Tag: career advice


Want more job security? Do this one simple thing.

Want more job security? Quit your job. Not an option? The next best option is to invest in career insurance.

What’s career insurance? I’ll answer that, but first let’s not just gloss over the first option.

I’m serious. If you want a guarantee of job security, then quit your job and you’ll eliminate all chances of ever losing it. Then you can become your own boss and make all the hiring and firing decisions. Including the decision to never fire yourself.

Since leaving my full-time job with benefits where there were constant hiring freezes and multiple firings, I’ve had more job security than ever before. I’ve been able to develop the grit and skills required to work for myself and bring in a steady stream of clients, to supplement my income at times when the stream was unsteady, and to eliminate the salary cap I had at my previous job.

Not only that, owning my own business has helped me develop skills I never would’ve developed in my previous job. This has made me more marketable for even more job opportunities if I ever decide to close my business and work for someone else again.

But, if quitting your job isn’t a feasible option for you right now, there’s still one more simple option available to give you a little more job security. Invest in career insurance.

What is career insurance?

What is career insurance? It’s basically another term for comprehensive career coaching designed to prepare you for any event that may arise in your career. This includes the expected, like a promotion, voluntary job/career change, or starting your own business. And it includes the unexpected, like a layoff or a loss of business.

Think you don’t need career insurance?  Let me share a few stories with you.

job security

Photo by Tyler B on Unsplash

The Unexpected Layoff

I’ve recently been hired by a company to provide career coaching for the employees they’re laying off. This isn’t something all companies provide their pink slip employees. So don’t assume your company will do the same for you if you get laid off. If they do, take advantage of it!!! It’s on the company’s dime and it can help you find your next opportunity much faster than trying to do it all on your own.

This particular layoff came as a total surprise to those affected by the company’s decision. Each of them have said to me, “I always thought I’d retire at this company. I love my job and the people I work with. And I had no intentions of ever leaving and never thought I would get downsized.”

Lesson #1:  Never assume you’re not at risk of losing your job. Even if your company is growing and promises to be loyal to you. Business is business and things change. If your company doesn’t provide you any outplacement services or career coaching, you may want to invest some severance money into career coaching so you can find your next opportunity quicker and learn how to negotiate a higher salary. Learning such skills will pay for any coaching expenses, and then some.

The Need for a Change

Teresa* hired me for some career coaching services because she was very unhappy in her current job due to a lot of changes in that job. She wanted to start looking for a new job and also explore the possibility of working for herself. So I got to work on helping her meet these goals.

After only three coaching sessions, Carolyn found out her current job was being eliminated. When she got the news, she felt a sense of relief that she already had (and had already paid for) a career coach and had already begun the steps to a successful job search, making the news less of a blow.

She knows our first few sessions and our remaining sessions will put her in the best possible position to find her next opportunity more quickly. She also knows the coaching will help position her for promotion by this time next year.

Lesson #2:  It’s better to already have some career insurance in place if and when an issue arises, than to not have it and wish you did. Especially if you don’t receive a good severance package.

Prepare for the Worst, and the Best

I started working with Shane* at the beginning of the summer. He chose my basic package of just four sessions which we completed at the end of July. I recently received an update from him and he had this to say,

All of my worlds have been colliding since our last session, and I’ve only been able to handle it all because of the great place we got to through our sessions. So thank you. I just had my interview for my promotion that was in the works earlier this summer. Whatever shakes out, the confidence and clarity I gained from our sessions made the interview process really rewarding.

Lesson #3:  Career coaching isn’t just for leaving your company. If you like where you work, coaching services can also help you advance in your company if that’s your goal. It can also prepare you for any career curve ball (good or bad) that may come your way.

How to Increase Your Job Security

While you have no control over your company’s decisions or the current job market, you do have control over your own career strategy. paNASH’s career coaching services help you develop a strategy to leverage your skills and market them for new opportunities, providing career insurance no matter what happens with your career.

Is it time to for you to invest in some career insurance? If not now, when? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Click here to get started.

Related Posts

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You

As a career coach, I’m always responding to career-related questions. I recently received a question on Quora asking, “What are a few unique pieces of career advice that nobody ever mentions?” This is a good one because there are a lot of possible answers to it, but I chose two answers that reflect what most of my clients don’t know when they first come to me.

Number 1:

If you work for someone else, you still need to think like an entrepreneur. Why? Because no one’s job is secure. You have to view your employer as your client. And if your “client” decides not to continue working with you, you have to be in a good position to quickly land your next client. You do this by becoming a good salesperson of your skills.

Number 2:

If you work for yourself, then you need to think of each meeting with potential clients or potential investors as a job interview. For instance, I have several consultations with potential clients each week. Therefore, I’m going on job interviews EVERY SINGLE WEEK of the year! I know I have to clearly express the benefits of my skills as a career coach.

Determine Fit

In either scenario, you not only need to sell your skills. You also need to treat the situation as a two-way street. You need to find out if your next job or your next client is going to be a good fit for you.

This is why I always suggest job seekers ask their own questions during a job interview. These questions should be ones to help them determine if the company (i.e. “the client”) is who they really want to spend 40+ hours a week with for the next several years.

***Check out A Proven Interview Hack for sample questions to ask when being interviewed.***

Be Selective

For me personally as a business owner, I’m selective in who I take on as clients. Therefore, not only do I present the benefits of my services and make sure they’re a good fit for the potential client’s goals, but I also ask questions to find out if they’re the type of client I’ll want to work with.

I start with questions in my intake form and ask additional questions during the initial consultation. I’m looking to see how serious the person is about my coaching program. I’m also looking for someone with a teachable spirit, an open-mind, respect for others, courtesy, and professionalism. Someone who doesn’t possess these qualities is not a good fit for me or my company’s mission or programs.

You need to be selective too. If you’re a job seeker with multiple job offers, be selective. If you’re an entrepreneur with multiple potential clients, be selective (even when you feel like can’t afford to be!). Here’s how.

Before walking into an interview or a meeting, take some time to do an inventory of:

  1. your skills and strengths,
  2. how you uniquely demonstrate those skills and strengths,
  3. the benefits of your skills and strengths,
  4. your needs and wants,
  5. your deal-breakers,
  6. and the questions to determine any potential deal-breakers or to determine if the other party can meet at least 60% of your needs and wants (because you’ll rarely find a case that meets 100% of them! – BE REALISTIC!).

Choose only those opportunities that are at least 60% compatible with your inventory. Keep in mind too that numbers 1-3 will give you leverage to ask for numbers 4-5.

Following this advice will help you develop good habits and preparedness for those times when you find yourself at a career crossroads.

8 Ways to Make Your Current Job More Bearable

Most of the places I’ve worked at in my career have been wonderful places of employment. However, there was one college I worked for that had low staff morale campus-wide. I was over career services for the students, but oftentimes staff would come to my office seeking job search help.

One of the perks of working for a college or university is your children get to attend tuition-free. The staff members coming to me were the ones who had stuck it out until their children finished school, and were now ready to move on. Because of the low staff morale, they lacked passion in their job. Some weren’t even sure anymore what they were passionate about. 

Are You Tied to Your Current Job?

This is something I also hear today from potential clients. People often contact me because they want to find their passion and get a job they can feel passionate about. However, they feel tied to their current job and don’t see a way out, at least not yet. Have you ever found yourself in this situation?

If you can’t leave your current job yet, there are ways to cope until you can develop an exit strategy. You may even be able to recapture your passion, or discover new passions by trying some of these simple suggestions.

