Free Advanced Career Transition Course

This 10-week interactive course is free. It focuses on cutting edge strategies to help unemployed and underemployed individuals land professional and management jobs or start consulting practices.

The course includes, at no charge, a 223 page E-book manual. Attendees work in teams of 8 to encourage each other, brainstorm ideas and hold members accountable for homework assignments.

Strategies studied in the course include:

• Approaching employers as problem solvers – not job hunters
• Writing and implementing ROI (Return On Investment) White Papers
• In-depth research strategies
• SWOT Analysis (Strengths-Weakness-Opportunities-Threats)
• Writing and presenting case studies verbally and online
• Writing and getting proposals inside organizations
• Creating accomplishment portfolios
• Strategic interviewing: Demonstrating value in 30, 60, 90 days and long term
• Personal branding for long term career success
• Social media including LinkedIn, Twitter, web sites and blogs
• Negotiation strategies
• Structured brainstorming

The course will be led by John Hall who was awarded Pepperdine University’s Orange County Alumni Association’s 2010 Waves of Service Award for his work with the unemployed. John is a retired executive career coach with 25 years of experience helping management and professional men and women through transitions. He is a co author of the book Adapt! How to Survive and Thrive in the Changing World of Work, and was interviewed on FOX TV’s Los Angeles Early Morning show and KNX Radio’s Business Hour. John’s articles have been published in The Wall Street Journal’s National Business Employment Weekly and The Alumni Newsletter for the Wharton Business School

Irvine Presbyterian Church
4445 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 786-9627

Registration:
John Hall
(949) 387-2004 Office
Email: jhirvine@aol.com
http://www.advancedcareerstrategies.com

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Published in: on March 30, 2015 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  

A Free Advanced Job Transition Course For Unemployed Mid Career Professionals

Because physical fitness and career success is related, 24 Hour Fitness is sponsoring, at no charge, an Advanced Job Transition Course for unemployed management and professional men and women in Orange County. This hands-on, highly interactive course is 6 full days, over three weeks. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from May 27 through June 12. Classes begin promptly at 8:15 AM and wrap up at 4:30 PM. There will be 5 hours of homework before each class, including the first class.

The course includes a 200 page E-book manual and focuses on cutting edge strategies designed to help mid-career management and professional men and women land career level positions ASAP in this tough job market. Students work in teams designed to encourage each other, brainstorm ideas and hold members accountable for homework assignments. Strategies studied in the course include:

      • How to write and present case studies verbally and online
      • Writing and implementing ROI (Return On Investment) industry reports
      • Databases and in-depth research strategies
      • Personal and organizational SWOT Analysis
      • Writing and implementing targeted proposals
      • Creating and implementing accomplishment portfolios
      • Strategic interviewing: Demonstrating your value to an organization
      • in 30, 60, 90 days and beyond
      • Industry branding: How to become one of the first names that comes to mind
      • for excellence in your industry and/or function
      • Social media including LinkedIn, Twitter, web sites and blogs
      • Negotiation strategies
      • Structured Brainstorming

The course will be led by John Hall who was awarded Pepperdine University’s Orange County Alumni Association’s 2010 Waves of Service Award for his work with Orange County’s unemployed. John is a retired executive career coach with 23 years of experience helping management and professional individuals through career transitions. He has co authored the book Adapt! How to Survive and Thrive in the Changing World of Work. Newsweek Magazine referred to him in April of 2011 as “the John Wooden of Career Coaches.” Working with John will be a team of experienced career transition coaches.

For information and registration Course Instructor:

John Hall, MA

949.387-2004 •

Email: jhirvine@aol.com

www.advancedcareerstrategies.com

https://advancedcareerstrategies.wordpress.com/

Published in: on May 22, 2014 at 5:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Middle Class Career – Part 3

Career Plateauing

Career plateauing expert Judith Bardwick refers to the “Rule of 99 Percent” which states: “In every large and complex organization, the number of positions at the highest decision-making level is always less than 1 percent of the number of employees. This means that long before retirement promotions will end for almost all workers. Bardwick goes on to report that in today’s well educated, over supplied work environment, only 10 percent of all middle-class workers will ever reach any level of even middle management. As a result many now in their thirties, educated, ambitious, disciplined, and qualified are facing the fact that they have plateaued. This plateauing occurring well below their ceiling with perhaps another 30 years of working life ahead.

