The one thing I noticed as I went through my career is how my views have changed about leaders and people in power, specifically in the corporate world. The higher they were up the corporate chain, the more frightened I was to speak with them and the quieter I was around them.

Every email that I wrote was written with fear, and I had other people take a look at it before I sent it. They are extremely busy people, and I didn’t want to bother them. I respected them and their work, and obviously I wanted to impress them. Many times my communication with these executives failed, because I was unable to have an honest conversation with them.

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The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) projects 1,791,000 students at the bachelor’s degree level will graduate as the college Class of 2013.

Let me write it for you in long form just in case you missed that number. There are ONE MILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETY ONE THOUSAND people graduating from College in 2013 in the U.S.

That’s a shit ton of competition. So you start looking for a job, except there is one problem: Looking for a job sucks.

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Imagine this common conversation at a networking / business event:

Mike: So John, what do you do?

John: I just moved here from New York, and I’m looking for a full-time job as a Graphics Designer. I’ve always loved Chicago and I’m glad I made the move.

Mike: Oh, great. Welcome to Chicago! Where are you staying?

John: At my buddy’s out west. He’s a good friend of mine from College. I’m staying there until I get situated.

A fairly simple and straight forward conversation, right? It is, but there are two problems with this conversation:

  1. You admitted to being unemployed.
  2. You admitted that the only reason you are at this event is because you are looking for a full-time job. This is why you are selfish.

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You’re sitting down eating lunch at your desk. The thought races across your head that it’s about time to get a new job. You aren’t happy with what you have now. You need something new, refreshing and with better career potential.

You then start thinking about next steps. You hate the idea of updating your resume and applying for jobs online. You need something more efficient & something more natural. Maybe you should start telling a few close people what you’re thinking about and get their opinions. Sounds like a great idea. Now, the question is who do you tell?  Your friends, colleagues that work with you, your favorite barista at Starbucks?

You need someone who will keep it private but also give you great advice on next steps. Someone who will connect you with the right people. You want to start interviewing as soon as possible, and see what’s out there.

Isn’t this what Linkedin was created for!? You immediately go on Linkedin and start browsing your connections for people that can help you.

Then it dawns on you. That person doesn’t exist in your network. You don’t have that person. Everyone in your network is useless. Well, they aren’t exactly useless – but useless to you.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but it’s all your fault.

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I get a lot of people asking me to help them find jobs. I’m not sure if they read about my job interview failures before they asked, but I digress.

Their story is usually the same:

  • They hate their current job, or don’t like how much they get paid
  • They want to find a job outside of their current industry.
  • They have been applying online for 2 months without any luck.
  • They know they can succeed in the job that they are going for.

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