Jane is a leading Career Management Coach, Author of #1 Amazon bestseller, Navigating Career Crossroads, Keynote Speaker and Host of ‘Your Career’ Podcast. Follow this blog where she provides career guidance.
Nissar Ahamed is a Growth Marketer, Publisher and is
successfully building the most comprehensive publication on Career Advice –
is an Award-winning Career and Productivity Blog.
Nissar is a
genius when it comes to content curation, growth hacking and social media strategy.
Nissar is also an
accomplished public speaker having been the
President of Toastmasters International (Gavel and Glass Toastmasters
Club) and Vice President of Education at Toastmasters in Toronto.
Having started his career as an engineer before moving to Canada and into a sales role with Chase in Toronto, then Canon, Robert Half, and then to marketing with Atomic Reach, Nissar has become a master of career reinvention and now, as the Founder and CEO of Careermetis, he has much wisdom to share with our audience on how to reinvent your career and how to build your brand through blogging and podcasting.
In this interview, Nissar and I discuss his career journey, his love of lifelong learning, books and how he made his successful career transitions. He has many fascinating stories to share!
Nissar’s top 3 tips for success:
Work to transform your Self Invest in yourself – always keep learning Break away from the obvious path, it’s ok to make a change
Jane Jackson on Sky News Business about the benefits of working remotely
I was invited on Sky News Business to discuss the challenges of a ‘sea change’ and working remotely. As a follow up, this article originally published on indeed.com.au provides valuable insights into the benefits of remote work.
“Today, many workplaces are redefining what it means to be ‘at work’ with more employees than ever before ditching the daily commute for the comfort of a home office. According to research by Indeed, over two-thirds (68%) of Australian employers say their company now allows employees to work remotely.
And it’s not hard to appreciate some of the possible drivers for this shift. While cloud-based software enables people to continue working from any location, longer commutes and family commitments are making the traditional nine-to-five routine seem almost unjustifiable for so many workers.
Sure, many employees are working from home offices today simply because they can, but the world of work is still divided when it comes to opinions around the potential benefits of remote working. In fact, when it comes to making progress towards a more flexible working culture across the board, it could be argued we’ve arrived at a critical juncture.
What do Australian employers think about remote working?
Indeed surveyed 200 employers in Australia to delve deeper into the perceptions and experiences of employers regarding remote work. According to the survey, most companies are taking positive steps to ensure they are remote work ready. While over 9 in 10 (92%) employers say their company has invested in technology such as video conferencing, Slack, laptops and smartphones to enable remote work, only 17% of employers say investing in technology was a primary deterrent from adopting a remote work policy.
The survey shows the top benefits experienced by companies from offering a remote work policy include more productive employees (67%), improved morale (64%), reduced absenteeism and employee turnover (57%) and operational cost savings (51%).
Indeed’s survey also reveals there is a difference in experiences between large and small companies. Over 7 in 10 large company employers say their company has experienced improved morale through a remote working policy compared to only 47% of small company employers. What’s more, almost 9 in 10 (67%) large company employers say remote employees are more productive compared to 37% of small company employers.
Unsurprisingly, more than twice as many companies of 101-200 employees allow employees to work remotely (86%) than companies of 21-50 employees (42%). This could indicate that larger companies are more motivated to offer remote working policies because they experience benefits on a much larger scale. These benefits could also include greater operational cost-savings as well as appealing to a wider pool of candidates to quickly fill roles.
How do Australian employees view remote working?
The Indeed survey found 2 in 5 employees searching for a new job think it’s important the company they are applying for has a remote work policy. Despite this, almost two-thirds (65%) of employees say their current company doesn’t offer a work from home policy – in contrast to the 68% of employers who say they do. This could indicate that while many employers are beginning to understand the benefits remote working can bring, they haven’t yet reached the requisite level of confidence to introduce and communicate a formal policy.
According to employees, the main benefits of a remote work policy include a better work-life balance (80%), reduced stress (58%), improved workplace morale (55%) and fewer sick days (51%). What’s more, almost half (49%) of employees think remote working makes them more productive compared to only 6% who think they are less productive. Meanwhile, only 22% think remote working has a detrimental effect on collaboration and only 18% think it contributes to less effective meetings.
