Afraid Of Job Interviews? Please Share


A common fear is the dreaded job interview. While there’s a lot of help out there on how to overcome this fear, fear still paralyzes some people from even applying for better jobs than they have. As you’ve found this post, maybe I can help you put this fear in its place a little, and increase your self-confidence in the process. Reading certainly won’t hurt.

Whether you are shy, introverted, nervous, unsure of yourself or any combination of these, you’re still deserving of a job that brings you satisfaction from the work you perform. Whether it’s a desire for a happier workplace, more income and benefits, a new challenge or just a desire for a fresh start, I suspect something has you wanting more.

Here’s a question for you: If you could send a company your resume, have them call your references, and then offer you a job bypassing the interview, would you be applying for jobs in the next day or two? If the answer is yes, than it’s important for you to realize that it is primarily or only your fear of the job interview that’s holding you back. By overcoming this fear, you’re on your way to the job you want.

First of all, it’s okay to be anxious even thinking about it. Take a few deep breaths. You’ll overcome your extreme anxiety in time, not immediately so give yourself permission to feel the way you do. Let’s look at getting a new job this way. You see an ad for a job so the employer has a need for someone. You want to explore the possibility of working there, so you start by finding out what you can about the company and the job. There’s a job description on their website maybe, and information about the organization. Good start.

If you look at the job posting, you’ll likely see the skills and qualifications the employer is looking for in the person they would like to hire. Do you have most or all of those skills and qualifications? If you do, feel good about that. Recognize right away that you’ve got what they say they want, because that’s important for your self-confidence as you think about speaking with them.

Here’s a very important thing to realize. Questions interviewers are likely to ask you are going to be centered on those very same skills and qualifications. So if you are going for a job as an Accountant, you’ll likely be asked questions related to your experience using specific accounting software the company uses. Going for a job as a Receptionist, you’d get questions asking about your experience providing good customer service and greeting people on the phone or in person.

One good thing to do is to think about your current and past jobs, and come up with a specific time when you provided great customer service or in the case of the Accountant, perhaps your track record of being audited at year-end and passing with flying colours. In other words, you can anticipate and make good guesses about the questions you’ll likely be asked, long before you sit down with someone from the company at an interview.

Let’s say the interviewer asks you to share a weakness. Have you considered saying that while you are a really good Accountant or Receptionist, you find job interviews are very stressful? While you might be worried that you are showing them a flaw and your chances are zero now, most of the time, that’s not what happens. The interviewer wants to picture you as an employee. So if you don’t tell them this isn’t your usual self, they are left wondering exactly that.

Everyone has one or a few areas that they are not strong in. If job interviews is one of yours, this isn’t going to be an issue once you are hired now is it? No. You’ll have first day nervousness which is normal, you’ll want to fit in and stress a little about that too maybe, but it passes.

Although you get all stressed out about interviews, the very thing you need to do is the very thing you are probably dreading having me suggest; do some practice interviews. Do yourself a favour though and please don’t ask your spouse, family or friend to help you. They may want to help, but they aren’t trained to do this. Get the help of an Employment Counsellor, Career Coach or Job Coach. You can start by calling an employment help centre in your community.

This column isn’t going to transform you or eliminate your fear of the job interview. It is a start though. The biggest hurdle you must overcome to doing well in a future job interview is wanting to improve and making the decision to do something about it. Without doing something, your anxiety will remain, results will likely be the same and your fears will be confirmed. Sadly, then you’ll believe as you do now, that you can’t change – but you can!

A job interview is really just a conversation. Employers are under pressure too. They need someone with your skills and qualifications. You can do that job. What you really want help with is marketing yourself, feeling good about your potential answers to their questions and seeing value in what you’ve accomplished. This is what professionals can help you believe.

You can do this.

 

 

 

 

Some Words To Work By


Having worked in the field of Social Services for many years, I can acknowledge quite openly that the way I think and interact with my clients and co-workers has changed over the years. Call it maturity, wisdom, experience, even trial and error, but I like to think it’s a sign of growth and continuous understanding. Many have guided me along.

And so, I would like to pass on some thoughts and advice to anyone interested; whether you are a client, a customer, a seasoned professional or just launching your career, I hope you’d agree that sharing such information might prove a good read and useful. Take what you will, leave the rest, add your own as you choose.

Listen attentively in order to determine exactly where your clients are in this moment.

Don’t assume the goals you’d have in someone else’s place will be theirs.

