Anyone looking for a new job knows that landing it requires a degree of reinvention.
First-time job searchers must shift out of student mode. Industry-jumpers have to overhaul their résumés and rebrand. Even a simple switch in your sector means learning new coworkers’ habits and vocabulary, which can call for fast re-tooling.
Few people have reinvented themselves more times than Ray Hertanto. He’s a mechanical engineer turned McKinsey consultant turned job coach in Calgary, Canada.
His career has been far from smooth. He was laid off not once, but twice. He built a video gaming machine for a Singapore startup, then designed oil pipeline systems for global energy companies. He coached energy, technology, and mining executives on improving process efficiency.
He’s done it all with the help of technology, and now he’s using tech—specifically Airtable—to help job-seekers find the right route.
After the Great Resignation, a great shift
As the world enters a wobbly recovery period following the COVID downturn, plenty of people are looking for new job opportunities. To be sure, the Great Resignation seeded a whole new crop of entrepreneurs, those food-truck owners and Japanese sword sellers looking to drop the 9-to-5 grind.
But it also left behind a large crowd of people simply trading one kind of corporate job for another that they like better.
Whether you’re kicking off a full job search or seeking a career change of any kind, Hertanto has a few tips for you.
Tip #1: Get clarity before you search
Long before you start casting about frantically on Google, try to clarify why you’d like to move in a new direction.
On his job-coaching site, Hertanto posted an Airtable form he calls the job-search diagnostic. This is his screening tool for new coaching clients, but it also turns into an ad-hoc list of questions he thinks job-seekers should ask.
→ What are your strengths, and how will those serve you in your desired next step?
→ What sort of culture are you looking for, and does your new industry or position fit that picture?
→ What would you like to avoid in your next job?
Tip #2: Chat with people in your new industry or area
Hertanto is originally from Indonesia, and he showed up in Canada a decade ago with little more than a passport and luggage. He didn’t understand Canadian job qualifications or hiring nuances.
What helped him, he says, was meeting and chatting up people in his desired fields. He found them at career fairs and on LinkedIn, hitting them up later for informational interviews over coffees and lunch.
Such reconnaissance gives you a better sense for the ups and downs of a new career, and a clearer picture of whether you’d really like to jump into it.
Tip #3: Set a SMART goal and stay motivated
Every job seeker wants a job fast. But “get a job in six months” is not specific enough, he says.
Set a SMART goal instead, turning the big-picture objective into smaller, measurable, time-bound tasks. Break down the idea of getting a job into discrete actions, such as following up with every lead, either by phone, email, or some other channel. (Airtable can help with this project.)
Don’t get so fixated on the job search that you forget to exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep. Job searches are stressful and take longer than you expect, and you don't want the whole process to impact your health.
As for Hertanto, Airtable is helping him with yet another reinvention. Though he’s building a steady coaching business, he’s still working full time at a Canadian energy company. He can run his job coaching website on the side through a combination of automations and integrations in Airtable that let him, for example, automatically send 1-minute tutorials to potential clients.
“Automation is important for me,” he says. “I have a full-time job and a family. I have to serve my customers in a very efficient manner, and Airtable lets me do that.”
How users deploy Airtable in job searches and job market tracking
- This job search tutorial from consultant Ben Green is spot on for Airtable newbies, and includes tips for creating a base from scratch.
- See how Social Media Manager Desiree Tizon keeps her referral details, dates, and job notes organized.
- Amie Pollack created this four-part tutorial on building a job-search base with Makerpad and Airtable.
- Jason Raisleger got tired of re-typing information for different companies, so he created this seven-table base to keep job search details organized.
- Airtable whiz Aron Korenblit walks through automating job search tasks, including using Airtable’s web clipper extension to automatically grab listings from web pages.
- Roger Lee uses an Airtable base to run the site layoffs.fyi, which functions as something of a reverse job board for those working in tech. And Airtable recruiter Travis Long built this base to track tech companies currently hiring.