Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Take 5 minutes to improve your job search

Susan Ricker has some quick suggestions on CareerBuilder.

Replace our "Objective." Instead use a branded headline--Experienced project manager ready to produce results.

Connect with one person in your network you have not talked to in a month.

Check your social profiles and update.

Research your target industries or companies.

Remove dumb voicemail recordings.

Clean up your resume. Remove irrelevant jobs. The past ten years is enough.

Check with references before they are requested.

Keep good records of all letters, calls, email, and so on that you have sent.

Proof, proof backwards, have someone else proof.

Okay, this is more than five minutes--but that was a catchy headline, wasn't it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quick--we need a czar

This czar deal seems to be unique to government. When the 'crats can't get something going, they automatically reach for another body to be over the existing bodies.

According to Megan Garber, Govt Executive Magazine, the term is a Slavic translation of "Caesar." So it's a Russian Emperor.

It was first slapped on Americans during Wilson's time when Bernard Baruch was tapped to run the War Industries Board.  The real Czar (Russia) had recently been assassinated, so the term was available.

A Milk Czar was appointed in New York City, then Roosevelt went to town appointing czars right and left.

The press likes it--the word is short and fits in headlines.

So here we are--when in doubt, messed up, confused--get some Russian Emperor type to save the day.

Maybe czar really means scapegoat i n Russian--I am not sure. Also--didn't Caesar meet with a violent end?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Careers working with animals

"We should get a picture of her for the barn." 
 I am a huge fan of crusty Dr Jann Pol, a Michigan vet with a "reality" show on Nat Geo Wild. Dial up "The Incredible Dr. Pol." There is also a show on a vet who specializes in exotic animals; she operates on reptiles, birds, rats, you name it. And another starring a very can-do wildlife vet.

But being a vet is barely a start on the careers you could have working with animals. Check out The list is endless.

Some examples:

Agricultural economist
Animal Control officer
Animal nutritionist at a zoo
Certified canine massage therapist (there is also equine massage)
Dairy Farm owner
Horse show judge

You get the idea.

Some of these take quite a bit of advanced training--the site tells all.

From watching Dr. Pol, I now am mildly in love with cows--a crush, I guess you'd say. My daughter asked me, "Exactly how many farm animal pictures do we need in here?"

Can you have too many?

Friday, October 17, 2014

How to re-enter the workforce

Who knows why you took a break--children, elderly parent, burned out. When it comes time to try to get back to work, Robert Half, the workplace guru, has some ideas.

As usual--first step--activate your network--link up with anyone you know on social, also offline, family members, friends, and their friends. Even your old employer.

Practice explaining why you are coming back. What do you expect in a job?

If you volunteered while away, be sure to note that. Or start volunteering. The skills can be transferable. Organizing, working with spreadsheets, managing volunteers, and so on.

You might want to take classes--brush up on skills. Don't forget about those free university courses--MOOCs.

You might want to ease back in by temping or working part-time.

Sit down and think about the skills you've gained while out of the formal work world.

Give yourself time--be patient. Job hunting is hard enough when you segue from one job to the next. Recreating a new "work" you is even more challenging.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How to screw up your first job hunt

The employment guru firm Robert Half has some "don'ts" for your first job hunt.

DON'T ignore your campus career centers and job fairs--harness your network and keep it current. Talk to neighbors, friends, parents' friends, anyone you can.

DON'T  get sloppy. Have someone look over your resume and cover letters. Read them out loud--a good way to catch glitches.

DON'T depend on canned or generic letters--the same for every job. If a listing is really cool, google the company, go to the website--hang your letter on a piece of news about the company.

DON'T let your online presence ruin things for you. Employers will search, count on it. Establish a great profile and pix on Linked In at minimum. Get a decent email address--not If you have a cutesy graphic or quote accompanying your name, lose it.

DON'T have dumb phone manners--companies may indeed call. Have a professional message on your phone. And answer calmly and maturely--not "City Morgue."

DON'T waltz  into an interview ready to wing it. Think up questions. Rehearse answers. Take a second to think before speaking.

Be confident--listen more than talk--ask questions. But above all, if you want the job,, don't be afraid to say so. Back when I hired people, so often I could not tell if the person even was thinking of wanting to work for me. They were neutral. And then so was I--and I moved on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why do people have to be so vulgar on the internet?

I am no angel--I use Anglo-Saxonisms in real life. But on my favorite political site, where I comment often, there are a few people who pepper every insight with garden-variety language such as the f-word and worse, even.

The owner of the site--whom they claim to revere--does not use this language--nor does he forbid it. So over time, I have taken to calling people out for this--it makes me feel stupid participating in a site with so little class.

I could quit the site--but I think I am a little addicted--so my mal there.

The internet is the great leveler--unfortunately, it tends in some cases to bring everyone down to a lower level.

You do not need swear words to express disdain for our current crop of politicians--this stuff almost writes itself.

Do these people think it's hip and edgy? Are uneducated people hip and edgy?

Some comments I have made...

You really put the K in Klassy.

I see Charm School really worked out for you.

Use your indoor words.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Obamacare--oops, ACA--not going anyplace

You don't hear much about the so-called Affordable Care Act (affordable if you have $5,000-$19,000 lying around to pay deductibles). That's because you could not buy it or anything for some months.

Now open enrollment will commence--after the elections, naturally.

The advocates will be more upfront--don't get it, get fined.

In 2014, 8 million people finally got coverage through the so-called exchanges. Many were easier sells--now they will go after uninsured Hispanics and people in remote areas.

Having people available to "help" will be repeated.

Many people may feel they have skated on the fine--which will rise from $95 to almost $700 in 2016. But when it comes time for a tax refund, the fine will be deducted.

There is a plan out called Meritus--heavily subsidized by HHS--might be worth a look.