First ImpressionsPosted: May 29, 2021 Filed under: Support | Tags: First Impression 1 Comment
First, on this Memorial Day weekend, if you are member or veteran of our armed forces, please let me thank you for your service. I would not be able to ejnoy the life I lead, without your dedication and service. Thank you.
Now, I will bet that when you were very young your mother told you more than once, “You only have one chance to make a first impression – don’t blow it.” She was right, but she probably didn’t know how right she was.
Neuroscience has confirmed that we make first impressions within milliseconds, and those impressions are hard to change. Think about it. As our ancestors were living in caves and struggling for survival every day. They didn’t have time to interview every new person they met to decide if they should fight or flee. They developed the mental processes to immediately assess if this was someone they liked, or disliked, so they could react and keep their family safe. We’ve come a long way since then, but we still have much of that caveman brain.
When you meet a new person, the way that they perceive you in the first few seconds will have a huge impact on their impressions of you. It is even true on the telephone. Scientists have found that just by how you say hello tells the caller a lot about you, including your trustworthiness.
If you really want to stretch your mind, watch this Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy . If you’ve seen this before, watch it again. The power of body language is incredible and should not be ignored. Match her advice with this. (Sorry but I’m going to sound like your mother again). When you go for a networking meeting or an interview make sure you are neat, clean, well-groomed and appropriately dressed. Before you walk into the room, follow Dr. Cuddy’s advice. Then, stand up straight, put your shoulders back, put a smile on your face, look them in the eye, say “hello” in a clear, confident voice and offer them a firm handshake (when we’re able to do that again). If you can do those things, the rest of the interview will go much better. If you are rumpled, smell bad, look at the ground, mumble a greeting and offer a limp handshake, then pack up your resume and head for the door.
Regardless of your circumstances, skills, formal training, what-have-you, you can be confident that you are unique. You are a person of value and a child of God. You have worth, you can contribute, you can learn, and you can be a positive force for good in your community. You may or may not be ready to be the next CEO, but you can be successful in whatever job you are applying for. If you believe it, they will too.
Your dream job is out there and waiting for you. Don’t let the first few seconds of your interview block your dream. Make a good first impression. If you are struggling, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/
The Job ClubPosted: May 22, 2021 Filed under: Support | Tags: Job Club, Job Search Leave a comment
You know, job search can be lonely. Day after day you are applying for jobs and searching the net. Hopefully, you are networking and meeting people, but those people, at least for now, aren’t people that you know personally, and you can’t really share your fears and frustrations with them. You need people you can talk to. Enter, the job club.
In my book, Bob visits the Lakeview Job Club offered through a local church. There he talks with a group of other people who are also looking for jobs. They share leads and success stories. But more importantly, those people get it. They provide community. They know how Bob’s feeling and the struggles he is facing, because they are facing them too. He has a support group which he comes to truly value.
Job clubs are usually led by someone with some experience in job search who can also give advice on resumes and tactics. In a recent blog post Nadine writes about a phenomenal program she stumbled across that was a job club and job training program online.
If you are looking for a job club, the US Department of Labor wants to help. Their CareerOneStop website has some great tools to find local services to assist your job search. The Job Club Finder lets you search for job clubs in your local area and provides contact information. The site can also direct you to local community colleges, libraries, and more.
You don’t have to be alone during your job search. Find a job club, and if there is not one in your area, start one. I guarantee there is a need, and most likely a local HR professional who can help you get things rolling. If you are struggling with your job search, this can also help https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/
I Should Write a Book!Posted: May 15, 2021 Filed under: Job Search | Tags: Job Search, Networking, Write a book Leave a comment
Your job search is slowing down and you’re thinking, maybe I need a different kind of job. Then the lightbulb clicks on, “I’ll write a book.” Okay, good idea. But as one who has written a book, knows several people who have written books, and read lots and lots of books, please allow me to give you some free advice. (Remember, you get what you paid for.)
- Don’t plan on getting rich. While Stephen King and Patrick Lencioni are getting by on their royalties, don’t write to make money. It takes multiple best sellers to truly generate cashflow you can live on.
- Don’t do it yourself. It is now possible to write a book, publish it and have it available an Amazon all by yourself. But, many (if not most) of those books are bad. You need a good editor. You need a good proofreader. You need someone who understands the business and can advise you on content, cover art, etc. I was fortunate to get associated with Lighthouse Point Press and my book is 10 times better than if I had done it alone.
- Don’t think it’s easy. Good writing is a skill that takes practice. It is a craft. You need to write a lot to practice your craft, to find your voice, and get comfortable with the process. Start with blog and see if you can generate content that people want to read on a consistent basis. Work your way up to writing a book.