Be forgiving of those who fall short. Find the positives in what they did and start anew.

Surround yourself with positive people whenever you can; you’ll be happier.

Trust in your Supervisor when you’re asked to. Leave things with them.

Be observant, learn from everyone. Your teacher might be a client with a problem.

Build a personal code of ethics and follow your moral compass. It always points North.

Share what you can with those at any and all levels who are open to learning.

You’re skimming without reflecting. Pause, reflect, consider.

Make sure you only hit, “Reply All” when it’s appropriate.

If you are in a position of influence, do so with the best of others in mind.

Do your best whether you run a corporation or dig ditches. Take pride in your work.

If the job isn’t for you, get out without regret over money or benefits. Save yourself.

Hope is sometimes all people have; you may in their eyes be that Hope. Think on that.

Be consistent with your answers and your actions. That’s your reputation growing.

Work productively when no one is watching and a lesser you could get away with it.

Be a person of integrity; you’ll come to admire the person you see in the mirror.

Humour can lighten many a stressful situation.

Smiles cost nothing to give and often have the power to appear on others when given.

Be a Superhero and discover your super power.

Offer to help a co-worker when you can, learn to ask for help when you should.

If you’re lowest on the hierarchy, you influence the people who matter the most.

Dress yourself not for your current job, but for the job you eventually want.

Be kindest to the people who are most affected by the quality of your work.

Even when you are at the top of an organization, you needn’t look down at people.

Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness.

Being asked for help is acknowledgement of your ability to provide it.

Do what’s right; always.

Be punctual at all times which respects the time of others.

Apologize when you make a mistake. It takes two words; “I’m sorry.” Done.

When you say, “Good morning”, mean it.

If you ask someone, “How are you today?” wait for the answer.

No matter how much you know, you’ll never know it all; keep learning anyhow.

Every now and then, stretch yourself and try something challenging.

Get out into the sun and clear your head. Breathe in some good air. Repeat.

Every so often, “No” is the word you are looking for.

There’s always a way to say, “Yes”. “Is there the will?” is the question.

Re-read your job description at least once a year. Surprise yourself.

Thank the person with a note who cleans your office. Surprise them.

Be considerate of others who share your workspace.

Others have to find their way just as you did. Let them make small mistakes.

People are counting on you; don’t let yourself down.

Be proud of the scars. You survived whatever assaulted you.

Get help before things completely fall apart. Know your limit.

Kind words build good working relationships.

Be someone to look up to even when you’re at the bottom.

Market yourself, promote your skills and abilities.

Your next job interview has already begun. Someone is always watching.

Get over yourself; others can replace you and maybe do things better.

On your very first day, think what they’ll say about you when you retire.

Know when it’s time to move on and have the courage to leap.

Even in bad times, see the bigger picture.

Every so often, get up and watch the day break over you.

There is usually at least one other solution than the one that you know.

People are entitled to hold their own opinion.

As you age, realize things aren’t black and white, right and wrong.

You can make a difference, and it always starts between the ears.

I certainly don’t mean to come across as a philosopher or a preacher. The ideas and thoughts above are just this mornings thoughts passed on for you to take in, think about, possibly act on or share.

You I’m sure have your own intelligence, wisdom, advice and suggestions which are also valuable. And so, I would encourage you to pass that on to your clients, your peers and me. There is much to be said for learning things on your own, trial and error etc., but advice offered is a valued gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A True Story About A Bullying Boss


I had a phone call yesterday from a former client of mine. It was exactly one year ago less a single day that she accepted an offer of employment through a job seeking workshop I ran. She’s out of work as of yesterday, and while she’s in shock, I’m just livid.

Now you have to understand this particular woman was one of those who truly impressed me. I mean she listened, put into practice the new skills she was exposed to, and while she questioned things she didn’t immediately grasp, she always did so respectfully and worked hard to earn her success. So it was that when she called me right out the blue yesterday, I could immediately recall her to mind.

It turns out that for the last year she’s not only found work, made enough to exit from the social services system that once provided her with food and rent funds, but she had rekindled her self-confidence in the process. Employment does that; so much more than just working for a living.

So the problem? Her boss. Her boss as it turned out was the son of the owner of the business, and the father is the one who had hired her. The son is a tragic example of all that is bad in people who have a taste of power and authority. She provided me with examples of how he would yell, curse, verbally abuse, belittle and demean not only her but others. Apparently there have been 5 people call in and report this person’s behaviour to the local Labour Relations Board in the past year alone.

