2017 Best Career Apps & Websites to Find Your New Job

Apps

Serious about landing a new job this year? Or at least, landing a more fulfilling and higher paying job than the one you’re in now?

If you said, Yes, then let’s do it! My last article in Huffington Post, 2017 Highest Paying Jobs, Best Companies and Fastest Growing Industries, has been helping many of you identify the best job role, companies and industries where you to work.

In this article, I’m focusing on where to find your new job.

As you probably know, it can be daunting navigating through a bazillion career websites, job boards and niche communities touting the latest and greatest job openings. As a leading career coach, I even get overwhelmed! Never-the-less, every year I conduct loads of online research and capture the lessons learned and best practices from my clients to create a list of my favorite (and what, I believe, are some of the most effective and best) career apps and websites to help you find your dream job.

Where can you find your dream job?

1. Glassdoor – In my opinion, Glassdoor is the best place to start your job search. It has tons of new jobs added every day, and allows you to search by job title, key responsibilities, company or location. Plus, it provides employee reviews on company culture, senior leaders and salary information to give you a leg up on negotiating your salary. Simply sign up (it’s free!) and you have a bucket load of research and reference materials at your fingertips. Reviews.com said it best, “Glassdoor gives you both the info you need to find job opportunities and the context to see if it’s a good fit for you too.”

2. Indeed – The majority of my clients get hired off of Indeed. This is a Google-like search engine for jobs and one of the most efficient sites for surveying listings, since it aggregates information from job boards, news sites and company listings. An advanced search function provides a few more filters than Glassdoor, and allows you to drill down on a location, keyword and salary range. Indeed says it has 200 million unique visitors month and is available in 60 countries and 28 languages.

3. LinkedIn – Recruiters and hiring managers love this site. A 2015 Recruiter Nation report by Jobvite shows that 87% of recruiters are using LinkedIn (the most popular social media networking site for recruiters) to seek out job candidates. You can post a free profile so that recruiters can check you out. Another key advantage is that LinkedIn allows you to search for jobs and then shows those in your network who are currently working, or have worked, inside that organization. This makes it easier for you to find (and hopefully get) referrals which is the #1 way job candidates land a job!

Search job openings on LinkedIn by going to your home page and clicking the “jobs” tab towards the top of the page. You can search by job title, keyword, company, or use the advanced search to include additional criteria. Be sure to scroll down to view job openings and companies hiring, as well as those in your network who have worked inside those organizations. For more tips, I love this article by Pamela Vaughan, 35 LinkedIn Tips for Professional Networking, Business and Marketing.

Niche job sites…

SmartRecruiters.com reports that 62-percent of jobs are posted on niche job boards. Do yourself a favor and invest some time researching their Best 50 Niche Job Boards list. Be sure to bookmark those sites with jobs that most closely align to your skills, passions and career goals.

For example, The Ladders features executive and management jobs that pay $80,000 and above salaries. This site also has a nifty Resume Reviewer which can analyze your resume for key words, grammar and any missing information.

If you want to land a job in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math), then bookmark Dice. If you want to find jobs in journalism, P.R. or social media then try Media Bistro. If you’d like to work for a non-profit organization in the U.S. then bookmark Idealist. Or, if you’re a student or young professional, check out Internships for global organizations with paid internships.

Freelance gigs…

Want to earn some extra cash or have more freedom and flexibility in your career? You can become a freelancer or consultant by posting your skills and experience on these sites and then sit back and let the jobs come to you!

• Accenture has been on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the past 8 consecutive years as a Fortune Global 500 company that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. Check out Accenture Consulting and Forbes review Accenture’s Management Consulting Division.

Freelancer has posted almost 11 million freelancing jobs to date worth $3+ billion in 600 categories including website development, mobile apps, software architecture, internet marketing, and more.

UpWork says it posts 3 million part-time, short-term and freelance gigs annually worth $1 billion. For designers, creatives, programmers, developers, and a variety of other business services skills.

OnForce specializes in IT, OEM & POS support, as well as consume electronic installation and repairs.

Other sites that can put some cash in your pocket include: Uber, SnagaJob, TaskRabbit, and Postmates. These sites offer marketplaces for anyone wanting to get hired as a driver, mover, courier, cleaner and basic chore-doer.

Tip – the career apps and websites listed above are great resources to help you find your next job. I recommend creating a job search agent on those sites you like so that you’ll spend less time searching and more time receiving instant notifications of jobs that interest you.

