Weekly Roundup of Top 3 Search Tips

It’s Friday and time for the the top 3 job search tips I’ve found from the scores of blog posts I see and pass along. Also, I will be looking for your votes on which is your favorite. Feel free to forward this link to your friends in transition.

1. My first choice is related to a recent one I wrote on Know What You Want. Here Nance Rosen takes the next step (and the hard work) to putting into words what it is we want. Here’s an excerpt:

If You Can Say It, You Can Live It

* By: Nance Rosen on November 17th, 2009 at 5:15 am
* In Networking, People, Personal Branding, Success Strategies | 3 Comments

If you can’t tell people what you do, then you won’t be doing it much longer. If you can’t articulate what you want to do, then you won’t ever be doing it. But, if you can – well, I found out you are one in about 150 people who can complete this sentence:

I am: ______________________ .
On Sunday I spoke to an audience at an event sponsored by the LA Urban Beauty Connection, supporting two philanthropies and drawing a cool, professional crowd that came out to hear experts present on the latest trends in fashion, technology and business. My topic was The Real Secret to Success in Careers and Business, How to Stay Up in a Down Economy. Of course, I was there to talk about personal branding.
Personal branding foundational work.

Typically, I stand on a stage and talk at people (it’s more exciting than that, but basically I’m the show until Q&A or the workshop portion of my personal branding presentations). But, this forum was much more “theater in the round.” I was given the opportunity to do interactive, live coaching for people who had considered but never really hunkered down to do the foundational work of personal branding.

So, I opened with my signature line: “Everyday you have the opportunity to say the one thing that will change your life. I guarantee by the time we’re done today, you’ll know what to say, and where and when to say it.”

Five statement in the personal branding process

What a great way to spend a Sunday, I thought. It was like magnifying the coaching that I do with one person, but having all these people learn from process. I started as planned, by picking one person, but when she seemed a little lost, I move to another. I wound up challenging five people in the audience to complete these 5 statements that are requisite for the personal branding process:

1. I am:
2. I excel at:
3. I do this via these methods/approaches/tactics:
4. Here’s an example:
5. Here’s what I’d like to do more of:

Obviously, I want the answers you’d give in a business setting, or at least an environment that would make an impression on people attending an event like the one we were at. This is a networking opportunity. This is when you’re going to meet strangers; people whom you suspect are candidates for developing valuable relationships. If you do nothing else: you’ve got to have a crisp, clear and compelling way of communicating what you do, how you do it, and what you’d like to do more of (or what you like to do that is a departure from what you’ve got going on now).
Read here for the rest of the article.

2. Next Up – From WSJ’s Laid Off and Looking Blog, an interesting alternative to the search titled:
Postponing the Full-Time Search for a Contract Assignment

By Geoff Hibner

Geoff Hibner lost his job in 2007 after working as the CFO of Banta Corp. The entire executive team was let go when the company was sold. Previously, he was an independent consultant as well as a senior vice president and CFO at The Timberland Co. Mr. Hibner earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1977. He lives with his wife in Neenah, Wis. and has two adult children.

Geoff HibnerIt’s been a number of weeks since I last posted to this blog. I’ve been really busy. Not busy making contacts, that could lead to my next full-time job; instead, I’ve been really busy working as a consultant.

In several of my earlier postings I mentioned making a contact while interviewing for a certain CFO position. Although that introduction was too late for me to be considered for the CFO position, it did lead to the CEO of that company deciding he wanted to meet me to discuss other possibilities. To make a long and complicated story shorter, a series of discussions led to a full-time corporate strategy and financing consulting assignment that began in late August.

The assignment is extremely interesting. I work with solid and dedicated people, and the compensation is good. But, I’m away from home from Monday morning until Friday night, working 55 to 60 hours a week (I’m paid by the week, not the hour), and have little time for activities which might lead to another full-time position.

I’m certainly not complaining. I made the decision to take on this assignment knowing that it would affect my job search activities. I didn’t expect to work quite so many hours per week, but it can’t be helped when there are deadlines to be met.

This assignment could stretch out for several more months, or it could end within the next few weeks. There could be other projects when this one is completed. Even if the opportunity exists to remain in a consulting role for months to come, I’ll really need to decide soon if continuing as I have been is in my longer-term best interests. Some readers will say that to have a full-time position, even as a consultant, in these tough economic times is to be in a great position and that I should continue to devote all my energy to creating value for the company so that there will be follow-on projects. Other readers will observe that consulting positions are often the first to go if a company decides it must cut expenses; even if the position has been created to address a very specific, time-sensitive issue (as mine was), and they’ll insist that I need to somehow find the time to continue my job search. Both will be valid comments and I’ll need to decide sometime soon which way to lean.

Readers, are you postponing your full-time search to keep up with a less-stable contract position? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

3. My last choice today is from Meg Giuseppi and reports on some things you probably already knew but now have statistics on the generation born between 1946 and 1960…

Boomer Career Trends: The Graying of America’s Work Force

By Meg Guiseppi | November 20, 2009

We’ve all been hearing lately that boomers are staying in the workforce longer because their retirement accounts took such a hit recently, and that we can expect the trend to continue well after the economy recovers.

According to one government estimate, 93% of the growth in the U.S. labor force from 2006 to 2016 will be among 55 and older workers.

But you may be surprised to know that the majority of those over 55 stay at work beyond retirement age because they want to stay active into their later years, not because they need the money.

According to a September 2009 nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project:

“A majority (54%) of workers ages 65 and older say the main reason they work is that they want to. Just 17% say the main reason is that they need the paycheck. An additional 27% say they’re motivated by a mix of desire and need.”

The reasons older workers gave included:

* “to feel useful”
* “to give myself something to do”
* “to be with other people”

Conversely, younger adults are staying out of the workforce longer.

Of Americans aged 16 to 24, 57% are in the labor force today, compared to 66% in 2000.

Two factors impacting the youngest working group:

* Instead of diving into full time jobs, they’re getting a college education under their belts to get ahead, and
* Discouraged by dwindling opportunities in this economy, they’re dropping out of the job market entirely.

The Pew report is based on analysis of long-term trends in survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Pew Research’s own survey of a representative national sample of 1,815 people ages 16 and older conducted from July 20 to Aug. 2, 2009.

Other key findings:

* Security trumps salary.
* Despite tough times, job satisfaction remains high.
* Older workers are the happiest workers.
* Retirement is not always voluntary.
* Even so, retirement gets high marks.
* The public is skeptical about full-time working moms.
* Most working moms would rather have a part-time job.

You can grab the full report here: Recession Turns a Graying Office Grayer.

JP Headshot1JP McDermott is a financial services and insurance advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. He is also a career and financial coach, has been volunteering his time and experience to various non-profit, service and civic organizations, most recently helping those in transition. His philosophy is to help others be more successful and to enjoy the benefits of meeting new people.

JP lives in Danville with his wife Candy.

Check out his LinkedIn profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/jpmcdermott

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