When I spoke on the phone yesterday, she had just hours before taken all she could and things came to a climax. As she reports it, he ran out to her car and met her in the parking lot where he proceeded to tear a strip off her verbally. He yelled at her, telling her what she needed to do the second she got inside. Sure there was no one else in the parking lot, but what a start to your day. I mean who does that?

Once inside, she started to do the things he told her to do and then he kept on at her only this time in front of others. Up until yesterday she had taken all this verbal abuse because she needed the job and the income it provided her with. Yesterday however, she’d had enough and asked him not to speak to her that way. Well, not used to someone having a bit of a backbone, he told her loudly so that all could hear that he could talk to her anyway he pleased and added a few choice words to emphasize the point.

This intimidating, bullying behaviour continued and she then asked him to leave her alone to do the work, and that’s when he told her she was done and to get out; she was gone. Now in shock, publicly abused yet still clinging to some semblance of clarity, she went to the payroll person and asked for her ROE to be prepared for pick up or mailing and her last cheque. He came after her and told her she’d get it when he wanted her to get it and not before and if she didn’t leave he was calling the police. So she left.

And it was at that point she went home and not having any idea of what to really do, called me. Now it’s been a year as I say since I last spoke with her. I give her credit for having saved my contact information. By the time I’d called her back a few hours had passed. She told me she’d already got out all the handouts she’d been given by me a year ago and had started to re-read them to re-familiarize herself with good job search principles and actions. I was impressed anew.

She was still shaking, still in shock, crying a little, and it will be in the coming days that the full impact of things hits home. I shared with her what to do immediately, like call the Labour Board herself and make a report, file for Employment Insurance. I also told her that there’s two general things she could do for the next week; get right back into a job search or take a week off to mentally recover, compose herself and then set a target of next Monday to start looking for work. Depending on the person, either choice is the right one.

I made sure that she knew she had done the right thing, and that in no way should that kind of behaviour be tolerated in any workplace. Do you know the father who originally hired her actually called her to plead with her to come back to work? She had enough self-worth to decline this despite her financial worries. And she’d already called back to speak privately with the person in payroll to make sure if a reference called she could be assured that her employment dates would be verified.

She’s strong, resilient, deserves better and will succeed again. She’s going to stay in touch now, even though she’s no longer a client. And she needs a good answer to the future question, “Why did you leave your last job?” But I am dismayed this kind of person is still in a position of authority. No job is worth that kind of abuse.

 

The Seduction Of A Warm Bed


My brain shifts from a world of dreams to wakefulness. It’s completely black outside my eyelids; I can tell without opening either of them’ Knowing I’m on my left side, it would require more than opening them quickly to see the time on the clock. It would require a 180 degree change of direction, and the energy to do that and then opening my eyes to see whatever the time is will make the escaping possibility of returning to sleep impossible.

The warmth of the comforter and the radiating heat from my body at rest makes the lure of remaining in status quo most desirable. However, with the brain now engaged, thoughts of the day ahead mixed with the events of the night before, sleep is slipping fast. As the time can’t be known for sure without breaking the darkness, I roll over and look to see the time; 4:50 a.m. Ten minutes to make the transition to full consciousness complete with covers thrown off, feet on the floor and the body upright instead of reclined.

I have found a contrast in how my body responds both to periods of employment and unemployment. When employed as is the case now, my routine is usually to start writing a blog at 5:00a.m., surf the net at 5:45a.m., shower at 6:00a.m. and out the door at 6:30a.m. for the 1 hour drive to work. That schedule gives me 1/2 hour of ‘me’ time at work before I officially start at 8:00a.m, or is useful in the event of detours, accidents, unforeseen delays of some manner.

At times in my life when I was unemployed, my brain must have had less of a reason to prompt the body to rise, for I remember waking up closer to 8:00 on a regular basis. I haven’t slept until 8:00a.m. for at least 15 years – not even on a weekend or day off.

Should you  be currently unemployed, do you find by chance that while your body may be at rest in bed, in what otherwise might be an entirely blissful existence, your brain in full consciousness can disrupt that harmonious state? You know, your thoughts unprompted turn within seconds to what you know you should do but probably won’t to look for work and so the second thing that arrives are feelings of guilt leading to lower self-esteem? And you’ve only been awake for 15 seconds? And it’s early in the morning when you’ve got every right to be slumbering and dozing; time which should be yours to enjoy guilt-free?

