Wednesday, April 16, 2008
My friend Vivian and I were chatting one day about her sister, Belkys. After 20 years as a mortgage banker, Belkys wants a new career. She is her family's breadwinner so she needs to find a new while still trying to earn a living. I though Belkys was pretty typical of others who need to change careers right now.
So I paired Belkys with Maria Drew of Right Management of Florida, an executive coach, for my Miami Herald article. Belkys knew she was getting a good deal, a session with a coach who usually charges a good sum for her service. But I was surprised by how much I learned during the session. Finding a job-- or whole new career -- is way different in today's high tech world from the kind of searches I did many years ago. Maria really encouraged Belkys to think about her hobbies and how they could be turned into a new career.
The most important tip Maria shared was her view on networking. She points out that companies are inundated with resumés sent electronically. The way to get noticed, she feels, is to drop a name or have someone within a company make an introduction. Maria encouraged Belkys to go to networking events and to use online social networking sites (she likes LinkedIn). These are things you can do even if you're working during your job search.
I asked Maria the biggest mistake candidates make. Her answer: bombing the job interview by talking about yourself rather than finding out how you can fill a company's gap in skills. Here's the link to our appearance on CBS4 this morning:
Just listening to the Belkys made me realize how tough it must be to leave your career comfort zone after many years. Have you ever been through a career shift? What was the best and worst part for you?