Tag Archives: job seekers

Cross Country Career: To go or stay?

DSC_0341Continuing from our previous cross country top three considerations, it’s time to evaluate emotional specifics and locate/resolve potential psychological/financial dissonance. I know you were expecting cover letter and resume tips this time but going there may be a bit premature.

Truth is: Before investing a great deal of energy in your career relocation decision, establish the groundwork.

We best begin with a balanced mindset by answering the following two questions:

  1. What are the top three reasons you do NOT want to remain in your current area? (Recognizing driving forces pushing you away must be dealt with… you know you want to leave, but why?)
  2. What are the top three elements you will miss after relocating and how will you resolve the emotional / psychological dilemmas? Though you may not want to accept it, there are fragments of your current condition you will miss. This could be anywhere from environmental to family to a favorite place to hang out… and throw in a friend or two. Purpose of this step is to ensure the right decision is made by recognizing and acknowledging what is really going on.

Once the above questions and answers are reflected upon honestly, decision time has come. If you have family or an attached one, I suggest discussing with those in your circle your determination to relocate. Being prepared by acknowledging both sides of the fence and discussing with a loved one or peer helps place considerations into perspective.

Truth is: Packing and rushing out the door rarely ends with success.

Once a final decision has been made and you are determined to pack your bags, take stock at the inventory of assets at hand and projected expenses. In other words, with an unclouded head, take a realistic look at:

  • Budget:
    • Are you financially prepared to live without steady income for several months?
    • Do you have a savings account or money in reserves?
    • How much money will it take to live to your satisfaction on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
    • Are you emotionally prepared to sacrifice leisure items until your feet (and employment) are securely on the ground?
  • Housing:
    • Where will you be staying?
    • Where will your clothing be stored?
    • Have you priced apartments as well as cost of living?
  • Transportation:
    • Do you have a reliable vehicle?
    • What will you need to alter your driver’s license to fit the new state?

The top three considerations cannot go ignored (as they often are); to better prepare in the review/evaluation stage, perform due diligence by taking advantage of Internet research. A great beginning can be found at ONETOnline.org. At this free Internet source, information regarding job duties, responsibilities, and expectations are a click away. Additionally, on this site job postings and salary averages can be detailed.

If you know the city/state of particular interest, check out their city websites and get the “feel” of where you will be living. One area many of my clients neglect to consider is the weather. For example, several unhappy clients from Florida decided to relocate to Minnesota. They moved during the summer months, happy as a lark. Then winter arrived… suddenly the lark decided snow, wind, and plowing white stuff was never consideration. Three weeks into the season, they returned to a snow-less sunny state. For many, Chicago (or Minnesota) could be a deal breaker simply due to the weather.

Okay, you’ve spoken to several peers, family members, and/or friends about the move. You’ve also performed diligence and fully understand the basics of the relocation. Now what?

Remaining patient but progressive is the key to career (and professional) success. Next time we’ll look at one of the most important vehicles available at your fingertips, the cover letter.

The cover letter hooks the reader by giving him/her a reason to continue and consider you as a potential candidate. Even for those not considering a move, you will find value in what’s coming up in our next episode. In other words, don’t miss out.

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

Avoid Bad Goodbye’s

Thought this job would be different.”
What did I get myself into and how do I get out?”
The company culture’s not what I thought it would be.”

DSC_0143Truth is: Great career matches don’t always happen.

The interview went well. The company appeared to be consistent with career goals. The culture felt comfortable…

. and then the honeymoon stage suddenly crashes to a screeching end as testified by new tossing, turning, and teeth grinding that not-so subtly replaced peaceful slumber.

Maybe this job and company isn’t the match I thought it would be.”

Coming to the realization that your job is not what you thought it would be, there are options when it’s time to part ways. As a career coach, I’ve heard and seen them all (well, almost all).

Let’s examine a few farewell options and potential consequence(s):

  • Remain silent: Don’t bother showing up the next day; becoming invisible by hiding your phone and not responding to any form of communication. Simply stated, this is not a positive way to say (or not say) goodbye.

    I know it can appear to be the path of least resistance but there are potential consequences you should be aware of. For example, as you move from company to company, so do others and, as a result, paths may cross once again. Imagine going to a final interview and the decision-maker happens to be the same lady you walked out on. Need I say more?

