In this interview series, we caught up with Mike McRitchie from Critical Path Actionwho shares his expertise and insights about job search, career change,etc.in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
Critical Path Action helps mid to late-career tech industry specialists and managers uncover their unique strengths, accomplishments, and cool stories to age-proof their career and land their next career opportunity.
I do this by providing resume and LinkedIn profile rewrite services and job search strategy guidance.
I also help side hustlers and business owners write more impactful content, whether that’s for their website (home, about, services pages) LinkedIn company page, executive team bios, proposals, blogs or sales emails.
How did you get started in this path?
As someone who had been hired and fired, as an employee and contractor, managed/hired/fired staff and was the operations director for a staffing company.
After having written resumes for others as well as many of my own over the years, I decided to launch resume writing as a business.
Took a resume writing course then launched my business.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
I never saw myself doing this but after helping grow a business and recognizing the insights I could leverage for the benefit of others in a similar situation, I launched this as a side business that will ultimately transition into my retirement business. I do as I counsel others to do.
What is the best Career Advice you’ve ever received?
If you want to progress in your career you need to promote yourself. No one else has the same vested interest in you…as you.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
Helping people recognize the strengths they have and the value they bring, that then translates into the confidence to believe in themselves and land that next career opportunity.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
Constantly reading and learning ideas from other top experts, testing ideas and gaining insights from my clients, and staying connected with other industry leaders.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Recognizing their value.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
Not focusing enough and trying to shotgun their resumes out.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
Don’t rely on online job postings.
Leverage LinkedIn to identify insider contacts then reach out to learn about the company and role – ideally before you have to hunt for that next job.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
The U.S. economy has been booming.
With the internet global opportunities abound.
And with the gig economy there is really no reason to be unemployed.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Remote jobs will be the norm as expensive office space gets phased out and virtual team communication options expand.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Learn everything you can. You’ll have 10+ jobs in a career. So the skills you learn along the way will be the foundation for the rest of your career.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Talk to people in the role and industry you’re considering.
Nothing worse than thinking the grass is greener then finding out you hate the new job.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
When you come across a job posting you’re interested in, before you apply, check to see who in your network works there (you can see when you click on the company name in LinkedIn – they show people who’ve listed the company in their profile).
Then reach out before applying. This gives you an opportunity to increase your chances of getting an interview and landing the job from the 2% or so that a cold online application delivers to the 70%+ that a referral generates.
Bonus tip – If the company has a job candidate referral program the person who you put as a reference can often earn a referral bonus. Extra incentive for someone on the inside to help you out.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
With a decentralized workforce the social ties that used to exist in an office environment will dissipate and workers will chase that social void after a year or two at the next company.
Mike, what are you currently working on?
Having seen my dad lose his job and his pension when the company he worked for went bankrupt right before retirement I vowed not to let that happen to me.
Now I’m on a mission to help people avoid a similar fate and age-proof their careers.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?