JL Careers Blog

What’s Your Career Limiting Habit?

What’s standing in the way of your success?  You may think it’s external factors, such as lack of skills, training or experience. In reality, the thing that could be holding you back from achieving more in your career may be much closer to home. It could be something as simple as a bad habit.

And this is nothing new. In fact, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, 97 percent of today’s employees have at least one career-limiting habit.

So what’s yours? And more importantly, what can you do about it?

Common Habits That Limit Career Advancement

The first step in overcoming these barriers to success is recognizing which one(s) you are battling.  For instance, you could be practicing one or more of the following career-hindering habits without even realizing it.

  • Taking on too much – If you have trouble saying “no,” you’re probably always stressed out. You could also be developing a reputation for failing to deliver.
     
  • Low EQ – Not listening to or genuinely engaging with others. Remember – people naturally follow leaders who inspire, engage and support.
     
  • Small-picture perspective – If your focus is solely on short-term goals, you can’t adequately plan and prepare for the future.
     
  • Resistance to change – Like it or not, the world of work is changing. If you’re not agile, open and willing to adapt yourself accordingly, you will get left behind. 
     
  • Risk aversion – Achieving success often means stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks. Avoiding potential risk out of fear or uncertainty will result in missing out on amazing opportunities.
     
  • Lack of follow-through – Not doing what you promised you’d do can result in a serious lack of trust from those around you.
     
  • Procrastination – Leaving things until the last minute can lead to lackluster performance and missed deadlines, which will label you as unreliable and hinder career advancement.
     
  • Lack of ownership – If you aren’t willing to go the extra mile and instead follow the “not my job” philosophy, don’t expect to earn the respect and trust of your colleagues.

What Can You Do About It?

Once you know what you’re up against, you can take the following steps toward overcoming that bad habit.

1. Put it in writing

Jot down what’s bothering you to flush out the reasons why you’ve fallen into the bad habit in question.

2. Identify your desired outcome 

What, exactly, is the end result you’d like to accomplish? Developing specific goals can help you hone in on the best way to overcome the issue you’re dealing with.

For instance, if you’re guilty of procrastinating, it may be because you’re unhappy with the role you’re currently in. In this case, a career shift might make sense. Read more in my article:  Planning a Successful Career Shift

3. Enlist the help of others

Could a mentor or coach help you better identify, develop and achieve your goals?

Or, perhaps obtaining feedback through an informal 360 review could help you pinpoint problem areas where improvements can and should be made.  Learn more at:  Why Feedback Can Supercharge Your Career

4. Make conscious, positive changes

As productivity expert and author Jim Loehr put it, “By managing your energy to focus on the matter at hand, you can overcome a negative situation and increase your human capital in the process.”

New habits often require new skills, so it may be worth making an investment in professional development activities, such as a training workshop, leadership coaching or reading a book.

5. Don’t give up

The average time it takes for a new habit to stick is somewhere around 66 days (Source: How Are Habits Formed)  In other words, it’s not something that will happen overnight. Commit yourself, don’t give up and you will eventually reap the benefits of a brighter future and a more successful career down the road.

Entrepreneur and startup enthusiast John Rampton once said: “Bad habits are called 'bad' for a reason. They kill our productivity and creativity. They slow us down. They hold us back from achieving our goals.”

What are you doing to hold up your career?

Schedule a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation with me to help pinpoint the problem and develop a real, actionable strategy to kick those career-limiting habits once and for all.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

Salary Negotiation for Women: Are you Leaving Money on the Table?

‘Women earn 82 cents to a man’s dollar’ (source:  Lean In).   So why do men make more?  Research supports it’s not about education but rather the fact that women fail to engage in salary negotiation conversations.  Women are held back financially because of their dislike for these difficult negotiating conversations.  But the good news is when women do ask for a raise, they are successful 71% of the time (source:  The Big Salary Review, Glamour Feb 2017).

