Moving On, Will Require Accepting Change

Change – most people do not consider this word to be their friend. Whether it was the change you were forced to make in school when desks were reassigned, the change when you moved, the change when you were married, or … Change is one of the hardest parts of our lives that we have to endure.

Most people dream of change and what they could do if only this change or that change were to occur. The reality is that even though it is often our dream, when the opportunity presents itself it is difficult to accept.

To a few change comes easily and they see it as an opportunity, but to most that is not the case. Why do people stay in their job for 20, 30, or even 40 years? Is it because they are happy and they couldn’t dream of doing anything else?

That’s probably not the case or at least it’s not the case for most people. More true to the situation is the aversion to change. People do not want to change and therefore they endure their situation. They look at a new situation and instead of seeing it as an opportunity; they would rather stay with what they know than venture into the unknown.

Most definitely they are limiting themselves and their opportunities. But that does not matter to them; they would much prefer to be comfortable and to deal only with the known.

This is a problem because dealing with the comfortable and dealing with the known can be a career stopper and can even be the reason for losing a job. Businesses must change to keep up with the competition and to grow. For businesses to be able to make those changes, they need employees that are willing to change.

What kind of change might you have to make:

  1. A new company.
  2. A new type of work.
  3. A new location.
  4. A longer/shorter commute.
  5. A reduction/increase in pay.
  6. A new boss.
  7. New co-workers.
  8. A new working environment – no more private office.
  9. Changes in benefits.
  10. Changes in the frequency of pay.
  11. Working in a less desireable part of the city.

… continue your list and develop your answers.

I once worked for a medical clinic that was looking to make significant changes in the technology they were using to process patient records. The technology is EMR or Electronic Medical Records. EMR is responsible for many changes in the way the doctors and nurses practice medicine.

EMR Systems impact the way the doctors and nurses interact with their patients. Instead of talking to the patient with a chart in hand and making notes, the practitioner now has a computer terminal and is typing while the patient is talking. The computer terminal is far more distracting to the patient and typically requires a greater level of concentration from the practitioner. Some practitioners are intimidated by the technology.

At the Clinic as we were implementing the technology I wrote a memo to the Board of Directors explaining that as a part of the EMR implementation they could expect to see some of their doctors leave the Clinic. They would leave because they were unwilling to accept the EMR System and they way they would now have to practice, they would leave because they were intimidated by the technology, they would leave because they did not like the change in patient interaction, and there were several other reasons as well.

My point to the Board was do not be surprised, rather you need to be understanding and supportive. This is the way it is and there is nothing that being upset will change. Some people can handle certain types of change and others cannot. You need to roll with the punches and move forward.

In your job search you are now facing the reality of change. It could be just one change or it could be several changes; you just do not know until it happens.

It is time for you to do a personal assessment. What changes are you (and your family) willing to accept in your career change? You must sit down and work this out to have everyone in agreement.

You need to decide:

  1. What is your change mindset?
  2. Is this an adventure or a nightmare?
  3. Where and when you are willing to compromise?
  4. What opportunity is simply too great to pass up?
  5. What is most important to you and your family?
  6. What is negotiable?
  7. What is non-negotiable?
  8. Who will ultimately make the final decision?
  9. Who has the power of veto?
  10. How you will make your decision work?

Accepting change can be difficult, but you can minimize the difficulty by making the decisions above when there is no pressure to decide. Take the time to talk it out when the emotions are at a low and the rational mind is in charge. Change can be excitement and opportunity or it can be scary and uncertain. Which way do you want it for your family.

You must prepare yourself and your family for whatever opportunities come your way.

Tom is a Career and Accountability Coach helping with career management, resumes, and networking. Sign up for his 7 Tips Series of Articles.

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Great site for resume tips

I’ve been doing some searches for interesting resume material and came across an interesting site with some great information. If you haven’t been there before take a look at Resume Bear. There is an interesting article on creating a knockout resume summary that you should read.

I think you can take it a little further by putting in PAR (Problem you identified – Action you took – Result you achieved) statements for greater emphasis, but Resume Bear has some great advice.

Make sure your resume has IMPACT!

Facts tell, stories sell

As we all know our resume is a chronology of facts regarding our experience, but to be effective it must also tell a story – our story.

Our resume should start out with a title that reflects the position we are seeking. If we are responding to a job posting, the title should be the same as the heading for the posting. This should get the initial attention of the recruiter or reader.

Next our resume should have a summary that tells two to four key PAR statements – Problem identified, Action taken, and Result achieved. The PAR statements must be from at least two job experiences and preferably three or four. Each statement must tie directly to an experience with an employer in the body of our resume. The verbiage should be a little different but there should be no question as to the experiences being related.

Why would we do this? When we can highlight two to four relevant accomplishments and show how they relate to our career progression we are demonstrating to the recruiter/reader what they can anticipate when we are hired. Part of this process can also include any awards or recognition that we have received.

Basically we are telling our story in resume form and leading the reader through our highlights and accomplishments.

Now the last part is that whether we think of ourselves being in sales or not: WE ARE! And we are engaged in one of the most important sales processes we will ever encounter.

