Tackling The 500# Gorilla in Career Transition

Compass-seaLG2Lack of knowledge regarding the process. If you don’t understand the interactive nature of networking, now’s the time to learn. To be an effective net-worker, you need to be willing to serve as a conduit, sharing information, building relationships based on trust and reciprocity, leveraging existing relationships to create new ones, and following through to create ways to stay in touch to continue giving.

Those who don’t fully understand the process, who use people for information and never build the relationship, or return the favor, give networking a bad name and lose credibility in the eyes of others.Networking is about building trust and respect, not tearing away at it!

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Compass_Rose-pilotONBOARDBe aware of the effectiveness of networking. Most people in a job search spend too much time canvassing the open job market, the market everyone gets to see through job posting boards and recruiters.

APPLYING for jobs is quite less effective than networking your way toward your next right opportunities.

So, you don’t want to ask for a favor, eh?  Many people think that when you network you’re asking someone for a job. But this is not the goal of networking. When you network, you never ask for a job. You ask for information about an industry, company, or position.  On those phone calls, you are not seeking JOB consideration, rather advice, information and referrals (remember the acronym A.I.R.)

The Careerpilot understands that it’s not comfortable talking to people you don’t know. Sixty percent (60%) of the population consider themselves shy. This perception leads to less networking. If the prospect of speaking to someone you don’t know is overwhelming right now, start to build your network by talking with people you do know such as friends, family, neighbors, or your doctor or dentist.

Fear of rejection. Many people fear that if they ask for information the other person might not be willing to talk to them. While it is true that not everyone will agree to meet with you, many people will extend help to you and you have nothing to lose by asking.

If they can lead you to others who can help you gain necessary information for your search, your network will grow in a steady, comfortable way.  …And at the same time, your confidence and comfort will be growing.  And as your confidence grows, “listen” for the anticipated jobs (PRE-requisition) and the opportunities for undefined roles…

Learn to embrace this OTHER Job Market… but the pathway to IT is through your comfort level in identifying and pursuing the unpublished, or hidden marketplace.

Far fewer explore the hidden market; the actual jobs that are never posted, but instead are filled through connections, internal endorsements, and post-interview placements into a better fitting role  The odds of finding a position through the smaller, hidden market are greater than those in the open market.

You may want to do it on your own. When you’re selected for a position, it’s because you have the skills to support the needs of the position. You showcase your individual accomplishments and differentiate yourself from the competition.

But in order to tell your stories to the right person you need to cast a wide net. You leverage your network to find the right audience, not to get the job.

You may be uncomfortable talking about yourself. Many of us were raised to be humble and not to brag. Networking and interviewing requires that you talk about yourself and your accomplishments.

Consider the use of the ‘third-person’ when discussing your own merits.  When you talk about your skills, you’re not bragging. It’s only bragging if your discussion contains false hyperbole.  OR, you may have concerns about others knowing your business. Feeling too proud to tell people you’re in a job search?

Examine the cause. Have you assumed that networking is asking for a job? Next, examine the consequences. If you fail to incorporate networking as a method of search, it may take you much longer to find a job.

Expecting things to move too quickly. Networking is an ongoing process. Like a child, your network needs time to grow and you need to nurture it along the way. You must pay attention to your network to keep relationships strong. Many contacts are not able to lead you to the person capable of making a hiring decision.

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The key is to maintain consistent, and in-sync presentation of all your personal marketing collateral materials within your network… and it will in turn take care of you.  Nurture your network, building toward ‘top-of-mind’ awareness of your potential candidacy.

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Posted in Career Decision-Making, Career Transition, NETWORKING, Personal Marketing Collateral Materials

Build Your Comfort and Confidence With Social Media Use

AjustDaSailsNever allow your LinkedIn usage to spiral out of control… However, that said, you want to get to your statistical ‘tipping point’ as soon as possible to cut the workload.

