Had enough? Is it time to quit your job?

Had enough? Is it time to quit your job?

Had enough? Is it time to quit your job? For some people, it’s hard to know if it’s time to begin a new job search and move on or stay and make some changes where you are. These 5 questions (well, 5 sets of questions) won’t tell you if you should quit your job and become a novelist, go to law school, or open your own coffee and book shop. Your answers to these questions will, however, suggest whether you should stay in your current job and give it all you’ve got (possibly making a few strategic changes) or get up the gumption to follow your bliss in a different direction.

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9 Steps to Network Your Way into a Job

9 Steps to Network Your Way into a Job

It’s often called the hidden job market. About 75% of all job openings are never advertised. While job sites are great places to look for jobs, it pays to remember that the majority of jobs will never show up there. An estimated 70-80% of jobs are never published on a job search website like Indeed or Linked In, in the newspaper or even on the company website. 

The reality is that the vast majority of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections. So what’s a job hunter to do?

It’s a word my clients hate to hear. 

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Already dreading going back to work after a long weekend?

Are you feeling like you just can't face another day in your current job? Feeling stuck in your career or just burned out? Are you ready for a change  - but you’re not sure what steps to take next? Are you still trying to choose a career path but not sure what direction to take? Are you excited each morning to get out of bed and head off to work or do you drag yourself out the door just hoping for Friday to arrive? 

Are you ready to make the leap into a life you love? 

Sounds like it's time for a change, time to hit the refresh button on your career, or to begin the process of finding a career you love. Maybe you’re bored out of your mind in your current job and you’re looking for a new challenge that better fits your life and dreams. Maybe you’ve been out of the job market for a while - in school, at home caring for others or just can’t seem to figure out what’s next for you. Maybe you just need a change. 

If you’re ready to take some real steps to figure out what’s next for you, take a look at The LifeWork Project™ - a 40 day e-course designed to help you find the work of your life - work that leads to a lifetime of challenge, satisfaction and success.  The e-course will include weekday emails delivered straight to your inbox with a LifeWork discovery reading and a question of the day to ponder. Each week you will be guided through a series of exercises, journal writing prompts, and other activities to assist you in discovering your personality, identifying your strengths and transferable skills, clarifying your values and creating a career design plan with action steps for moving forward. You will complete the full length Myers Briggs Personality Inventory (MBTI®) and receive a personality profile plus career information tailored to your personality type. With individual email support from Anita, you will be guided through the Best Fit process for your personality type and career. You will spend time looking back and learning lessons from your past plus taking time to complete a frank and honest assessment of your current situation. Finally you will design a plan for moving forward toward the career you’ve always wanted.

The next e-course begins July 10, 2017. 

The ridiculously low price ($89.95) includes:

  • Daily emails (Mon-Fri) with a LifeWork Discovery reading and a question of the day
  • Weekly exercises, writing prompts and other LifeWork Discovery activities plus a weekend LifeWork Challenge.
  • MBTI Personality Profile, Best Fit analysis, and Career Information based on your type ($59 value)
  • The LifeWork Values Matrix 
  • The LifeWork Career Design Plan
  • Options for individual coaching throughout the process with Blue Sage Career Coach, Anita Flowers, MA  - available at a discounted rate for LifeWork Project™ participants

The next LifeWork Project begins on July 10 and registration is now live. Space in each class is limited. Take advantage of this low pricing on The LifeWork Project™ and sign up here today. Get started on your new career and life! 

12 Things to Never Put on a Resume

12 Things to Never Put on a Resume

6 seconds. That’s the average amount of time a hiring manager takes to scan your resume and sort it into either the possibility pile or the trash bin. 

6 seconds. 

Hiring managers receive a average of 75 resumes for each position. For some jobs, the number is 100-200 or more resumes for each position. You’ve got 6 seconds to make sure your resume makes the first cut and doesn’t end up in the trash.

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The kids have moved back home and can't find a job. What's a parent to do?

