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Your Secret Search

Can you keep a secret? Benjamin Franklin said, “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” Keeping private information private, especially about your job search, can be a tall order.

Getting an interview can be exciting, especially if it goes well. If you’ve wanted to leave your company for some time, the hope that a new job presents can leave you feeling on top of the world. And, the more interviews with one company, the surer you are you’ll get the job, right?

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

None of these reasons provide you any personal benefit. They give away your power and 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 budget 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 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 put that in jeopardy?

Often, a boss you perceived to be your friend feels an obligation to let their boss 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.

Keep this in mind when it comes to asking for more money. 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 tell colleagues about your search, don’t be surprised if the news gets around. People love to find something, or someone, 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 actually found a job.

As exciting as it is to share information about your job search, it’s 100 percent unwise to do so. You set yourself up for failure and disappointment on multiple levels 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

 

Researching a Realistic Replacement

We’ve all seen the news. There’s a shortage of workers. It’s hard to say exactly how we got here. There are so many factors involved. But, you can see the results of this shortage everywhere you look.

You may have noticed when a recruiter called you out of the blue. Recruiters are proactively calling candidates (who aren’t looking for jobs) more now than they have in years.  You can also see it when you go out for dinner. So many restaurants are short staffed, and are actively trying to hire. This pain is being felt across industries. Some companies are raising their own minimum wage, or are offering new benefits.

If you’re thinking of looking for a new job, you may want to take advantage of the new working environment. If you’ve enjoyed working from home, you might want that to continue. Or, you might want a more flexible schedule. You may also want to negotiate for more pay, given that it’s been a while since you changed jobs (and you may have the upper hand in the offer negotiation).

When you start looking for a new job, there are a few things you may want to keep an eye out for. The problem is, not every company has come to terms with the current job search environment. If you find yourself talking with one of these unrealistic companies, the road ahead is going to be longer and more difficult.

So, what should you look for? Well, first, look to see how many roles the company is currently trying to hire for overall. If they are only hiring for a handful of positions, there’s a greater chance they haven’t had to feel the pain of the shortage just yet. Similarly, if the job you’re applying to posted for the very first time a few days ago, the company may not realize that it’s harder to find candidates now than before.

You can also find signs in the job description itself. Companies who are aware of the current market will typically list the job as remote or work from home. Or, the company may make mentions in the job description of a flexible work environment.

Some companies that are clued in will include more information in the job description to sell you on their benefits. This is a turnaround from the past, when many companies rarely included anything about what they do.

Last, pay attention to how many hard skills the company is looking for in one person. Years ago, a company called me looking for a very specific candidate. They wanted someone with selling skills, programming skills, project management skills, and marketing skills. A company with a long list of different requirements has likely not come to the realization yet that there’s a shortage.

This is the perfect time to look for a new job. But, do your research to find a company that will work with 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

 

What the Great Resignation Means to You

In the last few weeks, countless news stories have popped up about the Great Resignation. Millions of American workers are quitting their jobs. You’ve probably heard about it (and maybe even considered it). So, what does it mean for your career?

If you’ve thought of quitting your job recently, I don’t blame you. If the COVID pandemic has given us anything, it’s given us time to think. We’ve spent more time at home and alone in the last year than any years past. All of that quiet time has allowed us to reflect on important topics. It’s given us the space to consider what is really important in our lives, and what isn’t so important after all.

It has also given us a chance to try out a new lifestyle when it comes to work. Suddenly, many people aren’t doing a daily commute each way. Perhaps they’re spending more time with immediate family. Many people have learned that working from home really is possible. It’s given us a new perspective on the concept of work life balance.

If you’ve found yourself unhappy with your current work situation, the good news is this. It’s a great time to look for something new. Companies are being more flexible than ever before. And, you likely now have options beyond your local area. This means that there may be more job options available to you than before the pandemic started.

That said, you should take this to heart. Don’t assume that the way things are today is the way they’ll be tomorrow. For example, the apartment rental market one year ago was amazing. If you wanted to rent a new apartment, you could find a deal on a great place. People were leaving cities in droves. However, in the last few months, the entire situation has changed. People are moving back into cities. And, finding an apartment has become much harder and much more expensive.

What I’m saying is this. Things change. The market is great for job seekers today – right now. But, in a few months, that may no longer be the case. If you aren’t happy at your current job, now is the time to look.

But also, don’t take your current job for granted. Keep putting in the same effort today that you put in every other day. Don’t assume a new job is waiting around the next corner. Looking for a new job takes time. You may need this job. And, even if you find a new job, you’ll eventually need references from your current job.

Do your best and doors will open. Nurture your existing job, and you’ll be able to wait until a job you really like comes along. The last thing you want is to run from one bad situation to another – or to find yourself stuck in a negative environment. In other words, don’t resign today. Keep steady until you find something new.

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

 

Discovering Your Career Independence

I hope you have a wonderful holiday week. I’m looking forward to spending time with friends, and watching fireworks to celebrate this Independence Day. This holiday is also a great time to reflect on your career.

Are you feeling happy, or is something missing? If you’ve been thinking of making a change, this could be the perfect time. For many people, the pandemic has forced them to reevaluate what they want.

But, finding a job can take months. If you want to make a change, it’s important to get started before the winter holidays begin to approach.

Often, one of the sources of job frustration can be a lack of control. Whether you’re not doing the kind of work you enjoy, don’t like your boss, or are underpaid, you may feel helpless. It’s this helpless feeling that can really impact you each day as you go in. It can make your day seem longer, and tasks seem harder.

Finding career independence starts with identifying what is within your radius of control. What can you do today that will help you to gain more freedom tomorrow?

First, keep your resume up to date at all times. You’ll be prepared, and you won’t forget important details later. On top of that, keep your LinkedIn current and connect to your colleagues. You never know when things could change.

If you’re not using your favorite skills at work, look for ways to keep your expertise up to date. Consider taking on small consulting projects, or volunteer at a non-profit. You may even want to take a class or two to keep any certifications current.

If you’d like to acquire a new skill, the same advice applies. Enroll in a class. There are many online options. If you don’t have an opportunity to try your new skill at work, look for a way to volunteer your time – either on a non-profit project or at a part-time internship.

Nurture your network. Take the time to attend networking events. Chat with coworkers from previous jobs. Stay connected.

Reevaluate your priorities. Often, a source of unhappiness can be tied to a shifting of what’s important to you. Early in your career, you may have been willing to work for hours on end just to make the most money possible. As you’ve grown older, financial stability may be less important. You may now be looking for work-life balance, but are still saddled with a sixty-hour per week job.

As you can see, much of the independence we crave is tied back to a self-awareness of what’s important to us. And, unlike Independence Day fireworks, career freedom rarely happens all at once. It doesn’t go off with a bang of beautiful lights. Independence at work takes time. It takes commitment. It takes a little dedication each day. But if you’re committed, over time you will find that independence, and the happiness that comes along with 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

 

Life is Your Resume

Indeed.com hosted Indeed Interactive last week. But, there was one very notable difference: it was held online. The conference not only talked about employment over the last year, but it mirrored many of our experiences.

By video, Indeed’s labor economists Pawel Adrjan and Daniel Culbertson gave their predictions for the future of work. They focused on work from home, sharing that, over the last year many people have gone through a work from home experiment.

Job postings on Indeed.com with some mention of working from home has continued to grow, even beyond the worst parts of the pandemic. In fact, there was a rise in postings that mention remote work between Q4 of 2020, and Q1 of 2021. From early 2020 to now, job postings mentioning work from home have more than tripled.

On the employee side, job seeker interest in remote work remains high. Indeed is able to measure the interest in remote work by the searches on their site. From early 2020 to now, job seeker searches for remote work have more than doubled.

What happens after the COVID pandemic is over? Indeed looked in areas where cases of COVID have been low, and economies have reopened. They found that interest in remote work remained high, even after an economic recovery. They believe this represents a shift in long term preferences. Job seekers will continue to demand remote work, even after the completion of the pandemic.

But, do employers intend for work from home to be permanent or temporary? Indeed found that in the UK, 61 percent of remote job postings were listed as temporarily remote. Companies expect employees to eventually come in person. This also means that 39 percent of jobs posted as remote will be permanently remote. This is an increase from pre-pandemic. In other words, we have realized that remote work is sustainable long term.

Gayle King also interviewed actor Matthew McConaughey about his career. He shared the challenge of pivoting careers, and going all in when you’re trying something new.

McConaughey also shared that your “life is your resume.” There is no one defining moment. You are all of the pieces of your combined experience. And, he felt the pandemic has brought him closer to the things in life that are most important to him.

McConaughey is now able participate in video meetings in three countries in the morning, and then have lunch with his wife and children at his home in Texas. Remote work has created a new culture. It is no longer rude to have a video call. It’s a necessity. And, this necessity has allowed him to prioritize the things that are truly the most important to him.

The takeaway for hiring managers is this. In order to remain competitive, you must consider flexible work environments. Remote work will be more prevalent and will remain attractive to job seekers. This flexibly is what you’re now competing against.

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

 

Asking the Right Questions

Sometimes, the devil really is in the details. This is especially true when it comes to the questions you ask when you’re looking for a job. Asking the wrong question, or not asking the right question can get you into trouble when you least expect it. And, it can be tricky to know when to ask questions.

There are a few good rules of thumb to follow. The first applies to networking. When you’re meeting someone new, they want to get to know you first. They (in theory) have no specific ulterior motive, and they hope you don’t either. When you first meet someone, avoid asking if they’re hiring. Chances are good that they’re not hiring, and if you ask this up front, you may send the message that you’re not interested to get to know them unless they can give you something. But, do ask them if you can stay in touch. Ask to connect on LinkedIn. Ask to have coffee (virtual or in person). Relationship building may eventually lead you down the path of a new job.

Another situation to be on the lookout for is when you find a job posted. You’ve found the perfect job at the perfect company. And, you’ve either found a great connection there – or you already have one. When you’re reaching out about a specific job, be up front about it. A hiring manager will want to know that you‘d like to be considered, so be sure to ask. Ask them if they have time to meet with you to discuss the position. Don’t hint around and hope they’ll get the drift. Be direct.

The most important place for questions is the job interview. It’s truly amazing how much your questions can influence the outcome of an interview. First, have questions – lots of them. Having a long list of questions doesn’t mean you have to ask all of them, but it does mean you’ll have options to go to when it’s your turn to ask questions. One of the primary complaints I’ve heard from hiring managers is that the candidate didn’t ask questions. The hiring manager assumes the candidate isn’t interested in the position (or worse, is lazy), while the candidate simply feels all their questions were answered during the job interview. Avoid this situation by asking a few questions at the end. But, keep your questions focused on the job. Do not ask questions that reflect an “all about me” attitude. Topics to stay away from include pay, vacation time, or anything else that isn’t specific to the work itself. And, always ask about the company’s timeline and what their expected next steps are.

As important as qualifications are, so are first impressions. The questions you ask will influence a hiring manager’s decision. Fortunately, there’s time to plan. If you draft your questions in advance and ask a friend for feedback, you’ll be on your way to success.

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

 

Job Offers Are Like Busses

The title of my column today may sound a bit confusing. It comes from one of my own mentors. Years ago, when I was finishing graduate school, I spent a significant amount of time searching for the right job.

Occasionally, one would pop up that would seem almost right. It would have a great job description. The company seemed stable. The team seemed interesting. But, there was something about the hiring manager that was off – or perhaps the company wasn’t offering a competitive salary. Many parts of the job would be great, but something would be off.

I would meet with my mentor to tell him about the jobs I was considering, and discuss the pros and cons of each. If a job seemed like the wrong fit, he would encourage me to walk away. The thought of turning down an offer without another in hand was nerve-wracking. My mentor would then remind me, “Jobs are like buses. Just wait; another one is always coming.”

He felt it was more important to find the right fit, than to hope you could take every job that came along. Looking back, these were wise words. Who else in your life do you spend as much time with as your boss and co-workers? For most, the answer is your spouse. You typically don’t choose to marry your first date. Why would you expect that at work?

Often, we want to take every job when we’re feeling desperate. We’re miserable in our current position and we think that anything would be better – even if it were just for a short time.

The problem with this strategy is complex. First, your next job may have just as many problems are your current job, if not more. As the saying goes, sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

More importantly though, planning to take a job for a short time forces you to explain why you’re looking for a new job just after accepting one. This means that you’ll be explaining all the dirt on your old company, including the ways that you didn’t get along with your boss or co-workers.

When you choose to wait and select the right job, you’ll find yourself there for more than just a short time. While you’re interviewing, you’ll be able to focus on the positives of what you want in the future rather than the negatives from the past. Whether it comes to interviewing or negotiating your offer, focusing on the positive puts you in a much stronger position.

When you’re having a tough day, just try to remember that jobs are like buses. Just wait. Another one is coming, and you want to be sure you get on the right one.

Look around to see if you find remote jobs that are posted in other locations. You may be able to do them from your current city!

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

 

Returning to the Real Office

Some people say it takes twenty-one days to change a habit. For those working from home, the habit is now fully set. It’s been over 365 days since we first packed up our offices and began to work from the dining room table of our homes. Some employees have hated this isolation. For others, it has given a huge increase in productivity. And, while some companies are continuing remote work into the future, others are opting to return to pre-pandemic norms.

Many employees are going back to the office between September and January. For those who are already going back, they’re reporting that the days are more tiring than they remember. Contributing factors including driving both ways to the office and getting more dressed up for work – plus more time together with colleagues.

The idea of returning to work has been so unappealing for some that employees are beginning to quit their jobs over it. Studies are showing this number could eventually be as much as fifty percent. Honestly, the timing makes sense. With more people switching jobs, more jobs are becoming available to apply for.

If you’re concerned about returning to the real office, there are a few questions you may want to ask your boss. First, when are employees required to be back at work? Then, what does being back at work look like? In other words, you should find out if you’ll be expected to be back in the office five days a week. Or, will remote work be allowed two to three days each week?

Will employees required to wear masks while they’re at work? Or, will employees be required to be vaccinated?

How will the work culture in the office change? Will meetings happen in person in a conference room? Or, will they continue to happen via Zoom? If your dress code was more formal before, is that what will be expected now?

As you approach your boss, keep in mind that they are likely learning right along with you. There’s no precedent for a pandemic in today’s day in age. They may not have all the answers. But, by asking the questions, you open up a dialogue. Be honest about your feelings without coming across as threatening.

When you learn what your new work status will be, take the time to check in with yourself. How do you feel about going back to work? How do you feel about how the policies at your office are evolving?

If you aren’t happy with your future work setup, there’s good news. New jobs are being posted every day, and at a higher rate than they were in the past. And, even better, companies are struggling to hire. That means that more companies are offering remote work, or flexible work arrangements. If your current company doesn’t offer you the setup you prefer, there is very likely another company out there that is.

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

 

Is the pandemic equalizing work?

The past fourteen months have changed the nature of work, especially for remote workers. They no longer spend hours in the car, making their way to one shared office building. They’re waking up and joining their colleagues via Zoom. And, this remote environment is transforming more than just our morning commute.

Just look at today’s job openings. Many companies are now posting one job in multiple cities, or they’re simply listing the job as remote. What’s considered normal has evolved. Companies are being more flexible in order to be competitive. In the past, employees needed to live in the city where the company was located. If they lived in a market with few opportunities, they might be out of luck unless they were willing to uproot their life. In the world of remote work, employees can now accept jobs that are outside of their local area.

But, the changes go beyond physical location. Things have also changed about the work dynamic. A large part of our work culture is made up of meetings. We gather together to discuss ideas, and to work on projects. In many of these meetings, there is a hierarchy. People position themselves in a meeting room based on important factors. Often, the highest ranking employees are seated at the table. Lower ranking employees can be found in chairs further from the center of the room, such as along the wall. At the table, workers sit at the head of the table or near the middle based upon their status, or a desired perception.

In an online meeting, this hierarchy is reduced. Every employee is given a small video square that is the same size as everyone else in the meeting, regardless of seniority. When participants want to speak up in the meeting, they often raise their hand. And, they are called on to speak based on how soon they raised their hand. No one is any closer to the most senior executives in Zoom meetings.

Beyond this, what we wear to work is now less status oriented. Over video, it’s harder to view a full outfit. It has led many workers to switch to more relaxed athletic wear. And, casual conversations are less casual. There are big downsides to this lack of team interaction. But, if someone felt left out of important networking opportunities, this is likely no longer the case.

Working remotely also allows employees to setup a home work environment that works well for them. So, rather than a standard office setup that may not be desired, each person is able to design a custom environment that is the most productive for them.

Not all of the changes at work are positive. For those with family responsibilities at home, such as children, remote work may be more challenging. And, regardless of how you feel about remote work, one thing is for sure. It is changing the way we work together.

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

 

Finding Your Tribe

Loneliness is at an all-time high. And it makes sense. The pandemic has been raging on now for over a full year. Many people have been working from home. This includes single employees who now have little social interaction outside of work.

Unfortunately, the remote work environment doesn’t making socializing all that social. Remote work encourages meetings to be more structured and scheduled. When employees log into a call on Zoom, there is often very little small talk. This is especially true when the meeting is made up of more than two people.

This can be efficient. Some people are getting more work done than usual. But, we’re losing sight of the small things, such as how our coworkers are really doing. It’s harder to tell how someone is through the computer screen. It’s harder to remember to ask about their families or special milestones. And honestly, with COVID, there is often less to ask about.

On top of this, working remotely can create new layers of political and social dynamics that add to daily stress. Sadly, when we are feeling lonely and then extra stressed at work, it can multiply the feelings of isolation. This can turn into a viscous cycle where we’re left feeling upset, unmotivated, and very alone.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to force yourself to reconnect with those around you. Admitting you’re struggling can be tough. It’s vulnerable. It doesn’t feel good. But, it can help. If you are struggling day to day, consider reaching out to a colleague. Be honest. Share that you’re having a tough time with the current dynamics at work.

You may be surprised to learn that your coworkers are facing some of the same struggles. They will likely be very understanding. They may share positive words of encouragement. If you need help with an assignment, they may volunteer to lend a hand. There’s also a good chance that they need someone to talk to as well.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting to turn the workplace into a full on therapy session. I’m also not suggesting that you should gossip about your other colleagues.

But, a tremendous amount of good can come from talking to other people. By opening up, you’ll find a friend. You’ll find an alliance. You’ll find help. And, before you know it, you will likely feel less alone.

If you’re hesitant to talk to coworkers about your struggles, try opening up to a close friend or family member. Sometimes, a listening ear can make all the difference. Alternatively, you could spend more time talking to coworkers about something other than your struggles. Feeling like you have friends in the company (even if they don’t know you’re struggling) can help.

Whatever you do, reach out and connect. We are in this together. It’s completely natural to feel lonely and to need others during this very unique 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

 

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