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Career-Life Times, Issue #20 -- Job Seeker Assistance for Hurricane Victims
September 23, 2005
Greetings, and welcome to the latest issue of CAREER-LIFE TIMES! Thank you for subscribing! I hope you find this little publication to be informative, useful and entertaining.
If you don't like it for some weird reason, 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 value your suggestions! My email address is also at the end.
Rachel Goldthwaite (AKA "RGold" in Monster.com forums) is doing something amazing. She's spearheading an effort to help thousands of people to get back on their feet after they've lost virtually everything to Mother Nature's wrath. She's not looking for donations of your money, but rather donations of your ideas, suggestions and other potential resources. Please read the following message from Rachel and contact her if you'd like to help. Thank you very much! Here's Rachel's message...
At this time, a few regular posters from Monster.com forums are in the process of brainstorming and putting together a way to assist victims of the hurricanes who are going to be job searching. Many of these individuals will have no resume, have lost their references, and can use as much help as possible.
Specific areas of need at this time include the following:
I am fully aware a lot of this information is available on the internet; however it is a lot of research and contacting of different organizations to be done by 1 or 2 people, so I am reaching out to others who are also interested, but do not know how to help.
For any of those interested in participating in any way, please email me at email@example.com. I do request that the subject line include “Hurricane Job Seekers” so I am aware of the nature of the message, and that no attachments be included (at least not in the initial message). I am confident the many displaced and unemployed will be very grateful.
A special thanks to Bonnie at Best-Interview-Strategies.com for allowing me to include this in her newsletter -- it is a complete lifesaver!
A fairly common job interview question is, "Who is your hero and why?"
The intent of this question is to find out more about you -- your character, personality, and values. If you anticipate this question and prepare your answer in a way that shows the traits you most admire in others -- and more importantly, that you have in common with them -- you'll turn this question into another great opportunity to blast your competition out of the water!
Here's the best way to develop your answer to this question.
First, decide which personal traits would be best to highlight for the position. For example, if you're applying for a job as a firefighter or police officer, you'd want to highlight traits such as courage and integrity.
Here are some other traits that employers are looking for: leadership, honesty, creativity, dedication, generosity.
Next, craft your answer to include the traits you want to highlight.
Be careful about naming a celebrity, sports star or politician. Why? Because interviewers are people, and people have attitudes and biases that you'll be unaware of. Suppose you named Lance Armstrong as your hero because of his total commitment to success and amazing ability to overcome challenges and obstacles? Most people would have no problem with that. But what if the person interviewing you was a woman who thinks Lance was a total jerk for putting his career ahead of his family and leaving his wife for a rock star? It might not be fair, but this interviewer may think you are a jerk for admiring Lance! Do you think she's going to hire a jerk?
People have opinions about people they think they know. You won't know what those opinions are. So the safest bet is to name a hero they can't possibly know or object to.
"My hero is my father. He taught me to always do the right thing; to value others and help them whenever I can; to plan ahead, work hard and do my best in any situation; to be a lifelong learner; to smile and keep a sense of humor even when things get tough; and to love, support and protect my family."
Remember, all interview questions can provide an opportunity to highlight not only your qualifications, but also your character and values.
Employers are using a wide variety of interviewing techniques these days to find the best people for their company: supplemental questionaires, behavorial interviews, offbeat questions, personality and skills tests, panel and group interviews, etc. Some of these can be pretty challenging.
But compared to what one company recently did, those interview methods are all a walk in the park!
Imagine getting this call after submitting your application for a new job: "Congratulations, we'd like you to interview for a position with our company! Please show up next Monday to climb the highest mountain in the country, and be prepared to answer a few questions from the hiring managers after you reach the top."
This really happened to 20 people applying for a job with a company in Japan called ImageNet. The company has nothing to do with mountain climbing; they're one of that country's top online fashion labels!
How would you react to such an invitation?
Here's what happened. Fifteen out of the 20 candidates accepted the challenge to climb Mout Fuji, Japan's highest mountain (about 12,388 feet high). Of those 20, 11 reached the top (some with the assistance of oxygen tanks). Of those 11 "top" candidates who were interviewed at the summit, four were offered positions with ImageNet.
