Everything we do involves a certain amount of risk. Job search and career change are no different. Teena Evert and I speak about minimizing risk in this interview.
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Jeff Altman 00:02
So, my guest today is Teena Evert. Teena is a certified career coach and counselor, licensed mental health professional, and the host of the confident careers podcast. Teena speaks directly to purpose driven students and professionals about how to find clarity, gain confidence, and build momentum toward creating a brighter future. Teena, welcome! Thanks for coming on.
Teena Evert 00:32
Thank you, Jeff. It's a pleasure to be here. Good morning.
Jeff Altman 00:36
Good morning. Now, folks, we're going to talk about minimizing risk today and a bunch of other stuff too. But this is our launch point for the conversation. I got to say, we all know that changing jobs, changing careers, involves a certain amount of risk. It's someone when they're in panic mode like, oh, my God, I'm going to change jobs and relieve the confines of mommy or daddy, employer and go someplace else? How do they minimize the risk that they feel of the change?
Teena Evert 01:17
Great question Jeff! How do we minimize risk and maximize success? Get to where we're going. So, something to keep in mind, I think, is that employees and employers, they're both concerned about risk. So, for the employer, it's the risk of losing a lot of money, if a new hire doesn't work out. For the job seeker, the risk is often a fear of failure. So, you want to avoid being a hiring risk and setting yourself up to fail. There are also bad employees, and there's bad employer. So, if you want to avoid being that disgruntled employee who works for a company that doesn't meet your expectations, you have to learn how to minimize your risk and create a no fail what I like to call a no fail job search. The way you do that is, you design a purposeful job search,
Jeff Altman 02:19
A purposeful job search! How do you define a purposeful job search?
Teena Evert 02:27
I define a purposeful job search by really knowing who you are and the value you offer an employer. So, you can target the companies that you want to or you'd like to work for, and set your job search strategy. So, there are three steps.
* Step one is set a strategy, have a job search plan.
* Step two is get focused, do your research and have a targeted company list and make sure that your marketing materials are up to date and relevant to the 21st century.
* Step three is, build your network, and take the time to create a system for building and maintaining strong professional relationships.
It is essential for not only a successful job search, it's also necessary for career development and advancement. Also consider where you're starting from in your life. In your career, if you're looking for a new job, or changing your career, there are most likely other things in your life that require your time and your energy. So, you may have to reprioritize some of those things, to be able to focus your attention on the changes that you want to make in your professional work life. We have to make sure that you have the tools, Jeff, the resources, the support, and the strategy strategies that are necessary to minimize the risks and maximize your success
Jeff Altman 04:02
I want to add in one extra thing on top of that, and that is the courage that when the pressure is on during the process, and you're interviewing with someone, and they're doing parameter testing, an employer who says, I got to wear a lot of hats around here. That's my new favorite one. There were a lot of hats, which is a signal as we're understaffed; you're going to have to do a bunch of stuff. No, okay, was wearing a lot of hats. Aren't you? I am not so sure about that. Or you didn't know what your value is because you've done the research in advance and they're saying that we should take $15,000 less, or this job that involved and one of the issues to me always is everyone exaggerates during a job search. People exaggerate their capabilities, employers never tell you about the last four people who sat at their desk and why they left. If you've got a third party recruiter who's representing you, and then the best ones are only the ones who were the messengers of exaggeration, they're not adding their own to the equation. So, we've got a lot to cover. So, on that number one thing that someone needs to do, repeat what it is again.
Teena Evert 05:24
Yes, step one is simply to set a strategy and to have a job search plan.
Jeff Altman 05:30
So, how does someone develop a strategy and build a plan?
Teena Evert 05:35
Well, it starts with knowing who you are and what you want to target, what is the role that you want to have and where do you want to work? So, that's the beginning of it. That's a bit of a deeper word. So, I have an example that I'd like to share and before I share it, I want to just say that when you are sharing a moment ago, it sounds like and I would agree that asking questions, being curious about what is what is it that you need to know in order to make a decision? So, if someone says to you, you're going to need to wear a lot of hats, rather than just say, agreeing or disagreeing? What does that mean? Double click on that, try to ask a question to find out what, don't assume you know what that means because then you might end up saying, yes, and getting into a position that is a bad fit.
Jeff Altman 06:30
You might wind up missing on the opportunity for lifetime.
Teena Evert 06:36
Yeah. So, when you're making important decisions in your life, when you're deciding who you're going to marry, perhaps where you're going to buy your first home, or what job you want to do next, those are really important decisions. You need to do your research and find out what you don't know in order to be empowered to make those decisions. You don't just wing it, right?
Jeff Altman 07:03
Although a lot of people do, unfortunately and they make tragic mistakes.
Teena Evert 07:08
Yeah. So, I live in Colorado, and in Colorado, we do a lot of hiking, climb a lot of mountains. So, my example is sort of from the place that I live and a lot of the people that I work with who really value that type of lifestyle. So, here's my example. If you want to climb a mountain, you wouldn't expect to do that successfully by just putting on a pair of shoes and heading in the general direction of your destination. You would begin with a strategy and with a plan. You would assess your level of fitness and perhaps start to get yourself in top shape. You would research your options and decide on the specific mountains that you'd like to climb, you would get a map and plan out the past routes, and you would explore the gear you need to ensure preparation for unforeseen obstacles such as inclement weather.
So, what are you doing here? You're minimizing your risks; you're doing everything that is within your control to ensure that you reach your destination. If you were to throw on an old pair of shoes, and start heading in the general direction of your climb, you really risk not making it to the top, not because you aren't capable, but you don't have what you need to make the journey, you'll most likely give up too soon. You'll feel like a failure, which will erode your confidence. So, the next step here is.
Jeff Altman 08:44
I'm going to pause there for one second to say, amateurs don't plan.
Teena Evert 08:49
Amateurs don't plan.
Jeff Altman 08:51
Amateurs don't rehearse. They don't practice, they don't train, and they don't put themselves in the position to be successful. They are the ones who wing it. They can blow with the breeze in this direction or that direction. But they're not clear in their core, what serves them. That's really the starting point about what's most important to you in this next job organization. I apologize for interrupting.
Teena Evert 09:21
Well, I love that, they're not clear in their core. That's so important to be clear and to do the work and it takes time. It takes time to get to the top of the mountain. It takes time to land your ideal job. Maybe you get lucky and it doesn't take as much time or whatever time frame you're thinking about, but put in the work so that you are in the driver's seat. You're not at what I like to say in the passenger seat being driven around to places you don't even want to go or lock in the trunk, just blindly going along your career path. So, I like to tell people that the next step in your career is like climbing a mountain. The more purposeful and prepared you can be, the more likely you are to reach your goals, you'll minimize those risks, and you�ll maximize your success. You'll even discover opportunities along the way that you may not have expected.
Jeff Altman 10:23
As someone said to me yesterday or the day before, there are a lot of jobs and careers that you may not know about. Unless you're out there doing your work in advance, you may not know this particular title or function even exists. Thus, it's important to do your work. It's important to do your prep, again, consistent with who you are and what you want. And to do the research that's going to help you be successful.
Teena Evert 11:02
Absolutely getting focused as that next step during the resort research, and sometimes people get really hung up on the title of the job that they want. I think that's important, but also where do you want to work? Do some research around understanding the company and the company culture, read their website, and then through the networking part, get to know people who work there and have a conversation? Get some true, real information? Don't just go by what you read, get a feel, how can you become an insider when you're an outsider. You probably have some good tips on that.
Jeff Altman 11:41
I do. But today's show is about you but what I'll say folks is, if you're someone who goes to glass door to see what people say, recognize everyone who goes to glass door is a hater, they're someone who has one way or another is, it's not a successful experience. Thus, all you want to do there is look for the commonality of the issues as something that you can then investigate, because he may have met someone who in one way or another exaggerated their capabilities, didn't put in the work, etc, but just be aware that don't take it as being a fact. It's again, something to investigate in the course of your conversations.
Teena Evert 12:33
Jeff Altman 12:34
Thank you. So are we on two or three?
Teena Evert 12:41
We kind of talked briefly about each of them. So step one was just get your strategy, have a plan. Step two is to get focused and last step is to build your network.
Jeff Altman 12:53
Ah, so, building a network? How would you suggest people start off the networking process because after all, networking is one of those things that are like root canal for a lot of people? They don't want to be seen as one of those people. I haven't spoken to them in five years and now I am going to reach out to them and go, hi, it's been a long time and everyone knows you're looking for a job at that moment. How do you recommend that someone starts networking again?
