Posts Tagged 'Career Advice'

Ask for What You Want At Work. Or: Don’t Ask for Orange Juice if You Want Grape Juice

Have you ever known someone who doesn’t ever seem to know just what he or she wants? I know someone like that. In fact, I know him really well. He’s my 2-year old. He is in a constant state of not knowing exactly what he wants. A typical conversation:

Him: I want peanut butter and jelly. On bread.

Me: You want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Can you ask in a nice way?

Him: No. I want a waffle. (He proceeds to start removing an apple from the refrigerator.)

Another typical conversation at our house:

Him: I want orange juice.

Me: What’s a nice way to ask? (Pouring orange juice.)

Him: Please! No, I don’t want orange juice. I want GRAPE juice. In a cup.

I think you get the picture. If I’m lucky, he changes his mind before I prepare what he initially requested, but more often than not, I’m faced with trying to convince him to eat what he originally wanted or starting over. If I had a dollar for every time I say, “Oh…I should have known that when you asked for orange juice (and took it out), it really meant that you want grape juice!” – I would be on some island somewhere – someone would be serving ME drinks!

So, what does this have to do with the topic at hand? What does it have to do with your job?

Think about it – Do you really know what you want? Are you like the 2-year old who is asking for orange  juice, but really wanting grape juice? Are you impulsive, asking for (or wishing for) the first thing that comes to your mind? Unlike my 2-year old, whose only real consequence for his indecision is needing to say a few extra “pleases” or being stuck with whatever he first requested, there are real consequences for professionals who either don’t know what they want or don’t know how to ask for it.

What to do? Stop and think! Tiffany Monhollon writes that you should “stop, listen and move.”

It isn’t always easy to figure out what you really want. It certainly isn’t easy to decide to make a major change in the hopes of accomplishing what you really want. It is worth it, though. Don’t let life, or your job, just happen TO you. Stop. Listen. Move. If you want grape juice – don’t just ask for it – do what my 2-year old does when he is really desperate and I’m taking too long – get it out and pour it yourself!

Realize that you are ready to leave your job? Subscribe for free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt! Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Can You Identify Your Single Greatest Accomplishment?

I’m working with a client whose documents include a note about a specific role that she performed in one of her positions. She indicates that this was “her single biggest professional accomplishment.”

This led me to ask: How many of us can identify our single greatest professional accomplishment? Can you? What if someone asked you in an interview what work experience made you the most proud? Could you pick one?

Maybe we are all too busy trying to identify our weaknesses to describe in an interview, when we should be focusing on the best things we have to offer. Think about it…If you don’t know your greatest strength, who does?

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a linkto receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Can’t figure out how to optimize your resume with key words? Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interview? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by ducktourer

Stressed At Work? Look for These Intangibles for a Better Work Life

Work presses your stress button? You are not alone. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or an MD) to figure out that work stress can cause health problems and a generally miserable life.

It turns out that employees need some very basic things to help them feel valued and committed to an organization, thus reducing stress and work angst. You may be surprised to find out that none of these basic core needs have anything to do with salaries or free massages at work! Click to read the rest at my blog on GreatPlaceJobs.com to learn more about basic stressers and the environments that may help you avoid them!

When Should You Tell Your Employer You are Looking for a Job?

You have one foot out the door. When is a good time to tell your current boss that you’d rather not work for him or her anymore (for whatever reason), and that you are looking for a new job?

The short answer – when you give your notice!

While there are certainly specific circumstances when discussing your plans to leave might be prudent (for example, if you work for a family member and want to be sure they don’t disown you), typically, it isn’t a good idea to let everyone know that you have one foot (literally or figuratively) out the door.

Why, you ask?  If everyone knows that you’d rather be somewhere else, you are less likely to be assigned interesting work. You probably won’t take on additional leadership roles and may very well be stuck right where you are (career wise) until you manage to find another job. The fact is, that could very well take a long time.

Being candid about wanting another position may seem like the right thing, but the fact is, unless you are at the point of needing your current boss to provide a reference for another opportunity (which usually means that you almost have the new job), talking about your plans to leave goes under the category of TMI – too much information.

Now, giving appropriate notice to your employer is a different story. Most workers can appropriately offer two weeks notice. Some, in more responsible positions, may be required by their contract to provide a longer period of time, and in some industries, workers don’t give any notice because they are not  welcome at work once they announce their intention to leave. (This is typical on Wall Street, for example, where employees are led out of the building by security once they announce their plans to leave.)

So, do the right thing. When you’re at work, give it your all. Do your job, and do what you can to continue to build your resume and list of accomplishments while you are still working at your current job. You’ll thank me later!

Ready to leave your job? Subscribe for free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt! Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by aripeskoe2

Great Place Jobs – Online Job Posting Site for Great Employers

I am happy to announce that I am the designated career advice expert for an online job posting site, GreatPlaceJobs.com. (Take a look at my blog at GreatPlaceJobs, where I will be sharing exclusive content.) Asher Adelman, the founder and CEO of eBossWatch and greatplacejobs.com calls the site, “the world’s first exclusive ‘great workplace’ job site to help people find jobs at award-winning employers.”

Asher notes, “For most people nowadays, it’s not enough for a company to pay you well but treat you poorly.  GreatPlaceJobs was designed for job-seekers who aspire to work at companies that care about their people as much as the people care about the company.”

