Get Your Group On

The article is titled “How to Find a Job on LinkedIn.”  Yeah, right.  It’s from Freelancer Community, the Australian gig posting site.

Who finds jobs through LinkedIn?  I’ve had scores of people look at my LinkedIn page, but never landed a job from it.  Still, the article had some excellent tips that I want to share with you now.

Tip #1: Box Yourself Up

Good advice.  Managers see a lot of resumes.  And your resume should read easily, like a package description, something you might find on Metropolitan Museum of Art insert on an ivory miniature relief of the nativity scene you just bought.  It should be sold and to the point.  Don’t write a resume like a journalist.  Be concise, yes; be comprehensive, of course.  Just don’t be wordy.  Think product description. You can fill out the details in an interview.

You might have a list of skills that run off the page, but if an employer reads your profile and can’t tell what you actually want to do, they’re not going to get in touch.

So hit them up front. Leave no doubt as to what kind of job you’re looking for.

We’ve all read the buzzwords. ‘Multi-skilled problem solver.’ ‘Good leadership qualities; excellent time management.’ ‘Works well alone, or as part of a team.’

…???

These generic terms say nothing about what you want, or what you’re actually qualified for. Be specific. Put yourself in a box for a while – you can always break out of it later.

Here’s an example of what I mean.  The product below is titled The Medici Walking Horse Sculpture by Giambologna.

medici Walking Horse Sculpture 06060503_01_l

Now read the description:

The Museum’s sculpture is based on a model by Giovanni Bologna, called Giambologna (Netherlandish, ca. 1529–1608) that was probably cast in the workshop of sculptor Giovanni Francesco Susini (Italian, ca. 1575–1653). Giambologna’s models were created for the equestrian statue of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, which was finished in 1594.

Produced in cooperation with the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein.

Obviously you’re not a museum piece, but you want your resume package to read like it is something to be coveted.

Tip #2: Be on the Market

Add words to your LinkedIn headline to let recruiters know you’re available right now. ‘Seeking new challenge’, or the acronym ISO (In Search Of) are indicators that either you’re currently not working, or you’re actively looking to change your current situation.

This is good advice.

Tip #3:  Do Not Be Camera Shy

Easier said that done.  But do you must.

LinkedIn provides space for a profile photo. Use it! It gives you the chance to show yourself as you want to be seen – and showing potential employers your face forms a connection in the way a blank space does not. It doesn’t have to be a professional picture, but it should show you in a good light.

Leaving the space blank is the worst decision. It implies a lack of care, laziness, or a person too timid to present themselves to the world. None of these create a good impression.

Keep reading . . . 

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The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy is freelancing.  What this means is fewer long-term packages offered by big business or corporations.  It’s the doing away with pensions.  Forbes explains:

One motivator for those looking to earn more through freelancing is the decline of pension programs, according to LinkedIn. The number of workers enrolled in pension plans at private U.S. firms has fallen from 60% in 1982 to only 14% today. That means less retirement savings and more long-term financial insecurity.

When you think of a gig economy, think of a single project or task for which a worker is contracted with start dates and deadlines.  We might more easily picture this happening in the tech industry, but it happens elsewhere as well.

In watching its members over the past five years, LinkedIn has seen a 100% increase in the number of gainfully employed people who add freelance work to their profiles. Says Walker: “This is a way for (professionals) to take matters into their own hands and proactively have more control over their professional lives.”

Some gigs are a type of short-term.  Think Freelancer.com gigs.

Lifehack offers a guide for making money online.  How much of this is doable versus how much of this is just novelty?

The gig economy makes up for only about 7%

The data BLS has for these types of workers are about a decade old. In 2005, contingent workers accounted for roughly 2 to 4 percent of all workers. About 7 percent of workers were independent contractors, the most common alternative employment arrangement, in that year. BLS plans to collect these data again in May 2017.

This article says that the gig economy will double in four years.  What, from 7% of the economic output to 14%?  Really?

JOBS IN A GIG ECONOMY

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) covers about 83 percent of the jobs in the U.S. economy. Its 329 detailed profiles of occupations are sorted by group. This section highlights some of those groups in which gig work may be increasingly relevant, giving examples of occupations in each.

Arts and design. Many occupations in this group, including musiciansgraphic designers, and craft and fine artists, offer specific one-time services or customized products, which makes them good candidates for gig work.

Computer and information technology. Web developerssoftware developers, and computer programmers are among the occupations in this group in which workers might be hired to complete a single job, such as to create a small-business website or a new type of software.

Construction and extraction. Carpenterspainters, and other construction workers frequently take on individual projects of short duration, a hallmark of gig jobs.

Media and communications. The services of technical writersinterpreters and translatorsphotographers, and others in this group are often project-based and easy to deliver electronically, fueling a market for gig workers.

Transportation and material moving. Ridesharing apps have helped to create opportunities for workers who provide transportation to passengers as needed, and on-demand shopping services have led to gig jobs for delivery drivers.

Here is the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  Use it voraciously.

Be Skilled But Be Liked

Don’t be so arrogant about your ability, skills, background and education that it makes you unpleasant to be around.  After all, all of that stuff means more to you than it does or than it could to anyone else.  So try not to go around prancing or someone will try to knock you off your horse.  This is universal.  You will confront this everywhere.  Envy is man’s default position.  So be wary of it and learn how to negotiate it with others.  Find a way to be pleasant, to be fun, funny, and interesting. This may be more important than the very skills for which you were hired.

Don’t believe me?  Read here:

companies work most efficiently when its employee base is happy. Have you ever heard the term demoralized? And how does that happen?

It happens when employees poison the well. What this means is an employee, or group of employees, sways attitudes, on any variety of topics. This decreases productivity company wide when it gets bad enough, and then fires need to be put out.

Remember this–

If you have to choose between selling yourself out and taking a very controversial side, sell the [. . .] out of your soul. There’s no salvation in “being your own man” when you already work for the man. You are a cog, you already sold your soul. The best you can get from this is the ability to work with company mechanics that far exceed what you could likely ever do on your own.

“Get the job. Look around for opportunity. Identify the opportunity. Exploit it. Work it. Get good at it.”

h/t Entrepreneur

Seek opportunity, not your passions.

A degree does not mean you’re going to find your dream job, Rowe explains.  “Dream jobs are usually just that–dreams. Their imaginary existence just might keep you from exploring careers that offer a legitimate chance to perform meaningful work and develop a genuine passion for the job you already have.  Your happiness on the job has very little to do with the work itself.”  With what, then?

Get a job.  Look around to see what other people are doing.  Get good at your work and prosper.  Get passionate about winning. Septic tank expert learned that he was passionate about other people’s crap.”  Meaning someone else is setting the mark or parameters for what’s valuable to you.  That’s something that you’ve got to find. English, history, math, and science teachers will tell you how important and valuable their subject is.  It is valuable.  To them!  And since you’re learning of its value from them while sitting captive inside a tax-funded classroom, they might be able to persuade a percentage of kids minimally by attrition.  They will wear you down, particularly if you’re in the system for 12 years.  So there’s that.

Polite society calls professional jobs “good careers.”  Maybe they are.  Try one on for size.  Try serving the public, every one of them.  Employers are struggling to fill 5.8 million jobs that no one is trained to do.

Skills gap: when people follow their passions, they miss out on kinds of opportunities they didn’t even know existed.  So they never take the time to learn the skill.  They only invest time in chasing down their passions.

Can still be a tradesman but only if you get yourself a different kind of toolbox.

“Staying the course” only makes sense if you’re headed in a sensible direction.   And while passion is way too important to be without, it is way too fickle to follow around.  Never follow your passion but always bring it with you.

In general, Rowe’s advice is quite good.  It is sobering.  It would be rare to hear this pragmatism from a tax-funded, high-school teacher.  But Wall Street Journal writer, Dr. Peter Cappelli, points out a few other reasons why kids are opting for those “good jobs.” He argues that “Some of the complaints about skill shortages boil down to the fact that employers can’t get candidates to accept jobs at the wages offered.”  Perhaps.  Employers should treat each hire as an investment with a measurable plan of increase wages and responsibility.  But they don’t.  They don’t want to talk about future responsibility or performance in an interview of positions currently held by tenured employees.

Here is a list of difficult-to-fill jobs for 2016.  How many of these are manual labor jobs? Not many.  Which makes Mike Rowe look like an oracle for the working man.

Essentially, it looks like healthcare, education, and technology is where job shortages are. Then fill them.  Want to be a writer?  Fine, just be a healthcare writer or tech writer and so forth.

A decent graphic on where the job shortages are.

Skilled Jobs Are Available Everywhere & They Pay Well

Mike Rowe does a nice job of contrasting skills with schooling. Unfortunately, the skills you learn in school are, what’s the word, academic and not lucrative.

Kids are taught that manual-skilled jobs are not good jobs.  Talk about a disservice the schools are doing to kids.  With the help of guidance counselors, parents, etc., “We almost indoctrinate them to avoid a whole category of perfectly legitimate occupations.”

Want a Great Networking Strategy? Try Conferences

from Gary North’s, May 08, 2017, article titled “A Not-So-Obvious Strategy for a Career Change.”

This was posted a few days ago .

Coincidentally, after a few years I realized that I have the necessary experience to get into medical sales. I have registered to go to a convention next month and will do this very thing before biting the bullet and getting involved in medical sales. There are always going to be cons to each industry, but it’s better to know what you’re getting into than to not know at all.

A few days later, he posted again.

As I mentioned, I went to a medical device conference. It was definitely well worth the trip. Everyone there was friendly and couldn’t believe that a guy from another industry spent his own money to fly out and network for a job. They answered any questions I had and were all willing to point me in the right direction. I actually got some emails on LinkedIn recommending me to talk to people that might be interested in using my experience dealing with Japan and Asia to help sell their devices. Since I wasn’t in the industry, I was also able to negotiate a discount for the convention fee itself with the host.

Other than the actual effort of showing up and taking time off work, it wasn’t difficult to meet people at all. Not only was this more effective than just sending out resumes, but no one there even asked about my resume. One person said to send them a 5 sentence paragraph on LinkedIn (essentially an elevator pitch of who I am and what I’m looking for) and they will see if they know anyone that can help. I was also pointed to the larger conventions in this field and what cities in the US are key in this field.

Another interesting note is that the host of the conference emphasized that people need to be blogging about the industry. This validates Dr. North’s advice about having a blog for your field. There were a few people there that had a company business card and their own personal blog business card. Youtube channels were also emphasized.

The discussion is here.

This is a very good strategy. First, it lets you get a sense of what is required in the industry. Obviously, at a convention, everybody puts his best foot forward. Or, to switch metaphors, all the pigs are wearing lipstick. But if you get the sense that you really would not want to be in the industry after going to a convention, you probably should not be in that industry. Reality is going to be worse than it appears at a convention. At a convention, everybody is either trying to sell you something or sell himself.

Second, it is a form of networking. You pick up business cards; you hand out business cards. I think it is interesting that what he did was considered unique by people who were attending the convention. Here was an outsider coming to a convention to do networking. Yet, from the point of view of information gathering, this ought to be an obvious strategy. But it isn’t. Here is one more case of what seems to be obvious to members of this website turns out not to be obvious to anybody else.

Third, you get some sense of what the competition is going to be. People who attend the convention are probably in the top 20% of the people in the industry. They have spent money to attend. They have allocated time to attend. They probably will pick up brochures that will help them, and it is at least conceivable that they’ll come away with three or four ideas from the lectures. Any time you can come away with three or four ideas from anything, it’s worth your while. Getting good ideas dropped in your lap is not a normal experience.

Fourth, you should take some kind of action within 72 hours after you get home. If you wait longer than this, the opportunities will still be there, but your willingness to follow through is not. You have to discipline yourself to take some kind of action. It may simply be contacting somebody. It may be writing for more information. But you should do something.

Fifth, you really do need a website, and a YouTube channel would not hurt. But the website is more important. The website should have videos that are embedded from the YouTube channel. A website is more comprehensive than a YouTube channel. There are things that you can do with a website that you cannot do with the video. There is nothing that you can do with a video that you cannot do with a website.

Sixth, if you are looking for a job in a new industry, and you don’t want an entry-level job, you need to create a website related to the industry you want to get into. Initially, you should not voice any opinions. You should use the site as a clearinghouse of information: summaries with links to articles. This site will persuade a potential employer that you know more than you really do. The very fact that you have a website that serves as a clearinghouse of information indicates that you are on top of things. You may not be on top of things, but the website testifies otherwise. It’s not exactly false advertising. It is lipstick on the pig. Oink, oink.

The above article originally appeared at GaryNorth.com, reprinted here with expressed written permission from Gary North.

UPDATE: Google conferences in your area.  Start with general search, then narrow it down to entrepreneur or tech conferences, or medical or teaching conferences.  You will definitely find something you like.  The conferences are not free, and some are outright outrageously priced.  But no matter.  You go to a conference to network.  Even networking is not free.

What Does That Job Pay?

One of the challenges to finding the right job at Craigslist is the fact that the posters very rarely post the wage for a position, unless it is a customer service or driving position that might pay $12 to $13 an hour.  But if it is a sales position or a tech position, the usual refrain is “EARN $50k to $240k.”  That’s so large of a range that it is nearly meaningless. This means that you’re going to have take your salary negotiating skills to a whole new level while you’re in the middle of a job interview.  But there are places where you can find what certain jobs pay.  Business Insider has done some of the work for you.  See it below. Also, when you search for salaries or top paying jobs, be sure to specify your industry, like “top paying jobs tech industry” or “top paying jobs IT Manager.”

Glassdoor just released its list of the 25 best-paying jobs in the US for 2016, and, as usual, tech jobs dominated the list.

Glassdoor sifted through the salaries reported by employees who have these jobs, limiting its search to salary reports from the past year, to come up with median salaries.

The website also looked at the demand for these jobs, based on the current number of job openings on its site.

No. 11: Information Systems Manager, $106,000

Median base salary: $106,000

Number of job openings: 147

An information systems manager is an IT job for a corporation, a person who is responsible for various tech and tech projects used within a business.

No. 10: Analytics Manager, $106,000

Median base salary: $106,000

Number of job openings: 988

It is the analytics manager’s job to gather the data that business leaders use to make business decisions, and it runs the gamut from choosing and managing big data/analytics systems to finding the important insights to share.

No. 9: Product Manager, $107,000

Median base salary: $107,000

Number of job openings: 7,758

A product manager guides a team responsible for producing a product for the company. Tech companies frequently structure themselves with product managers who act as liaisons, translating what the business wants from its new tech products into instructions for engineers.

No. 8: Data Architect, $113,000

Median base salary: $113,000

Number of job openings: 762

A data architect is a role that once belonged in the world of databases but has grown because of the big-data craze. Data architects design data-management systems, looking through all of a company’s potential data sources from inside the company and other sources and then figuring out how to gather, store, manage, and update.

No. 7: Data Scientist, $115,000

Median base salary: $115,000

Number of job openings: 1,985

The data scientist has become a super-hot job as companies look to store more data and use it for more insights. The data scientist’s job is to run the systems used to store data and to find those insights in massive amounts of data.

No. 6: Systems Architect, $116,920

Median base salary: $116,920

Number of job openings: 439

A systems architect designs complex IT systems for companies, which may include rolling out a new huge software system including the new computers and networks needed for it to perform well.

No. 5: Applications Development Manager, $120,000

Median base salary: $120,000

Number of job openings: 263

An applications development manager supervises a team of application developers who may be writing software for PCs, enterprises, or the web.

No. 4: Solutions Architect, $120,000

Median base salary: $120,000

Number of job openings: 2,838

A solutions architect is a role that is often at the consulting arm of a software provider or IT company. This person helps design the IT systems that meet the customer’s need.

No. 3: IT Manager, $120,000

Dan Frommer, Business Insider

Median base salary: $120,000

Number of job openings: 3,152

An IT manager is responsible for the technology used by companies such as their PCs, servers, and the software the company buys.

No. 2: Software Architect, $128,250

Median base salary: $128,250

Number of job openings: 655

A software architect designs complex computer software.

No. 1: Software Development Manager, $132,000

Median base salary: $132,000

Number of job openings: 3,495

A software development manager manages a software project from the design phase through completion.