JL Careers Blog

6 Ways to Take Charge of Your Career in 2016

Organic job advancement can happen, but for most savvy professionals, moving up in the ranks requires strategic planning. If you’re in the same place today as you were a year ago, your progression could be floundering. Avoid becoming stagnant with these six tips for taking control of your career in 2016.

1. Identify your professional goals

With the start of the New Year, set aside time to take stock of your intentions. Does success in 2016 mean getting a new job, learning a new skill, or mastering a new technology? Write down your goals and make specific plans for meeting them.

2. Analyse your current work situation

Reflect on your current work situation. Have you become too comfortable in your organization? Are you learning new skills? Have you taken on new challenges? Are you adding value to the organization, or just coasting?  Is there a fear you could become obsolete?  According to Business in Vancouver, “If you aren’t learning anything new or taking on any new challenges, your marketability to other potential employers may be at risk.” 

3. Advance your skill set

Give your career a boost by learning new essential job skills. Identify skills you need to develop or sharpen this year. Maybe its time to get your MBA, PMP (Project Management Certification), or attend an industry conference. TheLadders advises that you “review your most recent performance review and talk with your manager to find out which skills you should build or improve to advance at your company.” 

4. Capitalize on new trends

In the workplace, specialization can lead to growth. However, specializing too narrowly may severely limit your opportunities for moving ahead. It’s important to regularly evaluate the landscape and make adjustments, so your skillset doesn’t become obsolete.

5. Build a Career Roadmap to support your goals

Within the next 30 days, set your career goals for 2016 with your longer term objectives in mind. Forbes recommends you create a career roadmap to support your success: “A smart person will have a long-term career plan, which focuses on where they want to arrive at the pinnacle of their career, as well as the interim steps they’ll need to take in order to get there.” 

6. Get expert help

Feeling you’ve hit that ‘glass ceiling’ or are stuck in a career rut?  Get outside advice from a career coach. A career expert will have insights on how to navigate uncharted waters, identify options and develop strategies to advance your career.

Will your career take off in 2016? Your success depends on investing time and energy in tasks like setting goals, analyzing your work situation, capitalizing on new trends, identifying viable markets, learning new skills and getting help when necessary.  Then you can take charge of your career and drive your career success.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.  Copyright 2016 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

New Year! New Start! Take Charge of your Career in 2016

Is 2016 your year for a career change?  Launch on the right foot with the job search tools you need to grab hiring managers’ attention.  From Executive and Professional Resumes to Compelling LinkedIn Profiles and Interview Coaching, JL Careers is here to help you land a great new career opportunity. 

Connect today for a complimentary 30 minute telephone consultation to position yourself for success in 2016.

Wishing you much career success this year,

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

JL Careers Speaker's Series: Building a LinkedIn Profile that Drives Results

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet and it’s where you want to be to raise your profile, build your network, and grab headhunters’ attention. Learn how to maximize your impact on LinkedIn through creating a compelling Headline and showcasing your expertise.  

Joanne Loberg, Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Practitioner, will also show you how to leverage your LinkedIn Profile using endorsements, recommendations, groups, & more.

Joanne will be leading this workshop for the UBC Master of Health Administration - Career Management Program.  This is the 3rd workshop in a three-part series focused on providing essential career management strategies and tools needed to launch a successful job search. 

Session dates: January 9 & 16, 2016

This session is facilitated by Joanne Loberg, Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional from JL Careers. Joanne is known for presenting highly engaging and resource-rich sessions that provide invaluable insights and new career management tactics and tools. With over 20 years’ expertise in the career management field, Joanne is highly skilled in helping her clients build rewarding careers. She has been referred to as “an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement”.

"What are your salary expectations?" - Navigating the Salary Interview Question with Ease

At the end of most job interviews, the recruiter will turn the tables on you and inquire about salary expectations. If you’ve been successfully answering questions thus far, don’t let this question stymie your chances of securing the job. Doing your research will go a long way toward ending the interview on a positive note.

What are your salary expectations?

Employers use this question to confirm the salary range that’s required to lure a highly-qualified and desired candidate, but it’s also designed to weed out candidates requesting a salary that is out of the company’s range. The best way to answer this question is to do your homework. Analyze the salary for the job on a national level and then narrow the scope to assess regional variations.  In your interview be prepared to provide a salary range that you are targeting, for example, $90,000 to $100,000. 

