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TheLadders.com is collecting advice from career experts to help people entering the workforce. I have a soft spot for anyone beginning their careers. It often takes bravery and resilience.

When starting out, you don’t know what you don’t know and you feel like no one’s really telling you how it is. So you’re left to figure it out while miserably wasting your potential away under a fluorescent light. (Can you tell I’ve been there?)

Truth is, our 20’s are messy, and that’s true for everyone. It’s a time for trial and error. It’s about figuring things out on your own and finding yourself. That can’t be rushed!

Don’t discount the value of your errors. (tweet this!)

Must-Know Advice For Anyone Entering the

Here are 6 pieces of must-know advice:

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth Happiness Purpose Reinvention

Are you a list person? IMG_4877

I’m a post-it and scribble person (I had to attach this picture from a few months ago because if you saw my desk right now you’d worry about me!).

The notes help me get my thoughts out. However, there are occasions when I’ve wished for a simple checklist with nothing more and nothing less than what I need to do.

As I mentioned last week, I’m on a mission to provide you with all the tools necessary to make a career change whenever that time may be. This week I’m sharing one of the resources reserved for my 1 on 1 clients that’s proven helpful.

Most of us will change jobs between 7 and 12 times in our careers so this might just come in handy one day!

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Interview Reinvention

I just read that the word literally has an updated definition in the dictionary. So many people were using it incorrectly (as in how they use figuratively) that we’ve literally changed the meaning of the word. Isn’t that crazy?

Another thing we’ve accepted as the norm is that career transition is a part of life. In fact, most people will have anywhere from 7-12 jobs in their lifetime. That’s a lot of change!

Because job transition is totally within my sweet spot having been a former recruiter, hiring manager and boss, I’ve decided to dedicate the next few posts to supporting you in your inevitable job search by providing insider knowledge on the process.

Hopefully if you’re quitting your job it’s for another one and you’ve thought it through. Often we see a higher salary or a dreamy office environment and are quick to decide that it must be a better opportunity.

In order to be sure about that, get clear on what you’re moving toward and away from and why.

Change is inevitable but that doesn’t mean we should take it lightly. Each move should be strategic, slowly writing your career story over time.

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Here goes: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Quitting Your Job

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth Interview Reinvention

Goal setting. Intention setting. Declaring a word or theme of the year. Whatever your thing, this time of year is great for reflection. Although you know I believe this ought to be done every few months, what better time to get crystal clear than at the start of a fresh page of your book.

Last year I wrote about goal setting and the feelings associated with those goals (thank you Danielle Laporte!). Then earlier this year I shared my career plan template. So obviously the idea isn’t lost on me. However, I’m tired of the same old way of doing it.

This can be a sensitive subject, one that holds fears and feelings beyond a simple goal written on a page. So many feelings come up when setting goals that can excite us and then deflate us within minutes. Some people already feel behind simply because it’s one week into 2015 and their colleague had her vision board done in November. Annoying!

This year I’m trying something new. Yes, I’m reflecting and I’m setting intentions. Only I’m not setting rigid guidelines to reach my goals. Instead my measurements are “more” and “less.”

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth Happiness

I was visiting my friend Sara last week and was having a good laugh at her current marital tiff. Nothing comforts me more than knowing I’m not alone in those. As I listened to her explain it, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I’ve done what she did.

She asked her husband’s advice and then didn’t take it. I’ve witnessed this before; she’ll ask which shoes he likes and then pick the DeathtoStock_Creative Community8opposite. But this time she asked his advice about taking on a leadership position at work and then did what she wanted to do anyway which was turn it down. He was insulted which is why she invited me over (“he can’t be mad directly at me if you’re here”…the perfect invite :) )

I’ve been there before, I told her. And it’s true, I often do this. The reason I give myself that it’s ok is something my dad says, “in the asking you often find your answer.” (Tweet this!)

Great for me. Annoying to whomever’s advice I’m after. Do you do the same, ask advice and then ignore it?

Sure it’s annoying when someone selects a pair of shoes, a restaurant or movie and you choose another. The difficulty is when the decision is more weighty.

How do you know when to heed advice and when to follow your gut?

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth Happiness Leadership

We’ve all been there, wondering if the not-so-loving feelings we’re having about our jobs are a phase or if they require action. picjumbo.com_IMG_0541Avoiding the topic only adds stress.

The good news? Clarity can make all the difference. This list will provide that to you.

If you’re in a position that does it for you, congratulations! You have what we all want. If not, hope is not lost. There is a way to better enjoy your career, whether in your current job or a new one. And, it’s easier than you may think.

As you go through the list, be honest with yourself. Reflection is the foundation to taking smart action.

You’ve outgrown your current job if:

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth Happiness Impact Reinvention

Ahhh…bad jeans. At one point you bought them, thinking yes, these’ll work. They fit, they worked for your wardrobe and the look mom jeansyou were going for. You looked good, stylish even. That’s why you committed to them.

But now, years later and from the outside looking in, it’s not the same image you once had. Often we need to take a step back to get an accurate reflection of what we’re working with- what’s changed and what feels right.

Your job may be the same. Stay with me here.

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth

When I was 7 we got a VHS recorder. My life was forever changed.

By 8 I was setting up a tripod solo (that camera weighed what felt like 50 lbs- it was a beast), and I was directing and co-starring in my own show Wake Up Australia. It was loosely based on Danny Tanner and Aunt Becky’s show Wake up San Francisco on Full House. Classic.

My best friend Emily and I not only had what I’m sure were dead-on Australian accents but we also had guests, commercials and fullme&em wardrobe changes. This was serious business.

I won’t mention how I was really tall for my age and Em was a little guy so in re-watching the “films” she looks cute and I look like the awkward giant neighbor kid. (This was pre-VHS fame but even still, look at that size difference!)

The point is, we were fearless.

Then along came the lovely teenage years when all sorts of negative feelings I’d never even considered came at me like a tidal wave, tripping me up and turning me upside down.

And that was the end of that…

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Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth Happiness

How This Common Trap Can Stunt Your Career

When I got my first promotion I felt it was due. I was confident and ready for it; I’d been doing the job for months unofficially. Granted, I was only managing 2 other people…hey, you gotta start somewhere!

Sadly, that’s where the confident promotion cycle ended.

Just a couple years later, I was given earned my next promotion. It had me managing several people including the person who hired me (awk-ward!), overseeing a side of our business I knew little about, and put me in a class with people who’d been with the company for years.

My first thought: I’m in over my head.

Every promotion following had me experiencing something similar. It went like this: [click to continue…]

Action Advancement Career Development Change Growth Leadership

 

Does this sound familiar?

You don’t really care that you just signed a new client. The thought of going to work each day is a drain. The “chase” isn’t lighting you up at the moment. You’d rather be anywhere than at work.

If our jobs are like a TV show, this would be season 3…slow, a bit boring, waiting for something good to happen. We all go through these phases in our jobs; it’s natural. Instead of sinking deeper into a slump, you can do something about it.

I’ve been there, in my past job and as a business owner and I’ll be the first to say it: it sucks. If you’re a make-things-happen type it’s especially frustrating as you’re sitting there waiting for things to change. No thanks!

I decided to try out this experiment, first using myself as a guinea pig and then I had a few clients try it as well. It worked so I’m sharing it with you!

Here’s my quick fix for instantly finding engagement at work:

How To Instantly Find Engagement at Work [click to continue…]

Action Career Development Happiness Impact Purpose