The Next Move

The Next Move

The Next Move

The Next Move is a blog dedicated to helping and inspiring professionals on their career path. With guidance and support you can figure out the next move in your career.

To The Frustrated Job Seeker, You Are Not Alone

careerPosted by VJ Niles Mon, September 11, 2017 08:31PM

Job hunting has become one of the worst experiences for job seekers. Whether you are just getting out of school, trying to transition careers or find your next opportunity the struggle is real. It has truly become more about who you than what you know. The job descriptions are unrealistic in too many fields, candidates are told they are overqualified, get no feedback or no response. The ATS really took a lot of the humanity out of human resources. Good recruiters still exist but are hard to find and the head hunters are long gone.

For those tired of creating profiles where companies have your information and don’t call you and those who are tired of saying why they are great in 140 characters or less you are not alone. Too many people are feeling your pain. When people want to work it should not be so hard to get employed. It’s not something only one generation is struggling with, every generation is struggling when job hunting. There are unrealistic job descriptions, people saying you are overqualified, under qualified, haven’t used this skill in the last 6 months and it feels like no one is willing to let you learn on the job and companies are going we can’t find good talent. It is just a crazy circus going on right now. I know it is discouraging but you are not alone and hang in there.

A few months ago I was invited to apply to a position in HR and I did a preliminary interview with a bot. Have we gotten so bombarded that even for human resource positions we can’t take the time to talk to a person? With the ATS systems out there rejecting candidates because of a lack of keywords are companies truly getting the best talent? How can you ask someone to talk to a machine to get a job? From recording videos to the endless profiles for jobs, companies have made it very difficult for potential employees. The time to hire has doubled from the past and people cannot be expected to wait 3 months to hear a rejection from 1 job when they have responsibilities. Why have we made it so difficult for people to work? We want experts and not jack of all trades but the expert needs to be an expert in 6 things so isn’t that a Jack of all trade? Can there be some clarity as to what hiring manager truly wants in a role? Can we have job descriptions that are realistic? Don’t say you want someone with 7 years of experience in a technology that has been around for 4 years. The more stories I hear from job seekers the more I see how broken the hiring process is.

Not to say there are not things some job seekers can do to lessen the frustration or that recruiters aren’t out there trying to help people. Sometimes people just need to vent their frustrations. I have allowed many people to do that just so they can get back to searching with a positive attitude. I know qualified people who have spent 2 to 5 years job hunting for the right fit, taking random jobs or less pay just to make ends meet. They are told they are overqualified, under qualified, we can’t afford you (without being asked their salary), or you will be bored at this job and many other things. All while seeing the same job posted for 4 months with no hire. I feel their pain and just allow them a space to let of their pain.

From recruiters sending you jobs from around the country claiming they are close to you, to companies wanting you to hit the ground running with no time to accumulate to how they do things, there isn’t one solution. All you can do is persevere. Vent from time to time to a fellow job seeker then brush yourself off and give it another go. Update that resume again, get a fresh new style to it, work on your portfolio, think of the skills you do have that you are overlooking and maybe there is a stream of income in them. Reach out to a few more people in your network there is something for you out there. If you think your skills are outdated learn something new or volunteer with an organization to gain new experiences.

Going forward don’t get caught in the trap of having one stream of income, have multiple streams so you are ok if you lose one of them. Turn a hobby into another form of income just so you know you are covered if you ever lose your job again. When you find work again, make sure you continue to network in case you need to find another job again. Too many people are just comfortable in their jobs and don’t think to network until they need a job and that makes it harder. Just know through it all you are not alone but you can find the right opportunity for you. Keep your head up stay positive and don’t give up.

I wish I had an easy fix for this problem but I do not. We can spark a dialogue to make things better. How can we make recruitment a less frustrating process from both sides?

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Accountability Partners

career advicePosted by VJ Niles Tue, July 18, 2017 08:45PM

Who is the person that keeps you on track and helps you when you are behind on your goals? Some may say it’s their best friend but honestly how often is a conversation with your bestie only about your goals and dreams? An accountability partner can be that person. He/she is the person that helps you define your goals and makes sure you are going to do what you say you will. This is important in your path to success because not enough people actually do what they say they will. For those that do what they say, an accountability partner can also serve as a strategic partner you bounce ideas off of.

So you realize you need an accountability partner, so how do you choose one? What are you looking for in your AP? There are 4 characteristics I think you should look for and what I looked for in mine.

1. A Like Minded Soul. This may seem obvious but sometimes people think a like-minded soul is someone who likes the same movies and food as them. You need a person who is of the same success mindset. You cannot go to someone who is lazy and lacks drive and expect them to be a good accountability partner. Choose someone with drive and ambition.

2. Not in direct competition with you. It will eliminate any problems if you are not in the same industry or in direct completion in some way with each other. You don’t want to have your ideas stolen or have someone try to deter you from doing something because they are jealous. A basic understanding of your industries is helpful so you know the ideas you generate together are accurate and can work. An English teacher and an insurance salesperson don’t run in the same circles and the teacher may not understand how much compliance the insurance person has to deal with but if the teacher once sold insurance they will understand.

3. Personality Balance. Find someone who balances well with you. Find someone whose strengths are your weaknesses so you can improve. This should be a relationship that grows both of you. You shouldn’t have a pushover as an AP either you need someone who will be stern when you need it but most important you need someone you enjoy spending time with. This person will be a big part of your goal life. When choosing someone of the opposite sex make sure there is no sexual tension between you and if they have a significant other ensure that person is ok with this relationship as well. I have three accountability partners: two male and one female. One is younger than I am and can be easily frustrated at times, but I counteract that and get him to be calm and collected.

4. Reliable. This is the most important characteristic of an accountability partner. The person has to be reliable and trust worthy. Your dreams and goals are important to you and you don’t want to entrust them to just anyone. You want a person who will uphold their end of the bargain. If you plan on meeting, you need them to show up not blow you off. Choose someone who is true to their word and will respect your time as you respect theirs.

Now that you have what you need to pick your accountability partner it’s time to interact with them. Figure out how to maximize your time with your AP. Set a schedule where you talk on the phone, email and meet in person. The first time you meet it should be in person and you should outline your goals, Set long term and short term goals and take strategic ways to make them happen. You can check in via a call weekly or semi-monthly depending upon your schedules. If you need inspiration perhaps you send each other an email in-between the calls that are just a motivational quote or words of wisdom. This you can define based on your needs. Tailor your schedule to fit your needs and make sure you hold each other to what you say you are going to do. Strategize with each other, write down what you are to do, send emails as confirmation of what you said and turn your dreams into reality.

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How to Cultivate a Network

networkingPosted by VJ Niles Tue, July 18, 2017 08:35PM

With all the talk about networking people are still confused about what it means to actually utilize that network. Some people think networking is about the “hook up” but it’s really about cultivating a relationship. Don’t wait until you need something to reach out to your network; check in from time to time and see how people are and if you can help them. It is much easier to get help when people see you are a helpful person. Growing relationships is a key element in your success. Your network can be very supportive of you if you are supportive of them.

Here are some easy tips to growing relationships within your network.

Setup a 15 minute call

I am sure you have connections on your LinkedIn page you have never met but would love to talk to. Why not email 2 or 3 people to ask if they have 15 minutes to spare to talk about what they do and how they got into that field because it is something you are interested in. You never know what you might have in common which opens the door for potential opportunities to volunteer or add to your portfolio. I have done this often and I have been able to connect with some amazing people in various spaces and offered any assistance to help them out whether it was an introduction to someone in my network that could be more beneficial to them than me. People do not mind talking about themselves and they are more eager to help then you might think.


Send a friendly hello how are you email. This is something that is great to do as the seasons changes or holidays arrive. It can be as simple as a card saying Happy Summer I hope you are well and provide a quick update of what you are doing and ask your network for an update on them. Of course everyone will not answer but some will and a conversation can ensue. Don’t do this to everyone; spread this out over a few people per season. This way you can maintain the follow up easily and it allows you to do this without repeating people every quarter which could be tiring for some.

Subject Matter

Share an article with someone relevant to their industry or personal interest. It shows that you remember more about a person then their job title and the company they work. A simple hey thought you might find this interesting email or social media tag is always a good way to get back in someone’s memory.

Offer an opportunity

If you blog or podcast are you asking your network for tips, advice or opinions to add into your blog? Maybe there is someone you can interview as a potential piece you are working on. It’s a great way to build exposure for your network as well as yourself. By offering that opportunity when there is something favorable for you, you will be remembered.

Cultivating relationships are about growth just as one would grow a garden it takes time and patience but the end result is a beautiful garden. Take the time to care for your network and watch it thrive. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of what you need without asking someone else what they need but please be aware of what a difference it makes when you offer something while you are asking for something

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