The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

250: Navigating Today's Job Market with More Confidence and Career Clarity

June 25, 2024 John Neral Season 4
250: Navigating Today's Job Market with More Confidence and Career Clarity
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
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The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
250: Navigating Today's Job Market with More Confidence and Career Clarity
Jun 25, 2024 Season 4
John Neral

Send us a Text Message.

There are things you should be doing in today's job market that you wouldn't do four years ago. And some things you wouldn't do last year!

Join me as we celebrate 250 episodes of The Mid-Career GPS Podcast. I'll explain why you need to be crystal clear about the value you bring to your current and future organizations. I'll also share how to use AI more strategically and some tips to help you build your network more authentically and genuinely. 

I'll share why you need to be different and how to stand out from the crowd as you search for your next advancement opportunity. Lastly, I'll share one powerful lesson about why you should never solely depend on other people to advocate for your career, growth, and advancement. 

After 250 episodes, I've learned a lot that I've shared with you and how it impacts the work I do with my private coaching clients. And as we continue to build Your Mid-Career GPS, it's more important than ever to remember how you SHOW UP matters. 

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Want me to review your LinkedIn profile?
Learn more here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

There are things you should be doing in today's job market that you wouldn't do four years ago. And some things you wouldn't do last year!

Join me as we celebrate 250 episodes of The Mid-Career GPS Podcast. I'll explain why you need to be crystal clear about the value you bring to your current and future organizations. I'll also share how to use AI more strategically and some tips to help you build your network more authentically and genuinely. 

I'll share why you need to be different and how to stand out from the crowd as you search for your next advancement opportunity. Lastly, I'll share one powerful lesson about why you should never solely depend on other people to advocate for your career, growth, and advancement. 

After 250 episodes, I've learned a lot that I've shared with you and how it impacts the work I do with my private coaching clients. And as we continue to build Your Mid-Career GPS, it's more important than ever to remember how you SHOW UP matters. 

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Want me to review your LinkedIn profile?
Learn more here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

John Neral:

Hey there, today, you and I are celebrating 250 episodes of the Mid-Career GPS podcast, and in this episode, I'm going to highlight five things mid-career professionals need to be doing right now that they didn't have to do at all, or as much when I started this podcast back in 2021. If you're looking to level up your career or simply want to find a job you will love, you're in the right place, so let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is the Mid-Career GPS Podcast, and I'm your host, john Neral. I help mid-career professionals like you find a job they love, or love the job they have, using my proven four-step formula. As I mentioned at the top of the episode, this is episode 250, and this is a huge milestone for us to celebrate. As I was prepping for this episode with you, I was thinking gosh, how long does it take to do something 250 times? Think about running 250 miles or your 250th ride on your Peloton. Whatever it is that you've done, and you do consistently let's acknowledge that that's a commitment, and one of the things I am most proud of over these past four seasons is that I've never missed a week Even despite vacations and health issues and things, I've never missed a week of bringing you an episode to help you build your mid-career GPS to whatever is next for you in your career, and I am so thankful you are along for the ride with me, whether this is the first episode you've listened to or you've listened from the very beginning. Thank you, and you could do me a huge favor if you would just kindly share this episode with somebody in your network who you believe would benefit from the content that I share this episode and in the past 249 episodes.

John Neral:

One of the questions I'm often asked is John, why mid-career professionals? And for me it is one of the most dynamic times in our career journey. We think we have everything figured out and then all of a sudden work and life kind of combine and they either collide or they get a little bit messy as you try figuring things out. Maybe you've been laid off, you haven't gotten a promotion, or you were elevated into a position and now you're struggling. You've worked for that toxic or hurtful boss or somebody who just really wasn't invested in your professional development. How you navigate this mid-career journey is all based on how you show up for yourself, your loved ones, your organization, your team members, your clients. Last week I spent a wonderful week in Austin, texas, working with a small sales team, and then I spent three days working with the NextUp Rising Stars program and having an opportunity to be in a room with so many dynamic, mid-career, passionate, emerging and developing leaders and professionals. This is what energizes me. This is why I do the work that I do, and one of the reasons why I started this podcast back in 2021, and a lot of you may not know this was that I had a podcast back in 2021. And a lot of you may not know this was that I had a podcast back in 2020. It was called Show Up 2020. And I mentioned it in episode 249 when I interviewed Dr Teresa Yankanich, who was one of my guests on that podcast. But I stopped that podcast to focus solely on mid-career professionals with this one, because you want information and you want it digestible and tactical. You want something that's going to keep you engaged and, at the same time, it's that quick boost of information or motivation. I've had people reach out to me and say, john, I listened to your interview prep series episodes 110 through 118, right before I went in for my job interview and it helped me get the job. I've had people reach out and say I listened to your conversation with a particular individual and it just reframed where my career is at. I am blessed and honored to work with the private coaching clients and companies that I work with, but I know that not everybody either is familiar with coaching or can afford a coach. So I started this podcast as a way to put information out there on a weekly basis to help you figure out what's next. And in prepping for this episode, I've got five things that I know mid-career professionals need to be doing right now in this current job market, that they didn't have to do as much when I started this podcast back in January of 2021. So, if we go back to January of 21 for a minute, we weren't even a year into the pandemic. We were trying to figure out where to get toilet paper and how to figure out how we worked remotely and we balanced kids being home from school and learning virtually. We tried to figure out what work was going to look like and how to stay engaged, how to lead our teams during a pandemic that none of us, admittedly, were ever prepared for. And over the last four years, what we have seen is, as human beings, we're adaptable. We learn how to adjust and whether we like change or don't, the reality is we find a way to deal with it. And so, if you are actively job seeking, or if you are looking to level up your career in some way, or you are simply keeping your head above water in your current job, these five things, I guarantee, are things I want you to consider today and as you move forward along your mid-career journey. So the first thing you need to be clearer about your value and the results you deliver. More so than ever, the job market has been tough, especially for the last year, and, depending upon your industry and your area of expertise and, most importantly, the urgency that a company wants to hire, the timeline it's going to take you to land that new job can vary, and I will offer you, based on the research I've read and my own particular clients, we are talking anywhere between two and six or seven months. It all depends on how well you apply for jobs. More importantly, how well you network for jobs and, lastly, how well you interview for jobs. When I mention about being clear about the value you bring to an organization, as well as your results, what I want you to think about is what have you achieved? What are those milestone accomplishments in your career, your current job, the ones before it, and let's be honest here, this is about having something tangible you can talk about that's going to get a hiring manager or recruiter more interested in you. This isn't a time to talk about. Well, here's what I can do for you. Here's what I can do. Now we start getting into convincing energy. Think about the words you are using when you're networking or interviewing. I'm a quick learner, if you just give me a chance. Companies don't want to hear that. They don't want to hear that you're a hard worker or a great communicator. Those things are all expected. What they want to know is what are you going to produce or deliver for them in the first 90 days? That makes you different than everybody else. If you are not clear about your results, I want to offer you. This is an opportunity for you to get clarity around that what you think may not be a big deal may absolutely be what somebody else needs. The clearer you are on the value you bring to an organization and the results you can deliver will absolutely make you stand out in this job market. Number two, and boy, this one we could not have said four years ago. More so than ever, your job is to use AI more strategically and effectively. As I shared back in episode 245 when I talked about the LinkedIn and Microsoft Work Trend Report, ai is a tool. You need to be able to learn how to use that tool effectively and, without question, ai is expanding more rapidly than ever. If I look on my social media feeds, I will continually see things about here's how to use AI in your business or here's 20 AI prompts that will help you write better LinkedIn posts. I use AI at times as a thought generator or an idea trigger, but I don't copy it word for word. But I don't copy it word for word. I have talked to clients and prospective clients and shared with them that this sounds like you just took it from ChatGPT and put it in your resume or cover letter, and hiring managers and recruiters are savvy and smart. Don't think you can fool them. If it looks and sounds like ChatGPT wrote it, I will guarantee you 90% of the time, you will not move on to the next round. They want to know how you can use the tool, not just take it for granted and accept what it gives you. So I want you to think about where you are using AI in your job. How has it helped you, what are some of the challenges you see with it, and how can you talk about that with your current or future employer? What will make you stand out above everybody else when it comes to how you use AI? Ai is not going to go away. Don't let AI take your job, but, more importantly, find a way that you may be able to use AI in your job and talk about how it makes you better, more effective, more efficient and get better results. Number three it's one that necessarily hasn't changed a whole lot, because we've always talked about networking, but more so than ever in the last four years. You've got to network, you've got to find ways to build relationships, and here's the thing that's different give yourself an opportunity to be a little messy with it. Networking, or relationship building, needs to be a regular thing, and so often, if you have been in your current company for five, 10, 15, 20 years more than likely the ability for you to network has all been internal, and I wanna offer there's nothing quote unquote wrong in that. But when you think about building your network, what do you want people to know about you. When I was at NextUp's Rising Stars program, I was honored to have an opportunity to share the stage with three other amazing professionals, and in that we talked about sharing our best networking tips to help the 250 participants navigate their first event of the evening. So one of the things I offered everybody was the idea about giving first and asking later, and by that I mean, if you can find a way to help somebody, who can you connect them to? What's a resource you can share? Maybe it's simply just offering them some advice if they ask for it, but what can you give someone in a networking relationship that allows you to show up from a place of value and service and not from a place of hey, it's all me, I'm here to take and I'm not going to give back. Nobody wants a taker right now. They want to know how you can connect, support, give. One of the participants from the event had reached out to me when we had connected on LinkedIn and they said I'd love to like get 20 minutes with you next week. That was a bold ask and I celebrated that. I was like, okay, and they shared with me what they wanted to talk with me about, sent them my calendar link here. Let's find some time, let's protect some time for us to connect and talk. I don't know where it's going to lead, but one of the things I know going into that conversation is I'm going to be listening very diagnostically and intuitively to think who might be a great connection for them or what's something that I have that's of value I can give them. That's what I want you to be thinking about Networking more so than ever while we still need to be doing it. It is all about how can you give support and, most importantly, nurture that business relationship that they're going to become someone for you, who's going to champion your cause and you're going to do the same thing for them. How awesome would that kind of business relationship be for you? So if you're not comfortable with networking, get some help around that. If you are really great at networking, get some feedback around how you can do it even better. But don't let networking fall off your radar. s h. c.

John Neral:

Hey, there is your LinkedIn profile working for you 24-7?. For many mid-career professionals, optimizing their LinkedIn presence isn't a priority until they start job hunting or networking and realize it's important If you're feeling the pressure to make your LinkedIn profile stand out to recruiters and hiring managers. I'm here to help. Would you like me to review your LinkedIn profile? This is your opportunity to receive my expert feedback. I'll show you exactly what changes can attract more recruiters and hiring managers, identify areas for improvement and guide you in optimizing your profile. This will boost your professional brand and increase your chances of landing more job interviews, expanding your network and elevating your professional presence. For a limited time, spots are available for a personalized LinkedIn profile review for just $50. For more details, check the show at notes or visit my website at.

John Neral:

Now let's dive back into the episode. My fourth thing for you is to break the mold and be different. How do you stand out from everybody else? What is the unique professional value you bring to your team? What are you known for? And if you're catching yourself listening to this going, eh, I'm not that big of a deal, I don't do anything exciting or whatever. I want you to really just pause the recording here. I want you to think for a minute about why people come to you. Why do people value your work? Why do people value your work? And I want you to think how you can communicate that to somebody on a more regular basis.

John Neral:

I've done a few episodes on my podcast about communicating your unique professional value and it starts off with saying here's who I help. Here's what I help them do. Starts off with saying here's who I help, here's what I help them do. At the start of every episode, I say I help mid-career professionals find a job they love or love the job they have. And sometimes when I'm speaking on a stage, or sometimes when I just want to change things up a little bit, or I'm talking to a potential client or a potential event organizer and I will say these three clarifiers I help mid-career professionals who feel stuck, undervalued and underutilized. Does that resonate with you? Have you used those words to describe yourself? Where you are in your career right now? You don't have to be stuck.

John Neral:

So one of the most powerful things about coaching is that we work through getting unstuck and helping you stand out, and I help my clients lean into that thing. That, admittedly, makes them better than a whole lot of people around them. And, yes, this is your opportunity to brag. Everybody I work with have really big hearts and they kind of hesitate around bragging a little bit. It's okay to brag here. You're really good at what you do and we coach around that as well. Really good at what you do, and we coach around that as well.

John Neral:

I worked with a client one time who shared with me that they were exceptionally good at Excel, but they felt like everybody else was, and I asked them to go back into their organization and ask people whom they trusted what they were known for, and every single person they talked to said you know Excel better than all of us here. One of the things when we worked on their unique professional value statement was that they said I help people inside my organization who struggle with Excel to get them the help they need, because I am an Excel ninja. All of a sudden, things changed and their world inside that organization started to open up a little bit more, because they were crystal clear about the value they provide. I want that for you. I want you to know deep in your soul why you are really good at what you do. Look, I am not going to be able to fix my car, but the people at the dealership they're the experts at it. They do an incredible job. That is their unique professional value, because I can't do that, but if you need help finding a new job. You need help growing your leadership and executive presence. I know I'm really good at that. That is my unique professional value, especially when you've been passed over for promotions.

