First Interview in 12 Years

Got the job on her first interview!

Got the job on her first interview!

We finished re-writing her resume into a hybrid format the first of October. I assured her that recruiters hate hybrid resumes and that she would need to network like crazy to find work. Why? This would be her first interview in 12 years, as she’d been taking care of kids. I must add; she is smart, articulate, and well-educated. And scared. I asked her how soon she wanted to go to work, as I need to know if the individual is serious, when I coach him or her. “How about Thanksgiving?” she asked. Let’s call her Pearl.

In my experience as a recruiter and outplacement consultant, finding work usually takes six weeks minimally. Pearl may accomplish the goal if she treats the job search like a job, working at least six hours a day.

Credentials

No work experience in the last 12 years. Very little volunteer work. Joined APICs ( the leading professional association for purchasing and inventory control) a few years ago to learn the latest industry jargon, but attended only a few times. No certifications with a little knowledge of Six Sigma.

Pearl flailed a little. “How about I apply where my husband works?” she asked. Although her husband has a lengthy history with a Fortune 500 job, his company regularly suffers layoffs, no matter the longevity of employment. After a short discussion, she decided to target corporate headquarters with hefty distribution in consumer products near her home. The second week she slowed down, while sending resumes and arranging coffee dates with her target list of contacts.

Career Fair Confidence

Her chosen target company would have a career fair early the next week, mostly for warehouse workers. She searched to find an appropriate opening and submitted her resume online, but took hard copies of her resume to the fair. The night before the career fair was restless, as fear crept to the forefront. In the morning she dumped the fear, put on a happy face and her new, interview duds, fully intending to get the job. She didn’t think it was practice.

In job search, people must push themselves into their discomfort zone. With resumes and a big smile, she took a deep breath and asked the person at the registration desk, “Which line is for the professionals?” No professional recruiter was available, but they let her talk with one of the recruiters for hourly workers. When she explained she was targeting a particular job, he asked her to wait while he ventured behind the scenes to see if he could find the right person. No luck, but he took her resume, telling her, “I’ll make sure the right person sees your resume.”

Interview

I called her for a mock phone interview. I could tell that her positive attitude and action could mean quick success. The call came the next day. After a few quick questions, she heard, “Pearl, could you visit with Mr. Rover tomorrow?” Music to her ears!

We scurried to assure she knew the difference between behavioral and traditional questions. Since neither of us had time for a face-to-face interview, she studied www.quintcareers.com.  I gave her a document about competency based questions. With limited time for preparation, she’d need to “wing it.”

Mr. Rover turned out to be the hiring manager. He showed her the warehouse and asked her if she wanted to move forward with the interview (she said yes). Her interview lasted more than two hours. Later that day, he called to offer her the job.

Got the Job!

“Wow! Whew! Great job, Pearl!” I did the happy dance with my cell phone.

Why was she successful? Attitude, likability, friendliness, articulation, overcoming fear with confidence and credentials meeting their needs. She applied for a lower level job to re-enter the business world. Both company and candidate know a learning curve exists. Her resume didn’t get the job. The interview sealed the deal, as they saw her eagerness and confidence. She didn’t apologize or beg. She showed them she would be perfect for the opening. Asking good questions, listening carefully, while connecting, contributed to her success.

Role Model

You, too, can shorten your job search. You must focus and target what you want, plus believe in yourself.  Her attitude demonstrated she would learn quickly. Pearl got the job on her first interview in 12 years. Use her for your role model!

All the preparation cannot take the place of confidence and attitude! These are Pearl’s words of wisdom for your first interview after a gap…or any interview for that matter!

1100 Days of Risk and Perserverance

Risk-taking

No risk, no gain!

A couple months after graduating from college, in August 2012, I applied for an entry level finance position with an airline. No one responded. I continued to look for the right job where both my analytical and creative talents could be recognized.  Shoot!  With my excellent grades and work experience in college, I didn’t think it would take long.  However, it took 1100 day!  If I had let down on my risk and perseverance, I’d still be looking.

I’ve always had a strong interest in geography, travel, and transportation. I have family roots in the transportation industry, too. My uncle worked for an airline, and another uncle worked on the railroad for over 35 years. Both men made constant remarks about their love for the job, giving me a strong incentive to work in transportation, especially for the airlines.

