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.

2016 Best Career Websites and Apps to Land Your Dream Career

graphicSerious about landing your dream 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, 2016 Hottest Jobs, Highest Paying Companies and Fastest Growing Industries, helped many of you identify the job role and industry where you want to work.

Now let’s focus on the next step which is how to find your dream job.

As you probably know, it can be daunting navigating through a kajillion career websites, job boards and niche communities touting the latest and greatest job openings. As a 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 that can help you find your dream job –

Salary.com published 10 Best Job Hunting Apps to Get You Hired“ which features apps to help make changing your career a snap including helping you stay organized, write your resume, and ace your interview.

One of my favorite on this list is JobMo which lets you search by location using Google maps in over 20 countries, find and apply for jobs listed on sites like Indeed, Simply Hired, The Ladders and Monster, as well as allows you to research companies and compare salary information.

SWITCH app – I love this cool, easy app! Available in the apple store and Google play, this app makes job searching fun by allowing you to search for jobs quickly from your phone. Simply swipe right if you’re interested in a job, or swipe left if you’re not interested. Employers and recruiters are automatically notified when a candidate is interested in their job. And, when recruiters and employers are interested in you(!) they’ll use the on-line chat feature to connect with you, set up an interview, etc. It’s simple, fast, and even eliminates the need for that annoying cover letter. :)

JobR app – another cool app that allows you to set up a profile, create and upload your resume and then search for jobs. This job search and resume app also has one more great feature – a personal “career concierge” to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction!

Want to know which career websites are best for job hunting? Forbes did all the heavy lifting by researching over 2,000 career websites, and then publishing their list of “10 Best Websites for Your Career.” This master list is not a ranking, but rather a roster that Forbes’ staff believes can be useful to all sorts of job seekers at varying stages of their careers – from executives to managers to interns.

I have three (3) favorite career sites from this list which include –

1. LinkedIn – Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn more than any other website to connect with job candidates. LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking site and has more than +400 million members in +200 countries. People are signing up at approximately two new members a second! It is free to become a member and post a summary of your career and work history.

To find job openings, you can go to the LinkedIn Jobs web page and search by job title, keyword or company. You can also do an advanced search to include additional search criteria. On the Jobs page, you can also look for jobs under the sections for “Jobs You May be Interested In” and “Jobs in Your Network”.

For more tips on how to use LinkedIn for your career change I’ve found the LinkedIn – Jobs and Professional Services web page full of great tips and helpful recommendations.

2. Indeed – I’ve had many 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 allows you to drill down on a location, keywords and salary range. Indeed says it has 180 million unique visitors month. It’s available in 50 countries and 26 languages.

3. SimplyHired – Like Indeed, SimplyHired is a Google-like search engine for jobs and a quick way to survey a massive number of job listings, plus provides a salary estimator. The site, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., aggregates information from job boards, news sites and company listings. At last count, it had 30 million unique visitors a month. One cool feature of SimplyHired over Indeed: Job listings will display your LinkedIn connections to each job!

JobCase is a terrific resource if you don’t have a traditional resume or four-year degree, but have some job experience. Jobcase is an online community resource and advocate for the non-traditional workforce by providing job listings for hourly work and will even connect you to mentors.

Tip – The career apps and websites listed above are great resources to help you find your next job. I highly recommend that you bookmark, and create a job search agent on those sites that have jobs which most closely match your skills and passions so that you’ll receive instant notifications of jobs that interest you.

Here’s a little known fact from SmartRecruiters.com about finding jobs – 62-percent of jobs are posted on niche job boards. Reported in this special report “Best 50 Niche Job Boards“ Smart Recruiters assessed thousands of sites listing job openings. I’ve had many clients get hired off Dice, Media Bistro and other sites featured on this list, so be sure to research these sites and bookmark those that most closely align to your skills, talents and passions.

