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Archive for December, 2010

December 29th, 2010 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice

istock_000013153645xsmallAnyone who has ever been laid off or listened to news reports of an industry failing has to have asked themselves “What area can I work in that will be bullet proof?” Well, there really is no specific answer to that, as we are constantly seeing new developments that outdate old ways of doing things. If you work in bookselling or publishing, for instance, the writing has been on the wall for years. If you work in customer service, you may be seeing less opportunity as jobs are farmed out to India. If your job involves mainly activities that can be done on the computer, then these activities can be done from China just as easily as the next office.

What do you do to make your skills count in person, to keep your job from being outsourced overseas? It may make a funny sit-com, but when it happens to you or someone you know, you must consider making yourself as bullet proof as possible. You don’t want to be taking classes in buggy-whip making when the streets are full of cars, or follow in the footsteps of a milkman.
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December 28th, 2010 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in In the Workplace

NewsletterToo many company newsletters simply end up in the trash can, unread, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A newsletter is a wonderful way to communicate to all your employees, boosting morale, improving the company’s culture, and educating employees about the company’s overall picture.

Lavish on the praise. This is a great time to call out accomplishments by individuals and departments. Try to spread out the compliments over time, so that different people and departments are getting recognition in each newsletter. Focusing too much on certain individuals or parts of the company can lead to jealousy and be counterproductive.

Feature new employees. If your organization isn’t too large, this can be a great way to let people get to know the new kids on the block. Share a brief questionnaire asking fun, basic questions like hobbies, favorite movies and TV shows, and where they’re from. Then share this information along with a snapshot. Now everyone has easy conversation starters to connect with the new team member.
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December 22nd, 2010 by Linda White   Posted in Resumark News

istock_000007915848xsmallQ: Please describe a typical day in your current job or last job.

A: “My day typically starts with email – I check to make sure that nothing is blowing up. If nothing is critical, I can move on to my plan for the day. I typically work on projects in two-hour increments, which gives me time to focus on the task at hand but also insures that I don’t get bogged down on just one thing all day. In past positions, I have typically worked on several projects at once, so this approach allows me to switch gears while still retaining focus on any one project. If something blows up, I then can take care of it and I pick up where I left off earlier on the other projects.”

Rationale: You want to show that you have a strategic or at least purposeful approach to your work day. If you have the type of job where you are basically reacting to things as they happen, you would want to show that you are can react swiftly and not lose your cool, and handle many things at once. Give them a scenario that is fairly tame. They will likely ask you more about how you deal with emergencies or switching gears, so don’t make it sound like that happens every day, or they’ll wonder why your work always blow up. If you can give them activities of an actual day that shows your skills, then by all means do that.
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December 21st, 2010 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in In the Workplace

job interviewTaking accurate and easy-to-understand notes is a valuable skill, whether you’re the official note-taker or simply jotting down notes for yourself.

Ask for past meeting notes. If you’re taking formal meeting notes for the first time, this is the best guide for what is expected of you. Take note of the format and what information is included. You don’t have to be married to what has already been done. There is always room for improvement, but understanding the company standard can help you do a better job and ensure that you don’t let anything slip through the cracks.

If you’re simply taking notes for yourself, you may find it valuable to understand what records are available to you after the meeting. That way, you don’t waste your time jotting down things that someone else is already writing down. Instead, you can focus on writing the things that apply specifically to you.
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December 16th, 2010 by Linda White   Posted in Career Advice, Job Search

istock_000001353732xsmallOn a recent segment on “60 Minutes,” Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, mentioned that “…40% of the long-term unemployed have been out of work for six months or longer.” This astounding news is made more glum by his assertion that when people are unemployed for these longer periods, they are much less likely to land a job. Bernanke maintains that the long-term unemployed suffer as their skills erode and they become estranged from the work place. They become outsiders looking in, and it may take years for them to regain their former place.

However, if you are one of these long-term unemployed, you don’t have to throw in the towel just yet. There are ways to make sure you stay fresh and crisp. Actually, whether you are unemployed or not, you should always be working on your skills to maintain the top performance that you want employers to see. There are several ways to keep your skills sharp and to maintain a connection to the work place.
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