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Do I go or do I stay? Part 1 June 13, 2011

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Upon typing the title I realized that it has two purposes one for job seekers and one for employed people thinking of jumping ship.

Part 1 will be for seekers and part 2 will be for employed.

As workers we do not have control over the markets or the shifts in markets. Sometimes the markets will shift geographically for economical reason for the company.

This creates situations that will instill fear into the hearts of brave men and women. The decision to stay or to go.

For the new graduates entering the work world your family is your security blanket your fall back plan until you have established yourself enough to be on your own. To be independent.

For the experienced worker. You have bought a house you have have a family you have friends….you are comfortable in your surroundings. Your family needs you to be close so that you can watch out over them. It is a tough world and you want the best  for your children and you want to see your grandchildren grow up.

When I was working in the electronics industry I knew that I had a limited choice of places to work. What I called the hot spots, Boston, Phoenix, California, Washington(state), New Mexico and Texas.  That changed in recent years and has seemed to dwindle down to Silicon Valley as being the last hot spot for electronics. Yes there are small scatterings of electronics throughout the country but it isn’t like the hubs of old when you could feel more secure about going to an area where there may be multiple opportunities.

So the choice boils down to this; do I stay and find a new field and struggle to work my way to the top or do I follow my passion and move to where the job is?

You  have a choice of moving the whole family or going out by yourself and just rent a room. You can come home once in awhile while you establish yourself and get comfortable enough to bring the rest of the family out.  This allows you time to find the right neighborhood with the right schools before bringing everyone out.

You always have a choice to stay find lower paying work and struggle or not find work because you are overqualified or not qualified for the new field and wind up homeless. Who have you served by doing this? Your family situation is not one of love peace and harmony. The stress is effecting everyone.  Your wife may have to go out and find work to make up the difference between what you used to make and what you are making now and in most cases that isn’t enough either. Then who will watch the grandchildren because their mother has to work to make ends meet.

Fear is what holds you place. Fear of the unknown, meeting new people making new friends, selling the old house and buying a new one in an unstable market.

The alternative is maintaining the job you are passionate about, the one you are qualified for, the one that may still have upward mobility opportunities with it.  The ability to still support your family.

Distance isn’t the enemy not in this age of text messages, video calls, Skype, Internet, and transportation.

I told my children 2 years ago I love you to death but I have to go where the jobs are even if is off-shore. They understood.

The easy decision isn’t always the right one and the tough ones are the hardest to make but usually are the best because they have been well thought out and planned.

So do you stay and everyone possibly suffers or do you go and embrace a new world and opportunity?

What are you going to do?

What has been your experience if you stayed?

What has been your experienced if you went?

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Our worst adversaries! March 21, 2011

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I will say that most of you reading the headline will think I am going to talk about recruiters and HR.

While they are formidable opponents they are not our worse but any stretch of the imagination.

We are our own worse enemies! Our two biggest adversaries we need to be fighting every second of every day is negativity, desperation and depression.

These three evil forces work much the same way as cancer does. They start out small and unassuming. Then they start to grow and fester until the change who we really are.

They can turn the best professionals into the cranky whiners that you would not want to hire on your worst day.

We have to understand that these three adversaries carry with us everywhere we go we wear them like a well fitted suit. The problem is the well fitted suits has print on it that says warning warning stay away from this person.

It carries with us into every phone screen and every interview. It clouds our thinking and effects our body language and our attitudes.  They will turn the most intelligent person into the biggest dumbass in a matter of weeks.

These are also highly contagious especially in groups of like individuals. Yes misery loves company. But will take someone in the group who is positive and drag them down into the murky depths of despair and gloom.

As intelligent professionals we of all people should realize this and know full well what the ramifications of these adversaries are. We should know full well what it means to our chances of getting out of the situation we are in.

The answer is to maintain a daily regiment of positive thinking with a large dose of confidence and self reflection.

Not to dwell on what isn’t working but to learn and move forward. We are not in a position to have a reverse our only direction is forward.

We need to kill the three adversaries and replace them with good things so that we will prevail through these hard times.

I am looking for positive people to join me in my quest. My role will be from here forward to be positive to a point where it is contagious and to distance myself from the naysayers who have been too overwhelmed by these cancers. This is by no means an easy task but anything worthwhile comes at the end of hard work and effort.

So are you with me or against me. Excuses not allowed on solutions and results.

What are your comments?

Dumbing down resumes March 15, 2011

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If this subject isn’t like opening a can of worms!

Do I or don’t I?

I need a job and I keep hearing that I am over qualified so should I dumb down my resume?

There are pros and cons to doing it and it could get you fired right after you have started a job.

If you dumb down your resume to get hired then once you are in you will want to prove yourself right? Well not so fast there, remember you dumb down your resume so you are not suppose to be good at what you do much less that advanced in it. So that will throw red flags up and then they will start asking how you know so much.

You have just been nailed! Some companies feel that omissions on a resume is the same as lying on your resume and it is grounds for immediate dismissal. So goes your short lived job.

Now the other problem for you. You have to remember what you didn’t put on there so you don’t mess up and look smarter than your dumb resume. So this puts stress on you to remember what your dumb you is versus the smart you who wants to excel. So it is how long can you play the dumb game before the stress makes you go crazy.

ANOTHER VIEW

If you need to dumb down your resume to get a job, how happy will you be in a job where you know that your smarter than your boss and maybe even their boss. How happy will you be knowing that you had to degrade yourself to land a job.  You are going to be miserable and not very productive and this could effect your 90 day review.

The other part of that is you are proud of the work you have done and the skills you have acquired and you hate the fact that you have to dumb down to get a job.  So again you are miserable and the question is can you leave that misery at  work or are you going to wear it as your albatross??? Now your friends and/or family are miserable.

So what do you do?

Well that is up to you.  I know things are getting desperate and that money is tight and about to run out. So you think it is desperation time just dumb it down and get a job any job at this point.

Well if you are going that route don’t apply for a company your really want to work at because it could destroy your chances of working there the right way.  If you are going for survival work while you still look for your dream job I would say do what you think is best for you.

In closing let me just say keep track of who you sent the dumb resume to as you don’t want to show up at an interview and spring the smart resume on them. That would make the interview real short.

Choices March 10, 2011

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Where do I start with choices that job seekers have? There are not many and they are all tough choices.

We are up against the worst  job market since probably the depression. It isn’t getting any better. The government is absolutely no help as they are controlled by finance and big business. Just look at AIG and Goldman Sachs, they bail them out only to have these companies go right back to business as usual and the government sits silent and does nothing.  Oh they put on an air pushing for reform but that was to appease the tax payers and then let it die in the media and congress.

Since things are so frustrating  job seekers are in a front line battle with HR and recruiters. This is one of those feuds that have been going on far too long like the Hatfield’s and the McCoys. At least in some groups the better recruiters are trying diligently to train job seekers and bad recruiters as to how it done properly.

It could be companies have agents to keep this feud going as it detracts from them who are the real problem here. Them! Yes they are the ones that can’t make a decision, they have no clue what they really need, and their attitude about unemployed need no apply.

Then there are there  job postings. What moron is writing these things up? They themselves couldn’t fill the position they are advertising  as they would be highly underqualified.

There are many merger and acquisitions going on which equates to more layoffs and then companies are still laying off anyway. AOL just laid off 200 in the US only. Thanks AOL for boosting the economy. I am glad I got away from them many years ago.

So what choices do we have with all this going against us.

The choices are these;

1.) Refuse to be intimidated by the situation and all the players in it.

2.) Resolve to stay positve and help others like yourself stay positive.

3.) Do not give up ever! Yes it is tough but you are a professional and do professionals throw in the towel? No! They find solutions. So find yours!

4.) Get out of the house, network, walk, get a cup of coffee or tea, visit a friend who is unemployed.

5.) Stick to your values and ethics.

6.) They cannot take away your knowledge, skills  and experience. But just because you are not working doen’t mean yu can’t use them to help you land that next job.

7.) Stop generating excuses and being a naysayer. Get positive and confident.

8.) Get into LinkedIn Job hunt groups and also recruiter groups so that you can have discussion and not assumptions. The good ones will help you.

9.) Help out around the house but wait until after dinner, your 9-5 is your job search job nothing else.

So it boils down to your choice is to let this defeat you or you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move forward.

Is it time to fight back? February 23, 2011

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I hear horror stories form job seekers on a daily basis. I find it at times hard to phathom how recruiters HR and companies can be so insensitive and unethical and especially unprofessional. How these people are totally clueless to the impact that their actions have on them, their industry, their field, and their business. The fact that the leadership nay the , because they lack leadership, allows this to happen and in some cases condones it. i.e. unemployeed need not apply!

We hear from all types of sources that we can not use abbreviations nor acronyms in our resumes, which by the way are industry specific and widely used in that industry. However when we view job postings they are laden with exactly what we are not allowed to use. This double standard has a negative reflection on HR and recruiters but then they don’t care. They are of the school of do as I say not as I do. Well I for one and I am sure there are many am fed up with the double standard. I probably will not get the job nor do I want to work for such companies anyway so I might as well enjoy the process my way.

We see it on job boards, God why is anyone still using them?, we see it on LinkedIn and other sites.

I have started a campaign to right this injustice.

When I see things like “I’m Hiring” I will not inquire if they are talking humans or animals. Which MLM or insurance company do they represent.

No I don’t want to buy or sell viagra and no I don’t want to hear your how to get rich scheme where the only one making millions is you off of desperate people.

I will point out that the ad is confusing between abbreviations and acronyms and if I am told that it is okay for the ad because it is industry standards I will put them in my resume with a bold note at the top informing them that all abbreviations and acronyms are industry standards.

I will also make it a habit to point out to them poor grammar and spelling errors. Then inform them that I could not work for a company with such poor work ethics.

Our time is valuable as we work much longer hours than they do trying to find work so that we may survive.  So I feel it is in our right to dish back to them the junk they throw at us all the time.

Maybe just maybe it may strike a chord in their small minds and bring to light how unprofessional and callous they have been.

I pointed out the one HR person yesterday as to how it wasted my time responding to his “Excellent oppotunity” ad just to find out it was for sales. Yes that is the exact spelling from the ad and I pointed that out as well.

I received an apology and a thanks for the feedback and a promise that he would be more respectful in the future.

So it is a start of my mission for us all.

 

Do you feel like Thomas Edison? I know I do! January 31, 2011

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Thomas Edison took 1,000 tries to invent the lightbulb.

When asked about his many failures Edison replied that he had not failed at all. But that he had learned 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.

There is a lesson in this.  We apply for jobs and then expect results. When none come we do the same thing over again. This is the definition of insanity.  We need to learn from our trials and tribulations during the process. Like Edison it may take you 1,000 tries to land that job.

Do you think Edison kept using the same materials over and over again expecting different results. NO!

He studied what he did and learned from it. If I use this wire it just heats up and breaks. Why did it do that? Oh I see the wire has to have these properties. Next wire.

As job seekers we have to do the same thing. We have to catalog everything we try and to learn from the lesson. We need to analyze it and take the parts that worked and figure out how to use them in a better lightbulb and then discard the ones that didn’t.  We need to know what didn’t work so we don’t repeat it and waste time.

Ah but we have the advantage that Edison did not we have others doing the same thing that we can meet with and find out what they have discovered.  Kind of like what  the Wright Brothers had experienced during the process of making their plane. There were others working on the same idea at the same time and they somewhat shared their ideas, I think more out of ego than collaboration.

So lets all be Like Thomas Edison and have the right attitude that we haven’t failed we just have discovered a number of ways that don’t work.

 

 

Dear Corporate America I am not resting on my laurels Sincerely Jobseeker January 21, 2011

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There has been much discussion these past year about how companies and others are looking at job seekers.

They call them lazy, unqualified, deadbeats, entitled and others.

I guess they easily forget tit was they who put a high number of highly qualified people on the streets in the name of profits ans shareholder equity. Now instead of being part of the solution to help the economy they have become a larger part of the problem.  They are also assisted by the recruiting industry.

Can you blame the qualified people who have been out of work for so long to give up hope on landing a position with the treatment they have received and unduly at that. Shame on you  people! Your attitude and actions should be considered unethical and immoral to say the least. But this seems to be the attitude that prevails in America today.

A vast number of qualified people to keep their skills up to date have taken on volunteer work, consulting, contract and short term employment. They do this to survive and even at that it is a struggle.

But now you are even using that as an excuse not to hire someone. The practice started at the end of 2010 that is you are not employed you need not apply was the most absurd shoot yourself in the foot move that I have ever seen. Then you have the audacity to state that you cannot find qualified candidates to fill your open positions while you treat your employees like slave labor.  You are your own worst enemy.

The economy is starting to turn and you will need to replace a number of positions that you vacated. It would serve you right to not be able to attract or retain top talent.  It would serve you right for the people working for you now to not increase their productivity one iota. This is what you are facing for your sins.

I know a number of highly qualified seekers who speak with me frequently on their frustrations and how they have been demoralized by you people. IS compassion dead in the business world? It sure appears that way.

I have to encourage these people to persevere and to stay focused in their endeavors. I have to try to make sense of what is going on in order to give them some gleam of hope. I myself am finding it harder to fathom these actions that I speak of and can only chalk it up to poor leadership, which also seem prevalent today. I understand in business when things start to turn down that is is a good time to get rid of deadwood in the first RIF. What I have a hard time fathoming is the actions being taken against people who are qualified that were parts of the preceding  RIF’s. I just can’t understand the reasoning behind this abomination.  Were you thinking that your company was the only one that suffered the recession in your industry? I wish someone would explain to me the valid reasoning behind these insane practices so that I might be better equipped to explain it to my clients.

SO what I would like Corporate America to understand that the qualified people are not sitting at home on their ass watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. They are out there volunteering, consulting, contracting and working temp in order to keep there skills fresh. They are patiently waiting for the opportunity to help your company recover and move forward.  You are over looking one of the hardest working forces waiting  for this energy to be unleashed by you.  And you have the audacity to look down on such a valuable asset. I question where you learned how to run a business and further questions your leadership skills.

This blog will invoke anger as it is intended to. But I wish you to carefully consider is that anger really at me as a scapegoat or yourself for the actions you have brought about on others. Do these unconscionable actions excuses to help you sleep better at night? To be able to get up in the morning and face yourself in the mirror knowing there are seekers and their families suffering, being torn to the brink of destruction, due your decisions and actions?

I am running out of excuses for your actions. I used up all the business reasons and they no longer fly. So what is your solution or are you going to continue being the problem?

 

Job Hunt desires and humor! January 13, 2011

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Do you ever get the urge to step outside and scream at the top of your lungs, I am somebody dammit and I am qualified for the jobs I submit too.

I know that I do.

The other idea that just popped into my head was to have in large 16 or 18 point bold Ariel font at the top of my resume the following.

For human consumption only!  Not responsible for making scanning software ignorant!

or the other idea,

To be read by an intelligent caring human being preferably a hiring manager.

But that would be an oxymoron then wouldn’t it.

I would like to get a large gathering of HR professionals, I use that term very loosely, and give them all a behavioral and psychological test/interview. Provide them with with all the assessment test to take. When all was completed I would match their results up to a industry standard job posting and fire everyone of them that didn’t  match exactly.

Then I would post their postions and if they applied would send them a form letter saying that although we were impressed with your quailifcation we found much better qualified candidates.

Just what are the qualifications for an HR position?

Heartless?

Unable to see potential from reading a resume?  Is reading still a requirement?

Reading Comprehension? Replaced by scanning software!

Pigeon Holing?

Rationalization?

I think that one day soon I will search for HR positions to see what the requirements are.

Will it require them to have every combination of alphabet after their name?

Will it require being a recent college grad willing to work for dirt but have 15 years of experience?

Will it say that most of you who apply while qualified will be told your over or that there are better qualified than you?

Career Coaches are another target pet peeve of mine!

How to find a job by committee consensus! A group of self appointed career coaches gathered for a week of drunken debauchery and decided these are the things that you need to do to find a job.  Of course we have jobs so we don’t nor care if they work.

Research was done recently on LinkedIn profiles to find the most used and abused word and phrases and the total was 50. I read all 50 and found that every single one of them are what you are told to use to stand out by career coaches and so called HR experts.

By doing this they have rendered these words and phrases a meaningless to hiring managers.

It did not surprise me that when I checked I my resume and profile not one single word or phrase did I find.

To differentiate is to not fall inline like a lemming with everyone else.  However scanning software is not AI (artificial intelligence) and can’t tell that you are qualified and differentiating.   Apparently neither can HR nor career coaches.

Let us not forget the battle over resume length!  The trenches are dug and the battle wages on. It appears to be evenly matched and no winner any time soon.

I think the one page reasoning is that there comprehension time isn’t long enough to get to page 2. How did they ever get through college?

Maybe the reason is because the 2-3,000 resume they claim to receive  for 1 post is lighter than if you has some 2,3 or 4 page resumes in the pile. There job doesn’t require heavy lifting.

I once sent a professional profile instead of a resume. I received a call from an HR type who couldn’t comprehend what the profile was saying and asked for a 1 page resume. Chronological of course!  I said for a mid level manager position a 1 page resume would be insufficient. His reply was that is what I was told to ask for. I said then I rescind my application because I cannot work for a company like yours. Then I had to explain rescind.

