1. “I’m looking for a new job, all I need to do is update my resume.”
So many professionals that are ready to switch jobs or overhaul their professional trajectory conclude that the first thing they MUST do to get a new job is update their resume. Yes, your professional profile (LinkedIn, Resume, website etc.) is an essential part of the process, but it is NOT the first thing you should set out to do. In fact, most people have no idea how to properly formulate their professional profile. Even executive level professionals with 25+ years’ experience in the workforce, don’t know the first thing about formulating a resume that will effectively reflect their professional impact and achievements. I recommend holding off on updating your resume all together and even when you do get around to it, seek out advice from a professional (someone that has proven success in drafting resumes that have led to job offers).
Either way, before you or anyone else starts re-writing and updating your resume you should have a very clear picture of what it is you want to do. I always tell my clients to work backwards. If you are super self-directed and analytical, you can do something like this on your own. But the reason most people come to me for support is to guide them through this self-reflection process. When professionals work with me, we take the first few sessions to peel back the layers and discover what types of roles they are most excited by, what industry they want to work in and finally what other aspects of the workplace are important to them in terms of their future professional happiness. It is not until we have established these priorities that we begin adjusting the resume accordingly. This is because your resume should not only highlight your current and past achievements but it should also illustrate how you possess the skills needed to advance the goals of your next employer.
2. “Even though I don’t have a background in that field, I have transferrable skills.”
My new favorite thing to say is that “NYC is the Google of this country’s workforce”. NYC has one of, if not the most, competitive job markets in the country. Sure, you might have 2 degrees and 15 years’ experience doing similar types of jobs as the ones you want to apply to. This might very well be true, but I have some unfortunate news for you; the hundreds of applicants competing for the same job your applying to, well they might have 3 degrees and those degrees are likely from Ivey League schools. That same candidate probably worked for the most successful companies on the planet doing the exact position you’re applying to. It’s also possible that they went to prep school with the CEO’s daughter or their dad is best friends with the President of the board. Sorry to dish it out so harshly, but that’s just how real it is in this fierce NYC workforce. So, if you think an employer has the time or willingness to consider “transferable skills candidates” over the numerous candidates who have experience in the exact field, a prestigious academic background and professional ties to the company, you are sadly mistaken.
Not to be a kill joy or rain on your parade, I only want to emphasize that just having “transferrable skills” will not get you noticed by a hiring manager. What can make you stand out as transferable candidate? Well, perhaps if you’ve learned how to tell a compelling story about your professional background and can clearly articulate your passion for the work you want to transition into, you might have a fighting chance. Better still, in the “transferable skills” case, it is pivotal that you can cultivate relationships; genuine, personal and professional relationships. These relationships will likely be the only linkages you’ll have to get a job as a “transferrable skills candidate”. Networking is a whole other beast that is too nuanced to describe here, but if you plan to be a “transferrable skills candidate” you better brush up on or learn some real savvy networking strategies.
3. “I plan to transition from public/non-profit to the private sector—maybe CSR.”
Welcome to the club. You and every 3rd person I do a career consult with is eager to enter into the world of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The magical land of helping people while also bringing in a high 6 figure salary…sounds like a dream, right? That’s probably because it is. Yes, these elusive departments do exist as many companies have established foundations or philanthropic arms; but what so many people fail to realize is that for all the money they give away and all the social impact programs they oversee, these departments (even in the largest companies) are very small. Not to mention that for the most part, the roles in CSR are typically given to people who already work in the company and want to make a lateral move. Or, in rare cases the best and the brightest are plucked from non-profit and public sector executive roles to work on CSR initiatives in the private sector.
The reality is for as much as these few professionals make in those select roles, they are working in or running very small departments. In which case, their job is probably just as demanding as any other corporate, cut throat position...is that really what you want? I too at one time had a goal of leading the charge in a CSR role so I get the allure and interest of trying to snag one of those coveted spots. But, my advice to the seemingly thousands of people (especially in NYC) holding their breath for a shot at maybe 1, if that, of these positions that might be open; exhale and start drumming up a pivot strategy. Make a move toward a role that is more feasible to attain but will bring you just as much satisfaction as you imagine you will get in a CSR job.
4. “I want to work with a recruiter/headhunter who can help me get a job.”
This feedback will be short and sharp. They don’t want to help you. Their job requires them to find the top tier talent in very specific roles that are standardly sourced through headhunter services. So unfortunately for the entry level newbies, middle managers and career changers out there, headhunters won’t be coming for you any time soon. Even if you do engage with a recruiter you better be super clear about the specific job title you want to work in because most recruiters don’t have the time or inclination to help you figure that out. THEY ARE NOT CAREER COACHES!
5. “I want to make a major change in my career but don’t have time to invest in the process.”
I saved the best for the last with this one. I speak to professionals all week, those that have hired me to be their coach and those inquiring about my services with an interest in working with me. Only my current and former clients can testify to the FACT that any change, especially a complete overhaul, in your career…TAKES TIME!! My shortest program is 5 weeks and my longest is 4 months. Yes, I’ve had clients get a job offer in the 2nd month of a 4-month program and in the 8th week of a 10-week program but they were absolutely the anomaly. For the most part, most of the job offers and transitions for my clients materialize weeks, sometimes many months AFTER our program expires. This is not because the coaching doesn’t work but rather because the job transition process involves many steps and often takes a very long time for most people to materialize their job change goal.
All my clients that have made the transition upon completion of our program have reported the news to me and thanked me for the invaluable preparation and strategy they acquired through our coaching program. Now, it is not my intention to take an iota of credit for the tremendous amount of effort my clients commit to manifesting change in their career. It is only to say that the time they spent with me each week to receive coaching services laid the foundation for their success. Coaching provided concrete resources, relevant strategies, consistent accountability, unwavering support and an extensive network of connections. All these services are an asset to any professional growth plan and I am proud to be a valuable conduit to the successes that my clients achieve in their perspective careers.
However, the true insight here is that NONE of it happens after just a quick consult call or a one-time “more bang for your buck” 60-minute session. Significant milestones and changes are made when the time and effort is put in by the very person that wants that change in their life. Even just moving the needle takes persistent effort and typically an outside force to give you a broader perspective than what you can come up with on your own.
So, whether you hire a coach or “go it alone”, just know that without a long-term commitment to the process and a willingness to consistently put in the work to manifest change in your career…change will not likely come for you.
Explore the Power of your Possibility:
Reignite innovation, passion and purpose in your life
ShaynaLee Coaching, LLC
We have all been there at some point in life, feeling completely dissatisfied with our career and/or life. Whether it’s the unfulfilling work, unbearable boss, competitive/caddy co-workers, barely livable salary, no growth potential or a combination of everything…we find ourselves questioning how we ended up in this space and wondering if it will ever get better. To which, I have concluded is completelyUP TO YOU!! The moment you accept that fact, is the moment your life/career trajectory will change for the better.
It continuously blows my mind that so many people are feeling unhappy in their circumstances yet they are unwilling to put in the effort required to change things for the better. You might say you are “gonna” do this or “want” to change that but still you haven’t taken one step toward addressing your situation. Through my professional and personal interactions, I’ve discovered several themes that explain why people don’t feel motivated or willing to change. Of course the primary culprit is “fear” mainly because the older we get, the more risk averse we become. In addition to fear, feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination and selflessness are commonly relied upon crutches that prevent us from thinking differently about our lives and making a concerted effort to change. You know what they say, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.
So what if I told you there was a NO COST, TIME LIMITED, RISK FREE way to create the changes you desire in your life. Would you be willing to explore this option? Ok, great…get ready because you are about to embark on the easiest pathway to shifting your life that you have ever encountered and it all begins with the 3 simple steps outlined below.
Grab a pen and paper or something to jot down your thoughts.
Step 1: Read this phrase several times then close your eyes, take a breath and say it to yourself: “I am open to shifting my thought process so that I can manifest real change in my life”. DO THAT NOW.
Step 2: Write down, type or voice record the following statement: “I will expose myself to positive thinking information, resources or ideas at least 1 time THIS WEEK.”
Step 3: Read this to yourself or out loud NOW: “I am willing to practice new ways of thinking because it doesn’t always come naturally to me to do things differently than I normally do.”
Right now, write down the above 3 steps on a piece of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror or add them to your calendar or create an alarm on your phone so that you can be reminded to read these steps every day.
Follow the above instructions every day for two weeks straight and email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know that you have done this activity every day for two weeks. You can do it first thing in the morning, right before bed or at any time during the day. No one is keeping track but you so if you miss a day and still want to proceed for the duration, consider it a valiant effort and e-mail me when the two weeks is up.
C’mon is not the easiest “challenge” in the world??? Please share it with any "change challenged" people you know. It’s going somewhere I promise, but for now this is the only assignment…I double dog dare you to throw your hat in the ring and let me know that you have completed it in 2 week’s-time!
Explore the Power of your Possibility: Reignite innovation, passion and purpose in your life
ShaynaLee Coaching, LLC
STARTING THE JOB SEARCH: SECRETS TO SUCCESS
Are you ready to start the job search process but feel overwhelmed and don’t quite know where to start? Or, like so many other professionals, perhaps you have been doing everything you can think of to secure your next job but still you are getting nowhere; no offers, no interviews or interviews but no call-backs.
You don’t need to stay stuck in the cycle, if what you are doing in the job search is NOT WORKING then it's time to do something new! Expand your thinking outside of your routine so that you can easily identify what is holding you back from achieving your job attainment goal!
Remember, your progress in the job search hinges on your readiness to GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!!
Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone and experience results?
Great choice, let’s get started by revealing my “secrets to success”, starting with the first 7 things you should do at the start of your job search process. Whether you are a veteran to the job search process or a newly minted job seeker, applying the strategies outlined below will enable you to position yourself as a top candidate in highly competitive applicant pools.
#1 Review your resume: This might seem like a no-brainer but you would be surprised how many job seekers just submit the outdated document they had on file prior to their most recent job when they are applying for a new role.
# 2 Update your resume to reflect your skill strengths: Make sure your resume reflects your most recent and relevant skills. Highlight a summary of your skills in bullet points at the top of the resume document. You should list the key professional and technical strengths that you can hit the ground running with on “day 1” of a new job.
Note: Skill lists do not need to be prefaced with extra adjectives about how you perform those skills. So avoid points like “proficient in digital…” “detail oriented project manager...”, “enthusiastic team leader…”. Just stick to the skill label you want to highlight, “Project Management”, “Digital Marketing”, “Leadership” etc.
# 3 Update your resume to reflect your professional ACHIEVEMENTS: When reviewing the professional roles on your resume, evaluate the bulleted list under each role to ensure you are not just providing your day to day responsibilities like a job description. Instead, your resume should be a demonstration of what you have accomplished in each role. Quantify as much as you can and ask yourself these questions,
“What I have created in this role?”
“What have I built or expanded on in this role?”
“What have I improved in this role?”
For each of those responses, follow with a response to this question,
“What was the overall outcome/impact of my contributions at this job whether to the work, to the department and/or for the company?”
# 4 Audit your LinkedIn Profile: If you do not have a thorough and detailed LinkedIn profile, create one now! You can simply copy and paste the content from your resume for consistency. Once your LinkedIn profile is complete, check out other profiles of professionals in your field/role. See that your profile matches up in terms of depth and presentation. If there are items you can include on your profile that you think will enhance your presentation (certifications, honors, volunteerism, special projects, recommendations) etc. go ahead and add them in.
Note: You can turn off the ability for people to see when you are making changes to your profile in your setting options.
#5 Start the job search: Now that your digital portfolio and resume are up to par, you are ready to get the search started. The “search” is the most critical component of the whole process and typically gets washed over when job seekers fall into the standard operating procedures of the humdrum job search that is all we know. If this is what you are doing, please STOP searching for jobs the way you normally do or think you should!! Before you go on-line or put feelers out to your network, I urge you to step back and ask yourself the following questions.
