You have to re-engineer yourself

This is part 7 of the 16 post series

I have heard career coaches use the following phrases in regards to that next job, “Do you want to ride the same horse in the same pasture, a different horse in the same pasture, the same horse in a different pasture or a different horse in a different pasture?”

I’m not sure where this phrase came from, but it simply means – “What the heck do you want to do and where do you want to do it?”

If you are either unemployed or considering a career change, this is a big question that you need to answer before you start looking for that next job. Otherwise, you have no idea what you are looking for.

If you decide that you want to ride a different horse, or get into a different industry, sometimes this requires learning new skills, systems or processes.  In the career transition world we call this “re-engineering.”

If we further defined re-Engineering, it can mean at least three things:

  1. Complete skill set & education change
  2. Adding a few new skills
  3. Polishing up on old skills

Regardless of the work that you have to do to re-engineer yourself, you must include this task into your job search program in order to get that next great job, unless you are going to keep doing the same thing in the same industry.

Re-engineering can be done lots of ways, many you may not have considered:

  • Go back to college
  • Attend classes at your local Community College
  • Online studies
  • Intern or volunteer in an environment where you can learn from someone else
  • Read lots of books

The worst thing you can say, at any age or regardless of how much re-engineering you want to do is, “I can’t do it.”

If you want that job, then work to get it, regardless of how much work it is.

Who Am I

Who am I?Today at the Winston-Salem Job Search Network we discussed, “Who Am I.”

Here are the notes from this session:

  • You are not your last Job Title, Industry or Company. You are the activities that did that you enjoyed and were successful doing in life & career.
  • Write down these activities, be as granular as you can. Get down into the specific tasks & activities.
  • Prioritize these activities by how much you enjoyed doing them and how successful you were doing them.
  • Ponder them over & over again. When you are done – ponder even more
  • Ask people you trust & respect to talk with you about what they think you are or what they think are your best talents, skills, experiences, passion, etc. Be blunt, bold & positive about the good stuff. Write down the stuff you should never do in another list.
  • Never qualify what Who you are based on revenue or income. This comes later
  • As you think about your activities, consider PAR Statements. This philosophy helps you to ascertain what you were good doing as it relates to success for your employers, clients, etc.
  • Consider outlines documented in “What color is your parachute.”
  • Consider or other online & free Self Assessment tools
  • Set out on a journey of coffee, sweet tea or “soda-30” with people you trust & respect, and who also trust & respect you. Have your arms wide open and ask, “What do you see me doing? What ideas do you have?” Collect all ideas and explore them.
  • Listen to everyone, but be careful listening to nay-sayers or people who tell you, “You can’t do that.” They could be wrong, way wrong.
  • Believe in yourself. Until you believe that you are what you say you are, no one else will.
  • Once you feel good about your, “I AM…” statement, use it to guide your resume & LinkedIn modifications.

#1 interview Question – How to answer it

InterviewerDo you know why this question is asked so often in most job interviews? This question is actually an ice-breaker. Asking this question starts the conversion. So you should better be ready with an answer. This question gives the interviewer a chance to know about the interviewee. Once you start talking about yourself, interviewer starts preparing his/her next question. So there are high chances that the next question that would be fired on you will be based on the answer of this question. As the answer for this will be based on you, you think and prepare it before the interview.

While preparing for the answer consider including following points.

1. You:

Tell them your name and which place you are from. Suppose you are “Mike Creamer”, then do not start with “Myself Mike Creamer”; start with “I am Mike Creamer”. This is a very common mistake. Not acceptable in interviews especially in call center jobs.

You may talk about your family (cover up in short); you may talk about your how you came to the city, etc.

2. Your education:

Tell them about your education i.e. graduation/post-graduation. If you are a fresher then tell them the grades you got. If you have done something different than others then tell them. It surely adds a value!

3. Your experience:

Talk about your whole experience. Start from early years and gradually come to recent years. If you have a long experience then you must not be doing same thing all years. Then exactly what you were doing? This is what your interviewer wants to listen. If you are a fresher then talk about your projects.

4. Your experience regarding to the post you has applied for:

This is of most interest to your interviewer. You may be having lot of experience but how much experience you have regarding current job post is very important. If you do not have it then you can talk about some related experience. Or if you do not have related experience too then say it clearly. Buy along with it give them confidence that you can do it and you have genuine interest to do it.

