Career Rehab Begins at Home

Career Rehab Begins at Home. The Top Ten Steps to Take When the Employment Reaper Pays A Visit.

Career Rehab Begins at HomeAugust 28, 2014

broadcast + new media / career - By: Bill Pasha

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to another candidate for MBMI’s Career Rehab program. The program is more of a study course, really, than it is anything else. Participants learn how to evaluate themselves, play to their strengths and weaknesses, interview, and apply skills they may not even have known they possessed, to new or better positions.

Unfortunately, regardless of all the stories of sunshine and roses that we hear each month from the government, radio and television broadcast jobs are becoming increasingly more difficult to acquire and maintain. Long time veterans, people with marquis names, are being put out to pasture. Often these are people for whom broadcasting was a lifelong career. Now, at ages that apparently exceed the tolerance threshold of some Boards of Directors, these pros are, as Joel Denver used to say, “On the Loose.”

A pity.

A shame.

A situation that borders on age discrimination.

But NOT the insurmountable and paralyzing event that some newly unemployed victims make it out to be.

We have discussed this topic in the past, but the relevancy of it makes it another discussion worthwhile.

So, if you fall into this category, or any other in which you recently have found yourself without benefit of employment, or if you think that you can hear the train coming around the bend but you can’t quite yet see the headlight, MBMI offers you

The Top Ten Steps to Take When the Employment Reaper Pays A Visit:

1. Objectively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

This is a far more difficult process than you think. We all tend to believe that we are reasonably good at our jobs. This exercise requires more critical evaluation of ourselves than we might really want to explore. Our counselors often begin the process with hard questions about why a client lost his or her job in the first place. Sometimes, the real reasons are terrifyingly depressing. Without this exercise, though, at best you are doomed to repeat your mistakes. At worst, they will prevent your reemployment. Write a multi-columnar list of everything you do really well, well, adequately, poorly, and miserably. As you might guess, your job is to tailor your new career search to those things in the first couple of columns, but those on the right side of the looseleaf can help you, too, by determining the type of organizational support you require for success. Fear not, this exercise is designed to get you in the right frame of mind, not the wrong one.

2. Explore your passions.

Maybe it’s time to show your old broadcasting career to the door. Do you write? Paint? Tinker with motorcycles? Like to fly? Make sock puppets for your kids or grandkids? As Bob Seger said, maybe a change will do you good. Maybe seeing some old friends will be good for your soul. When MBMI began the Career Rehab program, we accepted a former General Manager who had hit a glass ceiling. After weeks of discussion, we uncovered his passion for motorcycles. Today he is the national marketing director of a major motorcycle company. Follow your passion and put it to work. When I retire, I hope to draw mice and dogs for kids at a Disney park. I like to think that I am laying the groundwork for that now. You can, too. And don’t discount the possibility of starting your own business. It’s scary and there are many obstacles, but when you set your sights high, the results can be amazing.

3. Prepare a summary of your professional accomplishments.

If you have been in the workforce for any meaningful length of time, you know that good employers do not care one iota about where you worked. They care about your accomplishments. This means that a customized accounting of those achievements is in order. Yes, sometimes that means a resume, but often it means a one page bio, a CV, a one-sided marketing dialogue of your main product: YOU! Be careful. No typos permitted. Poor grammar is a deal breaker. A lousy recollection of your professional life is death. Write. Review. Rewrite. Re-review. Edit. Give to someone you trust, who is familiar with your professional life, to review. Make it someone who will be brutally honest, yet supportive. This is no exercise for a yes man. And did I mention the word “customized?” I did. This means that you may need to author several different summaries to fit the positions that you seek. Nobody said that this would be easy. If it were, fewer people would be visiting the Unemployment Office each month.

4. Create an opportunity target list.

You have honestly determined your “Offer Profile,” i.e., what you can bring to the table for a new employer. Now…who do you know who can help you? If you believe in the Five Degrees of Separation, I have news for you; You know so many people from your previous life, you are almost assured of being able to reach whoever you need to contact within two or three conversations. We often use the example of a state governor. If you think about it, you probably know someone, who knows someone, who can get you an audience with your state’s governor. Most broadcasters can. If that is possible, then how hard can it be to reach a person who has access to help you achieve your goal. Make a list that connects the dots. Then, get busy. This is networking at its finest, and it’s time for you to make getting a job your job.

5. Develop your elevator pitch.

This is sales, and you are the product. You need to prepare no more than five cogent, impactful bullet points that sell you. People are busy. Executives are impressed by people who communicate in concise and meaningful ways. Self-edit. You get one pitch. Hit it hard. Use your hips.

6. Learn to interview.

During your years in the business, you have forgotten how to interview. Trust us. We know. We see it every day. You need to study the questions that you may be asked and prepare direct answers. Answering in a direct manner is tough. Once again, you must remember to edit, edit, edit. It is also important for you to remember that you don’t offer any information beyond the answer to any question, unless to do so means that you will offer something that you know is your strength, that is unlikely to rise to the surface in any other way during the interview.

7. Do your research.

You should know everything that is possible for someone on the outside of a company to know about every company with which you interview. The more knowledge that you possess about a potential employer, the more likely a hiring manager is to be impressed by you.

8. Ask good questions.

The potential employer is not the only one who should ask questions. The mechanics of most interviews allow the job seeker to ask questions about the job and the company. Too often, a prospective employee waits until the interviewer asks if the candidate has any questions. An interview should be a give and take situation. Asking questions as they present, shows your level of engagement in the conversation. It humanizes the process, and one of your key goals is to be remembered as the kind of person with whom the interviewer would like to work. This is the “personnel fit” portion of the interview. If your questions are about vacation time and benefits, instead of ne projects, work flow processes, and vision, you are unlikely to be hired. Your research will help guide the questions you ask. Be prepared.

9. Ask for the job.

You may have to do this several times, but remember that you are selling yourself, so be ready to ask for the job and, like a salesperson, be ready to “close.” Asking questions like, “When I begin this assignment, how do you prefer that I measure its success?” provides the interviewer to send you ‘buying signals.’ An answer to the question assumes that you will get the job. “When will I start?” is another assumptive close method. You may even choose the most direct approach, such as, “I am excited about starting this new position. When will you confirm that I am joining your team?” If you don’t demonstrate that you want a job, chances are that you will never get the job.

10. Follow up.

This is one of the biggest areas for making an error of omission. Within minutes of the conclusion of any interview, contact, reference, conversation…any interaction that may provide the groundwork for your new success…follow up. Send a handwritten thank you note, at the very least. I’ve had candidates send me fresh apple pie, accompanied by a note that read, “I can’t wait to get my fingers into as many pies as will be helpful.” I saw a farmer sit in a lobby with a goat. He just sat there. Finally, Security asked why he was there with a goat. The farmer said nothing, and handed the receptionist an envelope for the GM. In it was a letter from a candidate that said, “If the goat is gone, you can see I’m not kidding around…” Follow up is a key element. It shows employers that you are serious, creative, and willing to work hard to achieve your goals. Do it.

There are many, many more steps that you can put to use in your career search. These are basics, but if you would like to confidentially discuss your unique situation, the Career Rehab program, or just have a professional conversation to explore the other techniques hundreds of individuals have used to reenter the workforce, call us. We don’t bite and we really can help.

All of us at MBMI around the world wish you good hunting and best of luck in your search.

Post by

Bill Pasha

Bill Pasha is President/CEO of The MBMI Companies, LLC., the parent firm of MultiBrand Media International, Maximized Brand Marketing International and Valoriant Safety. Before joining the entrepreneurial world, Bill was recognized as one of the top Program Directors in America and as an authority on consumer consumption of media. He continues to consult broadcasters around the world.

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