Here's my Top 10 (in no real order of importance) list why you should probably quit your current position and move on . . .
Ever have a REALLY bad day? Here's how to get up and get GOING.
Received a call from a good friend this morning — he was unceremoniously laid off Monday after 16+ successful years at the same organization. I felt for him — starting 2016 off with a fizzle and not a bang. But the coach in me kicked in — and I said, "This is not bad news, it's a new beginning for you! In fact, this is THE BEST time of the year to get laid off!"
January through May is the rocket rollercoaster of employment. Especially January! This is the time when companies and departments unleash their budgets, plan for new initiatives, and are actively looking for great people in the marketplace.
So if you're in transition, 'stuck' in your current position, or even if you're thinking of going back into the workforce, I have some 'GOOD' news for you.
I've developed an eBook that will help you not only hit the ground running — but it will accelerate your job search exponentially.
Here's the best part — it's free! CLICK HERE to get the full PDF eBook.
Enjoy! (Let me know how you like it!)
I'm not pulling any punches here. Why? Because I think most people who are looking for a job need a dose of reality instead of 'good thoughts' and 'quick tricks'.
Here are Rich Gee's 10 Commandments Of Looking For A Job:
1. It's going to be HARD.
You will push yourself farther than you've ever pushed yourself before — into areas that are uncomfortable — networking, connecting, selling, negotiation, schmoozing, etc. Get used to it.
WHY? Most job-seekers are afraid of the process. They want the limo to pull up to their house and whisk them off to their next position. Guess what? It's NEVER going to happen.
2. You must work 30-40 hours a week on your search.
It's a job to find a job. Any less is just fooling around. You have to put serious time into your search — if you don't you will just prolong your unemployment — turning it from a 3-6 month process to a 12-18 month ordeal. I have my clients do a simple math equation: Take your yearly salary and divide it by 12. That is how much you are costing your family for each month unemployed. Stop focusing on your severance package — go out and find a job!
WHY? Clients that dive into their search and spend a reasonable amount of time (30-40 hours a week), get a job. It's that simple.
3. Stop the whining.
Okay, you lost your job — get on with life. Stop navel-gazing and blaming yourself.
WHY? I encounter a number of clients who are wounded and use their loss as an excuse to bypass the difficult actions of a job search. If you are so damaged, it's time for you to seek help with a therapist. If not, get off your ass and move on. You're an adult and you have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Stop the pity party.
I hate to be blunt here — but you're an adult with responsibilities — get out there and make things happen!
4. Don't focus on your résumé every 5 seconds.
Get it done, keep it concise and powerful (and well-written). If you need help — spend the money and have it written for you. You can modify it for certain positions, but don't obsess about what other people say.
WHY? People get so attached to their résumé. They ask every friend and recruiter for advice and guess what? They tell them it stinks and that they have to totally modify it. Get it done and get it out. Stop looking for distractions.
5. Get out and meet people.
If you stay in all day and surf the web, that's not looking for work. It's vacation. To find that perfect position, you must be visible and expose yourself to A LOT of people.
WHY? It's a very simple equation: If you meet new people, you will make new opportunities, you will connect with hiring managers, you will be introduced to hidden positions, you will be offered a job. On the other hand, if you don't meet new people, less opportunities, less hiring manager interaction, less position options, and less job offers. It's that simple.
Hit the library. Make friends with the librarians — they can help you find information on organizations, industries, and people not found on the web. And it's fun — they start rooting for you to find that next position AND it gets you out of the house. One suggestion — try the smaller local libraries — they tend to focus on the serious researcher and not have a 'get em in/get em out' attitude to the masses.
6. Make yourself extremely marketable.
Hit the gym everyday. Eat well. Get an up-to-date haircut. Get new glasses. Dress in style and dress up every day. Act as if you are going out on a first date — first impressions are SO important.
WHY? Be Your Best — you are selling a product . . . YOU. You have to polish it until it shines and catches the light. Any less and you might be passed over for a single errant, inconsequential reason that you could easily fix. Take a few dollars and improve your wardrobe, your body, and your look. You want to hit them hard when they first see you.
7. Study your industry and market.
Don't sit around and surf. Immerse yourself where you're looking for a job. Learn what has happened, what is happening, and begin to predict what will happen. So many job-seekers look for positions but neglect to fully understand what's happening in their industry. When you have a job, you live in a bubble. Take the time and seriously dive into what is happening out in the world. It will come in handy during interviews.
WHY? People forget that this time is for you to apply and work for a BETTER company.
8. Pick companies you would LOVE to work for.
I get so much grief for this one. When looking for a job, so many people give in and make themselves like a company/position rather than targeting organizations they would kill to work for.
WHY? It's easier to find open positions than to LOVE a company, target key individuals, and build your own position.
9. Learn how to interview, ask questions, and negotiate.
Don't wing it. You need to practice and get out there and interview. The more you hone your image, your patter, your answers, your body language, your questions, and your negotiation skills, the faster you will land that primo position.
WHY? So many applicants feel they can rely on their strengths and forget when they're in tense situations, their weaknesses start to show. You need to be 'buttoned-up', secure, and ready for anything a key interviewer throws your way.
10. Be Positive, Smile, and Watch Your Body Language.
This is a big one. Get up every day and start out by rewarding yourself with a motivation.
HOW? Work out, listen to music, do yoga, read, meditate . . . anything. You have to begin each day with a positive mindset. Too many job seekers hit the snooze alarm or get indexed into multiple family responsibilities (not that it's a bad thing) in the morning. Make sure you have time for yourself. Get up early (I get up at 4-4:30 every morning) and make time for yourself — stop staying up late and watching reruns of The Mentalist. Go to bed early (I hit my pillow at 9:30 PM) and get in some real sleep time.
Smile! Stop frowning at everything — remind yourself frequently to smile with people, on the phone, and in unexpected situations. You'll find it brings up the good juices within and you actually feel more positive.
Take an proactive stance on your body language. Walk 20% faster (catch any Bourne Identity movie - watch how Matt Damon walks) - it livens up your system and tells everyone you mean business. Lean forward when you speak and use your hands — it engages the listener and shows them you are passionate about what you do.
11. Surprise! Extra Credit.
Focus on four areas. What are they?
1. Job Boards/Company Sites - This is the easiest area to attack and the most frustrating area to encounter. There might be jobs here, but most of the time, it's a major time-suck for higher level positions. But don't discount it — do it — but don't hold yourself back — access all four areas.
2. Recruiters - Reach out to them, but don't expect a lot to happen. They are focused on obtaining the best employed candidates, poaching from the competition, and keeping their retainers healthy and growing. There might be a perfect alignment of your need and their deliverable, but it rarely happens. I'm not down on recruiting, just don't put all your eggs in this basket. And don't get frustrated when they don't return your calls — it's the nature of the beast.
3. Connecting/Networking - As I said before, a good bet is to reach out to strategic friends, family, and colleagues who might connect you to the right people. You need to move up the food chain and play tennis with the big boys and girls. Don't make all your stops with unemployed networking groups — you're trying to sell a car when everyone else in the room are selling cars too. You need to mix with accomplished, employed, and upwardly mobile people who GET IT. You've hit a road bump in your career (we all have), stop holding yourself back and reach for the gold ring.
4. Targeting - You need to pick the best companies that you would LOVE to work for (remember this?). Act like a private investigator — research what's going on, who's making headlines, where they're going, and who you need to target. Then build a dossier about that person — where they went to school, what do they do, where they worked, are they on social media, etc. Then go after them and introduce yourself to them. Now the hard part begins.
I know this has been a rough post to read — but my goal isn't to sugar-coat my coaching, but to tell the truth and get you to take action ASAP. Let me know if you found it useful.
I love Reddit. Many years ago, a retained recruiter hosted a huge 'AMA' (Ask Me Anything) post. They delivered great responses which were spot on. Here are some of the best (please disregard the grammar - I wanted to preserve the questions asked):
Powerful words from Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs host): "Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job.
Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired.
Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today.
But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist.
And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs."
Mike Rowe is an American media personality, actor and comedian best known as the host of the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs. He can also be heard as narrator on a variety of series and has appeared in recurring commercials for Ford Motor Company.
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The secret prescription to success is no longer a secret.
As a business and career coach, I run into so many different people every day. I attend conferences and events, I run workshops and webinars, and I host team masterminds for all types of professionals. And guess what? When I talk to the unemployed, I've heard all the excuses why you don't have a job. Here are the top ten realities of your job search today:
1. You're waiting for the phone to ring or the limo to pull up to your house and whisk you off to your new position.
This is my #1 pet peeve when I host job-search workshops. People say they are busy, they're sending out resumes, but the reality is they are mentally waiting for a knight in shining armor to whisk them away to a new cushy position. Guest what . . . it's never going to happen. NEVER.
Unless you're a recently fired CEO with massive connections to firms who want to hire you and subsequently ruin their company, no one is going to call and no one is driving up with a black stretch limo. Once you realize you are on your own and only YOU can change your situation, it's time for a mental ass-kick to get your head on straight.
What To Do: You want an mental ass-kick? Start listening to motivational speakers to keep your mental energy level up and constant. Check out Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, Jeffrey Gitomer, and my favorite Bennie Hsu at Get Busy Living Podcast. He's the best!
2. You rarely go out.
You get up at 9 AM, you probably don't take a shower, you get dressed in your old geriatric Adidas sweatsuit, and sit in front of your laptop. WRONG!
What To Do: Get up at 5 AM, go for a walk/run outside, take a shower, and get dressed in real clothes. You don't like it? TOUGH. This is your workday and for the next 8-10 hours, I am your drill sergeant and you will deliver 110% looking for a job every Monday through Friday. Set up a schedule which takes you outside every single day. Meet people for coffee, hit the library, go to the gym, walk around the park. Strike up conversations with people — you never know who you will meet.
3. You check the web for postings, send out a few resumes, and watch Ellen, Rachael, and Jerry the rest of the day.
Unemployment is not a vacation. You have to attack your job search like any project you've ever delivered at work.
What To Do: You have to:
- Focus on the marketplace - What companies are doing well? Where are the growth areas? Who are the movers and shakers?
- Analyze your attributes against your competition - Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis on YOU. Figure out how you leverage your strengths and opportunities.
- Develop key targets to go after - Analyze your commuting radius, find out all the potential industries and organizations within your circle, and begin to make a hit list.
- Execute - Go after each one incrementally in a cascade pattern to ensure you are not inundated with tasks, but your search is progressing in a healthy fashion.
4. Your industry has changed.
You actually thought people were going to buy slide-rules FOREVER. Yes, that's right, you're industry is changing. And guess what? Everyone's industry is changing. Some are morphing into other forms, some are merging, many are shrinking, and a lot are just plum going out of business. If you thought you could keep your job or profession for 30 years, I have a DeLorean to sell you.
What To Do: Figure out where your industry is going and either stick around for the very bumpy ride or jump off at the station for the next train. Get to thee library, my dear young minstrel and start understanding what is really happening in the marketplace. Read the WSJ, Medium, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Inc, and Foundr. Also meeting with industry luminaries doesn't hurt either.
5. You're too old.
Where did the time go? You were having so much fun as an executive in a corner office working on strategy and mergers, you never saw the axe coming for you until it was too late. Now you're 55 and no one wants you. Let me rephrase that — no 20-year old in HR wants you. The minute they do the college graduate math in their head (or on their calculator), your résumé is flying faster than a 767 into the circular file. And the funny thing is you keep doing it.
What To Do: Stop repeating something which doesn't work and expecting something different. You have to get out of the HR/Recruiter trap and move up the ladder and meet/engage/schmooze the hiring managers. Go to industry events, reach out to them via LinkedIn/Twitter, and google their name to get to know them. Then reach out and try to meet them.
6. You're too young.
Where did the time go? You were just in college wowing them with your 4.0 GPA and now no one will take your calls because you have no experience.
