Writing Goals1

BY:  Teri Grier and Jenny Jones

SOUTHWESTERN Oregon Community College

For most of us, college is often overwhelming.  Amongst taking classes, doing homework, and managing school life, we are also making a myriad choices that will impact our long-term future, yet most of us are still unsure of our professional goals as we make those choices!  So, now is a good time to practice your personal process for creating, evaluating, and changing your professional goals. So, as you settle into your routine over the next few weeks, take some time to think about where you would like to be at the end of this school year.  Then think about the next two years, five or even ten years. Even if it’s only a few words, write these thoughts down and plan a time to review them.  

As you start your list, take some time to distinguish between making goals for the next few terms, months or years as compared to those bigger dreams you think about – whether it’s about a long-term career path or where you want to live or when, where, and what kind of family you want.  When it comes to school, make sure that some of your short-term goals – like for this school year! – include things like exploring career opportunities or scholarship opportunities for areas that interest you.

Make sure that your career goals include exploring new areas of interest, exploring career options within your current interest areas, as well as identifying when you’ve explored something and decide it isn’t for you as a career.

When we set goals it should be with the understanding that as we evolve, our goals may shift slightly or change completely.  One example of this is changing majors while in college, or changing careers later in life.  Both are strategic decisions that require a rewrite or shift in our goals. And we can be thinking about the plan to achieve those goals as our wishes evolve.

I’d like to think that goals are a means to the next step rather than means to an end.  We all are going to change ourselves, probably several times, over our lives, so get used to thinking of goals as lists you make and complete, then make another list.

I often meet with students who are entering school or reentering school that are approaching this next step with caution.  Many of Southwestern’s credentials are stackable, meaning students can complete a program, go into the workforce to gain experience, and return later in their careers to upgrade those skills and/or work toward a two- or four-year degree. This is a great opportunity for students who are trying out school or who want to make sure their student loan investment can pay off, and these programs often lead directly to jobs. 

This fall, new programs in Clinical Laboratory Assistant, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Office Receptionist/Specialist, and Dental Assisting are being offered.  All are one year or less, and provide hands-on training to get students skilled up and ready for the workplace.

Who benefits from this approach?

Everyone! 

Today, few students can attend school without working to help pay the costs of their program.  In many cases, short-term credentials give students the skills they need to secure part-time and even full-time work in their chosen industry.  On the job experience is highly sought after by employers.  A balance of education and work experience in your chosen field can lead to being a highly sought after candidate.

This is also a great option for students who have a finite amount of resources and time, such as students with one-year athletic scholarships.  Completing a one-year credential provides an opportunity to experience intercollegiate sports while also setting yourself into the best place possible for getting a job in your preferred industry.

Consider utilizing the services of the Career Center in Stensland Hall on the Coos Bay Campus.  Your academic advisor who is required to sign off your academic plan is essential but isn’t the only person on campus you can see who can help you match academic programs with your interests. We have a number of tools in the Career Center to assess your current interests and apply them towards a career path.

No way, goals don’t do anything!

You might think all this talk about setting goals and writing them down is a waste of time.  Let’s see what research shows us about goal setting and how it impacts a student’s path to success.

A Harvard Study following graduates from their MBA Program and found that:

  • 84% had no specific goals at all
  • 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
  • 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them

Ten years later:

  • The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
  • Even more staggering – the three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

 goal setting

                                                                                                                                                              

I’ve used this quote for many years.  Now I know that it is a favorite of many who seek to inspire.

 

Goals that are written are more likely to be achieved. Read what some of the most respected leaders have to say on the subject:


  • "Write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small"
    Richard Branson
  • "Setting goals is the first step from the invisible to the visible."
    Tony Robbins
  • "It’s about training your brain to focus on where it is you want to go, what you want to achieve." Lord (Alan) Sugar
  • "There is no achievement without goals." Robert J. McKaine

Take Away: If a goal is worth having, you can block out the time necessary to define it. After you define it, you can create a plan to achieve it.  Make a commitment to yourself to pursue the plan and evaluate as you execute. Develop a plan of action that breaks down your intermediate, mid-term and long-term goals into manageable and measurable increments. If/when you discover there’s something in your plan that you cannot complete, take the time to reconsider your path. Seek out your advisors and update your plan. Then keep moving.

Seeing Is Believing

Before we can believe in a goal, we first must have an idea of what it looks like. To paraphrase the old adage: we must see it to believe it.

This is where visualization comes in, which is simply a technique for creating a mental image of a future event. When we visualize our desired outcome, we begin to “see” the possibility of achieving it.

Recently, I conducted a workshop on the Curry Campus in Brookings for students preparing for a practical exam for their certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistant – One. To receive this nationally recognized credential, students must successfully complete a state-approved nursing assistant training program and pass a competency evaluation that is administered by the Oregon State Board of Nursing.  Each of the students was encouraged to make time daily to visualize going through the required steps that would be evaluated by the Board of Nursing.

How does this work?

According to research using brain imagery,visualization works because neurons in our brains, those electrically excitable cells that transmit information, interpret imagery as equivalent to a real-life action.

When we visualize an act, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to “perform” the movement. This creates a new neural pathway — clusters of cells in our brain that work together to create memories or learned behaviors — that primes our body to act in a way consistent to what we imagined. All of this occurs without actually performing the physical activity, yet it achieves a similar result.

 

All top performers, regardless of profession, know the importance of picturing themselves succeeding in their minds before they actually do in reality. You should take time to“see yourself reaching your goals .”  Can you see yourself receiving your diploma, getting an internship, the perfect job or a promotion, how about making a speech, or even buying your first home? 

You might be surprised to know who incorporates visualization into their regular routine.

Lindsay Vaughn , one of the most successful female skiers in history, the gold medalist says her mental practice gives her a competitive advantage on the course.

"I always visualize the run before I do it," Vonn told Forbes Magazine. "By the time I get to the start gate, I've run that race 100 times already in my head, picturing how I'll take the turns."

Oprah Winfrey , media giant and one of the wealthiest women in the world, might be one of the biggest celebrity supporters of visualization and positive affirmation.

The Oprah Winfrey Show, frequently showcasing success stories of positive thinking.  Oprah has provided many words of wisdom over the years, including: “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.”

Olympic volleyball gold medalist,Karri Walsh said , "A lot of what we do is visualization.  To be able to ... take in the sights, the sounds, the stress, the excitement — that's going to serve us really well moving forward."  Walsh told USA TODAY. "

Even heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali, used different mental practices to enhance his performance in the ring such as: “affirmation; visualization; mental rehearsal; self-confirmation; and perhaps the most powerful epigram of personal worth ever uttered: “I am the greatest””.

Muhammad Ali was always stressing the importance of seeing himself victorious long before the actual fight.

Additionally, mental visualization is the secret to success for Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympian in history.  Phelps says that his success stems from first visualizing himself winning each race before he steps foot in the pool.

In fact, Phelps claims he's been visualizing since he was seven years old, watching what he calls "his videotape" of the perfect swim in his mind each night before going to sleep to mentally map out his ideal swim for the next day.

How’s it going?

Set time aside to measure your progress towards your goal.  Be honest and realistic and be willing to change your direction if circumstances require it.  Be tenacious . . . find a way to push through. 

Finally, be willing to reach out for help or seek advice.  Consider speaking with a career coach in SOUTHWESTERN’S career center.   You might be surprised about the resources available to you.  Career Coaches can help you plot a path for a successful college experience and transition into your chosen career path.  

message through Linked-In.  Make sure you follow up and you keep in touch.

http://www.socc.edu/careercenter/live-it/979-it-s-september-what-will-you-be-doing-in-june-things-to-think-about-when-setting-goals

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Teri Grier is a Career Coach for the College to Careers (C2) Grant at Southwestern Oregon Community College.  She has over 15 years’ experience onboarding, training and managing teams.  She is a graduate from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies where she received a graduate certificate in Leadership Coaching. She is a nationally recognized Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation where she has spent the last six years working with entry level employees and mid-level managers.  She has a Master’s in Public Administration and a BS in Communications from Northern Arizona University and spent the last 25 years working in public policy and issue advocacy.

Jenny Jones has an MBA and a MS in Mathematics.  She became a Southwestern Data Analyst in 2014 under a federal TAACCCT grant after a long softward engineering career in the Boston area.  Her research is focused on using economic and employment data for informing community college program development.  Her most recent speaking engagement was as an annual NCCWE conference.

College to Careers (C2) is a WIOA Title I – financially assisted program and is therefore an equal opportunity employer/program which provides auxiliary aids and services upon request to individuals with disabilities by calling 711 or 800.648.6458 TTY. The C2 grant project ($2,394,110) is 100% funded through the US Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program (TC-26516-14-60-A-41). This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability or ownershipThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For more information about Creative Commons Licensing: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

BY Teri Grier

SOUTHWESTERN Oregon Community College   

Professional references are often an overlooked part of the job search process.  This is unfortunate, because prospective employers place a lot of weight on what your references say.  It is important that you spend as much effort selecting and developing your references as you do preparing your application packet.

  • What do employers look for from a reference?
  • Who might be a good reference? 
  • How do you approach potential references?
  • Do you contact your references for every job you apply for?
  • Should you ask your family, friends or work colleagues to be a reference?

These are common questions that job seekers ask about references.  Take a moment to review best practices for securing a great job reference and see how putting in a little extra time on this part of the job search could pay off exponentially.

 “Prospective employers really take into consideration what job references say about a candidate,” says Jeff Shane, executive vice president of Allison & Taylor, a reference and background checking firm. “You’re only going to say good things about yourself, and personal references are only going to offer positive remarks, but professional references are more detached and will be more candid, loose-lipped, and revealing.”

According to a CareerBuilder survey:

“Three in five employers (62 percent) said that when they contacted a reference listed on an application, the reference didn’t have good things to say about the candidate.”

“Sixty-nine percent of employers said they have changed their minds about a candidate after speaking with a reference, with 47 percent reporting they had a less favorable opinion and only 23 percent reporting that they had a more favorable opinion.”

You should start thinking about who would be a good professional reference right now!  Your references should not be an afterthought that you pull out of your phone contact list when you get to the end of an application. Don’t jeopardize a career opportunity by not having people ready to speak on your behalf.

Also, don’t assume that reference checks will be one of the last things a prospective employer does before they offer a position.  Some employers actually use reference checks to weed out candidates before they utilize valuable time in the interview process.

red check markWho are good references?

The best references are individuals who can speak about your strengths and how you add value to an organization.

You should have a list of former college instructors, direct supervisors or colleagues, board members or clients who can speak to your strengths, accomplishments, management style, work style, effectiveness, and character. 

Most employers ask for no more than four references.  Pam Venne, principal of The Venne Group, a Dallas career-management firm, advises job seekers to create a references pool. “When you’re asked for references, you can strategically choose the best individuals to people what you want highlighted for the opportunity,” she says. Choose the right person who can speak about both your soft skills, such as your ability to work in teams, communication and organizational skills and also how your experience lines up with what they are looking for.

Also, make sure your reference has a good reputation and will be considered a reputable reference by the potential employer.

red check markHow to Get Strong Recommendations?

This is an extremely important step.  People don’t want to be blindsided, especially when approached for a reference about someone they worked with in the past. 

Before you include their information, reaching out to potential references with a phone call, e-mail, meet with or send a note to get permission to use their name as a reference.  Check the person’s availability, in case they will be out of town and unavailable for an extended period of time.

Secondly, this is a great time to catch them up with what is happening in your professional life. Provide a copy of your current resume, your cover letter and also a copy of the job description.  Make sure your references can speak to your most recent roles and responsibilities.

Take this time to give them information about your current role, responsibilities and achievements.  Don’t forget to tell them about any continuing education and community service they may not know you are involved in.  This background information can help your references as they think about how they can best formulate answers to questions the potential employer may ask.

Finally, make sure you provide the name and title of the person who will be reaching out to your reference.   This only adds to the potential for a positive impression, when your reference is able to say, “I’ve been expecting your call.”

red check markKeep Your References Up To Date.

If you can, think about your references as a professional mentor who are invested in your success. Keep them informed of your educational and career progress.  If they are invested in you, they are more inclined to talk about your progress in a positive light.

Keep them up to date about each and every position you apply for and give out their contact information.

Make sure you have your references preferred contact information (phone and e-mail) as well as their current title, department and company name. Let them know when they might be contacted, especially if it is imminent, so they are prepared for your potential employer’s call or email.

red check markHave A Good Idea of What Your Reference Will Say.

