Are you feeling like the job you are doing is not doing right by you? You can change that now.

There are a near record level of people quitting their jobs in the US. The May ‘quit rate’, or the proportion of workers quitting their jobs, reached the highest level since 2001. This is a sign of HIGH optimism that a worker can get a better job. With the unemployment level so low there are plenty of jobs to go around, job seekers are realizing that the grass might be greener with a new employer. Most people quitting their jobs are finding more lucrative opportunities.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics posted data collected in their JOLT survey (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) indicating that record numbers of employees quit their jobs in May and even hinted that the ‘gig economy’ appeared to be slowing down as employers recognize they need to be more competitive to keep good employees and to hire new quality talent.

As a potential job seeker, what does that mean for you? Look around and check out openings. You may find that there are more opportunities available than the last time you checked. Also, be honorable and responsible in your transition. If you accept an interview, show up. Recruiters are reporting a higher number than usual of ‘ghosting’ candidates – those who accept appointments/interviews and then don’t show. While as a candidate you might find you have lots of opportunities, if you chose to ghost an employer be prepared to pay the price – they will remember you in the future.

Get clear, gain confidence, make it happen – live your true calling. At Work, At Play, Everyday

Lynden

www.lyndenkidd.com

www.captivatingcareer.com

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Career Conundrums

Career Conundrums

You’ve heard it said, “I just couldn’t get out of my own way.” There are times in our careers when we find ourselves stuck and stumbling we don’t know why. The conundrum of relationships, skills and know how collides in our careers daily. The secret to being agile and staying on top of our success is sincerely within the beliefs in our minds.

As a manager once upon a time, I had the fun of leading a big project and having responsibility for several new hires. I loved the work and the team, but the project was challenging. The more we chipped at it, the bigger the chunks which fell off. But, they weren’t what we needed. In retrospect, we needed new base material to carve upon. As we failed to reach milestones, I began to panic. I thought I believed in my team, and in the nature of the project. I thought I believed in myself too and took seriously my responsibility as a manager. Over time as we continued to fall short of the target, I began to take back responsibilities which had been appropriately delegated.  Eventually, I was the controlling manager I never wanted to be. Why? Because there was trashy noise in my head that the seeming failure was somehow my doing and only I could fix it. I was stumbling and didn’t recognize it.

However as I came to learn, the real fix was to let loose of the reins. I finally was frustrated enough and overwhelmed enough to throw up my hands and invite the creative process to take over, I invited the team to not only take back their responsibilities, but to seek additional channels in which to search for the raw materials.  In human resources terms, that meant finding other ponds in which to fish for fresh talent for our clients.  We then had superb success, but I had to confront and shift my belief in what I should be managing.

I had to get out of my own way. I had to realize that internal belief about my role in the process and the tight hold I had; my need to white knuckle, hyper-manage was contributing to our failure. I had an ill-defined sense of responsibility – I assumed it had to be me and mistakenly for a while – only me. But, applying my talents alone wasn’t going to get it done. This success was predicated on applying the talents of many. Subsequently ‘allowing’ the team to resume efforts using best practices returned the results we were seeking. So why was my assuming responsibility an example of flawed thinking? I held some beliefs which didn’t serve me or the team.  I believed that my responsibility for the project meant that I personally needed to be more hands-on which my schedule didn’t permit, which put us even more behind. What I really needed was to pull my hands out of the work and to allow the team’s magical conundrum of relationships, experience, skills and know how to feed the creative process.  That was the secret to success in that project and as I’ve come to learn in most all projects.

Beliefs are powerful. Especially, when they subconsciously direct us, we may find ourselves stumbling without knowing why. I believe the solution is clarity and that requires constant diligence.  Just like washing the front window of our car to keep it clear and free of ‘stuff’, we need to constantly be exploring our beliefs and seeking clarity about the motivation for our actions. So, if you find yourself stumbling and unable to get out of your own way……don’t hesitate to let go and invite a clearer thought to replace an old belief.

 

Get clear, gain confidence, make it happen – live your true calling.

At Work, At Play, Everyday

Lynden

www.lyndenkidd.com

www.captivatingcareer.com

www.nextiteration.net

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Connecting with Othes

Networking

In the US we spend a lot of time talking about the unemployment rate. Each month the numbers are released and digested. However, the unemployment rate is only part of the story because of the methodology used to calculate that number. With the changing nature of work, one has to have a habit of network building and maintaining. The personal network is the key to sustainable careers and in the future may well mean that who you know in your network is as important as how you show up.

Networking means you actively connect with others (mostly with those who are ideally in the same industry niche as you) intentionally on a routine basis. As the employment picture for many in the US is changing, there are strong indicators that many are assuming temporary employment to make ends meet. This then allows them to be counted as ‘employed.’ However, they may not feel themselves fully employed and in a robust, sustainable career. A sustainable career is defined as a one where all needs are met; financially and professionally the work is perceived as engaging as well as satisfying. For many, employment is becoming serial or a series of assignments of less than permanent duration. To cobble together that type of a career, networking is essential.

There is a statistic called U-6. The U-6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (like the the more familiar U-3 rate which is the one commonly discussed), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The statistic for U-6 in the US is 14.0% for July, 2013.

Back to networking. No matter your status, your walk in life, your chosen profession; we are not here ALONE. The lone ranger syndrome which still has a strong foothold, needs to be eradicated. Joe Sweeney, the author of Networking is a Contact Sport says, “The difference between networking and not working is one letter.” Think about it. Those who know how to build influence network constantly. The future of employment for many means consistently being engaged in networking. In the past the unemployed would rev-up their network to help them land a new position. But after they started working again, attention to networking would erode. The hallmark of those who are consistently employed in the future will be how well they build, nourish and maintain their network.

Get clear, gain confidence, make it happen – live your true calling. At Work, At Play, Everyday

Lynden

www.lyndenkidd.com

www.captivatingcareer.com

 

 

 

 

Engagement Captivates

Did you know that employee engagement is greater when employees believe their managers are genuinely interested in their well-being?  Did you also know that only 40% of employees believe that of their managers? What a disconnect to go into work each day and to not be assured that your manager has your best interests at heart.

According to Gallup, recent “Gallup research shows that keeping employees happy or satisfied is a worthy goal that can help build a more positive workplace. But simply measuring workers’ satisfaction or happiness levels is insufficient to create sustainable change, retain top performers, and improve the bottom line. Satisfied or happy employees are not necessarily engaged. And engaged employees are the ones who work hardest, stay longest, and perform best.

“If you’re engaged, you know what’s expected of you at work, you feel connected to people you work with, and you want to be there,” says Jim Harter, Ph.D., Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management and wellbeing. “You feel a part of something significant, so you’re more likely to want to be part of a solution, to be part of a bigger tribe. All that has positive performance consequences for teams and organizations.”

Seven in ten workers have ‘checked out’ at work or are ‘actively disengaged.’ This is alarming given that actively disengaged employees – those who hate going to work – cost the US as much as $550 billion in economic activity annually.  The US economy is an engine which seems to be sputtering, sparking to life and sputtering again.  The lack of disengagement may be a real factor.

A great many US employers haven’t done a good job of ‘captivating’ the spirit of those who work for them. Beyond pampering employees, those who feel connected and believe they are making a difference are happier and more productive. Arguably there is the inevitable and necessary emphasis on profit generation, but to truly thrive and be agile in a challenging economy companies also need to be creating a sustainable workforce.  Company’s with more engaged employees demonstrated higher earnings per share in Gallup’s State of the American Workplace: 2010-2012 report

Conclusively, we need to substantively re-think how we lead and manage our teams. We need to find ways of leading and managing which lead to more autonomy and allow individuals to synch their own sense of purpose with that of the company’s mission and vision. There needs to be shared responsibility for delighting customers at all levels of the organization. The pursuit of mastery (the desire to get better and better) at work; in the work place for each employee, has to become an essential success strategy complete with learning plans to chart the path to greater accomplishment.  The secret according to Gallup’s Susan Sorenson says that “what workers truly want is an intrinsic connection to their work and their company. That’s what drives performance, inspires discretionary effort, and improves wellbeing. That’s what keeps people coming to work, makes them excited about what they do, and inspires them to push themselves and their companies forward.”

