Tuesday, December 26, 2006

4 P's

I view this blog as a way to approach life, while integrating marketing concepts and applications. The foundation of marketing lies with the four p's, as you may already know. If you were to sell a new product, you would start to describe the product, your convenience to your community, low price point and promotional tactics of attracting this audience. Without the product and strategy, the other P's cannot function as once succinct unit. Let me break down this chart and describe to you how it relates to your life.

Product: Instead of selling an object, you are selling yourself, so therefore you become the product being sold. You have many attributes or characteristics that may differentiate yourself from the competition and make you who you are. The idea here is that you must build your product and establish a line of credibility. In order to build your product, you should educate yourself through schooling and work experiences and the vast array of knowledge that swarms you in your everyday life. BUILD YOUR BRAND and become a marketable "product."

Place: Now that you have built your brand(yourself), decide where you would like to showcase it or who your target market is for presenting it. These would be companies where you would like to work, whether close or far from your current location. DECIDING ON THE RIGHT PLACE will translate into an enriching experience that will also build your product.

Price: The price in this equation is your net value that you could provide to a company. Your value is encompassed by your wealth of knowledge, title, and years of experience that you bring to the table. As your value increases, so can your asking price for starting salaries. MATCH YOUR EXPERIENCE TO A PRICE.

Promotion: The promotion area of the four p's gravitates towards tactics that define how you get the job you desire. These tactics should be both creative and intuitive and should take into account the other 3 p's in order to be effective. CREATIVELY PROMOTING YOURSELF will enhance your visibility and generate positive responses if successful.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A new year with new opportunities

Summary: After some initial research, it seems like the job market is further developing for 2007. If you are a graduating senior, there will be ample opportunity to acquire a desired position. The salary range for certain majors, has broadened from 2006 and expect growth for 2007. The demand for certain majors, such as IT and auditing are ever increasing, while majors such as engineering remain constant. Entry-level sales positions will have increased salaries and higher commissions.

Suggestions: Although there are new opportunities and wages have increased, competition has also increased at an even higher rate. Saying this, it is still necessary to put in that extra effort to get yourself ahead of the curve. I would suggest meeting with a career adviser, preparing your resume ahead of time, engage in practice interviews and plan your strategy accordingly. Your adversaries for your desired jobs will be taking the same kind of initiative, so you must position yourself with more experience and skills. Those that will pull the higher salaries in each range, are the ones that work the hardest, establish the key relationships and interview properly.

"Overall, 52 percent of employers responding to the Job Outlook 2007 Fall Preview Survey reported that they expect to hire more new college graduates in 2006-07 than they hired in 2005-06. While that number is down from the 66.5 percent of employers that planned to increase hiring last year, the number of employers that expect to decrease hiring this year is just 5.4 percent compared to 18.2 percent last year. The remaining 42.6 percent plan to maintain their hiring numbers, making an impressive jump from 15.3 percent in the Job Outlook 2006 Fall Preview Survey. "
Source: http://www.jobweb.com/joboutlook/2007/fall_outlook.htm

Salaries by title (entry-level)
  • Marketing associate: 30,000 - 50,000
  • IT Associate: 40,000 - 60,000
  • Financial Analyst: 48,000 - 58,000
  • Accountant: 42,000 - 60,000
  • Sales Consultant - 40,000 - 50,000

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Marketing is life

Ask these following questions to yourself:
  • Why do I choose to purchase the items or brands that I do? What creates this preference?
  • What drives the decision making in my life?
  • How do people perceive me and what do they base these views on?
  • Am I being controlled by the organizations that surround me?
  • What do employers base their decisions on? How can I position myself accordingly?
The decisions that you contrive and the life you live is all affected by marketing, in its entirety and cannot be escaped, unless you shut yourself off from the world that surrounds you. You are judged based on perception and that perception is regulated by how well your "market" yourself to others or convince them that you "fit the part" or are deserving of their time. The media drives its content and targets it directly at you throughout your life in many different fashions. They utilize media outlets, such as television, magazines, the internet, billboards, subways and promotional material such as coupons, in order to entice your purchasing habits and control your way of life. Some might believe this invades our privacy or feel that is a negative habit that constantly affects our lives. Numerous people think that commercials are a plain waste of time. I will not argue any of these conversations, BUT I do believe we can use marketing in order to promote ourselves and be successful in our own lives.

