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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Get Your (Career) Power Back

“Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power." - Seneca

Too many people are feeling powerless when it comes to their career choices.  They will say things like:

  • "I don't like my job but I'm afraid I won't find anything better (with equal pay and benefits)."
  • "There's so much competition. I don't know how to convince someone to hire me."  
  • "I'd love to have better work/life fit but my job (and my employer) are too demanding."

At the root of these woes isn't a "bad economy" or "a tough interview" or "a difficult boss", it's a lack of knowing your true value, your core genius.  

Understanding Your Core Genius

We each possess a unique package of skills, talents, interests, & experiences that makes us the perfect fit for the roles/careers we are here to play.  When you work from your core genius, people respect and value your efforts, you're paid well, opportunities find you.   It's simple but it's not easy.  To get to your core genius, you need to Soul Search, Research and Job Search with the proper Mindset.  Taking the perspective that you were built this way for a reason and then making that approach the focus of your career is very powerful.  I've seen several clients win recognition awards at their employers garnering raises and promotions and new opportunities when they realized their core genius and put it to use.  And they did this in the very same economy at the same type of employers everyone else complains about.  

Commanding Your Value

Unsure of their core genius, most people would never say during an interview– “[Mr/Ms. Employer], what makes you good enough for me?”  However, when that conversation doesn’t happen, it can set you off on a path of pleasing someone else, rather than pleasing yourself.  Many clients have come to me feeling resentful and unfulfilled after giving too many years to a job and employer they didn’t like in the first place.  Unfortunately, they can’t get back the lost time but they and you can command value starting today with three simple steps.

3 Steps to Getting Your Career Power Back:

  1. Soul Search & get clear on your core genius.  My new Soul Search workbook includes all the exercises I use along with my coaching commentary to help you see the value you're bringing to the world.  
  2. Research to understand the match between your core genius and what the world needs.   My new Research workbook includes strategies for gathering information and testing out new career possibilities that better leverage your core genius and command better value for your time and talents.
  3. Job Search with confidence knowing that your core genius is the gift you’re here to give the world.  My new Job Search workbook includes exercises to define your ideal job description so you can have a more productive conversation during your next interview about the ways you can be of service to the employer and how they can be of service to you.

Contact me to find out more or purchase my Soul Search, Research and Job Search workbooks. 

Level the playing field.  You’re not at the whim of the world.  You’ve got an important, necessary and very valuable contribution to make with your career. Know in your heart that you have a core genius and know in your mind that the world needs you to put it to practical use now!

 

If you like this, you might also like Does Your Elevator Pitch Have The Personal Touch?

 

Photo courtesy of Flikr user Ibai Lemon

Posted by maggie at 4:50 PM
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Feedback: How Open Are You?

Asking others for feedback is one of the easiest ways to immediately improve your performance and happiness on the job.  Simply ask those you work most closely with, "How am I doing?" and you'll gain insight into steps you could be taking right now to work smarter not harder.  

Why More People Don't Ask for Feedback

What if you hear from others that you're not doing such a great job? What if you are asked to change the way you do things?  What if you have to own up to your weaknesses in front of others?  What if asking the question highlights for your boss (or staff) that you're not really that useful afterall?

You're Better Off Knowing 

The truth is, you're better off knowing what your boss, coworkers and subordinates think of your performance even if you don't like the answers.  Why?  Because what you don't know can hurt you.  I worked with one executive who's "direct" style at a new employer was taken as aggressiveness by the staff.  He thought his team was working well.  So he was shocked that HR had received several complaints.  With coaching (and feedback), this executive was able to adjust his communication style to one his staff could better appreciate and immediately his working relationships improved.  

An Easy Formula For Asking For Feedback

Stop. Start. Continue.  Ask for one item you might start doing, another you might stop doing and another you might continue doing when it comes to working together.  We often used this format when I was a management consultant at Arthur Andersen.  It was very effective in getting to specific items to improve and further build our client relationships as well as deliver quality work to them.   

Don't let fear keep you from asking for feedback.  "How am I doing?" is a simple yet powerful question that can improve the quality of all of your relationships, not just work-related ones.  

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill

(Photo courtesy of Flikr user Karl Horton.)

Posted by maggie at 9:58 PM
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Monday, April 7, 2014

4 Tips to Stay Career Relevant (Podcast with Marci Alboher)

Last week, I caught the David Letterman show.  My former boss Martha Stewart was on. It was fun to see Martha and Dave hamming it up - two seasoned media personalities still relevant after years on the job.  Dave announced his retirement late last week but for many, retirement isn't something they are thinking about. The boomers, Xer's, Y's, and millenials I know and work with are looking for fulfilling ways to stay career-relevant.  

