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Top 10 Tips On How To Find A Job 2012

Ok…here is my best shot at the most important tips on how to find a job in 2012:

1. Know Thyself – understand what you are looking for in your next job BEFORE you start searching.  You don’t have to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Pick one direction, plan it out and stick with it.

2. Don’t get bogged down by social media stuff – I hear a lot of buzz around should I use Twitter or Facebook to find a job?  What is LinkedIn and how can I find a job with it?  If you don’t understand these tools don’t waste your time on them until you do.  Don’t let them be a distraction to your job search thinking they are the “magic bullet”.  They can help but they are not for everyone.  A successful job search means you connect with hiring managers and they want you.  Social media tools can help these interactions get started but I have also seen people spend so much time trying to make it work for them they miss great opportunities.  Don’t go down this “rabbit hole” if you get easily distracted.

3. Be genuine.  Be yourself – whether you are meeting someone to help you with your job search or a potential employer, don’t oversell yourself and your accomplishments.  You are who you are.  We like you as you are.  Don’t be someone or something you are not.  You have gifts and talents just like everyone else and you deserve what you are looking for.  Focus your efforts on who you are not who you want others to think you are.

4. Be a dream seeker - it is ok to be looking for the dream job or the right situation for your next job.  Dreaming and seeing those dreams become reality is such a wonderful experience, everyone should be striving for it.  I am a big proponent of you trying to find an opportunity that is over your head or out of your comfort zone.  “Stretch jobs” can be one of the most exciting times in your working life.  There are so many companies and so many types of hiring manager.  Look for the ones who believe in your and willing to give you a shot at your dream.  They are out there.  You just need to find one.

5. Your attitude is everything – I can’t tell you how important your attitude is.  Be happy, optimistic and positive no matter what is going on around you.  It will seep into your conversations and make your presentations most fruitful.  A bad attitude will do the same but sour your chances.

6. Don’t be too proud – being too proud is actually a form of fear.  Pride forces you to not let others into your life.  Pride puts up walls that might not be able to be seen by the other person but are felt at a deeper level.  Try “humbleness” on for size and see how it feels.  It is actually very comfortable and opens more doors.

7. Don’t give “canned” ANYTHING – no canned responses, no canned resumes, no canned cover letters, and no canned tuna (jk on the tuna).  If you look or act or sound like everyone else you are going to be perceived to be like everyone else…B-O-R-I-N-G.  Don’t be boring.  Instead be bold in order to stand out in someone’s mind.  Don’t be cocky but be bold and look for ways to make an impression.

8. The details will kill you – if you have never heard the old saying about the “devil in the details” you might want to think about this one.  Spending your time on making sure your resume doesn’t have errors or your “elevator pitch” sounds comfortable or whatever you are doing is done well, is very important.  Employers don’t want people who can churn out calls or data, they want people who take pride in their work (and maybe churn out the calls and data).  Make sure you are taking the necessary time to proof your work.

9. Slow down – if you are always feeling like you are rushing to get that resume to that lady or hurry up and push out that blog post or trying to hurry through coffee with a friend because your “schedule” is waiting, then slow down.  Slowing down allows you to focus on one project at a time and pour your whole self into it.  That means being a little flexible with your schedule and not putting so many deadlines on your time.  Have a plan but give it room to breath and take shape.

10. Have fun – now this one can be taken the wrong way if I am not careful.  I don’t want you to think of your job search as a party, necessarily.  I do want you to be excited about what direction your next job is going to take you in.  Thinking about the excitement for what is next in your working life can really get you pumped up.  Finding a job is no easy task most of the time, you might as well try to find ways to make it fun.  Adding a little fun to the work can make the work not seem so difficult.

I love the 10 tips here and hope you do too.

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What Do You Need?

It is a new year for you and me.  I have been writing this blog for over four years now.  I just realized one very important thing.  I have never asked you what you need.  I have never asked you to let me know what interests you right now, where you are.

So this is not really a post but more of a question to find out what is the one thing you need right now in your job search?  Now maybe your first answer is:  “A job” which is a good one.  I think that one is obvious…hopefully.  Dig just a little deeper and tell me what you need right now in your job or your job search.  If you need help with your search, what specific help do you need?  If you need support in your search, what specific type of support do you need?  What one thing is dragging you down where you can’t figure out what to do next?

Think about it and let me know.  All job seekers are welcome.  You can comment here or send an email to me at:  jeffonjobs at gmail dot com.  I will respond (or not if you prefer) to each message I receive.  I want to hear from you.

Let’s Get Started!

What Career Should I Do?

This is a great question for both young and old.  My guess is if this is a question that is swirling around in your head, you are probably early on in your job search.  You are contemplating where you should go with your working life.  It can be both exciting and a not-so-exciting time depending on how you look at it.

So if you are in the beginning of your career and trying to figure out what direction to go in, my first words of advice are:  “DON’T GO INTO DEBT”.  This is not a financial blog…I know.  It is a blog for job search and how to build a career that you can enjoy and pay you dividends throughout your life.  The reason I start with the debt-free-phrase is because if you get too far in the hole (too much debt) your career decisions will be pushed aside so you can make enough money to “live on” or to “make ends meet”.

Debt can really alter how you answer the question:  “What Career Should I Do?” because it reduces your choices down to instead:  “I have to make X amount of money to pay for my __________________ (fill in the blank with car, school, house, rent, lifestyle, etc.).  Se how it works?  Your debt will start making decisions for you instead of you making them yourself.  It is like the guy (or gal) at the bank (where you loaned your money) is telling you what career you should do.  Yikes…don’t let them do that to you, ever!

So instead when you are starting out your working life Or if you have gotten yourself into a pickle as you have gotten older), spend a few years at home or sharing an apartment with others or whatever you can do to pay off all your debts first.  Once you do then the noose around your neck that tells you what direction to go in will be gone.  You will be free to roam out there in the world and explore career options to your heart’s content.

It is really a great feeling and truly one of the most important things you can do to help you decide what career should to do.  Once you are free from any financial pressure, you can start to explore your options by starting low in a company to see if it is right for you.  Try to start a small business and make a difference in people’s lives.  You can travel the globe and explore what is beyond.  You can stop and smell the roses a lot more than the average worker.  You decide and not anyone else.

If you don’t know what career you should do, then unpack why you are unsure.  If it is because of the pressure you have created, then get rid of it.  Finding the best career for you to do is a life long exploration.  Explore without anything tying you down.

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Poop Or Get Off The Pot

This is for all the procrastinations out there.  Stop wasting time in a dead-end job.  Get yourself out there.  Meet people.  Talk about what you want to do when you grow up.  Get noticed.  Sell yourself more.  Ask good questions.

Find a new job, today.  Stop waiting and start moving.  I love this law of physics (and of job searching):  “A body at rest stays at rest.  A body in motion stays in motion unless acted upon.”

Act upon yourself today.

Let’s Get Started!


Monday Morning Blues

Are you excited to get going on Mondays?  Or do you dread sitting in your Monday morning rocking chair?  There has to be something about why Monday’s can be tough for us at certain times in our career.  There has to be more to either us or the day of the week that causes dread or wishing for a better life.

Let’s explore some potential reasons for this dilemma.  One reason Mondays can be tough is because you might not be doing the type of work that gets you excited or motivated to complete.  Now even when people are doing the work they love you can still experience tough Mondays.  But what I am talking about is the feeling that what you are striving for is not what gets your juices flowing.

Another reason Mondays can be tough is because your finances are not in order.  Lots of consumer debt can slowly and surely weigh you down.  Having to make $X so you can pay your monthly bills can easily cause you to work in a place you don’t like or on tasks that are not what gets you jazzed every day.  Finances have a way of causing you to be “a slave to the lender” and your daily life can reflect that oppression.  Remember you made those choices so it’s not the lender who caused your pain.  You can also start making choices to get you out of the slavery.

Another real life dread-maker is your attitude.  Now I am not going to suggest you try to psyche yourself so that you can make it though a tough day.  What I am going to suggest is you might have a psychological issue you are not dealing with.  Recently I realized the genesis of my frustration in various areas on my life is due to my lack of patience.  I have been this way with my job, my family and myself basically all my life.  My kids were starting to see me as a Jeckyl-and-Hyde kind of person.  I could see it on their faces when I quickly got frustrated by the millionth question or my disappointment if they spilled something.  Realizing they soak up everything I deliver, helped me realize I am training them to be impatient like me. 

Over the past three weeks, I have really tried to change this.  In the past few days I have received a bunch of stickers from my five-year old on my attitude.  I never told her what I was doing but she realized something new in me and I want to keep it going.  This attitude was something that was standing in my way.  Changing it now will greatly help me in both my personal life and my working life.

