The Career Doctor: Career Advice for All
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 (01/28/05):
- Moving from full-time position to portfolio career
- Deciding best attire for meeting prospective co-workers
- Uncovering job-search resources for doctoral students
- Determining proper etiquette for following-up job lead
|Q:|| Barbara writes: I’m an experienced professional currently working fulltime but feeling a bit burned out and underappreciated. I also have a number of other strengths and skills that my employer does not utilize.
So here’s what I am thinking. I want to sort of have multiple careers at the same time. I don’t want to work more than the typical 40 hours or so a week’ I don’t want to moonlight but I do want more control and more from my job/career. Do you have any suggestions?
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: What you are seeking — having a new career of multiple careers/jobs that you manage and control — is something more common in Europe but beginning to gain favor in the U.S. especially among baby boomers.
What you are seeking is called a portfolio career. In such a career you manage a portfolio of part-time jobs that when combined result in the equivalent of a full-time position. For example an accountant may work two days a week with one client teach part-time at the local college and also have a consulting practice (and during this time of year perhaps also a tax service).
Some say the term originates from the early 1990s when management guru Charles Handy stated that future careers will be made up of lots of small jobs rather than one big one. Handy talks of careers that offer more control to the worker rather than to the corporation. Portfolio careers offer greater flexibility and Handy especially sees more women taking advantage of this type of career — with much of the work being based in home offices.
Before you move toward this multi-job strategy know that there are some disadvantages. It may be difficult to mesh multiple employer demands into your schedule and it will typically add more stress and uncertainty into your life. You’ll also have to either rely on a significant other’s health insurance or find your own.
But if you are an organized person who seeks flexibility new challenges and autonomy then a portfolio career could be just the direction you should follow.
For more on portfolio careers please read my article published on Quintessential Careers: Portfolio Careers: Creating a Career of Multiple Part-Time Jobs.
|Q:||Patty writes: Hello I am going for my third visit to a prospective position. This will be the third time meeting with the director and the reason for the third visit is so she can make sure I meet co-workers. The last few people were not a good fit. I wore the same suit w/different shell the first two times and am wondering if it would be appropriate to wear a long skirt and blouse to meet the co-workers. I really don’t want to wear the same suit a third time to meet the same director. The dress in this counseling setting is casual but professional.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: First let me congratulate you for getting this far in the interviewing process’ a job offer sounds like it is forthcoming as soon as you pass this last ‘test’ of fit. I’m sure the hiring manager already has a good sense that you will fit but it is important that your future co-workers find you acceptable.
If you’ve read my column or articles in the past you know that I always believe in erring on the conservative side so my advice would be to wear the suit perhaps with a new blouse and not worry about the director really noticing that it’s the same suit three times running.
On the other hand because fit is important for this visit you don’t want the prospective co-workers to think you are trying to upstage them by wearing a suit when their attire is more casual.
So you have two options. First wear the suit. You are job-hunting and the suit is the outfit of choice. I don’t believe the co-workers nor the director will be put off by it. Second call either the director (or her assistant) or someone from human resources and pose the question to that person.
If you do call and ask don’t frame it as ‘I only have one suit so what should I do?’ But instead ‘I want to make a good impression on my future co-workers and called to solicit your advice on what type of outfit would be best to wear to meet them.’ Asking about attire can actually add to your status as someone who wants to fit in with the organization.
For other issues related to how to dress for interviews read my article When Job-Hunting: Dress for Success published on Quintessential Careers.
|Q:||Keith writes: I am about to embark on my doctoral coursework in economics. While spending the last six years as a corporate finance manager I am excited about the opportunity to research and teach. However I have not yet uncovered any resources to help new graduates find assistant professor positions. Surely some school needs an economics professor somewhere. Is there anywhere I can go for help?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: The good news for anyone in a doctoral program or contemplating entering a doctoral program is that demand should be strong in many disciplines especially as wave after wave of baby boom (and older) professors transition to part-time status or retirement.
And having the chance to teach empower and interact with some of the future leaders is one of the greatest benefits of being a college professor. Your corporate finance experience should be a plus — both in your teaching and in your research.
The academic job market is fairly different than the corporate market. While many universities do post job listings on their Websites and some also advertise jobs many of the initial interviews for new assistant professors are actually conducted at academic conferences. I’ve also found a lot of the academic market is based on word-of-mouth and referrals.
Since you are just starting your studies the best sources for information are the professors in your doctoral program. Talk with them about the most important conferences. While still a student try to get one or more papers accepted at these conferences — or simply attend — so you can watch the process before you have to experience it as a job-seeker.
And you can start looking now at job postings to see the types of qualifications that universities are seeking in assistant professors of economics. And if you have a specific set of colleges in mind you might start making connections building your network.
|Q:||Jeanette writes: Hi there. I am a current undergrad student upon the threshold of graduation and am in the search of a job. I have compiled a resume and sent it to one employer that posted a job I was very much interested in. My question is focused on a matter of etiquette. It’s been perhaps 2 to 3 weeks since I submitted my resume and was wondering if it would be proper and conducive to the exhibition of etiquette to call the employer and ask if they received my resume and if so were interested? I would more so than appreciate any advice you could give.|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: You have great timing in sending your question because I just received an email from Gina a hiring manager who complained about the prospective candidate who showed up in the office unannounced a few days after his interview to check on his status and while they met with him to not appear rude he just lost that job opportunity — very bad job-seeking etiquette.
Your situation is quite different though and it gives me the opportunity to again stress the importance of follow-up to all job-seekers. Please remember these words if you want to succeed in finding a new job: follow up follow up follow up. Following up job leads shows prospective employers your interest in the company and position — and gives you another chance to sell your qualifications. Some job-seekers fear sounding desperate or annoying when making follow-up inquiries but as long as you do it right you will come across as interested not desperate.
You need to track down every job lead and keep on top of the status of each of those leads. I recommend waiting no more than two weeks to follow-up with a prospective employer’ calling or emailing to make sure your resume was received and get your name remembered.
Here are some other tips:
For much more advice and tips read my article Follow Up All Job Leads: Don’t Wait by the Phone (or Computer) published on Quintessential Careers.