Posts Tagged “job”

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The prospect of returning to work after years away from my career was daunting. I faced a host of challenges: a lack of recent and relevant experience, outdated corporate skills, and uncertainty about my Baby Boomer place in a Millennial-focused world.

I still thought, however, based upon my early career success and an advanced degree in my field, that I’d get a great offer in no time. It didn’t happen. My strategy—jumping into a role that was the wrong fit (and later leaving), followed by picking up consulting gigs here and there and then trying to explain it all in a resume with gaps and changes—was failing. I needed a strategic shift.

So I changed everything, from how I was approaching the job search process to my end goal. As a result, I applied for and landed a returnship, with Goldman Sachs. (If you’ve never heard of it, a returnship is an internship for people returning to the workforce.) It enabled me to add current and substantive experience to my resume, and reset my career path so I could once again move forward.

Here are the six most important lessons I learned in my quest to get back on track.

1. Update Your Online Presence
Being a somewhat tech-savvy boomer, I had a LinkedIn profile.

But too many people have ones that are lackluster or outdated. If that’s you, place this at the top of your to-do list. Both recruiters and hiring managers use the site to find and screen candidates.

I left off dates for my degrees to minimize age bias, and truncated my experience to the past 10 to 15 years (I recommend you do the same!).

2. Network—Always
You may think that networking is just for young professionals who need to meet new people. That’s simply not true. It’s beneficial regardless of your age.

For example, I had a friend put in a good word for me, and I know that helped me to be considered for the role at Goldman.

Here are four things you should start doing (if you’re not already):

Periodically touch base with professional contacts. Be memorable by sending a personal note and an interesting article once a month.
Let the other person know that you respect their time by being specific when you have an “ask.” Say (or write): “I’d really appreciate your perspective—can we speak/meet for 15 minutes?” And then stick with that time commitment.
Extend your network. Ask your contacts to connect you with their contacts.
Follow-up with a thank you note, every time. Take it to the next level by offering to be of help if they ever need your perspective or expertise.

3. Make it Easy for People to Help You
If you’re asking someone to refer you, give them everything they need, so they can simply send along your details.

So, if you’re applying to a role at their company, this includes the job name, job number, your resume, and bullets outlining what skills and experience you’d bring that match the requirements for the role.

People are busy, and so if you give them a complete email they can simply forward, it’s a lot more likely it’ll get passed on.

4. Refine Your Elevator Pitch
When you’ve had a lot of experience, it’s important (though often hard) to be clear about your objectives.

What are your areas of expertise?

What type of role are you looking for?

It’ll be tempting to rattle off everything you’ve done in the past, or say, “I can really do anything.” But a long speech can be overwhelming for listeners—and can make you look overqualified—and unfocused. So, cut it down and zero in on one thing you want the other person to come away with. My rule of thumb is that it should be no longer than 30 seconds.

5. Practice Self-Care
Unreturned emails, closed doors, and rejection all sting. But, it happens to pretty much everyone, especially when you’re outside the “sweet spot” of hiring prospects.

There’ll be surprises for better and worse: People that you’d have bet would be right there to help aren’t; and people you barely knew will do all they can.

So, it’s all the more important to be kind to yourself: go the gym, meet friends, and see a movie! That stuff may seem frivolous when you’re job searching, but it’ll help you feel happier—and keep you from letting your identity be wrapped up in your professional life.

6. Pay it Forward
Once you’ve landed in your new role, do what you can to help a colleague or friend of a friend. It could be at work, like offering to mentor junior employees.

Or, it could be that someone contacts you seeking your advice. Remember how you felt when you were job searching and do your best to find the time!

And of course, when you’re hiring in the future, give those who’ve had winding career paths a second look.

After my 10-week returnship program ended, I was asked to stay on for another year—and I did, happily. When my role recently came to an end, leaving Goldman Sachs was bittersweet.

But one thing that made me feel better is that I knew I was ready to find my next, more permanent position. On this search, I have not only a solid and recent accomplishment to leverage, but all of the lessons I’ve learned the last time around, as well as some new and treasured Millennial friends.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-6-best-job-search-lessons-i-learned-after-10-years-away-best-of?ref=the-muse-editors-picks-1

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To understand what it means to be driven by your passion, one need only speak with Sarah Osman, a successful account executive by day and an ambitious entrepreneur and creative by night (and on weekends!). Basically, whenever Osman isn’t making things happen at her day job, she’s devoting time and energy to her side gigs.

Yes, that’s plural gigs: Osman is the founder of Made Simple by Sarah, a lifestyle and nutrition program, and, more recently, she and Jenna Sands, a friend she reconnected with, co-founded Wellness Meet Up NYC—more on that later.

Osman’s sales background has come in handy lining up sponsors for the events, suggesting the powerful impact transferable skills can have on your side gig.

The following is an edited excerpt from our conversation:

You’re Currently Wearing a Lot of Career Hats. You Work in Sales, but You’re Also a Nutritionist? How Does This All Work?

Yes, I’m an account executive at a media company, and three years ago I went back to school and I got my degree in nutrition, so I’m also a health coach—on the side—and for a while I was seeing clients and posting and sharing recipes. I’m still doing that, but I’ve tapered my nutrition clients to focus on the Wellness Meet Up events.

Tell Me About That: How Did You Conceive of the Meet Ups? And What Are They Exactly

I became connected with an old friend, Jenna, who was working for a granola company, and we got to talking about how there was this weird world of social media, where people know what someone ate for breakfast or what their favorite workouts are, but they’ve never actually met in person.

We sought to bring the community together: connect the influencers and the community members outside of the social media world and into real life. To do so, we started in-person events, based on a different wellness theme and influencer.

How Do the Wellness Meetups Work?

We started Wellness Meet Up NYC back in October 2016. Since then, we’ve been doing monthly meetups with a different curated theme and host. We’re doing multiple events per month now and are branching out into different cities. It’s a nice extension of what I was doing on my own from a nutrition space [with Made Simple by Sarah], and a way to reach more people with the limited time I have. Because this is very much a side hustle.

If Money Were No Object, Would You Be Pursuing This Full-Time?

Before this job, I would’ve said yes. I was in another sales role I didn’t like, selling a product I didn’t like. It would’ve been no question. But now, I love what I’m selling. It’s such a cool time for me to be in the industry. Besides food and nutrition, I love media, and it’s a great fit.

For me, it’s not about money, I just need more hours in the day. It’s not if money were no object; it’s if time were no object.

It Sounds Like You’ve Had Some Not-So-Great Work Experiences? What’s the Worst Job You Ever Had?

An intern in fashion. I’d sit there and glue stuff that had fallen off of clothes. I’d wait on Fridays for a delivery guy who often never showed up! Thankfully, it was just a summer stint.

What Advice Do You Have for People Who Want to Pursue a Side Gig?

Give it your all. Give it 100%, and you’ll know if it’s something you truly and really love. If you have absolutely no free time, and you’re making sacrifices, and it still feels worth pursuing, you’ll know it’s what you’re meant to be doing.

I’ve accepted the fact that I have no free time, and that’s what my passion is worth to me.

What’s Next?

Well, our next Wellness Meet Up—a females and fitness event—is on June 21st in New York City. More info here if you want to learn more.
Osman’s path is one way of understanding how a side gig functions. Deciding whether to return to school, however, is a big decision and not one to make lightly. In fact, you can often gain experience in a new field without seeking another degree. In this article, career expert Scott Anthony Barlow explains how to do just that.

And if you’re simply unsure of a side hustle’s potential, this article, “Here’s How I Made $10K on Side Gigs (and How You Can Too)” may be just the thing you need to read.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/this-is-how-i-manage-a-demanding-side-hustle-on-top-of-a-fulltime-job?ref=carousel-slide-4

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Why would I quit my good job?

Even if we’re not happy, many of us stop short of leaving because of that question. If you have good benefits, decent pay, and a reasonable boss, you feel ungrateful for wanting to go (even if you dread the work itself). You know many people would kill for the positive things you just listed off.

If you’re torn between whether you should leave, or try to make it work, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Did I Daydream About Being Somewhere Else Today?

Do you spend a good amount of your workday reading random articles or thinking about vacations you have no intention of going on? I get it—it’s fun to fantasize—but at a certain point, it’s a red flag that your job isn’t engaging enough.

Follow-up Question: Am I Just Easily Distracted?

In many situations, these sorts of distractions come down to your ability to focus, not how well your job suits you. If this is the case, you’re better off making a concerted effort to improve your focus and develop productivity skills than looking for a new role. A great place to start is reading Brian Tracy’s famous book, Eat That Frog.

On the other hand, if you typically have laser-focus and realize you’ve recently stopped caring, it may be time to move on.

2. What Would it Take for My Job to Make Me Happy?

Make a list of the things that would need to change for your job to be really fulfilling for you. Maybe your workload is massive, or maybe your team is structured in a way that causes friction. If your unhappiness is stemming from something circumstantial, talk to your boss and see if you can change things for the better.

Follow-up Question: Are These Changes About Me (and Not My Job)?

Often times, when I ask my clients to do this exercise, they wind up with a list of things they’d need to change in themselves for their job to make them happy.

What this signals to me is that they aren’t unhappy with the work. Rather, they feel they’re holding themselves back in some way. Building new skills can be a way to boost your confidence and open your self up to new opportunities—both in current and future roles.

Online courses provide tons of training and advice. Along with that, I’d recommend reading books in your area of focus, as well. Once you’ve changed up what you have to offer, it’ll be easier to assess whether it’s you (or where you are) that isn’t quite working.

3. Am I Worried About Money?

Fear’s a powerful motivator—and understandably so. It’s disconcerting not to know where your next paycheck is coming from. However, if all your job does is help you pay your bills, I encourage you to see if there are other opportunities you’d find more compelling (without bankrupting yourself).

Follow-up Question: Am I Unhappy Because I’m Financially Vulnerable?

I’ve repeatedly noticed that when people are stressed about money, they become more risk-averse in general. Their anxiety about losing their job actually drives them to underperform. This drop in performance makes them more anxious, and as result, they begin to hate their job.

If this describes you, then the next step for you is to buckle down and get brutal about your finances. How can you right now budget a life that leaves you a financial safety net and takes the pressure off?

This will help you either way, because if you secure yourself financially and you’re still unhappy, you’ll know it’s time to go.

The last question you should ask yourself is: “Am I afraid of what people will say?” This is a fundamental fear that holds people back. Many of us are terrified of what people will say when we quit a “good job”—especially if it’s for something less profitable or uncertain. They might think you’re ungrateful, insane, over-confident—who knows, maybe all of the above!

Forget them. Would it be really be worth staying in a job you don’t like—each and every day—just to have other people be impressed with you? Those people could think you were a hero, but you’d still be unhappy. Make this choice about you and your personal happiness, and you’ll come to the right decision.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-quitting-your-perfectly-good-job?ref=carousel-slide-0

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When you think of what you can do in 10 minutes, you probably think of taking a shower or checking your email—nothing too crazy.

But, what you may not realize is that this is actually plenty of time to do something far more productive and valuable, like get ahead in your career.

Wait, but how? We asked nine successful entrepreneurs from YEC to share the best ways you can advance your knowledge and skill set in just 10 minutes of free time. Because why not take advantage of every second you have?

  1. Research and Pick a New Podcast to Listen To

I love listening to podcasts as I’m driving or walking. I’ve learned so much from hearing different career stories, and it entertains me during my down time.

  1. Learn From Experts

Identify an expert in your field and spend 10 minutes a day analyzing his posts on social media, his blog, or videos of him speaking. Pay attention to how he words things and how he appeals to audiences. Make time in your schedule for 10 minutes a day to do this, and in a year’s time, you’ll have spent over 60 hours learning from the masters.

  1. Learn Anything Outside of Your Job

It’s often the most unexpected things that contribute the most to our careers. If you’re living in an information vacuum and only learning things directly relevant to your job, those bolts of lightning won’t strike. That’s why I spend my free minutes during the workday unwinding and learning something completely new, whether it’s through a short video or an interesting article.

  1. Skim Industry Publications

Stay on top of your industry by using 10 minutes to skim through a relevant magazine or website. Not only does this keep you up-to-date with your profession, but it may spark ideas for new projects   or initiatives at your company.

  1. Reach Out to Someone in Your Network

We all think we’re too busy to keep up with the vast majority of our connections, yet we know that there is undisputed value in maintaining those relationships. In 10 minutes, you can quickly text or email someone whom you haven’t spoken to in a while and let her know you’re thinking about her. It goes a long way.

  1. Watch a TED Talk

With each TED Talk you watch, even if it’s only for 10 minutes, you get to learn something fascinating about a new subject from experts in that field. Plus, you see firsthand how you too can turn any subject into a compelling narrative.

  1. Take a Risk

Sometimes, the only way to push forward is by taking a leap of faith. For example, write that email you’ve been hesitating to make to that potential employer. There are times when the only way overcome stagnancy is to face rejection or accept an offer from someone who’s willing to bet on you. Take the risk, and reap the rewards (or fail and try again).

  1. Take a Walk

When I have 10 free minutes, I take a walk around the office or outside. I try not to think of anything in particular, but to observe what’s happening around me. It refreshes you, and you may notice things that you normally wouldn’t while actively engaged in a task. It’s when I’m doing ‘nothing’ those solutions to problems occurring to me.

  1. Subscribe to a Publication

Sign up for a daily email from a publication related to your field. They usually contain a word or story of the day that teaches you something new and informs you of the different aspects of your industry. Reading these emails generally takes no more than 10 minutes and gives you a powerful bit of knowledge for the day!

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-10minute-activities-thatll-make-you-better-at-your-job-and-impress-your-boss-in-the-process