Posts tagged #career search strategy

Does work make you all warm and fuzzy?

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We all want a career that’s equally enjoyable and fulfilling. So what do you do when your career isn’t hitting the mark? It’s not always as simple as following your passion. For example, you may be passionate about baking, but pursuing a career as a pastry chef isn’t realistic for you. Instead, perhaps you pursue a career that allows you to use similar skills utilized when baking (i.e., precision in following a process with opportunity to apply creative elements throughout).

A fulfilling career allows you to help others by utilizing your passion.

Components of a Fulfilling Career

To discover what career gives you the warm fuzzies, you need to combine the work you’re good at with work that helps others. It’s easier said than done – most people don’t know what they’re good at, or don’t have the confidence to pursue it fully. Identifying your unique traits through career exploration can help in discovering your dream job.

Another critical component is finding the right workplace and right boss. A bad boss can ruin your dream job. That’s why it’s important to find a supportive work environment. To unveil this during an interview, ask questions about the company culture and team dynamics.

What To Do When Your Career Isn’t Fulfilling

If you’re stuck at a job that doesn’t bring you value and isn’t in a supportive environment, satisfaction will never come, no matter how much money you earn.

If you aren’t in a meaningful career, it may be time to step back and assess your future career plans and goals. Your goals might include finding another job, going back to school, or changing career paths completely. It’s never too late to discover the best career for you.

If you find yourself needing to switch gears, a good place to start is identifying what you like and dislike about your current role. If your dislikes relate more to the company than the job, it could be time to explore other opportunities. If you dislike the work you’re doing, perhaps a career change is the next step.

At The Wilbanks Consulting Group, we know how challenging this process is. We’re here to help you discover the best career for you based on your unique strengths. We offer everything from career exploration to interview coaching and offer negotiation. Our team can help you find your dream job. Reach out to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more.  

Posted on February 5, 2019 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.

5 Negative Habits You Need To Break Before Landing Your Next Job

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Negative habits in the workplace not only reflect badly on you, but they can also contribute to a toxic work environment. Identifying your negative habits is the first step to breaking them. Thankfully with a positive attitude and shift in mentality, you can overcome your negative patterns and instead create productive actions.

1. Gossip

While workplaces have become increasingly casual, that doesn’t mean you can chat with your coworkers the same way you do with your best friends at happy hour. Gossip in the office breeds a toxic workplace. Remain self-aware of how you appear to others. While it may be tempting, avoid speaking poorly about others behind their backs. And if there is an issue, remain professional and approach the individual or their manager and give them feedback.

2. Solo-Mentality

You weren’t hired to do it all by yourself. While it may make you feel satisfied not asking for help, the solo-mentality can make you seem like you aren’t a team player. Working with a team helps you grow professionally and makes your job more enjoyable. Of course, there will be times when you need to put your head down and get work done. Aim to create a balance between working solo and working with a team. If you struggle to find this balance, ask your manager for feedback. They will likely be happy you asked.

3. Not Taking Responsibility For Your Actions

Whether you’re in a leadership role or not, you must take responsibility for your words and actions. If you make a mistake, own up to it and take it as a learning lesson. Mistakes happen to everyone; it’s how you bounce back that makes the difference. Instead, take ownership of your words and align them with your actions. This will build trust in your integrity. When others have trust in you, they tend to place more value in you, which will help contribute to a pleasant work environment and maybe even a promotion!

4. Disrespecting Common Areas

It can be easy to forget to put the cup in the dishwasher or wipe up the spilled water on the counter. If you tend to overlook things like this, remember the rule to leave things better than how you found them. In the workplace, you aren’t there to clean up after each other, you’re there to collaborate and do great work. Take pride in the common areas and lead by example when cleaning up after yourself.

5. Making Excuses

Excuses are easy and can be made for almost anything. Avoid finding excuses and instead identify the root of what’s causing the problem in the first place. If you’re always late and make an excuse every morning, set your alarm 20 minutes early and aim to be at work 5-10 minutes before your scheduled time. Doing this will help you feel less stressed and kick off your day on a positive note. Establish this self-awareness and make the change instead of making the excuse.

If you’re a culprit to these behaviors, don’t worry! With effort and consistency, you can eliminate these habits.

Are you looking for a new start in your career? Our team at Wilbanks Consulting can help you with career exploration and coaching to provide you with the tools and skills that will give you the competitive edge over other applicants. Breaking these habits is a great first start. Contact us to learn more about how our career coaching can help.

Fall Recruitment Ramps Up - Are You Ready?

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Once summer ends and vacation season is over, recruitment and hiring picks up to fill any vacant roles before the holidays roll around (and to use up budgets before they run out).

This is a great time of year to apply for jobs! Applying to the right place at the right time can boost your chances of getting hired.

Fall Recruiting Ramp Up

In many industries, Fall is a big recruiting time. Why?

  • Winter is when many hiring managers have fresh, new budgets. Industries often use that season for executive-level hires.

  • By Spring, companies look for recent graduates and entry-level applicants looking for their very first job.

  • Once summer arrives, the recruiting cycle begins to slow down due to travel and flexible summer hours.

  • As Fall approaches, hiring managers take a closer look at their budgets and hiring needs before the holidays. During the fall, companies with needs and surplus funds want to snatch up the qualified candidates at all levels before their budgets run out and the holidays commence.

Prep Now, Stress Less

There are several things you can do to mitigate stress and put yourself in the best situation during the peak recruitment season:

1. Refresh your Linkedin Presence

Linkedin can be a fantastic way for employers to find you. Make sure your job is current, your education and certifications reflect reality, and your skills are up to date. It also doesn’t hurt to have a recommendation or two. Linkedin has a tool that lets hiring managers know you’re open to new opportunities. Make sure that tool is set to the “on” mode. Also, spend time engaging with your connections on the platform. This impacts the algorithm and helps your profile surface within search results more often.

2. Update your Resume

What if a hiring manager from your dream job found you on Linkedin and invited you to the office for an interview? Great, right? Absolutely! The catch: it’s tomorrow. Would your resume be ready? Save yourself the hassle and keep your resume current as you look for opportunities.

3. Attend Networking Events

Networking events provide an excellent setting to meet other professionals. It can also be a great place to let others know you’re looking for new opportunities. Most people will jump at the chance to help you find something great. If you share with others that you’re job hunting, they will likely do what they can to help you. Keep a couple resumes handy when you attend these events!

4. Brush up on your Interview Skills

The day has come and you’re brought in for an interview. You may know you’ll excel at the role, but without a great interview, you could appear as a “bad fit.” Brush up on your non-verbal language, remain professional, listen, and position your answers so the interviewer feels assured you know what you’re talking about.

Need some help preparing for the upcoming recruitment season? Our team at The Wilbanks Consulting Group can help you gain the skills and confidence you need to land your dream job. Contact us for more information.

Posted on September 5, 2018 and filed under Search Strategy.

Searching For The Perfect Job With Long-Term Goals In Mind

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You need job search goals to succeed. A lot of times we focus on the short-term goals and forget about the important long-term goals. If you are ready to find the perfect job, it’s time to step back, look at the bigger picture, and create long-term goals.

First, start by figuring out exactly what you love and hate about your current job. What makes you excited about going to work and what makes you dread going into work? Be completely honest with yourself. Write down both lists on one peice of paper so that you can see them side-by-side.

Once you have your list together, create a strategy for landing your perfect job. Start looking for job descriptions that match the “love” side of your list. As you read through job descriptions, keep an eye out for areas where you need to improve your skill set. Do you need a specific certification? Do you need additional experience in order to meet the minimum requirements requested of the job? Write the list of skills or experience you’ll need. Are you willing to pursue these experiences in order to land your dream job? If you are, you’ve got a great start to setting goals for your career search!

Depending on how involved the skills and experience you need to acquire are, these may or may not be long term goals. And that’s OK! Set those goals and then go back to the job descriptions. What advancement opportunities are available to you in the job you’re seeking? How would you like your position to evolve over the next three years? Five years? Set your sights and then write the goals needed to get you there.

Do you need help setting your career search goals? Let our team of experienced career coaches partner with you!

Our team of career consultants can help you craft the perfect strategy to achieve career success. We use proven assessments to examine your personality type, interests, and strengths. We align the results with your goals to create a strategy for future growth and development through your current position or a new one. Our tactical job search services prepare you to tackle your search with an arsenal of materials that communicate your value. Our career coaching empowers you to flawlessly execute your strategy in any situation. Contact us today.

Posted on June 5, 2018 and filed under Search Strategy, Career.

How to answer “What’s your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?”

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Interviewer: “What’s your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?”

Interviewee: “My strength is that I have no weaknesses.”

Please don’t answer the classic interview question like this. No one is weakness free! And while this isn’t a trick question, it is a question that is meant to reveal how you view yourself, your confidence level, and your forward-thinking skills. Most of the time, interviews don’t actually care what the strength and weakness are - they want to hear how you handle a self-assessment.

Here’s the key: There is always something you can be working to improve, and this question opens the door to show interviewers that you are actively working on an area or skill.

Here’s 5 easy steps to prepare for this classic interview question:

Step 1: Write down your honest answer to this question. You don’t have to show it to anyone at this point, so be truthful!

Step 2: Ask your best friend to answer the question for you. Ask them to be honest, but helpful. In all the time you’ve known this person, what do they see as your greatest strength and weakness?

Step 3: Ask a close colleague to answer the question for you. Your best friend will answer a bit differently than a colleague. Having the two perspectives will be insightful.

Step 4: Compare notes. Were any of the answers similar? How were they different? Do you agree or disagree with their assessment? Spend some time to think through the responses and form one coherent and honest answer that is appropriate for an interview. Bonus points if you can tailor your response to the specific position you are interviewing for!

Step 5: Come up with a plan to address your weakness. It’s important to not just answer the question with the strength and the weakness, but to include a plan of action for improvement that is already in place. Here’s a great example from an author:

“I’m really creative when it comes to brainstorming topics for my writing and I’m quick to lay out an outline. My weakness lies in catching the details. I sometimes struggle to catch the small stuff when editing, but I think being aware of the problem is half the battle. In addition, I’m working to improve on this by taking editing classes and allocating more time to review work before it leaves my desk.”

Everyone should prepare for this question. Having a thought-out and plan-of-action will leave a great impression with your interviewer.

Want more interview tips? Read How to present yourself as a team player.

Tips for Handling Interview Nervousness

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If you are taking the correct steps to showcase your value while applying for jobs, you will land an interview. Interviews are standard practice in the hiring process to ensure a candidate is not only qualified, but also the right fit for the company. It’s normal to be nervous for an interview - all eyes are on you!

One particular nerve-wracking interview that I had out of college was 3 hours long and involved me being shuttled from one office to another. I met with almost everyone in the small, family-owned company for “mini” interviews (over 10 of them!) and also had to take a three part skills test on a computer. Going in to a three hour interview, I was incredibly nervous. I was afraid that I would forget someone’s name, that I wouldn’t pass the skills test, or that the fast-paced interviews would damper my ability to showcase my value.

In that interview, and any interview you may face, the challenge is to think about it for what it really is: a meeting where both you and the interviewer are trying to figure out the best fit for the position.

Bottom Line: It’s not just you being interviewed, it’s you interviewing the company and your potential future colleagues. If you don’t think the workplace culture is a fit for you, then you don’t have to take the job if it’s offered. Keeping this mindset takes a lot of the pressure off of you and puts some on the interviewer.

Keeping that perspective, here are a few tips to manage nervousness and start your interview with confidence:

  • Research. Know as much about the company as you can before your interview. Most employers will casually ask, “What do you know about our company?” Stammering through a half-right answer won’t help your confidence or leave a good impression. Be prepared and know who it is your interviewing with.

  • Prepare your own questions. Remember, you are interviewing the company too! Come with a list of questions that you want to know as a potential employee. Here are some great examples:  

    • Can you explain a bit more about the company’s {insert project here}?

    • How are the company teams structured?

    • What opportunities for advancement come with this position?

    • What is your favorite thing about working here?

    • Do you feel that you have friends at work?

  • Put your best foot forward. This is an obvious one, but it’s so important. Dress professionally. Bring copies of your resume, just in case. Be on time. Act courteously and graciously. If you do these things, you can be confident you will make a great first impression.

  • Do a mock interview. It may sound or feel awkward, but practicing for an interview with a career coach is one of the best things you can do to prepare. This practice will empower you to answer questions with confidence and equip you with a plan for presenting your value.

Still feeling unsure of yourself? We’d love to help you build confidence and increase your chance for success. Contact your personal career coach today!