Today in my networking challenge I am interviewing Andrea Kay. Andrea is a Career Coach and Author of five best-selling career books including Work’s a Bitch and Then You Make it Work. I am so excited to speak with her today, thanks so much for being here Andrea!
Job Search Secrets: How to Get a Job Offer in This Economy
1) How do you get an offer in a new career when you have no experience?
Don’t try to sell yourself, but influence people. That is the biggest key. And the best way to influence somebody is to think through it. If I’m trying to make a change into a new career, what are the skills that this potential position and the potential employer is looking for? What skills and abilities do I need to have? What transferable skills do I bring with me? Show how serious you are.
Passion, commitment to wanting to do this thing will make up and for any lack of experience that you have. Talking about the reasons why you wanted to make this change is so important. That is about 80% of influencing somebody else. Helping them see what is in you. The whole idea of why it matters to you and that is really going to be helpful in persuading somebody higher you. Your passion, your enthusiasm, and what you have done to prepare yourself. Tell a story for employer sees that you are worth the investment that will take you to bring you along in this new career.
Everybody is so focused on selling but selling puts a lot of pressure to make sure you tell the employer what they want to hear. But, if instead, you’re focusing on influencing, your thinking will be totally differently. It’s really about telling a story and helping the other person see why this is so meaningful to you and what you’ve done to make yourself ready for it.
2) What is the secret to getting a job offer in this economy?
The secret is the same it’s always been no matter what the economy and that is to speak the employer’s language. That means help the employers see how you were going to make him/her and their company successful. This isn’t about you, this is about helping them see what you’re going to do for them. Most people don’t do that, they just sit there and they say “I have years of experience and I want a job” which is not speaking the employer’s language.
Speaking the employer’s language is telling them the technical skills that you had and the abilities and talents that will help them be successful. But much more important are skills and abilities and characteristics such as maturity, being excited about this job and the industry, being passionate about this particular area, working well with others, communicating, having the passion that you’re just worth the investment plus having the right technical skills. The key to getting a job in any economy is really about speaking their language.
3) What is your suggestion to someone who is unhappy in their job and ready for a career change?
First of all, you need to ask yourself some questions because a lot of people get career change mixed up with job change. The questions you want to ask are: What’s not working? What is it about my present situation makes me think it’s time for a career change? Is it the company? Is it the culture? Is it this job that I do with the company even though I love the company? Is it the person I work for?
Identify what is not working. Then if you decide for whatever reason based on this data that you’ve gathered, really objectively look at it or sit down with somebody else . Figure out if it is time for a career change not just a job change. The question is what’s in here? What’s in me? So I can really get a sense of what will make me happy.
4) I know a lot of people trying to job change really quickly or changes career really quickly. And hop online and try to apply for a job. How long do you recommend taking to find a job?
As long as it takes! And it’s not a matter of jumping online and applying for a job. Ask these questions – What’s your worst day like? Why did you make this change? Then sit down and evaluate their list of needs and things that make them happy against what it really is like to be able to know what is a good mix. Even shadowing somebody, going into their job and seeing what a typical day is like. Trying out an internship. Asking them what career is typically like before you jump into it.
5) How can young professionals starting out in their career paths stand out and become successful in their careers?
When you get in into a new career, do a review and see how other people are successful it and really learn to master the basics and really understand the technical aspects of your job. Get to know what it is that you do well. Focus on work that is essential to the success of your company. Dig around and find out what’s working, what’s not working and become a problem solver so the company sees that you really are somebody who wants to make a difference and looks for work that makes a difference.
Not all jobs are equal, so look for the work that’s essential to the success of the company. Another key thing is being generous. Being generous with your time and your assistance will build that reputation that you are somebody who is there to help other people. Do those three things and you’ll get noticed and you will begin a successful career.
6) What is the best way to negotiate a raise?
You need to make the case. Remember that this is a business conversation and based on objective information. Figure out what your market value is and what the case is for giving you this raise. Evidence that you’ve achieved more. Evidence that you’ve done more. Evidence that you’re performing better, you’ve taken on more responsibilities and as a result, you’ve achieved some great results for the company.
You need to attach value to those achievements. You also need to pick the right time. You may be deserving, you may have a great case, but the timing isn’t right. And in that case you can always say okay this may not be the right timing, when can we revisit this. The key is to see this as a business conversation where your boss doesn’t know why you deserve this raise and what you’ve been doing. The planning, the homework, and the practicing and thinking through what you’re going to say that is what you need to do prior to that meeting. Do not go into the meeting not knowing all those facts that I just listed.
7) What is one thing that you wish you would have known as a young professional woman just starting out in her career?
Most of the things I think that I wish I would have known meant I wouldn’t have gone through the trials and tribulation that I did, which helped me get to where I am. One thing that I wish somebody told me and helped me with is understanding the importance of saving money in the jobs that I had. Nobody ever sat down and did that for me.
If I look back as a young person, I really wish I had done that and understood what it all meant and how to take care myself in my career. Another thing is I wish I understood at a younger age the importance of understanding other people’s point of view. That’s the other thing that has helped me later on in my career and in the work that I do is really getting into somebody else’s shoes and then understanding that it can help you be more influential. If you understand where the other person is coming from it will help you get what you want and help you build more relationships.
8) If people want to learn more about you where can they find you online?
Andreakay.com is where you can find information on all of my books. My books are also listed through Amazon.com and in local bookstores. I have podcast, video podcast and all kind of things. And I will let you know when my new book comes out if you’re on my mailing list.
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