Why Wait For a Job OPENING? Create Your Next Opportunity!

If you are not absolutely clear about what you want as that NEXT STEP in your career, envision an ideal position that will value you for the main characteristics and experiences you want to be hired for. Since you need to be concise and clear when developing your Personal Marketing collateral materials (resume, BIO, verbal communication, and your LinkedIn profile),  it’s important to figure out what you best offer in your next position, so you know exactly what skills and experiences to highlight.  Make FIT happen!

Once you know what you want to do, your next step is identifying where you want to be—think industry, city, and companies. Then, research your industry and key trends affecting it now: Read relevant industry news articles, research companies, and analyze job descriptions you’re interested in.

RESEARCH: Analyze Your Target Industry

Once you know what you want to do, your next step is identifying where you want to be—think industry, city, and companies. Then, research your industry and key trends affecting it now: Read relevant industry news articles, research companies, and analyze job descriptions you’re interested in.

SELF-Assessment: Find Your Fit and Focus on CAREER Objectives

With your knowledge of your target industry, it’s time to figure out how you fit in (or want to). Identify, describe, and refine your key selling points with your end goal in mind. Then, craft them into 4-6 bullets, shooting for statements that are vivid and that clearly illustrate what you bring to the table over anyone else.

Ask Yourself

  • What is the intersection of your ‘value proposition’ and what your target industry, or specific Company, needs?
  • What are your most impactful areas of experience, knowledge, or skill?
  • What critical problems are you well suited to solve?

Pay Attention to the Nitty Gritty

As you begin to think about the type of career transition you want to make, what IS the next appropriate employment for you… start out by documenting what you already know to be true about your professional self.

  1. Give specific attention to what you spend the most time doing, those functional details of your work that have the greatest impact on your employer’s success, and, especially, what are you uniquely providing that gives value to your role?
  2. Take notes about when you’re feeling particularly unmotivated or unenthused about your job. Write down the tasks that bring you down as well as those that get you excited.
  3. It may seem like a tedious exercise, but if you stick with it, patterns will start to emerge. And it’s in teasing out these patterns that’ll help you build a picture of the role that’s right for you.

Schedule  Informational “Interviews” With Key Contacts

In addition to being introspective, it’s also important to get out there and start becoming your own best CAREER Coach, learning about satisfying next steps, the career moves you’re interested in.   And what better resource than the very people already in, or connected with, those you seek? 

As an active job seeker, especially in the first few months of a job search, networking your way to one informational interview per week is essential to your campaign’s success.  This may sound like a lot, but initially quantity is more important than quality as you want to get a sense of a wide variety of roles in different industries based on the results of your introspection.

The more people you speak with, the more you’ll be exposed to fields you might wish to pursue. With that said, you don’t want the person on the receiving end to feel that way—so always make sure to come prepared and send a thank you.

The GREAT Informational Interview

Let’s say you managed the tricky process of asking for an informational interview and have succeeded in arranging a meeting with an amazing contact. What now? How do you make the most of this conversation—while still keeping things casual and comfortable?

As always, it’s just a matter of being prepared. Here’s a three-part process for your next meeting that’ll make sure you get the advice you need… and make a great  impression on those who may direct you to your next steps.

1. The Warm Up

People love to talk about themselves, so when you first sit down, give them a perfect opportunity!  Get the conversation going by asking your contact something about his or her experiences thus far—something he or she knows all about. Some good places to begin:

  • How did you get your start in this field?
  • What’s it like working at your company?
  • What projects are you working on right now?
  • What’s your opinion on [exciting development in the industry]?

You should also be prepared to chat about yourself, your past experiences, and your career goals. Remember, this meeting isn’t just a time to ask for advice and learn from your contact’s experiences—it’s also a chance to make an impression.

2. Your Pitch

After you’ve made some general conversation, it’s time to move on to what you came for: the advice you can’t get anywhere else. Before the meeting, think through the insider information you want to learn from this person.

  • What information are you seeking?
  • Is there something you can learn from this person that would be difficult for you to learn on your own?

Depending on where you are in the job search process, adjust your questions accordingly. For example, if you’re still in exploration mode, trying to find out if, say, working for an technology startup is for you, then ask questions like:

  • How did you choose this company or position over others in your field?
  • What is the most rewarding thing about working in this industry? The most challenging?
  • My background is in ___________… how do you think I can best leverage my previous experience for this field?

If you’re further along in your job search and could use some job hunting and interviewing tips for specific companies, don’t be afraid to ask questions like:

  • What experiences, skills, or personality traits does your company look for in new hires?
  • What do you wish you had done differently when you first started at your company?
  • What job search advice would you give to someone in my situation?

Of course, you’ll want go with the flow of the conversation—you’re trying to build a relationship, not fire off as many questions as you can.

Also remember that what these questions have in common is that they are all seeking advice. Keep it that way. It’s no mystery that you are clearly looking for a new position or career change, and the fastest way to alienate your contact is to ask for a job (or anything along those lines).

REPEAT: The fastest way to alienate your contact is to ask for a job (or anything along those lines). If your contact offers to forward your resume based on your conversation, then by all means, take advantage of it. But that process is for him or her to initiate, not you.

3. Tap Into Their Network… a “Lost Owl” Strategy

When wrapping up the meeting, you should ask for recommendations for two or three more people who would be good to talk to as you continue networking.  “WHO else or WHERE else might I go for more advice and information?  The likelihood someone will take time to chat with you goes up significantly if your initial request comes through a mutual contact, so it’s a fast, easy way to broaden the reach of your networking effort.

The key here is to make your request as specific as possible. This might be counterintuitive, but it actually makes it easier for your contact to think of someone when you say, “Could you recommend a couple more people for me to speak with to learn more about harnessing of available wind energy?”  …than to come up with an answer to, “Is there anyone else you would recommend that I speak with?”

To recap: Get the conversation going, know what you want to get out of the meeting, and don’t leave without knowing who you’re contacting next. And don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you note!

Better yet, follow up again with an update on your meetings with the people he or she recommended and the results of your job search. After all, your informational interviewees aren’t just useful for their one-time advice—they can become a long-term part of your network.

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PREVENTATIVE PODIATRY: Don’t Shoot Yourself In The Foot Following Job Loss

Don’t ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ with premature job search.  Rather, be prepared for productively seeking your next right employment situation.

So, what are some essential approaches that job seekers can take to start moving forward again?

  1. Take time to grieve your loss and sort out your emotions.
  2. Rebuild your confidence and reconnect with your abilities to contribute, knowing your next steps and the position you seek, and, most importantly, begin to work on and practice answering the most common query during job search, “Tell me about yourself.”
  3. Build your community and find ‘accountability partners’
  4. Create a routine…

You have been used to the ‘regular routine’ of being employed.  However, THAT has all changed.  Yet your head and heart desire that sort of regularity in what you do.  Having a well thought out ‘Personal Marketing Plan’ will keep you focused and productive during your search for your ‘next right employment.’  Indeed, you can become your own best coach!

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Posted in Career Decision-Making, Career Transition

Yes, The Pandemic Effects Job Search

Immediate…

Frequent medical screening

Many firms are doing frequent medical screening, including temperature checks and antibody tests. Companies including Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon and Starbucks are already taking employees’ temperatures, while other businesses are considering “immunity passports” to aid the return to work. Testing will be essential in some roles, specifically those with regular/ frequent customer contact. 

Reduction in business travel and face-to-face meetings

Nothing really NEW, here, but Companies will continue to utilize technology to replace jetting off across the globe for interviews and other business meetings. As we’ve all gotten more used to and comfortable (CONFIDENT?) virtual meetings, it’s a no-brainer to continue to find alternatives in the reduction of business travel to save money and reduce emissions.

Chances are we’ll continue to get more and more comfortable with video call tools including Microsoft Teams, Skype and Google Meet.  And others to enter THAT market space.  In fact, for those professionals who may no longer have access to an actual office, video conferencing and instant messaging will become essential.

The influence of still more technology and ‘Aps’

Social media, like LinkedIn, will continue to improve to facilitate efficient networking.  The use of “KEYWORD Screening” tactics will continue to define traditional job search tactics.

To minimize the amount that job-seekers AND employees need to touch surfaces, it’s likely that offices will continue to look for ways to use automation. Think controlled access to buildings and office space, the ensuing access to personal information, and greater use of online application processing.

And inside?  Motion and/ or voice-activated lighting, audio and visual equipment, and smartphone-controlled elevators and coffee machines. Technology will continue to streamline how we work.

As Time Marches on

 Hiring processes will offer more ‘equal opportunity’ for applicants

As companies continue to work more remotely, employees may no longer be limited to jobs based on where they physically live.  This could lead to Companies finding it easier and less expensive to have a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Those who are care-givers or have disabilities may find that they are more able to commit to roles which allow working from home, while women, people of color and minorities may be more able to access certain roles. 

A “Gig Economy

As the pandemic has highlighted job insecurity, some have already taken on side hustles to improve their skills and make extra cash. One recent survey shows that one in five people have taken up a side hustle during prolonged lockdown – with that number jumping to one-third among those who have been furloughed or fear for the future of their jobs.

 After the pandemic, it’s likely there will be more pressure on these companies to provide a safety net for their employees, and measures like no-contact delivery and cashless payment are likely to continue.

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LINKEDIN: Your ‘Digital Footprint’

Social media is a great place to learn about and create a digital conversation with your market. Potential employers do not want to be talked-to, or worse yet sold-to on these platforms. Your followers want to know they have a place to come learn, to ask questions about things THEY care about, and to know they are being heard.

Here are some things we’ve learned from listening to those we’ve served since the advent of LinkedIn, the preferred place for professional level job seekers to leave their “digital footprint.”

What’ll IT BE, Push or Pull?

In “PUSH Marketing,” you need to take a low-key approach and offer 90% of insights and education to your market, with only 10% of things that would be seen as a sales pitch. Of course, ALL your social media content is “selling” in one way or another, but your market will be turned off if it comes across as a hard sell.

On the other side, don’t just post silly photos or motivation quotes. Position yourself as a subject matter expert and a source of real help to your followers, by sharing valuable information your market cares about (using UPDATES to post white papers…or sprinkle them in to your Profile).

PULL Marketing,” on the other hand, requires a concerted effort to optimize your keyword concentration (SEO) to attain high page ranking in keyword searches.  This is where most beginners start as they learn and gain confidence with the various functionalities offered by LinkedIn

The challenge is that either approach, when taken to an extreme, could be viewed as manipulative or ‘gaming the system’ (extreme pull)… or just too much narrative fluff (extreme push).  So in this brief handout we will be taking a down the middle approach which will give both beginning and intermediate users of LinkedIn the ‘best of both worlds’ in LinkedIn utility.

In-Sync, NOT Duplicate Personal Marketing Collaterals

While one’s resume is all about wise use of two pages worth of ‘vertical space,’ your LinkedIn Profile has no such limitation, but contains the very same elements of content: A clear positioning statement, a concise qualification summary, evidence of your supportive experience, and your education/ training.

TASK #!: A Dynamic Profile

When employed, your HEADLINE might present you as the <<Billing Manager at LSC Communications (formerly RR Donnelley>>.  However, when seeking your next right employment opportunity you have some choices.  Using “Pull Marketing” tactics, you could present yourself as…

OFFICE MANAGEMENT: Financial Analysis | Operations Accounting | Customer Service | Database Administration

-or-

Using the more narrative “Push Marketing” tactics, you could present yourself as…

Resourceful OFFICE MANAGER, skilled in Financial Analysis, Operations Accounting, Customer Service, and Database Administration

You’ll want to use all the space available to you in your headline if possible as this is where search engines ‘look’ first, leaving  your “digital footprints” throughout your usage of LinkedIn’s functionality.  Your ‘editing window’ will stop you at the maximum character level. 

SUMMARY

The summary is one of the most important parts of the jigsaw and usually the first thing people will read on your profile. While there’s no strict template to stick to, there are certain approaches and techniques that have proved successful.

1. Think about what and who you’re writing it for
How you approach your summary will really depend on your objectives, who you’re writing it for and the situation or industry you find yourself in.


• A mission-based approach may suit those actively marketing to potential employers or clients. State what you want to achieve and make sure to include a call to action – for example, instructions on how to get in touch.

• Less is often more in technical professions such as IT or engineering, where what people really want to see is evidence of your skills and training.

• However, in other cases you’ll be looking to produce something that’s quite unique to you and that allows your personality to shine through.

2. Have a clear structure
The best LinkedIn summaries have a clear narrative, engaging the reader in the ‘story’ of that individual’s career so far: where they started out, their current situation and where they’re aiming to get to.

Starting with the qualification summary at the top of your resume, this can provide a solid outline into which you can feed information on your skills and attributes and how you approach your work.

Allow a separate paragraph for each topic; you have 2,000 characters to play with, but it’s best to keep things short and sweet with a line or two for each point. You can allow more weighting to certain areas if need be.

A SAMPLE Office Manager’s SUMMARY

I am a resourceful and productive Business Management professional with over twenty years of diverse and progressively responsible experience in a fast paced dynamic environment. My proven strengths lie within the areas of accounting and administrative assistance. I am used to the dynamic demand of operations accounting, customer service, database management, data collections and analysis, and prioritizing workload.

Managers value me as a detail-oriented, critical thinker who thrives in a team environment with diversified stakeholders and clientele, focused on personal development and process improvement. Proficient within proprietary and other systems, as well as Microsoft Excel.

OPERATIONS ACCOUNTING: I was promoted to continue previous retail billing duties with the addition of commercial billing duties for comercial and retail platform. I coordinate with customer service, manufacturing and pricing to obtain information related to customers account and orders.

DATABASE ADMINISTRATION: I’ve prepared detailed invoices per customer contract for commercial accounts, including credit allowances to customer as required by account contract. I have also assisted with individual accounting budgets, providing data input of pricing, cost and VAR information.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS: I prepare detailed invoiced including credit allowances to customer as required by account contract. This requires knowledge of customer contracts, pricing list, invoice discounts and rebated and accrual percentages when applicable. In an earlier role, have interpreted data, evaluated trends, and made recommendations to improve manufacturing performance.

I can be reached at: Phone# and email address

**NOTE the tie in to the defining KEYWORDS of the HEADLINE, your clear and concise positioning statement or digital “branding.”

So, what do you want your ‘ABOUT’ section to look and read like?

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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.

 

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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.

sq-knot2

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
September 2021
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