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Happy Holidays from Copeland Coaching!


Happy holidays from Copeland Coaching! I hope your December has been filled with loved ones, special memories, and wonderful food.

Thank you to everyone for making 2017 such a great year – especially my awesome clients!

Can you believe it – 2018 is just one week away. It’s time to get started on that 2018 “find a job” New Year’s Resolution!

Thank you again, and I look forward to seeing you in 2018!

Happy Holidays,
Angela

Laid off just in time for the holidays

I hate to admit this. I have seen more people let go this holiday season than in years past. It’s a sad and stressful situation. As employers approach the end of the year, they reevaluated their priorities and made business decisions to reorganize. The shift in structure left many people without a job.

If this has happens to you, please know you’re not alone. Honestly, this trend disappoints me quite a bit. The holidays can be an especially difficult and uncertain time to be without a job. Expenses go up with travel and gifts. And, let’s face it. Job seeking over the holidays can be slow and discouraging, even in a good situation.

The first lesson is this. When it comes to your career, think of yourself as your own small business. Be honest. Have integrity. And, don’t forget – make choices that put you first. Very often, we make sacrifices for our company that we later regret. We stay too long, or we allow ourselves to slowly become outdated – for the sake of the team. Do what’s right, but don’t forget that the company will do what they need to do to survive – whether it impacts your job or not. With that in mind, you must also do what’s right for you.

Second, don’t wait to start searching. I know that it’s emotionally exhausting and you may want to take a break. But, when you’re first laid off can be the perfect time to reach out to others for help. A few years ago, my hometown in Oklahoma was hit by a massive tornado. Amazingly, people were extremely interested to help in the weeks right after it happened – giving money, time, and other helpful donations. A few months later, my hometown was still picking up the pieces from this devastation. But, naturally, most people had moved on to the next tragic news story. In other words, folks are more likely to help very soon after any difficult incident. If you can, push yourself to start quickly.

The holidays are a time when you will have a chance to see friends and colleagues at annual parties. It can be a time of renewal and reconnection. Take advantage of these free events. But, before attending, prepare yourself. You may be surprised at how many direct and sometimes inappropriate questions you may be asked about your former employer. Practice what you will say if someone asks why you were let go. Be brief, be concise, and do your best not to knock your former employer.

Beginning your job search now will leave you prepared to start strong in January. Update your LinkedIn profile, revise your resume, and have a draft cover letter ready to go. Be prepared to react quickly when someone lends you a hand.

I hope you don’t experience this type of loss during this season. But, if you do, know that there are many people who will step in to help. Be ready, so you can take full advantage.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

The Importance of Thanks

The holidays are here again. Along with the turkey, stuffing, and loved ones, there’s more to consider. This season is a time of giving thanks. One of the topics I’m often asked to speak about is personal branding. And, part of your personal brand comes across in the way that you say thank you to others. After you interview for a new job, it’s always a good idea to say thanks. For the most part, I think we can all agree on this idea. But, the question is really – how do exactly do you do it? What’s the best way to say thank you, and what are you saying thank you for?

Think of yourself as a salesperson. You’re selling your services. The company and the hiring manager – they are your customer. You may say, “But, Angela – I really put a lot of work into the interview. It was not easy on me at all.” I get that, and I don’t disagree with you. But, the hiring manager is still the customer, and they will ultimately make the decision on whether or not you’re hired. With that in mind, saying thanks is critical.

The very best solution is to two fold. First, send a thank you email the afternoon after your interview. Then, write a hand written note to drop in the mail. The company may make a decision quickly, so the email ensures your message will get there in time. The handwritten note however is the one that will make you really stand out from your competition. In all likelihood, you will be the only candidate who sent a handwritten note.

Each email and each handwritten note should be personal and sent to just one person. Ideally, send one to each person who interviewed you along the way. The note itself should be brief. You want to thank the person for interviewing you, and if possible, mention something from your conversation. But, stay positive. If you are afraid the interview went badly, this isn’t the time to bring it up. The most important thing is to say thanks.

During a presentation I recently gave on this topic, someone in the audience asked a great question. “In the age of the internet, is it really important to send something that’s handwritten?” The answer is yes. Hiring decisions are not made on the internet. They’re made in real life. People hire people. And, they hire people who they like. The more that you can remember this, the more you’ll increase your odds at landing a job offer.

An online thank you card doesn’t replace a hand written note. I’m sure you may remember the last time you received a hand written thank you note. You may even still have it somewhere. I know that I do. I appreciate these notes, and I keep them. So do other people – including hiring managers. They will keep your hand written message and it will influence them in both this decision, and in the future.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Happy Labor Day 2017!

Today’s holiday makes me think of the Donna Summer song “She Works Hard for the Money.” I know you work hard, and hopefully today is a day of rest and celebration.

As you reflect back on the first eight months of the year, this is a great time to re-evaluate your career game plan.

Do you feel fulfilled at work?

Does your boss treat you with respect?

Are you paid fairly?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it may be time to think of alternative career paths.

It doesn’t mean it’s time to quit your job right away. Just beginning to question your existing situation can be enough to get the ball rolling.

If you aren’t feeling happy about your work, what do you enjoy? Do you have hobbies or expertise in other fields?

If your supervisor is less than ideal, is there another part of the company you can transfer to? Or, are there competitors who are hiring?

And, if you’re not being paid fairly, what can you do to change it? Internally, you can ask for a raise when you receive a promotion or during your annual performance evaluation. Externally, the ballgame is wide open.

If money is your number one concern, it’s important to come to terms with one very important fact. On average, employees make more money when they switch companies. This is compared to how much they would make if they received an internal promotion.

And, it makes sense. Companies are competing for new talent. Once you’re there, they’ve got you. Those who don’t switch companies make significantly less over the lifetime of their careers.

With the risk of sounding like a broken record, there’s little incentive for companies to put more energy and money into existing employees. For this reason, you should never completely stop looking for a job…

Anyway, let’s get back to the original point. I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day! I hope you get to enjoy a little sunshine with those you love. And, if you don’t love your job, tomorrow is a new day, and a new chance to find your perfect career.

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.

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 Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach