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Career Planning for Uncertain Times

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I have moved!

Posted by drwoody on August 18, 2010

I have moved my blog so I can take advantage of more and better features. You can find me at drwoody.com/blog. See you there!

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The YOU Plan: Intrinsics – What You Bring to the Table

Posted by drwoody on August 6, 2010

In my previous blog post I wrote about the importance of introspection in the career planning process. I laid out a model for taking personal accountability (VIPER) and then focused on how starting out with your values (the “V” in VIPER) can play a role in the career choices you make. The next step in the introspective process is examining your intrinsics (the “I” in VIPER).

I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to accomplish in the marketplace.

In my newly released book, The YOU Plan, I describe intrinsics in the following way:

“Think of your intrinsics as a deck of cards. All of our lives are shuffled differently, which means our cards are all spread across our life decks in very different ways. Some of your cards are close to the top and readily accessible whereas others are buried somewhere near the bottom and haven’t been played in a while.”

In other words, your intrinsics are that which you have within you that can be leveraged for value by potential customers, partners, or employers. For the sake of simplicity, I have broken intrinsics down into six factors. I believe these six factors impact the pace of your career development, thus I refer to them as your career PACERS.
• Personality
• Affiliations
• Contributions
• Experiences
• Relationships
• Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities (KSAs)

Career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it. Your intrinsics are what you arrived on this planet with and everything you have gained since.

Consider the first PACER for example, your personality. Personality is a critical part of who you are and how you operate. Think of personality as your natural disposition or tendency to want to express yourself in a certain way. Because this is such a part of who you are, you must understand how to harness this element of your intrinsics for positive gain in the career search.

Before you can successfully get out of the career hot seat and back on the market, you must have a good handle on what you bring to the table! Knowing your intrinsics is the first step.

In the next blog I will begin to address each of the career PACERS in more depth, so stay tuned!

Good luck,

Dr. Woody

To find out more about Dr Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, check out www.TheYouPlan.com

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The YOU Plan: Start With Values!!!

Posted by drwoody on August 2, 2010

As I mentioned in my first blog post, any good career plan starts with introspection. You have to know yourself, before you can effectively pick a direction, market yourself, and get back on track. As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am a big believer in introspection as a starting point. All too often, I come across transitioning professionals who have jumped out ahead of themselves only to outrun their coverage. If you want to stand out from the herd, you are going to have to be thoughtful and deliberate in your actions. This requires knowing yourself first.

When it comes to knowing yourself, you have to start with values. The values you espouse are vital to the choices you make and ultimately dictate the way you live. Values can be thought of as the principals you hold near and dear. Your values are the code you live by. They are the rules you follow and the ethics you adhere to when dealing with others.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book The YOU Plan:

“Who you are drives how you work, play, live, and ultimately shine. Your experiences, upbringing, and culture have acted to shape the person you have become and the values you espouse. The values you espouse ultimately influence the decisions you make and the path you choose to follow. Your values are the lens you view the world through… There is no doubt that our personal values play a critical role in the choices we make and the careers we pursue. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that most of us can’t articulate our values. Often this leads us to making bad decisions. These bad decisions tend to land us on career paths that aren’t truly fulfilling and sometimes, even toxic.”

When resetting your career focus and re-engaging in your career journey, you have to be mindful of how your values play into your decisions. Every organization has its own unique culture driven by a set of core values. It’s up to you to understand what these values are and determine how well they match with yours. However, before you can do this you must be sure to have a good handle on your values.

So, how do you assess your values? Doing a quick web search for values checklists will provide a lot of results. I also have a values checklist in my book. The following is an on-line values assessment:

http://www.career-test.biz/values_assessment.htm

The key to using any adjective checklist effectively is taking the time to narrow down your values to your top five. This is a much tougher challenge than it seems because it requires making tough choices. Whenever I have taken groups through values exercises they always struggle with this, so take your time.

Regardless of the checklist you use, you really need to ask yourself if the values you chose are really yours. A good way to test whether or not you truly value something is to ask yourself the following questions:

• Are you willing to fight for it?
• Are you willing to sacrifice for it?
• Are you willing to pay for?

Any good career plan starts with introspection. A critical component to the introspective process is assessing values. Keep in mind, values are a major driver in decision making. We are in uncertain times and successfully navigating the New Economy will require using your values as a compass. When it comes to stepping back and creating a YOU Plan, be sure to start with assessing your values.

Good luck,

Dr. Woody (www.DrWoody.com)

To learn more about Dr. Woody and his new book The YOU Plan, check out http://www.TheYouPlan.com

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Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Intrinsics – Why Personality Matters

Posted by drwoody on January 26, 2010

One of the commonly missed steps in the career re-engagement process is introspection. I’m a firm believer in the power of stepping back to gain perspective on where you are presently, where you are actually going, and where you really want to go. As part of this introspective process I firmly believe you need to take stock in what you bring to the table. In other words, you have to get to know your intrinsics.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to bring to bear in our career endeavors.

In my last blog post I also outlined the six elements that make-up what I refer to as your career intrinsics. I call these six elements your career pacers: Personality, affiliations, contributions, experience, relationships, and SKAs.

In this post I’m going to focus on personality.

Although there are many influences on human behavior, I believe that personality is one of the most significant. Other influences include experience, culture, upbringing, education, religion, social norms, expectations, and trauma. The reason I believe personality is so critical is that your personality is really responsible for driving how you respond to those other influences. It shapes how you act and interact within your environment.

Personality is really about your natural inclinations. We all have natural leanings and comfort zones. Quite simply, you have certain actions and activities that you tend to be comfortable performing. Having a good sense of what these are is critical to your success. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a position that requires you to spend most of your time operating outside of your comfort zone. When you are in your element, you are going to be at your best.

In my upcoming book, The YOU Plan, I talk about the role of personality in my work as an executive coach:

“Whether I’m working with corporate executives or personal clients, I always begin by assessing their personality and natural strengths. I’m certainly not unique in this approach. The study of personality and its application to the world of work has enjoyed a substantial resurgence, with many theories and approaches. What’s important is this: Personality does matter.”

When it comes to assessing personality, there are literally thousands of personality assessments on the market. The unfortunate reality is that the majority of these assessments likely provide as much intellectual insight as reading your daily horoscope or taking the latest quiz in Cosmopolitan magazine. So, when looking for a good assessment, consider the source. Simple on-line assessments can sometimes do more harm then good.

One of the most well researched models of personality is the Big Five. The Big Five consists of five high-level factors that can be remembered as OCEAN: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion/introversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism or emotional stability. The model states that we all have varying levels of each factor that operate together to create our individual personalities. The model has gained such wide acceptance that even the psychologists at e-Harmony use it as part of the matching system. Thus, when looking for simple personality assessments, keep the big five in mind.

For more information on the Big Five and one of the more popular Big Five assessments see: http://www3.parinc.com/products/product.aspx?Productid=NEO_FFI

Some other well-known models include:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: https://www.cpp.com/products/mbti/index.aspx

The DISC assessment: http://www.thomasinternational.net/1/Resources/DISCAssessmentTheory/tabid/4012/Default.aspx

Both have enjoyed a tremendous amount of popularity and use in the business world.

The bottom line is that career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it. Really knowing your personality is a good start.

Over the next couple of weeks I will address each of the other career PACERS in more depth, so stay tuned!

Cheers,

Dr. Woody

To find out more about Dr Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, check out www.TheYouPlan.com

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Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Intrinsics – What You Bring to the Table

Posted by drwoody on January 19, 2010

In my January 11 blog post I spoke about the importance of introspection in the career planning process. I focused on how assessing your values can play a role in the career choices you make. The next step in the introspective process is examining your intrinsics.

I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to accomplish in the marketplace. Spending the time to really understand your intrinsics is a critical component to successful career planning. 

In my upcoming book, The YOU Plan, I describe intrinsics in the following way:

“Think of your intrinsics as a deck of cards. All of our lives are shuffled differently, which means our cards are all spread across our life decks in very different ways. Some of your cards are close to the top and readily accessible whereas others are buried somewhere near the bottom and haven’t been played in a while.”

In other words, your intrinsics are that which you have within you that can be leveraged for value by potential customers, partners, or employers. However, in order for others to be able to see the value you bring to the table, you have to be able to articulate it in a way that is meaningful. Having a good handle on your intrinsics is an important part of career planning, particularly in a tough economic environment.  

For the sake of simplicity, I have broken intrinsics down into six factors. I believe these six factors impact the pace of your career development, thus I refer to them as your career PACERS.
Personality
Affiliations
Contributions
Experiences
Relationships
Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities (KSAs)

Career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it.

Over the next couple of weeks I will address each of the career PACERS in more depth, touching on how to really identify and leverage them. So, be sure to stay tuned!

Cheers,

Dr. Woody

To find out more about Dr Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, check out www.TheYouPlan.com

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Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Start with Values

Posted by drwoody on January 11, 2010

As I mentioned in my last blog post, any good career plan starts with introspection. You have to know yourself, before you can effectively pick a direction, market yourself, and get back on track. As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am a big believer in introspection as a starting point. All too often, I come across transitioning professionals who have jumped out ahead of themselves only to outrun their coverage. If you want to stand out from the herd, you are going to have to be thoughtful and deliberate in your actions. This requires knowing yourself first.

When it comes to knowing yourself, you have to start with values. The values you espouse are vital to the choices you make and ultimately dictate the way you live. Values can be thought of as the principals you hold near and dear. Your values are the code you live by. They are the rules you follow and the ethics you adhere to when dealing with others.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book The YOU Plan:

“Who you are drives how you work, play, live, and ultimately shine. Your experiences, upbringing, and culture have acted to shape the person you have become and the values you espouse. The values you espouse ultimately influence the decisions you make and the path you choose to follow. Your values are the lens you view the world through… There is no doubt that our personal values play a critical role in the choices we make and the careers we pursue. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that most of us can’t articulate our values. Often this leads us to making bad decisions. These bad decisions tend to land us on career paths that aren’t truly fulfilling and sometimes, even toxic.”

When resetting your career focus and re-engaging in your career journey, you have to be mindful of how your values play into your decisions. Every organization has its own unique culture driven by a set of core values. It’s up to you to understand what these values are and determine how well they match with yours. However, before you can do this you must be sure to have a good handle on your values.

So, how do you assess your values? Doing a quick web search for values checklists will provide a lot of results. The following are some on-line values assessments:

http://www.career-test.biz/values_assessment.htm

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/Career-Assessment/Work-Values-Check-List/article.aspx

The key to using any adjective checklist effectively is taking the time to narrow down your values to your top five. This is a much tougher challenge than it seems because it requires making tough choices. Whenever I have taken groups through values exercises they always struggle with this, so take your time.

Regardless of the checklist you use, you really need to ask yourself if the values you chose are really yours. A good way to test whether or not you truly value something is to ask yourself the following questions:

• Are you willing to fight for it?
• Are you willing to sacrifice for it?
• Are you willing to pay for?

Any good career plan starts with introspection. A critical component to the introspective process is assessing values. Keep in mind, values are a major driver in decision making. We are in uncertain times and successfully navigating these times will require using your values as a compass. When it comes to stepping back and creating a YOU Plan, be sure to start with assessing your values.

Good luck,

Dr. Woody

To learn more about Dr. Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, go to www.TheYouPlan.com

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Transcend in Twenty-Ten: The YOU Plan

Posted by drwoody on January 7, 2010

The New Year is now fully kicked-off and it’s time to make the madness of 2009 yesterday’s news. As I mentioned in my last blog post, the New Year is an opportunity to reset, take back control and transcend the fear and loathing we all experienced last year.

To accomplish this, you will need a plan… a YOU Plan.

The Great Recession has fundamentally altered the employment landscape. The rules of the game have changed and your success in The New Economy will depend on your ability to adjust to these new rules. I believe we are entering into an age of career entrepreneurialism, an age where careers aren’t pursued they are created.

Whether you are a battle-tested workforce veteran or graduating college senior, you are going to have to start thinking differently. The number of defined job slots available continues to dwindle, which means that you are going to have to start getting more creative and ultimately more competitive.

Yes, you are going to have to start thinking like an entrepreneur. In one way, shape, or form, every entrepreneur has their own YOU Plan and so should you.

The YOU Plan

As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am firmly against the notion of one-size-fits-all. I believe in guiding people through processes as opposed to prescribing specific rules. Hence, The YOU Plan concept was born.

Creating a YOU Plan is about asking yourself serious questions and making tough choices. Developing your own YOU Plan starts with taking stock of who you are and the assets you have at your disposal. Although this sounds simple, it’s not. Both transitioning professionals and students alike tend to struggle with this.

When I talk about understanding who you are and the assets you have, I am really talking about three things: Values, Intrinsics, and Passions. Before you can make a series push to get out there and make your next career move, you need to have a firm handle on your Values, Intrinsics, and Passions or what I like to refer to as your VIPs.

Just about everyone I meet and work with believes they have a good handle on their VIPs until I push them to seriously answer three questions:

• What are my Values?
• What are my Intrinsics?
• What are my Passions?

Your VIPs are important because they represent the essence of who you are and what you are capable of. Consider the fact that:

• your values are what drive your decision making;
• your intrinsics are what you bring to the table; and
• your passions are what generate your energy.

In the coming weeks I will discuss each of these in more depth, beginning next Monday with Values.

Creating a YOU plan isn’t easy and it shouldn’t be. However, it is a critical first step in creating a successful career. Keep in mind, would an NFL coach field his team on Sunday afternoon without a game plan? Would an airline pilot take off with a plane full of passengers and no flight plan? Would a general take to the battlefield without a strategy?

Thanks and good luck!

Dr. Woody (www.DrWoody.com)

To learn more about Dr. Woody and his upcoming book The YOU Plan, check out http://www.TheYouPlan.com

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Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Rise Up and Forge Your Own Career Path

Posted by drwoody on January 4, 2010

As the Great Recession comes to a close it’s time to wave goodbye to the dark days of 2009 and start thinking about the brighter times ahead.

In 2009 we saw a 26 year peak in the national unemployment rate. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and all out corporate collapses hit all time highs.

