Monday, October 27, 2014

The Changing Face of Job Hunting

"Back in the Old Days" as we "seniors" like to say, you had to do a lot of hard work hunting for a job. If you were out of work, you spent as much time per day looking for a job as you used to spend actually working each day and in some cases even longer.  There was a  lot of walking, worn out shoes and attempts to keep a smile on your face day after day, even when you didn't feel like it.

You were up at the crack of dawn with the day's newspaper, looking through the want ads, checking for any new listings. You were making sure that you had plenty of resumes and cover letters ready to put in the mail or to hand carry into local businesses to submit an application. Then there is getting together an outfit that is appropriate for job hunting or interviewing.You eat breakfast, grab a shower, are dressed and out the door shortly after 8am so you can start "pounding the pavement."

Nowadays, you grab that cup of coffee, head to your computer. The first thing you do is check your email account to see if there are any requests coming in for you to come in for an interview or forward additional information in another step up to getting an "in person" interview.  Then you start pulling up all the job boards that you are registered on to see what is available

At this point, lets address that email account. When you sign up for all those  job hunting websites, set yourself up one special email account to which you are going to direct all responses to and from potential employers. In this way, you are going to isolate and concentrate all your energies into your job search there will  be nothing to distract you. Also be sure to check your spam folder carefully, you never know what could be in there by mistake.  I say this because this is going to be another entry....about how a wonderful opportunity could have been overlooked if the Spam folder hadn't been checked carefully!

There are also newspapers on line who do not make you go through places like Indeed or The Monster Board, so be sure to check them out, not only in the city you are presently in but also in areas where you are interested in possibly moving to. Also by checking various newspapers, you can get a general feel for what is going on in that community. Checking their Chamber of Commerce website will also be beneficial. You may catch an article about a given company who is expanding or laying off., of new companies who are in the process of moving to the community. 

Hopefully you have set up a way of tracking your job searches. Some people like to do a daily journal while others prefer a spread sheet record where they can see at a glance, who they applied to, the date and any contacts and followups.  I personally like the idea of definitely using a spread sheet so that you don't let following up with various companies that you are really interested in, slip by the wayside.  A journal is also useful as far as writing down your more personal thoughts about the companies, your personal outlook of each day and writing down your goals for either the day or for the week.  Write down positive affirmations in your journal every day to help you stay on track and to maintain a positive attitude.

The goal should be to send out at least 10 new resumes each day, make 5 follow up phone calls with your networking group and to check your spread sheet to be sure you are not letting opportunities slip past you.
Just remember to treat the process of getting a job as if it IS your job. Put in the time and effort every day to look for work. It may not come quickly or easily, but eventually it is going to pay off.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Long Overdue Post

As I begin today with this post, I realize how many months have passed since I last communicated with everyone.

I have to say, that I truly found it difficult to "keep a stiff upper lip" and encourage everyone to press forward looking for a job as the prospects for finding employment continued to dwindle and it became much more difficult for everyone of all age groups to find a decent paying position.

I was reading a report today where it stated that the time between 2007 and 2009 was the worst downturn in employment since the 1930's.  That all sounds fine and dandy but to those who continued to want employment and are still unable to find employment from 2009 to the present, it just sounds like fake rhetoric. I'm so glad that the report now says we are once again back up to the employment level that we were at prior to the recession. Sounds well and good, but what about all the years since the beginning of the "recession," as the article calls it, where there has been no additional growth?  To me and anyone else who has been looking for work, it is like being at the bottom of a well, with a ladder where the rungs are broken and continue breaking out from under you. One step up and you fall back down two or three!

The report stated that there is now 37.2% still who are unemployed and many of those have totally given up searching for work. The article was lamenting that those in the baby boomer era who are either old enough now to retire or in their mid to late 50's are finding it very difficult to locate meaningful employment  along with those in the 18-24 age bracket. One of the problems for the older worker is that the employer is unwilling to pay them their actual worth, considering that they have been out of work for several years, expecting them to take deep cuts. It is so much easier to hire one or two younger people who would equal the pay required for the seasoned worker and train them. Also their insurance costs would be drastically less and they most likely would be assured of having them around as an employee for much longer than the older worker.

So yes, anyone over 50 is still having a very difficult time trying to find proper, well paying employment even though there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel with more people finding employment. If you are going to be lucky enough to locate work, be prepared to take a healthy pay cut from what you were earning, especially so if you have been out of work for more than six months.  I've not been able to comprehend how some employers think that just because you have been out of work for a few years, means you have not retained your education and ability to work with others. Granted depending on your area of expertise, you may need to brush up on certain aspects of your job, if you are in areas where licensing regulations may change or where there are many advances in technology. But to be expected to rehire in at half of what you were making?  I do believe a drop that steep in salary is uncalled for.

