Thank YOU

THANKS to all of you who’ve read my blog and written me thanking me for my positive attitude.

Here’s a saying that’s helped, courtesy of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Let’s look a little more closely at these words, especially during Thanksgiving.

Here’s an example: Across the U.S. we’re at an average of 9.6% unemployment.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change: This means we are at 90.4% EMPLOYMENT.

Last year, during Thanksgiving, my client Randy was downsized.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change: Randy’s attitude was, “Hey, now I get to spend some quality time with my family over the holidays.” Randy was a pilot who, in previous years,  transported everyone else to their family gatherings. Randy was also hired over the holidays! Check out his full story here, “Hired Over the Holidays.”

L’s company recently merged and big changes are afoot.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change: L is now on a team in charge of merger communication to help facilitate change.

Challenge: How are you looking at things right now? What are one or more things you can do to look at the situation differently to help you  uncover a solution? Try something new? Realize what you have?

We all have things happen, sometimes during the holidays — how you handle it makes the difference.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Right now, name three things you are thankful for. Go on, you can do this! Please feel free to share!

Here are some of mine:

Thanks to Julie Terwelp, SnapHappyCreative LLC, for the cool graphic (top of page), the design of my logo, and the design of my website.

Thanks to Susan Whitcomb for reminding me to write this post!

Thanks for my awesome clients, many whose stories you’ve seen here.

Thank YOU all (or “y’all” as Julie says) for reading my blog. YOU ROCK!

 


Job Searching Sucks

I’ve been listening in on several LinkedIn groups of late and there’s a common theme, job searching sucks!

Comments have included: “No one hires older candidates.” “I don’t know how to communicate transferable skills.” “I know I sure don’t want to do what I did before…but…” “I hate networking.” “Who do I talk to?”

It’s true that many of the above are perceived obstacles. Let’s talk about some solutions that work in overcoming them.

1. Know what you want. If you don’t, it’s much harder for your network to help you. “Know anyone who’s hiring?” is not an effective networking opener. Plus, it is not the hiring decision-maker’s job to tell you what they have open or what position you may be good for. One HR director from Hallmark told me, “Help us out a bit. We’re not career counselors. Tell us what you want!”

If you’re making a change and are unclear of your new direction, I recommend completing career assessments to help you gain focus. Use a real person to help you, not just online assessment tools. A career coach or counselor can help you narrow down your choices and determine the right path for you. It’s a team effort, because your coach is objective, and sometimes a person needs help in defining goals (and a little prodding as well).

2. Age. You are the age you are. Trying to hide your age is going to be an eye-opener when you show up and appear older than 40. Rather than hide your age, demonstrate your value to an organization. What do you bring to the table BESIDES years of experience? A CEO of a staffing firm told me, “For people with 20 or more years of experience, DO NOT write that into your resume. Put a BENEFIT STATEMENT into your resume – something that speaks of how you 1) made the company money, 2) saved the company money or 3) streamlined procedures. Years of experience is immaterial and may indicate that you are just “old.” Companies want to know what kind of contribution you can make to their success – not how many years you’ve been working.”

I have worked with clients 50 and older. One 58-year-old client was very concerned about this. I must say, I had no idea she was 58, and only guessed she was older than 50 because I worked with her daughter previously. She was smart, savvy, dressed young – yet very professionally – and had modern glasses and haircut. This is important for interviews. Another, 62, bought a fitness club and runs this. All of my clients have “young” attitudes, are willing to learn, many are very physically active. You can talk about your marathon, bicycling, etc. on your interview if it comes up. If it doesn’t, know that you can mention relevant hobbies on your resume. I do not mean golf and reading. These are BORING. I do mean, if you ran a marathon in Prague, cool. Mention it. I did this for a client who was transitioning from being an experienced hospital staff nurse to pharmaceutical sales. She got the gig.

3. Transferable skills. Sure you’ve got them. It’s your responsibility to help employers connect the dots. It’s not an employer’s responsibility to do it for you. How? a) Demonstrate your thought leadership online – blog posts, tweets, article links, commentary all help you achieve this. BONUS – doing so shows you “get it” and are hip to online social media. b) Build your LinkedIn network. You are who you hang with. c) Read things outside your industry as well as inside. This gives you a broad perspective. Then communicate your new thoughts online, in white papers, and at your next industry gathering (professional network, etc.).

According to a Microsoft survey in 12/2009 about social media and hiring, 79% of interviewers said they Google candidates before meeting them. In another survey, 45% of employers said they would eliminate candidates based on what they found online.

Let’s help them find some good (not scary) stuff.

Want more ideas? Visit my newsroom here: http://www.knocks.com/News/News.asp, subscribe to this blog, and subscribe to my e-zine (http://knocks.com – check out the sign-up box).

