Tag: Nashville career coach


How Has COVID-19 Changed Your Career Plan for the Better?

Recently, one of Keith Urban’s guitarists was telling me, and several others, about how the forced shutdown of concert tours due to COVID-19 has changed his career plan for the better. Since being forced off tour, he said he realized how much more he wants to be home with his family.

He decided, once concert touring starts up again, he won’t be going back. This requires a bit of a career change, from touring musician on the road, to session musician in the studio. As a result, he’ll still get to pursue his passion for music, now while getting to go home to his family each night.

Another friend of mine, who runs a mulch company, has discovered how the changes he had to make to his offices to help stop the spread of COVID, have actually saved his company a lot of money. He’s realized he can continue the new adaptations after COVID to further cut unnecessary expenses, without violating his no-layoff policy.

He told me, “Lori, I’ve learned to never let a crisis go to waste.”

What’s your definition of a better career plan?

While coming off the road was better for the guitarist who now has a family, the young single guitarist who takes his place might also find himself in a better situation than before. He’ll now get to travel the world and play with one of the most popular recording artists.

So, what’s your definition of a better career plan? Has COVID changed your career plan or your definition of “better”? I’d love to hear your story, so please email me! I may even feature your story in some upcoming content releases.

Don’t let a crisis go to waste

On the other hand, if you’re in a situation where COVID has negatively impacted your career plan, and you need help figuring out what’s next, paNASH is here to help. We can help you sort through your career crisis to find a better plan.

Don’t let this opportunity go to waste! Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. Any information you share will remain confidential.

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How to Know What Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

I’ve previously written on the importance of asking questions of your own when interviewing for a job. Not only do they help you make a wiser decision when it comes to multiple job offers, they also help you win the interview!

But with various interview processes, and the latest changes in the way we work due to the pandemic, there are more questions to consider asking in your next job interview.

Interview process-related questions

I’m currently working with a client going through a lengthy interview process. It includes tests, writing assignments, personality assessments, and several rounds of interviews. So far, she’s made it through every hoop to the final round.

But specifically, the personality assessment hoop can be a tricky one. While it’s not illegal for employers to require you to take a personality assessment during the hiring process, it does open the company up to potential liability. Even the creators of the popular DISC assessment do not recommend it for pre-employment screening. The reason is because it doesn’t measure aptitude, skills, or other factors critical to the position.

So, if you find yourself having to take a personality assessment in a job interview, I advise you to ask the same questions I advised my client to ask:

  • What is the test measuring?
  • How will you use the results in making hiring decisions?
  • What weight will it carry compared to other decision-making factors?
  • Are the results used to determine best fit for the company culture, or for the job role?
  • Are the results going in my file?
  • Will you share the results with me and interpret them?

Pandemic-related questions

The current pandemic has changed not only the way we work, but also the way companies hire. I’ve previously written about possible questions the candidate should expect in interviews during and after the pandemic.

Now I want to share questions the candidate should also ask during and after the pandemic. These questions include:

  • How has your company changed for the better since the pandemic?
  • How has it changed for the worse?
  • Which adaptations will you keep after the pandemic has passed?
  • What is the projected outlook for the company and this industry based on the effects of the pandemic?
  • How have you supported your employees during the pandemic?

These questions will help you determine more about the company’s culture and how it adapts to crises.

Conclusion

Never forget, the job interview is a two-way street. You should always have questions of your own prepared. Doing so shows your interest in the company and helps you make better career decisions.

If you need help preparing for your next interview, let’s talk!

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How to Answer, “What Do You Do?” When Unemployed

It’s the question we all get when first meeting someone. “So, what do you do?” Although it’s not specified in the question, we know the person’s asking what we do for a living. But how do we answer this when unemployed, and without feeling like a failure?

A lot of people are currently unemployed due to the pandemic. They dread this question. Maybe you also dread it, even if you’re not unemployed.

Being unemployed doesn’t define you

First, we have to let go of the false idea that our worth is based in our work. Our careers and jobs don’t define us.

And while our worth also doesn’t come from our skills and talents, we can better answer this question by looking back to see which God-given skills are the common thread in our past experience, including paid work, volunteer work, and what I call “fun work.”

A personal example of “fun work” is when I filled in at the local paddle board shop when they were short-staffed. This job was fun because I got to be on my paddle board, and I got to be outside on the water. Plus, it was a nice way to add some variety to my regular career coaching schedule. But it was also fun because I got to use my gifts of teaching and encouragement when training new paddlers.

These God-given talents in encouraging and teaching others have been a common thread throughout my experience. Not only do I currently use them in my career coaching, I’ve used them in my past work in higher education while advising college students, and when working with aspiring recording artists in the Nashville music industry. I’ve also used them when volunteering in organizations like Project Connect. I’ve even seen how these talents have been used in my personal relationships to help friends and family.

I love encouraging others. It’s a natural, God-given gift and talent I can use whether I’m employed or not.

A new answer

After looking back and realizing this, I now answer the question “What do you do?” differently from my previous usual answer of, “I do career coaching.” Instead, I now say, “I encourage others.” This response  leads to more meaningful conversations.

What about you? What natural gift or talent have you used throughout your past experience and other areas of your life? You can use this to answer the question, “What do you do?”, both when your employed and unemployed.

If you need encouragement, or if you’d like to discover new and creative ways to use your own talents in helping others, let’s talk. I’d be happy to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with you. Click here to get started.

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Warning! Pursuing Your Passion Is Not for the Faint of Heart

I have a friend from my church small group who is an epidemiologist. No one becomes an epidemiologist without having at least some passion for the study of disease outbreaks.

About this time last year, he took a new job as the chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health, right before the pandemic hit the United States. As you can probably imagine, my friend’s job has been extremely busy and stressful this past year. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

But it’s my friend’s God-given passion for his specialty and for helping people that keeps him going. God-given passion is what helps him push through the stress he’s dealing with and the overtime he’s putting in.

And when he gets a little time off, it’s his God-given passions outside of work which help restore and rejuvenate him, like spending time with family, hiking, and kayaking.

Your passion is meant to serve others

My mission is to help people discover ways to pursue their God-given passions in their careers. But pursuing a passion is not to be confused with finding the perfect job, because no such thing exists.

Also, it’s not to be confused with just finding what’s going to make you happy. You have not been given passions and skills to only serve yourself. They’ve been given to you to serve others, either directly or indirectly.

You don’t have to be an epidemiologist to make a difference in the world. Instead, you only have to learn how your own gifts and desires can be used in noble ways.

You do this by asking yourself what problem your own passions and skills help solve. Next, you determine who experiences this problem and is in need of your solution.

Once you discover who your passions and skills best serve, you’ll have to make some decisions that line up with your personal values and your family’s values. Clarifying those values is what will help you determine which sacrifices you’re willing to make when necessary, and therefore which opportunities to say yes to.

Knowing your values will also help you to persevere when the work gets difficult or stressful. Because make no mistake, it will get stressful at times.

Are you ready to pursue your passion?

No matter what your passions or skills are, you have them for a reason: to help serve others. One of the most God-honoring things you can do is to work in those skills and passions. Yes, there will be times when it becomes difficult. And when it does, it becomes a living sacrifice.

But it should not be difficult because you’re trying to do something you have no desire for, or haven’t been equipped to do. This only leads to a quick burnout.

If you need help figuring out how your passions and skills best serve others, or if you feel like you’ve been neglecting them and want to use them to make a difference, let’s talk. I’d be happy to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with you. Click here to take this brave step in your career.

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Your Next Job: How to Reduce the Time in Finding It

Most job seekers underestimate how long it will take to land their next job. Many find themselves six months into the process and say to themselves, “I had no idea it would take this long.”

