Archive for the ‘Self-Reflection’ category

Do You Know This Secret for Career Success (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

July 8, 2011

One of the greatest secrets for career success is your out-of-office life.

Most career books miss this altogether or barely address it.  Most employers will not care what you do in your free time (as long as you don’t do anything to embarrass them).  However, your life outside the office has a huge impact on your life inside the office.  Being proactive with your out-of-office life will make you happier and increase your performance at work.  I often wonder how much better my experience could have been with my dream job in the NBA, if I knew then what I know now about taking charge of the other areas of my life.

Make sure you are headed where you want to be in every area of your life, not just your career.  If not, determine what you need to change to get there and create a plan for making it happen.  Instead of just setting New Year’s Resolutions, look at your goals in monthly increments to make them more manageable.  Most importantly, spend 1-2 hours every weekend (all year long) reflecting on the previous week, planning the following week, and thinking about the overall direction of your life and your contribution to the world.  I could have enjoyed my twenties a lot more (and achieved even more professionally) if I had started this practice as a student. 

If you don’t think this weekly ritual is worth doing, what are you doing in your free time that is more important?!  Most people unfortunately spend more time worrying about the lives of their favorite celebrities or athletes than they do in planning their own lives.  As you get older, your values will also change.  Mine certainly have. 

If you don’t stop along the way to make sure you are headed in the right direction, you can end up far away from where you really want to be.

When was the last time you spent 1-2 hours to think about and map out your future?

 

P.S. To receive a FREE 25-page report on Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com

-Pete Leibman (Pete@DreamJobAcademy.com)

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You: The Blueprint For Career Success As A Young Professional” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-Founder of Dream Job Academy

-Keynote Speaker for The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

4 Reasons Why Most People Hate Their Jobs (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

May 4, 2011

Why is job dissatisfaction at an all-time high?  Here are 4 reasons why most people end up in jobs they hate:

  1. Most people rushIt takes time to figure out what your dream job is, but most people spend more time working on their resume than they do on deciding on what type of job they actually want!  You have virtually no chance of ending up in your dream job unless you identify what it is BEFORE you start your job search.  If you don’t have a destination in mind, you will probably end up somewhere you don’t really want to be.  Be patient with yourself; it takes time to figure out what you want to do. 
  2. Most people pursue other people’s dreams.  Everyone loves to give career advice to students and young professionals, so it’s easy to get brainwashed and pursue a job for the wrong reasons.  You won’t find your dream job by chasing a “hot” industry or field, by chasing a job just because you think it will allow you to make a ton of money, or by naively accepting “advice” being jammed down your throat by parents, family, friends, professors, or society.   The only way to get your dream job is to be honest about what YOU want to do.  The answer is inside you, not outside.
  3. Most people expect perfectionA dream job is not a soul-mate.  It’s not about finding “the one.”  There are lots of jobs out there that could be dream jobs for you.  A dream job is also not a “perfect” job.  When I had my first dream job to work for an NBA team, there were still plenty of times and days when I got frustrated or when I even fantasized about doing something else.  In my second dream job as a speaker, author, coach, and entrepreneur, I also have moments and days when I experience stress and challenges.  This is normal when you try to do big things.  No job will ever be perfect, exciting, and free from frustration 100% of the time.  If that is your expectation, you will always be disappointed. 
  4. Most people don’t look at the big picture.  Another major mistake people make when trying to identify their dream job is that they fail to envision their ideal life first.  You have to think about what you want from your life, and then work backwards to determine how your job/career fits into that puzzle.

P.S. To receive a FREE, 25-page report on other Job Search and Career Success Secrets for Students and Young Professionals, visit my web site at www.PeteLeibman.com

Sincerely,

-Pete Leibman

-Author of “I Got My Dream Job And So Can You” (due out through AMACOM in spring 2012)

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day

www.PeteLeibman.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Shyamalan’s “Signs” Provides a Lesson on How to Identify Your Dream Job (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

December 30, 2010

One of my favorite movies is Signs, a 2002 film by M. Night Shyamalan, starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix.  In the sci-fi thriller, aliens invade Earth in an attempt to take over the planet, and Gibson and Phoenix (brothers in the film) must find a way to save their family and the human race.

