Paula Christensen is a Professional Resume Writer & Interview Coach for a company she founded, Strategic Career Coaches.
Her services include resume writing, interview preparation, job search strategy assistance, mock interviews, and career/job search workshops and presentations.
Her work has been featured in Resume for Dummies, books, and she has won awards for her work.
Here is a summary of key takeaways from the interview:
- Paula Christensen is a Professional Resume Writer & Interview Coach for a company she founded, Strategic Career Coaches. Her services include resume writing, interview preparation, job search strategy assistance, mock interviews, and career/job search workshops and presentations.
- Paula’s work has been featured in Resume for Dummies, books, and she has won awards for her work.
- Paula was a corporate recruiter before she founded Strategic Career Coaches. She loved interview coaching and helping people, which led her to start her own business.
- When structuring a resume, Paula advises being specific and targeting it towards the job you’re applying for. Use job postings and tools like LinkedIn to find keywords and align your resume with the role.
- To make a resume stand out, Paula suggests building relationships with people at the company you’re applying to. Networking and personal relationships can often be more important than a great resume.
- Paula emphasizes the importance of having a reference at the company you’re applying to. Even if they don’t know you well, having their name on your application can make a big difference.
- For a successful job search, Paula recommends a multi-pronged approach. This includes focusing on your resume, cover letter, elevator pitch, networking, LinkedIn profile, follow up, and thank you notes.
- In the age of virtual interviews, Paula suggests practicing with the platform, ensuring your background is appropriate and represents your brand, and creating engagement by smiling, laughing, and using hand gestures.
- For different types of interviews (behavioral, situational, technical), Paula recommends preparation and practice. For behavioral interviews, she suggests using a framework similar to the STAR or CAR methods, but emphasizes the importance of detailing the results of your actions.
- Paula believes storytelling is important in interviews. Sharing your experiences and what you learned from them can demonstrate your emotional intelligence and soft skills.
Check out the full transcript from the fifth episode of the TechGuide podcast, featuring an interview with Paula Christensen.
Ryan Atkinson: We have Paula Christensen on the podcast today. Thank you for being here, Paula. Super excited to have you.
Paula Christensen: Thank you. Thanks for having me, Ryan.
Ryan Atkinson: I want to talk about your life outside of work, because that’s always super important to talk about. Just in work priorities personal life priorities. So I want to ask like, how do you de-stress from work?
It’s a super long day. How are you taking your mind off of work and everything?
Paula Christensen: I would say that just trying to get outside, I love walking my dog. I’m kind of an avid podcast, uh, listener, and part of that is because I walk my dog , so like, I don’t, the walking the dog came first and then podcasts came after that.
And so it’s a great way to kind of combine the two. But yeah, I love being outside, period. No, you know, wherever I can do that. I, I used to be a little bit more avid. of an exerciser, and I hurt my back last year, so I’m coming off that I’m doing well. But um, yeah, that, that would’ve been how I used to answer that question, but I still am able to like kind of focus on that, but in a different way.
Now it’s just kind of like I tweaked that a little bit and, and doing the walking instead of running and skiing and some other things. But being outside is just a huge priority.
Ryan Atkinson: Yeah, absolutely. Because you are a busy, busy person. You started Career co uh, strategic Career coaches almost eight years ago to help with resume drafting, interview coaching and career coaching.
Take us through this time. I mean, how did you think to start strategic Career coaches?
Paula Christensen: I was a recruiter years ago. I was a corporate recruiter and I loved it. But then I took some time away to be a stay-at-home mom. I just didn’t, there was a point where I was pregnant with my third child, like, how is this all gonna work?
I do not actually see how I’m gonna do this. And I took some time off and then I fell into a different career. It was almost a little bit by accident. I was doing a program with my kids and then I started helping part-time and then they. Somebody to run the program and I did an interim and then I, and I think I did a great.
But it never felt quite right. You know, I [00:02:00] never wanted to work with preschool children, like, no offense, love my own kids, but didn’t really ever wanna watch anyone else’s . And I, I, I loved the families and I, I made some really great friends, but it wasn’t quite right. And so I did some soul searching. What was I, what did it, Ru really fired me up.
