Are You Living “On Purpose?”

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”

–Napoleon Hill

Do you love what you do for a living?

Do you look forward to going to work every day or do you grudgingly show up in order to pay the bills? Do you work past quitting time because it’s expected or because you’re “into it” and lost track of time?

Believe it or not, many lawyers and executives know their calling in life, their true purpose, and live “on purpose.”

Are you one of them?

Take this True or False Self-Scoring Quiz to determine whether you are operating from a place of purpose, and are doing the work that you area meant to do. .

  1. When I get up in the morning I look forward to going to work ___True    ___False
  2. I love the work I do — any external reward I receive I consider “the icing on the cake.” ___True    ___False
  3. My work makes me feel rewarded and fulfilled rather than drained and exhausted. ___True    ___False
  4. When I have spare time I participate in activities that I’m passionate about, and those activities reflect my purpose. ___True    ___False
  5. I know what my greatest talents and strengths are, and I apply those attributes to my work in some capacity every day. ___True    ___False
  6. I know I’m living my true purpose when others notice and compliment me on my abilities. ___True    ___False
  7. My professional life reflects and is in alignment with my core values. ___True    ___False
  8. I consistently base my decisions on my beliefs, not on the expectations of others, and, overall, I’m happy with the outcomes. ___True    ___False
  9. If money were not an issue I wouldn’t change much of what I do and how I do it. ___True    ___False
  10. My work environment is supportive of my personality and talents and allows me to not only show up as my true self, but to perform at my optimal level. ___True    ___False

 

  1. When my work environment fails to provide me with opportunities to utilize my unique abilities, I look to make a positive change ___True    ___False
  2. The good (and great days) at work far outweigh the occasional “bad” days. ___True    ___False
  3. My work is enjoyable and often feels like play ___True    ___False
  4. By fulfilling my own dreams and desires, I am making a positive contribution to the world as a whole. ___True    ___False
  5. Determining one’s life purpose can take a long time, but I’m confident that, even when I question what my purpose is, I know that I have one. ___True    ___False

If you answered “false” to many of these, you may benefit from discovering how to find a career you can enjoy, one that is fulfilling, meaningful and allows you to live a life On Purpose. Living a purposeful life is as much about how things are done (with  passion and focus for example) as it is about what is done.

It’s also a great way to feel fulfilled regardless of the “job” you may find yourself in.

If your work life lacks meaningfulness and purpose, there is a way out. Call us today.

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

 

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Congratulations to our Latest Grad!

Major career change done in 10 weeks!

We are very proud of our latest “graduate,” an insurance defense litigator with a dozen years of experience who is now a senior operations staff executive for an international environmentally related services organization. The offer was accepted 10 weeks after completion of the career change resume we had prepared. Our client’s salary jumped by $38,000. As is so often true with our clients, they will make more money in their new, non-legal positions than they were making in their law firms. We offer our most recent graduate our sincere best wishes and all possible success in their new career!

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Did Law School Make You a Coward?

Lawyers are trained in law school to look at every angle, to find all of the potential problems, to identify the risks. They will spend hours, even days, conducting exhaustive research. They want to know everything there is to know about an issue. Then the lawyers pass on their findings and explain all the options to their clients, whether senior corporate executives or criminal defendants. They may even make recommendations. But the clients decide … the lawyers just recommend.

Lawyers know if they make a decision and it turns out to be a mistake, they can be censured, suspended, even disbarred. They certainly can be fired. So risk avoidance is ingrained in them from their first day in law school. They are taught that lawyers do research, spot issues, present options, and advocate their clients’ positions. But that’s it. When you make a decision, you might be right or you might be wrong. Being wrong means potentially losing your client or ending your career.

It saddens me that too many lawyers who dread going to work each day, who hate their quality of life, billable hours and constant battling, will nonetheless choose to remain miserable because they lack the courage to make — and implement — a decision to find something better.

Lawyers are trained to play it safe, and not to take risks. That includes not taking risks about their careers.

Business executives who play it safe are thrown out of their jobs. Companies that play it safe are doomed to die. Taking risks is the lifeblood of a business. Investing in new products, services, technologies, and markets is essential if a business is to survive, let alone to prosper.

A good executive must make critical decisions based on the best information available at the time – even when the i’s are not dotted, the t’s are not all crossed and not all of the evidence is in. Delay or equivocation can mean missing an opportunity or being too late to market. It can mean losing to a competitor. It can mean failure.

For lawyers, making decisions can lead to failure. For executives, NOT making decisions can lead to failure.

In my 26 years of counseling lawyers on alternative careers, I have interviewed more than 25,000 attorneys. I almost always ask, “Would you rather be a ‘decider’ or a ‘recommender’ – the King or an adviser to the King?” The answer is almost always to be an adviser. “They shoot at the king,” one respondent told me … but the underlying message is that there’s less risk to being the adviser.

