J Patrick + Associates Blog

The Big 3: Weighing the Importance of AV certifications

Posted by Daniel Lehman on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 @ 04:39 PM

The Big 3 (Avixa, CTS, Crestron): Weighing the Importance of AV Certifications

Looking to further your career in the audio visual industry? 

There are many different types of AV training to keep in mind...

The tsunami wave of new AV technology and the many segments of the AV industry may leave candidates feeling dizzy. Live events, which account for a considerable chunk of AV, may sing to your inner audiophile. On the other hand, tech-savvy av professionals have made their entire careers servicing videoconferencing technologies (Cisco Webex, Zoom).

Then there is AV Integration, which is more like the construction business.  AV integration requires designing and installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining AV systems. The demand for qualified technicians in this field is especially high. 

Every business is seeing the value in a new conference room; Complete with videoconferencing, sound and lighting, and large format displays. Software video conferencing companies like Webex has also upped the ante on smart rooms. Systems can now be remotely integrated, controlled and supported through network integration.

AV Professional Looking for a Job? - Click Here to Connect with a Recruiter

Projections for the AV Industry

As our world becomes smaller the goal of staying connected remains a global imperative. AV integration has experienced the most dynamic growth. 

AVIXA, the board which handles licensure for the Audiovisual Industry, has marked this trend. AVIXA Board of Director Jeff Day, cited that by 2023 AV Integration (ProAV) will be a “230 Billion Dollar Market”. This outpaces our country’s projected GDP rate considerably. 

So it stands to reason that getting a job in the AV Integration space should be relatively easy... right?

Here’s the kicker…

There seems to be some confusion as to what technical experience hiring managers are looking for in AV candidates. AVIXA’s Sean Wargo, Director of Market Intelligence, elaborates:

“The market for AV solutions is consistently strong; the industry must continually grow to meet the demand...the challenge is often finding the qualified labor to staff the influx of AV design and integration projects.”

Sean Wargo, AVIXA

Simply put, there are not enough qualified technicians and designers to step into these roles opening up at the AV Integrators. Many hiring managers elect to pass on candidates coming from other roles in the AV field.

Which qualifications are in demand for hiring managers?

An AV technician needs to know the ins and outs of basic installation. This includes pulling and terminating cat5 and cat6 cable, soldering, installing LEDs, projectors, and microphones. 

cat5 cable

But is it enough to advance past an entry-level technician job?

Margins are shrinking when it comes to building and selling hardware systems, and trending more towards software-based solutions. Now more than ever, it is in the best interest of savvy AV technicians to invest in the right vendor certifications. The issue is, there are almost as many industry certifications as there are racks of gear being pumped by these integrators. 

You have the AVIXA CTS or CTS D or CTS I variants. There is the slew of Crestron certifications. Let’s not forget Extron, Biamp, Tesira, and still, the list goes on.

Not to mention industry certifications tend to be on the pricey side. For example, the CTS prep course (highly recommended) is around $1000. The CTS exam itself is $175. Getting all the AV certifications can be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

Which AV Training Courses are Most Important

There are no simple answers. This author’s job involves talking to experienced candidates and hiring managers in the audiovisual industry. 

I started asking the question: in your experience, what is the best experience? 

Over several conversations between candidates and managers alike certain patterns began to emerge. 

One key takeaway is the AVIXA CTS certification has value and is globally recognized. 

However, it’s value to hiring managers is that it covers broad industry knowledge. In this way, it is more of a ticket to play as opposed to any indication of specific knowledge or experience. 

More credence might be given to the CTS -I (for AV Installation) and CTS-D (for Design). These tests are regarded as more difficult and deal with specific job functions in AV. Still, the CTS certifications serve the valuable purpose of helping you gain visibility amongst hiring managers and recruiters. In one manager’s words, a CTS is never required but shows the individual is “self-motivated and passionate about AV.”

Hiring Manager Looking for a Candidate? - Click Here to Connect with a Recruiter

Vendor-Specific Training

The general consensus seems to be that vendor-specific training is much more applicable in the field. While every integrator’s process is a little different, there is considerable overlap in the technology being utilized. Certain vendor certifications appear to be worth their weight in gold when it comes to getting recognized by hiring managers. As stated earlier, many of these certifications line up with the trend of AV moving from hardware to software business. 

Crestron Certifications

Crestron, which is the Windows software used to program audiovisual components in smart rooms, is ubiquitous in commercial settings. 

Installers that possess certifications from Crestron, such as the DCM-E-4k, consistently have an edge up in the marketplace. 

Candidates applying for Field Engineer need to know how to use Crestron Toolbox, and should also know its basic functions. 

Many techs hear the word “programming” and want to run for the hills. However, the training is not as scary as one might think. According to one candidate with 30 years in ProAV:“Crestron’s certification program is fabulously well run and gives plenty of time for test preparation.”

DSP Vendor Certifications

DSP vendor certs such as Biamp, Dante and Tesira also score high points on the application. 

Again, integrators will vary in their choices, but Biamp’s offerings in particular thoroughly cover the “audio” in audiovisual. Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) is one specific area that is covered, to achieve maximum speech quality in audio. 

Many integrators will have at least one key contact on staff that is Biamp certified and also serves as a Biamp channel partner. So you can bet, Biamp certified engineers that can write DSPs are highly sought after by many AV integrators.

Are AV Certifications Worth It?

With all this said it may come as no surprise that to hiring managers, experience trumps most anything. If you’re not yet working on ideal AV projects, you should consider continued education in the form of AV certifications. 

It is true that many firms will pay for training. But, what if you are not currently employed or climbing the ranks at an integrator? 

If coming out of pocket is not an option, many vendors have free online training to get you started. Targeting AV integration projects that are using these technologies and seeking an entry-level spot is also a strategy worth considering.

Related Blogs:

LOOKING TO HIRE AV TECHS? MAKE SURE TO LOOK FOR TALENT IN THESE 2 SECTORS. 

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN AV TECHNICIAN? (HINT: YOU DO!) 

 

Job search

Tags: AV/VTC/UC, Career Path, Video Interview, Career Advice

7 Reasons You Need To Talk To A Recruiter

Posted by Nicholas Stearns on Thu, May 02, 2019 @ 11:10 AM

7 Reasons You need to talk to a recruiter

 

Love Your Job? 8 Reasons You Need To Talk To A Recruiter


When you’re happy in your job, taking calls from recruiters may seem counter-intuitive. But it’s actually one of the best times to speak with a headhunter.

Here are 7 reasons why you should talk to a Recruiter (And one Bonus reason):

1. There’s A Lot To Be Gained

Your time is worth a lot and you don’t want to waste it, so it’s understandable if you don’t want to hear about another job opportunity. But, the good recruiter knows how to get to the point, and they won’t take an inordinate amount of time, yet he very well may have a lot to offer. 

It’s worth a few minutes to learn about possible open positions in your field and to make a connection with a respected recruiter. And all it costs is a bit of your lunch break.

2. They Know How Green The Grass Is

You may not think you’re interested in leaving your current job but recruiters often work to fill positions that aren’t entirely public yet. 

Speaking to a recruiter gives you insight into the possibilities in your industry as they are often on the leading edge of trends and market movement. It's highly possible they are working on filling jobs that you’d have no other way of knowing about and could be a good fit for you.  

3. The Future Isn’t Now

Even if none of the jobs the recruiter has to offer are what you want, remember,  this phone call is not wasted time. 

Save their number, ask them to keep you in mind for future openings, and then keep doing what you love. Just because they don’t have the perfect opening for you right now, doesn’t mean that in 6 months or 3 years that your dream position won’t be open. Or that your situation will be the same. Relationships with recruiters are not entirely about getting you a job. 

4. Companies Change

Situations have a habit of changing. 

Companies go through restructuring, and positions get overhauled. Managers and coworkers get promoted or go to another company. The company you love today may not be the same in 5 years. Maintaining your relationship with a recruiter is a great way to keep your options open without having to make any commitments.

5. You Change Too

What you enjoy and find challenging will also evolve over time. 

In order to find the roles that can help you meet those challenges, you need to move organizations. After all, the average employee in America can expect to have anywhere from 10 to 15 different jobs in their career. And this is where having a relationship with a recruiter helps; When you’re ready to shift career paths they are ready to help you. 

6. A Chance Market Research

Recruiters work in your field all the time, and they tend to know the average value of your position. 

A conversation with a headhunter is a great way to do some of your own market research and acquire free career advice. You may find that your current compensation is not equal to the market, or you may find out how good you have it, and quell any thoughts about moving jobs. Another value recruiters add is, they can give you insight into which other industries are looking for people with your skill set.

7. Lending A Helping Hand

Just because the job isn’t something you’re interested in, you may very well know someone who is. 

Many recruiting firms offer a referral program. 10 minutes on the phone might not get you a job, but it could advance a friend’s career, and earn you a bonus.

*Bonus*  Expedite the Hiring Process

Recruiters maintain a great relationship with hiring managers (Good ones at least). When you do decide to search for new opportunities, working with a recruiter will make the job search, and the interviewing process seamless. 

 

Summary

A call from a recruiter, especially when you’re in a great spot, can look like a bother. But when you know about the added value, you realize it’s an opportunity to learn more about your industry and the space you work in. 

Recruiters are beneficial to both active and passive job seekers alike. After all… your dream job might be out there and only your recruiter can find it.


If you’re interested in speaking to a recruiter about your career path or job search to see if there’s a role that's a good fit for you, CLICK HERE.  

 

Related Blogs:

4 BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH A RECRUITER

FIVE QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN INTERVIEWING

 

New Call-to-action

Tags: Career Advice

5 Cyber Security Certifications You Need To Get Ahead

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Wed, May 01, 2019 @ 12:39 PM

certification

With the recent spate of cyber attacks, Cyber Security professionals are in more demand than ever. Businesses are flooding the gates, looking for qualified info-sec professionals to safeguard their IT systems from attacks. There are plenty of jobs waiting for well-qualified candidates.

Chances are you're like most cybersecurity professionals- you're not looking for just any job. What you're seeking for are the best challenges at that best companies. And in order to get those jobs, you're going to need to hone your skills.

 We’ve compiled a list of the top certifications to pursue if you're looking to expand your market value and/or expertise:

 

1. CompTIA Security

This entry-level certification is the essential stepping stone into your IT security career. It is globally recognized as a validation of superior technical skills, such as Cryptography, Identity Management, Security Risk Identification, etc. To qualify, you must have 6-12 months of relevant experience.

COST: $311.00 USD.

Positions and the average salaries that correspond with the CompTIA Security+:

  • Systems Administrator ($43,000-$86,000)
  • Network Engineer ($46,000-$95,000)
  • Information Security Analyst ($49,000-$96,000)
  • Network Administrator ($39,000-$77,000)
  • IT Manager ($44,000-$110,000)
  •  

2. GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)

This entry-level information security certification is for professionals who want proof that they're ready for a hands-on job in systems security administration. This exam covers a wide range of subjects to further help you understand and recognize security principles.

COST: $1000.00 USD,

Note: This certification requires no prior experience, but you’ll have to retake the test every four years.

Positions and average salaries that corresponds with the GSEC certification:

  • Information Security Analyst ($46,000-$121,000)
  • Security Engineer ($100,0000-$110,000)
  • Network Security Engineer ($80,000-$85,000)
  • Senior Security Consultant ($100,000-$135,000)
  • Network Security Analyst ($50,000-$55,000)

3. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

This intermediate-level certification trains and educates you to understand and look for weaknesses and vulnerabilities in information systems. This credential will equip you with the knowledge of numerous hacking practices (Trojans, Viruses) and how to properly defend yourself against them.

COST: $500.00 USD

Note: This cert requires 2 years of relevant experience to be qualified.

Positions and average salaries that corresponds with the CEH accreditation:

  • Information Security Analyst ($53,000-$107,000)
  • Security Engineer ($61,000-$120,000)
  • Penetration Tester ($50,000-$130,000)
  • Security Analyst ($51,000-$115,000)
  • Information Security Engineer ($72,000-$135,000)

4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

This advanced-level certification goes beyond the basic technical skills and covers the integration of security methodologies. The CISSP is the gold standard when it comes to certifications by preparing you with the right tools to develop, guide, and manage security principals.

COST: $600.00 USD

Note: This certification is a highly recognized standard among the industry; however, you must have a minimum of 5 years of experience to qualify for the exam.

Positions and average salaries that corresponds with the CISSP credential:

  • Information Security Analyst ($60,000-$117,000)
  • Information Security Manager ($81,000-$142,000)
  • Chief Information Security Officer ($104,000-$203,000)
  • Security Engineer ($69,000-$127,000)
  • Security Architect ($90,000-$152,000)

5. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

This top-level certification will showcase your security management expertise. Further, advance your security risk management and program development skills with this unique management-focused credential. Globally recognized to demonstrate your understanding of an information security program and its relationship with the long and short term business goals.

COST: $500-$700.00 USD

Note: You must have a minimum of 5 years working experience.

Positions and average salaries that corresponds with the CISM accreditation:

  • Information Security Manager ($82,000-$150,000)
  • Chief Information Security Officer ($116,000-$214,000)
  • Information Security Officer ($66,000-$147,000)
  • Security Architect, IT ($84,000-$172,000)
  • Information Security Analyst ($55,000- $122,000)

Though the majority of employers might not list specific cybersecurity certifications as a job requirement, having certs in place will help you stand out and increase your appeal for top-drawer jobs, as well as increase your salary potential.

 

New Call-to-action

How to Start off Right As an AV Technician

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 04:04 PM

How to Start off Right As an AV Technician

With the Audio-Visual industry continuing to thrive, the demand for Audio Visual technicians outpaced the supply. Opportunities are plentiful for qualified technicians, even if they haven’t worked in AV before, with the caveat that they possess some fundamental skills required in the audio-visual space.

If you’re looking to move into this growing field, here’s what companies are looking for in their entry-level Audiovisual technicians.

What companies look for in entry-level Audiovisual technicians

Ability to Learn

When you enter the AV field, you’ll need a propensity for working with electrical equipment since the AV space requires you to work with different audio, video, and computer technology. 

