Career Reflection – A Twice a Year Duty

Career Reflection

Career ReflectionHow often do you perform a career reflection? In the Targeted Job Search,  I suggest that you plan to do this twice a year. There are two special times of year to perform a career reflection:

  • July 4th holiday
  • New Years

These two times are approximately 6 months apart and most of us have the time off from work.

Goals

Did you achieve your goals over the last six months?

If not, what is to be learned?

I set goals for this website and increased traffic. Starting in February, LinkedIn began instituting major changes that reduced the traffic by 90%. In June, website traffic had been restored to previous levels, which is about seven thousand visitors a month.

What did I learn? I must always have a Plan B.

This is a good time to put an entry in your calendar for six months from now. Create goals for the next six months and write them in your calendar.

Career Reflection

Reflect back over the last six months:

  • What did you accomplish? Make note of quantifiable accomplishments.
  • What new skills did you acquire? What can you do now that you could not do six months ago?
  • What did you learn about yourself? This is a great time to take notice of what is important in our lives. It is easy to focus on others and not ourselves. At least this is true for me!

In the last six months, I had my first paid speaking engagement outside of Austin. My presentation titled “The Multi-Generational Workplace – Why Can’t We All Get Along” has been in hot demand. If this is of interest to your place of business, please contact me.

Spend some time and clearly document your accomplishments,  new skills, and lessons learned and file this away to be reviewed in six months.

Time to Update

Once you have completed your career reflection, it is time to update your LinkedIn profile and your resume! Updating your LinkedIn profile and resume should be a regular habit. You never know what will happen in the next six months. Besides, you want to be a good passive candidate with updated information in your LinkedIn profile.

It is also a great time to update your target list.

Who do you want to work for next? This does not mean you will be changing jobs, but you want to be ready!

Spend time researching perspective companies, as well as your connections into those companies. Who do you know or who can make an introduction to a strategic individual? Remember, when you meet a strategic connection, you will be Asking for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

If you have been in your position over two years, I suggest you actively work your target list. With the median duration of employment at just over five years, you should plan on staying in a job less than that and allow eighteen months for a passive job search.

If you are willing to perform a career reflection exercise twice a year, document your results, and update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and target list, you will always be ready for the next step in your career.

Are you ready?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for June 28

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

Baby Boomer

  • What Baby Boomers’ Retirement Means For the U.S. Economy | FiveThirtyEight http://bit.ly

Workplace

Career

Social Media

Job Search

Career Pivot

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

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Promoting Your Brand Using LinkedIn Publisher

LinkedIn Publisher is coming!

LinkedIn PublisherLinkedIn Publisher was finally made available to me last week. LinkedIn Publisher is being rolled out to the entire LinkedIn community in phases.

What is LinkedIn Publisher?

LinkedIn Publisher is the blogging platform that LinkedIn Influencers have been using for the last year or so. LinkedIn Influencers are thought leaders who LinkedIn asked to publish their writings on LinkedIn Pulse.

LinkedIn Publisher will soon be made available to everyone.

Why should you care?

In this global economy, how do potential employers or clients know that you know your stuff? In today’s economy, you need to promote what you know!

What better idea is there than to write about what you know on LinkedIn, where prospective employers and clients can find you?

How do I get started with LinkedIn Publisher?

Step #1 is to get access. To speed up the process, you can apply here.

Once you have access, you will receive an e-mail with instructions and you will see a little pencil in the field where you post your updates.

What should I publish?

What do you know? What skill or knowledge do you have that you would like to promote?
Pick a topic and start writing. I discussed this last year when I wrote about Establishing Your Personal Brand and Credibility Through Blogging. This is the same concept, except you no longer need a blogging platform.
I tell my clients to pick a topic, write multiple posts in a series, and see what people think. What you want is for your LinkedIn connections and others to read, share, and comment on your posts. Based on the response, you will have an idea what you should write about, or whether to switch to a different topic.

How often should I publish?

Be consistent! Pick a frequency that you can maintain. Once a week, every other week, once a month…start by writing 3-5 posts before you publish the first post. You will be able judge pretty quickly whether the frequency you picked is sustainable.

I will be publishing one post a week. I will also be republishing popular posts that I wrote for the Career Pivot blog from the last couple of years.

When should I publish?