With employees perceiving benefits for both themselves and their companies, it’s no surprise remote working policies are an important incentive for many workers. While 3 in 10 employees wish their company had a remote work policy, just over a quarter of employees (26%) say that if their company were to eliminate an existing policy, they would consider looking for a new job. Almost a quarter (22%) of employees have only considered searching for a new role at company that permits working from home.
Finding the right place for remote work
From companies experiencing productivity gains and reduced operating costs to employees experiencing a series of work-life related benefits, there’s no doubt remote working has a place in modern workplace culture. But it appears many companies are still finding that place. After all, while most companies are investing in remote working technology, the Indeed survey indicates many employers haven’t yet taken steps towards implementing formal policies.
While more employers are beginning to understand that remote working policies could be an effective way to attract workers in a talent-short marketplace, this major shift from traditional working practices will require strategic investment in the right technologies and a healthy level of trust between employer and employee. Because of this, many companies today will no doubt look towards other companies as they continue to experiment and (hopefully) demonstrate remote working really works.
Moving towards more flexible workplaces in the future could be about deciding what role types are most suitable, the circumstances in which remote work is most appropriate and the optimum frequency—rather than implementing a blanket one-size fits all policy.
Paul Wolfe, SVP of Human Resources at Indeed, shared a few tips to minimise those problems and maximise your chances of success:
Hire carefully: Independence and self-discipline are even more important for remote work, so make sure you screen for that capacity and trust the people you’ve hired to do their job.
Make sure everyone feels involved: Use processes to maintain good communication between team members, including weekly update meetings, regular one-on-one meetings with managers, and a weekly “pipeline” report to make sure projects are on track and employees are on the same page.
Leverage technology: Use technology, such as video conferencing, group chat rooms and document sharing platforms to keep remote workers looped in. One of the most important aspects to successfully offering remote work is having the right technology, and most agree, as 91% of employers say that their company has invested in technology to enable remote work. Fortunately, 82% of employees surveyed feel they have the necessary technology to be effective in working remotely.”
The survey was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Indeed among 1003 randomly selected employed respondents and 200 randomly selected employers in Australia between October 26, 2018 and November 1, 2018. The margin of error is +/- 4.4%, 19 times out of 20.
It was a pleasure to be interviewed by Nissar Ahamed of CAREERMETIS in his Career Expert Interview Series. We discussed my career journey and my top career management advice for job seekers. Read the original article here
In this interview series, we caught up with Jane Jackson who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
I’m a career management coach and specialize in career development and career transition coaching. I help professionals to create their dream career. And thank you so much for inviting me on this Career Expert Interview series!
As a Career Expert, how did you get started in this path?
I started career coaching 19 years ago in Singapore after a career in corporate training, and in a number of industries including airlines, health & fitness, FMCG and public relations.
The moment I started coaching, it felt like home – it was what I was born to do – to help professionals discover who they are meant to be in their careers. It’s so rewarding to follow my true Career Anchor, which is Dedication to a Cause or Service.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
Early on in my career I worked in public relations, agency-side, in Hong Kong before moving to London and continuing in PR client-side.
When I started a family I transitioned into a role that enabled me to have the flexibility I needed and transitioned into health & fitness which was my passion at the time.
I then moved to Singapore and my fitness career grew and I was sponsored by Nike as a ‘Nike Elite’ athlete to promote Total Body Conditioning across Singapore after winning the Silver Medal in the National Aerobics Championship in the 1990’s.
Training and teaching was in my blood and I was asked to facilitate numerous workshops for organisations which lead to me setting up a corporate training business in addition to my personal training and fitness business.
This, in turn, resulted in my network encouraging me to try for a role as a career coach and 19 years later, this is what I live and breathe! It’s an honour to now be included in this Career Expert Interview Series!
What is the Best Career Advice You’ve ever received?
The best career advice I’ve received is to be bold and acknowledge my abilities. To learn to talk about what I can do and how it is of value to others. Not to be shy about discussing my achievements.
Many of us are very humble and afraid to talk about what we can really do – embrace your talents and use them to help your community, because we are put on earth for a short time to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
Being able to make a positive difference in someone’s life each and every day is what is most exciting to me as a career coach. To see that spark in my client’s eyes when they gain that ‘AHA!’ moment and they know what they must do to be the professional they have always dreamed of becoming.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I am a member of the Career Development Association of Australiaand I also make it a point to gain a new relevant certification every single year. This way I stay on top of the latest technology and coaching methodologies. In addition to this, I maintain a strong network of career professionals and we tap into each other’s expertise.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
The main thing that job seekers struggle with is that they lack clarity about what they really want and they don’t know that their transferable skills are. Without clarity they aren’t able to project their personal brand with authenticity. Without a strong personal brand they tend to miss out on their ideal job opportunities.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?There are 7 Common Mistakes that job seekers make:
A lack confidence in their abilities and going to market too soon.
Lacking clarity about what they really want and giving out mixed messages.
Using a generic resume and marketing documents and missing the mark in applications as a result.
Not creating a consistent and powerful personal brand.
Unclear about the most effective job search strategies.
Making one (or more!) of the Four Fatal Flaws of interviewees.
Not realising their value and worth, so are unable to negotiate a job offer effectively.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
The best way to approach the job search is to ensure they take time to assess what really makes them tick, create powerful marketing materials, know their ‘pitch’ and how to adapt it, ensure they have powerful tangible accomplishment statements to prove that they bring value to their targeted organisations and positions.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Automation, artificial intelligence and bots are growing in popularity and sophistication. The need for leadership skills, communication skills and influence will become greater as routine tasks are automated or outsourced.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
I would recommend that a fresh graduate take the time to explore as many industries and roles that appear of interest to them. Apply for internship opportunities to experience the culture within difference organisations. Talk to as many people as they can and ask them about what they really do in their roles. The more information a graduate has, the better decisions he or she is able to make.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
To switch careers effectively you must know your transferable skills and how they will help you to make the transition. Find out all you can about your new direction before making the leap and expand your network in that area so that you are able to uncover some of the hidden opportunities that are not advertised and be persistent in your efforts. Don’t give up too easily – do your homework and put in the time to research, network and up-skill.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
With 2019 LinkedIn statistics showing these numbers, every job seeker has the chance to attract their target audience if they use LinkedIn correctly:
There are 100 million job applications on LinkedIn every month.
As of May 2019, there are 630 million LinkedIn users globally
90 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 63 million are in decision-making positions.
40 million students and recent college graduates are on LinkedIn.
There are 87 million Millennials on LinkedIn with 11 million in decision-making positions.
49% of Linked users earn more than US$75,000
51% of US College Graduates use LinkedIn.
My TOP TEN TIPS for job seekers are:
1) Assess which direction you are going in your career as it’s essential to create a LinkedIn profile that will PROJECT you into your desired direction. Without clarity, you may create a profile that doesn’t attract the right recruiters and hiring managers.
2) Use as many sections of LinkedIn (Cover Image, Tagline, Summary, Professional Experience, Projects, Awards, Skills, Publications, etc) as possible to ensure your profile is complete.
3) Be aware of the KEY WORDS to include in your tagline, summary, job titles and experience section so that you turn up when someone is seeking your skill sets.
4) Create a Cover Image that reflects your Personal Brand and attracts positive attention.
5) Write a summary that enables the reader to GET TO KNOW YOU and your personality as well as your skills, knowledge and competencies. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, NOT just a resume database.
6) Build your network on LinkedIn – request to connect with people and use a PERSONALIZED request so that each person will know WHY you are interested to connect with them. DO NOT send generic requests to connect as there is less likelihood they will be accepted by anyone other than those who a collecting numbers.
7) Get ACTIVE on LInkedIn and share your thought leadership – share posts, interesting articles, and, even better, write your own articles and PUBLISH them on LinkedIn.
8) FOLLOW the companies you are interested in and also follow key professionals on LinkedIn who inspire you. Comment on their posts and share relevant insights regularly.
9) Be consistent on LinkedIn. Check in each day. Just having a LinkedIn profile is not enough, you must get ACTIVE.
10) Connect with me on Linkedinwith a PERSONALISED request – I’d love to get to know you and find out how I may help you in your career!
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
The statistics are hard to read as often the statistics include part-time employment – sometimes the ‘under-employment’ percentages need to be explored in greater depth.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Due to the easy access to information online now, hiring managers will find that candidates are more savvy than ever before and more selective. Cultural fit has become an important element when candidates assess their preferred companies and hiring managers need to position their company as a great place to work.
Within the Academy I continue to create many online career development and career transition programmes to make membership even more valuable.
I also have started Group Career Coaching sessions and live Webinars every month for members and membership continues to grow.
I also provide on-going career management workshops for my corporate clients and one-on-one coaching to my private clients on topics including career transition, confidence building, personal branding and transitioning into self-employment.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?
