Education Career Services

July 12, 2010

Manifesting Your Ideal Career with the Law of Attraction

Writing contribution by Victoria Andrew, CPRW

Unless you live under a large rock, you probably heard of the Law of Attraction or may have even read Esther and Jerry Hicks’ The Law of Attraction: The Basic Teachings of Abraham.  You can apply the principles to any area of your life, including your job. In general, the theory involves harnessing the limitless power of the universe to manifest your own reality.

First, you come to the realization of what you truly desire and then ask the universe (or yourself) to manifest it.  Secondly, you work on yourself from the inside out so that you can be a positive person and surrender all negative energy.  Then, you act with confidence that you deserve it and as though you already have what your heart desires.

How Does This Apply to My Job?
Perhaps you are at a dead end job and want to move in a new direction, or perhaps you’ve been working hard for several years and would like a promotion.  By implementing the principals of the Law of Attraction, you can do what you love for a career and be thrilled when your alarm goes off in the morning instead of wishing to throw it against the wall.

Focus on Positive Things
Start focusing on what you DO want, not what you DON’T want professionally.  Instead of saying, “I don’t want to do this job anymore” say, “I am grateful to have a job and welcome new opportunities into my life that will bring me closer to achieving my dreams.”  You can utilize the law of attraction as a catalyst to discovering your way in the workplace, capture a promotion, and connect with your co-workers.

Define Your Goals and Dreams
Take some time to make a specific list of what makes you happy in your career.  What do you enjoy doing?  What makes you feel alive and invigorated?  Write all of these things down. This list will help clarify what your true calling is and help you obtain your personal career objectives.  Take control of your career path and act like you have already attained your objectives.  You will have support, a stronger will, and even freedom from fear and the negative energy previously preventing you from conjuring a more fulfilling career.

Tools to Help You Stay Focused
Once you have your goals laid out, it’s important to stay focused.  You can use a number of visual reminders to help you do this.

1. Vision Board
A vision board is simply a collage of your dreams.  Go through magazines or on the Internet and find pictures of what your dreams look like.  Cut them out and paste them on your vision board.  You can also write captions or details about the picture next to it on the board.  Start visualizing your life as it is in the pictures you have chosen.

2. Positive Affirmations
Create a list of goal specific affirmations.  Write them in the present tense as if they are already happening.  Repeat your affirmations, preferably out loud at least three times a day.  When you follow this practice for at least thirty days, your brain actually begins to reprogram your thought patterns and works on finding a way to make the affirmation happen.

3. Be Grateful

Keep a gratitude journal or notebook and write daily in it all of the things you are appreciative of.  Acknowledging the things you are already thankful for automatically attracts more good things into your life.

By defining what you want, staying positive, and taking small steps toward your goals, you will be on your way to living the life of your dreams.  You will become a strong presence which will make a difference in the way that your boss perceives you.  The giving theory will expand your career opportunities and also improve your life on all levels.

Thank you Victoria for your insight and sharing into your light.

dhuffman,
career services international
education career services

February 27, 2010

Handicap Disclosure, Should I or Shouldn’t I?

As a career coach, I am often asked if disabilities should be announced before the initial interview, during the initial interview, or after the initial interview.  Though there are no steadfast rules of etiquette in this capacity, if you possess a medical disability or chronic illness you have more decisions to make during an interview.  

If you were an employer, would you value the information up front?  Then again, we are tight-roping a little thing called illegal questions and issues.  If you were the employer and information was not disclosed, would you feel as if you were being played upon?  For the person being interviewed, the question “should you disclose such information” is a tricky and uncomfortable one.  If so, how can you do this without taking the focus off of your qualifications?

Generally speaking, if the disability is obvious, don’t feel compelled to discuss it during the interview.  The person(s) interviewing you have already seen it.  Bottom line is: if it won’t interfere with your ability to do the job, it shouldn’t matter to the employer.

However, if your illness is not obvious, approach the first interview as a time to assess the company and interviewer’s attitude.  A great deal about company culture, tolerance, and acceptance can be found with just a few questions and by looking around.  In this capacity, take a moment to look at employee desks and photos (as you walk by—don’t stop and stare). See if there are any current employees with disabilities as well. A great deal can be learned by examining what is not under the roof.

Your safety and health (physical, mental, and psychological) are paramount in any job or undertaking.  Think about it, if you are you a diabetic requiring a snack regularly, will you need to keep food at your desk? If so, you may be better off mentioning this during the interview process, although you might wait until you are actually negotiating for the position.

