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In transition? Cast a wide net

If you find yourself in transition one of the worst things you can do is limit your job search. Do not say things like, “I don’t want to live in . . . . that part of the country,” or “That job is too small”. There are several reasons to cast a wide net:

  1. Practice. Getting a job is totally different from doing your job. If you’ve not interviewed in the recent past (6-12 months) you will be rusty. Casting a wide net gives you interview practice.
  2. Confidence. Getting in multiple job searches builds your confidence and confidence sells.
  3. Leverage. Which sounds better- “I have nothing going on,” or “I’ve had 3 interviews in the past two weeks.” The latter makes you look marketable to others.
  4. Networking. Every time you enter a job search you get an opportunity to start meaningful relationships with recruiters, executives and hiring managers. 80% of jobs are won through networking. These relationships pay off in the long run.

You have nothing until you have a job offer. Work to get the cards in your hand and do not ever turn down a job that you don’t have. Cast a wide net in your job search- you will be surprised to see what you catch. For professional help with your transition, please contact us at www.wiederholdassoc.com

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Secrets to Successful Transition

Career transitions can be difficult. The more desirable your next position is, the more competition you will face to secure it.

The top priority of an applicant is to stand out from the crowd. Having a great resume and a strong interview is a great place to start. However, most overlook this simple practice that will cause you to stand out from all other applicants: Follow-Up.

First, you must understand how important follow-up is. A good interview followed by poor follow up will not serve you well. An average interview can be positively impacted by excellent follow-up.

The positive outcomes of post-interview follow-up:

  • Your resume gets shuffled to the top.
  • You demonstrate your level of interest.
  • If what you have provided is effective, you've increased the level of your candidacy.

During your interview process, connect with as many people as possible as it relates to a specific opening. When more people remember you, your chances of securing the position naturally increases. After the interview, it is your responsibility to keep each of those individuals updated throughout the process.

Get Creative

With an active search, the time frame for touch points/follow up should be a minimum of seven calendar days and a maximum of ten calendar days. Use a combination of the four levels of communication: face-to-face, telephone, text/email and regular mail. Everybody has their favorite on the receiving end, so try to mix it up a bit. Whatever combination of communication you choose, don't be afraid to let your personality show.

One of the biggest concerns for individuals in follow-ups beyond neglect is, "Will I be seen as a pest?" Remember, you only become a pest when your intervals of follow-up are too short and you're always requesting response. If you follow-up without forcing an agenda, they will be received very well.

Of course, I have only scratched the surface of effective active search follow-up. If you would like to learn more in-depth tips in finding success through active transition, please connect with me.

Here's to your success!

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Prepare for an A+ Interview

I've done a lot of interview coaching over the last 22 years. If I were to grade my clients' beginning interview skills, most people would have a starting grade somewhere below average. This is by no fault of their own. It is common to not do well on things that are not practiced.

Working with my clients, I can raise the interview grade from a 'C' to an 'A' by practicing these basic principals before, during and after the interview.

Pre-interview, you must focus on tactics that will brand you in the most positive way. The goal is to have those who interviewed you to say these three things about you:

  1. Excellent interpersonal skills
  2. Is results oriented
  3. Aligns well with the position

Creating this perception starts with preparation. Begin by understanding the five top critical elements of the opportunity so that you are able to address them with current experience and success. Also, develop an effective two-minute presentation which includes humanization, elevator, and your differentiation/value statement.
[ Click here to learn how to develop your 2-minute presentation.]

As you enter the interview, introduce yourself with confidence. Confidence, not arrogance, can set a positive perception from the beginning. As you engage in the interview, pay close attention to the person speaking and begin to mirror to match tempo, breathing, rate-of-speech, directness, etc. This makes each one comfortable with each other and sets the correct filter. Also, know exactly the statement you will make or the open-ended question you'll ask. By demonstrating your interpersonal skills, you give yourself the greatest opportunity to connect with and engage your audience.

When the interviewer engages with you, take your time to understand what is being said before you respond. Generally, people are so caught up in the world of listening to respond that we miss a vital part of the question. Answer questions concisely, close information gaps and enhance the answer when it adds value to the original thought. Always tell the truth but word it in a win-win presentation. This will provide consistency throughout the interview and keep you in a positive position.

Post interview, review how you did with the goal of improving for the next one. In order to lock in your follow up you need to ask yourself these following questions.

  • Did the interview go well? If so, specifically why?
  • What could I have done better?
  • What did they focus on?
  • What did I learn about them on a personal level?
  • What value did I bring to the interview?
  • What and when is my next step?

Imagine what would happen if you took the time to practice and prepare a well-executed interview. It could be a significant way to separate yourself from the crowd in a very competitive market!

If you would like more in-depth coaching to help you make the most out of your next interview, do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Here's to your success!

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Interview Advice; It's Not About You

I remember conducting an interview for a key leadership role and the candidate kept talking about results and accomplishments from their former job that did not correlate with our environment. We were turned off almost immediately. Remember - organizations have needs, people have skills. Your job is to clearly communicate that your skills are a match with the employer’s needs. You must fully understand why the organization is hiring for the position. What are the key skills and competencies needed? What are the measurable goals that define success?

When looking at a position, the first step is to obtain a copy of the position description and read it multiple times - highlighting pertinent sections that clearly demonstrate the reasons why the position exists (goals, skills, competencies). Organizations want to win- you help them win by clearly communicating how your skills are a good match to meet their needs. When speaking with the employer or recruiter, make sure to communicate your specific (numerical) career accomplishments that clearly demonstrate past success that match with the employer’s needs. Jobs exist to solve problems and meet needs- show them you can do both.

Matching your skills with an employer’s needs is nothing more than good listening. Make sure you understand the needs by reviewing the position description, taking notes when speaking with recruiters or hiring managers, and highlight your specific accomplishments that match their needs.

Check out this site for more help with sharpening your skills to match an employer’s needs.

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Landing Your Biggest Sale, Yourself!

Landing Your Biggest Sale, Yourself!

Facilitating a successful job transition and search is a complex and intensive process. I have found most healthcare executives are trained and focused in their healthcare leadership roles, but are not experienced nor educated on how to conduct a successful job search and transition.

Frankly, most tend not to be very good at it.

Why is that? Most of us are good at things we do most of the time. None of us would be very good golfers if we golfed every two years. Job transitions are just like that. Executives don't have the opportunity to practice these skills often and there is real value in finding a coach or a partner who can accelerate the process.

Let me share a case of an executive that had tried to go it alone in her job transition and learned that with the right coach, training and navigation she could be very successful in her transition. She had the wisdom to realize she needed guidance to be successful.

To give you some insight, the client was a very high-level executive in a large health system. She had been trying to find a position on her own for approximately two years without success. Her organization had merged with another system who had the stronger position in the merger. The position they had offered her was not at the level she had been at and she decided to move on. She began conducting her own search process and was not as successful as she wanted to be. Eventually, she reached out to me for transition coaching.

What did she learn:

  • I didn't know what I didn't know.
  • I was not familiar with the current market and how competitive it is.
  • My approach to networking was limited and therefore I didn't have a deep or substantial network.

What were her outcomes:

  • My perspective on networking changed; it's much bigger and deeper than I thought it was.
  • My relationship building skills improved.
  • My communication skills improved.
  • Jim as a coach was always available to me. Especially at high anxiety points.
  • I was shown how I could do things better in the process.
  • My goals for the transition needed to be broadened. I was often coached to add another needed step.

Working with this executive was a very rewarding journey for me because she had been out so long and was concerned about her ability to make a successful transition. We quickly moved her forward with the appropriate skills and were successful in helping her land a very good position. She was an excellent partner.

Transition and search is a very specific sales process – the process of selling yourself! With the right coaching, education and practice you can have a very successful result.

Here's to your success,

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Providing reassurance, new options and superior knowledge of the transition process

Kyle and I just returned from an eight-day engagement with an organization that will probably be purchased by a for-profit system. This particular hospital is faith-based and has been part of this community for a very long time. I have had the privilege of working with their VP of HR over the last 5+ years with individuals who transitioned out from this organization. He had the foresight to bring us in to work with his executive team and key vice presidents and directors facing an uncertain future. Our focus was to give reassurance, provide new options and give them superior knowledge of the transition process both external and internal. This involved two days of group sessions and 17 individual video interviews with specific feedback for each individual. This not only required a great deal of hours during the workday as well as many hours afterward burning these DVDs and preparing for the next day.

Our takeaways:

  • We made a difference. The journey may not always be what we want it to be, but knowing what will happen and how to prepare will make it that much easier. Going into this journey with a positive attitude makes it even better.
  • If the way these individuals welcomed us and went out of their way to make our visit comfortable is the way they treat their patients, then the next time I have to be in a hospital as a patient, this is the place I want to be.
  • Communication is the key on all levels. People can accept most anything when they are effectively communicated with in a timely manner, without information gaps, and with a focus on sending the right message.
  • You would think that 17 people would all look the same after a while, but they all had a unique story worth our attention. Those differences made it easy for us to not become repetitive in our counsel, but to find something unique for every individual. That made the experience even more exhilarating.
  • We all need to better understand the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. There are times that we have done all we can do and still the final outcome is not what we hoped. By not understanding this delicate balance we can do irreparable damage to ourselves and our careers.
  • What I have always know, but was again reinforced, is there is no more powerful relationship builder than the face-to-face meeting. Other communication options pale in comparison.
  • We can always continue to learn. Interviewing has always been the strongest part of my repertoire and doing these 17 interviews back-to-back I learned some things that will make me even more effective.
  • The leader sets the tone for the organization. His/her personality is reflected in the leadership team. The leader here, in my estimation, set the right tone.
  • These individuals and this organization have faced some serious challenges, much of which have been outside their control yet they have never given up. They have much to be proud of and I wish them the best and we will continue to help them in any way we can. With these individuals this is not the end, but a new beginning.

Both Kyle and I are returning home, feeling good about our efforts. We are hopeful that our newfound friends will end up exactly where they want to be.

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Controllable/non-controllable and desires/goals

Whether you're in transition or not, the concept of controllable versus non-controllable and desires versus goals is key to your success. When people are frustrated more than likely what they're doing is focusing on what's not controllable versus what's controllable. Here's a simple example; I can control the phone calls I make. The number of calls, the frequency of follow-up, the message I deliver, and the attitude I convey, but I can't control somebody calling me back, I can only influence them. If we would learn to focus this way, we would be much more successful and much less frustrated. I think we can all agree that frustration is a pretty useless emotion.

So the first thing we work on with our clients in transition is to start defining what controllable and uncontrollable is by the use of very definitive examples like making phone calls and receiving phone calls, asking somebody to expand your network and having them deliver a name. We need to stay focused on what we can control and not on what we can only influence. This applies to transition and everything else whether it’s business or personal.

Now let's add goals versus desires. When someone begins their transition we talk about goals that we can control versus desires, which we can only influence, and are not controllable. How does that translate into transition? We focus on four things which are controllable. First, the number of hours you dedicate each week to the search. Second, the number of calls you make each week which does not include those you receive. Third, asking for people to expand your network and not necessarily receiving a name, you can't control that and finally, getting out pieces of paper which translates into resumes and cover letters to recruiters and employers for specific openings. This also includes direct marketing letters to organizations you may have an interest in working with.

If something is a desire, it can always be broken down into specific controllable goals that will get you there. It can apply to anything business or personal. Try it on and see if it fits.

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Thanks for the Networking

Jim, I want to publically thank you for your efforts on my behalf over the years. (This is long overdue by the way.) The network has been extremely valuable in a number of ways. From a professional point of view I have met many network members from whom I have gained knowledge which has been both educational and personally rewarding. Certainly my own network has benefitted significantly as a result.

Over the years I have also been able to tap into your network in order to fill executive level positions. In many cases your personal recommendation has been the key to a final decision regarding a person. It is gratifying to see these individuals grow and mature into talented leaders.

Most recently I depended on the network again in an effort to quickly identify experts who could assist with due diligence. You were able to recommend a number of folks with whom I have been in touch. Although this particular effort did not materialize, I believe you have provided a core group of experts on whom I could call in the future.

You may also remember that, almost 10 years ago, you were the primary influence in assisting me through a personal transition. All you asked in return was that I be willing to talk with others who might benefit from my experiences and knowledge. I hope I have met your expectations in that regard. These contacts have benefitted me as well.

Warmest personal regards,
Dave Bussone

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Transition Assistance Trends

I wanted to take a moment and tell you about something I am passionate about and very concerned about. Over the last two to three months, there has been a disturbing trend with organizations who, for whatever reason, are letting executives go and providing minimal to no severance and no transition/outplacement assistance. The cuts have been a reaction to healthcare reform and some consultants who see no value in helping exiting executives

This concerns me for several reasons: First, what message are these organizations sending to their remaining employees when they do not give adequate assistance to exiting employees? Second, they are opening the door to increased litigation. Third, where mission is important, does that mission only apply to patients and not employees? Fourth, these individuals are moving into the most, or one of the most, competitive markets we have seen without tools to be successful.

This mentality seems short term driven with no consideration of the trickledown effect or concern for the exiting employee who, in most cases, served the organization well, but are being impacted by things outside their control.

The solution, to me, lies in two areas. One, we need to voice our concern and be heard and, two, every executive should ask for an employment agreement prior to joining any organization. An agreement that provides adequate severance and funds for outplacement/transition assistance, making sure that they have the choice of the firm they want to use.

Executives are constantly asked to make tough decisions and to do so with the best interest of the organization at hand; they need a safety net and an employment agreement provides that. Additionally, if exiting employees have not put an agreement in place they still need to ask when leaving for severance, extension of benefits and outplacement/transition funds to be used with the firm of their choice. I see too many executives leaving money on the table they could use because they forgot to, or will not, ask. In many cases, it will not be mentioned until you ask.

Thanks for listening.

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