Career Insanity Wrap Up

Career Insanity

For several months, I have been writing about the disease I call Career Insanity and its cure. Let me give you some background on how this concept originated.

I left the high tech industry to teach high school math in 2003 after a near fatal bicycle accident. I taught Algebra I and II for two years for Austin Independent School District. In my second year, I discovered that the stress of teaching was getting to me. Losing weight, having bouts of depression, and generally being stressed out were signs I could not do this long term. I was incredibly successful but…it was not healthy.

After I resigned and did a short stint as a contract trainer for a State of Texas vendor, I joined Launch Pad Job Club (LPJC). LPJC was born out of the Dot Com bust as part of Texas Workforce Commission.  By 2006, it had split off as a separate 501(c)(3).  Attending my first meetings in the spring of 2006, I saw who were the real victims of this recession, the mid-career professional. I met so many who had worked for IBM, Motorola/Freescale, AMD, Dell, etc. who had never been unemployed in their 20+ year careers. They had no experience in finding a job. It was like starting to date after a divorce. They were like teenagers all over again, discomfort and all.

I joined the board of directors in late 2006 and have served there ever since.

I have watched LPJC members come and go…only to return again. Some learned to change their ways and be proactive in managing their careers, but many did not. They employed the same strategy or lack of strategy of getting hired, working hard, and figuring the current job would get them to retirement.

This is where the concept of Career Insanity was born. I am a recovering engineer. I have spent 30+ years in high tech, including two successful tech start ups. I was determined to design a method that would be easy to follow and implement. There are three key elements to this strategy:

  1. If you do not identify the problems in your current environment, you are likely find the same problems in the next.
  2. Your next job, position, or career will likely come through a relationship. You will not do this alone.
  3. To get what you want, you will have to ask for what you want. This includes asking for what we want in the work environment and how we want to be rewarded. For those of us who are over 50 years of age, this is a really hard thing to do.

Over the last few months, I have been stepping you through the five steps of the Cure for Career Insanity. My first product will be a webinar series that starts on May 21st which includes 5 sessions. Enrollment has been steady and this first series is there to shake out the final bugs and get feedback. Therefore, I have priced it to be affordable at $24.95.

This is the last post on the Cure for Career Insanity as I move on to the topic of entrepreneurship. Let me know what you think!

I have several whitepapers planned for the rest of 2014.

  • Strategic Networking
  • The Targeted Job Search
  • Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Negotiating for What You Want!

Step 5 – Negotiating for What You Want!

NegotiatingStep 5, the last step in the Cure for Career Insanity, is negotiating for what you want.

Before you can start negotiating, you have to know what you want!

Most people think this is about money. I say bull hockey.

Think for a moment.  What have been the most critical things that have made you happy in your past jobs?  I will almost guarantee you that they were not monetary.

When I took my last corporate gig in December of 2007, my wife and I had planned a trip to Italy for September 2008.  It would be a three week trip.  I was offered a position to build a sales training program. September is the third and last month of the quarter. This is usually when sales teams are going full blast to make their numbers. I made it very clear who the real boss was (my wife)What I wanted was to have these three weeks be paid time off whether I had PTO time available or not. As it turns out, we did not go to Italy.  The recession set in and we went to Oregon for two weeks. My boss did not question me taking vacation during September.

What is important to you?

  • Work from home
  • Child care
  • Pet care or maybe you want to bring your dog to the office
  • Schedule – Maybe the traffic is horrible at certain times of day.  You can negotiate the time you need to be in the office
  • Desk chair – After I ruptured the L4/L5 disc in my back I learned how important a proper desk chair can be
  • Cell phone – For years, I refused to take a company phone.  If it is my phone, I have the right not to answer it!

The first step is to develop a list of the items that are important to you.

Next comes financial requirements.

Never ever tell them what you currently make or what you want! Never! Never! Never!

