Looking for a New Job? I'm Here to Help
4/13/2011 1:13:11 PM
by Ted Leamy
Are you looking for a job, maybe a more exciting position? It might be a good time. Business seems to be looking up... a little.
If you plan on seeking a new position or you are a hiring manager in charge of finding new talent - read on. I'm going to write a few posts in the month of April about what I look for when hiring. I've been involved in hiring (and firing) in pro audio and AV for the past couple decades. I am going to describe what I look for when hiring. I don't think I am very different than others charged with hiring, so pay attention — it could provide some insight you can use.
Some of what I'll reveal can be found in just about any how-to-get-a-better-job book — some of those concepts are so basic they sometimes get overlooked and bear repeating. Everything I'll describe is based on my experience. As a hiring manager, sometimes I got it right and sometimes I got it really wrong (really wrong). If you carefully read between the lines you can understand some of the mistakes I made along the way, and maybe learn how to avoid them yourself.
It doesn't matter if you want a good job in tour sound, installed AV, consulting or construction — whether you are an engineer, marketing specialist, sound mixer or sales engineer, the absolute basics of what it takes to get the paying position you want is pretty much the same. In the next few blog blatherings I will put forward my views on:
1. When it's time to look for a new gig
2. Resumes - Ya gotta have a good one
3. "Jumping ship" - how to leave your old position
4. The job interview - are you ready?
5. Evaluating an offer letter - what to look for
6. What every hiring manager should know
What is interesting about blathering in a blog is the ability to interact - feel free to comment, ask questions, tell me I am full of baked beans or share some beans of your own. (I'll ask Kirsten to be certain all comments are posted - well, maybe not all the cuss words...)
Ok... Say you have decided to look for that new gig... "What is it you wanna do when you grow up?" This is the goofy half joking question I pose to colleagues when they call on me for career advice. It is THE most important question to consider - what is it you are passionate about? What job or company position can you see yourself enjoying — and enjoying for a long time. I'm not talking about pay — I am referring to what gets you excited! We all got started in this sort of business because of some calling to work at something different than what we thought of as normal. You gotta re-discover that original passion that got you started in the first place and make certain the new gig answers that original primordial call.
If you get up every morning totally excited about the day and what you are going to do, then you found it! Go do THAT, become an expert at THAT and the compensation will naturally follow – because you are going to do what you love, making it real easy to work the long hours necessary to be an expert and valuable to a business enterprise. Stop. Read those two last sentences again.
Another critical item to consider is how the new job fits in a career path you want. There is a reason why HR people ask you "where do you see yourself in five years." If you have some kind of idea, then it is sign you are thinking about a career path and given the right gig, you will stick around — remember, job satisfaction is a lot more than just the paycheck. There are many career paths in our tiny industry. Lots of varied opportunities from business to engineering. YOU need to decide which is the path for you based on what it is that gets you most excited and gives the most satisfaction.
So the homework assignment for this week is to figure out what turns-you-on in business. Is it product development, is it the excitement of closing the sale on a big job? Is it sitting in a cubicle entering endless amounts of data into spreadsheets? In case you didn't notice that last one was a test to see if you were paying attention! — all to say even a dream job and an exciting career path has a certain amount of boring tasks that must be completed. Don't think you are going to ever escape those damn spreadsheets or expense reports!
Let me hear what you think is your dream gig and then we can get to step tow: how to get that job you thrive at and enjoy.