CAREEREALISM http://www.careerealism.com Career Advice & Job Search Magazine Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:03:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 This is weekly program whether career expert J.T. O'Donnell reviews skills and techniques needed to succeed in your career. She also answers question live from our views. Tune in Tuesdays at 1pm ET on www.careerealism.com to join our weekly Career Q&A! CAREEREALISM clean CAREEREALISM info@careerealism.com info@careerealism.com (CAREEREALISM) Career Q&A with J.T. O'Donnell CAREEREALISM http://www.careerealism.com/home/jtodonnell/careerealism.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/CTV_Podcast_Image-01.png http://www.careerealism.com 5 Things To Consider Before Quitting Your Job http://www.careerealism.com/quitting-you-job-consider/ http://www.careerealism.com/quitting-you-job-consider/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:46:14 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40159 Are you thinking about quitting your job? Before you make any rash decisions, you need to ask yourself a few very important questions.

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Thinking about quitting your job? Before you make any rash decisions, you need to ask yourself a few very important questions.

Related: 6 Warning Signs That You’re In The Wrong Job

Here are five things you should consider before quitting your job:

1. Have you served in that job for two years?

What the heck is the two-year rule, and why does it matter? Well, typically, it takes a few months to train and get comfortable in a position. However, most people aren’t just automatically great at their jobs. They need to take some time to hone their new skills and really provide value to the company before they can market those new skills toward another job.

2. Do you have the right experience?

Have you built up enough experience so you can effectively market yourself for another role? You may need to stay a little longer so you can build that credibility and really hone those skills. That way, you’ll have a better shot of getting that job you really want.

3. Are you overworked?

Are you feeling like things are getting a little out of control? Are you just burned out? If that’s the case, you want to try to “reclaim” the job, as J.T. O’Donnell, founder and CEO of CAREEREALISM.com says. Look for assistance, tools, and resources so you can take more control over your job and tasks.

4. Have you tried to energize the role, or take it to the next level?

“Sometimes, we get bored,” says O’Donnell. “We know the job like the back of our hand, it’s easy, and we’re looking for more of a challenge. So, you should be stepping up to the plate and ASKING for those responsibilities.”

Instead of quitting, it might be a good time to leverage the skills you’ve learned.

5. Is there something else going on?

Are you blaming work when it’s really something going on in other areas of your life? Things like relationship issues or other challenges can cause extra stress. If you’re blaming your job for that extra stress, quitting is probably not your best option because that stress is just going to carry over to the next job. It’s better to resolve the issues that are happening outside of work before you leave your job.

BONUS TIP: Be careful.

“If you choose to quit a job, don’t do it without having another job lined up first,” says O’Donnell.

According to O’Donnell, the average job search takes about nine months. NINE! That’s a long time to be without work.

Think it through and make smart choices. If it’s time to quit, you know what to do!

Related Posts

5 Strategies To Cope When Quitting Really Isn’t An Option
5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Quitting
6 Things To Do Before Leaving Your Job

 

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Networking Tips For Introverts: Get The Ball Rolling! http://www.careerealism.com/networking-tips-introverts/ http://www.careerealism.com/networking-tips-introverts/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:36:40 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40153 Introverts are known for avoiding unnecessary interactions. This can make networking hard. Here are some great networking tips for introverts.

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Are you an introvert who is considering career networking (by choice or by force)?

Related: Building Your Network: 5 Tips For Shy Networkers

Introverts are stereotypically defined by their aversion for unnecessary interactions. And some people (not necessarily introverts) think that this hinders in their career path.

Networking Tips For Introverts: Get The Ball Rolling!

Here are some tips to grow your professional network despite your so-called weakness:

Tip 1: Don’t listen to anything with the negative vibe.

Avoid anything that smells negative and feels discouraging to you. Stay away from those who try to feed you with thoughts that reinforce several myths related to introverts. This would stop you from learning necessary networking skills that are needed by a career-person.

Tip 2: Prepare everything that you can get your hands on.

If you are going in events like job fairs, seminars, and conferences related to your profession, do your homework. You can take a look at the kind of companies that are coming, people who are going to give presentations, topics that would be discussed, and so on (this gives you a peg to hang on during your conversations).

Tip 3: Practice beforehand.

You can ask your friend to come over and talk about the event in which you are going to participate. You can try finding some conversation starters. Personal experiences of learning, success, experiments, and so on can be great. Stories always draw attention and strike chord a with the others. You can connect with the people through the stories worth telling.

Tip 4: Employ your listening skills.

People with huge experience always have an audience (and they love to have more). If you are a good listener, you can use this skill to your advantage. Your aim should be to be genuinely interested in a profession and the experience of the seniors in the field. Then, there is nothing stopping you from being a part of a meaningful conversation that can be revived and continued with these people in other events as well (which is what networking is all about).

Work on your networking basics. Everything else would follow!

This is a guest post.

Related Posts

How Introverts Can Succeed Quietly
13 Interview Secrets For Introverts
7 Signs You’re Viewed As An Introvert At Work

 

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How To Deal With Difficult Employees http://www.careerealism.com/difficult-employees-deal/ http://www.careerealism.com/difficult-employees-deal/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:58:18 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40151 As a manager, you are in charge of employees. If you have a difficult employee, things can get tricky. Here are some ways to deal with difficult employees.

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Walking past the difficult people in the grocery store or your neighborhood may not make much difference to you. However, if you have a difficult employee in your office, then you are definitely going to have some trouble on your hands.

Watch: How To Deal With Difficult People In The Workplace

You, being the higher authority, have command over all the subordinates. You are actually responsible for every person working under you – good or bad, it is your duty to manage them. Therefore, it is essential for you to have a tight leash on each and every subordinate under you, no matter how troublesome he or she may be.

How To Deal With Difficult Employees

Here are some ways to deal with difficult employees:

Face The Problem Instead Of Ignoring It

As irritating as it may sound, you need to address the problem with the employee as soon as you hear about it. Ignoring the problem is only going to worsen the situation. It may also disturb the working environment of the office. Solve the problem before it gives a bad impression of your company in front of clients.

Research Personally Rather Than Believing The Rumors

Every working place has its own rumor factory! There is at least one employee in the office that may participate in spreading the rumors about a certain someone. If you also get to hear disturbing news linked to the difficult employee, do not just believe it. Start researching and find out what the real matter is before you talk to that employee. Gather true facts and figures, and only then discuss the problem with him or her.

Handle The Problem In A Professional Manner

Do not forget that you have several other employees who look up to you. It is important not to create a scene in front of the entire office. Discussing the issues in the presence of others may make the employee either too ashamed or too angry. Act professionally, and try to address the problem in a private place. Sit down with the employee and see what he has to say about it, rather than insulting him in front of others.

Avoid Taking The Issue Personally

Addressing the employee with sentences like ‘you did this’ or ‘you are wrong’ is not right. It may irritate him and make him feel that you are targeting him. Keep in mind that your aim is to calmly talk things out and not to ridicule the employee or his actions. While there are people who just do not get the point no matter how much you make them understand, there are still others who may change their behavior if you talk in a polite manner.

Put Yourself In His Shoes

Almost every person is fighting a battle in his/her life with one thing or another. Do not just directly jump to conclusion about the employee’s behavior. Instead, try to be on the same level as your employee and look at things from his perspective. Maybe there is something that is troubling him due to which he’s acting that way. Help out the employee by staying within your professional limits. Do not forget that you’ve also seen days like that before.

Coach The Troublesome Employee To Get Him Back On Track

Most of the time, the difficult employees know what people think about them. If you think that the employee has the potential to continue working in the office but needs a little improvement, help him as a mentor to improve his skills. You or anyone from the HR department can help the employee to learn more about the more appropriate and suitable behavior in the workplace. Give positive feedback if you feel that the employee is trying hard to change his behavior.

Termination Can be The Last Resort

If all your efforts fail, you know you have termination as the last option. Workplace is not the place to show continuous tolerance to inappropriate behavior. Even after several warnings and coaching sessions, if the employee shows no sign of improvement, you can ask him to resign or just fire him. You have a company protocol to follow and, if the difficult employee is not addressing his questionable behavior, then you have all the reasons to go ahead with this option.

This is a guest post.

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5 Ways To Attract (And Keep!) The Best Employees
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14 Things That Impact The Quality Of Your Personal Brand http://www.careerealism.com/14-things-that-impact-the-quality-of-your-personal-brand/ http://www.careerealism.com/14-things-that-impact-the-quality-of-your-personal-brand/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:30:19 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=7563 Every little thing you do, say, and wear say something about your brand. Here are 14 things that impact the quality of your personal brand:

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Quality and personal excellence are two key elements of your personal brand. The degree to which you fully embrace the importance of these elements is communicated to others on a continuous basis and is incorporated into others’ vision of who you are (i.e. the personal brand that you broadcast).

Related: How To Be The Brand Manager Of YOU

Those who are fully aware of this fact can definitely undertake action to broadcast a personal brand that elevates their professionalism through conscious focus on quality and personal excellence.

Here are 14 things that impact the quality of your personal brand:

  • Every e-mail message you send to someone else.
  • Every voicemail message you leave for someone.
  • The voicemail message others hear when they try to reach you.
  • Your e-mail “signature.”
  • Any and all social media profiles you have on networking sites online: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.
  • Every written deliverable you submit to anyone else – report, analysis, memo, white paper, article, newsletter, letter, brochure.
  • Any presentation you make in front of anyone else.
  • Every business card you hand out to someone else.
  • The manner in which you greet a stranger or anyone else you meet for the first time.
  • The manner in which you present yourself physically – your style of dress and grooming.
  • Every conversation you have with another person.
  • The quality of the people you “hang around with.”
  • The role you play in community and professional organizations.
  • The degree of kindness and compassion you communicate to others in every interaction you have.

Each of the above activities represent an opportunity to communicate a high level of quality and personal excellence. Missing the beat on any one of these activities represents a chink in your chain of successfully offering a consistent message of your commitment to quality and personal excellence.

Take an inventory of how well you are broadcasting your personal brand elements of quality, excellence, and professionalism through all of the above activities. Commit today to a personal program of continuous improvement.

In today’s market, there is no question the personal brand elements of quality and personal excellence are more important than ever. The value you add to your employer, your clients, your professional network, and your personal network will be significantly enhanced through relentless attention to these elements.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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5 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Friends At Work http://www.careerealism.com/friends-work/ http://www.careerealism.com/friends-work/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:30:17 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=19481 What do you do when you don't have friends at work? It can make it a lonely place. Here are five reasons people end up friendless at their job.

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As humans, we need some form of social interactions (some of us more than others). However, we all do need and thrive on the simple act of connecting to people.

Related: 5 Ways To Build Relationships With Colleagues

For the majority of us, our social fabric is created through work. We see these people every day. We have work in common. We get to know them in ways the spouse and significant others simply don’t. When we leave these people due to job change, it can be painful.

Yet, despite all this social goodness that work can bring, what happens when it doesn’t happen to you? What do you do when you don’t have friends at work? No one to save you space at a meeting or light up when you enter a room. It happens, and when it does, there’s no lonelier place to be. It can be so impactful that it can cause a person to look for another job.

5 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Friends At Work

Here are situations you may be facing and what you can do about them:

1. You’re New

You may think you’re past due for connecting to people in a deeper way at work. Sometimes, the dynamic is such that it simply takes a while and ongoing persistence to break through.

2. You Got Off On The Wrong Foot

It doesn’t matter if you were misinterpreted. Somehow, you did something right off the bat that got you sideways with many of your peers. If you did do something wrong, make amends and don’t do it again. Being a big person takes courage, but you will win friends. If there is nothing to make amends for, stay friendly and ignore the undertow. It will eventually fade.

3. The Cliques Are Too Strong To Penetrate

Just like high school, there are work situations where you are the outsider and will stay that way for an indefinite period of time. Most likely, these people have worked together for a while and the bond is tight. They probably don’t realize how unfriendly they may seem.

You need to be friendly and make efforts to get to know each person at an individual level. It may take some big work event, like a year-end close, to be the final catalyst that forms the bond. There’s nothing like being in the trenches with people to nail the trust and support.

