Category: Networking


Can Finding a Job Be Like Finding Love?

Can finding a job be like finding love?

With today’s job market, it can be tough to find a good job. Almost as tough as it is to find a good companion.

But the way you approach finding a job is not so different than the approach you might take when finding a mate.

While it’s true that opposites attract, most people seek out a mate with common interests and values.

You’ve also probably heard you have to know and love yourself before you can know and love another person. The same is true when determining what career field you should enter into.

What Are Your “Must-Haves”?

First, you need to know enough about yourself to know what you like and what you don’t like. Do you prefer an outdoorsy, adventurous job to a nice, quiet desk job?

You also need to determine what you value most in an employer. Are you looking for an employer that’s honest and caring? Do you want one that’s going to spend a lot of money on you in salary and benefits?

If you recoil at the idea of a long distance relationship, location and commute may be important factors in determining what kind of job is right for you.

So the first step to a job search is self-reflection and self-assessment. Career assessments are similar to tests used in online matchmaking. They measure your interests and values to determine what career fields may be a good match for you.

However, these assessments should not be taken too seriously. The results of your career assessments don’t mean you can’t succeed in other career fields. Just like the results of your matchmaking test don’t mean you can only date those people who fall into your “perfect match” category.

Many times, potential mates come along when you least expect them, and so do other career opportunities.

Put Yourself Out There

Once you know what kind of job is right for you, now you have to go out and find it!

There are several ways to find a job, and it’s important to exhaust all possibilities.

First, there are online job boards which are similar in function to online dating sites and dating apps. However, keep in mind you can’t just post your resume to a 100 job ads and sit back and expect employers to call. Just like the ladies can’t expect to give out their phone number to every man they meet and sit at home waiting for them to call.

Instead, the most effective and successful way to find a job is through networking.

Networking is important because, just like the fact that not every person has a personal ad posted online, not every job is advertised online.

In fact, over half of all jobs go unadvertised.

Networking can be very intimidating (check out my post 7 Easy Networking Tips for Introverts). It can even make some people nervous because it’s very similar to being “fixed” up on a date.

Or it can be like trying to get up the nerve to approach an attractive member of the opposite sex at a party. Although in the case of networking, you usually don’t have any liquid courage to make it easier.

Networking also yields better results than attending a massive job fair, the singles bar of the working world.

But leave no job lead un-turned.

Even if the lead doesn’t turn out to be your dream job, the contacts you make from it could lead you to a more compatible job.

This is kind of like going on a blind date and instead end up falling for your date’s roommate instead.

Time to Flirt!

Once you’ve searched and found job openings that are right for you, it’s now time for the seduction scene.

You must spend some time fixing up your resume to make it more attractive to potential employers.

A resume is the occupational equivalent to flirting in the dating world.

The purpose of a resume is not to get a job, but to land a first-round interview. Just like the purpose of flirting is not to get a marriage commitment, but to land a first date.

Your resume should target the position for which you are applying.

For instance, instead of listing every job you’ve had since babysitter or lifeguard, list only the most relevant jobs. Or those where you developed strong transferable skills necessary to be successful in the available position.

If the “flirting” works, the seduction game continues with the first interview (i.e. the first date).

Do Your Research

If you’re being fixed up with someone, usually before the date you try to get the low-down from your friend the matchmaker on what the other person is really like.

It’s necessary to know a little background information about the potential match before meeting them. This helps you determine if the person has any of the qualities you’re looking for in a mate.

You want to do the same before meeting a recruiter or potential employer for the first time. In fact, your research should be even more thorough when it comes to preparing for your screening interview.

The research you do on the company before the interview not only will impress the interviewer, but will also help you determine if it’s a close match to your interests and values. (And, unlike in dating, it won’t be seen as stalking.)

Ask Lots of Questions!

Once you get past the whole “What am I going to wear?!” dilemma (which can be stressful since first impressions count, both on a first date and in a job interview), it’s time to see if the chemistry is there!

Both a first date and an interview is the time to determine if your personalities click with each other.

Questions help in determining if there’s a connection.

Keep in mind that the interview is a two-way street.

You must ask thoughtful questions to decide if this is a job you want to pursue further.

Not having questions about the job or the company would indicate a lack of interest in the job.

You wouldn’t go on a date and not ask the other person any questions about themselves, would you?

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

We all know that men and women communicate differently when interacting with each other. They also perform differently from each other in job interviews.