Fresh candidates who do not have any kind of experience, you should show some positive attitude and exhibit willingness to learn and do new things. Be ready to do new things. Don’t worry that you will make mistakes. Fresher candidates are expected to do mistakes and your employers are well aware of it so you don’t have any reason to be afraid. Believe me no one will give you more work than you can handle.

5. Do not describe your salary or pay scale at this point of time (unless explicitly asked).

6. Avoid giving unnecessary details. Value your interviewer’s time.

7. The idle answer should not last more than 1 minute.

Good luck.

Author: Jayvardhan Patil

Article Source:


Career Assessment tools

Career Assessment tools are used by people who say to themselves, “I may not want to keep doing what I have always been doing.”

Every good Career Transition Coach will encourage you to think this way.

There are lots of ways to overcome the questions like, “Who am I?”, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”, or “What is it that I really love to do?”

Often it’s as easy as good conversations with the people who know you and see the real you, that you can’t see.

Sometimes it requires a little more work. Here is where Self Assessment tools become worth using.

Most of these tools cost money, so think thru the one(s) you select before you plop down the cash or credit card.

Here are a few of my favorites:

StrengthsFinder – Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

Chances are, you don’t. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

DISC – DiSC is a personal assessment tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication. DiSC is non-judgmental and helps people discuss their behavioral differences. If you participate in a DiSC program, you’ll be asked to complete a series of questions that produce a detailed report about your personality and behavior.
IF you want to arrange for a DISC assessment – call me @ 336-283-6121

Myers Briggs – Do you know your personality type? Do you prefer being organized and following a schedule, or playing it by ear? Are you energized by being around people or by spending time alone? Whatever your personality type is, it affects all aspects of your life. Find out your type and how knowing more about it can help you in communicating with people, planning your future, and even getting to know yourself better.

The Riley Guide lists a diverse set of Self Assessment tools worthy of a review.

I will add more to this list as I discover other assessments worth considering for Job Seekers


Failed to get hired because of Facebook

This is a true story of Social Media activity resulting in failure.


A recruiter, we’ll call him Gary, told me this story.

One of Gary’s clients asked him to find candidates for a pretty good job – Manager of Desktop Services leading a staff of 3 people supporting 200 computer users. The pay rate, benefits and profit sharing plan is better than average for the region and industry.

Gary did a great job searching for candidates. He found 3 that his client interviewed and narrowed the search down to two.

Gary’s client asked him to do some more interviewing and research and make a recommendation of which of the two would be the best hire.

Gary interviewed the two candidates two more times and arranged for another high level recruiter to interview them as well.

One of the candidate, let’s call him Steve, rose to the top of the everyone’s list.

He answered all the questions with solid responses, made great suggestions for improving customer service and desktop functionality. Bill, the other candidate  did a good job in the interviewing, but not quite as good as Steve.

Steve was slightly more polite, professional and a little easier going than Bill. Everyone agreed that Steve would be the best hire.

Despite all of this, Gary had a nagging feeling that something was not quite as it seemed.

Gary had looked at Steve’s LinkedIn profile already, but he went back to look at it again. His profile was fairly standard. Nothing different than what his resume shows.

Gary decided that he should Google Steve’s name.  When he did, the top search results were numerous Facebook pictures of Steve.

Gary opened the first Facebook picture. It was in an album that contained dozens of pictures of guys drinking and playing pool. Gary looked at another album, similar pictures.

Many college kids have photos of themselves playing, drinking, dancing and doing what many college kids do. However Steve has been out of college for 3 years and all of these pictures were recent.

Gary pondered what he had learned. Steve was a good candidate, yet Gary worried about recommending him to his client because of these images. What if the client searched for Steve online and found these pictures? Would the client be disturbed about these images? Would he be upset that Gary recommended what could be considered a “party animal”?

Gary searched online for Bill and found a LinkedIn profile that supported his resume. He found a Facebook profile but no public images or activity at all.

Gary had made up his mind. He told his client to hire Bill.

Gary asked his HR manager if he should tell Steve why he did not get hired. The HR Manager said to tell Steve that he was not the best candidate and nothing more.

In summary, the best candidate is chosen based on skills, expertise, experience, critical thinking ability and lots of other criteria, including perception of the person fitting into the working environment. This evaluation is done thru interviews, reference checking and like it or not, Social Media research.

Therefore, make sure your Social Media information supports your business & career goals.


Get a Job or Start a business

Today @ TJSN West we discussed the option of starting a business instead of getting a job.

It was a good discussion because there were a few people in the discussion who had either had small business or were considering a small business.

Anthony DiFiglia led the discussion with a bunch of good points to consider

One generally discounted idea is to consider a Franchise. Anthony shared some of his research that uncovered that a Franchise can be as inexpensive as a few thousand dollars. Some online resources to consider for researching a franchise is

There are two people in the Triad who are great resource for franchise options.

Meg Marion and Bob Kober. They both own their own franchise in The Entrepreneur’s Source. Both of these good folks are eager to talk with anyone considering a franchise and helping them decide if A – is a Franchise a good option and B – what Franchise option should they consider.

Anthony offered a very relevant point about starting your own business instead of getting a job. “If you have a passion for something that can generate enough income to support you, look for someone to fund your ideas to get you in business.”

Some ideas that Anthony researched for us included:

(The Links I provided below are for your use to explore, evaluate and consider for yourself. I make no recommendations or referrals)

United Parcel Service Depot Franchise

Get into a Multi-Level Marketing business (Shaklee, Nature’s Pearl, Amway)

Buy truck route like Boar’s Head Provisions, Wise Snacks, Utz Snacks, Herr’s Snacks, etc.

There are lots of Business Opportunities published thru sites like Craig’s List. – Evaluate carefully

There are also lots of ways to make money thru Online businesses such as Etsy, Online Garage Sales, etc.  Research, references, knowledge and risk assessments are key considerations when starting or acquiring an online business (heck – any business)

A few other ideas that popped up during our discussion were to start a business in

Selling stuff thru Consignment shops

Start a Laundry, grocery, drug delivery business. (Make sure the drug delivery work is for legitimate over the counter or prescription drugs. You don’t want to end up in jail)

Start a Shuttle business where you pickup kids at school and take them to the doctors, after school events, church events, etc. Risk – make sure you have good insurance.

Buy some land and build a Storage Center. Technology can help you build a storage center where you don’t hire anyone.

Another good point raised by the Anthony is to find a business that is resistant to the economy. Some ideas that came up during the discussion is to look at what people are buying or doing for Mommies & Babies, Kids Sports, elder care, etc.

One person in the group counseled us to always put together a business plan. This is important because a Plan is what we use to guide us in our business. Forsyth Technical Community College and Guilford Tech Community College have Small Business Centers that any small business owner or startup can get business startup guidance.

It was a good conversation. If you have the desire, attitude, passion and an idea for a business, consider starting a business instead of getting a job.

Just a thought.

Applying for a Job

The discussions of the last Triad Job Search Network (West) meeting was all about Applying for a Job.

The points raised were very good based on the groups real life experiences.

Suggestions  included:

  • Ask questions when applying in person. It’s a conversation to determine if you are good fit and if the job is a good fit for you
  • Be prepared – do some research on the company, the hiring manager (if possible) and the business.
  • Have your references, addresses, contact info ready when asked. This means you have to had prompted your references that you are going to apply for a job where they may get called on.
  • Have your full resume available while applying for a job online. Regardless of in person on online, have your resume accessible so that you can reference it and/or cut & paste from it.
  • Keep track of all site logins – If you spend a lot of time on various recruiting sites, document the login information so that you don’t have to fumble the next time you apply or update an application.
  • Keep track of every job you apply for. It’s not a good thing to forget where and what jobs you applied for. Document everything about the companies and jobs you apply for. (Job Description, date applied, where you applied, etc)
  • When you can apply in person. Yes, you will likely need to apply on line because the HR department use these tools to manage candidates. However – applying in person, when you know the hiring manager, is the best way to apply for a job.
  • Kiosk applications – Retail sites require that you apply online. However, there can be value in meeting the managers of the different retail departments and at least let them know you are interested in working there. A hello, an exchange of names can help you get your resume viewed by the hiring manager, if this is done locally. It’s worth the few minutes it takes to say hello.
  • Always dress for a good job – First appearances are real – make it count. Period
  • Use LinkedIn & Facebook to find out who works there before applying. Social Media is your friend – get the most out of these tools. Search for the hiring manager or department head. Don’t stalk them or send a friend request blindly, but wouldn’t be great if your best friend is friends with the department head. Find out.
  • Spend time working on applying for the job, you do not need (and should not) rush thru filling out an application. It’s better to take your time and double check what you are entering. Mistakes could be costly. Typos may mean the difference between a conversation or not.
  • During online Application questionnaires, pay attention to the questions you answer. Online applications sometimes ask the question in different ways to confirm your first answer. Pay attention. Period
  • If you find a job on Indeed, Simplyhired, etc, go directly to the company site and apply there instead. Cut down on the hops to submit your resume and while on their site, look around, see if there are other related openings or if you know or are connected to anyone at the company.
  • Don’t get so attached to your resume that you are not willing to change it to better reflect who you are relevant to the job you are applying for. Ask a friend to review your resume and make blunt recommendations.
  • Use or to find the right salary to enter on the online application. What you enter will become the numbers they relate you too. Go too low and you leave $$ on the table, Go too high and you disqualify yourself. And, what ever numbers you enter you should be ready to take that job at that rate if you get an offer.
  • Apply for any job at the company you want to work at in order to get the conversation. During the conversation or interview you may find it’s the right job for you, or you could find another job much more relevant to you. However – be careful not to over do this tactic. Be sure of the company and the job opportunities relevant to you and your skills/experiences.
  • Take in consideration the benefits that that job has to offer when applying for it. It may not be just about the salary. The job may have good flexibility, vacation, insurance solutions, stock options or just a really cool place to work and grow  professionally.

