Networking for a Job or a Career Change via LinkedIn

It is never too late, or too early, to start networkingA solid network will help you advance your career.

I sure wish I had listened to these words as I walked down the road of life. Yet the hard truth, I was too lazy and really did not see the advantage. Networking was always something I would do later.

My early days begin when we were using “printed” phone books to look up numbers and had boxes stuffed with business cards.

My recommendation, don’t follow the path I walked.

In the business world, networking is now much easier today and it is required.Continue reading

Use Street-Smarts to Avoid Jobs You May Hate

Have you ever driven down a road and realized you are at a dead end?

Some dead ends are clear based on the sign, slow down or else. To travel is in my blood.  Regardless if it is a road trip, take off for months with a back pack, or take a 3 year stint to see the world. Having a slight wild streak in me, you run into numerous dead ends, usually when you “think” all is right.

Some dead ends are so close, just one more step and say good bye Some dead ends have signs to slow us down, beware of what lies ahead. Other times it is much more dangerous, such as a path which ends at the edge of a cliff. Just one more step and you can kiss your back side good bye.

 Use your sweet spot to help avoid landing in a job you may hate.Continue reading

Define Your Sweet Spot Before Interviewing

If you played or watched baseball you may know there is a sweet-spot on the bat.

Look for your sweetspot to thrive in business.“A place where a combination of factors results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort.”

Part of being street-smart is to discover and understand where in the business world does “your sweet spot” exist. One method is to create a list of skills and capabilities, both strengths and weaknesses. Based on this list, you can create a short list which begins to define your own sweet-spot.

Your sweet-spot defines where you can have the maximum impact by using your strengths in a career you choose. While “thriving” by providing your normal effort. Super human effort burns us out over time, choose wisely, using your street-smarts and your strengths.Continue reading

Interview Successfully Being Prepared to Sell

An interesting twist is to go into an interview considering your primary role is to sell your skills and capabilities.

Sales people listening to a story from the buyerLets start with the definition of a “sale”. According to wiki: A sale is the act of selling a product or service in return for money or other compensation. Considering we are going into an interview with the desire of landing a new job with a pay check, based on the definition, to interview is selling. The objective of the interview is to sell our “capabilities” as a new employee.

Now let’s use street-smarts to figure out what role we need to play during the interview process.

If you ask a group of people how many of you like to “buy”, most people will raise their hand.  Now ask, how many of you “like to be sold to”, very rarely is there a lone hand left in the sky. What’s the difference?Continue reading

How to Avoid Landing in a Dead End Company

Use your sweet-spot to consider which companies line up with your strengths and weaknesses.

There are two courses of action, and before we get started, let’s review both.

The first method, what we refer to as “spray and pray“.The spray and pray method does not always work well

Send your resume to as many companies as you can locate who are running ads for open positions. Using the 2011 statistics off NAICS, there are ~16 million businesses in the US.

Worst is the statistic, ~80% of all hires are now done via some sort of an internal referral, indicating most of these jobs are not advertised outside the company. The nightmare are those companies who have to advertise to find employees because no-body inside the company would refer a friend to work there.Continue reading

The Hiring Process is Like Choosing a College

The reasons are not so clear at first glance, yet both are a buy-sell cycle.

In both cases there is a buyer and a seller. The economic impact is similar, whether you are choosing to go to college or to hire a new employee. Comparing time lines, the evaluation of “which college” or “which person” is likely weeks or months, not days.

The right college for you leads to graduation on timeAnd as the buyer gets near the final decision, risks and doubts begin to rise, “is this the right college for me”, or “is this the right employee for the job”.

The difference, going to school, you were the buyer.  Coming out of school going to look for a job, you are now the “seller“.Continue reading

How to Find the Right Companies for Your Sweetspot

Ever walk into a place and the hair on the back of your neck stood up?

What if the next thing which happened in short order is you were offered what is “supposedly” your dream job? Would you take it “hoping” for the best? Or would you do some research to figure out who is “behind the curtain pulling the strings”?

Our advice, don’t end up in this position if you can avoid it. Most ask us at this point, so what should I have done? Before you ever set foot inside a company, do your research upfront, not after the fact. Bad news early is good news.

Choosing the companies you want to work for is like deciding where to go on vacation.

Don't end up in a dead end job.In a previous article we asked you to determine your sweet spot and we discussed how to avoid ending up in a dead end company. Let’s begin to drill into how to locate those companies which match your sweet-spot.Continue reading