Why Right Now Is the Right Time to Take Charge of Your Career

When I read the title of a recent Wall Street Journal post, “In This Economy, Quitters Are Winning,” frankly, I thought I misinterpreted something. People are quitting jobs, moving on to new positions, and making more money.

Say what? I was totally aware of the fact that the job market was on fire, but our peeps are getting paid 30% more?

I have to be candid with you. I am absolutely loving this news. The tide is turning and I could not feel happier. I routinely meet with job hunters to talk about the possibilities of bailing out of their current roles, in addition to crafting high-impact, compelling resumes to help them with the next steps in their career.

Is this for real?

Everyone can feel an uptick in the market, but is this the real deal? It appears to be so. With the unemployment rate at only 3.8%, job hunters are landing well-paid positions left and right. In fact, when I met with Laura Kasper of Monarch Staffing, one of the largest women-owned staffing firms in Philadelphia, she pronounced, “Mindy, there are more resources going into finding more qualified people. It’s incredible!” She looked at me eyeball to eyeball and remarked that even senior citizens are now being recruited.

In truth, even job hunters who are not exceptionally strong in interviewing and have somewhat fragmented job histories are securing jobs. The Wall Street Journal is reporting job hunters who are making lateral moves or landing higher-level roles are even earning 30% more dough.

Much of the career dissatisfaction I hear about from my clients stems from money. Other issues center on nonexistent advancement, incompetent supervisors, pathetic leadership, sudden elimination of divisions, and toxic cultures that breed behind closed doors of an organization. You’d be surprised at the number of people who have up and bailed after giving their boss a piece of their mind.

But, let’s not digress. Money isn’t everything, right? What you highly value in the workplace ultimately determines much of your happiness. Taking the time to identify your most important career needs is step one; the other main consideration is learning what skills you want to use—not just the ones you are good at.

This is incredibly important because there are many job hunters who want to make a change, but don’t know which path makes sense. Ultimately, the market outlook for any given occupation and industry will play an even larger role in your decision making.

Tips to remember

1. Don’t get cocky with this newfound data about the job market. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are persuasive, complementary marketing documents. Optimize your resume and LinkedIn profile with key words and competencies gleaned from relevant job postings. If you’re having trouble figuring this out, you can always go to TagCrowd.comand create a cloud of keywords lifted from your posting.

You may also want to consider making an investment to hire a professional resume and LinkedIn profile writer. Many times, this is the ticket for many job hunters who simply can’t get to the interview table.

2. Complete your LinkedIn profile. Fill out every single section—100%. The main reason is it will ensure you will pop up in search results. Back in the day, recruiters spent just 10 seconds deciding whether your resume was of merit; today, it has fallen to a measly 6.5 seconds. So, you can imagine how important that first impression is when hiring managers and recruiters click on your LinkedIn profile and see that it’s not complete. Research shows if you have a fully built-out profile, you are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities. It’s worth your time and effort!

3. Don’t ignore LinkedIn recommendations and groups. You can maximize your networking potential on LinkedIn by adding recommendations to your profile page as well as joining LinkedIn groups and contacting other group members. Lindsey Pollak, a global spokesperson for LinkedIn, refers to the platform as “an online resume on steroids” and belonging to groups and having recommendations will ratchet up your LinkedIn profile even more. To get more recommendations, reach out to former supervisors and peers and let them know how much you appreciate having worked with (or for them). Click here for more information on how to obtain recommendations.

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Are you learning from past experiences?

Whether you have been terminated due to lack of performance or a result of a reduction in force, or you simply quit your job because you couldn’t take the toxicity of the environment any longer, know that good times are ahead. One of the most important concepts to reflect on is the learning.

Ask yourself if you have gained any newfound knowledge about yourself. Are you suited to manage employee productivity? If you’re not, then don’t apply for those kinds of roles. You and I both know that people are often thrown into managerial roles and have no business being there.

Sometimes there’s a terrible fit with culture, work style, and the actual responsibilities of a job. I learned that a long time ago and, regrettably, the hard way. If it’s not your own company, and it’s not a life or death matter, you need to step back and dial it down.

What I mean here is that we need to understand the “costs” involved when we overwork ourselves, spending 11-hour days running the 50-yard dash all day long. These are all things to consider as we move forward. Also worth mentioning is if you push too much, you can get fired for not integrating well.

With all that said, I want to share one of my favorite success prescriptions—The Ultimate Success Formula by Tony Robbinscan help you decide whether you are ready to take a chance, if you are still wondering if there is a way out:

1. Know what you want. What is most important is to have clarity. Why? Clarity is power. It gives you the reason to fight. It gives you your target to drive toward.

2.Take action. It’s not enough to know what you want—you need to take decisive and strategic action. How many times do you hear someone say that they need to lose weight, get a new job, or stop drinking too much? Until you take action, it’s all just meaningless words taking you absolutely nowhere—fast.

3. Notice what’s working and what’s NOT working. Indeed, you can take action, but if your actions are not moving you toward your goal, notice why. Dig deep. Don’t hold back. You CAN achieve success if you really want it.

4. Change your approach until you get what you want. Finally, this piece is key. If you’re not getting what you want, change your methodology until you do get what you want. Use your creativity and imagination to find an alternative way of pursuing your dreams and goals. With persistence, you can get there.

Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to take charge of your life to get what you want? Do you know what you want? What changes do you need to make? Finally, I want to ask you, “If not now, when?”

Author: Mindy Thomas (59 Posts)

Mindy is the founder and principal of Thomas Career Consulting. Leveraging her 25-year business background with a solid foundation of career counseling, Mindy’s expert services span career exploration, résumé writing and career coaching. Whether you’ve been downsized, fired, stuck in a dead-end job or simply don’t know what you want to do next, Mindy can help. And once the focus is clear, count on Mindy for customized one-on-one career services to personally generate powerful marketing documents ranging from résumés and cover letters to online profiles.Mindy graduated with an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mary Washington University and received her Masters in Higher Education Counseling with a concentration in career development from West Chester University. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Federal Job Search Trainer™ (CFJST), Certified Job and Career Transition Coach and Executive Leadership Coach. Mindy graduated from Georgetown University’s executive leadership program where she did extensive post-graduate work in the field of coaching.


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