Looking for Jobs One Job at a Time

6 Benefits to Using a Temp Agency to Find a JobYour job is out there even if you’re not found it yet. Of course it will become someone else’s job if you don’t find it first. Ah, but how to find it? That is the question that everyone asks and the answer is not as complicated as it seems. 50% of job search is determination (spend the time, knowing where to look, coming up with a job search marketing plan, etc.) and 50% is having the right tools (resume, cover letter, interview questions, etc.). The easy part about helping friends look for a job is telling them what to do and where to look. The hard part is helping them deal with the frustration (which, as you know, can by high at times). Slow and steady progress every day will help you focus on the task at hand. The simple advice here is one job at a time (and one day at a time).

Make a Plan: Pretty simple, like everything else, if you don’t plan it out it won’t get done.

  • How To Kickstart Your Job Search – Just as the title implies, everything you need to get started on your job search. Posted on JobMob, the article provides a number of useful links from the Job Search Marketing Toolkit (resumes, cover letters and the like) to links on job search checklists, planning and job search strategies to get you on your way. While you are on the site, take a look at the related links on the right hand side of the page as well as the links to related articles at the bottom of the page.
  • Planning for Your Job Search – This is the first in a series of job search planning articles by CareerAlley.  This article provides the basic steps you should follow in creating your job search plan, covering the documents you need, lists to create, and all of the other steps you will need in your job search plan. But that’s not all, take a look at the other articles in this series.
  • For Job-Hunting Success, Develop a Comprehensive Job-Search Plan – A comprehensive 10-step plan from Quintcareers.com, this article provides 10 steps to creating a great job search plan. Each step (such as make the time, reflect on what you want, etc.) provides a great overview along with embedded links to related information including creating the basic tools in your Job Search Marketing Toolkit. There are additional tabs at the top of the page for Students, Job-Seekers and Career Changers. Additionally, there are related links on the top left hand side of the page.

Create Your Toolkit: I speak about the Job Search Marketing Toolkit often, the following links will help you build yours.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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8 Ways to Be A Smart Job Seeker

human_brain_drawingMany of us are familiar with the hardships involved in being an unemployed job seeker (take a look at I Lost My Job, Now What).  Not only is it frustrating and depressing when you can’t find a job, but the feelings become magnified as the length of time unemployed increases and the financial stress takes its toll.

Rather than be depressed over the challenges and pressures of looking for a new job, job seekers should focus on accomplishments along the way. Following are eight tips on how to fast track your job search by becoming a smarter, more focused job seeker and be better equipped for the future job market.

  • Review Your Finances and make a Budget: If you are unemployed, the first thing you need to do is review your finances and make a budget.
    • Immediately review your finances to see where you can curb costs and expenses.
    • Make an “unemployed” budget.
    • Apply for unemployment. Although it is not much, it is more than zero.
    • If you need to travel for job interviews, try to schedule several events in the same day.

 

 

  • Set Realistic and Achievable Goals:
    • Make your time count when it comes to finding the right job. Make a specific checklist of the things you want to achieve each day to make sure your job search is productive.
    • Set goals such as “I need to make at least five calls today” or “I’m going to reach out / network with four people today.”
    • Make you list of companies where you would like to work. Once you have this list, do some research to find competitors and add those companies to your list as well.

 

  • Your Job Search is Your Full Time Job: When you are out of work, finding the right job requires the same commitment as one would commit to a full-time job.
    • Set a “work schedule” of at least 9am to 5pm 5 days per week.
    • Create your daily “to do” list (see above) for the next day as the last task of the day.
    • Spend part of each day focusing on one key item (networking, job applications, research, recruiters, etc.).

 

  • Build and Leverage Your Network:
    • Make a list of your existing network. This includes every friend, relative, former coworker, current coworker, college or high school acquaintance, your neighbors, your mailman and the checkout person at the supermarket. All of these individuals are part of your existing network.
    • Extend your network by adding people who work or worked at companies where you worked, people who work or worked at companies where you would like to work. Recruiters who cover your industry.
    • Attend networking events. These are a great place to build you network. There are a wide range of events, including alumni events and trade group events.

