JL Careers Blog

At a Career Impasse? 4C’s to Get You Unstuck

Feeling stuck in your career? You’re not alone. According to Fast Company, “Feeling stuck in your career isn’t just frustrating; it can be debilitating.” No matter your experience or age, managers, professionals and executives can get “stuck” in their careers, wondering what to do next.

The key to getting unstuck and moving forward through a career impasse involves focusing on what matters (the 4 C’s) and asking yourself the right questions.

“C” where you are

If you want to make a switch in your career and be successful in the journey, you need to create a vision for the future. This requires gaining the 4 C’s: clarity, courage, confidence and competence. According to Forbes, “without these, you’ll most likely struggle hard and fail.” 

Start the journey to your next step

To gain clarity, ramp up your courage and have the confidence and competence to make the leap. So ask yourself these questions:

What do I really want?

First, discover what it is that you desire in your career and in your life. What criteria will you use to evaluate your success? Is it a certain salary? Position? Title?  Make a list of what you need as this will help in creating a vision of your ideal job. 

If you’re unsure, career testing can help you get started. At JL Careers, we use the Harvard Business School’s career report “Career Leader.” It’s an integrated approach to self-assessment covering your motivations, interests and skills.

Take the time now to clarify your criteria and goals. If you skip over this step, you’ll continue to feel stuck. In my workshop, “Ignite Your Career: Getting more of what you want in your career”, one participant responded to the question “What do you want to do with your career?” with a heartfelt answer. She didn’t know what she wanted, but she knew she didn’t want to be an accountant anymore.  At the end of the session, when the group was asked to recall her career brand, they could only respond that she was an accountant. Because she hadn’t painted a picture of her future goals, she hadn’t rebranded herself.  As a result, the group still saw her in the role she no longer wanted, that of an accountant.

What are my core capabilities?

In order to define the next chapter of your career, you need to know the skills you want to use. If this question is challenging, ask yourself:

  • What are my greatest accomplishments?
  •  What accomplishments am I most proud of in terms of my jobs or volunteer experiences?

Asking these questions will help you highlight the skills you enjoy using most or those that come naturally to you. Then, use these skills to evaluate job postings to determine a list of best-fit careers.

What can I do today to start the shift?

It’s possible to research your way to a great new job. Don’t sit back and hope that a Google search will lead you to the answer. Get out there and network. Ask your professional association, networking groups or mentors if they know anyone doing the type of work in which you’re interested. Then reach out and meet these people. Invite them to coffee and quiz them about their career. 

As Fast Company states, the good news is “the notion that we have to choose a single career path and stick with it from beginning to end is simply a myth.” You’re not between a rock and a hard place. If you’re really feeling stuck decide today to shift things.  Start now by reaching out to a career coach to get the help you need to start moving forward. 

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice. Copyright 2016 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

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

What are You Doing at Lunch Today to Build Career Resilience?

Your lunch break is for more than grabbing a quick sandwich on the run and getting a few personal items off your to-do list.  It’s the perfect time to connect with your network and key stakeholders within your organization and beyond. 
 
As a Career Coach I work with individuals impacted by organizational downsizing, suddenly scrambling for a new job.  The number one contributor to a quick return to work is a robust network that you can call on to help source job leads and gain valuable connections to hiring managers.  But all too often these individuals have not maintained strong networks.  They have fallen prey to the old adage:  Heads down, work hard and you will be promoted.  What a shock when they find this no longer is true and their network connections are weak!

A key to building career resilience is to build a robust network.  Get connected with colleagues and key decision makers in your organization, stay in the loop with former managers and co-workers, and regularly engage with your professional association.  And if you are between jobs, your goal should be to book 3 to 5 meetings, coffees, lunches or other networking events each week.  For more strategies, check out: Networking to Build Career Success.    
So get started today!   Book lunch or coffee with a colleague, your manager, a key stakeholder, or someone in your industry you want to get to know. 

Wishing you much career success!

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

Are you living for the long weekends to recoup from long work weeks and the sense of being overwhelmed or frustrated?