Men are more confident (and sometimes overly confident) when talking about themselves in the interview. Maybe it’s because they get a lot of practice from dating since men often treat a first date like a job interview.

They tend to talk about themselves because, since women ask their dates many questions, men think women want to hear all about them and hope they will impress the women in the process.

Many times, women are asking questions because they want to be asked the same questions by their dates.

Women feel it’s impolite to just initiate a conversation about themselves.

Some women aren’t as confident as men are in an interview because they don’t feel comfortable tooting their own horn.

During the job interview, women should highlight their skills and accomplishments by giving specific examples and relaying that into how they can make a contribution to the company.

Men should do the same while also asking more questions about what would be expected of them in the job.

Say “Thank You”

Hopefully, if the chemistry is there, your screening interview will lead to a second-round interview.

It’s important to follow-up the first interview with a thank you letter. This is the same as the “I had a great time last night” phone call or text after an amazing date.

Make sure you send a thank you letter within 24 to 48 hours. In it be sure to reiterate your skills and your continued interest in the job.

Once you’ve done that, move on with your job search.

Continue interviewing with other companies because it may take weeks to get a call back from the first company. Just like it may take weeks to get a call back from last night’s amazing date.

Ready to Go Steady?

After going through several rounds of increasingly intensive interviews, you finally get a job offer, the equivalent to the question of “Want to be exclusive?”

If you look around, you can tell some people put more thought into which job they’ll take than into which person they’ll spend the rest of their lives and procreate with.

And yes, there are factors of a new job that need consideration over a few days to a couple of weeks before giving an answer.

But keep in mind the high-paying, high-profile job that lacks challenge and opportunities for advancement is the same as the tall, dark and handsome or beautiful, blonde and buxom prospect. Although sexy, it won’t necessarily make you happy in the long run.

You need to ask yourself if you’ll love at least 60% of the day-to-day tasks of the job. If so, you could have a keeper on your hands!

For more career advice and job search tips, click here to subscribe to my newsletter.

paNASH’s Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017

Check it out! Below are paNASH’s top 10 most popular blog posts of 2017. They include topics such as such as pursuing your passions, career and life advice, interview tips and more.

This past year I’ve been posting my blog entries not only here on the paNASH web site but also to the awesome platform Medium. This has allowed for more reach and therefore the ability to accomplish my 2017 goal of using my business to help more people get unstuck in their careers. 

Please remember to “clap” on Medium for the articles you find most interesting. Doing so allows me to continue sharing my content with you and other readers!

paNASH’s Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017:

  1. The One Surprising Tip That Guarantees a Good Interview
  2. 8 Simple Hacks to a More Passionate Life and Career
  3. 7 Comfortable and Easy Networking Tips for Introverts
  4. 5 Books That Will Make a Huge Impact On Your Life and Career
  5. What NOT To Do In a Job Interview
  6. Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From the Competition
  7. How to Think Like an Entrepreneur (Even When You’re Not One)
  8. 10 Lessons I’ve Learned From 10 Years of Freelancing
  9. The Secret to Answering Behavioral Interview Questions
  10. Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You

Note: If you have trouble with any of the above links, you can view the same articles here on the paNASH blog.

How to Be Realistic About Networking

Networking is a necessary part of the career development process. It helps you discover opportunities you never knew existed. This could include a career that is just the thing that fits nicely with your passions and strengths. Or it could include opportunities in a field you’re already passionate about. But most importantly, it helps you build long-lasting professional relationships.

Since 80% of the workforce found their opportunities (whether working for someone else or for themselves) through networking, it makes sense to spend 80% of your career development and job search on networking. But before you dive into networking, you need to check your expectations about networking, and make sure they’re realistic.

Unrealistic Networking Expectations

When I used to work as a college career adviser at a local university, I had several students wanting to go into the music industry. While most of those students understood the need to network, some would put it off until graduation. This was a huge mistake! Especially since going into the music industry where getting to know the insiders is more challenging than in other industries.

I know this from personal experience when I used to do image consulting for recording artists. It took me three times longer to develop my network with music industry professionals than it did in my previous industry. In fact, it took about three years before people started saying, “Oh, yeah, I know you!”

If one of my seniors getting ready to graduate had waited until graduation to begin his or her networking efforts, he or she was about three years behind the competition who started their networking efforts their sophomore year. Those who had already been fostering professional relationships were more likely to land a job upon graduation.

Even if your own chosen industry takes less time to get to know the insiders, it’s true the sooner you start developing relationships with appropriate contacts, the sooner you’ll see the fruits of your labor. In other words, expecting it to happen overnight is unrealistic.

Realistic Networking Expectations

That’s also not to say it can’t happen quickly. I have two examples of each scenario from my own career. First, I met the vice president of a Nashville-based company while attending an event downtown at the Entrepreneur Center. An exchange of business cards and one brief conversation a month later he hired me to do some contract work for him. And I’ve been working with him for three and a half years now. I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly. It just did.

This same gentleman introduced me to a wonderful small group of local business owners at the same time he had introduced another woman to the same group. For two and a half years I got to know these business owners in a very close-knit way, including the other woman introduced to the group. In that time we shared our celebrations and concerns on a weekly basis. After getting to know each other for two and a half years on such a level, she also hired me to do some contract work for her business. Again, I didn’t expect this to happen, but with time, it did.

The “Organic” Approach

In both situations, I never asked them if they had a job for me. Instead, after taking the time to establish a rapport with them, they approached me with the opportunity to work with them. I never entered either relationship with the expectation of getting something from them. This is what I call the “organic approach” to networking.

Anything that’s forced feels creepy! In fact, one time there was a guy who was starting his own business doing similar work to my own. He called me to introduce himself to me and actually said, “I’m calling to network with you”. Eeww! That was an immediate turn-off and I chose not to engage in his approach.

The best approach to realistic networking is an organic one. It looks like this:

  • Be genuinely curious about other people. Ask them about their own career path and passions.
  • Listen to what they say! Don’t be the one dominating the conversation.
  • Share things with them things they’ll find helpful or interesting based on what they’ve told you about themselves.
  • Lower your expectations of what they can do for you and raise your standards of how you can benefit them.

Start now. And be realistic!

For more networking tips, get the on-demand program The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively.

Related Post:  7 Comfortable and Easy Networking Tips for Introverts

7 Comfortable and Easy Networking Tips for Introverts

Most people, especially introverts, find networking to be very awkward. Here are 7 tips to make networking a little easier and more comfortable.

#1. Start with who you know

Start with the people you already know and feel comfortable with. Invite them to go with you to events and ask them to introduce you to the people there they know. Be sure to take someone who’s extroverted so they can also introduce you to the new people they’ll easily meet there.

#2. Have your contacts give a “heads-up”

When friends give you the name of one of their contacts, ask them to let their contact know ahead of time you’ll be contacting him or her. This gives the person a “heads up” and it will be clear why you’re contacting him or her.

#3. Email before calling

If you’re going to make cold calls to industry people, start first by sending them an email or connecting with them on LinkedIn.

#4. Develop talking points

It’s good for you to know what you want to talk about before aimlessly engaging in conversation. Decide ahead of time which questions you want to ask and what points you want to make. Also, frame your conversation with small talk. Start and end your networking conversations with small talk, and have the middle part of it be about business. 

#5. Network during your peak time of energy

If you have more energy in the mornings, attend networking breakfasts. If evenings are your peak time of energy, go to events held after work hours. Know what works best for you. Be selective by only attending those events which work best for your energy level and what you hope to gain.

#6. Set goals and allow time to re-charge

If you know you’re usually tapped out after talking to only 3 or 4 people, then go to an event with the goal of meeting only 3 or 4 new people. Afterward, go home or to a quiet place to re-charge.

#7. Push through the discomfort

Acknowledge any discomfort you feel and push through it. While it may be more comfortable to network via email or LinkedIn, you eventually have to get out from behind the computer. If you still feel intimidated by the idea of attending a networking event with numerous people, start with one-on-one meetings and informational interviews.

For more easy networking tips for both introverts and extroverts, check out paNASH’s on-demand program The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively. Learn about informational interviewing, networking etiquette, and when/where to network. As a result, you’ll be better prepared and will feel more at-ease in future networking situations. And you’ll make stronger connections with those who have hiring power.

8 Simple Hacks to a More Passionate Life and Career

Life can often be mundane, causing you to feel stuck. Especially when you aren’t living and working in your purpose. So how can you become more passionate about your life and your work? How can you better enjoy both? By following these 8 simple life and career hacks:

1. Try again at a previously failed attempt.

Most people will suggest you try something new and I’m all for that. I’m a big believer in trying new things, whether it’s new food, a new hobby, or even something as simple as a new route to work.

