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Helpful tips for your job search journey

An ancient Latin proverb applies to most of life’s activities: “If the wind does not help, take the oars.”

This timeless piece of advice seems particularly relevant for anyone looking for a job. All the more so in a volatile job market.

Some experts predict that by 2025, 30-somethings will make up the majority of the global workforce. Most of these people are still in the early stages of their careers. They face the challenge of establishing their own personal “brands” and standing out in a crowded pool of applicants. Unfortunately, many of the candidates in this pool are ill-prepared to launch – let alone advance – their careers.

Mark Zides can help. As founder and CEO of CoreAxis Consulting, an award-winning talent management firm, he teaches young adults the skills they need to climb the ladder of professional success.

His new book is The #PACE process for early career success. It offers a rich combination of real-life experiences, specific research and advice, and a dose of tough love.

In this case, PACE stands for planning, applying, engaging and evaluating your ideal career path.

Finding the right job can be difficult. Mark Zides shows how to grab the oars and row to success.

Rodger Dean Duncan: What is it about today’s work environment that makes it so difficult for the next generation to advance their careers?

Mark Zides: The virtual nature of the workplace makes this difficult. It is not possible to walk into someone’s office to ask a quick question. It’s hard to build relationships in the workplace that help build trust and credibility. There’s an inherent perception of Gen-Zs coming into the workplace that they’re not as prepared as previous generations, which is a challenge they need to meet with a good work ethic in order for society to feel they have an impact.

Duke: Which mindset seems to be most helpful for today’s job seekers?

Zides: It is extremely important to be open and agile. The professional world is constantly changing and anyone who gets stuck in the weeds is left behind. Being open to change will alleviate a lot of stress and make you an invaluable resource. While remaining open, agility is key. The world is changing fast, which means you have to, too.

Duke: You encourage job seekers to “train your hustle muscle”. Can you elaborate?

Zides: Your “hustle muscle” is a combination of behaviors and actions that a job seeker must perform in order to be successful. The labor market is dynamic and stimulating. Today’s job seeker needs to become an elite networker, both within the company they are seeking employment for, as well as with the connections they have that can help them. to enter the desired organization. Job seekers should approach the market in a step-by-step manner, where they plant many seeds and make many connections that can help them rise beyond just the hiring manager’s inbox, to others. organizational influencers.

Duke: Networking is obviously important in job hunting. What best practices do you recommend?

Zides: Every day, a job seeker should make at least five connections through LinkedIn that they believe would be mutually beneficial. As part of their networking strategy, I recommend joining LinkedIn groups that are part of the industry ecosystem and the community they want to join. Follow industry leaders on the platform you aspire to work with. Attend virtual (and in-person if available) events to get your name and face out there.

Duke: What role does personal brand play in a candidate’s search for the ideal job?

Zides: A first impression is a lasting impression, whether you like it or not. Your personal brand is essential to building a professional image. Your brand is something you should respect. It’s something that should align with the work you create and your job performance. When looking for a job, make sure your branding, messaging, goals, and beliefs match the company you’re looking to work for.

Duke: Most people know that an interview can make or break a job candidate’s opportunity, and many interviews these days are virtual. What are the keys to getting the most out of a Zoom interview?

Zides: Above all, make sure you show up dressed for the job you want. Look professional and share your camera. When talking with the interviewer, look at the camera. In-person eye contact is key, and going the extra mile during the interview will go a long way. Make sure the place you are setting up is not only well lit, but also quiet. Turn off your phone and make sure there are no distractions around you. Finally, when the interviewer is speaking, use the mute button to eliminate any background noise you may not be aware of. It will also show active engagement in conversation.

Duke: You quote Winston Churchill saying, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm. How does this apply to someone trying to stand out in the crowd of job seekers?

Zides: The reality is that you can interview for ten jobs and be turned down by all of them. But you can’t give up. Don’t lose your momentum, enthusiasm, energy and desire to land a job. If you go through this experience of failure, learn from your past interviews so you don’t make the same mistakes again in the next one. Refine your approach or try a new one. Ask past investigators what you could have done better. Just make sure you’re thick-skinned and don’t get defensive. The key is to never lose your passion for what you believe in and to always stay true to yourself and the goals you have set for yourself. Good work will come, and it will be worth the wait.

Duke: The first 60 to 90 days seem particularly important for acclimatizing to a new work environment. What is your advice for making the most of this break-in period?

Zides: For any new role, the first 60-90 days are critical as they form the foundation for your future success. During this period, it is important to learn as much as possible, not to be afraid to ask for feedback and direction, and at the same time not to be afraid of making mistakes. Because that’s how we learn.

This is also a critical time to start establishing your business network and connections. Find yourself one or more mentors and learn from them. Be a team player. Be part of a company community that makes you feel included and where you have an impact on your peers, your team and the organization. Always be curious. Ask for feedback and direction from your manager or other leaders on your team.

Finally, overwork everyone. Be head down, focused, open, nimble and help where you can, but not at the expense of your primary role.

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