Category Archives: Career Development

Seasonal to Permanent Employ

Danny, Elaine, and Beverly at the Longwood Chili Cook Off
Danny, Elaine, and Beverly at the Longwood Chili Cook Off

Over the past few weeks I’ve received multiple follow-up inquiries about the best way(s) to gain permanent employment after accepting a seasonal position.

First of all, glad many are serious about their career progression and are working during the holiday season. Seasonal work offers a ton of opportunities besides earning a few extra bucks.

Second of all, seasonal employment does not always have to be temporary. For a moment, let’s wear a manager’s hat and consider two advantages of hiring and promoting within an existing seasonal pool:

  • Hands on employee evaluation. Think about it, during stressful holiday shopping, employee character and values are constantly tested. Pass this test during the holiday season and you can handle the world. With this said, do you think supervisors and owners do not recognize those employees who work well with customers, who remain calm, and who hold themselves to company standards and expectations, even under the most stressful circumstances? Let me make it clear, they do.
  • Precedence equates to prediction. No doubt you’ve heard this before, but nothing is more indicative of future performance than past performance. For those showing professionalism, a solid work ethic, and a winning attitude during seasonal employment, your actions make loud and clear indications as to what kind of permanent employee you will become.

How do the top two bullets help in your quest to gain permanent employ? Glad you asked…

  • From the first day of employ, believe From the first day of employ, in your mind (and actions) your current position IS a permanent position. In other words, visualize and actualize.
    Here’s a fact
    : The simple act of visualizing goals and performance enhances the probability the event/outcome will become a reality.
    Psychological studies confirm those who believe, achieve.
  • Referring to precedence equates to prediction, make sure each minute at your seasonal position is spent productively. In other words, unless on a scheduled break and out of customer site, do not become involved with Twitter, Facebook, or any other social/digital site. Customers will not take kindly to being ignored and seeing you hunched over your IPhone instead of taking care of their needs. Truth is, customers may not know you are on break and will express their displeasure with managers.
  • Professionalism ALWAYS: At the end of the season, managers/supervisors go behind closed doors to discuss long-term options current and potential employee options. For the record, those currently holding full time positions, nothing is written in stone so you too need to display professionalism at all times.
  • Not being watched and evaluated at all times, think again: Need I say more? Nothing says “I am right for the company” than action. Ultimately, what you do on (and to a degree, off) the clock will be used to support your supervisors’ decision to keep you on full time or let you wonder off like an over-licked candy cane.
  • Customer feedback: If you are in a retail or consumer-based environment, customer feedback can be the determining factor when it comes job security… just saying.

Transitioning from being a seasonal employee to a permanent one is doable and can be quite rewarding. How far and long you go with it depends (mostly) on you.

With this note and holiday music in the background (Loretta Lynn jamming “Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town”), time for me to sip on my second cup of hot chocolate.

Hoping your career journey is an exciting and rewarding one, I am here to help in the process.

For those interested in developing proven career success techniques or securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com or www.CareerBreakOut.com for a complete listing of available services and support or contact me directly at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Career Break Out: www.CareerBreakOut.com
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs

Advertisements

To thank or not to thank, that is the question

So you have not found concrete evidence that a thank you note can help you get that job?

When questioning whether to send a thank you note, keep in mind that the end result is always in your favor.  A thank you note is a second chance at making that first impression.  Your expression of gratitude and recapping of the interview makes you stand out while reiterating to the employer how interested (and qualified) you are in the open position.

Thank you notes also remind the employer why you are the best fit by giving you that second chance at selling your strengths and unique contributions.  Writing a thank you note builds rapport and keeps you fresh in the employer’s mind.

Thank you notes have evolved from a simple gesture of courtesy and appreciation to a self-marketing tool. Now you know the advantages, let’s take a look at a few simple rules to live by when sending a thank you note:

  • Act fast: Send thank you notes within 24hrs of the interview
  • Make an impression: The York Technical Institute reports that less than 4% of applicants send thank you notes. Why not send yours and stand out!
  • Brief and to the point: Do NOT use it to remind them of your interest in the position by rambling into an irrelevant story or repeating the obvious.
  • Grammatically perfect: Proof read and spell check your letter AND have someone else proof it as well.

As many may question the importance of thank you notes, keep in mind that it cannot hurt.  McClure says “While many recruiters and hiring managers say they don’t care about thank-you notes and don’t pay attention to them, you never know if the person you are interviewing with does care

Think about it this way, if they do care, you just added to your chances.  If they don’t care, the only thing wasted was time.