During the Career Calling Summit I was interviewed on personal branding, how to really attract career opportunities, job promotions and everything in-between to help you get ahead in your career and ace your job interviews. If you understand yourself, and your target audience, you can build a brand that is authentic and congruent with who you really are.
Jess and I discuss LinkedIn, and how to leverage it as a marketing and branding tool, how to make personalised requests to connect, craft a powerful summary, your cover image and cover photo, how to attract recruiters and hiring managers to get a job through video on LinkedIn, and effective storytelling in order to follow your career calling.
In this episode of YOUR CAREER Podcast, I share my interview on the Career Calling Summit with Summit Host, Jess Smith. It was an honour to be on the panel for this Summit with 20 other panelists focusing on career advice. In this interview I share my top tips for your Personal Brand for career success.
We had an in-depth discussion on how to leverage your Personal Brand to attract career opportunities and job promotions and everything in-between to help you get ahead in your career and ace your job interviews.
Below is the video of our discussion:
How to Build Your Personal Brand for Career Success - The Career Callings Summit - YouTube
Jane, to start us off, can you tell us what personal
branding means to you?
It’s how you show up in the world and what people know about you. The important thing about personal branding is it needs to be authentic. What people see, your reputation, it needs to come from within.
Your personal brand includes your hopes, your dreams, the
way you’ve been brought up, your culture, what’s important to you and your
future goals. Your personal brand encompasses many aspects, more than just your
Are there any common misunderstandings or misconceptions
about personal branding?
Too often people think branding is just social media. They
don’t realize their job title is not what defines them. It’s important to let
more of you as an individual come through. When people get to know someone,
they want to know the authentic person to develop trust. If they feel that they
already know, like and trust you, that means your brand, your reputation, has
made a positive impact even before you meet!
So how can your personal brand actually attract
In order to be able to attract job opportunities, those you
wish to attract need to know who you are and what you can do plus the value
that you will bring to their organization. How are they going to find out about
you? First and foremost it will be through your network. What people say about
you. How highly you are regarded in your field. And also what they may find
about you on LinkedIn and other platforms. The way you create your brand in
order to project you into your desired direction…
To find out all we discuss, click one of the links above to listen to our entire interview on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher, or directly from this page.
Jess and I discuss LinkedIn and how to leverage it as a marketing and branding tool effectively, how to make personalised requests to connect, how to craft a powerful summary, which sections you must include in your profile, your cover image and cover photo, how to attract recruiters and hiring managers to get a job through videos on LinkedIn and effective storytelling.
We also talk about job security, how to create your own security, and how to handle organisational change so you can still build your career despite the challenges.
I also have a SPECIAL OFFER! My 3 Secrets to Personal Branding for Career Success FREE MASTERCLASS. Here’s the direct link to register and start today for free! www.janejacksoncoach.com/3secrets
How do you choose the right Career Career or Life Coach for you?
The most important thing is to decide what you want to get out of a coaching relationship. Do you actually need a Career CONSULTANT or do you need a Career COACH? In this video I explain the difference.
How to Choose a Career Coach - YouTube
You need a Career Consultant if you want to be told what to do and to be guided through the process on how to get your next role.
A Career Coach also focuses on the ‘meaning of life’, what really makes you tick and what you hope to achieve in your career and other aspects of your life.
A coach will help you to discover what’s really important to you. This is especially important if you’re feeling a little bit fuzzy as to what you really want in your life and your career. Coaching will help you to discover the real you, the ‘AHA!’ moments come from the coaching conversation and are so enlightening.
of us, deep down within us, know what we were born to do, but often that
knowledge has been blurred by life events.
The way I work with my clients is either as a Coach and a Consultant depending on what YOUR needs are. And, I have to admit, I love focusing on the meaning of life with my Coach Hat on! However, that might not be YOU want.
If what you want is, for example, Interview practice, or you want to strengthen your resumé and don’t need the exploration phase, then I put on my Consultant Hat. That’s when I guide you and show you, step-by-step, what needs to be done to get to where you want to be.
