Archive for May 2012

Gratitude, Posi…   Leave a comment

Gratitude, Positivity and Success

 

 

 

“It’s all in your perception. If you see your tasks in life as drudgery, then they are drudgery. On the other hand, if you see them as gifts of the Universe manifest through you, then your tasks are done in the spirit of love and generosity. You step out of your ordinary life and make it extraordinary. Little by little, you realize that your life truly makes a difference and you are filled with a wondrous sense of gratitude and abundant flow. A heavenly feeling, indeed!

Yes, it’s all in your perception.”

—Susan Jeffers

 

Posted May 24, 2012 by mikaljackson in Uncategorized

HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY DURING AN INTERVIEW!   Leave a comment

Not everything you present in the job interview must come directly from your work experience. Sometimes a great story and a great skill springs from your personal life.
The trick is to choose the right attribute – and then present it well, so that it seems relevant to success at the job you’re seeking, said Marc Cenedella, founder & chief executive of The Ladders, an executive job-matching site.

“What one or two things do you do outside work that you can package that demonstrate an attribute for the job you want?” asked Cenedella. “You want things that underline the narrative to show you’re going to do well” in the new position.
First determine what attributes you will need to demonstrate. Take a close look at the job description and the organization. Most jobs really depend on four to six key skills – for managers it might be financial management, analytical skills, leadership, people skills, change management – as the most important ones, Cenedella said.
Sometimes the key skills are obvious; but in times of great change at the organization or in the economy, it pays to ask the HR manager or recruiter what traits are most prized and sought after in this search, he suggested. Come right out and ask: “What are the three most important things to succeed in this job?”
That list could serve as a map into the new job. If the job requires an ability to win under any circumstances, you may be able to demonstrate that by telling how as captain of the local softball team, you lost two key players and still managed to make it to the finals. If the job requires adaptability and constant learning, your travels to 100 countries, and visiting lesser known cities – then blogging about it – will provide excellent examples, he said.
“What are you showcasing?…. It’s not a social call. It’s not about making new friends. Everything is about getting more offers and getting into the new seat” at a new job. It’s your job to carefully select the stories that match up with that attributes list.
Then you must fit the right personal successes – as a volunteer or board member, a parent or an event planner – into a compelling, but concise story. Don’t ramble on about the soccer team or the school carnival; focus on what you did and how it developed or showcased your talents. Make sure you frame the story from your personal life into the context of how it will help your future employer, and how it will improve your success.
Even if you have a lot of volunteer or personal experience and expertise, Cenedella suggests that you need to limit yourself to one good story and attribute from that arena. Most of your examples need to come from your professional life, he said.
Whatever stories you tell need to resonate and feel relevant. Consider them illustrations to the main points: I have demonstrated these key skills and I would be a great addition to your team.

Posted May 16, 2012 by mikaljackson in Uncategorized

HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY DURING AN INTERVIEW!   Leave a comment

Not everything you present in the job interview must come directly from your work experience. Sometimes a great story and a great skill springs from your personal life.
The trick is to choose the right attribute – and then present it well, so that it seems relevant to success at the job you’re seeking, said Marc Cenedella, founder & chief executive of The Ladders, an executive job-matching site.

“What one or two things do you do outside work that you can package that demonstrate an attribute for the job you want?” asked Cenedella. “You want things that underline the narrative to show you’re going to do well” in the new position.
First determine what attributes you will need to demonstrate. Take a close look at the job description and the organization. Most jobs really depend on four to six key skills – for managers it might be financial management, analytical skills, leadership, people skills, change management – as the most important ones, Cenedella said.
Sometimes the key skills are obvious; but in times of great change at the organization or in the economy, it pays to ask the HR manager or recruiter what traits are most prized and sought after in this search, he suggested. Come right out and ask: “What are the three most important things to succeed in this job?”
That list could serve as a map into the new job. If the job requires an ability to win under any circumstances, you may be able to demonstrate that by telling how as captain of the local softball team, you lost two key players and still managed to make it to the finals. If the job requires adaptability and constant learning, your travels to 100 countries, and visiting lesser known cities – then blogging about it – will provide excellent examples, he said.
“What are you showcasing?…. It’s not a social call. It’s not about making new friends. Everything is about getting more offers and getting into the new seat” at a new job. It’s your job to carefully select the stories that match up with that attributes list.
Then you must fit the right personal successes – as a volunteer or board member, a parent or an event planner – into a compelling, but concise story. Don’t ramble on about the soccer team or the school carnival; focus on what you did and how it developed or showcased your talents. Make sure you frame the story from your personal life into the context of how it will help your future employer, and how it will improve your success.
Even if you have a lot of volunteer or personal experience and expertise, Cenedella suggests that you need to limit yourself to one good story and attribute from that arena. Most of your examples need to come from your professional life, he said.
Whatever stories you tell need to resonate and feel relevant. Consider them illustrations to the main points: I have demonstrated these key skills and I would be a great addition to your team.

Posted May 16, 2012 by mikaljackson in Uncategorized

LIFE AFTER A LAY-OFF (REDUCTION IN FORCE)   Leave a comment

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What happened? One day you were working and the next day you were ushered out with a pink slip. What do you do now? Does looking for another position in today’s economy overwhelm you? What can you do to ensure future job security?

For a company undergoing restructuring, a layoff is like pruning a tree to stimulate its growth. For you, the downsized employee, a layoff is an involuntary life-altering event. How you cope with it will impact your future employment experiences. Even if you are lucky to get outplacement services, mastery of certain core competencies is a must. To boost layoff recovery, become an expert in the key actions of Connect, Clarify and Commit. To get ahead of the curve, hire an expert like a Career Coach to personally guide you.

Connection

Connection consists of: 1) connecting with yourself, 2) connecting with a career support team, and, of course, 3) connecting with hiring authorities. Let’s briefly explore these action steps.

A layoff can be a traumatic experience – in many ways similar to a loved one’s death or perhaps a divorce. It is critical to get in touch with your feelings. Let yourself experience the stages of grief (including the pain) as so aptly explained by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her book, “On Death and Dying.” These stages include shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Although you may feel emotions sparked by these stages at any time during the layoff healing process, most individuals will need to go through all six stages to achieve a healthy perspective about re-entering the workplace.

Recovering from layoff shock can be a lonely process, so assemble a career support team to act as your personal advisory board. This team should include your Career Coach, a trusted and qualified professional who will support your efforts to discover where you can improve, what you want to change, and how to optimize your job search for re-employment success. Who else belongs on this team? Family, friends and colleagues…some, perhaps, experiencing a layoff, too. A note of caution: the purpose of a support team is one of positive energy and forward movement, not an ongoing “pity party” – so choose your support team members wisely!

As you move forward, hiring authorities will become your connection focus. Interviews, and how to get them, will become your main goal. This is where preparation becomes critical. Know your work history inside out. Develop an articulate way to verbalize your accomplishments and how they added value to your past employer’s bottom line. Practice your personal “unique selling proposition” or 30-second commercial to use in networking situations, telephone interviews and face-to-face meetings. Role-play interview situations with your Career Coach to acquire a comfort-level in telling your “stories” to potential employers.

Clarification

What must be clarified as part of your reemployment process? A layoff offers you time to examine your career history, career path and career goals. Are your values in alignment with your career? Values may be personal, spiritual or professional in nature. If they are out of sync, career satisfaction will elude you. A lot has been said recently about values, or lack of, in the workplace. Only when your values mesh with your company’s culture will you be happy. Only when you find a way to work your passion will you jump out of bed in the morning with an “I can’t wait to get to work” attitude.

Not only review your values, but also evaluate your skills and interests. With assistance from a Career Coach, access assessments to explore possible shifts in your career direction. Don’t assume that just because you have worked in the same industry for the past 10 or 15 years you are stuck there. (Career Coach note: I left a 12-year career to begin another in the career management field where I have been working my passion for the past 17 years.)

Examine your educational background…what would you have to do to brush up on stale skills or retrain for a new field? What interests do you have that could be transformed into a rewarding career? Let curiosity, not fear, motivate your exploration. We live in an ever-changing world where companies struggle to maintain profitability. They seek employees who embrace change and drive innovation. We’re never too old to learn new things. In fact, learning is a lifelong process. What knowledge areas do you want to expand? How can you lead the cutting-edge of innovation? (Career Coach note: Is now the right time to explore starting your own business?)

