I’m bored. Most people’s response would be, “you work, you make good money, you can work whenever you’d like, you have the life!”…but not for me. I’ve gone from 7 years of working 80 + hours / week to working maybe 20 hours / week. While I understand this is ‘supposed’ to be something I’m appreciative of; the “American Dream”, right? Making more than enough money while doing what you love WHEN YOU want to do it. BUT, something is missing.
I don’t know if I’m missing structure; if I’m missing the “buzz” of hundreds of sales reps and marketing managers; the ‘team’ or social aspect of work; or it may even be the stimulation of being surrounded by highly intelligent people, but I’m bored. I’ve read books, read blogs all day (which has been a fantastic way to learn / broaden my horizons, etc), I start my Six Sigma course next week, but….I think I need to get something going. I need more of a long term goal.
So, I’ve defined my professional goals as follows:
1. Sign 6 month contract / consulting retainer with lead gen marketing company
2. Broker 2 new deals per month
3. Complete Six Sigma Course
4. Seek out new mentor
My personal goals:
1. Continue to work out daily, overall be healthy
2. Travel once / month
3. Seriously talk about getting PG
4. Make Mark happy
Ok, so I thought I would lay out these goals and it would give me something to do…NOPE. Any suggestions?
I’ve spent the past eight years promoting higher education, specifically higher education online; during which time I had gotten certified in project management and taken a few graduate level business courses. I had originally taken online courses so I would “know what I was selling and marketing”. I’ve been vacillating for the past few years about going back to school online to get certified in six sigma, but never “just did it”….until last week.
Last week I enrolled for Villanova’s Online Six Sigma program through University Alliance (some of you may know as Bisk Education). Having worked in this industry for years, I liked the quality of their program, their delivery method, LMS, and they had a great admissions representative; Pricing was definitely fair, books included, etc.
I received my books on Monday and almost had a heart attack. I’ve spent my career ensuring students do not only enroll. but more importantly START and GRADUATE from their online university…Students have always called or emailed the first day of classes or after they receive their books wanting to DROP and I have always calmed them down. Well, it was time for ME to calm down. I went back to my first year in “admissions” and pulled out an old email I used to send students that said, “Don’t freak out! You’re going to be nervous to go back to school; you’re supposed to be. Everyone is feeling the same thing”. I didn’t 100% feel better, but a little bit.
Now that I’ve taken the time to peruse the six sigma book(s), it’s actually not bad…and the ‘words’ and ‘language’ that had intimidated me on my first day were all abbreviations for something I already knew (or knew how to do). It was interesting though – having the same feeling I’ve been talking students out of having for years.
Everything comes full circle, right?
Boo Hoo. You’re out of a job. You and every one of your 9 friends. We’re all out of jobs, or we’re working for less money, or we’re not getting paid what we’re worth…or the company has cut out our spouses or our parents. Rest assured, we all know someone, most of us – someones – who have been affected by the lack of business or ‘recession’. So, when it happens to you, what will you do?
1. Most importantly; CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR
I don’t care if you’ve been a Vice President for 15 years; it’s time to work your way up again. If you were a great vice president, as good as you thought, then the jobs would have been poring in from your competitors as soon as other businesses knew you were out of work. If that didn’t happen, then it’s time to get back on the ground floor of a company and do something differently this time.
Most people look at our economy as a ‘mess’ right now; and sure, there are situations that suck and everyone’s is different. But, there is only one thing you can control; YOU – and the attitude you have. A great mentor told me, “everything is purposeful” and it is. If you look back to the hardest things you’ve gotten over in life, you’ll realize these are the times you built character.
If you need money; don’t wait for the perfect job. Check your ego at the door, take what comes your way FOR NOW while you continue to apply for other jobs.
2. SELL, SELL, SELL
If there is one skill set that will always prove useful in the business arena, that is being a salesperson. If you have experience in sales, go SELL. And don’t just sell anything. Find something you believe in and KILL IT. Be the top producer. And if you’ve never sold before, no better time to get into a large corporation where they will TRAIN you to sell. Once you can sell and market, you can work in any arena. And, if you’re good, you’ll move up quickly; especially if you have solid management experience in your past. While some businesses are slowing down, a couple of sectors have doubled in size. Advice: Get into higher education sales. The market is booming AND if you believe in education, you can sell it. The training programs at the for profit institutions are unmatched as are the opportunities for advancement. Just look at the 2 largest IPOs of the past two years; education stocks.
3. Relish the opportunity
Those who are most successful in this world have 2 things in common: 1) They know what they’re passionate about and have found a way to work with their passion. 2) They are lifelong learners. Take the time you have off to find where your passion is and GO FOR IT. Find a way to market your passion. While you’re researching your passion; learn about it and learn how others have been successful in the field you’re passionate about. This is an opportunity for YOU to find YOU. I want to go say “Thank You” to my last company as these past three months consulting have been the best I’ve ever had. It’s not only one consistent learning experience, but I choose what I do…and I only do what I’m passionate about.
Employers have had to cut costs and staff across most companies and in doing so are short handed from a resource perspective. If you have been an executive or an expert in your industry, reach out to prior contacts and offer to consult for them. Consulting is much better for an employer than a FTE. No benefits to pay, so the employer is saving about 20% by hiring you over a FTE. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; the worst your going to here is “no”; and who cares about rejection; it’s part of our everyday life.
5. Take inventory of yourself
Compare yourself to people in your position who have not lost their jobs. Compare your resume to the ‘job qualifications’ of the jobs you would like. What’s the difference? Is there anything missing? Many times these days it’s education. Use this opportunity to go back to school. I’m actually going back to get my six sigma certification. Can I afford it? Nope. But moreso, I can’t afford NOT to do it. In my area, most people have their Masters or MBA. I don’t. However, I also know myself; and I want to ensure I can be disciplined enough to work at home and go to school online; so, before jumping into a $25,000 program, I’ll take something I know will help me on my resume, something that job seekers are looking for, and something that will help me to “stand out” from the crowd.
Net / Net:
You can sit home depressed and collect unemployment; OR you can do something. I’ve decided to do something…well, some things….what will you do?