Jobs Here? Jobs There? Jobs Anywhere?

Have we recovered and put more people to work or are millions UNderemployed and struggling?

What is YOUR take? What is YOUR opinion beyond the conservative and liberal pundits?

Are YOU better off than you were 4 (or 8) years ago?

Everyone keeps talking about regaining manufacturing jobs to the US of A. There was a guy on “Shark Tank” TV show (ABC television) last night that insisted that he make his pop-up pickup truck rack in North Carolina. He wanted to help the local economy.

One of the multi-millionaire Sharks told the inventor that he had to do what is “good for the business.” That meant the inventor needed to manufacture his item more cheaply offshore so he’d then be able to build his business, employing many people to do sales, distribution and other company support functions here.

The Sharks suggested the man would build a bigger business that way. He could employ more people, espeically since they thought his invention was not profitable if made here.

The inventor refused and the wealthy Sharks all passed on his opportunity, even though they agreed with the inventor’s principals. Was the invetor wrong?

Part two of the ‘return manufacturing to the US discussion: I want factory jobs to return more than anyone, BUT, look at any video of the inside of a factory these days. What do you see? ROBOTS. Yes people have to design, build and maintain those robots but there are hundreds (thousands?) of automated processes going on in America’s factories. NO robot I know of earns union scale on the plant floor. Even when manufacturing stays or returns to the USA, it is DIFFERENT.

What say you?

America’s Job Coach

Excerpt

robot photo

Manufacturing Today?

Fool-Proof Job Creation Program

With all the media hype about job creation, America’s Job Coach knows of one way to get America working again… This includes the non-employed and the UNDER-employed. You know…under-paid, under-challenged, under-appreciated, etc.

The secret answer? Four words: “Do Something; Add Value”

Duh! Everyone knows the “take action” theme, right? Wrong. Knowing and doing are two different things.

Millions upon millions of people slog through their under or non-employed situations daily. “I do something everyday, Coach. What the heck are you talking about?”

Here is what I am talking about: Five DSAVs (Do Something; Add Value) you can do tomorrow to create your “better job situation:

1. See your employer’s business from the customer standpoint and figure out what is really missing. Don’t wait until your “analysis” is perfect…start the ball rolling now!

2. Pitch that opportunity gap to a trusted co-worker for “peer review” (or, befriend slowly a co-worker of influence who you can pitch your concept to). Ask the co-worker’s opinion of the best way to proceed.

3. Do an unsolicited “not my job” helpful thing for a person at work just as a way to brand yourself as helpful.

4. Volunteer to a charity for 2 hours tomorrow as a way to get out of the house/rut. Offer to staple fliers or even make fund-raising phone calls for them. Everyone hates fund raising but if you suck at it you’ll still be building a skill and they can’t cut your pay!

5. Leave 2 voice mails tomorrow for business leaders in an industry of interest to you. Find the leaders on LinkedIn and use the PHONE–not email, to do this. Say something like: I am/was a potential/current customer of your company and your firm would do better with XYZ if it were to: (insert your 20 second–no longer– customer-centric idea here). To discuss this more feel free to call me at xxx.xxx.xxxx.

Pie in the sky? No. Does this take some guts? Yes. The more you do it the more your contacts increase, and your confidence builds. It took over a 1,000 attempts to perfect the light bulb! Brett Favre threw more interceptions than anyone as he broke most all other passing records in the NFL.

What is your attempt and completion rate on the “DSAV 5?”

Duh! You REALLY Don’t Know What You Want?

At a recent job fair in Omaha, Nebraska America’s Job Coach was amazed at the number of people who DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT TO DO!!

America’s Job Coach asked over 100 people there the question of “What kind of work are you looking for?” At least 50% said “I don’t know,” or “Oh, I can do a lot of things…”

WRONG!! If you are on a job hunt and expect an EMPLOYER to decide for you what you want to do with your life or what you should do for your work life, you most likely will have to KEEP looking for work.

Employers are looking for two things: 1.) People who can do a very specific task for them in an efficient, helpful, professional and educated way, or, 2) People who are “raw talent” who are incredibly moldable and who have such great attitudes the potential employer will just have to hire them if they are adding entry-level or general talent.

Which one are you?

