Written by Susan Lamphiear
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle. Or as Mark Twain said, “I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me they want.”
These quotes remind me of the oft-quoted message, too, that if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’ve arrived?
Personally, I’d settle for having thought of any of these words of wisdom. But it’s certainly true that in life and in the job search and career transition, it helps to know who you are so you can decide where you’re headed. Our keynote speaker stressed that as she described her Seven Strategies for a Seamless Career Transition.
Can you articulate your personal brand? In other words, what separates you from the other 100 candidates for the job? You can think of it as researching yourself, says keynote speaker Carole Redden, who has worked with students and professionals for over 18 years to manage their career transitions and develop their communication skills. Figure out what you can do to maximize your chances of success by knowing what you bring to the table and in what culture or environment you will thrive.
Assessing yourself (knowing your personal brand) is one of seven strategies for career transition Carole presented today at the Scottsdale event.
Seven Strategies for a Seamless Career Transition
- Assess yourself: Personal Branding — As part of researching yourself, get out there and meet people, including volunteering. Get back in touch with your passions: animals, veterans, horses? Along the way you may discover you don’t want to wear a suit anymore and other things that will help you target your next job or career. What kind of company or culture fits you? In 2008 when the economy dipped, Jean realized her volunteering helped keep her positive.
- Get Creative with Opportunities & Organizations: Take advantage of working with recruiters, use Indeed.com, post your resume with caution, track your job search, and request informational interviews (most people are willing to share information if it is limited in the time commitment—say 15 minutes).
- ReConnect: Proceed with the other person in mind. Ask what you can do for people you’re connecting with. Don’t forget about alumni associations, Career Services, LinkedIn Groups, Networking events. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Too many people have trouble asking for help.
- Apply Yourself: The Application — Be clear, be thorough, and be positive. And don’t skip sections!! Yes, people have been known to do this when the process seems tedious. But it’s important. You don’t want to be screened out because you failed to complete the application.
- Re-Write History: Resume/Cover Letter — Look at your resume with new eyes. Consider eliminating information about skills or expertise you don’t want to offer. Both content and formatting are important. Unless you’re specifically told not to use a cover letter, keep sending the cover letter with your resume.
- Interview with Confidence: Remember your brand. If you’ve stated you give attention to detail, but the resume doesn’t reflect that, it’s a red flag. She also recommends you refer back to your resume during the interview as questions are asked–reminding them of your qualifications.
- Follow-Up to Stand Out: Personalize your thank you, send it hand written, and mail it right away. Even in this electronic age, you’ll stand out from the crowd if you take time to write a personalized note and put it in the mail box. Most people still fail to follow through with this. One employer was so impressed that even though the candidate didn’t get the job, they posted it on the bulletin board to remember the candidate for future openings.
Le Nguyen, Director of Recruiting Operations
Aetna, a health care insurance provider, marketing company, consulting organization, and information technology enterprise, employs 50,000 people. Their goal is to make quality health care more affordable and more accessible by being the global leader in empowering people to live healthier lives. The company benefits include paid time off (PTO) and holidays, life insurance, short-term AND long-term disability, and employee work/life assistance program. Shared benefits include medical, dental, and vision plans. Incentive programs include 401K and annual bonuses, wellness/incentive programs, tuition assistance programs and student loan repayment (new in 2017).
Aetna recently entered a social compact which raised the minimum base hourly wage from $12 to $16/hour for its U.S. employees. The company also launched an enhanced medical benefits program in 2016 which lowered the out-of-pocket health care expenses for some of its U.S. employees. And starting in 2017, Aetna employees with student debt are about to get up to a $10,000 break.
A number of jobs are currently available including finance professionals, nurse consultants, network engineers, audit project manager, clinical care manager, administrative assistant, and claims reporting analyst. To apply visit their website.
Stacie Lee, Technical Recruiter
G/O Digital is a digital marketing company backed by the TEGNA name — which recently purchased G/O Digital — and offering a full suite of digital solutions. Each month TEGNA reaches 50 million adults on-air and 32 million across their digital platforms.
TEGNA is a best-in-class operator with 46 television stations (including those serviced by TEGNA) in 38 markets from coast to coast. TEGNA is the largest owner of top four affiliates in the top 25 markets and reach an estimated 33% of all television households nationwide.
