Job target

Choose Your Own Adventure: 3 Career Clarifying Tips to Market Yourself in the Job Search

Choose your own adventure. It's not just a book genre. It's your life!

Job seekers, in particular, you get to DECIDE what to pursue. Make sure you are making the choice! Being generic and putting out broad materials about WHO you are and WHAT you've done is doing everyone a disservice. Especially you.

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Choose adventure-specific marketing in your career documents and networking.

How do you do it? Choose a job target and position yourself accordingly. Unsure which professional route you want to take? Try:

✅ Identifying your key skills. What are you known for? What problems are you an expert at solving? What makes you different from colleagues in your profession? Use your key skills as search terms on LinkedIn and see what positions pop up.

✅ Deductive reasoning. If you are at a total loss for next steps, flip the process on its head. Sometimes knowing what you want to do starts with recognizing what you DON'T have any desire to do! Reduce your options by using O*NET Online > www.onetonline [dot ] org/find/.

✅ Talking to people. Be a student of those that are in positions that pique your interest. Request new connections on LinkedIn. Ask for a brief chat to learn the nuts of bolts of what they do. Note industry transitions, specific skills and experiences that paved their way.

Need a few more tips to clarify your career focus? We’ve got you. Download free here.

Are You Facing Obstacles? Return to Work with Confidence!

Flexjobs surveyed over 900 Stay at Home (SAH) parents about their decision to return to work. 58% of SAH parents surveyed took more time away from work than they expected. What obstacles did they face to return?

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The study found their barriers were:

Don’t want or can’t be in an office full-time: 59%

Don’t know how to find a job that fits my life: 54%

Don’t know what I want to do for work: 36%

Don’t know where to begin: 34%

Don’t have networking contacts/stayed in contact with them: 33%

Not sure how to balance career and family: 31%

Need an updated or new resume: 30%

Don’t want to go back to the same career: 27%

Lack of confidence: 25%

The local job market isn’t great: 22%

Haven’t kept up my skills: 23%

Need guidance or coaching: 19%

Commuting to work is prohibitive: 17%

Are you stuck in your return to work strategy? Start by unlocking your career focus! Download our free DIY tip sheet to get started and gain confidence!

Does Your Career Still Fit?

I've been buying cheap sandals my whole life- flat, floppy and flimsy, trendy-in-the-moment sort of sandals. And you know what? My feet hurt. Are you feeling the same in your career? What once worked for you no longer does?

This season, I took the time to research and investigate. I went to a store (gasp!) and tried on several brands. I found a pair that fit, where my feet feel supported (I didn't know that was a thing!) and I can walk longer than a block before my feet hurt. Now, I probably wouldn't have worn this pair of sandals years ago - but they are the best fit now.

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Are you in a career that once fit and no longer does? Do you feel the pinches of your ill-fitting role? Worn-out? It's time to do an analysis of YOU!

Take a minute to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).

Strengths + Weaknesses: Look inward and identify your unique value proposition.

Questions to ask:

- What do I do well?

- What can I improve?

- How do I compare to my peers?

-What comes naturally to me that seems to be like work for others?

Opportunities + Threats: Look outward at your current organization and/or where you want to go ( a career pivot to a new industry, another company, new role, etc.)

Questions to ask:

- What positive opportunities face me in my current (or different) organization?

- What obstacles do I face?

- Are the specifications for my job changing? Does it still suit me well?

The more you know, the more well-suited career decisions you'll make. Walk confidently toward a career that fits you now.

Need help unlocking a new job target? We can help with six free, DIY tips. Get them here.

Career Passion: Destination or Process?

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“Do what you love.” “Follow your passion.” How many times have you received similar career advice?

I love what Angela Duckworth said in Adam Grant’s WorkLife podcast to “develop your passion" not follow it.

We treat career like a calling – something that needs to be found like uncovering a secret treasure. With this philosophy, there is even a possibility of missing it if we don’t dig around enough.

I love the idea of career passion being developed rather than found. It isn’t a destination; it’s a process. Have you missed opportunities by pursuing a singular focus? How can we encourage others in their career pursuits based on inquiry and learning rather than a linear, planned path?

