What a great video to wrap up your week with! There are some fantastic statistics and insights here in regards to how essential networking is to one’s career, specifically that of a woman.
Let me know your thoughts on the video, and have a happy Easter weekend!
When it comes to networking a lot of people in the Career Coaching, career counseling and HR world can get pretty bogged down in semantics.
It’s specifically easy for us to debate the nuances of networking, because that word has such a negative connotation to so many people.
They see networking as insincere and self serving. And therefore articles like this one suggest you become a “connector” instead of a “networker.” Now, I’m not dismissing the article. Quite the opposite. I think the ideas in it are fantastic, and if considering yourself a connector instead of a person out there networking helps you pursue making the right contacts for the right reasons, I’m all for it!
The point I’m making is this: “Networking” shouldn’t be a bad word. When done the right way, it’s authentic, valuable, and supportive of others as much if not more than oneself – just as the “connector” article suggests.
I recently came across this very interesting Q&A in the Boston Globe:
Q. I am over 40 and work in a female-dominated field. I can’t even get an interview; younger female candidates get hired for jobs. I have years of experience and lose out to people with a fraction of my experience. What can I do besides getting a face lift and a sex change?
She’s obviously not the first person to have this question. We all have our own circumstances that we feel we can’t get out of.
Just as she feels her age is too old, there are many others who feel their younger age keeps them from jobs they can take on.
Others feel confined by their salary requirements.
Some feel the biggest impact when they try to shift gears into a new career and their resume doesn’t support the move.
So what can you do? You can stop worrying about what you can’t control and start focusing on what you can.
I love the response that was given in the article. This often starts with asking questions and probing on the reasons why you weren’t selected for a certain job vs. throwing a pity party.
I especially loved this piece of advice:
Instead of speculating, your focus should be to control what you can control, by gathering real feedback and information and committing to becoming the best job seeker you can. When someone tells you that you are not qualified for a specific role, you can say, “I am disappointed to hear that you don’t think I am qualified for this role. Can you tell me more about the skills you see that I have and the level you would need for this role?” Continue to probe if you can, especially if you are getting information that you can put to use.
What other advice would YOU give to the person asking this question?
They have mastered and developed poise and a presence, a secure confidence in themselves, but not arrogance.
Most people think this is just something you’re born with. But it’s not. There’s a way for everyone to achieve this sense of self, specifically within the context of your career.
But the answer isn’t found in making small resume edits, or any other job-hunting methods that, in the end, fail to empower you.
You need a roadmap.
As a Career Coach, my job enables me to work with people beyond “tips and pointers” on how to nail a job interview. People often ask what I do as a Career Coach, and providing this road map is the answer. In fact, I’ve developed a system that would help you take control of your career and transform you into a magnetic applicant that employers scramble to find a place for in their organization.
It’s the basis of my booklet, From Roadkill to Roadmap.
The 8 steps outlined in this booklet are critical. They’re all about creating an attraction – you! Plus, if you get behind the wheel and put your career in drive, these steps will help you avoid taking detours that are costly and waste time you can’t afford to lose.
If you’re one of the many people out there who’s looking for help, but isn’t sure you’re ready to dive into Career Coaching yet, check out the booklet. I think you’ll be inspired in reaching your ultimate career destination.
It’s one of the “basic” questions I get asked all the time – but when it comes to understanding how persistent you should be in following up after a job interview or good phone meeting, the answer is anything BUT basic.
It’s a fine line. If you don’t follow up enough and you may look like you don’t want the job as much as others. If you look over eager (multiple calls, emails, handwritten notes, etc.), then you may annoy the hiring decision maker and cut yourself out of contention.
I like the point-of-view Kimberly Thompson provides in this Houston Chronicle article. She writes:
Hiring managers are interested in good candidates and no doubt want to hire those who have a strong combination of skills and passion for the job. The challenge most job candidates face is the lack of communication between having a great discussion with an employer and the next steps.
As a job candidate you can stay in touch by sending an email a couple of times, one of which might be sending an example of your work or project that relates to the discussion you had with the manager. Leaving messages to support your emails doesn’t hurt, but use good etiquette.
So what does “good etiquette” mean? Put yourself in the hiring decision maker’s shoes. If you have received an email and a follow up call, and you continue getting emails and calls, wouldn’t you be annoyed? Gauge it based on a normal amount of time. But I woulddefinitely suggest no more than two contacts per week.
How about you? What do you think “the magic number” is?
None of us like to think about the fact that our job search may not progress as quickly as we think it will.
But the truth is that no matter how good of a networker we may be, we’re living in urgent times. That’s why you must have an A, B, C Plan.
Ask yourself, “Do I have a plan if I don’t find a new job as quickly as I expect?”
Sometimes people come to me way too late in the game. They’re about to lose their houses, they’ve resorted to cashing in retirement plans, and they ask me what they should do now. The sad truth is that they should’ve thought that through earlier. That’s why I urge all of my career coaching clients to set up a timeline that then drives their A, B, C plan. How long can you last before getting a solid outcome? Here’s an example:
A Plan: Transition from career to career.
B Plan: Part time work until I land the career I want or the education I need.
C Plan: Sell my home, lower my expenses and start over.
How many of you have experienced a long career search with or without a plan like this?