Risk aversion is one of the key reasons so many lawyers are unhappy, but don’t do anything about it. They see all the problems, all of the risks, all of the things that can go wrong if they try to change careers to find happiness and fulfillment.

They think they might have to start back at the bottom of the ladder in an entry-level job. They think they can’t make as much money as they are making now. They think their skills as litigators or compliance specialists or defense attorneys aren’t transferrable to another discipline. They think they might not be as good at something else as they are at practicing law. All of these thoughts are wrong. All of them. We have 26 years of proof.

Lawyers don’t generally complain about how miserable they are … but their actions prove it. According to a Johns Hopkins study, lawyers are Number 1 on the list of professions whose practitioners have major depressive disorders. According to an American Bar Association study, 28% of lawyers suffer from depression, 19% from anxiety and 23% from stress. Yet another study shows that 52% of lawyers have some form of alcohol problem.

And yet these well-educated professionals refuse to do anything about it. They are cowards. They see so many risks in trying to make a change that they can’t motivate themselves or generate enough self-confidence to try to improve their situations. Out of fear, they can’t decide to move forward, so they abrogate the responsibility for their own lives. They don’t realize that not making a decision is, in fact, a decision.

I applaud the several thousand attorneys who have faced their fears, worked with us, didn’t chicken out during the middle of their programs, and ended up re-igniting their careers and loving their jobs. I have only recently started to appreciate the guts these men and women have had.

For more than two decades, I have preached my belief that a law school education is never wasted. Law school, I have often said, gives you analytical skills and a perspective that you don’t get in business school. However, I missed an important point. Business school teaches you that you have to have faith in your judgment, and have the courage to make decisions. Law school teaches you to recognize problems and leave the decision-making to someone else. No wonder so many lawyers are unhappy in their careers; they simply lack to courage to decide to change.

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Career Change or Alternative Career Consulting

Hi, I’m Bruce Blackwell.

When I founded Career Strategies back in 1992, it was for just one reason:
To help people find new jobs or new careers.

If you are an experienced attorney or executive interested in exploring your career options … we can help. If you want to discover what else is out there, we can help you find it.

 

If you would like to know how you can still make a good living but not have the law firm BS of billable hours and rainmaking, we can show you … and get you there. If you are in house and looking for a new job, or a government lawyer returning to the private sector, we can help you, too.

Over the years, we have helped the careers of several thousand attorneys and executives re-energize their careers. Many of our clients are age 50+ and are ready for new challenges. Our clients have gone into corporations, non-profits and universities. We have had clients go into sports and entertainment, travel, hi tech, publishing, and many other areas, some of which they often never even thought possible. If your quality of life stinks. If you are sick of billing 2400 hours a year. If you feel the work you are doing is no longer challenging or rewarding… then call us.

If you are unappreciated by your partners or clients (or both!) … if you want to feel like you are doing something worthwhile with your career … then you owe it to yourself to get in touch. Attorney or executive — We can help you find what’s right for you, then help you get it. If any of this sounds good and you’d like to find out more, give us a call today.

Thanks.

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Very Scary Realities About Your Job Search

By Bruce Blackwell

If you think applying for jobs online is like sending your resume into a black hole, you are right! The numbers are staggering.The wise job seeker is going to understand the odds, and develop a more creative campaign than simply going online and hitting the “apply now” button. Here’s how bad it is. I was just going through the year-end report of the results of our Attorneys Wanted advertising on Indeed.com. It’s downright scary.

We received 1,005 applications for one job as a mid-to-senior level in-house position in New Jersey and 739 for a slightly more senior in-house job in New York. We received a paltry 447 applications for another senior in-house position. That’s 2191 resumes for 3 positions. From that field of candidates, we ultimately had to select 3 people to send to each hiring company. Your chances, as a mid-to-senior level attorney, of being given the opportunity to interview for these positions comes out to .04%. That’s 4/1000ths.

All told, when averaging the responses for each position we advertised in 2017, it came to 346.88 resumes per job. If your search is taking longer than you think it should, then perhaps that’s the reason why.

I love it when we can place a candidate through our Recruiting function. We get 20-25% (or more) of a selected candidate’s first year compensation package. At, say, a $160,000 mid-level in-house role, we will make $40,000 or so. If we could place candidates every day, we’d be very, very rich. But then someone else would be writing this column, as I’d be on the beach in the Caribbean drinking rum punches right now. The problem is that the hiring companies are fussy. They want what they want. Accept no substitutes. If you are not a Perfect Match for a posted position, you won’t be considered or put up for the job. The reality is that very few candidates are Perfect Matches and thus recruitable.