I would recommend, if you’re looking for a Coach or Consultant, to do your research, and then make a decision as to who you like, feel most comfortable with, and have a good rapport.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your Coach, it’s not going to work. And even though your Coach will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and face your fears, you develop a very close professional relationship.
have clients that I have worked with many years ago, and we might have had an
intensive series of coaching sessions initially when they were going through a career
or life transition. And now that they’re into their new careers, perhaps every
six months or eight months, they’ll suddenly make a booking in my online
calendar, because they need a top up session.
might be nothing to do with job hunting, but something to do with their communication
skills at work, or maybe there’s an office bully they aren’t sure how to handle,
or there’s some other concern that they’re worried about or perhaps they need
leadership coaching if they are growing their team.
because we’ve developed a strong rapport, and we have worked well together in
the past, I’m always delighted to work with them again!
if you find that you’re working with a Coach who just doesn’t feel right; please
don’t work with them, because you must get to know, like and TRUST your Coach.
the best way to decide is to get a referral from someone you respect, then make
sure that they are qualified, and, even more important than the qualifications,
is the RAPPORT. Talk to some of their
past clients and ask, “What are they like to work with? Do they follow up?
Do they keep you on track? Do they keep you accountable?”
Because really, your Coach is there for accountability to make sure you take action to create the life or career you desire. And they’re your Champion when things get tough.
good coach will work with you and celebrate your successes! When you’re feeling
down, they are there to pick you up, and help to empower you to keep going in
the right direction despite the challenges that inevitably occur in life.
If you’d like to have a chat about what you need, let’s find out what’s going on in your head.
Looking for a job can be quite daunting, especially if you’ve just experienced a redundancy. You need Career Clarity before you can make decisions about what you will do next. Many questions will be swimming around in your mind:
I’m here to help! Book in for a Complimentary Career Clarity Chattoday and let’s get you on the right track to create the career of your dreams. As you can see from my LinkedIn post below, LinkedIn is the best place to reach YOUR next employer – build your personal brand and attract the opportunities you deserve!
Watch the video to get started.
For on-going support in a professional community environment, join The Careers Academy – it’s the most affordable and comprehensive membership site that won’t break the bank!
Jane is an amazing career coach and person, she endeavours to get the best out of people and is willing to spend the time you need to feel confident in what you do, but makes sure it’s your decision! Her passion for helping others shows in her answers in the LinkedIn group and Facebook group. She never seems to stop working to help others to find their values and career direction that’s best for them.
If you’re out of a job or just want to reassess your career decisions, direction and goals, Jane’s book is amazing and I absolutely recommend it. – Maeghan Lee
I had the pleasure of working with Jane on many occasions over the past several years as my career coach and mentor. I am so grateful for her passion, positive encouragement and ongoing commitment to helping me to improve and getting the most potential out of myself.
Most recently I was going through my own career crossroads and she has been so professional and dealt with my transition with a lot of care. She have helped me through the whole process from developing my positioning statement, resume development, LinkedIn profile, through to interview techniques and negotiations. I thank her so much for helping me in achieving this big milestone and great new job that I’m thrilled about. – Albert Tan
I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with Jane one on one and can only describe the experience as an eye opener. From someone who is in their early stages of their career, Jane has added extreme value to the ways I can effectively manage my career moving forward. From resume building, LinkedIn operation/branding and providing access to resources that I would have otherwise not known existed.
I come out of our session with a genuine feel that I am actually putting myself in the best position possible to achieving my dream job. Thank you very much Jane, you were engaging, informative, constructive and an absolute delight to work with! – Branden Nguyen
When I first came across Elly Hurley, I was so impressed by her willingness to share her expertise on everything to do with Chatbots. At the time, this was a new concept to me, and after our conversation I realised that there is so much value to gain from embracing messenger marketing.
And now it’s my honour to introduce to you, Elly, the Co-Founder of Nudge Marketing, Australia’s #1 authority in Messenger Marketing and Chatbots.
She’s had the most amazing career transitions. From sales & marketing in her early days, to a long and successful career in the NSW Police Force in her 30’s, and then transitioned to property design, is now a qualified hypnotherapist, a popular Mentor at The Entourage, and now Australia’s top Chatbot guru! Elly certainly is a master of reinvention and has embraced every phase in her career with much enthusiasm.
Listen to our conversation and find out how Elly made each career change.
Now, she’s a self-confessed geek, and a highly-sought after digital marketing strategist who has invested in some of the brightest marketing and business minds in the world. Elly Hurley is a professional who continually learns, adapts and embraces new technology.
