JOB SEARCH TIP #50: Making the most of a “bridge” job.

2 Aug

While most of us want our dream job, the reality is we may have to settle for something less.

If an ideal job isn’t available, you can chose a “bridge job”, which I define as less than ideal but one you can be employed now and use to “bridge” to that better opportunity.

Sometimes a bridge job is just about getting a paycheck. But here are some other ways you can think about this tactic:

  • Learn a new skill. Consider bridge jobs where you can learn a new skill or gain experience that would make you more valuable for your future dream job.
  • Make new contacts. Choose a job where you could make some contacts that could help you in your career.
  • Be awesome in your bridge job so that you earn a reference.

Not all bridge jobs are created equal. If you choose this route, pick a bridge job that helps you move forward, which gets you from one side of the bridge to the other.

It’s a great day. Let’s get out of our Hobbit hole and take a step toward finding that new IMG_2414job.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community. This content is free: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

JOB SEARCH TIP #49: The ten biggest job interview mistakes.

31 Jul

I reached out to ten folks who’ve been in the job search coaching business to help identify the most commons mistakes job interviewees make:

  1. Being unprepared, including not doing homework to understand the employer and the job,
  2. Not using your understanding of the prospective employer to ask your own questions,
  3. Being late,
  4. Speaking poorly of a former employer or boss,
  5. Lying,
  6. Failing to give responses that showcase results you have provided that can help them contribute to their success,
  7. Having a bad attitude,
  8. Not following up after the interview,
  9. Sharing too much information that isn’t relevant to the job, and
  10. Inappropriate dress.

The good news is each of these mistakes can be easily avoided—prepare, prepare, prepare.

It’s a new day. Let’s make it a great one.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free. Please pass along: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

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JOB SEARCH TIP #48: Work “on your search”, not “in your search”.

30 Jul

Do you know the saying “you’re too far into the forest to see the trees?”

This can happen in the job search. You get so focused on all the tasks that you can’t see the trees.

You could be busy, but not productive.

At least every other week I recommend you stop and ask yourself the following questions, either on your own or with your coach:

  • What feedback have I received about my search? How can I build upon that feedback?
  • Has there been an “unexpected success”, where I got a positive advance that I wasn’t expecting?
  • If I received a rejection, what feedback did I receive?

Based on those questions, amend your job search plan using this method:

  • What will I START, where I begin something I haven’t done before?
  • What will I STOP, because doing that is not helpful to my search?
  • What will I CONTINUE to do that will help me advance my search?

This “start, stop, continue” exercise, done based on working “on” your search, can help align your efforts and keep you moving forward in your search.

It’s a new day. Let’s get started.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community. This content is free: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

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JOB SEARCH TIP #47: Can they tell you about their culture in 100 words or less?

30 Jul

Yesterday I wrote about a friend of mine who encountered a recruiter who couldn’t tell him anything about their culture. It reminded me of an exercise I used a while back where I asked employers to answer the following question:

“How would you describe the organization’s culture, in 100 words or less?”

As a job seeker, I’d encourage you to ask this question about a prospective employer:

~ Ask it to the recruiter.

~ Ask it to a former employee.

~ Ask it to a customer.

~ Ask it to supply chain partner.

Each of us has skills and experiences we can bring to the table, AND we need to find a place where we the culture of the organization is more-than-less aligned with what is important to us.

Ask the question to several folks. Take notes and summarize what you’re hearing. A great job with a culture that is not aligned to you can be a problem.

It’s a new day. Let’s get started.

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

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JOB SEARCH TIP #46: Maybe the recruiter was having a bad day, or maybe it’s a sign of something bigger.

29 Jul

new dayMy friend thought the interview was going well. Toward the end the recruiter asked him if he had any questions. He had done quite a bit of homework about the company so didn’t feel a need to ask much on that topic, but asked the following:

“What is the culture like here?”

“Is this a fun place to work?”

“How do team members get along?”

“How often do we meet as a team?”

“What do customers say about the firm?”

Important questions, right?

The recruiter couldn’t answer ANY of them.

Not one.

Nada.

Maybe the recruiter had a bad day, or MAYBE the performance of the recruiter is a reflection of a company that doesn’t know what it stands for and the culture they are building.

I encouraged my friend to network with current and former employees to find out more.

