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?

Why College Students Need to Get Into Linkedin.

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I live surrounded by young people.  I have hired paid interns for ten years and often speak on campus colleges on networking and why young people shouldn’t try to get a job.

That’s how I got this nice poster designed by Kyle Ready when I spoke at CBU in Riverside.

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I am amazed by how many college students in their senior year that are looking to enter the workforce aren’t on LinkedIn.  Young people are natives in the world of technology.  I was an immigrant to their world of technology.

I embraced LinkedIn as an early adopter.  My largest client last year found me on LinkedIn.

College students who aren’t using LinkedIn lose their native status and become LinkedIn immigrants. They look like they aren’t ready for business. They don’t speak my language. And guess what?  I don’t want to hire them because I don’t want to train them on LinkedIn.  I want to teach them other things.

As a solopreneur I want an intern to help me from the get go.  That’s my world today.  And the world that today’s college students will live in when they are 50.  There are numerous articles documenting that in the near future a large proportion of the workforce will be consultants, freelancers, or temp workers.

When I speak to students I advise them to go where you want to be.  If you want to be in business then use the social media channel that businesses use, and that is LinkedIn. The best way to get a job in the field you aspire to is to engage with the people living in that world. LinkedIn provides you with that opportunity.  If you want to work in the future communicate with people that may hire you in the future while you are in the past.  You should start your job-hunting a year before you graduate or sooner.

I recently met a young man with 500 LinkedIn connections.  He was twenty years old and was soon to graduate from UCI.  I wasn’t surprised. Did the 500 plus connections help him graduate early?  Probably not.  I am sure that his attitude of preparing for the future did.

I have always said some of the worst career advice for students comes from people in the Old Normal.  They focus on resume building.  That’s all good, but resumes don’t appear on the Internet, your LinkedIn profile does.

Today resumes should be info graphics or simple websites.

Young people today will have many jobs in the New Normal or create many companies.

The foundation of their success will be their network.  LinkedIn is a simple platform to build it and amplify your voice.

In the Old Normal there used to be simple insights shared that ran like this.  If you saved a dollar a day starting at 21 you would be a multi-millionaire by the age of 65 based on the principle of compounded interest.

In the New Normal if you connect with one person a day starting in college you can be sure of having lots of social currency and an improved chance of financial currency as well.

LinkedIn can help you get there.

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

You might enjoy these articles.

Don’t Let Your Business Cards Weaken Your Personal Brand

The Slash Generation.

Watch this Video on Why Young People Shouldn’t try to Get a Job.

The Slash Generation

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I spend a lot of time with Millennials.  I knew many when they were teenagers. Some younger.  I have used smart paid interns for over a decade.  My first intern now works at Oakley.  Another intern that worked for me in the past recently got married.  His new bride works for Oakley as well and reports to my first intern.  Yes pretty crazy.  I have written about some ideas in this area in a post called Why Graduates Are Looking for Jobs in All the Wrong Places.

I recently went to a New Business Conference up in LA sponsored by Think LA.  One of the closing panelists was Mike Sheldon the CEO of Deutsch LA a very large and successful agency.

He shared a comment that resonated with me. Not totally sure about the context but he talked about using the power of account coordinators/slash video people and using their passion to get things done at the agency.  As I remember they used them for research or interviews.  They were hired to do one thing but their passion skills were also being utilized in other ways.  That only happened because they were recognized.  Somebody saw the slash skills.

Now CEO’s of major agencies rarely talk about harnessing the power of entry level people but that has been something I have doing for years.  Maybe I live closer to them.  I bet Mike has children.  I bet he has a daughter.  I could be totally wrong.

I believe that we can do great things by capturing the power of the Slash Generation. It is a win win opportunity.  Many young people have a hard time entering the work force and many employers often try to evaluate young people by old rules and need to change their hiring lens. I am not talking about the advertising industry here.  It has always embraced outliers to a degree.  Few companies today would hire somebody with no college degree that studied calligraphy like Steve Jobs.

I believe that the Slash Generation also needs to bring their slash skills to the forefront more and not neuter them. Conformity shouldn’t be the aspiration of youth.  It is the compromise of later life.  Forget your parent’s resume template.  That is from the Old Normal.  The resume, bio, curriculum vitae of the Old Normal has to become an infographic of you. Can’t do an infographic then make it highly visual. Young people don’t read and old people are tired of reading.  It should outline both your achievements and your passions. Do not suppress you passions.  Photography, building computers, being a DJ can be valuable to the right company.  If companies don’t get it they aren’t right for you.

If companies want to hire their potential future success based on the criteria of the Old Normal they will be left behind. Company growth doesn’t come from rigidity.  It comes from adapting and reinvention. Who better to reinvent you that the future generation?

