The Career Fitness Workbook
Is the job market kicking sand in your face? Are you being pushed around by disrespectful employers?
If either is the case, you need The Career Fitness Workbook. It has a number of special features:
The Career Fitness Workbook is available at Amazon.com.
Don’t let the economy bully you. Get The Career Fitness Workbook today and learn how to stand up for yourself!
The Talent Within You
Most career counselors and coaches will tell you that the best way to look for a job is to look for yourself first. But, what does that mean? And, how do you do it? This column is the first of two that will answer those questions.
A terrible phenomenon has emerged in the United States since the Great Recession. I call it serial unemployment. Many of those in transition – people who are understandably anxious to get back to work – take the first job offer that comes along, only to find themselves back out on the bricks six or twelve months later looking for another job.
Why? Because the employer or the job or both didn’t match their skills, their values or their talent. Now, everybody recognizes the potential downside of the first two, but it is the mismatch with your talent that is most harmful. It more than anything else causes serial unemployment.
Why? Because when you’re not employed at your talent, two bad outcomes occur. First, you aren’t able to perform at your peak. And second, you feel dissatisfied at work. You contribute less to your employer than it deserves, and you give away one of the rights you deserve as an American – the pursuit of Happiness.
What Makes Someone Happy at Work?
You are going to spend one-third of your life on-the-job. While some believe that’s the penance you must pay for the enjoyment you get after work, recent research has found exactly the opposite to be true.
We now know that work is the single best place to be engaged with meaningful challenges. No less important, when you’re employed at that kind of work, you achieve two positive outcomes. You perform at your peak and you feel happy doing so.
The only work that will engage and challenge you, however, is work that requires you to use your talent. That presupposes that you have one, and in our culture, talent is not generally seen as a democratic attribute.
If you watch TV, for example, talent is winning a dance contest or the Super Bowl. In other words, it is the province of special people doing special things. We recognize the talent of Lady GaGa and Joe Flacco, but not the talent of a city bus driver or an accounts payable clerk or a customer service representative.
Why is that?
It all begins in elementary school when we give our kids an IQ test and, based on the results, designate a small number of them as “gifted and talent.’ By definition, then, all of the other kids are “ungifted and untalented.”
Now, of course, we want to take care of those youngsters who are academically more able, but we have to do so without telling every other child that they were at the end of the line when talent was handed out. Because nothing could be further from the truth.
The Mystery of Talent
You see, talent isn’t a skill, an occupation or an achievement. Talent isn’t the ability to hit a baseball over some fence or to act in the movies or on the stage. Talent is the capacity for excellence. And happily, it is an attribute of our species.
All of you reading this column as well as your spouse or partner, your kids and grandkids, your siblings and parents – every single one of you – has been endowed with the gift of excellence. Like our opposable thumb, it is a characteristic that defines being human.
The tragedy is that most of us don’t know what our talent is. Just a few lucky people are born with that knowledge. They’re the ones who say they have a “calling.” The rest of us can only discover our talent if we make the effort to do so.
It might be the ability to communicate technical subjects so everybody can understand them. Or, to disaggregate complex problems into smaller, more manageable tasks. It might be the ability to empathize and show compassion to others who are struggling or ill. Or, to organize a group of disparate individuals and get them to function as a team.
Such a talent resides quietly within you; you just have to take the time to make its acquaintance. Now, some will tell you that talent is your passion. It’s what you love to do. That’s nonsense. I’m passionate about golf, and Tiger Woods has nothing to worry about from me.
No, talent is what enables you to excel at work. So, it is the intersection of passion and practicality. It is what you love to do AND do best. I’ll show you how to find that intersection in my next column.
Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com
WEDDLE’s Job Alert
For over 15 years, WEDDLE’s has published the leading guidebook to job boards and career portals. WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet is considered the Gold Standard for job seekers and career activists. In fact, no less an authority than Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, rated the Guide “Highly recommended!”
Now, you can sign up for WEDDLE’s Job Alert and get your very own, private connection to some of the best career advancement opportunities on the Web.
This no-cost resource scours the job postings at leading job boards and career portals and connects you with those that match your capabilities and aspirations. It’s the easiest way possible to find your Dream Job.
You Pick the Winners
Even the best of employers can no longer afford to provide a 30-year career ladder and a gold watch. So, where can you go to find the support and resources you need to guide your career effectively?
A growing number of working people are turning to job boards. Many of these sites have transformed themselves from a simple classified advertising platform into a fully featured “careerstead” or homestead for your career.
Every year, we at WEDDLE’s try to help folks find the best of these sites by holding the User’s Choice Awards. They are the only awards in the online employment services industry in which actual users – job seekers, career activists, employers and recruiters – get to pick the winners.
So, let your voice be heard. The ballot necessarily lists only a small subset of the 100,000+ job boards and careersteads now operating on the Web. You can pick some of them and/or nominate others … but the choice is yours.
Please click here and cast your vote today.
Invest in Yourself
There’s plenty of free job search and career advice on the Web. But, if that’s all it takes to be successful, we wouldn’t still have so many Americans out-of-work.
The reality is that too much of what you find online is incomplete (a short article here, a blog post there), out-of-date (posted before the Great Recession changed everything) or just plain wrong. So, if you’re looking for strategies and tips, tactics and techniques that will actually work in today’s tough economy, make an investment in yourself. Get one or more of the books below:
A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream. This modern-day epic traces the journeys of three out-of-work professionals searching for answers in today’s seemingly nonsensical job market. Along the way, they discover the secret to “career security” and the pathway to real and lasting success.
The Career Fitness Workbook. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Think of it as “the habits of highly effective career activists.”
The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.
The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired and Not Be Fired. This anthology collects the best of Peter Weddle’s columns on job search and career success. It is the only book you’ll find that provides a candid and totally up-to-date look at how to get and stay ahead in today’s workplace.
Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.
Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web. This unique guide is drawn from other published WEDDLE’s research, which the American Staffing Association described as the “Zagat” of job search sites. It has all of the information you’ll need to be a smart shopper among the 100,000+ job boards and social media sites now operating online.