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Category: Career Advice

6 Simple Ways to Prepare Your Career for Fall

Filed under: Career Advice, Goals, Professional Development, Strategy, Your Career

A long, relaxing summer can leave you feeling like you’re ready to hit the ground running this fall. Consider pausing for a moment and thinking about what you want for the rest of 2018, plus what you think it’ll take for you to make it happen.

Here’s how to make sure you’re in a good place professionally this fall and beyond.

1. Spruce up your workspace

While you can’t control what’s going on around you — especially in an open office — there’s nothing like being able to really focus because you aren’t bogged down by clutter where you work. This also applies to your home office — whether it’s a desk in a formal room or the dining room table.

Whether you’re a fan of Marie Kondo or the ancient art of feng shui, the concept that you can be influenced by your environment — for good or for bad — is nothing new.

“By organizing, you hone your sensitivity to joy and you also clarify your sense of value,” Kondo tells CNBC. “You can use that knowledge and ability to better enhance decision making skills to your own career, and really you’ll be able to better answer questions such as, ‘What am I looking for in my looking for in my career? What makes me comfortable?’ So in that way it creates real transformation in your career as well.”

So take some time to optimize your space in a way that makes you feel happy and efficient.

Schedule an Ikea run for convenient hanging files and bins, or pull a Lifehacker and go vertical — creating a wall full of shelves and storage. Make space on your computer for incoming files by moving things you don’t need immediate access to onto a hard drive, and delete things that aren’t of value.

Your workspace likely also includes your cellphone — so if you’re having storage problems, you might want to look into how much space photos and other items are taking up and then purge the ones you don’t need or back up the ones you love to the cloud, just in case!

2. Re-evaluate your goals for the year

What are the top three things you want to have done between now and the end of this  year? You may feel behind, but there are three full months left before December 31 yet, so you still have time!

It’s worth writing them down, making a vision board  and taking a good, hard look at what you’ll realistically have to do to get there.Set yourself manageable goals so you don’t feel disappointed if you can’t reach them.

3. Assess the value of this year’s achievements

Instituting a gratitude practice, no matter how small, can help you focus on what you’ve achieved with the right mindset and free you up to move on to the next accomplishment. Take a minute to reflect on how you felt when you got a positive response from your manager after submitting that huge project — or if you were recognized for your work at a company benefit.

Revisit these feelings by writing down what you’re most proud of having accomplished professionally this year, and let yourself absorb them for as long as you need.

4. Reconnect with your network and mentors

Most of the time, people only reach out to far-flung professional connections when they need a new job. By then, it may be awkward to honestly rekindle a stalled relationship. It’s even better to keep those connections fresh, periodically filling in your network on what’s been going on with your work and life.

Remember that networking is a two way street. Be generous with your help as well, and offer to help your connections if there’s something you have that they need.

If you belong to professional groups that took a summer recess, get excited about getting more involved again this fall. Clubs and affinity groups can be incredible sources of professional and personal inspiration.

Also don’t forget to chip away at your side hustle or passion projects. Block out time to make concrete plans, and make any necessary adjustments to your schedule to accommodate them.

You can continue reading this article on Ladders.

 

Lloyd Solomon Featured in Real Estate REality Check Podcast

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Company News, Insights, Interviews, Professional Development, Solomon Page, Success, Thought Leadership

Lloyd Solomon, Managing Director of Solomon Page, was recently interviewed by Larry Haber in his podcast Leasing REality: Real Estate REality Check.

Larry conducts an ongoing series of weekly conversations with business executives designed to empower emerging and seasoned professionals to reach their full business potential. Using rock ‘n roll, hip hop, and pop culture analogies as the basis for many of his questions, the overwhelming majority of responses from his guests are informative, entertaining, and most importantly, a conduit to help incentivize listeners to become masters of their career and/or business domains.

Lloyd speaks to his journey building his business over the past 28 years, including the highs and lows, and prevalent lessons learned. He gives advice to business owners on how to lead a successful company and satisfied staff, in addition to providing insight to candidates looking to excel in their career.

You can listen to the podcast here.

3 Times It Makes Sense to Take a Career Risk

Filed under: Career Advice, Decision Making, Goals, Job Search, Professional Development

In most situations, it makes sense to play it safe. Don’t cross the street without looking both ways, and never drive a car without wearing a seat belt. Both of those things make sense because there’s no upside to making the dangerous choice.

When it comes to your career, though, sometimes it does make sense to take risks. You shouldn’t be foolish or take risks just for the sake of it, but there are situations when the safe choice limits your upside.

