Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

4 Steps to Recession-Proof Your Career

Given all the doom and gloom news about the U.S. economy, you should take steps to protect your career. Notice I said, protect your "career," not your "job." Your job is always expendable, no matter how hard you work, how good of a job you do, or how nice you are to your boss. Your career is not expendable unless you are in a dying industry like sewing clothing or supporting a dying technology like making library card catalogs.

Protect your career now by taking these 4 steps:

1. Imagine the worst event that could happen to you in your career.
  • You get laid off or fired, or your career path becomes obsolete.
2. List what you could/would do in response to each event. (Besides hurt someone)

A. I would live off my savings and credit cards and I would apply for unemployment.
B. I would look for another job in the same career path.
C. I would change careers or start my own business.

3. Figure out what, if anything, you need to do to make each response possible, and DO IT.

A. To prepare financially, right now I need to:
  • spend less and save more money so I have more savings in case my job/career search takes awhile.
  • research the availability of short-term self-employment or contract work options to tide me over until I get a more permanent job offer.
    • Talk to other people in my industry (outside my current employer if possible), reconnect with old contacts & mentors.
  • Find out the eligibility requirements for unemployment, how much I would get, and for how long.
B. To prepare for look for another job, I would need to:
  • Research current job market. Who's hiring? If no one is hiring for my specific job title, are there other jobs using my skills I could transition into? What would be required for me to do that?
  • Update my resume and see what skills I can brush up on or add.
  • Reconnect with old contacts and mentors.
C. To switch to a new career, I would need to:
4. Relax, you've done everything you can to prepare.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Year's Resolutions for Your Career Choice

I don't know about you, but I am only digging out from the holidays now. It's a new day, a new year. At left is a photo yesterday morning from where we live in Seattle of the Olympic Mountains to the west towards the Pacific Ocean. When we have clear winter days like this in Seattle (rarely), it makes you feel fresh and new - and able to contemplate your new year's resolutions.

There's no way to escape resolutions. Grocery store checkout lanes are full of magazines with weight loss secrets - the internet is full of job reinvention and resume rewriting tips. So here are my top 5 resolutions for those choosing a career path this year:
  1. I will take the time and have the patience to do self-exploration. This is the most important, yet most ignored part of the career selection process. (See Dr. Jones's Career Choice a Process? post under Career Exploration)
  2. I will at least pick up a pen and write down my thoughts and ideas based on things I've learned or had reaffirmed by valid career tests I've taken. If I'm really ambitious and smart, I'll start a folder containing these notes.
  3. I will make a list of what I think are my most marketable skills.
  4. I will do at least 5 informational interviews in my prospective career path.
  5. I will make a good decision by going through an easy 4 step process.
I'll write more about using technology to help you with #4 above in another post. But in the meantime, even if you've already been in the process for awhile in choosing a career, see if these resolutions help you get closer to your goal of choosing the best career for you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. Lawrence K. Jones to Present at International Counseling Conference

Author of The Career Key and The Self-Employment Key, Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, will be presenting at the International Congress on Counseling in Istanbul, Turkey in April 2008. The conference is called "Counseling in International Perspective: Global demands and local needs." The title of his presentation will be "Using The Career Key in Different Countries Worldwide." Dr. Jones will speak about the challenges faced in helping people adapt, translate, and implement The Career Key. He will be joined by Nguyen Dang Tuan Minh who is developing The Vietnamese Career Key and Tareq Ragaban, who is developing an Arabic Career Key. We are very excited about our collaborations with Ms. Minh and Mr. Ragaban, and the prospect of being a part of the economic development in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Jones and his wife Jeanine Wehr Jones are not strangers to Turkey. They were teachers there from 1963 to 1966. They returned last year for the first time and reconnected with many of their students and the culture. I know they are looking forward to this upcoming conference and being able to share the The Career Key's experience with many people in the Middle East and around the world.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Korean Career Key Meeting

Just before the Christmas holiday, we were fortunate enough to meet up with the Korean Career Key co-author Dr. Wan-suk Gim. From left to right is Dr. Lawrence K. Jones, his wife Jeanine Wehr Jones, Dr. Junksik Kim (front center), Dr. Wan-suk Gim, his wife Jinsoo Jun, and me (Juliet Wehr Jones).

Dr. Wan-suk Gim, who established the Korean Career Key website, is the Director of the Ajou University Psychological Counseling Center in South Korea.

Dr. Kim is a former student of Dr. Gim's who is about to become a tenured professor in organizational psychology at Western Washington University.

Dr. Gim's Korean Career Key website has received several million visitors since its inception a few years ago. The website received government endorsement and has been well-received, as the number of visitors indicate. We discussed future collaboration and the progress to date in making The Career Key available to Koreans. What a pleasure meeting our colleagues in person! South Korea is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, having one of the top rankings as the most internet "connected" populations. This is even more remarkable considering the country was destroyed by war not too long ago. Interest in high-quality career guidance is high so we look forward to continued success in South Korea.