Career Transition Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

Career Transition Doesn’t Have to be Scary

By Barb Chapman, copyright 2019

Are you unhappy at work or recently laid off?  Are just finishing school and wondering…what next?  There is a lot to consider when making a career change.  Change can be scary and cause anxiety but it can also be change for the better.  Focussing on the latter will help you move towards a rewarding and fulfilling career.

Perhaps you are at the point where a new career is inevitable, and you need to figure out what to do next.  There are so many tools and resources these days to use in order to help you.  Have you taken a few minutes to Google search your field of study or your career preference?  If you are just finishing school and have a diploma or degree that does not have a clearly defined career attached (ie: nursing) type in the diploma name along with the word “careers”.  What comes up?  There may be several things that you have heard of or thought of that you can do with your education, but you may also be surprised by what other options you may discover.  This is a great step to help further define what you may want to do as a career.

Another great way to prepare yourself for your next career move, once you have better defined what you would like pursue, is discovering your current skills and competencies.  Create yourself a list of the skills you feel you have mastered that would benefit your career choice, but also look to create a list of some of the skills you may need to develop.  This is easy to determine by looking at job postings in your field of choice.  Is there something required that you are missing?  If so, don’t be afraid to further develop those skills either by education, volunteering or other ways.  This will only enhance your resume when applying for that dream job.

Are you the type who struggles with resume writing?  Then this may be a skill you need to develop or find some assistance with.  Check your local resources that may be able to assist you at a minimal cost.  For example, reaching out to a temporary staffing agency may be a great place to go for assistance.  Of course there is always the internet, co-workers, employers, and other avenues to find support.  Again if you are unsure where to look, Google search your area and look for resume writing resources.

Once you have determined what would like to do and have perfected your resume, it is time to look at job postings.  If you see a job that you feel fits your skills and education, make sure to research the company prior to applying for the job.  Is this a good match for you?  Does the culture of the company fit your personality?  Investigate the company website, talk to people who you may know working there and check out their reviews.  If you are feeling confident, then send in that resume but remember it does not stop there.

Now it is time to perfect your online presence.  Have you typed your name into a Google search? What comes up?  Most employers these days will do a search on their applicants, so make sure your online presence is professional and clean.  Take out any posts from your social media that could offend someone and make sure your language is clean and appropriate.  Remember all your social media is public as it is online and can be found.  Make sure to have a professional profile as well on a social media site such as LinkedIn.  This extra bit of effort can go a long way towards achieving your career goals.

Finally, brush up on your interview skills.  You can do this by searching questions in your field and level you are applying for, asking friends or family to quiz you and provide you feedback, or check for local resources to assist you.  Preparation for an interview will help you feel more confident going into that interview room.  Don’t be afraid to bring notes and questions with you as well.  Most potential employers will see this as preparation which shows your initiative which many employers look for when hiring.

As life and career coaches, we are trained to provide full assistance with all of these steps and many more in helping you transition from one avenue to another. We have many tools and resources and can even ask you interview questions and provide feedback. Make sure to reach out to us and start your career transition today.

www.twinlifecoaching.ca

 

 

Coping with Business Travel

Coping with business travel can leave many travellers: frustrated, annoyed, angry or upset.  Does this sound like you?  Many business travellers are also frequent flyers and you know what it can be like with delayed flights, disrespectful workers, angry customers, or just having to plain wait.  So how do you travel in a way where you remain calm and lead by example for those who are not? Continue reading “Coping with Business Travel”

What Did You Say? Active Listening

By Tara Lehman, Copyright 2018

Active Listening is key to any relationship, whether it be between husband and wife, parent and child, boss and employee, co-worker to co-worker or any other relationship or conversation with 2 or more people.  So, what is it and why is it so important?

Active Listening is about being present in the current conversation without judgement but with true interest in what the speaking party is saying.  It is about focusing on the speaker with both your ears and saving your one mouth for the appropriate time to speak or reply.  As the great Epictetus a Philosopher once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk less.”  This is very important so that you can hear and listen to understand the speaker.  While using your mouth to reply when needed but to reply to ensure you understand before making any decisions.  For example, if I say I am going to have the report ready tomorrow, you may hear tomorrow and have a preconceived idea that means at 9am.  I may mean tomorrow before we leave for the day at 4pm.  If we don’t actively listen to understand, we have heard that the report will be ready tomorrow, but we have not fully understood what “tomorrow” actually means.  If you are actively listening, you should not be making an assumption when that will be, nor should you have thoughts about how you will respond running through your mind while they talk (if you do, refocus on what they are saying).  When they are done, use this time to confirm what time we can expect it, so you both fully understand what the speaker is trying to convey.

Active Listening, according to Mindset (Sweden), is about three things: Paying Attention, Showing that You Are Listening, and Providing Feedback.  So how do you do these things?

  • Remember you have two ears and one mouth
  • Don’t let your mind wonder while the speaker is talking. Focus on what they are saying.  If it starts to wonder, refocus.
  • While they are speaking, don’t formulate a response in your mind at the same time. This means you are not listening to what they are saying if you are thinking of a response already.  Your response should be formulated only after they are done talking
  • Do not cut the speaker off as this can be interpreted as you not really being interested in what they have to say
  • Use body language to show you are listening – i.e. nod, smile, look at them directly, don’t fiddle, don’t look at your phone, etc
  • Ensure your posture, whether sitting or standing, is open and inviting – don’t cross your arms across your chest, for example, as this is seen as a closed posture
  • Listen! Use the power of silence
  • Ask questions if you do not fully understand – remember listen to understand and reply to be understood and to clarify or summarize what you heard
  • Respond in a manner and tone you would expect from someone else
  • Look the speaker in the eyes
  • Summarize what they said how you have interpreted it to ensure you are getting their message. In the above example, perhaps ask: You mentioned you can have the report done tomorrow.  Can you tell me what time tomorrow I can expect the report?

Active Listening takes practise and does not necessary come to everyone naturally or easily.  If you are prone to cutting people off, you may need to start with recognizing you are doing this, apologize when you do and re-focus on what they are saying.   If your mind starts to wonder or go through the long list of to do’s you have, while you are talking with someone, simply let the speaker know that you missed part of what they said, apologize, ask them to repeat while you focus and practice your Active Listening.

The next time you are in a conversation remember you have two ears and one mouth and use them appropriately – listen to understand their side or their perspective, then speak so they fully understand yours.  You may not ever agree, but at least you can both appreciate the other’s point of view.

We have also created a YouTube video on Active Listening to complement this article.  You can watch it on our channel at youtube.com/twinlifecoaching.  Be sure to subscribe so you can see new videos when they are posted.