Career Resources

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Take control of your career destiny

We've all been there...waiting, and waiting, and waiting...for the phone call to tell you that you've been invited in for an interview for the job of your dreams. You're feeling powerless, at the mercy of the hiring manager to make a decision about your future, your fate, your career. Imagine for a moment that you held the power in this situation.

Well, you can. It's called informational interviewing. Unlike real interviews, you can initiate an informational interview and, chances are, you'll be granted one, if you approach the situation professionally. Then, treat it like a real interview and prepare for it exactly like you would for a real interview. Informational interviewing enables you to shift the balance of power and control your own destiny. If you prepare well and make a great impression, there's a good possibility you'll be called in for a real interview at some point in the future.

Informational interviewing also enables you to do two things that an online application cannot: get in front of the hiring manager and get inside the company. Then, when you do get the real interview, you'll be much less nervous, having experienced the situation once before.

I've done several informational interviews with people who want to break into the career counseling field. During our conversation, I inevitably ask them interview-type questions such as, "Why do you want to be a career counselor?" or "Tell me a bit about your background." If I'm impressed with the person, I make a mental note to reach out to that person in the event I have a position to fill. I can guarantee that the same thing will happen to you.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What's your vision for 2013?

My daughter's birthday was a few days ago, and I taped a birthday message to our mirror in the hall, along with a sign that read "2013 - The Year of Melissa's Road Trip." She's been talking about doing a road trip across the US for awhile now and, not having realized that old dream myself, I knew that I should encourage her to do the thing that I had not.That sign has been on the mirror for over a week, and we pass it several times a day. Reading that message every day, sometimes several times a day, has embedded the idea in our minds and made it become a reality. It went from a "wouldn't it be nice" kind of thought to "it's really going to happen" fact.

Admittedly, I had never been a big fan of vision boards in the past, not truly believing in their power. My sincere apologies go out to my dear friend and colleague, Natascha Saunders about this, who has always been a believer in their power! In fact, please check out her awesome Vision Statement Guidebook to give you a jump start in pursuing your dreams.

Now that I have witnessed the power of my unintentional vision statement firsthand, I am a convert and want to tell you that vision boards do work. My daughter has already chosen the month she will go on her road trip and who she will go with and has begun the initial steps of planning her itinerary.

So, what's your vision for 2013? Write it on a piece of paper and tape it to a place that you look at every day, or maybe even in multiple places. Before you know it, what you had initially deemed a far-fetched fantasy will become your reality.