Transcript #14. Creating good habits for career success: 7 “must do” actions for job hunters.

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Hello everyone and welcome. I’m Renata Bernarde, the host of The Job Hunting Podcast. In this podcast I give you tips, advice and interview experts to help you nail your next job and have the career you want.

In this episode we will focus on 7 habits you must create not only to help you find your next job, but also for you to have great confidence and success in your career.

Together with episodes 12 and 13, this episode is a companion to my 31 Days of Actions to Reset your Career, a project I’ve created to help professionals make the most out of this month of January and take 1 day at a time in creating new habits and taking actions that will have an positive effect in their career advancement and job hunting prospects. This can be used throughout your career, year, it’s not a January-only strategy. It’s really an opportunity for you to press the reset button whenever you feel ready, and incorporate these actions in your life. At least give them a try! If you want to follow the 2nd half of the project day by day, follow me on Instagram, Facebook or my Company LinkedIn page. I’ll leave the links on the show notes for you.

The last episode #13 - 6 powerful ways to set yourself up for career success in 2020 – was massive. This was the longest episode so far and I did it without a single edit. Goes to show it takes a baker's dozen to get good at something. Think about this when you are going for an interview after not being interviewed ever/for a long time! By the way not saying I'm yet good at podcast hosting, but at least I feel I'm on the up and up!

Before we begin, a reminder about this Podcast’s pledge to the recovery efforts in Australia. As you may know, I’m based in Australia and we are experiencing unprecedented fire destruction in my country. In my previous episode I told you my story arriving in Australia during fire season and how scary it can be. This season the horror is in how early it started and how prolonged and out of control it has been. People have lost their homes, our bushland has burned, millions of animals and at the time of recording 28 people have died. We are all doing our bit to help. So, this is my pledge in support of the recovery efforts:
• for every 5-star rating on iTunes the Podcast gets this Australian Summer, I’ll donate $10.
• for every written review on iTunes during Summer, I’ll donate $25.
• For every new Podcast subscriber on YouTube during Summer I will donate $5.
• For every download of any of my episodes during summer, I’ll donate $1.
So, let's get this ball rolling! Click on the links in the show notes and we can both make a great contribution!!My podcast is new and we are just starting this journey together but every dollar counts, every dollar helps, and this is a great way for us as a community to support each other and support Australia to recover from this tragedy.

Ok so let’s dive into our topic shall we!

Let’s talk about 7 “must do” actions for job hunters so that you start Creating good habits for career success:

1. Go for a 30-minute walk before or after work
My goal is to get you reaching your career goals, so why am I verging into health and wellbeing? Because actions, behaviours, and the choices we make are not isolated, they work alongside each other.

The truth is I’m not trying to get you anything but a new job or career advancement. And still, I believe that going for a 30-min walk should be part of your strategy to reach that career goal. Why?

1. It resets your mind: if you’ve been sitting all day or will be sitting all day, you need a breather.
2. It gives you the opportunity to rest from work and worries: listen to your fun podcast (see my post for Day 8!) or music, or call your friend, or meditate.
3. It gives you the opportunity to review your plans and make new ones: listen to your sector or professional development podcast (again, see post from Day 8!), think about your achievements for the day, or what you plan to do today.

This should be a special time for you. Use it well.

After been stuck at home for weeks (bad pollution outside), after a big rain yesterday (phew!) I finally went outside for a long walk, and listened to 2 podcasts. Walking the talk, folks, that's what I do!

2. Post an article on LinkedIn aligned to your expertise.
Remember how on Day 7 I suggested you should “like” 10 LinkedIn posts, and comment on 2?

Remember also that on Day 6 I suggested you should get Google Alerts for articles about your sector, career or expertise?

By now, if you are following the 31 Days of Actions to Reset Your Career, you are also listening to podcasts, which may also provide you with sector-specific content. And you now have a great photo on your LinkedIn profile, right?

Well, I guess you can see how it is all coming together?! Now you are ready to start networking online, and sharing some knowledge with your network. You have a it all together. You are ready to start amplifying your reach.

So, find a great article you have read recently - about your sector, professional interest – and share on LinkedIn:

• Add your own words: a couple of sentences to explain why this article is a great read;
• Add some hashtags to make your post reach out to those who are interested in the topic – LinkedIn is great at providing you with hashtags. 2 or 3 is all you need.
• Watch out for comments: if someone comments, you reply back. Don’t leave them hanging. This is about establishing new connections.
• And if no one comments, don’t feel bad! Establish a routine of posting every week, and you will learn how to establish better connections, and your network will understand the shift and start engaging more over time.

Don't be reluctant to start posting on LinkedIn, it is a really great way to get noticed by people who can directly hire you, or can advocate for you.

3. Connect with all your professional connections on LinkedIn
We are in constant transition and having to re-think how we actually keep tabs with technology and what is the simplest possible way to do things these days. I’m old enough to remember having the good old address book next to my land-line phone. Then a Rolodex. Then 3 Rolodexes!

Now we have contacts in your email, and if you have a great email provider those go automatically into your contact list, which then syncs with your phone. And if your phone is super smart, they will even capture what’s missing from your Contacts (e.g. a phone number) and if the person rings, the phone will recognize it anyway. That’s really important to have these days, for your own sanity. So, if you don’t have this automation set up, it’s worth investing some of your time to get it to work for you.

Then you have the LinkedIn network: all the connections you have made on this platform should be instrumental to your career.

So, if there are important connections sitting in your contacts, which you are not yet linked to on LinkedIn, use this weekend to send them a connection invitation.

Let’s get all the ducks in a row! This is a good task for a cold boring weekend! #nerd

4. Envision what your career might be like. Write it down.
Writing down your goals and dreams is really important: - It helps clarify your dreams, what you want to achieve. - It motivates you to take action. - Doing this “brain dump” exercise will clear your head; clear all the noise and confusion your thoughts have a tendency to create, especially on a Sunday evening! - You will start your week with a huge weight off your back, and a new-found inspiration to put your plans into action.

If you need any help, contact me.

5. Follow 3 people on LinkedIn with profiles and careers you admire
The difference between Following and Connecting on LinkedIn:
• You should “connect” with people you know. - You should “follow” people you do not know, but you want to see what they post, and want their posts to show up on your feed.

Following is important because it allows you to:
• have a LinkedIn feed of posts from top leaders in your profession;
• follow recruiters and head-hunters without adding them as connections;
• follow companies that you are interested in

Sometimes people Follow when they should Connect:
• I always think it’s strange when I meet someone and next thing I know, they are “following” me. I’d rather they “connect” with me instead! - If you went to a conference or event and saw a senior leader speak and it inspired you, you can write to them on LinkedIn, explain how much you enjoyed their speech/presentation, and invite them to connect with you.

Sometimes people Connect when they should Follow:
• If you have never ever met a professional, you should follow.
o Even if you share 100 connections with someone, you should follow.
o If you heard them speak at a conference or event, but you haven’t met them AND you don’t want to write anything to them, you should follow.

6. Download a list of Action verbs and keep it easy access.
Actions verbs are verbs that clearly demonstrate an action. Opposite of Action verbs are Linking/Being verbs. See the difference below:

I am the general manager – being verb; versus
I manage a team of 15 professional staff - action verb.

Employers like to see action verbs in your resume. I’d extend that to not only your resume, but all your written job-hunting communication. In a limited amount of “real estate”, action verbs maximize impact. Note the difference of the two statements below:

I worked in fundraising for 10 years.
I created a fundraising campaign that generated $350,000 in donations during 2019.

As you can see above, action verbs are strong action words that help define your experience, skills and career accomplishments. If you don’t use them to explain your career, you are not emphasizing your strengths well enough.

Recruiter’s preferred action verbs are: achieved, improved, trained, mentored, managed, created.

Download Now a complete list if career-related action verbs, organized by type of work/task completed:

What you need to do?
• Keep the list of action verbs always close to you and easily accessible.
• Go through your resume and replace the boring verbs with action verbs.
• Be mindful of future communication and continue to strive and use action verbs whenever possible.

Will link to podcast show notes and send to my subscribers.

7. Read a career development article or blog
There’s so much noise these days, so much distraction it’s easy to spend time with things that add nothing to our lives, wellbeing and knowledge. It’s not so much that we spend too much time on our phones, it’s that we do and they we can’t even remember what we were looking at!

So have the right triggers in place to help you use that time well. Find great podcasts to listen, download good apps with news and articles that add value to your life. You can even learn a few foreign words, a new recipe, or update your knowledge on your favourite topic while driving, walking or cooking.

Reading career-related articles should be a must for professionals going through career transitions, who are job searching at the moment or thinking and strategizing about their next steps.

Find someone you trust and follow them. Could be sector-specific, general leadership skills or career advancement advice.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my newsletter, I’d love to have you onboard. I send my community a weekly email with the new episode of The Job Hunting Podcast plus a curated list of articles that I know can make a difference in your career, help you build confidence and good habits.



Click here to see the episode show notes. 

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