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FINDING YOUR PASSION IN WORK


Our CEO, Danielle Dayries, is a featured columnist for #primewomensmagazine where she provides exposés on empowering women in their career transition and development. The most recent article published by @primewomen gives advice on finding your passion in work.

Have you found yourself lately asking yourself these questions? “What should I do with my life?” “What is my passion?” or “What is my life purpose?” These are universal questions for everyone, but women in their absolute prime may find these questions start to speak a little louder than they did before.

Most of the professionals I coach are over 50 and either by their own choice or due to their current employer’s reorganization or reduction in force, are now able to give those questions the thought they deserve. Regardless of the reason these questions pop up, the end goal is the same – living a life of purpose, on purpose.

See these 3 tips for how to honestly answer those questions about finding your passion and then turn the answers into a plan of action for success and happiness in your next venture:

1. Understand that passion is the result of action, not the cause of it.

The prevailing myth of passion suggests that it arrives in some divine, magical burst of inspiration, but in reality, passion is uncovered through action, exploration, and work.Passion is something we actively discover and involves being proactive. I like proactive plans as they actually put you in the driver’s seat versus your career being one of fate or happenstance. When I coach professionals that are making a career transition, I often discover that they feel like they do not have any other career options. But this is often because they have not given themselves permission to seek career happiness. The first phase of exploration involves taking stock of your core values and starting to explore career options that align with your unique core values. And options are a good thing!

To narrow down the focus further, the next action item entails meeting people in those occupations and asking questions you can’t ask in an interview such as what is the demand for the role, what is an actual day look like, what salary should you expect to what are the stressor’s and the rewards of this role? By taking this action and learning more, you can weed in and weed out options. Remember, passion and purpose are discovered by doing!

2. Put on your Dana Scully, Nancy Drew or Olivia Benson detective hat!

Once you have decided that finding a career that brings you happiness is a real viable option, it’s time to put on the hat of a detective and look for evidence of what you already love to do. Scan your lifetime of experiences to search for clues you have left behind in the form of memories when you found joy while performing an activity, paid or unpaid. When did you feel like you were doing something with your time that was important? When do you find ‘flow’ or things come easily to you? What are your greatest contributions that you are truly proud of? The answers to these questions are the clues necessary to narrow down your options and determine your focus and purpose. This purpose will inform your life decisions from what types of jobs or companies you decide to target, who you connect with, what skills you decide to market and how you define success.

3. Follow your Inner GPS.

You have your own internal GPS system – yes, you! And not one that just gives great directions to the next meeting, but one that tells you how to get from your current career (Point A) to the next great thing (Point B). This internal GPS system tells you when you are off course by the amount of joy you are experiencing. For a GPS system to work, it simply needs to know your beginning location and end destination. When you view the clues that unsurface as you start to pay attention to those peak moments in your life and match your core values with career options, the destination will become clear. By knowing and locking in the end destination, your internal GPS can now begin to plot the perfect course.

What matters most is to find something that will become a central focus of your life; something that makes your heart sing. Once you are doing this one thing, nothing else will matter.

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” -Gloria Steinem

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With a track record of clients landing roles quicker after working with us on their resume, DMD & Associates, Inc. offers resumes that get past Applicant Tracking Software and into the eyes of hiring managers! Call us today – (866) 296-8593

3 Steps to Showcase Your Soft Skills and Land the Job

Our CEO and founder is frequently requested to draft articles for professionals experiencing a career transition. Enjoy this article as published in PrimeWomen.

In a report from the Age Smart Employer Award program, a project of Columbia University’s Columbia Aging Center at the Mailman School of Public Health, companies are now realizing that by hiring, retaining and using older workers strategically, they can solve a variety of pressing problems business owners face. The traits most valued for employers are soft skills like the ability to be innovativeflexible, and creative.

What are employers really looking for?

For this article, we will focus on showcasing your ‘innovative abilities,’ as this is one of the soft skills currently most in-demand by employers. This trait typically unveils itself only after comes with years of experience and wisdom. By focusing on this skill, you stand out from the competition who has not yet acquired this desirable ability.

Specifically, innovative skills are those that help you generate and implement new ideas or ways of doing things. You might think of it as the ability to find ways of improving processes, products or customer experience to impact efficiencies or effectiveness – and ultimately the bottom line.

How do I demonstrate that I am innovative?

Step 1:

Prepare the best example you can think of using the STAR Method outlined below that demonstrates that you are innovative. Employers are seeking candidates that can adapt to changing conditions and help improve the quality of the workflow. By focusing on this trait, you bring the point of attention to you as the best employee for the job!

The goal here is to provide evidence of your accomplishments that are unique to you and only you! To aid you in finding this evidence in your work history, we are including a formula below that draws upon your experiences:

Utilize the STAR method to formulate a strong answer. STAR is an acronym:

  • ST– specific situation, task or problem
  • A– actions completed to resolve the issue
  • R– results that describe how the situation went from negative to positive and the impact (quantify with # or % when possible)

Remember, innovative behavior describes all activities that belong to generating, evaluating, realizing and implementing of new ideas.

Here are some thought starters to tap into when creating STARs that showcase your accomplishments resulting from your ability to be innovative:

  • Provide an example of when you were persistent and it paid off.
  • When were you open to a change and what occurred because you were flexible?
  • Do you have a visionary view on challenges and solutions? If so, provide an example of this using the STAR method.
  • When did you perform an independent search for information, resources and support to get the job done?
  • Are you known for being proactive in the pursuit of ideas?
  • Are you efficient and effective? Can you quantify what impact this has had on your role, department and/or the company?
  • Did you ever play a role and/or were you solely responsible for creating and using new paths to reach the company’s goals?
  • Tell the reader about a time when you had to locate and use new resource to complete a project. This can be a tool, instrument, staff, software, etc…

Step 2:

Take the STARs you just created by answering the questions above and boil them down into bullet points. Include these in your resume and LinkedIn profile, and include them in your elevator speech when networking.   

Step 3:

Use these STARs when interviewing to provide evidence and facts that demonstrate you are the best candidate for the role. Evidence is hard to dispute and is unique to you and only you. Employers know that personal traits cannot be trained, so by emphasizing this strength, you are persuading hiring authorities that age is nothing but a number and you have the trait they desire!

All innovative activity of a company can be traced back to only one thing – the behavior of employees. Therefore, by clearly providing evidence of your previous innovative behaviors and successes via the STARs above, you are aligning your background with their exact needs. When this match is made, the decision is easy – you are the person for the job!

 

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