Category Archives: opportunity

my career my choice

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want. ”
― Margaret Young

Career choices …

CoachProcessModel

People are desiring to look for a new job.  A recent survey by Right Management indicates that many people are dissatisfied with the work they are doing right now.   This means there is the potential for a substantial shift in what and where people work.   While the sample size is relatively small it indicates that the work and amount of work that people have to do are not matching up with what employers want their employees to do.

People who desire to look for new work in 2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

Yes, I intend to actively seek a new position.

86%

84%

84%

60%

Maybe, so I’m networking.

 8%

9%

 8%

21%

Not likely, but I’ve updated my resume.

1%

2%

 3%

 6%

No, I intend to stay in current position.

5%

5%

 5%

13%

Source Right Management

Are you one of the many who are polishing up their resume and checking out the want ads for a new position?

If you are you might want to look all around you for ways to make that career transition work for you.

1. Search for your name on Google.   What shows up?  What is your on-line reputation?  Will those who are looking for you find the “right” you on-line.   What does your Facebook account contain?  What do you tweet?   What does your linkedIn profile say about you?   Know what your on-line presence is and know how others see you.

2. Understand “who” you are.   If the job you are in right now isn’t working for your skills and needs aren’t being satisfied by the work you are doing.   Know who you are before you start your job search.   This is a dig deep process into who you are.   Take the time to know your strengths, talents and abilities before you touch up your resume and look for work that you are doing today.   Doing the same work in a different location may not be the best thing for you.

3. Create a strategy.    Have a plan.   Know what you want before you start looking for a new job.   Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do, research job positions that align with your purpose.   What skills are required?  What training is needed?    If you need to develop skills make that part of your plan to get the skills needed to transfer to a new role or career.

4. Tune your resume to match the job  you are looking for.   Often people take adjust their work to match who they are.   That is even given a role with a certain set of expectations they will slowly change the job to match who they are, and do what they like rather than do what is expected.   If you find yourself changing what your role is in your job then you might be in the wrong job.    Do what you like doing and find the job that allows you to do that.   Fighting your way through each day is an indication that you may not fit the job you were hired to do.

5. Adjust.   Looking for a new job is one of adjustments and tuning.  Be willing to make small changes in your resume to match job descriptions and needs.   Be willing to adjust where you are looking and how you are looking.   Find out what is getting you results and what isn’t.

Prepare – Plan – Succeed.

Listen to a TED talk about Careers and jobs.

Opportunity

“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”  Oprah Winfrey

Opportunity!

What do you think of when you see or hear the word opportunity?    Opportunity for you.   What feelings are generated when you hear that word?

Opportunity is a word that generally elevates optimism and produces a sense of anticipatory positive outcomes.   Opportunity for something better to happen in the near future.   For some people it is like buying a lottery ticket with the hope that they will win the big prize and all their troubles will be over.

What opportunities are you seeking?   What do you hope those opportunities will do for you?

Opportunity is all around us if we take the time to look.   First we have to look within and find out what it is that will satisfy us and then look for opportunities that will accomplish that goal.   For some people their career is virtually meaningless.   Sure there is a paycheck but there is no meaning to the work they do and they stay there because of one thing a paycheck.    There are many opportunities to do something that is meaningful and still have a paycheck.

How do you get more opportunity in  your life?

1. Keep learning

2. Manage your emotions well

3. Listen more – talk less

4. Experiment – try new things (everywhere – choose something different from the menu of life).

5. Know your strengths

What can you today to create more opportunity in your life?

be present

Where are you right now?   Are you focusing in on what is on the horizon in the next few days or weeks or are you focused on the past and what has happened.   Being present means focusing in on this moment and this moment alone.

Our culture is focused on “winning” and excelling in life and business and with such a high focus on getting results (or success) we often miss present.   As a result many people are missing out on life and over time they become disenchanted with their life.

Being present is becoming a topic of greater and greater interest and has been written about by Peter Senge and most notably Mihaly Csikszentamihalyi.   With our days being compressed by “duty” we  rarely have time to reflect on the present moment and what is happening is people are feeling like their is something missing.    That missing something starts to grow and grow and there is this moment that causes people to wonder life is all about.

Most people at some point in their life have found a moment in which they were fully present and it was magic.  Mihaly writes, “Yet we all have experienced times when, instead of being buffeted by anonymous forces, we do feel in control of our actions, maters of our own fate.  On the rare occasions that it happens, we feel a sense of exhilaration, a deep sense of enjoyment that is long cherished and that becomes a landmark in memory for what life should be like.”

It is those moments of exhilaration that people are seeking but are finding that daily living is sucking the life out of them and generating more stress than joy in their lives.   The question that lingers in many people’s minds is “how do I start feeling more joy in my life?”

Part of the answer is taking time out of the everyday busyness to stop and really doing something that tests your limits.   Busyness and routine work is draining but something that challenges ever fiber of your soul is what people describe as an optimal experience and this is what causes people to feel most alive.

What challenges the mind and body creates this sense of flow or being in the moment.   The moment is a point in time where the conscious mind reflects on the challenge and has the experience  of control, victory and freedom from the threat of chaos.   That moment is experiential and joyous and fleeting.  It is a moment that isn’t easily regained or easy to live over again through a similar experience.  It requires a new challenge and a new experience and then that moment of reflection.

For example first marathon run by a runner is often the most memorable.   Running the same marathon again even a year later has less of an impact than the first one did.   A new challenge must be experienced in order to regain that feeling.   Yet that experience can be recreated in the mind at any moment by learning how to be present right where you are.  The mind has the ability to generate that feeling of presence.   What will you do to be  present in your life?

Obtaining flow or presence

1. Set goals

2. Become immersed in activity

3. Pay attention to what is happening.

4. Learn to enjoy the present.

Do something important today that will allow you to feel better about you.

be a peak performer

“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.”   Dennis Waitley

In the last blog post I talked about performance zones and looked at the definitions of the two lower zones, the excuse zone and the victim zone.  These zones are where many people spend most of their waking hours.   So many people are finding that life is nothing great and living like life is just a great big pain.   I’ll bet you know some people who are just existing and not enjoying life.  Is that right?   What are they saying and what are they doing?

Isn’t it tiring to listen to someone who is always telling you the reasons why they just couldn’t get it done (whatever that is)?    They always have a story of why they couldn’t and they certainly “would” have if ….

Notice the language that people use.   Is it filled with “Only if” or “If I …” or “I wish …”.   That isn’t the language of high performance that is the language of victim level performance.    Victim level performance takes energy away from others rather than elevating the energy.

What are the attributes of a performer or a high performer and how do you know you’ve met one?   One of the attributes is “energy”.  What kind of energy are they producing?   Performer’s generate energy and give it away and it becomes this infectious smile or attitude that radiates outward.

High performer’s exude energy and charge up others.   Even their bad days are only moments in time rather than most of the time.    High performers have bad days and they know that bad days aren’t the rule.   Low performers think that good days are unusual rather than the rare occasion.

The big difference between a top performer and low performer is the direction the energy flows.   It is a choice that each person makes on what direction their energy flows.   If it flows inward you’re not living your full potential.  If  your energy is flowing outward then you are giving your life meaning.

How do you create high performance?

1. Reduce stress in your life.

2. Increase personal learning

3. Feed  yourself positive material  (turn off the TV, the radio, the email, …)

4. Serve others … give your time.

5. Be clear on your mission/purpose in life.

6. Being intentional about creating high performance.

7. Develop your mental view of yourself – your personal psychology.

8. Being present … being in the moment (not the past or the future).

Eight steps to reach greater performance and all it takes is putting those ideas into practice.   Do you believe that living in performance or high performance is living a better life than living a life of excuses?   If you said, “Yes”, then what is stopping you from being the high performer that you can be?

“It’s not the mountain we conquer-but ourselves.”
Sir Edmund Hillary

i’ll start tomorrow …

“We intend to take action when the idea strikes us. We
intend to do something when the emotion is high. But if
we don’t translate that intention into action fairly soon,
the urgency starts to diminish. A month from now the
passion is cold. A year from now it can’t be found. ”
Jim Rohn

Tomorrow … that is when I’ll start, tomorrow.   It is easy to put off for another day, another week, another month, another year the things you would like to do.  Somehow something else slips in the way.   Maybe it is a good TV show that you really like to watch.   Of course it is easier to watch the show than to exercise.   Maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow never arrives.   It is a placeholder in our lives, it is an excuse to put off the hard work it takes to really make the difference in  your life.  I’ve met a lot of people who have put off today the thing that would make their life better. I’ll get to it tomorrow.    Eventually after many years the stories change from the things I did to the things I could have done.   “Only if …,  only if I had more time …, only if I had more money,  only if I was in shape, only if I knew more, only if …”

The “only if” story is the story about putting off today and believing it will be done tomorrow.  Really, tomorrow!    Is it really going to start tomorrow.

One of the greatest regrets that people have is that they “didn’t” go for it when they could have.   That means taking action on the idea when you are passionate about it.   Waiting for tomorrow for most people means not doing it at all.

A great idea can’t wait for tomorrow.   Take action today.

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. ”   Robert Browning

in·flu·ence

“Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power. ”
Henry George

Influence is what changes the world.   A small idea that springs to life and becomes world-changing is an act of influence.   Take a look at the power of something like the iPad.  This device is becoming a force of influence and a force for change.  Schools are using iPad’s to transform the learning experience and change the next generation of learners.

What is influence and how does it work?

Influence is the ability to shift a thought, action or a belief.   Influence is a natural power that everyone has and the rules are embodied in the social fabric and culture and are seemingly invisible.

Everyday you are being targeted by people who specialize in influencing your choices.   What makes something better?   What makes the time right to make a purchase?   What creates a need?

How does someone influence you?

1. They may give you a gift.    The natural reaction is to desire to return something to the giver of the gift.   Marketers give inexpensive things to people using the idea of reciprocity (desire to give back something) as a way to create a desire to make a purchase.     The next time you do someone a favor and they thank-you for the help you gave reply by saying “You’re welcome, I know you’d do the same for me.”, and this will create an unspoken obligation.

2. Scarcity.   Anytime anything becomes rare or exclusive the desire for that thing become greater.   “Only 3 left”, “only 5 minutes left”, “almost sold out”, or “final day”, these statements create a sense that something is going to be gone or that you’re going to be left without if you don’t take action.   You only have 5 minutes before the 50% off sale ends.     People react to scarcity with an increased desire for that service or product.  It works!

3. Being the expert.   If you are an expert in a given area you will have influence.   You probably wouldn’t seek out advice from someone who doesn’t know anything about the topic you want to know more about.   The expert has credibility and that means the ability to influence.

4. Charisma or being liked.   People like to do things with people they like.  Friends have influence over you or they would likely not be a friend.  You trust others who have similar or the same likes.     People often rely on their friends for advice on making purchases as in “What kind of car would you buy?”

5. Listening to what others say.   When you are trying to make a decision there is a good chance that you’ll seek out the opinions of other people.   What is the experience other people have had with a product or service.   “Would you do business with them?” .  People look for ways to lower their risk of making a decision.   Testimonials help provide that social proof that there was positive results.

6. By creating commitments.   When you make a commitment to doing something there is a strong chance that you’ll honor that commitment.   People who make commitments to some cause will likely do the work when they are asked, it doesn’t  take much to convince them to act in line with their commitment.   Honoring a commitment is something people do to maintain their integrity.

Robert Cialdini the acclaimed expert on influence speaks to Success Magazine readers and talks about areas of influence.

What are you influenced by?   How are you influenced?

be resilient

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

Many people feel like they are at the end of their rope.     Life has dealt them a hard blow and they have fallen from their perch that once was high and lofty.  Not long ago a business person thought that the best path to the future was getting out of the business he had been in for over 30 years.   The business was no longer satisfying, the hours were long and the work was hard.    Finding people to work in the business wasn’t easy either, turn-over was high and the work was hard.    His choice to quit, to give it up and turn to something else.  Even though the business was working,  the heart to keep the business running wasn’t.    So, what do you do?

After a long, long time at one occupation, one career, one way of work it takes a lot of energy to change and start doing something else.   It takes resilience, the same properties as a rubber ball, to bounce back and find meaning and passion in life again.

Resilience is an important property to have.   Resilience is the ability to recover from defeat and come back again.   There are many, many stories of people who started a business and did everything they could to keep it going and it still didn’t  survive.    Sometimes people are able to make a comfortable living doing something and then the whole market changes leaving them with one choice, to close the doors.   It takes resilience to come back from small defeats and the even larger defeats.

Most people have experienced some type of event that took the air right out of them.   There are people who have had major medical issues and had to fight back for years to regain their strength.   There are people who are still looking for a good job and are finding that there aren’t any that fit who they are.   It takes resilience to reinvent oneself.

Confucius spoke encouraging words when he said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”   Resilience is the positive force that allows one to spring back, to have the ability to grow and to build and to succeed where you haven’t succeeded before.

No defeat is ever final unless you let it be.   Bounce back and move to a height higher than you were before you felt the pressure to change.  Be resilient.