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Cutting The Cord

I could write a book about the information I’m about to share. If you’re a parent with an adult child, this is for you. Before I go too far, let me say this. I know you love your child. I know you want them to do well. And when they’re struggling, you want to help. But, this is the thing. When it comes to your child’s job search, you are very likely hurting them.

From time to time, I receive a request from a parent. They want to speak to me about their (30 year old) child’s job search. This used to happen occasionally, but it’s becoming the norm. When a concerned parent reaches out, I respond with a friendly note saying I’d love to help and to please have the child contact me. Recently, a frustrated parent let me know that they are not a helicopter parent. Their child is just busy, and they’re (the parent) better at this.

I shared my experience with a few friends, and it turned out I’m not the only one seeing this pattern. One friend noted that parents call a university scholarship office. The university adds the child to a list – the “not a good candidate” list. I heard another story of parents calling in sick to their child’s work for them. A recruiter shared that parents call on behalf of their children regularly. Another friend shared that a parent asked to sit in on their adult child’s job interview.

These are all examples that should make any parent cringe. Please hear me when I say this. You are not helping your children. You are hurting them. People notice when you ask questions about your adult child’s career. And, you’re keeping your child from learning how to do these things on their own.

Companies take note and they don’t just judge you. They judge your child. They assume that your adult child is a coddled baby who is unable to function. They assume that your child should not be given responsibility. They assume your child will not be able to do their own job. And, they most definitely do not want to hire your child.

If you find yourself in a spot where your child is struggling, here are some ideas that will help. Talk to them one on one at home about their job search. Ask them where they’re struggling. Listen to their concerns. Talk to your child about the process of applying for a job. Share your experience. When they get rejected from an interview, offer your support and encouragement. But, do these things from the sidelines.

The minute you jump into your child’s struggling job search, you are certain to make it worse. People will notice, and they will make a point not to hire your child – no matter how talented they may be. Step back, coach from the sidelines, and allow your child to grow.

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

If you don’t love your job, it’s time to breakup

It’s the month of love! Happy Valentine’s Day! Every year, I write a column about why it’s important to love your job. This year, let’s look at it another way. If you don’t love your job, it’s time to break it off. It’s time to end that toxic eight hour a day relationship. You wouldn’t put up with it in a romantic partner. Why are you putting up with it at work?

I know, it’s hard to do. Your job has been so reliable. It’s stable. You don’t want to be left in the cold with no job.

But, are you really happy? Does your job put you first? Or, is your job like a partner who’s draining your mind and your wallet?

You spend too much time with your job not to love it. In fact, you may spend more time with your job than with your spouse.

If you’re having cold feet about your job, this is the time to make a change. And, by this is the time, I mean – right this minute! The job market is the best that it’s been in an entire generation. Economists say that it hasn’t been this great since the late 1960s. New jobs are showing up every day on the internet. They’re showing up every minute.

You’ve probably heard that old saying. People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses. It’s true. If you don’t love your company or your boss, do yourself a favor. Look and see what’s new in your job field. You may be surprised.

Make a list of all the things you want in a job. What would make you really love your work? Do you want to work for a great boss? On a great team? Do you want to work on a product that you can get behind? Are you looking for a company with integrity?

Write down your goal list and start looking for it. What you’re hoping for is out there. Don’t stay committed to a company that’s not committed to you. Look for something better, something more fulfilling. Make your happiness at work a priority.

Breaking up with your job isn’t as hard as it sounds. The first rule is, don’t tell anyone until you’ve secured a new job. Once you’ve found a new job, wait until you’ve accepted it in writing to tell your company. Start with your boss. Thank them for the opportunity and let them know you’ve found something new. Give at least two weeks of notice, but not more than four. Things can get stressful if you give too much notice. After you’ve shared your news verbally, confirm it in an email to your boss. And, come up with a plan about how and when you’ll share the great news with the larger team.

Before long, the breakup will be complete. And, you’ll be off to a bigger and better opportunity that you love!

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

 

My New Pet Peeve

There’s this thing that happens when you see something unexpected. You just can’t unsee it. Once you know, there’s no turning back. That happened for me one year ago. I’ve tried to push it out of my mind, but I just can’t any longer.

Professionals on LinkedIn are posting some very unprofessional things. It’s happening all the time, and frankly, it’s shocking.

There’s been an influx of cartoon profile photos. There are also overly casual profile photos taken with baseball caps on. There are profile photos with children and pets. The professional is posing along with their two babies or two cats or two dogs.

There are job titles like, “Not Channing Tatum’s dad” and “Defender of the Universe.” In fact, if you look, there are 64 professionals on LinkedIn who are apparently defending our universe.

There are even posts featuring ultrasound photos, announcing the births of new babies.

At first glance, these things all seem fun. These people seem so relatable. This personal information allows connections on LinkedIn to learn more about the person quickly.

But, this is the problem. Not everybody can post photos with their babies and cats on LinkedIn and be taken seriously in the professional world. Not everyone can post a cartoon profile photo and expect to ever get a new job.

I’ll be honest. The people primarily posting these things are young male executives in their thirties and forties. I’m 100% certain they have the very best of intentions. They want to be relatable. They want to show they put their family first. They want to be funny. They want to show their personality.

