Most of us assume that the best way to find a job is to look at what’s available in online listings, or to follow someone else’s advice. However, these methods often lead to unfulfilling career choices.
“Core genius” is the special contribution that each of us brings to our professional life. It’s what you are in this world to do that only you can do. It’s the unique package of skills, experiences, passions, interests, talents, abilities and attitude that you possess.
Take my client Laura Rolands. Laura was a hard-working Human Resources executive at Chrysler. She’s also a mom. When Laura’s son was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), she got to work and investigated how to best help him with attention strategies at school and in life. Through this experience and through our career coaching work together, Laura realized she had a talent and an interest in helping people with attention issues.
It led Laura to start an attention coaching business shortly after accepting a voluntary buy-out from her position in the automotive industry. Her business is in a relatively new field, focused on coaching people to overcome challenges associate with ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Actually, you don’t need a diagnosis to benefit — anyone who feels overwhelmed or distracted in today’s hyper-connected environment will find value in Laura’s services. Her clients have developed time-saving personal routines, and have improved their academic and business performance.
The Path to a Successful Career Fit
In 10 years of coaching, I have seen that we are each uniquely built to fulfill a specific purpose. And I am proud to have many success stories such as Laura Rolands. However, too often people take their unique talents for granted. In fact, the real challenge is that most people have no idea what their purpose is. That is where I help.
I believe the best way to find your purpose — your core genius — is to conduct a formal Soul Search, and get specific about all the elements of your ideal career. It starts with helping clients assess themselves in 8 essential dimensions, as part of the “Soul Search, Research and Job Search” process I developed.
These elements include: 1) your top interests, 2) key motivators, 3) skills you want to employ, 4) ways you want to contribute, 5) best qualities, 6) best work environment, 7) activities you enjoy most, and 8) salary and benefits.
Soul Search Before Job Search
By working through exercises and self-reflection questions, we prioritize what’s most important and brainstorm career possibilities that match those elements. You can gain even deeper clarity with my downloadable (PDF) Soul Search workbook.
This workbook contains over 30 pages of exercises to help professionals uncover the eight core elements of your core genius. The insights developed from each exercise are designed to correspond with a section of your own personalized career guide. This helps you easily organize and interpret the information as the basis for brainstorming new career possibilities and making sound decisions about the best options for you.
So stop looking at want ads and instead start talking to anyone and everyone about the ways you are already of service. Carefully process all of that input, and you’ll see viable new options ahead. Take seriously the value you bring to the table, and (like Laura Rolands) believe that you can get paid to deliver it. Let others know about the high-value service you are prepared to provide. Then deliver it consistently and professionally. Soon, you’ll find you have more than enough work in your new role — and you’ll be making a living while loving what you do.
Have You Discovered Your Core Genius?
Are you in touch with your core career strengths? What steps did you take to gain that awareness? And how have you applied it to your career? Share your thoughts in the comments area.
(About the Author: CNN dubbed Maggie Mistal “one of the nation’s best-known career coaches.” A former Learning & Development executive at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she is a certified life purpose and career coach who, for seven years, hosted “Making a Living with Maggie” on SiriusXM, and now airs a monthly podcast on iTunes. Maggie has been featured across major media, including NBC’s Today Show, Fox Business, CNN and The New York Times. Connect with Maggie on Twitter, or LinkedIn or Facebook.)
(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/nature-203939_1920.jpg351700TalentCulture Team + Guestshttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team + Guests2014-02-04 09:30:062020-05-27 17:00:28Soul Search — Then Job Search
There are millions of stories in the world of work. But this time, it’s personal. For me, #TChat hit close to home yesterday, when discussing issues and opportunities associated with military veteran employment. Therefore, rather than recapping the event in detail, I’d like to illustrate some key points through one soldier’s story. …
(To see highlights from the #TChat stream, watch the slideshow at the end of this post.)