In future articles, I’ll share my favorite resources and tips to help you land your dream job by getting more job leads, referrals and recommendations, as well as how to create a stellar resume and how to nail your job interviews. But for now, I hope this article helps you get one step closer to landing your dream job.

The #1 New Year’s Resolution to Land Your Dream Job

2017

Want to land your dream job in 2017?  Last week I was interviewed for an article in Jobs2Careers and asked, “What is the #1 New Year’s resolution you should make this year and actually keep?”

For me, the answer is simple.  I invest in myself every single week.

Since I have a full-time corporate job, as well as my own successful career coaching practice helping others land their dream job, I don’t have time to make resolutions that I’ll never keep.  But this is ONE new year’s resolution that I make (and achieve) every year.

Just as financial advisers tell us to pay ourselves first in order to have a strong financial portfolio, I make it a habit to invest in myself every week to ensure I have a strong sense of purpose, fulfillment and get closer to achieving my personal mission.

If you’re not sure where or how to invest in yourself, then ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What’s the next thing you want to learn?
    Block out time on your calendar to conduct research, read, learn, watch TED videos, or talk to others.  Learning something new can deepen an area of expertise, change the way you think and even take you in a whole new direction.
  2.  Who inspires you?  
    Connect yourself to those who motivate and energize you.  Offer to help them with a project or support them in their personal mission. They will become your greatest champions in overcoming fear, charting new territory and realizing your dreams.
  3. Where do you ultimately want to go in your career (or at least the next stop on your career journey)?
    Put a stake in the ground and envision the kind of work you want to be doing and the type of environment and organization where you want to work.

Give yourself time and space to answer each of these questions.  See what unfolds.  We’re not meant to stay in the same job forever.  We’re meant to morph, leap, fall, stretch, grow and bounce.  When you invest your time and energy every week in these three areas, your career will find its natural flow and become effortless.

Hottest Jobs, Highest Paying Companies and Fastest Growing Industries in 2016

Wow, I’m so thrilled!  I just received some really exciting news!  Arriana Huffington sent me a personal note inviting me to be a Huffington Post career columnist so I’m writing to share with you my recently published article, “Hottest Jobs, Highest Paying Companies and Fastest Growing Industries of 2016.”

Career Coach Sherri Thomas

Daydreaming of a new job? With the unemployment rate hovering at 5 percent, and companies hiring an average of 284,000 employees per month over the past 3 months (the best 3-month pace in a year) there couldn’t be a better time to shoot for the moon and land your dream job.

But what if you’re not certain what that dream job is? For a little help, check out US News & Money’s 100 Best Jobs list based on employment opportunity, salary, work/life balance and job security, and Forbes list of 10 Toughest Jobs to Fill for 2016 for jobs that are in high-demand and have have less competition, higher salaries and more market demand. If your niche is banking or finance, then you may want to check out Wall Street’s 10 Most In-Demand Jobs for 2016 published by Bloomberg Business.

Which jobs are trending in 2016? I love Glassdoor’s current trends web page which allows you to view hot trends by location, industry and job title. Also, this special report by US News & Money, 5 Trends for Job Seekers in 2016 provides some excellent tips to help you get your foot in the door including how to best leverage a talent community in your niche.

Want a beefier paycheck? Then check out 30 Highest Paying Jobs in America by Business Insider which features data compiled by the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates survey. Ka-ching!

Click here to read my full article on Huffington Post…

 

 

Changing Your Job – is it worth it to start over?

Career CoachingFeeling stuck in your career?  On one hand you want a more inspiring job, but on the other hand you’re afraid of decreasing your salary, or worse yet, that something goes dreadfully wrong in your new dream job and you suddenly find yourself unemployed.

Whether you’re a marketing guru in the high tech industry or a program manager in a fast-paced Fortune 100 company, you’ll eventually hit a fork in your career road and ask yourself, “If I leave my current job will the risk be worth the reward?” 

Personally, I’ve re-branded my own career four (4) times and each time with a higher paycheck.  I’ve learned that there are three (3) critical challenges with re-branding and the strategies you need to overcome those challenges –

  1. Does re-branding mean a salary decrease?

    As a leading career coach, the #1 biggest question I get asked is, “How can I re-brand myself without decreasing my salary?”

