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I’m the Right Person in the Wrong Job

Before you start thinking that I don’t like where I work, know that the point of this article is to talk about what it’s like to feel that you are in the “wrong job” while still enjoying what you do. Let me make it clear that I LOVE my job and the people that I work with. My goal after college & graduate school has never wavered (once I figured it out): to help college students achieve their true potential. My way of doing that is to make sure that students can easily find a job after graduation by working in collegiate career services.

BUT, I watch videos, read blogs and research careers and what people should be doing with their career all the time. That made me start thinking…am I doing what I should be doing? Am I the A professional or B professional like the one you hear about in the below video?

When I first started my career, I remember feeling like I wasn’t smart enough for my job because I felt different than all of the other Career Consultants Counselors around me. It wasn’t that I was treated differently or felt like I wasn’t good enough for the job, rather I wasn’t sure if I was good enough. I was told by my supervisors and co-workers that I was doing a good job, but I just couldn’t quite believe it. How could I believe it if I wasn’t sure what a “great” Career Consultant was? Is there one way how to do it or one standard?

That’s when I came to this conclusion:

No, there isn’t one way how to be “good” because I didn’t factor in my personality. I may not be a “true” counselor in the sense that my master’s was not focused in counseling, but I help students ALL the time, in a different way.  Different doesn’t mean bad if it achieves the same results, and it did. So why worry?

I definitely wouldn’t feel the way I do today without the encouragement of my colleagues who “brought” me with them.  I hope this story helps to inspire you to believe in yourself and remember how great YOU are at your job. Sometimes we have to look into ourselves from time to time and believe that we’ve got what it takes. After all, results don’t lie.

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Interviewing 2.0: Answering “Tell me about yourself”

Year after year, I get complaints from employers that students don’t do enough company research before going into an interview. However, I really feel that the problem is not that students don’t do it. Rather, they just don’t know how to communicate it back to the employer. A great way any job seeker can demonstrate their company knowledge is through their answer to “Tell me about yourself.”

Remember the purpose of the interview: it’s to get a job. Always keep in mind that even though “tell me about yourself” is broad, the underlying reason why employers ask that is because they want you to tell them something RELEVANT and related to the job about yourself.

My basic model is:

Give a brief introduction (Name, major, graduation date). Bring up skills, knowledge, experience, projects or leadership/involvement related to the job. End with a summary statement that links your examples to the job to which you are applying.

Shortened Example (Imagine the job I’m interviewing for is marketing/social media related):

“My name is Laura Ledgerwood and I’m a 2007 graduate of Clemson University where I majored in marketing. In the past, I’ve been involved in several professional committees dedicated to marketing and social media where I learned a lot about effective strategies to engage your audience through the use of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. In my current role at the University of Georgia, I coordinate social media on the behalf of my office and keep track of social media analytics using Hootsuite and bit.ly. In addition to these experiences, I’ve been learning about the Adobe Creative Suite on the side to enhance my creative capabilities in the hope that I can get into a role more in line with that interest. Because of these experiences and my future career goals, I feel like I would be a great fit for [insert company name/job title].”