One Veteran’s Dilemma
A close friend is one of the 2.4 million Americans who have volunteered to serve in the War on Terror. As a “civilian soldier” deployed as an embedded trainer by the Army National Guard, he left behind his full-time job and his comfortable family life in suburban Chicago. Since returning from Afghanistan almost 5 years ago, he has struggled to re-enter the workforce, as so many in uniform must do in these challenging economic times.
It shouldn’t have to be that way. This soldier’s credentials are impressive:
Several decades of business experience — including 14 years as a technical sales specialist at one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies
An honors degree in communications from one of our nation’s most prestigious universities
Meritorious service in three branches of the armed forces
So why was it so difficult for him to find a good employment fit when he returned?
This thoughtful soldier would say, “It’s complicated.” Partially, it’s because businesses seem reluctant to take a chance on someone who could be recalled to active duty at any time. It’s also partially because some decision-makers seem intimidated by an impressive military profile. And, partially, it’s because his years of technical sales experience seem to over-qualify him for positions he would gladly pursue. (Ironically, as he has reminded me, he willingly traveled to a remote destination halfway around the world to perform tasks that were dirty, dangerous and sometimes mind-numbingly mundane, all in service of a higher mission.)
It seems ridiculous that business weren’t finding him attractive. It is even more ridiculous to learn that he was passed over not once, but twice, for a “troops-to-teachers” government initiative. Why? Apparently, the program didn’t feel that inner-city teens could learn English from a man who had trained poor Afghans to protect remote border villages from Taliban invasions, and had fostered productive relationships with wary Afghan tribal elders.
What’s happening here? It seems there are other factors to consider. It may not be obvious, but if we want to crack the employment code for returning veterans, it deserves a closer look.
Hiring Vets: More Than a Few Good Men (& Women)
Here’s my theory: If this soldier’s story is any indicator, we should recognize that this has been a very different kind of war — and its unique character fundamentally shifts the perceptions of those who serve.
Many missions include a strong humanitarian component. Objectives have centered on winning hearts and minds, while equipping Afghans to protect and sustain themselves through improvements in infrastructure, governance, agriculture, education and commerce.
Recent veterans have had a life-and-death hand in the future of the Afghan people. Regardless of their rank, they have contributed in a meaningful way, typically persevering in desperate and desolate conditions.
After such intense involvement in a mission, it’s a tremendous shock to return home to the U.S. and carry on as usual, without a strong sense of purpose. Perhaps that’s one reason why so many veterans sign up for subsequent tours of duty. Despite the clear-and-present need for an income stream, could it be that many vets aren’t simply searching for a job, but instead are seeking meaningful work?
NOTE: Many #TChat participants offered constructive ideas to improve the re-entry, recruiting and onboarding experience for veterans. For highlights and links to helpful resources, scroll to the end of this post and check out the Storify slideshow there.
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Highlights & What’s Ahead on #TChat
SPECIAL THANKS to this week’s guest moderator, Brenden “Bo” Wright (@BrendenMWright), director of information technology recruiting at Laureate Education. He’s also a Marine veteran who served as a nuclear, biological and chemical defense specialist. Brenden’s expertise in talent acquisition strategy and as a former member of the military brought tremendous depth and dimension to this week’s discussion. Did you miss the #TChat preview? Go here.
NOTE: If you’re a blogger and this #TChat session inspired you to write about veteran employment issues, we’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in the #TChat community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible. And we hope you’ll join us next Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are) for another #TChat, when we’ll be exploring issues related to government policy and human resources. Look for the preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Enjoy your weekend!
But what does it take to succeed in this new world of job hunting and hiring? With the rise of emerging technologies such as mobile job search platforms, more powerful search engines, and the new ubiquity of social media in talent identification and acquisition, it’s clear the tools of the job hunt game have changed. But have the rules changed?
It’s easier now than ever before for job seekers to position themselves, and their “personal brands,” so employers can find them. Employers can also target and connect with top talent at the speed of the Tweet. However, the most important elements of the hiring process remain, for all intents and purposes, unchanged.