 

  • Improve Your Skills (and Learn New Skills):

    • Review your existing skills (from above) and make a plan to improve skills that are weak. There are many online courses you can take.
    • Improving your reading, writing and math skills will add confidence and make you a better candidate.
    • Improve your computer skills, including applications that are important for your industry.
    • If you are currently unemployed, dedicate time during your job search to acquire new skills.

 

  • Professional Help:
    • If needed, hire a professional resume writer who can help with your resume and help you build your Job Search Marketing Toolkit (see CareerAlley Resources)
    • I’m not a fan of “paid” job search professionals (people who you pay to help you find a job), so “buyer beware” on these individuals.
    • Recruiters (they get paid by the hiring company) are professionals who can help ensure you have everything you need to succeed on your interviews.

 

  • Social Media: Understand and leverage social media.
    • Facebook can be leveraged for your job search. That being said, be careful what is on your Facebook account that may ruin your chances with potential employers.
    • Google yourself often. Create a Google alert with your name. Be the first to know if there is anything negative about you on the Internet.
    • LinkedIn – Need I say more?  Take a look at Creating Your Network on LinkedIn

 

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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Headhunters versus “Scam” Hunters – Do Your Homework

Job InterviewIf you’ve been involved in a serious job search for any length of time, you’ve probably come across what I call “Scam Hunters”. These are companies that masquerade as recruiting firms and, once they contact you (and suck you in), try to sell you on a program where they claim they will “represent” you in your job search. The typical fee is $5,000 or so (but $10,000 and more is not unusual), but if they can get more $ out of you they will. If you do a search on these companies for complaints, you will find that most have numerous complaints and claims against them (this is certainly true for the four that have contacted me).

So my point is this, a true recruiter (headhunter, executive search firm, etc.) will not charge you for their services. They are paid (either by retainer or contingency) by the hiring company.

While many people decide to pay for services during their job search such as resume writing, interview coaching, resume blasting, etc., this is money is generally well spent if you need the help. But don’t be sucked in by slick salespeople who will sell you something you don’t need and will probably never deliver. Do some research on these companies and you will see what I mean.

Job Search Scams: “If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true”.  Protect your personal information at all costs.

  • Work at Home Schemes: There are probably some legitimate work at home companies out there, but the vast majority of “work from home” offers are scams. The FTC receives thousands of complaints on these schemes. Their sales pitches are very convincing, and they all have a list of names of individuals who supposedly made 10’s of thousands of dollars.  That being said, look out for:
    • Check out the CEO, if his address is a PO Box, stay away.
    • Find out the state of incorporation and check for complaints with the Attorney General, FTC and Better Business Bureau.
    • Do not give your bank information, credit card information or your Social Security number.
    • Take a look at the free FTC publication – Work-at-home-Schemes.
  • Emails about Jobs You Didn’t Apply For: If you get an email from an employer or recruiter regarding a job that you don’t remember applying for, there is a pretty good chance that you didn’t and it is a scam. They will usually shower you with compliments about why you are the perfect candidate and then they will ask for a bunch of personal information. Don’t be fooled. Ask them for their information and do a check on them (and don’t give them any information).
  • Job Search Boards: Even though a job may be posted on a legitimate job search board, the actual job may be a scam. Do not provide any personal information on the “application”, this information would only be given if you are hired. Also, only use job search boards that you’ve heard of.  There are many fake job search boards out there just trying to trick you into giving up your personal information.
  • Other Warning Signs:
    • The pay is too good to be true
    • You didn’t contact them (but they say you did)
    • Unprofessional emails (poor grammar, misspelled words, your name misspelled, etc.)
    • Emails from companies your trust, offering you a job and asking your to “just click here” are most probably a scam (do not click on the link).
    • Unsolicited phone calls – ask for their information and a call back number. Get their name, address and do a search.

Other Resources:

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

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Joey

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Personality Types and Your Career

2l9LftC7When it comes to personality types, Molly Owens has you covered. As CEO of Truity, a California-based provider of online personality and career assessments, and developer of the TypeFinder® personality type assessment, Molly sees firsthand the benefits understanding your personality and how it affects your personal and professional lives can bring.

 

Tell us about Truity, its history and its mission.

When we started Truity, we wanted to make it easy for people to take robust, scientifically validated personality and career assessments online, on their own terms. These types of assessments have been around for decades, but unfortunately, they have traditionally been available only through psychologists at a very high cost. We wanted to make the powerful self-insight that comes from assessment available to everyone.

Our mission has always been to create open access for individuals to learn more about their personalities and allow everyone to get essential insight into how their personality shapes their decision making, work preferences, and relationships with others.

 

What are Personality Type Assessments?

Personality type assessments provide insight into the stable traits and characteristics of the individual taking the test. The ultimate goal of a personality assessment is to help you understand how you are unique and different from other people. These assessments look at core aspects of who you are, what you value, and what motivates you.

 

How does this compare to Briggs Myer (or is it the same)?

Tests based on the Briggs Myers theory are one style of personality assessment which assign individuals a four-letter personality “type.” Not all personality assessments give results in terms of a type, but types can be extremely useful because people then have a quick shorthand for identifying key aspects of themselves, like how they relate to others and structure their lives.

 

How can Personality Type Assessments help individuals plan a successful career?

When you learn more about your personality, you’re making an investment in your career. Personality type assessments help individuals discover their personal and professional strengths and motivations so they can make informed decisions about the trajectory of their career.

By using personality type assessments, individuals can learn crucial information about their approach in relating to other people, decision-making style, leadership style, and other important indicators that can mean the difference between a happy, successful career and just a string of unrewarding jobs.

 

There are a number of free tests available on Truity.com. How can individuals leverage these assessments?

Truity’s free tests and quizzes can be great tools for individuals who are starting to explore the career search process, and want to gain some insight into where their strengths and interests lie.

Tests like the Holland Code Career Test, the Personality Strengths Inventory and the TypeFinder Temperament Quiz can help individuals start to understand the key factors of their personalities that are important for the job search. This knowledge can help job seekers begin to direct their search toward the careers and roles that are best suited to their strengths. Moreover, taking the different tests on Truity can help individuals understand different aspects of their personalities so they’re better able to address them in interview and/or networking situations.

Individuals that understand their personality tendencies are more prepared to discuss how they will handle different work situations, how they will manage workplace stress, and how likely they are to be engaged by their role.

 

Which assessments are best for those individuals trying to figure out what they are best at?

For individuals who are making serious decisions about their careers, we recommend our two professional-quality assessments, the Career Surveyor and the TypeFinder personality test.

The Career Surveyor is based on the Holland Code system, which is one of the most established career assessment theories used today. Holland Code assessments help you to categorize your interests and understand how they relate to careers. They answer questions like, “Would I enjoy the day-to-day work of being a doctor?” or “Am I suited to a career in the arts?”

The TypeFinder is based on the Briggs Myers theory of personality, and helps individuals to identify their core ways of thinking and dealing with the world. Taking a Briggs Myers assessment prior to choosing a career ensures that you have a deep understanding of who you really are, so you can select a path that will be satisfying and take advantage of your natural strengths.

 

What assessments are best for those who have already started a career and have stagnated?

For individuals who are not sure they’re in the right career, I would suggest the TypeFinder® and Career Surveyor assessments. The TypeFinder assessment will help the individual understand what motivates them, how their energy style may be affecting their work, and how their decision-making plays a part in their success. Once an individual learns more about their personality type, the Career Surveyor will help to determine what specific careers are the best fit for that individual.

 

Is the Career Surveyor service just for college students or recent grads or can it be used mid-career?

No, the Career Surveyor is most often used by college students and recent grads, but can also be a very helpful tool for individuals who want to assess their career trajectory later in life. Because your career interests can change over time as you have different experiences, it is actually a good tool to use mid-career to make sure your professional goals are still aligned with your interests.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,
Joey

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Ready For a Career Change? Check Out These Interesting Jobs

If you’re stuck in a rut and contemplating a career change, it might be a good idea to look at what else is out there. The deeper you go into the search for gainful employment, the more likely you’re bound to run into some odd jobs. With that said, there are other careers even further under the surface that most people tend to overlook. Some are strange, some have a weird skill set requirement, but all are interesting. The below opportunities will give you an idea of where to look if you’re searching for a non-traditional opportunity that will still have a reasonable salary.

 

Elevator Mechanic 

801891000It stands to reason that if there are elevators, then there are probably elevator mechanics. What you may not realize is that there is no elevator mechanic school and the 20,000 strong industry in the United States has largely been created from passed down knowledge. Another thing you might not know (and be surprised to find out) is that elevator mechanics earn a decent pile of money for the job they do, with an average salary being about $75,000. While most of their work is dedicated obviously to the repair, maintenance, and installation of elevators, most of these professionals are also well-versed in dealing with escalators, moving walkways, and other random alternatives to stairs.

To start your new career as an elevator mechanic, the first step will be to find an existing one and set up an apprenticeship deal to learn the ins and outs of the trade. Your apprenticeship probably won’t be paid too well, but the skills you learn over the course of about six months on the job will prepare you for your own solo career as an elevator mechanic. From there, you’ll only be going up. 

 

Blackjack Croupier

Blackjack_boardEven though online poker attracts more players than its live counterpart, the truth is that there are plenty of in-person games happening all the time. As such, each poker table in Macau, Las Vegas, or any other gambling location needs a trained croupier to handle all the details. If you’ve ever played live poker with a good dealer, then you probably didn’t even give them a second thought – they just delivered the cards, ran the game, and generally stayed out of the way. In fact, the best croupiers run the game so smoothly that you hardly realize they are there.

Training to become a blackjack croupier doesn’t take much time and the money is certainly good for the small amount of time needed to become certified. Sure, it helps to already know the basic rules of the game, but a good dealing school can have you ready for your first croupier gig in about a month. How much does a poker croupier pull in? Well, it depends on how good you are, as tips make up a good portion of a dealer’s income. While they are often pooled together with other dealers to get rid of variance, a good team of croupiers in a bustling cardroom can easily make $50,000+ a year. Add in plenty of free travel for major poker events and you’ve got a fun career.

 

Kids’ Luggage Organizer 

1401137266-0Go back and read that again because maybe it didn’t settle in well the first time. Kids Luggage Organizer. Yep, it’s a real job and one that pays a ridiculous $250 per hour. What is a kids’ luggage organizer? Well, exactly what it sounds like. Every year when countless New York City parents send their children off to summer camp, it opens up a short window of employment for these professionals, whose sole job is to make sure the munchkins have everything they need for their parent-less sojourn.

It may sound like a cushy job, but you need to keep in mind that these parents are often pretty demanding about what their children need and a packing session could easily take four hours or more ($1000 just to pack). One such organizer detailed her own experiences, stating that her clients were quite picky and even asked for sheets to be the same thread count as the kids had at home. It’s going to be a hard gig to break into, but if you do, a single season of luggage packing could bring in a salary similar to a normal job for a whole year.

 

Snake Milker 

milkingIs danger your middle name? If so, maybe you’d like to check out a new job as a snake milker. No, we’re not talking about lactose but rather venom and usually the serious kind. Believe it or not, the job of snake milker does exist and those brave enough to spend time around some of the deadliest reptiles in the world could be rewarded with a significant payday. What a snake milker does is to use a surprisingly simple device of a glass with a rubber top and then hold the snake’s fangs up to the rubber so that venom is released into the glass. There are safety precautions in place, but catching a fatal bite is never completely out of the equation.

Being a snake milker doesn’t necessarily require any special degree, but you’d better go for an apprenticeship instead of striking it out on your own. That is, if you want to stay alive. Still, once you’ve got the basics down, herded up some poisonous snakes, and found a pharmaceutical or research client to buy the venom, then you’re in business. The price of venom is quite high, but you should also be aware that it will take many milking sessions to get a quantity sizable enough to sell.

Outside the box” employment opportunities are everywhere. In every small niche industry and corner, there’s some strange gig just waiting to be filled. Like the interesting examples above prove, if you’re willing to eschew the routine jobs and go for something a bit different, you might find that it comes with a decent bit of financial incentive.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

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Joey

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