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Are you thinking about changing jobs or careers? Well, you’re in good company. The average employee tenure at a job in 2018 in 4.2 years, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.

Back in the day, there was a stigma attached to “job jumping” on your resume, and companies looked for stability in your background. After all, the expectation was that you would be at their company for a long time in the future.

This is definitely no longer the case.

How do you know when it’s time to leave your current job? Are there some signs and signals that a new job should be in your future consideration?

1. The work becomes so boring. You no longer find the work meaningful or fulfilling. “It’s just a paycheck, after all.” is your attitude. Or perhaps you’re not getting the kind of assignments you find challenging. It’s also possible that you’ve done the work for so long that it no longer interests you.

2. Steady complaining about your job…all of the time. Everything is wrong from the time you hit the door until you close your laptop at night. You have a bad attitude about everything and your family and friends are beginning to notice. Although this is sometimes hard to see, it’s important to understand when this is happening.

3. There’s a sinking, visceral feeling when you come into the office. This has happened to me working for a boss who was very challenging. When I parked my car in the morning and saw the building ahead of me, I got this unmistakable feeling of dread and upset.

4. You know you’re unhappy but you just don’t know why. There’s a certain unsettled feeling about your work. You aren’t sure what it could be…is it the job?

5. It’s time for a change…you’ve been at your career/job/location for so long. Or possibly, you dream about a location with better weather or you would love to see the changing seasons. Sometimes it’s just a longing for something different.

6. Dreaming about a different career or going into business for yourself is another possibility. This is a great opportunity to explore, but you keep putting it off. What if it doesn’t pay the same salary? What if I can’t get any business going?

7. There are hints…subtle and more direct from your current employer. These may be poor reviews, rumors of layoffs, challenging relationships with management, no promotion or salary increases in a while, or perhaps the company is in turmoil…stock price down, constant management changes.

If any of these ring true for you, is it time to consider alternatives to your current job? That’s really the place to start…what are the alternatives for your situation?

One of my clients found themselves in a situation where the rumors of downsizing were growing louder and louder in their company. This client hadn’t changed jobs in 20 years and there was a good bit of concern about what to do next.

We started with the basics…setting a vision for the future…..defining the new job/career from scratch to see and understand what is possible. I start with the future vision with all of my clients. It’s such an important picture to define clearly and comprehend as it sets a road map forward, and helps to define what the next steps are.

This client decided that they really didn’t want to work in such a negative atmosphere, just waiting for the next step to happen to them. By defining the vision for the future, the client was able to explore that they were ready for a new change in career…something less stressful and more meaningful. They made a decision to focus on working within non-profit organizations. As it happened, while we were working on the basics (Resume, Linked In, Career Brand, etc.), the company did eliminate the client’s position. They were able to collect severance to support the work that had already begun. It was a relief to my client that this work was already underway and they weren’t starting from scratch while out of work suddenly.

Similarly, a decision can also be made to stay in the current job, especially if there’s a need to mitigate risk in the job search. In that case, I always recommend applying for and interviewing for a new job once a year, just to see what your value is in the marketplace. It keeps your job hunting skills fresh and allows you to see the possibilities for yourself, which can be very eye-opening. It’s a great way to reduce your risk and keep you ready for any changes in the future.

It may be time for a change and all it takes is that first step forward.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Are you ready for a new job/career? Consider exploring the options with a trusted advisor, family member, or Career Coach. Change is possible and waiting for your very next move.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

Every year it begins the same way. I have a grove of tall trees in the backyard and usually in mid-August, sometimes later, I see it. There it is. There is an unmistakable yellow gold leaf amongst the bright and dark green hues of the trees. It’s my first golden tree leaf; the first sign of the beginning of autumn and the end of summer.

The promise of leisurely days and vacations has come to an end as the new season begins and we look to a more structured schedule.

At this time of the year, students return to school to begin the new year. The school experience always allowed you to forget the past and focus on the promise of a new year ahead. How do you extend this to starting a new season of your life?

Every September, as the new school year would begin for me, I always thought of it as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start anew. There is a transformative power in the beginning of something, and each new grade, or year at college/grad school, was no exception for me. The structure of the school is an interesting one. You really do “start over again” each year.

What rituals would you use to mark the new school year in the fall, as you were growing up? For me, it meant new pens and (pin-point sharpened) pencils, and a curious item called the Pee-Chee folder. In Southern California, a fresh, peach-yellow Pee-Chee to carry your homework was an essential way to start the new school year.

All of these preparations marked the beginning of a new season…a year of learning, a year of challenges and experiences, a year of setting and achieving goals, toward the ultimate milestone of graduating to the new grade/year in the spring. And it all started with a sharpened pencil in the fall!

A season change can be a focus change, just as most of us experienced through the structure of the school. What are some things you can do to embrace the new season ahead?

1. Take an assessment of where your career and life is at, especially against your goals for the year. Are you where you truly want to be? You have 4 more months in this year. What can you do to finish the year strong?

