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Things I Learned

Updated 06/25/2016

There are numerous things that happen during a career transition.  The challenge for each individual is dealing with those challenges successfully and benefiting from the "lessons learned" to provide a better and faster return to work the next time.  Many say this was their first and last time; that is realistic for nearly all of us.  Most people change jobs every 3.7 years which can be the result of a Reduction In Force action, termination, not keeping up with technology, age or health matters, or any number of other things.  Do not be lulled into believing it will never happen again to you as the odds are ... it will.

So what are some of the things you should take way for your experience?

  • Acknowledging your Limitations
    Everyone has limits.  Positions you may feel you are totally qualified may fall short of your perception.  Part may be due to poor wording in the Job Description.  It was "spot on" for their knowledge but "way off" for the rest of the universe.  Yet you can gain insight into the company and, if appropriate, work to develop those skills you were perceived to be lacking in for other opportunities.

  • A Better Communicator
    Many people stumble through their interviews or did not think through what the interview process is really about.  Can you tell your professional story in a short but concise statement loaded with high value words employers love to year that are tied to the job you are interviewing for?  Did you visit the company's web site to learn about this company to better position yourself and know recent news the company was reporting?  Do you know how to discuss your weaknesses correctly?  If they ask
    you tell them about yourself do you start when you were born?  Do you jump into the good stuff with your questions like salary, benefits, time off, etc?  Do you know what and what not to wear and what are high risk things to do before an interview?
    Do you just take a seat or do you know the strategy in sitting down?  Are emotions
    something that will hurt or help you
    or both?

    Even experienced interviewees leave an interview knowing they forgot things. Interviewing skills are not just for a career transition but also knowing and understanding how to communicate effectively with others.  These are
    "soft skills" that are important to companies.

  • Value of Networking/Contacts
    The top two reasons people leave a company is their manager and company culture.  Having a rich network of people you know can help you find information on a company before you submit an application.  Some companies are very good.
    Some are good.  Others you wonder why people are not in max exodius leaving the company.  Getting the insight early an save you consider time, energy and disappointment as all companies are not equal.  Leverage your network for information and people you should be talking to in support of your job search!

  • Brand Yourself
    OK, not everyone can be a Hostess Twinkee but the name invokes fond memories.   Including a personal Branding Statement in your LinkedIn Profile or as part of your Facebook page can help your career move forward if done well.  Find keywords of high value to develop a good reputation for your work whether it is as an independent contractor, a retained contractor or employee.  Branding helps people understand quickly what you enjoy doing and people who do what they enjoy are often more passionate about their work therefore are better workers.

  • Embrace Risks (intelligently)
    This is not to say stand in the middle of the freeway waiting to see if someone will discover you and knock you off your feet.  Learn to identify and assess the risks you will face in your efforts and how you can deal with those risks.  Some you may simple have to "take the hit" if the risk materializes.  Others you can create a strategy to minimize the risk should it happen putting you in a better position or minimize any damage.

    Some of the Risks may be in your skills or formal education.  Those can be addressed by taking additional courses.  While attending a college or community college looks good, consider free training is available across the Internet especially in using computer software for laptops and desktops.  In some cases where you are unemployed, you can seek government funding to take preselected courses to bring you up to current needs or obtain certification in skills with high demand.
Risk assessment can also how you areas you could strengthen yourself in and develop some resistance to that or those risks from impacting you down the road.