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You’re Not Too Young

People often ask, “If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?” This is such a great question. It causes you to reflect on the past, and to think back about where your blind spots might have been. The idea is that if you had only known this one detail, your life path might have changed positively in some way.

If I were to go back in time, there is one piece of advice I would give myself, and I’ll share it with you: You’re not too young. You’re not too young to do that job. You’re not too young to manage people. You’re not too young to start a business.

Fortunately, I believed that having a lack of experience wasn’t a deal breaker. I often applied for jobs that I was technically underqualified for, because I knew that I could perform the role. I didn’t let the job description hinder my search.  But, this didn’t hold true when it came to my age.

On a few occasions, I was given incredible opportunities that I turned down because I assumed that I was too young. I assumed the person who was offering the opportunity didn’t understand that I wasn’t old enough to do those jobs. For example, when I was a senior in college, I interviewed for an engineering job at Motorola. I was looking for a full time job after graduation. One of the interviewers was so impressed that he asked me if I would consider a manager job. I immediately declined. There was no way I should be managing other people at twenty-one, or so I thought. I delayed managing people for six more years.

But, there was no reason not to try sooner. You don’t have to be a certain age to try things. Some of the people who are the best managers are those who started very young. They have so much more experience, and learned a lot early on. When you are young, people will give you a chance. They’ll forgive your mistakes. It is harder to get this sort of opportunity for the first time at an older age.

In the same way that I was scared, I have heard from many job seekers who also face this fear. They assume they are underqualified and will have no chance. Honestly, it makes sense. Job descriptions are an impossible wish list that includes many years of experience. In fact, I’ve never seen a job description for a manager role that doesn’t call for management experience.

Whether you want to become a manager, or whether you want to start a business, don’t assume you are too young. When you’re young, you have less to lose. You can try things, and if you fall down, there’s time to get back up. But, along the way, you’ll learn many valuable lessons and be better for it in the end.

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

 

Prepare for Your 2023 Job Search

It’s a new year, and a new opportunity to find the career that is meant for you. January is the perfect time to begin to set new goals, and look toward the future. So, what can you expect from 2023?

First and foremost, hiring is still happening. As seen on TV, there have been a number of layoffs in recent months. But, keep in mind that there are specific industries that are experiencing layoffs. And, only a small portion of employees are impacted. These layoffs do not mean that the entire job market is down. The United States unemployment rate in November was 3.7 percent. This shows that overall, the market is still strong.

A big focus of 2023 will be the diverse work options available. With the pandemic, many companies went fully remote. As time has gone by, some companies are asking employees to come back to the office full time. Other companies have created hybrid models that allow employees to come to the office a few days each week, and to work from home the remaining days. Employees will begin to seek out opportunities that align to their lifestyles. It is interesting to note that there are fewer work from home jobs being posted, and they are receiving a high volume of applicants. If you’re a hiring manager, you may want to keep this in mind.

Lifestyle will also continue to be a large focus in 2023. In the past two years, employees have prioritized health and quality of life more. There will continue to be an emphasis on work life balance. Employers will continue to test out new benefits, such as mental health days.

Wages will continue to rise during 2023. However, do not expect to see the large jumps we saw in the previous few years. If you are looking for a new job, do your research. Sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn will help you to understand what the current pay rate is for your role, in your industry.

When you are job searching in 2023, consider the industry that you are looking in. There are some sectors, such as financial services, travel, and government contracting that are seeing growth this year. There are other sectors such as tech that are less stable.

No matter what sort of job you’re pursuing, the time to get started is now. Do not sit and wait for a job to find you. Make your job search a priority. And, if you haven’t looked for a job in a few years, brace yourself. Things have changed. The online application process is a long one. It can be discouraging at times. You will apply to many jobs that you won’t hear back from at all. Know that this is normal now. It’s not you, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Hang in there. Keep moving forward, and you’ll find something in the New Year before you know it.

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

 

Keep Looking Forward

When you’re riding a horse, there’s an important lesson about where you focus your energy. You need to keep your head up, and focused on where you want to go. If you look down, you may get stuck and ultimately, you may not make it to your intended destination. The same is true when looking for a job.

The modern job search comes with quite a few bumps in the road. It has happened to the best of us. You’re interviewing with one company. It seems like it’s going well. You receive positive feedback, so you stop looking for jobs. You wait for the job offer to arrive. But, at the end, you aren’t selected.

This happened to me when interviewing for a job at a financial services company. They put me through ten rounds of interviews over a six month period. After going in person for interviews, the hiring manager let me know that I was the one he’d selected. But, he wanted me to talk with a few more people, which elongated the process by a month or more. This was an unusual request given how far along we were, but I did the interviews. Since I knew I’d been selected, I began to pack my things. The job was in another city, and I needed to prepare to move.

Strangely, that job offer never arrived. Instead, I received a phone call from the hiring manager. He told me he had good news and bad news. I was the winning candidate. But, they had decided not to hire anyone in order to save money.  I could tell by the lightness in the hiring manager’s tone that he had no idea what an impact this decision had on me. He wasn’t thinking about the months it would take me to find another job. He had no idea I’d already packed, or that I’d stopped applying at other companies. In his mind, it was as if he’d changed his mind about ordering a dessert after dinner. But for me, it was devastating news.

What could I have done differently here? Well, for one, the lesson is to never stop applying for jobs until you have a written job offer in hand. Until that point, anything could happen. The company could choose to hire someone else, or to hire no one at all.

Second, you should try to go through job interviews without thinking about the outcome. When you focus on the outcome, you will be extremely disappointed by all the rejection. It will begin to feel as if something is wrong with you. But, that’s not true. The modern hiring process is broken.

And, don’t get too excited just because you’re a perfect fit for a role. Someone else may be a perfect fit too.

So, stay focused. Keep your eyes on the end goal. When you reach it, you’ll know. Until then, keep looking forward.

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

 

Scary interviews aren’t just for dreams

Happy Halloween! In celebration, I want to share one of my frightening job interview stories.

Years ago, I interviewed for a job in Pittsburgh. I flew in late at night, with the interview scheduled first thing the next morning. As I unpacked, I realized I had forgotten the pants to my suit. My mind was racing as I went through the options of what to do.

Could I wear the pants I’d flown there in? No, they were sweatpants. Could I call a cab to take me to a mall? No, it was late and everything was closed. Could I have a pair of pants shipped to me from home? No, all the shippers were closed for the day.

This brainstorming went on for an hour. I wracked my brain as I tried to think of a creative solution to this big problem.

It turned out, packages could be dropped off directly at the airport until around midnight for FedEx, and could be delivered by six the next morning. The only catch was getting the pants to the airport.

My apartment manager was the only one with a key to my apartment, but I didn’t have her phone number. So, I called a neighbor who was friends with another neighbor who had a dog that the building manager walked every day. I knew he would have the building manager’s phone, and I knew my other neighbor had the dog owner’s phone number.

After a few calls, I found the building manager’s phone number. I called and asked her to give my key to a friend who was willing to drive the pants to the airport. My friend entered my apartment and called to locate the correct pair of pants. Then, he drove them to FedEx, and mailed them.

Afterward, I alerted the hotel desk to contact me the moment the pants arrived—which they did. The interview went smoothly and nobody noticed anything unusual.

One of the questions they asked was, “Tell us about a time you encountered a problem and were able to find a creative way to solve it.” It was the perfect opportunity to share my story. The interviewers were both surprised and impressed. What started as a nightmare turned out to be a big win!

I don’t remember if I got that job, but I do remember that the interview went well.

The lesson: When it comes to job interviews, don’t expect everything to go perfectly. There’s often something that will go wrong. If you can plan on that thing, it’s much easier to roll with the punches and have a positive experience.

Interviewing is not about answering every question correctly. The hiring manager is more likely to remember how they felt about you than how you answered each question. It’s like going to a live comedy show. You don’t remember each joke, but you remember whether you had a good 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

 

Maintaining Social Connections While Working from Home

As I’ve shared before, I’m a fan of working from home. Although it comes with pros and cons, the benefits are often undeniable. Those working from home are often able to be more productive. They have the ability to get more done in less time. They don’t waste hours each day in the car commuting. They are able to focus on what matters the most – working. And, they have more time left to devote to their families.