“Old school” job hunting and hiring hallmarks such as a well formatted traditional resume, a firmly established (offline) professional network and the ability to sell skills and experience in an interviewremain the most important considerations in the job hunt process, and the most powerful tools in the job seekers’ arsenal.
Join #TChat tonight, brought to you by @TalentCulture, @MeghanMBiro, @KevinWGrossman, @monster_works, and @MonsterWW – They will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT as we explore what’s changed, what’s stayed the same and how job hunters, and the companies looking to hire them, can not only survive, but thrive, in the new (old) world of job search.
#TChat Recommended Reading: 1.11.11
This background reading isn’t mandatory to get in on tonight’s #TChat action, but we suggest checking out these articles by top career advice and talent management thought leaders and explore the possibilities (and pitfalls) of the evolving world of the job hunt and hiring:
Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”
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We referenced social, mobile and video as “rock stars” — even though we meant they are figurative rock stars and wanted to discuss their impact on workplace culture.
But some of the discussion morphed to literal social media rock stars in organizations today, and that’s okay. In fact, much of the conversation was about how companies could better perform by allowing social to permeate.
And video and mobile are the two dots they’re connected to with dotted lines to us all…
Companies that don’t allow social media are killing their brand ambassadors.
Amen to that.
Here were some of everyone’s 2011 Predictions:
Mobile/virtual workforce on the rise. Video conferencing and coworking are where it’s at in 2011.
Companies will wake up and develop more inclusive SM policies at work.
HR will have to ROCK in 2011 if it wants to remain relevant. It will and the gap between SM and practitioner will shrink.
I am expecting that Role-Based Assessment will rock and roll in 2011.
Google to buy FB. FB to be Google. Googling your employees now unravels their whole life & danger zone commences.
Closer joining up of social networks. less engagment in channels. More use of 3rd party apps.
Lines moving between trad. old school ‘work’ continue to get erased as more people stay connected.
Companies are going to go to their legal dpt to define ‘privacy’ as lines between work / play get blurred.
Increased buy-in & participation from corp. leaders to join the conversation (social media).
Traditional workplaces will continue to un-teether and ppl will have to find new creative ways to connect via SM. Hello cloud!
More tools will become available to consolidate our SM.
Global concerns about privacy will slow personal SMV growth as companies trip over themselves to push out more “relevant” content.
Companies incorporate multimedia interviews in their hiring strategy!
In 2011 LinkedIn will reveal more strategies that require people to purchase premium memberships.
SM for the team – coming soon, because first you have to measure networking quality!
Meghan added at the end:
“My 2010 prediction held true. Workplace Brands = An intricate collection of Personal Brands :-) So much more to talk about!”
So let’s do that next time on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, from 8-9 p.m. ET. We’re going to continue workplace culture predictions for 2011 and talk more about what they mean!
#TChat wouldn’t be what it was without all of you, so thank you again! Happiest of Holidays to you all!
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I thought it would be useful to our readers to include weekly recommended readings in preparation for #TChat.
We will give this format a whirl from now into 2011. Wow, did I just say that? 2010 has been such an interesting year for workplace culture innovation. As you may know, I’m in love with ideas. It’s no big secret after all. Technologies like Skype and trendy cool mobile applications are revolutionizing the ways we connect at the office and virtual environments. So much fun.
Our “greatest hits” reading list for tonight’s #TChat is brought to you by our collaborators at @monster_works and @MonsterWW – They will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT.
We also welcome global input and hope you can join from wherever you might be. We certainly want to hear from you. We are committed to creating educational content and social community here at the Culture of Talent. Learning is continuous here and we are nothing without people. People (AKA: human capital) are the most valuable asset to any organization or community.
Read more from MonsterThinking (originally posted by Matt Charney) on tonight’s #TChat topic. The Impact of Social, Mobile and Video on Workplace Culture.
We will see you tonight and look forward! Thank you for engaging with us on this channel.
Happy Holidays from our Community! Cheers.
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