Fear of the unknown

While the flood of new candidates knocking on our doors to gain wisdom, knowledge and of course a new job has slowed since the height of the recession there are still a regular trickle of new people arriving at the office seeking our services. The most common situation I see is the initial fear of the unknown from those who have never been through the outplacement process before. Continue reading

Starting from Scratch

Today was not unusual; I reviewed resumes before meeting clients, evaluated some LinkedIn profiles and prepared for the first session of the day.

My first appointment was a financial controller who has been consistently employed, albeit with different companies for 18 years without ever having once going through a formal interview or job search process.

All was going well as we discussed the basics of job search until I asked the fatal question, “How are you doing?” At that point the flood gates opened, the tears flowed and the fears came bobbing to the surface, “I’m scared”, “I’m not sure that I can do this” and “I’m not a youngster anymore” were three of the many phrases I heard. I abandoned my plan for the rest of the session and devoted my time to talking about the positive side of the Outplacement while never diminishing the difficulties or challenges that lie ahead.

I explained that starting from scratch is not necessarily the worst thing that could happen and between us we could certainly build towards success.

Having an experienced guide and mentor who has a successful track record of guiding people through the difficult times that face people in transition is without doubt one of the most valuable benefits of the process. The next best thing is having a virtual coach to provide guidance through the process. Try www.VirtualJobCoach.com

Networking for Your Future – Part 1

Networking can be best thought about as a series of interactions between you and other people that move your job search or career goals forward. Networking is not just for those in job search mode but also and as importantly for those who are looking to the future.  85% to 95% of new job opportunities are in some way directly related to networking.  A basic rule of networking that should be rigorously applied is Offer to help others as much as you expect others to help you.

The goal of networking in the job search world is to find that next exciting position and everything you do needs to be focused on expanding your network until you find The Right One.

The majority of men, less so women, seem not to be biologically attuned to the concept of networking. I am not sure if it is because we (men) think we may appear weak if we ask someone for advice or if there is some deeper seated explanation. I sometimes remark to my clients that the best invention for a man was a GPS as we no longer have to ask for directions and this seems to bring the point home.

Back to the topic, in today’s world there are typically four methods of communication:

Email, without a doubt email is the favorite tool of the shy networker. It protects us from rejection and gives us easy excuses as to why someone may not have replied, it may have gone in their junk mail, it may have been accidentally deleted, etc. Email has its place not least of which is to send thank you notes and follow up messages to people you have just me and to those who introduced you.

Telephone, where we call someone to set up a networking meeting or where they may be too far away for a face to face we have a more detailed conversation. Often the best method of communication but also can be frustrating with the proliferation of voicemail and it seems the interminable length of time that it takes someone to respond.

The second part of this post follows soon and provides the final methodologies and a summary.


– Your Virtual Job Assistant