I’ve received several phone calls from parents asking this question and it seems to pop up a lot this time of year. What do you do when your 20 or 30 something kids move back home and don’t know what they want to do with their life? They can’t find a job, can’t afford an apartment, and seem to be floundering. What can you, as a parent, do? Charge rent? Kick them out? Do you help them find a job? Do you even dare offer advice? 

good advice for parents who want to help but don’t know how

good advice for parents who want to help but don’t know how

I have had a little experience with this myself. My daughter and son-in-law moved back in with us for a few months a couple of years ago. They had just returned from living and working overseas and needed time to find jobs and save some money. In their case, they both had settled on a career path and just needed space to get things started. That is true of some adult children who move back in. 

Other adult children move in and really have no idea what they want to do with their life.  Do they want to go to grad school? Find a job close by? Move away? What kind of job do they want? What career skills do they have?  They have a degree in anthropology but may have no idea how to craft a resume, apply for jobs, or kickstart the career finding process

It’s a trend that can be seen across the country.  According to the Pew Research Center, over 31% of young adults, ages 18-34, live at home with their parents. More young adults live with their parents than in any other living situation. Only 29% are married or living with a partner. Over 60% of university graduates move back home for at least a few months, according to U.S. census stats. Seven in 10 seniors graduate with debt, averaging about $29,000 per borrower, according to the most recent data from the Institute for College Access & Success. The combination of crushing student loan debt, skyrocketing rents and low entry level salaries can dishearten even the most optimistic. 

As a parent, this can be an interesting place to find yourself. You want to help your kids out, but you don’t want them to be living at home forever. Minor conflicts may escalate into angry silences until you’re not even sure if you can ask how the job search is going. What’s a parent to do? Here are a few tips.

  1. Give the kids a break. The world is a different place than it was when we as parents graduated. In that day, entry level salaries were enough to cover rent on a small apartment. Today, there is a huge gap between entry level salaries and the cost of living. Plus, the job market is TOUGH. It often takes six months or more to find a career path job (i.e. not working fast food or retail). And even though the economy has improved, it’s still hard to break into many professions. And then there are student loans… So, give them a break. Skip the “when I graduated” stories and recognize that life is different now.

  2. Embrace the time together. There may be a time when your kids find a job, but it’s half way across the country. They move away and then you only see them 2-3 times a year. Remember my daughter and son-in-law? They found jobs, locally for a short time, and then my son-in-law was offered an excellent career track job in a city almost 10 hours away. So enjoy being with them. Consider it bonus time - extra time with these people you love. Use the time to develop an adult relationship with them. Rediscover their personalities and interests. Find an activity you like to do together. You may have a new hiking buddy!

  3. Discuss expectations and boundaries. You are still the parent- but your child is not 16 anymore. The old roles and rules don’t fit. Having an in-depth conversation about expectations can go a long way toward creating harmony in the house. Do you expect everyone to sit down for dinner if they’re home? Are you sharing a car? What about chores? Do you expect them to do the dishes? Mow the grass? Get clear about expectations up front.

  4. And what about the money? Should you charge rent? There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. It depends. Does your adult child have any income? Are they working part-time while looking for a professional job? Can you afford the extra expense of additional household members? Can they take over lawn care and cleaning in lieu of rent - or will that create more drama? Some parents choose to charge rent and deposit it into a savings account to be used for deposits on future housing when the kids are ready to move on. Others may charge a minimal rent to offset the increased grocery and utility bills. Think creatively and think win-win. How can you use this time to improve their financial situation and your own?

  5. Discuss the job search process. Do you expect to be kept in the loop about the job hunt? Resist the temptation to micromanage but do offer to use your network if possible. You want them to be self reliant but the reality is that most jobs, especially good jobs, are gained by using a network. A cold resume is much less likely to make it to the interview than a resume passed along by a respected colleague or even a friend of a friend. Comic strip Dustin is enjoying living a do-nothing life back at home, but most young adults are anxious to find good jobs and move on to live independently.

  6. Hire a career coach. Yes. I am a career coach and you can certainly hire me but this is not a self-serving post (not totally anyway.) The reality is that many 20 somethings don’t know how to find a job. They may not know what they really want to do. They probably don’t know how to write a resume that will illustrate the employability of a bachelor’s degree in history and work experience as a summer life guard and a barista at Starbucks. A good career coach can ask the tough questions, answer questions about resumes and cover letters, and help them get started on a career they can be excited about. Spending some money on a good career coach may save you more money down the road - and get your empty nest back!

