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How To Break Into A Young Industry – Life Reimagined At Work

My job search advice post for Life Reimagined At Work calls out the fact that some industries have younger workers on average than others. For an experienced professional looking to break in, it can be daunting…but not insurmountable:

As a former recruiter in a variety of industries, I’ve seen firsthand how some fields overweight the youth factor. In my experience, the toughest are banking, media and entertainment, as well as certain functions in technology. If you’re an experienced professional wedded to an industry that favors the young, factor these key things into your job search and career management. (And check out  “The Tech Industry’s Darkest Secret: It’s All About Age,” by Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at the Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University.)

Be youthful when it counts.

What is it about youth that your target industry values specifically? In banking, many of the front-office roles have very fast promotion trajectories, so if you’re not at a senior level by your mid-thirties, there must be something wrong with you or your career. In media, the target audience is young, so the assumption is that you need to be young to stay connected with emerging trends. In technology, the fast pace of change requires constant learning, flexibility and adaptability, all associated with youth. But none of these traits is exclusively the province of the young, just of youthfulness. One executive who stepped into a senior banking role after decades in government and non-profit had authored a well-received book (achievement!). Another executive I hired into a media company from academia knew all the executive players and influencers in her area (connection!). A tech executive from one of the big brands moved into a start-up by taking on a business development role for one of the emerging technologies (adaptability!). These executives were in their late 40s or 50s but met the expectations more closely aligned with their younger competitors to thrive in a young industry.

See also: 5 Skills We’ll All Need in 5 Years

Go ahead and play the age card.

At the same time you highlight positive attributes associated with youth, play your age card when it matters. The search where we hired the media executive from academia had been open for almost a year. It was tricky because the group straddled operations and finance across several different lines of business. The media industry was undergoing huge shifts (as it is today) so each of the business lines had disparate projects running simultaneously. The person we hired….

Find out how this experienced media professional got into this traditionally young industry in my latest piece for Life Reimagined At Work: How To Break Into A Young Industry.

 

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Audio Blog: Your Career Questions Answered From The 2013 NY WICI Night Of The Coaches

I was excited to offer career coaching as a facilitator in the 203 NY WICI event, Night of the Coaches. The event featured 3 rounds of facilitated coaching in groups of 10. I met so many dynamic and inspiring media and communications professionals. With the flurry of provocative questions and insightful feedback lobbed back-and-forth, we did not always get to everyone’s question. In this week’s audio blog, I cover the 4 questions we skipped as time ran out:

Your Career Questions Answered From The 2013 NY WICI Night Of The Coaches

Elizabeth (group 1): I don’t think I’m currently perceived as a leader. How can I become a better communicator? Minute 00:12

Emanuelle (group 1): After a long career in advertising, media planning, and TV, I took time off to raise a family. How do I get taken seriously as I step back into the job market? Minute 3:55

Victoria (group 3): I’m in a new position that doesn’t have a well-defined career path. How do I figure out next steps and how best to move my career forward? Minute 6:54

Naomi (group3): I’m in a job I love in a company I love but my current boss and the predecessor who had my role weren’t well liked. How do I win people over? Minute 10:04

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Emotional Intimacy

We’ve got just about three areas of endeavor as adults at which we may feel either successful or unsuccessful: relationship, parenting and work. Two of those areas have something to do with the emotional intelligence. One of the reasons we have trouble with emotions is that we are taught to control them—in effect to push them out of conscious awareness. They then become substrates of our actions, which can only erupt through passive/aggressive or even aggressive behaviors. How then will we ever understand emotional intimacy? Our guest today is here to help us with that. Robert Masters, PhD, bestselling author of Spiritual Bypassing, Emotional Intimacy and Knowing Your Shadow not only helps us understand emotions and how to work with them but also how to relate to others through emotional intimacy—a primary element of successful relatedness. And we are going to hear a clip from the second episode of the Oprah’s interview with India.Arie. Don’t miss it.

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5 Job Search Tips For Summer – Life Reimagined At Work

My job search advice post for Life Reimagined At Work focuses on job search in the summer because hiring does NOT stop in the summer!

Make no mistake: people do get hired in the summer. As a job seeker, this means that the summer is not an excuse to take three months off from your search. In fact, if you continue to look while others may not be, you get a jump-start on your competition. Nonetheless, you need to adjust your tactics to account for the different pace and temperament that summer brings. Try these 5 tips.

Use vacations to reinvigorate your networking. You don’t want every contact to be about your job search. During the summer, ask about other people’s vacations. Offer up your own plans – this forces you to actually take a rest and to do something interesting enough to talk about. When you engage people on a personal level it often circles back to professional talk. You might find that leading with vacation talk — yours or theirs — enables you to connect with people who are not as responsive other times of the year.

See also: To Land a Job, Be an Entrepreneur

Book those otherwise hard-to-get meetings. If you haven’t been able to schedule that informational meeting, try again during the summer months, when it’s easier to get meetings  because the work pace is calmer and people are in a better mood. Remember to include people you might have seen just a few months ago – business conditions change.

See 3 more tips in my latest post for Life Reimagined At Work: 5 Job Search Tips For Summer

 

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Why do we suffer?

Part of the problem with our concept of heaven, and one of the primary reasons why we don’t live in heaven right now on planet earth, is because we suffer. The Buddha told us that we suffer because we are attached to things, people, places, circumstances, etc. That if we could relinquish attachment we would no longer suffer. Some resent that idea because it seems to give the gods of fortune their way—and why should they rather than us? After all, why shouldn’t we have what we want and need? In answer to that question, proponents of the law of attraction say that if we can suspend so-called “negative” thoughts we can win over the gods of fortune. Which is true? Why do we suffer? And is it really possible to stop suffering on this side of heaven? Today we are going to give a considered answer to that question. And then we are going to hear another clip from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday in which she interviews Grammy-Award Winner India Arie on spiritual awakening. Don’t miss it.

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3 Networking Habits To Drop And What To Do Instead

This career coaching post originally appears in my Work In Progress blog for Forbes.com:

Summer is a great time to network. People are in a better mood because of the warmer weather and upcoming vacations. You might even schedule those hard-to-get lunches because it’s nicer to be outside. Workload typically slows so you actually have the time to rekindle those relationships. So summer is also a great time to revisit your networking strategy. You might have developed bad habits around your networking that you need to adjust:

Bad Habit 1: Thinking you need to meet more people
Alternative: You ALREADY know the RIGHT people.

When people think of networking contacts, they think of people who are ABLE to help – connected, influential, the decision-maker who can sign off on your career promotion or big project for your business. You might fall into the trap of seeking out people who seem more powerful than the ones you already know.

While it’s true that knowing powerful people helps, you shouldn’t dismiss the people already in your network who already are WILLING to help. Even if it doesn’t seem like your network is able to help, you don’t know who or what people know. An existing contact may not be the decision-maker, but may know the decision-maker. Or she may know a key influencer to the decision-maker. Or she may know something about the company that will enable you to pitch yourself more effectively. Focus on tapping into the network you already have, rather than chasing after more and more new people.

Bad Habit 2: Focusing too much on your pitch
Alternative:  Networking is not about what you say; it’s about what you HEAR.

Of course, it’s important to have a memorable, concise, and compelling networking pitch. What you say is indeed important. However, it’s more important that you hear what other people say. When you really listen, you are able to follow up effectively and develop a genuine relationship.

Networking is about following up in a way that is generous (i.e., focused on the other person). You won’t know how to be generous in your follow-up if you’re not listening for what people really care about and need. As a bonus, people so rarely listen that you will distinguish yourself if you listen well.

Bad Habit 3:  Not imposing on your network
Alternative:  While networking is not about quid pro quo, you still have to KEEP SCORE.

I’m not suggesting you impose on your network in an overbearing way! I’m also not contradicting what I said about the importance of generosity in Point #2. The best networking is about paying it forward, but you still need to keep a general score. You focus on being generous, knowing that even if that particular person doesn’t reciprocate, the broader network will reciprocate in some way. This means you need to look at your total networking activity and what it brings. If you feel like you’re always the one giving and you haven’t been getting anything back – any leads, any referrals, any information – then you need to look at whether your network is just full of takers, or maybe you aren’t being clear about how people can help you or not asking at all. Not all networking groups will be appropriate for you and your professional goals. You need to track your results and refine your activities as needed.

Quid pro quo networking is a short-term transactional approach: you scratch my back, and I scratch yours. It’s rare that each person in a 2-party exchange will have exactly the same magnitude of need as the other and will be able to make a 100% equal trade. This is why quid pro quo is unrealistic, inefficient and ineffective – someone will end up feeling short-changed. But in a broader network, you must give and TAKE. If you aren’t benefiting in some way from your network, it’s the wrong network.

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Five Career Tips For Financial Workers – Money, Life and More

In this career advice post specifically for people in finance, I talk about how your personal finances impact your professional credibility:

4. Manage Your Personal Finances

It might sound like apples and oranges, but some believe how well you manage your own personal finances is indicative of how well you will perform finance jobs for companies. “This is why many firms run credit checks, not just background checks, on candidates for finance jobs,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, CEO of coaching and training firm SixFigureStart. “A finance career, especially in financial advisory or investment management, is one where your personal life is a reflection of your professional credibility. If your own finances aren’t in order, it’s an indication that you might not be able to manage business finances.”

See more tips in a Money Jobs guest post for Money, Life and More: Five Career Tips For Financial Workers.

 

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Inhabiting Heaven NOW

The concept of heaven has been distorted with so many of our fantasies about avoidance of struggle, suffering and pain. And since most of us can’t imagine a place on earth in which there is no struggle, suffering or pain, we’ve put heaven up there, out there, down there, anywhere, but here, on planet earth. What you are about to learn about heaven will change your thinking on this entirely. Heaven is not a place. It is not out there, up there, down there and it isn’t simply a place we go to after we die. It is right here, right now—but then it isn’t about avoidance of suffering either. Tune in this week— you’ll learn how to inhabit heaven NOW. AND you’ll hear our clip for this upcoming Super Soul Sunday, in which Oprah interviews one of the greatest American basketball coaches in history, NBA Championship coach Phil Jackson, as he discusses both his coaching philosophy and his own battle with cancer. Don’t miss it.

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5 Interview Mistakes Even Smart People Make – Life Reimagined At Work

My latest job search piece for Life Reimagined At Work tackles the job interview and offers advice to correct 5 interview mistakes even smart people make:

A job interview is seldom fun, but you know you’ve got to do it. So you write your two-minute pitch and your record of achievements then hope for the best. Actually, that’s just the beginning of what you should do to prepare. Make sure to check off these 5 rules, which are overlooked by even the smartest job seekers:

Put anchor text in your resume

More and more recruiters are reviewing resumes electronically. Furthermore, interviewers are often confirmed on the schedule last-minute, and your electronic resume is attached to the Outlook appointment. The interviewer only has a cursory look at your resume, so make it easy for them to get to know you. Put anchor text (the clickable text that links to a website) in your resume where you want to provide more information that the interviewer might otherwise need to search for. For example, maybe you worked for a company that is not well-known but is an innovator in its field. Yes, a text resume should have a brief description of the company, but using the company name as anchor text leading to its website gives the reader an invitation to click and find out more. Additional items to list as anchor text include: publications for which you have written; conferences where you have spoken (have the text link directly to the speaker page showcasing you); or samples of your work (e.g., link to a website that you built or a marketing campaign that you led).

Prepare examples, not answers

The temptation is to rehearse answers to specific questions: What is your biggest weakness? What is your greatest accomplishment? Why should I hire you? That’s not a bad strategy because these are standard questions, but this approach breaks down when you consider how many ways there are to ask a question. Your biggest weakness may not be asked outright. The interviewer might ask what your boss would say it is, or s/he might ask about a project where something went wrong (indirectly trying to ferret out a weakness) or ask why you left a certain company (even more indirectly probing for problem areas). You can’t possibly rehearse for every question you might get, so set your examples in advance, rather than specific answers….

Read more about preparing examples and 3 more tips in Life Reimagined At Work: 5 Interview Mistakes Even Smart People Make

 

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Career Coaching Questions Answered On Networking, Relocating From Abroad, Second Careers, Part-Time Work and Jumping Back Into The Job Search

In this episode of the SixFigureStart Career Coaching Radio Show, I answered questions on Networking, Relocating From Abroad, Second Careers, Part-Time Work and Jumping Back Into The Job Search:

Listen to internet radio with SixFigureStart on BlogTalkRadio

Fay asks: How do you know your networking is effective?

Anu asks: I recently got relocated to Memphis from India as. My husband is deputed with a client in Memphis  I have a bachelors degree in english literature and a masters degree in business administration specializing in HR and Marketing. Both the degrees are from Indian government affiliated Universities. Also i have around 5 years of work experience as a HR (IT Recruitment).. Please give me your expert advise on how to proceed. as I would like to work here.I am open for any role in HR

Jim asks: The process of beginning to look for a follow-on career and actually “defining” what that may be has become a valid and important topic and thought.  I would like to gain insight on transition pointers and things to consider, do and not-do.

Sandra asks: I have been retired for 15 years from a large global corporation and I am now looking for a part time position.  What is the success rate for someone in my age bracket to find a job (late sixties) and where should I start looking?  I live in N Las Vegas, NV.

Jamie asks: My current pressing needs are a revamped resume and brushing up on interviewing skills. I am beginning a new job search and its been a while since I’ve fine this!