John Neral:

You've not been able to find a job on your own and you're feeling a little bit down about yourself and not sure what you need to strategically and tactfully do in order to find that new job. What's yours, what is your professional value that makes you stand out? And number five here is my wish for all of you that are listening. I want you to know what you want in your career and I want you, without any hesitation, to realize that you are 100% responsible for your career and you need to be the biggest cheerleader and champion for you in the room. So often mid-career professionals take a step back and think oh, my boss is going to advocate for me in the promotion meeting. Oh, my boss and I have a really good relationship. They're going to advocate for me, and then they don't. And then you're disappointed. And now you're angry or resentful If you are not the loudest person in the room talking about what it is that you want to advance. No one is going to do that except you.

John Neral:

If you want the seat at the table, ask for it. If you want to take the lead on a project, ask for it. But don't say hey, I'd really like to be included in that meeting. It's my project and I'd like to present about that. No, say, look, I've understood. You've asked me to put a couple slides together for a meeting. I want to be in the room for that. Here's why. I know the project. I'm the lead on the project. I know the struggles, I know the challenges, I know where it's moving project. I know the struggles, I know the challenges, I know where it's moving. I know where we need to be paying attention to budget about it. I can save you all a ton of time by giving me five minutes and two slides to come in, present about it and then I'll leave. I want to be the one presenting that. Let them tell you no. Let them tell you they don't want you in the room, because when they do, you will know more so than ever where you stand and when you start building your mid-career GPS and you think about how you need to prepare, position yourself, promote who you are and what you do and, most importantly, how you want to show up, when you think about what it is you want to do, you, my friend, will have more clarity about where your career is headed and what you want to do, and you will start building the roadmap to make that happen. My wish for you is that you will always recognize your unique professional value and be the loudest one, the strongest voice, advocating for you in your career.

John Neral:

Before I wrap up this episode, I have here in my notes well, what's next? Well, what's next is we're not slowing down anytime soon. I'm going to continue to bring you a new episode every week. If you've been around for a while, you knew I was doing two episodes a week. It just got to be too much, but I'm still committed to delivering one episode a week for you. I want you to follow me on LinkedIn. I have an email newsletter community. It is free. I put it out twice a week. You can find information at that at johnnerrellcom, along with other free resources and courses that are there for you.

John Neral:

But here's what I've learned over 250 episodes. But here's what I've learned over 250 episodes For this person who started out his career as a middle school mathematics teacher that went on to hold several administrative and leadership roles within the educational arena and I started my coaching practice full-time over seven and a half years ago. I never, never, would have thought I would have had an opportunity to meet the people that I have had an opportunity because of this podcast, the people who've been guests, the people whom they've connected me to the stories they have shared, the tears we have shed, the laughs we have had. But what I have learned over these past 250 episodes is this If you are a mid-career professional, you are a resilient individual. That knowing your value and your worth is essential to your career success. And it is not always steady. It will fluctuate. There will be times you'll be riding really high and times when you're feeling a little low. It doesn't diminish your light.

John Neral:

For every person I have had an opportunity to interview on this podcast, thank you Far too many to name, but they are in the podcast platform wherever you listen. And, additionally, I want to thank you because I have learned from each and every one of you and the episodes that I have already banked and I'm going to be releasing over the next few months. Stay tuned, my friends. There are some incredible conversations coming up and, lastly, I am putting my curious hat on because I can't wait to see what we get to learn over the next 250 episodes. Where will this podcast be when we come back on the mic to celebrate 500 episodes? I see that happening. That is my intent. So for the next five years or less, let's stick around. If you've enjoyed this episode and you found value in it, you could truly help me out by telling someone about this podcast. Go into your favorite podcast platform, copy the link, send it to them in a text message, ask them to follow and subscribe wherever they listen.

John Neral:

This podcast has grown to be ranked in the top two and a half percent at the time of this recording, simply because of organic reach. Like all of you and I thank you for that I like to think of me standing behind this mic here in my office as a way for us to connect for 15, 20, 30 minutes every single week, and I am honored that you spend time with me. I am here to help you figure out whatever is next, and we're going to continue to do that next week. So until next time, my friends, remember this you will build your mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how you show up matters Make it a great rest of the day and, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for 250 wonderful episodes.

John Neral:

Here's to the next 250. Take care 250 wonderful episodes. Here's to the next 250. Take care for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you and your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at John Darrell Coaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters. Thank you.

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