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Your Career Blueprint

Your Career Blueprint

Your Career Blueprint Begins With Your Passion and Purpose

Passion and Purpose is The  Key To Building A Resume And Career Path

Live by your purpose and you will create an inner drive and passion to culminate  a life and career path uniquely yours….One that brings out the best version of yourself.

Over 50 percent of the current American workforce are unsatisfied with their current employment and career choice. Considering how many hours people spend at work, it would be a good idea to be among the other 50 percent who enjoy what they do for a living!

Choosing a career path that ignites your purpose and passion in life does not only lead to a higher level of success and satisfaction but fulfillment at work, research also suggests that it promotes long term happiness, and good health.

But for someone with ADHD this may be a daunting and  overwhelming task. 

Many find it easy to discover their mistakes and not their strengths, they may lack confidence in what they can and cannot do with all the struggles and challenges throughout their lives.   By breaking down the components that go into choosing a career and taking a deep look at how successes and personal struggles could serve as a tool for identifying some hidden talents, interests and skills, you can ignite your career path.

This is achievable when you follow a systematic approach to unearth your unique career that works just right for you.  Consider it a blueprint to your personal career path.

 Develop a blueprint that is authentically yours

A career blueprint  for your life will help to create a strong foundation and structure for career happiness.  You can compare it to building your dream house.  Would you build a house without a well thought out set of blueprints?   You might be able to pull it off but how stable would it be for future additions? You would want to put a lot of thought and time into making sure it was right for you. The structure of the house will determine how well you live your life and the problems you may encounter with it.  A well designed set of blueprints takes time, energy and passion.   It is key to apply this same process to finding a career meant just for you.

Without a career blueprint plan, it is difficult to think through possibilities of how your life experiences connect to your goals and how your career could adapt and grow with you over time.

Joe is a good example of someone who benefited from this process.  He was a college student who lacked a solid career plan.  He was taking classes to satisfy general requirements but did not know where to specialize his interests.  After going through this process, he found that his true passion and purpose was not in the engineering program he had originally thought was his path.   He has able to identify key elements that were important to him in a career and incorporated that into what he naturally was good at in college.  The great part was that it stayed within the engineering department, but shifted to a more environmental focus.  It took into account his desire for travel, continual learning and humanitarian efforts.  He was able to design a career blueprint to best set him up for success in this field with strategic action plans and milestones.

Some people may think it is too late in their career to start the blueprint. They may be burned out of their chosen career but feel they are too old and tired to recreate their life purpose.

It is never too late to start  creating a blueprint for your life!

And you don’t need to start from ground zero. Through this process, you can see connections that will propel you into your new career direction with your personal history, experiences and narrative.  Mary was able to rediscover her life’s passion and purpose by using this strategic process.

Mary was a marketing professional who loved her chosen career path.  She had felt  passion and purpose and never questioned her choices until she left the workforce for 20 years to raise her children.   Now an empty nester, she  was looking to redefine her life purpose and re-enter the workforce without spending years retraining to gain new skill sets.  She dug in deep to look at her blueprint she had created and found that her life experiences as a mom brought new skills, interests and passion.  She was able to find purpose and passion with her experiences that complimented her original career blueprint path where she was making over six figures. In fact, she ended up feeling MORE marketable as she made connections in her current life situation to her previous career experience that were very insightful.

The key to finding a career that gets your passion and purpose burning is to look at your life’s What, Why and How.

The What of the Blueprint

WHAT you want out of life such as  interests, values, and  personality factor into this equation.  You might even find that some of your desires were written by you at a young age. It may be a childhood dream that was imprinted into your mind when you did not have any distractions or life barriers creating doubts that could serve you in choosing the right career path.

Go through these questions and answer them.  Writing them down in a journal will help you see a pattern of your wants.

  •       What brings you joy?

    It is very important to take time in finding out who you are, ask yourself some important questions.  What makes me unique? There may be a special strength in your uniqueness. What are my values and beliefs? What are my fears?  Self-knowledge is a key step in designing a career path that works for you.

  •       What motivates and energizes you most?

    Another key factor in determining your career path in life is knowing what gets you motivated.  Anything that gets you motivated and keeps you energized is capable of sustaining you through the mundane or tough times in a career.

  •       What are you biggest interests?

    Knowing your interest is also very important while developing a career path. Your area of interest would be where your career is focused on. You might even find that some of your yearnings and fears were not written by you and don’t suit you now.

  •       Is there a major challenge you want to tackle in your life or career that is important to you?

    For instance, If you knew you only had one year to live, what would you want to do during this time?

 

You can start to identify a life pattern that will point you in the direction of a career blueprint meant just for you by answering these questions. This  will align with your plans and purpose in life as the foundation.

The Why of  your blueprint plan deepens your connection of what it is you want.   Taking a look at your unique WHY or Inner Narrative is a good place to start.  What is the voice inside your head telling you?

Why are you the way you are?

Desires, beliefs, values, and fears don’t materialize out of nowhere. Your values and personality are shaped during our lives in several ways.  They’re either developed over time by our internal consciousness or as observations made during our  life experiences. The key here is to identify the why and know yourself and how it factors into your career path.

Designing a career blueprint for you by taking proactive steps geared with this self-knowledge of who you are and what your wants are makes your career journey of planning and decision making solid and stream-lined.

The How to pull it together for your career blueprint plan

Now is the time to connect the dots and see the patterns emerge.  Identify career paths that fit into this using resources available to you.

Once you have a good understanding of your true authentic self of what you want and why you want it, create the career path.   Unpack the  box of expectations that you grew up with and make connections  between, values,  personality, strengths,  and start to identify paths that will relate to your personal dreams and goals.   Your career blueprint plan will start to take form and give you clarity and a vision that you can follow.

And for the skeptics

Yeah sure, things could change, and you may need to modify the plans over the years, but with a solid blueprint, the changes can be handled and accommodated and add value and character to your original plan as it did for Mary.

Your career path is a path that does not need to be a straight path.  This thought can leave people feeling panicked when they want to adapt or change their plan.  The career stakes become so high and feel unattainable which can leave people feeling stuck and confused.   It does not have to be this way.

Gone are the days of people choosing one career and never veering off from that path.

People are creating more of a portfolio of jobs that lead to a series of careers.  This can be exciting for someone that has a developed blueprint career path that takes into consideration all the elements to a passionate and purposeful career.  The path can have many elements to it that spur off the main course but contribute to the overall career goal.  Now more than ever a career path can have many twists and turns that lead to success, fulfillment and purpose.

Consider these point  in designing a career blueprint plan:

  •       Make meaningful connections in life experiences: self knowledge
  •       Investigate interests, skills, aptitudes, accomplishments, and challenges
  •       Identify patterns between, values, personality, strengths, and how it relates to career dreams and goals
  •       Build a vision board of what you want your career to look like
  •       Answer some self reflection questions: Is it truly your plan?
  •       Incorporate opportunities for growth and learning in your career

 

Take note of all the points listed above. Turn them into a manifesto.   When you feel overwhelmed and distracted from your purpose, go back to this statement as a guiding light in your career journey.

Build a career path that ignites your passion and purpose and never second guess your career choice.

This post is from the fall issue of Attention Magazine by Michelle Raz.

Create Great Employees: Employers Listen Up!

How To Create Great Employees:  It is The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

In this Episode Listen to Michelle Talk about this topic.  Create great employees:   In a labor market that is at a historic low, businesses are seeing a high rate of turnover and even ghosting in the workplace.  It is a costly trend. Companies are seeing the value in shifting how they train to retain their employees.  It is far less expensive to invest in quality training.  A community mindset work culture that promotes employee retention is best; rather than continually training new employees.  Also, this nurtured environment promotes employee’s self-worth.  The end result is better work engagement and deeper relationships with fellow colleagues.

The result is better morale, work productivity and lower employee turnover rates!

The positive workplace connections and better knowledge base for the demands of their job has the potential for big payoffs.  It is a benefit for the company in reduced hiring costs as well. This creates a win-win scenario.  Talks of expanding apprenticeship programs are on the rise.

In order for the efforts to be successful, it is important to understand what challenges this group faces.  As a result, this will ensure quality training for the companies that want to train and hire them.

According to research, there are approximately 20 million college students who entered college in the fall of 2018.  19.4% self-reported having a disability.  This number has nearly doubled from 10 years ago and the impact on the educational system has been tremendous.   Colleges across the U.S. are developing programs to meet the needs of these diverse students.  The most prevalent disability is ADHD, a neurologically based disorder.

