Category: Career Advice


How Your Grit Can Help You Negotiate a Better Salary

My grandmother was the hardest working person I’ve ever known (not just woman, but PERSON). She had grit. And she knew how to value her hard work. In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, allow me to share her story.

My Grandmother’s Grit

My grandmother worked in a textile mill for a total of 54 years, well beyond the age when most people retire. At the same time, she worked her and my grandfather’s farm until age 91. Because my grandfather couldn’t walk very well, my grandmother did much of the leg-work of running the farm. She also had a side-hustle doing alterations, and raised two children while doing all of this.

My grandmother could pick 100 gallons of strawberries in 90 degree heat at record speed. She was three times faster than people half her age. She was such a hard worker that when her shoe fell off while stooped over picking green beans, she never even stopped to put it back on. A few weeks later her sister noticed the shoe tangled up in some vines. She asked whose shoe it was. My grandmother responded casually, “Oh, it’s mine. I walked out of it and just kept going.”

My grandmother was such a hard worker that on the morning she had a major stroke and was paralyzed on one side of her body, she wouldn’t let my grandfather call 911. Instead she made him hold her up while she fixed breakfast for him with one arm. He had to sneak and call 911.

Know Your Worth

My grandmother was the hardest working person I ever knew, but there was one thing she wouldn’t do. She would never work a job that didn’t pay her fairly. In fact, when she had to enter a nursing home at age 91, she still wanted to work. So, she asked the nursing home director for a job. The director told her she could help deliver mail to the rooms, but they wouldn’t be able to pay her. She responded with, “No thank you.”

Don’t get me wrong. My grandmother was a very giving and generous person. She’d make sure everyone else had food in their stomachs and shirts on their backs long before herself. She denied herself a lot of things so others could have more. But she also understood her value, and never cheapened her skills.

My grandmother’s grit serves as an example to me, and hopefully to other women, that our skills and abilities are valuable in the workplace. We should not settle for a compensation not commensurate with our experience or the services we’re providing. Instead, we should stand up for what we’re worth, or be willing to walk away.

If you know you’re a hard worker and you’re good at your job, get the confidence to ask for what’s fair. Know your worth and negotiate that new job offer or that contract with a new client. Ask for your long over-due raise or promotion. Don’t demand this kind of respect, but instead, command it. And teach your daughters and granddaughters to do the same.

Need help improving your salary negotiation skills? paNASH can help! Email me to get started.

How to Know What Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

I’ve previously written on the importance of asking questions of your own when interviewing for a job. Not only do they help you make a wiser decision when it comes to multiple job offers, they also help you win the interview!

But with various interview processes, and the latest changes in the way we work due to the pandemic, there are more questions to consider asking in your next job interview.

Interview process-related questions

I’m currently working with a client going through a lengthy interview process. It includes tests, writing assignments, personality assessments, and several rounds of interviews. So far, she’s made it through every hoop to the final round.

But specifically, the personality assessment hoop can be a tricky one. While it’s not illegal for employers to require you to take a personality assessment during the hiring process, it does open the company up to potential liability. Even the creators of the popular DISC assessment do not recommend it for pre-employment screening. The reason is because it doesn’t measure aptitude, skills, or other factors critical to the position.

So, if you find yourself having to take a personality assessment in a job interview, I advise you to ask the same questions I advised my client to ask:

  • What is the test measuring?
  • How will you use the results in making hiring decisions?
  • What weight will it carry compared to other decision-making factors?
  • Are the results used to determine best fit for the company culture, or for the job role?
  • Are the results going in my file?
  • Will you share the results with me and interpret them?

Pandemic-related questions

The current pandemic has changed not only the way we work, but also the way companies hire. I’ve previously written about possible questions the candidate should expect in interviews during and after the pandemic.

Now I want to share questions the candidate should also ask during and after the pandemic. These questions include:

  • How has your company changed for the better since the pandemic?
  • How has it changed for the worse?
  • Which adaptations will you keep after the pandemic has passed?
  • What is the projected outlook for the company and this industry based on the effects of the pandemic?
  • How have you supported your employees during the pandemic?

These questions will help you determine more about the company’s culture and how it adapts to crises.

Conclusion

Never forget, the job interview is a two-way street. You should always have questions of your own prepared. Doing so shows your interest in the company and helps you make better career decisions.

If you need help preparing for your next interview, let’s talk!

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

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 Avoid Taking the Wrong Career Risks

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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Do You Need to Improve Your Interview Skills?

Most people need help improving their interview skills. Even those who think they do well in interviews.

We all have blind spots when it comes to interviewing. And even if you’re naturally good at interviews, there are some novel things you can do in your next interview to increase your chances of landing an offer.

How to improve your interview skills

1. Go in with a solution in hand

Most job seekers don’t think far enough into the future when going into an interview. They’re only preparation involves trying to answer commonly-asked interview questions, and considering what salary they want.

But your goal isn’t to be like most job seekers. Your goal is to stand out above the competition.

You do this by thinking beyond the offer and anticipating the problem the company needs the employee to solve. Then, you prepare a possible solution to present, one you might can implement once hired.

To learn how to uncover the problem and prepare your solution, check out my post, “Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From the Competition.”

Modern Interview Advice to Make You Stand Out From The Competition (Re-Post)

2. Give unique and honest answers to common questions

Old habits die hard, so a lot of employers ask the same old pointless interview questions they’ve always asked. This doesn’t mean you should keep giving the same old answers you’ve always given to these questions.

There are ways to give more unique yet honest answers to these questions. This keeps you from sounding like all the other candidates.

To freshen up your answers to stale interview questions, check out my post, “How to Handle the Most Pointless Interview Questions.”

How to Handle the Most Pointless Interview Questions

3. Prepare for exercise-based interviews

Some employers have wised up and stopped asking pointless interview questions. Instead, they’ve started conducting exercise-based interviews.

This interview method requires you to perform various skills, instead of just having you verbally describe your abilities.

Although this method has been around for a long time, it’s become more popular among employers in the past few years.

Do you know how to prepare for such an interview? Find out in my post, “What You Need to Know About Job Interviews of the Modern Era.”

What You Need to Know About Job Interviews of The Modern Era

4. Save time when preparing for behavioral interview questions

In addition to exercise-based interviews, behavioral interview questions remain a good predictor of your skills and work ethic. This is why they’re always so popular among hiring managers.

But there’s no way you can prepare for every possible behavioral interview question. Instead, you can be ready for just about any of these questions when you follow my preparation method described in my post, “The Secret to Answering Behavioral Interview Questions.”

The Secret to Answering Behavioral Interview Questions (Re-Post)

5. Be ready to answer the question, “Can you teach me something complex in 5 minutes?”

If you’re interviewing for jobs with highly popular companies, you need to be ready for less common interview questions such as this one.

To learn how to answer such questions, check out my post, “A Google Insider Shares His Interview Advice.”

A Google Insider Shares His Interview Advice

6. Know how to handle interview ghosting, before it happens!

As you may unfortunately know, interview ghosting happens all the time these days. But, you can reduce your chances of getting ghosted after your next interview.

Find out how in my post, “Did You Get Ghosted After Your Interview? What to Do Now.”

Did You Get Ghosted After Your Interview? What to Do Now

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