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

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!

“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

“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”

Will Santa Bring New Jobs?

According to this, Santa or the Easter Bunny may be bringing us some new employment opportunities!  Check out what the Jacksonville Business Journal has to say!

 

Economists predict first-quarter hiring – Jacksonville Business Journal:.

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!

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