May 28, 2010
Imagine that. According to a report from The Conference Board, only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. That means more than 1/2 of the working population spends the majority of their day dissatisfied. (I won’t even get started on the word “satisfied”.)
That’s really, really sad.
If you hate your job, leave.
That doesn’t mean you should get up, walk into your boss’s office and quit (unless you have the financial resources to do so), but you definitely should be taking the steps that will get you out of there- NOW.
I saw now so vehemently, because your next job must be one you love. No more wasting hours, days, months, years of your life on something that doesn’t make you happy. And- figuring out what that next job should be and how to get it could take more than a couple weeks.
If you’re not sure what to do to start the process, check out Forget the Parachute, Let Me Fly the Plane. All the tools you need to start down the road to career success are in there, from figuring out what your next career should be all the way through how to get it.
The sooner you start, the sooner you’re free. And more than satisfied.
April 26, 2010
I recently saw a post on twitter that referred back to an article on the AMA site about Peter Drucker’s teachings on personal growth. It is an older article, but it’s relevance is timeless. What stood out specifically was his statement about figure out your own uniqueness and applying it to both your personal and professional life.
Consider what’s unique about what you do, and in what areas you excel and contribute the most, both at work and outside of work. Focus on those strengths—your own core competencies—and find new ways to value and cultivate them. Odds are you can apply them to a variety of jobs, volunteer positions, and more.
Think about your life, both as it is now and where you’d like to be. Consider not just your work, but also your family, friends, interests, activities, and pursuits. Assess what’s working, what’s not, and what you might want to add or subtract to create more satisfaction and fulfillment.
This is one of the core ideas in Forget The Parachute, Let Me Fly The Plane. There is something you were meant to do, something at which you excel. There is a career out there that will fulfill you. You just have to figure out what it is.
Many people spend their lives wishing they were doing something that mattered, something that made them happy, something that made a difference, or any other number of somethings. Don’t spend your life wishing you were doing something else. Figure out what that something is, and start towards it today. There is no time like the present.
If you aren’t sure what career applies to your unique skills and characteristics, check out our e-book. The information and exercises are designed to set you on a path to career fulfillment.
April 14, 2010
Resumes seem to be on people’s minds a lot lately. It keeps coming up in conversations, not only from clients, but friends and family too.
One of the most common questions is “Is my resume really that important?”. My answer, it depends on the company and how you “got in” with the company, but in general, a strong yes. Regardless of if you are submitting your resume blindly or through a contact, it is a representation of you, your skills and background.
As an example- while Sarah, the Director of Sales, recommended you for the opening in Operations, it’s Sam, the head of Ops, and Pat, HR, who will actually see your resume. They like what Sarah had to say about you, but if you send them a resume that lacks relevant information, has typos, etc., it could hurt your chances of progressing. You want to come across as professional and capable as possible. Every piece of communication should relay why you are the person they need- from your phone calls, to your emails, to your resume, and on through the interview process.
There are a few things to pay attention to when writing your resume, and we’ve put together a list of the top 10 to help you get through the madness of creating/editing your resume.
It’s free, so go ahead and check it out!
April 9, 2010
A few months ago I met someone who asked me about my career. I talked about the Connected Career and described our goal- to help people figure out their dream career and how to get it.
I had barely finished my sentence when he asked me to help him get a job.
Here is how the conversation unfolded:
Stranger: So, can you help me get a job?
Me: I can help you figure out how to get the job you really want. What do you want to do?
Me: I’m sorry, that’s too broad. What do you enjoy? What have you enjoyed in the past or even something you’ve always wanted to try?
Stranger: Too many questions, I just want a job.
Me: How about you at least tell me your skillsets.
Stranger: I don’t know. Nothing comes to mind.
Me: If you don’t know what you want to do, what interests you or what your skillsets are, how do you plan on finding a job?
Stranger: Isn’t that what you do?
While this conversation was an extreme version of what we often hear, it is relatively common to hear of people wanting a change, wanting something different, but not knowing what that something looks like. And for that reason, we wrote “Forget the Parachute, Let Me Fly The Plane”.
Figuring out what you really, really, really want to do, are meant to do, doesn’t always come easy. Having a guide to help you through the process can take you out of what you know and push you. A little bit or a lot.
March 24, 2010
If you applied for a job with me and I Goggled you, what would I find?
Do you have a blog linked to your name that shows me all your brilliant thoughts? Or perhaps you blog about your personal relationship drama?
Are you on Twitter? Do you share interesting thoughts, or do you talk about how much you drank last weekend?
If I look you up on Facebook, will I be able to see all your photos and posts? If so, what will they tell me about you?
What is your online presence? Do you know what’s visible? Are you proud of what is visible?
If not, go look.
The way you present yourself to the world could play a big role in the perception people have of you, whether fair or not. Not just for hiring managers, but even your network, your past, present and future co-workers and any other professional contacts you have.
Again, take a look. Set up a Google Alert even. But pay attention to how you allow yourself to be presented online and edit where needed.
March 21, 2010
I recently had someone contact me about how to get into a company I used to work with. They tracked me down online and sent a very professional email explaining how they found me, why they wanted to work at the company and very politely solicited my advice.
I replied the same day with advice and an offer to review their resume, even though I was swamped with work.
Because this person obviously put the time and effort into trying to figure out who to go to for advice for what they considered their dream job. In addition, they put the same time and effort into crafting an email that was professional, respectful and attention grabbing. For all that effort, I felt they deserved my time.
Sometimes you never know who can help you until you reach out. And when you reach out, make sure that the effort you are putting into the communication is equivalent to what it is you are asking for in return.
September 29, 2009
There is a lot of information online about potential interview questions, but not as much about “no no” topics and comments. Given that, we thought it would be helpful to have a “What NOT to talk about in an interview” list.
Below are some examples of topics to refrain from discussing. To some, they may be common sense, to some a surprise. To all, take note.
- You were fired from your last job for violating the NDA, but who cares, NDAs don’t matter
- How much you enjoy drinking on the job
- You are planning on moving out of the country in the near future
- You’ll sue anyone if they make you angry
- You really need a job, any job
- You beg for the job
- You ask if you can wear pajamas to work
- You got in a fistfight with a co-worker who disagreed with you
- You discuss your previous boss’s personal problems
- You discuss your religion and ask the interviewer to come to your church
- You don’t have references because you never got along with anyone at any job
June 30, 2009
“Excellent Attention to etail”
That is what I thought when I read this line in the “Top Skills” section of a resume. Then I laughed at the irony of the only typo on the document.
Do I believe this candidate has excellent attention to detail? No. Will I contact this candidate? Probably not (only if other skills seriously outweigh the oversight).
There are 2 reasons for this. One, the simple fact the word was a typo tells me this person does NOT have excellent attention to detail, and I have the proof in black and white. There could not have been a worse place in the resume the candidate could have neglected. Second, the resume was sent as a Word doc. “etail” came up as a typo when I opened it, and had the sender spent a few seconds doing spell-check (or paying attention to the red underlines), it would have been corrected.
Going back to whether or not I would contact this candidate based on the typo, my concern would be that other highlighted skills are as real as the attention to detail claim.
If you are sending out your resume to prospective employers, always, always, always run spell-check. If you are making claims of excellent, be sure that the content in your resume supports those claims.
April 29, 2009
While networking and referrals are the best way to get a job, resumes and cover letters are still an important part of the process. Too often, applicants put little effort into creating anything of value. So, candidates, here is a quick overview of what you need to know.
Think about it this way- we all have heard how important first impressions are when meeting someone. Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager or HR person has of you. What does it say about you? What on your resume draws the reader in, making him/her want to read further- or better yet, contact you?
Think about this next time you revise your resume.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Gear the resume towards the job description and company. Highlight experiences and successes that directly relate. Yes, it takes more time, but if you want the job, put in the effort!
- If you only have 1-2 jobs, add in relevant hobbies, memberships, anything that enhances your value.
- Spell check.
- You don’t have to include every single job, but make sure to include relevant ones.
And when you’re done with that…there’s a bit more.
There is another part to the resume submission process that is vital and that is your cover letter. It could be a separate Word document, or it could be an email. Whichever way you go, just make sure to include it.
A cover letter gives you another chance to WOW your reader- to show why he/she should call you immediately! Instead of listing your successes, tie them into the position. If you achieved high sales numbers at another company, explain how your process/skills will help you reach the same success at the new company. If your super skills in marketing lead to a 1000% increase in sales leads, let the reader know how what you did once, you can do again- for them. Personalize it to the company.
Some passion is better than no passion. Find something about the position that excites you and use it in your cover letter. If you have a passion for the product, let it shine through. If you absolutely love project management (and it relates to the position) tell the reader why.
So, put some thought and real effort into your resume and cover letter, throw in a liberal helping of passion, and see where it can take you!