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

“I’m a Goof-Up…Hire Me!”

Will you work again after your layoff? Did you put in a lengthy, and maybe even a well-paid career and then get laid off before discovering that it is HARD to find something close to your old level? And did this happen when your are supposed to be at your earnings peak? According a September 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 those 2.2 million “mature” workers?

A blog commenter recently told me employers usually look at younger employees as “cheaper.” And, on paper they are, but we concurred that the EXPERIENCE “older” workers bring is invaluable and diminishes the perceived savings younger workers offer.

Why? Because of the MISTAKES you have made along the way. Employers should hire you because you have goofed up. You have (I hope) learned how to NOT to make those mistakes again. A younger person has to LEARN those things yet–on his/her employer’s dime.

You’ve been through the probation period and as they say, are “closer to money,” instead of costing employers money.

So, turn all the dumb things you have done over 20 or 30 years of working into an ASSET. Share with an employer how you are immediately productive and know where all the bodies are buried (good Halloween metaphor). Why should they invest in a slowly developing “project” (inexperienced person) when you are available to AVOID all those costly mistakes right now?

Use this philosophy when you feel potential employers think younger people are more hip with the latest technology (they usually are) and more flexible (they often are–learn from them!).

…But YOU can learn the tech stuff AND go on to help your employer navigate through the graveyard of this economy toward a less terrifying bottom line!!

How do you share this new asset with the world? Through your TwitterVator Speech of course. Your TwitterVator Speech is your elevator speech and your USP put into 140 CHARACTERS or less. It is a tool explained in my book, “Laid Off & Loving It for 2010.” Have one and show employers that you too are “hip.” You don’t even to have to use www.twitter.com to have a TwitterVator Speech, but don’t tell anyone that!

I’m in a Trick or Treat mood…I’ll give away 5 treats this week…the first 5 people who contact me via this blog or through my website, www.americasjobcoach.com will get a free TwitterVator Speech from me. Send me a note and you’ll be on your way to a free, cool, hip, and importantly, HELPFUL TwitterVator speech!!

And remember to keep goofing up a little…that means that you are still learning and still trying!

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

Don’t Be a “99er”

Just heard a new term the other day…”A 99er.” Those of you who are on long-term unemployment compensation through your state know what that is: After 99 weeks on unemployment, the government stops paying you.

Is this right? Should this happen? What about folks who are trying to find a job but just can’t…does the government owe them even more than 99 weeks of unemployment insurance compensation? Sound off via a comment on this blog if you’d like.

99 weeks is nearly two years. America’s Job Coach thinks most folks should be able to find SOME kind of job in that amount of time. Yes, many will have to move down since the kind of job they used to do at their old pay rate may not exist anymore.

AJC says that if the best accomplishment you have on your resume for the last two years is your strong ability to cash an unemployment check, then you don’t have very much appeal to a potential employer if you do luck into a job interview!

Do it…take something to have something. You may take a pay cut from the unemployment rate in order to get one of these “move down” jobs. But again, you will show a potential “real” employer (the kind you used to have) that you are ambitious enough to do “whatever it takes.”

I know there are thousands of actual cases of discrimination, disability and disproportionate pay etc. out there. I am not trying to make anyone mad here and realize there is always a story behind the story.

I am simply suggesting that all of us need to focus on contributing to any employer (or customer if you form your own little firm while you job hunt) while you work to avoid becoming a 99er.

You can do it!! Maybe some coaching videos from Doug Hindman (jobsearchguru channel) on Youtube.com can help.

Paul David Madsen
America’s Job Coach
Author of “Laid Off & Loving It For 2010”

PS: For your blog’s traffic improvement copy and paste this “trafic-building” tale tory on yours:

I used http://www.google.com to see a http://www.yahoo.com story about http://www.amazon.com, a company which sells http://www.dell.com products and their staff eats @ http://www.mcdonalds.com and drinks at http://www.starbucks.com and shops at http://www.walmart.com. I used http://www.wikipedia.com to teach me about http://www.youtube.com which has links to http://www.facebook.com and http://www.linkedin.com which ties in with http://www.wordpress.com which ties into the classic, http://www.growmedia.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”

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  

Fast Times at ‘Expert High’

The 50 Over 50 Project is a ”Community of Career Advice”     focused on 50 folks over age 50 who are in a career transition.  Summarize YOUR career dilemma as a comment to get helpful pointers from this blog community. 

If you are old enough, you remember the semi-entertaining movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It was a big milestone in Sean Penn’s early body of work. I twisted that movie name into the hopefully catchy title for this post which pertains to “quick self promotion.”   

All people in career transition or folks who are trying to sell their expertise need to be “comprehendable.” I don’t know if that is a word, but I ran into someone the other day who sells professional services. I asked him what he did. Ten minutes later I was bored and confused. 

The small business services person (he is the one who provides the actual consulting services) rambled for minutes upon minutes about what he could do or has done.  What he didn’t know is that I tuned out to his rantings after about 30 seconds of vague generalities.

Because I have interviewed thousands of people I was able to ask pointed questions to extract from him some specific examples of his work. But that is the point.  I shouldn’t have had to “work so hard” at pulling out of him what he does and how that might remotely help me. 

He also had a written piece which included a 30-word description of his offerings. But he works in big, big niche and his description was so vague I still wasn’t sure what he did. In a glance, (which is all any of us get–my book calls this “your 15 seconds of fame”) I just wasn’t sure what he could do for me.

So dear blog readers, the old formula applies as you position yourself as an expert:  ‘Keep It Simple Stupid.’ And fast. No matter how good you are and how tightly you address your specific niche, you are still competing daily with the hundreds of emails, messages, texts, calls, tweets and friend/connection requests, etc., etc., etc. (to quote Yul Brenner). 

I remain eager to see your drafts of your elevator speech, Unique Selling Proposition, or TwitterVator Speech (the combination of the elevator speech with your USP in 140 characters or less).

You can offer them anonymously here as a comment and the community will help you to craft your pitch. Or, you can contact me privately outside of this blog for free help on this. 

Social media is great. But, as you have noticed, there are a few (million) folks out there using it. Let this community of career advice help YOU stand out….

 America’s Job Coach