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Are you committed or complacent?

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You probably already know. There’s an ongoing debate going on. It’s growing as workplace philosophies continue to evolve.

This is the question. How long should you stay at your current employer?

If you leave too soon, your next employer will think you job hop. They may think you have a problem with commitment. Perhaps you’ve been fired before. Or, maybe they’ll assume you don’t get along well with others. You definitely won’t be someone they’ll want to invest their company resources into.

That’s true, right?

Not necessarily. Staying at a job too long may send signs you never even thought of. Your future hiring manager may think you’re the kind of person who doesn’t challenge yourself to grow. They may assume that your skills are rusty. They may wonder what’s wrong with you… (Yes, what’s wrong with you.)

In today’s job market, it’s not unusual to switch jobs every three to five years. In fact, many hiring managers appreciate someone with multiple companies on their resume.

Here are a few of the positive perceptions hiring managers have about employees who transition between different companies:

  • This person has a diverse skill set of knowledge
  • This person is a real go-getter
  • This person knows how to work well in many different environments
  • This person has many industry contacts
  • This person is self motivated

Don’t get me wrong, this perception varies by industry. In certain industries, it is more important to change frequently while in other industries, staying for a long time can be valued. But, overall, it’s becoming more and more expected that you change frequently. In fact, people hold more than ten different jobs in their lifetime today.

And, do you know what’s more? The data suggests that employees who stay at companies longer than two years get paid 50% less over the course of their lifetime.

50% – that earning figure sounds crazy! Well, until you think of how hard it is to negotiate a good raise within your company. Where do you think all the raises are going to? They’re going to outside candidates the company is trying to lure in.

So, what’s holding you back? Do you think your boss is eventually going to recognize your brilliance (one day)? Do you feel under-qualified to take another job? Are you afraid of the interview process? Are you convinced there are no good jobs out there?

Or, are you sure that someone is going to appreciate your long term commitment?

If this is your strategy, I hate to break it to you, but it may not work. In fact, it could backfire in a big way.

Imagine you live in a small city where you’re known for doing a particular kind of work for a certain company. You’ve earned respect for many years working at the same place. Then, you decide that you want to pick up and move to someplace bigger — maybe New York or LA.

And, all of the sudden, that longevity and respect don’t take you as far. You may just look like someone who’s comfortable… complacent… not committed to growth. You may have become someone with a tiny network of contacts.

Of course, the length of time truly varies by the type of profession you’re in. But, keep that in mind when your great uncle (who has never worked a day in your field) starts to give you a hard time about job hopping. These relatives will often scare you with stories about the unknown. They talk about the possibility of failure, of being laid off, and of losing your health insurance.

But really, you’re at risk anywhere you go. Jobs today are not a guarantee. But, if you do switch periodically, you will diversify your skill set – and your professional network. And, you will create a bigger safety net for yourself than you started with.

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

 

Best and Worst Jobs for New Grads

Thank you to Marybeth Conley and Alex Coleman for inviting me back to Live @ 9 on Wreg News Channel 3 to talk jobs.

Here’s a graduation gift for the class of 2015.

Jobs!

College grads can look forward to the best employment outlook since before the recession.

Wallet Hub recently came out with its report on the best and worst entry-level jobs.

Watch my interview for hints and tips on the best jobs for those just starting their careers.

Summer Job Search Strategies

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, and got the opportunity to watch a little World Cup soccer! Now that the excitement of the games and holidays are winding down, it’s time to refocus on your goal – scoring your next job.

If you’re serious about finding a new job, this is the time to kick things into high gear. Keep in mind that an average search can often take a few months — and the holidays will be here before you know it. Considering that, there’s no time to spare.

In my latest Memphis Daily News column, I discuss the power the internet has to help you to level the career playing field. Although job selection should be a fair process, it often has flaws. Research shows that certain groups of people struggle to get a fair shake. Even things you have no control over such as your name or your height can influence your job prospects.

The internet gives you the opportunity to research companies from the inside out in a way that wasn’t easily available before. On this week’s Copeland Coaching Podcast, I will be interviewing Glassdoor.com’s Career Trends Analyst, Scott Dobroski. I hope you’ll tune in tomorrow, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a few highlights with you.

Glassdoor offers many useful features I recommend to all my clients: salary data, company ratings, interview questions, and job postings. Information like salary data is reported to the website anonymously by current or past employees. It allows you to get the inside scoop, so you’ll be more prepared when you interview.

Here are a few salary examples. First, let’s look at a Manager position in Memphis, Tennessee. This isn’t with a certain company, and it’s not a certain type of Manager. It’s an average. You can see that the range is $40K to $120K, with a median of $76K. This is an enormous range.

Now, let’s drill down more closely and look at what it’s like to be a manager at the largest company in Memphis: FedEx. This particular position is for a FedEx IT Manager. The range is from $99K to $159K, with an average of $138K. Included in this number is an annual bonus of around $12K. Although this range is not as wide, it’s still a very — very wide range!

When you see this information, you may wonder where you land on this spectrum.

Sometimes the candidate who falls on the high end of the scale has more experience. They may have a better education, or more experience managing others. They may have some other special skill that makes them stand out from their competitors.

But, sometimes, the person is just a better negotiator. They are awarded more money not based upon the value they bring to the company or their hard work or long hours. They receive more because they were willing to take a risk and negotiate.

Before you begin your negotiation however, it’s important that you understand the playing field. You should know how much a particular company pays. You should understand what changes have happened at the company lately. Take a pulse on what the employees think of the company. All of these factors help you to be a more informed job seeker.

Unless you have a family member or close friend working at a particular organization, it can be hard to find this kind of data. Or I should say, it used to be hard. With the growth of websites like Glassdoor, job seekers are given the opportunity to do their homework like never before. From the comfort of your couch, you can find salaries, company ratings, and potential interview questions — for the exact company you want to work for.

That’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?

The #1 way you’re going to miss out on this information is if you don’t take the time to look it up. When you’re job searching, doing your research – like doing your homework – is critical to your success.

Tune in to the Copeland Coaching Podcast tomorrow to hear the entire interview with Scott from Glassdoor.com, and get more great insight on how to level the playing field in your job search this summer.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland

@CopelandCoach

How much are you worth on the job market?

You would be surprised at just how quickly negotiation begins. Often, the very first phone call you receive from human resources will be to get an understanding of where you are today, and where you want to be.

It’s important to be prepared for this question. So before you embark on switching jobs, cities, or career fields all together, you need to do some research.

There are a number of places you can look for information. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Salary.com – Salary.com is a website that provides salary industry averages by city. It provides data points on the lowest 25%, what the middle 50% are making, and what the upper 75% are making for a particular job in a certain area. The site gives you the option to pay for extra information, but I always stick with the free report. It’s not exact, but it will get you in the ballpark. One note on this site: more than one person has told me they think the site provides over inflated salaries. I haven’t found that to be the case. If you’re finding it to the be the case, you may want to brush up on your overall negotiation skills.
  2. Glassdoor.com – Glassdoor is one of my favorite sites for salary research, and I’ve mentioned it in my writing before. The site allows employees to anonymously report their salary by position. So, you can search for a particular company and a certain job. For example, if you search for FedEx jobs in Memphis, you’ll find that 144 people have reported their salary for the Senior Programmer Analyst role. On average, people in this role make about $85K. They range anywhere from $69K to $96K. That’s pretty helpful information, right?
  3. GuideStar.com – GuideStar is a website that allows you to search for information about your favorite non-profits. If you create a free account on their site, you can download the Form 990 for most non-profit organizations. Form 990 is the annual reporting return that most non-profits must file with the IRS. It provides information about their mission, programs, and finances. In addition, it typically lists their highest paid employee’s salary. Unless you’re applying to be the CEO of a non-profit, you won’t find your salary listed. But, the CEO’s salary is still a guide. If you know that one non-profit’s top paid employee is making $40K, and another non-profit’s top paid employee is making $200K, it should give you an understanding of how lower level employees may also be compensated.
  4. The Company Website – Some companies list the pay grades on posted jobs for internal employees. If you’re switching jobs within the same company, be sure to check this out.
  5. The Recruiter – Very often, if you ask the recruiter for a salary range, they will give it to you. This is another great, and very accurate, source of information.
  6. Friends and Colleagues – This is probably the toughest place to look for this information. But occasionally, there’s an opportunity to share information with those who work in a similar industry or role as you. Sometimes, they can be friends who work in different cities — or at different companies. Use your best judgement but, at least consider this conversation if the opportunity arises.

When you start your job search, you want to be armed with information. For example, don’t expect that if you move to a more expensive city to work for a new company that you’ll be given a cost of living raise. You will be paid market value for that particular job in that city – and the only way to know the market value is to research it.

Once you have an idea of your value, you will want to decide what your target range is. What’s the lowest you would go? And, where would you like to be ideally? From there, you’re ready to negotiate. Check out my previous articles for tips on starting a successful negotiation, and best of luck!

As a reminder, the Copeland Coaching Podcast launched last week! This Tuesday and every Tuesday, I will interview an expert in the field of job searching – including coaches, recruiters, financial experts, and more!

You can listen to the podcast in two ways. First, it’s available for free download on iTunes. You can also listen on SoundCloud.com. So, whether you want to listen on your desktop, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet, you’re covered. Listen from wherever, whenever!

       
And speaking of finding a job, I’m searching for a Social Media Intern for Copeland Coaching.

This person should have extremely strong organization and time management skills, with the ability to work independently and meet deadlines. They should have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

At a minimum, they should have experience personally using social media. But, it’s not critical that they’ve used social media in business before. This will be a great learning opportunity for the right candidate.

This is a paid internship, and the intern may be located in Memphis or may work virtually.

The full job description is located here (note: this is a PDF document). Interested candidates are asked to send their resume, cover letter, and social media links to intern@CopelandCoaching.com.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland

@CopelandCoach