Friday, June 19, 2009
Economic downturn prompts
more boomers to start businesses
The number of individuals who are starting businesses later in life is increasing, economists say.
A recent AARP poll found 21% of people who are self-employed in the U.S. are between 55 and 64. Meanwhile, 10% of self-employed individuals are older than 65.
Some experts believe the stock market's sharp decline has left many seniors with less retirement income. This has prompted them to start their own businesses to generate
income to make up for the shortfall. BusinessWeek (6/8)
Here's an example of a great new business that will be both an income generator and a for the public benefit: A Social Enterprise. http://www.upfromthedust.com/ is the brainchild of Mary Schnack a philanthropic business woman of Sedona Arizona and co creator of the International Women's Festivals. Also a professional media expert, Mary says: "You don't have to be a nonprofit in order to do good for the world. You can create a Social Enterprise which has a "greater than for profit" motive. As a trainer and leader for the National Association of Women Business Owners http://www.nawbo.org/ Mary became involved in the International Women Business Owners Association. http://www.fcem.org/ and met women who operated micro enterprises all over the world, but became especially connected to women in Africa and China who wanted expanded markets to sell their handmade items. Mary conceived of specialized trunk shows of their products and Up From the Dust was born two years ago. She has positively impacted the lives and businesses of over 25 micro-business women and hundreds of others who have purchased the colorful and beautiful gift items. Mary has frequently partnered with non profits who work toward the benefit of women and used her products from Africa, China and elsewhere as fundraisers for USA based nonprofits. Everybody wins.....as long as Mary is still willing to be the conduit between the micro enterprises who have no access to these markets without Mary's willingness to support and share her good fortune.
Maria Contreras Sweet, Chairwoman of Promerica Banks in California calls it "The Triple Bottom Line". She spoke at a conference in California earlier this year on that very subject saying that at her bank they make decisions looking for payoff not just for shareholders but for the community as well as the other internal stakeholders such as the employees and their families and communities too.
Janeen Swing, Gene Sinser and I are also creating a new Social Enterprise called Prima Recycla http://www.primarecycla.com/ which will serve as one of those "more than for profit" social enterprises disseminating information and educational opportunities on Recycling and supporting education programs for people with special needs. Created as not only a sheltered workshop the "warehouse-boutique" offers Treasures for sale on line and in it's Santa Barbara location.
Janeen Swing, Creative Director and Partner said she wants the business to be a special place, a destination shopping and learning experience. "I want to do good for the community and I would love to use my talents in ways that benefit people who shop with us and who donate or consign their furniture and other treasures for "Recycling-ReUse" by a new loving owner who is thrilled to be part of the less-waste world." Gene Sinser will work with families who want to purchase or sell art and his extensive contacts and knowledge after having owned the Gene Sinser Gallery in Los Angeles for over a decade will come in handy. Anyone wishing more information about PrimaRecycla as a sheltered work opportunity or a place to make donations can visit the website and watch this work in progress grow. http://www.primarecycla.com/
Special thanks to Dianne Gubin http://www.diannegubin.com/ and GuruStu.com for the cartoon. Stuart Rubin has also created many socially impactful humous cartoons, please do visit his website. If you would like more info on classes and Dianne's employment tip of the week, please search for her on this blog. Dianne has shared a great deal of her expertise and offers tips of the week at her site
Thursday, June 18, 2009
It's a jungle out there, especially for startups. Good news, though: Information, advice and assistance are available--often at no charge. Armed with the proper coordinates, you can gain quick, direct access to one-on-one counseling, step-by-step strategic guidance, legal advice, funding opportunities and more.
1. SCORE: A nonprofit that provides free online and in-person mentoring via a national counseling force of 11,800 working and retired business owners and executives in nearly 400 chapters
Trained counselors/mentors are matched to client's specific needs and business or market.
Counseling is multidimensional--motivational as well as practical, informational and strategic.
Additional support is available in the form of online learning, how-to articles, business templates, low-cost workshops and an extensive resource library.
Visit the SCORE website regularly: This year, SCORE began posting monthly "Small Business Smart Start Tools," with resources for assessing your business, organizing your workplace and planning for success. Tips for January included an online workshop to develop a quick-start business plan, and two startup quizzes to help size up the competition and the earning potential of a business idea.
SCORE counselors are available to assist in "as many follow-up appointments as necessary," says Martin Lehman, a SCORE counselor. "We're here to help."
A subsiteis dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs.
2. Small Business Development Centers: An expansive network of some 1,100 branch offices, delivering counseling, training and technical assistance in all aspects of small-business management. "Every startup needs three things," says Kristin Johnson, director of the Northern California SBDC network. "A lawyer, an accountant and an SBDC advisor."
It's all here: help with financials, marketing, production, organization, engineering and technical problems, and feasibility studies.
Confidential one-on-one counseling is a core strength.
Workshops for startups run regularly at local SBDCs, and most are free.
All centers have an on-site resource library.
Check with the SBDC in your area about specialized programs, including industry-specific training and events for nascent entrepreneurs.
Many SBDCs publish a region-specific business resource guide every year or two. If your local center publishes one, it's worth checking out, says Manning.
Don't wait to reach out to an SBDC, Johnson urges. "It's never too early to start working with someone on your idea."
Make an appointment for a counseling session, and come prepared with a list of questions. Even better, come with a rough business plan.
Need multiple counseling sessions to sort things out? Never a problem--and never a charge.
Many SBDCs are housed at academic institutions, so startups can tap grad student research groups for custom-ized--and free--market research. Ask an SBDC advisor how it works. "It's lessutilized than it should be," Johnson notes.
Ready to start your quest for funding? Visit an SBDC advisor for help refining your business plan and financials first.
3. SBA: Via the web and district offices, the SBA offers an array of tools and resources to help new and aspiring business owners succeed.
There are too many resources to list them all, but Holly Schick of the SBA's Office of Entrepreneurial Development recommends starting with the Start-Up Assessment Tool.
The Small Business Planner has guides on just about every aspect of startup.
Access free, at-your-own-pace courses on topics like writing a business plan. These 30- to 45-minute courses pack an educational wallop.
Delve into the SBA's resource library.
If you or a spouse is or was in the military, check out Patriot Express, a new SBA initiative that provides expedited funding for startups.
Pay a visit to an SBA district office for startup info relevant to a specific state and locality.
Visit an SBA Women's Business Center or Office of Women's Business Ownership for free support.
Check out one of the SBA's Minority Business Development Centers for free business consulting services and financial management advice.
Check the SBA website frequently, advises Schick, because resources for startups are regularly updated (and usually highlighted in the "Spotlight" column on the homepage).
4. U.S. Chamber Small Business Center: This arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides comprehensive startup assistance via web-based tools and resources.
The center's Startup Toolkit is a must, says the U.S. Chamber's Giovanni Coratolo. It runs the how-to gamut, from evaluating an idea's chances for success to accessing capital and beyond.
A large small-business library is at your fingertips.
Coming soon: enriched resources on the center's website, with anticipated contributions from partners SCORE, SBDCs and the FastTrac entrepreneur learning program, says Coratolo.
Tap the "Tools" section of the center's library for various model business documents, spreadsheet templates and government forms.
Check out the center's guidance on business exit planning. "Knowing how to exit a business will dictate how you shape that business," Coratolo says.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Resources….. often their greatest expense and usually a business’s greatest asset too.
1. Nothing is so expensive as Cheap Help.
2. You don’t have to be perfect, just better than the competition. Unless your business is rocket science or brain surgery it probably doesn’t need to be executed perfectly.
or trained in sales enough. A Wise mentor released me from torturing myself and my people
3. Five Important Tips for Setting Goals for Top Performance by
a. *Clear goals…..and Company Mission.* In the context of your
companies Mission/Vision statement – give your people clear goals with
specifics including measurements, details and dates expected.
Statements which just say “Do Your Best” sound nice but are not enough
to get Top Performance.
b. *Tell them WHY…* by providing the reasons for specific goals, they
are much more likely to work hard to achieve them. Increasing the
commitment among you employees. If pushed, they will also find other
ways to accomplish the goals without you having to give them too much
direction. People want to help the company be successful and will take
pride in achieving high goals if they understand the business rationale.
c. *Model the Behavior you expect in others. *We all love to follow a
true leader, one who walks his/her talk. When your people see you
setting challenging goals for yourself and then working hard to
achieve them they want to be part of that success. It is a powerful
d. *Give Specific Feedback. *Feedback is the breakfast of champions!
