Marie Norman is the Director of Global Diversity Talent Acquisition at Adobe. She has been building and scaling talent acquisition teams for over 20 years in software, technology, cloud networking, financial services, and management consulting. In this episode, which is a replay of her keynote session at #HopeSummit, she talks about having an open mindset (or growth mindset) and how that helps job seekers in the midst of adversity. She shares her own journey pivoting away from what she thought would be her career path.
Show notes @ https://vyten.us/high-marie
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- Marie growing up writing and storytelling, transitioned from journalism
- The Power of Networking and What You Can Do For Them
- The Importance of an Open and Growth Mindset
- Marie’s Advice on a Job Seeking Game-plan and Finding Remote Positions
- The Biggest Mistake Marie Sees Job Seekers Make and The Most Important Skills Sets Post-COVID-19
- Marie’s Advice for Changing Industries
- What Happens When I Have a Referral at Adobe and is More Than One Beneficial?
- “Should I Interview For a Role at a Company That’s Not the Exact Job I Want Just to Get a Foot in the Door?”
Editor’s Note: We provide a transcript of each episode to make it easy to search and read. Since robots are not ready to take over the world yet, the artificial intelligence isn’t perfect. There may be some typos in the automated transcript.
Marie Norman (00:02):
The Greek philosopher, Plato, he talks about a necessity is the mother of invention. And that is really, I think it sums it all in terms of when you get to a point where your circumstances have become dire either, you know, you have a family that you’re trying to feed a roof that you’re trying to keep a roof over your family’s head, the lights on putting food on the table. You know, you get to a point where you have to be able to look at other options
Vincent Phamvan (00:30):
From Vyten career coaching. It’s how I got here. A show about business leaders, their resilience, and the stories behind their career moves. I’m Vincent Phamvan, and I’ve interviewed thousands of job candidates over the years in both recruiting and as a former corporate executive. Now I’m on a mission to help you take the next step in your career. A corporate job opening attracts an average of 250 resumes, and just one person is going to get hired. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was nervous and frustrated by my job search, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can navigate your career with confidence, spend everyday learning and drive to better yourself. You can be excited about the future. In today’s episode, we meet Marie Norman, the director of global diversity talent acquisition at Adobe for the last 20 years, she has been leading and building talent acquisition teams.
Vincent Phamvan (01:23):
Maria was one of Vyten’s keynote speakers at an event that we hosted earlier this year, the event was called hope summit and over 6,000 attendees joined live that week to work on their next career move. When we originally recorded this session, to be honest, I thought the pandemic would be like most people, something that lasted a few weeks or a few months. And yet I find myself here in September five months later, and pretty much everything that Marie said then still holds true and is still just as unfortunately relevant to today. As it was five months ago,
Marie Norman (02:02):
It’s really been a change for, for all of us, right? I think all of America, but the global community, we’ve, we’ve all been surprised by the amount of change and the unexpected ways that our lives have changed. Right? So we’re all trying to survive
Vincent Phamvan (02:17):
And that still describes, at least for me and my family, our current state, we’re all just trying to survive. What’s tough about life. And what’s tough about careers is that you often plan out your next steps or your next few steps or your next few years of steps and something that Maria and I both have in common is that we both intended at one point in our lives. At one point in our careers, we both intended to go into broadcast journalism and that didn’t actually happen for either of us. If there’s one thing that I know about adversity, if there’s the one thing that I know about challenge it’s that it’s important to be flexible and that it’s important to be open minded. And that probably is the largest takeaway that I had from Marie session during hope summit.
Marie growing up writing and storytelling, transitioned from journalism
Marie Norman (03:09):
So way back when I, as a young little girl with who’s bright eyed, bushy tailed thought, the whole world was in front of me. I actually wanted to be a professional athlete. So originally I wanted to be a tennis player. I idolized Chris Everett Lloyd, or I thought if that didn’t work out, I’d be a professional ice skater. Cause I adored Dorothy Hamill
Vincent Phamvan (03:29):
Career plans. Don’t just change between your childhood and your first few jobs though. A recent survey conducted by Amazon and morning consult found that 61% of those who are looking for a job right now are looking at a new field from where they have worked before. The truth of the matter is even during the pandemic, employers are still adding jobs. 1.4 million of them in the month of August. And those who are successful right now are translating their skills and experiences into new passions.
