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In the Driver's Seat

Category Archives: Self-Employment

Engineer Your Career: Make Big Career Decisions Using this Simple Process

From Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business By Charles Duhigg Try applying “the engineering design process” detailed in Charles Duhigg’s excellent book and you will learn to make better, less binary and more creative decisions. This “methodical approach to problem solving” removes the emotion so we can view our problems more objectively. It’s an excellent tool for defining career problems and coming up with potentially novel solutions.…

There’s No Such Thing as a Dream Job

Do you, or have you ever had, a “dream job”? Do you have any friends, former classmates or colleagues who describe their job as a dream? Do you believe them? Don’t get me wrong – I love when I see someone fulfilled in their work, successfully using their strengths in an environment where they feel appreciated and fulfilled, and getting paid appropriately to do it. But that’s no dream: behind that deep sense of satisfaction is someone who has ventured down the path of self-discovery, sometimes at real personal cost, and has matched his strengths and most important values with a need he is uniquely suited to fill.…

5 Ways to Market Yourself as a Leader

  Photograph by John Santerre 2010 Being a leader means knowing who you are and what you stand for—You’ve decided upon your mission and you have a vision for how to get there. It’s informed by your value system—what you care most about and what you feel is right. Developing yourself as a leader means declaring a need in the market that you are passionate about satisfying, what your role might be in meeting that need and the audience you want to serve.…

The Interest You Left Behind

We all have subjects that particularly interest us, that capture our attention. It could be a skill, a hobby or just a topic you follow very closely. Try taking note of the articles that attract you online or in the newspaper and you’ll have your answer. Have you incorporated that interest into the job you have today? As much as we are told, to use a trite term, to “follow our passion”, many times life leads us down a different path and we leave that interest behind.…

Why Getting Nervous Makes You Happier

You’ve been asked to make a presentation at work, or you’re a consultant who delivers speeches and workshops to generate interest in your work. You have some time to prepare—and you’re anxious. Depending on how you regard public speaking, you may be extremely nervous. And probably a bit excited, too. How can you best use your anxiety to your advantage? You may not realize that having some anxiety in your work is actually a good thing.…

Let Me Interview You About Your Interesting Career

Do you do work that you find deeply engaging? Are you proud of what you do and want to share it with others? If so, I’d like to interview you for my new career series, every Thursday, called “What Do You Do and How Did You Get Your Start?” I’ll be interviewing a cross-section of professionals with inspiring stories, so if you or someone you know would like to be included, please get in touch with me at allison@allisoncheston.com.…

Look Ahead in Your Job Hunt, Not Behind You

In a tough economy, I often hear job-seekers worry about “the competition” – with so many people looking for jobs, it’s harder to be the chosen one. I believe that your biggest competition is yourself—the fear that goes on inside your head, the lack of confidence that stops you from doing your best work — promoting yourself for the qualities you bring to the table. Instead of focusing on what others can do, think about bringing your best self to every interview.…

Don’t Freelance Too Early in Your Career

I read a post citing research claiming that only 27% of Millenials prefer to work full-time than to freelance. Now granted, this survey was conducted by Elance, a freelancers’ website, but even so, that figure disturbed me. According to the author, the desire to freelance is fueled by the lack of job security in the market, and the difficulty young adults have had in finding jobs during the recession.…

You may have heard me wax poetic about LinkedIn, which I think is a fantastic—and underused tool—for career developers, as well as job seekers. But there’s one area where Facebook has it beat, and that’s when it comes to wanting to connect with a specific group of people on a particular topic. I recently created a Facebook group for those I’m interviewing for my new consulting practice, curriculum and book, In the Driver’s Seat: Work-Life Navigation Skills for Young Adults.…

What’s Your Advice?

I’m in the advice business, so I spend a lot of time offering my opinion on all variety of topics. I realize that I’ve come to believe in certain guiding rules over the years, which have come to me from all over, and I thought I would share them with you. Dear Reader, if you are so inclined, I would enjoy seeing your list too. They are in no particular order, and you will note some overlap.…