New Year, New Career: What’s Your Power Plan… Prt 2

Regardless of whether you have made formal New Year's resolutions, you likely have at least one or two career goals you want to accomplish in 2015.

Regardless of whether you have made formal New Year’s resolutions, you likely have at least one or two career goals you want to accomplish in 2015. Maybe this will finally be the year you make that big career change, or perhaps you just want to learn a new skill that will help you advance in your current job.

Here are a few strategies to make 2015 YOUR year to achieve real career satisfaction and success:

3. Networking: The Core of Your Search

One of the keys to managing your career effectively is to build and maintain a strong and diverse network. This step provides the information you need to learn how to cultivate this often-overlooked and underdeveloped resource into a positive and dynamic tool. Networking is both a competency and a process that you need to hone in order to be successful.To make “first contact” with individuals in your network, you will need to know exactly what to say and how to manage the discussion.

Here are Networking tips that can be helpful:

  • Build Your Networking Muscle: Practice networking by attending lots of different networking events.  You will meet many interesting people and contacts, some of which will become great clients, colleagues or friends.  and this requires a pre-prepared agenda with the following structure:
  • Be Nice to Everyone You Meet : Be nice to the people on the way up because you never know when you will be meeting them on the way down. The world is getting smaller all the time.  Don’t burn any bridges and be genuinely nice to everyone.
  • Grow Your Relationship Database: You are only 4 or 5 people away from anything you ever want or need.  All you have to do is ask.
  • Communicate:  Maintain regular and consistent contact with the people in your database.  You can periodically meet with people in my network face to face.  It’s much more personal, and much more fun too.  When you can’t meet in person then a phone call or personal note works well too.
  • Build Rapport: Are you a people magnet or a people repellent?  What are you projecting outwardly?  Make sure others see you as a positive, warm and friendly person they would like to interact with.  Make sure your positive personality and outlook is attracting relationships and not pushing them away.

4. Interviewing for Success

Interviewing can best be described as two-way story telling. You need to provide the interviewer with accurate, relevant, and value-centered stories about your contributions. The interviewer needs to tell you the story of their company, describe the position in question, and explain specifically how they would want you to fit into this picture.
This step takes the mystery and the anxiety out of job interviewing, from first contact to job offer.

  • Prepare: Being ready for the interview will boost your confidence and increase your effectiveness. Find out about the organization and the job you’re applying for.
  • Identify the positive qualities you bring to the job. This will raise your self-confidence. Make a list of your skills and knowledge, interests, values and personal characteristics.
  • Identify your accomplishments and be ready to talk about them. Interviewers want to know about your track record, they often use your past performance to predict your future success.
  • Practice: Practicing what you are going to say and how you are going to say it will help you speak confidently about your skills and accomplishments. It’s a good idea not to memorize what you want to say. Instead, figure out which key points you want to focus on.
  • Present: How you present yourself in the interview, your appearance, attitude and body language, is vitally important. It’s normal to be anxious but acting as if you are confident, even when you aren’t, can have a positive effect on both you and the interviewer.
  • Participate: The interview is also your chance to show your positive attitude and your communication skills.

5. Salary Negotiations: The Rules of the Game

Why is it that people have such a difficult time successfully negotiating their compensation? The reason we can’t or won’t negotiate is not because we are incapable of doing this, but because we just don’t know how! As with any other game, you have to know the rules in order to win!

Here are 21 critical rules you must know to play “the game” of compensation negotiation successfully:

  • Do extensive salary research, preparation and practice beforehand.
  • Defer salary discussions until an offer seems imminent.
  • Discuss salary only with the person who has the authority to negotiate the salary and hire you.
  • Get the employer to state a salary figure or range first.
  • Wait until an actual offer is on the table before negotiating.
  • Discuss salary only after you have fully described your relevant accomplishments.
  • Know your strategy before attending the negotiation meeting.
  • Always negotiate the offer, no matter how good it seems initially.
  • Finalize the salary first, before negotiating other items such as benefits.
  • Never misrepresent your former salary.
  • Don’t confuse salary with the full compensation package.
  • Avoid tying your potential salary to your old salary.
  • Use silence as one of your most powerful negotiating tools.
  • “Fit” is more important than financial compensation.
  • Leverage one offer against other offers if possible
  • You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.
  • Never accept or reject an offer on the spot, do a thorough analysis.
  • You can only win at negotiation if you’re willing to “walk away.”
  • Be sure the compensation package you finally accept is a “win-win.”

If you master these strategies and use them consistently over the long-term, this will ensure that you reach your full career potential in 2015 and for the rest of your working life!

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