Boston, MA (PRWEB) December 22, 2006
For many Americans, finding "better work in the New Year" is high on their list of priorities in 2007. But according to career expert and syndicated advice columnist, J.T. O'Donnell, this goal will elude those who don't know what it really takes to find professional success and satisfaction in the workplace.
Why do so many Americans fail at attempts to find the on-the-job happiness they crave? O'Donnell sums it up: "The rules of work have changed in the last twenty years, yet we continue to use outdated methods for managing our careers, leaving many Americans spinning their professional wheels."
When it comes to career advice, J.T. O'Donnell is an expert on the subject of finding professional success and satisfaction in America. As a career coach to individuals and an HR consultant to businesses, O'Donnell has done extensive career development work with people of all ages, and has even been deemed, "the source of advice for Generation NEXT." She is the founder of two successful career coaching sites, BlueKilowatt.com and CareerJuice.com, author of the book, Find Your Career Path: A Revolutionary Guide To Career Satisfaction, and starting in January 2007, will co-write a nationally syndicated advice column entitled, "J.T. and Dale Talk Jobs".
O'Donnell says anyone looking to improve their career in 2007 must re-evaluate their methods of professional development. "If you do what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always gotten. So, unless you are 100% satisfied with your work, then it's time to re-evaluate your approach." O'Donnell offers Americans five "new" rules for advancing their careers. They are as follows:
1) Give your resume an extreme makeover and make sure it's ALWAYS available to send at a moment's notice. "A resume is a calling card. It gives an instant impression to a reader regarding your employment eligibility. Even if you are happy at your current job, you should have your resume ready. You never know when your situation will change, or even when you might hear about a hot job opportunity. If you can't send your resume by e-mail on the same day, you'll most likely lose out." How should a resume look today? O'Donnell says resumes should never be more than one-page, summarizing effectively a person's years of experience and transferable skills in a way that gets a hiring manager's attention. For example, O'Donnell says get rid of the "Objective Statement," at the top. "It's a waste of words. Instead, put an "Experience Summary" in its place, highlighting your professional strengths." Finally, O'Donnell says when it comes to writing a resume, stick to the facts. "Get rid of lengthy descriptions of your responsibilities and flowery verbiage about your contributions. Keep it to the specifics of your accomplishments. List the number of people who reported to you, the dollar amount you grew your territory, or the percentage you improved efficiency. These numbers will speak for themselves."
2) Create, clarify, and promote your Career Story. Like it or not, O'Donnell says if you want a new job, or to move up at your current company, you'll need to 'sell' your services to those who can make things happen on your behalf. To set themselves apart, O'Donnell says individuals need to assess their professional identity and be capable of articulating it effectively. "A Career Story is short, compelling summary of who you are and what you want out of your next job. It should highlight which professional strengths from your work history you wish to leverage and what you want to accomplish for your next employer." O'Donnell says a smart Career Story confirms a candidate knows exactly how they'll contribute effectively to an organization.
3) E³ - W = R²; O'Donnell says demonstrating 'efficiency' 'effectiveness' and 'expertise' without acting like a 'work-o-holic' is what it takes to get 'respect' and 'recognition' in today's workforce. "Executives are looking for individuals who can exemplify work-life balance on a daily basis. Employees who can show how to be a key player in an organization, while still maintaining their health and life outside the office, will rise above and be given choice opportunities." O'Donnell says individuals who 'live to work' and let the other areas of their life suffer for the sake of their careers are no longer seen as smart, but rather, desperately out of touch with what's important.
4) Understand and accept that you are only worth what you can offer today. O'Donnell says Americans can no longer assume that what they are earning today will be what they'll earn in the future. "Employees, regardless of their age, must focus on growing their skills and making sure they gain experience that is in demand in the marketplace. Becoming complacent on a job and just collecting a paycheck because it allows you to maintain your lifestyle is a hazardous game of laziness," comments O'Donnell. To avoid being displaced and struggling to find another job, O'Donnell says a proactive effort to grow professionally at all times must be maintained. How does she suggest employees stay motivated to grow? "Find your passion for work and identify your natural talents, then use them in concert to create a desire to learn."
5) Play the game of six degrees of separation. O'Donnell says this much talked about theory of human connectivity works for career too. "Every person's next job opportunity is only six contacts away. Networking is making a huge comeback." O'Donnell says while you can use the web to improve 'what' you know about potential employers, given the overwhelming number of applications HR departments get via the internet today, it turns out that 'who' you know is the best way to get your resume at the top of the pile for consideration. "Technology can't compare to a live person making a recommendation on your behalf. If there is a company you want to work for, or a position in your own company you want to land, it's time to start connecting with people and using your Career Story to get you to the decision maker."
Who should pay special attention to the new rules of career development? O'Donnell says everyone needs to learn them, "Regardless of where you are in your career, one thing is certain, if you want to get ahead and be happy on-the-job, you need to utilize methods that will give you the right results." O'Donnell also offers a word of caution to all Americans who want to find greater professional happiness in 2007: before you use any of the new rules of career development, make sure you are starting with a realistic goal and a positive definition of career success. "These rules only work for people who are pursuing their own career goals, not those set by society or their parents. You can only succeed if you have an authentic definition of success and are pursuing it sincerely." In short, O'Donnell says true career satisfaction comes from choosing a career path that provides a sense of accomplishment and joy from the work, not the rewards.
O'Donnell is available by phone and in-person for interviews and speaking engagements. She can be reached toll-free at (877)588-5455. More information regarding her professional background, coaching methodologies, and her career coaching products and services can be found at BlueKilowatt.com. Her latest site, CareerJuice.com, provides resources and services specifically tailored for college students and first-time professionals (a.k.a. Generation NEXT). In January, she will co-author, "J.T. and Dale Talk Jobs," a nationally syndicated advice column. Sponsored by Kings Features, a subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation, the column will run weekly in more than 130 newspapers in the US.