Tag Archives: career development

Find Your Niche & REInvent Yourself

15 Jun

I have two exciting tele-classes coming up in July and you won’t want to miss out!  Register by July 1 and receive discounted pricing –  each seminar is only $15.

“Finding Your Niche in Life and Work”

Mon 7/19 @ 8:30pm ET – Click Here to Register

Love life, love your work!  A “niche” most commonly refers to a specialized area or feature aimed at satisfying a specific target market based upon its needs and wants.  In this case the target market is YOU and your niche is that specialized area of professional or personal purpose that brings you joy, fulfillment and satisfaction in your life.  Learn the importance of aligning your livelihood and work with your core values and passions, so that you can live and work authentically.  You may be moving yourself forward (or trying to) without real clarity and direction of where you want to go, personally or professionally.  You will walk away with tools to discover and appreciate your niche.  Find out how doing less work can actually yield greater results and why.  Give yourself an opportunity to step outside of circumstances, outside of the problem, and into the solution.

“Career REInvention 101″

Mon 7/19 @ 8:30pm ET – Click Here to Register

If you’ve ever woken up one day and realized you’re not happy with your career, but feel lost about what you would rather do instead, or how to get yourself out of a seemingly stuck situation, please know you are not alone!   This presentation addresses those thoughts and feelings and gives you 6 steps that set you up for desirable results in making a career transition at any level.  We’ll discuss formulating a vision, identifying and breaking through  roadblocks, and ambitious yet attainable goal setting for moving you forward.  Love life, love your work!


“I Don’t Get It: I’m the PERFECT Candidate…”

5 May

Any recruiter, career coach, advisor, HR professional, friend, colleague or cousin will give you their own spin on “why that company hasn’t gotten back to you.” There is always the possibility that you just weren’t qualified enough, or outright lacked an important skill or credential that someone else DID have.  Still, the biggest complaint I hear from job seekers is that it really wasn’t that obvious to them why they were passed over, and they’re left scratching their head when they initially thought they were the “perfect candidate”.  So what might have happened?  Here are a few possibilities that can easily go overlooked when you start to play the ‘ponder and assume’ game of “what happened to my resume?”

  • You applied with an out-of-state address.

“But I will move as soon as I get a job!” This one is a double-edged sword, and very commonly an obstacle, unless the positions that you qualify for require very very specific credential/qualifications/clearances, making locality a non-issue due to the narrowness of the candidate pool to begin with.  Or, you got lucky because the company already exhausted their local talent pool, pushing them to look outward.  The concern companies have with out-of-state candidates is often the transition time from “you’re hired” to “welcome to your first day”.  When a move is involved, whether they’re right or wrong, it’s often assumed that the candidate will need longer to sort out their affairs, and the company is looking for someone to start in the role ASAP.  You can always put a local address on your resume, but prepared to answer to the expectation that you’re available immediately to interview and start.

  • You stated your salary range in your cover letter… without knowing what the job pays.

By all means, if the salary range is listed in the job description, or the recruiter tells you upfront, if it’s within your range – say so.  However, even if you’re pretty sure of what it might pay, be wary of stating your range up front if you’re not specifically asked to do so, because you risk pricing yourself out against other candidates, or conversely, you risk undermining your value by going too low.  Save this discussion for the interview, if possible.

  • Despite your stellar skills, you lack “industry experience”… and someone else doesn’t.

How much weight is put on having the exact industry experience of what the company is involved in?  If you have a major cell phone company hiring for a print project manager with tele-com experience, and you have 10 great candidates with tele-com, and one amazing candidate who’s worked in everything but, there’s no guarantee that amazing candidate will make the cut on skills alone. There are reasons why industry-specific experience is critical to some companies –  language and nuances and practices and other aspects that are specific to each industry.  Even if the job is the same, it is likely that a company doesn’t have resources to train in those areas, and they just can’t take the risk on that new hire not coming up to speed quickly enough.  If that’s the case, it may simply be out of your control.  Move on!

  • You Lack a critical skill component… that you didn’t consider critical.

Same thing if there’s a required software element. It may seem like a small thing to you to not be an expert in “Software X” (you can learn on the job – you pick things up quick, etc. etc.). But if 3 other candidates have it and you don’t, you might be out of luck. Again, most companies lack the time and resources to train someone in the required software or skill areas, even if it’s something minor, and let’s face it, EVERYONE  “picks up new technologies quickly”, so that’s not likely to hold any weight.  Research in advance what type of applications or software knowledge is important to the company and the role, and look at online software training resources like Linda.com to get even the basic understanding of the tools, and you will increase your chances of getting noticed.

Sometimes you’ll just have to rest on the fact that you have no idea why a potential employer may have passed on your resume.  There are a number of circumstantial reasons that can come up – someone was promoted internally, the position was put on hold due to lack of funds, the candidate after you had the same alma mater as the HR Manager, they already have 5 people named Harry who currently work for the company and they want to avoid any further confusion with the email system.  Focus on the areas where you do have control to optimize your candidacy and your chances of getting noticed.  There are tons of “rules” and “how-to’s” out there, but the most important thing is to really pay attention to the company you want to work for, and what it is they want out of that perfect candidate.  Target, personalize and then sell yourself as the fantastic front-runner you are!

Finding Your Niche… In Life, Love, Work & Otherwise

20 Apr

The first thing I learned about marketing my coaching business was to “define my niche”… my target market, aka the people or groups who are going to be the ones most benefitting from and investing in my product.  And by “product” you can be referring to an actual product, service, or you as a personal brand.  The Wikipedia version of this says, “A niche is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing; therefore the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact.”

