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EMPLOYMENT

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Issue #211

Table of

CAREER TRAINING

On The Cover:

Marinello Schools of Beauty (see ad on page 9) FEATURE CareerSmart Preparing for the Possibility of Losing Your Job in Weak Economic Times........................................................ 6

EDITORIALS Yes, You Can Be FINANCIALLY INDEPENDANT................................... 8 The Pros and Cons of Taking a Survival Job............. 12 Publishers Don Ditlevsen • Gregg Kirksey Graphic Design/Production Itay Kapitulnik Contributing WriterS Michael Angier, Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. Advertising Sales Dwight Follien • Dan Mendoza Circulation Circulation Management, Inc. • S.F. Bay Distributers Publishers Flag Distributing • Newspaper Taxi Editorial & Advertising Office 5610 Scotts Valley Dr. Ste. 516, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 Tel: 831-430-0839 • Fax: 831-430-0698

Pick Up CareerSource for Free at: Book Stores • Shopping Centers • Job Fairs Post Offices • Libraries • Career Centers and many more! Over 1,500 pick up locations in the Bay Area CareerSource copyright 2009. CareerSource Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States. CareerSource is published once a month and distributed free. All manuscripts submitted at owners risk; all become property of the publisher. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission from the publisher is prohibited. To receive a 1 year subscription send a check for $20 with your name and address to: CareerSource Magazine, 5610 Scotts Valley Dr. Ste 516, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, Attn: Subscriptions. This publication does not knowingly accept deceptive or misleading advertising. Any job offer requiring an investment should be thoroughly investigated.

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EMPLOYMENT CAREERSMART

Preparing for the Possibility of Losing Your Job in Weak Economic Times By Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. Let’s start with something positive: the job market will get better. Even though we are bombarded with news of company collapses, massive layoffs, and talk of the unemployment rate hitting close to 8 percent in 2009, we should stay focused on the things we can control -- which include things like upholding strong job performance, building a strong internal and external brand, and keeping a strong hold on the reality of your situation. In any economy, no one’s job is safe, but in a weak and unstable economy, the concept of job security goes off the table. What can you do to prepare yourself for this type of work environment? Here are 10 steps to developing your job, career, and life survival plan. 1. Don’t stick your head in the sand. While it’s a natural inclination to avoid -- or hide from -- bad or potentially bad news, you must stay alert to the signs that your company or your job (or both) are in trouble. Numerous signs will suggest that your job may be in jeopardy, including problems the company is facing (such as corporate restructuring, big drop in earnings, and rumors of a merger or acquisition) and factors related to you and your job (such as being reassigned from strategic projects, not being invited to key team meetings, and negative comments from your boss). Read about all the signs your job is on shaky ground in this article on Quintessential Careers: Is Your Job in Jeopardy? Impending Layoff Warning Signs. Once you see the evidence stacking up, jump into action to protect yourself, your job, your marketability, your finances, and your family. 2. Create or strengthen your distinctive niche/ personal brand. Most of us -- in normal times -- don’t spend a lot of time on our careers. We’re so focused on doing our job to the best of our abilities that we sometimes lose sight on the importance of building and promoting our career brand. While your job is not in jeopardy, you should be taking advantage of your employer’s benefits to further your education, training, and certifications. But even when your job is in jeopardy, track your accomplishments weekly and develop a clear and distinctive niche -- a personal brand -- that you can use as a key tool to find your next job. Of course along with building your brand, you also need to retool your resume, polish your interviewing strategy, and seek opportunities through a variety of methods (including the all-important method of networking, step #4). 3. Develop a career strategy -- with multiple options. You always want options, but in a bad economy or when trying to safely jump from a dying organization, job-seekers need a strategy with multiple options… you need not only Plan A, but also Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D. Your main career goal should be your top option, such as another job in the same field. But when you face the possibility of getting downsized, it’s also an opportunity to evaluate what you really want to do in the next phase of your life -- which

might include changing careers. You also may need to consider taking an interim job, such as temporary work or consulting. A final option to have on the table is simply a job that will pay the bills until things get better (what experts call a survival job -- see step #9). Even if you’re the type that hates planning, now is the time to map out some potential exit strategies that are best for you. And, most importantly when conducting your planning, follow Apple’s strategy and “think different” to uncover multiple career options. 4. Stay connected with your network. If your industry is contracting and/or your employer is likely to announce a company-wide restructuring and downsizing, chances are most people in your network have already heard the rumors. Too often in times of trouble -- when we should be reaching out to our network of friends and contacts for their assistance -- we hide in shame or embarrassment. Bad things happen to all of us at one time or another. Swallow the bitter pill as quickly as possible and begin talking, phoning, and emailing all the people in your circle -- from friends and family to former co-workers and bosses. Seek their advice and ask for information about people they know who may be hiring. In other words, your mission is to seek job leads that you can lead you to a new job. Along the way, you can also ask for career advice. 5. Get organized at work, gathering contacts and resources. While it is certainly not time to panic -- or cause panic -- it is a good time to get things in order in case a downsizing occurs, and especially if it is one in which employees are told at the end of the business day to vacate the premises -- and not return. So, move all your personal files to a flash drive that you can remove at a moment’s notice. Have your file of performance reviews and what I call “kudos comments” (boss, co-worker, or customer spontaneous notes to you about your good work) on your desk or in a handy location. Personally, I would bring them home today so that I don’t accidently forget them. It’s also a good time to quietly gather co-workers’ personal email addresses and ask a few key people whether they would serve as references for you should anything happen. Of course, also provide your information to others and agree to serve as references for them. If possible, request a copy of your personnel file “for your records.” If your employer is offering severance packages to people at your job level, you should read all the details -- even if you are positive you want to stay with the employer. 6. Prepare your finances by developing a conservative budget. One of the things that many downsized workers do is to keep spending at a level beyond their means -- it’s kind of a way to protect their ego from the reality of the situation -- which just makes matters worse when the bills arrive. Instead, prepare yourself ahead of time and start making adjustments to your budget now so that perhaps you’ll even have a cushion to fall back on if the layoffs become a reality. (continued on page 16)

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EMPLOYMENT EDITORIAL

Yes,You Can Be

Financially Independent By Michael Angier By its very definition, financial independence means to not be dependent on anyone or anything for our financial needs. That requires being free from debt. When asked what they would do if they won the lottery, most people say they would pay off their debts. Just imagine what it would be like not to owe any money! We’d all like to be free from owing money. But something has happened to us over the past couple of generations— we’ve come to accept debt as just another part of modern life. It doesn’t have to be that way. The average American will earn between $600,000 and $2,000,000 in his or her lifetime. But it’s not important what we make—it’s what we keep that makes the difference. The percentage of people reaching 65 who are financially independent are in the small single digits. Over 25 percent of the US federal budget is used just to pay interest on the national debt. Debt has become the new “American Way” and it’s not something to be proud of. Bankruptcies, failed marriages, alcohol and drug abuse, crime and a host of other things can often be related to the scourge of debt. Part of the reason we’ve embraced being in debt for most, if not all, of our lives can be attributed to the fact that everyone else—including our government—is doing it. Owing one, two or even three times as much as we earn in a year would have been horrifying to our grandparents. Had consumer debt—a term unheard of only 30 years ago—not crept into our society gradually, it never would have been embraced. Just think what it would be like if you owed absolutely nothing to anyone for anything. All the payments you pay each month—all the interest, all the worry, the limited choices—would disappear. No more would you have to stay in a job or profession you despise with people you don’t respect. You would feel not only free from debt, but you would experience freedom in many other aspects of your life. Imagine what your life would be like if you only had to pay for utilities, food and entertainment. Would it make a difference in the quality of your life, the quality of your relationships, your health? Of course it would. We can all become debt-free and in less time than you might think. But first we have to get serious about it. It won’t happen by itself. The 40-40-40 plan won’t cut it. That’s working 40 hours a week, 40 years of your life and retiring at 40 percent of what you were making before. Most people work into May of each year, just to pay their taxes to the state and federal government. How many more months do we have to work to pay the interest and principle payments on what we owe? Let’s say that you owe $40,000—not counting your home mortgage—credit cards, furniture, cars, etc. If the average interest on this debt was 14 percent, you’d have to pay $5,600 just in interest each year. On top of that, of course, are principle

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payments. That could easily be another $5,000 to $10,000. Even if you were only paying $10,000 in payments on this debt, you would have to make over $13,000 before taxes to service this liability. If you made $35,000 annually, you’d be working almost five months of that year just to make your payments. Add to that the five months to pay taxes and what have you got left? Is that any way to live? No wonder so many people feel trapped. How Do You Get There? Getting out of debt and staying out of debt is simple. SIMPLE, but not always easy. I want to encourage and support you and your business to become debt-free. I’m confident that you will have more fun, encounter less stress and be more productive. My wife and I have made our plan, we’ve simplified our lives, and we are well on our way to reaching this objective. Our company has no debt and we will personally be free of ALL debt in a short while. You can do it, too. Debt-Free, then Wealth Albert Einstein was once asked what he considered to be the greatest invention of all time. “Compound interest,” was his reply. When you’ve eliminated your debts, you can then start to use this “great invention” and make compound interest work FOR you instead of against you. You will develop an investment portfolio that can make you truly wealthy in only a few years. You can become a true capitalist in the real sense of the word—one who creates capital. And you will be free. You owe it to yourself and those you love to free yourself from the power-robbing, creativity-stifling, worry-causing scourge of debt. After that, you can begin to develop real wealth. Michael Angier, founder of SuccessNet.org, recently released the New SuccessNet Resource Book--the Top Must-Have Tools, Products, Services and Resources for Running Your Business Effectively WWW.CAREERSOURCEMAGAZINE.COM


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EDITORIAL

The Pros and Cons of

Taking a Survival Job By Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. Survival Job: Typically a low-end, low-paying job that a displaced job-seeker takes on a temporary basis (often as a last resort) when unemployed to cover basic living costs, in order to survive and avoid bankruptcy -- or worse. You are out of work, your benefits have expired, and your savings are quickly being depleted. You’ve cut expenses, but you still have those monthly bills to pay. For whatever reason, the employment picture for your profession looks bleak. Now is the time to make a decision about whether or not you should take a survival job -- any job -- just to help you make ends meet until an opportunity in your field opens again. This article discusses the pros and cons of taking a survival job, as well as tips and suggestions for making the best of a bad situation. The Pros of a Survival Job 1. Income. The main reason that people take a survival job is the income needed to cover at least the most basic of necessities, such as food and shelter. 2. Productivity. While many of us may fantasize about a life of doing nothing, in reality, we have a strong work ethic -- and even the most basic survival job makes us feel we are doing our part. 3. Confidence. Being unemployed for any length of time is a blow to our egos, but being back in the workforce may be just the confidencebooster needed to help find a new job in your field. 4. Respect. Most employers report having respect for unemployed job-seekers who are willing to work survival jobs as a means to support their families. 5. Healthcare. If you are one of the lucky ones, you may get healthcare benefits with your survival job so that you and your family do not go without healthcare on top of everything else. 6. Foot in the Door. If you’re lucky, taking a survival job could be just the break you need to establish a reputation for a when a position in your field opens with an employer. The Cons of a Survival Job 1. Lower Wages. No surprise here. Survival jobs do not pay the big money that you may have been getting in your last job, so you will still need to make drastic cuts to your budget and lifestyle. 2. Multiple Jobs. Because of low wages and limited availability, you may be forced to take multiple jobs to even obtain a livable wage for you and your family. 3. Limited Time for Job-Hunting. Working one or more survival jobs means you have less time to devote to job-hunting for a new job in your profession -- and less flexibility in scheduling job interviews. 4. No Future. For most people, survival jobs are just temporary stops -- as temporary as possible -- on the way back to a normal life and a regular job.

