Time for Change

As 2019 approaches, many people take the final days in the year to take inventory and reflect on the months past to access where changes can be made to reposition themselves for the upcoming year. While many options seem to surface, a new job or career change are likely at the top of the list.

I’m sure if I survey 20 people, 50% of them will confess their disdain for their current role for reasons to include but not limited to: pay, location, management, lack of work-life balance or upward mobility, etc. The list can go and on.  While the list may progress, you have to get to a point and say I won’t allow myself to continue in this state of dissatisfaction.  Therefore, this blog post is intended to help you get on the road to finding the position that aligns with your personal and professional goals.

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1.      Determine your career goals

Many people want to high tail it out of a bad working situation by any means necessary but before following that tempting exit route, make sure you are clear on what your career aspirations or goals are.

  • Be clear on the next position you want

    •   Pray, mediate, talk to a mentor, or do some overall soul searching to determine what that next step is, what it looks like and what it takes to get there.

    • It doesn’t make sense to follow the path you’ve been trotting for years to end up in a similar job but in a different location.

  • Understand the skills and or experience required for the position

    • This is common sense but if you have experience working in a call center don’t go applying for a job as mechanical engineer because you heard they pay well.

    • It’s okay to apply for things that don’t 100% match your experience but find opportunities by which your skill set are relatable consequently allowing you to easily transfer your skills.

  • Discover your deal makers and breakers

    • This can come in the form of money, management style you’re subjected to, benefits, commute, options to work remotely, paid time off, etc.

    • Be flexible but don’t waver just to get away from one hell you already know about.

  • Map out where you’d like to be in your career in the next 3-5 years

  • Decide what type of company you want to work for

    • If you are going to spend most of your time in a place, make sure it’s an environment conducive to your personality.

2.      Update your Resume

Your resume is the first impression employers will have of you so make it count.  If you suck at writing out your achievements and accomplishments, enlist the help of someone with experience.  There are many articles online and opinions from people on the length of your resume, how many jobs should be included, explaining job duties or using metrics to identify your responsibilities and on and on and on. It’s enough to make your head spin and leave you discouraged.  I could have a separate blog post on resumes alone but I’ll give you a couple rules of thumbs as it relates to your resume:

  • Don’t be afraid to tell your story or some of it…….

    • If the story of your career spans over a page don’t be afraid to convey it.  Employers want to know what you have done, where you’ve been and how you got there in an effort to gauge the value you can potentially add to their organization.  Sometimes that takes more than one page.

    • While you want to give the recruiter insight on your background, don’t give everything.  Try to limit your work history to 10 years or less and incorporate skills or past positions which are relevant to the job you’re applying for.  If you babysat the kids down the street in 1987 but you are going for a position as a dental hygienist and you’ve had 2 jobs in the past 7 years that relate to dentistry, it’s safe to say the recruiter is not interested in you burping and changing colic stricken babies.

    • Some of your story should be kept to yourself.  If you only worked for 2 months at 7-11, and 3 weeks at Target, I would advise not to place those on your resume.  You don’t want your resume to consist of jobs where you have a inconsistent. Employers want to see some sense of stability and longevity. Remember...tell some, keep some.

  • Don’t overload your resume with skills

    • It’s not beneficial to add every single skill acquired or software application you’ve worked on along the way to your resume. Stick to things that are related to the job in which you’re applying for.

  • Don’t add references to your resume

  • As a person of color, I would advise another person of color to avoid adding pictures of yourself to your resume.

    • When working in HR, I began to see people adding head shots to their resume.  The jobs I were recruiting for had nothing to do with the entertainment industry by which a head shot would be warranted and I personally couldn’t understand this new trend. This is my opinion and I have no research to validate my point, however don’t add anything to your resume that can knock you out of the running.  It’s almost 2019 and unfortunately racism and preferential treatment of others exists. This is another level of the game of life we have to play and sometimes we have to make sure we can level the playing field for ourselves.

  • Prepare a cover letter

    • Cover letters are optional when applying for some jobs sometimes.  I loathe them and find this pointless but keep one on deck just in case.

  • Formatting is as important as the contents

    • It doesn’t make sense to have strong verbiage regarding your experience but the format of your resume is trash.  Be consistent with your fonts and sizes. Refrain from using wild fonts. Try Times New Roman, Calibri, Tahoma or Arial.

3.      The Search 

I’ve had success using the following sites for new jobs:

  • LinkedIn

  • Indeed

  • Glassdoor

Of course there are many more but these are my go to website.  Keep in mind, all employers may not post their open job requisitions on these job boards.  Don’t be afraid to seek out the employers in your area, find their websites and apply for open positions directly.  There have been times where I am driving and I see several companies’ offices.  I jot them down and look them up to see if they are hiring. If you are desperately looking for a job, you have to think outside the box in an effort to find your next gig.  With so much competition in these streets, you have to be creative in the methods you use to find jobs. Times have changed and the way you go about finding a job needs to evolve also.

4.      The Interview

  • Be prepared

    • Do your homework on the company and the position. 

    • If you have names of the interviewers, don’t be afraid to scope them out and find their profiles on LinkedIn beforehand. I’m sure they are looking online to get some indication of who you are professionally and personally, why not look into they ass ?

    • Remember, not only are they interviewing you but you are interviewing them. You want to ensure that what they are offering aligns to what we mentioned in step 1.

  • Dress to impress

    • Men – Suit (Black, Blue or Navy) and tie

    • Dress shoes

      • I am not addressing women because I am not one.  However, I will say this to studs that wear men’s clothing. Don’t wear an ill-fitted men’s suit to an interview. It makes you look stupid.  Don’t put on anything that distracts the interviewers.

  • Relax and be yourself

5.      The Aftermath

  • Thank you

    • Send thank you emails or even mail thank you cards to the people you interviewed with. Thank them for their time.  Thank them for allow you to come in and share your experiences. Reinforce why you think you are the right candidate for the job.

    • It gives these individuals the impression that you’re truly interested and serious about joining their organization.

  • Stalk they ass

    • The waiting game sucks and the anxiety that comes with the anticipating that “nah fool, we don’t want you” email or the call extending an offer can be hell.  Therefore, if you have a contact number and or email address of the hiring manager and or recruiter, don’t be afraid to use it within reason to secure updates on the hiring process. Don’t be too thirsty, or go overboard and catch a case. Be smooth with your stalk game.

  •  Negotiate, Negotiate

    • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want……as long as it’s within reason.

    • Don’t settle for the initial offer. Know your worth

    • Be fair and realistic with your requests

I hope this helps someone along the way get that dream job and if this article does bring forth a new job, please CashApp a love offer to your boy at $UnAssMyCash.