  • Saunter the alleyway of dishonesty: Placing the burden of departure on a third party or out of control circumstance may seem appealing but can also be lined with rusty edges. With social networking and transparency, deceit has a way of catching up with the most noblest of causes. In many industries, clubs, associations, and networking events more often than not bring out the truth.

    Take for example what happened to me not too long ago… after two months of working remotely, one of my employees kept delaying projects, blaming a destroyed hard drive, a broken engagement, a medical condition, and Internet issues as the reason(s) for not delivering material. Needless to say, I later found out this employee accepted a job from another publishing company and has been on the clock for both companies during a four-month period. Knowing the manager at the other publishing company, we engaged in a chat… the young lady who had two jobs at once suddenly had no job at all.

  • Broken promises: Trying to mitigate the situation by promising to continue  on a project or return equipment without actually delivering is not in your best interest. Employers recognize matches don’t always happen and are well-prepared to such break ups. With this said, a deceitful separation can be the most damaging of all.

    Over the past few months I had to let go one of my employees. During the exit interview, he stated he would complete a committed project and would return borrowed equipment. Great, I thought, only the weeks passed and nothing thus far.

  • Honesty: The best policy is to respectfully discuss the parting; calmly and professionally explain to your immediate supervisor the cause(s) of dissatisfaction. For the vast majority this may be the most difficult as emotions have a tendency to get in the way of rational thought; after all, you just want to get out and never look back… right?

    Truth be told, employers admire employees expressing confidence and the guts to come forward. Though difficult for some, benefits far outweigh a few anxious moments leading up to the discussion. Even if you’ve been working for a short period, character and doing the right thing is a lifting trait. Over the past ten years I’ve had numerous employees (some under the probationary period while many with over five years of experience working for me) openly and respectfully discuss their parting intent and the reasons behind their desire.

    The benefit of up-front honesty allowed me the opportunity to fix the issue(s) and retain a possibly great employee… making it right for all. Another reason (and perhaps the most compelling for the departing employee) is the potential reference and networking opportunity. Within the past few years I’ve sent several past employees job leads and made numerous professional introductions…

    . when it comes to character, nothing could be more valuable for most positions.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you, to learn more about your company, and gain valuable insight. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the challenges and opportunities are something I can take advantage of right now…”

Saying goodbye can be a tricky proposition, filled with emotion, stress, anxiety, fear, and ultimate relief. Recognizing you are not the only party in the relationship, being open, respectful, and honest may be the best career move of your life. Hard to believe… but it’s true.

Career tip: Don’t have a bad goodbye. Do the right thing for all by controlling fear before fear controls your career.

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

Empowering, Energizing, Employment

Today your life can change.

For job seekers, recently graduated students, and/or professionals dissatisfied with their current career track, the Central Florida Jobs Initiative offers a life changing FREE seven-session-job–readiness program. You heard right, free. Well, there are a few strings attached…

The pre-qualifications are as follow:
*  Eighteen years or older
*  High School or G.E.D. (minimum)
*  Transportation to session location
*  Adequate childcare (if applicable)
*  Ability to complete a criminal background

Here’s how this complementary seven-session workshop can empower and energize your employment journey: Developed by the Christian HELP Foundation, the goal is to “equip and empower job seekers to become excellent employees.” This is, in part, achieved by identifying and altering traits, behaviors, and attitudes necessary for success not only during the job search process, but also after a job offer has been accepted.

Though offered monthly, the upcoming module/session dates (with career-focus) are as follows:
Module 1: Creating Your Job Search Plan is scheduled for July 15, 2013
Module 2: Crafting Your Cover Letter and Resume is scheduled for July 17, 2013
Module 3: Networking in the Digital Age is scheduled for July 22, 2013
Module 4: Job Search Tactics is scheduled for July 24, 2013
Module 5: Interviewing and Impressions is scheduled for July 29, 2013
Module 6: Mock Interviews, Financial Wellness, and Legal Assistance is scheduled for July 30, 2013
Module 7: Performance Excellence is scheduled for July 31, 2013

Class times are from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm and are held at the Willow Creek Church, 4725 East Lake Drive, Winter Springs, Florida 32708.

The selection process is as follows:
*  You are required to complete an application
*  Engage in a phone interview
*  Be prepared for a face to face interview

One more thing, participants must attend all modules to complete the program successfully. Not only will these free workshops strengthen your career potential, participants are guaranteed an interview upon successful completion of the program! Additionally, the six-book series used throughout the sessions are another free takeaway. This series, created for the sole purpose of helping you in your career journey, was developed in partnership with local publishers and writers at Education Career Services (www.edu-cs.com) whose career material has helped thousands globally and is yours to take advantage of. This complete hard copy career empowering series is offered only to those participating in the classes.

No doubt about it: Today your life can change.

Please email Zeynep@christianhelp.org for additional information.

Currently, Christian HELP is in the process of looking for instructors for these upcoming classes and would love it if you wish to teach one of our job employment program sessions. Please let Mackenna Bowles, project management intern with Christian HELP, know at mackenna@christianhelp.org that you are interested in instructing one of these classes or participating in mock interviews.

It has been an honor to align with Christian HELP to bring this opportunity to so many throughout Central Florida. If you have any questions, please reach out at the above email addresses or if you wish to contact education career services directly, email me at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how we can help you.

Together we can make the world a better place, one step at a time.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Writer/Editor with Education Career Services
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

CFEC Jobs Initiative Empowers

cfji-logo InitiaveAre you 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.
January 15th concluded the Central Florida Jobs Initiative launch, finding an overwhelming response from all participants. Following up from a previous shout out, Christian HELP, Central Florida Employment Council (CFEC), and Education Career Services partnered with one goal in mind: YOUR CAREER SUCCESS.

Here’s what fellow participants had to say about the empowering sessions:

*  I am ready like I have never been ready before
*  The books were good, organized, and kept me interested
*  All of the instructors cared about our success, that meant a lot
*  I’ve never been so engaged, the value of the sessions went far beyond expectations
*  Role-playing activities will help me understand how to deal with workplace confrontation better
*  Being a single mom without any college, I couldn’t help but feel for Megan. The way you made us see ourselves in the challenges others faced was so valuable. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The six-session jobs initiative workshop classes are once again scheduled to begin next week. If you are serious about career development, gaining the right job, or learning time-tested and proven employment strategies, contact Christian HELP at 407.796.3650 for details. Interactive classes meet twice a week for three weeks.

Qualifying to be part of this complementary jobs initiative series, is as follows:

*  Must clear a criminal background
*  Must have reliable transportation
*  If applicable, must have reliable childcare
*  Must be eligible to work in the United States
*  Must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED
Placing you on top with a competitive advantage, I am scheduled to present and guide session #6 on February 13th. Nothing would be better than to have you join me as we explore what it takes to perform well on the job, gain fellow worker and supervisor respect, and set the foundation to gain promotions and job security.

Each of the six workshops is committed to a specific career lifecycle element. 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. 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?

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

Age Discrimination is Alive and Kicking

Securing a job at any age is difficult. For the older unemployed (anyone over 35) the battle to find employment opportunities can be a humbling and a devastating experience. After all, most at that age are accustomed to a lifestyle where financial quakes damage the individual and the family beyond imagination.

Though discrimination based upon race, age, religion and the sorts is illegal, we all know discrimination is alive and kicking in the hiring process. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that’s just the way it is. Taking a realistic look at what old folks are facing as they apply and interview, it’s time to understand the reasons from the other side of the desk.

Let’s take a moment and look through employer eyes to evaluate his or her justification to overtly break established rules of conduct by excluding the most experienced.

* Old folks are often labeled as expensive whereas younger adults work for less. True or not, no matter your age, it’s about value and return on investment which drives the hiring process. For those oldies out there, your greatest advantage over the youngsters is hands-on experience. First-hand knowledge means less training costs, less job confusion, less attrition, and less professional guesswork. First-hand knowledge also means more work diversity, more problem/resolution issues have been tackled, and an increase of confidence.

* Old folks are only looking to work for a few years while youngsters are seeking a career. True or not (and I lean to not true), employee age is not a good indictor to career tenure. Statistically, workers change their careers 4 to 6 times during their life… that number is expected to increase as technology is creating remote-friendly offices and global competition. Old or young, it is up to you to convince employers that you are looking for stability and your loyalty will not be questioned.

* Old folks carry baggage and they are not worth retraining. What are your thoughts: Why do some employers think this way? True or not, many believe that an employee who has been working in the field for 20 years or more is not willing to change with the times. After all, employers can hire a newbie with a clean slate and not have to worry about bad habits. Your goal, young or old, is to confirm the ability to learn new things and the desire to cross-train into other departments. By doing so, you are showing hiring managers a progressive character and work ethic. Taking advantage of professional development opportunities adds huge points in your favor… sitting back over past 20 years doing the same job over and over again (without attempting to learn or progress) takes points away.

To summarize, discrimination is a part of life, and I suspect it will be a constant tag along. Recognizing what drives hiring decisions (to the good or to the not-so-good) allows one to establish a counter attack, effectually introducing your arsenal of value which will sway perceptions to your favor.

If you have specific situations or questions needing resolve, forward and our team of career professionals will address.

For those interested in cutting-edge career books to guide you along your journey, visit www.edu-cs.com or go to Amazon and search Danny at ECS for a listing of available material.

Danny Hufman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Shadow me @dannyatecs

Career Breakout: Follow Up IS REQUIRED

The following comment and question was presented by Brent Musell several days. Hope it helps and good luck with your search.

“I’ve been sending out resumes but not getting any feedback. I’m wondering if I should also send a follow-up letter and what needs to be said. What do you suggest?”

I get asked this question all the time by job seekers who fear they’re being impatient with their potential employer. Following up after an interview is a given, but should you follow up after sending a resume? It depends… do you want the job?

Jokes aside, research has found that it is truly beneficial to follow up after applying for a position. According to the Findings of a 2011 Global Career Brainstorming Day, “Follow-up is essential. Up to 40% of job seekers who follow-up after sending a resume to a hiring manager secure an interview.”

Think about this from the standpoint of the employer. Many hiring managers try to weed out the resume ‘spray and pray’ candidates from those that are truly interested in the position with the company. Following up is a great way to show that hiring manager you’re genuine.

Of course, it’s not as simple as contacting the company and saying, “Hey, I’m interested!” There are certain guidelines you need to consider before following up, lest you want to accomplish the opposite (annoying the company):

  • Think of the method you used to apply for the position. Some companies use online applications and resume submission services. Others are more informal, requiring you to directly speak with the hiring manager first. Remember this level of formality before crafting your actual letter.
  • There’s a fine line between sounding confident and sounding desperate. Assert that you are interested in the position because you feel you would best fit their needs, not because you really need or want the job.
  • Limit your follow up to one occasion (two if the application process is lengthy). Remember, your goal is to remind the employer about your application without annoying them.

Career tip: You always want to come off sounding confident and qualified.

With that said, let’s go over some of the tools you have at your disposal:

Phone Calls seem like an obvious choice based upon the immediate response time but it’s not always that simple. First, it’s not always easy to find the phone number of the hiring manager; what’s more, you may not even be able to get a hold of them because of their busy schedule. Repeated attempts to reach may frustrate the individual and make you appear desperate. If you choose this method, make one call and leave a message—that’s it.

E-Mails are quick and easy, requiring little effort on both your part and the employer’s part. The employer can read it at any time and your follow up will not be “live”, so to speak. However, this is also the problem with e-mails; they don’t really demand any attention at all and may become lost in an employer’s Inbox (look at your own Inbox for a frame of reference).

Career tip: If you email, capture their attention with a strong subject line such as “Interested in (position title)” or “Application follow-up” that let’s the employer know not to mark the message as spam or delete it.

Hard copy letters are the most popular and the most effective. In the shoes of the potential employer who receives an average of 50 applications, setting yourself above the pack can be accomplished with a quick, formal, typed letter. Going a step further, the hiring manager (typically) will take your hard copy letter and staple it to your application, giving you a second look to impress.

No doubt you’re wondering about content…

Content and tone sets the stage and will determine success or failure. It’s not enough to simply say you’re following up after submitting your resume. What you write or say is just as important as the act itself. One constant is you should keep it short—best not to use up too much of the employer’s time. Typically two or three paragraphs will do but much depends on the job position and what you bring to the table.

Besides stating your purpose, you always want to leave your contact information, should they need to contact your further. In the case of e-mails, it’s not always easy to determine a candidates name from the message itself.

For phone calls, you especially want to keep the conversation short to avoid a ramble. Something along the lines of, “This is _____ calling. I recently applied for the _____ position in (company’s name and department). I’m calling to make sure you received the resume I submitted. I’m interested in this position, so I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.”

Always remember to format your letter or e-mail properly. Standard business letter format is appreciated by almost everyone. For phone calls, write a script or dialogue and practice it until it sounds natural and not rehearsed.

For serious job seekers, I encourage you to visit www.edu-cs.com for additional information and career/professional development products, books, and resources specializing in your success.

Written by Brandon Hayhurst
Education Career Services