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Career-Life Times, Issue #28-- The Best Time to Look for a New Job
May 30, 2006
Read to GET HIRED, GET NOTICED, and GET AHEAD? Read on...
Now's the time!
If you've been thinking about looking for a new job, it's time to quit thinking and start taking action. Ignore what you've been hearing about lackluster job growth and an unstable economic climate caused by massive dificits, the war, and other gloomy factors. Those are real concerns, but they have little to do with the job boom that's happening right now.
What is driving this boom?
It's sort of a side-affect or backlash caused by what was going on a few years ago. You remember... in the early part of this decade, the dot-com bubble burst and hundreds of thousands of jobs disappeared as companies all over America downsized, reorganized, outsourced or went bankrupt. Employees lucky enough to hold onto their jobs have been subjected to longer hours, lower salaries, fewer advancement opportunities--with little choice but to put up with whatever bosses dished out because the job market was so weak! Employers held all the cards.
But this type of environment resulted in the worst employee productivity (the amount of work done by each worker) in almost a decade. It makes sense, right? Unhappy workers are not productive workers. And unhappy workers eventually say "Enough is enough!"
The result? An unprecedented "quit rate." According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people who have quit their jobs has dramatically increased since 2003. There are now nearly 3 million people leaving their jobs each month. At the same time, job openings have increased by about half-a-million positions.
And on top of that, baby boomers are retiring like crazy!
As people retire or quit, employers struggle to hold onto their dwindling workforce. According to Business 2.0 magazine, "The result is a volatile labor market that teems with opportunity for employees...but move fast: the current situation is the job market equivalent of an unusual astronomical event. The planets have rarely if ever been aligned quite like this, and the period of optimal conditions is likely to be fleeting."
In other words, the time to strike is now.
Cities like Las Vegas, Orlando, Austin, and Phoenix are experiencing record-breaking job opportunities. But you don't have to live in those locations to take advantage of this job boom. If you're unhappy where you are, this could be the best time to move on.
But do it wisely. Polish up your resume and improve your interviewing skills. Do not let your current employer know you're looking for another job. And do not quit until you have a firm offer somewhere else.
Just before you go into your next job interview, try this: look at a picture of a puppy. Or your dog. Or your cat. Or your kids. Or anything else that makes you happy and puts you into a good mood.
Why? Because being in a good mood helps you make better decisions and solve problems more creatively!
That's what Cornell University psychology professor Alice Isen has discovered. According to her, we perform better when we're happy. "In our experiments, we give people a compliment or show them a picture of puppies. There's strong evidence that positive affect can help you find innovative answers to problems. We call it the dopamine hypothesis."
Don't worry about the scientific mumbo jumbo. Here's what it means: when you feel good, the parts of your brain that help you think clearly work better, and you come up with more creative solutions and better answers.
So before you go into that interview, get happy!
Imagine you're in the middle of a job interview, and the interviewer leans back in his chair and flips over backward, falling on his butt!
What would you do?
Be careful...some employers fall out of their chair on purpose just so they can observe the reaction of the person they're interviewing. "How the other person responds gives you good insight into what that person will be like to work with," they say.
It will probably never happen to you, but if it does, act appropriately. Do not laugh. Do not act as if nothing happened. Show concern and help the interviewer back to his feet. If he jokes about it, then show your sense of humor. Whether it was intentional or not (and you'll probably never know), don't let the incident rattle you or throw you off your game.
As gas prices continue to skyrocket, more and more people are beginning to look at their work-at-home options. Many people who have never considered the non-traditional workplace are taking it more seriously.
Work at home used to be one of those phrases that often met with that look. You know, that disapproving look that your mother gave you when you said you wanted to take a break from school to “find yourself” or that the dent was in the car before you took it. Most people envisioned a career from home to be sitting on your couch stuffing envelopes or being on the phone all day selling magazine subscriptions. People did not consider at-home jobs as “real jobs.”
Those traditional work-at-home jobs still exist, but the range of other options is literally endless. The explosion of the internet, that seems to be continuing without end in sight, makes working from a home office a viable option in almost any field.
You can find thousands of virtual assistants, internet marketers, customer service agents, insurance salespeople, and freelancers in almost any field joining the work-at-home force everyday. A lot of these people started working at home to be able to spend more time with their families. Maybe they simply wanted to start their own business, and financially, a home office was the only way feasible. Working at home has also become a way for people who are unable to work in a traditional setting due to disabilities to take back control of their lives.
These days, the cost of driving to and from work everyday is forcing people to take a look at ways to cut costs. The price of gas does not seem to be going down anytime soon. It might sound like a minimal impact on your finances at first. However, so many people live in suburbs or bedroom communities and have such a long commute that their salaries are simply being eaten up at the gas pump.
These people are the ones who are becoming more open to the option of telecommuting or working at home. More businesses are also paying attention. There are many companies that are offering full time telecommuting or some combination of on-site and off-site options to employees.
So, if you’re feeling like you’ve been punched in the stomach every morning at the gas station register filling up to go in to work, start exploring your options. There might just be more alternatives than you think!
Dana Wallert is the owner of an online virtual assistance company. She has many years experience in sales and marketing, as well as office management. Find more about Dana and sign up to receive her free monthly newsletter at DW Office Solutions - Virtual Assistant Services
Some people always seem to get hired faster, get more promotions and make more money on the job, in any economy.
