Education Career Services

April 17, 2009

Education? No question about it!

Dealing with college and high school students across the nation, the “value” of continued education seems to always come up.  As a former college professor and dean, I am passionate about preaching the benefit of a college education to all who listen.  Getting those around us, like our children, is no easy task.

 april-17

I found many students were either not concerned about getting a job upon graduation or not concerned about graduating.  Perhaps we can blame this attitude on the instant-gratification culture?  I am confident high school, college, and university career specialists have come across the same issue (most likely on a daily basis).  For those in the field of recruitment, I take my hat off to you every day!

 

How does one convince a current or potential student to seriously pursue their education?  I’ve had many parent/student consultations and quite simply I have found the answer is: money.  True, the cost of attending college may be cumbersome and the time to study can place a hamper on partying…but let’s look at the numbers and consequence: 

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 6th, education is right on target as the national unemployment figures directly relate to the level of education achieved.

 

National Unemployment Rates:

 

12.6% for those with NO high school diploma

 

8.3 % for those with a high school diploma

 

4.1% for those with a college degree

 

The numbers literally force one to take pause.  I understand how certain circumstances may prevent an individual from pursuing a college degree but those are far and wide between.  With an overall unemployment rate approaching 10% (and many economists believe we will pass 10% by the end of this year), there is no better time than NOW to continue educational dreams.  

 

Transferring the numbers into dollar figures would be the natural step.  For example, a few years ago my son, Andrew, came home with a proud look on his face.  He was proud of his paycheck (and rightfully so) as he received a substantial monthly bonus.  This was also at the same time I happened to secure a nice freelance contract job (wrote a career centered booklet about resume and cover letter development) and I showed him my contract.  Needless to say, he was able to internalize the value of education and intellectual capital in less time it takes to find and dial college registration. 

 

It’s all about the money and sometimes one simply has to lay it on the table.  For a moment reflect on the unemployment rates mentioned above…the answer and solution is there—all we have to do is recognize what we see. 

 

Oh, what happened to Andrew?  He graduated last year, moved to New York, and is doing well (so well in fact that he needs to begin paying me back for all the support during college—or am I dreaming?).

 

I guess that’s the real trick, recognizing what we see…can it be that simple?

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

March 30, 2009

Is now the time to be thinking of relocating?

As promised last Friday, here are a couple more common questions and my response to my radio appearance recently.  Hope this helps in your career pursuit…

 

Is now the time to be thinking of relocating?

 business man with career choices

Such a question should be addressed on an individual basis but let me offer a few ideas, I don’t want anyone packing based upon these comments as relocating is not something which should be done on the fly.  After all, December figures on unemployment recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that unemployment is up over last month in each of the 50 states.

 

If you are considering relocating, take into consideration the following:

 

  • California’s job loss from December 2007 to December 2008 was the greatest of all states
  • Arizona has lost 116,500 jobs since the recession began in December (2007)
  • Six states had unemployment rates of 9.0 percent or above, including California (9.3 percent), Nevada (9.1 percent) and Oregon (9.0 percent). The highest unemployment rate was Michigan’s 10.6 percent.

On the brighter side,

  • The lowest unemployment rate among all states was in Wyoming, at 3.4 percent. Only three other states (Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) had unemployment rates of 4.0 percent or below.
  • Texas added more jobs than any other state, while the nation as a whole was losing more than two million jobs.

 

Think about where you want to go; do you have a place to stay, are you prepared, and do you have a minimum of three (3) months of savings to handle living expenses?

 

What time frame should I give myself for my career search?  Is it realistic to think I can find something quickly?

 

Unless out of pure necessity, I do not encourage any of my clients to quit a job until a new one has been secured.  The reason, especially given today’s job market, predicting the length of time between jobs can be an impossible task.  On the national average, the average time between jobs is nine (9) months.  That’s along time; some are lucky to get a job within weeks while for many others it may take over a year. 

 

Good news is, there are job openings, some of the industries on the rise include:

  • Education, health care, and the federal government (which added 9,000 new jobs in February 09)
  • Some mortgage lending companies, notably those never involved in subprime or other exotic loans, are actually growing and hiring as larger competitors have folded.
  • Mortgage servicing companies – those that collect payments for the lenders that originated them – are also hiring as lower mortgage rates fuel mortgage refinance applications.
  • There is a 6% shortage of hospital pharmacists, and many drug stores are also looking to hire new pharmacists and pharmacist technicians.
  • Engineers of all kinds are in demand and face very low jobless rate of about 3%.
  • Nurses: Hospitals also need more nurses to care for the aging population and to replace those nearing retirement. Hospitals added 7,000 jobs of all kinds last month (February).
  • Veterinarians are particularly needed to serve livestock growers in rural areas. The US Government needs veterinarians needed to inspect slaughterhouses and undertake other food safety measures. The Labor Department projects that the number of veterinary jobs will grow by 35 percent by 2016.

 

As the length of this submission is beginning to go beyond readability, I am going to save the final common question asked while on the radio for tomorrow.  Promise it’s a question I hear just about every day and one you need to know the answer to…see you tomorrow!

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

March 23, 2009

In politics, “reality” is a four-letter word

march-23-2009

When does reality hit the road?  Better yet, when it finally does hit the road, what’s it going to look like?  Yesterday, I made the mistake of checking out the employment classified once again and after two blinks and a half yawn, the reading concluded with a “is this it?” thud.  Fortunately breakfast was not spoiled as I remembered President Obama would be on television to offer the world hope.  Quickly, I became not so under-joyed.

 

Not sure how many watched the show “60 Minutes” last night.  If you did, did you believe all that was heard?  Through that show, did we become more educated or more separated from reality as to what tomorrow holds in store for the regional and global economy?  Throw in the proverbial pointing of fingers, political rhetoric, and rapidly forgotten speech promises, and what is left for us to hold on to?

 

This morning, while driving my eight-year-old four-cylinder truck to work, I listened to a representative of the President state how the economy “may” turn around early next year but we need to continue feeding (or funding) private industry to secure such an outcome.  I don’t want to turn this career-minded blog into a political arena and apologize for the inference but at the same time, there is a direct connection between the economy, politics, and employment which needs to be addressed; or at least allowed a voice.

 

I think we all need to question the reality and consequences of measures which effecting not only the current population, but generations to come.  Are the programs being aggressively fought for and lobbied for the right ones?  Is action of this magnitude more beneficial than inaction?  Though inaction is action in and of itself – thus allowing the “invisible hand” to create a new equilibrium (one without the over-indulgence and entitlement many have internalized as a god-given right).  Are the tons of money our children going to pay back creating long-lasting jobs or are we simply throwing money at huge corporations without thought of consequence? 

 

I don’t have the answers, but I definitely have questions—and questions are the catalyst of change.  To accept with eyes closed and pockets empty, progress and positive change will never come about.

 

No doubt time will tell but for the 50 million families struggling, time (like jobs and money) can not be stretched beyond this evening’s kitchen cabinet.  I encourage your thoughts but more importantly, I promote the gift of questioning policies and individuals responsible for positive change.

 

Question “reality:” I may not be a mathematician, but I can count more than four letters in the word.  

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

Career Services International: www.careersi.com

March 21, 2009

Last Night’s Graduation Ceremony, oh what a night!

Last night was a great one.  I was the keynote speaker at a college graduation ceremony and, I believe, the process went smoothly.  All in all, there were a total of 45 graduates walking across the stage.

 

For those wanting to know the gist of my speech, check out yesterday’s blog submission.  I played it fairly close but I have a tendency to ramble onto roads less traveled…especially when it comes to career management.

 

For those entering or transitioning, there are few beams of sunshine to grasp as the world appears to be wobbling out of control.  But like I stated last night, so much value is placed upon the packaging.  Career management is no different….you need a crisp, elegant, and powerful package when delivering yourself to any potential company.  That package and the way it is delivered is what this blog site is all about and your input is always appreciated.

 

On a side note, I did run across a new website which some may find helpful.  The specifics are as follows:

 

Telecom careers – The official job board of USTA, PCIA, and Telephony Magazine, TelecomCareers is the TMT niche industry career site, with over 200,000 members and more than 250 employers. By featuring TMT’s top companies, teaming up with prominent associations, and partnering with innovative career development organizations, TelecomCareers is able to attract the industry’s top talent by posting lucrative job openings, presenting unique opportunities to network and collaborate, and offering ways for members to further develop their careers and showcase their strengths. Resources include Professional Development articles, Job database, Company Search, online Resume posting, Browse jobs by industry sector, keyword job search, online profile, Featured Video, Telecom Careers Whitepaper, Salary Survey, Resources page, and more. http://www.telecomcareers.net/

 

I apologize for the shortness of this submission but truth be known, I am swamped and feel myself getting a tad dizzy with the amount of work needing my attention. 

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

March 19, 2009

Career Transitioning, YOUR Turn

I am scheduled to give a brief speech this evening at a graduation ceremony.  No doubt that when I near the podium, the words coming out of my mouth will vary from what is written but the following is a start.  Let me know what you think and I’ll let you know how it went.

 

Last month the US reported 12.5 million people filed for unemployment; soon we will have reached an 8% unemployment rate and it’s estimated to hit 11% by the end of the year.  And here you are, transitioning from college to career in an era of unprecedented difficulties with (for many) limited practical work experience.  Instinctually, one has a gut reaction to perform a Rip Van Winkle episode until the world ceases to spin too fast and apparently without compassion.  Today, instinct is not the answer.

 march-19-2009

As a business owner, career coach, professional writer, and publisher, I have the opportunity to speak with executives, entry-level employees, and students from all industries, locations, and aspirations.  Not surprisingly, feelings of uncertainty are global and do not discriminate on the basis of education, experience, or skill level.  At this point, most are asking: with so many people more skilled, more experienced, and with so many possessing higher college degrees, how can I rise above the crowd?

 

I’ve found common threads which will elevate even the modest candidate over the ones who, on paper, blow the competition away.  Most have heard it all before, in one form or another; but I believe this is the perfect forum to revisit career management tools and the effect they have on hiring executives.

 

Presentation is paramount to success.  Throw in the concept of effective branding and doors will open.  Think of chip power and most will think of Doritos brand chips…not because they are the best on the market but because we have bought into the “fact’ they are the best on the market.  There’s something about the color, the commercial, and the merchandizing which elevates this chip from others.  What is your brand?  How do you differentiate yourself?

 

Foundation builds the frame.  Ever ask yourself why an employer requires candidates to possess a college degree?  When I was a VP of the largest career management corporation in America, I insisted all applicants be filtered out if they did not have a minimum of a two-year degree.  I was not interested in the major field of study; that was irrelevant.  What was relevant was the ability for the candidate to make a commitment and follow it through to completion.

 

Reach beyond problems to grasp solutions.  That proverbial “monkey wrench” is everywhere and at all times present.  The value of your education can not be understated.  Education trains each student to objectively evaluate situations, develop tasks, sets actions in place, and it creates effective results.  Apply those skills to evaluate your career prospects.  Let me tell you a secret about career development: its common sense.  It only seems difficult because we either fail to analyze it — we assume it’s too complex, or because we don’t know what questions to ask… with a little effort, however, and the quality education you’ve gained here, this nutshell will open to your understanding the same way your studies here were opened to you.  Job hunting has changed, some of the process may go against your “likes” and “comforts,” but the reward is worth it.

 

Fifty million families will be directly affected by global unemployment by the end of this year.  And now you are eagerly anticipating your turn at bat.  The career management tools learnt over the past few years is more than a piece of paper…it’s what hiring managers ARE looking for.

 

Leading to the question: “what do you offer that hiring managers want?”  Feel confident in knowing you have a distinct advantage over the vast majority of the competition.

 

  • Your Department of Career Services is your active advocate.
  • The curriculum at XXXXXXXXX is designed to make you think, not just do…encouraging problem resolution skills.
  • Most students here have taken XXXXXXX, highlighting your professional presentation and document development; only a small handful of colleges offer such a course.

Obtaining your degree shows the hiring manager you are committed, you possess the drive and ability to complete a project no matter the obstacles, and you have the knowledge to get the job done. 

 

Take what you’ve gained over the past few years.  Hiring managers WANT to hire you, that’s their job.  Show them you’re not scared of presenting yourself as an asset and in a professional manner, you’re not scared of building stronger and more effective systems for yourself and for the company, and you’re not scared of reaching beyond minimal expectations or resolving issues creatively. 

 

Does a degree automatically mean you have a distinct advantage?  I believe it does and many employers feel the same way.  For those offering excuses you don’t have experience to compete, think again, not one hiring manager I have spoken to during the past year filtered candidates based solely on that criteria.  Besides, with the world changing so rapidly, does it really matter where one worked five years ago?

 

The rest is up to you, belong to the Rip Van Winkle’s of the world and wake up in a few years hoping it’s a better place or make the world a better place, today.  You made a wise choice attending XXXXXXX.  I know you’ll make the wise choice now.

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

March 17, 2009

Classified: Who’s Hiring?

No doubt the unemployment rate has been spiraling out of control and many economists predict the rate to reach 8% before too long.  But before you panic and decide to move to Montana and open a dental floss company, good news has shed a bit of light on the world.  In an article published on March 9th, the article examined several industries who are in need (or will be in need soon) of skilled professionals.

 

For the recent graduate, this is also good news.  You may be on the bubble of a huge boom ready to explode near the end of the year.  For seasoned professionals, this is good news as well.  This may be the perfect time to visit your training, targets, and career objectives (not just for today, but for years to come).

 march-17-2009

Let’s take a few and summarize where the jobs are according to the recent article from Fox news:

  • Companies that make nuclear power equipment
  • Education, health care, and the federal government (which added 9,000 new jobs in February 09)
  • Some mortgage lending companies, notably those never involved in subprime or other exotic loans, are actually growing and hiring as larger competitors have folded
  • Mortgage servicing companies – those that collect payments for the lenders that originated them – are also hiring as lower mortgage rates fuel mortgage refinance applications
  • Engineers — Corporations such as Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Company and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy are hiring engineers and adding other workers as they expand manufacturing facilities
  • Engineers of all kinds are in demand and face very low jobless rate of about 3%
  • There is a 6% shortage of hospital pharmacists, and many drug stores are also looking to hire new pharmacists and pharmacist technicians
  • Nurses: Hospitals also need more nurses to care for the aging population and to replace those nearing retirement. Hospitals added 7,000 jobs of all kinds last month (February)
  • Veterinarians are particularly needed to serve livestock growers in rural areas. The US Government needs veterinarians to inspect slaughterhouses and undertake other food safety measures. The Labor Department projects that the number of veterinary jobs will grow by 35 percent by 2016.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,507587,00.html (Published March 9, 2009)

 

With a little direction and encouragement (especially in difficult times), tomorrow definitely can be rewarding.  After all, I’ve always wanted to make nuclear power plant equipment!

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

Career Services International: www.careersi.com

March 12, 2009

Job Surfing

I ran across several Internet sites you may be interested in checking out.  I believe we should share these types of information; if it helps one reader, I call it a success.  Many of the following links and information were received from the Career Management Alliance:

 

TugLink.com: This site is for job candidates; it is an online peer-to-peer job search community where members help each other land interviews for desired jobs.  The name TugLink is meant to imply that company insiders help candidates get “linked” with jobs they desire by giving them a “tug” (a helping hand), and guiding them along the way.

 

Engineering Jobs.com: Browse or search engineering jobs (such as chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, manufacturing, and mechanical) and technical jobs. Search the database for your next engineering job by discipline, by city, or by state and find thousands of jobs in all 50 U.S. states and D.C. Resources include Post/Edit Your Resume, Who’s Hiring (list of companies), and Top 100 Engineering Blogs (list with links).

 

Engineer.Net:  This engineer job search engine lists engineering jobs and resumes for aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, manufacturing, mechanical, or software engineering. Engineering positions located in the United States; job openings for engineers only.  Resources include: articles, employment database, an advanced keyword job search, jobs by entry level and professional level, resume posting, and salary reports.

 

InterEC.net: This is an engineering specific website featuring Engineering Jobs in all specializations, salary survey, and discussion Forum.  Additionally there is a job database for all engineering sectors, searchable by specialization, location, and with advanced keyword search. Registration allows one to receive automatic new job listings by email, and post their resume online.

 

Let me know if you come across any new sites you believe may be beneficial to our community.