Stress:  is it getting to you?  Are you in an endless cycle of:  Sleep, Wake, Work, and Repeat? We all need to better manage the stress in our lives, particularly as leaders in our organizations.   The sense of calm and composure you bring to any meeting, negotiation or engagement, creates the aura of power and confidence needed to be successful and drive results.  

If you are finding yourself coming apart at the seams, feeling frazzled and a bit too stressed, here are 13 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day.  These strategies -  from email-free bed time to getting enough ZZZs - can help you unplug from the daily grind and do more of your best work.  Link to article.    

Learn more about how stress takes its toll in my article:  Stress: How it is impacting your job performance.

Wishing you much career success!

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

Champions Will Drive Your Career Success

You need goals to move ahead in your career, but there’s another factor that will help you achieve your career objectives: champions.  

What’s a champion?

There is an abundance of power at your disposal when you create a network of champions to support your career success. “Creating a fabric of personal contacts who will provide support, feedback, insight, resources, and information—is simultaneously one of the most self-evident and one of the most dreaded developmental challenges that aspiring leaders must address.” (Source: https://hbr.org/2007/01/how-leaders-create-and-use-networks)

Championing your progress

Develop a storehouse of champions who can help pave the way for your career success.  Champions open doors by mentioning your successes and being your advocate. For example, if your company is engaged in succession planning, your champions may endorse you. When they see new opportunities come up, they refer you.

Interested in developing a champion network?  

  • Define your needs. Instead of haphazardly creating a support system, strategically identify the kinds of champions you need. The Harvard Business Review identifies six kinds of champions that are critical to success. For example, an expert can help you navigate new learning situations. A leader at the helm of an organization or team can assist you with identifying your vision and then clearly conveying those convictions to your organization. A champion with good role-playing skills can guide you to success in scenarios where communicating and framing messages might be challenging.
     
  • Choose your team. A robust network of champions is a smart strategy. Your objective is to have several people on the senior leadership team, particularly the Executive team, who know you and can speak to your skills and key accomplishments. 
     
  • Engage in networking opportunities to seek out champions. Look for influencers or leaders in your field or organization. A leader in your industry will know the ins and outs of your field. If you don’t know the person, ask a colleague or friend for an introduction. Or be bold and invite them out for lunch to start the relationship. 
     
  • Share your own successes and failures, and learn from your champions’ experiences, too. Your champion will be able to help you navigate a challenging situation and offer advice for overcoming challenges. Who knows, he or she may even have been through the same workplace politics, or uphill battle to get recognition. 

Whether new in your role, or a seasoned professional, a team of champions can not only help you navigate through your organization, but also can help propel your career to new heights. 

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice. Copyright 2016 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved. 

Wishing you much career success!

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

Are you Below or Above the Line?

How are you showing up in your career, and for that fact, in your life right now?  At any moment you are either above or below the line.  If you are above the line, you are open, curious and focused on learning.  Below the line leaders operate from a place of fear, needing to be right, and in a place of not having enough.

Check out this brief video to assess if you are performing from a place of being overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated, or from curiosity, listening and focused on winning.
 

See video

Wishing you much career success!

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

Why Women Fail to Get Promoted

Do you suspect your confidence – or lack thereof – is standing in the way of a promotion? You’re not alone. Many successful professional women tend to question their abilities or downplay their accomplishments – a tendency that can get between you and your next promotion.

There is a marked difference between male and female managers, senior managers, CEOs and emerging leaders when climbing the ladder. “Women have the capability, but lack confidence in spite of increased levels of responsibility; this lack of confidence is why they do not traditionally succeed in reaching CEO positions.” states HRVoice.org

The Key Differentiator:  The Confidence Gap

As a woman, factors that may prevent you from fast-tracking include – overthinking, fear of failure, hanging onto criticism, getting stuck in a comfort zone, and using a tone of voice that conveys questions instead of declarations. 

