How You Should Handle Job-Seeking While Currently Employed

Sean Little career advice
How To Do The Job Seeking Tango Without Getting Tangled Up In Your Current Post

This article is a response to this question asked on Reddit on how to handle job hunting and interviews without causing issues or endangering your current position. Give it a read and let us know how you would handle this tricky situation.

Once you are in a 40-hour/week position, how do you carve out time for job hunting, if you don't want to do it on the job? If you want a new job, while working your old job:

Don’t Scour the Job Boards at Work - Your employer can see what you’ve been searching for online, even if they’re not standing directly behind you, based on your search history. Do your job researching and hunting at home.

Try to Work Around the Present Job Schedule - This can be easy if you work the night shift or odd hours. However, if you work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., taking a long lunch to interview or scheduling a phone interview after hours may be your only option to work it into someone else’s job schedule.

Be Picky About Taking Days Off - Choose only the top jobs to take a partial day off for, and say you have a dentist or doctor’s appointment as your excuse for personal time off. This way, you lose less time off work, but you still can interview during the work day.

Keep in mind that new grad jobs may require a series of interviews, so pace yourself and try to fit them into vacation time or days when you’re not working. Sick days can be hard to justify and if they find out you were interviewing and lied, it could mean your dismissal.

Don’t forget to sign up with online boards, like FirstJob.com, to keep an eye on new jobs when they get posted.

Guest Post by Lynn Powers: Preparing for Career Fairs

Sean Little Guest Posts
How should you prepare for a career fair?

Today we have a guest post from Lynn Powers. Lynn is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, and is now a Technology Account Manager at Oracle Headquarters.

I was in the throes of anticipation and excitement as a graduating student in my last semester in college but woefully clueless about how best to start my job search. So I thought the campus career fair will be a good place to practice the art of handing out resume. Little did I know then that doing the first round at the campus career fair was the first important step towards building my career.

As I look back in time, the best advice I would have given myself before going to a career fair was: Be prepared to package yourself as a great communicator with an impeccable resume, dressed in business attire, and a catchy elevator speech. Career fairs provide a batting base to communicate to recruiters that you are a good fit for their teams with your knowledge, skills, and positive attitude.

How do you prepare for your first foray to a job search in a career fair? First, take time to find out what companies are going to be there, then narrow down your focus to at least five target companies. Next, do your research, find out more about the companies you’re interested in. You should be ready when asked: What do you know about us? You should know what the company does, how the company makes money, the company’s valuable players.

Do further research: What makes the company competitive, how is the company different from other companies in the industry. Is the company growing? What are the company’s future plans and how are those plans going to be achieved? With this information, you should not have any problem catching the recruiter’s interest. Once you have picked the recruiter’s interest, switch gear and paint a picture of why you are a good fit. Zero-in on the role you’re interested in and match it up with your knowledge, skills, experience, and how you would fit right in with the company’s roadmap for growth. Last but not least, be enthusiastic, alive, engaging, and confident. Your first foray in a career fair may just be what you need to land your first successful career!

In her short year at Oracle, Lynn has not only has she been able to exceed her numbers in her role as a business consultant, but she has also been able to follow her passion for mentorship. At Oracle, Lynn has spearheaded two new programs: one for new hires and the other for internal mentorship. These two new programs showcase Lynn’s willingness to help others as well as her dedication to her work. Due to her successes with the programs, Lynn has been fortunate to be named a member of the Innovation Committee, where she leads as Mentorship Chair, and directly impacts the Committee’s efforts to enhance corporate volunteer work. In parallel to these interests, Lynn also enjoys speaking at The University of San Francisco, inspiring undergraduates and graduate students to aid in their success in post grad life.

Looking for entry level jobs for college students/recent grads? Check out FirstJob.com to see what careers are out there for you.

Can Social Activism Curb Your Hiring Prospects?

Sean Little Advice
:  Can Social Activism Curb Your Hiring Prospects?

Facebook and Google may be great places to stay in touch with your school buddies online, but they’re also now places that recruiters go to get the scoop on potential hires. If your profile makes mention of a controversial cause, like a Ferguson protest rally, your potential new employer is going to get an earful. The odds are they won’t simply ignore these postings as civic protests. Instead, they will use them to gage how well you fit into their corporate culture or whether your future postings might embarrass their brand in the future.

