Daily Archives: January 15, 2012
I’m Seeking a Title
I have been giving a lot of thought lately to what I should call myself professionally. I’m seeking a title.
So, you might ask, what could this drivel have to do with me? Why am I wasting my time reading this? I’m looking for a job.
Stay with me–especially if you are job seeking–and you’ll see the value in this post.
I have always been reluctant in calling myself a career coach. I’m not. I don’t usually do the once-a-week, half-hour phone session, etc. (My sessions tend to be few and highly effective. People land their next job and I never hear from them again except on LinkedIn.)
I don’t like the term coach as people may apply it to me. As a friend of mine who attended a national coaching conference several years ago told me upon his return—what he learned from being there was that in order to become a coach all you need (his words) “is a pencil.”
I agree. I could send a bunch of money to one of the various ‘certifying’ organizations, learn the secret handshake, drink the Kool-Aid, obtain an official, multicolored certificate (Suitable for Framing) and access to a logo that I could place on my website and b/card–for what?! Hell, I can create my own certificate and design a logo right here at my desk.
The best counselors/coaches I recommend (and there aren’t too many) are those who have specific degrees and extensive experience in the field they coach. I’m also a fan of psychology and counseling degrees. Are you getting the gist yet? There is no such thing as a Bachelor or Master’s Degree in Coaching. Who have YOU been listening to?
Now in fairness I genuinely believe that most life/career coaches have their client’s best interest at heart; they are the real-deal and offer a valid service. Many people come to appreciate their one-on-one sessions with their trusted adviser and I have been personally advised by one or two I trust–because I know their background.
When it comes to job search (as opposed to career) coaches I find most are little more than job seekers who have attended a multitude of job-search networking meetings and eventually come away thinking “I can do that” and begin their coaching/speaking “careers.” In my opinion these people do more damage than good. They usually don’t understand the mechanics behind the techniques and tactics someone like me will teach. Nevertheless they motor on–taking on clients–until they land their next job.
The other variant is the goof who manages to land a job with a state employment agency and after a week or two of “training” and taking a swig of that same Kool-Aid believes that they have all the answers. Once again and to be fair, there are some really good folks at these agencies–it’s the ‘newbies’ you have to watch out for.
Essentially these players cheapen what I do. I am really good at what I do. My successes speak for themselves.
I am self-made; I did not apply for a job in the job search/employment/ speaking/authoring/radio & TV guesting business. A pastor buddy of mine says its my calling. (I tend to agree. I wasn’t looking for this!) I got here by virtue of my sales & product development career with 4 different job boards. I claim to be a pioneer of online job search and I can defend that claim–with references. I write. I speak. I study. (Just keeping up with social media and job search takes several hours a week.) I have a degree in management, have written 3 books on job search with a new one soon to hit the streets. I speak on the subject and talk with employment professionals daily. I am continuously learning. It’s necessary–job search in this economy and in the electronic era is a moving target.
But back to the task at hand: giving myself a ‘working title.’ I have decided that going forward I will call myself a Job Search Advocate. That’s what I do. Using the term ‘advocate’ I can coach if I please and counsel to my heart’s content. The fact is that I do a TON of one-on-one job search counseling with clients all over the country. If you REALLY want to learn how to successfully navigate the obstacles that modern job search has become–the software, social media, mindset, documentation, interviewing/negotiating/age discrimination (both young and old) issues that exist–I can do that. Drop me an email.
I want to leave you with a question: Where are you getting your job search advice from?