When Your Values Misalign with the Job

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If you are having difficulty at your workplace and feel angry and stressed, it may not be due to the amount of work you are doing or your hours.  It may actually be the result of your personal values not aligning with your work environment.  I see it over and over again, as I work with clients who come in unhappy and wanting to leaver their jobs; at times, they are worried that they might lose their jobs and feel as if they are being targeted by their boss.  Their stories can read like a bad novel:  “I’m doing all the work and XXX can come in late when they want”; they want to have parties when we should be working”, and “my boss never talks to me but he does to my co-workers.”  These behaviors occur on a daily basis in every organization across America.

While the resulting emotional feelings are real for my clients,  they are looking for relief and a way to cope and survive until they find a new job.  They don’t have any idea about what they are looking for in their next position – they just know they want out! Upon further assessment, it appears that they don’t really dislike their job but that their personal values are keeping them in total-work mode, i.e. minding those policies & procedures, but yet it makes them seem unegaged and standoffish to their boss and their coworkers.  This high value orientation, while admirable, keeps them mired in their own values and not necessarily the values of their work team or their organization.  Theses clients don’t like to “play” politics but that is what is exactly what is needed in order to survive.  I personally do not like to play office politics but recognize that we have to;  however, there are times when we need to play the political game while keeping our integrity and our values.

If this sounds like your struggles, you need to acknowledge and accept that you have high values and morals, which are exceptional qualities to have.  Observe yourself – are your values too high that you come across as standoffish or superior? Do you act defensive with your boss or coworkers, seeming oppositional?  You can learn to work with your values by being more open and making the decision to “own” your job and be the best you can. You can learn to be more open and friendly while maintaining your integrity.  You have the choice – what will it be?

Are You Short-Changing Yourself in Your Job Search?

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I see it time and time again.  Job seekers who short-change themselves on their skills and talents that prevents them from being successful in their job search.   These individuals only know what they know; they only see themselves in the job role they left; other times they don’t really feel that they have any real knowledge or skills that would be valuable to an employer.  This small-minded thinking keeps them small  in their job search, leaving them feeling lost and frustrated that they are not getting any results.

What leads to this mental block?  Several factors could be in play, such as low self-esteem, inability to see “the big picture” or not wanting to boast or brag.  How can you tell if you are short-changing yourself in your job search? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have difficulty listing your skills, values, or past accomplishments?
  • Is it difficult for you to link your past job experiences with a current job path?
  • Do you leave out certain skill sets or talents when asked to, either because they seem too minor to too large?
  • Can you not visualize yourself in a job or career path?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you have just shot down any chance you having of finding a job.  You must be able to answer these questions to know exactly what benefit you will bring to any employer and help you become more focused in your job search.   It is imperative that you have a very clear picture of what skills and talents you possess and then be able to convey them, both in writing and through networking, so that you create interest and desire by potential employers.  Taking the time to answer them will help you become clearer and confident and streamline your job-search efforts.

How to Recover After a Job Loss

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Losing a job can take the wind out of you; it can feel like someone punched you in the stomach and  left you laying there.   Losing your job can feel like you lost your best friend, i,e. your ego.  Self-esteem suffers after a job loss, regardless if you were let go for cause or through no fault of your own, such as in a lay-off or downsizing.  How you recover will depend on: how it was handled, your personality and your ego strength.   It is important  to take some time to ‘lick your wounds’ after. It’s ok to get angry, sad, and to cry.  You will go through the grief stages, namely denial (shock and disbelief), bargaining, anger, depression and then acceptance.  Not all of these stages will be felt as strongly but it is important to not deny your feelings, particularly anger and sadness, in order to heal.  Once you move through these stages, it is now time to work on recovery and getting back to job-search mode.

If you are resilient and weather changes with a positive attitude, you will not take the job loss personally and will be able to reenergize and refocus your efforts on finding a new career path.  If you don’t have resilience or good coping skills, there are ways you can also refocus and find your inner strengths to help you bounce back:

1.  Practice good self-care – exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, go for walks, or other activities that relieve stress; resolve to focus on taking charge of your career path

2. Do a self-assessment – write down all of your skills, experiences, successes on the job, awards, etc.; you need to rediscover your qualities to increase your self-esteem and help you to feel positive about your job prospects

3.  Develop a job search strategy – have a specific plan for how you will spend your days, what job boards to search, who you will call to network, job fairs to attend, and what groups or associations to align with

4. Revamp your resume – develop several versions of your resume that will highlight your skills, benefits and accomplishments; develop a cover-letter template that can be used for the job you are applying for

5. Self-develop – this would be a good time to take up reading and research; there are a lot of good books and internet resources related to careers (such as on this site) and personal and emotional development; you can also join social networking sites to find information and support.

