Are you a professional thinking that you want to do anything but what you’re doing? Or, are you on a career path that you enjoy, but are having trouble getting to the next level in your current organization or need a comprehensive plan of action to take total control of your career so you never again have to blindly submit a resume and cover letter and hope for the best? If yes, career coaching from The Trusted Coach may be an ideal solution.
Strengths and Natural Abilities
Your strengths are a combination of talents, knowledge, and skills. What do you naturally do well, what knowledge have you acquired in your education and work experience, and have you leveraged your natural talents and abilities to build your skills in areas of interest?
You may have sense of what you naturally do well, but if you are on a career path that just does not feel right or you’re lost as to what an ideal path may be, doing a deep exploration of your natural abilities may be necessary.
Natural abilities are like the strings of a violin or keys of a piano. Untouched, they exist without any impact on our minds or senses. Harnessed and controlled, they offer limitless possibilities for growth and development. Everyone is born with natural abilities and they are not influenced by education or experience. We are happiest and most satisfied when we make maximum use of our abilities. An individual may develop the skills to practice law, for example, but if she doesn't have the inborn talents which make the practice of law easy and satisfying, she will find her work unrewarding (and, even, as in the case of many lawyers, frustrating). When we apply our abilities to our study or work, we do our tasks better.
The purpose of a valid test of innate abilities is to determine in a reliable way the ease with which an individual can perform the tasks which measure those abilities. The Highlands Ability Battery is the ideal way to objectively determine natural abilities. It consists of nineteen different tasks or worksamples. Together, they tell us what pattern of abilities lies in each of us and how our abilities can be used most easily and effectively.
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Interests, Personality, & Values
This is all about taking an inventory of what you like to do. What activities do you enjoy doing? What do you enjoy about your current or past positions? Really unpack the why! Is it an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals? Are you passionate about the subject area? Is it the opportunity to serve people? Is it about getting things done and pushing forward ideas? Is it purely social? Is there a hands-on or physical aspect to it? Is it an opportunity to utilize your knowledge, skills, and abilities?
Having a solid understanding of your personality and the types of environments that make you most comfortable have a profound impact on career choice and happiness at work. A University of Zurich study found that people “who can apply their personal character strengths in their careers, experience more enjoyment, flow, and meaning at work.”
The concept of Flow was developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He found that “people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness called Flow. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity which involves their creative abilities. During this “optimal experience” they feel strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities.” There are many components that lead to Flow, including setting difficult, yet achievable goals, leveraging your natural abilities, and in my opinion, doing something that leverages your personality.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the gold standard in determining your personality and provides a strong foundation to begin exploring ideal career options.
There are many values to consider in choosing an ideal path and as you move through your career and life, your values will change, but the following are core values worth thinking about.
Group team/community vs. independent/work alone
Do you like working with a group or team to obtain results and having a lot of day-to-day contact with people? Or, do you want to determine the nature of your work without significant direction from others? Do you prefer to not have to follow instructions or to conform to regulations, and move to the beat of your own drum? Do you like to do projects by yourself without any amount of contact or input from others?
Help others vs. influence people
Is it important for you to be involved in helping people directly either individually or in small groups, or to be in a position to change attitudes or opinions of others? Of course, people that are influencing are helping, but look at this as a core value - what is your motivation and reason for doing this. Is it an ultimate goal of serving the welfare of others or an ultimate motivation of persuading and influencing?
Work life balance vs. advancement/challenging problems
Do you prefer a job that allow adequate time for family, hobbies, and social activities or is it important to get ahead rapidly, seeking opportunity for growth and seniority from work well-done and engaging continually with complex questions and demanding tasks? Do you want trouble-shooting and problem solving as a core part of your job?
Creativity vs. structure and predictability
Do you like to create new ideas, programs, or anything else not following a format developed by others? Do you seek opportunities for experimentation and innovation and would like responsibilities that frequently change? Or, do you prefer work that doesn’t change, knowing what you’re doing every day and have a work routine and job duties that are largely predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time?
Messaging and Relationships
What do you say to people when they ask what you want to do? It can take time to determine your exact path, but along the way, it’s critical to be able to articulate your story and a couple of areas you would like to pursue. People cannot help you unless they know how to help you! If you seem unfocused or come across as someone who’s not proactively thinking about your career, people will not want to help you or know how to help you. It is unbelievably important to know your story. This story can change as you continue to refine your ideal path and to reiterate, you don’t have to have it all figured out. You do, however, need to show that there are assets that you bring or the table that can be a benefit to an organization and to a couple of positions.
The majority of people, when they were initially starting out, benefitted from connecting with professionals in their chosen fields and they are willing to “pay it forward” to those who are willing to take the initial steps and reach out in a genuine manner. Your likelihood of finding an ideal position and developing a successful career directly correlate with how active you are in the community. This is unbelievably difficult work, but the people that are pro-active put themselves in a position to succeed over the long term and are at a serious competitive advantage compared to those who don’t.
Interviewing, Resumes and Cover Letters
The reality of the job market is that it isn’t necessarily the most qualified person who gets the job, but the person who has most effectively shown how he/she is the perfect fit for a position.
Interview coaching at The Trusted Coach focuses on developing well thought out stories about how you have the ability to do the job but also how you would fit in and thrive in the organization’s culture. During the interview coaching process, we’ll focus on crafting compelling and memorable stories that highlight the contribution you can make and value you’ll bring to an organization. Practice questions will revolve around brainstorming your message and developing a technique to confidently answer even the toughest questions. The coaching will also address ideal questions to ask, how to effectively prepare, and how to successfully show you have a passion for the work and are an ideal fit.
I have worked with thousands of clients in a variety of roles and industries, including technology, finance, law, marketing, education, human resources, project management, product management, program management, learning & development, aerospace, communiccations as well as many other fields.
I also have comprehensive experience working with clients interviewing for positions at Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, and many other top Pacific Northwest companies
My goal is take your experience and provide model answers based on your background.
My method is to guide you in promoting yourself in a confident, yet humble manner. Some of the techniques that will be covered include:
- Learn one of the easiest ways to establish instant rapport,
- Technique to successfully answer the dreaded “tell me about yourself” question.
- How to incorporate your audience's wants, needs, and values in to your answers.
- Identify and determine your key points and messages – showing how you can contribute to an organization, provide solutions, and solve problems.
- How to be conscious of pacing and use it to your advantage.
- Keeping answers succinct yet providing enough detail and substance to make them meaningful
- Developing an inventory of all your experiences and weaving them into memorable stories.
- How to effectively practice so you are internalizing and not memorizing.
- Showing your passion and energy
- Being yourself - professional but with a personal style
- Practice the STAR method for behavioral questions.
- How to successfully link back to the organization and showing how your background matters to the organization.
- Technique on responding to the greatest weakness question.
- Techniques on presenting yourself during phone interviews.
Advanced Resume and Cover Letter Writing Techniques
We will work one-on-one to teach you how to tailor your resume to a specific position and brainstorm how to most effectively present yourself. Our cover letter techniques focus on cogently and succinctly telling a creative story that will highlight specific skills, but more importantly show your interest in the organization you’re applying to and why you would be a good fit.