It's a JUNGLE out there...whether you are hiring or looking for a job.
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The Bobcat – An Adaptable Predator

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jan 23, 2013 in Job Search, Thinking Positive

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In an ever-changing world, job seekers need to become adaptable in order to succeed. Just because opportunities may be limited in your current locale, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In order to become successful, some creature comforts may have to be sacrificed. Ties that may bind you could be holding you back. There may also be other aspects that could improve your chances of finding a lucrative position in your career of choice.

1. Locale – Much like how the bobcat will alter its location in order to hunt, the job seeker may need to look in other areas to score the job he or she is qualified for. The bobcat will hunt prey that is in abundance in any given location. If the opportunities are slim in one area, this lynx relative will simply choose an easier target or move to an area that has a better supply of what it wants.

Family and friends are important in your life, but being able to support yourself and/or a family has to take priority. If the opportunities are slim for what you want, expand your hunt to encompass areas outside of your city or perhaps even in a different state. You need to survive and if the meal is better in a different location, that is where you need to hunt.

2. Resilience – Although the bobcat has been widely hunted for a variety of reasons, the species stays resilient and continues to flourish. Although you may not land the job of your dreams, your continued resilience will keep the goal in focus. While you may have to accept work in a separate field of study, it doesn’t mean you have to commit yourself to it for the rest of your life.

Obtaining a degree from college can open a new world of possibilities for employment and career choices. However, many students don’t experience that career in their chosen field of expertise. Although you may have to flip hamburgers or bag groceries for a while, it doesn’t mean your aspirations have to be any less. Put food on your table with menial jobs while you hunt for the career you want. Stay resilient in your beliefs of being something more and continue to strive for your goals.

3. Prey – Although the bobcat will prefer a larger dinner, smaller animals will suffice if the game is lacking such delicacies. As stated above, there is nothing wrong with having to settle for a small job if it keeps you alive. If you have to accept something lower than your standards, pounce on it as you would with larger game. A good reference from a present employer can greatly help your chances for furthering your future career options elsewhere.

If it is edible, the bobcat will eat it. View your job seeking methods in the same manner. If you can do it, you might as well. There is nothing binding you at any job if a better opportunity comes your way. However, treat each job like it’s a meal for a starving cat. It may be a rabbit, but it will sustain you until that juicy deer comes along.

Many employers find tenacity a good trait to have. The attitude of never giving up shows that you will continue to strive even when the odds are against you. By being adaptive to your situation, you can flourish while others dwindle. Go into the position with confidence that you are the best candidate for the job.

This guest post was contributed by Allison. Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with http://www.nannyclassifieds.com/. She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmail rest you know.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Underbrush – New Nannies Navigating The Jungle

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Oct 16, 2012 in Career Path, Job Search, Thinking Positive

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In a jungle there are many layers. The top layer is the canopy, where birds flutter from treetop to treetop. A little farther down are the branches. They are a bit harder to move through but still navigable. Then you get to the lower layer. Shadowed by the treetops overhead and tangled with underbrush, this layer is full of snares and entanglements that can trip you up.

The job market is like a jungle. You have the top layer of well-educated and experienced job searchers who seem to flit and fly from job to job landing where they please. Then you have the middle layer of individuals who are either well-educated but not experienced or experienced but not well educated. These job seekers have a little bit of climbing as they grasp and swing from branch to branch collecting experience and education. Then you come to the bottom layer. This layer can contain job seekers who may only have a basic education, little or no experience, or have decided to change fields and are starting from scratch. It is the most difficult layer to navigate and not for the faint-hearted explorers. Experience will come with time and many in this layer are also pursing higher education, but challenging and rewarding employment opportunities may seem few. Someone on this path in the jungle who loves children may want to consider becoming a nanny. You get to spend time one-on-one with a child and really get to know them.

Being a nanny is very different then working in a day care facility or even as a teacher. You get to spend time with one child or maybe a couple of children inside their home, where they feel comfortable. Typically, nannies are also paid more than a day care worker depending on the number of children they supervise and the family. But how do you become a nanny?

Nannies do not generally need any special qualifications. A degree, for instance, is not necessary to get started. What you do need, however, is a clean criminal and driving record. If you are or wish to be certified in CPR or other childcare related things such as early education, it is certainly helpful but not necessary.

The lives of many nannies involve traveling the world and making money. Some nannies vacation with families while others look specifically for work overseas. Job seekers who enjoy children and are interested in exploring can take steps to prepare themselves for a career as a nanny.

1.Consider Your Skills

Nannying seems similar to babysitting, but parents take the job very seriously. You should list all qualifications that make you capable of caring for a child like your educational background, volunteering experience or aspects in your personal life. Miscellaneous jobs and hobbies may also be relevant. If you know how to play an instrument or had a job cooking, then your experiences can add value. Taking the initiative and being CPR certified or learning a families’ native language also shows you are serious.

2. Applying

Taking the time to consider your skills and build the strongest resume helps for the next step. The easiest way to find opportunities is to join an online agency. Nanny boards appeal to families because they usually require ID verification and a background check. You can search through families and apply to good fits, and many sites cater specifically to opportunities abroad. Applications will vary, but most will require a resume, personal statement and references. Agencies usually charge a fee. Ensure the site you choose is easy to navigate and can send applications to as many available jobs as possible.

3. The Fine Print

When vacationing with a family or residing in a new country to nanny, various details should be considered. Find out if you have to pay for airfare, dining, or other expenses. If residing in a country, research the specific requirements for work visas and nannying. Pay rates may be different than what you are used to in foreign countries. You may also be paid less if the family provides accommodations. Not all nanny jobs are lucrative, but you are given spending money and a chance to visit foreign locations.

4. Meet The Family

Impressing the parents with an application and interview sets you on the right track. However, the real challenge is meeting the child. Communicate honestly with parents because you may not meet the child before traveling. You and the parents will have to decide if your personality and skills will work well with the child. You may have plans, but do not be afraid to make changes. Start friendly and tailor your approach to the child’s attitude. It may take time for them to see you as an authority and trust you.

Patience, adaptability and determination are crucial when nannying overseas because you cannot back out easily. Considering your skills, researching, and finding and communicating with families that you work well with will make the process rewarding.

To look for a nanny job close to home, simply contact a local agency or go online to a site like enannysource.com or nannypro.com. There you will be walked through the application process and your resume and application will be seen by families in your area that are looking for a nanny. If you have any previous childcare experience, like babysitting or even taking care of younger family members, that is a plus. Parents also love multi-lingual nannies.

Being a nanny can mean different things to different people, so be very clear on what your expectations are and what the parents expect from you. Some nannies also do light housework, like picking up after the kids, or even some tutoring. It all depends on what the parents want and what you are willing and able to do.

Being a nanny can be an extremely rewarding job. If you love children, then you may want to look into becoming a nanny.

This guest post was contributed by Ken Myers. Ken is an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance.  He is a regular contributor of www.gonannies.com.  You can get in touch with him at kmyers.ceo @gmail.com

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Stars – Helpful Apps For Your Job Search

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Sep 24, 2012 in Job Search

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With the economy the way it is at present, job searching is getting tougher all the time. As jobs are fewer, competition becomes stronger and you need all the help and advice you can get. Well, there are ways of job searching without having to leave your own home and at times to suit you. One way of doing so is by using apps. Climb the highest tree for the best reception and settle down to view these app stars to help you navigate to a great career.

  • Job Compass: This app can tell you what jobs are available within a specific radius and is an ideal way of keeping tabs on any jobs that happen to become available close to where you want to look. This app is perfect if you live in a remote area where jobs aren’t exactly flowing or you aren’t able to commute very far. Another great thing about this app is you can use it when on vacation or traveling; perhaps you like a certain place you visited and like the idea of settling down and getting a job there? A quick check of this app will give you a better idea as to whether it’s viable or not!
  • LinkedIn: Now having well over 175 million users, having this great networking tool at your fingertips is a great way to meet people in your field or at the companies where you want to be. Already have a job? Then this app is great for staying ahead when more suitable positions become available in your industry. By connecting with people within your preferred profession, you have a better chance of finding the job to suit you. You can put your entire resume up there and people can read it at leisure and contact you should something come up.
  • Resume Tips: This app does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s essentially a guide to completing your resume professionally to the best standard so that it stands out from the crowd when you apply for positions. It gives advice on formatting your resume, as well as targeting it towards individual jobs that you are applying for. Thinking of posting your resume on a job site or sending it to a possible employer? Then this app will help get it looking great before going any further. (editor’s note: For more resume tips, check out Ten Easy Steps to A Perfect Resume.)
  • Monster Job Search: This already famous online job hunting site now has an app for both iOS and Android. You can do everything from save your resume on the site to look for jobs around where you live and within a certain radius of where you live. You can be notified as soon as a position comes available and there is a function that helps you edit cover letters.