    Each time I re-branded myself, I received a 15-34% higher paycheck. A client of mine, Matt, also just reinvented himself from a TV production manager to a high-tech production manager and received a 15% pay increase.

    So how can you do it? First, choose a higher paying industry. Some industries pay higher than others. For example, healthcare and high tech industries typically pay more than the media and construction industries. When I switched from a marketing role in television to a marketing role in the finance industry, I received a 29% salary increase.

    Next, you’ll want to target the higher paying companies.  There are companies within the same industry that pay more than others so do some research and find out which companies have the highest wages.  Finally, some job roles pay higher than others. For example, when I re-branded myself from being a marketing project manager to a technical project manager I received a 34% salary increase. Do your homework and research high paying industries, companies and job roles on sites such as GlassDoor.com and Salary.com

  2. What if I fail?

    I understand fear.  Each time I thought about re-branding myself I got scared. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown.

    The secret is learning how to set yourself up for success. Use your job interviews as an opportunity to learn about the company’s culture, management style, job scope and anything else that’s important to you such as telecommuting, professional training or advancement opportunities. By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to learn if the new job would offer you the right challenges and the right environment where you could thrive.

    Also, just because somebody wants to hire you doesn’t mean you should automatically accept the position. Many times, I’ve taken myself out of the hiring process because either the job or the manager weren’t a good fit. You don’t have to accept a job offer unless you want it.

  3. What if I don’t have the right stuff?

    Moving into a different career requires that you have different skills and experience. So if you don’t have the skills or experience, then you’ll need to invest in yourself to get it.

    If you’re seeing that your dream job requires an advanced degree or certification, then invest in yourself and go get it. If you need some kind of specialized expertise or experience, then get it. I joined the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association (an outside volunteer position) to strengthen my marketing and leadership skills which gave me the experience I needed to land a Fortune 100 job.  Another time, when a company didn’t have the budget to send me to a training conference that I knew would help me land my next dream job, I paid my own way.

    It’s your career.  Take ownership and drive it where you want it to go.  Invest your time, money and energy to get the training, education and experience you need to re-brand yourself. Don’t wait and think that you’ll find a hiring manager to “take a chance” on you.  That’s a pipe dream.  You need to step up and invest in yourself – and then the job offers will follow! 🙂

And finally…

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside. A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing. When you re-brand yourself into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. When it comes to re-branding yourself, it’s not just your skills and experience but your attitude that counts!

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Leading Career Coach Sherri ThomasSherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their career. Her book, “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback” was named “Best Career Book” by the Indie Book Awards. Her first book, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a powerful personal brand” has been #3 on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books. As the Founder/President of Career Coaching 360, Sherri teaches training professionals, managers and executives how to change, reinvent or advance their career. Sign up for her new 3-part free video training series “15 Clever Ways to Get More Job Offers” at CareerCoaching360.com

 

Should You Re-Brand Your Career?

Career CoachingFeeling stuck in your career?  On one hand you want to move into a more inspiring job, but on the other hand you’re afraid of losing your salary, or worse yet, that your new dream job turns out to be unstable and you find yourself suddenly unemployed?

Whether you’re a marketing guru in the high tech industry or a project manager for a Fortune 100 company, you’ll eventually hit a fork in the career road and ask yourself, “If I leave my current job will the risk be worth the reward?” 

Personally, I’ve re-branded my own career four (4) times and each time with a higher paycheck.  I’ve learned that there are three (3) critical challenges with re-branding and the strategies you need to overcome those challenges –

  1. Does re-branding mean a salary decrease?

    As a leading career coach, the #1 biggest question I get asked is, “How can I re-brand myself without decreasing my salary?”

    Each time I re-branded myself, I received a 15-34% higher paycheck. A client of mine, Matt, also just reinvented himself from a TV production manager to a high-tech production manager and received a 15% pay increase.

    So how can you do it? First, choose a higher paying industry. Some industries pay higher than others. For example, healthcare and high tech industries typically pay more than the media and construction industries. When I switched from a marketing role in television to a marketing role in the finance industry, I received a 29% salary increase.

    Next, you’ll want to target the higher paying companies.  There are companies within the same industry that pay more than others so do some research and find out which companies have the highest wages.  Finally, some job roles pay higher than others. For example, when I re-branded myself from being a marketing project manager to a technical project manager I received a 34% salary increase. Do your homework and research high paying industries, companies and job roles on sites such as GlassDoor.com and Salary.com

  2. What if I fail?

    I understand fear.  Each time I thought about re-branding myself I got scared. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear of the unknown.

