The most important interview tip is to be prepared. Preparation involves practicing your interviewing skills, knowing about the company, the industry and even as much as you can about the position you are interviewing to get.
It is best if you can practice your interviewing skills via mock interviews, with friends and family and / or with networking partners.
You have to know about the company make sure you set a Google alert to get all the latest news about the company. If it's a small or private company and there is not too much publicly available information make use of the company's own website, press releases and more to find out as much as you can about the company. While studying (yes I said the word studying - consider this a test and if you get the job, you passed) you should also be aware of industry news and events going on or impacting the industry.
When I taught Eco and finance in 2011-2012, I made my students read Michael Lewis' The Big Short as part of the in class discussion / work because I told them if they went on a finance related interview and could not speak to the financial crisis, the mortgage issue and the huge fallout from the breakdown in 2007-2009 that they would never find a job.
For knowing the job you are interviewing for, this could be tough. You might be brought in without knowing too much about the position and all companies have different naming conventions for jobs that can be similar but you just do not know. Go with the job listing, if it exists, but know if you are an interesting candidate, you might be interviewing for multiple positions at the same time. If you know the company and the industry you can get by without knowing everything about the job.
And this will allow you to be able to ask questions and to be ready to ask questions. Do not leave an interview without asking thoughtful and good questions. Do not ask filler questions try to really apply what the interviewer discussed with you to your questions.
What do you think of my advice for interviewing? I am including a link to Michael Lewis' book that I mentioned above - if you are interested in working in financial services, please read it because the information is still timely and can help you make discussion points during interviews. Happy hunting!
I saw this article from Forbes that is an excerpt from Laura Shin's book The Millennial Game Plan: Career and Money Secrets to Succeed in Today's World and had to make a post out of it. It is geared towards millennials but it can help all of us. I was one of those people - someone who set up a LinkedIn and then forgot about it. As I have recently relaunched this company, The Next Step, I have found LinkedIn to be so important to my company - keeping people thinking about my services and (hopefully) reading my blog posts and maybe even learning something new from me...
It is important to make LinkedIn really represent you - what does not fit on your resume can fit here. Also, you can strategically find people to connect to that can help you find your next step. Make sure LinkedIn represents who you are and what you can do.
I would be remiss if I did not mention my newly launched service called the LinkedIn Review and Edit - I use a proprietary 14-point query document to get the information you need to have on your LinkedIn profile there and then I also help craft your connection emails so you can use LinkedIn to the best of its ability. Check it out on my Order Your Next Step Here page today and let me know what you think.
What do you think of LinkedIn? Is your profile dormant? Or do you use it for networking to your next step and beyond?
How To Use LinkedIn 5 Smart Steps to Career Success
I could not have asked for two better articles to write about. The first one from Fast Company really ties in to some other projects I am working on that are focused on helping people identify their next step. It is a challenge to relaunch ourselves but it can be so worth it. We are constantly changing and gone are the days when you joined a company and stayed with them for your whole career - for better or worse, we rarely will find a place where we can stay for 30+ years. And really, this might be a good thing.
When I left Merrill Lynch in 2000 for an opportunity at a dot-com back in early 2000 (yes, if this was a movie, you would all be yelling, "Don't go to the dot-com! The bubble will burst!" but it is not a movie, so I did it) -- anyway, when I left, everyone was shocked and asked me "How can you leave Mother Merrill?" The company was considered to be like a mother because people grew up there and spent huge chunks of their career there. Just a few years later and the company as I knew it did not exist anymore - in large part due to the financial crisis of 2007 but also just the idea of having one employer for your whole career just disappeared, in general.
