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Your Next Job: How to Reduce the Time in Finding It

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Most job seekers underestimate how long it will take to land their next job. Many find themselves six months into the process and say to themselves, “I had no idea it would take this long.”

The truth is, on average, the typical lifespan of a job search is three to nine months, and that’s in a good job market. Factor in the current job market, and you may be looking even longer.

This isn’t to say you can’t find something much faster. I’ve seen it happen many times. I’ve even had some clients find jobs after only a few sessions with me. So, like all rules, there are always some exceptions.

Current trends

Right now, because of the ongoing pandemic, most companies are hesitant to hire back much of the staff they had to lay off. This is despite the expectation the new vaccine will help the economy bounce back from the pandemic.

Recruiters are seeing this reticence from many companies. Therefore, you may be facing a longer job search.

6 ways to reduce the amount of time between now and your next job

While you have no control over the current job market, there are several things you can do to shave some time off your job search.

Below is a curation of those things I’ve previously written about, which you should find helpful if you’re currently looking for your next job.

1. Avoid looking desperate on LinkedIn

Are you doing the same things I keep seeing others do on LinkedIn that makes them appear desperate? It’s time to stop! Recruiters can recognize desperation in your profile, and they don’t find it attractive.

Instead, you want to show the confidence recruiters seek in candidates. Find out how in my post, “How to  Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn.”

How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

2. Do what’s necessary to keep recruiters interested in you

Once you’ve stopped turning recruiters off with your desperation, it’s now time to keep them interested in you. Find out how in this post from September, “How to Keep Recruiters Interested in You,” which lays out two very simple ways to stay in the good graces of recruiters.

How to Keep Recruiters Interested in You

3. Give your elevator pitch an overdue makeover

You probably still think an elevator speech should be 30 seconds long and sum up all your skills and experience. This is probably because outdated info on the Internet still says this.

I’m here to tell you, there’s a better and more effective way to deliver an elevator pitch. A way designed to generate a more meaningful conversation and a real connection. And, it’s more effective for our current means of networking via phone and Zoom meetings.

Learn how to update your pitch in the post, “The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech.”

The Best Way to Write a Successful Elevator Speech

4. Don’t rely solely on online job boards

I know I’ve posted this article several times, but it bears repeating since this is the only strategy most job seekers take in their search.

You must learn to use your time wisely if you want to land your next job sooner than later. For a more successful strategy, read or listen to my post, “What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

What Are the Best Alternatives to Online Job Boards?

5. Invest in career coaching

I know money is tight right now, but if you can’t afford to go without a job for as long as nine months, it may be time to invest in some career coaching. Doing so could even result in the ability to negotiate a higher salary, giving you a much better return on your investment.

paNASH has several coaching options for improving your job search, and therefore lessening the time between now and your next job. Some are quite affordable, and also allow you to work at a faster pace.

If the thought of investing in career coaching seems a little overwhelming to your current budget, I encourage you to re-frame the thought, “I can’t afford this,” into the question, “How can I afford this?”

Re-framing your thoughts will prevent you from having to completely shut the door on the benefits of career coaching, and will provide room for the opportunity when it’s financially feasible.

To determine if career coaching is the next step for you, check out my post, “Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach.”

Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach

6. Learn patience.

After you’ve done everything you can to reduce the time between now and your next job, the only thing left to do is be patient. It’s not easy, but patience is a virtue you can learn.

For five tips on learning patience, read or listen to my post, “How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs.”

How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs

Parting words

Hopefully, this post has not only helped you manage your expectations about the average length of the job search, but has also given you some good tips to speed up your search.

Ask yourself,

“What’s at least one tip from these posts I can implement within the next 24 hours?”

I encourage you to be patient with yourself and with everything going on in the world today, be realistic, and use your time, money, and energy wisely.

paNASH is here to help.

Resources for your job search

On-demand video courses

paNASH provides an affordable on-demand coaching option that allows you to work at your own pace. These online video courses include:

One-on-one career coaching

Also, paNASH provides several one-on-one career coaching packages for various budgets. Coaching sessions are currently being held through the convenience of Zoom or phone, depending on your preference.

To schedule a free initial consultation, click here.

How to Find Joy in Your Work Right Now

When I do presentations on the importance of personal branding, I often ask the question, “Why is it important for us to know our weaknesses, limitations, and failures?” Most people respond with, “So we can get better at them.”

While I’m all for personal and professional development and improvement, this is not why we need to know our weaknesses. We need to know our weaknesses so we can know what to say no to (instead of saying yes to everything), and therefore free up our time for the work that positively impacts the people in need of our strengths.

Making the shift in your work

If we constantly go against the grain, trying to improve our God-given weaknesses just so we can give the appearance of being good at everything, we have no time or energy to use our God-given talents.

But, when we make a shift and focus on giving the talents we have, instead of trying to get the talents we don’t have, we discover something truly beautiful and amazing: our weaknesses become part of our assets.

The lessons we learn from our weaknesses, along with the adaptations we make for them, become our strengths. This is a true example of beauty from ashes. And this is what uniquely equips us to carry out our calling in a way that makes our work fulfilling instead of soul-sucking.

Don’t believe me? Watch this TED Talk from comedian Michael Jr., and you’ll get it.

Know your set up and deliver your punchline

Your gifts will make room for you in the place you’re supposed to be. If you don’t yet know your strengths or your calling, paNASH can help you.

We can help you weed out the things you don’t need to waste your time and energy on. And, we can help you discover not only your talents, but also who you’re called to deliver them to.

Work that’s fulfilling and purposeful

To learn more about how we do this, you can schedule a free initial consultation by filling out our intake form. The result is the fulfillment and purpose you’ve longed for in your work.

What are you waiting for? Get in the game today!

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Sunday Inspiration: Press On Toward Your Goals

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. I hope these posts from various resources will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to paNASH’s weekly original career posts. Enjoy!

At the start of 2020, I struggled to come up with as many goals as I usually do at the beginning of each new year. I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps it’s because I’ve accomplished several of my goals over the past four or five years. Or perhaps it’s because God knew the events of 2020 would prevent me from accomplishing some new ones. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.

I just turned 47 a couple of weeks ago, but I still have a lot left to accomplish in my life. So I’m taking time at the start of this new year to re-think and revise my goals with the hopes of having at least a few new ones.

Not having a lot of goals to work toward, especially because of COVID, has left me unmotivated. This is not a good feeling, and it’s not a habit I want to slip into.

This post below is a good reminder that I don’t have to put pressure on myself to have a lot of goals. It’s okay to have just a few, but I still need to have some goals to be productive and to serve others.

The same is true for you! Your 2020 goals may have been thwarted by COVID, but you can still press on toward them in this new year. It may require some creativity or tweaking, but don’t stop working toward your list of goals.

I’m going to continue following my own advice and take myself through some goal-setting exercises. I invite you to do the same.

I can’t wait to see what goals God puts on my heart and how He’s going to work through them!

Have you clearly established your goals for your life

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me.” Php 3:14 NIV

In 1972, Life magazine published a story about the amazing adventures of John Goddard. When he was fifteen, his grandmother said,

“If only I had done that when I was young.”

Determined not to make that statement at the end of his life, John wrote out 127 goals. He named ten rivers he wanted to explore and seventeen mountains he wanted to climb. He set goals of becoming an Eagle Scout, a world traveler, and a pilot.

Also on his list was riding a horse in the Rose Bowl parade, diving in a submarine, retracing the travels of Marco Polo, reading the Bible from cover to cover, and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. He also planned to read the entire works of Shakespeare, Plato, Dickens, Socrates, Aristotle, and several other classic authors.

He desired to learn to play the flute and violin, marry, have children (he had five), pursue a career in medicine, and serve as a missionary for his church.

Sound impossible? At age forty-seven [the age I am now], he had accomplished 103 of his 127 goals!

Now, your list of goals may not be as extensive as his, but if you don’t have some goals for your life you’ll have little motivation to get up in the morning and little satisfaction when you put your head on your pillow each night.

And unless you try something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you won’t grow. So set your goals in prayer, and with God’s help work toward them each day.

Source: https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/have-clearly-established-goals-for-your-life

How to Revive Your Pandemic-Ruined Résumé

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If the pandemic forced you out of your job and left you with a ruined résumé, you may be worried about the growing gap in your employment history.

Hiring managers certainly understand the reason for current résumé gaps. But, you’ll likely be the candidate to land more interviews if you show how you’ve spent your time wisely during the pandemic.

This means your 2021 résumé will look a lot different from your ruined résumé of 2020. You’ll need to include some sections and entries you wouldn’t ordinarily include.

Here are some examples to help you revive your pandemic-ruined résumé.

Salvaging a ruined résumé

Online courses

The pandemic caused my business to slow down a bit, so I’ve had some extra time. As a result, I registered for a nine-month course I’ve had my eye on. While the class usually meets in person, this year’s cohort is meeting virtually through Zoom.

I’m gaining so much from it. And I know in the long-run, it will positively impact my business and the clients I serve.

What’s something you’ve always wanted to learn? Is it something that can build your résumé and help you improve your skills?

Last week, I met with a client who’s interviewing for a new job. She said she’s spent time during the pandemic taking online classes on Udemy to learn some new skills. This is something she’s now including on her résumé to make her more marketable to employers.

There are several online platforms like Udemy which allow you to do the same thing. You can list any online courses you take under your education section of your résumé. Or, if you take enough classes to justify a separate section, then list them there. You can call this section, “Online Education,” or “Online Coursework.”

You can also include the projects or significant assignments from the classes.

Reading

Because of the extra time from slow business and the reading requirements for my class, I probably spent time reading more books in 2020 than I ever did in one year, including my final year of grad school!

Prior to starting my class in August, I finished reading nine books. And I’ve read 15 books since then. Between now and April, I have six more books to read for my class, plus all the ones I keep adding to my personal list.

If you’ve spent time reading, especially any non-fiction related to your career interests, include this on your résumé. You probably want to title the section, “Pandemic Reading List.”

Home projects

A lot of people used their time during the pandemic to tackle some of those home projects they’ve been putting off for years. It was a great time for some do-it-yourself renovations or landscaping.

Include these tasks on your résumé, and show the skills required to accomplish them. You can name this section, “Pandemic Project Completion.”

Homeschooling

If you had to homeschool your children, this is an important thing to include on your résumé! It tells hiring managers so much about you and the skills you developed during the pandemic.

I share the best ways to include this on your résumé in my post, “How to Protect Your Career While Homeschooling.”

Caregiving

The devastating reality of the pandemic is the number of people infected with COVID-19. Even if you didn’t lose your job, maybe you had to take time off of work, either to quarantine or to care for a very ill loved-one. Perhaps it was for longer than you expected, well past the allowed COVID leave or FMLA time.

Caring for a family member is a legitimate gap in a résumé. It’s better to be open and honest about this reason for your gap. This is so the hiring manager won’t think you’re trying to hide something less noble.

You can address it in one short line on your résumé that says, “Employment gap due to family caregiving responsibilities.” Or, you can address it in your cover letter if further explanation is necessary.

Skills gained

From all of the things listed above, and from the experience of living through a pandemic in and of itself, you gained a lot of skills in 2020.

Generally speaking, we’ve all learned to be more flexible, adaptable, and creative. We’ve also learned to budget our money better. And hopefully, we’ve developed more emotional intelligence and improved our E.Q. by being more empathetic and patient.

Personally, I learned a lot of new skills in 2020. I learned how to apply for government aid for my business, and how to apply for PPP loan forgiveness. Also, I learned how to put a valuation on my company. This helped me complete the process of selling a portion of my business to another company. I’m also improving my supervisory skills with the hiring of a certified professional résumé writer this past September. And in July, I learned the ins and outs of refinancing my home.

You’ve also learned additional skills if you did any of the above during the pandemic. What are they? Use them to fill any employment gaps on your résumé.

Organizing your résumé

There are several ways to organize all this information on your résumé. You may want a separate section for projects, homeschooling, etc.

Or, you may want an entire section called, “Pandemic Projects and Skills.”

If you need help organizing or re-writing your résumé, click here to request a quote.

As things start to improve and your career stabilizes, you can take most or all of these items off your résumé.

Here’s wishing you a better 2021!

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How to Avoid Taking the Wrong Career Risks

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When making career decisions, risk is inevitable. And to be successful in a job search, you have to be willing to take some career risks. Especially during a tough job market like the one we’re in right now.

For the past four weeks, I’ve shared some unique, out-of-the-box job search strategies. Not all strategies will work for every job seeker or every situation. But, they provide examples of calculated risks you may want to consider so you can stand out above the tight competition, and therefore increase your chances of landing a job.

How to take calculated career risks

How do you take calculated risks in your job search and your career?

It all starts with knowing your goals, your personal mission, and the strengths and skills you’ve been gifted to help serve others.

These factors should be the foundation of your job search, and all your career decisions. If you don’t know these things, you’re taking a dangerous risk.

For example, if you have more than one job offer to choose from and you haven’t taken the time to determine your personal mission, you may make a choice based on superficial things.

I see so many people choosing a job offer based solely on how much it pays. They think they’re making a good, financially risk-free decision. But soon they find themselves in a soul-sucking job.

They realize, by only taking financial risk into consideration, they risked so much more. They risked their peace, their sanity, and even their family.

A year or two later, they’re looking for a new job again.

Doing the foundational work

The foundational work needs to be done before you’re faced with multiple job offers. This foundational work includes clarifying your goals, solidifying your personal mission and vision, and knowing how to best use your skills to serve others.

It’s a process, and it takes time and commitment.

Just yesterday I read a quote that says,

“Most people do not deliberately seek to build on a false or inferior foundation; instead, they just don’t think about their life’s purpose.”

Don’t be one of those people!

Having a foundation already in place will help you know what you should measure your decisions against. This way, you’ll take calculated risks, and make sound career decisions.

Map out your goals

To get started on this necessary foundational work, first find some time and a quiet place to map out your goals.

Using paNASH’s 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan can guide you through this process. It’s free when you subscribe to the paNASH newsletter.

Solidify your purpose and mission

Next, use paNASH’s Personal Branding program, in conjunction with the 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan, to help you solidify your purpose and mission. This program will also help you determine your skills and who they best serve.

The Personal Branding program is available in a variety of forms:

The insights gleaned from this program give you leverage when determining which jobs to apply for and which calculated risks to take. This saves you time in your job search. Also, it helps you make the wisest career decisions when faced with multiple job offers.

Taking no career risks is a huge risk!

One thing to bear in mind. Your career cannot, nor should not, be confined or reduced to one particular model or program. Hence the suggestions for out-of-the-box job search strategies and one-on-one career coaching.

But often, models and programs, such as the ones listed above, give you a starting point to gain clarity to your unique situation, along with a foundation to build upon when different situations arise in your career.

I always recommend you use discernment, and consideration of more than just financial gains, when taking calculated risks in your career. But also understand, taking no risk at all in your career, is taking a huge risk. So start building your foundation today!

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