What I’ve Learned This Year

Stacey Lane Career Coach 2013 Collage

1. Learning a new skill will force you out of your comfort zone

I got my motorcycle endorsement about a year ago.  Like a lot of my best decisions, I didn’t over think it, I just did it.  Since then, I’ve been riding regularly to improve my skills.  Full disclosure:  I’m totally uncool as a motorcyclist.  First, I wear a full-face helmet (Not sure of the significance of this?  Just ask someone who rides.  They’ll confirm that this is uber-geeky).

Second uncool move:  I only do the understated motorcycle wave to acknowledge other cyclists about 50% of the time (the other 50% of the time I’m concentrating too hard to take my left hand off the grip).   Here’s my bike.

Learning to ride has been so frustrating at times – I’ve only recently graduated to feeling comfortable on freeways.  I have to map out all routes to avoid major freeways.  It’s humbling too – I have limitations because I’m realistic about my skill level and safety.

Everything is brand new – from deciding on a motorcycle to researching riding gear to learning the best spots to park.  So if you need to get out of your comfort zone (come on, you know who you are) take up motorcycle riding.  Or just learn a new skill.

Here’s an idea… if you’re planning a career change in 2014, start with learning a new skill. Don’t wait until January – there are three weeks left to learn something new.  Just go do it.

 2. Being unemployed and married to a career coach gets sticky.

My new husband (five months and a few days – woo hoo!) is an IT/Operations guy.  He’s been unemployed for a few months.  It’s really got to suck for him.  Scott gets advice/suggestions from me.  And from my sister, who’s in the recruiting business.  I try and mind my own business unless asked, because really, would I want him monitoring everything I ate if he was a dietitian?  No.

I’m sharing this with you because I want you to know that I really, really get that looking for work is challenging.  We laugh about it.  And get annoyed by it.  And I’m going to miss him when he lands somewhere – I like him being able to fix my computer and get the wireless printer working.

3. The hiring process is broken.

If you’ve looked for work in the past couple of years, you know what I’m talking about.  Everything about how recruitment and hiring is done is pretty much broken.   It’s a hot topic.  The job market needs to recalibrate.  Here’s a blog post I wrote about it: “What’s Wrong with the Job Market?”

And here’s a post by Lou Adler challenging unemployment stats.

 4. Job search has gone from an “as needed” activity to something you’ll be doing regularly.

I’ve had more “repeat” clients this year than any other year.  That is, not just clients that I’ve worked with sometime in the past, but that had worked with me as recently as late 2012/early 2013. They’ve come back in 2013 to make another change.  Very telling, no?

Job shifts every 9-14 months are getting more common.  Are you ready?  Here’s a must-read article about 2014 workplace trends that you should know about.  Dan Schawebel is spot-on.

What have you learned this year? 

What’s on your wish list to learn more about in 2014? 

I’ve decided to explore Pinterest more.  Maybe we’ll bump into each other over there too…