I am a Professor in the Human Resource Management (HRM) Department at Rutgers University. This semester we are hiring a new assistant professor and have been interviewing many gifted candidates over the past few months. During interviews, a few candidates have asked me what I like the most about our department. Without pause, I've answered “The people: I count many of my colleagues among my closest friends. We celebrate each others' successes, help each other, and respect each other. Some of us spend time together socially -- even vacationing together."
The photo is a great example of friends celebrating friends: My colleagues (Joseph Blasi and Patrick McKay) and I are at our promotion party which was hosted by another friend and colleague (Mark Huselid).
A 2009 study conducted by Rutgers University’s Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, "The Anguish of Unemployment", was a comprehensive survey of 1,200 Americans nationwide who, over the past year, have been unemployed. In today’s climate for unemployment, it may not surprise you that the study found nearly 80% have not yet found work. What may surprise you, however, is that almost 80% of the recently unemployed received less than three weeks in advanced warning – among them, 60% received no advance warning that they were to be unemployed.
This is a call to action.
People representing from all stages of careers have said to me – “I don’t know what I want to do” or “I don’t really have an ideal or dream career.” This is often followed with “I am certain that it is NOT what I am doing now.” Does this sound familiar? Many people have an easier time articulating what they don’t like, compared to what they do when it comes to work-related activities. I can respect this. Most of us haven’t allowed ourselves the ability to dream about a career since we were kids and doing so now seems juvenile or out-of-touch with reality.
Let’s try a different approach to help you find your dream career: consider some questions that may shed light on your ideal career acts from the perspective of the way you like to work.
From Guest Blogger Dr. Rick Jacobs: Industrial psychologists have a technique, job analysis, that helps to drive a variety of human resources programs from selection of new employees, to efficient training strategies to performance management initiatives. Basically job analysis is pretty much what you would think; we analyze jobs to better understand what the job requires in terms of specific tasks and underlying skills and abilities. I have done 100’s of job analyses studying positions as diverse as firefighter and police officer to executive recruiter and pharmaceutical sales professional. Each time I learn something about people, their jobs and how interesting work settings can be. In some instances it helps me to enhance my work and the way I think about what I do.
Congratulations to Jill D. for winning the "Beat the Sunday Slump" drawing. Jill shared that she will be using the $100 toward the registration for a course in small business management that will start in January. Jill mentioned that she is hoping to purchase and manage a franchise -- and the course is a step toward a desired career change. This is very exciting indeed!
As Jill knows, investing in your career future begins, in part, with investing in your own professional development.
Investing in your career may be much easier than you think. If you are like many adults, you probably have some discretionary income.
You may have heard Drew Carey’s joke: “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called ‘everybody’, and they meet at the bar.”
Yikes. If there is truth in humor, this joke is more concerning than you may realize: work-related cynicism can be a signal of a greater problem on the horizon, burnout.
Occasional work-related grousing among supportive co-workers or friends during happy hour may not be the best coping mechanism available, but it is not work-related cynicism. Work-related cynicism is persistent and generalized and includes feelings of frustration, distrust, negativity, and pessimism about many elements of one’s work situation (e.g., organization, leadership, co-workers, clients, the job itself).
Having a profitable hobby can be one of the most enjoyable ways to make a living, especially if you can turn it into a thriving small business. Who wouldn’t want to generate substantial income doing what they love? The world is full of people who have done just that -- they've taken their hobbies, originally enjoyed solely for personal pleasure, and turned them into income-generating career acts.
My blog post last Sunday was entitled “Do you have the Sunday Night Slump? If so, it could be telling you something about your career.” While money cannot buy happiness, perhaps the winner can use the $100 to do something fun on a Sunday night (or any day/night of the week).
E-mail me the words “Beat the Sunday Slump” in the subject line and you will be immediately entered to win a $100 American Express Gift Card in a random drawing.
To Enter the Contest:
Send me an email before next Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 11:00 p.m. (EDT) to Paula@PaulaCaligiuri.com
The winner will be selected at random from all of those who sent an email. The winner will be announced in my blog post on Wednesday, November 4th and will be notified via email.
Achieving your dream career takes courage, clear direction, and motivation – and is also likely to require time, money and some effort on your part. Is it worth it? To the many who have replied to the dream career blog post, the answer seems to be a resounding “yes”.
I thank those who shared their incredibly motivating career stories; many are returning to school as adults, changing their careers after 15+ years with a company or an occupation. They are investing in themselves and taking some financial risk in order to achieve their career dreams.
The way you feel on Sunday nights could be telling you volumes about your relationship with work, your career, and your company. Are you filled with dread for Monday morning? Moody? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Depressed? Are you crankier than you were on Saturday night? If so, you may be experiencing the Sunday Night Slump.
The source of your Sunday Night Slump will provide some insight into the relationship you have with work and what might need to change in order to be more fulfilled in your career. Let’s think first about the possible source of the slump:
Are you dreading the boredom or monotony of the work week?
Do you dislike the climate, culture, or people within your work group?
Are you overloaded, overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be accomplished?