June 14, 2016
I’ve been a professional career coach since 2002. Over the last 10+ years, I have learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to be an effective career coach. [Click here to learn more about becoming a career coach.]
Back when I became a coach, the concept wasn’t as widely accepted as it is today. In fact, my clients were afraid to admit they were working with a career coach because they felt like it indicated there was something wrong with them. Today, we now understand career coaching isn’t a sign of weakness, but a path to greatness. It’s why all the top pro athletes and business executives use them. If you want to optimize your performance and achieve new levels of success and satisfaction in your career, it’s more than likely you’ll work with a coach at some point. Why? If you could do it on your own, you would have by now.
I Learned These Lessons The Hard Way
Having worked with literally thousands of people on their careers, I have learned some valuable professional lessons. In the beginning of my coaching career, I thought I could help everyone. I was wrong. You can only help people who are ready to be helped. I wasted hundreds of hours on people who just weren’t ready to succeed. I learned the hard way the following five things:
People only turn to career coaching when they are in pain.
School teaches us everything except how to manage our careers. As a result, nobody enters the professional world with the right set of skills and abilities to successfully manage their careers. Unfortunately, it isn’t until a person makes a major mistake or has a career setback that they seek coaching. Only then do they have the Ah-ha Moment that they need to close the gap in their knowledge and abilities so they can get back on track. Read more…
Leading from where you are is about about recognizing your individual power and leading from whatever position you’re in.
We go through our entire lives being put into boxes – it’s how we create our identity. This is especially true at work. You get hired and you’re given a piece of paper that tells you what you do. The rest is vaguely described as ‘other duties as assigned.’
Source: Lead From Where You Are
IMAGE: Getty Images
Recently, I wrote this article explaining why Millennials aren’t getting promoted. In response to Millennial readers’ requests for a deeper understanding of how being misperceived can negatively affect their careers, I’m taking it a step further and outlining exactly what’s getting them fired.
Employers are seriously fed up.
To get a sense of how heated this has become, read this article by one irate employerand his prediction of the backlash that will soon ensue from the Millennials’ attitudes toward work.
Additionally, this survey by SmartRecruiter of 28,000 bosses detailing where Millennials are falling short is just one example of the data to support the huge disconnect costing some Millennials their jobs. Here are the key takeaways Millennials need to know.
1. Employers don’t want to be parents.
Growing up, Millennials were coached their entire lives and they unknowingly assume employers will coach them too. However, the relationship isn’t the same. An employer pays us to do a job. We are service providers. Expecting extensive training and professional development to do the job doesn’t make financial sense. In many employers’ minds (especially, small to midsized businesses with limited budgets and resources), Millennials should foot the bill to develop themselves and make themselves worth more to the employer.
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration when it comes to our careers.
Well look no further, I have put together a list of my top 20 bitesize nuggets of wisdom, to help you with everything from job search, to office life.
1) First impressions are critical.
People build a perception of you within 30 seconds of meeting you and these often stick, so make sure you get off on the right foot.
2) What you study at University does not have to dictate your career.
Don’t feel like your career path is set in stone. University can provide you with lots of transferrable skills that will benefit you in a number of industries, so do what you enjoy and feel passionate about, not what you feel obliged to.
3) In fact, you don’t necessarily need a degree.
Plenty of professionals go on to have a fulfilling and successful career without going to University. Sometimes natural talent trumps qualifications, so if you hard work alone can get you where you want to be.
4) Success is a marathon not a sprint.
Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Career success is the result of hard work and commitment over time.
5) Do not become defined by your job.
There is more to you than your job title, so don’t let it become your entire identity. It’s ok to have a life outside of work. Read more…
Wherever you are in your career, seeking out a mentor is a great way to boost your career and expand your network. In fact, 75 percent of executives say mentoring plays a major role in their career — and 95 percent of Millennials just starting out their careers want a mentor. Through your mentor, you’ll likely meet new people, learn new skills, and maybe even find new job opportunities.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Well having a mentor doesn’t guarantee automatic success. Being a mentee comes with responsibility and takes care to create a successful relationship. And it can go south fast if you’re not careful.
So make sure you aren’t scaring off your mentor and consider the following behaviors to avoid:
1. Being vague with your needs.
Be specific about what you need from your mentor. These needs could include professional development, access to opportunities and networks, desiring a role model, or even just a safe space to discuss experiences or career issues. Don’t expect your mentor to know or understand automatically just by reading your resume and meeting you. Otherwise, neither of you will gain anything from the relationship and you’ll likely just frustrate them.