On September 16th I had the pleasure to be interviewed on ACC News on BlogTalkRadio. In the interview I spoke about my own journey about how I finally realized my own career dreams.
I speak about the challenges that people face today is find their own career happiness and I have created programs to help change their lives.
It is a quick 30 minute show, listen below!
It’s September and for most people, the feeling of a new beginning. But if you are one those people who hate their jobs, are sick of a long commute or struggling in a job search this time of year can suck.
You want a change and you want it now.
It doesn’t always work like that. But there is some work you can do today that is like pressing fast forward on achieving that change. Which is why I’ve compiled ALL of my top tips, tricks and resources to try and make that happen for you.
Step 1: Know what you want.
You know you want a change. But do you know what that change actually looks like? If you are struggling to define a specific career, job or industry it can have you flailing around and going nowhere.
Instead, if you are laser focused and know exactly what it is you are looking for that allows you to customize everything to achieve that one thing.
Need help? My favourite exercise is the Interests, Motivations and Skills and it focuses on what career fits in with your life, your skill set AND what will bring you joy. I wrote a whole article about it and how this exercise helped me figure out that this was MY dream career.
Cheap Resource: Find Career Happiness Course, only $4.95
Step 2: Write a Stand Out Resume
This is your primary marketing document. You are now a product and your resume is your pamphlet selling you to companies. So make sure that it is telling a cohesive story, one that is relevant to the job and company you are applying for.
And since Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are taking over the world, make sure it is optimized, such as having the right key words in the right format.
I've written a ton on resumes, like the Modern Day rules, how to optimize and writing a winning one.
Free Resource: The Ultimate Resume Checklist
Step 3: Don’t Just Hit Apply
You see an amazing job. You spend hours customizing and optimizing your resume. You hit apply and then you wait. Sound familiar?
I liken applying on job boards to a black hole, you send resumes out only to hear nothing in return.
If you want a job fast, you need to make sure that your resume isn’t getting lost with the rest of them (an average of 250!). So do something about it. Find the key decision maker or who may be the key decision maker and follow up that application with an email to them stating your interest and your differentiating factor.
Step 4: Outsource Your Job Search
Make sure you have has many people out there helping you out in your job search. That includes engaging your current network. A coffee with an old manager, or maybe a lunch with a colleague who works at company you want to work at. These are your strongest advocates, making sure they know what you want and are looking for will help them determine appropriate opportunities for you to consider.
That also includes optimizing your LinkedIn to be found. Found by recruiters. Having an “all-star” LinkedIn profile that is full of great information and keywords, getting as close to the magic number of connections and logging in each and every day will increase your likelihood of showing up in a recruiter’s search.
Cheap Resource: Purposeful Networking Course - $14.95
Step 5: Get Help
Outplacement services (those provided by employers to employees they are laying off) are very similar to Career Coaching services. I should know because I do both!
The great thing about outplacement is that they provide services to a large number of clients which yields great data.
And that data is very promising.
A person engaged in the process with a Career Coach lands a job 50-63% faster than the national average. Crazy right?
So maybe the biggest factor in speeding up your search could be as simple as hiring a coach.
Investment Resource: Career Coaching Packages or Job Search Rescue Plan
Free Resource: Strategy Call with Me
Step 6: Create a Plan
A lot of job searches are chaotic. They begin and end with job boards.
The problem with that is the math. Each job gets on average 250 applications and only 4-6 are selected for an interview. Of that 4-6, not all come from the 250, so only about 10% of applications get an interview (some stats say as little as 2%, eek!).
That means the majority of the time you send out a resume for a posted job, you will never hear anything.
So you need to do more than just applying for jobs but with our natural inclination to centre our search around them you need to create a plan so that you can make sure you do more.
Create a plan that encompasses all the key aspects of a job search, including networking, volunteering, research and preparation and social media.
Free Resource: Dream Career Planner
If you follow these 6 steps, I’m positive you’ll see incredible results. By Christmas, you can be in that dream job. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
The weather is perfect. Sun’s out, there's a light breeze with not a single cloud in sight. A perfect day to spend outside, maybe at the beach or on a patio. Definitely not indoors in our cubicles. But alas, that is exactly where we find ourselves. And it sucks.
It is really hard to motivate ourselves when the only thing we want to do is shut up shop and head outdoors to enjoy the summer weather. Especially when winter seems to last FOREVER, am I right? We don’t come in excited, the daily drudgery of our work has us feeling low and our creative juices have dried up.
But, if we ARE going to be stuck inside, we may as well do something with this time instead of wasting the hours away until quitting. Let’s ignite that spark and make a difference using one (or more) of these ways to make that happen.
1. Create a BIG Goal
Now is not the time to be too realistic, now is the time to go big since going home isn’t an option.
What would you LOVE to do in your job – what would make you excited, leave you feeling super proud and make a difference all at the same time?
Let’s break that goal down to some smaller steps so that you can actually make it happen. A great place to start is to create a rough plan of the who, what, how and why of the goal.
Who you need to talk to and engage.
What needs to get done.
How you are going to do it.
Why this needs to be done.
2. Learn Something New
Some workplaces get slow in the summer, making the days seem even longer. If there is no big goal on your mind, maybe use that time to learn a skill that will benefit you. You don’t have to enroll in any big course or anything. Check out conferences or webinars. If there is no money for it, check out some free options such as Lynda (free through your library) or EdX. You could also ask about the potential of job shadowing others within your company.
3. Do Something Fun
Schedule a fun event during work hours – like a fun lunch out, drinks after work (on that patio!) or a picnic in the park. Enjoy the weather when you can by getting out during lunch or walking outside to grab a cup of coffee.
4. Ask for Constructive Criticism
It isn’t always fun hearing constructive criticism but one thing is for certain – it usually motivates us to improve and do better! Schedule a meeting with your manager and ask for their feedback and direction. Tell them your frustrations, your goals and ask for their advice on how you can do and be better. Then make plans to tackle the problem head on.
5. Schedule What You Loathe
Every job has aspects to it that we absolutely hate. And during the summer that hatred seems to grow like crazy. Get it over with. Schedule it in, ideally first thing in the morning. Get it done so that you can stop dreading it and enjoy the rest of your day.
6. Celebrate Yourself
Reward yourself for sticking it out, for accomplishing things and for showing up. It can be as simple as bragging to a friend or coworker, enjoying an ice cream cone during lunch or updating your summer work wardrobe with some of the latest fashion trends.
7. Find a Mentor or Mentee
A sure way to boost your morale AND your career is by finding someone who can help you or finding someone that you can help. Set up regular meetings with someone to discuss your career, getting or giving actionable advice, and figuring out the right next step.
8. Leave on Time
We all have to work late sometimes, that’s life. But we can try and make it a priority during the summer to leave right at 5pm so that we can enjoy those last few hours of sunlight. And fill up your evenings and weekends with your favourite summer activities, that way you don’t feel like you are missing out on all the fun while at work. If work is quite busy, consider going in early!
9. Take some time to Reflect
Is summer to blame for your lack of motivation? Be honest with yourself. If not, then maybe it is time for something new – a new career, a new job, a new industry.
Consider working with a Career Coach to gain some clarity on your future. Schedule a call to see if come September, you should be starting to get serious about your next move.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
Dream Career Planner
Click HERE to download