Are You Committing Career Suicide?

Have you had enough of rejection letters, cancelled appointments, rescheduled interviews and your inability to gain traction in your search whatsoever?  Are you continuing to blame the lousy economy, high unemployment and staggering competition for your lack of job progress or employment?  Are you ready to admit that it might be more than just these issues causing you concern.  Have you looked in the mirror lately and realized you could be staring at the problem? It’s not enough to feel down and out about your luck these days.  The next time you get rejected for anything you are in the middle of doing related to your job search, stop and consider, are you doing anything to commit career suicide?

We all are rushing towards the same goal, make money, survive and find employment fast. What we don’t stop to consider is what are we doing to hurt ourselves in the process to get ahead. Committing career suicide is something we are certainly not conscious of doing-at least I hope not?  If you find that you are struggling against the odds and are tired of blaming the next person for your failure to get ahead, consider some of the things you could be doing to stand in your own way.  Trust me, if you look hard enough they are pretty easy to point out.

So long as we are not pointing fingers, let’s look objectively at some of the causes for committing “career suicide”:

1- Not following up when someone has made an introduction for you to network for a job- thinking they should call you instead?  Think again.

2-Pestering someone day & night about a job interview you think went well but probably didn’t if you have not heard back-you more than likely won’t get the job so know when to stop.

3- Openly discussing your dislikes about a co-worker, boss or company whether you are no longer employed and thinking somehow it will not circle it’s way back to you-you are in denial.

4- Thinking by taking the lap top, desk lamp, soft-gel pens and stationary on your way out is a way to hold onto the memories you are wrong-it’s theft plain and simple.

5-Answering online job postings thinking you are being productive while you continue to collect unemployment is not going to move you any closer to getting a job- if you think yours is the only resume out there think again.  You are going to have to try a little harder.

6- Thinking you don’t need a resume, business cards or strategy when you don’t have a job is like going out in the rain without an umbrella-you are going to get wet.  You are going to need to work at anything you truly want.

7- Asking how much money you can expect to make during your first interview with a company is about as presumptuous as you can imagine in a job market where people more experienced and willing to take less salary are taking their turn in the next interview room.

8-Don’t think you can’t compete.  This is all about competition.  Thinking you can ride it out on your personality, connections or good looks is not going to cut it anymore. You’ve got to work for it.

9-Believing references are not necessary and you can rely on your accomplishments is akin to a blind man walking into traffic.  Making nice with all those who helped you along the way and staying connected is the only way to ensure you won’t fall flat on your face.

10-Once you have a job, forgetting all those that helped you along the way in your job search and complaining about being too busy, not returning phone calls, emails or lunch invitations because you are so focused on your new job is a sure way for your friends to forget you the next time you need their help.

Next time think if you are deliberately setting yourself up for career suicide and watch for all the sharp objects pointing in your direction-because not staying focused and conscious of your actions will ultimately come back and bite you on the career dark side.

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Copyright © 2019 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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Career Manifesto

When it comes to creating your career plans, you must start with the belief that you want a career and what that really means to you.  What is your career philosophy?  How do you define your career ambitions and goals?  Are you ready to stand up and fight for the career you want?  Are you a ready for a career rebellion?  What makes you mad, glad, sad about your career and what are you prepared to do about it?  It’s times like these when the world is spinning too fast to get your steady balance, you need to grab your pen and pad and start to draft your career manifesto.

What is a manifesto you might ask?  A manifesto is a document where you state your intention, your creed, your doctrine and  how you plan to map out and live the career you want.  Your career manifesto outlines your beliefs on how you feel about your career, what your thoughts are about how to get the career you want and it is usually formatted by a series of questions and answers which are your own personal manifesto. What are the governing principles behind your career goals?  What is it that makes you motivated enough to do what it takes to get the job you really want?  How do you view yourself against others and what do you think the world philosophy is about career, work, jobs and of course getting ahead.

Career goals and ambitions are fundamentally not very different than they were when our parents were growing up.  We believe that our careers are a means to a lifestyle we want.  However, the ways in which we go about achieving these goals are very different from the days our parents went about looking for work.  Your career manifesto must define your ambitions, your intent and your philosophy on what it is and what it will take to achieve your goals.  It’s not so much a “to do” list of actionable items such as, update my resume, get a list of references, join networking groups, as much as it is a very personal reflection on your intentions and beliefs about what your career means to you and the life you are attempting to build.

