Thursday, September 27, 2012

Make It Count! Job Tip of the Week

Quick job tip of the week, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but here we go:

When focusing on your career....make it count.  Whether you’re doing an interview, summer internship or even just a short temporary assignment.  Make the experience count.  Doesn’t matter how long or how cool the experience is....but you have to take something away from it.

The only way to get better in your career and improve is to grow.....being thoughtful and upfront with your experiences will allow you to really focus not only on the moment but on the experience you’re gaining and how to use it going forward.

Hope that helps, get out there and learn something....and then apply that learning.

Monday, September 24, 2012

London Calling - Networking thoughts from my trip to London

Ok, sorry for the lack of content lately…just getting back from a week in London meeting my team there.  It was a great trip, tons of fun in an amazing city but more importantly it got me thinking about the importance of networking.  I know I talk about networking a lot in this blog but really I can’t talk about it enough.  Networking will change your personal and professional life like you never imagined.  You’ll have to wait for the “Jeff Moore – The life and times of a recruiting knucklehead” book for personal stories about networking but here are a few thoughts/lessons that really hit home during this trip.

1) Find like-minded people, and ENGAGE with them – A few years ago I went to an event called truBoston which was a recruiting event in town.  There I met a bunch of folks via Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman) like Mark Babbitt (@YouTernMark), Johnny Campbell (@socialtalent) and Mike Vangel (@MikeVangel).  What was great then and is still great today is that those folks are engaged and really pushing the envelope in my field.  We met at an event, engaged and I’m still learning from them today.  Kick ass.

2) Networking takes time and effort – Prior to about 2008, honestly, I HATED networking and didn’t really find most other recruiting folks to be that interesting.  Seriously, I was pretty sure I knew my shit and didn’t need to network to get better.  Um wrong.  You may remember that September when the world fell apart, well for me, everything changed.  TONS of my colleagues and friends were laid off a looking for work…..I was fortunate to have a great job but people came to ME for help….and my network sucked.  Long story short, I realized it was time to buck up and get out there.  Without a great network I was just another recruiter and eventually would find myself needing to network.  Hence this blog, my tweets, the hundreds of networking coffees and phone calls since.

3) Pay it Forward - The best kind of networking is when you help someone accomplish their goals....NOT just a one way street for your own advancement.  So, pay it forward.  That’s right, help people out and then w/ a little luck and karma when you need help....your network will be there for you.

4) In person matters - This might seem like common sense, but meeting people in person matters.  There is nothing quite like having a conversation face to face.  I spent a little time last week with some old Google colleagues, nothing better than having a beer and catching up on things.  It’s hard today in the global world we live but finding time to meet people in person will pay for itself in spades.  

5) Keep it going - Last point but perhaps the most important.  Once you get yourself networking and building relationships it’s important to keep it going.  Keep meeting new people, expand existing relationships and push the envelope.  You’re never done networking....ever.

Ok, that’s it for now.  I’ll try to get another post out later this week.  Good luck with things this week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Get a second opinion

Quick post this week, I’m working on a couple of big ones but you don’t care about that.....the topic, a “second opinion”.

It’s interesting, when you are diagnosed with a disease or something you frequently are told or ask to get a second opinion.  Makes sense right?  You don’t want to have your arm cut off only to hear you could have just popped an aspirin.  

The question is, why would you ask for a second opinion with your health but not with your career?  Most people, not everyone, but most people go through their job search in a cone of silence.  Bad idea.

Now, you have to be careful with confidentiality and the whole “too many chefs” thing but really, when you’re looking for a new job you HAVE to be crowdsourcing your way to that new role.  here’s why:

- Your friends know people...who know people...who know people.....networking wins in when you are trying to find a new job

- Experience matters.  Some of your friends are interviewing pros...tap into their expertise so you can get better and score a great job.

- Two brains are better than one.  That’s right, even the smartest person needs a sanity check.  Talking to a friend, colleague or spouse can help you make sure you don’t do anything stupid and take a crappy job....because let’s face it, it can happen.

Hope this helps, good luck this week and keep an eye out for a few new posts soon

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How much information should I share on LinkedIn

Ok, this week’s post is another one of my “guest ideas”...this one from Clayton Pritchard. Clayton is my boy, long story but really appreciate him sending this topic my way. Frankly, how we know each other is probably a great blog post. ANYWAY....

The topic...”How much information should I put on my LinkedIn profile?”

The easy answer is, as much as possible...but it’s not quite that simple as you want a profile that accurately reflects your background but also isn’t overwhelming to someone who’s looking to find someone with your skillset.

Here are a few tips that might help:

1) LinkedIn knows what they are doing - They recommend you fill out your profile “completely”.  They do this for a reason, because it works.  Take the time, fill out the profile as much as they recommend and you’re well on your way.

2) Don’t over communicate - You want to spell out your experience, but know go crazy.  Don’t put a thousand words in your summary.  Short, sweet and descriptive.

3) Recommend some folks...and get a few of your own - Recommendations are great...but they are a two way street.  You want people saying nice things about you but you want to contribute as well.  I LOVE seeing who people recommend...if they go crazy, it probably doesn’t mean anything but if they only recommend a few people that means a lot.  Now, go recommend someone.

4)  Join some groups - LinkedIn literally has groups for everything, and you should join them.  You’ll meet great people and even learn a bit.  I really like networking w/ folks in similar groups as I know we have shared interests.

Ok, that’s it, but this should get you started.  I’d also recommend following @LinkedInQueen on Twitter who offers a ton of great advice on this topic as well.

More soon, hope this helps!!