So, identifying your next step if you are unhappy in your current career or just cannot make your current career work for you can be done but it takes time and work. Timothy Butler's (author of Getting Unstuck: A Guide to Discovering Your Next Career Path; link below) thoughts on making that next step when you feel stuck and unhappy in your career are highlighted by Jane Porter. It is important to know your skills and what makes you happy - and again, this changes over time. What made you fulfilled in your 20's might not work for you in your 40's. Your skills, though, have been shaped over the years and honed by you - know how to retool those skills and make them apply to your next step. Also, having a vision is helpful - making a vision board sounds hokey but it can really work. So asking yourself such questions as:
-what are the pieces of your current industry/career that make you happy
-what are you good at
-what do you want to learn to be good at
-what makes you happiest
can help you identify what to do next.
Then, networking based on that vision can help you further identify and then find your next step. All great pieces of advice, especially the one to silence your inner critic. We can all be our own worst enemy - when you internal voice is saying "No, you are not good enough..." or anything negative, force yourself to re-frame it as a positive thought.
The excerpt in Fortune of the book Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Life and Career You Really Want by Tess Vigeland (link also below) is so powerful. So much of our identity is tied into what we do for a living. It is one of the first questions you are asked when you first meet someone. Tess has powerful thoughts and is brutally honest about having had the perks of being able to say "Oh, I am a successful XYZ person" and then when in the midst of change, not having that descriptor anymore can be brutal. I think we all know how this can feel. Her book looks interesting, so I am including the link to it here. She focuses now on trying to ask other questions or people instead of "what do you do?" and she has a good point on not letting our jobs or careers define us. I have a soft spot for that line of thinking - but that being said, we spend so much time on our careers particularly here in the US that what we do will always be a defining characteristic for us. My friends in Europe, though, have a totally different perspective. To them, they work to live not live to work and their identities are not at all tied into what "pays the bills" but what their passions are - golf, being in a band, following live music bands, etc, etc.
What do you think about the advice on finding your next step? What do you think about leaping without having a next step planned? How do you define yourself? What career advice works for you out of the above? Have you read either book posted below? What did you think of the books? If you have not read either of them, check out the links to the Amazon listing below. Happy Hunting!
Fast Company How to Change Careers When You Don't Know What You Want to Do Next
Fortune Tess Vigeland on why you are not your job (even if you are famous)
The careers they highlight are the ones that should be hot in ten years. Which the article is focused on as a tool to use to move your children towards those careers but if you have a ten or eleven year old, are you really planning that far out? Or are you just trying to get the dang summer work done so you can enjoy a few weeks of summer vacation without a deadline hanging over their heads? (Oh, just me then...)
The article, though meant for our kids, can actually be used for us. We are all working and not intending to retire within the next ten years. And continuing education and even retraining are big parts of finding your next step especially when the industry you spent your career in is contracting as a lot of industries are contracting and/or changing due to advances in technology and/or off/outsourcing.
The article highlights some things and it dovetailed a bit into the Are Humans Underrated post I discussed last week (link below; Technology Takes the Jobs). What will be the popular jobs in 2025 (and will I have a flying car)?
Parenting talks about "self-enrichment instructor" so I guess I am on the list for 2025 because that is basically a teacher but more specialized and focused on guided learning, I assume. Also, HVAC technicians and yard architects made the list.
An important listing is personal care assistant - all of those baby boomers and even some of my fellow Gen-Xers are getting older and older - we have been having less and less kids, too and therefore do not have built in support for us as we age and need care and the same can be said for our parents. So care of the elderly or aging will be a big growing industry and maybe I would want to manage the facility or the caregivers but I do not think I would want to be an actual caregiver (personal preference only - it can be rewarding work and will be well paid as people will want to remain at home in their later years and NOT want to be in a nursing home).
Data scientist also made the list - making use of all of the data that exists based on technology and marketing (such as the data provided by every click you make on the Internet and/or when you use your points card at Target or other shopping stores - ways to tailor marketing to each individual). This is a hot topic and I have talked a lot as a Professor about Target's use of data collecting - there is a true story about them being able to identify a pregnant customer, at times before the pregnant woman even knows she is pregnant - or before their families know. Target sent out a mailer to a younger ladywith coupons for baby stuff (diapers, formula, etc) and the dad flipped out and yelled at the Target manager for the inappropriateness of sending such a mailer to a young girl. Said dad then had to come in and apologize because, it turned out, his daughter was pregnant and TARGET knew before HE did.
Another growing career is Emerging Materials Engineer for nano-technology and biotech items. This ties in with the new industry of genetic testing, especially a company like 23andMe which is poised to become a medical breakthrough house for developing medication and gene therapies based on the data they are collecting and are allowed to use for research purposes. If you have not read it, you must check out The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks (link below) whose genetic materials were used in vaccines and more and continue to live on in medical breakthroughs despite the fact that she died young and poor in the 1950's and her family is still poor and without health insurance. It details the ability of genetic material to create anything really in terms of healthcare and / or research and the murky area of if you have that something that can support a new invention in world of medical advancement.
There are also listings for graphic artists, mediators, information security and financial examiner.
What do you think about the list for 2025? Can you use this list to plan your next step? Does any of it interest you? Are you planning your child/ren's future and see something on this list for them?
Technology Takes the Jobs
Parents Article Careers of the Future
Fortune has a great article "Humans are Underrated" and it has so much information in it. It is adapted from an upcoming book called Humans Are Underrated What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin. This is the kind of article I would spend at least two classes going over as a Prof but it is summer and I am off, so I get to ramble about it here (lucky you).
The article talks about technology and the analogy is that jet planes sped up travel by a factor of 100 (compared to walking) while now, every two years, computer processing power doubles which is an "increase in computer power of a million every 40 years". I am (almost) 40 years old and I have seen how technology has absolutely changed by what feels like about a million in the years since I was a kid and all we had was DOS programming and a modem that squeaked to show it was online - not to mention landline phones and cell phones that looked (and felt) like bricks. Now we have the equivalent of the computer processing that sent rockets to the moon in our pockets (or pocketbooks) and can stream any show we want at any time and so much more...
Ok, so the article talks in detail about technology and the impact on employment. There is a potential for trucks to be driven by computers, which would impact about 2million jobs held by, you know, actual truck drivers. (I digress, but would the show Ice Road Truckers be as popular with computers driving the rigs instead of people?) When I teach, I often discuss "The World is Flat" the article by Thomas Friedman and how the outsourcing and offshoring of jobs (caused by technology leveling the playing field) has impacted the economy and jobs available to recent college grads. We usually talk about how blue-collar jobs are least likely to be decimated because, like, who would pick up the garbage - a worker in India or China cannot do that -- but by reading this article, there is a very real fallacy to my logic because things that were considered "un-programmable" are more and more becoming programmable - such as truck driving. In 2004, there was belief that driving was intrinsically human and could never be done by computer and then several years later, Google had a self driving car. So what we think cannot be done by computer and technology is actually consistently proved wrong because of the absolute staggering increase in computer processing and abilities.
So the crux of the article (and subsequent book, which is about to be pre-ordered by me) is to highlight how "humans add value"? Empathy is highlighted as being something that is very necessary to hiring managers - but, ironically, empathy is on the decline in most people (maybe because we are always looking at our smartphones or something). Also needed for employees is "relationship building, teaming, co-creativity, brainstorming, cultural sensitivity, and ability to manage diverse employees". There is even a vignette about a new Technology Director who was hired and then quickly fired by Southwest because he just could not handle the culture of friendliness and openness - it was not based on his ability to do the job but because he did not have the people friendly skills necessary for the culture he was in. The article discusses this as being the focus of the future and that even one employee who is disengaged and not meeting the people skills necessary for this new world is one too many.
This article is so intense and has so much interesting information in it, you really have to read the whole thing. It makes for good interview small chat - adding in how your people skills are so important to the future of the company you want to work for and why - it is the wave of the future.
Check out the book below; also the link to the Fortune article is below, too.
Lisa Vento Nielsen