If you take a risk and fail, you can always get another job. The prospect may seem scary, but if you take enough smart, well-considered risks, then hopefully some will work out for you.

When Your Integrity Is on the Line

Jason Hall: There are plenty of times when the best thing to do at work is “keep your head down” and focus on the work. Whether it’s avoiding office politics (or discussing real politics), gossip or correcting your boss when it would only cause you to catch their ire, these can be “high-risk, low return” situations that are best avoided. And there are other times it may go either way if there’s a real risk you could do permanent damage to your reputation if you have a plan or idea that fails.

However, there should be a red line when it comes to your integrity. This is because, in my experience, an employer or coworker who asks you to start letting “little” things slide will eventually expect you to start ignoring — or possibly even hiding — bigger things. And sometimes these can mean breaking the law and becoming an accomplice to a crime. Of course, it’s important to consider context here, but in general, it should be pretty obvious when you’re starting down a dangerous path.

But if you always make a point to be honest in your dealings with your employer, peers and clients, you can avoid a slippery slope that can ruin careers and lives. The bottom line is, no job is more important than your integrity. If you have to break rules or lie or commit crimes to stay employed, you’re risking a lot more by trying to stay with that company.

When You’ve Saved for It

Maurie Backman: I’m the first person to encourage others to pursue their dream careers, because having done so myself, I know how rewarding it can be. I worked at a hedge fund for almost five years after college, all the while wanting to move over to something more creative. When I finally took the leap, I knew it would involve a major pay cut, and I was OK with that. The reason? I had savings to back myself up.

We spend so much time at work that we deserve to be doing things we love. At the same time, we can’t neglect our bills. If you know you want to switch careers, or take a similar risk that might result in a drop in income, go for it — but save some money first. When I went from collecting a steady paycheck to freelancing, I knew it would take time to build up a client base, and so I saved enough to ensure that even if I didn’t earn a dime during my first six months of independent work, I’d be OK.

It’s brave to take a career risk, but it’s unwise to compromise your near-term and long-term financial security in the process. So don’t. Save money to buy yourself the option to take that risk. This way, you can approach your new venture head on without having the stress of getting evicted or running up credit card debt holding you back.

When You’re Stuck in a Dead-End Position

Daniel B. KlineA few years ago I was working as the editor of two small — some would say dying — local newspapers. My boss was a nice enough guy but we had differing philosophies on local news. I believed in cramming as many local stories in the paper as possible. He believed in spending as little money as he could.

It wasn’t a bad job, but it was dead-end. If I stayed I was never going to get a meaningful raise, a promotion (there was nothing to promote me to) and it was unlikely my boss would come around to my thinking as to how we could get back to growth.

I wanted to leave and could have left for better newspaper jobs. That, however, would have likely been trading the headache I knew for a different one. Instead, I joined a friend of mine and started a business.

You can read the rest of the article on Glassdoor.

7 Tips to Rebrand Yourself for an Industry Switch

Filed under: Branding, Career Advice, Confidence, Goals, Job Market, Job Search, Professional Development, Your Career

Ready for a career change, but worried you don’t have the experience or skills to land a job in your desired field? Filling your resume with your previous work experience that has no similarity to the job you’re applying for is likely to land your resume in the trash can. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in a career you hate forever.

Dawn Graham, PhD, career coach, psychologist, and author of the book Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Career–and Seize Success, says rebranding your professional experience is key to a successful career switch. “When you’re making a switch, you need to be a good fit for the role, and while some of your skills and experiences may be transferrable, many may not be,” she says. Here’s how you can prove that you’re worthy of the title, even when your resume shows no previous experience in the field.

1. Change your social presence

Use social media to your advantage to rebrand yourself in your new career area. Follow thought leaders in your target industry and comment on their posts. Connect with relevant industry groups and associations, share relevant and interesting articles within your online network, comment on posts, attend the biggest industry conferences, and develop a network of contacts in the industry. “Technology makes it easier than ever to market yourself in a way that appeals to the audience you choose,” says Graham. The more you can demonstrate that you’re serious and invested in your new target industry, the more credible you will seem.

2. Find your transferrable skills

Rebranding yourself takes time and introspection. Everyone has transferrable skills, even if you think you don’t. Graham gives the example of a recruiter who wants to move into social media marketing. “You can show off your customer research, analytics, and technical savvy skills,” she says. Demonstrating how you can reach new customers using the same skill set you used to uncover qualified candidates is a way to prove that your experience is relevant.

To determine your skills, Graham recommends breaking down achievements. “If you contributed to saving a large client, consider the steps that got you to that result–perhaps problem solving, diplomacy, creativity, and influencing.” Do the same with other accomplishments and you’ll soon notice a pattern of core strengths. Try going through this exercise with a colleague or manager who may be able to see strengths that you are overlooking.

3. Do your research

In order to find out what skills and experiences are most relevant to your new career choice, spend time learning as much as you can about your target position. Speak with professionals in your target industry, look for volunteer positions in the industry, take courses, and attend professional events to learn what experiences and skill sets are most valuable in the new industry.

4. Don’t lead with your title

While most of us use our job title when introducing ourselves, this can be an error when you’re switching careers. Many companies use language that doesn’t translate outside the industry. A title can cause confusion for someone in another industry, and biases their opinion toward your application. They may think right away that you’re not a good fit without reading further into your experiences. Instead of focusing on your title, place the emphasis on your value–the skills you developed in that position.

5. Know your audience

In order to highlight your value and position yourself as a good fit for the job, you need to know the challenges the hiring manager is trying to solve. “Many job seekers have incredible accomplishments, but without knowing what is important to your audience, you risk leading off with accomplishments that, while impressive, lead the hirer to think you’re not a fit for the role,” says Graham.

When in a job interview, make one of your first questions about the challenges the company or department is facing at this time. Once you find out the hiring company’s pain points, you can select the achievements from your background that best align with what the hiring manager is looking for in the role.

6. Cherry-pick experiences

Some of your best accomplishments and achievements may not be impressive to the hiring manager if they have no relation to the job you’re applying for. To be most effective in rebranding yourself professionally, select the parts of your experience that align most closely with your target role. To make your application in this new field stronger, highlight these experiences in your LinkedIn profile.

If hiring managers are reviewing your resume and then jump over to LinkedIn and see a whole different type of experience highlighted, they may be confused and cause them to put aside your resume. Rebranding your professional experience may mean dropping what you think are some of your best accomplishments, but by focusing on “fit” first, you will have a better chance of a recruiter recognizing you as a potential candidate for the position.

7. Justify the switch

“Every hiring manager wants to know why this job at this company at this time,” says Graham. Your answer to this question will be especially important if you’re a career switcher.

Market Insights Report: 2018 Job Satisfaction Survey and Salary Analysis

Filed under: Career Advice, Job Market, Research, Strategy, Thought Leadership

The Solomon Page Market Insights Report: 2018 Job Satisfaction Survey and Salary Analysis is now available for download. Get your copy here.

This is the inaugural study of this scope for Solomon Page—and we are very proud to be sharing it with you. Solomon Page has been a leader in staffing and executive search since our inception in 1990, and we continually strive to raise the bar and add value for both our candidates and clients. For job seekers, this study will provide insight into how you rank versus your peers in both job satisfaction and compensation. For companies, you will learn what makes a job offer attractive, and key factors in the retention, growth, and satisfaction of your workforce.

As we set out on our mission to produce this study, we partnered with Inavero, a market research firm specializing in the staffing industry, to conduct research and analysis on relevant trends for both candidates and clients in today’s employment market. We gathered close to 1000 responses from a cross-section of junior-, mid-, and senior-level employees.

The methodology of the study was to evaluate the lifecycle of a job search and analyze findings throughout each stage of the process: search drivers, the offer, retention, and contemplating a change. We have coupled this with market sentiment and perceptions of temporary vs. full-time work to create the Market Insights Report Part One: Job Satisfaction Survey. We then gathered and analyzed current information from the Solomon Page database to compile Part Two: Salary Analysis.

Our findings suggest a positive perception of the current job market, and that this optimism will most likely increase in the three years to come. Considering that the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in 18 years, we are not surprised. More intriguing findings include the fact that training / continuing education ranks as the most impactful engagement factor, and that company culture and work / life balance have the largest impact on retention and satisfaction.

We hope this report helps you gain insight and perspective while you strive to achieve your job search or hiring goals.

15 Habits of Self-Made Millionaires

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Goals, inspiration, Professional Development, Strategy, Success

Success doesn’t crop up overnight. All self-made millionaires had to start somewhere.

Much of their transformation from ordinary to seven-figure status can be attributed to “rich habits,” a term coined by Thomas C. Corley, who spent five years researching the daily habits of 177 self-made millionaires.

“From my research, I discovered that daily habits dictate how successful or unsuccessful you will be in life,” he writes in his 2016 book “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.”

“There is a cause and effect associated with habits. Habits are the cause of wealth, poverty, happiness, sadness, stress, good relationships, bad relationships, good health, or bad health.”

The good news is all habits can be changed, Corley notes. Here are some “rich habits” of self-made millionaires that you can start developing today:

They read consistently.
The rich would rather be educated than entertained. As Corley writes, “Eighty-eight percent of the rich devote thirty minutes or more each day to self-education or self-improvement reading … Most did not read for entertainment … The rich read to acquire or maintain knowledge.”

Corley found that they tend to read three types of books: biographies of successful people, self-help or personal development, and history.

Continue reading the original article on Business Insider…

Wagner College Q&A with Gregg Gavioli

Filed under: Career Advice, Hiring, Job Search, Professional Development

Wagner College invited Gregg Gavioli, Managing Director of the Accounting & Finance division at Solomon Page, to speak to their top 5% of business students, known as “Selects,” at a round table event. The discussion covered the job market, networking, and the finance industry and provided upcoming graduates with an intimate opportunity to ask questions and learn about working as a professional in the accounting and financial industries.

Below is a Q&A excerpt from this meeting.

1. What types of jobs within the industry are threatened the most by the rise of financial technology?

Operations roles. Clearing, customer service, trade execution. Anything that can be automated, off shored, or moved to a lower cost center. If you are open to relocation, many major banks have large service centers in places like Salt Lake, Baltimore, Tampa, Jacksonville, Dallas, and Tennessee. If you are flexible, there can be opportunity there for you.

 

2. Is our generation really worse off than our parents in terms of earning potential?

I don’t think so. Wages are rising. The main point of difference may be if you are carrying student debt. My advice is live frugally for your first 5 years. Don’t eat out often. Make coffee at home. Live with many roommates or parents where possible. Start a 401k as soon as you can.

 

3. The finance industry is overwhelming. I have 2 months until graduation and still have no idea what I want to do. What is my best strategy from this point forward?

You may not know what you want to do any time soon. That’s OK. Field as many interviews and get as many job offers as you can. Take the one that has the most opportunity to learn many things closely aligned with your interest. Learn what you like and what you don’t like in that first job and use it to find your next. You will likely need to do this a few times before you know what “your field” is.  Find something your passionate about, and it will not feel like a job. You don’t want to be watching the clock waiting for the end of the day to run out the door. If it feels that way all the time, change fields.

 

4. What is the single most important quality that you are looking for in an applicant? Particularly a Wagner student going up against the Ivy League?

Ability to communicate effectively. Make eye contact. Is there a fire in your belly? Do I want you on my team? Do you know excel at a high level?

 

5. What do you believe is the best way to write a cover letter to get yourself noticed and receive a response? What should be included? Length?

One page, always customize it, mention why you are the perfect candidate for the role.

 

6. What entry level positions should we be looking for to put ourselves in the best position for a greater opportunity down the road?

Any one that puts you in a positon to learn. Be open to figuring things out on your own. Ask for more work when you need it. Compliance and analytics roles offer long term opportunity as well as anything that can make you a subject matter expert where you can transition to a Project manager or a Business Analyst at some point.

 

7. What areas of the finance industry are up and coming and what areas of the industry do you see dying out within the next 10 years?

Compliance. Big Data, Projects Management, Business Analytics, Analytics, Ad-tech. Analytics related to Advertising, Social Media, and Search engines is an exciting field to explore for finance majors.

 

8. What career paths would you recommend for a finance major, aside from the traditional banking route?

Compliance, analytics, quant, advertising data analysis, FPA, Budget.

 

9. How did you go about expanding your network

Use LinkedIn. Did you create a profile? Have you joined the Wagner Alumni group I created on LinkedIn?  Send a customized email to any Wagner Alumni who may be working at your target company who may be open to meeting you for coffee for advice or helping you with applications. Professional and social groups. HS Groups. Skills Group like compliance, advertising, accounting clubs (IMA, AICPA) etc.

 

10. Did you get a master’s Degree and if so when did you get it.

No. If you are not getting it right away, see if you can get tuition reimbursement from a big employer. It’s most important when advancing up the ladder into management roles and has the biggest payoff there.

 

11. What are your recommendations on preparing for a meeting with a mentor?

Research the mentor. Come prepared with questions based on their background. Use their time wisely.

 

12. What is the most effective way of preparing for an interview?

Research the Company, research interviewer’s profiles, have multiple different questions prepared for different people. Up to 10 questions is not too many. Never say I have no questions at all.

 

13. How can I ensure follow up after an application?

You can’t really but send a customized thank you note, if no response one more check in email is OK and that is the max. Have a thank you note ready to go after the interview in a stamped envelope and drop in the post office box near the company.

For upcoming graduates, our expert recruiters are equipped with the advice and contacts to help jumpstart your professional career. Get in touch today and learn more about our service offerings.