Did you say OTHER Job Market?

Your Career CompassIn every marketplace, there are buyers and sellers.  In the traditional job market, the one that our Department of Labor measures for us, job seekers are the sellers and their potential employers are the buyers.  The commodity is productive work and the competition is fierce.

It doesn’t matter if you are an operations manager, an internal HR professional, senior finance executive, or a key player on the IT team—ANY experienced and valued professional job seeker—ALL want to become a valued partner in the business of their next employer.


Thursday, August 18th… Embracing The OTHER Job Market, our introductory and overview session in which we discuss the entire 12-step M.A.P. and The Pilot’s basic assumptions and philosophies of career transition.  New-comers and tire-kickers welcome!


Pilot OnboardEveryone wants a voice in strategic decisions and to be included in ‘the conversation.’ To truly be included, you need to be invited. And you will only be invited if you are seen as absolutely essential to the TEAM.  Remember, team player and team leader CAN BE interchangeable terms.

In the OTHER Job Market, buyers and sellers hold equal responsibility for the recruitment process.  When employers have a need for someone to fulfill a specific role, often the most desired candidates are employed individuals with the credentials they seek.  Thus the employer must sell their Company to potential employees in the marketplace in order to attract the best of the lot.  Once identified, they simply select their choice and buy their services.

On the other hand, if an individual is under-employed, seeking a change, or actually unemployed, they must be visible to potential employers who are seeking their services.  Creating this visibility is strategic, personal market planning and execution—in can be marketability without rejection!

Personal Marketing is a contact sport.

The Evolution of a JOB…

NEED IDENTIFIED

 

Replacement jobs often redefined. No definition to a new need. No competition
WORK ANTICIPATED

 

Discussion leads to decisions  on JOB definition Often job parameters are set based on market feedback
JOB REQUISTION WRITTEN AND APPROVED

 

Job Requirements must be defined… expectations creep into the recruitment process Int candidates often get priority in employment process
JOB is “open”

 

Job Requirements are often refined based on market feedback Int and ext candidates compete for the same jobs
JOB is published

 

Job requirements and qualifications define the screening process MAX competition!!

The “First Wave” of Networking Activity

fourth-of-july-fly-overFirst and foremost, enjoy the long Holiday weekend!  Our freedom has never been free, nor has our independence been shaken.

Your Career Compass

Job search does not happen in a digital vacuum.

I have long suggested that steps one and two of our 12-step Process M.A.P. give us all the ingredients we need to “get in the galley” and cook up a three course meal of our personal marketing collateral materials.  Most job seekers seem to prefer starting with a resume, so that they can begin simply applying to any job that seems remotely close to what they can do…


Thursday, July 7th… Implementing your PMP: The ‘First Wave’ and beyond


Pilot OnboardI encourage you to work with all your ingredients at the same time…if your desired result is a nice prime rib dinner, don’t start with the meat—start with the seasonings and vegetables, even get your dessert started…

Because that “meaty” resume is the easiest and quickest of what you need to prepare!

So…job seeking ‘chefs,’ let’s look at the ingredients that you have identified through assessment of your galley shelves, and your dinner of choice.

You have learned in earlier sessions that the key to the whole notion of productive and efficient networking is to generate INTERACTIVE communication, the initial basis of relationship building!  When involved with active job search, part of our preparation is to develop our set of Personal Marketing collateral materials, the vehicles by which we deliver our “story.”   We season our job search performance by building confidence in that story through practice and research.

Ah, and finally our just desserts… the CAREER pay-off is the network we build through the focus of targeting and the management of our contacts.

Networking is a contact sport!

The ‘FIRST Wave’

Your purpose in this ‘first wave’ of networking is to gain information, advice, and most importantly names of other individuals you can call.  You can create INTERACTIVE communication with NO rejection!  The lifeline of networking is to always get more ‘contacts.’ So, be sure to ask each person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.

Make networking calls in a block of time. Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive.  By starting with people you already know, or have a reason to know, you will be gaining confidence with every conversation!

THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND A SUCCESSFUL JOB SEARCH ARE ALWAYS THE SAME: the search process itself is time consuming work, and the more productive time you spend on your job search the more interviews and job offers you will generate.

So the question at this point is “Where do you find out about job openings and on which avenues of job search should you spend the most time?”

 THE BEST (And Worst) OF BOTH WORLDS

Technology has done a terrific job of consolidating posted job leads. Web crawling software can reach out and consolidate classified ads, recruitment posts and company posted job opportunities. We know these consolidated sites as Internet Job Banks… and some of them contain a huge amount of postings.

Unfortunately, their very size makes it challenging to stay current and eliminate redundancy. Also unfortunate is the fact that these very same job banks have consolidated your competition and rejection from Corporate America. This is not even mentioning that Corporate America is also missing it’s goal of better qualified resumes to fuel its recruitment effort… they’re simply getting MORE resumes to process!

Solution? Use the Job Banks to generate your most attractive leads, then network your way into those targeted organizations.  This is getting the most from your use of technology instead of being abused by it!

 

Networking Wave#2: Targeting Attractive Organizations

Your Career CompassTurning Opportunities In To Interviews… This topic represents what most people call ‘active job search, but, as you can learn, the HOW –TO is what creates your success in networking. It professes strategies and tactics that will generate more effective networking.  In your ‘first wave’ of networking you had the opportunity to:

  1. Reconnect with people you already know or have cause to know…
  2. In a non-threatening environment, confirm your positioning and get valuable input to your assessment and objective setting…
  3. Broaden your networking base, and gaining confidence in the process–a neat by-product that will serve you well for the rest of your career…
  4. Identify attractive opportunities, and targeted organization!

Thursday, May 5th… Turning Opportunities into INTERVIEWS:  Representing your ‘second wave’ of networking IN TO an organization


Pilot OnboardYou’ll be the first to know when you’re ready for ‘wave 2’ of networking… which, simply put, is networking your way in to attractive opportunities.  You will focus your activity and time management to the business of creating INTERACTIVE COMMUNICATION with employees, customers, and vendors–the “stakeholders”– within and surrounding any targeted organization.

THE BASICS

So what are those basics that will allow you to effectively network to identify appropriate opportunities, and then secure the requisite INTERVIEWS in order to “close the deal?”

  1. Practice your two minute drill every chance you get…. it’s the fundamental building material of your communication strategy–your verbal collaterals!
  2. Practice your exit and qualification statements… most all potential employers and networking contacts will want to know your current situation and why you are available.
  3. Practice answering both common and tough questions… including pre-offer negotiation tactics. The most asked question during career transition is, “Tell me about yourself.” Appropriate use of your two-minute drill and related verbal strategies, your “verbal collaterals,” is a key ingredient to personal salesmanship…
  • A verbal resume… A tightly focused, upbeat telling of “your story” told in a high impact two minute format. With practice, can be easily personalized to your listener.
  • An “elevator pitch”… A succinct summary of your qualifications for a specifically positioned function or opportunity. With practice, can become quite spontaneous.
  • A qualification statement that can be used in introducing yourself

Let’s not forget a couple of additional ‘collaterals’ that will help you round out your ability to ‘get the word out’ and serve as evidence of your qualifications.

  1. Brag bytes… Wordcraft various collections of words, phrases and sentences to capture memorable moments or accomplishments–the best you have to offer. “…saved 80% cost-perhire…” Used in MSWord, ‘Quick Parts’ can be quite efficient when building high impact correspondence as well.
  2. Personal Portfolio… Your collection of certificates, examples of work, reference letters, etc that can bring life and interest (not to mention PROOF) to your story.

RESEARCHING TARGET Organizations and Attractive Positions

Step six in our 12-step Process, first level research will help you to identify attractive trends and targeted companies.  But, in THIS context, I suggest digging a bit deeper in order to help secure an interview… Learn as much as possible about the company, the potential opportunity, and the hiring authority–the person who has the budget authority to hire you. This is usually your next boss, but could be even higher in the chain of command.

Your research goals ought to include developing information about the company’s products, people, organizational structure, successes (and failures), profits (and losses), capital spending, strategic plans, philosophy and labor climate. Showing your knowledge of some of this information can give you added credibility over other candidates networking to, and actually interviewing for the job.