Teena Evert 13:28
Yeah. So, your intention for networking is to build relationships. Maybe you're reconnecting with people that you haven't connected with, they're already connections, or you're creating new connections. I would say the first step is to understand who you are and what the value is that you offer and what are you focusing on? What are you looking for? Yes, you're looking for a job. But who do you need to know? What's your value? So, being able to be able to articulate your ask, be succinct. I'm looking for a connection at this company. I'm considering changing jobs for this reason. This is very specific about what your intention is. So, maybe writing up a short blurb for you! I don't know what we would call it, I don't want to call it an elevator pitch but no elevator pitches. Just something that's going to help motivate you because it's going to get uncomfortable. So, having that maybe even having a networking resume, something that you can share that shows your accomplishments, but be really clear on your ask, and then no one you're talking to.
Can you be inquisitive? Can you do your homework up front to find common ground? Hey, Jeff, I listened to your most recent podcast and those really stood out to me, thank you for sharing that, and then continue on. Think about it as a conversation, you're building relationships, it's not just a transaction, and it takes time. If you have not been building a network or nourishing your network for decades or years, then start today and know it's about planting seeds. Put a system in place so that it's something you get up and you spend 15 minutes on every day, being in conversation. So, in my mind, I'm thinking of LinkedIn a lot. And I'm thinking of online networking, because that's what we've been doing so much since COVID. But the online applies to offline as well. It's more three dimensional. You're able to perhaps shake your hand now and have more of a texture to your interaction, because you're maybe in an environment that is a restaurant or at a conference. So, there's something else to draw from the common ground rather than just like, hey, so and so on LinkedIn, or I found this article, so the conversation is just slightly different.
Jeff Altman 16:15
They don't seem to be synthetic when you're in person, we've all needed to adapt to the world of the pandemic. We've all been on camera and we've all been interacting with people online during this time. For many of us who are vaccinated, it's a safer climate to get back in touch, and meet with people. So, this is ideally the time to do it. For those who haven't been in contact with for five years now, which is the classic, oh my god, they're going to think I'm looking for a job and that's why I'm contacting them. Okay. So, on the first conversation, you don't ask about a referral, you don't just do a, hi, how are you? If it feels like 100 years, since we are less than in contact, your name popped into my mind, I just wanted to reach out to see how you and your family were just a social call. A few weeks later, you do another social call. A few weeks later, you ask! Just reconnect and treat people like people again, because we can.
Teena Evert 17:25
Because we can, and you never know where your next opportunity is going to come from, you never know. So, expanding your network, and staying connected to your network is really important. I think we all realize that this last year, where many of us have felt isolated, or alone. So, there's a lot of different ways to build your network. I think that I hear a lot from my clients that is the one thing that they regret early in their career, including myself, that if I understood the importance of that, and I knew how to do it, it really would have helped me with my career development and my advancement, and would have taken away a lot of the stress and anxiety when I was faced with a change that felt like it needed to be sudden, like, oh, my gosh, I need to find a new job. Building your network takes time if you want to do it and you can learn from the people that reach out to you where it doesn't feel good. Take note and don't do that do something else. How would you like to be reached out to? How would you like someone to connect to you?
Jeff Altman 18:35
Whether online or in person, I always believe you do it is one human being to another. That is one transaction leading to another transaction. A previous guest of mine likes to be a connector for other people. So, people come to her to be connected with someone else. You can be a connector for people because they need help just like you need help, you know people that they don't. By the way, the jobs statistics for years is that 70% positions were filled as a result of networking. 70% of the 70% or 49% come as a result of introductions to people your network knows, and that's going to be true of them reaching out to you. So, be that connector for other people so that they trust you again because it has been a gap. For them, it's not a useful; the first contact is not going to mean a heck of a lot. It's about how you rebuild the relationship that may have been a daily touch in the past when you work together. I know someone who got a job because of their cleaning person of all ridiculous things. So, a great story but the cleaning person became aware that this guy was looking for a job and her husband was the president of a bank. She did this in order to maintain humility, you never know. So, make sure a lot of people know.
Teena Evert 20:15
Yeah, I like to say, explore all of your possibilities remain open to plan happenstance to help you forge a path forward with clarity and with confidence.
Jeff Altman 20:28
Now, let's get back to this risk thing here for a second. So, it comes to the point where you're going to make a decision about an offer and you follow the plan. I had two offers. What do I do? The money is the same, the opportunities are really good. Any suggestions you have for people minimizing the risk of the thing they fear most, oh, my God, I made the wrong choice.
