It was a pleasure to be interviewed by Nissar Ahamed of CAREERMETIS in his Career Expert Interview Series. We discussed my career journey and my top career management advice for job seekers. Read the original article here
In this interview series, we caught up with Jane Jackson who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
I’m a career management coach and specialize in career development and career transition coaching. I help professionals to create their dream career. And thank you so much for inviting me on this Career Expert Interview series!
As a Career Expert, how did you get started in this path?
I started career coaching 19 years ago in Singapore after a career in corporate training, and in a number of industries including airlines, health & fitness, FMCG and public relations.
The moment I started coaching, it felt like home – it was what I was born to do – to help professionals discover who they are meant to be in their careers. It’s so rewarding to follow my true Career Anchor, which is Dedication to a Cause or Service.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
Early on in my career I worked in public relations, agency-side, in Hong Kong before moving to London and continuing in PR client-side.
When I started a family I transitioned into a role that enabled me to have the flexibility I needed and transitioned into health & fitness which was my passion at the time.
I then moved to Singapore and my fitness career grew and I was sponsored by Nike as a ‘Nike Elite’ athlete to promote Total Body Conditioning across Singapore after winning the Silver Medal in the National Aerobics Championship in the 1990’s.
Training and teaching was in my blood and I was asked to facilitate numerous workshops for organisations which lead to me setting up a corporate training business in addition to my personal training and fitness business.
This, in turn, resulted in my network encouraging me to try for a role as a career coach and 19 years later, this is what I live and breathe! It’s an honour to now be included in this Career Expert Interview Series!
What is the Best Career Advice You’ve ever received?
The best career advice I’ve received is to be bold and acknowledge my abilities. To learn to talk about what I can do and how it is of value to others. Not to be shy about discussing my achievements.
Many of us are very humble and afraid to talk about what we can really do – embrace your talents and use them to help your community, because we are put on earth for a short time to MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
Being able to make a positive difference in someone’s life each and every day is what is most exciting to me as a career coach. To see that spark in my client’s eyes when they gain that ‘AHA!’ moment and they know what they must do to be the professional they have always dreamed of becoming.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I am a member of the Career Development Association of Australia and I also make it a point to gain a new relevant certification every single year. This way I stay on top of the latest technology and coaching methodologies. In addition to this, I maintain a strong network of career professionals and we tap into each other’s expertise.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
The main thing that job seekers struggle with is that they lack clarity about what they really want and they don’t know that their transferable skills are. Without clarity they aren’t able to project their personal brand with authenticity. Without a strong personal brand they tend to miss out on their ideal job opportunities.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
There are 7 Common Mistakes that job seekers make:
- A lack confidence in their abilities and going to market too soon.
- Lacking clarity about what they really want and giving out mixed messages.
- Using a generic resume and marketing documents and missing the mark in applications as a result.
- Not creating a consistent and powerful personal brand.
- Unclear about the most effective job search strategies.
- Making one (or more!) of the Four Fatal Flaws of interviewees.
- Not realising their value and worth, so are unable to negotiate a job offer effectively.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
The best way to approach the job search is to ensure they take time to assess what really makes them tick, create powerful marketing materials, know their ‘pitch’ and how to adapt it, ensure they have powerful tangible accomplishment statements to prove that they bring value to their targeted organisations and positions.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Automation, artificial intelligence and bots are growing in popularity and sophistication. The need for leadership skills, communication skills and influence will become greater as routine tasks are automated or outsourced.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
I would recommend that a fresh graduate take the time to explore as many industries and roles that appear of interest to them. Apply for internship opportunities to experience the culture within difference organisations. Talk to as many people as they can and ask them about what they really do in their roles. The more information a graduate has, the better decisions he or she is able to make.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
To switch careers effectively you must know your transferable skills and how they will help you to make the transition. Find out all you can about your new direction before making the leap and expand your network in that area so that you are able to uncover some of the hidden opportunities that are not advertised and be persistent in your efforts. Don’t give up too easily – do your homework and put in the time to research, network and up-skill.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
With 2019 LinkedIn statistics showing these numbers, every job seeker has the chance to attract their target audience if they use LinkedIn correctly:
- There are 100 million job applications on LinkedIn every month.
- As of May 2019, there are 630 million LinkedIn users globally
- 90 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 63 million are in decision-making positions.
- 40 million students and recent college graduates are on LinkedIn.
- There are 87 million Millennials on LinkedIn with 11 million in decision-making positions.
- 49% of Linked users earn more than US$75,000
- 51% of US College Graduates use LinkedIn.
My TOP TEN TIPS for job seekers are:
1) Assess which direction you are going in your career as it’s essential to create a LinkedIn profile that will PROJECT you into your desired direction. Without clarity, you may create a profile that doesn’t attract the right recruiters and hiring managers.
2) Use as many sections of LinkedIn (Cover Image, Tagline, Summary, Professional Experience, Projects, Awards, Skills, Publications, etc) as possible to ensure your profile is complete.
3) Be aware of the KEY WORDS to include in your tagline, summary, job titles and experience section so that you turn up when someone is seeking your skill sets.
4) Create a Cover Image that reflects your Personal Brand and attracts positive attention.
5) Write a summary that enables the reader to GET TO KNOW YOU and your personality as well as your skills, knowledge and competencies. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, NOT just a resume database.
6) Build your network on LinkedIn – request to connect with people and use a PERSONALIZED request so that each person will know WHY you are interested to connect with them. DO NOT send generic requests to connect as there is less likelihood they will be accepted by anyone other than those who a collecting numbers.
7) Get ACTIVE on LInkedIn and share your thought leadership – share posts, interesting articles, and, even better, write your own articles and PUBLISH them on LinkedIn.
8) FOLLOW the companies you are interested in and also follow key professionals on LinkedIn who inspire you. Comment on their posts and share relevant insights regularly.
9) Be consistent on LinkedIn. Check in each day. Just having a LinkedIn profile is not enough, you must get ACTIVE.
10) Connect with me on Linkedin with a PERSONALISED request – I’d love to get to know you and find out how I may help you in your career!
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
The statistics are hard to read as often the statistics include part-time employment – sometimes the ‘under-employment’ percentages need to be explored in greater depth.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Due to the easy access to information online now, hiring managers will find that candidates are more savvy than ever before and more selective. Cultural fit has become an important element when candidates assess their preferred companies and hiring managers need to position their company as a great place to work.
Jane, what are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on expanding the offerings in my membership site, The Careers Academy.
Within the Academy I continue to create many online career development and career transition programmes to make membership even more valuable.
I also have started Group Career Coaching sessions and live Webinars every month for members and membership continues to grow.
I also provide on-going career management workshops for my corporate clients and one-on-one coaching to my private clients on topics including career transition, confidence building, personal branding and transitioning into self-employment.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?
Well, I can highly recommend my book, Navigating Career Crossroads.
It has reached #1 on Amazon and is a popular resource for career changers.
Other good career books are:
What is the best way for our audience to reach you?
Connect with or Follow Jane Jackson on Social Media:
Jane Jackson has also been featured in our recent compilation of the most resourceful career experts and career blogs – Top Career Advice Websites.