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FALL CAREER CHECK-UPS AND TUNE-UPS
    Photo of Don Sutaria
October 2010
 


 
My dear friends, colleagues, clients and students:

Our free CareerQuest Newsletter individually reaches almost 3,000 people in U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Israel, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, England, Germany and Japan, the majority of recipients being in the U.S.A. However, due to reproduction and quoting in other professional publications, and broadcast over the Internet, total readership is estimated at 50,000. This newsletter is also meant to be as a service to the career counseling community, for exchange of professional ideas.

This Month's Featured Article
If you want to nurture your career instead of pursuing a falling star trajectory, I encourage you to read the article below, Why Should I Have Career Check-ups & Tune-ups In The Fall Each Year? In addition, develop your own goals and a plan of action after seeking professional guidance. Most performance reviews take place during the last quarter of each year. It is imperative that you prepare for it not only by presenting your achievements in writing, but also by developing convincing answers for potential negative comments. Another side benefit is that it will help you to update and enhance your resume.

Book Endorsements
Our book, Career and Life Counseling From the Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!), has received many excellent reviews. Eight reviews give the book a 5-star rating, and four have a 4-star rating.

Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? says:
"Don Sutaria is one of the career counselors I most admire in the U.S. He talks about things other career counselors don't, like "your soul." Now he has written a book I like a lot, with brilliant short chapters you can digest day by day. I recommend it unreservedly to everyone."
We are deeply grateful for his endorsement.

  Career and Life Counseling From the Heart book cover
This book has been nicknamed as Chicken Soup for Your Career! Take a peek inside this book at Amazon.com before you decide to buy it. It is also available as an e-book from iUniverse.

Career Doctor Don's Column
Career Doctor Don Answers Your Questions appears as a regular feature in the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) - New Jersey Chapter newsletters. Visit www.ispe.org to read more.

Articles on www.Biz4NJ.com
Several of our articles will continue to appear on www.Biz4NJ.com. The mission of this website is to "Help Garden State Business Grow."

Keep your feedback coming. Please feel free to share these newsletters with your friends, remembering to give us the due credit.

Until we meet again through the magic of e-mail,

Peace! Love! Shalom!

Don Sutaria, MS, IE (Prof.)
Founder, President & Life-Work Coach
CareerQuest


 
  WHY SHOULD I HAVE CAREER CHECK-UPS AND TUNE-UPS IN THE FALL EACH YEAR?  
  by Don Sutaria

A few days ago around Labor Day, I received two reminder postcards. One was from my dentist for a six-month dental checkup. What a pain...in more ways than one! Nonetheless I summoned up enough courage to make an appointment for October. The other one was for the annual physical examination in the fall. I am still procrastinating in making an appointment for that one!

Now please answer the following questions honestly:
  1. Did you take your pet for six-month checkups during 2010?
  2. Did you take your car for six-month checkups and tune-ups during 2010?
  3. Did you go for your six-month medical and dental checkups in 2010?
  4. Did you go for six-month career checkups and tune-ups in 2010 ?
If you answered yes to only the first question, assuming you have a pet, you are not an untypical American. If you answered yes to question 4, I really commend you.

Would you seriously consider fall and spring career check-ups and tune-ups as a part of your career development resolutions?
Why is this so? Our human nature likes "Firefighting" because of echoes of "Hero! Hero!" The urgent never fails to crowd out the important.

Many of us who are professional career counselors and coaches promote Career Well-Being. The media all around us promotes good mental health. Why not good career health?

Most people in the world of work, even upper echelon professionals, have no clue as to what good career health means. We are programmed or wired for a reactive rather than a proactive stance. We wait for external events such as layoffs, mergers, firings, or a new boss, to evaluate our Career Well-Being. Sadly enough, most job seekers wait for unpleasant things to happen to them at work. We are like proverbial ostriches with our heads in the sand! Passively watching the world go by makes us victims in our careers.

In the opinion of experts, there are several important dimensions to career health: skills, attitudes, communications, and life-work balance.

Look closely at your skills. Ask yourself, what have I learned during 2010? What new projects did I voluntarily undertake? What courses or seminars did I take to learn, contribute and grow on my job?

Attitudes are more important than facts. I place a positive mental attitude at the highest point for determining career success. Let's take a reality check. What is my attitude about my job? What is my attitude about my co-workers and my company? Am I loyal to my boss and my company? How can I improve my working relationships?

Communications, verbal, non-verbal, and written, are very important. Every time we open our mouths, we either "sell" or " unsell" ourselves. Find your communications style. Practice being a better listener. More than 80% of the vibrations we give out are "non-verbal." Your written communications are your representation, so make sure that you will not only be understood but also not misunderstood. I also want to stress here the great importance of networking within and without the company.

Life-work balance has become the single most important issue in the new millennium. Based on my personal experiences and those of my clients, when a person gets laid off, regardless of the reasons, it is a severe blow to the individual on several levels. The financial aspect cannot be overlooked but more importantly, the loss of a job is psychologically devastating, both to the person and their family and friends. Workaholics suffer even more because their entire identity was wrapped up with the job and company. How sad!

The balance between life and work places our career in perspective. It is like the eight slices of a pizza. For completeness in life, we need to balance the physical, mental, emotional, cultural, spiritual, financial, technical, and social segments. The career eco-system suffers very badly if one of these segments are badly out of whack.

Careers sometimes have a roller-coaster or feast-or-famine quality to them. When things are going well in our working lives, we don't bother returning the executive recruiters' calls. When we are flattened out, we need a job too urgently to view our careers dispassionately. Besides keeping the resume and networking up-to-date, it makes a lot of sense to take stock of your career on a six-monthly basis, regardless whether conditions around you are good or bad.

What kind of questions can you expect the career counselor/coach/expert to ask you during the check-up and tune-up session? He will probe to see how viable your position is to the success of your organization (or does he see danger signals ahead), is your industry and company expanding or contracting in today's marketplace, if you feel you are doing meaningful and challenging work, if your life-work balance intact, how your personal relationships are at work, and if you areadequately compensated financially. It is very hard to do it yourself, or with a friend or relative.

     

Other areas of help are imminent performance reviews, sticky political situations, developing a long-term career plan, or keeping one on track. Keep in mind that unless you have good personal chemistry with your career coach on a long-term basis, getting a "Band-Aid" for fixing a job emergency in a one-to-two-hour session does not do much good to the giver nor the receiver.

Would you seriously consider fall and spring career checkups and tune-ups as a part of your annual career development resolutions? You will be glad you did!





Don Sutaria, also known as "Career Doctor Don", is Founder and President of CareerQuest. He has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on radio and television and has taught at various colleges. He is the author of Career And Life Counseling From The Heart (Your Career is a Pathway to Your Soul!).


 
 
Don Sutaria, M.S., I.E. (Prof.)   
don@careerquestcentral.com     www.careerquestcentral.com     http://careerquestcentral.blogspot.com   
Phone: (908) 686-8400     Fax: (908) 686-8400 (on request)     Cell: (908) 377-9015   
CareerQuest     2165 Morris Avenue; Suite 15     Union, NJ 07083     Satellite Office in New York, NY