Penned by: Louann Alicea
Your CC Connection

Semantics: What you say and how you say it matters

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m sure you’re wondering why you need to know anything about semantics and how this can help you get the job you want. Semantics is the study of the meaning of language. It also deals with varieties and changes in the meaning of words, phrases, sentences, and text. Just in case you’re still not sure what it means, semantics is what you say and how you say it.

Let’s look at an example of how meaning can change by reviewing the word “create.” Create can mean build, make, construct, erect, compose, or imagine. Another example is how the simple word “on” can have many meanings: on call, on the roof, on cloud nine, on edge, on fire, on purpose, on demand, on top, or on the phone. Semantics helps you choose the most effective words for your cover letter and your resume. You can choose from a list of words to communicate how you are the most qualified candidate for the job. This is why it is imperative that we learn to communicate effectively with those we want to do business with and those who may want to do business with us.

Semantics is communication. It uses different words to imply a desired meaning. Business semantics are what you use to answer the question “What is your greatest weakness?” We wonder why they are asking us this. Did I say something wrong? How do I respond? Your use of semantics can make you seem even more polished and professional when you are able to answer the tough questions that everyone dreads.

Here are some potential responses you might give “My greatest weakness is completing tasks in a timely matter because I’m a perfectionist.” Or you can say “I’m just not that good at finishing stuff.” Dear future employee, please choose door number one! You may also say “I have had issues with project completion.” Do you say that to an interviewer? No! You just may be able to get away with saying “I’ve had some pretty close calls with project completion quite some time ago. Since then I have designed a flow chart that had a timeline for my project completions, and I am able to finish my projects with time to spare.” To add support to your claim, give an example of said project or show them the flow chart.

How can I use semantics to my advantage and why do semantics work? Semantics is the combination of verbal communication, non-verbal communication, and self-confidence. Let’s say you don’t have enough experience for the job you want but are confident that with your previous job history, you can do the job. The verbiage on your resume should highlight your strengths that apply to the position you are applying for.

Let’s take the word “strength” as an example. Instead you can use fortitude, tenacity, stableness, energy, steadiness, or courage. A thesaurus is an excellent resource to help you find other words to add you your vocabulary. In the book Semantics in Business Systems, David McComb states “New words aren’t usually invented; rather new meanings are imposed on the words and phrases already being used.Your use of Semantics is your power and how well you wield it can change that interview into your dream career.

Semantics is always in action, even if you don’t realize it. You may use semantics as a play on words or as an intentional pun. Puns use multiple meanings of words and homophones (where the pronunciation is the same but the spelling and meaning are different). You can say almost anything you want!  If you want to go far in business or anywhere in your life, you must be able to communicate effectively. Semantics is an important portion of the communication process. With your expert use of it you will be a dream to any interviewer and practically any job you apply for will be at your fingertips.

Stay focused, take your time and choose your words carefully. Your future is in your hands.

Hello??? That was semantics!

Penned by Salima Harris
Your CC Connection

Hiring Seasoned Veteran’s: An Employers Advantage

 

Navy Marine Corps FA-18
Navy Marine Corps FA-18

When it comes to seeking employment, those above the age of 50 bring far more than just experience, especially if they are Veterans. They bring traits such as leadership, problem solving skills, and a determination to get the job done right, the first time.

Seasoned Veterans understand the value of things that are vital to any unit, military or civilian, such as dependability, honesty, and integrity. Additionally, being seasoned gives them the added benefit of having the outlook and wisdom that only time and experience can give.

Leadership

On two separate occasions, while serving in the United States Air Force, I was promoted, as a Staff Sergeant, to the position of Non Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Mid Shift Avionics Shop for the F-111 aircraft; once at Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, New Mexico, and the other at Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath, England. In this position, I oversaw the entire shop and all of its functions.

Lifetime civilian and military benefit: I encountered many types of situations requiring me to make major decisions, set schedules, assign duties, and coordinate with other shops in order to accomplish the mission.

During my tour at RAF Lakenheath, I coordinated remote support for our Deployed Avionics Shop at Tiaf, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Storm. Here too, many challenges were faced and met during an actual war-time situation.

Problem Solving Skills

At RAF Lakenheath, our shop was located in an underground facility, with very limited floor space. During Operation Desert Storm, I developed, implemented, and supervised a suitable floor plan and change-over for the new incoming F-15 test equipment and crew while simultaneously removing the F-111 test equipment and crew; no small task, especially during an ongoing war.

Normal daily routines are one thing, but being in the military during war is something else again. Many times I saw the effects of the strain of the enormous pressures that the Airmen were under to fulfill the mission requirements, and how each reacted to it. Sometimes a quick response was required, sometimes filling in for them while they got a much-needed break. Being able to tell when discipline was needed and when it was not, solved many problems and eased the fears of getting into trouble for some minor thing.

