Posts tagged #strategy

End of Year Planning

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The final month of 2018 marks an opportune time to plan your end-of-year career push. Often during the year, we’re consumed with working toward our current goals and forget to reflect on how 2018 went and what we want to achieve the upcoming year.

Here are the very best 2019 career planning tips from our professional career coaches.

Take Inventory of Your Previous Goals

Grab your 2018 goals and take a brief inventory.

Which ones did you accomplish and where did you fall short? Be honest and realistic with yourself. Career planning is more than fixing what went wrong, it’s identifying what went right and repeating those actions.

For the goals you accomplished, recognize what went well. For goals you didn’t reach, determine the blocker. Did you need a new skill? Prioritization? Once you determine WHY you didn’t achieve it, you can work toward HOW you’ll fix it in the future.

Forecast Your New Goals

Picture yourself a year from now. What do you want to be doing? What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to explore different career opportunities? Do you want to explore different career paths completely? Visualizing this will help plan your 2019 goals.

As you plan for the year ahead, consider learning advancements. Is there a course you could take to boost your knowledge? Develop your long-term goals for the year and break down each one into actionable short-term goals.

Use this month to boost your career, not drag it along. The winter can be a great time to gain clarity on your past accomplishments and and professional goals.

Quick Wins To Plan For 2019

  1. Refresh Your Linkedin - Linkedin continues to rise in popularity as a professional social networking site. If you don’t update your profile regularly, pencil in a time to give it an refresh.

  2. Schedule a Performance Review - Many companies hold annual performance reviews at the end of the year. If your company doesn’t, ask your manager. This type of reflective meeting pulls insights that help you become a better employee and progress in your career.

  3. Ask for a Raise - Use the performance review to understand where you stand. Depending on your performance and other factors, it could be time to ask for a raise. If you’re unsure of how to ask for a raise, consider our Offer Negotiation service.   

We wish you the best of luck in the new year! If you’d like assistance with your 2019 career planning, our team of career consultants use proven assessments to examine your personality type, interests, and strengths. Then, we align the results with your goals to create a strategy for future growth and development through your current position or a new one. Get in touch with us today!

Posted on December 4, 2018 and filed under Career.

How to Present Yourself as a Team Player

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One of the most common interview questions is, “In what ways are you a team player?”

It’s a tough question to answer, especially if this is an area of weakness for you. In every interview, you should expect and prepare for a variation of this question.

Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?

There isn’t a job on the planet that doesn’t include working with other people. Even if you work from home, you still have to check in with someone to receive your instructions, or at the very least, to get paid! If you own your own business, you have clients or customers. If you are an author, you have an editor or publisher. If you work with computers, you have a supervisor. You will always have to work with people!

Hiring managers need to ensure that workplace disputes are minimized by hiring folks that are open to constructive criticism, direct feedback, and can adjust their working style based on the needs of the entire team. Employees that have strong team players are more satisfied in their positions. Happy employees result in higher project success rates and lower turnover. Thus, teamwork is important to companies, because it is all around better for business!

How To Present Yourself As A Team Player

Step 1: Find the truth. The first step to answering this question is to examine yourself in order to answer it truthfully. Take a few minutes to brainstorm how you’ve been a team player in the past, while on the job, at school, or while completing a community project. One variation of the team player question is, “Tell me how you’ve been a team player in the past,” so having this information in your back pocket is helpful.

Step 2: Write out your attributes. Once you’ve brainstormed some past examples, pull out the attributes you exemplified that made you such a great team player in those situations. For example, you might write “strong communication skills” or “ability to implement colleagues’ ideas for a positive solution.” Try to list 3-5 attributes.

Step 3: Prepare an answer using the position as the backdrop. Look at a job posting and envision how you could be a good team player in that specific role. Answer “How are you a team player?” by putting yourself in the role you are interviewing for. This is a great strategy to show you understand the position and its responsibilities, highlighting you as qualified and valuable. Here’s an example of what this might look like:

“I love working with others. In this role as account manager, I would brainstorm with others solutions to the client’s problem at hand, allowing everyone to provide their ideas and work with the entire team to process the best option. Some people are great idea-generators while others are effective “devils advocates.” Using everyone’s skills together will improve the quality of the solutions we propose to our clients.”

Pro tip: You can use this three step method to prepare for any interview question!

Prepare For Your Interview With A Career Coach

Our team of professional career coaches would love to help you prepare for your interview by tackling difficult questions like this one and strengthening your many other interview skills. Contact us to get matched with your career coach today!

 

Posted on February 21, 2018 and filed under Interviewing, Search Strategy.

Career Planning - Short & Long Term Strategies

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You want your work to have meaning, to give you a purpose, and to continue to challenge you throughout your life. Experiencing growth, satisfaction, and fun while making an income is important. But how do you get all of that? You must have two things:

  1. A short term career planning strategy

  2. A long term career planning strategy

But here is where most people make a big mistake: You can’t make effective short term goals without first setting long term goals. Let’s break down each one.

Long Term Career Planning Strategy

Having a long term strategy to achieve your career aspirations will help you in many ways. You’ll be able to make career decisions more easily. You’ll work with more purpose and fulfillment knowing where you are headed. You also won’t get stuck in a job that isn’t a right fit, because your goals won’t align with what you’ll achieve in a “bad” position.

