I don’t know about you, but I get Fan Page suggestions sent to me on Facebook every day. From Cheryl Cole to sausage rolls, everyone’s got one nowadays. If you are a job seeker or just take an active interest in your career there are a few good Pages you should consider joining. I have…
There is an awful lot of chitchat, jibber jabber, and small talk going on in interviews. When you take a closer look at the exchanges, you can see that there are only a few questions the interviewer is really bothered about. The rest are simply there to create rapport and filling the gaps. The reason…
That’s right folks; I am going philosophical on you today. As great as the quote from Confucius is, the sad truth is that doing what you love is the dream of many, but the reality of few.
I get asked to help people with their job searches, however some people haven’t got a clue what the next job should be, where they are heading and what the longer term plan is. They are currently doing one thing and would consider doing ten different others. This makes it near impossible for me or the person themselves to actually get anywhere with the job search, let alone accepting a job offer down the line when the doubts start kicking in.
Confucius, the über wise man himself, put the truth down in a nice quote that sounds easy enough. The question is, how do you actually go about finding out what you would love to do? Not even a career coach can tell you exactly what you should do; it has to come from you. I don’t claim to be an expert on people’s dream careers but there are three simple questions you can ask yourself today and the answers can give you some guidance. Take a few minutes out of your day to think this over and you will have better clarity as a result. Here we go:
• What is the passion in your life?
• What would you pay to do?
• How would you fill your days if you were a millionaire?
The answers to these three questions are hopefully somewhat similar and will give you a good indication of what your true calling is. Whatever it may be, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it is your childhood dream or what you set out to do before you stumbled upon an different path. Your dream will latently follow you for the rest of your life, your choice is whether to pursue it now or run the risk of having serious regrets later on.
Let’s say we press on. At this point it may seem like the dream activity is impossible to fill your days with unless you are idle rich. Assuming you don’t have that kind of money, your best bet will be to map out what others have done. By modeling others’ path to your dream job, you will have the roadmap ready. Ask yourself the three follow up questions:
• Does anybody get paid doing this?
• How could you get paid doing this?
• What is stopping you?
The answer to the final question is usually an amalgamation of excuses such as limiting beliefs, fear of failure, complacency and the all too cozy comfort zone. These objections can all be overcome with clear goals, hard work and belief in yourself.
Let’s take some action
When you have identified exactly what you want to do, the next step is to research the dream job. What companies or organizations do you target, where are the jobs located, do you need any qualifications, who can you contact that is already doing this? Speak to friends and family, professional contacts, scour Linkedin and the rest of the web for clues. The more research you do, the more fired up you will get.
Set some clear objectives and timescales and make sure you take an action every day to edge toward your goal. Get a big wall calendar to fill out your through goals and achievements. This change could be a long process but as long as you are willing to focus on where you are heading, you will get there.
Please note that while all great jobs out there are up for grabs, you have to do a reality check and make sure you are not delusional when pursuing your dream. There will be physical and other limitations that are out of your control. There could of course be very valid obstacles such as family situation or your finances; as a rule however, there is always a solution that can be worked out over time.
In my mind, as soon as you have identified the job you love you should go for it non-stop. Actually taking the decision to pursue your dream can sometimes be harder than achieving it. I say there are only two things you need to get any job; belief in yourself and desire. The rest will somehow take care of itself.
Are you doing the job you love? Why or why not?
You might want to check out How a Career Coach Can Help Your Job Search as well.
Image by Rob Web
Britain is definitely lagging on the Twitter job posting front so I will do best to stimulate some employer tweeting in the realm. Here is a list of the major British companies doing it already (no recruiters).
By following these Twitter accounts you will get jobs straight from the source and possibly quicker than anyone else. Click on the employer’s name and you will be taken to their Twitter page.
Royal Bank of Scotland
Surrey County Council
Follow all the British employers tweeting jobs here.
The list is short but growing so please let me know if you find any other tweeting UK employers!
After a while when you hear something over and over again, it starts to sound like the truth. And I keep hearing this same “truth” about Facebook. That it is a lousy place to network. Usually from job seekers frustrated with what they perceive as the “Had a turkey sandwich for lunch” update blather for…
As we all know, the Internet has made information instantly accessible. You can find a customer, business partner, investor or employer quicker than ever before. The flipside is that they are only a few clicks away from finding your entire social life online, for better or worse. A recent survey conducted by the good folks…
Networking and contacts have always been the key to success in any profession. Back in the day you would have your little black book of contacts that you would use throughout your career. Nowadays, it’s all gone digital and it’s easier to store contacts online for you, and it’s easier for your employer to snatch them when you leave.
Here’s a scenario for you: Your boss encourages you to sign up for a Linkedin profile which you start to actively use in your work as well as socially. The time comes when you and your company part ways for whatever reason. Your boss now says that the account that was set up belongs to the company and you have to give it up. Does it sound like an unlikely scenario? It has happened to lots of people out there and it will happen again.
Don’t let this happen to you
Even though the lines of demarcation between work and play can be grey in social media, most people simply assume they can bring their profiles with them to wherever they are heading. I happen to know a recruiter who left his company after about five years of service and was asked to give up his Linkedin and other accounts. He was having none of it and put up a fight which only lead to his former employer withholding the final commission payment. It was rather a lot of money so in the end he had no choice but to oblige. He had not seen this coming at all and was now left with the not so enviable task of having to start a Linkedin account completely from scratch; he went from about 5,000 connections to zero overnight.
This was obviously an unfortunate case but you can see why the employer did this. Recruiters rely heavily on Linkedin and the employer knows that the contacts will be used at the next company. Whether you will ever end up in a sticky situation like this is impossible to say. All we know is that you cannot assume anything in this job market. Even the safest job today can be outsourced tomorrow and your servers can be locked down over night, effectively leaving you without access to any online profile you have set up at work.
What I can say is that there are ways to prepare for any eventuality. Here are 5 few self preservation tips that can safeguard your online presence:
1. Check the intellectual property policies
Review your company’s electronic data, social media, online communications, email or whatever-they-call-it policy. Understand exactly what is the intellectual property of your employer and what is considered yours. If you think that your company’s policies are too strict, speak to your manager or HR department and see whether you can swing an opt-out clause. As long as you have a good case for it, they will hear you out.
2. What happened to leavers
Are there any precedents? See what happened to others that left your team or department, start by looking at their online profiles and it will be fairly evident what the procedure was. If there seem to be different policies for different people, ask yourself why. Could it have been because of the role, the relationship they had with the boss or just that things changed when they left? Do your best sleuthing so you can anticipate what would happen to you.
3. Set up duplicate profiles
To be on the safe side, you can open up duplicate accounts on Linkedin, Ecademy, Xing, Twitter etc and make it obvious that the new account is your personal and you will only use it in free time, if at all in the office. To make it abundantly clear it’s your profile only, you can leave out your current employer and just state what industry you are in. The duplicates have to be connected to your private email account by the way.
4. Facebook is under the radar
Facebook is considered private and not a business tool. This means it will not be brought up if you leave your company. By adding your key customers and partners as friends on Facebook, you know you will be able to contact them in case you lose all other means. Adding your current co-workers is also a good tip, as their numbers and emails will be on your company laptop/phone which have to be returned.
5. Use your webmail for personal correspondence
This can be a pain but you don’t want to lose all your emails from loved ones in case you are laid off. Try to separate business and personal correspondence, and tell your friends and family which accounts to use. It will take time to wean them off your company email but it will be worth it.
6. Use your own name for a blog
Instead of blogging for your company (let’s face it, nobody reads a corporate blog), start a blog in your own name or write for other blogs in your field. Make sure you write objective material and that it is not done on behalf of your employer. There is no way an employer can yank this off you as it carries your own name.
7. Back to basics
Networking thrived long before the digital age. How about getting yourself an old-school black book and writing down your contacts by hand? It’s what anyone with a job has been doing for donkey’s years and it will work for you as well.
Leaving a company shouldn’t mean you leave empty handed and without any contacts to help you and your career. The last thing you need when you leave a business is a divorce hearing to divvy up your digital estate. So make use of the tips above and think of your own solutions to safeguard your network just in case you are laid off or choose to move on in the future.
See more personal branding preparation tips here.
Would your employer let you go with all your contacts? Has this happened to you? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Whether Twitter is useful or not has been hotly debated. One thing Twitter is very good at is shooting out snippets of information to a lot of people very quickly. In today’s job market, speed is of the essence, and announcing new openings on Twitter is a fast-growing phenomenon among employers and recruiters. As a…
Guess what? The world’s number one fear is not spiders, global warming, nuclear war, space invaders, or even death. It is in fact public speaking. Surveys keep confirming that presentation skills are vital to success in business and life, yet the idea of it somehow fills us with terror. If you can become that person…