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Career News for January 2008
Be Prepared, Be Proud

AUTHOR:      Gayle Oliver & Laura Pettefer
PUBLISHED:  January 1, 2008

The advent of a new year gives each of us a chance to evaluate our prior year with the clarity that hindsight allows if we are willing to look at the past before declaring our goals for the future. Usually each year of our life is full of lessons learned, some with heartache and others with ease. Each year of your life provides a chapter to your story that warrants reflection as well as opportunities for enrichment because of the roads you have traveled.

This past year I found a creative outlet - pottery - which has taught me much. This form of self-expression has allowed me to uncover things about myself that I never knew a hobby could. I have found many life metaphors in this pastime. I'd like to share a few. While spinning a wheel of clay, you must not hold on too tight, yet you must maintain unwavering boundaries. You must stay extremely focused on what you are attempting to create, but you can't over-control the endeavor or your clay becomes unbalanced. Centering your clay is the foundation upon which the rest of the art form will be based. Achieving appropriate centering is the only way to build a piece successfully.

Careers seem to be very analogous to these ideas. Often in your career, if you hold on too tight, you breed insecurity. If you fail to sustain good boundaries, you open yourself up to being taken advantage of professionally. When you don't find a way to remain centered in your life, you can lose what you love most--family, friends, and self-respect. I encourage you to look back on 2007; ask yourself what it taught you and how you are going to apply those principles so that you can begin scripting the life you most desire in 2008.
With appreciation,

Gayle Oliver, President and CEO

Announcement: As a company we too continually strive to better ourselves, and contributing to these efforts is Laura Pettefer, who is now Execume's Manager & Corporate Writer/Editor, so please check out our website and the updated Bios of all of our outstanding team members as well.

Be Prepared, Be Proud

In the AJC's recent story ranking the "10 Top Career Mistakes," ajcjobs contributor Laura Raines sums up her interview with Gayle Oliver on career-killing oversight #3, "Not Having a Current Resume to Document Your Accomplishments." Gaines conveys Gayle's advice on how the lack of an updated resume can exacerbate the tendency to procrastinate and can cause job opportunities to become unduly stressful, ineffectively approached, and often missed altogether. For jobseekers without the foresight to take this step, the suddenness of a new opportunity can take much of the pleasure out of a great prospect, leaving them unable to act with confidence and readiness.

But beyond the time-related stress and the extreme difficulty to produce a compelling resume on the fly, not having a powerful self-marketing document in your portfolio has a subtler and deeper affect on your readiness to advance. By not having a current and effective resume, both jobseekers and the happily employed are missing out on a new and invigorating perception of themselves and their accomplishments.

At Execume, we believe that a resume does more than convey your value to potential employers. It should provide an affirmation of your own value in the work-place, and it takes an objective person to put your story on paper with full force. Frequently we see clients whose first reactions are to argue with the too-good-to-be-true ring of their accomplishments to their own modest ears. But everything that we say on a resume is backed by reality--we just dig deep enough to uncover contributions you may have either forgotten or put aside, and we verbalize qualities that it would be difficult to analyze or convey about yourself.

With this kind of self-affirming resume in hand, you can not only be ready to respond to more opportunities, but you may even start to see and create more opportunities--possibilities that would have seemed out of reach or unlikely to achieve before.

One has to ask--who needs makeovers and New Year's resolutions, when by simply digging into what you have already accomplished, you can achieve a whole new outlook and set of opportunities!?

By: Laura Pettefer

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