Archive for job search coach

Informational Interview Almost every time I speak to a client and mention informational interviews, they don’t know what I’m talking about. Or they don’t know how to find people to conduct them, how to set them up professionally, what questions to ask, and how to stay in touch. Once we get into this topic they have a million questions to ask about the nuts and bolts of how to handle them. This is a radio interview from late 2013 we wanted to circle back to, to help you understand how this critical tool works, and can work in your favor.

Listen to Radio Interview Here

Hallie Crawford
Job Search Coach

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.

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Career PathI was honored to be the featured guest at Emory’s Coach Chat program in January, “Brainstorming Your Career Choices”. The webinar about how to brainstorm additional career paths when you are wanting to identify your ideal career. Here is a link to the webinar recording. Enjoy!

Hallie Crawford
Job Search 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!

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Your Career Plan for 2014 – Part 5: Stop Being So Type A?

Career PlanHere is an interesting article in the Huffington Post for the Type A woman, suggesting we need to chill out. I say we because sometimes I have a very Type A personality. I see the value in this article but I think we need to balance it a little and add to it.

Good advice: Sometimes we do (and I would include men in this as well) need to chill out. Often my clients will tell me what their perfectionism gets in the way, of not just their life balance and going home at a reasonable hour, but also their work performance. They will spend too much time on a project over-perfecting it, when they really need to move on to the next task. My career coaching client, Laura, in Chicago struggles with this sometimes. She rarely goes home before 8 pm. They will also tell me their internal perfectionist voice will hold them back from speaking up at meetings. There is a great point in this article about being the first to speak up, even if you are unsure your answer is correct. We often do need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone instead of worrying so much about being right. But I think this needs to be balanced with an additional perspective.

Our type A personality can hold us back at times but sometimes it is the thing that enables us to move up in our career. The determination, the motivation and the desire to get things right is why our employers value us so much as well. So we want to learn to leverage that side of us when it is needed. The key is to learn to manage it; use it when it is time to, let it go when it’s time to chill out and speak up or move on to the next task.

I attended a coaching workshop years ago called the Inside Team. The concept was to identify then leverage each element of our personality or each skill set to our advantage. And not to rely on one too much or let one take over all the time. Type A is one of those skill sets so to speak. Use it when you need it, tone it down when you don’t. That is what will make you successful, understanding your set of skills, and your personality type, to use each element to your advantage. Taking a career test in the new year (we like the Strengthsfinder.com as a start) will help you start off on the right foot. This is all part of your career plan for 2014.

Hallie Crawford
Job Search 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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Office PartyThe holiday office party is coming up, and whether you dread it or look forward to it – you can actually use it to your advantage instead of having it just be a chance to blow off steam. The party can be an opportunity to schmooze with higher ups, get noticed, or develop new relationships or smooth out rocky ones. Here are some things to keep in mind to be pro-active about your party and use it wisely to climb the corporate ladder…

1. Connect on the personal level. I believe stronger connections can be made when we connect with someone personally as well as professionally (without crossing the line of course!) Think of topics to discuss – a recent movie you saw, a local art exhibit, something new about your kids – something personal to share that shows a different side to your personality. This could also be something you use to find common interests with someone you’re speaking to at the party, to connect on that personal level as well.

2. Define your goals. In advance, determine your goals for the party. Yes, your goals. Do you want to meet a specific person who can help you with a project you are working on? Interested in establishing a firmer connection with your bosses boss? Need to smooth out that rocky relationship with Ramona on your team? This can be your chance to do so. Determine what you want to accomplish and, think about work-related points you want to bring up as well. Is it an idea about a new project, an apology you need to make, an invitation to take someone new to coffee so you can brainstorm project strategy together or just a comment on a recent contract they won just to get the conversation started? If you want to open the conversation by asking advice, ask a question even if you already know the answer. Find a way to stay in touch with them by asking them to lunch, or connecting with them on Linkedin.

3. Prepare for shop talk. Yes many people will be talking about work, so in addition to determining the personal things you can share, think about work related topics as well, including things outside the company within your industry that show your intellect or interest in your field as well.

4. Show your softer side. Sometimes the party is a chance to demonstrate your soft skills like your sense of humor, communication, or another side to your personality like personal interests. You may need to be more buttoned up at work you can let loose a little and socialize with people allowing them to get to know you on another level but also learn that you have these other soft skills so to speak.

5. Follow up. Don’t let the connection go to waste. Be sure to follow up. Connect with them on Linkedin, shoot them a quick email saying great to meet you, can you meet for coffee next week? Or if there is no specific action step needed, a simple, great to meet you hope we can work together soon. For someone higher up, consider a handwritten thank you note or holiday card dropped off at their office. Do something afterwards to solidify that connection.

6. Don’t dread it. See the party as an opportunity to further your career in some way, even if the results are not immediate. Someone may approve you for raise or help you with a promotion – great. But at a lower level, they might give you recommendation on LinkedIn or help you on a project. Either way, it can be a positive career move.

