Finding a New Job As If Your Life Depended on It: Part Two – Communicate Your Value Read more on the Simply Hired Blog

Finding a New Job As If Your Life Depended on It: Part Two – Communicate Your Value

By Andrew Neitlich

Andrew Neitlich

The previous blog entry presented the first in a four-step process for finding a new job. It challenged you to pretend that your life – and the lives of those dearest to you – depended on finding a new job. It asked you to pretend that you get an anonymous call on your cell phone. The person on the other end gives you very scary news. They are holding hostage the person in your life that you hold most dear. You have exactly 30 days to find a new job, or you will never see this person again. At the same time, if you fail, they will come and get you next. Then they hang up.

Step one was to get into the mindset you would have if this really happened to you. Now you are ready for step two….

Step Two: Create messages that communicate your value. Lives are at stake, but you can’t just scramble around looking for a new job. You have to be efficient. You need a strong foundation before you can take action. You have to know how to communicate your value to others so that they notice you, and think of you first when they have a need.

Most people have no idea how to communicate their value to other people. Specifically, they can’t justify how they can bring value equal to two, three, five, even ten times their salary and benefits back to a company.

Once again, you are different. You can tell people precisely how you help them, and the benefits they get by hiring you. How can you help increase sales? Decrease costs? Improve customer relationships and create raving, loyal fans? Bring new products to market more quickly and successfully? Save your boss time and hassle, so that he can focus on advancing his own career?

Once you figure out how you add value, you need to be able to explain your unique edge. Why you? What sets you apart compared to everyone else looking?

Finally, you need to prove that your claims are true, with past achievements, references, and case studies about your results.

If you can do this, you have a good chance of seeing your loved one again. If you can’t, you need to finesse your story as best you can because, again, your life depends on it.

Once you have your messages in place, you can move to Step Three, coming next.
Andrew Neitlich is the co-author, with Jay Conrad Levinson, of Guerrilla Marketing for a Bulletproof Career, a book that reveals the secrets to career success in perpetually gut-wrenching times. For more information, and for additional articles, visit He also runs the Center for Career Coaching, which trains career coaches.


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The First Things to do When You Lose Your Job

The First Things to do When You Lose Your Job

There’s nothing easy about losing your job. Whatever the reason behind it, there’s an emotional reaction that you need to deal with before taking steps to move on. For most folks, this means taking a bit of time just for yourself. Of course, if your financial situation is not the best, you may feel you can’t take time off. But it needn’t be a long time, and sometimes as little as a couple of days will do the trick. So what do you do during this recovery time? Much will depend on you: your personality, your emotional temperature, your family situation, your support group and more. But here are some general thoughts and ideas you can adapt to suit yourself.

First, be nice to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up because of what has happened. If a good friend was in this position, wouldn’t you give them words of encouragement and reassure them that they are “all right”? Well, you can do the same for yourself. This might be the ideal time to treat yourself to a spa treatment. If that feels too extravagant, think about a pedicure — nothing is more relaxing! You may also need to reassure your family that things will work out. You might do this naturally over a family dinner, or you might decide to have a family meeting just for the purpose. Don’t deny what has happened, but stay away from self-blame and focus on the possibility for something even better for you and for them.

During this time, you can also start preparing for the job search by taking a personal inventory of your career history, your strengths and weaknesses. This is not for anyone else to see. It’s a planning tool for yourself, so you can be completely honest in your assessment. Maybe you have strengths you’ve used in other areas of your life, but not in your job. For example, if you’ve coached a sports team you may have developed leadership skills. Have you utilized these in your past jobs? If not, that’s something to consider now. Thinking of the jobs in your past, what areas were you not so strong in, and what things did you actively dislike? Quite often they are one and the same, and once you’ve recognized them you might be able to avoid those functions and duties in your next job. But if you don’t have high competence in one area now, that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

Now might be just the time to look at ways of increasing your skills in that area. Can you take a course at a local college, or is there something available online? An exercise that can rejuvenate your enthusiasm is to describe your ideal job. Write down on paper the type of work you’d love to do. Do you like working with technology? Are you excited by the idea of selling? Would you like to work with animals or children? Again, this is for your eyes only, so be open to ideas that might surprise you. Whether you decide to look for the same type of work you had before or venture into new territory, now is the time to call on your network. Reach out to as many people as you can, telling them you are starting a new job search and the type of work that interests you. Ask them if they know of anyone who might be looking for job candidates or if they have any ideas that might help you. You may be pleasantly surprised at how eager people are to help when they can.

Your online network is also important. If you’re not on LinkedIn (connect with Jobacle), change that right away. The biggest group of people who make regular use of LinkedIn are recruiters and head hunters looking for job candidates, so get on there and help them find you! Take enough time to write a good profile on LinkedIn, using keywords that describe your desired job. That way, recruiters who need someone like you will be able to find you. Once you actively begin your search, treat it as a full-time job. That’s right, looking for a job is a job! That means you get up at the time you’d get up for work. Shave, shower and groom yourself as if you were going to work — because you are! Keep records of what you’re doing as you search: phone calls, emails, LinkedIn postings and names of contacts. Not only will this help you keep track of what you’re doing, but if you treat the search as you would your job, you’ll stay in the right frame of mind, and when you find your job you’ll hit the ground running!

From Jobacle—Guest Bio: Helen Wilkie is a professional speaker and communication expert. She has recently started working with ResumeBucket to expand their collection of sample resumes and cover letter templates.

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Reverse Mentorship: How Boomers Can Learn from Generation Y

With today’s boomers staying in the workplace longer–putting off retirement due to markets laying a smackdown on 401(k) and other retirement accounts–many work under recent graduates young enough to be their children. According to a recent survey,  69 percent of workers ages 55 and up said their bosses are younger than them.  The task of bridging generational and professional gaps, while actually getting work done, can be challenging, and for some, intimidating. One solution companies are embracing is reverse mentorship, where younger employees and management work with senior employees to facilitate an environment where the unique experiences of each work toward a common progression.”

A company can facilitate such a relationship by establishing a team approach instead of a hierarchy authoritative method of getting things done,” says Judith Colemon, career coach and CEO of Sherpa Coaching L.L.C. “Support team structures and coaching which teach employees to own their behaviors and gives them a constructive way to address those behaviors that are not working.” Colemon offers these tips on how boomers can remain viable in a competitive job market and manage a successful working relationship with younger colleagues.

If you hold resentment or negative thoughts about working with or under someone younger than you, check those emotions. “Ask yourself, ‘What is it exactly that I resent? How do I behave as a result of this resentment? Does it work for me?'” Coleman suggests. Communicate your way through it to find solutions on how to approach those feelings and separate personal from professional.

Be confident in your experience and humble in wanting to learn more. “That confident demeanor affords the boomer the opportunity to be a student because they have nothing to prove,” Coleman says. “It allows them to share their ideas and experiences without behaving authoritatively–which Generations X and Y can’t stand.”

Admit when you don’t know how to do something and work as a team. Participate in a discussion of equals to develop strategies or solve a problem, Coleman suggests. “It becomes irrelevant who is right or wrong or who knows or doesn’t know. The important focus becomes forward moment,” she adds.

Let your experience speak through your work. You don’t have to wear your resume on your sleeve, Coleman says. “A boomer should stop reminding people constantly of where they have worked and how much experience they possess. Allow people to ask for your input. It positions the boomer to be valued.”


courtesy of

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On the Job Etiquette

For Lent this year, I’ve given up potato chips, french fries and swearing. I decided to go for all three since my effort last year (to give up criticizing others) failed on a regular — almost hourly — basis.

Not three hours after I made my vow of abstaining from salty food and salty language, I dropped a box of spaghetti in the pantry that exploded like a thousand pick-up sticks. That’s when I let loose with my first curse word. And then, knowing that I had just cursed, I cursed again. A double whammy of guilt.
Since then, giving up the potato chips and fries has not been tough. But the swearing? Seems I have trouble not swearing while a) driving b) working c) talking to my husband d) cooking and e) listening to the neighbor’s dog bark for hours.
I know I used to swear like a sailor when I worked in a newsroom. It was just part of the atmosphere, and no one thought twice about dropping the f-bomb several times in a conversation.
But as I’ve matured, had children, become a little more business savvy, I’ve cleaned up my mouth. Is that a good thing? I’m not always sure.
If you read some blog posts in this arena, salty language is favored by some of the most popular bloggers. They almost can’t say anything foul or gross enough.
But then I read this Personal Branding post about how cursing can affect your personal brand. The author suggests cleaning up your mouth and using alternative words. Then, I found this story about how some swearing can actually help work teams relieve stress and sort of bond them together.
This makes sense to me. It doesn’t bother me when people I know swear, but it sort of seems uncomfortable when someone I don’t know throws f-bombs likes they’re candy at Mardi Gras. After a while, a person’s inability to talk without swearing constantly reminds me of a 12-year-old trying to impress friends with an impressive display of cussing. It just gets tiresome.
What do you think? Do you think cursing in the workplace is OK? Do you think the rules are different for men and women?
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10 Tips from Jobacle Check it Out

Many people who work in offices find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of clutter and junk on their desks. By using common sense and just a few extra minutes per day, the office environment can be made healthier, look more professional, and contribute greatly to a less stressful work day. Here are 10 easy tips to create a cleaner office environment.

1. Write Yourself a Cleaning Reminder at a Regularly Appointed Time
To begin a regular cleaning routine, time needs to be set aside everyday to get it done. Setting aside 10 or 15 minutes as a priority appointment is the first step. The reason the office became so sloppy in the first place is because a time slot was not designated for that duty in the daily work schedule.

2. Avoid Eating Food at Your Desk
Eating and working at the same time can not only cause heartburn, it spreads food crumbs all over expensive office equipment. Crumbs are messy and attract rodents, ants and cockroaches. Busy office workers who gulp and run often drop food onto carpeting where other employees can grind it into the office carpeting. Consider buying a hadheld vacuum. The worst part about eating and typing is transferring germs from a dirty computer keyboard directly into your mouth.

