PURPOSE is the new passion

Purpose is the new PassionThere is universal agreement that the word “passion” is highly overused in professional settings. It needs to be retired.

That word should have been tossed in the wastebasket years ago but seems to continue to land in recycle. It comes back to haunt hiring managers, job seekers, recruiters, and everyone year after year.

In a purely selfish attempt to prevent me from reading one more cover letter explaining someone’s passion for working on programs; might I suggest the word “purpose”.

I know, you like that right? But wait, don’t just go through your documents and replace one word with the other.

Replacing passion with purpose requires a little more work on your part.
You need to ask yourself “What motivates me?” “What inspires me?” “What type of work will engage me and spark my A game most of the time?”

Please do not misunderstand, walking a purposeful path does not mean you will avoid every frustration that naturally comes along with work. It will, however, better align the personal and professional and minimize feelings of discontent.

Move toward a purposeful existence. Examine what you are doing and determine if it makes your heart smile in some way. If not, don’t be afraid to change direction.

Reconnect with references in the new year

Reference

If you can not easily think of three people to use as professional references now is a great time to strengthen those connections. If you have not offered a “Happy New Year” to past supervisors and colleagues do it today.

Take the opportunity to discuss your career aspirations for this year and how they may be of assistance.

Do not forget to offer assistance with their goals and actually follow through if you are asked to do something.

Tips for Updating Your Resume

A new year provides new opportunities. This is the perfect time to do a quick and fairly simple update of your resume. Here’s how.

careerbuilder-ar_post-3070Update contact information
Try removing your full address from your resume. It will save space in your document and it is seemingly unnecessary information. Instead, use the space to provide solid contact information (i.e. phone number and email address) as well as links to professional profiles (i.e. LinkedIn)

Remove objective statement
I don’t know how many times this has to be said, “Remove objective statements from your resume!” 99.5% of the time they add nothing to your story.

Make sure you include relevant skills and experience
Do not fall into the trap of listing everything you have ever done or can do. Focus on the skills and experience that speaks to where you want to go.

Simplify your educational achievements
If you are including information about which high school you attended, stop it immediately. GPA’s and irrelevant certifications need not be included on your resume.

Modernize your formatting
This does not mean that you have to produce a highly stylized document. Style will never trump substance. Your resume must be accessible, skimmable, and of course, able to get past the always dreaded applicant tracking system.

Let 2018 be the End of "New Year, New Me"

Here’s my deep thought for the first week of 2018. The new year inspires us to change, be better, do more, etc. in part because we make the space for self-reflection in the days or day leading up to the holiday.

Illustration of woman with head in hands against pink backgroundThe ritualistic progression from one year to another seems to call for some type of movement or need for rejuvenation in us.

What if we didn’t wait for a “New Year” to hit the reset button?

What if we set and evaluated our goals throughout the year?

What if we made small and big changes as needed instead of putting them off for a symbolic “restart”?

What if kicked it into high gear in March, June, or October and decided it was time to achieve our heart’s desire when the notion first occurred to us?

Make changing, resetting, or starting when you need and want to your 2018 resolution.

Simple Resolutions for Managers

New Year Be Awesome

It’s inevitable. The Monday after a holiday break and the struggle begins. You’re faced with all the professional challenges you tried to forget, or at least drown in a variety of feasts, parties, and slothfulness.

On top of returning to work, you are trying to focus on sticking to all of the personal resolutions you made for yourself. Between fitness and weight loss resolutions, living life to the fullest, and developing an artificial intelligence system that can control your home (these are seriously some of the top resolutions of 2016 according to Twitter and Google), you have little or no time to make resolutions specific to your role as a manager.

That’s where I can help.

Here are some fairly simple, easy to implement ideas for 2016. The best part is that these are not activities you simply resolve to do, they actually can be done.

1. Meet with your team to discuss goals they have set for themselves. If they have none, help them set a few. This method demonstrates an investment in the individual and can help to make future performance discussions slightly less tense. It is a great opportunity to set your staff on the path to achieving individual and team performance goals.

2. Commit to having a different team member lead staff meetings in the New Year. Let them develop the agenda and facilitate the meeting. This takes some of the pressure off you and shows that leadership isn’t entirely “top down”.

3. Launch a simple 360 Assessment for yourself. This one can be tricky because soliciting feedback means you have to be ready to accept it. If you develop your own questionnaire, however, you can focus on specific areas you want to assess or improve. This process shows a commitment to your personal development and allows your staff an opportunity to be heard.

Let the New Year serve as a chance to assess and set the course for who you want to be in the workplace. Are you a manager, coach, or leader? Make 2016 the year you decide to be all three!

Don't forget to work for yourself this holiday season

Looking for a JobWe have made it through Thanksgiving and are only a few weeks out from another holiday season. My thoughts are permeated by holiday preparation but I can not let my career goals fall by the weigh side. Don’t decide that you will start again in the new year.

These “7 LinkedIn Job Hunting Tactic that Work” are a fairly easy lift. Use your online time for good, not evil (or at least for frivolity all of the time) and do something for yourself this holiday season.