Archive for career journey

Part 1: The importance of getting along at work

Career PlanWas the company office party awkward because there is a colleague you wanted to avoid? Is there a relationship at work that went sour this past year? This is great food for thought for the new year to help you consider how to turn over a new leaf with your boss, a co-worker or anyone else in your office. Why it is important to nurture not just your talents and skills but also those relationships with your colleagues…. Thank you to Terry Wynne, one of our associate coaches, for this post!

*This is the first in a series we will do over the next few weeks to help you develop your career plan for 2014!

How important is getting along with colleagues, customers, and managers at work? Getting along is very important and can mean the difference in getting a raise versus being asked to leave. Getting along with “difficult people” is not always easy however.  “Difficult people” include those who are argumentative, controlling, excessive talkers, criticizers, or other traits you’d simply like to avoid.

The issue is that avoiding such people altogether may be unavoidable. So how do you get along with them? Learning effective coping skills is helpful. Two excellent books that explain detailed coping methods include Coping With Difficult People by Robert Bramson, Ph.D., and When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith, Ph.D.  Both books explain exactly what to say to that oh-so-difficult person.  For example, one technique Robert Bramson recommends for dealing with an explosive personality is to calmly say, “I want to hear everything you have to say, but not this way.”  On the other hand, in a situation where you work is criticized, Manual Smith would recommend asking for more information such as inquiring, “What is it about this report you don’t like?”

Learning effective coping techniques doesn’t mean “difficult people” don’t still aggravate you. Surprisingly, you may find that they become your friend or that you become a model for others in your organization to learn how to deal with them.  Just think how surprised your boss will be when you say, “Feel free to send difficult customers to me – I know how to handle them!” So take control, learn coping techniques, and earn the reputation for being the person in your organization who is able to get along with anyone – even people you really don’t want to be around!

Hallie Crawford and Terry L. Wynne
Certified Career Coaches

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

Categories : Nurture Your Career
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CareerReprinted with permission from H2O Magazine

You’ve worked hard at your job and it’s time for your review and hopefully that much-needed raise.

Here are three things you need to start doing right away to ensure your review goes smoothly:

1. To receive a good review and possible raise, immediately after your last review, start keeping a word-processed bulleted list of all your accomplishments and your productivity. Continue keeping this list on an on-going basis.

2. About a month before your review, provide your supervisor with the list including the inclusive dates to which it applies. Be sure to include any presentations and travel for the company.

3. Quantify your accomplishments. For example, instead of “Answered customer service calls,” list, “Answered as many as 25 incoming calls a day and directed them to the proper employee.” Also give the results of your accomplishments such as “Gave presentation to management recommending how to improve customer service. Management implemented recommendations resulting in 25% improvement in efficiency as measured by weekly productivity reports.” Use words like “approximately” or “as many as” to estimate the highest volume of productivity you performed.

Rather than expecting your supervisor to know or remember everything you’ve accomplished, provide the list.  By doing so, your supervisor has information documenting your productive performance.  If you don’t receive as good a review as you expect, you have a solid basis for discussion.  However, your professional list is much more likely to show your manager that you are a proactive employee who keeps accurate records and hopefully will earn you a good review and a well-deserved raise.

Terry Wynne
Certified Career Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

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Success1. Assume that your resume is going to get you the job. Act as if your resume is the end all be all or the magic wand to you job search

The Truth: You need to have a great interview and follow up. The resume just gets your foot in the door.

2. Blanket online job boards with your resume. Apply for any job that looks remotely appealing.

The Truth: You need to actually be interested in the jobs you apply for. Only apply to jobs that you are actually interested in AND that you are qualified for.

3. Keep your job search a secret. You don’t tell anyone that you are searching because you are afraid to ask for help. Don’t ask for networking contacts or assistance, just keep it to yourself.

The Truth: You need to network, network, network! Utilize your friends, family, and acquaintances to establish networking contacts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You never know who might be able to get you connected with your dream job.

4. Be resistant to working with a recruiter (recruiters are part of hidden job market).

The Truth: You need to be willing and open to working with them. Some will be a better fit, but don’t discount value.

5. Don’t set up a LinkedIn profile. Don’t keep it updated.

The Truth: Some employers say that 80% of their recruiting efforts are conducted on LinkedIn alone. You can’t ignore it and you have to have a GOOD profile.  If there are a lot of candidates out there and your profile is better, they will remember yours.

 Hallie Crawford
Job Search Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

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Graduate SchoolI recently had the opportunity to be a panelist for a recent ‘Grad School vs Life’ Twitter chat with Black Enterprise magazine. We discussed the recent article I was featured in, Misguided: 4 Worst Excuses for Pursuing an Advanced Degree.

I wanted to share some tips from the Twitter Chat with you that are based on this article:

  • Instead of going to graduate school, or in addition to going to graduate school, you should gain additional experience and education. Find ways to learn within your current job and work experiences. Some options are to volunteer or suggest new projects to your employers. The key is to look for opportunities that will allow you learn and expand outside of your job description.
  • If you choose to go to graduate school, you need to have a plan, and understand what having your degree will do to advance your career, and make sure that it will. Review people’s LinkedIn profiles who are in the job or industry you are interested in, to find out if earning an advanced degree is a must-do.
  • Even if you don’t know if your employer offers education reimbursement or you think they won’t, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that they might pay for part of it. Start with your human resources department to find out the policy, and then speak with your boss if necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask! You never know what will happen.

