J Patrick + Associates Blog

4 Ways to make the most of an Employment Gap

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Wed, Nov 13, 2019 @ 08:45 AM

How to Make the Most of an Employment Gap

As a job seeker, ready to return to work after a hiatus (either planned or involuntary) accounting for a gap on your resume can be daunting. But whether you’ve been out of the job market for a few months or more long-term, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that prospective employers view your hiatus as time well spent, rather than damaging blank space in your work history.

4 Ways to Make the Most Of an Employment Gap

1. Be Honest About Your Employment History

As much as you may want to try to make an employment gap disappear when getting back into the workforce, you must embrace it and fill the gaps. You are much better off explaining gaps in employment than trying to make believe it never happened. 

If for example, your hiatus was devoted to raising children, include it as such on your resume: 2014-2019 Time off to take care of a sick family member, etc. Be clear and honest, and know that having taken time off doesn’t make you a less valuable employment prospect.

2. Highlight Volunteer Work

It may be tempting to minimize the impact volunteer work may have on your career, but if you step back, you'll see that you gained valuable skills and experience by working with a non-for profit institution or school. 

By highlighting this experience you are showing hiring managers that you are willing to use your skills to be a positive force in your community, that you are passionate about certain causes, and you are engaged in building new skill sets.

 

Volunteering as a pathway to employment

Don’t forget to avail yourself of those connections you made when volunteering when you’re looking for your next position. Even if they are not able to help connect you with prospective employers, they can write recommendations for your LinkedIn profile and provide you with endorsements.

3. Keep Learning 

Employers will be less apt to balk at a gap if you’ve been busy working on your education. And understand this is not a bias that’s limited to University or degree work. Take the time during your hiatus to get current with certifications and training and learn new skills. Employers will see you’ve been dedicated to keeping your skills sharp, and are returning up to date with the latest trends in your sector.

4. Practice Your Story for Job Interviews

When it comes to the job interview, you need to be able to explain your hiatus in a way that allows you to be seen as an exciting prospect. Don't fall to the temptation to apologize for your hiatus. All that's called for is a concise explanation to help remove any doubts about your readiness and appeal to a potential employer. Know what you have to offer and be ready to voice it in just a few sentences. Understanding how to tell your story may take some time and practice, but it will deliver dividends when you are pitching yourself for a job.

Practice telling your story with both friends and people who don't know you so well - it will help strengthen your pitch and work out any hesitation or weakness.

While there may be a pervasive bias against people who have left the workforce for a hiatus, how you handle it can make all the difference in your job search

 


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If you’re ready for to end your hiatus, or are looking for a new job, contact one of our recruiters here at J.Patrick & Associates. We are an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies and Telecommunications.

Tags: Recruiter Tips, Job Search, Networking, Job Interviews

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.

 


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Tags: Job Search, Career Strategies, Career Path

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Turn Down An Interview

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

5-reasons-why-you-should-never-turn-down-an-interview.jpg

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Turn Down An Interview

Here you are happy as can be in your current position when out of the blue you get a call from a recruiter (or a friend drops you a line) saying they've got an amazing opportunity for you.

You weren't thinking about leaving - you like your job, your boss is a peach and life is running like clockwork. So you might be tempted to turn down the opportunity to go on the interview, after all, you're busy, why waste anyone's time?

Well, there are some great reasons to take the interview, and not all of them center around finding a new job.

 

 1. The Best Laid Plans

As they say, the only thing you can count on is change. One day things are running smoothly at work, and the next day you come in to find your company is being acquired. Or maybe your boss gets promoted or leaves and now your team is learning how to work with a new leader. The new boss may not think as highly of you like the old boss, they may have a style that clashes with yours or they may simply have someone else they want to put in your position. You certainly can't plan for this kind of upheaval.

On the other end of the spectrum, you never know when you might stumble into the job of your dreams. We've all heard the stories of people who reluctantly went on an interview only to find their dream position.

Taking the time to meet for a coffee or lunchtime interview may just be the best thing you can do to maintain control of your destiny.

 

 2. Loyalty Can Be A Slippery Slope

Long gone are the days when a career spanned 25 years ended with a retirement party and a gold watch. In fact, the new normals for millennials are to spend an average of 2.5 years at any one position.

And even if you do find yourself in a long term position, you might be selling yourself short. Chances are incremental raises and promotions will not carry the same kind of bump in salary that new job might (unless of course you are given a counteroffer). Then too, is the reality that there's a limit to how far one can climb at the same firm. While your boss may think highly of you, if you are looking to move into a new area or take on responsibilities that greatly vary from your current position, you might just stand a better chance of being thought of in a new light somewhere new.

And finally, the truth is, when cuts need to be made some companies will look to cut the costliest employees first. If the choice comes down between someone who is working near the top of the pay grade and a newer hire, chances are you very well might be the first on the chopping block.

 

 3. There's No Such Thing As Wasted Time

Just as going on vacation is a great way to re-energize and open new pathways of thinking, so too is talking to other companies.

Gaining insight into how other companies operate and other teams engage can act as jet fuel for your current position. While you're certainly not taking these meetings to spy, you can use it as a window into industry trends.

Information is power, so even if you're not interested in pursuing the opportunity any further, the worst thing that will come of the interview is insights into market trends. It might also highlight just how good you have it at your present job.

 

 4. Stay On Your Toes

You know you should be keeping your resume up to date and your LinkedIn profile current, but if you're not always looking for the next great opportunity, most of us simply won't do it until we need to. But if you wait until you've either left or lost your present position, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. No one wants to have to do that under duress.

 

 5. Build A Better You

There's nothing like getting out in the world to see yourself in a new light. Even if you get nothing else from an interview, it's an opportunity to test how you rate in the marketplace. Afford yourself the chance to test which of your skills are in demand and which you are lacking. You'll be able to see how the marketplace views you and get a better understanding of your strengths and where you need to learn. Any chance to brush up your interview chops is one you should jump at.

There are however a few words of caution you must keep in mind:

  • Don't make or take phone calls on company time
  • Do not use company equipment to make phone calls, send emails, faxes or do research
  • Remain focused on your job while you're at work
  • If you can avoid it, don't schedule an interview during work hours
  • Don't make any mentions on social media
  • Don't use current co-workers or colleagues as references

As long as you remember these few rules, we encourage you to take advantage of every interview that comes your way, you never know where it will lead you!

 


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Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews

How to Rescue Your Interview from a Bad First Impression

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Sep 06, 2016 @ 03:30 PM

How to rescue your interview from a bad first impression

A poor first impression doesn’t have to lead to a bad interview

First impressions matter. In fact, they're more powerful than facts. Research has shown that we form our most lasting impressions of someone within the first 5 seconds of meeting them and that we rarely change these initial ideas even in the face of hard evidence.

5 seconds...

That’s hardly enough time to walk in the door of an interview and take your seat, let alone make a strong case why you’re the best candidate for the job. But, it is enough time to blow an interview. Stumbling over a bump in the carpet, offering up a weak handshake, poor eye contact, or misjudging your wardrobe can all cost you dearly.

Prevailing wisdom dictates that it takes at least 8 positive interactions to overcome a bad first impression. And while that may sound insurmountable, the good news is there are some steps you can take to hit the reset button and reverse your losses.

 

6 Ways you can Reverse a Bad Interview:

1. Take a Cue from the Performers

Think back to the last time you were watching a live performance and a dancer slipped, or an actor flubbed their lines. The dancer who seamlessly continues on with the choreography or the actor who allows the gaffe play in their favor often winds up as audience favorites. It’s the ones who pull a face or get so flustered they can’t find their place that loses the audience’s favor - something no amount of raw talent can make up for.

Handling small mistakes with grace goes a long way to mitigate their potential damage. Allow yourself a brief moment to recover, make a joke or offer a polite apology appropriately. What is important is to dust yourself off and get back to the business at hand. You’re there for a reason - to get the job - now is the time to focus on that.  

 

 2. Remain Positive

Running yourself down or trying to overcompensate with ongoing apologies will only serve to highlight your flaws. Unless you’ve been summarily dismissed from the job interview, you still have the opportunity to turn things around. It’s important that you turn your attention from yourself and your embarrassment and toward your interviewer.

Demonstrating that you are flexible and can bounce back from setbacks is attractive to potential employers- use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your resilience.

 

 3. Pivot

Now is the time to return the full force of your focus to the interview. Leave the mistakes behind and communicate in an open, expressive manner. Let the interviewer see who you are and your core competencies. Shine a light on what you bring to the company and try to help them see you in a new.

A word of caution: Don’t push. Overcompensating will only serve to further alienate yourself and could do even greater damage than the original slip-up.

 

 4. Find Common Ground

Even a bad first impression can be softened if you and the other person share something in common. It is more difficult to affirm the negative ideas we formed when confronted by similarities. If you and your interviewer share a point of view or interest, they are less likely to hold their initial reaction against you.

 

 5. Close Strong

Just as first impressions are important, the end of an interview can have a long term effect. Leave the interviewer with positive things to remember you by. Arriving prepared, having done your homework and presenting your interviewer with well-considered solutions can help stem the tide that was flowing against you. There’s no reason to allow a poor beginning to set the tone for the entire interview- you’ve come to sell yourself, don’t sell yourself short.

 

 6. Let it Be

There are also those things that are outside of your control. All that you can do it make certain that you are professional, and have communicated the value you bring to any position clearly. Focus on the things that are in your control and let the blunders and mistakes be your teachers for future job interviews. After all, if you chose to wear grey shoes to an interview and the hiring manager absolutely detests grey shoes, there’s nothing you can do about it.

 


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J. Patrick & Associates, Inc is an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies and Telecommunications.

Tags: Job Search, Networking, Job Interviews

8 Pro-Tips To Make Relocating For A Job Easy(ier)

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

how to Relocate for a Job

Congratulations! You’ve landed a new job, in a new city. 

Maybe you’re moving to a new company for a job with better pay and the promise of advancement, or perhaps your current employer has chosen you to open up a new branch or expand a branch in another city. 

Whatever the reason, you’ve got a new job in a new city and now it’s time to start planning your transition. Whether it’s just you and your pet goldfish, or the entire family, you have a lot of work to do. You have to find a new home, get your bearings in a new city (or country) and master a new job all at once!

 

Here are 8 Tips to Make Your Relocation Easier

1. Organize

Just as you may have made a list of Pro’s and Con’s when considering taking this new position, lists are going to be your friend when planning the move. You’ll want a list for both ends, leaving and arrival. Be certain to include not only the big things, like turning off/on the electricity and internet connections, but also close out local accounts and make sure you picked up the dry cleaning that you keep forgetting about. It is best to leave no loose ends dangling so that you can hit the ground running in your new town, be certain to get organized early on.

 

2. Do Your Research

Even if your job offer came with reimbursement of moving expenses and a fully staffed department devoted solely to relocating employees you have to do your own research. 

Many large corporations have preferred provider agreements with movers, realtors and shippers. You want to make certain that you are not only getting the best service you can, but also not endangering reimbursement. Work up a detailed and specific list of anticipated costs- and don’t forget to account for items such as your car and your pets.

If your move is taking you overseas, be certain to understand in what currency you will be paid, and what penalties you might incur when switching currencies.

 

3. Build In A Buffer

Whether your offer allows you a month before your move or two weeks, you must insist on having some time to do your research. If you are not able to physically visit the new city, then cyber research will have to do. Read the local papers, talk to people in your network who live/work there, contact the local chamber of commerce to find out the best resources for new residents.

 

4. Get Social

Now more than ever, your friends, associates, and extended social network can be your lifeline. Join local professional organizations, sign up for meet-and-greets and get a handle on where people in your industry are flocking to. Your new employer very well may have a lot of valuable information for you, but don’t rely on anyone else to help you feel grounded in your new town- that responsibility is and should be, yours. If you’re moving with your family ask colleagues for recommendations on schools, neighborhoods and after school activities. But always do the research on your own, no one knows your needs as well as you do- don’t take someone else’s word for it.

 

5. Create A Calendar

There’s nothing as stressful as rushing things at the last minute. But chances are high that you’re planning this move while finishing up at your old job, or starting at the new one. So, regardless of the time frame required for your move, schedule as much as you can in advance. Calendar everything! And I mean everything, right down to what day to pack up the kitchen, and when to put in the change of address at the post office.

