Depending on where you are in your career direction process, there are three things you should have on your radar screen.
High School Students:
- A calendar with SAT/ACT test dates for which you will register and a prep plan that fits that timeline
- Timely notification to those you are requesting a letter of reference
- A timeline that identifies application deadlines for colleges you are applying
- Attend job fairs on your campus even as a freshman to get a feel for the events
- Get your resume’ in order or sent out even as early as September of senior year
- Even as a freshman you can begin preparing yourself with examples of your leadership, problem solving or other desirable attributes for employers
Career Changers/Job Changers/Those Re-entering the Workforce:
- Identify a target date to be in that new position and work backward at least 6 months. Currently the average worker spends 19-28 weeks in a job search
- Along with your resume’, have a sheet of references prepared and make sure you have notified the individuals of your intent to identify them as a reference
- Identify when applications need to ne submitted in order to meet your timeline for securing that new position
Planning and organization are effective tools for success. They are also part of natural ability patterns and therefore easier for some people and not for others. These timeline considerations should be a part of your organization as you plan your college and career path. Want to know more about your own natural abilities? Contact me.
Have you taken the time to assess your own leadership qualities? Did you know that leadership is being viewed by college admissions offices and employers as a valuable asset for all individuals who are making applications to their organizations? Where do you stand with demonstrating humor, planning, vision, creativity, integrity, openness, assertiveness and development?
The following link leads to a wonderful article on the importance of leadership and the impact on anyone looking to get a job in the future. Leadership is not something that happens overnight and it is not just for heads of corporations or nations. Please take a few minutes to read the article and assess your own inventory of leadership qualities. http://ezinearticles.com/?Leadership-in-a-Down-Economy-and-Using-it-to-Get-a-New-Job&id=2267609
Click here to contact me for assistance with career direction or building your leadership portfolio.
Several months ago I posted a blog titled, The STARS and Secrets to a Successful Interview. The content applied to students interviewing for college admissions or individuals interviewing for positions in the workforce. This month, as I write about Leadership, the concept of interviewing technique once again is quite applicable and becoming even more important in a highly competitive admissions or job market.
So, as you prepare for an interview and reflect on your experiences and the things you want to promote about yourself follow through with secrets #3 and 4 and promote your leadership capabilities with confidence.
Secret #3 – STARS – Since past behavior may be a predictor of future performance, many organizations are turning to questions that require the interviewee to provide specific examples of situations that are indicators of how they may perform in the new environment. That’s where the STAR comes in. In answering a question that asks you to give an example, follow this formula:
Situation – Identify the situation you are going to reference
Time frame – Identify the time frame that the situation required from start to finish
Action – State the actions that you took to resolve the situation
Results – State the results as they relate to your actions
Secret #4 – Do Your Own Interview – Make sure you have done your homework before the interview. Know as much about the organization as you possibly can and be prepared with your own questions. Your interview is not just about what you can do for the organization, but also how good the organization is for you. Questions that you ask should not have answers readily available on the website or literature about the organization. They should be specific to the position, supporting positions and opportunities for growth. Demonstrate your interest and your desire to be a leader!
Last week I wrote about trends that had occurred over the last 30 years in the career and job market. I specifically identified the newest flash of social media opportunities. My goal was not to encourage everyone into the social media marketplace, but to make a point of the changes in trends according to our culture and the world and that we must be forward thinking in our plans for future success.
Whether you are a college graduate, a high school student deciding on college, or have chosen a path of vocational training, it is important to look ahead and pay attention to job and career trends even when you are not looking for a job. Click here to take a look at the lists in the 2011 Top Ten and the Worst Ten Jobs. More important, pay attention to how the lists were developed. Income alone is not a reason to select a career field. Satisfaction with your career is comprised of other elements that include but are not limited to stress factors, time off, and professional development opportunities.
Just like Capital One asks, “What’s in your wallet,” are you asking yourself, “What’s in my future?”
How many hours a month do you spend on the Internet? How much time are you using it for education, entertainment, work, purchasing services or products, or connecting with friends and family? The average American spends 32 hours per month on the Internet. A tidbit I learned on a recent webinar hosted by Juicy Results, a terrific web marketing company. And as I thought about that number, I realized I probably spend that much time per week on the Internet! If the nature of jobs and careers in the future is changing, then this is important information to know.
Do you have a social media presence? What does it look like? Universities and employers alike are using social media to “check out” their candidates. Everything from your email address and voice message to your pictures and comments on the Internet are available for public scrutiny and feed into your public image or “social entity.”
Just as different people have different perspectives on issues, different generations view and address issues differently. In regards to social media, there is a great article and some interesting data that specifically address the issues of school and job impact. Click here to read the article and be sure to scroll down to table 2B and note the difference between Baby Boomers and Echo Boomers. While an Echo Boomer may see nothing wrong with a particular message posted on a social media site, the individual responsible for your admission to college or hiring you may be a Baby Boomer and the posting is offensive.
Now ask yourself the question again and consider who may be on the other side of the computer monitor checking you out. What does your “social entity” look like? What do you need to do to create the kind of social image that characterizes you but doesn’t jeopardize future opportunities? Contact me if you need assistance or want more information.