While New Year’s resolutions are still hanging in the air (as yet unbroken), now may be the time for some people to re-examine their career goals. One place to start: the Professional Service Group of Mercer County, a job seeking group that meets Fridays at from 9:45 a.m. to noon at the Princeton Public Library, 65 Witherspoon Street.
The speaker on Friday, January 8: Susan Wilk, the founder of Focused Mind Dynamics and a certified meditation instructor who first explored mediation as an antidote for grief and later applied it to deal with the demands and stresses of the workplace — from the viewpoint of managers and staff alike. According to her website, www.focusedminddynamics.com, Wilk has “taught employees facing the demands of job performance, as well as the stresses of job security and reductions in force.”
The January 8 presentation will “discuss the many ways in which meditation can benefit us mentally, physically, and emotionally. We’ll learn how meditation operates as a tremendous ally for our bodies, minds, and spirits as we move through transition and the rest of our lives,” according to the Public Service Group website. Wilk will lead participants in “some relaxation and meditation techniques that help in just minutes a day.”
In addition to the Friday programs, the PSG website — psgofmercercounty.org — offers a wealth of advice to those who are seeking to end their state of unemployment or upgrade to a new and better work position. The website has links to job openings posted by some of the major employers in Mercer, Burlington, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Somerset counties in New Jersey, and Bucks County in Pennsylvania.
In Mercer County, for example, the site links to job boards in education, education services, financial services, government, healthcare, manufacturing, media, non-profits, pharmaceuticals/biotechnology, professional, consulting, and business services, research and development, and travel and tourism.
One recent website post takes cues from the popular cable television show, Shark Tank, and draws lessons from the successful business pitches that might help an applicant in a job interview. The top three Shark Tank lessons:
1. Tell your story in a powerful way. In a competitive job market where everyone has a degree, being able to tell your story in an authentic and powerful way can really make you stand out. Stories pull people in, help them relate to you, and make a great first impression.
The best Shark Tank pitches have a compelling story, and it works. The investors are attracted to the person, their story, and their mission. And you can apply the same principle to your job search.
Here’s the thing: This starts right from the beginning, as soon as they first hear about you, when they check out your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and anything else you use for support. We’re all born with the ability to tell stories — it’s a uniquely human trait that you can tap into to multiply the results of your job searching efforts.
Ask yourself how you can frame and present your story in an engaging and persuasive way.
2. Know what you’re worth. An honest look at how much others in similar positions get paid and what you deserve to be paid is critical when applying for your dream job.
People make this mistake all the time on Shark Tank — they come in thinking their business is worth $42 billion, and they haven’t made a sale yet.
On the flip side, people sometimes come in valuing themselves too low, and can wind up being taken advantage of or not taken seriously. It can be a difficult decision to make, but when you’re applying for your dream job — it’s one that’s well worth putting serious thought into.
3. Take a holistic view of the opportunity. It’s not just about money, is it? You want to have great perks, work with a fun team, enjoy your work, and feel like you’re growing and contributing to something worthwhile.
In the Shark Tank, entrepreneurs want to work with an investor for many other reasons besides money — they want access to their connections, resources, and wisdom. And it’s the same for you.
Consider if you will only be getting a paycheck out of the job. Or will it help you move forward in your career and life so you can achieve even bigger goals?
The executive chair of the Professional Service Group is David Schuchman, an information technology manager who runs an IT consulting and services firm, Princeton Technology Advisors, and has spent the past 14 years in the healthcare (including Electronic Health Records software), financial services, and transportation industries.
He is also a co-facilitator for New Jersey JobSeekers in Princeton and on the boards of the Career Support Group at St. Gregory the Great in Hamilton and the Breakfast Club of New Jersey in East Brunswick.