Want to see a few more career websites on my list of favorites?  Click here to read my complete article on Huffington Post,2016 Best Career Apps and Websites to Land Your Dream Job

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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

The Art of Promoting Yourself without Bragging

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

As a leading career coach, I’m seeing that a lot of clients have one common challenge:  talking about themselves!    

Talking about yourself can be one of the most difficult challenges in making a career change.  More specifically, How can you talk about yourself in your networking opportunities, interviews and to hiring managers without sounding like you’re bragging?

 The fact is, people aren’t going to know what a superstar you are unless you tell them! :) I use to be intimidated by this, too, until I learned some pretty important lessons.   So too help you in your career change, here are three (3) of my networking strategies critical to your success…

  1. Talk about your projects, teams, and the value they delivered to the organization. 

It may feel uncomfortable talking about your achievements, but the fact is you won’t get noticed (yet alone hired!) if you don’t talk about them!  Here’s a tip – focus on the projects and teams you contributed to, and the value they delivered to the organization. Talk about goals, or stretch goals, that were met and how they benefited the organization to help increase revenue, save costs, or gain more market share.

2. Focus on results. 

Many career changers make the mistake of focusing on their previous responsibilities they’ve had in past jobs.  What I want you to do is talk about the results you’ve helped achieve on your projects, programs and teams. All programs are measured in terms of success metrics (or else they wouldn’t get funded) so if you don’t know the results – go back and ask the project managers or department managers. 

Here’s a bonus tip…

To add even more credibility and stand out from your competition, I want you to quantify your achievements with a number, dollar, or percentage. For example, instead of saying that you managed a sales team for a specific product, instead, say that you led a team of 5 sales professionals who increased sales by 15% and generated $250,000 a year for the past 3 years!  Quantifying your successes says that you are a driver, high achiever, and that you get results. 

3. Attitude is the key ingredient! 

I’ve found that getting a new job really boils down to two things: confidence and passion.  To get the job at the NBC-TV station in Monterey and beat out the other 100 job candidates, I was passionate about the company AND the position.  Even though I didn’t have the kind of experience that was required, I told the hiring manager that I absolutely knew that I could do the job.

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 transition 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.   

And finally… 

Great companies are ALWAYS looking to hire great talent – and that means you!  So, if you’re serious about getting into a new career, then follow these three tips, power up your confidence, and believe in yourself!  Your new career is out there waiting for you – you just need to go get it!  :-)  

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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 provides 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

 

 

The Bounce Back by Sherri Thomas             

SMART NETWORKING – How to get more job leads, referrals and recommendations

 

The goal of networking is NOT to start asking about job opportunities the instant you meet someone. The goal of networking is to create a connection or establish a relationship with someone.

As a Career Coach, I’ve noticed that many professionals looking to reinvent their career make the mistake of sending a message to others, ” I need a job.” But instead, you want to be sending the message that you’re a successful professional who’s resourceful, well connected, and who has some similar interests as they do. You want them to realize that you are someone that THEY should get to know! 

Below is my simple step-by-step process to help you build a powerful network to get more job leads, referrals and recommendations…

 
  1. Seek out others in the industry or job role where you want to work.

The next time you meet someone who works for a company where you want to work, or in a job role that you’d like to have, keep the conversation focused on that person (it’s not about you! -at least not yet!) Talk about their latest marketing campaign or product launch, or something new or interesting that’s going on inside their company. 

2.  Ask to keep in touch!

Next, you don’t need to have a long, in-depth conversation with each person. Instead, when you feel that the conversation has run its course, simply say, “I’d love to stay in touch – how about if we exchange business cards?”

3.  Send the message that you’re knowledgeable and resourceful!

Follow up by sending a piece of information you think they might be interested in such as an article, or the results of a new study, a link to a cool website that relates to their business, or an announcement about an upcoming conference or networking event. You want to send the message that you’re someone who is well connected, resourceful and that you are someone that they want in their network! :)

4.  Mention a few of your contributions and successes!

Once the door is open, then talk about some projects or teams that you’ve worked on that have been successful. One thing that works really well for me, is offering to share tips, insight or lessons I learned about the project. l I find that by doing this, people who appreciate these successes will naturally gravitate towards me. And it provides the foundation for a long-term relationship.