Know what you are worth!  Talk to peers.  The world has changed and people will talk about compensation.  Look at the entire compensation.  Salary, benefits, 401(k) match, stock option, employee stock purchase plans, etc.

Check some of these websites for salary comparisons:

If you have other sites that you like, please write a comment.

When you are given an offer, never ever accept it on the same day. If they insist on an immediate answer, walk away as fast as you can!  The answer is no.

If the offer is low, tell them you want more.  If they ask how much more you want, respond with,  I want to be compensated fairly.”  If they insist on an answer, tell them you want to be compensated fairly. Do not take the bait!

Remember, the non-financial requirements are likely more important than the financial ones!

Negotiate on the non-financial items first!

Once they have made an offer, they have made a commitment to hiring you.  They will not easily walk away. Use it to your advantage. It often turns out money is the least important negotiating point, but the one we put the most emphasis on!

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

The Cure for Career Insanity  webinar series starts on Wednesday May 21st, 2014.

This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series. If you are interested in learning more and to register check out the Cure for Career Insanity page on this website.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Pivoting Your Response to the Dreaded Question

Pivoting your response when asked why you want to leave your current job!

responseIn my last post, I discussed pivoting your response to this dreaded question. This is part of step #4 of the Cure for Career Insanity.

You should never go negative when asked why do you want to leave your current job. I talked about Robert’s desire to leave a comfy but low paying  and unrewarding university position(unrewarding by Robert’s definition of not getting pats on his back from his bosses).

Let’s talk about James this time.

  • Works for a huge insurance company
  • Director of HR responsible for managing the medical benefits
  • Has been climbing the corporate ladder with a plan to get to be a VP
  • He is not happy in his current position working for a huge slow moving organization
  • Has worked for medium size companies where he has had led or had a leadership role in HR
  • His boss Steve, VP of HR, who he just adored left because Steve’s boss was a workaholic and expected all of his staff to do the same

After much self exploration James has decided he would rather work for a smaller company again.  He wants to be a big fish in small pond.  He has applied and is interviewing for Steve’s old VP position but cannot see himself working for the workaholic boss. If offered the job he will be put in a very difficult position. He has a family and wants a personal life.

He is interviewing for the Director of HR for a small/medium size company that is growing rapidly. He would have a small staff but would be responsible for all of HR for the entire company.

How should James be pivoting his response to answer the question — Why do you want to leave your current position?

One response could be -

“My current position is ok but I have decided that I want to work for a smaller company where I can have an impact on all phases of HR within the company. I want to work in a dynamic environment.  Can we talk about the new initiatives that are planned for the coming year?”

The interviewer could come back with a follow up question:

“You say your current position is ok, can you elaborate?”

One response could be -

“In my current position I manage medical benefits which is ok but I want to have a broader focus. I want to have an impact on all phases of HR within the company. I want to work in a dynamic environment.  I hear that there are many initiatives planned for the coming? I would really like to discuss those?”

James did not answer the question but stated where he wanted to go which implied why he might be leaving.  He immediately pivoted the conversation to a topic he wanted to discuss.

When the interviewer set the bait, he did not take it.

You may remember in my post “It is all about you! It is your DAMN Interview!” you have control of the interview.

Whenever you are posed with a question that has bait attached deflect the bait and pivot the conversation back the other way.

How would you have pivoted your response?

Have you ever done this?  If not, practice this with a friend, mentor or coach.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. This webinar series starts on Wednesday May 21st, 2014. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more and to register check out the Cure for Career Insanity page on this website.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Why do you want to leave your current job question

Why do you want to leave and not take the bait!

want to leaveYou will be asked why do you want to leave! They key is not to take the bait!

Step 4 in the Cure for Career Insanity is probably the most important in your job search. It can be done in tandem with Step 3.

Framing Your Job Search for Maximum Effectiveness: What do you tell your next prospective employer when he asks why you want to leave your current position?  If you tell him the job stinks and your boss is an ogre, he will say: “NEXT!”

