Dr. Randall Hansen is the Career Doctor. Discover more about Dr. Hansen read about the purpose of this column and find previous issues of this column at the home page of The Career Doctor.
If you have any career- or job-related questions or comments that Dr. Hansen could provide valuable assistance with please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In This Issue (01/04/02):
- Relocated job-seeker having trouble finding a new job
- Recent psychology grad looking for direction in job search
- Retail bank manager looking to make a career change
- Job-hopper (7 jobs in 7 years) looking for career direction
|Q:|| Greg Adelman writes: I just moved from San Francisco to Laguna Beach and I have no job. It has been six months and I’m worried that it is hurting my search. I also am finding it hard since I do not know a sole down in this area. What do you suggest doing? I was going to pay a executive search company but it seems very expensive for something I can probably do myself. What about headhunters? It seems they all want you to post your resume. I want someone that I can sit and discuss my experience and work with closely. Is this possible without paying someone?
Thank you very much.
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Greg it’s often a bit harder finding employment when you’ve relocated than when job-hunting in familiar territory. In your case though I have to ask you to carefully examine what you’ve been doing for the past six months. Have you actively been involved in job-searching every single day during these past six months? What has been your job-search strategy? Are you getting job interviews? Are you actively involved in building your network in Laguna Beach? Have you kept your skills current by trying to do some freelancing temping or volunteer work?
I am going to give you some quick guidelines for getting your job-search back on track but because space is limited may I suggest you take the time to read our latest article on Quintessential Careers New City New Job: How to Conduct a Long-Distance Job Search.
The first thing you need to do is sit down and devise a detailed job-search strategy. Set a goal to accomplish at least two or three job-search activities daily. Identify the key companies and hiring managers for your area of expertise. Join at least one professional organization and one community organization — and get to work networking. Contact friends family and associates from San Francisco and see if any of them have connections in Laguna Beach. If you attended college contact the career services office and see about job-search help for alums — including potential alum network contacts in Laguna Beach. Contact some of the colleges and universities in the area — I know UC Irvine is only about 10 miles away — and see if they offer any kind of career assistance. Put the recruiter contacts you’ve made to work harder — or find other headhunters who will work for you. Check geographic-specific job sites. Watch the Sunday classifieds and other resources for job-postings.
If you read the article and put into place all the suggestions I outlined in the previous paragraph you should be closer to at least getting job interviews. If you are not getting any offers after you’ve interviewed then you’ll need to examine your interviewing techniques. Go to the interviewing resources section of Quintessential Careers for help.
|Q:||Erika Martinez writes: I have recently graduated from the University of Connecticut where I earned a B.A./Psychology major. My work experience is limited to food service and education (I supervised the patient dining room of a psych hospital and worked as an aide in a special ed school). I intend to go on to graduate school but would like some office experience while I decide what area of study to pursue. I am uncertain about which specific positions I am qualified for; I hope you can help point me in the right direction! Thank you for your time.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Erika the real question is what are you not qualified for? The combination of your degree and the skills you acquired from your work experience really open the door to numerous job possibilities. The key for you is to try and decide the type of office experience you desire. What are your long-term career goals? Why do you want to attend graduate school — what do you want to accomplish with a graduate degree?
My best advice for you is to contact your adviser and/or mentor at your alma mater and seek counsel from them. If you are looking to make psychology/counseling a career then it is critical to get the “right” kind of experience before graduate school — and your adviser and the career services office should be able to help you with networking contacts and perhaps even job leads.
If you are simply looking for a job to pay the bills while you contemplate graduate school then you have an extremely large array of jobs that you qualify for. You should determine your skills and interests but certainly employment in human resources marketing social work and admissions counseling all come to mind.
If you’re really unsure about your future might I suggest taking advantage of the advice and resources in an article written by my partner Katharine Hansen? Read Using a Personal Mission Statement to Chart Your Career Course.
|Q:|| Steve writes: I am a Branch Manager for a large retail bank in New England. I have been in Banking for 8 years and I have experience in various areas. My banking career started as a Telephone Sales Representative (one year) transitioned to the Training Division as a Training Associate for new hires (three years) and transitioned again to branch retail banking where I worked my way up to manager of a very busy full service supermarket branch (four years/two years as Manager).
Retail banking does not hold the same appeal for me that it once did. The hours are long and stress levels are high. The challenges offered in branch management just aren’t appealing. I feel like I am just a babysitter and that I am not using my skills to their full advantage. I would like to get out of retail and I am having trouble determining where to go and how to get there.
What suggestions do you have for someone in my position?
Thank you for your time and attention.
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Believe it or not a lot of job-seekers are in your shoes. We tend to get hired for one thing and as we get promoted or transferred — or switch jobs — we end up somewhere that either bores us or fails to challenge us and one sometimes a distance away from our career interests and passions.
You need to rediscover your career interests and passions. Sit down and make a list of the skills and experiences you enjoy — either in your work experience or in hobbies or volunteer work. Now make a list of stuff you never want to do again; things you dislike about your job. The next step is then discovering the types of jobs that match your skills and interests. If you’re having trouble — or just for some fun — you might want to take one or more of these career assessments.
Whether you’ll want to use any of your previous skills and experience you certainly have some solid experience that can be a great platform to build other opportunities. Keep in mind however that you may need get more education or training to accomplish your goals.
I also suggest you also read this article: Research Your Next Job by Targeting Your Preferences and Ideal Companies.
Finally I recommend you take advantage of the resources we have in the career change section of Quintessential Careers.
Just remember to take your time and relax’the more time you spend finding your ideal job the happier you’ll be. Best of luck.
|Q:||D. A. Rodriguez writes: There is no way for me to hide the fact that I’ve had 7 jobs in last 7 years. Although I have great credentials no one will hire me — I actually have a job paying 1/3 less than what I’m used to making. Do I stick it out for a year? Do I try to finish my CPA license in this state (varies from state to state). Do I go back to school at night for IT? Thanks.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: You actually have a couple of problems. First you need to figure out why you’ve had seven jobs in the last seven years — not only for your own well-being but because employers are going to be asking you that question — and then you need to determine how to stop the job-hopping. Second you need to determine why you are working at a job that pays a third less than what you’ve been making — and whether you should continue to do so. Third you need to determine your career interests — do you want to be a CPA or work in IT’or do something entirely different. I suggest you do some of the strategies I suggested for the pervious letter writer — with the key being to sit down and determine what you want to do for the next five years or so.
Once you’ve determined the root of your restlessness and have zeroed in on a career goal then you can start with your career and job-search strategies. If you don’t already use one I strongly suggest changing your resume to a functional format. Read more in this article: Should You Consider a Functional Resume? You’ll also need to have an answer for your job-hopping — one employers will believe. You can find help in the interviewing resources section of Quintessential Careers.
Be sure to take the time to really address — for your sake — the reasons for your restlessness. You will be much happier (and healthier) when you are in a career field and job that challenges you and one which you enjoy doing.