Not sold on how this is costing you as a woman?  Consider a recent Harvard Business Review study of men and women negotiating a car purchase.  On average ‘women were willing to forgo as much as $1353 (for men, it was $666) to avoid the “pain” of negotiating when buying a car.’  The same applies to the money you are leaving on the table when you negotiate your next job offer or ask for a raise.

4 Salary Negotiating Tips: 

  1. Find the Ideal Time – Your annual performance review, or better yet, after a big success (i.e. after completing a complex project, landing a new client, etc.). 
     
  2. Do Your Research – Know your ‘market value’. Check in with a head hunter or your professional association for local salary ranges. 
     
  3. Don’t be a Pit Bull – Research from Harvard Business Review found that women tend to put on a male persona of being tough, aggressive and demanding, and as a result they fail to get the result they what.  Instead, start with a smile.  It’s simple but smart as it makes you approachable and engaging.  Then, move into talking about the organizational goals and outlining your accomplishments in supporting these objectives. 
     
  4. Be Confident – If you know there is a wage disparity, express it.  As Sandberg suggests stating:  ‘My understanding is that jobs that involve this level of responsibility are compensated in this range (highlight industry salary levels).’  I suggest practicing Amy Cuddy’s Power Poses (check out her TEDTalk) to get you prepped for a successful salary negotiation.  

Salary negotiation isn’t a battle ground but rather a conversation.  It’s an opportunity to update your manager or the recruiter of your recent successes, highlight the value you bring to the organization and your desire to be a strong contributor to the team’s success.  Then, lead into discussing your salary market research. 

For more Salary Negotiation Tips, see my article:  7 Tips for Negotiating Your Next Job Offer.

Wishing you much negotiating success!  

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

Resume Tips: Key Words Grab Recruiters’ Attention

Gone from resumes is the language: “Duties were…” or “Responsibilities include…” Instead, use key words to grab head hunters’, recruiters’ and hiring managers’ attention. 

To source these key words review job postings or job descriptions for roles you are interested in targeting.  Highlight the key words – and then ensure these words are included in your resume. 

Add more impact by incorporating the key words into accomplishment-based work experience bullets.  If the job posting requires you to be ‘strategic’, formulate a bullet noting what you did and the results you achieved.  For example: “Devised and executed strategy to improve efficiency and reduce costs.  Within 6 months improved throughput by 12%.”    

Using these key words can pull your resume from the bottom of the pile to the top, and help you land your next interview.

Need help developing an Executive or Professional Resume?  Contact me today for a complimentary resume critique. 

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

How to be Resilient in Today's Changing Workplace

Resiliency is the ability to adapt to change, adjust to challenges and continue to remain positive in any situation. In today’s demanding workplace, however, it can be hard to bounce back from the many setbacks and difficulties we face.  Being overlooked for a promotion, dealing with difficult working relationships with peers or your boss, or receiving unexpected feedback on your performance can make it hard to stay productive, healthy and happy.

To thrive in challenging situations, you need resilience to cope with stress, remain focused, and continue to perform well under pressure.

How to Tell if You are Career Resilient

Before we can even begin to determine your level of resiliency, it’s important to understand exactly what makes one “resilient.” Here are a few of the attributes of a person who is able to handle the challenges and changes that come their way:  optimism, confidence, adaptability, community minded, personal mastery, self-awareness, meaning and purpose, stamina and perspective.

Some people are born with a number of these characteristics and are naturally good at stress-management.  Read more in: Stress: How is it Impacting Your Job Performance?  For most of us, these are skills that must be learned and practiced.  If you have a few of these traits, good for you! If you’re lacking in other areas, it’s time to get to work.

Is Your Career Resilience Low … and is it impacting your performance?

“Resilient people do not let adversity define them.”
Source:  Hara Estroff Marano, respected author and Editor-at-Large for Psychology Today.

The key to becoming resilient is to first identify the stressors and challenges you face in your daily work.  These can seriously put a damper on your attitude, productivity and even your ability to advance in your career – that is, unless you find a way to change how you react and respond to these external factors.  That’s where resiliency comes into play.

Where are you at today?  What’s stressing you:

  • Lack of time
  • Too many tasks
  • Looming deadlines
  • Lack of clarity/direction
  • Difficulties with boss and/or colleagues
  • Lack of knowledge/training
  • Change
  • Lack of control
  • Fear (of making a mistake, of being downsized, etc.)?

People who are resilient do not let external circumstances dictate how they will react and respond.  If you are the type that tends to let one bad meeting ruin the rest of your day, it’s probably time to start making some changes.

The first step toward becoming more resilient involves figuring out your current status.  Are you able to roll with the punches, remain positive and continue pushing forward without letting things get you down?  Or, are you performing from a place of being overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated?

If you’re not sure either way, it may be time for a quick assessment of whether you are  Above or Below the Line to determine whether you are on the right track, or if it’s time to make some serious changes.

If your self-assessment has revealed that there is work to be done, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig in.

4 Steps to Becoming More Resilient

The good news is, even if you currently lack many of the characteristics of strong career resiliency, they can be learned and developed.

To achieve this, here’s what you need to do:

1. Engage in self-reflection

You can’t expect to experience real change until you’ve adequately identified what the issues impacting you are.  Spend some time reflecting on and identifying what’s standing in your way.  Ask yourself when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed:

  • Who, What, Where, When and How were your buttons pushed?
  • What was going on for you at this time?  What were you thinking/feeling?
  • What was your reaction?  Then dig deeper:  How did you feel?
  • Was this the best reaction to help you maintain your ability to cope and find a solution?
  • What could you have done better?

2. Identify your sources of workplace support

Next, remember that you aren’t alone.  While you are working through your own personal challenges don’t be afraid to get help when and where it’s available.  Identify the people and things that can help you stay on track when you’re facing a stressful moment.  If you don’t have one already, consider getting a mentor.

3. Devise tactics to deal with roadblocks or obstacles

Whether it’s taking a quick coffee break with a co-worker, sitting down for a talk with your boss or just taking a walk outside to blow off some steam, know in advance what tactics and activities will be effective in keeping you level headed in the midst of adversity, and be prepared to launch that plan into action whenever necessary.

4. Develop a Career Resiliency Action Plan

Once you know what’s standing in your way, the final step is creating an action plan to boost your work performance and career growth.  Start by identifying the areas of your life, both personal and professional, in which you’d like to see some positive changes and list the steps necessary to achieve those changes.

If one of the things you’re struggling with is fear of losing your job, don’t wallow in it. Take action and be proactive.  Find ways to make yourself more valuable to your organization.  You’ll find that as you list your obstacles and devise solutions, you’ll already begin to feel a positive shift in your outlook.  Read more in my article: How to Avoid Being Downsized.

The bottom line is, if you want to move forward in your career, and in your life, you have to take the necessary steps to take back control.  The goal is to move from feeling like work is happening to you to feeling confident and having an inner sense of stamina to address whatever challenges comes your way.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Improve Your Career Resilience

Are you struggling with workplace stressors or feeling stuck in a career holding pattern?  Let’s connect for a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation to determine what's holding you back and get you on the right track toward developing the resiliency you need to bring your career to the next level.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

Get Unstuck this Year!

You’re off to a great start this year.  You’ve made your resolutions and you are ready for a shift.  Now to put it into action.   If you’re like most of us, we sincerely want change but get stuck in the status quo.

Here are 5 tips to get you passionate and motivated to achieve your goals:

Tip 1: Identify your Primary Goal – what’s most important to you

Achieving success starts with knowing what to focus on and eliminating all other distractors.  Use this principle to get very specific and clear about your top priority.  If it’s a new job, note the type of job you want, the money you want to be paid, or any other variables that are important to you.

Tip 2: Imagine yourself Living this New Reality

Take a moment to create a visual picture of this new reality.  It could be landing a promotion, being selected for an exciting new project, spending more time with your kids, donating to your favourite charity, or anything else you want.  The clearer your vision – the more compelling it will be.  

Tip 3:  Uncover your Motivators

Your motivators drive you to overcome obstacles and challenges that will come up as you pursue your goals.  Consider:  

  • What will my future look like because I have achieved this goal?
  • What will it look like if I don’t make this shift?
  • It’s December 31, 2017 and you have reached your goal!  Write a note to yourself to help inspire you to achieve this goal.  

Tip 4:  Check out your Thinking Patterns

Is your thinking impacting your motivation?  Every time you think about your goal, listen to your internal dialogue.  Is it positive:  ‘Yes, I can!’  or are you focused on why it won’t happen.  Are you stuck in negative thinking? Start the shift today by finding people who are goal oriented and use their energy as a catalyst to drive you forward.  Read more in my article: Tips for Career Success – Surround Yourself with the Right People

Tip 5:  Break your Goal into Bite-Sized Bits

Chunk it down to manageable steps.  Create one weekly goal that supports your career growth.  Start with something small.  For example, updating your Resume. These baby steps will move you forward towards your goal and keep you from feeling frustrated with your lack of progress.  Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  What you do today can move your career forward, or hold your career in place.  It’s your choice.  

Unleash your career aspirations.  Make this the year to pursue the career of your dreams and achieve the results you want. 

Source: For more great strategies to get unstuck, check out: Unstuck

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? Needing a new career challenge or a new job?

I specialize in working with professionals and executives to help them get more of what they want in their careers.  Let’s connect for a complimentary 20-minute telephone Career Consultation to determine what's getting in the way of your moving forward. By identifying this root issue or roadblock, we can then determine next steps to reaching your career goals.  From developing professional resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles that grab recruiters' attention, to devising strategies to ace the interview, I provide the tools you need to build your career success.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

 

Reaching for the C-Suite

You are ambitious, hard working and accomplished but your career isn’t moving forward.  What’s wrong with this picture?  The key to success is more than this. Yes, it’s about your track record of collaborating, executing and consistently delivering on commitments but further you must you must “leap from being tactical to being strategic” states Cissy Pau of Clear HR Consulting.  Your technical expertise won’t win you a seat in the Boardroom.  She advises “you have to be a visionary; you have to think long-term, three to five years out” and “be able to express, communicate and influence the company vision.”  Source:  Business In Vancouver, Jan 2017  

Need help devising and executing a strategy to advance your career?  Contact Joanne Loberg, Certified Executive Coach and Certified Career Management Professional for a 20-minute telephone consultation to discuss your situation and devise solutions to move you forward.  

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

 

Tips for Career Success: Surround Yourself with the Right People

Have you ever noticed how successful people – those who are accomplished in business, sports or life in general – have one thing in common? 

They surround themselves with other successful people.

Oprah Winfrey, a self-made billionaire and one of the most successful businesswomen in the world once said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Given everything that she has accomplished over the years, it’s certainly hard to argue with her logic.

As we start a new year, now is a great time to ask: What is it you want more of in your life over the coming months?  Career advancement…more meaningful work…greater balance…

Then question:  Are you surrounding yourself with the right people to make it happen?

Jim Rohn theorized that we are the average of the 5 people with whom we spend the most time. Take a moment to really think about that. Are you being inspired, challenged and uplifted by those you spend time with?

Is your circle of acquaintances – whether friends, family, colleagues or mentors – truly bringing out the best in you, personally and professionally?

If the answer is no, the time to make a change is now. Here’s how you can turn things around.

Assess Your Current Network

What does your current circle look like? Do the people you spend time with now support you and actively help you reach your goals? And, by the way, this applies to every area of your life – not just business. If you want financial success, stop hanging around with people who make poor financial decisions. If you want to have a happier marriage, surround yourself with individuals and couples who are in successful relationships.

Eliminate Negativity

It’s impossible to be positive 100% of the time, and people are entitled to have a bad day every once in a while. But if you’re regularly engaged with others who thrive on negativity, it will eventually drain you of your own energy and happiness (if it hasn’t already).

Switch Directions

There is an old adage in business that if you want to become more successful you should reach out to those in organizations and positions you aspire to. Invite them to coffee or lunch. Ask for their insight, advice or guidance. Tell them why you’ve sourced them out and want to talk with them. It’s not uncommon for top leaders to relate to where you are coming from as they too climbed the ladder or overcame hurdles to achieve career success. Above all, don’t be afraid to be bold and let your passion show.   (Read more about the power of connecting in my article:  Champions Will Drive Your Success)

Start the Change Now

It’s easy for us to say we want to make changes in our lives – to get a better job, achieve more success, make more money – you name it. However, the difference between those who actually do accomplish these things and those who are left with the same resolutions, year after year, is taking the necessary steps to make it happen.

If you aren’t already surrounding yourself with positive, successful people - people who inspire you, challenge you, support you and push you to step outside your comfort zone - it’s time to make a change now.

Not tomorrow. Today.  

Best-selling author and successful entrepreneur Seth Godin said, “The only thing worse than starting something and failing... is not starting something."

I encourage you to really be honest with yourself about whether the people you are currently surrounding yourself with are truly going to help you achieve the success you strive to accomplish over the coming months. If the answer is no, the time to take action is now. Only then will you begin to drive the changes necessary to achieve your career goals and make 2017 the best year yet.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wanting to get unstuck in 2017?

Is this your year for a career change?  Launch on the right foot with the job search tools you need to grab head hunters’ and hiring managers’ attention.  From a Professional Resume to Compelling LinkedIn Profile and Interview Coaching, JL Careers is here to help you land a great new career opportunity.  Connect today for a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation to position yourself for success
in 2017.  

I look forward to hearing from you!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

How to Drive Your Career & Job Search Success by Eliminating Your Distractors

You are driven, dedicated and smart but aren’t getting the results you want.  The problem might be you are not focused on the Right Drivers (key priorities) and are diminishing your effectiveness and success.

Successful professionals have this one common trait – they know what to focus on and what to eliminate.  They don’t try to do it all, instead daily they determine their top priorities and then narrow their focus to achieve these goals.

As an Executive Coach, I work with high performing, ambitious leaders who are known for getting it done. To help them stay on track, I ask them to consider: “Are you focused on the right drivers – the activities that are aligned with your strategic objectives?"  And if not, "What do you need to do to eliminate the distractors that are holding you back from success?”

The problem is these Key Drivers tend to get buried in a laundry list of other things that must be done, or we think they must be done immediately.  Often, we are on autopilot as we plow through our work instead of considering what really needs our attention. As a result, we are not focused on what is critically important to driving our success.

By stopping to reflect before we react, we shift from firefighting and move to powerful strategic thinking and planning focused on:  "What is the outcome I want to achieve?", then, “What are the two or three priorities I need to focus on to get the results I want?”

In Peter Bregman’s book, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, he recommends you move from doing and reacting to:  Pausing + Breathing then Reacting.  He challenges us to clarify our Key Drivers:  What is the "most important outcome you want to achieve?", whether in your business or your job search, and then "focus only on the specific behaviours that will support that objective".  95% of your effort should be directed toward these key drivers in order to get the outcome you want.

But instead of applying this dedication, we tend to postpone, put off and delay because the work is hard, we are afraid we will fail, or maybe even succeed.  So we LET distractions get in the way and that five minutes of checking our emails morphs into 3 hours.

To keep your Big Drivers top of mind, Bregman in his TEDTalk, The Work Buffet recommends:

  • Start with 5 minutes in the morning to plan and ask: “What can I realistically accomplish today?”
  • Transfer these top drivers/tasks to your calendar.
  • Take 1 minute every hour to ask two questions: “Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now?” and "Am I being who I most want to be right now?”
  •  “Take a moment to breathe, calm the mind, just one minute every hour will make a difference.”
  • Wrap the day with 5 minutes to reflect:  What were my successes today, and my challenges?  If I got distracted, what caused that distraction?  What can I do to eliminate that in the future?

Taking time to strategically think and plan takes incredible discipline but the results are well worth this focused commitment.   Start each day with a clear intention to focus on what is of critical importance today to help you achieve the results you want. Then decide what you need to eliminate, delegate or delay in order to support your success.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2016 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success and a wonderful holiday season!

Joanne
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc.

 

Have an Upcoming Marketing Interview? 10 Questions To Prepare For

Marketing interviews often focus on some commonly asked questions, such as:  Tell me about yourself.  Why are you interested in working for us?  What do you offer us that makes you a leading candidate?  But these hiring managers may also ask case style interview questions to elicit your marketing insights and strategies.  

HubSpot’s CMO, Kipp Bodnar outlines questions he asks marketing candidates to understand who they  are, how they think, and learn about their marketing experience in his article:  10 Sample Marketing Job Interview Questions & Answers. 

His selected case style interview questions are:

“Draw a funnel on the white board showing 10,000 visitors, 500 leads, 50 opportunities, and 10 new customers (or any other numbers you think are interesting).  Now, pretend you’re the CMO for the company, and you have to decide what your marketing team should do to improve these metrics.  Which areas of the funnel would you focus on, and what would you do differently to change these results?”

“We have two potential designs for the homepage of our website, but we don’t now which one to use.  The CEO likes one, and the COO likes another.  Half the company likes one, and the other half of the company likes the other.  Which one should we use?”

“Let’s say you have an Excel spreadsheet with 10,000 leads from a few months back – long enough that those leads’ sales cycle has passed.  The file contains information about each lead, like their industry, title, company size, and what they did to become a lead (like downloading an ebook). Also in the file is whether they closed as a customer and how much their order was for.  Can you use this information to create a lead score?  How would you do it?”

Check out these questions and more, along with suggested answers at:  10 Sample Marketing Job Interview Questions & Answers. 

Wishing you much career success,

Joanne Loberg

Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc.

Advance Your Career –Take On an Uncomfortable or Challenging Task

Want to accelerate your career success and opportunity for promotion and better assignments?  Step into projects or other opportunities that will challenge and develop your skills such as taking on a floundering corporate project, public speaking or undertaking some other difficult task.  As professionals it is critical we continue to grow our expertise and stretch ourselves to build our bench strength.   

Learn from top performers who have a habit of ‘stepping into the fire’ and putting it all on the line.  It’s as if they aren’t afraid to fail.  What these individuals have honed is a focus on taking small steps and through this have built their confidence to take on larger, more daunting challenges.  

So if you would rather do anything but step into an uncomfortable situation, i.e. go to an industry networking event or have a difficult conversation with your boss, Harvard Business Review’s Andy Molinsky recommends you don’t try to tackle these challenges directly, but rather warm up to them.  Take small steps. If you have a challenge engaging in difficult conversations start by taking a conflict conversations course. I strongly recommend lawyer Diane Ross’ Elephant Conversations programs.  If networking is your biggest challenge, go to your next event with a wingman (a friend to help you overcome your fear), and set a small goal to meet 2 people.  Once you have met your goal give yourself the option to leave.  

The courage to take on these challenges is essential to moving your career forward and developing the ability to take on bigger and more exciting career opportunities.

Read more in HBR’s, ‘If You’re Not Outside of your Comfort Zone, Your Won’t Learn Anything’.

Wishing you much career success,

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc.

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JL Careers provides Career and Leadership Coaching, Career Development Workshops, and Career Transition Services which support organizational succession planning, leadership development and employee engagement strategies.