The truth is, on average, the typical lifespan of a job search is three to nine months, and that’s in a good job market. Factor in the current job market, and you may be looking even longer.

This isn’t to say you can’t find something much faster. I’ve seen it happen many times. I’ve even had some clients find jobs after only a few sessions with me. So, like all rules, there are always some exceptions.

Current trends

Right now, because of the ongoing pandemic, most companies are hesitant to hire back much of the staff they had to lay off. This is despite the expectation the new vaccine will help the economy bounce back from the pandemic.

Recruiters are seeing this reticence from many companies. Therefore, you may be facing a longer job search.

6 ways to reduce the amount of time between now and your next job

While you have no control over the current job market, there are several things you can do to shave some time off your job search.

Below is a curation of those things I’ve previously written about, which you should find helpful if you’re currently looking for your next job.

1. Avoid looking desperate on LinkedIn

Are you doing the same things I keep seeing others do on LinkedIn that makes them appear desperate? It’s time to stop! Recruiters can recognize desperation in your profile, and they don’t find it attractive.

Instead, you want to show the confidence recruiters seek in candidates. Find out how in my post, “How to  Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn.”

How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

2. Do what’s necessary to keep recruiters interested in you

Once you’ve stopped turning recruiters off with your desperation, it’s now time to keep them interested in you. Find out how in this post from September, “How to Keep Recruiters Interested in You,” which lays out two very simple ways to stay in the good graces of recruiters.

How to Keep Recruiters Interested in You

3. Give your elevator pitch an overdue makeover

You probably still think an elevator speech should be 30 seconds long and sum up all your skills and experience. This is probably because outdated info on the Internet still says this.

I’m here to tell you, there’s a better and more effective way to deliver an elevator pitch. A way designed to generate a more meaningful conversation and a real connection. And, it’s more effective for our current means of networking via phone and Zoom meetings.

Learn how to update your pitch in the post, “The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech.”

The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech

4. Don’t rely solely on online job boards

I know I’ve posted this article several times, but it bears repeating since this is the only strategy most job seekers take in their search.

You must learn to use your time wisely if you want to land your next job sooner than later. For a more successful strategy, read or listen to my post, “What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

5. Invest in career coaching

I know money is tight right now, but if you can’t afford to go without a job for as long as nine months, it may be time to invest in some career coaching. Doing so could even result in the ability to negotiate a higher salary, giving you a much better return on your investment.

paNASH has several coaching options for improving your job search, and therefore lessening the time between now and your next job. Some are quite affordable, and also allow you to work at a faster pace.

If the thought of investing in career coaching seems a little overwhelming to your current budget, I encourage you to re-frame the thought, “I can’t afford this,” into the question, “How can I afford this?”

Re-framing your thoughts will prevent you from having to completely shut the door on the benefits of career coaching, and will provide room for the opportunity when it’s financially feasible.

To determine if career coaching is the next step for you, check out my post, “Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach.”

Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach

6. Learn patience.

After you’ve done everything you can to reduce the time between now and your next job, the only thing left to do is be patient. It’s not easy, but patience is a virtue you can learn.

For five tips on learning patience, read or listen to my post, “How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs.”

How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs

Parting words

Hopefully, this post has not only helped you manage your expectations about the average length of the job search, but has also given you some good tips to speed up your search.

Ask yourself,

“What’s at least one tip from these posts I can implement within the next 24 hours?”

I encourage you to be patient with yourself and with everything going on in the world today, be realistic, and use your time, money, and energy wisely.

paNASH is here to help.

Resources for your job search

On-demand video courses

paNASH provides an affordable on-demand coaching option that allows you to work at your own pace. These online video courses include:

One-on-one career coaching

Also, paNASH provides several one-on-one career coaching packages for various budgets. Coaching sessions are currently being held through the convenience of Zoom or phone, depending on your preference.

To schedule a free initial consultation, click here.