Surviving the Holidays

The holidays have their own colors, music, merriment, personal and family traditions. January only has restraints: diets, unfavorable weather, new habits, failed resolutions, and the holiday bills. The celebrations are over and we return to our day-to-day routines, often anti-climatic, which can lead to depression.

To buffer any feelings of loss, these suggestions may help you stay positive during the post-holiday period.

  1. Get in touch with friends or family members that you didn’t have time to contact over the holidays. FaceTime and Skype are still free and so are smartphone long distance calls. Brighten up your own, and someone else’s day, with an unexpected call or email.
  2. Catch up with friends and family Facebook postings. Give them a shout out “way to go”, “nice going.”
  3. Seek out YouTube videos that are uplifting, enlightening, or funny. Renew your spirit. There’s nothing wrong with watching television or surfing the internet for positive motivation or rest, but don’t let it gobble up your time and prevent you from contact with real live people.
  4. You know that you overspent during the holidays. Brace yourself by writing down your expenses and budgeting the payment of your purchases over the first quarter of the new year. Budget a lean first few months to help you pay off the credit cards. Rather than a gym membership, try working out to videos at home.
  5. Invite friends over for a cup of tea, a brewski, or popcorn and a movie. Lean on your friends and family. The happiest people are those who stay connected.
  6. Focus on others. Get involved with your community and friends to maintain positive self-worth. Start at home by helping with maintenance, the children, or aging parents. Won’t your neighbor be surprised when you offer to help him clean out his gutters? Nonprofit or religious agencies are always looking for help. Americans are famous for their charitable acts. More than 63 million Americans volunteered during 2009 (U.S. Bureau of Labor).
  7. Take a Deep Breath. Do you know what happens when you take a really slow, deep breath? Your oxygenized cells travel to every part of your body and enhance every system. And more oxygen means less tension. Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and other such breathing related methods can be practiced anywhere at any time.

4-Year Degree and No Job in Sight?

Venn diagramAre you a recent graduate with a liberal arts degree and wonder which jobs fit your skills and personality?

Your passion and natural enthusiasm for certain subjects or activities help you identify careers or environments that bring you WorkLife happiness. Working at something you enjoy can make all the difference between a job and a career.

Wouldn’t you love to say, “You mean I get paid for doing this? I love my work.” 

stopWait a Minute …
I can’t tell you what I’m passionate about because I have no idea what my interests are or what motivates me!

For a comprehensive evaluation, Kammer & Associates offers various assessment tools, administered by certified coaches. We are highly skilled in the use of the most successful career assessment instrument, The Birkman Method®.

The Birkman Method® allows you to assess career interests, motivations, and the work environments that will strengthen the potential for a successful job and career fit. Using the Birkman personality assessment can help move you beyond the realm of identifying a “good career” into one in which the career would be “good for you.”

Click here for a free assessment. Allow 25-35 minutes to complete the questionnaire. After completion, you will receive an email with a free personal report entitled, “Some Basic Information About You,” which is generated from the answers you give.

To receive an extensive report to help you further identify careers or environments that bring you WorkLife happiness, contact Kammer & Associates, Inc.

NEWORK Happenings

WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW RADIO INTERVIEW 
Dr. Tim Morrison conducted an exciting radio interview with Kit as his guest, discussing elements of  the NEWORK workbook, such as the elevator speech, resume writing, and other facets of career transition. Listen here.

DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL 
NEWORK was featured at the 2012 Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the country. Kit gave a short talk to an interested audience about helpful job search aspects included in NEWORK, followed by a book signing.

Kit was also a guest author and speaker at the Emerging Authors Pavilion where she had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Festival attendees and other authors.

GEORGIA CAREER DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION 
Kit participated on an author’s panel at the monthly meeting of GCDA at Mercer University. It was a lively and informed discussion followed by a great deal of networking. Kit shared the value of NEWORK as a workbook for persons of all ages and professions in their job searches. Thank you, GCDA.

BUSINESS RadioX MIXER 
Kit attended the Business RadioX networking event at the Concourse Athletic Club to meet some of the most interesting business people in Atlanta – authors, executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, transitioning executives, consultants, and corporate executives.

NEWORK BOOK PARTY 
Thanks to Pam Williamson for opening her lovely home at Berkeley Lake for neighbors and friends to discuss NEWORK and its value in their career transitions.

NEWORK BOOK LAUNCH 
The NEWORK book launch was a resounding success. Friends, family, business associates, and interested readers came from all over the city to gather, talk about the book, buy copies, and make new friends at the offices of Kammer & Associates in Atlanta.

A Salary Surprise

Angela is a policewoman who has worked five years each for two suburban police forces in a major metropolitan area. She is the only woman at her rank, and her present boss is the Chief of Police. She was given a promotion two years ago but recently found out through the Open Records Act that she is the least paid of her rank; her salary is even below that of recent hires. What should her next move be to solve this inequity?

When Angela came to see me and told me her story, I was once again confronted with this age-old dilemma of women not being equally compensated for doing the same work as men.

I immediately began asking questions of Angela to bring me up to speed with her situation. Some of the questions included:

  • Have you worked for the same boss over these 5 years?
  • How many positions have you held?
  • At what salary did you start?
  • How have you progressed? What does it usually take to advance?
  • What is the culture at the police force?
  • How many people hold the same position that you hold and what are their salaries?
  • How many years have each been with the police force?

 It became obvious that Angela needed negotiation training. We spent 45 minutes discussing negotiation skills. She needed to be well prepared, and like any business meeting, have an agenda ready that enumerated her main points. I advised her to ask for a salary above the highest for her rank. That would allow some wiggle room to compromise on a figure acceptable to both parties.

Have you had this experience or do you know of a woman in this situation? I’d love to hear from you.

More information about negotiating skills is in my book NEWORK. WorkLife. Transition. Balance. www.neworkthebook.com.

Contact Kammer & Associates at 404-459-5980 or kammer@mindspring.com.

Amazon.com Book Reviews of NEWORK

Check out Amazon.com for book reviews of NEWORK.

Write Here Write Now Interview

NEWORKTim Morrison, host of radio program Write Here Write Now which is broadcast weekly over Atlanta Business RadioX, interviews Kit about her book NEWORK. During this lively interview they discusss her background, leadership coaching and career transition, insights into the job search  including the elevator speech, honesty in the writing of a resume, networking, and more.

Listen here.

A 4-Star Review

Kit’s book, NEWORK, received a 4-star review by Karen Pirnot for Readers Favorite:

“Nework” by Katherine Kammer is a nifty little workbook of ideas to help find balance in the working part of one’s life. The author tells the reader that career goals are obtainable but that, with many of us, the goal is actually a step-by-step process in which small defeats must be handled in order to continue on the right path to the career goal. The reader will learn how physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energy must be portioned in order that balance in the working life be achieved. The author explains the process of setting up goals and then tackling a resume that will catch the attention of those who can help to facilitate one’s goals. Handling interviews and negotiating terms of employment is a very helpful section to those not accustomed to having to toot their own horn and for those who like to think their own work abilities should speak for themselves. Probably one of the most helpful pages for females is one in which the author encourages women to speak up for themselves in order to achieve pay equity.

This is a very user-friendly book in which one’s thinking can be put in a check/balance mode. Assessing just what one WANTS to be responsible for is one of the critical thinking checks and one which is oftentimes overlooked in other self-help books. Even though I’m not so sure that the information itself is entirely new, the format and the practical nature of the book make it one which will appeal to those looking for a better working world.”

The Value of Outplacement – How it Can Help

In today’s business environment, there’s a growing realization that many “reductions in force” and terminations are “no fault.” They are likely to be a natural by-product of changes in business conditions, corporate strategic direction or management. The fundamental intent of our corporate outplacement is to assist both sides in a smooth exit and transition into the next career phase. Following are some widely held industry views on the value of corporate outplacement.

For the Sponsor

  • Eases the highly stressful job for the manager of terminating an employee
  • Provides for timely, confident decisions to release employees who no longer fit the organization’s needs
  • Reduces exposure to litigation
  • Improves relationships between departing employees and employers
  • Maintains morale and productivity among remaining employees
  • Reduces overall cost of terminations
  • Promotes a positive image of the organization to its various constituencies

For the Individual

  • Teaches skills needed to conduct a rapid, effective re-employment campaign
  • Provides professional support during personal crisis; works to restore self-confidence and morale
  • Develops an understanding of what went wrong and the need to focus on the future
  • Develops insights into changes needed for future success, helps set new goals, and teaches skills needed for future career management
  • Provides comprehensive consultation and administrative support throughout the campaign

Whether you are a sponsor or an individual, Kammer & Associates can answer your questions – in complete confidence – about any phase of the professional corporate outplacement process.

Career Trends

The changes in career trends are accelerating rapidly. The most exciting trend and the one most difficult to adapt to is the fact that every job is temporary. This is now true whether you are a boss, manager, or employee. After World War II, employees joined companies for life. Today, jobs are fluid because companies are bought and sold, cost centers are reassigned or redefined, profiles of what it takes to be a top performer are rethought, and successful companies are constantly changing to compete.

Another exciting career trend we are seeing is the need to be constantly learning. It is no longer enough to get an education at the age of 22 and expect that education to see you through a 50 year career. Learning is now life long in order to keep up with the constantly changing competitive environment and rapidly developing technology. Technology developments change our world at an amazing pace making continuous learning necessary to stay on top of your chosen specialty.

The lines between work and play are dissolving. Richard Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, believes life is divided into 4 parts: work, adventure, learning, and play. Since we can now take our work with us anywhere we go, work can be adventurous and play-filled. Every hour of the day can now be used differently; all working arrangements are open to redesign. An example of this trend includes the growth of the home office (SOHO – small office, home office) businesses.

These 3 trends, every job is temporary, the need to be constantly learning, and the lines between work and play dissolving, provide a great challenge for those people who count on things to remain as they were. These trends increase the need for career coaching and development. Kammer & Associates is prepared to help you meet those needs.

Credentials … How Important Are They?

How important are professional credentials? Kammer & Associates has found that designations can help enhance your professional stature.

Our advice to clients: Earn any and all certifications and accreditations possible. You have nothing to lose and much to gain. Why?

  • Designations can promote a positive first impression with employers and peers.
  • The process itself – review of your experience, written exam, peer interviews – exposes you to a new and often higher-level
    group of peers.
  • Knowing the criteria to obtain credentials is an excellent review of what your industry views as important. It also instills the discipline of keeping up with professional standards.
  • Having credentials can give you access to special training, seminars, publications, etc.

Earning professional credentials is a career-building opportunity that can greatly exceed the effort involved.