What To Do: It's time for you to get some experience! You need to call in every chip on the poker table of life and have them connect you with possible paid intern/entry level positions. Let's get real — you might have a little bit of knowledge, but your don't have the experience to hit deadlines consistently, run a meeting, handle an angry client, manage a boss, or run a complex project. You have to take a small hit position/salary-wise and build up those talents before you really hit the big leagues of life.
7. You're unrealistic about your position and your salary.
"Look, I was Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with a yearly base salary of $275K. Why doesn't anyone want me?"
What To Do: There are a finite number of positions out there which might fit your position/salary requirements, but you will never find them in time. I know, you might run into them, but most likely, NOT. You have to be a bit flexible on the Who/What/Where/How Much in the current marketplace. Try to broaden your scope and see what else is out there. It might not be a VP position, or one drowning in strategy. It might be a bit lower than $275K a year — but then again, it's higher than the $0/year you're pulling in now (great tax benefits though).
8. You have a glass-half-empty mentality.
No one likes a whiner. I just spoke with a prospect this week who could not stop talking about all the bad bosses and decisions they've made in the past 10 years. The first rule of your job search: Never, ever, say bad things about your past. Not only does it cloud anyone's opinion of you, it brings your mental state down into the basement.
What To Do: Start imagining what life would be like if you had that wonderful position RIGHT NOW. Where would you be? Who would you be working with? What would you be doing? How would you get there. Stop thinking and feeling guilty about the past and start preparing for your glorious future. Get your head half-full immediately.
9. You're afraid of Thinking Big and reaching out to the real power-brokers.
No one is going to think big for you (except me). You hamstring your search and actions by being risk-averse. You're afraid of rejection and will never put yourself in a position of actually touching key movers and shakers in your industry. No . . . you will continue to interview with 20-year-old HR reps who text more than they think and wonder why you don't have a killer position.
What To Do: Get a piece of paper and write down what would be your PERFECT job. Now actualize it in your universe — find those companies who fit the bill and reach out to the key people who run those positions. The funny thing is . . . these same people are always on the lookout for new talent. You're just not putting yourself onto their radar.
10. You've given up.
You've tried again and again to get a job offer, an interview or even a solid connection and it seems the cards are stacked against you. It's been years since you've worked and you're draining your savings account to keep your household afloat.
What To Do: You can always try again. Take a different tack, work on an alternate strategy, reach out to new people. In fact, I just worked with a client who was unemployed for two years and within three months, he had a number of offers and took an incredible job. You never know where your next break will occur.
Free image provided by iStockPhoto.
YOU ARE AVOIDING GETTING A JOB.
The myth of corporate safety is over. Not because the economy is bad. But because innovation and the global economy are better than ever.
Here are key quick tips I give to all of my clients prior to their first day on the job.
Are you late all the time? What causes that? Are you a perfectionist. an idiot savant or an egomaniac? Let's find out.
How much love is there in your life? You probably love your parents, your spouse/partner, your kids . . . but what else do you love?
Do you love any of your friends? Colleagues? Nature? A beautiful day? A good book?
How about work? Do you love it? Hate it? If work was a long spectrum from Totally Love to Uncomfortably Despise, where would you fall on that line?
Sweet Potatoes? Peas? Squash? Corn? No.Is it a loved one who passed away this year? Is it a family member who is serving our country overseas? Let's all take a moment and express our love and gratitude for all the people in our lives. But today, I would like to go a little deeper — what's missing from your INNER Thanksgiving table this year?
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” - Unknown Too bad we'll never know who originally said this great quote. A little secret . . . this is one of my mantras in life. Let's think about it . . .
CIOs are under more pressure than ever. The job is incredibly challenging. Despite recent arguments to the contrary, we believe information technology is at the heart of corporate strategy. IT must deliver more systems faster and operate them in a fail-safe environment. Being successful as a CIO requires an unusual combination of technical know-how, business acumen, and organizational leadership skills. It's a job with a sometimes short life cycle, and it takes a seemingly superhuman to do it effectively.