Dear Insider: Help! How Do I Advance in a Tough Job Market?

Dear Insider: Help! How Do I Advance in a Tough Job Market?

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Q: The job market is tough right now to say the least, and because of that I feel stuck in my current role that offers very little for career growth and development. Do you just stay and work on leveling your knowledge through networking and platforms like CS Insider? Can it "hurt" by staying because the market is tough?

It can feel at times like you’re “stuck” in a role but the mindset is everything. I am sure there are things you can do to better yourself and your impact in your current role - there is always room to improve. Instead of thinking of it as being stuck, think of this as an opportunity to be great.

In previous roles, I felt like I was ready to be promoted or take on something new and it never seemed as if anyone was moving as fast as I wanted, but with time I was able to hone and perfect my craft, instead of focusing on my next thing, I focused on being consistently the best in my current role.

Depending on the company you work for, I am sure there are tons of projects or opportunities to take on something new, create a process, optimize something, mentor a team member etc. Find opportunities to grow in other ways - new experiences develop new skills that present new opportunities.

All that said, the market is tough and you should appreciate having a job right now, so start your search and be thoughtful about your next role. Take the time to make sure that whatever you do next is a much better fit for you and will support your career trajectory.

Q: It's my first time getting a successful interview invite for a remote customer success manager role outside my country, Please provide me tips that can help me.

Congratulations! Getting an interview is a great first step in your career journey. That said you need to make sure you are prepared for the series of conversations you’ll be participating in so here are a few things you can do:

  1. Research! Research the company, the product, the role, the people, the customers, etc. Make sure that you go to the discussion very well prepared - not only will this show the interviewer that you are interested in the opportunity - research and being prepared is a big part of the CSM role; manage this process the way you would engagements with a customer and you’ll be demonstrating your ability to do the job throughout the process.
  2. Understand the cultural differences - If you are interviewing for a role outside of your country do your research on language and nuances that will help support you through the process.
  3. Prepare your story. Make sure that you have a strong narrative around the work you’ve done, the impact you’ve made, and how all of your experiences and skills make you a strong candidate for this opportunity. This story should be woven through your resume, cover letter, and then your examples and stories.

At the end of the day, you got the interview because they saw something that made you a good potential candidate for this role so now it’s your job to come prepared and to help them visualize you in the role.


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Q: How do I break into a new industry?

Breaking into a new industry is not easy, especially in a down market where so many folks with experience are competing for the same jobs. That said, there are a few ways you can go about breaking into a new industry but let's start with the basics.

  1. Research: First things, first, you need to do your research. You’ll need to understand everything you need to know about this industry and then start to map your skills and experiences to this industry to understand if this is something you can do with your current skill set or if you’ll need to gain additional education or experience.
  2. Networking: Networking is super important regardless if you are breaking into a new industry or if you’ve been in the industry for your entire career - ever heard the saying, it’s who you know? Seek out professionals in your targeted industry and start connecting. This DOES NOT mean reaching out to everyone and asking for favors, networking requires you to play the long game and build and foster real relationships. By doing this you’ll be able to ask for referrals, recommendations, and guidance which will all be beneficial when breaking into a new industry.
  3. Events: Immerse yourself in the industry by attending live and virtual events. Not only will you learn a ton, but it will also help facilitate networking as well. Being in attendance alone might open up new opportunities.
  4. Find a Mentor: Find someone who has been in the industry you are trying to break into and ask for mentorship and guidance. Remember, being a mentee is a lot of work and you will need to put in the time and effort to get what you need from this relationship. Don’t expect to show up and have your mentor just tell you everything you think you need to know. Do some research on mentorships and how to maximize them.
  5. Internships: Taking on an internship, paid or unpaid, is a great way to gain some experience and exposure to the industry and what the day-to-day might look like.
  6. Design Your Story: Understand how to position and market yourself for this role. Be able to design your online presence, craft a resume, and tell your story around how your transferable skills and previous experiences make you an ideal candidate. Find your hook to tell them why your specific experience makes you the perfect candidate. Storytelling and positioning will make a big difference.

At the end of the day, remember it takes time and effort so be patient and persistent.

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