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, 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  A successful company today erases inefficient and outdated systems of yesterday while developing  quick, easy and inexpensive products or services tomorrow.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.