 

As the twinkling stars helped to guide many on the right path, these glowing apps are all great additions to your job search. Utilizing these apps may give you a far greater chance of finding the right job, before someone else snaps it up.

This guest post was contributed by Kerry Butters. Kerry contributes this article on behalf of Broadband Genie.

For more job search tips, check out Ten Steps to Finding the Perfect Job.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Chimpanzee – Social Tips For Internship Survival

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jul 10, 2012 in Career Path

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“5 Tips for Impressing Your Boss at an Internship”

In the African jungle, chimpanzees groom each other daily to solidify bonds with other community members. In the corporate jungle, helping out your co-workers during an internship can also help you develop relationships and improve your chances of survival.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, as the economy improves paid internships are on the rise. However, whether you are interning for a salary or for the learning experience, the relationships you develop at an internship will lead to valuable references and recommendations for the next steps in your career. Of all of these relationships, the one that you have with your boss is probably the most important. So how do you make the most of that opportunity? Here are five tips for impressing your boss at an internship.

1. Act like an employee.

One of the biggest mistakes interns make is acting as though an internship is just something that they are required to do. To make the most of your internship, whether it is paid or not, pick out the most positive cues that full-time employees are giving and follow them. For example, dress like others in the office even if the dress code for interns is more relaxed; offer to take a turn and bring in a treat if the office you’re working in has a snack day; or re-fill the coffee machine or copier as often as you can if it’s a shared responsibility. Make yourself part of the team and show that you have the savvy to fit into the environment of the workplace.

2. Keep busy – even when there is no work to do.

Since even a paid intern isn’t likely to be making as much as a full-time employee, managers often assign tasks to full-time employees first. By the end of the week, this might mean that there is no work for you to do. You should always ask your manager first if there is something to be done, but if there isn’t any work or your manager isn’t available, see what you can do besides surfing the internet. If the office plants need dusting or the shared copy room needs tidying, lend a hand. Offering to do filing for employees who seem to be drowning at their desks or just an extra hand to put together marketing packets will get you noticed as someone who is proactive and motivated. Even if your offers are not needed at the moment, advertising that you are available and enthusiastic will leave a great impression.

3. Be yourself.

When you leave your internship, you want others to remember you as a person, not as the temporary summer intern. The best way to make an impression is to be yourself, and not try to be someone else for the sake of impressing others. Be friendly, discuss common interests, and don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone you haven’t met yet. They could be a valuable reference.

4. Keep a positive attitude.

Interns have a unique place in the office hierarchy, and occasionally this can engender bad feelings. For instance, a manager might assign a project to an intern that a full-time employee wanted to work on. This isn’t any fault of the intern’s, but it isn’t as though the intern can re-assign the project to the employee who wanted it, either. When office conflicts like these come up, it’s best to keep a positive attitude and not get caught up in recriminations. The worst thing you can do is be remembered as the intern who couldn’t rise above office politics.

5. End with a thank you.

Whether or not you learned anything impressive during your internship, if you want to encourage your boss to remember you in a positive light you should make an effort to thank him or her before your departure. Save the thank you letter for your next job interview; schedule a face to face meeting with your manager and let him or her know what you learned because of their leadership and direction. At this stage, it’s okay to exaggerate a little – for instance, if your manager tried to teach you something but you ended up having to ask someone else for further clarification, go ahead and give your manager the credit. On the same note, you can also let your manager know who else really helped you. Giving out such kudos will definitely help your manager remember you later, as the intern who made the most of the opportunity and wasn’t afraid to give credit where credit was due. You might even get called back for the next open full-time position.

