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?”

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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.

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

Will 2010 Lead to 2020 Vision or 2020 Hindsight?

We just saw the end of a year and¬†the end of a decade. A very turbulent decade. No rehash needed because you have seen all the life changing events in the media lately. Ten years is a big chunk of time in anyone’s life.

So if you agree that this hunk of time is noteworthy, shouldn’t it be marked with big ideas and big goals? What will your life be like in 2020? Will you have 2020 vision or will you coast through another ten years and only¬†THEN have 2020¬†hindsight? That date is only ten years away. Just think how fast the last ten years came and went. 9/11 seems like yesterday, doesn’t it? A little strategic thinking may really get you postured¬†well occupationally for the future.

What if YOU had known ten years ago that 350 to 400 million people globally would be putting vast details about their work history and/or personal traits, families and friends on social networking websites? Would that have been good to know? Could that have affected your job or your industry? What if you could have, ten years ago, guessed right about some trends in banking or other industries?

I am not directing us all to become wise sages here who can predict the future and then profit from that. What I am suggesting is that you, at the start of an exciting new decade which is going to be RIFE with change, give some thought to the world of work, invention, trends, entrepreneurship, etc. Where will the new decade take you?

How will the marriage¬†of technology and health care, the emerging world of finance, the ongoing “green” parade, or the globalization of most anything affect your occupation? Remember, today¬†radiologists¬†in India can read the scans made of your hip which the lesser educated US-based technologist just took of you in the local MRI room. If those kinds of changes are occuring¬†in the medical world, how will things change in your world?

The movie “Up In the Air” is a new release staring George Clooney. His character travels constantly to companies which are downsizing or laying off their employees. He is the hatchet man who breaks the bad news. One of his stock lines during the terminations¬†is that this action will now allow the¬†people who are cut to go on and finally pursue their dreams.¬† He implies to his public that he is almost helping them by “liberating” them.¬† This blog will discuss more about Clooney’s movie later, but hold Clooney’s thought in mind: Is your life standing in the way of your dreams? Can your 2020 Vision or Hindsight apply to YOUR decade ahead?¬†

What do you think? Add a comment about where you think everything will head and how that could affect your career. Will globalization make your job obsolete? Or, will offshoring have proved ineffective in your industry so your skills are back in demand?

Kick out your ideas here…Maybe as a group this career advice forum can come up with the next FaceBook, twitter.com or something similar… THAT would show some 2020 Vision!

Think big…think bold!

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

“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”

But I Get No Feedback From Employers!

The 50 Over 50 Project is a “Community of Career Transition Advice” for¬†people over¬†50 years old over a 50 week period.

Put your summarized career dilemma in the comments section so the group can offer their tips to you!

Here is a gentleman who appears to have some good ideas about self marketing and follow up.  His advice applies to all ages.  

Please come back after you watch and tell the community what you think!  Thanks to www.jayobi.com for making this available!

Paul M. America’s Job Coach¬† www.americasjobcoach.com

 Here is the link for the video: 

 Step 4. Contacting Employers.

I hope YOUR follow ups are positive!

Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

The 50 Over 50 Project is a 50-week Career Advice

Community for people over the age of 50 who are

in some form of career transition.

 

Today’s 22-year-old who is¬†just now entering the workforce¬†has never known a world¬†without computers. Born in the late 1980s, he came into this world after Microsoft and Apple had gone public.¬† His parents may have used a brick-sized cell phone to call their parents when little Junior emerged into this world. So wireless is the norm for him.¬†He grew¬†up ON video games, laptops, and probably never loaded a roll of film in a camera. Wouldn’t know what a flashcube was if it burned him on the finger.¬†Heck, he¬†has really only known two presidents B.O. (Before Obama).

This is¬†all fine and normal.¬† Junior’s¬†different educational experience enables him to feel very comfortable in a technology-driven workforce. ¬†IM chat¬†and social networking are no big deal because they were always there. He is not afraid of any new technology and conforms and embraces¬†to new versions, tools, and trends like warm¬†Silly¬†Putty. ¬†

The Over 50 Folks however remember the glee and awe that ran through the office when the fax machine was introduced. “No more putting stuff in envelopes and typing out an address on it and putting a stamp on it and running it to that blue mail box on the corner in time for the last pickup and, and, and…”

So where does that leave us ‘oldsters’ when we have to¬†compete¬†for too few jobs with some of these tech-savvy snot nose kids who are quicker to adapt and cheaper to hire?¬†¬† I won’t rehash the two most recent posts to this blog because they do give you some good ideas on this theme.

What I will do is remind you about resources which can help you compete. The President has allocated, according to a recent¬†US News & World Report article, 12 BILLION NEW dollars to¬†support the mission of the nation’s community colleges. ¬†This funding will support the schools which are projecting¬†5 million NEW (as in added) community college graduates¬†by the year 2020, according to the magazine’s September article.

So, fellow¬†Baby Boomers, it may be time to follow Rodney Dangerfield’s example and go Back To School. His wealthy character the 1986 movie of that name had a few advantages due to his money. One¬†perk was the direct tutoring of Dangerfield BY¬†Kurt Vonnegut HIMSELF¬†for the former’s¬†English paper!¬† We can’t expect that level of tutoring under President Obama’s plan but we “get it”¬†that ongoing technical training is just plan mandatory for a high percentage of future and present jobs.¬†

Colleges are booming now due to the nearly 15 million unemployed people out there. Even if you are working full-time, it is vital to learn more to keep your skills sharp. The government is supporting the mission of those schools because it knows that practical training will get America working again. And many schools and training programs are catering their offerings to those who are old enough to remember where they were when President Kennedy was shot.

¬†Consider being part of those statistics–the people who are enrolling and graduating from public and private, PRACTICAL and¬†TECHNICAL¬†education.

Please share YOUR story of how you got some new practical education and how that has helped your career or that of another person.

If you are thinking about picking up some training, but not sure what to study, share your thoughts here in this Career Advice Community!

We are eager to hear your successes and your fears and possibly help. We won’t even discuss how to load actual film in a camera!

America’s Job Coach

www.americasjobcoach.com

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…