My Career Advice Was Featured in Essence!

I’m so happy and proud to have my career coaching advice featured in the print and online September issue of Essence Magazine! This is definitely a dream come true to be featured in a magazine I’ve grown up reading.

I share my thoughts on how to rebound from three common nail-biting scenarios.

Here’s the link to the article.

 

Joyel Crawford accepted into Forbes Coaches Council

Joyel Crawford, Founder and Career Coach of Crawford Leadership Strategies, LLC, has been accepted into the Forbes Coaches Council, an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches.

Joyel joins other Forbes Coaches Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on Forbes.com. 

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes. As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their businesses — and a dedicated member concierge who acts as an extension of their own team, providing personalized one-on-one support.

According to Crawford, “I am passionate about helping others reach their full potential and find careers that are purposeful.  To remain competitive in today’s market with constantly changing job search strategies, my clients need to be armed with the most current trends and best practices in job search and career management.  My acceptance into the Forbes Coaches Council will help Crawford Leadership Strategies further cement its leadership development role in the community.”

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Joyel into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

How To Campaign For Your Career

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I’ve coached a lot of folks in my day. Most advice naturally comes from my own personal experiences of navigating the direction of my career. Many of the action items I share with clients take a lot of work and effort but like with anything you really desire- the hard work can pay off.

You can’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for the opportunity to fall in your lap. You have to go out there and shake some hands and kiss some babies. Ok, you don’t have to kiss babies, but you do need to pound the pavement and get the word out that you stand for your own professional growth and development. I call these actions campaigning for your career.

Here are some steps to run for “office” in your office:

1)Determine Your Platform
a) What do you stand for? What is your career mission/goal? Take some time and marinate on what you want to do in your organization. Brainstorm it out. I knew where I wanted to go next on my first day of work. During a career development meeting, I shared these goals with my Supervisor and we developed a strategy. He became my running mate. It’s up to you to know where you want to go and ask for help along the way.
b) Develop your campaign “slogan.” Create a quick sound bite or elevator pitch to inform mentors, recruiters or possible networking connections of who you are and your career goals.

2)Get On The Campaign Trail
a) If you haven’t already, join professional organizations that interest you. Attend events that will give you visibility, network to get your contact information out there. This is where you will get your face out there and noticed.
b) If you’re growing within your organization, develop projects that will increase revenue and share best practices. If there’s a department you want to work in, make sure you connect with the department head and develop ways to make that department and ultimately the company successful.

3)Don’t Just Focus On The Big Donors
a) The people who will help you get where you want to go don’t always hold the highest positions. There are mentors (campaign supporters) of different levels of influence all around you. How well do you work with your fellow teammates? Don’t forget that people of influence don’t always have to be the CEO of the organization. The key is to seek out leaders at all levels to learn and grow with them. Fostering solid business partnerships is key to building your support system.

4)Invest In Your Cause
a) Campaigning for your career will take up a few resources like money, time and energy. If you’d like to get a career coach, take a prep course for a certification to build your skills, or get a degree you may need some financial support. See if your company has a tuition assistance program or provides discounts for certifications related to your field. Look online for scholarships and grants that may support you desire to grow.
b) Be mindful that your commitment to career growth may mean giving back to the organization that supported you. A lot of companies that provide assistance will ask for you to commit several years to support the business’ growth. Keep your commitment. You’ll definitely build more bridges staying and developing more than hitting the proverbial piggy bank and running.

5)There Is Such A Thing As Bad Publicity When Developing Your Career
a) Be present on social media in responsible and professional way. Be mindful that recruiters and companies may look at sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to check out who you are and how you operate. Your image and how you conduct yourself can give folks a snapshot of how you may behave in a professional setting. What story are you telling folks when you share your photos, stories, etc.? Does your brand at work reflect what you’re showing others out of the office?

6)Don’t Lose Sight Of The Key Issues
a) There is such a thing as over campaigning. You still want to give 150% to your current role so that you can add value to the business. Try not to let the future position distract you from your current job. Every step you make can lead to amazing career opportunities. Make every day count.
b) Don’t just be visible when the job opening has posted. Hiring managers and recruiters can see the fake effort a mile away. Show up every day and be the leader you want to be whether you get the job or not.

7)Don’t Be A Sore Loser
a) How you show up after a turndown will be observed. Badmouthing the hiring manager or the candidate that was selected for the position is not good form. This is where your character is really put to the test. Ask for feedback on how to build up your skills so you’ll be the candidate of choice next time an opportunity arises.

8)Gratitude Goes A Long Way
a) Always thank those people that supported you in your efforts to grow and develop. They were there for you at the very beginning of things. Gratitude is a major leadership characteristic. Heck, its just good manners!
b) Another cool thing to do is keep in touch. Check in with your supporters and let them know how your campaign is going. People who support you genuinely want to know how and where you are on your campaign trail. I’ve kept in touch with my supporters for over 20 years now. No matter how busy they are, they are happy to hear from me. Don’t be afraid to keep people in the loop.

Good luck with your campaign! And if you need a Campaign Manager to help you along the way, I’m here for you. Drop me an email at info@clsnext.com for a consultation.

I’m Joyel Crawford from Crawford Leadership Strategies and I approve this message.