There are several related fields that can help make the shift into AV easier, such as:

  • Photography
  • Creative Media Production
  • Audio Production
  • Digital Media Technology

While working in these areas does not necessarily prepare you for the particulars of an AV technician job, they do give you a working knowledge of some of the Audio Visual equipment, as well as the vocabulary of the field.

Related Experience

Employers who are willing to hire techs from outside AV are going to first and foremost be looking for work experience -- most likely 3-5 years in a related field. You’ll also need to build a familiarity with the different applications (Commercial Businesses, Residential Homes, Government, Healthcare) and the equipment/ manufacturers (Extron, AMX, Crestron and DSP) associated with each sector.

Improving your knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming can all prove your ability to adapt to different settings. Also, keeping an updated portfolio with testimonials, pictures, and/or schemas will help give an in-depth representation of how you’ve performed in the past.

Communication Skills

As a post-sales or pre-sales technician, the ability to communicate with customers and co-workers is an imperative tool to keep holstered to your work belt. The ability to explain the process in layman terms, or in a manner that requires no prior knowledge in the designated area is highly valued. 

Working in this space demands that you must be able to meet customer demands and resolve any problems that may appear. Following the installation process, customers will often have questions regarding the procedure and last minute “How to’s,” and covering those questions will fall to you.

Thinking on the spot

Out in the field, AV service technicians are often faced with numerous situations where they need to thoroughly analyze an obstacle and create a solution. 

The problem may be as complex as having to troubleshoot a Crestron system, or as rudimentary as coming up with an on-the-spot solution to limited space when hanging monitors in a university common room. 

Regardless of the size, you need to be prepared for unforeseen complications and be able to efficiently diagnose a problem, in order to produce a worthy solution.

Positive Attitude

Similar to a pitcher throwing a curveball, unpredictable complications arise on the job. However, the way you handle your attitude and take control of the situation will ultimately determine the outcome. 

A strong and positive attitude influences the customer experience. You will be the face of the company out in the field, you need to be comfortable in that role as a brand ambassador. Remember to keep your head high, even in the most arduous situations.

With the right set of qualifications, and an interest in working on the user end, being an AV technician can be a most rewarding career trajectory.

Looking for a full time or part time AV job? Click the link below to connect with a recruiter and find out what's available for you!


Click me 

9 Programs Leading the Way For Girls in Technology

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 03:20 PM

10 Programs Leading The Way For Girls in Tech.png

According to The National Center for Women in IT, tech companies with women in management positions achieve a 34% higher return on investment.

34% higher return.

And yet women still only occupy 26% of the over 4 million computer science-related positions in the country and account for only 11% of executives in Fortune 500 tech companies.

Not only is the lack of diversity in tech profoundly out of line, but it's also bad for business, especially when we

The good news is that a good number of organizations and initiatives have cropped up around the country to change the game. Some are focusing on girls still in school, others on offering training to women already out in the workforce. But what unites all of these organizations is the belief that not only should women be occupying an equal share of the over 3 million tech jobs, but that they are in fact the future of tech.

Here's a rundown of 10 of the leading not-for-profits and organizations working to forge a path to get more girls in tech, and to help women make their mark in the industry.

1. Girls Who Code

The US-based program has taught over 40,000 girls to code to date. They offer both after school clubs which are open to 6th-12th-grade girls, and summer immersion programs for 10th-11th-grade girls which take place at leading technology companies. With locations in 42 states, they are driven by the single mandate to close the gender gap in the technology sector.

Brook view House in Dorchester, Ma, an organization dedicated to helping homeless families develop life-skills and training has opened their own chapter of #girlswhocode. This kind of outreach to underserved communities is actively changing lives. Not only are they empowering girls who might not have ever thought they were entitled to a career, but they are also laying the very foundation these girls to launch successful careers in tech.

2. Black Girls Code

Black Girls Code's vision is to: "increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. To provide African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. by 2020, and to train 1 million girls by 2040."

And they're succeeding. By reaching out to underrepresented communities to teach coding on platforms such as Ruby on Rails and scratch, Black Girls Code is engaging girls who might never have been introduced to tech in their schools. Through programming and game design they are preparing black girls to not only take their place in the tech sector but to become the designers of their own futures.

3. Code.org 

A not-for-profit organization, Code.org is dedicated to expanding access to computer science to underrepresented populations and girls. They also provide professional learning programs for teachers to integrate CS into their classrooms, are working to set up policies supporting CS and partnering with school districts to add CS to the curriculum.

Their Hour Of Code initiative, a free one-hour tutorial designed to provide a fun and easy introduction to coding is available in 45 languages and has been implementing in over 180 countries.

4. Womanity

This not-for-profit has set out to empower girls and women in developing countries and to help accelerate progress within their communities. Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, their mission is to

  • Support girls and women’s access to quality education and vocational training.
  • Create employment, revenue generation and professional career opportunities for women.
  • Promote avenues that give women a voice in society, politics and governance institutions.
  • Protect women and girls’ physical and psychological integrity.

Case in point is their Girls Can Code initiative in Afghanistan. Working in accordance with the Ministry of Education, they have been able to build the intensive introduction to coding for girls in Kabul.

In other words, they are working within cultures to help create a path for women and girls to succeed.

5. Built By Girls

#builtbygirls is one of the organizations leading the way past simply teaching girls to code. As stated on their homepage, they recognize that there are countless opportunities for careers in tech and they've made it their mandate to prepare girls to innovate and lead.

Wave Utilizing a devoted mobile platform, this mentorship connects girls 15-18 years old with mentors in the technology sector. Over the course of 9 months, the program pairs each of the 150 girls with 3 mentors, based on the girl's areas of interest. the 3 month period with each mentor is spent in communication in which the 2 will solve a hypothetical problem related to that business or sector. Much of the communication takes place through the app, but the program also includes a monthly visit.

At the end of the 3 months, the mentor then introduces their student to 2 relevant contacts from their network - meaning that upon the completion of the program, each student will have a minimum of 9 contacts in her field of interest.

The program launched with 150 girls, but has the goal of including 20,000 girls by 202. If they hit their mark, that means those girls will have made over 90,000 connections in the tech sector.

Girls Who Fund On the VC/startup end of the business, #builtbygirls offers a summer apprenticeship program for college-bound girls at BBG Ventures, an early-stage seed fund investing in consumer tech startups with at least one female founder.

During the month-long program, girls learn the fundamentals of running a startup, study the bones of venture capital (VC). They also are afforded the amazing opportunity to not only meet leaders in the VC field but to also sit in on pitch meetings.

The internship concludes with the girls judging the #BUILTBYGIRLSChallenge, a pitch competition for tech products built by girls.

6. Girl Develop It (GDI)

What began with one class offered in NYC in 2010 has since blossomed into an organization with chapters in over 56 US cities. GDI provides low-cost training for women to learn web and software development. Their focus is on providing a judgment-free experience where women of all backgrounds and economic levels can learn new skills while increasing their confidence and career prospects. And it seems that they are succeeding, as their organization represents over 55,000 women to date.

7. Rails Girls

Founded in Finland, Rails Girls has now blossomed into a global not-for-profit community. Sponsoring events that are organized by volunteers, Rails Girls focuses on providing women with the tools, the knowledge, and the vocabulary to build out their ideas. By making technology more approachable they are empowering a new generation of business owners, entrepreneurs, and content providers.

8. Railsbridge

Also born out of a single workshop, this one in San Francisco in 2010, Railsbridge is devoted to creating diversity in tech: not only gender but race, sexual orientation, ability, and class. While their first workshops might have focused on women, they have since expanded their scope.

As they say, they "value acceptance, enthusiasm, and hard work. The RailsBridge community thrives on optimism and a love for making great things."

9. Codechix

Dedicated to education, advocacy, and mentorship, Codechix's aim is to increase the number of women engineers in both industry and academia. And a big part of that mission is to focus on retention. According to their website, 56% of women engineers drop out of the industry within 10 years. One of the best ways to stem that tide is to do exactly what Codechix is doing: fostering opportunities for face-to-face communication, community building, and mentorship.

To this end, they "conduct events, participate in competitions as a team, develop open-source projects on our Github repository and actively network to create a foundation for women engineers on the technical ladder in software and hardware."

There are countless other initiatives and organizations all working to foster diversity in tech, we'll explore some of the professional organizations in a future blog, and continue to delve into this issue on an ongoing basis.

All 9 of these programs are supporting women in technology a great deal. A lot of which starting the help in middle school / high school and turning these girls into professional women who can then stem careers from their skill.

Interested in looking through some of our current tech openings? Click here

 

Related Blog:

4 INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO ATTRACT & RETAIN WOMEN IN TECH



New call-to-action

New call-to-action 

Tags: hiriring, Women in Tech

Weighing Your Options Between Two Competing Offers

Posted by Dylan Rivera on Thu, Apr 25, 2019 @ 01:39 PM

Two Competing Job Offers

Congratulations!

Your job search and interview process have finally paid off, however with two competing offers,  each presenting certain benefits that make it a good fit.  

The first thing you should do is just take a moment and remind yourself that some people would riot to be in the position you are in.

Now, let’s break down some points to help you evaluate how to best handle the “two job offers” situation.  

Weighing Your Options Between Two Competing Job Offers

Written In Ink

When presented with multiple job offers, it’s natural to start comparing them immediately. However, it’s not wise to do so until you have a physical copy rather than just verbal offers of both opportunities. You want to be able to weigh several vital factors, such as health benefits, vacation time, maternity leave, and commute time against each other. All of these important data points should be measured as concretely as possible.

Also remember, without a written offer, your negotiating power is limited since you're basing all of your facts off a verbal agreement.

So get it in writing and don't forget to read the fine print!     

 

Be Honest

When you encounter this kind of situation, it’s common to ask yourself if you should tell one company about the other offer.  In some cases, one offer may require a decision before you've received the specifics from the other proposal. If you have the opportunity to review both offers without spilling the beans then you should do so. It’s possible for a company to feel as if you're trying to shake them down or force them into a bidding war by revealing the other offer.

If you’re cornered and have no other option but to tell the company about the other offer, then do so carefully. An example would be:

“I am appreciative of your offer, and the thought of joining your company is very exciting, but I will be honest and tell you that there is another offer that is currently pending, and I’d like some time to weigh all my options.”

You will always run the possibility of them saying no or stripping the deal; however, hopefully, they’ll respect you for being honest. And in the end, you can thank them for making your decision a lot easier.

 

Break-It-Down

Once you have both written offers in hand, you should start by writing down what specifically you want from the new job. Make sure, however, to always keep an eye out for any red flags. Health insurance, good company culture, there are so many different variables to take into account, especially with multiple offers.

This shouldn't be a quick process where you immediately run to the offer with the highest salary. You’ll be spending a good deal of your time in this new position, so make sure to consider all factors and not just the obvious ones. To make this process a little easier, consider making a S.W.O.T analysis or another form of a comparison grid.

Before considering the negatives, start mapping out all of the benefits from each proposal. Only after you’ve compared the potential benefits is it time to move on to review the negatives. Factors, such as work environment, travel distance, and your overall happiness should be given the utmost consideration.

The simple act of physically writing them down allows you to grasp a better understanding of the benefits of both offers.

 

Take A Walk

Take a break. After all, it’s what you do when you need to blow off some steam or if you've hit a rough patch at work. It’s essential that you give yourself some time to think and clear your mind. 

When you're stuck in one way of thinking, find some sort of distraction, whether it be watching a movie or reading a book. Just make sure you get out, let loose, and let the two offers be the last thing on your mind for a little while.

 

Make a Decision

Though this kind of situation can become stressful, you must ultimately choose what feels right for you. Consider everything that is important, make your decision, and never look back.

We all have that inner wisdom lying in the bottom of our stomach -- Listen to it.

 


Click me

 

 

Tags: Job Search, Career Strategies, Career Path

Sales Engineer Salary Pie Chart

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 @ 10:02 AM

Sales Engineer Salary Pie Chart

Sales Engineer Salary Pie Chart

 

The Sales Engineer Salary 

Here at J. Patrick, we performed a Salary survey with salaries submitted anonymously, asking over 350 Sales engineers their 1-year salary. Above were the results.  As you can see from the graph we had a wide range of different salaries. Considering that we are a recruiter who specializes in placing Sales Engineers, we find it unacceptable that the highest percentage of salaries was the lowest amount on this chart, over 12% of the survey takers make under $65,000.  

 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary/annual salary for a sales engineer is $101,015 (national average). Salary ranges from about $60,000 to $200,000 depending on years of experience and performance.

 

If you would like to complete this survey, just select this link here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JPatrick

 

 

Looking for your next move? Check out our available Sales Engineer Jobs

 

New call-to-action

Tags: Sales Engineer

The Pros & Cons of Contract Work

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Mon, Apr 15, 2019 @ 12:32 PM

PROS__CONS.png

The word on the street in Silicon Valley is that we are currently in a “gig economy.” What that means is that more and more people are opting to work as independent contractors, as opposed to traditional full-time employment. According to new research, conducted by labor economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger, between 2005 and 2015 the number of Americans seeking alternative work arrangements swelled by 9.4 million. The swing toward contract employment can be explained by several factors, such as the need for a flexible schedule, to the desire for increased autonomy.

But, if you find yourself thinking about joining the growing ranks of contract workers, you need to first understand the pro and cons of this kind of work.

 

The Pros and Cons of Contract Work

PRO: Potential for Higher Earnings

Companies looking to hire contract staffing because it provides the flexibility they need, it saves time, money and resources. However, they are looking to hire experts, not neophytes. They do not want to invest in training or other onboarding expenses. A contractor who knows what to do and how to get it done in a timely manner is worth top dollar. They come in, do the job and don't put any further drain on company resources.

 

CON: Increased Uncertainty

The potential for higher earnings is a great benefit of work-for-hire, but there’s no guarantee you will keep working once a contract expires. (no guaranteed job security after contract) And since the nature of the work you’ve been hired to do is finite, you have no guarantee that you’ll make the money you thought you would. Another thing to consider is that the project you were hired to work on can be unexpectedly canceled. All of these factors can add up to increased financial instability --if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid.

And finally, there’s no way of knowing the amount of time you’ll spend between contracts, or during your next job search.  

