Hoboken Career Coach Ethan Chazin
The recent Jobless Josh column on Hoboken411 not only generated conversation here – but in the job search field in general!
Hoboken resident and Career Coach Ethan Chazin (Author of “Bulletproof Your Career in These Turbulent Times”) – took great interest in that article – and wants to offer his counter-balanced perspective about the subject.
So here’s the inaugural post for the new 411 category: Hoboken Career Coach.
More Mile Square Job Talk!
Hoboken’s Compassionate Career Coach Responds to Jobless Josh
I read your article on Hoboken411 and felt compelled to reply to you, for the benefit of other Hobokenites who are out of work, looking to change careers or re-enter the workforce and are just as confused, angry, and willing to throw in the towel as you seem to be.
My advice is not to despair. You just need to change your approach. Here’s why:
In today’s job market the unofficial unemployment rate hovers around 20%. We’re faced with global competition, shrinking industries, and rapidly evolving technologies that demand business models that change month to month. Heck, one in four American workers can now be classified as contract/consultant/independent workers. Making matters worse, the average American will change jobs 8-9 times in their career.
In this economic environment, job seekers need an entirely NEW approach to job searching. Job search success in these times of uncertainty DEMAND that you focus on finding the jobs that DON’T exist.
Sounds odd, huh?
How do you find jobs that don’t exist? It’s definitely NOT easy and requires an entirely new mind set as a job seeker, BUT…the results will prove much more rewarding than following the old traditional, conventional approaches that no longer work!
If you’re willing to invest the time and effort, Josh you WILL achieve tremendous results. Are you with me? Good! Here’s how you do it…
First off, it’s critical that you match you background, values and belief system to the types of culture in organizations that would be attractive to you. It is important to note there are TWO types of culture in any organization. The first is called the FORMAL culture…consider it “aspirational.” It’s what they want to believe it is like to work in their company. That is what they say about themselves. It’s called “spin” or PR. It’s what they say about themselves on their website. Take it with a grain of salt.
The much more useful and instructive information is in the INFORMAL culture. You find that out by speaking with employees, ex-employees, industry analysts. What is it like if you got to walk around their place of business and just watch how people interact with each other? What kind of volunteer work do their employees do, what causes do they support, which politicians do they contribute to? This type of information is INVALUABLE. You find this by conducting informational interviews. Here’s another great resource for identifying a company’s true culture.
After you have conducted this personal exploration, you are ready to create an action plan. Think to yourself the magical numbers 18-32. You’re going to target 3 to 4 industries and 6 to 8 organizations, companies, not for profits, agencies in each industry. Do the math: 3X6 is 18, 4 X 8 is 32. Voila! That gives you a manageable search plan for 18-32 organizations.
What does Ethan suggest next?
Research, Research, Reseach!
Next, you’ve GOT to do your research! Research EVERYTHING you possibly can about those organizations.
Find out their challenges, latest successes and failures, top competitors, key trends and developments in the markets and industries they compete in. Are they publicly traded? Get their quarterly and annual reports from the Securities & Exchange Commission EDGAR website (click here.)
Find out what the industry analysts are writing about them. Have any lawsuits been filed against them? What does their intellectual property portfolio (trademarks, patents, and copyrights) look like? Meaning, do they have a lot of good stuff going for them?
Here’s another tip, Josh. Find out who you would be reporting to.
Identify the person that you would be reporting to in EACH of the 18-32 organizations in your search plan, based on the IDEAL job you would be doing in that organization.
Research everything there is to find out about that person.
Where did they get their undergraduate degree? Did they get a Masters? What if any professional associations / industry organizations do they belong to? Have they done any volunteer work? Have they been published? Did they serve on any panels? Learn EVERYTHING you can about them!
Get ready, Josh! You’re now ready to write a script and call them.
Sounds scary, huh? Cold calling someone that doesn’t know you? Don’t sweat it! Once you know as much as you can about them and the challenges they face leading the team in the organization you’d love to work in, writing a script is a breeze.
Explain how well you can help them overcome the challenges they face in one or more of the following THREE critical areas: 1) make their organization MORE money; 2) save their organization money, and/or 3) improve their organization’s operational efficiencies, processes, systems, structure. THAT’s IT!
Now that you have a call script, pick up the phone and call them. Explain that you have done research and are in a unique position to help them overcome (list the top 1-2 challenges they face) and ask if they have 15 minutes to sit down with you to discuss that.
It won’t work all the time but it will be MUCH more successful then responding to those nonexistent job postings on Craig’s List, CareerBuilder, Monster, and Yahoo! Hot Jobs!
The trick is to get a meeting with them.
Next time we’ll cover what you say when (not IF but WHEN) you get them to meet with you.
About Ethan Chazin
Ethan Chazin is the founder of The Chazin Group. He possesses twenty years of experience in a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to banking and financial services, business and professional services to publishing. He has developed core competencies in marketing, communications, product management and project management while serving nearly all of the Fortune 1000. He has been published in a number of publications and authored the book: “Bulletproof Your Career in These Turbulent Times” and helped over 10,000 to find employment.
He received his BA in Communications from California State University-East Bay and MBA in Marketing from George Washington University.
About The Chazin Group
Founded in 2004, The Chazin Group delivers a wide range of career coaching to individuals and business consulting/ talent management businesses, academic institutions, not-for-profits, Government agencies, and industrial/trade associations.