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.
Note: Readers can find other columns from this year in Current Year Archives of The Career Doctor Q&A.
In This Issue (09/10/04):
- Using marketing techniques to build your career brand
- Reconnecting with former colleague after long absence
- Finding help with changing careers out of nursing
- Deciding whether to list a part-time second job on resume
|Q:|| Maddy writes: I am a young lady who is looking to climb ‘the ladder’ I have been with this company for two years and although have managed several pay rises and taken on more work in other areas of my job I have not been promoted. I enjoy my work and don’t want to leave but recently have felt as if I am hitting my head against a brick wall.
My superiors are very busy people and when I do report to them they don’t seem to have the time and I feel like I am wasting theirs. I have been thinking of doing some sort of weekly report or review to let them know what is going on in their centers with a copy cc’d to the managing director (as requested by him) but am frightened it will come across as fault finding and am not sure how best to set one out?
How would be the best way to assert myself without coming across as a blow heart?
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: You have all the right instincts but you might want to tweak your actions. I agree that unless requested some bosses might see that type of report as overstepping your job.
In order for job-seekers to get ahead in a timely fashion — either with your current employer or with a new employer — you must build your career brand. What is your career brand? It helps define who you are how you are great and why you should be sought out. Branding is your reputation. Branding is about building a name for yourself showcasing what sets you apart from others and describing the added value you bring to a situation.
Will you get promoted and move forward with your career without taking such a proactive approach? Yes but most likely not at a pace you desire.
As management guru Tom Peters states ‘we are the CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.’
One way of building your brand is to promote yourself with your current employer. Workers often assume the boss knows your accomplishments but often times s/he does not. Certainly at review time have a list of all you have achieved since your last review but also consider finding ways to let the boss know your successes throughout the year.
But don’t stop there. You can build your brand by also promoting yourself outside the company through building your reputation within the industry. Other strategies for building your brand include becoming an expert (writing articles giving speeches) building and nurturing (networking) relationships gaining additional experiences and accomplishments and obtaining additional training education or certifications.
Read more in my article published on Quintessential Careers: Building Your Brand: Tactics for Successful Career Branding.
|Q:|| Pamela writes: A colleague my husband used to work with recently returned to head up a company here. At one time the two worked together and were friendly socially. Approximately 12 years ago my husband was hired away by another company and this man attempted to persuade him to stay where he was. After some negotiations on both sides my husband decided to take the new position.
A lot of time has passed and my husband would very much like to make a move back. There would seem to be a need for someone at the company where this man works.
Is there any way that you know of that he could let his intentions be known without threat to his current job if this man should turn him down?
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Anything is possible but 12 years is a long time to go without any kind of contact. So folks when I tell you why it’s important to keep in contact with people in your network here’s an example of why — time and time again I hear stories from job-seekers who think they will never run into someone again only to find themselves needing that person’s help in a future employment situation.
In your husband’s case the key question is how the two men ended the relationship after your husband spurned his overtures and left the company. The good news may be that if there were negative feelings — that after 12 years they may have melted away. It may also help that they are now both with different companies. On the other hand some people take these things very personally and may still hold a grudge after all these years.
The best way for your husband to test the waters is to either arrange to conveniently ‘run into’ the former colleague at some professional or social function or simply call and ask him out to lunch to ‘catch up.’
After the initial small-talk passes your husband could move the talk slowly to the status of the company and whether there was any need for someone like him. If the colleague shuts down on your husband at any time there is nothing lost — and since he did not ask for a job there should be minimal concerns about it getting back to his current employer.
Finally though are there not other companies and other opportunities your husband could pursue?
|Q:||Jaime writes: I wondered if you could give me a referral to a good website or company that may help nurses advance their careers. I am an RN who wants to use my science degree for something totally non-patient related i.e. nurse attorney working for insurance companies hospital credentialing companies pharmaceutical sales etc. I am having trouble finding much specific information and many of these require more experience than I have or more college. Can you help me? Thanks for your time and have a great day!|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: It is amazing to me that we have this nursing shortage and yet many employers do not seem to be doing a lot to hire and retain nurses. Instead I hear horror stories from nurses of poor pay long hours and poor working conditions. And many like you are looking to change careers to move away from the healthcare mess.
I am going to suggest some exercises for you to complete but you may also want to work with a professional career coach — someone who can help you through the steps of changing careers.
The first thing you need to decide is what you want to do next — because some of the jobs/careers you mention will require additional education. My advice for this step is for you to conduct research and informational interviews. Learn more about the pros and cons of each career — as well as the specific additional educations and experience you would need.
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential careers the next step is choosing one and developing a plan for the change — perhaps still working in nursing as you go back to school or moonlight or volunteer in the new career to gain experience.
You’ll also have to do major updates of all your job-search materials to reflect the change in careers.
Changing careers is a challenge but with patience and work it is possible.
Find resources and tools to help you in this section of Quintessential Careers: Job & Career Resources for Career Changers.
|Q:||Stephanie writes: I am currently employed full time with a sales agency. I have been employed with this company for five years. Recently I obtained a part-time position with a reputable salon and day spa in the area while my husband finishes his degree. I am putting my resume together to pursue other avenues and am wondering if I should include my part-time position on my resume. AND in what order I should place my experience. I do not want to seem overworked however I know that the salon and day spa will give me an excellent referral. If you could offer any advice I would certainly appreciate it. Thank you.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: You might be surprised to learn that there are a large number of folks doing the same thing you are doing — working one job and moonlighting at another.
People have all sorts of reasons for taking a second job. Some do it as the beginning of a career-change move gaining experience in a new career field before making the full switch. Others work multiple jobs to simply meet living expenses. Still others do it (usually on a temporary basis) to earn extra money. Finally others do it because they simply enjoy the second job.
What’s your reason for moonlighting? Your answer will affect whether you should bother putting the salon on your resume.
For example if you are attempting to move out of sales into customer service then the salon job could showcase your customer service skills.
But if you worked at the salon simply because you needed extra money or something to fill your day/week then I would probably leave it off your resume.
Even though more and more job-seekers are moonlighting there are also more employers who are implementing or considering implementing guidelines for when (and where) employees can work second jobs ‘ and as a job-seeker you don’t want to hurt your chances of getting an interview based on a unimportant job listed on your resume.