The art of letters of introduction
Last month, I highlighted the importance of obtaining exploratory meetings with as many key decision-makers as possible. Even if no physical job exists, your persuasiveness and expertise may convince someone to make room for you. We often think that such events only happen for the rich and famous, but I know from experience that everyday people can carve a lucrative niche for themselves without being rich or famous. The key to making this phenomenon happen is belief in one’s expertise, targeted networking, and leveraging these elements to create a powerful marketing tool: the letter of introduction.
What is an introduction cover letter?
A letter of introduction is a letter that is sent to an employer or networking contact when one is asking for career assistance. Continue Reading →
First of a three-part series
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” — Arnold Toynbee
I really like this quote by Arnold Toynbee, because it resonates well with my journey to finding my authentic vocation. I have seen so many entrepreneurial people create a lucrative and thriving role for themselves seemingly out of thin air. When there is a need that only you can remedy, and you desperately want more fulfillment out of your current work, conditions are just right for you to create the position you’ve been longing for. Let’s start the process by writing your job description. In the context of this article, the word “job” refers to any compensated opportunity. Continue Reading →
As you campaign to obtain your target job or launch a business, your personal brand statement should be communicated. According to Career Distinction: Standing out by Building Your Brand by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson, your brand statement should possess three qualities:
1) It consists of just one sentence. 2) It can be easily understood by a 12-year-old. 3) You could recite it from memory. A well-written personal branding campaign creates a strong, consistent and specific association between the individual and the perceived value that individual offers. Continue Reading →
As a career changer, I can say that I owe much of my career transition success to informational interviewing. An informational interview is a meeting in which a job seeker asks for career and industry advice rather than employment. The job seeker uses the interview to gather information on the field and to find employment leads and expand their professional network. This differs from a job interview, because the job seeker asks the questions. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of informational interviewing. Continue Reading →
Upon entering my 40th year, I decided that I needed a mid-life career change. I knew that it would be something drastically different from the course that I had embarked on in 1988 as a bright-eyed, newly graduated genetics student. My growing concern for the economic advancement of women, workforce development, and a desire to be my own boss urged me to move in a new and different direction. While working in a corporate setting for 22 years, I went back to school and obtained a master’s degree in human resource development. For years, I did pro bono work to gain experience. Continue Reading →
With 35 percent of U.S. companies relying on smaller staffs since the recession, the landscape of the labor market is changing substantially and more employers are beginning to emphasize the contingent, flexible workforce. A recent survey from CareerBuilder finds that this trend is fully expected to continue through 2012, as 36 percent of responding companies said they planned to hire temporary or contract workers this year. This number is up from 34 percent last year, 30 percent for 2010 and 28 percent for 2009. In addition to demonstrating the idea that the flexible workforce is beginning to take hold, the results of the survey are also positive for the individual workers themselves as 35 percent of these employers said they ultimately planned to hire their temporary employees on a permanent basis. Why has there been such expanded use of contingent workers by U.S. business? Continue Reading →
If you are thinking of starting a new career, you may be wondering where to begin. Often, when we decide to transition or take a leap into a new adventure, we are faced with the issue of experience or lack thereof. This hurdle can be daunting and discouraging, but there are many ways to gain new skills and experience while doing good. Why should you consider volunteering? Well, you would have the opportunity to gain valuable experience while meeting contacts in your prospective career field. Continue Reading →
If you ask six people the meaning of career success, you will probably get six different answers. One dictionary defines success as “the satisfactory accomplishment of a goal sought for.”
To be successful, you must achieve the goal and be satisfied with the outcome. With this definition, one wonders if “success” that does not include personal satisfaction — a sense of well-being — is really true success at all. As a career coach, I assist my clients on their journey to finding their authentic vocation. The word authentic, as used here, means real or aligned with one’s essential self; vocation denotes a calling, a profession to which one is particularly suited for, or a life’s work. Continue Reading →
Most careers start out as a climbing exercise. Thoughts of our next promotion and stellar climbs frequent our days. But for all but a tiny fraction of employees, that climb ends before their career does. Sometimes one realizes that he or she does not want to make the necessary sacrifices needed in order to grasp the brass ring. This decision, in addition to factors that we cannot control, can often lead to career plateau. Continue Reading →