Work With Us | 901-878-9758

It’s Not You

One thing that is notable about the job search process is just how easy it is sometimes, and just how hard it is other times. If getting a job has always been easy for you, and you’re finding it to be hard now, you may feel like you’re doing something wrong. Or, that perhaps you’ve changed. Although that could be the case, sometimes, it’s really not you. There are many external factors beyond your ability that impact whether or not you get the job.

First, the economy plays a bit part of your job search experience. When the economy is strong, and when it’s a job seekers’ market, interviews move faster and smoother. Companies don’t have the luxury of stringing along candidates, or of finding the perfect unicorn. When the economy is down, companies receive many more applications for each job. Companies are able to pick and choose which candidates to move forward. And, at times, they may even intentionally slow their hiring process in order to save money.

Similarly, where you live can have a big impact on your job search. If you live in a big city with many corporations, it can often be much easier to find something new. There are simply more options than in smaller towns where you may have to wait for something to come open. Although some companies will relocate the right person, they always prefer a local candidate if they can find one.

It can also matter if you have connections within the company where you’re applying. If you are applying online, along with hundreds of other applicants, the chances that someone will see your resume are slim. But, if a friend offers to hand deliver your resume to the hiring manager, you are much more likely to get a job interview.

The story that your resume tells also makes a big difference. In other words, companies often look at small, potentially irrelevant details, when they are sorting candidates. Think of this similar to filtering profiles on a dating app. The company is starting with so many options that they are narrowing them down using random criteria. If you have switched jobs too frequently, they may judge you. If you currently work in a different industry, they may assume your skills don’t translate. This can happen even if you previously worked in the industry in which you are applying.

If your work history is varied, you need an open-minded hiring manager. You need someone who understands transferrable skills, and who can see you as the whole and talented person you are. But, this doesn’t happen every time. It takes many applications to find a boss who understands the value that you bring.

Let me leave you with this. All of the things described above can impact your job search. None of the things described above are about your potential or your performance. Keep looking, and you will find your fit.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Fitting In

As children, most people are told that if you work hard, it will pay off. Working hard is the key to success. This makes a lot of sense. Hard work should be the foundation for accomplishments. For each degree you earn or position you hold, you become more qualified. You are checking off more and more boxes that make you a better and better fit for a future role.

This theory works fairly well in fields such as computer programming. It is not uncommon for computer programmers to earn certifications and take courses, even beyond their degrees. The qualifications to be a computer programmer are more clear cut than in other fields, so it is fairly easy to distinguish who the most qualified candidate is.

Unfortunately, there are many other fields where this is not the case. This is true in marketing, for example, where candidate qualifications can vary widely for the same role. And, this is the same situation for executive level roles. These employees can find their path to success through many different roads, and different degrees.

When hiring, what’s a company to do? Very often, the hiring manager is looking for what is known as a culture fit. Culture can become their number one priority. They have a good team in place, and they want someone who will get along well with that team. They want to keep things on track, and someone who fits culturally feels like the answer.

Unfortunately, the desire to find a culture fit creates a few unforeseen consequences. Sometimes, the people who are the most likely to fit culturally are also very similar people. In other words, they may be similar in age. They could be the same gender or have the same religious views. They could be the same ethnicity. Or, they may have similar hobbies or children around the same age.

Have you ever noticed that an entire team of company leaders often has a lot in common with one another personally? It’s more than being good at their jobs. They are also very similar people.

Unfortunately, this makes the bar much higher for interview candidates. Not only must they be qualified to do the job, but they must be like the other employees. And, if they are different, then they must be overqualified. In other words, there has to be a lot of extra perks to the person in order to be selected.

Don’t get me wrong. It is important to get along with your team at work. Companies don’t want to hire someone who is high conflict, and who may cause problems within the company. But, there is a big difference between fitting in with everyone and being high conflict. There’s a big difference in being able to do the work, and being just like everyone else.