 

PRO: Lifestyle Flexibility

According to Randstad’s Workforce360 Study, about 86% of independent contractors reported their level of job satisfaction to be good/excellent. With this kind of work arrangement, comes more freedom. You are able to control your career path without having to wade through office politics for a promotion, pay raise, or time off. You negotiate to get the employment packages that suit you best, and you take as much or as little time off in between contracts. If this type of flexibility is appealing to you, then contracting out may be the best of all worlds.  

 

CON: Outside Looking In

All that flexibility may be nice, but the price you pay is that you’ll always be the outsider.  Contract work makes it difficult to create connections that might help advance your career further down the road. There’s also the fluid and ever-changing nature of social engagement at work. As we all know, you spend more time at work than at home, so your social life tends to stem from your work life. Relationships are fleeting and long term bonds are rarely formed.

 

PRO: Increased Technical & Professional Knowledge

You’re an expert in your field and have a certain skill set that companies in your industry want. But, contract work also provides the opportunity to sharpen your expertise and work in different sectors. It allows you to broaden your experience in your field and perhaps gain new skills in other industries. You’re at liberty to choose the skills that you would like to further develop in other industries, allowing you to enhance your CV and marketability for future jobs. It can also be part of your story when explaining an employment gap to a potential employer.

 

CON: Career Development

The freedom provided by contract work to broaden your technical and professional skills means that you are in charge of your own development. Great, right? Maybe not. Although it feels empowering to be in charge of your own career development, it is a heavy burden to bear. You no longer have the human resources department or a talent management team to ensure that you’re properly trained and qualified for the job. It is now up to you to make sure that your skillset is up to par with the current trends of the industry.

Like everything in life, contract employment has its benefits and drawbacks. Although it might not be a career-long plan, if you’re returning back to the workforce or need a flexible work arrangement, contract work very well might be a great option. Although there’s no fixed amount of time you can guarantee being unemployed between contract positions there are definitely a lot of pros to short term positions.

 

Job seekers looking for contract jobs or a full-time job, be sure to click here to check out all our currently available positions!

 

 

Click me

 

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews, Career Strategies

Seal The Deal: The Sales Engineer Product Demonstration Interview

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Sales Engineer Interview

 

The road to a job offer for a Sales Engineer can look a bit different from other roles after the initial stages.

After impressing the hiring manager during your call or video interview, you've had a technical screen, interviewed with a senior sales engineer or perhaps some peers SEs. You might have even been screened by 1 or 2 of the sales reps you'd be supporting.

Now it's time for the final hurdle of the interview process -- the product demonstration interview. 

Whether you've been a SE for years, or this is your chance to step up into the role, there are some key factors to keep in mind as you prep for the demo.

 

The Ideal Candidate Marries Aptitude + Attitude

The ideal candidate for any SE role obviously has to have the technical knowledge and facility needed to support the product. But you know if you hadn't passed the technical screen you wouldn't be preparing to give a demo.

So, your job during the presentation goes way beyond being able to explain the back end of the product. The real point of the demonstration interview is demonstrating that you are relatable, passionate and creative.

Hiring managers are looking for SEs who can both make the tech accessible and clear while instilling trust in the clients. Your job is to be an evangelist for the product, to transfer your enthusiasm and to tell the story of why this is the perfect solution for the customer.

Conveying that you have the perfect combination of aptitude and attitude during your presentation will put you within reach of an offer.

 

Confidence is Key

Since you aren't doing a demonstration for customers you don't have the benefit of discovery or a pre-call. And while you will have done your research on the hiring team, you're not pitching the product to fill a real need for them. In fact, you might even be in the position of having to demo the hiring company's product for them.

And puts you at a disadvantage. Whereas you're accustomed to being the expert in the room, suddenly you're in the position of having to sell people who know more about the solution than you do.

But, that doesn't mean you can't knock this demo out of the park.

And the key to that is confidence. 

We're not talking cocky swagger here. This is the confidence born of practice, research, and deep, well-structured preparation. It's the ability to hold your agenda and convey your enthusiasm.

In some ways, a room full of skeptics is the best test of your talents. If you can convincingly sell a panel of Senior Sales Engineers, the VP of Sales and the hiring manager on their own product, then you can face the toughest customer challenges out there.

 

Share Your Passion

If your presentation is on the subject of your choice, choose something you're passionate about. Pick something you've done the deep research on, and that you can speak with perfect authority about.

We had a candidate do a demo on remote-controlled helicopters - a subject that had absolutely nothing to do with the company's product, but it was a topic he could be an evangelist for.

He nailed the demo and got the job.

 

Close the Deal

Whether you're presenting on your current product, the hiring company's product or your favorite hobby, a successful Sales Engineers knows how to make any set of circumstances work.

You might not wind your demo looking for the sale, but you do want to bring the pitch to a clean close. Just as you know how to convert prospects into customers by from a position of knowledge intent on finding a solution, use that power of creative know-how to get the job.

Engaging with the room honestly - one person to another. Stay on target, explain the functionality of the solution and convey your passion for helping them put a solution to work.

 

Related Blogs:

CYBERSECURITY SALES ENGINEERS ARE IN HIGH DEMAND

HIRING SALES ENGINEERS? OPEN YOUR MIND WHEN IT COMES TO REQUIREMENTS 

 

Looking for your next move? Check out our available Sales Engineer Jobs

                                                            

New call-to-action 

Tags: Job Interviews, Sales Engineer

The Bottom Line: Diversity is Good For Business

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

Diversity is Good For Business

At the most basic level, workplace diversity is important because it represents fair and equitable hiring practices. It's reflective of society and the truth of our demographics. After all, according to the US Census Bureau, Asian, Hispanic and multiracial groups will hit majority status by 2044.

Our businesses need to reflect who we are.

But there's another reason businesses need to focus on building an inclusive workforce: a broad spectrum of talent and ideas is vital for success. Exposure to a variety of points of view can lead to more ideas and better decisions. Diversity pushes us to explore, rethink, innovate and push boundaries.

In short, diversity is good for business. 

We only have to look to The Renaissance for the perfect example. The Age of Enlightenment didn't just take shape out of thin air. It happened because technological advances (larger ships, navigation techniques, etc...) enabled people to travel greater distances. When East met West all manner of ideas were exchanged. Creativity was ignited sparking the idea for countless, important innovations.

The same holds true for your business. If you're not attracting and retaining women and employees from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds then you're depriving your company of the full spectrum of available talent. And that is bad for your bottom line.

Let's explore 4 practical steps you can take to enhance diversity in the workplace.

1. Assess Yourself

In order to build an inclusive team, you first have to take an honest look at where you are right now. To make any kind of shift, the organization needs to be willing to ask hard questions of itself and try to assess the situation with candor.

Some things to ask consider include:

  • What mechanisms have you established for offering promotions?
  • How are you managing your talent pipeline?
  • At what point on your corporate ladder are you experiencing the most drop off by women and ethnic minorities?
  • Are you utilizing exit interviews to gather information on drop off?
  • What, if any are your recruitment biases?

The best way to find positive solutions is to delve deep into your problems with an honest and unbiased approach.

2. Attract

Let's be clear, we are not speaking about quotas or hiring goals. This is about building teams that reflect a wide variety of experience, thinking style, personality type, and points of view.

But the truth is if your company culture does not reflect an inclusive mindset, all the quotas in the world won't help you to attract the kind of talent you need to succeed.

Make certain that your brand aligns with your philosophy. Just as savvy consumers have learned to sniff out greenwashing, candidates will know when your commitment to diversity is superficial.

Hiring managers need to set their checklists aside. Rather than looking for candidates who can check off each box and fit the position profile to a T, look instead for team players who bring a new perspective or unexpected experience. What you want are broad thinkers who bring a spark of innovation to your team. And you're more likely to find that when you cast a wide net. 

3. Retain

Now devote equal time and energy to getting new hires to stay. According to the 2016 Women in the Workplace Report by McKinsey & Co., women receive less access to the people, feedback and opportunities that lead to promotions. They are also less likely to receive the first critical promotion that will set them on the path to management. And that all adds up to higher attrition rates.

This is the time to lay the groundwork for the long run. It’s important to show your hires they have a future in the company. Establish mentoring programs to help build strong relationships and illustrate the pathways for advancement. The Women in Business, Turning Promise into Practice report by Grant Thornton revealed that providing mentors for female employees helps women to build their confidence, empowers them to speak up and to stand up for their ideas. It also provides a framework for seeing where they can go in the company.

As Kim Bohr, Executive VP Operations at Fierce, Inc. stated in the HR Daily report on 2017 workplace trends, "An objective within organizations should be to create an environment where all employees can feel at ease and capable of understanding differing perspectives that exist, regardless of gender, race, generation, religious affiliation, or any other aspect of identity."  

4. Inspire

Make certain that avenues for advancement are well known among all of your employees. Create an environment where innovation, flexibility and prudent risks are rewarded. And always highlight successes, both large and small. The confidence and appreciation you extend will be returned two-fold. 

In addition to focusing on current hires, also think about setting your sights on the future of the workforce. Getting involved with organizations that mentor girls and minorities is another way to support the diverse workplaces of the future. There are organizations devoted to girls and minorities in STEM fields, in Management and even programs geared toward encouraging girls and minorities to step onto the MBA path. Whatever your field, there's an organization promoting education for kids and job training for underserved populations.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about diversity is that it's not just about numbers. It's about a company culture that values equality and recognizes the inherent strength in a variety of perspectives and ideas.

 


  New call-to-action

Tags: HR and Hiring