Best advice I’ve ever got: “Shutup and Listen!”

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When I think back to the past, the advice that resonated with me the most was the unfiltered, unadulterated  “truth.” Basically the stuff that wasn’t sugar coated to prevent hurt feelings or bruised egos…the stuff that had teeth. But then again, I also received lots of great advice that I completely ignored but probably shouldn’t have. Sadly, when it comes to receiving and giving advice it really comes down to hearing what you need to hear at just the precise moment when you need to hear it! Which is most often after an epic fail…

This is why, the “shutup and listen!” advice I got from an instructor in the Fundraising/Development program at Mohawk College was so valuable. So often when it comes to “selling” ideas we’re so focused on convincing the other person to see our point of view that we figure just yammering on and on about it will somehow magically work.

The truth of the matter is that employers are like anyone else and aren’t easily talked into things they aren’t already sold on. That’s why it’s up to you to give them a convincing reason to “buy” into your idea then have them sell it to themselves by holding your tongue. When people are allowed to talk without interruption they often talk themselves into or out of ideas very easily, all you need to do is plant the seed as to why your ideas are the best and let them do the rest.

So how do you “sell” someone on your idea?

As Dale Carnegie said in his famous book “How to win friends and influence people” most people think about themselves 95% of the time, so if you can spend at least 50% of the time thinking about the needs of others you’ll have a unique advantage over those who can only see things from their own narrow point of view.

Selling others hinges on the idea that you’ve thought of their needs first and foremost and are proposing a way to fulfill their need, which is essentially hiring you!

With all the hot air being blown by your competition your silence will be a breath of fresh air!

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5 Reasons why you need to job search during the holidays!

Most people stop job searching around the holidays, but really this is a big mistake! This time of year is the best for job searching; in fact, I’ve started several jobs during November and December. Here are just a few reasons why this is a great time to make a name for yourself:

 Less competition

Everyone is so busy that they aren’t paying as close attention to the job market, this is your chance to swoop in and land that interview!

 Networking opportunities

Holiday parties are some of the best places to network. Everyone is more relaxed and giving. I’m not sure if it’s just me but generally, albeit the day before Christmas, people are friendlier and more open to talking to strangers.

 A Slower pace

Unless you work in retail, this is a slower time when employers might actually have time to speak with you. Vary rarely do companies initiate new projects during December since staff can’t fully commit with holiday time and seasonal gatherings to attend.

 Laying the groundwork

Even if you don’t score an interview you are still laying the groundwork for continuing to develop your contacts in the New Year. Don’t miss out on making a good impression and then following up afterwards.

 Practice! Practice! Practice!

With a chance to see more of friends and family members comes the opportunity to get help with interview questions or elevator speeches. The trick is to make it fun…maybe like charades! In a more relaxed atmosphere everyone may come up with some unique or novel approaches to tricky questions.

 Most importantly don’t give up; your skills are a gift waiting to be appreciated by the next deserving company! 

 

Elaine Logie is a MCACES Blogger and student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program. MCACESBlogs is a series of posts aimed at job seekers and their peers with all sorts of tools and techniques for job search. Like what you read? Be sure to follow our blog today and pass it on! MCACES is always on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mcacesjobsearch

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Get a Job Search Wingman

Don’t you wish you knew someone who could get you out of awkward networking situations? Like when you forgot an important contact’s name or when you tried to speak to a manager with a mouth full of cocktail shrimp?

How about for all those lonely hours spent in a darkened room on the computer staring at job sites until your eyes go bloodshot, or for when your family and friends try to delicately change the subject every time you start on one of your rants about the lack of jobs in your industry…well here’s the answer, find yourself a job search wingman or wingwoman!

Just to be clear, your “wingman” doesn’t have to be looking for the same position, however, being in a similar industry would definitely help since they’d have a good idea what you’re looking for and could vouch for your skills. Now bringing them to interviews or cold-calling visits is still a BIG no-no, but your “wingman” can still offer other kinds of support:

  1. They can share tips on job search sites and openings. It’s like you have an extra pair of eyes looking on your behalf.
  2. Together you’ll feel more confident going to networking events, plus two working a room gathering tips and information is better then one. Just don’t remain joined at the hip!
  3. Prepare for interviews together. Watch each other’s body language, rambling answers and relevancy to your industry.
  4. They can help edit your resume or cover letter when the words start to blur together in a frustrating jumble.

    Getting a Job Search Wingman can take your job search to new heights!

    Getting a Job Search Wingman can take your job search to new heights!

  5. Celebrate your successes and let out your frustrations. Another job-seeker is going to have more sympathy and understanding than family/friends who may mean well but sometimes just don’t get it!

Now don’t you wish you could have a “wingman” for all things in life!

Elaine Logie is a student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario Canada. Like what you read? Be sure to check out MCACESBlogs often for tips, tools and techniques for the work of find work! Happy reading!

5 Things My Cat Taught Me About Job Searching

Just jump on someone’s lap, computer, head etc. and don’t apologize!

You can’t be tentative in today’s market you have to get a jump on the competition and show you mean business. If you have spent the time up-ing your “likability” factor most contacts would willingly give you a bit of their time and if they have a passion for their field they may look forward to speaking with you about it.

Take frequent “cat naps” preferably in a warm sunny spot

‘Tis the season to bask in the suns rays and get your vitamin D, not only will your mood improve but when you take the odd break from job- searching you’ll keep yourself fresh and energized, plus the new ideas you come up with might just be what businesses are looking for.

Play!

Never lose your sense of fun. Brainstorm with friends, groups or other people in the industry, and toss your ideas around to see what sticks. Other people might also have much-needed insight into new avenues to try for marketing your skills.

Hang out in high traffic areas. For example: stairs, windows or high places and remember to playfully bat your paws at those who pass you.

Many businesses and organizations catering to new entrepreneurs and the self-employed have opened up communal spaces for networking and idea sharing. Spend time in these places and get a conversation going. Have a few business cards that state a few of your specialty skills with your contact info handy just in case.

Observe your environment while hiding under tables, couches and beds…then at the slightest movement act with lightening quick speed

Always be on the look out for what is new and immerging in your field. Check out TED talks on various subjects, online journals, linkedin groups and even take advantage of MOOCs if a course is offered that might increase your skills. By keeping your mind sharp you won’t feel out of the loop so when you start your new job you’ll hit the ground running!

*Finally, don’t seem too desperate, by exuding confidence that you know your stuff you will effectively attract attention for all the right reasons!

This post is dedicated to Little D. my cute yet sometimes annoying but always inspiring feline friend. purrrrrrrr

Elaine Logie is a current student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. MCACESBlogs is a series of blog posts created by students for job seekers. Like what you read? Be sure to follow us or check back often for a variety of job search related posts. Happy reading!

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HELP! I don’t know what to do with my life!!!

Career choices. There are hundreds of different career choices out there with hundreds still to come into existence over the next five to ten years. My sons, who are 3, 6 and 7 respectively, will have career choices presented to them that I can’t even imagine. With so many options out there many people get stuck in their career decision making out of fear of making the wrong choice. We are in an economy that does not offer the greatest stability and as a result many people have lost jobs and entire labour market sectors have been decimated- think manufacturing.  Who wants to spend thousands of dollars and devote all that time and energy to train for a career only to find out at the end that they chose a career that is not in demand? How do you know what career has the legs to stand on over the next twenty years? How do you pick?

You can look at it in a couple of ways. I have had clients study those jobs that always seem to be in demand even in a poor economy; recession proof if you will. Well, as about ‘recession proof’ as a job can get because no job is truly recession proof. Some just have more padding against economic downturns and they usually involve meeting people’s needs on things we can’t do without. People require medical care, housing, people need to be taught, to have their hair cut and to bury their loved ones.  I’m thinking about jobs in medicine, carpentry or construction, mechanics, teaching, computers, hair stylists or funeral directors. Many people seek out these jobs and hope the skills required to perform those jobs are a match against their own interests, skills and abilities.

Other people look within themselves for the answer. It can be difficult to write down your own strengths and weaknesses, which is completing some career assessments can help sort out the facts. Employment Counsellors can administer assessments that measure your interests, abilities and values.  Assessments can also shed some light on your personality and can help explain why you do those things you do; why you thrive in some environments but not others. All of this is fantastic information to take into consideration as you decide what career to follow.  First you find what environments match up best with your interests, vales and abilities and then you begin to look at career options.

In my opinion, the best approach is an educated approach. Take a good hard look at yourself and determine where you are at your best. Talk to Employment Counsellors and complete some assessments. Then look at the labour market to see what’s in demand. Take a look at what you need in a career and what you are willing to do in order to pursue it, for example, how many years of post-secondary school can you afford, do you want to stay locally or are you willing to commute, what kind of salary do you realistically want to earn.

Don’t rush the decision. Do the leg work, talk to over with someone and you will find the perfect career for you.

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Is there a job called “Anything?”

Is there a job called anything?  I’d really like to know.  In my profession, I assist people with their job search.  The first question I ask is, “What kind of work are you looking for?”  Guess what the response is…you got it…it’s “anything!”  Although I know and understand what insights this response, it drives me crazy!

There isn’t a job called “anything” and if there was, we’d all be doing anything. What I like to suggest to clients is to have a career goal.  In my experience, when it comes to job searching, you need to know what your skills are as most employers are looking for specific skills and therefore you need to be specific in the jobs you apply for.    

Your resume should be targeted which requires you to make a career decision.  It is not unusual to have a variety of resumes targeting different skill sets.   

There are many tools that can help you make the decisions you need to.  You can speak with an employment consultant, you can do online assessments, and you can attend free workshops offered in the community.  There are many facilities you can access.  For instance, if you are a continuing education student attending Mohawk College, you can access MCACES located in F116.  If you are a full time student, you can access the Job Centre in J137 or the Student Engagement, Athletics & Employment in C104 and finally, if you are not in school and need help, there are 7 Community Employment Resource Centres funded by Employment Ontario and in part by the government of Canada of which one is located at Mohawk College in Welcome Centre, J137 at the Fennell Campus. You can find the other 5 locations at:  http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/search.asp?chosen=22. Your resources are endless. 

So remember, if you need to explore your career options, need assistance figuring out what your skills are, or just need a little bit of guidance, we are out there for you because there isn`t a job called “Anything!”

Linda Schumacher is a student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACESBlogs is a series of posts created by students for job seekers. Like what you see? Be sure to follow our blog or share with job seeking friends and family. Thanks for reading!Image

 

 

 

 

Do you have the Job Search Blues?

Almost all job seekers feel down in the dumps at some point during their job search. So whenever I’ve felt that way I try to get inspired by the lyrics of Darryl Worley ‘s immortal song “Spread a little love around.”

It’s certainly not easy keeping the positive energy going when the job search drags from weeks into months, but it is so necessary because in the hiring world a positive personality will get you very far, sometimes even further then a handful of credentials.

Here are some ideas to keep the blues at bay:

Volunteer

When you help others ironically you help yourself.

Why? Because working with others towards a common goal builds confidence and helps you create contacts and possible references, especially if you are volunteering in your field. Plus volunteering keeps your skills fresh and can fill work gaps on your resume. It’s definitely a win win situation!

Join a Job Club

When you associate with other job seekers you will feel less isolated and a sense of camaraderie. Even if others in the group are looking for work in different fields from your own they may still have leads.

 Take a break

You know the old adage that looking for work is a full time job? Well with any job you need to refuel and take breaks. Plus if you are cold-calling businesses they generally don’t like to be called early on a Monday or late on a Friday so make it ok to relax a little during those times or spend it on other career related goals.

Positive reminders

Ask friends, former colleagues and family members to write down a list of your strengths and post the results someplace where you can see it everyday. This not only reminds your contacts that you are looking for work but it also reminds you about all the positive skills and abilities you possess.

 Prepare yourself

When you get the ball rolling by spending time to create an organized portfolio with an updated and edited resume you will automatically start to present yourself with confidence.

Don’t stop having fun!

When you still pursue your favourite past-times and hobbies, albeit with a bit of tweaking (check out all the free stuff going on at local community centres and the library to start) you will feel a sense of normalcy and routine.

Try to start everyday with a smile

As cheesy as it sounds, when you do as Darryl Worley says and turn that frown upside down, you’ll be surprised at who smiles back…maybe that person could be your next boss!

Even if you only try a few of these tips as you pursue the job of your dreams you are sure to fend off the pesky job seeking blues.

Elaine Logie is a current student of the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. Be sure to follow MCACESBlogs, a blog created by students to assist fellow job seekers. For more information about the Career Consultant Certificate Program, please visit our website: 

Do you suffer from the Job Search Blues?

Do you suffer from the Job Search Blues?

http://www.mohawkcollege.ca/continuing-education/career-consultant.html