    The secret is learning how to set yourself up for success. Use your job interviews as an opportunity to learn about the company’s culture, management style and anything else that’s important to you such as telecommuting, professional training or advancement opportunities. By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to learn if the new job would offer you the right challenges and the right environment where you could thrive.

    Also, just because somebody wants to hire you doesn’t mean you should automatically accept the position. Many times, I’ve taken myself out of the hiring process because either the job or the company weren’t a good fit. You don’t have to accept a job offer unless you want it.

  3. What if I don’t have the right stuff?

    Moving into a different career requires that you have different skills and experience. So if you don’t have the skills or experience, then you’ll need to invest in yourself to get it.

    If you’re seeing that your dream job requires an advanced degree or certification, then invest in yourself and go get it. If you need some kind of specialized expertise or experience, then get it. I joined the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association (an outside volunteer position) to strengthen my marketing and leadership skills which gave me the experience I needed to land a Fortune 100 job.  Another time, when a company didn’t have the budget to send me to a training conference that I knew would help me land my next dream job, I paid my own way.

    It’s your career.  Take ownership and drive it where you want it to go.  Invest your time, money and energy to get the training, education and experience you need to re-brand yourself. Don’t wait and think that you’ll find a hiring manager to “take a chance” on you.  That’s a pipe dream.  You need to step up and invest in yourself – and then the job offers will follow! 🙂

And finally…

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside. A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing. When you re-brand yourself into a new job role or a new company, you need to show the hiring manager that you have confidence in yourself and know that you’ll be successful in the job. When it comes to re-branding yourself, it’s not just your skills and experience but your attitude that counts!

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Leading Career Coach Sherri ThomasSherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their career. Her book, “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback” was named “Best Career Book” by the Indie Book Awards. Her first book, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a powerful personal brand” has been #3 on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books. As the Founder/President of Career Coaching 360, Sherri teaches training professionals, managers and executives how to change, reinvent or advance their career. Sign up for her new 3-part free video training series “15 Clever Ways to Get More Job Offers” at CareerCoaching360.com

Become the Rainmaker in Your Own Career

If you want more options, more choices or even a completely different career, there is one surefire way to get it – become your own rainmaker.

Umbrella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier in my career, I was laid off three times in twelve months (I refer to it as the “3-bang lay-off” in my book, “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback.”) I realized that the universe was trying to tell me something BIG and what I needed to do was take control over my career. I needed to stop being so reactive and become more proactive.

Back then, I applied for every job opening I heard about within a 100-mile radius and if someone wanted to hire me, I’d go work for him. Or if my manager said, “Go lead that team”, I would go lead that team. But being complacent and compliant wasn’t getting me anywhere.

Fast forward to today where I’m working full time at a Fortune 100 company (14 years and counting…) leading management and career training, as well as having a side gig as a leading career coach and award-winning author.

How did it happen? I became my own rainmaker. In other words, I found and created my own career opportunities by following these three simple strategies –

  1. Taking my career into my own hands.

    I no longer feel “safe” working inside a company. I love the challenge, but with all of the downsizing, mergers and re-orgs going on I was in a constant state of worrying about “what if’s.” So I decided to follow my heart, my passion and my intuition and mitigated my full-time job by starting my own side gig – as a career coach.

    I never dreamed of being an entrepreneur, but I did have a strong desire to be the master of my own career domain. So I decided to write, speak and coach others on something I knew about – career rebranding. Since I had successfully worked in several industries including radio, television, finance and high-tech, as well as various job roles such as DJ, advertising producer and marketing manager, I invested three months to write my first book called, “Career Smart – Five Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand.”

    When I took my career into my own hands – doors started opening. The book led to media interviews, consulting contracts and a few clients. What that experience taught me is that the universe will provide us with opportunities when we 1) move in the right direction, and 2) step up. The point is to share your expertise. When you start teaching, mentoring and leading others on a topic you are passionate about – opportunities will chase you down. J

  2. Finding my balance.

    When you do work that you enjoy – it fills you with energy. When you work on things you dislike, it drains you. I’m now able to do more of the work that I love by having rich, meaningful conversations with my manager about what I enjoy, and where I can add the most value to the department. It didn’t happen overnight but once I was able to articulate what I enjoyed doing, my manager was able to re-assign some of my less fulfilling work and give me more of those projects and assignments that infuse me with energy.

    I’m also able to pick and choose the opportunities from my side gig that energize me. If a client seems particularly picky or fussy, then I don’t take them on. If a speaking opportunity isn’t worth taking a vacation day for, then I decline it. If there’s work I don’t enjoy doing (website maintenance, email communications, etc.) then I contract it out.

    When my full-time day job gets demanding, then I put my side gig activities on hold. What I know for sure is that I’m the architect of finding my own balance. Every day, we make decisions regarding when and how we spend our time. It’s been a learning process (and still is), but I’m now able to identify and prioritize the kind of work that fulfills and energizes me.

  3. Creating a pipeline of opportunities.

I’ve had a full-time training job and my own side gig for the past five years, and I’ve realized that some of things I do (coaching, training, speaking, etc.) create opportunities for me; however, I never know exactly which activities will create those opportunities. For example, after I speak at some events I’ll receive an invitation to speak at a bigger, higher paying event. But I never know which events will bring me those lucrative opportunities.

What I’ve learned is to follow what I love doing. For me that includes coaching, training and speaking. When I’m doing any of those activities I’m fully present, passionate and excited to be helping others find their best career. I don’t do them because they bring me opportunities – I do them because they energize and fulfill me, and as a result, some bring opportunities. My desire outweighs any expectations.

Some opportunities I decline, and some I accept. But no matter what I’ve found that the more opportunities I have, the more empowered I feel. It’s empowering to know that I have choices and that I am the driver in my own career. Whether you want to make one small change or a complete overhaul in your career, start today to make it happen. Become the rainmaker in your own career so that you can do meaningful, purposeful work and feel valued, appreciated and energized. I’m here to cheer you on and say that you really can create a career that you love – you just have to get in the driver’s seat and make it happen! 🙂

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Leading Career Coach Sherri ThomasSherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their career. Her book, “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback” was named “Best Career Book” by the Indie Book Awards. Her first book, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a powerful personal brand” has been #3 on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books. As the Founder/President of Career Coaching 360, Sherri teaches training professionals, managers and executives how to change, reinvent or advance their career. Sign up for her new 3-part free video training series “15 Clever Ways to Get More Job Offers” at CareerCoaching360.com

Your Personal 3-Step Checklist to a New Career

Are you thinking, “I need a new job!”   
Are you thinking it every day?
If you spend your days fantasizing about getting into a new career that fills you with more meaning and purpose, then it’s time to take action.  I’ve successfully reinvented my own career four (4) times and I fully believethat life is way too short to stay in a meaningless job where you’re unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-valued.

As a leading career coach, the #1 biggest question I get asked is, “How can I transition into a new career without decreasing my salary?” Each time I reinvented my own career, I received anywhere between an 8% – 32% salary increase. A client of mine, Matt, just reinvented his career from being a manager in the TV industry to becoming a manager in high tech, and received a 17-percent pay increase.

So how did we do it?  And how can YOU do it?

Moving into a new career means repackaging your skills, qualifications and successes so that you can transition into a new job role, company or industry. It takes a strong vision, a solid plan, and someone who can coach you through your transition, but yes, it is possible! Below are four steps I take with my clients to teach them how to reinvent their career –

  1. Identify your transferable skills.

    If you’ve been working for at least five years, then you have transferable skills. These are skills that transition from industry to industry, or from job role to job role. Examples include: managing projects, teams, clients or budgets, as well as negotiating contracts, helping a company generate revenue, save money, or gain market share.

    Other transferable skills include personal characteristics such as demonstrating leadership, mentoring or training others, risk taking, being goal driven, results oriented, a problem solver, or having the ability to influence senior managers. These are great skills to have, and they transfer from industry to industry. All kinds of industries and companies value employees with these types of skills and characteristics.

  2. Match your transferable skills to job roles.

    Read job descriptions posted on Indeed.com, CareerJournal.com, CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com, as well as business journals and industry-specific websites. If you want to work for a specific company then check out their website’s on-line job postings. Learn the skills and qualifications required for various job roles.

    Then, match your transferable skills to those jobs you want to go after. If there’s a gap between the required skills and the skills that you currently have, then look for ways to gain that experience such as taking on an extended assignment in your current job, or if you’re in between jobs then try freelancing, consulting, or volunteering.

    Also, attend industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events and association meetings. Talk to people who work in the industry to learn about their career path, key skills, and advice on how to break into the business.

  3. Blow up your resume.

    The first thing I always did before I transitioned into a new career was blow up my resume. Trying to piece together a resume that highlighted the skills I used to get my last job with the skills I needed to land my next job was like trying to weld together Lexus parts on a BMW. It doesn’t work. You need a brand new resume.

    Hiring managers don’t care about every job you’ve ever had. They just want to know if you can do their job? In order to get noticed you’ll need a clean, polished and professionally written resume.

And one more tip… attitude is king! I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion. I’ve never walked into an interview having met all of the job requirements. In fact, for the television interview, I lacked the two biggest requirements which were a minimum of two years experience in television, and a reel to show my TV work.

There’s a kind of quiet confidence that we all have down deep inside. A confidence that comes from knowing what we’re capable of doing.  If you want the job offer, you’ll need to sell yourself to the hiring manager by showing you have confidence in yourself to be successful in the job. When it comes to reinventing your career, it’s not just your skills and talent but your attitude that counts!

Want a little help transitioning into your new career?
Check out my services for personal career coaching packages, resume development and interview coaching.  Potential clients can request a 15-minute complimentary consultation by writing to Tim@CareerCoaching360.com

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and award-winning author of the “2013 BEST CAREER BOOK” by the Indie Book Awards for her book “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback”.  She also authored, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand– which is on AMAZON’s TOP 50 LIST for personal branding books. Sherri is the President and Founder of Career Coaching 360 which provides resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching for executives and professionals who want to change, reinvent or advance their career.

For a limited time, you can download the three FREE chapters of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

The Bounce Back by Sherri Thomas

Your Career Shouldn’t Be That Hard

Nothing is worse than feeling helpless in your career.  Helpless.  Hopeless.  Stuck.

The notion that you don’t have any career options is a myth.  Every day you are making choices.  Every day you make the choice to work for the company where you are.  You make the choice to work for the boss you have.  You make the choice to work on the projects you drive.  Every day you’re making decisions about your career.

So what can you do if you dislike your company, manager or your job?

I’ve been a leading career coach and author for the past 6 years (and working at a 6-figure job for a Fortune 100 Company for the past 14 years), and what I know for sure is that when my career is moving in the right direction – it’s fun, exciting, challenging, scary (in a good way) and immensely rewarding.  And when it’s moving in the wrong direction – it’s excrutiatingly difficult. That’s when I know something’s gotta give.  It’s time for ME to make a few changes.

Below is a simple a step-by-step process and that even with the small changes can help you find your career flow –

1.      Know what you want.

What’s pulling you toward your career right now?  What’s pushing you away?

The first step in getting un-stuck is to sort through the logic and emotion of everything going on in your job right now and make a list of what all the positive things are that you’re getting in your job, such as a salary, benefits, doing purposeful work, working for a company you love, working for a manager you respect, being in an environment where you can constantly learn new things, etc.

Now make a list of things you dislike about your job such as little or no career advancement, limited visibility with leaders, feeling unvalued or unappreciated, being under-challenged, etc.

Look at both lists.  Are they out of balance? Is there anything you can change on your “dislike” list?  Many times it’s difficult for us to come up with solutions on our own so try brainstorming possibilities with a few people you trust such as a mentor, manager, department managers or colleagues.

What’s in your control that you could change?  How could change it?  Who could help you?

2.      Shake things up internally. 

If you like your job, but just wish one or two things would change – then see if you can make it happen.  There may be some parts of your job that you enjoy, and parts that you don’t.  Identify what those are and then have a heart to heart talk with your manager.

Try saying something like, “I am really enjoying my job, but there are a few things I’d like to see if we could change.”  I once said to one of my managers something like, “I’m really not sure how much value I’m adding to the research project, but if you gave me those 4 hours each week, I would use them to create a new leadership initiative.”  I then went on to explain the new initiative and how it would benefit me, the department and my manager. Ten minutes later he told me to, “Go for it!”

Another time I asked one of my manager’s if he needed any help with the budget and told him that I wanted to learn about managing the department’s finances.  He gave me more financial responsibility and taught me everything I wanted to know!

Other great sources to help you shake things up internally could be your boss’ manager, other department managers and anyone who has, or has had, a responsibility that you would like to have.  Two key things to remember are –

a.      You are the only one who can make a change happen.
b.      You cannot make a change by yourself – you need the support, wisdom and mentorship of others.

3.      If you can’t get what you want internally – go external.

Sometimes our career requires big bold changes.  If you’re unhappy in your job and you can’t get what you want inside your current organization, then it’s time to explore external opportunities.

The first step is to simply start exploring possibilities. Talk to others who are in the industry or job role that interests you.  Ask them what a good day looks like, what a bad day looks like, if they have any special training or education, and how they got their job.  You can learn a lot about different career options simply by talking to others.

After you identify a job role that you are really interested in, the next step is to start exploring job openings.   Let your network know that you are ready to take the next step in your career and ask if they could send you any job leads, referrals or recommendations.

Also, search the job boards on company websites where you want to work.  Be sure to set up Job Agents on Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com so that you’ll receive weekly job openings in your e-mail box.

Whether you make a few small changes in your career or one big bold change, you owe it to yourself to have a career that lets you do meaningful, purposeful work and makes you feel valued, appreciated and energized.  You really do have control over your career – you just have to get in the driver’s seat and make it happen! 🙂

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their career. Her book, ”The Bounce Back” is the 2013 winner of “Best Career Book” by Indie Book Awards for independent book authors. Her first book is on AMAZON’s TOP 50 LIST for personal branding books, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a powerful personal brand.” As the Founder/President of Career Coaching 360.   Sherri specializes in providing one-on-one coaching to professionals and executives who want to change, reinvent or advance their career.

For a limited time, you can download the three FREE chapters of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

Sherri offers personal one-on-one career coaching to professionals who want to change their career.  Learn more: www.CareerCoaching360.com 

The Bounce Back by Sherri Thomas             

New Year, New Career!

Want 3 simple tips to help you make a faster and easier career change?

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As a leading Career Coach, I’m seeing that many professionals make the mistake of posting their resume on a job board, or handing their resume to a recruiter, and then just sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring. Although the economy is improving, we're still in a tough job market which means you need to be much more proactive and strategic to make a career change. My clients have had great success doubling their opportunities and cutting their job search time in half by following my three simple job hunting rules…

  1. Think Up, Down and Sideways.

The biggest mistake job hunting professionals make is looking for a position with the exact same title they had in their last job. Instead, consider looking at smaller companies and going one-level up, as well as larger companies and going one-level down.

Additionally, many companies don’t require you to have industry experience, only expertise in a specific job function, so you can also double your opportunities by applying for jobs in a variety of industries.

For example, if you’ve been working in advertising agencies, then be sure to target organizations that have in-house advertising, marketing, or communications departments. Or, if you’ve been in sales, finance, engineering, or administration in a certain industry (such as health care, high tech, or construction), start applying for those same jobs in other industries.

Finally, it’s not mandatory for you to meet 100-percent of the requirements in a job description before you apply. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 75-percent of the skills and experience required, and express in your cover letter and interviews that you’re a quick learner, flexible, and passionate about the position and the company. Your resume will get you an interview. Your attitude and confidence will get you the job.

2.  Create a strategic job search plan.

It’s easier to catch fish when you know where the fish are, and it’s easier to get hired when you know which companies are hiring. Find out where your potential employers are by reading job boards (CareerJournal.com, theLadders.com, etc.), as well as industry publications, business journals, and company websites. You’ll be able to learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring and what the hot jobs are!

Company websites.
Create a list of companies where you would like to work. Visit their website weekly for on-line job postings, and announcements for departments expanding.

On-line job boards.
Some job search sites are notorious for listing outdated jobs, or jobs with no contact information. Why waste your time? Instead, make a list of job search sites that offer high quality jobs. Conduct a search on Google or Yahoo for the job role and the city you want (example: marketing director, Portland). Review all the sites listed on the top three or four pages, and bookmark only those sites that list promising job opportunities.

You’ll find that each site varies in the quality of positions listed (lower-level to senior-level, as well as salary ranges), plus the type of industries, or vertical sectors, listed. Some sites may also do a better job than others updating their lists, or publicizing openings in your city. Focus your attention only on those sites.

Once you’ve created a list of your targeted companies and favorite job boards, make a commitment to review those sites weekly.

3. Work your NetWORK.

The #1 way job candidates are getting hired in today’s market is by getting a referral within the organization. That means, you need to make it a priority to get connected, and stay connected, to people who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you.

Get re-connected with past employers, customers, and colleagues. Meet new contacts by attending industry conferences, trade shows, business networking events, and association meetings that target the industry (high tech, health care, etc.), or the job role (marketing, finance, management, etc.) you want. Try to attend a couple of events each month.

Also, you never want to give the impression that you’re hungry for a job. Instead, you want to be seen as someone who’s resourceful, knowledgeable, and has a wide network. Send out personalized notes and e-mails with information that you think would interest them such as links to reports, case studies, press releases, videos or websites. Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers in your network. Influencers are drawn to those who are resourceful.

The goal is to create a pull relationship with your network so that they are drawn towards you (not running away from you!)

When you’re searching for a new job, remember to stay focused on what you want, stay positive, and believe in yourself. It takes persistence and patience – but you WILL find those companies who jump at the opportunity to hire you!!

Your Assignment… Create your “job search strategy.”

Expand your career opportunities by researching job openings across various industries advertised on company websites and job boards (such as Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com). Read a variety of job descriptions to determine if you have the right mix of skills, experience and expertise. If you match at least 75% of the job requirements – then apply! (Nobody meets 100% of the job qualifications except the person who just left that job! )

After you find a job you want to apply for, then customize your resume to meet the job description and ask your network for recommendations and referrals.

By following these three (3) strategies you’ll be well on your way to a new career!

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist. She teaches others how to think differently and more proactively in their career. Her book, ”The Bounce Back” is the 2013 winner of “Best Career Book” by Indie Book Awards for independent book authors. Her first book is on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a powerful personal brand.” As the Founder/President of Career Coaching 360.   Sherri specializes in providing one-on-one coaching to professionals and executives who want to change, reinvent or advance their career.

For a limited time, you can download the three FREE chapters of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

Sherri offers personal one-on-one career coaching to professionals who want to change their career.  Learn more: www.CareerCoaching360.com 

The Bounce Back by Sherri Thomas             

Need a little help with your career change?

Check out some of these popular resources to help you reinvent and re-brand yourself…

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Twice I've Been Hired During the Month of December

holiday

If you’re out searching for a job, but thinking about stopping your job search during the months of November and December because nobody is hiring – think again.  That would be a BIG mistake.

Twice in my career, I’ve been hired during the month of December.  No, I’m not talking about temporary jobs like stocking holiday sweaters at the local Gap store or delivering holiday packages for UPS.  I’m talking about real, permanent, full-time job offers I received with large marketing and advertising agencies.

There are three great reasons why it’s actually EASIER to get hired in the months of November and December, than any other time of the year –

  1. First, many companies may still have budget left for 2103.

    Many organizations have an infrastructure in place of “Use it or lose it”, meaning that if they don’t use up their dollars that have already been budgeted and approved for hiring new employees, then that money will be gone on January 1, 2014.

  2. Second, companies want to gear up for 2014.

    Many organizations want to hire new employees now so that they can hit the ground running at the beginning of the year.

  3. Third, there is less competition.

    Many job candidates stop searching for jobs or go on vacation (because they believe the myth that nobody is hiring during the holidays) so the competitive pool is much smaller. Which means that the odds are in your favor 🙂
    Here’s a tip – if you get invited to an interview during the holidays and you want that job, and you need that job – then make it a priority.  Figure out a way to go to that interview and then go see your Aunt Betty in Minneapolis.  Or, if it’s a phone interview, don’t let them hear your brother-in-law laughing in the background to the cat getting fried in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

So how did I get hired?  Networking.  I went to every holiday party, event and mixer I could find.  At first, I felt really awkward saying that I didn’t have a job, but then I just started owning it saying something like, “Actually, I’m looking to take that next step in my career right now, and looking for opportunities as…” an Account Manager, or as a copywriter, or whatever.

I also called up old friends and colleagues and started the conversation by saying, “Hey, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!”  Most people are in a more relaxed and sociable mindset during the holidays (even department managers, hiring managers and company leaders), which makes it easier to connect, and easier to ask for job leads, referrals and recommendations.

For one of my job offers, I called up the President of the company who I use to work for and asked if he could look over my resume to offer me any advice.  That phone conversation led to a meeting, which then led to two interviews, and a job offer the day of his holiday office party.

So if you’re looking for a new job this holiday season, then rev up your job search by putting on your best holiday sweater and going out to socialize.  Who knows, maybe you’ll get a nice beefy paycheck in your stocking this Christmas! 🙂

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