Career Conundrum

When billionaire Mike Bloomberg spoke to the recent graduates of Harvard Business School about their careers, he told them, “Make decisions based on the quality of the opportunity and where you’ll have the most fun and the most room for growth.”  His message to them was rooted in understanding themselves.  It’s a lot like the message Erika Boissiere wrote about in her April 22, 2019 Forbes magazine article, “When You’ve Made the Wrong Career Choice”.  She says, “You can’t shelve unhappiness forever.”

Identifying the Career Conundrum:

Rarely does a week go by that I do not get a phone call, email, or run into someone who is experiencing disappointment in their career choice.  They are in a Career Conundrum, with the nagging questions of:

  • Do I stay or do I go?
  • What else can I do?
  • How do I know I won’t feel this same way 5 years from now?

So, is she right?  Does unhappiness keep you awake at night, distract you while you work and drive, gnaw at your stomach, and diminish your performance?  That feeling of being stuck is a miserable place to live.

People who love their work are highly motivated.  But I believe that everyone has the potential to be highly motivated.  Finding the “right fit” career is key.  In fact motivation is one of the five key pillars of Emotional Intelligence and key to career success.

Counter the Career Conundrum:

Are you ready for a successful process? Contact me about taking The Highlands Ability Battery and creating a new path!  Finding the “right fit” career is a process and requires an investment in self.  Investing is the act of putting something in, like time, money, effort.  We invest in our 401k and we expect an improved outcome.  Why would anyone invest endless hours at a job that doesn’t feel right when there are so many other options?

Owning Your Future

It’s back to school for high school and college students.  But they are not the only group that need to think about “back to school”.  All career professionals should be thinking about increasing their own value in the work place.  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
  • Attorneys
  • Massage Therapists
  • Teachers and Administrators
  • Realtors and CPA’s

This list is certainly not complete, but you get the idea.  Some professions require that within a determined number of years, you are required to 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 changing economic market it makes it more challenging for individuals to quantify their value to a company, but it pays dividends if you invest in yourself.  Firms, companies and organizations have scaled back their resources to cover the costs associated with on-going training for employees, but the value of you 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.

Making decisions about college and career is never easy.  But there are things you can do to make it an easier process and a fun journey.

High school students….find a way to career shadow or volunteer!

College students….you too can volunteer, shadow or intern in an unpaid experience!

Returning to the workforce….take a class, shadow a friend, volunteer, FIND YOUR PASSION!

Most important, Own Your Future!

Need help figuring it out, click here to contact me!

Finding the Balance

 

As a child or even teen, our parents help us define the balance in our lives.  But once we head off to school or out into the world of work, that balance becomes our responsibility. 

 

Once upon a time our balance was structured around our need to eat, sleep and get our daily dose of exercise, but……notice that word came up again, life got a little more demanding and the balance included homework.  On we went into the world of high school, college and eventually work.  At every step along the way, life brought new opportunities, more challenges and greater need for balance.  But, those increased responsibilities, opportunities and challenges undermined our attempts at balance and in some cases, they may even remove balance from our radar.

 

What are the “buts” impeding your balance?  After all, having balance in our lives helps influence our sense of satisfaction and success.  For some, balance includes a calm and blissful state brought on by organization and rhythm in life.  For others it is a constant stream of thoughts, actions and involvements that keep one in motion.  What is balance for you?  What is getting in the way?  What “but” can you address in your daily routine and use to assist in finding your balance?

 

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
  • Attorneys
  • 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.

A Big WOW!

This week is a Special Guest Post – Bud Bilanich has been recognized on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and countless other news programs and publications.  He has devoted his talents and passion to being a top life and career success coach with companies like Chase, Johnson&Johnson, Merck, PepsiCo and countless others benefiting from his work.  His message is valuable for high school students as well as those in college and already in the workforce.  I hope you will enjoy his work as much as I do:

 

I love Marla Brady’s College and Career blog.  She packs a ton of common sense advice into each post.  That’s why I was flattered when she asked if I would contribute a guest post.  I help young professionals – those who are just out of college get on the right track to life and career success.

Receiving your degree is a great accomplishment.  I remember how proud I was way back in 1972 when I became the first person in my family to graduate from college.  But as I began my career, I learned that there is a lot about life and career success that they don’t teach you in college.

I made a lot of mistakes as I went about creating my career success.  I’m hoping that I can help young people just beginning their careers to get the benefit of the knowledge I gained through experience with having to deal with the frustration and pain that sometimes come with gaining experience firsthand.  So I’ve written down some of the things I’ve learned about what it takes to succeed in your life and career. This is advice I wish I had when I graduated from Penn State in 1972.  I hope you find it helpful.

I’ve found that all successful people have five things in common.

  • Successful people are self-confident.
  • Successful people create positive personal impact.
  • Successful people are outstanding performers.
  • Successful people are dynamic communicators.
  • Successful people are interpersonally competent.

Self-confident people have at least three things in common:

  1. Self-confident people are optimistic.
  2. Self-confident people face their fears and take action.
  3. Self-confident people surround themselves with positive people.

People who create positive personal impact have at least three things in common:

  1. People who create positive personal impact develop and constantly promote their personal brand.
  2. People who create positive personal impact are impeccable in their presentation of self.
  3. People who create positive personal impact know and practice the basic rules of etiquette.

Outstanding performers have at least three things in common:

  1. Outstanding performers are technically competent.   They remain technically competent because they are lifelong learners.
  2. Outstanding performers set and achieve goals.
  3. Outstanding performers are organized.  They manage their time, stress and lifestyle well.

Dynamic communicators have at least three things in common:

  1. Dynamic communicators are excellent conversationalists.
  2. Dynamic communicators write in a clear, concise easily readable manner.
  3. Dynamic communicators are excellent presenters – to groups of two or 100.

Interpersonally competent people have at least three things in common:

  1. Interpersonally competent people are self aware.   They understand themselves and their impact on others.  They use their self awareness to increase their understanding of others.
  2. Interpersonally competent people build solid, long lasting mutually beneficial relationships with the people in their lives.
  3. Interpersonally competent people are able to resolve conflicts with a minimal amount of problems and upset to relationships.

When my niece graduated from Florida State several years ago, I wrote a little book called An Uncle’s Advice to His Niece on Her College Graduation.  Inside, you’ll find my thoughts on each of the success characteristics above and my best advice on how you can use them to build the life and career success you want and deserve.

You can download a free copy at http://www.budbilanich.com/uncles-advice/.  When you download the book, you’ll also get a bonus.  You’ll begin receiving daily life and career success quotes that have helped me on my life and career journey.

There’s a reason they call college graduation ceremonies “commencements.”  As you leave college you are commencing on a new and exciting phase of your life.  You are commencing on a career.  I hope that you find the career advice in An Uncle’s Advice…to be helpful.  You have my very best wishes for a lifetime of success.

Reading = Success

In early elementary school we learn to read.  Through middle and late elementary we refine the skills and begin to read to learn.  From that point forward, our acquisition of knowledge changes radically.  And today, when the trend of business and global infrastructure revolves around Information, how can we be successful without the ability to read and read well?

In the January 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report, Best Colleges, there is an article, “A To-Do List for Your College Search. “  The article is great as it addresses activities that need to be done each year of high school, but one that caught my eye was in the Freshman Year.  The recommendation was, “Read voraciously.”  It’s true.  The more you read, your reading will improve as will your vocabulary.  Thus, your success on tests improves and your class performance.

The Highlands Ability Battery is a wonderful assessment of natural abilities and provides lots of great information for career path.  The funny thing is, even the Highlands Company recognized in the early 1920’s that vocabulary is so important to future success that while it is not a natural ability, vocabulary can be increased through reading and can serve as a significant indicator and enhancement to your success.   While math and English, science and history are not part of the assessment, the developers of the Highlands Ability Battery included vocabulary because of its power and influence on our work lives.

In a world where many believe “Knowledge is Power” or that the global world of 24/7 breaking news and technological advancements are going to shape an entirely new work force, they are paying attention to the trend.  The question is, “Will you?”

If reading increases knowledge, and “Knowledge is Power”, then opportunities for success increase with reading.  So, read voraciously.  Read books, read magazines, trade journals, newspapers, the web or anything you find interesting.  Build your vocabulary; increase your performance and your career opportunities.  Reading = Success.