If your employees know that you care, that you are paying attention
and “inspecting what you are expecting” they will deliver for you. Try
to give two to four times more positive feedback than negative, as
criticism can kill people’s confidence and motivation but when it is
occasionally sandwiched in with other positive input it really helps
guide and mentor your people for Peak Performance.
e. *Reward People Fairly and Frequently.* Everyone loves money but
that is hardly the reason people stay or leave a company. Words, deeds
and recognition really make a difference to many top performers. It’s
usually the boss that they “belong to” or Quit from. When people know
you will work hard to help them and the whole team benefits they will
do almost anything for the right cause.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
- KPMG needs an impressive Campus Marketing Executive to join their 50 strong Recruitment Marketing team to produce and implement a campus marketing plan and build key relationships.-
Microsoft has a major role of UK Talent Acquisition Lead who'll be a member of UK HR Leadership team and Microsoft’s International Staffing Leadership team.-
Edward Jones are looking for lots of Financial Advisers and IFAs - lots of flexibility.
- Canon has a fabulous New Media - Industrial Student Placement available to monitor Social Media activity and on-line buzz.-
Nomura has a Public Affairs Manager role at Canary Wharf dealing with high profile thought leadership events based on priority themes.-
nPower has a Strategy & Planning Manager role to direct and coordinate all aspects of their new Energy Services Division’s strategic development-
Royal Mail has a Senior Press Officer role (£39,422 - £45,164) closing this Friday to brief national media and handle journalist inquiries on a wide range of issues.
- Jones Lang LaSalle has a Training Officer role at their Canary Wharf offices.
- M&G Investments has an exciting Senior eMarketing Executive role closing 21 May to provide eMarketing content for websites and online campaigns.-
Citi needs a Regional Recruitment Partner at their Canary Wharf office to manage development of recruitment practices and solutions across EMEA.-
E.ON need lots of Home Energy Consultants - unlimited commission for successfully matching customers to the right products and services.-
Thomson Reuters need a Senior HR Advisor to provide project management support and guidance at their highly impressive state-of-the-art Canary Wharf offices
Thanks to the newsletter Aurora for these hot job leads!
For a short time, I am giving away my 9.97 ebook titled:
Secrets of the Unadvertised Job Market Revealed –for FREE!
All they have to do is click on buy the book
and then key in the coupon code: careerartisan
(don’t forget to click the apply coupon button!)
I am only promoting this in select places. If you would like to pass this gift on to your readers I have included a photo of the cover.
Here is the link: http://www.maryelizabethbradford.com/phonenetworking.php
Patty De's note:
I know you are going to love Mary Elizabeth's book and appreciate that she is offering it for free to our readers for a limited time only. Some of her credentials include:
International Certification as a Master Career Director (MCD), Career Directors International
Certified International Advanced Resume Writer, Career Directors International
Recipient of Career Directors International "Master Career Professional Lifetime Achievement Award"
Expert Career Marketer Job Search Coach and Marketing StrategistSuccessfully coached over 450 professionals both virtually and face-to-face. Completed over 4600 hours of virtual coaching.
Active Member, Career Directors International. Presently serving on the marketing and membership committee. Past member of the Innovation Committee.
Speaker and Presenter, CDI's 6th Annual International Conference, San Antonio TX, 2007
Continuing Education Ongoing training on the latest industry trends in social networking, resume writing, job search technologies, marketing techniques, and the job market.
Published ColumnistArticles featured in the US Business Journals, Core Net Global, The Wisconsin Law Journal, multiple job boards, blogs and industry association newsletters.
Past Training And CertificationsGraduate: Leadership Orlando, board member: Downtown Orlando Partnership, volunteer teacher: Junior Achievement, special events committee member: House of Mercy; creator, host and fundraiser for multiple charitable causes, volunteer: American Red Cross disaster relief.
Author of "Secrets of the Unadvertised Job Market, Revealed", "Phone Networking Secrets Revealed" and the popular bi monthly ezine: "The Career Insider"
Monday, June 8, 2009
Nancy Aber Goshow, AIA,
Stymied by the wall she was unable to climb in a male-dominated industry,
Nancy stepped away and created her own business and now employs 40 people.
