Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If men were angels, no government would be necessary

The title of this post is a quote from James Madison, 4th President of the United States. A slight modification of the statement for today’s world might be, if people were angels, no security settings for Facebook would be necessary. Unfortunately, people aren’t angels and security settings are definitely necessary. Social media is a fun and useful tool, if used wisely. Not everyone is your friend. Take a look at the video below for an example of a romance destroyed because of a Facebook hijacking and think about other disasters that could occur if you're not paying attention to your security settings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Do you dare to be authentic? Life lessons learned from The Breakfast Club

By: Lori McMullin, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

I had another blog post ready to go this morning, but decided to re-post this on in honor of my 25th high school reunion this past weekend. Hope you like it:

They were five students with nothing in common, faced with spending a Saturday detention together in their high school library. At 7 a.m., they had nothing to say, but by 4 p.m., they had bared their souls to each other and become good friends. To the outside world they were simply the Jock, the Brain, the Criminal, the Princess and the Basket Case, but to each other, they would always be the Breakfast Club.

You have to love a good John Hughes movie, and “The Breakfast Club” captivated audiences while delivering a powerful message about being authentic. Check out a great article on the first link, and then take a walk down memory lane for most of us on the second link. Coincidentally, “The Breakfast Club’s” theme song is my high school graduating class song.



Friday, November 26, 2010

Job Search always in season

Job hunting during the holidays poses special challenges. Or so I was told when I was laid off from a job I loved after 28 years. I was constantly hearing that companies don't hire during the Christmas season? Well, don’t believe it.
Although it’s tempting to slack off, the holidays are a good time to step up your job search. One executive coach says in fact this time of year provides some distinct advantages and special opportunities for proactive job seekers.
Read the following article for some tips from Monster+HotJobs on looking for that perfect job while others are out shopping or partying.


Posted by Suzy Kridner.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The 2010 Annual Report is now available!

Check out our annual report to learn about the different services that we offer at the One-Stops, and also to have a better understanding of the employment situation in the region.

(Click on the cover to view the annual report.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You’re Fired!

If the above phrase is something you’ve heard outside of television, this article can help you deal with the situation. Click here to read the article.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Over 50 and Looking for a Job?

Finding a job is challenging for anyone in the current job market but it’s harder if you’re over age 50. It’s illegal for employers to discriminate based on age, but many will tell you it happens every day.

That reality is converging with the baby boomer generation, many of whom are finding that they need to keep working past the traditional retirement age.

So, what are the best strategies for landing a job when you’re over 50? Well, I searched the internet for just these kinds of hints and this is what I found.

It’s not all about you. The most important thing in getting a job after 50 is to understand why anyone would hire you. There’s one common reason people get hired—when the hiring manager sees the candidate as the solution to their problems. Don’t spend all your time talking about yourself. Instead, spend the time talking about how you can be of value to the company.

Leave the attitude at the door. Instead, go into interviews prepared to listen and understand your prospective employer’s current situation and issues. Research the company thoroughly in advance. You’re there to find a way to match up the employer’s problems with specific areas of your experience that make you the obvious solution. When you whine about your previous employer, your health or other things, most employers will take note of your attitude and sort you to the bottom of the pile. As a manager myself, I can tell you that I would rather not have a whiner on my staff.

Connect with the Culture. Show your prospective employer that you’re not stuck in the past. Try to understand how you are perceived by others—the way you look, the words you use, the attitudes you hold. Clean up your act before you enter the market. But don’t go overboard! Whenever I spot a do-rag or baggy pants on someone over 45, I want to shoot them and put them out of their kid’s misery.

Technology is Important! I have a quote on my office wall – It is not the technology, it’s what you do with it that counts. Pencil, paper and calculators have been replaced by software and computers. We live in a high tech world. A working knowledge of technology is essential. Most baby boomers are comfortable with basic business technology—computers, the web, e-mail and mobile technology. If you are not comfortable with these technologies, take a class. We offer lots of them through the One-Stop Employment Centers.

Experience and Wisdom are Valuable! Now here is the most important thing you need to know. While you may be competing with younger, more tech savvy candidates, your age can be an advantage to most employers. Experience and wisdom come with age. As long as you are not stuck in the past, you upgrade your skills and embrace the current culture, you are more valuable because of your age! Your ability to make sound business decisions and react to out of the ordinary circumstances should be strengthened because of your experience. But, you need to show your future employer that you can get off the porch and run with the big dogs.

A pastor said to me today, “Do the Next Right Thing!” I like that. So I say to you, “Do the Next Right Thing”, upgrade your skills, change your attitude and show them that you can add value to their organization.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Job Forecasting Tool

I was recently given a link to a tool forecasting job growth within the United States. You are able to view forecasted job growth by state and/or metropolitan area.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking For A Change? Look To The O’Net

Are you one of those people whose job has been automated? Or maybe you’re just bored with the work you’ve been doing and would like to explore some other careers. If for any reason, you’re interested in getting in to a different line of work than what you’ve been doing, the O’net Center can be a great help to you.
Type in the name of the job you’ve been thinking about moving to and study all the information about that position, including the working conditions, the amount of training needed, and the pay scale just to name a few. O’net will even list related fields of work that you can explore.
O’net is also a place to help you find the words you’re looking for to help describe what you did in a previous job. This can be a wonderful resource to aid you in writing your résumé.
Whether you’re looking for your next career or seeking assistance in writing about a past one, the O’net is a great tool. To go to O’net click here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Huh? What did you just say???

Several years ago I was working as a Project Manager for a large employment and training company. My V.P. was the KING of the annoying phrases. Sometimes he would string so many of them together in a sentence, that I would find myself baffled. I would think to myself "Huh? What did you just say?".

Of course my more savvy peers would smile at him as if he were the wise Yoda of the business world. I walked out of many meetings saying to myself, that if "at the end of day" I don't jump out of a conference room window it will be a miracle.

Do you have phrases that just make you crazy??? Ones that make you just shutter??? This article contains most of mine. If you have one that is not in this article, please share it with the rest of us in the comment section. I have a great book, Attitude is Everything by Jeff Keller, as a prize for the most annoying business phrase posted.

Annoying Business Phrases

Monday, November 15, 2010

And if I should falter, would you open your arms out to me?

Even the strongest of individuals need emotional support and encouragement

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

To say searching for a job or fighting to keep your job in the current economic climate takes all of your sheer will and energy is a huge understatement. The holiday season is upon us and what may have once been purely a time of joy and hope can often magnify the issues we face.

Still, even the strongest of individuals need support every now and then. Yes, this includes you!

Here is a link to helpful tips on what to do when you need someone to lean on:


Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Career Expo to the North

There is an upcoming fall career expo that has been put together via our friends to the north. Take a look.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to Identify 5 Key Topics for a Youth's Success

How to Identify 5 Key Topics for a Youth's Success
By YouthServices, eHow Member
Reposted by Christine Sikora
User-Submitted Article

Some of you are still in high school, some in college, some working full time jobs, part time jobs, working in a career, sitting at home bumming out, etc. You live in a very competitive world when it comes to the workforce arena, employers have dozens, if not hundreds of candidates to choose from when attempting to fulfill their labor needs. That's why we teach so much about how you dress, talk, completing an application, the importance of volunteering, being a super employee and all that. We're trying to prepare you for the reality of life that's before.

Here are some major key items that I've learned from working (34 years) and working with youth (20 years).

Things You'll Need:

•A youth that wants to succeed in life.
•One adult who'll invest in the youth's life.
•A community that will offer real assistance to our young people.


Do Your Research.
Know what careers are "hot". Go through the "Choices" or "Bridges" computer assessment, or whatever program your school is utilizing and see which matches for your interest and careers are available. Which college/vocational school/military field do you pursue? Dig and keep digging to get all the facts. Don't be pressured to come up with the MAIN job title that is your goal; rather, think about which career cluster you're interested in: medical, tech, construction, etc. There's a web link I can send you that discusses clusters. Look for job shadowing opportunities and interview some people who are working in the career you want to pursue.


Make a Plan.
Which classes in high school do you need to take? Is it a two year vocational school? Which college offers the degree you need? Lay out a one year, 3 year, 5 year plan. Sure it will change and need to be adjusted. However, I've found that youth who have a plan, seem to make less mistakes that hinder them from obtaining their goals. Go deep on your planning, sub-points, etc. Identify obstacles to overcome and each step that is needed to ensure success. START NOW in developing your "life picture". There will be several pieces of the puzzle...start identifying what will describe your life. I actually have blank puzzles that I give students to help them start this concept.


Make Good Decisions.
One split second decision to participate in some activity can not only affect your immediate future, but your whole life. Not that making mistakes deems you hopeless, it just adds more barriers that have to be overcome. Unexpected children, criminal activities, drug use, an act of anger...I've counseled with youth and adults who wished they could go back and adjust one decision they made. When faced with a decision, consider, "how will this affect my plan?"


Take Advantage of Opportunities.
Examine all the opportunities within your school and others in your community (church, scouts, 4-H, volunteer, etc.) We live in the richest country, with the most resources than any other country in the whole world...yet many youth do not access the resources available to them. The college funding, the alternative education choices, etc. There are dozens of resources for youth to tap into today.

Whatever you're doing (school, job, etc.)...excel, exceed the job description, pursue excellence! It's going to pay off considering so many in the workforce settle for average or some mediocre standard. I started at the bottom at several locations, within months, I was promoted above others due to my dedication to excel.

Tips & Warnings
•Success Comes. Not necessarily to those who have great upbringings, but to those people who do the above steps.
•When success comes: celebrate! But also use your successes to help others achieve. It's not what you gain that counts, it how you benefit those around you that real success is measured. Then you begin to experience a life of significance (future article to be written about this).
•Or, hey, you can do nothing, make no-brainer mistakes and in five years wonder why things are not working out.
•It takes less to prepare, than repair your life...you'll do one or the other!

To see this article in full:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Willing to commute?

The Central Florida Employment Council will be hosting a job fair from noon to 4 p.m. at the Central Florida Fairgrounds today.

Job Fair Info

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Be A Purple Squirrel

So what is a Purple Squirrel? A purple squirrel is an employee with just the right set of skills that the employer is looking for. Employers are increasingly looking for a broader array of skills than ever before. You may no longer qualify for your old job. Because employers are combining jobs and now the job you had before requires skills you don’t have because you didn’t used to need them to do your job. Does that mean you should give up? NO! it means you may need to take some classes. No money for school? Don’t despair. Learn on your own. Almost everything is taught on the internet, a great deal of it is offered at no cost to you.
To read the article click here, then decide what classes you might need to bring you up to speed.
Click here to start your search into expanding your knowledge.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reducing anger before Towanda appears

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Towanda! This Mantra of sorts flashed through my head the other day when I witnessed two angry women trying to simultaneously back out of opposing parking spaces at a major retail establishment.

The two women relentlessly honked and shouted obscenities at each other until one either brave or insane woman stood between the two cars shouting, “Stop it, both of you! Just go home!”

This scene was very much reminiscent of the 1991 “Fried Green Tomatoes” movie parking lot scene when Evelyn (Kathy Bates) loses her Winn Dixie parking lot spot she patiently waited for to two rude young ladies. They snidely proclaim, “Face it lady, we’re younger and faster!”

Towanda, Evelyn’s alter-ego, kicks in and she, ahem, let’s just say exhibits a little road rage. She tells the appalled young ladies, “Face it, girls. I’m older and I have more insurance!”

Although this movie scene is very entertaining, no one in their right mind would recommend doing this. For that matter, the women I witnessed should have known better, especially because they did this in front of a mother with her impressionable little girl.

Anger management tactics would have served these ladies well. Check out these 10 anger management tips before Towanda emerges in you!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Success vs. Failure

“One who fears limits his activities”

Henry Ford

“I have not failed.

I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

Thomas Edison

Most decisions in the average individual’s day are driven by the simple avoidance of failure. Ask yourself, am I more likely to pursue a task, agenda, or goal if there is a greater probability of success vs. failure. This type of decision making methodology is used every day to make from the simplest mundane choices to critical life altering decisions. Of course the successes and failures are weighted, but generally where we anticipate the most success, we tend to gravitate.

Like most, I too have based many of my decisions on the possibility of success vs. failure. At these times I aggregated all of the relevant data and made a prudent decision. This process moved me up and down the Eastern Seaboard of the United States several times in my adult life based on the assumptions of life being better somewhere else(success vs. failure). I chose my college education based on the fact that there is greater demand for one subject/skillset hence I’m more likely to get a job vs. another subject/skillset that held intrigue and passion, but low demand hence limited job possibilities (success vs. failure). Heck, I purchased my house and married my spouse utilizing some aspect of this methodology (success vs. failure). And why not, this is the way many of us are taught to make decisions.

I myself feel this way, and have proof that supports this methodology as a sound decision making apparatus. I get up every day thinking that most of my decisions were very prudent and I am bearing the fruit of those good choices. Today I love the work I do, I get to work with brilliant fun people, and I have the honor of performing a duty that is relevant to my community and gives me a sense of satisfaction. I can also see at the end of the day where I may have actually helped someone. So my decision making methodology was good-right?

I say right-but like most people I pay a penance everyday for those “Greater Probability of success /Failure Avoidance Decisions”. Every day at some point I think about how fabulous if would have been to have gone with that other option. Albeit I have no regrets, in my mind regrets are obvious lapses in good judgment based on all of the information given at the time. I have more of the Robert Frost-“The Road Not Taken” types of questions (In this case the opposing view of course). A copy of the poem is provided at the bottom of this posting for those of you thinking what poem is he rambling on about.

But then it hits me, most of the current happiness and richness in my life is not a result of the successes in my life, but of the failures. Case in point, every time I moved along the East Coast it was because at some point there was a failure (failure).This forced me to look at career choices that did not have high probability of success but made me abundantly happier in other ways (success). My decision to educate myself in a particular field, which then underwent what some deemed a global catastrophe back in 2008 (failure) .These events, forced me to reevaluate "the sure thing/greater success" assumptions that I made about my prior years’ choices(success). I suspect that many of you will find similar experiences in your lives. All of this blah, blah, blah is to say that failure is necessary. It allows us to take a moment and reevaluate. And every now and then we should make a decision not based on chances of the success or failure decision making model, but on what we really want.

There is a saying in the business world-only through failure can radical innovations occur. This is also relevant to the individual jobseeker. Only through failure can we reevaluate our course of action and reconsider those other options. I’m living proof of that.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How to Help

More and more, I am being contacted by friends and family of people that are looking for jobs. Most often they are looking on advice on how to best help that person. This article gives awesome advice.

How to help

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Working The Holidays

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS
Training Coordinator for
Training Initiatives, Inc.

The holiday season is gearing up and lots of places are looking for temporary help. Yes, I know you’re looking for a full time permanent job. The reality is that temp jobs can often turn into permanent and full time positions. How do I know this? Because virtually every temp job I’ve taken either turned into a full time permanent job or it could have, if I’d been interested. I believe attitude has a great deal to do with this. An example, I showed up at a temporary assignment and was being shown around by the woman I would be working under, when she asked me how well I knew Lotus 1, 2, 3. At the time I wasn’t sure, but I thought Lotus 1, 2, 3 was a spreadsheet software. And that’s exactly what I told her. Then she wanted to know how much Spanish I knew. I told her I could say, yes, hello, goodbye and friend in Spanish. Doris told me she had requested someone who knew Lotus 1, 2, 3 and Spanish. We finished the tour and I was thinking that she was probably going to send me packing, since I didn’t have either of the skill sets she was looking for. However, I kept smiling, showed an interest in the business and tried to get across to her that I was a fast learner. When we got back to the woman who was going out on maternity leave and who would be training me, Doris said, “Let’s see how you do over the next couple of days.” I filled in for the mother-to-be until her maternity leave was finished. She came back to work and I was scheduled to stay on for a couple of weeks to transition her back in to a full workload. At the end of her first week back, she quit to be a stay-at-home mother. I was offered her job.
The job I have today started out as filling in for someone going out on sick leave. The individual decided to retire and I was offered the position.
I could go on; however, I think you get the idea. In addition to the possibility of the temp assignment becoming permanent, being out in the workforce gives you opportunities to keep your skills up to date and to network.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Job hunt horror stories

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

Halloween was yesterday, but that doesn’t mean horror happens on just one day a year. Check out this link to read about the unbelievable experiences of six job hunters.
Unfortunately, I had a similar experience many years ago to the first scenario given. Ghastly!