There is no doubt the year 2009 exposed a lot of perpetrators and created a lot of victims. In one way, shape, or form we all felt the pain, some of it caused by others, and some of it caused by ourselves. Regardless, it’s now up to you to take the next step and rise above it all. It’s time to start thinking about thriving in the New Year.

The New Year is always a great excuse to reset and start anew. I can’t think of a year where there has been more incentive to do just that. Twenty-ten is your chance to take the reins and transcend the madness of ‘09. It’s time to transcend in ten!

So, what can we do to leave 2009 behind for good?

First and foremost, you must accept that the old rules no longer apply. For those of you feeling secure in your jobs, keep in mind that being a diligent worker and following the rules is no longer a safe haven. For those in transition, the days of pounding the pavement and chasing those great job opportunities are gone.

The New Economy is about creating opportunities, not chasing them. It’s about being innovative and demonstrating your value. It’s about being your own brand. I truly believe we are entering into an age of career entrepreneurialism, an age where it will be up to you to determine your path and then go out and make it happen.

Second, you will need to create a plan. And not just any plan, but a YOU Plan. Without a destination in mind and a roadmap for getting there, success will always be a challenge. To be fair, there is no simple straight line to any destination and life often requires detours. However, without any kind of path in mind, your actions will always be driven by those around you. In other words, when it comes to living your life, you can lead or you can follow. If you want to lead, you will need a YOU plan.

Thoughtful planning and deliberate action are the foundation for any successful endeavor. Your success is up to you; and you alone. Take the reins and start thinking like an entrepreneur. Every Monday and Thursday I’ll be posting tips, tidbits, and simple steps or creating a YOU plan, so stay tuned!

Welcome to the New Year. Good luck and transcend in twenty-ten!

Dr. Woody

To learn more about Dr. Woody and his upcoming book The YOU Plan, check out http://www.TheYouPlan.com

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Career Transition – The YOU Plan Approach

Posted by drwoody on December 8, 2009

As I mentioned in my previous blog, success in the new economy is going to be about stepping-up and taking charge. Your career is your own and it will be up to you to decide how you are going to make it happen.

I truly believe that success in any endeavor requires having a plan, a plan that is custom created by YOU and for YOU. This is why the focus of my upcoming book, The YOU Plan, is on creating a personal career plan designed to meet your needs, as YOU see them, instead of meeting the needs of some generic boiler plate prototype.

The YOU Plan is based on the VIPER approach. VIPER stands for Values, Intrinsics, Passions, Essence (brand), and Roadmap. The idea is for you to think through these five areas and really ask yourself to what extent are you actually in command of yourself, your assets, and your direction.

The idea behind the VIPER approach is to get you back to the fundementals. Whether you are new to the job market or back out on the hunt for the first time in years, the task is daunting and your sense of urgency is high. The new economy has created a norm of uncertainty, which can be tremendously stressful. As reality sets in, you may panic and find yourself moving too fast and not strategically picking your battles. This is where having a plan helps. When faced with ambiguity and uncertainty, the best thing you can do is create your own certainty through planning.  

Over the next couple of weeks I will spend time walking you through each of the five VIPER steps and challenging you to push yourself by asking those tough fundamental questions to get you started on creating your very own “YOU Plan”.

Stay tuned!

Dr. Woody

To find out more about The YOU Plan go to www.DrWoody.com

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Career Transition in The New Economy

Posted by drwoody on December 6, 2009

Welcome to the new economy! The Great Recession has created a pervasive sence of uncertainty that has affected all of us. This sense of unceratinty has made it easy to fall prey to the trap of hopelessness and desperation. The purpose of this weekly blog series (and my upcoming book, The YOU Plan) is to help you cerate your own certaintly through planning! If you want to shine during this holiday season you will need to step up and take control!   

Trained as an organizational psychologist, I believe there are three ways you can react to the challenge of uncertain times: 

          - you can cower and hide,

          - you can buckle down and survive, or

          - you can step-up and thrive

For those looking to step-up and thrive, it’s time to start planning. Whether you are seeking to get that next job or just trying to guide your business forward, you must find your edge. To get that edge, you need to step back and take stock in yourself. To be successful you must know who you are, what you have to offer, and how to let others know about it! It all starts by answering the following five questions i like to refer to as VIPER:

          1) What are my Values?

          2) What are my Intrinsics?

          3) What are my Passions?

          4) What is my brand Essence?  

          5) What is my Roadmap?

Whenever I give workshops or work one-on-one with clients, i always find they struggle tremendously with answering these questions! If you want to get back in the game, you are going to have to step back and do some serious planning!

Each week I will be exploring one of the above questions and looking to get feedback from those of you out there fighting to get back in the game! 

If you want to take back control, it’s time to step-up and start planning.

-Dr. Woody

To see morw, check out: www.DrWoody.com

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