4. You’re Not A Cultural Fit

That feels like a hard message, but it truly is not personal. We all have values and work styles we wear like a suit. They are out there for everyone to see and experience.

Many times, when we aren’t a cultural fit, we are out of step with the people we work with. This makes it hard to really form friendships. If you aren’t a cultural fit, you need to admit it and move on. It not only won’t help form friendships, but it won’t help your career either.

5. You’re An Introvert Who’s Turning More Inward

For introverts it can be tough to push yourself toward people you don’t know. When an introvert is surrounded by ‘strangers,’ it’s easy to retreat even further. You could appear kind of wonky and unapproachable, making it difficult for co-workers to approach you. You’ve set up your own lonely situation and only you can make your way out.

To make is less overwhelming, simply focus on one or two people with whom you feel some form of affinity, and focus on getting to know them. It will help you overall and will become a catalyst to forming more relationships.

Work relationships can make or break a job. They can nourish you and help you excel in your career, if they are healthy work relationships. When those bonds are not forming it can make you feel very lonely, but there are things you can do to improve the situation. You need patience and a friendly smile.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Franchise Discovery Day: To Clinch A Deal? http://www.careerealism.com/franchise-discovery-day-clinch-deal/ http://www.careerealism.com/franchise-discovery-day-clinch-deal/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:55:33 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40138 On Franchise Discovery Day, you must have highly educated questions that will enable you to learn if this is really what you want. We'll help you prepare.

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Discovery Day presents a make-or-break moment for many would-be franchisees.

Related: Franchise Discovery Day: A Franchiser’s POV

For Megan Yu, a visit to the franchise parent company of Signarama, United Franchise Group, in West Palm Beach, Fla., helped seal her decision. Of course, by this time, she and her partner, Andy Yu, her father, had already spent almost six months researching businesses they might open in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Casting a wide net at first, they looked at all options, including purchasing an independent business. They chose a franchise because they liked all the support and training offered as part of the deal.

“For me it was the one-on-one interactions with the owners that was huge,” Megan said. Meeting other franchisees who shared their own experiences and offered a ready support network raised Megan’s comfort level with this new business.

During a carefully choreographed Discovery Day, Megan was greeted by her “host” at her hotel and taken to company headquarters, where she met with current franchisees, technology, and financial support staff.  She toured a “brand new, state-of-the-art training facility,” all of which convinced Megan this was the business for her.

Franchise Discovery Day will either reel you in with a display of stellar services and support staff or you’ll discover something about the franchisor that sends you to the exit with a feeling of doubt.

For example, you may find the CEO has recently changed and you’re not sure about the transition. Or perhaps, you’ll discover you don’t like the support staff.

For Megan and Andy, the advantage of a franchise, with all the systems in place to help them through the start-up phase, eventually won out over other options. Megan, 29, who had been working as a manager of a retail store, gave her month’s notice soon after the Franchise Discovery Day.

“It boils down to having a world-recognized name and, of course, corporate support,” said Andy Yu, 56, a retired engineer. “We don’t want to get into all these miscellaneous details that will consume all our time and effort.”

So, instead of figuring out how to negotiate the best lease agreement, select office furnishings, stationery, and myriad other necessities of their new operation, Yu said, they could spend their time on activities, like sales and marketing, that have more direct impact on the bottom line. They hope to open their new sign-making business by late September.

So, how do you prepare? Said Yu: “Do your homework.”

Before you even arrive for Franchise Discovery Day, you should:

Do A Comparison Study

Look at a multitude of business types that might suit your experience, interests, and lifestyle.

Read The Franchise Disclosure Document

Federal law requires franchise companies to disclose much useful data, from a list of all their franchises to detailed financial information. Read through this carefully.

Research The Market

You should be confident this business type will work in your location.

Talk To Franchisees

Interview as many as possible to hear about the franchise company’s support systems and how helpful these are.

Then, when you get to Franchise Discovery Day, you’re armed with highly educated questions that will enable you to learn if this really is the team you want behind your new business.