Also current reports are that even college graduates, two years out of college, are still depending on their parents or other family members for some type of financial assistance. Students were tracked and surveyed who started college in 2007 up through 2013 for these statistics.  Not only are they postponing marriage but also having children and owning a home. Even a percentage of them stated that living on their own was unimportant, which I found very interesting.

Of those surveyed, only 49% of the graduates stated they were working a full-time job and of those, approximately half said they still had to rely on family for financial support.  With the full time workers, they earned between 40K and $60K a year, while part time employees were earning between $25K and $40K. The burden of their student loan debts and a poor job market is holding back many "life decisions" that would have normally been made by now in this age bracket. The average graduating college student had approximately $30K to pay out in student loans. When I see that figure, on top of normal living expenses, it is no wonder that they are postponing leaving the "family nest" in order to reduce their monthly living expenses.

As you continue your search for work, use every resource possible and turn every stone because job hunting today is so different than it was just five to six years ago. Today, the magic word seems to be networking. Let every friend and associate you know that you are looking for work. You never know who might know someone who is looking for a person with your education and experience. For example, do you get your car repaired by a specific mechanic or use the same barber to cut your hair, or the same dry cleaners for your clothes? What about letting the people at your church know ? Do you have a social group such as being on a bowling team or bridge group? What about sports activities with your children? Every single person in those environments knows other people who just might need a new employee in their business.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Still Sitting On Your Butt?

Got your attention didn't I? Not used to someone talking to you so frankly. Well?  Are you?
If you've been unemployed or under-employed for any length of time now, you have come to the realization that at least for now things have not gotten any better. Are you ready to face the harsh reality that things are not going to change any time soon?  It is YOU that is going to have to be making the changes, even more so than you have already. 

I'm sure some of you have held off cutting up at least all but one, preferably only kept the one with the lowest balance and interest rate, of your credit cards and you just couldn't give up your Cable TV or Direct TV and you are still eating meat every single night of the week.  Well, it is time to tighten up that belt a few more notches and get real! If you have to, take that one remaining credit card out of your wallet and go freeze it in a block of ice in the freezer so that you only use it in the most dire emergencies. If you can't pay cash for things then you have to reevaluate your purchases. Either don't buy it, change brands or save up and wait till you can purchase exactly what you want.

If you just can't think of going without meat in your meals every single day, try going to every other day to begin with. Then try cutting back to where you only eat meat no more than three times a week. You can get plenty of protein by switching over to some meals with beans or even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches if need be.

Ditch that expensive Cable or Direct TV service and buy a converter box for $25 and get far less channels but save a pile of money. You can also cut back on your phone service, if using a regular landline phone remove all the extras like call waiting and caller id and even get rid of your long distance calling service as well. Many people are using "pay as you go" cell phone service instead of a "landline phone" and finding it much more cost effective.

Many of you have continued to look for work, hoping to return to the work force at just about what you left at salary wise. I can tell you that in most cases that just isn't going to happen. The longer you are out of work the more of a cut you can expect to be looking at. In many cases, you  are not even going to be able to find new employment in the same field that you left. It may be beneath your dignity and you have to bury your pride but in the current job market I am going to advise you to grab whatever you can as fast as you can.
Many companies are not even offering full time jobs at the present time because they are not positive how the new healthcare law is going to affect their "bottom line." Consequently they may be hiring but it could be for as low as twenty hours a week to thirty-five hours a week if you are lucky. So you may have to find two part-time jobs in order to bring home enough money to care for your family. If you have children, the other alternative would be to have your partner look for a part-time job, working opposite hours from yours so that one of you will always be home with the children and you won't be adding day care costs to your budget.

When it comes to businesses either cutting back on employees or closing up entirely, it is usually only the big companies that we hear about. There are many little businesses that are closing daily that we never even hear about.

When you read or hear about unemployment figures, all you are hearing about are the people who are still drawing their unemployment funds or those who are now on the unemployment rolls. It doesn't even take into consideration those who are no longer drawing unemployment or those who have just plain stopped looking. I read an article the other day that stated of those who are of working age between 20 and 25%
are unemployed. Even young kids who used to find work cutting grass for their neighbors for a few dollars every week can no longer find work because unemployed adults are now looking at that as a source of income themselves.

Even though you may not be finding a job that you want to stay with forever, it is best to try and find something, either working for someone else or starting your own business from home. There is an old saying "it is easier to find a job when you have a job" and I can tell you that it is absolutely true. Your entire attitude changes when you have a job and it shows in every core of your being.

So get off your butt, get out your interviewing outfits and dust off your resume. Today is the day that you are going to go out there and find a job!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Special Post for Returning Military Personnel

Finding a new job is difficult enough for the average unemployed worker, but imagine how difficult it is for all our military men and women who are coming home, just out of the service and looking for work.  Their military positions may have different names attached to them but many are identical to positions out in the mainstream job market, it is just hard for an employer to often realize that their skills and abilities are able to be crossed over into positions within their companies.

There is help for you veterans..... you need to be checking out this website which is specifically designed to assist returning military personnel.  They will be having job fairs all over the country and you can look here to locate a place near you.
If you live in Oklahoma.... act immediately for their job fair is coming up on June 19th.

I hope this information is helpful to all of you who so generously served your county.

I need to acknowledge and Leslie for posting this in her newsletter today. I am sure she would love to have you come visit her site and be pleased that I am sharing this information with all of you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Employment Outlook

If you have been reading the financial section for the stock market or your local classified job ads, it does appear that some jobs are beginning to rebound.  I would have to say that in our local area, it all seems to be in the fast food industry and some retail areas. I have not seen advertisements for hiring in the mid-management or management level positions or in highly skilled areas as yet.

Actually, with the retail stores beginning to hire now it is a good indication that people are having more money to spend, even if they are watching their pocketbooks for the best buys possible. It also appears that people are continuing to purchase products that are made in America vs. those made overseas in an effort to increase more jobs here in our country. Interestingly, many of the American made products are actually costing less or just a couple of pennies more than those made in foreign countries. I am glad that people are beginning to really watch the labels on products and buying American.

The idea of working from home continues to gain momentum. Some companies are actually finding it very cost effective to have their employees working from home rather than increasing the cost of their brick and mortar facilities by adding new buildings or increasing existing office space. They are learning that people can be just as dedicated to keeping a good work schedule at home just as if they were actually in the office.  Some companies are also opting to have their employees split their time between working at home and in the office.

A new mother with a small baby now to tend to can often have their employer work with them about letting them work from home. This is beneficial to both parties by making it possible for the employer to still have a productive employee, not having to train someone to come in to take her place while she is on maternity leave, but it also let’s the woman know that her position with the company is secure and they consider her to be a valuable employee.

Continue to use the information of the companies that I’ve listed on my sidebar for many work at home positions that are available. There are new positions opening up daily which will allow you to work from the comfort of your own home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Job Prospects for the New Year

We are certainly getting mixed signals from reports from Washington and from Wall Street about job prospects for this coming year. Washington tells us that the unemployment rate has dropped while Wall Street tells us that more businesses are shuttering stores and laying off people. Employment agencies and companies are still reporting that anyone who has been unemployed for over six months has a very small chance of finding work. The employers are saying that their “skills are rusty” after being out of work for six months or more, especially in any of the hi-tech industries.

It will be interesting to see what happens now that the holidays are over and once again stores will lay off temporary help that they hired just for the season. Those reports should be out soon.
Add to this all of the returning military personnel who are National Guardsmen and we have an additional influx of people either returning to jobs that they left behind, that were temporarily filled in with other people and we are going to see a huge surge of people looking for work.

Companies continue to hold tight to their purse strings, not knowing how the effects of the new Healthcare bill are going to impact their business With many who are unemployed, their benefits ran out and of course are no longer counted in the unemployed figures. Many who have been out of work for over a year have just given up looking for work. Add to that, the average American just isn’t spending as much as they were, they don’t have it to spend and the cycle continues to spin down the proverbial drain.

Without new companies starting up, without some of those being in the manufacturing sector, bringing industry back to our own shores, we are going to continue to struggle to find work for all of those who want and need a job.

Some tips that might help in your job search will be to get out there and find a place where you can volunteer your time to a company or a charity. By doing so, you will at least keep your skills up and be out among others who might be able to assist you in your job search. Try working for a temporary employment agency, start your own business if you have the funds to so, or try one of the work from home jobs. I hate to say it but the well is running dry! There are not a lot of options left out there. You may have to be very creative, reinvent yourself using your own God given talents to survive. Try doing contract labor on your own either working for yourself or as a contractor with a company.

As we go into 2012 I will try to bring you any job leads that I come across, be they working from home or at a “brick and mortar” company.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Renewing the Job Hunt

With Christmas right around the corner, many retail companies are gearing up for the holidays hiring more temporary help which they will be putting to work almost immediately. If you have already submitted applications to some of your favorite retail stores within the last three months, it would be a great time to contact them and let them know you are still looking for work.If you submitted applications past that three months period, go in and complete another application.

This is also an excellent time to sign up with some of the temporary employment agencies since they will often fill requests for companies who are having staff members taking vacations at this time of year.

One thing you need to remember is that even though you might just be hiring in on a temporary basis either as Christmas help for a retail store or through a temporary employment agency, there is always the possibility that you could end up landing yourself a permanent position.