Being aware of this potential pitfall will ensure you’re hiring the most qualified candidates, not the most similar.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Non-Competes Banned

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced that they are banning non-competes across the country. And, this new ruling applies to almost all workers. You read that right. The FTC does not want your employer to be able to force a non-compete onto you.

Employers have long believed that a non-compete allows them to protect their trade secrets. They believed, non-competes allowed them to protect their financial investment into workers. And, employees often had no choice. If you wanted to take a job, a non-compete was just part of the arrangement.

In reality, non-compete agreements often tie the hands of employees. When an employee has spent the bulk of their career in one industry, it prevents them from going to other companies in the same industry. Often, a non-compete will remain in effect for multiple years, and can sometimes prevent employees from working in entire industries. It’s also worth mentioning that many companies invest less of their resources into workers today than they have in the past.

Non-compete agreements discourage employees from switching jobs. And, they prevent those same employees from pursuing more money, or a better workplace. Non-competes take away the options an employee has when switching jobs. It can lock someone into a company where they are underpaid, and may have an unhealthy work situation.

Even before the FTC decision, I would often hear people say that it’s hard to enforce non-competes. Some people felt they didn’t really matter. But, I would argue that this is not true. Even if an agreement is not very enforceable, the employee must go through a lengthy and expensive legal process to prove it. And, many employers don’t want to risk being involved in such a process with a new employee. Companies would rather play it safe than hire someone with an active non-compete.

The FTC estimates that one in five workers today are bound by a non-compete agreement. That means that this change will impact 30 million people. The FTC estimates this ban will grow startup activity by 2.7 percent. And, they believe an average worker stands to make $524 more per year because of this change. The FTC believes that allowing people to switch companies and remain in the same industry will create more competition. By allowing workers to switch jobs more freely, companies will be forced to pay a higher wage.

Going forward, companies will have to move beyond the non-compete. They may want to look at fair pay and treatment. And, they must focus on protecting their actual intellectual property in more specific ways. Protecting intellectual property is fair. Blindly restricting someone’s right to work is not.

Unfortunately though, the fight is likely not over. It is expected that the FTC will get a significant amount of pushback from companies who wish to keep their non-compete agreements in place. But for now, this change is a big win for workers.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Recognize Your Employees

After spending many years as an executive coach, I learned a clear lesson. People hate looking for jobs. They hate switching jobs. The process is stressful and painful. Most employees only consider a big job change as a last resort. They wait until the pain of staying is bigger than the pain of walking away.

So, why do employees change jobs? It’s complicated. There is no one size fits all answer. Many people are looking for an opportunity to grow their skills at work. They may feel stuck. But, more than that, they may feel unhappy. They may feel unrecognized. They may even feel mistreated.

In the past, it could be said that money would not be the primary reason to leave a job. Employees were more concerned with their fulfillment. But, after the last five years, more employees are concerned about money – which makes sense. Prices have gone up, from groceries and gas to housing. Interest rates are up. And, pay has been going up.

Your loyal employees have not benefitted from these big jumps in pay. While their bills have gone up, their pay has stayed about the same. Many companies continue to believe that an annual three percent per year raise will maintain the standard of living employees are used to. This is not the case.

As well-meaning as companies may be, tiny raises are just not enough. Younger employees, and parents are hit extra hard. Younger employees are struggling with increasing rents and expenses. Many twenty somethings are being forced to live at home for longer than prior generations. Employees with children are balancing the cost of rising childcare with their flat wages.

This can put both employees and the companies they work for in a difficult situation. The employee is forced to move to potentially less fulfilling job in order to be paid the current market rate.

And, the employer also faces a difficult situation. When the employee leaves, their role is left empty for a period of time. That puts pressure on the remaining employees, to pick up the extra work. Then, the company must find a new, qualified candidate. They must pay an internal recruiter or an external placement firm to find candidates. The company must go through the process of interviewing those candidates. When a candidate is selected, they must be trained. Not surprisingly, the new candidate will likely be paid the current market rate.

