Dear Coach Joan,
This should be one of the happiest times in my life but honestly, I am miserable.
I started a new job when my wife was 6 months pregnant with our long-awaited first born. Two great things, or so it should have been. But it is now almost a year later and it is not the joyous situation I had anticipated. My job ended up being much more demanding, with a lot more out of town travel than was anticipated. And my wife is discontent and upset with her job as a CPA. She worked hard for the credential and now it’s especially brutal during tax season. Our little boy is great, but we wonder how he’s being affected with two stressed out parents.
You know the old expression, be careful what you wish for. It clearly applies to your situation. Too many of your dreams came through, all at the same time and it feels like too much.
First, take a few deep breathes and remind yourself that this too shall pass. This intensity will not and cannot go on forever. And there might be both small and large things you can do to take the reins of the situation and slow things down to a more manageable pace:
Mike, best of luck and I am hopeful that you and your wife can explore and find options that take the heat off this intense period of life.
Onward to your continued work/life balance. It will be an ongoing exercise throughout your career and family building years. The earlier you take the reins the better.
Dear Coach Joan,
I’ve been in my professional career in the same corporation for 10 years, since college graduation. I have not been advancing as quickly as I believe my accomplishments and impact warrant. I am a petite woman and I feel that I am often not listened to or respected. I got feedback from a few colleagues that they believe I was passed over for promotions because I’m perceived as weak. How can I assert more authority and gain more of a powerful presence in the workplace?
You know, size and gender may play a role but I would contend that even if you don’t have the advantage of size or maleness, you can most certainly project a more powerful, strong stance in the workplace. And these four practices can even work for large or male persons!
Dear Coach Joan,
I’ll be graduating from college later this year and I’ve already had several job rejections. I was even rejected from a low paying internship for which I was definitely qualified for. The career counselor at my college said that my resume and Linkedin profile look good, and I am bringing a solid academic record with good grades, and several positive recommendations from my professors. I am wondering what I might be doing wrong and how I might become a more competitive job candidate.
Congratulations on your upcoming college graduation. It is quite an achievement to go all the way to completion as many students drop out along the way. Bravo!
You are very smart to ask how to be a competitive job seeker. In college you learned how to be a competitive student and earned the grades to reflect that. But I assume you were not offered the college class called Career Success 101?? I’m joking with you because I don’t of know any college that offers such a class, but it might be helpful.
So here are the top 3 things I would offer if I were developing the curriculum for Career Success 101, starting with how to win at interviews:
1) Do your research and make sure to say why you are interested in working with their organization. Give specifics and show real interest in exactly what that organization or corporation is doing. Research their web site and Google them to find other articles about them to show that you have researched and understand their mission, their mission, work, their people, processes, products, services, etc. Prepare a couple of good questions, too. A bonus is if you can find some of their competitors or comparable organizations to explain why and how you prefer theirs.
2) Provide specific examples of why/how you are qualified: classes you took, papers, internships, etc. that show you have the skills that they need. Explain your qualifications for the position and how that will impact their bottom line, their goals, their needs. For each of the job requirements listed show how your background supports your candidacy.
3) Show ENTHUSIASM — All employers want to hear that you are really excited and jazzed about their opportunity!! You must express enthusiasm even if you natural style is low key. You can practice raising the volume and varying the pitch of your voice. Do an exercise where you imagine something that truly excites you, and bring that energy to the interview. It is OK to fake it till you make it. You must make a first impression with energy, enthusiasm and excitement….Passion is attractive!
Many first round interviews are on the phone so it’s important that you speak clearly and articulately. Practice in front of a mirror and even stand in front of a mirror when you do your phone interview. It really helps. Also, practice smiling as you talk. Research shows that a smiling face actually projects more energy and positivity to listeners.
Barbara, imagine being on the other side of the table when you envision job interviews. Imagine you are now a seasoned professional and you are looking to hire staff members. Now review the three items in the article above. Don’t you agree that a job candidate demonstrating those three tips would impress you?
Onward to your career success!