Career Performance Excellence

With a New Year and an opportunity to partner with seasoned career professionals trained to “equip and empower YOU to become an excellent employee,” today promises to be a new beginning. Christian HELP, Central Florida Employment Council (CFEC), and Education Career Services has partnered with one goal in mind: YOUR CAREER SUCCESS.

cfji-logo InitiaveThe goal of the Central Florida Jobs Initiative (CFJI) is intensive: To connect employers with qualified and job-ready candidates.

For those unemployed, underemployed, and/or recently graduated, this FREE six-session program has the potential to lift you well above other candidates. For those serious about career progression and career satisfaction, make the call today at 407.796.3650 or visit www.cfji.org for details.

The six interactive modules address recruiting and retention challenges with which human resource professionals encounter, developing techniques to your advantage. Throughout each workshop, you will be introduced to a wide range of career strategies and applications proven to enrich your personal and professional development.

Highlights of the six complementary classes are as follows:

Creating Your Job Search Plan: Addresses effective job search and career management strategies as well as common techniques to overcome the psychological effects when faced with unemployment.

Crafting Your Cover Letter and Resume
: No doubt the key to finding a job is a well-written, value-filled resume and cover letter. These career documents are essential to find long-term and meaningful employment, but yet so many job seekers don’t know what they are—let alone how to write them. Our second of six workshops cover the basic and advanced methods behind writing an effective resume and cover letter, and also provides examples and tips along to the way to YOUR career success.

Networking in the Digital Age: According to a recent study conducted by Harvard University sociologist Mark Granovetter, 74.5% of all jobs come through networking. No doubt networking is a key in success but how does one network effectively? Series three is an ideal guide to get you on the right networking path, and keep you there!

Job Search Tactics: This fourth of six workshops takes you through each step of a digital job search. Everything from selecting an online job search site, creating an online profile, to uploading a resume is covered. Furthermore, alternative methods such as social networking, job fairs, and walk-in’s are detailed.

Interviewing and Impressions: The fifth workshop breaks the interview process into a series of steps. We start with preparation for the big day, move onto the interview, and then cover the follow up. Let this interview workshop be your guide to acing every aspect of the interview by realizing the many values and contributions you offer an employer.

Performance Excellence: The final workshop walks you throughout your 90-day review period and beyond. Be prepared to learn the meaning and process of on-boarding, develop conflict resolution skills, and examine the best practices to give and receive feedback. Furthermore, you’ll be introduced to concepts such as how to handle confidential information and contractual agreements.

Are you ready to be a superstar on the job? Here’s what’s required:

*  Must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED
*  Must be eligible to work in the United States
*  Must have reliable transportation
*  If applicable, must have reliable childcare
*  Must clear a criminal background

Not just for the individual seeking their career competitive advantage, the Central Florida Jobs Initiative is geared to provide employers with well-trained industry-diverse candidates.

The success of the Central Florida Jobs Initiative depends on partnerships with local organizations and community partners. Local organizations and community partners are offered several ways to participate in the following ways
:
*  Providing mentors for new hires
*  Module training
*  Facility usage
*  Mock interviewing

In addition, the Central Florida Jobs Initiative provides a great candidate resource from which to identify, interview, and possibly select to fill your employment openings. If you are interested in participating, please contact Norma M. Perez at (407) 760-3938 or Michael Johnson at (407) 796-3650 for details.

To learn more, go to www.cfji.org for a complete Central Florida Jobs Initiative overview.

Education Career Services is proud to partner with Christian HELP and play an instrumental role in developing and publishing cutting-edge career management material for the Central Florida Jobs Initiative as well as thousands of job seekers across the United States. For those interested in career management courseware, full length books, or employment-targeted booklets, visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com.

See YOU at the workshops!

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Employment, Experience, Education

In our continuing effort to assist those during their career lifecycle, the following comes in response to a recent question posed by Michael:

I am a recent graduate of the LPN course at Rasmussen College. Do you have any suggestions on how to gain employment without having experience other than schooling? Do you think volunteering is a good way to find a job? Any advice on where and how to get a job would be appreciated.”

Thanks for the question(s), no doubt what you are experiencing is felt by thousands eager to transition into their chosen career. In order to keep confusion to a minimal, I’ll break your question into three sections.

1. Do you have any suggestions on how to gain employment without having experience other than schooling?
Though few recognize this fact, experience comes in many forms, not all being formal.

Informal methods to gain experience come by way of volunteering (we’ll get to that during the next question), capstone projects, internships, externships, job shadowing, and community events. If you’ve worked at spots such as Taco Bell or Burger King, don’t sell yourself short as the time there is valuable, though mostly in the form of transferrable skills.

No matter where you find yourself, fast-food establishments or working on a school project, customer service, ability to perform multiple tasks, prioritizing responsibilities, resolving conflict (my fries are cold, what are you going to do about it?), and being productive in a team setting are all things employers find valuable.

