Monthly Archives: May 2015

How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don’t Have a Job

Many people think they need a job to make progress in their career. You don’t need a job to make progress. Doing things that create forward momentum may create the work you need over time. So don’t wait to start doing these career advancing moves.

1. Promote your progress. Let those with the authority to spend money and make decisions know the advances you are making in your learning, networks, and knowledge of their industry.

2. Do your homework. Research the leading organizations and individuals in your field. Learn what they are doing to stay ahead.

3. Have your finger on the pulse. Know what the emerging issues and trends are within your industry.

4. Put your hand up. Can you volunteer within your industry association or on the board of an organization with a cause you are passionate about? You will be expanding your network and skills.

5. Chart a career path for your career progress. What skills do you need as you round out your experience and move forward on your career path? How can you learn the skills you will require?

Can you learn:

by taking a course?
in a self-directed way?
by writing an article and posting it?
through volunteering?
through an expert or mentor?

6. Broaden your network in your field. Can you attend industry events with a goal of meeting 3 new people at each event? Can you let your current network know that you want to expand your network? Are there people you should get in front of?

7. Find a mentor (or two). Spend time with people in your field who are further along the career path or considered to be experts in your industry.

8. Polish your online profiles. Keep the information current on these public profiles, so that your contacts can be up to date on your progress.

9. Push your passion forward. Advance your knowledge and abilities in areas of your career where you are truly motivated. This will be fun and rewarding as the learning and knowledge add to your skill sets.

10. Risk yourself. Put more skin in the game by putting yourself out more. You could organize an event, write an article or offer to do a talk. Your efforts and learning can open up new people, opportunities, and energy to you.

These actions will advance your process, add to your knowledge base and network. Even if you don’t have work, setting goals and carrying out some of these actions will move you closer to getting work that you would enjoy and shine at.

The Road to Success – A Comeback Story

Everyone loves a good “comeback” story. Some of the best stories happen right when you think all hope is lost – or when there’s no possible way that success could happen.

One of my favorite comeback stories is Rudy-a small, blue-collar, academically challenged young man trying to achieve his ultimate dream of playing football at Notre Dame. Ironically, he had no Irish luck with him along his journey. Rudy was told “no” and was rejected time and time again by his teachers, his coaches, his family and even his girlfriend. Rudy never gave up. He worked hard and kept pursuing his passion.

Eventually, Rudy did reach his dream! He played in one football game at Notre Dame, and he was such an inspiration to his teammates, they put him on their shoulders and carried him off the field when the game was over.

Rudy’s story is an inspiration to me. Can you relate to Rudy?

My Story

My story began years ago when my daughter was in the “Junior Miss” (Distinguished Young Women) program which included talent, fitness, and the dreaded interview. I thought that my daughter could use a little boost in her interview and pageantry skills, so I looked for a pageant coach.

I discovered Barbie Bassett, who at the time was the Chief Meteorologist at WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi (and a real-life Barbie, to be honest). Coaching my daughter was her priority, yet Barbie later approached me about something entirely different, something called Rodan + Fields.

Barbie Bassett was asking me to join her in a social commerce business venture. I immediately said no. How could I possibly be successful in business when I am also a mother, wife, university employee, and community advocate?

Why NOT Me?
One year later in 2012, it suddenly hit me. How could I NOT do this?

My life was changing right before my eyes. My daughter was now a senior in high school about to leave for college, and my second daughter would soon leave for college. My husband was about to retire; my parents were getting older. Lots of Changes!

The changes in my life made me realize that I want to spend more time with my family so I can soak up each and every moment with them.

So, I called Barbie and told her I was all in – I wanted what Rodan + Fields was offering; freedom from 9-5, second income stream and more time with my family. Soon I started my own team and rose to the top 2% of the company. Not only did I earn a free trip to Napa Valley, California, I also met Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields!

This is MY Comeback Story

I had a growing social commerce business that had turned into the best financial decision that I have ever made. I was right where I wanted to be in the company. Unfortunately… life had another turn for me.

Before the comeback, I went down the road of destruction. I got busy; I made excuses, I lost a parent, my daughter moved away, all the things that can put a hold on success. I stopped actively working my social commerce business and let it coast – still make money, but not putting enough effort into myself or my business.

Time has a funny way of changing perspectives – yet again. Today is Spring 2017, and I am within a year of retiring from my full-time university teaching position. But without Rodan + Fields, there is no way that I can retire.

At the age of 51, I know that I’m exactly where I need to be to change my life, legacy, and family. I want the freedom to make my own schedule, be my own boss and inspire others to have the same thing!

Now I am back! No more excuses, no more distractions. I am now channeling my inner “Rudy”. Rudy never compromised on his dream. But, Rudy did have to work hard and overcome many obstacles. Is this you?

Are you overcoming obstacles in your life to reach your dreams? What does your life hold? I’m looking for people just like me who want freedom, more importantly independence from their 9-to-5 life.

Educating for Impending Careers

The vast majority of us in the United States were educated as children and young adults so that we could succeed both as citizens sustaining our democratic way of life and as productive workers able to sustain ourselves and our families economically. For the most part the combination of public and private K-12 schools and higher education universities and colleges have served us quite well. We are by and large a well educated and constructive populace.

But can we rely on the old-school methodologies to sustain us for a world of work that will be characterized as mercurial and erratic calling for agility, adaptability, and rapid evolution? There is reason to think not. An economy that is experiencing increased speed and transformation will not be well served by an educational structure and model designed to prepare students for a relatively static and predictable work world.

Let’s examine the existing paradigm that traditionally and currently defines most American high schools and colleges. There are two patterns at play based on the concepts of liberal education and career-focused education. By the time a student reaches high school they select or have selected for them one of these persuasions or the other.

Liberal (or liberal arts) education refers to an approach that encourages a broad and diverse exposure to fundamental and diverse subject matter with the goal being to educate a student for a complex world requiring a variety of perspectives, skills, and areas of knowledge. When and if college is reached the student fits into this mix a concentrated focus in one or more disciplines.

A career-focused or vocational path on the other hand focuses much more on preparing the student for a relevant job that is in demand in the workforce. Breadth gives way to depth in that a craft or skill set demonstrably employable is chosen, studied, and eventually mastered by the student.

To be clear I am not suggesting that there is anything fundamentally wrong with these models. My concern is in the traditional modes of delivery of them. We are still under the assumption that a high school diploma and / or college degree program that terminates upon graduation is enough to provide a student for a lifetime career. It used to be, but projections are that it won’t be enough going forward.

The workplace and its career needs are becoming increasingly digitized and globalized, resulting in an urgency for malleable, resilient, and entrepreneurial workers to address the ever vibrant economic demands across the planet. To maintain these attributes workers will need to accept and embrace continuous lifelong learning, upskilling, and training to keep up and stay ahead. Schooling will never end. In fact it will become an integral and ongoing part of any advantageous job worth having for most.

We will likely see a time when liberal and career-focused methods become more of an as-needed hybrid with a greater proliferation of skill and knowledge-based certification and training programs not necessarily tied to slow moving traditional education settings. Students, employees, and educators will begin migrating more intentionally into online, virtual, and yes, brick & mortar learning facilities that offer the highest quality, data driven, short and long-term instruction essential to the requirements of the emerging economy.

As an educator myself with 31 years in public schools and 5 years as a part time college adjunct I can say with some certainty that this industry will not on its own move in this direction without a lot of resistance. There are many entrenched interests compelled to resist such changes. A more responsive and pragmatic instructional delivery will likely arise from a combination of innovative educators and demanding students and employees requiring relevant reactive instruction.