Firstly, thank you for your question. Secondly, there are actually two questions in your one question.
The first question relates to whether we have the skills, experience and credibility to assist you.
While you always need to do your own due diligence, CFT has been in successful operation for more than eight years. Our programs are now used internationally with literally thousands of clients each year from different life-stages. Additionally, we train career practitioners internationally and accredit graduates in a joint venture with Swinburne University. We have achieved outstanding success providing career development services to professionals from every industry. We are confident we can assist you and guarantee our services. See terms.
The second question is actually a money question - if you spend the money will it get you the result!
The answer to this is YES. Remember, you've invested around $50,000 in your education and have struggled to obtain the job opportunities you desire.
Rather than asking, what is the cost of career planning? You should be asking, what is the cost of NOT undertaking a career plan?
The fact is that your experience proves that just investing in an education doesn't get you a job. And every day you are out of work you are losing money on your educational investment - money which you can never make back.
Once again - we are confident we can help you and we guarantee our services as testimony to our ability.
Thank you for your question.
The money question is at the forefront of many people's minds as they consider their future. It is interesting that so many people spend more time and money on a two week holiday than they invest in their future career.
Consider for a minute that your career is the biggest investment you will make in your life-time in terms of time (45 Yrs+ in your career) and effort. Your career will also have the biggest impact upon your wealth, happiness and lifestyle.
It makes sense that you also invest some money to get the advice and information that will assist you to feel more satisfied and empowered with your career, receive the remuneration that you desire and achieve the results that you deserve.
Instead of asking what is the cost of career-life information? You should be asking, what is the cost of career-life ignorance?
Thanks for your question.
The best way to get promotion is to have your manager acknowledge that you deserve promotion.
To achieve this you need to be producing and keeping a record of the results you are achieving in your role (ensuring they are clearly aligned with your position description).
Having actual statistics (10% increase in sales), financial results ($150K increase in profit) or objective data (95% customer approval rating) provides clear evidence that you are producing significantly more than you are being paid.
The pressure is then on for your employer to create the conditions for you to stay.
You are one of many people who invest money for someone to format and type out their resume.
Sure it looks nice, but for the most part, it won't be effectively selling your unique value proposition into the career path in which you're interested.
To do this effectively, you need to work with an experienced and trained professional who understands your industry and can assist you to articulate the significant experience you have in terms of what your new employer will value.
YES - this takes time and more money - but the result is well worth it. For each month you are not in your chosen career path is costing you thousands of dollars which you'll never make back.
This is the best way to move your resume to the top of the YES file. Don't waste time getting your resume re-written - it is costing you money!
Thank you for your question.
You have had a common strategy in the job market. We call it the "Spray and Pray" strategy!
You've created a generic resume and now you attach it and email it to as many people as you can with the hope that someone will take interest and call you for an interview.
Well - the result you've achieved so far is indicative of how successful this strategy is!
However, your results are NOT indicative of how valuable your skill set is! You have much to offer - but the skills to obtain employment are different to the skills required in your actual job.
All you need is to improve your job hunting skills.
So give up the Spray and Pray strategy and:
Persistence and the right strategy are the only things standing between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.
Firstly, the good news is that your resume is obviously working! This means that you are selling yourself effectively on paper at least.
All you require is some coaching to transfer this into selling yourself in person.
A starting point for effective interview skills is to realise that the fundamental skill involved is not knowing the best way to answer questions but rather it is public speaking.
Many people struggle to sell themselves effectively in interviews simply because they have a fear of public speaking. There are simple solutions to this issue.
Next is to realise that one of the patterns that leads to poor interviews is projecting your mind forward and imagining you won't know how to answer a question. The usual cycle is to imagine yourself completely muddling up the answer and feeling really stupid.
The way many people deal with this is that they avoid adequately preparing for the interview as that way they avoid this little hullucinatory and painful cycle of thought.
This is not a helpful pattern to go through as it usually becomes reality.
Selling yourself effectively involves knowing the product inside and out! That requires complete due diligence in preparing for the interview.
If you have any doubts about your ability to interview effectively - these need to be examined to identify the underlying cause.
The good news is that once you deal with these issues they stop hampering your career development.
You are not alone. After teaching at university and also running workshops around the world - I've realised that adult learners, when they return to a learning environment, are plagued by the same issues that haunted them in elementary education.
The approach we use in our workshops is to reinforce the three domains for successful learning.
The first is the cognitive side – spending the time regularly training the brain to recall information.
The second is the behavioural side – ensuring that you have the self-discipline to study regularly using learning strategies appropriate for you.
The third is the emotional side – ensuring that you maintain a positive state of mind and that negative internal dialogue doesn’t sabotage your efforts before you start.
Your goal is to master all three.
Firstly, it is a tragedy the number of people who have similar issues to learning as highlighted in your question.
Secondly, you are an excellent learner already - all humans are natural learning machines. It is just that few people work out how to operate the machine effectively.
Learning is a skill that is often taken for granted. Many people approach learning simply - if we look and listen for long enough somehow the information sticks and we have learned.
