Every minute of the work day is an opportunity for investment for us as developers. During this time, we can make a conscious decision to grow in our craft or instead chose to stagnate. Sadly many developers make the decision to get comfortable with a set of skills and not push forward. Many organizations are filled with these developers.
There is an alternative to this. Many developers actively choose to invest their time in targeted efforts to mature in their craftsmanship and innovate their technical skill set. To the surprise of many tech bloggers out there, this process often includes growing in areas which are not tied to a specific language or platform.
Determining where to invest your time and energy for growth as a developer is the single most important thought process that you will undertake.
In Five Steps to Your Next Job, Narinder Mehta explains how to: assess personal skills and job interests; put together a good resume and targeted cover letters; identify potential employers; prepare for job interviews; and evaluate job offers. The book is based on the author’s personal experiences as a job-hunter, as a manager responsible for hiring employees,and as an executive recruiter. It provides a framework for successful job search. Essential steps in the job search process and techniques for successful completion of each step are explained. The book clarifies how to use the Internet for job search and includes a list of the job-related websites. The jobs often go to those candidates who know the most about the job search process. The book will help the readers to gain that knowledge. It is a how-to-do-it manual filled with practical ideas.
Dealing with anger is often difficult. It might even sound like a good idea to let off a little of that steam, like pricking a balloon and feeling that white-hot energy dissipate.
The problem with anger, particularly at work, is that once we start releasing that flow, it’s kind of like lava from a volcano. We don’t know exactly when it will stop or what damage it might cause on the way down.
So how do you handle it? Here are a few strategies that might help with dealing with anger in the workplace.
Act, Don’t React
Many of us strive to unlock our creativity and productivity. We search for wise words, study great minds and pick the brains of our colleagues about how to make it happen. But the truth is we have had the answer all along.
Creativity arises from a constant churn of ideas, and one of the easiest ways to encourage that fertile froth is to keep your mind engaged with your project. When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly
If you ever played a sport, you already know what to do. Practice. In basketball, you don’t just become a solid free-throw shooter overnight. You practice, for hours, day in and day out, until you master the skill.
Honing your creativity and productivity is no different.
“Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” the great Thomas Edison rather astutely pointed out. The idea is that establishing a work routine — a habit — that will lead to a consistent ability to create meaningfully.
Elements beyond your control can impact your job search success: The job market, the economy, the health of your industry. Yet, there are many factors over which you have complete control. How you handle these factors can make the difference between a long, drawn out job search and one that nets quicker results. Rather than focusing on what we cannot change, let’s focus on what we can. Here are five reasons that you may not be getting the results you want in your current job search:
You’ve already convinced yourself that there aren’t any jobs available.
Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Attitude and confidence play a large role in success – whether you are an athlete, businesswoman, or job hunter. Your belief – or disbelief – in your ability to achieve success will greatly impact how you conduct your job search and the impression you make with others.
Imagine an unseeded tennis player that is scheduled to go up against a top-ranking player in a match. This isn’t the situation that she’d hoped for. But, now that it is here, how will she approach the opportunity she’s been given? She has two options:
She can step onto the court already looking defeated. Head and shoulders dropped. Slumped posture. Panged look on her face. She is, in effect, telling her opponent, “You’ve already won.” Not surprisingly, she will be right. Her fear will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On the other hand she can consider this to be a tremendous opportunity. She knows how good her opponent is and she respects her game. But, she is confident in her own skills and ability. She sees this as the biggest opportunity of her career and she is determined to go for it. This attitude of confidence and self-belief is just as critical to her success as her talent and abilities.
What is your belief about your ability to succeed in your job search? It will either limit your ability to succeed or propel you forward. Limit the amount of negative information you allow in each day. Find the balance between staying informed and absorbing every negative report about the job market and the economy. Improve your job search skills and techniques. This will further boost your confidence.
You’re not as productive as you think you are.
“I’ve been looking for a job for months, but I’m not getting any results.” This is the most common complaint I encounter with my job search coaching clients. My response is, “What have you been doing during those months?” Their initial response usually sounds promising. They’ve sent out twenty resumes or spend two hours per day combing job ads. However, when we look at the numbers more objectively we usually discover room for improvement. Sending twenty targeted resumes out in two weeks is impressive. Sending out just twenty resumes over the course of two and a half months will considerably lengthen your job search.
The average job search can range from three months to a year. The length of your job search is largely determined by the time, energy, and effort that you put into it. If you are a full-time job hunter, approach your job search much the same way you would approach a full-time job. Carefully assess your current job search. What kind of time and effort are you putting into your job search? Are you a full-time job hunter, a part-time job hunter, or is your job search become more of a hobby? Honestly assess your situation and make adjustments where necessary.
You have no clear plan.
Can you imagine a sports team entering a game without a game plan? From little league to the pros there is always a game plan is place. You study the opposition. Study the field of play. You play to your strengths while exploiting the opposer’s weaknesses. As a job hunter you must take the same approach.
Learn about different job search strategies. Conduct careful research on your field and industry. Learn as much as you can about your targeted geographic locations. Your industry may be dying in your local region yet blossoming another. Create a plan of action based on the information that you gather and implement it consistently. Keep track of your results and make adjustments as needed.
You shy away from high-risk, high-reward job search techniques.
It isn’t uncommon for a frustrated job hunter to reveal that they spend countless hours on their job search each day. The majority – if not all – of that time is spent in passive job search activities like surfing online job boards and combing through newspaper ads. These activities are convenient and feel safe. However, they are not the most effective strategies for landing your next job.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found through networking. If you are currently involved in a job hunt, networking should be an integral part of your strategic plan. Learn how to network effectively. If you are hesitant or perhaps shy, begin slowly. Practice with friends or family to raise your confidence. Then take the plunge. Realize that the best way to get over your fear of networking is to just do it. The more you network, the better you’ll become at this essential skill.
Remember that networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships with others. Keep in touch with the members of your network. Don’t just call upon them when you need something. Look for opportunities to support them as well.
You’re trying to go it alone.
A job hunt can be a lonely and devastating experience. Do not isolate yourself. Communicate with friends and family. Let them know how you’re feeling. Get support from others. If you can’t find the support that you need within your own circle:
- Join a job hunters group locally or online.
- Buddy up with another job hunter and commit to calling each other at least once a week.
- Work with a job search or career coach.
Enlisting the support of others can provide ongoing support, encouragement, and added accountability. Many job hunters find that this greatly improves their results. Honestly assess your current situation. If your job hunt isn’t getting any traction consider how leveraging support can improve your results.
We are in a highly-competitive job market. Yet, jobs are available. If your job search isn’t getting results, rethink your current strategy. Improve your outlook; ramp up your activity; establish a clear game plan; go for high-risk, high-reward strategies; and get needed support.
Discover How To Find Great Work Fast And Easy
You’re about to discover proven steps and strategies that will help you find a great job quickly. These days, finding a job is challenging because there are a lot of people who need work and a lot of companies that cut back on their expenses by reducing their manpower. This is why it is important to do everything you can to have an advantage over the other job applicants that will make employers want to hire you. Fortunately, this book will give you some practical tips for finding and landing that job that you have been dreaming of.
If you have been trying to find a job and haven’t had much luck, it’s because you are lacking an effective strategy and missing the key steps. This book will act as a guide and coach as you go through the job hunting process quickly and easily.
Here Is A Preview Of What You’ll Learn…
- How to Improve Yourself
- Improving Yourself and Qualifications
- How to Write a Good Resume
- How to Search for Jobs
- How to Prepare for the Interview
- How to Present Yourself
- How to Use Networking to Find Jobs
- Much, much more!
Through a winning combination of career development theory and individual application, this book will help readers to be able to get their first professional position, begin a new career, change careers, or even re-enter the job market after an absence. Whatever the career circumstances, through self-reflection and personal dedication, users of this comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide will be on their way to career satisfaction. Content focuses on self-assessment techniques, sound career development theory, and individual application. Includes extensive discussion on areas such as marketing strategies and techniques; Types and styles of resumes including electronic, scannable resumes; Paper-based and electronic professional portfolios; Electronic company research; Types of interviews including stress, group, and telephone; Effectively handling behavioral-based interview questions; Important questions for the interview candidate to ask; Interviewing etiquette; Negotiating salary and benefits; and Career success on the job including tips for new employees. For anyone who wishes to be successful in today’s competitive employment market.
