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.
Creating a 30-60-90-day plan is a fantastic way to stand out from your competition in a hiring process. I’ve seen it help people with less experience (or zero experience) beat out others with substantial experience. I’ve seen it boost the value of job offers for those who bring it. I’ve even seen it help job seekers get offers for bigger titles and more senior roles than what they actually interviewed for. It really is kind of an interview miracle worker.
However (there’s always a catch, right?)…some job seekers have said to me, “I don’t know what you’re talking about…I took a plan and didn’t get the job.”
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.
Have you heard of 30-60-90 Day Plans? Simply put, this kind of plan is an outline of what action steps you plan to take in the first 3 months of your new job. You research and create it before you go to the interview. During the interview, you talk over your plan with the interviewer / hiring manager.
In this post, I’m going to show you 7 reasons you absolutely need to bring your own 30-60-90-day plan to your very next job interview. In fact, my best advice to you is: never go to another interview without one.
When I first mention these plans to job seekers, I say, “Take a plan to your first interview.” You don’t want to take a chance with getting cut from consideration, so bring you’re ‘A’ game from the beginning. The job seeker typically responds with, “How can I make a plan if I don’t know what the job is or if I haven’t worked at that company?”
The answer is, “You have to do some research.” Look up information about the job and the company. Ask your network for help, too. Then put on your critical thinking cap and imagine yourself doing this job. What will you need to do in order to make sure you’re successful?
Let’s look at why this is so important and then how to make it easier.
Here are 7 reasons why this matters so much, and why a 30-60-90-Day Plan will get you hired:
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.
What happens if you haven't worked (or interviewed) in 7 years and then when you do get the interview, it doesn't go like you expect? If you're prepared (like Frank), you have confidence and you adjust.
Frank was able to deal with a last-minute change in interviewer (who didn't have questions prepared) and was able to adapt a 30-60-90-day plan to a faster timeline. (Congratulations Frank!)
I [have been] working with a recruiter for a claims adjusting position since late June, 201x. I did this type of work [for 5 years]. Since it as been quite a while [7 years] since I was a claims adjuster, many companies were hesitant on interviewing me, and I was passed up quite often...
I got an interview with a company in my town on July 14, 201x...When I arrived at the interview, I was told that the person who was to interview me was called away, so someone else took their place. The person was not really prepared for the interview, so we just talked about the company, and my experience.
So, I remembered my favorite questions from the "How to Answer Interview Questions" manual, and just incorporated those answers into the conversation (without being asked them). Then, I remembered the 30/60/90 plan, and spoke if offered the job, I would incorporate a 5 day, 10 day, 20 day plan on how to best be successful. (Because for claims adjusting you pretty much are released into an active caseload and expected to dive in). I plan to use the actual 30/60/90 day plan on a future job interview.
Anyways, although the interviewer did not have a set of questions prepared, I was already prepared for the interview, because I had studied your material. Two hours later, I was told that the interviewer liked me and asked if I can commit to a August 15 start date ... First interview in several years, and I got the job! ...I felt very relaxed at the interview because I knew what to say! [😊]
What should your takeaway be from Frank's experience?
Preparation is everything.
You never know what you'll run into in an interview. The more prepared you are and the more you work on building valuable interview skills ahead of time, the better off you'll be no matter what happens.
It's an amazing feeling to walk into an interview feeling confident and ready for anything.
Here are links to the tools that Frank used, so you can have that feeling and that success for yourself:
A 30-60-90-Day Plan is the most important tool or document you can bring to an interview (besides your resume). It gives the potential employer a glimpse into the future by outlining how you will approach the most important tasks and action steps of your first 3 months. It lets the hiring manager or interviewer have a ‘test drive’ of what you’d be like in this new job. As a result, it changes the dynamics and scope of your interview in a big, impressive way. It’s the #1 way to improve your interview so you get the offer. I would personally never interview without one.
However—sometimes, people come to me and say, “I brought a plan, but I didn’t get the job.”
My question for them is, “What does your plan look like?”
You can’t just Google ’30 60 90 day plan’ and expect to find a good plan. Not all plans are created equal. I’ve seen plenty of useless (and even damaging) free plans online—some are too short, some are too long, and some don’t focus on the right actions.
In this article, I’m answering the most common questions I get from job seekers about what your 30-60-90-day plan should look like in order to get you the job offer—and I’ll show you where you can get a template that’s proven to be successful in a huge variety of jobs at all levels (entry-level to C-suite).
So…what does a good 30 60 90 day plan look like? How can you write the best plan?
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.
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:
Starting a new job can be filled with stress--meeting new people, learning new systems, making sure you're doing the things you need to do in order to be successful.
One of the surest remedies for nerves is preparation. The more prepared you are (for anything), the less stressful it will be. This includes starting a new job and interviewing for it in the first place.
A 30 60 90 day plan is simply an outline of actions and goals that you will take in the first 3 months on that job to be successful.
It can help you get a better job than you might have been able to without that extra effort, and it helps your new employer see you as someone special. Not only does this make you more confident and prepared for interviews, it makes you more confident and prepared for your first day on the job.
I received a great email from Kathy as an example of someone who has put this into practice, and I am excited to share it with you:
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.