May is one of those months I will remember forever! My book manuscript went to the publisher on May 18, but before that, I had an amazing trip to Barcelona with my husband and my first international speaking engagement in Madrid! I presented my Benatti Resiliency Model® on May 1 at the Career Thought Leaders Professional Development Symposium. This conference brings together career experts from all over the world to share best practices. I was nervous at the beginning of my presentation, but delighted that I managed to turn my nervousness into excitement! I was very appreciative of the positive feedback I received from participants who attended my session.
Sometimes the best part of attending a conference is the recharge time and often it highlights an important concept or strategy and the need to turn it into action. I always use the return flight home to write down my top three action items from the conference and schedule them into my month. A key takeaway for me, from this year’s conference, was the reminder of how important it is in your career to find your tribe and make time to nourish those relationships. I spend a lot of time talking about this in my upcoming book, Career ReCharge: Five Strategies to Boost Resilience & Beat Burnout. Your tribe is the people who support you in your career and my tribe really grew at this conference. I am so excited to have colleagues from all over the world now. Your tribe does not have to be big but you will feel more energized in your career and life when you have others supporting you. Think small and invite someone from your tribe out to dinner this month or send them an email to say hi. I cannot tell you how fun it was to share and collaborate with so many colleagues and the synergy I felt from being around such amazing support and diversity. I even learned some new book marketing tips. Stay tuned for those!
The keynote speaker was John Lees, a UK career consultant and author of seven books. He shared some key concepts from his book, Just The Job!: Smart and fast strategies to get the perfect job. He opened up with an interesting question, “What would you do if all jobs paid the same?” Wow, I could not believe that I would be doing exactly what I am doing. I am unusual to have found this crazy field of career coaching right after college. I still remember when I wandered into the tiny career office at Bethany College and randomly picked up a brochure from Northeastern University that talked about a Masters in Human Resources/Career Counseling. I called my parents all excited when I learned about this career area and it continues to interest and excite me, thirty years later.
What about you? What would you be doing if all careers paid the same? Is there a way to integrate some of those skills or interests into your present career or in your personal life? The question is not meant to depress anybody but to make you think about change and options. Sometimes you can add a hobby or speak to your manager to get on a project that may be a better fit for your strengths.
This concept takes us back to the career story. If you never share with your manager what you truly enjoy and the impact you are making, it is very easy to find that you are doing the same thing, month after month, year after year. How do you introduce yourself when someone asks the question, “What kind of work do you?” Do you default to just saying your job title and then changing the subject? You should share your expertise or your special focus or the impact you make in two sentences or fewer. For example, I recently had someone ask me at a graduation party what I do and I shared my story: “I am a coach who works with individuals who want to improve their resilience in their career and life to prevent burnout and improve their career fit and productivity.” The woman got super excited and said “Boy, my husband and I could really use your services, we are so burnt out.” We had a very interesting conversation and we enjoyed learning from each other. If I had said, “I am a leadership coach,” there probably wouldn’t have been such a lively conversation. So, think about what two-sentence story you can share besides your job title. Your story will change depending on the context of the situation but you will find that career conversations are way more interesting when you share more than your job title.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your answer to the question, “What would you be doing if all jobs paid the same?”