Posted on May 4, 2019
Your employer value proposition matters hugely. However, you might also have to contend with this attitude: “What have you done for us lately?” That’s true whether you’re conducting a job search or preparing for a performance review. You need to do what it takes to stand out in the eyes of employers.
You probably recognize the saying above. It has been around for decades, and sources attribute it to different individuals. I particularly like this version by tennis great Arthur Ashe:
“I tell myself that it is crap about how you’re only as good as your last game. I tell myself that my record stands. I tell myself there is too much emphasis on winning. But I must watch that I am not just telling myself these things to explain my losing lately or to excuse myself from not trying hard enough.”
In other words, avoid making excuses for weak performance in your job or career. Your employer value record needs to stand on solid ground. Furthermore, it must tell a compelling story about why the employer should hire or retain/promote you.
Virtually every business needs a competitive advantage if it expects to succeed. It must offer value its target customers can use–and do it in a way that prompts them to invest hard-earned cash in the product or service.
Your long-term career success also depends on competitive advantage, unless you’re the only person in the world who fits a position’s requirements (unlikely). Employer value represents a critical piece of your advantage. Why is that?
Posted on April 11, 2019
Optimism can produce a powerful impact on your next job search. In a world where frustration and pessimism appear to dominate the scene, that’s important to remember. Hence, optimistic job searching can be crucial.
This blog post will “read” somewhat differently than my usual entries. That’s because I’ve grown tired of reading and hearing mostly negative news. I figure it’s time to do my share in spreading optimism to counter that trend.
Am I being a Pollyanna? No, I don’t think so. (“When you put a positive spin on everything, even things that call for sadness or discouragement, you’re being pollyannaish.”—Dictionary.com.)
I prefer to call myself a realistic optimist. That means I know life can get difficult, but I don’t buy into the notion that it has to stay that way or that we don’t have choices. For example, if you look at your work life and decide you need to launch a job search, do you start by looking at all the discouraging aspects? Maybe a better—and more productive—choice would involve noting possible challenges but refusing to let them block your progress.
In fact, I urge you to focus the lion’s share of your attention and energy on identifying factors in your favor. What do you have going for you that employers need to know? The value you can bring to prospective employers should provide a firm foundation for your job search. If you have trouble clearly identifying your value, correcting that problem would make a good starting-point.
Posted on March 29, 2019
Job satisfaction and career progress sound like great goals, something to pursue eagerly. However, what happens if you think you’ve done that and then discover what you’ve achieved isn’t what you wanted? Maybe you “wake up” one day as you’re preparing for work and think, “I don’t want to do this!”
How did that happen?
One possibility: You started with unrealistic expectations (your own or other people’s). The world would be your oyster, with a pearl inside. Your career trajectory would resemble a rocket blasting skyward.
Guess what? Only a handful of people achieve that type of career take-off and sustain it. When you begin with high assumptions about your career prospects that aren’t anchored in reality, you set yourself up for disappointment. Also, we can probably all think of people whose career did take off like a shot and flopped badly later. Would you like to be one of those? I didn’t think so!
No one should guarantee you will always achieve job satisfaction and career progress. If they do, run the other direction fast! They’re promising you the moon–something they can’t deliver. Only a few astronauts have ever reached the moon; most of us remain earthbound.
So there’s no job satisfaction guarantee and no assurance of permanent career progress. Where does that leave you?
Posted on March 10, 2019
All companies want to make a profit–unless they’re a nonprofit! It’s a fair business goal. However, when you’re planning a job search, you should avoid companies that value profit over integrity. Why? Partly to protect your job search (and your career) from deception, abuse of trust, and more.
If you engage with employers or job-service promoters that lack integrity, you place your professional well-being at risk.
