SPRING 2011| Trends
SPRING 2011| Trends
Why Wish Upon a Star When You Can Reach for One? Pg. 4 Is Your Resume Missing These 5 “Must Haves”? Pg. 5 Etiquette Tips to Live By. Pg 7 If the Career Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Wear It. Pg .8 College Grads with Federal Student Loan Debt May Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness. Pg. 9 8 Things That Can Kill Your Job Chances. Pg. 10 7 Tips for Tapping into Your Virtual Networks to Find a Job. Pg. 12
SPRING 2011| Trends
Why Wish Upon A Star..... when you can reach for one? By Valerie Young
It's been nearly thirty years since Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel traveled the country conducting interviews for his book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. In it, is an insightful quote from Nora Watson who says, "I think most of us are looking for a calling, not a job. Most of us, like the assembly line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit."
Get Beyond the Obvious Sure, Jerry could always become a carpenter. Or, he could think outside the box by experimenting with some creative ways to dabble in his passion. For example, he might start out by teaching a carpentry class through an adult learning center or writing a how-to column for the local newspaper. Neither of these ideas would require Jerry to quit his airline job. At least not right away. Both though, have the potential of jumpstarting some creative thinking about all the different ways there are to satisfy a calling.
The same can be said of dreams. So many of my clients have jobs that are too small for their dreams. Take Jerry, a 50-year-old airline employee who writes to tell me he "dreads going to work." His real life's pleasure, he says, is carpentry. "Whether it's building a house, cabinets or whatever, I get lost in the project. I can sit for hours and watch [the popular PBS television show] This Old House." So what's stopping him? Jerry explained the problem this way: "So many people are trapped in jobs they only tolerate. I guess the fear of failure is our biggest problem. I know it is mine." I could practically hear the sigh on the other end of the modem as Jerry signed off with a wistful, "Wish I could get the courage to make the change." My advice to Jerry was this:
As career challenges go, Jerry needed to know that he was actually pretty lucky. Most people don't have a clue as to their finding their calling. "Yet here you are," I wrote, "letting something as natural – and manageable – as fear stand between you and vocational heaven." If this wasn't enough to shift Jerry's thinking, I reminded him of what he should really be afraid of, namely, the prospect of spending the next 15 years doing something he dreads.
Stop Wishing and Start Dreaming Before Jerry could make any kind of change he'd first have to get to the heart of his problem – the clue to which lay in his own parting words. "The real reason you're stuck," I said, "isn't fear. It's that you have been wishing when you should be dreaming." What's the difference? Wishing is passive. We wish for things over which we are powerless. We wish we'd win the lottery. We wish we were taller or thinner. We wish the waiter would hurry up. Many wishes are tinged with regrets about past decisions. We wish we'd ordered the fish instead of the chicken. That we'd taken the other job. That we hadn't let the love of our lives get away. Dreaming, though, is different. A dream is active. It's positive. And it's speaks to the future. But that's not all. Unlike "wishful thinking" – which has everything to do with hopelessness and the supposed impracticality of achieving a goal – "dreamful thinking" speaks to exciting prospect of a goal realized. Dreamful thinking invites possibilities into our life. Still not convinced? Close your eyes and imagine the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he thunders the words, "I have a wish!" Not exactly inspiring is it? That's because unlike a wish, you can see a dream. And as the U.S. Civil Rights Movement reminds us, when others share a common vision of a dream, the motivation it inspires is contagious. If Jerry really wanted to pursue his love of carpentry, he'd have to first stop wishing and start dreaming. "Fear is natural," I told him, "it goes with the change territory. That's why you need to fortify yourself. Let your dream of doing what you love be the "soul fuel" that propels you to act despite your fears. Once you take those first bold steps on behalf of your dream, the courage will come." SPRING 2011| Trends
There are dreams and then there are Big Dreams. I closed by tossing out a Big Dream idea. Why didn't he approach his local television station about producing a weekly home improvement spot? To satisfy that everimportant local angle, offer to feature improvements made to local viewers homes. I even jokingly suggested Jerry turn his age to his advantage by calling the segment This ĘťOld' Carpenter. "Hey, if you're going to think big," I told him, "then think big. Who knows, you may eventually land a spot as the featured carpentry expert on the Today Show!" Reach for the Stars Apparently, something I said worked. A week later Jerry wrote to say he was totally pumped about the prospect being an on-air carpentry guru. He'd even set up a potential collaboration between himself and an old friend with a passion for video production. (I told you dreams were contagious!) This time Jerry closed on an upbeat note: "I'm ready to start following my dreams," adding, "I sure want to go out of this world doing something I truly enjoy!" So, what's your Big Dream? Maybe all you really know for sure is that you're ready for a change. That's a start. Now you need to take the goal "make a change" and bump it up a few notches by dreaming big! If you have multiple interests, picture being able to earn a living enjoying them all. If you like the idea of working at home, imagine doing it on an island or maybe working only nine months a year.
You may not get everything you want, but two things are certain: 1) It takes not one ounce of energy more to dream big than it does to settle, and you've got a lot more to gain by shooting high than by shooting low. 2) Carl Sandburg once said, "Nothing happens unless first a dream." So reach for the stars and catch hold of a Big Dream. Then, one day at a time, honor your dream with action.
SPRING 2011| Trends
Is Your Resume Missing These 5 “Must Haves”? By Chad Bauer
Making sure your resume is a powerful marketing document is a wise investment in your career. It can set you apart from your competition, maximize the amount of interviews you land and ultimately play into how much a company offers you. After all, you are negotiating with potential employers from the moment you connect with them to the time the offer is made. So everything that happens in that window of time plays into your offer…including how well targeted, well designed and compelling your resume is. Here are five elements you will want to make sure your resume has:
Your resume must be compelling for the type of position you are focusing on. If you are a sales executive of course you are going to want to quantify your sales skills in terms of territory development, revenue generation, and types of skills associated with sales and secondary support skills such as client management customer service, public relations and marketing.
value proposition statement
Under the heading of your resume you should have a value proposition statement. An example of a value proposition statement is a 3 to 4 sentence overview of your focus and your strengths. Hereʼs an example of a VP Statement for a technology executive's resume: Innovative and highly competent business and technology leader with 15+ years experience developing creative technology solutions that enhance performance, effect change, drive profits and growth. Proven reputation to:
This is one of the most important components to your resume. You need to communicate in your resume not just what you do, but what HAPPENS when you do what you do! This technique also helps employers envision you working with them, helping them with similar challenges and issues.
key-word rich content
Key words organized in a group called something like “core competencies” for instance, will do two things for you. It serves to potentially qualify you for more interviews, assuming those companies you are submitting your resume to use key word scanners. Second, key words. i.e., your strengths that stand alone allow the reader to view your competencies independent of any past company associated with it. This has a positive psychological effect as again, it enhances the readerʼs ability to picture YOU in the position they are working to fill.
two resume versions
You are going to want two versions of your resume. One in ASCII text format and one clean word version. Your ASCII text version is one you will use for all your electronic submissions. This plain text format will hold it formatting and thus look much cleaner on the receiving end. Once you save a copy of your resume in this format, you will want to go in and clean up all the symbols and spacing so itʼs readable. Your word version is your clean word copy you can both print out as a hard copy or attach as a word document in an e mail.
Note: A value proposition statement is different from a personal objective statement. A personal objective statement is not the best to start out with on a resume simply because itʼs a statement about what YOU want. Rather, share with your potential employer what skills and strengths you have to offer THEM.
SPRING 2011| Trends
SPRING 2011| Trends
Etiqu ette tips to live by! The hottest in workplace fashion........
If you could command a higher salary or get promoted by dressing a certain way, would you do it? When it comes to fashion in the workplace, modest is hottest. If you show too much skin (or undergarments), others will not see the person inside nor hear your ideas. Ladies, if you want to move up in the management ranks, trade in those low necked cotton t-shirts or skimpy spaghetti strapped tops for a collared blouse. Gentlemen, stop wearing clothes that are too tight to show off the guns and pull up your low-hanging drawers. Everybody, save the flip-flops for the beach. Never let a poorly chosen outfit speak louder than you. If you want to advance in your career, dress so people respect you, not inspect you. The Napkin Challenge If you need to excuse yourself from the table in the middle of the meal, there are two schools of thought about what to do with your napkin: 1. Traditional: leave the napkin on the seat of your chair. This avoids having everyone at the table get an unsavory look at the soiled napkin while they are still eating. 2. Newer thinking: leave the napkin on the table, slightly crumpled to the left of your place setting. Leaving the napkin on the chair and then using it to wipe your mouth seems a little unsanitary. If you crumple the napkin and leave it on the table, please try to fold any soiled parts in, out of the view of other diners.
When you leave the table in the middle of the meal, politely excuse yourself. There is no need to announce your destination and purpose to the entire table. Most of them have an idea. At the end of the meal, when you get up to leave, place the napkin slightly crumpled to the left of your place setting.
Standing Orders In social etiquette, when gentlemen are introduced to ladies, the gentlemen stand and the ladies remain seated. Both ladies and gentlemen stand when introduced to older people, clergy or other dignitaries. Young ladies stand when introduced to older ladies. (Which can be a tricky situation with ladies who are sensitive about their age.) The business world is gender neutral. In business, both ladies and gentlemen stand for introductions. To remain seated is to insult -- as if you are telling the person he or she is not important. Hungry? Letʼs Eat You are starving to the point where you are ready to start gnawing on your napkin and even the floral centerpiece is beginning to look tasty. But when you may you begin eating? There are a few different answers: 1) In an interview meal or dinner party, follow your host's lead and begin eating when your host begins. 2) At a banquet or any dining situation where you are sitting at a table with eight or fewer people, begin eating when everyone at your table has been served. (It is not necessary to wait for all 200 people in the banquet hall to be served.) 3) When there are nine or more people at the table, wait until at least a few people have been served. The same rules apply for each course in a multi-course meal. With a buffet, you may begin eating as soon as you are seated, but it is polite to wait until at least a few people have joined you.
SPRING 2011| Trends
If the Career Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Wear it
I had two real options with my shirt. I could either (a) keep working out and eat better and hope that one day I fit into my fitted shirts, or (b) I could get rid of them (try and return them or give to a fitted friend :p). I am choosing option (b). No reason to clutter my life and closet with the shirts when I can get a better fitting shirt that feels good and Iʼm comfortable in. How about you? If your career doesnʼt fit, how long do you live uncomfortably?
A few weeks ago, as I was preparing to get ready for my 2week trip and multiple speaking engagements, I decided to get some new shirts. Understand that Iʼm not a shopper (in general) and especially donʼt like buying clothes for myself. I went to Kohls and found this cool 60% off section for dress shirts. I found 4 or them that I really liked, tried one on to make sure I was picking the right size, and then bought all four. I took them, still in their packaging, to my first hotel (in Dallas) where I unpacked and ironed them. There was a problem with these very nice shirts, though. They are “fitted.” That means they are made for someone who has a body style with certain characteristics, most notably “goes in at the waist.” In other words, it goes in where I … um… go out Fitted is NOT my style. It was uncomfortable for me during my presentations (but my schedule was so tight I didnʼt have time to look for any shirts while on the road), and the way the shirts made me feel probably had a negative impact on my presentation. THE FIT WASNʼT GOOD. How many times do we try and force a fit in our career? Maybe we think we can still fit into that industry, or that job, or with that boss, or that company? But the FIT just isnʼt good. You can try and make it work but it will be uncomfortable for you (and possibly have an impact on your work). It will likely be uncomfortable for everyone around you.
SPRING 2011| Trends
College Grads With Federal Student Loan Debt May Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness Author Unknown
any college graduates often find that they owe money for
student loans, which were borrowed in order to meet the costs that seem to be on the rise at many universities and colleges across the nation. Typically, students will fill out a FAFSA form when seeking federal financial aid and many will obtain some form of federal student loans to help meet their college costs. Yet, when it comes time to repay these college debts, many people fail to realize that there are forgiveness options for federal student loan debt if someone is in a particular career. For instance, anyone who works in a public service field may qualify for federal student loan forgiveness after 10 years of repayment. Usually, this forgiveness comes from being enrolled in a Direct Loans repayment plan and being employed in a public service field when one applies for and finishes their payments in a forgiveness repayment plan. There are options for student loan forgiveness for non-public service workers, but these will require 25 years of repayment for those who qualify. Direct Loans is a program within the Department of Education that handles student loans and anyone who feels they may qualify for student loan forgiveness or wants to begin a repayment plan that will allow them to have their debt forgiven after the timeframe has expired, may want to contact their lender to see what options are available for that particular college debt situation. While the forgiveness plans can be very beneficial for those who may have acquired a large amount of federal student loan debt, they are repayment assistance options for anyone who may not have enough debt where these repayment forgiveness timeframes would be of help. While student debt is sometimes unavoidable, with forgiveness options and repayment assistance plans, like income-based repayment programs, student debt can be easily managed after college and does not have to be a financial burden for years down the road.
