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Meet the Coaches – Marina Pitisano

A new series of posts to introduce you to the growing band of Glow Up Coaches. They come from all walks of life, and many have been through all sorts of twists and turns to get to where they are today!

So we thought, why not ask them for their hints, tips, tricks and tales to spice things up and show you there’s always more than one path…

This week – meet Marina Pitisano.

From HR experience in Banking to a significant career as coach and mentor, Marina is our Melbourne maestro. She believes the future is bright, if only we can accept nothing is more certain than change.

Lead on, Marina!

Marina, what is your top tip to lead to successfully getting a job?

Never give up on searching for the job you want – it could only be around the corner!

Name one thing you would do if you were looking for a job today: 

At the moment it is not what you know, it is who you know. It is important to be able to reach out to your network to find opportunities. You can do this by creating an online community via LinkedIn and offline community by networking, meeting people and cold calling. Ask for help as people are always willing to help.

How long is “too long” to be searching for a job without successfully getting a job?

If you have been searching for a job for 3-6 months on your own, it is time to get some help looking for roles. Continuously being rejected for roles can cause anxiety, insecurity and you can start to think there is something “wrong” with you. However, it could be that your resume is not highlighting the right strengths, skills or experience for the role. Maybe your cover letter is not getting the big tick for an interview or you are simply not highlighting the right examples in your interviews. A career coach can highlight the areas of improvement and help create job success.

My advice to a job seeker who feels stuck or like their job search is taking too long:

Today’s job search market is tough. Advertised roles can receive 100-300 applications per roles, employers are looking for specific experience and there are thousands of people looking for work. Therefore, the job search process will take time and you need to be patient.

It is critical that your job search strategy involves a combination of job applications, networking, cold calling, reaching out to recruiters, researching and learning about the roles and companies so that you can successfully find a job.

My advice to applicants who want to stand out:

Ensure your resume and cover letter highlights your strengths, attributes and experience that meet the key selection criteria of the roles. I have read many resumes and cover letters that provide a generalist overview of skills and experience. In today’s market, employers are looking for depth of experience, so it is critical to be specific on how you meet the criteria of the roles both in experience and personal attributes.

The most common mistake I see people make when searching for a job:

Providing the same resume and cover letter for all roles they apply for. For every role you apply for, the cover letter must be tailored to the key selection criteria of that role. Your resume should be up to date and relevant for the role you are applying to. Even though the roles may have the same titles, the key selection criteria will always be different, and it is critical that all job applications are tailored as succinctly as possible to match the specific requirements of the roles.

The most common career mistake I see people make:

Lack of career planning. As people get comfortable in their roles, they don’t spend time on focusing on planning for their future. Employees should always be prepared and consider – what training do I need to improve my skills for the future? What gaps do I have that I need extra help with? Do I need a mentor that can help me grow and push my boundaries? Ensure you keep your resume updated for that rainy day and build a community that you can reach out to in the future! Preparation is key to future success!

What’s the most common thing you see hold people back from getting the job they really want?

In general, people are uncomfortable talking about their strengths or what makes them unique and hence do not promote themselves strongly enough. I spend a lot of time highlighting individuals’ strengths and uniqueness to ensure they promote themselves effectively and deservedly in the job applications and interviews.

What does it really mean when you get a “thanks but no thanks” reply to a job application?

It simply means that you did not meet the key selection criteria for that specific role, and you need to do better and elevate your next job application.

What is something someone searching for a job can do today to improve their chances of landing a job?

If you are looking for a job today, ensure you tap into the hidden market. Look at networking and who you know who can assist in finding a role for you. Do not rely solely on job applications, you will eventually lose faith. Also, look at different ways into the companies that could lead you to the role you eventually want. You might do some volunteering, temping or short-term contracts to land the role you want.

What’s your favourite piece of advice or “words of wisdom” to give the people you coach?

I believe there is a job for everyone and finding the right job search strategy will land you the right role!

Now let’s discover a bit more about Marina herself…

Marina, what gets you fired up in the morning?

What excites me about getting up in the morning is that I can make a difference in someone’s life and that gives me purpose and drive

How do you maintain your motivation?

I am result orientated and hence am driven to find results for my clients as I tell my clients Never Give Up – nor do I!

What do you do when you just don’t feel like it?

I remind myself why I do this type of work and that my clients are relying on me to help them and I don’t want to let them down. This motivates me to keep going.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

My best piece of career advice was to always look at further developing myself, believe in yourself and work with a mentor who can guide and help you to push your boundaries. Always keep growing!

What’s the worst?

The worst advice that I was given was that I would not achieve an HR position so do not pursue it – I proved them wrong and spent 15 years in HR!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career/working life?

That every knock back, confusion, difficult moments, hardships are simply testing you to prove that you can overcome adversity and achieve what you want!

If you could go back and tell your teenage self one thing related to jobs/career, what would be?  

Stay persistent, never give up and go for what you want – you will achieve it!

Connect with Marina here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marinapitisano/

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