College is an opportunity to try new activities and have experiences we might not otherwise have discovered. In college, I was on the college speech team. I loved competing in the myriad of categories and events we would be required to participate in at a college competition. What I never realized then was just how important public speaking would be for me as business professional. Whether I was in a sales situation, pitching an idea to a group of colleagues, or giving a presentation at a conference, the skills I possess from my days on the speech team have served me well.

Many career changes involve the need to enter a more public-facing role. Whether that’s addressing your team at work or nailing a keynote presentation at a conference, a strong career is often dependent on the ability to speak in public.

For many, the idea of standing up in front of an audience can be terrifying. As one of the top phobias out there, a survey of 5.3 million Americans found that 74% of people suffer from speech anxiety. I would like to share with you some tips that have been invaluable to me throughout my career and my volunteer endeavors. I hope these skills can help you deliver a stellar speech and get your point across clearly and concisely.

  1. Know Your Audience

Who will you be addressing? While preparing what you will say, take time to consider who you’ll be speaking to and what they need to take away from the presentation. Do you need to leave people feeling inspired? Do you need to make sure your audience understands a complex topic? Setting goals will help you feel more confident knowing you’re hitting on all necessary points.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

In the days leading up to your presentation, make time to practice your speech every day. From the shower, to your morning commute, challenge yourself to recall your presentation from memory. Even if you end up needing to rely on notecards during the actual presentation, you’ll feel more confident knowing the ins and outs of your speech. You should also practice in front of a mirror, so you become aware of your body language, hand usage, and facial expressions.

  1. Slow Down

Many people begin speaking quickly when they’re nervous. However, if you want to leave a positive impact on your audience and make sure your message is made clearly, they need to be able to hear what you’re saying. If you find yourself racing through your speech, pause and take a breath. Continue again using a measured tone, and slow it down.

  1. Use Humor & Storytelling

Nobody wants to listen to a robot. Practice your voice tone, inflection and projection. By varying your volume throughout the speech, you can add emphasis to your point and may help keep the audience hanging on your every word. Staying away from a monotone voice will help keep your audience engaged. Likewise, interject some personal anecdotes into your story along with some natural humor. People remember stories, especially when they bring a point in your presentation to life. As for humor, when in doubt, some light self-deprecating humor can put everyone (including yourself) at ease and make your presentation more enjoyable.

  1. Remember Your Posture

Don’t underestimate the impact good posture can have with your audience’s first impression of you. Good posture conveys confidence! Sometimes, you need to fake it until you make it. Practice projecting confidence by standing in front of a mirror with a straight spine and your shoulders pulled back. Look your audience in the eye, crack a smile, and remember that your audience is there because they’re interested in what you have to say.

  1. Don’t Start Right Away

In an effort to “get it over with,” many speakers will launch into their presentation the moment they take the stage. However, this is an easy way to make your nerves known. Instead, quietly walk onto the stage, take your place, and cast an eye over the audience. Then, take a deep breath and wait a few moments before beginning. This will help you collect yourself and take some time to mentally prepare before you start to speak.

Hopefully these tips will leave you feeling more confident and prepared before speaking in front of an audience. Like any skill, practice makes all the difference in the world. The more you spend time in front of a group of people, the more comfortable you’ll find yourself each time you need to make a presentation.

Whether you’re currently in a job and feel a little stagnant, or you are thriving in your role, but need help moving your career to the next level, or perhaps you are looking for a way in which to help your team members work more effectively together, having the advice of a business coach is crucial. These valuable mentors will help you set achievable goals, challenge the way you think, and help you find different ways to grow and learn.

This is particularly true when working with a Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths® Coach. These trained professionals are dedicated to helping people maximize their potential, boost their performance, and realize their true calling in whatever area their passions lie.

If you’re unsure about whether or not working with a CliftonStrengths® Coach is right for you, here are some benefits to having one of these individuals on your side.