“As a Customer Service Rep for your firm, I can retain and expand your customer base due to my strong people skills and business savvy.”

Most would agree that that kind of pitch will get you hired faster than, “Well, I can do a lot of things;” or, “I’m not sure what I want to do.”

Reminds me of the concept of a TwitterVator Speech which you can learn about at this link: here on YouTube.

Check it out and PLEASE have an answer for the question of ‘What do YOU want to do “out there?”

America’s Job Coach
Author: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010

Do You Suck at Interviewing?

You wear the right clothing. You are very proficient in your field. You know people in your industry. Your resume was good enough to get the interview. And then you blow it!

Too many people do most things right and then just plain, to be brutal, suck at interviewing.

Top 10 Reminders (that you probably already know):

1. This meeting is THEIR meeting. What can YOU do for THEM?

2. See number one above…focus on what your CONTRIBUTIONS can be to the company…not what they can give to YOU. Don’t lead off asking about the vacation policy!

3. Be on time. Duh!! Scope the trip, the parking, etc. out ahead of time? But don’t show up 30 minutes ahead of time because you look too eager and like you have nothing to do.

4. Make them look away first during that eye contact phase of shaking hands. Look at the bridge of their nose if this idea makes you nervous. Your eye contact shows your confidence.

5. Bring copies of your resume along! You don’t know who will show up at you interview without one. Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared!

6. Bring some questions written in your notebook. I’ve interviewed many who show up with empty hands and it looks like they just wandered in off the street.

7. Regarding number 6, isn’t it worth a few hours on this internet thing to research competitors, industry trends, technology, press releases and investor relations sections so you HAVE good questions? They WILL ask if you have any questions. Sample: “I noticed your competitor, ABC company just released XYZ service/product. How will that affect your similar product/service?”

8.Regarding number 7 and having something to say: Don’t say TOO MUCH!! America’s Job Coach would be living in a most favorable city where he interviewed many years ago if he followed this edict. He was right for the job but TOO EAGER. He talked the interviewers to DEATH. He had the job and pissed it away! Better to ask: “Does that answer your question or would you like more detail?” Tap the brakes now and then.

9. If you are interviewing for a SALES related job, DON’T say, “I can get by on “X dollars.” The sales manager wants to know you will knock the cover off their quotas…not “settle.” Try “My goals are to sell enough of your product / service to enjoy a six figure income in six to twelve months. If I make enough sales, will your commission plan get me there?”

10. If you are interviewing for a technology-related position, it’s a buyer’s market for talent. If your tech skills are outdated admit it and don’t play the overused “I’m a fast learner” bit. How about “I am only familiar with your ABC platform BUT, my INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS WITH USERS LIKE YOURS can help move your IT department forward. Would you like more detail?”

Bottom line: Be strategic. Be prepared. Stare them down. Use success stories (next blog post). Smile! 🙂

Good stories on the above strategies abound in “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010” …a timeless classic.

Will YOU Be “Working on the Railroad” (Obama’s high speed railroad)?

Now that the president’s State of the Union speech has had a few days to reverberate, what do you think? He wants to put America to work by rebuilding our infrastructure and building a high speed railroad. He want us to rally around the train as he seems intent on having his own “Sputnik Moment.”

For those readers who are NOT over 50, a Sputknik Moment refers to the late 1950s when Russia surprisingly launched one of the first sattellites ever. A slack-jawed US decided that it was BEHIND in what was to become known as the Space Race. President Kennedy rallied the scientific troops and the Apollo Program enabled the USA to successfully shoot the moon. This was mostly inspired by that Sputnik Moment.

Obama seems to want find that moment in order to launch his own presidential legacy. He seems to be worried about his legacy more than he is worried about getting 15,000,000 people working again. It almost seemed like he was launching a trial (Sputnik?) balloon to see if the “Speedy Little Engine That Could,” can become his Apollo program.

When I was unemployed twice in 2010 (yes…laid off from my day jobs twice!), I didn’t entertain visions of using my (non-existent) engineering skills to design and implement the Speedy Little Engine That Could. Nor was I contemplating using my (weak but findable) construction skills to lay down ties, rockbed and track.

So, I would have been “stuck in the middle with you” as the song says if the Speedy Little Engine That Could was my only option. If that train is Barry O.’s way of revitalizing my career, the infrastructure, and America’s work force, well then God Bless him…I hope it works. I just don’t know where I, ME-MYSELF-and I fit into that scheme.