More than Google: Online Tools for Target Company Research

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Target a company of interest they say. Understand company pain points, jobseekers. But what about when you are stuck with lackluster search results? There is more than Google in online company research.

Check out these online tools to find more organization information and about the people within them.

Company Information:

https://www.crunchbase.com

http://www.vault.com

https://pitchbook.com

Nonprofit:

https://www2.guidestar.org/Home.aspx

Real-time compilation of social media channels:

http://socialmention.com

Use what you learn to inform how you can add value to your target company. Integrate what you’ve learned into your career documents and let it inform how you present yourself and your professional brand in your interview.

What online tools have you used to bolster your research in the job search?

Do you have a Free Range Career? 3 tips to coalesce your Professional Experiences

When we talk about a 'career path' it gives the sense of a linear direction, but when I look at back at my professional history - my path is not well-worn or straight, but squiggly and intersecting. 

Have you roamed in wide open professional spaces creating trails instead of a well-worn path? Perhaps wandering from job to job has been your MO and now you are getting tired of lacking direction. Maybe your career path is similar to the chickens that lay the free-range eggs that you eat for breakfast. You like me, have a free range career. 

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If you are ready to gain a sense of direction or connect the dots of your wanderings to find a meaningful true north, start by nailing down a career target. To start:

+ Reflect on your professional paths. Take note of the wanderings that brought you to life and which drained you. 

+ Identify your key skills. What are you known for? What problems are you an expert at solving? 

+ Uncover your career values. Discover what motivates you and is most important to you. Is it prosperity? Creativity? Achievement? Discern the career values that are unique to you.

Need more tips to clarify your career focus? Download them here.



Ditch the Boots: Start 2019 Light

I recently heard the statistic that 7 out of 10 Americans dislike like their job.

I’ve been in a job that I dreaded. It felt like I was walking through mud in rain boots.

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The newness of the gig wore off and my ideal expectations of the position were replaced with a job description that really didn’t fit my giftings. I started to drown in the details. The pit in my stomach revealed anxiety rather than excitement.

Are you trudging through your day needlessly tired by the end? No longer inspired by your work? You are not alone. You don’t have to keep putting the boots on each morning.

Within the misery, I began reflecting on what brought me to that specific position, what I enjoyed in the work and what was missing. I found I loved building relationships and connecting others to their personal passion. I realized my strengths in brainstorming and possibilities rather than planning event details. This reflection led to a better fitting, more fulfilling career.

Do the work of reflection on the precipice of the new year to identify a job target that is in the sweet spot of your natural skills and abilities. Find hope in the possibility of skipping effortlessly through the beach sand rather than trudging through the mud.

Start 2019 light. Ditch the boots.

Need help identifying a job that best fits you? Download our free DIY tips to hone your job target.

Find hope, new Grad! Hint: It's in your Coursework.

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Heads up, December graduates. There is hope for your resume.

Hope, if you didn't take time to do an internship. Hope if you didn't work while you were in school or job shadow.

Look at your coursework. Did you complete a project with real-life deliverables? Lead a team? Do research with practical application?

Create a "Project Experience" section on your resume. List the course title, when you took it and showcase the real-world deliverables you launched or contributed to because of your project. Here’s an example:

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Lastly, remember to choose project accomplishments that align with your job target. Not sure of your career direction, new grad? Download six, free tips to hone your professional focus here.

Chaotic To Straight: Your Professional Narrative

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Does your career path seem chaotic rather than intentional?

Yeah, mine did too.

My college degrees have little to do with what I am doing now.

Nonprofit management? Nope. Not anymore.

Higher education? Still no.

Even if your career path isn’t straight, you can still craft a professional narrative that IS! Even though I started in Sweden working with college students and now certified to write resumes professionally – my focus hasn’t changed – only my assignment.

I’m passionate about connecting people to their passion.

What themes do you see in your career journey? Dig deep. They are there.

Once you discover them, tell your story in your career documents and your LinkedIn profile.

If you can’t seem to connect the dots, check out our six free tips to clarify your focus and your job target here.