When I train career advisors and job seekers on the strategic approach to the job search, I make sure to mention a resume is an obituary. Resumes do a great job telling people what you did. Where you worked. What things you've done in your past that made a difference. Related:Job Search: How To Write Accomplishment Stories Resumes have a place in the job search as well. They are requirements in many HR departments' intake process. They help hiring managers to remember you after an interview and pass you along the chain. But to really stand out from the rest requires you demonstrate the value you can bring in the future, not the past. Remember, you are being hired to solve someone's problems.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
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Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
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Moving up in your career takes skill and determination. It also requires you to work on your career, not just in it. When we think about people who have mastered the art of career advancement, executives and other business leaders come to mind—those at the top who know their stuff and are very influential within their organization and line of work.
To inspire you to reach new heights in your career, we recently asked our leading executives, "What is the smartest thing you have done to advance your career?"
Here are their responses...
Lisa Perry, Global Marketing Executive
Image from Bigstock
The single smartest thing I’ve done to advance my career was to get an MBA. At the time, I was a marketing manager working for a company called Schwan’s (markets frozen food products in grocery stores). I had three objectives in going back to school to get my MBA: work within the CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry, advance my career, and increase my salary. It took me three years to get my MBA, going at night after working all day. Once I graduated, I was able to secure a job with ConAgra Brands, a Fortune 500 CPG company, as a brand manager. My salary increased by over 55% with ConAgra Brands. During my four years with the company, I had the opportunity to work for some of the most established brands within their portfolio like Orville Redenbacher and Chef Boyardee. And my salary grew by over 48% during my tenure with the company.
From ConAgra Brands, I’ve gone on to work for companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Activision to mid-size companies, and emerging growth start-ups. My MBA has paid off tenfold for me and opened up huge opportunities throughout my career.
Lisa Perry helps companies build leadership brands, driving loyal customers & delivering profitability. She does this through a process that builds brands consumers love. Her goal is to help companies develop, monetize, and grow their brands.
Jim Black, Engineering & Technical Executive
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As I sit and think about this subject, I am flooded with many things. Defining the "smartest" is proving to be challenging. As I continue to contemplate the idea, one thing remains constant... never giving up on learning.
When I am feeling stagnant in my career, I realize I am not learning something. When I am frustrated by a task, I learn from others how to accomplish that objective. When I am confused or stumped by a problem, I seek others in the world who have struggled for answers. The common theme... I am learning.
The Buddhists have a saying in Ch'an (Chinese version of Zen) to "Always have a beginner's mind." This saying has served me well because I approach a situation as an opportunity to learn. Place judgment aside, remove my preconceived notions, and enter the situation with curiosity. By opening my eyes to the learning experience, I can grow and become better than I was yesterday. Keeping this optimism is often difficult in the modern workplace; however, in the times I take a setback, I find my greatest opportunity to grow. Growth leads to opportunity. Opportunity has been how I advance my career.
Jim Black is an engineering professional focused on the development of technical professionals. He is also a professional bass player.
Liam Anderson, Contact Center Technology Consultant
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My career is more like a bowl of spaghetti than a linear progression. My smartest moves came from recognizing two kinds of opportunities:
1. Doing something no one else wants to do. In my case, this included traveling to train clients in “undesirable” places, (that’s how I ended up in Siberia!), writing documentation (too “boring” for the techies), and creating a 5-level language course for the Bulgarian Army, in my spare time, in a week (task considered "insane").
2. Sorting out disasters. This included building a client’s compliance process from scratch when we had a violation and retraining a customer free of charge because they had not been trained when given the product. No one gets the Medal of Honor in ideal conditions!
If you can be the person who gets the “crap” jobs done, or who fixes things when they go sideways, then you’ll get the right reputation.
Liam Anderson has spent the last 15 years in the contact center industry technology space. He helps customers use this technology to achieve and sustain business success.
Dr. Hannah Hartwell, Learning & Development Executive
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Professional networking for sure! Networking in the sense of creating mutually beneficial relationships rather than short-term interactions. There are countless ways to do this, especially by joining professional associations and taking on leadership roles. If there isn’t an association that captures your interest, then maybe start a new one yourself.
Networking has given me a broader perspective and opened career opportunities that I didn’t even know existed. The luxury of a well-maintained professional network adds more value both as an individual contributor and as a leader. Most importantly, networking is about helping the other person. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “How can I help you?”
Dr. Hannah Hartwell is a learning and development executive and change management practitioner with 15+ years of business transformation experience in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, higher education, and professional services industries.
Andrea Markowski, Marketing Executive
Image from Bigstock
If you believe in yourself, you should bet on yourself.
Are you the type of person who’s never happy with the status quo and who always seeks out challenges?
Whenever I find myself starting to veer into zombie mode (doing the same thing repeatedly with no additional sense of joy, wonder, or accomplishment), I know it’s time to learn a new skill.
Over the years, this has meant taking evening college courses, earning additional certifications, and mastering new technology. This is precisely how I gained a key promotion at a former company, during the midst of a large layoff, no less.
My biggest pivot was going back to school full-time to earn my MBA. It was the right decision for me, and my career has advanced even more because of it.
Again: If you believe in yourself, you should bet on yourself!
Andrea Markowski is a marketing director with specializations in strategy development, digital tactics, design thinking, and creative direction. She has superpowers in presentations and public speaking.
What's the smartest thing you've done to advance your career? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily's Executive Program.
Congratulations! After months of job hunting, you finally got hired for the job you wanted!
Getting a new job is exciting. However, after the dust settles from celebrating this accomplishment, you have some work to do.
Being a new employee can be tough sometimes. But if you're ready to embrace the challenge, you can make a smooth transition into your new role.
Here are a few tips to make sure you start your new job off on the right foot.
Understand The Company Culture
First, take time to get to know the culture of your new company. The best way to do this is to schedule meetings with your team—both those who will be working for you and with you.
Ask them questions about their work routine and how they get things accomplished. It's also a good idea to get a sense of how easy or difficult it is to implement new ideas and initiatives. This will give you a good feel for how adaptable (or how slow) the company culture is to change.
You should also take note of your own workplace personality and how it fits into the company culture. If you're in need of a good personality test, try Work It Daily's FREE Workplace Personas Quiz.
Identify The Key StakeholdersBigstock
Next, find out who the key stakeholders are for your specific role and meet with them. For example, if you are entering a company as a finance manager, find out who the key business leaders are that you will be supporting in your position.
Take time to build relationships with them and understand their primary financial concerns. You should also take time to get to know their work routines, and the best times and ways to communicate with them. While communication is important, it's also important to respect each other's schedules.
Find A Work BuddyBigstock
Another tip to help you get off on the right foot at your new job is to get a work buddy. This should be a peer who works on the same team or in the same department as you.
This person will help you figure out who's who and give you some inside information on some of those office politics. It's important to understand the team dynamic so you don't step on anyone's toes or disrupt the culture when you first get there.
Your buddy is also there for you to ask questions such as, "How do I order office supplies?" or "How do I set up my voice mailbox?"
Show Your Commitment To The Job
Next, have a career conversation with your boss. This lets him or her know you're serious about and committed to growing your career. When you first start working at your new company, you may not know enough (yet) to speak specifically about the career paths available there. However, take time to have a conversation with your manager about your aspirations.
Share information about your desires to advance and grow as well as specific information about your strengths and the areas you'd like to develop. Ask your manager for input on your career plan and then use it as a living, active document.
Make A 30-60-90 Day PlanBigstock
Finally, it always helps to have a 30-60-90 day plan when you start a new job. Document the details of what you want to accomplish in your first three months. (For example, the specific people you want to meet with, the tasks you want to accomplish, etc.) It also helps to share this plan with your manager so you can get some input.
There may be some things missing that your manager views as being critical to accomplish in the first 90 days. Remember to be flexible with your plan as things may change, and the objectives you set for the first three months may shift as you get more involved and learn more about your new job. You want to be seen as committed to meeting your objectives, yet flexible enough to deal with changes.
By implementing these few simple things, you can get off to a great start at your new job and quickly begin to be viewed as a value-add asset at your new company.
Need more help standing out at your new job?
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.