Scary Times II
In October 2011 I posted a Blog titled Scary Times. It was a play on Halloween and the issues facing seniors in high school as they navigated the world of changes ahead…college, work, sports. Issues that were relevant. Perhaps scary, but also exciting. Fast forward to today, Scary Times II.
Scary Times II is certainly not aligned with Halloween this time, and it is not targeting seniors in high school. It targets everyone. Those in high school as a sophomore or older, college students, and those in the work world already. COVID-19 has made our world a very different place. As a result, it has caused all of us to rethink how we interact with each other, how we address learning, and how we continue in the world of work. Yes, it is scary.
But, Scary Times can encourage us to spend time reflecting, to engage, educate and empower ourselves to move beyond where we were and into something more. Who are YOU? Are you an Extrovert? Do you need diversity in your work, interactions with others, and a common goal? Are you an Introvert? Need more time to yourself for reflection and recharging? Are you diagnostic, analytic, experiential or consultative in your Problem Solving style? How does that fit in your world of work? If you are not sure, maybe it’s time to find out the answers to these and lots more questions that can guide you in your next steps.
The world of work is changing more rapidly that anyone expected. Will you be ready? Now is the time to take a Highlands Ability Battery and find out your Best Fit opportunities.
Are you a high school student presenting yourself to a university market, a college student or adult looking to get in the work force? The question for all of you remains the same. What do you have to offer? There have been lots of articles like this one, “What Employers Look for in Candidates,” in which the author is identifying key elements that almost all employers look for in screening candidates. But interestingly enough, many of these same characteristics apply to college admissions also. They want to know what you bring to the table.
There is a distinct difference between skills and abilities. Do you know the difference? Did you know it is possible to measure abilities and quantify how they can influence job performance? Just as it is important to be able to give concrete examples of tasks or responsibilities and outcomes from a previous job or experience in an interview, it is also important to know what the company’s or college’s expectations are and how your abilities can provide exactly what is needed to ensure a successful fit as an employee or student. Knowing exactly what your measured abilities are and linking them to a job description adds power to your marketability.
What is your personal marketability? To measure your abilities and help you articulate what you have to offer….contact me!
Connections for Future Career Opportunties
So frequently when I do presentations for schools or organizations, I get asked, “When should we start thinking about careers?” My answer is always, “The sooner the better.” You see, it’s not that you have to decide what you want to do “when you grow up” but rather you need to explore the possibilities and experience the things you want to learn more about or discover things you never imagined doing in your life! How can you use your natural abilities, passions, interests and skills now to set yourself up for success? How can you determine the best fit college program or major if you don’t do your homework?
College and High School Students:
- part time jobs can pay bills and provide spending money, but they also provide insight for future directions and create a network for future connections
- volunteering provides connection with a passion, an opportunity to explore potential opportunities for employment, and a network for future connections
- internships both paid and unpaid provide insight for future directions and potential future employment….and a network for future connections
- part time jobs, volunteering, paid and unpaid internships are great resume’ material…and provide a host of future networking opportunities
My message, get out there and get those volunteering, internship/externship, or part time work experiences! Click here to check out just one example of some terrific high school students getting great experiences through a wonderful program. These guys are going to be prepared to declare a major and to make dreams happen! There is an old saying, ” There are three kinds of people, those who watch what happens, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” Which one are you?
Need help making it happen? Click here to Contact Me.
Imagine How Great!
Imagine how great it feels when you accomplish something you didn’t think you could. Franklin Roosevelt said, ” Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
The task of searching for colleges, making a choice of career paths or college majors, or even changing direction once you have gone down a path, can be overwhelming. So break it down. Create a calendar with a reasonable end point for making a decision. Work backward creating identified tasks that will lead you to that endpoint. Be sure to have checkpoints so you can measure your progress along the way. Remember, there is satisfaction or “thrill” in creative effort….your plan. There is “Happiness” in the “joy of achievement” and making that decision. So, enjoy the process. Learn, grow, achieve!
Need help breaking it down? Contact me
Redirecting Your Work Life
While much of the time I target high school and college students, this post is for anyone in college, the work force, or considering going back to work. Frequently over the last couple of years I have addressed Professional Development as it applies to high school and college students. But to the career professional or the “stay-at-home parent” getting ready to re-enter the work force, this broad term also applies. Generally speaking, there are sectors of the work world that refer to continuing your education or training for licensing as Professional Development or Continuing Education Units (CEU).
- Physicians and Nurses
- Massage Therapists
- Teachers and Administrators
- Realtors and CPA’s
This list is certainly not complete, but you get the idea. Some professions require within a determined number of years, that you participate in classes or conferences in an effort to keep current in your field. Some industries pay for their employees to attend these conferences or courses while others leave it up to the individual. The important point here is WHY would you leave it up to someone else?
In a shaky economic market it makes it more challenging for individuals to pay for such training, but it pays dividends if you do. Firms, companies and organizations have scaled back their resources to cover the costs associated with on-going training for employees, but the value of investing in you is enormous! It not only increases your own intellectual value, but it elevates the employer’s perception of you as an individual and your willingness to increase your own potential.
In an interesting twist from a decade ago, there are now new programs geared to those who are out of work and seeking new directions and opportunities or those who need a brief course to get licensed and into a new profession that requires less preparation time and resources often required by four-year or advanced degrees.
Want to know how to increase your value to an organization or get redirected? Contact me.
Break It Down and Create a Focus
Adult workers often talk about professional development or continuing education units and the associated costs, benefits or requirements for some professions. However, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone reference high school students who prepare for college as undergoing professional development. But that is exactly what it is! There are costs associated and benefits to be had through professional preparation for college whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.
On the academic side, PSAT/SAT/ACT prep courses are all a form of professional development. Parents invest significant dollars in order for their son or daughter to increase their score potential. The investment is not a guarantee, but it enhances the probability. So it is important to plan wisely and get the biggest bang for your buck. When I am asked by parents or students, “When do we start,” I always say, “Middle school.” When the shock wears off, we get down to business and begin to plan from where they are at that moment. But here is a tip for getting the best outcome with the end in mind.
Create a calendar that targets test dates and work backward. Identify the necessary enrollment date and get registered on time to avoid late fees or missed application dates for colleges. Using these dates, work backward again and identify the necessary time frame to participate in a prep course or private tutoring so that you have time to take practice tests and target areas needing improvement. That’s how to get the biggest bang for the buck! While this only targets test dates, ultimately, you have already marked your calendar with application dates and can pace yourself accordingly. Break it down and create a focus.
The world of work has changed radically over the last 5 years and it is more important than ever that everyone look at ways in which they can enhance their own marketability. In order to do that, adults, college students and high school students need to look at professional development with a new perspective. How can you invest in yourself, your loved ones or your employees to enhance marketability or job performance? Need help? Click here to contact me for more information regarding your own professional development.
Be Aware and Be Proactive with Your Social Media
With everyone either back to school or getting there immediately after Labor Day, this is a great time to remind all students, college and high school, YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE FOLLOWS YOU. No. I am not shouting at you in text format, but I am making a point. If you (or your friends) blog it, post it on Facetime, Twitter, Instagram, or any social network, you are vulnerable to future employers, mortgage officers and credit opportunities, college admissions, and the list goes on. Be aware and be proactive.
How many hours a month do you spend on the Internet? How much time are you using it for education, entertainment, work, purchasing services or products, or connecting with friends and family? The average American spends 32 hours per month on the Internet. A tidbit I learned on a webinar hosted by Juicy Results, a terrific web marketing company. And as I thought about that number, I realized I spend that much time per week and more on the Internet! If the nature of jobs and careers in the future is changing, then this is important information to know.
Do you have a social media presence? What does it look like? Universities and employers alike are using social media to “check out” their candidates. Everything from your email address and voice message to your pictures and comments on the Internet are available for public scrutiny and feed into your public image or “social entity.”
Just as different people have different perspectives on issues, different generations view and address issues differently. In regards to social media, there is a great article and some interesting data that specifically address the issues of school and job impact. Click here to read the article and be sure to scroll down to table 2B and note the difference between Baby Boomers and Echo Boomers. While an Echo Boomer may see nothing wrong with a particular message posted on a social media site, the individual responsible for your admission to college or hiring you may be a Baby Boomer and the posting is offensive.
Now ask yourself the question again and consider who may be on the other side of the computer monitor checking you out. What does your “social entity” look like? What do you need to do to create the kind of social image that characterizes you but doesn’t jeopardize future opportunities? Contact me if you need assistance or want more information.
As a teenager, we all dream about the moment we take ownership of our first vehicle. We spend hours calculating how we can make it happen; the jobs we’ll do, counting the change or dollars, making those deposits and monitoring the savings account until the day we finally make that first purchase.
Then we reach our twenties and begin dreaming about that first house or townhouse. We spend hours calculating how we can make it happen: the jobs we’ll do, making those deposits, establishing credit lines and finally making that first purchase.
For both of these big investments we take “Ownership.” When it comes time to make the big investment in a college or vocational education, we need to be just as diligent and committed. We need to take Ownership.
There are so many articles about the rising cost of college tuition, the affordability issues and the decreasing funding for financial aid or even performance incentives through state programs. But what is not being addressed is that fact that you can avoid some of the pitfalls by taking Ownership early.
If the National average is to change majors 3-5 times, and changing majors equals increased numbers of semesters and dollars spent, then it seems reasonable that having a more defined idea about one’s future career endeavors would increase the probability of an on-time graduation and diminished need for additional education expenses. Taking Ownership means you take action.
The Highlands Ability Battery is a wonderful tool to help chart a course, to take action. Did you know that by the time you are approximately 14 years old, your Natural Abilities are defined and measurable? Imagine if you knew what they are, how they match with identified professions and combined that with a methodology to assist in learning about those professions so that you are prepared to choose a major. You take Ownership – you take action. That way, when you go to college you don’t waste semesters, exceed your budget, and you graduate with a meaningful degree in something you enjoy and it’s marketable.
Ownership is powerful.
3 Actions for a Productive Outcome
Regardless of where you are in your life – high school, college or workforce – these 3 Actions can be put to the test for a Productive Outcome. It takes about 20 minutes, so ask yourself, “Do I have 20 minutes to put into creating the Outcome I want?” If so, get started:
1- Assess – Take five minutes to assess/write down where you are at this moment in time as well as what you want the outcome to be 4, 8 or 12 months from now. It might be a grade point average, a performance level on the field, resume’ building or job search.
2 – Create – Take 10 minutes to create a timeline in which you realistically identify points of progress. They may be grading periods, games or matches, or resume’ and interview intervals. Points of progress help to steer you toward the Productive Outcome and maintain focus.
3 – Visualize – Take 5 minutes to visualize yourself achieving the Outcome you want. Again, it doesn’t matter if the outcome is in the classroom, on the field, or in the board room, the important factor is to see you achieving that outcome. It is important to play that visualization over and over in your mind and reduce the negative influences we all experience day-to-day. Like the points of progress, visualizing keeps us focused with a positive energy. Tim Kremer, MySpiritofGolf, works with professional golfers all over the country in helping them to maximize their talent through redefining how they see themselves and their efforts. His work is extraordinary, grounded in brain research and transferable to most anything we do in our lives. Take a look, http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=977dd3b2d977677c5205f00cb&id=204d6c6cbf
So, 20 minutes, 3 Actions, Productive Outcome. Ready, set, get going!