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Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

June 25th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Networking

Don't Be too Sure of YourselfHow good are you at driving a car? At judging the funniness of jokes? At evaluating the correctness of your own opinions and judgments? At measuring your own skills and knowledge?

Are you sitting down? The answer is: there’s a very good chance your answers to each and every one of those questions are dead wrong. The simple reason: when it comes to gauging our own abilities, most people stink.

In recent years, psychologists have been studying people’s abilities to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses, and have found an appalling level of incompetence, right across the board.

One researcher, David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, has completed research showing quite clearly that people are very poor judges of their own abilities, from logical reasoning to emotional intelligence, from sense of humor to skill at playing chess.

Based on the results of this emerging branch of psychological research, it’s clear that whatever specific things you can and can’t do, the chances are very good that you overrate your abilities.

What’s even more interesting is that, while true experts at a specific discipline generally possess a great deal of confidence in their knowledge and abilities - and rightly so, other people who are much less accomplished in that same discipline have nearly as much self-confidence as the experts!
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May 18th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Job Search, Networking

Getting Back Into Your Field: Re-entering the Workforce and/or Your Previous CareerIn today’s job market, any candidate who has been temporarily out of work (whether for child-rearing, lay off, or any other reason) or who has been working on a different career track for the past few years faces tougher-than-normal scrutiny when looking for work along their previous career path. With so many highly-qualified applicants for every decent job, hiring managers simply don’t want to take the time or trouble to consider anyone whose career history is even slightly off-target from the position they’re seeking to fill.

However, if you use the right strategies, you can usually make this situation work out well. Here are some ways to earn the best chance of being hired for a job that’s not directly in line with your recent career trajectory:

1. Ask your personal contacts, your friends and your family about possible connections that can lead you toward the career specialization, industry, or companies you’re aiming for. When you simply apply to publicly advertised jobs, you’re competing with people who have the straight-line, uninterrupted career path you lack. But when you find out about a position through personal contacts, you have a leg up on most of the other candidates, and your lack of recent career-specific background may cease to be a problem.

2.Prepare your case for overall career relevance. Think long and hard about your off-target history, and develop solid reasons why those recent activities - either the work and goals you have been accomplishing, or the non-work activities you have been pursuing - have a lot of relevance and carry-over to whatever position you’re now hoping to obtain. Put together a simple, clear, compelling story that explains why your off-target background makes you a better candidate than before.
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April 24th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Job Search, Networking

Can Blogging Help Your Job Search?You’ve likely heard about companies firing their employers for complaining about their jobs (or sometimes even just mentioning them) in their personal blogs. What you don’t hear as much about are the success stories. People who attract the attention of employers through their blogging.

Why would blogging make employers think that you’re the person for them? Maintaining a blog requires a certain kind of skillset and can translate into a number of workplace environments.

You have to know how to market… Obviously great for marketing positions, but really in any industry where you might be creating a presentation about something for your bosses (or their bosses), this is a great skill to have.

…and network. The way to get more hits on your blog is that same way you get ahead in the business world: network with the right people who are able and willing to lend a helping hand in exchange for you doing the same.

You have to be able to build and maintain relationships. In other words - people skills. Sure, you’re dealing with your readers virtually, but a lot of the same manners and protocols apply that do in the work place. Good people skills are always a sought-after skill.

You have to be able to clearly communicate. This applies to, oh, just about every job anywhere. Unless you’re working completely alone, you’ll need to talk to coworkers, delegate effectively to people below you, and explain to your superiors why you did or didn’t do what they asked of you. People who communicate well tend to do well.
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April 17th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Networking

5 Most Common Networking MistakesNetworking. Is there a more cringe-inducing word in the English language? Most people are not inherently good at it, and some even find the idea of it distasteful. Unfortunately, your personal connections are the best asset you have in getting a job and moving ahead, so networking - and networking well - is something that all of us have to work on.

That’s why it’s valuable to look at 5 of the most common mistakes people make when trying to network. Avoid these, and you’ll be well on your way to making a positive connection.

Make it all about you. Yes, the point of networking with someone is so that you can get them to help you in some way, but that doesn’t mean that you should ask for their help right away. Most people will find this rude, and even if they do help you, they might do it begrudgingly. At the very least, you want to forge some kind of personal connection before asking for what you want, but it’s even better if you can make yourself useful to them in some way.

Paper the town. When you ask someone for their help, or even just to get to know them, you want them to feel like it’s because they’re special - they are the only one who can help you because of their special knowledge and abilities. But that’s not going to be possible if you take a scattershot approach and put yourself out there to a bunch of people because you want to make sure that someone comes through for you. Do that and you’ll quickly become that annoying person that no one wants to help.
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March 8th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, Interviewing, Job Search

Find Out More about Prospective Employers“We’d like to offer you a position.”

Those are great words to hear, particularly if - like many jobseekers - you’ve been looking for work longer than you’ve ever had to look before.

But while the urge to say “Yes” will undoubtedly be strong the next time you hear those words, you shouldn’t accept without knowing a good deal about your prospective employer. You can, of course, wait to do all this research until after you’ve been offered a job. But there are at least two good reasons not to wait:

1. Some of the information you dig up will help you look good to a hiring manager.

2. Some of it will also help you decide whether, and how, to best pursue a job with this employer.

Regardless of when you want to dig up each tidbit of information, here’s a rundown of what you probably want to know about a prospective employer, and where to find it:

Obviously, you’ll want to know the basics:

-Locations

-Main business activities

-Products and services

You can find most of this just by looking in the yellow pages.

But you’ll also want to know much more.

Competitiveness For example, how does your prospective employer (PE) stack up against the competition? To find out, visit your PE’s website and familiarize yourself with the branding and marketing information displayed there. Take a look at your PE’s pricing structure, guarantees or warranties, and how it positions itself. Depending on what your PE sells, you may also want to approach the company as a customer would, and try to get a perspective on how the company is seen by those who spend money to keep it going.

Then briefly do the same for your PE’s major competitors. After you’ve done this round of research, carefully consider which company in your PE’s industry or market niche is doing the best job.
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