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.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Influential Power of a Teacher

Maybe it is the season of my life.  Maybe it is the recent reckoning I've had with life's fragility. Life altering events of beloved friends placing them at death's door have provoked me to ponder how I spend energy and what really matters.

People are the most sacred gift we will ever receive.  Ones who come and go.  Ones who stay. Ones you wish would stay longer but don't. Ones you wish would move right along.

In short, the depth and contrast of each event depends on the relationships we have or don't have.

Each relationship we encounter, no matter how brief or enduring, forms a piece of the tapestry of life's amalgamation of joy, sadness, success and failure. 

One of the most powerful relationships long overlooked is between a teacher and student. For better or worse, teachers are the branding iron of a child's perception of their future.  If a teacher takes the iron and burns words into a child's psyche such as "dumb", "trouble"  "stupid", "no good"... such words are seared forever in a negative 
cesspool of cynicism and self-doubt.
Teachers have the privilege and honor of influencing the developing compass of a student's natural ability to navigate a complex world.
Teachers are undervalued in our society.  I've no idea how many teachers teach because they want summers off or think it is an easy gig.  IT IS NOT. Those who do it for the wrong reasons give those who do it right a very bad rap. Many new teachers leave the profession in their first five year cycle. This is an alarming trend.  Is it because they thought it was easy and not so stressful?
I hate to say it, but many teachers inhibit effective learning because they don't know how to make real world connections to concepts taught in class. In essence, a teacher is the midwife helping to give life or death to a child's dream of who they can be. 

What incredible influence.

If you are a teacher, burned out and unhappy reading this post, PLEASE consider making a change for yourself and for the sake of your students. It is not a career for the fainthearted.

If you're a top earner in a successful business making so much money it becomes the golden handcuff preventing you from entering the is never too late.  Professionals transitioning to a classroom naturally mentor success and students need you now more than ever.

I'm thankful for teachers who have passion for what they do and see it as a calling, not a job. These teachers leave their mark forever. Sure, there is incredible politics and bureaucracy that mires and bogs down the learning process.

 No school is perfect. But at the end of the day, students always know which teachers truly care.

I recently had lunch with the most influential teacher of my life. Mrs. Oatley, a music teacher, entered the profession 40 years ago when I was in fourth grade.  She went on to become an elementary school principal and has made a huge contribution in the educational field. Now a consultant, she thrives in a life of great faith and love.

For me, she has always been a steady influence as I entered high school, then college and then into the complicated life of adulthood. I taught alongside her for five years as a colleague in my early teaching career.
She hasn't been in my life on a daily basis, but the lessons I learned from her are with me everyday.
  • Music is a sacred gift that reaches the soul when nothing else can
  • Faith is the central tenet of living because anything is possible
  • Love what you do and do it to the best of your ability
  • If you make a difference in one person's life then you lived well
For those who had Mrs. Oatley as a teacher, surely you remember her beauty and charm. She walked into the classroom with a smile everyday. 
Today, she is just as beautiful and her smile resonates as it did so many years ago. One of my business colleagues stopped by our table and took this picture:

Teachers like Mrs. Oatley take the burning iron of education and brand these words in the hearts of students:


Make sure to join our national Twitter chat called #Schools2Life with me and Edward Colozzi. It takes place on the 2nd and 4th Thursday evenings of each month at 8:00pm EST. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What if?

I wonder what life would be like if I had the raw and determined courage to overcome what I fear most.
When used correctly, fear is my best friend in an unanticipated moment like walking in a dark and eery parking lot alone. It quickens my senses to be on guard.   However, when fear is the default setting in my mind to anything or anyone pushing me outside the boundaries of comfort,  fear becomes a downright bully.
Life is a classroom and the most demanding teacher is time. Professor chronology waits on no one and if the bully of fear sits at the desk with my name on it; the classroom goes silent and every teaching opportunity is paused.  That is, everything but the clock on the wall.  It ticks right on.
Our own mortality is the principal of the school called "life". We all have a meeting someday in that office. In complete honesty, I'm more afraid of the principal than the bully.
 I know someday and in one moment, my summons to exit the premises will occur.  Class time will be over and my teacher will retire. I don't know the exact moment the intercom will blare my name but it is inevitable.
 I will exit never to return.
 Lately, I've been more aware of other people exiting life's classroom much too early. I also have a favorite classmate, my 93 year old grandmother who is restless at her desk not wanting to leave but not wanting to stay either.
So here are the questions on the powerpoint slide of my classroom:
1. Will I meet my principal with a diploma in my hand? It isn't based on grades, achievements or advanced placement courses. It is the syllabus containing all the course objectives of my life that I embraced or ignored.
 2. Will I graduate with honors? The honors are relationships I've been entrusted to nurture, develop and enrich. The irony is what I'm entrusted to nurture is the very thing that causes me to grow.
 3. Will I meet my principal as a petrified drop-out, illiterate in perseverance and hope?
4. Did I excuse myself from fields trips because I couldn't muster signing the permission slip?
5. Did I take advantage of periodic recesses or have lunch at the table of  community? 
6. Did I participate in the endless opportunities for extra curricular activities that expanded my skills or connected me to people I wouldn't have met?

How about you? Do you wonder what  your career or life would be like if you had the raw courage to punch the face of fear?  Living life can be summed up in three major points.

Death is as much a part of life as living is.

I dedicate this blog post to Chris Edmonds, an amazing voice for effective leadership. As I sit next to him in the Twitter classroom #LeadFromWithin he has become a great blessing in my life.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Part Three: The Resume Law of Flaming Attraction

Quick review!

1.  Most if not all companies have one of three types of culture you need to know as your resume is developed.  Your formation style speaks the language of a culture by the words you use.
Read that post here.

2. The hallmark indicators of each culture is critical to understand in today's job market. Read explanation here.

Yes, these three cultures of heritage, contemporary and progressive may seem broad.

However, company preferences can be divulged in their job description and relished when reading your resume.


My premise:

Understanding the link between company culture and resume formation is the first step in igniting the chemical reaction that results in an interview.

This post reveals the effective strategies you can implement to attract the employer you desire or repel the one you don't.

The Heritage Employer

1.  The resume is used by this employer to weed you out.  It is a rake to pull you away.  Many look for why not to interview you.  They instantly find your gaps and inconsistencies.  So if your resume is functional, you don't have a prayer. Only a chronological resume is considered on white or cream-colored paper.  They may prefer that you fax it or send a hard copy through postal delivery.

2. High value on key words emphasizing depth and length:

Adheres to rules
Knows policy and procedures
Respects authority
Long work history
Strong work ethic

3. They prefer headings such as:

Career Objective
Summary of Qualifications
Work History
Relevant Experience
Work History

Most often used job description words:

As assigned

They want to know what you have and haven't done in the past.

The Contemporary Employer

1.  Typically, the resume is reviewed for less than 15 seconds to place your document in one of two piles. Many contemporary employers use software to screen the multitude of resumes they receive on a daily basis. They search for a match to their need.   They instantly look how you fill their gap with your consistent results.

So if your resume shows an impressive array of direct results and impact, you have a prayer. An electronic version that is copied and pasted in the body of your email along with an attachment is preferred.

2. High value on key words emphasizing specialization, team and adaptability:

Results driven
Customer service oriented

3. They prefer headings such as:

Skill-Set Highlights
Professional Expertise
Educational Achievement
Technology Capabilities
Professional Development
Professional Affiliations
Community  Involvement

Favorite job description words:

Manage change
Team environment

They want to know what you can do right now this very moment.

The Progressive Employer

1.  The cream of the progressive employer may want to see your QR code. 

So, here is mine:
QR code

2. High value on key words emphasizing social media expertise, innovation and team culture:

Social enterprise

3. They prefer headings such as:

Business Expertise
Industry Recognition
Technology Capabilities

Favorite job description words (If you can find one):

Fast paced
Manage stress

They want to know what you will do tomorrow and in the future because you're a constant learner and you believe in their mission.

Here's a picture that illustrates my point:

All three cultures are similar to a match igniting the fire of business products and services.  Some have served their purpose as their business model now flickers (think post offices). Others are ready for new combustion when your  tangible contribution strikes a need of customers. Skills in demand are like the side of a company's matchbox. 

The challenge for any jobseeker is to find the matching employer that values your flame. And to add the right pressure that strikes the fire.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Part Two: Three Types of Employer Culture

In the previous post, the importance of matching your resume to the company culture of your potential employer was heavily emphasized.  In today's post, we will identify the three types of employer cultures most often encountered by jobseekers through resume selection and interviewing.

These are broad classifications and each employer may have pieces and parts of all three. However,  an awareness of the predominant company culture is very important when forming your resume and preparing for the interview.

1. The heritage employer

This employer has been around a long time.  Stability, durability, and tradition are the hallmarks of this culture.  The heritage company will likely:

  • Use obsolete words in a job description if they have one
  • Be manager-driven in organizational goals
  • Appear organized and hierarchical
  • All about time and clocking in/out
  • Doesn't evaluate regularly and rarely promotes
  • Policy and procedure rule workplace behavior
  • Disconnected from wider industry network
  • Look for general skills that seem vague and "duty" oriented
  • Ask illegal interview questions because they don't know better
  • Value worker loyalty and longevity above all else
  • Not appreciate diverse and young employees
  • Resist technology at every turn
  • Avoid conflict at all costs
  • May not have savvy company website or utilize social media
  • Have leadership directives by older executives that don't embrace change
Examples: Federal, local or state government, education, coal or energy companies, law enforcement, military, non-profit organizations, religious entities, some banking and financial institutions and factories

2.  The contemporary employer

This employer has succeeded in several business cycles.  Customer service, profitability, and stakeholders are the critical focus of this culture. The contemporary company will likely:
  • Use specific words linked to tangible outcomes in a job description approved by HR
  • Be leader-driven in organizational goals
  • Silos exist but team collaboration is emphasized
  • Evaluates annually and places emphasis on remediating weaknesses
  • Professional development and cross-training rule the workplace
  • All about time and productivity
  • Encourages industry network, partnering opportunities and expertise for the good of the company
  • Look for specialized skills related to the result of a job and how it affects the bottom line
  • Ask behavioral interview questions because they know past behavior predicts future behavior
  • Value worker productivity and goal achievement above all else
  • Appreciate diverse and young employees but doesn't intentionally recruit them
  • Consider the benefits of technology and shift slowly with painstaking buy-in from everyone
  • Addresses conflict only when it rears its ugly head
  • Have official company website but is unaware of the power and potential of social media
  • Have leadership directives that must be approved by everyone in the chain
Examples include the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies

3.  The progressive employer
This newly successful employer is trying to transition out of the incubator stage at a high rate of speed. Employee satisfaction, flexibility, social influence and  the company mission are the critical focus of this culture. The progressive company will likely:

  • Use a job description as a platform to harness talented workers and constantly adjusts to the worker's strengths
  • All about energy and high productivity
  • Employee driven
  • Very flat organizational structure
  • Gives timely feedback and constructive ways for improvement every few months
  • Emphasize family priorities and work/life fit promoted with open spaces, pets and flexibility
  • Telework, at home offices and job sharing are workplace options
  • Strongly encourage industry network, opportunity and expertise that is good for the individual
  • Look for ways to increase employee skills based on adaptation and evolution of technology
  • Ask interview questions that appear on the surface to be random and peculiar (but are not)
  • Value worker engagement above all else while also making a contribution to society
  • Appreciation of diverse and young employees while actively pursuing them through employee connections
  • Harness technology as the driver of business
  • Train employees to recognize conflict as normal progression of team development
  • Have innovative company website, iphone or ipad apps along with brand identity through social media
  • Have leadership directives that are informal. quick and at times, not effectively communicated
Examples include tech start-ups, Tom shoes, Starbucks, and Google.

My estimate is today :
  • 60% of companies are heritage
  • 35% of companies are contemporary
  • 5% of companies are progressive
Result: HUGE impact on entrepreneurial spirit of individual workers that must be reversed.

In the next decade:

60% of companies need to be progressive and entreprenuer based
35% of companies will move to contemporary cultural styles
5% of companies will be heritage only because they swallowed competition

Viability, technology and a global economy have redefined organizations.  New job growth must connect to versatile and adaptive workplaces that inspire innovation.

  The question for you is:

How will you let an employer's culture define you? 

Next post:  Resume words attracting each culture and how that affects you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Marriage Made In Heaven? Your Resume and the Employer's Culture

The next series of blog posts will focus on the critical bond between a successful resume and the company culture of your potential employer. Many if not all jobseekers fail to consider this important influence in resume writing, interview preparation or accepting a job offer.  What I'm about to tell you can alter the course of how you job search and save a lot of energy and valuable time.

Let's start with a macro approach to understanding the symbiotic relationship of your resume style and the company culture of your potential employer.


Today's workplace has three basic categories of employer culture. The descriptions I'm going to share with you aren't based on size (small, medium, large) or sector  but upon acceptable norms, leadership and behaviors within the company's culture.  The key to a successful resume, interview and job search is to identify a company with a culture you admire, value and attract. In the end, this will help you sustain employment and acclimate to workplace expectations.  Your resume becomes the match-maker.

Right this moment, your resume may fit one type of employer but not the employer you want to attract. The culture doesn't match you. The values aren't congruent.  You're frustrated and unhappy with your search efforts. In fact, you've almost given up because there doesn't seem to be anyone hiring.

The reality is your resume may not be tailored in the ideal or exact format that will marry your talent to the right employer who needs your skills and a company culture that values your contribution.   

Let me illustrate what I mean.

Imagine you're fishing.  You have an expensive rod and reel with the strongest line, sinker and hook available. You spared no expense and did all your research to determine the perfect rod.  Does that guarantee you will catch a fish?  Of course not.  You can know without proper bait and the availability of fish;  no rod, reel and hook will ever succeed regardless of how much money you spent.

The job market is the same.  You've worked hard. You've been a great success.  You have much to bring to the table. But, no one is biting.

Your resume is the bait to attract the best employer for you.  Your critical tasks:

1. Identify the right species that will want and eat your bait.
2. Locate the body of water they live in.
3. Determine their feeding times.

The result could be amazing.  Your resume if written to match the company culture, will weed out employers you don't want to work for. After all, you are interviewing too.  This method works like a moth is drawn to a flame because it resonates with an employer and speaks identical language.  If it doesn't then you're not fishing in the right pond and you'll be foreign to the environment.  One more piece of advice:

NEVER use artificial bait.

Next post: What are the three types of employers and the resume formation that matches each one?

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are the Unemployed Unemployable?

An NPR article has me pondering the world of work universe with one HUGE question:

Can an unemployed person be truly unemployable?

We all agree the global economy and technology have definitely been game-changers. They forced outdated, slow or inefficient processes to become obsolete. Does that mean a person who is an expert at those processes also becomes a dinosaur?

Of course not.

The reality of this complex, turbulent job market is quite simple: The worker who is unwilling to be re-trained can become unemployable because they refuse to adapt and learn new ways of working.

The employable workers share common sustainable traits:
  • positive attitude
  • willingness to learn
  • problem-solver
  • strong determination

Perhaps the strongest ability needed today is an enthusiastic attitude to let go of the old and embrace the unknown.

Imagine for a moment, you are the employer. Would you hire an experienced worker with no enthusiasm or an inexperienced worker with enthusiasm?   The angst of change has robbed many unemployed workers of the energy and enthusiasm to be re-trained.

A possible solution

Unemployed workers who receive benefits longer than six months must be retrained. Their former job is likely not coming back. That doesn't make them unemployable. It makes them choose whether or not they're adaptable and willing not to become fossilized.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Career Lexicon's Two Missing Words

This current contracting job market has forced two words to be removed from our career lexicon: security and stability.

These phrases sound ideal: 

From an employer: "Your job is secure, no worries!"

From self-talk:  "Thank goodness my job is stable." 

Technology has ended the world of work we once knew. 

Long term security and stability are nonexistent. A global economy has formed new rules as technology shifts business processes.  A successful company today erases inefficient and outdated systems of yesterday while developing  quick, easy and inexpensive products or services tomorrow.

These processes have required workforce reduction. This shift will likely not change in the future.  As the industrial age fades and the information age matures, today's worker must embrace the very reason they became obsolete: technology.


First, add two new words to your career lexicon: adaptable and teachable.

The information age connects you to unparalleled access to resources.  In essence you must become a data miner extracting opportunities and knowledge you would otherwise never see.  To successfully accomplish this you can:

  • Learn the basics of Internet navigation by using Google
  • Develop a professional identity through Linkedin and Twitter
  • Consider how you can work from home as the Internet has made this viable
  • Study the influence of social media and how it impacts business and career opportunities
  • Take computer classes to learn new applications or software at your local library


 The most crucial task is to be open and adaptable to new information. Consider these important strategies:
  • View any learning opportunity as professional development
  • Attend online webinars available in your industry or profession
  • Join organizations that promote innovative ideas and approaches
  • Connect to professional colleagues through web portals,  blogs and sites such as You Tube and Live Stream
  • If you have an iTunes app on your phone, delve into the endless podcasts available in your professional field.
Embracing technology and using it as a tool for success certainly adds two words never erased from your lexicon:  


Friday, September 16, 2011

The Job Market Puzzle: Where Do You Fit?

Today's job market is similar to thousands of puzzle pieces that don't seem to fit together and are scattered randomly across a kitchen table.

Whenever you're frustrated with the consuming and meticulous work of putting a puzzle together, pieces don't naturally fall into place. You have to work at finding the linkage. To expedite the process, you can do one of the following:

1. Complete the border first and work from the outside in.
2. Match the color patterns together especially if they are stark.
3. Default to examining the picture on the box.

Isn't that what we do with a job search or a career choice when the future is unclear?

Of course, we are more than a piece of a puzzle but the metaphor resonates with today's job market.

Think about the following similarities between you and a puzzle piece:

  • Each of us have boundaries and can only go so far
  • Each of us have a specific role to play in an organization with our unique fit
  • We must be highly interconnected as we need one another
  • We are unique in our nature, shape, size and color 
  • Like a puzzle, we can be fragile and breakable if pulled too hard
  • The whole of the puzzle is greater than the sum of its parts just as we can accomplish more together than individually.
  • There are natural groupings of a puzzle based on color, size, shape and border. We tend to migrate toward others like us.
  • The puzzle completion needs someone with an overall vision, the one looking at the cover of a puzzle box.
Where do you fit in this complex job market puzzle?  Where is the job matching your talent?

Take lessons from the putting a puzzle together:

1. Appreciate being interconnected.
2. Migrate to professionals like you.
3. Validate the diversity you bring to the table.
4. Be willing to play whatever role is needed in an organization.
5. Hold onto the vision of your career when it seems like nothing is falling into place.

Do you have a lesson to add to my list?  There are employers needing your unique contribution. The key is how you intentionally connect and convince how your skills fit.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is it Really a Hidden Job Market?

The constant buzz of job search strategies is built upon two primary beliefs:

1. It isn't what you know, it's who you know that will get you the job.
2. Network, network, network and network to tap into the "hidden" job market.

As a career counselor, I want to clarify these assumptions.

Many employers today are not using job boards as a source for hiring.  Using them for one opening may result in hundreds of applicants.  How do you winnow the field? 

Today, their openings are usually spread by word of mouth via current employees who refer candidates to the hiring manager. 

This method will result in:

  • Increased retention because the employee knows whether or not the potential candidate fits the work culture
  • Decreased costs of not having to market the opening
  • Trust in an employee to refer a competent worker rather than interviewing a candidate not known inside the company
  • Efficiency that saves time finding the right person
So yes, networking as defined by job search experts is essential.  But the jobs are not hidden.  They are protected.

"Hidden" denotes something that is concealed or buried away.  Employers have openings to fill but are not using the standard approaches of hiring by blasting them on job boards or newspaper ads. 

"Protected" implies being selective and even picky about who they share with and how they do it.  They shield themselves from an avalanche of resumes and not having staff to find the right fit.  Thus, internal referrals save time and money.

Overall, this "protected" job market is most common in small businesses that account for at least 70% of employers in the United States.

Connecting to the community is vital to career success.  Meeting people, sharing ideas and brainstorming with colleagues across your industry is imperative.

Finally, if you are wondering how to connect to the community as you have become very isolated in your search, take heart.  Start today by reaching out to volunteer at a local charity or school to begin a process that will be very rewarding.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Power of Twitter and Social Media

Hello.  My name is Carla and I'm a twitter-holic.

My first gulp of it was not all that great.  Micro-blogging initially appeared a waste of time and energy.  What could I possibly say of value in 140 characters? Twitter seemed irrelevant.  I was sorely deceived.

After having an inactive Twitter account for several years, I committed to learning its value as my new year's resolution. I had tweeted 25 times in three years and had 99 followers. I began by searching for people like me and watching my preferred news feeds.

The hook occurred on January 8th when I watched my twitter news feed relay tweets of Rep. Giffords' shooting. In angst, I ran to the TV to watch and no news station reported it at the time Twitter did. The power of this tool became obvious.

Through trial and error, I discovered the power of a hash tag (#) and the multitude of experts that tiny character unveiled.  #Hash tags led me to people, ideas and knowledge that I care about and want to learn.

Here are lessons I learned that engaged me most with Twitter:

1.  Be real, engaging and consistent.  This means putting a thoughtful bio and picture on your account. I spend at least an hour a day with it in spurts and realize that I get what I put into it.

2. Use a Twitter directory to discover people that share your interests. Place yourself in the directory for people to find you.

I use Twellow:

3.  Build your Twitter from the moment you open your account with at least two tweets a day.  People are on Twitter all day and night so don't worry about the timing. Just tweet.  

Tweet quotes that are meaningful to you. 

Tweet news articles you find interesting.

Tweet blog posts you enjoy.

One of my favorite Twitter users is Lolly Daskal.  She's an author and expert on leadership.  I don't just follow her. I listen to her.  Reading her tweets is inspiring.  I also participate in a chat she facilitates on Tuesday nights.  For one hour, I watch my twitter feed explode with great insight and opinions on leadership.  It is worth your time to find a chat that interests you. Here is a link:

4.  When you follow someone, they'll have the opportunity to follow you back.  I read every follower's bio and stream of tweets to decide if I will follow them.  If they don't tweet, I don't follow.  If they don't spam I will listen until they turn me off with a constant barrage of selling or marketing.  Everyone has a chance to engage me until they start to annoy.

5. Don't get caught up on the number of people who follow you.  This is a BIG deal.  Twitter has engaged me by WHO to follow and who follows me.  I enjoy connecting to career experts, moms, coaches, entreprenuers, social media professionals and yes, my daughter Annie.   What matters on Twitter is that you listen and are listened to by people who value what you have to say. 

The first kiss: My re-tweets

There is something about putting a tweet in the twitterverse and having it re-tweeted.  A re-tweet affirms that you're saying something others want to pass along. When the re-tweeting started happening to me, it was like a first kiss that sealed my attention and effort.

Finally, the best thing about Twitter is that I have NO IDEA where it is going.  I can't speculate about the potential it has for me or my company because it can't be estimated.  What is certain is that I can't underestimate its importance.  The beauty of Twitter's power is how it harnesses one short blurb that can topple a government or change the way I think. It is @awesome.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Best Employer Frequency To Find a Job

Today as the competition is fierce and only getting fiercer with a tight job market, I have an illustration for you to consider.

Imagine you are driving in the car and listening to your favorite radio station. It plays the music genre you prefer and it is the only station you listen to on a drive. But, is it the only station out there?

People treat seeking employment the same way. They tune in to their most preferred genre of finding and applying for jobs in one of the following ways:

Job boards

Newpaper ads

Trade journal openings

Online web crawlers like Indeed or Simply Hired.

The stark reality is that employers have veered away from most (but not all) of the above and are on another frequency. You can tell this by job seeker frustration:

"I've applied online to 99 jobs this week alone and haven't heard back from one."

"I keep seeing the same job posted every week in a recycled fashion. Why are they not interviewing me?"

As a jobseeker, you have to crank it up a notch and migrate to the station where employers advertise their openings.

Their station is simple: their current employees are the frequency used to refer potential candidates for the position which likely lessens the risks involved in a new hire.

In discussing this strategy with someone who does it, I understand their reasoning and logic:

1. Our new hire is referred by someone we value and know.

2. By seeking the candidate from an internal search, we minimize the public response to an opening which could be overwhelming (think hundreds of responses to one opening).

3. We are likely to retain the person because they were referred by someone who knows our culture.

4. We have more success this way since jobseekers have become adept at interviewing but poor at the actual job.

Re-read #4.  That is the major reason employers are emphasizing new hires from current staff.   A decision-maker of one organization told me that this strategy has reduced turnover and saved money.

If you respond to an opening you see on the Internet or anywhere else it is a REACTIVE mode. That means you are in a battle for attention with many others. Your struggle becomes one of how to differentiate yourself from the pack.
If you hear of an opening from a contact, friend, colleague, etc. that works for the company you have an intentional opportunity to get an interview. The likelihood of your success is much, much higher.

All of this to say you must consider the following strategies for a successful job hunt:

1. Get out of your house and mingle every single day with people through lunches, coffee, networking events and opportunities for interaction.  Don't let one day go by without seeing other people in some way.

2. Limit the time you spend to only 15% of your day on the computer. The rest of it should be spent with others in some capacity. Think creatively on ways to interact and be seen.

3. Volunteer your time to your community. Build a house with Habitat, tutor a child at school, walk the dogs at the animal shelter and help in any way possible.

4. Always follow up. It is one of the most critical tasks you will do in the search. It shows you are serious.

Tune in to where the employers are or you will have a very long search in front of you. As long as it is their market, they have dibs on being tight with their choices. The difference for you will be what steps you take to land on their radar.  The best and most effective way is for their employee to recommend you for an interview.  The other alternative plays music you might not want to hear.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Your Career Word Cloud

Today's google search of you is now your resume for an employer.  Your identity, pictures, words, ideas and expression can be accessed online with a simple click of the button. Employers are certain to google you when considering an interview.  Through Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and any other social media tools, your web presence is their quick access to your character, activities and friends. 
As technology progresses, all of us will be quickly identified by our online "word cloud".  This is critical for you to understand.

A word cloud is a constellation of descriptors gleaned from your presence on the web through social media.
My word cloud contains these hash tags:  #career #interviews #job #resume #workforcedevelopment #counselor #life #careercounselor #coach #blogger #entreprenuer #trainer #author. 

What's in yours? 

Finding the word cloud of your resume

Using wordle as an integral part of your word cloud identity is a key to your success.  To begin, copy and paste the text of your most current resume into wordle and let it give you a word cloud of your skills. What words appear?  What words are missing?  This tool can harness your talent and help you articulate what you bring to an employer.  Hash tags (descriptive words that start with #) are going to only increase in defining your online presence. 

Social media and the power of it is here to stay.  Make certain you know how to use it wisely.  The absolute worse than you can do is ignore it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The over-hyped bachelor

Economists and politicians have myriad diagnoses regarding the job market’s chronic anemia. The forecast appears dismal with no apparent cure. This is the great American quackery.

Sure, the unemployment statistics hover around 9% reflecting a significant contraction in jobs becoming obsolete. But what about the stable careers planted deep in American soil not being shipped to India? Such jobs are under the national radar because of a covert operation to hide them from our younger workforce. There is a dark side to the cause of unemployment better known as “parental aversion”.

It is a stealthy systemic infection plaguing our job market. Symptoms include college graduates washing dishes at the local diner. Harvard’s recent report, Pathways to Prosperity addresses the 21st century demand for every worker needing a high school diploma but not all jobs require a four year bachelor degree. This is an understatement.

Most parents, educators and guidance counselors have tainted the career selection pool. Typically, the smart, affluent and successful have a navigational GPS destined for careers requiring a bachelor’s degree while job titles needing a vocational certificate are for the dumb, lazy and unmotivated student or worse, the drop-out.

Vocational education has become the “wayward child” alternative that a typical parent would thumb their nose at. This unspoken vow not to let children consider it as optional is a root cause of our perceived debilitated job market. Think about it. Where are the current openings? They’re in occupations parents refuse to allow their children to consider.  Yes, parents may not consider manual labor as a job that pays the bills, but ask your local utility company how desperate they are to find workers. Call up a plumber and ask how business is. You’ll quickly discover the critical lack of skilled employees especially for the future. In addition, the Harvard article also admits startling facts about how much money can be made without a college degree.

Universities have over-marketed the bachelor degree. Parents have bought a bill of goods that saddle their children with debt promising to be the next financial crisis. As a result, the job market languishes while a skeletal crew keeps the lights on as smart, affluent and successfully unemployed college graduates move back home.

We parents must confess that a bachelor degree has become a safety net for our children. The reality is students who get the degree are likely to land a menial job than a dream career because of woeful job preparation. After all, competition is ferocious. The new graduate with a four year degree vies for a job representing no more than 20% of the market. The rest of work opportunities belong to the plumber, electrician, HVAC repairer and the mechanic.

To complicate matters is the overall inept national high school guidance model that exacerbates the crisis. The title “guidance counselor” is a total misnomer. Monitoring student progress and completing necessary forms is not career development. Our children need direction and decision-making skills for a lifetime of hard choices. Guidance counselors who do spend time with students may be inclined to assist the ones likely to receive the bachelor badge. This coupled with parental snubbing has caused an oversupply of college educated job seekers who can’t find work. Meanwhile, the significant chasm between older workers in vocationally certified jobs and younger workers to replace them continues to widen.

So what’s the cure?

Let’s start with a wake up call not to educators or politicians, but to parents. Vocational education must be considered a viable option for our children’s career choice. Stop branding it as the alternative school for the dumb kids. A vocational education provides the foundation for a sustainable wage that can outpace the worker with a four year degree.

Next, America must demand for high schools to equip guidance counselors with the critical career development competencies necessary to facilitate a life long pursuit of making sound occupational choices. To not equip our children with fundamental career counsel is a travesty.

Finally, if your children sense the gravitational pull to work with their hands and get dirty, what’s the risk of letting them sweat? We need a serious injection of reality to stimulate our energy for adapting to the needs of the workforce.

After all, ask the Wall Street broker when his electricity goes out who he calls or the politician who she will dial when discovering the air conditioner doesn’t work. It may just be your child.

We parents must embrace the career path our children choose to marry. Let’s no longer allow universities to be the match-maker and end the quackery of our misguided career perception.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Job Interview: the adult version of the science fair competition

The most anxiety provoking stimulus on the planet is preparing for a job interview.  The trepidation causes physical symptoms ranging from cold hands and heart palpitations to severe migraine headaches.  The reason?  Our human nature fears rejection. We don't want to make a fool of ourselves and fail to ace an interview that leads to a job we really want.

So much seems to be at stake for such a short window of sitting at the table with strangers.

Thus, many jobseekers feel powerless when preparing for an interview and that lack of confidence can sabotage their chances. 

What can you do to increase the probability of success?

Know the rule of controlled variables.

Remember the day you completed your science fair exhibit for school?  The entire experiment was based on your ability to hypothesize, conduct procedures and draw conclusions from the results.  The key to success was in comparing the trials with variables you controlled with the one variable you couldn't.  
Interviewing is exactly the same process.

It is the adult version of a science fair project and the employer is your judge.

1. The variables you cannot control

Here is a list of the variables you can't sway or change that may affect your interview:

1. The interviewer had a bad morning before coming to work and sits at the table in a closed posture and horrible mood.  You think he just doesn't like you.
2. The employer interviewing you is in a conflict with his boss and displaces aggression in terse questions that take you off guard.  You had no idea this was going on.
3. There is an internal candidate privy to being hired and you know nothing about it.
4. The interviewing panel has poorly prepared for discovering your talent and if you're a match for the position. The interview ends abruptly and you don't know why.
5. The interviewers ask questions you haven't prepared for including illegal ones and it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth.

I could go on and on, but catch my drift: there are some things you can't change that may impact your interview success.

BUT!  There are variables that you can control, so take the reins and make sure you minimize a potentially negative perception.

2. The constant variables you control

Here is a list of the most important variables that you have the power to regulate:

1. Your attire- Make certain you dress professionally to the interview with no exception.  Employers are now seeing young adults coming to an interview in pajama bottoms.  Seriously!
2. Your smell- Make certain you don't wear strong perfume or cologne.  Allergies, scent of a former spouse can adversely affect your interview.  Smell clean and fresh with plenty of deodorant.
3. Your body- Have a strong handshake, confident eye contact and warmth in your smile.  Don't wear excessive jewelry (especially on the face) and show your prized tattoos.  It is a variable that could be negative.  Do you want to risk it?  Maybe you do.  If you choose to show body art and piercing it will certainly weed out an employer if they decline to offer you a job because of your body art. 
4. Your mannerism and language- Be friendly, open and honest in your answers.  This calls for serious preparation and mock interviews with friends to get comfortable hearing yourself discuss the finer points of your talent.
5. Your answers- Study the company, the job description, interview professionals in that position at other companies and practice your responses. 
6. Your cell phone, friend or parent- Leave it or them at home. End of explanation.

It all comes down to convincing the interviewing team that you possess the skill-set, attitude, work ethic and temperament that fits the company culture.  The judges will decide if you're the right fit.  Yet, in the end, your preparation, skills and attitude make you the true winner.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The workforce opportunity project results published

The workforce opportunity project is an empirically based research project that randomly selected 100 Eastern Kentucky employers. We asked a rigorous set of questions that included skills, training and character traits needed for future workers.

Visit the official website for a full report and the project highlights:

Here is also a recent article about the project published in the Floyd County Times.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Common Courtesy: The Heart of Career Success

This is my "elephant" in the room blog moment.  It is an obvious but woefully neglected topic for any person desiring to increase career success: display common courtesy because it impacts you and others in only two ways, positive or negative. 

There is no gray area in between the two extremes.

1. The rule of life and career: Treat others as you want to be treated. 

I don't know if its the time, age or cultural shift of our society but we neglect the art of displaying common courtesy.  This can sting you in a career, maybe not immediately but eventually.  The consequence can be a fatal blow in a job offer, personal connection or advancement opportunity.

Examples of lacking courtesy:

1. Not taking a few moments to call if I'm running late to a meeting assuring others I will be there.
2. Not showing up at all with no call, no warning and simply ignoring the meeting altogether.
3. Not returning phone calls within 24 business hours.
4. Not returning email messages within 48 business hours.
5. Not saying thank you to a colleague for something they have done, no matter how big or small.

This all seems so elementary, but it's not.  We seem to be a people in a hurry, rush or in an environment that diverts attention, simply forgetting the basic course called "Be Nice 101".

2.  In the end, whatever you sow you'll reap.

This wisdom rings true more than we realize.  Whatever kindness, generosity or manners we display will be given back in some degree over time.  Its the law of the universe.  Its as imperative and true as the law of gravity.  And, lots of things fall on your head rather than in your lap when you don't use it.

So what can you do to improve your courteous spirit and business etiquette?

Five simple strategies will get you moving in the courteous direction.

A. Remember people are more important than time, money and even sleep.  They drive your business or job.  Without them, you have no work.  Be nice even when you don't feel like it.
B.  Return their phone calls in 24 hours.  No wiggle room on this one.
C.  Email them promptly.  The deadline is 48 hours. Sooner is better.
D. Never leave another person, business or organization stranded when they expect to meet you. Pure rudeness will bite you in the a*#.
E. Say thank you more.  In words, in action, in a moment, just say thank you more.

The result will be a happier you and everyone else around you.  Common courtesy is the lifeblood of career and life success.   You probably have heard that common mantra "Don't burn bridges in your career" a thousand times.

Today a new one emerges that sounds like this, "Take time to build a bridge with common decency and kindness."  Can't burn a bridge that was never built.

Courtesy will go a long way.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Recalibration: The job market's bully

Economists are not career counselors. It seems to me they're being sought after to explain the job market's woes while using potentially outdated methods to surmise our current condition.

Economists can explain the parameters about the job market but are not actively working inside it to give us an accurate bird's eye view. To say they live in an ivory castle is the extreme but I'm not far off when it comes to providing us with substantial relevance to our present condition. They appear sometimes as detached from the real world.
It is equivalent to me stopping by a funeral visitation of a friend. I enter the room, walk over to him and pay my respect. Gently, I begin to speak.
"So sorry for the loss of your mother. I know just how you feel."
I then proceed to the exit, grab my cell phone and call my mother.

What I offered was hollow sympathy without a speck of authentic understanding for the crisis my friend is experiencing.

Economists have sympathy for our job market woes. But do they really know the impact of the power of their words and how that affects the trenches? They seem to focus on the hole when we need them to look at the doughnut.

The hole they see: Loss of obsolete jobs. Low consumer confidence. Bleak outlook. The sky is falling.

The doughnut they need to talk about: New job creation not on the radar as independent contractors emerge and vocationally certified occupations need new workers to provide infrastructure for the new economy from electricians to hydrologists.

The bully who made it all happen

The reality is some types of jobs are lost everyday and this will never end. The likes of media giants in particular are beginning to fossilize in print media form such as newspapers. Some business chains are suffering HUGE consequences for not adapting their stone age models to an ever fluid audience.
Technology has outdated yesterday's golden digital child. It is a tornado of epic proportions that is hard to predict and few can stay ahead of its volatile forces.

Many businesses during the economic recession (not my word for it) did not peek ahead to an ever changing paradigm of customer need and fickleness that will hurt them as the economy rebounds. Businesses who stick to hard and fast rules are losing breath or are already dead. Still have a pager? Once you did, but now you don't. Why? Because something else made it obsolete. This is the nature of our economy that is beautiful in one way and ugly in another (especially when you lose a job).

We have created a beast. I call it the bully of constant recalibration.

The world of work is in the midst of unprecedented evolution. A recalibration that may not shake out for several more years. One major reason is because so many jobseekers right this moment are searching for jobs that don't exist. They are never coming back. So what do you do in this job market climate?


The economy is recalibrating for a new era of workers who stop looking for big companies to hire them. Rather, they gear up to do business as unusual. In other words, they develop a type or brand that offers a specialization that makes life easier for customers who don't have that particular expertise or product. This could include occupations such as graphic artists, writers, editors, project managers, consultants and trainers just to name a few. Our emerging economy will be quick and nimble unless it has federal government letterhead. There will be many who contract their services and answer to the feds on a 1099.

In just a few years, we will have a generation of tornadic new spenders in the market numbering over 75 million. When they get ready to spend, their primary business targets will be who they know, trust and believe will make life simpler, cheaper and quicker to navigate. How will you position yourself to be on their radar?

Every worker has to develop a business acumen independently and as a part of a community of experts within an industry. Keep reading blogs on emerging technologies and business practices. Keep having coffee and lunches with your colleagues. Stop focusing on the decline(symptom) as the economist seem to be doing and start paying attention to the recalibration (cause) that took effect when computers first began to hum. I think we need to face up to being the new business owners we were always afraid to be.

This is not an easy transitional decade. Yet, we as a nation can't continue to spend money in reviving what can't be brought back to life. We don't want to go back to pagers, do we?

After all, the global market is calling. The ones who pick up the phone to answer will see recalibration not as the bully who forced job elimination and wreaked havoc on family and friends. But the new kid on the block who wants to be a friend. What do you think economists will say about that?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The career trifecta: perseverance, focus and humor

Since the word career derives from the french meaning "racetrack", we should make one sure bet on the top three characteristics of career success.

Here is my personal trifecta:

2nd Place: FOCUS
3rd Place: HUMOR

Without perseverance in the lead we're all in serious trouble.  How many times have you had a great idea until a bump or roadblock sidelined your creativity?  Just like that, your perseverance vanished.  Without Thomas Edison's first place finish we'd still be reading by candle light.  Develop this characteristic by increasing your capacity for disappointment. Sulk only for a moment.  Then, be tenacious and try again.

In second place by a nose is focus.  This is the long shot who darts out in the front of the pack.  Focus is the key to getting work accomplished and goals achieved.  Focus gives impetus to finish strong when so many things are vying for our attention in the midst of multiple distractions.  Focus is harnessing your energy for a certain task until it is complete.

Rounding out the winning wager is humor.  This spry attitude of looking at life through a positive lens is critical to our mental and physical wellbeing.  When is the last time you laughed out loud from the gut?
In spite of an often grueling pace, laughter is the essential component that eases tension and stress.

No matter how we place our talents at the starting gate, the human quest for a meaningful career is a hard race to run. It asks for both speed and endurance simultaneously.  The question is, how much are we willing to wager in finding a career worthwhile?

Of course, we missed out on the announcer declaring the last place finisher.  It crossed the line but no one in the crowd saw it complete the race.

Apathy.  It came in all alone.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Emerging New Work Ethic

I've interviewed employers and asked them face-to-face, what skills do you want in your future workforce?

They're indicating a need for a plethora of critical skills to meet their business demands.  Just a few of the most important include:

1.  The ability to self-manage and work independently without excessive feedback.
2. The ability to utilize critical thinking skills when confronted with a complex problem.
3.  Exerting professionalism at all times.
4. A basic willingness to learn new skills as technology constantly shifts the business model.
5. Display a strong work ethic at work.

What exactly are these skills and how does one learn them? 

My previous post was about the skill of self-management.  This post centers on a strong work ethic.

A strong work ethic in metamorphosis

First, let's define it and then explain the phenomena of its apparent shift.

The definition of a "strong work ethic" is subjective at best due to personal influences such as age, life experience and one's family of origin.  What is determined to be a strong work ethic by one individual or family may be considered as "lazy" to another because everyone's ideology is different.   It is therefore safe to generalize the sustainability skill of "strong work ethic" by pointing to indicators that likely represent it.

The positive behaviors reflecting a strong work ethic include:

1. Coming to work everyday.
2. Being punctual everyday.
3. Not letting personal life interfere with professional responsibilities.
4. Doing the work with excellent quality.

Based on these four behaviors we can now define a strong work ethic as a worker's intent to take work seriously when actively engaged in it.
Why are employers asking for employees that possess a strong work ethic and what is the reason for its necessity today as compared to previous years?  Is there a generational difference in how a person's work ethic is defined?  Or is it simply an issue of pervasive indifference, laziness and lack of motivation in workers?

Could it be that an employee's strong work ethic is no longer linked to time spent clocking in, blind loyalty and total dedication to an employer?  Are employers asking for what is no longer available in the workforce especially given the reductions, lay-offs and down-sizing experienced over the last decade?  Are workers more savvy in determining not to let work become an all consuming bent? Is it possible many younger workers have seen tangible results of family break-down and unhealthy lifestyles of parents who were let go in spite of a "strong work ethic"?

Is the price tag for a "strong work ethic" too high for the up and coming generation of workers to pay?  Many not only want but demand flexibility as life outside the walls of work is critical to a sense of meaning while accomplishment at work is not completely entwined with a sense of self and identity.

Thus, a new work ethic is emerging from the dead skin of out-dated modes of employment: 

My employer can have my sweat but not blood.

The worker's blood belongs to family, community and life outside work.  This includes going to a child's soccer game or school musical rather than brainstorming in a boardroom. Today's work ethic must be founded on productivity and the deliverables of a person's skill-set. 

I'm not advocating for the lazy, apathetic and withdrawn individuals that are currently disengaged from the world of work drawing a check not because of a verified disability or illness. I'm advocating for the worker who wants to work but not at the cost of one's health, life, relationships and basic wellness.

I'm asking today's employer a simple question worthy of consideration:

How are you going to meet your employees in the middle? 

For many employees, a strong work ethic is about productive results.  Not about the ticking of a clock.
And the best reward? The smiles of their children when they come home for dinner.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Self-management: the new deal-breaker skill

I'm fascinated by the myriad of skills today's worker must possess and utilize on a daily basis. 
There are the employability skills defined as the skills, trade, or credential learned and earned in order to do a particular profession.  There are also the sustainability skills defined as the way a person accomplishes work through character traits, personality preferences or a code of conduct required to do business.  Employability is the "what" of a job.  Sustainability is the "how" one does the job.
For example, if I'm an accountant with a CPA designation (employability skill) but lack ethical character traits of honesty and fairness (sustainability skills) it will likely result in being unemployable (unless matched to a company that cheats).

We can deduce the critical employability skills a company demands based on occupational requirements for the job.  However, what becomes difficult to quantify is the sustainability skills that help a person stay employed.  Ever heard an employer say, "If we can find the right person that fits our culture and team, we can always train for the job"?  Translation: Employability skills really matter to us but sustainability skills are even more important.

So, what are the top sustainability skills most needed in today's job market?  The answer may surprise you depending on your age...seriously.  It is a demographic shift in behavior that is obvious in the workplace.

Employers (especially if the hiring manager is over fifty) would indicate certain skills are blatantly lacking in the younger workforce...but are they?

Let's take a look at the one skill many employers indicate is missing:

The skill of self-management

The simplest definition of this skill is the ability to accomplish a task, outcome or goal without excess feedback from others.  It is the proficiency to accomplish something without a boss or colleague holding one's hand.  In addition, there is another stealth element at work. Underneath the surface the worker who lacks self-management tends to have an excessive need for praise when a task, outcome or goal is accomplished.  The intense need for kudos from a boss or constant interaction to make sure one's work is stellar is annoying and time consuming.

Employers tell me that a lack of self-management is the basis for why people have been fired. The employer spent so much time trying to pacify one high maintenance individual to the detriment of everyone else resulting in toxic levels of apathy and disengagement. 

Self management skills are reflected in the following positive behaviors:

1. The ability to follow instructions carefully.
2. The confidence to solve a problem using creative solutions instead of defaulting to a whining mode.
3. The ability to make a decision and execute with follow through and completion.
4. The assured attitude of doing a task without the need for outside or external reward when finished.

Here is a quick self-management checklist for you:
  • Minimal supervision needed from my boss
  • I seek internal reward and intrinsic value of accomplishing work
  • I refrain from complaining in the workplace
  • I can work as an independent contributor and team-player
  • I listen more than I speak
  • Don't bring personal life issues into the workplace
Typically (though not always) the younger the worker, the higher the level of needing to improve self-management.  Conversely, the typical mature worker may have the opposite issue of not asking for feedback or seeking input from others enough. 

If you're starting out in the world of work, developing self-management attributes will be critical to your success.  Don't get in the habit of seeking praise and recognition for a job well done.  Find the reward in yourself.  You'll learn quickly employers don't have a treasure chest of treats, stickers and a pat on the back.  It's nice when it occurs, but do your work, make a contribution and then go to the next assignment.
In essence, what I'm describing is a professional with an innate ability to work without a lot of drama and fanfare.  That is the skill of self-management. 

In the next post, we'll look at another top skill employers are looking for: strong work ethic.  That upcoming post promises to be a generational lightning rod.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Heritage or contemporary: which employee are you?

I think it's safe to say no one is safe in a job. 

The unemployment numbers are high and it will take a minimum of three to five years for a return of early 2008 employment levels.  Even with the economic metamorphosis taking place, the job market's cocoon is a force to be reckoned with as it awakens everyone to the tenuous reality that job security is dead. 

However, there are several strategies you can incorporate that may increase your likelihood of remaining employed.  These strategies may also assist you if you were to lose a job through no fault of your own.  As I share these strategies in the weeks ahead, start by answering this simple question:

What type of employee am I?

There are two basic camps of thought to this question.  Let's take a look at both and see which one you identify with most.

THE HERITAGE EMPLOYEE: The stalwart, loyal and devoted worker

The heritage employee went to the school of hard knocks that open its doors post depression era.  The curriculum was based on the following tenets:

1. Loyalty to an employer is the primary focus of one's career.
2. While employed, looking at other career opportunities is equivalent to adultery.
3. Considering a career change is nothing short of crazy behavior.
4. Typical mindset: so what if work is miserable?  Its just a job.
5. It's all about building a retirement fund to enjoy life AFTER work is finished. 

Typical activities heritage employees strongly dislike:
  • Anything to do with technology
  • Working in a team that collaborates and debates
  • Conflict resolution (nothing short of the plague)
  • Setting goals and rewards that are performance based
  • Seeing skills as a work in progress
Heritage employees work best in government agencies, thick bureaucracies (where they get lost), most but not all scholastic institutions (although they do encourage technology) and in an ancient company no one can figure out why it still exists.

Does anything you read resonate with you?   Keep reading for the second camp of thought.

THE CONTEMPORARY EMPLOYEE: The adaptable, flexible and transparent worker

The contemporary employee is perpetually enrolled in the school of constant learning that opened its doors post technology era. The curriculum is based and updated on the following tenets:

1.  Productive satisfaction and personal accomplishment is the primary motivator of career success.
2. Professional development is central to a continuous learning mindset that adapts to a changing workplace and customer.
3. Looking for and openness to other opportunities is a mandate for progress and sanity.
4. Dedication to enhacing, developing and branding a professional identity that focuses on meaningful outcomes in work is central to satisfaction.
5. Living a flexible life in the moment placing family and community at the top and living life outside the company walls is imperative.

Typical work activities contemporary employees strongly dislike:
  • Anything to do with office gossip and politics
  • Working in a silo disconnected to the company mission
  • Clocking in the hours rather than being evaluated upon end results or deliverables
  • Having a boss that is threatened by new ideas and solutions
Contemporary employees work best in start up firms, owning a business and beginning an entreprenurial endeavor.  Any company that promotes a culture of diversity and openness is a match.

Are you a heritage employee that needs to adapt to your new contemporary environment?
Are you a match to your current company culture?

Heritage employees are becoming the dinosaurs of today's workplace.

The job market today and tomorrow will demand a contemporary employee that appreciates, adapts and is open to change in the workplace.  After all, isn't change the most consistent factor in life?

More than likely you are striving to become contemporary or you wouldn't be reading this blog.

Let's discuss in the next post, a strategy that most contemporary employers believe is non-negotiable.