A lot of you are moving on to better jobs. Bravo! Jobs are so cool in that you get a cash infusion every two weeks. No matter what mistakes you make in those two weeks. Even if you get in trouble with HR.
The downside is that jobs take a lot of time. However, people with not much to do are not fun to hang out with.
(When you change companies don’t forget to send me your new email address!) One reader, I’ll call him John Galt, shared a very cool experience he had in interviewing for a c-suite post in a centrally-located state.
First, he took a 2-hour timed test that is somewhat similar to Myers-Briggs. According to John Galt, “Part of the test was similar to word problems like you have in 5th grade Algebra classes. If you have kids that age, then you are at an advantage. Then there was a section where you have three choices and you have to note your most favorite and least favorite. I think the one you don’t answer says as much as the two that you do.”
Making that cut, the next step was a Pinsight work simulation scheduled for 2.5 hours. During that time, he had to answer 18 emails, two phone calls, a television interview, and complete a PowerPoint presentation. One of the phone calls was from an employee who had applied for my job and did not get it. The interview was for violation of environmental laws in Brazil by the mock company. One phone call was with the boss to review his PowerPoint presentation. JG finished 30 minutes early.
He says, “It was fun and stressful at the same time. I am glad I ran before I started!”
Another friend, I’ll call her Arya Stark, asked me to be a reference for a manager position. I’ve been writing recommendation letters for a very long time. This particular form asked for 3 specific ways Arya Stark could improve her job performance. That took some thinking/reframing as Arya and I have worked on several projects together, but never at the same company.
I give traditional interviews about 50/50 odds for a decent selection. Don’t you ever meet people and wonder HOW THEY GOT THAT JOB? (The answer is either relationships or communication skills.)
Smart companies are using technology and research to mitigate hiring risk. One other example are the top-performer profiles created by AJ Richichi’s Sentio. The idea is that his company creates a data-backed profile for your company, based on the specific qualities identified in your top performers.
How can you prepare for the next career move?…even when you have no idea what that is.
- Talk to people.
Talk to people you don’t see that often or don’t even know. That’s how you get fresh intel about the job market….and other interesting tidbits.
If you really want to explore, attend a conference — one that is NOT paid by your company. I’m going to TSC Summit (for creative businesses) in February for sure and possibly The Neuroleadership Summit (for brainiacs) in October. Conferences are fun. You meet people and learn stuff. Just beware of the exhaustion.
Make sure you’re also keeping in touch with people you already know. Don’t wait until you’re on your last nerve with your current position.
2. Learn new skills.
Not only does each new skill add interest to your resume, but you become a more interesting and confident person in the process. Plus you meet people and learn stuff.
Friends recommend Coursera.
Don’t limit yourself to job-related skills. I have found great value in learning hip hop, flower arranging and German. (No one has hired me for any of these skills but they still add value.)
Learn comedy. If you can make people laugh, everybody wants to be your friend.
You can try new recipes, hair color or workout routines, ways to entertain, sports, travel, modes of travel, support a different charity. Wear pink. Options are infinite.
I’m experimenting with more kettle bell swings, learning comedy (get ready for some hilarious blog posts on communication) and not only talking to folks regularly, but making a list of peeps I want to meet. What’s your plan for getting ready for that next career move?