- Don’t neglect your competition. Let’s say you want to write a book on leadership. If you search Amazon for books on leadership, you’ll get over 60,000 hits. Books on Job Search – 20,000, Job Networking – 3,000. There is a lot of competition – and again, much of it is bad – but you can’t tell that from looking on Amazon.
- Don’t think it ends with publishing. Finally, the reality becomes that writing the book was the easy part, now you have to sell it, and you will be the one who is in charge of marketing.
I don’t want to discourage you from a life-long dream to be an author. I did it, I’m proud I did it, I think I did on okay job, and, I’m thinking about doing it again. But, I’m not getting rich and it was a lot of work. So, keep looking for your day job, and make time to write in your off hours. If you are struggling to find that day job, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/
How Long Should My Search Take?Posted: May 8, 2021 Filed under: Job Search | Tags: Job Search, Networking, persistence Leave a comment
I understand, really. You lost your job. You have bills to pay. You’re ready to go back to work. The economy is still wonky. What you want to know is “how long will it take to find a new job.” You better be sitting down, because you may not like my answer.
Long ago I learned a simple rule-of-thumb. You should be prepared for your job search to take one month for every $10k of annual salary you want to earn. A lot of things have changed since I first heard that, so maybe now it is one month per $15k, but that math is harder to do. Be prepared for a search for a $30,000 annual salary job to take 3 months and an $80,000 job could take 8 months. I’ve been fired/laid off/RIFed/what-have-you six times. The fastest I’ve ever found a job was about 4 weeks and the longest was 13 months.
Your search may not take that long. Some people are in the right place at the right time. If you already have a strong and well-maintained network, you may be able to speed up the process. But, for the 1-month rule to be a rule, it has to be an average. That means that for many of you it will take longer. Unfortunately, recent experience by several of my friends, says the rule-of-thumb is still be pretty accurate.
What this means is that you need to be patient, persistent, prepared. If you think you are at risk for losing your job, evaluate your assets. If you have no other source of income and will rely on unemployment and savings, figure out how long they will last. If you don’t have enough money for the rule-of-thumb, you may want to change your search process. You may need to settle for a lower paying job just to get some income flowing. You might have to lower your standards, or look in another geographic area. You just need to be prepared.
If, like me, you have a loving spouse with a good job and you can get by, then be patient and work the process. Know that it probably won’t happen overnight, but it won’t happen on its own either. You have to do the work, build the network, and get the system to work for you.
Patience may be a virtue, but when it comes to finding a new job, impatience often is just as important. If you are struggling, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/
Where Should I look?Posted: May 1, 2021 Filed under: Networking | Tags: Job Search, Networking Leave a comment
It’s a question I get a lot. Where is the best place to look for a job? Is it Indeed, Monster, Zip Recruiter Workable, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and the list goes on and on. The good news is that I have a very easy answer for that question. Everywhere – and more.
As the Internet continues to grow, technology expands, and innovation is in the wind, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of places you can look online to find job postings, and you need to look at as many of them as you can. Look at some of the biggest boards, especially Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn on a regular basis. Some sites contain only the jobs posted there, while others are aggregators, collecting links to jobs posted on other sites. On many sites you can create an account and the site will send you alerts when a job that matches your criteria is posted.
You also need to look on industry sites based on what you do – or want to do. You need to look on company websites. You should even look at your state’s unemployment website where they usually post jobs. I’m sorry, but the short answer is everywhere. As I’ve said before, if you are out of work, you need to make looking for a job a full-time job, so start clicking.
But, and this is a HUGE BUT, the odds are pretty good that you will not find the job you want if all you do is search the web and apply for jobs that appeal to you. According to Matt Youngquist, president of Career Horizons, 70 to 80% of jobs are not published. According to Payscale.com, that number could be as high as 85%. The first time I heard this statistic was in the mid-1980’s and way back then it was 75%. While technology has changed, it appears that people haven’t.
So, if 70% or more of jobs don’t get posted, then how do you find out about them? Networking. The cold, hard fact is that if you want to find that perfect job, you need to talk to real people, tell them your story, ask them for help, and ask them who they know that you could talk to, and then repeat that process, over and over. It may make you uncomfortable, but your option is to spend days and days searching the internet and fighting for jobs against hundreds of other job seekers who are doing the exact same thing.
In job search, almost always, when the question is, “Should I do A, or should I do B?”, the answer is do both. You need to look online, you need to apply for jobs, and you need to research companies and their openings. But you also need to network, meet people, and spread your story.
Your dream job is out there and waiting for you. You need to look for it on the net – everywhere, but you also have to ask people to help you find it. If you are struggling, this might help. https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/