Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Three Career Time Zones for the Careerlancer

As a career counselor I always make sure clients understand the three time zones of career success. We actually live in all simultaneously:
1. The past.

This one creates the most toxic of outcomes if you're not careful. The past can be the greatest obstacle to achieving goals because it grabs us by the foot and holds us in a mire if we have made mistakes and experienced failure. This time zone demands that all of us implement a new frame when looking at what we perceive as failure. New definition for optimal growth: Failure is when I experience something and learn absolutely nothing from it. Regret and sorrow have to stay behind you.

2. The present.

This time zone taps into several of our essential motivators to work, live and love. It is the NOW of life never to be lived again. This zone demands energy, focus and a sense of purpose to help you overcome the past and to not be stalled in fear of the future. Optimal growth occurs when you play hard, laugh loud from the belly and think of yourself as part of a community. No matter how isolated you may feel at times, you are a part of something much greater than yourself. Go find it.

3. The future.

This time zone requires that you not be faint-hearted. It runs at full capacity when you do two things: A. Ask a lot of questions such as, "Where do I want to be in a year? How do I get there? What can bring meaning into my work? What leisure activity do I need to try? B. Get over or through or around the fear of where this zone might take you.

Life at full throttle means our sorrow for mistakes is in the past, our will to love and live is in the present and our brain power is engaged to think, "what do I intentionally want to do? in the future.

Apathy is not welcome in all three zones.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Lifetime Careerlancer

In the last post, the main idea was this:

In the future of the American workforce you may work but not have a typical "job".
It may be that you're contracted by the job with a set deadline and a goal to achieve. You can have tons of flexiblity, but it such availability can lead to serious hours of work especially at night when everyone else is asleep. But in the end, is it worth it?

As a mom of three with a vital need to have flexible hours to put them first, the answer is yes. I do much of my work on a contract basis only. I see clients hourly and limit my private practice hours. I do trainings, workshops and a variety of tasks that are on deadline. It is an awesome career to allow freedom to be an academic coach at my daughter's school, take a break whenever I choose and to walk the dogs at a moment's notice. To be a careerlancer (career professional + freelancer)means that I have opportunities to cook dinner in the middle of 40 emails, run to the post office before or after lunch and to eat lunch at 2:30pm if I wish. The challenge isn't finishing or accomplishing the goal, but rather how to blend it all into a meaningful and rewarding life with no regrets.

Professionals today run a marathon as though it were a sprint and very few know how to pace the demands into the synchronicity of life's precious and fleeting moments. Thus, I said no to daycare and yes to raising my children. I said no to working in a job that asked for "40" a week when the unwritten rule was really "50" or more. I said no to a sense (albeit a false one) of security with a job title, and a knowledge that I would have a job. There are no promises for that anymore.

Rather, I have said yes to being the driver rather than passenger of my career. The car may be in warp speed at times, but its me who puts it in gear.

Yes, it is scary but so is staying in a cubicle from 9 to 5 with no flexibility for a life calling to be lived once. I am writing into a blogosphere of almost nothingness trying to tell someone that needs to hear, "It is worth it to take a chance on making work fit your schedule rather than being a slave to it.
The answer?
Becoming a careerlancer for life. The how to guide will continue in these posts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Are you ready to be redefined by job title loss?

The American work world is in a frenzied and ferocious state of redefinement. Yes, in just a few years, we could all have work, but not necessarily "jobs". In the future, what will fill the need of employers is the professional who considers their identity in three facets:
1. contracted work
2. short term relationships of synergy
3. stepping into roles in a seamless fashion.

1. Contracted work- This new model will mean that most American workers will be contracted on a job basis only. This may mean doing the work, meeting the goal and getting paid for it. Yet, it is a limited and on call basis only. Call it career freelancer. This person is adaptable to fast paced environments that outpace the dinosaur bureacracies it leaves in its wake. The Pro--- FLEXIBILITY. You can work from home in your pajamas and take a break whenever you want. It is about the end result (product) not the time spent (clocking in). The Con---can be risky for the faint-hearted. Not knowing where your next project will come or when, can be stressful. Is it worth it?
2. Short term relationships of synergy- The new American worker will need to know how to cultivate quick relationships and adapt to a myraid of personalities and demands. You might be working on three projects at a time with three different "bosses" can get a little crazy. But is it worth it?
3. Stepping into roles in a seamless fashion.

Creating garments without seams is incredibly difficult but worth the work. What a spectacular display of craftsmanship. Similarly, working as a free agent or careerlancer requires a professional who adapts, flexes assertiveness and initiates projects from the ground up. It means a blur of time spent working. This may mean working at midnight but at least in your pajamas. You may be a project leader and take a break to tuck your kids into bed or let the dogs out every 2 hours. Is it worth it?

You bet. In my next post, I will tell you how I did it.