The Monday blues can be tough to fix quickly.  Looking for something you can do quickly might be like taking candy or soda hoping to pick you up.  The sugar fix lasts for a short time and then fades quickly.  Don’t look for a quick fix on your attitude, your finances or your job selection.  Move slowly, move deliberately and you will surely get out from under the Monday morning blues.

Let’s Get Started!


Job Search Make You Laugh

I thought I would post some comics I pilfered off Google Images.  Sorry to those who did the original work but thanks for sharing. 

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Eat Or Be Eaten

Similar to the phrase “survival of the fittest”, eat or be eaten takes things in a different direction.  It takes things in the direction of the stomach.  Are you providing what you and your family need on a daily basis?  What if you stop due to a job loss or disability?  Are you prepared?

In today’s post I want to focus on your finances a little.  Eating is a basic need of life.  You need money to eat, right?  So how do you make enough money so that you can continue to eat whether you have a job or not…that’s a tough one.  I went to a great seminar this past weekend on financial planning.  I didn’t go as an attendee but as a volunteer.  I volunteered to work the tables selling his program.  The presenter was Dave Ramsey.  He runs a radio show and get-out-of-debt program that is sweeping the nation.  The entire theme of the show is to get out of debt forever, get rid of your credit cards while only using cash and save for the tough times.  My wife and I drank the cool-aid in 1995 and haven’t looked back.

Here are a couple of things that are most important when starting down the road to financial freedom:

1. Save and emergency fund of $1000 first.

2. Cut up ALL your credit cards…you don’t need one for emergencies.

3. Live on 50% of your take home pay. 

4. Sell your cars (if you owe money on them) and drive a Junker until you can pay cash for a car…the is character building.

5. If you have a family you need term life insurance in case you die.  Don’t leave them struggling in case something happens.  Disability insurance is good too because more people become disabled than die during their working years.

These are just a few things to keep in mind.  The end game for this type of program is to build a nest egg so your career decisions are not always made because of money.  If you had all your bills paid and a healthy savings, your job and career options become more in lined with your heart.

I know we are weird for doing some of these things.  Be weird.  Be wise.  Be free.

Let’s Get Started!


Tired Of Excuses

No more excuses from anyone about not being able to find a job.  Excuses are lame.  Excuses are wrong.  Excuses are ways to avoid what you don’t want to do. 

STOP MAKING EXCUSES.  Do I make myself clear?

Please think about this concept a little before you think I am just frustrated or irritated with you.  I am not.  I just want you to wake up from your woe is me slumber and get mad, serious or angry.  Once you grab hold of one of those emotions, you will win at this job search thing.

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Goodbye 2010

Hello 2011…welcome.  What did you wish you did last year with your career?  Wish you had started looking sooner?  Wish you could try something new in 2011.  Do it.  Gor for it.  Get it done. 

You are not behind.  You didn’t miss your opportunity.  2011 should be a year of OPENED EYES.  Open your eyes.  Take a few more chances.  Live a little more and go after what you want. 

2011 is your year.  Start right now!

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Career Manager – Who Need’s One?

Managing one’s career can be tough.  Whether you are a high income earner or a regular guy, trying to figure out what your next step should be can be like navigating the rugged ocean.  I think of a career manager as a person who has the wisdom to help make YOU better at the career decisions you make.  Maybe it is a coach or a consultant, maybe it is a good friend or parent or maybe it is someone you look up to.  All of these types of people can assist you in managing your career.

A career manager should be able to challenge you at the right time as well as be able to motivate you to do better.  Doing better means taking chances, pushing the envelope or navigating tough decisions.   I think everyone should have someone they can rely on for good, solid, life enhancing directional advice.  It can be tough if this person is a friend because giving advice can get in the way of a good friendship.  A good friendship is not the right relationship to find this type of help.  Try not to enlist a friend or even a relative in this process if you can help it.  Sometimes the right friend or family member can really help but you are not going to be reciprocating anything to them which is what friendships should be made of.  So be careful if you select a friend to fill this role.

A career manager won’t always make or suggest perfect decisions.  There is always going to be some room for error because situations are typically multifaceted.  Be honest with your manager about why you are feeling and what is going through your head.  Many times you might be swirling up in your noggin and a good conversation can help you sort things out.

Everyone needs  someone, even if only to be someone to bounce ideas off of.  There are high paid managers who negotiate deals on your behalf.  This type of career manager will be the subject of another post.

Let’s Get Started!