2. Set new goals. Consider the slate wiped clean. What new goals would you like to pursue starting now?

3. What is possible in your role at work? What new rituals would work for you? Do you need to come in an hour earlier to focus on time alone? Do you need an effective time management system? Think of adding a few new rituals this season to your work routine. A new season can also trigger a new focus on what you’re doing and where you’re going. Rituals are important. They help us to symbolize the milestones of our transitions.

4. Be kind to yourself. Always practice self-forgiveness. That was me then, but this is me now. Sometimes we refuse to forgive others or the past. This time, be kind to yourself and understand that you really are always trying to do the best thing and you can start over.

5. Adopt the school ritual of “wiping that slate clean” and starting over again. How do you “wipe the slate clean” if that would help? What are some things you need to let go of and plan to move forward on? In junior high school, I actually struggled with my Spanish Language grade (believe it or not!). Every year, I was determined to do better and the start of the new school year was a huge motivator for me.

6. Now is the time to plan for the holidays ahead. Rather than let the holidays come upon you, put together a plan for where you will go (or host), any gifts you may want to think about buying (great sales in the fall), and generally how you want to handle these sometimes stress filled but wonderful times.

7. What’s on your bucket list? Don’t have one? Whatever age you are, this is a good time to put one together. A bucket list has all of those experiences and activities you want to have during your lifetime. Always great as a focus area.

The lesson of the fall season can be a sense of renewal. What does renewal mean for you at this time?

ACTION CHALLENGE

With this change of season, from summer into fall, what change or renewal do you want to pursue?

What are the “sharpened pencils” and “new Pee Chee’s” in your quest to pursue your work and life goals? Take some time during this transition time to find a new focus and wipe slates clean.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

With three-plus months before the end of the year, it’s the perfect time to revisit and recalibrate your goals for this year. Last week, I wrote about how the change of seasons can be a great time of renewal for you: Fall Into a Season of Change and Renewal

But first, I have a question, How big and bold are your goals? How high do you set your mark?

I know there’s some thinking out there that says, “Under commit and over-deliver.” Coming from a background of Information Technology, this saying was very much how we tried to operate with our clients! But when it comes to my own goals, I love to set stretch goals to set a tone and a direction.

After I left corporate life and was trying to decide what to do next, I spent a lot of time being coached…career coached. Coaching is really a very powerful tool to help set goals. With the support of my patient and wonderful coach, I began to see possibilities and I finally decided to become a coach myself! Yes, I made the big decision to change careers and become a coach and entrepreneur. This was in the Fall of 2011. I committed that it was my goal to be a coach by the end of that year. Now, I didn’t know too much about what was involved in becoming a coach; I just held it out there as my big and bold goal.

My coach patiently pointed out that there were years of training and certifications that needed to happen so that it would not be possible for me to reach that goal at year-end (only several months away). This is where I disagreed with her. I kept that as a goal and by the Fall of 2012, I had been accepted at the University of Texas’ Coaching and Master’s degree program and indeed was coaching my first clients!

If I had kept my goals small, I don’t know if I would have had as much determination and resolve to aim for the biggest and boldest goal that I could.

Another example of a big and bold goal was set many years ago, to visit Hawaii with my family. I had never been there before and didn’t think I had the financial resources to make it happen. Chicago to Hawaii is a pretty pricey flight, as many of you know…not to mention hotel, car, food, etc. But I still put that goal out there for one year out. The following June, I was on my way to Hawaii. A lot of things had lined up to allow me that first of many trips to what became my favorite vacation spot.

In the book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, he writes that ‘we are driven more strongly to avoid losses than to achieve gains.” What this tells me is that your goals may be too easy when you are simply avoiding losses. Setting a goal beyond your expectations can be a motivator and catalyst to achieving that goal. I know most of you have heard of that corny phrase, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss, at least you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale. Corny, yes, but there is some wisdom in that it points you into a direction that you may have only dreamed of.

Before you stop to say, “I couldn’t possibly….” stop and write down that big and bold goal. Don’t worry about how. Start with what. Be bold!

ACTION CHALLENGE

Do you have at least one big and bold goal for the year? If you don’t, can you think of something that exceeds your expectations for yourself, your career, your life? Write it down. Spend some time pondering it, and come back to revisit often.

I would love to hear about your big and bold goals, as always!

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

Do you have a vision for your career goals? In my article on Big and Bold goals, I wrote about taking the time to set goals that are beyond your wildest dreams. These goals are best imagined and defined by a vision.

A vision is the first step to bring life to your goals. It can allow you to experience what you want to accomplish using your senses. The vision is a way to help you to truly define and paint the picture in your mind’s eye of what it looks like through writing or other media.

Taking the time to create a solid vision of the future for your career and for your goals, enables you to really think through your options and priorities, and think of alternatives as you define the outcome. For example, I have a client who was laid off recently from his job. He is in Marketing and loves what he does, but he’s not sure what options he has or wants to pursue for the future of his career. I had to ask the question…”How do you want to rewrite the script of your career?” It’s a powerful question that invokes a Vision. A new vision for the future.

How do you want to rewrite the script of your career?