Discover where your career values, interests and skills merge, then filter them through business reality…the final clarification prior to launching a career change. Now, and only now, are you ready to write your resume. Your resume must be PERFECT! It will be your primary marketing tool used to get interviews. It will be your brochure, your calling card; it will make your first impression for you. Even if you are a good writer, you may be too close to your own situation to do justice to your resume. Hire a professional resume writer/coach who knows how to position you on paper.

Commitment

Finally, create your action plan and commit to working it. Research companies and job leads, network in professional circles (85% of all positions are secured through networking), develop a system for posting to the job boards and track your results, and use your Career Coach to keep you on course. Now is NOT the time to take a vacation!

Maintain a positive attitude by accepting the past as past; learn from it and let it go! Realize that the job search process in a numbers game…you will have to collect your set of “no’s” to get a “yes.” Above all else, be true to yourself. Don’t accept just any job offer or you will be searching again soon, a victim of the “rebound” syndrome. Remember, job security comes from within you. No one owes you a job…you’ve learned that lesson, right? Develop a “brand me” approach to your career with you as your own most important product. Then, success will become yours!

 

Posted May 11, 2012 by mikaljackson in Uncategorized

How To Restart A Stalled Job Search Effort!   Leave a comment

A recent study shows the average job seeker gives up looking for work after five months. Meanwhile, the length of time it takes to find work in the US is currently hovering at more than seven months. If you’ve been looking for a job for a while, the evidence suggests now is not the time to quit. And yet, nothing feels as depressing as a stalled job search, right? Well, good news, the following technique can help.

It’s Time for a Little “Disruptive Innovation” (a.k.a. Stop Looking for a Job!)

The answer to jump-starting a stalled job search is to actually stop looking for a job. That’s right. Stop looking for a job – and start looking for a problem to solve. The fancy term for this technique is “disruptive innovation.” Wikipedia describes it as “an innovation that helps create a new market and value network.” I call it the common sense approach to finding work in an insanely competitive job market.

Here’s how it works:
  1. Identify a problem you are exceptional at solving in the workplace — something you excel at that in today’s market can save and/or make a company enough money to justify your salary.
  2. Create a list of all the companies in your commutable area that need this type of problem solved.
  3. Find people who work at each company and contact them to learn more about how the company is currently solving (or, hopefully), not solving the problem.
  4. Confirm the best way to stay in touch with the company in the event the need to hire someone with your problem-solving ability arises.
Why it Works

Looking for a job feels like begging. Nobody likes to beg. Looking for a problem to solve feels needed. Everyone likes to feel needed. This simple shift in approach takes us from acting desperate to acting responsible. Moreover, it not only makes us feel better, it sends a more effective message too. Here’s how:

Meet Ella: Former Stalled Job Seeker…Newly Employed Problem-solver

Ella came to me after being out of work nine months. Her job search had left her confidence shot, and she was seriously questioning her professional self-worth. A quick assessment of her skills and strengths determined her specialty was vendor research. She had a series of professional accomplishments that all involved doing heavy research on potential vendors for her employer and then presenting the findings in a way that helped the management team choose the best option. She could even point to examples where her research helped the employers realize some significant cost savings.

With this information, I challenged Ella to find every company in a 30 mile radius from her home that was large enough to need someone to evaluate vendors as a way to save them money. Ella used LinkedIn and her city’s Chamber of Commerce to come up with a list of 43 companies.

I then had her research each one and choose the top 10 she’d want to work for most, citing specifically what was most impressive about the way they conducted business that earned them a spot on her list. She used that targeted list (also known as an Interview Bucket List), to reach out to folks that currently worked there. What was her reason for contacting them? She wanted to know how they were handling vendor evaluation on an on-going basis to ensure the company was maximizing its savings. Ella quickly learned that by connecting with these folks from a problem-solver point-of-view, she was seen as a potential expert resource, not a desperate job seeker.

3 Informational Interviews, 2 Job Offers, 1 Happy Ella

Ella turned her Interview Bucket List outreach into a series of informational interviews with people working at those companies that lead to her being formally interviewed by two companies. Both companies ended up offering her a job. Ella chose the one that had the greatest need for her problem-solving skills. In her own words, “I’ll be even more valuable to them and they won’t want to lose me. ” Spoken like a true expert!

Disruptive innovation in job search boils down to one thing: Changing your approach to the problem. Try the steps above and you could just find some employers in need of your problem-solving abilities.

Posted May 3, 2012 by mikaljackson in Uncategorized