Am I Too Old to Get A Job?

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I got an email the other day.  It came from a person I have never met but he knew me well.

He said he was an avid follower of my videos on YouTube.

If you want to be found today you have to be out there.  Invisibility is not a great career strategy. Sadly many chose to live that way.

He lamented about all the things we have heard since Lehman Brothers went down in the fall of 2008.  Maybe it is old news now but he and the world still feels its repercussions. Continue reading

I Am Going to Lose My Job. We Need to Network.

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I love people and I love to network.  Every encounter leaves a life impression.

I have learned that if you have big ears and a small mouth you will learn a lot.

I had coffee today with somebody who I met years ago but haven’t seen for some time.

They a prominent marketer.

Sure we were on LinkedIn. Sure we share some friends.

I have sent them e mails from time to time over the course of the years. They had many great jobs and I wanted to see if what I offered could help.  Most went answered but that’s OK.  Nobody watches every ad. Continue reading

Networking And Career Tips For The New Normal

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The New Normal was created in the fall of 2008 when the global financial crisis took place. I was in Argentina which had its melt down a few years earlier.  All of a sudden my American Express card didn’t work.  When the clerk gave me the card in confusion I saw that it said I had been a valued customer for a long time.

All of us have felt its repercussions especially if you were put into transition, had a line of credit,  had to work more with fewer resources and do more work.  Received 2% annual raises or none at all.  I could go on.

Those who felt the impact of the New Normal the least were the financial institutions that created it and the elected officials who were in charge of preventing it.  Everybody knows the song says but the song also says it’s all forgotten.

Networking accelerated dramatically in the New Normal because people needed some place to go when they got up on Monday and their routines were out of whack.  I know because in August 2008 Laguna Niguel Connectors was created and over 100 people showed up within a few months.  But then again 700,000 a month were losing their jobs as the world melted and we watched and worried.

I have been networking actively since at least the .com bust if not before.  I know a lot of people, I see a lot of people, I get e mails from a lot of people and I have spoken on networking to a lot of people.

So here are some networking and career tips for the New Normal.

Build your own network instead of using other people’s networks. It will pay off.  There will be many New Normals.  Build up the networking resources to emerge and grow from them. Remember today is the first day of your networking life.  Where do you want to be in five years?

Be patient when looking for a deal to close or to be hired. Time in the New Normal doesn’t follow your clock. I know.  I got here before you.  Sorry but those decisions don’t move as fast as you text.  The clock of the New Normal runs in slow motion for these decisions and hyper motion for technology and change.

Companies will become commodities if you are a coveted and needed resource.  What’s the best bet for advancement?  Having a communications degree or being a Java Developer?  If you aren’t specialized, digital, or reinvented you will be entering the work world through the eye of the needle.

Be realistic. Targeting is the basis of marketing success.  No company is going to hire somebody with 10 years’ experience for an entry-level job.  Trust me.  Applying for any job is not getting your name out there.  It is just a waste of your time and time is too valuable to waste.

Networkers aren’t Rasputin or Svengalis.  They can’t solve your problems or your wishful thinking.

If you want to make a career change start your own company.  Companies don’t take too many hiring risks in the New Normal.

Don’t give away other people.  If people come to you to help them don’t just give them the names of other people to help them.  Invest you own time with the people who reach out to you. Walking in their shoes will be good for your soul.

Expand your personal brand constantly The more Google loves you the more marketable you will be.

Lose the paper.  Don’t come to meetings with your CV, your resume, your list of target companies.  What do you think happens to that paper?   If you are looking for a job you need to have your own website.

I still can’t believe how many people in transition still have lousy business cards.  Weak business cards are akin to food stains on your tie.  Want to save money?   Cut your cable bill not your financial investment in yourself.  Personal marketing 101.

Network with Strays. They will help you in unique ways.

The world is not fixed.  A lot of people still need help.  Help one person once a week.

You harvest what your so in networking.  That has never changed and won’t.  Sowing requires personal sacrifice and patience. No farmer has ever harvested in the same month what he has planted.

If you stop networking in the New Normal you will be a ghost.

Don’t give your children career advice but teach your children to Network well.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Like Blank and Associates on Facebook

Read How I Went From UWO to California

Watch the Power of Networking.

Watch Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find A Job

How’s The Year Going So Far?

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So how are things going so far as we enter year five of the New Normal? Having a jolly old time?   The New Normal was created when the world melted in the fall of 2008.  Lehman Brothers went away.   Remember those days? I am sure that the 2.8 million people that lost their jobs that year do. Some may still be looking for the job that they lost. They may be working but they don’t have the job that went away never to return.

Are things getting better? Are you loving things at work?  Doing less with more?  Looking over your shoulder from time to time? Get a little nervous if your boss calls you into their office?  How do you like your recent yearly salary increases? Did you get one?

