Dec
29

Expand Your Network in 2015

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business handshake on multicolor bokeh light background.The best way to land a job in 2015 is to expand your network. The art of building and maintaining relationships is vital to job seekers. Greg Simpson, Senior Vice President, Career Transition Practice Leader at Lee Hecht Harrison says “The reality is that most job openings are never advertised or posted, which means tapping your network is an essential job search resource to uncover hidden opportunities. In fact, 63 percent of job seekers land new jobs through networking.”

Identify networking contacts– One of the hurdles of networking is determining who to connect with. To aid in this process, make a list of 10-15 organizations you desire to work for. Next, consider how you might gain access to the person(s) in those organizations that have the power to hire you. You may be fortunate enough to be able to connect with the hiring manager immediately, but most likely, you will have to network to gain access.

Explore networking sources– Social networking sites have opened up the world of networking. LinkedIn has made it relatively easy to identify employees of organizations; however, don’t stop there. Explore other effective networking sources such as industry meetings, industry writers, community leaders, and career fairs. Other sources could be the vendors, customers, and competitors of your target organization.

One very important networking source is professional associations. When you join an association, you will have access to employees, managers and executives of many (if not all) of your target organizations. Here are 3 websites that may assist you in finding associations for your profession: www.weddles.com– Weddles Guide for Associations, www.asaecenter.org– The Center for Association Leadership, and www.ipl.org– Internet public library’s guide to associations.

Develop goals for networking– The more you plan your networking, the more successful you will be. Val Matta, Vice President of business development at Career Shift, suggests developing weekly goals and tracking meetings/events on a calendar that is dedicated to networking. This method not only forces you to think through a plan, but also organizes your efforts.

Practice to gain confidence– Networking is a skill to be learned. Don’t expect perfection from yourself right away. The more you network, the more confidence you will gain and the better you will become.

I’m not sure who said this but the statement rings true; “The opposite of networking is NOT working”. Happy New Year and Happy Networking!

Stacy Harshman, founder of Your Fulfilling Life, brings her experience as a recruiter for a Fortune 500 corporation to her work as a career coach. In addition to helping people discover their passions, she also provides clients with insight into the mind of a recruiter, unlocking the secrets of what employers look for in potential employees. Stacy offers individual and group coaching in person and by phone to those seeking positive change in their professional lives.
Get your free audio of Four Essential Steps For A Successful Career Change on www.YourFulfillingLife.com

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graduation studentsLook out U.S. News & World Report, LinkedIn is also ranking colleges! U.S. News is the most widely known organization to rank colleges but now LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, is entering the arena. LinkedIn has a different approach than U.S. News, and therefore has given prospective graduates another perspective to ponder when thinking about their choices for higher education.

Method of Ranking– LinkedIn approaches college rankings from an employment perspective. To do so, LinkedIn asks the question, “What schools give the best chance at obtaining a desirable job after graduation?” In undertaking this task, the social network mined the user profiles of its 300 million members from around the world. They examined graduates within the past eight years to reflect recent employment trends. LinkedIn calculated the percentages of graduates to have obtained desirable jobs and used these percentages to rank universities based on career outcomes.

What is a desirable job? To answer the question, LinkedIn looked at companies that were attracting talent and determined what their turnover rate was. They then assigned a ranking based on the turnover. If an organization was attracting external employees at the same rate as another organization with a lower turnover rate, the company with the lower turnover rate received a higher ranking. The basic theory is if a company can retain its employees, it is a more desirable choice for graduates.

Are The Rankings Useful?The answer is controversial. An article in The Wall Street Journal asked Judith Scott-Clayton, a professor of economics and education, at Teachers College, Columbia University what she thought of LinkedIn’s college rankings. She said, “This could be very skewed, if LinkedIn tends to attract more people who think they have better jobs than the general population.” U.S. News & World Report has also had controversy in their rankings. U.S. News depends partly on a system of colleges self-reporting data. In an October 8th article, the organization reported 2 schools inflated their data which in one case, altered the rankings.

2 Important Questions-LinkedIn provides information that is worth considering. The rankings are still too new to determine validity but they do cause you to think about two important questions which are: “What is a desirable job for me? and “How will my education help me obtain a desirable job?” Pondering these two questions will prepare you well for future success.

Stacy Harshman, founder of Your Fulfilling Life, brings her experience as a recruiter for a Fortune 500 corporation to her work as a career coach. In addition to helping people discover their passions, she also provides clients with insight into the mind of a recruiter, unlocking the secrets of what employers look for in potential employees. Stacy offers individual and group coaching in person and by phone to those seeking positive change in their professional lives.

