Hey There, I’m Jamie. I am a born and raised New Yorker with a San Francisco heart! I love the concrete jungle just as much as hiking and exploring the great outdoors.
Most days you’ll find me running (literally) around Brooklyn, cooing at adorable hipster babies, and trying to figure out exactly why I am so busy, as I schedule my next weekend trip on my iphone (sound familiar?!). By day I am in marketing and by lunchbreak, nights and weekends I am a career and life strategist to women who are looking to get their sh*t together and finally have the life and career they have been dreaming of! I am a problem solver, slow marathoner and a champion meal planner!
My coaching style is a strong mix of woo-hoo (if you build it they will come) and practicality- we are going to make things happen, now! I love to stick to the plan, but also value flexibility, which enables me to hold you accountable but also adapt to your needs.
We will spend time figuring out exactly what you want in life. Will that delay your job search slightly? ABSOLUTELY. Will it save you from applying for jobs for months on end that you don’t actually want? 100%!
I help professionals get the jobs they want today and put together a step by step strategy on how to advance their careers, without the stress of endless online job applications.
In under 60 days, I will teach you the necessary skills to fast-track your current and future job searches, get the attention of hiring managers, and land the job that makes you feel good about going to work!
My goal is to help you develop a realistic picture of what you want in your life, let go of the “shoulds” and “woulds” and live out the life you really want – even if you have NO IDEA what that is!
If you want to hear a good story, make sure you ask about
- How I ended up living in San Francisco training for a half marathon, when I never ran a mile before
- My favorite episode of how I met your mother – The Pineapple Incident (of course!)
- My fear of mayonnaise
- My (accidental) day trip to an abandoned Russian city in Vietnam
- How I fell in love with Park City, UT
Still with me? You’re the best! Sign up here to stay in touch
How many times have you said to yourself, “I am going to start going to the gym in the morning”? You set your alarm, you laid our your gym clothing…and then hit snooze until 7am when you actually had to get out of bed?
Colleen is a recruiter in NYC. She has climbed the ranks to her current role as Head of People at Clarity Staffing. She shares her experiences and tips for some of my most commonly received questions.
So let’s get started at the beginning. What did you plan to do after graduation when you were in college?
I started college in the School of Education at Boston College and expected to follow my mom and sister’s footsteps without knowing if it was the right fit for me. During my first year or so, I realized the classroom was not the right fit for me. I stayed in the school of education, but started focusing on business and psychology and majored in Human Development, focusing on psychology in business and other HR-[human resources] related courses. HR seemed like a decent fit, but I don’t really know if I knew what HR meant at that point.
I graduated in 2009, which was not a great time to be looking for a job. I couldn’t be picky, so I focused on any position in HR support and recruiting. I also had a marketing internship at one point after graduating. I was trying to just get experience and get my feet wet in a corporate setting. I landed a job as a Campus Recruiting Coordinator at a financial firm. I quickly knew this was not my forever goal, but that it was good experience and a good first job. It was heavily administrative, but it was a good opportunity for me to learn from my superiors and it showed me that recruiting was something that I enjoyed. I loved connecting with candidates, but I didn’t love the travel needed to continue on a campus recruiting path.
After that, I started at Clarity Staffing. I didn’t know much about staffing agencies at the time, and what I did know was sort of negative [not everything you hear is true]. I have had so much experience there: hands on recruiting, business development, client management. I have learned a lot by doing all of these jobs and hopefully I get to help people find their dream jobs.
And what is your title today?
Head of People at Clarity, which is a recent transition for me to an internal management role. My day is focused on supporting the entire office and its clients. I do some internal HR work and internal recruiting [if you’re looking for a job in HR message me and I will make an introduction]. The position is constantly evolving since it is new to me. It’s good though, because I get to work all sides of the business.
What is the long-term picture for you professionally? Do you know? Do you like what you do?
I am really happy at Clarity. I have been able to make progress and grow. I would like to stay and continue to grow with Clarity. There are a lot of new things coming over into management I would like to watch grow and flourish. I also like that I can still interact with people I have placed in jobs thanks to our referral network. The referral network enables people who were placed in jobs to refer new candidates to us.
