Navigating a Major Transition in Your Personal Path

Navigating a Major Transition in Your Personal Path

Transitions are a natural part of life. As we make our way through each day, we adapt to minor or ‘micro’ changes by being flexible and making simple decisions in the mood of the moment. What to eat, what to wear, what to say and how to say it are decisions we make with little if any conscious thought. But life-changing ‘macro’ changes call for planning, analysis, opportunity and risk. These major life changes require serious decisions that have long-term effects.

Major life transitions involve changes that we perceive as positive or negative, and can occur in almost any area of our lives. Examples of major transitions include moving to a new city or country, choosing a collage (and a field of study!), starting a family, changing careers, getting married, and many, many more.

These major life transitions challenge us to adapt to new situations, and can be a catalyst that drives us toward our goals for a better life – if we see them in the proper light.

If you find yourself approaching navigating a major life change, keep the following tips in mind.

Navigating a Major Transition in Your Personal Path

Far from shallow cheer leading, this straightforward system guides you through an easy process to clarify what you want to do and expand what you can do – wherever you are, right now, and wherever you wish to be.

Set and Understand Your Core Priorities. What is most important to you? Answering this question will provide you with a clear vision of your values. Values and beliefs determine priorities, and priorities drive important decisions and behaviors. Knowing and following your priorities will leave you better equipped to make action decisions that are in line with your goals.

Seek the Opportunity in Major Life Change. We’ve all heard the expression that attitude is everything. When we look for opportunities in major transitions – especially when they are not transitions we choose on our own – we can be more open to accepting and embracing change. For example, if your employer relocates you from Kansas to California, reframe the loss of friends and familiar routines left behind. View the situation as an opportunity to advance your career, trade in your winter clothes, make new friends, and take surfing lessons. And watching the sunset on the beach any night you choose is a life opportunity of great value! There’s always risk, anxiety and uncertainty in major change. But there’s equal measure of opportunity as well, if we are open to seeing it.

Reevaluate Your Goals. Navigating a major transition is a great time to re-examine goals. Start by asking how your current goals fit with your new situation. If you are unclear on how to move toward your vision of success, it may be the perfect time to create new goals that spring naturally from the new opportunities that major life changes present.

The choices we make when presented with major life transitions have the ability to reshape our priorities, explore new opportunities, and set new goals. Try to seek out the potential in each new situation, and understand how it can work for you, not against you. Then move forward with renewed purpose in the direction of your stepped-up goals.

 

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Learning to Embrace Change

Learning to Embrace Change

It’s human nature to seek out behaviors and paths where we find comfort, safety and routine. And once those routines are set, it can be very difficult to willfully change our ways. It’s a proven fact of human psychology: change causes anxiety. And anxiety causes us to resist new behaviors and maintain the safety of the ‘status quo’.

But here’s another unavoidable fact about change: it’s absolutely required for better results regardless of how you define them. When seeking goals in our personal or professional lives, changing our comfortable daily practices is a necessary but often daunting task. Learn to embrace change!

Growth and expansion require a willingness to change our habits. To replace what got us here with what’s needed to get us somewhere else. And although replacing comfortable habits may make us uncertain initially, we can counteract this unsettled feeling by being more conscious of the hundreds of changes we already make every day – without even thinking about them. Examples include:

Learning to Embrace Change

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• How you started a conversation this morning
• What you ordered for lunch
• The specific content of dozens of emails you send each day
• What you put in the cart at the grocery store
• Which TV channel you selected last evening
• What coat or shoes you’ll wear tomorrow depending on the weather forecast

These are just a few examples of our willingness to adapt to changing circumstances and our ‘mood of the moment’. Simple examples, to be sure. But they illustrate our pre-disposition to minor course corrections throughout our daily business and personal lives.

Now let’s jump to larger-scale habit changes needed to advance towards goals. If you’re looking to be more open to the possibilities that life provides, there are a few important factors that must be actively managed. Here are three.

• Plain Old Fear. Fear can be a powerful motivating force, but it can also be a major reason why we resist dropping habits that block our success. Change means embracing some uncertainty about outcomes, and uncertainty brings risk. Our fears instinctively kick in to protect us in uncertain situations. Acknowledging that fear is entering into our decision-making allows us to more effectively evaluate alternatives and choose a course of action.

Here’s a suggestion to help counteract fear. Take daily small steps. A sustained effort of small daily steps reduces anxiety. This approach allows us to evaluate results and adapt our approach easily. Keep your eye on the horizon- view of your goal. Know where you are ultimately headed. But take small steps initially to minimize fear-triggering uncertainty of change.

• Mental Roadblocks. We all give ourselves excuses for avoiding change. We doubt our abilities, question the likelihood of success, and believe we are generally fine with where we are today. Well, ‘Fine’ is the enemy of ‘Better’. ‘Comfortable’ is the roadblock to ‘Excited’ and ‘Fulfilled’. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, or questioning your comfort levels, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that overcoming our personal and professional mental roadblocks allows us to see opportunity in every change, and remain open to new forms of success.

• Our Current Reality. We’ll all guilty of settling for the comfort and security of where we are right now. Existing habits have produced reasonable results with manageable risk. But that’s not a formula for goal achievement. Successful people who achieve their goals recognize that where they are right now – their current reality – is a great foundation to jump off to even greater heights. Our past is our past: no more, no less. Our past got us to our present, and our present is the springboard to our future. High achievers like you need to catch your breath, and then step up beyond the accomplishments of now to your goals of the future.

Once we realize change includes a heavy dose of opportunity for growth, it becomes easier to embrace change as something we must have to move forward, accomplish our dreams and exceed our goals.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

how to establish influence at a new job

How to Establish Influence at a New Job

So you’ve got a new job. Congrats! But now you face the challenge of adapting to your new workplace and building your reputation and influence within the organization. This can be a pretty daunting task to even the most seasoned supervisors and employees, but it’s important that you dive right in and start carving out your role and reputation without delay.

As you concentrate on mastering the tasks required during the first few weeks of your new position, it’s important that you also gain an understanding of how the organization works as whole and determine the cultural dynamics of the workforce. This will help you gain momentum quickly as you work to build legitimate influence and provide measurable value in your new position.

Here are some tips for doing just that:

1. Become the go-to person for whatever you do

When you introduce yourself to other people within your new organization, you should establish yourself as an authority in your position and offer to be of assistance. When you make the introduction, explain what your role and responsibilities are and why others should come to you when they need assistance with something in your realm of expertise. Once you’ve build yourself up as an authority in one particular area, people will start establish influence at a new jobseeking you out for assistance even in areas outside of your job description. The goal is to be in demand because of how good you are at whatever you do.

2. Make friends in high places

Seek out people who are well respected in your new organization This person could be your direct superior, a project manager or others who are well respected regardless of their position or length of service. Arrange time to chat, and let them know that you’d love to have their advice as you acclimate to your new position. Having an influential person in a mentorship or coaching role will help you to build your skills and influence. Start with your new boss; it’s always a good idea to find ways to help them meet or exceed their goals.

3. Really listen to coworkers

Get to know your coworkers and their goals, challenges, and responsibilities. Find ways to help them be successful. Go out of your way to help them when they need assistance. You can only build influence if you have the admiration and respect of the people that you work with. But remember: this isn’t about building paybacks due to you; it’s about being seen as an invaluable resource.

4. Invest constantly in your most important product – YOU

Work each day on improving your skills in these critical areas.

  • Core business, administrative and time management skills
  • Technical skills required of your current position and desired future positions
  • Interpersonal and communications skills

All three areas are critical to your success. Study, practice, ask for help, and improve every day. Let others will see how dedicated you are to mastering your number one product – YOU!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

Selling Yourself

Selling Yourself With Your Resume

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking of your resume as a list of qualifications and accomplishments. What will really makes it work for you is to treat it as a sales brochure, highlighting all of the reasons why an employer should look at you for the benefits you bring to them.

Consider this: whenever you’re on the job hunt, you’re basically acting as a salesperson. The product you’re selling? You!


Sales professionals often give out brochures or other documents to provide additional, compelling information to potential customers. In exactly the same way you’ll give out your resume to potential employers to provide Selling Yourself additional, compelling information about you. A big part of making this an effective strategy is making sure you’ve established a clear narrative in your resume that makes it obvious that you are the right person for their job.

It’s amazing how many people I talk to who never tweak their resume to match the unique needs of a specific position; they just send the same version of the document to every potential employer. When you do this, you’re likely leaving many irrelevant former positions and skills in play. These become distractions to that important person who ultimately reads your resume and decides – often in seconds – whether you are a good fit for their needs.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t keep prior work experience on a resume if it’s not completely relevant to the position you’re seeking. But what you should do is make sure that you use that experience or other skills you have in a way that clearly explains how it makes you qualified for a given position. Show exactly how your skills and experience being specific benefits to their situation.

Here’s a quick example. Let’s say your entering the workforce without a long history of work experience. Yes you worked a job as a camp counselor every summer through your undergraduate years, but with your degree in hand you are now applying for a job with a marketing firm. While you wouldn’t necessarily focus on the duties of your former position, you could emphasize the leadership, organization, supervision and general people and event management skills you used every day in that work.

Take a good look at your resume before you send in your next application. Does it have a clear narrative that “sells” you to that potential employer? If not, it’s time to make some adjustments.

Good hunting!

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

dress for success

Dressing for Success at Your Next Interview

Many business organizations have pushed aside formal dress codes, allowing for more relaxed work environments. But when preparing for an important interview, it’s always safest to assume that you should dress in a traditional, professional manner.

Here are some of my simplest tips for dressing to impress:

1) When in doubt, go conservative.

If you ever are on the edge as to whether or not clothing, jewelry or hairstyle selections are appropriate for an interview, it’s just plain safer to lean toward the more conservative choice. It’s better to be more formal than dress for successinformal – safer to be old-fashioned than outlandish. This might seem boring, but it’s your best bet. Show the potential employer the respect they deserve by dressing up. And if you find that they allow a more relaxed dress code, you can always adjust after you’ve landed the job.

2) Stick to solid colors.

In most cases, clothing colors shouldn’t be overly bright or flashy. Again, err on the side of conservatism. Certain colors and patterns may stick out too much or clash with the interviewer or organization’s ‘style’.

3) Be mindful of your hygiene.

Make sure your hair is tidy, your nails are trimmed, you’re freshly showered, and your shoes are shined. The last thing you want is to go into an important interview looking like you just rolled out of bed or came straight from the gym. First impressions are fairly or unfairly based very heavily on your appearance, so it’s important that you prepare yourself in this way. Don’t give them any reason to doubt your abilities or attention to detail.

4) Go light on the scents.

If you normally wear perfume, cologne or aftershave, make sure that you don’t go overboard. If you use too much, it could overwhelm the employer and make for an uncomfortable interview. You want their focus to be entirely on the interaction with you. This is not a time for distraction. Everyone reacts differently to perfume and cologne. Assume that your favorite scent may have a negative effect on others. When in doubt, leave it on the shelf or in your purse.

5) Make sure your clothes fit and are ready to go.

I can understand and appreciate that you might not wear your formal interview clothes very often, but at least try them on ion advance of the big day and make sure they fit properly. Especially if you have had recent weight change – which the stress of a job search can often cause. Knowing that you look your best is important both for your confidence and your comfort throughout the interview. Make sure you look as great as you are.

Follow these five common sense tips, and you look your best at your next interview.

It can’t hurt and may very well help.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.

Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

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