Understand Yourself Better

Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses that both boost and hinder success in the workplace. A CliftonStrengths® Coach will help you understand what yours are and how to manage these qualities more effectively. After taking the online CliftonStrengths Assessment, your talent themes are ranked from 1 to 34. The beauty of seeing your 34 talent themes in ranked order will give you a great deal more information about you! Many who have taken this assessment (over 19 million) are aware of their top 5 talent themes. But, few know the true power behind knowing their full 34 in ranked order. By taking a closer look at the assessment results with a Gallup-Certified Coach will allow individuals, leaders, and teams how best to use their full potential and truly understand who they are, and just as important, understand who they are not. Your coach will help you identify aspects of your potential, your gifts. A CliftonStrengths® Coach will also be able to help you see where your talents might be holding you back, and where your blindspots may be. Together, you and your coach will devise a plan to overcome the challenges and emerge as a stronger leader.

Improve Leadership

What kind of leader are you? Working with a CliftonStrengths® Coach will teach you how to inspire your team and keep morale up, even when there are looming deadlines or bumps in the road. They enable business owners to lead strategically by playing to people’s strengths and giving struggling players the tools they need to get back on track. You will feel like a more confident leader as you coach your team to become the best version of themselves.

Help Teams Work Together

Personal Strengths Coaching helps improve team dynamics and optimizes employee performance by showing team members how to not only see their own talents in action, but also recognize and spot each other’s talents and strengths — to consciously play to each other’s strengths. This allows people to shine in their own way while working hard to achieve organizational goals. I will discuss Strengths-Based Leadership®, team building, as well as the amazing tool “Cascade” by www.releasingstrengths.com in my next blog post! So, stay tuned!

Think Creatively

If you’ve been in your position for a long time, it’s common to fall into a rut and follow the same protocol for each task. This is an easy way to become stagnant and grow to almost resent a position or role you once loved. A Strengths Coach can help inspire you to think about projects or opportunities in a different way, which can help you look at your business, organization or career through a new set of lenses.

Find Your True Calling

Unsure of where your career path is leading or looking to change roles? If you’re unsure of the first step to take, a Strengths Coach can help. They’ll help you identify your strengths and what you naturally do best, uncover which talents will help you build relationships, and discover what roles or opportunities are best-suited to your abilities and interests.

Working with a CliftonStrengths® Coach makes it easy to discover strengths and how to use them in everything that you do. This helps you not only become a better leader but improves your self-confidence and leads to happiness and success in any endeavor.

Kathie Gautille is a global, faith-based coach who works with executives and teams in the nonprofit, corporate and faith-based sectors. She is an expert at helping leaders discover their passion and purpose. She has held many leadership roles that have given her a depth of knowledge and experience to develop best practices in coaching organizational teams.

Kathie is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, she is also Certified to Lead the CliftonStrengths Discovery Course. You can reach Kathie at:

kathie@kathigautille.com
www.kathiegautille.com;

   @leadwithstrength

Becoming More Confident at Networking

No matter your industry, networking is crucial. It’s how professionals meet other like-minded individuals, identify new collaborations, enable career advancement, and make important business connections. In fact, 85% of all jobs are filled by some type of networking.

Does the thought of wearing a name tag and schmoozing with others at a networking event make you instantly nervous? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s completely normal to experience some degree of social anxiety from time to time, and networking events are no exception.

Here are some ways to feel more confident, impress potential contacts and land that dream job the next time you find yourself at a business event.

Practice Ahead of Time

You know how the experts recommend rehearsing a presentation or speech in front of the mirror? Networking events are no different. It’s inevitable that someone will ask about your background or current position, so practice your 30-second elevator pitch. The goal isn’t to memorize exactly what you want to say, which is a sure-fire way to sound like a robot. Instead, come up with a few sentences that help you become familiar with the different points you’d like to hit on.

Read the News

Give yourself something to talk about by brushing up on current events and industry news before a networking event. Pick five topics that you can make small talk about. I recommend signing up for newsletters from sources such as TheSkimm, Conservative Daily News and Liberty Nation. These will provide you with a great mix of conversation points that will help you feel prepared and well-informed.

