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Looking for a better job?

Let me teach you the best of what I know! My blog posts contain the best job search advice from my years as a product management team leader in the high tech software industry as well as what I’ve learned in the past three years helping dozens of Engineers and PMs land great new jobs at top-notch tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and numerous startups.

7 Ways to Know It’s Time For A New Job

time for new job

Gut-wrenching.

That is the best way to describe a voluntary decision to leave a perfectly good job to pursue something new. I’ve had to go through the painful process of changing jobs many times. It’s not easy, but getting to the point of conviction that it is the right thing to do isn’t impossible either. It helps to know the telltale signs showing you that it’s time to move on to new horizons.

In this post, I’ll share 7 of the ways to know it’s time for a new job. You might face just one of these, or perhaps all 7. Either way, if you are nodding your head in agreement as you read this article, you know the jig is up, and it’s time to plan your exit.

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How to Get a Job You Aren’t Qualified For

get a job you aren't qualified for

Barack Obama. Elon Musk. Bill Gates.

None of them were qualified to do their jobs.

Barack was a young and so-called inexperienced politician when he became the President. Elon is toppling three established and heavy-duty industries after cutting his teeth as a software entrepreneur building…of all things….payment systems. Bill Gates started Microsoft as a college-dropout creating an operating system for the far more experienced and “qualified" executives at IBM.

Me? Well…I’ll share a few stories about my own background to make it clear that I’ve never been overly qualified for the jobs I’ve done.

In fact, the notion that anyone is qualified for the job they do is laughable. By definition, anyone starting out in a career is unqualified. Also, those further along in a career who are continuing to progress and see promotions, are continually feeling challenged.

I vividly recall Mike, one of the Executives I used to work for, giving me a golden piece of advice shortly after my promotion to being a manager (I was in my mid–20’s). When I asked him for advice about leading a new team and feeling out of my league, Mike said, “Ravi, no-one really knows what they are doing! Don’t let them fool you!”

I’ll never forget that advice.

I believe that not only is it POSSIBLE to get a job you aren’t qualified for, I think those are exactly the type of jobs you SHOULD go for. These are the jobs that will stretch you and challenge you. If you are a shoe-in candidate for a job, unless the job responsibilities can grow over time, you will quickly be bored.

This is a counter-intuitive, but comforting notion for those struggling to break into a new field, come back to the workforce after a break or otherwise “punch above their weight” when it comes to getting offers for jobs that are exciting but seem out of their league.

It’s my goal to inspire you in this blog post to aim high when looking for your next job. Not only that, I want to give you practical tips and will help you make it happen.

But first, a personal story…

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The Best Way To Decide Between Multiple Job Offers

While studies show that the average time to hire Software Engineers is about 35 days, for those in the middle of a job search, the process can seem far more arduous. For managers or executives, the job search process can last for months (or even years for top CEOs).

At the end of what can be a long and effortful process of finding a new job, a job seeker is now faced with a final hurdle. Which offer to choose?

This is a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.

Perhaps you are like Felix Feng who had to choose between eight job offers after completing a coding boot camp or maybe you are further along in your career and are faced with deciding amongst 3–4 offers (as I witness with many of my senior-level coaching clients).

Sometimes, the offers are easy to rule out. Perhaps you have an offer from your dream company that is head and shoulders above the rest. In most cases, the various proposals all have their merits, and it is a smart thing to be deliberate in deciding which will be the best offer for you.

Especially if you are looking for a job in a highly competitive market for talent (e.g. like many jobs in the technology industry), the ability to assess and choose the right offer is an important one. In this post, I will share a method that will help you analyze and determine the best job for you.

I call it the “Decision Table” method.

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Salary Negotiation Case Study – 20 Minutes for $25,000

What if a few minutes of your time and a little courage during a salary negotiation could earn you tens of thousands of dollars or more?

Negotiation is a high leverage activity. It doesn’t need to take a long time but can result in a massive payoff.

Surprisingly, most people don’t negotiate their salary (or anything else really!). If they do, they leave money on the table. A survey by Salary.com revealed that only 37% of people always negotiate their salaries whereas 18% never do.

