Last week I wrapped up my last official duty for Martha Radio. I was the "prize" or rather my mentoring was the prize for a sweepstakes sponsored by DeluxeCorp and Martha's Dreamers into Doers project to help a small business owner to the next level. The winner was Laura McKeown who together with her husband Mac, started Sea Art Studio creating lovely functional tile art out of sea-based materials.
It was fascinating to meet with Laura and Mac and hear their story. Mac spent years as a commercial fisherman (a dangerous but lucrative job). One day, a giant boulder got caught in the nets. Sea life covered the stone and inspired the artist in Mac to recreate the beauty he saw into custom tiles. I'm honored to say I possess an original of Mac's work and it is impressive!
Together with the very savvy Laura Radewald from Deluxe (a previous guest on my radio show), we spent our "mentoring dinner" focused on ways Mac and Laura could build on their initial success.
Here are 3 essential questions I asked them so you too can make sure your career (or small business) is a success:
Soul Search: What is your biggest success story to date? What's made you happiest? Mac talked about a large installation that he found gratifying from an artistic and financial perspective. Laura talked about building their website and how it helped her realize her interest in creative marketing.
Research: What is between you and doing MORE of that kind of work? The way for Mac to more big installations was to increase his notoriety. But being an artist, Mac felt a strong personal connection to each product and therefore maintained control over how it was sold and marketed. Laura wanted to set up bigger partnerships with design stores and interior decorators but had a hard time getting Mac to choose the best designs for a product line that could be marketed and mass produced.
Job Search/Action Plan: What steps can you take to bridge the gap between where you are today and your ideal? I coached Laura and Mac to play to their unique strengths and compliment one another in their business roles. Laura valued Mac's work though was less attached and therfore better able to market his product. Mac's talents were best served focusing on the production process and continuing to make beautiful work most efficiently. The two walked away with an expanded perspective and specific tangible ways to make a living doing work they both loved!
Recently I attended Monster's Innovation Day to gain a sense for what's happening in the world of online job posting and recruiting.
Glad I did.
I learned new technology is enabling a few very helpful improvements to the matching process between employer and candidate.
If it works as well as it's described, submitting your resume to a corporate site won't be the black hole it is today. And more impressive, companies will also better be able to manage talent internally. They'll know more about the talent they have inside the company walls today and potential matches for the business needs of tomorrow. This will directly influence investments and training.
It all has to do with semantic search which unlike Boolean search, enables content and context to be utilized and analyzed to find results. No longer is it just about key word searches on resumes when companies want to find the right candidates eternally or externally. The latest tools can actually sift through databases of employee & candidate information in seconds & provide intelligently ranked results.
Crazy? Not really. Think of it this way, when you do a google search now, you get thousands of pages of results and not all quality. Well, with semantic search you get quality not just quantity. Did I mention Google just announced they are moving to semantic search?
So what does this mean to you?
Your chances of being found for the right job are increasing as technology gets smarter. You also won't have to agonize over resume key words like and sorry, you won't be able to "game the search systems" with creative uses of white space.
Overall it still comes down to managing your career to be found for the opportunities that fit the elements of your ideal career. You still need to find your passion and work to get those relevant skills and experience on your resume as you work towards your ideal career. But, we can all be glad technology is on our side in finding a match made in heaven (or on Monster.com.)