Think of yourself as a brand and marketing as a tool you can use in order to generate influence and success. If you view yourself as one of these companies that try and convince and entice others to "invest" in them, you will do quite well. Your goal should be to have others "invest" in you, in terms of money, time, and opportunities that may arise.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Positioning yourself

Positioning is a marketing term you may often be exposed to in business. The term actually ties in multiple concepts that factor into a competitive approach that you can use to your advantage. The word touches upon differentiation and mapping out where you or your company stands relative to competitors. The example above depicts a positioning map, where an employee is judged on both his or her technical skills and communication ability. The ideal goal an individual should have is to position him or herself in the upper right corner. Use this example to plot your fellow co-workers, whom also seek higher positions within your department. If they are closer to the upper right hand corner, than figure out what technical and communication skills are required to pull yourself up. Another key idea about positioning are differentiation strategies that allow you to stand out amongst your peers. Start brainstorming and researching which skills will suit your interests and what skills others do not hold. Position yourself as a hard worker, an intellectual and someone who can form relationships in order to be successful. With positioning, everything is relative and you will be "graded" relative to your peers, so be careful how you interact with them. You should try not to give away too much of your strategy, but learn to work with them to uncover some of theirs.

It is my goal to educate you on these strategies because I live them each and every day. The object of each of these posts is to infuse your mind with knowledge and to get you THINKING. It may take years to position yourself effectively and to acquire the right skills through training sessions, but there is a high payoff. Positioning revolves around how you present yourself relative to those around you, so make sure you start paying attention to these conditions and research techniques to get ahead.

Questions to ask yourself
  1. How do I position myself relative to the competition?
  2. What unique characteristics and/or technical abilities do I have?
  3. What are others doing that I'm not doing?
  4. Where do I find the resources necessary to succeed?
  5. How far will I go to succeed?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Knowledge Worker

There are two types of workers: regular and knowledge. Regular employees will remain stationary and unaffected by organizational change. In this fashion, they will pass on learning new technologies and strategies in order to conduct business more efficiently. The end result of a regular employee is to become obsolete in his or her current environment. In order to stop these coincidences from occurring, you must transition your train of thought to become a knowledge worker. Knowledge workers seek to acquire newly established skills and broaden their working capacity by soaking in new forms of knowledge and technology. To become a knowledge worker, you must look towards the future and have an inborn ability to excel at work. If you're a regular worker, your skills will slowly deplete over a period of time and your position will fade away. On the other hand, if you're a knowledge worker, you will acquire a variety of different skills and techniques that match the requirements of new positions that may unfold.

Tip: Research new skills and techniques that factor into your job situation and implement a strategy to acquire them. ALWAYS BE THINKING IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Point method

Point A consists of your current knowledge base, combined with all experiences you've had leading up to today. Point B is your goal and cannot be attained without significant effort on your part. Each red bracket is an obstacle you must face in order to advance to point B. In life, you cannot progress from point A to point C, without first touching upon point B.

So you must be wondering what tactics and strategy must be preserved in order to conquer in order to advance to point B. The first step, is to identify the obstacle as a whole and the different variables that affect the outcome of your choice of solution. Next, brainstorm numerous steps in order to solve the underlying problem. Once you have done this, choose the best solution and execute your strategy. Take your goals step by step and don't skip steps, unless you are given the opportunity.

Success will come to those that can identify what point A and point B is and map out strategies to accelerate.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Spheres of Influence

Your organization is constructed so that you start on the bottom and must work your way up to the top. This is easier said than done and while you are the only person that may work to get there, you can't possibly accomplish it all yourself. Life is about credibility, which is the way you portray yourself to others, in order for them to build confidence and trust with your work. You must form relationships with others who are well established, in order to establish yourself with your own unique credentials. Convince your manager and others that you have what it takes and display both your intelligence and communication skills to all of them. The more people that are in your "sphere of influence", the greater chance you have at obtaining a promotion or earning the respect of your colleagues. The goal of a "sphere of influence" is to capture the minds of as many of your fellow employees as possible and to convince them that you understand your core work disciplines and are detail-oriented. This could involving merely a presentation, which includes many employees at once or individual meetings. The more people that fall under this sphere, the greater the chance you will succeed (among other variables). Furthermore, the object is to get managers under your sphere because they have large spheres of influence accounted for, so if you can convince them, it will also convince a larger body of your company. Find ways to interact with your fellow employees and network into other groups cross-functionally.