Get your free audio of Four Essential Steps For A Successful Career Change on www.YourFulfillingLife.com

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Celebrating businesswoman jumpingIf you saw an ad for a job that was in high demand, offered great salary, and no degree required, would you think it was a scam? I would question it; however, there is a profession that fits all these criteria. Computer programming.

Demand-Companies are desperate for programmers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be one million unfilled programming jobs by 2020. Currently there is more demand than supply of people who can program which makes the profession very appealing

Salary potential-The U.S. Department of Labor/Employment & Training Administration report that the median wage for programmers in 2013 was $76,140. US News and World Report found the best-paid 10 percent in the field made approximately $117,890, while the bottom 10 percent made approximately $42,850.

Education Requirements– Isn’t a programming degree required? Not necessarily. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, (http://online.wsj.com/articles/computer-programming-is-a-trade-lets-act-like-it-1407109947) 14% of the members of some teams at Google don’t have a degree, and 67% of programming jobs are in non-tech companies where other experience is more likely to be valued.

Coding Schools- Coding schools are opening to offer students intensive training in a short amount of time. A school in Seattle, Code Fellows, offers 4 week classes for novice developers and intensive 8 week classes for the more experienced. The school is so confident that its graduates will have jobs, they guarantee a job within 9 months paying at least $60,000 or the tuition is reimbursed. Some schools offer free programming classes online. New York based Codecademy offers students classes in areas such as HTML, JavaScript, and Python. Code School is another online option. It uses gaming mechanics to make learning more like playing a game. The cost is only $29.00 a month. Treehouse, another school, offers online courses for $25.00 a month and more workshops and interviews from industry professionals at $49.00 a month.

Options for career changers- Coding may be something that you have never considered, but it is worth thinking over. The barrier to entry is relatively low. The Wall Street Journal is now calling programming a trade- something that a person can develop at least a basic proficiency within weeks or months. It may sounds too good to be true, but the reality is programming is a career with a bright future.

Stacy Harshman, founder of Your Fulfilling Life, brings her experience as a recruiter for a Fortune 500 corporation to her work as a career coach. In addition to helping people discover their passions, she also provides clients with insight into the mind of a recruiter, unlocking the secrets of what employers look for in potential employees. Stacy offers individual and group coaching in person and by phone to those seeking positive change in their professional lives.
Get your free audio of Four Essential Steps For A Successful Career Change on www.YourFulfillingLife.com

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Strengths Essentials 2Whether you’re considering a career change, a promotion, or want to be more effective in your current position, the Strengths Essentials workshop will help you identify your core strengths enabling you to be your most productive.

This workshop will help you discover why strengths are critical and to understand the research behind why it is important to identify and apply your strengths to improve productivity and personal satisfaction.

After attending Strengths Essentials, you will have a clear understanding of how to achieve your career goals and increase the quality of both your personal and professional life!

Your Facilitators will be Sandra Scaglione, ACC, CPCC, SPHR- Executive & Professional Development Coach and Stacy Harshman, CCMC, SPHR- Career Management Coach

The Workshop Will Be Held
• Tuesday, May 20th – 8:30am-12:00 pm
• SpurWing Country Club, 6800 N. SpurWing Way, Meridian, ID
• Early bird pricing through May 4th is $79.00.
• Registration after May 4th is $99.00.
• No-host lunch will be available following the workshop.

To register: http://bit.ly/StrengthsEssentials

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Strengths or weakness concept.Marcus Buckingham in his book Go Put Your Strengths to Work, likens weaknesses to enemies. He warns they quietly corrupt our work and life. Do you know what your weaknesses are? Most of us probably have some idea of what they are but don’t take time to identify them clearly. Buckingham gives a 4 step process for identifying what activities weaken and drain you. He uses S.I.G.N. as an acronym to describe each step.

S is for success (or rather lack of it)– A weakness can be an activity that you have tried before and haven’t enjoyed success doing it. It could also be something that you can do quite well but afterwards produces a negative emotional response. For example, you may be excellent at organizing files but if you feel drained after completing it, it is likely a weakness for you.

I is for lack of instinct– If you look for ways to avoid doing certain activities, or you have to brace yourself before doing something, the activity is likely your weakness.

G is for lack of growth– If there is an activity that you find you don’t want to read up on, it too could be a weakness for you. Also, if you find that your performance in this type of activity doesn’t get much better, it is not a good activity for you to concentrate your efforts on.

N is for lack of needs– When you complete a task pay attention to how you feel afterwards. If you feel less creative, less productive, or less like yourself, you have likely uncovered a weakness.

Buckingham says that weaknesses aren’t as obvious as we may think. He writes that “they tend to be hidden behind something more appealing, like, say a promotion.” The good news is you can be aware of your weaknesses by paying attention to clues when you complete activities throughout your day. Feelings of being drained, bored, or disinterested are all signs that point to tasks that are your weaknesses. Although you won’t be able to eliminate 100% of these activities, identifying them helps you. You will better able to take yourself out of situations that drain you and seek the ones that strengthen you.