Sit down and think about big picture questions, such as:

  • Where do I want to be in 10 years?

  • What gives me purpose in my career?

  • What three to five goals would I like to achieve by retirement?

  • What is most important to me at work?

  • Do I want to manage a team or work solo?

Write a letter to yourself, describing exactly who you want to be and what it is you want to achieve in your career. This exercise might be awkward at first, but it will help you visualize your future and think through the direction you’d like to go.

Post this letter in a place where you can see it regularly. Read it every month. Adjust it as things change, which can, and maybe should, happen from time to time. Perhaps you start a family or your priorities change as you get older and it affects your long term goals. It’s good to be flexible. Having a long term strategy should guide you, not rule you.

Short Term Career Planning Strategy

With your long term strategy put in place, a short term strategy will be easier to implement. Do the same exercise for short term planning, but adjust the questions slightly. The questions you ask yourself might look something like these:

  • Where do I want to be this time next year?

  • What three to five goals do I want to achieve this year?

  • What small, attainable steps do I need to take this year to get closer to my long term goals?

Write a letter to yourself and place it where you can review it regularly. Since this is a short term strategy, update it every six months to one year. Hopefully you will achieve everything you wrote down, which will keep the momentum going for your long term strategy. If not, that’s OK! Adjust as needed and keep going. Again, this is meant to be a guide to help you reach your long term goals. It should guide you, not rule you!

Let WCG Partner With You!

We would love to come alongside you and help develop your short and long term career planning strategies. Our team of career consultants can help you craft the perfect strategy to achieve career success. We use proven assessments to examine your personality type, interests, and strengths. We align the results with your goals to create a strategy for future growth and development through your current position or a new one. Our career coaching empowers you to flawlessly execute your strategy in any situation! You can learn more about our services and packages available here.

Posted on November 1, 2017 and filed under Career, Leadership.

Find Your Next Position: 5 Tips To Focus Your Search Strategy and Execution

Job hunting can be an overwhelming process, especially in today’s competitive market. Through our career coaching services, we’ve developed a list of key search strategies to help smooth out the sometimes bumpy application process and give you an edge over the competition.

1.       Search and Apply for Relevant Positions

Sometimes you just really need a job… any job. It is never a good idea for a potential employer to pick up on a level of desperation, however. You will have more success when your applications are strategically targeted for your best fit.

When reviewing job postings that interest you, consider the industry, role, seniority, and job requirements. Do these fit with where you are in your career? Also consider the organization size, expertise, and mission and values—these elements can help you determine whether you would fit in with the corporate environment. Direct your energy and attention where the position is a good match with your specific goals and skills.

2.       Study the Job Description and Customize Your Application to the Position.      

Now that you have identified a few positions that are relevant for you, ensure that you make it through the robot applicant screening system by including language that matches the job positing. Review and revise your resume to highlight your strengths in areas that are important to the role. Once a person lays eyes on your resume, you want to ensure that your soft skills (i.e., character) really shine in a way that fit the personality and leadership traits that the position requires.

Making a career change? Willing to take a step back to take a step forward? Tailor your resume with your transferable skills, and include a cover letter to clarify your goals. Hiring managers will want to see that your goals align with theirs, so that when you walk through the door you can deliver on and exceed their expectations.

3.       Follow Application Instructions

When you’re applying to multiple positions, it can be a challenge to keep all of the different instructions in mind. However, companies and small businesses, which may be overwhelmed by the volume of online applicants, frequently use these instructions to weed out applicants. If you can’t follow the directions, it’s easy to discard your application. From their standpoint, it shows that you may not be likely to follow directions in the position, and therefore may not be an ideal candidate.

Don’t give them a reason to weed you out! Take the time to check and double-check the application instructions to ensure that you are providing exactly what the job posting requests.

4.       Network!

If you’ve found your absolute dream job, don’t let your work end with the application process. Seek out ways to make connections with people—your potential peers—at your company of interest. Communities sometimes host networking events for local companies who are looking for qualified applicants.

Look for open events that the company may host or sponsor. Perhaps the company is planning to attend a conference or meeting that is open to the public. Come dressed appropriately and be prepared with a short 30-60 second “elevator speech” that captures your interest in the company and how you would fit in through your target position.

LinkedIn is another great place to start for finding individuals to reach out to. Make sure to use a personalized, specific message for the recipient when you request to connect so that your introduction isn’t ignored. Think of your request to connect as a short cover letter and write accordingly.

5.       Follow Up and Follow Through

Once you learn the name and contact information of the hiring manager (or other key contact), don’t be afraid to reach out and follow up regularly—but not annoyingly. An interval of a week or two would not be too frequent for follow up emails or calls. The people who will ultimately make the hiring decisions are very busy people, so it can help to show initiative and remind them of your interest.

If you mention in your correspondence that you will follow up again after a certain length of time, make sure to set a calendar reminder to do just that. By following through with your previous statements, you inspire confidence that as an employee, you will also follow through on your responsibilities in a timely manner.

Still stuck? To learn how to apply these strategies to your own job search, contact us to learn more about our career coaching services!

Amanda Y. Hendrix
Expert Consultant, The Wilbanks Consulting Group

Posted on March 17, 2016 and filed under Search Strategy.