Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Job Searching Stinks!

Job searching is never fun and when everywhere you turn you hear doom and gloom about your chances for finding a job it becomes even more of a downer. I’m not trying to deny that finding a job is difficult. What I am telling you is that you must keep looking and you must maintain a positive attitude and outlook. If you have limited your job search to looking in the local papers and the online job boards, you’re missing a lot of opportunities.  

Here are some alternative search methods: 

Staffing Services – Yes, I know you want a permanent full time job. Every temporary job I ever had through a staffing service, ended up being offered to me as a permanent full-time position. Some I accepted, others I didn’t accept. Even if the work you get through a staffing service is part-time, it’s better than no time. Click here to read the Five Misleading Myths About Getting A Job Through a Staffing Company. 

Networking – Yuck, that nasty buzz word. Granted, it’s an overused and often abused word. The reality is that whatever you call it, it’s a vital part of any job search. Learn to use today’s social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc.) to network. As with any tool be cautious how you handle it. Social media can help you or hurt you, depending on how you use it. Don’t limit yourself to social media. Go to networking group meetings and chamber functions. If you belong to a group like the Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, or any other service group, make sure your fellow members know who you are and what you can do. Don’t make a pest of yourself, however let people know. Also, pay attention when someone you meet is in the same boat you’re in, you may come across a job for which they would be a perfect fit. Click here for a site with multiple articles on Social Networking. 

Entrepreneurship – The Great American Dream is to own your own business. Believe me, not everyone is suited for running a business. When you start thinking about having your own business you need to do some honest self assessment. For an article on the top seven reasons small businesses fail go here 

Employ Florida Virtual Recruiter – There really isn’t room here to explain the ins and outs of setting up the virtual recruiter in Employ Florida. What does a virtual recruiter do? Simple. It looks for jobs for you and then emails or texts you about them. Now, that I have piqued your interest, you’re probably wondering how you learn to set up your own virtual recruiter. You could go to and spend quite some time trying to figure it out on your own or you could come to one of the Volusia County One-Stops and attend the Take Control of Your Job Search workshop. 

If you have suggestions that might help some of your fellow job seekers, please let us know. 

"If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right. "

~ Mary Kay Ash

Monday, July 22, 2013

What Job Search Methods Are You Using?

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS
                Training Coordinator

There was a time when job searching meant walking into a business that you felt could use your services and asking to speak to the owner or manager. After a brief conversation if the business felt they could use your talents you shook hands and the next day you started a new job.

Those days are gone.

In today’s world there are many elements that go into an effective job search. Here’s a short list of some of those elements.

Résumé – Make sure your résumé is up to date, not only in the work history and education areas but also in its formatting. Does the style résumé you’re using do an effective job of selling you? Is it too long? Is it too short? Have you tailored it to each job for which you’re applying?

Comprehensive Application – Think about all the information that you’ve been asked to supply on an application. Now create a document that contains all that information and make sure you have it with you when you go to fill out an application. Don’t forget to take it with you when you go for an interview because you may be asked to complete an application at that time. Having this information with you in an organized fashion will make completing an application much faster and easier.

Volunteering – There are many reasons to include this in your job search arsenal. One reason is that you can list it on your résumé and thereby show that you’re keeping your social and work skills fresh. Let’s face it if you’re sitting at a computer submitting résumés and job applications, you’re not using your work skills or interacting with people. Volunteering also shows potential employers you’re out there trying to make something happen instead of waiting for something to come to you. It also provides you with opportunities to meet people and expand your network of contacts.

Contacts and Relationships – Your network is a key element in your job search and if you’re not utilizing it you’re missing a lot of opportunities. It’s been said that 80% of the available jobs are only going to be found by networking. Don’t let the word ‘networking’ scare you. You do it every day whether you realize it or not. Basically, it’s all about making contact with people and building relationships with them. Think about it, if you were an employer would you be more interested in hiring someone you knew only through their résumé or someone referred to you through a friend? The obvious answer is that most people would rather hire the one referred to them through a friend. It’s even better if you meet that potential employer in a volunteer setting. People like to hire people they know, like and trust. The first step in that equation is to get known.

Social Media – Like them or not computers are here to stay and so is social media. I read an article in a human resource magazine not too long ago that said 89% of employers found 65% of their new hires through social media. Like any other tool, social media must be used with caution. Learn how to use the different varieties. Almost all the social media out there offers tutorials on how to effectively use it.

