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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
Jul062014

3 things you can do TODAY to accelerate your job search.

 

The watermelon has been devoured. 

The fireworks lie in a charred pile of rubble in the recycle bin.

The ice has melted in the cooler, the sand is (mostly) gone from the beach bag (ok, not mostly).

The 4th of July is over.

Now what?


If you're smart (and dying to make a meaningful career change, sooner rather than later), now's the time to hit the pedal to the medal, and not just because you're out of sparklers.

More importantly, now's the time because these summer weeks are perfect ones for cooking up a killer strategy that will move you toward that job or life you've been dreaming about ... now.

Think about it. What's your competition doing right now? I'll tell you what they're doing.

They're paddling around on inflatable dolphins in backyard pools. They're heading out into the wilderness with their bug spray, walking sticks and tents. They're throwing back mojitos on some outdoor patio. They're trying to figure out exactly how they're going to keep the kids entertained for another month and a half.

They're loafing. They're not fussing with job search; they're busy doing summer.

So what can you do, today, to accelerate your search while the rest of the world is kicking back?

  1.  Optimize your LinkedIn profile.  

  2. What do I mean by "optimize"? I mean think about who you'd like to have find you online, and how you want them to feel once they do. You want a recruiter to find you for a digital strategist role? Well then, you'd best make sure your LinkedIn profile is ripe with messaging and specific terms that make it clear that you're an outstanding digital strategist. Likewise, you want to make sure the profile showcases both your skills AND your personality. Write the summary in a conversational manner. Have a great headline. Make sure your photo demonstrates to me that you're an engaging, approachable human. (Need help? Check out our Ridiculously Awesome LinkedIn Kit).

  3. Think about where you'd love to work, and then build a plan of attack.

    I'm guessing that many of you have a short list of companies in mind that you'd squeal with joy over the opportunity to work for, right? Of course you do. So get those companies out of your head and onto paper. Now mosey over to their websites and see if they have any openings that would be a great match for you. If no, are you done? Nnnnoooooo, you aren't even close to done.

    Get on LinkedIn and key that company name into the search box. Do you have any 1st or 2nd degree contacts working at these companies? Or maybe you share a Group affiliation with someone at one? THESE are the people to whom you must endear yourself. Endear yourself so you can learn more about what it's like to work there, what positions might be a good match for you, and what openings might be coming up soon. Even better, once you establish a crony on the inside? She's likely going to be very helpful in getting you on the hiring manager's radar. Don't call it a day after you apply online. Never. Find people on the inside, and buddy up.

     
  4. Check out "Build a Career that Works for Your Life" this week. 

  5. I'm fortunate to be among the instructors in a weeklong e-course (that starts at 8 p.m. ET today) presented by Quistic.com and Recruiter.com. Working alongside career strategist (and former U.S. News & World Report careers writer) Alexis Grant and nationally known career coach Anne Omland (among others), we'll spend five evenings sharing strategies on building your personal brand, creating a viable path to your next career / job, and harnessing social media tools and recruiter relationships to help you land a great new role. 

    If you're interested, you can register right HERE.

    Be sure and use discount code JOBJENNY at checkout, and score yourself a seat for $25 instead of the regular $47 price.  If you miss any of the early days, the content is also available on-demand, so you can catch up in a jiffy.

Should you miss out on summer in the name job search? Of course not. But if you make a few thoughtful moves in between your road trips, pool parties and BBQs, you're going to be very happy come Labor Day. 

Because you'll be far ahead of the pack of summer loafers.

(And then can kick back with your mojito and watch them scramble.)

 

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.