The Strength Faction and being a business owner/hiring manager for the last 10 years has given me the opportunity to talk to a lot of coaches either in the transitioning period or thinking about transitioning. It’s a tough and scary spot to be in for sure. It’s also exciting and fun if you do it right.
I recently spoke with one of my former employees about making the jump and all of the above were apparent. That got me thinking… why don’t I reach out to a professional that can give some tried and true advice on the subject? Someone that has helped both job seekers and employers through the hiring process. Someone that genuinely cares about people and wants to see them succeed. So I did!
I got up off of my couch, I walked into the office in our home, and I asked my wife what she thought. My wife has been a bit of a career coach to her friends and family alike for years. She is also a rockstar employee for LinkedIn. She has been around this block more than once and she was excited to help me put some thoughts together on this.
Here’s the nitty gritty from our talk.
Keep Meticulous Records
This is really hard to do after the fact so if you haven’t already, start logging all of your work accomplishments. All of them. Employee of the month? Log it. Increased revenue year over year? Log it. Built a successful team? Log it. And don’t just log it, log every detail you can about it. List out the numbers, percentages, and anything else that you can correlate to your performance and how it positively impacted the company you work for.
Why is this important?
All this information is going to make up the meat of your resume. You may get lucky and be able to network your way out of needing a resume. It happens but don’t bank on that. Think of your resume as your professional bug-out-bag. Keep it updated and ready to fire out at a moment’s notice; especially in these times.
If a company is in trouble and closing or lopping off a chunk of employees, you most likely aren’t going to get a heads up. It’s going to happen fast so it’s always a good measure to have an updated and clean resume ready to go when you need it.
You can just as quickly figure out that you’re not in the right place. Look at the last couple of months for instance. I have had a lot of phone calls with coaches that figured out that their employer just doesn’t care about them as much as they would like them to. And, rightfully so, those coaches were looking to get out of dodge and find a better fit.
When things are chaotic you don’t want to have to work through building your resume up. You’ll be emotional, feel rushed, and apt to making rash decisions. Keep your accomplishments (selling points) and your resume updated when you don’t need it so that when you do you’re not scrambling.
If you’re thinking about making a switch, start by thinking about where you want to end up. Talk to everyone you can in the industry and learn as much as you can about what’s out there. I see people get stuck in the thought that there just isn’t that much variety in job opportunities in our industry. Not true! There is a lot out there besides banging out hours at a commercial gym or starting your own business and chances are that if you have been focused on improving your business skills you are qualified to jump on them.
It’s important to note that this is best done while still employed. If you can, start your job search while you are still employed and not desperate. You will always have the upper hand in an interview when the hiring company needs you more than you need them.
If that’s not an option, things can get tricky if you don’t keep your emotions in check. It’s a difficult thing to do but imperative to the mission. I’ve gone into interviews in a bad state of mind and it has never gone my way. Interviewers can sniff that stuff out and it’s not appealing. It’s not always going to be a strike against you but it’s rarely going to be a positive for you.
So, along with your resume, keep your network open and don’t burn bridges. If things get sketchy at your job or you just flat out lose it for whatever reason, good relationships coupled with a decent amount of research will take you a long way relatively fast.
Take Time to Reflect
If you’re in the driver’s seat, still employed but looking to make a switch, this is easy. You have no reason to feel rushed to the point of frantically looking for a job. If that’s not the case, it’s still vital to your happiness to take some time and put serious thought into where you want to end up.
In the Strength Faction we talk about Brain Dumps a lot. We use it as a tool to empty our minds of noise, organize our thoughts and priorities, and form to-do lists for a kick-ass week. Brain dumps are also very important when taking on a venture such as finding a new job.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a Brain Dump is then allow me to introduce you to something that has dramatically changed my life. It’s real simple and with a little bit of practice you will be rocking and rolling in no time. In the context of looking for a new employer, I would go about it like this.
- Set a timer for 20 minutes. (Wwhy 20 minutes? It gives you enough time to get everything off your mind but limits your time to keep you from overthinking things. Neato, right?!)
- Hit start on that timer and start writing down all your thoughts about why you want to make the move and where you want to end up.
- When that timer goes off, put your pen down and start reading. Feel free to clean up the thoughts that you may have cut short but keep it to that.
- After going through that information, make a priorities list and fill your coming days in order of importance with tasks that reflect everything you want to get done on that list.
Boom! Now you have a succinct path to figuring this all out and actually ending up in a better place!
When considering new employers, do your research. Give your work an honest assessment from what you do day to day to how you feel going to bed at night. Does it all fit your vision? How and where can you change those aspects of your professional career for the better? The financial side of things are important and there’s no getting around that. You have to make sure that the position you go into will afford you the opportunity to support your lifestyle. On top of that, I would say it’s equally important to figure out if who you may be working for jives with your core values. If not, it’s a missing piece of the puzzle that will most likely lead to you looking for change again in the near future.
Pretty simple stuff here, folks, but if left undone you could really leave a lot on the table with where your career ends up. We can’t control everything but we can certainly maintain a certain level of preparedness that will make tackling tough situations just a little bit easier.