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The Expedition – Trust In The Jungle

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 26, 2015 in Building Confidence, Self Improvement

ExpeditionOur office has recently seen many individuals make significant employment changes from one large company to another; leaving behind the teams they built over the last 5-10 years for the unfamiliar terrain of a new executive position filled with fresh faces to groom and lead. The conversations about how the new role is going seem to center around a common theme – the first priority of building a new team that they can trust. This begs the examination of what is really the definition of trust.

Webster’s Dictionary says, trust is the “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective.” Wikipedia offers a social definition as when the “trustor” is willing to rely on the actions of another party (“trustee”).

It takes time for people to build credibility with each other. You must exemplify trustworthiness in order to receive it from your team and build your own trust in them. Consider these 5 tips for making a daily effort towards building your leadership trustworthiness offered by Jennifer Miller from SMARTBLOGS:

  • Get to know people’s minds and hearts.
  • Keep promises.
  • Maintain confidences.
  • Ask, “How are you doing?” Then shut up and listen.
  • Back your people up.

Jennifer stresses as her first point that building and promoting your team’s skills is not enough, you also need to understand their motivations. Recognize the underlying influences that drive your team beyond the technical so that you can better position them for success in the group, and in their career path. This will solidify your team’s confidence in your abilities as a leader. Ask your team members what gets them to work in the morning beyond salary and social aspects.

Equally important is keeping your promises, both positive and negative. Creating a track record of consistency will allow you to ask the same of your team. Nothing erodes trust in a leader faster than broken promises and false hope. Be especially careful about assurances that could be undone because of a lack of information or support from senior leadership. It will be viewed by your team as a significant weak point in any future promises you make no matter how much they trust you.

Get to know your team and their individual personalities to maintain confidences. Your team’s observance on how you treat privileged information about them builds, or destroys, a foundation of trust in what they are willing to share about themselves to you. This can extend to simple praise and criticism where one employee may not mind being corrected or complimented in public and another may prefer to receive any feedback in private.

In this age of technological progress where communication is faster than ever, people seem to have less and less time to truly listen. This is especially true the further you are in your career. Asking how someone is doing and then being able to take the time to truly listen to the response is very rare. Schedule time on your calendar for members of your team to discuss ideas and concerns with you to avoid only half listening while writing an email or having to cut them off to rush to a meeting. Making yourself available to be able to respond with your whole attention will help you develop a deeper relationship with your team.

To err is human and to pass the blame is the mark of a team’s shaky confidence in its leader. If the team makes a mistake, correcting that mistake in the work product should take precedence over whose individual fault it is. If the fault is yours, own it. Even if your only mistake was not catching the error before the project was submitted. When your team is comfortable knowing they won’t have to waste time and energy constantly covering their own rears at the expense of the team’s cohesion, they will be able to get back to business more quickly after a minor slip-up. A single team member can be coached in private if they are the source of reoccurring issues.

Trust must be built over months and years but it can be shattered in an instant. Maintaining trust requires continual investment in the leader-employee relationship. Show your trustworthiness by getting to know your team personally to position them for success, keeping your promises, maintaining confidence, and really listening to and backing your group is the fastest way to develop a team that you will be able to trust. In the wild Job Search Jungle, your team may be your only hope for survival so make sure the trust you build can get you through any obstacle.

(http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2015/03/10/building-trust-its-not-a-one-and-done-deal/)

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The Zebra’s Stripes – The Fine Line Between Acceptance And Rejection

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 29, 2014 in Interviewing Skills, Job Search

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Motion dazzle is the effect from high-contrast patterns creating visual illusions. For instance, zebras moving together in a group create a large mass of moving stripes making it hard for predators to visually pick out individual targets. This can also be true of great candidates. When a skilled and polished group of individuals interviews with an employer, it is often very difficult for the interviewer to figure out who stands out and how. It’s part of a recruiter’s job to see below the stripes to find the “extra” factor about each candidate to help the employer’s decision.

I love my work.

I truly enjoy helping my clients hire the perfect person for the job. I love working with my candidates to locate positions that are a great fit for their skills, experience and interests, and then helping them to wow their future employer in the interview.

