The First Thing That People in Transition Need to Do Is to Lose Their Minds

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Yes you need to change your wiring and learn a new way to land a job these days. It is the New Normal.

People in transition try to figure out their new life by what worked for them when they were successfully working and how they got a job in the past.

If they have been working for 10 years at their previous job they may have found it in a newspaper. Think that works today?

Job hunting is the farthest thing away from working unless you know how to turn your job skills into knowing how to market yourself.

I had a coffee the other day with a person newly arrived in the out of work game. I’ve been out of the game for a long time. It was at a Starbucks I really like. Right across from the Mission in San Juan Capistrano. People were at restaurants for a late lunch and the Swallows Inn had a number of folks at the bar. The Farmer’s Market was starting. Continue reading

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I’ve Been Aged Out Of My Job.

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I heard a term the other day that I had never heard before.“I’ve Been Aged Out of My Job.”

I have never heard or thought of that before. Maybe because I work for myself and if I aged out of the business I wouldn’t be writing this.

I have the same internal voice that I did when I was a kid. It never goes away. At times the volume goes up or down. It always goes forward even with bumps in the road.

Sure, I have heard about hiring biases for older folks which is totally true but you shouldn’t let companies define your age or your journey. You can always turn your knowledge into a job by working for yourself. You only have to be comfortable with jumping off tall buildings without a parachute and hoping you catch one before you hit the ground.

Not for the faint of heart. Continue reading

Career Tips for 2015

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Yes a New Year is upon us. Happened faster than we thought. What else is new?

I think that there will be a lot of changes in the workplace in the coming year. There will be a shortage of talent especially top notch digital talent. Today, Digital Marketers, Digital Strategy folks, SEO talent, and programmers are all very hard to find.

If you don’t have those skills acquire as much game as you can learn.

More people will be moving around this year than ever before. Some companies will portray them as opportunists. Remember companies killed company loyalty, not employees.

So here are some career tips for the coming year. Continue reading

Job Hunting In Today’s Ad World.

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I have been doing a lot of recruiting and talent sourcing these days.  Another way to leverage my network. Still hunting and connecting which I love to do but in another way.

The ad world has changed a lot and at the same time some stayed the same. One thing that has changed is that if there is financial pain at an agency the cuts are deep.  Even Junior people lose their jobs. Companies don’t even wait to Friday to let people go.   In the past youth were sheltered and protected more.  That has changed.  And yet young people receive very little advice on how to build a career in the New Normal.  Trust me the era of the Mad Men is long gone.

That is why everyone in an agency has to be ready for change.  I have written a couple of blogs on the subject called Are You Ready to Get Fired and Why Ad People Need to Market Themselves Better.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the agencies don’t hire for themselves; they hire for their clients. It may even be more important these days.  That means they look at your resume and LinkedIn profile with the brain scan of “What will the client think?”  “Can I merchandise them to the client?”  “What experience can I sell?”  Nobody is taking career chances these days.  Close in horse shoes doesn’t even get points these days.  Your horseshoe needs to be wrapped around the pole.

This means that first and foremost you need to focus on your experience.  Some resumes are chock full of job duties but have limited category experience and brand names that the reader knows. You won’t be there to explain your experience to them.  Think of doing a human search on your resume.  I am going to be scanning for job title and keywords like healthcare or whatever.  I am not going to be searching managed budgets and timelines.  Of course you did that but that is not what catches my eye.  I can’t sell duties initially; but I can sell brands and experience.

You see in the New Normal getting a job at every level is like going through the eye of the needle.  You have to expand the eye of that needle by making yourself most marketable.

The same thing applies to your LinkedIn profile.  It’s all about the keywords.  It is all about how searchable you are.  Job hunting is about being found.  It is about pull not push.  You get pull if you push out the right key words.

I also see LinkedIn profiles that are almost sterile.  As arid as the desert the person will be going through if they happen to lose their jobs.  No time to have a strong LinkedIn profile?  You may enter a land where you have too much time on your hands.

I have had many great bosses during my career. Boy they were smart.  One great talent master at JWT taught me this.

It is all about the brands that you worked on.  The bigger the brand the more marketable you were.

Here is how I apply brand to careers today.  I worked with my friend at JWT.  That is a big brand.  Ten years of working at JWT in Toronto and Chicago has given me a halo event to today. The average size of an agency in the U.S. is seven people so not everyone gets to work at a multinational agency

However I have met people in many small agency markets that are working on great brands. Make sure those brand names scream out on your resume and LinkedIn profile.  Include logos of those brands on your resume.  Make yourself easy to be sold.  You will take care of the rest.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:

Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Like Blank and Associates on Facebook

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

Why Agencies Shouldn’t Respond to Client RRP’s

Does Cold Calling Work?

Life in the New Normal is Just Like Playing Hopscotch.

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This is a recent blog that I wrote for Marketing Executives Network Group or MENG.

Remember playing hopscotch? It was easy to play.  All you needed was some chalk. Maybe you stole it from school.

Life in the New Normal is very much the same game.

