12 Resources for Career Development and Lifelong Learning

12 Resources for Career Development and Lifelong Learning

Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Employers always seek the best-qualified candidates, and they often look at how recently you have been trained in a skill. They are also likely to be impressed if you have job-relevant certificates or certifications. If you can show recent certifications, workshops, and newly acquired skills you will assure the prospective employer that you have a lot to contribute—and, just as importantly, that you are dedicated and proactive when it comes to being the best you can be at your job.

adhd resourcesLifelong learning is also personally beneficial. You may learn about emerging skills or jobs that are a better fit for your life’s goals and values than what you have right now. You may even find yourself in a good position to become a consultant or entrepreneur if you are particularly good at keeping up with industry trends.

Often the biggest hurdle to engaging in new learning is the fear of failure. Just like when applying to jobs, we may be anxious about not performing well on continuing education coursework.

Once we are engaged, we often find the fears are not realities, and that we enjoy whatever was making us anxious! I have a hard time naming a client who hasn’t found that they enjoyed the challenge of continued learning—and the benefits that came with it—once they undertook it.

There is no right or wrong way to receive new training. The list below is some of my favorite places to go to for knowledge and skill training. If you need a degree, certificate, or just the self-confidence, stop procrastinating and go for it.

Online Resources

YouTube: Many colleges and universities have online lectures on YouTube for free.

Udemy: Udemy is a global learning and teaching marketplace. EdX.org: Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider. It offers high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions.

Coursera.org: Coursera provides courses taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions and you’ll receive a shareable electronic Course Certificate.

khanacademy.org: Khan Academy is a personalized learning resource for all ages. They offer practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard.

Openculture.com: Open Culture centralizes online courses, movies, audio, eBooks, and other content for any user all of it free.

Stanford Free Online Adult Courses: Activities range from recorded special talks on iTunes to Master’s Degree classes.

Federal Services

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) can be a great asset as it provides information on training programs and other services for workers who have been, or will be, laid off.

The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation: this resource helps provide people who face mental, emotional, or physical challenges to employment by teaching relevant skills.

Conditions that may qualify you for assistance through the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation can include ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and physical injuries that limit your ability to do certain types of work. Their goal is to help everyone be employed.

Vocational Technical Centers: Although for decades the emphasis in America has been on going to a four-year college, there are tens of millions of high-paying jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree. Instead, these jobs require specialized, highly technical, and hands-on training—vocational training.

High-paying careers that require technical training instead of a bachelor’s degree include truck drivers, cosmetologists (hair stylists and other types of style experts), auto mechanics, electricians, welders, line workers for power companies, oil rig workers, and Information Technology experts such as cybersecurity experts.

Schools that specialize in each of these professions—and many more—can be found on the internet. Some may be attached to community colleges, while others such as trucking, power line work, or oil rigging, may be run directly by employers,.

These companies are eager to fill openings with trained workers, and in some cases may even have scholarship or reduced cost tuition programs available for people who are interested in the field, but are concerned about the cost of training to become qualified.

Community Resources

Colleges:

Most colleges offer online courses for which you can receive credit. They may also allow enrollment in in-person courses on an as-needed basis instead of as a full-time student. These can be helpful if you are trying to work towards a degree or certificate.

Community Centers:

Community Centers are organizations, often funded by government grants, that help people gain skills, knowledge, and find opportunities for business and employment. These centers are most common in urban areas but may also be found in smaller cities or towns.

Services commonly offered by Community Centers include résumé and cover letter assistance, job training resources, and networking opportunities. Think of Community Centers as you would a college’s Career Center. The only difference is they serve all taxpayers, including non-student workers and businesspeople.

Apprenticeships:

An apprenticeship is a training system in which a newcomer to a career field assists an experienced worker in that field, and rapidly gains expertise and experience in the process.

Apprenticeships are not as common as they once were, but it is sometimes possible to create an apprenticeship opportunity, if you are sufficiently enthusiastic about the career field, and are able to form a personal connection with an expert.

Experts and business owners are often eager to have assistants who are highly motivated to learn all aspects of the trade or business. For them, having a new employee who is eager to learn exactly how they do things might be preferable to trying to hire regular employees who may or may not be interested in learning and taking on more responsibilities over time.

