January is typically the time. For change. It’s a new year.
So, I thought that I’d change things up a bit, today.
The reason: You may not be ready to take the leap.
There’s real financial risk involved.
You could pick the best franchise around and still fail. Stuff happens.
But, if you’re ready to explore some franchise business opportunities, and you’d like to have a friend beside you as you do so…look me up. I won’t try to “sell” you a franchise…or even sell you on the idea of franchise ownership. (Although it is a great business model for the right person.)
What I will do-to the best of my ability, is guide you through the decision process, safely.
Enough about franchise ownership. Let’s talk about traditional careers, and find out how you can make some real career changes happen. Let’s learn from a career expert.
Want a New Career In The New Year?
I found Kim on LinkedIn. I liked her-or rather what came through when I saw her website and read her biography. And, I think she can help you-if you’re looking to change careers this year.
I asked Kim to write a guest post on The Franchise King Blog for one reason, and for one reason only:
To Help My Readers Who May Not Be Ready To Buy a Franchise.
Kim’s guest post is below.
It’s January, so you’re thinking about what you want out of 2014.
Do you want to:
- Land a new job?
- Earn a promotion?
- Change careers?
- Strike out on your own as an entrepreneur?
The New Year is a great time to tap in to your internal motivation and focus on career development. Whether you’re conducting a full-blown job search or simply trying to better manage your career, you need to understand the landscape and embrace what it takes to pull ahead of your competition. We’re in the world of Career 3.0, and it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve.
Predictions For The 2014 Jobs Market
One thing is certain: the jobs market is getting a little bit better. Probably. Well, maybe for some folks, but not others. It really depends on who you ask. Forecasts are mixed, but job growth numbers aren’t going to look too different from 2013. We can be cautiously optimistic that companies are planning to add jobs, albeit slowly and mostly part-time.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), predicts that the service sector will see the highest rate of growth, while the goods producing sector will see the lowest. Software and mobile app developers will be in high demand. No big surprises there. Any list of 2014’s top jobs is heavy on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).
Shockingly, despite the modest forecasts, staggering numbers of people (83%, according to one survey) plan to look for new jobs in the next 12 months. As a job seeker, you are going to be facing fierce competition, and you need to have a strategy to come out ahead.
7 Strategies to Crush Your Competition
Does “crushing” your competition sound dramatic? Good! It’s brutal out there, and you need to be on top of your game. Despite glowing talk of new developments in HR, you’ll face big challenges as a candidate. You need to have the right mindset and the right toolkit.
1. Lose Old Paradigms
I work with a lot of people over 40 who are looking for one last career position they will be able to stay in until they retire. A laudable goal, but not a realistic one. The old employer-employee contract no longer exists. Every relationship is temporary. Once you accept that and reframe your approach accordingly, the seas get much smoother.
2. Understand That You Are A Business Of One
This is the most exciting part! No matter who you work for, you are truly a business of one – we all are. This means you have complete control over your brand and your talents. You decide how you market yourself, where you want to grow, and how to deliver your value proposition. Yes, you have to take the initiative. No one is going to do this for you. But the trade off is that you get to be master of your own universe.
3. Embrace Social Media
There’s a whole online universe that exists right now, and if you’re not actively engaged in it, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. It’s not enough to simply have a LinkedIn profile. You need to have a complete, well-written profile, quality connections, and be active on the site. There are specific reasons for all of those things, and that’s another post (or possibly a whole book) unto itself. For now, suffice it to say, your presence on social media is an essential element of your brand. If you neglect it, you are going to get passed over in favor of someone who’s more plugged in.
4. Embrace Real, Live Relationships
For every person who’s out of the loop with social media, there are two more who’ve neglected their real life network. Networking isn’t a dirty word, and it doesn’t have to mean going to mixers and striking up superficial conversations with strangers. If you’re tired of your local CPA association snoozefest. I guarantee you there are organizations in your community that are aligned with your genuine interests – and some of them have highly influential members. Do your homework to make sure you’re not surrounding yourself with retired pre-school teachers, then dive in! Volunteer your time doing park clean-up, get to know the other parents at your kid’s school, join a photography group. It is never to late to build a circle of connections based on shared interests and common values. Those connections will be authentic and substantive.
5. Tell A Great Story – With Results!
Did you know that resumes are dying? You can’t trash yours altogether (yet) but if you’re counting on that one document to win you an interview, you’re doing it wrong. Whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, your online portfolio, or your Twitter presence, employers want to know who you are and what results you’ve achieved. And they’re going to Google the heck out of you before they pick up the phone to schedule an initial screening. Select platforms that let you demonstrate all you’ve accomplished. Highlight case studies. Show your work. Weave a tale they can’t resist.
6. Go To The Action
Are you burnt out on the corporate grind? Been affected by a downsizing? Maybe more than once? You know job security no longer exists, so why keep getting back on that horse? If you’re in the space between employee and entrepreneur, consider a start-up or an early stage enterprise. These businesses usually spring forth from technical talent, but once they’re up and running guess who they need: business developers, finance, marketing, QA, compliance, HR. Tech companies can’t thrive on tech alone. They need business leaders. (Hint: that’s you)
7. Get Creative
Whether you like it or not, your new job is sales and marketing. The product you’re selling is you. It’s okay to try the straight and narrow path (resumes, cover letters, informational interviews, recruiters), but if you’re not getting the results you want, try getting a little weird. Standing out from the herd can be a good thing, especially if it gets an employer’s attention. Creativity and persistence pay off big time.
It’s a tough climate right now, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Put in the legwork to understand the job market and develop a contemporary strategy. It’s the only way to carve out the career path you truly want.
(Kim Eisenberg is a career coach, talent management consultant, writer, speaker, and professional people connector. She focuses on building rewarding careers in an ever-evolving marketplace. You can follow her on twitter @kim_eisenberg or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)