Q&A Friday – August edition

On the last Friday of each month, Real People, Real Q&A will be featured as a recap of the lessons learned and coaching notes given to individuals with a career question.

August edition index

In this issue: Resumes, Career Advice and Changing Careers.

Job Seeker/Resumes: Do show failures and short-term positions held

Is it okay to mention my failed startup on my resume?

Yes! Failures are perfect stories for lessons learned. Find the silver lining from hardships you may have experienced and let that be part of your exciting, self-directed narrative through your unique career journey. You’re human and making an attempt at starting something on your own shows your self-reliance and determination, even if it didn’t turn out quite as you had planned.

What is a good way to represent a job that you left after 3 months on a resume?

Great news for you – resumes don’t have to be so chronological A-B. Building a more narrative-based resume will save you the headache of displaying short-term experience. You may also hear the term “functional resume” which is showing your skill sets and experiences in a grouped way according to your functional expertise.

A resume should reflect the truth as well, so be prepared to answer those tough questions easily and with grace. You’ll need to uncover the positive and the lessons learned from your short-lived jobs. (See related A Stronger Way to Describe Your Work Experience). Be confident of being in the driver’s seat of your career from this point on.

Work Life Balance: Do realize why you’re working weekends

How do I avoid working weekends?

Are you asked to work weekends or do you feel you need to work weekends? It’s tough to be in this situation. I worked in consulting, and software prior to that were I was really only asked to work a handful of times (cutover weekends come to mind). You need to ask yourself if this working weekends is because of your drive and work ethic or is it part of the company culture?

Working overtime is rarely the result of an individual’s productivity but a long-term trend in leadership that shows poor planning and managing skills. If you’re burned out and finding little energy left to climb out of bed to go into work on Saturday, something needs to change.

Career Change: How to make a drastic switch, career assumptions and how to keep motivated

Can someone switch careers from doing Speech Therapy to a career in Finance by going back to school at the age of 27?

I can understand your frustration. I’ve changed careers several times myself (Graphic Designer, Java Programmer, Project Manager, Career Coach), but always with a gentle leap to the next thing. The fact that you’ve made the commitment to yourself to make a change right now is a great first step. What I would advise is that you carefully weigh options and plan for the transition itself. There is no “best and quickest option” for making this happen, unfortunately.

Your next job opportunity could be a stepping stone to reach your mid- to long-term goals. You shouldn’t need to necessarily go back to school and ramp up as you did with your first career path. Job experience is extremely valuable and can be explained in a way that bridges the story to others, especially recruiters. Develop your personal brand and narrative to explain your previous experience. (See related A Stronger Way to Describe Your Work Experience). Whatever the next steps are for you, please be assured that your previous work experience is not wasted but lays the foundations for you finding your passion.

What keeps you motivated?

The key to motivation is finding work that leverages your independence, your talent and aligns to a greater purpose that you are passionate about.

What one assumption have you bet your career on?

In my previous life in software and consulting, I knew I would always have a job if I stayed close to managing data itself or the people who manage data.

Now, my assumption is that we all have work stress and need to talk about it.

Ask the Coach!

Do you have a specific career question that you didn’t find the answer to? Simply ask your question for a free consultation! Send me a message

For a complete Q&A archive, visit the Q&A section.

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