At the end of the movie, the aliens break into Gibson’s house.  However, when some water spills on one of the foreign beings (as pictured above), Gibson realizes that water is poisonous to them.  He then looks around his house and notices that his daughter has miraculously left glasses of water everywhere, a habit for which she had previously been scolded.  Gibson also remembers some of the final words uttered by his wife who had been killed in a horrific car accident several months earlier.  She had said to “tell Merrill to swing away.” 

Gibson then passes these words on to Merrill (the former baseball star played by Joaquin Phoenix).  His baseball bat conveniently happens to be mounted on the wall in the room where the showdown occurs.  As Phoenix grabs the bat and smashes the glasses, water is sprayed onto the aliens, and they are scared away for good.

I believe Shyamalan’s message is that everything happens for a reason and that the answers to our problems are often right in front of us. 

Gibson had not understood what his wife meant when she said to “tell Merrill to swing away,” and Gibson also didn’t know why his daughter kept leaving glasses of water around the house.  However, it all made sense in the end because it was part of the “master plan.”

I had my own “Signs” moment a few years ago when I was thinking of making a career change.  Before you think I’m crazy, I can assure you my experience did not involve any aliens!  Let me explain…

It was the evening of June 1, 2009, and I was frustrated and confused.  The year before, I had left my dream job in the NBA because I was ready for a new professional challenge.  However, the job I accepted had turned out to be a poor fit for my talents and passions.  It was clearly time for another change, but after an arduous process of self-reflection, career tests, and discussions with career counselors, I was still unsure what to do next.

Feeling defeated, I happened to glance at the book shelf in my bed room where I noticed over 100 books I had read for fun over the last few years on all sorts of topics related to personal and professional development.  I thought to myself how much I loved reading and studying those books.  Then, I thought to myself how cool it would be to have the same impact on other people that those authors had made on my life.

Bingo!

I then pulled out the dream job description I had created a few weeks earlier.  A career as a speaker, author, and entrepreneur would satisfy 16 of the 18 factors of my next dream job.   The results of the career tests I had recently taken also supported this revelation.

So, less than 1 month later, I resigned from my job and hired myself for my next dream job as a speaker, author, and entrepreneur.  While there have been many challenges with this transition, it was one of the best decisions of my life.

Like the glasses of water and baseball bat in the movie Signs, the answer to my problem (books and knowledge) was right in front of me in my house.  While I was reading all those books on personal and professional development, I had no idea why they fascinated me so much.  However, in the end, it all made sense.  I believe that I was born to be an author and a speaker and that I needed to read all those books to realize it.

Not sure what your dream job is?  Look around your living environment.  The clues for your dream job might be right in front of you as well…

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert, Author, Speaker, and Coach

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak nationwide to groups of students and young professionals.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

How to Develop Your Dream Job Description (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

December 17, 2010

If you want to get your dream job, you MUST create your dream job description first.  You have to know what you want before you can get it.

2 years ago, I was extremely frustrated with the direction of my career.  I had left my dream job (with an NBA franchise) and accepted a position that was not a good match for my talents and passions.  One day, I decided to sit down and write out exactly what my perfect job would look like. 

I ended up with a list of 18 factors.  Unfortunately, despite being compensated very well and working for the best boss I ever had, my current job only satisfied 5 of my 18 ideal variables.  It was clearly time for a career change.  As I looked at my list, I realized that a career as an author, speaker, and entrepreneur would satisfy 16 of my 18 variables.  (Note: I’m still working on the last 2 factors!) 

If you are in a job search or considering a career change in 2011, make sure you identify what you want BEFORE you start looking.  I made the mistake of not doing this in 2008, and that’s how I ended up in a job that was a very poor fit for me.

To develop your dream job description, here are 6 key areas to address, along with 16 questions you should ask yourself:

1. Office Location. 

a. Would you rather work in a major city, in the suburbs, or in a rural setting? 

b. How close to home do you want your office to be? 

c. Are you willing to relocate from your current location?  If so, how far from where you are now?

2. Schedule. 

a. Do you want a “9-5” job where you are in the office with a routine every day or do you want to have a schedule with much more variety? 

b. How much travel do you want to do for work (or are you willing to do)?

c. How many hours are you willing to work per week?   