Keeping your resume current

Are you keeping your resume current?

Resumes with impact follow a key rule; they are filled with PAR (Problem you identified, Action you took, and the Results from your actions). Some people call these SAR for Situation, but it’s all the same concept. These statements help the recruiter or hiring manager see what the applicatant has accomplished and what they can expect.

Too often resume bullets simply say “Responsible for X, Managed Y, or Performed Z”. That doesn’t tell the reader anything because you’re not showing what you did or accomplished. Your bullets need to tell a story that the reader can apply to their needs.

Keeping all of that information at hand and being prepared to use it in your resume or even your interviews is important. One of the ways that I have found to be useful for keeping the information is to have a notebook or computer file of experiences.

Some examples:

Improved quality performance from 3 Sigma to 5 Sigma. Improved manufacturing quality, reducing customer returns 66% by incidences and 95% by cost.

Review billing and collection procedures identifying over $85,000 in unbilled charges. Collected evidence and rebilled customers recovering over 75%.

Identified errors in vendor charges and negotiated changes resulting in a 38% reduction in monthly charges.

Accomplishments that can be measured are easily understood and applied by recruiters. This information helps recruiters wade through their stack of applicants.

Don’t let these valuable experiences be forgotten or go to waste. Write them down and keep the information readily available. It’s important to remember that different opportunities may require using different experiences to explain your qualifications.

Make sure your resume has IMPACT.

10 to 20 Seconds to a more in-depth look

How are you using the “above the fold” area of your resume? This is the prime real estate of your resume and if you are using it for blah, blah, blah; then don’t expect much in the way of results.

You have 10 to 20 seconds to catch the readers attention and move your resume to the “I need to take a closer look pile”. Are you meeting that objective?

I see so many resumes that start out “Over (insert number) years experience managing blah, blah, blah blah. Big deal, what have you  really told the reader: NOTHING? Did you manage things into the ground or grow them? The fact is you haven’t told me anything different than 50 or 100 other people.

Make sure you open with a position title that matches the job posting if you are replying to a posting. Don’t leave it up to the recruiter to determine what you want; make it clear. Maybe what you want they don’t need, so let’s figure that out right away so no one’s time is wasted.

Next move to a career highlights section that really speaks to what you have done and what the new employer can expect. Don’t waste the space with blah, blah, blah. Emphasize one highlight from your two most recent employers and then one or two from other employers and make sure that they can tie this experience back to a listed work experience. Use PAR statements (What Problem did you identify, what Action did you take, and what Result did you achieve). Don’t give information and then fail to tie it into the body of your resume. If you have been recognized or received awards you can place one of those here as well so it will lead the reader to the bottom of your resume.

If you can tell me that you “Identified production overrun problems, implemented lean manufacturing techniques, and reduced overruns by 42%. If I’m looking for a plant manager that speaks to me, especially if I’m having problems with production overruns.

Or “Identified new market for aging product line that increased sales 28% and extended product life by three years.” That speaks to me, because you don’t accept what others are saying. You are making lemonade out of lemons.

The third section is your chronological experience. You may want to do functional, don’t! The majority of recruiters that I have talked with do not like functional resumes; there is a feeling that you are hiding something.

With everything you put in your resume follow it up by asking so what! If you can’t come up with a good answer it’s probably a candidate for removal.

Always remember that the job of the resume is to first and foremost get you an interview.

Hello world!

Hey everyone – This is my new blog on resumes.

I’ve seen lots of resumes since I was called to be the Lake Oswego, Oregon Stake Employment Specialist two years ago. Some are good, some are okay, and some are just awful. My intent is not to hurt anyone’s feelings; my intent is to help you get a new opportunity.

Having been one of the uber unemployed at various points and personally having some of the worst resumes you could imagine; I know how hard it can be. I also know how hard it is to get honest input about your resume.

My goal is not to make friends or enemies; again my goal is to help you get a job. I do feel that in my role I can be honest. If you don’t like what I say and you take it personally that’s okay. It’s not my intent, but it’s still okay. I want you to take a critical look at your resume and determine if it is serving you.

Last year I read a book by Nicholas Boothman called “How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds”. In the book he talks about KFC; no not Kentucky Fried Chicken but a process he calls KFC.

K = Know what you want.

F = Find out what you are getting.

C = Change what you are doing until you get what you want.

Your resume is supposed to get you interviews; if it doesn’t then it’s not doing its job and you need to change it.

If your resume is getting you interviews but for the wrong type of jobs; then again it’s not doing the job.

Either way you need to change what you are doing so you can get what you want and interview.

If you are getting interviews but not the job, then again you need to take the KFC approach, but that will be a topic for another blog.

I’m looking forward to your feedback and input. Tell me about the topics you would like addressed and either I will do it or I will bring in someone with that expertise.

I look forward to hearing about your successes and lessons learned. Let’s keep this an interactive site. As the moderator or site owner I reserve the right to delete things that I feel are offensive or not in keeping with the intent of the site.

There are jobs to be had, there are opportunities to pursue, and you will be successful if you believe in yourself.

Happy Job Hunting!