So, what is a company to do? First, don’t wait for your best employees to leave. If you know they are underpaid, so do they. Just because they don’t bring it up doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of the going rate. Keep an open door policy for conversations around compensation. And, when someone brings it up, be willing to have honest conversations. And, advocate for them. In the long term, it may very well save you time and money. It could even help you to retain great talent.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Time and Money

It’s no longer socially acceptable for a company to ask an interview candidate how much money they currently make. It’s also not terribly good to ask the candidate how much they want to make. These days, the standard is to share the pay range for the role. Then, the candidate can decide whether or not the range is acceptable.

In the past, recruiters would argue that asking questions like these made sense. They wanted to know if the candidate was “within their budget” for a particular role. In reality, if the candidate provided a salary number at the low end of the range, they would be paid on the low end of that range. And, they might not ever know it.

Fortunately, many states across the U.S. have agreed that this practice is not okay. It’s not fair. And, it allows pay disparities to continue, and to grow. In other words, if you are currently underpaid, and your future salary is based on your current salary, you will continue to be under paid in the future. If a company pays a fair market rate, then you have a better chance of making what your skillset is truly worth.

Unfortunately, not all recruiters have gotten this message. When a recruiter shares that they have been working as a recruiter for over thirty years, you can bet there’s a decent chance they aren’t playing by the current rules. They will continue to ask questions they should not.

Unfortunately, as a candidate, there’s not much you can do about this issue. If a recruiter asks your salary and you don’t provide it, you’ll likely be eliminated from consideration. You’ll be perceived as difficult, because you aren’t willing to go along with this outdated line of questioning.

The good news is, you can decide not to work with a particular recruiter. You can decide you won’t participate when something like this occurs.  There are many recruiters who will care about the candidate experience, and who are willing to follow the laws and this current way of interviewing candidates.

In addition to questions that a company is not allowed to ask, there is a question that candidates are allowed to ask. In certain states, it’s the law. A candidate can ask the company what the pay range is for a certain position. The company should be willing to provide the range. This gives the opportunity for the candidate to share with the company whether or not the range provided is one they are interested to pursue.

Sadly, this is another area where some recruiters are trying to do their own thing. When asked for the range, it is not uncommon for the recruiter to respond with, “My company hasn’t set a range for this role. We’re trying to see what the market will bear.” As you can imagine, this is most not likely accurate and is an antiquated way of interviewing candidates.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Giving Grace

If there’s anything I have learned recently, it’s just how important it is to give grace to others in the workplace. How often does a coworker not respond within the timeframe they agreed to? How often are they short with you when speaking? I would bet this happens pretty often.

In the moment, it feels personal. It can make you feel angry. How could this person speak to me this way? Or, why is this person not following through as quickly as they promised? You may wonder what you did to be on the receiving end of this. You may wonder why they don’t respect you enough to do better.

The problem is that work isn’t just work. Every single person we work with has many things going on outside of work (and sometimes inside of work) that we cannot see. Our personal lives are made up of family, friends, children, pets, clubs and organizations, religious groups and more.

When things are normal, someone is able to show up as their best self to work. But, when things are out of whack in one area of a person’s life, it can create a larger impact. For example, if someone recently had a new baby, they may be struggling to learn how to balance both work and take care of the baby. Or, if another person suffered the loss of a family member, that person may have a hard time containing their grief during work hours.

When someone is going through these terrible personal things, they very often do not disclose them at work. They are simply trying to get through each day. They are trying to keep their family together or trying to help a loved one through a serious illness.

They try to keep issues from bleeding into work, but we are all human. And, it can happen to anyone and everyone.

Fortunately, change is not permanent. It’s what takes us from one destination to another. And, when things calm down again, people are able to return to their prior selves. They begin to be more present. They begin to deliver their assignments on time. They again become the former person you knew.

The universal truth is that we all go through change. We are not ever all perfect all the time. Giving someone grace or assuming positive intent is one of the kindest things that you can do for them.

And, some day in the future, you will need the same grace in return. It can be surprising how quickly life can change. You can be cruising along when suddenly, someone you love becomes ill. Or, there is some other problem that may feel giant in the moment.

It would be great if we could all compartmentalize. If we were productive robots between business hours, that would be wonderful. But, that’s not really how life works. What does work is giving grace to those around you.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Mixed Signals in the Job Market

What does the job market have in store for us this year? The answer seems to be mixed.  We are continuing to hear about company layoffs. Yet, at the same time, the stock market just hit a new all-time high. This doesn’t paint a clear picture for would be job seekers. And often, uncertainty in the market can discourage employees from seeking new employment.

For example, major companies are continuing to lay off workers. In January alone, companies such as Microsoft, Sports Illustrated, Google, Amazon, and NBC all laid off workers. On the other hand, the S&P 500 has been setting records as earnings have continued to grow. And, a few of the very same companies that are doing well are also laying off employees. So, what gives?

Unfortunately, the answer is not straight forward. There are a number of factors at play. First, in the last five years, many industries have seen a shift. Since 2020, it is more common to work from home. People are wearing more casual clothing. The auto industry is in the midst of an evolution. I could go on, but you get the idea. The way we work and play has shifted. Some industries have gotten smaller while others have grown.

Another very unfortunate factor is that layoffs have become more normal in business. In the past, layoffs were typically a last resort. Companies avoided them at all cost. Companies wanted to protect their employees. Employees were the fabric of the company. Layoffs were considered shameful.

Although employees are still important, companies now consider many other factors. Some companies focus more on the short term value of the company rather than looking into the future.  This can mean that a company may elect to lay off employees simply to save money in the short term. In fact, it is at times perceived as a responsible thing to do. In other words, the short term cost savings of layoffs may at times be considered smart.

What does this mean for the job market, and for your job search? If you have been thinking looking for a new job, don’t give up hope. Despite the unusual market, many companies are still hiring.

But, before you accept a new job, do your research. Look online for any news about the financial health of the company. Research where the industry is going overall. Research the company on sites such as Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor allows employees to leave reviews about the company. If layoffs are being handled poorly or employees are being mistreated, they will often share their feedback on Glassdoor.

Whatever you do, keep your resume current. With the current environment, unplanned things can happen. By keeping your resume up to date, and by staying in touch with contacts, you can create some level of insulation from the unknown. The more proactive that you are, the more choice you will have if things change in this market.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Build Your Online Brand

Employees are switching jobs, and they switch often. They stay at jobs for a shorter time than their parents or grandparents. In most professions, the concept of sticking with one employer no longer makes sense. In fact, people who stay put are often indirectly penalized by doing so. Employees who stay forfeit promotions and money when they stay for too long.

It’s the time of year when raises may begin to occur. When a company looks at an internal employee, they often focus on the person’s salary history. They’ll say, “We gave James a 9 percent raise last year. He should be happy for a few more years.” But, if James were to go out on the open market, he might find an increase of twenty percent is closer to the market rate. In fact, the company would likely pay more to a new candidate if James were to leave, and the company were to backfill his role.

If you find yourself in this modern day dilemma, one thing is for sure. Your online brand is important. Keeping your online footprint professional is not just for politicians. It’s for every level of worker. In fact, there are hiring managers who will spend more time researching someone online than they will spend interviewing them.

Make sure there is not negative content about you on the internet. A good place to start is Google. Look up your name with quotes around your first and last name. Look through the first two or three pages of search results. And, don’t forget to check Google images.

If you find something negative that you have control over, remove it. Look for photos where you are dressed in a way you would not want an employer to view you. Look for times when you may have shared something on a controversial topic that may be misinterpreted.

Be on alert for negative content for other people who share your same name. For example, if someone with your name was recently arrested and a local TV station is sharing their mug shot photos online, this is a reason to be concerned. If you do see this, you can at times reach out to the TV station and ask them to remove the photos. Alternatively, you can work to create more positive content online that will push down the negative results.

If you work in a creative field, you may consider setting up an online portfolio of your work. You can also use sites like LinkedIn to feature your work.

Get involved in your career community online. Join your university’s alumni group on LinkedIn. Comment on relevant posts your LinkedIn connections make. Consider sharing your own success stories.

Whether or not it should be the case, personal brand matters. And, how your personal brand is perceived online matters. Your resume is no longer the only thing companies are considering. So, take the proactive steps to build your online brand.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

One Step at a Time

Happy New Year! January is a time for new beginnings. It’s a time when we often set our goals for the remainder of the year. It can be a time to commit to change, whether it is within our personal lives or our careers. It can often help to begin with the end in mind. If you can create an image of the end goal, it can be easier to build the steps to complete the change you crave.

But, so often, it can be hard to see the end goal in the beginning. This is especially true when you are in the middle of a difficult situation. And let’s face it, the last few years have not been easy.

One thing remains true however. If you make small steps in the right direction, you will eventually find your way. In other words, good choices will lead you to more good options. And eventually, your destination will reveal itself. If you’ve taken many positive steps, you are certain to find yourself in a positive place – even if there are a few turns along the way.

If you do have a clear vision for the future, set an intension. Break it down into bite sized steps that you can do over the course of the year. Create a timeline. Find friends to help hold you accountable along the way. Reach out for help as you need it.

But, not having that vision of the end doesn’t mean you won’t find yourself in a great spot. I’ve often spoken to job seekers who are distressed. They have two good job offers and aren’t sure which to choose. In reality, both opportunities are good options. This is often the case in life. There are many paths that will take you to a good outcome.

However, what you do need to do is to get moving. Staying stagnant in a situation that isn’t working for you will not lead you to where you need to be. It will only make it harder to get yourself out later.

No matter what your goals are for 2024, January is a great time to polish up your professional presence.  Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date. And, set aside some time to update your resume. This is likely the time of the year when you will complete your performance evaluation for the previous year. Use the opportunity to truly outline the impact of your contribution to your company. In addition to making a great case for your bonus or raise, you can use this information for your resume.

Finding a job is hard work, especially when you are proactively looking. Start early, and keep moving. The more effort you put into your search, the more options you will ultimately have. And, you will have more opportunities to guide your career in a positive direction. Start by taking one positive step at a time.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Thank You for All You Do

The holidays are here again. Along with the turkey, the stuffing, and the loved ones, there’s more to consider. This season is a time of giving thanks. In every job I have ever had, I have felt most thankful for those I work with each day. It’s not the work that makes things special. It’s not the perks that come with the job. It’s the people. And, it is those we work together with who allow our success to grow collectively.

So often at work, we forget to thank one another. Because a task is expected of someone, we assume it should be done with no complaints, and with no thanks. Each task is simply a box to be checked.

In reality, colleagues can choose whether or not to help us. And, they can choose how much to help us. Whether or not it’s said, each person is putting some piece of themselves into their work each day. They are doing their best in spite of challenges. They’re working hard even when things are tough at home, or when they don’t feel their best.

So often, the only thing they need in return are a few words of thanks. Thanking someone is easy. It’s free. And, it’s an investment in your work relationship.

How can you give thanks at work? There are many ways, and no one option is the correct one. You will likely want to use a combination of methods. First, thank someone in person. When you see them in the hall or when you meet one on one, give them a verbal thank you. Be specific. If they’ve done something to help you, mention it. Tell them you appreciate their help.

Another great option is to thank or praise someone in front of a group. This often makes the most sense during a work meeting on a project that the person has helped you with. As you present an update, you may make a brief mention of the person or team who helped to make the work possible. This allows people to feel like they’re receiving credit for their work. It helps them to understand that you truly value their work.

You can also thank someone via email, either individually or as part of a group message. This can be another nice way to recognize their work. And, if you want to do something extra special, you might consider a hand written note. Or, you may want to get your colleague a small gift. Or, you may want to consider taking them to lunch.

Giving thanks can come in many forms. But, we can all agree that it’s important to acknowledge others. Work is hard enough. Why not take a little time to acknowledge one another? It is good for everyone, and it can even be good for the company’s bottom line. Employees who feel appreciated are more dedicated and are harder workers than others.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach