Quitter to Winner

Monday, October 4, 2010

Part One INTERVIEW: anti-resume career consultant Angela Lussier

Angela Lussier is an award-winning speaker, author of the Seth Godin recommended book The Anti-Resume Revolution and chief creative career consultant/owner of 365 Degrees Consulting in Springfield, MA. Her advice can be found on Yahoo!, NBC, ABC, The Ladders, and in many career and business books. Speaking engagements and clients include TEDx, Boeing, MassMutual, Comcast, UMass, Westfield State University, and many others.

Below is part one of Angela's two-part interview about discovering the right career path.

Before we start, quickly explain your anti-resume theory.

The term “anti-resume” means being unique in the way you approach your job search. Rather than relying on one document to determine your future, you create strategic relationships, build a brand for yourself, craft a vision with achievable goals, and do it all in a way that feels right for you. The anti-resume mindset is all about saying no to the old template of following a linear path and creating a future you want, based on who you are and where you are going.

Many of my readers comment/tweet about not wanting, but needing a career change. Is this a signal to make a move fast, or simply time for a vacation? (Or both?)

It definitely varies. I have come across many people who like their job, but don’t like their boss. Others love the mission of the company, but don’t feel respected or appreciated. Some are in the right position, but in the wrong industry. To give an umbrella answer to this question that applies differently for everyone, I would say to first diagnose the main problem that is causing the unhappiness. Underpaid? Too many hours? Long commute? Angry co-workers? Whatever the main problem is, can it be addressed without leaving the job and simply coming up with creative solutions? If not, then now is the time to look at what job responsibilities/fields/locations would be best for what is most important to you.

While some may dislike their job, quitting may not be an option for various reasons. What advice do you have for someone in such a bind?

Assign a fixed number of hours each week to be spent on career exploration. For example, dedicate five hours per week to exploring other career options. This could include setting up informational interviews, taking a class, reading books about career options, meeting with a career or life coach, going to events & seminars, or other methods of research. If you are actively learning about what else is out there while building relationships and keeping track of what you are encountering, it will make each hour of work you do at the job you don’t like much more bearable. It’s about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by finding the opportunities you might miss if you don’t go and look for them.

“Working for yourself” might sound great when you’re burned out, or can’t stand your boss. How do you help someone figure out if entrepreneurship really is the right next step?

Do it while you’re still employed. This answer is similar to the last one. Dedicate a fixed number of hours per week to building your business. If you straight out quit your job and rely on your income from a new business, you may want to kiss your home, and car, and food, goodbye. First year earnings for a new business are typically low and probably won’t match whatever your cushy full-time job was offering. Instead of creating a panic situation for yourself, see if you can cut back on your hours or get more flexible hours so you can start to build your business while employed. If that’s not an option, try to work in key networking events and meetings during your lunch hour or before your day starts. It will be tricky to schedule everything in the beginning. However you’ll get an idea of whether or not there is a market. You’ll also learn how much you actually enjoy the service or craft you are thinking about going into (before giving up what you already have).

What can someone who’s never worked with a career/life coach expect?

Clarity, a renewed sense of enthusiasm, attainable goals, new ideas, creative solutions, a partner in crime, to name a few! Clients have come to me to figure out their brand, come up with ideas for jobs they would be good at, creative marketing ideas to stand out from their competition, or simply to talk about the rejection they have been facing and how to turn it into a learning experience. It is different for everyone, but I’d say the main service we offer is to keep our clients moving in the right direction, while remaining cognizant of their passion, fear, and concerns.

Be sure to check out Angela's free resources for job seekers.

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