry Rd.
Kirkwood, MO 63122
7:30am to 8:30 am. Doors open at 7am.
Online payment of $20.00/ MasterCard or Visa
Registration at the door: Cash or Check only.
Space is limited so online registration is encouraged.
Reduced rate of $15.00 a session if registered for the full 8 months.