The truth is it’s times like this, when our lives are thrown off track because of a unique situation arising – a new normal it’s being called – we’re likely – perhaps even you – prompted to seriously think about a variety of life situations – to reassess some; to eliminate others. To ask – where do I fit? Am I happy where I Am? What’s next?
Times like this often prompt us to consider current job scenarios. Have you previously considered moving out of the industry you work, into a new industry, to become a freelancer or consultant? That said, maybe the current coronavirus situation tips the scales for that change.
On the other hand, is it time to upgrade a skill or several skills – develop new skills; get some additional training? If so, this may a good time, albeit forced, to begin to review your career, job, skills and strengths. To consider what changes you should or could make to move forward when this crisis ends.
While it’s an excellent time to review and revamp your LinkedIn Profile and Resume –
Here’s 5 suggestions for steps to take to begin revamping your career, job, skills and strengths during this unique time the coronavirus has brought upon us:
1.Take a class or two. There are hundreds of good classes and workshops online – many free – to help you upgrade your all-important Hard Skills, to help you get a new or better job or promotion.
Hard Skills can be taught – even online – in a series of concrete steps. Skills such as digital code writing, AI, Cloud computing, Business Analysis, Sales and Video Production are some of the top hard skills companies want.
Hiring pros tell us you must have at least 2-3 of the Hard Skills required to qualify for most jobs. On the other hand, you must also have the necessary Soft Skills – which combined with the Hard Skills – help you best succeed in doing the job at hand.
Online classes allow you to study at your own pace – when you want. No travel. Save time and money. Think about a work-around if you have children or other situations which require your attention at home – to free up study time.
2. Get Certified.
A certification tells employers, and professional peers, you have taken the step to better prepare yourself for your next position, upgraded a current skill to provide more expertise to the company you work for or have learned a new specialized skill in order to change careers, for example.
It also points to a person with more competency since a certification usually provides more education or upgrades the skills you currently possess in your specialized field.
- Certifications help show you have achieved the highest level of standards of education and credentialing in that field or skill area. Important to HR and hiring pros.
- A certification can help you diversify; help you get promoted. In some cases, it can allow you to work in areas you may never have considered.
- Your certification can help you qualify for jobs you may not previously been qualified for. In short, in some cases a certification can help advance your career and place you ahead of the competition for a job.
There are thousands of types of classes and trainings available online which provide certifications for specific skills. And today hiring pros value many of them as they do a college degree. Depending upon a candidate’s expertise and other skills, a certification can place them higher on an interviewer or company decision-maker’s hiring list. Check out Microsoft’s list of valuable certifications.
3. Assess and determine your strengths. You may be wondering why interviewers ask questions of you regarding strengths. You may ask – ‘If I have the skills necessary to perform the job why is it necessary for me to detail my strengths?’
Strengths are the actual reason why people succeed in performing a job – performing anything for that matter. It’s not just the skills fit but the combo of skills and strengths – together – which makes one person more capable than another.
Every unique job not only requires a specific set of job skills but – second to that – a specific group of strengths to optimally perform the job. The interviewer knows what those are (some may be listed in the job ad) and will ask specific questions related to them. The best candidate impresses the interviewer with strengths they possess which will allow them to optimally perform the job.
You must enter an interview with a list of your top strengths, in mind, which relate to the job at hand but have a second list which supports your strengths by showing what you have achieved using them. While your strengths show you can do the job, your achievements show what resulted from use of those strengths.
When you know your strengths you can easily sell an interviewer not only on your ability to do the job but optimally prove – with results achieved – you have what it takes to handle the job. And, therefore, the best person for job. Plus – remember – they will ask you to name a weakness or two; have them available. Tip – turn what could be a negative into a positive.
4. Start taking time to add to your LinkedIn connection base. Your LinkedIn connections can provide great value to you in a variety of ways. Here’s just a few:
Building your LinkedIn connection base is important – whether you’re a job seeker, freelancer, business, or do side hustles since it provides you a greater ability to market yourself to potential clients. Says LinkedIn “You also have an extended network of connections made up of people that your connections know.”
1) your 1st connections can share a post or info about you to their 1st connections; promoting you freely to a wider segment of the platform you may not ordinarily connect with.
2) Your connections can be helpful in recommending a job, resources you’re searching for; or hiring you.
3) You can find and connect with top hiring pros, recruiters and decision-makers. Since they are prolific connectors, they’re more likely willing to connect. Another way to say up-to-date on jobs and gather job, perhaps even industry info.
4) With a greater number of connections, your LinkedIn article posts, resources and other info you post, reach a wider audience, since they’re posted to all your connections. This provides another opportunity to show your authority in your area of expertise; to share resources, get recommendations and more new connections.
Andrew Hutchinson – Content and Social Media Manager of ‘Social Media Today’ says, “Having people willing to connect with you is effectively an endorsement of your professional capability, so it’s worth building your connection count, if you can“.
5. Gather additional Recommendations. As with businesses, Recommendations can provide you with another opportunity to get hired. In fact, hiring pros say “Good Recommendations are like money in the bank when it comes to getting hired”.
Here’s just a few valuable facts a recommender can state when describing you:
- Important info such as how long each has worked with or for you. They’re able to rate that experience. Plus share how well you work with others. What your interpersonal and communication skills are. All essential info for an HR pro.
- They can state how effectively you performed your job. Speak about an achievement or two. How creative and dependable you are, for example.
- A recommender can freely, honestly, state what you’ve learned along the way, how you’ve progressed. This may include valuable info you may overlook during an interview – job or personal info you may have failed to consider important. Remember, people you work with or for usually perceive you and your work in an objective manner.
Have a plan and set goals.
In business, plans are considered essential tools when determining business targets and in determining the course of action necessary to reach those targets. And so it is with job search and prep.
Here’s a few items to consider when developing your plan and goals:
- List your objectives – both job and personal. Include salary required, medical plus any other benefits and requirements. An absolute must-do.
- What type of company would you prefer to work for? And why.
- What type of culture would you prefer to work in? And why.
- List the type of job/jobs you will consider – and why – which fit into your skills-experience area. Break it down until you decide which is best for you.
- More Goals info.
DON’T WASTE THIS VALUABLE TIME OFF. GET PRODUCTIVE NOW. It’s an excellent opportunity to prepare for the new future we know is ahead.
Note – This article is excerpted from the full Free Report “ 11 Strategies for Using Coronavirus Downtime to Revamp and Revitalize Your Career”. Includes a Career Worksheet/Checklist . Click here to get the full report.
Jean L. Serio CEIC, CPC, CeMA, CSEOP