You’re Hired! Now What?!

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You’ve waited for months for this very moment. You probably interviewed for what feels like a hundred times. Then you got the call you’ve been waiting for- you got the job offer!

Congratulations! You finally got it! The job you’ve been waiting for! Now what?!

You just put on your best first day of work outfit and make magic happen, right?! Right?!

It’s not that simple.

Your first day at this new job is the first day of your daily interview.

Wait! What?!

That’s right! I said it! Everyday you show up to work you are being interviewed- again.

The company didn’t make a huge investment interviewing and assessing the right candidate for nothing. They want to ensure that you not only thrive but also strive to exceed their expectations.
You also have your own expectations. You want to “bring it on” at this new job. Hopefully this next step is a career builder.
So what should you do?

1.) Show Up- Be on time. Strike that- be at least 10 to 15 minutes early. A wise mentor once told me that being ten minutes early is showing up to work on time. Prepare for the unknown. If you rely on childcare, take public transportation or even drive yourself-plan ahead. Prepare for traffic, back up childcare and things that may go awry during your commute to work. Punctuality and being at work on time not only builds your brand but it could also help you avoid any negative consequences related to the company’s attendance policy.

2.) Get a good night’s rest. This goes for each night. Rest and good productivity go hand in hand. It also has a ton of health benefits. It doesn’t look good coming to work hungover or nodding off in a meeting. Rest up!

3.) Don’t stop doing your homework- Building your business acumen is not only good for your continued learning about how your company works and makes money but it’s also a great way for you to network with leadership. Knowing how your new employer makes money may also help you make the business even better. Challenge yourself with coming up with best practices to help the make or save company more money. This will build your internal resume, help bring you into the spotlight and better position you for possible growth opportunities.

4.) Find a mentor- Your career isn’t going to magically grow like Jack’s Beanstalk overnight. You need to nurture and cultivate your business relationships early. People that “speak” to you through their leadership and results are folks you need to get to know. So do it! Get to know them. It’s that simple. Ask for a small bit of time to chat and if you feel that this person may have some nuggets of knowledge that you can use to nurture your growth, ask them if they have any time to be your mentor. This is like a part time job. You will need to drive this connection. Keeping in touch and meeting one a monthly basis is key.

Listen, this company wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t believe you were the right fit for the job. Keep your head in the game and your eye on your professional development prize and you’ll be great!

Who are you wearing?

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“Who are you wearing?! Who are you wearing?!” When I was watching this past weekend’s Oscars Red Carpet I could hear the press shouting this question to the who’s who of Hollywood. It got me thinking about this question: “Who are you wearing when you show up to an interview?”

Now, I’m not trying to say that landing a face-to-face interview is an event that you wait your entire life to achieve like the folks on the Red Carpet this weekend. At least I hope it’s not taking you a lifetime. What I am saying is that it’s an event and one of the first times to make a lasting first impression on your future employer.

What attitude and energy are you wearing to that interview? How are you showing up? I know you feel like you got this in the bag but are you prepared? Confidence is great accessory but without Preparation, you may be exposing yourself to a branding wardrobe malfunction.

Most interview processes deal with several layers of vetting. Phone screens, assessments for skill, salary pre screens to see if your target salary matches what the company is prepared to offer and then the face-to-face interviews. Let’s say that you get the coveted invitation to meet with the hiring manager. What do you do next?

After doing a quick Snoopy dance, you need to focus on what’s happening. Did you get all of the information you need to be prepared to show up? Do you need to bring any type of presentation or portfolio of your work? More importantly did you get the correct time, date and address of where you’re supposed to be? Did you repeat it to the scheduler to confirm you have all of the right information?

Have you reviewed the job description? Do you understand what’s being expected of this role and how you can add value to the company’s bottom line? How are you going to help make this company more successful? Do you have any questions about the role, the leadership style of the person you’d be reporting to, and did you look at the company’s performance to understand how the business works?

Can you clearly discuss your experiences and how your skills and abilities can help benefit the company? Do you know how to explain why you left your last job or why you’re looking for another opportunity? Did you iron your shirt? Did you wash the ink stamp from last night’s club off your hand? Are you the picture of success inside and out?

Oh my goodness! I’m asking you too many questions! Why can’t I just let you coast and improvise the interview?! Remember that branding wardrobe malfunction I mentioned at the beginning of my blog? This may be your one opportunity in person to show this employer what unique talents you possess and how you can make this company shine. Not being prepared is like having spinach stuck in your teeth for class picture day and nobody cares to tell you about it until it’s too late. I’m telling you about the spinach in your teeth now! Check yourself before you wreck yourself!

Searching for the interview responses in the ceiling, not researching the company or not asking any questions of the employer can be huge misses. You’ll trip and fall on that Interview Red Carpet and the be an interview Don’t versus an interview Do.

Take the time to invest in getting yourself prepared for this interview. Make sure you get plenty of rest the night before. You can do this! The Association for Psychological Science says it only takes “7 seconds to make a good first impression”. Show up to that Interview Red Carpet (preferably 10 minutes early- that’s “on time”) and when the company paparazzi are asking you who you’re wearing you can answer confidently “Preparation”.