Related Posts

Think You’re Ready For A Franchise Discovery Day? Not So Fast
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Dan Citrenbaum | Expert In Franchise Selection, Due Diligence, Operations, & Training

About the author

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true? Get your free evaluation today! Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a business coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-5489.

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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Favorite Job Interview Questions May Not Be The Best – Part 3 http://www.careerealism.com/favorite-job-interview-questions-part-3/ http://www.careerealism.com/favorite-job-interview-questions-part-3/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:16:14 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40156 You’ll be asked bad job interview questions. But you don’t have to give bad answers. Here are some suggestions for the "favorite" interview questions.

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In the first two parts of this series (Part 1 and Part 2), I analyzed the questions from a LinkedIn article on the “Favorite Job Interview Questions” from 13 CEO’s. I used a simple scoring scale, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, and the “total score” was -3. There’s a very simple premise. You’ll be asked bad questions. But you don’t have to give bad answers. Here are some specific suggestions on how the first six of the 13 questions, both the good and the bad, can be answered. The final part of this series will address the last seven questions.

Related: #1 Interview Question You Must Answer Correctly

While one answer format won’t apply to all these questions, there is a strong example that will apply to many. It’s been labeled differently by several experts, the two-minute S-A-F-W response, Say a Few Words. A version I like is C-A-R Mini Stories, Challenge, Action, Result. I recommend having multiple C-A-R Mini stories prepared for each position in your work history and for your education. The focus of this preparation is on your “significant accomplishments.” Let’s take another look at the first six of the 13 questions – with possible answers.

1. Why have you had X number of jobs in Y years?

This question doesn’t let you easily use the “significant accomplishment” response because it’s basically an open invitation to review your entire work history. It’s unlikely your interviewer will allow you to do that.

Honesty first, so prepare a summary that answers this. It would be great if you’re answer was “In each case, I was offered an opportunity to accept a more challenging position with greater responsibility, for example, in my current position…”

Or, “there were different reasons. Overall I was accepting positions that offered greater responsibility, but in one case the company was acquired….” You get the idea – it’s called preparation. But it’s also a clear case where you should keep it short.

2. If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great twelve months it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?

This is a good question IF the expectations of the role have been made clear. Then, your response is, “I see us as exceeding the objective (e.g. increasing sales) because in my current position, I worked with the team to (insert specific accomplishment from recent position).

If you haven’t been given a clear expectation of what the expectation, you can ask, or you might respond with, “I see myself clearly performing the basic functions of a (position) and working closely with the team to exceed the specific objectives you set for me.”

3. When have you been most satisfied in your life?

In my current position, I have been most satisfied when I’ve been able to use my strengths to help the organization accomplish (insert organizational objective). An example of this is how I (insert specific accomplishment from recent position). It’s preparation and practice – in this case, it will also be very advantageous to really know your strengths.

4. If you got hired, loved everything about this job, and are paid the salary you asked for, what kind of offer from another company would you consider?

Exactly like I’m hoping to consider in an offer from you, I would consider a position that offered a challenge, increased responsibility with appropriate compensation and benefits in an organization I would seeing loving as much as this one.

5. Who is your role model and why?

Over the years, I’ve had multiple role models. In my position with…, my manager was clearly a role model because of how clearly he set expectations and provided recognition for the work we did. On a personal level, I’d have to include my parents (if true and you can expand on this if asked) and I’ve read a lot about…

6. What things do you not like to do?

There have been parts of almost every job I’ve had that didn’t focus on my strengths. For example, in my current position, I feel weakened when I’m burdened by preparing reports that seem to be ignored. However, I’ve discovered how to deal with this by working more closely with a colleague who loves preparing reports (or discovering a way to automate parts of the work).

Weaknesses cannot be ignored – don’t ever respond with cliché responses like “sometimes I work too hard.” The key to discussing weaknesses in an interview is to admit one in a situation where you either took positive action to overcome it or learned something from it.

See more on “Bad Interview Questions” at www.212-careers.com

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Jim Schreier

About the author

Jim Schreier is a management consultant with a focus on management, leadership, including performance-based hiring and interviewing skills. Visit his website at www.farcliffs.com.

 

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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Welcome To Your New Midlife Crisis http://www.careerealism.com/new-midlife-crisis/ http://www.careerealism.com/new-midlife-crisis/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:09:02 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=40141 The classic midlife crisis was always associated with the sports car and the inappropriate girlfriend, but not anymore. Welcome to the NEW midlife crisis.

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The classic midlife crisis was always associated with success: the sports car, the fancy clothes, the inappropriate girlfriend, but not anymore. That’s so Mad Men. Today’s midlife crisis involves getting laid off at age 46 and having your well-meaning friends suggest that you get a pink Lyft moustache for your aging, still-not-paid-off car as a way to earn gas money.

Related: Career Transition For Middle-Aged Professionals

Why does the Don Draper midlife crisis seem so ironic and dated? It appears laughable today because American midlife and mid-career have changed so radically in the last few years that it’s darkly amusing to think of what might have been for us. I’m not endorsing inappropriate behavior. I’m just pointing out that, until perhaps ten years ago, the achievable ideal of midlife and mid-career for most educated Americans was one of privilege, success, and affluence. If you wanted it and worked hard for it, you got it.  You got the job, the salary, the benefits, the long-term employment commitment, all of the goodies. Not today. Not by a long shot.

What happened? How did the mid-career success that looked so attainable when we were in our 20s become such an illusory mirage, a mean-spirited joke that is hammering our generation into a place of fear and stress? A lot has happened, it turns out, much of which probably could not have been avoided or predicted. But, it happened nonetheless. The Cold War ended. The rise of China happened. The Internet happened. The tech wreck of 2002 happened. The financial crisis of 2008 happened.  The breakdown in corporate governance happened.

If I had told you, in 1989, that over the next 25 years, China would overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy, the USSR would disintegrate – causing a big reduction in the well-paying defense industry, that new technologies would enable real time white and blue collar collaboration anywhere in the world – enabling a vast shrinkage of the American employment base, that financial disruptions would flatten retirement savings schemes twice, that CEOs would face virtually no accountability or consequences for bad decisions and be able to enrich themselves dramatically without any reciprocal loyalty to employees – you would have thought I was either crazy or exaggerating. But, that’s essentially what’s happened.

That’s the bad part of our new midlife crisis. It was forced on us. At least in the Don Draper days, if you wanted to act out, you had the freedom of choice. Skipping today’s crisis is not an option. It’s a very disempowering notion, disturbing perhaps, but think about it: Am I wrong? Surely, the reality is somewhat different for each of us. (I know. Stop calling me “Shirley.”) It’s not as if every American over 40 is desperate and in trouble.

However, I think most people would agree that the risks of career instability and financial reversals are far greater than they were a generation ago, that the potential to get and hold onto a long-term high earning position have been significantly degraded. How secure do you feel about retirement? If you’re not worried, you’re not really paying enough attention.

We’ve been disempowered as a generation. This is troubling. Yet, we do not need to be victims. I truly believe that we can achieve financial security, success, and satisfaction with our working lives. To get there, though, we need to rethink what it means to work. Getting empowered means discovering where we add value in the business world and executing a personal strategy for extracting that value from corporations.

In a lot of cases, this is not going to involve having an actual salary-paying job. Jobs these days for people over forty are a bit harder to find than they used to be and their long term prospects are not as secure as anything we might have imagined a generation ago.

I think self-employment is going to be our ticket out of midlife disempowerment, out of our unwanted midlife crisis. What does self-employment look like for you? You have more options than you realize. Maybe the whole idea frightens you to death. I understand. But, if you look at the alternatives, the idea of supporting yourself through your own initiative and value creation might start to look at lot more appetizing.  Are you ready to empower yourself in midlife? Let’s start the journey.

This is a guest post.

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5-Step Quick Guide For Getting Started On LinkedIn http://www.careerealism.com/getting-started-on-linkedin-quick-guide/ http://www.careerealism.com/getting-started-on-linkedin-quick-guide/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 04:35:36 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=37142 If you’ve never been on LinkedIn before, it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we created a 5-Step Quick Guide for getting started on LinkedIn.