These tips came from the Triad Job Search Network meeting. Every Wednesday Noon – 2pm @ the Maple Springs United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem NC.

See TJSN West Schedule for more dates and subjects.

I am Overqualified

Finding out that we are Overqualified when looking for a new job can be a difficult awakening.  And not just for the job seeker. It’s difficult for the hiring manager as well.

No one wants to be sitting in an interview and be told, “You are overqualified for this position.”  The hiring managers are just as unhappy that all of the really good candidates are overqualified.

To overcome this issue we first have to be honest with ourselves.

Hopefully we want the job for all of the right reasons, specifically all of these 6 key points:

  • I really like, trust and respect the company, it’s business culture and products
  • I have passion for the industry
  • I really want to work for this manager and on his team
  • I love the work I will be expect to be doing
  • I like the compensation package that I expect the job will provide
  • I want to realign myself in a different position so that I can use my skills & experience to provide value to a new team & organization

If I am honest about these 6 key points, then this is likely the job for me.

And, it’s unlikely that I will jump ship just because a possibly better job shows up.

On the other side of the table the hiring manager has similar struggles.  He wants to hire me because:

  • I have a stronger set of skills
  • I have significant relevant experience
  • i have the right attitude
  • He believes I would be a good fit into the company’s culture and future.

But, he fears that I will jump ship as soon as I find a higher paying and/or better job.  This is a fear that many hiring managers never overcome and overqualified candidates are the first ones they fear this will happen to.

If all of these issues are real, there still may be a way to change the hiring manager’s mind and get him to accept me as a real candidate despite the issue of being overqualified.

Many candidates would say things like, “Oh, no, I would never leave for a better job” or “No way, I don’t want the stress that management level creates ever again.” Or even worse, “Trust me, I will never leave once you hire me.”  I know that these quotes will never work and the last one is just creepy.

In order to have any chance of overcoming the issue of being overqualified, I need to follow these guidelines:

  1. Be 100% honest with myself regarding the 6 key points above
  2. Let the hiring manager know about the value I put into these key points
  3. Share with the hiring manager my honest, personal and professional evaluation and consideration of the position & company
  4. Again, be 100% honest with myself regarding the 6 key points above

Following these points does not guarantee that the hiring manager will change his mind.

What it does do is insure that if you do get hired you will have a more positive attitude and all parties involved will benefit.

So, in conclusion, once you honestly convince yourself that this is the right job for you, then and only then do you have a chance at convincing the hiring manager and maybe, getting the right job for you.

Important Job Attribute

I am working with numerous Job Search groups and lots of good people searching for that next job.

I talk with lots of our unemployed friends every day.  Each of them have a different idea of what that next job has to be.

I hear lots of different job attributes from these folks.  Stuff like:

  • Income
  • Good Boss or supervisor
  • Work / Life Balance
  • Team Environment
  • A mental challenge
  • Pleasant working Environment
  • Growth in my career
  • Benefits
  • Stability

After hearing so many different answers, I decided to push this question out to as many people as possible.

If you are looking for a Job, what is the most important attribute of your next job?

Click Here to Answer this question please

Thanks for your help