If you’re a college graduate and you want help taking the next step on your career journey, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Hallie Crawford
Job Coach

P.S. Need to discover your interests, preferences, and personal style to choose a career you can be passionate about? Get on the path to your ideal career here!

Career PathI had the privilege of being interviewed for an AARP article that will be coming out soon. The article is about the importance of choosing projects that are relevant to what you’re doing now in your career. This can help enhance your current career path OR it can help with your next one. You want to be part of projects that last a long enough time and provide enough depth to be worth it; projects that are meaty and not just sitting in an advisory meeting one time.

Here are some tips to help you choose projects that are worth your time:

  • Work with people who are players in your company. People who you want to establish better relationships with or new ones. These people might be ‘the influencers’ in the company.

  • Decide how much time you can devote to the project, but don’t just add it to the to-do list. Actually incorporate it into your existing schedule, for example on your lunch hour or your morning commute. Adding it to your to-do list can make it more overwhelming. Or it might just get pushed to the back burner.

  • Don’t be afraid to suggest or create a project. You don’t have to just volunteer for an existing one. Talk to your boss about your project idea informally, because it doesn’t have to be a formal proposal. One example would be to mention it in a performance review. Or if you don’t want to wait that long, mention it in the hall or sometime when you’re already speaking. Mention that you’d like to enhance specific skills and volunteer for a certain project as a result. Don’t be afraid to speak up, employers typically like motivated and pro-active employees.

If you’d like more work performance help or you’d like help identifying your ideal career path, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Hallie Crawford
Ideal Career Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

Meaningful GoalsI am excited about my upcoming speaking event for Slalom Consulting women’s group on January 16th in Buckhead. I will be speaking about “Setting Meaningful Goals: Live and Work with Passion and Purpose”. The start of a new year is the perfect time to set meaningful goals. The key to achieving your goals is to make sure that they are based on your values. To set goals that you are more motivated to complete, attach them to what’s most meaningful to you.

Values are your guidepost to fulfillment. That is why it is one of the first things I have my career coaching clients identify to help them with their career path. Attaching goals to values ensures that you are more likely to achieve them, and once you have you will be that much more fulfilled.

Your values can help you identify your most meaningful talents or passions too, which can also help you achieve your career goals. What are you really good at? What do you really enjoy doing? Focus on what values are really important to you and use these as clues to get your answers. For example, maybe one of your values is to use your time responsibly. That could be a clue that you are good at scheduling your time and are good at being organized. This is a great talent to identify for your career journey. Another example is maybe you value the environment. This could tie into a passion such as conservation or going green. Identifying your values can really help set the course for your career path.

If you’d like more help with achieving career goals, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Hallie Crawford
Ideal Career Coach

P.S. Are you frustrated with your job search? Check out our FREE REPORT: ”Take Control of Your Career Transition: Uncover Hidden Opportunities”.

Bad CreditI was recently honored to be featured in this US News article, How to Convince a Prospective Employer to Overlook Poor Credit. There are many obstacles people have to overcome when applying for job search and bad credit is a common concern among job seekers. A potential employer cannot check it without your consent, but this could be seen as a red flag and decrease your chances of getting hired. You’re better off consenting to it and being honest with them. Be upfront with them and mention any possible issues and explain the situation.

Credit is a slippery slope. The reason why people have bad credit varies greatly, so part of the answer lies in why you have it. If it was because you lost your job due to downsizing and you  had to live on credit for a bit while in career transition, that’s one thing. Bad money management, that’s another.

Here are some additional questions regarding bad credit:           

  • Does my income and net worth affect my credit score? No, it doesn’t.
  • What accounts for my credit score? Most of it is your record of paying installment and revolving credit that’s on time. Also included are collection actions, civil judgments and tax liens against you or bankruptcies.
  • What’s one of best ways to improve my score? Pay down your credit card debt, starting with the account that has the highest interest rate. Also, try to use no more than 10% of the credit limit on any account.
  • Do early payments on credit card charges improve my score? No, there isn’t anything on your credit report that talks about when a bill was paid.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

ResumeI can’t tell you how many times we have career coaching clients come to us wondering what is ok to put on their resume and what is not. I find that most people we encounter fall into the category of not of wanting to lie on their resume (a good thing!!) but as a result they end up selling themselves short. They are so worried about telling the truth on their resume that they go to the other extreme, and aren’t fully comfortable selling themselves.

Your resume is a marketing or sales piece and you need to understand that first. It’s not about lying or exaggerating, but it is about promoting yourself and putting your best foot forward in everything you say on there. Include anything that would be relevant to the position you’re applying for, including volunteer work, serving on a board, seminars you’ve attended. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself!

On the flip side, the answer to the question“Do I tell a white lie?” is no. If you’re hesitant to put something on your resume because you’re being modest and you are afraid to promote yourself or “toot your own horn” that’s one thing. You need to get over that. If you’re hesitant to put something on your resume because it feels wrong, like you’re not being honest or you’re exaggerating the truth, draw the line.

The short and long term impact of lying on your resume is obvious and not pretty. I’ve had career coaching clients who didn’t have a college degree who were wildly successful in the corporate world but they could not put they had a degree on their resume. They just had to work around it. You can too.

If you’re interested in more help with your resume or cover letter, contact us here.

Hallie Crawford
Career Search Coach

P.S. For more help with your career journey, check out our Free Newsletter to help you today!

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About Create Your Career Path

Our team of career coaches help people of all ages nurture their career, identify their ideal career path, and navigate their career transition. We offer group and individual coaching as well as self-directed learning products. Schedule a free phone consultation with Create Your Career Path today.