How do you answer your prospective employer’s question of why you want to leave?

Does it come off as negative?  It better not!

How are you going to answer this question?

When I left my last corporate position, I was pretty pissed. I was put in a highly unethical position, I watched management abuse employees both verbally and emotionally, and I was sick of the politics.  I was worn out—both physically and emotionally.

It was over a year later and I was still somewhat pissed.  It did not help that I had people calling me monthly with stories of what was continuing to go on.  I was highly trusted by my former colleagues.  What I knew not to do is to talk publicly about my displeasure. Except, when I took the bait.

Last year, I was at a networking event and someone asked me about my experience.  I was very politically correct in all of my answers.  This person kept probing and probing and probing.  I finally bit. I spoke of my displeasure.

This was to someone with whom I had no business connection, he was not in a prospective customer, and I was not looking for a job. It was a rather safe error.  On the other hand, I felt miserable the next day.  Bringing all of the emotions back to the surface was uncomfortable, and I felt bad about having spilled the beans.  That is what I have my wife and therapist for!

In an interview, this would have been deadly.  Almost of all of us have these feelings and emotions when we are looking for a new gig. You need to recognize when the bait is being set.

Our goal is have a response that pivots the response from why you want to leave — to – where you want to go!

It is all about re-framing the question.

You might respond – I am happy in my current position (whether this is true or not) but I am looking for — what this new job can actually provide.

Let’s use Robert as an example. Robert is a Political Science lecturer at a major university in the Midwest.  He had been an energy lobbyist until the 9/11 disaster  and the Enron bankruptcy put him out of work.  He went back to school to get his masters in Political Science and landed a lecturer position at the university where he attended.  The problem is that the pay is very low, he has been teaching the same classes for many years, and his ego has taken a bruising.

Robert is the kind of guy who really likes a pat on the back from his bosses…which he does not get.  He gets lots of love from his students, but not from anyone else.

The tedium of teaching the same classes has kind of gotten to him.  He has realized he needs a lot of variety to keep himself motivated.

He needs to make more money!  He is married with two kids, and the money is just not sufficient.  He is not on a tenure track and, therefore, it is somewhat of a dead end job.

He wants a position as an energy lobbyist.

How could Robert respond when posed with the magic question on why he is leaving?

One possible response could be:

I really love my job and students, but what I really want is a position where I can get some recognition for my work, where I get to work on wide variety of topics, and where I can make enough money to support my family.

If the interviewer comes back and asks — Do you not get that from your current position?

Robert could respond

My salary is of public record and you can look that up.  I am focused on where I want to go, and your position seems to meet my criteria. Can I ask you about the variety of topics I would be working on at this position?

He pivoted the response to where he was going and when questioned he used it as way to pose a question back.

Robert focused on what he wanted and did not to take the bait!

Why do you want to leave?

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. This webinar series starts on Wednesday May 21st, 2014. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more and to register check out the Cure for Career Insanity page on this website.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Creating Your Network for Career Success

Creating Your Network

creating your networkCreating your network can and should be done strategically. In my last post, Networking Strategically to Your Next Position, I discussed the need for you to define your tribe and your fan club.

Who should be in your network?

Connectors

You should have at least 5% of your network be connectors. Connectors are those who know a lot of people and enjoy making connections between them.

I am a connector. I know a lot of people and thoroughly enjoy playing matchmaker. I will warn you that you should be careful in over using any one connector. That is why you should have many connectors in your network.

There are special connectors called recruiters.  In a previous post called Partner with Recruiters to Manage Your Career, I wrote that you should carefully cultivate strategic relationships with recruiters. They are very busy people but they are people people. Whenever you engage with them, do it with a purpose that is clearly stated.

Connectors are a small but key component when creating your network.

Mentors

As a baby boomer and having started my career in the 1970s, no one encouraged me to find a mentor.

When I started my career with IBM in 1978, I knew to seek out those in the area that really knew what they were talking about AND were not jerks! There were some really big egos who would not help anyone, but there were also those who you could learn from. Seek those people out and cultivate formal mentoring relationships.

I now have multiple mentors each in a different subject area.

Think about who you can ask to be a mentor when creating your network.

Industry or Company Expert

Who in your industry or company do you need to know? Be very selective and make sure they know who you are and what value you bring to the table. You do not need to form a bond with these people, but you do need to be on their radar screen.

I have a client who works for a company that is downsizing. My client is working to maintain “their seat” until they can move on. When the last round of layoffs came my client went to a person of importance within the company and asked for advice.

The person of importance could assure my client of nothing, but we found out later that the person of importance stepped in to make sure my client had “their seat”.

That relationship was built several years earlier!

When creating your network, are their industry experts that you should include?

Peers

This may sound odd, but seek out peers and see how you can help them. I wrote about this in a previous article called Paying It Forward to Establish Your Personal Brand.

What I clearly stated in that post was that it is important to help others and expect nothing in return. Be that guy or gal that people know they can turn to when they need help.

When creating your network, which peers can you help?

Now that we have defined the components of your network, my next post will be about finding and cultivating relationships.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. This webinar series starts on Wednesday May 21st, 2014. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more and to register check out the Cure for Career Insanity page on this website.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Networking Strategically to Your Next Position

Networking Strategically is Key

Networking StrategicallyNetworking strategically is key to step #3 of the Cure for Career Insanity.

What the heck is networking strategically?  It is networking with a defined goal and a strategy to get to that goal. Let’s look at some examples:

  • You are unemployed and are looking for a job.  Your goal might be to get to know the recruiter who handles positions for a company, or the hiring manager for current and future positions.
  • You are employed, but want out of your current company. You probably have the same goal as the unemployed job seeker, BUT you may have a different strategy because you do not want your current employer to know.
  • You are looking into a career change.  Your want to meet professionals in the field that you wish to switch into, with a goal to decide on a new career path.
  • You either want to move up or laterally in your current company. Your goal might be to meet and build relationships outside of your current management chain.

The goal in all of these examples is to build key and strategic relationships with people who can help you define what is next by asking for what you want in your career.

There are two groups I want you to focus on first before you start networking strategically.

Your Tribe

In my book, Repurpose Your Career -  A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, which I co-authored with Susan Lahey, your tribe is described as follows:

Your tribe is the group of people who will get you through your Career Pivot, because believe me,with all this change, facing uncertain prospects and being humble while asking for help, you are going to need some people rooting for you. Your tribe is also the group you can call on for an introduction or some advice over coffee. And they can call on you, too–whether for themselves, or for a friend who wants some intelligence about your areas of expertise. It’s like the barn raising communities where you all help your neighbor build his barn, knowing—without asking– he’ll show up with lunch and a hammer to help you raise yours.

The reality is we can maintain a maximum of about 150 relationships in our lives. Your tribe is the key to success when networking strategically.

(More: Build Your Tribe for Career Success)

Your Fan Club

Peter Arnell wrote about fan clubs in his book Shift: How to Reinvent Your Business, Your Career, and Your Personal Brand. From this book, I learned about the importance of fan clubs to any job search. These are the people who care about you and want you to succeed. These are the people who will cheer you on and you will lean on when you are the most discouraged.

In 2002, I had a near fatal bicycle accident which was my wake-up call to do something different with my life. I went off to teach high school math at an inner city high school. I built a fan club that supported me through that very difficult first year of teaching.

(More: Building a Fan Club)

In my next post on the Cure for Career Insanity I will discuss implementing a plan that will get you networking strategically.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. I plan to launch the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series in May. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more, please register to receive updates!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Ask for What You Want in Your Career

Do you know how to ask for what you want?

askWhat is this “ask for what you want” stuff?

I am a baby boomer—and a guy, at that. I was raised to go to work and earn a living to support my family.  I do not like asking for directions! 

