#OwnYourGrowth - Designing a Personal Campaign for Career Growth
A new blog series with live Q&A based on the book:
Career Smarts - A Guide to Getting Career Utopia
By popular demand, I will attempt to cover some of the key take-aways in owning your growth and getting the Career you want in this upcoming blog series including:
Secret Get-Ahead Skills Every Employee Needs
Insider Tricks and Career Hacks from the Placement Expert
Real Life Examples & Practical Dialogues To imitate
Bonus Chapter, a Manager’s Perspective
But first... an introduction of what's to come. Feel free to read along with us as we explore and discuss upcoming chapters and case studies of how to use these practical tools and applications.
As always, I will be answering questions from the social media audience as we go! Got a question before we start? LetsChat@Quaintance.co or post it in your comments below!
Let's start with a sneak peak of the book.
Career Smarts Book: Introduction
Did you know that only 5% of professionally working people in the U.S. are truly happy with all aspects of their careers? Yes, in my experience interviewing with thousands of job candidates over the last 15 years, 95% of the workforce feels dissatisfied with at least one aspect of their jobs.
They’re unhappy with their boss, hours, pay, commute, responsibilities (or lack thereof), growth potential or feel indifferent about their industry in general. Sometimes they have an enviable title and salary, yet have a secret desire to work from home part-time, to rise even higher in ranks or transfer to another department that has nothing to do with their current skillset. But instead of looking for solutions to fix these problems or working towards these secret goals, they fall victim to the status quo and keep working in a career that doesn’t make them truly happy.
If this sounds familiar, you’re in good company. As the founder for an executive search firm which has made it to The 100 Fastest Growing Companies from the San Francisco Business Times, I’ve helped thousands of candidates land new jobs (to fix many of the issues mentioned above) and during this time one thing has become abundantly clear to me – the overwhelming majority of people are not satisfied with their careers.
This blows my mind. Let me break it down. We’re in of one of the biggest talent wars ever – what recruiters call a “candidate’s market.” This means you can write your own ticket. That’s where I come in. I will coach you to take inventory of where you are, to define your dream job (or as I call it, your Career Utopia – the job that makes you really happy) and create a plan to transform this goal into your reality. I don’t mean Utopia as in an unattainable fantasy; however, I find the word, Utopia, will make you think bigger and from a broader perspective, of what makes you happy in all aspects at work.
Preparing for Change
This is not just for the superstars in a rut or the diamonds in the rough; rather, the tools in book Career Smarts, can be applied to any level performer who’s willing to do the work to obtain their utopia. In fact, I find that some of the most critical tactics I’ve used with executives to fix their careers or find their utopia, I’ve also directly applied to beginner level roles with the same stellar results. Therefore whether you’re a receptionist or a CEO, there are tricks and tips from my experience in the trenches that will get you closer to your career utopia.
Maybe you’re looking to completely switch industries, land a hot new job at a competitor or make a lateral move at your existing company. Maybe you’re at the point where you feel you’re at the top of your game and realize “work-life balance” isn’t a dirty word – and that’s your number one priority. Perhaps you feel you’re already at the peak of your success and are looking for a new challenge – well, my advice can help you, too. I’ll push you to dig deeper and to think harder about what you want at this point in your life. After all, the path you’ve chosen might not be the right fit for you today. Because your Utopia can shift. What you wanted when you were a 20 year-old just starting out can be different than what you want as a seasoned executive with a family.
I’d like to empower you with the practical skills and knowledge to get a career that knocks your socks off, what I call Career Smarts. Whether it’s enhancing the career you already have or helping you get a job you actually like. Think this is impossible? Think again. Nothing I’m saying is unrealistic. Yes, you’ll have to do some work, but the result will be well worth it.
Career Smarts will offer you tips, insights and tools to help you achieve, or possibly re-define your Career Utopia. I will attempt to give you some of the scoop in this blog series. I’m not here to discuss the 10,000-foot perspective. I’m here to give you real life examples and practical tips you can take back to your desk Monday morning.
If you’re hoping to evolve your job to a career – then it’s time to put some thought, heart and time into identifying and pursuing your Career Utopia. This could mean owning your own company, running your department from your home office while wearing sweaty workout clothes, switching to a new industry or moving up to a higher role at your current company. The options are endless. I’m not here to tell you what to do. The Utopia is uniquely yours. But, I will help you figure out what you want (and don’t want) and empower you with the confidence to go after it, all guns blazing.
If this scares you, don’t worry! You don’t need to be able to define it right now. Most people can’t. We’re all too busy, too complacent with the status quo, too out of touch with our own wants and dreams or just too scared to change. And sometimes we think we’ve already achieved it all, so we accept our current roles as the best we can do. But if we take the time to reflect, we uncover new ways to expand upon our success and happiness. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
My job is to make things easy for you. To help you overcome your fears and give you the tools to accomplish some big goals. If you put the Career Smarts to use, you can expect to have a true breakthrough, a career epiphany, by the end of Chapter 2 f the book.
Now, now, don’t roll your eyes. Don’t huff in disbelief. And please don’t say this can’t work for you! During my years and years of experience in the talent placement business, I’ve heard every excuse in the book. I’m happy (I think). I like my boss (most of the time). I’m comfortable. I get paid decently. I’m not challenged really, but that’s okay (right?).
For better or worse, most people are content to just skate by. To do what needs to get done and bear the discomfort that comes along with not really loving what you do each day.
But, let me ask you, do you really think it’s okay to feel so disengaged when it comes to how you spend most of your waking hours? Don’t you want to feel energized? Passionate? Excited? If you’re one of the 95% mentioned above, who needs to make changes to maximize your work, life and overall happiness, the information, motivation and guidance in this book can help you gain the courage and confidence to get the career life you want. I live and breathe this stuff and have been dedicating my time to helping people just like you get the career they want. Yes, I’m one of the lucky few that gets to wake up excited about what I do for a living. And I know I can get you there as well. By reading and applying what this book has to offer, you will never be able to just settle again; you will become Career Smart!
Shattering Your Own Misperceptions
If my experience in owning a search firm and working in the staffing industry has taught me anything, it’s this: most of us are limited not by our skill set, not by our experience, not by our educational background. We’re limited by ourselves.
Yes. You are the one holding yourself back – because you’re too focused on your supposed flaws and weaknesses. The things you think you don’t bring to the table. In reality, the only one concentrating on these traits is you.
A few years ago, I was vacationing with my husband and in-laws in Hawaii. We were visiting one of those ultra-fancy resorts where attendants offer you complimentary refreshments (think homemade mango ice pops and cucumber-infused iced water) to stay hydrated. And unbeknownst to us, they also clean your sunglasses. Yes, this is a real thing!
Being that none of us had encountered such a service before, my mother-in-law politely declined when the offer was extended. “Oh no, my glasses are fine. Thank you,” she said. The attendant assured her it was no problem and after a little prodding, she gave in.
Her glasses were cleaned in mere seconds – just a quick spritz with an all natural cleaning product (if memory serves me correctly, it smelled of eucalyptus or maybe lavender) and swipe of a micro fiber cloth. The attendant handed the glasses back and my mother-in-law slipped them on.
And that’s when the magic happened.
“Oh my gosh. What did you just do?” squealed my mother-in-law.
“Pardon me?” replied the attendant.
“Honestly. I thought I had permanent scratches on these sunglasses. But, I can see clear as day right now.”
Yes, what my mother-in-law had assumed were nicks, dings and irreparable marks on her glasses weren’t permanent at all. Furthermore, she was the only one who had even noticed them. We thought her glasses were perfect all along.
And that is the exact moment when I realized I had to write this book.
It became obvious to me that most people I talk to are also (unknowingly) wearing a pair of dirty, smudged glasses, which are holding them back and distorting their views.
Let’s take you, for example. Think about your insecurities that pertain to your resume. Have you trained yourself to think that’s the first thing others notice as well? In most of my interviews, job candidates were quick to point out their personal/work flaws, that my clients would never think of. I had to literally coach the candidates to look at their experience through a different lens that I would be pitching to the client. Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t sell an unqualified candidate, but I do help people get out of their own way to make great job matches. Your boss certainly can’t see any of your perceived shortcomings. And neither can the hiring manager at your dream job. You are the only one viewing yourself from those cloudy lenses and it’s time to give them a proper cleaning so you can break through and shatter your perceived career limitations.
I’m not asking you to put on rose-colored glasses or magnifying lenses that highlight only your most admirable attributes. I’m simply saying it’s time to stop being blocked by your own fears and insecurities – things that no one else is even remotely aware of.
Doesn’t now feel like the right time to look at your career without those perceived notions? To build your story with a fresh perspective. Yes, it does!
And that’s my motivation for writing this book, pure and simple. To help as many people as I can to break through their perceived career limitations and either manage themselves up at the current company into roles that check all the boxes of their Career Utopia- whether you want to look for a new challenge and switch positions, ask for a promotion, figure out a way to work from home one day a week – and thus allow them to rank their career happiness as a 10 out of 10 – or land new jobs at companies that can make it happen.
It’s time to begin the journey to learn the tricks of the trade on becoming Career Smart.. Let’s do this!
Still to come:
Practical Guide to Determining Your Dream Job
Career Reality Checklist
Powerful Tools To Overcoming Personal Fears & Limitations
Breaking Free of Perceptions and Reaching a Career Epiphany
Play by Play to Decision-making to Stay or Go
Step by Step Process on Landing Your Dream Job
Art of Interviewing
Key Secrets to Salary Negotiations
Specifics on Setting Yourself Up for Success
How To Fix The Job You’re In
Positioning Yourself To Get What You Want
The Nitty Gritty on How To Look For Your Dream Job
Effective Management of Work-Life Balance
Know-how to Becoming an A Player
Learnings From the Trenches
Practical Discussions To Have with Your Boss
"Like having a full-time Career Coach in your ear!"
Available now on Amazon:
#OwnYourGrowth - Designing your Personal Campaign for Success
Based on her book, Career Smarts, Aisha draws her 15 years experience running one of the leading executive recruiting firms in Silicon Valley, where she helped thousands of people define and achieve their career goals. In #OwnYourGrowth, a new blog series and keynote, she reveals a treasure trove of insight that goes far beyond standard common-sense how to realize your full potential and be the leader in your career no matter what your title is. Whether you are looking to make a change, expand opportunities, improve your current status or simply determine what your dream job might look like in any industry, this information goes beyond the basics with insider tips, short-cuts, common pitfalls — all from the perspective of the savvy employer. Quaintance offers an invaluable Career Reality Check for people who want more out of their careers, guiding them step-by-step on how to beat the odds and achieve success.
Think this information could be good for your employees to take charge of their growth? To hear Aisha speak and answer questions at a conference or on-site at at your company?
Reach out for a complimentary consultation on which service could be right for you & your company.
Want Personalized Career Coaching? Typically reserved for participants of the Leadership Accelerator Programs but feel free to reach out and let's see if we can make it work.
Email us: LetsChat@Quaintance.co
The Quaintance Consulting Group is a boutique firm specializing in teams development, executive coaching, consulting and leadership training and performance. Run by Aisha Quaintance, an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker and performance coach with expertise in recruiting, leadership, sales, performance and retention.
Aisha's style has been known to be not only motivating but she prides herself of helping people implement effective tools and take away practical solutions through her Team, Growth & Leadership Performance Programs to solve today's business challenges through engagement and performance.
See how we can help you today firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aisha G. Quaintance
CEO, The Quaintance Consulting Group
Teams. Leaders. Missions. Amplified.