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In the Driver's Seat

Category Archives: For Advisors to Individuals & Families

Why Your College Grad Can’t Find a Job in 2018

  It’s Summer 2018 and the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in years. Arguably it’s a candidate’s market. And yet, many new and recent college grads are still unemployed. How can that be? Finding a job is hard. It’s so hard that most people fail to do the heavy lifting of deciding what they might want to do. Discovering what you might want to do requires a number of assertive steps, including: listing your skills and interests and doing some research on career tracks that could be appropriate; researching the role and types of organizations where you can do it; talking with people who do it for a living; and going after that particular role and set of organizations without knowing whether there’s an opening.…

Tell Me About Yourself: Talk Your Skills Up in an Interview

Most interviews are in a behavioral format, meaning the interviewer not only wants you to share that you have a particular skill, they want to hear about how you used that skill in past jobs. Practicing your skill story ahead of time will allow you to share it strategically, building it seamlessly into The Story of YOU. First, a quick review of the four steps to telling your story: Start with a theme – a common thread that knits your experience together.…

Tell Me About Yourself: Examples of Narratives That Work

Telling the Story of YOU should be a great experience. It should make you feel like you’ve just had a 5-mile run or a great cup of coffee, or both. Instead, if it feels tortured, nervous-making or rambling, just imagine how the listener feels. This is your story – you get to tell it exactly how you want to, but to get results, it’s ideal to follow a few ground rules.…

The Story of YOU Part 2: Tutorial on Narratives that Work

  Last time we discussed the basic principles behind engaging listeners with your story. Today we are going to get downright specific – I’m going to share specific instructions for creating narratives that work well to open doors for all types of job seekers. First, some general principles for developing your narrative. Consider the audience for your narrative. Is it a general introduction at a roundtable discussion or conference? Is it a means of introduction to an organization, but not a specific role?…

The Story of YOU: The Most Fascinating Story Ever Told

  When you talk about yourself, do people listen? Do their eyes glaze over in boredom? Something in between? Knowing what to say, how to say it and, even more importantly, what NOT to say about yourself, is an art, and an important one. Telling your story in a compelling way is one of the most important things you can get right – not only in the job search process and on the job but also in, well, life.…

What Can Informational Interviews Do For Me?

  Over the years there’s been loads written about the value of “informational interviews,” the meetings you, the job-seeker, procure to find out more about an organization you’re interested in, while sort of pretending you’re not actually interested in a job there. These “interviews,” constitute a tricky dance between candidates and prospective employers, prompting many candidates to just throw in the towel and avoid them altogether. But that’s a mistake.…

Low Response Rate from Online Job Applications? Try This

A reader emailed me recently with a question about the low response rate to his online applications – a universal problem! For some people, online applications are the bane of their existence, yet others have success. Here is how I look at the virtual application market based on your level, and type of, experience: If you are just starting your career, it’s fine to apply online, as long as you take the steps I detail below.…

The Messy Middle of Your Job Search

In my practice working with executives at all levels and millennials starting their careers I’ve noticed that everyone, regardless of experience, finds the middle of their search stressful and difficult. Over time I’ve learned to warn clients about this. Once the exhilarating beginning of the career development or change process is over and we’ve identified an end goal, and the branding and marketing and outreach plan is ready to go, it’s time to wait to hear back from the market.…

Find More Career Happiness in 2018

  Welcome to your job search, 2018! Did you know that being more aware of your natural habits and tendencies can bring you more happiness and productivity in your career? In service to you, I thought I’d start the year off with some of the best productivity ideas I’ve read recently – simple ways of thinking about how each of us goes about our day that can have a big impact on the pleasure and satisfaction we derive from our activities, both at work and at play.…

Book Review: Weird in a World That’s Not

Jennifer Romolini’s new book Weird in a World That’s Not offers Millennials a joyful romp through Careerville, providing hilarious but important advice and support along the way. There is something for everyone in Romolini’s telling of her mildly-checkered past and get-it-together trajectory including some mild failure and, importantly, promising present and future career. Gems include sub-chapters such as “Small Talk When You Like Big Talk” (how to come up with small talk that is interesting enough to you to do it reasonably well, including how to compliment people in ways that can have lasting impact); “Networking for Haters” (Romolini calls networking “small talk with a mission”); and “Meetings Give Me Hives” (she nails how meetings are inevitable yet important and that you must prepare assiduously for them because they will impact your career in key ways).…