Most of us do not even know how to ask for what we want in our career or job.

I cannot tell you how many networking events or private meetings I’ve had with people who responded to the question, “What are you looking for?” by going “blah blah blah blah.”  What I mean is that they say nothing of substance.

I then spend the next 15-20 minutes asking questions and pulling the information out of them. It is only then that I can really help them.

Do you recognize yourself in the above?

Learning to ask for what you want is step #3 in the Cure for Career Insanity.

Step #1 is to understand why you want you leave your current position.

Step #2 is to define what you want in a boss, team, reward, structure, variety, activity and emotional environment.

Now you need to craft the equivalent of an elevator pitch to say what you’re looking for. You need to be able to clearly and succinctly express what you want.

For example:

I am looking for a smaller organization in the yyy industry, where I get to lead a cohesive team developing zzz. 

After a little discussion you can add:

I want a manager who will support me, but allow me to run the show as I see fit.  I want to work in an organization that values teamwork with minimal politics.

How long will this take to develop and perfect?  Probably longer than you think.  You should practice this on friends, significant others, and anyone else that will provide constructive criticism. It is not important how it sounds to you, rather, is it understandable to your audience?

Once you have crafted that pitch, you need to get out and talk to people.  It is my claim that when you can state clearly and succinctly what you want, you will have friends , colleagues and countrymen come to your aide.  The key point is clarity and succinctness!

Rather than show up at a networking event, go ask for A-I-R, ask for Advice, Insights and Recommendations. Please read this post first before continuing.  It will give you a strategy for approaching people.  When you ask for advice, rarely will you be turned down.  If someone turns you down, then…well…you do not want to talk to them anyway!

Once you start doing this, you will find opportunities coming to you!  Yes, this process WORKS! 85% of all positions are filled through referrals!

You just have to ask for what you want!

This is step #3 in the Cure for Career Insanity.

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. I plan to launch the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series in May. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more, please register to receive updates!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Variety in Your Day – A Good or Bad Thing

Variety in Your Day

VarietyDo you like a lot of variety in your work day?

Do you prefer a steady pace to work on one thing at a time?

Do you like to have tight control over your schedule, or is being interrupted regularly alright with you?

This is one of the top issues I see when clients are tremendously unhappy at work.

I do not multitask! Let me do one thing at a time. I also like control over my schedule.  Do not come in and make wholesale changes on me and expect me to be happy.

Where problems occur is when someone’s effective behavior (Birkman term for how you appear to the world) is to multitask.  They then assume that it is perfectly alright to interrupt you to give you a new task.

What I have seen over and over with experienced professionals is that they love variety in their day, but they want to select that variety! Do not screw with their schedule!

These people appear to be really good at juggling. Therefore, their bosses feel comfortable to swap out tasks on them because they are so good at it.

Basically, these people are hard to read. Whenever you appear one way but expect to be treated in the opposite way, you may be unhappy most of the time.  You would be surprised how often this occurs. Many times, it is a learned behavior.

How about you?  Do you send out the mixed signals to your boss and team?

This is the end of step #2 of the Cure for Career Insanity.

If you have not read the previous articles now is a good time to catch up before we go on to step #3:

Next week we will start on Step #3 – Learning to Ask for What You Want: How do you ask for what you want? How do you use strategic networking and interviewing techniques to ensure you get what you want in the next position?

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. I plan to launch the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series in May. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more please register to receive updates!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

People at Work – A Blessing or a Curse?

People-at-WorkPeople at Work

Do you like the people you work with? Do you like your team?

I just had a conversation with a gentleman who left his last two jobs because of the people he worked with.

Job #1 - He was a contractor and was told to do his job. He was not privy to information that the rest of the team had. He felt like an outsider. He is very social, and having people around him was crucial. He left when a better opportunity came up.

Job #2 - He moved to another company where he was to institute structure and change where there had never been any before. While doing this, he also had to manage a team of sales people. He totally misread the situation, and quickly became the “bad guy.” He was let go after six months on the job.

