Monday, September 26, 2016

"And the award goes to..."

An interview question, inspired by the Emmy awards, occurred to me the other day:
"If you were to receive an award in recognition of an accomplishment of yours, what would it be?"
I don't think such a question is asked much if at all. But it would reveal some things about the applicant including their humility and self-awareness. 
Whether you are asked this question or not, if you are a job hunter, you would do well to ponder it. How would you answer it?
What have you done that is worthy of distinction?
Not everyone receives recognition for their work. Few of us get accolades that we can proudly point to.
And many of us are modest and tend to put our "lamp under a bushel."
But if we are honest with ourselves, we all have done something in our careers that we feel good about. Some accomplishment that we worked hard to achieve. Maybe even despite obstacles that we encountered.
Before your next interview, take the time to review such accomplishments. Write it out. Be descriptive. Set the scene. What was the goal, or project, or problem? Who was the customer? What actions did you take? Why? And what was the outcome? Be sure to finish with the results you achieved.
Take pride in what you have done.
Believe in yourself.

If you are sold, you can sell.

Terrence Seamon advises job hunters and career changers. Follow him on twitter @tseamon, and on facebook Facilitation Solutions.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Potential Job Market

It's commonplace in the job search field to speak of the "hidden" job market. The term "hidden" refers to the jobs that are not on the job boards.
They may be jobs that are currently posted on internal job boards. Or they may be identified positions that are not yet approved requisitions.
One of my clients recently landed and he met with me to say, "Terry, You were right about the so-called 'hidden' job market. But that word 'hidden' is not exactly correct."
Here's what he meant.
In the course of his job search, he reached out to colleagues in his network, even those from years ago.
One of those, from over ten years ago, was happy to hear from him. They reconnected.
They started to talk about stuff they were doing and stuff they were both interested in.
It became clear, as the conversations went on, that there was mutual interest in working together again.
Eventually the conversation became a job offer and my client went back to work.
My client then said to me:  "There was no hidden job. There actually was no job at all! Just a desire to work together again on an exciting new venture."
So what just happened in that case?
My client discovered the "Potential Job" Market, a market place of relationships where employers meet people they may already know and discover new possibilities for joining forces. 
Terrence Seamon assists people in job search and career transition. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

Friday, May 20, 2016

Is it time to Get Out of the Box?

It's not unusual for a job search to stretch on for months. There are many possible reasons why this is often the case. One of those is that job hunters can develop some "bad" habits. The one I want to address in this post is Staying Inside the Box.
By Staying Inside the Box, I mean doing everything right but not taking risks.
In recent months, some of my clients have ventured Outside the Box and have achieved success. Here are some of the risky things they tried...that worked.
Display your expertise - One of my clients wrote a Pulse post here on LinkedIn that demonstrated his knowledge and expertise in his field. Soon thereafter, his phone rang. It was a former colleague calling, triggered by reading the post. The two started talking and it culminated in a job offer.
Hang out with hiring managers - The phrase "hang out" comes from wise job search adviser Nick ("Ask the Headhunter") Corcodilos who often says, Hang out where the likely action is. In other words, where are You likely to find the employers you are most interested in? If you are in the pharma or chemicals industry, join ChemPharma, a networking group dedicated to that industry. If you are a Project Manager, join PMI. By joining the relevant industry organizations where your target employers hang out, you increase your exposure to them.
Talk shop - When it comes to networking conversations in professional organizations like the ones above, every job search coach recommends "Don't ask for a job." Instead, talk shop (again a 'hat tip' to Nick Corcodilos for this). Talking shop means asking the other person about their business. Show interest in them. Ask questions. Engage them in talking about what matters most TO THEM. It will become apparent, as the conversation goes along, that you have something of value to offer.
Offer to advise - Sometimes, you will be talking shop with a potential employer, but finally the employer will say something like "Gee I wish I could have you join my company, but we have no money/no opening/ no budget." Your response could be, No Problem! Consider me an adviser. I'll come in, take a look at your operation, and give you my recommendations. If you like them, you can offer me something (i.e., compensation) in return. If you want, I can come in on a regular basis (i.e., a retainer).
Contact your rejecters - Most job hunters get turned down. It's to be expected. But how many job hunters go back to those rejecters and offer a counter-proposal? I recently read about this idea in a Pulse post where the author said that he re-contacted all the companies that had turned him down. He offered to consult with them in case they needed extra help. Out of all that he reached out to, he heard back from only a small handful. But of those, several said Yes.
Have you heard of any other out-of-the-box ideas for job hunters? Please write them in the comments.
Terrence Seamon works with career transitioners. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The RASDA Cycle

What is the RASDA cycle, you ask?
The letters stand for:  Rage, Anger, Sadness, Desperation, Acceptance
After reading the heart-breaking post by Kim Williams, about being fired from Intel after 28 years of dedication and hard work, it occurred to me that these feelings --Rage, Anger, Sadness, Desperation, Acceptance-- may capture the essence of what many go through when they are involuntarily terminated from their employment.
Rage may be the first. "How dare you take this from me!" Job loss is a drastic thing. You lose a lot:  your identity, your status, your office, your team, your customers.
You lose your income.  As a client of mine said to me the other day, "I went from six figures to zero in an instant."
I have often said that anyone who is thinking of firing somebody ought to go through the experience themselves in order to know first-hand what they are about to inflict on another human being.
Anger may come next as the fire of Rage subsides somewhat.  Anger at the Company, at the Boss, at the way the termination was handled. This is often a phase of blaming, of hurt...and for some, anger at one's self.
When I read how Kim Williams was escorted off the site like a criminal, my heart broke for him. That is no way to treat someone who moments before was a solid employee of the company.
Sadness and Desperation may come next as the days turn to weeks, and the weeks turn to months, during a period of transition where nothing seems to go right. No interviews, no call backs, no offers.
If you are lucky, the feeling of Acceptance may arrive at last. Acceptance can mean many things. It may mean that you have decided to "let go." Holding on to the past will not bring back what was lost.
Acceptance may mean that you have decided to face the facts without blinders on. Ask yourself, "Here I am. Now what?"
Acceptance may mean that you have shifted your gaze to a focus on the future. Ask yourself, "What next?"
Acceptance may mean that you have opened up to new and different possibilities. Ask yourself, "What else can I do with the skills I have, with what I am good at?"
Acceptance may be the doorway to your next chapter.
Terrence Seamon has been through the RASDA cycle several times. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Shift Happens

Last night, I was a panelist, along with four other coaches (Christine CliftonDan HollisKim LuthyCasey Carpenter), in an event called Shift Happens, moderated by Meredith Eckert.
Produced by Sara Greenhouse of Generate Buzz, the aim of Shift Happens is to recognize that we all encounter adversity, whether it be setbacks, losses, and disappointments in Life or in Business, and to provide stories and wisdom that contain tips and strategies for resilience and self-empowerment.
Well, let me tell you, it was a thrilling experience!
Each panelist spoke from the heart and shared real life challenges --including illness, job loss, bullying, divorce, career change, death of a spouse-- that he or she was somehow able to overcome by tapping into resources including...
- sense of Purpose
- a network of supportive friends
- faith in a Higher Power
- belief in Oneself
And in each case, pure unadulterated Grit, the human capacity to persevere even in the face of extraordinary obstacles.
For me, I would summarize a main theme of the night in the word FIGHT, because each one of us reached inside to summon up the strengths needed in a time of trial:
F - Facing the facts, and facing our fears, to Focus on our goals
I - Igniting our inner fire, and Inspiring our spirits
G - Getting the Grit and Galvanizing into action
H- Having a plan and not losing Hope
T - Touching base with friends and Tapping into one's network
It is my fervent hope that Shift Happens happens again. If It sounds good to you, and you would like Shift Happens to come to your area, let us know.
We will make it happen!
Terrence Seamon coaches others through the stress and uncertainty of Life's changes. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Landing Success Factors - Part 1

Most of us who practice in the arena of today's job search agree that a new set of skills are needed if you are to land successfully.  Skills like designing your own brand and raising your visibility. A true story...

One of my clients, let's call him G, came in the other day and told me he had just received an offer of employment. He added that it was directly due to something I had recommended. Here's the rest of the story.
G and I had been talking about his desire to re-brand himself as part of his strategy. I suggested he consider writing a Pulse post for LinkedIn that demonstrated some aspect of his expertise.
At first, G wasn't so sure. After some heming and hawing, he did it. He wrote and published the post.
Soon thereafter a former colleague rang him up to compliment him on the post. That led to a conversation...and to the job offer.
The former colleague, it turns out, is an entrepreneur currently growing a tech start-up. And he needed exactly the skills that G was offering to the marketplace.
G credits the Pulse post with raising his visibility to his own network.
What actions are helping you to gain visibility?
Terrence Seamon assists people who are in job search and career transition. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Go SMART into 2016

As we glide through the Holiday Season, here is a gift from me to all job hunters: five practices that will make you a SMART job hunter.
S = Sales: Why would an employer hire you? Because you are sold…on You! You told the best story. The story of Who You Are. And what you can bring to the employer’s organization. Your Story is your Brand. Telling your Story is the way you sell the prospect.
M = Market: How do you find potential employers? Like a Big Game Hunter tracks and snares his prey. With clear intent and unrelenting pursuit. You know what you want. You know your market. Because you know your Product. And the product is You. Remember: when you are in transition, you are in Sales & Marketing.
A = Acquisition: How do you rise above the rest of the job hunters out there? They want a job. But you are looking to acquire a company. Sure, you want a job too. But think about it for a few minutes from the point of view of the recruiter who is beating the bushes to find and attract some good candidates. You are doing the same thing from the other side of the equation. So get into acquisition mode.
R = Research: How do you wow the employer? By demonstrating how much you know about him or her. You did your research, using your network, LinkedIn, and other resources on the internet. You prepared a list of questions to ask. You know so much about the employer that you may actually stun the interviewer.
T = Tools: The well-equipped job hunter always carries his most trusty tools, especially business cards, a pen, a fully charged cell phone, and a box of “Thank You” note cards. But the Swiss Army Knife of all job search tools is one’s network, the people you know, the people you can count on, the people who are looking out for you.
Be smart, baby. Be smart.
Posted by Terrence Seamon, a veteran job hunter. For more ideas on job search, career change, and how to find the meaning and happiness you seek out of life, invite Terry to speak to your organization.