Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet Christopher Berg, Career Coach and Consultant

Christopher Berg is a career coach and motivational speaker based in New York City. He runs a business called Go Berg or Go Home. He started the business with a particular goal of helping young professionals become more prepared and marketable in a tough job market.

1. What are some of the specific ways you help clients through your work offering career services?

The strength of our company is that we do a large amount of research on an ongoing basis. Go Berg has over 30 relationships with hiring managers, recruiters, staffing agencies, and HR directors throughout the Northeast region. Through these relationships, we are able to stay up to date on various industries, specifically what they are looking for in resumes, interviews, and skill set. Next, I have "secretly shopped" over a dozen colleges throughout the Northeast. I know what expectations college career centers are setting and what their limitations are. I have along extensive experience in HR, recruitment, hiring, interviewing while also achieving the highest certifications in resume writing and interview/career coaching. I offer young professionals the best services to make you stand out on paper, a chance to learn the best interviewing techniques, and the opportunity to network with my contacts to get one foot in the door. Thanks to the reputation we have built, my contacts know when they reach out to me they are getting top talent to fill their staffing needs. We help young professionals spread their wings in the marketplace by unleashing their confidence.

2. How would you define the servant leadership model, and how do you put it into action in your own business?

I am an avid servant leader. I learned about servant leadership in my master's program at Albertus Magnus College. Servant leadership is basically "serving others' needs first." I built my business with the vision of serving young professionals' needs first. When I graduated college, I was lost! I was taking little jobs here and there and living with my mom, with no clear guidance. Then a little lady named Sallie Mae came looking for money for something called student loans. I was deferring every chance I could because I simply could not afford it.

Fast-forward almost a decade later and what has changed? College grads are feeling the pressures of getting a job more than ever. Then one day it hit me. After attending a college career fair, I was in charge of hiring recent graduates for a leadership development program. After numerous interviews, I was shocked at how many students were unprepared for the interview, what was recorded on resumes, and the lack of confidence in their presentation of skills. I knew the market needed someone like me to help. The essence of servant leadership is having a passion to help others, and that is what I love to do!

3. Would you tell us about some common issues that you see coming up for young professionals and recent grads in today's job market?

Great question. I do have to break it up into two sections because there is a clear difference between young professionals and recent grads.

The most common issue I see in young professionals is how they are playing the organizational game and not knowing how to get promoted in their current career. I hear it all the time from frustrated young professionals. "I don't make enough money," "I don't get the recognition for my work," or my favorite, "Someone else got the position and I have no idea why!" I can absolutely help with these young professionals understand how the system works! How do I know how it works? In my current studies in my doctorate program, I'm focused on researching this matter and I have personally used it in my own career and have received countless promotions by following a PIE model. Want to know what PIE is? Just give me a call!

For recent graduates, it is just helping them debunk some of the myths about what a resume should look like, what some college career centers are teaching, and setting realistic expectations. I have tons of clients who become discouraged because they keep getting declined and passed over on jobs because they are simply not qualified for the position. Coaching to realistic expectations is my strength and unleashing the confidence is key when working with recent grads. Lastly, exposure!!!! It is all about exposure and understandably many college grads do not have the connections. I can help them gain the exposure so their likelihood of getting more interviews and the probability of landing a job increases.

4. Why did you decide to start your own consulting business, and what has your experience been so far when it comes to going out on your own?

Honestly, I feel I can help people. I know the in and outs of the job market game and my experience, story, and expertise can help others. I wish there had been something like Go Berg when I graduated. For most of my clients, they just need a kick in the "you know what!" I know I did at that time in my life! I want to help, spread my message, and use my gifts to help others.

Going out on my own is scary. I still work full time, pursuing a doctorate, while running a business. Time management is key in my life and my experience thus far has been amazing. The feedback, the follow-up letters, the pictures of my clients' working in their new positions makes my heart smile. There is no better feeling then knowing we helped someone start the next journey in his or her life. It is very powerful!

5. If you could give just three pieces of advice to someone who feels that he/she is struggling to find a good job, what would you say?

First, look at the jobs you are applying for. I guarantee half are out of your experience realm. When I pass up on candidates and send the "no thank you letter," I am really just saying, "You do not meet the qualifications of this specific position."

Second, take your current resume and read it aloud or record yourself reading it. It sounds crazy, but I use this technique with my clients all the time. If you are stumbling over your words, have a lost facial expression, or find confusing descriptions, you can imagine what the hiring manager is going to think.

Lastly, avoid online resume writing companies. If you can't meet and have a connection with the person writing about YOU on paper and shaping what is arguably the most important document in a career that helps open doors, AVOID! I recently paid four online companies and sent in a purposely-incorrect resume, and I was shocked on what was edited, not edited, overlooked, and changed. These services are overpriced and misleading. When you are seeking career help, just ask, "What makes you an expert?" because you can tell a lot from that answer--trust me!

Thanks, Christopher!

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