As a fellow business owner, she understands what
it’s like – the good, the bad and the downright ugly…
Her mission is to empower SMEs to leverage modern
marketing tools to save them time, reduce their stresses and increase their
Elly Hurley’s coffee of choice is a latte with one
for the morning, and either a beer or white wine when the time is right. Here’s
someone I’m definitely on the same page with … and did I mention she also was also
awarded the ManyChat #1 Award for Quizzes and Surveys recently?
You’ll love meeting her in this episode!
If you’d like to find out how you can make a successful career transition too, join The Careers Academy where you will gain the valuable support you need to create the career of your dreams!
Looking for a job can be a challenging experience and there may be times when you wonder if you will ever be able to get a job again. You are not alone, this article I published back in November 2014 generated over 200K views and hundreds of comments on LinkedIn over the years and has helped many get back on track.
Top Post on LInkedIn Pulse 29 Nov 2014
*** November 2014: Well, this is very interesting. I posted a new post on LinkedIn last night (29 Nov 2014) and had 500 views in the first hour. When I woke up this morning it had got to over 27,000 views, over 300 likes and over 120 comments. I’ve spent 2 hours answering as many of the comments as I can and am heartened that so many people found the article helpful. Yet I am saddened that so many people are also doing it so tough in the job search globally right now.
*** I’m now adding to this article on 3rd December 2014 as it’s been 4 days and the post has gone viral! It has received over 186,000 views and has generated over 480 comments. It stands at the No. 5 article of the week for the most views globally. I’ve tried to answer as many of the comments as possible and must have spent about 4-5 hours in total just answering comments – there is a global wave of frustrated job seekers who are desperate for some inspiration and guidance in order to be able to overcome the challenges of looking for a job. What have been YOUR experiences?
***It’s now 2019 and this post still generates interest and requests for help with over 800 comments to date:
Here’s the full article and I hope it helps you as much as it’s helped others:
HOW TO GET A JOB
Did you launch your job search activities with a burst of energy, set goals, seek support and launch your actions plan with lots of positive energy and hope? Did you get a lot of initial positive response from helpful friends, colleagues and business contacts, feel great about the process and then suddenly everything ground to a halt?
Over the past 14 years coaching senior executives through their career transitions, I’ve found that even the most pro-active job seeker may experience a dip in activity at some stage. Even though this is quite normal, if the lull continues for more than a couple of weeks you will become discouraged. It’s now time to reassess each job search method and get creative.
At the start of a job search campaign, people update their resume, register with a number of recruitment agencies, and make a list of companies to target and make contact with their network to gain referrals. Things may go along well, perhaps even a few interviews may be secured and then … nothing. People who seemed so enthusiastic at first don’t return calls or emails; suddenly there is a deadly silence. If this happens time and time again, insidiously doubt slithers into your mind and you start to question your ability to secure a new role.
The momentum is lost. It’s easy to slip into catastrophic thinking at this stage if the months start to slip by and finances get tighter and you have mouths to feed, a mortgage to pay off and multiple expenses.
This experience is not unusual. Many job hunters find that getting moving initially is not that difficult however, as opportunities fall through and that initial list of contacts is exhausted, the search for work can move into a more difficult phase. Perhaps you have ‘hit the wall.’ Does this sound familiar to you?
Sometimes the people you speak with initially create the mistaken impression that finding a new position will only take a few weeks, or that the process is easy. Perhaps you are interpreting the feedback you are receiving (calls that are not returned, lack of response from recruiters, positions that suddenly are placed ‘on hold’ or filled by internal applicants) as a measure of your marketability, or lack of it, and you start to make negative emotional judgments on yourself that are not correct. With that sort of thinking, even the most successful professional may question the very elements that made them a success in the previous career.
You may feel like giving up. If you give up, you will not succeed. I remember a saying I once heard that only when it really gets dark can you see the stars.
Step 1: BE REALISTIC
First of all, know that statistically a typical job search for a professional in middle management can take up to 3-4 months. More senior positions may take considerably longer. When finding work is not as easy as it seemed after your initial enthusiastic start, don’t assume the worst – get the facts. Base your actions on facts and evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Ask yourself if you are being too narrow in your search or if there is a piece of the puzzle you are omitting in the search process. Give yourself mini-breaks in your weekly routine to exercise, relax and enjoy the fresh air. Clear your head – learn how to meditate – it does help!
