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Career-Life Times, Issue #14 -- Hot Job Opportunities
March 22, 2005
Happy Spring!

Issue No. 14, March 21, 2005

"Get Hired - Get Noticed - Get Ahead"

Welcome to the latest issue of CAREER-LIFE TIMES! I hope you find this little publication to be informative, useful and entertaining!

If you don't like it, there's an unsubscribe link at the end. And if you have any ideas on how I can improve it, please let me know--I greatly value your suggestions! My email address is also at the end.

In This Issue:

* Hot Job Opportunities
* More Hot Job Opportunities
* Network Your Way to a New Job
* How to Answer a Question About Underperforming Co-Workers
* Take a Break!
* Resources
* Worth Quoting
* Just for Laughs
* Random Rants & Ramblings

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Hot Job Opportunities

"Knock, knock." No, this isn't the beginning of a joke, it's opportunity knocking!

If you're unemployed or unhappy with your job, you'll be happy to know about an emerging trend that may help you start an exciting new career.

I work for a public agency that treats sewage. (Glamorous, huh?) Here's why this should be of interest to you: more than 60% of my 250 co-workers will retire within the next 5 years; many are already leaving. The same is true for nearly every water and sewage treatment agency in the country.

Why? Because of a law passed in 1977, the EPA's Clean Water Act. Among other things, that law required more stringent water quality standards and pollution prevention measures, and funded construction and expansion of sewage treatment plants. So in the late 70s, all across the U.S., water and sewage treatment plants were built or expanded to comply with the strict new water requirements.

Thousands of people were hired to manage, support, operate, and maintain those facilities.

Those people, hired nearly 30 years ago, are now retiring at a blistering pace (with great benefits, I might add).

Lest you think the water treatment field holds no interest for you, these are just a few of the kinds of positions opening up:

- Accountants
- Administrative Assistants
- Administrators
- Buyers
- Chemists
- Control room operators
- Engineers
- Equipment operators
- HR technicians
- Mechanics
- IT & network technicians
- Safety specialists
- Surveyors
- Utility workers
- Welders

Wherever you live, there's a water treatment plant and sewage treatment plant nearby. Check it out... they may be looking for someone just like you!

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More Hot Job Opportunities

The March 21, 2005 issues of FORTUNE magazine lists these 20 fastest-growing professional jobs for the next 10 years:

1. Environmental engineers
2. Network systems & datacom analysts
3. Personal financial advisors
4. Database administrators
5. Software engineers
6. Emergency management specialists
7. Biomedical engineers
8. PR specialists
9. Computer & infosystems managers
10. Compensation, benefits & job analysts
11. Systems analysts
12. Network & systems administrators
13. Training & development specialists
14. Medical scientists
15. Marketing & sales managers
16. Computer specialists
17. Media & communications specialists
18. Conselors, social workers
19. Lawyers
20. Pharmacists

For more information, go to Fortune.com

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Network Your Way to a New Job

Think of all the things you're doing to find a new job.

Did the word "networking" pop into your head? If not, you are missing out on one of the single most important job search activities you can undertake.

Why? Because the majority of jobs are never advertised. They are filled through networking.

If the thought of "networking" makes you cringe, then think of it as something else. How about "staying in touch," "building relationships," or "widening your circle of friends?"

Regardless of what you call it, reaching out to people is essential to any job search today. Don't forget to include family and friends along with business associates, former co-workers and other existing or new contacts. Even people like your doctor, hairdresser, or auto mechanic should be included in your network. The more people you talk to, the more people you'll have helping you.

But effective career networking does not mean asking everybody for a job. Tell them about your situation and ask for advice and information, not a job. And if there's anything you can do for them, do it. Do it first. Do it without asking for or expecting anything in return.

Truly effective networking is about helping others first. When you do that, people will naturally want to help you in return--and they'll help you more fervently in response to your generosity than in response to a solicitation for a job.

Here are two networking success stories:

From Rachel Goldthwaite ("RGold" on Monster.com):

"For the first part of my career, I worked as in the insurance industry as an auto claims adjuster. Each job in the industry I held lasted less than two years, and I knew that insurance was not the field for me. Unfortunately, I had no focus on my career or where I wanted to be in five years.

"A close friend of mine knew that I was looking to transition to a new field and that I was at a complete loss with direction. She mentioned that her father was looking for a candidate to fill an opening in the logistics department. The only thing she knew about the position was that the potential new hire needed a background in insurance. She told her father about me, and I was offered an interview.

"Within a week interviewing for this opening, which had not been advertised, I gave my notice and began a completely different career.

"Every one of the jobs I have held were as a result of networking experiences. This particular one is the most memorable to me because it has not only been the most fulfilling position I have had, but it was also a much-needed career change.

"Unfortunately, I see so many individuals who for one reason or another do not see the need to remain in contact with people. It is imperative to remember that someday they can help you, you can help them, or even better -- a combination of the two."

From Peggy Gubbins ("PeggyBBall" on Monster.com):

"I was looking for an entry-level position in television advertising sales. I knew absolutely no one in the industry and was having a hard time finding job postings for positions (they were very few & far between).

"While in the process of my job hunt, I figured I would do a member directory search on AOL for members who listed that they are in media sales on their member profiles, to see if I could learn more about the field and if there were any other ways to find job openings.

"I came across a guy named Jimmy who lived in my area and worked in TV sales, so one night I sent him an Instant Message. We got to talking about the industry and all things related to it. We became fast friends and talked all the time via the net. We would talk about any interviews I had upcoming or had been on recently. He knew all the struggles I was going through and how hard I was trying. We even met for lunch before one of my interviews so he could prep me.

"One day about a month ago, he went out for lunch with his former boss, and during casual conversation she mentioned that she would be looking for a new assistant soon. He told her he knew someone who was looking for an assistant position and that he thought she would like me. She told him to have me e-mail her my resume.

"Later the same day, he told me about the lunch and gave me the woman's contact information. I e-mailed her my resume, and followed up with a phone call later that week to set up an interview.

"After acing two interviews, I was offered the position!

"Networking can prove to be a very valuable tool of finding positions, but I believe it is up to the job seeker to clinch the job after being given an opportunity.

"Networking can be tricky though, because if you are offered the position, not only do your work actions reflect yourself, they now reflect the person who recommended you."

I'd like to thank Rachel and Peggy for their words of wisdom.

One more note: Even if you are not currently looking for a job, you should be networking. As the old saying goes, "Don't wait 'til you're dying of thirst to start digging a well."

NOTE: I'm thinking about writing a detailed report on how to network effectively. But I don't want to spend the time and effort if no one is interested. If you think you might want something like that, please let me know. (My email address is below.) Thanks!

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How to Answer a Question About Underperforming Co-Workers

A new subscriber recently asked me how to respond to this type of interview question: "What would you do if a colleague was not pulling his weight?"

Note: since the question is worded with "colleague" and not "employee" or "subordinate," I'm going to answer this as it would apply to a NONSUPERVISORY position.

There are generally two management styles that determine how employers want their people to handle such situations. Unfortunately, they are completely different.

One style encourages employees to resolve conflicts and fix problems at the lowest level. So in that case, they'd probably want you to talk to your colleague one-on-one, to explain what he or she is doing wrong and how it's bad for the company and his/her own job security. Then offer to help that person improve (as long as it did not adversely affect your own duties). If you can help this person improve, then you are helping the employee pull his/her weight (meaning he/she may not have to be replaced), you are helping the company maintain its quality standards, and also helping the supervisor/manager by saving them from having to deal with this problem.

The other style encourages employees to notify supervisor/managers immediately whenever there is a problem. The theory here is that management needs to know what's going on so they can make improvements. If there's an employee who is not performing up to standards, it could mean that employee was poorly trained, is not being properly motivated, or should never have been hired. Any of those situations should be addressed by management, so the best thing would be to bring the colleague's poor performance to the attention of your supervisor. He/she can then decide what to do about it.

As you can see, these management styles are opposite in nature. If possible, it would be good if you could find out which type of approach is preferred by the company involved. But I realize that may be difficult. In that case, I believe the best way to answer that question is something like this:

"My first step would be to determine how ABC Company prefers for these types of situations to be handled -- whether they want such problems resolved at the lowest level, or immediately broght to management's attention. Can you tell me which is preferred by ABC Company?"

If they do tell you, then you can easily adjust your answer to fit their particular management style. If they do not tell you, then you'll have to say something like, "Well, if they prefer that these situations be handled at the lowest level, then I would personally try to help the employee to improve his performance (as long as it did not affect my own duties)." (Then go into some detail about ways you could help, such as answering his questions, showing him how to do a particular task, etc.)

"If my attempts to help the employee were unsuccessful and I felt his performance was going to continue to be below ABC Company standards, I would bring the matter to the attention of my supervisor. I know that ABC Company prides itself on quality service and performance, so I feel it would be my responsibility to ensure those standards are upheld, not only by myself, but by those around me.

"If ABC Company prefers that such situations be immediately brought to the attention of the appropriate supervisor or manager, then I would, of course, do that instead of spending time trying to help the employee improve."

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Take a Break!

According to an article in the April 2005 issue of MONEY magazine, we're all working way too hard!

A survey done by Expedia.com reports that 26% of employees work on the weekend, 46% discuss business with colleagues after hours, and 32% bring work on vacation. Do any of these apply to you?

Many companies have cut back on staff, requiring the remaining employees to take on more responsibilities and workload. But good managers know that "all work and no play" makes Jack and Jill dull employees. When workers take a vacation, even a short one, they come back recharged, re-energized, and more productive.

Also, according to the article, "Studies show that women who take at least two vacations a year are 50% less likely to develop heart diseas than those who go rarely or not at all; men cut their risk by 30%."

Your employer really can get along without you for a few days. Take a break!

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Resources

"I Just Got a Job in Sales! Now What? (A Playbook for Skyrocketing Your Commissions). This is an excellent book by my friend, Todd Natenberg. If your job involves any kind of sales, you should definitely check it out. It offers some fantastic tips! But don't just take my word for it, read a sample from the book at this link: ToddNatenberg.com

The Job Interview Success System. If you want to master the secrets to acing any interview and winning a new job whenever you want, then check out my System. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to answer tough questions, avoid disastrous mistakes, and win the job at your next interview--even f you aren't the most qualified candidate. Discover the strategies that will give you an "unfair advantage" over others competing for your dream job. Of course, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For more information: Job-Interview-Success-System.

If you've already used my System and know someone else who could benefit from it, you can earn a 75% commission by referring your friend. The details are at: Referrals.

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Worth Quoting

"There are two kinds of people,
those who do the work and
those who take the credit.
Try to be in the first group;
there is less competition there."
(Indira Gandhi)

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Just For Laughs

LETTER HOME FROM A FARM KID, TRAINING AS A MARINE CORPS RECRUIT:

Dear Ma and Pa:

I am well. Hope you are. Tell brother Walt and brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before maybe all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, or fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it's not so bad; there's warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again.

It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route marches" the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice but awful flat.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls- eye is near as big as a chipmunk's head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home.

I'm about the best fighter they got except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds, and he's 6'8" and weighs near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join up before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter, Betty Sue

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Random Rants & Ramblings

Is This Newsletter Too Long? I keep reading that people have short attention spans and therefore newsletters should be SHORT. But there's so much information that I think might be useful to my subscribers, that I just can't help but write LONG. I know we all get too much email these days, so my theory is that one long newsletter on about a monthly basis is better than several short newsletters every few days.

But if I'm wearing out your eyeballs or your patience with these long newsletters, please let me know. This is your newsletter, and I value your input!

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So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com

Please forward this to your friends!

Thanks!

P.S. To prevent your email service provider's spam filter from interrupting delivery or this newsletter to your email inbox, please add Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com to your address book or "safe list."

P.S.S. I apologize for the glitches (especially in links) you may see if you receive this as straight text. If you can receive your email in the HTML format, choose that and it'll look a lot better. Don't worry, I won't have any slowing graphics.

Bonnie
www.Best-Interview-Strategies.Com

Lowe-Commotion Publications
442 Gatehouse Dr.
Vacaville, CA 95687

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