8-part blog post on job search in the “new normal” – part 3

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Introduction to Job Search – the first 8 topics – Part 3

At eCareerCoaching.com, we have a formalized methodology concerning the job search process. We’ve also written an ebook about it, which is almost complete. We expect to be shipping sometime this summer (summer 2020).

We are also working on assembling video coursework, whereby you can review our offering at your own pace, in your own time, at your own home. There isn’t really a timetable for this yet, but know that we are working at a feverish pitch, writing the scripts for each segment right now.

All that said, any way you look at it, there are a number of issues to learn about when you are job hunting. One of the initial questions we repeatedly get from our clients now – and those we have worked with since 2004 is – “when are we going to work on my resume?” And we’ll agree – that’s the first thing that used to pop into our minds as well. At least before we learned that there are many steps to navigate before you get to the point where you can write an effective resume.

There are also many tools that need to be created to implement a successful job hunt or career search. We’ll go over some of them over the next few weeks as we advance through our 8-part series on career progression.

First in the series – Part 1:

As a refresher, the main point of the first week’s post was “When You’re in Job Search, You’re in Sales.”

In case you missed Part 1 or would like to re-read it, please click here: https://ecareercoaching.com/2020/06/14/8-part-blog-post-on-job-search-in-the-new-normal/

Last time:

…you should know how to figure out what companies you should target, and why.

In case you missed Part 2 or would like to re-read it, please click here:

https://ecareercoaching.com/2020/06/21/8-part-blog-post-on-job-search-in-the-new-normal-part-2/

This time:

…you should know how to network effectively, and why you’re doing it.

Effective networking is more than it used to be, even as recently as 2010-2015. And it has changed again, due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Networking used to be something that many (but not all) people would be happy to take part in, because most people want to help people simply due to the fact that they are helping someone else. Call it Karma, good will; whatever.

But in recent years, people have been more hesitant to accept networking meeting invitations simply because they are much busier than they used to be before the Great Recession of 2007-2009. A couple of things have happened to make this so: 1) many people are now doing the work of 3-5 people starting during the early 2000’s. 2) People have been told by management not to participate in networking meetings because they are taking away from productive time at work. 3) See number 2 – even if it’s not a policy, some people are afraid that if they take time off to network they’ll lose their jobs. 4) Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, people that found themselves laid off or fired for their first time in their careers were attending networking meetings and job clubs that were hosted by career coaches and churches. At these meetings, they were told that the best way to land their next job would be to network with people they knew.

Now we still agree with the approach. Networking IS the best way to land your next job, but HOW you network now is more of an art than a science. Back then, presenters would give the crowd a few questions to ask on which to build an Informational Interview. A few of the most-popular presenters gave the same question every where they presented. It was “can you tell me about the culture of the organization, please?”

As a for instance – I recall getting several calls from people that I’d never met, asking me how the culture was at my company. Now, having just landed that most-recent position through networking, I knew exactly which job club these people were attending. Come on, people, change it up a bit, OK?

So – what does that mean for you? Well, in a nutshell, you need to come up with ideas that will expand your knowledge of the company and industry that company belongs in. But you need to do those things with a bit more panache. There are several questions you can ask that can help you suss out the culture at a target company that don’t include the word “culture” in the question. Get creative, or purchase our eBook about job search, and also our Companion Workbook – the two together are less than $30.

These documents contain some ideas for what questions to ask – not so much that you ask our questions directly, but our suggestions will hopefully get you thinking about questions you want answered about that specific company. The reason we put it this way is, an interview should always be a “two-way street” discussion. No one side controls the interview. As the interviewer learns about you, you are also learning about the role and the company.

To come up with good questions for the Positional Interviewer, you need to have good questions for the Informational Interviewer. Some questions you’ll want to pose to both parties. Some not. The idea is to have the Information Interview lead you to a company that you really want to work for – and you’re making that decision before you even strive to officially interview for the position in the first place.

Some of the types of people to interview with informationally include current employees of the company – even better if they are in the department you are seeking to join.

Recently departed people from the company that you’d like to join. And finally, people that are in the same industry (or a complementary industry) as your target company. Sometimes if you can get an important vendor of the target to speak with you, it would be very valuable.

In other words, get creative about what companies should be on your target list, and from that list, what company you want to work for.

Treat your personal brand gently out there, and never, ever sound desperate in an Informational Interview. This is not a place to whine and complain, nor tell the person how close you may be to eviction – they don’t know you, and will not feel sorry for you. They are taking time out of their day to meet with you. Make it count for both of you.

Come prepared to help them, too. Be a helper without an agenda.

Future posts in the series will include:

…you should become better at interviewing as well
…We’ll show you how to outline your success stories in such a manner as to be compelling
…you should know how, how often – and when – to follow up on things
…the difference between Positional and Informational Interviews

To get to know yourself better from a personal standpoint, please drop us an email for your free copy of our “Finding Your True North” instrument. In it are 36 questions that will help you understand what makes you tick, so that you can better prepare for a job search, or decide whether you should go for that promotion.

Email <fytn@eCareerCoaching.com>, or ask for it at <eCareerCoaching.com/contact>.


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