Career Planning and the Holidays

Career Planning and the Holidays

career planningThe holiday season is a great time to do some critical career planning for the following year. You will likely have some time off to reflect back on the year that is ending and make plans for the new one.

Accomplishments

Reflect back over the previous year and identify key accomplishments in both your work and personal life.

Develop a set of ARM statements (Accomplishment Results Metrics) for each work accomplishment. Weave these statements into your LinkedIn profile and resume.

Accomplishments in your personal life are critical. These are often the activities that feed your soul and make you a well rounded individual. Do any of these activities belong in your LinkedIn profile? Non-profit board position? Volunteering for a prominent cause in your community?

Your career planning process should include both work and personal accomplishments.

New Skills and Certifications

What new skills have you acquired in the past year? Did you acquire a new certification or renew one?

Update your LinkedIn profile and resume to reflect these new skills and certifications.

As part of your career planning process, you will want to access the value of your new and current skills in your local market. Use LinkedIn advanced search using your skills as keywords to find others who have similar skills to see where they work. Has anything changed in your local market?

Similarly, do the same assessment as it relates to your certification. Does your certification still hold value in your local market?

It is critical in your career planning process to assess shifts in the market for the value of your skills and certifications annually!

Target List

An essential part of the career planning process is to review your target list of prospective employers twice a year. Have any new employers entered your local market? More and more companies are setting up satellite offices or allowing their employees to work virtually. Have there been any major upturns or downturns for companies on your target list? Do you need to remove any companies from your target list?

Establish a plan for the next six months to regularly work your target list developing key relationships at these target companies. You never know when you will need to make a career pivot!

Goals

Create goals for the next six months, this should include both work and personal goals. Make a calendar entry for early July of next year and document your goals there. If you are based in the United States, use the July 4th holiday for the date of the calendar entry.

Even if you are employed, you should always be developing a plan for where you want to work next.

Make career planning and career reflection a habit that will be performed like clockwork twice a year.

I wish all of my readers a happy holiday season and a very prosperous new year!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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The Illusion of Job Security

The Illusion of Job Security

job securityJob security was something I was raised to attain.

I was raised to be an employee to work for a father-like company that would take care of me.  After 30 or 40 years there,  I would retire and ride off into the sunset.

Job security is something that used to just happen. Now, it is something many of you pursue. The reality is that the concept of job security is just an illusion.

Let me tell you about …

I started to work with Susan a couple of years ago. The company she was working for was coming apart. The owners of the business were feuding. She had reached a point in her life that she wanted stability and some real guarantees. She wanted to work for someone who offered a pension.

Sounds like a Leave to Beaver episode from the 1960s.

She decided to pursue a position at a large state university. She followed my targeted job search strategy. After an 18 month search, she landed her dream job. I even wrote about Susan’s job search in a case study.

She landed a position that would be stable. She landed a position with a pension. She thought she finally had job security!

But it was all an illusion.

First Month

After the first month of her new job had past, Susan was really questioning whether she could do the job. The pace of work was fast, and there were job requirements that were not discussed during the interview process. Susan did not have the technical skills required.

Three Month Review

Susan received her three month review and no concerns were raised. Susan was drinking from a firehose. She assumed that she would just have to keep working hard and things would get easier.

They did not!

Six Month Review

Susan went to her boss’ office where she was informed that she was to be let go. Her boss told her that they saw that she was not able to keep up AND that the workload was going to increase. Her boss was willing to write a letter of recommendation.

Susan was the not the first, but the second, casualty from this position. The previous person they hired was let go as well.

Walking Out

As Susan walked to her car with her personal belongings, a sense of relief came over her. She had been stressed for months trying to do the job.

She also realized that the job security she thought she had was all an illusion.

From the beginning, she was set up to fail, just as the previous hire had been.

Job Security

Susan has learned an invaluable lesson. There is no job security—it is all an illusion. You always have to be prepared with a plan to move on. You should always have a Plan B.

Susan is preparing for another career pivot with a new realization that there is no job security.

Has this happened to you?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for December 6

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Career

Baby Boomer

Social Media

Job Search

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Are You Ready to Become a Freelancer – Infographic

Freelancer

freelancerCan you see yourself becoming a freelancer for the rest of your career? Well, can you?

If you haven’t, you probably should. There are predictions that half of the workforce will be contractors or freelancers by the start of the next decade.

Heck, the 2nd largest employer in the United States is Kelly Services, which is a temporary staffing company.

Has the pursuit of full time employment been difficult, if not impossible? Many baby boomers who have been laid off after the age of 55 may never work as a full time employee again.

There are many issues with being a freelancer, which the infographic below highlights. There are also a lot of joys!

Freelancer Positives

Some of you will dispute this, but the money can be quite good. You will not start out making the same as you are now or did before a layoff, however.

You have control over your work life balance. You can decide how much or how hard you work. We will see later that this can also be a detriment!

Being a freelancer allows you to combine multiple streams of income. You probably will not give up your day job at first. You have the choice. This can also be referred to as building a portfolio career.

Freelancer Negatives

Some of you will become freelancers out of necessity. I refer those of you as necessity entrepreneurs. This is a difficult transition, and there can be a lot of pessimism.

You have to be able to sell yourself. Many find this very difficult. What most people do not realize is that this is a skill that can be learned. It’s not about getting people who don’t need your services to buy them, but is all about helping to solve the client’s problem.

The steady paycheck is gone! You will have to realize that there will be good times and bad. You will need to plan accordingly. When I started my business, I worked out all of the finances. I knew that we would live on savings for over a year. I knew that we would still be financially secure.

Even so, I would wake up at 3 AM and cry, “I do not have a paycheck!” There is a huge emotional component that recovering engineers like myself like to discount.

I said above that you have control over work life balance. At the same time, I often tell people I work for a JERK!  (I work for myself.) I ask my boss for a day off, and the answer is usually NO! Get back to work! Having control over work life balance is not always good!

You are responsible for all benefits: healthcare, retirement, vacation, etc… What you may not realize is that, when you had a paycheck, you were paying for them anyway.

Check out this infographic from graphicdesigndegreehub.com.

Click on Infographic to enlarge!

The Pros and Cons of Being a Freelancer

Are you ready to explore becoming a freelancer?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my whitepaper “Don’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Are Networking Events Obsolete?

Are Networking Events Obsolete?

networking eventsYou heard me right when I asked if networking events are obsolete.

I think networking events are highly inefficient. I took several years off in my career to teach high school math, and then I spent a year in the non-profit sector. During that year, I attended a lot of networking events, usually twice a week. I developed my style on how to meet people, start a conversation, and more specifically, how to find out what we have in common. I became good at it!

After each event, I would pull out my business cards and start scheduling time to meet people. Real networking occurs afterwards when you meet people one on one and develop a relationship.

Was that an effective method of networking? In general, NO!

I would meet a lot of people, but was I meeting the people I needed to meet? Most of the time, the answer was no.

It was a shotgun approach. A lot of the people I most needed to meet did not attend these events.

What is Replacing Networking Events?

In today’s world of social media, it is fairly easy for me to research a company and develop a list of individuals that I need to meet to accomplish my goals. Also in the case of managing my career, who might be able to hire me.

I can use LinkedIn Advanced Search to find companies that have staff in my city. Notice, I did not say they had an office or facility in my city. So many companies have remote employees, and they may not have an physical presence. You can locate companies using LinkedIn Advanced using the following steps:

  • Search in a radius of 50 miles from either your home zip code or where you want to work
  • Search either using a specific keyword or job title
  • Sift through the list of profiles that meet the search criteria to find current companies
  • Go to each company LinkedIn profile
  • Click on the See All link to see how you are connected
  • Enter your current city to filter the list

You now have a list of individuals who work for the target company who are also located in your city. What you will discover is that there may be a lot of employees of a business in your city that does not have an office or facility.

This can be tedious, but if you keep searching and sorting through profiles you will be amazed by what you find.

Are networking events obsolete? I do not think so.

I now attend networking events to maintain key relationships. I attend far fewer than before, and I am very strategic in the events I attend.

I attend a Metropolitan Breakfast Club every single Wednesday morning. I have a few key meetups I attend, typically once a month. All of these are to reinforce relationships, meet a a few key individuals, and get my social fix.

I now network strategically using social media and by meeting key individuals one on one. This is far more efficient!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for November 29

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Social Media

Career

Baby Boomer

Multi-Generational Workplace

Job Search

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my personal branding white paper –  Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Should You Have a Mortgage in Retirement? – Guest Post

mortgageShould You Have a Mortgage in Retirement?

Conventional wisdom says to pay off your mortgage by the time you reach financial independence. Why is that not always the best approach?

It seems to make sense – a mortgage paid off before retirement reduces your monthly expenses and reduces the amount of debt you hold. So common is this desire that Wikipedia has an entry on mortgage burning. When then must you carefully evaluate whether this approach works for you?

The decision involves more than math. Possessing a high confidence that you will earn more (after-tax) on your money than you pay in mortgage interest indicates you should keep the mortgage. Yet that ignores the psychological benefit you get from a paid-in-full home. And if you have a high aversion to debt, would you prefer to be mathematically correct or to sleep well?

You should not ignore other financial goals. After paying off the mortgage, can you still deal with unexpected expenses, health care needs, home renovations, or helping out family members? Do you still have high interest rate credit card debt that should be paid off? Do you feel comfortable with the size of your retirement nest egg or should you direct funds there instead?

Gauge your feelings toward alternative approaches. Some clients view their mortgage as paid off as long as they have the assets available to pay it off at any time. Some would consider the more consumer-friendly reverse mortgage. You may even have the ability to shore up other weaknesses in your financial picture while reducing the debt on the home.

To learn more, check out these recent articles:

This decision is not easy. Various economic, psychological, and outside factors all play a role in the right decision for you. Consider seeking out guidance from a qualified financial adviser to avoid missing out on creative solutions to this challenge!

Think about your own situation. Is a mortgage in retirement a burden or a liberating opportunity to use those assets elsewhere?

Biography

EllioElliott Weirtt Weir, MBA, CFP® has been working with families to help them navigate retirement since 2004. He started III Financial in 2012 to focus on helping address the financial realities faced by people over age 50, without the sale of products or the large asset fees of money managers. He is also the editor for the Society of Financial Service Professionals “Retirement Counseling” newsletter.

Elliott earned his MBA in 2002 through the McCombs School of Business (University of Texas at Austin). He enjoys watching the US National soccer team, tinkering with technology alongside his son Travis, keeping up with his son Tyler, and going to see movies with his wife of 17 years, Carrie.

For more, please read his full bio.

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

The Challenges and Strategies of Changing Industries

Changing Industries

changing industriesAre you planning on changing industries but find that you’re running into a lot of roadblocks? If so, you are not alone.

A couple of years ago, I had a client who was a PMP certified project manager. He had a lot of project management experience managing IT projects, but he wanted to transition to the healthcare industry.

I arranged for him to meet the COO of a rapidly-expanding healthcare provider. The COO told him that his credentials were impressive, but he had no healthcare experience. The COO said they really should not care that he had no healthcare experience, but that they would.

Skill Sets

Whether you are a project manager, product manager, business analyst, or any other position, you will likely have two sets of skills:

  • Business skills
  • Industry skills

Which are the most important? Your business skills!

Which will the hiring authorities care most about? Your industry skills!

This why changing industries is so difficult.

You might be thinking that this is not fair. You are right! You might being saying, “These folks are not any good at interviewing candidates! You would be correct!

A good project manager should be able to manage any project. A good business analyst should be able to work in any industry. There should be peace on earth and good will towards men! There should be no wars! Well, there I go again. I am using the S word—should.

Employers today are frequently looking for the purple cow candidate—or a candidate that likely does not exist. The want a candidate that has both business and industry skills. If they have to compromise, most will lean on industry skills.

Strategies for Changing Industries

Whether you like it or not, when changing industries, you will need to show that you have some some industry experience.

You will need to study and then demonstrate this expertise. How can you do this?

  • Create a blog and interview people in the target industry. I am going to profile someone who did exactly this on the Career Pivot blog in the coming weeks.
  • Comment on blog posts and social media where you will be seen by others in the target industry. This is a slow, tedious process, and it will take a while to be noticed.
  • Publish LinkedIn Publisher posts on topics related to the target industry. Write about relevant topics that you have researched thoroughly. Make sure you get someone in the target industry to review them before you publish.
  • Attend industry conferences and make sure to interact with individuals from your target companies. Get as much face time with individuals who can either hire you or influence a hiring manager.

The advantage of writing LinkedIn Publisher posts is they will be seen in your LinkedIn profile. When a recruiter or hiring manager finds your LinkedIn profile, they will see that you have published and, thus, have demonstrated your knowledge of the industry.

When changing industries, it is a lot easier to develop the industry skills than the business skills. Most companies will focus on industry skills. It is not right, but…

It all comes down to how do we know that you know your stuff!

You will need to demonstrate your expertise in the target industry.

Look for a case study of someone who change industries successfully!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for November 22

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Multi-Generational Workplace

Career

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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Please check out this months sponsor III Financial

and their guest post

Why Save For Retirement If You Don’t Plan On Retiring

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Pursuing Jobs Where You Are Not A Good Fit

Pursuing jobs where you are not a good fit

good fitMy client was approached about a job where she was not necessarily a good fit. She asked me if she should she pursue the position.

My response was yes! They approached her. Talk is cheap. Plus, it was good practice on multiple levels.

Resume

This is a good time to customize your resume using keywords that you harvest from the perspective employer’s website.

Tailor the resume by using ARM (Action, Results, Metrics) phrases that match each responsibility and requirement in the job description.

Preparing for the Interview

Look at each responsibility and required skill in the job description and develop an story in which you demonstrate that you meet the requirement. Make sure you document the key points in the story so that you can use it again in future interviews.

The goal is to develop a library of stories that you can use over and over again.

Build a set of questions that you will ask during the interview. This should include questions on management style, work environment, and teamwork. You want to see if this is a good fit for you!

The Interview

Career Pivot Sponsor for the Month of November 2014

Career Pivot Sponsor for the Month of November 2014

Plan on probing for pain points very early in the interview. Ask probing question like:

  • Why the position is open
  • What is the problem they want to solve with this hire
  • What are the metrics that are motivating to hire someone for this position

Answer every question with a story. You should say “Let me tell you about when…”

Make sure you ask all of the questions that you developed to determine whether this is a good fit for you.

Postmortem

After walking out of the interview, make some mental notes on what you thought and whether it was a good fit.

Did the interviewer know what they were doing?

Did this seem like a place you would like to work?

After the interview, review the following:

  • Did they review your resume with you?
  • Did they make any comments about your resume?
  • Were you successful in probing for pain points? If so, what were they, and document them for future reference.
  • Were you able to answer every question with a story? If not, develop new stories based on the questions they asked.

Where you a good fit for the job?

If not, why weren’t you a good fit for the job?

Were you a good fit for the company and their culture?

If you will get into the habit of taking all of these steps, you will able to determine what is a good fit for you. Even interviewing for a position that is not a good fit can be a great learning experience.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Please check out this months sponsor III Financial

and their guest post

Why Save For Retirement If You Don’t Plan On Retiring

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperStrategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist