Posts tagged ‘christina’
Jobseeking can be a lonely, self-centered process. People often sit alone day after day, slogging through job boards, online applications and career fairs where the continual refrain is “apply through our site.” It’s easy to start to feel like they are constantly asking favors of friends and friends-of-friends to connect them to organizations who may or may not be hiring. Highly-qualified candidates begin to question whether they do indeed have much to offer since rejection, or even worse silence, seems to indicate otherwise. If you fall into this category, please remember that it is an extremely challenging time to be looking for a job – be it green or otherwise!
Amidst all the statistics about skyrocketing unemployment and mass layoffs, the story that is often missing is the psychological toll brought on by a prolonged job search in a bad economy. Jobseekers feel powerless, that their skills aren’t valued, and that their voices aren’t being heard. As a career coach at Bright Green Talent, I have seen this time and again with the most impressive people you can imagine.
One of the most important messages I try to convey is this: Just as critical to a successful job search as resume polishing, cover letter writing and networking is finding ways to empower yourself.
The best way to do this can sometimes seem counter intuitive but is tried and true — helping others. Rather than asking all of your contacts for connections, help another jobseeker find career opportunities. Join a mentoring network through your alumni association or nonprofits groups such as Upwardly Global. Find a volunteer project where you can contribute your unique skills to help an organization grow. Join Net Impact and take on a leadership role in your local chapter.
I should emphasize that this is not an argument for creating good karma. It is because the simple act of helping in and of itself is a way to move yourself in the right direction – from helpless to helper. This action has a variety of benefits that have been studied at length within positive psychology but when it comes down to it, we feel better about ourselves when we help other people. If you are a jobseeker, it is critical to understand that this will not only help you cope after long days of seemingly wasted time, but will also keep you articulate and sharp for when you get a chance to ‘pitch yourself’ in an interview or networking event.
For our own part at Bright Green Talent, we’re always trying to find ways to help our social and environmental impact reach around the world to the places where it’s needed most. We recently launched a campaign in which, for every 50 resumes that are registered with us, we’ll sponsor the education of a child in Madagascar for one year. Yes, having more resumes on hand helps us place people into meaningful careers with environmentally-minded organizations more quickly — recruiting is, to some extent, simply a matter of being able to find the right people at the right time.
Beyond that, we believe this campaign plays into the concept of empowering jobseekers to feel that they’re part of a larger movement of good work. Education – both about environmental issues and to promote economic security and development – is key to promoting stewardship of the world’s natural resources. Spreading education and opportunity to others, is one of the most important tasks we can take on whether employed or not.
So if you are a jobseeker, find ways to pay it forward. Your actions are more powerful than you can ever know both for the receiver and for yourself!
Christina Gilyutin, Bright Green Talent’s Director of Development and Chief Career Counselor, attended Stanford University before heading over to the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute of Global Sustainable Enterprise, where she earned a joint MBA/MS in Natural Resources and Environment.
Penned by Christina
Last night I enthusiastically attended the book launch for Adam Werbach’s new book, Strategy for Sustainability. (For those of you who don’t know who Adam Werbach is, read on or learn about his company, Saatchi & Saatchi S). They had a ton of great speakers, drumming, drinks and fire dancers!
During the performance, the drummers talked about what culture really means, how critical it is for society and how it connects to sustainability. I can never hear enough of that type of thinking! I was also reminded that Saatchi & Saatchi S focuses on and problem-solves utilizing SEEC – social, environmental, economic and cultural dimensions. It really warmed my heart (and not only due to my proximity to the fire!) to see a thriving company that has pushed the boundaries of progressive business thinking.
(Photo by Nathan Wyeth)
Penned by Carolyn
Last night, Christina (our career coach extraordinaire) spoke at the San Francisco Net Impact monthly chapter meeting, which was focused around green jobs. Leonard Adler, head of www.greenjobs.net, organized the event and provided some really valuable insight as well — videos to come soon.
Probably the most interesting element of the event for us was the 20 minutes that the audience spent sharing their own tips, success stories, and warnings about searching for a job. Some really amazing insight was put out there, and we wanted to share some of their thoughts on staying positive and effective while you’re unemployed or jobseeking:
- If you’re unemployed, keep a schedule. Whether it’s walking your dog each day, going to the grocery store, keeping an active calendar of networking events, you can keep structure and motivation by sticking to a daily schedule.
- Seeking out volunteer leadership roles will give others a chance to see how you work and be able to recommend you based on work ethic, organization and other elements that might not come through when you apply or interview for a position.
- Networking is a two-way street: keep helping others by connecting acquaintances with similar interests or recommending other jobseekers for roles you know are open. Keeping this up whether you’re jobseeking or not is empowering and will keep your network connected and active.
- Get out in front of people. Jobseeking can make you spend a lot of time alone, and you can fall out of practice in terms of presenting yourself and your spiel. The more you interact with others, the better you’ll do when you eventually have to present yourself in an interview.
- It’s never too late to take an internship, especially if you need to gather skills to move into a new sector.
- Whenever you reach out to people you don’t know or peripherally know, do it thoughtfully. Find your common interests, point out your shared connections, or remark on something that’s happening in their company or industry. Not doing so is wasting a big opportunity to connect on an emotional, social level.
- Find free jobseeker support services — such as the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s weekly Job Forum.
- Don’t forget the basics. Applying for a green job is still applying for a job: make sure there are no spelling, grammar, or other basic mistakes in your resume. Tailor each resume and cover letter to the particular role.
Thanks to Julie and Adam Menter and the rest of the SF Net Impact Professional Chapter for organizing the event. Like many chapters across the country, the group hosts monthly meetings for its members with interesting speakers and opportunities to meet people working for social responsibility in business. Learn more about Net Impact and join at www.netimpact.org.
More photos on our Flickr feed.
Penned by Christina
Stick to your routine. Do you usually work-out in the mornings or wear a suit to work?! If so, keep doing it! The NYT agrees with this one.
Set-up an ASG* (Accountability Support Group.) If you have friends or acquaintances also looking for a job, set up a “check-in group” to bring structure and accountability into the process. You’d be surprised how motivating it is to have a friend ask you, “So did you call those 3 people you said you would?”
Stay positive. I know you have heard this about 1000 times but for the 1001st time, I’d like to add that you should find something that is uplifting that you can come back to as needed. That could mean joining a soccer league that gets you out running around on grass and really feeling the “team spirit” again. But it can be even simpler that that… My own personal choice for a 5 minute pick-me-up is listening to a story or two from This I Believe on NPR. Hearing others share stories of dealing with obstacles much more harrowing than your own can put your own situation in perspective, help you feel grateful for all that you DO have and restore your energy to keep on keepin’ on! Try a few and see how you feel! (Send me your favorites!)
* Don’t worry, this is a made-up acronym…you aren’t behind on some fancy new lingo or anything.
Since February, we’ve been putting out daily advice for green jobseekers. If you’re new to our blog or want to poke around in a specific topic, here’s a nearly-complete list of our advice posts. Have a look around!
Bright Green Talent’s 5 Ways to Ramp up your Job Search
Getting Oriented to Go Green
Getting Radically Tempered: Creating Change from the Inside
Paying it Forward
To School or Not to School?
Job Search Tip: Quality over Quantity to Keep Your Sanity
Linking People and Planet: Our Partnership with Solar Richmond
“Oh no, please don’t make me NETWORK!”
Students and Recent Grads:
The Real Deal on Green Jobs for Students and Recent Grads
Get Skills; Get Savvy Part I
Get Connected (Networking 101)
How Not to Be a Jobseeker Horror Story
Resume Boot Camp I
Resume Boot Camp II
Resume Boot Camp III
Penned by Tom
At Bright Green Talent, we’re always concocting new ways to help out our community. We’re not your typical recruiting company — we want to build lasting relationships with both clients and candidates and help you in the years to come as you settle into your green career.
Here are some ways you can engage with us today and tomorrow:
- You’ll be the first to know as new opportunities arise that are relevant to your skill set.
- You’ll receive our monthly newsletter, with advice, information on green career events we’re hosting and/or attending, and up-to-date information on the green job market.
- Sometimes we work on positions that we don’t post on our site – you’ll be eligible for consideration in those special cases.
- As you apply for jobs, we will be your advocate. If you’re qualified for a position, we work hard to get you an interview and negotiate for the best possible compensation package
- If you’re new to the green space, you might be disoriented by all the resources, job boards, and advice swirling around out there. Spend some time with Christina, our Career Coach Extraordinaire, to gain our unique perspective on who’s hiring right now, and create a smart strategy for finding your ideal green job.
- Check out the amazing feedback Christina’s gotten on her coaching so far.
- We offer daily tips, insight and advice from our unique perspective. Find resources for transitioning into a new space, hear what clients are thinking, learn how not to be a jobseeker horror story, and more.
- You spend enough time job-seeking. Why not let the advice come to you once a week?
