I Got a Career Advice Question on LinkedIn. Here’s My Answer.

dreamstime_s_130320892 - Career GoalsI had a first today! Someone connected with me LinkedIn.com, then asked me for career advice. I’m an open networker on LinkedIn. An open networker means I’m open to receiving connection requests from people you don’t know on the platform.
Connecting with people I don’t know is not unusual. Getting a message asking me for career advice after connecting, that’s a first.
I’m a Data Analyst in my current role. He explained that he wants to become an Analyst and asked if I had any career advice for him. A concise message with a simple question. Few details.
I had to think about this. Why me? I’m not a career counselor. One look at his LinkedIn profile revealed the reason. He’s a Sales Consultant who wants to become an Analyst. My career progression over the last seven years has been from a Sales Consultant to a Project Coordinator to a Data Analyst. Not a common transition.
I did respond to him with a couple suggestions. I’m sharing what I said to him. I had time to think about the question so I’m giving far more details here.
First, make sure you list specific skills under each position. Recruiters search for skills. My profile lists Excel development, Microsoft Access development, Sharepoint administration, Dynamics CRM administration, among other skills. Every call I received from a recruiter was asking about my skills, not my positions.
Second, learn from the experts. I knew to focus on skills because I started listening to career advice podcasts before and during my search. I also listen to podcasts about the field I’m interested in building a career. It’s an excellent way to keep up with treads in any field. You can catch a recruiter’s attendance with the skill listed on your profile. However, you need to be able to have a convincing conversation during the interview. Podcasts can help with that.
Here are some podcasts I listen that help me know how to conduct the search (recruiting trends). Then have convincing conversations about the skills and business trends. [Keep in mind some these podcasts are newer.]:
Search for your skill and see what podcasts come up.
Thank you for reading CAPMandMore!

Meeting Living History at the Ridgeley Rosenwald School in Capitol Heights MD

As a blogger, anywhere I go and anyone I meet can end up in a post …

20180422_184007078_iosI visited the Ridgeley Rosenwald School in Capitol Heights, MD a few months ago. The school is an African-American heritage site in Prince George’s County. The school is managed by the Black History Program at Abraham Hall and the Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

I had a wonderful time at the school! Mae Williams (a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority) gave a small group of us a tour of the school. Her enthusiasm was equally matched by her extensive knowledge of the school’s history and renovation.

I also met a woman who actually attended the school as a child. She could point to herself in one of the old photos mounted on the school’s wall. It was a pleasure meeting you Shirley Taylor (Spriggs)!

Thanks for reading CAPM and More!

I’m a Proud Member of the “Swoop In” Club

dreamstime_m_128365221Let me start by explaining what the “Swoop In” Club is. I was a member of Toastmasters International. As a Toastmaster, you have to give speeches in front of the club. The first speech all new Toastmasters give is called “The Icebreaker.” It’s one of the most comfortable speeches because it’s short and you talk about yourself.

A woman joined the club. She talked about her divorce for her icebreaker. She described how she survived divorce because her friends “swooped in.” I remember thinking that was powerful! No one wants to go through a divorce, a death in the family or any other crisis. Unfortunately, a crisis happens to all of us at some point. Will your family “swoop in” to support you during a crisis? Will your friends?

A few years ago, my wife and I were living and working in a group home. It was hard work, but we enjoyed it. The crisis came when we lost our jobs. It’s risky to live and work in the same place. If you lose your job, you lose your home at the same time. That’s what happened to us. We lost our jobs and had to move within three days. That’s short notice when you have a house full of furniture and personal belongings.

My wife and I got the news on a Thursday afternoon and had to be out of the house by Sunday night. We sat in the house for about an hour recovering from the shock. Once the shock was over, we started making calls. I called my parents and friends. She called her grandmother, brothers, and friends. It was the same story told over and over. “We lost our jobs. We lost our home. We’re not sure what we’re going to do. We’re not sure where we’re going to go. We have to be out by Sunday night.” It could have been terrible, but something else happened … PEOPLE SWOOPED IN! Our family and friends said over and over, “I’ll be there!” It was wonderful!

We spent the next day arranging for a storage unit, renting a moving van, buying moving supplies and getting the house as ready as possible. Saturday morning, with almost no notice, people showed up. We had a crew of family and friends helping us pack the house and get us moved out. One friend canceled a planned weekend vacation to help. By Sunday morning, most of our stuff was in storage, and we were living with a relative.

My point is not the story of our crisis. My point is I’m now a member of the “Swoop In” Club. A proud member! I no longer have to wonder about my family and friends in a crisis. I know if a crisis hits, they come running … and that’s an awesome feeling!!! Are you a member of the “Swoop In” Club?

Thanks for reading CAPM and More!

Thanks for the Love!

Thanks for the Love_1My blog still has that new car smell. I started working on it maybe two weeks ago. My first post was a week ago. The blog is small potatoes right now. No, tiny potatoes. Drop in the bucket potatoes?

Anyway, today I have ten followers and less than ten posts. Baby steps. This is wonderful for me. Baby steps are still steps, and I’m having fun with this project. There’s a benefit to blogging I didn’t think about. Thanks to my fellow bloggers, I had a moment that caused a big smile for me.

I usually write my posts after I get home from work. One day last week, I was thinking about an idea before work. I decided, “why not.” I typed the post and hit the publish button just before getting into the car for work.

I had an early morning status meeting this day. My cell phone is always quiet in the morning, so I didn’t turn it off. The meeting starts. I few minutes in my cell starts pinging. Surprised, I look at my phone and a big smile forms on my face. It was the notifications of people liking my post! Love from my fellow bloggers!

My boss hears my cell. He sees my smile and asks, “What’s happening?” I apologized for the noise and turned my cell off. The smile stays on my face.

Thanks for the love fellow bloggers!!! I have to start liking more posts so I can spread this love around!

And thanks for reading CAPM and More!