Stacy Harshman, founder of Your Fulfilling Life, brings her experience as a recruiter for a Fortune 500 corporation to her work as a career coach. In addition to helping people discover their passions, she also provides clients with insight into the mind of a recruiter, unlocking the secrets of what employers look for in potential employees. Stacy offers individual and group coaching in person and by phone to those seeking positive change in their professional lives.

Get your free audio of Four Essential Steps For A Successful Career Change on www.YourFulfillingLife.com

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I like to think of the beginning of a new year as a new start, a time to re-evaluate where I am and where I want to be at the end of upcoming year.  The process of writing what I wanted to accomplish never really excited me.  But then I heard of an idea of writing a letter to my future self.  The concept intrigued me because it was exciting to imagine what my future self could look like.

Free app- I would much rather email than write a handwritten letter so I was happy to learn there is a free app I can use to write my letter to my future self.  The website address is  http://www.futureme.org/ This app allows you to write the letter and then will email you any date you choose. This is an added bonus for me because I know that I will have something coming, almost like a gift waiting to be opened.

Questions to answer- When writing your letter you may want to consider the following questions:

  • How do you envision yourself at the end of 2014?
  • What obstacles can you anticipate getting in the way?
  • What advice would you give for dealing with them?
  • What attitudes do you want to take on?
  • What do you want to eliminate from your life?

G.O.A.L.- Another approach is from Susan Whitcomb who uses the word goal as an acronym.

G – Gain | Grow | Get More Of

  • In what ways do you want to gain, grow, get more of? Consider traditional categories of Career, Business, Finances, Health, as well as nontraditional categories such as Character, Relationships, Reputation, Perspective.

O – Overcome | Oust | Less Of

  • What do you want less of this year? What situations, bad habits, negative thinking, toxic relationships do you want to overcome or oust from your life?

A – Allow Life to Lead | Abide

  • How will you invite Life to unfold this coming year without striving, worrying, or working too hard? For those with a God orientation, how will you invite Him to love you, lead you, guide you, provide for you this year? How will you abide in Him?

L – Limelight

  • What is/are the major initiative(s), project(s), theme(s) you want to keep in the limelight/spotlight for 2014?

S – Service

  • Whom do you want to bless with your talents, gifts, and services this coming year? How will you do so?

You can make your letter as simple or as detailed as you like.  Nobody has to see it but you, so just have fun with it.

If planning for the year seems tedious and boring for you, writing a letter to your future self may be something to experiment with.  Personally, I found it to be an enjoyable process.  If do decide to try it, please let me know.  You can either comment on my blog at www.yourfulfillinglife.com or email me at stacy@yourfulfillinglife.com.

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A portfolio career is a relatively new term so you may not be familiar with it. In general, it refers to income being generated from more than one source.  For example, a person may work doing several things such as part-time employment, temporary work, freelance assignments or personal business.  It may also be that a person works a full-time job while also generating income from another venture.  According to Penelope Trunk, the co-founder of Brazen Careerist, “a portfolio career is not the same thing as holding down three bad jobs and wishing you could figure out what to do with yourself.  Rather, it is a scheme you pursue purposefully and positively, as a way to achieve financial or personal goals or a mixture of both.”

What are the advantages of a portfolio career?   On advantage is that you can try out different careers at the same time.  If you don’t know if you enjoy a particular job, having a portfolio career allows you “test drive” a little at a time.  Another advantage is that a portfolio career also allows for more variety and creativity in your life.  A common complaint from people is that they get bored in their jobs but if you are doing more than one job, you are much less likely to get tired of the same old thing.  Yet another plus is that by working more than one job, you don’t have all of your eggs in the same basket.  If you get laid off from one job, you still have at least one other to fall back on.

What are the disadvantages of a portfolio career?  One disadvantage that you will have to consider is benefits.  Many organizations do not offer benefits if you are part time.  You may have to purchase insurance for yourself which is likely to be more expensive than being on an employer’s plan.  Another disadvantage is the time that it takes to do more than one job.  Are you comfortable working odd hours or when everyone else is off enjoying their weekend?  Yet another minus is managing your time and energy to be able to juggle and accomplish many tasks at the same time.

A portfolio career may be a great option for your career; but, it requires much planning.  If you are thinking about the possibilities for your life’s work, I am happy to help you through the process.

Your Fulfilling Life Career Coaching was founded to assist individuals experiencing career transitions. Whether you have just been laid off or you don’t know “what you want to do when you grow up”, career coaching can help you move through the process successfully. Contact me for more information at Stacy@YourFulfillingLife.com.

 

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