Welcome to SixFigureStart®

Career Coaching by Former Fortune 500 Recruiters

The one thing that hurts more than having to pay income tax is not having to pay income tax – Thomas Duwar

It’s not about finding a silver lining everywhere (though that would be nice!), but it is true that many of our problems co-exist with things that we want and value — the salary that comes with taxes, the promotion that comes with stress.  So the next time you think something is a problem (it’s Monday again and I have to go to work!), how can you reframe it to be grateful or excited instead (I have a job that supports me and my dreams!)

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Gratitude As A Career Management Tool

Here’s why gratitude works not just around the holiday table but for your career as well:

Gratitude puts you in a spirit of plenty – of having, instead of lacking.  This leads to confidence, energy and a position of strength that is attractive to the people around you, whether it’s prospective employers or senior management looking for whom to tap for leadership.

Gratitude focuses you on what is working in your life.  Similarly, for good career management and job search, you want to focus on what is working and repeat what works and expand this to other areas.  You don’t want to spend all of your energy troubleshooting problems.  Of course you need to pay attention and fix any strategies or behaviors that aren’t getting the results you desire.  But more importantly focus on what works well and do more.

Gratitude provides the foundation from which you can take risks.  Once you realize all the great things you have accomplished and the strengths that you do have, you have confidence, you have patterns to follow, and you have a base off of which you can try new things.  You can afford to be bold – you’ve achieved so much already.  In this way, gratitude coats you in Teflon, and problems roll off of you more easily.  Try a gratitude journal for a few days or weeks if you can, and see the benefits of gratitude as a career management tool.

This article may be reposted as long as this byline is included in its entirety:  Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters.  Caroline is a co-author (along with Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and others) of the upcoming “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” due out March 2010; Bascom Hill Books.  Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others.  Caroline is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, a life coach (www.thinkasinc.com) and a columnist for CNBC.com, Conde Nast’s Portfolio.com, Vault.com, Wetfeet.com and TheGlassHammer.com.

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Don’t Forget To Share Your Success

The best time to look for a job is when you have one.  We all know that instinctively.  Yet, when most jobseekers get a job, the first things that go out the window are the good job search strategies that won them the new job.  Now I’m not saying that you start posting your resume updated for your new position while you fill out your new hire paperwork, but I am saying that you maintain your network and do all the good habits that support your career maintenance.  One of the best habits gained during a job search is networking.  One of the best ways to maintain your network is to give your thanks and share a success update.

When you get that new position (or even that latest job lead), go back to the person who referred you or gave you the idea to pursue that company or gave you advice on your resume.  Tell them what happened.  Be specific and gracious about how they helped you.  I estimate that it is fewer than 10% of candidates who thank me for job leads, advice, even actual positions that I have given them.  Sometimes I run into them at a separate event and they sheepishly admit that they should have circled back to me.  Sometimes I hear from them because they are asking for another favor.  Instead, dramatically differentiate yourself by following up!  Even if you have let a relationship lax and realize that thanks is way overdue, get back in touch anyway.  People are very forgiving and will often be happy to hear from you. 

The ultimate job security isn’t the stable job or company.  Lifetime employment at any one place is unrealistic given how the market works.  What makes you secure is the knowledge that you can get another job, regardless of the market.  You have good job search technique.  You know your strengths.  You know your objectives.  You position yourself well for the next stage of your career.  You have a strong network willing to help you and extend itself on your behalf.  You have a strong network because your friends realize that you are thoughtful and generous.  You say thanks and share your success.

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In time for the holidays, my CNBC piece on the power of gratitude

http://www.cnbc.com/id/27821812/site/14081545

Yes, gratitude sounds good, but as my above article in CNBC.com’s Executive Careers mentions, there is actually a very practical reason to adopt gratitude as regular practice.  Optimism stands out in the best way in down markets.

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