Feature: The 18 Minute Expert Examination

Feature: The 18 Minute Expert Examination

Feature: The 18 Minute Expert Examination

The Information Age has done much to expand access to knowledge. Sadly, it has also undermined the value of information. We’ve become a nation of indiscriminate information sponges. We absorb billions of bits of data-facts, analyses and opinions-and, all too often, we accord every single one of them the same credibility and respect. And, in my view, that’s a terrible mistake. Just because someone says something-on television, on a Web-site, or on a blog-doesn’t mean he or she has the expertise to do so.

Take the career advice that’s typically dispensed on morning television news shows. Basically, you have an anchorperson who has absolutely no background in career matters interviewing a reporter who has spent two or three days or maybe even all of a week investigating the job market. Despite that superficial level of expertise, they are positioned as experts and asked to opine about job search strategies and career advancement techniques. The resulting exchange is frequently so simplistic, the caliber of information so poor that the advice you receive is worthless or worse, even harmful.

For example, I recently saw a television interview in which a book author-yes, even their credentials require validation-suggested that “brownnosing” was an effective strategy for people worried about keeping their jobs. (Sadly the topic of workplace survival is likely to be a staple of TV over the next several months.) The show’s host was clueless about the value of that notion so promoted it as a good idea. In truth, it was probably the worst piece of career advice I’ve seen on television in over a decade. Brownnosing is a deceitful, insincere attempt to curry favor with one’s superiors. A far more effective way to make yourself indispensible would be to devote the time required to be deceitful to gaining credibility as a meaningful contributor on-the-job.

But advising someone to brownnose is catchy and that draws eyeballs. And eyeballs are the currency of success for television news shows, Web-sites and blogs. Although they will always claim otherwise, many (but certainly not all) will focus on anything, even if its value or credibility has not been vetted, as long as it is unusual, out of the ordinary or outlandish enough to catch your attention. As a consequence, and with increasing frequency, the information that’s dispensed in the media-at least when it comes to effective career self-management-isn’t information at all. It’s “dumbformation.”

What should you do? Use the 18 Minute Expert Examination below. It’s easy to do and will minimize your risk of being misled by counterfeit experts spouting dumbformation.

Step 1. (Time Required: 6 minutes) Check the track record of anyone passing themselves off or being passed off in the media as an “expert.” Go online and Google their name to see whether they have any visibility in the known world, and if so, what others are saying about them. Determine how long they’ve been in the career management field and what, exactly, they’ve been doing. Also check the search results to see if they have had an article or book published or have presented at career-related conferences. True experts will have measurable and meaningful experience in the career field.

Step 2. (Time Required: 5 minutes) Visit their Web-site or their Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn profile. If they don’t have one, that’s a red flag in and of itself. There are experts in career self-management who don’t have a site or a profile, but the vast majority do. So, stop by whichever they have and review their qualifications. Check to see if they have a degree in career counseling or have been certified in career coaching. See if they’re a member of a career management-related association such as the Association of Career Management Professionals, CareerDirectors International, Career Management Alliance, and the International Coach Federation. True experts will have one or both of those credentials.

Step 3. (Time Required: 7 minutes) If they’re a book author, visit Amazon.com and check to see what else they’ve had published and what reviewers have said about their books. Although generalizations can be inaccurate, I’d be very skeptical of the advice in any career book written by a CEO-what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for everyone-and by anyone whose fifteen minutes of fame exceeds their cumulative experience in the workplace. If they’re not a book author, go back to their Web-site or profile and read what they’ve written there. Pick one or two of the techniques they discuss and Google those to see what others in the career management field think of them. True experts will have expertise that others recognize and respect.

Why go to all this trouble? Because managing your own career is the single most important job you will ever have. Employers’ jobs belong to them; your career belongs to you. That means two things:

  • First, it’s up to you to ensure the health of your career and in the 21st Century, you have to work at keeping it healthy every single day.
  • And second, you determine the success or lack of it in your career, not your employer, your boss or the HR Department.
  • Most of us will need some assistance to meet those twin responsibilities, and happily, there’s plenty of assistance available. As with anything else, however, you must make smart choices. There is help that can help and help that can harm. There are true experts and, unfortunately, there are counterfeit experts, as well. The only way to know the difference is to examine their experience, credentials and expertise. And you can do that in just 18 minutes.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Commit an Intentional Act of Kindness. Do something special for a friend or colleague in these difficult times. Tell about them WEDDLE’s newsletter. It’s the best advice they’ll never have to pay for!

    This Issue’s Sponsor: Recognizing Richard Rabbit

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book. It offers a gentle way to survive and prosper in tough times.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends who make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

    This story opens the door to genuine self exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you were meant to be.

    Why is that so important? Because whether you are a mid-career professional or a first time job seeker, whether you are a senior executive or a skilled tradesperson, whether you are actively looking for a job or just keeping your options open, the key to success is a sure understanding of who you are and what you stand for. So, make sure you know the authentic You. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Monica Lambert, the Recruiting Manager with Leo Burnett Advertising, offered the following advice to college students seeking to enter the advertising field:

  • Pay the student rate and attend local Ad Club meetings. Dress sharp and carry a “business card” to share with those you meet.
  • Find a person within your target Agency/Employer to “connect with,” outside of anyone in HR. Meet with them informally and ask if they will allow you to shadow them, even briefly, at work.
  • Take a leadership role in a related marketing/design/communications club. If your school doesn’t have one, start your own.
  • Consider taking an unpaid internship in exchange for course credit.
  • If necessary, redesign your image so that it exudes professionalism.
  • It’s O.K. to be disappointed if you don’t receive a job offer, but don’t become negative. You never know what will happen in the future, so never burn your bridges behind you.
  • Utilize your school’s alumni network. Seek informational interviews and build relationships that can serve you in the future as well as in your current job search.
  • WEDDLE’s publishes the perfect job search tool for hard times-an inexpensive, quick and easy-to-use series of guides to the best job boards and career portals online. Think of them as the CliffsNotes to career success on the Internet. Called WEDDLE’s WIZNotes-Fast Facts on Job Boards, each book includes compact, but complete profiles of the key sites that specialize in a specific career field or employment situation. There are WIZNotes for:

  • Sales & Marketing professionals,
  • Finance & Accounting professionals,
  • Engineers,
  • Human Resource professionals,
  • Scientists
  • Women Professionals
  • Managers & Executives,
  • and

  • Recent Graduates.
  • Plus

  • Finding a Job on the Web
  • Writing a Great Resume
  • All you have to do is select the WIZNotes that’s right for you. Each volume has exactly the information you need to find the right job boards and career portals for you. And best of all, at $12.95 each, WEDDLE’s WIZNotes are a bargain to boot! Get one for yourself and one for your spouse or partner, son or daughter, friend or colleague or boss. They’re helpful to any and everyone regardless of their years of experience. To order your WIZNotes, call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Order today!

    WEDDLE’s also offers a number of other publications that can help you land the job of your dreams, even in today’s tough job market. They include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the career fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden job market” online, it details the employment resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • Finding a job in the present environment is difficult; finding a great job is even more difficult. Part of the challenge is knowing where to look. With over 50,000 job boards in the U.S. alone, there are lots of places where you can waste a lot of time and effort. How can you avoid that trap? Be a smart consumer. Get the gold standard of job board guides: WEDDLE’s. They will help you identify the job boards that will work best for you. So, don’t delay! Call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here to place your order today.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 50,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful online job search, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for your specific employment objective. WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the best opportunities for you. For example:

    working.com

    http://www.working.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: National-Canada

    Number of jobs: 160,000

    Salary levels of jobs: Up to $200K/year

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: None

    Other services for job seekers: Assessment instruments, Career information, Links to other sites with career information

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit Today!

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of Recognizing Richard Rabbit, Peter Weddle’s big bestseller in a little book. It offers a gentle way to survive and prosper in tough times.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults. In the genre of Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s a tale about some forest friends who make an amazing discovery by trying to help one of their own. They don’t uncover the key to organizational change, however, or to setting strategic goals for the enterprise. No, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a much more personal book and its gift is unique to each and every reader.

    This story opens the door to genuine self exploration. It is all about finding the secret to authentic living. To being your own true self. How does Recognizing Richard Rabbit do that? Unlike traditional fables, this tale unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can find the pathway to the person you were meant to be.

    Why is that so important? Because whether you are a mid-career professional or a first time job seeker, whether you are a senior executive or a skilled tradesperson, whether you are actively looking for a job or just keeping your options open, the key to success is a sure understanding of who you are and what you stand for. So, make sure you know the authentic You. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.