Career – A Self Help Guide

Could you hope to live without a career all life despite inheriting a legacy? Career is not just about living out of inherited money, nor is it limited to earning livelihood. Holistically speaking it is the progression of ones working or professional life. Career indeed means a lot these days. Nowadays, parents start grooming their children from the day one she starts her education, guide and help their children choose their career.

Choosing and Making a Career

To some, choosing a career is as simple as a ready to eat preparation served in a silver bowl, because their career is inherited through legacy. Still they don’t spare a stone unturned in their efforts to just pursue it and make successful careers. For example, Henry Ford, who is the third generation person to carry on the legacy of his parents successfully, has toiled hard to expand the empire beyond the Atlantic Ocean.

Students should start thinking about their careers while in High School. Career exploring in various fields such as Accountancy, Finance, Law, Engineering and Medical, Business Management etc should be given a serious thought while they are still in College level. Well planning and choosing the appropriate line of study will definitely get you a good pick of your own choice.

Career Counselors prove beneficial in personal development and if you need them to, they can double up as career coaches who guide you in choosing your career. They assess your scope of interest, ability, your personality and style of working and accordingly, help you choose your career.

Career development

Did you know choosing a career is much easier rather than developing it? Landing a suitable job may take less than a year but making a career is for the rest of your working life. Once you land up at your chosen career, you must try to manage it carefully by gaining deeper knowledge and skills, working ethically and with integrity, and climb the ladder of success, to achieve your goals by rising to a higher level or position in that organization. Slightest initial complacency would mean a longer stay at the same level for a long time, develop leadership qualities within and rise to higher level. Work conditions and ethics permit that you can have multiple careers to explore your capabilities. Be good at decision-making and this will be the step forward to boost your career. Never give up hope, as the saying goes `In every difficulty lies an opportunity’.

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Career – Are You In The Right Seat?

We all have a chair that designates a position in our career. For most of us the position, the responsibilities, the growth prospects and many such factors decide if we are happy in our seat? Sometimes, we may be unaware that another seat may send us much higher in the hierarchy and satisfaction level. Sometimes we are frustrated with our job for no easily identifiable reason. There are many such factors that determine if we are on the right seat. Let us examine some of them.

Involvement

How involved we are with what we do? Are we so engrossed with our job, that we have no time to think of anything else? Or we are so less connected with our job that having it or not makes no difference to us? Albert Einstein, the great scientist was so involved with his job of thinking and finding solutions to mysteries of physics and cosmos that he had no time left for anything else. His involvement was total. Do you have such an involvement?

Joy

Do we feel joy in what we do? I have taken this right near the top, because if we are dissatisfied for any reason, we will never get joy. If we get joy then most of things are going in the right direction. So think if you are getting joy in your job?

Respect

If you are working with the right people and doing the right job, you will always get the respect of your colleagues. If the respect is missing, please take that as a red signal telling you that something might be amiss.

Skill

Do you find your skills and aptitude matching the job requirements? You might be made for greater things in life. Please get your skills assessed and find out if you are wasting time with a low skilled job, when you should have been working with something requiring great skills and abilities.

There are other factors such as vision for the job, future growth potential, learning opportunities and such other factors that decide if you are on the right seat. The right person for the right job – are you the right person for your job and more importantly, is the job right for you?

I have given some pointers for thought. Ultimately, it is your life goals and values that will always decide if the job fits you. That can be done only by you. What is most important is that you review your job and your satisfaction level at frequent intervals and bring changes to create a more meaningful life. So find out today if you are in the right seat in your career.

Are You Sabotaging Your Career?

My experience working with thousands of leaders world wide for the past two decades teaches me that most leaders are screwing up their careers.

On a daily basis, these leaders are getting the wrong results or the right results in the wrong ways.

Interestingly, they themselves are choosing to fail. They’re actively sabotaging their own careers.

Leaders commit this sabotage for a simple reason: They make the fatal mistake of choosing to communicate with presentations and speeches — not leadership talks.

In terms of boosting one’s career, the difference between the two methods of leadership communication is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

Speeches/presentations primarily communicate information. Leadership talks, on the other hand, not only communicate information, they do more: They establish a deep, human emotional connection with the audience.

Why is the later connection necessary in leadership?

Look at it this way: Leaders do nothing more important than get results. There are generally two ways that leaders get results: They can order people to go from point A to point B; or they can have people WANT TO go from A to B.

Clearly, leaders who can instill “want to” in people, who motivate those people, are much more effective than leaders who can’t or won’t.

And the best way to instill “want to” is not simply to relate to people as if they are information receptacles but to relate to them on a deep, human, emotional way.

And you do it with leadership talks.

Here are a few examples of leadership talks.

When Churchill said, “We will fight on the beaches … ” That was a leadership talk.

When Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you … ” that was a leadership talk.

When Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” That was a leadership talk.

You can come up with a lot of examples too. Go back to those moments when the words of a leader inspired people to take ardent action, and you’ve probably put your finger on an authentic leadership talk.

Mind you, I’m not just talking about great leaders of history. I’m also talking about the leaders in your organizations. After all, leaders speak 15 to 20 times a day: everything from formal speeches to informal chats. When those interactions are leadership talks, not just speeches or presentations, the effectiveness of those leaders is dramatically increased.

How do we put together leadership talks? It’s not easy. Mastering leadership talks takes a rigorous application of many specific processes. As Clement Atlee said of that great master of leadership talks, Winston Churchill, “Winston spent the best years of his life preparing his impromptu talks.”

Churchill, Kennedy, Reagan and others who were masters at giving leadership talks didn’t actually call their communications “leadership talks”, but they must have been conscious to some degree of the processes one must employ in putting a leadership talk together.

Here’s how to start. If you plan to give a leadership talk, there are three questions you should ask. If you answer “no” to any one of those questions, you can’t give one. You may be able to give a speech or presentation, but certainly not a leadership talk.

(1) DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS?
Winston Churchill said, “We must face the facts or they’ll stab us in the back.”

When you are trying to motivate people, the real facts are THEIR facts, their reality.

Their reality is composed of their needs. In many cases, their needs have nothing to do with your needs.

Most leaders don’t get this. They think that their own needs, their organization’s needs, are reality. That’s okay if you’re into ordering. As an order leader, you only need work with your reality. You simply have to tell people to get the job done. You don’t have to know where they’re coming from. But if you want to motivate them, you must work within their reality, not yours.

I call it “playing the game in the people’s home park”. There is no other way to motivate them consistently. If you insist on playing the game in your park, you’ll be disappointed in the motivational outcome.

(2) CAN YOU BRING DEEP BELIEF TO WHAT YOU’RE SAYING?
Nobody wants to follow a leader who doesn’t believe the job can get done. If you can’t feel it, they won’t do it.

But though you yourself must “want to” when it comes to the challenge you face, your motivation isn’t the point. It’s simply a given. If you’re not motivated, you shouldn’t be leading.

Here’s the point: Can you TRANSFER your motivation to the people so they become as motivated as you are?
I call it THE MOTIVATIONAL TRANSFER, and it is one of the least understood and most important leadership determinants of all.

There are three ways you can make the transfer happen.

* CONVEY INFORMATION. Often, this is enough to get people motivated. For instance, many people have quit smoking because of information on the harmful effects of the habit

* MAKE SENSE. To be motivated, people must understand the rationality behind your challenge. Re: smoking: People have been motivated to quit because the information makes sense.

* TRANSMIT EXPERIENCE. This entails having the leader’s experience become the people’s experience. This can be the most effective method of all, for when the speaker’s experience becomes the audience’s experience, a deep sharing of emotions and ideas, a communing, can take place.

There are plenty of presentation and speech courses devoted to the first two methods, so I won’t talk about those.

Here’s a few thoughts on the third method. Generally speaking, humans learn in two ways: by acquiring intellectual understanding and through experience. In our schooling, the former predominates, but it is the latter which is most powerful in terms of inducing a deep sharing of emotions and ideas; for our experiences, which can be life’s teachings, often lead us to profound awareness and purposeful action.

Look back at your schooling. Was it your book learning or your experiences, your interactions with teachers and students, that you remember most? In most cases, your experiences made the most telling impressions upon you.

To transfer your motivation to others, use what I call my “defining moment” technique, which I describe fully in my book, DEFINING MOMENT: MOTIVATING PEOPLE TO TAKE ACTION.

In brief, the technique is this: Put into sharp focus a particular experience of yours then communicate that focused experience to the people by describing the physical facts that gave you the emotion.

Now, here’s the secret to the defining moment. That experience of yours must provide a lesson and that lesson is a solution to the needs of the people. Otherwise, they’ll think you’re just talking about yourself.

For the defining moment to work (i.e., for it to transfer your motivation to them), the experience must be about them. The experience happened to you, of course. But that experience becomes their experience when the lesson it communicates is a solution to their needs.

(3) CAN YOU HAVE THE AUDIENCE TAKE RIGHT ACTION?
Results don’t happen unless people take action. After all, it’s not what you say that’s important in your leadership communications, it’s what the people do after you have had your say.

Yet the vast majority of leaders don’t have a clue as to what action truly is.

They get people taking the wrong action at the wrong time in the wrong way for the wrong results.

A key reason for this failure is they don’t know how to deliver the all-important “leadership talk Call-to-action”.

“Call” comes from an Old English word meaning “to shout.” A Call-to-Action is a “shout for action.” Implicit in the concept is urgency and forcefulness. But most leaders don’t deliver the most effective Calls-to-action because they make three errors regarding it.

First, they err by mistaking the Call-to-Action as an order. Within the context of The Leadership Talk, a Call-to-action is not an order. Leave the order for the order leader.

Second, leaders err by mistaking the Call as theirs to give. The best Call-to-action is not the leader’s to give. It’s the people’s to give. It’s the people’s to give to themselves. A true Call-to-action prompts people to motivate themselves to take action.

The vast majority of leaders I’ve worked with are hampering their careers for one simple reason: They’re giving presentations and speeches — not leadership talks.

You have a great opportunity to turbo charge your career by recognizing the power of leadership talks. Before you give a leadership talk, ask three basic questions. Do you know what the people need? Can you bring deep belief to what you’re saying? Can you have the people take the right take action?

If you say “no” to any one of those questions you cannot give a leadership talk. But the questions aren’t meant to be stumbling blocks to your leadership but stepping stones. If you answer “no”, work on the questions until you can say, “yes”. In that way, you’ll start getting the right results in the right way on a consistent basis.

A Popularity Wave For Careers At Sea

Opportunity is high at sea for those seeking employment, and there are a number of reasons for this.

With the expansion of the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the MSP fleet is growing from 47 to 60 ships. There is also growth in the U.S.-flag cruise ship industry. Because there are so many different types of vessels, there is a range of choices that is unmatched. That means as employees working under contracts between maritime companies and the Seafarers International Union, merchant mariners have the opportunity to sail on a wide variety of vessels, including deep-sea cargo vessels and military support ships, where mariners continue to support U.S. troops in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Also in the opportunity mix are Great Lakes vessels, cable ships, tugboats and passenger ferries.

The place for many American men and women who set their sights on setting sail is the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education. The state-of-the-art school, affiliated with the Seafarers International Union, offers the most U.S. Coast Guard-approved courses of any maritime school in the nation-from entry level to license preparation to academic support.

In addition to academic support, the school offers GED and college degree programs. In fact, many of the maritime classes can be used for college credits.

Since its opening in 1967, approximately 145,000 students have trained there. The apprentice program blends hands-on training with classroom instruction. It consists of three phases, including 90 days aboard a U.S.-flag ship. That particular phase has helped boost the industry’s retention rate-approximately 75 percent of students who complete the entire program are still sailing four years later.

At any given time there are 100 trainees at the school-some in Phase 1, others in Phase 3 (Phase 2 is at sea).

Based in Piney Point, Md., the school’s training tools include bridge and engine simulators, the Joseph Sacco Fire Fighting and Safety School and a culinary lab.