Finding More Than Just A Paycheck


By Jessica Weatherford

Paycheck

3 years ago my husband came home every day tired and scowling.  It wasn’t that his job was physically taxing or that the people around him made his day miserable.  He came home every day knowing that he was working in a great office, with a nice salary and that his work left him completely unsatisfied.  The scowl he wore is the expression of someone who just traded a week of his life for a paycheck and nothing more.

I had begun my own life transition at the time.  I had taken a sabbatical from my position as CFO and owner of a mid-size construction firm to finish two master’s degrees and determine how I could live a life that included a greater amount of purpose and satisfaction.  As CFO I loved keeping the organizational scorecard, but what truly got me out of bed every day was the opportunity to develop powerful teams and processes, something that I didn’t get nearly enough of.

Even then my husband and I shared a desire for a remarkable life.  A life that is full of effort, purpose, positive influence and joy.  But most of our time was spent on work that wasn’t satisfying at all, something was seriously wrong.

We had an epiphany, yet one that took over a year to truly coalesce.  Life and work are more than just a paycheck.  We both finished our master’s degrees in organizational development and recognized what we had been missing.  After much experiential and academic research, we understood that a satisfying life as an employee and high organizational profitability are not mutually exclusive, they actually work together in an upward spiral.  We found when you combine:

Individuals willing to identify their life’s purpose and offer their best effort

with

Organizations with their own clear purpose, robust communication, employee development and powerful performance management

you get…

Remarkable lives and remarkable business success.

We were most definitely aided in this revelation by trailblazing writers and researchers such as Peter Drucker, Nilofer Merchant, Daniel Pink and Daniel Goleman.  But for us, it was revelatory because of the simple fact that everywhere we looked, people and companies were trading their precious time for paychecks and nothing more.  This unremarkable exchange leads to dissatisfying lives and corporate mediocrity.

We recognized our purpose was to help individuals and organizations change this exchange from “meh” to “remarkable”.  We also recognized the need to help both individuals and organizations adapt to this new era of greater turbulence, fast-paced change and increased purpose.

We founded Marble Arch officially in January of 2012.  We decided to focus our work with organizations, knowing it was where we could make the greatest impact.  We have since worked with many executive teams to develop the structures, cultures and behaviors that dramatically increase employee engagement, satisfaction and effort.  We often have the opportunity to closely link individual purpose with organizational purpose, re-igniting a fire that is visible on an employee’s face.  We are very lucky consultants.

I first met Teri, the founder of What’s for Work? at a community event.  She radiated excitement and kindness.  We began chatting and quite quickly recognized how powerful a strategic partnership with What’s for Work? could be.  We love that What’s for Work? is committed to helping its members find the careers that align with their purpose.

I personally have worked one-on-one with What’s for Work? members to help them identify that sometimes elusive concept of purpose, and then supported them in adapting to a life of living that purpose.  It is thrilling work, truly, to watch someone awaken to a much more satisfying way of life.  What’s for Work? is such a unique community in that almost everyone I have encountered refuses to settle for anything less than remarkable.

I encourage What’s for Work? members to focus on three key areas as they work towards a remarkable life:

1. Know yourself.  Know your purpose, what type of work you enjoy the most and what makes you tick.

2. Expand your network.  Personal connections and referrals are exponentially more powerful in opening up opportunities than an online introduction or application.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with one What’s for Work? member who identified a company she wanted to work for.  She applied for a position and didn’t get it, so she networked with a few people within the organization to prepare for the next opening.  When the opportunity came, she jumped and with her new referrals landed the job!

3. Know your stories.  Stories are emotional and build deeper connections than rational dialogue alone.  Telling a compelling story about your greatest professional challenge or success may be just the thing that clinches the interview.

Enjoy the What’s for Work? community, enjoy living a remarkable life.  I absolutely love connecting and answering questions, please e-mail me for either!

Now, ask yourself, “What is my next step?”

About the Author

Jessica Weatherford

Jessica Weatherford is CEO of Marble Arch Consultants, Inc.  She leverages an arsenal of proven tools to help leaders adapt their strategy, culture and structure to meet the needs of the 21st century and achieve organizational excellence.  She also helps individuals and leaders focus their purpose and remove obstacles standing in the way of success.  Everyone receives a complimentary one hour consultation, email now to schedule yours: jessica@marblearchinc.com or connect on Twitter @jvweatherford.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.

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Don’t Succumb to Career-Seeker Frenzy!


by Jessica Weatherford

Confusion

Source: smallbiztrends.com

If you have ever woken up, hunched over your desk with a cold cup of stale coffee next to your elbow and your keyboard imprinted onto your cheek with the most recent jobs posted online still listed on your screen, keep reading.  You are exhibiting signs of Career-Seeker Frenzy, CSF for short.  Other signs of CSF include hourly checking of LinkedIn Groups for newly posted jobs, a feeling of guilt over seeing a movie when you could be on Craigslist and an increasing level of anxiety that you May. Never. Be. Hired. Again.

First, you will be hired.  Your dedication and determination are the very traits your future employer is looking for.   Second, let’s take a step back and recognize that by spiraling into Career-Seeker Frenzy you are:

  • Adding extra anxiety and stress to your life
  • Probably showing up to your interviews with a sheen of sweat that doesn’t exactly exude “confident and ready” and
  • Creating negative-self talk that further erodes your self-esteem

Career-Seeker Frenzy often leads to accepting a job, any job.  You don’t want a job, you want a career, right?  Work that allows you to reach your true potential, make an impact, perform highly and is in alignment with your core values.

The antidote to crippling CSF is taking back control over your career destiny.  By setting the right daily, weekly and monthly goals you will begin to see incremental successes that will reduce stress, increase your self-confidence and begin to open the doors to your future successful career.

Now, we are going to walk through the rules of peak performance goal setting and a goal setting process that has helped me reach any achievement I set out for.

The peak performance goal setting rules are as follows:

  • Goals must be incremental and all supporting larger, ultimate goals.
  • All goals must be SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound)
  • Goals must be written.  People who regularly write their goals have been shown to make up to 9 times as much in a lifetime than those who don’t.
  • Goals must be shared with accountability.  People who share goals with a friend and check in on them regularly increase their success rate by 33%.

Now, use these rules to create your personal peak performance goal plan, as shown below.  As you check off each incremental goal throughout the weeks, your sense of achievement and confidence will increase week by week, which is a much better look than that sheen of anxiety on your brow.

Here is an example of how a person in the throes of Career-Seeker Frenzy can create goals to calm the anxiety and focus their search towards the career they’ve been searching for.

Goal Setting

Source: peerlessgolf.ca

Peak Performance Goal Setting

Ultimate Goal:  Career as an HR Business Partner within a company that aligns with my core values and offers constant career development.

Supporting Goals: 

  • 6 total interviews over the next 3 months
  • 3 of the interviews will be for jobs found through word of mouth or websites
  • 3 of the interviews will be for jobs found through the “Hidden Job Market”, as described by What’s For Work? leader Dennis Thompson.  (The Hidden Job Market are the jobs that need to be filled but either the company hasn’t gotten around to posting yet, or they don’t yet know you exist and that they desperately need you.)
  • Belong to 3 groups that offer networks of people who will support your career.

Incremental Goals:

  • Identify 15 career postings per month to apply for.
  • Spend 5-10 minutes per day, per website reviewing job postings (a total of 30-60 minutes).
  • Identify 10 companies per month which don’t have posted jobs, but you would be interested in working for.

Call each one and ask the HR manager for 5 minutes.  Mention you are interested in leaving a resume with the company for future reference, but want to make sure you would be a right fit.  Ask relevant questions about the company and mention your experience as appropriate.

  • Identify 6 possible career-networking groups to join and try their next meeting out for fit.
  • Create an interesting sentence this week that describes your ideal position and the value you offer.  Memorize.  Tell as many people as possible.

You can see how each level of goals supports the one above it.  The plan needs to be flexible based on the job market, your career development and your weekly goal calibration.  By using this format, I have achieved ultimate goals I never thought possible.

Most importantly, as you check off your weekly and monthly goals don’t forget to celebrate!  We are so quick to mentally admonish ourselves for failing to achieve a goal, but a special cupcake or glass of wine is in order to bask in your incremental achievement.  Take a minute to let your newly increased confidence and control over your career destiny sink in!

About the Author

Jessica Weatherford

Jessica Weatherford is CEO of Marble Arch Consultants, Inc.  She leverages an arsenal of proven tools to remove the conflict causing stress in daily life, then replace it with habits that increase career success and relationship connection.  Everyone gets a no-charge hour of consultation with Jessica and the arsenal.  Email now to schedule yours:  jessica@marblearchinc.com or connect on Twitter @jvweatherford.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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