LinkedIn and Facebook: What’s the difference?

Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Search Networking, Social Networking | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on LinkedIn and Facebook: What’s the difference?

This afternoon I spent 2 hours working side by side with one of my apprentice coaches and my intern showing them how to build a ‘pimped out’ professional LinkedIn profile. To change things up, we headed to Starbucks rather than working at the office. While we were working, a gentleman (Ben) leaned over and asked “Are you guys ghostwriters?” I smiled and said, “Only for LinkedIn and resumes.” He then asked for a card; he had just finished an interview.

LinkedIn’s Not For Me
Since we’d just stepped next door from the office, I grabbed my laptop and phone but not my cards (bad, bad idea). To make sure he had our information, I asked Irvine to email him. When she sent it to him, he commented “Oh great, I could use your help. I need a new job although I don’t think LinkedIn is for me; Facebook is the same anyway.” To which she said, “LinkedIn is more of a professional networking site whereas Facebook is for family and friends.”

I was busy working with Barb and only found out about the exchanged third hand at the end of our meeting later (when I was so proud I gleamed with joy). Irvine was spot on in her assessment. Many professionals I meet, speak with and coach respond to the idea of networking and connecting on LinkedIn with “it’s not for me” or “my company doesn’t really use LinkedIn” or “LinkedIn isn’t used in my industry/profession.” If I only had a dollar for every time I heard that I’d be…well, far better off financially than I am now.

Consider these facts: 100MM+ professional, registered users including executives from every Fortune 500 company. 200 countries. 50% users are U.S.-based; 50% users international. The only social network to go public. If you, your industry or your company isn’t using it – who are all those people on there? And for goodness sake, why would you NOT want to connect with them?

Facebook – What it is and is Not
When Irvine said to Ben that Facebook is great for family and friends she was absolutely right. It’s a perfect place to connect with old friends from elementary school, new friends from your neighborhood, family members in other cities, states, countries, etc. Using Facebook as a job search utility is also a good option, when done within a strategic and savvy search model. Given that Facebook changes it’s privacy settings often, and sometimes without notifying it’s user base, and that often times you’re friends with colleagues, this social network is best used as a friends and family connection base. Your pictures and posts are more personal on Facebook and they may not be something you want a potential employer, hiring manager or colleague to see.

The Difference: Professional and Personal
The main difference between LinkedIn and Facebook is why you use them and who you connect with on each network. LinkedIn=professional networking to connect with colleagues and professionals. Facebook=socializing and connecting with friends and family. Confusion creeps it’s head when they crossover and thanks to networking, employee referrals and the power of word of mouth, Facebook has become a great engine for penetrating people’s personal social circles both for companies, hiring managers and recruiters. That’s okay if you allow it and want it. To dismiss LinkedIn is to toss out 100MM potential career contacts that can lead to a new opportunity; that makes much less sense.

My Apology, Promise and Gratitude for You

Posted: October 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on My Apology, Promise and Gratitude for You

In the spirit of open communication and maintaining the most positive relationship with each you, I am going to share something very personal with you on today’s blog. Five years ago, after a long struggle, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I live each day as a healthy person, because I am, with the awareness that someday this little bugger may rear it’s ugly little head and ‘bother’ me. This past month or so, it has done more than rear it’s head – it’s downright poked it’s head up and demanded my attention.

I spent the past 7 days in the hospital hooked up to two IVs dripping fluids and medication while kind natured technicians took new blood samples nearly every 4 hours. Before I could do too much guessing I knew why they were taking so many blood samples.  While in the hospital, they diagnosed a second autoimmune disease based in one of my organs and, the day after my release (yesterday), I was given results that there’s a strong possibility I have a third autoimmune disease as well. Apparently when I do something, I like to Go Big or Go Home! Who even knew that one person could have a trifecta of autoimmune diseases?

Through all of this, I was blessed to be in the hands of talented physicians and caring, good humored nurses at Northwestern – thank you.

If you didn’t notice I was away, it’s because I have the most amazing assistant and client relations coordinator, Irvine, on the planet. She that has been coordinating the daily needs of the company and clients, going above and beyond (thank you). However, it’s my role to lead this business to success regardless of a single autoimmune disease or a trifecta of them.

My Apology to you
I am sorry for letting you down as a service provider, a coach, a business owner and a colleague. My role as C.E.O. demands that I be prepared for times when I am absent so that your needs are properly addressed. My role as a coach is to set an example, I have failed to do that for you, and I am sorry. I ask for you to accept my apology.

My Commitment to You
I am committed to getting back to greatness and delivering the high quality service that is synonymous with adrianallames career services. I am committed to knowing, and respecting, my boundaries. I am committed to creating products and services that we can deliver on for you, our clients, 100% of the time – regardless of my health. I am committed to being healthy, trifecta or not.

My Gratitude for You
Thank you for being my clients, colleagues, friends, fans and supporters. it takes a great deal to build a business over the years and sustain it day to day, week to week, month to month. Your ongoing support and business is greatly appreciated.

Employee Turned Entrepreneur: Thinking of Taking the Plunge?

Posted: October 11th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Employee Turned Entrepreneur: Thinking of Taking the Plunge?

As an employee turned entrepreneur myself, this is a plunge I have taken and coach clients on from a career, business, and personal level. With nearly 30MM job seekers, including 14MM unemployed, and a job search process that takes over 211 days to land a new job, it’s no wonder many professionals are wondering if now is the time to take the plunge and open their own small business. If you are among the millions of Americans considering going this route, take the time to think through it thoroughly.

Finding funding
Quite a few small business owners starting their first entrepreneurial venture start with the “friends and family” funding option. With The Great Recession’s impact, many friends and family have likely had their stable careers, income, and savings accounts impacted negatively requiring an alternative funding source. Up next, credit cards and banks. Credit cards are a scary option as the interest rates are high and you’ll likely need to get them in your personal name since the business has no established credit or history. That leaves banks, still are an option for those with very good credit. Contact your local SCORE office for help with small business and minority, and women-owned business loans.

Saving for success
We all love our own ideas and think our business will be the best one yet, or we sure wouldn’t be invested the time, energy and effort – much less money- into it. To prepare that you and your family are set up for success ensure you have at least 12 months of savings in the bank before you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. The stress of opening and operating a business will be far more than working as an employee; adding the strain of finances will be enough to put your business under even if began as a great idea.

Balancing act
Do you remember the first time you kissed your wife, or husband? What about the first time you saw your baby’s face? Your new love will be your business and it will take away from every other love in your life. Your blackberry or iPhone will take priority from your family, your friends and your vacations. You’ll be responding to clients and orders when you used to be relaxing. Vacation? Two weeks will seem like an eternity. The 40-or-50-hour work week will soon become a thing of the past, a dream you have on the nights you achieve more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep when you’re not business planning during the night.

The best part about all of this is that although you’re walking around in a daze, partly from the lack of sleep and partly from being consumed by your business ideas, you will contributing and working for…you. All of this will be going to your bottom-line. That also means that every minute you take off is a minute that you’re not generating revenue or closing a deal.
Opening my businesses has been the best journey in my life. They have cost me dearly in many ways, relationships that were lost to my crackberry and hundreds of dollars have been spent on creams to avoid dark under eye circles. They have benefited me in far more though – cheering on my nephews at 2p.m. soccer games, heading to N.Y. at the last minute – after all, I can catch up on work on a Sunday!

Jobs Outlook Cloudy As Holiday Hiring Begins

Posted: October 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, job growth rate, Unemployment News | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Jobs Outlook Cloudy As Holiday Hiring Begins

Macy’s released news that it plans to hire 78,000 seasonal staff to keep their stores profitable and customers happy during the holiday season. As Macy’s increases it’s holiday hiring by 4% this year, others are slowing down and the job outlook is cloudy ahead for many professionals that have been hunting for what seems like forever.

Payroll processing company ADP reported that private sector firms added only 91,000 jobs in September. When compared to the 15MM+ job seekers in the market, that’s a far cry from where we need it to be in order to balance supply and demand. Worse news came from the economists at that put the estimate at only 45,000 jobs added and revised August’s number down to 89,000 from the originally reported 91,000.  What’s this mean to you as a job seeker?

Holiday Hiring = Good Option

While you may have thought your days in retail were over, take a second look at what this might  mean for your job search. Let’s put aside that this will likely pay less that what you made in your professional career pre The Great Recession days, these seasonal jobs can turn in to full-time positions for top notch employees. They can lead to great networking opportunities within major corporations – for example, Macy’s employs 178,000 professionals. Whether your background is in finance, marketing, sales, operations or merchandising there’s a position in that company your skills transfer into and a season position may allow you to network into that role easier than applying from the outside. Plus, seasonal positions sometimes offer perks like store discounts and we can all use those during budget-tight times like these.

Layoffs Looming

News of layoffs tends to hit us from nearly every angle these days. Bank of America announced $5B worth of layoffs affecting 30,000 staff in September adding to an overall 115K+ total jobs cut by employers in September, up 56% from August. When compared to 2010, this year we’ve seen a 16.5% increase in planned layoffs (475K vs. 411K). The big difference is many companies are laying staff off quietly to avoid media coverage and bad press. These layoffs, combined with the slow job growth, is keeping the unemployment rate at 9.1%.

Stay Focused

Job searching is a frustrating process and in a market that has intense competition and employers that take weeks to respond (some never even do), focus and patience are essential. It’s easy to give up, focus time on something else (Facebook, Farmville or Pumpkin Carving anyone) and dig in your heels. At the end of the day, the early bird gets the…job. Networking is how 80% of jobs are landed in today’s market and that’s where you want to spend 80% of your time. The great news about networking is you’re already doing it without even knowing it. Dropping off kids at school, having friends over for dinner, volunteering at your local hospital – these are all natural networking opportunities where you will likely meet the person who knows someone that is “dying to find you and your skill set”.