 As a tip, avoid political conversations or commenting on sensitive policy issues. This is an easy way for a conversation to become uncomfortable.

Ask Open Questions

People love to talk above themselves. Once you get engaged in a conversation, try to find out more about the other person. Avoid asking questions that can be replied to with a simple “yes” or “no” answer. This is a sure-fire way to end a conversation quickly! Instead, try open-ended questions that start with one of the Five Ws: Who, What, When, Where and Why.

 Be curious, ask for advice, and try to learn more about the other person’s interests, position and goals. By asking deeper, probing questions, you’ll establish an easy rapport and feel more confident in your conversational skills.

#DoYourResearch

Twitter is a fantastic way to find out who will be attending an upcoming conference or networking event. If the event organizers created a special hashtag, check to see who is using it. Send them a quick message introducing yourself and invite them to meet up during the event.

Not only will you have some friendly faces to identify right away, but you’ll also have time for one-on-one conversations. For many who dread large group settings, arranging for coffee or lunch makes it easier to get to know someone in a low-pressure situation. This is particularly useful if there is an attendee that has your dream job, or works for a company you’ve had your eye on for a while.

Get There Early

It can be nerve racking to arrive at an event and find that all attendees are already involved in conversations. By arriving early, you’ll have more opportunities to engage individuals in conversation before they become part of a tight-knit group.

Ditch Events Altogether

Who says that mixers are the only way to connect with people in your industry and find your next position? If the idea of attending a networking event makes you cringe, there are other introvert-friendly ways.

Consider volunteering your time for a local organization, whether it’s doing pro bono media relations outreach or helping them with grant applications. You’ll not only feel good helping a nonprofit grow, but will also make valuable connections through other volunteers.

Don’t be afraid to let friends and family know that you’re in the market for a new position! You might be surprised at the existing connections that you already have. Inquire if they know anyone who would be a good person for you to connect with about career opportunities. Ask for an introduction, and make sure to bring your business card and resume along to your meeting.

Even if they’re not hiring at the moment, it will keep you top-of-mind when a business associate or colleague mentions that they’re looking to hire.

Remember, the hardest part is showing up! While some people were born to be in the limelight, take comfort in knowing that for many, confidence isn’t always innate. It’s a skill that can take time and practice to develop, and even the most confident speakers are sometimes unsure of what to say.

Many women wear several hats in their lives. They are mothers, caregivers to elderly parents, volunteers, and business professionals. Learning how to balance all of these roles can be tricky, especially when you want to take steps to improve your lot in one of them.

As women in business, knowing how to give your career a jumpstart can make a huge difference.

Many times, problems at the office can make women feel like they’re struggling alone. However, while one industry may vary from the next, many of the tips for success in your career can apply to women across the board.

It may seem like men outnumber women in the workforce. However, 42.7% of senior professional positions go to women.

For you and the rest of the 42.7%, I put together this guide to help you jumpstart your career:

  • Be a time-management pro
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate
  • Pass the reins
  • Make the most of your mentors
  • Get comfortable with “No”
  • Be the squeaky wheel
  • Stop apologizing for being you

Women face a unique set of challenges in the professional workplace. These tips are designed specifically with women like you in mind, to help you make the most out of your career opportunities.

If your work has felt dull to you lately, it might be time to jumpstart your career.

I will go a bit more in-depth with each of these tips in this guide. Because I value your time, let’s jump right in with time management.

Be a Time-Management Pro

Managing your time is key to jumpstarting your career. Proper time management can allow you to get the job done without added stress.

There are many tools out there that can help you manage your time, such as lists (to-do lists or kanban boards). You can also use a bullet journal.

You can time your tasks to see which things are taking too much of your time. The Action Priority Matrix can help you lay out which tasks need to be done right away, and which can be completed when you have more free time.

Another time management strategy that is a favorite of mine is the Pomodoro technique. This strategy involves integrating work and breaks. Usually, each work period is 25 minutes long. There are scheduled and timed breaks in between work periods.

The trick to going from time-management neophyte to pro is to understand how to prioritize.

Don’t Shy Away from Negotiations

Whether you want more money or more responsibility, you’ll have to get used to asking for it. Learning how to negotiate takes practice, but anyone can learn.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate often, and early. Your boss can’t read your mind, and the worst she or he can say is “No,” at which point you’ll be no worse off than you are.

Especially where the gender wage gap is concerned, you can’t shy away from asking for more. In 2015, women made only 80 cents on the dollar compared with men.

Women in Business Need to Delegate

The ability to delegate is one of the marks of a strong leader, and strong leaders are more likely to become successful in business.

In order to effectively delegate, you need to know your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Using Clifton StrengthsFinder is a great assessment tool to use to not only identify individual team member’s talents and strengths, but this assessment also gives you the big picture of what strengths your team as a whole has to offer. This can make delegating a little easier. It will allow you to give them tasks that they can excel at. This will bolster their confidence while helping the team. It’s also important to give them work that will help them grow. Be available to them to guide them with these delegated tasks, but take care not to own the tasks.

By properly delegating work, you can focus on leading your team and maximizing everyone’s strengths. You’ll also get more work done as a team, with less stress for you.

Make the Most of Your Mentor

Mentors can help you maximize your own skills while helping you build your confidence.

What makes a good mentor?

  • Choose someone who works higher up on the corporate ladder. This is someone who has worked through the ranks and can help you navigate your own path.
  • Choose someone with diverse experience in and out of the office. This will help you broaden your horizons and benefit from viewpoints other than your own.
  • Choose someone who won’t pull their punches. Mentors who can’t provide honest feedback won’t be as useful as those who offer truly constructive criticism. There’s no need for anyone to be rude, but they shouldn’t be afraid to tell it to you like it is.
  • Choose someone who can be objective like a career or executive coach. Guidance from someone without an emotional, mental, or professional stake in the situation can be invaluable. It can reveal new opportunities and solutions.

Love the Word “No”

Who loves being told “no?” Most people don’t. If you don’t believe me, try raising or babysitting a toddler.

I’m not suggesting you behave like a two-year-old, but you can’t be afraid to use the word “no” from time to time. You can’t please everyone, and if you say “yes” to every request that crosses your desk, you might come across as a doormat. When you say “no” to a project it frees you up to say “yes” to projects you will excel at and perhaps even care more about. Remember “no” is a complete sentence!

Additionally, you should come to terms with hearing this word in response to your own requests from time to time. You can’t always get everything you want or even need in business, and learning how to not dwell on the rejection can leave room for you to find a solution.

Be Squeaky

I don’t mean squeaky clean, though you should be that too. What I’m talking about is the squeaky wheel.

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” then you know what I’m talking about.

Even though you have to be okay with hearing the word “No,” that doesn’t mean that you have to keep from asking.

Ask for what you need when you need it, especially as budgetary concerns can make timeliness important.

Stop Apologizing for Being You

Successful women in business know their strengths. They don’t apologize for their own unique personalities.

Denying who you are or apologizing for being yourself can lead to undue stress. It also communicates a lack of self-confidence, which can be detrimental to your goal of jumpstarting your career.

For women in business who feel like something is missing from their career, going to the office day in, day out can seem like a painful chore. When you’re able to jumpstart your career, your job can feel like an exciting challenge.

The day flies. You enjoy solving problems with your colleagues. Most important, you find value in your work.

Reaching that point in your career doesn’t have to be a mystery. To learn more about how to jumpstart your career, or how to put any of these tips into practice, please contact me.

Having a decent level of self-esteem is tied to your work. In America especially, we feel more valued if we are employed or doing something productive with our lives.

Polls show that a higher percentage (16.6%) of unemployed individuals are depressed than employed individuals (5.6%).

Essentially, our self-identity is tied up in what we do for a living.

