How to get a Job

Intrigued? I knew that title would grab you. If only it were that simple, that one could follow steps A through to Z and get a job. I will admit that it is a tough economy – there aren’t as many jobs as there are people. That is a reality that may never improve, however there are a few common themes that I have observed from candidates who have successfully landed a great opportunity. Obviously timing and experience play a factor, however here are three tips to get you pointed in the right direction.  

Reverse Networking

In the second installment of my three part series on Networking, I’d like to highlight the tips and advice of District 13 Councillor, Matt Whitman. Matt practices his own unique approach to networking which he calls “Reverse Networking.” The premise of this concept is promoting others rather than promoting oneself.  Matt has had great success in connecting people, which in turn has helped him to create a positive profile and grow his professional and personal network.

Networking 101: Making Impressions

This past month, I had the opportunity to attend a very interesting event put on by FUSION Halifax. It was a professional development session on the topic of networking. Personally, I find that the term “Networking” is overused and misunderstood. The session highlighted the experience and opinions of three industry leaders in our community. They each shared their approach and clarified misconceptions on the art of “connecting with confidence.” Over the next three blogs, I would like to discuss those opinions and share their advice.

Millennial Motivation: Work, Passion and the Pursuit of Happiness

To understand what makes the “Millennial” generation passionate at work, we must first appreciate the source of their motivation. Although many of the attributes of millennials are shared by all generations of workers, I have come to the conclusion that people under 35 (myself included) are driven by three factors: contribution, recognition, and the pursuit of happiness.

The benefits of Temporary Contract Assignments

Lately, I have noticed an increase in temporary contract opportunities in the market. Generally, companies bring candidates in on a temporary contract to fill a gap caused by a leave of absence, internal changes, or to help on a specific project. They may also use the contract as an opportunity to see if there would be a long term fit – a “trial run” of sorts. With so much competition in the job market, a temporary contract is a great way to gain valuable experience and distinguish yourself among your peers.

Volunteering and your career

Volunteering is a great way to be a part of the community; giving back enriches others' lives and can make you feel pretty great about yourself at the same time. I often recommend volunteering as one option for people who are having difficulty figuring out their career paths. It is a great way to “get your feet wet” with activities you think you might enjoy. Here are a few reasons why volunteering can benefit you, your community and your career.

What is your story? How to Avoid Career Limiting Moves

Some people are serial job seekers; they find themselves in the market for a job every few years. Unless you are the victim of unfortunate economic circumstances (which many have been), you may want to take a look at how you operate. Here are a few tips to avoid moves that can limit your career options.

Be the person you want your references to talk about

When you reach out to a former manager, peer or direct report and ask them to be a reference, you might first ask yourself if you are truly the person you want them to convey to a potential employer.

Do you have a strong work ethic? Do you handle obstacles head-on? Are you a good communicator? These are a few of the questions that a potential employer may ask of your reference. To ensure they answer those questions the way you want them to, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Ace the Interview - A few things to consider...

I was thinking the other day -- just how many interviews have I conducted? I've been doing this for 12 years and I interview four people a day, on average; based on 250 working days a year, that's roughly 12,000 interviews! Other than feeling rather old all of a sudden, I feel somewhat equipped to comment on what makes a good interview since I've seen many good (and many not so good) over the years. Here are a few suggestions… 

What do Oprah, Bill Gates and Plato Have in Common? They all had Mentors.

A mentor is important at any stage of the game. Whether you are just beginning your career path or you are well on your way, there is always someone one step ahead who can provide invaluable guidance and wisdom. Oprah has Maya Angelou, Bill Gates has Warren Buffett and Plato had Socrates. A mentor can act as an advisor, a teacher, a sounding board or even a counselor. Some people seek to be a mentor and others seek mentors themselves. At any rate, a mentor can have a significant positive impact on professional development, personal growth and corporate success.