Why is that? While there’s no one thing that will guarantee career success for everyone, there are 3 things you can start doing today to make yourself more valuable -- to any employer, in any industry.
Here they are …
1. Add Value
“Adding value is the single most powerful personal attribute you can possess,” says Les McKeown, President & CEO of Success-At-Work.com and author of several books on career achievement.
Did you ever hand a job or task to someone, knowing you would have to go back over it once they finished, to fix the inevitable errors and generally “mop up” after them?
“People who add value are just the opposite. You know when you give them a task that it will be completed on time, the way you want it, with no loose ends or unfinished parts,” says McKeown.
However, really successful “value adders” see the completion of an allocated task as only the starting point. Maybe it’s by turning an event into a process. Example: not just clearing up a filing mess, but putting a filing system in place to avoid future backlogs.
“In whatever form it shows itself, naturally successful people consistently and appropriately add value -- all the time,” says McKeown.
2. Become an Expert
A sure-fire way to increase your value on the job is to keep learning. This can be as complex as getting your MBA or as simple as reading a book every week. Whatever you do to increase your expertise, make sure your boss knows about it!
Completing training, such as Microsoft’s MCSE certification, can make it more likely that you'll be rewarded appropriately in your next performance review.
Here’s an example from the field of medicine. I’m told the average physician makes $160,000 per year. Not bad. But I know a liver specialist in Michigan who makes $500,000 and lives in a house the size of an airplane hanger. He’s a recognized expert. And he’s rewarded accordingly.
What subject can you become an expert in at work?
3. Be There Every Day
To paraphrase Woody Allen, can 80% of success really come just from showing up? The answer is yes, in the minds of many.
“I still remember my first promotion with a mixture of pride and musement,” recalls McKeown.“I was a young kid back in Ireland, and I had a paper-route before school. I needed the money and never missed a morning. After 3 months, the owner pulled me aside and said: ‘Les, I’m going on vacation for 3 weeks. I want you to be in charge. I’ll give you an extra 5 shillings every week.”
When McKeown asked his manager why he had been chosen over older, more-experienced newsboys, he got this reply: “Simple. You’re always there. That means more to me than anything else. I wanted peace of mind on vacation. I knew you’d be there every morning.”
Are you “THERE” every day for your employer? If so, you may find your steady presence makes you more valuable than less-dependable co-workers.
By adding value, becoming an expert, and “being there” every day, you can make yourself indispensable to any employer. Which can lead to faster promotions, keys to the executive washroom -- whatever it is that defines career success for you.
Now, go out and make your own luck!
Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients in all 50 states and 23 countries. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, CBS MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly, CBS Radio, and many others. For more information, click here: GResumes.com
More Articles. If you haven't visited my website's article directory in a while, you might want to check it out. Take a look at the index by clicking on: Articles.
Monster Blog. Chosen the best career blog by Forbes magazine. Check it out at MonsterBlog.
"Job Interview Success System". I put together a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow, step-by-step system to help you ace your next job interview. It's helped hundreds of job seekers, and it can help you...guaranteed. For more info, go to Job Interview Success System.
"How Do I Choose?" This is a new ebook by Lorraine Cohen that outlines a powerfull (yet simple) 5-step blueprint for making decisions. Packed with worksheets, exercises, useful tips, and real-life examples, “How Do I Choose?” is a practical business and life tool that will help you make decisions that feel right – in your heart and in your bones. For more informatin, go to: http://www.powerfull-living.biz
"Railroad Job Guide". Tired of working in a cublicle? Well, here's some good news: the railroad industry is in desperate need of people like you.Railroad employment opportunities are at an all-time high for virtually every position with virtually every railroad company. But, as with any great job featuring excellent pay and benefits, the competition is fierce. You need an edge, and the "Railroad Job Guide" ebook gives it to you. Click here for more information: GetARailroadJob.com
Work in Your PJs. Want to work from home? Check out this excellent resource: WorkInYourPJs.com
Want a Pair of Sunglasses? You'll have to provide some information, but if you think a cool pair of shades is worth of few minutes of your time, check this out: Sunglasses.
stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself."
Investing for Your Retirement
If you had purchased $1000 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.
With Enron, you would have had $16 left of the original $1,000.
With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5 left.
But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling refund, you would have had $214.
Based on the above, current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.
It's called the 401-Keg Plan.
Damn Cell Phones!. I've ranted before about people at work forgetting to turn off their cell phone ringers and/or taking calls that interrupt discussions and meetings. But here's another reason why I think cell phones are ruining the workplace--lack of delegation and lack of opportunity.
When bosses are away from the office now, whether on a business trip, to an off-site meeting, or even on vacation--they have their cell phones which make them always available. Their bosses, coworkers and subordinates can call them on their cell phones no matter where they are or what they're doing.
This sucks. And not just for the boss who can now never leave work behind. It's preventing the people under that boss from gaining valuable experience! In the pre-cell-phone days, the boss would allow his/her people to handle things during his/her absense. He/she would delegate responsibility, and thus enable others to step up, demonstrate their capabilities, and show what they can do while the boss is away. But now, no such on-the-job training is happening!
While companies are mouthing off about "succession planning," they are actually preventing their people from learning and growing by doing. When a boss retires or moves on, others in that office have no hands-on experience or practical preparations to take their boss's place... all because of cell phones.
So cell phones are not just annoying... they're killing opportunity.
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
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