Three Kinds or Plateauing

Plateauing is not a gradual process, but tends to happen suddenly. At the beginning of their careers the middle-class individuals may get promoted every 18 to 24 months. Then at some point they realize that they have not been promoted in the last five years and are probably not going any further. This is because the shape of the typical organizational pyramid is not the regular geometric form we usually envision but is very irregular, somewhat like markedly smaller rectangles piled on each other. Though interrelated Judith Bardwick defines three distinct kinds of plateauing:

1. Structural: Structural plateauing is marked by the end of promotions and is caused by the organizations structure. Structural plateauing will generate enormous problems for middle-class individuals for the next twenty years because of the over supply of college educated men and women.

2. Content: In content plateauing the worker has become expert, knows the job completely and has little more to learn about it. This can lead to profound boredom. While structural plateauing is inescapable content plateauing is not. Lateral moves can give workers new content and thus reduce boredom.

3. Life: When promotions end some men and women develop a terrible sense of failure. Life plateauing is more profound, more total, and more serious than either content or structural plateauing. Those who are life plateaued feel a real sense of despair.

Quiet Desperation

It isn’t Unusual for a man or woman as they moves into middle age to find the range of opportunities narrowing, ambitions becoming thwarted, while still years from retirement. Today in most industries this “plateauing” begins at 42, and is trending downward. The first hint of plateauing may be exclusion from a company trip to another facility for training on new methods and technologies. Then a Catch-22 is set up where they are denied promotion because they lack the skills to do the job.

Since the middle-class man and women often derive their sense of worth from their career, they almost reflexively work even harder. They resist facing the fact that their career has flattened, even when it’s clear to co-workers. When they finally realize that their career has stopped its linear advancement the middle-age worker feels a marked sense of failure. There is no graceful way of backing down the ladder, and taking a less stressful job. In fact, unless the worker has a disability, lateral movement is viewed as almost un-American.

Next Week – Classical Organization Theory and New Policies

Published in: on October 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Middle Class Career At Mid Life

Part 2 – Career Structure and Stages

The career structure that most middle-class American’s visualize is of systematic movement up a status hierarchy, from a bottom position at the time of entry to a higher position after a certain number of years. Basically there are three career structures that middle-class individuals advance through until reaching the top of their professions, or as is more likely, plateauing at mid-life:

  1. Additive model: In this model the worker spends a given number of years at each step in order to qualify for a promotion to the next step, as in the military service or the civil service.
  2. Cognitive transformation: In this model a certain amount of transformation in cognitive structure is expected to take place. The entry level MBA is supposed to gain in expertise and wisdom as he or she gains experience, thus becoming a different kind of manager or executive before moving up to the next step.
  3. Personal transformation: The focus here is more likely to be internal rather than external. It involves stages or sequences instead of rungs on a defined career ladder. Artists or writers experience this kind of career development. Progress is measured not by how many pictures or books are produced, but qualitatively, by the improvement in the pictures or books as one follows the other.

Career expert Judith Bardwick (1987) refers to three stages in a typical middle-class job. With each job the worker advances through in their career they will experience these stages until plateauing, remaining in stage three indefinitely

  1. Socialization: In this stage people learn the parameters work, what they need to do and whom they have to know.
  2. Innovation: In this stage there is a gain of confidence and the individual ultimately feels free of anxiety and uncertainty and is most likely to reach true achievement. This stage takes place between the sixth month and the third year.
  3. Adaptation: After being in a job between three to five years the work ultimately becomes routine. The worker may become indifferent toward the work and in time begin to feel powerless.

From Too Few to Too Many

Following World War II to 1975 everything favored the educated and ambitious individual. All the countries institutions, including government, more than doubled in size. Because the birthrate was the lowest in our history during the depression, and relatively few went to college, the major problem for organizations was finding qualified individuals to fill management and executive positions. In this environment, ambition, ability, and hard work lead to promotion. Individuals stopped getting promotions only when they reached their level of incompetence. This was the now famous Peter Principle (Peter, 1969) in action. The basic tenant of The Peter Principle being: “Given enough time; and assuming the existence of enough ranks in the hierarchy; each employee rises to, and remains at, his or her level of incompetence”.

