Tag Archives: Career Counseling NY

Internal Barriers and Career Satisfaction

Many people blame their career problems on the economy or the job market, but so often the real obstacles come from within. Unrecognized internal barriers can become impediments to success as they keep us from moving forward and block us from getting what we want.

Only by discovering the real issues can we transform ourselves from feeling victimized and take control of our own job fate. This clarity is what leads to a strategy for success and career satisfaction.

Here Are Some of the Most Common Internal Barriers I Work With:

Value Conflicts:
People often become locked into an internal tug-of-war between conflicting values – making lots of money versus time for personal life; freedom versus security; independence versus structure; stability versus change. With deeper understanding, you can break free of these conflicts and actually put them to use in constructing an appropriate career strategy.

Messages We Get from Our Parents:
Many people live their lives trying to achieve a set of goals and objectives that come from their parents and have no relationship to who they really are. This is a recipe for career unhappiness. The messages we get from our parents have enormous influence on how we live our lives. Only by identifying those messages can we let them go, and begin to live our lives as who we truly are — rather than who we’re told we ‘should’ be.

Your Self Image Doesn’t Measure Up to Your Talents:
I see this so frequently. People devalue their own skills and talents — precisely because they come so naturally — causing them to be blind to what they have to offer. But, by recognizing and identifying your own strengths you can turn this cycle around and begin, for the first time, to move into a satisfying career that truly expresses your talents and gifts.

Unrealistic Expectations and Unclear Priorities:
Whether it comes from one’s parent, co-workers or friends — many people are caught in the grip of unrealistic expectations about careers. They are trapped between fantasy and reality. This can lead to unclear priorities. In life we can’t always get everything we want, so it’s important to find out which trade-offs you’re willing to make, and which you’re not.

Fear of Risk or Change:
Are you locked into an unhappy job situation because you’re not willing to take risks or accept change? There are many solutions for transforming your career prospects — and they don’t all require huge risks. Some of my clients have been amazed to see how small shifts — done with deep insight and understanding — can achieve big results. Not every move needs to be earth shaking.

Self-knowledge is the key to overcoming your barriers. Once you see through these internal resistances, you are in a better position to move beyond them towards a more satisfying and rewarding career.

If you feel that you would like to identify and work through any of the internal barriers that are keeping you from getting what you want, I would be happy to assist you.

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THE GIFT OF A HAPPY CAREER

Is there someone in your life who is at a career crossroads, or is finally ready to follow their life-long dream? Someone you know who wants to make a change but just can’t seem to make it happen on their own?

Perhaps you have friends or relatives who could benefit from the gift of career guidance:

  • A recent grad who is  confused about a career direction.
  • A professional who wants to transition from one industry to another.
  • An entrepreneur with an idea for a business but can’t get it off the ground.
  • A friend who’s unhappy in their current  job and feels totally stuck.
  • Someone who needs  help writing a resume or  beginnig a  job search.

If you know someone who needs help to get from where they are to where they want to be, you can give them the gift of help!

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5 Common Career Myths & Mistakes

A single mistaken thought or misguided perception can send you down a career path that will be frustrating, inappropriate or just plain wrong for who you are. Here are 5 of the most common mistaken beliefs that derail people’s careers.

MYTH: “I’m going into it for the money”:

Sure, we all like making money – but a high salary can never substitute for authentic job satisfaction. Following the dollar rather than your passions can actually make you bitter, lower your productivity, pull you off track and rob you of the positive feelings and exuberance that comes from loving what you do.

MYTH: “I’ll get an advanced degree – then I’ll be set for life”:

If you’ve chosen a career direction and the degree supports your getting there – that’s great. But if you’re thinking “I’ll get the degree first, and decide later,” then that degree could end up as a very expensive postponing technique. Before you spend thousands of dollars and time going to school, you better be sure you are focused on an appropriate, well thought out goal.

MYTH: “Following job trends will lead to the right career”:

The job market fluctuates and moves in cycles. Pursuing a career based on current market trends or because an industry is  “hot” can be dangerous, because economic shifts and other factors can reverse these trends. Career choice should be made from the inside out, not the outside in: It’s wiser to choose a career because you have a genuine interest and talent for it.

MYTH: “I want a glamorous career in a fashionable industry”:

What a job or industry looks like from the outside is often the very opposite of what it’s like from the inside. Glamorous industries are often fraught with long hours, internal politics, detailed drudgework and shallow values. It’s important to do your research, collect first hand information and understand the industry to ensure you have chosen the right career.