The top reasons why most people aren’t negotiating their salaries?

1. Fear
2. Lack of skill

We all want fair compensation for the job we do. Negotiating helps you educate others on what you believe to be your genuine value. It is also a practice that can help you determine the appropriate level of compensation for a job. Experts agree that most companies expect new employees to negotiate their job offers.

Therefore, why not do it?

This blog post shares a story that will convince you of the importance of negotiation.

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Connecting to People for Career Success

career success

Recently I was in Seattle to visit clients and friends. Over the course of a few days, I made it to nine different spots throughout the city. I rented a car but found Uber and walking to be a far more efficient way to get around.

What I enjoy about cities is the fact that people are everywhere and if you’re open and curious enough you can end up meeting folks who are not only interesting but also people who might lead to business or career opportunities down the road.

I’ll share three examples to demonstrate this from my trip, all of which were serendipitous.

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5 Practical Interview Tips For Every Job Seeker

This post is all about practice interview tips that work. You might think that wearing a freshly dry-cleaned suit, sporting a new haircut and doling out canned answers to explain your greatest strengths and weaknesses will help you ace your upcoming interview. After all, if a hiring manager likes you enough to bring you in for an interview, your resume must prove that you are the perfect fit for the role.

Right?

Wrong.

The job market is highly competitive, even for jobs in the high tech industry with a shortage of qualified applicants. While there might be a dearth of software engineers out there (221,000 unfilled coding jobs in the US alone), the bar is high for the best roles, and they are not easy to get.

There is also a lot of conflicting (and potentially harmful) advice out there when it comes to acing your job interview. Some people say to “take control of the conversation” as quickly as possible. Others say to just focus on “being yourself” (what does that even mean?).

Both are terrible advice.

Having interviewed for many jobs, helped my coaching clients prep for theirs and consulted with many interview experts, here are some of the critical things I’ve discovered that any job hunter should keep in mind for their next interview.

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3 Keys To Choosing The Best Career For You

Stuck choosing the best career for yourself?

Here is one thing I'm certain of, following your passion is terrible advice.

Do you have a good friend that left a great job to become an artist, life coach or perhaps, teach yoga in a quest to follow their passion? I know several. Sadly, many of them returned to their old careers after struggling to not only get their new career off the ground but discovering the thing they were passionate about wasn’t what they were good at or passionate about after making it their full-time job!

Then there is this whole issue of needing to actually earn a paycheck….

Not only is “follow you passion” bad advice, so are the well-trodden paths of following the money trail (pick the most in demand high paying jobs) or sticking to what you are good at (often reinforced since childhood).

The best way to find a job that doesn’t just become a mediocre career is to find a line of work that fulfills all these three dimensions appropriately well: Passion, Skill, Need.

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6-Point LinkedIn Profile Optimization Guide

linked profile optimization guide

LinkedIn is the leading professional network in the world. If you are at all serious about growing your career or business, you need to get on LinkedIn with a stellar LinkedIn profile.

If you are already on LinkedIn, this short post will help you fine tune your LinkedIn profile to make it stand out from the rest.

If you are not on LinkedIn, why are you waiting?

While these tips may seem rudimentary, I’m amazed at how many LinkedIn profiles I see that are deficient in most (if not all) of these elements.

If you follow this 6-point LinkedIn profile optimization guide, you will be better positioned to connect with others in a powerful way.

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The Truth About Career Networking For Tech Pros

I honestly believe that all human beings want to help each other, they just don’t know how. Career networking is a critical activity to build strong personal bonds that will not only help your career in the technology industry but also support the people you meet. Pragmatically, networking is critical for anyone who wants to advance their career, or more simply, ensure that if times get tough, and they need to find a new job, they have a safety net of people around them to help them find a job they want. Read this post to learn more.

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Strategies For A Successful Executive Job Search

The career search process for a senior executive is unique. There is no structured process for finding out about or applying for jobs. There are many misunderstandings out there, including the thinking that just because you have much experience (perhaps you are a CMO, COO or CEO at another company now), that you will have courtiers beating down your door. In this post I share some strategies for a successful executive job search.

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