You've got to know when to walk away...from cards or a bad job / boss / whatever

This little tune might not be quite to your taste but I find that I am actually boping along, typing in tune with Kenny Rogers as he sings about The Gambler.

These  famous lyrics about knowing when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and when to run have been sung many a time by people about their careers.

Quite often in the relief of the decision that sometimes you do need to call it quits and it's time to walk away (or run!)

If you're in a bad situation at work there are many things you can try. Work on your communication with your boss. Transfer to another department. Talk to someone for some help. Consult with your mentor. Learn new skills. Network for ideas.

But sometimes you need to walk away.

The skill is knowing when to move on.

The art is knowing when to do it.

The magic is in developing alternatives and options before you need them.

And having a little tune to sing when you're walking away with a spring in your step.

Anyone got any other good walk away songs?

Let's chat...
- Karen

Recognize the Signs of Change at Work

The ability to know when it's time to move on is a skill all of it's own.

Circumstances change and it's important to make sure your radar is on so that you notice when things are happening.

Change can mean there are significant opportunities to look out for - like new jobs or projects that you want to be part of.

Or change can mean restructuring, downsizing or a new boss - any of which can require you to put your career 'Plan B' into action.

 Network. Think about what you see and hear. Observe the behaviors of senior management.

Don't become preoccupied - but keep on the lookout for when there is change ahead.

Have you observed change in advance at work? And what did you do about it?

Let's chat...
- Karen

The Silver Lining Of Business Travel

For me the silver lining of business travel is the shops at the airport. The enforced time waiting for a flight can be pleasurably spent picking up a gift, browsing the bookstore or hunting down the best airport coffee (it is possible with a little work !)

Imagine my disdain this morning when I arrived at Sydney airport this morning with plenty of time to spare only to find my favorite coffee place closed and a good portion of the shops hidden behind builders sheeting with signs saying "Thank you for your patience"

Not happy and not feeling very patient! My silver lining had been pulled out from under me!!

But all was not lost. A quick hunt for an alternate caffine supplier and upon further review I found the big sign saying "Victoria's Secret Opening Here soon".

Happy Days.

Patience restored!

Now If the airline would just extend the amount of time that you need to be at the airport before a flight ....

Have you found a silver lining today? Take a closer look and let's chat!!


PS this is my first "mobile" real time blog - let me know what you think!

A sign that it's time to move on (thanks for a great quote Ellen)

Sometimes you just know when it's time to move on to a new job / role / company.

Even when it's tough though - keep breathing!

- Karen

7 Tips to keep smiling whilst you look for a job

Looking for a job can be a demotivating experience - frustration when you don't get responses to your applications, angst about 'finding the right thing' and concern for your future. And that's even when you still have a job you want to move on from!

Add to this the extra stress and worry if you aren't working and the whole thing can be quite challenging to stay smiling and upbeat through the process.

And it can be lonely without people with a common interest to talk to throughout the day, bounce your ideas off or even be able to express your frustrations or share your experiences with.

It can take a lot of optimism and positive thinking to keep smiling whilst you are looking for a job.

Yet staying positive, focused and proactive is essential to find opportunities and then be able to put your best foot forward.

A planned approach to your time and activities can make a big difference to the experience you have whilst you are looking for work. Here's 7 Tips to help keep you positive, focused and on the right track.

1. Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Out - it's not hard to fall into the habit of hanging out in your pajamas for a few extra hours in the morning, sneaking in a quick game (Tetris, Angry Birds anyone?) and the day slipping away from you. Not only do you lose valuable job search time - it can become really demotivating and energy sapping.

This can take a bit of planning but make sure you have somewhere you need to be every day.

Some ideas include:

  • Book in networking catch ups - they are part of the job search process anyway.
  • Attend networking or other events in your industry or area of interest.
  • Sign up for a course to develop or improve a skill set (you'll learn something and have people to talk to!)
  • Have a coffee date with a friend, mentor or someone in your network
When you have somewhere you have to be it keeps you in a 'working' routine and gives your day purpose. Not to mention you are much more likely to uncover job opportunities when you are about out and about talking to people than when you are sitting at home.

2. Do what you'd regret you didn't do if you had the time. What I mean by that is - Imagine that you have your shiny new job and you're happily heading off to work. You think to yourself, "If only I'd known that I would get this great role, I would have used some of the time I wasn't working to ......"  Whatever .... is for you - go to the gym, take up photography, cook more, go and see your Mum, reorganize your closet - whatever it is - work out how to work it into your routine.  

Work on the basis that you are going to be successful in your job search. Give yourself permission to spend time on what you want.

3. Approach your job search like you would your work. Use the skills that you are good at in a job to use in finding your next role. Whether it's 'to-do' lists, mind maps, project plans - however you do your best work - use these to look for a job. When you can get into the zone where you excel at what you do - you will be much more productive than if you try and approach it in a way that is different from your usual working style. 

4. Set Milestones to achieve your plan. Know what you want to achieve in a day, do it, tick it off and be satisfied that you are working towards your goal. If your only measure of success is getting a job - the process is not going to be much fun along the way. Have your own personal reward and recognition program and acknowledge when you've reached goals or achieved what you set out to on a daily or weekly basis.

5. Do a task and move on. If you have a planned set of activities - review job boards, check LinkedIn, search Twitter, look at some preferred employer websites for opportunities - do them and move on. Doing extra searches or obsessing on a particular website is not going to make opportunities that aren't there appear. 

6. Work work hours. When you conduct your job search efficiently and with a plan - you don't have to be preoccupied every hour of every day with looking for a job. Take time off and pace yourself. You don't want to get a new job and be so exhausted by the process of finding it that you can't be your best when you start.

7. Talk about what you are doing. Looking for a job is nothing to be ashamed about. Talk to your family/whoever you live with/or would talk about work with - about who you are meeting with, talking to, how many calls you have made - whatever it is you are doing. Let them know your routine and how you are approaching your job or looking for a job. 

This can help others understand your job of looking for a job and that your time to do this is valuable. It can also help avoid falling into the trap of being asked to pick up the dry cleaning / get the car serviced / buy the groceries just because you don't have somewhere you have to be (implement Tip 1 and you will have somewhere you have to be!) - as these tasks can really eat into your time. Be proud of what you are doing!

Have you got any tips that you've used when looking for a job? Let's chat!


When you need to ask for something at work...






We all need to ask for all of these things at work at some time.

This is not a weakness - often those that achieve the greatest success have asked for help along the way.

When  you do - the rules of simplicity and clarity apply.

Don't talk around what you want.

Don't use filler words to dilute your message.

Don't hope that the other person will figure out what you want.

Know what you want and be clear that what you want is what you ask for.

Have you been more successful by being clearer in your communication?

Let's chat...
- Karen

A philosophical approach to change...

I can't control other people, governments or companies.

I can't control how people receive what I say.

But I can say what I say in a way that maximizes the chance that what is heard is what I mean.

Which is why I used this quote as the introduction to the chapter "Choose Your Words" in my book, "Hot Tips For Career Chicks" - as I think a little bit of change / compromise / thinking about your environment or audience is worth it if it helps make communication more effective.

And the only thing I can change is me.

Let's chat...
- Karen