In my opinion, early in the week and early in the day works best. This depends on where your readers might live or work. When I first started writing on the Career Pivot blog in 2011, I had readers in Iraq and Afghanistan (US Military). You might consider shifting the publishing time based on the time zone where most of your readers live.

How will readers find my posts?

If you subscribe to LinkedIn pulse, you get an e-mail every morning with articles that might interest you. LinkedIn will send to everyone who is subscribed to LinkedIn pulse and is a first degree connection a link to your article.

You should also promote your post on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Google+.  LinkedIn Publisher will inform you of how many people viewed your post and shared it on the various social networks. You will also be able to read and respond to comments.

You now have a simple to use, free blogging platform that makes it easy for your LinkedIn connections to find your posts. Now you can demonstrate that you know your stuff!

When are you going to get started?

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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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Entrepreneur to Employee Transition

Entrepreneur to Employee

EntrepreneurToEmployeeThe entrepreneur to employee transition is something I am seeing over and over again. There are a number of reasons this is happening:

  1. Baby Boomer business owner who is tired of running their own business. They want to sell but want to continue to work.
  2. Baby Boomer business owner or a family member of a family owned business that has gone out of business or has been sold. As you can imagine, there were a lot of small businesses that went out of business during the great recession.
  3. Gen Xer who had the entrepreneurial bug started their own business but were not successful. I am currently working with a couple of clients are now in their 30s and need to find their first real job to be able to support their family.

The commonality in all three situations is the expectation that, after a short while. the former entrepreneur will want to return to running their own business.

The entrepreneur to employee transition will require a relationship to take you across.

Baby Boomer Business Owner

Let me tell you about Dan. Dan was a business owner who had bought and sold several businesses. After selling his last business in his early 50s, Dan was tired. He did not want to retire. He wanted to go back to work for someone else.

He worked his network and got a number of interviews with a large tech employer in the area. It went nowhere.

I explained to him that he scared the heck out these middle managers who could hire him.

Dan had:

  • Hired and fired people
  • Run payroll
  • Run marketing
  • Run successful sales campaigns
  • Managed inventory and logistics
  • .
  • .

Over the 30+ years of owning his own business, he had done it all. He had far more expertise than any of the hiring managers. He could do their jobs and do it better. He scared them.

He needed to find a close relationship who truly valued his expertise and would take a chance on him.

Dan eventually became a car salesman and traded options on the side. Did he become a real employee?

NO! He was still working for himself, just not as a business owner.

Family Owned Businesses

I have worked with several family members of family owned businesses that have been sold or went out of business. After having worked in a family owned business most of their lives, they do not fit the classical employee mold. There is nothing wrong with them, but they do not fit the mold.

In the next couple of weeks, I will tell the story of one who became a necessity entrepreneur, Bob Butler and Blue Spot Pets. This story is about how a close relationship allowed him to start his own business.

When the business his grandfather started was sold, he was asked could he be an employee? He thought he could. Several years later and now in his 60s he was let go.

He just could not see himself as an employee, again.

Gen X Entrepreneur to Employee

Gen Xers started to enter the job market in the last 1980s when the concept of a “job for life” with one company was coming to an end. Gen Xers were far more likely to be entrepreneurs than my generation—baby boomer.

This is a very similar story to the first example of a baby boomer business owner. The difference is that many are now in their late 30s or early 40s and have started a family. They need a paycheck.

I am currently working with a gentleman who took a job that he hates. He hates it because the mission of the company is at odds with his own values. We focused on:

  • Defining his values. He is a cause-driven individual
  • Clearly defining his brand
  • Developing a target list of companies that align with his values
  • Developing the right relationships at those companies

He was just given an offer of employment from a company that aligns with his values. It is not a perfect fit, but is far better than where he is today. It is just one part of his career pivot.

The key is that it was a close relationship that got him into this company.

The transition from entrepreneur to employee is a difficult one most will fail at, but for those that do succeed, it will almost always require a close relationship.

You will not do this alone!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for June 21

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.

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Work Force

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career

Social Media

Career Pivot

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

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Inertia and Persistence as it Relates to Your Career

Inertia and Persistence

InertiaInertia inhibits us from moving forward in our career—persistence is what we need to keep us moving forward in our career.

Inertia

I am a baby boomer!

I was raised to be an employee to go to work for an employer who would take care of me.

We were also raised to be loyal to our employer no matter what. Therefore, we created a lot of inertia in our careers. Once we started something, we stayed and stayed and stayed…well until we got laid off or something happened to wake us up. For me, that was in 2002 with a near fatal bicycle accident. That accident set in motion a series of actions that has led me to where I am today. Until then, inertia had me stuck.

In today’s workplace, inertia is a dangerous thing. The world is changing fast, and you need to keep moving forward with your career.

Persistence

I have been interviewing entrepreneurs, and one key words keeps coming up—persistence.

The definition I like the best is:

“persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement, etc.; persevering”

The opposite of inertia.

I have helped multiple clients write their brand stories over the last year. In listening to them tell me their stories, I found a common theme—they have been laid off multiple times over the last dozen years. All have gotten back on their feet and moved forward in their careers. They showed persistence in spades.

Before that first layoff, inertia kept them from preparing for the next career pivot. However, once they were shoved forward and, often, off a figurative career “cliff,” they did not stop until they landed. Unfortunately, inertia would set in again until that next shove.

See the pattern:

  • We get comfortable, and inertia sets in
  • We get shoved into action
  • Our persistence kicks into gear
  • We land, and inertia returns

I have seen this over and over again. I have done this in my life. I bet you have, too!

How can we stay persistent and not let inertia settle in?

  • Take breaks. Yes, take a vacation. Take a day off before you become exhausted.
  • Celebrate success. Stop, sit, and digest the good feelings when you have a success.
  • Analyze failures, but return to the feelings of success. When failures occur—which they will—you have the option to go back to that time of success. Recapture those feelings.
  • Always look forward.
  • Be ever vigilant.

Persistence will keep your career moving forward.

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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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

 

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

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Managing Your Career is Like Selling a Vintage Fiat

Selling a Vintage Fiat?

CarPictures.com

When I was a young man in late 1970s, I wanted a convertible. I was also cheap! The first car I bought was a 1972 Triumph Spitfire from a woman I worked with at IBM. It needed a clutch and a throwout bearing.

I had just received my engineering degree from Northwestern University and I would use this car to teach myself auto mechanics. I fixed the Triumph, drove it around for six months and then sold it. I wanted a bigger challenge.

I bought a wrecked 1972 Fiat 124 Spyder. It was joked that Fiat stood for “Fix It Again Tony.”  The car had been in a front end collision, but was still drivable. I spent the next 18 months replacing fenders, the hood, a bulkhead, pulled the heads and valves, and much more.

The challenge was when I went to sell it.

I put it in the paper for 3 consecutive weekends, but only had one prospective buyer came out to test drive the car. I still owned the car and was wondering what to do next.

I had the car priced very reasonably. The car was not perfect, but in pretty good condition. The problem was that very few people living in Central Texas in the late 1970s even knew what a Fiat was, much less wanted to buy one.

I put the car in the paper for a 4th consecutive week and someone came out to test drive the car. That person bought the car at my full asking price.

You Only Need One Buyer!

Only two people came out to test drive the car and one of them bought it. I later rebuilt several more Fiats and I rarely had more than two or three people test drive the cars, but one of them always bought it.

Applying for More Jobs is not Better

Do you apply for many jobs hoping to get an interview?

Or, do you carefully investigate each company by strategically networking to meet the right individuals? When a position becomes available, you find someone internal to the company to submit your resume. You submit your application when the time is right. You end up submitting very few applications.

This is called the Targeted Job Search.

What I learned from selling the Fiat is that it is not how many people who come out to test drive the car. If I prepared the car properly and priced it fairly, the car would sell. I only needed one buyer.

Similarly, when you are managing your career, you want to be selective. You want to be prepared. You want to approach a prospective employer when the time is right. You only need to apply and interview with one company to get that next gig.

Just like when I sold that Fiat—it was not quantity but quality. Only people who knew about Fiats and truly admired the Italian engineering would come out to look at the car. (By the way, Fiat was at least 10 years ahead of the rest of the industry with many features like four wheel disc brakes and dual overhead cam engines.)

Similarly, you can be selective. Do your homework. Pick the companies that are a good fit for you.

You only need one company to hire you for that next gig! More is not better!

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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 June 14

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

Baby Boomer

Career

Networking

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?

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

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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 whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Strategic Networking – Career Pivot Whitepaper

Strategic Networking

Strategic NetworkingWhen I talk about strategic networking, people will often think of networking events. Their palms will get sweaty, as they would rather get root canal surgery than walk into a room full of strangers.

This new whitepaper documents a strategy that most everyone can execute to build and maintain the relationships you will need for your career.

Strategic Networking – or – Strategic Relationships

It is less about building a network than building the right relationships. Your next job will likely come through a relationship!

Strategic Networking – Building Your Tribe

It is all about building your tribe. Your tribe consists of the people in your network you can go to for a favor and actually expect it to be granted.

Who is in your tribe? What types of people are in your tribe?

Are you missing certain types of people from your tribe? This whitepaper identifies the different types of people in your tribe and where you need to put your emphasis in building your tribe.

Building Your Tribe for Career Success

How do you go about building your tribe? (You do not even have to go to a networking event!)

This whitepaper documents for you a variety of strategies to build and cultivate your tribe.

Asking for AIR– Advice, Insights, & Recommendations

When you ask for advice, does anyone turn you down? Usually not! If they do, they are probably a jerk and you do not want to talk to them anyway. Asking for A-I-R (or Advice, Insights and Recommendations) is a simple and easy way to approach your contacts for help.

Partner with Recruiters to Manage Your Career

In this social media connected world, recruiters and other HR professional have become the mesh that ties things together. It is key that you build strategic relationships with recruiters and other HR professionals. This whitepaper gives you a simple approach for contacting recruiters.

Does this sound interesting?

You can access this whitepaper by:

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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

How to Impress a Recruiter – Guest Post

How to Impress a Recruiter

The other day I was on Twitter.  I am active on Twitter.  Right now, it is my favorite social site.  Why?   I am a little quirky, and I am pretty good with words.  I love sarcasm and creativity.   It is hard to say what you want to say in 140 characters or less, so if you can do it, I admire you.   I love friendly banter and I am impressed with the unconventional.

Your favorite site may not be Twitter.  It may be Facebook.  Why?  You may love sharing pictures and the way it is set up.  My wife is a Pintrest fan.  She loves to cook and loves seeing pictures of foods.  She gets great ideas from pictures.  Recently she planned a Batman birthday for our 3 year old simply by looking at pictures on Pinterest.

Smart.  Really smart.

As a candidate, you have to recognize what recruiters are doing and saying.  I had Matt Arch  send me a note on Twitter the other day that blew me away.  Why did he intrigue me?  He first went to LinkedIn and researched my profile.  He found that I was in Austin and I recruited Sales and Marketing individuals.  He then found my twitter handle on Linkedin.  Once he found my twitter handle, he sent me a note saying he was looking to relocate to Austin and sent me a hyperlink to his resume

Smart.  Really smart.

I always have a tab open on my computer on Twitter.  In addition, whenever I receive a tweet, I get a ding on my phone and the word “message” shows up on my phone.  You can probably get in touch with me quicker by tweeting me than leaving me a voice mail.

We exchanged tweets and I learned a great deal about him.  He was a college student in Pittsburgh.  You know what was cool about this?  He instantly separated himself from the pack for doing something different.

The story doesn’t end there.

For those of you reading this know, I write.  I write a lot.  He knew that also.  He knew that by researching me on Linkedin and reading my tweets.  He had a guest blogger on his blog site and had had sent me a radio blog which you can listen here .  This blog was creative.  It explained the frustrations, fears, and excitement of graduating from college. How clever.  This took time.

So, let’s recap.  He did research to find me.  He creatively grabbed my attention with a tweet.  He used technology to send me a resume.  He even blogged about job searching.  Not everyone does this.

When you are looking for a job, think outside the box.  Do some impressing.  Do something different.  Do something that will stand out.

Matt Arch will land a job fast!  Follow his lead.  Not many are doing what he is doing, and if you are looking to differentiate yourself, take this as a great lesson.

It impressed me!   Maybe you should send me a tweet too?!

willrecruits

 

This post originally appeared on Bulls Eye Recruiting

Author:

Will Thomson lives in Austin, Texas, and works for Rosetta Stone as the global sales and marketing recruiter. He has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years. He received his undergraduate from The University of Mississippi, and his Master’s Degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin. He has recruited some of the most sought-after talent around the globe, and is a regular blogger for the recruitment industry. Find him on Twitter @WillRecruits or at Bulls Eye Recruiting

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When you subscribe to this blog you will receive full access to the Career Pivot White Paper Library as a gift!

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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

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