Written by Susan Lamphiear
My Wish, a song by the pop country group Rascal Flatts, could be the theme song for our keynote speaker today, but hey, I’m not sure if country music is his thing. But the sentiment sure appears to be. He’s now living his own life purpose through his career, his relationships and his philanthropic work, and he loves sharing his strategy for blending all these aspects of his life into one satisfying entity, allowing the real self to shine through.
Career coach and author of Incorporate You (guide to using the DISC assessment results), Michael S. Seaver firmly believes in personal branding that aims to help individuals find autonomy, mastery and purpose every day of their lives. It’s now become his passion to help individuals achieve this through volunteer work and career.
But a few years ago, though Michael’s career was going well, he wasn’t feeling satisfied. He was looking for meaning in his own career when he experienced an “A-HA” moment while reading Daniel Pink’s book, Drive. He discovered he completely lost track of time when he began working one-on-one with individuals in career transition. He also began to volunteer his time teaching Junior Achievement classes and served on Phoenix-area boards designed to help people develop their careers.
Through his own process of discovering meaningful work with a higher purpose, Michael has been able to share his process of making a life’s passion part of not only his career but his whole life. He told attendees at Scottsdale Career Connectors that he’s given up lucrative offers because the offers didn’t allow him to do “this”, meaning to share his beliefs that it’s possible to find meaningful work that aligns with your own life purpose that also allows you to master your profession.
Michael’s Steps to Developing and Living Your Personal Brand
- Look to your past. What is your favorite childhood memory? What was a difficult experience? What important lessons did you learn? And what were perceived problems that occurred repeatedly? You guessed it. Those things you enjoyed may reveal the answer to the question of what you should be doing in your life. The challenges you faced years ago shine light on areas where you likely could help someone else at that point in their lives.
- Examine your present. Consider your top three professional interests. Ideally, what’s the location of your job? What are your daily tasks, rewards and responsibility level? What’s the growth potential?
- Think about your future. Describe your life in five years. What’s your income? What is the size of your team? What kinds of vacations and travel will you experience? What’s your relationship with your family and friends?
- Determine your intention and write your own guiding statement, sort of like a company’s mission statement. Michael shared examples including his own: I unlock human potential by leveraging career and leadership coaching expertise to help executives overcome disengagement, feeling undervalued, and mediocrity.
- List your ambitions. Be specific.
- Determine your value and write it down as a statement. One example: I apply (1) business strategy concepts (2) positive psychology (3) conscious capitalism to unlock human potential.
- List some constraints. One example: Whenever I second guess my abilities, I will review my top three strengths and past accomplishments.
Through his own journey, Michael has learned it’s possible for us to use our talents to do something we believe in and to thrive in an environment that fits who we are.
Michael reminds us that, indeed, the world is changing. It’s no longer enough to provide goods and services. The industrial age is long gone. And the information age is no longer sufficient. Companies need to stage experiences, he says, referencing the book The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore.
Michael references the work that an entrepreneurial company in Phoenix is doing – helping new businesses whose mission seeks to improve society. It’s called Seed Spot and they’ve just recently named nine new companies to undergo their training.
A poignant message that Michael shared with attendees was reflected in a six-minute You Tube video which poetically emphasizes the idea of purpose in life’s little moments — some of us may not even know about– unless we’re lucky enough to have had someone tell us. Lollipop moments. Those moments when we may have had a profound positive impact on someone’s life, even a stranger, because of something we were doing that involved our being genuine. Michael’s hope for anyone whose life he touches is that they have a chance to find their own life’s purpose and then that life’s purpose reverberates through all phases of life. To view the video he showed, a TED talk, click on the title, Everyday Leadership.
Le Nguyen, Director, Recruiting Operations
Aetna, employing 50,000 people, is a health care insurance provider. Changes in Aetna’s wages and medical benefits announced January 12, 2015, benefit thousands of its employees. Starting April 2015, Aetna increased its minimum base hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $16/hour. Aetna is also launching an enhanced medical benefits program for 2016 to help lower the out-of-pocket health care expenses for some of its U.S. employees. Other benefits at the company include paid time off and holidays, life insurance, 401K, bonuses and more. Current employment opportunities include accounting, finance, human resources, customer support, sales and more. To apply and see a complete list of openings, visit their website.
Becky Willmer, Recruiter
Lifelock is a technology company whose main goal is to protect consumers’ identity. The company offers competitive wages, incentive programs, stock options and health, 24 hours of paid volunteer time off to support service programs, tuition assistance, and health benefits plans from day one. Current positions open include customer service at their center in Tempe plus openings in other areas including marketing, communications, and finance. For more information on openings, and to apply, visit their website.
International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. (I.C.E.)
Jason Brambier, Corporate Recruiter
International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. (I.C.E.), a global travel and leisure organization, provides cruise and vacation packages, especially to return customers. Headquartered in Scottsdale, the company has continued to receive awards including Best Place to Work 2013 by the Phoenix Business Journal and Spirit of Enterprise Innovator Award by the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business. They provide numerous perks to their employees including onsite wellness clinic, onsite massage therapists, and free flu shots, to name a few. Positions available include inbound and outbound sales, PT member services, and staff accountant. For a more complete list of open positions and to apply, visit their website.
Education Management Corp (EDMC)
Mark Pierce, Manager of Talent Acquisition
Education Management Corp includes The Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University and offers traditional classrooms and online courses. Students are their main focus and the four institutes offer a variety of programs. Perks include promotion from within, free tuition for the whole family at any of the sites, health insurance benefits and more. Open positions include admissions representatives, academic counselor, faculty — both full-time and adjunct — in various disciplines, and part-time national admissions representatives. For more information, or to apply, visit their website.
City of Phoenix
Michael S. Seaver, Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Vice Chairman
The City of Phoenix Workforce Connection offers skill-building services. Services include skills development training plus employment and talent marketing. Funding can be obtained through the federally-funded Workforce Investment Act (WIOA) with the goal to help individuals transition back into the workforce as quickly as possible.
This past year has seen growth in several industries locally including education and health services, leisure and hospitality, finance, and professional and business services.
Phoenix Workforce Connection (PWC) One-Stop Career Centers are located in three sites throughout Phoenix. For more information on locations, courses and funding, visit their website.
TTY Career College
Cheryl Hesketh, Admissions Consultant
TTY Career College is a short-term certification college which assists students in revamping or updating skills needed to get back into the job market. The school specifically offers courses for jobs needed in the Phoenix area. No medical billing jobs training is available since currently the Phoenix job market is glutted. Several certifications are offered including Project Management Program (PMP), Information Technology, Microsoft Excel Business Analyst and more. All courses are certified by globally known institutes. Funding is available for most unemployed and underemployed individuals. Up to $4000 is available if you quality, and scholarships are available for the balance. The PMP course involves a difficult test, but TTY will pay the $500 for students to take the test up to six months after the first exam, providing tutoring and extra help. For more information about the school or to enroll, visit their website.
Highlands HOPE Initiative Continues
Going along with one of Career Connectors’ primary missions, Heart of Service, Highlands Church in Scottsdale not only hosts the Scottsdale event each month, they continue with their ongoing Highlands HOPE Initiative, distributing gift cards based on income to individuals in career transition. Highlands last month distributed Fry’s gift cards to help with groceries, gas and essentials to help 47 families ($2,760).
Again this month Highlands distributed Fry’s gift cards to individuals in job transition. Highlands requested this month that any individuals applying today for the gift cards should add their phone numbers to their application, as well, if they find themselves in need of additional assistance so the church can contact them.
Jessica said after the gift cards were distributed last month, people sent their testimonials about how appreciative they were for the Fry’s gift cards. Used to a certain amount of income, after job loss, people stressed how very helpful it was to receive gift cards they could use for groceries.
Executive Director of Career Connectors Jessica Pierce closed the formal part of the sessions by thanking Highlands Church for hosting the event and reminding everyone about the free DISC Assessment available on the Career Connectors’ website under resources. After the formal part of the meeting, participants may receive free business portraits, assistance with resume preparation, and LinkedIn advice.
The next Career Connectors event takes place June 23, 2015 at 9:00 AM in Gilbert, featuring Ted Robison’s presentation: Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out.
The next Phoenix event will be held Wednesday, July 1, 2015, and the next Scottsdale event occurs Thursday, July 9, 2015.
For details including keynote topics, and hiring companies, times and locations about any of these events, click here.
Parting Thought: Workout music for the work search mood. It’s My Life by Bon Jovi.