Archive for the ‘#careers’ Category

Career Management Success and The Organization Success: Are they in synch? Yes? Or not? Kind of?

March 16, 2016


Career Management Success and The Organization Success:

Are they in synch? Yes? Or not? Kind of?

By Randy Block


I think everyone can agree that professional stasis is not good for you or the organization. It’s comforting to know that you have this in common. – Maybe.


Stasis is not good for you because you do not increase your career portfolio value. You’ve stopped learning and improving. If this lasts too long, job burnout occurs. Being passed over for promotion sometimes occurs. I am sure you have your own stories to tell.


The company suffers from your stasis also. The most effective way to retain talent is to develop it and grow it. Companies risk employees becoming stale and bored. Turnover also occurs, admittedly also because workers don’t like their boss. Company success is thwarted due to underdeveloped talent. Productivity and revenue suffer as a result.


  1. Nothing earth shattering but is there anything that you can do about it? Yes, absolutely!


  1. Take accountability for your own development.
  2. Create a 5 year plan that allows opportunity on your terms.
  3. Find out what is going on with the company plans as a whole, as well as within your group
  4. Compare plans: the company and your group plan (annual, quarterly) to your own career plan.


You can easily make most business and career decisions () based on two considerations:

  • Is this the best decision for the company?
  • How does this decision affect my career development?

You have to connect the two. Because your company won’t.


Making the second response publicly is optional. However, I am finding out more and more from my clients that when the two plans are compatible and acknowledged, success follows (promotion e.g.)


Suppose the company benefits more from a decision more than you do, related to your own development? Of course you can put up with this for a period of time but then what are your options? Make it clear to your boss that you want professional development that will also benefit the company. If the response is a deaf ear, it’s time to move on. They should not be surprised then if you leave within the next few weeks.

We have the case of “it’s all about you and the company be damned”, you can just imagine how long you might have building your empire or being employed.  Ignoring stakeholders makes them want to put a stake in you.


With the current performance management model, there are quarterly reviews or check -ins. These can be utilized to see if and how the two plans are in synch. Adjustments can be made on both sides can be negotiated.  You have to set this up. Your career and the success of the company do matter to you.


As a recruiter, I was always impressed with candidates that had a plan in mind. They not only knew what was next, but also where they wanted to go. They had a goal. And – music to my headhunter ears – and they previously tried to get the next step with their current company.  For example, the candidate wanted a promotion at their current company.  They positioned themselves but the company dragged their feet.  That’s when the candidate decided to get the promotion outside.


Taking a lateral move to another company can work as long as you are very clear that you are on a timetable for promotion and/or professional development.

Yes, it falls on your shoulders to be completely accountable. But, you have the satisfaction in knowing that you have covered the most important bases.




(c) 2016 Randy Block. All rights reserved.


Boomers: Rethink Seeking Full Time Jobs Working For Gen Xers.

March 16, 2016

Boomers: Rethink Seeking Full Time Jobs Working

By Randy Block


In my coaching practice, I often hear complaints from job seekers who are over 50 because they are not considered for a full-time position by a Gen Xer.

“I was fully qualified and it makes no sense” is the most common complaint.  “They simply don’t know how to hire” is another one.  “They told me that I was overqualified.” Other comments cannot be repeated.

To put some perspective on this phenomenon, here are some observations I have made, both as a coach and an executive recruiter:

  1. Thirty-somethings don’t want to hire their parents. It’s uncomfortable. Boomers have hired people from their own age demographic or their juniors for years. Would you have hired your dad or mom to work directly for you?
  2. Boomers also are considered a “flight risk.” Once the economy turns around, they probably will take a better job.  They will be viewed as someone who just used the company as a “half way house”.  And guess what?  They are a flight risk.
  3. Boomers want to be “led and not managed”. Boomers will follow a leader who influences but not directs as a manager.  In my coaching practice as well as my past recruiting experience, most thirty-something managers look for someone they can “manage.” In coaching sessions with young managers, I observed that their leadership skills typically lag behind their management skills.  Therefore they are clearly not a fit.
  4. The age antidiscrimination laws in this country have backfired.  If you hire someone for full-time work over 50, they can be hard to get rid of, even in an “at will” state like California. So why hire them in the first place?


  1. It’s common knowledge that medical premiums rise significantly at age 60.  The potential employer considers that a liability as well. It could be true that over 50 workers may also have more health issues than younger workers.

I have found that most young managers are open to getting help with business decisions and careers.  They appreciate being mentored, coached, or advised. They recognize the need, but look at it as a temporary or project-based opportunity. Young managers have hired me, for example, for three-month engagements and I am a “sixty something” boomer.

If you are a Boomer and still want to work with these “young lions and lionesses,” what can you do?

Here are six steps that you can take:

  1. Know thyself: What do you value?  All decisions (personal and professional) are based on values.  Relationships are based on shared values.  I believe that shared values make up most of what we call chemistry.
  2. Know thyself II: You have to be an expert in something.  There is something that only you can do.  Remember, you have specialized knowledge and/or experience.
  3. Develop your own personal brand:  People associate your name with something.  Find out what it is by calling five or six of your most trusted associates and ask them, “When you hear my name, what immediate impressions come up, both personally and professionally.”  Their answers may surprise you.
  4. Target your industry and market segment: Set up your own selection criteria (location, size of company, public or private, product or service, etc.)
  5. Select the top 15 organizations that interest you the most. Companies like to be chosen. They resent being blasted with unsolicited résumés.  Remember, you have to be as excited as they are about what they do.
  6. Network your way into top management:  This can be the toughest part.  You will need to be introduced. Networking is exchanging information.  It is not looking for a job or selling.  Keep in mind that all organizations have only two basic needs:  revenue and productivity.  This is what keeps any top management up at night.  If your brand can help them, they will seek your advice and counsel.

So the Gen Xers need your help. Now what?

The tough part is over. Your working relationship will most likely be either part- time or a short-term contract.  I have found this arrangement to be more comfortable between generations because there is a beginning and an end. A younger manager would have to be very shortsighted not to explore a working relationship with someone more experienced. You have a wealth of experience, and you can make a difference in their lives and careers.

If they don’t want your expertise, then there are plenty of others who do.


(c) 2016 Randy Block. All rights reserved.

Career Phases: With mastery of a skill or skills, can job burnout be far behind?

March 16, 2016

Both learning and developing motivate us and keep us alive.  As learning/development goes down, our motivation and self esteem tends to hit the skids.  Companies encourage us to keep doing what we are doing successfully – and they will pay top dollars to keep you in place.


Which phase are you in?

Phase One:  Considered a relative newbie with a high learning curve. Self-esteem is good as well as motivation. Confidence is tested.  External credibility starts to grow.  The dollars are OK.


Phase Two:  Competent but still learning; motivation and drive are high. Confidence grows.  Viewed as an “up and coming player” in the skills area.  The dollars start to increase.


Phase Three:  Now fully competent but still learning (albeit at a slower pace).  Motivation and drive can start to waver. Viewed as pretty credible and “right up there”.  A good jump in dollars.


Phase Four:  Highly proficient. Attained the  Learning process has slowed to a trickle. Motivation and drive are minimal at best.  Viewed as “the go to person” and discouraged from trying anything “new”.  The dollars are really there, and buying a lot of false happiness. This phase lasts for a relatively short time


Phase Five:  No learning, resentful, job burnout, bored, unhappy, feeling trapped and powerless and really does not want use this skill anymore – regardless of the dollars.  There usually is a lot of fear and confusion.


Best time to start planning the next move? About Phase 3.

We are goal oriented.  We are motivated when we are learning and growing in the process of attaining the goal.  Career management and development are the full responsibility of the employee.