But I also know it’s important to try something old. Especially something you once attempted and failed at before.

You may remember from my article 5 Ways to Discover New Passions, I shared how I failed at my first attempt at rock climbing and how something clicked after giving it a second chance. This gave me more confidence and a greater interest in the activity, resulting in physical improvement in my body.

What’s something you can try again? What would be the possible benefits of trying it again?

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work: How to Overcome Obstacles + Achieve Job Search Success

2. Do one thing you can complete within 24-48 hours that will put you one step closer to achieving a long-term goal.

You can accomplish a large goal by taking a step-by-step approach. Incremental steps add up to big achievements. Simply doing one small thing each day will help you develop habits necessary to reaching your goal.

What’s one thing you can do today to get you closer to achieving your bigger goal? What’s one thing you can do tomorrow? Ask yourself these questions every day. Before you know it, you’ll have accomplished more than you thought you were capable of!

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, Don’t Just Set Goals, ACHIEVE Them! 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan

3. Understand how your strengths and skills benefit others.

Knowledge of what you’re good at is power, especially when trying to win a job interview or get promoted. But knowing how your skills solve other people’s problems helps you better understand your purpose, not just in work but also in life.

Think about your strengths and skills you possess both within and outside of your job. How do they benefit others?

For example, my top spiritual gift is encouragement. I use this strength in so many aspects of my life, including my work, my interactions with friends, and when learning alongside others. I’ve been fortunate to see how this gift helps people gain the courage to pursue their passions.

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic!

4. Update your resume every 6 months, even when you’re not looking for a job.

Because of my background as a career coach, I’ve helped thousands of people with their resumes. I always tell them the same thing:  keep your resume updated every six months.

Why? 1) Because you never know when someone will ask for a copy of it. 2) You never know when another career opportunity or promotion will come your way. 3) It’s easier to remember what you’ve accomplished in the past six months than in the past six years if you find yourself in another job search down the road.

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, Resumes That Get You the Interview: Surprising Secrets to Getting Your Resume Noticed

5. Ask 3 people who have your dream job how they got to where they are.

These conversations can open your mind up to ideas and opportunities you never before considered! Listen carefully to their stories while asking a lot of good questions. Learn not just from their successes but also from their failures.

You may find there wasn’t a straight line to their career path. There rarely is for most people. This can give you confidence to pursue a new career path despite lack of formal education or direct experience.

Take their encouragement and advice. Put it into action to see how far you can go in the direction of your personal and professional pursuits.

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively

6. Make a list of questions you’d ask if you were interviewing the interviewer.

People often forget the job interview is a two-way street. You should always ask questions to help you make the right decision when faced with multiple offers.

Besides money, think about the things you’d need or want in your next job. They could include similar core values, a flexible schedule, a culture that promotes “family first,” healthy living, etc.

Formulate a few questions you’d need to ask to determine if your next opportunity will provide those things. Make sure to ask these questions in your next job interview, along with the other type of questions I outline in my blog post “A Proven Interview Hack.”

Here’s what one of my clients experienced when she did this:

“One of the companies I interviewed with I decided not to accept any offers from them based on their answers to my questions so as not to get myself into the same work situation I was in previously. It is SO empowering to know what is good for me and to be able to say no! I have the tools now to spot the red flags and this has been helpful on several interviews. I am so glad to have this confidence.”

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, Steps to Acing the Interview and Reducing Your Interview Anxiety

7. Start a collection of your best work.

Curate a collection of your best work both from your job and your outside projects. This can include personal things you’ve made (i.e. a book, a painting, etc.), and the projects your most proud of from your job.

Your body of work will help you see how your skills overlap. But most of all, it will reveal your own career path thus far and where it might be pointing to next.

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers: How to Stand Out Above Your Competition

8. List the ways you’ve impacted the bottom line in your job.

When you’re working on hack #4, always include your on-the-job accomplishments and results of your efforts. By focusing on results and not just your job duties, you’re able to easily see where you’ve had an impact, giving you a greater sense of purpose.

Also, it helps you confidently discuss your worth when it comes time to negotiate a new job offer, a promotion, or a pay raise.

Source:  paNASH’s on-demand program, Make More Money, Without Taking a Second Job

When you follow these life and career hacks, you’ll start to see ways to become unstuck. Soon you’ll be living a more passionate, vibrant, and productive life!