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Anyone Out There???

Hello to all. I have been blogging for a couple of months now with much excitement. Is anyone out there reading my blogs when I post them??? If you are, could you please just send me an email and say HI in the subject line. I PROMISE not to contact you other than to say thank you.

I am trying to get a gauge on my readership…jeff@eCareerCenter.com

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Go Dog Go!

Well another Friday is here for us to enjoy. The weekends are always so nice. With hours and hours of “off time” to explore the world. I love the weekends to recharge my job search batteries.

The job search sometimes feels like you are a dog trying to get a bone. The bone could be a positive comment or a call back or an email or even a job. The bone is what it is; tough to find. But dogs don’t give up do they? Some of us think they are too stupid to give up. Maybe they are not stupid after all. Maybe they are pretty dedicated to their quest for a bone or a treat or affection that they will keep coming back for more with little regard to what happens. I think they are focused!

Stay focused on your search. Don’t let outside opportunities “tease” you into considering them. You may be heading in the direction of the Hospitality field and a Financial Services job comes out of nowhere and peaks your curiosity. It promises the perfect schedule, the right hours, the right future and visions of cash flowing into your pocket. Don’t look too long at it otherwise you might begin to believe it is true. Don’t get too wrapped up in looking around to see what is out there because the going is getting rough.

Stay the course you defined in the beginning. Stay true to the direction you want to go and Go Dog Go!

I mixed some buck’s and my home brew today and it actually tastes good.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Stale Air

Have you ever gone into a home or a room where the air has just smelled and felt old? The room was probably locked up tight for a long period of time without any meaningful ventilation. It got stale.

This same result can happen to your job search; it can get stale. It gets stale because you are probably doing the same activities over and over again without letting some fresh “air” come in. There is a need for conducting repetitive activities but if you are going to the same job boards, looking at the same newspapers, reading the same type of articles your search is going to get stale. Every day you are searching for a job, you should try a new approach.

This new approach could be contacting a local church, recruiter or placement office you have never called before. Let them know what you are doing and see if they have any advice. You could call a friend you have been meaning to call and let them know what you are doing and see if they have any suggestions. Any one of these and other activities are good ideas. Do one new one every day and see where it takes you.

The main reason I suggest the new activity is because new activities will bring new life to the mundane activities you are involved with. This “new life” will spawn into other areas. Your brain has a natural tendency to fix problems or create new ideas when you are not consciously thinking on them. That is just the way your brain is wired. If you want to keep your unconscious brain working for you, these type of forced experiences are vital.

Do something new today and your “subby” (subconscious brain) will thank you!

I love my local library. They built a new place for me to work in since my office is gone. I have a special place I go every day that I don’t have appointments to research, email, telephone work or whatever the need for the day is. I don’t have to spend $2 on my coffee either, I just bring it with me. Check out your local library and see what they can offer you.

Home brew dirty water today…enjoy your day!

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

What Are YOU Going To Be?

What a daunting question to answer. Our parents, family members, friends and everyone else has asked this questions for years. Why is this question so important?

I have tackled this one on a couple of occasions with others. There are is really only one reason to ask this type of question. The only reason is because the asker thinks the receiver doesn’t have a clue on what they are doing and wants to help. That is it. There is no other secret than they think they can help or want to encourage you to go in a particular direction for any number of reasons.

It is an open ended question in hopes you will give them some room to give advice. Don’t you hate advice givers. Wouldn’t you rather just have them give you some $$ instead. Advice is not very good unless it is asked for. If you are not asking for the advice, EVERYONE else, please don’t give it.

Most of these people have good intentions. The problem with good intentions is that they are genesis in self centered behavior. Self centered not in a malicious way but in putting their interests before someone else.

Whenever you get the “What are you going to do with your life” type questions, I think you should just cut to the chase and ask to the person: “I don’t know, what do you think I should do.” This will really give you the ability to hear what they have to say when they weren’t ready to ask the question. Once they tell you their opinion, you can say thanks for sharing and move on.

This is a great way to handle this type of situation…handle it head on.

Good luck with this one. I like to tinker with people who are trying to make me do things their way. It is fun and can really add to the “grape-vine” talk that is out there. Enjoy!