Of the students surveyed, 79% of the students who reported a disability listed ADHD as their challenge.

As these students enter our workforce, it would be beneficial for us to help them transition with strong skillsets.   Often, these neurologically diverse groups need specific guidance and training. Unfortunately,  skill sets may be assumed and overlooked for the average employee. This invisible disability flies under the radar and yet has a very impactful effect on job success. 

 “knowledge itself is power.”

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog.   Or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

ADHD: The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

ADHD: The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

ADHD: The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

In a labor market that is at a historic low, businesses are seeing a high rate of turnover and even ghosting in the workplace.  It is a costly trend. Companies are seeing the value in shifting how they train to retain their employees.  It is far less expensive to invest in quality training while implementing a community mindset work culture that promotes retention than to continually train new employees.  Also, this nurtured environment promotes employee’s self-worth, work engagement and relationships with fellow colleagues.

The result is better morale, work productivity and lower employee turnover rates.

The positive workplace connections and better knowledge base for the demands of their job has the potential for big payoffs for the company in reduced hiring costs as well. Even governmental entities have recently voiced a need for diverse career options and training for this finicky labor pool. Talks of expanding apprenticeship programs are on the rise.

In order for the efforts to be successful, it is important to understand what challenges this group faces and how to best meet their needs.  This will ensure quality training for the companies that want to train and hire them.

According to the NCES there are approximately 20 million college students who entered college in the fall of 2018.  19.4% self-reported having a disability.  This number has nearly doubled from 10 years ago.  The impact on the educational system has been tremendous.   Colleges across the U.S. are developing programs to meet the needs of these diverse students.  The most prevalent disability is ADHD, a neurologically based disorder.

Of the students surveyed, 79% of the students who reported a disability listed ADHD as their challenge.

As these students enter our workforce, it would be beneficial for us to help them transition with a foundational employee skillset.   Often, these neurologically diverse groups need specific guidance and training that may be assumed and overlooked for the average employee. This invisible disability flies under the radar and yet has a very impactful effect on job success. 

As Sir Francis Bacon, stated in his Meditationes Sacrae (1597), “knowledge itself is power.”

It is at this point that we can illuminate the challenges around ADHD and take a look at ways to help them manage it and capitalize on their strengths.

For the ADHD employee, goals often seem to slip out of reach due to under managed and a misunderstood condition.  While no two people with the diagnoses are identical, here are common challenges associated with having an ADHD diagnosis.

Employees may have trouble:
  • Prioritizing & Procrastination
    The workload may become too burdensome if they do not have a clear hierarchal & strategic plan. Procrastination may set in.
  •  Initiating and Completing Tasks
    Tasks can be daunting and many distractions can derail them from starting and finishing them
  •  Organizing
    Without a priority system, often people do not know where to begin to organize their workspace.
  • Concentration
    While an ADHDer can hyper focus on something that is particularly interesting to them, it is difficult for them to concentrate on mundane work. It can feel overly boring to them and cause them to seek more gratifying interests breaking their ability to focus on what they KNOW they should be working on  ie…filing papers, etc.
  • Time Management
    This may make them late for work or important events and fall behind on projects in the workplace. This happens even with the best of intentions to be on time.
  • Impulsive Behavior
    Difficulty controlling anger and blurt thoughts without much filter that can come across as rude and insulting.
  • Following Directions
    Since the ability to remember information may take several steps that require focus, following directions can be difficult.

 

These behaviors often derail careers, ambitions, and relationships.

It is not uncommon to experience a high rate of job turnover due to either the person’s impulsive choice to leave the job or their behavior gets them fired. This can have a lasting effect on the person leaving, especially one that has been diagnosed with ADHD.  They may struggle with feeling shame and low-self esteem and become discouraged in their ability to perform in a job.

Employers who gain an understanding of the condition can create successful training, apprenticeships and mentoring programs that will promote better employee retention.

You do not have to have a disability to take advantage of some actions steps that can help the work flow and dynamics for employees. There are many life factors that can contribute to an employees work attitude and performance.  All can benefit from implementing company strategies that address these issues. In part II of this blog, I will address the issues with some helpful tips for employers to implement for all employees.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges and find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

 

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.

 

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!