Archive for job advice
A few years ago, I was giving a presentation at a Re:Focus on Careers event (this is a great networking group by the way). A man who was job searching came up to me and we started talking. He was asking me questions, and when I asked for his contact information, he had to scribble his name on a ripped up piece of paper. I wasn’t even in a position to hire him and I was not impressed. Imagine doing that same thing with a prospective employer, or valuable networking connection.
Don’t let this be you.
This topic came up at a more recent career event that I presented at. People were asking me if they needed to have a business card when they are unemployed and job searching. The answer is simple, yes! You need to have a card (or something with your contact information to give out to people) when you’re on the job search, regardless of your current work situation.
Some college students have asked me this as well. Does it make sense for a college student to have a card? I say the answer is yes here too. You have to give the people who you are networking to something with your contact information on it so that they can keep in touch with you. What an impression that would make, a student in college with a business card! I guarantee you’ll stand out.
Business cards are a must, they are not optional.
There are many resources out there to create business cards. You can get free cards at Vistaprint.com. Print them out on your computer at home. Do whatever it takes to ensure you make the right impression and come across as a professional who cares about your job search and about connecting with others.
I was recently privileged to give a presentation at Agnes Scott. I was approached at the end of the event by a woman named Kelly who had just been on a job interview a few days prior. She came up to me and said “I haven’t heard from them yet, is that a bad sign?!” I told her she needed to relax, worrying doesn’t help, and it sounded like she was making an assumption. It had only been a few days since she’d had the job interview.
I totally get it, not hearing back from a prospective employer is nerve-wracking! You need to remember that hiring a new person does takes time, and the time is going by much slower for you than it is for them. The hiring manager is busy. They have a job to do, plus the job of hiring a new person.
Here are some tips that can help you get through the waiting period:
- The more relaxed and confident you are in your job search, the better impression you will make. Just relax and take a deep breath.
- Instead of worrying, think of a better way to use that mental energy. Is it time to follow up with them? Do you need to check in and offer to provide additional information? Or is it just too soon, and they told you it would take a few days so you need to give them some space?
- Come up with a plan of action-next steps that you can take to move things along in the right way. Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about it or making assumptions, chill down and take a deep breath.
P.S. If you need help with you job search strategy check out our Job Search Program for Professionals: Networking and Online Strategies for the 21st Century.
I received this email from a former client this recently and I wanted to share it with you all. It made me want to remind you that this process can take time AND everyone’s process looks different. You have to be careful when comparing yourself to others. When you do this you can lose focus on your specific situation and needs. All this does it distracts you, and wastes your time and energy.
It’s Stacy. I was in your group career coaching sessions last year.. or was it the year before last.. Oh my.. I think last year. Anyways, I wanted to update you that I changed jobs. I’m actually working for the same company just in a new position. I remember while I was in your group that most people don’t make a drastic career change just a slight change. I had discovered in your sessions that I wanted to do international marketing. I was a Marketing graduate and working at an advertising agency. We actually rented a portion of our office to a market research firm. Both companies are owned by the same parent company. I would overhear the market research side’s conversations and think how serious their business sounded and they were always traveling and working with elite businesses. Well – I just started talking to one manager at a time and eventually was connected to the right person on their side. Last fall they started inviting me to help on their projects and this year I got an offer to work for them FT. I’m a Junior market researcher…It’s a lot more work and traveling sounds glamorous but it’s more work than play. There’s enough time to enjoy nice meals and see a museum or two and that’s pretty cool to me. I really respect the intelligence level of my coworkers, and I was missing just being around smart people.
It’s still early, but I did it! Thanks for your help.. I’m sure I’ll need your help again down the road.
All the Best,
What first steps are you going to take to find your dream job? Remember that it can take time! If you need help contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Have a great weekend!
This New Year’s, I attended a party where I spoke to a woman, Donna, who gave me a great story for the idea of transferable skills. Donna was a marketing and ad representative for MSNBC and NBC for years in New York City. She really enjoyed her work, but after several years she realized it wasn’t what she wanted to do forever. One of Donna’s friends told her about corporate real estate leasing. She had never heard of it before, but thought it sounded interesting. She looked into it further; I’m sure through networking and perhaps online research, but she didn’t specify. By the way, http://online.onetcenter.org/ and Wetfeet.com are good sites for researching job industries.
After researching, Donna adjusted her resume to reflect the transferable skills for this industry, and basically hounded someone at longhorn to give her a chance. Her hard work paid off and they hired her. She now works for GAP Inc. handling the leases for all of their stores in a portion of the southeast region. She loves her job for many reasons. It gives her flexible hours, ability to work from home on occasion, which is nice because she has a son and another on the way.