Unless you have been in contact with and discussed the position, you really don’t know what your reference will say.  Make sure you talk to your reference and you have a good idea of what they will share about you. It is appropriate to ask the prospective reference if they feel comfortable providing input about your qualifications for this position. You need to know that they will give you a favorable recommendation.

Most importantly, share with them why you think they would be a good reference for the job you are applying for.

“One of the top required skillsets listed on the job description is strong organizational skills.  I think you would be a good reference because I organized the filing system in your office and you still use it.  This might be one great example.”

Anita Attridge, a New York career coach, suggests sending your reference an e-mail with a bullet point list of achievements he or she can mention when a hiring manager calls.

red check markBe Grateful

Having people invested in you and your professional development is something you should never take for granted.  Remember that time is a precious, and communicating with you and a prospective employer on your behalf takes time out of their already busy day.  It is important that you recognize this by following up after the interview process is over and let them know the final results and your next steps. 

Remember – “thank you” goes a long way!

Make time to send a thank you note to your references, as well as the organization you interviewed with, or at a minimum an e-mail following up.  If you secure the position, it might be nice to meet for lunch or after-hours and let them know how the transition is going. 

What is important, is that you maintain the relationship and don’t just call on them when you want something from them.Provide them with your contact information, put a new business card in your thank you note or send them a message through Linked-In.  Make sure you follow up and you keep in touch.

http://www.socc.edu/careercenter/live-it/948-checklist-for-developing-strong-references


Cover Letters
Change ManagementCreating ChangeFunctional ResumeInterview StressJob SearchLinkedinOnline Personal BrandPositive ChangePublic Speaking AnxietyResume, Managing Image on Social MediaTypes of ResumesNetworkingInterviewing Tips

Teri Grier is a Career Coach for the College to Careers (C2) Grant at Southwestern Oregon Community College.  She has over 15 years’ experience onboarding, training and managing teams.  She is a graduate from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies where she received a graduate certificate in Leadership Coaching. She is a nationally recognized Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation where she has spent the last six years working with entry level employees and mid-level managers.  She has a Master’s in Public Administration and a BS in Communications from Northern Arizona University and spent the last 25 years working in public policy and issue advocacy.

 

College to Careers (C2) is a WIOA Title I – financially assisted program and is therefore an equal opportunity employer/program which provides auxiliary aids and services upon request to individuals with disabilities by calling 711 or 800.648.6458 TTY. The C2 grant project ($2,394,110) is 100% funded through the US Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program (TC-26516-14-60-A-41). This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability or ownershipThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For more information about Creative Commons Licensing: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

10 tips for turning an interview into a job offer photo

In today’s competitive job market, only the best candidates are invited to interview for a job. The average number of people who apply for any given job is 118. Statistically, twenty-percent of those applicants get an interview, but repeatable anecdotal evidence puts the number of interviews over applicants at a much smaller number, usually only 3-4 people, because organizations don’t have time availability to interview more.

Needless to say, then, making the most out of every interview opportunity is essential.  You should approach preparation for your interview just as if you would write a research paper for a class.  The more you prepare, the greater the likelihood of receiving a job offer.

1.  Do Your Homework – It is important that you research the organization, the job you are applying for and the industry standards including median salary for your area.  Looking up the website should be just the start of your sleuthing.  Google their name and see what comes up in the news and anywhere on the internet. Most students don’t read business magazines, newspapers or trade journals, so when you do, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

This includes finding positive or good news and also news highlighting concerns.  You want to know if the company’s stock has been downgraded, or if they are under investigation by the FCC.  It is also helpful, if you know about their successes.  The launch of a new product written up in an industrial or business magazine or online.  By working positive information into the interview conversation, it shows the interviewer(s) that you are interested in them and willing to go the extra mile.

2.  NetworkingExperts report that 70 to 80 percent of the jobs come through people you know.  Networking moves you into the major league of job searching.  Make sure you reach out to college and/or high school alumni, their parents and your parents’ network to find out if anyone they know works there or knows someone who knows someone.  Use your contact lists, and online resources such as LinkedIn to see if you have anyone in your network who might give insight into the company.

Through networking, you can also learn about a company’s culture.  This includes information about turnover, job satisfaction of the employees, favorite managers and if they promote from within. This type of information will not be published in a news or magazine article.

