‘My Exciting Career’ – The next bit.

If you haven’t read the previous post then now is a good time to do that.

In Part 1 I mentioned that the job market consists of both the VISIBLE MARKET (that which you can see online of employment opportunities like SEEK or advertised generally) and the HIDDEN MARKET (that which is below the surface and is never or rarely advertised).  I also mentioned the beginning of the process by being sure in your mind of what you will not do as opposed to finding the answer to what you will do. To some it can be clear what they will do but my experience tells me that the majority have no idea let alone how they will do it.

So, this time around we will explore how you might begin to crack that hidden market and how you respond to the question people will ask you, ‘what are you going to do?’

For a start make a list of all your contacts regardless of how you know them or their relationship with you.

Begin with an ‘A’ GROUP. This is the relatively small group of people who you regard as very close to you, either friends or relatives who you have very regular contact with. Make a note of where they work if you know or find out if you don’t. Remember all these people know people who work somewhere even your grandmother! I remember once someone had been trying to get into see a CEO of a company to little or no avail. At a family BBQ she mentioned her frustration to others and on mentioning the CEO’s name it turned out that her grandmother, a long retired secondary teacher, exclaimed that if it was the ‘little Freddie’ she knew then he was a former student of hers. ‘Use my name” she apparently said and it worked, she managed to get her foot in the door and speak to this guy.  True story.

Next will be a ‘B’ GROUP. This is a list of people who you know quite well but who do not reside in your ‘A’ Group. In other words they are not very close but one step out from that. These normally comprise a larger number and are people who you may know through your social circle, church connection, sport, schooling, former work colleagues, people in small business you know well, etc.

You may even have a ‘C’ GROUP of people and these can be those more distant. People you may have attended some classes with, or long ago school friends that you recall or may have kept in contact with. Maybe former customers or suppliers of business. Make a note.

Almost everyone will tell me that they do not know many people but again, my experience here is that we tend to know more people that we give ourselves credit for and once you get the brain working it can be amazing how a name will pop back into your head as you are walking down the street or watching TV. Write them down.

Now, the question “Julie, I hear that you are on your own these days, what are you up to? What are you going to do? Are you working?” The answer typically is a throw up of anger, frustration, panic, or cold sweat etc., the dog’s going to die, the roses are going to fall over, how the hell do I know what I am going to do. Who’s going to employ a 50 year old? And so on, and so on.

Strangely this is one of the most important questions you can face and almost everyone shoots themselves in the foot with the answer as they are NOT LISTENING to what people are saying to them and they are NOT LISTENING to what they are saying to people.

Imagine a scenario. I know you through some manner. I run a business and I have heard of the issues you have been through and I am thinking to myself ‘Gee, I wonder of Julie would be interested in working for me as I need someone to help me organise X because of a new contract and it may assist her as well.’ This does happen I can guarantee you.

But because I don’t know what it is you may have planned I am unlikely to just jump in and say ‘Wow Julie, have I got a job for you!’  It is going to be more like ‘What are you up to? What are you going to do? After all you could be packing the bags and heading interstate or running off with the toy boy or whatever, Just joking!

Now, here it is. If your response is full of negative stuff, full of personal anguish, the ‘nobody loves me’ kicking the stones approach then the message to me is that Julie is not ready for work. At best I say ‘good luck, hope it all works out for you’ and a possible job walks away with me and you don’t even know about it. Worse, I walk down the road and run into someone else who knows you and who says, ‘How is Julie going?’ And I say ‘god don’t go there as you will get an earful.’

So, you have to see yourself as a blip on everyone’s radar screen and how can you keep that blip alive. Sure, you may be wrenching inside but if you are going to kick the cat, kick it at home, not outside.

Now our scenario again. “Julie, I hear that you are on your own these days, what are you up to? What are you going to do?”

Here is the tip. Kick the question back at me “Jenny, that is a pretty interesting question. One thing I am not going to do is fall in a heap. I am moving on and part of that is to get into the workforce, so I would be very interested in hearing what you think I could do? What happens in your business or industry? I need information on what is going on out there to help me get direction? Would you help me?”

By kicking the question back you allow me to come into your world. ‘Well, have you ever thought of… Would you consider…..Yes, why don’t we have a chat about that?’

You need to get the eyes and ears of people you know working for you. I can guarantee you that good employers are looking for good reliable people all the time. In my years in my business I have never advertised for anyone. I have had people come to me or I have put the word out and sooner rather than later the right person appears.

