Archives for February 2014

There’s GOLD in these pages

Pirate Treasure Map by Unskinny Boppy on Flickr

Pirate Treasure Map by Unskinny Boppy on Flickr

When wielded appropriately, the Philadelphia Business Journal can be your greatest competitive weapon an advantage.

 

There is intelligence to be mined in this weekly periodical. When you incorporate it into the best practices of careering, it will provide you with leads that directly correlate to your income potential.

I’ve seen many an article and even YouTube video dedicated to using the Philadelphia Business Journal  for increasing sales and growing businesses. Several years ago Bernie Dagenais, The former Chief Editor, helped me explain to my LinkedIn workshop attendees the power of the Philadelphia Business Journal for personal career growth. While I have shared this magical nugget of wisdom with many clients and audiences, I probably don’t emphasize it enough.

 

Let me put it this way – there’s gold in them there pages.

 

Does that excite you? The chance to find gold enticed people to subject themselves to pretty awful and degenerative conditions. They lived without laws, essentially, and risked their lives. You, however, have to assume no risk for such gold. Your chances of finding gold are certain, and this blog serves as a treasure map to the gold that resides abundantly within the pages of the Philadelphia Business Journal.

 

In fact, because of an offer that I’m going to be sharing with you, receiving the gold could be as easy as filling out a form. AND you get the additional benefit of a free résumé and campaign evaluation by Epic Careering. I’ll give you some details about that towards the end of this article.

 

TREASURE MAP:

Here are the features that you need to identify in order to find the gold that leads to epic career fulfillment:

 

The Book of Lists

While you can purchase this book separately, it is included in your annual subscription, which you’ll find through the other subscription-only features highlighted within is the greater value. While you can find the book of lists in the reference section at your local library, there is nothing like having at your fingertips when you want to find out who to contact at an organization you’ve identified as a great employer. If you’ve never executed a proactive career campaign, you may not know how to use the Book of Lists. A best practice of careering is to develop a list of criteria from which you will build a list of target companies. There are 89 lists in the Book of Lists and companies are sorted by industry, size, location, and growth. Each item on the list includes phone numbers, websites, number of employees, revenues when unavailable, the name of the local executive or CEO and human resources contact, as well as the year they were founded. While conducting research on target companies, your list of criteria acts as a logical guideline for whether you should be investing your time pursuing any of these companies. Use the book of lists to identify if the company meets your criteria or not. Best practices would dictate that you would want to spend your time and companies that meet at least 80% of your criteria, however you can use your gut or your your heart to decide to pursue a company that doesn’t meet that percentage if one or two of those particular criteria are more important than the rest.

 

People On The Move

This section is valuable for two reasons. Some people who find themselves in new positions have to build a brand-new team, either immediately or eventually. Congratulating somebody on the new position, just like congratulation somebody that won an award, is a very nice gesture and is usually appreciated and remembered. The other way this section can be utilized is that when somebody moves up into a position or over to a new position, they usually leave a vacancy in their old position. Sometimes companies don’t jump right on posting that position right away and you can have an extreme competitive advantage by being the first to contact the company. Before doing so, use the Philadelphia Business Journal, as well as other online and print resources, to do some research on how you might make yourself the most valuable to this organization in this vacant position. Why wait until the position is posted and compete with hundreds to thousands of other candidates for a job? Vacancies are costly to companies, so you’re already proving how valuable you can be by preventing them from ever needing to pay money to fill a position. You can view People On The Move through the online portal without a subscription, however, as a subscriber you are given access to a database with the contact information of almost 8,000 People On The Move submissions, personally reviewed by the Philadelphia business Journal editorial team.

 

Articles touting the growth of a local company

If you see that a company is growing, restrain your inclination to contact them immediately. Search the journal for other articles related to that company to get a sense of the bigger picture and mission of that organization. You will be able to make a more powerful impression to a contact there if you can articulate that you understand where the company has been AND where they are going. Some articles are only accessible to subscribers. In fact, while abstracts of articles are sometimes public, you would potentially miss out on quotes directly from the people who would hire you. Quoting someone is a powerful form of flattery that may distinguish you among other ambitious candidates.

 

New business announcements

Not all companies that register their new businesses are going to be hiring, however registering a business is often the first thing a business will do. If you have done the exercise of deciding what kind of start-up company you want to be a part of, you should be able to sort through these new business listings, which are exclusively for subscribers, and contact the owner before they go through the often painstaking process of deciding where and how to find talent. Hey, if building a talent base of a company is your thing, this is when you want to get in. Also, if you’re not really quite sure where you eventually want to be in your career and want the opportunity to try out different functions (and you’re willing to assume some risk,) this is the time to contact these companies. Disclaimer: As you get further into the qualification process with any of these companies, you should offer to sign a nondisclosure agreement and ask for the opportunity to personally see their business plans. Let them know that this is the best way to understand if you can be a contribution to their business at this time.

 

Commercial real estate transactions

This section is also secured for subscribers and would give you a clue as to when a company relocates into an area that is desirable for you, or even that a company is increasing their square footage in preparation for an impending growth spurt. That is a great time to pursue a company proactively.

 

Articles quoting executives who cite challenges of their company or industry

Essentially, an article of this nature means that there is a problem that needs solving. Enter you. Many of the executives who are quoted are also included in a contact database that you only gain access to as a subscriber.

 

The award announcements

The Philadelphia Business Journal recognizes local business leaders for various reasons. The people and companies that receive these awards, such as the 40 Under 40 (which I aspire to make and have a few years to do so) and the Healthiest Employer, know how to get things done. Ingratiating yourself with them is a good idea. Receiving an award is a validation that efforts have produced results that are recognized. It’s the fact that they were able to produce results that makes them a valuable person to get to know. Congratulating someone is a great way to introduce yourself. In the spirit of network nurturing, you will want to ask for some of their time to get better acquainted and to learn how you can be valuable to them. Being valuable to them is how you can inspire them to help you.  Disclaimer: not everybody who wins an award is a nice guy. Trust your instincts or use your research.

 

Liens and bankruptcies, court records, and legal judgments

This section is exclusively for subscribers, and this isn’t as much a resource for finding a target company as much as it is a resource for making sure that the company you are considering pursuing doesn’t have a black mark on it financial or legal records. Unless you solve these problems, you probably don’t want to turn down a great offer at an ethical company to accept an opportunity at a sinking ship. Sections like this avoid such fates.

 

Articles on layoffs

Here’s an unexpected tip – some of the same companies that you read about having mass layoffs are actually also hiring. A Wall Street Journal article from 2009 reflects how many larger corporations make business decisions to shrink one area business while they grow another. Also, employees get very scared by mass layoffs and start looking around for more “secure” opportunity, even though their talents and skills are very valuable to the employer. Don’t rule out companies having mass layoffs as potential employers. Though morale can take some time to restore, sometimes you get to be part of rebuilding something pretty special.

Jobs

Not to be obvious, there is also a jobs section of the journal.

I think I’ve given you enough reason to want to subscribe to Philadelphia Business Journal, or any local business journal. Now that you were enticed, let me give you a chance to win a one-year subscription, including the treasured Book of Lists.

 

If you’re a job seeker, go to this page: epiccareering.com/personal/ OR enter your information below:

This page will give you access to a one-page needs assessment form. Complete and send it to me at info@epiccareering.com along with your most recent resume. With these documents I will enable me to offer you a free résumé and campaign evaluation as well as a chance to win one-year’s worth of GOLD through a subscription to the Philadelphia business Journal, which you can purchase for $105 currently.

 

I will be accepting contestants until I reach 50, so do not delay in filling out this one page needs assessment form.

 

The winner will be announced March 8, 2014.

 

Free burial plot!

 

Headstones 2 by Brenda Starr

Headstones 2 by Brenda Starr

I don’t know if you’ve ever been a telemarketer, but it is quite the unappreciated duty.

One of the many jobs that helped me pay my way through college was telemarketing for a cemetery. That’s right—I had to call up people from a call list and tell people that they won a free burial space at a value of $800 and all they had to do to claim it was make an appointment to come see the grounds. I stayed for two weeks.

I also was on the student fund development team at my alma matter, Ursinus College.  What I learned is there is no generally receptive audience for telemarketing.  You could be legitimately offering, say, free advice on how to accelerate your career transition.  Still, people will pick you to project their frustrations on.  Any reasonable offer could be considered preposterous, especially if the offer is made to one of the 10.9 million people out of work.

You don’t know where your next job lead is going to develop.  People land jobs in the most unconventional and unpredictable places.  There have been some who land new employment just by describing their ideal role to their dentist.  I, on the other hand, was given a lead for one of my clients from a telemarketer.

She lived in Michigan and worked through a firm located in Washington, D.C. that had a credit card company in Delaware as their client. We spent time talking about how much she enjoyed being able to work from home in the evenings. It wasn’t glamorous, yet it fit her criteria.  That same week, I was able to pass on the name of that telemarketing firm to a customer service representative who was looking for a legitimate work-from-home position.

Telemarketers can be your ally.  Most people can be your ally, actually. As long as you are genuinely interested, the person on the other end of the phone may be willing and able to share insights into what it is like to work for that organization, the general pay scale, or if any other departments are hiring.

Telemarketers may just be doing what they have to do part-time or temporarily to pay the bills. Their true vocation may be completely different. Perhaps they were even a hiring manager and will be again some day.

It’s a small world. If you were the rep’s most irate customer, chances are they’re venting to their colleagues, and maybe even their boss. Your name could be travelling around through the corporate grapevine while you stew in your ire.

You might lose some time by listening, and furthermore engaging in conversation, but you might also gain some intelligence that leads you to a paycheck.