Remember, you’re taking this leap for the best of possible reasons. Don’t sour the experience by allowing stress to take over.

 

6. Leave Things Behind

Take the opportunity to pack up your home to leave some things behind. You’re starting fresh in a new town, you can go ahead and leave that ratty set of towels behind, or even the recliner you’ve been toting around since college. I’m not advocating for putting yourself in a position of having to replace costly items on the other end, but this is a perfect time to do an inventory of what you need, want and what you’ve unnecessarily been clinging to.

 

7. Take Your Deductions

If your new employer is compensating you for your move, you must first find out if those monies will be counted as income. If that’s the case, then you must take the deductions due to you, for these expenses. Understanding the tax benefits becomes even more important if you are footing the bill yourself. Make certain that you understand the local tax laws and stay up-to-date on federal rules and regulations.

 

8. Consider The Possibilities

Even though this may look like your dream job in your dream city, there is always the possibility that things might not work out. You may find that while that new town looked great on paper, once on the ground you might just not ever feel right. And the same goes for the new job. A position can look very different from the outside than it does once you are in it.

Now, careful research should mitigate the possibility of the move going south, but you have to plan for contingencies. So, whether that means moving back from whence you came, or trying something new, it always pays to have a plan in your back pocket.

 


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Tags: Job Search, Career Path

What's Attracting Top SaaS Sales Talent? Part 1: Pre-Ipo Vs Public

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 @ 11:15 AM

SaaS Talent

 

If there's one thing we know about what drives the top SaaS sales talent that we place, it's that they're always looking to get involved with the next great technological leap. Innovation, disruption, and a team of proven leaders are all prime motivators. So when they go looking for a new position at a new company, they are inevitably confronted with a choice between one of two ways to go: Public or Pre-IPO.

While one is popularly considered to be the safer, more reliable bet, there are very specific advantages to both. You do yourself a service to look at both sides of the coin when considering a move.

 

THE PRE-IPO APPEAL 

Even as the rate of IPO's have slowed this year, we still see well-funded start-ups that are proving to be enticing to our sales candidates right now. And while there are risks associated with moving to a new/unknown entity, the rewards, as you know, can be enormous. That is, if you’re moving to the right company.

Here are the defining characteristics that make a Pre-IPO appealing.

 

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 addressable is the market? Are there too many players? Is the company engaged in a red ocean or a blue ocean strategy?

 

Confidence.

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 for 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 on the people you’ll be reporting to is a key consideration to make.

 

High-Scaling.

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.

 

Saas_Talent_1_opt.jpg

 

THE PUBLIC APPEAL

On the other side of the coin, public companies, long considered a safe and reliable bet continue to be attractive. With a few caveats:

 

The Company That’s Gone Public, But Has Not Been Acquired.

There’s a big difference between a public company with an institutionalized culture, and the company that has managed to maintain its pre-IPO identity. What this means is that the original structure and charter remain in place, and that the company has not allowed its identity to change in order to fit that of its parent corp. Because of this attitude, they are able to attract and retain an 'A' level sales team that is more deeply dedicated to the company's brand, culture, and continued growth.

A good example of this is Zappos. Even after they were acquired by Amazon, Zappos has been able to buck convention in the interest of preserving their independent spirit. And this has served them quite well as they are widely regarded as one of the top companies who have gotten company culture right.

 

The Company That’s Already Been Acquired, But Is Siloed Under An Umbrella.

Rules were made to be broken, so we know that not all acquisitions mean the termination of a company’s identity. Depending on the terms of the merger or purchase, it’s entirely possible for an innovative company to hold on to their identity: as long as they are siloed under the umbrella of the larger corporation.

A good and timely example is the pending acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft. If early reports prove to be correct, LinkedIn will exist as an independent entity under Microsoft’s umbrella. Rather than being an integrated brand, they will remain singular, retaining their identity, feel and flavor while benefitting from the reach and technological edge that a parent company like Microsoft can provide.

What these types of companies offer sales people is the ability to have one's cake and eat it too. It provides the foundation and stability of a public company as well as all of the perks that come with greater financial reach— all the while being energized up by the innovation and forward culture of a startup. 

If there is one constant, clear thread we are seeing, it is that independence and innovation are of prime importance. Top SaaS salespeople are looking to be ignited by disruptive technologies, and excited by the opportunity to represent the next great products out in the world, and they are looking for the right company to support their growth.

 

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. 

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Tags: Job Search, SaaS, recruiting, sales

Looking For Job Security? Think Cyber-Security

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, May 24, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

job security cyber security

   

It’s an exciting and dynamic time in the cyber-security job market. Demand for security talent is outstripping demand at all levels from CISOs to first-level security support roles. This is a field offering salaries that are typically 9% higher than other tech roles, and more than that, it offers outstanding job security.

As long as there are bad actors out there who are looking to disrupt systems and steal information, there will be work for a large field of good guys determined to protect corporate and consumer data.

The Definition of a Growth Industry.

According to an article in Forbes, the security market, currently valued at around $75 Billion is expected to grow to $170 Billion by 2020. This translates to job growth a rate of 18%, (much faster than the average). When labor markets get this tight, employers of all types have to scramble, improvise and adapt.  This means that companies, institutions, government agencies, vendors and service providers have to invest in recruiting and retaining skilled security professionals, as well as dedicate more resources to training both current employees, and new hires from related fields.  

For candidates, this means more opportunity to work on technology and projects they have not previously been exposed to, increased security-focused responsibilities and larger budgets for vendor training, industry certifications and degree programs. It also means being afforded the time to attend these trainings.  

This environment of scarcity of skilled talent and increased resources means that entry into a security-focused role from another adjacent technology domain is easier than ever. Current employees will “get their shot” at responsibilities or positions they may not be 100% ready for (that word “qualified” is loaded, isn’t it!?).  And external candidates may also get hired despite having steeper learning curves in a particular industry or field.

The Burning Glass Report from 2015 identified that four years of experience is required for two-thirds of cybersecurity job postings. In their survey,  83% of survey respondents had four or more years of experience, as illustrated below in Figure 6.

 

How many years of experience do you have in IT Security  

“It is also interesting to note, however, that the majority (60%) of our respondents has 10 years or less of experience, an indication that new talent continues to be attracted to the field. Both government and private industries are contributing to building the future workforce with awareness campaigns on the careers available and skills needed, as well as scholarships and opportunities to test for aptitude.”

If you’re already in tech, but not at a company that’s willing to invest in your transition to security, begin working on certifications on your own. Then, when you’re ready to look for a new position, you’ll be all the more appealing to potential employers. But remember, the smart companies are the ones who are looking for candidates with adjacent qualifications, they know the market is too tight to go shopping for perfection.

If you think you’re ready to make the transition into cyber-security, contact our recruiters to discuss your potential move into this secure, exciting and well-paying field.



Tags: Job Search, network security, cyber-security, recruiting

AV Integration: The Hot Job Market No One Knows About

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Audiovisual Integration: The Hot Job Market No One Knows About

AV Integration, the seamless control of leading-edge technologies through a single interface, is helping to reinvent workplace communications. And it’s one of the fastest-growing industries within the IT space.

According to InfoComm's 2014 Market Definition and Strategy Guide, the AV industry is projected to be a $119 billion global industry by the end of 2016. Established industry leaders are growing at a brisk pace even as more companies are expanding on their traditional offerings of telephone, cabling, alarm systems, and security to enter the sector.  Job opportunities are plentiful, salaries are competitive and firms are willing to compromise on requirements.

So, given all these positives, why is the industry experiencing a recruitment issue?

Well, it could be because AV is not traditionally thought of as “cool” or cutting edge as traditional IT spaces. It might even evoke thoughts of that guy in High School - the one with the oversized key chain hanging from his belt loop who was always pushing the AV cart through the hallways, the weight of his responsibilities nearly as heavy as his key fob.

It could also be because not enough people know that AV has matured into a bonafide IT sector.

Let’s run through a list of reasons why you should be looking into AV Integration:

Chance For Growth

Industry leaders in the integration field are eager to hire people early in their careers for a number of reasons, even as they know their ideal employees are not coming out of school pre-built for the industry. Companies understand that they have to invest in and be dedicated to training and development. What this means for you is the on-going expansion of your skill set, certifications and knowledge base. And while this makes for a satisfying experience at work, what it also does is make you a more valuable candidate further down the road.

It’s Really Cool

While traditional IT spaces, such as development and cybersecurity get more heat and are thought of as more ‘sexy”, what they don’t offer is the opportunity to build large integrated systems. Unifying video, media, communications, data, cloud, and security present exciting challenges, and as the capacity of these related fields grows, so too do the opportunities for expansion. Think of AV as the marriage between media and communications, the possibilities are endless.

Custom Work

While the rest of the IT sector is mainly focused on scalable, repeatable solutions, AV Integration takes a more custom approach. The collaboration solutions and services created for clients are unique and specialized. Like a fine craftsman, projects afford you the opportunity to learn with every build, keeping the work ever-changing and challenging.

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Due to the fact that AV Integration is currently being taught in only a handful of 4-year and 2-year college programs, companies have been relying heavily on re-training. We are seeing several of our clients in this space hiring programmers and then training them up in AV. What this means for the company is they get the benefit of an experienced worker, while the employees are benefiting from quality training and new challenges. And because of the current recruiting challenges, there is ample opportunity to move between companies.

New Initiatives, Internship Opportunities, and Certifications on the Rise

This is an industry dedicated to growth. Some, companies, such as Advanced Technologies are partnering with Universities in their area to create internship opportunities and training programs. And these are not limited to engineering and technical positions only, sales, design and finance internships are available as well.

And then there are initiatives such as The Ignite Program by NSCA, a program dedicated to making students aware of both the field of AV and the opportunities available to them in the industry.

The next several years will see an increase in certification programs from both 2-year schools, such as the Electronic Systems Technician (EST) certification from NSC, A and an increasing number of certs from InfoComm. Additionally, if the industry has its way, we’ll begin to see more 4-year schools offering coursework geared toward professions in the AV space.

While some may view AV Integration as something of a vo-tech industry, the well- trained young employee has the opportunity to get right into a high paying job, build their skills for a long and diverse career, and make enough money early enough in their career to pay off those loans.


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Tags: Job Search, AV/VTC/UC

Move It: Relocating For IT Job Opportunities On The Upswing

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

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We here at J. Patrick & Associates place individuals in positions all over the country. We’ve realized a growing trend in relocation rates, an increasing amount of individuals that we work with are more willing to relocate. According to a study conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the 2014 relocation rate was at its highest since 2009. Before the recession, candidates were largely unwilling or unable to relocate for a job. With the changing dynamics in the job market, it is increasingly common for employers to consider hiring employees that require relocation and for candidates to do so.

So, what’s driving job candidates’ willingness to take positions in other cities?  

 

It’s A Renter’s World

Fewer people are in the market to buy homes now than ever before. This is attributable to several factors; the high level of student debt, the 2007-2008 financial crisis, and the fact that extended families are more widely dispersed than ever before.  Certainly making a cross-country move requires an investment of your time, energy and faith, but since renting reduces the financial risk, it allows for more flexibility should a move prove to be disappointing.

All of these factors are contributing to candidates increased flexibility in terms of where they live and for how long.

 

Up and Down the Ladder

In our recruiting practice, we’ve observed that the trend in relocation rates is affecting all levels, from managers to senior executives. In a tightening talent market, hiring firms have to get more creative and flexible as to how and where they source their candidate pool. This can mean changing your requirements if you insist on strictly local candidates, or looking outside your region to get the best available player among those motivated to move to your location. 

An average of 15 percent of job-seeking managers and executives moved for new positions over the last two quarters of 2013. Top-level executives are realizing that relocation can boost their career progression. The opportunities that come with the big move are endless, from increased salary and improved lifestyle to the opportunity to reinvent themselves in a new market. Ultimately, relocation provides top-level executives the chance to reinvigorate their CVs, and provide them with fresh challenges.  

 

Follow the Jobs: The Wave of the Future

Industry-specific job opportunities have also shifted candidates’ perspectives on relocation. In today’s job market, the perfect job opportunity very well may be in another city. It’s no longer just New York or San Francisco, the tech industry is increasingly decentralized from the West Coast, and opportunities are abundant in new markets,  such as in Austin, Texas and Boulder, Colorado. The fact that these newer markets may also offer a lower cost of living helps to boost their appeal.

Job candidates, especially Millennials, understand that they are likely to work in several different sectors over the course of their career. Flexibility on location increases the chance of being able to follow interesting and challenging opportunities. And as we know, keeping your career on track and fresh, increases your personal satisfaction.  

Both international and domestic relocation rates have been on the rise, and in the present climate, they show no evidence  of slowing.  If the opportunity to relocate presents itself, keep your mind and your options open!

 

Looking for a new job or to relocate? Give one of our recruiters a call!

J. Patrick & Associates, Inc is an Executive Recruiting firm that focuses on Executive Management, Sales, Marketing and Technical roles within Information Technology markets. We have over 20 years of experience recruiting in every aspect of AV/VTC/UC, Application, Storage, Information/Network Security, Mobile Technologies, and Telecommunications.

Tags: Job Search

Interview Sabotage: 6 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Interview

Posted by Glenda Gregorio on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 10:16 AM

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The job interview is one of the most important, and nerve-wracking, components of the job search process, and it needs preparation beforehand. You know all of the interview prep basics -- from developing questions to ask your interviewer, to bringing multiple copies of your resume. But are you forgetting basics that are invaluable to your interview prep?

6 Ways that you might be sabotaging your interview

Being Late for an Interview

It is the day of your interview and you have the directions ready to go, but your car breaks down or your bus is late. What do you do? Although arriving late for an interview may not always be your fault, it can still make a bad impression. If you’re stuck in traffic, your train is delayed, or there’s the slightest chance that you won’t make it on time, always call ahead, your interviewer will appreciate not being left in the dark.

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to arrive 10-15 minutes early to an interview to have time to relax and compose yourself beforehand. But most importantly give yourself enough time for your commute, you never know what bumps in the road you may face!

Dressing Inappropriately

We all know the old saying “dress to impress,” but are you dressing too impressive for the position you’re interviewing for? It is important to research the company’s dress code policy, whether it be through web forums, your LinkedIn connections or asking your recruiter if you’re working with one. Dress codes vary immensely from company to company, even within the same sector, doing as much research as possible will help prove that you’re a good cultural fit.

Not Researching the Company/Position

For many candidates, this may be a given, but there are some who do not conduct research on the company that they’re interviewing for. This could be a disastrous omission. It’s important to be prepared for questions about the company such as “what do you know about our company”, and/or “how do you think this position will aid in your career development?” It’s very easy to find information on almost any company these days, whether it be on the company website or through your recruiter. You don’t have to know all the company history per se, but it is important to understand their mission statement and know their current financial standing.

Bad Mouthing a Previous Employer

Would you trust the opinion of someone who can’t stop badmouthing their last job or employer? If your answer is no, then don’t do it at your interviews! Even when you’re asked the reason for leaving your previous position or to provide an example of a time you showed leadership at work, avoid speaking negatively about your previous employer. These negative comments will reflect badly on you, even if the employer was at fault. Be creative with your answers and put a positive spin on your current or previous work situation.

Not Knowing When to Stop Talking or Not Talking Enough

Whether you are a nervous rambler or your nervousness makes you go silent, know how to balance both. It is important to keep your interviewer engaged, just as it is important to engage in active listening to understand the questions asked by the interviewer. You do not want to seem as if you’re rambling, but you also do not want moments of dead silence to permeate the interview. Whether you’re a nervous talker or not, remember to relax and rock your interview!

Knowing the Right Questions to Engage Your Interviewer

As important as it is to understand the hiring process or to understand the roles of the position, it is crucial to get to know your interviewer. Yes, the interviewer will ultimately be the deciding factor of whether or not you’ll proceed onto the next step of the hiring process, but you need to remember that she is also attempting to determine if you would be a cultural fit. So, engaging in friendly conversation and learning about the interviewer’s current position will help to put you both at ease.

But, remember that this is a professional meeting and not a coffee date!

As simple as they may sound, these interview mistakes are committed very often. So, next time you land an interview, keep these basics in mind.

Tags: Job Search, Job Interviews