This guest post was contributed by Laura McPherson. Laura writes for Masters in Accounting, a career resource for learning about getting started in the accounting career field.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Predator – Watch out for Exploitative Internships

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 21, 2012 in Career Path, Lessons Learned

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For those who are still in college or just now graduating, the saying, “It’s a jungle out there,” is truer now more than ever. One of the many options that students or recent graduates flock to in lieu of full- or even part-time employment is the unpaid internship. Don’t get me wrong—internships, especially in certain hard-to-break-into industries like journalism, are often the only way to get your foot in the door. But in hard economic times, it’s not uncommon for companies and businesses to offer internships that are either exploitative, technically illegal, or some combination of both. Here’s what you should watch out for to avoid becoming the prey of shady internship programs:

1.      Ask former interns about their experiences; don’t join an internship program blind.

Thanks to the Internet, there’s plenty of information out there about both good and bad internships. Sometimes a simple Google search will suffice. You can also look into websites that rank and review internships, like Vault.com. Whatever you do, try to get in personal touch with a former intern—either through email, on the phone, or in-person—so that you understand from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, what the internship is really like.

2.      You should not be asked to do the same work in amount and kind as a full-time worker.

What makes an internship illegal is getting paid nothing to conduct “essential work.” Essential work is basically a full set of tasks that a full-time employee who gets paid does on a daily basis. Internships are essentially a networking opportunity combined with a few diverse tasks to give you a better idea of what the company or organization does as a whole. If you’re being asked to do essential work, then you’re working for a company that’s breaking the law. For more information about the legality of unpaid internships, check out this article.

3.      Always first seek out paid internships. They do exist.

Of course, the vast majority of internships are unpaid. But you’d be surprised by how many internships are out there that do pay, even if it’s not very much. Paid internships tend to be more serious in the nature of the work you’ll be doing, and they’re more affordable.

4.      There are definite alternatives to unpaid internships. You just have to know where to look.

Although many of my friends and relatives have had internships, and I’ve counseled younger people who’ve participated in good internships, I’ve never done unpaid work in my life beyond extracurricular volunteer work. When I graduated from college and couldn’t find work, I instead took on freelance projects as a writer and consultant. These (paid) projects can be just as rewarding as internships. You’ll establish connections that can lead to full-time work, you’ll learn the basics of various industries, and you’ll be getting paid to boot. So while internships can be wonderful experiences, you don’t absolutely need them to get your foot in the door.

In virtually every industry, there are predators out there. Don’t be their victim. Do your research and choose internships wisely. Good luck!

This guest post was contributed by Barbara Jolie. Barbara is a full time freelance writer and blogger in the Houston area. She enjoys writing about education and the advantages of online classes for all students. If you have any questions email Barbara at barbara.jolie876 @gmail.com.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Jungle Guide – Transformational Leaders

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 3, 2012 in Executive Coaching

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In the jungle, there aren’t many signs to direct you away from danger.  Beautiful plants can be poisonous, lethal fungi can sneak in and kill an entire species of trees in a short period of time, and if you lose your bearings without a compass, you only have your instincts to help you find your way out… but the right guide can help tremendously.

At lunch this week, I was discussing a particularly difficult leadership situation with a Director at a publicly traded company and we got on the topic of transformational leadership.  Anyone can take on the traits of a transformational leader and be effective in the right situations where that type of leadership is particularly successful.

According to leadership researcher Bernard Bass, Transformational Leadership occurs when a leader transforms, or changes, his or her followers in three important ways that together result in followers trusting the leader, performing behaviors that contribute to the achievement of organizational goals, and being motivated to perform at high levels:

  • Transformational leaders increase subordinates’ awareness of the importance of their tasks and the importance of performing them well.
  • Transformational leaders make subordinates aware of their needs for personal growth, development, and accomplishment.
  • Transformational leaders motivate their subordinates to work for the good of the organization rather than exclusively for their own personal gain or benefit. (1)

Let’s suppose you are a leader in an organization that, like many, has gone through extensive change due to external economic influences.  Consider that the people leading the organization are doing as much as they can to attempt to adequately predict the next quarters’ results and have worked with you to ensure you understand your responsibilities within the overall execution of the strategic plan.  You, as the leader of your group, need to steer your team to achieve the pre-established benchmarks despite the undercurrent of uncertainty.

It’s not easy.  (If it was easy, everyone would do it!)   

Realize that you are not alone and many companies and managers are in the same situation.  Leaving your job because of these circumstances may not solve the issue at hand.  Instead, think about what you can do personally to create stability within an environment of uncertainly.  It’s easy to get caught up in what’s going on around you every day and lose sight of the big picture.  No matter what interpersonal drama is happening in your office, take a moment to take stock of yourself in relation to the traits of a transformational leader.   Consider what both your subordinate team and executive team need from you and the answers will become clearer.  Remember, you can’t change other people, only how you react to them.  If you need more leadership directives from the executive team, selectively seek out the proper person to mentor you.  Those with more experience than you have just that….more experience. There is a lot to be learned from others’ experience and style.  Recognizing both positive and negative traits in others helps you mold yourself to be a better leader overall.  Make yourself transformational no matter your personal set of circumstances and find yourself to be the jungle guide your team needs.

(1)    Jones, Gareth R.; George, Jennifer M. (2011-04-26). Understanding and Managing Organizational Behavior (6th Edition) Pearson HE, Inc.

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The Compass – Navigating the Interview

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 1, 2011 in Interviewing Skills

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Successfully navigating an interview is like trying to find your way through a jungle: You prepare for the expected and bring the tools to cut through unexpected obstacles. Feeling your way from one question to the next can seem like swinging from tree to tree, tentatively landing on each branch and narrowly escaping a fall or a trap. Knowing what to expect can help you make your way through the thicket a little easier. Preparing answers to some common interview questions — What are your weaknesses? How do you handle stress? — is a good place to start, but you should also be prepared to answer that most common final question: “Do you have any questions for us?” Not having questions prepared can leave your interviewer with a lasting negative impression. Here are some reasons why you should always have thoughtful questions prepared, as well as some tips on what kinds of questions to ask:

Questions Show Off Your Knowledge

If you have properly researched the company and the people who are interviewing you, it will show in the types of questions you ask. Begin your questions with phrases like “I read an article about your company…” or “After I read over your sales reports from last year…” You will let the interviewer know that you have taken the time to learn more about the company and to reflect on how you can contribute to the present and future goals of the company.

Questions Demonstrate Your Commitment

Asking thoughtful questions that reflect additional research or critical thinking demonstrate your commitment to the company and enthusiasm for the job. Asking questions shows that you are serious about learning more about the company and the role you can play. If you ask throwaway questions that could have been answered by looking at the company Web site or other literature, you display a sense of apathy or, worse, a lack of effort.

Ask Conversational Questions

Don’t ever ask your interviewer questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” You will waste an opportunity to open up a discussion that can help the interview learn more about you. Instead of asking questions like “Is your company worried about the economic climate?” or “Have you had any layoffs in the last year?” ask open-ended questions like “How has your company adapted to the current economic climate?” and “What has your company done to avoid layoffs that have been seen at other companies?” You will learn more information about the company, and your responses will tell the interviewer more about you.

Ask “Opportunity” Questions

If the interviewer has not asked you the questions that you would have liked to answer during the interviewer — questions whose answers could have explained more about your skills and experience, for example — find ways to create opportunities for these conversations with your own questions. For example, ask questions like “Why is the position vacant?” or “How do you define success for the person hired to fill this role?” After the interviewer answers, you can explain how you would be the successful candidate for the job.

Ask “Future” Questions

When you ask your interviewer questions that look toward the future, you are expressing interest in a long-term relationship that will benefit both you and the company. Ask questions about the company’s goals and future projects, as well as questions about opportunities for advancement within the company or how the interviewer sees the evolution of the position for which you are interviewing.

There are many more types of questions you should not ask during your interview — most of them concerning salary, benefits, vacation times, and other specifics that should only be discussed once you are offered the job. Think carefully about the types of questions you ask, and remember that what you ask says as much about you as what you answer.