What advice do you have for someone who is trying to get into this field?
Don’t be above any work. Almost every entry level job is going to be administratively focused. An entry-level position in HR is going to include scheduling candidates, meeting and greeting people, preparing candidates and helping your superiors. Entry-level positions are as much an opportunity to gain experience and to learn about the industry and about what HR or recruiting means as they are about what other opportunities there are down the line. Also, HR means so many different things at different companies. You can be super specialized, or one can run everything in human resources for a whole company. Entry-level positions are an opportunity to learn about yourself.
How much would an entry level position pay?
HR assistant/recruiting coordinator roles are typically entry level. They would pay between $35k-$55/60k. If you are someone with corporate experience looking to transition and can handle a lot, then you may err on the side of recruiting coordinator positions that would potentially pay on the higher end of that spectrum. You need a lot of grit though. You are going to constantly be running around, scheduling many people, answering the phones, it’s definitely a high pressure role.
What type of positions do you typically place candidates in?
Clarity Staffing focuses on administrative support, HR and marketing. This includes all levels from reception to C-Level [as in CEO]. Lately, we have been expanding into finance and accounting. We place candidates in temporary, temp-to-perm [temporary for now, typically no benefits, but the goal is to bring the candidate on permanently] and permanent positions.
What makes a candidate stand out to you?
Areas we focus on a lot of times are not necessarily skill-based jobs (you don’t necessarily need to use a specific computer program for example). Looking at resumes, we want it to be easy to read, simple and clear. No flash is necessary for most positions. Most recruiters look at resumes for no more than 20 seconds.
Skip the flashy, crazy formatting. Just provide straight forward easy to digest information. Keep your resume as up-to-date as possible. Make sure you use the same tense throughout. Ensure it’s easy to see what company you were working at, the dates you were there and what your title was. Don’t include references.
Where does education go on a resume?
As a general rule, if you graduated in the last year or two, put education at the top. If it’s been longer than that, put it at the bottom. Realistically, we will find it, the most important thing is that it’s there.
Do you consistently ask candidates any specific questions?
We really want to learn about the candidates. We try to get to know them so we can make the match for them. We know candidates are consistently asked “Tell us about yourself” in interviews, and we try to prepare them for that. You should be an expert on your history. The biggest mistake candidates make is not knowing their own background well enough. You should be able to tell your story with a positive tone, even the parts that you didn’t like much.
Is there anything else you want to share with my audience who are made up of new college grads, career changers and generally people who are at turning points in their lives?
The best advice I can give is to see the value in every position or job you have. We have candidates come in and despite other issues – not seeming professional, not having the right experience – we can place them if they have a positive attitude. Make sure to spin everything in a positive light. Everyone learns something from every job, from waiting tables to babysitting. Don’t brush over anything, see the value, don’t get discouraged by taking a wrong path. Find the value.
Also, if you are transitioning to a new career, don’t be above anything in the next step. Your experience may not translate, but five years in the grand scheme of things is nothing.
Act on what you want and where you are genuinely going to be happy. You can make all the money that you want but if you’re miserable it’s not worth it. People who go in and take the chance if it’s something that they truly want to do, they put the energy, time and succeed more and those people grow more.
What tips do you have about interviewing for a job?
The interview starts long before you sit in the conference room – keep that in mind. Be friendly to the people in the elevator. Be friendly to the receptionist. Follow up with thank you notes. These things will set you apart. That’s the goal, find a way to set yourself apart.
We have had candidates that go out for interviews and everything went well, except they were rude to someone in the elevator and it got back to the hiring manager. They were on the phone in the lobby and the receptionist was put off by that. Small things could be the difference.
Even when you’re answering your phone, just answer your phone nicely every time you answer it and you won’t have a problem. You never know what someone is calling to offer you.
What’s the best way to get in touch with you or team?