But what about those who already have jobs or do something productive with their lives?

Even though those who are employed are less likely to be depressed, we still struggle with the ties between our job and our self-esteem.

When you have low self-esteem at work you are less likely to reach for promotions, raises, or better jobs. When a person experiences low self-esteem at work, they unintentionally damage their ability to succeed and advance.

But one of the best ways to boost your self-esteem at work is to strive to show your personal value. This is the opposite of hiding in the wings and waiting for someone to compliment you.

And today I am going to talk about how you can show your coworkers and your boss your self-worth by setting goals and sticking to them.

1. Show Your Personal Value At Work By Remembering That Time Is Money

If you work in an office, you’ll know the temptations.

Your cell phone. Or possible just social media in general.

89% of employees admit to wasting time at work. Most likely, even your boss would fit in this number. The internet has made us all attention deficit in some way (not to downplay the reality of ADD).

But those employees who utilize every moment at work will get noticed.

Set a goal of not checking your phone or social media until you’re on break. You will soon notice that you are getting more work done and this will boost your self-worth.

We stake too much of our self-identity in social media and our digital lives. Ghosting for a few hours on social media will not change how people view you. In fact, this practice might change your life for the better.

2. Be Your Own Return On Investment

As you invest time in your day, you will reap the consequences.

These consequences can either be positive or negative. And your company or boss will notice when you’re reaping the positive kind.

Thinking of your time as a return on investment is a great way to reorient how you think about yourself.

Your personal value at work according to your boss is measured in dollars typically. You don’t have to think this way. But if it helps, start thinking this way.

Think of how much you get paid (or don’t if it’s too depressing), but are you exceeding your “worth?” If you are, this might be motivation to start reaching for promotions.

Sometimes our self-esteem is tied into our inability to see our personal value at work. Some people don’t realize they are giving more than they are being paid. Sometimes bosses don’t realize their employees are giving more than they are being compensated.

And when you turn in exceptional work, you show your value to everyone on the receiving end.

3. Learn To Say “No”

Sometimes go-getters at work actually have low self-esteem. You might actually be busting your chops and then the boss says, “hey, can you take on this ‘side project?'” And you’re a go-getter, so you say “Yes” when you should say “No.”

Knowing our personal value at work also involves gauging how much we take on.

Other people can’t tell sometimes how much they’re placing on you. They will give you more than you can handle if you accept more than you can handle.

It is good to say no at work. It is wise to set boundaries at work too.

If you’re finding you can’t meet your work goals because you have too much on your plate, it’s time to pair down. You’re feeling a sense of low self-esteem because you’re trying to climb an impossible mountain.

You may think other people are able to climb the impossible mountain you’re on. But this is far from true.

Go-getters are the ultimate self-saboteurs. They outperform everyone else and yet feel like everyone else is outperforming them. They take on more work to cover their performance anxiety. And the cycle starts all over again.

This is why it’s important to set boundaries and keep your workload to a manageable level. You will accomplish more and see your self-identity tied to a healthier metric than workload.

4. Be Confident In Your Ideas

If you’re trying to climb the ladder and gain some sort of managerial position, then confidence is key.

If your work conducts team meetings or staff meetings of some sort, it’s time to set a goal. Think of something new to introduce at each meeting. Make sure it’s relevant to the company, of course. But with time you’ll see the attitude of your boss and fellow employees change.

Your personal value at work will go up if people see that you are full of ideas.

Know also that it doesn’t matter if those ideas are not implemented. This is part of creating a positive self-identity within your company. Learning to express your ideas and accept rejection and remaining undaunted.

Nobody is going to trash your idea. And if they do, defend yourself (with humility). The more you stand up for your ideas and speak your mind, the better you feel about your personal value in the company.

4. Say No To Working Vacations

Some people look down on those who learn to strike a work-life balance. But the people who strike a work-life balance are those who know their personal value at work and don’t tie their whole self-identity up in their job.

Your vacation should be your vacation. Sure, there will be business trips. But those should never be called a vacation.

