Welcome Jason Levin, founder and CEO of Ready, Set, Launch. We’re talking with Jason about launching a job search in a virtual world.
Jason grew up with a happy family whose lives changed dramatically when his father lost the only job he had ever had in New York's garment district. Suddenly Jason and his brothers were the kids getting free lunch in school, and the family was struggling. Jason was always the person who would help with mock interviews and resume review in school; later his MBA program asked him to be a coach, and that became the foundation of his career.
Job searching has always been a mindset game, but with Covid, it’s about maintaining the mindset to get through the day -- and to deal with the job uncertainty as well as career and financial uncertainty.
Jason tells people to follow their energy; for him, he needs to laugh, for someone else, it might be sports. He wants people to approach change from a place of strength vs a place of fear. His advice is to work through roadblocks to focus on the good behaviors you do have. We discuss avoiding things that suck your energy in order to build your energy towards the positive.
He distinguishes between people who help you and people who mean well... Identifying the people who help vs the ones who project onto you without help allows you to know who to reach out to, and who will build you up.
Jason reminds his clients that “Waiting is the Hardest Part." You can do things while you wait, but waiting is part of the process. It’s easy to tell yourself stories while you wait -- to imagine what is going on or why the process is taking a long time; but instead, keep trucking and don’t try to figure out why things are dragging. Your goal is the next job, and spending time wondering doesn’t help you towards your goal.
Ready, Set, Launch is Jason’s career coaching business. He uses the principles of consumer marketing for outplacement, resume writing and speaking. He helps people go from point A to point B. He sees career decisions as purchasing decisions -- a two sided marketplace.
One service Jason offers is Outplacement, which is a benefit given to people when they are laid off to help them transition to their next role. If you get this benefit, USE IT! It’s paid for by your current employer to help you find your next position, and it is free career coaching.
We asked Jason what he is telling people about job search after a layoff during this pandemic. His first piece of advice was to write out what gives you energy, strength, and joy, and then to practice articulating those strengths. He looks at industry, employer, and role around where you want to go, and having the pitch that addresses all three.
Once you define what you want to do, then get your pitches in order. Number 1 rule: no complaining. Number 2: know how much time you have to spend looking and hold yourself to it. Number 3: Lists are your friend; they help you stick to your plan.
Jason tells people to put together a list of people who have been most influential in your career and reach out to ask advice, which may just lead to jobs (vs asking for jobs, which may lead to advice).
Networking will get your resume seen faster and by the right people, more than "posting and praying." Jason says to spend the majority of your time networking, and then when you see a posting, think of who you can network with to get close to the job. If you have 60-70% of the job spec, you need to apply by seeing if you know someone at the company.
Employee referral programs are awesome, so are Diversity/Equity/Inclusion officers. Employees want to refer you and get the bonus, and DEI want to hire you because it helps their numbers. These folks are your ins!
“Your life is not in danger because of this interview." This is what Jason tells people who need to psych themselves up for interviews. Be yourself and find people you like and who like you. Do your homework so you feel good about you and you feel prepared. Be ready to answer what’s driving you to want to work in this job at this company. You have to want the job; there are plenty of people who do.
We asked Jason about Covid’s impact on job searches. Industries like hospitality have been hard hit, and also the hiring process across many industries seems to take longer. People with more experience adding value when they can articulate their value, but new grads with less experience sometimes struggle when entering this kind of job market.
Jason's site: [readysetlaunch.net](readysetlaunch.net)