Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Network, Network, Network!

Recently, I worked with a client who is finishing her master's degree and is concerned about her future employment. She asked me for the one outstanding piece of advise that I could give her...and I told her what I wrote above..."network, network, network".

People hire people, not resumes, or networking cards or LinkedIn profiles. People hire people who they either have worked with before, or who have worked with someone they know and value. That is why smart employers offer cash rewards to employees who bring them hirable candidates. This has always been important, and now more than ever.

Is being invited to networking functions enough? have to go, and work the room. Is being on LinkedIn enough?, you have to use it. Should you wait until you need a job?, networks need tending. Popping up on someone's radar only when you need them is ill advised, and frankly rude.

Networks do not grow overnight, and can easily die if not cared for. So pay some attention to your LinkedIn; take the holiday invitation and respond "yes" and go. Your working life may depend on it.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Are You of "A Certain Age"?

If you are a job seeker of a "certain age", that is, over 50, you are probably aware that especially for you the job market is tough. I write this as a follow-up to my recent "relevancy" post because I had an experience with a potential client of a "certain age" for whom relevancy is a non-starter.

This gentleman owns a business in an industry that is dying. Ten years ago, he changed his business model and it helped somewhat; however, since the beginning of the most recent economic downturn his business has been failing. Right now he thinks he will be closing his doors by the end of this year. During our discussion it was clear to me that he has done little to nothing in the past several years to improve his situation.

Clearly, this gentleman needs identification of personal transferable skills; he needs to understand how to prepare generic and targeted resumes. He needs networking skills in order to locate even a survival job until and quite possibly he locates training in a new field. He also needs to figure out if he can save his present business. When we spoke he gave me a long list of issues including poor economic decisions, lack of education, etc...What I told him is that that was then and this is now. Relevancy rears again. He needs to act, and quickly. This gentleman has probably at least a dozen years left to work before he can think of retiring. He has to determine what he wants, what he can do and then do it. I hope he does. There are no magic answers.

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