Monthly Archives: February, 2015

Helping Others in Job Search

“Helping others become more effective” is a result claimed by many mentors and coaches.  To be perceived as someone who is effective and influential in job search networks, spend time trying to improve your contacts’ job search.

On job-search mornings, when I wasn’t networking or exercising, I’d find myself sitting in front of a monitor, coffee in hand, needing a few minutes to warm up before getting into heavy research.  For my brain’s warm-up, I’d often spend 10 or 15 minutes checking my best contacts’ LinkedIn profiles, and provide endorsements for any newly listed skills.  I recall almost falling off my chair laughing when I saw that one friend had added “Dangerously Handsome” as a skill.

Do you know what your contacts are looking for in their job search?   If not, then you’re unable to effectively refer people to them.  Discussions over coffee, or networking, provide you a forum to share your background, and current goals, with each other.  These talks are not meant to make you feel bad if you do not have an immediate contact or reference to offer the other person.  If you understand each other better after the discussion, then it was worth the time.

Public Domain Image

Public Domain Image

Over time, you’ll build a knowledge bank of people with skills in different industries, etc.  With this, you’ll have a larger set of names available when a recruiter contacts you with opportunity that isn’t a match for you, but could be a match for one of your contacts.  You’ll know this is the case, because you’ve already spent time talking with that person, and you know the types of roles she is looking for.

This was precisely how my first job search ended.  One of my job search work team members mentioned my name to a recruiter, and eventually, this resulted in a phone screening, then interview, then a job offer.  How great did it make my day, to get the offer.. .and how great did it make her day, knowing that it began from a referral she’d provided?  It was an awesome day for each of us.

Helping others, in a tangible way, shows that you continue to make a positive impact on those around you, even while unemployed.   By connecting a person with a certain skill, with someone who has a corresponding need, you are helping them (both) be more effective.  As this continues, the circle of people helped by your efforts will become larger, and they will be able to refer YOU to someone who is looking for your skills.

Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor.  He has experience in software development, project management, and has interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.

© 2015 Blog to Work | Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved

What Most Surprised Me in Job Search

For over ten years, the cycle of workforce reductions continued until my position was eliminated.  Although no two job searches are the same, I believe no one goes through their job search without experiencing a few surprises along the way.   As I was unable to rank one item as ‘the most surprising’ here are five items that caught me by surprise during my ten month job search.  Do any of these surprises resonate with you?

What surprises will be in your job search? Public Domain Image

What Surprises Will be in Your Job Search?
Public Domain Image

1/ Being informed, through an HR panel, that having been with one company for over 20 years was generally considered a detriment.  The first concern in a reviewer’s mind would be “Can this person work somewhere else?”

I thought that having made it through the many rounds of reductions, would have demonstrated that I was able to provide a lot of value (as I was kept on for so long).   I was wrong.

2/  The level of support, shared experience, advice, and honest feedback that I’d receive (and provide) through my job search work team was beyond my expectations.

3/ Realizing my (helpful and expensive) outplacement agency was not trying to get me an interview.  They offered help in many other aspects of job search, but although I heard that “Often, companies contact us for candidates,” I never heard of anyone in our outplacement program having been referred for a phone screening.

4/ People that you don’t know very well will end up being the most helpful to you.   I observed this many times.  For whatever reason, your good friends, and long-time colleagues tend to not be where the contacts and job leads come from.  (Perhaps because the contacts would have been extended prior to you being unemployed?)  The contact which led to my first hired position was made through a fellow job search work team member.

5/ Fully believing (embracing the fact) that the unemployed person is 100% just as successful as the employed person.  This took me some time, experience in talking with a lot of unemployed folks.  Although prior to job search, I “kinda-sorta-could” agree with that statement, it was clearly not a position that I fully owned.

What surprises did you experience in your job search?

Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor.  He has experience in software development, project management, and has interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.

© 2015 Blog to Work | Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved