Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Barbara Babkirk is a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement firm in Portland.
With a focused and intuitive approach, Barbara makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them design a new life chapter. She has a successful record guiding career transitions for professionals ranging from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs.
An expert in her field, Barbara is a public speaker on work-related topics writes a solutions-oriented column about work for the Portland Sunday Telegram.
Scott Woodard is a career coach with Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement business in Portland, Maine.
Scott works with clients to identify and articulate their value and their personal brand. He helps clients develop clear, concise and crisp messaging to convey their particular difference, their achievements and their approach.
Scott coaches clients to market their brand through social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. He offers monthly workshops on how to make the most of LinkedIn for businesses or job seekers.
Author and executive coach, Richard Leider would say “a sense of purpose”.
Apparently, the quest for meaning is on our minds these days.
Research on the role of purpose conducted by Met Life showed that regardless of age, gender, life stage or financial status, most people assigned the highest importance to meaning-related activities in their lives—even above financial gain.
In my career counseling business, the search for “more meaning and purpose” by far outweighs any other reason driving clients’ job or career transitions.
Conventional wisdom may tell you to put your job search on hold until the New Year once the Holiday season hits. But I disagree.
Think about all the people you see only once a year at Holiday events plus all the new people you might meet.
If you are not clear about your career direction or job target, you might cringe at the thought of people asking what you’re are up to, or worse still, what you want to do.
Once you’re prepared for the inevitable question, you’ll be set to welcome informal conversations and offers of help from potential contacts for your job search. If someone suggests a contact and says, “use my name”, know that this approach rarely works. You’ll need to then say “Thanks! Would you please make an email introduction for me and I’ll take it from there?” Then you can be certain that the email will not end up in spam or the trash since it came from a colleague.
The "new normal" is a whole new way of doing business -- both in terms of how businesses operate and the talent they recruit. In the new normal, business relies on people who can contribute to the bottom line -- who can bring real value to the organization. To recruit such talent, most businesses rely first on referrals from trusted sources. As a job seeker, demonstrating your value and nurturing your network are paramount to success in the new normal.
Demonstrating value is about telling your story of how you influence outcomes. Relying on number of years experience, listing the responsibilities of past positions doesn't convey value. Not in the new normal. You have to articulate how that experience and how those responsibilities contributed to the organization's goals; to its bottom line. You have to tell a story that demonstrates value: You've done it before, you can do it again.
So how do you recalibrate years of experience and increasing levels of responsibility to value? You begin by focusing on accomplishments rather than responsibilities and you fashion stories that reflect those accomplishments; and you do it concisely. There are a number of acronyms to frame your stories: CARs, SARs, STARs, SOARs. Each focuses on a problem, situation or opportunity that required action; the action taken to address them; and the results or outcomes of those actions and their impacts on the organization. Look back at your recent assignments and your achievements. Fit them into the model -- problem, action, results -- and determine your value.
A number of my clients protest that they can't determine the value of their actions. Results don't have to be measured quantitatively in terms of dollars earned or saved or time saved. Results can be qualitative. Perhaps you initiated a new strategy that changed the direction of a program in trouble or turned around a disgruntled customer. Or you might have convinced a group of decision makers to go in a different direction, which made the organization more relevant in its market.
“Give a person a bad experience and they’ll tell twelve people about it.”
Spinning a layoff or job termination into a positive experience is not an easy task.
87% of employers expect applicants to negotiate the terms of an employment offer, but, fewer than 40% actually do—and less than half are women. Surprised?
Those numbers represent significant dollars lost in a higher starting salary and future pay increases--not to mention possible opportunities for more vacation time or flexible work schedules.
Here are key reasons why job applicants avoid negotiating employment offers: never considered it; were afraid or not assertive; assumed there was no room for discussion; did not want to appear “pushy”.
When you’re offered a job, you’ve out-done the competition and that typically puts you in a good place to negotiate.