This week was a busy week in our office. We extended four offers of employment for our clients that were accepted. It isn’t always the case that offers will be taken. There are times where an offer is turned down for reasons that have little to do with the position being considered, but more on that later. In my position, there is no better call to make than the one that helps bring a professional search assignment to a successful conclusion for both parties.

The flip side of that enjoyment is the melancholy requirement of notifying the candidates who didn’t receive the offer. It’s human nature to ask: “Why?”, “What could I have done better?” or “Why not me?” These calls were really tough for me this week. I had to notify nearly a dozen people who were in the latter part of the interview process that they wouldn’t receive the offer – when nearly all of them had told me they ranked the positions as one of their top choices.  All of these individuals had strong backgrounds and terrific personalities. Unfortunately, to answer their questions, there really are no strong, concrete reasons to identify what they could have done to make the decision go their way.

It’s often a tough decision for a company to decide whom to extend the offer to between two, or more, well qualified people. Employers often find themselves starting to split hairs over experience or skills that may not be material to the success of someone in the job just to try and make the decision. When it comes to that point, it could be any number of things that tips the scales one way or the other such as perceived length of commute, level of enthusiasm expressed in an interview, overall mid- to long-term cultural fit within the organization, or even something found on a social media site that an employer relates to – or doesn’t like.

Although the employer has their work cut out for them to decide between the dazzling stripes of the candidates, even when they are ready to extend an offer to their top choice many times it is actually the second choice person who receives the offer. Among any number of reasons the top choice may have received more than one offer during their job search, taken a counter offer from their current employer as they were resigning, or even got cold feet. If you are one of the top choices, your skills and experience got you this far, but don’t be too hard on yourself about the outcome of a final selection. Very often the second choice is selected for the offer due to the reasons mentioned – happily accepts – and goes on to be wildly successful at the company.

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The Groundhog – Six More Weeks For The Old I-9

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Mar 25, 2013 in Job Search

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The New and Improved Employment Eligibility Form (Form I-9)

Groundhog Day, celebrated annually on February 2nd in the US and Canada, is a quaint end-of-winter tradition. Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. This year, the Pennsylvania groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil” did not see his shadow which, according to folklore, should mean an early spring for the area. Recent snows seem to contradict the famous woodchuck’s prediction. Although six weeks of prolonged winter weather wasn’t expected, we can expect at least six more weeks for the old I-9 form before it gives way to the new.

The Employment Eligibility Form (Form I-9) has finally been updated and is available to use. Employers should start using this new form now, and may not use the old form after May 7, 2013.

After performing numerous I-9 audits for our clients in the past year, we want to make sure that you’re aware of the hot buttons that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) looks for that may make you incompliant.

So what’s new about this form and the instructions? First of all, the complete form lengthened from five pages to nine pages total.  The boxes in the form are now much bigger and easier to fill out, but there are a couple major changes you’ll need to educate your team about.

(The first six pages of the form are the instructions. The form itself begins on page 7.)

  • Section 1 is the entire first page of the form, what the employee completes. Here, the employee now has the option to also provide a phone number and e-mail address as part of their personal information. The employee does not have to do so, however, and can mark “N/A” in those fields instead. If an employee is providing an I-94 Admission Number, there is now a line for this, separate from the USCIS Number line, and has additional lines for the passport number and country of issuance accompanying it. The preparer/translator section at the bottom has been enhanced to stress the importance that USCIS puts on this section.
  • Section 2 is still just for the employer to complete, but is now on its own page following Section 1. At the top, there is a line for the employer to add the employee’s name as listed in Section 1. Pay attention to this box and make sure to complete it. This is a new major change that can be easily overlooked! Section 2 still contains the identification boxes but List A now has additional and improved boxes for the documents used. The List B and List C columns have clearer fields for the required information (the name of the document, the issuing authority, the document number, and the expiration date, if there is one). Under the Lists, there is still a separate line to add the employee’s date of hire and it is slightly easier to see. Lastly, the employer has more room to write in the company’s complete address in the certification section.
  • Section 3, at the bottom of the second form page, remains almost the same with the benefit of bigger boxes and some minor formatting of the form. If an employer needs to do a recertification on the employee, this section must be used.

