J Patrick + Associates Blog

What Gets Enterprise Sales-Leaders Excited These Days?  - Part 1

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Attaracting top sales talent and recruiting with j patrick


Hiring managers and candidates alike know that recruiting and retaining an A-level sales team is key to the success of any company offering an enterprise solution. No matter how compelling the product, without top performers on your team, success is going to be elusive. Every company wants them, and yet, not every company can get them.

Certainly considerations such as compensation, company culture, the degree to which a company is willing to invest in training, ongoing learning and career development all carry weight with candidates. But what we find is that these are not necessarily the factors that drive top talent to leave one position to take another.


What does it take to attract top Enterprise sales talent?

In a word: Pre-IPO. Well funded start-ups that have not yet gone public are enormously enticing to our sales candidates right now. And while there are risks associated with moving to a new/unknown entity, the rewards can be enormous. That is, if you’re moving to the right company.


So, what is the right company?

Well, of course that answer is going to be different for every candidate, but driven to get involved with what could be the next great technological leap, here’s what top sales leaders are thinking about when considering a new position:


Disruptive Technologies with an Achievable Plan.

A disruptive technology is one that either displaces an existing technology or introduces a ground-breaking product that opens up a new industry. It’s exciting, it’s cutting-edge and it’s potentially important. You won’t find better salespeople than those who are looking to be engaged with the product they’re selling, who need to feel that they are helping to build something new, innovative and/or helpful. And truly, what salesperson worth their salt doesn’t want to be selling the world’s next great technological breakthrough?

But above and beyond the technology itself, savvy salespeople are considering the marketplace for this product. How corded is it? Are there too many players, is the company engaged in a red ocean or a blue ocean strategy?



A top salesperson got where they are based on the value of their relationships, and the depth of their network. There’s no point in making a move where you can’t carry those relationships forward with you. It’s not enough to only believe in the product you’re selling, it’s vital to consider if it’s one you can sell to a marketplace/customer base you know well. How well will you be able to leverage your existing network?  And, more importantly, does this new product solve a real problem your current customers?


Top-Level Management.

When it comes to startups, who is just as important as what. Top management leaders who’ve scaled a company before, who have the knowledge, experience and following to build a successful company are nearly as important as the technology itself. Savvy salespeople look to the management team as a good barometer for potential success. They’re looking for managers they not only they feel they can work with, but who have a track record of success and can move the company toward profit and beyond.

It’s also important to remember that more people cite lack of faith in, or a conflict with, their manager as the number one reason for leaving a position. And while you can’t know how you’ll get on with a manager, doing due diligence about the people you’ll be reporting to is a key consideration to make.



Look, salespeople know a worthwhile lead when they see it, and they can also recognize a dead-end long before it comes into view. Yes, there has to be a belief in the technology and an investment in the worth it adds to business, or society at large, but more than that, there has to be the potential for a high return.

Always consider who is involved. Is this a purely VC backed venture, or PE? Where are they in their funding? While getting into a company while they are still in series A funding might promise higher returns later on, we are currently finding that the majority of our sales candidates are interested in series C or beyond. This may be attributable to the fact that the first quarter of 2016 has seen the lowest number of companies going public, or it may be that they are looking to move only to companies that are further along in their development. Either way, the real potential has to be there for a company to attract top sales talent.

Getting in on the ground floor of a disruptive technology insures that a salesperson is both challenged, engaged and invested in the company’s success. The only gamble of course, is whether the tech will catch on or not. If they’ve judged well and have gone where the smart money is sitting, they can expect to find themselves post-IPO in a very comfortable position, and their reputation as a sales leader greatly enhanced.


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J. Patrick and Associates serves Information Technology firms that are looking to improve or expand their teams in mission-critical functions, where the success of the firm is highly dependent on the quality of certain hires. Whether you’re a candidate looking to move to one of our top-end customers, or a vendor looking to build your sales team, contact us today. 