Refining the Search

In November 2013, I decided to approach my goal of getting into this company another way. Through a Google search, I came across a company employee based at Los Angeles National Airport, who attended my alma mater. I emailed her; to my surprise, I received a response 10 minutes later. She helped me land a phone interview for a finance job. I excelled during the phone interview. The next step would be a flight to the company’s headquarters for a final interview, but that fell through due to a hiring freeze. I gave myself permission to feel sorry for myself, rage to my family and a networking friend, but I didn’t quit. I continued my relentless perseverance to work at this airline.

While searching for additional jobs, I came across a contractor program this company offered. I didn’t know much about it, but I  researched, which peaked my interest. I applied to participate in it. I thought this would be a great way for me to get my foot in the door at the company. I received a call asking if I wanted to interview.  Absolutely! I took the Amtrak from Northeast Ohio to Chicago and to Texas for an interview.  I felt sure I aced the interview, as the HR lady indicated as soon as an opening occurred, she’d contact me.

The Contract Job in Texas

When the cell phone rang, I’d rush expectantly to answer and the miracle occurred.   In a week, I made my way down to the Lone Star State. I moved across the country knowing the risk involved to start my career with this airline. I had six months to find a full time job with the company. If I didn’t, then I would have been out of luck and looking for a job far away from friends and family.  I knew no one in the area.

I rented a small apartment, sight unseen, near the airport and drove myself to Texas.  The pay was low, and I owe $350 a month on my student loan.  Scared?  Of course!  Excited.  You bet!  But I wanted out of Ohio and a job in transportation.  I took the risk!

The vast majority of my contractor assignment involved working in the baggage department, doing administrative work. I dedicated my life during the six-month training period to my assignments and job search at the company.  Although I sent a few resumes to other airlines and transportation companies in the area, I concentrated on where I was.

Risk with Urgency

I knew people respected me.  My boss encouraged me and spoke on my behalf to others.  I heard comments about myself such as:

“You’re smart, responsible and dedicated.”

“You are so motivated. I’m sure you’ll find a job here.”

“Our company is lucky to have you.  Someone will pick you up.”

And the one I liked best was:

“Do you know what we need here?  We need ten people like you!”

I contacted over 60 employees at the company seeking help or advice on landing a job. I wrote a personal note to an executive at the company and by chance, met the CEO on an elevator when I was attempting to speak with the hiring manager about a job application. I extensively researched the company, its competitors, and airline industry trends.

Unfortunately, my six-month period passed without obtaining  position. But, my faith and confidence kept me moving forward.

Perseverance Pays Off

Before my contract ended I had an interview for a Product Planner position with the company and received an offer the week after my contract ended. All my hard work paid off. I’m very excited and thankful I’ve been given a chance to prove myself where I focused my efforts.

My parents allowed me to take this risk because they had the utmost confidence that with my work ethic and the effort I put forth that I would be successful and accomplish my mission. I’m very grateful to them as well.

I know this is said all the time, but my message to those looking for a job is to never give up. As long as you are willing to take risks and work hard, someone will definitely notice. I’m a very good example of this. It took me over 1,100 days to complete my goal with major emotional ups and downs, but I’m thrilled to be starting this new chapter of my life.

Written by Anonymous

Edited by Ruth Glover

 

 

 

Networking Pays Off, Not Only for Job Seekers

cowboy boots and hat

These boots are made for writing!

When I moved to a smaller town a little over a year ago, my life changed dramatically. Although the relocation entailed only a 20 mile ride to Plano, I changed my career, my address, my church, and needed to make new friends. I knew that networking pays off, not only for  job seekers.

I hightailed it to the Sachse, Texas (population about 20,000) Library.  If you know me at all, you know I adore books and words.  Wow! The library is dinky, compared to other suburban libraries, but getting a library card stood about third on my “to do” list. First, groceries, second, find a church. In fact, I may have had my library card before my husband and I joined a small, local congregation. But…I digress.

Accidentally I found a mystery, written by a local writer named Reavis Z. Wortham at the library. He grew up in East Texas. I researched his background and found him on LinkedIn. Hmmm! I’d like to hear how he became a writer. I loved the book. A humorous, easy read with a good plot. Timidly I asked him to connect, and he accepted. I thanked him and told him that I was starting a writers group in Sachse through the library, promising to stay in touch.

I joined the “Friends of the Library,” an arm of their volunteers which offers programs to help the library with “extras,” not in the budget. The library needs plenty of extra money as the librarians still complete little cards by hand to put in a pocket in the front of the books showing due date.

I contacted Reavis to see if he would speak for a special event to raise money for the library. As it happened, he released the fourth book in his Red River Mystery series in August. His customized presentation talks about his latest book, titled Vengence Is Mine, plus he’ll talk about how he left a successful Communications Director position with the Garland ISD to write full time. So please join us for Reavis Writes Again. I’m eager to hear him speak, make a little money from donations at the presentation and network with others.  (See details below.)

SPECIAL EVENT-SPECIAL EVENT-SPECIAL EVENT

Reavis Writes Again

Reavis
Reavis Z. Wortham

Date:               Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Time:              7:00 p.m.

Place:             Sachse Public Library, 3815 Sachse Road, Sachse, TX  75048

Between Garland and Wylie, east of Highway 78

Open to the public.  No admission charge or reservations necessary.  Refreshments and doorprizes.

Finding a Friend or Maybe a Mentor

Possible Mentoring

Who is sitting next to you?

My writers group is wonderful! We meet monthly to encourage each other, share our writing and devour suggestions from the more experienced. The tips, techniques, tales of woe and joy in writing help keep us writing between meetings. We are not mentors, but coaches for each other. The relationships may develop into mentoring, which is a deep commitment to foster.

Where do you find support for what you do? Who supports your efforts? Even lonesome Charlie Brown has his Lucy to help him through life. We all need people to support our efforts. We often think mentors are only for the workplace. Not so!

A mentor is more than a friend, but someone who is ” a trusted counselor, guide, tutor or coach.” A mentor invests time and keeps you accountable.

Suggestions for Finding New Friends

MeetUps. If I search “meetups, Dallas,” I see over one million responses. I clicked on the “Urban Bohemian” group. I drilled down and noted the Bastille Day Celebration in Oak Cliff on my calendar for July 14. Most groups are free or only charge for special events.

Toastmasters. I’m a huge fan of Toastmasters. This group helps you perfect your public speaking. The group meets weekly in an unimaginable number of places: restaurants, apartment clubhouses, companies (like Ericsson and Oncor). If you click on this link, you can see the huge number of locations. Toastmasters builds your confidence in many ways and may lead to a mentoring relationship.

Professional and Civic Groups. If there is no professional association you want to join, say your alumni group, start one! Organize a group on LinkedIn or advertise a new group through MeetUps.

A friend of mine looked a long time for a new job that would fit his career change. He proudly tells how he started talking with a guy who sat next to him at a Lions Club meeting. They kept talking…and talking. Now my friend has a new title, “Part Owner,” in that business that has a hot new product. I suspect their relationship is one of mentoring each other.

Churches and other Religious Organizations. Most churches will welcome new members with open arms. And most like potlucks and making friends, as well as the more formal aspects. If your church is not very social, try a different one! Look for one which espouses your beliefs and personality. Personality is an important factor in both friendships and mentors. Many churches have groups for people in job transitions.

Politics. Attend a City Council meeting. Shake hands with the people in the room. A Chamber of Commerce meeting offers opportunities for entrepreneurs and corporate types. Other city and suburban activities offer a plethora of activities and volunteer opportunities.

Hobbies. What do you do in your spare time? Hard to tell whom you’ll meet in a class for woodworking or cooking. You may be surprised when you meet the chef in the class who can assist you with that cookbook or woodworking book you want to write.

Social Media. Connect with people with similar interests. People like to help each other. The relationships on social media may not become mentors, but people you discover online can certainly answer questions to help you move forward.

Add a New Friend Regularly

Think about adding new friends. Find avenues to “adopt” new friends into your network. You never know when you may meet someone who can make a significant difference in your life, as a friend or mentor.
Ruth Glover wrote MORE than a Paycheck: Inspiration & Tools for Career Change, which is now, by popular demand, available in e-book formats.  The book is available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and I-Books.

 

 

 

Choosing Your Watering Holes for Change

watering hole for cows

Where are your watering holes?