 

What hasn’t changed?

  • ALL new hires must complete this form.
  • The employee is still required to complete Section 1 by the date of hire, and the employer is required to complete Section 2 within 3 days of the date of hire.
  • The employee is still required to present documentation from either List A or, List B and List C.
  • EVERY line needs to be PROPERLY completed in full, without abbreviations, or the form will not be considered compliant.

Hopefully this form will make it easier for both the employee and the employer to complete all of the required information, and reduce the number of technical violations for the employer. This form and the instructions can be found here http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

This guest post was contributed by Tricia L. Kleber, PHR, CCP.

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The Ostrich – Head In The Sand With A Criminal History

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Sep 10, 2012 in Interviewing Skills, Job Search, Lessons Learned, Thinking Positive

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Ostriches will attempt to avoid dangerous situations by burying their heads in sand and pretending the threat does not exist. Although this saying comes from a false legend about Ostriches, it is true that you cannot avoid risky situations, such as a criminal history in a job search, by pretending that it does not exist.

A criminal history is one of the most difficult things to overcome when it’s time to find a job. Many employers require criminal background checks, or at least self-disclosure of criminal history on applications, and the thought of losing out on an opportunity due to even minor charges lurking in your background can be nerve-wracking. But, this is no reason to lose hope for future employment or faith in your career. In fact, there are many steps you can take to overcome a negative background check during the interview process and even give off a better impression than you would have otherwise. Read on for some steps and ideas:

1. Address it head-on.

If you already know that you have some criminal history on your record that could potentially affect your employment, then it’s a very good idea to address the issue head on. This is something that you have to balance, though. If the charges are light enough, such as a few parking tickets, then you may not want to bring them up at all. If there are some serious misdemeanors or felonies on your record it is never a good idea to stay silent.  Rather than waiting until your interviewer brings it up or (even worse) hoping they don’t notice, take the matter into your own hands and let him or her know in the initial interview stages. You will look much more professional by addressing the issue clearly and honestly than by skirting the possible hesitations of the employer.

2. Tell the truth.

This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice when it comes to dealing with a negative history during a job search. It can be tempting to simply keep this information off your application or make certain charges seem less serious than they really were, but this is almost certain grounds for dismissal if your employer ever learns the truth. If you are honest about your past, many employers will take your honesty into account when they are considering whether to hire you. If you are dishonest, an employer would not be wise to ever consider you for hire. Besides, it is much better to approach a job interview knowing that you are being forthright. Getting through an interview based on lies will only mean that you have to keep up those stories to your boss and everyone else who works there.

3. Discuss what you’ve learned.

If you need to bring up some criminal history during a job interview, try to turn this potential negative into a positive. Depending on the charges and how long ago they occurred, you can use this as an opportunity to discuss your own life with a potential employer and what you’ve learned from past experiences. Everyone has a past, and no one is perfect. If there were issues in your life that caused you to go down the wrong path, own up to them and express why you are a different person now than you were then. Learning from your mistakes does not make you less of an employee, it simply makes you human, and every successful person has gone through trials to get to where they are today.

4. Don’t be picky.

Even though the thought of a future employer uncovering a less-than-stellar background in your past makes you cringe, there is no reason to feel like your life and opportunity for success is over. However, knowing that you have a record that would make many employers look the other way, you have to be prepared for multiple rejections. But, there is always opportunity to re-build and start again. If you have to work in less than desirable positions for a while, then that is what you have to do, but there is always a way to come back from a criminal past, as long as you have a true desire to work hard and continue moving in a positive direction. So keep your head out of the sand!