3.  Anticipation – There are countless sources that provide lists of typical interview questions.  After you have reviewed the list, you should find a pattern that shows the most asked questions for interviews.  Don’t assume that you can think quickly and wing it.  Prepare for even the simplest questions and practice your answer.

“Tell me about yourself.” “Tell me about your greatest accomplishments.” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” “Share a time you failed and how you responded to the situation.” “Why do you want this job?” “Why this organization?”  Your answers and examples should be well rehearsed and feel natural when you deliver them.

4.  Stand Out Through Your Story - How do you stand out from the other candidates they may be interviewing?  The best way to stand out, is through your story.  You should have 5-7 adaptable stories from your job, school and volunteer experience that you can use to demonstrate your knowledge and transferable skills and how they relate to the job you’re seeking.

Each story should demonstrate how you added value to the job, activity and/or team.  Does the story show how you saved money or increased revenue?  Can you provide examples of where you implemented a new procedure or process?  Can you show increased clients or activity for the business? 

Start with the situation by describing the problem. Then explain what you did to improve the situation and describe the results in quantifiable terms. This demonstrates that you understand the importance and the impact of your personal contributions. These stories should be adaptable for various questions. 

Write down the key points on note cards and practice telling the story in a concise way that provides context, describes the problem and then transitions to how you added value in the situation. It is also helpful if you think of the possible questions that might trigger each story you have prepared. 

5.  Stand Out Through Your Transferable Skills – Be able to translate your skills from your academic, volunteer or extracurricular experiences, as well as any jobs you’ve had, to that job. Lydia Whitney the director of curriculum and instruction at Winning STEP recommends, "The first thing you should do before you look for a new job is assess yourself." Whitney said, "People need to say, 'This is what I did, but what else could I do?' "Show how these experiences have helped to prepare you for the role you’re interviewing for — using words in the job description. For example, if you’re a Psychology major, describe how you managed and promoted a group assignment using your project management, creativity and organizational skills.

Don Tennant, a writer for IT Business Edge explains that employers want to see how resourceful you are when presented with a problem.  If you have demonstrated skills that you have been successful working on a team, and if you can think outside the box.

6.  WIIFM (What’s In It For Me [them]) - Many students too often focus on why they want the job, what they will get out of it, and why it will be good for them. Turn the tables and explain how and why you can and will benefit the organization. Find ways to tactfully mention what they’d gain if they hired you (or how much they’d miss out on if they didn’t).

Ask yourself, “What is the employer looking for?”  You might enter an interview prepared to go through a list of skills and work experience, but interviewers aren’t looking for you to repeat work experience you have already outlined on your resume.  You wouldn’t be invited to interview, if your resume did not demonstrate your qualifications.

The resume gets you the meetingThe interview gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other qualified candidates by demonstrating resourcefulness, initiative, creativity, adaptability, drive and integrity. Employers measure your interest in their organization and the job and assess how you will adapt to the corporate culture.

The corporate workplace is more and more a team-driven environment. Culture fit is the foundation of any organization. That’s why it’s a priority when recruiting. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), poor culture fit results in turnover that can cost an organization between 50-60% of the person’s annual salary.  Because of this, organizations are eager to hire people that will fit within a team.

7.  Be Curious – Remember that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.  You want to ask questions that help you get a better idea about the company culture.  How do they invest in their employees?  What are the company’s expectations regarding work/life balance?

You can learn a great deal when it is your opportunity to ask questions.  So don’t skip this important time.  It shows the interviewer that you are a serious candidate and that you are trying to see if you would fit in well with the organization.  Strategic questions demonstrate that you have prepared and thought about the position and the company.

There’s a difference between “Tell me about our company’s culture” and “Can you give me an example of a recent decision the company/department had to work through and explain the process used to come to a conclusion? Or, “I read that the organization is changing its strategic direction. How will that affect this business unit?” Avoid questions where answers are on the website or in a press release recently distributed.

8.  Passion- Always close with a statement that makes it clear that you are excited and interested in the job. It is ok to say that you think you would be a great fit for the job/organization.  Allow your voice tone, words and body language to communicate your excitement about the job. Your interest and excitement will significantly impact the decision of the interviewer.   If you don’t, your interviewer will question if you really want the job or if you’re going to be committed to the organization.

Companies want to make the right employee selection the first time.  They don’t want to repeat the hiring process; because it is time consuming and expensive.   If an employer gets the impression that you really have your eye on something else, you will most likely not receive a job offer.

