For years, many people with varied interests have looked at their mindset as a drawback; they were told that they were scattered, shallow, or not serious. Some wondered if they had attention disorders.
Too many jobseekers ask their resume to do the work of their network. When it comes to getting results, it’s not even close.
How can the lessons of a job loss actually strengthen your career–and your own native resilience—over the long term?
Somewhere along the way, ambition went out of style, or at least showing it did. Recently, articles about Olympic snowboarder Shaun White reported that he is wildly unpopular among his fellow snowboarders despite the fact that he almost singlehandedly brought the sport to the world stage. Other snowboarders found his ambition to win unseemly.
Stewart says that the first step in preparing for an interview is to conduct a thorough inventory of your skills and accomplishments. A sort of personal SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in a competitive market can help you prepare to answer tough questions in the interview. These are internal qualities, whereas Opportunities and Threats are environmental qualities. What outside factors might influence the market for your skills? Is your programming language of choice being phased out? Are you an early adopter of some technique or technology? Being aware of industry trends helps you position yourself within a larger context.
The Bachelor’s degree may have slowed down as a a way for a candidate to stand out. With over 30% of adults now holding a Bachelor’s degree, ‘standing-out’ with respect to education may require job applicants to have more sophisticated training. This may be true both at the beginning of a career and as you climb in an organization. In some job environments, experience can only take you so far. To be considered for executive level positions, you may need an advanced degree.
I was shocked to read about the emails sent by a woman who includes in her email signature “2013 International Association of Business Communicators communicator of the year.” Her name is Kelly Blazek, and she runs a 7,300-subscriber JobBank newsletter based in Cleveland, Ohio. She’s supposed to be helpful (and a great communicator) but after her condescending and downright nasty emails to young careerists became public, she’s doing a lot of damage control. What was she thinking?
But names do matter. Your name is linked to first impressions from a very early age. A survey of 30,000 teachers revealed that 49 percent make assumptions about kids based on their names, and that they perceived some names as trouble makers (hint: don’t name your rambunctious boy Jack.)
An unfortunate paradox pervades the job market: the longer an average person has been out of work, the more likely she becomes to lowering her standards, widening her range of options, ignoring employer red flags, and behaving in ways that don’t benefit her long term interests. This is perfectly natural, and in most cases, it’s a logical and intelligent response to a serious problem.