Having a good job is important, but company culture is important too.

Do your homework.

It’s a new day. Let’s get started.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free. Please pass along: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

Photo– sunrise on the North Shore of Lake Superior, July 2020.

JOB SEARCH TIP #45: Is the grass always greener on the other side? Looking at other opportunities.

28 Jul

A friend of mine didn’t seem happy with his current job and industry. He was paid well and was good at what he did, but felt like there would be other work that would provide him with additional satisfaction.

He decided to conduct a series of confidential networking interviews with two representatives of two industries for which he had interest.

Before his interviews he did some research, learning about the industries, trends and challenges. He then had confidential conversations with several folks in the industry. After the meetings he told me:

“Mark, I guess the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

He didn’t make a career change, but he viewed the effort as a success. In his case, he learned that he actually was in a pretty good position, and recommitted himself.

If you have a job, it doesn’t hurt to look. You may find a great opportunity, or you may find the grass on your side of the fence is just fine.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community. This content is free. Please pass along: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

JOB SEARCH TIP #44: Let the Johari Window inform your job search.

27 Jul

Have you heard of the Johari Window? According to Wikipedia, it “is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others.”

According to the model, each of us has BLIND SPOTS. We can reduce blind spots by asking for feedback. For your job search you might ask former co-workers, bosses or customers to give you feedback about your career and how you could improve.

Each of also put on a FAÇADE and don’t reveal our true self. We may need to keep some things close, but there are also likely things we can share that would reveal more of our true self and, in doing so, may create more interest to prospective employers. This would require us to self-reveal, which isn’t always easy. Often a close friend/coach can be a place to start that process.

Using these techniques will not only help your career search, but can be useful in all parts of our life.

(More about Johari Window: https://tinyurl.com/zm3ubkf)

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community. This content is free: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

JOB SEARCH TIP #43: You’re embarrassed, maybe angry. That’s okay. Let’s figure this out.

26 Jul

Losing a job and being unemployed is awful.

I know. I’ve been there.

You have lots of feelings—of loss, anger, frustration.

Aside from the loss of income, you often lose relationships and the meaning that can come from work.

In my ten years as an outplacement consultant, I saw most of my clients work through these feelings in a way that didn’t get in the way of their search. I’m not saying it was always easy for them—far from it. But with support from family, friends and a job support group they were able to push through.

There were times when a person needed additional help. There’s no shame in reaching out for additional help, but sadly some folks feel there is a stigma or that they will be labelled weak.

Baloney.

If you feel like all of this is getting to be too much, get help. And know there are people who are keeping a good thought for you as you migrate these challenging times.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free. Please pass along: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

JOB SEARCH TIP #42: You have your new job– don’t stop networking.

25 Jul

Congratulations, you got the job! Do everything you can to become an awesome employee.

One mistake I see made frequently is folks get a new job and then stop networking. A new workplace is actually a terrific opportunity to continue developing your network. Beyond your new employer, you can make contacts with:

~ current and prospective customers,

~ supply chain partners (vendors),

~ professional associations/trade groups,

~ neighboring employers,

~ regulatory agencies, or

The rules of networking still apply—as you get to know a contact you can gain insights from them, AND you can also add value to them.

I know you may feel that networking helped you get a job, but networking could be even more important in helping you be successful in your new role while, at the same time, offering value to those with whom you come in contact.

Shall we take the mindset that your networking efforts should increase after you have your job? Yep, go with that.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community. This content is free: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources

 

JOB SEARCH TIP #41: Is their mission statement just expensive wallpaper?

19 Jul

You walk into a company for your job interview. You see a poster, often nicely framed, in the lobby. The poster presents the “mission and values” of the organization—the investments they are supposedly making in their employees.

Although they are generally well-intended, I’m often surprised at how little these statements represent what it is actually like to work there. There is a gap between what they present and what they actually deliver.

That might feel like expensive wallpaper.

As you are considering a potential employer, find out if there’s something more to the place than nice wallpaper. There are numerous online sources, but also talk to former employees, to current vendors or providers of other services to the employer.

No employer is perfect, but if what they are representing as behaviors they value and what they actually deliver to employees is so glaringly different you will want to take that into consideration.

A colleague of mine has a term for this—he calls it propaganda.

Do your homework.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free: https://www.thetablempls.com/jobresources