With this in mind, you’re probably wondering why in the world this is an issue at all. Please hear me out.

It’s an issue because many people cannot post a cartoon photo as a LinkedIn profile photo and be taken seriously. For example, I could never post a photo with children and expect to land a job interview. Revealing my whole self is not a privilege that I have if I want to be employed.

To put it in perspective, I have been directly asked in job interviews whether or not I’m planning to have any children soon. As hard as it is to believe, the question is sometimes used as a screening tool.

To the young, successful men out there, this column is for you. I respect what you’re trying to do. I respect that you want to be relatable. I love that you’re showing me that your family is an important part of your life. I know that you are creating these fun profiles for all of the right reasons.

But, we can’t all share those things and be taken seriously. Let’s keep LinkedIn as the professional site it is. And when we become friends, we’ll connect on Facebook and I can learn about your kids, your spouse, and your awesome dogs there.

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

 

How to Start Your Job Search

You’ve decided 2019 is the year. You’re going to find a new job. You’ve been waiting for the right time, and it’s finally here. After years and years of hating your job, you’ve heard the market has finally turned around. You’re ready for something new.

If you’re like many people, you haven’t looked in so long, you’re really not sure where to begin. Perhaps the last time you looked for a job, you found it the old fashioned way. Applying online feels scary. It seems like such a big deal that it can stop you from starting.

The good news is this. Companies have been telling candidates, “Apply online. If you’re a good fit, we’ll call you.” But, in reality, many managers are hiring in just the same way you’re used to – the old fashioned way.

If you think about it, it makes sense. When a manager decides to hire someone new, they typically think about whether or not they know someone who would be a good fit. If not, they ask around to see if they know anyone who knows anyone. It feels better to hire someone they know and trust. It feels less risky.

Very rarely will a hiring manager first think, “Wow! I’d love to sort through a few hundred resumes today from the internet.” The internet is typically where they look when they don’t know someone else. They may even try a headhunter or external recruiter before they trust internet applications. So, good news is – the job search has changed less than it seems like from the outside.

The other good news is, the internet has given job seekers an incredible amount of transparency that we didn’t have before. It’s never been easier to know which companies were hiring. It’s never been easier to find out what a particular job is worth. You can now find out what a company’s employees think of their CEO and their company. You can even study interview questions before your first interview. In a way, the internet has helped to level the playing field for job seekers. If you’ve never seen this sort of information before, there are three websites you should check out: Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed.

And, if you’re just starting to search, don’t let the new internet process scare you. Keep looking the old fashioned way, with a little bit of internet research thrown in for good measure. It’s okay to email your application directly to the hiring manager. It’s okay to ask a friend who works at the company to put in a good word for you. The old process still applies.

Before you apply, take a little time to revise your resume. You want it to be up to date, accurate, and error free. When you do get in front of the hiring manager, you want to put your best foot forward the first time. That also hasn’t changed.

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

The Six Biggest Mistakes You’re Making on LinkedIn

You’ve decided you want to get a job. The first thing you may want to do is update your LinkedIn profile. But, this is the problem. You’re doing a few things wrong. Those things are going to slow down your search, and you don’t even know it.

1. You have no photo.  You’ve got to get a photo. It’s no longer okay to opt-out of having a photo on LinkedIn. It helps people to know you’re a real person. And, if there’s more than one person with your name, it helps them to find you.

2. Your URL is a mess. You may have not thought about this, but check out the URL on your LinkedIn page. It will begin with www.linkedin.com/in/. Then, it will have something after the slash. If you haven’t customized your LinkedIn URL, it will be long and will contain many numbers at the end. Take a few minutes to create a custom URL. You can do this by clicking the link that says, “Edit public profile and URL.” When you pick your new URL, be sure that it is simple, and doesn’t contain a reference to your birth year or graduation year. You don’t want employers to guess your age from the start.

3. Your profile isn’t up to date. I know, you’ve been busy. 2018 was a crazy year for everyone. This is the time to update your profile. Add in your current and previous work. Be sure to include your education.

4. You don’t have enough connections. I know that LinkedIn isn’t the same thing as Facebook. But, to use it effectively, you need to connect to others. Connect to colleagues, classmates, and professional friends. Your goal should be a minimum of 500 LinkedIn connections. The more first degree connections you have, the more second and third degree connections you’ll have. And, it will be easier to find people at the new company you’re interested in.

5. You don’t have enough recommendations. The recommendations on your LinkedIn profile can be incredibly powerful. Your former boss and coworkers can leave you positive feedback – for everyone to see. It shows that you’re someone they would hire again. If you’ve been laid off in the past, the recommendations section can show a future employer that you were a valued employee. Don’t overlook this section. It can add a tremendous amount of value to your resume.

6. You aren’t participating. LinkedIn isn’t just a place to upload your resume. It’s a place to connect with others. It’s a place to join and participate in groups. It’s a great place to join into professional discussions. Don’t take a backseat when it comes to your participation on LinkedIn. This is the time to get involved.

LinkedIn is a critical piece of the 2019 job search. Before you start, review your profile. Updating your profile will help you to start your 2019 job search off strong.

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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