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The scoop about my trip to Indeed.com

You may have noticed on my social media. I took a trip to Austin, Texas in May. But, it wasn’t any ordinary trip. Indeed.com invited me to come as a member of the press to their annual Indeed Interactive conference.

As far as conferences go, this one was awesome for me. It was like a job nerd’s dream. I had the opportunity to interview Paul Wolfe, the SVP of HR at Indeed for my podcast and for my Career Corner newspaper column. Indeed employees presented on all sorts of job search related topics, including the economics of hiring and what job seekers are looking for in a new job. They brought in outside speakers too, including my very favorite author, Malcom Gladwell. If you wondered what was going on with my crazy Twitter feed, this was it!

I will be releasing my entire interview with Paul Wolfe soon, and you should check out my Career Corner Column about him this Wednesday. We talked about everything from employee benefits to why employers “ghost” employees during the job search to the supply and demand of job seekers (and how it can impact your search).

Here’s me with Paul.

I can’t possibly include all the excitement in one newsletter, but I do want to share a few facts and photos from my trip.

First, did you know that career decisions are one of the most stressful life decisions? Of course you did! But, here’s a slide with the data to back up that feeling. Dismissal from work is rated as more stressful than foreclosure on your home!

And, here are some of the top (stressful) issues reported by job seekers.
#1 – Waiting to hear back from the prospective employer.
#2 – Finding the right jobs I want to apply to.
#3 – Circumstances that triggered the initial decision to begin my job search
Can you relate? Of course you can! The job search process can be very, very frustrating.

Speaking of #3 above (“Circumstances that triggered the initial decision to begin my job search”), Indeed found that people often start looking for a new job after a trigger event. For example, you were thinking of maybe, possibly one day getting a new job. Then, your boss acted like a real jerk and yelled at you for no reason. Suddenly, one day just became today. Your job search has started – now.

The conference was geared toward the Human Resources departments at companies across the U.S. It makes me excited to think that HR teams were exposed to so much great information about the factors impacting the job seeker, and the job seeker’s perspective. Here’s one last photo. This is Malcom Gladwell explaining what it is that we (as hiring managers) are getting all wrong about the job search process — and what we can do to make it a little more fair for everyone. Exciting, right?

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 iTunes 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

 

Should I go back to graduate school?

“Should I go back to graduate school?” This is a question many professionals wonder about each day. If you’ve struggled to find a new job in the difficult economy, you may be seriously considering it.

I challenge you to carefully weigh the pros and cons of graduate school before enrolling. It’s both expensive and time-consuming, so if you’re going to go, you want it to be for the right reasons.

If you’ve had trouble finding a new job, and think graduate school is your golden ticket to that perfect opportunity, think again. After graduating, you’ll find yourself going through the same process you are today: building your network, applying for jobs and interviewing. Contrary to popular belief, job offers will not pour in just because you have an additional piece of paper from another university.

Do a cost-benefit analysis of a graduate degree. Add up the total cost of your education, including salary you will forego while in school and the cost you’ll pay in tuition and expenses, such as books. How does the total cost compare to the increase in salary you expect to see after graduation?

If you want to go because you’re not sure of what you want to do with your life, look for another alternative. Graduate school is a very expensive way to figure out what it is you want to do. If you’re unsure, talk to professionals who work in the fields you’re interested in to learn about what they do. Look for an internship or volunteer opportunities to test the waters with less commitment.

Most of all, don’t go back just because society dictates that you should – or because mom and dad think it’s important. Society isn’t going to pay off your student loans, or stay up late at night to help you study.

On the flip side, there are a number of very good reasons to go back to graduate school. I went back 10 years ago and earned a Master of Business Administration. I did it because I was often pigeonholed with an undergraduate degree is in engineering, and wanted to move up in the ranks of management. I also knew that financially, the investment would pay off at future jobs. It opened doors that allowed me to grow my career.

Another great example of when a graduate degree makes sense is when you want to work in a profession like law or medicine. These are both examples of jobs that require advanced and highly specialized degrees. Without a medical degree, you can’t practice as a doctor.

If you’re still unsure if graduate school is for you, Google “grad school calculator.” You’ll find a number of sites that help with your own cost-benefit analysis. They’ll look at your current salary, the cost of graduate school and your expected future salary.

Whatever decision you make, be confident in your choice. Understand what you’ll give up and what you’ll get in return to ensure a positive experience, whichever direction you choose.

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 iTunes 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

 

Pay me fairly!

Let’s face it. We all want to be paid fairly. But, what “fair” means can be hard to tell.

After all, we were all taught not to talk about a few key things with others: politics, religion, and money. So, how can you know how much you’re worth on such a taboo topic?

As you can imagine, determining whether or not you’re being paid fairly can be tricky. But, fortunately, the internet is making it a little easier.

Research is where it’s at. You need data to help you determine what’s truly fair. Here are a few ideas for helping you to determine your fair market value.

Salary.com – Salary.com provides salary data by zip code and title. This can be useful information, especially if you’re searching at a small company.


Glassdoor.com – Glassdoor compiles anonymous, self-reported salary data. It’s reported by title, location, and company. They also rolled out a new tool earlier this year that can be very helpful called the “Know Your Worth Tool.” And, best of all, Glassdoor periodically sends you updates to let you know if your market value is increasing or decreasing.

Your University – One area that many job seekers overlook is called a post-graduation report. Most universities put these reports out, sharing how much their graduates make 1-2 years after graduation. Some also include data about the specific companies their graduates are working for. Although this report is the most helpful when you’re a young professional, it can help to provide another data point in your search for information.

Last, the good old fashioned way of salary research can help here too. Talking with friends a little more openly about money can shed quite a bit of light. And, if all else fails, a few competitive job offers from other companies will definitely give you a better idea of what your current going rate 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 iTunes 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

 

Career Changes for Scientists

I’ve recently received multiple letters from scientists in the research community with questions about their career transitions. Most likely, this is because of the large number of folks I meet from the medical research community. They’re developing new technologies for things from vaccines to cancer cures.

Researchers struggle with a problem workers in all sectors face: how to change industries. Most get into research with a three- to five-year contract. But this is not before completing a lengthy Ph.D. program. By the time their contract ends, the researcher may be in their 30s or early 40s.

With no experience in corporate America, and with little support about where to begin, many of these brilliant scientists struggle to decide what’s next. The most common choices are to continue in research or to take the corporate route. Often, staying on the same path is easier, but it is not always the most desirable choice.

For those interested to make a transition, one of the first steps is to ask for help. Connect to colleagues you already know, whether they were classmates, professors or co-workers. Expand your network to corporate workers. Ask these connections, new and old, how they made large career transitions. Ask what they like and dislike.

Pay close attention to how you feel when you learn about their experience. Does the idea of sitting in a cubicle all day or being held to strict deadlines make you cringe? Or does working for a big corporation excite you? If you decide that corporate is for you, there are a few places to start.

Begin by cleaning up your resume or CV, and start applying for jobs. Don’t let the minimum requirements stop you. Keep in mind that it’s rare for a company to find the perfect candidate. If you’re confident that you can do a job, apply. Let the company decide whether or not to hire you.

Make sure you have at least one nice suit for interviews. Corporate is more formal than what you may be used to. Do your best to show you can fit into the new environment.

Practice your pitch. You need to be comfortable explaining why you want to make a career change. You are your own marketer and must help others understand your desire to make a switch. Not everyone you speak with will understand your industry jargon. Try explaining your job and career goals to an aging loved one to ensure you’re communicating in a clear manner.

Interview for as many positions as you can, at least in the short term. Remember that every interview is practice for the next one. If you don’t get this job, you’ll be more prepared for the next interview. Multiple interviews will also give you a better idea of what is available in the market, differences in companies, and your overall market value.

Being persistent with these simple steps will help you to take your career in a new direction, whether it’s from research to corporate or between other industries.

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 iTunes 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 important is timing to my job search?

One of the quickest ways to stand out from the crowd is one of the easiest. And, unfortunately, it can make you look very good or incredibly bad. The concept I’m referring to is timing. Your timing can have a huge impact on your outcome on multiple fronts professionally.

I learned this lesson the hard way. As a senior in college, I was rapidly applying to many potential jobs. An amazing one came across my desk that was perfect. I would have been the person who designs the way a website looks – to make it user friendly.

In some job interviews, the employer will give you a test. This exam was to build an entire website from scratch. It was a huge task, but it gave them a sense for your skill set.

At the same time, I was offered the chance to be an extra in a well-known movie. I had never done anything like that before and the 21-year-old me just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I contacted the employer and asked for just a few extra days to participate. They were very understanding and agreed to extend my deadline by a few days.

When the movie was over, I worked furiously to build the perfect site. It was an instructional guide about photography and contained beautiful photos. I proudly submitted my new website by the agreed-upon date. I received a friendly note back from the hiring manager. It read something like this: “Thank you for taking the time to build this website. It looks wonderful! In fact, even better than the person we already hired.”

I could not believe it. The company didn’t even give me a chance to submit my homework by the new agreed-upon date. And, they selected a less-qualified candidate just because they had been faster.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson. When it comes to the job market, timing is everything. The first place to keep it in mind is the application. You should apply quickly when you see a job posted. Apply within 24 hours of when you find it. Companies often want to select a handful of candidates and may miss later additions.

This policy also applies to email. At a minimum, you should respond to all emails within 24 hours. Did you know that many people actually expect a response within hours if not minutes? If you don’t know the answer to a question, send an email letting the person know their email was received and that you’re following up on it.

When it comes to business meetings or interviews, being on time can also impact your success. To ensure you arrive right on time, try locating the building the night before. Build in a few minutes extra, in case of traffic. But whatever you do, don’t be too early and definitely don’t be late.

As you can imagine, timing is an important part of any job search. Paying attention to timing ensures you have the highest chances of putting your best foot 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 iTunes 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 much money should you make?

First and foremost, money isn’t everything. And, if it’s not your primary driver, that’s okay. You job search should be about finding an opportunity that’s a good fit and that aligns to your personal values and goals.

However, if you’re like me, you want to be paid fairly compared to your peers. And, you want to save for your future. There’s a difference between wanting to make a lot of money, and wanting to not have to worry about money every day. Don’t you agree?

So, let’s think about a decision that comes up very often during our job search. And, before I get too far – let me say this. I’m going to use some simple math that does not account for things like inflation. It’s not going to be as accurate as an estimate that you could make using Excel or another tool. But, I think this simple model will be helpful.

Okay, back to the common decision. We’re searching for a job that’s in a new field. We receive a job offer and are faced with the decision of whether or not to accept less money than we currently make.

Less money! Oh no! That’s typically not our goal when we start a job search. But, when we switch fields, it’s not uncommon to find ourselves with a lower paying job offer.

So, now what?

Well, first, let’s do some simple math. Here’s an example.

Let’s say that Jerry makes $70K today at Acme Company. Jerry is 30 years old. He plans to work until he’s 65.

Jerry landed a job offer at Baker Company that pays $60K. He plans to stay at the job for 5 years before looking for a better paying job. He wants to get some experience first. Jerry takes the job. In 5 years, Jerry applies for a new job and gets an offer at Carter Company that is a big raise — $10K more than what he is making at Baker Company. It’s for $70K.

So, for the 5 years that Jerry spent at Baker Company, he made $10K less per year than he made at Acme Company. In total, it was $50K less over the 5 years. Then, he went to Carter Company and began to make what he previously made at Acme Company.

Current Salary    New Salary            5 Years
$70K         –>         $60K         –>         $70K
          $50K less over 5 years

Now, let’s look at another example. Let’s say that Jerry makes $70K today at Acme Company. Jerry is 30 years old. He plans to work until he’s 65.

Jerry landed a job offer at Davidson Company that pays $80K. He plans to stay at the job for 5 years before looking for a better paying job. He wants to get some experience first. Jerry takes the job. In 5 years, Jerry applies for a new job and gets an offer at Edison Company that is a big raise $10K more than what is making at Davidson Company. It’s for $90K.

So, for the 5 years that Jerry spent at Davidson Company, he made $10K more per year than he made at Acme Company. In total, it was $50K more over the 5 years. Then, he went to Edison Company and began to make $20K more than he previously made at Acme Company.

Current Salary    New Salary            5 Years
$70K         –>         $80K         –>         $90K
          $50K more over 5 years

Now, let’s compare the two scenarios. In the first scenario, Jerry is making $70K at the end of 5 years. In the second scenario, Jerry is making $90K at the end of 5 years.

So, instead of a small investment, of time, Jerry has actually forfeited $20K per year beginning in year 5. Considering that future salaries are often based on past salaries, this decision could easily follow Jerry around for the lifetime of his career.

If his salary remained flat from age 35 to 65, the projected difference would be $20K per year, or $600K over the next 30 years. Wow, that’s a big difference for what seems like a small decision!

So, what should Jerry do? Should he take the first offer with Baker Company? Or, should he hold out for the job at Davidson Company?

This is where things get tough. The thing is, we don’t know anything more about Jerry’s situation here than the numbers. Here are some things we might want to keep in mind.

How much has Jerry saved for his retirement already? What’s his overall retirement savings goal and will he meet that goal with either job?

How old is Jerry? In this scenario, Jerry is 30. But, if he were younger or older, we might adjust our choices.

Is Jerry over the moon happy about the job that pays less? Is it everything he’s ever wanted, but has never had? Or, is he lukewarm about the entire situation? If Jerry plans to take a big pay cut, he should definitely like the job.

If Jerry is over the moon about the job, does it really require a pay cut? Very often, we assume that moving to a new industry requires us to start over completely from a salary perspective. Sometimes, that’s true. But, sometimes, it’s not. It’s important to fully understand Jerry’s worth in a new role before making this choice.

In summary, money isn’t everything. But, it is something. It’s an important factor to consider in our job choices. The decision we make today will have a long lasting impact on our futures.

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 iTunes 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