What if you have a heart condition and are applying for a stressful position? In this situation, go with your gut. I would suggest that you wait until the final interview and job offer to disclose this information.

Like all job hunters, be prepared for rejection and don’t’ blame rejections on your disability.  I know it’s easy to do so, but maybe you were not the right person. I hear the rumble as some (okay, many) companies still discriminate, regardless of the rules regarding such behavior.

One more point: don’t ever think your disability is a handicap. Think positively and keep searching for the right company that fits your needs.

In conclusion, no matter the situation, evaluate the company you may be working for and make sure you feel comfortable with the attitude, philosophy, and culture. After all, if you go into a situation (or position) with an uneasy gut feeling, chances are you will not be happy.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
dhuffman@careersi.com
www.linkedin.com/in/dannyhuffman
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110

October 14, 2009

Working for Free…a Georgian Experiment

Unemployed and looking for a job?  Good news, jobs are out there!  Only one catch, there is no pay.

According to an Intelligence Report from Parade.com (October 11, 2009 page 6), the unemployed throughout the state of Georgia are “working without a salary in auditions for paying gigs.”  Naturally, I was hooked on the read and continued as, at first, if felt this was a rather brilliant idea.  An hour or so later, and after my morning cup of tea, I am not so optimistic the consequences of such a program will all be beneficial.

But first, a quick review (for those who have not read the article).  Under the Georgia Works program, jobless citizens work part-time for up to six weeks at businesses with job openings.  Let’s begin by highlighting the one very important element: you guessed it, a majority of individuals who took part in this program and worked part-time for a business also under this program received an offer to work permanently (58% of participants).  Pretty impressive!

So far so good?  Enough of the sugar-coating for a moment.  If an individual is working for free while unemployed, how will they be able to effectively search for a career of their choice?  Additionally, what are the rules the business owner must follow?  Does this program equate to a college internship?  On note, will this program become mandatory for all unemployed individuals?  In other words, if I suddenly became unemployed, would I be forced to work for free in order to receive benefits?  On the surface, this seems a tad unfair….or is it?

According to the article, 17 states (besides Georgia) have asked about starting similar programs.  The article concludes with the following quote from Andrew Stettner of the National Employment Law Project: “the purpose of unemployment ought to be to enable people to search for suitable work, not to give employers free labor.” 

An interesting article and insight into the world of politics….just keeping you in the loop.

Have a different opinion?  We’d love to hear it!

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
dhuffman@careersi.com
www.linkedin.com/in/dannyhuffman
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110

September 15, 2009

Job Interview…an interviewee’s reply

The following was submitted by Barbara and I would now like to share with you.

September 15As someone who has interviewed prospective employees, I’d like to add a couple of thoughts to “Job Interview – An Employer’s Experience”.

I agree with your recommendations that an interviewee be on time, be as prepared as possible, dress appropriately, and follow up with a note.  These are basic courtesies.

However, though I know prospective hires tend to blur after you’ve interviewed quite a few, I’m not entirely sure that encouraging a candidate to reiterate his or her strengths in a follow-up note is the best advice.  I’d even go so far as to say it’s not his or her responsibility.  In my experience, self-promotion in a follow-up note can come across as pushy and perhaps even transparent.

I submit that it is the interviewer’s task not only to probe a prospective employee’s strengths during an interview but also to jot down notes afterwards, to help you remember what distinguishes one candidate from another, to help trigger your recollection of something unique about the person.  That might be something as simple as a passing remark or an observation while you were chatting informally, or as focused as a “war story” told to illustrate a point.  It could be something as unconscious (but important) as body language.

That said, on to some things for the candidate to keep in mind.

Remember that the person interviewing you is trying to gather information that will help him or her make a decision, to determine things that may not be apparent on your resume:  Are you articulate?  What is your professional style?  Are you supportive and tactful or driven and confrontational?  Are you naturally energetic and enthusiastic or ho-hum?  These traits can be just as important as your past work history.

It’s also important to remember that an interview is a two-way street, a reciprocal process.  That is, besides enabling the interviewer to learn more about you, there are also some things you should know when you leave the building.

You might ask for information about the company and its direction, beyond what your job would entail (if you’re hired).  What does the company consider its core strength or business and who are the primary target audiences or clients or customers?  You can hardly know whether or not you’d like to be a part of an organization – particularly a small one, not quite yet in the Fortune 100 – unless you know more about it than what appears in an ad or even what you read on a website.

There’s nothing wrong with asking a question or two about what led your interviewer to join (or form) the company.  This isn’t to pry into a life history; it’s to gain an appreciation for what makes the company special for him or her. These things could be tangibles or intangibles.  Are they the same things you want for yourself in your new business environment?

Don’t be embarrassed to say “I don’t know” if you’re asked something you can’t answer.  Don’t try to bluff.  Similarly, if you’re asked about a certain skill and you’ve never had experience with it but believe that, with some coaching, you could master it, say so.  Don’t despair over what may at first blush look like the kiss of death. 

In short, be authentic and real.

These thoughts may be self-evident.  But in case they’re not, and particularly if you have most if not all of the necessary qualifications for the job but are new to the interview process, take a deep breath and relax.  The person sitting across from you probably wants you to be just what he or she has been looking for, so the search won’t go on for weeks or months.  Instead of worrying about how you’re doing, trust in yourself and what you have to offer.  This, you’ll find, will take you a long way towards completing a mutually rewarding interview.

Again, thank you Barbara for your insight and no doubt many of our followers will benefit from your comments.

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP
dhuffman@careersi.com
Education Career Services: www.educationcs.com
Career Services International: www.careersi.com

July 20, 2009

Career Optimist or Just Another Survey?

optimist62% percent of companies who practiced hiring freezes and 69% of those who practiced salary freezes plan to eliminate them within the next 12 months.

The past few years have been difficult due to our economic crisis, no denying that fact.  I continue to worry about tomorrow and hold off making purchases until my confidence level improves.  I don’t believe this tactic is far off the views of most.  So when I hear news of brighter things coming down the road, I want to share the information.

As a result, when I noticed a title “Companies planning to reinstate some programs cut during the economic crisis” pop up recently, I felt compelled to share with you.

Watson Wyatt conducts bimonthly surveys with a goal to placing a finger on the pulse of our economic state.  Their recent survey includes responses from 179 employers.  In a nutshell they found a majority of U.S. employers plan to reverse some, but not all, of the changes they’ve been making to their pay, benefits and other HR programs.

This information is viewed as a sign of economic improvements.  Knowing that many companies plan to reinstate some programs cut during the economic crisis adds confidence to what resides ahead.  To top the survey off, here are some of the findings you may find interesting (and include the finding at the top of this submission):

  •  48% that have reduced their employer 401(k) / 403(b) matches plan to reinstate them in the same timeframe.
  • 60% of employers plan to reverse salary reductions (55% within the next year and 5% within 18 months), while 20% of employers will keep them in place, and another 20% are unsure.

Despite the expectation of many improvements, more than 40% believe there will be long-term difficulties in:

  • attracting (41%) and retaining (45%) critical-skill employees,
  • 79% of companies expect to see an increase in employees working past their desired retirement age, and
  • 73% expect an increase in the percentage of health care costs paid by the employee.

Heck, now I’m feeling a bit better about tomorrow.  Maybe I should go ahead and make a few purchases?  After second thought, change often takes more than the 30-day credit bill cycle so I best hold off a month or two…just in case.

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP
dhuffman@careersi.com
Education Career Services: http://www.educationcs.com
Career Services International: http://www.careersi.com

Source: http://www.watsonwyatt.com/news/globalnews2.asp?ID=21645&nm=United%20States

March 27, 2009

Career and Resume Development, a radio broadcast

This morning I was asked to be a guest speaker on a local radio station and respond to career-centered questions in an expert capacity.  All went well but I must tell you, getting prepared and ready to perform at 6:30 am is a chore in itself. 

 march-27-2009

During the conversations, several concerns arose and I will address them here for those who were not aware of my radio presence.  If you did get a chance to check out the show, let me know what you think…

 

What should we consider first before beginning a career search?

 

First and foremost, think about passion, what is important in your life.  Are you money driven or family driven?  I believe an objective self analysis is paramount to success and happiness.  It is estimated that approximately 80% of all employees are dissatisfied with their job.  That’s a lot of people!  If you like working with people, or in the arts, or with computers, or even on a radio station; follow your dreams.

 

True enough one needs to be realistic and can’t play just because its fun.  Take a serious look into yourself, examine your limitations, and begin the steps necessary to accomplish your goal.  I suggest creating short-term goals leading up to your career goal.  For example, if what you want to do requires a certain level of education or experience, now is the time to take the steps to secure each requirement.  One can not be a doctor without going to school—unfortunately, due diligence is required.

 

If I’m writing my resume on my own, what are some things that are most important to include?

 

What to include is just as important as what NOT to include.  Understand your resume defines you as a product or tool.  Simply put, you must show immediate return for the hiring company.  How does one show this?  You have to be confident in your approach, direct, and on target.  Include in your resume specific contributions you WILL make immediately by showing how you have added to the bottom line in previous positions.  For example, if you developed a more efficient way to schedule employees or make widgets in the past, that gives the hiring company a clue as to what you will do for them.  Make no mistake, in any position, you are being considered for the effect you will have on their bottom line.

 

With the huge amount of resumes coming in to every job posting daily, the most important area of the resume is the top third, often called the hot zone or the sales zone.  If you are lucky enough to have a real person look at your resume, you have 8 seconds to 15 seconds to convince him or her you don’t belong in the pile of rejects. 

 

Do not include information which may automatically disqualify; for example, do not mention religious affiliations, age, or race.  And try to limit soft meaningless words to a minimum.  For example do not claim to be a team leader, a detailed-oriented professional, energetic, etc.—as they are meaningless words and completely overdone. 

 

In a nutshell, the top third of your resume is where you prove validity.  Your objective should not be a general one—it must be focused to the position and the rest must express value and contribution.

 

Think about the person opening your resume; he or she has opened hundreds over the last few days.  What would it take to grab your attention?  I know what it would take to lose my attention,

 

  • Template
  • Errors
  • No objective or a gunshot approach
  • Meaningless words
  • Sloppy display

 Ultimately, that single piece of paper represents you; it IS you….wear it well.

 

I will go over a few other questions Monday.  Until then, have a safe and groovy weekend and give me a shout now and then,

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

Education Career Services: http://www.educationcs.com

Career Services International: http://www.careersi.com

February 20, 2009

Resume Darwinism

Survival of the fittest;” these four words highlight our current economic and employment condition.  According to NPR, global layoffs for 2009 alone will alter 50 million families negatively.  To remain on top, the best defense is a strong offense: one must actively engage in a proactive approach in their career management strategy or suffer the consequences.

 

The “resume” has changed over the last ten years, dramatically over the past two years.  The days of “resume as biography” are extinct and with it passive verbiage, extended length, and over-sized generalities and have been replaced by “resume as marketing tool” with a leaner, stronger, and metric-based approach.  Take a moment to objectively review your resume, taking specific note on its:

 

  • Focus: clear, concise
  • Tone: aggressive, confident
  • Verbiage: lean, metric-based, non-repetitive
  • Appearance: audience focused, ideal length
  • Strength: survivor or soon to be extinct

We have all seen significant changes within the social, cultural, political, and economical arena.  Adaptation is no secret and key to survival.  Resume expectations have also progressed.  The Career Management Alliance states it clearly: to survive, executives must update their resume once a year or will fall prey to those displaying progression.

 

Yesterday’s biographical essay has now been replaced by a marketing resume.  Has yours?  There is no better time than now.  As a professional resume writer, I have seen a ton of outdated material.  If you are a student or a seasoned executive, you owe it to yourself (and future) to review your documents often and objectively. 

 

If you need any quick reviews or have specific questions, do not hesitate to contact me via blog or email address.

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

Education Career Services: http://www.educationcs.com

Career Services International: http://www.careersi.com

February 16, 2009

(UN)Employment and Your Career Portfolio

Employment rates are heading in the wrong direction.  For those new to my writing style, I have a habit of not coloring words while laying the news on the table for all to see and oftentimes taste.  If you are interested in sugar-coated data, know this, I am on a diet—no sugar coating here.

 

News is not good.  Numbers released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is clear on one trend: unemployment figures for the month of December are up from the previous month in each of our 50 states.  With this news, how does the average person survive?

 unemployed-worker

The first step is to accept the difficult situation we are all in.  Secondly, do not become overly frustrated, depressed, or stressed out…which is all but impossible not avoid.  Thirdly, represent to your advantage and stand out from sea of other job applicants.

 

On a brighter side, the lowest unemployment rates are found in Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, all with 4.0 percent or below.  On a dimmer note, states with a 9.0 percent or above rate of unemployment include California, Nevada, Oregon, and leading the pack was Michigan with 10.6 percent.  Combining the 50 states, the national rate for December was 7.2 percent.

 

Besides trying to keep a positive approach and an upbeat career marketing campaign, now is the time to make sure your job portfolio reflects your skills and accomplishments in a metric style.  Double check your career objective and career summary (refer to an earlier entry for additional insight).  If you are a student or alumni, contact your university career services department for possible information, including job postings.  For the seasoned professional, I recommend professional assistance from an accredited and reputable career management firm.  I review hundreds of resumes from executives and many from students on a monthly basis; take it from me, have someone review and evaluate—it is an investment with great ROI.

 

In other words, do not go solo, more than your career is at stake!

 

With the unemployment figures the way they are, it is hard to keep emotionally pumped; this is understandable as budget crunches affect everyone.  For today, we simply need to make sure we display the mot effective personal career marketing material available and that’s where double-checking and having assistance may be what it takes to lift you up.  Hold your head up and when you are called back for a job interview, nail each interview question perfectly.

 

Perhaps President Obama and the economic stimulus package will benefit the average person soon.  Though hopeful, I am not optimistic this will become reality.  If you have any specific questions or topics you would like covered, let me know…I will definitely tell you the way I see it—no sugar coating, just the facts.

 

Source: Career Management Alliance and http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1746#

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

Education Career Services: http://www.educationcs.com

Career Services International: http://www.careersi.com

February 11, 2009

Resume Double Check

Over the past few months I invested a great deal of time reviewing, editing, and revising one of my career management books (Your Personal Career Marketing & Portfolio Essentials).  This particular book examines the complete career life-cycle from a graduating student to a seasoned professional; those interested can check it out at our educationcs website. 

 

Without difficultly; I found several issues needing attention and resolve.  My books and support material goes through several in-house editors, but not everything is caught.  In my case, being a professional writer, editor, and publisher does not guarantee common mistakes will not pop up now and then.  Leading me to the importance of YOUR documents and the need to have EVERY DOCUMENT PROOFED by an objective editor. 

 mistaeks-happen1

When it comes to career management material (resume, cover letter, etc.), one mistake can prevent additional consideration.

 

The most compelling event highlighting the need to double-check came about last year when I edited a resume for a distinguished professional.  This individual was proud of the work he constructed and wanted a quick review from an expert in the field.  He stated his job position on the top of his resume (which is fine) as a Public Accountant…so far so good?  Unfortunately, and through several self-reviews, he did not notice the letter “L” was missing from the word “Public” (which is not fine).  Even less fortunate was the fact he sent his documents to over 25 companies – sure you are not surprised to hear no one responded.

 

Omitting one letter in the wrong word can destroy credibility instantly!

 

For those individuals creating and writing their own career material, the chances of errors increase dramatically.  Without doubt, securing a professional writer diminishes costly mistakes.  At a minimum, have a peer skilled in grammar to review your work.  For those wanting to know the in’s and out’s of the career life-cycle, consider investing in our book.

 

Reading work through your own eyes is a good start, but it is not enough.  Regarding my career management book, I secured a third party editor to pick up the pieces I neglected to catch.

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

http://www.educationcs.com

http://www.careersi.com

February 2, 2009

Industry Growth, Career Transition, and Recession

As of late, I’ve wondered what specific industries are booming in such dire times.  Fortunately, a couple weeks ago CNN Money Magazine (online) answered my question and issued the following:

 

Top Industries: Fast Growers (1-year growth in profits)

 

Of the 38 industries listed, the top 10 were:

 

  1. Pipelines — 80.9%
  2. Electronics, Electrical Equipment — 60.1 %
  3. Packaging, Containers — 49.8%
  4. Engineering, Construction — 46.1%
  5. Airlines — 33.8%
  6. Wholesalers: Health Care — 31.4%
  7. Oil and gas equipment services — 28.9%
  8. Entertainment — 25.6%
  9. Network and other communications equipment — 23.7%
  10. Household and personal products — 20.3%

 

Interesting but do the top ten really surprise anyone?  Are you shocked at any of the industries topping the list?  At first sight, I was not sure why the entertainment industry was doing so well…who can afford going to the movies nowadays?  But then I began thinking how we all need a little release from reality now and again. 

 

For those thinking about career transitions, information and market trends must be given a great deal of weight.  From all appearances, there are options in a wide array of industries – with persistence and passion, the next move is YOURS!

 

Thinking back, I haven’t been to a movie in months, any reality escape suggestions? 

 

Danny Huffman

http://www.educationcs.com

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