Is College Worth It?

 Photo: Diliff/Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Diliff/Wikimedia Commons

Unemployment, underemployment, degree inflation, labor shortage, student loan debt... I cover a lot of ground in my new PsychologyToday.com article, but it's just the tip of the iceberg on such an important topic.

I use the latest data and labor market trends to take up the tough question: Should I go to college?

Read the article here: Does It Pay To Go To College? - Psychology Today

Answers Fill The Stillness We Create

Struggling with big decisions? You may not be making the space necessary for those answers to arrive.

Every day I work with people who are in the throes of making difficult decisions like changing careers or relocating.

They come to me for help thinking through their options and working through their overwhelm. I guide them through a process of introspection, information gathering, and taking action.

But even with all the information at our fingertips and all the support by our side, making a difficult decision is still making a difficult decision. When the moment comes to push the button—to say yes or no—we still look for more information. Just a little more "something" that will help us decide if we're doing the right thing.

That's the moment when I just might say, "Stop everything."

You have all the information you need. You've done your due diligence. All that's left is to silence the mind and clear a space for the answer to arise.

A puzzle box can contain every single piece you need to create a beautiful picture, but those pieces can only be fitted together once your space is cleared. 

As a writer I regularly have days when the right word isn't coming to me. When a storyline hits a brick wall. Lately I've noticed that the less I try to force the answers I'm seeking, the more likely they are to appear. In fact, this happens so often now that one would think I'd become accustomed to it, but I'm amazed every single time.

When we're faced with big decisions we must do the work of seeking out information, exploring our options, and enlisting our supporters. But we must also create a space for the answers to arrive. A cluttered and racing mind is too full and too busy to let them in.

The answers you need will rise to greet the stillness that you create.

Source: Psychology Today: Our Answers Find Us In The Quiet We Create by Brad Waters

10 Ways To Uncover The Hidden Job Market - Psychology Today

My new article on Psychology Today is about tapping into creative strategies for finding a new job... especially if you hate traditional networking and are sick of wasting hours in the online job boards.

10 Ways To Uncover The Hidden Job Market via Psychology Today

Action is Art, Art is Action

I hope this note finds all of my clients, friends, and visitors doing well during this busy post-election/holiday season. For many of us, the recent (and upcoming) weeks are ones that have and will test our patience, our bonds, and our hopes for the future.

I recently wrote a post on Psychology Today about post-election grieving. It stirred a mix of emotions, but eventually I had to turn off the commenting feature because the inflammatory responses were distracting readers from the positive intent of the article. You can read it here: Post-Election Grief and Resilience

Then last week I came across the stirring quote below by author Toni Morrison and it felt like the perfect companion to my article. And today, as I take a break from hanging a few antique paintings I picked up recently at estate sales, I wanted to share it with you.

With her message of art, inspiration, and action I wish you all a peaceful and productive week. I wish the same as you come together with loved ones this holiday season. I wish the same as you navigate this uncharted political landscape. And I wish the same as you step into a new year that is full of possibilities.

To you and yours, a peaceful, productive, and inspired year ahead!

 Toni Morrison - by Angela Radulescu (originally posted to Flickr as Toni Morrison (1)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Toni Morrison - by Angela Radulescu (originally posted to Flickr as Toni Morrison (1)) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

"This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.
I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art."

Read the rest of the article at Brain Pickings

 Don't you just love a good estate sale find?

Don't you just love a good estate sale find?

Not Another Damn 'How To Write A Resume' Article?!

 Source: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr

Source: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr

Oh you betcha! It's another damn resume article but this time it's written by me and this time it's fun. In it I incorporate timeless phrases like "junk in the trunk" and "your resume is full of duty".

Resume writing sucks, am I right? An Internet full of conflicting advice and terrible templates makes me pretty snarly. In my job I see a lot of resumes, good and bad, so I see which ones are landing people interviews. That’s its job. So let’s talk about how we can get our resume to do its job…without landing us an anxiety attack.
Resume Golden Rule: Understand the true function of a resume. It’s not an autobiography. It’s not a chronology of duties you perform every day. And, brace yourself, it’s kinda’ not about you! Zing! Pow! Mike drop! Check please!

Ready to find out what a resume is really about? In my article written for Psychology Today, I give tons of tips and resources that will totally transform your resume.