Want to know more about The Highlands Ability Battery, your college major or career direction?      Contact me.

Making Yourself Marketable

  • Are you marketable? 
  • How will you differentiate yourself from everyone else? 
  • How will you demonstrate key characteristics for maximum opportunities?

So why ask these three questions?  Whether you are in high school or college and looking for summer or full time employment, you face a tough job market.  Being able to answer these three questions in a targeted and positive manner can help put you in a winning situation.

Are you marketable? When an employer does a social media check on you, what will they find?  When they call you, what will your voicemail tell them about you?  Your social media is your first line of contact and will either provide support for you as a professional and serious candidate for a job, or it can be a yellow or red flag that diminishes your opportunity.

How will you differentiate yourself from everyone else?  What have you done that furthers your capabilities to perform on the job?  Is it a degree or have you participated in a learning experience that measures abilities?  CareerBuilders and many of the top job search engines and headhunting experts have written about the need to have supportive data to back up your claims to job capability.  We can help you provide that data through expert tools and guidance.

How will you demonstrate key characteristics for maximum opportunities?  As employers conduct interviews, more and more they are looking for evidence of your past performance as a predictor of your future performance capability.   What examples will you use from your past experiences as a demonstration of your future performance?

Making yourself marketable is a matter of looking at you from another perspective and taking action.  We can help you do that!  Contact us for more information.

Understanding Your Abilities – Part II

The more we understand about our natural abilities, the better we can make effective choices that lead us toward satisfying and rewarding careers and lives in general.  Since abilities can be measured, it only makes sense that once we know what those numbers look like, that we are able to apply them to our daily lives both on the job and in our personal time.   When natural abilities are measured using the Highlands Ability Battery, a series of 19 tasks yield results that measure 21 separate areas and address Personal Style, Driving Abilities, and Specialized Abilities.

Personal Style addresses your comfort in interacting with others.  It also involves the kind of environment that you find most satisfying, the way you replenish your energy level and the level of stress you may feel in certain environments.  It helps to identify the size of organization that you would feel most comfortable and productive.

Driving Abilities have a strong impact on all of us.  They can be measured and help us to understand how we solve problems and the number of problems we enjoy solving in our daily work lives.  They also help us to identify whether we should be considering career directions that are more abstract or hands-on in their orientation as well as our communication strengths and challenges.

Finally, the Specialized Abilities help us to better understand how we take in information. They also provide further information to validate career directions as well as enhance our performance through strategies for learning.

Want to learn more about Natural Abilities,  your specific Natural Abilities and your career path?  Do you need help with identifying and writing an effective Goal Plan?  Contact me at marla@marlabrady.com.

Understanding Your Abilities – Part I

Remember when you were in elementary school or even middle school and you had to do something you felt you were not good at performing?  You may have gotten that sinking feeling in your stomach and wished to disappear at that very moment.  Then there was the opposite when you were asked to do something and you could feel your chest swell with pride or excitement to get out there and do it because you knew you could nail it!  What we didn’t know was that by the time we were about 14 years of age, our Natural Abilities were being solidified within us.  Natural Abilities are those things we do easily and quickly.  They are not the things we have learned from our teachers or parents, but more the way in which we are hardwired.  Perhaps they are identifiable within our DNA.  While that is yet to be learned, there are some things we do know about our Natural Abilities.

Through a well documented process and years of research, it is possible to measure Natural Abilities like measuring intelligence.  However, unlike an IQ score that defines a level of intelligence, measures of Natural Abilities can assist in defining career paths that would lend themselves to an individual’s most satisfying outcome based on strengths and compatibilities of varied abilities.  Understanding your abilities can mean the difference between loving what you do in your chosen career path, and wondering why you ever chose that path.

When abilities are measured we can learn more about the environment that an individual would find most satisfying for work, the type of problem solver that person is and the occupations that lend themselves well in that capacity.  We also uncover the type of learning channels that would allow them to take in information most effectively and how to capitalize on that knowledge.  Finally, we learn the most effective communication style for them and the career paths that fit most comfortably.

While no single assessment should ever be used to definitively tell anyone what to do in their life’s endeavors, there are key indicators that can make the journey a lot more fun and satisfying.  Want to have your abilities measured?  Contact me.