FOCUS. You’ve seen it on inspirational posters in reception areas and offices and school classrooms, and now it’s time to make that cliché work for you.  When I first started my coaching business, I visualized success as being a full time coach with a full roster of clients, and being able to quit my 9 to 5.  And it takes time.  So I started by asking myself, “Who are the people that I really truly think my knowledge can help, and why would they want it?” For me, this subset of the larger market known as “everyone in the world who might be interested in some type of coaching” was drilled down to “20-somethigns who might be interested in coaching”.  More drilling and it became “20-something young professionals who might be interested in coaching”.  There are still a lot of those.  How about “20-something young professionals who are in career and life transition and interested in personal and professional reinvention”?  Now we’re getting somewhere!

You would think that casting the widest possible net, and in turn having a larger market to target, would increase your chances of success, but that’s actually not at all the case.  A wider market simply means larger output of less-focused marketing efforts (and time), and a good ol’ time trying to shoot fish in a barrel. Whereas a narrower focus means less output, and a much more targeted approach that’s much more likely to hit the people who are interested in and responsive to what you’re offering.

Because even if you aren’t marketing a business, you are marketing yourself as a personal brand or entity, whether that’s for a new job, a new opportunity, or a new relationship.  What are the parameters around your niche – what makes the most sense to your end goal, or, your “vision”, the overall picture of the scenario  you want?

Try this first goal:  “I want to join a softball team in New York City.  Let me post an ad on Craigslist.” Now what’s a better, more specific way to put that goal on paper so that every person looking for softball team members across five boroughs doesn’t contact you and essentially waste your time with inappropriate opportunities?

“I want to join a softball team in Brooklyn.  Preferably in Park Slope, but I’m open to Carroll Gardens, Bushwick and Williamsburg.  I have a phobia of bridges, so Manhattan and Queens are out of the question.” Here you’ve just defined what your niche focus for your “sell” is and why:  areas in northeast Brooklyn that are accessible from where you live by local transportation, without having to cross bridges (it’s just an example).

Goal #2 – I want to find a happy relationship: “I want to date someone who’s in their late 30s, good-looking and is successful.” Excellent- and Match.com just sent you an email with 50,000 men in the New York City vicinity alone that are between the ages of 37-40 and “employed”.

Of course, what you’re really looking for is this: “I want to date someone who is within the ages of 35-40, values what they do for a living, and who I feel I am intellectually and physically attracted to, which would be dark-haired men of Latin decent over 5’7”. Obviously you don’t want to go too specific on the details here so as not to block out potentially good matches with say, 5’6 and a half as height. But the point is to identify the internal motivators behind the external action: What does “successful” or “good looking” or “fun-loving” mean to you?  Because what it means to you may be different from what it means to someone else, and ultimately it’s YOUR vision you are working towards fulfilling, not theirs, so the definition must be all your own.

Be honest with yourself.  If you’re too specific, then you can always widen the net of criteria.  But starting too general sets you up for failure off the bat, and burnout.

One more goal scenario for you:  “I just graduated college and now I am looking for an entry-level job in marketing.” Try doing a Google search on “marketing” and you’ll quickly understand just how ridiculous that statement is.  Marketing is a great example for this because it is an incredibly broad field.  Going on Indeed.com, Monster.com, or even LinkedIn and searching “marketing jobs” is likely going to yield you unsatisfying results.  You have your general focus established: marketing; now let’s drill it down.  What kind of company do you want to do marketing for?  Where- New York, San Francisco, Tokyo?  What kind of clients do you want to work with?  What kind of working environment do you value?  How about growth potential?  What motivates you in a professional scenario?  What are you passionate about?

Try this:  “I am interested in an entry-level (0-3 years experience) marketing position within an innovative media or advertising company, because I really thrive on the creativity and forward thinking, laid-back culture that an agency environment fosters.  And I hate wearing suits.”

DO NOT get this statement confused with your cover letter, or your personal profile – this is meant for your own self-realization – something you write on a napkin, a notebook, or in your own personal Excel file, so that you’re not tempted to alter it by what you think the outside world expects of you.  It’s all about YOU, and not what you can sell..yet.  The selling part comes AFTER you establish what it is you want for yourself.  Otherwise it’s like setting a message in a bottle out to sea, hoping the right person stumbles upon it one day on the beach.  Once you figure out what YOU are looking for, and it’s critically important that you do so before anything else, THEN it’s time to focus on HOW to sell your fabulous self to that specific group.  Start here:

  • VISUALIZE what you want.
  • VERBALIZE it in a statement on paper.
  • DRILL DOWN that statement to make it more specific.
  • IDENTIFY who or what is at the receiving end of that vision – a potential employer, a potential activity, a potential mate – and what distinguishable qualities they hold that are non-negotiable to you.

Congratulations – you just found your niche focus.  Now it’s time to get you there!

New Tele-Seminar Series: Taking the Leap

30 Mar

This month jump-starts a fresh and exciting new 5-part tele-seminar series for young professionals and those entering into the career realm entitled Taking the Leap.

In an age where logistics and circumstances so often define our career decisions and our lives, it can seem like an impossibility to truly follow one’s passion in the face of adversity and challenge. The “Taking the Leap” tele-seminar series explores the lives of 5 young professionals who each made different decisions to take a leap of faith, and ultimately invent and reinvent themselves to create a career and life they are passionate about.  As young professionals  it’s easy to be blinded and overwhelmed by social, professional and financial obligations, and not realize the many different possibilities that are open to you when it comes to navigating your career path.  Not everyone opts to take ‘whatever comes their way’, to settle for earning a steady paycheck, or to take the road most travelled.  Hear the experiences of a few extraordinary people who faced the typical challenges of being a young professional, and redefined the norm in pursuit of their passions… and succeeded.

For more information and to register see the Events page.  Sign up for all 5 seminars and registration for the fifth one is free!

Register Now for the 5-Session Series

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