So…you’re in a job search, tight on money and worried about the future. Is hiring a career coach worth the investment of money or time?
Well, you could ask a client I recently coached…he received a job offer for somewhere he really wanted to work, but was a little dismayed at the salary they offered him. He contacted me (a career coach) to ask what to do.
I worked with him for an hour total on coming up with a counter offer that he felt comfortable with, and he ended up with a salary $50,000 higher than what he was originally offered.
How’s that for a return on investment?
Granted, that’s an extreme case…but I’ve worked with many, many people over the years who benefited in significant ways from coaching.
One person had no trouble getting interviews, but she never received an offer…until I role-played an interview with her and discovered that she was bringing up salary and compensation way too early in the process. It scared interviewers away from her, even though she was extremely qualified. As soon as she stopped doing that, she got an offer. She might have gone months or even years before she got hired…so that coaching time earned her thousands of dollars.
As you and nearly everyone else in the world have realized and are experiencing as we speak, technology has drastically changed the way people interact with one another. This goes not only for casual conversation, such as through social media, but through the way customers and businesses interact and even how people seek out jobs.
If you’re a senior-level professional on the hunt for a new position, you’re probably taking in just how much job hunting has changed since the last time you had to look for work. However, many of the changes delivered by technology are quite beneficial to job seekers!
You’ve been job searching for a while with no luck.
Many a job seeker is making mistakes they don’t even realize. Sometimes it’s a resume problem. Sometimes it’s how you’re coming across in interviews. Sometimes you’re not marketing yourself well online.
If you’ve been searching with no luck and you’ve already tried some changes that aren’t working, it’s time to call in an expert to diagnose the problem and give you a solution that WILL work.
You are transitioning to a new career.
A coach with experience in the field you want to enter is the perfect resource to help you market and present yourself to potential employers. They can help you decide how to present your experience in a way that makes sense and appeals to hiring managers in that arena.
You have a difficult situation in your past that you have no idea how to talk about with potential employers.
Olympic and pro athletes hire coaches and trainers to help them reach the top of their abilities.
Talented singers hire voice coaches to help them become better, stronger, and more skilled.
CEOs regularly consult with business experts, mentors, and personal coaches to help them stay at the top of their fields.
If all of these talented people invest in themselves with coaches or trainers who focus on them and their performance, why shouldn’t you?
Here’s something else: You went to school in order to gain the knowledge to do your job well. You do your job better than someone would without that training—right?
But let’s be real here...how good are you really at all the things necessary for your career, such as networking, interviewing, giving your elevator pitch, telling an employer why you’re valuable, negotiating a compensation package, or even working the office politics necessary to climb the ladder in your company?
January is always a BIG month for hiring in companies of every kind, everywhere (February is pretty popular, too). Why? New budgets, new plans, and new starts. This year could be even stronger--some are predicting the best job market in years.
How can you tell what companies are hiring?
How can you tell who's hiring? You can't. There really is such a thing as the hidden job market (70% of available jobs are not officially posted at any given time). You can't know what's going on:
They may have firm plans to hire but don't have the job description written or posted yet. (This is one of the reasons that 70% of jobs are hidden.)
They may have the job ready to post, and you'll catch them in the nick of time.
They may have just received a resignation letter from someone on their team taking advantage of January hiring and moving on.
Your takeaway from all this is:
Don't wait around to see what's listed on job boards and company websites. Get ahead of the game and contact hiring managers at companies you're interested in first.
This puts you ahead of everyone else who knows that January is a good time to job search.
Career coaching can be an extremely valuable tool for job seekers, but there are vast differences in quality and experience. To find a good coach, you should know what you can expect from a coach in terms of scope, time, and cost; as well as what to look for in a good coaching fit.
What do career coaches do for you?
A career coach will focus on specific problems you are having in your career or job search and give you solutions for those problems. Some coaches may try to figure out why you believe/behave the way you do so that you can change your behavior and actions going forward. Others will give you straightforward ‘how to’ advice to overcome your particular issues.
Career coaches are can help you with any career-related issue: creating or refining your ‘brand,’ marketing yourself in the job search, resume writing, interviewing, getting promotions, raising your profile within your organization for long-term growth, negotiating salary or compensation packages, building your confidence, and even refining your speech habits so that you can inspire confidence from others.
Companies are leaning on referrals more and more these days. A referral allows the company to find an excellent candidate without paying a pricey recruiter or hiring multiple HR people to sort through resumes. It’s a win-win for businesses, employees (who often get referral bonuses) and job seekers.
… Except when you’re a job seeker who doesn’t know how to network. With networking becoming more and more important in the competitive job market, those who cannot connect end up without a job (or at least one they like).
So make sure you get that dream job by upping your networking game and avoiding these five mistakes:
Each week, we hold special informational webinars for job seekers to teach the best job-seeking skills and tips to anyone who needs them.
We focus a lot on teaching you how to take a new and stronger approach to finding jobs, getting interviews, and getting the offer.
It's so rewarding for me to get the feedback I hear from attendees like this one from Bertrand in Switzerland:
I thank you so much for your very inspiringwebinar about online applications. It was a real eye opener for me, and I considered it an invitation to take back control of my career destiny and outcome.
You have demonstrated … very logically and progressively the steps to follow and the project-like approach [in preparing] for reaching out efficiently to decision-making managers, and how to successfully connect and perform in the interview in an entrepreneurial way in order to be recognized as the candidate, separate from the crowd, to fill this job.
Thank you very much for giving me a new vision on new possibilities and boosting my confidence.
I am thrilled that we could to help Bertrand, and I wish him the best of luck in his new job.
If YOU would like to:
Have a clear, step-by-step plan for getting a great job
In one minute, I'll give you 9 strong reasons you must have a 30-60-90-day plan for your job interview. (If you're not getting offers, this is what you're missing.) Watch this video:
Warning: You can't just use any old plan and still expect it to deliver these kinds of benefits.
I've had people come to me and say, "Hey, I took a plan and it didn't work." I ask to see their plan and I almost always find that it's super short (ineffective), too long (all about you--not the employer) or some free download they were told was a good plan (it wasn't).
I've seen a lot of free templates that are totally worthless, and I don't want you to be misled into using them.
Have you been a stay at home mom but you're ready to get back into the workforce? Maybe you took time off to be a caregiver for a loved one in ill health.
If it's been a while since you had a full-time job, you've probably been told to brace for a long job search, reset your expectations, and plan on coming back at a lower level than before. Not only do employers assume you're out of touch with current best practices, they're probably discriminating against you because of your age (according to an AARP survey).
This all sounds awful, but the good news is that this doesn't have to be your story. Need proof? Look at what happened to Dereck:
After taking a 5-year career break to look after my children following the death of my wife, I decided...to resume my career...
After having sooooo many job applications ignored or turned down...I finally got invited for an interview. It went dreadfully even though I could have done the job with my eyes closed.
I studied these with interest and did my preparation. Went to the interview with my question list and 306090 day plan, but some of my experience wasn’t broad enough.
Although I was turned down for the job, the interviewing manager recommended me to his directors stating “this was the best prepared candidate I have ever seen and we would be mad to let him go.”
So I was invited back for another interview for a more senior role that didn’t yet exist, and for which they had no other candidates.
This was a unique challenge – but I still did a 306090 day plan for it (based simply on a one-word hint from the recruiting team), extending it to cover tasks in months 4-6 and beyond
Today I was offered this more senior job, on a good salary, with promise of a review after 6 months to increase that further once the role has been properly scoped. I’m defining my own dream job!
And all because your books taught me to be prepared. Thank you so much for all the great advice.
Without a plan, he was totally qualified for the job--but he didn't get it.