Worry and stress can do this to a person. You can find your sleeping patterns thrown off significantly if you are waking up way too early, and then without any real reason for staying awake, turning to sleep during the day to slip back into a deep guiltless sleep where their conscious thought gets turned off, and the stress of unemployment is lost for a time.

Of course sleep mid-afternoon or even prolonged periods of inaction can throw a routine of solid, deep sleep in which you get energy for the entire day ahead out the window. And therefore you might experience night after night of fitful sleeping; then taking a bath at 2:30a.m. to try to soothe your body to sleep, or pills to chemically shut down the brain, alcohol to dull clear thought and sleep.

Problem is that pills, booze – even the bath provide short-term solutions and you soon return to wakefulness and the stress of unemployment, now coupled of course with the guilt of turning to these things to try to escape.

It is routine that can possible help you combat the lack of quality sleep, lessen the guilt of unemployment and give you cause to feel good again about yourself. Working people do have routine; they get up at a set time, shower, dress, eat, pack lunches, do dishes, make beds, listen to the news and get out the door.

So if you are unemployed, you can wake at a set time, shower, dress, eat, do your dishes, make the bed so you don’t fall back in it, get your take on the news. Then you can get out the door if your day demands it, or you can scour the internet for jobs, update your resume, get your references, go to a computer class, check your email. If indeed job searching is a full-time job, don’t do this job in your pyjamas. Treat your job search like your full-time job and tackle it head on.

Maybe put on some lively music just as you step into the shower so as you exit, you’ve got something to keep you moving. No sad songs mind about losing some boy or girl, regretting the one you lost. Dare I suggest it, even disco at 7:00a.m. would be preferably so your mind is active, not starting the day mournfully singing a hurting song.

Scheduling your day before it dawns is a good strategy so your brain upon waking switches to what’s on the menu for the day instead of guilt over another day of the unknown and open calendar.

If you engage yourself, make the job search a project as one of my peers suggests, you’ll find at day’s end your brain has been occupied and the little grey cells firing. Then you’ll find perhaps that the seduction of a warm bed and guilt-free sleep is blissfully anticipated indeed.

 

 

 

 

Update Your Resume Now


I sure hope you don’t read this and say to yourself, “The guy makes a lot of sense, people should update their resumes; but I personally don’t need to.” I’m addressing this to you; if you have grown comfortable and stagnant in your current job and the last thing you think possible is that you might soon be looking for work.

So you’re working and you’ve been there for some time now. Could be that it’s between 4 to 20 years let’s say, and you seldom if ever think seriously about having to look for another job. Why on earth would it be good for you to update your resume? Wouldn’t that just be a lot of work for no immediately obvious reason? So why bother?

The most obvious reason of course is that you are involuntarily added to the ranks of the unemployed. Whether its your company moving in a new direction, downsizing, cutting it’s workforce, picking up and moving to another city or country where wages are lower, or you find yourself fired, you’re out of work. In any of these situations, you’re going to spend some time (short for some, longer for others) in a state of shock and denial. This stage is not the best time to be intelligently putting together your resume. You’re not going to produce your best.

You may also find that your old resume is locked securely in your desk drawers at work, and you no longer have access to it. All those dates, training courses you’ve taken, certificates you earned; oh how much easier it would be to recall them all if you could just browse your file where you kept that information. You may eventually get that information, but it means contacting the employer or HR, and you’re just too angry to do that with grace and class.

On the positive side, let’s assume you don’t lose your position. In fact, let’s go in the other direction and view you working with a proactive Supervisor who takes an active interest in their immediate employees. He or she comes to you and talks about wanting to help you grow and re-ignite that desire for self-improvement. You look at potential opportunities together and realize there are some positions in the organization that you hadn’t previously considered and now want to apply to. You’re going to need a decent resume and in short order. So much easier if the resume is fairly up to date to start with.

Now these are but two kinds of situations you might find yourself in. Others might be that while the organization as a whole is going to stay solvent, the department you are in is penciled in for dismantling. Move quickly and make a lateral move or risk being out on the street. What about a physical move to another city by your spouse requiring you too to journey to another location where you have to look for a new job? Yes, that too would be so much easier with a resume already relatively current.

But I suspect that you are still clinging to the notion that this is a good idea for others but not for you. I for one sincerely hope you don’t find yourself looking back and chastising yourself for not heeding such advice while you had the luxury of time.

