Monthly Archive for October, 2010

Speak Out About The Dismal Job Market

Career Advice.

These are troubling times in the job market. No doubt about that. Nearly 15 million Americans are looking for work. The unemployment rate is holding steady at 9.6%. No one has a firm idea as to when this situation will improve.

The reasons cited for this horrendous condition include lack of consumer spending (i.e. confidence), plus uncertainty about what the government will do about taxes and regulation, as well as changes in environmental policies.

There are other facts not so often mentioned.

One, many employers are trying to squeeze more output from their existing workforce.

Two, employers are being super selective, looking for the cream of the crop.

Three, there is a shortage of people qualified for the new jobs in world of technology that is emerging.

At the same time, some companies say that when they do try to hire they have a difficult time locating the right people. Extended unemployment benefits could make people less willing to accept the jobs that are available. For others, troubles with mortgage and poor credit ratings make it tough for people to relocate for jobs.

David Haffner, CEO at a company that makes metal parts for bedding and other uses, sums it up when he declares his company is hesitant about any kind of expansion, because it’s unclear when and how the market will come back.

“With more experienced talent in these challenging times, we are utilizing a more rigorous screening and interviewing protocol. We feel it is crucial to add top graded talent.”

No matter how bitter the pill may be, there are some lessons to be learned for the country’s economy to recover.

One is that the dismal condition of the job market will not be improved by the government throwing money at the problem and passing laws and regulations that impede the health of businesses.

Another lesson is that recovery of the economy requires a massive retraining of the work force. Jobs, once accomplished by hands-on labor, will be done by computers in the future. The provision of this kind of training will be heavily dependent on enlightened government policies and funding.

No matter your political affiliation, you can help by making your voice heard in demanding action on these critical issues in Washington and in your local government.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

Career Advice: Nothing Happens Until You Sell Yourself!

How To Promote Your Career

A well-known adage advises that you have only to invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, bearing recognition and riches. Believe me, that’s poor career advice!

If you are content to accept that bit of career counseling, you are likely to end up with a shelf full of unsold traps.

Common sense says that inventing a better mousetrap is only the first step toward a successful career. Until potential buyers (i.e. employers) are aware of your mousetrap (i.e. your accomplishments and potential) and decide to choose you as a supplier you will be left waiting for success.

Few people are comfortable with promoting themselves. The idea generates a knee-jerk reaction: “I’d be too embarrassed to brag about myself. Besides, my work speaks for itself.” Wrong! Nothing happens until you sell yourself.

Sometimes peer pressure says, “Don’t raise your flag too high above the rest of us. We’ll all be put on the spot so we have to perform up to a higher standard.”

This is a counterproductive attitude except for those who are willing to lag behind in the comfort of the herd.

Overt braggarts are pains in the neck. Braggadocio will usually backfire. On the other hand, doing a good job, consistently, and letting the world know about it is an essential to success.

Five Ways To Promote Your Career

Here are five suggestions to help you promote your career.

1. Be sure your performance deserves recognition. You are programmed for failure if you try to take credit for more than you do.

2. Be sure your boss and the organization know what you are accomplishing. They may be taking you for granted.

Seek opportunities to work with other departments. Make contacts and friends. Let them know what you do.

3. If your organization maintains a public relations office, get to know the people who work there. If they recognize you as a knowledgeable source, they are more likely to publicize your work.

4. Be active in trade associations, civic clubs and public service activities.  With your employer’s permission, make speeches and write articles for the trade press and general news media. Everybody wins when you do. Your employer basks in the sunlight of your achievements. You gain visibility and contacts. You polish your skills and your image.

5. If you have done a job alone, don’t hesitate to accept the credit. Be just as quick to share the accolades when there has been a team effort.

Who Is Served By Your Reluctance?

If you are reluctant to promote your wares, ask yourself these questions:

If I can provide something of benefit, shouldn’t I let the rest of the world know about it?  Am I on an ego trip if I sit back and expect the world to beat a path to my door?  Whose interests are being served by my reluctance to make known what I can do?

How many mice will I have helped to eliminate if I have built a better mousetrap, but nobody buys one because they don’t know about its value?

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach

Common Sense At Work

Career Advice: How To Get Alerts To New Postings

You can receive an email alert every time I provide a new posting. It’s easy. When you are on our blog go to the Feedburner box on the right and enter your e-mail address. Going forward you will receive an email to let you know each time there’s a new posting.

If you have a RSS reader, add our feed to your reader. Just click on “Subscribe to a feed in a reader” beside the orange icon in the right hand column and follow the steps to add the feed.

Facebook and Twitter Are Up and Running

Become a Facebook Fan and receive career advice reminders on your Facebook homepage news feed! Simply search for “Common Sense At Work” to find our Facebook Page and click the “Like” button at the top of the page.

Do you Tweet?  Follow Common Sense At Work via Twitter at receive free tips and blog posting alerts.  You can also get updates via SMS texts by texting follow CommonSenseWork to 40404 in the United States.

I look forward to continued conversation about your career success.  I hope you’ll follow Common Sense At Work regularly with the help of blog alerts, Facebook, and/or Twitter.

I wish you career success!

Ramon Greenwood, The Career Coach, Common Sense At Work