I was once contacted by a job seeker through Twitter who sent me very urgent missives asking me for job search help. They instructed me to check my e-mail for a message he had sent me. When I got the note, the person’s message provided a number of reasons why they couldn’t pay for a resume service, but they wanted to see if I could basically provide my services for free. Unfortunately, I can’t because this is how I earn my living to pay my bills. To be fair, I do get a lot of these types of notes on a daily basis, and my heart goes out to all the people that are unemployed and experiencing financial hardship. To that end, I volunteer and donate my time to the Oregon Employment Department teaching classes on how to write resumes. Through this program, I try to help as many people as possible who don’t have the resources to pay for these services. As it happens, this person lives back East and they obviously can’t take advantage of this class… so I wrote back and offered some specific resources that were free and would be very helpful to help them get on their feet. And, you know what? I didn’t get even an acknowledgment or thank you from that person. That part I can live with. Some people don’t "get" common courtesy when someone went out of their way to help them, and we can write that off to poor upbringing, laziness, or general lack of manners. But what this person did next really exposed the obstacle between themselves and their job search success: I got another message via Twitter with a demand: "Are you going to help me? Yes or No? I need to move on to other resources if you won’t." Excuse me? Demanding job search help doesn’t mean you will get it. Especially when you burn bridges along the way. I might have tried to help this person a little more had they been a little softer and kinder. That doesn’t mean they would have scored a "free" resume, but I could have taken more time to help them and offer more quick coaching tips. Which brings me to the point of this post: There are tons of career blog posts out there talking about the VALUE of building relationships with people. If you take the time to build connections, you will have a better opportunity to activate others who are willing to go to bat for you. Most people, when asked (politely and respectfully) for help, they are more than willing to provide that assistance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help; it’s when you demand it -when you put an ultimatum on it - that people start to have knee jerk reactions and turn their backs against you. Most of us understand we cannot "expect" or demand others give us what we want. Like respect, good will has to be earned and is not simply given away. And, in a job search, one needs to build up as much good will as possible to open as many doors as possible. THAT is the key to a successful job search.
Have you interviewed for a job and got caught off guard with the salary question? Do you struggle to identify a reasonable salary range that you feel comfortable with? If so, we're here to show you the right way to conduct salary research!
These days, the hiring manager or recruiter will most likely ask about your salary expectations in the first or early round of the interview process. If you aren’t ready for this conversation, it can make you look unprepared, diffident, or worse….costing you the entire job opportunity.
So, let's show you how to avoid that and talk about your desired salary with confidence!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Figure out the correct sites to explore while doing salary research
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"Why am I still unemployed?"
At Work It Daily, we're asked this question a lot. The reality is, the reason is different for everyone. The good news? You can overcome whatever is holding you back from getting hired.
Here are five reasons you're still unemployed:
1. Your Resume Isn’t Job Specific
While it's good to have a strong resume with all of your professional skill sets, your resume can become generic when all you do is send the same resume to every open position you find.
The Solution:Customize your resume for each job you apply for. By taking the time to customize your resume with relevant skill sets and specific keywords that are in the job description, you'll be more likely to land an interview and, therefore, will have more viable job opportunities.
2. You’re Overqualified
This problem is common among older workers looking for a career change. But this can happen to anyone who has a lot of experience and is trying to get their foot in the door at another company.
The Solution: During an interview, make it your mission to connect with the employer. Tell a story. Let them know you aren't just running out the clock. If they ask about your 5-year plan, don't mention retirement. Your career isn't over yet.
3. You’re Underqualified (Or Lack Exposure To The Professional World)
On the flip side, you could be unemployed because you don't have enough experience orthe right skill sets to do the jobs you've been applying for. Maybe you're a recent college grad, and at this point, you're just begging someone to give you a chance. Whatever your situation, employers are making it very clear you aren't qualified.
The Solution: Take classes or earn certificates to try to develop new skills. Volunteer or intern to get the type of professional experience employers are looking for. Focus on the skill sets you do have and learn how to quantify those skills on your resume to stand out to hiring managers.
4. You've Stopped Being Proactive In Your Job Search
If you really want a job, your actions have to reflect your attitude. As the weeks (or maybe months) drag on and you still haven't found a job, you may find yourself getting into a dangerous job search routine. You apply for half a dozen jobs every day and hope for the best. This strategy rarely works. If you want quality job opportunities, you need to be proactive.
The Solution: Make networking a priority. Go to job fairs. Reach out to employees at companies you'd love to work for on LinkedIn. Start compelling, professional conversations with them. Remember: you're a business-of-one. The better you actively market yourself to employers, the more job opportunities you'll likely receive.