9.  Practice Makes Perfect - Most recent graduates have not had the opportunity to participate in a professional job interview in their field of study.  The expectations of the interviewer and organization is higher than most jobs students have held while attending school.

The biggest mistake you can make is to under prepare or think you are going to wing it.  Remember that you only get one chance – you want to do your best.

Phil Blair, the Executive Officer of Manpower West was recently interviewed by KUSI News.  In his interview, Phil encourages students to take advantage of the coaches on campus in the career center.  Practicing your stories out loud in a mirror or with a mentor or another professional helps to calm the jitters but also helps you get your story down so that it feels natural when telling it.  You don’t want to look like you have memorized your answers.

It’s important to hear the words you intend to speak, including the tone, emphasis, inflections and facial impressions, so that you don’t blow it when it really counts.  Do not hesitate to ask someone to do a mock interview prior to the meeting. 

10.  Gratitude - It is surprising how many interviewers do not know that a thank you note is an essential part of the interview process.  It is important that each member of the interview team receive a thank you note less than 24 hours after the interview. If you can, remind the recipient of a specific conversation you had in the interview. Every interviewer expects a thank you note from each candidate, so no note is a sign of lack of interest and lack of professionalism. In some instances, e-mails are acceptable.  However, if you really want to make an impression, send a neatly hand-written thank you note after the interview.

DO NOT hand out your thank you notes at the end of your interview.  If you were not able to collect the names of each person on the panel, ask the receptionist for their names and titles if appropriate.  If you can, write your thank you note right after the interview and then return and hand deliver them to the receptionist.

Preparation and practice will place you in a position so you are able to comfortably and confidently speak about how you will fit into the interviewer’s organization.  Use specific stories to demonstrate your skills and experience.  Be honest and forthright about your workstyle and what drives you.  Making sure the job opportunity is the right fit.  Think of the interview as the first step to integrating into the organization and the job. 

http://www.socc.edu/careercenter/live-it/939-ten-tips-for-turning-an-interview-into-a-job-offer


Cover Letters
Change ManagementCreating ChangeFunctional ResumeInterview StressJob SearchLinkedinOnline Personal BrandPositive ChangePublic Speaking AnxietyResume, Managing Image on Social MediaTypes of ResumesNetworking, Interviewing Tips

Teri Grier is a Career Coach for the College to Careers (C2) Grant at Southwestern Oregon Community College.  She has over 15 years’ experience onboarding, training and managing teams.  She is a graduate from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies where she received a graduate certificate in Leadership Coaching. She is a nationally recognized Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation where she has spent the last six years working with entry level employees and mid-level managers.  She has a Master’s in Public Administration and a BS in Communications from Northern Arizona University and spent the last 25 years working in public policy and issue advocacy.

College to Careers (C2) is a WIOA Title I – financially assisted program and is therefore an equal opportunity employer/program which provides auxiliary aids and services upon request to individuals with disabilities by calling 711 or 800.648.6458 TTY. The C2 grant project ($2,394,110) is 100% funded through the US Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program (TC-26516-14-60-A-41). This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability or ownershipThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For more information about Creative Commons Licensing: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Do You Know Your Networking Style?

tipping

It makes a difference in your work life.

By Teri Grier

Southwestern Oregon Community College 

When students first begin college, they may think that obtaining their degree will be enough to have the kind of career they want.

While earning a degree is a huge accomplishment, other factors play a huge role into getting not only the first job, but all jobs after.  Who you know can be a big part of it. How you utilize who you know is an even bigger part of it.

In a National Public Radio interview for, All Things Considered, Matt Youngquist, the president of Career Horizons stated, "At least 70 percent, if not 80 percent, of jobs are not published.  He further said, "And yet most people — they are spending 70 or 80 percent of their time surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majority of hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances."  Despite these overwhelming odds, it’s amazing how many students spend countless hours sending out blind resumes to online job announcements.

tipping point quote.jpgSuccessful networking is one of those soft skills that pays off exponentially.  Research shows that networking is a great way to land a new job.  It also is vital to staying employed, salary growth, and job satisfaction. 

Before you can successfully network, you have to have a good understanding of your networking and the communication style you are most comfortable with.

Malcom Gladwell, in his book the Tipping Point” identifies three classes of personalities and explains how each network or interact with others.

Connectors are the people who have widespread personal and professional networks.  Their work often involves spreading ideas.   With their wide reaching group of friends and acquaintances, connectors can spread a message rapidly to a receptive audience. Gladwell uses the story of Paul Revere’s midnight ride to demonstrate the role of connectors.

Maven (originally a Yiddish word) is a connoisseur or expert in a subject.  Mavens have a deep understanding in a specific subject area.  Mavens enjoy sharing their knowledge, but more importantly, feel a need to take a deep dive into a subject area. What makes mavens so effective is not their persuasiveness (that falls under the realm of the salesmen), but their extensive understanding of a subject. The information mavens gather is often what connectors spread.

Salesmen specialize in the art of persuasion. These are the people who strive to convince others of "needs" that may or may not exist. They know how to Make It Stick!”  Salesmen are masters at making ideas, products and information simpler and more attractive and memorable. 

How do you tell the difference between a Connector, Maven and a Salesmen? 

People have a bit of each characteristic as part of their personality.  However, there is a place where you feel most comfortable and that often is in the role of Maven.  This role seems to have the least risk because the Maven is speaking from their knowledge base as they make recommendations, suggestions or offer their insight.  This voluntary contribution usually isn’t tied to any required outcome such as a job or career.  Mavens get to choose when, where, and how they engage. 

In contrast, a connector usually has a similar knowledge base as a Maven, but they regularly use this in a business or professional capacity for which they are paid.  It is difficult to become a connector, because it requires the unique ability to understand a person's needs moments after meeting them.  In general, connectors know everyone and everyone knows them. These people build relationships very quickly and with a lot of people. Connectors are highly valuable to any organization. They match people with opportunities and, in doing so, they leave their connections with a positive opinion of them and their abilities.

Since, Gladwell’s book was first published, many social scientists have tried to expand on this concept by developing personality assessments

There’s an interesting article in Harvard Business Review called “How to Build Your Network” by Brian Uzzi and Sharon Dunlap.  The authors analyze leaders’ communication and networking styles, their networking circles and do a comparison contrast that shows how an effective networker can effect change.  Uzzi and Dunlap focus on two characters in the American Revolution.

“On the night of April 18, 1775, two Sons of Liberty raced on horseback from Boston to warn residents that British soldiers were marching toward Lexington and Concord. While Paul Revere rode into history, his fellow rider, William Dawes, galloped into undeserved oblivion.”

Though both men had perilous journeys and made a significant contribution to a poignant time in history, we only remember the actions of Paul Revere.  Little to nothing is mentioned about William Dawes’ journey and his ability to avoid capture by the British during his attempt to warn the masses.  Why then, is Revere remembered for his feat and immortalized in history?  Is it because of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere?”  Or, could it be something else in relations to their different networking techniques?  

Uzzi and Dunlap suggest that one of the reasons Paul Revere was so successful in his fateful ride was because he was a “connector.”  Revere had a large social network that bridged different circles. In contrast, Dawes’ social network was less diverse and more inbred.  He knew people who were similar to him and everyone in his network knew each other.

Are you a Paul Revere, or possibly a William Dawes or somewhere in the middle?  Knowing your networking style is the first step to developing a strategy to expand and strengthen your network.  Remember, 80 percent of the people find jobs through networking!  

http://www.socc.edu/careercenter/live-it/927-do-you-know-your-networking-style


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Teri Grier is a Career Coach for the College to Careers (C2) Grant at Southwestern Oregon Community College.  She has over 15 years’ experience onboarding, training and managing teams.  She is a graduate from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies where she received a graduate certificate in Leadership Coaching. She is a nationally recognized Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation where she has spent the last six years working with entry level employees and mid-level managers.  She has a Master’s in Public Administration and a BS in Communications from Northern Arizona University and spent the last 25 years working in public policy and issue advocacy.

College to Careers (C2) is a WIOA Title I – financially assisted program and is therefore an equal opportunity employer/program which provides auxiliary aids and services upon request to individuals with disabilities by calling 711 or 800.648.6458 TTY. The C2 grant project ($2,394,110) is 100% funded through the US Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program (TC-26516-14-60-A-41). This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability or ownershipThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For more information about Creative Commons Licensing: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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