JL Careers Blog

Is Your Job Search Taking Too Long?

You’ve been unemployed for what seems like ages, and you are feeling frustrated with your lack of progress. You know you’ve got marketable skills and would make a great addition to any team. So, why is nobody hiring you?

While there’s no magic answer or one-size-fits-all solution, there are certain things you can and should do in the interim to improve your chances of re-employment.

Stay in the know about your industry

Keep up with industry trends, changes and shifts.  Review local business journals and directories such as Business in Vancouver – Book of Lists to see who’s trending as an industry leader in your sector.  Identify companies in growth mode as they will likely be seeking new talent.  Your research will also provide you with relevant topics for small talk when networking and will demonstrate that your knowledge is current during interviews.

Upgrade your skills

Your industry research will uncover new technologies and in-demand skills that may require you to engage in training to maintain your industry edge.  This training provides an excellent response to a recruiter’s inquiry as to what you’ve been doing over the past 6 (or more) months. You can then discuss how you have been building your skills portfolio to address and prepare for changing industry needs.

Ensure you are putting your best resume foot forward

Engage JL Careers to do a Resume Critique  to ensure your resume is highlighting your track record of success and key accomplishments related to the jobs you are targeting. A targeted resume can position you as a lead candidate as you are speaking directly to the needs of the hiring manager in that sector.  

If you have begun consulting or contracting your services, add this to your resume to further demonstrate your expertise. And don’t forget to update your resume with any recent training.

Come up with a backup plan

Maybe your ideal job is the CEO of a technology firm but, there are limited opportunities in the local job market. Consider a secondary job objective – i.e. a VP role in a larger tech firm or CEO of a tech start up. Or, consider launching into contracting or consulting to close the gap until you land your ideal job. Being flexible might be the key to your success. If feasible, looking outside of your city might be the quick ticket to your re-employment. 

Keep networking! 

Get involved with your professional association. Link back with all of your earlier networking contacts and reconnect over coffee.  Be sure to tell everyone you are looking for a new opportunity – and deliver your compelling elevator pitch that clearly defines who you are and how you add value to organizations. Keep in mind you are more than at job title.  Speak about your areas of expertise and the key issues or problems you resolve for organizations. 

Conduct an interview audit

An interview audit can help you identify and overcome any interview challenges that may be standing in your way. After each interview, go through the questions that were asked and evaluate your responses. The goal is to practice your answers until you can effectively convey your expertise with passion and confidence. The more you do this, the better you will get.

Do something every day to keep your spirits high and your body moving

There is a strong correlation between feeling down in the dumps and lack of physical movement. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day, do something to keep the juices flowing. Sometimes just a short walk around the block can dramatically shift a negative attitude to one of hope and optimism. 

Above all else, don’t give up. As the great Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, and interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Wishing you much job search success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

Ready…Set…Launch! Career Support for New Grads

JL Careers supports FUSE Careers launch!   FUSE is the go-to source for the  career planning needs of post-secondary students and new graduates. 

Heather Claridge, Founder and CEO of FUSE Careers, is hosting a free info session for students and parents during which you will learn about a step by step career discovery and launch process, essential tools, and where to start. 

To register for this Wednesday, November 8, 6:30pm event at Hollyburn Country Club, click here.

“If I’m hired, what key results do you want to see within the next 12 months?”

Vancouver-based JL Careers provides career management and leadership strategies for Executives and Professionals across North America.

As a media contributor, Joanne Loberg shares her insights with Canadian Business Magazine on how to ace the interview and leave a lasting positive impression with Four key questions applicants should ask in every job interview.
 
If you are interested in JL Careers contributing to a segment on career planning, transition or leadership coaching please contact us.

Consulting & Contracting Your Services – Is it Right for You?

When you come to a fork in your career path, the question of whether to continue in the same direction or branch out on your own often arises. Whether you were recently downsized out of a job or you have chosen to make a career transition, you may be wondering whether the option of becoming a consultant or independent contractor might be worth pursuing.

Of course, as with any type of significant career move, it’s important to carefully consider your options before making a move. While being self-employed certainly has its perks, it’s not for everyone.

If you’re currently in that state of limbo and trying to decide which direction to head in, here are a few things to consider:

Is Self-employment Right for You?

