The secret to prevailing in a job interview is to remember one simple fact.
There is only one job. You have only ever had one job, and (as far as I can tell) you’ll only ever have one job.
After talking with a job seeker the other day, I asked for his card so I could keep in touch with him. He replied that his company didn’t give its employees business cards. He didn’t have a personal business card either.
I was asking for his card because I had spoken with him a couple of months before, and he took my card and said he would contact me so I could pass job leads to him. But I didn’t hear from him, and I had no way to initiate contact with him, so he missed a couple of good leads.
I realized that not everyone has been taught the value of a business card – their own personal business card – to their career.
I have a success story to share with you. While I played a role in this story, it was Brigitta that made it happen.
She wrote this to Launch Pad Job Club:
I wanted to share a truly amazing success story! I am still pinching myself and find this story quite unbelievable… (more…)
I’ve been invited to participate as a panelist on SharePoint ShopTalk, a live, weekly interactive online discussion about all things SharePoint. Most of the panelists are MVPs, people I respect greatly, so I take it as a great honor to be invited to join the panel.
Come join the conversation every Thursday, from 12:30pm – 1:30pm EST.
I’ll be facilitating SharePoint Group Therapy on June 28th, and I’ll be available on the panel to answer questions as often as possible.
In April, I gave a presentation to the North-by-Northwest Job Clublet (NxNW) called “Don’t Just Get A Job, Build A Career”, regarding the long-term investments that I used to make a difference in managing my career successfully.
What follows is broadly what I spoke about, updated because the events that were ongoing at that moment finally did reach their conclusion. I’ve talked about all of these things before, and they aren’t even ideas original to me, but I think it is helpful to look at these long-term strategies from the perspective of things that paid off after three years of investment.
February 6th I was at the Stephen Ministry group at First English Lutheran Church presenting “Tools, Techniques and Resources for Supporting and Guiding the Disemployed Back to Employment” (re-scheduled from November).
I have given this presentation before, at the Stephen Ministry group at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, and gave a modified version of this for Launch Pad Job Club, entitled “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”.
Over time, I have become more and more in favor of speaking without using slides. None of my presentations are particularly slide-heavy, but this time I went completely without slides, and just talked.
In doing so, I discovered new things about my presentation, and rediscovered others, and in the process discovered something that I wanted to share with you about managing your career.
While things here at Working It Out have been quiet on the surface for the last month or so, it has only been because things have been so very busy everywhere else.
SharePoint Saturday Houston & SharePoint Group Therapy
First of all, I will be speaking at SharePoint Saturday Houston this coming Saturday. I’ll be running my SharePoint Governance workshop, “SharePoint Group Therapy“, like I did at SharePoint Saturday Austin earlier this year. If you are in Houston and have SharePoint governance questions you want answered, or issues you want some help resolving, or you feel like helping others with their issues or questions, be sure to attend my session.
My Career Journey
Second, after interviewing several potential candidates for the role, I have selected my new employer. While all of my suitors were desirable places to work and I hope to be able to work with them later in my career, a combination of timing, the challenges offered, and the chance to work with some folks I know and some I have worked with in the past all contributed to my choice. I appreciate the time and effort over the last several months that each of the other companies put into working with me to match their needs, my talents, and their opportunities!
As you might imagine, between wrapping up my previous projects and evaluating my next opportunities and challenges, I have fallen behind in posting new content for you. Over the next several weeks, I will be posting new content, including material I have been puttering around with for a while, but as you can imagine, jumping into a new environment also presents challenges to my schedule, so please bear with me as I acclimate to my new environment.
Other Speaking Engagements
I did get an opportunity to indulge one of my other passions during the past month – speaking to the Austin North-by-Northwest job club about some of the investments that are key to long-term career management. As per my new M.O., the presentation was extemporaneous, without PowerPoint slides, and as always hammering home some of my favorite advice about your job search. I used examples of things that I had done that had paid off in making this job transition a matter of choice rather than one of panic and desperation, which I think made the points a little clearer.
It has been so busy this year that I never got around to doing a 2011 year-end wrap-up, and here we are over a quarter of the way through 2012, so I guess that point is moot. In the time since, several milestones were hit and went by unremarked because of how busy things have been. In February, I completed my first 1000 days of blogging with my biggest month so far. March blew the doors off February, with 6,809 page views, more page views than I got during my first 365 days of blogging. Naturally, this period included my biggest week to date, by a huge margin, thanks in part to some malware that I learned how to exterminate the hard way. But my difficulties made the lives of others easier, so, even though malware hunting isn’t my primary role, I feel justified in taking some pride.
Naturally, a post that contributes so much to the bog’s bottom line has its own laurels, as the post that reached 1000 page views the quickest – 12 days. Three other posts joined the 1k+ page views club, and the leader of the pack, Add a Unique Auto-Incrementing Column to a SharePoint List surpassed twelve thousand page views.
Those are the highlights of the recent developments, and since I am coming up on the end of my third year of blogging, I’ll have more detailed coverage then for those who are interested.
The New Year is a time when many of us take stock of the prior year and plan for the coming one. You’ll soon see a year-end post where I take stock of my year, but right now I want to talk about the year ahead.
Specifically, your year, and how you plan to manage your career in the year ahead.
As the old saw goes, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” So I am asking you to not plan to fail.
Whether or not you are currently employed, you should look at your employment, your employment history, skills, professional activities and job searches as pieces of a whole, your career. You need a strategy to manage your career. Here’s why, and some ideas how… (more…)
Here is where the two paths meet.
As mentioned in the site description slug (under my picture to the right), in my guidance post, and in my Manifesto (of sorts) (and probably about a dozen other places on this blog), I am both a SharePoint administrator and a board member of a nonprofit that helps people become re-employed after losing their job. Some of my posts on this blog are about SharePoint, and some are about career management.
As part of my role in giving career management advice, I strongly encourage people to be involved with professional organizations, or to start one if there isn’t one in their area. As a SharePoint professional, I am a member of two area SharePoint user groups (one in Austin and one in San Antonio), as well as an attendee (and onetime board member) of other local technology organizations. I’ve helped organize events, I’ve given presentations, and just plain volunteered to help set up, clean up, or do whatever was needed. I also help other local organizations by promoting their meetings and events, even organizations whose technology focus is outside the range of my field. I’ve seen a number of ways that organizations meet the needs of the members of their communities.
What I’d like to do is get your input about what the organizations that you are involved in or know of do to support their professional communities (regardless of whether that community is technical or not). How is the group organized, what kinds of activities does it engage in, and what have you found to be the most effective of its activities?
At the end of September, I spoke at Launch Pad Job Club about ways to make yourself a better candidate for that new job you want. One of the major points was to be active, to take advantage of opportunities to volunteer, raise your profile, and interact with people, whether or not you are currently employed.
I’ll be speaking this Friday morning at Launch Pad Job Club. My subject will be “What I Did on My Summer Vacation.”
No, no boring vacation photos.
Do you remember how, the first week of school, we were often required to write an essay on what we did over summer vacation?
Being unemployed isn’t a summer vacation, but the expectation of reporting what you did while you weren’t employed (in an informative and compelling way!) is very similar to the essay requirement.
With school starting up again, and with more people landing interviews, I’m hoping you’ll find the topic particularly timely.
I will be talking from approximately 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. during the regular LPJC meeting at the Phillips Pavilion, 1504 E 51st Street.
What have you been doing since your last job?
Jim Adcock is Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Check out other career-related entries.
Finally, a SharePoint Saturday will be held in Austin.
San Antonio has had a couple, as has Dallas and Houston. Now Austin gets a chance to show off its SharePoint talent, and gets the chance to bring in a lot of well-known outside talent to spend the day talking SharePoint.
SharePoint Saturday, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a free all-day SharePoint conference and party. There will be many presentations, ranging from business user topics through administrator and developer topics. An idea for a C-level event for executives has been proposed. It really is an event for the whole team to learn more about SharePoint, and (more importantly) how to align SharePoint with your business goals by finding out what it can do, and helping you and your team get the tools and know-how to do it.
Saturday January 21, 2012, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, with a SharePint afterward!
Did I mention it was free? FREE!
Oh yeah, in addition to nationally and internationally known SharePoint experts, we’re focusing on bringing local talent into the spotlight too! I’ve submitted two proposals for sessions, and there is still time for you to submit your proposal too! If you know something about SharePoint (especially case studies or business user topics on how to get the most out of SharePoint or some specific feature), be sure to get your proposal in soon! Visit the SharePoint Saturday Austin site for mor information!
(Don’t know what SharePoint is? First check this out, then come to SharePoint Saturday to learn more!)
I went to a SharePoint conference in Dallas last week, and learned something that might be helpful for the jobseeker.
There was a lot of stuff that was handed to me during the day as I passed the vendors’ booths – tchachkes, business cards, one-sheet advertisements for their services. But one vendor got it right…
I will be one of six speakers, former jobseekers who are now successfully employed, with inspiring and motivational stories of what finally worked. Each presentation will run about 10 minutes, followed by a panel-type discussion after last speaker is finished.
One of the things that I am proud of in my career and something that I think has been important in making my career successful has been my insistence on understanding what the end-user is experiencing.
In a recent post, I described an incident where a user reported that they were not seeing a link on a particular SharePoint page. My first reaction was, “So what do you see?” This particular issue had been passed around to several technicians, and I didn’t see that anyone before me had asked for a screenshot. By getting a screenshot of what the user was seeing, I understood that the problem wasn’t the link per se (see the blog post for the full story) and put me onto what the actual problem was.
There is a story I used to tell at job interviews, but hasn’t gotten much use of late. I used to use it as an example of my ability to “think outside the box”, but in retrospect, it is more about understanding things from the customers point fo view.
This blog has some content meant for general audiences, and some content that is extremely technical. This post is meant to help guide you to getting the most out of my blog, depending on your needs.
(Alternatively you can use the categories links on the right-hand side of the page)
In this case, well, these aren’t secrets, per se, and in fact are pretty well-known, but given how often I see people not using these techniques, they might as well be secrets.
I’m going to be revealing some of these secrets every day for the next week. When it’s over, you’ll have to tell me if what I’ve written is worth it.
Today’s Secret: “Only For You”. Read on!