Duh! You REALLY Don’t Know What You Want?

At a recent job fair in Omaha, Nebraska America’s Job Coach was amazed at the number of people who DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!!

America’s Job Coach asked over 100 people there the question of “What kind of work are you looking for?” At least 50% said “I don’t know,” or “Oh, I can do a lot of things…”

WRONG!! If you are on a job hunt and expect an EMPLOYER to decide for you what you want to do with your life or what you should do for your work life, you most likely will have to KEEP looking for work.

Employers are looking for two things: 1.) People who can do a very specific task for them in an efficient, helpful, professional and educated way, or, 2) People who are “raw talent” who are incredibly moldable and who have such great attitudes the potential employer will just have to hire them if they are adding entry-level or general talent.

Which one are you?

“As a Customer Service Rep for your firm, I can retain and expand your customer base due to my strong people skills and business savvy.”

Most would agree that that kind of pitch will get you hired faster than, “Well, I can do a lot of things;” or, “I’m not sure what I want to do.”

Reminds me of the concept of a TwitterVator Speech which you can learn about at this link: here on YouTube.

Check it out and PLEASE have an answer for the question of ‘What do YOU want to do “out there?”

America’s Job Coach
Author: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010

Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics & The Heisman Trophy

The hype of the Heisman Trophy is now starting to fade. Congratulations to Mark Ingram, Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide for his impressive win. The statistics which won Ingram the honor: In the 2009 season, Ingram rushed for 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also obtained 322 receiving yards with 3 touchdowns. He will add more stats during the big BCS Rose Bowl game against Texas.

But I hear you saying, “Hey Dude, This blog isn’t about football.” And you are right.

This blog is about job hunting, and in essence, the Heisman race (the award for the “best college football player in America”) IS a form of job hunt (or at least a “title” hunt–“Heisman Trophy Winner”). So here is what job hunters can learn from college football: The use of statistics.

Statistics help us measure who did what on the football field. Which teams won which games. Which players achieved what statistics. Which stats were noteworthy enough to win players awards like the Heisman (or the Outland or the Lombardi — way to go, Ndamukong Suh!).

Again, I hear you say: “What does that have to do with me? I’m a 50-something job seeker or career reinventor and I haven’t played football for 30-plus years (or maybe ‘never’)!”

It has everything to do with you. I was just evaluating a client’s resume. She did an excellent job of building out the infrastructure of her resume. She is a project manager who did NOT just write “managed projects, coordinated people, tracked milestones,” etc.

THAT kind of drivel won’t win anyone the Heisman Trophy of work. No, this client, with little help from me added STRONG statistics to her sales document (a resume as you know IS a sales document).

I saw how she “increased productivity of a 20 person team by 27% on a 2 man-year project in the DoD sector.” I saw how she “Coordinated 4 disparate development teams from different but related projects and rolled them into one 12-person team; modified the milestones, and reduced a 1,500 man-hour project to successful implementation in under 900 hours.”

No, these stats are not as exciting as Mark Ingram’s 246 yard game against South Carolina, but to this resume guru, and to her, a Project Management guru, this IS fascinating stuff!

Think about it… Is your resume a warmed over job description? Or can you describe some actual statistics that you accomplished in your work? And I don’t want to hear how your job doesn’t really “involve” statistics. Even if you are a humble fast food worker, you could say: “Pleasantly served an average of 112 patrons per lunch hour with a 98% satisfaction rate.”

McDonalds or Burger King would be impressed if they met a teenager who either a) knew or, b) could make up such statistics. What does it show? It shows you know work, business, and Heisman Trophy winning are all about ONE thing: Results. If you are not adding to a employer’s results, what good are you?

That is blunt sounding but the intent here is to shake you into a new awareness (I almost slipped and said “paradigm” –close one!).

If a fast food employee can use “lies, damn lies and statistics” as the old adage says, certainly you, a professional can come up with some tangible, measurable way you helped your employer or your team.

Of course I am not advocating any deception. This post’s headline is simply to get your attention and because I love that old saw about statistics.

So, DON’T lie, but start today to track your stats so you can MEASURE your accomplishments. This shows potential employers that you know what is important to them. Statistics worked for Mark Ingram!

Here’s hoping you gain a lot of yards on your job search this week and in this holiday season!

Please remember to comment here about your job search victories, challenges, and even statistics!

Season’s Greetings to all and to all a good night!

America’s Job Coach
www.americasjobcoach.com
Author: Laid Off & Loving It For 2010