How to Make Your Current Job More Bearable

  • Eat lunch away from your desk. No matter how busy you are, be protective of your personal time, even if you only get a half-hour lunch. If the weather’s nice outside, go eat at a picnic table or under a tree. If you can’t get outside, eat lunch by a window.
  • Have lunch with some of your favorite co-workers. Set a rule that you won’t discuss anything negative or anything related to work during those 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Get a little exercise. Spend part of your lunch or your break taking a quick walk around the building or do some stretching exercises. This will get your blood pumping and lighten your mood.
  • Volunteer to serve on a committee. Every company has various committees that need people from different departments to serve on. Find one that matches your interests and dedicate a reasonable amount of time to it (1 to 4 hours per month). Doing this will get you out of your daily routine and your everyday surroundings, introduce you to new people in other departments, give you purpose, and build your resume for when you’re ready to start sending it out.
  • Ask to represent your office at a conference. There may be money in the budget to send you to a local, regional, or even national conference. Not only will this provide you professional development, it will also expand your network and bring you a change of scenery from your current geographic location. If you can’t attend a several-day conference, see if you can attend a one-day drive-in conference or luncheon. A day away from the office while still being productive can help cure some of the doldrums.
  • Take a class. Your company may offer some continuing education opportunities you can take advantage of. If not, your local community will have numerous classes available to learn a new skill or hobby. This is especially important to make time for (1 to 2 hours per week for only a few weeks) if you’re no longer sure what your interests or passions are.
  • Update your resume. Make a list of all your accomplishments you’ve made in your current job and add them to your resume. Taking an inventory of this builds your confidence in your skills which in turn gives you the courage to start looking for something new. Just make sure you do this on your own time.
  • Stay focused on the things you like about your current job. Look for other opportunities that have those same positives.

Take the Next Step

I encourage you to come up with some of your own ideas. I also encourage you to not let yourself stay stuck. Recognize when it’s time to seek something new and start working toward it now. You want to be ready to move when the time opens up for you to do so!

If you need help coming up with a plan to make a smooth transition from your current job to your next job, start by completing the paNASH intake form!

You may also like:  “Feeling Trapped? 7 Ways to Cope”

It’s a New Year. Time for a New Career?

New Career:  The Question

“How long does it take to realize you’re in the wrong job?” This is a question I came across yesterday on Quora. I’ll share my response with you. But first, I want to ask, are you also wondering if you’re in the wrong job? Or is it already clear you are? Could it be time for a new career for you? It’s a new year, so why not a new career, especially if you already know you’re in the wrong job?

New Career:  The Answer

While the question posed isn’t, “How do you know you’re in the wrong job?” but instead “How long does it take to realize it?”, my response answers both questions:

The quick way to figure this out:

It doesn’t take long if you spend a few minutes taking some personal (and honest) inventory. Here’s an exercise that tends to work much better than a traditional pros and cons list:

  1. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. The first column should be the things you must have in a job (your “dealbreakers”). The second column should include the things you’re willing to compromise on. The third column should be “icing on the cake” things (things you would LOVE to have in a job, but don’t necessarily need to be content).
  2. Now compare your list to your current job. Does your current job have at least 60% of the things listed on your sheet of paper? Or at least 60% of the things from the “must have” column?
  3. If not, it’s time to start looking for the right job.

I say this because I always tell my clients you should love at least 60% of your job. Nobody loves 100% of their job 100% of the time, but if it’s less than 60%, you’re in the wrong job or career. This helps you stay realistic when considering different opportunities.

I’ve personally found this exercise to be more helpful than a pros and cons list when it comes to big life decisions. It also helps with analysis paralysis and keeps you from overthinking or second-guessing your decisions.

The more in depth way to figure this out:

Another thing that’s helped me personally and also helps my clients is to spend some time coming up with your own personal mission statement. This may take a little time to nail down, but it’s well worth it. Why? Because you can use it as a filter for your decisions.

For instance, my personal mission statement is: “To boldly pursue my passions and purpose, and to teach, encourage, and inspire others to do the same, resulting in lives overflowing with joy, peace, and fulfillment.”

When I’m faced with a difficult decision, I look to see if the choice in front of me supports my mission statement or not. If it doesn’t, I don’t select that choice. This helps me to live authentically and be true to my purpose.

One of the things I do with my clients is take them through a program I call Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic. Part of that program includes teaching you how to write your own vision statement, mission statement, and unique differentiators, which also prepares you for the interview for the right job!

New Career:  The Time to Decide

So where are YOU in this all-important decision? If you know it’s time for a new career, we can help you figure out your options and how to make the transition. Don’t wait until the end of 2017 where you’ll find yourself in the same situation. Shoot me an email today and we can set up an initial consultation to help you get unstuck and start moving into the right career!