More than anything, Nancy believes that the path to success is to follow your passion. For her, that passion was finding a connection between the natural environment and the built environment and marrying that connection together in building designs. With more than 30 years of experience in architecture, landmark restoration, and sustainable design, Ms. Goshow champions creative collaboration and environmental stewardship as essential to the firm's approach to design excellence.
All along, Nancy’s success has come from focusing on her passion—the same passion she shares when working with the Goshow team and their clients to design a campus or building. Since its launch in 1978, Goshow Architects has grown into a premier full-service architectural firm dedicated to improving communities through implementing long-term, sustainable design solutions.
Under Nancy’s leadership, the firm’s diverse team of 40 has created innovative designs for clients including Columbia University, the City University of New York, Queens College, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Additionally, Goshow Architects’ extensive portfolio includes K-12 schools, multi-family housing developments, projects for government agencies, and for private and non-profit developments.
As with many women who started out in a “male” profession, it was not easy for Nancy to get to where she is today. And it would have been nearly impossible for her to rise through the standard ranks to put her environmentally sustainable ideas into play. In hindsight, striking out on her own was very difficult, especially for a woman during the late 1970s.
Because few options were available for women-owned architectural firms in the private sector, Nancy sought opportunities in the government sector. She got her business off the ground with the help of programs specifically targeted to women-owned businesses.
While some women can’t imagine working with their husbands, and some can’t imagine working with anyone but their husbands, for Nancy, teaming up with her husband Eric was not about the fact that they were married. Instead it was about her insistence that her business partner’s core values aligned with her own and that his skills complimented hers.
Entrepreneurship is not easy. It takes complete commitment to make it work and there is no room for misalignment with partners, employees or clients. Keeping all these elements aligned has allowed Nancy to seek opportunities that have taken her, both as a professional and as a business owner to the next level.
Goshow Architects consistently lives out its founding belief that architects have a social responsibility to create healthy and sustainable living and learning environments for all while minimizing the environmental impact of man-made structures.
This service-based philosophy, embraced and practiced by the firm's richly diverse staff, has resulted in a working environment in which collaborative creativity is prized and exuberant professional growth encouraged. And the outcome has been a portfolio that has garnered significant attention over the years.
A strong advocate of educating and mentoring up-and-coming architects and women entrepreneurs, Nancy has lectured on design and historic preservation at the City University of New York, Pratt Institute, and the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she taught advanced design studios.
Beyond distinguishing herself within the architectural industry, Nancy has also shown herself to be a pioneer for women in business. Through the Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia University, Nancy mentors women MBA students in launching their new businesses. She is the founder of the Women Builders Council, member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, national founding partner and Co-Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee for Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and active with Women Construction Owners and Executives.
For her work within the public policy sector, Nancy was awarded the 2008 WIPP President’s Award for Advocacy. Her appointment to the US Department of State Overseas building Operations Industry Advisory Panel gave her an opportunity to spread transformational eco-diplomacy initiatives worldwide.
Furthermore, when asked in 2003 by the president of the New York State Chapter of the AIA
Committed to improving not only the larger architectural community but also her own local community, Nancy holds appointments to both Midtown Manhattan’s Community Board 5, and the 34th Street Business Improvement District.
Nancy earned a Masters degree in Interior Architecture from the Pratt Institute and a Bachelors degree in Design from Pennsylvania State University. You can learn more about Nancy and the professionals at her extraordinary firm at http://www.goshow.com/
Thursday, June 4, 2009
You can create YOUR Own Best Job........ or your could sign up
to be a sales representative for
San Clemente Soaps!
San Clemente Soaps. their motto is "If you can Dream it, We can Make it!"
We were two young professional women building our careers. We got married to the men of our dreams, had children and watched (still do) them grow with gratefulness and amazement!
Over the years I built up PDQCareers and CT Engineering and my friend Nancy built a real estate business, became a true artist and professional photographer and now an entrepreneur
Nancy created a compelling vision.....she worked hard despite the odds and she is building a wonderful company in California. Celebrities, business people, hospitals and hotels all use San Clemente Soap and Bath products. It is wonderful to see how Nancy's dream has materialized and to see the TLC that goes into her products.
We asked Nancy what some of her secrets of success are and she told us "Creating lasting impressions is the heart of our business…" We serve Hotels/Resorts, Hospitals & Corporate clients and we help each one create something special for their clients too.
San Clemente Soaps Website tells us:
Fragrance is one of the most powerful paths to evoking both memory and emotional euphoric moments. A pleasing aroma and tactile sensation, combined with an artistic memento of a special occasion can create a transcendent experience.
We specialize in creating masterful branding and marketing programs for our clients with custom gift packages and private labels. Our satisfied clients of hotels and resorts, corporations, hospitals, wedding planners, event organizers, day spas, individual gift givers, and people who simply love using our body products stand out from the crowds.
Nancy says: "Our designers use creative packaging and fragrance formulation combined with handmade natural soaps, bath salts, massage oils and other beauty products; all custom made with the finest essential oils, vegetable oils, Shea Butter, and other environmentally safe ingredients. Come away with us. Let us help create the dream you visualize for yourself, your client gifts, or party favors. Together we create lasting impressions with a visual, tactile, and aromatic experience of pleasure, fun and the memory of using our fine handmade decorative soaps and body products for personal use."
Interested in learning more? Reach out to Nancy Davison at
This article proudly written about my dear friend Nancy by Patty De
"If you can dream it, we can make it."
Ans: I don't think any measure will ensure long term employment sustainability since it depends on too many things going one's way at the micro and macro level, e.g., jobs staying within the same country, survival of businesses despite advances in technology that open new frontiers, companies making wise and timely business decisions, employees prioritizing their commitments between work & family, families adjusting to unfamiliar environment, geo-political scenarios, connectivity of world markets, etc. Furthermore, it also depends on the employee's level and profession, e.g., the situation will vary for a manual worker, machinist, HR Manager, Marketing Manager, Consultant, CEO, etc.
1. Keep the BOSS HAPPY
2. NETWORK like there's no tomorrow
3. UPDATE your professional CREDENTIALS
4. Be prepared to SACRIFICE CERTAIN BENEFITS/PERKS, e.g., staying in a particular location
5. Become ACTIVE MEMBER of a STRONG PRESSURE GROUP, e.g., UNIONS”
Q2. Should Organization Development be part of Human Resources function at corporate / enterprise level or be an independent function? (Eric Patki, Linkedin Member)
Ans: We need to first understand the type & size of organization, in which, such a decision needs to be made. Many of the smaller businesses simply can't afford to have another node within the organization reporting directly to the CEO/COO and are quite content with OD under HR. Furthermore, CEOs generally tend to perform well when they have the least amount of reports to ensure their focus on the 'Big Picture' and not be bogged down in playing a referee for sorting out functional rivalries. The semantics of setting up specialized functions can also open a Pandora's Box, since, it can establish a precedence for other emerging/established specialties, e.g., Change Management. I would advocate that it doesn't matter how a function is organized within a business as long as the aims & objectives of the respective function are consistently being met. We do have to be mindful of increasing bureaucracy & complexity on the pretext of functional accommodation
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Start the Self-Paced Program anytime you want - at your convenience.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
by Dianne Gubin
Downtime at Work During a Recession
Some employees are finding that with sales down in this economy, they have fewer projects to keep them busy. This doesn’t mean that their jobs are at stake, but that there is a lull in a normally fast-paced business.
It’s anecdotal, but we’re hearing more stories of workers taking on side projects, playing video games, job hunting at work, or leaving early.
Joyce, a marketing director at a leading healthcare company, said that her normally frenetic schedule has lightened up recently. She still has plenty of work, but her skill level allows her to finish her work earlier than most on her team. Joyce spends the extra time at the office researching a side Internet marketing business she’s getting ready to launch. She said she’s careful not to leave evidence of her personal work on the company’s computer.
Scott, a Web developer, left a job, even during this economy because he was no longer challenged. Scott said that his colleagues are all busy playing video games at work as there just isn’t enough work to keep them in a hectic pace all day.
Annie, an administrative assistant, was fired for job hunting at her desk. One quick look at her Web browsing history showed the activity.
When employed seeking a new job during a down economy:
Put your personal cell phone and email on your résumé
Avoid using your corporate email account for personal business
Don’t job hunt at the office
In most firms, there is always work and projects to create that can move the business forward. Ask how you can help. Seek out new projects. Or volunteer for a professional association where you can learn new skills.
A down economy and less work at the office mean this is a good time to maintain and expand your professional network, take classes, and create better balance in all areas of your life.
Then volunteer four hours of your forty hour week for a non-profit organization.
Many job seekers are realizing that this kind of social investment can pay huge dividends.
Tithing your time and your talent is a great way to launch a career or even jump start a stalled one. This principle also applies to your income. A similar ten percent of it should also be going to charity.You'll feel better about yourself and the world will feel better about you.
John Charnay is a mentor to the Job Club on Linked In. If you would like to become a member of the Job Club, or talk to John directly, please leave a comment below.
1. Great sense of humor
2. Ability to see farther than others
3. Learning from my mistakes
· Master of Industrial Relations & Human Resource Management (Distinction)University of Sydney, Australia
· Certified Six Sigma Black BeltSingapore Quality Institute, Singapore
· MBA in General Management & Marketing (Top 1/3 of Class)Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan
· Post Graduate Diploma in Quality ManagementNational University of Science & Technology (NUST), Pakistan
B.Sc. in Electrical EngineeringNorthern Arizona University, USACurrent StatusManagement Consultant to clients facilitated through the Society of Industrial Leaders, Gerson Lehrman Group Financial & Business Services Council and ki work. Active facilitator, researcher and contributor to professional forums in disseminating practical knowledge pertaining to the resolution of strategic & operational issues related to Organizational Development, Change Management and Performance Management.
My valued friend Patty DeDominic was teasing me today about being a sometime-cynic.
I explained to her that I’m not a cynic by nature, but the current political/economic situation has me in near-hysteria. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see a silver lining among the storm clouds.
Here’s one for people seeking employment or a better opportunity to consider - Agriculture.
For a wide-variety of reasons, crop yields are not keeping up with need, thus placing agriculture in the position of being a growth-industry. Of course, the world population just keeps growing. Many experts think this yield-to-need shortage will continue indefinitely.
America is the world’s breadbasket, and U.S. agri-business is huge. It’s not sexy like a hi-tech company, but it’s big, it’s sophisticated, and it’s stable.
There’s agri-business all over the nation. Just consider the mammoth agricultural presence we have in California alone.
They need all of the people that other companies need – Scientists, Engineers, Executives, Managers, Accountants, Technicians, and a host of other folk.
Take a look at Agriculture as an Industry to pursue. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Al Walsh, CEO
Walsh Enterprises, Business Advisors
Huntington Beach, Ca
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Today you Tweet and Text. You are using shorthand....and speaking a new lingo....just like all the previous generations and cultures of the past.
Things change at NANO-SPEED today...... Nothing can be assumed to be the same as yesterday without double checking our assumptions. Things just change a lot faster today. In Nano-speed, we can build some new bridges and unfortunately, we can destroy them too.
Building a career and maintaining healthy relationships will require more care today. Take care today to not blow off people and contacts, just because we can "replace" them in a few days or weeks on line. Words and language, particularly short hand can be easily misunderstood and by lots of people at once, since it can be broadcast to large audiences in light speed. Can you transmit the tone too? Or are we teaching people to be less sensitive to others? I worry about this and while I have occasionally accused of being " On Task" versus "On Relationships" and sensitive to people's feelings. We do not want to build a generation of broadcasters who can't tune in to their audience. Or who don't care how their messages affect the receiver.
Many of my readers know that I am a former professional recruiter. I built and ran, then sold a multimillion dollar staffing firm that staffed Universities, Hospitals, Insurance and Telcom and other mega firms as well as small business, government and not for profit organizations. (CT Engineering and PDQ Personnel to Select Staffing). We frequently provided advice for New College Grads…..and have done so over the years as we mentored students at Stanford University, Harvard, The Kennedy School of Government, Pepperdine University, Northwood University, UCSB, USC and UCLA. I also mentor a group called Future Women CEO’s which is a university based network of bright energetic college women who plan to become business leaders.
Today, as my profession, I do specialized consulting, actually COACHING of High Achieving Executives, Professionals and Organizations. I also advise national and international organizations on recruiting and still occasionally oversee executive searches.
