About Teri Hockett

CEO of What's For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

False Advertisements and Personal Branding


by Teri Hockett

Career Management Word Cloud

No one likes false advertisements; when we are promised something that does not measure up to its claims, or turns out to be something entirely different. When it comes to you, what does your personal brand say? Does it measure up to its perceived claims? Does it represent the message that best conveys who you are, your dreams, and your career aspirations?

Here are some things to consider from a career management perspective:

Resume
• Does your résumé give a true representation of the skills and experience that you bring to the table? Do you oversell accomplishments?
• Do you short sell your “Employed By Life” experience by not sharing the skills and experience you gained outside of the paid workforce?

Social Media Profile
• Do you share portions of your life, but forget to share information about your passions, volunteer work, career accomplishments, and goals?
• Do you leverage your social media activity to learn more about your desired career, company, and people that work in your field?
• How often, if ever, have you Googled yourself? Do the search results show the real you?

Network
• Is your network balanced between friends, family, schoolmates, colleagues, and associates that you are actively pursuing to further your career aspirations?
• Are you a member of groups in your target industry?
• Do you monitor and contribute to news in your target industry?
• Are you following experts in your desired field?

Blog
• Have you found a platform for your voice? A place where you can contribute original content, that can help circulate your name?
• Are you engaged in social networks in your field? Do you contribute meaningful comments, start conversations, and share valuable content to get noticed by hiring managers?

The bottom line is that you are in control of your personal brand; take time to review and monitor all aspects on an ongoing basis. Your social media presence should pitch who you are, what you want others to know about you, and what you can do to help your target audience solve their problems. Are you doing what it takes to market yourself?

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. http://www.whatsforwork.com

Our Mission: Provide a community that encourages members, employers and providers to work together; to inspire and help each other grow.

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Transitioning from Career to Stay-at-Home Mom


by Teri Hockett

Whew! Moms who stay at home… what a big decision you made, and I know it was not easy. There are many considerations when you are weighing the options of stepping out of the paid workforce; financial, emotional, and career to say the least. For me, the overriding issue was guilt!

I was struggling with all the guilt that comes with being a working mom. When I was at work I was feeling guilty about not being home with my children; when I was at home I was feeling guilty about not getting my work done, or letting my colleagues and boss down.

It seemed like my mind was never in the same place as my body. Instead of being able to really enjoy each moment, all I could focus on was what wasn’t getting done.

When the opportunity presented itself after the birth of my second child I jumped on it. My husband and I worked out the details and I was no longer working for pay. I had great plans in addition to being a full-time mom. I was going to organize the family photos, make play dates for the girls, have a regular workout schedule, coffee with friends, and keep the house clean.

Years later those pictures are still not organized, but I did relish every moment with my girls. We have many wonderful memories. I loved being able to walk them to and from school, and be there for homework with homemade cookies; it was picture-perfect.

After about ten years in this ideal situation I was ready to go back to work part-time. Now came the difficult part, trying to reconstruct my previous work life. Having gone thru the process, I discovered some things below that would of been good to know back then.

4 Tips Before and During the Transition

1. Take a Snap Shot

Write and/or update your resume as soon as you make the transition, while all the information is readily available. While things are fresh in your mind you want to think about your Problem Solution Results (PSRs); what were the problems that you were presented with at work, what solutions did you implement, and what were the results of your actions. It’s also ideal to capture your Statistical Measurable Results (SMRs) for each position that you have held.

2. Stay Connected

Stay in contact with colleagues, regardless if you’re working with them or not. Make sure to attend business seminars and conferences to stay current in your field/industry. Consider continuing your education as well.

3. Keep your Certifications

Find out what it takes to keep any certifications or licenses you currently hold. It will be easier to keep your certifications valid, compared to reinstating them. Plus, you will keep your knowledge current.

4. Capture Valuable Information

As a stay-at-home mom you will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in a variety of activities. Such as:

  • Caring for an ill family member or aging parent.
  • Managing a home remodeling project.
  • Raising your children and running a household.
  • Volunteering: PTA, Cub Scout Leader, charities.

It’s all valuable information about you. You control whether or not this information appears on your resume. However the skills and experiences during your time off say something about you and help when you are ready to re-enter the workforce. Begin by creating a list of what you have done and the skills you have used, such as:

  • Organized information
  • Mentored or managed others
  • Oversaw a budget
  • Contracted with other companies

Think about how often you handled these activities and the value they contribute. You are now in possession of job-worthy skills that can be successfully translated into a new job opportunity. Throughout this process, update your resume. Whether or not you will ever return to the paid workforce is typically your decision (other times it is dictated by circumstances), but wouldn’t it be great if you were prepared.