Tags: enterprise, HR and Hiring, Career Strategies, Career Path

Like A Boss: How to Succeed With a New One

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Apr 07, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

How to succeed in a new job


Change. It’s the only constant, especially in business. Co-workers come and go during your career, and so do bosses. And while it can be unsettling to have to adjust your work routine, rhythms and style to a new supervisor, it is, almost all too often these days, a necessary evil you very well may have to face

But rather than seeing it as an unnerving disruption that must be muddled through, try to look at it as an opportunity for growth and possible advancement. However, in order to do that, you must handle the transition well.


Here are 5 ways to help smooth the transition with a new boss.


Make An Appointment

Within a few days of your new supervisor’s arrival, book a short meeting with them; 10-15 minutes. Treat this meeting like a sales call, or an interview. Your goal is to find out who they are, how they like to work and how you can best be of help. Find out their priorities and adjust your mindset to match.

Mind you, this is not the time to suck up or jockey for position, but rather to get some of the essential facts in place. How do they prefer to communicate: email, IM, face-to-face? Are they looking for in-depth weekly reports, or on the fly updates. Letting them know you are willing to be flexible and work their way will help get the relationship off on the right foot.


Expect Change

Yup, it’s a constant. You’re accustomed to your department running one way, and it’s tempting to think that it’s the only way it should be done. But when your old boss left, they took their procedures and processes with them. Don’t assume that things will continue to run the same way, and don’t cling to the past. You may not initially understand or appreciate your new boss’s way of working, but you have to be patient. Watch, listen and trust - there’s always another way to do things. Just because things have been done one way for as long as you can remember, doesn’t mean it’s the best way.


Share Your Knowledge

Remember; you might be facing changes in your department, but she’s facing a new job. Whether she came into this position through a promotion or as an outside hire, she’s got new responsibilities and a new boss of her own. She’s looking to establish herself and your job should be to aid her in getting her up to speed she she can get her priorities into action. Showing yourself to be a team player sends a powerful message, and puts you in a position for advancement further down the road.


Bring Solutions

Get your ideas on the table. Let your new supervisor know about your current projects and those that you’d like to get off the ground. While you can mention prior successes, old wins are history, all that matters now is how you can help the department move forward and grow.

Remember, this is not the time to look for personal advancement. Your job is to help the team, not yourself.


Plan for Problems

Even if you and the new boss hit it off from day one, there will be problems. Repeat that: There will be problems. But you want to make certain that mole hills don’t have the chance to grow into anything larger. Be proactive in reaching out to your new boss - ask for weekly or bi-weekly check-ins that match their style. You don’t ever want to let assumptions take the place of open communication, especially in a relationship as important as this.

At the end of the day, your boss is the gatekeeper for future advancement. They can help you get where you want to go, or they can see to it that you fail. By helping them succeed in their new role, you’re investing in both a productive partnership as well as your own long-term goals. Embrace the change!


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Tags: Career Strategies, Career Path

5 Ways To Fire-Proof Your Career

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Mar 03, 2016 @ 11:00 AM



Today's IT job market is candidate driven. Demand is high and employers have to compete with each other to attract top talent. There may be no apparent end in sight, but most historical down-turns were not broadcast until they hit. I have no crystal ball and I certainly hope there’s no down-turn anywhere on the horizon, but the wise person is always prepared.

And while there’s no such thing as a truly fire-proof career, there are some key things you can do to build a buffer and ensure that no matter the economic environment, that you are a highly sought after candidate.


Assess Yourself. A valuable employee is a self-aware employee. Understanding what it is that sets you apart from colleagues and competitors and what you can bring that no one else can is vital information to know. It may very well make you uncomfortable to think of yourself in this way, but if you expect employers to see you as invaluable, you’d better know this first. In order to withstand unexpected twists and turns in the economy or your industry, you must remain relevant. The first step to doing that is knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. And then choosing to build upon them both.


Always be Adapting. Even if you’ve been at your current job for 10+ years, and are well-established in your position and industry, you need to remain flexible. Times, like tastes, change, and how good you are at what you do is only one part of building  a fire-proof career. Once you venture outside the safety of your current position - either by choice or due to changes in your company - you need to be up on the latest trends across your industry or discipline. Just because your present company is content with the status quo does not mean others are. Business changes at the speed of light- keep your running shoes on at all times.


Always be Learning. Staying current with certifications might very well be part of your job responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean that that’s where you should stop. Seeking out training from vendors you work with helps to add value to your knowledge base, even if it’s not germane to your current position. There are free webinars, vendor trainings and a constant stream of information out there to be explored. Making education a constant part of your work ethos is vital to staying current and marketable.


Build a Solid Referral Network. While mastering a high level of expertise, building a successful track record and establishing yourself as a highly regarded professional will always make you an interesting candidate, no one will know about it if you don’t have a solid network of peers and higher ups to recommend you. The level and degree of recommendations you’ve garned on LinkedIn is one of the first thing recruiters and hiring managers alike look for. Even if you don’t see yourself leaving your current position in the conceivable future, adding new recommendations to your profile will only serve to keep you current and in-demand. 


Build a Network of Mentors. Even the best C-level executives have mentors. Advisors who have been where you are, seen what you’re seeing and know from experience how to navigate choppy waters. But a good mentor doesn’t have to be C-level or even a VP. What makes a good mentor is wisdom and insight, and a willingness to share their expertise and experience. And just as a mentor is someone you might turn to when handling a tricky deal or situation in your current position, a mentor is  also someone you want to go to when it’s time to move on. Because of the unique relationship one has with a mentor, they can often be more candid and insightful. Seek them out, listen to their advice and then weigh it against what your gut is telling you. Just as Luke had Yoda, seek out teachers, even in the most unexpected places.


So, yes, the title of this blog post is misleading. There is no such thing as a fire-proof career. There’s no sure-fire way to insulate yourself from the ups and downs of your industry or the economy. However, since there isn’t, what you can do is make sure you to hit the above points in order to make yourself a whole lot more fire-resistant.


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In the market for a new position? Let J. Patrick & Associates hunt for you! 


Tags: Job Search, Career Strategies

4 Steps To Restart Your Career in 2016

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad Sullivan on Mon, Dec 28, 2015 @ 11:00 AM
Restarting Your Career in 2016

It can be tempting to put off thoughts about your career during the holiday season, convincing yourself that you’ll get to it in early January after the parties and celebrations are over. But the truth is, the weeks between Christmas and New Years are the perfect time to assess where you’ve been, and more importantly where you want to go next. With the exception of those positions with high year-end demands, business takes a slower pace in late December. So while others put a halt to their job search during the holiday period, take some time in between lunches, parties and spending time with family to work through these 4 tips to to jump-start your career for the new year.


1) Review your year

The best way to move forward is to know where you’ve been, so it makes sense to begin your year-end career tune-up with an assessment of the past year What worked? Make a list of your achievements both large and small. Make note of any certifications or trainings completed, awards received, sales quotas crushed, or any other professional milestones . Does it surprise you how many there are? Allow yourself a moment or two to revel in the satisfaction of a job well done.

 Now make a list of things that didn’t work out as well as you wanted. . What systems can you put in place to help streamline your work-flow? What were some of the opportunities you should have taken? Rather than seeing them as failures or loses, think about what you could do in the future to yield better results.


2) Update your goals

Now that you’ve taken a good look at the past, it’s time to assess where you are and where you want to go.  Working off the lists you made, make an outline of your goals for 2016. Define your career targets, both long and short-term. Doing so  is a necessary step toward achieving both success and personal satisfaction By assuming agency in determining how your career develops is not only more satisfying, it is likely to lead you to better opportunities.

 Lay the groundwork for where you’d like to be at this time next year. Research new certifications and education opportunities. Perhaps it’s time to get another degree or begin researching other sectors your skills can transfer to.

 This will help you clearly define what you want, what you have to do to achieve it and how long it will take to meet your goals.


3) Embrace the season (for networking!)

Amidst the reviewing and revising, make sure to get out and enjoy the holidays! Luncheons, cocktail hours and holiday parties are the perfect time to expand your network, build relationships, and reconnect with old contacts. When you can, spend time with people you don’t usually have the opportunity to speak to - rather than sitting next to someone you are familiar with, take the chair next to someone you’d like to get to know better. Ask for introductions. Ask a contact in a company you might be interested in working for out for a coffee or lunch. Approach a manager you respect to offer insights into how they work.

Take advantage of this time of year to cultivate relationships that not only enrich your value in your present job, but can also help you in your next position.


4) Update your resume & social media presence

You may not be in the job market today, however, bringing your resume up to date is the career equivalent of keeping your car gassed up before a big storm. You never know when you might get a call from a headhunter or a contact with a fantastic opportunity. It pays to be prepared.

Take your list of achievements and use it to update your work history and job description, certifications, awards or significant recognitions.

Once your resume is up-to-date, take it a step further and make sure your LinkedIn profile is working as well as it should be, and reflects who you are. For some essential tips on optimizing your profile, click here.


5) Be ready for the new

When you make room between finishing up year end projects and holiday festivities to do some career housekeeping, you’ll find that come January, you’ll be energized and ready for all the new year has in store for you.

Tags: Career Strategies

5 Simple Strategies That'll Make Your Employees Love Your Company

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Mon, Dec 07, 2015 @ 10:55 AM


According to a recent survey conducted by the Association for Talent Development, there are 5 reasons that motivate employees to stay with their current employer:

      1. A good manager for whom they enjoying working for
      2. Feeling appreciated by their manager
      3. The opportunity to advance their careers
      4. A promotion or new title
      5. The opportunity to learn or develop skills

Employee retention is one of the most important focuses for a company. High employee turnover can have both financial and non-financial repercussions. In addition to facing increased costs in employee selection, training, and separation, there is also reduction in employee morale and productivity to consider. Here are some strategies to keep your talent pool happy, healthy, and productive.


Provide Competitive Employee Benefits

Provide competitive benefits that meet your employees’ needs is essential in retaining your best talent. Comprehensive  health insurance that includes family plans, life insurance, and competitive 401Ks gives employees a sense of safety and builds trust in your company. Be sure to routinely re-evaluate your benefits package to accommodate employees’ needs.


Small Perks Can Make a Big Difference

Small perks can be little and inexpensive things that can go far in the retention of your employees. Fitness stipends, telecommuting options, at work stress-relief programs help employees manage work with their everyday life, reduce  stress and can even increase productivity. Offering occasional catered lunches or company retreats also help to enforce the company’s culture and build stronger relationships among employees.


Foster Employee Development

Promote from Within

When a position opens up in your company, consider your existing talent pool before looking outward to fill the space. Promoting from within motivates employees to work hard  and creates a clear career progression path for employees. For example, Sodexo employees name career growth and opportunity as the #1 reason why they choose to work for and stay with the company.


Leadership Training Programs

Offering training programs for current employees, shows your employees that you’re committed to their development. You can offer training programs in new technology, industry standards, and anything else that will equip your employees to progress in their career.


Encourage Work-Life Balance

Creating programs and policies that encourage work-life balance will show your employees that the firm cares about their well being. Offering work-life balance workshops can teach employees how to better balance their work and personal lives and reduce work-related stress. Policies such as flex time and personal time-off can lead to employees having more of a handle of their schedule and be able to work it around their personal life.


Create an Employee Buy-In Strategy

Finally, to improve employee retention, help employees “buy-in” to the mission and vision of the company. Help employees understand the impact their daily tasks have on the company’s mission and makes the connection to how the mission benefits them. Other things such as sponsoring employee and family events encourage team building and family inclusion at work events also work well as buy-in strategies. Clearly defining the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) around the company’s vision to help foster excitement, motivation, and engagement among employees can help keep your employees happy.



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Tags: HR and Hiring, Career Strategies

Top 5 Tips for Introverted Executive Job Seekers

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

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If you consider yourself shy, or introverted, what can you do to help yourself land the job you want?

This is a comment I received recently:

“Reaching out for extroverts is easy…for us people who are socially awkward, it can be so painful to just say hello to someone. It’s worsened by the fact that I dread small talk more than anything else out there…”

If you are shy, or introverted, hear this message: you are not alone. I understand what you mean because I feel the same way you do.

Working as a recruiter, and now in my own business, I can tell you that a lot of people are uncomfortable reaching out to others, and many people dislike small talk. That said—outreach and social connection are an essential part of your job search. So what can you do?


Introverts and extroverts—they are everywhere

Personalities of all kinds populate the workplace. Outgoing and more private personalities reach for different jobs, opportunities, and responsibilities. Depending on what statistics you read, about one of every three people is likely to identify themselves as an introvert.

One traditional differentiator for introverts and extroverts is how they naturally seek to recharge themselves. Do you gain energy by working a crowd and talking to people? Or do you naturally step back from crowds, listen and think before you speak, and refresh yourself with alone time? Another tendency is sensitivity to stimulation—are you exhausted by small talk in a relatively short time?

Long-held myths about introversion and extroversion sometimes color how people think of others and themselves. Consider these myths about introverts and extroverts:

• All introverts are shy
• All extroverts are outgoing
• Introverts do not make good leaders
• Extroverts are generally good public speakers
• Introverts are introspective
• Extroverts are not introspective

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you may not be comfortable starting conversations, or reaching out in a way that would further your goals—or your job search.


Getting what you want just the way you are

Being comfortable building and presenting your personal and professional brand is an essential aspect of a successful job search. For some, this could mean gaining skills to help along the way. For others, it means becoming confident with the person you are right now.

For everyone, language is a vital part of communication. How your resume and cover letter are written, what you say in an interview and how you say it, and the way you follow through create the impression of who you are and how you might perform in the workplace. Part of my job as an executive resume writer is helping you use the language you need to get your brand across.

For anyone interested in functioning more smoothly in social and professional encounters, consider these top tips:

1. Know your pitch:

Before an interview, or networking engagement, think of your own “elevator pitch.” More than just a statement of your name and interests, understand what you have to offer, and what you might bring to a conversation.

2. Queue some topics:

A successful tactic for breaking the ice is knowing two or three questions that help you get a conversation started. A good resource for managing small talk is Debra Fine’s book, The Fine Art of Small Talk.

3. Know where to go:

At an event, workshop, or party, keep in mind there are others present who are less—and more comfortable—than you are. I sometimes try to find someone in a room who looks uncomfortable, and focus on setting them (and me) at ease. I walk up and introduce myself. I might ask what brings them to the event. Both of us gain an association. Alternatively, identify people energetically engaged in meeting and connecting with others. They often welcome your introduction and are happy to help you meet others.

4. Networking:

Making and cultivating social media and other contacts is important in a job search. You might find it difficult to cold call, or email, a connection and ask about a particular job. Instead of asking about a potential position, ask for helpful advice and feedback on your search.Informational interviews are a great way to less formally connect with people, and professionals, who might aid your job search.

5. Do your part:

When you are in a position to help others, reach out and do your best. For introverts, reciprocity is a great way to build a relationship—and your confidence.

You do not need to “conquer” or “overcome” being shy. Introvert or extrovert, thoughtful, or verbal—know your natural inclinations. Use your awareness—and the right tools and tactics—to make the most of your talents during your employment search.


Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Career Strategies

How Executives Use VUCA to Get Ahead

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:00 AM



Business instability thwarts the best laid plans. Yet volatile and dynamic market conditions offer executives the opportunity for game-changing achievement.

Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) are here to stay. Once considered a cyclical process, technical and financial expansion—and contraction—cause ripples of change on a weekly basis throughout global economies. If you are an executive, or seeking a job shift, how can you use unpredictability to your advantage?


VUCA—what is it really?

While change is certain, VUCA is something different. The common factor of VUCA variables is instability. Change may usher in a period of instability, which is often foreseen and can be managed. VUCA has elements that cannot be managed—but can be exploited to help your company and enhance your resume.

Many C-suite executives take an oppositional perspective on our new VUCA world. Viewing VUCA as an unavoidable enemy, these leaders double-down on strategic planning and hope for the best. But the best way to deal with VUCA is to embrace it.


What does uncertainty look like?

American Airlines, Yahoo, and Twitter—what do these companies have in common? Consider these stories:

• In 2013, American Airlines Group saw only $1.8 billion in profits and merged with US Airways. Identified by Fortune magazine as one of the companies that lost the most money in 2014, an organizational reshuffle and providential fuel cost reductions gave American Airlines renewed vigor—and a revenue increase of 60 percent.

Melissa Mayer, the Google executive turned Yahoo CEO, continues her quest to restore Yahoo. While the results are not in, Ms. Mayer is being closely watched as she continues to use market and company maneuvers to refine her turnaround plan for the company. Ms. Mayer has widened the audience who respect her agility and ability.

• Another web company, Twitter, is in the grips of turnaround in the highly uncertain Internet ecosystem. Interim CEO Jack Dorsey is saying all the right things after the departure of former CEO Dick Costolo. Can Mr. Dorsey navigate VUCA to build the relevance of his brand—and his legacy? Time will tell.

Each industry is unique. The specific recovery plan for an airline is not going to work for a web communications company. Yet an understanding of how to work and achieve in volatile circumstances is common to success across the board. Whether you are in an executive position, or in transition, alignment with VUCA offers more opportunity than fighting it.


Create achievement from ambiguity

How can you capitalize on VUCA to ride the changes and get where you want to go? Consider these tips:

Volatility: Volatility has come to mean rapid, momentous market energy. This uneasy quality is easy to use with the right attitude: just accept that change is a constant condition and respond by using strategic thinking to create scalable processes. Recognizing the opportunity within volatility offers you a chance to position, or reposition, your company—and showcase your executive ability.

Uncertainty: Uncertainty is the nagging feeling you do not know enough to make a solid decision. Trust that impulse. When uncertain—talk to experts, ask for feedback, and gather information to support your innate decision-making ability. Respected decision makers acquire trustworthy information. If seeking a C-suite, or other professional position, speak with mentors, associates, and other advisors to develop the information you need to create, or illuminate, your direction.

Complexity: Perhaps the richest of all VUCA variables, complexity speaks to the interrelatedness of the dynamic factors affecting your business—or your job search. Step back to identify and understand the elements at play in your present professional or personal environment. This will enable you to develop a critical, comprehensive plan to address issues that are stifling your job search, or limiting success in your current position.

Ambiguity: In any job search, or employment transition, ambiguity is present. Like complexity, awareness is key to managing and using ambiguity. Ambiguity, by its nature, creates tension. Use that tension to renew a job search, investigate new directions, or as motivation in your current executive position.

The element common to each VUCA variable is emergence. Steering your company through volatile economic conditions is a high-level resume achievement. Capitalize on VUCA to create the change, and achievement, you need—to get the new job or promotion you deserve.


Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer


If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Career Strategies

How To Get The Job As An Outsider

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Oct 08, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

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It’s no secret that executive level positions are often times given to internal employees. They’ve been with the company a while, they know how it works and the company already feels comfortable with them.

This can present some unique obstacles to an outsider trying to get in. However, it’s not impossible to make a move to an executive level position in another company. All it requires is learning how to leverage the obstacles to your advantage.

Explain How Being From the Outside is a Strength

Research suggests that when people are trying to find a creative solution to a problem it oftentimes requires that they find an outsider. Simply put, the outsider has no preconceived notions about the situation, they also aren’t completely involved in it, whereas insiders may be a little too invested and therefore blinded to solutions.

The ability to see a situation from the outside enables a person to find solutions easily. They can see holes where others can’t. They can also think outside of the box. This is a huge strength to play on when vying for a position within another company.

Here’s another strength: you may know more about the market and the competition than they do. Being from the outside enables you to see the company as a consumer. This a whole new way of looking at it that can be extremely beneficial when implementing marketing campaigns, revamping customer service or addressing product development issues.

Reach Out to the Right Contacts

Your best bet to getting any position (externally or not) is to come in with a personal referral in hand.

Connect with individuals within the company you’re looking to get into. You could start with your personal network and then expand outward with a LinkedIn search. You can also find many of these individuals partaking in LinkedIn groups.

The key is to find individuals who have enough clout within the company to help sway high level hiring decisions.

Please keep in mind that just as with in-person networking events there is etiquette to follow when networking on LinkedIn. Customize your connection message, have a genuine interest in this person, and get to know them on a professional level.

Look for Companies That Are Open to Outside Management

Not all companies have policies in place that allow them to hire outside management. You don’t need to worry about them.

Instead, find companies that are flexible about opening up management positions to outsiders. This is easier than most people would think. Chances are that if they are posting an ad publicly then they are open to it, otherwise why would they bother when they can just look internally?

Big job boards can get convoluted easily. Instead try specific searches on LinkedIn or go straight to the company’s Careers section on their website.

You should also stay open to recruiters. Take their unsolicited calls and hear what they have to say. They’ve been hired by companies to search the candidate pool and find the best people.

By leveraging your skills and being strategic you can move up by moving over and get the job as an outsider.


Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Networking, Career Strategies

How to Job Search When You Don’t Know Anyone

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 11:00 AM
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We have all heard that old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” and in many things in this life that saying does turn out to be true. When it comes to the job search, how many times have you gained an “in” with a company because you are good friends with someone who works there or know a family member of someone who works there?


Well, what do you do if you find yourself in a situation where you need to find a job but don’t know anyone? There are many reasons why this could happen. Whatever the reason, don’t believe your job search is hopeless. Here is where you can start:


Make a List of Connections

While you may think you have to build your network from scratch, I believe if you take a few minutes to really think about it, you probably know more people than you think. Sit down and make a list of people that you do know. While it is a good idea to try to focus on the field of interest you will be searching for employment in, don’t discount anyone. Start making a list of names that can include your family members, friends, people you have met in your new area, neighbors, almost anyone that comes to your mind. This will be the foundation of your new networking list that you will use to build upon.


Leverage the Power of Your Connections

You may not know people directly that can help you, but the power of secondary, tertiary and beyond (4th and 5th degree connections) are where you might find the golden contact to help you. By reaching out to the list you made of your initial connections, no matter how small that list may be, see who they know on LinkedIn and by asking verbally who they know who can help you achieve your next goal.


Leverage Social Media Power

Social media sites such as Facebook and, more importantly, LinkedIn, can help you build a network of people in your field that could be helpful tools when you are ready to search for a job. Join as many relevant groups on the social media sites as you can for your field and regularly check in with them. Post in the groups and contribute to what they are doing so people begin to recognize you as an expert and look to you for advice. Consider using the advanced search functions to help you find companies that are looking for people in your field as well. Once you find these, don’t just apply for the job, but also make an effort to network with people employed at the company.


Be Consistent and Participate

Probably the most difficult part of building your networking list, is the ability to stay consistent with it over a long period of time and making an effort to regularly participate in conversations and activities that occur within your network. It’s the consistency that enables online connections to become offline relationships. Building a networking list isn’t easy, but if you take the time to actively participate on a regular basis and continue to do so over a long period of time, you will begin to reap the rewards. Check in with your network using your online tools and participate in any ongoing conversations. Try checking in one or two times a day if there is a particular conversation that is very interesting taking place.


Just Start With One Action Per Day

While starting a job search without a network of friends and colleagues to help you along the way may seem daunting, it is certainly possible. All you have to do is start building your network today. Whatever you do, don’t delay. While you may find that perfect job without knowing anyone, it will definitely be easier if you do. So start building your network list today so when you are ready to make a change, you have an entire host of people that could help you in your search.


Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

Tags: Social Media, Job Search, Networking, Career Strategies

Being Forced Out of Your Executive Job? 8 Things to Do Right Now

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Tue, Sep 08, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

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You may sense that you are being forced to quit—see the signs below that it is happening to you. Or your superiors might already have told you they want your resignation. You probably are unhinged. The good news is that there are 8 things you can do right now to manage the situation. Those best practices will reduce or even prevent damage to your career and give you a competitive advantage in what you choose next.

Signs you are being forced out

The employer’s objective is to have you quit. Therefore, the signals that you should do that tend to be obvious. Here are the common ones:

• You are left out of the communications loop. For example, you don’t receive emails about the meetings in the conference room for the product launch. Colleagues don’t return your calls.

• If you are still attending meetings you are treated with disrespect. That can take any number of forms, ranging from ignoring your comments to showering you with hostility. The objective is public humiliation.

• Your work load is reduced or increased significantly. Sales representatives might be given impossible quotas.

• Your relationship with superiors changes. Instead of praise, you receive constant criticism. Likely they are documenting that alleged poor performance. That can be leveraged to nudge you out if you are reluctant to leave.

• Colleagues and subordinates distance themselves.

• Your superiors actually ask that you consider resigning or else they will fire you. As they wait for your answer, all your work may be taken away.

The 8 ways to manage the crisis

1) Find out your legal standing. As books such as “Fired, Laid-Off Or Forced Out! explain, there are many myths about employees’ rights. The reality is that in most states, the private sector can terminate employment at will. The exceptions are if you in a protected class such as disabled or aging, a member of a union or if the terms and conditions are covered by a formal agreement. When in doubt, consult with an employment lawyer. Do that before you say or do anything, especially if you are considering taking legal action.

2) Decide if you want to try to keep your job or even buy yourself more time. If so, initiate a conversation with superiors about the reasons they want you to leave. At the outset, state you are willing and eager to follow their recommendations on corrective action to align your performance with what is needed. This move may save your job. If not, it could extend the time you are collecting a salary and using benefits while you search for another job.

3) Avoid “craving closure” to end stress. Human dignity is important to most people. Employers recognize that. Therefore they know that subtle or obvious types of abuse can drive you to quit impulsively. However, financially, emotionally and in preparing yourself for a job search, you might not be ready to leave. Remain calm. Keep your finger off the trigger.

4) Negotiate. Every situation is unique. But there is always room for negotiation. That’s true even if your job performance has been subpar. Critical to negotiate is how the company officially classifies the resignation in your personnel file. Ideally, it should state that you resigned, without qualifying that with “in lieu of being fired.” Also you can request a letter of recommendation, severance, outplacement and use of office facilities.

5) Be pragmatic about finances. Investigate the possibility of collecting unemployment in your particular state. Your state may allow that even for those who quit jobs. An example might be that it recognizes stress as a valid reason for leaving employment. Therefore, you have to know beforehand how to frame your claim. If you are over-55, your odds of getting a comparable job are not ideal. Immediately consider downsizing expenses.

6) Prepare your cover story. The question you will be asked during interviews for the next job is why you quit. You must create an explanation that is diplomatic, positive and yet accurate. Of course, you speak well of the company and your superiors. You describe the negatives in a way advantageous to you. For example, you would say, “Our strategies weren’t aligned because I assessed that the company should put its computing operations in the cloud.” Those in the know recognize you had a valid point. “Given this disconnect I felt it was a disservice to the company and myself to remain.”

7) Comport yourself from a position of strength. If you feel in charge of this process, your body language, facial gestures and conversations will reflect that. Everyone in the company is observing you. In a sense this is the performance of a lifetime since they will remember how you handled yourself during this crisis. Those perceptions help create the platform on which you build the rest of your career.

8) Network. The way to search for that next good job is through other people. According to JobVite and other studies, less than 25 percent of hires are made through help-wanted ads and recruiters. The other 75 percent happen through the contacts you will make on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. You will also need to be visible in-person. That means participating in conferences, trade association meetings and local business social hours. “Hiding” is not an option.

Gaining the edge from this setback

No reasonable person welcomes failure. However, in Silicon Valley it is celebrated as a rite of passage. That’s because the tech players know that more is learned – and more quickly – from setbacks than successes. In sophisticated organizations, failure is even hailed as a competitive advantage. If enough executives in those companies have a record for failure, there’s plenty of collective wisdom embedded.

It’s up to you how you position and package the experience of being forced to quit a job. Ideally, you treat it as a learning experience. Through it you acquired amazing insight into your professional self and where it fits – and doesn’t.

Written by Lisa Rangel, Executive Resume Writer

If you are interested in working with Lisa Rangel, an accomplished executive resume writer, social media profile writer and job search consultant, to achieve social media exposure and interviews you want, sign up for an exploratory call now and learn about the Chameleon Resumes services that can help you land your next role.

Tags: Networking, Career Strategies