Facebook, Not Just for Friends!

When Facebook first came out, it was a great way to connect with old high school and college friends who you had lost touch with. Now that things have become more challenging with the economy, people are looking for new and innovative ways to find a job. One of these new ways to find a job is through using Facebook.

A concern that is often posed to me about utilizing Facebook in your job search is: “I do not want my friends or family to know I am looking.” The fact that you are looking for a job is nothing to be ashamed of. It is just what is so. You would probably be surprised how many of your old college and high school friends would be happy to help you in whatever way they can. In the last year, since things have gotten tough, people have been banding together in support of one another in ways we would have never thought possible.

It is important to realize, your friends are your resources. Ask them, using your status update, if they might have any leads for you or perhaps be able to introduce you to that special company you have been trying to get in the door with. Keep in mind that a majority of jobs are found through word of mouth, not through recruiters or job postings. Often times a company will ask for internal referrals first, and the people they are asking for those internal referrals from are your friends on Facebook!

*I would like to mention one caveat about using Facebook. If you are still employed, be careful about posting status updates regarding your job search. Even if you think your profile is private, your employer may know someone that has access to your profile and find out you are looking!

The next time you go onto Facebook to update your status, remember, it can be a useful tool in helping you to find your next job!

You Never Know…

Last night I was at a Pink Slip Mixer in Westwood. Towards the end of the night, one of my clients came up to me and we began to catch up. When I asked him how his job search was coming, he replied “Great!” He explained that he had a 3rd round interview coming up, and that he had 5 new leads from www.tweetmyjobs.com. I told him that sounded wonderful.

He went on to say, that was not all. “Wow!” I exclaimed, “There is more?” He then shared with me that he had just met a fantastic lead at the bar who had given him 3 phone numbers of potential leads that might be interested in hiring him! The person he met was not even someone that was part of our group. Rather, my client was at the bar and began chatting with the man next to him. During this conversation, my client quickly learned that this man was recently divorced and had just moved to the area from New York (where my client is from). My client immediately started to chat with him and offer him resources on great places to meet people in Los Angeles. The fact that my client started to offer resources first is critical. By offering to help someone else, they will be more inclined to help you in return. 

After a short conversation, my client mentioned he was in the digital media field, and sure enough, the man he was talking to wound up being a SVP for a huge cable channel. The man immediate wrote down three phone numbers for my client to call the next day, and even recommended that my client use his name.

It is for this very reason that you should always treat every person as a potential lead. You never know where your next job lead can come from. It could even be from the guy next to you at the bar.

2010 Job Forecast

The year is finally coming to a close and what a year it has been. For many job seekers, the end of 2009 brings relief and hope for a better 2010. It would be an understatement to say that this year has been a tough one for many, but the good news is things are beginning to look a little brighter. Many economists are predicting that we may not see tremendous growth in the first quarter of next year, however, the number of jobs being lost is steadily declining. Even though there are still cut-backs happening, these cut-backs are much less severe than what we have experienced in the last 8 months. The good news is that even though certain industries have been hit hard, such as real estate, new positions are beginning to surface in other areas that job seekers can transition into. 

Below is a list  which includes some of the hot industries and jobs to keep your eyes on in 2010:
Mobile Applications: Mobile Application Developer
Biology 
Computer Science
Engineering: Simulation Engineer
Healthcare: Nursing
Video Gaming: Designing & Programming
Law: Intellectual Property
Forensic Accounting

Passion + Perseverance = SUCCESS

Have you ever wanted to be a success? Well now, it is easier then ever to be successful at what you love and be paid for it. I have been interviewing people in a variety of industries and jobs who are at the top of their field. Many have been making 6 figures and beyond for the last 30 years, and some have only recently attained their success. The question is: What is the common denominator between them all? 

PASSION

The people in life who are most successful and can sustain their success, are those who are passionate about what they do. If you are not passionate about what you, you will not be able to sustain your success long term. The common theme among all of the 6 figure successes that I have interviewed is that they love what they do and are excited to get out of bed every day. When you love what you do, other people can tell, and the monetary rewards will quickly follow.

BUT

Passion alone will not help you to be a 6 figure success. You MUST also have the drive and the willingess to persevere to compliment your passion. Without drive your passion will never amount to much. You can be tremendously passionate and excited about a certain product or service, however, until you back that passion with ambition and perserverance you will not go far. Ambition is necessary because you need to be unstoppable in achieving your goals when things do not go your way. Many of the 6 figure successes I have interviewed went through hard times and had to persevere in the face of their hardships. Some immediately attained success, however, even their success could not have been sustained long term without a driving force that has them continue to do what they know they need to do to be successful.

Passion + Perseverance = SUCCESS!

If you are looking to be a 6 figure success, ask yourself: What am I passionate about? Then go out there and start to do it. In addition, set goals for yourself, and go after them. Do not let yourself get deterred when things do not go your way. You must persevere to achieve your dreams!

Networking Your Way into Your Next Job

If you are currently looking for a job, or anticipate looking for a job anytime in the near future, pay close attention. Regardless of what type of job you might be looking for, one thing is certain: The better you are at networking the more easily you will land your next position! 


In doing the research for my upcoming book “Do you have what it takes to be a 6 Figure Success?,” I found that all of the 6 figure earners I interviewed agreed that a strong network was critical to their success, both in the short term and in the long term.


So how does one become an effective networker? The good news is, it is not something you have to be born with, it is something you can learn. I remember one of the first networking events I went to when I launched my own company, I did not have a clue! I accosted every person I encountered by forcing my business card upon them and then chatting their ear off for at least 10 minutes at a time (if you were one of the people at that event at Wokano 9 months ago, I apologize!).


Networking is an art form. You have to learn what is effective and what is not. In order to be a effective in a networking situation there are a few things you must do. Below is a list of the top 5 things that can increase your effectiveness in a networking situation:


1) Have an enticing “Tell me about yourself” statement. Perfecting your elevator speech is critical not only in job hunting, but in business in general. You want to be the one that is remembered at the end of the day. One way to be memorable is to give a great elevator speech. It is important to capture your audience’s attention and avoid overwhelming them with so much information their eyes glaze over. To read more about giving a great elevator speech, please refer to an blog I wrote a few months back which can be found at:


http://blog.jhccs.com/2009/06/16/tell-me-about-yourself.aspx
2) Keep it short and sweet. Try not to talk to one person for more then 5 minutes at a time. You can always follow up with someone for a coffee after the event, but keep in mind, it is unlikely you will get the chance to network with all of those same people again.


3) Always have a firm handshake and good eye contact! Having a firm handshake and good eye contact indicates confidence. Confidence is something that people find attractive, and more important MEMORABLE. Networking is all about being memorable at the end of the day. Someone who has a weak handshake, or does not have strong eye contact is easily forgettable. If you are nervous about making eye contact, practice looking yourself in the eye in the mirror while you give your elevator speech.


4) Get to know people and ask what you can do for them. No one likes a person who is all about ME, ME, ME. Unfortunately, many people have turned networking events into nothing more then being a walking, talking billboard. People will often walk up and hand you their card before you know anything about them. This is not what networking is about. It is about creating long lasting, sustainable and trustworthy relationships.  Next time you are in a networking situation, wait for the person you are speaking with to ask for your card or ask them for their card. When someone takes the time to ask for your card, they will be much more likely to remember who you are. 


5) Follow up! If you do not follow up with the people you meet, you are simply wasting your time. I find that people who attend networking events are often confused as to what they are supposed to do after the event is over. The answer is simple: Follow up! What does following up mean? It means taking the time to send a follow up email the next day. If you can, make the email personal, and it will be more meaningful. In your follow up, you might want to offer a potential referral or resource, or mention a subject that was discussed at the networking event.


 


Finally, I highly recommend connecting with all people you meet on Linkedin. This is critical. There has never been a more easy or FREE way to keep track of business contacts. You never know where you could get a job lead from or if the person you connect with on Linkedin might be a great business contact for you in the future.


 


Remember: It is not about you, it is about them! People will go out of their way to connect with you and help you if you pay it forward by helping them!


 

The Chinese call it Guanxi, we call it having a Strong Network

I just had the opportunity to pick the brain of a very successful, high level Manager with an entertainment company in Paris-Guillaume Morel. Guillaume has been with his organization for close to 10 years, however, during his tenure with his company, he took 15 months off to travel to China and learn Chinese, as well as, to learn more about the Chinese culture. He gained many insights from living in China and learning about Chinese culture, but one of the most important things he learned about was Guanxi.

Guanxi describes a personal connection between two people in which one is able to prevail upon another to perform a favor or service, or be prevailed upon. Here we would call this networking. Guanxi is a central concept in Chinese society that is ingrained into their culture. Guanxi is used to develop and maintain strong client relationships and a competitive edge over the competition in business, however, the same business principles of Guanxi can also be applied to looking for a job. 

Having the support of a strong network can exponentially increase your effectiveness in both job hunting and in business. Building a network does not mean simply meeting people just to help you with a specific situation such as looking for a job. Building a network is a lifelong endeavor that will create a foundation for long term success and opportunities.

You will not be able to have sustainable success, however, if you do not have trust within the network. According to Guillaume Morel, to create trust in both business and job hunting situations, you must be transparent and sincere with the people in your network. It becomes clear very quickly if you are only out for personal gain. If instead, you create a symbiotic network, one that is reciprocal, you will readily create the results you desire.

Always remember that, while you may be able to have short term success on your own, long term success cannot be sustained alone. Guanxi is your source of the knowledge and resources that will create your personal success!


 

Hindsight & Learning from Mistakes

While in London, I decided to continue the research for my upcoming book. In doing so, I had the opportunity to interview an extremely successful businessman who has been in distribution for close to 20 years. We began to talk about the first time he ever made 6 figures, and had to clarify that 100,000 pounds can be quite different then 100,000 dollars depending on the going exchange rate. He explained to me that the first time he had made over 100,000 pounds was 8 years into his career. He mentioned that ambition was critical to his success.

When I asked him what one thing would be that he would share with someone who wanted to attain his level of success, he said “hindsight” and applying what you have learned from your mistakes. At this point I asked him to elaborate a bit more. He went on to explain that great business people often learn from their own mistakes, as well as those of others. By learning from one’s own mistakes and also learning from the mistakes of others, one can readily gain the knowledge it takes to be a success in business. He went on to add that the more quickly you can learn from various mistakes the more efficiently you can learn to be successful at whatever it is you do. Time is money and the faster you learn, the more quickly you will rise to the top. 

Network your way into your next job!

If you are someone who is looking for a job, you are probably spending a lot of your time applying to positions on-line.  This can begin to feel rote and even tedious. Leverage time spent in front of the computer by not only applying for positions on-line, but also by using social networking sites such as www.facebook.com, www.twitter.com, and www.linkedin.com to update your community on what is happening in your job search. Instead of primarily using these sites for personal use, begin to use them to tell your community you are looking for a job and to utilize their help in your search for a new position. You could post a comment such as “Just had a great interview” or “Trying to get into X Company.” By using your network, you are increasing your visibility and broadening your group of contacts which can lead to opportunities you may have not otherwise been aware of.

In addition to using on-line networking tools, you can attend FREE networking events that could lead to potential interviews. One of these types of events is called Pink Slip Mixers. By attending a mixer you are no longer just your resume, you can get valuable face time with both recruiters and potential employers. Maximize your time by bringing copies of your resume, and business cards, which can easily be attained through websites such as www.vistaprint.com

Check the Pink Slip Mixers website for upcoming events throughout the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas:

http://pinkslipmixers.com/

The “Band-Aid Job”

Yesterday I was at a networking event in Hermosa Beach. It was an intimate group, and we were enjoying a lively conversation about interviews and job hunting. One of the topics that arose was that of the “Band-Aid Job.” For those of you who are not familiar with the Band-Aid Job, it is a job that will stop the bleeding and help you to get through the short term, but may not be a long term fix. Personally, I recommend that you SHOULD NOT go on an interview unless you are willing to give your right arm to get the job because let us be honest, if you are not willing to give it your all, someone else is, even if the interview is for a Band-Aid Job. It is also important that a job seeker should always have very strong reasons for wanting to work for a particular company.

If you go into an interview and seem disinterested, it shows! However, during our discussion about the Band-Aid Job, there was a concern: What if you really don’t want the job your are interviewing for, ie. it is a Band-Aid Job that is simply going to hold you over? Then what? Should you still rave about how much you want to work for the company? Good question.

Some would argue that if you are not legitimately interested in the job you are applying for, it is disingenuous to show enthusiasm and come up with strong reasons you want to work for them. However, there is another way to look at this.

In today’s current economic condition, people are struggling more then many of us could have ever imagined. There are far less jobs then would normally be available in today’s market. While your options may be limited, you should not just roll over and die. You should always stay positive and never take a job you would be miserable in. If you wind up taking a job that you know you would HATE just to supplement your income, you will be miserable and eventually wind up in the same place you were originally: unemployed. However, if you find a job that is outside of your normal niche, or perhaps not the ideal position of your dreams (on the surface), but there are other upsides to the job such as location, money, people and/or benefits, then it is important to consider all your options. While you may not foresee yourself in this potential job until you retire, you can certainly look for the good in the opportunity, and mention the things you could see as potential positives in the interview.

As I always say, attitude is everything. If you go into an interview disappointed from the onset, then you will likely not get the job offer, and if you do get the offer and accept it, you will always be looking for reasons why it is not a good job. If instead, you are grateful for the opportunity and look for the positive attributes of the job/company, you will be more likely to land the job offer, and perhaps even wind up liking it.  Even though this job may be a “Band-Aid Job,” it is important to remember that you can always find something positive if that is what you are looking for.

Remember, your end goal of every interview should be to GET THE OFFER! In the worst case scenario, you turn it down, or perhaps meet some great leads along the way. Just remember, the next time you get an interview, even if it is for a Band-Aid Job, always play full out because you never know what might come out of it!

Top Reasons to Use Social Media as a Business Owner

Social Media is a wonderful tool that can be used by business owners and job seekers alike. Below are the top reasons why you should be using Social Media to help grow your business:

* Gain visibility and exposure
* Learn about your competition and find out what they are doing to get business
* Gauge customer feedback and manage your customer service
* Manage your brand and build a reputation
* Gain valuable alliances and build referral networks to help you grow your business

The NUMBER 1 reason you should be incorporating Social Media into your marketing and/or business plan is IT'S FREE! There is no better way to increase your ROI when all you are investing is time. Time is valuable, sometimes even more so than money, but if you use the time you spend on Social Media for your business wisely, the returns you will see will be greater than you could have imagined.