On the flip side, if you’re working from home, you have to try harder to make real connections with your coworkers. It’s easy to know very little about the people you’re working with. You are less likely to know about their families or hobbies, for example. Although these details aren’t related to work, knowing coworkers well can increase teamwork and therefore productivity.

Personally, there’s another hurdle too. Working in person creates more opportunity for social connection. When you work in an office, you’re more likely to have lunch with coworkers. You’re more likely to celebrate birthdays and holidays. Work is more than just work. It’s a place to make friends. It’s a place to socialize.

One downside to working from home is that people feel lonelier. They feel disconnected. The social aspects of working in an office are gone. If you’re working from home, this is something to be aware of. Very likely, you will want to try to make more time for social connection outside of work than you did before. Making friends as an adult isn’t an easy task, but it’s important.

If you’re like most people, starting to make new friends is the hardest part. It’s hard to know where to begin. Think about your hobbies, and interests. Are there things you wish you knew more about? From cooking to bowling to running, there are many different types of groups for different interests.

Meetup.com can be a great resource. Meetup has many special interest groups that you can join with little obligation. Look for events on the website of your local newspaper. You can also search Eventbrite for paid events that may be happening in your area. If you find groups that are of interest that are not on one of these sites, send them an email and asked to be added to their newsletter. Most groups send out weekly or monthly notices of upcoming activities.

When you find fun things to do, be brave. Try to attend a few different activities. If you can, attend alone. Many people do this. Going alone will encourage you to talk to people you haven’t met before.

Just one social activity per week can greatly change your social connectedness. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself with friends and social events. And, being social is about more about being social. The happier you feel, the better you’ll do at work. And, very often, being socially connected can help you find a future job.

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

 

Do Less, Not More

How do you react when you’re behind at work, or at home? So often, when this happens, it feels like the answer is to do more. Roll your sleeves up, work harder, and push through it. Stay up late, and get up early. This can be an effective strategy if you’re doing something mindless, such as unpacking boxes after a move. But, if you’re doing work that requires thought and concentration, doing more may not actually work. In fact, it could have the opposite effect.

Over-working yourself will wear you out. It will zap your creativity and your mental energy. Your work will take longer, and it is more likely that you’ll make mistakes. Pushing yourself too much is one of the behaviors that can ultimately lead to burnout. And, burnout can take quite a lot of time and energy to recover from.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that we all begin checking out. It’s also not an effective strategy to do nothing.

But, when you’re tight on time, or your to do list seems to be way too long, take the time to reprioritize. Rather than try to accomplish everything, decide which of your long list of things is the most important. A great exercise is to try cutting your to do list in half. If you could only accomplish half of the things on your list, which tasks would you begin with? Which tasks must be completed now versus later? Which tasks are quick, and which are long?

Focusing in on fewer things allows us to do those things better. It allows us to clear our minds of the worry of having to complete too many tasks. For the items you do complete, you’ll have the time to do the best possible job on each task. Of the tasks you focus on, you’ll actually complete them. And, you’ll do a better job.

If you’re squeezed at work, you’ll probably find this advice is the opposite of the way many leaders think of getting things done. So often, prioritizing what is important seems like an impossible task. In fact, everything is important. How can we possibly pick specific tasks over others?

But again, trying to accomplish too much is not a good long term strategy. It can work once in a while, but not normally. There’s a saying that if everything is important, nothing is important. And, this is true. When you try to do too much, you may find yourself completing very little of your list.

Both at work and at home, make your goal to do fewer things better. You’ll find that this strategy will improve your mood. You will ultimately accomplish more. And, your quality of work will improve overall. At work, this strategy will force you to have tough conversations about which projects take priority. But over time, the process of reprioritizing your work will become easier. And, you’ll get more done.

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

 

A New Kind of Labor Day

Labor Day is always a fun time of the year. Most people are off of work for the three day weekend. Many get a chance to spend time with loved ones over picnics and barbecues. The Labor Day holiday was created in the 1880s to honor the works and contributions of American workers, and the American labor movement.

In the last two and a half years, the American workplace has transformed in ways that we could not have envisioned. Many people are now working from home. Roles and responsibilities have changed. There are many labor shortages, and pay increases. There is more transparency in recruiting and hiring.

Along with all of this change, you may have heard about the concept of “quiet quitting.” If you’ve wondered what this trend is about, it’s honestly not as new as it sounds. Quiet quitting isn’t really about quitting. It’s about employees slacking off at work. Right now, it’s all the rage among employees.

One thing the pandemic taught us is that life is short. Things aren’t guaranteed. And, when times get tough, many companies will let employees go to save the company. People care more now about benefits and balance than they care about money alone.

The question for employers becomes, how do you curb this trend? How do you keep people engaged? It’s hard anymore to know if employees are really working. When they’re working from home, employees are only seen during meetings, and only if they turn on their cameras.

Some employers have addressed these concerns by monitoring employees more. They’ve increased their use of software that measures productivity. Unfortunately, this isn’t the answer. Employees who want to do the minimum will do that, whether they are monitored or not – and whether they’re in person or working from home.

Employers should spend more time getting to know their employees. They should try to listen to what’s important to employees. They should provide training and mentoring. They should pay a fair wage. In other words, it’s time to get back to basics. Employees want to feel valued, and they want to feel respected.

But, the buck doesn’t stop there. Going to work isn’t like going to an amusement park. An employer’s job isn’t to keep everyone happy and entertained all day from nine to five. If you have found yourself quiet quitting, it’s time to reevaluate. What could you do at work to feel more engaged in your projects? What could you do to connect more with colleagues?

If the answer is nothing, it may be time to look elsewhere. Work is an important part of life. If you find yourself checked out most of the time and without hope of change, dust off your resume. Look for a new boss, a new employer, or possibly even a new industry or a new role.

Quiet quitting is not a long term solution for what should be a short term problem.

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

 

Your Secret Job Search

Benjamin Franklin said, “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” It’s hard to overstate the importance of keeping your job search private from your work colleagues.

Getting an interview can be exciting, especially if it goes well. If you’re dying to leave your company, the hope of a new job can leave you feeling both relieved and energized. And, the more interviews you have with one company, the better the chances are that you’ll get the job. Right?

Some of the reasons I’ve heard for sharing this job search secret include, “I know this person is my friend, so it’s okay.” “My boss and I are close; they won’t mind.” “My company needs to know I’m interviewing, so they’ll be prepared if I do leave. It’s the right thing to do.” “I want to see if my company will give me more money to stay.”

First, none of these reasons provide the personal benefit they appear to. They simply give away your power. And worse, they put your current job at risk.

When it comes to interviewing, nothing is a sure bet. Even if a company has talked to you ten times and is in love with you, the position may be put on hold for budgetary reasons. The hiring manager may leave, and the process may halt. The company could reorganize and the job may no longer be needed.

Until your offer is officially in writing and in your hands, there’s no offer. It could take you as long as a year or more to find a job. In the meantime, you still have bills to pay and a family to feed. Why would you put that in jeopardy?

Often, a boss you perceived to be your friend feels an obligation to let the company know you have disclosed this information to them. Even if they like you, your search may be perceived as being disloyal to the company. In the worst-case scenario, you may be fired and asked to leave immediately.

When it comes to asking for more money, keep this in mind. If you don’t have a written job offer, what incentive does your company have to give you a raise? They don’t. There’s no good reason they should offer you any more money just because you’ve been interviewing.

If you begin to tell colleagues about your search, don’t be surprised if the word gets around. People love to find something to talk about. If you share information about your search, you’re setting yourself up to become next. The last thing you want is for word to get back to your boss before you’ve found a job.

As exciting as it is to share about your job search, it’s 100 percent unwise to do so. You’ll set yourself up for failure that can be difficult to repair. When it comes to job searching, there’s no better alternative than to keep yours secret.

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

 

Praise in Public

We’re at an interesting point in time when it comes to business culture. People with many backgrounds and experiences are working together more now than ever before. Some team members are young who have never worked at an in person job and have always had a cell phone. Others are older people who started working before laptop computers or the internet even existed. Some employees have only worked in at big corporate companies, while others have been at startups. These people all have different working styles. They are now collaborating together, via the tiny camera on their computers.

Variations make communication differences quite interesting to observe. You probably have some coworkers who will only call you if there’s a scheduled meeting on your calendar. Others may send you an unplanned message, asking if you have time to talk, even when there’s no meeting scheduled. And, then there are a handful that will call with no notice. These differences are driven by multiple factors, including generation and work experience.

Similarly, people have different habits when it comes to written communication. Some people prefer email, while others like Slack. Within email, there are fairly distinct differences. Some emails are sent from one person to another single person. Others include many extra people as a carbon copy, for informational purposes. Some emails will have recipients included as a blind carbon copy, to reduce the number of replies. And, other emails will add additional people to existing email chains.

Over the years, I’ve started to believe that there is an inverse relationship with email and the size of the company. In other words, the smaller an organization is, the more recipients will be included on a single email. People at startups tend to copy many people at once. This keeps everyone up to date, and is seen as being more efficient. Within a large company, it’s more common to see email chains that include only the bare minimum number of people. The sender doesn’t want to involve anyone who doesn’t need to be on the email.

The same trend seems to also be true in meetings between two companies. A small company will bring many attendees to a meeting in an effort to show that the company is legitimate. A large company will send one or two representatives, who serve as the sole points of contact.

No matter the venue, one thing hasn’t changed. Praise in public, and criticize in private. Calling someone out in a meeting in front of others does nothing but hurt your relationship with them. If you’re asking a colleague for something via email and aren’t getting the results you want, call them or email them — directly. Don’t copy additional people. Even if you aren’t trying to put them on the spot, this is how it will likely feel. No one wants their shortcomings to be pointed out in front of others. Adjust your approach, and you’ll get better results.

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

 

No Looking Back

We’ve known that remote work was the new normal since early 2020. But, signs are beginning to emerge that we may never go back to the way things were before. Amazon recently announced that they are pausing the construction on multiple buildings, including office buildings in Washington and Tennessee. While some companies are continuing to recall employees, this change is definitely a sign of the times.

Unemployment continues to remain relatively low at 3.6 percent overall, and Amazon has over 70 thousand job openings currently posted on LinkedIn’s career site. Pausing the construction may be in part due to less than favorable news shared on a recent Amazon earnings call. But, it could be argued that it’s more than this.

We are relying on Amazon more now than ever before, from ordering everyday items online to grocery delivery, and streaming services. Amazon’s success is very much dependent on technology. And, as such, it is dependent on technology talent.

Before the pandemic, the best technology workers needed to be flexible with regards to location. Often, tech talent would relocate to San Francisco, Seattle, or New York in order to be competitive. But, remote work has introduced a new dynamic. Tech workers are moving away from big, expensive cities to the suburbs. And, some are returning closer to their roots. Moving away from the city allows workers to both save money, and to have a better quality of life.

Tech talent is hard to find and to hire. Companies are paying high salaries for niche skillsets. And, Amazon knows that. They also know that tech workers want the option to work from anywhere. In addition, studies have shown that money is no longer the most important factor for many employees. Employees are much more concerned with work life balance.

It makes sense that Amazon would stop building more office buildings. It saves them money. It allows them to hire workers anywhere. It’s a win-win for the employer and the employee.

In addition, when employees do come together in person, it’s different than in the past. Employees are no longer sitting in their cubicles all day. They aren’t going to drive an hour round trip to be isolated at work. They can do that at home. If they’re going in person, it’s to work collaboratively with their team.

Collaborative work requires a different type of workspace. For companies who are still building, they’re considering a more hybrid building model. Others are renting space in coworking buildings like WeWork.

Either way, the old building is history. The sooner that more businesses realize this, the more likely they are to be competitive with hiring. And, in turn, they will be more competitive in business. Employees want more balance and more control over their daily lives. They have more choices than ever before, and they know it. It’s time for companies to realize that there’s no looking back. This is the new normal.

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

 

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