The reality is that while the tools for performing an effective job search have changed the basic concept is the same. Get known by those in a position to hire and convince them that you’re someone they need on their team.





Monday, July 15, 2013

Do You Feel Lucky?

Posted by: Darlene Duncan, CWDP, JSS
                 Training Coordinator

Even in today’s economy I know people that have left one job, for whatever reason and walked right into another position. Some people will say, “They’re just lucky, that’s all. It’s not that easy.”

However, I tend to subscribe to the philosophy behind the quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca regarding luck.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

In other words, those people made their own luck.

Stop and think about your job search efforts and how other aspects of your life may be having an impact on your job search efforts.

Do you have a personal relationship that’s interfering with your job search? Is your significant other supportive? Or are they always finding things for you to do, things that eat up your time leaving you little or no time to effectively job search?

Maybe it’s not your significant other that’s finding other things for you to do, perhaps you’re procrastinating. A friend calls and says they’re having a problem with some minor repair that needs to be done at their house. Being a good friend you say, “Oh I know how to do that. If you want I can come by today and take care of that for you.” The next thing you know you’re doing favors for all your friends instead of doing your job search.

Maybe there are other things going on in your personal life that are keeping you from performing an effective job search.

If any of the above sounds familiar, I suggest you stop and take an objective look at yourself. Cut through all the baloney and get to the real reason or reasons that you’re not out their treating your job search like a full time job. Figure out what they are and do whatever you can to eliminate or at the very least limit their impact on your job search. Once you know the cause of something it can often be easily fixed.

If you’re looking for more information on this topic you can start with this article. Click here for the article. 

For those you who are treating your job search like a full time job and you’re still not having success, it’s time for you to evaluate your job search methods. Job Search Methods will be my next post. So stay tuned.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Your Mindset Is One Of Your Most Powerful Tools

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

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha

A positive mindset is one of the most powerful tools you have available to you and it costs you nothing. I have personal experience with the power of the mind. When I first started working on changing my mindset from a negative to a positive, I looked at this way; I didn’t have anything to lose.

If I employed a more positive mindset and nothing changed in my life then I hadn’t really lost anything beyond a little effort to try and keep my thoughts positive.

If on the other hand if being more positive in the way I looked at things changed my life for the better, I would gain a great deal.

It was a risk I was willing to take and I’m very glad I did. Life on the positive side of the fence is much better. What you believe about yourself is your reality. So if you believe that you’re a capable, valuable individual then that’s what you are and you will behave accordingly. Likewise, if you think of yourself as a failure incapable of doing anything right, well, you’ll be that incompetent failure. We are what we think we are.

So what did I do to change my mindset to a more positive mode?

In the beginning, I focused on how I talked to myself about myself. No longer was I allowed to call myself names like, stupid and idiot. Whenever I caught myself saying those things to myself, I stopped and instead reminded myself of all the things I was good at and all my accomplishments. For example, when I needed to learn to use Microsoft Excel there were very few books available. None of the schools offered classes on just that software. If you wanted to learn anything computer related you went to school for a degree in computers. So I got my hands on what few books the library had to offer and taught myself to use Excel, mostly by trial and error.

So step one is to stop talking to yourself in a negative way.

Step two was to stop watching the news. When I tell people this they tend to look at me as if I just admitted I’m from another planet and then proved it by growing a second head. But seriously, think about it, what’s on the news? Murder, rape, arson and scandal are the basics. If a story is full of blood and misery it will be the top story. It will also be repeated every ten minutes along with the traffic and weather. Is there any wonder you’re agitated and angry before you ever leave the house in the morning? Believe me, you’re still going to know what’s going on in the world. Your friends and relatives will be more than happy to keep you informed, whether you want to hear it or not. In addition, you’ll over hear conversations in line at the grocery store and then there’s the television at you favorite fast food place that’s tuned to the news. It’s not like you can escape hearing the news. You just don’t have to wallow in it. Try it, you’ve got nothing to lose except the agitation caused by constant exposure to all that negativity.

The next thing I did was begin to avoid those negative people in my life. You know the ones I mean. The ones that will tell you if they ever managed to buy the winning LOTTO ticket, they would lose it before they could collect. It’s virtually impossible to lead a positive lifestyle if you are spending time with negative people.

While there are other things you can do to have a more positive mindset those three steps should get you well on your way.

STEP 1 – Talk nice to yourself about yourself

STEP 2 – Stop wallowing in the news

STEP 3 – Avoid those people in your life who are negative

Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.

Dr. Wayne Dyer