by Wayne Johnson, Sr. Virtual Project Manager & Intercultural Specialist
Wayne Johnson is Sr. Virtual Project Manager, Intercultural Specialist, and Curriculum Design Expert with Advanced Automation Corporation based in Barrington, Rhode Island.
He lived, conducted research and worked in Asia for 14 years
He studied and conducted research in Western Europe, in addition to working and conducting research in Eastern Europe before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
While Springtime is usually a time for hope, renewal, and strength, the Spring of 2020 has put those qualities to an extreme test as record numbers of Americans are losing their jobs. Today, we talk to Edith Moricz, an expert job coach, who shares her strategies for job searching in the Covid-19 landscape.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
WJ: When we met ten years ago, you were Director of Development and Marketing at a non-profit organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Since then, you have launched a successful career coaching company. With so many people struggling to manage the challenges brought on by this crisis, what are the top things you recommend to professionals to quickly adapt and thrive in this environment, and even land their dream job?
Successful job searching has a few core components, even more so in these recent weeks: branding, narrative, job search schedule, and positioning. I work with clients daily on these components.
Based on my career path, my ability to quickly redefine my schedule and focus on targeting core online and offline activities led to my own success story.
I share each of these immediately actionable strategies and customize them with every client, step-by-step, and they achieve tangible results. All of my strategies are designed to be implemented online first, in the interest of immediacy, so they can genuinely and positively leverage the silver linings in social distancing.
WJ: As a private career coach, you launched Fasttrack2YrDreamJob almost five years ago, providing coaching support to individuals, remotely, by phone and video. You were named #1 Career Coach in 2017 by LinkedIn.
How is Fasttrack2YrDreamJob assisting professionals with their job search within the current climate?
Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, I’ve offered complimentary 15-minute phone coaching consultations with three actionable strategies that can be implemented immediately toward landing a dream job. My comprehensive coaching program is usually five weeks; however, I now offer an abbreviated coaching program for three weeks. This program entails a one-day, executive-level coaching session that provides supplementary coaching calls over the following three-week period. I offer flexible payment plans and special rates to accommodate the diverse needs of professionals in transition during these changing times.
WJ: What should professionals who are looking for new employment, be doing while in isolation?
I think professionals in job transition need to focus on three things:
- Maximizing their online branding;
- Designing their efficient, effective job search schedule, and;
- Highlighting their impact on organizations.
WJ: How can your clients best work on their branding in these times?
LinkedIn needs to be a significant part of their branding and success story. My program addresses core beliefs and problem-solving skills in detail, along with immediate strategies for seeing results as quickly as is possible. It is essential for professionals in a job transition period to use this time to do two key activities proactively:
- Re-evaluate your core beliefs about your life and career path, as well as your most significant skill sets
- Focus on 3-5 ways that you see gaps and resolve problems, both as an organization and as an individual.
WJ: As many of us are transitioning from brick and mortar to working remotely from our homes, our performance is now the only aspect of work that is important. What questions should professionals be asking of themselves in this transition process when looking for a new job?
First, I think of these essential three questions:
- What productivity goals are we setting for ourselves daily?
- Using SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely), are we maximizing our value added based on our skills and experience?
- Are we balancing our creative thinking with our strategic planning?
My own approach is to equate my productivity to 3-5 deadline-driven deliverables per day. There is a big difference between task-oriented work and work that adds substantially toward a more significant—deadline-driven—l goal. Most professionals have deadlines for deliverables for an external or internal client. There are also deadlines for increasing or modifying efficiencies in our workflow. There is also a new benchmark, content creation, which is mostly online and can be almost entirely leveraged through LinkedIn—in addition to other social media sites, such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
The final component, and an essential one, is how we are maximizing our creative talent each day. I firmly believe that it feeds our productivity. In any given week, productivity is measured by how significantly quantitatively and qualitatively we are moving toward adding value as professionals to our organization and our community.
As an example, I define productivity as both working on my coaching program as well as in my program. On it means updating my processes, creating more efficiencies and enhancements to improve the work I do. It means providing support for my clients across the board. Essentially, each client is at a different stage of the program, so there are distinct deliverables each week. My basic rule of thumb, with few exceptions, is to divide my day and week into parts—morning and evening are a combination of physical, mental wellness, and creativity. These pieces help me maximize my value-added.
My productivity is measured by the quality of the deliverable that I provide each client each week. I then switch to either content creation /branding or industry research. Among my industry experts or tools for insightful knowledge are the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LinkedIn, Entrepreneur magazine, and Forbes, in addition to research that I follow on the critical topics of interest to me within the investment industry, philanthropy and coaching industries.
Second, how are we creating efficiencies and or opportunity, that, perhaps, didn’t exist before?
Brainstorming and creative thinking are more essential now than ever before.
