Bonnie Negron had a 20-year corporate career before launching her company, Bonnie Career Services. Take charge of your professional trajectory. Skyrocket your earnings. Like a ’90s slow jam, she’s here for you. What Bonnie often finds with her clients is they’re too focused on what they don’t want. A former boss or colleague or company (or the economy or the pandemic) did ’em dirty, right, and they don’t want that to happen again. Understandable, so what do you want?
Dunno. They haven’t thought about it. Too preoccupied with fear. So your first step is to gain clarity on your destination. Then you can create a resume that slaps, a LinkedIn profile that sizzles. “This is the biggest problem I see with job seekers today,” Bonnie says, “and so that is where I come in to sorta pull them forward. ‘Cause that’s what it’s all about. It’s about moving forward and not staying stuck in the past, focused on what you don’t want. Focus on what it is that you do want.”
You’ve done all these amazing things. What are your top 3-5 skills? What do you want to do more of? Which experiences can you leverage to land that dream role? “Because when you enjoy your job,” Bonnie explains, “you’re gonna do it with all the passion you have. And it’s not gonna feel like work. So what are your core skills? What are your career achievements? Recognitions, major projects that you’ve worked on, challenges that you’ve overcame. And then, do those match up with the core skills?”
Now make a resume that’s well-rounded, sure, but speak the language of the jobs you’re aiming for. If you’ve got your sights set on a leadership role, don’t waste precious space going on and on about the project manager position you had three years back. Ask yourself: Am I really speaking to what I’m trying to portray? If not, what is the right language I should be using instead? And then your LinkedIn should compliment your resume. Tell your story. But make it more personable, more appropriate for social media.
Okay, what if your job’s being phased out? Maybe ChatGPT’s coming for it. “Then we need to look at what skills you have and how those skills transition to different industries,” Bonnie says. “If you’re early in your working career, then it might mean you need to go and get further education or certification. Either way, don’t stall your job search. That’s something that I see a lot of clients do; they’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m going back to school, so I wanna wait.’ No, you don’t wanna wait. You wanna keep going. You never know what other opportunities are out there.”
“I’m always a fan of continuous education, continuous learning, but look at the numbers,” Bonnie continues. “Look at the cost that you’re gonna be investing for the degree or the certification. Is it gonna require you to be out of work longer? Are you out of work now? Can you fund that certification? You have to take all of these things into account. But, in general, I would never advise a client to stall their job search because of an education program that they wanna pursue.”
Finally, be careful of becoming too obsessed with the number. The salary, the hourly pay. Zoom out, look at the entire picture. What are the benefits like? How much vacation time are you getting? Are you allowed to work remotely? It might be worth taking a $5,000 income hit if you can work from home four days a week, save on gas, win back an extra hour or two on those days, right? Bonnie sells Writing Packages, a Rock Your Resume Roadmap, and a Career Shake-Up Mentorship if you need more assistance.