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...]

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...]

Career Reinvention: Following a Passion

The Challenge Michele spent 20 years as a Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach.  Although she loved her work, she felt that there was something else to which she really wanted to give more attention.  She had been fitting art into her life in between her professional commitments. Now it was time to make art her full time job! Michele wanted to integrate her professional skills of coaching and teaching into her new work in art.  She turned to Randi Bussin to help her formulate a strategy for holding collage workshops in her new art studio. The Solution Randi guided Michele in envisioning her ideal work life: how much time she would devote to her own art and how much time to running workshops.  They looked at her financial goals, and Michele and Randi discussed her vision for this next chapter of her life. In the second phase of this Career Reinvention work, Randi and Michele developed a business and marketing plan.  This included analyzing the financial aspects of the … [Read more...]

Check Your Ego at the Door: How Marketing Can Help You Learn From Your Mistakes

Marketing can be a dubious art sometimes. It can often seem like your marketing and advertising efforts are wasted. John Wanamaker, owner of America’s first big department stores, was famous for saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” He was right, and you may be wondering how this ties in with your ego. It’s because in marketing you may fail. You may try something that is part of the wasteful half of your total budget. You may even fail badly. But the important thing is to learn from it quickly, change your course, and find the 50 percent of marketing that resonates with your target audience. When I started my career in marketing, we didn’t have the benefit of the internet, which is the greatest marketing teacher we could ever dream of. Today we can see patterns of behavior on the web and adjust our company’s website content often. We can see which pages are most popular and which aren’t holding peoples’ attention. We can … [Read more...]