Tag Archives: Job Search

When Leaving Your Job Is the Right Option

leaving your job
When leaving you job is the best option

From the time we start school as a child, our transitions in life are decided for us for many years.  Each year we finish a grade in school, the next level has been predetermined. When we graduate from high school, even though most of us got to choose whether to go to college or get a job, we knew that it was time to move on.

After graduating from college, it was again assumed that we would begin the job search and transition into the world of the gainfully employed.  Some were more successful than others, but we all knew the next step.

But once you get into that first job, learn the ropes a little and get a couple of years under your belt, you may begin wondering if this is the job for you.  You watch people come and go and eventually start to question whether you should consider a move.
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How the Talent Crisis and High Unemployment Co-exist

Talent crisis
How the Talent Crisis and Unemployment Coexist

We continue to hear mixed messages regarding unemployment.  In one month, the Unemployment rate goes down, but it’s because more people gave up and left the market.  Another month it goes down, but not as much as expected.  It’s hard to tell the good news from the bad news.

Yet, a talent crisis

Meanwhile, in my industry, IT Consulting, I get regular contacts from headhunters – who prefer to be called recruiters – saying that they have “immediate openings” for someone like me.  They call my team members with similar frequency and similar offers.

It would be hard to believe except that my firm is in constant recruiting mode.  They talk to us about incentives for referring highly qualified developers, project managers and consultants in general.

How can unemployment be so high at the same time firms are in such dire need of employees?
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What Do They Mean By Strong Communication Skills?

strong communication skills
What Do They Mean By Strong Communication Skills?

Published job descriptions are full of ambiguous skill demands.  Demonstrated leadership skills…Flexible, powerful intellect…Creative and curious…Great team player.

Those traits are hard to prove; and hard to disprove unless you were a total slug in college.

Strong communication skills?

But one of the things most companies are looking for is someone with strong communication skills.  That should be the easiest to prove of all of them shouldn’t it?

I mean, communication is about talking.  I talk all the time.  I’ll just talk in the interview and they’ll know that I’m not shy.
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Why Consulting Hiring Keeps Rising

Consulting Hiring
Consulting Hiring is on the Rise

As of January, 2013 the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 7.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics). That’s certainly lower than its peak of 10% in October 2009, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Still, the consulting industry is in the intense pursuit of qualified individuals.

One has to be careful, however, in reading statistics by occupation. “Consultant” is the title many use to fill unemployment gaps in their resume. Calling one’s self a consultant doesn’t necessarily make him one. But the demand for legitimate consultants is high.

Why is consulting hiring hot?For a number of reasons. The most prominent ones being:

Memories of layoffs.

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Should I Join a Large Consulting Firm or a Boutique?

large consulting firm
Should I join a large consulting firm?

When I was in my last semester of college, I had interviewed with a lot of different companies and it all came down to three offers to decide among.  One was from an insurance company in central Illinois near my family where I grew up.  Another was from an insurance company in the Chicago area and still another from a small consulting firm, also in the Chicago area.

Consulting or not?

Each one had unique opportunities and it was a difficult decision.  I decided to talk it over with my parents one evening.  I sat down with them and described each offer and what interested me in each offer.
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That Consultant Eliminated My Job

Eliminated My Job
That Consultant Eliminated My Job

Ron considered himself pretty lucky.  He had been at his job for nearly twenty years.  The company paid him well.  His family lived in a decent home in a well kept neighborhood.  He was living the American dream.

That all came to an end when the consultants came.

Didn’t see it coming

Ron was foreman of the newspaper printing operations at Tazwood Publishing. Tazwood had seen a decline in subscribers and, as a result, advertising revenue.  They had been cutting costs for a long time, but nothing seemed to stop the bleeding.
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Why You Should Be a Consultant – Hint: You Are

be a consultant
You may already be a consultant

My father worked for a large manufacturing company for nearly forty years. He retired from his management position in 1986.  Twenty-two years after his death, my surviving mother still collects a pension from his company.

In his day it was almost taken for granted that he would work there for his entire career.  They assumed he wouldn’t go off looking for another job and he assumed they wouldn’t lay him off.
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The Proactive Job Search

Proactive Job Search
The Proactive Job Search

You’ve probably known people who are in perpetual job-search mode.  As soon as they get a new job, they’re actively looking for their next job.  I’ve known people who don’t even hide it.  They talk to recruiters on the phone right out in the open as if to advertise that their current job is just a stepping stone in their quest for more money and a higher position.

I’ve always found that to be unprofessional.  My father worked for the same company for nearly 40 years. To be sure, this is not our fathers’ economy.  People complain that there is no loyalty left in the corporate world anymore.  But like it or not, that’s just the way it is.  Companies are quick to lay people off when times get rough, and employees are prone to leave when they feel they can get a better opportunity.
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The Talent Acquisition Game

talent acquisition
The Talent Acquisition Game

Prior to the 1982 baseball season, the Philadelphia Phillies traded their shortstop Larry Bowa to the Chicago Cubs for shortstop Ivan DeJesus.  To sweeten the deal, the Phillies threw in a rookie 3rd baseman named Ryne Sandberg into the deal.  After the Cubs moved Sandberg to 2nd base, this “throw-in” went on to be a Hall of Famer. The Phillies just didn’t see the future talent they had on their hands.

Winning and losing at talent acquisition

In 1964, The Cubs’ traded a struggling Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio as part of a 6-player deal.  Broglio went 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA and was disappointing the rest of his career.  Brock helped the Cards win the World Series that year and ended up on the Hall of Fame.

We hear about lopsided trades like this in all major sports every once in a while.  We also see people hired into positions in business that were simply hiring mistakes.  Why do organizations of all kinds have so much trouble identifying good talent?
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The Consultant’s Private Resume

Private Resume
The Consultant’s Private Resume

We’re all familiar with the resume.  A document that “must” be (depending on who you ask) one or two pages.  It’s our primary sales and marketing tool for our career.  We list our experience in the light of our greatest achievements and – though we should never lie on the resume – if there are any blemishes, screw ups or failures in our career, we leave them off.

You can argue about how misleading that is, but there is honesty and then there is brutal honesty.
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