Are You a Life Long Student??? Be One!

copyOften when I work with clients that are struggling to find a job, I ask if they have any ongoing job training or classes to add to their resume and get the answer, “No.” There are many different reasons why, but sadly many people seem to think that they know all that they need to know in their chosen field. Heck, I don’t know all that I need to know in ANY aspect of my life, so how can I be so sure that I know all that there is to know about my field??? No one and I mean NO ONE knows everything there is about their field of choice and we can all afford to pick up a class or training session here and there. Jobs change, fields evolve, and there’s never anything that simply stays the same. Either we evolve with the rest of the world or we die, so to speak.

Here are just a few tips for getting up to date or picking up new skills that can advance your career…

  1. Online courses are everywhere and far more respected than they once were. Check out local colleges to see what they offer, as well as the online universities out there.
  2. Local adult education centers are another great choice for getting new or renewed skills.
  3. Participating in professional associations and taking some of their trainings can be a wonderful networking advantage, as well as a way to learn new skills.
  4. And finally, understand that the only true way to advance in your field or compete in the job market is to know that there’s always something new to learn and to seek that knowledge out… It’s just a common sense thing.

If you take this advice and keep the heart of a student, you’ll be much more satisfied with your skills and career. We were never created to stop learning… It’s good for the mind and good for those seeking success in their chosen fields.

My challenge for you this week…                                                                                                                                              

Get out there and see the classes are available to you and what interests you. You’ll be surprised at what’s available.

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Track That Training!

confused clientRecently, I’ve worked with a couple of different clients that described their previous training/education as “numerous” and have no idea of the details. Sadly, that doesn’t fly in the real world.

I don’t care how many there are, or what they are, track them. Dates, titles, instructors and or institutions all need to be kept on file. You may not need them all at any one time, but have them. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to develop a quality résumé without them. You deserve the best possible advantage against the competition; don’t become your biggest hindrance.

First things first:

1)      Create a file and keep it nearby, so it’s easily accessible for additions.

2)      Keep in chronological order (will make copying it over to your résumé easier, as well as easier to toss outdated information).

3)      Regularly look in this file… I know this sounds obvious, but so often this gets blown off until the individual is in a rush to create an effective document and then they’ve created more work for themselves.

4)      And finally, remember opportunity can come at ANY time, so be prepared… It doesn’t hurt to regularly update your résumé. Good things come to those that are prepared.

I hope that this little tip has helped open your eyes to the need to keep your training information current and ready to be used.

Until next time…

Remember that you create your own successes, in both career and life.

 

 

How Not to be Chum Looking for a Job After 40

iStock_000001623897_ExtraSmallHave you ever noticed how once you hit 40 (or it seems so to some), there are young vicious sharks swimming around you on your search for work? They act friendly, but you just KNOW that they are circling and waiting to have you for lunch. I’d like to give you a few tips on how to keep the sharks at bay…

  1. Never and I mean NEVER use the word old to describe yourself. Good grief, if you’re not 80, you’re not old to begin with and need slapped upside the head just for saying it. Saying that you’re getting old is like opening a wound and dripping blood in the water. Stop it!
  2. Feeling squishy and slow among your 12 year old coworkers? Let me break it to you… Watching American Idol while eating chips and playing couch potato isn’t going to advance you career, only your waist. Get up off your butt and get active.
  3. And if you try to get active and suddenly EVERYTHING hurt… Get over it! It will! I don’t know how many people give up after the first time they exercise simply because it hurts. Don’t overdo it, but don’t mosey through the neighborhood without breaking a sweat and call that enough. Sweat, baby, sweat!
  4. When you do exercise, listen to something upbeat. Smooth jazz may keep you from getting violent on the drive home, but goodness it will do NOTHING for a workout. Think of it this way, if the music can cause your pulse to pick up just listening or watching the video, imagine what it can do for a workout.
  5. Another don’t is the constant complaining about the younger former bosses and fellow workers. It makes you look like the curmudgeon of the office and like you should be saying something like “When I was a kid, we walked 10 miles to school, uphill, both ways.” Complaining gets you nowhere, fast!
  6. Understand that you should be at the top of your game and you’re never too old to take classes and seek professional development. The only way to stay on top is to be a continuous student.
  7. And finally: Be active in your community and make a difference in lives. There’s a much bigger world than just the only you live in. Look out for more than just you and your own. This keeps you active, your resume current, and an impact that can advance or build a career.

Follow these guidelines and not only will you stand a chance with the sharks, but you might just become a force to be reckoned with (instead of sleeping with the fishes).

 

Got Skills???

iStock_000005892300XSmallSo here you are… In a funk because you can’t find work or you’re no longer satisfied with what you do, but you keep hearing that the job market is the worst it’s been ever. Where do you go from here? No one wants to hire someone your age or so it seems. What now???

How about a new direction? What? You don’t know how to do anything else??? Come on! You’ve been working for over twenty years and you haven’t acquired skills other than the obvious???

You know that you have mad skills! Think about it. You’ve been a leader, a mentor, and what about your hobbies? Think about it! There are areas you have never thought about…

Sometimes when you can’t find a job, you need to create one.

Today, I want you to consider the possibility of where your skills could take you. It doesn’t necessarily need to happen today, but maybe you should consider developing these skills further and see what you can do with it. Do some research, take a different approach to your job search. Sometimes it isn’t always obvious, but it’s ALWAYS there.

 

 

 

It’s Not Your Age… It’s That Boulder on Your Shoulder!

Unpleasant Senior manAfter years of working with seasoned job hunters, I’ve found that they tend to fall into two groups… The determined and the victims. Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone has challenges, but there are some that create their own challenges.

Have you ever noticed that some people never struggle finding a job, that even their age is never an issue? Yet there are other people that just assume that they’re going to be discriminated against and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I know you think that you’re different and that it doesn’t show during interviews or meetings, but it does. Whether you realize it or not, the victim mentality shows in every part of your being and that will always hurt. I can generally hear it in the phone conversation and if we meet face-to-face, I can often see it immediately.

If someone else can have that “go to” attitude, so can you! Age discrimination? Of course it’s real, but so is gender, race and any number of other forms of discrimination… Get over it! Adjust! Change your direction!

You can’t keep banging your head against the wall and think that there’s going to be different results. There are fields and organizations known for being age friendly, but it takes research in a new direction to have a chance at finding out. Get on it!

And one final note… A job search, especially a career changer, takes a full time commitment. A full time commitment takes time and that time is to be used wisely. We’re not talking two hours of a job search and research, with three hours of Angry Birds. Just wanted to clear that up.

A site that you might want to take a look at is http://www.retirementjobs.com/