Posts tagged #LinkedIn

Are You Working At A Dead-End Job?

Americans spend more than half of their waking hours at work, yet according to recent data, more than 70% of workers are professionally disengaged. Being “checked out” or unhappy at work can lead to poor performance and low productivity and the feelings can also spillover to your personal life. While legitimate factors such as the economy, expectations of doing more with less or working harder for lower pay and little recognition may be to blame, there could be other variables at play.

A major unrecognized factor to workplace discontentment is that professionals may in fact be at a dead-end job and it's time to do something about it. But before taking the leap into finding new work, it’s important to identify possible warning signs of a dead-end position, including:

  • A raise is not in imminent;
  • A promotion is unlikely;
  • Offering suggestions for improving processes or procedures are not well received or implemented;
  • There is little or no encouragement to take on more responsibility;
  • The workload keeps increasing without more compensation and upward mobility does not seem within reach.

If a job meets several of the above criteria, it’s time to find the next professional move—but that doesn’t necessarily mean jumping ship to a new employer. Consider the following:

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Posted on July 30, 2013 .

Classic Mistake #2: Hiding Behind Your Online Profile

It’s clear how dependent we’ve become on social media, or SoMe (a mnemonic I’ve recently come to learn). We rely on SoMe for everything from job searches to career development and branding, to connecting with like-minded people, to finding friends and even to finding love. Some take SoMe to a level that replaces in-person, face-to-face human interaction or, to go even further, we often use it to avoid feeling rejected by peers, potential mates and potential employers. There is something about cyberspace as a buffer between us and the other person that makes us feel safe, but it’s also working toward our detriment. In the land of the unemployed, SoMe serves as a way to be satisfied that we’re doing SOMETHING to help ourselves and when a response to our applications never materialize into employment we can say “at least I tried.” While it’s commendable that you are doing something rather than sitting around doing nothing at all, your online dependency is hurting you if you’re not doing anything in addition. The question is, how do we create a hybrid approach that combines the best of the SoMe world with the old school approach that has worked for generations?

First, let me reintroduce you to the telephone. Somehow we have decided that texting, email and SoMe direct messaging is the only way to communicate. While it allows us to stay connected more regularly in a less intrusive way (as we can tap someone while not interrupting if they’re busy at that moment), online methods gives the recipient a license to get back to you when they get back to you. Picking up the phone has many benefits starting with its display of your confidence and tenacity.

Next, if you are spending day-after-day sitting in front of your computer then it’s time to step away from the terminal and get outside in the 3D world. Use SoMe to connect with people to set up in-person meetings. Even if that person doesn’t have a job to offer you, they could be a great resource or may know someone looking to hire someone just like you. This is where networking and being an Occupreneur is not only valuable, but essentially vital to your success.

Finally, don’t be afraid to go to new places alone. Most people feel funny about sitting in a coffee shop or bar, or going to a social event such as a fundraiser without a wingman. What’s amazing is that once you get used to and more comfortable with being in places by yourself, you suddenly don’t feel alone because the chances of meeting new people becomes so much greater than if you were sitting somewhere with a friend. When you’re with a friend it can make you seem less approachable. And you never know who you will meet or who that person may know. That said, always make sure you feel safe when going it alone.

And one final word; don’t get discouraged. It’s so easy to when we feel like nothing is happening or moving in the direction we want or need it to. That doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. Keep pushing through by talking to and meeting new people, while following up with those who you’ve already been in contact with. One of the best pieces of advice my father gave me was that if you throw enough stuff against the wall eventually something will stick. But please be deliberate with what you ‘throw’ because throwing everything all over the place will work against you!

Posted on June 19, 2013 .

Your Resume: Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

I am often asked to review clients’ resumes and provide feedback. While I try to accommodate these requests, I do first disclaim that I'm not an expert in resume writing and suggest that anyone seeking those services should hire a professional resume writer. However, what I can do is provide you with some general tips to improve yours right now:

  1. Look at job postings online and design your bullet points based on the requirements. If you're seeking a particular job or industry, it’s important to read as many postings online as you can and use the content to your benefit. The purpose here is to gain clarity on employers' needs by identifying the main points of the job descriptions. Then make sure the bullets on your resume answers those needs but make sure you use your own words (no one likes a plagiarizer) and always be truthful. It’s more than ok to be creative and show how your skills (both hard skills and soft skills) can contribute to an organization, however, it’s another to flat out lie.
  2. Use your resume as a self-promotion tool. If you don't promote yourself, no one will. This is where many people miss the mark. This doesn't mean be cocky or arrogant, but I’ve seen it time and time again, highly successful people diminish how valuable they are and how much they are capable of. And by the way, myself included. I recently had a conversation with a headhunter (not for a job… I met him at a friend’s house). He asked me about my professional background, looking for my resume, it seemed. After going through the play-by-play he commented on how impressed he was by how much I’ve done in my career. But if you asked me to sum up what I had told him I might have taken a different route, diminishing my extensive experience. Get the point?
  3. Your resume is for self-promotion, but ultimately it's just a formality. It will not land you any job. Only you will, in person. While you must have a top-notch resume, its purpose is to tell only part of the story. With the job market still tight at best, it's more important than ever for job seekers to take a creative approach to landing their next gig. Finding a job through a blind online submission is possible but it is almost as likely these days as winning the daily numbers lottery. In today's market I cannot stress enough how important it is to get in front of the interviewer either through networking, cold-calling, knocking on doors or through a LinkedIn introduction.


Posted on May 23, 2013 .