Some time ago, I mentioned job-service promoters that value money so much they exclude integrity as a consideration. It related to information published in an Ask The Headhunter blog post by Nick Corcodillos. Now he has provided a recent update: FTC Halts Fake Jobs & Resume Repair Operation. Although the FTC case is in progress and things could change, here’s information provided in the post:
FTC Halts Fake Job Opportunity and Resume Repair Operation
Alleges defendants tricked consumers into paying advance fees of up to $2,500 for placement and resume services for jobs that did not exist
February 25, 2019
The Federal Trade Commission charged two companies and their owner with bilking hundreds of thousands dollars annually from consumers for sham job placement and resume repair services. A federal court halted the scheme and froze the defendants’ assets at the FTC’s request.
Sadly, I’ve seen stories indicating that such companies exist. They subject job seekers to rudeness and misinformation. For example, they use a bait-and-switch approach that makes a job opportunity sound much better than it is. In some cases, they withhold background information that might prompt you to reject a job offer. While some actions involve outright dishonesty and deception, others boil down to behavior that’s legal but not ethical.
Posted on February 3, 2019
In my January 2019 ezine, I published an article titled, “What’s Your Value–Do You Know It?” Basically, the article centered on the theme that you need to have a real-world view of your value to employers and present it well. In other words, you need a compelling employer value message to get your candidacy off the ground.
However, the story has more pieces to it than that. You can have all the employer value in the world and still not receive a salary offer that makes good sense. For some time now, employers have bemoaned a talent shortage, but many of them have avoided paying a realistic salary for people to fill the holes.
If your value message incorporates the right elements and still “isn’t working,” it could be missing the mark because:
You can take action to correct problems #1 and #2 above. On the other hand, you might have little luck with #3. As the saying goes, “You can’t fix stupid!”
Posted on January 7, 2019
Job success can sometimes be elusive and uncertain. Ideally, smart bosses should want their employees to succeed–it can make them look like good leaders. However, not all bosses are smart in that regard!
Is your boss putting up barriers that impede your career growth and on-the-job success? On the other hand, does it sometimes just seem that way to you?
I recently read an article in Harvard Business Review titled, “What to Do If You Think Your Boss is Shutting You Out.” The article makes a good point about the importance of verifying whether you’re exaggerating the situation or experiencing something you need to take action to resolve. Furthermore, it recommends four actions you might want to implement. Briefly, these are:
Posted on December 29, 2018
2019 isn’t about making New Year’s resolutions you might not keep for long. No, the coming year represents an opportunity–or many of them. In fact, you can choose to view it as a series of challenges or opportunities. In large part, it’s up to you.
Don’t think about a focus on new opportunities as being overly optimistic. Instead, consider it your chance to identify and overcome challenges . Whatever barriers blocked you from achieving goals this year, look at steps you can take to master them next year.
For example, if you missed out on a promotion or a new job, what factors played a part in that? If there’s something you can control, create a plan to prepare for a better outcome next time.
Furthermore, avoid thinking you have to look for huge opportunities with equally huge payoffs. As the Greek philosopher Demosthenes once said, “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” When you view the year as a blank page, seemingly small opportunities might show up that you can turn into something larger.
Posted on December 16, 2018
According to many published reports, we currently have a job seeker’s market. Essentially, that means more available jobs than people looking for one. Does that indicate your next job search will be a slam-dunk? Not inevitably.
Hint: Failure to take other factors into consideration could cost you.
So, are you prepared for what you might encounter when you launch your job search?
The following represent a few of the points you’ll want to keep in mind about a job seeker’s market:
Recently I read an article titled, “In a job seekers market, more candidates are now ‘ghosting’.” Apparently, some of you have started assuming that good job availability means you don’t need to honor interview appointments.
As the article comments, “For some job hunters, the tables have now turned. Instead of employers ghosting candidates — where job seekers fail to get any response from their applications — it’s now the applicants who are failing to show up to meetings, don’t return phone calls, or even quit without giving notice.”
Not cool, folks, even if it might feel exciting to have the upper hand with employers for a change! Remember, the worm can turn.
You want to stick in the employer’s mind for the right reasons, not the wrong ones!