Millennials and Armchair Activism

It may be fun to enter the rampant political discussions online to support your favorite causes, but unless they’re something as benign as getting your cat spayed or neutered, then it could cause problems when you’re looking for an entry level job. If your job is one aligned with the activism you support, then it can actually go in the plus column, when interviewing. But, if it is opposed to your company’s values it can be an easy way to scratch you off their short list.

Where To Draw The Line

In fact, many organizers of powerful protest movements, like Moral Mondays in North Carolina, do not advise a fresh graduate job candidate to ruin their chances of future gainful employment by getting arrested during an act of civil disobedience. That’s why you see mostly retired people or independent workers being led away in handcuffs in a protest. They do not have to explain their actions to an employer or risk a job by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Use FirstJob.com to search for new grad jobs online, but keep your civil protests offline as much as possible.

Developing Vision and Goals for Your Career Plan

Sean Little Advice
Ace Your Life Like a Pro Athlete By Envisioning Success

When Olympic athletes train to win medals, they’re also trained to envision themselves winning the gold - long before they’re at the Olympic stadium. The power of the mind isn’t all its ability to be logical. The power of your imagination to review potential choices, actions, and paths can help you fine tune your performance in life as well, helping you land the best entry level job for your career choice.

The Power of Dreaming Big

Every big career dream has many steps up the mountain. One of those steps that can be overlooked, is simply planning well. Take some time out to imagine and envision different ways to succeed on your climb from your first fresh graduate job to CEO by:

Knowing What Makes You Passionate - Maybe you loved putting everything in its place, and value order instead of creative chaos. Then, new grad jobs like accounting or engineering make perfect sense. Knowing what you love helps you envision how your personal preferences can make for good career choices.

Letting Yourself Be a Groupie - Those crazy fans that follow rock stars everywhere know that when you admire someone’s work, it’s okay to be obsessed with them. Don’t be afraid to fawn over your favorite business persona or tech creator. They can teach you how to succeed by pretending to be them.

Being Creative in Goal-Setting - Instead of setting a “to do” list to accomplish in boring steps, why not dream up a bucket list for exploring as talents and opportunities out there? Does your big dream involve being on television? Then, get into an internship that gives you communication skills. Want to learn a new language? Get a new entry level job in a foreign country.

Don’t forget to also envision the final result of all these tiny steps, like being in front of an audience where you unveil your new technological device to stomping accolades. Sign up to FirstJob.com to see what careers are out there for you.

Top 3 Tech Skills You Should Learn in 2015

Sean Little Guest Posts
What are the most in-demand tech skills for 2015?

We've got a great guest article for you today by General Assembly with the 3 hottest tech skills to learn in 2015. Give it a read and let us know what you think!

When Gartner shared its top tech trends for 2015, we learned that the number of Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer roles have doubled since last year – and are expected to double again. As one might imagine, this will rock the c-suite’s world:

  1. 75% of IT execs say they need to change their leadership style within the next three years;
  2. By 2017, 50% of total IT spending will occur outside of IT;
  3. Also by 2017, 70% of successful business models will be deliberately unstable

In short: Silo-ed roles are out, blended skills are in. As more businesses use data to scale, employees must be agile enough to switch tactics on a dime. Gartner says, “This holistic approach blending business model, processes, technology and people will fuel digital business success.”

Rajeeb Dey agrees. He’s the founder/CEO of Enternships, a London-based startup that connects students and recent grads to roles in small businesses. As the digital economy explodes, senior leaders need millennials to teach them the ropes of new, uncharted roles. The same holds true for startup CEOs.

“We are definitely seeing a rise in employers interested in data science and general data analysis skills, whether that be for specialist data scientist roles or roles such as growth hacking, which combine skills from both marketing and the ability to analyze and manipulate data,” Dey told GA.

“We at Enternships are also predicting that 2015 will see the rise in demand for talent proficient with next gen technologies such as Meteor, which is based on real-time JavaScript frameworks and facilitates the development of web apps far more easily than existing solutions.”