Remember, you may feel like you’ve heard the term transferable skills over and over, but have you really sat down and thought about what other industries you could be qualified for? If I looked at Donna’s resume at first glance, I might have said she didn’t fit the industry. If you dig deeper though, you’ll see that Donna had experience in marketing, ad and media placement, and identifying a target market. All of these things need to be considered when you are opening or re-locating a brand new retail store, right? This approach worked for Donna, why not you? Take another look at your transferable skills. It can lead to your success!
P.S. I was featured in this CNN article today, check it out: http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/02/02/when.you.do.not.trust.boss/index.html?iref=allsearch
We had a great Top Ten Tips teleclass yesterday. The teleclass was very interactive and there was a lot of good learning from the participants. One participant, Terry, explained that she has been fortunate to have enjoyed her career path so far, especially because she fell into it. She was offered different roles at her school over the years and she’s enjoyed every one of them. She’s getting ready to retire now, but she is looking for a job post-retirement. She knows in order to do that, she needs to be proactive and admits that she’s a little fearful of that because so far, everything has really just fallen into her lap.
This is understandable and normal. Not everyone gets this lucky and just falls into a job they love. Wouldn’t that be nice if that always happened? She brought up a very important point that I always tell my clients – the best way to find a career you love is to proactively seek it out. Create it AND make it happen. So often people are in jobs they don’t like because they were not proactive. They just took whatever was offered to them.
Are you reacting to your career instead of creating it? Are you taking a job just because it’s offered as opposed to you really wanting it? If so it’s time to take charge! Now this doesn’t mean don’t pay your bills and say no to something when you need a job for financial reasons-be smart. But in addition to that, take the time to consider what your next best step is and plan for it, take action. Choose what you are doing, don’t let it choose you!
You can learn more about effectively managing your career transition in my career transition ebook.
Here’s to having a career you love!
Are you looking for some last minute job search help during the holidays? This article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution might be just what you need to get some inspiration while you’re on your job search: Counting your job search blessings.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
“For job seekers and those who have been struggling with finances, the exercise of counting one’s blessings may seem laced with irony. We’re nearing the end of what has been a difficult year for countless people. With unemployment stubbornly high, catastrophic housing markets trapping people in over-leveraged homes and disasters plaguing every corner of the Earth, despair is starting to seem like the logical way to greet each day.
Not so fast. If you’re in a job search, you simply can’t afford feelings of despair. Hopeless job seekers don’t find jobs for one simple reason: They stop trying. If you’re coming close to this place of self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s time to break the cycle. It’s time to start counting your job search blessings.”
When you count your blessings it can help get you in a positive job search mode, with the right attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude will help keep your energy up for things like networking, opportunities. It’s important to boost your energy and focus so that you keep moving forward. Don’t let yourself end up back on the couch.
One of my group coaching clients went to a church networking event recently and had great success. They got a lead on a job opening they hadn’t heard about and currently is in the application process. This person’s mindset and drive helped them move forward and make this connection. Churches can be a great outlet for a networking group. Attending church functions where you can socialize and connect with people is a networking opportunity that some people don’t think about. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to utilize networking. You just have to have the right attitude and keep moving forward.
If you would like more help in your job search during the holiday season, contact us for a complimentary consultation.
With such high unemployment and competitive job market, does it make sense to turn down job offers? Some people might think it’s crazy that someone might turn down an offer – but holding out for a better job, in some instances might actually make sense.
In this Pittsburg Tribune Review article by Margaret Harding, Unemployed workers find job offers but don’t always take them, she gives this information that might surprise many people:
About 17 percent of unemployed workers have received at least one full- or part-time job offer, and almost all of those workers — 92 percent — turned down such an offer, according to a recent survey by Personified, a division of CareerBuilder.com. The reason most often cited — low pay.
I agree with the author that in some instances it’s okay to be picker, especially if you haven’t been unemployed very long. But as time goes on you may need to rethink your opportunities. The market is competitive and sometimes a job that isn’t ideal is better in the short-term while you continue to look for a long-term more permanent job.
Unfortunately many jobs out there right now are very low-pay. If you have a child that needs to go to daycare, sometimes the cost of working outside the home and sending the child to daycare doesn’t make sense. One of my group coaching clients told us about her brother who recently just got laid off. They have a baby who is 6 months old. With unemployment he’ll get $400 a week. Most of the jobs he has found will make him approximately $500 a week. With the cost of daycare, he’d be better off turning those jobs down for the time being.
Sometimes it can be better to hold out for something better – higher pay, more aligned with what you are looking for, etc. But remember having a large gap in your resume can also affect your possibility of getting a job. Also it’s important to note that your dream job is not going to just land in your lap. You need to be networking and actively searching for it. Get clear on what you want, set goals and make it happen.
If you need help with your job search, contact us for a job search strategy session.
Here’s to having a career you love!