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Career Insights that Give You an Edge

One moment in time and your life can change forever.

Kathryn got called into the CEO's office. It was a rare event and she got a little nervous when she entered. Her CEO began, "Kathryn, you've done a fantastic job here, particularly in forecasting sales revenues. Every one of us recognizes your contribution and talent so you're being promoted to Director of Finance. Congratulations!"

Dave, an IT supervisor who had had a long career at the same company, strolled into the department meeting. He left with the shock of his life. The company would now be outsourcing the IT function, so Dave and all his team were being laid off--immediately.

Michael had hoped against hope, that a coveted dream job would soon be his. But when the phone rang, and he heard the interviewer on the other end, he held his breath as self-doubt filled his mind. The voice on the phone began slowly, saying, "Michael, we had several strong candidates. Your references spoke so highly of you that we feel lucky to have such a talented man want to join our team. We're offering you the position, and we all really hope you'll take it."

Wow, in just seconds the unexpected, the unwanted, or even the dared to dream of! Things like this can change your life forever.

Today, so many people are struggling with their career situations. Promotions are fewer than ever before. Layoffs come swift and often. A job search is taking people six months to a year before they land a new position.

With the world of work this rocky, I recommend that you spend some time assessing who you are, what you've accomplished, what truly matters to you, and what you would still like to achieve.

Here's a quick career checkup. Answering these questions can help you make 2004 a more satisfying year for you.

Life is made up of choices. You control the job you choose, the amount of success that you experience, where you live, who your friends are, and what you are doing with your life. Give thought to how you want to spend your work days and if you aren't pleased with your current situation map out a detailed action plan to change it.

I encourage you to strive to live a happier life. To be the best YOU, you can be. To see the special, unique, person inside of you and to allow yourself to flourish in your chosen work. Only you can implement an action plan that will lead to a life that's truly rewarding, a life that enriches you every single day.

A Success Story

"I lost my dream job," cried Monica the first time I met her. Monica was a 50-year-old female who became a career consulting client.

"I was a wine purchaser for a distribution company. For 13 years I did a job I loved. Then a big company bought us and suddenly I was out of a job. Who will hire me? Where can I go? All I know is wine. I'll never find anything half as good as what I lost," she lamented, with good reason.

The wine industry is small. The type of job she performed was rare. Her first task was to evaluate her strengths and her talents. Her self-esteem was in tatters after the layoff. The uncertainty of unemployment and the challenge of finding a new job had put her into a negative tailspin.

Working together we created a very strong resume that outlined her key strengths, talents and accomplishments. It sure passed the 15 second rule you must get the employer's attention in 15 seconds, since that's all the time you'll get before they go on to another resume.

Her summary and bulleted strengths were concise and powerful. But Monica did face a serious obstacle. She loved the wine business as a buyer, and she wanted to remain in that field. However, she was realistic in recognizing how very rare her old job had been. She found nothing in the paper, but she began networking at my urging. Looking for a needle in a haystack, she found one very promising lead. Princess Cruise Lines had an opening for a buyer for its beverage division, primarily purchasing wines. Her resume was submitted and within a few days she was called for an interview.

Monica called me, ecstatic, when she landed the job. And, it came with a significant salary increase, too. Who would have thought she could ever be fortunate enough to overcome such a trauma that of losing her job to find an even better position. I did, but she sure didn't.

I heard from her recently. She called to check-in and enthusiastically said, "My job's a blast I love it." Although she'd called to thanked me, she really deserved a great deal of credit. When I first met her, she was down and saw only major roadblocks, but using a key strength resourcefulness she found effective ways to overcome the obstacles. The result is, once again, she is working a dream job and "Cruises are great perks," she noted.

-Robin Ryan
Robin Ryan has appeared on Oprah, Dr. Phil Show, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CNN, CNBC and is considered America's top career coach. She has recently appeared as career expert on the Dr. Phil Show. She is the best-selling author of: 60 Seconds & You're Hired!; Winning Resumes; Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She's the creator of the highly acclaimed audio training program Interview Advantage and The DreamMaker. Copyright 2004 Robin Ryan, all rights reserved.