It is important to note that unlike internships, apprenticeships are regulated by the federal government. While internships are often very brief and unpaid, or “paid in experience,” under the Apprenticeship Act employers must pay apprentices a monthly stipend. Apprenticeships usually last for 6 months to a year.

Lifelong learning keeps you in touch with our rapidly changing society and keeps you active, happy, and positively challenged which will enhance your career path.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD,  Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog and learn about my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.

 

Hire an Academic & Career Coach and Here is Why

Hire an Academic & Career Coach and Here is Why

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

This is easier said than done, I must say….

ADHD Coach

Hire an ADHD Academic & Career Coach to Help

DOES your student seem to have a never ending cycle of distraction upon distraction? You just want to head them in the right direction in life?

Do they head for the door at the first mention of words like “planning” and “scheduling”?

Find the power of motivation and change with ADHD Academic & Career Coaching. By the client digging into their personal strengths, desire, and passions with their coach, they can chart a course to success. It is a great resource for high school, college students or adults. While it is not an end all cure, it is an excellent management system; especially if used in conjunction with medication, counseling and other support systems. Here are a few tools that are implemented with coaching for executive function deficits such as planning, organizing, prioritizing and emotional regulating.

Day Planners and Time Management

A day planner can affect the way your days and time is managed. If you really follow what you jotted down, through an accountability plan with your coach, you can take control and make daily functioning more purposeful. This is an excellent way to keep yourself on time and on track with accountability.

Study Habits

This is probably the toughest department for a student with the inability to focus for a substantial length of time. Some excellent tips for focusing that a coach can help create accountability around:

  • Break study time into small sessions that aren’t as daunting as continuous sessions of studying.
  • Use your smartphone! Make it work as your study buddy, allow the habit of a smartphone to work in your favor.
  • Start with the most boring or interesting subject based on your tolerance.
  • Use color coding, filing and sticky notes to make dull subjects more interesting and colorful.
  • Design and make your study space more interesting more interactive.
  • Add elements that would interest you

 

External Accountability System

Now, why should all of this require a coach? Why not just download all the information, dos and don’ts and get to work yourself? Having a non-judgmental accountability system makes the relationship between your ADHD coach and you more effective.

You have the ship, the wind and the open sea! What you need is a navigator and your coach will be just that.

Why coaching works?

It creates a working relationship that is individualized. A coach will guide you to build a system around your comforts, strengths and weaknesses. This will make you more organized, focused and capable of decision-making while holding you accountable to your customized plan.

The great thing about this relationship is that it is flexible and it evolves, grows and changes with the individual and their coach.   Whether you are deciding on a high school, college or career coach, the benefits of accountability will help one reach their goals.

With motivation and a desire to work towards a better life, coaching will lead you to feel in control, balanced and less overwhelmed by day to day tasks.

Now, you will have a clear path to choose!

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD,  Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog and learn about my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.

 

 

 

Craft Your Personal Purpose and Define Your Career Path

Craft Your Personal Purpose and Define Your Career Path

Craft Your Personal Purpose and Define Your Career Path

The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are      -Carl Jung

Life Purpose

Don’t let your ADHD or other challenges keep you back from a life of purpose and a career you love.   Start to define your own personal purpose with this guide and create, what you want from your life despite your struggles.

Why Define Your Purpose?

When you act without purpose, you risk being reactive instead of proactive. This means that instead of consciously making the decisions that lead to the life you want, you simply react to what falls into your lap.

You can create a proactive life – one where you consciously determine your likes, dislikes, goals, and plans to reach those goals – by learning about yourself, and applying your self-knowledge to your career decisions.

We are all a combination of our genetic traits, like innate skills and talents, and our personal history and experiences.

Personal history includes our expectations, what we are familiar with, and what seems realistic or unrealistic to us. For example, if you grew up around doctors, you might see it as realistic to become a doctor yourself; but if you had no family members or family friends who were doctors growing up, then becoming a doctor might seem out of reach.

This expectation has nothing to do with your innate potential.

These learned attitudes can hold us back from pursuing careers that are well-suited to our goals. That’s why it is so important to consciously analyze what you enjoy, and what you want out of a career – and then investigate which careers will allow you to best fulfill your purpose.

By defining your personal purpose and learning about yourself, you’ll give yourself goals to strive for and tools to engage with the challenges and curveballs of life head on!

When you live with purpose, you become passionate about living. You are in touch with your drives and passions, and have a purpose you’ve chosen to keep you focused and motivated. To start making the most of your life, the first step is to create this personal purpose.

A Good Place to Start: Investigate Your Inner Narrative

Below, I’ve listed some questions to help you identify your passions. Spend some time with these questions to get into the headspace of paying attention to your own joys and strengths, with a sharp eye out for why these things make you happy. These are only a few of the questions that can help you to see the patterns of what brings you joy, what stresses you out, and what you are really good at.

To get the most out of these questions, please answer them honestly.

  • What motivates me in life?
  • What have I wanted, but never gotten, in life?
  • What energizes me? How?
  • What brings me the most joy? Why?
  • What are my biggest interests?
  • What do I REALLY REALLY want in life?
  • Who do I enjoy being around? Why?

Now, how can you turn these loves and desires into a statement of purpose for the next several years of your life?

Is there a passion, skill, or craft that you want to devote your life to perfecting? Is there an area of study that you want to devote your life to advancing? Is building wealth your top priority? Or is there a type of challenge you’d like to devote your life to helping others overcome?

There are countless possible answers, but some could look like this:

  • My purpose in life is to help end world hunger.
  • My purpose in life is to help people look and feel their best.
  • My purpose in life is to empower others through education.
  • My purpose in life is to care for the sick.
  • My purpose in life is to become an artist whose work moves people.
  • My purpose in life is to change laws and policies to create a better world.
  • My purpose in life is to build as much wealth as possible for my family in future generations.

Consider which way of contributing might suit you best. For example, are you a people person, or do you prefer to work alone? Do you like to do hands-on work, or do you prefer to study and work out theories?

Consider these possible professions that correspond with the type of life purpose:

  • A person could help end world hunger by being a scientist, a politician, or a founder or employee of an organization devoted to hunger relief.
  • A person could help others to look and feel their best as a fitness trainer, a cosmetologist, a nutritionist, or a fashion designer.
  • A person could empower others through education as a school teacher, a founder or staff member of an adult or extracurricular education program, or a producer of educational media.

Note that even within each of these purposes, many different careers requiring different skills are necessary to fulfill them.   Defining your personal purpose helps you choose your life goals, and possible career paths to reach them!

To read more about finding your passion career, purchase my book

Happiness + Passion + Purpose Book A Step By Step Guide On How To Nourish The Patterns Of Your Life Into The Job You Will Love And Land It!

 

 

The Under Used Tactic to Land a Job: Informational Interviewing

The Under Used Tactic to Land a Job: Informational Interviewing

Informational interviewing might just be the best way to get a job and yet it is underused by most job seekers.  Whenever I work with a career development client and we get to the informational interviewing step, I am met with hesitance and  resistance. I get it!  Cold calling is a scary and dreaded way to talk to a potential employer, but it is so effective!

Really, the problem is that  It is misunderstood and overlooked as a means to get a foot in the door for a job.

Interview call

Think of an information interview meeting as a networking opportunity. This is a one-on-one meeting with a key person in a field that you have a high interest in.

It may be that you have preconceived ideas about a particular career. Information interviewing can give you a better sense of what it would be like to work in the field you’ve chosen. It is first-hand, realistic, information you can use to form your idea of your ideal career.

An informational interview is less formal than a real interview. It allows you the opportunity to show off your personality, your skills, interests, and aptitude in a semi-relaxed atmosphere. Because of this, you will likely come across as more authentic to the interviewer. An informational interview gives a prospective employer better insight into who you are, and how you might be a good fit for the organization in the near future. This is a win-win situation for everyone.

“Foot in the door”

At the typical interview that follows an application, you might feel that you’re in an interview mill—the interviewer bored with all the candidates and simply saying, “Next. Next,” after each interview. This may leave you feeling less than confident in your ability to outperform the next person. With an information interview, you aren’t going to be competing for a time slot, and chances are the interviewer has 15-20 minutes they can carve out of their busy day to talk shop. Many people enjoy this opportunity to talk about themselves, and about how they got to where they are, as well as to help young job-seekers find a springboard from which to launch their careers.

Because informational interviews are less formal—and stressful—the conversations usually flow easier.   Remember, you aren’t there to ask for a job. You’re only there to learn. You want information that will help guide you in the direction of the career best suited for YOU. This means you are the one in control of the questions and the outcome of the interview. This is a great time to let your guard down a little, let your true personality shine, as well as briefly showcase how your skills benefit the company. You can also take the opportunity to ask more strategic questions—questions that help you, but perhaps would not be appropriate at a real interview. You can ask about benefits, salary, and even the social climate of the organization without portraying yourself in a negative light.

Gain insight, and Practice Interviewing

This is the opportunity for you to come in prepared to ask the right questions. People enjoy telling their story and you can get a real sense of what the company or career might be like, and so determine whether your chosen career is truly a good fit for you.

Additionally, if some parts of the interview process intimidate you, this is an excellent way to come up with a game-plan and practice. Remember practice ONLY makes for improvement.

Mentorship

If you feel a connection with the person you meet with, you may well have lucked into a mentoring relationship opportunity. Your interviewer might really be impressed with the initiative you show by requesting an informational interview, and may be willing to offer further advice and support. And this goes both ways. Because of the rapport you build in this interview, you yourself might ask for further guidance via follow ups which we’ll talk about later in this chapter.

How to conduct yourself at the interview

  • You should regard each interview as a business appointment and conduct yourself in a professional manner.
  • Write a THANK YOU NOTE to the people you have interviewed. Report back to them if you have followed up on any suggestions.

The last thing to remember is that informational interviews are extremely effective. How effective? According to Dr. Randall Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the web, “While one out of every 200 resumes (some studies put the number as high as 1,500 resumes) results in a job offer, one out of every 12 informational interviews results in a job offer.”

Informational Interviews are so effective that despite that the stated aim is NOT to get a job, many  Informational Interviews still end up with a job offer.

So, go ahead and pick up that phone, you may just land a job!

To read more about interviewing, resumes and finding your passion career, purchase my book

Happiness + Passion + Purpose Book A Step By Step Guide On How To Nourish The Patterns Of Your Life Into The Job You Will Love And Land It!

 

 

 

Key Qualities Valued by Employers

Key Qualities Valued by Employers

Key Qualities Valued by Employers

how do you rate yourself ?

Being a good employee goes beyond being smart and talented. There are so many qualities employers and human resource managers are constantly on a look out for when recruiting a new employee for their organizations.

employment

How do you stack up?

As an employee or an applicant, understanding these unique employee traits can help improve your chances of promotion and success at the workplace. Here are the top qualities valued by employees. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-5. If you get a score of 36 or less, you may want to seek out resources to improve in these key areas.

  • Good Communication: Good communication is very important in the workplace. Employees who communicate well are those who listen attentively, understand the message before responding. They also know that inappropriate communication can lead to misunderstanding within and outside the organization. (score__)
  • Positive Attitude: Employees with a positive attitude to work do not moan at menial tasks; instead, they accept constructive criticism with a smile on their faces. They have happy behaviors that are contagious and always optimistic about getting their works done on time. (score__)
  • Flexible and Adaptable: Employees who are flexible and adaptable are willing to move from one task, setting, or location to the other at ease. They possess the emotional intelligence that helps them adapt to situations at all times. (score__)
  • Strives for Excellence: All organizations need employees who strive for excellence. They have the right skill and experience needed to ensure that all members of their teams deliver nothing but outstanding results. (score__)
  • Good Work Ethic: In today’s workplace that is filled with so many distractions, finding employees with good work ethics tend to be difficult. However, employees who have the right work ethics know when to block distractions on their jobs. (score__)
  • Accepts Responsibility: Great employees are those ready to accept responsibilities for their actions and apologize for their wrongdoings without taking offense. (score__)
  • Produces High Quality: Exceptional employees are not just ready to meet target; they also ensure that they deliver an in-depth result with great quality. (score__)
  • Produces High Quantity: Good employees are not just after the quality of their projects; they also ensure that they achieve more in terms of quantity. (score__)
  • Highly Reliable: Highly reliable Employees are honest people who are willing to admit their mistake, follow instructions, show up to work on time, and stick to deadlines. (score__)
  • Eager to learn: Employees who are eager to learn are enthusiastic and ambitious people that strive for success. They build a great working environment that inspires new ideas and ensures that co-workers are engaged. (score__)
  • Ability to Problem Solve: Problem-solving skill is one of the great qualities all employees must possess. Employees who possess these skill set goals for themselves, aspire to learn, follow instructions, and work towards producing excellent results only. (score__)
  • Takes Initiative Creative: All employees need to be creative and think outside the box when carrying out some task in order to ensure that they achieve great results. (score__)

