It’s so nice to be able to turn to my network of colleagues who are willing to share advice and insights with all of us! In a continuation of my series on job hunting for the holidays, today’s thoughts are from Meghan M. Biro. Meghan is founder of Talent Culture, where she partners with clients, corporations and individuals to ensure a match between hiring needs, brand and culture/personality. I “met” Meghan via Twitter and have had a chance to speak with her several times. I was delighted to have her accept my invitation to join in the chorus of expert opinions regarding how to make the best of the holidays.
These are Meghan’s ideas:
The holidays can be a daunting time to look for a new job or contemplate a career move. Exhortations to be thankful and/or happy may be in conflict with the realities of short money, no prospects and few responses to resumes and inquires.
I agree with my colleagues that it’s not a great idea to suspend a career search during the holidays – many companies are firming up 2010 budgets and it’s still possible to work your way in to a good job.Ã‚Â What can be useful, however, is a quick self-assessment. This task is perfect at the holidays, when we may already be introspective – visits with family and seemingly prosperous friends may have pushed you to examine where you are and where you want to be.
Keep networking, use social media to connect with people in companies you admire and search for places that could use your skills. As you move forward with the standard seeking-a-job tasks, though, give yourself permission to be introspective.
Self-assessment isn’t self-indulgence – it’s a hard look at four factors that can affect your appeal as an employee:
Ã¢Å¾Â¢Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Personality type
Ã¢Å¾Â¢Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Interests
Ã¢Å¾Â¢Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Skills
Ã¢Å¾Â¢Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Values
Personality type defines what is consistent – if you’re an introvert or a leader, if you prefer cooperation or manage conflict well. If you aren’t happy with your personality type, remember that you can adapt in other areas through self-assessment. Take interests. You may be very interested in travel and mildly interested in writing. Now may be the time to begin short-form writing in a career journal, on a blog – even on Twitter. Develop this interest into a marketable skill, and build it into your personal brand.
Skills are things you know how to do well. List all the things you know how to do well, hone those skills and build a story around why they will make you a great employee. [Miriam’s note – take a look at the skills lists HERE to help you get started.]
Personal values may seem to be the least important aspect of a career search, but they, more than anything else, will help you find a business culture where you fit. Use the holidays, a time when it’s safe to think in terms of values, to assess and reconnect with yours. If you value honesty and independence, are outgoing, interested in travel and writing and are skilled at managing people and negotiating compromise, create a narrative that weaves theses attributes into a personal brand. Use the holidays to connect with people who work for companies with cultures that align with your personal brand. From introspection will come inspiration and perhaps new opportunity. Make the holidays work for you with a little self-assessment.
So, do you believe you have a good handle on who you are and what you offer? Share in the comments!
I can help with every part of your job hunt! Need a great resume? Tips to use social networking? Interview coaching? Ã‚Â If you need help mobilizing your networks and your job search plans, learn more about how I can help you! While you’re at it, don’t forget those social networks! Be sure to become a fan of Keppie Careers on Facebook…I’d be thrilled to have you as part of the community! Since we’re on the subject of doing something new…Are you on Twitter? Jump on and touch base with me @keppie_careers.
photo by djwhelan