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If you’ve never been on LinkedIn before, it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we created a 5-Step Quick Guide for getting started on LinkedIn – Take a look:

Step 1: Update Your Resume

The first step is to make sure your actual resume is updated. Once you’ve done that, then you can transfer the data to your LinkedIn Profile.

Need help updating your resume? Here are a few articles that can help:

If you need further help with your resume, consider looking into a professional resume writer.

Step 2: Change Your Privacy Settings

Your resume is done – great! Now, it’s time to start adding information to your LinkedIn Profile. Before you add anything, make sure you change your Privacy Settings so your profile activity isn’t visible until you’re done filling out your profile. You don’t want your connections seeing every single change you make to your profile!

Need help with this? Visit LinkedIn Help for more information.

Step 3: Add Your Information

Once you’ve adjusted your Privacy Settings, you can start adding content to your Profile. In addition to adding your resume, you can showcase visual accomplishments like PDFs, online articles, and images. To learn how to do this, check out this LinkedIn Lab clip.

Warning: No information on your profile is suspect, but too much is overkill. Do your best to balance it out and include the must-haves.

Step 4: Optimize Your Profile

After you’ve added your information to your profile, you must go through an optimize it so it’s easier for people (and employers) to find and read.

We suggest checking out our FREE tutorial, “5 Things Recruiters Expect To See On Your Profile” for help doing this. If you use tools like this, you can go through and optimize every section of your profile.

Need more help? Check out these articles:

Step 5: Make It Part Of Your Routine

After optimizing your profile, you just need to keep it fresh. The more you participate on LinkedIn, the more it rewards you. It puts you in searches, finds relevant people to connect with you, and so on. So, you should make sure you’re an active user on a regular basis.

“The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it,” said J.T. O’Donnell, LinkedIn Influencer and founder of CAREEREALISM.com.

Make an effort to update your information monthly. You should also be active on a daily basis by sharing articles, participating in groups, and keeping up with your connections.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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6 Little-Known Ways To Stay Current While Job Searching http://www.careerealism.com/6-littleknown-ways-stay-current-job-searching/ http://www.careerealism.com/6-littleknown-ways-stay-current-job-searching/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 04:30:46 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=15273 How can you stay current while job searching? There’s loads of career advice out there. And for job seekers, it can be overwhelming at times.

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There’s loads of career advice out there, and for job seekers, I’m sure it can be overwhelming at times.

Related: 5 Unhealthy Job Search Habits Keeping You Unemployed

How can you stay current while job searching?

Get Transcripts Or Copies Of Conferences

It’s likely you can’t afford to attend industry conferences if you’re out of a job. But there are other ways to benefit from the knowledge shared at these large events. See if they post videos or transcripts after the conference that you can look at. Or, contact the speakers directly. You could also…

Volunteer To Work Events

Just because you can’t afford to attend doesn’t mean you can’t. Conferences, events, and lectures always need volunteers to check people in, usher and set up. Get in contact with the coordinator of the event and volunteer your time. It’s a great way to meet people without the pressure of actually attending the event.

Join LinkedIn Groups And Ask/Answer Questions

Joining different types of LinkedIn Groups not only makes you look like a professional with solid interests, but you can learn a lot about different fields in the process. You can also help others by answering questions that align with your expertise and ask questions when you need help.

Interview Industry Experts For Your Blog

Instead of approaching industry experts asking for help finding a job, ask if you can interview them for your blog. In the process, you’ll get to ask questions about topics you’d like to know, and your audience can benefit from the answers too. You’ll also begin creating a professional relationship with the expert.

Get A Mentor

Okay, so this probably isn’t a little-known fact. But how many people actually reach out and ask someone to be his or her mentor? It can be a huge advantage to a job seeker to have an “in” – someone with a professional network that can help you and skills you can learn from.

Read Career And Industry Books

Blogs are great, but many pieces of advice on them are short and sweet. Blog posts may also leave you wondering, “How do I apply that to myself and my search?” Since books are longer and more in-depth, you can learn a lot more from their concepts and ideas. Tweeting and blogging about current books you’re reading can easily help form new relationships with others doing the same.

What else would you suggest for job seekers to stay current?

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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