Getting Your Job Search Started
Posted by Joanne
on November 24, 2011 Comments Off
People are often stuck in jobs that are not their dream job. I get my fair share of calls from people I know wanting to make a change. I do what I can to offer some tips and in some cases, have been able to connect them with people in my network who end up hiring them. Some of the tips come from my coaching program for outplacement and in transition clients.
Getting Your Job Search Started
Look at your LinkedIn (LI) profile. Is it complete? Does it give a clear picture of your work history, education, professional development and volunteer activities? Do you need to expand it and add to it? Have you described your awesome experience and your accomplishments from past positions?
Post a professional looking photo. Look at your picture with a critical eye. What’s in the background? Does it give the right impression? Ask a senior colleague for their opinion.
Ask people who worked with you and know you well, to provide comments or testimonials of your work. Ask for your direct supervisors, colleagues, and co-workers to add testimonials. Don’t ask people who don’t know you well or weren’t directly involved with your work. It will put them in an awkward position of having to say “No,” or worse, ignoring your request. If they haven’t worked directly with you it would be difficult providing the testimonial you require.
Do some research. Search and look at other LI profiles of people in roles you would like. Sign up for some of the groups that people in the career you aspire to secure, have joined. Search on LI for all those people you know and have worked with and send them an invite to connect.
Look at the job postings and see who you know in the industry and start connecting that way. If a job is posted at XYZ company, you can do a quick search to see if any of your connections have contact with someone in that company.
If you see someone who might be able to help you and they you aren’t connected with them, look them up and call them. If you send them a LinkedIn request, tell them why you are asking to connect. Do not send them a invitation asking to connect because you are in the same “group” when, in fact, you are looking for help finding a job. People appreciate honesty and they will help you if they can. If they don’t accept your invitation they wouldn’t be much help anyway. Do not send them an invite that states you are a friend when you haven’t even met. That is just plain irritating.
Many people advocate that you put a catchy statement that you are looking for a position in your “headline.” Take a look at what others are doing on LI and let people know how they can reach you.
Make sure that people in your network know that you are looking for work. All your past colleagues, supervisors, favourite customers, suppliers, friends, and relatives will want to help you find a job. I received a lovely message from a former colleague who was looking for a job. He sent a very well written email to everyone telling us what he’s been up to, the credentials he had added to his professional development, and what type of job he was looking for. And he ended by asking us to be on the lookout for him. That was very helpful. People can and will assist you with your job search if they know you are looking AND what you are looking for.
Then there is Twitter - but that’s another blog.
I hope these few tips will help you get started. Good luck.
Best regards, Joanne Royce
P.S. If you are a company and need outplacement services, contact us. We can help your departing employees with our coaching program – Getting your Job Search Started. Here’s what one former outplacement client had to say after completing the program (part of a 2-page thank you letter) .
“Thank you so very, very much, Joanne. Your course, your genuine friendly helpfulness, and your ability to improve my resume, LinkedIn profile, and interview performance, without a doubt gave me the confidence and self assurance I needed for a successful career search.”
Photo Source: SXC - Szorstki
Wish I was (still) @ #Impact99
Posted by Joanne
on November 17, 2011 Comments (2)
Hard to believe but it’s been about a week and a half since the Impact99 event – The Social Workplace Leaders’ Conference for HR Trailblazers. I’ve had time to reflect upon the event and there were several aspects of the day that stood out.
There certainly was “nice buzz and energy in the room” as the day started which continued throughout the day and even after the event. In fact, several of the participants, myself included, reported going through Impact99 withdrawal! I’ve had colleagues ask me about it after following my Tweets for the day. And on a phone call today, a colleague commented without prompting, “That seminar you went to last week sounded great.” I guess the Tweets told the story about Impact99.
I loved that the day was action packed with a variety of sessions and deliver styles, fantastic speakers and presenters who shared their knowledge about social media in the workplace. I enjoyed meeting my Twitter colleagues in real life as well as meeting new people, like my Yellow team members.
The Awesome Yellow Team
It was so refreshing looking at social media as a useful tool in the workplace versus something that needs to be banned to increase productivity. Of course, there needs to be guidelines around social media use at work. But if employees are misusing social media at work, it seems to me to be more a management development or engagement improvement issue. In Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report, a survey of young people under the age of 30, found that it’s not all about the money. The reports states, that young professionals want access to social media and their smartphones in the workplace and that might be even more important than higher compensation.
The day started off with Sidneyeve Matrix, a professor at Queen’s University and social media guru. She shared insights about the GenY students she teaches, and trends in social media and mobile technology. It was quick paced and full of information.
Lights, Camera, Action
One of the activities was an eye opener for me. It was lights, camera, action when we became video producers, writers, and actors during one activity. As a team, we were instructed to create a video for a company to help showcase the company as an employer of choice. We had to come up with the idea, plan it, film it and upload the finished video to the Impact99 YouTube Channel – all in 30 minutes. Why? Because Google ranking likes videos (it increases Google search by 53%), and so do the up and coming young workforce, but not very many organizations are using videos to highlight their company as the place to work. It is rather amazing that an effective (and funny) video can be created in 30 minutes, with no budget, and using only a Smart phone! Check out the winner with a tongue-in-cheek homage to the make belief company ”Tickle Your Fancy” with “employees” telling us “I love my job.”
I won’t go into all the details of the day, as there are already several blog posts about the Impact99 event written by attendees, including “Why Human Resources needs to embrace Social Media with enthusiasm #impact99” by Anja Milenkovic (an HR student and fellow Yellow team member), Impact99 Human Resources goes social- 27 Key Social Media Practices by Shirley Williams, and ”25 reasons why #impact99 is the coolest HR conference ever.”
At the end of the day, a videographer captured highlights of the day long #impact99 event into this awesome energetic video.
Social media is not going away and those organizations that won’t adapt will find themselves falling behind the competition. So what is stopping you from embracing social media in your workplace?
Wish I was (still) at #impact99, Joanne Royce
Royce & Associates
A Human Resources & Training Solutions company
Creating Happy, Healthy, & Productive Workplaces
Effective Interpersonal Communications Workshop
Posted by Joanne
on November 9, 2011 Comments Off
Why are some people so effective in communicating with others?
How can improving communication skills build long term relationship?
Why doesn’t my team talk to me?
I facilitated A Royce & Associates Workshop on Effective Interpersonal Communication with a group of managers who wanted answers to these questions. The two day program was held over a Friday and Saturday. I was a bit concerned that the participants might want to be somewhere else, especially on the weekend. There was no need to worry as this great group of managers jumped right into the workshop including participating in all the activities I had planned to reinforce learning.
One of the most popular activities was The Experiential Listening Game. The key learning from this activity was that through active listening the listener is helping the talker feel valued. When the talker feels valued communication opens up and flows freely, which is vital to solving issues and building relationships. No one wants to make another person feel undervalued and not important, but that is what we do everytime we check our Smart Phone, PDA, change the subject, appear distracted, or interrupt. When we don’t use active listening skills,we are sending the message to the other person – YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT. I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. Not a great way to build a relationship or to work collaboratively with another person.
If you and your team want to learn how to improve your communications skills to reduce conflict, and increase collaboraton and customer service, contact us now to book our Effective Communications Workshop. Our workshop can be customized to your workplace, your time frame, and your budget!
Here is what participants had to say:
- On a sunny Saturday, I can’t think of a better trainer to be stuck inside with for the day.
- I enjoyed the adjective game and acting out the phrases.
- The listening game made me realize how important it is to really listen.
- The variety of activities and switching it up, kept us thinking outside the box.
- I was able to relate the activities and learning to my work and life.
Best regards, Joanne Royce
Founder of Royce & Associates
a Human Resources and Training Solutions company
Creating Happy, Healthy and Productive Workplaces
Related Blog Posts:
Meeting Personal Needs for Effective Communications
Meeting Practical Needs for Effective Communications
Are you a good listener? A Five Part Series
Generational Communication Preferences – Gen Y and Boomers
Pumpkin carving – the play factor at work
Posted by Joanne
on November 3, 2011 Comments Off
How many of you thought last Monday, “Oh, it’s Halloween! Let’s dress up and carve some pumpkins …. at work.” Perhaps you did, but more than likely you didn’t.
Some workplaces understand the value of play. Play in the workplace is good. It actually helps increase productivity (plus happiness and health) at work!
Stephen Thomas Ltd, a marketing and fundraising provider to the not-for-profit sector, has it right. This past Monday the Stephen Thomas social committee set some time aside and decorated the boardroom for a pumpkin carving contest. And the staff including the two founders, the President, and the Vice President came dressed up for some Halloween play. This company realizes that organizations that play together stay together, with the added benefit that people that play hard also work hard. And that certainly is the case with my colleagues at Stephen Thomas.
The National Institute for Play founder, Dr. Stuart Brown states “Free play, as scientists call it, is critical for becoming socially adept, coping with stress and building cognitive skills such as problem solving.” (Scientific Mind). In his video presentation on TED Talks he states that “The basis of human trust is established through play signals.” So why is the play factor at work so important!
Importance of Play @ Work
Play builds the team. Playing together, creating, and having fun builds the team and enhances a sense of community at work.
Play enhances problem solving and collaboration. Play helps us figure out things in a fun manner. We learn to adapt to others, listen to ideas, and collaboratively solve problems for a winning outcome.
Play adds happiness and health to the workplace. When we play and laugh endorphins flood our system keeping depression, anxiety, and sadness at bay. When we have joy in our hearts and minds, it spreads to everyone around us.
Play is the ultimate equalizer. It doesn’t matter if the founder or a front-line employee is involved. With play everyone is the same; connecting, sharing, and enjoying the process of play. It helps smooth conflict and teaches us to trust one another in a safe and playful environment.
Play helps us overcome hardship and stress. Research shows that play helps us when times are tough. Stuart Brown says it lights up our brains. Play helps us reframe the negative into a more positive outlook. This helps bind the team and is there to draw upon to handle set backs or obstacles when needed.
Play enhances creativity. Play allows our minds and hearts to have “space”. When we are in the play zone, this space allows us to be more creative and innovative.
Play has an after glow. Happiness continues as an after glow to play. Research shows that happy employees are actually more productive!
The thing is, if you infuse play into your life (and workplace), it helps create happy, healthy, and productive workplaces. So if you think that taking time to dress up and carve some pumpkins is a waste of time, think again! Check out more pictures of the Stephen Thomas Halloween event on Facebook.
Happy at play and at work, Joanne Royce
P.S. If you need help with a strategy to bring play into your workplace, let’s talk.
Other blogs on happiness:
It’s okay to be happy at work
What is the happiness quotient at your work
How happy is your workplace
Happy Holsteins give more milk – a lesson for the workplace