Benefits include medical, dental, vision, 401K match up to 5%, and vacation days. Company perks include press coffee, snacks, strong work life balance, fun, and business casual which includes shorts in the summer. Jobs open include information technology, software engineer, customer service, marketing, general business, human resources, entry level software, and professional services. For more information, or to apply, visit their website.
Lekheythan Malone, Sr. Recruiting/Consulting Professional
Chase, the largest bank in the United States, and one of the largest in the world, prides itself as having a culture striving to help the community, and who is looking for leaders who want to grow with the company. The company will soon open another new center in Chandler. Chase works with individual customers, small businesses, corporations, financial institutions, non-profits and governments. Because the organization is large, it provides employees with amazing job opportunities, including over 17 job areas across six lines of business.
Diversity at Chase is not just a saying. Diversity and inclusion are core values including how they work, how they interact with each other, how they deliver the products and services and how they make decisions to support the customer and community.
The entire company is founded on making a real difference in the community and doing what’s right for their customers.
Open roles include business analysts, customer service and collections throughout the Phoenix area. Benefit offerings include health care and insurance plans, wellness program, and savings programs. For more information and to apply, visit their website.
Michael Marchese, Sr. Talent Acquisition Consultant
Vanguard is a unique investment company, founded in 1975, which is neither public nor private. Instead, it’s owned by the clients who are also their investors. The company maintains a very low turnover rate among its executives. Not driven by commissions, the company’s core belief is doing the right thing.
Benefits include a 37 ½ hour work week and anything above 40 hours becomes overtime, with the company paying 86% of the cost of employee health benefits. Promotions are primarily driven from within with different movement tracks. During the full three-month training, employees receive full compensation. People at different levels are hired but the primary emphasis is leadership skills, no matter what the position. Most people have no prior background in finance but for anyone with licenses, they have positions for those individuals, too. Across the board, the company emphasizes coaching and development of everyone they hire. Data analytics is a critical skill set too for the company.
Vanguard employs 3000 people at their Scottsdale facility at Raintree and the 101, employing entry level to management level in several areas including processing associate, retirement plan services representatives, financial advisors, and team leaders. Recently 800 positions were filled for client relationship specialists. For more information and to apply, visit their website.
Goodwill of Central & Northern AZ
Carter Ellis, Professional Career Advisor
Goodwill of Central & Northern AZ is a non-profit organization whose main focus is to eliminate unemployment. They provide on-site career development via Goodwill Career centers and connect local talent with Valley employers including Prescott and Yuma. Goodwill and Career Connectors have formed a community partnership and provide ongoing support during the job search. Of every dollar, 90 cents goes back into the community.
For job seekers open to constructive criticism, on-site centers provide free career coaching, resume critiquing, and mock interviewing. And Goodwill is not just about retail positions. Management positions are also available. Goodwill works with employers all over the Valley, offering a variety of positions. If you require technical skills not offered by Goodwill, they can put you in touch with an organization that does. All services at Goodwill are free to both job seekers and to employers. Connect with them through employment events, talent sourcing, and the Goodwill job board which includes internal leads. Services are available daily 9-5 throughout the Valley except for the Scottsdale Pavilions site which is open only Fridays. You can also find them at their website.
Jason Jones, Sr. Admissions Advisor
Coder Camps train through on-site immersion or structured online programs with the aim of helping to fill the needs gap. Currently coders are needed all across the country and the positions go unfilled because there’s a shortage. Since 2010, salaries of software developers across-the-board have increased around the world. Training onsite takes 12 weeks, the online a little longer at 24 weeks because it allows students to work at a flexible pace.
Coder. For. Life. Assures graduates can return to Coder Camps to take any courses for FREE. Graduates can also update their skills or learn a new language and then benefit from lifetime job placement assistance to advance their careers. This lifetime benefit is exclusively offered only at Coder Camps.
For more information or to apply, visit their website.
Sheila Coulam, Director of Programs for Career Connectors, closed the formal meeting, thanking volunteers and Highlands Church for providing the beautiful facility. During breakout sessions attendees are welcome to meet with hiring companies, have free professional headshots taken, and receive help with LinkedIn and resume writing.
The next Scottsdale event will be held Thursday, August 10, 2017, in Scottsdale and will feature Jennifer Rojas giving the keynote entitled Become a Jedi Communicator in Your Job Search. The next two events are scheduled in Gilbert for Tuesday, July 25, 2017 and in Phoenix for Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Click here for specifics — including locations and speakers– for all three upcoming meetings.