Relocation Myths and Stereotypes
You've probably been taught not to stereotype people based on race, religion or sex. But when you make a career or other life choice, do you still make decisions based on stereotypes?
"Big cities are unfriendly."
Any place will feel hostile to newcomers. I've lived in several of the largest cities in North America and found helpful, caring people everywhere. Often businesses are more helpful simply because there's more competition.
"The desert is all sand and cactus."
In the high desert of New Mexico, where I live, we have green trees, flowering plants, and snow in the wintertime. We have abundant fruit trees and sometimes we have to rake leaves in fall.
"Small towns are conservative, you have to join a church and country club, and you must be married."
Probably some are. My town has less than twenty thousand people, yet I know lots of very happy residents who forego churches and country clubs in favor of coffee shops and art galleries. We have many single people and a sizeable gay population. Generalizations? Well, nearly everyone has a dog or cat and you'll find numerous multi-pet households.
"Insurance sales reps must be gregarious."
Hal, a successful insurance agent for many years, has developed a portfolio of loyal, happy clients. Hal can be described as an introvert. He rarely speaks unless spoken to, and then he speaks briefly and softly. His clients have learned that he's a caring, dedicated agent who never misses a detail.
"Accountants sit quietly and crunch numbers."
These days, accountants, especially those in the large firms, have to become experts at client relations. Often they're expected to steer business towards the firm's consulting division.
"Want to travel? Be a travel agent!"
Once upon a time, when nobody worried about security and airlines gave us more than an inch of legroom, I loved to travel. When I sought ways to combine my love of travel with a career, I would often hear, "So become a travel agent."
Surprise! Travel agents rarely travel. After all, someone has to stay in the office and answer calls from clients. A major perk involves the "fam" or familiarization trips, when agents are invited as a group to preview a new resort or discover a new locale. There's rarely time for leisurely sight-seeing.
These days, a corporate travel agent is more like a traffic cop than a friendly guide, charged with enforcing regulations of the company who pays her commission: "The non-stop flight is two hundred dollars more than the connecting flight with the two-hour stopover. Looks like you've got two hours in Cleveland."
After dealing with hundreds of less-than-thrilled employees, one agent told me he was quitting the industry, probably for the more serene life of a bill collector.
How can you avoid stereotypes?
Traditional career tests often are based on outdated or stereotyped visions of careers. Stereotypes of locations tend to be perpetuated by folks who have never visited, let alone lived there.
I encourage anyone contemplating a life change to follow the Rule of Six. Talk to at least six people who have real, hands-on experience on the path you want to follow. If they clam up and say they're too busy to talk, you've learned a great deal already.
Most people will begin with a happy, party-line spiel. Dig deeper till you start uncovering negatives and warnings.
On the rare occasions you hear a lot of negatives, keep going until you discover a positive.
Harry almost gave up on his goal when four people talked about problems getting clients for a unique consulting business. After we talked, he realized they had all used the same time of marketing -- and they weren't very good at it. He broadened his search to gain a new perspective.
The Bottom Line
I'm always amazed at how many "experts" base recommendations on stereotyped versions of careers and places to live. That's why you may be advised to become a funeral director or a florist when you really belong in outside sales.
There's no substitute for gathering your own information from people who have been there and back. If something sounds too good -- or too bad -- to be true, it probably is.
About The Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career. http://www.cathygoodwin.com.
"Ten secrets of mastering a major life change" mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: email@example.com 505-534-4294
What is My Calling?
"What is my calling?" Do any of us really have complete clarity about our life calling? Even those of us with the knowingness we must teach, write or sing may often ask, "What direction am I to go, now?" How do we answer these soulful questions?
Taking Charge During An Interview!
Perhaps you've found yourself in the position of seeking a new position due to a layoff, cutback or downsizing and are now facing the interviewing process. As scary as that may seem, one of the most critical points to remember is that just because you're sitting in the seat opposite the potential employer doesn't mean you have no control. There are a number of ways for making the interview a more equal experience and the first starts with knowing you have the right to ask questions.