When it comes to careers, you can set a vision for your career overall…where you want it to go, what’s most important to you, salary, promotion, leadership (at what level?), remote worker, etc. That’s the first step. Know what you want your career to be. You can set a timeframe for this year, the next 5 or through to retirement. Whatever makes the most sense for you. I work with clients to paint this picture for their overall careers.

You can then set a vision for the big and bold goal(s) you set. Same process. What are all the details around the goal? How do you define it? What does it look like in all aspects?

It’s important to have the vision be yours and no one else’s. Certainly, you can set a vision with a partner, family, or team. But your influence needs to be a part of the vision for it to truly resonate for you.

The vision doesn’t need to be a goal, per se. It can also be visioning the outcome of an event. For example, if the goal is wanting a promotion at work then the vision can be all of the elements of the discussion with your boss…understanding all that you should prepare in advance, anticipating your boss’s questions or statements, lining up the business case for a promotion, or preparing good negotiation skills in advance. The vision can help you prepare for the outcome of successfully closing the deal on a promotion or more money, etc. and help you to see the outcomes you want and need.

Some ways to express your vision:

1. Work with someone to create the vision. The first step I request with all of my clients is that we set a vision for the future, for their ideal careers and the outcomes that they want to achieve.

2. Have something close by to remind you of it. In my office, I have framed my coaching certification. It always reminds me of the vision I had toward becoming a coach and building my own business. When the going gets rough, it’s so helpful to have that visual reminder.

3. A Career Vision Board: a collage of pictures and phrases that define your vision. You can limit to one goal or present all the goals for your life on the board. Simply cut out pictures and words and affix these on a poster board. A Vision Board can be created every year, defining what you want to pursue in that year, or you can limit it to one specific goal. It’s all up to you.

4. A Vision Statement. This is a declaration of where you want to be in the future. Companies do this at times to declare the organization’s objective, and it serves as a guide for decision making or prioritization. It can work the same way for you.

5. Wordle is an interesting way to present your vision. www.wordle.net It allows you to put key phrases and words together in interesting word clouds. A visual reminder of your vision and goals.

6. You can also write the vision out. I like to put my Vision(s) in journal formats, but you can also just grab the nearest pen and paper and write your vision down.

Anything you can do to both set a vision and remind yourself of it every day is important to focus on bringing it about. A career vision is really a dream made real to allow you to focus on and define the steps toward.
Happy visioning!

ACTION CHALLENGE

Take some time this week to set an effective vision for your career or for a goal or outcome. Use one of the methods above to define your vision and make it come alive.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com

 

 

 

As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Planning is such an important step in achieving your career goals.

So how do you go about planning a big and bold goal?

After you’ve defined a big and bold goal and set a compelling vision, look at these, and consider what the steps could be. Planning is really about taking a goal and splitting it up into tiny steps…the tinier the better. When I was a project manager, we would often encounter huge multi-year project efforts that looked impossible. I sought some direction from my manager, a very wise woman. Her advice to me was to think about it as an analogy, “How do you cook a whale? One frying pan full at a time.”

Now, bypassing what PETA might say about that for a moment, I love this parallel because cooking a whale, like many large and complex efforts, can be daunting until you break down the steps and make them increasingly smaller.

What are the steps for the goal and vision you have set?

1. Start by brainstorming all of the steps to take. Just go wild on a whiteboard or use sticky notes to write down each one. Don’t limit yourself at this point…you’re brainstorming and every idea is a good one.

2. A step could be to meet with an advisor or someone who can help you to flesh out the other steps.

3. Think of every possible task…remember cooking that whale above. The smaller the steps, the better.

4. Come up with a Plan B (C, D, and E). What alternatives are there to the steps you’re brainstorming? Have some different possibilities prepared?

5. Now go back and break up the steps even further. Say you have a step, “Write my resume.” That’s too big for a step. It can be broken down further into:

a. Find a resume format I like
b. Gather all of my performance reviews
c. Review my current resume, look for accomplishments and not simply actions, and write these down
d. Update core competencies
e. Update skills
f. Update resume summary

The goal is to find items that you can do in one or two sittings. “Write my resume”
maybe too big as a single step.

6. Review the steps with a trusted advisor, coach, or friend.

7. Don’t worry yet how you’re going to get all of this done. We will address
that shortly. Just focus on the steps to take.

Now that you have the list, take a look at the logical connections between the steps. That’s why I like writing these down on sticky notes…you can put these on a wall and reorder the priority if needed. For example, if you’re looking for a new job as a goal, it wouldn’t make sense to start posting on job boards without a resume. You might want to work on Linked In before you reach out to your network, etc. Prioritize the steps into a logical order.

In project management, the critical path is those tasks that must get done in a particular order. The latter tasks depend on the previous ones. Let’s say you want to attend networking events after work. Is that essential to getting a job? Probably not. So this would not be on the critical path. Updating your resume is essential and so that would be a “must-do” on the critical path. Always good to know which tasks are on that critical path.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Can you devote some time to defining the steps to make your big bold goal happen? Think through all of the tasks, big and small, and determine who can assist you in this effort of bringing your career goals alive.

 

 

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.

 

For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com