Prompted by many of my clients who struggle with ageism and also mindset issues re their employability and who are struggling to find a job, I’ve written a new book in my best-selling Mid-Life Career Rescue series: “Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies That Work”
In fact, just today I was coaching a client who confided, “I’ve been frightened and keep telling myself not to bother looking because employers want someone younger.”
True-Not-True! Yes, ageism exists, but enlightened employers know the value a mature worker brings to the job. Do you? Do you know how to find the jobs that are never advertised? Do you know how to help hiring managers say “yes! You’re hired!”
Successfully finding a job takes skill and confidence, but once you know the rules, you’ll feel more confident, more successful and a whole lot happier.
To increase your chances of getting the job you really want, this book will help you:
•Beat “age bias”
•Increase your awareness of the importance of self-marketing
•Highlight the appropriate attitudes, styles, and behaviors that you need to market your skills successfully
•Prepare you to use a variety of job search strategies, including Using recruitment agencies effectively; Responding to direct advertising, including newspaper and Internet mediums; Outline the steps to successful networking; Provide strategies that will help maintain a positive outlook
•Accelerate your job hunting success
Some people find job hunting very challenging. Perhaps years of conditioning that you should be seen and not heard, acute shyness or lack of practice and experience in the art of self-promotion may be affecting you.
In Mid-Life Career Rescue Job Search Strategies That Work you will also discover how to:
•Harness the law of attraction by focusing on areas of passion and purpose
•Tap into the hidden job market
•Let people know what you have to offer confidently
•Overcome stress and doubt
•Boost confidence, courage, and self-esteem
•Help you find and get the job or career you want
Whether you love the idea of the 4-hour workweek, want to find a job that reflects who you are and what’s important to you, or thinking about starting a business, career change after 50 and finding a new job can be yours.
As Richard N Bolles, author of ‘What Colour Is Your Parachute‘, once said to me, “sometimes all it takes is one book, one sentence to transform your life.”
Quit feeling trapped. Reclaim your power! Find a job you love and finally live the life you want. Scroll up and click “Buy Now” before it’s too late.
Available for immediate download for less than the price of a cup of coffee here>>getbook.at/JobSearchStrategies
Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work
I was curious about the content of this book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work, as I have worked as a careers professional for almost 20 years and with a few variations on job search strategies over the years, my practice and coaching in this area of career coaching has remained largely the same. I wondered if the ideas, the suggestions, exercises and the theories that support these that I learned all those years ago still held true. Did my ideas that I encourage my clients to undertake, still work, were they still in vogue even? Did my ideas need a complete overhaul? I looked to this book in the hope that it would help me face today’s practises and update my own knowledge. So, with my curiosity in full openness, I began to read.
First I was struck by the relevance of my knowledge to what Cassandra was suggesting in 2018. What I have been coaching my clients to do while exploring their own job search journey were still very useful.Second I was encouraged and even felt embraced by the strategies suggested in Cassandra’s book for my own professional re-development process that I am undertaking. Everything I am quietly doing to re-define my working and private life is here in black and white and gloriously celebrated as the way forward.
Never before have I felt so on-track with a major life change as I do right now. I tick off my own strategies as they appear on the pages of Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work. From Dream and Explore to Developing visual plans in a Passion Journal to the exercises relating to Generating Idea’s – I am totally on track.
However, there is room for more ideas and Cloning was one I hadn’t thought off.I hadn’t ever offered that idea to my clients. So over the past few days with a careers client booked in, I decided to test this out. My client’s response, to begin with, was very hesitant, but with gentle encouragement to tap into her more creative and playful self, we had a great time coming up with, at first outrageous, clones for her. Then as the energy settled, she developed ideas for her 5 clones which gave her major leads on strands she could develop and even whole new ways of working. My client now has very solid career options to explore in future career coaching sessions because of this Cloning exercise.
As for me, I am balancing my excessive excited energy in re-creating my work-life balance by regular daily meditation, sitting in stillness, and daily yoga. Cassandra has beautiful ideas, encouraging real-life stories, and powerful and yet very accessible exercises to offer anyone who is either embarking on a job search journey or for anyone already on the journey but looking for further strategies to add new energy to their journey. Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work is a book for job seekers and career professionals alike.
~ Catherine Sloan, Counselor
About 80% of all the positions available at any time are NEVER going to be advertised by Recruitment Consultants or directly by companies looking to employ someone.
By far the most successful job search technique is the process of networking—using personal contacts to uncover the “hidden” job market.
Largely this technique is so successful because organizations also use their networks to find employees when vacancies occur. Advertising is often a last resort, partly because of the time taken to screen applicants, but also because of the additional financial costs.
What is Networking?
When you need a builder what do you do? You ask a friend or an acquaintance if they know of anyone who’s good. That’s networking! We do it all the time; we just don’t “label” it. Trust or lack of it is a key reason we don’t rely on advertisements or the Yellow Pages. There are a lot of phoneys and crooks out there.
Networking is the process of accessing personal contacts via word of mouth to achieve a particular purpose. For the job seeker, this purpose is to tap into the hidden job market. For the employer the purpose of networking is to find out if anybody knows of anyone that’s a) good and b) available.
In its simplest form networking is often called “keeping an ear to the ground”. Networking in the real world is nothing more than overcoming the fears of making contact with others. It’s simply talk.
But it only happens through an orchestrated effort. You have to seek people out, get them to agree to meet with you, discuss your career aspirations and ask for more contacts. This is hard enough for some people to do face to face.
For so many that are new to Internet job seeking, it is nigh on impossible to do online. Or so it would seem.
But a growing category of connecting tools are emerging online that will make job seeking-through-networking (or, Internetworking) not only easier—but essential in the years ahead.
REMEMBER, WORD OF MOUTH ADVERTISING IS ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE MARKETING TOOLS!
If Networking Is So Effective why Don’t the Majority of Job-Seekers do it?
FEAR! One of the most common reasons people don’t network is because of fear of rejection or fear that others will think they are begging for a job. Lack of confidence and assertiveness are often other factors. Laziness can also sneak in– job hunting is hard work!
It is for these and other reasons that most job hunters prefer to use the more passive job search strategies such as:
• Looking in the newspaper, or on the Internet
• Registering their CV’s online
• Approaching recruitment agencies
These strategies are passive because the job seeker is not taking control and out there actively hunting for a job. Instead, they are passively waiting for a job to come to them.
The Rule of Thumb is: DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET! Employing a variety of job search strategies is the key to success. If you rely on only the passive strategies you are missing out on 80% of the roles which either exist or which could be created for you.
Completing the following exercises will help equip you with the know-how to network effectively.
Remember this is the “active job-search strategy”—it does take energy and perseverance but the rewards are huge… finding the work you love, loving the work you found!
Call to Action! Prepare to Network Effectively
Some people have a negative mindset when it comes to networking. They think if they contact people they know that these people might think they are begging or hassling them.
Use your own words to describe the term “networking.” Think about the benefits to the other person. Things like saving them the hassle of advertising for candidates if you happen to be a good fit for who they are looking for.
List some of the skills and personal attributes that are required to network effectively, eg research, persuasion, optimism, perseverance, confidence.
What skills and attributes do you already possess?
What skills and attributes will you need to develop?
Prioritize in order of importance. List some ways that you can develop and nurture the areas that are more challenging for you, eg affirmations, mentors, supportive friends, visualization, and self-help books.
The Aim of the Networking Meeting
Just like a fishing net, the aim of networking is to “catch” as much as possible. However, rather than fish, what the active job hunter seeks to gather is as many actual, or possible, job leads as possible.
The aim of the networking meeting is also predominantly about exploring information and gathering market research. This shift in focus from “give me a job” to “I’m interested in finding out about…” should help to minimize the fear of rejection and to take some of the pressure off all parties.
Remember: just as you don’t like to be rejected, employers don’t like rejecting you! The key things you are interested in “finding out” are:
• Whether your abilities, skills, and background match the employment needs in that business, industry or organization.
• If so, whether any employment opportunities either currently exist, or are likely to in the future
• If not, whether the person you have initially contacted knows of people within their own network that may benefit from your skill-set and experience. Just like the Internet or World Wide Web – the objective of the active job hunter is covering as much distance as possible in the most effective way. Leveraging off the networks of other people is one of the most effective and efficient ways to do this.
You may strike the jackpot and get a job, but if you don’t, remember:
• Timing is everything
• Your aim is to generate at least two additional leads from each visit, email, or phone call you make.
Identifying Your Network
This diagram below can be very useful in identifying the groups of people that you know. It is by no means exhaustive!
(And you thought you didn’t have anyone to network with!)
Call to Action: Getting Ready to Chat!
From the networking diagram, including any other potential contacts you have added, identify and prioritize five people you could approach and arrange an appointment to see:
You may wish to set networking goals for yourself to help keep you motivated—for example, 10 networking phone calls per week, resulting in 5 networking visits per week. Don’t forget to include a reward for yourself when you successfully reach your goal.
Before you make your network approach you should:
Research the company and its senior people. Some of the things you need to be aware of and may need to be able to talk about include:
• Industry issues
• Organization structure
• Company products and services
• Industry and company profitability
Remember: people like talking about their jobs and if your interest is based on soundly researched information you are providing yourself with an instant hook to gain their interest.
Cold Calls Versus Warm Calls
When deciding on your list of contacts to call remember to distinguish between “cold” contacts and those which are “warm” or “hot”.
Cold contacts are those you have never met, nor know of no one who can introduce you. After moving cities recently I approached the local health board to inquire about their services and to see if they may need mine as a holistic psychologist. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. Despite my spontaneous meeting and arriving unannounced the timing was perfect. They told me they were very short-staffed and my skills and experience appeared to be just what they needed. It’s the old adage—if you don’t ask, you won’t get.
Warm contacts are those who someone you know personally knows the person you wish to contact. In this case, your friend, for example, may be able to refer you or at least allow you to mention their name. This gets the relationship off to a warmer start than if you tried to establish contact with no prior “history’ or connection
Hot Contacts are those who you know personally. For example, I know the owner of our local bookstore. Recently he advertised for casual staff. Had I been interested in the role (I love books!) I would stand a ‘hotter’ chance of nabbing that job than someone ‘cold’ who walked off the street.
Remember – even the best salespeople hate cold calling, mainly because the likelihood of “rejection” is increased ten-fold. Where ever possible leverage off existing relationships!
Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Every aspect of the job hunt process is about preparation – from writing your resume or CV, to preparing answers to questions that may be asked in an interview. Networking is no different especially when it comes time to pick up the phone and make that call.
You should have an outline script and responses to the most common objections prepared in advance. Remember that most people respond to appeals for help, so your call should use the phrase “help me” as often as possible.
You may wish to use the script which follows as a guide. It includes ways to respond to common objections.
It is important to remember that it is not so much what you say but how you say it that carries the most weight. Smile as you speak and, if possible, to stand—these both help you to sound more confident.
CONTACT: “Mary McCrae speaking”
YOU: “Hello Mary, my name is John Farr. I believe that you are the best person to help me. Jake Evans from XYZ suggested that I give you a call. I am looking at the career prospects in the Communications/PR industry and Jake suggested that you are the best person to help me.”
I wondered if I could talk to you about your industry before I make a move and would appreciate 15 minutes of your time.”
What follows are sample responses to possible objections:
CONTACT: “I’m not sure I’m the right person.”
YOU: “Jake spoke very highly of you and thought you would be the best person for me to talk to. I’d be really grateful for your advice – if you could spare 15 minutes.”
CONTACT:“We’re not looking for anybody right now.”
YOU: “I understand. Of course, I would like to get work inside the Industry, but not right now. At present, I’m looking at opportunities in various areas and I need someone who could help me to find out more about your industry. Could we get together this week or next week?”
CONTACT: “I’m very busy right now.”
YOU: “I appreciate that you’re busy but I’d be really grateful for 15 minutes of your time. Perhaps I could buy you a coffee as a sign of my appreciation for giving up some of your time to help me.”
CONTACT:“OK, next week then.”
YOU: “Thank you. I really do appreciate it. Which day would suit you best and would you prefer morning or afternoon?”
(Always go for non-core hours with late afternoon the best. Always offer to leave at the end of 15 minutes – most likely your offer will be refused in which case the obligation to close the meeting passes from you to the contact.)
The above example may seem repetitive and it is. It is important that you are persistent and don’t lose sight of your goal – to meet with the person face-to-face.
You are unlikely to encounter all the objections listed, although you may get others.
Call to Action! Overcoming Possible Objections
Either list three of your most “feared” responses or those objections that you think or feel you are most likely to encounter.
The techniques for overcoming objections used in the example above were: Acknowledge the objection
• Restate your objective
• Use the “15 minute of your time” technique
• Offer alternative time/dates and always leave it up to the contact to decide which option suits them best
Refer back to the objections you highlighted and prepare some responses using the technique above. Record your answers. (If you couldn’t think of any “objections” ask your friends etc for their input).
Listed below are some typical and effective questions people use when networking or “interviewing for information”. You may wish to adapt the ones below or to completely make up your own ones. It is helpful to practise asking these questions out loud until you feel comfortable asking them.
How did you get into XXX, eg Public Relations/ HR, etc?
(People love to talk about themselves, and it’s flattering to think someone is interested in what we do and how we got to where we are. This a great way to help build rapport and begin a relationship)
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into the industry?
What do you see as the top 5 skills necessary to be effective now and in the future?
(This is a good question to check whether the skills you have now are valuable/marketable and to affirm areas you may need to develop in order to be successful)
What makes a successful (Public Relations/ HR, etc.) person?
What skills, attributes etc. do you look for in people you hire?
Why don’t some people make it in this industry?
(This is a good way of finding out potential pitfalls and how you may highlight your strengths in areas where others may be weak)
What are the values of this organization?
What makes this a great place to work? What attracted you here?
What keeps you here?
(All the above questions are designed to find out the pros and cons of working within the specific organization you have targeted. Answers will confirm areas of “fit”).
What issues is your organization likely to face over the next couple of years?
(A good question to identify future skills needs and also to convey interest and enthusiasm in the organization’s future. Helps to convey less of “What can you do for me?” and more of “What can I do for you?”)
Remember, the initial purposes of your meeting were to:
• Find out information
• See if there are any employment opportunities currently or in the near future
• Generate at least two additional leads
If you have established good rapport and built a good relationship with the person you have just been “interviewing” they will be only too happy to refer you to other contacts they may have. Remember this is how networking works and why it is so effective. You‘d do the same, wouldn’t you?
Most people hesitate when it comes to asking the sorts of questions below. Fear of “rejection” is a common reason why. Remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Besides most employers would be surprised, if not astounded, that you didn’t ask—nine times out of 10 they will be expecting it.
If you are still reluctant, you may like to think of a reward that you can give yourself when you “feel the fear” and do it anyway. Purchasing a new music album or item of clothing is a good reward. Each time you hear or wear it will remind yourself of the new, “courageous” you.
Some Closing Questions
Do you have any openings now? If the answer is NO: Is this likely to change in the future?
Do you know of anyone else in the industry/this organization that it may be useful for me to talk to? OR
Do you know of anyone else in the industry/ organization who may be looking for someone with my experience?
Ending on a Positive Note
You‘ve heard that first impressions count—well so do last impressions! Be sure to leave on a positive, enthusiastic and grateful note.
You may like to conclude by using the example below or adapting your own:
“I really appreciate all the time you have given up to meet with me. I really like what I have heard. This sounds like a fantastic place to work/ like a fantastic role/career path. You must feel very lucky. Thanks again—I’ve gained a lot.”
Key points to remember are:
• Thank the person you have met
Their time is valuable to them and there were probably half a dozen things they should have, or could have, been doing. People like to be appreciated.
• Convey that you have really benefited from your meeting with them
People like to feel that what they do makes a difference. Tell them what you have learned or gained as a result of their input. Your feedback to them is invaluable.
• Show your enthusiasm
The worse you can do is to leave the meeting looking unmotivated. Even if the meeting hasn’t yielded the results you hoped for, remember the person you have just met may be your best advocate – advertising you by word of mouth to his/her own personal networks.
Out of sight does not necessarily have to be out of mind. Even well-intentioned people forget – your job is to remind people that you exist.
Follow up one week after your initial meeting or phone conversation. Include a copy of your Resume or CV, if you had not already left this behind, and a thank you note.
The thank you note should include the following details:
• Confirm the date and time of the meeting
• Highlight key knowledge and insights you gained
• Bullet point how your skills and experiences fit the organizations current and future needs
• A “thank you” statement for the initial meeting and your interest in any opportunities that arise
When to Leave Your CV or Resume
Always have your CV with you in case an employer should ask to have a copy. It is also a useful “talking” document—while you are in your meeting you can point to your skills and experiences and talk about them in more specific detail than you may otherwise be able to.
The benefit of NOT leaving a CV at the first meeting is that you can further tailor it as a result of the new knowledge you gained. It also takes away the pressure you might feel about seeming like you are “begging for a job”. We know you are not a beggar. You are an enquirer and an investigator—enquiring as to whether there are any employment opportunities and investigating what other opportunities might exist.
Everything that occurs in life is always a matter of timing. Be patient and have faith that when the timing and the situation is right the opportunity will appear.
Perseverance and maintaining a positive expectation is what separates successful people from unsuccessful people.
This is a review and edited extract from Mid-Life Career Rescue: Job Search Strategies that Work: How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate and Start Living a Life You Love, Before It’s Too Late by Cassandra Gaisford. Available in paperback or for immediate download for less than the price of a cup of coffee here>>getbook.at/JobSearchStrategies
I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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