Kicking off the New Year could mean a new job
What s a new year without making those New Year s resolutions?
While many people pledge to start the year by shedding a few pounds, others want some more weight in their wallet. And for some, the resolution is a new job or perhaps a promotion.
To turn your career advancement resolution into a reality, we sought the advice of one of the country s leading career assessment experts.
Don Huse is the president and chief executive officer of Venturion. It is the oldest career management firm in the San Antonio area.
Through our Q&A session, this career coach provides proven advice on how to market yourself in this job market. He also offers strategies on how to ask your current employer for a promotion and even a raise.
Q&A with Don Huse
Q: How often, if at all, do you hear from people making a New Year s resolution that involves finding a new job? Is this a realistic resolution to have?
Huse: It is natural at the beginning of a new year to take stock of our lives. Evaluating how we feel about our work is an important part of this. I would encourage anyone to determine what they would like to change in the next year, and then map out the steps to realize the change. The problem is that, as with most resolutions, we tend to be long on intention and short on execution.
Q: For those seeking a new job, what advice do you offer to make this happen?
Huse: Be purposeful. First, determine what you would really like to do. Then do some investigating to determine the organizations for which you would like to work. The key is to work informally, to have conversations with people who know the organization, and can make referrals deeper into it. Be prepared to discuss your value proposition to the employer. This kind of targeted strategy is more work, but the results are far better than clicking the mouse and hoping to get a response. If you are unable to achieve your objective on your own, it may be time to seek out a qualified career coach.
Q: From your experience, what are the most effective platforms to identify and locate new jobs?
Huse: While there clearly are exceptions, most studies indicate that the majority of the jobs are found informally. Suppose there is going to be an exciting job opportunity with a company that is known as a great employer. They treat their people well and pay them well. Before this job gets published, word of mouth is spreading. People who work there are telling people they know about the opportunity, offering assistance in pursuing it. By the time it gets published, they likely have a candidate in mind. Don t ignore the published openings, but the best strategy is to find and talk with people in position to know about the kind of jobs that interest you.
Q: for those who are out of work, how does one stand out from the pack?
Huse: Most people will present what they have done in the past in the form of a resume and hope that a prospective employer will figure out where they might fit in their organization. I encourage people to do the opposite. Do some research. Figure out what the employer needs and where you can contribute. Tell them specifically what you can help them do; then let your past accomplishments support that value proposition.
Q: For employees who are currently satisfied with their employers yetare seeking a job promotion, how should they approach their supervisors?
Huse: Be clear about the difference you have made in the past and why you are a fit for the new position you seek. People get promoted when an employer believes that the promotion is in the best interest of the organization and will help achieve organizational objectives.
Q. How should you ask your current employer for a raise?
Huse: You are in a strong position to ask for a raise when you can clearly demonstrate the value you have brought to an organization. People don’t get raises because they need one or want one. They get raises because of their value to the organization. If you’re unable to clearly articulate the reasons you deserve a raise, it is likely your employer will be unclear as well.
So, for those with a New Year s resolution to either find a new job or seek a promotion in your current one, we learned a few things. First, you are not alone as many people consider such a change in the new year. Second, from the advice of our resident expert Don Huse, we now have some helpful tips that will hopefully set us up for success in 2011 and beyond.