Starting Your Online Network-Get Out Your Pen Pt. 1

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate AfterSchool Career Workshops

I was at a marketing communications breakfast presentation and talking with a friend who also happens to be a total rock star. He said something that really stuck with me, “If you need to start networking it’s probably too late.”

This applies to college seniors and recent graduates as much as it does to anyone already in the workforce. Second semester of your senior year is NOT the time to think about starting your network. You’re going to need to make contact, establish relationships and start a dialogue if you want any kind of network to pay off. And yes, you don’t know that many people in the profession you’ve chosen for yourself but unless you’re graduating from a Tibetan monastery you do know people.

So start early, add often and use it. Don’t let the thing die just because you got Netflix.

And just how might we start this network you speak of?


Are You Afraid of Employment?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

Are you derailing your career before it’s even begun? On the outside do you look like a gung-ho job seeker, sending out resumes, networking with a vengeance and plotting world domination while on the inside (and in reality) you’re hesitating, procrastinating and really only plotting your next Facebook post? It happens a lot more than you think and one reason can be sheer size of scope.


Does It Have to Be X vs Y?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

When I was an advertising recruiter I looked forward to entry level hiring. My agency was smart enough to know that the new ideas and new perspectives of recent graduates were vital to a progressive organization. So I’ve been a little startled in the last few years to watch so called Gen Y being looked at a bit like a new breed of human or exotic zoo animal. “What do we feed them? Can they get wet? What's a Band of Horses?” It’s also discouraging to see so many comments from resentful Gen Xers along the lines of “turn down that damned rock and roll!”


A Whole Lot of Happy

My good friend John Carpenter, a first-rate educational consultant, wrote a great blog on his site that I thought was appropriate for us at AfterSchool. As new grads enter the workforce it’s essential to remember that a career is a fluid thing and will grow the way you tell it to. So read on and relax.


Ten Ways to Conduct a Successful Interview

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

There's a lot of advice out there about how to succeed at a job interview (just read the previous post) but not as much on how to sit at the other side of the table. A great candidate may be lost simply because the interviewer has never been taught how to conduct an interview. They just hang out in a room with a total stranger, make small talk, and then recommend or reject based solely on if they liked them. That’s unfair and ridiculous. So here are some pointers. I’m not addressing specific interview questions as much as the vital peripheral details that can make an interview productive and result in a great hire.


Top Ten Job Interview Tips (Or why it’s not a good idea to hug the hiring manager)

By  Lisa Correu and Kathryn Lorenzen, The CareerMongers.

Let’s be honest, interviewing for a new job can be a nerve-wracking and intimidating experience. You’re nervous, anxious, vulnerable and one step away from running for the door. On the other hand, if you are prepared and confident it can be a positive encounter with a potential new boss or co-worker. These tips can take some of the anxiety out of the interview process and make the experience suck a little bit less.


Oh Wise and Recent Hire, Do You Have 20 Minutes?

by Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

So how ‘bout those informational interviews? They’re a fantastic way of intelligence gathering and getting your name out there for potential openings.  They’re great practice for real job interviews but without the crushing nervousness. You can ask for feedback and the interviewer won’t feel the pressure of having to hire.  Plus, the more people you meet the more familiar you'll become with the jargon and buzzwords of the industry. Interviewers will respond to this when you meet with them to discuss an actual opening.

But let’s dig a little deeper into our bag of tricks and go beyond the normal informational interview. Rather than concentrating solely on mid- to upper- level people or managers consider reaching out to people just a few years out of college. They can be a source of great job search information, advice and encouragement.  They’ll know the duties and requirements of entry-level positions and most will be happy to help someone close to their own age.


Your own personal Stephen

by Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

One of my very best friends, I’ll call him Stephen, because his name is Stephen, is completely fearless. He can walk up to anyone and within minutes they’re like old friends. I used to say he could talk the knife from a serial killer. Problem is he would have talked him into a sharper knife just to help him out a little. He is open, completely affable and there isn’t a disingenuous bone in his long body. Me, on the other hand, I’ve always been rather shy, my worst nightmare used to walking into a room of strangers and it still gives me a bit of the heeb jeebs when I have to do it. But a long time ago I learned to channel Stephen. I just throw his cloak about my shoulders and well, shoulder on. I’ve learned how to talk to people I don’t know, make phone calls to strangers and be more myself at the same time. Don’t get me wrong; Stephen isn’t perfect, his car used to be a trash bin harboring more bacteria than your average housefly. He’s always late, more often than not he looks like he slept in his clothes and he can’t remember a punch line. But he’s given me the ability to be brave. So when the time comes to pitch yourself to a prospective contact, interviewer or just a person you’d like to get to know better channel your own personal Stephen. Use him to put the veneer of fearlessness about you and go forth and conquer.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be yourself, not at all, not even a little. Especially when it comes to job interviews and, well, your actual life. What I’m saying is that there will always be people around you that you can learn from and if one of them teaches you to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations you’re more likely to make a positive impression. You can relax enough to engage in good conversation and make some new friends or important connections. You’ll also give off an air of confidence that will no doubt impress a prospective employer. So get out there, think about your Stephen and see what happens! You'll find the confidence you need and then it's all yours.

Want to learn more about overcoming job hunt shyness? Come to an AfterSchool Career Workshop day-long seminar and learn the secrets to a successful, productive and non-intimidating job search!


Are we human?

By Lisa Correu, Principal/Job Search Advocate, AfterSchool Career Workshops

So you're approaching graduation, or at least approaching the time to start thinking about graduation. And now this goal you've been working toward for, let's face it, your entire life will soon be reached. You'll wear a gown and mortarboard, party hearty for a few nights and high five a lot of people. You'll sit back and sigh, it's over and I'm now a diploma bearing, bona fide college graduate.

And then it'll become completely meaningless. The top will become the bottom.

You'll graduate with hundreds of your closest friends and like those ridiculous robots in the last three crappy Star Wars movies you'll all move forward at the same time, muttering softly to yourselves and then explode. Ok, maybe not explode but you'll look around and realize you're one of many and you're all looking for a job. Suddenly you need to be different from all of them, unique, attractive, sought after and ultimately employed.
So how do you do that when for the most part you ARE just like all the others?
First of all you should stop reading now and give me the finger. I've just taken all your hard work and effort and thrown it in the potty. I've just made you feel what you may be suspecting already. But I'm wrong and so are you.
Now is the time to start thinking about just how very different you are from the people you sit beside and see in halls every day. What do your friends see in you? Why do they seek you out? Ask them. What do you spend your free time doing and how have you spent your summers? Do you like to be alone or if left alone do you just put on some Death Cab and cry in your pillow? What bad habits do you need to fix and seriously, be honest with yourself. Ask your friends this as well and give them a pass on whatever they say. This is a great time to discover your human elements. You will focus on your job skills or promote your internships later but let's just try and figure out what makes you special. Not only will this help you when you write your resume but will help you narrow down where you want to work and how you present yourself to a potential employer. Knowing who you are will give you a boost in confidence, help you define your first steps and even make talking to strangers a bit less horrifying.
So just who do you think you are?