Seven Ways to Add to Your Skill Repertoire in 2018

 (plus a couple you haven’t thought of) Since I counsel professionals on career transitions, it’s helpful that I’ve been through a couple of major career reinventions myself. These shifts include moving from a consulting career to career services in higher education, followed by working as a solo practice career coach. With each change in my working environment came a mindset adjustment and a demand for new skills. But where was I to gain these skills? Since I already had two Master’s degrees, I did not want to go back to school full-time again. Nor did I have the cash flow to do so. You don’t need to necessarily earn another degree to gain new skills; you just need some motivation and ingenuity.  I am a big proponent of learning new skills as a way to fast track your career change. While the best way to learn new skills is on the job, many times you simply don’t have the time when work deadlines loom. Here are seven of the most effective ways you can gain new skills outside … [Read more...]

Strong Brands Look Successful

The concept of dress for success is dead! Or is it? Granted, looking successful isn't only about what you wear. It’s how you show up in every sense of the word. How you behave. Ways you communicate. Ideas you share. It’s the whole package of who you are and how you demonstrate your brand – authentically. Having said that, let me zero in on what matters about your clothing choices. 1 – EVERYTHING COUNTS Make certain your clothing fits. If you’ve gained a few pounds, gain a few new outfits. Wear clothing that suits your style. If your brand is artistic, show your panache with color or accessories. If you’re conservative, stay with traditional pieces. If you’re in I.T. with no customer contact, jeans may fit the bill. But never be sloppy or disheveled. Your clothing speaks volumes before you ever open your mouth. Do you wear your clothing or does your clothing wear you? If it’s outlandish or distracting, tone it down or cover it up. 2 – STICK TO YOUR BUDGET Have … [Read more...]

The Skype Interview Game: Five Ways to Raise the Level of Your Play

The practice of job seeking has changed in recent years, with Skype interviews growing ever more common. This is due to the growth in remote workers, as well as reporting relationships across multiple offices. Since odds are you’ll be asked to play the game of Skype interviewing at some point, how do you “win”? You know the rules for in-person interviewing, but this is an entirely different ballgame. Skype interviews differ from a traditional job interview in the following ways: 1.Equipment. An in-person interview requires no knowledge of specific equipment, but a Skype interview calls for much of it. Be sure to download and test the Skype software, as well as your computer’s microphone and camera, ahead of time. You may even want to consider upgrading your microphone for a more precise sound. Should an equipment glitch occur during your interview, be sure to “come clean” to the interviewer and deal with the malfunction immediately. If you just continue with the interview as … [Read more...]

Class is Earned and Learned

People notice more about you than you might think. One of my favorite clients shared, recently, that she was so appreciative of having a boss who walked his talk and was a leader everyone respected and enjoyed working for. “It’s the little things people notice and appreciate about him,” she explained. That conversation led me to think about some of the “little things” we can all do that reflect professionalism. Here are a few to keep in mind: Keep your word! If you tell someone you’re going to do something, such as get your resume done on a certain date, follow through! Continuing to ignore promises or to break your word sets up a pattern. Many people have wonderful start-up skills and then drop the ball sometime before the project is completed. Following through is as important as making the commitment. Never burn bridges (unless you’re a carpenter)! Ever had a confrontation over a misunderstanding? Taking responsibility is the mark of a true professional. No matter what … [Read more...]

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot: Five Career Change Blunders and How to Fix Them: Part II

Last month, we explored career change mistakes and how to fix them.  In the conclusion of our blog post on career change mistakes, we’ll look at the value of doing your homework, updating your resume, and more. 6. Not Doing Your Homework Once you’ve committed to making the change, you jump in with both feet. You apply for every job available, but are surprised when you don’t receive any calls. Why isn’t your new industry welcoming you with open arms? The reason could be that you didn’t stop to do your homework on your new field. What’s a reasonable position you might be able to acquire with your experience? What salary range should you expect? In what ways should you beef up your resume, and what skills should you acquire? Taking action is great, but having a smart plan first will ensure your action yields results. The way out of the blunder: Where you do look for information on your new career? Try the Onet, http://www.onetonline.org, professional association websites, or … [Read more...]