Tag Archives: education career services

Job Expectations: What Employers Expect

Once a job offer has been accepted, you agree to the terms, conditions, salary, and expectations placed upon you.

woman and fire blog Jan 2015With acceptance comes expectations… over the next few weeks, we will be clarifying what exactly is expected from you. For today, the employer’s point of view will be simplified; truth is, you were hired not just to do the job, but to champion the company while being professional on and off site.

Doing the job: You were hired to get the job done. You may be the greatest chap in the world and perhaps even smooth-talked your way through the front door, but if you cannot deliver, the back door will soon feel your shadow. Take notes during training, stay late (on your time), research, do, whatever it takes to prove your employer made the right choice.

Scheduled hours: For many (if not most), being at your desk and ready to perform five minutes BEFORE your scheduled time is considered a sin. Latest scoop, employers expect you to be producing from jump. Producing does not mean making or waiting for coffee, running to the bathroom, gossiping, sitting in the parking lot, Facebooking, or any other non-work related function.

Last year I had to council an employee who constantly walked in the front door eight minutes after her scheduled time. In an attempt to justify daily tardiness, she explained how each morning she was in the parking lot, listening to a radio host while thinking about her work day. Unfortunately, until our chat, she felt the parking lot was an extension of the office.

Employers expect you to be functioning on the dot, this includes prior to departure. In other words, do not stretch down the final 15 minutes of your shift. If you must clean up, prep for the night out, look for recipes, or re-discover Facebook’s irrelevance, do it on your time… after your shift concludes.

Champion the company: Employers expect each employee to represent on and off the clock. Given the digital world, instant electronic gossiping, and social networking, what you do, what you say, and what you write will be reviewed not just by friends (and perfect strangers). Fair or not, it’s just the way it is.

We’ve just begun to examine job expectations from the employer’s perspective… oh, there’s so much more to consider. Not too worry, this month is dedicated to getting you in the know while making sure you do not make simple mistakes leading to confusion or termination. In case you’re wondering, the parking lot lady was terminated the following week; for some reason, she just couldn’t grasp this employer’s expectation.

If you have any questions or situations you would like to share, please send it in to me directly or go through the comment box.

To review and consider career development books and resources, including material designed specifically for those transitioning from military service, resume / cover letter construction, networking, and interview strategies as well as employment guidance for ex-felons visit www.edu-cs.com, www.CareerBreakOut.com, or www.2ndChanceUniversity.com.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
dhuffman@edu-cs.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Career Break Out: www.CareerBreakOut.com

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Seasonal Slow or Holiday Go?

December 2012 059With seven weeks to go until Christmas, many seeking employment or a career shift downgrade activities to a seasonal slow. Though I acknowledge the psychological rationalizations to slow to a turtle pace and enjoy the remainder of the year; that lack of action may not be in your best interest. As a result, I strongly recommend the second of two choices: holiday go.

According to recent labor report cards, NOW is the time many companies are hiring. True most opening positions are seasonal and part time, it does not have to stay that way.

Here’s a suggestion: Instead of not earning an income over the next two months, step out of your comfort zone and secure a part time seasonal position. For those afraid or embarrassed to work in retail (and yes, go ahead and admit you have an attitude problem needing resolve), there are benefits beyond standing on your feet. For example, you never know who your next customer may happen to be. Suppose he or she is a hiring executive at a company you have always wanted to work for, by treating the customer professionally and attentively, networking skills can push you into an interview.

True story: Several years ago I was looking for a receptionist and two office personnel. I happened to walk into a Kohl’s and was helped by a young lady with such professionalism that I asked her if she was interested in a position outside of retail. Needless to say, three weeks later, she was one of two selections I found during a holiday shopping spree.

Did you know: Part time often equates into full time… but this is not automatic.

Keys to transitioning from seasonal to full time

  • Always look and act professionally (to peers, supervisors, and customers)
  • Never complain
  • Let your supervisor know you are interested in continuing employment beyond the season
  • Be yourself
  • Don’t be arrogant
  • Don’t fool around, Tweet, or Facebook while on the job
  • Be positive and keep in the holiday spirit

Okay, so you are on the holiday go mindset… now what? Fortunately for you, I happened to be listening to the Clark Howard show this morning. A topic of discussion he presented was entitled “Who’s hiring this holiday season?” For a complete listing, is suggest taking a look at http://www.ClarkHoward.com and check it out for yourself. To summarize, here’s a peek at the top five companies hiring (based on projected hires):

  • UPS: hiring 95,000 seasonal workers
  • Macy’s: hiring 86,000 seasonal workers
  • Amazon: hiring 80,000 seasonal workers
  • Target: hiring 70,000 seasonal workers
  • Kohl’s: hiring 67,000 seasonal workers

Looks like NOW is NOT the time for a seasonal slow.

Hoping your career journey is an exciting and rewarding one, I am always 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? For those at a career disadvantage, take control by taking advantage of one of our most popular guides and learn ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support or contact me at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com

Cross Country Career

DSC_0135In a world where career opportunities are no longer limited to a tight neighborhood stretch, we are, by definition, without boundary.

Good news: The Internet allows job candidates to search and consider regions never before imagined.
Bad news: The Internet has taken your job search from a few competitors to literally thousands of candidates who are also claiming they are the right match.

Job Posting Insight: It is not uncommon for one job opening to receive over 500 responses from candidates far and near.

Recognizing all coins have two sides, how does one take advantage of a global market while, at the same time, not get lost in the crowd? Truth be known, there are no one-way or sure-fire ways to take complete advantage of worldwide opportunities, meaning each individual is left to create his or her unique advantage. Actually, this could be your gain… we’ll get to that later.

When considering a career-search, determining the geographic area must be top on the priority list. In other words, don’t take a gunshot tactic and send applications without regard to location; not only is this a waste of your time, it is a waste of time for the hiring manager. Thus, keep professional courtesy high on your list.

First step: When determining country or county, top three things influencing your decision to consider are:

    • Professional background and educational experience:
      • If you have minimal professional experience and education, hiring managers typically will not consider an out of state candidate. Here’s why: there may be plenty of healthy candidates in the area to choose from and with a large pool, hiring managers often select an applicant with the least amount of risk. For entry level or low-level managers, it is more common (though a few out of town folks can prove me wrong) to select from a nearby pool of applicants.
      • If you have a significant amount of experience or education, your value increases instantly and so does your reach. Additionally, the risk factor decreases, meaning the chances of you working out begin to sway in your favor. To the high-skilled advantage, the pool of applicants shrinks as fewer are able to support the many contributions offered, effectually magnifying a second look from the hiring manager.
    • Family: For the individual with a spouse and two kids (just an average family size), moving across the state or country is not only physically demanding, it can also be costly, financially and psychologically (imagine the nagging spouse and kids yelling “are we there yet” every two miles).
      • Advantage: If you are lugging a family around, chances are you are more committed to succeed in the new position (inherently more at risk to lose—who wants to hear the nagging spouse and kids on the rebound? Not me) than others in the area. Bringing this point up during a phone interview could give you an advantage, no, not the stuff about the nagging. Hiring managers recognize applicants willing to sacrifice and relocate for a position are serious about their intentions and more likely to stick around through choppy times.
      • Disadvantage: For the young stand-alone candidate, it is not uncommon for the hiring manager to discount applicant seriousness as the current open position may simply be a medium to relocate and, once in the new city, will look for a more interesting job. To mitigate this perception, if the applicant is able to show a proven job history, kudos to you. If you are a recent college graduate, you can use that for your advantage by creating a sincere interest to take your talents to conquer novel challenges. In many ways, it is easier to support cross-country traveling as a recent graduate than any other candidate.
    • Career interest: Follow your dream… period. If your dream career hot-spot is concentrated in a specific region, go for it… no matter what.
      • Advantage: Contrary to what many people think, phone interviews say much more than words. Hiring managers pick up on tone, pace, context, and patterns, giving clues about the person on the other end of the line. For the person truly interested in the job (and worth further consideration even if miles away), passion can be your trump card. When asked about a responsibility, if the voice speeds up, increases in depth, and “feels,” hiring managers take notice.

    • Disadvantage: If passion for the job is not displayed over the phone, no hiring manager would ever give second consideration to bringing in an applicant from afar. Here’s a few clues indicating noninterest:
      • Long pauses between sentences
      • Lack of questions from the interviewee
      • Monotone responses backed by “yes” or “no” answers
      • Lack of research and knowledge about the company and area

        Career tip
        : Confidence is contagious!

For those considering a move across the country (not the county), these three topics need time for conversation and reflection. But this is just the beginning of the career adventure.

First: the decision
Second: the design

In our next submission, we will take a few minutes to examine effective design methods one can use in cover letters and beyond.

Are your bags packed? If so, hold’em up as we need to chart out a map. Thing is, how can you hit the road without knowing the destination.

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? For those at a career disadvantage, take control by taking advantage of one of our most popular guides and learn ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support or contact me at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com.

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

Career without Care

DSC_0123Think about it, without CARE, there can be no CAREer. Several days ago the realization that the first four letters of career is a word all by itself rushed to the forefront of my imagination. Naturally, and for those who know me, forefront occupancy will never be enough as the next question rebounded recklessly: “Other than residing under the same roof, could there be a connection?”

For many, the concepts of career and care have nothing but a few letters in common. While it can be quite obvious for the satisfied few, a career without care simply never would do. Typically this is where I would ask: “How do you define your work and performance effort? Do you care about your career or does a distinction exist, if so, where?”

Unsure, here’s a quick list indicating four letters may be missing in your life: “if you…”

  1. Are unhappy
  2. Curse the clock for its apparent slow-motion tease
  3. Use vacation time the moment it becomes available
  4. Never arrive at work early or remain until the project is complete
  5. Wake up each morning with cold sweats, leg cramps, and a migraine
  6. Take an extra ten minutes in the kitchen area stirring your morning cup
  7. Daydream about winning the lottery, believing this will be your lucky week
  8. Can sleep only after artificial elements have been introduced into your body
  9. Multi-task with Facebook while texting more than work duty accomplishments
  10. Pretend to work the final 30 minutes of your shift… tip of the day, you’re not fooling anyone except yourself

As a career coach, I insist one cannot live contently without the other. In other words, if one does not “care,” there can be no “career.” Bet you’re asking for advice on how to put “care” back in your “career.” Am I right? Thought so.

I’m not a guru offering a sure-fire cure to career unhappiness. The resolve is as unique as you are and must come from you, actively. In other words, happiness does not enter unannounced or without conscious AND physical effort.

Good news on the side, it is NEVER too late for happiness… if you believe otherwise, well, I guess it may be too late.

Moments mirror: With such a grand portion of life defined by our career, it would be shame to regret what could have been if only… if only “Career held Care.”

By now, I hope you are scratching your head, not in confusion but resolve. NOW is the time to grab those four letters in your life and career, holding on tightly and never letting go. 

Truth is, there are no certainties other than this moment, not even this evening is guaranteed. I now ask one simple request, for the next five minutes, SHOW you self you care and then SHOW someone you love… little things like this will move mountains… just gotta trust me on this one.

Turning another year older today, I am…

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

TI (10) Motivation: an elusive slinky

DSC_0272Motivation is a mysterious animal. One day she’s held comfortably among stable reminders as to why one works with diligence while the next day she slithers away like an elusive slinky, justifying a day-to-day humdrum. Once distracted from course, regaining ones most-wanted mojo can be quite the chore.

Examining David’s situation, being a victim of an illegal termination placed a heavy burden beyond the surface, affecting mojo like soul without shadow. I recently spoke to David and asked about the concept of motivation.

David: “Not sure why, but I can’t seem to get out of the funk. I’m researching positions and trying to get a grip on options. The hardest thing is getting the right mindset. You see, I committed myself completely in my last position and to have it all taken away like it was. I wonder if people get off on being mean. I wonder if Bertha got off when she did what she did.”

Danny: “I don’t think people are inherently mean or find their mojo by placing pain in others. Then again, what you say about Bertha may prove this theory wrong; who knows, maybe karma’s boomerang will come face to face to her soon. Truth is, everyone goes through tough times. Statistically speaking, the majority of employees experience downsizing. What you are going through is not yours alone, though it feels like it. Best thing to do is continue with positive affirmations and turn this challenge into an opportunity.”