I am a big fan of Social Media and the talent of young people today. I am excited for new college grads although I know it can be a time of anxiety for many of the senior class and new grads.
Never in my lifetime has there been such uncertainty in the employment sectors…..and at the same time there has never been such wide opportunity for building a meaningful career and knowledge!
It used to be that we told Students to choose their major and get an internship in their chosen field. They were to subscribe to professional periodicals and choose the city and industry they wanted to focus on. Twenty years ago we also told them to expect to spend ten or more years building a career and professional reputation. If they changed jobs more than twice in a decade they were negatively labeled.
Not today - It’s Now a Gig-Nation!
Much of the old wisdom and culture has changed since the 1990’s and the recession which followed the dot com bust. Today’s international financial meltdowns also give new college grads a chance to really choose work that speaks to their heart instead of just their bank book. Because no one is assured a signing bonus or big paycheck security today... this gives you a chance to really think about doing work that gives you the most personal satisfaction.
New Job Offers are coming.....but they don't look as pretty as they did in years past. Pretty much everyone if they do get offered full time work will be hired on an "At Will" basis or on a Contract. Their “gig” is likely to last a few months or just a few years, not a decade as in the past. Most college grads know and expect this and that is the biggest difference I see over previous generations who really did think they were going to me able to make a lasting contribution to their firm.
These uncertainties of a “ gig-nation” make for plenty of anxiety and pressure on young people and mid life career changers. Global competition is also a factor in almost every industry today – if it is labor intensive it can probably be outsourced outside of the USA cheaper. My generation did not have to deal with the global aspects anywhere near what is taken for granted today. Young people are accustomed to this and seem much better prepared to deal with the differences in cultures, languages and parts of the world. Tolerance for differences seems deeply embedded into this generations shills. Most of us now know that these important virtual global connections can serve us well for sourcing experts and finding skills worldwide as well as our continuing education and cultural experiences.
Key Points I want to reinforce for Job Hunters:
1. Use every means possible to communicate your desired career path to activate referrals. This includes social media, on line job boards, professional organizations, certification bodies and educational/alumni associations.
2. Get good at Finding Mentors – and make it a win- win relationship. You’ll outgrow plenty of mentors over the years but keep your old contacts warm and develop new ones every years as well.
3. Referrals are like gold and people love helping others become more successful. Tap into these via the social networks and the people who love to Connect and share resources. They are out there, particularly on line.
4. Social Media is the modern day extension of the social networks of yesterday…….. with all the pluses and minuses of “networking”. Networks work. They have cultures and you can leverage their collective wisdom.
5. Most people will not do the extra work to cultivate networks, but some do and those are the ones you want to really connect with.
6. People involved in Networks (today’s lingo: Social Networks) know who the leaders are and with a few questions to a few active people you can usually find the Connectors and the Leaders of the Networks.
7. People who have spent years building this skills and professional reputations do things to stand out in the crowd, they write and publish their findings & often their opinions. Their reputations and “networks” tell more about them than you can learn in five interviews! Find your next boss by his or her reputation and let them know why you want to work with them. Real Pros love people who are discerning.
8. If a job or person looks too good to be true………they probably are. (“Let me show you how to make your million” – yeah, right, pleased save us all from the get rich quick game)
9. The best interviewers are not always the best candidates ….. interviewing and performing (execution, team work, leading etc) are not the same skill sets. Most professional recruiters know it’s essential to have a well crafted job description before you go out recruiting HUNTING for your prize candidate. Try to get a copy of the prepared job description and make a presentation about yourself which focused your strengths on their needs.
10. Do not put all your efforts/eggs in one basket. Reach out to generate sufficient job leads from a number of sources likes ads, internal and external referrals, so that you have a good choice of potential employers to talk to. Unless you have a really good reason, don’t turn down opportunities for informational interviews. Get good at your “elevator speech” and soon you’ll find yourself in the finalists category.
11. Ask for Feedback from your referral sources and places you have interviewed. Feedback is the real breakfast of champions and they utilize it well!
12. Keep your network alive after you get the job. Don’t make the mistake of having to build new bridges every time you need to look for a new job……. Don’t burn any bridges and keep your networks lubricated.