I apologize if I sound like I am complaining it is just that I tired of having to deal with a system that is terribly broken and the people in the system will do nothing to fix it.  There latest committee fix to the problem was to change their name from Human Resource to Human Capital to make themselves feel less hated. Well it didn’t work you still look like incompetent Bozoos from the outside looking in.

 

 

Something to share with friends and family January 8, 2011

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I was in a lengthy conversation yesterday with a friend who is unemployed. It started with a comment her mother made. It made me think in a way how true that statement was.

So you should share this post with your friends and family.

Friends and family have all the best intentions when trying to help you. The problem is they really don’t know how. Family especially, they either fall silent or they nag about you not working yet.

What they do not understand is that you are already under self induced stress and that their nagging doesn’t help. It just makes matters that much worse.

What are the effects?

You are already feeling bad enough about not working when they place more stress on you it kicks up your negativity meter up 20 points or more. The longer you are out the worse things gets, self doubt starts creeping in to undermine your efforts to find that great position you want . The effects it has on your job search become detrimental to you. You look for negative aspects in every job post . This will keep you from applying to jobs that you are qualified for but because you are missing one or two points your negativity will tell you don’t bother. This could be a missed opportunity. When you get a phone screen it is in your voice no matter how much you try to sound upbeat you do not come across as genuine. You are on edge from being stressed and frustrated and ready to explode at the person on the other end of the phone when they ask you stupid questions. This negativity will carry through in a face to face interview.

They need to realize the news isn’t helping either with their conflicting articles and reports. Some of it is based on business trying to get consumers to spend money they do not have. I see a lot of it as pure hype to get consumers to hold up the economy from further collapse. Business will not make sacrifices they want the consumer to make them.

The fear factor that is going on in business today especially in the hiring process. Managers and HR are afraid to make a decision for fear of hiring the wrong person. If they do hire they are not hiring the best they are hiring the safest. Friends and Family need to realize this that it really isn’t you it is the system that is broken right now.

US based companies that are laying off here and hiring in foreign markets are not helping the US economy because it is presenting false hope for home. How does this happen. Because their business in foreign markets is improving while here they are diminishing their profits are rising. They appear to economist to be on the rebound so the economist wrongly apply that to the home market. They are giving false hope that the home markets are on the rebound and that jobs will soon follow. If you look at the stories form people with enough guts to tell the truth, they are saying that the rate of new jobs is not enough to get us back to prerecession rates by 2016.  So it doesn’t look hopeful for job seekers.

So what can friends and family do for you? They can get a really good understanding of what it is you are looking for. That position that you would love to go to everyday. Then they need to go to their networks and say hey I have a friend who is a great ______________ and they are looking for an opportunity to contribute to a company. Then they need to give you encouragement. To boost your ego not tear it down. They need to offer to help you research companies. They need to talk to their networks to find good recruiters that may know of unadvertised jobs.

Yes they need to give encouragement. Tell you what a great job you are doing staying focused and going for that dream job. Keeping you positive is their job, not adding stress to an already stressful situation.  The more they can help stay focused and upbeat the faster you will find that position and land it.

If you are wondering what my friends mother said, she said, You are not successful because we are in your life. For all the reasons I mentioned above she is right.

It is stressful for everyone involved but positive is the attitude that must be adopted to succeed and to avoid the negatives at all costs.

 

News we could loose!(Humor title) January 6, 2011

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I am being a little sarcastic with the headline. Why? Because it is news we do not really want to hear but must face.

The news we have been hearing through 2010 is continuing into 2011. I guess it boils down to who you want to listen to and who do you want to believe.  I mean it is confusing when the media you are reading has 2 articles on the same page that conflict each other.

US companies showing a rebound in stocks. Sounds great for the ole  U S of A gives you hope. Then 2 articles down they tell you that while US based companies are hiring like crazy off shore they continue to layoff here at home.

The industry that is hiring is the medical field so you should apply there. They do not tell you that you need school and more than that exact experience. A few articles down there is talk of drug companies having major layoffs as well as hospitals.

So you can see my point for the title and the sarcasm.

So with all the conflicting data and articles out there what is a seeker to do.

Stay focused, do your research, pick your target companies and stay on top of what they are doing. Set up google alerts on them to notify you when they get mentioned. Use this information when you are networking your way into the company.

Use LinkedIn to help you get noticed and stay up on the latest trends in your field. How? By groups and professional organization groups, read and engage in the discussions.  Check the company for jobs and for people who you may want to network with.

Loose the news and stay focused on what is important you landing!