For those who truly have no experience, your educational accomplishments must be the ticket to your first job—though most likely an entry-level one. Under this situation, I would highlight relevant courses, awards received (perfect attendance is always good to showcase), and instructor references. You can always insert insight from those professionals around, including the dean of academic affairs or your Career Director. Sharing his or her insight on your character can be effective if used wisely. There’s nothing like placing a well-written quote or reference on your resume or cover letter from a professional overseeing your educational development.

For those involved in a capstone project, take the reader along and let him or her visualize the value you brought to the team: What was your role, what issues did you encounter, how did you overcome problems, and what was the final result.

Here’s a little known secret: Employees want to hire trustworthy individuals with a passion to grow, to learn, and to contribute to the bottom line.

Ultimately, little experience does not mean little chance of securing an opportune position as long as you are grounded to reality and are willing to work your way up the ladder. Truth be known, gaining the attention of the hiring manager is as much about attitude and packaging as anything else, including experience.

2. Do you think volunteering is a good way to find a job?
Without much debate, volunteering IS a GREAT way to find a job. If you’re wondering why and how… think about the employer’s perspective.

Companies and communities are symbiotic in nature… without one, the other would not survive. As a result, employers look favorably on those who are committed to helping those less fortunate. Volunteering offers avenues to networking, which is where many jobs are found out about.

I noticed your program at Rasmussen College (on a side note, I have a great deal of respect for Rasmussen College and believe in their program and Career Services Department/Personnel—you are in good hands so take advantage of the resources they offer—special shout out to Sheila and Tamyrn) was for a LPN. With this, community involvement is extremely important and could lead to many rewards.

Career tip: While volunteering, always behave in a professional manner as you never know if the person across the room is connected to a company you always wanted to work for.

3. Any advice on where and how to get a job would be appreciated.
That’s a tough one as the right job may be right around the corner. Though it may seem old-fashioned, the concept of physically visiting companies you are interested in working for can be effective. If you decide to go this route (in conjunction with other routes), be sure and research the company before showing up. Show respect to the receptionist and always be courteous. Remember you are showing up without an invitation so not all doors are going to be open… remain calm, patient, and diligent.

One more thing, have a professional resume/cover letter prepared and always look the part.

Another way to get an inside foot is to conduct “informational interviews.” If you are unfamiliar with this method, I will be glad to cover the concept in an upcoming article… just let me know, or you can obtain additional material detailed below.

Always remember that during informational interviews, you should NOT ask for a job or a formal job interview. The purpose is to gain insight and develop a network into the company.

Career blast warning: Sending hundreds of digital resumes out without customizing each (the gunshot method) is not effective and can be detrimental to your career… don’t even think about it.

Ultimately, experience is only one piece of the job equation. Obtaining a college degree is also only one piece of the job equation. Though many lacking formal experience often sell themselves short or become discouraged, that tactic makes the slope even slipperier.

What hiring executives look for in a new hire:
* Attitude and professionalism
* Commitment to learn and progress
* Confidence and belief
* The TOTAL PACKAGE

If you can satisfy the above four bullets AND are willing to keep your job search real, you will find career success as companies can’t find enough employees with the total package.

Allow diligence and professionalism to be your guide. Volunteer, network, and hit the pavement with confidence.

Are you interested in developing your own career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters? I can show you the best strategies for a successful interview, how to take advantage of social/professional networking, and ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit “Danny at ECS” on Amazon or go to www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how I can help you.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Delivering Career Diligence

As a business owner, professional writer, and career management specialist, I am often asked “what separates a good employee from a great employee.”

Quite bluntly, in a word: diligence. To put this term into perspective, let’s examine the formal definition and then transmit the concept into an actual application, ultimately relating how the practice of delivering career diligence morphs good into great.

According to numerous resources, diligence is:
* To give a constant effort to accomplish something
* To be attentive and persistent in doing anything
* Done or pursued with persevering attention
* Constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken

With the concept defined above, in order to take full advantage of your career opportunities, you need to recognize the underlying meaning. That is, simply doing the job is not enough AND, in the eyes of the employer, going above and beyond job responsibilities will be rewarded by way of recognition, (hopefully) increased income, and (hopefully) job security.

For the following example, you decide which employee is the keeper during rough times and which two employees would be on the wrong side of right-sizing (by the way, this situation reflects an actual event where I had to make a choice—though the details below are thin, I believe you can still decide their fate).

Workplace reality:

While operating a career management firm, I oversaw an operational crew exceeding 65 employees. I was tasked to reduce our customer service staff by two (leaving eight employed). After narrowing the list of possible employees to terminate to three, a second evaluation stage was undertaken. All of the remaining three performed their job as required by defined roles so the determination was made on bottom-line value and overall contributions.

Overall contributions include such things as attitude, willingness to learn roles beyond defined duties, professional courtesy (actions and attire), getting to work on time, and a proven eagerness to represent the company well.

DSC_0024The candidates were as follows (naturally the names have been modified):

Carmen. She always showed up at work on time and rarely called in sick. She enjoyed her position and had been employed with the company for 18 months. Though she did not ask to learn other aspects of operations, she did lend a hand when she felt comfortable with the task and team. During formal evaluations, she never expressed a desire for professional development… she was content with the way things were.

Vicky. She was a recent graduate and had been employed for nine months with the company. Though originally hired for a management training position, Vicky did not work well with others and displayed an attitude of progress complacency. Her performance was above average and customer service skills were also above average. Over the past year, she also showed up on time and rarely called in sick.

Robert. He was still within a 90-day probationary period and was introduced to the company via an externship opportunity. Though “green” in several areas, he seemed eager to learn more than what his job defined. He extended a professional and supportive attitude as well as a positive commitment to progress within the company. Robert completed two professional development on-line courses (on his own) to heighten his customer service skills. Just before his formal evaluation, he presented a proposal to streamline in-bound calls which had the potential to save several hundred dollars monthly.

Of the three selections above, which one would you have kept on the team and why?

I chose the one who I felt would progress the company beyond the moment and deliver benefits well into the future. Needless to say, the one I chose stayed with the company after I moved on and became a director of operations in less than one year.

Diligence means more than simply showing up on time or getting the job done. To me, diligence is a commitment to bring the complete package to the table.

What does the concept mean to you? In the comment box, go ahead and share your ideas with the world.

Delivering career diligence tip: Believing is not enough… To survive, you must do… more than enough.

Interested in developing your own career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused books, including how to write effective resume/cover letters, the best strategies for a successful interview, how to take advantage of social/professional networking, and ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions), visit “Danny at Amazon” or go directly to http://www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
http://www.EducationCareerServices.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Snapshot: Framing Shadowman

IMG_8443-2In the not-too distant past, Artist Square’s Racquel Cruz was able to shine light on one of Orlando’s art scene icon, Richard Diaz. Through his words and works, a dominant theme of passion, trust, and eyeing beyond the overlooked define success.

The following interview exposes, in print and digital form, a non-filtered and wide-angled view as Richard Diaz, known in the world of photography as “Shadowman,” responds to:

Richard, explain to our WONO audience a bit about your alter-ego and your favorite photography styles and techniques.

I chose the name “Shadowman” because of a self-portrait I took of my own shadow. Reared from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, my childhood was spent throughout beautiful landscape, mountains, and wildlife. It was during this time that I developed an eye to see beyond land, and I hope my style represents that vision.

When I traveled to the capital, San Juan, to visit my grandfather, I would spend hours in his dark room that he used to develop his work. I have good memories of those special days, watching my dad experimenting with new equipment and developing techniques. He also used me as a model for portraits. I believe these early childhood experiences offered me the inspiration to become a photographer.

Photography runs in my family; from my grandfather, who designed the photography curriculum for the University Of Puerto Rico, my father, a dedicated photographer, and now me. I’m studying photography in one of the oldest photography schools in America, The New York Institute of Photography. I have a passion for  photography, especially wildlife. As an outdoor guy, I love to capture nature and wildlife in its essence, as God created, so you can also enjoy it.

As for my styles, I consider myself an eclectic photographer. I love to experiment on each photo, letting my creativity loose to compose a frame. Some people say that my best photography styles are minimalist photography and portraiture. Some of my best photos are from simple things.

I find a great deal of personal satisfaction capturing those things we take for granted and overlook. I also love to photograph people, to capture their essence and allowing the soul to be exposed.

Capturing the person’s character is the most challenging task of a portraiture photographer. On another personal level, I love shooing portraits in black
and white.

I use a wide array of techniques, from black and white to HDR, falling in surrealism. I like capturing the beauty of morning dew on a leaf, a tiny speck of color on a dark background, shapes, and creating masterpieces.

What can you tell you that makes you unique from other photographers?

I am a firm believer that a good photo comes from the passion for simplicity and the composition of the frame that you create before one shoots. I always said that a good photographer is not measured by the equipment that he uses, but by the ability to compose a great picture from scratch.

As an old school photographer, I compose my pictures in my head, and then I shoot. I don’t depend on computer software to do that part, but to enhance what I just created.

I see beauty in the simplest things around me. I do not have to travel far, or visit famous places in order to create a photo worth a thousand words. In the eye of the beholder, my pictures capture the essence of the subject in my thoughts, and transfer the unimaginable to a real, visible canvas.

Thank you Richard for opening a lens into your world while offering an inspiration for those interested in pursuing photography and art.

For a closer look, you can view more of Shadowman’s artwork here:
http://artists-square.com/m/photos/browse/album/Shadowman-s-Visual-Art/owner/Shadowman

Tracing the local art scene while encouraging individual and community involvement, I am
Racquel Cruz, Founder of Artists-Square http://www.artists-square.com.