While resume construction isn’t something that gets people all excited, it does make a lot of sense to do, even if just to remind you what you’ve done, achieved and the scope of the skills you’ve used and now possess. Do it well and you’ll look at yourself on that marketing document and feel pretty good about yourself. Let a co-worker seemingly see it by chance and you can have some fun with the rumour mills in your workplace too as they whisper to everyone that you must be moving on even if you’ve got no plans to do so!

Still, this advice is like telling someone to set aside a fund for their next car when they’ve only had the current car for six months. “Yes, good idea but I’ll worry about that in the future”. Let’s hope that car you’re driving now lasts and you do start that fund soon so you don’t find yourself having no money to put down on the next one because you never got around to it.

Remember you don’t have to do your resume in one shot. You can start with your contact information which only takes a few moments. You can gather all your certificates from the folder in your desk or look at the walls if you mounted them there and get the proper names of courses and the all important dates.

You could start with your current job description or get a current one from HR and then write down the things you’ve accomplished in your job or are in the process of accomplishing. What kind of impact are you having on the bottom line or the people you work for?

So my challenge is for you to take action now and start working on your CV or resume. Make a copy and take it home so it’s accessible no matter what. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities, news, forthcoming changes etc. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’re scrambling. Few people do their best work under such pressure!

 

 

 

 

 

The Secret Fax Machine Feature


Have a fax machine in your place of employment? Can you do anything other than fax documents with yours? Maybe your fortunate to have a large photocopier that has the capability to fax, scan, email, add digital signatures and re-size documents as well. Is that it? If that’s all your fax machine does, trade it in.

I have found a feature on the fax machine where I work that ironically is also available on the photocopier too. I’ve been using this secret and most amazing feature for years and figure it’s about time I share it with those of you who may have yet to discover it.

There’s a feature on all the technology equipment in my client-shared workspace and it’s the Empowerment and Conversation Starter feature. Now not everybody knows how to use these commands. So when someone says, “I need to fax something to my Caseworker”, some folks will just take the item from them and go fax it for them and be done with it. That’s fast, moves the client along, provides the quickest way to accomplish the intended action – and completely misses an opportunity to teach and share a skill, empower them with independence and start a conversation!

Now me, I’m different. (My co-workers say that all the time; “Kelly, you’re different!”) What I like to do is take them over to the fax machine, show them the instructions on how to fax which are right at eye level and simple to both read and follow. Then show them the fax cover sheets and have THEM fill it out. Then I show them the other sheet at eye level which has the fax numbers for the 4 offices where our Caseworkers work out of as the number they want is usually one of the 4.

At this point I ask them if this is their first time faxing. Then as they get ready to fax and go to hand things to me, I make no movement to take it from them and tell them I like to watch. So directing them again to the simple instructions, they cautiously start to do things themselves. Put the papers in the top of the machine face up, dial 9, then the area code and fax number, then press the start key. Then I usually say, “Tell me when you get to the hard part.” Almost without fail, they’ll say, “That’s it? That was easy.” And then I conclude by saying, “Congratulations, you are no longer a faxing virgin.”

I have yet to have a single person not smile and chuckle. But I’m not done. For the fax to go through to those busy offices, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to 10 minutes. While the client is standing there waiting, I move past this task-oriented conversation on how to fax, to the more meaningful relationship-building chat with this captive client.

“So are you in school or looking for work maybe?” Something like that to get the ball rolling. Depending on the answer, I might gleam a little about their career or job interests, problems, challenges, family life, criminal record or any number of things depending on how much they share. What we talk about isn’t as important as just talking.

I point out before they leave that not only have they themselves faxed their documents wherever they needed to go, but the next time they need this done, they’ll perhaps be able to do this themselves without needing help. That’s empowerment people. Now some of you might be thinking, “Big deal!”

Ah but you’d be surprised to look at things as they do. Some of the people I assist and serve have very little self-esteem, accomplish very little in their eyes and feel entirely dependent on others. They depend on social services for their rent and food money, bus fare or gas money, help with their bills, help with their childcare, resumes, job search skills, help with dealing with their stress, anger, self-esteem etc. So learning something they didn’t know previously and can now do on their own IS a big deal. It’s a start.

And not to sound overly dramatic, but I have also had more than 1 person say to me later, “You actually talked to me and didn’t want anything; I’m not used to that.” Isn’t that sad? The person is used to people only talking to them when other people want something from them and so for someone to just want to chat with them and take a genuine interest in what they are up to is remarkable.

Simple opportunities to engage and connect with people present themselves all the time if you have your eyes open to the possibilities and seize them. Showing people how to fax can be frustrating if you have to do it 15 times a day when the instructions are so clearly visible and simple. But to just sit at a desk, not move and say, “Help yourself, the instructions are on the wall over there”,  is an opportunity missed.

So do you have this secret feature on your fax machine, photocopiers, computer or even the simple telephone where your clients meet and mingle? Empowering clients, using some humour to lighten someone’s moment, taking an interest in the person standing before you, it’s pretty simple stuff. Maybe not remarkable, maybe just obvious and mundane.

On the other hand, maybe the first small step in starting something bigger.

 

 

 

 

Make Staying In Touch Your Responsibility


Just two weeks ago now, I wrapped up an intensive two weeks working with a group of unemployed people who were job searching. While 4 of the people in that group obtained employment, 6 are still looking.

One fellow in that group previously worked in the field of IT. He shared with me that he had battled some personal issues with depression and anxiety, requiring him to actually exit the workforce for just over a year and take care of his mental health. When like him, you open up and trust someone enough to share such private information, you do yourself a huge favour.

For starters, you openly acknowledge a setback, demonstrate trust in others, and because the language you use is past tense, you even help yourself by realizing you’ve moved forward from where you were. Movement you see, is critical to repairing self-esteem and ones confidence. Overcoming such an obstacle and personal barrier means you can similarly overcome other barriers too because you’ve already done it; and unemployment is a barrier to success.

So he spent two weeks applying for work with some professional guidance and ended up with a few interviews. As it turns out, those interviews were with people representing placement services, and in his mind they weren’t really equating the same as an interview directly with an employer. I’m happy to say that he recently achieved just such an interview.

The thing I want to point out because it’s significant is that this fellow is doing something which the others in the group who are still looking for work have not done to date and that is staying connected. He has sent me a few brief emails keeping me advised on the job search, success obtaining interviews etc.

In response to one such email, I replied with, “So how did the interview go?” Now how long do you think it took me to prepare and send that email to him? Not very long is it? Yet that brief email to him communicated more than the six words alone. It sent a message to him that I am interested in his job search, interested in his success; interested in him.

When you are looking for work it can indeed be isolating. I’d venture to say that almost all the people whom I’ve had in my employment workshops say that what they truly appreciated from the group experience was the support of others, the feeling of being included and valued. When a brief two weeks comes to an end the key for those still looking is to maintain momentum by continuing to use all those great ideas and tips they picked up but it can be very tempting to fall back into poor daily habits.

I received a reply to my email by the way. In his response he mentioned how things had gone in the interview, and how he found he wasn’t as anxious as he’d been previously. This was no Recruiter, but an actual employer. I smiled as I read that the person doing the interview had trouble maintaining eye contact and seemed more nervous than my job seeker.

I was so proud of him because he told me that he’d been asked what he knew of the company and he’d done his homework in advance like never before and was confident in his answer and thinks he really impressed the interviewer. Awesome! He was still therefore continuing with the discipline and putting into practice the concepts I’d shared and it was paying off. And then he thanked me for my ongoing support.

Did you catch that? He thanked me for my ongoing support. You see that means a lot to someone who has been struggling, gains some measure of inclusiveness and then is back on their own again looking for a job. It’s like that song, “Don’t forget me when I’m gone” by Glass Tiger. And I haven’t.

Some really solid advice for anyone working with a professional Job Coach or Employment Counsellor is to always take the initiative and responsibility to stay in touch. Let’s face it, most professionals these days come into contact with a huge number of people either on their caseload, or through their daily exposure to job seeking clients. The reality is that you’ve got 1 person to stay in contact with, while the professional might have 50, 75, 100 – maybe 170, with more added every day.

With those kinds of numbers, it isn’t that you’ve been forgotten, it’s that there isn’t sufficient time to take care of ones daily tasks and then think to phone or email all 170 or so people and say, “Thinking of you…what’s up? How can I help you out?” So if you crave that ongoing support, you’ve got to take the relationship on as your own to invest in and make it your goal to stay in touch.

If you are in need of ongoing support, (and not everyone wants this), drop in unannounced, make an appointment, place a phone call, send an email. Share what your successes and struggles are. Go so far as to ask not to be forgotten! Staying visible keeps you in their mind if opportunities arise that you might be perfect for.

One last idea is to drop a line when you do succeed and are working long after you’ve notified that person you found a job. Tell them how you are doing. That could be helpful down the road!