On the ninth entry of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, talks to us about five things she thinks we should consider when pursuing our dream job or just that next best move we can make. You’re bringing a lot of things to the plate – your experience, your expertise, your skills – so it’s important to make sure that these companies are really delivering that value right back to you!
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Latesha: What’s up, everyone? Welcome to The Link Up with Latesha. I am your host Latesha Byrd, and this podcast is for young professionals that need some real deal advice, tips, and resources to navigate corporate America and dominate their career. If you’re looking to upgrade your brand, get the knowledge you need to level up professionally for your future, you are in the right place. I am here with Living Corporate, and today we are talking about five things to consider as you are pursuing your dream job. That’s right, talking about pursuing your dream job or your ideal job or the next best move that you can possibly make or–for any type of job opportunity or career path that you are considering, here are five key tips. And this is extremely important because I realized that so many of us really go about this job search process all wrong. For instance, we get our degree–I’ll just choose marketing as an example. We’ll get our marketing degree, then we just are looking for marketing jobs without thinking about “Is this something that I will actually enjoy? Will it fulfill me? Will I love it?” We’re just out here applying to the jobs that we think we can get an interview for, things that, you know, we meet the qualification for, but do these careers actually qualify us, or should we be qualifying them? When you are thinking about the job search process and as it relates to landing an opportunity, it is a transactional relationship. With that being said, you are being paid for your experience, your expertise, your skills. If you have listened to this podcast, you know I’ve preached on this all of the time, but you’re bringing a lot of things to the plate, so it’s important to make sure that these companies are really delivering that value right back to you. So as you are thinking about what your next job will look like, I have five tips for you, and the first one is – will this company allow you to live the lifestyle that you ultimately want to live? With that being said, do you want to be able to work flexible hours? I’m a very independent person, just thinking about my personal work style. If you give me something, you give me a task, I’ll take it, I’ll run with it. Now, you have some others that, like, really emphasize collaboration every step of the way. Not saying that I’m not collaborative. [laughs] I just kind of like doing my own thing, and I’ll explain that a little bit later. So just thinking about the type of lifestyle that you want. Do you want to work flexible work hours? I actually don’t even really buy into this “work from home” thing anymore. I like the “work from anywhere” model, you know? So let’s say I’m traveling [and] I want to go–me and my friend, we actually went to Chicago for a week in August, and, you know, she was–she wanted to go out of town for a week. Her job was flexible and allowed her to do that. So, you know, I’m an entrepreneur. I typically can kind of go and choose to work where and how I please, and so I said, “Hey, girl. I’m coming on this trip with you to Chicago,” and we just went to Chicago for a week and, you know, got an Airbnb and just worked, just for a change of scenery. Will your job allow you to kind of live that lifestyle if you do like to be on the go-go-go. With that being said, if you do like to travel, get a job that will give you those travel opportunities, you know? When I worked in recruiting–and that was what I did prior to becoming a full-time entrepreneur. As I was growing my coaching practice I was a recruiter for an accounting firm, managing recruiting for about five offices up and down the East Coast, and through that job I was able to travel up and down the coast, from D.C., Virginia, Atlanta–I went out to Vegas for a few conferences. So a very, very cool experience, and I love to be able to travel. So think about the lifestyle that you want. Will that company, will that job, allow you to do that? We all know that there are certain positions that are a little bit more–that are travel-based, you know? Maybe you have clients all over the states or you have clients internationally that will you require you to have some face time with your clients. So, you know, if you like to travel, that might be a type of job that you would want to consider. You know, consulting, there’s so much travel involved in that, and a lot of other types of, you know, opportunities out here that will allow you to do that type of trouble. The second is D&I, or I’ll say DE&I. Or is it DEI? [laughs] Diversity, equity, and inclusion. We hear this talk about company culture, right? Making sure that, you know, “You need to be with a company that has a great culture and everyone likes each other.” I really think it boils down to “Does this company have innovative DEI initiatives, practices? Are they not just talking the talk, but are they walking the walk?” If a company is really focused on that, their culture is going to be reminiscent of or reflective of, you know, the effort that they actually put behind it, and that’s extremely important to me. You know, thinking about–I am a black woman. I want to see black women in leadership roles. It would be great to see them in roles that I aspire to. And, you know, not just black women, but I want to work in teams where I get to work with folks of all different ethnicities and genders and sexual orientations and, you know, all of the things that make us different, because I’ve realized that as I start to learn from other people from different backgrounds, it actually makes me a more well-rounded individual. And, you know, from a diversity perspective, companies do perform better if their teams are diverse. And I don’t want to just emphasize on that diversity piece, but the culture has to be inclusive, and that’s a lot more than doing an unconscious bias training once a year. Number three is the team. When you’re interviewing with these companies, make sure that you are meeting people that you would like to–that you would be working with. Maybe if you don’t have the opportunity to connect with someone who works on that team while you are interviewing, see if you can at least have a conversation with them throughout that process, even if it’s over the phone or for something casual. Let’s say you interview, you get the offer, and you still don’t know who you’re working with. Ask them if you can actually speak with those individuals before you make your ultimate decision. You know, it is so important–[laughs]–it is so important to actually like the people that you work with. Do you like them? Do you vibe with them? Is the energy good? You know, these are things to pay attention to as you meet them. What is their working style, you know? Do you have a team that likes to meet every other day to talk about what they’re working on? Or if you’re like me, where you’re a fairly independent worker, hey, maybe “I have my work here, you have your work there. We come together when we have the ultimate team or a larger-scale project that we’re working on,” but for the most part I’m good, you know? That was one thing that I really enjoyed about being in recruiting, I had my own territory that I managed. The other recruiters on my team, they had their territories that they managed, and we would come together to plan, you know, company-wide recruiting events, initiatives, things of that nature, and I really enjoyed the independency piece of it, but also the opportunities to collaborate as needed. Number four – the work itself. [laughs] Will you actually enjoy the work that you’re doing? You know, before I was in recruiting–now y’all are gonna be like, “How many jobs did this girl have?” I had three, okay? I went from accounting to recruiting, and now I am a career coach. [laughs] So I started my career with KPMG in Audit. It was a wonderful opportunity, a wonderful company. I had several internships with them, but as I–and I guess I didn’t really think through if I would actually like it until I started working post-graduate school and said, “Wait, is this what I–wait, this is what I signed up for?” You know? As an intern, I was just happy to be collecting a check and to be working with a large organization that had such a great brand recognition. So I realized that I did not enjoy being an auditor, you know? I kind of felt like, man, my clients didn’t love seeing me. I wanted to feel like I’m actually making a difference or I’m making an impact where I’m helping, and, you know, folks when they see me, they’d be like, “Ugh, what do you want today?” [laughs] They were actually great. They were fine, but it was sometimes a little harder as an auditor to get what we needed. You just had to kind of, you know, win your client over a little bit, and then it was good, but I ultimately realized that not only that, I just did not enjoy the work, and that become something that was, you know, pretty important, but it’s not all about me. I meet a lot of women every day that don’t love the work that they do and they are scared to, you know, pursue something else because of the pay, because, you know, maybe this job that they’re at right now is giving them some flexibility, or maybe they’re just scared, you know? Maybe it’s just fear, but if you don’t enjoy the work, I promise you there is a job out there where you can enjoy it and you can get all of the other things that you want and more. Number five is growth and training opportunities. Are you interested in growing with the company? Now, success–we should always be reevaluating what success looks like for us from a professional landscape, but, you know, when it comes to growing, do you want to actually grow into a leadership role, a management role? You know, if not, then that’s cool too, but depending on how you want your future to look, you need to make sure that the organization is willing and able and has the capacity and is fully vested in your growth and they are going to provide you with training opportunities and development opportunities that will allow you to grow into that professional being that you ultimately want to be. So I hope that these five key things help. Make a list. You know, make a list of all of these things and get as specific as possible. I have all of my coaching clients create a list of at least 30 things that they are looking for in their next role. These are some things to consider. Now, I didn’t cover every single thing that’s out there, but to me those are the five key things. You have to think about what’s most important to you. So that’s all I have today. Just to run through those tips again or those keys. Remember, it was five key things to remember as you are considering your next position. One is lifestyle. Two is culture or DEI, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Number three is the team. Do you actually like them? Do you vibe with them? Number four is the work itself. Will you actually enjoy what you are doing? And the last is growth and training opportunities. So that’s all I have today. Thank you all so much for listening to The Link Up with Latesha on Living Corporate. If you have any questions or comments or, you know, you have some thoughts, please reach out to me. You can find me on social media, on Instagram and Twitter, at Latesha–that is L-A-T-E-S-H-A underscore Byrd, B-Y-R-D. I’ll catch y’all next week. Peace.