Marie Norman (04:03):
As I grew, I realized I had a talent and really a love for writing and storytelling and communicating. And so that became my journey into kind of transitioning into becoming a broadcast journalist. I thought that my back in the early, late, early eighties, I thought I was, I aspired to be Connie chunk. For many of you who have no clue who she is. She was a very famous national anchor for many, many large affiliate stations. And she was someone who I idolized.
Vincent Phamvan (04:35):
Yeah. And I had, you know, a similar thing. I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I wanted to be a TV news, anchor things didn’t work out like that for me. You know, tell me about you like the moment where you realized that you had spent years with mentors networking and this one particular path, what was it that made you realize that that wasn’t the route that you were going to go
Marie Norman (04:58):
Well for one thing is I, I it’s, it’s a very competitive field. So I went and I probably submitted my resume to 60 different stations and I might even be underestimating that, and it was a really difficult at that time. The economy, the job market was extremely competitive. This was the mid nineties when I graduated from college. And also the, what people don’t know about the world of news and broadcasting is it does not pay very much. And it paid even less back in those days in the nineties. And so everyone, for every 50 candidates that applied, they would only select one. Right? So you could imagine the ratio in terms of how competitive it was. And I realized, you know I could keep doing this and this is what you call insanity, right? When you keep doing something and there are no results and, and it doesn’t change. Right. So I could keep doing this and pursue what I thought was going to be my career path, or I could pivot. And I could say, you know, what, what else am I good at? What else do I enjoy? How could I actually leverage my strengths and look at a different career path?
Speaker 3 (06:03):
Yeah. And tell me about you applied for the 60 different stations. We ran a survey earlier today that asked folks how many jobs they’ve applied to. And, you know, this was pretty similar to what most of the audience said. How did you feel when you applied to those 60 different stations?
Marie Norman (06:20):
Well, first of all, I was encouraged, you know, I am an it type of individual people who know me, they know I’m a hap, I look at things with a half full perspective, right? The glass is half full. So, so for me, it was just the excitement of being able to have the opportunity and the prospect of what if, what if this was the one for me, but after, you know, you get to the 40th application, you hear back, thank you. But we are going to pursue another candidate, which I think many of us can relate to. You start to think about reality, right? Reality sinks in, and you say to yourself, you get to your point where, you know, I have to stay positive if I don’t stay positive and I don’t have an open mindset you know, I could easily be defeated. It would be so easy for me to just give up, sit on the couch, watch TV and, and just soak in my sorrow. Right. But that wasn’t going to be that mom and dad were not going to have that. So I had to quickly look to other options and other opportunities. And that’s sort of how I landed into the field of HR.
The Power of Networking and What You Can Do For Them
Speaker 3 (07:23):
Yeah. And I had this similar experience, you know, the, I think the first thing is being Asian American and trying to be a broadcast journalist there’s limited slots. And then the second one was that I realized I would have to move to a city that I just wasn’t ready to move to. And so it was a really tough moment because, you know, you go through this life with this five year plan and what you said there is really key. It sounds like it’s important to be grounded and realism and still optimism, but also to be grounded in reality still.
Marie Norman (07:58):
Absolutely. Yeah. Seeing an exp saying many of you might be familiar with the Greek philosopher, Plato, he talks about a necessity is the mother of invention. And that is really, I think it sums it all in terms of when you get to a point where your circumstances have become dire either, you know, you have a family that you’re trying to feed a roof that you’re trying to keep, you know, over your family’s head, the lights on food on the table. You know, you get to a point where you have to be able to look at other options and be very open. And I think the open mindset, Vincent and that’s really something that I would share with all of you who are tuning in to this particular segment is to really look at it from a perspective of an open mindset and look at the big picture, try not to look at the circumstance at this moment, as hard as it might be. If you keep really this big picture view in terms of this is temporary, this too shall pass, that will get you so much further and it will open the doors for other opportunities that you would have never imagined would come your way.
Speaker 3 (09:03):
Yeah. What happened to me? Absolutely. And you know, this is different than many of the crisis crises that we’ve had in the past where, you know, in the past it’s been a fundamental problem with the financial system, right? This, we have a temporary health crisis with quantifiable numbers in terms of when the curve will peak and a path back to normal. And so I love that in terms of just keeping in mind that this too shall pass, shall pass. I know it’s hard in that moment where it feels like the end of the world. I know exactly what that’s like to worry about my next rent check my, you know, what I’m going to eat next, how long, how many months of runway that I have, you know, over the course of the next few years, anytime that I felt like that it has passed, but you know, the gift of hindsight being 2020 is important. So, you know, the things we’ve talked about in the past, you know, what do you wish you knew when you started your career open mindset is one of them, what are the other things that you should keep in mind during these times?