What is special about GreatPlaceJobs? They only post jobs from specifically certified employers designated as “excellent” based on criteria such as having a culture based on trust, fairness, respect, open communications, recognition and camaraderie. When you search their database, you know that every organization represented has been scrutinized and/or has won awards as a high-quality place to work.

This is what the site says about itself:

  • Over 150,000 new jobs each month.
  • Only jobs at certified excellent employers are featured on GreatPlaceJobs.
  • More than 1,300 companies approved as great employers.
  • All companies are individually qualified and approved before being added to GreatPlaceJobs.

GreatPlaceJobs posts positions free for eligible companies. Job seekers pay a $20 membership fee for a 3-month subscription. Asher anticipates exploring many avenues to connect great employers with job seekers. Members will be the first to learn about potential opportunities. Learn more by clicking here.

So, looking to add an online site to your job search plans? Consider a site that screens the employers for you! Use your time wisely online: www.greatplacejobs.com.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help with your hunt? Did you know we offer a resume consulting service? We advise, you write! Or, hire us to write your resume for you. Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Suddenly Unemployed: What Steps to Take Now

It is a sad state of affairs when previously top-rated and well-respected firms go belly up and leave a slew of dedicated, talented, but unemployed workers in their wake.

I worked on Wall Street and survived one lay-off before deciding to change industries. My department and ultimately the firm was subsequently swallowed up, so I feel particularly empathetic. Many who believed that a Wall Street job was their golden ticket must now take a deep breath and figure out plan B.

In light of today’s situation, and in particular for Lehman and Merrill employees (and AIG…), here are some action steps to consider:

Pause, but don’t stop.

If you don’t have a great network and job search materials at-the-ready, facing an unexpected job loss can be very overwhelming. Take a moment to take stock, but don’t take a month. Consider potential next steps. Assess your skills and figure out what you offer that is unique and special. In an environment where many people are looking for opportunities at once, you need to be able to identify what sets you apart.

In a post for the Wall Street Journal, “Dealing with a Job Search When You Least Expect It”: Toddi Gutner notes: “Despite the need to mobilize a quick job search, ‘you don’t want to send out a bunch of things into the marketplace without any thought behind it,’ says Mr. [Doug] Matthews [CEO of Right Management Consultants]. Take some time to create a thoughtful and measured approach to your job hunt. Be specific about the position you want and target the companies where you want to work.” (Hat tip: Lindsey Pollak)

Clean up your digital footprint.

Especially if you’ve been thrown into a job search unexpectedly – IMMEDIATELY clean up your social networking profiles so that they are professional and wouldn’t cause any potential employer to think twice about hiring you. (Including your photos – make sure you are dressed like you are ready for work in your highlighted pictures.) Set a Google alert so you know when your name comes up online. With 1 in 5 employers researching candidates online, an un-professional comment or picture may be the difference between getting the job and being the #2 choice.

Network smart.

You already know. Network, network, network. But, do you know how? If you’re not familiar with social networks (linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.), now is the time to get familiar!

When you are planning your networking, focus on information gathering and sharing. Don’t ask for informational meetings to discuss your need for a job. If that person doesn’t have a job to offer, he or she will probably not want to meet with you and will suggest you contact HR.

The key with your networking is to expand your group of “loose contacts” – people who don’t know you well, but are willing to do what they can to help you achieve your goal. If you can present yourself as talented and skilled and make a personal connection, you will get much further with your job hunt.

Job hunt full time, but don’t be a workaholic.

Make a plan. Get up, get dressed, make appointments, keep a to-do list. Have goals for your job hunt as you do for your work life. I don’t have to tell you that this is a stressful time, but don’t feel the need to be job hunting 100% of your day. Take time to enjoy yourself and seek supportive groups to help you get through this tough time. Take time to vent and to be angry, but try to achieve a positive outlook, as that will help you in the long run.

Consider the cost benefits of seeking career advice.

The fact is, most people don’t have a very good resume and have no idea how to search for a job in today’s economy. In a competitive environment, your job seeking materials (this includes your linkedin profile and web 2.0 presence) will be even more important. Money may be tight, but hiring a coach and/or a resume writer might be just the boost you need to propel your search. Anita Bruzzese, career advice columnist and author suggests,

“If you don’t think you can afford a career coach, consider giving up some of the extras in your life (a gym membership, eating out, cable television, etc.) which can can help you pay for a coach.”

Consider the cost of unemployment and the fact that you are much more likely to land a job in a timely way if you have a great resume, understand how to market yourself and are well prepared to interview and negotiate.

The list of things to do when suddenly facing a job hunt is very long…Those who make a plan and  methodically move toward their goals are most likely to achieve them.

Some links that might be useful:

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

RSS Feeds for Jobseekers

It is important to balance the time you spend looking for jobs on job boards with other targeted job hunting plans, such as networking.

That said, this link to the “Best RSS Feeds for Jobseekers,” courtesy of  Kelly Kilpatrick at BestCollegesOnline.com, looks like a very comprehensive list for those who wish to simplify their search online.

At the very least, it is a great idea to use these job descriptions to learn what skills and experience employers are seeking in your field. Don’t be discouraged if the detailed job outline seems to describe someone who is super-human! The fact is, employers don’t ALWAYS expect to find an exact match for their list of millions of skills. However, if you apply for the job, they do expect you to make connections between what you offer and what they want to find!

Stay tuned for more online resources to consider for your job hunt!

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help with your hunt? Did you know we offer a resume consulting service? We advise, you write! Or, hire us to write your resume for you. Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.


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May 2017
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