Career Transition Advice from Alex Freund
By Candace Waller
If you are looking for work it’s important to: remain positive, determine what you like doing best, do your research, and forget all the outdated job hunting techniques of the past, according to the renowned Career Coach, Alex Freund.
When coaching people in transition, Freund says he leans on his own past work experiences as an example. In the mid-1970s, he went from working in the hospitality field, for several well-established companies, to having difficulty finding work in the same field after being downsized several times.
At that point, he realized he had to create a new plan. The organizational & people managing skills that allowed him to move up the corporate ladder at his former jobs helped him to become what he is today, a Career Coach & Principal of Landing Expert Career Coaching.
Alex Freund’s own career transition
Here’s how Freund’s own career transition began: Back in 1974, after earning a bachelor’s degree in business/ hotel administration at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, he landed jobs, in the hospitality field, at Honeywell, Tyco International, and Sanofi-Aventis.
But, after being downsized several times, it was difficult for him to find work again in that field. It was then he realized he had to create a new plan. He discovered that the organizational & people managing skills that allowed him to move up the corporate ladder at those large companies are what helped him become a Career Coach, a job he has been doing since 2007. And these days he is one of the most sought-after speakers at job clubs and professional service groups in this area.
Remain positive & learn to do research
Along the way to his own new career path, Freund continued to remain positive and did his research – two concepts he still recommends to today’s job hunters.
Forget the old job search techniques, learn what’s trending
Freund says people have become overly attached to the past; not realizing that the way we used to search for jobs has changed drastically, especially in the last five years.
One example of this change is LinkedIn, the premiere social media website for job-seekers. Freund recommends job seekers post a full profile and photograph on LinkedIn to connect with others. Successful job seekers have to be able to use social media to reinvent themselves so they can secure future opportunities, according to Freund.
Don’t limit your career options to what you did in the past
Mature job seekers have to realize that job hunting has changed significantly since they first started looking for work after graduating from college. They have to learn to use their unemployment downtime to find out what they really want to do professionally. A good way to do that is to join several job clubs and professional organizations in your area. The people in these organizations can help other job seekers find their true passion, which can sometimes lead them to career they are well-suited for.
Use unemployment downtime to determine what you like doing best
While unemployed, Freund used his downtime to find out what he liked doing most. He got great satisfaction from helping other people; giving them career advice, interviewing tips, and even reviewing their résumés
He realized he was good at coaching people, teaching them how to get through an interview. Those around him told him he should charge for his services and become a paid, professional. Freund could have resisted their advice. Instead, he decided to follow his heart. That led him to the work he now enjoys doing.
Listen to what others say are your strengths
Although he never formally taught school or studied education, friends and colleagues alike commented on Freund’s teaching skills and encouraged him to charge for his services. Career Coaches have to be able to manage and mentor others; they also have to be able to organize. Freund seems to have all of those qualities all rolled into one person.
Be open to changing careers
The skills you have may be well-suited to a career path you never considered before, so, be open to change. People tend to let the past dictate their future and that can be a mistake. Freund was able to find a new career by following his passion. And he does follow his own advice. His love of helping people helped him land new opportunities. For example, soon he will be teaching at the Princeton Adult School for the third time.
Become an expert in your field
Freund spends much of his time reading career articles and posting them on LinkedIn, as well as writing his blog on LandingExpert.com. He suggests pursing a job you are passionate about and have an aptitude for because your passion will come across during interviews. And, when people read the articles you have posted, or commented on, you will gain immediate credibility.
Make sure you résumé stands out from the others
These days, Human Resources people are inundated with résumés. They are looking for any reason to disqualify candidates, so, make sure you submit an outstanding résumé that speaks to your accomplishments. Be sure it includes key words and provides a positive portrayal of the professional you have become.
Freund, who runs several free résumé review clinics, says most résumés are poorly written and don’t do anything to get a hiring manager’s attention. He advises job seekers to work with a recommended professional résumé writer to make sure their résumé highlights their accomplishments and gives a clearer picture of them. A good résumé can make a person’s skills stand out from the others in the HR pile.
Patience with people made Freund a sought-after speaker
When he meets clients for the first time Freund carefully questions them so he can diagnoses them. He is patient, similar to a teacher coaxing a student who is unable to get the concept at first. These skills helped him gain a high level of client satisfaction from people who have worked with him. Freund is always willing to help job seekers and keeps up-to-date on job issues and the ways social media helps those in transition.
About Freund’s website, LandingExpert.com
In 2005, Frank Kovacs, founder of The Breakfast Club, suggested that Freund name his website www.LandingExpert.com. This career website has been filled with useful information ever since. It even has a 70-plus page document organizing a listing of job networking events occurring in the tri-state area.