Creating A Success Toolkit For The New Year

From my latest article at PsychologyToday.com

After my high school graduation I attended a couple semesters at a culinary arts school. It was a strange little satellite campus of a larger university, and it ultimately wasn’t a good fit. However, it planted the seed of an idea that I've now revisited over 15 years later. During orientation at culinary school each student was given a rigid blue plastic box—about the size of a 3-ring binder—filled with blank pages like a scrapbook. It was designed to be a professional development portfolio where we could store our resume, certificates of achievement, and anything else that would highlight our career accomplishments. In theory, it was a great concept to encourage us to develop a career mindset. But ultimately its high dork factor—the expectation that we would carry the blue box into job interviews—relegated mine to the thrift store donation bin.

Now that I’m in the position of helping people navigate their career exploration, I’ve tweaked the concept of the blue box into a comprehensive career journal. Valuable at every stage in one’s career, it’s a personalized notebook or binder where we store and explore all things career and personal-professional development. In this article I've included all of the general framework components of the career journal. While one might add folders for resumes and certificates of achievement, the primary goal is to conduct an in-depth exploration and inventory of a comprehensive range of career topics. Click here to read the career toolkit creation tips on my blog at Psychology Today.

10 Best Career Advice Websites (Psychology Today)

 Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

The endless stream of career advice can feel overwhelming, frustrating, and even misleading. So much online advice is outdated, boring, or too general to be helpful for any one person’s unique situation. Here is my updated 2015 list of favorite career websites, posted on my latest blog at Psychology Today. (link opens in a new window)

23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs

 Jung // Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/31199592@N03/3459484586

Jung // Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/31199592@N03/3459484586

As a career coach I’ve worked with many clients who have expressed interest in mental health related careers. I hear common motivators: they like working with people, they’re helpers by nature, they find psychology and human behavior interesting, and they want to be of service to the community.

Whenever a particular career interest arises, we explore it from all angles. Those intrinsic motivators are a big part of it, but we also examine the extrinsic realities: Are they aware of the education and licensure requirements? Do they have realistic salary expectations? Do they understand the realities of interning in a community mental health center? Or struggling to make a private practice thrive? Can they imagine the personal toll of constantly listening to people’s problems? Handling crisis situations?

To obtain a clear picture of any career option, I encourage my clients to research the field and talk with people working within it. With the latter exercise in mind, I embarked on my own homework assignment. In an effort to provide insight into a variety of mental health career experiences, I recently put out a call to action to the general public working in any mental health related job:

Seeking experiences from a variety of mental health workers. Provide pros & cons and frank realities about pursuing education and careers in mental health related fields. Responses should be kept to a minimum and address the following: 1. Name, job title, and degree(s) 2. Describe of your job duties. 3. Describe one thing you find fulfilling about working in the industry. 4. What would you caution/urge prospective students to understand before embarking on a degree/career in your field?

I received many responses—far more than I can include here—and have selected the following 23 responses for their completeness and succinctness. May this admittedly lengthy collection of career profiles help you or a loved one explore the opportunities and realities of a career in mental health.

Check out the 23 interviews on my Psychology Today blog, 23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs (opens in a new window).

Need help with a career decision? Contact me for a free phone consultation.

Landing Interviews But Not Job Offers? 20 Possible Problems

 source: Flickr/martinak15

source: Flickr/martinak15

So you're a great candidate with a great resume. You're getting interviews—maybe even second or third round interviews—but then it stops. Somebody else gets the job. Your inner critic chimes in and starts beating you up over what you potentially did wrong. 

The good news is, your application materials are working. Your resume and cover letter are getting you in the door and that can be the biggest hurdle. Now it's time to fine tune your process.

Click here for my list of 20 questions to ask yourself when you're landing interviews but not job offers.

Ever Considered a Career in Antiques of "Mantiques"?

I enjoy interviewing and profiling professionals with non-traditional careers. The subject of my recent interview, however, transformed enjoyment into pure jealous. Eric Bradley is a Public Relations Associate for Heritage, the largest collectibles auction house in the world. He also wrote the book Mantiques: A Manly Guide to Cool Stuff. In my Psychology Today interview I talk with Eric about his new book, how he came into his career, why people collect antiques, and how people are making careers out of picking and selling. Plus, he answers two very important questions we antique buffs all want to know:

  • Are the estimates on Antiques Roadshow accurate or are they inflated to make good t.v.?
  • Have you met the Keno brothers?

Click over to the interview, Mantiques Turn Classic Collectibles Into A Cultural Craze