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Comparison Distress: How to Handle Icky Career Questions This Holiday

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Comparison Distress: How to Handle Icky Career Questions This Holiday

Dear Liz,

I’m dreading going home for the holidays. My friends and family keep announcing their big new job titles on Facebook and LinkedIn while I’m still in the same job I’ve been in the past couple of years. I hate being asked “What’s new at work?” and “What’s next?” when I don’t have anything impressive to say.

How do I respond to these questions when I don’t have good answers? Do I just suffer through it and make next year the year I up my career game?

Sincerely,

Embarrassed To Be Asked

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My Story: Embracing Anxiety and Finding Career Success

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My Story: Embracing Anxiety and Finding Career Success

In the spirit of #MentalHealthAwarenessDay I’m sharing publicly for the first time my experience with panic attacks + my personal takeaways on anxiety and career success. To note, I am a career coach, not a mental health professional. If you are job searching and affected by anxiety, depression, or other mental wellness challenges (like 1/3 of the individuals in our country), I hope you will find support in a certified mental health professional in addition to a career coach -- two very different and very worthy resources!

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Scared to Negotiate? Overcome Your Fear With One Question.

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Scared to Negotiate? Overcome Your Fear With One Question.

This is the latest edition of Job Seeker Love Letters where I respond to job seekers' questions with what I like to call "tough-love and love-love."

Dear Liz,

I’ll start with the good news: I think I have a job offer coming in this week!  My interviews have all gone well, and the hiring manager told me herself that she wanted to cancel the interviews with other candidates because she thinks I’m the perfect person for the job.  This is my dream company and I’m jumping out of my seat I’m so excited!!!

I’ve thought about negotiating, but since this is my dream company, what’s most important to me is not blowing the offer.  Should I just take what they offer, or should I try to negotiate? I’m feeling totally lost in this and would appreciate your guidance.

Sincerely,

Scared-To-Negotiate

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3 Questions Every Professional Should Ask At Year's End

3 Questions Every Professional Should Ask At Year's End

It’s the end of the year, which means most of us are focused on getting out of the office -- and getting into our comfiest pajamas to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.

But before you turn off your office lights and drive home to the tune of Bing Crosby’s ‘Happy Holidays’ (I can hear him crooning now...), here are 3 questions I recommend asking yourself to make sure you close out the year strong and set yourself up to hit the ground running next year.

3 Salary Negotiation Missteps -- And How To Avoid Them

3 Salary Negotiation Missteps -- And How To Avoid Them

When it comes to salary negotiation, job seekers make three common mistakes:

  1. They fear negotiating.
  2. They fail to prepare early and extensively.
  3. They share their desired salary before receiving an official offer.

What I’ve learned from coaching clients through the job search process and through instruction from salary negotiation expert Jim Hopkinson, is that just like interviewing or any other job search activity, salary negotiation requires a confident and strategic approach.

In response to the above missteps, there are three key messages about salary negotiation I hope every job seeker keeps in mind when gearing up for their search.

Evaluating a job offer? Avoid this common mistake.

Evaluating a job offer? Avoid this common mistake.

So you've succeeded in navigating the long, demoralizing, painstaking process of landing a job offer. Congratulations!

Chances are the first thing you'll want to do is share the good news with family, friends and mentors -- and get their take on whether you should accept it.

But wait! Picking up the phone too soon can be a serious mistake. Why?

The only person’s values you want driving your career decisions are your own.

And until you clarify what's most important to you, it's best to avoid input from others that could muddle your decision-making process, or possibly bind you to satisfying their preferences over yours.

Keep reading to learn how to make your values the first stop in your decision-making process. 

The Bugs Test: Take ownership of your career in 10 minutes

The Bugs Test: Take ownership of your career in 10 minutes

Last week we broke down why job searching should be one of everyone’s 2017 New Year’s Resolutions. But the first job search step I tell all my clients to take is to honestly assess your potential to turn your current position into one you love, before you double down on looking elsewhere.

One of the best exercises I've found for assessing challenging situations and getting moving in the right direction is The Bugs Test, which I learned from my mentor Tony Brown at Duke University.

What makes The Bugs Test so powerful is its immediate ability to provide clarity by categorizing problems into:

  • the problems we can easily change,
  • the problems we should accept (because they’ll never change), and
  • the problems we might be able to change with serious thought and effort (hint: these are often the most important ones).

Whether you’re interested in moving on or simply making an already strong work situation even better, in 10 minutes you should have clearer insight into how to take ownership of your next steps and your future happiness at work.

Define Your Values In 10 Minutes

Define Your Values In 10 Minutes

Identifying your values is an important step in understanding what motivates you in and out of the office. 

  1. On the chart below, circle the top 15 values of most importance to you out of the 150 values listed
  2. Once you have your top 15, strike 5 from your list to find your top 10
  3. Once you have your top 10, strike 3 more from your list to find your top 7
  4. Now rank your top 7 values from most to least important. This will help you evaluate potential opportunities and how to take the right step in the face of challenging decisions in the future.

Once you have completed this exercise, you can move on to our career direction diagnostic to help you define your purpose at work.