 

  • Resourceful & Enjoys reading: Employees who enjoy reading are valued at the workplace because they are knowledgeable and have ideas to contribute to ensuring their organization attains its full potential. These types of employees are interested in self-growth. (score__)
  • High energy stamina: Although not all employees have the same energy stamina, the best type of employees are those that speak in a way which makes people around them feel comfortable no matter their job title or role. (score__)
  • Accurate: Accuracy is also another important quality every employee must possess. Employees who have eyes for details deliver nothing but accurate results and avoid unnecessary errors. (score__)
  • Attentive to details: Attention to details is also an important quality all employees must possess. Employees who take pride in their job place lots of consideration on their daily task and pay the right attention to details. (score__)
  • Punctual Good Attendance: Good employees show up at work on time, they incorporate extra time in their schedule in case they run into delays. (score__)
  • Works well with others: Exceptional employees are team players who work with others at ease. They have the patience; social skill and tolerance needed to ensure people around them are comfortable. They also nurture good relationships with their team members and are willing to learn from each other. (score__)Total Score: ­­­­­­­­­___________

Employees interested in self-development must be willing to carry out a critical assessment of how well they are performing at work using the qualities employers value. How did you do rating yourself? Were you honest? This will help discover areas you can improve on to increase your chances of promotion and success on the job.

 

Interview Tactics for Tough Questions: Especially for ADHDers

Interview Tactics for Tough Questions: Especially for ADHDers

Interview Tactics for Tough Questions: especially for ADHDers

How do you answer this interview question that is so commonly used?

What are your weaknesses?

For someone with ADHD this question can seem so clear and easy to answer. In fact, I have had clients tell me that they readily gave the good, bad and ugly during their interview which led to 0 follow up interviews. Why?

Though this question might look simple, it is a tough one that requires a detailed and well-thought answer because good intentions of being honest could point out flaws that may stop you from getting the job.

How to interview

You would think an employer would like honesty and knows that no one is perfect. But the purpose of this question goes deeper than looking into honesty.   It is about perspective.

That is why it is very important that you get yourself prepared ahead of time while on a lookout for a job and remember that when an employer asks of your weaknesses, they are not interested in the negatives.

They really want to know how adaptable and effective you are at making yourself a better person.

Here are more common interview questions and how to deal with them in a job interview:

How well do you work under pressure? We are on a tight schedule and have deadlines to complete projects.

  • Time management

So many job seekers and even professional experience difficulties in managing their time and completing their to-do list within eight hours of work. Talk about prioritizing and pinpointing the most vital task of the day and tackling them first. Talk about your strategies on what works for you and focus on solutions.

  • Deadlines & Procrastination
    Just like time management, procrastination is also a weakness which makes you put off a job because you aren’t prepared mentally for it. Frame your response to this and put you in a positive light. Discuss how you take actionable steps by dividing your task into smaller chunks so that the project doesn’t seem too overwhelming. Or how you reward yourself for completing difficult tasks. Focus on what works for you to get motivated when it is daunting.   This exercise may just reinforce what to actually do by creating a positive mindset to get it done.

How do you handle stress in the workplace?

  • Stress
    Getting stressed at the workplace is natural. The key here is to talk about how you handle stress and not let it get in the way of your work goals. What do you do to help manage your stress levels?   Discuss what you do like: yoga, meditation, running, walking, team sports etc. You could give an example of a situation of how you handled yours stress in the past in a positive light.

Tell me about yourself

  • How do you work with people? Are you an introvert or extrovert?
    If you say that you are an introvert and like to work alone, this may come across negative and be a deal breaker. Personality is important in the workplace and seeming aloof or withdrawn around people who are outspoken could appear to be a weakness. But personalities in the workplace should be balanced with people who compliment each other.   If you have a big project and need it to get done, it would be difficult to get anything accomplished with a lot of outspoken leaders without a solution-oriented person. Talk about how you balance a team with careful thought out solution oriented discussions. You like to reflect on best ways to handle situations or that you are a quiet leader who leads more be example than saying.

You cannot possibly predict what your questions will be at an interview. Most employers seek a capable team player who will enhance the workplace environment.   The key is to show how you could fit in with their organization, strategize problems and be someone who is reflective striving for self-improvement daily.

Now go Land That Job!

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog and learn about my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.