Posts Tagged: career coach

How to feel “unstuck” while feeling “stuck” at home

Most of us are currently following the stay at home orders that have been instituted all over the world. I have been hearing a lot of people saying things like “I just feel stuck” or “I feel like this is wasted time”.

The fact is, most of the world is in the same situation, so feeling like you are getting left behind as the world is moving forward simply isn’t the case, we are all in the same boat. Mindset is key in this situation. It’s important that you are choosing to see the silver lining of this extra time as the chance to use it however you feel works best for you. For some, that will mean some much needed down time, for others, it might be getting in that quality time with the kids that you have been missing. For others, it can be a time to grow your skills and knowledge to set you apart when the world returns to normal.

Here are some ideas of great ways to keep that stagnant feeling at bay!

Take an online class

Utilize some of the wonderful online learning platforms to deepen your software skills, learn about how other people in your field approach their tasks, or even to pick up a new hobby. If you don’t know where to start here are a few suggestions:

  • MasterClass is a great site where famous experts in their field share their knowledge. Here you can learn to cook like Gordon Ramsey or critically think like Neil deGrasse Tyson. It is a bit pricier, but they are running a buy one, get one deal that you could split with a friend or colleague.
  • Udemy is similar in concept to MasterClass with a wide range of subjects and price points. They also run great sales every few weeks with up to 90% off some courses.
  • SkillShare is more targeted to the arts but features great content if you are looking to pick up a new hobby or are interested in an arts career, and they are running a free two-month trial.

Read a book

Normally our schedules are so packed with work, social events, and errands that we don’t have time to sit down and read a book. Check out the great selection of physical books available for delivery online or download an eBook from a respected person in your field, a great life coach, or a how-to book for a skill or hobby you are interested in.

Did you know we have a career coaching book available? Check out the HR Insider; how to land your dream job and keep it – available online at Chapters and Amazon!

Update your LinkedIn / Resume

If you are facing a career change or looking to grow your network, take some time to review your LinkedIn page and resume to ensure that it is up to date and the best reflection of you professionally so that recruiters or potential connections are more interested. Make sure to include keywords in your profile, so when recruiters are searching for candidates, your profile will have a higher change of popping up on their radar.

Practice your skills

Take this time to revisit the skills on your resume that you may have not used in a while. For example, if you have Excel as a top skill on your resume but haven’t been using it in your current role take some time to play around and assess where your skills are now and take steps to improve them.

Set goals

Things like legitimate goal setting can get bumped off the to-do list easily. Take this time to sit down and map out some SMART goals for yourself for the short term and long term. If you set a 3-month goal, add a calendar alert to remind you to check in on your progress six weeks from now, and again at the goal date.

Practice interviewing

If you are looking toward applying for positions soon, ask a friend (or us!) to stage a practice interview with you. The earlier you do this practice interview the earlier you can identify gaps in your skillset that could help guide you to the best online courses to be taking now.

Shop around

Turn your designated Amazon scrolling time into time where you “shop” for dream companies. This form of shopping will not cost you anything and may help you discover a new goal.

Reach out

If you have (or discover) a company that you would love to work for, reach out on LinkedIn to see if you can arrange for an informational interview using Zoom or FaceTime. Although the recruiter at your dream company might not be immediately available to interview or meet with you, it’s still a great idea to throw your name out there and express your interest in case a suitable role opens up later down the road.

Develop your brand

Who do you want to be perceived as professionally? Do your LinkedIn, socials, and resume all reflect the same brand identity? If not, take some time and analyze what you should adjust to best represent yourself. If branding is not your strong suit that may be a great online class to take!

 

If there are any great things you have found to continue your professional development during this time we would love to hear about it!

 

 

Informational Interviews – Here is What They Are and What They Can Do For You

As a person looking for a job or doing research to find out more about a new career, informational interviews are great places to start learning.

According to Wikipedia, an informational interview is a meeting in which potential job seekers seek advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future work place.  An informational interview is not a job interview; it is a meeting where a job seeker is given the opportunity to learn about a specific job from a person who is working in that field.

It is an excellent source of information about an occupation and career opportunities.

The benefits of an informational interview include job seekers:

  • gain information about an industry or a specialized field
  • find out about jobs and career paths
  • are given tips about a job, how and when to apply and even the name of best person to speak with
  • learn about the culture and information of a specific company
  • can ask questions for feedback about skills and education that are beneficial

A great benefit of an informational interview is that they are not job interviews, so they are less stressful. An employee can casually discuss the daily activities of a job and learn more about an industry.

Arranging an informational interview may be tricky if you are new to the industry.  A couple of great sources to professionals in an industry are LinkedIn, as well as Google. Asking for a referral from friends, family, alumni or a past instructor are also great ways to expand your network.

People are busy so don’t be upset if a person doesn’t have time to speak to you.  It is a numbers game so arrange for several informational interviews to get the face time you are seeking.

As the person looking for the inside edge on a company or job, be organized and prepared for the meeting.

Here are a few tips to conduct a professional Informational Interview:

  • Be prompt and keep the conversation brief – 15 – 30 minutes
  • Dress as you would in a job interview
  • Research the person as well as company you are meeting with
  • Arrive with questions and a pen and paper to make notes
  • Always be polite and thank the person you are meeting with

At an informational interview, job seekers learn about qualifications and skills required to know if they are heading down the right career path.

Here are a few sample questions to ask:

  1. Tell me about your daily activities?
  2. Tell me about your career journey and how it has led to your current position?
  3. What are a couple of tips that you would offer someone starting their career?
  4. What education or classes are most valuable in your job?
  5. What opportunities are there for advancement?
  6. What are the most important skills for a successful employee to have?
  7. What are the typical salaries and benefits in this industry?
  8. How often does your firm hire?
  9. Is there anyone else you think would be a good person to meet?

 

Informational interviews are a great source of information so that you can up your game.

Now that you have this, we wish you success!

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