A Career College and Job-Search Advice Column
Dr. Randall Hansen a nationally recognized career expert 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 of The Career Doctor.
If you have any college career or job-related questions or comments that Dr. Hansen could provide valuable assistance with please feel free to email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Hansen writes this column on a biweekly basis.
In This Issue (01/17/03):
- Dealing with a potentially tricky job-search situation
- Job-searching strategies for relocating to another state
- Finding key information about different careers
- Changing careers from editor to journalism professor
|Q:|| Jed writes: I am interviewing for a high level project management position…. I am past the second round in the interview process and will of course be following up etc. The person I would be reporting to (and who brought me in to interview) I have worked with before and we had a good working relationship. What he does not know is that I have also worked with and graduated from law school with the CEO… I have not mentioned this thus far in the process. We were (the CEO and I) on good terms in the last job we worked together and at Law School…. and even though it has been almost 6 years since then she would most definitely remember me.
So…how do I proceed I sense a minefield ahead.
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: From what you describe it sounds like you are in an ideal situation to get hired for the position.
I really don’t see any real problems for you unless you have actually lied about your connection to the company’s CEO. Assuming you get to the next round of interviews one certainly where you would be meeting with some of the executive team you should disclose your relationship. You do need to be careful how you do so because you do not want to seem as though you are using your previous relationship with the CEO as a trump card to force your hiring.
Let’s say your potential future boss calls you for the next round of interviews and mentions that the interviews will include meeting with some of the senior or executive team. You can casually ask if that would include meeting with the CEO and then disclose your previous working and school connections. Don’t make it sound like a brag but instead as a chance to catch up with someone whom you admire and respect. And then quickly add how wonderful it would be to work at a company where people know the quality of your work abilities contribution potential – especially your future potential boss.
Unless the person is really insecure in his position he should not be intimidated by the fact that you have this previous relationship with the CEO.
Now if you have purposely not disclosed this information and even lied about it in a previous interview your job prospects drop dramatically because no matter how innocent your reasons for doing so you may be damaged goods.
Finally let this situation also be an important lesson about the importance of keeping your network of contacts active. Networking is the best way to discover new job and career opportunities and think about how much easier it would have been if the CEO knew you were looking for this job because you had talked with her recently as part of your network.
Learn more about the in’s and out’s of networking in this section of Quintessential Careers: The Art of Networking.
|Q:||Katrina writes: I am looking to relocate to another state shortly and am interested in advice for job hunting in another state. Any advice is greatly appreciated.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Long-distance job-hunting is a bit more difficult and requires a bit more planning but should not be much more difficult than job-hunting locally — especially if you use the right tools for your job-search.
Your first step is to devise an overall strategy for relocating including job-search methods timing a relocation budget and planning for any scouting trips in advance of your move.
Your job-search methods should include identifying key employers in your new locale. Develop a targeted list of hiring managers and mail off cover letters and resumes. Contact your college’s alumni office and get a list of alumni who live in your new locale and contact them and ask for assistance. Contact your college’s career services office and see if they have reciprocal agreements with any colleges located in your new locale; if so contact those colleges. Use your current network to see if any of them have connections to your new locale. Contact the local chapter of any professional organizations that you belong to and use those resources to build your network and job-hunt. Consider contacting headhunters/recruiters in your new locale. Use geographic-specific job sites for your new locale. Start a subscription or start reading online the new locale’s newspaper(s).
Once you have a number of job leads plan a scouting trip to meet with potential employers and to conduct more networking and researching.
For more help with a long-distance job-search please read this article published on Quintessential Careers: New City New Job: How to Conduct a Long-Distance Job Search. And for some quick tips read: Long-Distance Job Search Do’s and Don’ts.
|Q:|| Kathleen writes: Could you possibly advise me of where to go to research different careers and the current average salary for each career? It would be greatly appreciated!
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: The best source for conducting your initial research is the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This publication updated annually provides general information about types of jobs within a large number of occupations; the outlook for job growth; working conditions; average earnings; education and training required; related occupations; and sources for finding more information. The Handbook is a great place to start your search. Contact your local library or go online to access the Handbook.
From there I would locate the professional organizations for those careers. For example if you were interested in marketing as a career I would recommend contacting the American Marketing Association to learn more about careers in marketing. To get salary information for a specific geographic location I would use one of the many salary calculators available online.
Since you’re in college I would also recommend that you use the many resources available to you in your college’s career services office as well as talking with professors who teach in the areas you are considering.
To find links to key career resources go to: Career Exploration Resources.
To find a wealth of research material go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Guide to Researching Companies Industries and Countries.
|Q:||Stephen writes: After 22 years in journalism working as everything from a reporter to a copy editor to an editorial writer I’m ready to move on to another career. One possibility that intrigues me is that of teaching journalism at the college level; the problem is I have no formal training in journalism though I’ve certainly helped train enough young reporters and editors. I do have an M.A. in English and experience teaching freshman English. Do you know of any books or Web sites on second careers for journalism professionals and could you offer any insights on whether this might be a realistic option?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: I think you could easily position yourself as a very strong candidate for instructor and assistant professor positions in journalism at both the community college and college levels. Years ago when I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism most of my professors had been former newspaper editors and only a handful held doctorate degrees. And in researching various colleges and current job openings I have found the case is similar today.
Most of the job openings I reviewed required at least several years experience as a journalist or editor a minimum of a master’s degree and ideally some teaching experience. In some of the better journalism programs a Ph.D. was strongly preferred (or required).
So if you feel a burning passion to share your insights and wisdom and to help train the next generation of reporters I’m here to tell you it’s a realistic aspiration.
Your first step is to change your focus from editor to educator. You’ll need to totally reformat your resume to focus on the three main qualifications these colleges are looking for: proven accomplishments and achievement in reporting and editing; experience in teaching and training; and an advanced degree. Actually I would recommend reformatting your resume into a curriculum vita (CV) which is the standard in educational recruiting.
Your next step is to determine where you would like to teach. Are you willing to relocate? If so where? Once you have an idea of geographic region(s) you can conduct research to find all the colleges in the region(s) that have journalism classes or programs. Contact each to get the name of the department head and send off a job-search package that includes a cover letter and CV.
Be sure to follow-up all your letters with phone calls. If the schools don’t have any current offerings you still might request an information interview (as a way to get your foot in the door).
Finally to be sure that teaching is the right path for you you might also consider taking an adjunct (part-time) position first.
Some resources to help you: