Archive for Career Transition
I wanted to share this story from a client with you regarding networking – and when it doesn’t pay off. We always hear from career coaches that networking is THE way to land a job. Then clients will come to us saying they met with someone and nothing came out of it. Others will tell us (client Christina in Chicago said this last week) that their meeting was awkward and it seemed pointless. This can happen and … it doesn’t mean that networking doesn’t pay off. It’s a game of numbers everyone, you have to put yourself out there as much as possible, just like sales and get a certain number of “no’s” before you get a “yes.” Here’s the story:
“The quick update is that I’m continuing to network and had lunch with the HR guy from Spanx this week. Nothing really there, but glad I hooked up with him. In the meanwhile, I raised my hand for a new piece of business we were pitching and we won the biz. It looks like I’ll be working on this over the course of the next 6 mos or so, and I’m thrilled. Lots of good stuff going on!” -Anna in Atlanta
Anna’s networking meeting didn’t pay off.
I had this happen to me. I spoke at an event that was a bust in terms of gaining business. No one signed up for coaching afterwards and although the event was well attended, it wasn’t a financial success. But – the director for the Mercer EMBA program heard about me through the marketing of the event and contacted me about coaching their students. We’ve been working with them for 4 years, one of our largest contracts as a company so far. So you never know if or when networking will pay off. It might not be immediately and it might not be a direct correlation, but it still is the best use of your time in your job search…
Remember the childhood game you played called gossip? The first person whispers a secret in the ear of the person next to them, who then repeats what they heard to the next person, until everyone has heard the secret. By the time the whisper reaches the last person, the original message is totally distorted and everyone has a good laugh!
What happens when you play gossip at work with the secret that you’re looking for another job? You tell your closest friend at work, who of course tells the cubicle-sharing co-worker, who wants to make conversation with the cute new hire, who doesn’t know anything about anybody and tells the boss. In the end, nobody is laughing, and least of all you!
If you’re looking for another job, consider the consequences of telling anyone with whom you work. If the gossip gets to someone in authority, would your workload change, enlarge, or diminish? Might your boss ask to talk to you? Could you have negative repercussions?
Gossip has its place as an old-fashioned game of fun, but telling coworkers that you’re looking for another job and hoping they’ll keep your secret, is just too risky. If you want to tell someone, tell your family, friends outside of work, your career coach, minister, or psychic reader – but not anyone at work. When you’re tempted to play the old-fashioned game of gossip at work by revealing your own secret, remind yourself of the equally applicable old-fashioned saying: It’s better to be safe than sorry.
A smart ending sentence to include in your cover letter to apply for a job is: I will call you in a few days to ensure you received this letter. What makes this sentence smart is that you proactively give yourself a reason to call your prospective employer. Mark your calendar for about three days after sending your cover letter and resume, then, rather than waiting for the employer to call you, you call the employer. While your identifiable reason for calling is to ask if the employer received your letter, while you’re on the phone, you can also ask if you are being considered for the position and if so, ask what to expect as the next step.
Being proactive is desirable, but beware – you can overstep the line in being proactive. Where does the line begin and end in being proactive? Calling once to reach your prospective employer is proactive. Calling the same employer ten times a week after already leaving multiple messages is crossing the line. Oh, there is one other major way to identify if you’re crossing the line in the eyes of the prospective employer: being proactive is desirable and being a pest is just plain annoying.
Enhance your chances of getting a job – be proactive but avoid being a pest!
Ever wonder what colors are best to wear to an interview? According to a recent article, good choices of colors to wear to an interview are conservative ones such as black, blue, gray, and brown. On the other hand, green, yellow, orange, and purple are risky to wear to interviews because they express so much creativity.
Following is an analysis of what the article states that specific colors express:
- black expresses leadership
- blue expresses a team player
- gray expresses you’re logical/analytical
- white expresses being organized
- brown expresses dependability
- red expresses power
For the most part, employers want to hire people who fit their culture. Fitting in their culture means that other employees find you credible and so do the organization’s clientele. When choosing the colors you’ll wear to an interview, conservative ones are a safer choice than wearing brighter ones because of the message conservative colors convey. Still undecided as to what to wear? When it comes to your choice or colors, if you really want to impress a prospective employer, just remember the old saying, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
P.S. Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Consulting Program where you can learn how to effectively leverage your LinkedIn account for your job search and ongoing professional development.
Many people write their own resumes. The danger of doing so is that you may not know what employers want to see, you may not give yourself credit for all of your accomplishments, and you may not use wise formatting. For example, does your resume have the following categories?
• Professional Experience,
• Volunteer Experience,
You may not need every category, but if you have information that fits these categories, list it. If you only list your jobs, you are short-changing yourself by not providing an overall view of your relevant abilities. One client whose resume I updated stated, “I didn’t even know some of the things I’ve done that mattered until I was questioned.” Another stated, “What a confidence builder to see my resume and realize how much I’ve done!”
Your resume has to be as competitive as others applying for the same job since your resume is your means for obtaining an interview. If you want to stand out from your competition, have a professional create or update your resume for you. That way, you don’t have to worry about tooting your own horn – the professional will be glad to toot it for you!
P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.
Check out my latest YouTube video where I give career advice about a tough situation. What to do when you thought you’d landed your dream job and it turns out not to be the dream you thought it was? Here is how to manage the situation effectively and get back into an unexpected career transition.
Chec out my latest YouTube video as I advise new graduates in their job search how to know what employers want. And it’s not just a college degree.