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Monday
Jul282014

How social media can screw up job search.

 

 

For years, I've been a huge proponent of harnessing the power of social media tools for job search. 

Huge.


Never in history have we as professionals had so many tools at our fingertips ... tools that allow us to present our brands to the universe, at the click of a button.

Tools that enable us to find and chat with company leaders, research organizations that we'd die to work for, and rally our friends and associates for support along the way.

I get giddy sometimes just thinking about the magnificent power of social media.

But a recent conversation made me realize something -- there's also huge downside to social media when it comes to job search, or progressing our lives in general.

We let it eat up all of our spare time.

 

Worse, we let it eat up all of our spare brain space.

The conversation was with a client who works full time, has two small children and feels constantly stressed by the lack of free time in her daily and weekly schedule. She wants to find a new, better job, badly. But feels she just has no time to dedicate to making it happen.

Same woman spends at least 1-2 hours a night on Facebook and Pinterest. 

"After I put the kids to bed, I just mindlessly surf," she admitted. "Sometimes, I feel like I have a specific purpose, but most often, I just want to veg out and see what I stumble upon."

A recipe. A nugget of wisdom from a friend. A purse that she cannot live without. Photos of the heartbreaker who dumped her in her senior year of high school (he looks old and unhappy now, ha!) A picture of some hideous chia seed smoothie with an absurd "Yummmmmy" caption. Certainly nothing groundbreaking, my client admitted.

But she keeps going back to it, night after night after night.

And her job search isn't just sluggish; it's non-existent.

So if you're finding yourself in that boat where you hate your job, feel you're underappreciated, know you're underpaid, or would give your left arm to work for that company across town ... yet you never seem to have the time to do anything about it?

Consider logging your social media time for a week. Every minute you gravitate over to Facebook, log it. Every Pinterest board you open, log it. Every life moment you interrupt so you can Instagram it, log it.

Add up that time, and then consider the pay off. Do you feel like a better person, a happier person, a more fulfilled person because you now know what '70s star you'd be or what color homecoming dress your neighbor's kid just picked out?

Could you have allocated that time to move yourself forward instead?

I'm guessing the answer is yes.

We're all so busy, so overscheduled, so frantic and frazzled with the pace of our lives.

But if you really want a change ... get the hell off of Facebook for a while. 

And get the hell on with your amazing life.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Chris Lott)

Tuesday
Jul152014

It's time to hang on the "life" side of the "work/life" equation.

 

I'm going to admit something: The term"work/life balance" makes me want to both throw things, and cry. 

I'm an entrepreneur.

A consultant.

One who is called upon daily to help people dig out, move forward and take massive leaps in the direction of their career dreams.

I work 60-hour weeks. I do not wear this as a badge of honor.

Most days, I stare at a computer screen until my eyeballs are searing red fireballs. 

And then, I stare at it some more.

I respond to emails at 11:42 p.m., after everyone's in bed and the house is, at last, quiet.

I burn the candle at every end, mostly because I love my job so much that I just don't know how to shut 'er down a lot of the time. But also because as a working parent, it's hard to make everything fit. 

Really hard.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, most months, I have very little "work/life balance".

But here's the thing ...


I absolutely adore my husband and my kids. 

I like to cook, read, garden and run. (OK, I'm stretching it just a bit on the "like" part of running.)

And I have this amazing extended family, who I almost never get to see ... because they live 3,000 miles away.

I will be seeing them over the next several days.

I will be riding in this exact boat, swimming in this exact lake and catching up with my sister (more than likely over coffee cocktails) on this exact bench.

I'm going to sit by a bonfire, listen to my people play guitar, track sandy feet into a cottage and warn my kids that 6 s'mores might 2 or 3 be too many.

I'm so excited, I can barely sit still.

Be assured, all projects will keep rolling whilst I recharge. Our team is front-and-center, and Karen Friesen will be holding down the fort while I'm away. 

Your success means the world to me, to all of us here at JobJenny.com.

But for the next few days? I need to go hang more on the "life" side of the "work/life balance" equation. 

Thank you for being here. I'll BRB.

 

 

Sunday
Jun152014

SearchSmarter: 50 Ways to Get a Job

 
SearchSmarter is a new, periodic series that will showcase emerging tools designed to make managing your job search (or career) easier, smarter and/or a lot less overwhelming. Karen Friesen debuts SearchSmarter with a report on an incredibly cool new website, 50 Ways to Get a Job.

Raise your hand if you know this foolproof, three-step formula for landing a great job. 

It goes a little something like this:

1. Get your resume in order.
2. Scour the internet for a custom-made opportunity to fit your skills.
3. Slap a cover letter together, apply, and wait for the offers to roll in.

Oh, wait. That hasn’t been your experience? 

Well, of course not. Landing the perfect job is rarely so easy. (And is anything truly foolproof?) Even if your list of accomplishments includes earning straight A’s at Harvard Business School (congratulations all three of you), finding a career you love means knowing what you’re great at and what brings you satisfaction, searching out those opportunities and convincing a potential employer that YOU are the person they have been waiting for.

Oh, and keeping calm and focused in the process. 

A just launched website aims to help job seekers uncover their career purpose, take positive action, and -- importantly -- stay sane in the process. Best of all, it’s free.

Created by Dev Aujla, co-author of “Making Good,” 50 Ways to Get a Job does more than just throw out the “normal platitudes of find your passion and follow your bliss,” says Aujla. “We set out to give (job seekers) those steps in as tangible and actionable a form as possible.”

That’s right. Wherever you are in your job search, 50Ways aims to help by doling out – you guessed it – 50 different “missions” to inch you closer to your dream job.

Just starting a job search?

Click in and “Map Your Current Career Path,” “Discover How Long Your Money Will Last,” or “Update LinkedIN As Your Future Self.” 

Feeling “Overwhelmed” or “Stuck”?

50Ways is on the case, with assignments ranging from “Sit Quietly in a Room for 45 Minutes” (it’s about unplugging and relaxing) and “Help 5 People” to “Remove all Tolerations” (we all have them; I just didn’t know what they were called.)

The site, Ajila explains, “is set up as a linear list of 50, but once you begin doing the exercises you will see how interrelated they all are. There is no linear way to find a job and there is no ‘right’ path through the site. Find something that resonates with you, take ten minutes, turn off your computer and do the work.”

Once you’ve moved on to applying for jobs and interviewing, missions still abound. Thought-provoking, action-packed, reflective and interactive, the 50Ways map to finding meaningful work offers activities for every mood or state of mind. 

This is not, Aujla emphasizes, the path to employment that the media showcases. The exercises outlined were tested and researched over a three-year period. Choose one step, choose three or do all 50.

As Aujla says, “there are tools and exercises for everyone. Whether you are in a job currently and are unhappy or have been unemployed or under-employed for a year there are steps that will help you build momentum and meet the person that will hire you.”

Now that’s a plan we can get on board with.