According to ImageNet spokesman Mr. Yoshifumi Tsunada, this unusual interview approach made sure new recruits had what it took to scale the heights of business. "We are aiming to be the number-one Internet retailer, so the number-one mountain in Japan is very suitable," he said.
"A lot of people have said we are strange, though."
I understand how this type of "interview" would identify candidates who are highly motivated, determined to succeed, and prepared for unusual challenges. But what about candidates who have all of those qualities, are qualified for the position, but are physically unable to climb a friggin' mountain?
This type of interview process will never happen in countries with strict equal employment opportunity laws (such as the United States).
But perhaps it's a sign of things to come. I'm not talking about physical challenges, but innovative and unconventional interviewing methods.
Who knows? Maybe some day a company will invite you to an interview where you'll be rewarded for scheming and backstabbing your competitors on national TV for some "trumped up" position! :-)
Do you want to learn the biggest secret that all great telecommuters know and the main reason they are employed full time from home?
The secret is simply that if you want to work from home, you have to change your mindset and realize that you are in control of whether or not you are going to have a job you love. Once you realize that you are the only one who can make the necessary changes in your life, you are giving yourself permission to imagine what it would feel like to have a work-at-home job that you absolutely love.
Let’s explore what makes you tick and what you love to do. See, if you are going to work from home, you might as well do something that you love to do. There's no point in spending time doing what you hate doing or you'll be miserable every day you're doing it. So, let's go about finding out what you love to do so you can find joy in your work!
List Your Hobbies
To discover what you love to do, begin by listing everything that you love to do in your spare time. If you have a passion for cat grooming, put it on your list. If you drool over building birdhouses, put that on the list. Don't dismiss it just because you think it has nothing to do with telecommuting. You may find yourself surprised how even the most peculiar hobby can be turned into a successful home business.
List Your Skills
Now, you need to list your skills. This list should include all the things that you do really well, whether or not you like doing it. Be very precise.
Now that you have your raw list of skills, let's start flexing our creative muscles. To discover your ideal job, you’re going to have to start thinking like a business consultant—you know, those well-paid executives who are paid to come up with creative ideas for other companies to implement. It’s time for you to start being your own business consultant and come up with your own creative niche in your telecommuting career.
Invent Your Own Career
What you need to do is take a few steps outside yourself. Pretend that you are a well-paid executive business consultant that needs to figure out what you do best. Review your two lists very carefully and let your creativity tell you what your perfect career choice may be.
If your favorite hobby is antique furniture refinishing it might not seem like there would be a telecommuting career hidden in there. But, if we look closer, we'll see that there is any number of possible home-based careers that can take advantage of your knowledge of antique furniture. For example,
If one of your skills was writing, you could write a How To Guide on refinishing antiques and sell it as an eBook. You could also write a How To Guide on finding great deals on old antiques and how to spot an authentic antique under years and layers of old paint. If you were an excellent researcher, you could freelance your research skills to antique stores. You could contact antique shops and offer your services as a researcher to locate rare pieces for them to purchase. If you were tech savvy, you could create a series of web templates specifically geared towards antique shops and give them away to antique stores. Of course, you would also offer to modify any template of their choice and maintain their site, for a fee. If you were good at organizing parties and events, you could organize an antique show and involve many of the stores and shops in your area. You could set up a trade show where antiques were showcased and all the stores who want to participate would pay a fee to have their booth at the show.
As you can see, even a seemingly obscure hobby like antiquing can be turned into a work-at-home job when you align your loves with your skills. Are you starting to get the idea now? If so, turn on that little light bulb blinking above your head and get started imagining how you can turn what you love into a thriving and satisfying home-based business.
NOTE: This article is an excerpt from “You Can Work in Your PJs”, a real world guide to telecommuting. Sylvie Charrier works from home full time and wrote this book to share her unique techniques with others. You can download your copy by visiting http://www.InYourPJs.com
CAREER OVERVIEW. Whether you are searching for detailed information on particular occupations, or just browsing for possible careers, this website covers hundreds of popular careers throughout the United States. For each career, they provide a job description and review that describes work activities and environment, training and career education requirements, personal qualifications required for success, earning potential, as well as job outlook and employement projections through the end of this decade. For more information, go to: CareerOverview.com.
DALE KUROW. Dale Kurow is a professional career and executive coach specializing in helping highly effective managers achieve promotions and advancement in their careers and deal with office politics more effectively. Her website provides a wealth of information, including helpful articles (about surviving job loss, acing your next interview, and knowing your value) and free interactive quizzes which enablie you to judge your current leadership skills or find out if your career is on track. For more information, go to: Dale Kurow.
YOU CAN WORK IN YOUR PJ'S. This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to work from home, especially if you are sick and tired of hearing the same old B.S. about work-from-home jobs.
In this book, the author shows exactly how professional contractors like her never run out of work, and NEVER PAY for a work-at-home job. She's been doing it since 1999 and she really knows her stuff.
"In 2004, I decided to put everything I know about telecommuting in writing, and let everyone in on the reality of what it's like to work from home every day, be with my children every day, and work on the jobs I love to do, every day. It is a jam-packed, 221 page guide to telecommuting and working from home as a professional contractor."
Here's where to find more information: http://www.InYourPJs.com
SCHMOOZE YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS. Networking is the one of the best ways to find a new job... but not many people know how to do it effectively. But I have good news! My friend Leesa Barnes has just launched a wonderful new ebook called "Schmooze Your Way to Success: 9 Fearless Networking Tips for the Shy, Timid, Introverted & Just Plain Clueless." I had the privilege of getting a sneak preview, and I was very impressed -- it rocks! Leesa provides powerful strategies and tactics for perfecting small talk, avoiding sticky topics, working a room with style and confidence, crafting a Memorable Interest Pitch (this is really cool!), following up, and much more -- all designed to create fearless networkers!
She also provides excellent tips on how to boost your confidence and effectiveness in virtually any situation, including during an interview, on the job, or at a networking event.
It really is a great book; well written, well organized, and well worth the price.
Here's the link for more information: Schmooze to Success
not so much of talent and opportunity
as of concentration and perseverance."
Who Gets Fired?
Boss, to four of his employees: "I'm really sorry, but I'm going to have to let one of you go."
Black employee: "I'm a protected minority."
Female employee: "And I'm a woman."
Oldest employee: "Fire me, buster, and I'll hit you with an age discrimination suit so fast it'll make your head spin."
They all turned to look at the young, white, male employee. He thought a moment then said, "I think I might be gay..."
No Whining Allowed. You'd think people who've seen the horrible devastation in the Gulf area would get a sense of perspective and appreciate what they have. How can anyone whine about being passed over for a promotion, having to wait in line at the grocery store, or dealing with kids who don't do their homework on time when we've all just witnessed thousands of people lose everything? I guess it's just human nature. That's pretty sad.
Missed Katrina by a a Week.My husband and I were scheduled to go to New Orleans on Sept. 8th for a week's vacation. It's someplace we've always wanted to go, and we were eagerly looking forward to visiting The Big Easy. When weather forecasts first started predicting Hurricane Katrina's path, my husband joked that New Orleans would be blown away and our trip would be canceled. Of course it came to pass that our trip was canceled. We were very disappointed at first, until the reality of what was happening in New Orleans set in. Then we were grateful we had not gone to New Orleans one week prior and actually been there when Katrina came to visit. And then we were looking for ways to help Katrina's victims. Now as I write this, Hurricane Rita is starting her attack. My ex-husband lives in Texas and I'm glad he lives north of Dallas and not near the coast. Here in northern California, people are saying we need to learn from these disasters and prepare for "the big one" (earthquake) that's inevitable. Will we learn? Probably not. Human nature makes us think "That will never happen to us!" Pretty sad, huh?
So, what did you think of this issue?
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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.
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