David: “Challenge into an opportunity, seriously? I got fired, no challenge there.”

Danny: “I know it’s hard but take a look at how you define you. Not how others define you. Last week we discussed the idea of ‘living or existing.’ It’s clear you’ve been existing, not living. Again, you are not alone as most don’t live, they exist. Look around, people exist in the Thorazine zone, wasting good air while pretending to be alive. Truth is, most live in a walking coma.”

David: “Yeah, seems like by the end of the day I just go to bed without accomplishing anything except doing a good job at doing nothing. Guess I’m in the zone too. There are things I’ve been thinking about doing. One thing I’ve always wanted to do.”

Danny: “That’s it. The one thing you’ve always wanted to do. That’s where motivation fuels life and life, in turn, fuels motivation. I encourage you, as I encourage everyone, to follow that one thing. What is it you’ve wanted to do and how does it make you feel when thinking about that one thing?”

David: “Write a book. Not sure it would be a best seller but thinking about sharing my life, my struggles, and getting back up, how this could be an inspiration to others who stumbled or found life to be a heavy burden. I find passion and reason just thinking about doing it, is that the motivation you’ve been talking about? Problem is, what do I do once I know what I want to do?”

Danny: “Do it.”

The ability to recognize and capture motivation does not come with a set of directions. David had to undergo an unfortunate circumstance to find and pave what he truly wants.

What about you? Are you on the path forged by coincidence or one forged by your own dreams? Are you finding satisfaction in your work, in your life, and in your world? Are you motivated? If not, why not?

Why not, I ask? Here’s a clue, FEAR. Fear destroys motivation by trapping dreams inside a door-less room. In the beginning of this article, an elusive slinky was referenced to describe motivation. Upon additional reflection, I don’t think that’s an accurate statement.

Motivation is not elusive, it is either wanted or unwanted. Prove to me if this is untrue. Toy with me for a moment: In your life has good enough been good enough and will always be good enough? If so, you proved me right.

Hard truth: In life, there are no dress rehearsals… got it?

I coach people to live, not to exist. It brings comfort to know David is beginning to tread upon his dreams and is motivated to conquer personal and professional challenges. I think he wants it and looks forward to his story; no doubt it will prove to be interesting. As for you and your mojo, I’m not so sure…. Are you?

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how ECS can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Blog site: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Terminated… What now?

DSC_0379With employment tenure averaging two – three years, goodbyes are something we all will end up doing more than once. Though professional and personal relationships vary in depth and degree, both do have much in common. For example, in personal relationships, one is likely to run across the “other” now and then, be it in restaurants or social networking. In a professional setting, revisiting previous job positions and experience gained will also be common for years to come.

Given similarities between personal and professional, truth is, there are differences. I need not delve into the obvious and will concentrate on the professional side of reality: moving from one job to the other. When it’s time to continue your journey, two typical scenarios come to mind: voluntarily and not-so voluntarily. As we recently reviewed the voluntary side of leaving, this time we’ll concentrate on the not-so-voluntary side by examining common stages and how to react as destroying bridges is rarely in our best interest.

Being asked to leave a position is never easy, but, for many, an experience to be encountered. For those who have not had the displeasure, the initial shock of being asked to clear out personal items can suffocate reason while, at the same time, unleash irrational behavior and/or words (typically stated for the world to hear). Recognizing the temptation to lash out may be great, it is strongly recommended you keep calm about the situation, remain professional in all areas, and respect the decision (even if you do not understand the reason).

Feeling vulnerable under stressful situations lends itself to denial. “How can this be?” “I’ve given you five years of dedicated service!” “I’m the best worker here.” “This company can’t operate without me.” These words are often expressed by the one asked to leave at the onset… once denial no longer rules and reality barges in, the next common reaction, anger, shows in various forms.

Consistent to the loss process, the initial reaction of denial typically morphs into anger. Again, this is not the time to display anger… come to think of it, NEVER is the time to act out anger. For those giving into anger temptation, the negative effects of a shouting or shoving match is rarely rewarded. Truth is, bridges tumble quickly if anger is not controlled.

For the easy-anger triggered, hold off for a better time and place. Though hard to resist, keep self-talk from burning future references. If you are at the point of boiling over, do whatever possible to take the high ground, leaving the work environment peacefully and safely go to a place where calm can be restored. For many, this would be home, a park, a long drive, a movie, or even just a walk in the mall. Diffusing potential conflict is ALWAYS the first and safest choice.

Measured by a change in attitude, anger often dissolves into a feeling of hopelessness or depression. If you find yourself at this stage, time to recognize you are not alone as most people have worn those very shoes. How you react during this stage can create a powerful new and progressive you or it can diminish personal as well as professional attitudes. Ultimately, this is the time to accept the past as what it is…the past and begin developing a new you. Concepts such as positive daily affirmations and visualizations can help you along the way. On the other side of the coin, holding anger can destroy many tomorrow’s.

Knowing tomorrow is going to be a great day begins with attitude and action. Positive affirmations should be a part of the daily routine (this goes for everyone) as you make a career and life transition. Instead of beginning the day with a “this day is going to suck” attitude, begin the day with a “nothing is going to stop me from succeeding” attitude. Naturally you will devise personal affirmations fitting your situation. The thing is, by telling yourself “today is going to be a great day,” actions will begin to make this into a reality; even if you have to fake it until you make it.

Visualizations refer to “pictures” of how tomorrow will become. Keep your pictures of the future real while developing images of what you want and, at the same time, create a plan to secure each image. Knowing where you want to go is half the journey. The second have involves the plan (we’ll get to the “how” in later blogs).

Partnering with positive affirmations and visualizations, feelings of hopelessness and/or depression will transition into an attitude of acceptance. Here’s another truth, once you accept a job loss, positive growth can come about.

Being on the wrong side of downsizing is never easy while burning bridges can be as simple as saying the wrong thing during an irrational moment.

If approached and asked to pack your bags, think (more than twice) before speaking or lashing out. I know it’s quite tempting to “give’em a piece of your mind” but hold off a few days to consider alternative options and their consequences.

By recognizing the probable psychological stages to be encountered, you can better prepare for the “just in case” situation.

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? For those at a disadvantage, take control of your career by taking advantage of one of our most popular guides and learn ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact me directly: dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Danny Huffman, 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

HSP Career Advantage Summarized

I appreciate all the comments and e-mails on our series of blogs about Highly Sensitive People in the workplace. Many reached out to say, “this is me, I never knew, where can I turn now?”

DSC_0062Your comments are inspiring and wonderful. I want you to know that you’re not alone. You should see this outpour of response and recognize that you’re not the only one sitting at a desk or standing behind a counter with a fake facial expression, a bleeding heart, and a passion for something outside of your current job. You’re not the only one affected by sounds and atmosphere in a way that makes others doubt your abilities. And none of this makes you a lesser person.

I received explicit questions about specific career moves for the Highly Sensitive. In light of them, I’ve decided to do a recap for those who missed the discussion last year.

For the Creative:

The Creative HSP is the one who can take their sensitivity to their environment and translate it into amazing art. This can come in so many forms that you need to look deep down, explore online, and find the option that will fit you. If you can find writing positions that fit your life, go for it. Get into graphic design, filming and editing videos (even if you just start with small parties or weddings), or even marketing, which could showcase a remarkable amount of creativity for the right HSP.

For the Empathetic:

This is the kind of Highly Sensitive Person that works best with people, giving off warmth and compassion in a way that creates trust between the consumer and the business. Empathetic HSPs make amazing teachers, nurses, counselors, and even customer service representatives in the right atmosphere.

For the Precise:

The Highly Sensitive Person that is drawn to detail, flourishes in quiet independence, and excels in numbers, figures, and linguistics, genuinely should find a good home in programming, accounting, fact-checking, and researching, just to name a few. Working in a library might suit you incredibly. With your skills and determination to justify them, any employer would be lucky to have someone trustworthy, accurate, and talented like you sitting somewhere undisturbed to verify, catalog, or calculate.

The point is, you can’t sell yourself short. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Employers need people just like you to balance the workplace and to offer the natural gifts that you have. No matter how old you are, or what level of experience you have, it’s never too late to start offering those gifts now. Begin with volunteer work, and share your talents with those who need them. You’ll find your way. Somehow, we always do.

Take care, and keep the e-mails coming!

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