To succeed in the workplace, you can overcome gender bias by:
 

  • Working with a mentor. Your mentor can provide feedback and give advice to help you navigate through the challenges, such as training yourself to speak more confidently.
     
  • Knowing your talents and capabilities. Courageous leaders have a strong sense of self-awareness. Knowing yourself, including owning your key achievements and successes, is the first step in gaining confidence. Perfectionism is another deal-breaker, a quality that serves to protect you from criticism but also brings you down.
     
  • Getting feedback. Ask your manager or a colleague to provide an honest assessment and then dedicate time to making some changes.
     
  • Promoting YOUR accomplishments.  A key step in moving forward is to shift your profile, particularly in meetings with your colleagues and senior management.  Reposition yourself as a proven leader through sharing your accomplishments.
     
  • Grabbing the bull by the horns. What’s your position on power? Do you set power-related goals? Are you taking advantage of personal development opportunities in the same way that your male colleagues do? 
     
  • Aligning yourself with successful, upwardly mobile women.  Working with other successful women can help you identify areas where you need to grow and boost your self-confidence.
     

Lastly, one distinct mistake that hinders women’s chances of making it to the top is:  negative thinking about power and advancement. A Harvard study determined, “women and men expected the same level of positive outcomes coming from a job promotion, but that women anticipated stronger negative outcomes than men did.”  Women become apprehensive when seeking a promotion because compared to men, they don’t view power as desirable a quality as men.  They also don’t take as many personal development opportunities, and they see goals that lead to power positions and accomplishments as less important. (Source:  http://qz.com/508196/women-more-than-men-see-the-downsides-of-getting-promoted/)

Embrace the journey to breaking through the glass ceiling, one step at a time. Seek out a mentor, promote your accomplishments, close your leadership gaps, and embrace power.  We look forward to seeing you at the top!

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.  Copyright 2016 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

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

7 Steps to Making Better Decisions, Faster

Want to make decisions 20% faster, with better outcomes?  Harvard Business Review contributor Eric Larson, CEO of Cloverpop outlines 7 steps to save hours of discussion, expedite the decision making process and lead to better results in his article:  A Checklist for Making Faster, Better Decisions

Whether making decisions about your career or your current job situation, Larson outlines a streamlined approach to effective decision making:
 

  1. “Write down five pre-existing company goals or priorities that will be impacted by the decision.”
  2. “Write down at least three, but ideally four or more, realistic alternatives.”
  3. “ Write down the most important information you are missing.”
  4. “Write down the impact your decision will have one year in the future.”
  5. “ Involve a team of at least two but no  more than six stakeholders.”
  6. “Write down what was decided, as well as why and how much the team supports the decision.”
  7. “Schedule a decision follow-up in one to two months.”

Decision making can be unnecessarily complex and time consuming. By following this 7 step process you can avoid biases and create stronger decisions which drive positive outcomes.  

Wishing you much career success!

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

Careers Speaker's Series: Land The Job You Really Want Using Compelling Career Branding Statements & Information Interviews

Date: March 17, 2016

Where: Student Biotech Network (SBN)

Joanne Loberg, Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Practitioner, of JL Careers returns to the Student Biotech Network (SBN) to facilitate this popular, interactive workshop.

Position yourself for success by crafting a compelling Career Branding Statement and tap into Information Interviews to get face time with hiring managers you want to work for. This hands-on session will cover how to make a great first impression when networking and profiling yourself for new career opportunities. 

Tool #1:  CAREER BRANDING STATEMENTS that open the door for networking, industry research and sourcing job leads

Learn how to market yourself through creating a compelling Career Branding Statement and Elevator Pitch.  Your 30-second pitch will clearly and concisely summarize who you are, your education and experience, and careers you are interested in pursuing.  We’ll also go to the Networking Gym where you’ll try out your new Career Branding Statement and get feedback.

Tool #2:  Accessing the Hidden Job Market through tapping into INFORMATION INTERVIEWS

In today’s competitive job market, Information Interviews are a highly effective job search tool which give you: an inside scoop as to what hiring managers are looking for when recruiting talent; uncover key skills and experience in demand; as well as identify your skill gaps and strategies to strengthen your candidacy for future job opportunities. During this session we’ll uncover how to use Information Interviews to explore career options and get your foot in the door of employers you
want to work for.

Joanne is known for presenting highly engaging and resource-rich sessions that provide invaluable insights and new career management tactics and tools.  With over 20 years’ expertise in the career management field, Joanne is highly skilled in helping her clients build rewarding careers.  She has been referred to as “an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement”.  Contact Joanne to discuss your association's or organization's workshop needs.

 

Vancouver Women in Technology (VanWIT) Launch! (8 Mar 2016)

Vancouver Women in Technology (VanWIT) is a new non-profit organization working to support women in entering and thiving within the technology community through networking, mentorship, and education.  

VanWIT is founded and managed by a group of passionate, professional women who are looking to find ways to help other women in the Technology sector within the community of Vancouver.

For more information about their launch event click here.

Wishing you much career success!

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

How to Create a Compelling Cover Letter

You need to stand out in a crowded job market. Along with working your connections, creating a winning resume and preparing for interviews, writing a targeted cover letter can position you as a top notch candidate.

But aren’t cover letters yesterday’s news?

Experts are telling us that cover letters are a must. “Not sending a cover letter is a sign of laziness. It’s akin to making spelling and grammar mistakes in your resume. You just don’t do it,” says Harvard Business Review communications expert Jodi Glickman.

Here’s what you should know about the do’s and don’ts of writing a compelling cover letter:

Do:

  • Use the hiring manager’s name. The personal touch goes a long way and it shows that you’re not sending out a standard cover letter. Search the job posting or find a list of personnel on the website for the appropriate name to use.  You can also call the organization directly to ask for the name of the key hiring authority for the role you are targeting.
     
  • Discuss the job requirements specifically. Be sure to use keywords from the job posting so that your experience aligns with the job’s requirements. If the job calls for project-management skills, speak to that. If it requires specific job experience or skills, include yours. Use the cover letter to help the reader quickly see your most relevant qualifications and pique the hiring manager’s interest in your candidacy.
     
  • Be solution-oriented. According to Harvard Business Review, the candidate shouldn’t “just [show] skills related to the job, [he should …] be the kind of employee who offers up solutions — instead of just laying problems on [the HR] desk.
     
  •  Keep it short. No one will wade through a lengthy letter. Be brief and to the point, outlining what you have to offer and your track record of success within a one-page cover letter.
     
  • Ask for the job. Be direct and be sure the reader knows your intention. Don’t make the mistake of sounding wishy-washy and not interested in the position.
     
  • Take advantage of connections. If you know the hiring manager or someone within the company, reference that information in your cover letter.

Don’t:

  • Write a generic, mass cover letter. Hiring managers will instantly spot the ploy.
     
  •  Bypass research. Find out about the company by looking at their website and scouring LinkedIn profiles. The more you know about the company, the more specific your cover letter can be. Search for problems the company is having or the growth they want to experience, and showcase how you can meet those needs.
     
  • Write a weak opening. It’s the most critical component of the letter - it gets the reader to continue on. This line is like your elevator pitch: Open with your greatest strength that relates to the job’s requirements.
     
  • Undervalue your expertise. Hiring managers will sit up and take notice when a cover letter goes deep, showcasing how you can help the organization solve problems.
     
  • Be devoid of enthusiasm. You can differentiate yourself from the competition by highlighting your energy and adding a little personality. Keep it authentic but professional.

Every step of the job-search process, including writing a compelling cover letter, means you’re one step closer to landing the job. Follow these do’s and don’ts to create a cover letter that “wows” the hiring manager.

Author:  Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional with 20+ years' experience providing leadership and career coaching to executives and professionals.  Contact her today for a complimentary consultation to discuss your situation and devise strategies to land the job of your dreams. Copyright 2016 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

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

Syndicate content

© 2004-2013 JL Careers, Vancouver BC, Canada

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.