Friday, July 29, 2011

Are You a Dinosaur On One Job Forever?

By Suzy Kridner
Career Specialist
Some people worry about having too many jobs listed on their resumes. How will prospective employers look at that?
Others, like me, have worked a long-time at one job. I was at my last position 28 years before I was laid off. Does that make me a dinosaur?
In fact, this is only my fifth job in a fullfilling career that has taken me from the Midwest to Florida. I'm the rookie now in my new position as a career specialist helping customers at the One-Stop.
A recent article on Monster says if you've been in one job for years, spin your work history as a positive, letting employers know you'll be around for awhile. It's costly to hire a new employee so staying at a job a long time makes you a good investment.
You need to let prospective employers know you have continued to learn. I like the suggestion to add a professional development section to your resume that lists training and education.
Monster also suggests using longevity, dedication, commitment, loyalty and perseverance as selling points, both on your resume and in interviews. You also have the advantage of having seen your accomplishments through from beginning to end.
Just remember, many years at one job can work to your advantage. You have skills a new employer will value.
Read more about how to handle a long-term job on your resume.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Job Loss Stages of Grief

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS, CCC
Training Coordinator

Losing your job, while not as devastating as losing a loved one, comes with its own brand of grief and you go through a similar grieving process. There are five basic stages of grief in this process. Not everyone will go through all five and you may not experience them in the same order as someone else.

Denial – You simply cannot believe that they’re letting you go and you continue to behave as if the direct deposit is going to continue the same as it has since you started with your employer.

Anger – You realize they’re really cutting you loose. In your mind you start to go over all the magnificent things you have done for this company and now they are kicking you to the curb like last week’s trash. How dare they? This is one stage that you need to work through as quickly as possible. Anger is not what you want to demonstrate during your job search. Believe me that anger will come through loud and clear during interviews.

Bargaining – Not everyone experiences this stage. This is where you try to make any kind of deal you can to hang on to your job, even in a part time status. Even if you manage to stay with your employer, it’s not likely to be a pleasant situation. You’re going to harbor some serious resentment. Better to make a clean break.

Depression – This is where you begin to think that you’re never going to find another job. The reality is that you will find another job. It may take a while but you will get through this. I’m not saying it’ll be easy. I am saying that you’ll come out the other side of the situation. You will find a job.

Acceptance – You’re ready to move on. You’ve realized that the job is gone and you will adapt to the change. Not only will you survive this setback, you will thrive and succeed. After all is said and done, you may decide that leaving that previous job was the best thing that has happened to you in a long time.

Some will go through all of the five stages, others will only experience a few of them, regardless, as some point you will accept that that chapter of your life is over and you will move on to your next job. Change is the one thing is life that is constant. You must either learn to ride the wave of change of it will drown you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Awkward job interview moments

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

Center for Business Excellence

We all know looking for and landing a job is serious business. It’s hard to keep motivation and spirits up after what can be months and years of steadfast effort. However, we all experience that occasional, “Did that really just happen?,” moment in the process.

I once interviewed for a special events position with a children’s hospital and thought my energy and enthusiasm would win the interviewer over for sure. That is, until he said to me, “Don’t you find it ironic that you have a B.S. [degree] in PR? About then, I heard the imaginary “dump truck” backing up toward me.

I can now look back on that moment and actually chuckle a bit. Here’s a link to other awkward job interview experiences:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Some Myths About Job Interviews

By Suzy Kridner
Career Specialist
Interviewing for a job is stressful for both the job candidate and the employer.
In Career Coach David Couper’s book, “ Outsiders on the Inside,” he lists some of the myths associated with job interviews.
You may have trouble finding the right job for you if you believe these myths:
Myth 1: The Interviewer Is Prepared
"The person interviewing you is likely overworked and stressed because he needs to hire someone," Couper says. "He may have barely glanced at your resume and given no thought to your qualifications."
Myth 2: The Interviewer Will Ask the Right Questions
Many interviewers prepare no questions beyond 'tell me about yourself,'" says Couper. And in some cases, you may be interviewing with a human resources representative or a high-level manager who doesn't have a lot of specific information about the open job's duties.
Myth 3: The Most Qualified Person Gets the Job
No one believes this myth any more, right? As Couper says, "Less-qualified but more outgoing candidates may win over an interviewer's heart."
Couper tells how to combat these myths in his book.
He also advises that job candidates should be well groomed and dressed to impress.
Read more about Couper’s myths in an article from Charles Purdy, Monster+HotJobs Senior Editor.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Avoid Messing Up Your Interview

Posted by: Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC
Training Coordinator

This is a repost of a blog I posted over a year ago. The information is still very timely and important to all job seekers.

There are a great many articles available regarding what to do and what not to do at your job interview.
Here are five of the most common mistakes interviewees make:

1. Arriving late – employers figure if you can’t get to the interview on time you probably won’t get to work on time.
2. Failing to research the company – virtually every interviewer is going to ask you, “Why do you want to work for us?” You need a good answer. If you don’t know anything about the company, coming up with a good answer is going to be very difficult.
3. Lying about your experience or education – sooner or later the truth will come out and most likely lead to you being fired.
4. Shaking hands too weakly or too firmly – no one wants a limp fish and by the same token, no one wants their hand crushed.
5. Wearing sunglasses – we live in Florida, for cryin’ out loud, everyone wears sunglasses. Yes, however, as you enter the building for your interview, take the sunglasses off and put them away. That does not mean, put them on top of your head or around your neck. It means put them away so they are out of sight.
The article linked below was pointed out to me by a co-worker. Thank you, Mana.
This article lists 50 of the worst and most common interview mistakes.

