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article imageEssential career planning tips to jump-start the new year Special

By Molly Zelvonberger     Jan 5, 2012 in Business
Four essential areas that could help in turning a new chapter when trying to find employment. Start the year right with advice from an expert in her field Julie Redfield.
This should be a new chapter in the quest for employment. The mere mention of the word "job" comes with a sense of anxiety and frustration. Many are trying to earn more, learn more, whatever it takes to sustain a steady income.
Competition and politics has never before been more evident. My intention was to ask an expert some questions that define some forgotten areas towards finding employment. I covered four essential areas and the answers happened to be profound for me a well. It always goes back to self-evaluation, finding and identifying a problems that may be hindering future goals.
Employers are expecting you to do a self-assessment, when the question comes up, "why should I hire you?" you don't want to look like a deer in headlights. Creating a successful plan is always essential. Julie Redfield, talent management expert at PA Consulting Group covered my inquiry with information and insight.
Julie Redfield  talent management expert at PA Consulting Group
Julie Redfield, talent management expert at PA Consulting Group
Q:She mentioned identify a mentor two levels above your field, could you elaborate a little?
A:Mentors are ideally people who have two characteristics:
1) They have more experience than you in your area of business. This can either be someone inside or external to your company. The important part is that they have knowledge and experience which can help you be more successful, both on a personal and professional level.
2) Trust. There must be total candor and trust. You have to be able to ask the “unsaid” or “white elephants in the room” that you can’t ask your boss or co-workers. A mentor should be someone who is willing to openly address political mine fields or personal characteristics that might be detrimental to your success.
Q:When networking is there a fine line in order to expand your network?
A:Most business contacts are made between “friends” or “work acquaintances”. Networking is an activity, which might end up with two people becoming friends. But, if you are networking and trading contact information, if one of the two parties doesn’t feel a personal connection or if mutual respect isn’t present, then you can be certain no beneficial activities will come from the networking. So, I would posit that networking is about making connections that are authentic, built on respect and based on a desire to help someone else. Isn’t that the essence of a friendship also?
Q:what would be essential to include in a daily list of priorities?
A:Have a goal in mind for the day….it can be a task goal, like finish XYZ presentation, or it can be a personal goal, like get to know someone new at the office and find out what their passion is. If you have a goal in mind, and accomplish it, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment for the day.
Q:With so many college student having trouble finding work, have any particular suggestions for them?
A:I spend years helping train MBA graduates on how to interview. And, the one biggest fallacies that I urge people to move away from is the notion of tailoring your resume to fit the job you are looking for. Even though this could lead to you getting your foot in the door for an interview, if your true passions, strengths and interests are not accurately represented in the resume, you have two possible outcomes, both of which are not ideal. Either:
1) You will get the job, but it won’t be something that really drives and motives you or 2) The interviewer will see through the words and discover that what you said on your resume was tailored and not a true picture of who you are.
My advice it to start with some true soul searching on what motives you. Think about previous jobs, or school projects you’ve been a part of. What were the aspects of them that you liked, and what things didn’t you like. Think about the content of what you were doing as well as situational factors. Do you like working in teams? Do you like working by yourself with tight deadlines? You must be clear on what you like and don’t like. Then, think about your ideal job. You may want to talk to a career counselor or mentor to help you think about career possibilities that will help you meet your likes.
Once you have done this internal diagnosis, then you can write you resume. It should be written to help you get your dream job. Be honest on your resume and in your interviews about what you like and don’t like doing. Even if the job you are interviewing for isn’t a great fit for you, if you give the recruiter a true picture of who you are, they may have something else that comes along that is a perfect fit you. Also, recruiters do a lot of networking amongst themselves, and if you impress a recruiter with your clarity and sense of purpose, they may very well pass your resume on to other people.
More about Career counseling, Talent Management, Employment
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