Monthly Archives: February 2016

13 Signs It’s Time to Hire a Career Coach

fdBefore I started my work as a career coach, I spent years stuck in the wrong types of jobs. Feeling unfulfilled and dreading Mondays was a standard part of life as far as I was concerned because I had bills to pay and not a whole lot of direction or confidence to take my career to the next level.

After years feeling like I was just going through the motions and not actually living life, I finally discovered my true passion and mustered up the courage to take a leap into the world of entrepreneurship. Little did I know at the time, this was just what the doctor ordered to start enjoying life a WHOLE lot more.

Fortunately I figured out how to leverage my experience into an opportunity. Had I not done so, I fear I might still be stuck in a career I dreaded to this day like so many of the professionals I encounter on a regular basis.

You can try tapping into the many resources that exist for uncovering a new career path and job but don’t overlook the possibility of working with an expert when it comes to finding your life’s purpose and creating the plan of attack for achieving it.

Working with a career coach can be just what you need if you are hoping to figure out you, your dream job and how to make it a reality so that you are spending more time living and less time going through the motions.

So just how do you know it’s time to work with an expert to get your career on track? Here are 13 signs it’s time to hire a career coach.

You don’t know what you want to be when you grow up…

Without a defined career path, plan or self-assessment each job move will be as calculated as buying a lottery ticket (not good)! A career coach can help to uncover your skills, strengths and even career moves best suited to you. If you feel like you’ve been jumping from job to job with little enjoyment, it might be time to get really clear on the opportunities where you’ll thrive.

You know what you want to do next, but you don’t know how to get there…

If you are fortunate enough to know your next move, consider yourself ahead of the game! The only thing you need now is to take the correct action for getting there. Unless you’ve successfully changed careers before, the “how to” part takes a specific strategy. If you are not exactly positioned to make your move immediately given your current experience, a career coach can help to devise a plan for making the right career moves in the interim. If you are poised to make a move, a career coach or job search coach can also help with this aspect.

You are a planner and don’t want to leave anything to chance…

With many parts of the job search and career development 2nd chances are rare and timing is everything. Since there are so many resources available for job seekers it’s not uncommon for coaching clients have a ton of questions. Furthermore, many parts of the job search (networking, interviewing, etc.) are dependent on people requiring a deeper analysis when making specific decisions and moves. This is where a career coach can be really handy. Talk about breathing easy knowing you have made the best moves at the right times thanks to expert insight.

You are sick of taking the wrong opportunities and want to make sure your next move is the right one…

If you’re feeling like your jobs have all been in reaction to necessity instead of strategic moves, this may be a sign you are collecting a resume full of random jobs (which won’t help to tell your career story for the job you really want). Before jumping at the next job that comes your way, you may want to hunker down and work with an expert to really get strategic so you can get your career on track.

You are thinking of finding a new job in the next 6 months to a year…

The job search takes time and waiting until the last minute to start preparing or looking can be a fatal mistake. Companies take time when hiring and will usually wait to make the right hire instead if hiring a potentially wrong candidate to fill a gap. A career coach can help by assessing your current professional state of affairs and creating a plan for reaching your future goals. A coach is also great for helping you stay accountable along the way (no slacking)!

You are lacking a robust network & need help building one…

Making strategic contacts also takes time as there’s never any guarantee those contacts will be available to connect or even interested (in which case you need backup contacts). A career coach can help you expand your network in the right direction as well as give strategic insights into how to open doors and start conversations geared toward landing your dream job.

You have a lot of questions and need a lot of answers…

There are a ton of career resources out there, but unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all advice. Everything about your career and job search is going to be unique to your situation. Career coaches are great to have on hand for those moments of uncertainty when you’re wondering who to contact, when, and especially for knowing what to say.

You are spending all your time online…

Enough said. The online landscape is vast and it has the potential to be a tremendous black hole time-suck. If you are spending all your time online you may be in need of a career coach to switch things up and generate more high-value activities in your job search or career planning.

You are wasting a lot of time you don’t have, trying to figure it out…

Life gets busy, especially if you’re trying to make a move while working a full-time job. If you know you need to make a move but your calendar is booked solid, it may be time to recruit the help of a career coach. The coaching process, while it does take time and require client assignments, will be 100% focused on only strategic activities designed to help you make some serious traction.

The thought of trying to figure out what you want to do is causing paralysis…

The worst thing you can do if you’re feeling stressed about your career, is nothing. However, “nothing,” is what will happen if you are one of those people who tends to shut down when there’s too much on the table. Because career planning is not second nature, a career coach can add tremendous value in helping you get clear and make put the wheels in motion.

You’re starting to lose hope and wonder if there’s even such a thing as a perfect job…

Hope for the future is essential in the job search yet it tends to be in short supply when I encounter job seekers that have been stuck for months and even years. Losing hope is the first step down a slippery slope into all sorts of side-effects that WILL definitely have you in a total slump. Depression, weight gain, and low confidence are just some of the side-effects you may face if you start to lose hope in the job search.

Having a career coach by your side can be more than a career changer. It can be a life-saver when it comes to the serious symptom of career “hopelessness.” If you know someone who has hit this point, really encourage them to recruit the help of a coach who can uplift, encourage and really bring a spirit of loving guidance to the table.

You know you can’t go it alone…

Going the job search alone is probably the worst thing you can do if you’re someone who likes to have support in areas where you struggle. A career coach is a great partner in crime (enough said).

You want to make a mega-huge change in your career path…

Career changes require more than just shooting off an updated resume. Making the leap from rocket-scientist to marketing diva requires a very specific strategy and a career coach will help you to define this. One of the biggest challenges in a career change is knowing how to build your career story with attention to the relevant details. In my experience career changers in every industry have a hard time spotting this. Don’t lose valuable opportunities to send the right application the first time. Find a career coach who can make you shine!


How to Successfully Work With Recruiters

reRelationships are at the center of everything in the world of career and I briefly touched on the tip of the iceberg last week, but I wanted to do a follow up because it will be a game-changer when it comes to your career. Working with recruiters should be at the heart of your relationships in the career space.

Yeah, I’ll admit it. I’m a little partial to recruiters (because I used to be one) but whatever your experience, you will want to ensure you have the recruiter network on your side to ensure you are on their radars.

Connecting with recruiters is a critical part of job search success throughout your career and here’s why. Recruiters oftentimes know about job openings before they hit the job boards. It’s their job to find the best person for the job and so they have to constantly be in the know. And part of being in the know is being extremely well connected.

Now I’m all about working smart, not hard and having a robust recruiter network in your back pocket is one of the ways to do this. People will always say, well, “I have 1 or 2 recruiters that I work with,” but unless you have connected with a significant amount of recruiters, you are not doing your career due diligence.

So how do you connect with this group and make sure you’ve completely optimized this unique network?

I’ve come up with a (not very) creative acronym to help you optimize your recruiter network: DIOR

1. Distinction

Make the distinction as to whom you should be working with – Contingency or Retained recruiters. Retained are for executives and contingency for someone early to mid career level.

2. Identify the Best Contacts by Industry and/or Function.

Cast a wide net (so jot down all of the recruiters in your space) and don’t worry about geographical boundaries because Recruiters work virtually (especially in the retained space).

3. Outreach

Personalize (AKA: address them by name) Attach your resume and let them know you are in the same space and thought it would be a good idea to be connected in case (AND HERE’S THE CLINCHER) in case they have an opening that you are a fit for now or in the future.

4. Relationship Management

Lastly, let them know you are open to networking And you would be happy to help them out with your network if they are ever in need. Notice it’s about you helping them. In one of my prior episode on the NG Networking philosophy you will recall that it was all about networking by helping as well. Well it’s no mistake that helping others is a key way to tear down any guards and feel compelled to help you in return.

Also never forget: relationship management is ongoing. It never ends. Once you have connected to them it’s okay to check in every 6 months to say hi and hit the refresh on their radars.

So give the DIOR approach a go to ensure you are handling your networking and long-term career strategy effectively. Make the Distinction, Identify all the best contacts, Outreach to all and manage the Relationship.


Differences in Education of a Draftsman and an Architect

dThere may be some similarities in the job of architects and drafters but if you consider the details, you will find a great deal of difference in the fields involved in both cases. Drafting has a much broader field that may include many specialties. But architects, on the other hand, are more directly into construction work and require a full college degree to accomplish their task. Below is a complete discourse on the essential differences in regards to the education and job for both of these.

Educational Differences

Draftsmen – Employers mostly prefer those with college training. Since there are a whole lot of schools that provide training in this regards, it is always advisable that the students check with the various firms prior to getting enrolled in one. Community college and technical institutes offer diplomas, certificates as well as associate’s degree that can be earned by anyone who has pursued the course and on successful completion go to take the exam.

Architects – It is a must for these students to earn at least a five years bachelor’s degree in architecture. These are chiefly devised for those students who have no prior training about this. The syllabus may include construction designs, CADD, math as well as technology. Apart from that, they should also be properly licensed. For this, the person has to have a bachelor’s degree, complete the internship in the desired manner and pass the registration test if any. The licence must be renewed from time to time by passing tests and attending workshops and conferences.


Draftsmen – Their task in many cases is similar to that of the architects and these drafters even collaborate with the engineers in similar cases. They also prepare similar CADD drawings as that of the engineers. But the work, in this case, is not limited to only construction or architecture. The CADD drawing, here, can be used for circuitry as well as mechanical illustrations. These include the minute details of the procedures, materials and dimensions. Technical handbooks, tables and calculators are also used by them.

Architects – They mainly build structures that may range from office buildings, homes, schools, and other structures for private and public usage. Apart from the aesthetics they are responsible for the safety of the buildings too. They should be functional and economical too. Added to that, they are also involved in every stage of construction of projects from initiation to completion.


How Not to Get Fired While Starting a Business On the Side

cvIn pursuit of our career goals, most of us commonly follow the traditional route of taking on a full-time, 9-6 job in some top corporation. With perhaps a few years of good work ethic, helpful connections, never-say-die persistence and some technological savvy gained through diligent study in the field we’ve chosen, we might just hit the jackpot: a top executive position that brings with it prestige and more importantly, the big bucks.

Naturally, the time it takes to get there may vary from one person to another, depending on one’s personal skills, ability to capitalize on opportunities, and sometimes just plain good fortune. However, for some, the time and energy required to achieve the dream of a corporate executive position may be too much of a hassle, or the odds of success may simply be too high. Individuals in such a scenario will often find themselves looking at a Plan B for success, and this can often involve taking on some sort of work on the side (starting up a business or moonlighting) to add more figures to their monthly paychecks.

Having A Business On the Side or Moonlighting Can Cost You Your Job

Moonlighting may sound like an attractive option. But let’s face it; people have gotten fired because of a secret moonlight job or a business on the side that was created to earn some extra income. Sure, the added greenbacks are great, especially if you’re paying off debt, such as student loans. But before you jump into the wonderful dream world of working 80 hour weeks to get ahead financially, you should be advised of the risks. After all, you could end up losing your main source of income and be worse off before you even get started.

Some Things to Consider Before Going Freelance, Moonlighting Or Starting a Business On the Side While Working Full-Time

    1. Be aware of your company’s policies. You might think that employers don’t care what you do on your free time. That may be true, but it’s not always the case. Although written policies may not explicitly prohibit you from working for others or working a side business, you can bet your employer expects you to have them as your top priority if there’s a conflict of priorities.
    1. Review and understand your employment contract and other agreements you’ve signed. If you want to avoid a costly lawsuit, or having your CV marred by a disgraceful firing, make sure you’re not breaking a signed contract that says you agree not to get into a competing business while working for your current employer.
    1. Never use company time. Manage your side business on your own time. This is a no-brainer, but believe it or not, it’s one of the most common violations committed by people running a side business while employed full-time.
    1. Do not use, share or disclose your company’s proprietary rights. This has to do with intellectual property rights, which include patented processes, trade secrets, product formulations or systems. Using any of these for your side business is a big NO-NO! Even if you haven’t signed a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement, it is best to operate as though you have done so.
    1. Avoid using your company’s resources for your side business. Similar to not using company time for your business on the side, neither should you utilize its tools, technology, computers, paid-for software and apps. Not only would it be unethical, it is also most likely a breach of your employment contract. Should you need a computer or other tools for your side business, borrow from a friend, not your employer.
  1. Do not pirate employees or company clients for your side business. When you start a side business, it is natural to want to recruit your friends and associates when you need to hire staff. It is also natural that many of these friends and associates might be employees or clients of your employer. Unfortunately, these friends and associates are off-limits when you are looking to staff your own business. Most businesses will have written policies that forbid you from ripping off their personnel or clients. But even if no policies exist, that doesn’t mean you could not face a legal battle or lawsuit down the road.

Final Advice

One of the best pieces of advice is to put yourself in the shoes of your employer. If you are setting up a side business, you’ll have a lot more in common with them than you might think. The concerns you’ll have (hiring staff, gaining and losing clients, acquiring equipment, and staying profitable) are likely the same concerns your employer has. Treating their business the same way you would like your business to be treated will likely give you the best success in staying happily employed while benefiting from your side venture.

Kurt Enget is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Enget Marketing Group. He has owned several successful businesses since 1995 and has personally consulted hundreds of business owners on how to increase their businesses through online and offline marketing. He is also an active public speaker on online marketing methods.