5. Refer a friend or fellow jobseeker to Bright Green Talent!
- We believe in “paying it forward” — no one gets a job all by themselves. Help out a friend and the good deed will come back around when you’re in need in the future.
- Give the gift of guidance! You can now opt to gift a career coaching session to someone who needs a nudge in the right direction.
- And to speed up those karmic returns on helping a friend find a job, we offer a $750 referral reward if we place someone you recommend for a position.
During my career coaching meetings, the topic of networking comes up pretty much every time because people:
1. Know they need to be doing it.
2. Are not doing it enough.
3. Have an averse reaction to it.
Let’s address #3 since that’s the most critical to deal with #1 and #2. I tell people that it would be helpful to re-frame what networking means to them. Rather than walking into an event assuming you are ‘on the prowl’ for a job and/or for someone who can give it to them, Why not just think of it as an opportunity to meet some interesting people, hear what they’re up to and perhaps talk a little about what gets you excited in the world? Huh. That sounds a little more like a party than a networking event doesn’t it? That’s the point.
I don’t want to make it sound quite so easy. A true “re-framing” is difficult to achieve but the benefits to both your job search and sanity are endless.
Also look for fun, interesting events that seem to be less stressful. For one such example, join us when we host a rock-climbing event with Net Impact on April 21st – maybe I’ll see you there?! We can network if you are.
We’re also out and about at GreenDrinks in San Francisco (which is moving to the first Tuesday of the month at 111 Minna), and will keep you posted with more details about a career fair/cocktail hour we’re sponsoring with them in late May.
Penned by Christina
You may have noticed that we recently added a tag line on to our job descriptions, along the lines of “1% of the proceeds from this search will be reinvested in Solar Richmond, our non-profit partner.” While we’re glad to be able to financially support SR’s work (you should check out their site and learn about their amazing model), we are also committed to finding other ways to share our resources and knowledge of the green jobs space with our new partner.
So, on Friday, Nick and I went over to Solar Richmond to do just that. We conducted and recorded mock interviews with students of the program that will be utilized as training materials for future classes. Afterward, we also got the chance to see a live installation project where Solar Richmond had partnered with Grid Alternatives.
Our partnership with Solar Richmond in and of itself represents a sort-of culmination of a lot of concepts for me. Back in 2005 when I first discovered Van Jones, it felt like he was the only one out there trumpeting the ideas that our social issues are intricately connected to our environmental ones. I spent three years in grad school trying to connect those ideas in an academic context (which totally worked), but it has always been difficult to find the application of these ideas in a real-world context. It was amazing for me to actually experience and really feel the dual focus that Solar Richmond places on teaching the technical skills necessary for their students to succeed coupled with “fuzzier” concepts like personal accountability, empowerment, teamwork and community. Witnessing this model succeed literally brought me to tears.
Being able to apply the work I do through BGT’s green career coaching to this partnership was truly a moving experience and I thank Solar Richmond for letting us be a part of their amazing vision!
Photo: Me with Angie of Solar Richmond at the installation
Penned by Christina
As applicants feel more and more desperate in applying to jobs, the old adage about quality over quantity holds truer than ever. As you job search, consider that it is better to narrow your search to those positions that you are really interested AND those that you are actually qualified for.
These days, most positions are being filled with those that hit all the requirements and then some. I most certainly believe in aiming high and definitely don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but being realistic about positions in the current job market will save you effort and should better your chances of getting the positions that you do apply for.
Consider a couple points to keep in mind as you’re searching:
- Do you fit the job description? If the job description lists 3-5 years experience of Smart Grid technology as a requirement and you are just graduating from undergrad, that is likely not a good match for you and by applying you may come across as lacking judgment. (Certainly, an unfortunate biproduct.)
- If you do fit, make it obvious! Trying to match your background to the requirements shouldn’t be a game of memory for the hiring manager. The less work you create for him, the better the chances that your resume will be read closely. Mapping your skills to the job requirements is important – see Raj’s previous post. You can do this well by really understanding what the position entails which yes, will require research, networking, etc.
- Keep cover letters short and applicable. Again, this is a great place to highlight specifically how your background matches the requirements to be successful in the position, but if it’s too long, the reader will skim and value will be lost.
Next week: how to narrow and maximize your networking.
If you want to learn more about this in a personalized career coaching session, let us know – we’d be happy to help!
Happy St. Patty’s Day – our favorite Bright Green holiday. If you’re celebrating, follow Tom’s example and be safe and be green!