  • Research the company web site, looking for information relative to your function and level… a company’s financial and annual reports can provide clues to their stability and market share. Don’t forget directories, trade journals, the “business press,” and databases of articles and other news.
  • As part of your ‘second wave of networking,’ ask a friendly recruiter, business acquaintance or stockbroker what they know about the company… and by extension, call people with whom you have networked and ask what they know about the company
  • Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau.
  • Call the company directly; request a sales brochure, annual report or other company information. Companies have to market themselves, too, you know!

Telephone and Networking Skills

On a scale of passive to assertive => to aggressive, let’s take a look at how we could communicate direct to contacts in and surrounding a targeted organization…

Email…safe, but too easy to be deleted before a relationship is established. Requires follow-up.

LETTER of introduction… also safe, but read more often. Paves the way for a first call to a referral… creates dialog. Requires phone follow-up.

Phone call…direct… often a cold call… requires risk. Establishes contact, interaction and, worst case, VISIBILITY.

There’s only two reasons to be on the phone during active job search…

  1. Reconnecting with valid contacts, seeking their advice and information, sharing your communication strategy, and seeking referral activity…
  2. Securing actual interviews

Cover NOTE and resume… Rather than mindlessly applying to countless jobs, playing the numbers game; develop your networking style to motivate a person to request your resume.  When requested, resume gets read more often. Establishes relationship. Requires follow-through. Face2face office visit!

THIS WEEK’s Workshop: Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan… Thursday, August 20th, 8:45 AM @ The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison

Your Career CompassNETWORKING

Building a network is a vital part of today’s strategic career development. Each planned contact can lead to others if you ask the right questions and explore the possibilities.  Networking is a two-way street, sometimes with you, the information seeker, being able to provide information to the same person from whom you are seeking it, and at other times being a source of information to other people. In order to get information from others, we must be a good source of information. All it takes is being willing to share information, ideas and resources.  It’s the INTER-ACTIVE, front-end of relationship building.


On Thursday, August 20th, we will be taking a long look at developing an effective PLAN… Your Personal Marketing Plan.  Our focus is on effective time management to create focus and efficiency in job search efforts.


To put it another way, “What goes around, comes around.”  A network is not something you establish overnight. It requires work and time, but the rewards are incalculable.

Pilot Onboard  If employed, be aware of confidentiality issues and scale down your efforts accordingly (There is an excellent article inside of LinkedIn: Conducting a STEALTH Job Search).  If you are unemployed and in active job search mode, and do not have a good network already in place, there are several ways you can begin to build one.

  1. Start with people you know from previous employment.    However, most jobs are not found at the first level of networking.  In fact, very few jobs are found simply by calling the people you know.
  2. Constantly build the layers of your network.  Even at the second level, the number of job openings you will find is still modest. Networking does not usually start to pay off until about the third level, and sometimes even beyond that.
  3. Attend professional association meetings and network.   Most of us probably work in a line of work that has a national professional association to which we could belong, and most of these associations have local chapters.Get the Most From Networking…

Remember TIME MANAGEMENT…

Allow for regular time in LinkedIn in order to direct and focus your networking activity.

Make networking calls in a block of time.  Each call is more comfortable than the one before. Do not call people and ask them if they have any openings at their company… This is almost always totally non-productive.

Be sure to ask the person if they have a minute to talk to you, and when finished talking thank them for their time.

Who Should Attend this value-packed Workshop?

  1. Anyone who wants to create a strategic plan for the rest of their working life… job changes will occur!
  2. Job seekers who find themselves in a rut…rapidly crashing into the black hole of depression
  3. Any job seeker looking to create focus within their search efforts
  4. Any professional to give substance to their next steps
  5. Newcomers to DFWCareerpilot… including tire-kickers

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ASSESSMENT is at the epicenter of your jobsearch efforts…

…and PART of what you must assess is your desired “next step!”

OFFER CRITERIA

Write out the factors that are important to you in a job…actually write out your list. During your career transition, you learn the value of setting your offer criteria.

1. Creates an objective target for your efforts ahead;
2. Gives you a meaningful set of questions to ask during research and networking;
3. Provides an objective way to analyze and react to offers as they occur.

To manage your career wisely has you extending the same concept. Keep your “offer criteria” in that dynamic state of change that allows you to adapt to market conditions.