Also, people who know you often will have an opinion of you that you cannot see or are not aware of. ‘Boy that Julie, she had such a great personality. I could really use someone like that in my sales area. Someone who my customers can relate to. I wonder if she would consider working for me?’

The BLIP I mentioned is that even if I do not have a job on my mind I may be talking to a business colleague who says that he needs someone in the sales area who has a vibrant personality and how hard it is to get good staff. What I am going to do is indicate that I know someone and maybe he should have a discussion with you. Believe me ladies, when I say that this is exactly what happens in business, as a discussion with you could save thousands of dollars in advertising and interviewing time lost.

Okay, I hear you say, that is all very well but you don’t know what your skills are or what you can sell and maybe you have not done a Resume for a thousand years etc. Well, this is very normal I have to tell you. Nothing strange about it.

Most people have more skills that they are aware of. You drive a car – that is a skill and it can be somewhere to start. Look around your local library or bookshop there are hundreds of books about examining your skills and competencies and I am not talking about tests either.

Go back to the tips in Part 1 about tapping into your natural god given abilities that you take for granted too.

Share your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions – we are here to help you.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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‘My Exciting Career’

Something for you ladies to begin to think about if you find yourself suddenly single, no income to call your own, and no job, another slap in the face as you face life after divorce as a single woman.

Thoughts racing through your mind, overwhelmed with thoughts of not being able to financially support yourself and your kids if you have them.

Questions that all start with WHAT!   What am I going to do? What job? What direction?

Don’t be dismayed if you don’t have the immediate answer to these questions.  Most people have no idea what they will do job wise, next. Indeed, most people have no idea how they got to where they are in the first place let alone what to do next.

Instead of what will I do, begin to think and make a list of what it is that you will not do. “I would not want to work in the waste paper industry.” I could not see myself working in retail or sales.” I definitely don’t want to work in a processing line.” Be as realistic as possible, but be clear about what will not be on your radar screen. There is nothing worse than asking a person what do they want to do and they answer ‘I will do anything!.’ Give me a break!

Make a list and whatever is not on the list within reason, becomes your oyster!

How do you research?  What industries are out there?

Well, the good old yellow pages is a place to start plus some simple googling on the net.

Who do you know that works in a job or industry that you would love? Make a list even if it is a bit utopian!

Understand that the job market is made up of two components, the visible market (that which is advertised) and the hidden market (that which is below the surface).

The first accounts for some 30% of the market the second about 70%. It is a fact that the majority of people especially those in the more mature end of job seekers or those who may have been out of the workforce for many years, will have the greatest success in the hidden market.

Prove it to yourself, ask people you know how they got their job. You may be surprised at their response.

A quick word on age. If you tell yourself you are too old for something then that is exactly how you will begin to act or come across. Easy for me to say but if you did not know how old you are then, how old would you be? Likewise formal qualifications certifying you to be intelligent! If you are 55 now and got your degree 35 years ago, do you really think that has relevance now?

Well it might if you still want to be a pilot or engineer or doctor but otherwise it will be maturity, experience, tenacity and a host of other things that employers are looking for.

My business is built on it! Ask the school and university leavers why they do not have a job and I can guarantee you that you will hear it often said it is because they do not have experience.

Most, if not all of you who may read this will in fact have more skills than you give yourself credit for, the problem for you is that you are so close to yourself that you cannot see those skills and what will make you saleable.

We are going to explore that in a future post.

We also explore the answer to the question that everyone you know is asking you and which must already be driving you crazy when you wake up at two in the morning with an attack of the horrors as I call it, “What are you going to do now ?” How do you respond to that in a constructive way?

A simple strategy for the question will come soon and  which can begin your new Exciting Career!

Stay tuned for the next post on this topic and in the meantime spend some time thinking about the things that you naturally already do really well. The things that other people comment on.

I have always been the person that younger women called on to tell me their troubles, to get advice, to share very personal, intimate details about their lives and just hang out with. When I decided to explore the field of coaching and eventually turned these skills into creating a business it felt like I had come home.  So look at your own qualities, whether it be a love of cooking, making cupcakes, putting on events at school, jumping out of plane, travel, whatever floats your boat and explore some opportunities that might exist for you in these domains.

Share your thoughts, comments, personal story or suggestions – we are here to help you.

With love and gratitude

Jenny xx

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