Marie Norman (10:06):
Absolutely. I would say it’s definitely the power of networking. Networking really it’s so we have expression, you know, and you’ve heard this in, but it’s very common in Silicon Valley, which is where I live is basically, it’s not so much about what you know, but who, you know there is so much merit in that, in that expression, in that, not to say that, you know, getting a degree, getting you know landing an internship opportunity to gain valuable life experiences and work experiences is an important, absolutely it’s an imperative, but it’s also about expanding your network. And, you know, one of the things that I did see early in my career is you oftentimes, I think we gravitate towards individuals, networking with people who have the director title, the VP title, the entrepreneur, right? The venture capitalist. We think that there comes a lot of power and influence and absolutely there is, but there’s also something to be said about networking with individuals across the spectrum, regardless of the title, regardless of what company they work for.
Marie Norman (11:08):
I have seen several times in my career individuals who started off as an, in an administrative role and and others not really sort of taking heat to that person and their worth and their value of a relationship with that individual and years later, that person promoting to a position where actually they became a key decision maker in you know, securing and identifying vendors, staffing vendors. And I actually represented a staffing vendor became the, the decision maker. And, and, and the shift of sort of the influence that person has. So really it’s critical that you are networking across the vein with as many people. And also what’s important is making sure that when you network with, it’s not just about what they can do for you, but what you can do for them, because that’s what makes the community that we live in this global community so much smaller than it once was.
Speaker 3 (12:04):
Yeah. I couldn’t agree with that more. And I see in the chat, Lauren also says so true. You know, I’ve been in a role earlier in my career where I was a recruiting coordinator. I was the one scheduling interviews for other people. I had no power in the hiring decision, but I can definitely tell you what every single hiring manager that reached out to me afterwards, when they were debriefing and they were talking about that candidate, they would ask me the question of how did that person treat you? Because at the time I was a nobody, I didn’t matter. I didn’t have weigh in the decision, but it’s how you treat other people that you think are not involved in that decision that shows your true character as an individual, if you Marie you’ve talked to her as well about a growth mindset. Tell me a little bit more about what does it mean to have a growth mindset.
The Importance of an Open and Growth Mindset
Marie Norman (12:51):
That’s awesome. Vincent, I love that question because I’m going to answer it with with the story. So I’m going to apply that with that story. So just to simply put date growth mindset, open mindset is not just thinking that the opinions that you’ve held is the only way, right? It’s really being able to really broaden the scope and perspective that you have. You know, we all have biases, right? We, we think a certain way and it’s shaped by our experiences and the way that we grew up our environment, but growth mindset really introduces that a different way of looking at things in other per and other, from other people’s point of view, right. From really an open perspective. So let me share with you real quickly. The audience, a story that I had that kind of really epitomizes sort of the open growth mindset that I’ve always kept and relished throughout my entire career.
Marie Norman (13:39):
So as, as I, as you all know, so I I aspire to be a broadcast journalist. I wanted to be a foreign correspondent, went to GRA, I went to journalism school you know, did internships locally here in the Bay area. It was great. I thought, okay, you know, the world is my oyster. This is great. I had been invited by a a news broadcaster I was interning with in Oakland to actually go abroad and do a new segment in, in the Philippines. And it was going to be a very short term kind of stay. And he was going to introduce me to to the CNN Bureau correspondence desk, some of the folks there and thought that would be great opportunity. The problem was that it wasn’t going to pay me anything. So I’d be gone for a couple of weeks needed to get a part time job, to be able to fund that, that state and long story short went to this temporary staffing agency thinking I was going to get a part time executive assistant job.
Marie Norman (14:35):
And the owner of the company ended up offering me a job to either go into recruiting or to more into marketing and sales. And it was so funny cause I, I think about this and when I share this story, I had no idea what a recruiter was. I faked it till I made it, you know, truly I, it, so I, it got to the end of the day I was there for several hours and I said, you know, I, I’m so sorry to say this, but I’m not sure I know what a recruiter is. And he chuckled the, the owner chuckled and basically we laughed. And he said to me that you know, it’s basically finding people, jobs, particularly engineers at this, a staffing agency. So he ended, I left the meeting with an opportunity to go, either into sales, start help build his sales and marketing engine or to go into recruiting.
Marie Norman (15:19):
And I opted towards the marketing sales, as you all know, I mentioned, I love writing. I love to communicate. I love to storytell. So I thought that would be a perfect fit for me. Eventually I shifted over to the recruiting side. That’s a long story short, but and then I realized that had I not taken an and been very open to an opportunity that was very different than the path that I thought was designed for me. I really wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be where I am today. Who knows. Maybe I would have been, you know, the next Connie Chung, who knows. But when I look back, there were definitely so much opportunity that was given to me in the path that I chose. Just, just by giving it a chance just by being open to an opportunity that I hadn’t planned for.
Speaker 3 (16:05):
It sounds like being flexible. There was just so important.
Marie Norman (16:10):
Absolutely. It’s absolutely critical. And not only just the flexibility, everyone I would also say it’s really about your attitude. One of the best advices, one of the best expressions I’ve I’ve heard is your, your attitude determines your altitude. And it is so, so true. If you, again, close your mind, this is the only thing I want to do. The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do was just do development development work, or, you know, I’m a PM by nature and trade. That’s what I’ve done for the last 26 years. But the market doesn’t bear the opportunities as many of the opportunities as it once has. You’ve gotta be able to come to a point where you say, well, there are several other jobs and there are several other skills that I have that can span into other roles. What are they focusing your efforts more on those kinds of opportunities? And that’s where the attitude
Speaker 3 (16:58):
Talk to me about, you know, inside of large corporate organizations. One of the things that you can do is if you’re open to other roles. I mean, when a company’s shift around head count, you know, internal moves are another good way to continue securing a role, if you can retool yourself or, you know, show that your skillset can be applied in another department. Have you seen examples of that?
Marie Norman (17:21):
Yeah. Vincent, that’s a great example. I would say that Adobe really champions that, so we are a culture that really fosters internal mobility in a way that is just really just it’s bar setting, right. It’s bar setting where you know, we, so our focus currently is a lot on our internal employee population. What can we do during this time where priorities are changing and shifting, and how can we leverage the skills of product managers, for example, who might be able to span and do other roles in addition to the roles that they have, right. So we’re really looking and even tapping more. So the internal mobility program, this really awesome program, it’s a very it’s a very open program with really not a lot of you know, barriers to entry in terms of how we place people, how we encourage them to look for opportunities, how we even encourage managers to reach out to employees directly.
Marie Norman (18:15):
So we’re very open in that way. I will also say that talent, the talent marketplace, for those of you who might not be familiar, that’s really gaining a lot of momentum. A lot of organization you’ll find articles. And in fact, there’s several chief human resources officers in the Valley that are also talking a lot about that working together, synergizing together with other companies in terms of how can we as an organization really sort of be able to help our internal employees, our internal employees, more effectively with if not full time opportunities, temporary project based opportunities internally. So that’s really catching a lot of, of a lot of momentum and really it’s become a, a, a valuable part of retaining and engaging our employees during this time.
Speaker 3 (18:59):
That makes a ton of sense. I’ve seen so many people grow throughout their careers by doing that. No, I would say if you want to pick up a stretch project, that’s not, instead of your core job, you got to be good at your core job that earns you the right to be able to grab that stretch opportunity and that stretch project, when you go to your leader and you ask for it, and, you know, oftentimes that allows you to be able to jump from one functional area to another functional area. You know, COVID-19 is impacting different departments in different ways. There’s different departments where we saw yesterday from the zoom conversation in the session with zoom, where their BDRs or their sales team they made a decision where they had folks who they really needed to help on the customer service side. And so for folks who are open to kind of this different mindset, having this growth mindset, they were easily able to jump from one area to another area to secure a role.
Speaker 3 (19:55):
The other thing too is you have companies on your resume once you’re part of the family, and you’re, you’ve been a culture fit at that company. You could also reach out to your prior manager who may be there, or maybe even at a different company, and to ask the same thing. Do you have opportunities? I just want to work on a project there. And we heard an example yesterday where taxed said that he had a lawyer who wanted to switch into HR and the lawyer just asked, Hey, I can’t get an HR job. I really want to switch into HR. Can I do HR projects for you? And they paid that person minimum wage with no HR experience, even though they were an attorney by trade and then longterm that allowed that person to get the experience, to be able to go grab that HR generalist role. So I love some of the advice that you’re sharing in terms of how that can help you navigate. What advice would you give to a job who didn’t plan on searching for a job this year?
