Saturday, December 30, 2006

Got That Job!

Hey! I am writing to inform you of my recent success at landing a job. That's right. Uh huh. (pardon me, while I do a happy dance.):

Before I say anything else here, I need to be clear that the opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect those of any employer, past or present.

On Tuesday, January 2, 2006, I'll be going back to work full-time. I'd like to tell you some of the things I feel helped me secure this job.

First, I'd worked with the company before as a full-time employee, and, although laid off in August, I'd made what I felt was a very valuable contribution to the company. Even after that time, I'd done some independent contracting work for them, further adding value to them.

I kept a good relationship with former coworkers and supervisors, often chatting with them at least once a week. They even offered to reach into their own networks to help me out.

Fast forward a couple months, and I get offered to come back. Now, since I'd had time to do some market research, I'd found out that I had been getting paid below the market rate for others with the same skills and experience.

I also began to seek the advice of others whose opinions I trust. When approached with an initial offer, I didn't just accept it. I opted to look at other things, such as a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether it would be better to stay an independent contractor versus being a full-time employee. Some of these valuable people in my network helped me work this out.

I also feel it was valuable that I didn't try to negotiate from a position, but instead on factual principles. What does that mean? I meant that in everything, as I presented my concerns and questions, I relied on facts - number of miles to be driven, mileage reimbursement rates, etc.

It was a nerve-wracking experience, but one I'm glad I went through. I'm really glad to be going back to work.

What that means for this blog is that posts may become more erratic. But stay subscribed to the feed, and you'll know when I do update.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

From the Comments - Advice on Uncovering a Passion to Turn Into a Career

Earlier this week I wrote a post entited, "You've Fallen - Now Get Back Up". I got a comment, and because my response was rather lengthy, I decided to put it into its own post. Also, I wanted to provide you all with an opportunity to share your advice. Here's the comment:

Just stumbled onto this blog as a new effort in my 10-year unsuccessful search to uncover a passion that I can turn into a career, preferably an unconventional one.

Any advice for someone who is not afraid to try and fail, but who is desperately afraid of failing to find something to try?
First of all, thanks for leaving a comment.

10 years is quite a long time. Without knowing much about you personally, I can only offer some general advice and come from the perspective of job seeker myself. I guess it's really good that you're making steps toward looking.

When you say that you're "desperately afraid of failing to find something to try," I have to wonder what you've already done in your quest to learn more about yourself. I know of several types of career assessments available (check out the blogroll or search around here or via your favorite search engine).

I believe that the key for any job seeker is really knowing himself. You have to know what your where your interests and aptitudes lie.

I also believe it's important to do some "market research". Find a need and fill it.

I also believe that a single blog is not the end point. There are many others out here with other points of view and their own wisdom. So read what others are saying.

Lastly, and you'll read this elsewhere, get tied in with other people. I'm talking about networking. I encourage you to try out JibberJobber (see the link on this page). It's a great tool that I've started using to manage the details of my job-searching relationships, and I've found it to be very helpful so far.

With that in mind, don't be a stranger! If you'd like to contact me directly, send me an email: danimal0416 [at] gmail [dot] com

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Your Job Searching Success Story - with a Prescription

One thing I love about maintaining this blog is to present job-hunting success stories. They inspire us all, and we need the encouragement to know that success is available for us.

Instead of sharing one right here, I offer a prescription in bold, capital letters: GO SEE "THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS".

Here's a direct quotation from the IMDB User Comments page for the movie:

Chris is shown running throughout the movie. Remember the title of the movie: "The PURSUIT of Happiness." Chris places emphasis on "pursuit." Jefferson, when he penned the Declaration of Independence, did not promise Americans happiness, but only the right to pursue it. Chris says, at one point in the movie, paraphrase, "I am happy right now. It is a fleeting moment." We experience happiness in eyeblinks. The rest of the time we, like Chris, are chasing after it.
There will be some heart-wrenching moments that might make you feel uncomfortable, because of how real the circumstances are portrayed. But I think it behooves any job seeker to see this movie. Maybe even more than once.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

You've Fallen - Now Get Back Up

During some recent mild weather this past week, my wife and I spent some time outside, trying to teach our daughter how to ride her brand-new bike. The experience reminded me of something about life:

I told our daughter that, as she learns to ride her bike, she will fall down. She needs to get comfortable with that fact and not be afraid of it. We got off the bike and went over to the grass. I then told her to fall down. Then I did. I got back up and told her to get back up. The ground is softer than pavement, so it was a good starting point.

Then I had Keisha run at me and knock me down. When I got back up, I told her to do it again, and this time when she pushed, I pushed back. We both fell down. I got back up, but she got upset and sat there on the ground. She was mad at me and wanted her mother, who tends to baby her more than I.

I've heard it said that the best way to practice martial arts for self-defense is to experience getting hit. Pulled punches don't really prepare someone for the real thing.

I think there's a real good lesson about life here, even to a job search. We will fall down and we'll get knocked down. Circumstances will happen that knock the wind out of us. We shouldn't be so afraid of this happening that we don't do anything. I think I've been prone to that behavior in the past I have missed golden opportunities.

When we get knocked down, we get back up and try again. When we fall down, we get back up. That's the only way to get better.

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crossposted to journeyinsidemymind.com

Thursday, December 21, 2006

First Post with New Version of Blogger

I just migrated this blog to the new version of Blogger. I guess that means I'll have to spend some time tweaking the layout and stuff in order to better provide the warm, juicy goodness you all have come to expect from visiting Get That Job!

Nothing further to see here. Unless someone leaves a comment, I guess.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Connect with Long-lost Contacts This Holiday Season

Anyone else remember this jingle:

Reach out, reach out and touch someone
Reach out, reach out and just say 'Hi'
I remember the commercials on TV and the radio, encouraging us to call friends and family.

I bring this up because we are now in the midst of the holiday season, which is a great excuse to get back in touch with people in your address book, contact list, or other network list. So why not reach out and touch someone in your network this season?

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

You Are Your Personal Brand

Mark Blevis, the host and producer of the Electric Sky podcast, recently interviewed Stephen Hardiman about using storytelling as a business tool. I just finished listening to that interview a second time, and it got me thinking:

We are our own individual brands. The work we do, how we do it, our background and experience, our passions, drives, and motivations - all help describe our personal brands.

As a job seeker looking to market myself to potential employers, I've become very aware of this fact. This idea that I am my own brand, and coming up with the story of that brand, is very fascinating, and it spurs me onward.

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Counter Offer Letter - Follow-up Post

A post I wrote back in October 2006 entitled "Counter Offer Letter" continues to generate traffic to this site. Unfortunately, there was not any substantial advice given on that post...

Until today:

The post now also contains the link to Google search results for "sample counter offer letters", which looks to be really helpful.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Want To Promote You!

I was just thinking of a hobby/job/passion I'd like to do. I already do it to some extent, but I'm thinking of doing it more with a different slant:

I love talking to people and learning about what they do for a living, the kinds of things that drive them to do what they do. I love being in a position to promote other people.

I was just chatting with a former coworker who's been a professional friend for nine years now. During the conversation I asked him, "What one thing could I do to help you further your pursuits?" We then talked about potential opportunities he saw for me to do for him at his current job, where he's doing a lot of travelling.

It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but it was a start. We ended our conversation with me saying, "Let me know what I could do to help promote you around here."

I'd love to get paid to be able to promote other people. I'd love to interview you about your background, your job, etc., and share it with other people. Kinda like "Inside the Actor's Studio" but more professionally.

And I'd love to be paid for it, of course. But I'm open in the short-term to defer getting paid just to get it going. Anyone else think this would be a good idea? I'm talking about starting a podcast, maybe to call it "Get That Job!" or something else like that, more related to the interviews.

Let me know what you think! And if you'd like to get on the list to be interviewed/promoted.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Trying to Get Attention

crossposted to Journey Inside My Mind Podcast on MySpace and
journeyinsidemymind.com


In this video update I'm reminded of a time when I tried to get a college professor's attention:

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jimmpodcast

Monday, December 11, 2006

Would You Apply for Jobs Beyond Your Expertise?

Question for you all out there...

Would you send in a resume to apply for a job, even though you know you're not a good match for it, just to get in the door?

I was just browsing a job that requires skills that I don't have, and I considered sending a resume in anyway. I'm presently thinking that's not the best way to have my resume seen by someone.

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Give Yourself a Pep Talk

You've received no phone calls or contacts about jobs for which you've applied. You search job listings and don't find openings that match your qualifications and experience. You might start to feel down.

I know because I have been there, am there, and will be there again. How can I get myself back up?

I think I need to give myself a pep talk. You might feel the same.

Every day and maybe throughout the day, I'm going to look the man in the mirror right in the eyes and say, "You are important. Your work is important. You are valuable. Someone wants to pay you for what you have to offer."

I believe that. I've been working on believing in things that are not as tangible as I'd like them to be. I've started thinking big and dreaming big.

If I let myself get caught up in negative energy, it will eventually lead to more and more inaction.

"Your work is important. Someone wants to hire you. You just haven't met each other yet."

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Listen to An Interviewer's Perspective

Hey there, fellow job seekers! In my search for content to help us in our quest, I found an episode from the Straight Up Search Podcast Series Produced by Oneupweb® where the hosts talk about their recent interviewing experiences. Check out episode 16, "Job Candidates and Catastrophic Injuries" (direct link to mp3, 31:41, 36.29 MB). The part I mentioned is during the first ten minutes of the program.

Let me know what you think!

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