MYTH: “I hate my boss, I hate the office politics… I’ve got to change careers”:

Over-generalizing can lead to drastic moves.  It’s important to isolate the problem and differentiate the issues from the assumptions. Being unhappy may cause you to over emphasize the negative without being aware of the positive. Often I’ve seen people become totally happy by making a slight shift or finding another job in the same industry. Not every problem requires huge shifts.

I’ve spent over 15 years helping people solve their career problems, identify the mistakes they’re making and implement effective career plans that lead to fulfillment and satisfaction. Often, it’s a matter of sweeping away mistaken perceptions about yourself or the workplace. I’d be happy to help you resolve your career issues. Nothing is more life transforming than a career that makes you happy.

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Tips for a Successful Job Search

Are you floundering or unable to get started on your job search? Have you gotten off track, or lost your motivation? Whether you’re looking for a new job, transitioning into a new field or looking for your first job… you need to have a well thought-out strategy.

Here are 5 Practical Tips for Conducting an Effective Job Search:

1. Know Yourself:
You can’t conduct a job search until you have searched yourself. How do you envision your worklife? What are the environments in which you shine, the interests that excite you, your innate skills and talents? If you don’t have a clear sense of who you are, your prospective employer won’t either. Once you can define yourself, your strategies will become clear and actionable.

2. Focus and Positioning:
We are in a very niche marketplace today. You cannot be all things to all people. Focus and positioning are crucial. If your job target is wrong, everything else will be wrong. For example, “marketing” is not focused enough. Is it marketing manager, marketing communicaton, product marketing, integrated marketing? The more specific you are the more effective your search will be. Knowing your target means understanding what industry, what function, and what job title you’re searching for.

3. Resume Summary Statement:
Your summary statement is the most important part of your resume. It presents the key points about you and creates focus for your resume. What are the most important points you want to get across? The summary statement sets the theme for your target and objectives. If you’re having difficulty writing a summary statement it might mean you’re having difficulty focusing.

4. Expand Your Job Search Channels:
Commercial job sites such as Monster and Hotjobs have become over-crowded and over-used. While the Internet provides a world of information and multitude of job sites, we often underestimate the traditional sources of search venues. These are: trade publications, industry associations, job fairs, alumni associations and, the most important of all, networking.

5. Diagnose Your Own Ailment:
What is stopping you from getting started? Is it lack of confidence about your skills; gaps in your background? Lack of focus? Fear of rejection? You need to go directly to the problem that you’re having, so you can deal with it. By identifying your barriers, you’re in a better position to work through them.

A job search is a very difficult and demanding process. It’s important to stay focused and motivated… the best way to do this is to know that your job target truly fits your personality and your abilities. Having a clear vision and the right strategy will keep you on track and ultimately result in a more successful job search.

If you need guidance in any phase of this process please feel free to call me.

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How Your Resume Can Make or Break Your Future

 Don’t underestimate the power of a good resume

Your resume is your prospective employer’s first glimpse of you… and it may be their last. If your resume doesn’t sell you effectively in the first 10 seconds, it may go straight to the reject pile. The right resume can open doors, the wrong resume can sabotage your job search.

Your resume can’t be good… it has to be great!

Before you get the opportunity to compete for a job, your resume has to do it for you. No matter how impressive your career has been, and no matter how sparkling your credentials, if your resume is anything short of great you will not get to the interview.

You may be talented in your field… but that doesn’t mean you can write a good resume

People think they’re supposed to be able to write a resume. After all, it is about you. However, writing a resume is a very specific and exacting skill. You may excel in your career, but this does not prepare you for writing a resume. Most people need professional advice, feedback, and a review of their resume.

Is your resume working for you, or against you?

Here is a list of essentials that your resume should accomplish in order to sell you and get you to the interview:

  • Position yourself properly for your job target and industry.
  • Be sure to have a focused profile or summary statement.
  • Choose the correct format appropriate to your work history – different formats work better for different people.
  • Do not be overly wordy – use concise descriptions or bullets.
  • Avoid statements or buzz words that sound like clichés.
  • Use hard-working descriptive verbs – weak phrasing makes a weak resume.
  • Use graphic elements to enhance your resume, without being distracting.
  • Recent college grads should include relevant internships and volunteer work.
  • Be smart about how you position your experience level – aiming too high or too low could eliminate you from the running.
  • Review and update your resume periodically – don’t let it get outdated.

You may be right for the job… but is your resume?

As you know, this is one of the most competitive job markets we’ve seen in decades. Your resume is competing with scores, perhaps hundreds, of other resumes. It has to get you in the door and get you to the interview. I have seen many people’s futures turn around and thrive because they finally got their resume to work for them and lead them into satisfying, rewarding careers. But sadly, I’ve seen the opposite even more frequently.

If you would like professional guidance in creating a powerful, effective, winning resume please feel free to call me and set up an appointment. I would be happy to help you create the resume you need and deserve.

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Tips for a Successful Job Search

Tips for a Successful Job Search

Are you floundering or unable to get started on your job search? Have you gotten off track, or lost your motivation? Whether you’re looking for a new job, transitioning into a new field or looking for your first job… you need to stay clear and have a well thought-out strategy.

Here are 5 Practical Tips for Conducting an Effective Job Search:

1.  Know Yourself:

You can’t conduct a job search until you’ve searched yourself. How do you envision your worklife? What are the environments in which you shine, the interests that excite you, your innate skills and talents?  If you don’t have a clear sense of who you are then your prospective employer won’t either. Try to identify what you truly need and want. Once you can define yourself then your strategies will become clear and actionable.

2.  Focus and Positioning:

We’re in a very niche marketplace today. You can’t be all things to all people. Positioning is crucial. If your target is wrong, everything everything else will be wrong. Knowing your target means knowing what industry, what function, and what job title you’re searching for within that industry. For example, “marketing” is not focused enough. Is it marketing manager, marketing communicaton, product marketing, integrated marketing? The more specific you are the more effective your search will be.

3.  Resume Summary Statement:

Your summary statement is the most important part of your resume. It presents the key points about you and creates focus for your resume. What are the most important points you want to get across? The summary statement sets the theme for your target and objectives. If you’re having difficulty writing one then it might mean you’re having difficulty focusing.

4.  Expand Your Job Search Channels:

While the Internet provides a world of information and multitude of job sites, we often underestimate the traditional sources of search venues: trade publications, industry associations, job boards, job fairs, alumni associations and, still the most important of all: networking. Additionally, commercial job sites like monster and hotjobs have become over-crowded and over-used. You can’t rely on them alone.

5.  Diagnose Your Own Ailment:

What is stopping you from getting started? Is it lack of confidence about your skills; gaps in your background? Lacking focus? Afraid of rejection? You need to go directly to the problem that you’re having, so you can deal with it. By identifying your barriers, you’re in a better position to work through them.

A job search is a very difficult and demanding process. It’s important to stay motivated and the best way to stay motivated is to know that your job target truly fits your personality and your abilities. Having a clear vision and the right strategy will keep you on track and ultimately result in a more successful job search.

If you need guidance in any phase of your job search please feel free to call me. I will be happy to help with any aspect of your search from positioning, to strategizing, to networking to resumes.

 

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Social Media and the Job Search

The job world is changing rapidly. Knowing how to develop your online presence and how to look for work online is becoming critically important. Social networks are becoming part of the criteria that hiring managers use to find or weed out applicants.

As I ramp up my own social networking platforms, I thought this would be a good time to discuss tips on Social Media that will be useful for your job search. We’ll focus specifically on two main players: LinkedIn, and Facebook.

LinkedIn:

•    Think of your profile headline as your “2 minute written pitch”. It should describe in a sentence who you are, and what you are looking for.

•    Join groups and search out contacts and companies that are in line with your career goals, and engage in conversation. Not only will you know first hand when they are hiring, they’ll also be aware of your knowledge in the field, due to these interactions.

•    You can post a question or offer advice to a posting to get your intentions across. The more times you comment on a topic, the more activity shows up on your profile.

•    Contact past colleagues, employers and classmates using the “ask for a recommendation” feature. Once they respond, their testimonials will appear on your profile.

Facebook:

•    Give your profile a make-over by erasing game applications, and adjusting the features so that all your personal photos become private. Set the settings to block tagged images from appearing on your wall, and only leave posts relevant to your career focus, allowing thought-provoking business opinions to dominate your page.

•    Create a Page for yourself, which will allow people to subscribe to your postings and begin following you without having to add you as a friend. Make sure this page contains your resume and only professional posts and information. Edit the privacy settings on your profile, to make it private. This way, only your Page will appear on Google and other search engines.

If you need help getting started with your job search, I can provide you with the tools and resources that will make you more confident and focused. Join my Facebook page to receive further job search tips.

 

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