Marie’s Advice on a Job Seeking Game-plan and Finding Remote Positions
Marie Norman (20:51):
Yeah, really I’m again, I’ll go back to sort of the, the open mindset or the attitude that is paramount before anything else even before updating your resume before, you know reaching out and networking with those on LinkedIn or, or asking to be invited into other people’s LinkedIn community groups. I think first of all, it’s really important to kind of level set and get a good grip on reality. Right. thinking about what exactly is it that you want to do? I really believe in game planning for sure. I, I, I’m an athlete, so I, all my life, I played sports in college. I played sports. And one of the things that, you know, we as athletes, we do, and you can say the same thing about, you know, as an employee we’re athletes, right on a team, working on a team towards a goal is really important to, to make sure you’ve got your game plan in place.
Marie Norman (21:38):
Right. And I love what TK talked about, and I love, I’d love to springboard off of that because I really truly believe in developing that plan. What is it that you want? And then identifying a backup plan, right? Identifying a backend. Sometimes it might even be identifying a couple of backup plans so that you’re able to pivot and you don’t get easily discouraged, but really having the right mindset and, and being grounded into reality is really, really important. And then I would say, then you kind of check off the box and you update your resume, right. You update your resume. And of course you start networking, start leveraging the power of your network and others network. And like I said, again, it’s really important to evaluate that it’s not just about the title and what they can do, but what can I do for them? Because those are opera. I’ve seen opportunities happen that way as well, too. You know, one in particular where, you know, just doing something out of the goodness of my heart and it led to an opportunity for me to also pursue something else. So
Speaker 3 (22:37):
Let’s talk about remote jobs a little bit, you know, there’s a lot of companies that are on different areas of the spectrum for having remote roles. I know Adobe has been on the leading edge of collaboration tools, but what advice would you give to somebody who wants to get a job, but potentially doesn’t want to relocate?
Marie Norman (22:55):
I would say that if you are really particularly gung ho about an opportunity that, you know, suits you well, and there isn’t that opportunity to actually relocate, even though the company wants out, requires you to relocate. I think one of the things that I’ve given this advice to, to others in the past is demonstrate your value. So it’s almost like putting together a, you know, a BRD, right? So proposing how you would be able to do the work, right, where right from the comfort of your own home, right. Your home office, right. Or in, in the home state that you’re in, as opposed to moving out to, you know, the East coaster, the you know, the Midwest, for example. So being able to demonstrate the value of what you can bring regardless of the geography that you live in. I think that’s important. And then again, it’s also about networking, finding, and leveraging people who, you know, who you might share a with at that organization who can also vouch for your skills. There’s, I mean, more now, more than ever recommendations is really, really critical. It plays a very important part. So I would say those two are some, some possibilities for you to explore if a relocation is just not feasible at this time,
Speaker 3 (24:04):
What is a mistake that you’ve seen others make in a job search,
The Biggest Mistake Marie Sees Job Seekers Make and The Most Important Skills Sets Post-COVID-19
Marie Norman (24:08):
Being inflexible completely closed mindset. So the opposite of what we’ve just spent a few minutes talking about being so certain that this is the only job. This is the only career path that they want to take. And while that’s admirable, that that’s wonderful. Oftentimes you know, people get disappointed, especially given how competitive, the marketplaces
Speaker 3 (24:28):
Great question that just came in. What do you foresee as being really desirable skill sets that will become more important before and after COVID-19?
Marie Norman (24:37):
This is great. Very good question. I would say aside from communication and writing, those are always paramount for any job, any job that you take the ability to write effectively to communicate effectively and crisp crisply is very important, but I would also say a data mindset. So being able to look at data, being able to understand data and be able to explain it in what we always call, you know, storytelling, storytelling with data, being able to interpret the data and understand it in a way where you can share those insights with business leaders so that they can make really great business decisions that impact the entire organization.
Speaker 3 (25:15):
That’s really awesome. And that’s been a common theme that we’ve heard throughout this entire summit is just being able to be good with data. When we say data, we’re talking about things like Google sheets, which is pretty simple Excel, as you get a little bit more intermediate all the way through to SQL and other tools. And so the big question is, is if you don’t know where to get started with this Coursera is a great place to be able to just for free get college level courses on being able to sharpen here. If you’re early in your college journey, as you’re thinking about your degree, this is something that I wish somebody as for me as a communications major, somebody should have pulled me aside junior or freshman year, sophomore year and said, Hey, Vince communications is great. You really should think about doing math or econ or stats as a minor, just a better round yourself out. I know that that’s something that a lot of people end up going back to get MBAs, just because of being able to have that data. And then obviously data scientists, engineering roles, always in demand right now what’s the best advice for somebody changing industries? How do you show that you can add value?
Marie’s Advice for Changing Industries
Marie Norman (26:22):
I think it goes back to the advice that I gave earlier is also being able to you know, go and game plan, right? So identify why is it that you want to do that, right? What is, what is the motivation for doing that? And then also leveraging individuals from those industries and interviewing them, interviewing them, getting to understand a little bit more about that industry or that position, that, that role that you’re looking to pivot and transition towards. I think it’s really important because oftentimes we think that a job is what it is cracked up to be, and you realize, Oh my gosh, that’s not, that’s not what I imagined it to be. And that’s not what I want to be doing. I don’t want to be in front of us. You know, a computer looking at numbers all day long. I have several finance friends and colleagues that, that thought they wanted to be an accountant.
Marie Norman (27:04):
And they ended up going into like, for example, HR. So I think it’s really important to really sort of assess, right? Do your homework understand why you want to move into that and explore it because once you go into a job search, I think everyone here understands looking for job is a full time job. It is no joke. It takes a lot of time, energy. It is mentally exhausting. And so before you put yourself through that, really understand what you’re getting into and explore, ask questions. That’s what that’s the power of LinkedIn is to be able to connect with people, have informational chat sessions, virtual coffee chats, that kind of stuff.
Speaker 3 (27:38):
I know referrals are important. Yes, absolutely. We’ve heard time and time again from everybody who’s been on for hope summit 50 to 60% of jobs are found through some type of networking or some type of relationship. So if you’re spending to Maria’s point, you know, for 40 hours a week job searching, if you’re spending 35 of those hours applying on a website, you should think about spending at least 50% of your time working on networking and referrals. Maria question from Ben is getting more than one referral helpful. And then a question that wasn’t asked that I’m curious about, you know, for Adobe, how do employee referrals when they come in, get treated differently than applications on the website?
Marie Norman (28:20):
Yeah, that’s, that’s a very good question. So I there’s two questions. So let me first answer the question about the Adobe referral process. So all of the Adobe referral process all of the Adobe referrals, obviously they get processed into the the ATS, right? So our ATS has Workday. And in that manner, what we do is we evaluate the the background. So there is really, we don’t necessarily discriminate on the, you know, whether it’s a referral or not. Obviously there is white glove treat there’s w we, we ensure that we at least get back to the employee who refers, but we treat all of our candidates just the same. Right. It’s all about really parody in terms of who has who meets the requirements of the job candidates that are referred. Obviously we do have to follow up and make sure that we’ve closed the loop with them just as we do with all of the other candidates as well.
What Happens When I Have a Referral at Adobe and is More Than One Beneficial?
Marie Norman (29:08):
So really that process isn’t any different. There’s the, the question, the second part of the question is does, is there, is it more effective to have more than one referral? Right. I mean, I would say not necessarily to the, to Ben who asked that question, I think what’s most important is making sure that the person who you asked to refer you, that they actually are well connected with the with a job so that they can speak to your skills and make sure to, when you’re having someone to refer, if they don’t know the quality of your work, they really spent enough time working with you to, to really vouch for you, make sure that you’re providing them with enough information to be able to sell your capabilities to the appropriate recruiter. Right? So that is really more of where the emphasis should be as the quality of really having that employee understand the value that you bring, understanding the job. Because oftentimes what we see on the backend of the process is, well, how do you know this person? Right? We ask that question. What can you say about that? And, and I can’t tell you maybe more than 50% of the time, it’s very, very cursory information that leads us to be believed that it was just someone actually leveraging someone that they casually knew, or just maybe connected on LinkedIn, but didn’t really, they haven’t had that that deep relationship with each other, for them to really speak to their skin.
Speaker 3 (30:27):
Yeah, absolutely. Maria, I think there’s definitely, this is where it goes to really connect, reconnect, and rekindle relationships with the people that you legitimately are close with in life. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be in a professional setting, right? Somebody that can vouch for your character personally goes a long way as well. You know, I’ve had many people reach out to me for companies that I’ve worked at and the referral goes one of two ways. It’s a forward of an email to somebody like Merida says, Hey, Marie, this person’s a rock star. And it would be a mistake for us not to find somewhere for this person to fit. And that’s, if it is somebody that I’m close with, but there also is the, Hey, this is a person who reached out to me and I can’t vouch for their character, but let me know if their skillset is a fit.
Speaker 3 (31:17):
And the reason why I share this is because you should be reaching out to the people that you’re closest with right now, because you never know if they might know of somebody or they’re actually in a space where you’re unaware of, and those are going to be your best chances. You know, it’s a game to be able to reach out sometimes to a hundred people cold, but those cold relationships are just, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be great relationships in the future, but right now they are cold. All right, we’re going to take another question here. Should I interview for a role at a company that’s not the exact job that I want, just be able to, just to be able to get my foot in the door at the company and hope to level up over time.
“Should I Interview For a Role at a Company That’s Not the Exact Job I Want Just to Get a Foot in the Door?”
Marie Norman (31:58):
My, my question to that is why would you do that specifically? So what would be the objective again? It’s, it’s again, going back to what I described earlier as sort of the game planning, asking yourself, why am I doing this? Why am I looking to pivot here? And it’s great that you’re having, you know, you’re displaying this open mindset, but you also have to tailor it with a cooker, tail it with also practicality, right. Am I doing it just to get in, just because, you know, the job market is tight or am I really is the end goal specifically to maybe go into like nursing, right? And you’ll start off as a nurse’s assistant or, you know, a medical assistant and then eventually work your way in there. I think it’s really important to kind of map out that longterm goal because I’m a believer in reverse engineering.
Marie Norman (32:43):
So I, I tend to look at the end goal. Anything that I do, I look at what is my absolute desired end goal and objective. And I work my way backwards, right? Rather than trying to sort of start at the front of the process and then hoping that I’ll reach my goal. And I can tell you that it’s a really smart way of being able to really then avoid decisions that eventually would have kind of wasted your time, your energy, and really sort of kind of discourage you, right? So I think the most important thing is understand first and ask yourself, why would I go and pursue that opportunity? Because X, you know, my goal is to get to X. And if that opportunity or that company will get you to X eventually, then I say, go for it.
Vincent Phamvan (33:29):
So we’re going to do one last question here. And this comes from Laurie tips to pivot after I’ve been in one career for over 20 years.
Marie Norman (33:38):
Laurie, I, I guess I’d love to hear a little bit more about where you’re looking to pivot where you know, what your core skillset is and where you’d like to put it. But I think in general, how I would answer that is again talk to people, talk to people who are in roles that you are considering. So again, creating a short list, and one thing I’ll say Laurie to the, and this will partially answer your question is game plan, identify what are sort of the top, sorry. I like to call them sort of tiers, right? So tier one, what are the absolute what’s top of your list? What do you want to do? What companies are you targeting? Let that be your tier one, then followed by tier two and tier three. And you do that in, in ascending order, right?
Marie Norman (34:17):
Target put all your effort, the quality of your time, the quality of the way you craft your resume and LinkedIn messages to your tier one and focus only on that, that way you really sort of channel you keep saying, number one, you keep saying, and you really are able to focus on the quality of connections that you’re making and the quality of your correspondence with, with those individuals and those companies. So in your case where you’re looking to pivot to another, I think the most important thing is talk to people in the areas that you think you want to explore. Get to really understand that, get, ask them, ask them their career journey. How did you get to be a great product manager? How did you become a, you know, an HR business partner? Tell me what was your journey with you will find you will be many of you will be very surprised that many of us landed into the careers that we had on knowing this was not part of a big black, not at all, but just hearing their journey, their experiences, and how open they were to opportunities that fell on their lap will amaze you and will inspire you.
Vincent Phamvan (35:20):
That’s such great advice. We’re going to be wrapping up this session, Marie, thank you so much for joining us. It’s so awesome to be able to hear about your journey along the way. And I know the audiences has a phenomenal questions. Thank you so much. Again, you
Vincent Phamvan (35:38):
Thank you so much for listening to the show this week. If this podcast was helpful to you, the best thing that you can do to support is please consider rating and reviewing the show on Apple podcasts. This helps us help more people just like you move towards the life that they desire. Visit our podcasts on Apple podcasts, then score to the bottom, tap the rate with five stars and just leave a sentence or two about what you loved most about this episode. You can subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts, or you can firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m Vincent Phamvan, and you’ve been listening to how I got here.