The best present of all

the greatest gift of all

the greatest gift of all

Be open to the present! “How to create unexpected opportunities”

With Black Friday signaling the upcoming holidays, it’s easy to start worrying about the job market in the New Year or reminiscing about how your job search efforts went in the past. While it’s hard to keep your mind in the present, you may miss potential job prospects.

It’s sounds like a paradox but you need to construct unexpected career opportunities. This concept is summed up in what John D. Krumboltz calls “Planned Happenstance.”

As an example of this theory, Krumboltz uses the story of high-powered professional sports agent, Leigh Steinberg. You remember the movie Jerry McGuire? Well, it’s based on Leigh’s life and career, most of which he chalks up to “pure, random chance.” But was it really random? Did he in fact manufacture his future career, albeit unknowingly, through a series of circumstances and choices?

In an interview Leigh recounts how it all started while attending the University of California at Berkeley while studying environmental law in the early 70’s. As luck would have it a freshman football team moved into his dormitory and after befriending several students he ended up eventually representing Steve Bartkowski, at his request, in contract negotiations with the Atlanta Falcons and well the rest as they say is history…. If you look closely at Leigh’s story you’ll realize that what happened wasn’t really “pure, random chance” but a set of circumstances that Leigh choose to act on, setting aside his own fears, he grabbed the opportunity before him.

You’re probably asking yourself how do I create these types of opportunities? Well, first you’ll need to develop 5 important skills:

Curiosity
Explore new learning opportunities. Take a course, try a new idea talk to insiders you would never have talked to before.

Persistence
Even when things get hard you need to re-exert your efforts and try again.

Flexibility
With emerging technology and changes in the workplace you need to adapt. For example, if a strategy in your job-search isn’t working, change your tactics.

Optimism
You need to keep positive and believe that you can attain your goals.

Risk-taking
Take a page from Leigh and go for something even if it’s risky, sometimes it’s in the process of trying that opportunities happen.

Now you’ll be able to say “show me the money!” sooner than you think!

Elaine Logie is an Employment Advisor at the Career Foundation and frequent MCACESBlogger. MCACESBlogs is series of posts aimed at helping job seekers with their respective paths. Be sure to follow our blog today!

Freaky Friday!

Image

Since March 8th is International Women’s Day, I thought this would be a perfect time to talk about women in the workplace.

Here’s a great website that grew out of the Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead.” The site contains lots of positive messages particularly around women in the workforce.

http://leanin.org/

While I can’t say that this is a particularly women based issue, but it seems that most people in the workplace are hesitant to place themselves ahead due to a fear of failure. Although it seems counterintuitive, I believe that it’s the failures that make you a better jobseeker, employee and leader. A perfect example of this is from Tiffany Dufu the Chief Leadership Officer with Levo League who shares some great advice on finding strength in failure.

Why you need to fail to succeed

Here are two rather interesting articles on women and social media. The first is on how women are leading the charge in the use of social media yet strangely linkedin, one of the largest work related social media platforms, doesn’t have a high level of female engagement. The second article from linkedin is on whether or not women should be using their linkedin accounts more to promote their successes than they already do.

Women dominate every social media network-except one

Should women be using linkedin differently?

 Happy Friday!

Freaky Friday!

Tricky or illegal questions can creep up into many interview situations sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. Before you get your back up and think a grand conspiracy is at play, the majority of times I’ve heard or witnessed these blunders or missteps they’ve been unintentional, nonetheless it’s good to know how to handle these types of questions with tact particularly those that involve “too much information” or TMI

This article on Careerealism is a good example of how TMI could inadvertently sabotage your chances of landing that job:

How to Sabotage your Interview

Now that we’re on the topic of jobs and the whole hiring process, I thought I would share this article in USA Today from the perspective of a Hiring Manager regarding what they really think of all the resumes they receive:

What do Hiring Managers really think of your resume?

Finally here’s a bit of info on personal business cards- Why they’re so important for your brand and the kind of information that you should be including on them:

Reasons why you need personal business cards and 7 facts to include on them

Happy Friday!

Image

Don’t read this blog!

Everyone is more of less aware that while job searching you need to watch what you write or post online. I’m sure we’ve all heard horror stories of people not being hired or fired because of embarrassing or incriminating things (most often involving the 3 A’s – alcohol, anger and adult content) they’d done. But did you know that employers aren’t just looking at what you did online but also what you aren’t doing online?

Let me explain, for example you’re applying for a job with the word  “outreach” in the title or description, more often than not this includes some involvement with the companies website or social media presence, so it makes sense that your online profile reflects this. You need to watch for “stale” or inaccurate information, spelling mistakes and infrequent updates. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to constantly be on the computer updating your information every few minutes, it just means that frequent, engaging and professional interaction with potential customers will show awareness of emerging trends and that you’d positively represent the company to it’s stakeholders.

As well, outdated or “stale” material can also show a lack of care about your industry and particularly if the main aspect of your pervious job was social media then this can be career suicide. And no, simply liking something  or repining it doesn’t count….sorry!

If you do want to know more about managing your online presence and protecting yourself here are two useful sites to check out. The first is an internet safety overview, while the other is targeted for older job-seekers:

 Internet Safety

6 Social Media Mistakes for Older Job Hunters

Image

What’s Your Brand?

I am not an avid Coke drinker by any means but during the holidays I cannot resist purchasing a six pack of those little glass bottles of dark, sweet, caffeinated liquid!  And even though we become inundated with the holiday polar bear commercials, this is not what provokes me into making the purchase, either.

What is it then, you might ask?  Well, it’s the way that those little glass bottles make me feel.  That’s right, drinking soda from glass bottles elicits a feeling of sheer, unadulterated happiness that reminds me of my childhood.

Coca Cola wasn’t even my drink of choice as a kid; it was Cream Soda by The PopShop, for crying out loud!  But, soda in any kind of glass bottle brings me immediately back to the carefree days of my youth when during ‘special occasions, we popped the cap of any icy cold bottle of pop and drank in its syrupy goodness!  So, kudos to Coca Cola and their brilliant job at branding!

Branding is not a product, a logo or a mission statement.  A brand is how a person feels about a product, service or organization.  Strong brands like Apple, Google and Coca Cola are all highly credible, high quality brands that promote a general feeling of trust and security amongst consumers.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you yourself could convey that kind of feeling to an employer?! Well…you CAN!  It’s called Personal Branding.   Start by developing a brief statement that communicates who you are, what you are looking for and how you can benefit an employer.

Often referred to as “the 30 second elevator speech”, this pitch is like a mini commercial about yourself!  Practice this statement often so that it comes across naturally when you are networking or introducing yourself to prospective employers.

Continue to build your brand through a professional resume, a portfolio, and don’t forget your online image!  Be consistent and work to maintain your brand. A strong, clear brand can help you become known for what you are good at and hopefully set you apart from everyone else!

coca cola

“…drinking soda from glass bottles elicits a feeling of sheer, unadulterated happiness that reminds me of my childhood.”

Karen Cake is a student from the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON. For more information about the Career Consultant Certificate Program, or how MCACES helps students with Employment Advisement, please contact Lidia Siino, Program Manager at lidia.siino@mohawkcollege.ca.