Getting a Job
Getting a Job that's a Career
What's the difference between a Job and a Career? Some jobs that you get are just jobs. You may hate going to work because all you have is a job. So what is a Career? A career is the kind of work that makes people roll out of bed at 7:00 every morning and exclaim, "It's time for work!" People with a career love to work. Why? A job is work. A career is what you want to do. Some people never actually have a career. These are the people that sit around in their cubicles all week marking off the days until they can retire. If you want a real career it will take a combination of hard work, determination, and a little attitude adjustment.
How to Find your Job
Finding a job can be difficult or easy. It depends on how you go about it. There are a few things you can do find jobs, and get a job, more easily.
1.) Focus your Job Search
Before you start searching for your new job you need to focus on what exactly it is you are looking for. Don't waste time trying to find a job if it doesn't match up with your interests, skills, or even if the location is wrong. There are some aspects you may need to negotiate on, but start off looking for a job that is really what you could see yourself doing for a while. Here are some tips to find a great job
2.) Build Yourself Up
Yes, you need to market yourself. While in the past your resume was the only thing you had to worry about, today is a lot different. Work on building up a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter account that portrays you in a professional light. One that helps to highlight your abilities. Then, when you turn in your resume you can be sure if your employer decides to "Google" you, they will only find more complimentary material. It's time to take them beyond social chatter, find how to make them work for you!
Now that you have a profile on a social site like Facebook or LinkedIn, start connecting. Build yourself a massive network of contacts. You never know who might be of help in trying to find a job or even just putting in a good word for you with your employer-to-be.
4.) Use the Tools Available
Save yourself some time by knowing where to look. Newspapers, magazines, local business owners, and the internet all have a lot of job opportunities in them. The kind of job opening you want will depend on where you search. For example, if you wanted a job in construction you may check the newspaper or internet-but you wouldn't go to the bakery on the corner that's hiring.
Do your homework. What industry are you trying to get into? Is there a particular company you would like to work for? What do you want to earn at your job? What drives you to succeed, and can it be found in this line of work? Find this out beforehand. (To help find out what drives you, you should learn about Schein's Career Anchors.)
6.) Your Resume
Now We're getting back to what you may have already been coached on. Your resume and cover letter. They may seem "old-school" but they are important-in fact you probably won't get a job without them. But what you may not have heard is how to make them effective. Trim stuff out of your resume that is not important for the job you are looking for. They are referred to as "targeted resumes" and they enable an employer to see why exactly you are qualified for the certain position he is offering, right now. Targeted resumes have a much better chance of landing you a job than a generic resume. Don't worry if your resume isn't up to snuff. It's not too late to save your resume.
Whew! If you got to this step you have successfully found a job. Now you just have to get it. For tips on how to ace your interview read the section titled, "Sealing the Deal." Good luck!
Sealing the Deal
Getting a Job can be a little difficult. (Especially with today's economy.) But there are a few things you can do that will make you stand out from the rest of the group and get a job.
1.) Dress for the position you would like to get. You don't have to buy new clothes-just look well put together. Make sure your clothes are clean and fit well.
2.) Be well-groomed. Be clean and modest in appearance.
3.) Be familiar with the job description.
4.) Be on time.
5.) Research the company you want to work for. Find out what interests you about the company and make sure your skills match up with what is required.
6.) Be on your best behavior. That means being extra polite, friendly, etc.
7.) Bring extra copies of your resume. (Which means you need to make at least one to begin with.) See my Building a Resume lens for more tips.
8.) Take notes and ask intelligent questions.
9.) Be ready for their questions.
10.) After the interview thank all the interviewers.
11.) Ask when you can follow-up regarding recruitment status. Be persistent, but not pushy.
12.) Ask for a business card. (So you can send a prompt thank-you note.)
13.) Be confident, but not cocky.
14.) Last but not least, Smile!
For more interview tips check out how to be effective in a job interview
Books on Getting a Job
How To Impress Your Boss
Care about People
Speak your Mind
Ask for Help
Cope with "Curve balls"
How To Impress Your Boss More
Exude Positive Energy
Broaden Your Horizons
Be a Team Player
Take Care of Yourself
Be a Leader
How To Impress Your Boss Even More
Be on Time
Tell your Boss your Ambitions
Ask for Feedback
Take on new Responsibilities
Give more than Expected
How To Make Your Boss Love You
Motivate Yourself and Others
Stay on Task
Pay Attention to Detail
Be Company Oriented
Making your Job a Career
How's it Done?
Now that you have a job, it's time to make it a Career. Yeah, right. Make my dumb job a career? Well, there are three different kinds of work. You can work at a Job, where you are pretty much there just to put in hours and get paid. You can work at a Career, where you enjoy your line of work-but more satisfaction comes the better you do. Or you can work at a Passion, which is where you enjoy what you do-regardless of position, pay, or prestige. So, with any job you have, you could make it a career. All you need is to develop what is called "Job Satisfaction." Job Satisfaction is comes from the perfecting of seven basic "ingredients."
The first step is to really get to know yourself. What triggers your feeling of satisfaction? Generally satisfaction comes when most of your work falls into your skill set. So analyze what your skills are. Identify what type of work is compatible with your strengths. It will be hard to be satisfied when you are doing something you are no good at all day-so make sure you pick a job that you can excel in. Another important component is to analyze how you work. Find out what atmospheres motivate and inspire you to do your very best work. (Also find out what de-motivates and discourages you from doing your best, so you can avoid it.)
Though you may not admit it, everyone loves a stimulating challenge. Something that will make you "think outside the box" and push yourself to achieve. This is why most people are not pleased with their current job. It's boring. Figure out what you need to do to keep things moving and lively at work so you don't grow stale on the job. Here are some suggestions.
+ Set performance goals-That's right: beat your old record, learn a new skill, or become better at what you already are good at. Or, if you want a really challenging challenge, pick out one of your strongest weaknesses -- and then turn it into a strength.
+ Teach another person a skill-Believe me, nothing is more challenging (or rewarding) than teaching a skill to someone else.
+ Ask for more responsibilities-If you want more on your plate, you can usually get some more responsibilities.
+ Start a new, creative project-One that will make you think a little differently than usual.
+ Commit to be current-Yes, read a business book, go to a seminar, update your skill sets to the modern world's needs.
Variety is closely linked to challenge. Boredom is the culprit again. To keep from becoming too bored there are a few things you can do.
+ Cross-train to learn a new set of skills.
+ Ask to be moved to a different department that uses your same skill sets.
+ Ask to work a different shift.
+ Take a vacation!
(All jobs have some tasks that are inherently repetitive and cannot be changed up. If this is the case, just make sure you do them well and then take your lunch break somewhere new.)
4.) Positive Mental Attitude
Yes, your job is mental! (I know you say that all the time.) If you are constantly upset, depressed, or angry you will never be satisfied with your job. You need to adjust your attitude. This can be difficult to do at times, so here are a few tips to help you make the change.
+ When you have a negative thought, don't dwell on it.
+ Try to re-frame bad situations in a different light.
+ Look at things others say in the correct context.
+ View obstacles as challenges.
+ Say, "You win some, you learn from some." Mistakes aren't all bad.
5.) Knowing your Options
If you feel like you've run out of options, or that you never had any to begin with, you can get a little anxious. If you don't curb this thinking early, you can get to the point where anything seems more inviting than your job. Find out what options you have. Options = Control. You will be much happier if you can choose to stay than if you feel forced into working. To help you focus on options you should:
+ Keep a list of special accomplishments.
+ Update your resume constantly.
+ Keep up to date with market trends.
+ Adopt the, "I'm keeping my options open" mentality.
6.) Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle
There is a fine line between work life and home life. When you focus too much on one of them, not only does the other suffer, but you are out of balance. When out of balance, both sides of your life suffer. There are many resources that will help you see that work is work and home is home.
7.) Your Sense of Purpose
Last, but not least, is what drives you. Why do you even have a job? A huge factor in job satisfaction (for most people) is to know that what you do all day actually impacts others in the world. Almost any job, if you look hard enough, has an underlying purpose. Something that benefits those around you. If you're struggling to see why your job is important take a step back to see what would happen if no one did your job. Then, you will be more likely to see what it is that you do to help others.
Do you have a Job or a Career?
Do you have a Job or a Career?