The most important thing to consider in any career change is the likelihood of success. Launching your own consulting or contracting business means you’ll have to find jobs on your own, so you need to be ready to make that adjustment.

Before taking the leap, ask yourself the following three key questions:
 

  • Do you have any prior consulting experience?
     
  • Do you have a solid network of business contacts?
     
  • Do you have a specific skillset or expertise that is in high demand?

The answers to these three questions can help you determine whether or not it’s wise to jump into self-employment.

Do Your Research

If you’re still leaning toward making the switch, being proactive and planning ahead – before you launch your new career – is critical. It’s time to think about the following:
 

What services do you want to provide? These services should align with your expertise so you can differentiate yourself and effectively market your services.
 

  • Is there a need for these services? Conduct a market survey. Meet with 10+ organizations to determine if there is a need for your offering. Also ask how often would they need your services – monthly, quarterly, once a year, every two years, etc.? 
     
  • What is the fee you will charge? Ask your sample market how much they would pay for your services, i.e. what do they typically budget for this type of work?
     
  • Can you multitask?  In the start up phase of your business you must be able to juggle marketing, business development, administration, billing, as well as service delivery. 
     
  • Do you have the energy, time and commitment? Working 10 to 12+ hour days, 7 days a week is what it takes to launch a business. 
     
  • What is your tolerance for ‘steady income’ vs ‘roller coaster income’? 

The goal is to assess whether there is a true market need for your services and, more importantly, whether you’d be compensated well enough to make it worth pursuing. 

I can personally attest that this dedicated market research pays off.  When I first launched my consulting practice I met with nearly a dozen HR leaders to inquire about their needs and budgets. As a result, I was able to land one of my pinnacle clients who I have been working with for over 14 years!

Conducting in-depth research ensures you are launching a feasible business and there is a good chance that at least one of these companies will engage your services.

As respected business professor and marketing expert Nirmalya Kumar once stated:

“You can't be a professor without having been a student. You can't be a consultant without having been a research associate.”

Making Your Launch a Success

To successfully launch a consulting and contracting business, you need to be able to clearly speak to the value you add to organizations. You also need to be able to clearly communicate your key differentiators. 

Use your market research along with your answers to the following questions to develop your unique brand:
 

  1. What do you want to be known for?
     
  2. Who is the audience you are targeting?  Be specific – size of organization, location, sector, etc.
     
  3. What is their key issue or problem that you have experience resolving?
     
  4. What is your unique differentiator as a consultant or contractor?
     
  5. Do you have a unique philosophy, process or methodology about how you deliver your services?
     
  6. What education or training do you want to highlight?
     
  7. Are there any personal attributes you possess that create your unique brand?

Then, hit the ground running. Create a compelling elevator pitch http://www.jlcareers.com/blog/how-craft-winning-elevator-pitch. Start putting feelers out with your network of contacts. Be prepared to sell your unique value proposition and be ready to work when that first contract comes in.

Deloitte Global Consulting CEO Jim Moffatt summed it up perfectly when he said:

“To be successful as a consultant, you must be different; you must be strong; and you must be committed.”

If you have all of those attributes, self-employment may very well be a great fit for you.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, and interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

Workopolis Media Appearance: Managing Conflict

Vancouver-based JL Careers provides leadership coaching and career management strategies for Executives and Professionals across North American. As a media contributor, Joanne Loberg shares her insights with Workopolis on leading teams through conflict and supporting employees to manage conflict within the workplace.

If you are interested in JL Careers contributing to a segment on leadership development, career planning or career transition, please contact us.

What’s Your Differentiator? Leverage Your Expertise for Career Advancement

Getting ahead takes more than just keeping your head down and working hard.  Today’s business leaders are looking for individuals who rise above the crowd by stepping up and resolving critical organizational issues, building a reputation for getting the job done, and adding value beyond their job description.

It is essential to find a way to differentiate yourself and build a track record of key achievements to propel your career forward. ‘Building a track record of quantifiable achievements….can create a powerful differentiator for your career progression.’ Source: 10 Ways to Leverage Differentiators to Power Your Career.  D. Clark, author of Stand Out –– How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It warns:  ‘Safe jobs, predicated on staying quiet and doing what’s expected of you, are fast disappearing. Building a strong reputation is the best way to protect, and advance, your career.'

What’s Your First Step in Differentiating Yourself?

