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It is Never Too Late To Realize Your Dreams

Do you often find yourself watching the clock at work, anxiously waiting for it to reach 5:00 p.m.? Have you ever caught yourself day dreaming about the ways your life could be different had you chosen an alternate career path? If so, you are not alone. Countless Americans are unhappy with their current employment situations and are spending 40 plus hours a week in jobs that are not only unfulfilling and unchallenging, but often times extremely stressful. How did you get to this point? Many of us feel forced to put aside our dreams and desires because they are deemed impractical or unattainable. The easier or more “stable” career path is chosen out of fear because it presents itself as the safer, wiser choice.

Unfortunately, the more practical career path is not always the one you dreamed of or the one that is necessarily right for you. Or perhaps you thought you were getting into a career you would love and ten years later realized your heart just is not in it anymore. After devoting all of these years to one particular career path, it is terrifying to think about starting all over doing something completely different with your life. So where do you go from here? Step one is admitting to yourself that you are unhappy in your current job. Denial will only make it harder to realize your dreams. Step two is much more important. Step two involves actually doing something about it. You can choose to live the rest of your life simply “treading water,” or you can wake up and realize that life is short and should not be wasted in a job that simply pays the bills and nothing more. Your job should bring meaning to your life and provide happiness, as well as success. If for as long as you can remember you have dreamt of working with animals or children, then you should research careers in veterinary medicine, teaching, etc. and figure out what steps you would need to take to make that kind of a career change.

If you have no idea what you would like to do but are certain that your accounting job will never provide the fulfillment you desire, there are a few options to explore. There are tests specifically designed to identify your strengths and point out careers that would be well suited for you. Or you can visit a career coach who will work with you one on one to determine the best path for you to choose. Though we may not like to admit it, the majority of our lives are spent at work, which makes it incredibly important to enjoy what we do. There is no reason to feel “stuck” in your current position or feel as though you must spend the rest of your life in the same, unsatisfying career. Whether you have been in the workforce for two years or twenty years, it is never too late to follow your dreams and create a meaningful career.


April 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Good Article on Words to Avoid in your Resume

Liz Ryan has written an interesting article about words to avoid in your resume. An excerpt:

“Kill this: Results-oriented professional

Replace with your own version of this: I love to solve thorny supply-chain problems

Kill this: Excellent team player

Replace with your own version of this: At Acme Dynamite, I partnered with Engineering to cut our product cost in half”

Her point is well-taken. Your resume should contain concrete, specific examples of your achievements, and not be full of random “resume-speak” that anyone could write. The more specific your accomplishments, the more enticing your resume will be to employers, and they will respond!

April 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm Leave a comment

Got a Job, but still not Happy..

Recent survey findings indicate workers are unhappier than ever at work. Some of the top reasons include:

-People perceive their jobs are uninteresting.

-Pay has not kept up with inflation.

-Soaring healthcare costs.

-Having to do more work with less people.

What are your reasons for being unhappy at work?

April 8, 2010 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

It’s a tough market out there..

The Austin Business Journal reported that the “first quarter of 2009 really marked the peak of downsizing for this recession. Unfortunately, many people are still jobless and many businesses are still shuttered. This combination is having a significant negative impact on state and local tax revenues and, in turn, leading to continued downsizing in this sector.”

There are many, many job seekers out there who are extremely qualified and looking at the same opportunities you are. It is tough to stay motivated when you are getting rejection after rejection or more likely, not hearing anything at all! It’s taking people an average of 3 interviews to get a job, and 6 months of looking to find a job. Hang in there, stay focused, and stay positive!

April 6, 2010 at 7:44 pm Leave a comment

Mom is Going Back to Work!

Let’s face it, you HAVE been working since you have been staying home with your kids, just not getting paid for it, right?? Too bad most employers don’t consider the amount of organization, multi-tasking, and disciplining you have done over that time as “real” work experience. Getting back to being employed and paid can be tough for stay-at-home moms. Some tips for getting in the door include:

-Take some time to think about what you really want to do. You don’t have to go back into the same job that you were doing before, and chances are your priorities have changed. For instance, you might have been a traveling salesperson before but that type of schedule may not work for you now that you have children. Check out some books with career inventories or visit with a career coach to focus your job search.

-Do volunteer work. This is an opportunity to get you out of the house and help you to sharpen up your business skills. You may also make some valuable connections volunteering that will help you in your job search.

-Identify the industries you want to work in and make a list of companies in your area that you would want to work at. Utilize your network through friends, family, and others to make personal connections with people at these companies.

-Take some relevant professional training courses. Many moms feel out of touch with what the latest technologies are-don’t let these doubts hurt your confidence-get up to speed!

-Network, network, network!  Your ability to make connections is what is going to get you in the door, and no one does it better than stay at home moms!

March 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

What is a “Top-Grading” Interview?

This term is being used more frequently in the HR world and refers to identifying the top 10% of performers in the interview practice. The methodology “relies on unusually detailed, chronological interviews; conclusions are gleaned from patterns which have emerged across layers of competencies as interviewers probe every success, failure, relationship, and major decision in a person’s career.” From the website, the interviews are:

Chronological: Job by job through the candidate’s entire career history.

In-depth: Detailed information about every success, failure, key decision and relationship.
Structured: The interviewer follows a structured interview, a “road map,” that ensures they get all the relevant data.

Some sample questions include:

  • What are a couple of the best and worst decisions you have made in the past year?
  • Describe a situation or two in which the pressures to compromise your integrity were the strongest you have ever felt.
  • What are examples of circumstances in which you were expected to do a certain thing and, on your own, went beyond the call of duty?

Conducting a top-grading interview is quite intense for both the interviewee and the interviewer!  Preparation for these kind of interviews however is the same for how you would prepare for a behaviorial interview-you have got to know your work history, accomplishments, talents, and skills backwards and forwards, and have at least 20 different interview answer “stories” that you have practiced repeatedly before the interview. Don’t be scared by the term “top-grading,” like in any situation the interviewer is looking for the most qualified person for the job, their “A” player. It could be you!

March 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

So you’ve been rejected after the interview-now what?

You might have thought it was a perfect fit, but apparently the company didn’t. Don’t respond to the recruiter’s email blasting them for making the mistake of not picking you! Instead, think of it as an opportunity to learn and to build a bridge for future opportunities.

The first thing you need to do is not beat yourself up. Frequently the reason that people don’t get jobs is not because they were not qualified, but because there was someone else who was just a little bit more qualified than them. Tough to take and hard to improve upon, but it is just the reality of having a glut of candidates out looking for jobs at the moment.

Respond to the recruiter via email asking if there is any constructive feedback they can give you about your interviews. Let them know that you really appreciate any insight they can share as you hope to learn from this experience and improve your skills for the next interview.

Let the recruiter know you are still very interested in opportunities at the company and that you hope they will consider you for future openings. This will show that there are no hard feelings, and your enthusiasm for joining the group has not wained despite not getting selected for this one role. Frequently recruiters will go back to their stack of interviewed candidates for other openings, so you may get called again about another job!

March 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm Leave a comment

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