Get clear, gain confidence, make it happen – live your true calling. At Work, At Play, Everyday

Lynden

www.lyndenkidd.com

www.captivatingcareer.com

Foundational Habits

Foundational Habits

“All great achievements require time.”

—Maya Angelo

I have a brilliant girlfriend, Denise, who is an expert in organization.  She has grown into this skill out of necessity – where life became her teacher.  Her quest for constant improvement and a wonderful self-awareness led to an intense analysis of what was working in her work and her life and what wasn’t.  She identified organization as a culprit that was keeping her from being as efficient and effective as she wanted to be.  Her solution became learning how to master her habits leading to greater mastery in many areas of her life.

She tried many things along the path to being better organized.  She went back to a system which had worked for her in the past – a paper system.  She identified colleagues who could check in with her on tasks. She coordinated with administrative staff to confirm the flow of appointments and tasks to complete each day.  All of which contributed to refining her approach.  It was however a combination of her growing organizational talents and her commitment to developing ‘habits for routine tasks and practices’ which combined has propelled her into mastery.

Denise, like so many of us, found herself juggling a long ‘to do list’ filled with a mixture of daily accomplishments and longer term tasks supportive of achieving bigger dreams.  The conundrum, of course, was how to wrangle all on the to-do list into the usual work day without the urgent items completely crowding out accomplishing bigger objectives. An educator at heart, Denise always seeks meaning in her work and naturally seeks a way to describe what she learns – so she can teach it to others.

The day arrived when Denise’s passion and enthusiasm bubbled over into an announcement.  She was teaching a workshop on organization in her community.  All of her efforts had finally coalesced into a program she could offer. She had developed strategies, tools, and a way to deliver her organizational resources to others in a package she knew would change lives.  At the heart of it was establishing sustainable habits; habits employed daily, weekly and monthly which were anchored so deeply into her routine that she eventually could be freed mentally to trust they would be accomplished and not fall through the cracks. The result was that her conscious attention could shift – to focus on other organizational details attached to strategic tasks and projects. This freed her mind to be more aware of additional information, emotions and intellectual inputs.  The latter allowed her thinking to be better, deeper and more complex because it included more nuances.

Essentially, she discovered that when habits were so deeply embedded into her approach for managing time/projects/tasks each day that her mind was freed to focus on other details.  My key take away is that at the heart of true mastery lies solid habits.  According to Daniel H. Pink in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, mastery requires flow.  Denise achieves ‘flow’ when she doesn’t have to stop and wonder or worry about a routine habit.  Denise made a habit list and then over a 30 day period stuck to her list.  As she mastered a habit, she added other ‘to do’s’ to the list, some of which were more habits to embrace and other items were strategic to her bigger objectives.  Since the learned habits were already part of her day, she didn’t need to re-list them.

Over time the volume of Denise’s accomplishments has been great.  It makes me wonder how much I could get done following her example.  I think I will…what about you?  Here is my take on Denise’s process:

Process

Take no more than 20 minutes to write a habit list. Include:

Daily items
Weekly items

  • Each day track your accomplishments also include 3-5 strategic tasks to achieve specific to that day
  • Each night record results for both habits and strategic tasks; cross off accomplishments an add new for tomorrow (or carry over)
  • When you’ve achieved 30 days of victories with a habit remove an item from the list and replace with new ‘to do’. Continue with the acquired habit and the new ones.
  • If a habit falls off or you stop doing it, put it back on your list

Mastery equals doing and doing until you’ve got it. It is a mindset. It requires grit and tenacity. The result is deliberate persistence.  When you get your habits down you more easily get into the flow of mastery – what do you have to lose?

Accomplishments equal many when you free yourself to do more. Think about it.

Check out this tool called WorkFlowy to assist with your organization.

When you get, give.

When you learn, teach.

            —Maya Angelou

Cheers! And thanks to Denise for being the inspiration for the Maya Angelou quote.

Get clear, gain confidence, make it happen – live your true calling. At Work, At Play, Everyday

Lynden

www.lyndenkidd.com

www.captivatingcareer.com

 

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