Career Coaching Blog

A Brief Guide to Personal References

Making the most out of your reference section

As part of the consulting I do, I have occasion to do or commission personal reference checking on candidates. In the last several months, I have run into a number of situations any job seeker should try to avoid.

The Setup

A very aggressive and seemingly capable candidate promptly provided me with a list of references at my request. As I made the calls and received rave reviews on the candidate, I started to get a sinking feeling. The responses were to…

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Dog Walkers and your Career

I was jogging in the park the other day and noticed a number of professional dog walkers. They had many dogs under their care and the necessary tools of their trade. Nothing remarkable about that.

What struck me was a) the number of providers I saw on this one visit, b) their marketing efforts, and c) the range of services offered. Parked on the streets around the park were various types of mini-van and SUV, emblazoned with each dog walking entrepreneur’s web site address, phone number, slogan, a…

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You are a Talent Investor

It would be easy to abandon the fancy notions that placed such a high value on our talent in the late ’90s and dismiss the talent war as a pleasant anomaly. That would be a big mistake.

We are in the midst of a growing, generational global labor and skill shortage which will not disappear any time soon. And, something happened during the last 7 years. The role of human capital in driving today’s leading companies and our economy rose to a level approaching the role of financial capital. So, what…

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Cultivating Relationships

Almost all of the good things that have happened to me in my life were a result of managing and cultivating relationships. Most people get jobs through people they know. Opportunities are usually created through networks. However, many people make the mistake of focusing on quantity rather than quality when they network. They think that having met someone now qualifies that person as a contact. Perhaps. But, meeting someone and leaving a lasting impression are two different things. For most of u…

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Are You Working on Your Masterpiece

Have you ever thought about your career or the work you do as art…as a form of personal creative expression? We can easily summon an image of the painter, sculptor, musician, writer or inventor in their studio, engaged in the wonderful process of creating a masterpiece. (One of my dreams is to model my office on a Leonardo Da Vinci-type studio, but that’s another story.)

Try applying this analogy to you and the work you do. Your career…past, present and future is a canvas upon which you are paint…

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Job Search Tune - Up

1. WORK ON YOUR RESUME

Most people work on their resumes only when forced to. Make the time now to update first your resume data. Second, try and capture your projects and accomplishments since the last time you did this. Don’t make a huge production of it. Just get it done.

2. ASSESS YOUR SITUATION

What is the state of your industry, organization, and your position today? DO NOT automatically assume that you are immune to unpleasant or surprise changes. What can and should you do about it?

3. WRITE…

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7 Career Questions to begin the New Year

New Year Career Considerations

The New Year is a natural time to reflect on life goals, your career and the coming year. Allow me to propose the following questions, which might help in your discovery.

  1. Are you happy doing what you do for a living? Are you happy doing it where you do it? When you do it? How you do it?

  2. To what degree is your current assignment/job/project/enterprise a fit with the real you? In other words, to what degree, if any, are you putting on a mask when you go to work? (Hint: …

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Poker vs. Career Type

I am up in the amazingly beautiful Whistler, BC for a guy’s weekend. Which has afforded me not only the opportunity to learn some poker games I didn’t know and actually pull the Guinness from the tap, but also hang out with a buddy, and some of his buddies.

At the poker table last night, if you even mentioned work it cost you a buck to all the other players. However, I did have the opportunity to observe, and today, talk career shop with a few of the guys. So, for fun, I will juxtapose career …

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Job Search Strategy 3/6: Getting Called

Receiving the call

If I could rank the pleasantness of the 6 job search strategies, this would rank right up there. Getting called means being sought out by a potential employer directly or via a recruiter. A very nice feeling and it gives you more control in the process. Here are three basic situations:

You’re Famous

Okay, famous may be a strong word, but let’s say that you have significant profile in your industry, market, or profession. You are a sought after property. Self-explanatory. An…

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