Summer and holidays are a time when most people sit back, relax and do their best not to think about work but, for many, it’s a time to contemplate a new career altogether.
These breaks in your regular routine provide an opportunity to take stock and reflect on your working life and consider taking a big leap to do something different.
As part of that decision, you will need to have a strategy.
For beginners, Avoid these 5 common pitfalls.
- Don’t jump into a new career before some serious reflection
You might be miserable or unfulfilled but make sure you don’t just make the change to escape your current situation. Take the time to complete some self and career assessments as well as researching a “day in the life of” that profession you have interest in pursuing. A good resource is www.Onetonline.org, especially when combined with connecting with someone already in the job so you can ask candid questions.
- Don’t chase what is popular; make sure you see yourself in it for awhile
Research the forecasted workforce needs of your newly discovered interest to make sure you don’t make the change to only discover the job soon becomes obsolete due to technology or lack of Continue reading
Before becoming a Career Coach, I was an HR “purist” and my entire corporate career (25+ years) was spent recruiting, interviewing, selecting, managing, developing and counseling employees. Additionally, as an HR manager, I hired almost 40 people to work with me and many of them came from other occupations with no experience in HR.
All of these professionals had two things in common:
- A strong desire to work in the field of Human Resources
- Absolutely NO experience in Human Resources
But they all had common experiences and strengths:
- Communications – verbal and written
- Problem Solving
- Analytical expertise
- Conflict Management Skills
- Influential Ability
- Ability to “Work in the Gray” and See the Big Picture
Most professional job seekers are savvy enough to know that over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source for top talent. And most hiring managers complete their due diligence by Googling job candidates to research additional information. So no problem, right, because you have a profile and it mirrors your resume. Well, not so fast. Just HAVING a LinkedIn profile isn’t enough; it has to be optimized, have the keywords that the recruiter is searching for, showcase your achievements prominently and much more.
Unfortunately, most LinkedIn profiles do not pass the test and, as a result, actually turn off a recruiter or hiring manager and COST otherwise qualified candidates a job interview and job offer.
That is exactly why I quit my Fortune 200 company corporate HR and Talent Management position and started a career coaching practice; I talked to too many professionals who did not communicate their value in an effective, much less a compelling way, on their resumes, networking pitches, or in the interview. They may well have been more qualified than the final candidate, who ultimately was hired, but they just did not market them effectively and strategically. Continue reading
The Most Qualified Candidate is Hired
That is what you would expect, right? Shouldn’t the candidate with the most relevant education and experience be hired? In a perfect world – yes; however, many candidates do not convey their value in the job search process. That’s exactly what I help people to do in my career coaching practice.
- Do you know and communicate your strengths?
- Does your resume and linked in profile convey your most significant achievements?
- Are you able to provide examples to hiring managers of how you can transfer your past experience and knowledge to their organization?
- How well do you respond to the behavioral interview questions?
- Are you ready for the emotional intelligence-based interview questions?
Even If Not Hired, You Will Be Told Why Not
If you have been in the job market during the past few years, you have not been contacted unless chosen for the interview and or position. If you are not considered qualified, it is likely you will hear nothing from the organization. Even if you go through the multi-stepped interview process, possibly take time off from a current job, incurred the cost of childcare in order to interview, and complete background questionnaires, you may not hear anything unless chosen for the job. And it is even more likely that you will not hear anything from the recruiter or hiring manager about why you were not selected. Continue reading
And it is possible to find yours. Meet the Career Match Maker.
Cindy came to me, a burned out high school teacher of honors English students. First a lawyer, then teacher for 12 years, Cindy was practically in tears describing her frustration at still not finding a career that was just right for her. I reassured she was not alone and suggested the Myers Briggs Assessment as a starting point for me to help her with her Career Exploration. Using other career assessments, she identified her key career strengths and interests as well as her preferences. That was almost a year ago. Now, she is a communications specialist working for a large financial services company and is so happy because, as she says, “I am doing what I love to do, in an environment that is just right for me: learning new things, researching and I have just the right amount of people contact – not much.” I heard her giggle as she emphasized the last two words.
Then there is Rafael, who moved to the U.S. from Central America, where he worked as a financial analyst for his family business. When we first talked, he told me he needed help with his resume and linked in profile in order to find a job doing what he loves most – talking to people all day to help them solve problems. Rafael is now a successful real estate account broker for an upscale boutique realtor.
Both Cindy and Rafael’s career changes were made possible, in part, by one of the most popular personality assessments in the world: Myers Briggs or MBTI for short.
Even though the Myers Briggs assessment was not designed exclusively as a Career assessment, is it no surprise that if 1.5 million people take the Myers Briggs assessment each year, and many
Emotional Intelligence often is the “final” factor
If you are like most job seekers, when you read “strong people skills” and “strong technical skills” in a job posting, you may tend to gloss over the first to focus on selling your technical talent and experience to the prospective employer. In fact, we often refer to people skills as the “soft” skills and that sounds secondary to anything else we might possess. WRONG!
More and more companies hire for attitude because they have been burned when hiring purely for technical skills and knowledge. What seemed like a dream candidate turned out, occasionally, to be a problem employee who was not successful.
Hired or Not?
Organizations often use behavioral interview questions which are founded on Emotional Intelligence, referred to as the “Other Kind of Smart” like Harvey Deutschendorf and Daniel Goleman. The latter wrote a book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a year. Additionally, some companies use Continue reading
There’s a lot of talk about finding your life’s passion. Webinars and books abound but everyone has a different path to finding a career passion.
How about you?
Should you pursue your passion?
Do you KNOW your passion?
Are you experiencing the joy of using your strengths daily in your work and knowing the exhilaration that comes from knowing you are doing what you are meant to do?
For those of you who don’t relate, I understand. I didn’t truly discover what I was best at and what my passion was until 5 years ago, some twenty five years into a career that was successful by most peoples’ standards.
Nobody should wait that long.
And that’s why I do what I do as a career coach.
In discovering your best career options and what to do in your next career chapter, you need to answer these questions:
Entrepreneurs need similar marketing tools as job seekers.
I recently received a request from a successful business owner – a resume and professional bio. Since most of my clients are professionals seeking new career opportunities, I assumed she was
Even the Boss needs a resume
changing life directions and seeking a corporate position. Wrong. She shared that she was redefining her marketing strategy and had been asked, by potential investors, for her “credential documents.”
If you have your own business or considering a start up and you think “no more resumes – ever!” think again. Thinking you will never need to go through the grueling process of writing about your experiences and accomplishments? Continue reading
Another year is behind us and many of us look ahead to exciting changes in the new year. Typical resolutions are: “I will exercise more; I will lose ten pounds or I will finish my degree”.
New year – new career?
To those of you who respond “I want a new job or career direction in 2015” I’d ask you “Do you have a Career Plan?” The most common response I hear is “Well, no but that’s a good idea. Where do I start?”
Don’t fall victim to “Ghosts of Jobs Past” (sorry; I couldn’t help myself from making the correlation of past jobs to ghosts of Christmases past as in the Christmas Carol. Even though you may have not reached your career goals or have even had some negative career experiences, you can wipe the slate clean, just like Scrooge, and pursue a new life and, in this case, a new career.