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! ūüôā

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

Are They Beating A Path to Your Door?

America’s Job Coach spent Saturday, November 14 at the Nebraska Book Festival in Lincoln, NE at the Nebraska State Historical Society. I was there to network and promote “Laid Off and Loving It For 2010.” There were approximately 40 vendors present who set up tables to “hawk” their books or book-related services. Public foot traffic was good and the event had good guests, award winners, and presenters. On hand was Ted Kooser, National Poet laureate and Harley Jane Kozak, Hollywood actress and successful novelist/mystery writer. Harley presented a great writing workshop.

I hear you asking “How does that apply to me and my quest for a job upgrade?” Here is the answer:

P and N which means: PROMOTION and NICHE.

Over the next couple of blog posts, I’ll discuss how several authors and booksellers at the festival have had good success selling their books. Their sales did not come from events like the festival alone. Few had customers beating a path to their table (door).

Yet, many of the exhibitors present told me how they have had reasonable success selling their books. Why? How did the booksellers there sell thousands of books over the years? A quick glance at their topics answers the question:

It is their NICHES. Their lovely books were on topics of interest to MAYBE 1% of the book-reading population. BUT, and this is a big “but,” that 1% was / is loyal, devoted, passionate, and are HAPPY to spend $19.95 or $29.95 or whatever on a book that applies to THEM.

I’ll discuss specific examples in the next couple of posts, but in the meantime I challenge you to translate nichemanship into your professional goals and lives:

What skills, knowledge, experience, training, background, activities, passions, volunteer projects, unique family situations, workplace histories do YOU possess that can be “exploited” to a job market niche out there, or into a small business endeavor?

For example, were you part of a growth industry in the past but that industry isn’t as hot now? Well, how can you package that experience into something that a present day, fast-growth employer will appreciate? Even though your experience may have been in a different industry, your skills CAN translate into helping a new company in a different industry because you have “been there, done that.” Who else may need those skills?

As always, kindly send your comments of examples of your successes or failures along this line to this blog. I’d love to hear how tight, niche marketing helped or hurt YOU. And the gentle readers of this blog stand ready to offer helpful advice as always. Which niche will you own?

Next posts: specific examples of personal niche marketing!

Two Girls For Every Boy!

In 1963, the song Surf City¬†was recorded by a¬†young, feel-good¬†band named¬†The Beach Boys.¬† It¬†was the number one song on Billboard¬† Magazine‘s Top 100 (according to www.Wikipedia.com).¬† Some¬†people who are ‘Over-50 Types’ might even remember when the song hit gold.¬†

What a fun concept for¬†millions (of especially young men)¬†to think about — a place¬†where the girls may have worn¬†an Itsy¬†Bitsy Teenie Weenie¬†Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, AND¬†there were also¬†two¬†girls¬†for every one boy!¬†¬†Wow! ¬†

First Wave Boomers were not alone in their indoctrination to this song however. It went on to be enjoyed by millions more who were born later and grew up hearing it at wedding dances and theme parties for decades to come. Throngs (not thongs!) of youth heard it for dozens of years and it became a part of culture.

Fast forward 45 years or so. Instead of ‘Two Girls for Every Boy,‘ now we have “Six Seekers For Every Job.”

A recent¬†editorial by Paul Krugman of The New York Times¬†included the statistic that¬†we are now seeing¬†six job seekers¬†pursuing every one available job.¬† That doesn’t sound near as much fun as Two Girls for Every Boy.¬†This level of competition for work looks like it is going to be with us awhile. It may become part of our culture…

If you are stuck in a job you don’t like, or you are out of work, that culture thought might¬†be depressing.¬† Don’t let it bring you down!¬† Three out of five 50-something laid off people I know¬†have recently found jobs! Collectively, they were competing¬†against hundreds of other job seekers. But, they¬†managed to land something despite the long odds.¬†¬†¬†

But the numbers are still the numbers.¬†We are probably stuck in a¬†“hot mess” with regard to optimal employment for at least the forseeable future.¬†So what do you do?

A short answer is similar to what you may have heard already. If your line of work is clogged¬†with too many competitors for too few jobs, you may need to reinvent yourself. This topic is addressed in many, many good books out there so I won’t go into detail. The short version is this:

  • Take what you know better than anyone else, repackage it, remold it, add a new, big dash of passion to it,¬† get someone smarter than you to review your efforts, and give it a whirl.¬†
  • Maybe you¬†now can become¬†a consultant to your former industry, or to a niche you have followed for a long time?¬†Maybe you can boldly approach your former employer with a new¬†“value-add” proposition or TwitterVator Speech?¬†Maybe the time is finally getting close where you can turn your hobby¬†into a small business?

I won’t expand much here, but instead¬†invite readers to¬†comment. Free job coaching¬†by¬†this blog’s participants¬†may¬†be¬†helpful if you are struggling with how¬†to reinvent yourself.¬†But you have to be¬†willing to ask for the help…

Let this group help to conquer your career crisis as you work to catch that perfect career wave and land your surfboard on an ideal beach of a job! 

Maybe comments by this¬†blog’s readers¬†will lead to¬†Two Jobs for Every Boy (and Girl)!

Surf’s Up!

America’s Job Coach

 

Do As I Say, Not As I Do…

OK, OK… I am guilty!¬†

This community forum is about my facilitation of helpful career advice from cyberspace. The advice is from and for people who are in some form of transition as they enter and go through their fifties.   But here is the problem:

I have failed you!

I have found that the older people get, the more they like routine. We all have those older relatives who want to know two weeks ahead of time what time a dinner event is scheduled for. That way they can mentally prepare for it days in advance and be ready two hours ahead of actual event. 

While I obviously don’t think people in their 50’s and 60’s are OLD, I do realize that CONSISTENCY matters. I don’t know if the elasticity and suppleness of youth is gone by ones’ fifth decade or what it is, but people like routine as they progress in their lives.¬† Yes, I can show you some anal retentive 22 year¬† olds as well, but you know what I mean.

Routine matters. Routine matters when you are building a career, a family a fortune, or just about anything. Yes, we can “luck into” something good in those categories on occasion, but with regard to job hunting or career transitioning,¬†the value of “routine” is high.¬†

I won’t repeat the often told tales of how Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or many well-known, high profile sports, cultural or business performers have reached their achievement levels¬†due to¬†nearly obsessive levels of drill, repetition and routine.¬†

But I have failed you, dear blog readers, due to MY¬†lack of routine.¬†You haven’t known when to¬†check back in¬†on this blog because you don’t know when the new stuff is going to be posted.¬† And with all the noise on the internet, you are unlikely to come back if you don’t know when to do so.¬†

I have been inconsistent because I¬†too often waited¬†for a juicy, success story of some formerly laid off person.¬† They may be in dialog with me¬†via this blog or directly with me through¬† www.americasjobcoach.com. Or, I¬†also hesitated when ¬†“Suzie” was asking me about resume guidance and I waited to tell her story until it was complete.¬†

No more. I will not make you keep wondering and waiting for these tidbits. Even if the stories are not complete, I’ll throw out relevant, confidential career dilemmas¬†so you the reader can comment on them and hopefully add your helpful comments to this career advice community.¬†

I will do a better job of “communing” with and communicating to this advice community.¬†No more long pauses between posts while waiting for the other shoe to drop. No more hesitation for “perfect” content before throwing out some relevant stuff.¬†People who need your advice so I will give you the chance to give it.¬†

YOU can¬†keep this community helpful, relevant, entertaining and inspirational by offering your¬†stories or the¬†stories of people you know who succeeded (or didn’t). I can talk about how Brett Favre was laid off and¬†loving it but I’d rather hear about how your neighbor got cut after 24 years with a Fortune 500 company and then started¬†her own successful consulting company (like the woman¬†did in¬†Laid Off & Loving It For 2010.

I will strive to be more consistent and routine with my content posts here. You’ll see SOMETHING new and relevant almost every day.

Thanks for your loyal following and thanks also for your input and comments which will only make this community more vibrant. 

And speaking of dinner plans, it is time me to execute mine!  

Career Transition hint for today:¬† Be CONSISTENT in your job hunt efforts. Don’t fluctuate despite discouragement.¬† More about that later next week…