Your ultimate goal with social media is to STAY FOCUSED.  Only connect with others who share your professional interests or are related to those interests in a complementary way… and can help you meet your goals.  After you’ve created your profile, it’s time to begin to connect to others.  Remember your goals and adjust to your growing comfort and confidence with this ever evolving digital tool.

LinkedIn will allow you to search for people you know to see if they’re already members. But once you connect to someone, you can also look at the profiles of anyone they know, and in turn anyone those people know. Because of these three degrees of separation, your network can grow rapidly. Before you begin connecting, decide who you want to connect to. LinkedIn suggests in its FAQ, “Only invite those you know and trust.”

I started with twenty contacts from my MSOutlook.  My first line has grown to well over two hundred by accepting and sending out INVITATIONS to people I know, are likely to be interactive within our network, or who could provide resources to me or the Candidates I serve… what’s really impressive is how this translates, numerically, into your second and third lines of contact… we’re talking, WOW!!!

The 411 on “How Not to Be Connected”

If someone contacts you and you don’t want to form a connection with them, you don’t need to flatly reject them and worry about the attendant awkwardness. When looking at the invitation to connect, simply hit “Archive.” The other person does not receive a message saying their invitation has been rejected, and you don’t have to worry about unwanted invitations clogging up your inbox.

Likewise, if you find that an existing contact is blasting you with too much information or making overly aggressive requests for introductions and recommendations, LinkedIn will let you remove that person easily — and without the contact knowing they’re out of your network.

If only it were that easy in real life.

What’s Next?

  1. Check in on “Network Updates.” Found on your LinkedIn homepage, Network Updates are kind of like your Facebook news feed. Check these periodically for a quick snapshot of what your connections are up to and sharing.
  2. Be identifiable. Find out who’s checking out your profile by allowing others to see who you are if you view theirs. When you click the information under “Who’s Viewed My Profile” on your profile page, you’ll be able to view users who have looked at your profile, stats on your profile’s number of views, and its appearances in search recently. To change this, go into your settings and click “See what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”
  3. Export connections. Transfer your LinkedIn connections to another contact management system? LinkedIn enables you to easily export your connections. Just click on “Contacts,” “My Connections,” and then scroll down and click “Export Connections.” You have the option of either exporting as a .CSV or .VCF file.
  4. Easily find email contacts on LinkedIn. Speaking of connections, the “LinkedIn Companion for Firefox” is a great plugin that helps you identify the LinkedIn profiles of people who are emailing you. It also enables you to easily access other LinkedIn features via your browser.
  5. Leverage the power of LinkedIn Groups. Did you know that if you’re a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them? In addition, group members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Join more groups to enable more messaging and profile viewership capabilities.
Posted in Job Search OBJECTIVES, LinkedIn Contact Development, NETWORKING, Social Media

Putting The FIT Back Into Recruitment Strategies

Compass_Rose-pilotNEEDIn order to effectively source, identify, and attract your next best employee, you must first know how your job description and requirements best meet their value proposition and ability/ potential to meet your needs or solve your challenge.

Recruitment process is essentially a highly personalized marketing process.  The process starts with your candid evaluation of need and role requirements… most often communicated through a well-written job description, which allows you to communicate a thorough and workable understanding of your specific employment need.

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Pilot OnboardWhen your organization looks for qualified employees, they should be seeking functional evidence that demonstrates a job seeker’s ability to perform to expectations… this is simply good behavioral interviewing tactics.  However, an organization’s screening tactic often creates dysfunction in the marketplace…  JOB REQUIREMENTS represent the HR screening process!

A Potential Employee’s “Motivated Strengths”

What DO they do best?  What are their strongest transferable skills?  Think broadly in terms of managerial and technical/ functional strengths involved in what you need accomplished.  Discovering their “pattern of success and satisfaction” is your goal, here.

Your ability to identify and express the collection of functional strengths a recruit might need to succeed will measure their marketability and your ability to source the available talent pool.  This collection of keywords and their supportive evidence creates your communication strategy, the basis of your value proposition.

