CareerSource Northeast Florida is the regional workforce organization based in Jacksonville, Florida.
How did you get started in this path?
I was a military spouse, so my husband and I moved every few years, forcing me to start over in a new city.
Eventually, I got good at re-inventing myself, building a network from scratch, and researching the local job market.
My mission is to help others think differently about their careers and be efficient in their job search.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
I’ve always been a writer and coach; my specialization in career coaching seemed a natural fit with my own journey.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
I love learning about new ways of creating a meaningful career path.
The world is changing so quickly that the traditional ways of finding a job and planning a career simply don’t apply any more.
I try to help people see new possibilities in the way they approach work – and what comes after, for my fellow baby boomers.
What is the best Career Advice you’ve ever received?
Stay open. I learned early on that the word “yes” is where all the possibility lives.
My early mentors encouraged my native inclination to ask “What if…” and “Why not?”.
Opportunity may only knock once, but it’s often looking through the window, tying to see if you’re at home and interested in what’s just outside the door.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
Read, read, read, read.
I follow industry articles, great career blogs, HR sites, and read every new career book I can get my hands on.
I’m also meeting job seekers every day who tell me about their challenges and their frustrations (and triumphs, eventually.)
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
Confidence is their biggest struggle.
Even the most accomplished candidates feel powerless in the job search process.
I want to help them feel like they have just as much power in the exchange as the hiring manager.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
Like a consultant.
Companies decide to hire someone because they have a problem to solve, customers to serve, or something that needs fixing.
Your job is to understand what the problem is (or help the employer define it) and figure out whether you’re the best person to work on the issue. If you are, then you have to figure out how much it will cost (to hire you.)
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
Remember what I said about thinking like a consultant? Most candidates don’t retain that attitude when they become employed.
They settle in and wait for the employer to tell them what to do. They stop looking for new problems to solve, and they often stay in a job long after the challenge of the work fades.
I read something recently about how to get healthier: You should spend a little time each day out of breath and a little time hungry. That’s how work should feel, too.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Automation will be taking over more and more workplace functions.
If your job – no matter at how high a level – consists of a series of decisions all day: If this, do that, you’ll eventually be replaced by AI or an automated system. You’ll have to add nuance to complex processes to retain your value as a worker.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Consider your first few jobs part of your education.
Learn what you can from everyone you can.
Take on the jobs and problems no one else wants; that’s where you’ll create the most value.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Find a problem to solve.
Don’t change jobs for money or security; change jobs to find a new challenge or take on a new skill.
And create an exit plan for this job – plan how many years you’ll stay, what milestones you’d like to accomplish, and where you’d like to go from here.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
I find that most job-seekers just don’t understand how powerful LinkedIn can be. They aren’t very active, checking their messages and checking in with groups they’ve joined. They also hesitate to reach out to connections that may be helpful. Some of my most interesting opportunities and new relationships have come through LinkedIn.
My advice is this: first, create a robust profile (there are hundreds of online forums and posts on how to do this.) Then, treat LinkedIn like the serious career advancement tool it is.
Make quality connections, and offer value to try to turn them into real world relationships.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
The economy is red hot, and just about anyone who wants to work can find a job.
Rising wages are luring people back into the workforce who’ve been sitting on the sidelines for a while.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
I think hiring managers are going to have to design nimble, flexible working schedules and systems designed around worker preferences.
Face time and office hours will give way to outcome-based measuring of a worker’s productivity.
I hope we’re headed for a 4-day work week as well – I think we’d all be happier and more productive.
Candace, what are you currently working on?
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking, writing, and speaking about the Gig Economy.
I think we’re in a time of great change, where everyone has a chance to be entrepreneurial, even if they’re in a traditional job. We used to think a full-time job was the safest and best option, but I’m not convinced that’s true today.
I coach people who want to explore gigs as a way to create financial independence and find work that challenges them and builds skills for the future.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?