SPRING 2011| Trends
kill your job chances
By: Kate Lorenz
In her new book “What Your Body Says,” Sharon Saylor writes, “The most influential part of communication is your nonverbal. Your nonverbal can actually destroy or produce the results you want, such as inspiring employees to do better work, calming angry customers, creating fans in the marketplace and closing sales.” And according to a new Career Builder survey, your body language can also hurt your chances of landing a job … especially a lack of eye contact. In the survey of more than 2,500 hiring managers, 67 percent said that failure to make eye contact would make them less likely to hire a job candidate. Other nonverbals that hiring managers cited as negative included these seven things: Lack of smile – 38 percent Fidgeting too much – 33 percent Bad posture – 33 percent Handshake that is too weak – 26 percent Crossing arms over their chest – 21 percent Playing with their hair or touching their face – 21 percent Using too many hand gestures – 9 percent “In a highly competitive job market, job seekers need to set themselves apart in the interview stage,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “All that pressure, though, may have some job seekers making body language mistakes that donʼt convey a confident message. To avoid these faux pas, and ensure youʼre remembered for the right reasons, try practicing ahead of time in front of a mirror or family and friends.” Haefner offers the following tips to avoid body language missteps during an interview:
Keep calm. To make the best impression and avoid nervous body language, take measures to stay as calm as possible before the interview. Leave the house with plenty of time to get to the interview, avoid caffeine if possible and take deep, calming breaths. Practice makes perfect. The old adage proves true in this case, as youʼll feel more comfortable the more you prepare for the interview, and in turn, it will help decrease your anxiety. Rehearse ahead of time with friends or family, do your homework on the company and be prepared for common interview questions. See for yourself. Viewing yourself while speaking can help you notice what body language mistakes you might be making without realizing. Look in a mirror while practicing interview responses or videotape yourself to figure out your typical physical movements, and whether or not you need to change them.
Saylor, who is a certified group dynamics and behavioral coach, says it is possible to change your behavior and be conscious of what messages youʼre sending with your own body. Her book gives the reader tips on overcoming many communication roadblocks including how to project confidence, how to look intelligent, how to eliminate verbal pauses, and how to use your posture to show confidence.
SPRING 2011| Trends
SPRING 2011| Trends
tips for tapping
into your virtual networks
to find a job By: Dan Keller
Virtual social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have changed the way people look for jobs forever. I think most people understand this but it is amazing how many people do not understand how to leverage and actually make us of the networks they have been working hard to build. Obviously, Linkedin and Facebook are very different networks and in my opinion should not mix but that does not mean that you cannot tap into both networks when you are searching for your next job. Here are 7 tips to help you successfully tap into your virtual network
Use your real friends If you have a network in the hundreds, chances are you will have maybe 10-20 real friends and the rest may be former coworkers or friends of friends. Use your established solid contacts to help you initiate a conversation with others in your network. Take it offline Sometimes the best way to tap into your virtual network is to take it offline. If you can connect with someone over coffee or an adult beverage to talk about your career, go for it! It never hurts to ask someone to lunch especially if you do not need their help immediately. When you do, I am sure they would be more than willing to help you out.
Donʼt be Shy Sometimes reaching out to people can be a nerve racking experience whether it is in the real world or in the virtual word. The first thing you need to do is build up your confidence and give yourself a pep talk and get pumped up to propel yourself to greatness. What you will find is that people will really want to help and will do so if they can. Be Real What I mean by this is to genuine in your approach. Do not reach out under false pretenses and pretend that you are looking to rekindle an old friendship. The best approach is to state that the reason you are reaching out is to see if they could help you in your search. Be Proactive The best time to ask someone to help you in your career is when you are not looking for a job. It is good practice to stay connected with people in your network. Interact with them on Linkedin, follow them on Twitter, engage with them on Facebook. In essence take the time and steps to keep the relationship open so when you need to ask for a favor it wonʼt seem like a big deal. Advance contacts to relationships This is something I have been doing lately especially with my Linkedin contacts. I have been attempting to move from the contact stage to the relationship stage. As an example, when you see that a contact has a new title or moved to a new company, send them a message and congratulate them. A simple move that will make it easier to connect when you need to. SPRING 2011| Trends
SPRING 2011| Trends