#6 Identify the roles that match your skills AND interests: Now that you are armed with the responses to the questions from #5, log onto your preferred job searching site, whichever digital platform features the jobs you are most interested in, and search the job titles/roles you want to work in. If you don’t know the job titles exactly, search keywords related to the response you provided in #5A. As the postings come up, cross check the job description and company websites against your priority list from #5D. Select the positions and companies that are most aligned with your priority list and save them so that you can easily link back when you need to.
Note: DO NOT SUBMIT APPLICATIONS OR RESUMES YET-JUST SAVE THOSE JOBS.
Also, remember these jobs don’t have to be jobs you would or can necessarily apply to. Maybe the job role is perfect for you but the company is too far away or the pay isn't great but the company is awesome, save these job posting links anyway. You can use these job descriptions and company profiles as a baseline for your search and a reference when networking.
#7 Explore your digital network: Now that you know the types of jobs that interest you and/or the exact jobs you want to apply for. Tap into your digital network before you start submitting resumes to those company websites. Look up the company on LinkedIn to see if anyone you know works there. Ask around in your existing professional and personal network to see if there are any linkages. Still no connections? How about creating relationships with people who work in that role at other companies to ask for their feedback? Or maybe pinging someone at the actual company you want to work for to let them know you are ready to apply through the website but would be happy to share your resume with them directly as well.
These are only the basics to get your started because you don’t want to get too overwhelmed in the beginning. However, once you scratch the surface by moving through the process above, you can begin flushing out what is important to you and learn how to successfully find the right roles to apply for. As you start honing in on the right roles for you, you will need to go back and reevaluate your resume to ensure that the skills and accomplishments listed, mirror the desired requirements and proficiencies of the jobs you want to apply for.
Lastly, you will need to apply best-practice, digital and in-person networking strategies as well as improve your interview skills so as to round out your “top spot” candidacy for any role you want to work in! You can certainly dive into this endeavor on your own but if you find that you are hitting a wall or getting stuck in the same old patterns of your limiting beliefs around your career goals, you should definitely consider hiring a coach to guide you through the self-exploration needed for this process to be effective!
Just remember that as you go through this process, attitude and behavioral patterns are just as important as “task lists and to-do’s”. You have to stay positive for positive outcomes to materialize.
Explore the Power of your Possibility:
Reignite innovation, passion and purpose in your life
ShaynaLee Coaching, LLC
I have no choice!! I hear this a lot when I talk to people and clients:
“I am in this job because I have no choice”
“I can’t leave this job because I have no other options”
“My circumstances are what they are and I can’t do anything about it
“I can’t do what I want to do because of all my obligations so I am stuck”
Does that sound familiar to you? It should because if it isn’t you who has said it, it is you who has heard it from someone you know. I have said it AND heard it so I am well acquainted with these excuses. Yep, I said it EXCUSES!!
It’s such an ugly word so many of us refrain from saying because we don’t want to offend or turn someone off but the reality is that so many of us rely on excuses to avoid accountability for our choices. When we avoid accountability we can avoid change and when we avoid change we can stay where we are forever. Isn’t that so much easier than pursuing our dreams and being truly happy? Knowing what to expect rather than diving into the unknown that may or may not produce the true happiness we so desperately desire. Yep, excuses work. I know excuses, they have always been there for me and always will be there.
When all else fails….excuse. When I would rather talk about it instead of be about it...excuse. When there is a choice between action and inaction...excuses will do the trick!
Well ladies and gentleman, I am here to call all of us on our bullshit and yes you’re welcome. I’ve thought of them all and have used them all until finally I realized (with much coaching and tough love support), that I DO HAVE A CHOICE. As one of my favorite inspirational warriors Marie Forleo says, “everything is figureoutable”. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, everything in our life; our jobs, our financial circumstances, our relationships, our personal status etc...EVERYTHING is a CHOICE and if we want to shift those circumstances we can choose to do so.