Anyone who is looking to apply should apply through the website www.claritystaffing.com. There is a ‘submit your resume’ button – a recruiter will reach out. [Contact me so that I can let Colleen know you are interested]
Recruiting or sales experience – they are hiring internally right now – all teams!
This week we continue our search the sweet spot job, we dispel several myths about the job search.
The primary millennial stereotype says that millennials are job-hopping, passion-seeking, entitled jerks. We don’t have any loyalty or direction and just want to be handed our accomplishments. There are many articles and videos that talk about about how awful millennials are, typically in relation to the workplace. Here are my top five reasons why they are wrong, why their advice is incorrect, and why you need to say “thanks” and get right back to your modern job search.
- Myth: You should prioritize your company over financial stability and growth.
Gone are the days of pensions, and worse yet, many millennials have to accept the realization that the baby boomer generation did not prepare well for retirement. They also did not have to combat student loans in the way that millennials will (68% of students will have debt, over $30,000 on average). We may never receive social security, but we pay into the program to support the baby boomer generation. We have to achieve financial stability by any means necessary and that often means…
- Myth: Job Hopping is bad and self-indulgent.
Baby Boomers held an average of 11.7 jobs between 18 and 48 years, Millennials are expected to have up to 15 jobs in the same time frame. Furthermore, when comparing millennials and Gen-X-ers those who graduated college between 1986 and 1990 had an average of 2 jobs during the first 4 years after college, Millennials are expected to have an average of 4 jobs. This is not BAD it is a fact of life.
- Myth: In the beginning of your career you shouldn’t prioritize your personal life.
Never was there a day at the start of a Baby Boomer career where they were expected to be on call 24/7 because there were no cell phones. They didn’t get e-mails on Sunday, because there was no e-mail. You are entitled to choose to have the same limitations in your life as other generations have been entitled to.
- Myth: You should apply for jobs through the company’s website and wait to hear back.
In 5 minutes you can upload your resume and apply to millions of jobs, just like everyone else. Digital applications work sometimes but up to 80% of jobs are filled prior to their listing. The definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting the sale result…
- Myth: Changing your career and job hopping is suspicious.
Recruiters and hiring managers are ready to embrace career changers and they understand statistics about average number of jobs each age bracket will have. Will you have to answer hard question? YES. Will you be rejected from the job because you changed your career path? No.
Over the past 7 years, I have grown a lot. I am a natural pessimist. In an instant, I can become certain the worst-case scenario is happening. However, I have also come to prioritize seeking happiness and joy in my life. These are my primary goals. There are many factors which increase happiness (and productivity) which we will explore on this blog. Today, I am focusing on music and its impact on happiness and productivity.
I am sure there is a song that makes you smile every time you hear it on the radio (or Spotify). Sixpence None the Richer – Kiss me and Don Mclean – American Pie can always bring a smile to my face, partially because they bring back childhood to me and partially because they are just great songs. Thankfully, a team out of Australia recently provided me with some data to back the claim that listening to music can make you happier. In a study with the absolutely amazing name, “If your happy and you know it: music engagement and subjective wellbeing”, they found a relationship between increased subjective wellbeing (a measure of life satisfaction) and engaging with music by dancing or attending live events. These results emphasized the importance of music in social settings for happiness.
Best yet, not only do people feel more satisfied with their lives when they dance or experience music, music has been shown to encourage the release of dopamine (a neurotransmitter known to be released in response to positive things such as a good smell or sex) in the brain. Music keeps the brain from wandering – which is great because I know when my brain wanders if finds it way to a list of all the things that could go wrong that day. Researchers have shown that listening to music while working keeps people focused on the task, leading to tasks being completed more quickly. Music-listening employees also came up with better ideas than music-free coworkers. It is believed these results are thanks to an elevated mood of the music listeners.
It is recommended to try non-lyrical music to see how it can influence your mood as that will elevate your mood and productivity without having you distracted by lyrics or singing “Bye, Bye Bye” to your coworkers. One of my favorites is the Pandora Classical Goes Pop station.
What do you listen to at work? Are you allowed to listen to music? What are your happy songs?