Posted in Personal Development

Personal Best Series: Career Coaching

Global Biz Summit

When you think of career coaching, what comes to mind?

I first connected with my long-time career coach back in 1992.  At that time, she was director of career services for a college.
images-1I had been working as a college admissions professional for four years.  Prior to that, I was a Spanish teacher at a day and boarding school for two years. The six-year itch had taken hold, and, I was ready for a change – new adventures, new experiences.  But what? A different career? Graduate school? Return to teaching?  My fabulous career coach helped me to sort a lot of things out.  In the process, I gained greater clarity, and a more defined direction for my future goals and aspirations.

The following year, I quit my admissions job, and headed off to graduate school full-time.  When I completed my program, I contacted my career coach again. Only this time, it was to obtain guidance re: negotiating salary, and other terms of employment.

Many years would pass before I re-connected with my career coach again.  I was contemplating my next move, and, a friend and colleague suggested that I work with a career coach.  The person he recommended was not taking on new clients.  Therefore, I contacted the career coach with whom I had worked previously.  In an interesting sort of way, re-connecting with her felt like reuniting with an old friend.  In many ways, it was like no time had passed at all, although in actuality, it had been more than 20 years.

So…why do I recommend career coaching?  A career coach can:

• Uncover skills and expertise that one may neither recognize nor fully appreciate

• Vet prospective jobs and employers.

• Steer one away from dead-end opportunities.

• Offer guidance re: crafting a resume and cover letter for specific positions.

• Lend an empathetic ear when the job search gets rough.

• Provide objective insight, and tell one things that she may not want to hear, but needs to hear.

• Be one’s cheerleader.

My experience with my career coach has been overwhelmingly positive.  Additionally, I am also in the unique position to have worked with the same person for more than two decades – which is rare.

Before I returned to my long-time career coach, I did, in fact, contemplate working with different coaches.  However, given what I was going after at the time, I decided that I had neither the time nor the desire to establish an entirely new relationship.

Have you worked with a career coach? What was your experience? Would you do it again? And, if you have been thinking about career coaching, but haven’t followed through, what’s stopping you?compass-2188475_960_720

Posted in Personal Development

Personal Best Series: Professional Resume Writing Service

Sometimes, you can’t do it all yourself.  You just can’t.

I have always written my own resume.  Always.  The only time I used a professional service for anything related to my resume was professional printing, back in the days when job seekers actually mailed resumes to prospective employers.  Otherwise, I put my own work in.  And, I was pretty good at it.

However, when it became apparent that I wanted to parlay my teaching skills into jobs outside of teaching, I couldn’t seem to get my resume to look suited for anything else other than a teaching position.

So, I researched several online resume writing services.  After some time reading company reviews, I selected a service which allowed me to take advantage of a free resume analysis.  One of the issues with my resume is that it presented tasks, rather than achievements.  The other issue is that my various areas of expertise seem buried under the teaching tasks, and weren’t getting the attention they deserved.

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After some time contemplating my next move, I decided to go for it: I signed on to have my resume professionally written.

And, you know what? I am glad I did.

The service I used required me to  complete a pre-writing survey, in order to get a clearer sense of my goals and objectives for my new resume. From there, my resume writer got to work.  I was encouraged to communicate one-on-one with my resume writer.  who is experienced in working teachers like me who are looking to transfer their skills. Finally, I had several days to review the draft, and then offer suggestions for tweaking and revision.  At no extra charge.

In fact, having my resume professionally written was one of the best investments I have made for my career.  Not only do I have a resume that focuses on my achievements, but it also clearly articulates the range of skills I have, and presents me as a well-rounded professional.  In a word, my resume sings.

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I was so pleased with my new resume, I ordered a professionally-written cover letter, too!

The investment for the resume and the cover letter was $200.00.  Which is nominal, considering the benefits of having documents that will present me in the best possible light to prospective employers.

Have you used a professional resume writing service? What was your experience? And, if you have contemplated using such a service, but haven’t followed through, what’s stopping you?

Posted in Writing

Happy Anniversary!

According to WordPress.com, today is my blog anniversary.  I am grateful.

Several times, I have come close to hanging up my keyboard, and calling uncle on the blog.  But, something keeps me here, keeps pulling me back, keeps on encouraging me. It’s strange; can’t really describe it.

There have been so many reincarnations of this blog, that I honestly don’t remember them all.  What I do remember, however, is that my actual blog anniversary is 26 December 2006; that blog was called, “A Hardknock Teacher’s Life.”  The early days were fun.  Especially engaging with readers in the Comments.

Blogging has changed so much since 2006, for good and not-so-good, and the not-so-good makes it less fun.  Actually, I can say the same for the entirety of social media. But, I digress.

Nonetheless, I am grateful for whatever interest and support this blog garners. If you’re reading this, “Thank you!”