In this interview series, we caught up with Emilie Aries from Bossed Up,who shares her expertise and insights about job search, career change, etc. in today’s marketplace.
Tell us a little bit about your company
Bossed Up is a training company and online community for women who want to craft a happy, healthy, & sustainable career path.
How did you get started in this path?
After bouncing back from my own bout of burnout early on in my career, I’ve committed to helping other women avoid the same fate. I launched my training organization, Bossed Up, back in 2013 with the mission of helping women craft happy, healthy, and sustainable careers.
We take a results-oriented, research-driven approach to helping women advocate for what they want out of work and life.
Is this something you decided early on in your career?
What is the Best Career Advice You’ve ever received?
Power is not derived from authority, but rather, it’s something you can grow and create through building consensus and community.
What is the most exciting part of working in this industry?
I love seeing the direct impact our programs have on the women who participate – whether it’s about combating the martyr mindset, advocating for a raise or promotion, or just communicating more assertively.
Hearing how one of our members, Emma, pivoted from a nonprofit job where she quickly hit an earnings cap that made paying down her student debt impossible to supporting nonprofits through technology consulting shows others you can both do good and do well.
When I hear how a self-proclaimed introvert, Jessica, strategically leveraged her community through having regular 1-on-1 meetings to land her dream job offer, other women know it’s possible for them, too.
In a culture that’s too quick to celebrate the overnight success story, I love telling the real stories of triumph: the muddling through the middle parts of career transition that rarely get a spotlight but are so important to inspire others to keep striving for their own form of sustainable success.
How do to stay abreast of the industry as an expert?
I read a lot.
I have a New York Times and Harvard Business Review subscription and love staying up-to-date on industry news that way.
I also stay fresh by answer real “career conundrums” with other expert guests each and every week on my podcast, Bossed Up.
By teaming up with other experts to break down listeners’ questions, I’m ensuring that we’re always sharing practical, actionable advice based on what my community is currently struggling with.
What are some of the things that you see job seekers struggle with the most?
I see a lot of job-seekers struggle to take their online applications acknowledged in the real world.
In a world where digital resumes pile up in the thousands, it’s so important to take your job-search offline and focus instead on building and leveraging IRL relationships.
What are the common mistakes that you see them do?
A common mistake I see job-seekers make is clinging to “vanity metrics.”
Vanity metrics – like submitting 3 online applications a day, spending 20 hours on re-writing my resume, i.e. – can give a false sense of forward momentum.
If you’re taking action in isolation – action that might go completely unnoticed by the decision-makers who can actually provide you with interviews and job opportunities, you might be clinging to metrics that don’t matter.
Make sure you’re measuring what really has an impact, and not wasting precious time taking action that doesn’t actually move you any closer to landing an interview.
How should job seekers approach job search today?
Make the most of one-on-one meetings.
Reach out and be proactive about telling folks what you’re looking for, what you have to offer, and asking for support.
Make real relationship-building a priority and you’d be surprised how much ROI you’ll get on the price of a cup of coffee.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that job seekers will face in the next 2-3 years?
The rise of video interviews.
The continued challenge of overcoming the ever-growing digital resume pile. More widespread pay transparency.
What is one advice you would give someone just out of college today?
Take initiative. Life after college means you’re no longer on a prescribed path, where each step is laid out for you and following directions is your main objective.
You have to take initiative to make your own opportunities.
Seek out guidance and support. Ask for feedback early and often. Make your own learning and growth a priority – because no one else will for you.
What is one advice you would give someone who is switching careers?
Patience pays off.
Once you’ve proven yourself in one field, switching to a new domain can require patience – both with yourself and others. It might take you longer to grasp new concepts than it did in your old career.
It might take you longer to convince an employer to take a chance on your, a career pivoter, instead of going with someone with a proven track record. Patience and persistence are a powerful combination that can help see you through uncertainty.
How should job seekers get the most out of LinkedIn?
Write a bio that hooks your reader and immediately showcases your value.
Unemployment is at the lowest levels, why do you think that is?
We’re no longer in a recession economy. After employers learned to do more with less (i.e. with fewer people) during and following the financial crisis, we’re finally returning to a more normal staffing situation.
Widespread burnout has proven costly, so it’s refreshing to see employers listening to workers’ needs and bringing on more people to help get things done.
What is the biggest trend(s) you see that hiring managers will face in the next 2-3 years?
Millennials who demand competitive pay. Nowadays I’m noticing more and more workplaces struggling to retain top talent when it comes to first-time millennial managers in particular.
A decade after the Great Recession, my generation has yet to financially recover. We’re worse-off than any other living generation, and in such a high-employment climate, more of us are demanding to be paid competitively or leaving to pursue offers elsewhere.
We’ve got more student debt to pay off than many prior generations can even fathom, which has delayed more traditional markers of adulthood like starting families or purchasing a home.
Through supporting organizations with diversity and inclusion efforts when it comes to women in majority-male industries (primarily tech, finance, and the law), I’ve seen that competitive pay is top of mind for millennials in particular – not because of gender or race, but because of the financial game of catch-up the generation as a whole is playing.
Emilie, what are you currently working on?
With my newly-released book, Bossed Up: A Grown Woman’s Guide to Getting Your Sh*t Together, out in the world, I’m excited to be teaming up with companies who want to support the women on their teams by organizing book clubs and corresponding trainings to help provide substantive leadership development support.
It’s an exciting next step in how we’re partnering with organizations who believe in arming women with the tools and tactics we need to succeed over the long-term.
What are the best resources you recommend to job seekers?