Begin by identifying what you’re passionate about.  Author Marsha Sinetar famously said: “Do what you love and the money will follow.”  For myself and others who commit to doing work they love, this is definitely a truth.  Trust that if you pursue your passion, success will naturally come as a result, and you will carve a niche for yourself and your career along the way.

Your Second Step is to Become a Valued Contributor

If you want to realize sustainable success, the goal should be to become recognized as an expert in your field … someone others want to work with as you have fresh and valued perspectives, and industry know-how. 

Think you’re not qualified enough to become an industry thought leader yet?  No problem.  You can still differentiate yourself:

 

  • Network with individuals, inside and outside of your organization, with a reputation as experts in your field.  Learn what they are doing to stay ahead of the game, what skills and experience are in demand, and ask for strategies to help you close the gap and advance your career.
     
  • Within your organization, step up and ask for opportunities to develop your skills and experience.  Take on a difficult task that will stretch you and help you gain much needed experience.  Read more in:  Advance Your Career:  Take on an Uncomfortable or Challenging Task.
     
  • Suggest projects or initiatives that will help the organization address critical issues and position itself for future growth.
     
  • Develop your on-line portfolio as an industry or sector expert by blogging on your topic of interest.  Contribute comments, articles and blogs to a LinkedIn Group in your area of expertise.

For example, as a Career Coach, I’m currently working with a client who has a passion for data management and helping large organizations optimize their access to key data.  As this isn’t part of his current role, we mapped out several strategies to help him to carve out a new personal career brand that speaks to this expertise.  To move his career forward, he is focused on:

 

  • Conducting information interviews to explore new opportunities within his organization, and beyond.
     
  • Sourcing a mentor or champions who can provide strategies and help promote his interests.
     
  • Booking weekly coffees and lunches with others in his area of interest to keep apprised of industry best practices and trends.
     
  • Asking his manager for extra projects related to his area of interest.
     
  • Dedicating time to attend webinars, Meetups, conferences and seminars, as well as read business books and publications. 

By staying on top of industry best practices and actively sourcing information about how his organization is adjusting to change, he can proactively make suggestions and provide solutions to address these and upcoming challenges.  As a result, he will become a valued contributor to his organization.

Starting today, what can you do to strengthen your career brand and position yourself as a valued contributor to your organization?

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, and interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Are you ready to take that next career step but needing a strategy or tools to support your progression? Whether clarifying your career brand, devising networking strategies to get face time with key decision makers, or developing your resume and interview skills, I specialize in working with professionals and executives to help them get more of what they want in their careers.  Let’s connect for a complimentary telephone consultation to determine the strategy that's best for your situation.  

I look forward to hearing from you!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

I’ve Just Lost My Job – Now What?!?

You’ve just lost your job. A million questions are going through your mind.  What am I going to do?  What if I can’t find another position right away?  How will this impact my life, my family and my future?  How will I tell people?

No doubt about it, losing your job can be nothing short of overwhelming.  But with the right approach and a positive attitude this experience can open the door to unanticipated new opportunities in your career.  

So if you just received the news and you feel like your head is spinning, here’s what you need to do to get control of the situation and move forward.

First, take a breath.

Understand that job loss is something that has happened to even the most successful individuals.  It’s ok to let your emotions run their course.  In fact, it’s often a good idea to take a few days to let the news sink in – especially if you are feeling upset, hurt or angry.  Allowing yourself a little breathing room will prevent you from lashing out and making rash decisions that could potentially come back to bite you in the future.

Focus on leaving like a true professional.

The goal is to keep your career brand and your reputation intact, regardless of the circumstances.  Avoid the temptation to email others or take to social media to share your negative feelings.  How you leave an organization speaks highly to your professionalism and composure under pressure – attributes that are remembered when referrals and references are given.

It’s good to vent your feelings but do so in private with close friends and family.  When with your colleagues, maintain a professional demeanor at all times.  If you are feeling overly angry, sad or upset consider speaking to a counsellor. 

Devise a leaving statement.

When networking and speaking with recruiters you will need to have a leaving statement which describes, in neutral terms, what has occurred and what your future plans are.  Be sure to use terms that put a positive spin on the situation.  This draws attention away from the past and helps your audience focus more on the type of work you wish to pursue in the future. 

For example, your statement might say something like: “My role was restructured, so I’m looking for new opportunities to [describe what type of work you are interested in],” or, “There have been changes at my company and as a result, my role has been impacted. I’m now looking for new opportunities to [describe the type of work you are interested in].” 

Get your financial plan in place. 

Nothing creates more anxiety quite like not having a financial plan to support you through your job search.  If applicable, inquire with your former employer if they will offer a severance package to assist you through this transition.  Then, sit down and figure out your budget.

Keep in mind that you will be saving money since you won’t be commuting to work, buying your lunch, etc., and don’t forget to allocate money for weekly coffees with your network connections.

Leave no stone unturned. 

Create a list of EVERYONE you know and meet with everyone you can to tell them you are looking for a new opportunity.  This is where your leaving statement will come into play.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to update your resume so that it includes all relevant details and recent experience. (Here are some tips for crafting a resume that gets results.)

Now is also a great time to revisit and revamp your LinkedIn profile.

Don’t give up! 

Regardless of how frustrated and overwhelmed you may feel, it’s important to remember that you WILL find another job. More importantly, it’s a great time to remind yourself that work doesn’t define you. 

Use this time to reset and refresh.  You might need two weeks or a good month off before kicking off your job search. That’s totally ok! You’ll be invigorated and ready to launch into networking and interviews with fresh energy and a new outlook. 

Losing your job can be a daunting life experience. However with the right plan and a positive attitude, you have the power to turn a challenging situation into an amazing new career opportunity.

Need more guidance during this transition? Check out my Job Search Toolkit. Or contact me to schedule a complimentary 20-minute telephone consultation to determine what you need to do to fast track your job search and help get your career back on track.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, and interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

Am I Living the Life & Career I Imagined?

Am I in the place I thought I would be at this point in my career? Is there something missing?

What comes up when you start thinking about your life and career?  Are you are no longer thrilled about the work you are doing, waking up wondering how did I get here and do I like it here, and more so, am I really doing the work I imagined? 

Too often we wake up to discover what Leon Logothetis, author of the Live, Love, Explore describes as: ‘I’m living someone else’s life’.  We are making good money, have a great lifestyle and ‘should’ be content, but something is missing. 

“When we lead with our heads, we become focused on competition: do more, earn more, make more.” (source: Live, Love, Explore) We become locked into our wealth, career standing and lifestyle – which can feel like a trap and the antithesis of living a fulfilling, enriching life.

Too often those around me, and I too, have been caught up in it – make more, buy more, do more….yet at the end of day is there sustenance in ‘more’?   It can be a cycle that takes us away from our dreams and our vision of what we truly want.

I’m not suggesting you up and quit your job (as Leon did) and go on a worldwide quest to uncover the root of what you really love doing. Instead you can make small shifts to start doing more of the work you love, and live the life you truly imagined.

But as Theodore Roosevelt states – Change is not for the faint of heart:  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

I see my friends, family and colleagues doing work they love, alive with a spirit of personal adventure and fulfillment. They all have one key trait: they are bold.  They set ambitious goals that are intensely meaningful to them, i.e.: take my family on a European vacation; start an entrepreneurial venture; do my MBA; launch my job search.  But being bold isn’t just about big, moon landing steps.  For most of us it’s the small steps taken each day – starting today – that shift our lives. 

To get started Leon recommends considering: 

  • What sparks your interest? 
  • Are you doing enough of what interests you in your life or work? 
  • Acknowledge that this is scary to consider but also realize there is a big lie that holds you in place.  That big lie tells you it’s safe in your comfort zone and if you venture out you will fail.  But weigh, what is the cost if you don’t shift?
  • Then consider:  What is one thing you can do today to start realizing your dream? 

Whatever your wild or not so wild passion is, today is the day to do one thing to move forward in this new direction.  Share your aspiration with others and create a community of champions dedicated to your goal.  Keep yourself focused through daily revisiting your action plan and not ending the day without taking one step forward.  It takes guts and boldness but the outcome is life transforming. 

So what are you doing today to move your dream forward?

Leon Logothetis is dedicated to living a life filled with purpose and meaning.  Need inspiration and strategies? Read his new book:  Live, Love, Explore and check out his Netflix hit:  The Kindness Diaries – One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, and interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Feeling Stuck in Your Career?

I specialize in working with professionals and executives to help them get more of what they want in their careers.  Let’s connect for a complimentary telephone consultation to determine what's getting in the way of your moving forward. By identifying this root issue or roadblock, we can then determine next steps to reaching your career goals.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

How to Grab a Headhunters Attention

Wanting to grab a headhunter's attention?  Here are 5 things you need to know when being headhunted for a new job opportunity as outlined in this LinkedIn article: How can I increase my chances of being headhunted?

 

Runner up, again! Reeling from Interview Rejection

Ever felt frustrated with your job search?  An Executive in transition provides a great perspective on how to recover from interview rejection and keep going. Here’s her story:

I thought the third time was a charm - guess again!  Here’s my advice on how to get back on your feet after an interview rejection and keep moving forward.

After participating in three executive searches and being the runner up three times, I was deflated, exhausted and tired of psychometric testing.  From being told I had the ‘wrong leadership style’, ‘didn’t have enough tech experience’, to only being brought forward because I’m a female executive, I was needing some time to step back and rethink my job search process.  

I was left wondering what else I could bring to the table as a differentiator to position me as the ‘right’ candidate.  What should I be more of or less of to land the job?  But honestly after some self reflection I couldn’t think of anything I would want to change.  I am my own brand with a strong reputation - I didn’t need to conform to be more ‘x’ or ‘y’.  I needed to continue to be true to myself, my values and know that a great opportunity is around the corner.

So, after 3 rounds am I frustrated? Heck ya! But I also know it’s not me.  It just wasn't the right role, culture or fit.  The short-term pinch hurts, but staying committed to myself and what I bring to the table will pay - it always has. So, lean in and trust the process. It can - and does take time.

When faced with rejection you have the option to view this as three strikes and you’re out, or three ‘not quite rights’ and be confident that another great opportunity is out there for you.  I continue to choose the latter and encourage you to do the same.

Ferriss’ philosophy is “failure isn’t failure if you can gain new skills and develop relationships”. This is such a great way to think about life and what we do.  So, interview failure can be reframed: your interview skills are becoming refined, your understanding of the market is deepening, and your network is expanding.

Some more suggestions on how to invest your time while job searching:
 

  1.  Expand your network.  Weekly get out of your home office and connect.  It’s critical that you stay in the loop, remain relevant and connected with your professional colleagues.  Hint:   Consider talking with your vendors.  They are your ‘silent salespersons’ as they know one day you will be doing business with them again.  Also, they know what’s happening in the market.
     
  2. Job searches take time.  Use your time wisely by also keeping your skills fresh.  Take a course, sign up for a webinar or attend a conference.  These can also provide great networking opportunities.
     
  3.  Look for where you can give back.  Step into a volunteer leadership role as a Board or committee member within your professional association or a charity of choice.
     
  4.  Consider contracting or consulting your services.  These gigs can open the door to permanent opportunities.
     
  5.  Offer to share your expertise through volunteering to speak to a class at a university or college.
     
  6.  Stay open to what shows up.  Your career might take you in a completely new but very exciting and energizing direction.  It’s sometimes worth exploring every option.
     
  7.  Lastly, take breaks.  You’ve left a job that probably had you run off your feet and you need a solid break before launching into your next opportunity.  Be sure to take the time to refresh and reset.

If you are thinking you’re alone in your job search struggles, a CIO colleague shared: ‘If I had a ribbon for every time I was a runner up, I could paste a wall.’   It’s key that you adopt the basketball great, Michael Jordan’s attitude that you have to play a lot of shots to find the one that is the sweet spot.

You will land the right role but realize that patience is a virtue. So use your time wisely while on sabbatical.  Be ok with being frustrated - for a minute – knowing that everything you’re going through will lead you to the right role.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as "an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Joanne provides leadership coaching as well as career transition coaching, career planning workshops, and job search services (resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, interview practice) for Professionals and Executives. Copyright 2017 JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.

Going on Interviews and Not Landing Offers?

Let's connect for a complimentary Interview Audit to determine what you need to do to start acing the interview and landing great job offers. I can be reached at joanne.loberg@jlcareers.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc

 

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JL Careers provides Career and Leadership Coaching, Career Development Workshops, and Career Transition Services which support organizational succession planning, leadership development and employee engagement strategies.