After first approaching his job search using more traditional methods like applying online to job postings, Austin Belcak discovered this simply isn’t effective. Now he coaches job seekers through his company Cultivated Culture on leveraging unconventional strategies to get a job even if you don’t have connections or traditional experience. Hint: It does not involve applying online!
Find out what a “Value Validation Project” is and why it will truly distinguish you as a candidate who can add value to an organization. Also, learn why Austin’s strategy works beautifully during COVID times when we’re not meeting people face-to-face. Be sure to check out Austin’s website and the amazing free tools he provides for job-seekers at https://cultivatedculture.com/And Follow Austin Belcak on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abelcak/Tip: Austin posts daily on LinkedIn and his posts are always incredibly insightful and helpful.
She shares some creative ideas developed through her experience as a Certified Professional Career Coach and a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Amanda is also the resident career expert for TopResume and previously served as the media spokesperson at Ladders where she provided guidance for professionals looking to improve their careers.
Amanda shares the idea that job seeking is a sales and marketing exercise. You are the product, so being able to articulate what your brand stands for is critical. We also talk about some of the crowdsourced spreadsheets that have been created and circulated as people generously help each other out in this difficult job market.
In this episode, we dig into the importance of building online rapport as you expand your network of personal and professional connections. Also, use your social media to spread the word about what you’re great at and focus on the value you have to offer.
Don’t miss Amanda’s advice on the “Power of 3” – using job boards, recruiters and your personal network to uncover job leads – because relying on just one of these is not enough to bring you success in your job search.
Here are links to the resources mentioned in this episode (with thanks to Amanda Augustine for cultivating this list!):This article provides a list of crowdsourced resources, as well as job boards and apps that focus on remote jobs: https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/find-work-during-coronavirus
Some of my favorites are:
- Torch Capital spreadsheet (they actually recently moved it to a website)
- Upstream app-based community platform designed to help professionals give and receive help. You can download the app from the App Store.
- Ryan Robinson’s Remote Job Websites Collection – 60 job boards in total
- Levels.fyi, which verifies the open positions with the company hiring
Receive a free resume review from TopResume here.
To find professional associations:
- Director of Associations: https://www.directoryofassociations.com/
To find a recruiter (without a Google search or without going through a job board/social media):
To find networking events and job fairs:
- 10times: https://10times.com/ (also available as an app)
- Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/d/online/events/
- Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/
- Also, don’t forget to check with your alma mater’s alumni or career services teams. Many are hosting virtual events for alumni, including job-search specific events.
My guest is Vicki Bevenour, an executive career coach with expertise in personal branding, communicating with strength, leadership presence and negotiation. Coach Vicki is the President of the RDW Group and the author of “Unleashing Your Inner Leader: An Executive Coach Tells All”. RDW stands for Results Derived From Within and represents Vicki’s belief that everyone has a powerful leader inside of them, which is also the premise of her book.
Vicki talks about who should negotiate (hint: everybody!) and suggests that instead of interviewing, you are engaging in Business Evaluation Meetings when you meet with a potential employer. That evaluation works both ways – you are evaluating the company and they are evaluating you. Keep in mind that as you go through these meetings, you want to set yourself up for a successful negotiation. You can do this by having 20 success stories ready to share.
Prepare your stories by thinking through (1) the challenge you faced, (2) the action you took, and (3) the result you achieved. These are your C-A-R stories! Use these on your resume and in your interviews / Business Evaluation Meetings.
Negotiate when you have an offer – this is the moment when you have the power. In addition to negotiating salary, you can negotiate vacation time, your job title and level, benefits, bonus, tuition reimbursement, work from home days, cell phone reimbursement, training, and parking expenses. That’s a lot of things up for negotiation! So how do you go about it?
Know your numbers: Check salary.com, The Muse, and Glassdoor.com for salary data. Also, poll your network so you know the compensation structure in the industry.
When you receive a job offer, don’t accept it on the spot! Ask for 48 hours to consider the offer, then get back to them within 24 hours to initiate a negotiation. Don’t negotiate over email! Use words such as “This is a great offer and I have 3 questions.” Then remind them of your accomplishments (your CAR stories) and ask for what you want. After that, stop talking.
Vicki shares tons of great phrases you can use in a negotiation as well as some good book recommendations and statistics about women and negotiation.
You can find Vicki on LinkedIn and online at http://coachvickie.com/. Vicki’s book Unleashing Your Inner Leader: An Executive Coach Tells All is available on Amazon.
Vicki’s book recommendations: Women Don’t Ask – The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock and Sarah Laschever
by Linda Babcock and Sarah Laschever
Habit #1 is Be Proactive. Covey defines proactivity as “more than merely taking initiative. It means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.” He goes on to say – and I love this – “proactive people carry their own weather with them. Whether it rains or shines makes no difference to them.”
Applying habit #1 to your job search:
First, there is the taking initiative part. Of course in your job search you must be proactive reaching out to people to ask for their help in your job search. Be proactive enough to ask twice for the requests that are important to you.
As a job seeker, you also have to be able to tolerate rejection. But if you managed to “carry your own weather with you” throughout your job search, it would hurt less.
Covey also talks about how proactive people handle mistakes. They “acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it”, thus turning a failure into a success. As a job seeker, have you ever made a mistake? Maybe you were in an interview and answered a question in a way that made you wish you could have your words back. After the interview, be proactive enough to do a debrief with yourself to evaluate how you performed in that interview. If you made mistakes, spend some time thinking about exactly how you’ll do it better next time.
Habit #2: Begin with the end in mind. Covey says “to begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”
Covey further explains this concept by saying that “ all things are created twice”, meaning that there’s a mental or first creation and a physical or second creation to all things.
One way to begin with the end in mind is to create a personal mission statement. So that’s your homework: craft your personal mission statement.
Let’s apply habit #2 of “Begin with the end in mind” to your job search.
First, outline clear enough goals for your career that you know what kind of job you are looking for. You might think that applying for every job is a good strategy because it’s a numbers game and if you can get enough job applications out there, you’ll win the game and get a job. But you won’t. It’s not a numbers game. It’s a matching game. And those are 2 very different games.
Second, apply the habit of beginning with the end in mind to your job search by visualising yourself successfully getting that job. Close your eyes and imagine what it would be like to get up in the morning and go to that job. You can also visualize success in an interview.
Habit #3: Put first things first
Put another way, it tells us to organize around our priorities. And Covey weaves these first 3 habits together masterfully by mentioning that “you can’t become principle-centered without first being aware of and developing your own proactive nature (habit #1). You can’t become principle-centered without a vision of and a focus on the unique contribution that is yours to make.”
Covey says “if we don’t practice habit 2 (begin with the end in mind), if we don’t have a clear idea of what is important, of the results we deserve in our lives, we are easily diverted into responding to the urgent.” Amen to that.
Planning can be hard to make time to do, because it’s not urgent. It’s one of those important but not urgent activities that you will have to be deliberate about carving out the time to make happen. Here’s the payoff: Covey says “I believe if you were to ask what lies in Quadrant 2 (those are the important but not urgent activities in the time management matrix) and cultivate your proactivity to go after it…your effectiveness would increase dramatically.
Let’s relate habit 3 to your job search.
If you’re applying the 7 habits to your job search, you will have a clear goal in mind of the job you want to get and you will prioritize your job search activities so you’ll remain focused on doing the important stuff.
Planning your days and weeks can help you with the discipline to stick with the important activities and put first things first. Covey recommends setting weekly goals that are in line with the longer-term goals you laid out in your personal mission statement.
