Job Respect or Cash-You Choose…

When you struggle to find a job, keep a job or to perfect the job you have, you may find yourself battling the forces of good and evil.  Whether you are in the workplace, the interview room or the board room, you are faced with the inevitable choice of whether to put up or shut up.  Sometimes it’s not even a matter of whether you are good at or even value for the job you do.  What matters is whether you are in it for the respect you deserve or the cash you need.

This job market is tough on us all.  If you have a job you like or don’t like, or are looking for the next opportunity, it’s likely you are feeling the push/pull of your conscious as you hold onto whatever it is you have in order to keep the cash flow coming in.  It’s not that you set out to feel used and or abused whether it’s due to some nonsense from a nasty co-worker, or a tirade from an over-rated boss or some crazy antics from a frustrated staff member. Respect for yourself, your job and the people that you work with are an important part of your ability to cope with inevitable job stress no matter the cost.

The trick is to keep your sense of yourself no matter what challenges you are confronted with. If you are treated poorly, not respected for your work, spoken to in a tone or manner that suggests you are not valued, then you are likely fighting the urge to quit or are sticking it out because you need the paycheck.  It’s hard to know when to walk away.  It’s hard to know when you are taking more than you can just to survive long enough until something better comes along.

When you feel like you have no options, that you can’t survive the harassment you are receiving any longer and that your only reason for staying in the game is for the paycheck, think again. Your first line of defense is knowing you always have options, and yes, even in this job market. Feeling like you are trapped no matter what the circumstance is not going to help you overcome your need to find your own self-respect first.  When you are crippled in fear of losing your job even though you hate it, or feel you will never find the one that might pay you what you are worth, you prolong your ability to move forward and you continue to stay trapped.  Choosing between a respecting work environment and a job that pays you well is not easy at a time when good jobs and enough money are hard to come by.  So what do you do?  Do you tough it out until something better comes along Sometimes that makes sense.  Do you up and quit when you’ve got a family to support and a mortgage to pay?  Sometimes that is the right choice.  Do you take it no matter what knowing that the check is worth more than respect, and you can put up with the aggravation and degradation so long as you are comfortable and can support yourself and your family?  For some, that is an option and a choice worth taking.

No matter your circumstance you have a choice whether respect in your job is more important than the paycheck you receive.  You have options and  you have choices and yes, a sense of humor is a great coping mechanism to get you through the toughest battles as work.  Whenever you think the worst is upon you and you have all but run out of options, remember there are other jobs, other bosses, other ways to make money.  Something bigger and better is always waiting for you, all you’ve got to do is ask.

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Copyright © 2024 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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Set Your Career Curve

In the chaotic hustle and bustle of searching, interviewing and networking to find your next job, you may forget to take time to appreciate yourself and the efforts you’ve made towards recognizing your goals.  As you struggle to keep up and keep moving, you should remember to take the time to acknowledge and reward yourself on all of your hard work. You may not have gotten a job offer, but you are well on your way to succeeding.  It’s important in all of the day-to-day struggles to stop, take a breath and remember to reward yourself for a job search well done.  It’s time to set your own career curve and steer your career in the right direction.

Competing with others is a rat race against time. You are taught that competition is a good thing when you are competing against someone else. You are not taught however that it is just important if not more to learn to set your own bar and to learn to compete against the one person that matters most, yourself.  Setting your own personal goals and rewards sets you apart from the rest.  Yes, it’s important to know what your competition is doing and to strive to perform at a higher level.  What you need to focus on is where you want to go, what your highest aspiration is and to set your sights on competing against your own personal best.

Finding time to focus on you is a struggle considering you may be preoccupied by mounting bills, juggling family obligations, keeping connected to friends and figuring out how to network to find new or more meaningful employment. Focusing on you now must be your number one priority.  Life will distract you from your goal, that is a given. So will other people, whether intentionally or unintentionally.  It’s up to you to know when to set your mark and to reach for higher ground in order to stay ahead of your own career curve.

Making time to reward yourself, focus on your long as well as short term goals and to acknowledge your own greatness might seem like a waste of time.  It is the single most important action you can do for yourself especially during uncertain times and when you’ve already had your fair share of rejection, disappointment and job search frustration.

Learning to set your highest bar is like setting any other goal: when you reach it you need to push the limits even further the next time out.  Like setting a goal to lose weight, get out of debt, or attain “x” amount of dollars in your checking account, you need to set aggressive yet attainable career goals.

Your career curve checklist should look like this:

1) I made 20 calls this week and I’m going to do 30 next week;

2) I interviewed with 5 companies on my target list this week and I’m going to add 5 more next week;

3) I earned $10,000 last month freelancing, I’m going to earn $15,000 next month;

4) I billed $100 dollars an hour last project, I’m going to bill $125 dollars the next project:

5) I added 3 new clients in the first quarter, I’m going to add 5 new clients next quarter.

and so on…

Your career curve needs to be aggressive, attainable and you need to remember to reward yourself when you reach your milestone.  Staying focused on setting and competing against yourself keeps you sharp and alert to new opportunities and makes you less distracted or discouraged when life throws it’s own curve ball.

Copyright © 2024 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 © 2024 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 © 2024 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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You Are Not Alone…

Finding your way through the myriad of updates, news blasts and Tweets about jobs and the economy is like finding your way out of a maze.  Who do you listen to and who can you trust?  It’s not that you shouldn’t be reminded of how the unemployment rate is nearing 10%, or that certain sectors of the economy like manufacturing for instance, may be part of a bygone era.  It’s good to know where the opportunities lie and where to put your efforts.  Knowledge is Power someone wise once said.  But when is all of this “breaking news” too much of a good thing?  When do you stop taking the advice of others and start listening to yourself?  If you are wondering who on earth you should trust, you are not alone.

It would be nice to dial down the volume and listen to your own thoughts for a change. How do you sort through all of the media noise and decipher what is valuable information versus what is just noise?  Noise leads to fear and confusion and nothing good comes from that. When you are not sure how to process the information, or whose information it’s safe to process, go within and find a quiet place and listen to yourself. Your thoughts can lead you to a safe place where you and you alone can make sense of the information that is coming at you.  

As a media and communication major in college, I spent a lot of time reading and writing about world news and events and studying the effects of media’s message on the masses.  Today, it’s an entirely different world.  There are so many avenues to give and receive information that you have to be mindful about where you and how you get updated.  The bombardment of news and information on a second by second basis, can cause you to blur over with confusion and doubt as you stare helplessly at your Blackberry wondering which Tweet you should be following and when.

It’s important as you journey towards your next job that you consider all points of view. Whether it’s updates on the soaring unemployment rate, the demise of the auto industry, NAFTA, free trade, expansions in technology, Pink Slip parties and where on earth to look for your next job, listening past the noise will help you determine where you should focus your attention. 

You are stronger than you think and you have the ability to know what is best for you. Taking advice from professionals, the news media, your friends and family are all important in helping guide you but at the end of the day, it’s what you think, feel, believe and desire that will ultimately have the most impact and gain you the most traction in your journey forward. When you are truly quiet and can get in touch with what you really want, these are the times you gain the most insight and value in helping craft the plan that will get you to your final destination.  In this, you truly are not alone.

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Copyright © 2024 Lisa Kaye - HR & Business Consulting - The Career Rebel

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