Archive for Atlanta career coach

Dec
24

Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays!

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

Categories : Current Affairs
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Job SearchHere is a fun, informative article from a colleague in Atlanta that I wanted to share with you regarding your job search. Here is good career coaching advice for 2014 and your career change…

Pop culture references & job search

By Matt Tovrog, associate partner of Bell Oaks

OK, I’lll admit it. If I have a choice between reading a book on business leadership and watching a rerun of “Seinfeld” that I‟ve seen a dozen times, I often opt for “Seinfeld.” I‟m a self-admitted entertainment fanatic and enjoy it all – movies, TV, books, sports, etc.

As an executive recruiter, I engage with candidates who are looking to advance their careers and clients who seek my help to attract and hire top talent for their organization. Professionals need advice on achieving a better position, and I do my best to provide that. Clients look for guidance on how to attract “A players” who aren‟t necessarily looking at job boards. I often draw on real life success stories including other candidates and clients I have worked with, and even my own career to prove a point.

Recently, I was watching the movie, “Swingers.” It was the scene where Jon Favreu‟s character, Mike, calls a woman 11 times in a row. He gets her answering machine and leaves a message every time (warning: foul language at 2:19 mark). It is painful to watch, but there is a nugget of wisdom in that scene. I immediately thought this would be a great example of how candidates should not follow up with prospective employers. Instead, they should send an email expressing their interest in a position and wait three business days. Calling and leaving multiple messages only displays desperation and can jeopardize the chances of another interview. In Mike‟s case in “Swingers,” the woman picked up the 12th phone call and chewed him out.

It dawned on me that there had to be other examples via the entertainment world relevant to the job search. Here are eight pop culture examples that provide lessons that can be applied to job search and hiring, after which are real life takeaways and action items. I realize some of these are greatly exaggerated (it is Hollywood after all!), but my hope is these unintentional moments of wisdom through pop culture provide some fresh ideas for job seekers and job holders alike.

  • Cosmo Kramer becomes a ball-boy (at the 3:00 mark): “It‟s ball boy, not ball man.”
    Age bias is one of the most common objections candidates face in the marketplace. They are either under qualified or overqualified and I maintain that the only way to overcome this obstacle is to get in front of the hiring manager. Had Kramer submitted his “résumé,” he would have been immediately dismissed due to his age, but instead Kramer got in front of the decision makers and let his actions do the talking. With today‟s technology and information access, hiring managers can be readily identified through keyword searches on LinkedIn, company web sites and other research tools. I recommend identifying these individuals and seeking a way to connect with them in person rather than hoping a résumé somehow reaches their desk.

You can download the full article here

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. How do you know if your resume is good? Take this Resume Quiz to find out how to keep your resume out of the trash can.

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Career IdeasWe have clients all the time who have trouble coming up with a list of things they want in a job. It’s hard to pull things out of the air sometimes, especially when most of what you come up with are things you don’t want to have instead of what you do want to have.

My career coaching client Margaret in Atlanta said she had a hard time pulling ideas of what she wanted out of thin air. This is understandable, it can be difficult to define what you want when you haven’t had anything you have really enjoyed work-wise in the past. So here are a couple of ways to help you overcome that obstacle.

First, ask friends and family when you are hanging out with them in the next few weeks – what do they like and dislike about their jobs. This will give you tangible examples of things you can add to your list as you go. You don’t have to interview them, just weave it into the conversation. Ask them a couple of questions and boom – you’re good to go.

Second, when you’re brainstorming career ideas, look outside your zip code, even if you are not willing to move. Finding jobs that look appealing, even if they are in other locations, can give you a list of things you want to have. Or at least the beginnings of a list – that you can add to your ideas about what you want. Having a tangible example of a job that looks appealing to you is not only informational because it gives you ideas about what you would like to have, but it is also incredibly motivating because, you feel like you have finally found something that you could enjoy doing. Once you have those examples, it helps you being to paint the picture of what you want instead, rather than focusing on why you are so unhappy at your current job. So go ahead, use keywords for talents, interests, and possible career ideas inside but also outside your zip code. It will help you expand your thinking just a little more, to capture and create that image of your ideal job. This can help you not just find a job, but find the right career path for you.

Hallie Crawford
Career Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

Categories : Career Transition
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New JobYou have landed a new job congratulations! How do you shorten the learning curve and make it easier to transition into your new position?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • First, you want to be open to learning from others, especially those senior employees who have been there for a while. Let them show you the ropes, ask them questions about best practices and what’s been done before. Be willing to not only give new ideas, but also to listen to them and learn from what has happened prior to your arrival.

  • Second, I suggest that you find a mentor. Your company may or may not have a formal program for mentorship. If it does, take advantage of it! If not, keep an eye out for someone either within your company or outside (both can be beneficial) who can and is willing to help you with your career development. Take some time to get to know a few people and then ask them if they’re willing. You only need 1 or 2 mentors at the most. Be professional and mindful of how much time they can reasonably give.

  • Finally, be patient with yourself. Realize that you won’t learn the ropes overnight, and that is normal. Just because a new job or role is a little stressful at the beginning doesn’t mean it’s the wrong fit. It’s part of the deal and will get better.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.

First ImpressionWhether it is a job interview, networking event, career fair, it does not matter where you are meeting someone in a professional way, you can’t have a cold fish handshake. I always notice this when I meet someone, especially if their handshake is not firm. You have heard it before, that first impression is critical and how you shake hands with someone says a lot.

Here’s some advice from our job search coach, Terry Wynne, reprinted with permission from H2O magazine:

Whether you’re applying for a job or meeting an interviewer, you want to ensure that your first impression is a good one. One way to do so is through an effective handshake.

When you shake another person’s hand, lock the area between your thumb and first finger with the same area on other person’s hand and press your palm into the other person’s palm. Imagine grasping a tennis racket so you grasp firmly, but not too hard.

Shake hands two to three times. Either a male or female can extend a hand first – gender does not matter. Do, however, avoid putting your free hand on top of the other person’s hand that you’re shaking. You’re meeting a person – not consoling them.

No one likes the wimpy handshake, the “shake your arm off” handshake, or the “I’m afraid to touch you, so I’ll just touch your fingertips” handshake. Show your confidence with a firm handshake while looking directly into the other person’s eyes and say something memorable or appropriate with your most sincere voice, such as “How nice to meet you.” If the other person truly shakes your hand effectively, be sure to add, “You give a good handshake!”  Since not everyone shakes hands gives a good handshake, that person will be receiving a rare compliment.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.

Job SearchPeople often apply for jobs online because they’re trying to find an easy way out of their job search. Job seekers also post online because it can give them immediate gratification. It feels good to say, “I applied for X number of jobs today.” It makes you feel like you have accomplished something and gives an instant sense of accomplishment. What’s interesting is that statistics show that most jobs are not found or secured through online job postings. Instead they are typically found through the hidden job market, but with networking it’s harder to get that gratifying feeling instantly. Networking takes longer because you have to develop relationships and you have to spend time creating new ones, and with that comes a higher rate of return. Don’t be lazy and overlook such a crucial part of job search.

Another area where people tend to slack off is with their references. What job seekers often don’t realize is that you have to prepare your references in advance. Tell your references that they will need to say something specific depending on your potential job’s requirements. Your references need to speak to the skills that will you will be using at a specific job. If you don’t prepare for this, your references won’t be as effective.

One last job search tip is to stay focused on finding the right job for you! Look for a job where you will want to stay put and will enjoy long term. This job needs to be something that you can bring value to, as well as challenges you. Remember, you don’t want to come back to the job hunting process again in 6 months.

Need more help with your job search? Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Are you frustrated with your job search? Check out our FREE REPORT: ”Take Control of Your Career Transition: Uncover Hidden Opportunities”.

Categories : Uncategorized
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Bad CreditI was recently honored to be featured in this US News article, How to Convince a Prospective Employer to Overlook Poor Credit. There are many obstacles people have to overcome when applying for job search and bad credit is a common concern among job seekers. A potential employer cannot check it without your consent, but this could be seen as a red flag and decrease your chances of getting hired. You’re better off consenting to it and being honest with them. Be upfront with them and mention any possible issues and explain the situation.

Credit is a slippery slope. The reason why people have bad credit varies greatly, so part of the answer lies in why you have it. If it was because you lost your job due to downsizing and you  had to live on credit for a bit while in career transition, that’s one thing. Bad money management, that’s another.

Here are some additional questions regarding bad credit:           

  • Does my income and net worth affect my credit score? No, it doesn’t.
  • What accounts for my credit score? Most of it is your record of paying installment and revolving credit that’s on time. Also included are collection actions, civil judgments and tax liens against you or bankruptcies.
  • What’s one of best ways to improve my score? Pay down your credit card debt, starting with the account that has the highest interest rate. Also, try to use no more than 10% of the credit limit on any account.
  • Do early payments on credit card charges improve my score? No, there isn’t anything on your credit report that talks about when a bill was paid.

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. Get one of the most information-rich career newsletters on the web delivered straight to your email inbox! Check out our Free Newsletter to help you along your career journey today!

RetirementIf you are still in the world of gainful employment, you probably think you are too busy to think about retirement – after all, it is 3-7 years out. Or, you may be thinking you can just figure it out when you retire because you will have all the time in the world then. But be careful. That thinking can get you into trouble… and unexpectedly create an identity crisis down the line!

Whether you are pushed out of your job, or leave on your own accord and on your own terms, you can feel a sense of loss. The emotional turmoil can be overwhelming and begin to chip away at your identity. So, what do you do? First, you have to work on your emotions and self worth. Then, follow these 10 tips to shift your mindset and shape what you  want to do next with your life. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid this identity crisis: 

  1. Accept that retirement is one of the biggest transitions in life.

  2. Take time to grieve for what has been lost and then move forward.

  3. Realize that you have the freedom of choice and time to do some long, overdue self reflection.

  4. Tap into your passions, interests, strengths and values to create an ideal encore career or life.

  5. View life as an opportunity.

  6. Appreciate that your life experiences provide more options.

  7. Capitalize on the skills you have learned over the last 35-40+ years and leverage them.

  8. Bask in the glory of your mature perspective and listen to and follow your inner voice.

  9. Enjoy the thrill of new horizons.

  10. Cry a little, laugh a lot.

Your old job is not your identity – it does not define you as a person. You are unique and have many gifts to share with the world. This time in your life is an encore performance for you. You can say to yourself, “Watch out world, here I come.”

To learn more about our encore coaching with Katie Weiser, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Hallie Crawford and Katie Weiser
Atlanta Career Coaching

P.S. Do you want more help with your job search and networking? Check out our Free Resources Page today!

Categories : Motivation, Retirement
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About Create Your Career Path

Our team of career coaches help people of all ages nurture their career, identify their ideal career path, and navigate their career transition. We offer group and individual coaching as well as self-directed learning products. Schedule a free phone consultation with Create Your Career Path today.