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In the Driver's Seat

Category Archives: For Mid-Career Professionals

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.…

Four LinkedIn Job-Search Tips for College Seniors

Seniors, I’m hearing from a lot of you that you’re having a tough time finding the right job and graduation is looming. As you know, LinkedIn is the first place recruiters and hiring managers look when they want to know more about you. I look at profiles all the time, and there are a number of mistakes, or simple lost opportunities, that I see among people of all ages. Here are some concrete things you can do now to get your profile in great shape for employers.…

Want a Summer Internship? Here are the 6 Things You Need to Know

So you’re a college student and while you really want a summer internship, you either haven’t gotten around to working on it or have made some inroads but given up. The good news is there are still plenty of internships available if you’re willing to apply yourself to the task. You should know that the most competitive, structured and paid internships are mostly gone by now. And because of the regulations around paying interns, some big companies have abandoned their internship programs, so there may be fewer paid internships available.…

How a College Senior Can Build A Network in 3 Easy Steps

A panicked college senior at University of Michigan, my alma mater, contacted me recently. Dear Ms. Cheston, I’m graduating in May and have been applying for jobs with nothing to show for it. I’ve completed over 100 online applications and haven’t received one call back. I don’t have connections and neither does anybody in my family. I will have student loans to pay and can’t afford to be without a job after graduation.…

How a 2016 College Grad with No Experience or Connections Got His Dream Job in 6 Months

Happy 2017! I don’t know about you, but I find the onslaught of tips for committing to New Year’s resolutions anxiety-producing. Personally I prefer – and find more effective –making incremental and realistic changes as I feel inspired – by a book, a talk, a client…or a thought in the shower. Then I’m able to plan for that change in a specific and habit-forming way, propelled by positive energy. But everyone’s different.…