7. Act professionally. We all know this, but some people still end up being the story from the holiday office party for 6 months after it’s over. The whole time you are there, keep in mind, people are always evaluating you even if they are not doing so consciously. Whether or not you know it, or they do, they are thinking about what you are like professionally; whether you should be promoted, whether you’re a reliable person to work with, etc. You’re always on.

8. Don’t be a brown-noser. Yes you can try to make an impression on higher ups in order to get that next promotion but, don’t over-do it. Be authentic and be yourself first. Find a way to make that positive impression in a manner that fits your personality.

Hallie Crawford
Job Search 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 : Nurture Your Career
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FailureHere is a great article in the Wall Street Journal that I wanted to share with you:

Scott Adams’ Secret of Success: Failure

It’s written by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. Two things that I wanted to piggy back on from his comments which are thought provoking, and accurate:

#1: Passion is important. I still believe wholeheartedly that professionals in career transition need to find the passion. But there are two things to consider here as well. One, some people do not feel passionate about anything, or not very much. The things they do feel passionate about, they do not want to work in because either it will ruin that passion for them by making it a chore instead of a pleasure. Or two, they just do not want to define their work that way. They would rather enjoy their work, be successful at it, and they do not feel the need to be passionate about it. That is okay. More than okay actually. It is about what works for you. How you want to define work, how you want it to fit into the rest of your life, and where you want to derive your fulfillment from every day. It could be in the personal realm, and that is ok.

#2: Passion will wane with disappointment and failure. I would not love what I do as a coach if my business had bombed after five years. It would not be fun anymore; more of a frustration and I would have moved on. A lot of my success is hard work, not just passion, and I have had some luck along the way. Scott is right, you can be passionate about something that just is not a good business idea. You can love to do something you will never make money at. So it is not just about finding the passion, it is about finding something you enjoy, or are naturally curious about, or are great at, and working hard at it.

Combine the passion or enjoyment or curiosity with success and you have a winning formula. I hope this is helpful to you.

Hallie Crawford
Job Search 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.

Categories : Dream Job
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TerminatedThis is a great question we often get asked by our clients. It’s a touchy subject you want to handle with confidence… Thank you to Terry Wynne, one of our associate certified career coaches, for this article!

Have you ever been terminated from your position?” your interviewer asks you. You may fear this question because you don’t want to have to say, “Yes.” However, you may be confusing the terms layoff, resignation, and termination.

If you were laid off, you have not been terminated. Being laid off from work means the employer could not afford to continue paying your salary or did not have enough work for you to do. When a company downsizes, you may be laid off, and you may be eligible to collect unemployment insurance benefits. If you are asked if you have been terminated and you have only been laid off from previous positions, truthfully answer, “No.”

If you resigned, you have not been terminated. Resigning is when you choose to leave a position by your own choice, or by your employer asking you to either resign or be terminated because the employer wants you to leave the company.   If you choose to resign rather than be terminated, you have not been terminated.   In either of these cases, if you are asked if you have been terminated and you have only resigned (even under duress) from previous positions, truthfully answer, “No.”

If you have been terminated from a position and you are asked if you have been terminated, the best answer is the shortest one you can give – less is best. Without becoming emotional or showing anger, simply say, “I was asked to leave and look forward to a new beginning.” You can add a short explanation such as, “I wasn’t happy in that position and my supervisor and I felt my leaving was best,” or “I wasn’t using my best skills sets and needed to leave and would like to be considered for your opportunity that does use my best skill sets.” If you don’t act upset about your termination, the likelihood is high that your interviewer won’t be upset either. Not getting along with your supervisor is common and so are terminations. No one likes them, but you’re one of many, many people who have experienced them.

If your termination was because you committed an illegal or violent act, consider seeking professional help before seeking another job. If your termination was due to a personality conflict with your supervisor, try not to say anything negative about your previous employers, stick to the facts, and say as little as possible. If questioned about the details, be ready with a one sentence description of what occurred and assure the interviewer that you’re ready to move into a position where you’re needed, can contribute, and are happy.

Hallie Crawford and Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC
Job Search 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.

Categories : Career Transition
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Job SearchWe often have career coaching clients ask us for connections with recruiters local to Atlanta, and to their own area as well since we work with people all over the country. I wanted to point you to a helpful resource we use here in Atlanta, Bell Oaks Executive search. One of my connections there, Matt Tovrog, has become an incredibly helpful resource and I wanted to share some of the articles they post on their site to help you with your job search.

Here is a link to their resources or articles page. I encourage you to bookmark it especially if you are conducting an active job search. We’ll periodically respond or post about their articles, to help you with your career search!

Hallie Crawford
Job Search 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 : Job Search, Recruiters
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Job HuntingSummer is almost over, and at this time recent grads typically start feeling the pinch of finding the job if they haven’t already. I’m working with a college senior, Dan, who’s at Emory and already conducting a full time job search so he’s ready for the spring. Here’s the deal, this can be a scary time or it can be a time for opportunity depending on how you see it. I wanted to share this great article from the founder of LinkedIn, Reid, who had some great advice for college grads. Read article here.

I also wanted to share our job search spreadsheet with you to take his advice and implement it right away. It will help you stay organized in your job search.

Download it here. Get out there and good luck!

Hallie Crawford
Job Search 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.

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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.