Education Career Services

May 6, 2010

The Hidden Job Market for the New Energy Economy

What is a green job?

According to the UN Environment Program, a green job is “…work in agricultural, manufacturing, R&D, administrative, and service activities that contribute to restoring environmental quality.  Specifically, this includes jobs that protect ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce energy and water consumption, decarbonize the economy, and minimize pollution.”

A month ago, we discussed the explosive growth and income-generating potential green jobs have to offer despite a volatile economy.  We also explored the process of transitioning from a traditional corporate role to a position driven by social responsibility and environmental activism.  Now, the question remains, how does one find a green job?

The traditional method is to explore popular, online job boards.  There are the mainstream job boards such as CareerBuilder, Monster, and Simply Hired.  However, you are not going to find a plethora of green collar positions upon such general job boards.  It would benefit you to consider cleantech job boards for opportunities related to environmental responsibility.  TreeHugger’s Job Board and greenjobsearch.org are more fruitful options for a targeted search.  In addition, there are job boards focused on specific areas within the green industry, such as Jobs in the Wind from the American Wind Energy Association.

However, employers may not advertise a job opportunity with an online job board for multiple reasons.  The company of your dreams may be a startup and not possess an HR department.  They cannot handle the volume of response acquired from postings on CareerBuilder.com or other broad-based postings.  Therefore, other strategies to hunt for green jobs arise.  Consider the possibilities within the hidden green job market:

1) Networking

Networking is a crucial skill any graduate entering the job market or seasoned professional can possess.  How else will you meet the contacts necessary to acquire a new position in the cleantech industry? Attend green events such as EcoTuesday, GreenDrinks, Green Festivals, or events sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society. 

For green networking tips, visit http://www.planetfriendly.net/networkingtips.html

2) Contact the companies directly

Many sustainable energy companies publish job listings on their website, as opposed to external recruitment for candidates.  To gain access to these opportunities, candidates should identify enterprises they would be interested in working for.  Tactics to review and assess prospective companies include:

* Going to green memberships to review their lists of relevant employers.  Examples incorporate the American Solar Energy Society, American Wind Energy Association, Geothermal Energy Association, Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, and the Electric Auto Association.
* Review the exhibitor/presenter list at industry conferences.  For instance, there were 400+ organizations at a recent Intersolar conference sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society.
* Read as many green publications as possible, such as Global Green USA. Green Career journals/magazines will have multifarious news articles highlighting prospective employers.
* Go to the National Green Pages to discover a sustainable energy business directory.

3) Academic Institutions

Academic institutions should offer an encyclopedic array of job-related resources for colleges and students, including job fairs and listings.  In response to the growing demand for green jobs, Columbia University and Stanford University are holding Energy and Environmental Career Fairs in the fall.  The University of Illinois and University of Minnesota also are holding sustainable energy career fairs.  Most importantly, academic institutions are a quintessential place to engage in networking.

4) Recruiters

In response to the gigantic growth arising in green jobs, recruiters have begun to specialize in careers involving sustainability.  Examples of green recruiters include The Green Recruiter, Lotus Partners, Bright Green Talent, and Commongood Careers.

5) Membership Organizations

Industry associations and other membership-oriented organizations generate job postings along with their member services.  For instance, Net Impact, a national organization focusing on actualizing business for social justice, offers career services and an annual green career expo.

6) Online Social Media

Company representatives (including hiring managers) often utilize social media to perform their own outreach initiatives for prospective candidates.  For instance, the Green Jobs and Career Network group on LinkedIn provides job postings in locations worldwide.

7) E-Mail Lists

E-mail lists for sustainable energy jobs are also an excellent method of penetrating the hidden job market.  Most of these are free for job seekers to join, including EnviJobs, Green Job List, and YNPN.

Despite the recession, the American job market is growing fast for green careers.  According to the American Solar Energy Society’s green jobs report, “…green industries already generate 9 million jobs in the U.S., and with appropriate public policy, could grow to 40 million jobs by 2030.”  In a recent NY Times article noted, “…56,000 newly trained workers and 14,000 project managers are needed to realize our current administration’s one-year goals for energy efficiency alone.”

So, now go out there and save our Mother Earth! Green careers lead to prosperity and job security.  You will also be strengthening and healing both our economy and planet.

Presented by Victoria Andrew, professional writer for Career Services International

April 26, 2010

Job Fair Opportunities, NEVER miss out!

With the unemployment rate as it is, NOW is NOT the time to sit back and wait. As a matter of fact, NOW has never been a better time to become active in your own career success. With this in mind, I encourage all students (and alumni as well as seasoned professionals) to explore the many benefits of a job fair.

For those currently employed, job fairs offer insight as to the latest employment trends and marketing techniques while opening a slew of networking contacts. Think about it, where else do hundreds of individuals and company representatives gather under one roof? This is an optimal medium on multiple career fronts… don’t miss out on these types of opportunities simply because you are employed.

For students, alumni, or any individual seeking employment or career transition, job fairs are an ideal event for career shopping. Unfortunately the probability of actually landing a job offer during a job fair is minimal, offers do happen. More often than not, the information you present during the job fair will be relayed back to company headquarters where it will be reviewed. Oftentimes the representative from the job fair will be included in the review, thus the importance of following proper business etiquette is essential (as well as the bullets below).

At its core, job fairs are a perfect place to practice and sharpen your career management skills. For example, if you lack a solid introduction (15-30 second) statement (elevator or brand as many circles label), now is the time get it right. If you have shy tendencies or simply don’t know answers to basic interview questions (“why should I hire you” and/or “tell me about yourself”), no better time than NOW to get it right. To help you along the way, here is…

Info you need to know:

* Bring plenty resumes and cover letters (make sure your resume and cover letter highlights the value and contributions you WILL bring to a company).
Dress appropriately; no jeans, no baseball caps, no tennis shoes (yes, even shoes are important) and, for the guys, wear a tie with your slacks/long sleeve shirt; for a ladies, professional attire ONLY.
* Look the part; first impressions weigh heavily. If all else fails and you are unsure what is right or wrong, be conservative, if you have facial rings, take them off for this go around and if you are tacked out, try to cover the ink up. I know you’re thinking this is who you are and if the company doesn’t want you the way you are, too bad. News flash, this event is NOT about you… it’s about what you can do for the company and if you fit THEIR image… leading us to the next bullet.
* Brand yourself the right way; this not only means how you look but what you say. Speak in a confident manner, NEVER talk badly about a past employer, and prepare a nice 15 second (give or take a few seconds) introductory statement (aka an elevator speech).
* Introduce yourself with a firm handshake (please no clammy or overtaking—nothing like giving someone the creeps from the get-go) and retain eye to eye contact without getting into a contest (no staring, another creepy potential creepy moment).
Bring yourself; do NOT bring children, parents, or friends.
* Professional courtesy goes a long way… being impatient, interrupting, or plain old rude gets you nowhere quick.

Following basic guidelines when putting yourself “out there” gives you the upper hand. Enough reading for now, you have a job fair to prepare for!

Wishing you nothing but success,

dhuffman, certified resume writer, certified career coach, certified interview professional, and owner of Career Services International, Education Career Services as well as author of over 12 career management publications. Contact him at dhuffman@careersi.com with have any career questions or issues.

April 6, 2010

How to Approach a Green Transition

Submitted by Green Specialist Victoria Andrew…

Both the economy and our environment are in state of crisis.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9.8% of the labor force is unemployed.  The Environmental Defense Fund reports the carbon dioxide level is higher today that it has been in measurable history, which is 2.1 million years.  Glaciers are melting, and coastal wetlands will soon vanish will the rising sea level.

Despite the earth and our economy being in danger, good news is on the horizon.  Jobs in the sustainable energy field are poised for explosive growth.  Currently, the demand for renewable energy is opening more than 9 million jobs and $10 billion in revenue in United States.

Although penetrating the green collar industry is highly similar to any career transition, there are a few differences to consider:

* Do not be intimidated.  No one is an expert in green collar jobs.
“Don’t worry about starting at the bottom!  You’re never going to have another opportunity in your career where the bottom is so close to the top.  Someone with three years of biofuel experience is already a foremost expert in the country,” states Dawn Dzurilla, President of Gaia Human Capital Consultants

* Embrace learning with passion!
We are on the verge of an exhilarating renaissance in product development and innovation.  For every new career, such as a wind turbine fabricator or photovoltaic engineer, there are 10 to 12 jobs automatically created to support it.  Instead of allowing anxiety over uncharted territory to sabotage your interests, seize this opportunity to learn as much as possible on new and emerging developments in sustainable energy.  Keep yourself informed with cutting-edge websites, such as http://www.greenjobs.com

* Pursue grassroots organizations instead of Fortune 500 businesses.
Acceleration in your green career growth is catalyzed by investing in companies that take new energy initiatives seriously, as opposed to just having a little green on the side.  According to Michael Eckhart, President of ACORE, “There’s a high probability that the winners are going to be companies no one has heard of so far, such as Better Place.  They are the ones that will be exploding within the next five to ten years.”

* Take the green temperature of your targeted company.
 Pay close attention to any hiring green company to confirm if their commitment is pursued with 100% integrity.  If the Green Expert is reporting to the CSR instead of the CFO, then that is not the company for you.  Be direct, and ask penetrating questions on the company’s green priorities.  Assess their view of green-washing rules, and discover how they plan to brand themselves as a green washer.  Pursue further research on your company’s green level by checking the State of Green Business Report on GreenBiz.com: www.stateofgreenbusiness.com

Job seekers from every segment of society are anxious to transfer their skills to the renewable energy industry in order to benefit from the infusion of capital, effort, and opportunity.  An investment in your career and our mother earth holds the promise of a better tomorrow.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International, www.careersi.com
Education Career Services, www.educationcs.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dannyhuffman
Creator, The Huffman Report, www.westorlandonews.com

March 30, 2010

Green Challenge and Opportunity

Victoria Andrew presents…

The global challenge to focus on sustaining our environment is transforming our white and blue collars into green!  Multitudinous companies and entrepreneurs are pursuing strategies to capitalize on the New Energy Economy.  Simultaneously, many industrial and corporate employees are migrating to green professions by mastering training programs on how to produce alternative power, accelerate energy efficiency, and renovate buildings with sustainable energy systems.  Professionals are primarily attracted to green development to satisfy the demand for implementing environmentally conscious design, policy, and technology.

Some careers obviously fall into the green-collar category, such as the hundreds of jobs available for the Spanish wind company, Gamesa, in Fairless Hills, PA.  If you engineer wind turbines or solar panels, your job is clearly green.  Yet, some propose that the work of decarbonizing America’s economy will also galvanize millions of new jobs.  In the next 20 years, an estimated 75% of buildings in the U.S. will either be brand new or substantially rehabilitated according to green standards.

Green IT is also taking root, whether you’re looking at specific methodologies from power management to virtualization, or taking a top-level look at corporate-sustainability goals.  The Worldwide Green IT Report unveils how far corporations had come in greening their data centers.  The overall results unveiled a consistent agenda for most firms to integrate green IT as a cost-savings tool.  In the past, green IT was merely a wish-list item, yet now it’s essential for the majority of the major corporations surveyed internationally.  Especially in Silicon Valley, job opportunities are being backed by millions of dollars into the renewable energy industry.

According to a CareerBuilder.com hiring trend survey, thirteen percent of employers said they plan to add green jobs in the new year, compared to merely one in ten from 2009.  The survey also disclosed the following top 10 environmentally-friendly jobs for the green economy, with salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

1)       Hydrologist: Median annual income $51,080.

2)       Environmental Engineer: Median annual income $50,000.

3)       Conservation Biologist: Median annual income $52,480.

4)       Toxicologist: Median annual income $79,500.

5)       Environmental Attorney: Median annual income for attorneys specializing in construction, real estate, and land use is $70,000.

6)       Landscape Architect: Median annual income $53,120.

7)       Corporate Waste Compliance Coordinator: Median annual income $39,000.

8)       Pollution Control Engineer: Median annual income $66,000.

9)       Urban and Regional Planner: Median annual income $45,250.

10)    Environmental Chemist: Median annual income $51, 080.

So, how do you find the quintessential green job for you? Consider the following possibilities for hunting down a green-collar career:

1)       Idealist.org : Idealist is an interactive site provides a diverse job listing in the green sector, green career fair notification occurring throughout the U.S., and even an on-line career center for those new to the industry.

2)       GreenJobSearch.org: This comprehensive listing of jobs is searchable by keywords, state, and major cities.  It also offers helpful tips for job seekers.

3)       EnvironmentalCareer.com: You can take advantage of their advanced search engine, view all jobs, create an account, and post your resume on this site driven by visionary determination to ensure a green future.

4)       JobsforChange.org: This progressive site provides a keyword search and category listing that tends more towards green/white collar jobs, as opposed to green/blue collar careers.  An excellent advice section discusses everything from interviewing to job-hunting resources.

5)       GreenCollarBlog.org: You will find an extensive listing of green job boards with separate sections for jobs inLEEDs construction (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), solar, clean energy, wind power, etc.

Riding the new wave of green collar jobs is the ideal career path for 2010, especially if you wish to capitalize on the New Energy Economy, or synergize your socially progressive ideologies with an environmental mission.  Now is the time to take advantage of the huge demand for executives, project managers, engineers, educators, scientists, and individuals of multitudinous industries to penetrate the green world.  Both economic security and social change await your future if you decide to “go green” once and for all.

Thank you Victoria for sharing such valuable information.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International, www.careersi.com
Education Career Services, www.educationcs.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dannyhuffman
Creator, The Huffman Report, www.westorlandonews.com

March 23, 2010

The Power of Non-Profit Achievements

You’re a full-time student with little time for even part-time employment…how do you start building your résumé to get a solid launch upon graduation?  Non-Profit Organizations may be your answer.

Achievements with a non-profit group are very compelling on a cover letter and résumé.  It stands out, it says something about who you are, and it will likely prompt an interview.  

Like any other position (be it an intern, extern, or part-time opportunity), make sure you build achievements and not just “experience.”  In other words, this is a perfect time to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities, all of which are the foundation of a long and successful career.  If you’re interested in business management, get involved with the administrative side of the organization: planning, fund raising, strategizing…quantifiable contributions that can be documented.

No doubt about it, DOCUMENT your Performance, Action, and Result (PAR) as employers want to see YOUR contributions and immediate impact.  For instance, if you built a spreadsheet while working as an intern or at an non-profit organization which streamlined procedures, document what you did and, when applicable, the results… such as how many labor hours were decreased due to your spreadsheet.

Things to consider when you are choosing a non-profit group, make sure the group:

a) resonates with you, and
b) resonates with future employers.

The Society to Promote Body-Piercings simply won’t do, but PAWS, MADD, homeless shelters, food banks… causes that benefit society not just special interest groups add bling too your résumé.  But be careful: Non-profit groups need volunteers and will let you work whatever hours you can; keep control of your schedule and prioritize your studies with volunteering or you may find your time monopolized.

The added benefit of networking is also at play here.  When you meet fellow professionals, get their contact information and keep in touch… you never know who the person volunteering next to you may be or will soon be.

Submission by Rob Swanson, certified professional writer at Career Services International / Education Career Services

March 17, 2010

Did I REALLY Post That?

No doubt we’ve heard it over and over again… social media/networking is overtaking the world and just about every aspect of life, including job searching and career management.  So, with this common truth, what’s the latest?

According to an AIRS Sourcing Report dated February 2010, you may be amazed at the prevalence permeating (I have never used those two words together in my life so if it makes no sense, get over it) the social media network.  For example:

2010 Social Media Stats Review:

* Facebook has been in business 6 years (last month), and now has 400,000,000 members
* 50% of Facebook users log on daily (are you one of them—hmm, if 50% log on daily, that means 200,000,000 users log on daily—this is for the match challenged out there)
* 65 million Facebook users access the site with mobile devices (still a respectful number by any stretch)
* LinkedIn has 11 million users across Europe
* India is the fastest growing country using LinkedIn, with more than 3 million users
* LinkedIn is offered in 4 different languages, while Facebook is offered in 70 languages
*
Twitter now has 75 million profiles
* In December 2009, 17% of Twitter users tweeted, equating to roughly 10 to15 million users joining the conversation

Enough of the numbers and what does it mean to you? First of all, for those not venturing into the social media world, you are at a disadvantage as professional exposure can be an added value when searching for a job.  Unfortunately, there may be price to pay if you are tangled into the electronic social network.  For example, once an entry is written and published or an image is posted, there is no turning back. For those hitting Spring Break hard and fast, beware your behavior may be recorded for the world to see… and as the trend continues, the world WILL see. 

While on an off-beat strum, if you’re looking for a site to show off your creative side, one of my former college students developed “A Community for All Artists” and is located at http://artists-square.com.  I encourage you to check it out.  Okay, getting back on track…

. and bringing me to another point, employers ARE searching potential candidates on the Internet.  I’ll go ahead and make my position clear: error in the way of conservative caution and DO NOT post, publish, or take pictures your parents (or potential employer) would not be proud of.  Just think about Phelps and the stir he created due to posted pictures. 

With millions searching, seizing, and spying, be careful,

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
dhuffman@careersi.com
www.linkedin.com/in/dannyhuffman

March 11, 2010

The Catch 22 of “Over Qualified”

Between graduating students and retiring-executives-who-aren’t-retiring, not to mention other professionals suddenly finding themselves looking for work, experienced candidates are hearing that dreaded word a lot these days: “over-qualified.”

From an employer’s perspective, seasoned professionals might not be challenged by the open position and therefore leave as soon as they are able.  In some cases, the hiring manager may fear for their own job if they hire a team member who can do their job as well as they can… or even better.

If you hear that concern during the interview, it’s tempting to lay it on the table, “right now I need to pay the bills so I’ll consider any job at the moment!”  That declaration doesn’t allay their fears, however, and may make them worse (you just confirmed you’re looking for something better).

Once again, the answer is to identify their concerns and offer a solution.  “Due to the present economy, companies are getting a lot for their investment; you’re in a position to acquire talent at a great price.  I accept that and intend to provide greater value than a less qualified employee.”

Also make it clear during the interview that you know the key to success is “making my manager great.”  If the hiring manager knows 1) you’re on his or her side, and 2) by bringing you in to the company, he or she will be recognized as bringing in a winner, you effectively negate that concern.

Should the specter of “over qualification” still hovers over the interview, confront the issue, “It seems my qualifications concern you; what do you perceive as the problem?”  Then help them find the solution.  Would signing a year-long commitment help land the job?  Show your value by help them over that hurdle.

In anticipation of that concern, now is actually a good time to transition to a new industry.  “I understand you’re trepidation of hiring someone accustomed to making more money, but in this role I’m looking for more than just a paycheck.  Not only could I be an asset to your company, I’ll receive an education as valuable to me as money.”

Another strategy to dealing with this is to request an interview early in the interview schedule.  Relating your value and bringing up deeper aspects than a less experienced candidate could, you’ll raise interviewer expectations for following candidates.

Like with any objection, you need to find the logic behind the fear to overcome it.  Let’s face it, if you really are over-qualified, you have the experience to conquer the hiring manager’s concerns.  In fact, you may come to welcome that issue once you’re prepared for it.  If you had a choice between a sports car and a bicycle, which would you choose?

Thank you Robert for the great article.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out.

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

March 3, 2010

It’s an Upgrade Job Market

The rules have changed in today’s job market.  Companies once retaining “B” performers no longer can afford the financial burden.  In today’s market, the cost of under-performance, and the fat needing to be trimmed in order to survive, is no longer an affordable indulgence.

Over the last 90 days, 3 out of 4 professionals securing a position replaced someone under-performing.  Holding these numbers for next 90 days, your resume must be written as a solution based document, not as a responsibilities driven timeline, two very different approaches offering two very different results.  Using work history as the primary story telling medium, you create a boring and passé “selling instrument.”  It may be a traditional document, but there is nothing traditional about today’s market.

Top “A” performers uncover company problems.  Top “A” performers become the solution.  By identifying difficulties and designing your value as the solution to their problem, you create an effective marketing tool.

Adding constraints to a time-sensitive culture, job seekers present contributions to decision makers who are, more often than not, not actively looking for you.  As a result, you must hit fast and hard – every word on your resume counts.

Writing your own resume is unwise.  After all, there’s a tendency to come across in a responsibility driven format.  For maximum impact, a solutions based document needs to be concise and results driven.  Ask yourself the following and acknowledge how an employer would find value in your written response:

  1. What are the common challenges facing the industries you are targeting?
  2. How have you contributed to solving those problems?
  3. What are your top five accomplishments?  Quantify them in numbers, dollars, percentages, time-savings etc…
  4. What is the largest project/deal/sale/feat you’ve worked on (speak to whatever is appropriate to describe the merits of your expertise)?
  5. Have you been involved in the turnaround of a company, division, program, or project? Describe in a three line maximum statement.
  6. Why would a decision maker want to spend ten minutes talking to you?  Develop a verbal message to further describe action statements from your resume.
  7. Does your marketing material reflect an “A” or “B” performer?  How?

When developing key statements, detail the issue(s), what action plan(s) you developed and/or implemented, and the result(s)?

After a benefit driven marketing resume is constructed, it’s time to get in front of the right person within the organizations who will benefit from your contributions.  The “A” performer does not look for job openings.  The “A” performer pursues challenges and opportunities, never settling.  The “B” performer waits on the sidelines, settling for status quo. 

Are you an “A” performer or a “B” performer? 

Submitted by Rob Swanson, fellow certified writer and manager at Career Services International.

March 1, 2010

Competency Based Resume

Thinking about a career transition?  Want to change industries?  Think your job title “boxes you in?”  Or do you just want to try something new professionally?  If any of these sounds like you, then you should consider a not-so-run-of-the-mill resume to match your new attitude.

What exactly does that mean?  It means that you should re-think the “job title, company name, location, dates worked” model and go for a competency based resume.  This resume format takes the focus off your job titles and puts it on your skills, abilities and accomplishments.  It also helps the companies and industries you’re interested in to really look at what you bring to the table and how you’ve positively impacted your previous employers.

This may be appear to be a formidable challenge, but getting there is relatively easy.  Go ahead and look at your current, basic resume, no matter the format.  Look at those descriptions you’ve put in your experience section and ramp them up.  Forget the “responsibilities included” and “duties” statements.  Go for numbers, amounts, percents—in other words, if you improved a process at your company, then take it to the next step and describe the impact.  Did it improve sales by a certain percent?  Reduce costs?  Earn money?  If so, those amounts need to be included.  Now you’re speaking a language the employers want to hear.  

If the above paragraph doesn’t convince you, this should.  Employers are telling us they’re getting literally HUNDREDS of resumes PER JOB ANNOUNCEMENT.  That means that you have to make that one-page resume count as if it were a first interview.  You simply must be action/result oriented to get noticed.

Once you get your information ramped up, look at the job descriptions of the field in which you’re interested.  What are the common, global skill sets?  Is it teamwork? Financial Knowledge?  Operations Management?  Once you’ve identified those common skill sets, pick the top two or three that apply to you and then those become your major categories on your resume.  Then take those bullet statements that you’ve already worked on and start plugging them in. 

Bullet statements that can’t stand on their own merit need more work.  The end result just might surprise and reinvigorate you.  You’ve now taken yourself out of the proverbial box and are really putting your skills out there.

Obviously, you need a section on the resume that lists your job titles, company name and the like, but that can go at the bottom of the document and have less emphasis than your skills.  Field test both versions of your resume and see which one gets the most hits. 

For some more help with competency based resumes, check your local book store and the internet where you’ll find many samples that will help you with layout issues, content and structure or consider reviewing what Education Career Services and Career Services International offers by way of a complete career management manual as well as specific career topics and services.

Good luck!

Thank you Angelina, your insight is most welcome and will benefit many of our readers.  We look forward to more of your work.  No doubt your students are blessed to have such a valuable source of information at their front door.

Danny

February 3, 2010

Career Management: A back and forth dialogue

Over the past few weeks I began a new career management series entitled the “Huffman Report” and is presented through West Orlando News.  The site receives over 1 million visits a month, allowing us (and you) valuable insight from across the globe.  If you have a chance, check out the section at http://westorlandonews.com.  The following sprung from viewer questions and comments from that site.

Career management is not only about telling your own story; it’s about listening to others, their struggles, and their issues.  For a few minutes, lets get into our grab bag of comments which came in over the past few days, perhaps gain a bit of insight as we go…

From James: Interesting story (OOOPS…) as something close to that happened to me while I was interviewing a few years back. What is this site going to be concentrating on? I am interested in looking for another position but not sure what steps to take. Will your report go into depth? If I ask for specific topics, will you be able to respond and, if so, when?

We will be concentrating on the full career management life cycle.  In other words, we are going to be taking all old-time rock and roll records off the shelves.  There will be times we delve deeply and carry a mini-series single-topic approach while other times we’ll concentrate on local events or national trends.  Since you asked, if you request specific topics, I anticipate a turnaround time to be within the week.

Regarding your interest in looking for another position and what steps to take, that’s a large can to fill.  When I coach clients, I recommend starting with a true self analysis, determining what type of career/industry would make you happy (naturally consider the economic impact as well). Secondly review the knowledge, skills, and abilities you offer a potential employer. Honesty is the best policy here; if you are an entry-level candidate, don’t pursue a position asking for a senior executive. When it comes to finding possible job leads, know the advertised market carries only a small percentage of openings. 

Throughout the tenure of this site, we will expand on ways to reach the unadvertised market as well getting into interview strategies. I encourage you to actively participate in this site and continue soaking up the information as the days pass by.  On this account, I am hopeful we’ll be introducing a team of extremely qualified members of “Team Career” who will be adding valuable insight from across the US.

From Jason: I started to read the article because of wanting to know if blockbuster was finally going out of business – but then got interested in your advise.  My company informed us recently that they will be closing their doors in the next couple of months.  Your article gave me a boost.

Sometimes a little bit of encouragement goes a long way.  Unfortunately “right-sizing” is hitting too many people too many times.  President Obama is dragging his feet and our local politicians don’t appear to have a resolution except to increase the tolls.  I suggest you go to work each day with a positive attitude, a solid work ethic, and a personal conviction to succeed.  While this is keeping your mind at a calm state (hopefully), begin reviewing what you want to do.  Refer to the advice given to James as well. If your supervisors would like me to come in and assist a group of employees as they prepare for the upcoming transition, I’d be glad to help.  Keep me abreast as to your status and specific questions; this site is dedicated for this exact situation… guiding everyone in their career management struggles.

Gotta get out of the office for now but will fight the good fight first thing tomorrow.  Let me know what topics you are most interested in and throw a spicy question in now and then. 

Until then, remain groovy.

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)
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