In this interview series, we caught up with Scot Herrick from Cube Rules LLC who shares his expertise and insights about job search, career change,etc.in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
Cube Rules helps people find a job, have job success, and gain employment security.
How did you get started in this path?
I started blogging in 2006 because I thought it was a good way to share career information.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
It started out as a way to share what I was seeing in the workplace.
Then it became more serious when I started noticing how few people knew how to navigate a career.
Then it became really serious when I realized that all the“career management” stuff was really job skills that needed building — but they were used so infrequently, few people were very good at it.
What is the best Career Advice you’ve ever received?
Every job ends. It is only a question of when.
Your challenge is to determine how long you think your job will go until it ends, subtract out how long it takes you to find a job, and at that point, start looking for a new position (either inside or outside your company).
You have to account for changing conditions, so you need to consistently ask that question (I ask every six months if nothing is going on) or immediately start evaluating it with a big event change.
Personal example: I was in a job where I pegged it would last a minimum of three years (it was a 3-year program!). Then, one year into it, the manager changed, the new manager was in a different country, and new policies came from the new manager.
That change meant I now thought, for a variety of reasons, the position would last a year, not three. It would take 3-months to land a new position, so I would look for a job 9-months out. And instead of re-evaluating how long the position would last once every 6-months, I looked at it every 2-weeks as more information happened with the new manager.
By following this advice, you’ll usually be acting in a proactive manner and won’t normally get surprised by some layoff announcement or find yourself in an untenable position, trapped with desperation at your door.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
You get to help people find jobs.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I work full time 🙂
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
How to write a good resume, how to interview well, how to use their business network to find jobs.
It’s because these skills are not used very often so few people are very good at doing that work.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
Work with your business network to get informational interviews and target companies to work for.
Job boards rarely work.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
Not having a resume that addresses their accomplishments, not adjusting their answers to interview questions based on who is asking them, talking about what “the team” did for the work instead of addressing what the candidate did to move the work forward. Not answering interview questions directly.
Droning on with a five-minute answer to an interview question instead of thinking the answer through and answering it in two minutes. And more.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Increasing vulnerability of being laid off and a longer time to find a job.
This has been the longest expansion in history and it won’t last forever. Already, long leading indicators are pointing to the start of a recession in late 2020. It wouldn’t take much to push the economy on a downward trajectory. Continue a trade war with China, for instance; prices go up, where China retaliates cripples the industry targeted (see: soybean farmers), and a some point it starts to impact the overall economy.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Maintain your college contacts — they form the basis of your business network.
Think about it…all of your friends who graduated will get many different jobs…in many different companies…in many different locations.
When the time comes to find a different job or career, this group of people is a gold mine of information you can use for your job search.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
First, clearly understand what your job skills are. Most job skills, unless specific to some certification area (e.g., Windows server engineering), can be transferred to other jobs. But you need to know what job skills you have to do the comparison.
Second, try for something “adjacent” to what you are doing now. Maybe you do nursing now. Because of that background, it would make sense to look for positions where that knowledge would be a big advantage — medical software, health care companies, health insurance.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
There are a lot of factors, most of them started back at the bottom of the Great Recession and have iteratively improved or kept on going.
This question implies that workers should be in a really good position, but there are few wage gains going on greater than inflation despite the low unemployment rate, workers have little to no power in their positions to effectively get better wages and benefits, and companies have literally no incentive to keep people they don’t want.
It’s really pretty fragile out there. Yes, you can find a new job relatively quick, but that’s about it.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
The constant for hiring managers is finding the right talent that will help attain their business goals while fitting in with the team.
The thing is, just as job candidates rarely use their job search skills, hiring managers rarely use their hiring / interviewing / understanding the talent needed skills.
Consequently, they don’t hire the right person for the job.
I think a lot of “No qualified people to fill positions” arguments are really just because hiring managers don’t hire well.
Scot, what are you currently working on?
I’m building three courses that people can take as they make career transitions:
How to Build the Killer Resume
How to Survive a Layoff
You’ve Landed Your Dream Job — Now What???
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?
JibberJobber.com – the best way to organize your job search and manage your relationships.