Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Worst Excuse EVER for Not Finding a Job

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

It’s frustrating to emerge from college with your hard earned degree in hand – eager to put it to good use – only to have door after corporate door slammed in your face. But that’s the reality today’s recent graduates are facing, and some are handling it better than others.

Trina Thompson, a recent graduate of Monroe College in the Bronx, is attempting to sue her Alma Mater for what she deemed as failure to live up to their end of the bargain by not securing her a job in the IT industry promptly upon graduation. She told CNN, “They’re supposed to say, ‘I got this student, her attendance is good, her GPA is all right — can you interview this person?’ They’re not doing that.”

Monroe College, Bronx NY

Monroe College, Bronx NY

Thompson also accuses the school of giving special treatment to certain types of students. White students? Rich students? Minority students? Uh…no. “They favor more toward students that got a 4.0. They help them more out with the job placement,” she said.

It isn’t the school that tells the companies which students to hire Miss Thompson. Companies have an obligation to their stakeholders – not to mention the employees who work for them – an obligation not to place people in positions who are unable to cope with reality. While you feel discriminated against based on your grades, I am willing to bet it was your attitude that repelled recruiters more effectively than a bad case of B.O.

In fact, many companies look for students who are well-rounded and who have adequate GPA’s – not GPA superstars. Several students’ GPA’s suffer while they work part and full-time jobs to get experience in their chosen fields.

Recruiters want students with drive, a can-do attitude, and tenacity. Three months out of school and your solution to unemployment during one of the worst recessions in U.S. history is to sue your school? You have almost guaranteed yourself a permanent place in the unemployment line.

A better alternative would’ve been to start working with the Career Center about six-months before graduation. You would have been able to research the companies most likely to hire someone with your newly acquired IT skills. Then you could have set up informational interviews, met people currently working at the companies you found most appealing, and networked your way to an appropriate entry-level job.

Her mother, who apparently supports her daughters decision to sue the school for approximately $70,000 in tuition costs, is quoted in the New York Post as saying, “This is not the way we want to live our life. This is not what we planned.”

Hmm…it rained a few days ago when I had planned to take my daughter to the beach. The weather app on my iPhone didn’t show any rain…can I sue Steve Jobs?

Free College Lectures from Top Tier Schools

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

For college graduates who are applying for positions outside of their major field of study, LectureFox is a great resource. You can listen to lectures from top universities like MIT, Harvard and Vanderbilt. You have access to pretty much any topic from Game Theory to Mobile Robots.

Some lectures even include lecture notes and video presentations.

Social Media Can Kill Your Career: Even if You Have a Magic Wand

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Not only do you need to be careful about what you post on social media sites while you’re looking for a job, but it’s perhaps even more important to censor yourself after you’ve landed the job.

Remember this guy from back in 2007?  After writing to his boss to explain that he needed miss work due to a “family emergency” this picture turned up on Facebook.

Cool_Wand

Just something to keep in mind. Read the whole story.

5 College Grads that Suck

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

While based on true stories, the names have been withheld to protect these idiots.

1. The guy who gets selected out of 250 seniors for an on-campus interview with a big firm and pulls a no-show because he’s too hungover; thus possibly ruining the school’s chances of being visited by that firm next year.

2. The gal who emails a potential employer to make sure there will be two chairs at the interview because her mom will be accompanying her to “check this company out”.

3. The guy who has his girlfriend call during the interview to say he’s been offered another job.

4. The girl who sends 10 different alumni  – who all work at the same office – identical emails requesting informational interviews.

5. The guy who takes his shoe off during a career center presentation and proceeds to rip off his dangling toenail and fling it on the floor.

Gran Slang Dictionary: Helping Gen Y understand the older generations at work

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Home & Capital Advisers based on the UK released a dictionary last month to help younger generations understand the slang of Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists. Nigel Hare-Scott, managing director of Home & Capital Advisers, stated in the introduction to the dictionary:

“Many of the words used by [younger generations] today are incomprehensible to older generations, but it must be equally baffling for younger people trying to get to grips with the lexicon of their grandparents. Understanding is a two-way street – and that’s where the “gran slang” dictionary comes in.”

Here are a few examples of terms you’re likely to hear from traditionalists and baby boomers:

Doolally: adj. insane, mad or eccentric

Gas: adj. a person or thing that is very entertaining or pleasing

Higgledy-piggledy: adj. confused, jumbled

Hullaballoo: noun great noise or excitement

Jiggery-pokery: noun trickery; fraud; humbug

Jive: noun swing music or early jazz

Knees-up: noun a party or lively gathering, usually including dancing

Lark: noun a merry, carefree adventure; frolic; escapade

Lickspittle: noun a contemptible, fawning person

Mucker: noun friend

Natty: adj. neatly or trimly smart in dress or appearance; spruce

Palaver: noun profuse and idle talk

Poppycock: noun nonsense; bosh

Rapscallion: noun a rascal; rogue; scamp

Scallywag: noun a reprobate; a rascal

Yarn: noun a long, often elaborate narrative of real or fictitious adventures; an entertaining

tale

Zeppelin: noun a rigid airship having a long cylindrical body supported by internal gas cells

Click here to read the full dictionary.

Fun Twitter Mosaic Application for Your Blog

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

It seems everyone is obsessed with Twitter these days, and I’m no exception. I just stumbled upon this cool application and wanted to share it. You can create a mosaic of your twitter friends in a matter of seconds and post it on your web site or blog. Check it out. Get your twitter mosaic here.

Thanks for Voting for Me and Beth!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Update for the  Start-Up Nation Leading Moms in Business Contest
Beth and I really appreciate everyone who has been voting for us every day! Wow! We currently have one of the highest “popularity meters”  of the group and hope we can keep the momentum up through March 31st!  If you haven’t voted yet, please vote here. It’s literally two clicks and you don’t have to give anyone any contact information. 

Right now we are working hard to get the new web site up so stay tuned to learn about our exciting new workshops and personal coaching packages.

10 Ways to Find a Job in a Recession

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

1. Focus 90% of your job search on networking
Do you know how to network effectively? To be successful at networking you must reach out to your network in a way that makes people want to recommend or hire you. One way to do this is to be positive. Even if you are losing heart in your job search. Instead of complaining how frustrating your job search has been, talk about what types of positions are appealing to you and what kinds of challenges you are eager to take on.

2. Don’t  limit your search to only “available” positions
Spend time researching companies and make connections with people who work there. Get the name of the person who has the authority to hire you and write him or her a detailed letter explaining why you want to work for that company. Describe what your unique contributions would be. Be proactive and send along your list of references and resume.

3. Send an email to all of your close business contacts and friends about your job search
Be sure to include a short description of the types of positions you are interested in pursuing. Keep this short, positive, and professional. When executed properly, this is a very effective method to learn about companies in your city that are hiring.

4. Attend events hosted by professional organizations and alumni associations
If you do not currently belong to any… join some. It is important to your long term career success to stay relevant in your field and/or industry.

5. Learn how to differentiate between jobs posted by placement firms and jobs listed by actual companies
This is especially important for entry level workers who waste a lot of time on wild goose chases by simply sending a resume to every job posting they find. Be on the lookout for:

  • The same contact phone number attached to several job listings
  • Multiple listings for the same position listed by the same firm

6. Be easy to find
Update your online alumni profile. If you use social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter make sure your information is up to date and consistent. Avoid MySpace. It doesn’t have a reputation for being the most professional of online social networking sites.

7. Be Friendly and Meet New People
You never know who is looking to fill a position that you would be perfect for. Better yet, your pleasant demeanor may motivate someone to create a position especially for you. It’s surprising how many people get offers for interviews at the coffee shop or at the gym.

8. Appreciate Informational Interviews
Too many job seekers blow informational interviews off as a waste of time, but they can be an invaluable resource. The person you talk to just might think of the perfect position for you in a week or two, or recommend you to a friend.

9. Keep Your Online Image Clean
If you wouldn’t want your mother to see it, keep it off the Internet. Employers are researching job applicants online in increasing numbers according to a survey administered by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2007. Ten percent of employers who responded to the survey said they would review social networking site profiles before making a hiring decision. Out of that ten percent, over half said the information they find online will impact whether or not that candidate is offered a position. The remaining employers surveyed said they are unsure how their online findings should influence their hiring decisions. (Update: in 2009 almost 50% of employers say they will do an online search for their job candidates)

If you have a blog, podcast, web site—or you regularly participate on someone else’s—what you put out there may be reviewed by a potential employer. Maintain a professional image both on and off the Internet and you won’t have anything to worry about.

10. Always Have an Updated Resume
Keeping a well written, updated resume handy is critical during your job search.  This allows you take advantage of opportunities as soon as you learn about them. For someone who wants to help you find a job there is nothing more frustrating than waiting until you finish your resume. The job will probably be filled by the time your resume is ready. Even when you aren’t looking for a job it is important to keep your resume updated. Revisit your resume at the end of each month to add new achievements and information.

How to Stay Employed During the Recession

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Let’s say you’re just completing your first full year of working at XYZ company. All of a sudden management announces they need to layoff 2,000 employees in the next three months. How can you survive the cut? 

Depending on the situation there may be absolutely nothing you can do to save your job – no matter how awesome you are. But in many circumstances, company managers view periods of economic hardship as opportunities to cut dead weight.  

If you find yourself working for a company facing massive layoffs, and you want to avoid the cut, you need to make it hard for your managers to put you on the chopping block. How do you convince them that you should be spared? Here are ten ways to convince your boss that you are too valuable to let go.  

1. Have a positive attitude
Your managers hear enough doom-and-gloom news during a bad economy without you whining to them all day too.  Now is the time to be part of the solution, not a naysayer who creates more problems. Don’t contribute to negative conversations in the office that do nothing to drive progress. Remember, people respond more favorably and in surprising ways to leaders who stay positive and optimistic even in very dark times. 

2. Be self-aware
How do you affect your colleagues, managers and other peers in your work environment? Do you make the office a more pleasant experience for customers and co-workers, or do you create chaos? Do you contribute to the bottom line or detract from it? How do people perceive you at work? 

Think hard about the interactions you have with your peers at work and strive to make each one a positive experience. Being someone who is difficult to work with is not a good long-term career strategy. 

3. Exhibit flexibility
Managing someone who is incapable of adapting quickly to changing priorities in a good economy is hell. In a recession, it’s unbearable. And it’s one headache that can be swiftly cured by eliminating that persons job. If you cannot adapt to change in your workplace, you’ll be one of the first people that comes to mind for a pink slip. 

4. Be increasingly competent
It’s time to brush up on your skills. Get out those old college notes and read some new books. Expand your network by joining industry associations and alumni groups. Even in good times, the rule is you need to be good at your job to keep it. But in this turbulent economy, you need to get better every day. For two reasons:

1) You need to prove your skills are getting sharpened the longer you stay at the company. The company cannot possibly fire you because you will be able to contribute even more next week than this week. You will be chosen to stay over someone who has been stagnant in their career for decades, even if you are just out of school.

2) In the event you are laid off, it will be easier for you to find a new job. This is because you have exhibited a capacity for learning and the ability to stay current in your field or industry.     

5. Work Ethic
At the beginning of your career it is critical to be perceived as someone who has a strong work ethic. No one wants to help someone who believes he deserves a better position, or higher salary simply because he spent four years in college and now has student loans to pay. The economy is a mess, but that doesn’t give recent grads or young professionals the green light to whine about it.

Show you’re willing to work by being coachable. Ask for feedback about how you could be doing your job better, but don’t complain that your boss doesn’t pay enough attention to you. Follow-through on all assignments, emails, and interoffice communications. Set goals for yourself and celebrate by treating yourself every time you achieve one. 

If you exhibit these five qualities in your workplace, I guarantee management will think twice before letting you go.

5 Things Job Seekers Should Never Do

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

1. Don’t self-select out of the interview process
When looking for a job it is important not to self-select out. If you have sent a resume in to a company you are interested in, don’t assume you have been rejected for the position just because you do not receive an immediate response. Follow up and make sure the resume was received. Keep yourself in the running for the position by being proactive and following up with the company you want to work for.

Don’t decide not to apply for a position simply because you are lacking a few of the requirements listed in the job posting. If you can develop a rapport with the interviewer, your enthusiasm and people skills just may win you the job. You may also discover during the interview process that you may not have all the skills they were initially looking for, but after meeting you they are willing to modify the job slightly to make it work. 

2. Don’t neglect to mention transferable skills to an employer
A skill you possess that can be applied across multiple disciplines is called a “transferable skill”. Recent graduates often neglect to point out their transferable skills to employers because they don’t know what they are. Identifying your own unique set of transferable skills is important to do before meeting with any hiring managers because it is a major asset in the interview process. For example, if the person interviewing you asks about whether or not you possess enough work experience in a particular area, emphasizing your transferable skills—like resourcefulness—could really come to the rescue. This is something we teach recent graduates how to do in our workshops. 

3. Do not ask about vacation time on a first interview
When you ask about benefits, pay, or time off on a first interview, you give the interviewer the impression that you have a “what’s in it for me” mentality. If you act more concerned about what the company has to offer you, as opposed to what skills you can contribute to the company, you may not get called back for many second interviews. In order to make the best first impression you can, it’s much better to focus on your enthusiasm for the position and on what you bring to the table. Make them so excited about wanting to hire you that by the time salary and vacation time negotiations come up, you’ll be in a position to negotiate.

4. Don’t forget to send a thank you note
Immediately following your interview, send a thank you letter via e-mail to the people you spoke with. It’s not a bad idea to send a handwritten note as well, but many hiring managers prefer email these days.

5. Don’t lose heart
It is critical to your success to exude confidence during the job search process. Jobseekers most not lose confidence in their skills and abilities during this period. Remind yourself why you are the perfect candidate for the job before you go to the interview. Repeat your qualifications to yourself over and over again before you sit down with the hiring manager. If you can’t believe in yourself, no one else will be able to either.