When I think of a watering hole, I picture a bunch of cows, perfect for an ad for Chick-Fil-A, but not where I’d want to meet with fascinating friends.   But, Pamela Slim author of Body of Work, uses the term “watering holes” to represent networking groups.  She advocates that you (the Avatar) meet your colleagues  and friends in your network (the Ecosystem), by calling the places we meet our “watering holes.”

This is the third of a three part series, defining new terms for change.

Seems rather silly to me, but new packaging for old terms could push people harder to move forward with life changes.  Identifying your strengths in an Avatar, making a list of the people who can help you with your job search (your Ecosystem) creates momentum.  If you are looking for a new spouse, you may join a ski club or singles organization.  If you have an idea for a start-up, you could mingle with a Meet-Up, like “Making Business Happen for Female Entrepreneurs or maybe attend a Women in Technology meeting.  If you are an engineer, your professional association is a must.  The Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, Toastmasters, American Heart Association…all sensible “watering holes.”

Volunteer “Watering Holes”

I loved the volunteering I did at the JOB Group at Custer Road United Methodist Church.  The happiness and celebration when someone landed a new job brought great joy into my life.  When we moved to Sachse, I knew I’d need to find a new “watering hole.”  Now my favorite place to volunteer is the library.  To be a good writer, I need to read and meet other authors.  I started a writers group and became a “Friend of the Library.”  I’m coordinating an event to raise money for e-books.  I’m meeting fascinating people and my writing is improving.  A writer friend told me, she sees my improvement.  Can you imagine how elated I am with her comment?

Traditional “Watering Holes”

You never know where you will find people to help you with dilemmas and crises.  Maybe it will be at the Fish Shack in Plano, Texas or maybe it will be a fancy bar near the Galleria in Dallas.  Perhaps your hobby will take you to a convention or trade show, an excellent place to rub shoulders within your ecosystem.

We all resist change, especially if it’s unexpected, but change usually doesn’t happen without the proper recipe.  Kick fear into the cow barn.  You can’t sit behind your computer, expecting a cow poke at your door.  You need to make an effort to stretch by using your Avatar, your Ecosystem and your “Watering Holes.”

These terms may not be trending but if they do, you’ll be a few steps ahead in understanding their meaning.  Now  MOOO-VE on!

Be sure to read Avatars: A New Term in Job Search  and Building Your Personal Ecosystem for all three articles in the series.

 

 

Building Your Personal Ecosystems

Waterfowl ecosystem

Many Kinds of Ecosystems – Long Beach, WA

Ecosystems are not just about recycling trash.  Ecosystems are important to us in many ways.  Whether you are an Oceanographer, an Arborist, a Semiconductor Engineer, a Truck Driver or a Traveler, we must think about our ecosystems.   If you read Pamela Slim’s book Body of Work, you’ll understand that more and more people focus on their personal ecosystems as their network.  Who is or could be in your ecosystem?

Understanding Your Ecosystems

In a previous article you assessed who you are, but called it your Avatar.   Starting with your Avatars, you gain momentum to see who the important individuals may be in your network or ecosystems.  Do you like NPR or rock?  Do you enjoy Adventure or Sci-Fi movies?  Who are your friends?  Are they diverse or similar to you?  How do you spend your money?  Determine who is selling to you and you can grasp who is in your ecosystem.

Personal Ecosystem

Your Ecosystem at Work

My obsession with cool shoes for weary feet make me an ideal candidate for pop-up ads for shoes.  Based on where I go online, big companies know to market to me.   I’m a target for excellent customer service, such as Zappos and Nordstrom’s, don’t you think?

My friend Chitra Gupta, is a role model with her latest commercial building.  She wants entrepreneurial endeavors in her building, to encourage interaction.  A CPA, a hair salon, a church, and a travel agency lease from her with enthusiastic response from other entrepreneurs who may join.  On the top floor, she has ping pong tables and space for collaboration and various Meet-Ups.  She and her entrepreneurial son Chirag Gupta embrace the spirit of creativity, sharing and helping others throughout the building.   This is what Pamela Slim is promoting in her book, when she mentions “Ecosystems.”  You may have various systems that help you move to the next step in your life, whether it’s to self-employment, a new spouse or job.  You may find a lead for a new position through your volunteer “ecosystem” or start dating someone in your alum group.  Perhaps you find you want to start a side business and create your “ecosystem” with a like minded friend.

