A lot of people think cover letters are relics of the past. But truth be told, they’re still a crucial part of the job search process. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should just throw one together and check the box. You want to use the cover letter as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the crowd. In my recent segment on Fox 31 Denver’s Good Day Colorado, I address the importance of cover letters and the various things you should include to make yours stand out. Watch and learn!
*Also watch as the new anchor gets me all worked up with his “gimmicky” ideas right around the 2 minute mark!!
If you’re used to going into an office from 9 in the morning until 6 in the evening, and you suddenly find yourself between jobs, you’ve got a whole new set of distractions to contend with! How do you stay focused on your job search and keep your spirits up? I address this question specifically in my recent interview on Fox 31 Denver’s Good Day Colorado. Watch the video below and see for yourself.
This article was originally published on U.S. News & World Report
If you’re considering a career change—a move from one industry and/or one position to an entirely new industry and/or position—preparation is absolutely essential. Taking some time on the front end to map out your plans will reduce stress and anxiety, plus it will improve your chances for success dramatically. Use the following five steps to help ensure you don’t miss a thing.
1. Envision what you want. This is the fun part. Envisioning is a very natural process that most of us do—to some extent or another—all the time. We imagine what it would be like to do this or that, to walk in someone else’s shoes or to simply try something different. Most of us are envisioning the future and where it will take us constantly.
In 1967, two psychiatrists named Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe performed a rigorous study to better understand the correlation between stress and illness. Ultimately, they created the Homes and Rahe Stress Scale, a comprehensive list that ranks the 43 most stressful life events. (You can see the list here.)
While much of the scale is predictable (death of a spouse ranks at the top of the list), there are several surprising things that stand out. One of the most fascinating is that the word “change” pops up in 15 out of the 43 listed events. What’s more, the scale doesn’t indicate whether these changes are good or bad. For example, change in financial state, change to a different line of work, and change in living conditions are all listed. Regardless of outcome—positive or negative—the stress associated remains the same, at least according to this scale.
Why is that? The reason revolves around the very nature of change. As human beings, we are creatures of habit. Any change—good, bad, or indifferent—comes with the potential for danger. We are evolutionarily wired to fear the unknown. After all, when our caveman ancestors disrupted the status quo, their lives were often put in jeopardy. Survival depended on consistency.
So it’s no surprise that career changes are stressful. Regardless of how dramatic the change may or may not be, there is inherent risk. It could be the best move you’ve ever made; it could be a disaster. No matter how well you plan for it or how certain you are that it’s the “right” move, there’s just no predicting the future.
Many people let this inherent risk scare them into staying stagnant. Change—and for that matter, GROWTH—of any kind requires confronting fear, weighing the risk against the reward, and taking a leap of (intelligent) faith. Yes, you may land on your butt once or twice. But it’s all part of the process. You take what you learn, pick yourself up, and try it again.
The best you can do is understand the risk you’re facing. Go in with eyes wide open. Do you have the time, money, capabilities, support, etc. needed to make this change comfortable for you and your family? If not, what’s missing? What are the potential consequences? What can you do to fill the gaps and reduce the risk?
Figure out exactly how much risk you’re willing and able to endure. What’s acceptable? What is too much? What goal are you trying to achieve? What will you give up (or put up with) in order to earn the potential rewards of this goal?
Lastly, manage your attitude toward risk. Know that anything worth doing will involve some level of potential danger. If things don’t work out exactly as you dreamed, you will recover. Shift your perspective and look at change as an adventure, an opportunity for growth. Don’t dwell on the risk.
Last Friday, I had the incredible honor of being interviewed by J.T. O’Donnell on her T.V. show called Career Reality. It was a ton of fun, which is no surprise because, if you’re familiar with J.T. (and her website, Careerealism) you know that everything she touches turns to awesome. The interview focuses on my career coaching work and the various assessments I do with clients to help them determine if (and when) a career change is a smart move. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email. Enjoy!
Written by Chrissy Scivicque, April 03rd, 2011 | 2 Comments »