Good Starbucks today.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Not For The Faint of Heart

As a professional job seeker, I do know the ups and downs of finding the right job. It is really not an easy endeavor to undertake. There are many reasons to stop and start again. There are many reasons to rethink what you are doing and try to determine if it is right or not. This type of what I term “mental gymnastics” is VERY normal. It is so normal it can be charted on a time line. The time line goes something like this:

1. Decide to look for new job
2. Start checking out the job boards and online postings
3. Find something you would consider doing with A LOT more pay
4. Develop resume
5. Send resume
6. Get excited about the possibilities and dream
7. Wait and wait and wait for them to call
8. Find new job online
9. Send same resume
10. Wait and wait and wait for them to call
11. DO THIS SAME ACTIVITIES ABOUT 10 MORE TIMES
12. Start thinking your current job is not that bad
13. Take a break from job searching
14. Get a call for a job – not what you are interested in
15. Try online again
16. Take a break
17. Never get back to it until next time

Now maybe not everyone does a job search exactly this way. What does happen is when the challenges of job searching get you down, you take breaks. The problem with the break is that you may miss something you were looking for. The break then becomes the problem. One suggestion is to think of the job search as a marathon. It is not an activity that most of the time can be completed quickly. You have to anticipate at least 3 months of consistent work to complete it. If you are not willing to give it 3 months, I would not even start.

Going in with the mind set that it will take 3 months will get you set up to succeed. Mark your calender for 3 months from now to “take your break” from job searching then. You will need at least that time to evaluate if you are searching correctly or not. Plan for the time and it will aid you when the going gets tough.

We are trying to sell our house and had four showings in the past few days. One of them for a second time today. We are “dreaming” of the possibilities but keeping our goals in mind as we know it may take at least 3 months to sell our house. It is good not to let dreams get in the way of logic. But it doesn’t mean we cannot dream, but wake up to what we have.

The coffee is good today but I am out. I forgot to make a second cup when I left. I will try the office’s coffee I am borrowing today…yyuucckk!!

Jeff

Don’t Waste Time

Today I want you to realize that if you rush to apply for a job and don’t tailor your resume or cover letter to the job, you probably won’t make it through the screening process. The word “screen” gets used very casually these days when it comes to job hunting. Most of the people use it with a negative connotation in regards to why they are not getting contacted for jobs they apply for. It is easy to say that the process is tough and screened you out. It is easy to use this type of speak to make yourself feel better.

So what is screening all about? Let’s go back to the age of the Gold Rush for a quick example. When people migrated west to find gold way back in our countries history, what did they use? They used a screen to sift through the dirt and rocks to hopefully find the gold. There were various types and sized screens that could be used to filter out big rocks or dirt or water or other substrates. Each screen had its own purpose. But ALL of them were used to get to the gold, right?

When it comes to finding a good employee, hiring managers have to go through a bunch of mucky water, dirt and big rocks to find the “golden candidate”. It is not easy to do because there is a lot of assuming a hiring person needs to do when looking through a ton of resumes. This assumption is call screening and the process comes in many forms and is done in order to screen you in; not out. The hiring people really do want you to be a good candidate. They really want you to have what they are looking for. Trust me, it makes their job easier.

So how do you get the right stuff a hiring person is looking for? You don’t really. What you can do is display what you have in the appropriate manner so a hiring person can see it. In addition, only apply for jobs you really have an interest in. Let the hiring manager know why you are applying and why you would be committed to the job for X number of years. If you have left every one of you last 5 jobs within 6 months, don’t leave your current one for 2 years. Otherwise you are considered a job hopper and no one wants to hire a job hopper for a job that requires more of a commitment. If you have been a job hopper, acknowledge it and explain briefly why you would not be that way for the one you are applying for.

If you have to, hire a friend or relative or someone outside to give you an idea of what they see from your resume. Most people if honest about it, will be able to spot a couple of red flags within your resume and help you fix them. Do it today or you will always keep wondering why hiring people don’t call you back.

Happy Friday to all. It has been a crazy week for me…Let’s get back to work next week and keep the job search fires going. Anyone get an interview yet???

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Oh The Resumes I have Seen

Today is resume talking day. I took on a project for a friend of mine. She asked me to assist her in finding a Front Office person for a physician’s clinic. I took the assignment just so I could get a view into the hiring process for Administrative people. I placed a short ad on Craigslist to see what would happen. The ad was brief and gave a description of the position and what the main expectations were. In addition to the description, I asked each of the candidates to send a cover letter describing why they would be a good fit for a customer service position in this fast paced environment. The add was brief and to the point with my request.

So what did I get for resumes…..In 48 hours I received 33 resumes. That is a pretty good response rate from my estimates. Of them, none really hit the cover letter very hard. Actually, 4 of them did present a cover letter that was more than a two liner. Those 4 did get much more serious consideration than the others did because they DIDN’T FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. It was a simple request that should have only taken a few minutes to produce. I know writing letters is challenging but if some can do it, the others should too. The reason is because they are all in competition with each other.

Your first goal in finding a job is to get an interview. That is it. You have to work this job search thing in stages. You cannot think about getting the job until you get in front of whoever is going to interview you. What all that means is you have to put the time into your resume and cover letter in order to get noticed. Out of 33 resumes I received, I only noticed about 7 of them. The reason is because they had a resume that was tailored to customer service and/or some type of cover letter that gave me a reason to consider them. Remember, you want to get noticed first before you can get the job.

So get noticed first. The second thing is to practice answering the question: “Why are you leaving your current job?” If you say you are leaving because you don’t get along with the rest of the people there, that is a red flag for any hiring manager especially for an Administrative role. So come up with a better answer than that. I am sure there are a number of other reasons why the job you are applying for is better suited for you. Think on it BEFORE you send the resume.

Finding a job is a small part timing and a HUGE part selling. You have to think of yourself as a salesperson when applying to jobs. I don’t mean you have to be sneaky or embellish yourself to get the job. I mean you have to think about what value you can bring to a new job and get noticed by detailing a resume that will highlight your experience and how it can be utilized at this new job. A good resume won’t get you a job however, you can bet that a poor resume will not even get you noticed.

There are other lessons from my view from the other side this week that I will share on a later post. Stay tuned for them.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Bad To The Bone

I am working today and in the background is the song “Bad To The Bone” redone by some unknown artist to me. They added the saxophone and other instruments that I am not aware were in the original one. This song struck a cord with me today. The reason it did is because of the beat. The beat got me moving at a time of the day when I normally start to slow down. I noticed without realizing how that my attitude slowly started to change. It changed I think because the music “pumped me up.”

Do you have anything that you use to “Pump You UP” when the search for a new job is getting you down? Your attitude is the key factor in succeeding in your job search. I need to say it again: YOUR ATTITUDE IS THE KEY FACTOR IN SUCCEEDING IN YOUR JOB SEARCH! Do whatever you can to keep yourself positive. When you start thinking the search is never going to get anywhere, think positive. When other things are happening that affect your search, think positive. When you get down, start to think positive.

I am not an advocate of some of the extremists of positive thinking but I do believe it can influence all you do. Do whatever you can to find the things that keep you positive. It may be music, listening to a motivational speaker or other idea but do it habitually. A habit is done even when you don’t feel like it. Habits don’t have feelings, they are born and bread in repetitive action. Therefore, even if you don’t feel like it, repeat positive actions or activities that keep you going. They do work.

I had a meeting today with a competitor this morning. He is a great guy in the job search industry here in Phoenix. His service is well respected and he gets results. I was able to meet with him because I was willing to put myself out there. I was connected to him from a casual friend of mine. He was not a personal friend but was willing to give me a hand. I am grateful for it and I will pass it on.

Coffee is good today and no shaking.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

Don’t Embellish

Happy Monday to all. What a week I am having so far. There are a lot of job seekers out there today. Nice job to all of you who are putting in the time to get your resume and cover letters done with impeccable quality. I applaud you!! I get tired of seeing the generic resumes that really don’t say much about a candidate and their level of expertise. It is tough to stand out a bit from the crowd. Today you are doing it and nice work.

One thing to keep in mind when you are searching for a new job…Don’t think too highly about yourself. If you have considerable, real world experience in a certain area, ok show your stuff. If you have been around a particular industry for a number of years, ok show your stuff. However, if you have done a lot of job hopping or have only been doing an activity for a year or so, don’t try to make yourself better than who you are. It is better to back off a bit and find the right company or situation where your “real world” experience can be put to use. If you find this right fit, you will gain the necessary experience to get to the next level and not a minute sooner.

I have met many people who have gotten a taste of certain job or function and because they have experienced it for a short period of time, they think they are expert at it. Don’t do that. If you do many times you will have a difficult time finding a job at a place you want. The reason is because the manager who interviews you will most of the time “sniff you out.” This person has normally interviewed enough people to know someone who is trying to fill some shoes bigger than they can. The reason this person know this is because they have normally done the job you are interviewing for. That is why they are the M-a-n-a-g-e-r.

So be who you are right now. Don’t try to be something you are not. There are a number of stories floating around where someone is hired to do something that was way above their heads and they succeeded at it. These stories are genuinely true but most of the time someone is given the responsibility that is above them when they are already with a company. This is done because the company or division is willing to take a chance on someone who is already there because of some unforeseen circumstance. In the real world of job hunting, it doesn’t typically happen this way. For this reason alone, it is a great idea to get in with a company who you really want to work for and do a great job. There will come a time where you can try and get to the next level because of some sort of internal issue. Wait for it and be ready to shine when you see the chance.

I don’t want you to think I am advocating you to not try and get to the next level within your career. If you have a solid track record, by all means push that ceiling up a bit. If you don’t have the track record, don’t count on a company giving you much of a chance from ground zero. It may happen, but look for opportunities whereby you can get on the track of getting to the next level.

My coffee today is great. It is cold. Many of you probably hate cold coffee. I love it. I can taste it better when it is cold. The molecules are moving so slow I can digest them almost individually. Any cold coffee drinkers out there??

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff

If You Say It Then Do It

Good communication is so vital in any type of business environment. The main reason is simple. Communication either builds or breaks down trust. It is that simple. You must do what you say you are going to do. If you don’t it will be kept track of in the conscious or subconscious mind. You can bet on it.

So the idea of you can “fake it until you make it” or you can use “smoke and mirrors” to make something better than what it is does not work in the end. It may work for a short time. It may help you reach the quick fix or short term goals but it does not sustain your credibility. At the end of the day credibility or trust is ALL you have. You can make a ton of money, can have a huge network of casual friends or connections or everything your selfish heart desires. In the end of it all when you are in your own “quiet times” when no one is around you cannot fake yourself out.

There are enough ups and downs in life. When we are up there is no need to make a change or fully embrace this concept. But, when we are down this is when the lights go on in the hidden corners of your heart and mind. The light exposes the you to the real you. So which you are you by yourself? Which one are you when others are around? Are they different?

If there are more than one you, why? What are you hiding from? What are you not comfortable with? Name it and start working on it, today! It feels better when it is embraced by you. Change is good. It is right. It is human. It actually feels good. Change something today.

Is it Friday already? I am not really ready for this week to be over. I don’t want to let it go. I have rustled the fields so much this week, I want to see what it will produce. I cannot wait. Patience is my issue. I like to see results as soon as possible. I am working to slow down and enjoy the process more than the results. It may take me some time but I really want to get there.

Don’t you hate it when you spill your coffee on your way to work? I do. I really don’t know why I have to drink my coffee in a ceramic mug but I do. I think it tastes better but that may just be an excuse. My coffee is not just brown but VERY DARK brown. When I spill it in my 4runner, it really shows. Fortunately today I just spilled it in the change holder. My stash of quarters got soaked with coffee, thankfully not my floor like yesterday.

Spilling coffee reminds me of a poem:

Coffee today, coffee spill
Oh the loss, oh my will.
What’s next here and there
Will it be my tear?

Like a drop lost but really found
Why do I sip, why this hour?
Keep drinking here least for now
As upon my day the world goes round.

Let’s Get Started!

Jeff