WITH a plan, they were so impressed with him that they invited him back to interview for a HIGHER level position they created just for him. It doesn't get any better than that.
What's so special about a plan?
A 30-60-90-day plan is a written outline of your prioritized tasks and goals for the first 3 months on the job. It dramatically illustrates your value and helps you secure the job offer, no matter how long you've been out of the game.
We recognize that creating a plan is harder than it sounds. There are a lot of parts and pieces to it, and you need to know what's really important. You also need to know how to present it most effectively in the interview. For these reasons, we developed plan templates that make it easy for you to create your own customized plan. We included coaching to help you use it to get the job.
Wherever you are in your career, we have a plan for you:
You may have done a lot of work to get the job offer, but should you take it? Maybe...maybe not.
I think you should try to get as many offers as you can, because that gives you options and leverage. Also, sometimes you'll get a job offer for a higher-level job than the one you interviewed for (this has happened when job seekers bring a 30-60-90-day plan).
However, not every job offer is one you should take. Turning down a job offer can be a difficult thing to do, because you may have a fear of uncertainty about when you'll get another offer--but making the wrong choice can be disastrous.
Rebecca had been laid off from her job and came to Career Confidential for help. What she learned boosted her confidence (not just in her job search, but in her career life) and got her a better job than what she had before:
I wanted to say thank you for the help you have provided me. I must say that the one thing I learned from you is never give up, have confidence and always be selling. It had even helped me in my day to day work. It is well worth the price of subscription to your service.
I have successfully secured a position in a company of my dreams, now after six months on the job, I had a pay increase of 15%, now putting me back to the same level I was earning before the last layoff. I am at a better job, with great bosses and good work life balance. Thank you.
If you're in a rough spot with a layoff or tough job search, don't give up. All you need are the right job search skills and confidence in yourself. We have tons of resources to help you, too--with confidence, skills, and getting the job you want.
I love receiving emails like this one from Rebecca (Congratulations Rebecca!). Please let me know about your successes in your job search, too. Comment here or email me at Peggy@CareerConfidential.com.
Networking is so critical to job search and career success that it’s pretty much ALWAYS time to build your network.
However, now really is a strategic time to pay deliberate attention to cultivating the relationships you have and developing new ones. Why?
For one thing, companies are hiring now—we’re seeing a lot going on with our coaching clients and customers. Even the ones who may be putting their hiring on hold right now may hire in December (actually a great time to job search) and after the New Year.
Reaching out to your network may result in you getting a job now, or it may set you up to be in the right place at the right time in a couple of months. It’s an ideal way to crack the hidden job market.
If your resume is full of paragraphs with no numbers in sight except for the dates of your employment, then it needs a little spiffing up. Break up your accomplishments into bullet points and quantify them. Add numbers, dollars, and percentages that describe what you did to make something better in your last role.
A lot of people get bogged down in this, thinking they have no way to quantify if they weren't in sales...but everyone can quantify. Nurses can talk about how many patients they saw. Teachers can talk about how many students they had and what percentage passed the state test. Accountants can mention what budgets or dollar amounts they managed. Everyone has something measurable they can talk about.
Your resume is the foundation of your job search. If you don’t get it right, you won’t move forward—but it is all too easy to make a mistake with this critical document.
What should you never include on your resume?
Mistake #1 - A 3rd Page (or 4th page)
This can be a big issue if you have 20+ years of experience. Naturally, you want to show how much you know, how much experience you have, and how valuable you are.
However, hiring managers (employers) don’t like seeing extra-long resumes. They only take a few seconds to glance over a resume anyway, and they want to take it in quickly. If you’ve given them too many pages, chances are they won’t look at them.
Here’s the rule: No resume should be more than 2 pages unless you have publications or (possibly) if you are at the C-level in your career (CEO, CFO, COO, etc.).
If you do have 20+ years of experience, you have an advantage here, because you can edit your resume to show the most impressive accomplishments of your career. You’ll have 2 pages of ‘wow.’