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JOB SEARCH TIP: Be like Mr. Spock. Tell the truth.

26 Sep

Yes, I’m a Trekkie. (Original Series, but Captain Picard).

You may recall that the three main characters each had different strengths, and along with his deep knowledge Mr. Spock was wired to tell the truth.

In one movie it appeared that he lied, and when called out by one of this fellow Vulcan’s he said: “I didn’t lie. I implied.”

This sort of thing makes for good theater, but in the job search you don’t even want the hint you’ve implied something.

You want to tell the truth, all the time.

Full stop.

In some cases, being honest may put you in a bad light. For example, you may have a gap in your work experience. Aside from the fact that lots of folks do and it doesn’t in any way predict your ability to do a job, there might contrive a story about the work gap.

Tell the truth.

To be sure, you can explain yourself and highlight your skills and experiences in a way that helps them see your positives, but don’t fib about the experience.

Give how transparent things are these days the truth will probably come out anyway, so be up front with a hiring manager.

Tell your story, even the areas that may not seem as positive.

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch #jobsearchtips

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free:

JOB SEARCH TIP: To help you in your new job, learn from the mistakes of others.

26 Sep

The great comedian Groucho Marx said: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

To help you get off to a great start spend some time talking with your new colleagues and learning about the mistakes that others have made.

With one company I’ve worked with new employees would get into trouble if they were frequently late to meetings. In another company there were strict rules about safety that, if broken, would put you in hot water. And in another being less-than-attentive to a customer on the showroom floor would get you a pink slip.

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ll make your own mistakes when you start a new gig, but there’s no reason to make mistakes that others before you have made.

Groucho Marx was right—you don’t have enough time to make all those other mistakes. Listen and learn.

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

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free:

JOB SEARCH TIP: Bring value to networking contacts.

25 Sep

In describing relationships, Dr. Gale Muller said that “relationships should eventually be equal, but are never equal at any one time.”

When you are networking in search of a new job, you may feel the exchange is one-sided, where a networking contact is only helping you.

Although it may feel that way, that doesn’t mean you can’t add some value or be of help to your contact.


~ Perhaps you can offer information about a former employer or a contact of yours,

~ Maybe you can bring an article about an industry trend the contact hadn’t seen,

~ Or you make an introduction to a contact of yours that would be of value.

Be proactive. Show you are willing and able to reciprocate.

The exchange may not be perfectly equal, but you can make an effort that will be noticed.

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community:

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

“Peter, did you ask that question today?” A lesson from Peter Drucker.

23 Sep

When the great management consultant Peter Drucker was a child, each day at the breakfast table his father would ask: “Peter, do you have a question for the teacher today?”

Over time Peter realized his father was always going to ask, so he prepared each morning with something that was of interest to him and for which he would value the learning.

At the dinner table each evening his father would say: “Peter, did you ask that question to the teacher?”

Peter would say yes and then give the answer to his father, which then began a spirited discussion.

This training helped Peter to learn how to ask good questions, a job search (and life) skill that is exceptionally important and not often appreciated.

Make it a practice to ask someone a question every day, even if you don’t have Peter’s father to ask what you learned at dinner.

Listen. Learn. Ask more questions.

This mindset is important in the job search, and can also be applied to those who are currently working.

Ask questions. Be curious. Learn from the answers. And, like Mr. Drucker, thrive.

#jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community:

Update your career priorities to align with your job search.

23 Sep

I talked to someone recently who was successful in a sales role that required quite a bit of travel. At one time he was fine with that, but he recent changes in his personal life made him question whether life on the road was still okay.

It turns out, the answer, right for him now, was no.

Our priorities will change, and because of that our career goals will change:

~ Perhaps you used to like working on your own, but would rather be part of a team…

~ Or you didn’t mind a commute, but would rather find a job closer to home…

~ Maybe you were okay with a compensation plan that was more variable, but would prefer something more consistent.

As you pursue your next role, make sure your priorities and what you would value in a job are aligned with your current thinking.

It’s a new day. Make it joyful and productive.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free: 

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch #jobsearchtips#jobsearchcoach #jobsearchhelp

Is your work hard or soft? A lesson from our Jacob.

21 Sep

Our son, who is on the autism spectrum, came home from work a while back. Based on his demeanor we wondered if his day didn’t go so well. We’ve all had those, right?

My wife asked him: “Jacob, did you have a hard day at work?”

He thought about the question for a moment and then replied: “No mom, it was still pretty soft.”

In your job search, and in your current work for that matter, you want to find work that Jacob would describe as “soft”.

To Jacob, a “soft day” is one where he still works hard, but he feels supported by his manager and gets along with his coworkers. A “soft” day may be one where there is a challenge or two, but he gets help when he needs it and puts in the effort to get his work done. A “soft” day is one where his efforts are appreciated, and where he goes home feeling a sense of satisfaction and pride in being part of something larger than himself.

Where he’s valued.

We all want those kinds of “soft days”, right?

If you’re in the job search, look to gain insights about the culture of your prospective employer, how they treat people, and the reputation of the leadership.

Life is too short to have what Jacob would consider a “hard day”.

Find a place where most of your days at work will be “soft”.

#jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community:

Advice for job seekers: Why good folks leave jobs–reason #7: There is a loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders.

19 Sep

My friend Leigh Branham published a great book on why good employees leave. The book is based on his study of thousands of people who left their employer.

Many of the reasons why good employees leave can be impacted by your direct manager, but that doesn’t mean that senior leaders don’t chase good people away.

They do.

You can look on sites such as GlassDoor to view ratings of senior leadership at a prospective employer, and that’s a good thing.

But you can dig more.

You can learn more from your interviews as well as from coaches.

There’s a saying that “the fish rots from the head down”. Companies can also rot from the head down, so do your homework and find out about the effectiveness of senior leaders at prospective employers.

#jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

Grab a copy of Leigh’s book at:

Advice for job seekers– pay attention to work-life issues

18 Sep

Why good folks leave jobs–reason #6: Workers suffer from stress due to overwork and work-life imbalance.

My friend Leigh Branham published a book on why good employees leave. The book is based on his study of thousands of people who left their employer.

There’s a company I know of that future employees know there are opportunities for significant income, but there will be significant hours each week. For some that may be just fine, but according to Leigh’s research this can be a factor that leads to people leaving good jobs.

Job stress and burnout can have an impact, so do what you can to determine if the work load requirements and the stress that may result fit with your values. Many employers are finding ways to accommodate different schedules to help balance work and life, so explore if those can be options.

We all want work that is meaningful and helps us achieve our goals, but make sure you fully understand  if stress and a lack of work-life balance may wear on you in a new job, and you leave as a result.

#jobhunting #careers #jobsearch Grab a copy of Leigh’s book at:

Inclusion starts with better management

17 Sep

After what happened at 38th and Chicago in my hometown of Minneapolis there has been greater interest in creating a more inclusive workplace. Here’s an article on the value of inclusion, with first person accounts from an employer:

Why good folks leave jobs–reason #5: Workers feel devalued and unrecognized.

17 Sep

Advice for job seekers:

My friend Leigh Branham published a great book on why good employees leave. The book is based on his study of thousands of people who left their employer.

Any of you suffering out there from too much recognition?

Of course not.

Although we might jest about this, the research is clear—if employees are not appreciated, they will find a place where they are valued and recognized.

Recognition can certainly come in salary and benefits, but it’s much more than that. To the degree you can, learn about how prospective employers value employees. Are their formal programs? Informal ones? Do managers truly value employees?

People will put up with a lot, but they won’t put up with being ignored and devalued. Don’t put yourself in an environment where they take you for granted—you deserve better.

#jobhunting #careers #jobsearch Grab a copy of Leigh’s book at: