The Forbes Magazine website posted an article October 7th called, 7 Strategies To Cope With The Stress Of Career Uncertainty, which included information about stress triggers around career uncertainty, including tight budgets, inflation woes, debates about remote work, and evolving global issues. They also shared certain helpful strategies and mindsets that can help you manage and cope with this uncertainty.
For example, the fourth strategy says:
"Keep a curious mind. Curiosity and anxiety can’t co-exist. When you make your mind up out of fear before each new experience, you become unteachable and can no longer receive insights. Opening your mind with curiosity empties a made-up mind of expectations, allowing you to receive teachable moments in new career situations. Learning to be okay with “maybe,” also can help you become more comfortable with uncertainty and open you to possibility."
Opening to new possibilities is a vital part of the change process, in career or life, in general. And a sense of adventure, mentioned in another strategic tip, can call in more play and fun, It not only helps people enjoy the change process more, but increases their capacity to think, engage, and receive new insights.
In my experience, career counseling and creative career exploration exercises can specifically help open clients up exciting new ideas and possibilities. If you want to explore and discover new career possibilities, or know anyone who does, feel free to schedule a complimentary career consultation today!
Summertime News from Navigating Transitions Career Counseling: brief Business Update, Summer Referral Recognition Special, and 4 TIPS TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY IN A JOB SEARCH
Here are strategic tips I share regularly with my clients to save time and money in a job search, not to mention stress and exhaustion. Feel free to share and click the link above to read the whole newsletter!
4 TIPS TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY IN A JOB SEARCH
Career & Personal Values: Family Time & Physical/Outdoor Activities Highly Valued in Recent Pew Research Study
According to a recent study, Family Time is far more important that other aspects of life for most Americans, and a clear majority value physical and outdoor activities. My work with clients supports these findings!
A Pew Research Center study, which came out at the end of May 2023 says that, “About three-quarters of U.S. adults (73%) rate spending time with family as one of the most important things to them personally, regardless of how much time they actually devote to it. Nine-in-ten say they view it either as one of the most important things or as very important but not the most important thing.”
This coincides with my experience as a Career Counselor in which family time and work/life balance most often make the list of my clients top five values (which they directly use to help make career decisions). They also share about NOT having this value met at previous jobs and feeling guilty or frustrated at the impact on their families.
Additionally, I help clients create a job search screening tool - including information on what they need or must have in a future job – and work/life balance or aspects related to that are always on the list. These aspects are expressed as: having a “regular” schedule mostly within school day hours, allowing some choice of hours, a flexible schedule allowing for upcoming appointments, ability to work online or hybrid working hours, or a choice to complete work outside of their normal schedule.
Some clients also talk directly about the employer’s values and culture, wanting them to value family and time outside work, and to recognize that their employees are whole people, with a spectrum of life priorities. I coach them on how to research a company or organization’s culture through online sources and interview questions.
On another related topic, the study finds that, “Clear majorities say being physically active (74%), being outdoors and experiencing nature (72%)…are at least very important to them.”
This resonates with what I hear from my clients about health and stress management, or a concern about their level of fitness, which may even be holding them back from advancing in a physical career. If an employer has a wellness program, whether that be yoga classes, a workout room, or a wellness area to rest and recharge, this seems to be a valuable benefit for employees considering working there. This makes sense to me!
I’m curious, how much do you value these aspects of work?
#workinghours #job #career #careertransition #wellness #workculturematters
Revisit: Hiring and Workplace Trends for 2023 from Indeed and Glassdoor - plus Best Companies for Work-Life Balance
What changes can you expect to see in the labor force over the next few years? Indeed Hiring Lab and Glassdoor Economic Research teams partnered to predict these changes and produced a Hiring and Workplace Trends Report, reported on in this Indeed article.
Revisiting #2 in the article's trends list, "Remote Work is Here to Stay," I have mentioned that many more of my clients are seeking hybrid or remote positions than before COVID, and I've heard them say they can't imagine going back to punching a clock and working 40+ hours a week in an office anymore. They appreciate the autonomy, flexibility, and work-life balance that remote or hybrid work allows, including working hours that fit their family schedules and times of highest productivity. As a Career Counselor, I have wondered if the tide of employer expectations was going to turn back to people working primarily onsite. This report says, "No," to that question, at least in the big picture.
*As a side note, most of my clients are well established in their work lives and have strong resumes that increase their demand. Additionally, some jobs clearly don't lend themselves to remote work, so regardless of experience level, they need to be done in-person. Many do not, though.
Read on to learn about other trends expected, not only in 2023, but over the next several years, including one that is music to my ears, "People will expect a sense of happiness and wellbeing from their work." Yes! This is a huge part of the reason I do what I do!
Speaking of work-life balance, a recent article in U.S. News and World Report listed the top 10 companies that "...offer flexible schedules and encourage employees to develop rich and healthy lives outside of the office," including Brunswick, Etsy, and Essex Property Trust. It says work-life policies will be driven much more by employee demand than in the past. In my experience, these new policies will contribute to both greater employee happiness AND retention.
What do you think about these trends or which companies provide work-life balance? I'd love to hear.
#wellbeing #happiness #careercounseling #workplacetrends #worklifebalance
I sometimes work with clients who have had long work histories with one company, and a long period in which they have felt like both the work culture and the job do not fit them. In my experience, this can lead to a sense of imposter syndrome, as well as feeling trapped and disengaged.
Some clients in this situation work with me after they’ve already left the job, but often they want to leave but haven’t yet because of understandable worry about the unknown and finances. I help them work through these challenges, in part through exploring and taking steps towards a meaningful long-term career goal, reducing the unknown. But sometimes, before seeking new work, they need a break to recharge, recalibrate, and reorient to the new direction.
This article from Harvard Business Review talks about this type of break or “sabbatical,” and how it might look different for different people. Most of the clients I described above fit in the sabbatical category of “Quest.” *If you have heard someone talk about needing a break from work, but feeling worried about the unknowns – please refer them to me at https://lnkd.in/gAGfhEwn to set up a complementary career consultation; I would love to help them navigate a change!
Summary content from the article regarding three different types of sabbaticals:
o “Working holidays…People who were pulled into this type of sabbatical did so to work on a passion project (for example, to volunteer for a think tank or found a start-up)..These sabbatical-takers ended up largely returning to their former jobs.”
o “Free dives…People who fell into this category were pulled into their sabbaticals by wanderlust…they reached the point where they 'needed an adventure and a kind of a soul reset…'"
o “Quests…The third group had the most dramatic transformations. Questers weren’t pulled into projects or adventures but pushed out of work by unsustainable expectations and toxic organizational cultures. Exhausted and burned out, the sabbatical was a last resort because continuing on their current path was untenable…unlike with working holidays or free dives, questers rarely went back to their old jobs.”
Harvard Business Review, 2/22/23
#careerchange #jobs #work #careercounseling #career
What do you think about a Four-Day Work Week? Positive results are coming out after a trial kicked off last year in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. See quotes from a Washington Post and Today articles below. I can confirm that many of my clients are resistant to returning to the normal work week, post-COVID. Many are seeking online or hybrid positions and many are looking for alternative schedules, such as on and off periods of work, four 10-hour days, or two or more streams of income, including part-time businesses.
"Kickstarter and more companies are seeing amazing results after they tried out a four-day workweek in 2022.
Last year, a trial kicked off in the U.S, Canada and the U.K...and many companies found that their productivity increased in ways that they could never imagine...The non-profit group 4 Day Week Global reported that out of the 61 companies that participated in the U.K. trial, at least 56 were continuing with the four-day week, with 18 saying the policy is a permanent change.
The organization also found that people were better able to balance their home and family commitments, while company revenue increased by 35% on average in comparison to the same period from last year."
#jobs #work #covid #careercounselling
From the Washington Post:
Michelle, a 49-year-old media executive, said that, "...After working three- and then four-day weeks when she returned from maternity leave in 2015, she noticed a “stark” difference when she shifted back to five-day weeks...
“Suddenly, it felt like my entire life was about work,” she says. She came “close to burnout” and, when her contract at that company ended, she was clear with prospective employers that she wanted to work four days a week. In her current position, she has Fridays off and is paid 80 percent of what she would earn if she worked five days.
“It feels like I can breathe,” she said. “It feels like I’m not constantly behind with my family life and feeling guilty and like squashing all of the jobs and errands and everything into two days.”
This article shares some interesting stories and statistics. I think that many people changed jobs during the pandemic either because they were adapting to big changes or they had the silver lining of more space and opportunity to reflect on their current career satisfaction and long-term goals. Many of my clients came to me for the latter reason.
*Tip: Taking the time for reflection, research, and conscious decision-making can prevent you from seeking job change again in a year or two.
A recent study from the Pew Research Center finds that more than one in five workers say they're likely to look for a new job in the next six months but are concerned about the difficulty. I help my clients navigate these difficult challenges. It's no surprise that one factor motivating this job change, according to this study, is whether there is a sense of job security - which translates to healthy work culture and trust, two key values expressed by my clients. Quote from the article:
"...about one-in-five workers (22%) say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months. And despite reports of widespread job openings, 37% of workers say they think finding a new job would be very or somewhat difficult. Workers who feel they have little or no job security in their current position are among the most likely to say they may look for new employment: 45% say this, compared with only 14% of those who say they have a great deal of security in their job."
The good news is that the majority of folks who previously changed jobs now have a higher salary. Career transition can look different ways, as well, depending on the individual, such as maintaining or developing two or more income streams.
Career change can be positive and energizing! And it's usually best to take some time exploring, researching, and reflecting on the transition before quitting a current job. This interesting result shared from a recent Harris Poll survey (USA Today):
"Most of the millions of Americans who quit jobs during the Great Resignation regret the move, don't like their new position enough to stay or are searching for a new gig...Many workers acted hastily amid a pandemic that fostered severe worker shortages, a seismic shift to remote work and widespread burnout, employment experts say."
As an entrepreneur, I practice these strategies regularly as I reach out to potential clients, and I help my clients leverage them to transition into meaningful jobs they love.
The first key to successfully selling yourself in a job search is maintaining confidence and communicating that confidence when networking or talking with employers. One valuable tool I help my clients develop is positioning statements. What are positioning statements?
A positioning statement is an expression of how a given product, service or brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that its competitors don't. When it comes to personal positioning statements, the idea is the same...What makes you unique? What experiences and accomplishments show your character and what you bring to the table? This article in Forbes, Start Your New Year Right: Develop Your Personal Brand, goes into more detail about how you can begin to develop your own positioning statements. Forbes, Community Voice, 1/26/2018
Another aspect of maintaining and communicating confidence is managing those internal voices of self doubt and self sabotage, which I spoke to in some depth in a previous newsletter.
The second key to successfully selling yourself in a job search is creating a clear and cohesive career narrative throughout your verbal and written job search tools. Your resume, LinkedIn, cover letter, elevator speech, and the way you interview should all convey a story that makes sense and most importantly has a big impact on potential employers. Paint a crystal clear picture for them as to what you have to offer, why you are a great fit for them, and why they should definitely hire you. Don't make them guess! Lead them down the path and make it easy to say yes.
* Hint: Before you can do this, you need to be crystal clear on all these things yourself! as well as on your long-term objective. This is an area of expertise and passion for me; it's fun to support clients in exploring, researching, reflecting, and developing this clear narrative.
A third and final key to successfully selling yourself in a job search is tapping into the hidden job market. Whatever you do, don't simply rely on well-known job boards to find and apply for jobs. You may luck out and find a great job that way, but since 60% of available jobs are never listed on job boards, if you rely only on this method, you are missing out on a vast number of possible jobs!
So how do you access this hidden job market? I'll share a few ways I know are effective:
A last little tip: Use your strengths as an Introvert or Extrovert and don't burn out by going against your nature when transitioning careers or searching for a job!
As I have mentioned in past newsletters, my passion is helping talented professionals who have outgrown their jobs - and may be feeling frustrated and disconnected from their greatest gifts - to recognize and focus these gifts in a rewarding career that feels like play and makes a huge difference in the world.
I have space right now for a few more new clients, If you or someone you know would benefit from experienced career guidance, please let me know right away. I hope the rest of your summer is wonderful and exceeds your expectations.
To Your Success and Happiness!
Kristina Bennett, MA
Navigating Transitions Career Counseling
(805) 540-1942 (please text first)
Kristina Bennett Cheney, MA, Career Counselor, helping mid-career professionals who are burnt out and frustrated in careers that drain their energy, to discover and transition to meaningful careers that fit and energize them.