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Labor of Love

Labor Day was designed to both honor and recognize the American labor movement. It’s a nod to the works and contributions of workers in the United States. But, let’s face it. This Labor Day, can you confidently say that you love your work?

If the pandemic has given us nothing else, it’s provided perspective. In particular, it’s been a huge reminder of what’s most important. I’ve said that more than once lately. But, the theme of pursuing happiness persists.

I recently made a new friend. This person is smart and accomplished. He has a long career made up jobs that would impress anyone. We’re the same age. But, there is one thing that’s very different between us. This friend is dying of terminal cancer. He hasn’t known about it for long, and he wasn’t given much time.

We spend most of our lives waiting for a future point in time. We’re waiting until our work gets better. We’re waiting for another time to travel. We’re waiting to take risks. We’re waiting for a promotion. We’re unhappily trudging through life, waiting for a future. The pandemic has made that trudging a little harder and a little heavier.

And, unfortunately, that future we’re patiently waiting for is not guaranteed.

Although the story of my friend is sad, it’s also inspirational. He is using his time to pursue the things he loves. He’s traveling, surfing, and spending time with friends. He’s living without fear, and he’s no longer doing the things he hates. There’s no more time for an unhappy job, or an unhappy life. He is pursuing his happiness.

If you don’t love your work, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing. Companies are being more flexible than ever. Many jobs are remote. And, some companies are adding in new perks to help their employees with work-life balance. If you’ve ever wanted to work for a company that’s not located near your home (but you don’t want to move), this is the time. If you’ve ever wanted to move (but haven’t been able to because of your job), this is also the time.

Steve Jobs famously said, “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

This is a simple, yet important concept. We’re all going through a period that feels out of control, and like there are fewer choices available to us than we would like. We may feel stuck. But don’t lose hope. In the same way that the pandemic has closed doors, it has opened new ones. Look for those new doors, and redesign your life so that you can pursue your own happiness.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Discovering Your Career Independence

I hope you have a wonderful holiday week. I’m looking forward to spending time with friends, and watching fireworks to celebrate this Independence Day. This holiday is also a great time to reflect on your career.

Are you feeling happy, or is something missing? If you’ve been thinking of making a change, this could be the perfect time. For many people, the pandemic has forced them to reevaluate what they want.

But, finding a job can take months. If you want to make a change, it’s important to get started before the winter holidays begin to approach.

Often, one of the sources of job frustration can be a lack of control. Whether you’re not doing the kind of work you enjoy, don’t like your boss, or are underpaid, you may feel helpless. It’s this helpless feeling that can really impact you each day as you go in. It can make your day seem longer, and tasks seem harder.

Finding career independence starts with identifying what is within your radius of control. What can you do today that will help you to gain more freedom tomorrow?

First, keep your resume up to date at all times. You’ll be prepared, and you won’t forget important details later. On top of that, keep your LinkedIn current and connect to your colleagues. You never know when things could change.

If you’re not using your favorite skills at work, look for ways to keep your expertise up to date. Consider taking on small consulting projects, or volunteer at a non-profit. You may even want to take a class or two to keep any certifications current.

If you’d like to acquire a new skill, the same advice applies. Enroll in a class. There are many online options. If you don’t have an opportunity to try your new skill at work, look for a way to volunteer your time – either on a non-profit project or at a part-time internship.

Nurture your network. Take the time to attend networking events. Chat with coworkers from previous jobs. Stay connected.

Reevaluate your priorities. Often, a source of unhappiness can be tied to a shifting of what’s important to you. Early in your career, you may have been willing to work for hours on end just to make the most money possible. As you’ve grown older, financial stability may be less important. You may now be looking for work-life balance, but are still saddled with a sixty-hour per week job.

As you can see, much of the independence we crave is tied back to a self-awareness of what’s important to us. And, unlike Independence Day fireworks, career freedom rarely happens all at once. It doesn’t go off with a bang of beautiful lights. Independence at work takes time. It takes commitment. It takes a little dedication each day. But if you’re committed, over time you will find that independence, and the happiness that comes along with it.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Hoping and Wishing

Every day, I hear from job seekers who are unhappy at work. They will share that they wish things at their current job were different. If only things were a bit better, they would like to stay. If only their boss were better, they would prefer not to leave. If only the company would pay them more, they’d like to stick around. If only there was room for upward movement, they would continue working there.

