Dr Woody’s Blog

Career Planning for Uncertain Times

Posts Tagged ‘job hunting’

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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How to Shine in 2009: Dealing with Job Loss

Posted by drwoody on February 27, 2009

We are entering a time of great uncertainty. Scare words like recession, downturn, crisis, and turmoil all evoke fear and pose challenge. With all of this uncertainty abound, it’s easy to fall prey to the trap of hopelessness and desperation. The purpose of this blog series is to help you cerate your own certaintly through planning! If you want to shine in 2009 it’s time to take control!  

  

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. Planning begins with assessing your values, intrinsics, passions, and then leveraging your essence (brnad) and creating a roadmap. I like to refer to this as the VIPER approach to re-establishing your career in the new economy. So, look out for more information on the VIPER model in upcoming blogs! 

         

Remember, if you want to shine in 2009, it’s time to step-up and start planning.

 

 

-Dr. Woody

 

To see my Shine in ’09 speech go to www.DrWoody.com

 

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