Take time today to organize your next week. Write down your goals for the week and then build an action plan around them. Let that guide you to spend your job search time on high-value activities like connecting with people and having conversations that will help you uncover opportunities that you can get referrals for. Try it for a week and see if this makes a difference. I bet it will.Habit #4 is think win/win“Win /win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win/win agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying. With a win/win solutions, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan. Win-win sees life as a cooperative, no ta competitive arena…win/win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.” Covey’s words there.
Let’s apply this to your job search: If you’re in the negotiation stage for a new job. You’ll want to start off the conversation by saying “I am excited about this offer and I want to talk to you about the compensation, so that we can come to an agreement on the offer that we are both really happy with.” You are setting up a win/win if you start like that – both parties share the same goal.
Habit #5 is Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Covey talks about “empathic listening” meaning listening with the intent to understand. If you do this correctly (and it’s not easy) it requires that you as a listener get inside another’s frame of reference, see the world the way they see the world and understand how they feel. Covey says “you are focused on receiving the deep communication of another human soul.”
Let’s apply this one to job searching. Say you are in an interview talking to a hiring manager who is describing challenges facing her team. If you listen, really listen and she realizes that you really understand her challenges I promise she will be interested in you as a candidate. Covey wants you to rephrase the content and reflect the feeling back to her so she feels understood. Once you do that and confirm your understanding of the situation, you might be able to offer some solutions, some new ideas to solve those challenges. What a way to stand out as a candidate.
Habit #6 is synergizeSynergy, Covey says, means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The essence of synergy is to value differences – to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weaknesses. Synergistic communication means your approach conversations with a sense of excitement and security and adventure, believing the outcome will be significantly better than things were before.
Covey also talks about the 3rd alternative in this chapter. The third alternative is a solution that is mutually beneficial and is better than what either party originally proposed.
Here’s an example of synergy at work in a job search. You apply for a job that seems like a good fit. You’re excited to be invited to interview and when you start speaking with the company, they realize that your experience may be better suited for another role. This happens. Together, you work out the details of this new role and you take a job that you never really applied for in the first place. I just saw this happen and it’s a total win/win for everyone involved. For this type of synergy to occur, everyone has to be open to new ideas and willing to think creatively about where a person might be able to make the biggest impact in an organization. The role this person took did not even exist before it was offered to him. When this candidate presented himself, the company knew the time was right to start this new group and invite him to be the first person to take that role. Ahh, synergy. Love it.
Habit #7: Sharpen the SawHabit #7 is the habit of renewal. It’s called Sharpen the Saw. It’s all about as Covey says preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you.
Work and education are evolving to a point where learning needs to be a continuous thing we do as professionals throughout our lives to maintain our edge and our expertise at work. Today we have at our fingertips lots of different ways to sharpen our saws.
In a job search, you want to be able to demonstrate that you are a continuous learner. Make space on your resume for courses you’ve done recently. Talk in interviews about what you’re learning about the projects you’re doing on the side to increase your skill set. Keep a journal of your ideas. Every hiring manager is looking for those continuous learners. Practice language that demonstrates that this is you. It’s a really attractive quality in a job candidate.
My guest is Karen Weeks, SVP of People at Ordergroove in New York City. Karen is a career switcher herself, having started in theatre and now working in HR, coaching, and teaching at Baruch College in New York. She’s also got her own podcast called “Getting Off the Hamster Wheel.”
Together, Karen and I tackle the challenge of making a career pivot. She’s got tons of great tips, including these 3 steps you can take to make a new start in a different career:
- Figure out why you feel stuck and where you want to go
- Determine what skills you already have that you can apply to this new field
- Start talking about it! Do informational interviews, join organizations, read up, share articles and brand yourself as someone knowledgeable in the field.
Let’s face it, changing careers can be tricky! Karen also offers advice for how you can actually show on your resume that you’re a person with a growth mindset who takes the initiative to learn new skills. If you’re going to start in a new field, you’ll definitely need to impress a hiring manager with your willingness to learn.
Find Karen Weeks on LinkedIn or at Weeks247.comListen to her podcast “Getting Off the Hamster Wheel” here