Note: Connect the sphere of influence to a mere networking tactic and you will realize the potential you have to succeed.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The success sacrifice

"Your role may be thankless, But if you're willing to give it your all, you just might bring success to those who outlast you."

To get what we really seek in life, we must have points of sacrifice. By "sacrifice" I mean, giving up one thing, in order to obtain another. For example, if you strive to get a promotion at work, you may sacrifice precious hours you might have spent with a loved one. This is in fact an opportunity cost in itself because in order for you to attain an opportunity, there is a cost associated with it. Costs usually account for time, money, effort and endurance and benefits can range from a promotion to a successful relationship. To make things truly work out, one must lose out on one opportunity.

You might be saying to yourself right now "I've never had to sacrifice." I will counter this thought by explaining to you that the event of even attending a college is a sacrifice and you must endure four years of hard work to either progress into graduate school or get a superior job. Instead of going to college, you may have stayed stationary at home or took up a moderate job that barely pays the bills. Have you ever driven lengths to see the woman you love? A relationship in its essence reflects sacrifice and builds off this element to be successful. If two people are willing to sacrifice to be with each other, then it must be true love. If you are willing to put in the effort to graduate at the top of your class (as a sacrifice) then you will attain a superior job.

As a rule of thumb, the more you sacrifice early in life, the more benefit you will receive later. This is a judgment call that you must make. I interned eight times throughout the past 5 years, as a sacrifice and because of that sacrifice, I claimed a job that fit both my expectations and requirements. The sacrifice here was time and effort and it paid off. If you have the determination and are willing to work for something and sacrifice, you will get what you want.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A resume is a story

What is a resume? The majority of the population view a resume as a piece of collateral that is a prerequisite for obtaining an interview. Those who have enriched resumes, will be granted an interview and those with resumes that are inadequate will lose opportunities. Today I would like to share my philosophy for creating a superior resume and the logical flow behind it.

A resume is a story. More importantly, it is a story of your life, including your college experiences, as well as your work experiences. Think of a resume as a detail description of all that you have accomplished thus far in your lives. So you might ask "how do I shape my experiences chronologically in order to be most effective?" To have the most impact with your resume, there must be some logical flow behind it. I will now walk you through my resume as an example.
  1. Education: Start off by describing your experiences at college because it is the foundation for which you will enter your careers. Include your major, gpa (if 3.0 or higher), activities & leadership positions and any honors.
  2. Relevant Courses: So after you lay out the statistics and qualitative information to give credibility, the courses you take in college help demonstrate that you have learned information in your field.
  3. Technical Skills: I'm an employer and i've seen that you have gone to the same college as most of the other applicants and have taken similar courses. Having the right technical skills infuses your expertise level and allows you to accelerate in desired positions. You have already listed your overall background (education), so take the time to list out skills that have helped you accomplish this education.
  4. Major Accomplishments: This area is brand new to my resume. If you haven't had any major accomplishments, feel free to list a school related project. This area is good for a reviewer who doesn't have time to read your entire resume.
  5. Experience: This area is a representation of your work experience history, from present to past, which is a story in itself. This area of your resume is by far the most critical to you landing that much anticipated job req. Make sure to connect your work experiences into your education and so forth. If you can cross apply your learnings, you should have superior interviews.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

5 Inputs of Success

Focus: Find a subject that interests you, focus in on it and then figure out how to position yourself accordingly, in order to step into that field. Those who have focus, do not waste precious time on subject matter that is not relevant. My tip here is to do your homework by researching different job positions, qualifications and responsibilities to get a strong handle on relevancy to what you want to accomplish. If you are passionate about creating custom graphics, then maybe try your hand at advertising. Focus is what will help drive you!

Luck: To me luck is a "wild card" because fortune may change all other successful inputs accordingly. You could have the most determination in the world, focus on your goals and work hard, but if your company acquired, then you might lose out. Luck is something that cannot be changed or manipulated, but if you are lucky, the doors may open to new opportunities.

Hard-work: If you work hard, it shows in the quality of the end deliverable. Working hard is a characteristic of any successful entrepreneur. If you are not willing to work hard, then it is actually considered an impediment to your success and a competitive disadvantage. If you aren't working hard, others will be working hard, so they will climb the corporate hierarchy while you remain stationary. Remember you "get out of life what you put in."

Determination: Determination is the driver to make someone work hard and the force is very strong. If you are determined, you will not let any obstacle force you to quit and in doing so, you will be successful. On the downside, this attribute may make you go crazy, which is certainly not healthy to your lives. Find something inside you where you can get this characteristic and "ignite it."

Timing: Timing correlates almost directly with luck, in that if you have superior timing, the right positions or opportunities will clear and allow you to seize them. The difference between timing and luck is that you have the inborn ability to control timing. I say this because you can get your work out to your boss at the right time and manipulate the system.

I hope you all enjoyed this post....leave a comment if something is unclear!

NOTE: I create all the graphics used in the blog if you were wondering

Friday, November 03, 2006

Giving back

Throughout your life, you have viewed others helping nearby communities, donate to charities and volunteer to support local causes. There is a reason for all of these acts and although it seems obvious, I consider the act of giving and receiving a life cycle. Giving back, in my opinion, solidifies your future successes because helping other people that are not as fortune as you may be is what everyone should do. Charities are not the only form of "giving back." I also consider helping your families, a major part in the giving back process. Psychologically, if you are fortune, are highly successful and stable, why not help those that could die without your financial support.

In the previous post, you may have noticed that I included a charitable foundation, as part of my dream. If you retire and have an outstanding balance of cash flow, it serves no purpose, other than utilizing it to give back to the communities and people that have made you who you are.

So if you take nothing from this post, I would like you to take a look around your world and see how you could make the most impact, by helping others out in need. Understand that the people that have guided you, appreciated you and care for you, should be taken up with you in your success and the people that have held you back and who did not believe in you should be banished.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

If you can dream it...you can do it

I finally put all my dreams together and modeled it for all of you to see. There is of course logic as to why I want to own a "meeting place", charitable organization and consulting firm, but you will just have to figure that out on your own. This post is supposed to get you thinking about your future, noting where you are now, and the steps you need to take in order to accomplish your dreams. Personally, when I want to accomplish something at this level, I will usually make it happen over time because I never give up. So take a moment and think about where you want to end up in the future......

Remember that you can accomplish anything you desire, as long as you put in the effort and don't give up. DO NOT let anyone tell you otherwise!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Overcoming Obstacles

In our lives, there have always been obstacles or threats that hinder our success. In order to properly overcome these obstacles, we must first state the various threat possibilities that we notice every day. Here are some of a few (pertaining to success in the workplace):
          • Parents
          • Peers
          • Opportunity Limitations
          • Poor Management / Mentoring
          • Company Politics
          • Uncontrollable External Factors (such as the weather)
After presenting your current obstacles, you must figure out tactics and strategically align these tactics to manipulating these obstacles in your favor or dismissing them altogether. One factor which we may never control is "luck", which forecasts the probability for which we will succeed. Luck is always the wild card and plays a major role in upward job mobility. As you age, parents become less and less of a factor into blockading your future and sending it in the direction they desire. Although, they do pose as mentors with previous experience that may lend a hand. Peers are tricky adversaries and mercenaries to your cause because some of your friends will be trying to utilize you as a resource to get ahead on their career path, while others may aid your cause. Your opportunities may be limited by the total allotment of revenue generated by your department or "value-add". By this I mean that the strength of your department to contribute to the company's bottom line, will initiate key opportunities for you or the lack there of. A manager is crucial to your success and if the manager lacks key skills and interpersonal communication, then you are already at a loss. It is quite hard to excel if your manager is an obstacle point of contact, so you must work around that and establish other mentors that could guide you in the right direction. Company politics are inevitable, especially at a larger corporation, where the hierarchy is limitless and the competition is strong. The only way to combat this obstacle is to play into it. External factors may not be controlled, and might have a negative impact on your work if you let them. As long as you work around these obstacles, you will be able to achieve, without constant frustration that negatively impacts your work progress.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Climbing the corporate ladder

This pyramid represents the routine transition from new employee, into management, into director, vice president and then as CEO. If you seek to be at the top, you must visualize the steps beneath and the imagery above should give you a more defined picture. Of course, there are special circumstances, that usually involve timing and a bit of luck, such as employees switching to new departments or your division prospering. Managers, directors, vice presidents or even the CEO might leave the position, allowing an understudy to fill in. Also, your division might be highly successful (in terms of revenue generated) one year and the CEO might want to invest more money and labor into it, meaning you will have direct reports, giving you a boost into management. In general if you would like to be CEO or even merely a manager, the diagram above gives an accurate read of how many years of experience you must have in order to be in the selection pool. If you think that you could be a manager after only a year, you are wrong because you will not have the full understanding of your field in only one year and will not have earned the respect as a new employee to handle that position. There are leadership development programs that allow you to successfully push up the pyramid at a faster pace, but otherwise, you must start from the bottom and work up, gaining valuable experience at every step of the way. Not everyone wants to step into management. Management means more responsibilities, more stress, and more time away from your friends and families. This blog is more geared to those who wish to stop at nothing and create upward mobility in order to accomplish at the highest level. If you want to do this, you MUST put in the time, the effort and most importantly the realization that others are seeking the same goals as you are. Just keep focused and you will climb the ladder over a period of time.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Act the part

Ever wonder which employees get promoted to management and which stay stationary at their current positions? This question has posed a lengthy debate for a long time for me. I used to think that working hard, accomplishing your organizational goals and establishing relationships was the path towards escalation up the corporate hierarchy. My new thoughts are that if you act the part, then your one step closer to being the part. By this I mean that if you start acting like a manager by facilitating communication across corporate lines, managing work flow processes and creating a work environment where others depend on your work to get their own jobs accomplished. Acting the part, will not only display your ability to handle management, but also almost force your manager or director to enlist you in the position.

This is obviously not an easy task to do and it requires a lot of determination, tactical planning and opportunity. You must be given the opportunity to carry on a wider variety of work and the ability to cover more portions of the business, in order to move up the ladder. Other factors that play a role in this are age, years of service at the company, manager’s perspective over your capabilities and positioning within your department. Be aware that others will be competing for management positions as well, so always display that you are more suitable for the job.

Strategy: Validate with your manager that you are able to handle a wide variety of work, outside of your realm of day-to-day operations.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Success is in Process

Improving the process of your job will compliment the success of your business. Have you ever been frustrated from countless engagements with management in order to get something approved? If you answered "yes", then you understand that there must be a more efficient process and selection criteria for accomplishing ones job. The Six Sigma practice has been adopted by various companies encouraging employees to adopt a new process for achieving their goals. As methodological as this may be, the main idea here is to debrief your job each quarter and reflect back as to what worked and what didn't.

In order to enhance the process, you must see fault or failure in the previous process. Start by writing down the steps you had to take in order to accomplish your task, including channel of communication and time allotment. Next, put these in order and then subtract steps that either overlapped or weren't crucial in the final product. Once you have your final listing, set up a meeting with your manager and review the new process and then implement it in the following quarter. In the aftermath, you should compare results from quarter to quarter, to constantly improve productivity. Saying this, I believe that if you follow this guide, you will not only be a better worker, but it will allow you to diversify yourself in other areas of the business because of an increase in free time. Concurrently improving processes, enhances your status and cuts both costs and time.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Selling Yourself First

Before you intend on marketing your goods and services to consumers, you must first take into consideration that they are not just purchasing these items from your company. You, as the marketer are the clients communication link for handling their account and are responsible for upholding fair business practices. The more experience and credibility you acquire, the more eligible you will be in order to serve these clients. Before you can sell for a company, you must be able to sell yourself. Interviews form the foundation for selling yourself and credentials mark the manner in which you can differentiate yourself from the competition.

Consumers are always wondering "why should I purchase from you." To counter this, you must show them either visually or pitch yourself to them, in order to either generate a lead or for a transaction to occur. Below are tips for setting yourself apart from the thousands of other agencies that provide similar products and services.

