When it comes to careers, there should never be gray area — only black and white. You should either love your job or leave it.
Look, life is way too short. You will spend the bulk of your life at your job. Why would you ever allow yourself to hate Mondays or become impatient with the clock tickin.....
Look, life is way too short. You will spend the bulk of your life at your job. Why would you ever allow yourself to hate Mondays or become impatient with the clock ticking to 5? If you find yourself in that position, my advice is simple: get out!
After deciding to make the next step, you now have to plan. Finding your dream job is not as simple as reading a LinkedIn ad and forwarding a resume. It is much more calculated. Even when you have a resume that is stacked with accomplishments, logos and loyalty, you still need to have a strategy in place to turn your last job into your next career.
Here are five tips to positioning yourself for the right 9-to-whatever-it-takes (because you love where you work):
Understand that you are one in a million: I recently placed a job posting for a Social Media Manager. A week later, I have more than 1,000 resumes. What does this mean? You better be interesting enough in that firm impression to make it to the next round. Read the job posting. Understand exactly what you are applying for. Don’t just press apply to every new posting that comes up hoping something sticks. Be strategic. Before you begin your search, create two lists. List one will be the pros and cons of you. List the wants and needs for your next career. Then match both lists up with what you want. Also, don’t just apply for jobs that exist on LinkedIn — proactively search for companies you admire.
Stay at your job for a year: I know I am encouraging you to find your career, but be thoughtful about it. When you leave a job before your year mark, that will typically create a red flag on your resume. Fair or unfair, of the 1,000 resumes I received, 700 were deleted immediately for having two stopovers of less than a year. I don’t want employees who want a paycheck. I want employees who want to become CEO of my company. Therefore, if you bounce around, you won’t make it through my cut. Showcase stability and loyalty in your career process.
Write a cover letter that has meaning: The “To Whom It May Concern” emails annoy me. Hi, my name is Nick. You can read about me on our agency’s website — or in the job posting, or on LinkedIn. When you write TWIMC, it shows me that you haven’t looked at our site, you don’t know what we do, and most importantly, you sent that same cover letter to 1,000 companies. Come on, son. Put some passion behind your career. If you want to work in social media, show me. And if you only have 50 LinkedIn connections, explain to me why. A cover letter is your pick-up line. When it is boring and duplicated, you won’t even get a dance.
Follow-up in a thoughtful way (and read the signs that she’s just not that in to you): You went on that first date. You thought it was magical. She gave you an awesome hug good night. You hoped she would invite you in for a nightcap, but didn’t. Well, she’s just not that in to you, so don’t drown her with calls and texts. The same goes for calling cell phone of the CEO or sending multiple emails making sure they saw your resume. It’s not a great follow-up. My brother’s friend once sent a scratch off lottery ticket to the jobs he was interested in, then followed-up with a note, asking if they had won the lottery. Clearly, they hadn’t, so he responded, “you could, with me as your next hire.” That’s creative. That’s smart. That helps you stand out.
Stand Out: If you want a job, get it. Don’t accept a “no.” But don’t resort to force — be creative. Compassion, emotion and a true showcasing of a matched skill-set will help position you in the right way. You must standout to cut through the other 1,000 resumes. A little effort goes a long way.
In my world, I work with a lot of franchisees — people who decided their next career was to work for themselves. This is their clear path. Yours may be working for a great P.R. firm, or envisioning a path that leads you to becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Whatever direction you want to head — head there. Don’t wait. Don’t just pick something for the sake of picking something. Be picky.