Creating a marketing plan is an often overlooked step in the job search process. Taking the time to think through your options and capturing them on paper will help you understand what you want and how to get there. In this article, you will learn how to create a simple marketing plan.
IT IS SIMILAR TO A BUSINESS PLAN
Perhaps you are like many job seekers. You have completed your resume and started to send it out. While your resume is important, it looks backwards at education, experience and interests. This can be sort of like driving a car while looking in the rear view mirror. The marketing plan is a powerful tool because it looks forward and provides a road map for your search.
While you might not have heard of marketing plans as part of a job search, we have all heard stories about entrepreneurs, who create a business plan to attract financing partners. It tells the story of the plans for the company in which they are investing.
There are two reasons the business plan is so important. The first is that it serves as a communication tool to tell the investor what the objectives are for the investment. The second, and just as important, it forces the entrepreneur to describe the investment on paper. If the plan does not hang together on paper, there is no way it will in reality. This forces the entrepreneur to think through the plan before going out to raise money.
The same concept is at work in the job search. You need to think through (a) what type of job fits your interests and background, (b) whether you have the required skills to obtain your dream job and (c) if your plan makes sense given the current market conditions. For example, if you dream of being a surgeon, but flunked high school biology this may not be a viable plan. If you are a high school teacher and want to move into corporate training, you may have comparable skills to create an opportunity.
HOW TO PUT A PLAN TOGETHER
All you need is a simple, one page marketing plan. It is not only easy to construct, it will be a handy tool because it will be easy to grasp the message quickly.
The primary questions to answer are where do you want to work and what do you want to do? If you don’t know where you want to go, any road will take you there. The more focused the target, the easier it will be to describe it to yourself and others. Ask yourself the following:
• For what target position are you best suited?
• In what industry or industries do want to work?
• In what segment(s) do you want to work?
• For what companies do you want to work?
Consider what position(s) can use your skill set. Be creative in your thinking. You may be surprised to find opportunity where you never considered.
Look at potential industries to determine where your skills are the best fit. Think about the industry you are in, but most important, look at other industries to determine how your skills can be utilized.
Identify the segments of the industry that are best suited for you. Think about geography, company size, markets they serve, or whatever may be significant in your area.
Then, identify the companies that you think are the best mutual fit.
Of course, you have to be realistic. Your training, skill set, and experience have to support the direction you want to take. This is the time to explore what options you have based on your background. Broaden your thinking as much as possible to include areas that you may not have thought of previously. Or find and explore companies that you may not have been aware of.
Keep in mind that the information that you work from, or the assumptions you make, may not contain the complete story. Don’t worry, your plan can and should be revised as you go along.
The marketing plan provides an excellent tool for discussion when networking. Print out copies of your plan and bring them with you to networking meetings. Ask to be introduced to people that may be able to guide you, and ask those people if they would give you their opinion on your plan.
Here is an example of the content of marketing plan for a person looking for a position in the
222-555-1234 [email protected]
Competencies: Biology and business background, sales experience to physicians in varying specialties, hospital sales and contract negotiation, highly organized, supervisory skills, executive level presentations.
Objective: To work in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech/Health Care industry as a sales professional leading to a sales management position with a growing, established company.
Target position: Outside sales, direct to provider or business to business
Industry: Pharmaceuticals, Biotech
Segment: (1) Large Pharma companies NYC, northern NJ area; (2) Medium sized companies, NYC, northern NJ area
Companies in Segment One: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Meyers, Squibb, Bayer, Takeda
Companies in Segment Two: Watson, Mylan Labs, King Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon
The job seeker’s marketing plan is similar to the entrepreneur’s business plan. It is a communication tool that conveys to the reader the objectives for the product, namely, you. Therefore, you need to think through your options and your desires based upon the realities of your background and match them to potential opportunities. Capture your thoughts in a simple, one page table. Then, use it as a discussion piece when you are networking to find a job.
A growing number of jobseekers find themselves in the midst of a long-term job search. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. jobless rate soared to a four-year high of 5.7% in July 2008 and the average job search took more than four months to net results. However, some critics would put this number and the number of the unemployed much higher.
Helen Kooiman, author of Suddenly Unemployed asserts, “[S]uch statistics are inaccurate indicators. They do not include those whose unemployment benefits have run out or those who don’t qualify for unemployment… Such statistics also do not count welfare recipients, temps (who cannot be counted as fully employed), or others who eke out a living on so-called self-employment.” Neither do such reports include what the Bureau of Labor Statistics terms “discouraged workers” or those who “were not currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them.” Their figures reached 461,000 in July.
A long-term job search can put a tremendous financial and emotional strain on a job hunter. “It’s been a demoralizing experience and it’s been very difficult budgetwise. I’m a single mother,” Kay Marie King says, a former non-profit executive with a wealth of experience that is currently involved in an ongoing job search.
So, what can you do when weeks of a fruitless job search quickly turns to months? Here are seven tips for jump starting a stalled job search:
Tip One: Don’t be so quick to blame everything on the economy (your region, your industry, etc.)
These issues certainly play a role in the current job market. However, it is easy to fixate on such factors and completely discount factors which we personally control. The next six tips cover areas that long-term jobseekers do well to revisit to jump start a stalled job search. Why is this so important? I am reminded of a woman I once interviewed that looked great on paper, but during the interview she had an incredibly offensive body odor. She remarked that she’d been on several interviews but she was “overqualified” for every position. It was a classic case of the problem (or her perception of what the problem was) not really being the problem. While most jobseekers don’t have such an obvious issue, each one would still do well to take a long look in the mirror.
Tip Two: Conduct a candid self-assessment.
Look at yourself from the perspective of the potential employer. Compare your experience and qualifications to those typically required of someone in your target position. How do your skills and experience match up? Think of creative ways to to fill skill gaps and gain experience.
Tip Three: Re-examine your target position or industry.
Are you searching for work in a waning industry or oversaturated field? Is your desired position readily available in your selected geographic area? Being open to relocation may improve your chances. Can you apply your knowledge and skills to an industry that is experiencing growth?
Tip Four: Rethink your current job search.
What job search strategies are you currently using? If you are concentrating your efforts on strategies that are typically the least effective (like online job boards and newspaper ads) your job search will take much longer to yield results. Consider incorporating job search strategies that yield higher results, like networking and direct targeted mailing campaigns.
Tip Five: Re-evaluate the way you are communicating your message verbally and in print.
Communicating your message to potential employers in a clear and compelling manner is critical to job search success. Re-examine your resume. Does it communicate your value to employers by addressing how your skills and experience will meet the employer’s specific needs? Practice communicating your value in response to typical interview questions, including, “Tell me about yourself.”
Tip Six: Maintain your intensity level and a positive outlook.
It is easy to become discouraged over the course of a lengthy job search. Keep a positive outlook and maintain a high-level of focus and intensity throughout your job search for quicker results. Taking a systematic approach to your job search will help you to stay organized and on track during your job search. Yet, it is important to pursue other interests during your job search. Enjoy spending time with friends and family. Renew your interest in a hobby. Tackle a project you wouldn’t have time to if you were working. Spending time in other pursuits provides a much-needed reprieve from the stress of a job search. You’ll be energized and ready for the next leg of your job search.
Tip Seven: Build a solid support system.
If a self-guided job search has netted limited results; consider working with a career or job search coach. Your coach will help you identify any problem areas and offer suggestions for improvement. Another option is to join a local or online job search club. If a coach or job search club isn’t available try building your own support network. Enlist the help of family and friends or connect with other job hunters. Taking a team approach to your job search provides an opportunity for constructive feedback, a fresh perspective, ongoing encouragement, and added accountability.
Job Tips For Geeks: The Job Search is a step-by-step guide to job search written specifically for software engineers and technology professionals. The book starts at the moment one decides to look for a new job, and proceeds chronologically through the various stages of the process up through negotiations and resignation. Sections include extensive pages on resumes and interviews, the strengths and weaknesses of job search strategies, and how to work with and protect yourself from recruiters, the pros and cons of taking a counteroffer, and much more.
The book was written by Dave Fecak, who writes the Job Tips For Geeks blog. Dave has 15 years of recruiting experience, mostly helping to build software development teams for startups and small technology companies. He also has served as the President and Founder of the Philadelphia Area Java Users’ Group since 2000. Dave’s writing has been republished regularly on technology sites DZone and Java Code Geeks and has been published or cited by Lifehacker, Fast Company, and CBS Moneywatch.