Time for a Career Year-End Review

“To thine own self be true.” No truer words could be said on the journey to successful career management.  As we are ready to go into a new year, what better time to do a review of your career.

It all starts with self-assessment – truly knowing who you are and what you are capable of doing.  Without this insight and knowledge, you will spend your life ‘flying the by the seat of your pants’ and getting by.  I have seen people go from job to job and through different careers because they can’t find the meaning and happiness they are seeking, and they aren’t sure why.  I have talked with many people who have been in a career and not feel fulfilled, and they are not sure why.

I believe it is because they have not done a self-assessment to truly understand themselves and then see how the results  relates to their career.  Assessment involves knowing your strengths, weaknesses, skills abilities, interests, talents, and values.  It takes looking ‘hard’ at oneself in order to uncover the truths.  Doing so will help you identify career paths and goals.  It will also help you identify and understand what you want from both work, and non-work roles, and then get clearer on what skills and abilities you will bring to those roles.

Self-Assessment should consist of:
1, Values – these are abstract outcomes of what you want to attain or individual differences of what we want from work.  There are 6 values we all possess – theoretical, economic, aesthetic, religious, social, nd political.  If you value economics highly, you will not be happy in a job that does not pay well.
2. Interests  – these are the likes and dislikes we attach to specific activities or objects and are expressions of what we like to do. These can come from a variety of factors, such as family life, social class, culture, or the physical environment.  Choosing a career that is compatible with your interests will lead to higher levels of involvement and satisfaction.
3. Personality – these are the characteristics that distinguish you from others.  There are 5 personality factors: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to new experiences.
4. Talents – these refer to aptitudes or capacities or developed skills and proficiencies you possess; also are reflective of what one can do if they received the proper training and development. These are vital to our career planning process as they can set constraints on our potential accomplishments and are necessary when making career decisions.

There are a variety of ways for self-assessment.  Sit down with paper and pen and list them.  If you are stuck, you can ask others – family or friends- what they see in you as it relates to the four assessment areas.  You can also take some tests, such s the MMPI, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, the DISC, the Vocational Preference Inventory, or The Bliss Inventory.  These tests are designed to help you understand your personality style and how it would best fit in with a career path and how you will fit in with that culture.

Here are a 10 questions to include in your assessment; if you answer with ‘no,’ then this is an area to focus on in the coming year:

1. I know and follow ALL the rules established my organization.
2. When given a task or assignment, I regularly try to do MORE than is expected of me.
3. I a make a habit of volunteering for work. When I see things that need to be done, I do them without waiting for others to take the lead.
4. I’m a considerate coworker. I regularly clean up after myself and avoid behaviors that may disturb others or cause them additional work.
5. I remember my promises and commitments, and I KEEP them.
6. I treat everyone with the same level of dignity and respect that I want for myself and the people I care about
7. I value and appreciate people with ideas, backgrounds, and demographic characteristics that are different than mine.
8. I continually look for and create opportunities to learn new things and I avoid “I know all I need to know” thinking.
9. I keep my boss informed of things I’ve done, what I’m working on, and any problems I’m experiencing that negatively impact my work.
10. I look for and seize opportunities to help my coworkers be successful rather than just being in it for myself.

This assessment should be done throughout your lifetime.  Often, our interests and talents will change and we may become disillusioned by our current job.  In order to successfully manage a change, it is vital to know ourselves and why those changes occurred.  We may have grown in our thoughts and beliefs; understanding this growth will help n our preparation in the event that a career change is made, whether planned or unplanned.

A self-assessment will keep you focused on your career and staying the course to being in the right career and organization. Overall, you will have more job satisfaction and higher results for a lifetime of success.

Christmas Greetings!

As we celebrate this most joyous day, I wanted to send out wishes that you, and your family, enjoy this day and remember the meaning it represents, not matter how you celebrate. Enjoy your day!
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Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com. For more great tips, visit our other blog at https://allaboutcareersites.com

It's Friday – Time to Review

First off, TGIF! This is the last day of the work-week, for most, while also being a long weekend due to Christmas being Monday. While most are just trying to get through the day and get on with their time off, there is s till work to get done.
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A great exercise to do today, and every Friday, is to go back and review your week to see what your ‘wins’ were, as well as what did not (and why); there are several benefits to doing so:

  • it shows your accomplishments, as these often get forgotten in the busyness of the week. It’s important to see that you are doing more than you believe which elevates your confidence and motivates you to continue on
  • It shows what you did not get done – no explanation on this one but it’s important to see why they did not – did something get in the way (an outside source), was it you and some underlying fear, etc. Without knowing you will continue these patterns
  • It shows what’s important to you regarding where you place your focus, and what tasks align with your skills and strengths. Often times, without realizing it, you may place importance on activities that feel ‘comfortable’ or are non-threatening, and not tackle those that are important and create high emotion. Do you read emails when you should be writing that report?
  • It shows where your time-wasters are so you can make corrections – time wasters occur for reasons I just stated – there is some underlying fear that arises and takes over. The amygdala (fight or flight) actives, releasing cortisol which hits the executive functions in the brain leaving you to put them off or avoid completely. Understanding this will help you to create a schedule you can stick with and get more done and plan for pushing past when those times occur
  • Its shows you how to set goals and what you need to prioritize – reviewing the past week’s list can uncover patterns for how you set goals and how you prioritize those activities (if you do, which you should). Recognizing your work patterns can go a long way to reinforcing those that are having an effect and those you need to stop doing. Prioritizing tasks is another key element to accomplishment and gives you direction on how you plan your day; overwhelm occurs when you think all of your given tasks have to be done at once so giving them a rating number will alleviate this problem. You can give them a 1-2-3, etc. or an A-B-C rating so you have no doubt on which to work on first.
  • It shows you what needs to get done for next week’s to-do list – now that you’ve reviewed your current week, you can take any unfinished tasks and carry them over to your new list, giving them a priority rating, and then add any new items. You will be clearer on how to start your week and can rest easy on your days off. You won’t wake up in the middle of the night, suddenly remembering that you forgot to do something needed.