6. Seek help – if you find yourself procrastinating or grieving for an extended period of time, or feel overly frustrated with the lack of progress in your job search, seek the help of a career coach or a therapist who can help you work through the loss and find healthy coping and job-search strategies

Losing a job can be devastating, leading to not only loss of income but of friends and esteem.  By following these steps you can get refreshed and refocused, not only on your career but on yourself which can give you a new lease on life.  Losing a job does not always have to be negative as you can rediscover yourself, and your strengths, in the process.  How have you bounced back?

How Clear Are You On Your Job Search?

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If you are in a job transition, I am sure that there are times when you feel discouraged or frustrated.  When you don’t hear any feedback from employers, i.e. interview or rejection letter, it leaves a void of the unknown.  You don’t know if your resume was reviewed, or is sitting in a stack of call-backs, or if it is in the shredder.  There may be a glimmer of hope that “someday” they may call.  But this hope inevitably leads to rejection and feelings of despair.  You throw your hands in the air and lose yourself in some mundane task to ease the “pain”.  But, the next day you get up and go to your computer to look at the job boards and send out fify more resumes to jobs you may or may not be interested in.  You just feel compelled to apply for jobs in the hopes that someone will call.

If this sounds like you, then it’s time to refine you search and become more clear on focusing on positions that match your skills and experience.  Spending your time on focused job activities will help you feel more in control of your efforts and can lead to better results.  It can also give you time for rest and relaxation, which are vital to your emotional health; it can give you new perspectives and keep you going when you may not have the drive or motivation.

If you are in career management mode, you would be clear.  If you have done a self-assessment of your skills and talents, then you would know which jobs to go after.  If you have assessed your preferred work environment, you would know which organizations to call.  If you have done the research on specific job positions that interest you, you would know if it is a “fit” for you.  Doing those assessments, and having very clear, definitive answers, will get you more focused – you will be clear on what type of job you want and will know who hires.  When someone asks you what type of job you are looking for, you will be able to answer quickly and definitively; you will come to the minds of others when they are looking to hire or know someone who is. 

It is not too late to become clear on how you want your job search to proceed.  You can start from “scratch” in refining your job search strategy by going back and clearly assesing your skills, talents and experience. Once you have a clearer picture, match them with the job(s) that interest you and that you are a match for.  When you have those identified, you can now do a little research on which organizations hire for your identified jobs and can learn more about the hiring personnel and of the organization.  Now, it is time to map out a plan for the days of the week and the activities you will do on a daily basis. 

It may look something like this:

Monday:   9-11am  Search job boards for open positions

                   12           Lunch

                   1-3pm    Write cover letters, apply for targeted positions

Tuesday    9-10      Search job boards for new positions

                   10-11    Call 5 people to network

                   11:30 – 1pm – Attend XYZ networking group

                   2-4pm  Read industry magazines to research companies, trends

 Being very specific with how your spend your time and on what activities will streamline your efforts and help keep you motivated.  You will be able to stay the course.  What activities help, or have helped, you to become clear in your job search? Would love to hear your comments!

A New Beginning

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New beginnings are great.  They offer us the chance to start over, to go in a different direction, to expand, or to resolve the past.  This is a “sort of” new beginning for me.  I am expanding my range with this new blog.  While I have a blog that is connected to my website, www.cyscoaching.com. I want to be able to offer more information and resources to help people further in their careers.  As a connector, I put people with people and people with resources that are vital to enabling their success. 

Until I add to this site, a little about myself. I am a Career and Business Coach so I write for both individuals as well for organizations and work with both in my own practice in Orlando, FL.  I consult, train, speak and write as well.  I am an adjunct professor, where I teach Career Management, Organizational Behavior, and Group Dynamics and Change.  I also have taught management and other related classes in a Gerontology program so you will see information for the generations. 

I hope you enjoy the information provided; let me know if there is any  info that may be of particular interest to you.  I hope to have this site fully functional soon.  Until then… to your success!