The 50 Worst Interview Mistakes

Monday, July 18, 2011

Don’t dwell in the past…dwell in possibility!

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

Center for Business Excellence

Let’s face it. By the time we have spent a few decades on this planet, we have all amassed a collection of well-worn, personal “baggage.” That’s called life.

I would venture to say, at some point, most human beings have wallowed in the woes of the past and possibly shared too much with others who uncomfortably don’t know quite what to do. I know I have. Word of the day, kids…AWKWARD!

Sometimes, dwelling in the past is the root of serious issues and professional guidance may be needed. I’m not talking about this.

Other few and lucky times, it can be a positive thing. If I hadn’t taken a peek back, I wouldn’t now be with my wonderful husband. I’m not talking about this, either, but the happy bride had to throw it in!

What I’m talking about is what entrepreneur Bethany Frankel (who gained notoriety as a cast member of Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of NYC”) calls, “wearing your story,” – not typically a good thing.

Whether you like Frankel or not, she seems to have a way of getting to the essence of it all on many occasions. Frankel has a new book out entitled, “A Place of Yes,” that goes into 10 ways to help yourself move forward in a positive direction.

Here’s a link to an interesting excerpt from her book:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We Shouldn't Live Without This Trait

By Suzy Kridner
Career Specialist

There is one character trait that will make all of us successful.
Whether you are a boss, an employee or a job seeker, this trait will serve you well.
And it's one trait we should be teaching our children.
You can be as honest, fair and reliable as the day is long, but if nobody else sees you as trustworthy, it won’t help you.

In her Smartblog on Leadership, Heidi Grant Halvorson says when your boss doesn’t trust you, you don’t get key assignments, promotions or the latitude to do things your way and take risks. When your employees don’t trust you, you don’t get their best effort or all of the information you need from them to make good decisions.

If you want other people to believe that you are trustworthy, you should be aware that you might be seriously undermining that belief if you appear to lack self-control, Halvorson says. Research shows that people won’t trust you when you seem to have a willpower problem. If you think about it, this makes a lot of intuitive sense. We trust people because we know that when things get hard, or when it might be tempting for them to put their own interests first, they’ll resist temptation and do what’s right. How trustworthy are you?

Read more here about the one trait everyone needs to succeed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why Job Seekers Should Volunteer

Posted by: Darlene Duncan CWDP, JSS, CCC
Training Coordinator

In the workshops I and my colleagues facilitate we often encourage people to volunteer. Many times they look at us as if we’ve lost our minds. It’s like they want to say, “I’m looking for work I’ll get paid to do. I need a paying job.”

In response to that I want to say this, yes, we are aware you need a paying job. However, part of your job search could easily be volunteering. Volunteering does a couple of things for the job searcher.

One, it gets you out of the house where you can meet people. You never know who you’ll meet in a volunteer situation.

Two, it helps you get practical experience and / or keep your skills sharp. Maybe you just recently got your degree in your field but you don’t have any real work experience to go with it. Volunteering could help you get that real world experience.

Three, it shows potential employers that you’re not just sitting home watching television. You’re out meeting people and keeping your skills sharp by continuing to use them.

Four, if that organization you’re volunteering for has an opening for a paid position, you’ll be one of the first to know about it.

So yes, volunteer as part of your job search.

Monday, July 11, 2011

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 one 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, July 8, 2011

World Unemployment Rates

(Click on image to enlarge)
The United States currently stands at a 9.2% unemployment rate. This got me thinking, how does the US compares to other countries in the world when it comes to unemployment. So I did a little research. It seems Qatar, an oil and natural gas rich country in the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula has the world’s lowest unemployment rate. The .50% or a half of a percentage point unemployment ranking may be skewed downward as Qatar has a population of over 900,000, but only 300,000 are believed to be citizens and thus the only group that is counted. On the other hand you have a county like Namibia on the Southwestern tip of Africa which suffers from an unemployment rate of over 51%. In 1960 when Namibia’s last census was taken, over 500,000 people were reported to inhabit the country. Based on the current unemployment rate more than half of Namibia’s citizens are unemployed. The United States falls just above the center point and is number 35 of 80 listed countries in terms of its unemployment ranking. I guess it’s like my grandmother always said, your situation may not the best, but it could always be worst.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Six Gas Saving Tactics

I just got rid of a vehicle that got 60 miles to a gallon of gas. Yes, it was a motorcycle. As I have aged I’ve discovered I don’t bounce as well as I used to and safety has become more important to me than saving money on gas.
Does that mean I’m suddenly independently wealthy? Not by any stretch of the imagination. I still need to conserve on my gasoline consumption and a friend of mine recently brought an article to my attention that offers six gas saving tactics. I’ve been using the right turn tactic for a long time, however; some of the others were new to me. Give the article a read and try out some of the tactics for yourself.
Click here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

5 Tips for Better Social Networking from the Harvard Business School

Be vulnerable, mix your online professional and personal lives, provoke others, and promote the other gal/guy, not yourself. Does this sound contradictory to everything you have been taught concerning your social networking presence on the web? Well this is exactly what a group of experts at the Harvard Business School state that you need to do in order to be successful in today’s social media theatre.