Archive for December, 2011

Once you have a solid understanding of who you are and what you bring to the table you are better prepared to look forward to a well defined goal… Your Point B

You should identify the following aspects of your career target:

— Location: Where geographically your target job will be
— Job Titles: Names of target positions (2-3 is ideal)
— Companies: Employers of choice (in geographic targets)
— Status: Type of work arrangement (full-time, part-time, temporary, contract, self-employed)
— It is ok to dream a little here, maybe you have always wanted to have a baseball card shop. Times of Career Transition allow you to rethink and evaluate your life, what you have accomplished and what mark you want to leave on the world. This could be the right time to take that leap but be sure to evaluate economic times and the market demand for your product or service so you can make a living.

Once you have identified these things you can begin doing a few things:

— Develop a well thought out 30-second elevator/networking pitch/speech
— Begin networking with employees of these target employers
— Leverage social media channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook to follow that employer and industry happenings to be better informed
— Start applying for ‘ideal jobs’ * Note: It is key to have your customizable marketing toolkit materials ready. *
— Tracking and following-up on your applications to increase your chances of securing an interview

The benefits of investing time in the development of a well thought out target is that you apply to less jobs but only to positions and employers that you are best suited for. You can strategically invest your time and energy into these positions. This focused approach should significantly increase your rate of return on your job search strategy.

RESOURCE to UTILIZE: http://www.mynextmove.org/


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Identifying your Roots

You have to know your career roots to enable you to effectively move forward in your job search.  This is a beneficial exercise to reflect, gather data and remember to be thankful for the opportunities and experiences you’ve had.  You are uniquely made with strengths and weaknesses.  If you don’t know your strengths you are at a disadvantage. Invest time in thinking through your roots.
Merriam-Webster defines ROOTS as the following:

a : the usually underground part of a seed plant body that originates usually from the hypocotyl, functions as an organ of absorption, aeration, and food storage or as a means of anchorage and support, and differs from a stem especially in lacking nodes, buds, and leaves

b : something that is an origin or source (as of a condition or quality) <the love of money is the root of all evil — 1 Timothy 6:10(NIV)>

c: one or more progenitors of a group of descendants —usually used in pluralc : an underlying support : basis

d : the essential core : heart —often used in the phrase at root

e : the lower part : base
f : the part by which an object is attached to something else
g: the simple element inferred as the basis from which a word is derived by phonetic change or by extension (as composition or the addition of an affix or inflectional ending)

I define ‘roots’ as your ‘Point A’ which is essentially WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN, WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER.

The way to determine this is to self-assess some key areas:

1.) personality

2.) former employment history

3.) education/certifications

4.) knowledge, skills, abilities and strengths

5.) interests, preferences and values

* You could even throw in here ‘who you know’ or your network.

There are many ways to assess these areas from brainstorming on blank paper, making a list, taking a formal assessment, creating a resume, working with an Outplacement Agency, doing assessment exercises in books, researching other activities on-line, partnering with Career Services, Recruiter, Workforce Commission or a Career Coach.

While there are many methods, the goal is to clearly identify your many facets so that you can be prepared to move into the ‘TARGET’ and then to ‘BRANDING/MARKETING’ and eventually compiling your ‘TOOLKIT for SUCCESS’ which should become more templates to tailor for specific positions and employers using keywords.

Your roots are truly your foundation.  Your springboard.  Your starting point.  They are what get you moving from Point A to that shiny goal that sets your heart on fire with passion — your Point B.

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Career Coaches seek to assist job seekers in identifying their target vocational goals, pursuing and exceeding their highest expectations by stretching them to go beyond their comfort zone along the way. Job seekers are often equipped with many tools that can be tailored to the next position they come across but even more so they walk away with a boost of confidence that stems from a better understanding of what they bring to the table, how they differentiate themselves, their unique selling/value proposition and their brand. The two keys are knowing themselves and where they want to go next. Once they know Point A and Point B they can begin the journey using their toolkit.

Recruiters help employers find the right person that is in the right place at the right time that reciprocates the employers brand and what the position offers. It is kind of like dating with the end goal of a right fit. Recruiters put jobs out on the web and use filtering techniques to assist them in identifying the top talent for their hiring manager’s needs. They review resumes and qualifications. They look at answers to pre-screen questions. Recruiters call and have preliminary conversations with candidates to confirm they are qualified and interested to pass them forward to hiring managers.

Career Coaches’ Clients are the job seekers.

Recruiters’ Clients are corporations, hiring managers and stakeholders.

The Career Coaches’ Goal is to help the job seeker achieve their goal and ultimately land in their ideal position or in a bridge job with a vision and a plan to move them closer to achieving their vocational goals and dreams.

The Recruiters’ Goal is to find the best qualified talent and present them to the hiring manager so that they can fill their personnel need and get back to working efficiently and productively (ideally with low turn-over rates) so that top talent can be developed, trained and a pipeline for future growth identified.

Candidates want to know what hiring managers of their target companies and positions want so they can network on and be the best qualified candidate for the position. “I want the job!”

Hiring managers want to hire the best qualified candidate in a timely manner that will be a good investment over time for the benefit of the company. “I want the candidate!”

Recruiters know what the employer wants. They also know how to whittle through piles of candidates’ resumes, attract passive candidates and coach hiring managers on interviewing best practices and keeping candidates warm or ‘on the hook.’

Career Coaches know what their clients bring to the table (personality, former employment history, education/certifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and interests). They also excel in guiding a job seeker to present themselves to their ideal employer for their dream position or one they are well qualified and interested in so that they are the ‘product’ that meets their ‘needs.’

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Roots & Bridges

A while back I came-up with the idea for the name of my company: Roots and Bridges. Essentially where you are at and where you want to be coming together. In the coaching profession we help people visualize where they’d like to be and help facilitate positive change in that desired direction by coaching them to the gap.

Roots: Who you are: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities; Experience; Interests; Education; Personality

Bridges: Point A to Point B; Leveraging who you are, where you’ve been and who you know to move you forward

There are many different ways and perspectives that this can come from but the message is simple and basic… you must be aware of two things:



If you know these things you can set a goal and then some stepping stones along the way that are moving you forward in that desired direction. Think of it as a book.  Envision the final chapter and then think backwards as to the key chapter titles of what you’ve accomplished along the way to get you to that final part of that epic novel.  Sometimes we need tools, training, equipment and/or partners for our journey bit the key is to start somewhere rather than not starting at all.

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
— C.S. Lewis

“The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.”
— Dale Carnegie

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I have some inspirational postcards that are now framed on the wall of my office at work.  They have great statements or questions such as, “Where’s your mountain, and are you climbing it?” on them.  These are great starting points of inspiration and stimulating conversations.

My ‘mountain’ would be one of the following:

— to have my own coffeeshop/cafe

— to have my own coaching business

— to have my own company

— to publish my own book

— to be a professional trainer, consultant, public speaker

What’s funny about mountains is that you have to approach the base to begin the ascent.

upward movement; a rising movement:the ascent of a balloon.
movement upward from a lower to a higher state, degree,grade, or status; advancement
to move, climb, or go upward; mount; rise: The airplane ascended into the clouds.

to rise to a higher point, rank, or degree; proceed from an inferior to a superior degree or level
Why is it that some of my goals and dreams have remained visualized but stagnant?
What will it take for me to grab my gear, pack my bags, approach the base and get climbing?

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