What was I good. . And when I worked as a recruiter, I loved interview coaching. So one time a year we would go to colleges around town and we would do mock interviews. And the rest of the team hated this experience, like . Uh, nobody wanted to sign up. I signed up every year. I came home just buzzing because I loved it.
And so it took me a while to like tap into that and remember that. And then I didn’t even know that that was a thing. I mean, I, it kind of wasn’t seven years ago. There still aren’t. Interview coaches in my city. Mm-hmm. . But so anyway, I got some certifications, got myself back up to speed. That’s right.
You know, gained some experience, gained a lot of really great industry contacts, and then started working with clients and yeah, so that I started my business kind of really tapping into. Where my strengths were and what part of recruiting I really loved. So I loved helping people. Yeah, that’s been a, a, a thread that’s gone across all my jobs.
But, um, with the recruiting, I wasn’t able to give that feedback and that really bothered me because I saw so many people as. Especially young professionals who could have gotten a little bit of advice and done so much better. And so it’s, it’s extremely rewarding for me now, like to be able to give that advice and to see people make huge strides with just a little bit of feedback.
Ryan Atkinson Yeah. That’s amazing. And I love that you do like the full fledge, like full not sales cycle, but the full recruiting cycle of like resumes to interview coaching, to career coaching. Mm-hmm. . And we’re actually gonna start off with like the resume tips. This is like the first part in interview or job process.
And you’re getting ready to structure this interview or structure this resume, excuse me, , you’re getting ready to structure this resume. [00:04:00] So let’s just say you’re going after, um, like a sales or marketing role or some sort of role, however you wanna take it. What, how should you cater a resume to like specific industries?
Paula Christensen: Well be really specific. I would say that a lot of people don’t do that. They don’t target it. Yeah. So do your research, look at job postings. Maybe. , plug some job postings into chat, G P T. Mm-hmm. , going to LinkedIn and try to find some keywords through their resume builder that they have within LinkedIn.
So use the tools available to you to really kind of focus on, okay, what is the job description? And then almost you can kind of reverse engineer it. Okay. What, how have I hit those key points? And then maybe write some bullet points that kind of demonstrate how you’ve hit those key points. So a lot of people, really what they do is they just, Get lazy about it.
Yeah. And they take information from the job posting and then they have those duties within their resume. And I say, go a little bit deeper. What are your accomplishments? You know? Yes. You have to align with that role. That’s really, really important. . So I like to have a little mini job description, just a couple sentences about what that role entailed at your position.
Yeah. But then I like to have those bullet points and what those are really is differentiating you. So first you’re aligning, then you’re differentiating, and usually that’s why you’re accomplishments. .
Ryan Atkinson: That’s amazing. And so you’re aligning to your accomplishments. You have everything here and you have the keywords, everything’s in place.
Like, you’re like, this is really good. But how do you make that resume, like stand out when it gets into the recruiter’s hands? Like what, is there any particular way that you would make it like really stand out to recruiters?
Paula Christensen: Well I think some of those are the ways re really thinking about those keywords.
Yeah. Also, I mean, we didn’t even talk about this, but on the front end, you know, what are you doing? Are you building relationships with people at that company? Yeah. Can you, you know, can maybe somebody go to bat for you? Yeah. Who’s worked with you in the past? So really some of those networking things [00:06:00] that people hate to do that really makes a huge difference with your resume.
So even most resume writers will say like, yeah, resume is not, not. Yeah, I mean, resumes are great. I believe in resumes, but I do believe in some things are those personal relationships that you develop are more important than a really great resume. So some people kind of almost, um, I’ve worked with people in the past who they get stuck on the resume.
They’re trying to make it perfect. They’re trying to make it keyword, word, optimized , and they, they absolutely use that as a stall t. Ah, and a reason to maybe not apply and a reason to not kind of step out of the comfort zone of just applying online. So really, I mean, do the hard things is not. What people wanna hear , but that’s really the what’s gonna have you be more, most successful.
So try to find somebody in that company, you know, try to learn. Yeah. You know, do some networking. Find out what do they really need in this position can, are there things you can do to bolster your resume? So maybe that means taking a weekend course in Adobe Illustrator. Yeah. Then, you know, sometimes you can easily acquire things that are needed, but you really don’t know what’s needed until you do the deep.
Ryan Atkinson: Hmm, that’s amazing. So it’d be like reaching out to someone that’s in the company in like a similar role and be like, Hey, can we sit down for 20 minutes? I’m really interested in X, Y, Z role and I would love to hear like what you guys are really looking for.
Paula Christensen: Right? And you might have to send that message to 10 different people for one to reply
So that’s where people who have a background in sales or maybe had like people in their family, members in sales, they do better at this because they realized like that rejection aspect of. But, um, yeah, you, you are not gonna get a lot of replies to that, but, you know, keep trying, keep going out there and I say like, keep building your net or your network.
So that could mean you contact your neighbor John, who has a cousin who used to work [00:08:00] at that company who knows somebody. So don’t be afraid to do like that Kevin Bacon. Three degrees of separation thing. Yeah. To find somebody who would be willing to give you that 20. .
Ryan Atkinson: That’s interesting. What’s the importance?
Cuz whenever you’re like filling out a resume or like a job application, it’s like, do you have a reference to like somebody here? Like how did you hear about this job? Can you talk about like the importance of having a reference at the company? Does it matter? Does it not matter? Or like what, how do you coach it?
Paula Christensen: Yeah, it matters for sure if you can take that extra step. It’s huge. Yeah. So if you, let’s say your neighbor. has a cousin who has a neighbor, , and you’re able to talk to that person and you do meet with them for 20 minutes. You don’t, you know, at the end of the conversation is you can say, I’m applying for X, Y, Z position.
Is it okay if I would write your name down? Yeah. And it doesn’t mean they have to know you. It doesn’t mean they worked with you and they will necessarily go to bat for you, but just having that name down on there is huge. I wish I had the exact statistic like at the top of my head, but I know it’s very high.
if you, and then what I like to do, what I like to tell clients is in your cover letter name, drop that right away. Nice. You know, so-and-so, uh, I, I d I, and you don’t have to say they encouraged me to apply. You can see that if they did, but maybe you just had a conversation with them and you say, I was able to speak with so-and-so about the x, Y, Z job.
Yeah. Made me really excited. And you can still, as long as you’ve got their permission, you can still name drop them. Do it right away, like almost first sentence in your cover letter.
Ryan Atkinson: That’s awesome. Yeah. Cause I know like a cover letter, it’s always coached to like, like dear or X, Y, Z or like to whom may a concern I’m applying to X, Y, Z that I found on LinkedIn, but instead of putting that, you’d be able, I talked to John Smith at your company about this role and I feel like I’m qualified to apply for it.
Paula Christensen: Yeah, yeah. And you might not, you might not. Depending on your relationship with that person, you could actually email it to them and they send it on. Mm-hmm. , or you could just reference their [00:10:00] name.
Ryan Atkinson: Oh, that’s amazing. Strategy. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Um, I’m curious, so into addition to like a well written resume You’re applying for a job, how can you ensure from the get-go that you’re on the right track to have like a successful job search?
Or is there like, setting goals, criteria, or how would you recommend people to start their job, search off on the right foot?
Paula Christensen: Yeah, I think it, it have a multi-pronged approach. Mm-hmm. . So you’re not just thinking about your resume, you’re thinking about your resume, your cover letter, your elevator pitch, your networking, your LinkedIn profile, your follow up, your thank you, you know, so do all those little things.
They can really make a huge difference. So if you just do one of those things, ah, you might not notice. Nobody might care. You know, you know, if you follow up you might not get a response. But if, I promise you, if you take the time, to do all the little things, it’s really gonna pay off. Mm-hmm. . So like just it, it does take more work.
Yeah. But think about a multi-pronged approach. You’re not just gonna apply online. You’re going to keep doing that. You know, I don’t wanna tell people, don’t apply online, but apply online plus. , develop your targeted list of companies plus network through who might work at those companies. Yes. Plus expand your network gain skills.
I didn’t even talk about that. That’s a huge one as well. So yeah, do do all the things.
Ryan Atkinson: Awesome. Mm-hmm. . So you get, you get your resume and you get the recommendation. You get an interview, you get a virtual interview, the world is opened up . So in the age of like virtual interviews, uh, what tips can you offer to help clients present themselves effectively in an online setting, ensuring that they’re making like a really strong first impression in a virtual setting.
Paula Christensen: Yeah. So virtual, it’s so important now. I mean, so much business is being done virtually. Mm-hmm. , that if you’re not keeping up with this, you are behind the times. Yeah. So I find this as usually not as big of a deal for my younger clients. Mm-hmm. , because they kind of grew up in this world. Yeah. But a lot of my [00:12:00] older clients who.
maybe have never done, like FaceTiming their family every day, or, you know, , you know, they haven’t, they haven’t gotten on board. They’ve never had to do a video interview before, so I worry a little bit more about them. But tips and tricks are like, get familiar with the platform, practice, practice, practice.
So you can do a one-way zoom session. You can record yourself, you can review that you know, practicing out loud just for that smoothness and that comfortability is huge. Just little things like make sure your camera. If you can position the screen so that, like right now, Ryan, I have you positioned right below my camera and then I’ve trained my eye not to look at myself.
And that took some practice. I’m sure you’ve probably done that too. Mm-hmm. , like it does take some practice. So the more you do that inter online interviewing sites are huge for this, so they have blogs. Hire views, fire, hire, interviewer, ai. Those are three top ones, and they all have blogs and tips and tricks.
So, you know, follow some of those companies and then just before your interview, kind of look at those. Mm-hmm. , and then just you have to fill that gap. So yeah, creating engagement. online is so much more difficult. It is. So, you’re right. So what that means is you really have to be conscious about it. So think about how you’re presenting yourself.
Smile, engage, laugh, use more hand gestures, you know, nod more. All of those things make a difference on video because it is so flat and unengaging. Another thing to think about is to sit forward on your chair. Mm-hmm. . So like on the first kind of half of your chair. Yeah. You want your shoulders. How did I say that?
back, but, or not, not tight, but shoulder strong. Yeah. But, but not tight. And so that you’re sitting up and you’re filling the frame. And then think about how much of the frame you’re filling. You want a little bit of your torso so that they can see your, your hand gestures, and then you want. to really, really kind of [00:14:00] look into that camera.
And you wanna fill up a little bit of the frame, not too much, you don’t want to too much of your room showing . And then think about your background a little bit as well. Mm-hmm. , so, you know, your background is part of your brand. Yeah. So I had a client who interviewed for, uh, kind of an offshoot of a sports industry.
He was doing like more like data and analytics for a sporting, um, venue and. Had on purpose on his bookshelf behind him, some sports memorabilia kind of thing that, you know, and he, it was, it was thoughtful that he put it there and he was like intentional about it. And so think about your background, that’s part of your brand, you know, you don’t have to have it bland.
Mm-hmm. . I’m not one of those coaches who say that, but just make sure that you’re considering what’s back there, because it might be a conversation piece. Yeah. And it might reflect on you, good or bad.
Ryan Atkinson: Yeah, that’s actually a tip that I actually got from someone, because my background right now, you just spoke to me.
My background right now is very relevant Apple poster right here and like you can see like my fan. So I think that’s a topic that isn’t talked about enough is like you need, yes, your frame needs to be good and everything, but you need to be intentional about your background. Could that, could that, I don’t wanna say that, could that make or break the interview, but it is part of your brand and essentially it could be a conversation.
Paula Christensen: Yeah. I don’t think it will make or break it either, but, but I did have like a client who had like a picture of a. , provocative woman in the back, let’s say . It wasn’t like a nude or any, it was like a silhouette, but it was just like enough of a question like, why, like you, you know, let’s not raise any, it’s probably not a red flag, but you know, it might be like an orange flag , so let’s just like take that outta consideration.
Ryan Atkinson: I like that. I like that. So let’s just say like your, your first virtual interview goes really well. Um, you presented yourself really power, like powerfully, I don’t know if that’s the right word for it. . So how should candidates. Prepare for different types of interviews, such as like a behavioral interview, a [00:16:00] situational interview or technical interview, and like what strategies would you give to someone that’s approaching each of these different interviews?
Paula Christensen: Yeah, those are all different. I would, my strategy is, is really preparation. So do a deep dive. If you can practice with another person, that’s all the better. Yeah. There are some tools out there to help with. Just like, kind of like your comfortability, and the more you practice the better you’ll be.
So basically, I like to have most of what I do with clients when I do mock interview coaching. Is behavioral interviewing. I feel like that is more difficult. So if they prepare for behavioral interview questions, they’re going to naturally kind of be okay with the situational interview. Yeah, because like then they can use an example anyway, and that always looks good.
And then the technical interviews, that’s just a whole nother ballgame. You know, I don’t do that much of that kind of preparation because really those are just something that it’s hard to prepare for. It’s kind of like either you have those technical skills or you don’t, doesn’t mean that you can’t do research.
Like glassdoor.com has reviews on companies. They have a whole interview section that you can go into to try to find out about those. Mm-hmm. . So yeah, I think the main thing is to prepare and then prepare differently for all three of those.
Ryan Atkinson: Yeah. Is there, like, when it comes to a behavioral interview, is there like a framework that you use?
Because I know like the STAR method’s huge, like across the board. Is that the framework you use? Or like what frameworks do you use when preparing?
Paula Christensen: Yeah, I use something similar. It’s kind of a offshoot of Star and Car. Mm-hmm. . So most of the time people are so familiar with those. Yeah. and I, and I’ll say like, just Google it , you know, like, so anyway, I.
Frameworks, but I do think they only bring people partway through. Yeah. Or, or maybe Here’s a common mistake that I see, Ryan, is that people are good at the star formula or car. Yeah. So they set up the situation, they talk about the actions, then they talk about the result. But most common mistake that I see when people are using that response technique is they forget the [00:18:00] results or they don.
Go into it enough. Mm-hmm. So if you think of interviewing like a story, and there’s so many correlations between storytelling and interviewing. Yeah. Um, you wanna bring them along this journey with you. So what happens is people skip over the results or they don’t pay enough attention to it, and then your, your listeners kind of left hanging.
So really think about that result. That is the best part, and that is the most transferable. So let’s say for example, that somebody says like, uh uh, yeah, we had a challenge with our old e r P system. It wasn’t working. We, I revamped the E R P system. We put in a new one, we researched it, we, I got a team involved.
The result was we, um, , you know, got got more, more. It helped our business a lot. Yeah. You know, and I say go deeper. Okay. Yeah. What, what, what does that result mean? What were the quantifiable metrics there? Mm-hmm. . So did that bring in more customers? Did that save time? Did that save money? How much? Yeah.
Really think about the specifics there. And then when you think about the. How transferable to that next job. You may never have to, um, put in a new er, p p system at this new company, but are they gonna want somebody who saves money, saves time, puts in, makes puts in a process that makes things more efficient?
Absolutely. So that result that are of that formula is usually the most transferable. And then for my formula, what I do is go a little bit deeper and usually it’s for by leaders, but not always. Okay. What does that mean then? What did you learn exactly? So like if you can do a little bit more emotional intelligence and kind of, it’s a great chance for you to demonstrate it, for you to say.
I learned that, boy, I made a mistake with this , or I learned that we needed to get this team involved more quickly. Yeah. You know, and, and really doing that introspection. What did you learn? What would you have done differently? What were the key takeaways from this? Having that deeper aspect of it [00:20:00] really, um, kind of shows your how strong of a candidate you are when you answer those questions that.
Ryan Atkinson: Yeah. And it kind of puts like that, like, like an emotional connection to it or like emotional intelligence to it because like you’re identifying like what, like really changed in like my own process and like you’re able to reflect back on your experiences and how it benefited the bottom line for a company.
Paula Christensen: Right. Exactly. And also like kind of gets at those soft skills. Yeah. You know, that’s the part that’s often difficult to demonstrate in an interview. Yeah. And when you, when you kind of do that self-reflection, That deeper level thinking of it kind of usually gets at those thought soft skills involved.
Ryan Atkinson: Yeah. And I also, uh, in your last response, I, a question popped in my head cause I just read us stories that stick. I can’t think of the author, but she talked about , essentially how people connect to stories if it’s in a job interview, telling your founder’s story, value, story, any of that. And so you coach clients to like share their story, but also tie that result in at the end, right, exactly.
With it better, but it also is what is that result and like what did you actually do with it? .
Paula Christensen: Right. And I, I’m, that’s also, I’m gonna write that book down, Ryan, because it’s great. That’s awesome. I, that’s a, the area of interview coaching that I really wanna dig into is really the storytelling. I think there’s so many correlations and really, interviews are, could be like a celebrity who’s, yeah, got a PR team who, who kind of teaches ’em how to answer or even a, a political.
Mm-hmm. really, what are your talking points? How are those stories? So I love that too, about founders of companies, cuz I really resonate with that. Like Yeah. How I built this podcast and some others, you know, I love those stories that are involved. And there’s a book. I don’t I, I meant to bring it in here.
I think it’s master storytelling or something like that. There’s two authors. One of them is Mark Carpenter. And, um, anyway, what he does is he talks about the oxytocin and that’s involved in storytelling. Storytelling. So the listener is [00:22:00] really put along that journey with you and they’re actually feeling those emotions.
Yeah. And they’re actually like anticipating the ending. And like, that’s so cool. Like our brains are connecting on that. . So if you’re not really telling those examples or going into the, the stories, then you’re kind of missing out on part of, you know, really the goal of interviewing is connection and engagement.
Yeah. And, and so like a great way to do that is through stories.
Ryan Atkinson: I love that. How I prepared for a lot of my interviews when I was like going through like a lot of interviews, like right after school or like at the, at the end of school I would go through my resume and be like, okay, what are the bullet points in.
and then I would try and connect like some sort of story to that. And so when it was asked about asked about it in like the interview, I could tell a story about that. And you can like really feel the people like resonate to that because we all resonate to stories. We’ve been telling stories since we didn’t even have wheels.
So , right? It’s super important to put stories into like your recruiting process. Um, and in a job interview, mm. . I also wanna talk about, so let’s just say you have a great interview. It went super, super well. You hit it off really well, you told stories, you did all the good stuff. , how do you coach clients to follow up after the interview to really like hone in on that last like great impression.
Paula Christensen: I, first of all, do follow up. Yeah. You can stand out by, so from so many of other candidates by just simply doing that . It’s really, really sad. I mean, recruiters say like, it’s not very common. Yeah. Most people don’t follow up, so it’s a really easy way to stick out. So, you know, think about how you connected with that person.
And then I, I recommend trying to connect on the avenue that you did. So if you’ve had a LinkedIn. You know, relationship with ’em, maybe that’s the best place to follow up. Maybe it’s through email. I love video recordings or voice recordings is just different. Yep. So doing something different that makes you stand out is really, there are people who are gonna take notice, so if they get a voice message, they might be more likely to click on it.
Or a [00:24:00] video. Thank you. Then they are like a traditional thank you letter that’s just like everybody else’s. So for sure do it. But then also try to think about some unique ways that you can do that. Yeah, and then I recommend continuing that relationship. So I had a client last year who. , she didn’t get the job.
Mm-hmm. , she, when she was second in line, it, she was heartbroken. Yeah. She absolutely loved that job and wanted that job. And what she did, she, she was almost so dejected that she didn’t want to maintain that relationship in the beginning. She kind of forced herself. So now and again, she might send an email saying, you know, Hey, I noticed this article, or I saw your LinkedIn post, and just kind of keeping the door open.
And sure enough, about six months later, that manager had a contact of his in, you know, a, a competitor actually, and he put her name forward cuz he thought she was great. You know, so I, yeah, sometimes it works out where they have a new position and they hired you and that’s a great story too. But other times, like, maybe there’s something different and they recommended you to somebody, you, you extended your network.
Um, and that worked out for her. And so I, I just say, you know, Even the long-term follow up is, you know, number one, you have a new industry connection. Yeah, that’s enough right there. But number two, it could turn into something else. They might remember you down the line. You never know that person. Think.
Industries are small, cities are small. People get to know each other and it’s hard to know that when you’re a younger person. Yeah, you don’t really have that perspective, but somebody who’s older. I’m amazed at the circles that I still run in with people just because of the relationships that I formed, you know, 20, 25 years ago.
Ryan Atkinson: That’s awesome. And so we talked about resumes, we talked about interviews but I also wanna talk about like the bigger, broader career of a, a young working professional, how they should be thinking about their career. So can you share with us like key principles that have you’ve worked with clients to help like achieve a [00:26:00] successful career?
If it’s goal setting, if it’s planning, um, are there any principles that a young working professional should.
Paula Christensen: I’m, I don’t work that much with people on like goal setting or kind of like down the road. I’m kind of like that career coach who works with people who know what they want. Yeah. And then they go after it, and then they might come back to me down the road.
But I would just say, you know, just thinking about the answer to that question, the things that come to mind are really developing that. So for me personally, I, I took some time away. I was a stay-at-home mom. I did not maintain that network and it. Really impacted my career and I wish I would’ve had the foresight to kind of like, prioritize those connections.
And it took me longer to reenter the workforce because I didn’t do that. So really keep touch with those former colleagues, keep abreast of opportunities and just never, never know. And then the second thing to think about is just continuously learning. Mm-hmm. so, If you think about when I graduated college like a million years ago.
Yeah. , we didn’t have what you guys have available, what we all have available now, right? So we, we added freaking encyclopedias to look up stuff, . So, um, you know, you have no excuse now to not be developing your skills. It is, you know, LinkedIn Learning has thousands of courses. Coursera you, to me, there’s a million.
So keep, keep learning, keeping curious about new things and keep developing your skills. So a lot of times people will come to me, okay, what’s the best, you know, we might be facing a recession. Yeah. What’s the best way to recession proof my career. Mm-hmm. , that’s it right there. Keep developing your skills, you know, keep taking on those projects that are difficult.
Yeah. Keep stepping outside of your comfort zone so that you can keep broadening and expanding and getting better, and like learning what you’re good at.
Ryan Atkinson: Yeah. Are there any like soft skills that, like you would [00:28:00] recommend people to like double down in if it’s a recession, if it’s like not even a recession?
Is there like one sort of soft skill that you think is like marketable across all in.
Paula Christensen: Um, I guess the couple that come to mind are like adaptability. Hmm. And ability, which is, uh, similar Yeah. Is ability to roll with change. Hmm. So, some of my most successful clients who’ve been like senior level leaders, I think that’s two things that come.
Come up where they’re like, you know what? We had to lay off a whole department and here’s what we had to do. And instead of running from the fire, I had to run in there. So, um, I would think those couple things are like, what companies are gonna really be looking for is people that can pivot and change.
Maybe fill a different role because maybe now HR has to also cover something else. Mm-hmm. . So, um, being able to kind of work with change is gonna be really important as we move forward.
Ryan Atkinson: Awesome. Well, Paula, thank you so, so much for joining us. This has been an awesome episode. There is a ton of tidbits in here.
Um, so I’m super thankful we could get you on today’s episode. You were great. Great.
Paula Christensen: Thank you for having me, Ryan. I’m happy to do it and always look forward to talking with you.