Posts Tagged ‘career planning’

career-courageKatie C. Kelley was a driven professional living out the dream she carefully constructed as a teenager: to have her own psychotherapy practice in Manhattan. Despite that success, she grew increasingly dissatisfied with her personal and professional life. In Career Courage, Kelley shares the knowledge she gained by transforming her life and finding true satisfaction. Kelley’s key message is that every person has the power to create a fulfilling career and personal life–it just takes time, courage, and careful planning. Each of the book’s chapters is designed to help readers find their true callings, and presents true stories of people who worked hard to make their own dreams come true.

People seeking to transform unfulfilling careers can create more satisfying lives by focusing on 10 keys to success:

  1. Motivation. People find true satisfaction when they figure out what really motivates them, and create a vision for their lives based on that knowledge.
  2. Confidence. Change is scary. Overcoming the fear of change requires self-confidence. Professionals can build up their confidence by exposing themselves to their fears in controlled doses.
  3. Risk. To find true satisfaction, professionals must think like entrepreneurs and take calculated risks. To increase their tolerance for risk, professionals should accept that bold moves are inherently risky, prepare in advance for setbacks, and not take setbacks personally.
  4. Character. Character is an essential ingredient for career success. Influential professionals should cultivate three key character traits: trustworthiness, transparency, and loyalty. These traits enable successful professionals to attract and hold people within their spheres of influence.
  5. Harmony. Harmony reinforces the balance between a successful career and happy home life. To create more harmony in their lives, professionals must learn to say no, delegate responsibility, and set boundaries.
  6. Strategic thinking. Implementing a vision requires careful step-by-step planning. Professionals can use strategic thinking to go from dreaming about changing careers to living lives that make them truly happy.
  7. Community. Most people long for more meaning in their lives, and being part of a community is one of the most effective ways to fill that need. Having a strong network of family, friends, and colleagues provides a powerful sense of belonging.
  8. Influence. The ability to influence people plays a vital role in personal and professional success. Although influencer styles vary, influencing is a skill that professionals should hone–or they will lose opportunities to more influential people.
  9. Fortune. While everyone should have a fulfilling career, short- and long-term financial security is also important. Professionals should keep money and emotions separate and determine what their values are regarding financial success.
  10. Pivots. Critical junctures, or pivot points, occur when professionals must decide whether to change directions or stay the course, such as after being laid off. Successful professionals learn to recognize pivot points and listen to their gut instincts.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Kiss Your But GoodbyeEveryone has flaws, but many people fail to realize how their flaws are impeding their career progress. For people to reach their potential, they need to recognize and manage their “BUTs,” the shortcomings that hold them back. When colleagues, managers, and senior leaders talk about others, they almost always discuss their weaknesses in the same way. They may say something like, “She works hard, but she takes on too many projects and cannot prioritize.” Or, they may say, “He is extremely intelligent, but he fails to connect with others.” The biggest problem with BUTs is that the people in possession of them cannot see them. Everyone has at least one BUT, so everyone needs a strategy for recognizing and overcoming them. Kiss Your But Goodbye by Joe Azelby and Bob Azelby provides a humorous guide to doing so.

There are ways for people to overcome their shortcomings, or at least reduce their impact. This process includes understanding the following:

  1. Recognize that everyone has at least one “BUT” that needs to be addressed. These are the weaknesses that people talk about when assessing others. For example, people may say that John has great marketing skills but cannot close a sale. He needs to overcome that BUT in order to advance in his career.
  2. People need help to find their BUTs, and that help needs to come from honest, straightforward colleagues and managers who will not sugarcoat their assessments. BUTs result from aptitude, personality, and behavior, and those elements provide both a way to identify BUTs and a way to overcome them.
  3. Many people avoid dealing with their BUTs because they prefer to avoid pain and change. However, they are suffering now as a result of their BUTs, and the effort expended on the change will be returned when the benefits of a reduced BUT are realized.
  4. People reduce the size of their BUTs through increased self-awareness and sincere effort to change their behaviors. These efforts need to be clear to colleagues so they can help in the BUT-reduction process.
  5. One very effective way to reduce the impact of a BUT is to partner with someone who has a complementing strength. For example, people who are good strategic thinkers but lack detailed planning skills can partner with people who love to plan everything.
  6. During reviews, managers may avoid telling employees about their BUTs. For small BUTs, managers are more likely to say something because they believe the flaws can be reduced. For large BUTs, however, managers often avoid saying anything, and employees fail to progress. Therefore, it is vitally important for people who want to advance in their careers to proactively identify their own BUTs with the help of trusted advisers.
  7. Managers have BUTs too, which can make their employees miserable. They may micromanage or have blind spots. Employees can increase their own value by acting to counteract their managers’ BUTs.
  8. Instituting a workplace culture that encourages frank discussion of everyone’s BUTs can make the organization a better place to work. It can also make the company more productive and profitable.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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Do Cool ShtContrary to popular belief, it is possible for people to have enjoyable careers and work with like-minded people who share their interests. In Do Cool Sh*t, Miki Agrawal, a young, successful entrepreneur, shares her journey of finding work she loves rather than working only to make money. For her, making money is not how she defines success. Rather, success is about doing the absolute best with the capabilities a person has rather than putting in hours in exchange for a paycheck and a boring existence. Her belief is that people truly can have it all.

According to Agrawal:

  • People who step outside their existing social networks to make new connections may find it difficult at first, but it could create opportunities to meet potential investors for new business ventures. Without taking chances, these connections will never be made.
  • Before asking for something, it is important for individuals to first understand exactly what they want. Clear proposals will make recipients more accepting of the “ask.”
  • Although there is a place for passion, entrepreneurs also need to stop and identify what they are good at. It is difficult to be successful in a venture without the skill set to back it up.
  • Opportunities do not have to be strictly entrepreneurial–there is also an “intrapreneurial” approach where people expand their reach with their existing employers by growing their internal programs. This can only happen in work environments where creative thinking is encouraged.
  • Part of the journey to success includes creating a list of admirable people. Entrepreneurs must connect personally with the people they admire in order find mentors who can help them launch their businesses.
  • Teams are vital to success. Not investing the time to hire the right people can result in constantly re-hiring and training new people.
  • If people are not willing to change the way they do business, they will never get the chance to experience new things. New experiences are vital for achieving success.
  • The type of communities people spend time with strongly influence the types of people they become. Part of creating new lifestyles and mindsets involves finding new people with whom to spend time.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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If finches can adapt to their changing environment, so can workers at all levels, according to Nacie Carson’s The Finch Effect, a career guide that takes its title and premise from Charles Darwin’s work on evolution and his theory of “survival of the fittest.” Carson encourages readers to accept the post-recession economic environment and thrive in it rather than wait for a return to “normal” while ignoring the portents of career extinction. Applying Darwin’s theory to the professional world, Carson offers a set of strategies for taking charge of one’s own career design, self-branding, and skills development—the essential elements that propel the Fittest to the top of the work food chain.

According to Carson:

  • “The Finch Effect” suggests that people who are willing to adapt to changes in the career marketplace are the “Fittest,” and therefore most likely to succeed. The concept is based on the work of Charles Darwin, known for his theory of evolution and book On the Origin of Species. Darwin observed that finches in the Galapagos Islands adapted within only a few generations to changes in their food sources. He credited the finches’ very survival to their ability to change.
  • While it was once expected that employees would spend their entire lives working their way up the nine-to-five corporate ladder, economic forces have forced companies to turn to part-time and contract workers. Rather than wait for the traditional job market to return to “normal” the Fittest are adapting to the new paradigm. This is called “the gig mindset.”
  • Individuals should market themselves by creating an “adaptive professional brand” (APB). This is a tool that elucidates people’s skills, expertise, and the other factors that set job candidates apart from their competition.
  • The Fittest are the ones who take charge of their careers and recognize that professional power and stability comes from individuals, not the companies that employ them.
  • Even the very best, highly differentiated candidates do not get noticed without some effort. Each job seeker should create a “tagline” that encapsulates his or her brand in a single, short phrase.
  • Job seekers should create two-minute “elevator” pitches as well as 15-minute versions that answer the questions “What is your story?” and “Why you?” and adapt these messages for use on social media sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. People should be careful to “clean up” personal posts and photographs that may not be appropriate for the eyes of prospective hiring managers and clients.
  • People can — and should — act as entrepreneurs whether they are working for themselves or a company. This means approaching work with a spirit of ownership and taking initiative, rather than simply taking direction from others.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Disaster Proof Your Career, Career ContentmentChange Your Questions, Change Your Life

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The Panic Free Job SearchWhile the U.S.  unemployment rate seems to be on the decline, many people still find themselves out of work or looking for a better job. While most people turn to the Internet as a way of finding and applying to job postings, many individuals do so without having a plan in place, which results is wasted effort and poor results. In his book, The Panic free Job Search, Paul Hill offers some advice to these individuals.

Hill states that before searching for a job, it is important for job seekers to understand themselves, their goals, and what kind of job they want. While many job seekers end up applying to jobs they know they won’t enjoy or excel at, Hill believes this is detrimental to the individual and his or her chances of landing a good job. He offers job seekers the following advice:

  • Tame the Inner Beast. Emotions of doubt and rejection must be dealt with before a job search.
  • Find Out Who You Are. Find a job that fits as opposed to trying to fit into the job.
  • Wishes, Dreams, and Goals. People do not obtain what they want because they do not know what they want.
  • Visualization. This involves vividly imagining a positive outcome, which provides the motivation for confidently pursuing it.
  • Search Smartly. Job seekers must understand the importance of Search Engine Optimization.
  • Build the Resume that Gets Picked. While the style of the resume is important, content is king.
  • Network. Continuously network to be known by as many people as possible.
  • Use Direct Marketing. Direct marketing encourages job seekers to aggressively pursue employers.
  • Ace the Interview. Asking how the job could be done better provides clues to what the performance standards are for the position.
  • Close the Deal. Failure to ask questions sends a message that an individual does not comprehend a job well enough to have questions.

By understanding oneself, it becomes easier to focus ones job search on only those positions that will fulfill personal or career goals.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Job Search Solution, The Web 2.0 Job Finder, Get the Job You Want Even When There’s No One Hiring

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