The Real Skinny: How Will the “Internet of Things” Affect Your Career Future?

Good news for IT and tech employees: A whole new employment sector is on the rise. Will you be on the cutting edge or one of the people trailing behind? Late last month, CNET reported that IBM will be investing $3B in a new “Internet of Things” unit. While this is a monumental move for […]

The Real Skinny: Why You Can’t Succeed in Tech Without Creativity

The word “creativity” is highly misunderstood. What do you think of when you hear it? Finger-painting in kindergarten, perhaps? Or even a marketing executive coming up with a killer ad campaign? The first things that come to mind when we hear the word usually have little or nothing to do with our jobs in the […]

When You and Your Technical Recruiter Aren’t a Good Match

Whether you love recruiters or avoid them like the plague, the fact is they do play a part in the hiring process. In fact, in today’s job market, they play an even bigger role than they ever have. That doesn’t mean you have to use them, of course, but why not give yourself as many […]

Kick in the Pants: Work-Life Balance: What The Experts Are Saying

Work. Life. Balance. These are three of the most problematic words for employers and employees alike. How do you know if you have enough of it? Maybe you have too much of it? Are you working yourself to the bone? Or are people’s careers skyrocketing ahead of you because you focus too much on your […]

The Real Skinny: Will Workplace Perks Make You Happier In Your Job?

People in tech have one big benefit over people in other industries: the awesome workplace perks. We’ve all heard about the free meals, massages, and gym memberships that some companies use to herd all of the best talent their way. And yes, if your particular workplace doesn’t offer high-caliber perks, you might feel a little […]

Kick in the Pants: 5 Ways You Can Start Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

If you’ve been taking a slow, leisurely climb up the career ladder, listen up: It’s time to stop being passive and start thinking like an entrepreneur. These days, it’s no longer your employer’s responsibility to plan out the next 20 years of your career — it’s yours. Work is changing, and if you want to […]

IT Resume Makeover: Presentation Dictates Response

What Is An IT Resume Makeover? For the IT Professional, having a properly constructed IT resume is vital. This story illustrates just how true that is. Meet John Chavner, a CIO consultant who despite having exceptional experience and credentials was still struggling to get noticed out in the job market. I had the privilege of meeting John […]

Why You Should Update Your Resume (Especially When You’re Not Looking for a New Job)

There’s nothing that gets as many groans of despair as updating a really old resume. If you’ve let yours sit in an old computer file untouched for a year or more, it can be a harrowing experience to try to update it — especially if you’re in a time crunch. But there are many reasons […]

Hacker-Proof: How Next Big IT Push Relates to Your Next Job

In TechCrunch’s New Year’s Eve post on projected IT trends in 2015, venture capitalist Steve Herrod wrote “there will be hacks.” As we witnessed in 2014 with the major cyber attacks of the likes of eBay, Target, JPMorgan, and Sony, even the biggest companies are not immune to hacks. And, when you’re an IT professional, […]

Job Boards: When to Use Them, When to Lose Them

Answer truthfully: Have you ever gotten a great job via a job board? Do you know anybody who has in the past 5 years? If your answer to these questions is “no,” or “just one or two,” then you already know for yourself that the job board has faded as the job seeker’s best career-finding […]

Kick In the Pants: How to Navigate Workplace Politics

No matter how hard we try to get away from the drama of IT and tech office politics, they have a way of sneaking up on us. Whether you’re just starting a new job or you’re working your way up the ladder, it’s essential to know how to handle your specific workplace environment. No two […]

Protecting the Tech Career You’ve Built

We get a lot of questions about what we mean when we say “protecting” or refer to “career protection.” The following presentation tells the story of how this idea of protection took root and how it has evolved into everything we do at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace. It is our sincere belief that in today’s market, […]

“UNcommon!” Book Will Support Entrepreneur’s International Foundation

A few months ago, I announced that I will be co-authoring a book with business development expert Brian Tracy called Uncommon. The complete title is UNcommon: Common Sense but Uncommon Knowledge from ​Today’s ​Leading ​Entrepreneurs and ​P​rofessionals to ​Help ​You ​L​ead an ​Extraordinary ​Life of ​Health, ​Wealth and ​Success. I am now proud to report […]

The Real Skinny on Ageism

Age discrimination is a delicate subject, but not talking about it won’t solve the problem. One of the lesser-known truths about it is that — yes — there is something you can do about it. Today the tech and IT worlds are more youth-obsessed than ever, largely because younger workers tend to be cheap, smart, […]

How Many Certifications Do You Really Need?

Job-changers and entry-level job-seekers alike all seem to have the same question: Should I spruce up my resume with extra certifications? And if so, how many do I need to get the job of my dreams? The answer? It depends. Of course, showing off your skills and education is a good thing — but so […]

The Real Skinny on Prepping for the 2015 Job Market

Great news: Bloomberg reports that after November’s remarkable hiring surge, the job market is expected to grow in 2015. If you’ve been stuck in a non-ideal or part-time job and are looking to make a strategic career move, now is the best time to do it. The way we hire and work is changing now […]

Waiting Out a Corporate Acquisition

Here’s a snippet of a typical conversation I have with professionals whose companies are experiencing a merger or acquisition: Pro: “My company was just acquired. I’m not sure what this means for me.” ME: “OK, so knowing that, what do you think your strategy should be?” Pro: “I should sit tight and see what happens.” […]

A Career Without Regrets? What’s That? Revisited

In early 2013, I published the following post on the issue of regret. As we enter into another new year, it’s usually there, lingering about in the corners of our mind…this idea that we might have regret or that we have to live with regret. As a technical career strategist, much of what I hear […]

Want a New Job in 2015? Maybe You First Need A Kick in the Pants

Welcome to our new “Kick in the Pants” series! (Let’s face it: We all need one once in a while, especially when it comes to our careers!) Contrary to popular opinion, December is an excellent time to ramp up your job search. Don’t believe it? Chew on this: What if you had an abundance of […]

People Hire People, But They Have a Funny Way of Doing It

In today’s job search market generally, and especially in the technical arena, there is a lot broken when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. In a recent post I published on LinkedIn in regard to recruiters, from some of the comments, it was evident just how frustrated most professionals have become with this broken […]

Technical Job Market Survival Guide

AKA: “14 Ways to Avoid Becoming Part of the 95%” If you’ve followed my posts or read through any of our reports at NoddlePlace or ITtechExec, you will know that I talk a lot about the “95%”, those professionals continuing to approach today’s job market with yesterday’s mindset, especially today’s technical job market. And this […]

Results of Corporate Entrepreneur Poll

Last week I put out a call for responses to a poll asking our audience what the phrase “corporate entrepreneur” meant to them. This topic of corporate entrepreneurship will encompass my contribution to my upcoming book Uncommon with Brian Tracy (Spring 2015), and I wanted to get a sense of what professionals out there thought […]

Most Desirable Employers: Really Better Than All the Rest?

Business Insider released the following infographic citing the top 100 employers based off of stats from LinkedIn. As a technical career strategist, this list is anything but surprising. And as someone who’s worked with candidates to get into many of these employers, what’s also not surprising is that the more desirable these companies become, the […]

Are You a Corporate Entrepreneur?

In preparing my content for my upcoming book with Brian Tracy called Uncommon, I’ve been thinking a lot about “corporate entrepreneurship” in today’s world of work. For several years now, I’ve been incorporating elements of this concept into our solutions at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace with the intent of moving away from the short-term job-hop to […]

6 Tips for Sticking Out Your Holiday Job Search

It’s that time of year again. That time when mixed emotions, nostalgia, sentimentality, joy, anxiety, regret, and depression, all float around us for 6 weeks like some deranged version of the Nutcracker. And if you’re in career move mode or job search mode, it’s an even more confusing dance. For on top of the typical feelings that […]

You’ve Earned the New IT Certification, Now What?

Recently I was interviewed by Susan Hall for a Linux.com article, The Best Ways to Flaunt Your New IT Certification. Here is an excerpt: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it, right? You’ve worked hard for that Linux certification, and you want everyone to know about it. At the same time, you don’t want to come […]

Significant Other Tech Career Move Survival Guide: Part II

In Part I, we talked about the fine line between becoming the #1 supporter of our significant other’s career or the #1 impediment. It’s not something talked about openly in the career services field too often, but it is a big factor in how we progress in our careers because, like it or not, there […]

“Uncommmon” Book Launch: Co-authoring with Brian Tracy

Publishing a book on the approach we take at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace has long been a goal of mine. But I didn’t want to just “write a book,” I wanted to find someone to partner with who would be a natural fit for the type of philosophy we take here. Thanks to my agent at […]

Significant Other Tech Career Move Survival Guide: Part I

How You Both Survive This Upcoming Technical Career Move Don’t take this the wrong way, but…  The #1 impediment to career progression is often a significant other. (Yikes!) The good news, though, is that on the flip side, our significant other can also be the #1 supporter of our career! The line between becoming an […]

Before You Toss That Recruiter Out the Window…

We’ve written pretty extensively about the strained relations that often go on between recruiters and job seekers. (See That Recruiter Is Just Not That Into You and Tired of Recruiter Mismatch on LinkedIn?) It’s certainly no secret that the two groups often find themselves on different planets. To reiterate this point, I recently came across this […]

See, Techies, Strong Writing Skills Can Lead to Better Pay

I’ve harped on this before, and for good reason. Our writing skills matter perhaps more than ever in today’s “remote” working age, and they are especially important for the technical professional. This infographic from Grammarly shows how writing skills can equate to your bottomline: your salary. Having worked with IT, engineering, manufacturing, telecom, medical device, […]

Don’t Skip Out on Your Upcoming Career Move “Prep” Session

For years we kept telling our technical resume/job search members they needed to get properly prepared before they rushed out into full-blown job search mode, even “passive” job search mode. We kept saying that those members who do see much better results, particularly in dramatically reducing the length of their job search time and the […]

When You’re Not Sure What’s Next in Your Career

One of our newest offerings at ITtechExec are our What’s Next? solutions. They came out of several years of working with tech/IT/engineering professionals (and those who serve with them) and observing all the things they were doing to try and figure out what’s next for them. The following Slideshare presentation details 11 ways we’ve identified […]

Who Says “No” Is Always Negative?

I was speaking with a fellow parent a few years ago who has a son my daughter’s age. While our two children were playing together at a birthday party (they were about 5 years old at the time), he was proudly telling me how he “never says no” to his son (of course he had just heard […]

Executive Job Search Strategies for CIOs and CTOs

On Tuesday, October 14, at 12pm Eastern, I had the opportunity to participate in a TweetChat hosted by @BlueSteps called #ExecCareer. This week the topic turned to CIO and CTO candidates. You can view the questions and my responses regarding job search strategies at the following link through Storify: https://storify.com/BlueSteps/executive-job-search-strategies-for-cios-and-ctos?utm_source=embed_header

Getting Around “TUIT”

I encountered Zig Ziglar ~15 years ago at a leadership conference I attended in Lancaster, PA. Shockingly, and sadly, at the time, I really didn’t know who he was. I was young, supposedly well “educated,” ambitious but green, very green. And so when he came up to me and shook my hand, I had no idea who […]

Positive Thinking and Your Career

If there’s one thing people, especially people in my line of work (career services), love to talk about it is “attitude.” Usually right on the heels of use of the word “attitude” comes the term “positive thinking.” Positive thinking is touted as the best way to get through life. It makes you, at least on […]

What Is a Job Search “Agent” Anyway?

This whole thing started when I heard someone emphatically “yell” over social media that he “would NEVER EVER use job search services.” (Note to self: When someone starts “yelling,” and using extremes like “never” and “always” (especially in all caps), that’s a very good sign there’s a need out there, probably more of one than you even realize….) It […]

Elevator Pitch: Good? Sales Pitch: Bad?

I was having a discussion recently with a colleague of mine in which the word “pitch” was used in reference to candidates in the job search process. This colleague quickly bristled and said, “I don’t advise my clients to pitch anything.” To which I quickly reminded her that she most certainly does. After all, she prepares the […]

Two Roads Diverged in Your Career Path Wood…And You?

And you? And you? If you’re like many professionals, you know it’s time to make another career move. The writing is on the wall, so to speak. You’ve either been in your current role for a bit longer than you intended, the corporate culture around you is shifting in a direction that you don’t seem […]

Making It Through the Tech Career Goo

We get a lot of requests at both ITtechExec and NoddlePlace for stories of how our members have made it through all the tech job market zoo and corporate goo that makes up much of today’s world of work. So we’ve compiled the following 5 stories, each dealing with different aspects of today’s market and […]

1 Year of Experience 30 Times or 30 Years of Experience?

One of my favorite types of clients to work with is the more “experienced” professional, the one whose been around the tech/engineering fields for a while and has watched the evolution of technology and different trends come and go. It fascinates me that anyone (no matter how well intentioned) would suggest to these valuable professionals […]

You’re a Hard Worker, So What?

When you ask most professionals what their best quality is, typically, they will respond with some variation of “hard working.” Sometimes they will call it “dedicated” or “committed” or even “loyal,” but it pretty much all boils down to the fact that they think they work harder than other people do and that this should […]

Your Work History Doesn’t Speak for Itself

Here’s something we all wish were true. Believe me, as a small business owner, I definitely wish it were true! But a product (or service, which is really what your “work” is) does not and cannot sell itself. Why? Well, there are lots of reasons for this, but essentially, it all boils down to one […]

Face It: Your Job Search IS Emotional

We’d like to think that all of our decisions are rational, that we know how to tell the difference between an emotional response and a logical one, and that we are completely in charge of our emotions. These are nice thoughts, but study after study proves us wrong on all accounts. Just look at the […]

Are You A Good Career Negotiator?

Recently, I was asked to contribute to a CIO.com article by Rich Hein on “career negotiation.” As always, I am thankful to CIO.com for including me, especially on such an important topic in today’s market: 8 Tips to Be a Better Career Negotiator  

The Softer Side of Tech Revisited

Now that Labor Day has passed us by, summer is fading, and the kids are back to school, there’s one thing that is sure to happen…in fact, it already has… IT and tech candidates are going to decide they are now ready to get going with their job search, you know, the one they have […]

Chasing After the Low-hanging Professional Fruit: Part III

In Part I of this series, I started out by talking about what makes us move from the ordinary into the extraordinary, questioning the clichés we often hear when it comes to the use of “excellence.” In Part II, I started discussing some things that my 10-year-old daughter and I have been looking at it […]

The Disconnect with Disconnecting: The Great Vacation Debacle Revisited

by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady) A couple of years ago, after being somewhat frustrated with myself for my inability to disconnect from work during my family vacation, I published the following post. Now each summer I like to re-post it as a reminder of what a vacation is supposed to really mean: —– As a career professional, I spend […]

Talent Shortage vs. Candidate Pool [Infographic]

If there’s one thing that we hear over and over again in the tech market, it is that the talent pool is lacking. Yet, when job postings come out, I come across candidates who at least on the surface check off all the boxes on the posting. So what gives? The following infographic from the […]

Why Our Writing Skills Need an Upgrade Revisited

by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady) Since I first published the following post almost 2 years ago now, I’ve received lots of feedback, mostly from people who are seeing a serious lack of written communication skills on their jobs and a general lack of concern company-wide about it. So I thought I would revisit this issue again. […]

Chasing After the Low-hanging Professional Fruit: Part II

I ended Part I of this series talking about what excellence really is. Often we think of it as hard work and commitment, both of which are noble things. Or we think it comes out of a competitive spirit or extreme natural talent, again not bad things necessarily. They all certainly can put you on […]

On the Road to Promotion, Don’t Get Stuck in Traffic

Let’s face it. Most professionals would like to get promoted at their current companies. It’s much easier than facing another external search and less disruptive to work-life balance. You know the culture, and good or bad, you know what to expect. But despite the desire to get promoted, most professionals get lost in the promotion […]

Overcoming Job Board Addiction: Part II

OK, so in Part I of this series I might have ruffled a few feathers by referring to what I see as a “job board addiction.” Listen. If job boards are working for you, you have so many hot opportunities lined up and your pick of good positions with great salaries, then that’s awesome! You […]

Underestimating and Overestimating Today’s Job Market

If there’s one thing I see a lot of when it comes to today’s professional it is a tendency either to overestimate or to underestimate the job market. Either someone is telling me (in so many words) that they don’t need to try very hard to find that next gig or that the world is […]

Chasing After the Low-hanging Professional Fruit: Part I

If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know that my daughter swims competitively for a year-round club team, and like most sports these days, it’s a confusing world, probably made even more so by a sport that is more individual than team oriented and leads you on a continual race down the proverbial rabbit hole. In […]

Kiss of Death: Waiting on That “Hot” Job Opportunity to Come Through

Maybe you can relate with Joanne. Joanne was doing some contract work but really wanted a full-time gig. While she was considering what to do about her job search, a miracle happened (or at least it seemed like one at the time). She had a “hot” job prospect come up without even having to do anything for it. A colleague of hers got her an introduction for a coveted permanent position at a coveted firm she had been eyeing.

How Employer Profiling Works

Our own, NoNonsense Job Search Agent, Sue, explains a little bit about how we go about using networking to build an Employer Profiling campaign. It’s probably a different kind of networking than most people are used to, and it goes beyond worrying about job postings and online openings.

HR: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’ve written in the past here about HR’s dilemma with IT and other “technical” operations within most organizations. The two have not always seen eye to eye, and many technical candidates I represent tell me that HR doesn’t “get” them, often misunderstanding key skills and background information in its role as gatekeeper.

Detoxing from Career Credential Addiction

We live in a world that claims to love credentials. And not surprisingly, there are institutions after institutions that will feed our…”love”.

The Value of a Professional Introduction

As my teams at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace have found over the last couple years, social media and LinkedIn in particular offer a great deal of untapped potential for all professionals, including the experience professional if you understand the true value of an introduction.

Is Your IT Career Suddenly Off Track?

Recently, I was interviewed by Rich Hein of CIO.com regarding 8 ways to get your career back on track. One of the things that came out in the article was first how to identify when you might even be off track.

Your Way Out of the Resume Jungle

When it comes to the job search process, there is a lot of frustration, to put it mildly. But perhaps one of the greatest sources of frustration has to do with the resume itself. People seem to have all sorts of opinions about them, from what they should look like to how long they should […]

Have You Really Thought Through Your Job Search Plan?

If you’re familiar with our company background, then you’re probably already aware of how our company has evolved from first a “resume-focused” firm into a “resume with personal branding” firm into a “full-service resume/branding and job search solutions” firm. The reason for our evolution has been simple: We want to help our clients in tech […]

Forget Knowledge; “Professionalism” Is What Really Matters…?

So I was reading through the latest survey data to come out on world of work trends, and I came across this information from the Center for Professional Excellence from York College of Pennsylvania.

Tackling the Multigenerational Workforce

We’ve talked quite a bit about the marriage of the multigenerational workforce in today’s market (Baby Booming to a Millennial Beat and Will Gen-Xers Please Speak Up?), and I thought this infographic through Monster.com provided some good data to add to that discussion.

IT Job Search Security

How Certain Are You in an Uncertain Market? Dear IT Pro, Making a career move in today’s tech job market can be uncertain. It can penalize you for things you often can’t control … for being too “old,” too experienced, too qualified, too “technical,” too expensive. It might not reward you for this cert or […]

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says To Find a Mentor, Don’t Ask — Let It Develop Organically

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede recommends that all IT and tech employees have a mentor, but cautions them away from forcing mentoring relationships with strangers or loose contacts. Rochester, NY — April 9, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new article titled “How to Find the Best Mentor For Your Career.” […]

Kick in the Pants: How to Find the Best Mentor For Your Career

If there’s one thing that separates wildly successful people from everybody else, it’s often the presence of a mentor. In the IT and tech worlds as in life, we can’t do everything on our own. We need good advice, a sounding board, and the perspective of somebody who understands where we’re coming from. So why […]

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says You Don’t Have to Move to California To Get a Good Tech Job

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede shares the benefits of staying local during an IT or tech job hunt depending on your state. Rochester, NY — Mar 26, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “You Don’t Have to Move to Silicon Valley to Get a Great Tech Job.” […]

The Real Skinny: You Don’t Have to Move to Silicon Valley to Get a Great Tech Job

When you’re frustrated with your job search, it’s tempting to think of moving to an area where it seems like people are getting hired left and right. But the truth is, you don’t have to move to California to get your dream job. In fact, there are several good reasons why you shouldn’t. Take our […]

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says To Thrive During a Merger or Acquisition, Be Prepared

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede advises tech and IT employees to prepare in advance for mergers and acquisitions by staying up-to-date and having a financial plan. Rochester, NY — March 23, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new article titled “What To Do If Your Company Gets Acquired.” In the article, […]

What To Do If Your Company Gets Acquired

There’s nothing employees want to hear less than that their company is about to go through a merger or an acquisition. But in the tech sector especially, the shifting tides of the marketplace mean that these changes are a reality many people must face. While it’s tempting to bury your head in the sand until […]

IT Employment Expert Stephen Van Vreede Says Creativity Is An Essential Quality in IT and Tech Employees

CEO of ITtechExec Stephen Van Vreede redefines the word “creativity” as the ability to risk innovative solutions to real-world problems, a quality which he believes every IT worker must strive to adopt. Rochester, NY — Mar 18, 2015 — Stephen Van Vreede, CEO of ITtechExec, published a new blog post titled “Why You Can’t Succeed in […]

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