When I think about what constitutes career happiness, I think of the people who lend support along the way. Personally I have changed jobs, left jobs, landed jobs using creative and assertive job hunting strategies, and started my own business. A lot of it took courage, especially when it came to the dividing line between following a gut instinct and following the path someone else thought was best for me. Those who supported me over the years allowed me to fail – just as much as I succeeded.
Author: Ellen Dunagan
American labor conditions in the late 1800s were truly atrocious. Families – and even children – were forced to work seven days a week, often for 12 hours a day in order to simply put food on the table. Add to that unsafe, unsanitary working conditions, and even death…your job could literally kill you. This holiday is a tribute to those who took a stand and changed history, bringing about lasting changes to the way people work and the environments in which they spent the majority of their time.
Since most of us spend a minimum of 40 hours a week at work (and most likely considerably more), Labor Day is also a good day to reflect on your own professional happiness. Aside from enjoying the unofficial last day of summer, what does Labor day mean to you?
In a “perfect” world, managers would support, guide and inspire their team with wisdom and enthusiasm. The sad reality is, however, many managers fall short of this ideal. For whatever reason, rather than lead and motivate, many managers simply hold the title without seizing the opportunities – and responsibilities – the position requires.
As a result, those managers’ teams find themselves unmotivated, directionless and unproductive. If you’re one of those team members, struggling to find meaning and a sense of professional satisfaction while suffering under poor management, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone.
Sometimes we think simply arriving on time for our day and keeping busy with the work in front of us is what counts. It’s the lead most of us follow when we finish up with the new hire orientation or onboarding process that comes with starting a new job. However, this is simply not the case. One of the recurring themes among my clients is, “I don’t know how this happened,” when they are handed bad news about their performance, bullied, or even fired.
How does this happen? It’s truly the difference between managing your career vs. letting someone else do it for you.
Ever wonder what your non-verbals say to others? Studies have shown that non-verbal cues outrank the actual words you say in terms of how favorably you are evaluated and the impression you leave behind. How you manage your non-verbals, and more importantly, how aware you are of what you are saying (without uttering a word) is key to getting what you want.
Have you ever shown up to an interview with sweaty palms? We’ve all been there.
If you are a Mom you have probably heard this song. Until I became a Mom, I did not know this catchy little darkish tune that children seem to love. I stumbled on it when playing a new CD from a friend and low and behold, my son could not get enough. He made me play it…and play it…and play it…”Mama, BEEEEEEE!”
While the dancing that accompanied replay after replay was the best ever, I found that I could not get this song out of my head. Once it even intruded upon my thoughts when I was trying to get to sleep…isn’t repetition a powerful thing?
A lot of Moms I have met over the years tell themselves all kinds of things. In fact, they repeat them:
Coaching is about improving performance. The crux of coaching lies in helping people set specific goals and achieve them. Organizations are using professional coaches to develop future leaders, improve management behaviors, and produce better bottom line results. Individuals are hiring coaches to become more satisfied or productive at work, create a better quality of life, or fulfill a lifelong dream.
Career coaches are helping organizations and individuals produce positive, invaluable outcomes. Surveys of organizations that use coaching reveal significant improvements in productivity, retention, working relationships, and profitability. Individuals are reporting increased workplace satisfaction, enhanced quality of life, and greater accountability for their own professional development. Coaching is about getting things done – and the results are extraordinary.
Coaching is not therapy, advice, counseling or even mentoring. Instead, coaching services include values clarification, brainstorming, identifying plans of action, examining modes of operating in life, asking clarifying questions, and making empowering requests.
DO I NEED A CAREER COACH?
Are you experiencing a particular challenge at work? Could you use help clarifying your strengths and capabilities? Do you wonder why you aren’t getting greater recognition or being promoted? Do you feel stuck in the career you have chosen? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or, if you feel generally dissatisfied with your career, then enlisting the support of a career coach can help.
Career coaches offer a valuable, objective perspective by helping individuals take a step back and reevaluate where they want to go with their careers. Career coaches help individuals learn and practice consistent behaviors that yield greater career satisfaction. Career coaches also help support organizational recruitment and retention efforts by coaching employees on taking an active, participatory role in their careers instead of waiting for the organization to provide them with career success.
Whatever the reason, career coaches help individuals become more personally and professionally satisfied by overcoming obstacles and making lasting, behavioral changes.
Interested in our career management programs? Click here to learn more about our work with organizations!
“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it” – Maya Angelou
When it comes to career advancement, similar challenges yield very different results for women vs men. Here are a few interesting tidbits:
- Women are more likely to accept a salary for less than they are worth so that they can “prove themselves” first
- Men initiate negotiations four times as much as women at work
- Women are more likely to minimize their talents and wait to be recognized for good work instead of taking credit for their accomplishments
Curious about how you can differentiate yourself and advance your career?
There is good news and bad news about resumes. The good news: Resumes are powerful marketing tools that can open doors to exciting job opportunities. The bad news: Resumes are powerful marketing tools and are usually the first – and maybe only – glimpse an employer gets of you.
In my experience, people who feel the most confident about their resumes demonstrate plenty of results (both quantitative and qualitative), position themselves for the job the want NEXT, and have little trouble lifting the words from the page and effectively promoting themselves during an interview. In other words, they really know themselves from their accomplishments to where they are headed next.
This topic never ceases to fascinate me, because the issue of staying or going is rarely about the money. People will stay (or leave) jobs because of….people! As a former HR Professional I have seen plenty of employees come and go in the different jobs I have held over the years. I have also listened to lots of complaints, which have mostly been about working with people, from difficult co-workers to poor managers.