The old “round peg in a round role” theory of career planning is dysfunctional.  In the typical professional environment today, job descriptions are changing faster than ever before to keep up with the challenges of an economy in transition.

In the traditional job market, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers.  The commodity is JOBs and the competition is fierce.

In The OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process.  The commodity is available, productive WORK… When employers have a need for someone to fulfill a specific role, often the most desired candidates are employed individuals with the credentials they seek.  Thus the employer must market their Company to potential employees in the marketplace in order to attract the best of the lot.  Once identified, they simply select their choice and buy their services.

Seize control of such challenges.   Understand the nature of FIT.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The DYSFUNCTION of Traditional Recruitment

Compass_Rose-pilotNEEDMany organizations, in need of specific, highly qualified talent go into the “journey” of recruitment activity without really knowing their destination, their PRIMARY SOURCING OBJECTIVE. This Pilot has never heard of a ship leaving harbor without knowing their destination or mission, preferring the safety and calm of their dock in the harbor.

Compass_Rose-pilotONBOARDIf you are not absolutely clear about the sourcing of Candidates your organization seeks, envision an ideal Candidate who will…

Be aware of the challenges faced in this now vacant role

Be highly qualified in meeting those challenges, AND…

Be a good FIT onto your team… a win-win for all concerned.

Since an organization has both regulations to respect and needs for highly skilled professionals, they need to be concise and clear when developing their recruitment strategies…  it’s important to figure out what you most NEED AND offer in your next new hire, so you know exactly what skills and experiences to highlight.

Make FIT happen!

 

Identify and Communicate the Right FIT for Your NEED

Ask Yourself

  • What is the intersection of your ‘value proposition’ and that of an ideal Candidate?
  • What are the most impactful areas of requirement, qualification, experience, knowledge, and skill that will help you source viable candidates?
  • What critical problems are you facing that require the right hire to solve?

Schedule  Informational “Interviews” With Key Candidate-types

In addition to being introspective, it’s also important to get out there and start becoming your own best Recruitment Coach, learning about the very people already in, or connected with, those you seek?

The more people you speak with, the more you’ll be exposed to sourcing options that you might wish to pursue…the broader and more focused your recruitment effort will become.  Help take the dysfunction OUT of the job market!

Posted in LinkedIn Contact Development, Recruitment Strategy, Social Media

Job Seeker’s Need a Pulse, Too…

Compass_Rose-pilotNEEDA lot of individuals with a rebellious streak resist structure, snub the idea of a schedule, and then find that their lives and creative output aren’t nearly as harmonious as they hoped.  As job seekers,  some find it quite difficult to get in to a productive and efficient routine, the implementation of their Personal Marketing Plan.

If the job seeker finds an efficient job search plan hard to accept — and even harder to follow — a standard routine, maybe it’s time for them to stop thinking about managing their time and effort as developing a set of strict rules to follow.  In fact, implementing a PMP wisely is to commit to averaging specific activity counts and time management ‘numbers’ over a longer stretch of time.


The Careerpilot discusses Implementing One’s Personal Marketing Plan in his weekly, FREE public workshop, DFWCareerpilot this Thursday, June 1, at The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison, TX   more info


H-PilotOnboardJo seekers need to start thinking about increasing productivity as a process of finding and cultivating their unique creative rhythm — a cadence, their unique implementation ‘beat’… a job search “PULSE.”

They can create a personal discipline for themselves, a way of being, where there’s a realistic goal (their next right employment opportunity) and recognize the need to maintain a consistency of fruitful activity to propel our 12-step process of career transition forward… all while allowing room for improvisation and job search/ LIFE balance!

If this sort of approach sounds appealing to you, here are some ideas based on my own anecdotal experiences with thousands of unemployed people over my 35 years of experience in consulting with job seekers around the U.S.of A.

 Monthly Cadence

Job Seekers can typically get more done in a month when they plan for less. Most people have a natural rhythm where they can accomplish about one major professional project or one personal milestone in a month. As an example, think about developing your resume and related personal marketing materials.

  1. Resume
  2. “Tell me about yourself” or your ‘elevator pitch’ or even your qualification statement
  3. Your digital footprint: Branding yourself in your LinkedIn Profile

If you tell yourself that you’ll do three items of this stature in a month, you’ll probably make little progress on any of them. If you commit to one specifically for the month, there’s a high probability that you’ll accomplish it or get close to finishing within the four weeks. Honor that monthly project cadence, and you’ll feel much more satisfied.

What’s more, it’s also essential that you honor your personal and emotional energy cadence over the course of the month. Of course, there are exceptions, but as a general rule, one or two distractions a month are the max that most individuals can take without getting thrown significantly off rhythm.

Also, consider pacing yourself in regard to events you host or visitors that you have in your home. All of these events add a nice sense of variety to life, but can make you lose the beat if the exceptions become the norm.

 Weekly Cadence

I would never attempt to define a “normal” week of job search…there are simply TOO MANY variables!  But, I do encourage those Candidates that I serve to commit to AVERAGING the numbers they select in the Personal Marketing Plan.  You can think about this in the same way you would a design template. It’s a format that you can then build and modify as necessary for any given project — in this case, your job search week.

NORMAL? … Don’t hold your breath, but you can, of course, adapt, adjust, and amend all of this as necessary. But this rhythm is what I suggest, and I find it leads to a productive week with closure before the weekend… and plenty of time for those “normal” distractions!

Daily Cadence

There is no one right formula for having a productive day of job search activities. The trick is to be honest with yourself about what works best for you to get the most of your 24 hours.  Personally, I spend the first hour to hour and a half planning, answering e-mail, and completing small to-do items, and then I jump into more in-depth work and client calls by 8:30.

With some of my Candidates, the best daily rhythm is to check e-mail very quickly in the morning and then focus on in-depth work until lunch. After lunch they have meetings or respond to emergencies that have come up.

No matter which you prefer, you want to have clarity on when you do your best focused work, when you prefer to have meetings, and when you’ll make space for the processing and planning that keeps everything moving in the right direction.

 Back-to-Center Cadence

Finally, it’s important to know what pattern can help you to get back on track when there are major variations to your Personal Marketing Plan. Being honest with yourself and giving yourself permission to spend time reorganizing when you need it keeps you from feeling perpetually behind and guilty.

For example, you will experience the least pressure when you block out a few days before and after any significant time away from your job search so that no one can schedule meetings with you on those days. That gives you the flexibility you need for wrapping up work and getting your head back in the game after being away…maintaining your visibility in the job market.

Also, consider blocking out at least a half day after a conference or major networking event to tie up loose ends, follow up, and sort through your notes. This will give you the ability to extract the value from what just happened. The more disruptive the event, the more time you’ll want to allot to resettle in and get back on a rhythm.

Rhythm on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis can create the order, productivity, efficiency, and flexibility you need for the implementation of your Personal Marketing Plan to flow in harmony.

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It may well be time to “take your pulse,” and discover your personal marketing cadence, your BEST career strategy… always have a next contact to make and be aware of ‘next steps’ in your career.

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Posted in Career Transition, Job Search OBJECTIVES, Uncategorized

A Job Seeker’s Personal Marketing Plan

Compass-seaLG2While involved in ‘the challenging waters’ of career transition, the same chaotic, jobless, trying times are very productive times.  Don’t waste them by floundering with lack of focus and direction, falling into the dark, depressive attitude of distractions and, worst of all, inaction…

When we are employed, we tend to function under the guidance of our employer’s business plan, or, more specifically, our job description. Our ‘routine’ is defined by:

  • Personal accountability to a labyrinth of responsibilities, some structured— some not structured at all—but all contributing to productive work activities…
  • We create productivity and efficiency with our sense of time management…
  • And as ‘top talent’ professionals, we often take initiative, make process improvements, and contribute to the Company’s growth.