Step 2: MAINTAIN YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM – Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Stress can make you withdraw from friends, associates and family. Most people really do want to help however you need to let them know HOW they can help you. Talk to a friend or mentor, join a support group, or engage the support of a career coach for professional guidance. I’ve found that meetup.com is a very helpful site to find like-minded people who meet regularly to discuss their areas of interest or expertise (this is professional as well as social.)
Step 3: SET A CLEAR PLAN AND STICK TO IT
Make sure that you keep your resume updated with your relevant accomplishments, identify your transferrable skills and identify your personal and career values. Develop a marketing plan with realistic timeframes and realistic goals and objectives. If it doesn’t work, make adjustments; discuss them with a trusted associate who understands your job market and someone who understands the industry you are targeting.
Step 4: TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR WORK HABITS
Maintain regular work habits and full work weeks. Your job search is a FULL TIME JOB!
Implement task planning, keep up-to-date records and record results and follow up activities. Networking statistically has proven to be the most effective way to find a job. Ensure you budget about 70-80% of your time meeting people in your relevant network and getting feedback on your strategy. Always try to gain referrals in order to obtain more advice and guidance. How many people will you meet each week? In my coaching experience I’ve found that those who spend the most amount of time setting up networking meetings every week are the ones who generate the most opportunities, new ideas and support … and leads for jobs!
Step 5: CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES
Consider what else you could do if your original goals don’t materialize. Should you consider short term or interim assignments where you can expand your experience without making a permanent commitment? This is an excellent way to demonstrate what you have to offer and expand upon your professional network. With a little luck and determination, a temporary assignment may turn into something more long-term. Think about alternative income streams – do you have an area of expertise that would lend itself into a consulting role? Think about expanding your skills – are you missing a key certification or qualification that could open more doors for you?
Step 6: TARGET WHOM YOU WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH
Not everyone you meet will be a positive, helpful influence. Give negativity a wide berth. Give yourself the chance to surround yourself with those who believe in you and are willing to share their experience and expertise. Positive attitudes are contagious. Winners focus on possibilities and positive outcomes.
Step 7: MAINTAIN A REALISTIC and OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK
Talk to others who have experienced an extended job search. You will learn a lot about resilience from them. They have hit low points, assessed the situation, asked for support and made conscious decisions to adapt and move on. It may be difficult to believe it but things really do get better if you can take charge and keep at it. Remember that a winner never quits. Balance your time so that you are spending the right amount of time on the critical activities of each phase of your campaign.
Be brave enough to acknowledge that your job search campaign has stalled and then be creative to get it moving again. Remember that you do not have to do this alone. Enlist the support of your friends and family, close ex-colleagues and all of those you respect. Sign up a ‘job search buddy’ who will keep you on track and accountable.
In order to experience positive results you have to take positive action. Maintain records of your activity – set your own KPI’s and stick to them. Reward yourself each time you tick off a day’s worth of positive activity. If you still need more help, enlist the support of a qualified career coach. Having regular encouragement and objective guidance makes a world of difference.
In one blog post it’s impossible to cover everything. If you need support, visit The Careers Academy Online – I’m there to support you and membership of the Academy gives you a wealth of career management and career transition support. Find out more here
What an honour
to interview Angela Vithoulkas who is a second term independent Councillor at
the City of Sydney, a multi-award winning 30-year small business owner,
entrepreneur and advocate.
In this podcast episode, Angela and I discuss her early career aspirations, how she was born into a family business environment and how she made the transition from entrepreneurship (she has grown and sold many businesses in her career) to politician as the champion of small business owners, and Leader of The Small Business Party.
Alongside her small business and council responsibilities, Angela built Australia’s first small business podcasting platform – Eagle Waves Radio, which has since produced more than 2000 hours of content.
In 2018, she
formed The Small Business Party, with a mission to represent small businesses
and local families in the NSW Parliament at the 2019 NSW State election and
successfully registered the party on a national level to contest the 2019
Federal Election – this is political history. Many have tried to set up a small
business party previously only to fall short.
Today, there is
a growing divide between small business and government. Despite being
Australia’s largest employer, there is no suitable advocate in government for
small business. Through Angela’s work in advocacy, policy and leadership she is
looking to fill that gap.
interview we discuss the challenges of balancing a political career with all
the other responsibilities that Angela holds – she is a phenomenally
inspirational woman who is truly making an impact for all small business owners!
that if small businesses come together behind The Small Business Party, we can
all work together to Save Small Business and help our communities thrive. Are you with us?