In today’s world of downsizing; lean and mean management; mergers and acquisitions; middle class jobs being moved to China, India, and who know where else in the world, the competition for a middle class income is becoming much more competitive This abundance of educated and talented men and women competing world wide will mean that many will not advance to even their “level of incompetence”, but will in fact plateau well below it. In effect, in today’s global economy the Peter Principle is dead.

Part 3 Next Week – Career Plateauring

Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Middle Class Career At Mid Life

Part 1 – Our Work Defines Us

“Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness”. This quote from Thomas Carlyle exemplifies middle-class Americans because we define ourselves first and foremost by our work. And though many of us say we would like to spend fewer hours pushing a pencil, attending meetings, pounding away on a computer and more hours with our families or playing with our boats and cars, it would be cruel punishment to take work away from us. For most of us in the middle-class, work is the single most important thing in their lives. Yet, one of the great paradoxes of human development is that we are required to make the most important decision of our life as a pimple faced adolescent or very young adult, before we have the knowledge, judgment and self understanding to choose wisely. Yet, if we put off the choice until we feel truly ready, that delay could produce even greater cost.

Choosing; a Career

Many working class men and women stumble into the job market, unconcerned about preparation because they may consider it irrelevant to success in life. On the other hand, middle-class men and women are likely to plan their careers very carefully and persist in acquiring the necessary education and preparation, even in the face of economic hardship. In general, the higher the social and economic status of the family the more an individual is likely to plan a career, or at least the general outlines of one.

Middle-class adolescent men and women are under a lot of pressure when choosing a career, because entry into the work world is becoming increasingly difficult. This is partly because there has been an overwhelming increase in the number of occupations from which to choose, and because the increasingly complex nature of many jobs has made training longer and more expensive.

Motivations for choosing a given career can vary a great deal. Individuals who chose business as a career usually make a rational appraisal of what was most important to them, which may be business’s perceived power and income potential. On the other hand, men and women who chose an academic profession appear to be more motivated by autonomy, the desire to do scholarly work, and intellectual status.

Once the career path has been chosen young middle-class individuals spend years as students, having to confine and discipline themselves to succeed in the educational process. Then after graduation from college they may spend two to four years in graduate school. After college they may spend years in entry level work in engineering, sales, or management. Even hourly workers need years to explore, train and move beyond apprentice, working their way into a union. All of this means that by the time individuals are really into their careers, beginning to advance and develop, they are in their late twenties and a few into their early thirties.

Next Week Part 2 – The Middle Class Career: Structure and Stages

 

 

 

Published in: on September 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why Half of Us Are Stuck In Jobs We Don’t Like

From PhDs to dropouts, far too many men and women spend much of their working lives in jobs that don’t satisfy their souls. Why? It boils down to this, from recent college grads looking for that first job to mid career managers, engineers or sales professionals, most take “Potluck”.

By potluck I mean reactively focusing on Internet job sites, want ads, friends, relatives and massive mailings of resumes for positions that look really good. After a few months and hundreds of resumes disappearing into black holes, and perhaps a couple of blown interviews, a sense of desperation sets in. The ideal position becomes the compromise job, “It’s not exactly what I was looking for, but it will do for now”. Now often turns into years that “typecast” individuals into an industry and/or function they weren’t all that excited about in the first place—“But hey, it pays the bills.”

In today’s world of downsizing, right sizing, reengineering, lean and mean management; with jobs flying off to India, China, Mexico, and who knows where else, the average job, from CEOs to file clerks last from 2½ to 5 years. So in all probability tens of millions of employees are going to be out on the street again in 2½ to 5 years, and again in 2½ to 5 years and maybe, just maybe in another 2½ to 5 years, possibly in midlife looking for that ideal position, but afraid they may have to take another potluck job just to pay the mortgage. Sounds like the old definition of insanity: “Keep doing what you have been doing and expecting different results.”

Career Success Is Up To the Individual

No company, no government program and no single individual is in charge of anyone’s career. Career success is absolutely totally and unequivocally the individuals responsibility. Face the facts — in today’s global economy we are all entrepreneurs! As entrepreneurs it is up to us to package and sell our talents, skills and abilities to organizations in the way that demonstrates our return on investment (ROI). That is real easy to say, but how do you do that?