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

You can watch a video by Hank on Networking Tips for Young People.

You can also read some other blogs that may be able to help you.

Graduating Into a Recession

The New Glass Ceiling.

Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find a Job.

Networking Tips for Young People Who Hate to Network.

Why MBA Schools Need to Teach a Course On What To Do When You Get Fired.

Why Young People Shouldn’t Try to Find a Job.

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I had a great time recently speaking to the students at CBU Graphic Design class on How to Rise Above the Crowd.  My presentation was about how to transition learning into a career. My expertise comes from my experience as a person who has to create a job each and every day as a solopreneur in the New Normal.

Young people can certainly get a lot of advice these days on how to get a job.  Most from people who live in the Old Normal and don’t walk the physical or digital sidewalks of the New Normal.

You can listen to politicians who largely live an entitled life and whose hearts don’t beat in the New Normal.

Your college professors will give you advice as well but if they have never worked in the business world and strictly have an academic background their advice will be largely theoretical. Like a nun advising you about birth control. I love you Sister Mary Agnes.

Your parents will give you lots of advice but there is a good chance that if they have been employed for more than ten years with the same company that they found their last job in a newspaper  and not from a recruiter calling them because of their Linkedin profile.

You can get advice from your peer group but that will largely be peer wisdom.  Better for a bar.

First, young people need to understand that your focus shouldn’t be about getting a job; it should be about creating your long term personal brand strategy in the working world of today.  You see in the New Normal you will have at least 12 jobs at different companies but your brand will be yours forever.  Twenty years from now there may be no employees only contract worker bees. You need to focus on developing a long term career strategy versus just a job at just a company.

You need to be a brand within a brand.  Even if you work at Apple you need to have your own personal brand and your own unique identity and it needs to be coherent.  Consistency is key in branding.  Your brand says everything about you.  Your brand includes the way you dress to your personal branding material to your on line social media strategy.  Your social media thought leadership should amplify your brand.

Here are the mandatories for young people today and into the near future.  You must have your own personal website.  You must have your own personal business cards and carry them at all time in addition to the business card of your employer.  You must rock on Linkedin because it is the social media channel of business.  You must own the first page of Google.  All ten postings with a presence that is consistent with your personal brand.  All of the digital platforms that you use must be based on your name and not an alias.  Do not tweet about tacos.  Tweet about show how smart you are.  Most important, develop a powerful personal network that others don’t have that reflects your brand and the resources you uniquely offer.

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

You can watch a video by Hank on Networking Tips for Young People.

You can also read some other blogs that may be able to help you.

Graduating Into a Recession

The New Glass Ceiling.

Why Graduates are Looking for Jobs in All the Wrong Places.

What Kind of Job Are You Looking For?

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What Kind of Job are you Looking For?

I had coffee the other day in Laguna Beach with a very smart person.  I am grateful that I live close to Laguna.

When I was going to college in Canada I sat on a beach in Laguna and said I want to live here. I wanted a piece of paradise.  It was pretty much out of reach. I had every obstacle in the world to make that happen including my brain and life’s reality.  I have had three meetings at the Starbucks in Laguna this week looking at the beach networking with people. My experience is testimony that dreams are achievable.

My new friend used to work in publishing which is an industry that has changed drastically in the New Normal.  I attended a Business Wire breakfast recently that featured a panel of local press reporters.  They work at places where half the seats are empty. I am sure that the cubes are dusty and the company meetings less exciting.

This has happened to many industries.  I am an Ad Guy.  My former job in the corporate world doesn’t exist anymore so I had to create one for the New Normal. That wasn’t exactly easy.  Lots of businesses have changed. When is the last time you booked a trip through a travel agent or taken a roll of film to be developed?  When is the last time your kids read a newspaper?  Do your kids own a watch?  When is the last time you weren’t multi tasking and just thinking about nothing for an hour?  They are planting farms in intercity Detroit. The world is changing.  The secret is to change before it changes you. To go to the places you want to go before anybody else gets there. That always isn’t easy.

I asked my new friend what kind of job they were looking for and they looked at me and said “I don’t know.” That stopped me for a moment. It sounded like I am looking for a job that doesn’t exist. I have heard that before. There are many people looking for the path of clarity.  I know my new friend will figure it out because of their skills and experience but I thought of the many people that aren’t as gifted as them.

The key to survival in the New Normal is a very broad horizontal and not vertical network.  Like a traffic circle this will give you more opportunities for an exit to a new future.

The train of change will continue to come down the track very quickly in the New Normal.  You just have to make sure you are in the Locomotive instead of the Caboose.

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 his video on YouTube on How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4