Unfortunately, hoping and wishing doesn’t change the situation at work. Only you can change your work situation.

Don’t get me wrong. I fault no one for staying at an incompatible job because they need the work. We all have bills to pay and mouths to feed. But, waiting indefinitely for things to get better just doesn’t work. When you do this, you make yourself miserable.

Over the years, I’ve met with many job seekers who are trapped in this unfortunate cycle with work. They wish so much for things to be better, but they have such a hard time when they’re not. It can be anguishing. I have seen many people who struggle to stay focused because of this stress. It begins to bleed into their personal lives, where they may struggle with sleep and anxiety.

But, when the situation isn’t working, it’s not just you. It’s the entire situation. It’s like something in the ecosystem is off. And, the problem is, you only have control over you. You can only change one thing in a system that’s not working.

This topic reminds me of exit interviews. When you quit your job, your company will want to do an exit interview about your time there. So often, employees want to use it as an opportunity to vent. In reality, your comments will only make you feel better. Again, you can only change you. You can’t change everything else.

With that in mind, if you are wishing and hoping for things to be different, try looking elsewhere. At another company, you may find things to be different. You may find that you no longer need to wish or hope. Things may work better on their own.

The hard thing is, sometimes it’s easier to stay with the situation you don’t know than to go back into the unknown. It’s not easy to tell during the interview if the company will really be a perfect fit. After all, if that were the case, your current company might be a better fit. But, if you don’t try, you won’t know. And, in the meantime, you’re pretty miserable.

You’ve got a decision to make. You can accept the way things are. Or, you can accept the discomfort for now, knowing there’s an end in sight. Or, you can decide it’s not for you. And, if that’s the case, it’s time to start looking. Put your hopes and wishes into action, rather than just thoughts.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Loving Monday to Friday

In this month of love, we spend some of our time reflecting on those who are special in our lives. It’s also a great time to reflect on our job, and whether or not we love doing it. Think about how you feel on Sunday evening. Are you neutral about work on Monday, or do you dread it? Are you able to relax on Sunday evening or are you filled with anxiety and dread?

Your relationship with work isn’t all that different than your relationship with a significant other. If you aren’t excited to be there, or even worse, if you hate it, it may be time to break up.

The good news is, in today’s career environment, people are switching jobs all the time. If you think you may be ready to move on, take the time to plan out your next move.

What is it that you dislike about your current job? Is it the people? Is it the hours? Perhaps the commute is just too long.

What would you like to see in your new role? What industry would you prefer to work in? What role do you want? What’s your target salary? What type of work environment would make you happiest? What commute would you like to have?

Begin to outline what you want in a new role. Think about what would make you happy. As you go through this process, try not to create a list that is only things that are the opposite of what you hate today. For example, if your current company has people with a certain personality, you may want to avoid people with that personality. However, think deeper; think about what types of people you would like to work with.

As you create a new role for yourself, you want to try to move toward something more positive. This is different than moving away from something negative. If you get stuck in the cycle of running away from something, you may quickly find yourself in a new situation that you also dislike.

While you’re doing your research, be sure to check out Glassdoor.com. Current employees leave reviews of their company to let you know whether or not they love their jobs. This can also be very enlightening. Just like travel reviews, you shouldn’t take every review at face value. But, if you read enough reviews, you may begin to see a pattern – positive or negative.

As in a relationship, don’t wait until things completely break to move on. Pay attention to the signs and plan your exit. Don’t wait until you find yourself in crippling emotional pain that can make working impossible. You deserve a fresh start. You deserve to be happy, or at the very least, not miserable. If you start looking, you will find that a new company will value you and your skillset – and you just might love your job again.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Learning is the new Loyalty

I recently heard a saying that stuck with me: “Learning is the new loyalty.” Hearing this phrase, it felt like the record stopped. Everything was quiet for a moment while I contemplated just how much I agree.

Often, I hear from young job seekers who are confused. Their parents have told them not to switch jobs. They’ve been advised to stay at one job for many years. It will offer stability. It will offer a retirement. Employers will respect you for staying at one place for a long period of time. Companies don’t want job hoppers.

This was true – when your parents were starting their careers. But, for the most part, it’s not the case anymore. Employers are quick to lay off workers. They often don’t promote from within. And, many are happy to hire someone new from the outside who is more up to date on technology or industry trends.

So, what’s a job seeker to do? Companies value you being up to date on your work related stills more than they value you staying at a job for ten or more years. It doesn’t mean you should change jobs every six months. But, don’t stay in a job for too long.

You may wonder how long is too long. Ask yourself these questions. Am I still learning? Am I still growing? If the answer to these questions is no, it may be time to start looking. Don’t stay in your current job for years after it becomes routine. If you’re no longer growing your skillset, you’re likely falling behind.

Think about this. When is the last time your company paid for you to attend a class or training? Sure, some companies are great about this. But, they aren’t the norm. Companies no longer prioritize education, but they do still expect you to be learning.

A great way to keep growing and learning is to take on a new challenge at a new company. And, a huge perk is pay. Companies rarely reward people who are loyal and stick around for years and years. They spend their money recruiting new talent. External hires are the ones who will make the current market rate.

The new hires they bring in are the people who are typically the most up to date. And, they stay up to date by not staying in any one job for too long.

Now, keep in mind that this advice is not one size fits all. But, when your parents or grandparents begin to give you a hard time about your career ambitions, ask yourself a few questions. Do they work in the same field as I do? Are they knowledgeable about my career field? If not, you may be talking to the wrong person. If this happens and you’re in search of advice, seek out mentors who are in your field. They may tell you, “Learning is the new loyalty.”

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Signs It’s Time for a Midlife Career Change


If you’re like most people, you think you’re the only one. Everything was fine for the first twenty years of your career.

You were focused. You were happy. You were going up the ladder. Then, you hit an age. Maybe it was thirty or forty or fifty. But, suddenly, everything changed.
You are no longer happy at your current job. Something just isn’t right. But, nothing has really changed all that much. And, still, somehow you just aren’t satisfied.

It’s so confusing. Chances are good that you worked your entire career to get to where you are. You’re at the top of the mountain. And, yet, it seems like maybe you were climbing up the wrong mountain. It can make you question everything you’ve worked for.

If this has happened to you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. I talk to multiple people every single day who are having this very same experience.

We’re all just so secretive that we don’t talk about these feelings and thoughts out loud to each other. I wish we would. But, it seems that this kind of sharing might seem to indicate that we have failed in some way.

I prefer to look at it a little different. It’s more like this. You’ve conquered your original goal (the first mountain), and now you’re ready for a new one.

The priorities in your life have shifted. So maybe, you are no longer as motivated by money. Perhaps your retirement account is at a good place. Or, alternatively, maybe money motivates you more. Perhaps you want to catch up on your retirement savings.

Maybe you’ve learned more about yourself. You really don’t like managing people after all. Or, you really don’t want to work in a creative atmosphere where the expectation of producing new content never seems to go away.

Whatever it is, you’ve simply grown. You’ve changed. Growth and change are both good things. And, they’re an inevitable part of life.

Making a change midcareer doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It doesn’t mean you’ll fail in the future. Your priorities have just evolved. It’s time to find something new that better aligns with your new goals and your new direction.

Start small. You won’t find the answer tomorrow. And, you probably won’t find it in your head, thinking for hours, devising the perfect solution. The answer most likely doesn’t exist in any certain personality test either.

Almost always, this career change happens by doing. It happens by getting out there and having conversations with other people in different lines of work. It happens by researching various companies. It happens by volunteering for projects outside of your comfort zone. It happens by trying new things, to find what works and what doesn’t.

Career change is not an easy process, but the journey will take you to where you’re mean to be: a new life that is in alignment with your current and future priorities.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach