Changing the Lens on Job Opportunities

The stories that we grew up hearing, the advice that we listened to whether willingly or not, and the modeling our families showed us – create the fiber of who we are, for better and worse. We start seeing the world through various lens and viewpoints, with some biases and “shoulds.” And for most of us, it gets confusing when we look at our own career.

I was taught to get a good, stable job; make heaps of money so you never have to worry about it; work hard – it gets recognized; climb the ladder; and pick one path and stay on it. You probably have your own story about what your career should be about, where today’s world of work or your own personal work style/preferences, don’t even enter the equation.

That’s why it is so difficult for us to make career changes. It’s why other people sometimes can’t understand our perspective.

But it’s time to shift the lens in which we make career decisions, ever so slightly. Breaking free a little piece of our own stories, will open up opportunities you’ve never knew were possible.

On a daily basis, I hear clients pondering turning down a job offer because they weren’t going to make “enough” money or because it didn’t have the next-level title. And instead, they go back to their job search miserable trying to find their very own purple unicorn.

What if this is the place where we shift our lenses? What if the way we look at opportunities, overt and hidden, change – taking us on a slightly different than originally planned course, but much more satisfying in the long run?

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5 Ways to Make Your Entry-Level Job Better

No one likes starting at the bottom – and yet, to build your career, you have to start somewhere. Your first real job may seem like a waste of time or a noose holding you back from what you’re supposed to do. But it can be so much more.

My first “real job” out of college was working at a jewelry manufacturing company in account management and sales – also known as doing everything that no one else wanted to do. Including, ahem, putting price tags on the items and stringing pendants. It was as bottom as you can get.

It was miserable, I’m not going to lie. I felt entitled to do more, be more, to not be the grunt person. And that’s where I went wrong. I was so wrapped up in how much better I thought I was than the job, that I missed many important lessons that I had to relearn later in my career.

When you’re in an entry level job, you can make it better than it sounds – and here’s how.

1. Plan your next two steps

I’m a fly-by-the-seat kind of gal for most things, but when you are just starting out in your career, having an idea or hope as to where you want your career to (realistically) be in the next two moves, is critical. It’s too easy to be aimless when you don’t quite have enough experience to be known for something, and are just too recent a grad to know nothing.

When you have your career plan in mind, you can start creating your map to get there and begin learning the tools and lessons you need for each step along the way. Know that your steps will probably change – and that’s ok, it’s about starting with a vision.

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Your Holiday Ripple

I was in a shoe store the other day looking for something I could throw on every day on my trek to Caribou. Let’s just say I’ve been looking for a while, so perhaps I’m a bit picky about the shoes I wear. I’m a nice customer – I smile, I say please and thank you, I don’t want anyone putting the shoe on for me, and I always put the shoes back in the box after I try them on. And the craziest thing happened. The person helping me was visibly annoyed that I asked to try on three different pairs.

Three, not a hundred. But even so – her reaction would still make me pause.

Your job is to help people find new shoes – you work in a shoe store for crying out loud. A high-end one, at that. You are in the business of customer service with a very specific outcome – help someone find a shoe that works on their feet, then they purchase. Everyone is happy – including you, who gets a commission for helping find the customer that shoe.

Your job description really can’t get more specific than that; more clear.

And yet, she was pissed to have to help me do just that.

I admit, I’m a little more sensitive to people’s engagement in their job – it’s kinda how I make a living. But then I always think of how it impacts others – the other customers who were trying to do the same thing that I was; her coworkers who have to absorb the negative energy or deal with the complaining; and her friends and family who have to “deal” with it.

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6 Things to Consider Before Your Quit Your New Job

We are all questioning our career path and our “job satisfaction” levels to determine how much we want to kick butt during December when we’d rather be spending time laying on a beach or drinking egg nog. But what if instead of just having the year-end blues, you are in a new job or role that you can tell will lead to disaster?

You know, you’ve just been baited and switched. Or perhaps everyone was on their very best behavior during the interview process. Or you made a very bad, desperate decision. It doesn’t really matter why you ended up where you are – you are stuck with a new job that sucks. And you want to quit, like yesterday.

Can I Quit Yet?

I am a proponent of experiencing different jobs – hey, I can’t even count how many I have had throughout my career. But I do think that before you leave a job you need to consider the potential impact on your career trajectory.

{Interruption}: My dear Gen Y’ers – I know that you think that this doesn’t really matter for you. That you can job hop like the best of them without any care or worry on how it will impact your next job. I’ve heard it before – the job market is different for you. There are different rules. Agreed. However, you still have to make strategic career decisions. {end}

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Stop Hating Your Job

It’s official, launch day has arrived!

I am about to burst out of my seat I’m so excited that my first ebook, Stop Hating Your Job: How to Be Happy at Work without Quitting, is out today! Writing a book has been a long-time goal of mine, and something that I have had in the works since starting Loosen Your White Collar. I started this business to help people be happier at work – sometimes that means jumping into a new role, but most of the times it means making your current situation work for you. So that’s what my first book will help you achieve through a serious of insights, HR guidance, and activities.

Buy the book here!!!  and learn more about it here

Free Book Giveaway

Three lucky readers and supporters, will get a free copy of Stop Hating Your Job and a 45 minute coaching session ($250 value!) to help you implement the steps included in my book, and turn your work misery into meaning.

How to enter:

  1. Share this post on Facebook
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  3. Send along this email to your friends and family (double entry)
  4. Sign up to my newsletter (double entry)

Then come back to the site and leave a comment below letting me know which actions you took, and tada – you’re entered! The contest ends on Wednesday, July 25th at 8pm ET.

Good luck and thank you to all of your kind words and support.

PS Bloggers: I have an awesome affiliate program where you earn 51% of sales. Check out the details here.