Career Advice & Planning
Looking for some career advice?
On this page we answered some of the most common questions our clients have asked us. There are tips for for both adults, young adults, and college students.
Because we believe that everyone should love what they do, here are ten questions you can ask yourself that will clearly reveal that you have found a job you love:
1. Does it support a lifestyle you enjoy?
All too often people are living their lives based upon how others have defined their success. What makes one person happy does not necessarily make another person happy. I have a friend who has an average job at a cafe serving tables in the evening so he can surf all day (he lives in Costa Rica.) And he is extremely happy.
I have another friend who is up at 6am and works until 8pm every day. All he can think about is work. The idea of spending the day at the beach or just laying around would make him miserable.
So as you can see, both live completely different lives yet both are very happy. So before you invest your time and money into building a career, make sure you have a clear understanding of what success looks like for you. And this starts with having an understanding of the kind of lifestyle you want to live.
2. Are you part of an industry you care about?
Every day when you go to work you are joining a community (industry) that shares a vision of what they want to bring into the world. All business provides a product or service that solves a problem and you should care about what that industry does because you are now part of that community. They are your tribe. Since you will spend a third of your life at work, shouldn’t you care about the people and product/service that the industry produces?
3. Are you excited to wake up every day?
If you are not jumping out of bed ready to start your day then that is a clear sign that you do not love either your job or the industry you are a part of.
4. Do you love learning about it?
When you are doing something you are passionate about you should love learning everything about it. You should feel inspired to want to become an expert in your field and master your craft.
5. Does your career accentuate your natural gift?
We all have something that we are inherently good at. Your job should nurture and bring out the best of those talents so that you feel true to who you are.
6. Do you love telling people what you do?
When you go out and are in social circles, when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?” You should feel proud to tell them what you do and feel excited to talk about it in some way.
7. Does it feel strange feeling paid for it?
Ever heard someone say, “Wow, I can’t believe they pay me to do this?” When you are doing what you love then being paid might feel a bit strange.
8. Can you talk about it endlessly without getting tired of it?
When you are really passionate about your work, you will find yourself talking about it constantly.
9. Does it challenge you enough so that you grow as a person?
There is a difference between struggle and challenge. One should never struggle at work as this can bring on stress and anxiety. But being challenged by your work is very important as it helps you grow and keeps you excited about what you are doing.
10. Are you afraid to fail?
If you don’t care or love your work, you won’t care about failing. The more afraid to fail you are, the more the fear shows you that you love what you are doing.
Once you can honestly answer yes to all of these questions, then you know you found your dream job.
More Career Advice
1. Have A Strategy
Don’t just aimlessly search for jobs hoping something will pan out. Have a clear vision for what you want to do and then build a strategy to get there. Be willing to be patient and put the right things in place to accomplish your goals.
2. Build Your Resume
First and foremost, you should never meet with a company that you would define as your “dream job” until your resume is ready. What I mean by “building your resume” is that you need to cultivate it in a way so that when you do meet with your ideal company, the resume is spot on what they are looking for. If your resume does not jump out at them right away, you have very little chance of getting the job.
3. Get A Mentor
No matter where you are at with your career, there is someone out there who has more experience and knowledge then you do and can save you a lot of time, money, and heartache if you are willing to listen, be humble, and follow their guidance. Unfortunately most people are so stubborn to ask for help.
4. Develop The Right Mindset
If you have any fears, doubts, insecurities, or limiting beliefs about yourself, then this will have a huge impact in your ability to attract and get your dream job. You must be willing to be honest and look within to see if you have a negative mindset about yourself or the working world in general. You would be shocked to discover that you may have some of these beliefs hiding in your subconscious:
“I am not good enough”
“There are no good jobs out there”
“Work is boring”
“I’ll never make enough money”
“I’m afraid of rejection”
And so on.
If you are willing to be honest with yourself then really dig deep and ask yourself if you have any fears or negative limiting beliefs about yourself, your industry, money, or work in general. Do everything you can to transform those issues so that you can approach your career planning with a healthy mindset.
5. Have Empathy For Your Employer
All too often when people are looking for a job they are just thinking about themselves. They rarely consider what the employer is going through. If you have the ability to put yourself in their shoes and know what they are going through, you will have a better opportunity of connecting with them in an authentic way that will make it much easier for you to see if there is an opportunity for you to work with them.
6. Have An Entrepreneur Mindset
The biggest mistake that most people make is they just see themselves as an employee of a company. If you really want to get ahead, you need to think like an entrepreneur. Whenever you hear of someone rising to the top and a manager saying, “He/she showed initiative.” That’s because this person thinks like an entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur is always wondering how can they make things better at the company. What can they do to improve the overall process or product/service. They don’t just go in and only do their job. An entrepreneur is a problem solver and that is what you need to be.
7. Enjoy The Process
People are in such a rush to succeed that very few have the presence of mind to be in the moment and enjoy the process. The only way you can truly learn and grow is if you accept where you are at and get everything you need from the experience.
8. Be Willing To Pay Your Dues
You will never make it to the top of your career if you are not willing to pay your dues. It’s important that you accept your rung in the ladder and climb each step one at a time.
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9. Don’t Get Settled
Just because you have been at your job for a little while don’t assume that you can never lose it. There are a lot of people who are hungry for your job and if you become complacent, you can easily lose it. You should always be improving your skillset in some way and always giving 100%.
10. Earn People’s Trust Every Day
Every day you should do everything you can to earn peoples trust. The more trust you have the more opportunities you will be given.
11. Never Stop Networking
You should always keep opportunities in front of you even if you don’t need them. If feels good knowing other people want you.
12. Never Lie About Your Qualifications
The most common thing people do is lie to get a job. It will eventually come back to haunt you.
13. Invite Criticism
All too often we shy away from having our peers tell us whether or not we are doing a good job. Your goal is to become the best you can be. So invite your peers to tell you if there is anything you can do to improve your work delivered.
How long should I stay at a job? When is the best time to move on? Is job hopping bad?
This really depends on what purpose the job is providing. If it is your dream job then you should stay there until it no longer excites you. If it is not your dream job then stay there until you learn whatever skills you need to get your dream job.
Do your career advice mentors or experts provide live online web chat? I could use some guidance.
Yes they do. As part of our career mentoring programs we offer live chat via phone or Skype.
Are there any books, blogs, sites, or forums that offer career advice services?
Yes. We do : )
I have career advice questions for jobs in the USA. Can you provide any articles?
Besides our website below are a list of some other articles you might want to check out.
- Goal Setting
- Positive Quotes
- Daily Motivation
- Motivational & Inspirational Quotes
- Words of Encouragement & Quotes
Lonestar University – Career Planning & Services For College Students
The Lone Star College wants to make sure that you’ll choose the right career for you. They understand that it all starts with choosing the right major for you. This is why they’ve highlighted the steps that you need to do so you can pinpoint what your goals are. This can help you discover yourself in order to know what path you should take.
The site will show you 3 steps that you need to take. At the end of the career planning steps, you should have options available for you to explore.
This page talks about the Tennessee Career Center System. This is a system that was developed with the help of private industries and business all over Tennessee. This system was able to set up several career center locations across the state. Each of these centers can help you as a part of the workforce.
From this site, you’ll find links to the career center locations so you can find the nearest one. You’ll also find links to services available to those looking for a job and to those providing jobs.
Slate – Your Salary, and How to Raise It
Are you looking for an increase in salary? Do you feel as if you deserve such an increase? If yes, you don’t have to wait for a salary increase. You can actually negotiate for it.
This article has a podcast that will discuss all about salary negotiation. This is helpful for those who just got hired. You may get a salary offer that’s lower than what you think you’re worth, and this podcast can help guide you on what to do so you can negotiate for a higher salary. Of course, this podcast can also help those that are already part of the company and are just looking for a raise.
Fast Company – THE FOUR-YEAR CAREER LESSONS FROM THE NEW WORLD OF QUICKSILVER WORK, WHERE “CAREER PLANNING” IS AN OXYMORON.
For a lot of people, finding that one job where they can work the rest of their life is ideal. This is not ideal for a lot of people. In fact, a lot of people are practicing a “four year career”.
This post tells the story of such people. For example, there’s Adam Hasler who at the age of 28 has had several careers – including owner of a coffee shop.
Read this post if you’re interested about shorter job tenure. While it’s seen as risky by some, some people actually feel that it’s less risky than longer jobs. Learn the story of people on a four year career by reading this post.
Seattle Times – Career advice: Am I being headhunted or scammed?
Headhunters are now using a lot of strategies to find qualified individuals. People know this. This is why scammers are taking advantage. This post talks about an experience of a certain job seeker who received an unusual email from a supposed headhunter. The job seeker wants to know if he is indeed being headhunted or it’s just a big scam.
This is a good post to read if you’ve been getting contacted by headhunters. It features advice from a couple of recruitment experts. Reading this post can help you avoid getting scammed.
Investors Daily – Advice From CEOs Who Rose Through Ranks; Climb Higher
For a lot of people in the corporate world, the ultimate dream is to climb that corporate ladder until they reach the top. If you’re like them, then you can benefit from this post.
This post provides advice from CEOs who like you started at the bottom of the corporate ladder. Know their story on how they were able to rise up in ranks. For example, Alex Malley advises on the importance of getting along with people. The main advice is to climb higher. Read this post if you want to do just that.
Mashable – 5 Online Communities to Help With Your Career
Stanford – The Career Planning Handbook for Bachelor’s & Master’s Students
The Stanford University wants to set up their student for success. This is why they’re making the CDC Career Planning Handbook and Career Guide available. In fact, it’s updated year after year to make sure that it keeps up with the changing landscape.
Students are finding this resource as an important resource when it comes to their job search. From this page, you can get The Career Planning Handbook for Bachelor’s & Master’s Students. Now, you can also get the PhD & Postdoc Career Guide.
MIT – Career Guidance Programs & Resources
MIT, with its MIT Alumni Association, takes care of its alumni. This page on the MIT site is proof of it. From here, alumni can access a wealth of resources that can help them with their career. As an alumni, you can check out this page in order to take advantage of these resources.
The page also provides information on programs that can give you career advice. You can also learn about alumni events. You can take advantage of all of these thanks to the Career Explorations & Career Transitions. You can also use this page to establish strong connections with the impressive alumni network of MIT.
Bloomberg – The Worst Career Advice I’ve Ever Received
You’ve been receiving a lot of well-meaning advices from different people – from friends to career gurus. Unfortunately, a lot of these advices are bad. If you’re not careful, they can lead you on a downward spiral in your career.
This post compiles the thoughts of 6 executives when it comes to the worst career advice they’ve gotten. Make sure to check them out because there’s a good chance that you received the same advice.
Business Insider – Crucial New Career Advice From LinkedIn’s Billionaire Founder Reid Hoffman
When Reid Hoffman speaks, you have to listen. After all, he’s the billionaire founder of LinkedIn. Fortunately for people in the workforce, he’s been spending the past 2 years teaching employees about their careers. Mainly, he’s teaching employees to approach their career in a different manner.
This post provides critical advice. You have to check out this post because this advice will change the way you look at your career. If you’re looking for a change, this post is a good start.
Huffington Post – Career Advice For My Younger Self
A lot of older employees are wishing that they’ve done things differently when they were younger. This is a good post about Teresa White’s career advice to her younger self. As the President of a global company, you have to listen to her advice.
This is especially true if you’re young and you’re just starting your own career. Don’t make the same regrets that the older generation has. You can correct your path as early as now so as not to waste time, effort and money. The advices are simple but they make a lot of sense. Since they’re simple, you can easily incorporate them.
Forbes – Career Advice from Penn Mutual CEO Eileen ‘No Glass’ Ceiling McDonnell
Eileen McDonnell probably has the coolest nickname among the CEOs of global companies. The Penn Mutual CEO, also known as ‘No Glass’, is a woman in men-heavy CEO pool. But even so, she never saw a glass ceiling. She insists that gender is not an issue and she’s not letting it get in the way.
If you’re a woman looking to establish a career, this is a good post to read. You’ll get advice from one of the strongest CEOs in the world – a woman at that. Even if you’re a man, the advices that she gives in this post can benefit you as well.
NY Times – Health Care Opens Stable Career Path, Taken Mainly by Women
If you’re looking to establish a good career and you’re part of the middle class, you may want to look at the healthcare industry. Sure, the jobs are hard, but workers are saying that they’re rewarding. At the end of their 12 hour shift, they were able to rack up a nice amount with some of them earning close to $30 an hour.
This post should convince you that the healthcare industry is a good option. If you’re looking for a major in college, this may just convince you to take a healthcare related one. If you’re looking for a shift in career, this post may just convince you to make it a switch to healthcare.
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