5. You've Lost All Urgency
It can be easy to get into a job search rut. Time goes by differently when you don't have a set routine. The longer it takes for you to find a job, the harder it is find the motivation to get a job. You may begin to lose confidence in yourself and your skills as a professional. When your career is suddenly on hold, your life can feel like it is without purpose or direction.
The Solution:Set goals and work towards them—even if they're just small goals. They could be career-related goals, or not. Maybe you want to get in better shape. Maybe you want to learn a new skill. If you set goals for yourself, you'll regain that sense of purpose—and better yourself in the process.
Being unemployed is tough. If you follow these tips, you'll have the tools to overcome the challenges you face in the job search process.
Need more help with your job search?
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
I spent 15 years teaching English as a foreign language. I leveraged my teaching skills to get my first job in the contact center industry as a training and quality manager.
Our leaders were very talented but had no idea how to train people.
Subject matter experts in IT companies had the same problem. They were the experts but had no idea how to teach.
Leaders train and develop their teams. The team delivers better results. Parents teach and bring up their children. Hopefully, they lead more fulfilling lives.
Teaching is a key leadership skill. It can be taught.
Teaching ranges from a five-minute session on how to do something to delivering a doctoral-level course.
The shortest lesson and the longest course have certain things in common.
Any unit of instruction needs a clear and precise aim.
Aims are best defined using “can-do” statements. They say: “By the end of this lesson/course, a participant can...”
You will have to ask yourself “What does 'can do X' mean?”
Your aim may be more complex than you thought. Instead of one lesson, you may need a course with multiple lessons and multiple aims.
There’s nothing worse than teaching people what they know already. However, your training session will collapse if your trainees do not know the minimum required to understand your content.
Define what they need to know before they start. Ask yourself if your trainees have this knowledge.
Look at your aims and ask yourself what they need to know. If you are teaching someone to create and use formulae in spreadsheets, your trainees will need to know basic arithmetic.
If you are training people to play their part in a process, they will need to know something about the whole process. They will understand the importance of what they are doing and why they have to do it in a certain way. Without this, they have no reason to try and do it properly.
A good training session needs “inputs” and “outputs.” A typical “death by PowerPoint” session is all inputs and no outputs. At most, trainees will remember five percent of it.
As a bare minimum, a training session should include the following:
- A "Lead In”: The simplest is to tell participants what the session is about. You can also ask them what they already know about the topic, and what they want to learn. This way, you find out their expectations.
- Input: An input session should be no longer than 20 minutes. That is the average human concentration span. For teenagers, even that can be a stretch. Active learning is better than passive learning. Consider using exercises where participants match rules to examples. When going through the answers, you explain the key concepts.
- Output: This is the part most “trainers” forget! “Output" is an exercise or a test to see how much trainees have understood. Output activities may involve simulation exercises, role plays, or practical exercises. Trainees get the chance to “play” with their newfound knowledge in a realistic scenario. “Playing” is often very important to help trainees understand how to use what they have learned.
Delivery/Interaction With Trainees
Successful training is never one way. You adapt to the trainees. You need to watch how your trainees react to the content.
My philosophy is if my trainees don’t understand anything, it’s not their fault; it’s my fault. If they don’t understand, I haven’t done my job properly. This is an important mindset.
Frequent changes of activity are recommended to keep your trainees’ attention. Pair and group activities are also recommended. Trainees engage more actively with the content if they are working with another person than they do in a question-and-answer session with the trainer.
Trainees need frequent opportunities to ask questions. Trainees may not want to ask questions in front of the class, so you can stimulate questions by asking a few of your own. This is where concept-checking questions come in handy. They can often be “What happens if…?” or “Why do we …?" questions.
Without evaluation, we do not know how successful our training is.
Many training courses limit their evaluation to a feedback form where trainees express their satisfaction. That does not tell us how well they understand and can use their newfound knowledge.
Where a training session contains an output activity, the simplest form of assessment is to see how well they complete the activity.
Other evaluations can include tests and quizzes. These can be gamified to make them entertaining rather than intimidating.
Looking beyond the end of the course, you can also ask trainees’ managers how much trainees have improved their performance based on the training they have received.
When you deliver your next training session or “knowledge transfer,” think about:
- What must your trainees be able to do?
- What do they need to know before they start? How do you know they have this knowledge?
- How are you going to deliver your content?
- How will you check your trainees’ understanding?
Once you’ve thought about these questions and delivered your training, get in touch with me and tell me how it went!
For more knowledge transfer techniques read: