PARADE Update: Wanting More Than Just a Job

PARADE Update: Wanting More Than Just a Job


Focus your energy on those jobs you really want!

Meaghan had a terrific break-through this week! She was able to identify that even though she met all the requirements in a job posting that her friend had sent to her – it was not a job that she actually wanted. So she made the decision – not to apply. (loud gasp!)

I know what you’re thinking… as a Career Coach, aren’t I supposed to be encouraging Meaghan to apply for jobs? Well, yes, but my role with Meghan (as defined by her) is to help her reinvent her career into a job that she actually enjoys.

I asked her how it made her feel to not apply for a job that she’s highly qualified for, and she said “empowering.” Since she completed Step #1 in my 4-step process, she now has the knowledge and understanding of what she needs in her new career to be fulfilled, challenged and inspired. In other words, Meghan now has her own job requirements! (Sing it, Sister!!)

This is a huge milestone when it comes to reinventing your career because so many times throughout the process we’re faced with a fork in the road. Turn right and you’ll go down the very familiar career path where you’re in a cycle of being in qualified yet unfulfilling and uninspiring jobs. Turn left and you’re faced with unchartered territory of changing industries, job roles or professional goals – which can be new and exciting, yet make even the most experienced professionals feel anxious and afraid.

The fact that Meghan has chosen to reinvent herself in a new career in unchartered territory and feels EMPOWERED is huge!

I remember one of the times I felt most empowered in my own career was when I turned down the opportunity for a 2nd job interview. At the time, I was in between jobs with no other potential offers in sight. I had just come out of a cycle of jobs working for a string of what I considered to be poor managers.

After my 1st job interview with this particular hiring manager, my stomach was in knots, my throat had a big lump in it and I couldn’t sleep. I realized that what was keeping me awake was not the fact that I was out of a job – it was the idea of working for that particular hiring manager. He had the same traits as some of my previous managers and I knew that I’d be frustrated and unhappy working for him. In other words, I didn’t want to leave one sinking ship for another sinking ship – even if that was my only potential offer at the time.

I sent the hiring manager a thank-you but no thank-you note, and then focused all my energy on identifying my own job requirements and finding the right job for me. Two months later, I was in my dream job!

I’m not sure if the universe sends us our right job because we’re clear on what we want, or if the right jobs have always been there and we missed them because our focus was scattered and we didn’t see it. But what I do know for sure is that when me and my clients get a clear focus on defining our job requirements, and then focus all our energy on getting that job – it works!

When you have the commitment and enough money in the bank to be able to explore where your passion is, what your strengths are, what kind of responsibilities excite you, and where all of those intersect with today’s job market – that’s when you’re going to hit gold. Meaghan’s Assignment this Week
The next step for Meaghan is to assess today’s job market and identify which jobs are right for her. She needs to research company websites, on-line job postings, business periodicals, and industry magazines to find job openings that excite her. Now that she’s put a stake in the sand to identify her job requirements, I’m excited to see where that takes her. 🙂

PARADE Update: One Step Closer

PARADE Update: One Step Closer


I’m delighted to see that Meghan has completed her first assignment – creating her personal Career Success Blueprint™. Her goal is to transition into a career that motivates and inspires her … and now she is one step closer. She’s created a career vision that excites her!

Many professionals and executives become stuck when they think of career goals. It can be difficult trying to envision a career that would be meaningful, purposeful and inspiring. I mean, seriously, who has that, right?

Well, actually lots of people! Specifically, those who are able to articulate their passions, strengths, successes and the type of organization and management style where they perform their best.

I’m thrilled that Meghan has successfully identified each of these key areas. She knows the type of career that inspires her includes doing meaningful, socially conscious work, flexing her creative muscles, as well as being in a project management-type of position where management respects her ideas and gives her decision making responsibilities.

She also has defined the type of organization, culture and management style that she needs in order to be at her career best.

This is a big accomplishment for Meghan, and I’m proud of her for completing her first assignment! Her background and work experience includes being an executive pastry chef, marketing specialist and entrepreneur, so getting clear on a career vision took dedicated focus and thought.

Establishing a powerful career vision and goals is critical if you want to have a meaningful and purposeful career. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my own career was thinking that if I got a job – then that was where I was meant to be. After a few months, I’d start feeling unfulfilled, unmotivated or unappreciated. Then, one day I realized that I need to be more proactive in my career. I needed to set the bar higher for what I wanted (and needed) in my career. Once I did that, I achieved greater success than I ever dreamed possible inside a Fortune 100 company.

Now that Meghan has a strong sense of direction and purpose for her career, we’re moving on to Step #2 which is – assessing the job market. Meghan needs to understand what kind of jobs are available that align to her personal Career Success Blueprint™.

Her assignment this week: review on-line job boards, industry magazines, company websites, and business periodicals to get a clear understanding of what the “hot jobs” are, and what the requirements are for those jobs.

She’ll need to come back to me with job postings that she’s found that excite her! It doesn’t have to be the entire job listing, but can just be something in the listing that excites her such as the job tile, a few of the key responsibilities, or even the description of the organization.