Seriously Impress at Your Interview With These 7 Hot Tips
So you've managed to secure a job interview for a position that fits you PERFECTLY. Now comes the moment of truth: Are you REALLY ready for the interview? If you've rehearsed what you're going to say and know the perfect answer to every potential question, you're half way there. There's just one important thing you've forgotten:
Surprise! Accounting is the Hot New Major
There was a time when accounting was the boring college major that many people regretted signing up for. A constant barrage of numbers, statistics and spreadsheets was none too interesting.
Six Sure-Fire Ways to Get Yourself a Pay Rise
Many employees do not care too much for their bosses or supervisors. It is an all too common trait. Most feel as though the boss knows nothing, has a superiority complex, is arrogant, is unapproachable, expects too much and pays too little. Are you nodding your head?
Offer Letter Limbo
Recently we concluded the placement of a Senior Sales Representative for a publicly traded company. The role was ripe with potential as the company products were being widely embraced by current and new customers. The recruiting process went smoothly as the candidate progressed through several rounds of face to face interviews with company executives.
Need a Job? Put a Gun to Your Head
A legendary marketing genius once said that, if he had to write a killer sales letter, he would imagine he had a gun pointed at his head and that he would be shot if his advertising didn't deliver.
Using Journal to Support Your Job Search
Are you searching for a job? Here are some tips on how you can use journaling in that pursuit.
Ideal Job and Handling Criticism
How many times have you been asked, "What is your dream job?"
Dont Quit Your Day Job! Convincing Your Boss To Let You Telecommute, Part 1 of 2
Are you desperately trying to find a telecommute job so that you can quit your current one? Hold on! Your job just might have the potential to be done from home.
Everyone Should Have a RED BALL in the Job Search
May I explain what about what a red ball means to me and how I counsel others as a career coach.
Getting A Leg Up
Legging Up Your Competition
Hunting the Executive Head Hunter
5 tips to win over an executive head hunter or management recruiter
Manage Your Boss - And Get Ahead!
It's clear there are a number of common issues faced by business people across totally unrelated industries and environments. This series was created to provide some perspective and guidance to executives as they negotiate their way up the corporate ladder.
Today we hear much talk of the 'global village'. People are have more opportunities to travel and live abroad than ever before. However, when you leave a familiar environment and go for an extended stay somewhere quite different, you could experience a whole range of unexpected and unfamiliar feelings. Many of these emotions can be very strong, making you feel out of control and confused: just the sort of problem you could do without as you try to cope with a new job, a new way of life. This is the experience we call 'culture shock' and its course is well understood and documented. So, the first thing to remember is that culture shock is normal, that it has clearly defined stages and that, provided you understand what is happening to you, you should be able to cope with it.
Beat the Crowd with Winning Resume Cover Letters
Far too many people underestimate the importance of resume cover letters. In a sense, a well written cover letter works like an agent on your behalf. It tosses a sales pitch for you to the employer, explaining why you should be at the top of the list for interview calls. Taking the time to write a cover letter tells the employer you are willing to go above and beyond; not just simply slap a resume in an envelope and mail it.
Brainteasers: Or, How Many Crazy Interview Questions Does It Take to Get Hired?
You've looked at all the job interview tips and techniques. Did your homework and studied all the potential employer interview questions you may be asked. Plus, you've practiced your answers in front of the mirror and in a mock interview. Yep, you're a well-prepared candidate ready to show your stuff. What more does an interviewer seeking a great candidate want?
Revitalize Your Recruiting for 2005
Happy New Year! The forecasts are in agreement: Hiring is on the rise. 2005 will mark the revitalization of our economy. In fact, hiring plans may rival 1999 statistics, when the economy was at its strongest.
De-Bunking The ?Follow Your Bliss? Myth
Hello Fellow Seekers!
More and more people are calling it quits to successful careers to create some personal leisure time or to pursue another career. This trend is becoming more popular and common. Years ago few people voluntarily quit a job midway through their careers, no matter how unhappy they were. It was not acceptable to leave one job without having another job to go to. There was a stigma present that you were damaged goods if you did so.
Recent Job Posts
|home | site map|