Anita Flowers is a career specialist and resume writer at Blue Sage Career Strategies. She is available for coaching with young adults or with parents who need to talk through these issues. Contact her here for a free initial consultation.



Feeling burned out? When was the last time you went out to play?

Are you feeling a little burned out on 2017 already? It’s only February and I’m already hearing from clients and friends who are feeling overwhelmed and depressed by faded New Year’s resolutions, work overload, our nation’s political morass and worries about the environment and our world in general. It's clear. We are all going to need some serious self care in this year of anxiety. 

Self care is a trendy phrase these days. Most people think of self care as settling in for the night with a massage, a long hot bath and a big mug of herbal tea (always nice and relaxing) but I like to think of self care as those activities that restore our souls. Restorative care helps us to not just relax but to restore that creative piece of ourself. To literally bring our SELF back to life.

For me, it’s doing the things I loved to do as a child.  Digging in the dirt -even pulling weeds in the garden can be therapeutic. I lose track of time when I’m planting flowers. Maybe I just like getting my hands earth dirty. I love walking through the woods. Riding my bike. Swinging high on a swing set. Playing with fabric scraps or watercolors. A friend says that for her it’s baking cookies, coloring in a mandala book, and restoring old furniture. Another turns up the music, sings at the top of her voice and dances away in the kitchen. Think of it as playtime. I come away from play refreshed, restored, and often ready for a very restful nap!

What is play for you? What are those things that make you lose track of time? What makes you forget about the world of work and politics? What refreshes and restores your soul? These are questions I ask almost every one I do coaching with - because the answers offer clues about your true self, your passions and, sometimes, helps you discover the creative work of your life. 

It’s clear. We have a lot of work to do this year. Make sure you take time to play, that you take time for self care, for restorative care -  so you’re rested and refreshed for the journey of life ahead. 

The In-Between Time

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.  Delicious Ambiguity.” - Gilda Radner

Are you feeling lost in the in-between? You know a change is coming and maybe you’re not exactly sure what it will be. Are you looking for a new job or position? Thinking about going back to school? Moving to a different place? Focusing your career in a new direction? Are you dealing with corporate changes you have little control over? 

I’ve had several conversations recently with people struggling with that in-between place. They’re spending lots of time and energy searching and longing for (or sometimes dreading) what’s ahead but they don’t know what to do with their present life. What do you do with the waiting time? It’s that time when you’re not sure what the winds of life will blow your way and you find yourself wondering and worrying about the future, rather than being fully present in your own right-now life.

This in-between can be a place of growth if we don’t hide from it - if we allow ourselves to sit with the grief of what was and the scary anticipation of what might be. It’s a place to process all the uncomfortable feelings about not knowing. If we can turn our attention away from the seductive mystery of the future and focus on the present moment, we can savor the in-between and enjoy the journey from what was to what will be. Listen to the space that is created - that rest note in the musical of your life. 

The key is learning the art of living in the moment. What is good about your life right now? It may be something as simple as porch sitting with a fresh cup of coffee or finding time for a walk with a friend. Practice setting your focus and your attention on what you are doing right now - even how you are feeling right now. What could be one thing you can be fully present with today? What can you learn during this in-between time? By sitting with the process and learning how you cope with not knowing, the “delicious ambiguity,” as Gilda Radner calls it, you can recognize and name your own strengths (and sometimes your growing edges that still need some work). Practice small moments of mindfulness each day. Each moment will help you find the calm in the center of the busy traffic of your mind. 

You can also use this time to learn new skills - take that photography class, learn to code, practice your Spanish. Make a bucket list for your life right now - before the change comes your way. What have you always wanted to do in the place where you are right now? 

Practicing mindfulness and learning to savor each moment, accepting even the impatient “let’s just get on with it” feelings, can deepen our understanding of who we are and even help us figure out the answer to the what’s next question.  Thich Nhat Hanh says it best:

‘Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh

7 Essential Steps to Take Before You Begin a Job Search

7 Essential Steps to Take Before You Begin a Job Search

You’ve decided it’s time to find a new job. Whether you’re a new college graduate or just ready for a change, it’s tempting to slap a resume together and start hitting apply on every job position you see on Indeed. But there are a few essential steps you need to take before hitting that SUBMIT button. Completing these basic steps will make your job search go more smoothly and will greatly improve your chances of landing the job you’ve always wanted

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