Tuesday, December 26, 2006
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
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. "
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
- 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?
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
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
- How do I position myself relative to the competition?
- What unique characteristics and/or technical abilities do I have?
- What are others doing that I'm not doing?
- Where do I find the resources necessary to succeed?
- How far will I go to succeed?
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
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 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
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
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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
- Opportunity Limitations
- Poor Management / Mentoring
- Company Politics
- Uncontrollable External Factors (such as the weather)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
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
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
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
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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
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
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
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
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.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
- Never narrow yourself down, until you have built a foundation to work from.
- Make the most of your time, be productive and get experiences others do not have the opportunity to have
- Stay competitive as much as posibble. This means become well balanced. Integrate school with work experiences, while still maintaining a social network.