Coming Soon – Video Blogging

One of the exciting things about my new Macbook Pro is going to be the ability to do some video blogs.  I was experimenting with a couple ways to do it and think I’ve got it figured out.  Keep an eye out for it.  Video blogging is also a great idea to employ in a job search.  It gives potential employers a glimpse into your areas of expertise, giving you a chance to showcase your talents.  It also gives potential employers a look at your personality and how you handle yourself verbally.  It also will help you stand out.  I have never, not once – in 9 years of recruiting – had a link sent from a candidate to a video blog.  I’d much rather watch an informative and maybe even slightly entertaining  / creative video than sort through the resumes stacking up in my inbox.

Video blogging is something that isn’t terribly daunting for me personally – I am an extroverted person so public speaking, meeting new people and expressing my opinions all comes fairly naturally.  But I know that there will be readers who would rather have their wisdom teeth extracted than get up in front of 20 people and give a presentation.  Unfortunately conducting an effective job search requires getting outside of your comfort zone.  Sometimes WAY outside your comfort zone.   But it can be done if you follow a few key strategies.

Strategy #1:  Get comfortable with your elevator pitch.  Everyone has something they bring to the table, everyone is passionate about something, everyone has a story to tell.  You need to have a rehearsed 30 – 60 second speech that you can recite to anyone that will get them engaged in the process of helping you.  Here’s a good article on some Do’s and Don’ts for your speech:

Strategy #2: Get involved in Toastmasters.  This is an organization that is dedicated to getting you to be more comfortable with public speaking.  If you are thinking to yourself “there’s no way I would EVER make a presentation in front of a group – I just CAN’T do it” then you need to go RIGHT NOW and sign up.

Strategy #3:  Really connect when you network.  Start in a comfortable place (maybe church or a PTA meeting) and introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met.  Don’t start with your commercial, start with your name.  “Hi, I’m Dave – I don’t think we’ve met”  When they introduce themselves engage them by asking questions.  Start general.  (i.e. What do you do for a living?  What part of town are you in?  Where did you go to school?  Do you have children?)  Then dig deeper.  (What do you like about your job?  What’s the best part about being a parent?  What are you passionate about?).  Be sincere in getting to know them.  At some point in the conversation they’re going to ask you about you and that’s when you can work in your commercial.

Strategy #4:  Follow up.  A job search is a sales process.  Make sure that you follow up with everyone that you’ve met.  Send them a note after your initial conversation.  “Nice to meet you, I really enjoyed speaking with you about….”  If they’re on LinkedIn connect.  If they’re on FaceBook connect.  Follow them – if there’s something that is exciting or interesting that they post reach back to them with an appropriate response. ENGAGE with them – they are your new friend, you need to care about them and the things going on in their lives.

Strategy #5: Practice.  The longer you are outside of your comfort zone, the more comfortable it will become.

I know I diverted from talking about video blogging.  This was more about getting out of your comfort zone and getting into the sales process.  I have been in sales in one form or another since my junior year in college.  The basic steps to getting a sale are prospecting & follow up, establishing a relationship (trust), identifying a need, building value and closing the deal.  If you’re good at the first four steps the close is easy.  These are the steps you’re going to need to take to find a job.  It will come natural to some and be very uncomfortable to others, but that doesn’t change the steps.

Out with the old….

I’m writing this post on my new MacBook Pro.  That’s right Bill Gates – I’ve had it with Vista.  Every time I log on I get update notifications asking for disks I don’t have for an update I don’t need.  I have to spend money to keep the spyware and ad blasters off my O/S.  I put up with continual pop ups, reminders and other annoyances that simply have made my computer experience miserable.  The Mac ads got to me.  That hip, easy-going 20-something Mac guy making things so smooth while the stumbling, starched-shirt PC guy defends his O/S.  I can relate to that guy.  I WAS that guy.  But no more.  Mom, you were right.  Mickey Mac has grown up and become a real computer.  I’m having crow for dinner.

I’m excited.  I ordered my new Mac a week ago.  I’ve been tracking it via FedEx since it left China.  When I logged on today and saw it was on the truck for delivery it was Christmas morning.  When I saw that FedEx truck round the corner it might as well have been Santa Claus and his sleigh!  I’m not going to do too much to it until I have my first appointment at the Mac store, but I certainly can get the wireless set up and start browsing and blogging!

Which leads me to the reason behind this story.  Losing a job sucks.  It’s a blow to your ego, it’s a blow to your wallet, it’s taking something that is comfortable away.  In terms of stress it ranks right up there with divorce and death.  I don’t pretend that my experience with Vista is anywhere near as bad as losing a job, but there are parallels in the transition.

I’m excited to learn this new computer.  I don’t know a lot about how it operates, but I am looking forward to the adventure as I figure it out.  I am looking forward to the day that I can make my own movies and music on the computer.  (Has anyone ever used Windows Movie Maker – what a joke!)  I’m looking forward to having my somewhat computer illiterate but completely wonderful wife learn how to actually USE this thing.  Who knows, maybe she’ll start a blog!

When you lose your job you need to take time to grieve.  To be angry.  To be frustrated.  Upset.  Let it out.  It will help.  But then it’s time to move on.  There’s something you can do about it.  If you’re getting the blue screen of death it’s time to upgrade!  A wonderful opportunity is waiting for you, all you need to do is get out there and find it.

Unemployment eventually ends.  Sometimes it ends in a great job that is your life’s calling and those are heady days my friends.  I think we’ve all experienced that to one degree or another.  Sometimes it ends in a survival job, but even those are blessings.  There is a day in your not to distant future where you will walk into a building and be greeting by all your new coworkers, be given a desk and workstation and there will be great and wonderful challenges for you to meet head on.

The adware & spyware is gone.  The keyboard feels better.  There’s so much to learn and so much to do.  The past is past, the future is yours.