Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Getting Noticed

Did you hear the one about the guy who walks into church with his cap on? As he approaches the entrance one of the ushers taps his head and whispers, “Your cap.” The man walks on, down the aisle, to his seat. One of the parishioners smiles and motions to his own head and whispers “cap.” The man smiles and looks away. The service begins. As the celebrant comes down the aisle he leans over to the man as he passes and whispers, “your cap.” After the service ends everyone processes out where the celebrant is already greeting parishioners as they exit. He asks the man with the cap why he never removed it while he was in church. “Father,” he says, “I’ve been coming here for four years and this is the first time anyone has ever noticed me.”

So what does this have to do with work, job search or your career? It begs one question and one question only: What am I doing to get noticed? — by my boss, my employer, an interviewer, as I send my resume over the internet in response to an ad?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Half-Time Check In

The 4th of July is officially history for this year. We had the BBQs, enjoyed the fireworks and wore the red, white and blue. We’ve passed the half way mark in 2009 and it’s time to check our progress on the things we promised ourselves we would take care of.

What about that job you took after the layoff—the one that gave you benefits and kept a positive cash flow coming in. The one that was meant to be temporary. You accepted that job with the understanding that it would be a short-term fix not a long term solution, right? OK, that was a good idea — then. Many folks made similar decisions in this economy. There’s something noble and downright responsible about doing something for the greater good like keeping a roof over your head and the family insured.

So now that we’re several months into the year, what are you doing to move forward? What are you doing to put your plan back into active mode — or did you just settle in?

It’s time for a little introspection. Are you ready to take the deep dive? Ready to ask yourself the hard questions? Questions like: Why haven’t I done anything about my job search yet? . . . . . .updated my resume? . . . . . hired that career coach? Did you get comfortable? Figured any job is better than no job? OK. But if you’re waking up at night wondering where you go from here, it’s time to put first things first.

Half the year is over and yes, unemployment hit 9.5% in June and yes, it will probably go into double digits soon. But there are jobs out there. I have clients that are getting offers and landing jobs. Why? Because they’ve been working at it. Stephen Covey, in his book First Things First, had the perfect response when someone asked the difference between “urgency” and “importance.” He said: “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”

It was urgent to get a job after the layoff; it’s important to find a job that feeds you.