                     This week’s session, Thursday, May 25... at The Egg & I Restaurant in Addison, TX… Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan


Pilot OnboardSo, why not recreate all that with OUR OWN PLAN, a Personal Marketing Plan, to move toward job satisfaction, commitment, and appropriate compensation, for the rest of our careers… including any current, short term job search?

If an individual is under-employed, seeking a change, or actually unemployed, they must be visible to potential employers who are seeking their services. Creating this visibility is strategic, personal market planning and execution—in can be marketability without rejection!

And, employed or not, Modify and improve your Personal Market Plan’s implementation model as needed… As you move through your career transition or ‘job search campaign,’ make adjustments as you would a business model.

AjustDaSails

Posted in Uncategorized

Telling “Your Story” in The OTHER Job Market

Your Career Compass

The problem with traditional job search tactics is that they take you directly into the teeth of the screening process, forcing you to be judged “yes-no-maybe” prematurely… worse still, this judgement is usually being made by a computer through a dysfunctional KEYWORD filter.  NOT good odds!


Compass_Rose-pilotONBOARDYour work in Achieving CareerFIT led you to the determination of your career objective, exactly what is the best next step for you in your career transition?  It also suggested strongly that you set your straw-man offer criteria to guide you in moving forwardKnowing what your next right work is.

This will help focus your actual search. With clarity in yourpositioning and targeting goals, you can write a great resume to convey “your story.”

Your Personal Marketing Collateral

WRITTEN… 

  1. A GREAT Resume that positions you clearly as a terrific FIT with your career objectives… and in today’s technologies, a database-friendly, asci version;
  2. A correspondence template package that consistently carries your communication strategy, your message… and in today’s technologies, a reformatted, text only version of your resume ready for email needs;
  3. A high impact, personal biography and/or NETWORKING PROFILE that you can lead with in your referral based networking strategies.
  4. A clear and complete LinkedIn Profile, one that is based on your communication strategy and in synch with your other written collaterals.

VERBAL COLLATERAL… 

  1. A well rehearsed “two minute commercial,” your answer to the most asked question during career transition, “Tell me about yourself.”
  2. Several, well though out, “elevator speeches,” examples that support your primary, positioning, key words. These are usually your representative accomplishments under the SUMMARY of your resume. (30 seconds to 1 minute)
  3. A succinct “qualification statement” that you can use as an introduction at networking events. (usually 20 – 30 seconds)
  4. An “exit statement” which explains your availability, to address the second most asked question during career transition.

Having your collaterals prepared and rehearsed prior to active personal marketing is central to your success and builds confidence.

Consistency in the delivery of your message is what creates memory… and frequency of your message helps you get there… strive for top-of-mind awareness where it relates to your candidacy.

Your personal marketing COMMUNICATION STRATEGY, your story, must be built around keywords and phrases that best describe your unique value proposition. These words come from your concerted self-assessment process. The challenge is matching the words that best describe your next right employment with the words that best describe a potential new employer’s needs.

A communication strategy that does not achieve that is doomed to otherwise controllable difficulties—and, worst…failure. So, understand that getting recruited involves two distinct elements…

  • Being screened for meeting a JOB’s requirements… a subjective process created by the potential employers of the marketplace. They set the bar HIGH, defined by functional experience, skill set, and knowledge standards so they don’t have to interview every JOB applicant.
  • Being selected by the hiring authority… another subjective process which now involves their assessment of a job-seeker’s FIT with their needs, including personality, work habits, and other ‘cultural’ standards. They cannot hire all qualified candidates. They must choose.

A job-seeker, then, can give themselves choices when they choose to embrace the OTHER Job Market. They improve their probability of success by nearly eliminating the pre-mature screening and rejection process.

Instead, the SMART job-seeker chooses to build relationships with potential employers first, researching attractive trends and targeted organizations in order to maximize probability of success, avoiding the HR-driven screening process to identify appropriate opportunities for securing their next right employment.

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Posted in Career Decision-Making, Career Transition, Job Search OBJECTIVES, Personal Marketing Collateral Materials, Resume Development, Your VERBAL Collateral elements
August 2018
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