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Tips for Survival Jobs & Job-Hunting Remember that old axiom, if life gives you lemons then make lemonade? The same thing goes for being fired/downsized/ rightsized. You can put your ego aside and do the best work you can in that survival job while you await better opportunities or you can become bitter and defeated. As one job-seeker stated, isn’t it better to be underemployed than to not be employed at all? Here are some additional tips related to survival jobs: 1. Knowledge Base. Look for survival jobs where you can learn a new skill and actually add to your marketability. A marketing professional working as a store clerk can quickly learn lessons in customer service, inventory control, and more. 2. Synergy. Consider finding survival jobs that relate to your interests or hobbies. A wine enthusiast might find a job in a liquor store more tolerable than other types of jobs. 3. Best Companies. Seek out companies that have a strong reputation and that may have job openings closer to your specialty at some point in the future. 4. Check Ego. If you decide to take a survival job, be sure to leave the chip off your shoulder and check your ego at the entrance. Take pride in a day’s work. 5. Make Time. Don’t work so many hours that you simply are too exhausted to find time each day to conduct at least a few job-search related activities. 6. Talk with a Professional. You’ll want to decide whether placing the survival job on your resume will help you or hurt you. A career professional may be the best person to help you answer that question. 7. Tough Competition. In bad economic times, you may face stiff competition for even the most dead-end of survival jobs, so be prepared with a strong resume and a positive attitude. 8. Keep Your Spirits Up. Taking a survival job may be a setback, but it’s not a defeat. In fact, some people report having less stress and a more enjoyable life with what they once considered a survival job. Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. WWW.CAREERSOURCEMAGAZINE.COM


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CAREER TRAINING Preparing for the Possibility of Losing Your Job in Weak Economic Times (continued from page 6) You can always find some non-essential items in everyone’s daily or weekly spending, whether cutting back on eating out or walking the few blocks to work rather than taking the bus or subway. Find ways to become more thrifty. If you have any kind of company-based pension plan, now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with the options -- from rolling it into your next employer’s plan to being able to withdraw money to afford your housing, fuel, or food costs. 7. Make use of all your benefits before they disappear. While some employers may pay you for any unused vacation days if you’re laid off, many others will not -- and none will pay you for unused personal days, comp time, or sick days. So, you might consider taking some time – ideally to find a job with a more stable employer. And if you have employer-based health benefits, now is the time to schedule that physical, eye exam, or dental appointment. While you can buy extended health coverage if you are terminated, expect the costs to be double or triple -- or even higher -- than what you had been paying. If you have unreimbursed expenses, submit those receipts as soon as possible. If your employer still has a professional development budget and you find a seminar, class, or certification that can improve your job performance (as well as make you more marketable when job-hunting), go for it. 8. Put together a layoff plan. No one likes planning for bad scenarios, but it makes sense to be prepared for the worst. No matter how much you try to prepare for it, the shock of a layoff is traumatic -- and you will not be able to think straight for quite some time. So, it’s best to develop a plan now, while you are thinking normally. Ideally, develop a one-, three-, and six-month plan to cover the time you may be unemployed. (In a really bad economy, you might want to also develop a one-year plan.) You’ll want to include in the plan contingencies such as money set aside in a layoff fund for the most basic bills; a strategy for telling your partner, family, and your network; a home-equity or line of credit for emergency use; a quiet place in which you can base your new job-search; a revised resume showcasing your skills and accomplishments; and a list of jobsupport organizations and groups. You may also want to include a list of financial and job-search resources, such as the location of the local unemployment office or one-stop career center. 9. Consider a survival job to pay the bills. Depending on the economy, your industry, and your profession, you may not be able to find a job at the same level as you had before the layoff. Never give up on finding that job (or one at a higher level), but there may come a time when you are close to exhausting your savings and other financial resources when you’ll be forced to make a decision about how long you can last without any job and how well you can handle a working in a job that you feel is beneath you but one that will help pay the most basic of bills. Taking a survival job can be a humbling experience. You’ll need to check your ego at the door, and you’ll probably work longer and harder hours than you have in years. 10. Find support from family and friends -- and keep a positive outlook. Besides getting a good handle on your finances, the next most important thing you can do is seek the solace of family and friends (rather than hiding the news from them, which many laid off workers attempt to do). Family and friends can help mend your ego and emotions by providing the positive support you’ll need. If you are like most people, you’ll need to work out your feelings of anger, embarrassment, fear, and others that typically follow a layoff -- and while some of that will need to be done on your own, the more people giving you positive reinforcement, the faster your recovery. Final Thoughts While you never know what to expect when your employer is struggling to survive in a weak economy, the chances that you might be downsized increase greatly -- no matter what your job -- and you can better prepare yourself for the worst possible outcome by developing a plan to assist you in getting through the situation. What’s the worst that could happen? You waste a few hours developing a plan you never have to use? That’s the best scenario! Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press, including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter, QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country.

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CareerSource Magazine #211  

Career Training & Job Opportunities in the Bay Area, CA

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