The purpose of the assignment is to see what types of job openings are available that align to Meghan’s strengths and spark enthusiasm for Meghan. This will give us the roadmap to create a customized resume to help her land her new career!

I can’t wait to see what she finds! 🙂

PARADE Update: Make Those 20 Seconds Count

PARADE Update: Make Those 20 Seconds Count


Meghan shares the same challenge that many job changers in today’s market are facing. That is, her career history includes such a wide variety of industries, job roles and responsibilities, that she’s not sure how to market (or position) herself to potential employers.

The biggest mistake I see job seekers making is writing their resume and including every job that they’ve ever had and every skill that they’ve ever had. However, most hiring managers don’t care about all the different skills you have and tasks you can perform – they simply want to know – can you successfully perform their job?

So to position Meghan in the best possible light to hiring managers, and help her stand out from competition, I’m working with Meghan on the following –

Step #1 – Creating her personal Career Success Blueprint™. This includes her identifying three (3) primary areas of responsibility she wants to have in her next career. She’s also identifying her “must have” conditions about the company culture, management style and working conditions. These may include a baseline salary, flexible hours, telecommuting, professional training and development, a clear career path, autonomy, growth company, etc.

Step #2 – Assessing the job market. Meghan needs to understand what kind of jobs are available that also align to her personal Career Success Blueprint™. She’ll need to review on-line job boards, industry magazines, company websites, and business periodicals to get a clear understanding of what the “hot jobs” are, and what the requirements are for those jobs.

Step #3 – Customizing a polished and professional looking resume. Hiring managers, on average, only take about 15-20 seconds to review a resume before determining whether or not to interview the job applicant. Therefore, it’s critical that Meghan’s resume showcases her in the best possible light. I’ll teach Meghan how to create a resume that highlights the right key words, and makes her stand out from the competition.

Step #4 – Developing a personalized job search strategy. Now that Meghan will have a keen focus on what she wants in her next career, as well as a top notch professional resume – now she’ll be ready to seek out those job openings. I’ll help her create an on-line and off-line targeted job search strategy, as well as give her my exclusive networking techniques to help her get more referrals, recommendations and job leads.

For a faster career change, work your netWORK

There has been a major shift in the hiring strategies that organizations are using to hire top talent over the past 12-months that many job seekers don’t know about. The latest studies show that as much as 70% of companies who hired new employees in 2009 hired those candidates who had a referral within the organization.
In other words, if you want to speed up the process of landing your next job, you need to “work your network.”
Who should be in your network?
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, managers, customers, and colleagues.
Also, expand your network by meeting new contacts and 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. Be sure to block off your calendar so that you can attend at least two events each week.
Another great way to expand your network is by joining professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com This is a super easy way to get connected to networking groups, industry leaders, and company decision makers. Make sure you create a polished and professional profile that highlights your career strengths, talents, results, and successes.
How can you network in a tactful way?
There is one BIG rule in networking. That is, 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 to your network with links to industry news, reports, case studies, press releases, videos, and cool websites that you think may interest them. Offer to write recommendation letters, and introduce them to others in your network. Finally, invite your network to business networking events, and introduce them to movers and shakers that you know.
Career influencers are drawn to those who are resourceful. And when they know about job opportunities they’re more likely to tell you about job opportunities and give you a recommendation. So remember, the goal is to create a pull relationship with your network so that they are drawn towards you (not running away from you!). 🙂
To learn more about the “four types of career influencers” who need to be in your network, and how to network for job leads, referrals and recommendations check out my book, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand”. It’s now on Amazon’s Top 10 List for personal branding books!

Create a strategic job search plan

The single biggest mistake I see job seekers making is not having a personalized job search strategy. That is, an action plan loaded with websites, companies and people they are going to leverage to land their next career move.

Many professionals are simply applying for a few jobs they see on-line, attend a couple of networking events, and then get completely discouraged and say that there aren’t any job openings. The fact is companies are hiring professionals every day. So what shouldn’t one of them by YOU?!

The fastest and easiest way to land your next job is to create a personalized job search strategy and then follow it every week!

You need to fish where the fish are, so find out where your potential employers are by reading on-line job boards (i.e. CareerJournal.com, theLadders.com, etc.) specialized trade magazines, industry publications (the Business Journal) and company websites. You’ll learn which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are.

Additionally, you’ll want to create a list of organizations where you would like to work. Visit their website every week to search for on-line jobs, and any press releases or blog postings about internal departments that may be hiring.

The reason that on-line job boards should NOT be your only source for job openings is that some sites are notorious for listing outdated jobs. Why waste your time? Instead, I suggest that you make a list of job search sites that offer high quality jobs that match your skillset, and then check those sites weekly.

You can start by conducting a search on Google or Yahoo for the job role and the city where you want to work (example: software engineer, Portland). Review all the sites listed on the top four or five 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 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 top job search sites, make a commitment to review those sites weekly.