Sharing ideas, knowledge, and bouncing around ideas are among the many ways to consider what’s not working with existing processes or products or services and how improvements can be made by leveraging skills, talents that come naturally to our team members or us. In other words, what are a few skills or areas of expertise that can be applied to the existing problems, or problems that your clients or the community will be facing and how can you initially test your ideas/solutions out while being efficient in the process? It may start initially with a list of customer problems that you focus on or bottlenecks in the existing process. When we put our heads together and combine our passions, inspiration to do good, and skills that come quickly to us, making a difference AND an impact flow freely. It also taps into our creativity.
Third, how are we each sharing and highlighting our impact on our organization’s goals or our impact on our talents, skills, passion, and expertise?
LinkedIn is the critical online professional platform for showing the big picture. LinkedIn shows our 30k foot summary. In other words, if you summarize your expertise, experiences, it expresses the top 3-5 problems you have solved, over your career, for organizations or individuals. When concisely described, your LinkedIn profile should showcase your skills, expertise in a way that entices professionals to keep reading about your accomplishments.
For my LinkedIn profile, I highlight my recognition from LinkedIn, my career coaching brand, and distinct credentials that support my work. In the body of my LinkedIn summary, the About section, I focus on my relationship management/leadership experiences in the financial services, fundraising, and academic industries.
WJ: Switching gears in the current pandemic and following up more on the evolution from working in corporate locations to working out of an office environment, what do people need to learn about working remotely?
Remote working is a cultural shift in everyone’s mindset. In its purest form it is called a Results‐Only Work Environment (ROWE) culture, gorowe.com. In a ROWE, both employers and employees need to realize that work is a VERB, not a noun. Work is what you do, and success is based on your results. Again, this is a paradigm shift about what is “work” and what is “success”. For many, it is a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions. The gossip in the office should never evaluate successful work within any organization with statements like “what time did Siena come in today” and “how long did she stay at the office”. Work is evaluated by results—period. This pandemic has shown many of us that irrefutable positive results are achieved while not actually in the office. These times have displayed that the old notion of you need to be in your office, to be working, are long gone.
In a ROWE, if organizations and staff set up clear goals, timelines, and metrics, they can work wherever they want, whenever they want, if the work is getting done! ROWE results-based organizations give employees greater ownership, and in these situations, productivity increases—a lot! Again, ROWE is a cultural shift, and one of the only good things that has come out of the pandemic.
WJ: What has career coaching been like given social distancing, and given the remote nature of the process you’ve designed?
Basically, I zero in on how to position each individual’s talents, skills, passions, and career paths using only remote access technology. This has been an integral part of my custom program since day one in 2015. For that reason, how I coach each client through Fasttrack2YrDreamJob is to seamlessly dovetail the client’s job transition in light of the current environment. With my five years of invaluable experience in remote coaching processes, after success as a leader in other fields, I have been able to continue to leverage the platform of remote accessibility to continue maximizing the opportunities for clients that match their aspirations and talents.
WJ: Edith, you began your career as a financial advisor, then a fundraiser, then a turn in academia, followed by leading as Director of Development and Marketing at a non-profit organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts. How did this path prepare you to transition to Fasttrack2YrDreamJob and using your tools and techniques to aid others?
My 25-year career path—in several organizations and, now, privately—includes financial advising, charitable fundraising, academia, and coaching. My fundraising workshops led to my partnering with several non-profits in Massachusetts, leading workforce development workshops with diverse audiences throughout the year. Most notably, I’ve been partnering with the Professional Development Collaborative, Inc. pdcboston.org, where I have been leading fundraising workshops for seven consecutive years.
WJ: Great! You were named #1 Career Coach in 2017 by LinkedIn. How do you feel about your current situation?
I am immensely “inspired” by each of my clients’ life stories, and I am passionate about being a part of their journeys to achieve career and personal success and impact the community and organizations that value their talent and expertise. I’m very excited and humbled that my mission to help talented, motivated professionals has supported so many professionals nationwide and helped them land their dream job.
My primary goal is to ensure that those in job transition can avoid the enormous frustrations, disappointments, and stresses that I went through historically, in my own career searches. My greatest joy is receiving that phone call from my clients, and hearing:
“I accepted the job offer for my dream job—I’m ecstatic.“
WJ: Through our collaborations, you have consistently focused on believing in the full potential of each individual. Can you tell us about that and the influence it has had on your customized coaching programs?
Thank you for recognizing that, Wayne. My coaching program’s success is based heavily on the value each person puts on their individual work and life experiences. My clients need to accurately convey their belief in this value, verbally and in writing, before, during, and after interviews. I emphasize this philosophy throughout the program.
The most notable lesson I learned from my job transitions has been the critical ways that talented, motivated professionals impact organizations and the community as a whole. In fact, I can’t emphasize this concept enough with my clients. This is a central theme in my coaching program.
WJ: How can interested professionals contact you?
LinkedIn.com/in/edithmoriczmba or 617-755-1772 or firstname.lastname@example.org