Corrections or additions?
This article by Bart Jackson was prepared for the April 10, 2002
edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Like Job Hunters, Like Entrepreneurs
In the beginning came forth the Resume as Confession.
With strict and fearful honesty we listed each previous job and the
uncomfortable excuse for leaving. Then came the Resume Sales Brochure,
where job seekers colorfully parachuted into pomp with inflated claims
about their fabulous abilities. Now, at last, comes the voice of
telling career changers to get real.
That innovative voice telling folks to pass on the hype and
on the strategy belongs to veteran career mentor
founder of Princeton Management Consultants (PMC.)
Whether you are between jobs and are anxiously poised to start a job
hunt or just surveying new job possibilities, Nielsen insists that
launching a job hunt is akin to launching a new business — and
must be attacked that precisely. Those seeking to understand and
from the Nielson Plan may hear it at Princeton’s Trinity Church, where
he leads Jobseekers, a free group for job hunters every Tuesday at
7:30 p.m. (www.trinityprinceton.org.) Classes include guest speakers,
who will train you in essential job hunting skills, for example,
cold calls on prospective clients (employers).
The career changer who wants to see the Nielsen Plan in a single chunk
may visit his website (www.PMCNielsen.com), call for direct counseling
at 609-924-2411, or read in his upcoming book. Nielsen’s Job Seekers
Guide, originally commissioned by Tony Lee, editor of Dow Jones
website, CareersJournals.com, will soon to be available from Wiley
& Sons Publishers.
"Just too darn often you hear people saying, `I’m out of work
— gotta write a resume,’" observes Nielsen. "You never
hear an entrepreneur say, `I’m going to launch a new business —
better buy some ads first thing’." Nielsen’s entrepreneurial
does indeed hold merit. Too frequently, we love writing up and sending
resumes because it involves action. We want to move frenziedly to
show the world (and ourselves) that while we may be out of work, we
are not slackers. The problem with this urgent leap into action is
that it precludes thought.
Start-up businesses are forced to think and plan before they act.
Prior to forking over one cent of capital, funders insist that the
startup firm set up a shop, prepare a financial and time plan,
goods and service capabilities, outline market and pricing strategies,
and more. All this justifiably precedes any spiffy new sales brochure.
The Nielsen Plan simply advocates this firm a foundation for the job
seeker. Designed to set aside panic, the plan has been honed over
decades of both personal and professional experience. Nielsen comes
by his career betterment experience honestly. His father, educated
in Denmark in language and literature, emigrated to Montreal and began
with a shovel at the bottom of a ditch. Through his boyhood, Nielsen
watched his dad shift ever upwards in this career path and educate
his two children.
Nielsen himself, following his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in
economics from McGill University, landed and held 19 different jobs.
In l979 he founded Princeton Management Consultants, which has helped
a varied host of clients on both sides of the hiring desk, including
Mohonk Mountain House, Colgate, the 92nd Street YMCA, and Joe Doss,
the Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey.
Nielsen precisely and with calm logic suggests that career changers
move in an ordered series of steps which, like the stepping stones
of the Buddha, lead one onto the other.
local bar, and come home and explained to your husband why all bosses
and employers are idiots, it is time to order your life and your
Set aside one room as your job launching office. Prepare a financial
plan (it takes money to find work) and then go purchase supplies.
Ironically, this may prove exactly the right time to invest in that
extra phone line, fax, and voice mail, as well as the basic stationery
it over; write down cogently a vision of where you plan to be 10 years
down the road, and some initial, practical steps along the way. Hint:
this is indeed your life. Don’t let market needs and other
hobble you from the outset. Your occupational strategy should blend
wishing with reality. This step is ever-evolving, and will be helped
considerably by the next.
to look back through their past and develop a large list of specific,
measurable accomplishments. "Too often businesses and counselors
digress into psychology, testing for future aptitudes," says
"Instead, you should use your experience and present the skills
you’ve already shown."
This analysis may lead to a remodeling of your career path. Seeing
your strengths and abilities before you on paper may lead you to a
different field. For example, a purchasing agent may come up with
the solid proven skill of saving his company three times his salary.
But in the process he may discover it has been his negotiating skill
that brought him there. This insight opens up whole new fields abound.
exist, but Nielsen offers one high tech suggestion. "Employers
are now, at last, ready to use the personal website as a hiring
he says. This does not mean that putting up a personal site will net
you a host of calls and offers. Your site, unmarked by Google or
will remain invisible to employers. But if you can put forth a
site showing graphically the items you have made or services rendered,
it will certainly enhance your personal package.
bricks and advertise. Networking, writing, distributing a resume,
and negotiating compensation each demands the same strategic planning.
Yet, in the end, insists Nielsen, you should not have to downsize
your salary or your hopes.
All through this litany of the nicely laid out job hunt schedule,
comes the frantic cry of the unemployed, who need groceries now.
business plans, compensation strategies, and cataloging stock
are all trivial subjects to the man with an empty belly. However,
remember, panic has shortened your time perceptions. You probably
have a few days before they cart your first born away. As that
graphite factory owner, W.H.D. Thoreau, noted, "In truth, most
men end up hitting what they aim at." So instead of yanking a
shot off in haste, it might prove better to aim slowly, squeeze the
trigger, and bring yourself down a nice, fat income for doing work
you can’t wait to get at each morning.
— Bart Jackson
Street, Princeton 08540-3305. Niels H. Nielsen, president.
Corrections or additions?
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