Being seasoned presented than a “father figure” many of these young Airmen needed to feel. Resolving mental fatigue, through psychological empowerment, we increased morale. Taking advantage of direct and indirect influence, seasoned veterans helped our unit to achieve and maintain a Fully Mission Capable status and ultimately helped our military win the war.

Commitment 

As a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO), one is not only a Supervisor, but a trainer, manager, scheduler, and counselor. In the Air Force, the normal duty day is 8 hours, but during an exercise, or even in wartime, you train like you fight: whatever it takes. The shifts could be from 8, 16, 24, or even 36 hours, whatever was required to accomplish the mission. Being seasoned, one understands commitment to goal attainment, this is our way.

Many times I slept at the shop because the job required that I be there around the clock. And many times I worked triple shifts so that some of the younger, less experienced troops could get food, catch a quick nap, or write a letter home; all things that greatly contributed to the overall success of the mission. Also, times like these presented the perfect opportunity to give additional training under circumstances and conditions that would otherwise be extremely difficult to reproduce, so the training was doubly valuable.

Employer’s Value

For the seasoned Veterans 50 and above, everything begins with attitude.

Being a Veteran means that a person has been both military and civilian. As such, the Vet has seen and experienced things most other people will never experience. There are however, some things that are just common to life, either military or civilian.

Stress is a big factor in both kinds of life, and the Veteran has seen his or her share and knows first-hand how to handle it. By rule of thumb, first, take a deep breath, analyze the situation, choose the best course of action, and go for it! There is no “I” in the word “TEAM”, and more often than not, it is a team effort that makes the difference.

Another factor is recognition. The Vet knows the importance of recognizing when a job is well done, and just how good it makes the junior person feel to be recognized for their performance. And lastly, morale. This is one factor that can make or break any team or civilian organization, and the Vet is all too aware of this.

Morale is the glue that holds a unit together, and the unit is only as strong as its morale. Find a unit with good morale, and you will find a good leader there as well. Veterans are not better than anyone else, but they do have more experience in more areas than most others, and they have also been tested under fire, so, hire a Vet!

Penned and contributed by:
Robin Cline
Your CC Connection

Career Success: Your Call to Action

We started the New Year with a critical recognition that nothing has to stay the same. With that encouragement, we began to visualize possibilities for the future, allowing imagination to take flight. After reflecting on these and ruling out careers that you will absolutely not pursue, it’s time now to create a plan of action that will get you closer to the career of your dreams.

This next step is called a T-Chart. Mentioned in the first blog of the New Year, this is a great way to begin your plan of action. Here is a very basic example, with the generic plan of getting “a job”. You’ll notice that the left column lists the requirements of accomplishing the task listed at the top, and the right column lists actions that you must take in order to meet those requirements.

Of course, your T-Chart will be much more specific. You should make one of these for each realistic career possibility that you came up with during your brainstorming. You may need to research the essential requirements for each chart you make and the steps you must take to meet those requirements. Don’t forget – This is your future. The only thing standing between you and the career of your dreams is you.

Career Reality: This is the way to identify and reach goals. Putting your thoughts on paper and organizing them will help you see your next steps. Don’t forget also that your attitude is a large deciding factor in how all this works out. Be sure to keep the following in mind as you face the challenge of bringing dreams to life:

Be Willing

Embrace the process. Even if it seems pointless or tedious, trust that it is not. The discipline and organization of thought alone will be worth your time, and will help prepare you for whatever is in your future. A wise person once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Don’t fall into that trap.

Be Realistic

This is about finding a career that will make you shine. It’s not just about finding the job that will pay you the most for the least amount of work. Don’t give into that fantasy. You are looking for the place where your capabilities and your passions meet. That is true success.

Be Positive

If you start making your T Chart and you see the list of requirements growing, don’t be discouraged. Remember that this is all an adventure that will ultimately lead to a place of fulfillment. We already agreed it wouldn’t be easy, but that doesn’t have to bring you down. See it as the adventure that it is and be excited that this time next week, next month, next year; you will be closer to the goal of your dreams than you ever were before.

Be Persistent

Most importantly, don’t give up. If you can be Willing, Realistic, and Positive, then Persistence will ultimately be a natural side effect. The right career is out there for you. And there is a legitimate process to reaching an ideal position – it’s not just luck. Take these steps and stick with your pursuit of your goals and I promise – you’ll never regret it.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Success: Action

victory

 

 

 

 

We started the New Year with a critical recognition that nothing has to stay the same. With that encouragement, we began to visualize possibilities for the future, allowing imagination to take flight. After reflecting on these and ruling out careers that you will absolutely not pursue, it’s time now to create a plan of action that will get you closer to the career of your dreams.

This next step is called a T-Chart. Mentioned in the first blog of the New Year, this is a great way to begin your plan of action. Here is a very basic example, with the generic plan of getting “a job”. You’ll notice that the left column lists the requirements of accomplishing the task listed at the top, and the right column lists actions that you must take in order to meet those requirements.

Image

Of course, your T-Chart will be much more specific. You should make one of these for each realistic career possibility that you came up with during your brainstorming. You may need to research the essential requirements for each chart you make and the steps you must take to meet those requirements. Don’t forget – This is your future. The only thing standing between you and the career of your dreams is you.

Career Reality: This is the way to identify and reach goals. Putting your thoughts on paper and organizing them will help you see your next steps. Don’t forget also that your attitude is a large deciding factor in how all this works out. Be sure to keep the following in mind as you face the challenge of bringing dreams to life:

Be Willing

Embrace the process. Even if it seems pointless or tedious, trust that it is not. The discipline and organization of thought alone will be worth your time, and will help prepare you for whatever is in your future. A wise person once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Don’t fall into that trap.

Be Realistic

This is about finding a career that will make you shine. It’s not just about finding the job that will pay you the most for the least amount of work. Don’t give into that fantasy. You are looking for the place where your capabilities and your passions meet. That is true success.

Be Positive

If you start making your T Chart and you see the list of requirements growing, don’t be discouraged. Remember that this is all an adventure that will ultimately lead to a place of fulfillment. We already agreed it wouldn’t be easy, but that doesn’t have to bring you down. See it as the adventure that it is and be excited that this time next week, next month, next year; you will be closer to the goal of your dreams than you ever were before.

Be Persistent

Most importantly, don’t give up. If you can be Willing, Realistic, and Positive, then Persistence will ultimately be a natural side effect. The right career is out there for you. And there is a legitimate process to reaching an ideal position – it’s not just luck. Take these steps and stick with your pursuit of your goals and I promise – you’ll never regret it.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Success: Reflection

Image

Last week, you had a chance to let your dreams run wild on paper. Did you surprise yourself? It’s perfectly normal if you did. When I did this, I came up with at least two career ideas I had never before seriously considered. Either way, it’s time to take out those daydreams and reflect on them to pinpoint new and exciting possibilities.

Wondering where to begin? Wonder no more…

Prepare

We’re going to start this reflection with what we did in the middle of last week’s assignment. Chug some water, put some headphones in, and go for a brisk walk. Getting your blood pumping helps you think clearer while boosting your mood for positive reflection.

Get Started

Now, find a comfortable sitting position and lay your brainstorming sheets out in front of you. By this point, these ideas have been bouncing around in your head anyway, so you are probably noticing an inner reaction to certain ones. Perhaps you’ve felt more excited about one idea than others. Maybe you’ve even started fantasizing about pursuing one of your dream careers… don’t be shy, we know you did!

First Cuts

Whether you drew a brainstorming chart or made a set of lists, now is the time to go back over them, removing career ideas that are definite negatives. Don’t cross out any that you’re willing to consider, even if they have more “cons” than you’d care to see.

The only things you want to rule out, at this point, are careers with a high risk to reward ratio. Other than that, this is the time to truly explore possible options… while exploring one thing you cannot forget: KEEP IT REAL.

Prioritize

If something stands out to you as a position or career you can see yourself doing, but perhaps you see obstacles that could get in your way, this is where you prioritize. Ask yourself what really matters. What do you want in a career? What matters most to you?

Go ahead; take an honest moment to reflect as to what you really want in a career…

Remember: This is not about finding something easy. This is about exploring possibilities of a calling that you may have ignored out of some disillusioned obligation to practicality. Maybe you were told (and actually believed) that what you really wanted to do wasn’t practical or you couldn’t do it.

Don’t let your life be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don’t give in to negative cycles of thought or unwarranted criticism from others. Break free and be the person you are meant to be. If you know for sure that you want to do something, then any sacrifices that must be made will be worth it.

Whether or not you keep a journal, write down this reflection time. Keep track of how you made the decisions to cut ideas from the list, what made you keep others on, and what your priorities are when searching for that perfect career. This will come in very handy and can help keep you accountable while you’re on the actual search.

We’ll be discussing the power of affirmations and visualizing your career in upcoming publications… so keep tuned in.

Good luck, have fun with today, and look forward to the great things tomorrow offers!

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com