Archive for the ‘Job Search Strategies’ Category

Are You Looking to Expand Your Career Territory?

I Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

With the end of the year approaching at warp speed, I imagine I’m not alone in the busy-ness of the season. In fact, I’ve been so busy, I’ve pretty much neglected this blog, but the Lord is so faithful in guiding my steps that he’s redirected me toward it (Proverbs 16:9) using the above scriptures as divine inspiration. He is SO good!

There was a time in my life that I didn’t pray with any regularity. Even though I believed in God, at least theoretically, I didn’t believe that the Lord had any time or interest in actually responding to my prayers. I figured he had to have better things to do. My old mindset: Really, who am I — small and insignificant — to think God Almighty has the time to respond personally to me? New mindset: I now know that He does because He shows me all the time, and even though I’ve had a relationship with Him for more than 13 years, each time He reaches out to me, I’m still a little shocked and deeply humbled.

Okay, so back to the scriptures above, let’s consider the following:

  1. Jabez was honorable — more honorable than his brothers.
  2. He petitioned God for what he wanted. He prayed for the Lord to enlarge his territory (I would think this meant more land, more flocks, more riches), and (drumroll, please) God granted his request.
  3. He asked for the Lord’s blessing or “favor,” and he asked the Lord to be with him and protect him. He didn’t just rush out on his own to try to enlarge his own territory because he knew that would be a waste of his time.

So, what does all this mean? Why did the Lord answer Jabez’s prayer? What can you and I take away from this?

  1. Being honorable isn’t just a great brand attribute, it’s important to finding favor with the Lord!
  2. Jabez was smart because he recognized that he could do nothing apart from the Lord (John 15:5,8).
  3. It’s okay to set material goals for ourselves, and if we’re honorable and if it’s God’s will, He will grant our request(s).
  4. The Lord wants us to ask for what we want, and if we don’t ask, we don’t get. (James 4:2)

How would you like the Lord to expand your territory in the new year? Think about it, but don’t just think about it. Write down your goals in exquisite detail. Then live honorably, pray, and ask God to bless you, be with you, and keep you from harm.

Another Reason to Worship

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

According to studies done by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Wall Street Journal, 48% of jobseekers and 24% of employers search for jobs/employees through “places of worship.”

As a career coach, resume writer, and job search strategist, the most common mistake I see job seekers make in searching for a job is a profound lack of networking.

Please do not post your resume online, and then sit back and wait for the phone to start ringing. Statistically speaking, less than 10% of jobseekers find their next position this way. As my dear friend, Susan Whitcomb said, “It’s either network or not-work.”

Okay, so you know you should be networking but you say you don’t know where to go. Why not start off by worshipping regularly at your local church, temple, or mosque? Find out if they have a careers ministry.

As added bonuses for attending worship services regularly, you will please the Lord and find encouragement and hope. This is really a big deal, because along with the mechanics of job search, you need the right mindset.

Consider volunteering too. Nothing gets your mind off your problems like helping someone else with their problems. And few things feel as good as the blessing you will receive when you cheer someone up with a kind word of your own. (Proverbs 12:25)

Job Search Jitters?

Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

If you’re one of the millions of Americans feeling insecure about your career challenges, take heart. Even Moses doubted that he was up to the work he was called to do.

Instead of focusing on why you won’t succeed, I recommend you:

  • focus on how you can make sure you will
  • write down all the things you’re most proud of having accomplished during your career
  • figure out who can help you be successful

If you’re interested in learning a process for overcoming your limiting beliefs and stressful thoughts, consider investigating The Work by Byron Katie, or Katie, as she’s known. She contends that the only time we experience stress is when we’re being a thought that isn’t true. An example of this can be seen in the biblical reference above. Clearly, Moses *was* equipped to successfully bring the Israelites out of Egypt. For more about The Work, go to www.thework.com

Finally, two parting thoughts:

It’s not what you know it’s who you know — foster sound, strong, mutually beneficial relationships with people who are in a position to help you. Perhaps it’s time to call in the big guns. Moses had God helping him, and that’s always a plus in my book. Who do you have, or who can you get, to help you?

Control the controllables — there’s a lot in this world that is beyond our control. Recognize that the only person you can control is you, and align your thoughts and actions to be congruent with your goals. What is one thing you can do today to boost your confidence level?

Broadening Your Job Search Net

Matthew 4:19 Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.

From the bible, we know that Jesus called four fishermen and they immediately left their nets and followed him, forever leaving behind their occupation for a new calling. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Jesus was a pioneer of viral marketing, and today, thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to harness the power of viral marketing by using online social media to get YOUR message out.

Are you familiar with Twitter? It’s a new social media tool in which members try to get followers by broadcasting “tweets” of 140 characters or less, telling people what they’re doing. 

The cool thing is that many job seekers today are using Twitter as a broadcast medium, a way to build their online visibility, and even get their next job.

Instead of getting lost in the huge pile of resumes online, why not consider sending a direct tweet to the Twitter people at companies you’re targeting as a way to broaden your net? Who knows? You might even get people to evangelize you and your skills to prospective employers.

Twitter is free and will even let you link to a URL where you could post your resume or even your own blog.

How can you get people on Twitter to follow you? The answer is as simple as having a really strong, clear brand. I think Jesus’ brand was and is very clear:

1. He was God in the flesh. (John 1:1,14)

2. He was sinless and died on the cross so we could be forgiven for our sins. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

3. He is the only way to heaven (John 14: 6)

That’s what compelled me to follow Him.

What would compel someone to follow you, and more importantly, if you’re in the market for a new job, what would make someone want to hire you?

Coping with Job Loss and Career Change

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

The next time your stomach reels as you ponder the state of our economy, the banking crisis, or the job market, take heart.

God’s word assures us that there is a time to every purpose under heaven. That means that regardless of how bad things look as related by news reporters and stock market indices, God has a sovereign design behind everything.

If you’re one of the thousands of Americans who is out of work right now, remember that everything happens for a reason, and while it’s easy to fall into victim mode, it’s not useful.

Like seasons, jobs come and go. It’s part of God’s master plan. It’s natural to grieve for a little while after losing a job you really liked, but don’t grieve too long. Instead, think of what you can do to adapt to the change, in a way similar to how you would adapt to a new season.

When winter arrives, you get out your heavy jacket or coat, change the way you dress, and if you’re like me, you even change the way you eat. I love comfort food in the winter — like hearty stews, soups, and roasts. 

What can you do right now to comfort your soul and nurture your confidence as you face this new season in your life? 

One parting thought:

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The Surefire Route to Career Success

Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

It’s funny how hard I’ve been resisting the idea of writing a scripture-inspired career blog. The problem — in my mind — is that nobody else is writing a similar type of blog, and so I’ve been afraid that it would fail. However, scripture above tells me just the opposite.

Yeah, this isn’t your average career blog, it’s different, because it is committed and dedicated first and foremost to my Lord.

My prayer for today:

Thank you, heavenly Father, for blessing my business so abundantly and for the wonderful clients, mentors, and role models you have brought and continue to bring into my life.

Lord, I commit this blog to you first and foremost and to job seekers and prospective clients second. I pray that you will provide me with divine inspiration for its contents and use it to touch the lives of thousands of career professionals so that they would see YOUR wisdom, love, and truth and take comfort in your holy words and plans to prosper them and never harm them and plans to give them hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). 

Lord, scripture tells us you would never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Father, please use me to pour your abundant blessings and provisions on each and every person who reads this blog. May they find comfort and wisdom in the words, not from me but from you, and may they commit their careers to you first, Father, so that they may have your assurance of success. I ask these things of you, in the name of your sweet son, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Budgeting for a Career Transition

Luke 14:28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

Not very many people would set out to buy a new home or new car without first setting a budget. Yet, when many people decide to find a new career opportunity, they completely forget to set a budget.

There’s a reason that old sayings like, “It takes money to make money,” become old sayings. They’re usually true.

For those who are currently unemployed−and I know there are a lot of you out there right now, and I feel for you−you need to be realistic. Look at your monthly expenses and at your savings, and figure out how quickly you need to find your next position before your money runs out. You might want to put your head in the sand like an ostrich, but it’s better if you meet reality head-on and know exactly what your situation is.

Then decide how much money you feel comfortable setting aside toward job search expenses, including money for professional memberships, professional networking meetings, business lunches, new business attire (if necessary), personal grooming (you’re not going to cut your own hair, are you?), continuing education coursework, certification expenses, gasoline, etc. 

Other things to invest in that might help you land your next position more quickly and easily include: professional resume writing, professional cover letter writing, career coaching,  job search consulting, company research, and a recruiter email campaign. When making any investment you need to weigh the return against the initial cost. How much money will you save in lost income if you are able to cut your job search time in half?

Many people think these are things they ought to do by themselves. When we became followers of Christ, we all started to build a tower–a tower to reach God. The key to this passage above is building our tower, including our lives and careers, God’s way so that he can complete the good work He started in us. What are you willing to part with to more faithfully follow the Lord? If you don’t know, ask the Lord. His advice is always perfect.

Who Are Your Advisors?

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Job search techniques have changed dramatically over the last five years, and they will continue to evolve. You need to surround yourself with wise counselors to help you brand and position yourself to succeed, especially in today’s tight job market that has more than three job seekers for every one job available.

So… what will make you stand out in a tight job market? One word — VALUE. And communicating value starts with the ability to clearly communicate a strong brand. A product is what you buy and a brand is why you buy it, so the key question is why would someone want to hire you.

Here are some questions to help you identify your unique value proposition (UVP):

  • What is it that prospective employers in your target market need that you have? Think in terms of things you can prove. 
  • How will you drive revenues and/or profits, reduce costs, create efficiencies, and overall improve the bottom-line financial and operating performance?
  • What would make a prospective employer really excited about the possibility of having you come to work for them?
  • What’s the unique value you bring to the table compared with the other people who’ll be competing for the same jobs and who probably are of the same calibre and have a similar professional background and level of education?

If you don’t know or if you’re having trouble communicating your UVP, consider investing in the services of a trustworthy career-industry professional. Not everything that you can do yourself is a good idea. Would you cut your own hair, sew your own business suits, or make repairs to your own Mercedes? Of course not! And unlike hiring an auto mechanic, hiring a career professional will actually provide you with a return on your investment — frequently helping you land a new job more quickly, earning more money.

Finally, regardless of where you are in your career, consider getting a mentor and a professional role model (or more than one). If your role model has written any books, read them, or even better yet, reach out to them. You can find almost anyone’s phone number thanks to the Internet, while expending a limited amount of effort. Remember with many advisors, plans succeed.