To illustrate, your career manifesto should start off with a mission statement of sorts which outlines your guiding values and ambitions such as:  ” The achievements of my career will be to accumulate and create a life long body of work that will define my talents, beliefs, contributions to a greater good where I can provide materially for myself and my family.”  Your manifesto should follow with statements of how you plan to achieve these goals and outline your fundamental belief system in a way that will help to motivate, focus and manifest your intentions to create the career you really want. Your manifesto is meant to define purpose and meaning to your career pursuits.

Here are a few examples of how you might craft your manifesto and use it as a road-map to help keep you on the path towards achieving your career goals:

1- There are no boundaries or limitations in my ability to earn substantial money doing what I am good at.

2- I am as deserving as anyone who continues to work hard, stay focused and contribute at a higher level.

3- I view competition as a means to excel and not to discourage me in my journey towards success.

4- Competition is good as it promotes everyone to work at a higher level and brings out the best in all.

5- When you embrace your limitations you limit your potential and you set yourself up for failure.

6- Greed is good. Success is empowering and losing is for losers. (Thank you Gordon Gecco!)

7- I can achieve anything I put my mind to and will overcome any challenge or obstacle in my path towards achieving my career goal of_______.

8- When I am working at my highest potential I create wonderful new opportunities for myself and I cannot lose.

9- I rely on my own talents and skills in order to move ahead and do not believe in becoming dependent on others for my success or my career advancement.

10-When I succeed all those around me will succeed.  We all win.

Your career manifesto should above all create your intentions, your beliefs about how you view your ability to succeed and truly define what your career means to you.  Try creating your own career manifesto and see if you can begin to define what is at the core and your fundamental belief systems so that you can harness the power that is within you.

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Copyright © 2019 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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Make It Work!

For every fan of “Project Runway,” you have heard the indelible Tim Gunn, utter his signature line “Make It Work” as he encourages, prods and sometimes embarrasses aspiring fashion designers to reach their goal of making it to the finish line and ultimately win the competition. For those of you who have a similar coach, mentor or someone you can rely on to encourage you to achieve your goals, you have received a rare gift. For those of you who do not, I’m about to help you apply the make-it-work philosophy to your job search.

When you “make it work” you are basically moving your career from a vision to execution no matter the cost. Like a designer carving out the pattern for a dress, you to are creating the look, the feel and the belief that you can achieve anything from your original idea of who and what you aspire to be.  When you sketch out your goals, you begin to create a very clear picture of what you want your career to look like.  This process begins by realistically assessing your skills, your qualifications and experience and melding them into a form that will ultimately create the job vision you want to create. Sometimes your vision may be skewed by your lack of experience and you may get direction or feedback from someone you trust encouraging you to “make it work” because they see potential in what you are doing that you may have missed. Those are the times to pay attention to your own internal guidance system and choose whether the advise you receive is helpful, in line with your vision, or not at all what you aspire to create. Like the struggling fashion designer on the show, you have a choice whether you should follow your own vision or the advise of a mentor.  Either way, it’s up to you to stand behind your decision no matter what the outcome.  So, if you are writing a five-page resume and including things you did when you were back in high school as an example and you may wonder why no one is calling you for an interview, you may want to edit yourself and make it work to fit the audience you are selling yourself to for a job.

Your vision of yourself and how you approach your career goals may change ten times before you get it right, or you may be so clear about your vision of how to get your next job that you know exactly the next steps to follow in order to get there.  You may need to make adjustments along the way, like fitting a pattern to the form, and find what is missing or might need to be embellished in order to achieve the perfect result.  Finding your inner vision and executing it regardless of what others are doing around you is making it work in true Tim Gunn style.  It’s no secret that competition in the job market is fierce these days no matter what industry you are in, particularly when you find yourself up against the same job a hundred other people are going for as well. What you do differently to make it work for you and stand out is a key component in your ability to succeed and get ahead. Taking risks, pushing the envelope and thinking out of the box are all expressions you have heard put to use when helping job seekers find their way. Making it work is finding the ability to self-adjust and approach your job search when nothing else seems to work.

You may enjoy the competitive challenge or you may shrink away from it, but finding your voice, your vision and your career goal is like creating your own personal design no one can deny. Competition brings out the best and the worst in us whether the challenge is getting a job or winning a contest.  Finding creative solutions in your job quest depends on how creative you are willing to be and what you are willing to do to get the job you want. Knowing how to leverage your contacts to get an interview, or approaching the right person at the right time for a job, or changing your approach when you are not getting job offers, are necessary if you are going to make it work and be successful in winning. How you play the job game is important in getting the job you want.  Remember, if something isn’t working on your quest for the perfect job, you have to be ready and willing to “make it work” in order to win.

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Copyright © 2019 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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Bend, You Won’t Break…

Staying fluid to the changing times is as necessary as the air you breathe to support your life. Change is constant. Inclement weather to clear skies, poverty to abundance, fear to certainty, unemployed to employed, in order to remain current you need to embrace change like an old familiar friend. Remaining flexible and being confident that change is imminent whichever way the wind is blowing will help you. Go ahead and bend really, you won’t break.

Your career will take shape when you do. Whether you are currently amongst the ranks of the employed or fighting your way off the unemployment line, your motivation, creativity, stamina and ability to bend towards your next opportunity is as vital to your success as any single action you can take. Your ability to adjust to changing circumstances will ensure that you are poised to compete at a much higher level. Keeping your “edge” and remaining focused no matter what you are focused on, will make you a worthy opponent in whatever job challenge you choose.

We constantly are taught to discard the old for the new. Whether it’s the mere task of “spring cleaning” getting rid of old clothes, shoes or whatever else no longer “fits”, you find ways to rid yourself of what no longer works. This sometimes includes old ways of doing things, old ideas or limiting thought patterns or behaviors that no longer serve you in favor of a new and fresh approach to embracing your career. Allowing yourself the freedom to choose and to remain flexible grants you a pass to the head of the line-even if that happens to be the unemployment line.

Change is necessary even when you are being asked to compromise. You may be a fine artist who is asked to illustrate a commercial poster for a billboard, or a program development executive who must translate television content for the phone, or an independent documentary film maker who is asked to shoot a cereal commercial. Either way, we all face challenges where we must remain adaptable in order to reach our highest potential.  Of course, if you are being required to give up on your principles then by all means run. But if you are being asked to change your perspective, approach or style, then it’s okay to go with the flow and to “bend” a little.

In order to succeed in finding your perfect career, it’s sometimes necessary to take un-calculated risks towards your goals.  Sometimes we bend in order to lead and sometimes we bend in order follow. Whichever we choose, we need to trust in the wisdom of our own decisions and follow through with the choice we make.  In your career, there are times when it may be easier to follow than to lead and there is no less nobility in that choice. Sometimes, followers have certain advantages over leaders when it comes to their ability to remain flexible in support of one cause or another. Whether you choose to follow someone else in their career, or choose to create and lead your own, the one thing to always remember is to remain flexible and occasionally be ready and willing to bend.

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Copyright © 2019 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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Create Your Career Vision Board …

Waiting, wanting and willing to put up with all of the uncertainty and fear of not knowing what is coming around the corner is enough to make anyone wish they were not living in the now.  We have a way of throwing ourselves off balance, waiting for the right moment to make a career move whether we know where we are going or not. Well, it’s okay to be afraid.  When in doubt, it’s time to move on…

Life is full of changes.  Whether you are expecting a child, moving into a new house, recently engaged or in transition wondering if you should change careers, these types of challenges can evoke deep fears and apprehension.  That is okay.  This kind of fear is good.  There is a wisdom in fear.  The wisdom comes in knowing when to quit, or when to stick with it, or when to have the good sense to know when it’s time to move on. Fear can usually  throw us for a loop.  Fear has a way of forcing us through our comfort zone and helping us face our new career choice whether we think we are ready for it or not.

If we learn to respect the lessons that fear has to teach us we may even be able to welcome the moments when we are afraid as a reminder of when it’s time to make a move in our career.  While it’s not usual for us to welcome or even to honor  fear as an ally, if we learn to recognize our fear as a wake-up call for change, we can learn to make our career choices with a sense of calm and understanding.

Feeling uncertain or insecure about making a career change whether you have a job or are looking for your next one is a normal and expected part of the job search process. We all have fears and question the choices we make even if we are not ready or prepared to make them especially when it comes to what we most want to do and where we’d most like to be.

When we face our fear of change, we can overcome any obstacle in our efforts to find the perfect job.  One way to face our fear is to write them down, express them in words, phrases, pictures or images.  Make a collage of your fears, a visual representation of what scares you the most.  And then do something really wonderful with them.  Burn them.  Create a ritual where you release the past and make room for the future.

Create a collage of your perfect job.  Include pictures of  where you’d like to work- Disney, Universal, Sony. Write a description of your perfect job, include how much money you’d like to make, even print paper money and post it on your board.  List the awards and accolades you’d like to earn. Begin to truly create and build your “Career Vision Board.”  You’ve heard of vision boards to illustrate where you’d like to live, what car you’d like to drive, what relationship you’d like to be in and so on. Well using that same concept, create your Career Vision Board to help you visualize and  focus on what it is you truly want from your next career move.  When you stay focused, clear and intent on what it is you truly desire from your life, you begin to forget the very thing that prevents you from getting there-fear.

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Copyright © 2019 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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