Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Now What Are You Going To Do?

Start Reviewing Your Options Now!

On the front page of yahoo today, appeared a little blip “The Unemployed Need Not Apply”. Since I try to stay on top of what is happening in the job market of course I clicked on the link to find out more about this article http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/job-listings-unemployed-not-apply-133143362.html. There are ads currently by companies searching for employees who actually state that those who are unemployed are less attractive applicants and those who have been unemployed a long time need not apply!  Talk about a slap in the face!
 It is the truth and at least they are now stating up front and out for public view rather than what was once “hush hush” and only discussed behind closed doors.

Sure enough, it confirmed exactly what I have said for years and what I have been trying to stress to you all in my posts!  It is easier to get a job when you have a job and there are many reasons for this.

Your not under as much pressure to accept an offer of employment that you feel will not meet your needs because you have got to get something…… anything…. just to put food on the table and a roof over your head!

Your demeanor is different when you go on interviews. There is a real smile on your face, not a fake pressured one, a spring in your step, a hardy handshake and a sparkle in your eyes.

Let me share with you some of my professional background. I have held positions in the past where I did many interviews of people who were searching for work. When I was a Credit Manager for a large retail furniture store in Austin, Texas, I interviewed people for employment in the office or in the warehouse. When I worked for a permanent placement employment agency, I interviewed people from entry to professional level who needed professional assistance in finding a new position. Working for a temporary agency, I interviewed people who were out of work and needing some type of work to bring in money, as well as those who preferred working on a part-time/temporary basis rather than seeking full time employment.

I have seen the various tolls that unemployment or underemployment takes on people. It shows all over you. In your eyes, your smile, and your body language and in your voice, you cannot hide it. The sparkle is not there in your eyes, the smile is forced, no spring in your step and your body is slumped at the shoulders as if you have been beaten and broken, a weak handshake and your voice lacks confidence. The longer you are out of work, the more these things become apparent to the interviewer.

The longer you are out of work the more reclusive you become and your self-esteem gets lower and lower. You begin to question your own worth and abilities. They were there before you became unemployed and they are still there now, but you have lost confidence in yourself.

One thing that I saw back when I was in those hiring positions were many women who were entering the work force in order to help bring income in because their husbands had lost their jobs or they were women who were newly divorced and now needed to work to care for themselves and in many cases their children. They had not worked in years and they worried about how they were going to find a position that would pay them enough to handle these new responsibilities of being the breadwinner of the family.  Surprisingly enough, many of these women found work faster than the males who were looking for work. Back in those times (in the 1980’s early 1990’s) most people were able to find a new position before six months of unemployment and certainly within nine months. That is not the case in the last couple of years. Many people have been out of work as long as two and three years, even with their every effort to find employment. Companies have downsized and have not gone into a rehiring mode because of our very sluggish economy. We have not even begun to bounce back as we did back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, when we suffered a prior recession.

If you are fortunate enough to be drawing unemployment benefits, please I beg you, ask for the free assistance that is available at many of your state unemployment offices to help you revamp your resumes, to structure a new letter of introduction and give you tips on interviewing techniques.
Attend any and every job fair that comes to your area and continue to send out your resumes and go to interviews if offered in order to keep your interviewing skills up. Utilize your networking resources, friends, church, job boards on the internet, your social network pages such as face book, linked in and my space.

Begin to look at things that you can do at home to bring in money while you continue your job search. Review my archived articles for some ideas of places to look for work using the Internet. Look at your personal skills and see if there is a way that you can market them to others to earn an income.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Get Outta Your Funk and Off the Couch!

There’s no time to be having a pity party any more with more and more joining the ranks of the unemployed (Cisco just announced the other day 10,000 cuts and 7,000 of those will be done in August) making the opportunities to finding employment even harder. Add to that the present situation of no one being able to come to an agreement on the current Federal Financial Budget and Debt Ceiling for our country and the threats being made to not send out checks that are coming from the government in August starting with Social Security and including others as well, you may not be able to count on any Unemployment checks or even Food Stamps for that matter, or a roof over your head much longer if you are making a mortgage payment or if you are getting subsidized Section 8 housing. The only one who is going to be able to save you and your family right now is YOU.

It is time to redouble or triple your efforts to try and find a “job” any job at this point in time!
I know it might not pay you what you are needing or expecting to be paid, but if you’ve been out of work for over six months, you better grab it while the grabbing is good!  Besides, having a job, any job, will help improve your outlook on life, put a spring back in your step and you will interview a whole lot better as you continue to search for that perfect position.

If there just doesn’t seem to be anything out there at all that you can find. Go to one of your local charitable organizations, a church, Habitat for Humanity and offer your services to help someone else.  There is something good for the soul when you extend a helping hand even when you yourself are struggling. You never know who you might meet that is also lending a hand. You get to talking and who knows, they might actually have a business and be looking for someone with your talents.

Are you remembering to “look outside the box” at possible jobs where your talents can be utilized?  Think about not only what you have done in positions you’ve held in the past, but also look at the things that you are passionate about doing. Do you like to hunt, fish, play golf? Perhaps you can find something at a local retail store where they specialize in those sports.
What about bowling? Ever thought of working in a bowling alley?

I have a brother, who has been working for years with the company that runs the local stadiums where pro and semi-pro soccer and football games are held. He has filled various positions for them over the years from ticket seller to seat usher and security.

The little old man across the street would go get bikes from the police impound auction yard. He would repair them and paint them up to look like brand new. He always had a reasonable price tag on them and was even known to give away plenty as well to deserving children who’s parents couldn’t afford to buy them. He also used to make wooden outdoor Christmas decorations, from wreaths aglow with multi-colored lights, to large figures of rain deer for your lawn.

Another retired gentleman I know made wooden rocking horses .

At the craft fair there was a man who specialized in nothing but various sizes of wooden cutting boards, a woman who made home crafted jewelry, another who made homemade quilts and another who specialized in baby clothes.

I hate to sound like an old military drill sergeant, up in your face scolding you or your mama when she used to get after you to get your chores done, but maybe this is just what you need to get you motivated once again.

I know it is difficult to be both underemployed and unemployed. I’ve been there and done that several times in my life. It is hard to be upbeat and enthusiastic when all you hear are “No’s” and “Sorry, you are over qualified for the position” not just day after day but month after month.
Depression sets in as well as anger!  All you want is a chance to work, to prove to them you are as good in person as you say you are on paper. Many of you have families who are also counting on you for support and that makes it all the harder!

Try to stay positive no matter how hard you have to work at it. There are those of us out here who are more than happy to try and give you some suggestions and ideas. I wish I could say it was possible to hire each and every one of you that need a job, but I don’t own a company.

Are you having a problem trying to come up with some ideas?  Go ahead and leave a comment or email me. Give me a quick summary of your prior jobs and duties. Tell me about the things you enjoy doing that you think could lead you to being employed and I will see what I can do to come up with some ideas for you.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

For the Men Who Are Searching for Jobs

I know that I have really been stressing the need for health care workers in my last few posts and I certainly realize that not all men are interested in this field so let me branch off and look at some other opportunities that might be to your liking.

School Bus Drivers are always needed. Granted you have a split shift, getting up early in the morning to take children to school and then returning mid afternoon to pick them up and take them home. This might not be good for a person who is faint of heart and doesn’t like the noise that a busload of children can make when they are in confined spaces because they can get noisy and they can get rowdy!  This position would be great for someone who is looking for temporary work, because it would leave the middle part of the day for looking for work, getting resumes sent out and interviewing. It would be a source of a reasonable income and would also provide you with a current work history.

Substitute Teacher is another opportunity worth exploring. Perhaps you don’t want to work with elementary aged students, but there are also opportunities available at the Junior and Senior High levels. When you are called for work, you have the choice of accepting or rejecting the assignment and they could either be for half a day or a full day. There were many times once I got into doing substitute teaching, where I would be requested by a teacher to fill in for several days in a row. I also had a full week’s assignment while a teacher took a leave of absence for a family emergency.

Auto Mechanics are always in demand if your skills are good. This is one occupation which will always require a good reputable person.

Plumbers are also one of those fields where most homeowners are not capable of fixing most plumbing problems. Granted this is a job that can get down and dirty, but it also pays very well for your skills. There is also a need for plumbers for new home construction as well as for renovation work.

Electricians are also in demand, not just for new construction but for home renovation work as well. Most cities require any major electrical work to be done by a certified person and must be inspected by the City upon completion.

City Parks and Recreation Departments often have part-time or temporary summer jobs. Go be a life guard at a city park.

Computer Technicians will always be needed for those of us who fall in the “dummies” category that do not know how to do any of the technical repair things to our computers.

EMT or Emergency Medical Technicians to work in hospitals, on ambulances or with fire departments are and always will be in demand.

If you do like the idea of working in the health field, look at working as a C.N.A. or Certified Nurse Assistant. These positions are needed in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals. The training is inexpensive and doesn't take long to complete.

Dietitians are also needed in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities if you enjoy cooking and planning healthy meals. Many upscale spas and resorts now have dietitians on staff who work with the Chefs in these facilities to create menus of healthy selections for their clientele.

Hospitality Industry careers are also on the up rise believe it or not. Work in hotels, on cruise ships or theme park settings and the salaries are pretty good, even if you just work at the front desk as a reservation specialist. There are other positions within the industry that also pay well, such as in the Banquet and Catering division or as an Accountant.

Shift Manager at Fast Food Restaurants may not sound like an exciting career choice but believe it or not, many opportunities are available in this industry. There are many opportunities to move up the corporate ladder and even buy a franchise.  There is a huge turnover in this industry and even though it started out as these facilities hiring young high school and college students to fill their staffing needs, more and more are now hiring the over 30 age group because of their commitment to work hard and their knowledge of what customer service is all about.
I have seen many a worker, that I would have considered of retirement age, now working at nationally known chain fast food establishments.

Check your local Junior Colleges or your Technical Colleges for courses that you can take in auto mechanics, plumbing, electrical and computer technician fields and the hospitality industry. These classes are reasonably priced and will give you the basics to get employed at an apprentice level with most businesses. If you are already employed in one of these fields, many employers will help you get additional education, by picking up all or part of the tuition costs if you complete the course. They will often do the reimbursement on a graded scale, depending on your grade in the course.

Many men are now also electing to go ahead and work at home while they are out looking for full time employment. There are many virtual call centers (I have listed some in prior posts that are reliable and honest ) that will hire men either as an employee or as an independent contractor. You do need to know how to type, most require a typing speed of at least 25wpm, have a good speaking voice and be able to convince people to buy products or services.

With our current unemployment rate now affecting 1 out of every 4 people in this country, it is imperative that we get our workforce back to work!  I do hope that some of my suggestions are helpful to some of you.