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Windy Days and Stella Got Nothing on Us March 16, 2017

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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The last two weeks in Rochester have been quite interesting from a weather perspective to say the least. Last week we had the major wind storm with 80 mph gusts which knocked out power to over 100,000 people.  Then one week later we get a major winter storm which dumped more than two feet of snow on the area.  How much more can we take!

I bet you utter this phrase during your job search and networking activities as well. Sometimes it appears that no matter what we do we are faced with severe head winds or blinding snow that continues to pile up making it nearly impossible to get from point A to point B. It often seems we are not making any progress whatsoever.

This is when you need to step back take a breath and relax. As we learned over the last week, having an appropriate strategy and plan to recover from setbacks and obstacles and then implementing and monitoring that plan can help get you back on track much sooner than you’d expect.  Many people had power back in a few days, and after two days of our major highways being snow covered and treacherous today we experienced clear roads and a smooth commute thanks to the planning and constant monitoring by our public service officials.

How do you plan to recover from your next “Stella?”

Until Next Time….

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Comeback Victory March 2, 2017

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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I know it has been about one month since we witnessed a historic comeback and the first ever overtime game for the Super Bowl but the lessons learned from this and how you can apply them to the job search and networking are too powerful (in my opinion) to ignore.

We all know how the game started, Atlanta dominated the game, New England look completely lost and unable to mount a sustained drive as Atlanta shut them down while seemingly moving up field on offense at will. Frustration was beginning to set in with New England, you could see it on their faces; nothing they seemed to do was working.

Does this sound familiar? Do you sometimes feel like your networking activities are ineffective, no matter what you do?  You look at others and feel like they are dominating the room while you continue to struggle.  Do your resulting job search efforts suffer the same fate?  No matter what you do you can’t seem to get the interview or if you do go through multiple interviews you can’t seem to close the deal?  (Been there, done that myself.)

What’s been your next move when faced with these situations? Do you keep doing what you are doing and hope things will change?  Do you give up?  Take a break and collect your thoughts?

What you SHOULD do is take a page out of the New England Patriots playbook. They kept hammering away until they found an opportune time to take a break (halftime) and re assess their game plan.  You should do the same.  When you have time in your schedule (if you need to, block out time, stop your networking activity for a few days) and look at the “game film” from the first half.  Carefully examine what you have been doing and determine why it’s not working.  Ask a friend or relative to offer you some advice based upon their observations.  Then take the data you have gathered and formulate a revised plan to help break through whatever is holding you back allowing you to create your own comeback victory.

Even if you are not a fan of the Patriots you have to admire the adjustment they made at half time and more impressive, their never-say-die attitude. Adopting this same process and mind set in your networking and job search activities (and life in general) can go a long way to helping you reach the goals you have set.

Until next time….

 

 

Networking While Working January 26, 2017

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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Networking (job search) while employed is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do well.  You work eight or more hours a day then come home to attend to other personal business and then try to find the time and energy to send out letters requesting a networking meeting and maybe leave enough time to relax with your family.

No time
By david.nikonvscanon

Maybe you are off to a networking event of some type right after work which of course will require some additional activities such as “thank you” or “nice to meet you” notes.

Then there is the question of actually meeting with people with whom you have secured appointments.  Your available time is limited to early morning meetings say before 7am which very few people are able to accommodate, lunch time or immediately after work.    Certainly you cannot line up a networking meeting every day of the week because of your other responsibilities so you are further limited to perhaps 2-3 days a week where you can really advance your networking activities.

What’s a person to do?

With the job market heating up and more opportunities to move on to the next big thing I am sure many of us may face this opportunity (dilemma).

So I ask, what is your suggestion?  How would you manage your networking activities to support a job search while gainfully employed?

I’m waiting for your answers, use the comments section below so we all can benefit from the wisdom of others.

Until next week….

Letters…Oh We Have Letters… January 5, 2017

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Photo Credit: Nieve44/La Luz

To help improve your networking results you must have a readily-available library of letters (emails).  By library I don’t mean tens or even hundreds of letters, you can get by with three good ones which can serve as a template to be customized for each individual. The three letters you must have are:

  1. Introduction/request for meeting  I covered this in a previous post entitled Securing an Appointment. Keep the email brief and to the point and do not forget to let the recipient know when you plan to follow up, this increases your chances of reaching them quickly and points to attention to detail.
  2. Appointment confirmation 24 hours before your scheduled meeting send a quick note verifying the date, time and place of your meeting and possibly a photo or description of yourself or a description of what you will be wearing.
  3. Thank you Of course no cycle of networking would be complete without the proper thank you note.  Personalize the note by referencing some particular part of your conversation you found interesting or especially helpful.  Not only will this once again show attention to detail but it will also show your contact that you took the time to write a personal note instead of using a template.  In certain situations the use of  a hand written note provides a little extra “umph.”

I usually write each note in word or some other off line application in order to make the editing process a bit easier.  If you prefer to compose directly in your email client I would suggest you DO NOT populate the” TO” field with any email address information, this will help prevent an accidental send due to a stray mouse click. (been there-done that)

I’d suggest keeping a copy of each letter you send for a few months then periodically purge your email and or Word documents, sometimes you write that one extra special sentence which can later be re-purposed for another situation.

Until next time….

December Opportunities December 15, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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I ran across this post on The Ladders regarding the December job search.  I think many times searchers think that suddenly there are no human resource needs after the Thanksgiving holiday, that the entire month of December is focused on anything but sourcing and interviewing qualified candidates to fill open or newly created positions.

Check out this post for some common sense tips regarding the December recruiter.

No posts for a few weeks due to the Christmas and New Years Holidays.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Make sure you take some time to enjoy and appreciate the season with family and friends.

Until next year….

Holiday Networking Galore December 1, 2016

Posted by robewanow in General, Job Search.
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red-christmas-ball-in-snow-1386092658qdjWith the start of the holiday season comes a bevy of opportunities to network with more people than ever, spread the word of what you are looking for in your next opportunity and set up those all important face-to-face meetings. You will find that people are naturally more giving during the holiday season so your hit rate for these meetings should be higher which translates into more meetings for you, leading you one step closer on your journey to your final destination.

There are sure to be gatherings of all sorts for you to take advantage of, many of them free or low-cost. Consider this potential list.

  1. Professional Organizations you may belong to.  Make sure you check their website to get all the details.
  2. Organizations such as Digital Rochester. Festivus takes place next week! The August Group/VPNG holiday party is December 20!  Register Here.
  3. Neighbors and neighborhood associations.   If you live in a condo or town house contact your association president and find out if they are planning anything.  If not offer to plan it yourself, this alone could provide you with a wealth of contacts and help others at the same time.
  4. Volunteer.  Local soup kitchens tend to get a little busier this year give them a call and see how you can help.
  5. Check with your local church regarding giving trees, food baskets, etc offer to coordinate.
  6. Ring bells for the Salvation Army.
  7. Corporate parties.  If your spouse is employed make sure you plan to attend any office gathering that is open to you.
  8. Social/Service organizations you belong to like Lions Club, Rotary, etc

Until next time….

Be Thankful November 17, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Family, General, Job Search.
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Hard to believe but next week is Thanksgiving.  I like many will be celebrating with family so I there will be no post next week.  Not that I have been very consistent this year.  (Hey – there’s a resolution for 2017 get better with the blog posts Rob!!)

Take some time over the next few days and think to yourself – What am I thankful for?

Think of all the wonderful people you have met along your journey.  Remember the “journey” never really ends.

Think of those you have helped along the way – there are probably more than you realize.

Look at your family – how blessed are you to have them and how blessed are they to have you?

Appreciate the gifts you have been given and the talents you have to offer.

Remember there are many in the world who are less fortunate, we all have much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.

My thanks to you for reading.

How to Leverage Networking Groups October 27, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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With a summer a distant memory and winter fast approaching many professional groups will start to ramp up their event schedule.  You will begin to see more opportunities for training, educational presentations, round table discussions general meetings and before you know it holiday gatherings and celebrations.

What is the one thing all of these events have in common?  They present a fantastic opportunity for networking!  Events like this are a great way to not only learn something new or enhance your current skill set but they are also a target-rich environment to grow your network.

Many times events like these are hosted by some type of professional organization like The American Marketing Association, Society for Human Resource Management or the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.  Events like these can offer a sense of comfort since you will have an automatic “connection” with the others in attendance – you share the same career field and probably some of the same job related “challenges.”  This may not seem like much but it’s a natural and easy way to start a conversation with someone new.

Other events may be hosted by a networking group like PeerNet or The August Group and will most likely offer a large and diverse group of people covering a wide array of industries along with people in every stage of their career from those just starting out to those who are more experienced.

No matter which type of event you happen to attend (and you should try to attend a good blend of each) here are some things to keep in mind courtesy of a great article from The Ladders.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Until next time….

 

It’s Been a While September 29, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Business Development, Job Search.
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Well I know it’s been a while since I published my last blog post but I had no idea it has been over two months! Admittedly, it was a very busy time for me, planning for our largest trade show of the year in Chicago (4,900 sf booth space) but I should still be able to get a post out there at least every-other-week.

However, this provided me with the fodder I need for today’s post.

In order to be successful with your job search, networking or customer prospecting efforts you need a consistent effort.  Going strong for a while then tailing off or worse yet taking and extended break do nothing but interrupt your progress, preventing you from gaining ground and ultimately achieving your goals.

This consistent effort can be challenging as the temptation to “take just a little break” can be strong and we rationalize it will help us come back stronger (this argument is also what we use when we skip our daily visit to the gym) however, in many cases this is not true.

The key is to achieving this consistent effort is to set goals and milestones along the way. For example in your networking activities it may be as simple as attending one live event each month with the goal of meeting two or three new people and reconnecting with two or three of those already in your network.  You could also target one or two “one-on one” meetings each month; perhaps coffee before you head into the office or a lunch meeting.  Granted, you may not achieve both each month but the key is you have a goal, something to aim for and something that helps hold you accountable.  This forces you to put in the work, to have a consistent effort.

Another way stay consistent is to create a schedule. This can be as detailed as you need and as your circumstances dictate. For example if you are unemployed and fully engaged in the job search your daily or weekly schedule should be more specific since you have more time to dedicate to your job search and it should be your number one priority.  If you are working and either looking to change jobs or simply keep your network strong then you can work with a little looser schedule; fit it around your work obligations.  Just remember even though you are working your networking activities should not stop. Yes it’s harder to do this and even more difficult to perform a quality job search but once again consistent effort will win the day.

This is of course easier said than done but if you keep yourself laser-focused on the end goal you will find yourself making significant steps towards that goal each time.

Now, I just need to follow my own advice.

Until next time….

 

Networking Advice for the Recent Grad May 25, 2016

Posted by robewanow in Job Search.
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For most universities graduation season has passed by and another batch of graduates is on the street actively looking for work with the hopes of putting all they have learned over the last 4 years (or more) to good use.  According to different sources I’ve heard this is one of the more challenging years for recent grads to find work but at the same time I’ve heard it is just as challenging as previous years. It is what you make it I suppose.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post my opinion is many recent grads lack the skills needed to conduct a quality job search after graduation.  This is one area where I think all universities could improve by simply offering a one semester course the beginning of junior year tailored specific to the job search.

Here are my recommendations for a successful job search for recent college grads (and any other job seeker for that matter).

  1. Build your network – when doing this remember quality trumps quantity.  Attend various networking functions, set up informational meetings in order to find the right people who can connect you, direct you and offer support and guidance along the way.  Don’t forget to find out how you can help them as well – it’s easier than you think.
  2. Update your resume – make sure any/all relevant work experience appears even summer or campus jobs as these show drive, maturity and responsibility.  Make sure you include any academic recognition (honors, awards, etc) in order set yourself apart from the rest of the field.
  3. Clean up your act – give your social media profiles the “once over” making sure to remove any questionable content.  Update or create your LinkedIn profile making sure to include a nice professional looking photo as this is frequently the first place HR people will visit.
  4. Be visible – it’s true we live in a connected world now but you need to get out from behind the computer if you want any shot at getting the job you want.  Volunteer at a local organization, attend industry related events, set up lunch meetings or even go to the gym during the afternoon, you never know who is sneaking in a quick lunchtime workout.  It could be your next boss.

No doubt landing that first gig is a challenge but if you get yourself organized, follow some simple guidelines and set up a regular routine you will find yourself signing that offer letter sooner than you think.

Until next time….