Career success starts with YOU! Take charge! Get out of the hot seat! Make it happen!

The YOU Plan: Career Intrinsics – What You Bring to the Table

In my previous post I wrote about the importance of introspection in the career planning process. I laid out a model for taking personal accountability (VIPER) and then focused on how starting out with your values (the “V” in VIPER) can play a role in the career choices you make. The next step in the introspective process is examining your intrinsics (the “I” in VIPER).

I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to accomplish in the marketplace.  

In my newly released book, The YOU Plan, I describe intrinsics in the following way:

“Think of your intrinsics as a deck of cards. All of our lives are shuffled differently, which means our cards are all spread across our life decks in very different ways. Some of your cards are close to the top and readily accessible whereas others are buried somewhere near the bottom and haven’t been played in a while.”

In other words, your intrinsics are that which you have within you that can be leveraged for value by potential customers, partners, or employers. For the sake of simplicity, I have broken intrinsics down into six factors. I believe these six factors impact the pace of your career development, thus I refer to them as your career PACERS.

  • Personality
  • Affiliations
  • Contributions
  • Experiences
  • Relationships
  • Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities (KSAs)

Career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it. Your intrinsics are what you arrived on this planet with and everything you have gained since.

Consider the first PACERS for example, your personality. Personality is a critical part of who you are and how you operate. Think of personality as your natural disposition or tendency to want to express yourself in a certain way. Because this is such a part of who you are, you must understand how to harness this element of your intrinsics for positive gain in the career search.

Before you can successfully get out of the career hot seat and back on the market, you must have a good handle on what you bring to the table! Knowing your intrinsics is the first step.     

In the next blog I will begin to address each of the career PACERS in more depth, so stay tuned!

Cheers,

To find out more about my new book, check out The YOU Plan on amazon.com 

The YOU Plan: Values and Your Career Search

As I mentioned in my first blog post, any good career plan starts with introspection. You have to know yourself, before you can effectively pick a direction, market yourself, and get back on track. As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am a big believer in introspection as a starting point. All too often, I come across transitioning professionals who have jumped out ahead of themselves only to outrun their coverage. If you want to stand out from the herd, you are going to have to be thoughtful and deliberate in your actions. This requires knowing yourself first.

When it comes to knowing yourself, you have to start with values. The values you espouse are vital to the choices you make and ultimately dictate the way you live. Values can be thought of as the principals you hold near and dear. Your values are the code you live by. They are the rules you follow and the ethics you adhere to when dealing with others.    

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book The YOU Plan:

“Who you are drives how you work, play, live, and ultimately shine. Your experiences, upbringing, and culture have acted to shape the person you have become and the values you espouse. The values you espouse ultimately influence the decisions you make and the path you choose to follow. Your values are the lens you view the world through… There is no doubt that our personal values play a critical role in the choices we make and the careers we pursue. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that most of us can’t articulate our values. Often this leads us to making bad decisions. These bad decisions tend to land us on career paths that aren’t truly fulfilling and sometimes, even toxic.”

Using Values to Reset

When resetting your career focus and re-engaging in your career journey, you have to be mindful of how your values play into your decisions. Every organization has its own unique culture driven by a set of core values. It’s up to you to understand what these values are and determine how well they match with yours. However, before you can do this you must be sure to have a good handle on your values. 

Values Checklists

So, how do you assess your values? Doing a quick web search for values checklists will provide a lot of results. For a quick values checklist you can try out the career-test on-line values assessment.

The key to using any adjective checklist effectively is taking the time to narrow down your values to your top five. This is a much tougher challenge than it seems because it requires making tough choices. Whenever I have taken groups through values exercises they always struggle with this, so take your time.  

Regardless of the checklist you use, you really need to ask yourself if the values you chose are really yours. A good way to test whether or not you truly value something is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you willing to fight for it?
  • Are you willing to sacrifice for it?
  • Are you willing to pay for?

 

Any good career plan starts with introspection. A critical component to the introspective process is assessing values. Keep in mind, values are a major driver in decision making. We are in uncertain times and successfully navigating the New Economy will require using your values as a compass. When it comes to stepping back and creating a YOU Plan, be sure to start with assessing your values.

Good luck,

To learn more about my new book check it out on amazon: The YOU Plan

Career Hunting in the New Economy: Time for a YOU Plan

The Great Recession has fundamentally changed the employment landscape in this country. The old rules no longer apply. I believe we are entering into an age of career entrepreneurialism, an age where careers aren’t pursued they are created.

Career success in the New Economy is going to require personal accountability and proactive planning. The 9.5% rate of national unemployment is unchanged from this time a year ago. To make matters worse, there are nearly 7 million American workers who have been out of work for longer than 6 months. This is substantially higher than at any point during the recession. So, whether you are a battle-tested workforce veteran or graduating college senior, you are going to have to start thinking differently. The number of defined job slots available continues to dwindle, which means that you are going to have to start getting more creative and ultimately more competitive.

Yes, you are going to have to start thinking like an entrepreneur. In one way, shape, or form, every entrepreneur has their own YOU Plan and so should you.

Creating a YOU Plan

As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am firmly against the notion of one-size-fits-all. I believe that we all have our own unique assets and it’s up to each of us to tap into them.

Creating a YOU Plan is about asking yourself serious questions and making tough choices. Developing your own plan starts with taking stock of who you are and the assets you have at your disposal. Although this sounds simple, it’s not. Both transitioning professionals and students alike tend to struggle with this. Once you have a solid handle of yourself, then it’s time to put together a brand package and get in the game.

Start with Your VIPs

When I talk about understanding who you are and the assets you have, I am really talking about three things: Values, Intrinsics, and Passions. Before you can make a series push to get out there and make your next career move, you need to have a firm handle on your Values, Intrinsics, and Passions or what I like to refer to as your VIPs. Just about everyone I meet and work with believes they have a good handle on their VIPs until I push them to seriously answer three questions:

• What are my Values?
• What are my Intrinsics?
• What are my Passions?

Your VIPs are important because they represent the essence of who you are and what you are capable of. Before you can create a brand package and get out there on the market, you must know what you bring to the table. Consider the fact that:

• Your values are what drive your decision making, they are your compass
• Your intrinsics are what you bring to the table, they are your value proposition
• Your passions are what generate your energy and enthusiasm, they are what people see

Package Your Essence

If you can answer the three VIP questions, you’ve answered the larger question of what you are about. The next step is to create a brand package.

Personal branding is about taking the essence of who you are and packaging it in a way that makes sense to potential employers and consumers. Getting your message across will require simple yet high impact sound bites. When developing your brand message make sure you:

• Establish your credibility
• Demonstrate your value
• Show that you stand out

Draw a Roadmap

At the end of the day this is all academic if you don’t have a roadmap. As a job seeker back on the market, you are now in sales for you. Creating a roadmap is about setting goals, establishing metrics, and taking deliberate action. You should have a clear set of activities with daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Even simple things like the number of networking events you’ll attend or the old contacts you’ll reach out to can be a great start.

Creating a YOU plan isn’t easy and it shouldn’t be. However, it is a critical first step in creating a successful career. Keep in mind, would a coach field a team on game day without a game plan? Would an airline pilot take off with a plane full of passengers and no flight plan? Would a general take to the battlefield without a strategy?

Thanks and good luck!

Dr. Woody
Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified professional coach who holds a PhD in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of the new book The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy.

Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Intrinsics – Why Personality Matters

One of the commonly missed steps in the career re-engagement process is introspection. I’m a firm believer in the power of stepping back to gain perspective on where you are presently, where you are actually going, and where you really want to go. As part of this introspective process I firmly believe you need to take stock in what you bring to the table. In other words, you have to get to know your intrinsics.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to bring to bear in our career endeavors.

In my last blog post I also outlined the six elements that make-up what I refer to as your career intrinsics. I call these six elements your career pacers: Personality, affiliations, contributions, experience, relationships, and SKAs.

In this post I’m going to focus on personality.

Although there are many influences on human behavior, I believe that personality is one of the most significant. Other influences include experience, culture, upbringing, education, religion, social norms, expectations, and trauma. The reason I believe personality is so critical is that your personality is really responsible for driving how you respond to those other influences. It shapes how you act and interact within your environment.

Personality is really about your natural inclinations. We all have natural leanings and comfort zones. Quite simply, you have certain actions and activities that you tend to be comfortable performing. Having a good sense of what these are is critical to your success. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a position that requires you to spend most of your time operating outside of your comfort zone. When you are in your element, you are going to be at your best.

In my upcoming book, The YOU Plan, I talk about the role of personality in my work as an executive coach:

“Whether I’m working with corporate executives or personal clients, I always begin by assessing their personality and natural strengths. I’m certainly not unique in this approach. The study of personality and its application to the world of work has enjoyed a substantial resurgence, with many theories and approaches. What’s important is this: Personality does matter.”

When it comes to assessing personality, there are literally thousands of personality assessments on the market. The unfortunate reality is that the majority of these assessments likely provide as much intellectual insight as reading your daily horoscope or taking the latest quiz in Cosmopolitan magazine. So, when looking for a good assessment, consider the source. Simple on-line assessments can sometimes do more harm then good.

One of the most well researched models of personality is the Big Five. The Big Five consists of five high-level factors that can be remembered as OCEAN: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion/introversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism or emotional stability. The model states that we all have varying levels of each factor that operate together to create our individual personalities. The model has gained such wide acceptance that even the psychologists at e-Harmony use it as part of the matching system. Thus, when looking for simple personality assessments, keep the big five in mind.

For more information on the Big Five and one of the more popular Big Five assessments see: http://www3.parinc.com/products/product.aspx?Productid=NEO_FFI

Some other well-known models include:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: https://www.cpp.com/products/mbti/index.aspx

The DISC assessment: http://www.thomasinternational.net/1/Resources/DISCAssessmentTheory/tabid/4012/Default.aspx

Both have enjoyed a tremendous amount of popularity and use in the business world.

The bottom line is that career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it. Really knowing your personality is a good start.

Over the next couple of weeks I will address each of the other career PACERS in more depth, so stay tuned!

Cheers,

Dr. Woody

To find out more about Dr Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, check out www.TheYouPlan.com

Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Start with Values

As I mentioned in my last blog post, any good career plan starts with introspection. You have to know yourself, before you can effectively pick a direction, market yourself, and get back on track. As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am a big believer in introspection as a starting point. All too often, I come across transitioning professionals who have jumped out ahead of themselves only to outrun their coverage. If you want to stand out from the herd, you are going to have to be thoughtful and deliberate in your actions. This requires knowing yourself first.

When it comes to knowing yourself, you have to start with values. The values you espouse are vital to the choices you make and ultimately dictate the way you live. Values can be thought of as the principals you hold near and dear. Your values are the code you live by. They are the rules you follow and the ethics you adhere to when dealing with others.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book The YOU Plan:

“Who you are drives how you work, play, live, and ultimately shine. Your experiences, upbringing, and culture have acted to shape the person you have become and the values you espouse. The values you espouse ultimately influence the decisions you make and the path you choose to follow. Your values are the lens you view the world through… There is no doubt that our personal values play a critical role in the choices we make and the careers we pursue. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that most of us can’t articulate our values. Often this leads us to making bad decisions. These bad decisions tend to land us on career paths that aren’t truly fulfilling and sometimes, even toxic.”

When resetting your career focus and re-engaging in your career journey, you have to be mindful of how your values play into your decisions. Every organization has its own unique culture driven by a set of core values. It’s up to you to understand what these values are and determine how well they match with yours. However, before you can do this you must be sure to have a good handle on your values.

So, how do you assess your values? Doing a quick web search for values checklists will provide a lot of results. The following are some on-line values assessments:

http://www.career-test.biz/values_assessment.htm

http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/Career-Assessment/Work-Values-Check-List/article.aspx

The key to using any adjective checklist effectively is taking the time to narrow down your values to your top five. This is a much tougher challenge than it seems because it requires making tough choices. Whenever I have taken groups through values exercises they always struggle with this, so take your time.

Regardless of the checklist you use, you really need to ask yourself if the values you chose are really yours. A good way to test whether or not you truly value something is to ask yourself the following questions:

• Are you willing to fight for it?
• Are you willing to sacrifice for it?
• Are you willing to pay for?

Any good career plan starts with introspection. A critical component to the introspective process is assessing values. Keep in mind, values are a major driver in decision making. We are in uncertain times and successfully navigating these times will require using your values as a compass. When it comes to stepping back and creating a YOU Plan, be sure to start with assessing your values.

Good luck,

Dr. Woody

To learn more about Dr. Woody’s upcoming book, The YOU Plan, go to www.TheYouPlan.com

Hi, I'm Dr. Woody and welcome to DrWoody.com! Let's face it, most of us spend most of our waking hours working, yet most of psychology is focused on issues outside of the workplace! My goal is to help you find new and innovative ways to make the work-life experience better, so that you can create a healthier more balanced life! My focus is to help you:

  • Develop your own YOU Plan
  • Create your own opportunities
  • Make better career decisions
  • Be a better colleague and boss
At the end of the day, if you want to make a change you are going to have to put yourself in the "Hot Seat" and ask yourself some tough questions!

The fact is it's no longer about chasing opportunities, it's about creating opportunities! Once you've decided to put yourself in the "Hot Seat" my job is to help get you back out and headed in the right direction!

Good luck,
Dr. Woody