5 Quick Tips for Social Media and Your Job Search

Recently on LinkedIn, a person asked how others were using LinkedIn and other “more personal” social media sites for their job search. The responses were helpful. One thing struck me though, and that was the fact that some mentioned that they keep their more personal info on Facebook and have LinkedIn and Twitter for a more professional brand.

While the intention is good, it’s important to keep in mind these five tips to help you protect your brand and your rep:

1. Know that whether you use Facebook for your pals or for business, 79% of employers do check out your social media before an interview. (Microsoft survey 12/2009)

2. 45% of employers use what they find online to eliminate candidates from consideration.

3. ANYTHING you put online stays there forever. Remember when you were a kid and they talked about your “permanent record?” Guess what, your online ID is your permanent record. (Think about Google’s “wayback machine.”)

4. It’s always a good idea to check your privacy settings and ensure they’re secure. However, if it’s online, chances are someone can find it. Especially watch the “places” feature on Facebook! You don’t want a pal to “check you in” – when you’re on a lunch interview.

5. Google yourself regularly to see what pops up. Put your name in quotes, like this “Wendy Terwelp” – then see what’s mentioned in the first three pages.

If you’d like more tips on how to use social media to get hired faster, email me at consultant@knocks.com for a FREE report. Yes, it’s really FREE! (If you also send along your snail mail address, I’ll include some extras.)

Graphic by SnapHappy Creative, LLC

Job Action Day: Let’s do the Time Warp again!

It’s just a jump to the left…

As Halloween was just yesterday and Job Action Day is today, I thought my topic should be a little “Rocky Horror” with a focus on the Time Warp. Why?

Halloween lets us be whoever we want to be, even if it’s just for a moment.

Job Action Day’s theme this year is all about creating your own opportunity, because times have changed. Full-time gigs are rare and, according to Dr. Randall S. Hansen, founder and publisher of QuintCareers, “The workforce as we’ve come to know it will probably never be the same. Job-seekers must develop a whole new mind-set to thrive in this new world of work. That’s why our 2010 Job Action Day theme is ‘Create Opportunity,'” Hansen said. “The theme has a double meaning; not only must job-seekers create opportunity, but we encourage employers and the government to find ways to create opportunity, as well.”

So, while we can’t change the clock, we can change our way of thinking and our attitudes. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

1. Remember when you were a kid and you’d get asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you say then? Try and remember. If you can’t remember exactly, write at least five ideas down right now, from the top of your head. Don’t think too long on this, just go with what pops into your head right NOW.

2. What did you come up with? Any dream gigs? One of my favorite quotes came from a kid in a news article. His answer to the above question, “What do I want to be when I grow up? Why, they haven’t invented it yet.” Heck, Twitter showed up in 2007. Be creative.

3. Can YOU invent it? Right now, original ideas are a valuable commodity.

Here’s a Halloween costume by my original-thinking niece. While other kids were vampires, she came up with Garden Gnome. It’s original.

What is one thing you can think of right now that’s original, out-of-the-ordinary or something you may have been afraid to try in the past? Go ahead, put your toe in the water. It can be done.

4. If you don’t know what you want, get some help figuring it out. This can be done through career assessments and it can also be done by asking questions of people you know. Combine the two activities, and you’ve got a powerful combination of tools to help you get that next big gig.

My client Eric did this. He came from a family of medical doctors. Every person in his family was a physician. Eric, however, sold medical devices. While it paid well, Eric wasn’t satisfied; he simply did not enjoy the job. We went back in time (Time Warp!) to what did excite Eric, what he did love, and using some powerful assessment tools and networking, Eric discovered he loved to build things. He was creative. His favorite (albeit unpaid) gig was remodeling his home. Eric decided to create his own home-building business and now builds home for VIPs, despite a “bad economy.”

5. If you’re passionate about it, you can make it happen. My client, Peter, 62 (at the time) was passionate about fitness. He had run and sold several businesses, had a JD (atty.) and an MBA. Now what? At 62, he had done it all or so he thought. What he decided to do for the next round (career number ?), was buy and run a fitness club. He made it happen. He tapped his network and brought in an experienced marketing guy to help generate business. Things are going well. What are you passionate about? Can it be turned into your next big gig? And who in your network can help you make it happen?

Let’s do the Time Warp again! Take a few minutes and act on what  you just learned (or remembered). Jot some notes. Make a few calls. Google your ideas and job titles. Make a plan. Make it happen.

You can be who you want to be for more than a moment, you can be it for your next career.

Share your ideas, dreams, and questions right here. I’m listening.

Note: See more Job Action Day posts here: QuintCareers.com. Quintessential Careers, thanks again for having me as a guest blogger for this awesome event (year 3).

PS: Happy 35th to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.