3. Dust and Wipe Down Surfaces Weekly
Every week, clean and disinfect the desktop. Workplace equipment and accessories should also be wiped down and disinfected. This includes the computer, keyboard, monitor, telephones, lamps, pencils, pencil holders, speakers, desktop paper file and anything else. There are office wipes and sprays available that do double duty and can clean multiple surfaces all at once.  If you inherit workspace from someone else, definitely clean it!  A previous employee would take out his Gillette Mach3 and shave at his desk, leaving little hairs everywhere. Ew!

4. Check the Wastebasket Interior
The wastebasket is one of the biggest culprits of office odors and bacteria. Especially if the wastebasket has food tossed into it without a proper liner. For a fresh, more hygienic wastebasket, scrub the interior with a disinfectant, allow it to dry and then add a liner. This will go a long way in preventing bacterial growth.

5. Maintain the Office Floor and Carpeting
Once a week, sweep and mop all the bare floor surfaces. This prevents dust and “bunnies” from growing in corners. Vacuum the carpeting also. The vinyl carpet protector under desks can also be wiped down and lifted to vacuum the crushed carpet underneath.

6. Increase Your Open Desk Space
Use as much available wall space as possible for installing shelves in a smaller office environment. Clutter builds up quickly when floor space is limited. The shelving also becomes another fixture that needs regular dusting so having only the most necessary items for work stored on the shelves will make dusting much easier.

7. Clutter Proofing Shelves For Easy Clean-up With Labels
Instead of tossing things onto shelves in a haphazard manner where they pile up with no rhyme or reason, label each shelf with the items that belong there. That habit alone can save a great deal of time on dusting day. Doing this in advance saves having to go back and put everything where it belongs before the shelves can be wiped down.

8. Remove The Eye-Sore of Paper Clutter
Documents that can be scanned and stored on a disk or server can remove large amounts of paper clutter from an office environment. Not only does excess paper become an eye-sore, it can also be a fire hazard. Getting paper under control makes the office feel more spacious and relaxing than one with piles of documents in every nook and cranny.

9. Take Your Unneeded Belongings Home
Let’s face it, the office can be home away from home. It’s easy to start storing extra stuff at the office that somehow never makes it home. Those 3 extra umbrellas, spare raincoat, galoshes, kids softball trophies and old romance novels need to go home.

10. Keep Desk Photos To A Minimum
Trying to decide which of your loved ones will get prime real estate on the desk top is a hard job. Many office workers simply can’t choose one. Their desks resemble the Sears portrait gallery and not a work space. As difficult as it is, too many photos look messy and collect dust.

This guest post was written by John Brook, a blogger who lives in the UK and works at Office Kitten, a store offering a choice of cheap office furniture for businesses.

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Unemployment Statistics-

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their February Employment Situation Summary last Friday, announcing the unemployment rate had decreased a tenth of a percent to 8.9% in February of 2011. The report also found that employment has increased for blue collar jobs, such as manufacturing, construction, and transportation and warehousing.

Over the month of February, employment increased by 192,000, and the number of unemployed people fell 200,000 to 13.7 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those unemployed 27 weeks or longer) also fell by 217,000, a sign that those long-term unemployed are increasingly finding employment.

A number of job sectors had notable increases in employment. Manufacturing jobs increased by 33,000 in February, including increases in machinery jobs (+9,000) and metal products jobs (+7,000). Construction jobs also grew by 33,000, following a decline of 22,000 in January, most likely due to bad winter weather. Healthcare jobs increased by 34,000, and transportation and warehousing jobs increased by 22,000.

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Do You Have a Career Backup Plan?

What happens when the one thing you do – and do well – gets taken away?  You adapt – of course. Such is the case of Doc Martin, the lead character in the British dramedy of the same name.  When the successful big-city surgeon succumbs to panic disorder at the sight of blood, he is forced to shift his life by becoming a general practitioner in a rural town.  The public perception is that he has fallen from grace; trading in big city life for the back country.

As ironically far fetched and beautifully off the plot sounds, it’s not all that uncommon. There are people who end up unable to do the very thing they once loved; something that was the backbone of their career happiness.

It could be the baseball player who gets injured after the draft or the driving instructor who suddenly goes blind.  More realistically, it’s the sales executive who develops a fear of public speaking.  Or the swimmer who feels allergic to water.  Maybe even the blogger who becomes keyboard phobic.

The reality is that what we do can be taken away from us in unimaginable ways.  That’s why it is important to imagine what your career back up might be.  Let’s hope you never have to break the glass in case of an emergency, but in case you ever need it, Plan B awaits in the wings.

Jobacle recommends that everyone develop a career backup plan and devote several hours a month working towards it.  That way, if you ever decide to make a transition, or if the rug is pulled out from under your feet, you’re already on your way to making a change.

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