Wednesday, December 4, 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.
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.
What’s on your “to do” list that you keep putting off?
Is it updating a resume that’s ten years old? Sending an email to a colleague to ask for contacts? Attending a professional meeting and risk having to tell someone you’re not working?
While it may seem that these unfinished tasks are benignly hanging out on a list, they’re in fact zapping your energy just by being in queue along with your other obligations. When you postpone an action you need to take, you’re not really free from it because it will occupy your thoughts in some way until you act.
But, getting to completion may be simpler than you think.
A few days ago, I posted, on LinkedIn, a link to an article from Inc. Magazine, "10 Things Employees Want More Than a Raise". I often post on LInkedIn - as well as other social media platforms - but this particular link received the highest number of hits of any previous posts. Clearly, something resonated with my LinkedIn network.
Geoffrey James, the author, listed what he thought employees really wanted:
James' 10 items are probably not surprising, nor are the all that new. A few years ago, Dan Pink wrote a book entitled "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" where he noted that
"Too many organizations - not just companies, but governments and nonprofits as well - still operate from assumptions about human potential and individual performance that are outdated, unexamined, and rooted more in folklore than in science."
If you’re asking “why?”, then you’re not aware of the sobering statistics heralding a significant labor shortage in the nation, and especially in Maine, with the oldest population in the U.S.
Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, make up a large slice (30%) of Maine’s population and if they follow the traditional pattern, will retire within the next 10 years. That enormous exodus of talent, expertise and labor would be devastating to the economy.
However, those of us in the second half of life are projected to have an additional 30 years of quality years giving us more time to do things we’ve deferred, but also time to try out a new career or continue on in our jobs well past the traditional retirement age.