3. Work environment/culture. 

a. Do you want to work in a quiet setting that feels like a library or an environment that resembles a Wall Street trading floor in terms of action and unpredictability? 

b. Do you want an environment that is very corporate and professional or one that is more playful and laid-back? 

c. Do you want to be managed very closely or do you want more freedom on how to do your job?

4. Job function. 

a. What skills do you want to use on a daily basis? 

b. What kinds of impact and results do you want to achieve through your work?

c. Do you prefer to work in isolation (i.e. at a desk in front of a computer) or do you want to interact with other people for most of the day?

5. Employer information.

a. What industries and sub-industries interest you?

b. Do you want to work for a well-established, larger entity or do you prefer to work for a smaller, more nimble organization?

6. Salary/benefits. 

a. What types of income requirements do you have, and how important is salary to you? 

b. How important is it that your compensation is tied to your performance?

There are no right or wrong answers, and you will probably feel strongly about some areas more than others.  However, it is imperative that you answer these questions BEFORE you start your job search.  You will then know where to look, and this exercise will make it easier for you be objective about potential opportunities as they arise.

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert, Speaker, and Coach

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com.

4 Ways to Figure Out What Your Dream Job Is (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 26, 2010

According to a recent report by Success Magazine, 85% of employed Americans are NOT fully satisfied with their careers.  Is this because the average person was not good enough to get a job that would have been ideal?  I certainly don’t think so.

Instead, the primary cause of job dissatisfaction is that the average person never takes the time to identify what his/her dream job is.  Most people just take the first job they can get, and then, they are somehow surprised when they don’t like their jobs.  If you are unsatisfied with your current career and not sure what you want to do next, here are 4 ways to help you identify your dream job:

  1. Try.  As I have written before, a dream job is “a job that combines your talents and passions in a way that is meaningful to you.”  The best way to find out what you like to do and what you are good at is through personal experience.  Take a variety of courses, travel to new places, read about different subjects, volunteer, intern, and try to put yourself in as many different environments as possible.  You might be surprised to find out what you are good at and what you enjoy doing.
  2. Think.  Go somewhere peaceful by yourself and reflect on your life.  Ask yourself a series of questions.  When are you happiest?  When do you feel most confident?  What comes easily for you?  What do people compliment you on most?  Who do you admire?  What problems with our world would you like to fix?  What fascinates you?  Answers to these sorts of questions will shed light on your strengths, interests, and values and give you direction on what type of work to pursue.  If you don’t know what your passions and talents are, you probably need to start paying more attention to how you feel as you live your life. 
  3. Talk.  Find several people you trust, and ask for their help in brainstorming potential career paths based on what they consider your strengths to be.  By talking out loud with those you trust, you may uncover some ideas you had not previously considered.  Just be careful to speak to people who have your best interests at heart and people who will not try to push their desires on you.  It’s also highly recommended to talk to people in any fields you are considering.  You want to know as much as possible about a potential career before you pursue it.
  4. Test.  Career testing can also help you identify your passions and talents.  Several years ago, when I was unsure what to do next in my career, I took the Myers Briggs and Strong Interest Inventory.  The results of these tests helped me reaffirm that I wanted to pursue a career as a speaker, author, and entrepreneur.  Career testing may help you confirm what you already know, or it might shed light on your talents and passions if you are struggling to identify them on your own.  Check with your career center to see what types of career testing they offer.

The hardest part of getting your dream job is figuring out what your dream job is!  If you are not sure what your dream job is, you are certainly not alone.  To take charge of your career and identify your dream job, you need to try, think, talk, and test

Be patient with yourself.  Figuring out what you want to do is a process that usually does not happen as quickly as you would like.  You will probably also find that your career aspirations will change, as you get older and your interests, strenghts, and values evolve.  No matter what happens, remember that you can change directions at any time!  It’s never too late (or too early) to go after your dream job.  The time is always right.  Go after it NOW!

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

More money does NOT equal more happiness (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 15, 2010

In May of 2008, I left my dream job.

After 5 amazing seasons working for an NBA team, I was ready for a new challenge, for something even “bigger.”  I made the mistake of thinking that more money was the answer.

One of my clients was a very successful business owner making several million dollars a year, and he offered me a position in business development for his company.  Without asking myself if I was interested in and good at the work he wanted me to do, I looked at the income potential and accepted the job.

Over the next 12 months, I got to work for the best boss you could imagine, and I made even more money than I had made working in the NBA.  But, it was the unhappiest, least satisfying period of my career after college.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining.  I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have worked under great management while being compensated very generously.  However, during that year, I felt like my career and my life were purposeless.  Every morning, I would wake up and realize that I had another 8-10 hours doing work that felt meaningless to me

I gave that company everything I had.  However, my performance was nowhere close to the huge sales numbers I posted when working for the Washington Wizards because I was not interested in my work.  Given my lack of enthusiasm and my relatively poor performance, it became nearly impossible for me to enjoy the money I was making. 

After 9 months, I realized it was time for another change.  However, this time, I wanted to make my next move more carefully.

Over the next few months, I went through an intense period of self-reflection in order to identify my values, skills, and interests.  It was not a fast process, but it worked, and it was worth it. 

My turning point came on June 1, 2009.  I was sitting in my bedroom and happened to glance over at my bookshelf.  There were over 100 books that I had read (for fun) over the last 2 years on the topics of personal and professional development.  All of a sudden, it hit me.  Why can’t I motivate and teach others like these authors and speakers have done for me?  More importantly, why can’t I do it right now?

One month later, I resigned my sales job and launched a full-time career as a speaker, author, and service-minded entrepreneur.

Over the next 12 months, I did not make nearly as much money as I did the previous year.  However, I was 10 times happier because I was doing work that mattered to me and that utilized my strengths every day.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money.  I want to make money, too!  However, never let money become the #1 motivator for your career decisions.  More money does not equal more happiness.  More meaning equals more happiness…

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

@peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for the 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

Categories: Get Your Dream Job NOW, Passion, Peak Performance, Self-Reflection

Comments: 1 Comment

The Definition of a Dream Job (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

November 11, 2010

“There are 2 great days in a person’s life – the day we are born, and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

I get a lot of interesting reactions these days when I tell people that I help students and recent graduates get their dream jobs.  Cynics tell me dream jobs don’t exist, pessimists tell me that “you can’t get your dream job in this economy,” and lazy people think I help people find a job where they can earn a 6-figure salary to sit on the beach and drink Corona’s all day.

Most people misunderstand what I mean, so here is my definition of a dream job:

“A dream job is a job that combines your talents and passions in a way that is meaningful to YOU.”

How can you figure out what YOUR dream job is?  Well, you need to answer 3 questions:

1. What are you good at?

2. What are you passionate about?

3. How can you combine these talents and passions in a way that is meaningful to YOU? 

Don’t think of finding a dream job like finding a soul-mate.  There are probably lots of jobs that could be dream jobs for you; finding your dream job is not about finding “the one.”

Another point I need to make is that a dream job is NOT a perfect job.  When I had my first dream job to work for an NBA team, there were still plenty of times and days when I got frustrated.  In my current dream job as a speaker, author, and service-minded entrepreneur, I still have challenging moments and days as well. No job will ever be perfect 100% of the time.  If you expect 100% happiness, you will always be disappointed.

In summary, you won’t find your dream job by chasing a “hot” industry or field, by chasing a job where you think you can make a ton of money, or by chasing the advice being pushed on you by your parents, family, friends, professors, or society.  The only way to find your dream job is to be honest about what matters to YOU.  Look inside, not outside.  The sooner you can do that, the sooner you will find your dream job

This is a process that takes time, but it will definitely be worth it, so be patient!  If you are willing to do whatever it takes, and if you know how/where to look, you can get your dream job in any economy!  Remember: it’s not your job to fix the economy, so don’t worry about the economy.  You just need 1 job!  Why not make it your dream job?…

-Pete Leibman

-Career Expert and Professional Speaker

-President of Idealize Enterprises

Pete@IdealizeNow.com

www.IdealizeNow.com

www.linkedin.com/in/peteleibman

Blog: http://CareerMuscles.Wordpress.com

@peteleibman

P.S. I speak about career success to students and young professionals nationwide.  To learn more about my programs and speaking availability for the 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please send an email to Pete@IdealizeNow.com. 

Categories: Get Your Dream Job NOW, Passion, Self-Reflection

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