Even if it’s a weekend, demand time to recharge. This is essential to success in the workplace.

Lastly, Get A Life or Strengths Coach

A coach is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a professional who can help you set goals and reach those goals in your life and your work.

If you’re looking to find a healthier self-identity and greater personal value at work, get in contact and see how a coach can change your life for the better.

A lot of people confuse low self-esteem with humility. These aren’t the same thing. Sometimes we need a reminder of our ability to achieve inner strength and higher self-esteem. And humility is a part of that process. It takes a humble person to reach out and grasp for a helping hand. And a life coach is the helping hand. Today I’m going to talk about what a strengths coach can do for you. So, are you humbly looking for a way to improve your life and outlook? Let’s see what it means to achieve inner strength through strengths or life coaching.

What Is A Strengths or Life Coach?

A strengths or life coach is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a professional who coaches you in helping you reaching your goals or changing your life. Coaches help you get out of your own head and gain perspective on your life. Perspective helps you evaluate and take action. If we didn’t have mirrors would we ever change our appearance? Yes. We would rely on other people to tell us what we look like. Your life is basically a life without mirrors. We look at the world through a set of lenses that can distort reality. If we didn’t have other people to help us set the record straight, we might not change our lives, ever. A coach is essentially a mirror. They help you understand areas of your life that need improvement and help you achieve that improvement. We motivate, strategize, and become a personal accountability partner in your life.

But I Don’t Know What To Change

Don’t know what you need to change, but feel you need a change? Perfect! A strengths or life coach can help. Coaches are trained to help you understand your dreams and aspirations. Even if you feel you have no goals in life, we’ll help you find them. Sometimes, we just need someone to connect the dots for us. A whopping 92% of people who set a New Year’s resolution never achieves it. And while this number may not apply to all goals across the board, people do need to break this cycle of goal setting and goal failing. A coach will always help set realistic and achievable goals for your life. That’s one of the reasons people don’t accomplish their goals in life. Their goals are unrealistic or too challenging. A coach will help you breakdown the ultimate goal into bite size pieces. A coach will also encourage you to frequently revisit your goals so you can consider life changes that have occurred. A coach can show you how to set incremental goals that are achievable. This allows you to reach your ultimate goal without being too overwhelmed. And a coach understands that life changes. Priorities will change, circumstances will change. They can take your goals and adapt them to each instance in your life. And sometimes what you really needed was assurance that you can. A lot of people are afraid of what success might look like in their lives. And yes, fear of success is a real thing. And it holds a lot of us back. Achieving your goals will change your life. And sometimes change is hard. And that’s where inner strength comes in.

What Is Inner Strength?

Resilience in the face of fear and stress. This is a great definition of inner strength. It’s the ability to handle what life tosses our way. And it’s an essential characteristic of success. A sense of fear is natural. It’s our inbuilt response. It notifies us of danger in the world and helps us avoid it. But our sense of fear can be wrong. Fight or flight kicks in at the most inopportune times. It’s why public speaking is the most common fear in America. No one has it out for you when you get up to speak in front of a classroom. But your brain tells you this is true and sends you into a state of flop-sweats. As public speakers, we build inner strength by developing appropriate coping methods for this response. We set routines before going up on stage. Some people do exercises to decrease nervous energy. Some use specific repeated sayings. Others might meditate.

Inner Strength Involves Self-Knowledge

Like I mentioned previously, a coach is like a mirror. We help you understand yourself. This is a big part of inner strength. You must be secure in who you are. The more secure you are in your own skin, the less the outside world will affect you. This requires really understanding your strengths and abilities. This requires self-awareness.

Your Definition Matters

What inner strength looks like depends on the individual. If you struggle with aggression and anger, it might look like control. It might look like taking a step back each time you feel anger and evaluating why you feel anger. Anger is a secondary emotion. The primary emotion is alway underlying this. A coach can help you set routines and goals for when you get angry. These routines and goals will give you the time to choose your actions and control your behavior.

Inner Strength Keys Into Your Natural Strengths

And a coach will help you key into these strengths. We are born with specific capabilities. And the skills we learn along the way enhance these abilities. A coach can help you identify these abilities and help you set goals accordingly. Sometimes we set goals on our own and don’t realize they are outside our current abilities. Of course, we should always strive to increase our ability, but using what we already have is essential in this process. If you focus on the negative, you will never achieve. Instead, a coach will help you focus on the positive aspects of your abilities.

Mental And Physical Strength

I’m not talking bodybuilding here (unless your goal is to build muscle). I’m talking about the connection between the mental and physical. A coach will show you how your physical habits determine your mental strength. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your mental strength will wane. If a coach identifies this as a weakness in your life, they might help you set goals to get more rest.

A Coach Will Change Your Life

If you’re looking to make your life better and achieve success, consider a coach. Choosing to reach out for help in your life is humble and praise-worthy. If you’re looking for a coach to help you become the best version of you, get in contact and change the course of your life today.

Sometimes, even when you love your job, the time might come when it’s time for a change. There are lots of reasons to pursue a job change:

  • Maybe you feel under-appreciated by customers or upper management.
  • Maybe you need more flexibility to take care of children or elderly parents.
  • Maybe you’ve hit the glass ceiling as far as pay and opportunity are concerned.
  • Maybe your spouse or significant other got a new job that requires relocation.
  • Maybe you’ve been doing your job for awhile, feel stagnant in what you are doing and you just want to shake things up.

Regardless of your reason for seeking a new job, there are a number of things you can do in order to find the right job.

Past generations often sought to find a company where they could stay for thirty-plus years, get a gold watch, and retire.

Few industries follow that model these days. In fact, the new norm is for people to change jobs 4 times before they’re 32 years old. If you figure that you start working when you graduate college at 22 years old, that’s 4 jobs in 10 years, or a new job every 2.5 years.

When it comes time to decide to start looking for a new job, you want to do it the right way. Job hunting can be both exciting and stressful; minimizing the stress can make a positive difference on your experience.

That’s why I’ve put together this guide to help women who are looking for a job change. Keep reading to learn the 4 things you need to do to maximize your opportunity.

Tip #1: Figure out what you want from a job change.

If you’ve interviewed for a job, you’ve probably thought about your three to five-year plan. Many interviewers like to ask potential employees where they see themselves in five years.

The point of this question isn’t to make you squirm. It’s to find out if your goals align with your potential new employer’s goals.

If you don’t know what you want out of a new job, then chances are this question would make you sweat. However, preparing to answer this question isn’t just about pleasing HR interviewers.

It’s about pleasing yourself.

For people who have worked in the same job for a long time, goals might have just been to move up the corporate ladder. Regardless of whether or not your goals have changed, taking the time to reassess them at the start of your job hunt will only help you in the long run.

As you formulate your goals, make sure you do your research. Don’t make assumptions, particularly about salary. The benefit of technology is that there’s so much information available at your fingertips–use it to your advantage to set up informed goals.

Tip #2: Hone your elevator pitch.

What is an elevator pitch? It’s a statement of about twenty seconds that states your goal and how you will support that goal with experience or skills.

It’s called an elevator pitch because, when you meet someone—while they may ask you what you do in a polite manner, it gives you the perfect opportunity to give a snapshot of who you are. So an elevator pitch is suppose to allow  you to be able to convey all of this in the average time of an elevator ride–about twenty to thirty seconds. Here’s a test, can you make them care in that 20 seconds when their attention is generous? The point is if you do pique their interest, they’ll hold the elevator door and listen to you all day long. So don’t try to cram everything into 20 seconds. Instead, the best use of that first grace period is to make a bid for an attention extension.

You never know who you might meet, and who they might know, so having your elevator pitch honed before you launch yourself headfirst into your job search can prepare you to snatch up the right opportunity at the right time.

Tip #3: Build your support network before a job change.

As I said earlier, changing jobs is stressful, even if it’s exciting. Before you go down that road, getting some support in your corner can help.

Talk to your spouse or significant other. This support is especially important because you want to make sure that you’re both prepared for any tightening of the purse strings that may be necessary if your job hunt takes longer than you expect, especially if you’re hiring a headhunting service or planning to take time away from your current job to start a new business.

Make sure that your close friends are willing to help you unwind, or help you rehearse interviews–especially if you’re out of practice.

Building the right support network is crucial because as exciting as the prospect of a new job can be, there will come a time when the stress will mount and having a healthy outlet can be a boon. In fact, having a support network can re-energize your search if you reach a point where you’re tired of wearing your interview suit.

Tip #4: Network strategically.

Remember when I was talking about your elevator pitch and I mentioned meeting the right person at the right time who can give you the right opportunity?

That comes from networking. Sure, your elevator pitch will help you maximize on those chances to bend someone’s ear, but networking is what can increase your chance to get some face time.

How do you go about networking strategically? The best place to start is with your own contacts. You’ve probably heard the saying that getting a job is all about who you know, not what you know.

If that seems limiting, remember that it extends to who your contacts know. Let your contacts know that you’re in the job market. If you know they’re connected with someone who can help you in your quest, don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction.

Looking for new employment can be exciting, especially because changing jobs can provide a 10% to 20% salary increase. If you’ve been getting by on one, two, or three percent increases each year, it might be time to jump ship and negotiate a higher salary with a new company.

If the time has come for a job change, don’t go into it in the dark. Use these tips to illuminate your path and lead you to the greener grass on the other side of the road, fence, or whatever hurdle currently sits in your way.

Remember that you can overcome those hurdles. You deserve to find the job that not only provides an appropriate salary, but that fulfills you as a person. For more tips on how to make the most out of your job hunt, please contact me.

 

Don’t waste years trying to force yourself to become just average at something you’re not cut out for:

Like me, you were probably told as you were growing up to “work hard and you can do anything”. Maybe you took that advice to heart and worked very diligently over the next several years getting the education and knowledge you needed to become…

  • a lawyer only to discover that you dreaded research
  • a nurse and later realized you have a strong aversion to bodily fluids
  • an accountant who can’t bear the drudgery of preparing financial reports

“But I worked so HARD to get here – why isn’t this job fulfilling for me? Why do I hate going to work everyday?”

The answer is simple: you are forcing yourself to be or do something that doesn’t tap into your innate strengths. It’s like the old ‘square peg in a round hole’ adage; the fit is just not quite right!
Why not wake up everyday with purpose and desire, eager to begin your day, knowing that you have tapped into your best strengths and that your work for the day will make a difference?

Knowing that you’ll have accomplished goals and helped others reach theirs.

The Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment is designed to identify your strongest natural abilities so that you can make informed choices when it comes to a career path, and help you identify how you can best contribute to any group or project.

Once you have identified your top 5 talents using CliftonStrengths, the next step is working with a Certified Strengths Coach to create opportunities to develop those talents. Instead of embarking on a course of study with fingers crossed that you’ll become proficient, you’ll seek out a program that capitalizes on the strengths you already know you have!

And the benefits don’t just apply to your work and career. How much more productive could you be in your volunteer efforts, if you don’t waste time trying to head the long-range planning committee because you know that your Activator strengths make you much more suited to taking short-term projects and making them become a reality???

Finding that your daughter has the Includer strength, you might be better able to handle the fact that she can’t bear to have to limit her birthday party to ONLY 12 girls…or knowing that the son who always seems to be dreaming up “pie-in-the-sky” scenarios for getting things done is just exhibiting his innate strength of Ideation and how that might enable him to invent something incredible one day.

Using the CliftonStrengths program, the opportunities are endless for becoming the best “you” you can be, and helping others do the same.

#strengths #Clifton StrengthsFinder #GallupCertifiedCoach #CliftonStrengths #bestversionofyou