Choosing Your Ecosystems

Paul Boag in his article titled Three Vital Factors to Consider When Creating a Social Network Ecosystem, asks:

Does it reach an audience that my other channels do not reach?

Do I have the time to effectively support this channel?

Does it provide me with functionality not available elsewhere?

Once you develop your Avatar, you will need to align with collaborators who can create synergy.  Is your ecosystem focused on healthy living?  Being kind to the earth?  Being a better parent?  Looking for new challenge or career change?  Innovative companies, such as the cloud computing companies, know all about ecosystems.  Architects know the value of being green.  Let’s join the parade!

You may see the term used in this manner and many other ways.  We have virtual cities, virtual interviewing, but for you to succeed faster and better, building a network or ecosystem can escalate your time to success!

Next week you’ll hear about Watering Holes for your next steps, another term from Body of Work by Pamela Slim.  

Lessons Learned In My Job Search Journey

Lessons Learned from Experience

Lessons Learned from Experience

Going to a professional meeting to gather a few business cards does not equal networking.  But standing in line at a job fair, could mean the start of a meaningful, ongoing relationship with the person in front of you.  Whether you are unemployed, under-employed or in an unstable situation, you must continue adding people to your pool of friends and referrals.

Three years ago I published MORE than a Paycheck, which is a book of 20 stories about real people who moved their careers in various ways.  Very few found the roller coaster of job search much fun.  I am contacting all 20 people to see how they have fared in the past three years.  Here is one response.

 

Networking, Networking, Networking

“Looking back on the past three years, I’ve learned the importance of ongoing networking, particularly when you do not need any help.  While employed, my objective is to meet with two new people per week and connect with five individuals within my network per week via phone call, email, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

While in transition, my goal was to meet five new individuals per week, and connect in various ways with 10 to 12 individuals from my existing network.  I continue to update my job search records monthly to assure my efforts.  Looking at my spreadsheet, while employed, brings a smile that I have a great job!  But, I don’t want to drop the ball now.  I recently turned 50 and know job search will not get easier, if or when, I’m in transition again.

 Lose the Pride

One area I had failed to network into heavily was my very own Sunday School class.  I think one of the reasons for this failure was my own pride got in the way.  By losing my pride and networking with members of my Sunday School class, the door opened for a consulting opportunity with XYZ Corporation (my current job).

Consulting Reaps Rewards

During my career, I have accepted various consulting roles, many of which resulted in new full-time opportunities.  This approach works well. Not only does one learn about the company and culture, one can see what the challenges within the company are and then position oneself to be a solution to the challenges.  Companies benefit from this approach, as well as they get a trial run with the consultant to evaluate “attitude, aptitude, and fit” (the top three things a hiring manager seeks in an employee).”

Our guest contributor has impeccable educational credentials and work experience, yet he struggled  with layoffs before landing his last job.  Throughout un-employment, his attitude remained upbeat with unwavering faith, at least outwardly.  He volunteered, helping others in job search.  He seemed to do all the right things, but the job journey wasn’t easy.  His wise remarks should slap you in the face with reality.

Job search wisdom can easily be forgotten when you are employed.  Our spokesman is right on target with his advice: you need to make new contacts weekly, regardless of your employment status.

Job search does not end when you start a new job.  Networking is an ongoing activity.  You need to show pride in your work but stay in touch with the outside world and if you are laid off, consider contract work.  The world is changing.  More contract jobs are available than ever. The message is clear!  Now call someone you haven’t talked with in months!

A special thanks to our guest contributor for his insight for you, the reader.

Significant Friends Help Us Dance in the Rain

Lunch with friends

Ginger, Ruth, Nola, Ruth-special friends!

I met Cindy 15 years ago.  She worked in relocation when I managed a project for Texas Instruments, which involved relocating people from Thailand for training.  I needed temporary housing for a wild, but brilliant, young group of engineers, arriving in the U.S.  Her company provided housing.

Cindy and I continued to cross paths.  Soon after her second son was born, she developed breast cancer.  I am a survivor and assured her people can live long after diagnosis and treatment.  She and I built a long term friendship.  We walked in the Komen-Race-for-the-Cure for years.  When she left real estate, I helped her with career decisions.  When I wrote a book a few years ago, Cindy became a “cheerleader” for me and a chapter in MORE than a Paycheck: Inspiration and Tools for Success

She never regretted leaving her corporate job, quickly pivoting into new leadership roles in non-profits.  But cancer attacked again about four years ago.  She went through chemo and radiation the second time.  The doctors eradicated the beast within her.

Her positive attitude and friendly smile became a role model for all her friends and relatives.  She spoke nationwide to groups about cancer and her “dance in the rain,” becoming more entrenched in the Susan G. Komen organization.  When we had lunch in December 2010, she beamed with the knowledge she beat the beast again.  However, in January 2011 she found another lump.  The PET scan showed the cancer metastasized, startling her with realization that life would be shorter but convincing her she could live by finding the right  maintenance treatment.

Cindy felt she extended her life to help researchers find a cure for cancer.  Her willingness to try a variety of drugs, some which made her very weak, others which caused blisters on her feet, advanced the “the cause.”

Her bravery astounded all who knew her.  Doctors tried at least five different experimental treatments. A month ago, she was told, no more treatment would help.

Her breathing became labored with the cancer growing in her lungs.  And what did she do?  She had a party!  She invited all her friends to a giant party to demonstrate her faith and resilience in the face of the challenge.  People stood in line an hour at her home to hug her and wish her well on her journey “home.”

Doctors thought she would die in a few days, but she outwitted the doctors one more time.  I think she wanted to be there the day Tony started 10th grade.  She made it.  Her husband, two sons, her family from Florida, her sister who stayed with her, all knew she was not afraid to die.

Some of you may not be believers but if there are angels, she’s already made it to that level.  She didn’t have to wait to be promoted.

I’m sharing her story to encourage you to be a role model for people in your life.  You never know when the smile you give someone may be the high point of the day.  You never know when the new person in the neighborhood may impact your life significantly.

Who are your role models?  And who will be honored he or she knows you, when you have your last challenge?  Today is the first day of the rest of you life, as they say.  Be a role model.  Make a new friend.  Call it networking, if you want, but your life will be enriched when you reach out to others, forming relationships, not just finding help for your journey.

Cindy Colangelo spoke to the JOB Group at CusterRoadMethodistChurch last fall.  The presentation was “How to Dance in the Rain.”  I am honored to have “danced in the rain” with her.

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Joy in Job Search II

Joy in job search mode?  No, I’m not kidding!  We need to find peace daily, not just on vacation, but especially when unemployed or looking for a new career.  A book I read a few years ago, titled The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked, by Ernie Zelinski flashed through my mind while on vacation this past week.  His premise is you need to find quality of life by doing what you love to do.  The title is a little misleading, but led to me to think about how we can find joy.

joy in job search

Find joy in job search to keep moving forward!

Ernie doesn’t say you should collect welfare but recommends finding work you love, which you would do, no matter what.  The joy of working is discovering your gifts and using them.  I’ve “morphed” or moved my career a number of times, always using the same skills differently.

Success Story

While on vacation I met an artist on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington who makes a healthy living painting.  Eric Weigardt lives in the area of his ancestors in Washington state.  He attended  the  American Academy of Art in Chicago. Wiegardt Studio Gallery is in the home of Eric’s great grandfather, Heinrich Julius Wiegardt, an oystering pioneer from Denmark.  He teaches art to thousands and guides budding artists on European trips to paint “en plein aire.”   Seeing his paintings and meeting the artist… WOW!

Imagine what his dad, the oyster farmer, might have said to him when he wanted to become an artist.  Visit his website, as it might percolate ideas running around your brain.  Eric started a career in Civil Engineering, worked at Catapillar in Chicago when he convinced his young wife that corporate life was not for him.  After art school, he started his own business in his small hometown in southwest Washington, which was not easy.  His story is living proof we need to work for MORE than a Paycheck.

Quiet Time

Emotional upheaval and noise may surround you at home, like whitewater rapids, causing you distress.  You need quiet time to think, plan, and explore.  Job search is notoriously a manic-depressive experience.  But summer is almost over.  The kids will soon return to school.  The house may be beastly quiet.  Use it to advantage for introspection and quietly seek inner peace.  Then move forward.

New Friends

I’m sure you know that 80% of jobs come via people or  “networking.”  The next step in your job search combines friends and fun.  Laughter is great medicine for  job search challenges.

Try new ways to meet employed people.  How about attending a conference in your industry?  How long has it been since you attended a civic meeting?  Attend a gallery opening.  Who knows?  The CEO from your next company may be standing in line for appetizers.  Have you ever attended a “Meet Up” Group?  What is your passion outside of work?  Dogs?  There’s a Meetup group for that!  I found a Meetup for people making their “bucket lists.”

Do Something Different

Buy a goldfish.  Visit an art gallery.  Register for a Spanish class.  Drive around an industrial area, stopping to write down the names of companies you don’t recognize.  One of those companies may need someone like you!

Look at the Bigger Picture

Some find great peace in their faith.  Others, not so much.  But there is a bigger picture. In almost every endeavor, we need variety, not just the manic, jump-for-joy that I experience when the Packers make a touchdown.

Finding joy during your job search will put a smile on your face, to keep you moving towards your target.  You realize something better is just around the corner. When you find your attitude suffering, look around you.  Experiencing joy daily is just one of the tasks for job seekers but every bit as important as revising your resume for the 40th time!  Finding joy daily is critical, even if we are happily employed, retired, a homemaker or student!

 

4 Tips for Avoiding Career Disaster

Your career is thriving in chaos, but may change with frightening speed without ongoing monitoring. Your career disaster may be the result of an explosion, a hurricane, new technology or a new boss.  Here are four important ways to avoid career disaster.

Career explosion

Avoid Career Disaster

Read, Read, Read

Set aside a minimum of one hour a week to read Internet articles about trends in the supply chain, especially in your area of expertise.  EBNonline is an excellent source, but do not neglect Huffington Post, New York Times (especially the globlal business section),  the Wall Street Journal and many other fabulous sources.  Read about what’s happening at Apple to see what’s happening in the tech world.  Buy a new business best seller and peruse it for ideas for your career.

Use Groups on LinkedIn

Not only maintain your spiffy LinkedIn profile, but comment on the groups on LinkedIn.  If you simply use the search term “java groups” on your home page of LinkedIn, you will see almost 3000 possible groups to join for connecting with others with similar interests.  Don’t be passive reader in your selected groups.  Respond to learn from others and create a digital footprint for building a broader reputation. Did you know that one of the first things a recruiter does when s/he finds or receives your resume is to look at your digital footprint?  If you don’t know how to complete your LinkedIn profile, find a profile you like and use it for a model.  Your profile needs at least three recommendations (not endorsements), or it’s not considered “complete.”  Make sure your summary is explicit and enticing.  And Google yourself to assure someone with the same name isn’t an ax murderer!

Mingle with Purpose

“I’ve been too busy working to have any real friends,” I often hear from job seekers.  My advice is to program into your life at least one or two professional meeting or civic groups and then grab and greet” as some call meetings for networking.  In other words, get to know people that know people.  Whether you choose a IEEE or other Toastmasters, mingle to create relationships.  No weak handshakes, either!

Attitude Reigns

 “I’ve interviewed a few times in the past six months since I’ve been laid off.  When I follow up, the recruiters don’t seem to know who I am!”  Hmmmm!  Sounds like this individual may need to improve his interview skills.  Seek help from a friendly recruiter or advice from a friend.  Maybe your attitude is showing and not in a good way.   Find someone who will be ruthless with feedback. I hear horrible stories from candidates about how they are treated in interviews.  If you are a hiring manager, remember, the world keeps getting smaller.  The individual you ignore, may be interviewing you one day.  Whoops!  Possible career disaster!

If you are a candidate, ask for help, but not a job, when you contact someone with whom you’ve created a business relationship.  People like helping each other.  Statistics say that as many as  80% of jobs come from someone you know or get to know.  If you’ve been treated unfairly, put on your “big person” boots and get over it.  Attitude is critical for avoiding career disaster.Change is inevitable.  The 35 year old or the 35 year career can both be affected negatively if you continue to say, “They’ll never get rid of me!”  Risk management is a huge topic these days.  Take it seriously.  You need to avoid career disaster with your own, personal risk management!