Tag Archives: HireMe!

 In Erik Fisher and Jeff Brown’s podcast on improving your focus, I found a fascinating thought: You need to focus on your strength and “buy” others to support you in your area of weakness instead of trying to learn or even out your weaknesses. In a corporate organization, this sounds doable in a team or you might hire staff to support you. As a solopreneur, this is much harder. I think managers can learn from start-up entrepreneurs in that you can do a lot more than you think if you have the right mindset, discipline and a process for encouraging your own learning.
As we climb up or sideways on the corporate hierarchy ladder (which is still referred to as a ladder) we tend to become “subject matter experts” and we “focus” on our core skills. In most organizations this meant that we neglected a lot of our non-core skills. In our ever increasing need  for more productivity we are asked to assign certain tasks to others such as travel expense claims, accounting, making appointments, booking travel, changing data in a system and we tend to become dependent on our assistant or our team, because we frankly do not really know how to do these little tasks that fill job descriptions of personal assistants. One of my clients once admitted that he did not know how to use MS Word. That’s an issue when you want to create a paper-based resume. (And yes, even in our digitalized world these resumes are still needed.)
Assignments
When you are moving to another country you could be in a situation where you need to be a lot more self-reliant. Maybe banks have different processes in Switzerland than in the US. You might need to read different websites in order to get the information you are looking for. Maybe you have to drive on the other side of the road. Let alone learn a completely new scripture or language.
One of the problems with large organizations is that they were often built during industrialization. Most of their role profiles and processes suggest a strict division of labor. A collaboration was not really encouraged. Performance Management Systems usually focus on the weaknesses of the managers and development plans are often paper-exercises with no clear follow-up. The term “Human Resources” even suggests that people in organizations are similar to money and machines. You “invest” in them and over the years their value decreases. Paradoxically, the more time, energy and money you invest in your people, the more market value they gain.
From an individual perspective, we tend to stop investing in ourselves after graduation. Often, we feel it’s our employer’s obligation to take care of our education and our career. We get annoyed when training budgets are cut, but hardly anyone considers to take initiative and seek education outside. You can blame stress and performance pressure, but I think it is not the only reason. I think, we hinder ourselves from learning partially due to being complacent and lazy. It is so comfy in our comfort zone. Why should we leave it when we get a monthly salary and have all our needs fulfilled instantly?
If you move abroad with work your spouse might be unemployed for the first time in his or her professional life. This could trigger identity questions. For my clients, the hardest part about moving to another culture without a job is to reclaim their professional identity. Another hard part is that they face competition from professionals who are already in the job market, know the host country language and have a functioning professional network. This is not developed in a short time frame.
I encourage you to look at yourself, your strengths and your learning potential and start to work on whatever it is you need to learn in small steps. Then if you ever need to be self-reliant you have already started to build a system how to work through new challenges. Going abroad could be a good step but you can also volunteer for a social project. That would help as well.
If you need support planning your next international career step feel free to set up a 1:1 Skype meeting with me.

Here is the podcast:

Track
I’m teaching others how to do a two-minute elevator pitch.
I have to admit, I recently went to an event a bit unprepared. I saw the issue coming when more and more other coaches (competition!) entered the hall. It was like a movie scene. The potential clients came streaming towards us as if they had actually put some thought into it. I ended up chatting with one woman. Then the coordinator asked us to pitch. I wanted to use storytelling but it did not fit into her structure and (damn!) I had not even written down what to say. It was a matter of not being prepared because I had no clue what to expect there.
I focussed on being relaxed and present in the moment.
I said, “I’m Angie Weinberger. I work with international professionals in Zurich and Basel and help them find work or start a business. And I recently discovered that I like nerds.”
A few giggles. I managed to make them remember me.
Out of 16 potential clients, I spoke to seven. Many referred to themselves as introverts or nerds. I’m not sure if any of these introverts will work with me but I had a great time. I thought “I will need to walk my talk on networking”. I first of all asked every woman if she had a business card. Only the last one had one.
Then I asked a few questions. Often I found that they needed a piece of information that I could easily send to them. I asked them for their email IDs. In such situations my mobile batteries are flat, so I wrote the email IDs into a notebook. This is old school but it worked. I also took notes on the information they gave about themselves.
I managed to take home six email ID’s and promised different follow-ups. This might not lead to any business but it was a good practice for me and for them. It showed me again how many professionals go to an event unprepared.
You can make an impression at such an event only if you are a helpful resource and if you put your own agenda on hold. You want the new contact to remember you until you follow up with them. I stayed until the end. My feet and back hurt but I smiled on.

Robots, Recruiters, and Rain

I also feel even more empathic with you after this experience. “Selling” yourself is hard work. Most of the times, we do not learn to become a sales person of our own professional package. Not only do we have to develop a great and consistent branding. The message has to be clear to a large target audience too. We will need to go through several filters of robots and recruiters. When we finally managed to land an interview it most certainly is a day with rain (or snow), we spill salad sauce on our freshly ironed shirt and the train is late for once. When you are in such a position, there is only one thing you can do: breathe out, have a glass of still water and speak slow. Most of all: Be present.

Become a “Superstar” in your Niche

In order to get out of the sales position, you want to become a superstar so you are top-of-mind of a potential manager and do not really have to rely on the cumbersome application process. You want to be in a position where you come up in the top ten of the manager’s mind at least. Sheryl Sandberg wrote in “Lean in” that you need to write down your career goal as being #1 in a profession (globally). I am not saying that you have to be #1 globally but you might want to be in a top ten position in your geographical area and your niche. What’s the point of being #1 in Digital Media when you don’t want to move to Abu Dhabi, London or Texas for your next role? Let’s be optimistic and ambitious but stay a bit humble.

Learn to Become a Resource

You have tools, templates, and knowledge to share. You have experiences, tips and contacts you can help others with. Learn to become a resource as if everyone you connect with was a colleague or a friend. If you train your attitude you will learn that helping others as a default gives you satisfaction. And if you feel you have nothing to share you can always encourage the other person. We all need a little appreciation once in a while.

Change your Elevator Pitch Approach from Taker to Giver

My clients practice changing their elevator pitches. One of the key skills you have to learn to become a giver is to ask sensitive questions instead of talking all the time. Another skill is to listen. Check out other blog posts on networking approaches here.

 

If you need help with your elevator pitch or networking please set up a meeting with me.


It’s 2016. If you are not on LinkedIn you must either be a trust fund baby or you live in a world that I don’t know. I have encountered job seekers and “solopreneurs”, who still believe that they can thrive in today’s world without a digital presence. In short, they refuse social and professional networking as they feel they will be stalked or annoyed by others.pablo (2)

I started with online networking on XING in 2004. Before that, I only networked in P2P-Style. That means I would regularly have lunch with different internal and external colleagues to find out about what is going on in their line of work. In the early Millenium, the lunch date roster was your “dance card” and showed how popular you were. It was almost embarrassing to lunch alone and if you were booked for several weeks this meant you had made it. It was part of the culture of that organisation but networking helped me to understand background stories, to build trust and get support on a variety of topics.
If I look back I also pulled my team members, trainers, providers and friends of my network. The network expanded to external contacts and it got harder to maintain when I left Frankfurt for Zurich, but I started to build a new network, which helped me to build and maintain a start-up in a rather difficult economic environment. If I was looking for a full-time role now, I would certainly try and source it through my network. If I am looking to hire an intern, designer or specialist I am going to rely on my network.
I don’t really understand why professionals are afraid to put themselves out there. It must be fear of rejection or fear of identity theft. Let’s assume for this post that you want to be successful in your job search or you want to gain clients as a “solopreneur”.
If you don’t expose yourself on Digital Media the message I get from you is either
1) I am not self-confident at all and my professional experience has zero value.
2) I am a diva and so popular that people will look for me.
3) I am a digital marketing professional and hiding because I already worked it all out and will have enough work anyway.
If you don’t want to create that impression you might need to overcome your fear first. So here are my seven killer tips for developing a digital media presence.
1) Focus on the Platform where your potential Hiring Managers and Clients hang out.
In all likelihood, you will meet most of your potential hiring managers and clients on LinkedIn. If you are a writer you might want to focus on Twitter or Goodreads because this is where readers will gather their information. On the other hand, if you provide make-up tips on short videos you should focus on youtube. As a photographer, you want to be on Instagram. Try not to overwhelm yourself by joining all platforms as one. In case, you don’t know where to go try Facebook first.
2) Develop your own blog so you have a digital home base but don’t expect people to find you right away.
In times of social media, it is hard to understand why you need to have your digital home. Imagine it this way: When you are on Twitter it is like you are attending a huge networking event where you exchange information with colleagues and potential clients. If you want them to look at information (content) that you produce you have to invite them to your home. And when you host a party at your place you have to give people directions how to find you and a good reason to party with you. When you go to a party you don’t expect to be asked to buy something or pay for your beer right.
3) Selling online will take a while so build trust first.
The Internet is full of offers and scam. Before anyone wants to give you their email ID and bank details you will need to have their trust. You can develop trust by being a helpful source of information and by solving people’s problems. You can also build trust by being personal and by avoiding any salesy touch.
4) Self-promotion is a turnoff.
Instead of promoting yourself you should help and promote other people’s work. If you help others you will not come across as a big-headed egomaniac but someone who cares about people.
5) Vet and check the information you share.
A retweet does not always mean that you endorse the opinion of the tweeter but at least you can verify that the information is genuine, up-to-date and that links are actually working. If you are like me you probably don’t read everything you would like to read but you know where to find the trusted sources and where to be skeptical.
 