For more juicy tips on how to find out which industries are hiring, which companies are hiring, and what the hot jobs are pick up my exclusive Career Change Boot Camp Program. My two (2) CD audio program w/ e-Workbook gives proven, step-by-step strategies to help you transition QUICKLY and EASILY into a new job role, company, or industry.

Think Up, Down and Sideways

When it comes to getting your next job you need to think outside the box. The biggest mistake job hunting professionals make is looking for a position with the exact same job title they had in their last job. To increase your job opportunities, consider looking at smaller companies and going one-level up (i.e. from a manager to a Director), as well as larger companies and going one-level down (from a Director to a manager.)

Want even more job opportunities? Then start thinking “sideways.” Some companies don’t require you to have industry experience, only expertise in a specific job function. So if you’ve been in sales, finance, engineering, or administration in a specific industry (such as health care, high tech, or construction), start applying for those same job roles in other industries.

For example, after working in an advertising agency, I searched for my next career move and included organizations that had in-house advertising, marketing and communications departments. In less than 60 days, I was hired as a Regional Marketing Manager at a Fortune 500 company in an industry that was completely new to me!

Also, it’s not mandatory that you meet 100-percent of the requirements in the job description. In fact, I only met about 50-75% of the job requirements each time I reinvented my career! My secrets? Focusing on transferable skills, passion and confidence! 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!

For more career strategies, or to get personalized strategies based on your unique career situation, challenges and goals visit my career coaching web page.

Double your Career Opportunities by Thinking Up, Down and Sideways!

Many people get hung-up on job titles when job hunting. Instead of focusing on the title of the job, focus on the responsibilities. Here are a few quick tips to help point you in the right direction.

  • View jobs with smaller titles when considering a LARGER company.
  • View jobs with bigger titles when considering a SMALLER company.
  • Expand your career options by considering different industries.

New Year, New Career!

NOW is the time to take charge of your career! What career goals do you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to change companies, change job roles within your current company, ask for a raise or land that promotion? Maybe you are just looking to expand your sphere of influence. Figuring out WHAT you want to accomplish is the first step in making it happen!

 

What are some of your career goals for 2010?

Networking the RIGHT Way to Further Your Career

People can hire you, promote you, inspire you, teach you, and introduce you to potential employers or clients. Whoever said business isn’t personal must have been someone who sits in their cube all day. Surrounding yourself with the “right” people – career influencers – and knowing how to leverage that support system (networking) can skyrocket your career into another dimension.

 

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

 

The message you want to send is NOT, “I’m someone who’s looking for 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!

 

So 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.

 

Next, try to get their business card by simply saying, “I’d love to stay in touch – how about if we exchange business cards?” 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, or a cool website that relates to their business.

 

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. 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.

 

If you’re looking for a new job, then go ahead and drop a hint that you’re looking for “other opportunities.” And believe me, when you use this simple step-by-step formula, if they 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!

 

You can get all of my great career strategies to reinvent your career in my upcoming Career Change Bootcamp. Right now I’m sharing a special holiday savings of 25-percent off when you sign up before December 31st!

Who Are Your Career Influencers?

As you may know, I’m a career coach who is also driving my own personal career. I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible successes while I was in the radio, television, advertising and high tech industries, but I’ve also had my fair share of career setbacks and roadblocks the size of Mt. Everest that I had to blast through.

 

Through it all, I’ve learned that one thing is for certain. Leaving my career in the hands of someone else like a manager, client, or even a company is a career killer!

 

So I changed my mindset and my actions. For the past few years, my mission has been that I drive my own career, and with this new mission came BIG RESULTS. I’ve been more satisfied, more fulfilled, and more successful in my career. Case in point, I was thrilled to receive my latest promotion a few days ago!

 

So over the next several weeks, I’m going to share with you my BIGGEST CAREER STRATEGIES that I personally use to drive my own career, and for this issue, it’s: The nitty gritty of networking strategically.

 

People are the jet fuel behind your career. People can hire you, promote you, inspire you, teach you, and introduce you to potential employers or clients. Whoever said business isn’t personal must have been someone who sits in their cube all day. Surrounding yourself with the “right” people and knowing how to leverage that support system can skyrocket your career into another dimension.

 

You’ll have more career opportunities and job security when you have a strong professional network in place of what I call – career influencers. These are people inside the company or industry where you work who could potentially advance your career, or open doors to new opportunities.

 

Who’s in your circle? Think about your current professional network. Are you connected with career influencers from each of the following four categories?

  1. Those who can evangelize your talents and successes to others.
  2. Those who currently hold, or have held, a position you want.
  3. Those who could teach you something new.
  4. Those who, just by being associated with them in some way, can strengthen your personal brand.

Think about your current and previous managers, colleagues, and clients. Look for those who could provide guidance, expertise, or information that not only helps you succeed in your current role, but could potentially help you get to where you REALLY want to go.

 

You can get all of my great career strategies to reinvent your career in my upcoming Career Change Bootcamp. Right now I’m sharing a special holiday savings of 25-percent off when you sign up before December 31st!