Become a Problem Solver – Not a Job Hunter

The primary goal of the Advanced Career Strategies Courses is to encourage career oriented men and women to approach organizations in much the same way consultants approach organizations, i.e. as problem solvers not job hunters. To achieve this goal here is a list of the strategies studied:

  • Writing and implementing ROI (Return On Investment) focused industry reports
  • In depth research strategies
  • Personal and organizational SWOT Analysis
  • How to write and present case studies verbally and online
  • Writing and implementing targeted proposals
  • Creating and implementing accomplishment portfolios
  • Strategic interviewing: Demonstrating value to an organization in 30, 60, 90 days and beyond
  • Industry branding: How to become one of the first names that comes to mind for excellence in an industry and/or function
  • Social media including LinkedIn, Twitter, web sites and blogs
  • Negotiation strategies
  • Structured brainstorming

To get information about the next Advanced Career Strategies Course go to: www.advancedcareerstrategies.com

Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

A Tuition Free Advanced Job Transition Course For Unemployed Mid Career Professionals

Webster University is sponsoring, at no charge, an Advanced Job Transition Course for unemployed management and professional men and women in Orange County. This hands-on, highly interactive course is 6 full days, over three weeks. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 4 through June 20. Classes begin promptly at 8:30 AM and wrap up at 4:30 PM. There will be 5 hours of homework before each class, including the first class.

The course includes a 223 page E-book manual and focuses on cutting edge strategies designed to help mid-career management and professional men and women land career level positions ASAP in this tough job market. Students work in teams designed to encourage each other, brainstorm ideas and hold members accountable for homework assignments. Strategies studied in the course include:

      • How to write and present case studies verbally and online
      • Writing and implementing ROI (Return On Investment) industry reports
      • Databases and in-depth research strategies
      • Personal and organizational SWOT Analysis
      • Writing and implementing targeted proposals
      • Creating and implementing accomplishment portfolios
      • Strategic interviewing: Demonstrating your value to an organization
      • in 30, 60, 90 days and beyond
      • Industry branding: How to become one of the first names that comes to mind
      • for excellence in your industry and/or function
      • Social media including LinkedIn, Twitter, web sites and blogs
      • Negotiation strategies
      • Structured Brainstorming

The course will be led by John Hall who was awarded Pepperdine University’s Orange County Alumni Association’s 2010 Waves of Service Award for his work with Orange County’s unemployed. John is a retired executive career coach with 23 years of experience helping management and professional individuals through career transitions. He has co authored the book Adapt! How to Survive and Thrive in the Changing World of Work. Newsweek Magazine referred to him in April of 2011 as “the John Wooden of Career Coaches.” Working with John will be a team of experienced career transition coaches.

For information and registration
Course Instructor: John Hall, MA
949.387-2004 • Email: jhirvine@aol.com
www.advancedcareerstrategies.com
https://advancedcareerstrategies.wordpress.com/

Webster University
32 Discovery, #250
Irvine, CA 92618
949-705-4081 Fax: 949-450-9004

Published in: on April 2, 2013 at 1:18 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s Not Just a Lecture Series – Do the Work!

 For almost two decades I have been teaching Advance Career Strategies through Extended Education at Chapman and Brandman Universities. It is a course designed for mid-career management and professional men and women. The course focuses on in-depth research strategies, writing case studies that demonstrate bottom line results, industry reports, proposals and portfolios. Reflecting on the hundreds of students who have taken the course I have concluded they generally follow up the course in one of three ways:

  1. Implementation of the majority of strategies and techniques
  2. Limited implementation of the strategies and techniques
  3. No implementation of the strategies and techniques

The Advanced Career Strategies Course is primarily attended by management and professional men and women. The medium age has been 48, with a range from 22 to 74. The medium income has been near $90,000 ranging from $23,000 to $800,000 annually. For the most part students have been mid-career professionals, a demographic that has been hit hard by the “Great Recession”.

In general, the more successful a student has been in his or her career, the greater the probability that the student will reach their next job goal in 90 days following the course. The reason is simple – they are more likely to put in the hours and hard work necessary to do the research, write case studies, do in-depth research, and complete a special report and proposal.

In California there are several state sponsored job search programs including Experience Unlimited and the One Stop facilities. There are also some excellent job search programs sponsored by churches. Among them is the first-rate Saddleback Career Ministry in Lake Forest. Whether it is the Advanced Career Strategies course or any of these other programs, attendees who view them simply as a lecture series may be unemployed for a long time and/or take a “Potluck Job” out of desperation.

Bottom line: These programs and courses are not just a lecture series – you need to do the work!

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson

“The harder I work, the luckier I get” John Wooden UCLA Basketball Coach

Published in: on October 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Have You Reached the Third Job Stage?

Career expert Judith Bardwick in her book The Plateauing Trap: How to Avoid It In Your Career and Your Life (1987) refers to three stages in a typical middle-class job. With each job the worker advances through in their career they will experience these stages until plateauing, remaining in stage three indefinitely.

  1. Socialization: In this stage people learn the parameters of work, what they need to do and whom they have to know.
  2. Innovation: In this stage there is a gain in confidence and the individual ultimately feels free of anxiety and uncertainty. Here one is most likely to reach true achievement. This stage takes place between the sixth month and the third year.
  3. Adaptation: After being in a job between three to five years the work ultimately becomes routine. The worker may become indifferent toward the work and in time begin to feel powerless.
Published in: on March 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Write Powerful Accomplishment Stories

Write your accomplishments by breaking them into three elements based on the acronym PAR. The P stands for the problem or situation you were dealing with in your accomplishment. The A for the action or actions you took and the R for the results you achieved. Keep your stories brief by minimizing what you did. The primary focus of your stories should be on quantified results. You’ll know you are on the mark when an interviewer interrupts you to get the “how you did it” details about one of your accomplishment.

Example

Suppose, as a marketing professional, your company had an under performing consumer product. Your boss assigned you the job of developing a campaign to increase sales for the product. He gave you a six-month deadline and a limited budget. Despite these limitations, the marketing campaign you came up with resulted in a dramatic increase in sales. Here is how you would separate the elements using the PAR formula:

P (Problem/Situation)
Needed to create and implement an effective marketing plan for an under performing consumer product and turn it’s sales around in less than six months, on a $40,000 budget.

A (Action)
Worked 80 hour weeks for a month and a half in the creation and development of an innovative, cost effective marketing and public relations campaign using targeted radio spots and local newspaper ads.

R (Results)
The marketing campaign was implemented under budget in two months. Sales increased 35 percent in first six months and have continued to improve at this level for the last three years.

The next step is to rewrite your accomplishment in a concise manner. Use the following guidelines:

Where ever possible quantify your accomplishment. This could represent increased revenues, money saved, time saved, man hours saved, etc. You can use exact figures or percentages, or approximate the numbers if exact information is not available (i.e. more than 25%).

Begin with action words, such as designed, developed, implemented, increased, saved, earned, etc.

Keep each accomplishment stories to about 30 words.

Rewriting the above accomplishment using these guidelines, this is the result:

Created, developed and implemented a consumer product marketing plan, on time and under budget, that increased sales 35 percent in each of its first three years.

If you worked with large sums of money, say millions of dollars, use the figure. If such were the case in the above accomplishment it might read:

Created, developed and implemented a consumer product marketing plan, on time and under budget, that increased sales $35 million in each of its first three years.

Put the results up front. You can increase the impact of your accomplishment by putting the results (R) at the beginning of the statement. For example:

Increased sales $35 million per year, for three years, by creating, developing and implementing a consumer product-marketing plan. The plan was implemented on time and under budget.

Try writing twelve accomplishment statements. Whenever you are in doubt if an accomplishment is strong enough to be included, include it, most men and women tend to undervalue their accomplishments. Once you have written the accomplishment you may find it stronger than you thought.

Completed Examples

Increased occupational medicine patient volume 93% with projected net income of $325,000 by negotiating a worker compensation contract with McDonnell Douglas Government Aircraft Division.

Developed and implemented a computer learning center which is projected to reduce outside vendor training cost 20% during the first year and 75% during subsequent years.

Conceived, designed and implemented a three year plan which secured degree granting status for a small British Columbia College. This required the passing of an act of the province’s legislature.

Assisted in raising over $400MM in equity within one week of issuance by preparing the prospectus and financial projection for the offering.

Earned recognition for sales achievements by consistently placing first or second place in every promotion in the past 9 out of 10 years.

Generated over $1 million annually by modifying and adapting a special instrumentation valve to an application for the semiconductor industry. The valve is now recognized as an industry standard.

Published in: on January 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment