Staying Passionate and Energized in Your Career

Like many things in life, careers are cyclical. We have periods of intense happiness, hard work, and feeling passionate. Then again, we also experience low periods with frustration, exhaustion or even boredom.

It is possible to increase the periods of happiness and reduce the other times in your career. We wanted to offer a few ways you can stay passionate and energized in your career, even when you may not be “feeling it!”

  • Take a class, course, or other professional development offering where you can hone your skills, learn something new, and take your experience up a level.
  • Remember why you choose your career in the first place. What was it you were passionate about, and how can you ensure that passion is being integrated into your work.
  • Take time off. Whether a stay-vacation, a single day off, or a true vacation/get-away – get out of your normal routine and recharge.
  • Volunteer your time or services. Volunteering has proven to increase moral and productivity, and it greatly enhances your overall perception about life in general. Find a cause you care about, and spend time giving back.
  • Ask to be included in a new project, take on a new task, or do something out of the ordinary at the office.
  • Mentor someone new in your industry. This gives you a chance to experience the passion and commitment of someone new, and it also offers you a chance to reconnect with how far you’ve advanced over the years.
  • Enjoy the lull. Ironically, when your experiencing a lull, it’s a great time to actually enjoy the cycle of life. So, you aren’t as busy in the office, perhaps you’re even bored, what could you now use your for since you have some extra time?

These are just a few, simple things you can do to get re-energized about your career. What do you do when you want to recharge or renew your commitment to your work ? We’d love to know, please leave a comment below.

4 Smart Strategies for Job Advancement

Smart executives know that in order to achieve job advancement, they cannot afford to take anything for granted. Performing well and bringing value is tantamount to success! However, you can be great at your job and never advance to the next level if you don’t make a conscious effort to plan for career growth. Those who decide to seek job advancement must leave nothing to chance.

To advance yourself to the next level, create a clear and concise roadmap that guides you through the process. Here are some specific strategies you will want to adopt in order to succeed:

Create Your Personal Brand

Creating a brand that is in high demand is one of the most powerful things you can do to fuel career advancement.  Once you establish the skills and characteristics that make you unique, employers will be more likely to pursue you.  To develop and implement a personal brandingstrategy, you must first assess your strengths, preferences, and differentiators. I often provide a DISC assessment as a first step in establishing a sound personal branding strategy.

Convey Your Value
Once you have a thorough picture of the image you wish to convey with your personal brand, you must continue to refine the brand and establish it as a common theme in all of your communications. You must BE your brand. Blogging, participating in discussions on social media sites, providing case studies, volunteering, and attending local networking events are all ways you can extend and grow brand recognition.

Update Your Career Documents
Smart executives recognize that part of positioning their brand includes creating outstanding career documents. A strong LinkedIn profile and the development of a professional biography can add value, and help with job advancement. It is no longer enough to have a basic résumé.  Your résumé must be polished and focused to reflect your brand image. It should include targeted and impactful wording that illustrates your most impressive accomplishments. Many executives are opting to include a multimedia VisualCV / Digital Résumé as part of their repertoire.

Public Speaking & Media Interaction
I know that people hate the thought of speaking publicly; but the more you get your face and name out in the world as a valued resource and industry expert, the more likely you are to be remembered for new and interesting opportunities. If you are quoted as a trusted resource in multiple publications, this will add clout to your brand, as well.

Most successful executives have worked hard to develop their reputation and nurture their brand value.  It is important to think about job advancement early in your career.  By planning a well-defined strategy and mapping out a specific path for growth, you will be one step ahead of the competition.

This post was written by Debra Wheatman, originally posted on Careers Done Write.

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.

O.C. adds jobs for third straight month

This article was originally published on the Orange County Register Site and was written by Mary Ann Milbourn.

Orange County’s economy appears to be on the mend with local employers adding 4,600 jobs in September, the third straight month of employment growth, state employment officials reported today. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6%.

Statewide, the picture wasn’t as bright. California lost 63,500 jobs from August to September although August’s numbers were revised to show a 10,700 job gain.

The state’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 12.4% in September, third highest in the country after Nevada’s 14.4% and Michigan’s 13%. The U.S. unemployment rate in September was unchanged at 9.6%.

Esmael Adibi, a Chapman University economist, was especially encouraged that so many of Orange County’s sectors are beginning to show strength.

“There are really quite a few bright spots in this report,” Adibi said.

He cited professional and business services — accountants, lawyers, managers and temp workers.

“They’ve added nearly 11,000 jobs in the last year,” he said. “That’s extremely important because of the size of that sector with 244,000 people.”

Leisure and hospitality dipped in September as the summer tourist season wound down, but it showed solid year-over- year growth, with employers bringing on 7,800 new workers.

Construction remained weak. The sector has lost 6,900 jobs in the last year, mostly among specialty trade contractors.

State and local government employment increased by 5,400 from August to September, reflecting teachers coming back to school. With budget cuts, however, local government employment is down by 4,700 positions in the last year.

Adibi said the good news is that the private sector is hiring again, not in huge numbers, but consistently increasing each month.

Kiro Bruno, president of Fortis Resource Partners, a staffing company in Irvine, said she’s seeing pockets of hiring strength in Orange County in pharma, medical devices and manufacturing, particularly high-tech manufacturing.

“In September and October, we’ve seen a surge in hiring,” said Bruno, whose company specializes in finance and accounting placements at small- and mid-sized companies in Orange County.

Bruno said there is strength in both temporary hires and direct hires.

“Temporary help has always been a category that improved at the beginning of an expansion,” Bruno said. “So seeing growth there is extremely positive.”

Temp work has expanded by 3,000 jobs in the last year, according to the EDD.

Despite the pickup in orders, Bruno said she’s not seeing any clear trend.

“Companies are being very strategic in their hiring, replacing or adding positions based on specific internal needs,” she said.

Orange County continues to lead the Southern California region in its recovery. Here are the September unemployment rates in the other counties:

  • Los Angeles:12.5%
  • Riverside: 15.3%
  • San Bernardino: 14.2%
  • San Diego: 9.7%
  • Ventura: 11.1%