Just like hopscotch it all depends when tile you land on.

Just like in hopscotch in the New Normal many people have one foot tied behind their backs. A balancing act of intention and resolve but precariousness.

Some companies are hiring and some companies are still firing.

It all depends on what tile you step on.

Stepping on the getting hired tile can be very difficult especially if you are over 50.  Some are younger than Baby Boomers yet many people think they are out of the game.  I am glad that I stopped looking for work in the Old Normal way a decade ago.  I learned new games.

I always thought that getting through the eye of the needle was a tough parable.

Getting hired if you are a long term person in transition is even harder.

The irony is that the companies that fire people hire people slowly but they want you to like them on Facebook instantly. Please like me they say.  Here is a contest.  Here is a game you can play to win a gift certificate. Here is how you connect with us.

Many companies are sitting on piles of cash because you buy their products.

Companies don’t look too often into the firing mirror.  Some wouldn’t see a reflection.

In the New Normal I hear from people that are killer on social media.  They teach on how to harness its power.

However they send out emails saying they need work.  They aren’t landing on the right tiles.

In the depth of the melting of the world in the fall of 2008 as the financial markets crumbled I would be travelling to speak on Networking Your Way to New Business.  I could have been in Des Moines, Duluth, or Oklahoma City.  The world melted on the coasts first and not in those parts of the world. Business was tough. I came home and told my personal witch I felt like a fraud. “We teach what we need to know,” she said.  That is why she is my personal witch. I have lent her from time to time to other people who need a little brain alignment.

I spoke recently at a local college about how on why people shouldn’t find a job.  I had a follow up coffee in my hood with a young chap who was born on the other side of the globe.  My sister was born in Beirut.  He had some friends in Dubai and was heading there. He was younger than my kids.  He asked me to connect him with somebody in my LinkedIn network from that part of the world.  I never met her but she reads my blogs from time to time.  She connected him with another contact  in her LinkedIn  game and he got a job with a Multinational Agency in her part of the world.   He is probably 23.That is how Hopscotch is played today in the New Normal. Some people have one hand tied behind their backs and some people are free and growing.

It’s your turn to hop in the New Normal.

You can connect with Hank Blank 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

Why Reinvention is a Virtual Necessity

Watch Surviving the Great Recession.

Networking In My Neighborhood.

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I like my neighborhood.  I live in Laguna Niguel.  It is close to the beach and close to the stars.  Population of 63, 940 and  the median household income is $98,072.  Laguna Niguel is in Orange County which a lot of people think is white bread and very John Wayne. But perceptions can be thin veneers in our sound bite world.

Over 30% of Orange County is foreign born including me.  I was born in Toronto. Laguna Niguel has slightly more foreign born people than California but nobody would know that.

Many people think California is a place where people don’t know each other.  I live in a village of three million and it feels like a village because I have an attitude of engagement.  I know Derrick the bag person at Vons, I know Nick who owns the UPS Store in the same strip mall.  I know most of my Starbucks Baristas.  I have a garbage boy who takes out my trash.  I know that my UPS driver likes to play guitar. I know that my pharmacy assistant at CVS is from Egypt.  I listen to her worry and fell her pain.  I don’t care if it leads to business.  I want to live my life this way talking to people and not just to myself.

In 2008 I sat down at a Starbucks in the same strip mall with Randy Miller.  At that time I had met him a couple of times.  He also lived in Laguna Niguel.  He was the former CIO of a major technology company in OC and was in transition.  As a consultant I constantly live in transition.  I said I know a couple of people in Laguna Niguel and he said the same.  He introduced me to Gregory Gaines and Dipak Shah and we started Laguna Niguel Connectors in August 2008.  We had our first meeting outside the same Starbucks and had 23 people attend.  Within a month or two we had over 100 people at our monthly meetings.  Why?  Because the world melted in the fall of that year and many people in Laguna Niguel and Orange County were no longer making the average income of $98,000.  They were jettisoned into the world of transition.  Now Laguna Niguel Connectors has over 3400 members.  Just from four guys sitting around at a Starbucks.  One a Caucasian, one African American, one a person originally from India, and me a token Canadian.

I like Canadians.  Somebody told me that there are 800,000 Canadians in Southern CA. I believe it.  Many of us don’t like the cold.  There are 750,000 Persians in Southern CA I have been told.  I think the weather feels like home.  I don’t think some can go home. I met a fellow Canadian called Rob Kelle. We talked about starting a Canadians in OC Group.  We invited a few fellow Canadians to help.  Now Canadians in OC has over 340 people in the group and we have Canadian Thanksgiving events.  Over 13% of California’s trade is with Canada. Really?  Who would have known?

You see in the end your neighborhood isn’t what other people tell you it is.  Your neighborhood is what you create and how you live your life. Want to create one of your own?

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 the Power of Networking.

You may also enjoy these articles.

Has Your Job Search Passed It’s Expiry Date?

Job Hunting Tips.

The New Employer Employee Dance.

The Opposite of Networking Is Not Working.

How to Create a Job.

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.