6) It’s helpful if you encourage others to develop content and if you endorse your colleagues.
I know many people who suffer from imposture syndrome and who are modest. It helps once in a while to be told that work is helpful and that you are actually reading their updates or their input.
7) When people meet you in RL they should like you even more.
Digital Presence is great. If people deal with you in real life (RL) they should still be positively surprised. One of the reasons for lack of trust nowadays is that everyone is putting their own interest in front. Many people have a hard time to accept support because they are not used to genuine help. They are used to being cheated and pulled over the table and you want to stand out.
I hope these seven killer tips will help you to work on your digital presence as a job-seeker or solopreneur without getting overwhelmed. If you need my support please schedule a meeting with me.
Angie
PS: If you are struggling with career related topics such as this one you might want to read The Global Career Workbook.

Have you been in Switzerland for more than a year and not found a job yet?

We now offer a group coaching for the HireMe! Program.

Based on your individual targets you will have a chance to
– improve your online presence on LinkedIn
– accelerate your networking efforts and learn professional blind-dating
– prepare for interviews through business storytelling
– deepen your understanding of your personal values and how they relate to target companies
– learn to set yourself weekly targets, build a structure for your job search and pace your efforts in a healthy manner
– pitch in elevators and increase your presence.

What other clients have said is that they
– are better prepared for tackling the job market,
– are more self-confident
– finally got why networking is the key success factor
– felt empowered
– had fun when working with me.

I am not guaranteeing that you will find a job but I promise that you will benefit from this program. You have no reason to trust me so you might want to speak confidentially to one of my former clients. I am happy to share your contact details.

As always our terms and conditions apply. If you read them you will see that GPT offers a money-back guarantee. So far, we never had complaints but it might be helpful for you to know.

Logistics:

  • You kick off your career coaching with a 1:1 goal setting session with Angie Weinberger.
  • Meetings will be held five times and last for two hours.
  • Bonus: Participants get a free .pdf copy of “The Global Career Workbook”.
  • Participants: Four (exactly).
  • Prerequisites: German course started.
  • Valid residence permit in Switzerland.

Language:

English, but we have an interest in a German-speaking group. Please let me know which one would be more interesting for you. We can switch interview practice into German as well.

French-speakers please contact me for 1:1 sessions.

Fee:

The fee is CHF 800 + VAT.

Deadline:

Groups will start in the week of 23 May 2016.

Deadline for submission of required documents and payment of invoice is 15 May 2016. Schedule your first session with Angie Weinberger now to discuss your individual targets.

Resources:

The Global Career Workbook will be used as a guide through the program. We recommend further career books within the book.

 

On a “normal” work day I plan an appointment for relationship building and I prefer to do this in person. I have become so accustomed to have instant access to a map and train time table that usually I don’t check where I am going until I sit in the train. Switzerland has perfected the train system. They are usually very reliable and on time. People get irritated here when the train is 5 minutes late. (Ha!)
Yesterday was different though. I had planned to go for a walk but it turned into a mini-walk to the recycling bin. In the afternoon I headed to my appointment. All seemed on time. In the train I found a connection and not for the first time the connection did not take me where I wanted to go but somewhere in the realm of the area. I got off, wished I had time to stroll in the mountains and snow-covered woods but I was running late already. According to my phone I should reach in 22 minutes. Then my batteries died. I hardly remembered the address. I was annoyed, ready to turn around, sick of these endless times where I felt I was going the extra mile even for a volunteering job. I found a bakery on the way, asked for directions. They had no clue. Then I found the street, but not the house. Because I checked all but one.
Strange how we humans can err. Finally (now about 25 minutes late) a young man offered to check the website of the organization I was looking for and yes, I was next door to it. I killed my anger and laughed. There was a lesson to be learnt here. For a long time I did not seek help from so many people. I found it strange that I asked people for the way and I must have come across a lot more desperate than necessary. The meeting was inspiring and I went back with a sense of doing the right thing, with a sense of having met two ladies who are aligned with my values and with whom it will be inspirational to work.
Then on my way back I noticed that I was in an area of the city that I hardly knew. I liked it and it seemed like a place I would feel at home in. It made me think that Zurich is so diverse but if you stay in the expat bubble you could easily forget there is a less affluent part of town which also reminds me more of the area I lived in when I was in Frankfurt. I know…it is not always about outer change…but sometimes your inner change has caught up and your lifestyle might not seem to fit with your values anymore.
I want to downgrade, I want to live without a car, I want to adhere to the Swiss value of modesty. I realize that I have a choice. On my way back I got delayed again because of an accident. Poor soul, a person probably died. I only saw the last cleaning up work but the fact that the road had been blocked for several hours indicated tragedy. Again, I walked for 15 minutes. I noticed in the session afterwards that even though I was a bit flustered my brain was stimulated and energy level higher. I’ve had this weird feeling since the year started that I was not working hard enough but looking at new social entrepreneurs I learnt that I probably just entered a new phase in the start-up cycle.
It is now time to pivot, adapt and optimize. We aren’t going uphill any longer it is a leisurely stroll on the mountain range, the sun shines, snow covers the view and once in a while there will be storm. It is time to let go of the old dusted image, the status symbols of a management career and embrace a simple yet heart-filled and wonderful life. I am filled with gratitude.