Thursday, December 10, 2015

Nourishing our Seasons of Life Series: On Career

After a year of transitioning from active duty to civilian, I could tell there was a season in one point of everyone’s life.  We are now in the winter season yet it is a joyful season because Christ was born.  But before winter or cold season there was fall - almost a synonym to tumble, reduction, descent or plummet or collapse.

The past few months I felt like the leaves from my branches and trunks are gone and my purpose as a tree to give shades and color are naked, cold and seems daunting & creepy. The green leaf of constant pay, the abundance of work seems to have faded. Although I or you may still be in the "Fall" season, we should keep our "Garden" of  our Career - supplemented with enough nourishment or compost or SUN: Skills, Understanding & Network.

What are your expertise?  Is your previous experience still applies in the marketplace?  When you left your previous job, did you assess yourself if you will still be happy with what you are doing, if not then did you train yourself?  Have your reach your "ceiling" that you need to smash it with a "hammer" of new skill?
I was in the field of Human Resources and also a Career counselor in the Navy for 15 years and I enjoyed what I was doing but I realize that I cannot be as marketable when I left the Navy and so I took over our family business, enhance entrepreneurial skills by attending workshops and after a few months have develop a solid understanding of the business and now have established MVOSS Creation LLC. 

I also continued my education finishing my PhD and earn few credentials as career counselor.   I am now an independent counselor working at home and hopefully this month or early next year will publish my Doctorate dissertation:  Career Counseling Using Social Media.  And I think once I have earned this, it will open more doors for me as public speaker, a consultant for social media (I just had a job offer to move to Pentagon with great pay), an advisor for career counselors, university professor, author and more.

So season your tree by enhancing your skills or a new one.

Before I transitioned or left the military there were situations that I thought I was doing great, seating on my laurels and so focus on my needs and did not understand or have an empathy with others.  
Looking back, I believe that being responsive, compassionate, and appreciative or understanding that other people matters -  did helped me in situations where I got great evaluations and people around me that I show appreciation benefited me in those successful time, getting perks like:  get to choose the assignments I want, my team supporting my ideas.  In short my career grew when I was more social & being with other people and understand that others have emotions just like me and I am not the center of the world.  So empathize people & understand others.

Having another person or mentor or someone who’s been there can save us a lot of hard work.  I'm not just talking about social networking, although that is a start.  Get the insight of others by being with a group people to TALK:  Test (your skills), Aspire (to be better), Learn (your industry), Know (key people).
Test your Skills
As I was searching for career counselor jobs a year before I left the military, I tested my ability to speak with civilian and had an interview with local university for a position and realized that I was weak in some areas required to become a civilian or school counselor.  So for a few months I just keep attending Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie and many business networking events and find out that my new skills are becoming a Marketing Manager or a Branding or Advertising. 
Get out there and aspire to be someone better than you.  Use the “U” or Understanding by listening and empathizing with others in your chosen network.   By empathizing with someone you learn that you are not alone and someone else have the same feeling as yours – even those whom you think are better or not so much like you.  That you are not inferior nor superior to others or someone else can make it happen successfully.

Chamber of Commerce, BizConnect, Hampton Roads Business network, UnWined, Knights of Columbus, Trusted Compass, Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie are just a few samples of networking group that attend regularly and have learned here - more that I have actually learned for a year in my expensive Capella University as student.  Learning through networking is the best place to be to soak up knowledge and experience.

Know Key people
Connect with other people and choose a mentor who can help you get to your goals.  If you are in the field of business, humble yourself with someone who is a seasoned entrepreneur who’s been there and done that.  You don’t have to formally ask them to become a mentor but communicate with the leaders of the industry you choose to be in.  

While finishing up my dissertation, I approached two people with PhD and seek their assistance in the career counseling field and as expected they became my mentor and helped me continue my job as independent counselor as well as finish my dissertation.  Thanks to the three PhD mentors I have now and I will now hopefully finish my next milestone in my career – sooner than later.  LinkedIn and Facebook is a good start, be bold, invite them to be in your network.

In Any Season:  There is a SUN and a need to TALK
So, in this most joyous season of all - that happens to be also scary cold with creepy trees, dark and gloomy sky, let’s continue to nourish our Career by nourishing it with SUN:  Skills, Understanding & Network.
And whether it’s your spring, autumn, summer or winter - continue the TALK:  Test (your skills), Aspire (to be better), Learn (from others), Know the Key (people).  Hopefully this will help all our “Career Seasons” be beautiful and well-nourished throughout the year.

Have a Joyful Season.

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