This exercise will go a long way to your productivity and managing your time throughout the day. Your days will go by smoother from planning better, which all starts with a review. Wishing you  relaxing weekend!
Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com. For more great tips, visit our other blog at https://allaboutcareersites.com

Professional Development Starts with Personal Development

Professional development is critical to ensuring that your skills and aptitudes are at their highest. Just like an athlete has to condition themselves for playing on the field or running a marathon, workers need to do the same.
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Professional development involves taking the skills you use most often and focusing on them, so that they are at their highest; it also involves learning new skills or knowledge that will enhance what you currently know. This is what leads to being a high performer – never thinking you know everything or being satisfied; it’s recognizing that there is always something to be learned and then putting the new-found information into practice.
Professional development, however, begins with personal development. This is where you work on yourself, i.e. the ‘inner workings,’ if you will. Understanding yourself is the key to success. It’s the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s’ of why you do what you do. Areas to work on include:

  • perceptions and expectations
  • attitude
  • communication skills
  • conflict management (including resolution)
  • drives and motivations
  • values
  • habits
  • beliefs

All of these drive your behaviors, especially looking at your perceptions and expectations, which then lead to beliefs, which, ultimately, drive your behaviors and the other items on the list above. It’s also about managing them, ala being emotionally intelligent. Working on these areas will help you to be more effective in all you do, no matter what environment or situation you find yourself in. You will have more effective relationships, as you will be more open to others, have more empathy, listening more and then regulating your responses to what you hear and see.
How do you develop personally? It’s no different than steps you would take in your professional life:

  • read books on mindset, self-esteem, communication, etc.
  • listen to TED Talks, podcasts, or audio books
  • attend networking meetings or join groups on a specific area
  • go to a seminar or workshop
  • journal daily to uncover your thoughts/feelings and set daily goals
  • read motivational quotes that lift you up
  • work with a coach, who can help you to uncover negative patterns and help you develop new, more positive skills

Enhancing your personal development will lead you to being at your best; this, then, leads to you being your best in your professional life. After all, you are the same person in both arenas. Bringing out your best will lead to more success and a more fulfilled life overall.
If you’re ready to be your best, let’s talk!
Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com. For more great tips, visit our other blog at https://allaboutcareersites.com

Can Organizations Have Bright, Shiny Object Syndrome?

Years ago, during my corporate days, I can still remember how frustrating it was when I was put on a project, worked hard with those of us on it, only to be told the project was going in another direction. This is a common complaint I’ve heard lately from clients – their organization starts a new system or program which doesn’t pan out. Just as they are getting used to it, it’s off to something else.
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So this begs the question: can an organization suffer from bright, shiny object syndrome? Meaning that they implement some type of a new program or system which makes no sense for their current ones; or, it’s something that’s trending so they jump on the bandwagon (my experience).  What leads to this confusing behavior?
There are several reasons why this can be the case:

  • Brand – organizations are always needing to ensure their brand is visible to consumers but, if traffic seems slow or projected numbers aren’t reached, this can lead to wanting to enhance the brand. Looking at how others, who are in the limelight and getting attention, can lead to wanting to go into that same direction
  • Fiscal – if an organization is not doing well, they will try many ways to bring buyers in so new programs will be developed in the hopes of doing so. Also, as profits decline, looking at trimming expenses needs to occur, which could be through layoffs or ending current programs that are high dollar, in lieu of others
  • Jumping on the Bandwagon – there are just some leaders who have heard of a new trend and want to jump on, too; it’s the old “if it works for them, it will work for us, too”
  • New Direction – companies always need to be expanding and growing to keep up with consumer needs, so this can mean that new processes or systems will be implemented to ensure that growth

While all of these reasons have merit, it seems that there is no forethought into any of these ideas, or at least from an employee’s standpoint who is the one to carry out that new newly developed program. This is not to suggest that leaders don’t put thought into their decisions but, when doing so, it’s not about tunnel-vision to the perceived end-result. Switching from program to program will only create misery all-around: the brand can be confused; more money will be spent, and lost; doing what other’s do won’t always mean it works for all; and new directions can still mean you will get lost.
Don’t be one of these organizations who switch and change randomly. Pulling the rug out from employees, from one idea to another, can frustrate and deflate the creativity and effort of the team. I remember having worked for months on a new program and, just as it was about ready to launch, being told that the project was scrapped for another, which a competitor had implemented. Talk about an emotional time!
This is a time of transparency for the needed change, and then for inclusion of workers and getting their feedback; if these workers don’t know the reasons for the changes or the benefit to them, resistance will occur, which can lead to high levels of stress, dissatisfaction, and disengagement. People will leave under these circumstances, so communicating openly with them will get more buy-in, resulting in program success.
New systems, processes or programs can work but there should be a method for making the decision, as well as for how it will play out. This means being open, transparent in intentions, allowing employees to share ideas and feedback, keeping them informed along the way.
Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com. For more great tips, visit our other blog at https://allaboutcareersites.com