Posts

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while and I do apologize. I’ve spent quite a bit of time creating my new website: www.upcoached.com. Please let me know what you think! And yes, I will gratefully accept any recommendation you wish to give on the website as well. Thank you.

Now, let’s get back to your career:

Is your career where you want it to be right now?

There are times when the day to day busyness of your job prevents you from looking at the big picture of your career and where it’s headed. It’s important to take the time to provide perspective into your profession as a way of increasing overall career fulfillment. This perspective allows you to determine what steps you need to take to move your career in the direction you want it to be.

Three factors are critical in the assessment of your career: Self-awareness, relationships, and networking. These are three factors that heavily influence your career now and in the future.

Self-assessment is a great place to start. This is about taking the time to be introspective and thoughtful about where you are and where you want to be in the future. What do you love about the career you’ve chosen? Is it fulfilling? What kind of feedback have you received about your strengths and opportunity areas? What do you want to work on? Can you set some goals?

At the same time, relationships with others are also critical. There’s a relationship with your boss…a A truly important person in your career. There are also relationships in building a support team, such as mentors or sponsors. All of these factors are good to take a look at as well.

This article begins with self-assessment. Next week, we will cover the relationship assessment, followed by networking.

Take the time to answer the following questions thoughtfully and honestly. No one else needs to see these answers. The whole exercise is designed to make you really think about where your career is and what actions are available to you now and in the future.

Are you ready? Let’s go…

Are you doing what you love? Is your career fulfilling you? A fulfilling career is one where you truly enjoy the work that you do. Yes, there are ups and downs, but for the most part, you enjoy the work assigned. You feel fulfillment in your work. What specific aspects of your career do you enjoy the most? If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, take a look at what’s missing for you. This could be an indication of the need to change jobs or careers.

Do you have the right amount of work/life balance? I once had a job that required about 14 to 16 hours per day. It was unnecessarily demanding and for all of those hours, I ended up receiving very little in return, in the long run. It’s always important to strike a balance. How’s your balance? Is it where you want it to be? Do you have a life outside of work?

Are you looking for a promotion? Who knows this? At one point in my career, I thought everyone in leadership knew that I was looking for my next promotion. Never assume! As it turned out, a chance golf game where I was paired with my VP enabled me to discuss this with her. Her reaction was shocking. She didn’t know I was working toward the promotion before this chance meeting. Leaders are very busy people and don’t know what they don’t know. Never assume that they do.

How’s your self-marketing? Doing a great job is just the “ticket to the dance.” It’s not enough to do an outstanding job. You need a self-marketing strategy that works. How do you self-market? Is there a peer that does a great job of this (there usually is!)? What techniques can you “borrow” from that person?

If you’ve ever done a 360 assessment, what are some of your strength and challenge areas? Or have you received feedback on performance reviews? What are you doing to address these? Constructive feedback should always be viewed as important and addressed in some way. Do you need to do anything differently? Behaviors? Knowledge? All important to look at. Do you have a plan to work on these?

What do you need to learn more about? We all have some knowledge gaps. How do you work to close these gaps and expand your knowledge?

Answer these questions and pay close attention to the insights you have about the state of your career.
What are you seeing in your answers? What actions, if any, do you want to take?

ACTION CHALLENGE

Take the Career Track assessment and share your results with a trusted friend, advisor, or coach. Think about this as the beginning of constructing a Career Road Map. Determine what strategies and goals you can address from this assessment.

 

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

 

 

How’s the new year/new decade going so far?

Did you set any new year’s goals or resolutions? How are those going?

You have probably heard some of the statistics around resolutions. Nielsen did a study a few years ago showing that only 64% of resolutions last longer than the first month, and 46% last longer than six months.

While some of these numbers are better than I thought, they also show that, basically, resolutions don’t work! However, I have something that may help your goals stay in place longer than the statistics show.

It starts with writing out a robust vision of the future.

Now, I’ve written about vision before Vision and Values and Achieving Career Goals with Vision and if you are a client, you know that I always begin with helping you to define the vision. Vision is so important because this becomes the foundation for setting your strategies and goals to attain that vision.

Vision can be around any aspect of your life…relationships/family, health, free time, vacations, etc. This article focuses on careers. As you set the vision, it’s important to dream big…very big. I like to think about it this way….if you could have, do, or be anything in your career, what would it be?

This is the first question you want to ask yourself in creating a vision.

The second question is, around what is important about that vision? What about the vision is compelling for you? What makes you think about this as a vision? Having the reason for your vision helps to inform the importance of the vision for you personally.

Example of a career vision: I see myself promoted to Assistant Vice President of Marketing. I have Directors reporting to me and we are focused on exceeding the goals of the corporation with effective metrics and Key Performance Indicators. Becoming a VP will fulfill my desire to achieve and be recognized in the corporation. It will also present me with the career challenges and financial compensation that I’m looking for in the future.

Another example: I see myself as an entrepreneur, running a successful bakery, and café. I have a passion for baking and love serving others so this would be an ideal situation for me to pursue.

The second is a simpler version of the vision but works equally as well.

The vision should be stated in terms that make it robust, compelling, personal, (although you can share), and truly paints a picture of the future that you want to have.

About 20 years ago, I was inspired to write a vision for my future based on listening to some Tony Robbins (amazing speaker and motivator) tapes. The vision I wrote was to go to Hawaii for the first time (Vacation vision). The second was a Career Vision to get promoted two levels above where I was…to Sr. Director.

As I wrote these visions, I didn’t know how I was going to achieve them, I only focused on what, and that’s important as you are visioning. Don’t get caught up in the practical wisdom. With my two visions, I had wanted to go to Hawaii for a while but had never declared it as a vision. For my career, I had been waiting for an overdue promotion to one level up…two levels seemed an amazing vision.

The wheels were set in motion once I defined the vision. I didn’t even write specific goals on each of these but thought about the visions daily. I started taking actions (very important) to achieve the vision…like researching more about Hawaii…where to stay, how much it would cost, etc. I also began to make it clear to my leadership that my goal was to be promoted, and began to act as if I were already at that level.

The result…my husband, son, and I vacationed in Hawaii that summer, and I was promoted that same year, right after I returned from Hawaii! I received the second promotion six months later!

This convinced me of the power of a vision, and while I don’t always practice it for myself, I was reminded of this powerful practice recently through a coach collaboration group I’m working with.

I kept my written vision in front of me every day and dedicated some time to think about it. This is one way to keep it before you. Another is a vision board that you can do physically or electronically as well. Anything that will help keep the vision before you is important.

Is it time to think about what you really want in the future? The beginning of a new year and new decade are perfect times to vision what areas of your career and life you would like to focus on. Start from a clean slate. Forget the past…this is all about you having the career and life you really want!

ACTION CHALLENGE

Consider your career. Where do you see yourself in the next year/five years? What is your vision? Write this down and be sure to include what’s important to you about achieving this. Then use a vision board or other reminders to inspire you daily.
I would love to hear some of your successes out there with setting a Vision!

 

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

 

 

Time management is always important, but even more so in this time of COVID 19.

The virus is all about disruption, and sometimes we forget that could also apply to our daily routines.

How long has it been now? It seems as though we have been in the pandemic quarantine for months, yet I can trace back to March 13th, 2020 as being the date when it officially started for me. That’s 4 weeks ago from today, as I write.

Time almost literally stopped. I found myself in the midst of the tsunami, having to hurriedly prepare for life under quarantine, and that became a problem for all of my regular work that still needed to get done.

As I finally caught up on email and daily to-do lists recently, I realized that they all stopped on that fateful Friday the 13th. It seems I’ve been a bit distracted since then, as have we all.

When the brain is in survival mode, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything else.

I had to re-invent how I tackle my daily/weekly/monthly to-do list. I set about to experiment with some different approaches. I actually made a game of it, trying different techniques every day.

  1. Set aside time on the calendar for strategic work
  2. Hold myself accountable with a partner
  3. Change how I listed items
  4. Tackle lower priority items at night after office hours

I was trying to find a new way to get it all done when an old way came to mind.

I love the story from 1918 (ironically, the time of the last major pandemic in the world). Charles Schwab was the president of Bethlehem Steel. He was in search of better ways to get more done for himself and his team, and so he hired a management consultant named Ivy Lee.

Lee had a method for time management. He was so convinced that this method would work, that he told Charles Schwab to try it for 3 months, and then send him a check for whatever he thought the method was worth. So, Schwab and his executive staff tried it for 3 months. At the end of the time, Schwab wrote Ivy Lee a check for $25,000 (over $400,000 now).

The method is simple yet powerful. In my “corona confusion,” I remembered it and tried it out again:

  1. At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you start the next day, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every workday.

I can tell you this works! I think the basic premise of why is that it is so simple! It also forces you to focus on what is most important – your priorities for the day, one at a time. It helps you to ruthlessly prioritize the most important work. I’ve found that the things that didn’t make the priority may not have had to get done anyway. It also keeps you from multitasking which studies have shown is much less effective than a single focus.

Is it time to reinvent your daily work and priorities?

Please remember to be kind to yourself and others. You’ve been through a lot. We all have. Maybe there really are some things that don’t need to get done during this time.

ACTION CHALLENGE

Please try the Ivy Lee method above and see if it may bring more productivity to your day. Also, I am still offering a free coaching session to all of you through April, to talk about the impact of the pandemic, or anything else on your mind. Please schedule here https://calendly.com/upcoached/60min.

 

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