So, let me begin by saying: Here's some irony for you... For years, I've struggled to properly explain what I do for work. Funny, right? The gal that has spent the last 15+ years of her life helping professionals with their personal brands, job searches, and career planning doesn't know what to label herself. Saying I'm a "career coach" has never seemed to properly convey the job. I feel that title makes light of the important work myself and my Work It Daily teammates do every day. And, I feel the term "career counselor" really speaks to those folks you find at high schools and colleges. But recently, a conversation about the evolution of Work It Daily provided me with a big ah-ha moment. Ever since that, I've wanted to post the following... "My name is J.T. and I'm a Career Therapist." (Finally! I said it.) I've known for a long time this is really my job. Each day, myself and a team of trained career support specialists give people a trusted, secure, and private place to talk honestly about their careers. This is no small thing. As humans, our identities, and subsequently, our happiness are tightly tied to what we do for work. When you spend 40+ hours each week doing a job, it can't help but define you and impact your ability to feel successful and satisfied in life. So, while I'm not a doctor (and I don't play one on TV), I am a career therapist. And, I'm no longer ashamed to say it. Why would I be ashamed? Glad you asked! Because getting career support is still seen as "taboo". When I decided to leave corporate America to become a career coach, my friends and colleagues thought I'd lost my mind. One former college classmate asked me if I was going to become some sort of new-age-hoohey-type (his words, not mine). I lost the respect of some people who thought I was throwing away a perfectly good career track (six-figure female HR executive), to do something weird. To them, people who used career coaches were "broken" and "unemployable." But over the years, these same people circled back, many of them asking to chat with me about their own career challenges. Still, those early years of criticism from my peers gave me doubts. But, fast forward to today and here's what I know... School teaches us a lot of things, but learning how to identify and pursue a meaningful career throughout our lifetime is not one of them. With more than 70 percent of the working population feeling disengaged and dissatisfied with their career success, we have an epidemic of professional happiness going on right now. And sadly, people don't seek the help they need. Even though we use trained professionals to fix all sorts of problems in our lives i.e. doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, physical therapists, etc. we still naively think we should be able to figure out our career problems on our own. The good news is, I think the thousands of people who have become members of Work It Daily in the last year would tell you: getting a little career therapy isn't a sign of weakness, it's a path to greatness. We refer to them as #WIDwarriors, and they're changing the world, one dream job at a time. So, to the millions of people sitting in silent disgust and desperation with their careers and failing to get the help they need (you might be one of them?), I say:
Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to be coachable. Yesterday, millions of football fans watched on the edge of their seats as the New England Patriots went head-to-head against the Atlanta Falcons for Super Bowl 51. Reaching the championship is a goal most football players only dream about achieving. So, what made these two teams so successful? A brilliant cocktail of hunger to win, top-of-the-line coaching, and talented players who were coachable. In order to be a successful athlete, you need to be coachable. You could be the best at what you do, but you need to realize that you can always be better. And allowing others to give you advice, insight, and feedback you might not like is an important part of your growth. Whether you’re in the office or on the playing field, being coachable is an important trait. You don’t have to be on the football field in order to be coached. In fact, you probably get coached every single day at work by your boss, colleagues, mentors, and even customers. Even if you’re great at your job, there will be times when you make mistakes or could have done something better. But if you don’t realize what you’ve done or how you could’ve done it differently, you’re not going to learn. That’s why it’s important to embrace what others are trying to teach you.
What's your brand? This is a very common question these days since branding has become such a hot topic, not just for companies, but for individuals. If you're not sure, then you should get advice from a career coach. With the advent of social media, branding for executives has entered a new arena. In the midst of a competitive job market, online branding is a very effective way for executives to convey to potential employers what is unique about them and what they bring to the table. Here is some practical advice from a career coach for executives who want to promote their brands positively: Identify your unique qualities that set you apart from others in your field. One way to do this is to review what others have said about you over the years. No doubt you will start to see some repetition as you do this. Maybe you are known as a turnaround specialist, having entered underperforming companies or departments and returned them to financial solvency in a short period of time. Or maybe you are recognized as a sales leader, identifying new markets and seizing the opportunity to increase market share. Determine what you want to be known for. After you have identified your unique qualities (there may be several), think about which ones you really want to market to a potential employer. There is no point in emphasizing skills you no longer want to use. Select a few social media sites that you plan to be involved in for the foreseeable future. You will spread yourself too thin if you try to become involved in too many different sites. My suggestion is that you choose the top three for job seekers: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. This will keep your online involvement manageable. Interact on different social media sites with your brand in view. In other words, as you answer questions, tweet, or post news articles, think to yourself, “Does this promote my brand?” If the answer is no, you might want to reconsider before you post something that is off the mark. Your profiles should promote and reinforce your brand. Your professional headline should summarize the essence of your brand succinctly. Your picture should reflect your brand. Any videos, blog posts, or documents attached to your profile should be part of your branding strategy. By following these tips you can attract employers who are interested in your unique executive brand. This post was originally published on an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
I've been a professional career coach since 2002. Over the last 10+ years, I have learned a lot about the industry and what it takes to be an effective career coach. [Click here to learn more about becoming a career coach.] Back when I became a coach, the concept wasn't as widely accepted as it is today. In fact, my clients were afraid to admit they were working with a career coach because they felt like it indicated there was something wrong with them. Today, we now understand career coaching isn't a sign of weakness, but a path to greatness. It's why all the top pro athletes and business executives use them. If you want to optimize your performance and achieve new levels of success and satisfaction in your career, it's more than likely you'll work with a coach at some point. Why? If you could do it on your own, you would have by now.
If you are seeking an extra edge in your career, one option worth considering is executive career coaching. This is for people who feel they need help in one or more areas of their career. Related: 3 Things Bad Career Coaches Don’t Want You To Know Let’s look at some of the reasons you might want to consult with an executive career coach and what you can expect from it.