If your current goal is to find a new position, then you should prepare your search as a “business model”, manage it accordingly, be flexible, and be ready for the unexpected. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Have a “business-as-usual” attitude…Manage your search as you would your business or job and you will earn success faster.

2. Have reasonable expectations…List your abilities, marketability, compensation, work environment and relocation, then validate these expectations with peers, other job hunters, and/or recruiters. This can be accomplished during your initial PERSONAL CONTACT NETWORKING. “Getting the word out” is a much more productive first step in developing your network.

3. Determine your career objective…Know what your next right work is. This will help focus your actual search. With clarity in your positioning goals, you can write a great resume to convey your story.

4. “WORDCRAFT” your resume…Create a forward looking “story” of what YOU CAN DO. Target your accomplishments, such as increased sales and profits, reductions in costs, etc. Focus on achievements that support your qualifications for your job goal.

5. Have a Personal Market Plan…including identification of key professional resources online. Look for specific titles, target industries and companies. This focus will expand your possibilities, not limit them.

Remember, while rejection is part of the active job search process, you’ll want to avoid pre-mature rejection of your interest…CREATE VISIBILITY first. The merging of your target organization networking and the development of your personal contact network is an effective way to identify the appropriate job leads and secure necessary interviews.

6. Develop confidence in your ability to answer anticipated questions throughout the process…Prepare as you would for a business presentation; don’t try to wing it. If there are any “issues” in your career history, develop a positive spin before you are asked about it. Prepare for basic questions and tough issues in advance and study them.

7. Modify and improve your Personal Market Plan’s implementation model as needed…“Listen” to the marketplace, learning from it and adjusting your Personal Market Plan accordingly. As you move through your search, make adjustments as you would a business model. Ask for input from people you respect.

FOR MORE Info: download the entire handout from Resource Page

NEXT EVENT: Thursday, October 27th, 9-10:30 AM at The Egg and I Restaurant (NW quadrant of Arapaho and Montfort, 1 blk east of Tollway)

This is the next in a weekly series of FREE career transition workshop events. Yes, networking happens at these events, but our purpose is to learn innovative “HOW TO” approaches into The OTHER Job Market. Both strategic and tactical issues and models are incorporated… this week?

NEGOTIATION STRATEGIES: Pre and Post OFFER!

We will explore an overall strategy that will enable you to perform well in all interviews, AND delve into an easy to remember interview strategy that organizes and focuses your interview time and effectiveness. As always, consistent and focused efforts are keys to your success. Some selected topics to address:

  • Developing your network… an evolutionary process.
  • Responding to premature discussion of money
  • ASKING questions effectively
  • Answering questions effectively… Creating and closing all communication ‘loops’
  • Negotiating an actual offer

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

– Professionals who seek “job security” for the rest of their career
– Professionals formerly reluctant to engage “all-IN” networking
-Job seekers who gain interviews, but can’t Close The Deal or optimize their offers!

As always, GUESTS of our DFWCareerpilot regulars, and…

First time visitors… this session is a great place to start!

NEXT EVENT: Thursday, October 20th, 9-10:30 AM at The Egg and I Restaurant (NW quadrant of Arapaho and Montfort, 1 blk east of Tollway)

This is the next in a weekly series of FREE career transition workshop events. Yes, networking happens at these events, but our purpose is to learn innovative “HOW TO” approaches into The OTHER Job Market. Both strategic and tactical issues and models are incorporated… this week?…

CLOSING THE DEAL

We will explore an overall telephone strategy to secure interviews, AND delve into an easy to remember interview strategy that organizes and focuses your interview time and effectiveness. As always, consistent and focused efforts are keys to your success. Some selected topics to address:

-Developing your network… an evolutionary process.
-An interview request is NEVER a cold call
-ASKING questions effectively
-Answering questions effectively
-Creating and closing all communication ‘loops’

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

– Professionals who seek “job security” for the rest of their career
– Professionals formerly reluctant to engage “all-IN” networking
-Job seekers who gain interviews, but can’t Close The Deal

As always, GUESTS of our DFWCareerpilot regulars, and…

First time visitors… this session is a great place to start!