Forbes recommends that you “determine your walk away number and put down a salary 10-15% higher. That way, you know you’ll be okay with the lowest salary offered to you.”  Honing job search skills like negotiating salary takes time and practice. Fox Business advises candidates to “give yourself some wiggle room on the question by saying you’re willing to negotiate on ‘total compensation’ … perks such as vacation days or flexible work arrangements that might make the job more worthwhile even if the pay is lower than you want.” 

More tips:

  • Rehearse your response to deliver a confident, concise answer. Wavering on the question only serves to show that you’re not confident about your value, and gives the hiring manager the opportunity to negotiate the number down.
     
  • Realize it’s a starting point to the conversation. When you’re offered the job, you can start negotiating (click for 7 Tips for Negotiating Your Next Job Offer). 
     
  • Know before you go. There’s no sense in interviewing with a company that will never deliver on your bottom-line salary range. Before you go to an interview, get familiar with its benchmarking strategies. Companies will consider average pay of competitors, candidate experience and education, as well as averages across the country, to come up with a salary range. If a company is competing for top-level talent in the industry, they’ll pay higher. If they’re not, don’t expect a company to meet the upper end of the average salary range for the job.
     
  • Convey your value.  If the recruiter pushes back on your answer to the salary question, be prepared to respond with a statement that conveys the value you bring to the table. Provide an example of your achievements and successes related to the hiring manager’s needs, and you’ll be able to offset pushbacks regarding salary. 
     
  • Start low. Interviewers and hiring managers will typically start with a low number, fully expecting candidates to negotiate a higher salary. So when you’re asked about your salary expectations, start at the bottom of the range you’re able to work within. Then, if offered the job, don’t be afraid to negotiate to ultimately get the salary you need and deserve.

Tackle the salary question with ease by researching industry averages, understanding benchmarks, practicing your answer, and getting ready to respond to pushbacks. Keep in mind this most valuable piece of advice when it comes to talking about salary: Don’t be the one to bring it up - let the interviewer or hiring manager talk salary first or you could be quickly ushered out of the door.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.  Copyright 2015 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

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

Desire isn’t enough…

Desire isn't enough ...

The formula for success in your job search, and for achieving any career goal, is: Desire + Determination + Commitment.

Your job search is going to have its hard days, but what will pull you through is your unwavering determination and patience.  Michael Jordan says it well:  “Step by step. I can’t think of any other way of accomplishing anything.”  

It’s the small steps you take today that will propel you forward, even when the odds seem against you. 

Wishing you much career success!

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

Simple Step to Go from Overwhelmed to Focused & Successful

Are you feeling you are only giving 10% to everything you do - spread thin and ineffective?  There’s a simple solution to this problem.  Your brain can only effectively deal with a limited number of priorities at one time.  You just aren’t able to impact change if you are targeting too many things at once.  Instead, create BUCKETS to get things out of your brain so you can focus on your top priorities.

Get started by writing down all your tasks, projects, and anything that is on your mind and preventing you from focusing.  It could be you need to complete a proposal, have a difficult conversation with an employee, book a haircut; anything personal or work related.  Write it all down. 

Now choose your top 1-3 priorities, and then put everything else into buckets, with each bucket only holding one item.  These buckets are then metaphorically shelved out of the way until you have time to bring each bucket down and deal with it.

This simple process of creating buckets and putting things away and out of your mind, gives you space to breathe, and the time to be more productive.  You will have less “clutter” preventing you from focusing and achieving success. 

So, what’s on your plate right now that’s overwhelming for you? What’s eating up your energy and time as you are consistently thinking or worrying about it?  I challenge you to decide to deal with it now OR, put it in a bucket and away on the shelf.  This act of consciously choosing what to focus on, and deciding to shelf the clutter, will restore your energy.  You will be more effective and ready to really dive into the important stuff and achieve success.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.  Copyright 2015 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

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

 

JL Careers Speaker's Series: Crafting a Compelling Career Brand

Joanne will be leading a workshop for the UBC Master of Health Administration - Career Management Program.  In this second workshop in a three-part series, she will present Crafting a Compelling Career Brand.

She will be speaking about how to clarify your Career Brand and will explore Information Interviews.  This interactive workshop will provide participants with tools to position themselves for career success.

Session date: November 28, 2015

This session is facilitated by Joanne Loberg, Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional from JL Careers. Joanne is known for presenting highly engaging and resource-rich sessions that provide invaluable insights and new career management tactics and tools. With over 20 years’ expertise in the career management field, Joanne is highly skilled in helping her clients build rewarding careers. She has been referred to as “an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement”.

JL Careers Speaker's Series: Ignite Your Career! Getting More of What You Want in Your Career

Joanne will be leading a workshop for the UBC Master of Health Administration - Career Management Program.  In this first workshop in a three-part series, she will present Ignite Your Career! Getting More of What You Want in Your Career.

She will be speaking about clarifying career goals, exploring what’s standing in the way of success, and developing a Career Action Plan to get on track.  This session will provide participants with the insights needed to drive their career success.

Session dates: November 7 and 14, 2015

This session is facilitated by Joanne Loberg, Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional from JL Careers. Joanne is known for presenting highly engaging and resource-rich sessions that provide invaluable insights and new career management tactics and tools. With over 20 years’ expertise in the career management field, Joanne is highly skilled in helping her clients build rewarding careers. She has been referred to as “an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement”.

How to Answer the Interview Question: Why are You Interested in this Job?

At some point in your next job interview, you’ll be asked the question, “Why are you interested in this job?” Many hiring managers use this go-to question as a means to uncover your motives. Your answer will reveal whether it’s just for the money (a surefire way to shut down your chances), a desire to escape your current job, or if you have something of real value to bring to the table.

Not sure how to answer? The U.S. News and & World Report advises candidates to summarize their qualifications when answering this key question. “In the delivery of your message, it's not only what you say but how you say it. Less is more: Be succinct, clear and convincing. State with confidence your ability to do the job by pointing out three solid qualifications and relevant experiences you already possess.”  As with any interview question, avoid a negative answer (escaping your current position or a challenging workplace), and focus on your passion for the company, the issues it’s facing, and becoming part of the team to contribute and make a difference.

Here are some other tips for successfully answering this question:

Speak to the organization’s needs

It makes sense to talk about the company’s challenges or opportunities, which further shows that you’re invested in the organization. Make a connection to these by speaking about your successful track record. Highlight your achievements when facing similar issues in your current or past roles.  This will help the interviewer see you as a candidate with much to offer. 

Showcase your strengths

Touch on your strengths and illustrate why you’re the best person for the job. Provide concrete examples that reveal how your accomplishments, skills and experience relate to the company’s needs. If you’ve stepped up to take on a challenging problem, show how that experience is useful in the present position. If you’re an innovator, tie that quality into an aspect of the job description.

Be passionate

There’s nothing that will mark you as an unqualified candidate – no matter how strong your expertise – than someone who lacks passion. You’ve got to express your excitement about the company and interest in their customers, products or market challenges. Hiring managers want to know you are keenly interested in working for them, and you aren’t just looking for a new job.  

Use the opportunity to showcase your strengths and accomplishments when you’re asked, Why do you want this job? Be sure to emphasize how you’re a good fit for the job and the company.  Lastly, craft a response that addresses the organization’s needs and demonstrates your passion and excitement for the company and where it’s headed.  

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.  Copyright 2015 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

 

Want to Get Promoted? 9 Tips to Move Your Career Forward

Frustrated your career is stalling, and you aren’t being considered for promotions?   

LinkedIn’s HR Lead, Kevin Delaney's article:  How to Get Promoted: 9 Things You Need to Do offers insights into what you need to do to start getting the results you want.  Here are some questions to consider:

Are you hanging out with the right people?

“If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn to soar to great heights.  The simple but true fact of life is that you can become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad”  - Colin Powell

If you want to be successful in any area of your life, you need to spend time with people who are more successful than you.  So if you want to be promoted, stop hanging out with the complainers and seek the company of those who have already been promoted.  Pick their brains, watch what they do, and copy their habits.  

Do you need an attitude check?  

Attitude means everything.  You can be brilliant technically but if you lack social skills, including the ability to work well with others, you will limit your promotional opportunities.

When was the last time you checked in with your boss?  

Keeping your boss in the loop is key to your success.  Be proactive and regularly update your boss with your accomplishments and how you have contributed to the organization. 

Who knows you?  

Raise your profile in your organization and be seen by more than your manager.  Network across the organization. Attend meetings and be seen as a contributor at these meetings. 

For more suggestions, I recommend you read: How to Get Promoted: 9 Things You Need to Do and check out JL Careers' articles: Networking to Build Career Success and Who’s Your Mentor? 

Wishing you much career success!

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

Ever Had a Difficult Conversation Go Wrong?

Difficult Conversations 101: 3 Secrets to Get What You Need – Without It Blowing Up In Your Face is a free webinar on October 14 hosted by Diane A Ross, lawyer and master at handling difficult conversations.

If you are avoiding a difficult conversation because you are worried about how the other person might react, there’s an easy way to stop the difficult conversation drama before it starts. I’ve attended her training and walked away with tools and strategies that truly work. 

Wishing you much career success,

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

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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.