Job Search – Listen to Your Heart As Well As Your Head and Well-Meaning Friends

Job Search – Listen to Your Heart As Well As Your Head and Well-Meaning Friends

During a very long career I made three career moves that were a mistake.  Now, I was very lucky because I was able to find a way out and each, in turn, led in a new and more fruitful career direction. But it was luck and there is no guarantee that making my mistakes will work out well for you.

So what did I do that was so wrong?  Well I took jobs that I knew in my heart of hearts were not right for me.  I did not listen to my intuition and I ignored what, in my mind, I knew to be wrong.  The common feature of all three incidents was that I was being offered a role that flattered my ego.  Each was not right in some key area, but they were all well paid, high-profile roles that would have increased my promotion opportunities. Friends advised me that I would be foolish to reject each one.

One role meant taking on a senior technical role for a manager with whom I found I had communication difficulties.  I knew I would enjoy neither work, nor the relationship.  The second role was in a small, elite team who were well-known for their combative approach and the third would have meant frequent long hours of travel and life in a suitcase for most of the year.  All of these roles would have been great for someone else.  For them, there would have been enough pluses to balance out the minuses. But not for me!

I took on each one, even though I knew at interview stage why they were not right. I listened to my chums, ignored my feelings and, sometimes, my common sense. I worked hard to convince myself that I could cope.  And, of course, I paid the price.  Now I could do each job well enough; that wasn’t the difficulty.  The problem was that I was very unhappy – the roles were not right for me.  And after a while that unhappiness undermined my morale and performing well became a real challenge.

As I said above, I was lucky and managed to find a face-saving way out of each job.  But it meant my career took some very unusual twists and turns.  For me, all worked out to the good. But I was very, very lucky.  The approach I took is not one I would recommend to anyone else.  It would have been much better to listen to what both my head and my heart were telling me at a much earlier stage.  You can’t plan your career on the basis that one lucky break, let alone three, will come along to save you from the results of a wrong judgment call.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

 

 

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Career Development: Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started SERIES Part 1: Self-Management Skills

Today we have the first post in a two-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article

Image via CrunchBase

Career Development: Corporate Culture 101: What You Need to Get Started SERIES Part 1: Self-Management Skills

After Graduation

As the final strains of Pomp and Circumstance fade away and almost before the ink is dry on a graduate’s new business management degree, the smartest new graduate will seek to become the most appropriate new hire. Having studied business for the requisite amount of time to have earned the degree in business, the following recommendations should not come as a surprise. However, given the excitement of the occasion, it may be reasonable to repeat some of the basics of what should come next.

New graduates will need to update and perfect their LinkedIn profiles so that they have the best opportunity to connect with a job most appropriate to their education, skills and personalities. This is the most tangible of self-management skills that can collectively be considered exercises in self-discipline. Next, new graduates—preferably new employees at this time—need to learn and master the so-called “soft skills. The specifics of soft skills and how to learn, practice and implement them will be addressed in Part 2 of this series.

Crafting Your LinkedIn Profile

With the increasing reliance that corporate recruiters place on LinkedIn profiles, it is imperative that job seekers correctly and honestly identify their skills, abilities and personalities in order to have the best chance of obtaining a position that is the closest fit. Utilizing the correct adjectives can give a recruiter a better sense of a job seeker’s personality, her degree of self-awareness (or lack thereof), and how narrowly she has defined her appropriate field of employment. Keywords are important and can be very helpful for job seekers for the period of time they are accepted by recruiters. Curiously, however, they have a definite shelf life beyond which use of a particular term or keyword is considered an overused buzzword and becomes detrimental to the user.

Terms to Utilize in Your LinkedIn Profile

The ultimate goal of a new graduate’s LinkedIn profile is to garner a position that is appropriate to her skills, education, abilities and personality. This is best accomplished by creating an “engaging, informative, effective LinkedIn profile.” The career office of the graduate’s alma mater and the Internet is full of excellent resources, some providing step-by-step instructions as to how best create a most flattering profile. Job seekers must keep in mind, however, that a misleading but extremely flattering profile might just lead them to jobs that aren’t a match for their personalities and preferences. New graduates are therefore advised to spend some time on the profile sites of accomplished individuals whose successes they would prefer to emulate. Specific words that the new graduate can apply to himself can be culled from the many possibilities.

Terms to Avoid in Your LinkedIn Profile

As noted earlier, some terms become fashionable buzzwords only to later fall out of favor because of their overuse. Currently, these words include:

  • Creative
  • Organizational
  • Effective
  • Motivated
  • Extensive experience
  • Track record
  • Innovative
  • Responsible
  • Analytical
  • Problem solving.

New words to avoid will develop in the future and your LinkedIn profile should periodically be purged of the new unwanted buzzwords.

Self-Management Tools to Soft Skills

Having reviewed one of the more tangible of the self-management skills necessary for adulthood and successful employment, Part 2 of our series will focus on the necessary people and communication skills for successful employment.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac;

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

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Annabel Kaye On The Evils Of Redundancy – The Chrissy B Show (97)

 

 Annabel Kaye On The Evils Of Redundancy – The Chrissy B Show (97)

Why are some redundancies conducted so badly leaving employees feeling low, cheated and sometimes even suicidal? How can things be done better? How can you survive redundancy and come out a winner? Expert advice on the show. You will find some great advice here from my friend and respected employment law expert, Annabel Kaye  of http://irenicon.co.uk/

This show airs live on SKY 203 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9.30pm from a cosy living room studio in the heart of London.

 

Leadership: How To Build Your Project Team – Some Tips

Leadership: How To Build Your Project Team – Some Tips

Are you about to lead a new project team? If you are lucky, you are appointed before the rest of the team are chosen. Now, how are you going to set about choosing the right people for your team and then forming them into a well-functioning group?

Selecting the Team

This is when it pays to invest your time and energy in selecting the right people. You need to have a clear view of the range of skills and abilities you need.  Be very practical.  What matters most is not necessarily having excellence but achieving balance! You need a good mix and balance of skills and experience.  As well as having specialist skills, team members need to be able to get along with each other.  You want a group that communicates well and works together to achieve results

Set Out the Ground Rules and Style of Working

Right from the start, model how you want the team to behave.  From your very first team meeting, show people how you want them to be behave.  Get there on time and make clear that you expect other people to do the same thing.  Make sure people understand what the team is there to do and what you expect.  Be clear – this is not the time for ambiguity.  Where you can, be ready to include all team members in decision-making.  But make sure people are understand that you are accountable for the decisions made. And make sure people are clear about their own and other people’s roles and who has responsibility for what.  If some things are not settled yet, explain how and when decisions will be made and how people will find out about them.

Have Clear Goals

It is important that the team as a whole has clear and achievable goals and that these are set out for individuals in the team.  Goals need to both attainable and unambiguous. Those set for one person should not be duplicated in the goals set for someone else, nor should they be in conflict. If the achievement of goals depends on out-side factors, people need to understand what they personally will be accountable for. If you want to lift morale, give some thought to goals that, while challenging, can be delivered fairly quickly, so that people can start out with a feeling of success.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is likely to be the most important factor in team success or failure. Your team and stakeholders (others with an interest) need to know what is happening.  Have a strategy for communicating from the beginning – think through who needs to know what and when.  Then set up how you will communicate and how often. Make sure everyone is clear how they will get information.

I hope you find these tips useful.  Teams are great places to work when they are set up properly and time invested at the beginning is never wasted.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Stress and the HR Professional
  • Leadership and the keys to keeping your people engaged
  • Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favorites!

 

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The Wolf Project: A New Novel From Wendy Mason

The Wolf Project

A new Novel From Wendy Mason

The Wolf Project Front Cover

“Liz Morris had been a successful TV writer. Then her marriage broke up and she lost both her money and her confidence. Now, she has been asked by the formidable Annabel Meadows to help her husband, retiring American General, George “Jet” Meadows, write his autobiography. Liz doesn’t want the work but she does need the money. What she doesn’t know is that this project and meeting General Meadows will change her life forever.”

Coming shortly – regular updates will be on The Wolf Project page

Wendy Mason is a Career and Life Coach and Writer and she is passionate about helping people find happiness at work and at home! She lives in London, England with partner, Owen. As a coach, Wendy helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life. This is her first novel.

 

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Career Development: Working For A Charity

Career Development: Working For A Charity

The voluntary sector in the UK is complex and dynamic, ever changing to meet the needs of society and growing at a significant rate as an employer and provider of services.  It’s an exciting and demanding environment and the individuals who work within it, whether paid and unpaid, know that they can have a real impact on the world and the lives of the people their organizations exist to help.

As well as the term “voluntary sector”, you will also hear the terms not-for-profit, voluntary and community sector, third sector, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and charities. Sometimes these terms refer to the same group of organizations and initiatives and sometimes they don’t. In addition there are an increasing number of organizations defining themselves as social enterprises and the wider context of civil society organizations broadens the definition even more.

Working For A Charity is a program run in the UK by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). For the purposes of this program,  NCVO Working For A Charity uses the narrower definition of  the voluntary sector which includes the well known national charities such as NSPCC and Shelter and the vast numbers of local charities serving their local communities.

General charities are defined by key criteria which are that they

  1. formally structure their people and activities;
  2. are independent of government and business;
  3. are non profit-distributing;
  4. are truly self governing;
  5. have a meaningful degree of voluntary activity or funding;
  6. support the growth of a ‘civil society’ by providing a wider public benefit that goes beyond any membership.

The Working For A Charity program exists to promote the voluntary sector as a positive career option for those seeking paid employment and to promote the opportunities and benefits of becoming a volunteer to people who wish to do unpaid work.

For anyone interested in finding out more about managing voluntary and community organizations they provide information and training to improve understanding of the issues involved.

Working For A Charity aims to increase understanding of the voluntary sector and to encourage new people, with their resources and skills, to join and strengthen the sector. Through training,information and work experience they serve as a bridge for those wishing to transfer their skills to the voluntary sector.

You can find out more at this link; http://www.workingforacharity.org.uk/

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Leadership:To Lead, Create a Shared Vision!

What do followers want? A leader with a compelling vision of the future – which is not usually that leader’s personal view. New research shows that followers respond to a leader who can articulate a vision.  I hope you enjoy this post from Harvard Business Review.

To Lead, Create a Shared Vision

Being forward-looking—envisioning exciting possibilities and enlisting others in a shared view of the future—is the attribute that most distinguishes leaders from nonleaders. We know this because we asked followers.

In an ongoing project surveying tens of thousands of working people around the world, we asked, “What do you look for and admire in a leader (defined as someone whose direction you would willingly follow)?” Then we asked, “What do you look for and admire in a colleague (defined as someone you’d like to have on your team)?” The number one requirement of a leader—honesty—was also the top-ranking attribute of a good colleague. But the second-highest requirement of a leader, that he or she be forward-looking, applied only to the leader role. Just 27% of respondents selected it as something they want in a colleague, whereas 72% wanted it in a leader. (Among respondents holding more-senior roles in organizations, the percentage was even greater, at 88%.) No other quality showed such a dramatic difference between leader and colleague.

This points to a huge challenge for the rising executive: The trait that most separates the leaders from individual contributors is something that they haven’t had to demonstrate in prior, nonleadership roles. Perhaps that’s why so few leaders seem to have made a habit of looking ahead; researchers who study executives’ work activities estimate that only 3% of the typical business leader’s time is spent envisioning and enlisting. The challenge, as we know, only escalates with managerial level: Leaders on the front line must anticipate merely what comes after current projects wrap up. People at the next level of leadership should be looking several years into the future. And those in the C-suite must focus on a horizon some 10 years distant.

So how do new leaders develop this forward-looking capacity?

You can read the rest of this post at this link

 

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Friday Quotes – Change – Moving On

"Choose to soar. Choose to fly your dream...
“Choose to soar. Choose to fly your dreams.” (Photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~)

 

 

 

 

Friday Quotes – Change – Moving On

 

  1. “Do not worry if you feel low; the sun has a sinking spell every night, but rises again all right the next morning.” — Author Unknown
  2. “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” — Charles Kettering
  3. “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” — Cherokee Indian Proverb
  4.  “I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” –  J. B. Priestley
  5. “Let every day be the first day of the rest of your life, but especially let today be a new beginning.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie
  6. “The darkest night is often the bridge to the brightest tomorrow.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie
  7. “Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all.” — Og Mandino
  8.  “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  9.  “All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” — Havelock Ellis
  10. “Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.” — Author Unknown
  11. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” — Lao Tzu
  12. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.” — Reinhold Niebuhr

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

 

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Managing People – Dealing With Difficult Employees

Managing People – Dealing With Difficult Employees

Most people you manage will be good and willing employees.  They are anxious to learn, to do their best and to get on well with their colleagues. But every manager finds themselves dealing with someone who is little difficult, at some point in their career.  For one reason or another, and it is good to find out why, this particular person is a problem.

There are ways to handle problem employees that reduce stress and minimize their taxing effect.  If you follow this plan, you should be able to deal with them quickly and contain the collateral damage they tend to create.

What you need to do is flip!

  • Flip the focus!
  • Flip the strategy.

Stop trying to change people and start trying to create an opportunity for them to change themselves, if they decide it is in their best interests to do so. This way business continues as usual while the problem employee makes a choice as to whether he or she wants to jump on board – or jump off.

This approach is clean and easy without lots of hassle. You don’t waste the time you need to invest in the rest of the business to produce a positive return.  The new approach can help you generate a healthy, low-maintenance, low-drama environment, which is better for everyone.

Here is the five step plan;

Step 1 Paint a picture that illustrates exactly what you expect and make sure the person understands that picture.

Step 2 Set-out clearly what is acceptable and what is not.  Use terms that are specific about the kinds of behavior that will not be tolerated.

Step 3 Explain what will happen when, and if, there is a recurrence of the bad behavior (talk to your HR department if you are unclear about the formal disciplinary procedure in your work place).

Step 4 Step back and give the individual a real opportunity to behave differently.

Step 5 Follow-up and follow through.  If the person responds well, then reward with praise.  If not, then follow-up exactly as you described in Step 3. If you don’t, you send a mixed message and the situation may become worse than before.

Always give the person an opportunity to explain why they have behaved badly – listen carefully to what they say. If there are extenuating circumstances, take them into account. Be firm but be fair and treat all your employees, including this one, with respect.

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 3 — Soft Skills & Leadership

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 3 — Soft Skills & Leadership

Today we have the third post in a three-part series from our regular contributor, Lindsey Harper Mac. Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. You can find links to some of her earlier posts at the end of the article and you can find the first post in this series at http://wisewolftalking.com/2012/12/31/leadership-in-the-medical-field-series-part-1-what-it-is-why-its-critical/, the second post is at http://wisewolftalking.com/2013/01/07/leadership-in-the-medical-field-series-part-2-how-is-it-demonstrated/

In Part I of this three-article series, we introduced the concept of leadership in the medical field and explained how critically important the ability is for healthcare providers to demonstrate. The strong and unmistakable correlation between effective leadership in the medical field and the subsequent quality of patient care and satisfactory outcomes was established. That aspect of quality leadership’s immediate impact on patient care was used to justify educating all levels of healthcare personnel, from students in a medical assistant program to those in their first year of their internship. The diagrammatic tool developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation & Improvement and the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (ARMC) was introduced as a tool to help professionals self-evaluate their leadership skills and identify any areas of weakness that might require attention. This visual tool, deemed The Medical Leadership Competency Framework, was described in brief detail. Now, in Part 2 of this series, we’ll turn our attention to a single wedge of the pie, “Demonstrating Personal Qualities” necessary to be an effective and capable medical leader.

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series of articles, we’ve defined the concept of leadership in the medical field and why it is particularly important as it directly impacts quality of patient care. Because leadership has such a pronounced and direct correlation with patient care and shared leadership is even more beneficial than regular good leadership, this skill is one that needs to be taught at all levels of health care, from the students of a medical assistant program to postdoctoral attending neurosurgeons. We reviewed the the NHS and the AMRC’s Medical Leadership Competency Framework notated diagram, developed to help health care workers self-assess their leadership abilities when divided into five categories:

· Demonstrating personal qualities.

· Working with others.

· Managing services.

· Improving services.

· Setting direction.

In Part 2 of this series we reviewed the components of the leadership aspect “Demonstrating Personal Qualities” which included:

· Developing self-awareness.

· Managing yourself effectively.

· Continuing personal development.

· Acting with integrity.

Social Qualities for Medical Leadership

Part 3 and the final article of this series will review some of the social qualities necessary for medical leadership. Although sometimes referred to as “soft skills,” they are far from easy to acquire and practice with finesse. Yet they are integral to providing quality health care to a population that rises daily with unfilled openings for their providers. These social skills are virtually identical to those identified by Dr. Len Sperry’s work, “Becoming An Effective Health Care Manager: The Essential Skills of Leadership,” so we can assume that the social leadership skills necessary in Great Britain and the United States—despite the different medical systems each offers—are approximate.

 4 Aspects of Medical Leadership in Social Qualities

According to the NHS and ARMC’sMedical Leadership Competency Framework tool, there are four fundamental social quality aspects necessary for healthcare workers to demonstrate in order to be considered effective leaders. These aspects are:

· Developing Networks

As the Competency Framework wisely points out, developing networks means more than just meeting more of the same type of people. Rather, real networks break out of established habits to facilitate collaboration across an entire team of caretakers, regardless of the initials after their names.

· Building and Maintaining Networks

This action speaks more to treating one’s colleagues and team members with respect than it does slapping backs and shaking hands. Real network maintenance requires respect and communication.

· Encouraging Contribution

By demonstrating the respect suggested above, communication and contribution from all team members is facilitated.

· Working Within Teams

Far too many individuals misunderstand “teamwork” and “leadership” as the leader directing the team’s tasks. The real challenge of effective socially grounded leadership is the ability to work within a team as you encourage contribution and communication.

Conclusions Regarding Personal Characteristics of Leadership

As concluded time and again through repeated research, shared leadership provides the highest quality of health care. Our American health care system faces enormous changes over the next decade. A tidal wave of demographic change is already upon us, as the Baby Boomers grow older with better health care and medications. The nursing shortage remains, however, a tremendous issue as health care facilities rush to train paraprofessionals to help supplement nursing care.

Further, the Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010 by President Obama is designed to do nothing less than overhaul the entire health system with major changes to take place each year, over a decade’s time. The National Center for Health Care Leaderships emphasizes that the current health care providers who want to survive the upcoming changes secondary to the ACA must plan now for that change with effective leadership.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

Also by Lindsey Harper Mac

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 2—How Is It Demonstrated?

 

Leadership in the Medical Field: Series Part 1—What It Is & Why It’s Critical

Career Development Part 1 – Why Get An Advanced Degree? The Answer is Obvious

Career Development Part 2: Want a Promotion? Focus on Factors Within your Control

Career Development Part 3: Performance Reviews: Painful or Helpful?

Entrepreneurs Growing Forward

Why “be the best” when you could be the one making the rules? | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.

The Makings of a Great Leader | WiseWolf Talking – the WiseWolf Coaching Blog.