The Rise of the Corporate Entrepreneur

Posted on February 24, 2015. Filed under: Big Data, Career Management, CIO, Consulting/Contracting, Cyber Security, Engineering, Executive Job Search, Healthcare IT, International Job Seekers, Interviews, IT networking, Job Market Trends, Job Promotion, Job Search Tips, LinkedIn, Manufacturing, Personal Branding, Product Development, Programming, Project management, Recruiting, Resumes, Retirement, Salary, social media, Software Development, STEM, Technical Infographics, Technical Sales, Technology, Women in IT, Work Issues |

In my newly released book UNCOMMON with Brian Tracy, I wanted to focus on the concept of “corporate entrepreneur.” Thanks to feedback from my social media connections, I was able to gather some great data and comments on what corporate entrepreneurship means to today’s professional.

Below is an excerpt from the book. If you’d like to download the entire chapter, click on the cover graphic and I will send it to you! OR if you’d like to order a signed copy of the book, check out my exclusive offer.

stephen van vreede

Click on cover photo to receive rest of chapter!



Let’s face it. The world of “work” is more uncertain than ever. It penalizes you for things you often can’t control … for being too “old,” too experienced, too qualified, too “educated,” too “expensive.” It might not reward you for this certification or that title. On top of that, corporate hiring processes are a sophisticated mess (to put it mildly), internal cultural and multigenerational conflict is commonplace, and many companies are struggling with how to retain their top talent.

As a result, professionals now make an external career move every 3 to 4 years. That means the average 30-year-old with 35 years (or more!) left in the marketplace can expect 10 or more company changes before he or she retires. Even if this professional were to beat the odds with an internal promotion or two, by say double, he or she could still be out in the market every 6 to 8 years.

If all that corporate “goo” isn’t bad enough, then there’s the job market “zoo” to contend with.


Each day I work with professionals across the globe dedicated to building in career protection, and they are achieving tremendous results. Just like the rest of us, they face many of the same limitations: age, gender, level of experience, geographic restrictions, lack of credentials, market instability, and so on. The difference is in how they approach these limitations and build in their protection from the storm.


People tell me that “job security” is a myth today or that if you work for someone else, such as a corporation, you can’t really control your fate.

And I understand what they mean.


 (For the rest of the story, click on the graphic above!)

Stephen Van VreedeAbout Stephen—-

Stephen Van Vreede is not your average IT/technical résumé writer. He provides career strategy and concierge job search solutions for senior (15+ years) (ITtechExec) and up-and-coming (NoddlePlace) (5-15 years) tech and technical operations leaders. Stephen and his team focus on building simplified, targeted, and certain career move campaigns, be it an external search or an internal promotion. He is co-author of UNcommon with career development leader Brian Tracy (out June 11, 2015). Contact Stephen directly at or send him an invite at To see whether Stephen and his team are a good fit for you, take their free (and anonymous) 1-minute compatibility quiz, Is the ITtechExec Approach a Good Match for You? Also, feel free to take his complimentary resume self-assessment quiz, How Certain Can You Be About Your Technical Resume? You might be surprised by what you find out!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How Many Certifications Do You Really Need?

Posted on January 13, 2015. Filed under: Career Management, Consulting/Contracting, Cyber Security, Engineering, Executive Job Search, Healthcare IT, International Job Seekers, IT networking, Job Market Trends, Product Development, Programming, Project management, Software Development, Technical Sales, Technology, Women in IT, Work Issues |

certificationsJob-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 is real-world work experience. It’s easy to get caught in a cycle of certification-collecting rather than working towards the skills that will actually move your professional life where you want it to go. And because you don’t have infinite time, you need to prioritize the ways you develop professionally.

(You also want to be careful that you haven’t fallen into the Career Credential Addiction that seems to be pervasive these days.)

So, before you start raking in certification after certification, follow these three steps: take a reality check, do your research, and strategize.

Reality Check

What certifications do you actually need for your job? Don’t get waylaid by job ads that ask for lots of certs — oftentimes, they are in the “nice to have” category and not the “need to have.” Always consult your hiring manager before jumping right into a new cert just to apply to a few jobs. Be aware that lower-level certs are usually worth less to employers than high-level ones, so don’t accumulate the basics just to have a few letters after your name.

Remember: Unless you are in a profession that legally mandates certification before you can practice your craft, there’s often some wiggle room in getting hired for jobs that ask for them.


Here’s a tip that will save you time, money, and headaches: Research the people who have the job that you want on LinkedIn. What certifications do they have? Don’t stop at just one or two  — look for multiple people across the country who have the job title you seek, and keep a record of what certifications they have to their name. But don’t stop your research there. Scan as many job ads and company websites as you can to see where the common ground is. Chances are, if you see the same certs popping up over and over again, they are worth your time.


Once you have the lay of the land, it’s time to come up with a plan. Will your current employer pay for certifications? Find out. Do you need to join a professional organization before you can get the cert you need? Ask. Boil down your plan to just the essentials, and ask yourself if it’s worth it. Never forget that relevant work experience is almost always considered more valuable than certifications, so factor that into your plan. Can you take on a new project at work, or volunteer your skills to an organization in need? Be creative in your approach.

Remember, it’s the quality of certifications — not the quantity — that matters in your job search. There’s no magic number. Certifications are shorthand for knowledge, but they aren’t the only way to prove your skills to potential employers.

Get comfortable communicating about what you do, and use your certifications as evidence to back-up your claims — not the other way around.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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

Posted on November 20, 2014. Filed under: Career Management, Cyber Security, IT networking, Job Search Tips, LinkedIn, Personal Branding, Resumes, Software Development, Technology, Women in IT |

toon-1061Recently I was interviewed by Susan Hall for a 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 off as a brainless braggart, so the best advice is to call attention to the experience you gained while earning the certification – and how you’ve put it to use doing real work, experts say.

“One of the biggest things that people will probably neglect is leveraging people who have gone through a similar certification – reaching out to them through LinkedIn or whatever means they have available, to make connections and market themselves through other, what should be, like-minded people who are going to value that certification,” says

Stephen Van Vreede, a Rochester, N.Y.-based resume writer and career strategist at”

Read the full article here

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: