Go? Or No-Go?

When you find a job listing you’re interested in, what do you do? You scan the job ad, and if you’re me, you’re already envisioning how your life would be better if you had that job and subsequently making a checklist of the things you’ll need to address in your cover letter & resume. Sound familiar?

Especially when I see a job that is super tempting – maybe it’s the exact job title I’m looking for, or a group with whom I’ve been wanting to work or for work I think I’d be great at – it’s tempting, sometimes impossible, to not get ahead of ourselves. After all, you’ve already

  1. decided it’s time to find work,
  2. got your search query all built, and now
  3. found something very intriguing.

Here’s where I constantly have to remind myself to take a step back, take it down a notch.

There’s a step in between reading the job listing and jotting down what needs to go in your cover letter.

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Book Review: Quiet Influence

Here’s a great book to help introverts (continue to) rock the workplace. It’s called Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference by Jennifer Kahnweiler.

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In the beginning, Kahnweiler identifies 5 skills that introverts rock: thoughtful use of social media, writing, preparation, engaged listening, and focused conversations. Then there’s a quiz to help you assess where your strengths lie among those categories. And the quiz is actually helpful. I like the way it helped me listen to where I am already an expert and which skills I could work on a bit.

And for the rest of this short read, you’ll get practical tips on how to hone each skill, as well as rein it in. For instance, we know that introverts need to build in quiet time into their workday (YES! Can you say it again for the executives in the back and anyone who suggests open offices?!) but she also warns what becoming a workplace loner can do. Throughout she gives some practical tips on how to put each skill into practice, even in cubicle land.

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Let’s talk salary negotiation

I don’t know about you, but the idea of negotiating my salary makes me want to stand up from my desk, slowly walk backwards, and then when nobody’s looking…make a mad dash, get in my car, drive away fast and never return. And then subsequently beat myself up because even when I know I should ask for more and deserve more, I would feel like I didn’t have the guts to ask for more.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

I get the irony here. I coach and mentor women about work issues (including pay). I know how to negotiate salary in theory, and I definitely know how important it is. So when I saw a workshop about salary negotiation for women coming up, I decided it was high time to get out of my own comfort zone and go.

I am SO glad I did.

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Transferable Skills Talk: Understanding Higher Ed

An ongoing series in which we identify your transferable skills. Today’s edition: your knowledge of higher ed.

When it comes to landing a staff job in higher ed, whether that’s a major university, small private liberal arts college, or community college, one thing you have going for you is your knowledge of higher ed. You might not see this as an important asset, but allow me to disavow any of you of that notion.

When I’m hiring, once we get to the interview stage, there are 3 things I’m looking for in my candidates:

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Career Wanderlust

I don’t know about you, but with a vaca coming up, I’m having trouble staying focused. But did you know you can experience the same thing with your career too? I’m talking about career wanderlust.

What is Career Wanderlust?

You know you’ve got career wanderlust when are working, but you find yourself thinking more and more about looking around for a new job. Or paying attention again to those job posting emails that you had previously been ignoring. Or hitting up job sites more frequently. Or reaching out to colleagues who have moved on to ask leading questions about where they’ve landed, hoping they have great things to say.

Maybe you find yourself feeling like your work isn’t as fulfilling anymore. Maybe you’d like to find a place where your work has more impact. Maybe you are envious of how another manager or department works better together as a team. Maybe you just want a change.

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Informational Interview Questions

Yesterday, I posted about something you can and should do when exploring a new career: an informational interview. But that post only covered how to schedule the interview. You still need to know what to ask during an informational interview. So let’s get started.

Why do an Informational Interview?

This is a low-stakes way for you to

  • meet someone in a different career,
  • explore how they got into that work, and
  • get a snapshot of a typical workday.

In other words, the point of an informational interview is to give you more data points on whether it might be a career that suits you and warrants more exploration.

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