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

Will You Ever Work Again?

Just read an article about “older” workers (45 and older) who fear that after they have been laid off they’ll never work again. Frightening !

They put in lengthy, sometimes well-paid careers and after they have been cast aside during a layoff or downsizing, they can’t find anything close to what they had. And this happens during the years when they are supposed to be at their earnings peak. According to this New York Times story 2.2 million of the 15 million unemployed are over 55 years old.

So what to do? Will the economy be able to absorb 15 million people who are now out of work? Or even 1/2 of that amount?

What will you do if it can’t?

I’d love to hear your comments here: Share with the readers how people you know (or you yourself) have reinvented themselves (yourself).

Do you know of a corporate accountant who now runs an antique shop? How about a purchasing director who now is a locksmith. Are they “making it?” Tell us your story and inspire others!

Paul David Madsen
America’s Job CoachAuthor: Laid Off & Loving It for 2010 — Rebuilding Your Career or Business With Social Media’s Help

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

Did He Get the Job? Also, Job Posting Scams

In my last post I discussed a young man who was interviewing for his first job out of college. The job was for a sales position and he was wondering if in fact the niche he was exploring was good for him. I mentioned  how some industries in the current economy are looking for people like him: young, techno savvy, moldable and cheap. 

None of that is new news to you who are “decades into” your careers and maybe months into your job search. Employers are flooded with applicants and some are taking advantage of that. There was an article in the Omaha World Herald on 10/26/09 which described how formerly hard to fill hands on care giver jobs were now doing just fine due to some factory closings in a Nebraska community. Before some jobs in that town vaporized, the health care facility had a hard time staffing these positions. Now it has a surplus of applicants. Ah, perspective.

Perspective is what the young job seeker had too. He was “wax” just ready to be molded by his potentially future employer. He didn’t have an entitlement attitude and his small dose of arrogance was more attributable to his youth than any entrenched “in your face” cockiness.

Yes, his potential employer wants him back for some “job shadowing.” That is where our young applicant will sit and listen to the current staff while they make their daily spate of phone calls. Not just anyone or everyone can sit in a cubicle and make 70+  phone call attempts a day. I don’t know if our young hero will want to but that employer has invited him to find out if he wants to. And there is a fairly handsome base-plus-commissions to go along with it. I’ll keep you posted on his progress. And keep remembering his child-like interview exuberance while you do your job hunting.

Speaking of commissions, I saw a listing of “The Top Twenty Most Helpful Job Hunting Websites” or some such similar title the other day. I immediately thought that would be a logical link for this blog. And of course, I clicked through on many of the web sites listed.

Well, you won’t see me linking to that list anytime soon. I found many sites I had never heard of. And the ones toward the top of the list had many “jobs” posted. The problem was, most of these “jobs” were work at home schemes. Nothing wrong with working at home…millions of people around the world work for thousands of legitimate companies in a remote fashion. Online technology allows and encourages that.

But so many of the “jobs” posted were all about multi-level marketing businesses. Many have an investment required or involved some marginally shady types of plans. The rise of this kind of “noise” out there has tracked and kept pace with the rise in the number of unemployed.

I have nothing against legitimate multi-level businesses. I have been involved in some in the past myself and have learned from them. I am just saying use caution when you “apply” for jobs within this world. Most are not jobs with a regular paycheck. Growing your own business is great but just know what you are getting into when you start. Will your new “job” require you to buy inventory?

Have any of this blog’s readers ventured into this area?  Again I have no problem with these legitimate marketing businesses but I do dislike it when these outfits dress themselves as “jobs” on what were formerly job boards. Who has a story to share on this?…

Next posting will be about a 50-something “coachee” who was recently laid off, DOES know a lot of people to network with, but is stuck in the 1990’s regarding using those contacts.

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!

The Dow is at 10,000…Who Cares?

The 50 Over 50 Project is a ”Community of Career Advice”     for 50 folks over age 50 who are in a career transition.  

Summarize YOUR career dilemma in a comment below to gain job hunt pointers from this blog community. 

So the Dow Jones Industrial Average got over the psychological barrier of 10,000 points last week. I wonder if it will go to 11,000 this week?  Probably not. But do people care?

Well, I do care actually. And the investments of millions of people as well as the well-being of millions of companies across this great land do care.  So why the headline above? 

Last weekend, Seth Rogan of the Weekend Update skit on the perennial  Saturday Night Live TV show perhaps summarized the feeling of millions: Rogan mentioned how the Dow broke 10,000 and how 15 million unemployed people at home, in their pajamas in the middle of the day, who were eating Twinkies, cheered with delight. 

That isn’t a perfect quote but you get the idea. The talk is that the recession will end and the recovery will occur sometime in the next month to the next two years (it depends upon who you listen to).  I don’t know who to believe but Seth was right: Recovery or not, too many people are still stuck unemployed or underemployed and know the NBC TV schedule way too well.

If the Dow goes to 20,000 and there are still 6 people for every 1 open job out there, the unemployed just won’t care what the stock market looks like. Granted jobs are always a lagging indicator during a recovery because firms want to be sure things are improving before they add to their payrolls again. 

And the most strategic unemployed people WILL care about the stock market and the recovery. Because we attract what we expect into our life. And if we stay negative, we’ll keep getting negative. 

How about you? Do you think the economy is picking up out there and that there are more jobs now that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has reached this level? Or do you feel stuck on main street despite Wall Street’s success?

Share your thoughts below and keep the faith!

Paul M.

America’s Job Coach  

Are YOU an Expert?

The 50 Over 50 Project is a “Community of Career Advice”  for 50 people over the age of 50 who are in some form of career transition.

There was a new question and comment dialog going today on a popular social media forum. I read with interest as the author ranted and raved about how awful it is that some “coaches” out there are charging up to $500 to help people build their profiles on the social media tools. He railed against these self-appointed experts for their skullduggery against the poor, laid off and out of work people.  The author made it clear he was much more helpful than these opportunists and HIS blog was free and pure and helpful etc. 

Well, in fact, his blog IS full of good information and helpful data. A ton of data, much of it relating to job seekers and much of it not.  But here is the funny part: While he disdains people who charge $500 for career strategies and who claim to be experts, his web site states that he charges slightly more than that for his own coaching services! Pot. Kettle. Black.

What’s the point as it relates to you, the over 50 job seeker? It is two fold: 

1. Are you an expert? How is an expert or expertise defined? I’ll bet that you know more about something than most anyone else. That sort of makes you an expert. You need to define that and market that as you look for employment or for income as a consultant  or SME.  

2. Are you an expert at bringing your assets to market?  The angry blogger mentioned above doesn’t like “experts” who exploit the powerless. None of us do. But do give some thought about what your strengths are and are not. I have interviewed thousands of professionals and about 2/3 of them don’t even recognize their own strengths relative to the job market they are trying to penetrate. Some mature job seekers have been in a job or a company for decades and might benefit from an economical, cost effective, second point of view. Visit “Who Needs Job Coaching”  here for more thoughts on this: http://www.americasjobcoach.com/33201.html .

The short version of the above link is that NOBODY needs it. Most all the information is out there if you have the time, the ability, and most importantly the objective ability to apply it strategically

Bottom line? Two heads are better than one. If the services you are contemplating is 100% satisfaction guaranteed (like mine are), what do you have to lose?

Paul M. — America’s Job Coach

www.americasjobcoach.com

 

 

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…