Plotting for success in outplacement.

  Click here for subscription for Coached to  Success

Job Hunting is Not All About Tolerability

We are living in uniquely challenging times, both personally and professionally-but why do some unemployed executives find a new job in this changing and unpredictable environment while others are overwhelmed and debilitated?

The answer centers around the perception of the job candidate's role: that the job seeker should be flexible in adapting to the job requirements during the position audition. In medicine, one looks at how "well tolerated" a drug will be related to its side effects. In job hunting, most people look for work opportunities that can be well tolerated.

Yet after life, most people don't want their tombstone to read, "He tolerated stuff for people who paid him." Especially, when you realize that you can make more money doing work that engages your passions. Life is too short doing work you don't like but tolerate.

The "well tolerated" approach to job-hunting usually results in resumes, networking conversations and interviews that are fuzzy and not easily read by the other person. Job seekers taking a "well tolerated" approach need to wake up and get a career coaching makeover.

Here are some resume writing and interview tips from a recent The Wall Street Journal article (May 21, 2002), "Job Search 'Makeover' Reveals Tactical Flaws":

1. Narrow job goals to emphasize your strongest assets

Don't expect prospective employers will read your resume 5 or 6 times to figure out what you can and want to do. Have a focused direction--not a potpourri of "I can tolerate all of these things, too."

2. Widen your list of potential employers

Don't let your personal perceptions limit your job-hunting success. Being uncomfortable with different industries or work roles can prevent you from getting to where you want to be.

3. Clarify and polish your resume

Highlight your most valuable and specific skills and competencies. Remember the summary is the most important part of the resume because most hiring managers only assess a resume for 10 seconds.

4. Hone your interviewing and follow-up tactics

Accounttemps ( surveyed 1,400 senior managers and found that 69% prefer to do their hiring between 9 and 11AM. By contrast, only 5% picked 3PM or later. Clearly, you'd be better off as an early bird.

Be sure to review your weaknesses, as well as your strengths, in both the interview and thank you letters to interviewers. By knowing who you are and what you are meant to do, sets you above most job hunters.

Search by keyword(s)

Click here to subscribe to Coached to SuccessClick here for 7 Executive Coaching Tips

Four Outplacement Tips

1. Get the right kind of outplacement when chosen for the downsized executive pool.

The traditional employer-paid outplacement package (a desk, a phone and up to 5 hours of counseling over 3 months) doesn't give you what you need. So, opt for the $5,000 outplacement employer fee be paid to a qualified career coach of your choice. Research indicates that workers over 50 take nearly twice as long to find a new job as do younger people. More than anything else, job hunters need qualified, reliable counseling that doesn't end when it's needed the most. Nothing is sadder than to meet someone who has already been getting traditional outplacement "help" with their search and have learned that those techniques are no longer effective.

2. Networking Works

Only 10% of all jobs are filled through ads and 10% are filled through search firms. Instead, direct contact and networking are more effective for most searches. For mature workers, the most common way to find a new job is by using one's social networks (51%) versus ads (12%), search firms (8%), mailing/direct approach (5%) and Internet (2%).

Caution: Don't network too soon. If your goals are vague, the contacts you make can't help you much and your contacts may even be put off by your lack of direction.

3. Know thyself.

Your self-worth is not about identifying with your past job. According to ExecuNet, the average executive had 3.7 jobs in the past ten years. Successful people know their abilities get them to next level. Work with your coach to understand your strengths and learn how to manage your weaknesses. By knowing yourself and being creative, you may opt for self-employment, contract work or other flexible arrangements---rather than full-time work.

4. Keep salary expectations real.

Even though you have spent your career in giant corporations, your search may lead you to small or medium-sized companies where less age discrimination and lower salaries exist. By identifying your transferable skills and packaging yourself for a new job function or new industry, you can greatly increase your chances of success.

Are you ready to hire a coach to move forward in your career transition?

If your answer is "yes," then it's probably time to seek the services of a professional executive coach. (For advice about what to look for in an executive coach, see "What Makes a Good Executive Coach.")

Gone are the days when the word "coach" simply conjured up images of Little League and high school gyms. In the last 10 years, the business world has seen the emergence of a new breed of coaches whose mission is to help executives rise to their potentials, both personally and professionally. Coaching, as distinct from therapy, which deals largely with unresolved past issues, helps executives make changes in their present lives in order to pave the way for brighter futures.

How do you know when you're ready to hire a coach?

Ready for some self-coaching tips?

Get Smart Fast. Only you can decide if now is the time to go shopping for a coach to help you move forward in your career transition. Be sure to email us with what interests you in plotting for career success with a coach.

What are you putting up with? What's the biggest challenge you have? What kind of support would be helpful to you?

Want to learn about the costs of executive coaching?

Want to check out some coaching plan options?

If you are really committed to what you want to do, let's have a conversation about getting there from here. Call 734.426.2000 (US Eastern Time Zone) or email to arrange for a free consultation to discuss where you are heading. To learn more about John Agno, certified executive & business coach, click here.

Receive our Podcast:
or get Free Monthly Coaching Tips! by entering your name and email address below:

Enter Your Name:

Enter Your Email:

Click here for top 5 guiding principles for free agents.

back to home page