Fortunately, I was able to slightly tweak my skills and reinvent myself just a little and land two new day job gigs after those two layoffs.

Why all this blather about Sputnik moments and little speedy engines? Because it is not up to our Hopefully Hawian Commander in Chief to redesign your career, your marketability and your vocational passion. I am not lecturing here…just trying to inspire. What can YOU do if you don’t fit into a job where you are working on the railroad?

Can you tweak your Twittervator Speech (see “TwitterVator Speech” on www.youtube.com) to get an idea about how you can pitch your renewed and reinvented self. Getting the flavor of my TwitterVator Speech there will save you from having to buy “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010″ as found on www.amazon.com.

So whether we are the engineers building the Speedy LIttle Engine That Could, or the laborers who are building it’s seat cushions or the tracks for it to run on, or somewhere in between, remember to rely on yourself, not government policy and programs to tweak and promote your emerging new and better career! America’s Job Coach (www.americasjobcoach.com) thinks you can, he THINKS you can…He KNOWS you can!

America’s Job Coach

State of DISUnion? Reinventing You and the Union

President Obama is currently telling the USA and the world about how this country will win the future by reinventing ourselves and our workforce. He says this nation is 9th in the world in earned college degrees! He says the future jobs will be won and held by innovators who are educating themselves and reinventing their skill sets. And I agree.

In my book, “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010,” I describe 30 people who built on their skills and reinvented themselves. America’s Job Coach has reinvented himself several times over the years. My advice to that 55 year-old college student the president mentioned in his speech, is that she should appear to be moldable and teachable when she goes on job interviews.

How about you? Can you be like the woman from (I think) South Carolina who is, at age 55, now going to college and studying biotech. More power to her–I hope she competes well with the 22 year-olds with their newly minted degrees. I vote for her in the job as she competes with those “kids” –life experinece rules!

Obama is also championing the role of teachers as nation-builders in the new world economy. How about you? If/when they actually do raise teacher incomes could YOU build our nation by building our youth? Millions of baby boomers are going to retire from classrooms in the next 10 years and there is a growing younger population due to current immigration and birth trends. Teaching is rewarding and important. How about YOU?

It may have been Mother Theresa who said we can make a better world if we start by sweeping our own back steps. Kinda ties in with the theme of Union inside yourself.

If you are struggling with knowing what to do, then here is your answer: DO SOMETHING. IF you have disunion in your head or your heart, take some kind of action and reinvent yourself.

So don’t be disunified–go out and do big things. Dream big and may God Bless the United States!

America’s Job Coach
http://www.americasjobcoach.com

Do You Look Good Enough to Hire?

A newspaper story recently told how 50-somethings and 60-somethings were going under the knife, etc. in order to look better as they competed for jobs with folks who didn’t have droopy eyelids or crooked, stained teeth.

There have likely been hundreds of studies about how attractiveness can contribute to your marketability and/or promotability. Similar stories and studies exist about taller people. But what do you think?

Will a 62-year-old suddenly wrest a potential job away from a 39-year-old because the 62-year-old suddenly looks like he is only 52? Will the smile of a 59-year-old who is fresh out of braces be better equipped to land a job than say, your typical 34-year-old?

You are right…there are too many variables to consider and make blanket statements. Perhaps the 39-year-old above was slightly overweight, very average looking, but had a more well-defined technical skill to peddle to a potential employer.

Maybe the 34-year-old above lost out to the 59-year-old because the older woman has 20 more years of industry contacts, thus helping her land the sales manager job.

Who knows? So, why are people, according to the article, doing all these cosmetic procedures? In a word: Packaging.

In my extensive career of hiring and placing people though, it is never just one thing that makes a person hireable or not hireable. They may be the best geek in the world for a techie job but the other techies who would have to work with him decided the guy is an arrogant jerk who they don’t want to spend most of their waking hours with.

Maybe someone is a smooth, good-looking, well-connected, persuasive, sales type person but they are just too disorganized to manage or build a territory.

In summary, it takes the total package. So if you want to do something to your physical presence in order to help you compete out there, go for it!

Just be sure you don’t have “blind sides” which sabotage your newly white, straight teeth or firm eyelids. Perhaps your forehead is now wrinkle-free but you resume shows you were the class treasurer of the your senior class of 1969. Not helpful when you compete for jobs with people who are your kids’ ages!

Think “total package” my friends. How does your total package look?

America’s Job Coach talks about packaging and first impressions in the YouTube video called “The Twittervator Speech.” The TwitterVator Speech is a blend of your Unique Selling Proposition, an elevator pitch, and a social media tool status update bar. Learn more about YOURS here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN7n0X8PzgI . Good common sense!

Mayor Suttle–“Laid Off & Loving It?”

As mentioned briefly on my linkedin page…Mayor Jim Suttle of Omaha, Nebraska is in the fight of his political life. Enough signatures have been gathered by Omaha people to force the mayor into a recall situation. If he loses the January “election of one,” he will lose his job!

Will he then be “Laid Off & Loving It?” Will he need my book, “Laid Off & Loving It For 2010?” even though it will be 2011?

Follow the story here!

America’s Job Coach
http://www.americasjobcoach.com

What Is YOUR Self Promotion Tool?

The TwitterVator Speech is a merger of your Unique Selling Proposition, your elevator speech, and putting that together in a format acceptable to Social Media. When you put all this together in 140 characters (spaces and letters), you have your very own TwitterVator Speech.

America’s Job Coach can prepare yours for you today!

See how here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN7n0X8PzgI

America’s Job Coach

“SHE-Shoring” During This “HE-cession”

“HE-cession” means that during this recession, the unemployment rate for men is 10.7 %, but the unemployment rate for women is “just” 8.1%. This term was coined, I believe, by David Zincenko of Mens’s Health in a USA Today op ed piece. Let me know if I am wrong.

So, are employers “SHE-shoring?” America’s Job Coach invented this term while reading about the He-cession. We’ve heard for years how women are paid less than men for similar work. Some studies say up to 30% less! I am not a statistics guru, but I think we can all agree that in too many cases, women earn less than their male peers for similar work.

Now add to the mix that fact that this recession has been slightly “less cruel” to women. Fewer women than men have lost their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statics (8.1% verses 10.7%). My question: Why?

SHE-shoring is “Offshoring Gone Female.” Offshoring, in case you have been under a rock for a dozen years, is where a company ships chunks of its work off US shores to countries like India, China, Mexico, Ireland, and a host of other places. Employers “offshore” tasks to locations to try to save labor costs. And firms often layoff US staff after completing the offshoring.

Computer work, customer support work, manufacturing etc. are often functions which see work offshored but all professions are being touched by this trend. Even some USA fast food restaurants will use an offshored person to take your order over the drive through window. That person then sends your order over the Internet to the locals who cook and wrap your triple cheeseburger.

So can I blame that China-based fellow for the lack of honey mustard in my chicken nuggets bag? I suppose it was the local guy who stiffed me on the dip though. But hey, they are communicating across the globe so it is no wonder my sauce is missing sometimes! As Thomas L. Friedman has aptly pointed out, The World Is Flat.

So, most major companies have embraced some level of Off-Shoring to save labor costs. Do they therefore, have a grand design or plan to lay off women less often than men? If a Fortune 1000 company sends work overseas to save money, doesn’t it make sense that they also would lay off their most expensive people first? Does this explain the He-cession? If a gender pay gap exists inside a company, does ACME layoff Harry or Harriet? Is Joe sent packing before Joan?

Who knows what goes on in executive minds when they are deciding what staffers to cut. Now however, statistics imply that men are harder targets for the layoff axe than are their wives, sisters, moms and daughters.

Who cares? You should. This blog exists to help people get on their feet during a career transition. Part of that is knowing the look of your playing field. If you are a male looking for work or a better job, be aware of SHE-Shoring. If you are a female looking for work or a better job, be aware of SHE-shoring. It is critical to know your competition when job hunting.

I heard a story about a guy who was prepared to answer the salary negotiation question with, “I’ll take $100 a year less than my closest competitor for this job.” The tale is likely anecdotal, but you get the idea about being aware of your compeition…He-cession, SHE-shoring, and all.

Kindly share your SHE-Shoring or He-cession story or comments with this job coaching community!

America’s Job Coach
Author, “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010”