Let’s unpack these roles in more detail:

1. Data Science

What it is: According to Harvard Business Review, a data scientist is “a high-ranking professional with the training and curiosity to make discoveries in the world of big data.” How do you know if your business needs one? HBR continues:

“If your organization stores multiple petabytes of data, if the information most critical to your business resides in forms other than rows and columns of numbers, or if answering your biggest question would involve a ‘mashup’ of several analytical efforts, you’ve got a big data opportunity.”

Where it’s From: The Data Scientist title – coined by D.J. Patil and Jeff Hammerbacher – is only six years old. Patil and Hammerbacher formed the first formal data science programs while at LinkedIn and Facebook, respectively. Today, Patil is Data Scientist in Residence at Greylock Partners, one of the world’s most successful VC firms. Hammerbacher is Founder and Chief Scientist at Cloudera.

Skills of the Successful: Data scientists can view a wide range of data, present a hypothesis, and execute in such a way that their analysis fills a business gap.

Role Model: While at LinkedIn, Jonathan Goldman reviewed company data and saw untapped opportunity. What would happen, he asked, if he used analytics to link user profiles? Despite discouragement from colleagues, he forged on – and his idea became LinkedIn’s “People You May Know” feature. Today, he’s Intuit’s Director of Data Science and Analytics.

Required Reading: MIT grad Claudia Gold’s sliderule reviews the basics of data science.

2. Growth Hacking

What it is: “A hybrid of marketer and coder” that helps acquire customers at scale, while keeping the cost of each new customer as close to 0 as possible.

Where it’s From: Sean Ellis coined the term in 2010. He led marketing at Dropbox for six months after the end of their private beta. As of 2014, one billion files are saved to Dropbox every 24 hours, and the company was valued in January at $10 billion.

Skills of the Successful: “I believe the people who excel as growth hackers are entrepreneurial marketers with a passion for data,” explains Howard Kingston, co-founder of Adludio and Digital Marketing instructor at GA London. “This is because you need to be constantly looking for a new opportunity, and not be afraid to try new things – just like an entrepreneur!”

Role Model: Before Adludio, Kingston served as Head of Gaming at We R Interactive, a social gaming startup. He reviewed which countries were increasing free users vs. those where the user base was smaller, but spent more on in-app purchases. His analysis grew the game to six million users in his first year on the job. Like data science, Kingston says the marriage of marketing with analytics is key – and adds that the most successful growth hackers have direct access to the product that they work with.

“Growth hacking suffered a bit of a backlash as an overused buzz term in 2014, mainly due to people using it incorrectly,” Kingston says. “As more people understand it, I believe more people will challenge those who are using it incorrectly!”

Required Reading: Neil Patel’s The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking. Enough said.

3. Meteor.js

What it is: An open-sourced framework to build real-time web and mobile apps in pure JavaScript. Meteor is built on top of Node.JS and bundled with MongoDB. This means that if you’re building an app with Meteor, you can do so using one framework. The same code runs on both client and server, producing real-time web apps for a fraction of the code.

Where it’s From: Meteor first launched as Skybreak in 2011. It was part of the same Y Combinator that launched Dropbox, and raised $11.2 million in 2012. That same year, Meteor gained bragging rights as Github’s most starred repository.

Skills of the Successful: Those who can code should add Meteor to their repertoire. It’s regularly cited as the fastest way to build new apps. It’s also one of the first frameworks to encompass the functionality of the entire MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node.JS). Plus, JavaScript is used by beginners and experts alike. If you’ve never written a line of code, you can still learn Meteor and build the next big platform.

Role Model: Meteor co-founder Matt DeBergalis was inspired by the “thick client” architecture used by some of the world’s most successful web apps. “This…is how modern apps like Gmail, Asana, Twitter, and the photo browser in Facebook are built,” he explained to IBM. “But those apps were written by large teams of expert developers, who each invested years of development into the technical underpinnings of client-side web apps.

“Meteor is a complete platform for writing apps in this style,” DeBergalis added. “Because it uses a single language and a consistent API across all parts of an application, developers can juggle fewer technologies and work faster. That’s why developers who know Meteor can build applications in hours that would otherwise take weeks.”

Required Reading: Meteor’s website offers step-by-step instructions, plus a range of other resources.

This post originally appeared on General Assembly, an institution that transforms thinkers into creators through education and opportunities in business, technology, and design. Check our free learn-to-code tool, Dash.

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