Now, he is looking for a new job. His team was a curse!

(More: Why do you want to leave? Is it your team?)

We had the discussion about what his ideal team looked like. In this case, the people around him were absolutely critical to his success and, more importantly, his happiness.

Years ago, I learned how important the people at work are to me.

I left a position at IBM in the mid 1990s where I worked with a superb team. I soon learned that the team I was leaving had been a true blessing!

I left this job because I was bored, and instead, took a position as a consultant for IBM. I was on a year-long project where new consultants would cycle in and out every few weeks. These people were either unhappily married, unhappily single, or unhappily divorced. Do you get the picture? They were not a fun group of people to be around. That group of people were a real curse.

Though they were smart and talented, they had miserable personal lives because of the constant travel. WOW! I missed the team from my old job. They were a true blessing to work with!

I like a team of talented people, where there is little hierarchy, and everyone is focused on what is best for the team.

Reflect back on when you worked with a great team.

What were the characteristics of the people in that group?

Maybe your best team was one that you never saw! If you like to work alone, that might have been the right mix.

This is part of step 2 in the Cure for Career InsanityDetermining what you really want in your next job, which includes getting to work with people you want to be around!

What does your ideal team look like?

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. I plan to launch the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series in May. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more please register to receive updates!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

What are the Characteristics of a Good Boss for You?

What makes a good boss for you?

Good BossNotice I did not ask what makes a good boss.  I asked what makes a good boss for you! This is very individualistic.

Last month, I wrote about 5 Traits to Avoid in a Boss. I asked you to get very clear on what you do not like about your current boss.

Now I want you to get really clear on what you want.

I have clients who want and need someone who is very collegial—almost a peer.

I have other clients who very much want someone who is in control.

What I find most common among my clients is the desire to have a boss who is politically astute and gives them complete control to do what needs to get done. It is what I call, “Get out my way and let me do the job” Syndrome.

My favorite boss was Theresa who managed the IBM AIX Briefing Center in Austin.  She was phenomenally good at hiring superstars and then leaving them alone to do their jobs.  If anything went wrong or there was a political conflict, she was right there to back us up. She was not technically competent to make technical decisions, so left those to her team. She was the best manager I have ever had.

I have often run into young engineers who thought their bosses had to be a better engineer than them.  I would tell them that is simply not true. Some of my best bosses in my technical career were technically incompetent. They were great managers of technical people. It is a different skill set.

I ran into the same thing in schools.  Teachers thought principals needed to have extensive and successful classroom experience.  Boy. that is so not true.  It takes a totally different personality makeup to be a successful principal than a successful teacher.

What makes a good boss for you?

What characteristics do you value in your boss?  Who has been your best boss and what made them so good?

During the interview process, how do you ensure you will ultimately get the boss you want?

You have to ask the right questions!

Ask the hiring manager about their management style. Ask everyone else you interview with about the hiring manager’s management style. Did you get consistent answers?

If you have a panel interview, ask the hiring manager to describe their management style, but I specifically want you to pay attention to the body language of everyone else on the panel. Did they start to squirm?

Think back to when you were happy at work and you had a boss you really liked.

What are the characteristics that made them a really good boss?

What about Corporate Reorganizations?

We will see in later steps in the Cure for Career Insanity that understanding corporate culture will be key. In some large corporations, reorganization seems to be a constant phenomenon. If having a boss to your liking is on the top of your requirements list, then going to this kind of corporation is probably not a good choice.

This is part of step 2 in the Cure for Career Insanitydetermining what you really want in your next job, which includes getting a good boss!

Does this sound interesting? Are you suffering from Career Insanity?

I will be blogging on these five steps for the Cure for Career Insanity over the next few months. I plan to launch the Cure for Career Insanity Webinar series in May. This will be a very affordable (under $25) five part webinar series which will be recorded and offered as an online course. If you are interested in learning more please register to receive updates!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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