  1. Provide superior service: Do this by explaining why this service can add value to the product. Also, always get back to clients quickly and fulfill orders as soon as they are taken. This involves quality communication and make sure the client obtains all contact points (example: fax number).
  2. Diversify your background: The majority of people have similar backgrounds, involving the same industry and experiences. In order to stand out, you must have that experience, combined with experiences in different industries and at different positions. When this isn't enough, you must configure your education, experiences and outside activities in order to be sought after and recognized.
  3. Seek Guidance: No one can ever know it all. If you are having trouble selling or marketing your business, what better way to conquer your issues than with someone who has already succeeded in that area. Of course, a close competitor might not share this information and that is why you can go to your neighborhood bookstore and find someone who has wrote a book. Your supervisor or director might be able to mentor you, which will help you in the long run.

Not every product sells itself and services certainly can't sell unless their is some tangibility involved. So if you follow these three tactics and start employing them, you will see the difference.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dress to Success

The first time you meet someone, you gather a quick analysis of personality, style, creativity, smell, age and status. The casual or formal attire that you wear and pick out from your wardrobe daily, is the cornerstone for which most of this analysis complies with. Each employee is judged according to what they wear and how they present themselves, before a mere conversation is even started. This evaluation can pose new opportunities for you, or actually slower your upward mobility. A tip I always use is to dress one degree above the norm. So if the normal dress culture was jeans and a shirt, you should wear dress pants and a formal shirt. I would actually never wear jeans to work, because it demonstrates that you don’t take either your job seriously or the actual company you work for seriously. See, notice how important how you dress is to be successful. Your attire at work is sometimes overlooked as a differentiation method from your peers, but it is effective in displaying your dedication to the company and to your job.

If you want to further stand out at your workplace, you should wear unique clothing, that you don’t see people wearing everyday. This, of course, will cost you a premium price, but it will directly support your efforts to showcase your style, personality, and edge. For those of you that would like to climb the corporate hierarchy quickly, try dressing the part and seeing who notices. If you have any other view of this or suggestions, please comment.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Networking: The Strength Model

Connections are the strongest form of induction into a newly opened job opportunity. People are the sole contributors to hiring for new positions and control who is placed where in the company, alongside the hiring manager. In general, there are two factors in deciding if you have a job: The human resource recruiter and the hiring manager. If either of these two decision makers hears of interest for a job through their network, those applicants get first shot at interviewing. The closer the connection between the decision maker and the applicant, the better chance for successful job requisition fulfillment. I consider this “The Strength Model” of networking because your network is your strongest bridge into the job market. To better explain this, view the model below.
This model suggests that family is the strongest connection, where a hiring manager has a son or daughter that is looking for a job and it is filled almost immediately because of the network strength associated with the relationship. For example, if your father was a Director of Marketing at Proctor and Gamble and there was an entry level job opening in the marketing research department, you would have first pass at that opportunity. Referrals are the next strongest segment to this pyramid because an applicant is usually referred to a hiring manager, based on some level of expertise or job fitting. Referrals could be acquaintances that have been further developed by the art of networking or keeping in touch with an individual (establishing a relationship). You could be referred to a hiring manager by previous work such as an internship or by a family member. Finally, acquaintances are the weakest form of networking, because hiring members would rather hire an individual that they are closer in ties with, rather than someone they just met for the first time. You have many acquaintances throughout your life, many will soon forget you over time, but you never know if one might follow through one of these days.

If I were to rate your chances at each level of the pyramid I would say…..

  • Family: 90%
  • Referrals: 50%
  • Acquaintances: 5%

Remember: Meet as many people as you can because you never know who is connected to whom in each others networks. You should strive to build relationships with your acquintances, in order to convert them to referrals, but family members are always the strongest!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Getting your first job

Like you, I once struggled with landing my first job in the real world. Luckily, through my broad network, I established a link to a well established entrepreneur that mentored me into what I am today. You might be thinking that I was fortunate in this respect, but if you take a step back and examine your contacts, including family and friends, you may just end up in this position. This was of course not my first job, as I worked as a caterer and as a camp counselor, but this was the first job where my work would boost both my character and standing in the workforce. For those of you who do not have this opportunity, you must take positions, where you are a “servicer” instead of a “producer”. I differentiate these by the role they play in an organization. A “servicer” is one that gets paid to interact with the consumers and aims to make a sale, while a “producer” actually facilitates the operation behind the scenes. Examples of servicers are waitresses or selling clothing at a retail store. By taking these jobs, a hiring employer (for a “producer” position) will be impressed that you have worked in the past, instead of being passive or unmotivated. Basically, you will increase your chances for getting the positions you seek by sacrificing now.

It took me three internships and two service jobs, in order to take an internship relating to my field (marketing). I had to make cold calls as a salesman, create websites and help run accounts payable, in order to be in a position where I could acquire a marketing internship with another company.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to sacrifice time now to achieve potential success in the future.

Ok now take a deep breath and follow along with me as I demonstrate to you the most effective way to position yourself so you get more interviews and acquire a new corporate position. First, remember to use what you already have to your advantage when constructing your resume. If you see job descriptions that are close to what you have, but you are lacking certain criteria, either build around it or seek the technical skills before applying. Second, take practice interviews with your friends, parents, mentors or guidance counselors in order to gain both confidence and experience. If you find yourself interviewing for a position that doesn’t interest you, always use it as practice as well and you might even find yourself taking the job, as a sacrifice to get what you really desire. Resumes should display your skills, achievements, work experience, grades/honors, school work and classes and technical expertise. After constructing your resume to cover all those areas in a story-like manner, it is time to start applying for jobs.

From my experience, there are three routes to applying for jobs:

  • Verbal: Calling companies and expressing interest, while trying to pinpoint key contacts within the group you would like to work with.
  • Electronic: The proper way to handle electronic submissions is to spread your resume like a virus through as many relevant websites as possible that have what your looking for. From my experience, the top 3 websites where to post are Monster, eRecruiting and Yahoo Hot Jobs.
  • Networking: The quickest path into a new company is by already knowing an internal employee. Internal employees, like me, have networks built within a company and access to referring candidates to others.

Next, you will be screened by all the companies you applied to. If you applied to a large corporation, they have a crawler that picks keywords, customized by the manager that is seeking a candidate, such as yourself. Smaller companies will usually email you back if they are interested. The screening process usually places all the applicants that have the right skills for the job into a job bank, from which the employer either calls for a phone interview (large company) or bring into their office (small firm). If you have been selected to interview, do the best you can do and the worst that can happen is that you met another contact for the future. At this point, you will be notified within weeks if you were accepted to fill the position or rejected. Sometimes further interviews may occur, when the pool of candidates is large. If you are rejected, just keep interviewing, and at some point, you will get a job. If it is not the job you intended to obtain, you must work there as a sacrifice to further your career.

REMEMBER: Always think long-term when contemplating which jobs to accept!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Effective Work Process

Through experience I have learned that in order to accelerate in any environment, you must take follow a common trend: Learn, Build and Execute. You can’t build a highly innovative project, without acquiring skills and knowledge. Saying this, you can’t execute a project into production without first learning about what you are going to build and then creating it. Even after you execute, you must review the process and learn from your mistakes for future engagements. While at work, when I get assigned a specific project, I tend to review all material surrounding that project before jumping into document creation. This way, you won’t miss out on key facts or information that may aid in the development of the material your creating. Sometimes after building my projects contents, I will go back and learn more, but I always push towards execution. If you are given a time limit or launch date for your project, you must know when to executive and when to keep learning in order to push the project forward. In general, I have listed what I feel an effective work process lifecycle is below:

Learn: Learn your job and the technical and communication skills that coincide with it.

Build: Build your projects and the tasks required of you through guidance from mentors, previously successful ventures and through research.

Execute: Execute your projects by proving value to your manager and demonstrating effectiveness.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Building a strong foundation

In order to fully appreciate the present, I will first show you a graphic representation of my past experiences. From 2001 till 2006, I desired to grasp a firm foundation in the marketing discipline, holding positions in all of the major areas. These area's, such as marketing research, advertising, public relations, direct mail, personal selling and graphic design are all integrated into marketing as a whole. My goal here was to become competitive in the job market by demonstrating that, unlike the majority, I understood marketing and it's related functions, in a variety of different work settings and cultures. Another approach I encountered along the way was to balance off work experience with scholastic activity, so you can cross apply learning. This helped while I juggled working at Reebok, Lycos and taking two classes simultaneously.

Advice to succeed
  1. Never narrow yourself down, until you have built a foundation to work from.
  2. Make the most of your time, be productive and get experiences others do not have the opportunity to have
  3. Stay competitive as much as posibble. This means become well balanced. Integrate school with work experiences, while still maintaining a social network.
More to come.......