In my latest podcast, leading authority on the changing face of work Marci Alboher shares her inspiring tips to maintain success & happiness and make a difference for years to come.  Read Marci's recent article on Playing the Long Game in Work and Life. 

No matter what your age, if you're playing the long game at work listen in now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Join Me for #Tchat and Find Your Career Genius (Wed 2/5 6:30p ET)

No matter what your industry or level of experience, your employer and you benefit when you find your Career Genius. Find out why Soul Search then Job Search is so much more effective and rewarding than traditional "fit-yourself-into-a-job-description" methods.  

Join Laura Rolands and me in the Career Genius conversation TOMORROW (Wednesday 2/5).  We host #Tchat first on radio then on Twitter.  It all starts tomorrow at 6:30p ET.  Here's a video preview of the conversation and how to tune in....

WATCH Careers: Better Choices Mean Better Business #TChat Preview 

Join us TOMORROW at 6:30p ET and tell your friends!

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join their online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

 

Everybody is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. —Albert Einstein

Sunday, January 19, 2014

View the Clip from My Recent Fox Business Segment

Recently I was asked to appear on Fox Business to react to A Salary Guide For Your 20s, 30s, And 40s.

Be careful.  Read it and you might get depressed.  I did. According to the guide my salary has peaked.  

Beyond that, my concern with this guide is that people put too much stock in salary when choosing their careers when studies show, it's not a long-term motivator.  

Sure we all want to pay the bills but when the paycheck is all you are working for, the job is ultimately self-defeating.  One of my clients called it eating your soul to feed your belly. 

Too many people think a job is supposed the be a chore. So they overly focus on salary as the main factor. 

It's not working.  

The Conference Board reports that for 7 straight years less than half of US workers are satisfied in their careers. 

Don't consider yourself average or a statistic.  Consider yourself one of the few who will light the world on fire.  if you do what you love… sure the money will follow, but you will also not be reading articles like this because you will be too busy and excited about having a career with passion and purpose and not angry, depressed that you're not making enough.  

What if we taught 20-somethings not to fear the future of the "real world" with "guides" like this, but rather discussed how to live your dreams, how to create, how to build a better world because you lived up to your potential and that true happiness is not in cash but in giving your all for a cause, in giving back to humanity, giving back to mother earth… to create a better world for all people. 

WATCH THE FOX BUSINESS CHANNEL DEBATE ON HOW TO HAVE A GREAT CAREER.  

I think I won the debate of course. One viewer had this to say after the segment: 

"I managed medical offices. Loved it! Next taught elementary school. Loved it! Next Dementia/Alzheimer's private care. Loved it. Finally, veterinary medicine. Still love it! Lots of interesting careers under one Bachelors degree! All involved giving care. All were part-time to be home with our children. Intrinsic motivation has always served me well. All made me happy! The pay was appropriate for each position. Thanks for the great advice! We CAN have happy and varied careers! Keep up the great work!" 

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Posted by maggie at 8:57 AM
Saturday, January 11, 2014

Does your elevator pitch have the personal touch?

“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” - Mark Twain

Creating an elevator pitch scares most people.  But I've uncovered a powerful secret - the personal touch.  Adding it will not only make it easier for you to create your pitch, but it will also make it easier for others to remember you. 

What do I mean by the personal touch?  Here's an example.

"Hi, my name is Julie. I am looking for an internship in the food industry.  As a kid I loved cooking with my grandmother. I wrote down all of our favorite recipes. This year, I published it as a holiday gift for the whole family. My grandmother cried.  Hearing you speak about your work at the Food Network today inspired me. I'd love to learn more about how you got to where you are today. Are you open to a short informational interview?"

You don’t have to put on a show.  Just be yourself and share your story.

Recently I spoke to a group of students from American University visiting NYC (#AUNYCTrip).  I kicked-off their trip sponsored by the AU Career Center with a key-note speech focused on networking strategy and making authentic connections. I shared with them Julie's elevator speech with the personal touch and had them write their own versions.  After writing for a few minutes, several volunteers shared their stories.  After each pitch, I asked the  audience what they heard.  In every case, it was the personal detail that stuck.  Not the person's major or their litany of qualifications but his/her personal story.  When we finished the room was abuzz with energy.  We were not only getting pitched, we were making real connections. 

Answer these questions to add the personal touch to your elevator speech:

--What's your name?  What do you do/do you want to do?

--What life experience led you to want to do this?

--What do you want the audience to do to help you?

Too often I find people leave out important details when telling their career stories.  They downplay successes because they don’t want to brag or they’re too busy recounting their “hard skills” to share the heartfelt reason they have this career aspiration in the first place.   

In today’s world where information is easy to find, the way to stand out is to be authentic.  

I was put on the spot by the students and asked what my elevator pitch was.  I immediately thought of the real reasons I do what I do...

Hi my name is Maggie.  I’m a Life Purpose and Career coach.  My Mom went back to medical school when I was 6, my sister was 5 and my brother was 10.  I learned firsthand that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Today I help others Soul Search, Research and Job Search into their dream careers.  If you want to make a career change, contact me.  

There’s no need to stammer the next time someone asks, “What do you do?”

Answer the questions above and you'll create your pitch.  Share it in the comments below and you'll not only inform us of your interests and talents but you may just make the real connections necessary to reach your career goal. 

 “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” - Carl W. Buechner

(Photo courtesy of audiolucistore)

Posted by maggie at 6:49 PM
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

3 Career Resolutions To Add to Your List

"Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account."  ~Oscar Wilde

Perhaps.  

But that isn't going to stop us from trying.  As the ball drops tonight in Times Square (just two blocks from my home) and you ring in the New Year, consider adding these career resolutions to your list for 2014:

  1. Do no harm.  Move beyond social responsibility to career responsibility.  Even if you think you know, research exactly how your employer earns the money to pay your salary.  Understand the intended and unintended consequences of the work you and your organization do. Make an effort in 2014 to offset any negative effects by proposing changes in where and how work gets done.  Recently on a trip to Costa Rica, I was very pleased our tour operator gave us water in biodegradable bottles.  It was not only cheaper than water in plastic bottles (plastic prices have gone up with oil) but our bottles will disappear in 3 years when planted.  I think it tasted better too.  Brainstorm ways to do no harm in your work.  Ideas you have may not only improve the customer experience as it did for me but also save the company money.  
  2. Do what you want.  Make 2014 the year you delegate.  Get the stuff off your plate that you shouldn't be there. Selfish?  I think not.  You're not good at the tasks you don't want to do.  They take longer, you make mistakes, your creativity suffers.  If you want to be even more effective in the New Year, you've got to Soul Search to get clear on your unique core genius and center your work around that.  For me, 2014 is about delegating my website redesign to the contact I found via my friend Emily Morgan at Delegate Solutions. I'm excited to have a knowledgeable resource who can translate my new career offerings effectively online.   
  3. Support and encourage others following their dreams. Many people are following their passions with new businesses, new products, and new careers.  If you're on the fence about making your own dream career come true, gain momentum by supporting someone already doing it.  Encourage them by writing a positive review or recommendation, buying their products or sending an email or text message with your supportive words. One of my clients, a financial services consultant turned travel blogger created a 2014 calendar of the amazing sunset images he's captured.  I gave his calendar as a holiday gift and the recipitents were inspired!  Check out the calendar from StayAdventurous.com.  Another client, a marketer turned Registered Holistic Nutritionist always gets my recommendation when I hear someone wants to get healthy.  Read Jen Martin's blog and learn more about her New Year's Resolution to eat more fat. 

May the new year bring you more happiness, peace and prosperity because you had the courage the do something differently.  Happy New Year!

"I made no resolutions for the New Year.  The habit of making plans...and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me."  ~Anaïs Nin

Posted by maggie at 1:47 PM
Monday, December 2, 2013

Give (or Get) The Gift of Career Happiness

We all have the power to make a difference with our time and talents.  In my ten years of coaching, I have seen that we are each uniquely built to fulfill a specific purpose.  The challenge is that most people have no idea what their purpose is.   

This holiday season, you CAN help someone you know get clarity on their purpose and their ideal career. Purchase and gift the downloadable (PDF) version of my NEW Soul Search workbook.  

The Soul Search Workbook contains:

  • Over 30 pages of exercises to help the user uncover the eight core elements that make up his/her ideal career. Elements include: Interests/Passions, Motivators, Purpose, Strengths and & The Best Work Environment just to name a few. 
  • The insights from each exercise are designed to correspond with a section of the person's very own career guide. This way after he/she completes each exercise, he/she can easily organize the information to be able to make sound career decisions and to brainstorm various ways to combine the elements into new and exciting career possibilities. 

Give the gift of career happiness with one of these options:

  • $199 for a Soul Search workbook (PDF)
  • $299 for the workbook PDF and a 30 minute group coaching session 
  • $399 for the workbook PDF and a private 60 minute individual coaching session

CONTACT ME TODAY to purchase one of these gifts or learn more. (You need not complete the entire Contact form, just input your name, email and write in next to "Other" category that you're interested in one of the gift packages.  I'll get back to you in 24 hours.) 

If not us, who? If not now, when?   --John F. Kennedy

50 yrs since his death, the effots of John F. Kennedy are still making a difference.  I know this firsthand.  Our son Mercer is alive and well today because of JFK's son Patrick. Jackie gave birth to Patrick several weeks early and he did not survive.  After his experience, President Kennedy mandated that more research be focused on saving premature babies.  Mercer was born three months early and is thankfully a thriving toddler today.  

JFK's efforts created a miracle for our son and countless others.  Just imagine what you (and the person you give the workbook to) can do when their talents are focused on purpose!

Need more inspiration?  Listen to my Making A Living podcast.  Learn the 3 key questions to ask yourself to uncover your purpose at work & hear the real life story of SaveTheFrogs.com Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger who’s making a difference around the world.

You’re not here by accident.  There’s an important role you are here to play!  In fact, the world needs you to play it in order to be a better place. Stay tuned for more on how you can make a difference with your time and talents and also what I am going to be doing in 2014 to walk the talk. 

 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ready to find a better job? A new resource can help.

I've been a fan of Monster.com since their early commercials featuring kids who wanted to grow up and become "middle managment" or "yes-men."  Hilarious!  What can I say, I like companies that encourage people to follow their dreams. Monster is continuing this trend with a new initiative called Find Better, helping people find better jobs whether they're just starting out, want to start their own businesses or are transitioning careers from military to civilian service for example.  There's even an entertaining video series created with the Pivot TV network.  

Below you can find links and more information on upcomingTV and video segments to help in your own quest to Find Better... 

Monster introduces their latest campaign, Find Better!  Monster and the Pivot TV network have teamed up to create 9 segments for Take Part Live --a topical show that tackles timely issues without taking itself too seriously and provides stories and conversations that matter to millennials.

Also being created are digital Find Better shorts featuring career advice and real life challenges.   View the latest segments at http://www.TakePart.com/FindBetter.  See below for upcoming topics. 

*Note: Pivot is not available to Time Warner customers, but you can view the digital shorts at the link above.

Upcoming Find Better egments

11/18 —Woman Amongst Boys

What is it like to be a female in a male-dominated field? Host Josh Shipp speaks with a woman who has experienced her career in the science/technology field. He then recaps the top 10 male-dominated fields where women currently are having an impact. In-studio, we discuss why there are so few women in certain fields and highlight strategies to encourage more females to pursue those paths.

12/9 —Choosing the Best Path

Shipp and specialists discuss the best ways to identify potential career paths for chosen fields and explore potential challenge/pitfalls that lie ahead. During the segment, experts provide tips and tools to determine, on an individual basis, the careers for which some millennials are best suited and creative or unexpected ways to get where you’re going.

12/16 —Beyond The Offer

So you got the job, now what?  Josh talks to experts about first job expectations, discussing what kind of leverage entry-level employees actually have. We explore questions about when it’s appropriate to re-negotiate salaries and offer tips to manage the balance between respecting the employer and advocating for yourself. 

(Sponsored content)

Posted by maggie at 6:42 AM
Thursday, November 7, 2013

Career Assessments: Helpful or Not?

It's good to be open to career insights from all kinds of sources. 

As a career coach and radio host*, I have had clients use everything from numerology to astrology to figure out an auspicious time to launch a new career, website or business.  I personally have also found color tests insightful.
 
These instruments assess your type based on the color choices you make from successive sets of different combinations. I even interviewed the author of one color test on my radio show because I found his assessment to be spot on in assessing my strengths and personality. I recently retook the Dewey color test and found it continues to hit the mark.  Try the free color assessment for yourself and comment below if it hits home (or doesn't) for you!
 
Though they can offer insights, I have one major problem with asessment tests: They're limiting.
  • Knowing your strengths and personality are important factors in finding the career you're meant for but they're not only ones.  I help my clients assess themselves in eight different areas as part of a larger Soul Search, Research and Job Search process.  These elements include: your top interests, key motivators, skills you want to employ, ways you want to contribute/find purpose, your best qualities, the best work environment, activities you get the most enjoyment from, and salary & benefits. By working through exercises and self-reflection questions we prioritize what's most important to you and brainstorm career possibilities that match the elements of your ideal career. Answer this brief questionnaire if your career needs and goals include clarifying what you'd like to do.
  • Assessments also tend to shoehorn you into existing careers. After Soul searching, Researching and Job Searching with countless clients, I have found the ideal careers are most often new niche areas my cients can fill, or a unique take on existing careers.  Often the right answer is combination of career options not previously thought of (and that wouldn't typically show up in an assessment).
There's no a magic wand for figuring out what you're meant to do with your life; but that doesn't mean you can't have fun investing the time and energy to reflect on who you are and what you came here to be.  Opera Singer Bevely Sills said it best, "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." 
 

*If you miss Making A Living with Maggie on SiriusXM, subscribe to my podcast available on iTunes. Listen to my latest for tips to update your interviewing skills!

Photo courtesy of Adikos. 

Posted by maggie at 6:25 PM