Archive for December, 2011
Free Book: Win The Interview, Get The Job
Friday, December 30th, 2011
Author Bill Burnett is giving away free copies of “The Peak Interview: New Insights into Winning the Interview and Getting the Job” in the Kindle format. You can be read it on any PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet with the free Kindle app. But you have to act fast, the offer is only good until the end of year.
Get your copy now on Amazon absolutely free and don’t forget to tell a friend!
‘Tis The Season To Give!
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
We’ve all heard this before – but what usually comes to mind is buying presents for family or making donations to charity. Here’s a new gift to pass on: giving job leads and career support!
It’s worth keeping up with your job search despite the slow time of year (see Keep Your Job Search Going Through The Holiday Months, for more on this topic). However, if you’re not finding much that’s a fit for you, consider looking beyond these opportunities. Have you gotten a call from a recruiter for a job that doesn’t meet your qualifications? Did you see an ad for a company you’d like to work for though the open position isn’t a fit? It’s easy to discount these opportunities once we realize they don’t benefit us.
However, I advise you to pass it on! Not only will people be grateful to receive a lead, you’ll be cultivating your network at the same time. And, though it’s a cliché, you’ll often find that this generosity will come back to you. Some ideas:
1) If you get a call from a recruiter, don’t write them off if you don’t fit their position. Check your database and see if there’s anyone you can recommend. You’ll build goodwill with the headhunter, too, and be remembered for future opportunities!
2) When checking your dream company’s open positions, you may be disappointed to find out that there isn’t anything that matches your qualifications. Still, see what else is listed – you may actually be gaining an internal contact by recommending someone else for an open job!
3) Pass on more than just leads: whether interesting articles, industry events, or even just an introduction to an industry colleague, share!
Of course, ‘tis ALWAYS the season for giving. Don’t limit this practice to the holiday months!
Picture: Christmas Warmth, by somadjinn
Finding Joy At The Holidays
Friday, December 23rd, 2011
This is a rough time of year to be under-employed or out of work. You may be short on cash and not able to buy the gifts you’d like to buy, travel to see family and friends, or take time-off your temp job to get some rest.
I know, I’ve been there. And I’m not going to lie, it sucks. Big time.
If you’re feeling blue*, acknowledge it. It’s a real, honest human reaction to tough times, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. We all get blue sometimes. When I get blue I find writing helps. I might start a Wish List of my dreams and goals. Just realizing I still have some fire in my belly perks me up. Or I might write a Gratitude List where I jot down every thing, person, and place that I’m grateful for – once I start writing, I often can’t stop! Another trick up my sleeve when I’m feeling down is to listen to music. LOUDLY. Meditation works for some, exercise works for others.
The point is, take action. Do something to flip the switch from down to delighted! If you have a trick that helps you get your jolly back, take a minute and share it here – you just may help someone else find their smile.
As the New Year approaches I find yourself reflecting on the year just past and also the year ahead. I encourage you to focus on what went well, and paint a vivid picture for an even better 2012.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or simply the onset of winter, may you feel peace, joy and hope at this very special time of year.
* If you’re feeling seriously blue, please know that help is available; you must be brave and ask for it.
Inspiration: Take The Shot
Monday, December 19th, 2011
Wayne Gretzky, the former professional ice hockey player and head coach, was nicknamed The Great One. He is arguably regarded as the single best player in NHL history and his jersey number, 99, has been retired from the league.
I had the pleasure of meeting Wayne many years ago when I was staffing a fundraiser and he was volunteering hi celebrity status for the cause. He is unassuming, quick to laugh, and even quicker to smile. Wayne has many powerful quotes attributed to his name but as we wind down 2011 and look ahead to 2012, this one seems to resonate with me the most:
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
What shots will you take in 2012? Which ones will you let slide right on by? I’m going through some rigorous business planning for the coming year and I’m asking myself these very same questions. Will I cross the center line, go to where I think the puck is going to be, and take the shot? Or will I play it safe, stay in my zone of comfort, and watch others achieve what I dream for myself?
There are more unemployed people than there are jobs – this we know. But no one finds a job, let alone the job of their dreams, playing it safe. Take the shot. And when you hear the crowd roar, you’ll know that we’re here, cheering you on from the sidelines.
Work Your Network!
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
By now, you’ve probably heard how important networking is to your career. You may even attend industry-specific networking events, speed-networking meetings, or get virtually introduced to new contacts by mutual connections. This is all great, but – what do you do AFTER you’ve met someone?
Networking contacts come in handy in the most mysterious ways. The person with an “in” at your target company may be someone you haven’t spoken to in 3 years – despite the fact that you’re connected on LinkedIn. If you’re an avid networker, the sheer size of your database may make you feel it’s impossible to stay in touch with everyone you’ve met. This isn’t necessarily true.
The key is staying in touch. This doesn’t mean dinner every month, just a brief “touch” to staying on someone’s radar. Of course, there will be other relationships you’ll want to spend more time nurturing. However, you can keep in contact with most people in your network fairly quickly and easily. For example:
1) Remember birthdays: It takes about 10 seconds to wish someone a happy birthday online, and Facebook even provides you with an alert. It’s a quick way to stay on someone’s radar AND brighten their day!
2) Offer congratulations on promotions: Same goes for job changes. LinkedIn sends a weekly update to members, with the career moves of those in their networks. Another 10 second interaction that will put a smile on someone’s face AND remind them about you!
3) Remember REAP: This acronym – Read, Events, Advice, People – suggests things you can either offer your contacts or ask of them. For example: “I met someone I think you’d find to be a valuable contact (the “P” in REAP). Would you be open to an introduction?” You’re adding value and building a relationship at the same time.
It really only has to take a few minutes each day to maintain your network – but a lot longer to build one from scratch. Cultivate the relationships you already have, and you’ll be more than prepared when opportunities arise!
Picture: chairs & coffee, by Murielle
New LinkedIn Feature Showcases Volunteer Work
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Volunteering in your industry is one of the best ways to enrich your resume and advance your career. While some people think of volunteering as a chore, savvy career climbers know that the rewards far outweigh the effort. I personally am serving my sixth year of the Chicago Board of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and my first year on the Chicago Board of the Business Marketing Association (BMA.) I also volunteer for the AMA International and serve on the Membership Committee of The Metropolitan Club. The rewards include:
- Meeting like-minded peers in my backyard
- Gaining access to hiring decision makers
- Growing my network of industry leaders around the country
- Learning about new advances in my field
- Practicing my networking skills at events
- Giving back to my community
Plus recent studies show that 4 out of 10 hiring managers consider volunteer experience to be as valuable as paid experience. And now LinkedIn, arguably the world’s most professional social network, has introduced a new section for you to showcase your volunteer experience on your public profile.
I just updated my own profile and it took less than five minutes. If you’re an active volunteer, don’t miss this opportunity to let recruiters and hiring managers see your commitment to your profession – update your profile today!
Job Success Spotlight: Kathryn Janicek
Monday, December 5th, 2011
Picture it: 2008, during one of the lowest points of the recession. Kathryn Janicek had quit her job in Minnesota to move to Chicago. Though she had grown up in the area, she had been away for more than 14 years and had only a small local network–with very few of those in the highly competitive television industry.
Fast-forward 6 months. Kathryn bought a condo in Chicago, rented out her place in Minnesota (despite an extremely dismal housing and rental market), and got hired as supervising news producer at WGN-TV in Chicago. How did she do this? Two words: social networking. Read on for some of Kathryn’s tips on how she used Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find a great job in a city where she wasn’t even living:
1) She built a network FAST: By getting heavily involved with the three main social media sites, Kathryn quickly established industry connections in Chicago. Building a network this fast and from a different location simply would not have happened without these tools.
2) She reconnected with former colleagues: Kathryn was able to locate people she used to work with and put the word out that she was looking. This resulted in a friend calling the WGN hiring manager on her behalf – leading to an interview and ultimately an offer.
3) She created a strong brand: Proud to be from Chicago, Kathryn promotes the city at every opportunity. As one aspect of her brand, she’s seen as someone up to date on area activities – a strong selling point for Chicago news outlets looking for local stories.
It’s no question that social media helped Kathryn’s career, and she recommends staying conscious of the purpose of each site (i.e. LinkedIn is more professional than Facebook). This can help job seekers maintain a positive presence and also make the most of each network.
Kathryn Janicek is currently NBC-Chicago’s daypart manager/executive producer.