Recently (July 2010), the New York Post ran an interesting article in their career advice section, and the writer included these three ubiquitous facts, some of which you may already be aware.
1. “Today’s workers will run through at least 10 jobs, three careers, and two layoffs between college and retirement.”
2. “90 percent of all jobs come through networking.” (Face-to-face and online)
3. The big five [social media networking sites] are Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and blogs.
As I said you may already be aware of these facts, but how might they directly impact you? Let’s look at them point by point.
I believe these figures – 10 jobs and 3 careers – are accurate because most people do not take career planning seriously and most people fail to seek the proper guidance early on.
Most recent college graduates let the job market and their peers dictate their career path for them, and once they are on the merry-go-round they don’t know how and when to get off and back on without temporarily, or in many cases permanently messing up their career. I can’t back this figure up with a scientific study, but from the hundreds of people age 22-35 I have spoken to in the past decade I would venture to say that less than 15% have sought out the services of a career coach to help them in their job search and career planning. Let’s look at this in another way. How many of you or people you know, have joined a gym and tried your own workout program based on a friend’s advice, the newest article in a book or health magazine, or any one of the thousands of articles you downloaded online when you first started. Then again, how many of you were following that same regimen 6 months or a year later, and how many of you are on your 4th or 5th new workout program.
If you are like me you did not arrive at the perfect workout until you took at least a few sessions with a personal trainer or someone you know who took the time and effort to work with you 1-to-1 to get you fully inculcated into the program that best suits your goals and needs.
The same holds true for your career. My suggestion is this. No matter what stage you are in your job search, if you have not sought out a good career coach I would do so now.
I think this figure is a little high, especially for people who are in the first 5 years of their career; but not by much. I would estimate that 75% of all GOOD jobs for people over the age of 30 and for people earning over $75,000 come through networking. For recent grads and people in the first 2-4 years of their career this figure may be closer to 60%. However here is a caveat to this figure. I have found by and large that people in the first 0-4 years of their career are much more likely to find a better career opportunity via networking than when they find a job through a job board.
I can not stress the importance of networking enough!!! But the real payoff in networking is not the next job you find, but the residual effect networking will have on your future. People who have a strong network are 50%-75% more likely to succeed in their career because their network will bring great opportunities to their attention when least expected. And these opportunities are the ones that will make careers at the most opportune times.
Point Three:To me Linked-In is the #1 social media for job seekers and people interested in advancing their career. On the other hand I frown on using Facebook for these purposes. Twitter can be helpful but it is not a really effective tool unless you really know how to use it and you are willing to put in the daily time and effort it takes to do it right.
While on the topic of Linked-In let me leave you with one last piece of advice from a recent discussion on a resume writer Group I am a part of. The question was, “What point of view should we be using when writing Linked In profiles? I liken profiles to professional bios which are typically written in third person.”
I offered the following advice.
“As a CSMS I answer this question by telling people that they need to take two factors into consideration when writing their Linked-In profile. Unfortunately most people don’t. They make it either a rehash of their resume or a formal sales pitch.
1: Linked-In is a Relationship Management tool, emphasis on the word Relationship.
2: Linked-In is a social media tool, emphasis on the word Social.
So when you write your Linked-In profile it must be friendly and engage people to want to get to know you, and more important to like and respect you enough and see the value in developing an ongoing relationship with you.”
Keep you comments coming I respond to them all, and keep the resumes coming for my free resume and social media review. This is a great free bonus service for Career Rocketeer readers.
Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com/, and email him your resume at firstname.lastname@example.org for FREE resume critique.
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