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Have you examined your spots and stripes on LinkedIn?

What is your cattitude on LinkedIn? With a little imagination, like a big cat, you can find spots and stripes on LinkedIn, though we’ll substitute “lines” for stripes. Your cattitude can be like spots on a leopard and stripes on a tiger. LinkedIn truly has spots and stripes so read below to learn more. SPOTS Have you ever noticed that you see a solid green spot (or circle) next to someone’s name on some LinkedIn…

Banking Professional Lands Job as Manager of Client Services

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Melanie Deutsch and my experience is in banking. For the past 18 years, I have brought a holistic approach with my background in retail banking, marketing, and bank operations. Most of my career was in some facet of banking.

Why were you looking for a job?
I was a Team Leader at BB&T until January 2019 when, due to restructuring, my position was eliminated, taking me on a different journey in 2019.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I was at the Chester County Public Library in Exton, went to the research section, and realized that they have job hunting sections! I picked up one of the calendars, which I found out later, was Lynne’s calendar. I saw a class for LinkedIn 1 of 3 and a free headshot and thought it sounded great. Through an acquaintance at the Chester Country Chamber of Business and Industry, I met Drew Braun. He was the co-host of the King of Prussia chapter, and he invited me to their chapter.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
I was doing multiple things throughout, but the events and networking helped solidify focus. The Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) helped me hone in on my elevator speech, brand, and networking skills. I took the Job Search Accelerator All-Day Workshop, and that gave me some great tools I used in my job search. I took advantage of the many programs they had to offer. PAGCG showed me the different capabilities of LinkedIn and how to make the page look the way it needed it to be.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
I was actively looking for six months. I did many different things to get this particular position and started networking early, even before joining the group. I was networking in different chambers, specifically the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry; at the PAGCG King of Prussia meeting, someone shared information about an opportunity; I connected with the hiring manager and went through a series of interviews to get the job.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
What kept me motivated were the people that I met. I met so many wonderful people on this journey and so many people in the same spot I was in even though our situations were unique. Having that kind of support was very motivating, knowing if I had to do this on my own, I couldn’t have done it. Supporting other people also gave me an outlet to help others. It’s the camaraderie where people would help me, and I would help them.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Never let your stuff go stale: don’t let your resume or your LinkedIn profile go stale. Always be networking even though your networking may be different, and you aren’t starting from scratch.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Start with who you know, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people and have conversations. It’s about conversations because it’s how you build your brand. It does take time to develop, and I learned how to get better at it. Have conversations because you never know where your path is going to lead. Be open to all possibilities.

What will you do in your new role?
Manager of Client Services in the financial services industry.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
It’s all about networking. Don’t spend all your time on the computer or the job boards. The job boards have their place, but I learned to balance the job boards and networking.

Reinventing or Repurposing Your Career on LinkedIn

What do you do on LinkedIn when you are pursuing or wanting to pursue a new career path? How do you portray yourself in your future forward position? This is a question I am asked a lot. 

Your past experience is your past experience and you can’t change history. However, you CAN change how you market yourself in your future forward position (aka “what you want to be when you grow up!”).

Many people know they want to follow a new career path, but they may not know exactly what they want to do. 

In this case, a career assessment might “be the first step to understanding yourself, which is the first step to pursuing your own happiness and satisfaction”, according to Marc Miller of Career Pivot.

In interviewing Sarah E. Brown Ph.D., she noted that “Good career assessments highlight some combination of interests, strengths, and needs. Different assessments place emphasis on different components. What gets us hired are the interests and strengths. What often gets us fired are the needs not getting met.

So, included in the profile should be a really good combination of what we love doing, our interests, and what we are really good at doing …  our strengths.

We do not need to include our motivational needs in the profile, but we should keep that in mind as we are screening a prospective job opportunity” or the next career move.

In reading his book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, Marc Miller stated that “the most valuable [assessment] for gaining insight into … [his] own needs was the Birkman … [as it is] like a psychic tell[ing] you things that maybe you didn’t want to know but … already sort of knew them, deep down.” To learn more about the value of the Birkman, there is a great article in Fortune magazine called “Are You  a Good Fit for Your Job?”

Once you have clarity with your future forward, think of LinkedIn like a newspaper. What sells top of the fold? The headline! 

Think of LinkedIn like a website. What sells? The attraction of the page before you start scrolling. Again … the top of the fold.

So, above the fold holds true for LinkedIn also … your headline, About section, banner, and all your new keywords need to target your new career path. They need to describe your future forward position. 

If you want to participate in a any assessments, become a Bronze or BENG member and you will have some discounts available. We offer some excellent choices that will provide you will some comprehensive data and analysis.

If you have further questions about who to contact about career assessments and providers, please email me!

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Contract Project Management Role Lead to a Full-time Job

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is John Whiteley and I was in a director-level position in project management for over ten years. I was later transferred to another company performing a couple of different roles for an additional seven years. After that company lost the contract, around February 2018, I realized it was becoming more difficult to find a job, so I worked various contractor positions in project management before landing my current role.

Why were you looking for a job?
The company lost a contract I was working on with billing systems, and I was laid off. I found other contract positions throughout 2018 and 2019 but sought to find more steady employment in my expertise area.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I hadn’t been laid off before, so I started with CareerLink’s office in Media. I would hear different names and groups while there, and because of this, I discovered Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) and Lynne Williams. I went to a couple of career fairs and got to talk with Lynne and decided that I should attend some of the many meetings that PAGCG was having. To help me improve my job search methods, it would be better for me to join PAGCG as a member, which I did.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
PAGCG helped me find a job in several ways. First, I attended all of Lynne’s LinkedIn classes and gained a great deal of value from all three workshops. Afterward, I attended many chapter meetings where I could talk with others in professional careers in the same boat. For example, to use Les Segarnick’s interview prep group, there was no teacher, no seminar, just accountability questions such as “What are you doing this week?” and “Where have you applied?” With more than 700 events in the area, I found that many of them were a big help, and I recommend them to anyone looking for employment.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
My current company had many people from my former company, which helped me. In the summer of 2019, I reached out to someone I knew in West Chester, a program manager at this company. He got me an interview, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out during that time, and I continued my search. Fast forward to January 2020, and I reached out to my friend again, who mentioned that a position was available. By February, I landed a contractor position, which helped me get my foot in the door with this company because of someone through my network.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
There was a lot of rejection and general “Why me?” feelings, but in the face of that, I took classes in September 2019 with three certifications in mind. I received two out of the three, ITIL 4 Foundation and Scrum Master, and still plan on pursuing my Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification. Giving myself a goal and a routine where I could focus on my family, faith, and health helped build my confidence and give me a sense of self-worth. I would volunteer at my church to give back, and constructive, positive things in my life kept me going.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
You should never assume and always be persistent. There are many variables, so just because someone told you “No,” today doesn’t mean that if you reach out later on, it is still a “No.” Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and try to get your foot in the door. Ultimately, you must believe in yourself and your abilities because a lot of this responsibility is on your shoulders.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
You get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t network and you’re sort of in the corner not attempting to meet new people, you won’t get as much of value out of the event as opposed to initiating conversations with a few people and learning something from them. I would pay it forward for others who needed help because if I can help others out, they can help me. It’s all about bringing each other up. Networking helped me understand the value of reaching out to others every once in a while, to see how they were doing.

What will you do in your new role?
I will be a Project Manager who focuses on training employees. I organize classes and update the training database with information on who has been trained and even teach some training classes myself.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
It can be a very frustrating and sometimes lonely journey being unemployed, especially when you’re older. It would help if you reach out to as many people as possible, remain positive, and communicate your value succinctly. Keep a positive attitude so you can focus on constructive activities. There is a lot of rejection, but you will land something sooner or later, and I do firmly believe that. It may take a while, but you can’t ever give up.

Who are your LinkedIn Minions?

Who are your groupies, devotees, supporters, admirers, advocates, backers, enthusiasts, or zealots on LinkedIn? They are your #fangirls #fanboys or followers. Maybe they are thought of as your minions, as long as you are thinking of a minion in a positive way!

When you are a first level connection, you automatically become a follower.

But … some people may not be connected to you, but may just follow you. They might like what you have written in articles or enjoy other relevant content you post, whether it’s a video, SlideShare deck, image, photo, text (up to 1300 characters in a post) or someone else’s content you might share with your commentary. When they do follow you, you will receive a notification. 

Under “Your Dashboard” you will see a section called “Activity,” which has the actual number of your followers as well as “Manage Followers” (which is in blue) and hyperlinks you to another screen.

When you get to this screen, you can see people who follow you, indicated by a + Follow in blue. You might also see a ✔️ Following in gray, which means you are connected and follow each other. 

If you want to follow someone who authors articles, you can follow these instructions from LinkedIn to follow them from either their article or from their profile.

You can also visit someone’s profile to unfollow them too. In addition, you can be connected to someone yet unfollow them so their content does not appear in your feed. 

Sometimes when you post content, you get big surprises and get lots and lots of views, which is absolutely fantastic and that might create more followers!

You just never know what the LinkedIn algorithm will generate! 

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Career Education Group Welcoming to Multicultural Community

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Julia Fell and I grew up in Russia. There, I majored in journalism and worked for newspapers covering the automotive industry. It was a time of significant transformation when international manufacturers were entering the Russian market, and my mastery of German and English was a competitive advantage. Eventually, one of my German newsmakers offered me a job in public relations. “You know too much about us, we have to hire you,” he joked. Later I had a child, took a break, and relocated to the US to join my family. Here, I had to start from scratch, with a new language, new culture, and no connections. Again, the German background helped me. I found a German technology company that needed an all-around marketer who could write content, organize trade shows, set up email campaigns, and do anything else marketing related. From there, my career took a new start.

Why were you looking for a job?
I was laid off because of budget cuts.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I was exploring networking opportunities because the statistics say that 70% of jobs are found through networking. That’s why I went to a LinkedIn Philadelphia event. There, Lynne Williams, who is Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group’s (PAGCG’s) Executive Director, gave a presentation about LinkedIn profile optimization and best practices. Since then, PAGCG has been on my radar.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
When I got laid off, I went to every workshop that PAGCG had to offer. That was almost every day and sometimes twice a day. Even though it wasn’t my first round of job search, I learned something new at every workshop, whether about resume optimization, personal branding, or negotiation. Also, talking to people in the group about myself helped me understand what I am looking for and what I bring to the table. From Les Segarnick, who brands himself as “The Interview Doctor,” I learned how to tell a story to highlight my experience instead of just saying that I could do this, and I’ve done that. Eventually, it was LinkedIn optimization that got me my job.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
It took me 2.5 months. It was faster this time because I knew the tips and tricks and devoted all my time to the job search. There were times where I had good traction on my search and periods of downtime. Near the end, I had four different opportunities: one from a job fair, another from a job board, a third through networking, and with the fourth, the recruiter found me on LinkedIn because I had the relevant keywords.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
I felt a strong sense of urgency because I am the breadwinner, and I have a child. There was no option for failure. I knew that I had to take one step at a time, keep moving, and stay resourceful.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Every step of the way you learn. Even if it feels like a lot of rejection or time spent spinning your wheels, it makes you better next time. Also, there isn’t just one recipe for success. The stats are that only 7% of people find jobs through job boards and so the recommendation is that you should ignore them or spend just 7% of your time there. But I met someone who developed a method to work with job boards that got her a job faster than her previous networking efforts. So next time, job boards will be in my job search tool kit.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Talk about your experiences with others and crystallize your story by talking about it to different people. These conversations will help you find a natural and straightforward way to explain what you do and what you bring to the table. Finally, learn to talk about your failures since these are opportunities from which you have learned.

What will you do in your new role?
I am a marketing manager for a radio-frequency identification (RFID) company. For example, they use technology to track every piece of clothing or shoes from the factory to the store. That allows for minimizing losses, theft, and mistakes. It makes the experience better for the customer, for example, allowing them to find an item in the store through an online search. It’s a growing market, and the company has a strong position, so I’m thrilled how it worked out.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to give us?
There is no one recipe for success. Keep moving, keep learning, and stay resourceful.

Wowed by a Speaker Who Says to "Get Weird"

Have you ever been WOWed by a speaker? I was just WOWed! Running hundreds of events a year, I hear a plethora of speakers and, some are standouts.

At the beginning of 2020, I was on a national summit with some fantastic speakers and authors. Of course, I reached out to connect with all of them on LinkedIn. Some turned into phone calls, and we got to know each other better.

One reached back out to me several months later, and I booked him to speak. He left me wanting more. So, I started by ordering one of his 13 published books (The Story Arc) on Amazon, and it should arrive soon. 

Speaking of Amazon, did you know you could order on smile.amazon.com and choose the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group as your charity of choice? Amazon makes donations to us quarterly through your purchases.

Our speaker is in the process of writing more books. I will also have to listen to his Your Ultimate Life podcast.

Not only is Kellan Flukiger a gifted speaker, author, transformational leadership mentor, and performance and breakthrough coach, but he is a musician and producer who is a father of ten.

Zooming in from Edmonton, Alberta, he started his elevator pitch as “I help people do things that they don’t think they can do.”

Kellan shared some wisdom with the attendees who were mainly job seekers, but did it in such a way that was motivational, inspirational, and was delivered with energy and enthusiasm. It was unique coming from a man with a story.

Every morning Kellan has a 40-minute ritual that includes 10 minutes each of SPEM:

  • Spiritual – engage in prayer or meditation
  • Physical – stretch and get your body moving
  • Emotional – send a text or message to someone
  • Mental – read a chapter

Here is some food for thought he shared:

  • What do you do?
  • Who needs that?
  • Say the words they need to hear.
  • What do THEY say their needs are, and how do you describe it?
  • Why would they pick you?
  • What is it that you don’t do? Won’t do? Haven’t thought of?
  • Are you trying to do what has been done before, or are you thinking differently?
  • We all have feelings of inadequacy, so get rid of the head trash. 
  • When you care for yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, you present to others more powerfully.
  • What is the way people feel when they are around you?
  • Set daily goals. You control your activities, so achieve and celebrate.
  • Get help. Don’t do it alone. 
  • Think of yourself as a service business and think of something no other coach would do. 
  • Don’t just offer it, live it! Don’t look for a client. Look for 1) people to love, 2) problems to solve, and 3) opportunities to serve
  • Have fun!

>>> If it was not for LinkedIn, I never would have met this speaker. 

Are you reaching out and connecting with people every day or at least every week?

Are you personalizing your introductions when you connect? 

Are you making referrals and introductions to others?

Are you keeping your searches under 300 a month, so you don’t get a commercial use limit warning?

Are you doing Boolean searches for people on LinkedIn or on Google for LinkedIn?  

Are you staying in touch with your network by wishing them congrats on their new job, a happy anniversary, or a branded happy birthday?

Are you sending someone an article of interest or a nice note?

Are you liking, commenting, sharing, posting, and writing on LinkedIn?

Are you participating in polls on LinkedIn and seeing the results of polls?

If you want to be in the first violin seat or the NFL or MLB, you must practice. If you want to grow your LinkedIn network, you have to practice. 

Here’s the last bit of advice from Kellan > Get weird! Get creative! Stand out differently with light, love, energy, and power. 

I would love to hear how you are getting weird!

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.