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

March 10, 2009

Job Searching While Employed? Keep it to Yourself!

Does your boss know you are back in the job market? I hope not…it can mean the difference between wanting to get a new job and having to get one.

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Most corporations avoid keeping employees who don’t want to be there. They certainly won’t tolerate employees who are not being productive in their current position while surfing Monster.com. You may end up being eaten by that monster (i.e. your boss).

 

Keep your job hunting to yourself. Even though statistics show that 25% of employees perform their job searches while at work, don’t do it. Never sit at your desk and search job sites or scan the local newspaper’s want ads while on your lunch break with coworkers. This is like having a neon sign above your head that reads, “Job seeker here.”

 

If you must make search-related phone calls during work hours, use your cell phone where no one can hear you. Look for some isolated area, like a sound-proof room once used for interrogation of disloyal employees. Do not use the phone at your desk or workstation. Many employers do not approve of their staff using equipment for personal reasons. They might also monitor employee phone calls. This is not the way you want them to discover you’re hoping to find a better position.

 

If you have an interview with another company, it is acceptable to ask the interviewer not to contact your current employer. Most hiring professionals understand the necessity of discretion and will avoid any undo disclosure.

 

Your employment search is nobody’s business but your own. Keep it private or prepare to be unemployed until you find your next job. Better yet, hire professionals to help you with your quest.

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

 

March 9, 2009

12.5 Million Unemployed: could this be true?

Mind boggling, don’t you think?  On my way home a few days ago, a reporter for NPR stated we are at an 8.1% unemployment rate, equating to 12.5 million people looking for a job.  Does this number include the millions of people not on unemployment who happen to be unemployed as well?  If not, and I seriously doubt it does; who knows what the true unemployment rate is.  I don’t!

 

So, where are we as a country?

 march-09-2009

I’m not an economist; I am an optimist.  Beating the odds and securing a job (and for many, any job) may be a matter of luck—being in the right place at the right time.  If this is the case, how does one become “lucky?”  Truth known, to me, luck is a matter of strategy and preparedness.

 

  • Strategy:  know where job fairs are happening and attend; attending social and professional functions; becoming aware of employment trends and educating yourself in your field of choice; attending seminars, workshops, and webinars; developing a calendar of events, obligations, and goals (short and long term); and always display professional respect to all you come across—after all, one never knows who that person getting in the elevator with you happens to work for—he or she may be a hiring executive in need of an entry-level recent graduate or a CEO to head a product development phase.
  • Preparedness:  not only look and behave professionally in all arenas, but have well-written material ready at the hip.  Practice your marketing quip (elevator speech), have a professional review (redo if necessary) documents (a well-written document may be the wisest investment of your career), and know your surroundings.

 

Unfortunately I believe we experiencing an unreliable unemployment rate—I think it is much higher than the government wants the masses to believe.  Naturally they would have an agenda to keep this number low…but that’s jut my opinion.  I did tell you I was optimistic—I forgot to tell you I am also a realist.

 

Let me know what you think,

  

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

 

March 6, 2009

Higher Education is Worth the Trip

On my way to work I listened to NPR and unemployment projections.  It was stated we should expect rates close to 8% closing out the month of February.  With 650,000 job losses last month, it seems like now is the time to continue educational pursuits as the following outlines.

 

In a recent report published by the “Bureau of Labor Statistics” comparing education and employment, the following trends were detailed:

 

·        79% men graduated high school compared to 84% women graduated high school

·        11% of high school dropouts had earned their GED

·        4% of high school dropouts were enrolled in training or apprenticeship programs

·        10% male high school graduates who never enrolled in college were in the armed forces

·        42% of high school dropouts and 20% high school graduates not enrolled in college were neither employed or in training by age 20

·        42% of youths were enrolled in college during the October they were 20

·        47% of women and 38% of men at age 20 were attending college

 

Striking me most is the last bullet—47% of women and 38% of men at age 20 were attending college.  For the younger individual looking to enter the workforce, education is a must have to compete and for the seasoned professional, continuing your professional development appears to be required to keep up. 

 

In lean economic and employment times, standing above others is not simply about experience, it’s about getting ahead….it’s about education.  

 

Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

dhuffman@careersi.com

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

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

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