Saturday, March 8, 2014
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.
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.
If you’ve ever been in a job search, well-meaning friends or colleagues have certainly asked you this question.
While, “I don’t really know”, may be an accurate reply, it will not move the conversation in the right direction to receiving appropriate contacts or job leads.
If you are not clear about your job target, you’ll need to figure out a good response or you’ll be likely to avoid opportunities for networking and leave important contacts without accurate information about how they might assist you in your transition.
Answering the question “what do you want to do” does not require naming a specific job title or position as you might have believed. In fact, in these days of quirky job titles, it could eliminate options if you named the wrong one.
The way we work isn't working.
So say a number of thought leaders and influencers who gathered in New York City in mid-September in a unique conference to brainstorm about work and work culture.
In the past year, findings have been published that measure employee engagement - the extent of their positive or negative emotional attachment to their jobs, colleagues and organizations that influences their willingness to learn and perform at work. The Gallup organization was one of the more well known reports. It's "State of the American Workplace" shed some disturbing light on how Americans feel about their jobs. Gallup's finding indicated that 70% of Americans are emotionally disconnected form their workplaces and cost the U.S. between $450 billion and $550 billion in lost productivity each year.
To address this lack of engagement, The Work Revolution Summit participants - leading entrepreneurs, startup investors, futurists, organizational designers and technology experts - convened in a two day session to begin the process of fundamentally re-designing the "operating software" of work.