BlogTalk Radio with Jason Alba re: Lessons from the National Interview

Great experience today – my first as a guest on BlogTalk Radio!  I was honored to join a few other JibberJobber Partners who have talked with Jason about issues of importance in the Web 2.0 world of career transition and job search.

We talked about McCain and why he appears to be losing the job to Obama, despite his "hard copy" credentials and experience.  The conclusion appears to be that McCain has not responded well to the behavioral question of the day – the economic crisis. 

  • Obama has been able to convince the interviewers, a.k.a. voters, that he "feels their pain" and has practiced the time-honored strategy of listening with 2 ears and talking with 1 mouth. He has learned from the interviewing process and has offered need-based plans that appeal to voters whose issues are health care, education, foreign policy and war, and of course, the economy.
  • McCain and Palin talk a lot about themselves – a commentator on NPR suggested that McCain is asking the voters to reward him for his military and government service – he is not offering success stories via examples or testimonials that speak directly to the concerns of voters.  Indeed, one commentator observed that he appears to be a veteran of WWII, rather than a Vietnam War-era veteran; perhaps his POW experience shielded him from the cultural shift that affected his chronological peers.  His problem is not his chronological age, but the perception that he
    lives in the past and is not equipped to lead in the future.

The lesson for job seekers and career changers is to identify the needs of prospective employers; identify and emphasize transferable skills and personal qualities that are prized by this organization; and offer your brand and mini-business plan in a WIIFTm (What's In It For Them) context. 

The Recruiting Animal joined the conversation and added value by sharing his perspective as a Recruiter and a Canadian.  We discussed the impact of age, race, personality, and blogging in the interviewing space.  Listen to the recording and offer comments to keep this topical discussion alive:  <http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jibberjobber>

Outside the Generational Box – Strategies for Transition

In my head, I’ve been re-playing our Mind the Gap:Connecting the Generations presentation in Minneapolis; let’s continue the conversation about the 4 generations in the workforce. I’d like to propose a new approach to career transition, one that promotes strategies to understand and transcend generation, and accepts challenges toward achievement of career success in this multi-generational workplace. 

The first strategy:  A-b-CAccept but Challenge

  • Accept differences – We cannot adopt homogeneous personal qualities or value propositions. It is important to identify and fine-tune the presentation of our brand or unique selling point in conversation, via resume, online, etc.  Accepting differences was one of the contributions of Generation X, e.g. those who now fall roughly between the ages of 30-45. Remember the rock musical, Hair, the first Broadway show that celebrated different thinking about politics, sexuality, and race?
  • but – As interpersonally aware people, we prefer to use the connecting word, "and." I submit that the word "but" allows all those involved in career transition to engage in a process that may include discomfort and chaos, hopefully leading to equilibrium.  (More on this adaptation of Chaos Theory in another post…)
  • Challenge – This is our raison d’etre: the challenge to "be all that we can be" is what makes life exciting.  To achieve our work/life goals and succeed in a work environment in which 4+ generations work side-by-side, we must challenge ourselves to transcend the limitations of our own generational box.  Ellen Sautter, whom I met at the Career Management Alliance Conference, suggested that she is the embodiment of the trans-generation: she is a Traditionalist by birth, who recently co-authored a book that is likely to appeal to all generations, Seven Days to Online Networking.

We can Accept differences and search for commonalities, but we must poke ourselves, our clients, and our colleagues to accept the Challenge of a trans-generational workforce – one that takes a "so what" approach to the issue of age. 

So with AbC in mind, here’s a challenge for you to chew on; your comments are encouraged:
Golfsociety
 

How should we distinguish between personal and professional
networking? Is online networking similar to meeting associates and
friends at the 9th Hole? Are these online networking tools superficial
and self-promotional?

  • Is LinkedIn an electronic Roladex? Can it promote real relationships?
  • Is posting to Facebook
    superficial or does it promote connectedness? Should "friends" be
    expected to cleanse their page for evaluation by employers?

Please respond to this blog, or directly to my e-mail address:  Karen@CareerAcceleration.net

Is it necessary to run a campaign to achieve career change?

My two favorite indoor "sports" are careers and politics; a recent book written by Chris Matthews makes some interesting observations about the intersection of these endeavors. Campaign_2

Life’s A Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation, and Success is the latest book written by this journalist and TV pundit;  it is already 2 days overdue at the library, so I need to share some thoughts with you now…

Matthews, (who later pledges to work on his listening skills!), suggests that:

    "The whole trick of life is therefore to (a) find people who like you on first meeting, (b) put effort into winning over those people you can, and (c) recognize those whom, to use Donald Trump’s phrase, you need to ‘work around.’  This is what politicians call campaigning.  It’s something you’ll find you have to do in life even if you never run in a single election."

What about it – do successful candidates employ similar strategies when seeking career change or transition?  Are we correct to refer to the job search process as a campaign? 

  • Clearly, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are candidates for the same job?  Have you ever competed with a "friendly foe" for the same job?  What happened to the relationship after the position was filled?  While it is not likely that the outcome of such a contest will result in a "win-win," must the outcome produce a winner and a loser?
  • How are the voters and/or the press doing in fulfilling the role of "hiring managers?"
  • What role will the Super Delegates play?  Are they the Senior Management team or CEO?

What can career changers and job seekers learn from the experience of these political candidates?

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