How’s the job search going?  Is it easier or harder? Do you often feel it’s all in vein? Do you think that everyone thinks that you are too old?  Don’t have enough experience?  Have been on the beach too long? Do you think that the people interviewing you are smarter than you?

How are your New Business efforts going?  Is New Business even harder or are leads coming in and your task is to separate fact from fiction?  Do you feel you even need more leads today? Does New Business take more time and are the budgets smaller?  Do you have to provide more for less?

How’s your networking going or is it the same? Do you view networking as an intention or a mission?  Do you connect with people that energize and are totally aligned with you? Are you just networking with people just like you?

Are you living large?  I network with a lot of people. I talk to 20 year old people and have drinks with the people who run multinational agencies. They all share their stories.  I shake the hand of my UPS driver at Starbucks while he sits with Fed Ex Driver and a couple of other guys talking music.  I talk to sales people at the same time that feel they are out of touch for today’s game.

I have lunch with marketing people who wouldn’t have met me in the past but now that their company is changing I appear more valuable because I am a networker with a large network. I am happy to help. Will they?

I text with the President of a prominent local company while I am going for a run.  Presidents are optimistic enough to relax a bit these days.  But bit is a short word.

I meet with marketing people that are looking for their next gig.

I meet with people who are waiting for checks. Are your clients slower to pay?  I can relate to that being a solopreneur in the New Normal.  Balancing the regular pattern of bills versus the irregular flow of checks.

I hear from people who have been downsized seven times. They called themselves a survivor and I certainly do agree.  There are many worst alternatives.

I hear from people who tell me how tough things remain.

I hear from people who tell me how things are good.

2013 is the 5th year of the New Normal.  This is the future and Leonard Cohen wrote a song about it in the Old Normal. The lyric said, “I have seen the future and it is murder”.  But then again this is the New Normal after all.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch a video by Hank on Don’t Let Your Business Cards Weaken Your Personal Brand.

You may also enjoy these articles:

Are You a Finder or a Grinder?

Why College Students Need to Get into Linkedin.

What Do Agency Review Consultants Do?

I’m Just Trying to Figure It Out

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“I’m just trying to figure it out.”

People often tell me that they are trying to figure it out. After all the books, blogs, free and paid webinars and seminars on how to get to the next place – yet the majority of people don’t have a roadmap on where to go next.

Just the other day, I heard a young person say they were trying to figure it out. They were rooms away from where I sat, but their lament traveled through the air to me. They were looking for a magic way, but life isn’t as organized as Disneyland. Young people are the slash generation that many elders don’t see; also the untrained generation. Institutions don’t invest as much in our youth as they have done in the past. The obligation of mentoring and nurturing youth may have been lost or abandoned.

There was a story on NPR recently, which reported the number one psychological issue in campus health clinics today is anxiety. Young people are anxious that if that they graduate today in the New Normal, they aren’t guaranteed a job, even with a college degree – maybe even with an MBA. They have no clue on how to provide the basics for themselves once they graduate with huge student loans. That’s a big worry that can become a heavy yoke.

I can see that. Many “Millenials” have by now spent a quarter of their lives living in the great recession. Their parents may have been downsized; their homes may have been in foreclosure.  They may have lost trust in the safety net of their parents helping them out financially. Some, in fact, may be helping their parents.

I often have a Starbucks and listen to business owners that want to take it to the next level. They tell me they are trying to figure it out. I have some clarity for them on days that can even be blind for me. Such a paradox – or could it be an irony? A metaphor? Do we teach what we need to know?

I have met too many people over the years that have been launched into the world of transition they didn’t anticipate before. Some come to me with the weight of living in the New Normal, saying they are just trying to figure it out. They weren’t trained on what to do when one is jettisoned into transition. When they worked for somebody, they often did all the figuring it out, but nothing further.

Here are some ways to try to figure it out:

1. Stop worrying, because worry won’t make the road clearer. Instead, it creates a fog. The best worry buster is an intense workout, or whatever else may work for you. Anything that disengages you from your brain for just the right time can bring you back to it focused and ready to take on the task at hand.

2. Figuring it out can be simplified if you surround yourself with other perspectives; you’ll never figure it out if you surround yourself with yourself. The best way to train for a marathon is to talk to someone who has run one before. They will tell you that running tight to the curves will save you a lot of steps over the 26.2 miles or 42Km. The best way to figure it out is by talking to people who have walked the same struggle.

What do I know? I have lived in the New Normal all my life. I’m just trying to figure it out.

 

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch a video by Hank on Networking Tips for Young People.

You may also enjoy these articles:

Are Solopreneurs the Future in the New Normal?

Networking in My Hood.

She’s Not a Great Networker.