When information sticks we call ourselves intelligent and when it doesn't we call ourselves...
Many people facing this question have a well developed pattern of struggling in learning environments. Hence, consider how it feels to learn and what do you make this feeling mean? Consider that the meaning you make of your past learning experience has a much greater influence on your learning success today than your actual ability to learn!
Your learning style is unique to you and involves how you prefer to absorb, retain and utilise information.
I want to address this question by looking at your work enjoyment. Comments on accessing promotion have been made earlier.
As a career coach I have the privilege of sharing the career-life journey of many people at different stages of their life.
The first point I'd like to make is that the rest of your life begins today - not at some point in the future when you obtain a promotion.
From this point of view, your career-life journey will continue for the rest of your life – as you change jobs, take time off to have family, start your own business or return to study – even if you experience unemployment. Where you are right now – with all its associated thoughts, achievements, attitudes, fears, opportunities and ambitions is where you need to start developing yourself to achieve whatever it is that will give you career-life fulfilment.
Don’t wait to enjoy the destination – start enjoying the journey!
As one Olympic Coach once said, "If you don't think you're good enough when you don't win, you'll never think you are when you do..."
Firstly a quick story: A while ago, two jobs were advertised in the same newspaper. The first job called for a manager in retail, required to supervise 15 staff and run a small retail business, the remuneration was $45K. The second job called for a manager in retail, required to supervise 15 staff and run a small retail business, the remuneration was $120K.
The first job received over 100 applications and the second only 12.
Whether you are at school or already employed, it is critical that you develop confidence in your abilities and have a grasp on what your skills are worth. Too many people underestimate themselves and this has significant career-life implications.
A good career plan can help you to understand your income potential and to position yourself for success.
A recent survey has highlighted the importance that employers place on the ‘soft-skills’ of employees in recruitment.
Soft-skills include all the non-technical abilities required to perform a job including public speaking, working in teams, being reliable and having approaches such as ‘goal orientation’. The fact is that anyone can say they are a good communicator; however, the employer will be looking for how you have demonstrated that you are a good communicator.
Soft-skills are important to your employ-ability - that is they increase the value of your skills both soft and technical in the labour market.
Therefore, the key to your career success will be developing increasingly more significant workplace demonstrations of these soft-skill areas and how you effectively sell these in your resume and job interview.
A recent OECD research paper found that only 50% of a person’s income can be accounted for by educational qualifications and readily measurable skills.
A significant part of a person’s income, it found, is directly due to their skills in managing their career. Career management skills are those that assist a person to identify suitable work and learning opportunities, to succeed in job selection processes, to be recognised as an effective performer and to achieve promotional opportunities have a significant impact upon their life-time earning capacity.
Hence, developing your career management skills is a sound investment decision for every individual.
Progressive employers are proactive in providing career management for employees because creating a closer alignment between the career-life goals of employees and the goals of the organisation are proven to lead to increased individual productivity, departmental revenue and organisational profitability.
Put simply, when careers flourish organisations prosper!
The human brain is just like a muscle and as such it responds favourably to the right type of training.
You don’t go to the gym once and expect to lose weight, you don’t go for one jog and expect to be fit, you don’t do palates once and expect to be flexible and you don’t go to one class and expect to know the subject!
If you are going to learn effectively, you have to set up a regular and sustained learning schedule.
Think of it as working out your learning muscles. The more you work out the better learner you’ll be.
I can't comment on what was reasonable in this instance with limited information. However, if your co-workers ability to handle problems was the only reason they were sacked it does sound quite unusual.
Having said that, I can say that
solving problems effectively is a key skill much in demand.
The fact is that you can never predict what your opponent is going to do – yes – that computer may crash, someone may let you down, a key file may get lost or that person may get really angry with you.
Learning how to manage the emotional side of such life-events is an important skill.
Developing a solution-focussed attitude is a life-long asset that will make you a pleasure to be around and very very employable.
This is a catch-cry you hear a lot in organisations where the workforce is fairly stable with limited external labour market influence.
My comment on this is - do you have what it takes to be a good salesperson?
Now more than ever, the ability to sell yourself is an essential skill that is a must have in your career development toolkit.
Regardless of how uncomfortable it may feel, selling yourself effectively will have a big impact upon your pay packet and career opportunities.
The art of self-promotion can be learnt and there are several things you can do. For instance, can you list your key skills; justify how much you should be paid; look someone in the eye and confidently tell them why you should get a pay rise?
The more uncomfortable you feel answering these questions probably indicates how urgent it is that you learn the essential skill of self-promotion.
Many students complete an Arts degree because they think it will buy them time to 'discover' what they really want to do. Some years ago, research pointed out that employers don't value an Arts degree graduate if they seem undecided about their career goals.
When you think about it, would you employ someone if they might change their mind in 3 or 4 months time?
You're right, there are so many exciting trade opportunities at present. However, for whatever reason there still seems to be a stigma attached to these career pathways that somehow they are second best.
Unfortunately, people with this perception just haven’t been keeping up with the times.
A good career plan will assist your parents and you to really explore and clarify career pathways that will meet your personal goals and provide ultimate fulfillment. This should assist your parents to become comfortable with the goals you set for your life.
Remember, no-one plans to fail – but many fail to plan…
It doesn’t matter whether you are still at school, the CEO of a large company or a doctor working in a hospital. At some point you will have to work with someone you find difficult.
There are many skills you need to develop to deal effectively with such people perhaps none more important than effective communication skills.
It is probably more important you learn how to deal with this person effectively that to quit your work because of them. Life has a funny way of continually putting the same lessons in our path until we learn them.
Do something about it – talk to someone who can help. The sooner you develop the skills to manage difficult people the sooner difficult people will stop bothering you.
This is a great question because it highlights the internal battle we all face to achieve greatness.
Essentially, there are only two things that truly motivate.
Every decision you make will either take you towards something that you find pleasurable or away from something you find painful.
The problem is that many people want all the pleasure now with no pain. This means that they put off important actions in life, such as study, piano practice or completing the tax return because they seem like “painful” activities.
However, if you take all the pleasure now you push the pain into the future. You know how it feels to put off your assignments until the night before and you can ask your parents what happens if they don’t do their tax return.
Developing the self-discipline to do the important things regardless of pain or pleasure is an essential skill for life-time success.
I'll start by asking a few questions:
These are all signs that you're falling victim to self-sabotage.
Self-sabotaging behaviour occurs whenever your behaviour is not consistent with your intended goals. The reality is that while this behaviour might start in school it can continue well throughout your career-life. For instance, would you be likely to leave the preparation for a job interview until the night before?
Hence, if people are telling you that you're not working to your potential they are really telling you that your current behaviour is not consistent with what your goals should be.
The antidote for self-sabotaging behaviour is to be absolutely clear about why you want to achieve your goals. Don’t just set goals – ask yourself ‘why do I want to achieve this goal?’ and ‘what will achieving this goal give me?’
Then focus upon the specific strategies required to achieve these goals – self-discipline is often required here. (read the FAQ asked recently about motivation)
Finally, set up your environment so that you can avoid distractions. I recently worked with a client who spent up to 3 hours night chatting on MSN. We worked out that over the year, this added up to about 2 months full time chatting!
Wow - that is a lot of wasted time! Ask yourself, what difference will this activity make to my life in 12 months time? If your honest answer is NONE - you know what to do!
For you to achieve your potential, self-discipline is key. Developing these behaviours now will help you work consistently towards your potential - however extraordinary that is!
Ouch! What a good lesson to have when you are only 20 years old!
Not long ago, the ANZ National Financial Literacy Survey identified some significant gaps in the ability of our school leavers to manage money effectively.
Financial literacy is important because it is defined as the ability to make informed judgements and to take effective decisions regarding the use and management of money.
Hence, of concern in this survey was the number of young people at risk of making ill informed financial decisions and placing themselves at risk. The ability to make effective career decisions is often closely associated with the ability to make effective financial decisions.
For instance, evidence strongly suggests that many young people are making decisions about their future based upon the ‘perceived’ cost of education. From this perspective, effective career planning necessitates sound financial understanding and strategy.
This means that when making decisions about your future you will need to carefully consider the financial implications of your career choices. If you are unsure, you should seek the advice of a professional. With a well considered career plan and sound financial judgement you can start your career with confidence that you have considered all of your options and made the most appropriate decision for you.
Think of it this way. You borrowed from your future to drive around in luxury today. Now you need to pay the future back. If you've learned this lesson, it won't occur again and that means that you will be well placed to establish a financially secure future!
Mmmm - I bet your car was red!
Someone once said that luck is where opportunity and preparation collide.
So I ask the question, do you cause your life to happen or does life just happen and you are effected by it?
If you listen to your internal dialogue for a moment – do you often hear yourself complaining that “It isn’t fair…” “I could never do that…” “If only I could change…” "Why do they have all the luck..."
This internal conversation is a sure sign that you are being affected by life rather than you causing life to happen.
Planning your career can help you to hop back into the driver’s seat of life by setting goals and ensuring that you make them happen.
Imagine what you'd like to be telling your classmates at the next reunion about your career and start now to make it a reality!
You are not the only one who stays awake at night worrying about approaching deadlines or work commitments?
The reality is that anyone who has high goals in life, regardless of age or position, will also have a continuous series of deadlines. Hence, it is important to recognise that if deadlines are constantly causing you grief then life is really teaching you that you have something to learn about the way you are managing your time or how you manage the factors that impinge upon your time.
Firstly, how you choose to invest your time is a critical factor for those that achieve success versus those that don’t.
Secondly, developing the ability to say "No" or knowing how much is possible to take on board is critical to your sanity, performance and sleep!
So you may as well develop the skills to effectively manage your deadlines now - by more effectively managing time or learning to say "No".
Most often self-discipline is the key. A good career plan will establish your priorities and allow you to re-focus your energy on doing the things that have the biggest impact upon your future.
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