Let your questions be your guide and led you through the interview to a successful job!

This guest post is contributed by Erinn Stam, the Managing Editor for a website offering the best nursing careers. She attends Wake Technical Community College and is learning about online flight nursing programs. She lives in Durham, NC with her lovely 4-year-old daughter and exuberant husband.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Summer Flower – Blooming For Promotions and Raises

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 9, 2011 in Career Path

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Summer is arriving and so are the summer flowers! While spring is known for its fantastic array of colorful flora, the brief and brilliant display can still remain in the newly emerging summer flowers which can continue into early fall.

Your Step-By-Step Guide to Score a Promotion!

While the summer flowers emerge as a lingering trace of the dazzling color and delicate fragrance of spring, year and half-year evealuations are taking place in workplaces everywhere. Grab your chance at a promotion or raise this summer and bloom in the jungle with these “do and don’t’ tips on how to approach your boss about your performance and career path.

Original article with quotes by Carolyn Thompson

By Brittany Galla at http://life2pointoh.com

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The Tectonic Plates – The Shifting Fault Lines Of Age Discrimination

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Dec 6, 2010 in Building Confidence, Career Path, Job Search, Thinking Positive

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The plates of the earth may be shifting as they do before an earthquake.

I had a conversation this week with a client that started out,
“Honestly, Carolyn, we’re looking for a little gray hair.”
When I asked them to tell me more, he replied,
“We want someone experienced to lead us out of this recession in order to emerge a stronger organization in the next three years.”
I found this completely refreshing since I hear from so many executives that find themselves between jobs with more than 20 years experience, that they feel they are being passed over for up and comers with less experience.

If you’re an employer looking for leaders, here are a few reasons you might want to join my client in their pursuit of people with more experience rather than less:

MYTH: Older workers can’t or won’t learn new skills.
REALITY: Those over 50 are proving their ability to learn new skills by becoming the fastest growing group of Internet users. Career-changers in their 40s and 50s are taking courses to enhance their skills.

MYTH: Older workers aren’t flexible or adaptable.
REALITY: Because they’ve seen many approaches fail in the workplace, they are more likely to question change. But they can accept new approaches as well as younger workers can as long as the rationale is explained.

MYTH: Older workers are more expensive.
REALITY: The costs of more vacation time and pensions are often outweighed by low turnover among older workers and the fact that higher turnover among other groups translates into recruiting, hiring, and training expenses.

MYTH: Older workers take more sick days than younger workers.
REALITY: Attendance records are actually better for older workers than for younger ones.

MYTH: Older workers don’t stay on the job long.
REALITY: Workers between 45 and 54 stayed on the job twice as long as those 25 to 34, according to the Bureau of labor Statistics in 1998.

MYTH: Most older workers are too “overqualified”:
REALITY: YOU GET MUCH MORE THAN YOU PAY FOR. It’s like getting a Ferrari for the price of a Miata. Forget the foolish business about “overqualified.” Many older workers are ready to throttle back but not ready to stop working. They will step into a non-management job after years of running the whole show and be content with that. A retired Army colonel and high-end management consultant, is happy as a clam driving a bus for the local transit authority. Would a twenty-something with no experience dealing with difficult people do as well? And if they ARE willing to manage for you, the value of their experience is exponential.

MYTH: Older workers can’t keep up with the younger generations in work habits.
REALITY: OLDER WORKERS HAVE BETTER WORK HABITS: Inaccurate stereotypes lead hiring supervisors to assume that older workers can’t perform the way younger workers do. That they will miss work or not get as much done. Deciding a candidate who’s a standout on paper isn’t worth an interview because of unsupported assumptions about age means you miss terrific talent you could have brought on board. She may have missed two days in 30 years. Don’t rely on unfounded assumptions to rule out older workers.
In a study of work habits in 39 separate organizations that included 3000 non-management workers, those younger than 26 years of age were found to be substandard in all six work habits: work standards, safety awareness, reliability/follow-through, attendance, punctuality, and avoidance of disciplinary actions. Workers in the 26 to 45 age range were average on all six. Workers age 46 to 55 were above average on four of the six categories. Workers over 56 were above average on five of the six and twice as far above average as the 46 to 55 year-olds on four of the five. If your hiring needs lean heavily on work habits, you should be looking for people with gray hair.

REALITY: THIS IS THE AGE GROUP WITH THE MONEY
The biggest irony in all this is that the over 50 crowd is the population that actually has money to spend. They own upwards of 70 percent of the financial assets. Their per capita discretionary spending is two and a half times the average of younger households. They hold almost half of all the credit cards in the United States.
You need people who think like them on your team so you can capture that business. Leave your competitors to duke it out over the twenty-somethings whose credit has just dried up.

To curry this market, you need to have a connection to it. Your marketing, strategic planning, and customer service functions need people who can relate because they are over 50 themselves.

REALITY: YOU BROADEN YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC APPEAL.
Unless you’re selling youth-exclusive products, having someone on staff who does NOT answer “Thank you” with “No problem” is a plus. If you want to appeal to the full range of customers, you need a full range of ages to serve them.

Now, for all you job seekers out there that fit this bill, here are the caveats:

  • You must be comfortable with your computer skills. You can’t rely on having as large a staff of direct reports as you may have had in the past so make sure you can function self sufficiently.
  • Don’t try to negotiate every job opportunity that comes your way into something that’s perfect for you before you even start. There are four or five more of you that can do the job if you seem too demanding before you even start. Instead, take the time to make yourself an exact fit for what they want. If it’s a mutually beneficial situation you’ll be able to make changes and adjustments to your schedule or personnel roster AFTER you’ve proven yourself first.
  • Be flexible. Companies need adaptable, creative, amiable people at all levels. Just because you’re used to doing something a certain way in the past doesn’t mean you can’t learn a new trick or two that can create efficiency.
  • Express a high energy level. If you’re carrying around a few extra pounds, get some extra exercise. The loss of just a few pounds does miracles for your confidence not to mention your appearance.
  • Be prepared to commute longer than you might want or even move should the job demand. No one wants to move or commute and while the economy is improving, executive jobs don’t grow on trees.
  • Network. Regularly interact with people at levels above and below your job title as well as within related areas of expertise. Going to an event filled with IT professionals when you’re a CFO makes you the big fish in a small pond. You’ll learn about companies you’ve never even heard of, and who knows if they don’t have just the perfect opening for you!

Certain myths about older workers (50+) may allow potential employers to hesitate in hiring them, but most employers realize the true value in hiring employees who have been around for a while. The tectonic plates in the earth are responsible for much of the shaking and rumbling that major cities on a large fault feel every year. You don’t have to be young to be a shaker and a mover in a company and employers know that a truly experienced and wizened worker with “a little bit of gray hair” can lead their companies back into a “boom.”

From Four BIG Reasons to Hire Older Workers by Mary Lloyd.
And The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA
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The Hunt – Thrill of Survival

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jul 12, 2010 in Job Search, Thinking Positive

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Mankind is no stranger to the practice of hunting. Whether the purpose of the hunt is for survival, sport, or entertainment, the hunt is as old as civilization itself.

Today, many are tasked with hunting once again: our modern prey is a stable job. Often, when in economic and financial turmoil, people will reiterate the idea that a “job hunt” is for survival and it is difficult to associate it with a sport, pastime, or entertainment of any kind.

When job hunting out of necessity, it is always important to think positively. However dire, your hunt should produce the feelings most gamesmen yearn for: adrenaline, optimism, and at times pessimism. Do not lose hope. Hunters and gatherers of our ancestors may have had a bad day, maybe a rough week, unsuccessful month, or difficult season, but had they lost hope and embraced helplessness, humanities existence would have been undone with the extinction of humanity as a possible consequence.

One day, you will receive an offer of employment and your epic job hunt will be whittled down to stories around the water cooler. As a fisherman will brag about the size of his catch, a hunter will recant with the points on his deer’s rack, you will regal people with the thrill of your chase; the ups and downs, and ultimately, your catch.

This guest post is contributed by: Matthew Nieminski

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