Here it comes. The Pitch.

If you are among the 2,182 applicants in 2017 who were not put up for those three in-house jobs, there is help. At Career Strategies, we provide creative, effective and dynamic approaches to the job search process. We know how to get around the dark hole of online classifieds and how to help you get onto the radar screens of the hiring partners or executives. We offer a free, no-obligation initial discussion to assess your marketability and job search methods. Call us today at 866-898-4228. Don’t base your job search on being in the .04%.

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Career Paths For Our Clients

Career Strategies clients have moved into a variety of alternative legal careers.
Other than having JDs and certain shared characteristics resulting from law school
training and the facts-of-life in the legal profession, each client is different and has
his or her own muse. Career Strategies “graduates” have gone into such diverse
areas as those shown below.

Public Relations, Telecommunications Operations, Construction Management,
Travel Writer/Photographer, Entrepreneurs, TV Station Management, Fund-Raising,
Non-Profit Agency Management, Legal & Business Affairs, Strategic Planning,
Employee Relations, Financial Services Operations, Investment Sales,
Real Estate Development, Management Consulting, Sporting Goods – Exec. Mgt.,
International Affairs, Technology Procurement, University Administration,
Sales and Sales Management, Sports Promotion, Healthcare Administration,
Risk Management, Government Agency Administration, Event Planning,
Conference Management, Retail Operations, Government Relations, Public Affairs,
Compliance/Ethics, Investment Banking, International Corp. Finance, Marketing,
General Counsel, Project Management, Chief Operating Officer, Broadcasting,
Labor Relations, Environmental Affairs, Bank – Trust Officer, Private Law Practice,
Law Practice but new area of Law, Recruiting, Author, Chef, Restauranteur,
Educational Outreach, Community Affairs, Finance & Administration, Affiliate Relations,
Key Accounts, Business Management, Talent Agent, Teaching, Relationship Management,
Film Production

Fields include: Banking, Broadcasting, Aerospace, Healthcare, Non-Profit Agencies
and/or Associations, Construction, Real Estate, Financial Services, Universities and
Colleges, Manufacturing, Insurance, Government, Military, Computers,
Telecommunications, Advertising and Promotion Agencies, Sporting Goods Companies,
Human Resource Consulting firms, Publishers, Defense Contractors, Merchant Banks,
Hotel & Leisure and many, many more

career strategies group

Regardless of their backgrounds, our clients share a desire to explore alternative careers
that are either far removed from their current professions, or their experience is applied
in new and more rewarding ways.

We can help you determine your viable career alternatives and career options, and then
our career coaching professionals can provide the resources, information, techniques,
job search strategies, life coaching guidance and tools necessary to help you achieve
your career objective and land a great new attorney job or executive position.

career strategies group

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Animated Career Strategy Group Video

Got a difficult problem in your job or your job/career search?
Do you have a lack of networking contacts?
Trouble answering interview questions?

Good news: You can solve your job search problems today,
simply by contacting Career Strategies Group.

Watch the video, then email us or give us a call.

 

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11 Ideas for Job Searching During the Holidays

Here are some specific strategies you can use in your holiday job search.

Accept all invitations you receive for holiday parties and get-togethers

Whether it’s a social or charity event, dinner party, spouse’s Christmas party, or professional association event, use these opportunities to reacquaint yourself with people who might be useful in your job search, and make new connections. Be sure to follow-up

Re-connect with old friends and colleagues

Your network can be a great source of information, job leads, and referrals. Get back in touch with previous co-workers and supervisors, high school and college people, former neighbors, etc.

Host your own holiday party

It doesn’t have to be anything formal or elaborate. Hosting your own holiday open house, dinner party,
or get-together can help jumpstart your job search (but that shouldn’t be the focus of your party, of course!). However, extending an invitation is a great excuse to reach out and talk with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while!

Ask for specific information or help

For example, ask if the person knows anyone who works at “x” company instead of asking if they know of anyone hiring. During the holidays, your contacts might have more time to be of assistance, and they might be in a mood to be generous at this time of the year!

Volunteer

There are many opportunities during the holidays to give your time to charities and organizations. Some of these opportunities might also help you build your network, make new connections, and bolster your résumé.

Use holiday cards to connect

If Christmas cards, holiday letters, and e-greetings are part of your end-of-the-year tradition, mentioning your job search (if you’re currently unemployed, or your position is ending) can be a useful strategy. Let people know you’re looking!

Create a business networking card

Develop a business card that lists your contact information and social media links — especially to your LinkedIn profile. You can use this in lieu of your normal business card — or instead of it, if you’re unemployed

Update your social media presence

If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to create yours. If you have one, give it a fresh look. Is it time to update it? Can you increase your number of Connections — or solicit additional Recommendations?

Look for opportunities to get your foot in the door

If you’re currently unemployed, look for temporary or seasonal jobs that may lead to full-time positions.

Connect with recruiters

Many are trying to reach year-end recruiting goals at this time of the year, and you may have just the skills they are looking for.

Set a specific goal for your job search

Instead of setting a goal to get a new job, your goal might be to make a certain number of new connections or to schedule a certain number of informational interviews. Making progress on this type of goal will ultimately help you achieve your goal of a new job.

Make sure you’re reachable

You might be asked to interview at unusual times — for example, the day before Christmas. Keep your phone on — and make sure you’re checking your voice mail and email regularly!

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5 Ways to Give Your Resume a Makeover

career strategies groupThis is from an article just published by CareerBuilder.com and MSN.

(We were among the resume experts from around the U.S. who were interviewed.)

Fashion and what’s in style change over time—and so should your résumé. What may have been a trendy way to format five or 10 years ago could now be considered outdated. And with technology changing how jobs are found and applied for, being current is more crucial to your job search than ever. Whether you’re just putting together your résumé or feel like your job search is in a rut, take the time to update your résumé’s look with these five tips.

Swap out-dated categories for modern information

Résumés used to serve as a very different form of introduction than today. While hiring managers used to wonder who you were and what you were looking for, as well as if anybody could vouch for you, today’s hiring process is much more streamlined. “Today, like the understanding of the unspoken objective, everyone knows that a job candidate will provide references when and if they advance to the next stage of the hiring
process,” says Karen Southall Watts, business coach, consultant and author.

Instead, find a way to use your résumé’s valuable space more wisely. “The top third of your résumé is prime real estate and should not be home to something as obvious and outdated as an objective statement,” says Watts. “The reader already knows you are looking for a job like the one advertised. It’s better to put a personal branding statement or skills summary in this key area.” Below your contact information, write a short summary of your achievements, years of experience and highlight your skills.

Use the latest technology to your advantage

When designing your résumé, keep in mind both who and what will be receiving it. Bruce Blackwell, managing partner of Career Strategies Group in White Plains, NY, says, “Rule number one is to keep your design simple! Make sure it is compatible with the résumé database programs used by employers and recruiters. Called applicant tracking systems, these programs electronically ‘read’ incoming résumés, parse their keywords and slot them into a database file. Résumés with headers on the name and address lines, with bullet points in the contact area, with fancy lines and other graphic effects, often cannot be read and end up in the garbage.”

Having more than one format of your résumé is crucial to your search. Watts says, “There should be a résumé that works no matter where you need it to go: A printed paper version for traditional employers, a PDF version that can be scanned and a hyperlinked version that ties to samples of your work or your social media links.”

Skip the buzzwords and instead give specific results

Instead of describing yourself as the most hard-working, creative, talented team-player, quantify your success and include achievements in your work experience section. Michelle Proehl, president of Slate Advisers in Sunnyvale, CA, says, “Emphasize specific actions and the results achieved. For instance, saying that you ‘Identified $1M in administrative cost savings that enabled the sales team to add headcount’ is far
more powerful than ‘Conducted analysis of division financial plan and budget.’”

Abby Kohut, human resources executive, recruiter and author of “Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets,” says, “Avoid buzzwords designed to sweeten your résumé, but don’t really hold any meaning. With more companies relying on computers to vet résumés before sending to hiring managers, it’s crucial to weave the appropriate keywords into your résumé and professional online profiles. Learn the difference between a buzzword
and a keyword, and your résumé will rise to the top on the stack.”

Give context to your experience

While you may know what your past places of employment did or believe a company name is big enough to be recognized, hiring managers may not. Jon Mazzocchi, partner and general manager in the accounting and finance search division at Winter Wyman, a recruitment firm in Waltham, MA, says it’s crucial to give context
to your past employment and what the business did. “Even if the hiring manager is familiar with your past employers, it is a good idea to point out the similarities between those companies and the one you hope to join. Similarities in size, culture, and industry definitely help.”

Give every detail a professional polish

To avoid quickly being discarded, triple-check your résumé for errors and be sure you’re presenting yourself as a professional. When it comes to getting in touch with you, Watts says it’s important to give multiple contact methods. “It’s highly unlikely that HR is going to send you a letter in the mail. Your résumé should include a phone number, an email, your social media links if you use them professionally and your website if you have one.” Laurie Morse-Dell, personal branding coach in Bismarck, ND, adds, “Make sure you have a professional email address. If your email is or could be perceived as vulgar, cutesy, juvenile or cheesy, get a new one.”

Most importantly, your résumé and all content included should recommend you as a qualified candidate for the job who exudes professionalism and capability. By taking the time to put your best résumé forward, you’re sure to create a great first impression.

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