Monday, February 7, 2011

Samurai Success Blog: Secrets Revealed!

So this marks the first official blog post from Success Samurai featuring me - the office director. One intrigued student reader Rin commented when we first announced the blog feature that "the name, while clever, does nothing to communicate the purpose of the blog" Rin is correct so I should explain...

First, many things Japanese intrigue me personally - I've been to Japan four times and each time has been a discovery of some new idea, an expression of art or philosophy or history which opens up new possibilities and understandings. How does this relate to finding a job you might rightly ask? It does, I can assure you, relate not only to that but also to much more. What I've learned over the long course of my own career is that your focus should always be on achieving not "a job" but on career success, of which the many jobs you're likely to hold are just a partial reflection.

In order to find a job AND achieve career success you must have the discipline, focus, and commitment of the traditional Japanese samurai - hence the blog name: Success Samurai.

Enough philosophy for this first posting - you'll read it again from time to time! On to other things.

I did an interview this afternoon with a writer from the local newspaper the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. During the interview she asked what are the three most important things a job seeker should do in today's job market. Let me share with you my answers... (by the way knowing newspaper reporters and their editors, you'll never see this in the D&C the way I'm now presenting it to you!)

First: develop a plan. A surprising number of job seekers have not thought about their plan - What do you want to do? In what kind of organization do you want to do it? Where do you want to do it? Do your "selling documents" (i.e. resume; portfolio; recommendations; cover letters, etc) leverage your strengths and position you as best as possible? What specific steps should you be taking? Career plans are highly individualized and if you don't have one come into our office and let us help you to develop a plan right for you.

Second: commit time to the job search. I'm sure my readers are wonderful people and your families would be happy to tell me precisely how wonderful you are but in today's labor market jobs are not going to come find you. Set aside some time every day, every week, every month to dedicate to the activities your career plan demands for success.

Lastly: Networking through social media has NEVER been more important. Yes, yes I know - "Facebook is for my friends" and "I don't want to mess around in my personal space" but the reality is that ALL social media sites provide amazing networking opportunities which WILL contribute to your career success. In upcoming posts I'll talk more about this but in the meantime just do one thing - if you don't have a profile in LinkedIn, create one. Very soon it may be one of the most important tools you will ever use in your job search. More later!

Your comments and questions are always welcome!



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  2. I have read your blog. You have discussed the basic points very clearly. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up..