I have heard it all and said it all, “I am totally disrespected at work, I always get passed up for promotions and ignored in meetings. I didn’t choose for my superiors not to like me or not to value my work, that is on them. I can’t help how it makes me feel, who wouldn’t be impacted if they were treated like dirt?” Yes we are all entitled to our emotions and they are often times a mere biological response, not something we can actually control or else we would all be emotionless robots. However, what we can do when we acknowledge that this person or these people are acting in a particular way towards us, is CHOOSE how we are going to respond to those behaviors.
First and foremost, no one can make me feel anything. I CHOOSE to let their behaviors impact me and I CHOOSE to allow that impact to affect my day to day life. So for this not to happen I have to CHOOSE to dismiss their behaviors as “their stuff” and continue on with my head held high for being who I am and for bringing my value to the table. Although I do also have the choice to address the situation head-on.
I can approach the said perpetrators of the disrespectful behavior and ask them if I am doing something to them that is warranting this disrespectful treatment (a little reverse psychology). Or maybe, I can look inward to identify what areas of growth I can work on so that I can be more assertive or effective in dealing with oppositional personalities. Or, perhaps all of these feelings are in my head and I’m only interpreting it as disrespect because I am the one with no faith or confidence in my own abilities? I guess, in this case I could seek out guidance around self-esteem boosting strategies to shift the dynamic of my presence. Lastly, it could just be everything above and more and quite frankly, I don’t care enough about those people, this company or this job to put in even an ounce of effort trying to change it or how I feel about it; to which I can simply CHOOSE to quit. Right? Right.
I know, know…”It’s not that simple Shayna. I can’t just up and quit my job. I have a family, bills and other obligations. I couldn’t possibly abandon my responsibilities in an effort to change my shitty circumstances. There are just too many things to consider before I can make that decision so for now, I am stuck with it.”
Again, BULLSHIT!! You absolutely CAN quit your job like right this second. It is absolutely possible for you to go in there, stand tall on your desk, middle fingers in the air, with some rebel song blasting out of your cell phone speakers and yell out to all who will listen “I’m not gonna take it anymore!!”. Or, ya know you can skip the grand standing and just calmly submit the standard 2 week notice of resignation letter via e-mail. Whatever you’re style, it is absolutely a certainty that this can be done.
The fact of the matter is that you CHOOSE not to do it. Fine, I get it, there are some ducks that should be lined up before you start taking the plunge into the abyss of happiness. You will need to search for other opportunities, apply, to jobs, create possibility, learn more, invest in yourself, whatever you need to do; I am not suggesting that you have to make every choice on some “no holds barred” Jerry Mcguire tip but either way...THE CHOICE IS YOURS !!!
You can choose what barriers pose the greatest challenges for you to changing your circumstances. You can choose to address those barriers and you can choose to take action. Whatever is holding you back in this life is your CHOICE! The sooner you decide to make choices that favor your progress and contribute to your goals of happiness, the sooner your circumstances will change. I can tell you this with certainty because this was me. I was a prisoner of excuses until I finally CHOSE to grab the bull by the horns and take accountability, not only for how my life had turned out, but for how I wanted it to change.
I needed excuses to keep me stuck in my story of unhappiness, that is what I knew how to do very well. Relying on excuses to avoid changing, felt all warm and cozy like wearing a comfy sweater and sipping hot cocoa in front of a fireplace on a cold New England night. But there is only so much time you can sit in front of that fireplace until the heat starts to burn you up and the cabin fever sets in. This is when you start to wonder what your options are. This is when you tell yourself there has got to be something more because this life just ain’t for me anymore. This is when you know that the choice is yours and you start to scream it from the mountain tops…
I AM DONE WITH EXCUSES….I AM READY TO CHANGE MY LIFE...I WILL CHOOSE MY OWN DESTINY!!!
Explore the Power of your Possibility:
Reignite innovation, passion and purpose in your life
ShaynaLee Coaching, LLC
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Do you have questions about your career goals, job search strategies or networking skills? Are you looking to advance your current profession or transition into a new one. Do you want to achieve a better work life balance? Do you have any questions as you are thinking about these goals?
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ShaynaLee is a Career Coach and Strategist with 15 years of experience creating and implementing professional development strategies.