5.  After you’ve established a relationship, then drop the hint!

If you’re looking for a new job, then go ahead and drop a hint that you’re looking for “other opportunities.”  

Believe me, when you use this simple step-by-step formula, if your connections know of any opportunities they’re going to let you know!

One final thought, I strongly believe that no matter where you are in your career, we’re always in a position to help out others. Is there someone else you can support by introducing her to a potential employer, or giving a recommendation, or inviting to a networking event? Sometimes we get caught up in focusing just on ourselves, but remember that when we help out others along the way – the universe gives back to us more than we ever dreamed possible.  :)

Bottom line: you need a powerful network if you want to have a powerful career. 

So start making connections and nurturing your professional relationships. You’ll find that once you have a strong team of career influencers on your side, doors to new opportunities will open and career will soar!  

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Right now you can download three FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

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Do You Keep Thinking, “I Need a New Job!”

Do you keep telling yourself, “I need a new job!”
Are you thinking it every day?

Do you dream of starting a fresh, new career where people appreciate you? Where you can do the kind of work you enjoy, and be valued for your expertise? Or maybe reinventing yourself into a completely different job or industry where you’re doing something you’ve always dreamed about that’s meaningful and inspiring?

Maybe you’ve been pushing away that dream because it seems impossible, or overwhelming, or maybe because you simply don’t know how to change your career?

But what if you can no longer silence the dream? When that voice keeps coming back to you, louder and stronger, saying “I need a new job!”, and no matter how many times you push it out of your mind it keeps coming back. What do you do then?

The reason so many people stay in unmotivating and unfulfilling jobs is because it’s easy to do. It’s familiar, it takes minimal effort, it’s easy to blank out and be a zombie for 8 hours a day, and there’s comfort in knowing you’re getting the bills paid.

It’s easy because there’s minimal risk and minimal effort. But there’s also minimal reward. Doing drudgery work actually drains you of energy, makes you irritable and lowers your quality of life. However, when you’re energized in your job, then you’re making higher contributions, and therefore, have more opportunities for promotions, advancement and a higher quality of life.

Earlier in my career, I made the mistake of believing that if someone hired me, then that was where I was meant to be. BIG mistake!!  I learned that I need to set the bar higher for myself. I learned that jumping into a new, and sometimes scary career was worth the risk. I also learned how to create more options and how to make better decisions about where I work and who I work for.

Life is way too short to stay in a meaningless job where you’re unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-valued. I’ve had a few of those jobs myself and I remember waking up every morning and dreading going into work. The highlight of my day was having lunch with some of my colleagues. If the highlight of your day is eating lunch – then it’s time for you to make a career change – or at least, start exploring new opportunities!

I’ve reinvented myself four (4) times and each time, I successfully landed in my dream career! For me, I tend to stay in a career 4-5 years, and then through natural curiosity (or A.D.D.? ;)) I tend to re-brand and reinvent myself  into a different job role or industry. Each one of my career changes started out the same way – by allowing myself to dream about career possibilities and then creating an action plan.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT… Allow yourself time to dream. 

Give yourself permission to daydream about career possibilities.  (In fact, this is one of the key assignments I give to my clients which is why I believe they have such a high success rate!) Then, write it down and start talking to others who are in that industry or job role.  Find out what a good day looks like for them, what a bad day looks like, what their biggest challenges are, etc.

The point is for you to find out whether you really want to be in that job one day.  If you do, then the next step is to start taking action. How could you make that transition? Which of your skills are transferrable?  Which companies are hiring for that job role?   

If you get stuck, then reach out for help by talking to mentors or hiring a career coach.  

Once you start taking action, you’ll be well on your way to making your dream career a reality! :)

 

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in Sherri’s new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. You can download three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

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Need a few gift ideas this holiday season?  

Check out these great gifts to help someone on your list jump start their new career -

 

  • Brand new “Six Week, Six Step Career Change Program” 

     

    Designed for professionals and executives who want a new career.  The perfect gift for someone who needs help getting hired into a new career, and includes the “Career Change Boot Camp” 2-CD program, the e-book “Interviewing Smart – Insider Secrets to Getting the Job“, professional, customizable and proven resume templates, and “The Salary Compensation Guide” to help you negotiate the best deal for you!

 

 

 

  •  “Career Change Boot Camp Program

    The most popular gift this holiday season is  a complete do-it-yourself self study program that includes step-by-step strategies, tools and resources to help you change careers quickly and easily.  Includes 2 CD’s, eWorkbook and transcripts so you can get started immediately!

 

 

 

Provides personal stories, strategies and lessons learned from myself and 13 other professionals who navigated through career setbacks to come out on top! Available in hardcover and Kindle formats on AMAZON and Barnes & Noble.  

 

 

When it’s the Right Time to Change Your Career…

I recently had a client, David, who after 15+ years of employment, advancement and promotions with the same company, found his career at a standstill. His manager encouraged him to stay put because opportunities may be on the horizon, but with downsizing and layoffs happening across other departments David saw a bleak future ahead of him and decided to take control of his career and look for a new job.

Like many people in David’s situation, career changes can be difficult to face. But career changes are a part of life. And the quicker you can recognize change and make adjustments in your career, the easier and more successful your career will be.

Just like the weather, careers have seasons. The springtime is like starting out in a new job. Everything is fresh, new, and exciting. The summer is when you hit your stride, you’re confident, making significant contributions, and your job is actually FUN!

During the fall, you’re a seasoned veteran in your comfort zone and an expert in your role. Strangely, this is also the time when many professionals and executives begin thinking about a career change. Some become antsy for a new challenge or a bigger step up the corporate ladder to change into a deeper, more meaningful career.

David was in the winter season of his career. This is the final phase of your job when you realize that change is inevitable, and that you must move on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you find yourself being pushed out of the nest due to corporate mergers or downsizing, or you’ve made the decision for change on your own, the quicker you recognize and respond to change, the quicker you can take control and get your career on the RIGHT track.

Most professionals change careers 4-7 times during their lifetime. For David, it was his 3rd, and I’m happy to say that he navigated through the storm beautifully. We created a step-by-step career transition plan and within just a few weeks he was considering job offers from two different companies.

 

If your career is in a fall or winter season, then here is your assignment…

Start exploring all of the opportunities around you. If you’re currently employed, then consider taking on new projects or joining teams that excite you or at minimum, help strengthen a skill and boost your resume.

Also, beef up your professional network by attending industry conferences, training seminars, and business networking events to talk to other professionals and discover new career opportunities. Learn about the skills and qualifications required to move into those new jobs.

If you’re feeling ‘stuck’ and not sure what you want to be when you grow up :) then read the business journal, trade magazines, industry publications and your local newspaper to see what kinds of jobs are available and what inspires you.

The point is to take control of your career. Identify which season you’re in and if it’s time for a change – then get on with it. Do the work necessary to get through the storm and you’ll find that your career (and your life) welcome a fresh new start.

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE. For a limited time, grab (3) THREE FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

Don’t Waste Your Time Networking – Instead Build Relationships

Career Coaching 360 Coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

The goal of networking is NOT to start asking someone about job opportunities. The goal of networking is to build a relationship with someone. 

It takes two things to be successful in your career: 1) doing high quality work; and 2) having positive relationships with the right people.  The right people will help you get hired, promoted and introduce you to others who could potentially hire you, as well as give you a continuous supply of job leads, referrals and recommendations.

Whether you’re employed or not, it’s impossible to have a successful career without the support of others.  So how can you build strong supportive relationships with others? Here are a few key strategies that can help –

  1. Show an interest in them

Let’s say that you have an upcoming meeting, conference or a professional networking event.  Look at the agenda and ask yourself, “Who would I like to meet?” Maybe it’s someone you’ve never met, or maybe it’s someone already in your professional network.

Plan ahead and think about a topic that you think might interest them such as a new product launch in their division, or how you’ve applied one of their teachings that you read about, or perhaps offer them an idea you have on a challenge they are currently facing.  The point is to keep the conversation focused on that person (it’s not about you! -at least not yet!)

2.  Listen more than you talk

You connect with someone by being genuinely interested in him or her.  While you’re establishing relationships, you’ll want to listen more than you talk. This is worth repeating – you need to LISTEN more than you TALK :)  So to keep the focus on them, you’ll need to ask some good questions like, “How’s that big project going that you’re working on?” or “How is the new product doing that your company just launched?”

If it’s the first time you’ve ever met, then you don’t need to have a long, in-depth conversation. Instead, when you feel that the conversation has run its course, simply say, “I’d love to stay in touch – do you want to exchange business cards?” Or, “I can send you an article I just read on that very same topic.  Would you like me to forward it to you?”

The point is that you want to connect with your contact and do so in a way that is genuine, authentic and shows an interest in what they are doing.

3. Be a resource for them

As a leading Career Coach, I’ve noticed that many professionals make the mistake of sending a message to others that shouts, ” I need a job!!” The message is all about them, and not about the other person.  It’s a one-way relationship, instead of a two-way relationship.  It’s very selfish.  Who wants to be in a relationship like that?

Instead, you want to be sending the message that you’re a successful professional who’s resourceful, well connected, and who has some similar interests as they do. You want them to realize that you are someone that THEY should get to know!

Send out personalized notes and e-mails to your network with links to industry news, reports, case studies, press releases, videos, or cool websites that you think may interest them. Volunteer to write recommendation letters, and introduce them to others in your network. Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to movers and shakers that you know. Be proactive and offer to connect them to others in your network that may help them solve a problem, offer advice, or potentially advance their career.

One thing that works really well for me, is offering to share my resources, tips, and lessons learned that may help them in some way. I’ve found that doing this provides the foundation for a long-term relationship. Also, one of the key benefits of building a connection and being a key resource to others is that you are more likely to receive career support from them including job leads, personal recommendations and referrals. :)

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LISTfor personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Right now you can download three FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

Interviewing Secrets From Professionals Who Got the Job

Ready for your big interview?

 

Interviewing is intimidating, nerve wracking, and can make you feel like you’re two heartbeats away from having a heart attack. You only have one shot at making a great first impression so you need to make sure you’re prepared to give the right answers during your next interview.

 

As a leading Career Coach for the past five years, I’ve gathered interviewing tips from my clients who have been hired and written an e-book, “Interviewing Smart – Insider Secrets from Professionals Who Got the Job!”  Here are five key questions going through your interviewer’s mind…

1.  Can you do the job?

These questions are usually very black and white. Either you have what it takes to be successful in the position or not. Before the interview, be sure to study the job description so that you fully understand the job requirements.

Be prepared to talk about your skills, knowledge, and training that will help you perform the job successfully. The biggest mistake I see job candidates making is talking about their responsibilities, and what they need to focus on are the results and accomplishments they’ve achieved for their previous employers.

2.  What “extras” do you bring?

For most job openings, a hiring manager knows about 90% of the work that the new employee will be responsible for, but not the remaining 10%. That is because they want to know, What can you (the new employee) ADD to the position?

So before you go into a job interview, think about any additional skills and talents that you can bring to the position.

3.  Where are you at risk?

Every new employee is a risk to a company. Whether it’s a specific job requirement that you don’t meet, or potentially being overqualified for the position, or a potential health risk, etc. So, spend some time thinking about where you are a risk.

I like to beat the interviewer to the punch by stating where I’m a risk and then reassuring her why it won’t be a problem. For example, if the job requires that you need to know of a specific type of software, then I want you to sign-up for some training before your interview so that you can say that you’ve already registered for some training to learn more about the software.

The point is that you need to be able to discuss the area(s) where you are a risk, and then immediately follow-up with what you’re doing to close the gap.

4.  Does the interviewer like you?

This is an area that you really cannot take personally. Either the culture and the team are a good fit for you, or they aren’t. And believe me, it’s better to know up front during the interview, than to have a pit in your stomach every day as you walk into your new office.

I once interviewed with a Sales VP at a television station. After 1 1/2 hours of interviewing, I really couldn’t tell if he wanted to hire me or not, so I simply asked, “Do you think I would be a good fit with your team?” He told me that he didn’t think so because he allows his team to vent, kick the garbage can and curse like sailors in the office. I appreciated his candor because the reality is that I would not be happy or successful in an environment like that.

During your next interview, be prepared to discuss your professional style and work ethics.

5.  Will you be able to work out the compensation/benefits package?

Be prepared to talk about a salary range that is acceptable to you. I do not recommend giving an exact salary since the benefits package almost always includes room for negotiating vacation days, stock allowance, bonus payouts, perks, etc. But you should be prepared to give a salary range that you would accept.

Those are 5 questions that your interviewer really wants to know about you! It’s not everything you should do to prepare for an upcoming interview – but it’s a good start!

For more interviewing strategies and to learn how to negotiate a top salary, check out my “6-Week, 6-Step Career Change Program.”

 

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LISTfor personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Right now you can download three FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

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Was this the year you were going to make a career change?

 

One year from now, do you want to be doing the exact same kind of work you’re doing today?

If not, then there are a few things you need to START doing, and a few things to STOP doing…

  1. Stop going with the flow.

    Stop working on mundane projects you can do in your sleep. Part of the reason you’re feeling under-utilized and under-valued is because you’re under-challenged. We weren’t meant to take a job and then stay there forever. We’re meant to stretch, develop, grow, bounce. Look for ways to step up and flex your professional muscles. When you stop learning and growing, your career will stall.

  2. Stop taking setbacks personally.

    Everyone experiences career setbacks. Everyone! If you’ve been a victim of a layoff, a demotion, a project that failed or didn’t get accepted then get over it! Hanging on to feelings of rejection, embarrassment or anger isn’t helping you. You only think other people care about your setback, but seriously, they’ve moved on and you need to, too. It’s not the setback itself that is holding you back, but how you’re internalizing it.

  3. Stop being “small.”

    If you think that being humble and shy will help you be successful, think again. When somebody offers you a big juicy project or a spot on a high profile team – grab it! Saying things like, “Oh, I don’t know if I’d be the best choice for that,” or, “I don’t know if I have the right experience to do that” will keep you sitting on the bench. You’ve got to step up, be bold and put yourself out there (especially if the new opportunity scares you!) Yes, finding new opportunities means taking risks – big bold risks that you won’t be able to take if you’re playing it small.

And here are a few things you’ll need to start doing…

  1.  Start talking about what you want to do.

    Start describing the types of responsibilities and the kinds of projects and teams you want to work on. If you don’t have a crystal clear vision, then at least start talking about the type of work you enjoy doing. By simply having these conversations with your manager, colleagues, and those in your network can lead to new career paths and opportunities.

  2. Start claiming your space.

    Put your expertise out there by showing others you have something to say through presentations, articles, coaching others and speaking up in meetings. Don’t be a shrinking violet, but instead, have confidence, be bold and voice your technical opinion. So what if someone may not agree with you – that just makes it a more interesting conversation. Successful executives and professionals constantly put themselves “out there” – that’s why they’re successful. Don’t shy away or back up, but instead step up, speak out and claim your space at the table.

  3. Start charting your course.

    Go find people working in different industries and job roles. Ask them about their responsibilities, education, training, challenges and career paths. Get connected to those who inspire you. Give yourself permission and time to explore all possibilities. That doesn’t mean that you have to accept every opportunity that comes your way, but you at least owe it to yourself to learn what else is out there so that you can get ready for your next career move.

Successful professionals aren’t successful because they let things “happen.”  Instead, they make things happen in their career.  They figure out what they want, take some risks, stretch, grow, fall down, learn and bounce.  Don’t let someone else take the wheel on your career path.  Step up and make things happen.  It’s your career and your year! :)

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LISTfor personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback” also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Right now you can download three FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

 

Having Trouble Getting Hired After a Layoff?

Having trouble getting hired after you’ve been laid off? This week I’m teaching you how to build your personal brand, position yourself to hiring managers and customize your resume after a lay-off.

Recovering from layoff

In my own career, I woke up one morning after being laid off, and realized that I had to stop being so reactive and become more proactive.  Throughout my journey, I’ve learned how to position myself to hiring managers, how to set myself up for success with my manager, and how to find and create more career opportunities than I could have ever imagined.

So how did I get hired after being laid off?  By following a 3-step action plan –

1. Telling my story.
What would I say to people about the lay-offs? I found the best approach was to always say something positive about my previous position. I would talk about how it was either a great company, or how much I loved my role and responsibilities. I made sure that I always had something positive to say about the experience, that I truly believed it and that I was genuine when I talked about it.

Also, if the lay-off had been due to company down-sizing, I followed up by saying something like, “Unfortunately, the company went through tough economic times and my position was (cut, outsourced, or whatever.) If the lay-off was due to lack of performance like the time I was hired at an Advertising Agency where I expected to do the job of two people, then I said, “I didn’t realize when I took the position that I was expected to fill the shoes of two employees. Even though I had some big results and was good at my job, I just simply couldn’t fill both of their shoes.”

Even though I experienced a laid off, I’ve had many job offers since then because I’ve learned how to tell my story and position myself in a positive way to hiring managers.

2. Customizing my resume.
I customized my resume for every job I went after. I created a new section on my resume called, Freelance, Consulting and Short-term Positions. I put any of my short term job stints into this section. This way, I was showing that I had long term employment with 3-4 companies, plus a few other gigs!

Whenever a potential employer asked about any of the positions in that category, I just said something like, I worked there for a few months and really enjoyed it! I learned such and such, or I contributed by doing this or that. I made sure that what I said was always positive, and focused on what I learned or how I contributed.

I also focused on results.  Instead of writing about responsibilities, I wrote about results I had achieved or goals I had met or exceeded. I substantiated everything I wrote by adding dollars, numbers or percentages.  This helped me show that I had a history, or pattern of achieving quantifiable results.

3. Getting job leads, referrals and recommendations.
I always called up past employers, managers and customers to catch up with them and let them know that I was ready for the next chapter in my career. I got out in the world and networked and socialized. It helped me build my confidence, practice telling my story and helped me learn about career opportunities.

Prepare for interviews by practicing your story out loud, and be sure to talk about what you’ve learned and how you added value to other organizations.  Ask thoughtful questions to the hiring manager. Be confident in your strengths and abilities. Show that you’re grateful and appreciative for the opportunities you’ve had in your career.  Networking can happen at any time. I had a client who entered a golf tournament and got paired up with a VP of a large retail corporation. They both shared stories about their golf game and career. After the 18th hole, my client handed the VP his business card and said, If anything opens up in your organization, let me know.  I’d love to join your team.  Four weeks later the VP hired him.

With the right story, resume and attitude you can get hired again. Decide how you’re going to tell your career story and tell it in the most positive way possible.  Practice saying it out loud so that you sound confident, believable and genuinely authentic during your interviews and networking opportunities.

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in my new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.  You can download the three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at http://www.MyBounceBack.com