March 8, 2016 - In This Issue:
Managing your career can be like assembling a puzzle as you create the pieces.

Inside hires and referrals are the number one way to secure employment in 2016.

From Debra Feldman of job-hunt.org  

"Always remember that asking for and getting a referral should be done in the context of a relationship, not a one-time only transaction."

If you're doing it right, you listen at least as much as you talk, you find out what you have in common in order to build relationships, and you're generous to ensure that you're building mutual relationships and giving as well as getting.

From Jacob Share, writing on  JobMob:

Finding jobs in 2016 is all about referrals and networking. In this post, Share does a lot of the brainstorming for you so you can find some of the hidden jobs. The upside: there's a lot less competition than for the widely advertised jobs!  

From Susan P. Joyce on LinkedIn

There are plenty of reasons that you can't control so don't take those personally--don't let it get you down! 


But be sure to take control where you can: leverage your network and prepare, prepare, prepare for the interview. 



From Hannah Morgan on Career Sherpa


Here Are the 5 Traits Your New Boss Really Wants to See


Independence, teamwork, clear communication, likability, tactfulness.  No surprises, but make sure you and your boss both have a similar understanding of what these things mean.


You Can Find Balance--If You Look For It
The single biggest problem I see with mid-career transition clients is lack of balance in career aspirations. 


The above blog post is about the importance of finding a balance between following your dreams and being realistic. 


When you're starting out--whether straight out of college or after a mid-career break to do something else (even if that "something else" is a longstanding job outside your desired field)--you can't expect to jump in at the top and enjoy all the pros without any of the cons.  


You can target your dream industry, start at (or near) the bottom, and work your way up as fast as you can't.


You cannot say, "I'm going to graduate and my first job out of college will be in management so I'll never have to do any 'menial office work'" or "I've been out of the workforce or my target industry for a decade, but I want to jump back in at the salary I'd be making now if I'd started ten years ago and I want flexible hours for my family and I want this to be my dream job."


And remember: even once you're settled in your "dream job," there will be grunt work; there's an unpleasant side to every job.

Not Sure What Field Would Be a Good Fit for You? 
My career coaching includes all aspects of job search prep as well as academic editing: resumes, cover letters, academic articles, networking, interview prep.

For clients who aren't ready to start applying for jobs because they aren't sure what industry would be a good fit for them, I recommend contacting Jodi Torzewski for Career Consultation Services.

Over the course of 2-4 meetings, Dr. Torzewski will work with you to identify career interests that fit you at your current stage in life.  

 Then we can get started on your resume prep!

Chunking Tasks for Long-Term and Short-Term Success
What tiny little piece of a project are you going to isolate & complete while keeping the big picture in focus?
There are two keys to staying on track in order to complete objectives:

1- Chunking

2- Getting started

The ability to break down projects and plans of any size into smaller, do-able pieces, then force yourself to get started on each piece can often make the difference between moving forward and feeling paralyzed in the present moment. 

Chunk long-term projects into smaller do-able pieces

The most daunting part of long-term projects can be the mere fact that you have to create a process to break down the journey into actionable steps. It feels overwhelming, especially when the starting point and ending point are so clear. You have to find a way to  navigate the less-than-ideal intermediate phases. 

Keep your eye on the prize--the final goal, whether finishing a dissertation or changing jobs--but break it down into smaller chunks, then choose the first chunk you'll complete and break it into day-to-day do-able tasks. 

Here's how that might look. 

Goal: finish & successfully defend dissertation.

Chunking usually looks like this: chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, works cited list, approval, schedule defense, final formatting, defend. 

For chapter 1, you have to read appropriate articles, develop themes, nest each theme into a thread that runs through the chapter (or entire dissertation), establish headings and subheadings, prepare outline and/or start writing then edit as outline takes shape.  Turn in chapter 1, then repeat for chapter 2, pausing when readers ask for revisions to chapter 1.

Your day-to-day list might have items like: go to library, read 5 articles, take notes to use in chapter 1, prep bibliography of articles read. That's something you can work with--get yourself to the library and by day's end you should have notes and a rough works cited list for 5 references.  And the next day, you have to move on to the next thing! Don't stay in the library longer than you have to!

Goal: Change jobs

The list of chunks should include: keep current job, update resume, prepare a polished generic resume, find a job ad in the ballpark of what you want to apply for, customize the resume to that job, draft a generic cover letter, customize the cover letter to a specific job ad, start submitting job applications (repeating process as necessary), brainstorm your networking plan, start actual networking, research companies where an interview is possible, practice and prepare for all the commonly-asked interview questions.

Prepare  the list, but  don't  jump ahead to interview prep before you've even updated your resume.  Your day-to-day list should be: dig out resume, update, find checklist of "do's and don'ts," edit. Make yourself dig out your most recent resume and by day's end, you'll be through that list. Then make a list for chunk 2: start a 3-column table for job ads in  three relevant industries or areas, identify sources for job ads, paste links in table, choose one ad and highlight keywords in that ad that will have to appear in your application materials... 

Not even sure what career path would be good for you? See the link to Jodi Torzewski's career consultation services on the left.

Getting started: the first real "chunk" of any project, big or small

Like chunking, there are big picture and day-to-day aspects to this. Yes, you have to start the big project, but you also have to make yourself start again on the smaller chunks every single morning.

Grandma Gladys (not my grandma) always said, "Pick what you want to do least and do that first."

Start your day by simply nudging the boulder that is your long-term project.

This newsletter is a prime example for me: every month I have to force myself to get started. The key is to log in, open the template, insert dates, select and position photos. That's it! It's one of the the easiest parts of creating this newsletter. But it also represents the hardest part psychologically: getting started. Once I've done that, it's easier to start authoring text--maybe position some headings, then come back later to author content or insert links. The boulder has momentum of its own!

Whether working on an extremely small short-term project or a five-year plan, one key to getting started is taking a moment at the end of each work day to make a realistic to-do list for the next day: 4 or 5 items totally that represent a do-able list from single chunks of long-term projects. 

In the morning, pick the item from the list that you're dreading most and begin the day knocking that out.  Not only do you have to start the big project, you also have to make yourself start again on the smaller chunks every single morning.

Darcy Lear, PhD

Navigating your career transition