Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Not in Your Dream Job? Write Your Own Unique Job Posting

By Nicolette Johnson
Associate Director of Graduate Career Services
I’m an “idea” person who frequently thinks about ideals - those perfect situations where optimism and imagination reign supreme. And for me, being idealistic provides the perfect landscape for dreaming big about my career.

One of the best ways I envision the type of work that I want to do is to create my own unique job posting, which helps me to clearly articulate what my ideal role is, so that I can go after it.

Whether you are starting a new career, searching for a new position, or feel like where you are now is not exactly where you want to be, I suggest that you create your own job posting.

To get started, find a quiet place, perhaps with your favorite beverage --- whether it’s a cup ‘o joe, a glass of wine, or whatever works for you. You’ll need to get into a mental space where ideas flow and inhibitions are low.

Then, write your unique job posting, focusing on your ideal position. The key here is “ideal,” not “what they’ll hire me for.” Life is short. Go for the big one. No regrets.

Break your job posting down into four sections:

Title


Every job posting has a title, a small assemblage of words that quickly gives a glimpse of what the position is all about. Organizations use a variety of titles, from traditional ones that signify status or hierarchy to titles that give little indication of where the person fits within the organization.

Pick a title that sums up your ideal role. Feel free to be creative here. This is your title. Chief Merrymaker? Big Brand Builder? Don’t hold back. Go with it.

Responsibilities


In this portion of the job posting, outline what type of day-to-day work you want to do. What does the work look like? (Think about what you like to do and what you don’t like doing to help you refine your duties.) How much time do you want to spend within each area of responsibility? Do you lead people? If so, how many? Does the position naturally set you up for promotion into another position? If so, which position? Is travel required?

Work Environment


Picture yourself in your ideal work environment. What does your ideal workplace look like? Are you in an energetic environment or a quiet one? Is it collaborative or independent? Do you work from home? What types of co-workers do you interact with? Do you own your own business? Are you in the field or at corporate headquarters?

Qualifications


After you have determined what your ideal job looks like, outline what qualifications you’ll need to obtain the position. What level of education is expected? How much work experience is necessary? What special skills and knowledge are important?

By completing this section, you’ll have a clear idea of what skills you already have as well as some additional skills you’ll want to build to be best positioned for the career of your dreams.

After you complete your posting, read it. Does it bring a smile to your face? A sense of contentment and peace? If not, you haven’t quite created your ideal job description. Take another stab at it. Your ideal job posting should get you excited and bring a warm sense of “aha.”

Now it’s time to take action. Plot your plan to find or create the job that fits your posting. How closely your future work life mirrors the posting will determine your satisfaction level, and more importantly, how close you are to your calling.

Nicolette Johnson is the Associate Director of Graduate Career Services at the Kelley School of Business. Nicolette and her team meet and coach hundreds of students, alumni, and corporate partners on tried and true recruiting methods, interviewing tactics, and career management strategies, while staying in tune to how these areas are changing and evolving. Email Nicolette at nimjohn@indiana.edu.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Balancing Act: Three Steps to Find Balance with your Job Search

Christina Schmidt
Associate Director, Graduate Career Services
for the Business Marketing Academy
Most every day is a balancing act for full-time MBA students, between going to classes and finding an internship (as a first year) or a full-time job (as a second year). Each student has a list of things to do, places to be, and people to meet, both for school and the job search.

Here's a simple, three-step strategy to figure out the right things to do in order to achieve success in your job search, and simply have a life outside of the search.

Develop a job search plan and prioritize your week


Take the time to discover what works for you. Think about what you learned from your past career or undergraduate studies about time management—what worked and what did not work? Be willing to ask your classmates and career coach how they manage time, in order to develop a plan that will work for you.

Ask yourself: What is your objective or priority for this week with regards to school and your job search? Where will your plan lead you in the job search process this week if you have a solid day-to-day plan for the week? The most important aspect of balance here is what you can reasonably achieve in your week for your job search versus what needs to be done in school.


Set goals for both school and your job search


Put everything in two piles: school/social activities and job search activities.

School and social activities might include classes, clubs, homework, studying, social events, family events, and projects or team obligations.

Job search priorities might include some combination of networking, LinkedIn or alumni connections, career coach or peer coach meetings, informational interviews, and site interviews.

We all need balance in our lives so planning and prioritizing what needs to be done first from each of these piles makes reaching the goal easier. Pay attention to the minor details and use your time wisely.


Work Your Plan


Once you have a job search plan and you have prioritized that plan, work it!  Be flexible and understand that plans may change. But remember that if you take 10-20 minutes each day to develop your LinkedIn contacts or you do one informational interview per day with someone from your top company, you are working your plan.

Ask for help from your career coach, your classmates, your significant other, your family, your peer coach–we all want you to succeed. It may not be easy at first, but you will get better at balancing everything over time and it will be worthwhile in the end!


Christina Schmidt is the Associate Director of Graduate Career Services at the Kelley School of Business. Christina and her team meet and coach hundreds of students, alumni, and corporate partners on tried and true recruiting methods, interviewing tactics, and career management strategies, while staying in tune to how these areas are changing and evolving. Email Christina at schmchri@indiana.edu.