Several clients, friends and family members are approaching retirement. When sharing the news, their eyes widen with delight, but beyond delight, I see mixed emotions. I sense tremendous excitement, plus a noticeable glimmer of apprehension. It’s similar to the look on people’s face as they approach a roller coaster. They know that a big and exhilarating ride is coming up, but they don’t fully know what’s in store.
What is in store for retirement?? Here are three main things to start thinking about:
Yes, money, structure and social are three key areas for you to think about in considering retirement. I will cover these topics in more detail in future articles, but I wanted to set the stage for thinking about retirement.
Onward to bringing the best of you to work (my tagline) and now, to retirement.
Please send me your career and retirement questions. I am broadening the discussion to include both your work life and your life after work.
Bringing the best of you work – and a vital life post career.
(650) 759 – 7386
You may know that I split my work hours several ways. Some of my favorite hours are in 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms in Santa Rosa low income areas, where I design and deliver literacy and art programs. I try to empower, enliven and enlarge the scope of possibilities for the kids. I often read them inspiring biographies about people who start off in limited circumstance, but with big ideas and big dreams, grow to be successful. Examples are Cesar Chavez, a poor laborer who grew to be a powerful organizer for farm laborers, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to become Supreme Court Justice fighting gender and religious prejudice to get there, and Wilma Rudolph, a poor African American girl who became one of the world’s finest athletes, winning a Gold Olympic Medal for running, despite having had polio as a child.
We discuss how people with big aspirations make it via persistence, education, courage, resilience and hard work. And they move one step at a time, despite problems and obstacles.
I repeat to the children that everyone has good things and bad things happen. But not to let the bad things slow you down or sidetrack you. I heard the children’s cries of ‘oh no’ when I read the story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s mother died the day of her high school graduation. That tragic event prevented her from giving the valedictorian speech, but it did not stop her from going to college, her mother’s dream for her.
In the same way, I’ve coached educated people who had significant opportunities. They aimed high, but needed to learn persistence, and to not allow problems and obstacles to deter them. They needed to go one step at a time. Here are two examples from my coaching practice:
Most people can fly higher and go further in their career if they set clear goals and are willing to put one foot in front of the other. It’s vital to stay focused on moving ahead and lick your wounds when bad things happen.
Onward to your career success, step by step.
Calling on all Sonoma County job seekers….
This Thursday, May 4 is the Sonoma County Job Connections event. It runs from 4- 7 pm at the Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park. The event is free. Visit pressdemocrat.com/sonomajobseekers to register or you can register on site. There will be nearly 50 employers on hand, and you will have the opportunity to meet directly with prospective employers and hiring managers.
A local job fair means lots of career opportunities right in your own backyard. It is a place to network, get to know your local employers, and perhaps find that next great job. And if you are not quite ready for a formal job search, you will also find experts to help you with resume writing and Linkedin preparation. You will have the chance to get lots of information about the local job market, ask questions directly of the hiring managers, and get a real pulse on the local job scene.
Here are three tips from me on how you can make the most of your time at a job fair:
1. DRESS PROFESSIONALLY: Make sure to dress to impress! Some say that showing up is half of success. Another aspect is showing up looking ready-to-go! That alone will differentiate you. Sonoma County is a pretty informal place but you will always impress potential employers by dressing a level up. For males that means putting on nice slacks and a button down shirt that is well pressed. For females that means nice slacks and a professional looking top or a skirt and blouse or a dress. No flip flops for anyone, please! Make sure you are well groomed; neat hair and for women, light or no makeup, and leave the bling at home. For people who have tattoos I suggest you cover up the ones you can. You don’t want people to focus on extraneous things- you want them to engage with you as a professional person, focused on work.
2. YOUR SALES TOOLS: Bring at least a dozen copies of a professional and clean looking resume. Please proofread your resume to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Ask a someone else to proofread it as well. And make sure all the information is up to date. Also make sure to include all contact information: your name, email, phone contact, the name of your town and your Linkedin address if you have one. List each job in chronological order from the present to the past. Use action words to describe what you did. If you are not happy with your resume, there will be specialists at the job fair to help you to improve it.
3. YOUR OPENING LINES: Yes, most people don’t practice this but just as dressing more formally can differentiate you, so too can a planned opening line help you make a great first impression. When you reach out to extend a handshake to a potential employer, look them right in the eye, say hello and have something positive to say about their company or organization. For example, if it’s a local retailer like Kohl’s you might say, “I’ve had really friendly and helpful salespeople whenever I’ve shopped at Kohl’s”. A positive comment about their company or establishment goes a long way in setting up a positive interaction. Additionally, have something positive to say about yourself. An example would be, “I’ve worked in retail for the last 3 years and really enjoy getting to know my customers and providing them with the best experience as possible.”
And I will be at the Sonoma Job Connections event, too. You can see many of my Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice articles in the event program and you can also review them online.
Please, please come say hello to me. I’ll be wearing a COACH JOAN name tag.
I enjoy meeting you, my readers, and are always learning from your questions and situations.
All the best, and onward to bringing the best of you to work.