Teena Evert 20:59
Yeah, that fear of failing or the grass wasn't greener on the other side. Well consider a position analysis. This is something I take my clients through and it really does start with getting clear about what are your requirements? Those are the things that are not negotiable. What are the things that you need in order to be satisfied and happy. Those are things that are negotiable, and one of the wants, that's icing on the cake, you don't necessarily need it to be happy and that might help you discern more of which one's going to be a better fit. Then also making sure you've done your homework or you have a real felt sense of is this a good match. Some people value the culture of the company, if they really want to be in a role, where there's a ton of support, and collaboration that might Trump the salary, so, know what it is for you, and know what the risks are.
So, a different analogy is like, I was out on my bike yesterday and before I went on my plan, I'm going to do a bike ride today; I have a two hour window. This is what I love to do to recharge during the work day. I'm very lucky, I can do that. But it was about terrain. I said to myself, well, what's the risk? What's the risk if I get on my bike, and it rains on me? Well, I still I'm cold and uncomfortable and wet for an hour. Big deal! Now, if the risk was that I go out on my bike, and it rains, and I lose all my savings, that's huge. So, I may not do that. So, it's finding a way for you to do a position analysis and discern, predict the outcome and weigh the risks.
Jeff Altman 22:47
I started to tell people recently, there are three parts of the body to pay attention to, head, heart, gut. Now, when you're not sure, that's the head talk, what do you do to calm the mind down so that it doesn't have to feel that fearful? Your heart, well, that one I'm not going to help with, everyone has a place in their heart, where perhaps you'll fall in love with a job. You have to just be aware of the other two parts of the body to make sure that they're comforted to while your heart is gone, I really want to work for her, I really want to work for him but the money is too low. The work environment is too ugly, it's an old building and the bathroom was disgusting when I went there. There are lots of things that show up that you have to pay attention to and you laughed, and it is part of where you're going to go to work. So, it's all this stuff you pay attention to, and see what you can do to calm those parts down or say thank you, that was a great intervention to help me avoid a catastrophe later on, whichever it is fine. It's just the idea that you want to listen to it, and then sort it out.
Teena Evert 24:06
Listen to it and sort it out. If you know that you don't want to travel for work three weeks out of the month, and you accepted the position where you're traveling. A lot of the time, it'll end up being an unsolvable problem, like it'll, you'll be oh, and this is great. I'm getting X amount of money. But you didn't listen to what the requirement was. It's not going to work out long term. You thought, oh. So, a lot of times we get attached to the idea of something even in our relationships. I like the idea of working on this penthouse level and having a corner office. I get attached to the idea of being in this amazing relationship. But if we don't do the work to understand all of the details of that and really discern, then we the risks go up or it's blind, we hope it'll work out. So, it's that felt sense. How do you want to feel this position? How do you want to feel these relationships, all the different relationships you have with work, the relationships with the environment, the relationships with your co-workers, their relationship with the role and the tasks that you're doing all those things? What is your relationship with all that? Is that going to serve your needs and support your lifestyle?
Jeff Altman 25:28
Teena, we've got a limited amount of time here. I know you've got a schedule. What haven't we covered yet that we really should?
Teena Evert 25:37
Well, I think maybe before you would go into a purposeful job search is make sure that you do the work to really get clear on the direction that you want to go. If you want to learn more, I do have a brief, 45 minute audio training about how to figure out a clear direction for your career path, where you'll learn three strategies to help you find that clarity and that confidence, and prepare you for building a career prepare you for building a career and a life you love. So, don't skip out on that important work.
Jeff Altman 26:12
I'll have a link to that in the show notes, folks. So, that this way you can go there, sign up to the download and listen to Teena, do some more work. Beyond that, is there a way that you'd like people to connect with you if they have questions?
Teena Evert 26:28
They can go to my website, TeenaEvert.com.
Jeff Altman 26:36
Fabulous! Teena, thanks for making time today. Folks, we'll be back soon with more. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. My website has a ton of great information on thebiggamehunter.us. In the blog, there are 1000s of posts that you can watch, listen to or read that will help you. Also, if you're interested in some of my courses or my books, there are links on the site where you can order them as well. I also want to mention connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/In/thebiggamehunter. I would like to know I'm helping some folks. I'll also say if you're interested in my coaching, you can schedule time at the website for a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching. Obviously I'd love to help. Hope you have a terrific day and most importantly, be great. Take care!
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes.
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