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Category Archives: Attitude & Mental Health

How to actually measure career success

How to actually measure career success

How to actually measure career successWhen you measure career success in the normal sense of the word, you are always reaching up. Unfortunately, many people don’t find happiness in that upward climb.

On Sunday mornings, my friend, Joe Jacobi, writes Sunday Morning Joe. His articles always inspire me but today’s post, When Butts are All You See really caught my attention. He begins:

Like it or not, corporate ladder climbing is a sport. The sport is crowded and the ladders are unstable. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t climb. Your ladder might be a fine piece of equipment in your field, depending upon who is on it and who holds it.

Joe shared much wisdom on his blog. I credited him in the past with my desire to blog since it was his “Gold Medal” blog years ago and wisdom he shared that motivated me to blog. In retrospect, I think I chose the path I am on now because of reading his early content. Joe may not know that (until now).

You’ll have to go read Joe’s post to learn more but once again he inspired me today.

When you measure career success, you may be disappointed

I work with many people who come from the corporate world where the ladder climbing sport consumed their life.

Sometimes people hire me to help them figure out how to reach the next rung or to change ladders.

Others slipped off the ladder and find themselves disillusioned and frightened. They wonder if they can find a new ladder or reach success at all. How you measure career success may be ingrained in a world’s vision and that can be pretty brutal.

This ladder climbing isn’t necessarily healthy either as my Gold Medal-winning friend, Joe, talks about in his article today. People who work with me may need redirection or motivation to find the best place for their work.

Topics I discuss with my clients is where path they want to take, what goals they have for the future, and what makes them happiest. When they don’t know the answer to the last point, I am concerned that they will struggle to find the right career fit.

Writing resumes is one part of what I do. Helping people find new ways to measure career success and look at life differently is what drives me to keep working in the career industry.

What about you? How do you measure career success?

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Land your next role! I am the pioneer of unique resume writing services and strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search. I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to look for jobs as an unemployed job seeker

How to look for jobs as an unemployed job seeker

How to look for jobs as an unemployed job seekerAs an unemployed job seeker, should your job search be different from someone who is in a job? Yes! 

What does an unemployed job seeker need to do differently?

Yesterday one executive level client sent me an email asking why he couldn’t find himself when he searched on LinkedIn for VP of Information Technology  or IT Supply chain system.

He figured that was why recruiters weren’t finding him. I searched for him. Yup, there were 46,000 hits on LinkedIn for VP of Information Technology and 4500+ in Greater New York where he lives. Lost in a crowd. IT Supply Chain System isn’t much different.

He must have heard that if you get your LinkedIn profile right you will be found by recruiters. And you could be — if you have the special skill set the company the recruiter represents needs.

Critical items for any job search

  • Value-filled resume with stories about how you helped your companies in the past. A resume that sells you!
  • Optimized LinkedIn profile filled with keywords for your field and talent
  • Make sure you have a great photo on LinkedIn (not dark, not yellow or green, smiling, not scruffy…)

Turn your job search to active mode

Wanting recruiters to find you on LinkedIn is great but being found works best for passive candidates. Who is a passive candidate? Someone who is already employed.

If you are an unemployed job seeker, you need to become an active job seeker. Supposing you already have your critical items above,  next, work on this:

  • Do the research. What companies do you want to work for? What companies hire people like you?
  • Leverage LinkedIn to find people in those companies who are in roles that hire people like you. You are not looking for HR, but directors of departments or at the executive level, you are looking for executives in charge of your area.
  • Do deep research to find phone numbers. Don’t be afraid to call companies if you can’t find a number online.
  • Ask for an introduction from friends to people who you think can help.
  • Use the phone! 
  • Keep calling after you get a NO. No is one step closer to YES.
  • Don’t use your age as an excuse. I have heard success stories from many of my 50+ and 60+ clients. But they do the work.

Don’t wait for the call, Make the call!

My heart breaks for people why I know they have a great resume but they can’t seem to make their job search work. The unemployed job seeker can’t be a passive job seeker. They don’t have time to wait for someone to call them.

Do you enjoy my career and job search content? Sign up to Read More Posts Like This One!
Land your next role! I am the pioneer of unique resume writing services and strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search. I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The strategy for when and how to change jobs

The strategy for when and how to change jobs

The strategy for when and how to change jobsWhen you change jobs, you always take a risk. Risks can be mitigated by better understanding the job market and the competition.

Timing is everything.

What is the best timing when you change jobs?

Changing jobs is always challenging. For some people, the thought of a job change is so scary that they never change jobs. For others, they change when things get tough at work.

Both of these approaches are wrong!

Why?

We don’t live in the 30 year job world anymore. Employers look at time on the job to make sure that your skills are fresh and current. It is easy to get stale when you stay in the wrong place too long. But that also doesn’t mean you should keep changing.

Job change should be done carefully

A client recently said that she heard that millennials change jobs often. She also noticed that some people she respected had frequent job changes.

I told her I wasn’t so sure about that philosophy. As I often do when I need more information, I phoned a friend and I messaged another one. Unlike typical job seeker searches, when I check with my friends, it is with experts.

Barb Poole from HireImaging:

The job-hopping millennial is a myth. The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the typical worker aged 20 to 24 has been their job for about 16 months. For those 25 to 34, it was six years. More importantly, younger workers have always changed jobs more often than older workers.

But the numbers are misleading when you realize millennials entered the workforce during a period of prolonged economic downturn – missing out on years of potential wage gains. They are often trying to catch up to the money. In an era when a typical employer might offer a one to three percent raise, job hopping is the fastest way to make more money. Add to the money goal, the millennials’ place high value on workplace culture and work / life integration. This suggests that employers need to continue to find “stickiness” for their talent of all ages, including the millennials.

 Dawn Bugni from The Write Solution:

There is no assurance that making a move will make anything better. If you are moving only because you hate your manager or you don’t like the job, think again. Work is work, it isn’t meant to be fun.

I don’t believe you should stay with a job for two more years if it makes you miserable but before you decide to move, think of ways you can do your job better. Build a relationship with a difficult manager, you might be surprised and find that he or she becomes your best friend.

Other clients contact me when they want to change jobs quickly even if they are not millennials. I always tell them to look at the overall history of changes.

My concern is that just because a situation is bad at the moment, you shouldn’t be ready to jump ship.

The grass isn’t always greener and I find that some people end up destroying their work history when they jump at the slightest issue.

Strategic career management should be your goal

Recognize if your manager is not the best manager, your next manager could be worse. Jumping out of the current role to fix the bad manager problem is one option but it shouldn’t be the only one.

  • Analyze if you could make improvements to areas to raise your performance levels. Today there are many ways that you can improve your work.
  • Capture your success stories. If a manager isn’t seeing your contributions, making a list of your work successes can help improve the conversation about your work. If you have to move on, these success stories are also the base of your next resume.
  • Is communication from management coming only from emails? It is very easy to misinterpret emails. Open the door to actual communication with your manager in a respectful climate.
  • Do deep research on other companies before you decide to move on. The job market is volatile and upcoming merger-acquisitions should be part of your research.

When you consider job change, do it carefully and not impulsively. On the other hand, remember that you should always be ready. My most recent post was: What you need to know if your job ends tomorrow.

Do you enjoy my career and job search content? Sign up to Read More Posts Like This One!
Land your next role! I am the pioneer of unique resume writing services and strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search. I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

Image courtesy of freedooom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sluggish job search? How to re-energize!

Sluggish job search? How to re-energize!

sluggish job search Stuck in a sluggish job search?

  • You wait for that phone call, hoping someone will ask you for an interview.
  • Hoping someone will follow up to the phone interview.
  • Keep applying to every possible position that could use your skills.
  • And you get more depressed every hour.

Inaction doesn’t fix a sluggish job search

What do I mean inaction? You are applying, right? You keep looking for roles that fit online, right? What more can you do?

  • Applying online is the slowest way to find a job. Is that your only method?
  • Are you using a generic resume? One size-fits-all resume?
  • Is LinkedIn a key element of your strategy?
  • Does your network know you are looking?

Staying away from the phone doesn’t fix a sluggish job search

One of the prime mistakes by job seekers is avoiding the phone.

If a job seeker starts with a resume written to professional resume writing standards, (always the key to successful job search) the problem is usually not being willing to use the phone.

How can you alter your job search results with the phone?

Don’t wait for them to call you, call them. I use a 7 to 10 day rule. Contact the hiring manager (not usually HR) when you haven’t heard anything for 7 to 10 days.

  • Find the hiring manager using either LinkedIn (search the company for the right department).
  • Or call the company receptionist and asking for the contact information for the head of (project management, engineering, marketing, or whatever department you would be working in)
  • Write down your script for both talking directly to the person and ending up with voice mail. (hint: these will be different scripts)
  • If you have a live conversation, ask if they have time to speak right then. (This acknowledges that you know they are busy people and may have other commitments.) You can ask, “Is this a good time to speak?” If the answer is no, ask if they could tell you a good time to speak for 10 minutes. The 10 minutes is deliberate. You need to abide by that commitment when you do speak. If they want to go longer, make sure you thank them for the extra time.
  • If you end up with voicemail, ask for 10 minutes of their time and leave both your phone and your email. (spell the email and speak slowly)

Job search is work

Job search is work but using these strategies along with quality career marketing materials (resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn, for example) will increase your success.

Do you enjoy my career and job search content? Sign up to Read More Posts Like This One!
Land your next role! I am the pioneer of unique resume writing services and strategy. I use interactive live writing and coaching sessions to capture your value. This positions you for success in your resume, on LinkedIn, and throughout your job search. I help bring out your passion and stories to dig deep into your experiences with you. Learn more here

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net