January 27, 2003 Program Summary
"Personal Marketing and Creative Approaches to Finding Work" was the first event in a two-part series called "2003 Career Kickoff," designed to launch the year with an inspiring strategic jump-start! A summary of this event follows.
STC Audience Gets Sound Advice from Two Experts
"Find a need, before they need to advertise, and they are going to love you," advises Jim Howland to people who zero in on a specific company they want to work for. "And get to know everything you can about that company," he says.
The Cal Poly technical communication program professor, one of two speakers at the Society for Technical Communication San Luis Obispo chapter program on personal marketing and creative approaches to finding work, says to ask yourself the question, "Why do I want to work here?" because your prospective future employer very likely will, and you need to have the answer ready.
"Know what the interviewer notices," said Carol Christen, an Atascadero career consultant and advocate of the premises of What Color is Your Parachute? "Shake hands. Dont fidget. Make eye contact," she said. Fifty-five percent of what an interviewer considers when evaluating a prospective employee is non-verbal, 38 percent is voice quality, and only 7 percent are your words, she said, according to a UCLA study.
Words of Wisdom on Job Seeking
Technical communicators and others who gathered at KCBX.net for the January 27th program were offered the following advice and information by Christen and Howland:
Digital Portfolios Create New Opportunities
communicators were also advised to create electronic portfolios, and
to see the January 2003 issue of the STC magazine for an article on
creating such portfolios. A portfolio can show a prospective employer
what you do, Christen said.
Creation of digital portfolios has become a requirement for students in the technical communication certificate program at Cal Poly, so that graduates can compete with people who complete similar programs at other colleges and universities, Howland said. "Everyone will have one." He also described his "shoe card," a business-card size package of information, printed on both sides, showing what he can do. "It works for me," Howland said, clearly indicating that other people who seek work might benefit from the use of shoe cards.
for the Ideal Fit
job is temporary," Christen emphasized. "Ten jobs (in a career)
is standard. To be employable is to be secure. To be employed is to
be at risk." The person who gets the job is not necessarily the
most qualified but is the one who is the best at getting a job. "You
need to work because you love it. People have to figure out what excites
them. That makes them competitive employees. As we age, we have less
energy, but excitement creates energy," Christen said. She advises
people to be excited in interviews: "Enthusiasm is contagious!"
"Embrace what you are," Howland counseled. Ask yourself, "Would I do that for free if I could afford it? Absolutely!" Howland emphasized that it's important to find the right fit. In an ideal job search, "talk to a lot of folks, get a sense of the workplace," he said. "A lot of employers hire on a non-rational basis. Remember, its not about you, its about finding a fit." He suggested that doing contract work before hiring on as a regular employee can provide an ideal way to assess the work environment.
also advises job hunters to connect with people at a company they have
chosen to find out all they can about that company, as preparation for
applying for work and to find out if they want to work there. "Know
what is the best work environment for you," she said. To increase
your chances of getting that job by 20 percent, simply say, "I
would like this job." She also suggests that the employer may want
to know what you think a fabulous employee would be, what his/her aspects
and characteristics may be. "They may still be deciding what they
want in the job," she said.
Editors note: There is a lot more that can be said about current methods of finding careers and jobs, and both of these people have much more to offer. If you have questions or comments, please direct them to Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and to Carol at email@example.com.
Photography by Mary Meyer.
"Personal Marketing and Creative Approaches to Finding Work"
|Date:||Monday evening, January 27, 2003|
|Speakers:||Jim Howland, instructor in the Technical/Professional Writing Program of the Cal Poly English Dept., and member of the SLO STC board of directors; and Carol Christen, career consultant, columnist, and expert in the "What Color Is Your Parachute" career guidance process.|
Marketing and Creative Approaches to Finding Work" focused on
unusual and inventive ways to seek technical work in today's challenging
economy. Regardless of what your career aspirations are, the burning question
you should be asking yourself is:
have I evolved my job search strategies to keep pace with the changing
demands of the workplace?"
Many current job seekers are finding out the hard way that new, counter-intuitive truths and shifting rules of the game have displaced yesterday's conventional wisdom. For example, today's job search requires:
|Door Prize:||"What Color Is Your Parachute?" (2002 edition) by Richard Nelson Bolles.|