Anybody feel this way? If your job search has gone on for a bit, you may be wondering if anyone will ever hire you. In my Boomers Back to Work! Class we talk about obstacles, and there are so many it’s hard to list them, but common ones include: age, salary, career change, not being up-to-date with technology, and worst of all, wrong strategy. By that I mean not conducting a smart search. So here are some quick tips to help you help Santa get that job in the pipeline (and if you’re not in transition, these are good to know anyway.)
- Resumes don’t get jobs. They’re an important tool but are frequently overused. Have a good one and provide it when it’s asked for.
- Create a list of companies where you’d like to work. Don’t get hung up on openings–just list 10-20 places where you think you’d enjoy working. Use this list as a key networking tool and ask your contacts if they’d take a look at it.
- Have a networking spreadsheet or keep your contact list in a notebook. Follow up is often where the good stuff happens, so be careful not to let possibilities slip through the cracks.
- Ask for advice. It’s magic as we all love to give advice. This is much more productive than asking for a job.
- Be creative. Talk to your local reference librarian, reach out to some stretch contacts (maybe the author of a book you like), shadow someone in a job that you don’t know much about.
The crazy thing about looking for work is that it’s unpredictable. A strong lead fizzles out, while a so-so interview turns into an offer. Keep light on your feet, connect with others, search smart and my bet is you’ll be working in the new year.
P.S. For more ideas, see my book, “Eliminated! Now What?”
Got the summer blues when it comes to looking for work? Wish you were on vacation, not figuring out how to get to the decision makers who can hire you? If yes, you’ve got lots of company. Job search is rarely anyone’s favorite activity, but instead of letting the summer get you down, why not take advantage of it?
First of all, as you reach out to people in your network, they tend to be a bit less busy, so have time to help you. Secondly, smart companies are gearing up for the fall. Third, there are lots of family and community activities in the summer so it’s easy to get together with others. Here are a few tips to help you:
- Plan an adventure that doesn’t cost much. Maybe it’s a trip to a park or national forest, or to a local beach. Give yourself time to enjoy what summer has to offer.
- Get off your computer and get outside. Take a walk, ride your bike, swim–and if possible do it with a friend. This gets you exercising and gives you much needed social time.
- Make a list of ten places where you’d love to work. See if you know anyone at any of these organizations–through LinkedIn, your personal network, friends, neighbors, family. That contact should be able to help you determine the best way to approach the hiring manager.
- Take classes at your local Department of Labor/Workforce Alliance office. Where I live in Connecticut, there are many wonderful, free classes that help job seekers succeed.
Let me know what works for you, and be a smart job seeker and keep at it during the summer. You’ll get there!
Having worked as a career coach for more than twenty years, I started to dread warm weather because many of my clients jumped to the conclusion that it would be impossible to find a job over the summer. Let’s set the record straight–it’s not true! Jobs are found throughout the year and in fact, summer is one of the best times to network.
Why? It’s easier to meet people as we’re outside more than during the winter. There are family and neighborhood get togethers, and while some hiring managers may be on vacation during the summer, the job market is not dead. In fact, smart companies often hire over the summer so that they’re in good shape for the fall.
Summer is also good for most job seekers as it’s such a wonderful time of the year. So get out there, enjoy the park, the beach, the mountains and make sure you’re proactively letting your network know what you’re doing and where you’d like to work.
For more help on this, check out my new program with Avanoo, called “Turn Off Your Computer and Get a Job!” You can watch the first three segments for free on this link: https://www.avanoo.com/first3/527
It was such fun presenting at the Connecticut Library Conference in Groton yesterday. It was a pleasure to help those who do so much for our communities. I mentioned in one of my talks that I’ve just launched a creative, new program with an organization called Avanoo. They’ve researched the way we learn best and have come up with month-long programs delivered online in short, 2-3 minute segments. My program with them is called “Turn Off Your Computer and Get a Job!” Please take a look at the first three segments below and you’ll see how meditative they are with time lapse photography and music.
If your library would be interested in this program for your job seekers, please let me know. I can get the price reduced in half for any library, and Avanoo will take care of all the administrative details: signing users up, giving them passwords, as well as tracking both usage and effectiveness. They then will share that data with you. Hope the rest of the conference was as wonderful as yesterday. Jean
So nice to meet a large group of job seekers last night at the Simsbury Library. We had a lively discussion about why you need to “turn off your computer to get a job.” Lots of good questions and feedback. So here are a few follow-up questions:
- You made a pie chart to highlight where you’re putting your search efforts. Made any changes?
- What’s the best thing you learned from this talk?
- Can you create a list of companies where you’d like to work and share that with your network?
Congrats to the two winners who went home with a free copy of my books. I wish you all the best with your job search efforts. Jean
It’s been exciting to look at issues facing mature job seekers. Check out this lastest blog published by AARP on why your network should be the center of your search: http://states.aarp.org/50-job-seeker-series-make-your-network-the-center-of-your-search-sc-ct-wp-money/
This is the fourth in a series of blogs on this topic as I thought this would be a fun way to start the New Year. I’ve reached out to a number of other career counselors as well as to former clients and other resources in the field. By “insider secrets” I simply mean fresh, new ideas to help you reach your career goals in 2015. Here’s the fourth tip from “The Best Career Advice for Every Decade of Your Life: Your Focus May Change Throughout Your Career” by Catherine Conlan, published in the Orange County Register, Sept. 2014.
For those in their 50’s:
“Artist Ann Klefstad says to look beyond regular jobs. “What has worked for me is to take the skills I have and work like the devil to create opportunities to use them, freelancing or consulting.” She recommends increasing the amount of your involvement with things you have affinity for and actively work to meet people involved with them.”
This is the third in a series of blogs on this topic as I thought this would be a fun way to start the New Year. I’ve reached out to a number of other career counselors as well as to former clients and other professionals in the field. By “insider secrets” I simply mean fresh, new ideas to help you reach your career goals in 2015. Here’s the third tip from me, “The Back To Work! Coach.
Turn Off Your Computer and Get a Job!
Isn’t this strange advice from a seasoned career coach? What on earth do I mean? Having partnered with thousands of people in transition over the 20+ years I’ve been a career counselor, I’ve seen an unhealthy addiction to answering online ads. So many job seekers are convinced this is the only way to go, even after months of spending hours online filling out applications with no tangible results. If this is unproductive (for most people), what should you do?
Diversify. Experiment. Try different techniques. And because looking for work is a job and a hard one at that, keep track of what’s working and do more of that. And pay attention to what’s not working and do less. Sounds simple but it isn’t as many job seekers don’t know how to tap into the unpublished or hidden job market. If you want guidance on how to do this, look at Orville’s book on networking (see Part II of these blogs), or get my book, “Eliminated! Now What?” from the library and read about how other job seekers have successfully learned how to turn off their computers to get a job.
No career coach can tell you exactly how or when you’ll land your next position. But we can tell you what a healthy, productive search looks like. So network, target companies directly, use a list of companies that you’re interested in as a key networking tool, go to association and job search group meetings, ask for advice, thank people often and invest in yourself. It’s going to be a great new year!
This is the second in a series of blogs on this topic as I thought this would be a fun way to start the New Year. I’ve reached out to a number of other career counselors as well as to former clients and other professionals in the field. By “insider secrets” I simply mean fresh, new ideas to help you reach your career goals in 2015. Here’s the second tip from Orville Pierson, Author of Team Up! Find a Better Job Faster with a Job Search Work Team. highlyeffectivejobsearch.com:
Job hunting is a team sport, and you should check the scoreboard regularly.
Most people don’t “keep score” when looking for a job. But with no way to tell how fast you’re moving toward that great new job, the search can seem like an endless, depressing series of rejections and difficulties.
Research shows us that the average job search includes conversations with 25 decision makers, people who could be your next boss. Most of these are informal talks, but five turn out to be actual job interviews. And one of those produces a job offer. So each conversation is a step closer to success, and counting them is one of several ways to keep score.
How do you manage to have those conversations? Ask your teammates, those smart and supportive job hunters that you meet with each week to figure out how to get better and better at job hunting – and to celebrate successes, small and large.
This is the first in a series of blogs on this topic as I thought this would be a fun way to start the New Year. I’ve reached out to a number of other career counselors as well as to former clients and other professionals in the field. By “insider secrets” I simply mean fresh, new ideas to help you reach your career goals in 2015. Here’s the first tip from Mary Glynn, AVP Quality and Training at Chubb:
Organize a Reunion to catch up with some of your favorite people as well as others who are in a position to help. I organized one after I was let go from a leading financial services firm and included others who had lost their jobs as well as current employees. People were happy to see each other and were grateful to me for putting it all together. So while you’re having a great time with colleagues and friends, you can also network for new opportunities. Let people know what you’re looking for. Share your list of companies of interest. And have a sign in book so that you get everyone’s updated contact information, or create the event invites through Evite or another online party site. Save the email list as a job search resource and follow up after the event to say how great it was to see them and then continue to stay in touch.