What’s For Work? is here to help you prepare, by providing you a place to document your past work experience and capture what you are currently doing while it’s still fresh in your mind. Let us help you translate the value of your skills and experience to your profile and resume, so you’ll be ready down the road.

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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Employed by Life


By Teri Hockett

Employed by Life

Source: tasithoughts.files.wordpress.com

There is a lot of information out there about how to disguise a gap in your work history, as though it is something negative to be hidden from the hiring manager. It is time to change our thinking and really shine a light on the value that a person Employed by Life brings to the work force.

Gaps Happen

Gaps in work history happen for all kinds of reasons, whether forced or planned. Instead of fudging the dates to close the gap in time, use it as an opportunity to list skills that you have accumulated during this transition time, then highlight your accomplishments and skills gained. We firmly believe that every experience can be applied to the corporate world.

A person that has spent any amount of time without paid employment typically did not just sit around waiting for the next job to knock on their door. Whether or not their time off was voluntarily, they gained many valuable skills. Combine those skills with a renewed zest for rejoining the workforce and they quite possibly will become the most treasured employee.

Examples of Employed by Life Experiences

Family

Source: hsc.unt.edu

Raising children is the ultimate job – you making an impact on the next generation. It takes a 24/7 commitment, and all the training is on-the-job.  No two days are ever the same. Talk about being able to multitask under pressure!

Keeping the attention of a group of 3 year olds for any length of time is like herding ducks. This person must be engaging, the ultimate in multitasking, while giving a presentation and not losing those that are paying attention. They must be constantly on the lookout for those charges that are becoming disinterested or distractedly wandering off. We want that person’s intuitive abilities in my company. They can think on their feet, discern when a client’s interest flags or when that client is ripe for the close.

Caring for an aging or seriously ill family member requires another set of underrated skills. Researching the illness, the treatments, the care requirements, organizing medications, patient needs, and nutrition are just a few of the critical tasks. The compassion and commitment that it takes is something that you simply cannot teach a person, and is a beautiful thing when you encounter it. Typically this person is proactive, organized, and fiscally responsible, they tend to enjoy life, and above all they are tenacious (have you ever had to deal with insurance companies to get tests approved or medications covered?).

During your time off did you take on any special projects, manage a household, oversee a home remodel, or even plant a garden? All of these activities say something about you and help contribute to why you are ready to re-enter the workforce now.

 

3 Steps to Translate Employed by Life Experiences into Job Market Skills

Step 1. Be honest… don’t hide the reality.

There is a tendency to be vague or leave out the details of what really took place while you were away from the job market. Give this period of time-off a name, such as: family management, sabbatical, or leave of absence. The state of the economy during the last four years has resulted in historically high unemployment rates. Subsequently, employers are more understanding about gaps in employment, but they will never appreciate dishonesty or excuses. Employers are far more interested in what you did during the gap, not why the gap exists.

Step 2. Make a comprehensive list of all your accomplishments.

Take the time to carefully consider everything you did during your time away from paid employment. Discuss your ideas with a spouse or friend; they may identify skills or achievements that you may have otherwise overlooked. Chances are you will discover that you have been one very busy person!

Make a list of all that you have done, for example:

  • Cared for an ill family member or aging parent
  • Managed a home remodeling project
  • Raised your children and ran a household
  • Volunteered: scout leader, PTA position, charities

Step 3. List your skills, expertise, and abilities

Now create an all-inclusive list of all the skills, expertise, and abilities needed or acquired during each event list above, such as:

  • Organized information
  • Managed others
  • Oversaw a budget
  • Contracted with other companies
  • Negotiated with insurance providers

In summary, you have just identified valuable skills that can now be translated to the job market. By listing each activity, how it was performed and the value that it represents as job worthy skills.

I challenge you to be bold enough to list Employed by Life under “Work Experience” on your resume. It is time we embrace our valuable roles in life and acknowledge that they shape who we are today: capable, multidimensional, experienced individuals!

About the Author

Teri Hockett

Teri Hockett is the CEO of What’s For Work? The Premier Career Site for Women.

About What’s For Work?

The Premier Career Site for Women. Real People. Real Connections. Real Support. — with everything in one place! http://www.whatsforwork.com/

Mission: To redefine how employers acquire talent and women find and preserve their dream jobs using innovative technologies.

Company Overview: What’s For Work? helps women take control of their careers by providing a rich set of tools that develop their knowledge, skills and confidence they need to land and preserve their dream jobs.
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