This guest post was contributed by Jane Smith. Jane is a freelance blogger and writer for http://www.backgroundcheck.org/. She specializes in career issues, managing an online reputation, and making healthy life choices. She welcomes you to email her any questions or comments and can be reached at janesmith161 @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 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 Big Cats – Pouncing on a Career in Criminal Justice

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Sep 30, 2011 in Career Path, Job Search

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Criminal justice is currently one of the hottest fields in the career jungle. Prowling the tracks of a criminal or flashing by in a high-speed chase may sound like a job for a big cat, but you just might have the skills to pounce on a job in this exciting field! Here are a few of the hottest jobs in criminal justice available to you.

Cheetah – Patrol Officer

Whether a police officer, sheriff deputy, or state trooper, a patrol officer is highly skilled at chasing down criminals. Just as the cheetah is known for being the fastest land animal, patrol officers are recognized for their commitment to keeping communities safe. As a result, patrol officers have the most visible careers in criminal justice. But don’t get caught speeding with one behind you!

Median Salary: $60,800

Tiger – Detective/Criminal Investigator

A tiger’s stripes help him to blend into his surroundings as he prowls along the earth, searching for prey. Similarly, detectives often conduct investigations in civilian clothes to perform secret surveillance on their prime suspects. Detectives usually specialize in a specific area of crime, such as burglary, domestic violence, battery, or homicide. It may not be the glamorous job you’ve seen on CSI or Law & Order, but it will certainly be a rewarding career.

Median Salary: $64,900

Lion – Paralegal

Lions are the only big cats that often hunt in groups – although to be more precise, the lionesses do most of the work. They hunt in a coordinated group to circle a herd, then to take down a chosen victim which they bring back to the lion of their pride. Paralegals are the hunters for attorneys – although this isn’t to say that attorneys don’t do any work! Paralegals work alongside attorneys to research and prepare for a case by readying legal documents, investigating claims, and helping to decide how the attorney should proceed with the case. While they cannot argue a case in the courtroom, paralegals are just as valuable to the law firm as the attorney.

Median Salary: $51,900

Cougar – Corrections/Probation Officer

Cougars pursue a wide variety of prey, including deer, elk, moose, cattle, horses, sheep, and even insects and rodents. Corrections officers must be versatile too -they supervise all sorts of people in detention facilities, including both those arrested and awaiting trial and those convicted of various crimes. As a result, it is essential that they keep order in the facility. Probation officers have a similar function in supervising individuals recently released from prison who are on parole.

Median Salary: $55,800

Leopard – Forensic Psychologist

The leopard is known as the smartest of the big cats. An opportunistic hunter, he will silently stalk his prey and then pounce at the last second. Likewise, forensic psychologists are some of the sharpest in their league. They analyze an offender’s behavior in order to determine the individual’s mental state and level of competency at the time of the crime. They combine psychology with criminal justice by examining the various psychological perspectives associated with a crime.

Median Salary: $50,700

All median salaries taken from Payscale.com.

This guest post is contributed by Chris Jacobson. He runs a Criminal Justice Degree site and writes about various topics related to Criminal Justice. Criminal Justice Degree.
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 Penguin – Winter Socialite

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 17, 2010 in Job Search

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For professionals seeking employment at any level, the holidays shouldn’t be the time when you put your job search on hold until next year. Waddle down to the local ice flow, put on your winter tux and socialize! Many people have the attitude “I’ll get started after the first of the year” with a resolution to work harder, but the holiday season is a great chance for you to slide in to job openings as those hibernating species create less competition.

Statistics provided by CareerBuilder.com show that job seekers slow down their search in December, but get back into gear in January creating almost 20% more unique searches with only a 5% increase in job posts than in December. Hiring authorities are scheduling interviews and making hiring plans for the New Year right now!

All dressed up and nowhere to go? How about a holiday party?

For those of you out of work, this should be an opportunity to expand your network. People who are currently working are there to blow off steam, relax, and socialize, so you don’t want to be too aggressive, but take advantage of this time to meet new people to tap into for referrals.

Before you go:

When you RSVP, call the host/hostess instead of emailing and ask who else might be attending and if he/she knows where they work. Remember: knowledge is power- look up the other guests on LinkedIn and connect prior to the party. You can say in your LinkedIn invite, “looking forward to seeing you at so-and-so’s party next week. I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network.”

In social situations reaching out to attendees in advance may open a door for a conversation you wouldn’t have otherwise had by gaining familiarity prior to meeting them in person. Being able to strike up a conversation quickly will set you apart from the other guests.

As with any networking, knowing your unique value proposition before you leave the house in your finest business-casual duds is important. Practice in the mirror before you go. Smile and take mints and business contact cards with you as well as pen and paper to write contact info and names.

While you’re there:

Most professionals don’t carry business cards with them in social settings so be prepared to offer yours and make sure you take notes of who to follow up with after the party.

Have fun and fit in. Having a glass of water between wines will keep you hydrated and ensure you’re not consuming too much alcohol to make a good first impression. Remember- the first impression is a lasting one so make sure you appear professional even in a casual, relaxed holiday setting. Eat prior to the party so you aren’t sidling up to a potential employer with a full mouth.

People like to talk about themselves so be prepared with a list of questions you can ask that could lead into work related conversation.

“So, how do you know the so and so’s?” or “How did you meet the so and so’s?”

Many times people are at parties and don’t know the hosts. You can move into
“Oh, well, I know them from XYZ. So, what kind of work do you do?”

Follow up:

People are often more inclined to help during the holiday giving season so there is no reason to wait until after the holidays to reach out and follow up with someone. Remember, if you link with them on LinkedIn, you can see their email addresses so you don’t have to ask for it. Sending your resume with a thoughtful cover letter about why you are interested in their company and asking for referrals is appropriate. If you don’t have the email address, send them a hard copy of your resume and cover letter via USPS Priority Mail.

Also, make sure you send your host/hostess a thank you note by mail or email, whatever you prefer. You can mention your job search after thanking them for hosting such a great event and that you’d appreciate them forwarding your resume onto people as they see fit or to specific individuals you haven’t been able to reach personally.

Other places you can meet professionals during the holidays:

• Soup kitchen/homeless shelter Thanksgiving dinner service
• Canned food drives
• Coat drives
• Church events
Toys for tots

Party hearty this holiday season and learn from the penguins, the coolest socialites around!

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The Old Dog – New Tips (Tricks)

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Old dogs CAN learn new tricks! Every day, we are challenged with new issues which are opportunities to learn something about ourselves. 

As a seasoned recruiter who has trained thousands of people, I had a meeting today about time management purely because I felt like things were slipping through the cracks and I needed to grab hold before everything collapsed around me. (It’s not just me, right?)

Whether you are a job seeker planning your personal marketing strategy, a business person trying to gain market share, or an executive recruiter looking to capitalize on the resurgence in the hiring market, remember these tips when planning your day:

1. You need to plan!  Fail to plan, plan to fail! As a member of the Pinnacle Society (www.pinnaclesociety.org”) we discuss our business strategies for success openly and the number one indicator of success is your ability to plan!

     o   Where will you call and why?

     o   What do you have that is of interest or need for someone?

     o   Who should you contact or ask for and why?

          §  Find names on linkedIn

     o   What’s in it for them?

     o   Don’t forget to ask for referrals!

2. Block out your activities in one or two hour chunks.

     o   Your calls will sound fresher if you are remain interested and are not bored with your subject matter.

     o   Work all the angles you need to work each day, not one per day.  For example, if you are a recruiter that works job orders and makes marketing calls, do some of each every day.  You’ll find you’ll cover a lot more ground with renewed enthusiasm if you get to the end of the first page of calls and can check that off your list and move onto your next one.

     o   Only plan 75% of your time. 

          §  You need to be flexible to deal with interruptions and the results of your hard work!

3. Think outside the box!

     o   In my office we look for CPA’s every day.  Sometimes, looking for the names of CPA firms turns up candidates we didn’t find doing a search for “CPA”. 

     o   If you are looking for a job, don’t just search for job titles; create a list of target companies and research them for related positions they may be advertising.  If they have ads for positions in and around your field, they would likely have a job for you somewhere, sometime…you just need to find out who reviews the resumes for that department and mail them a copy of yours via priority mail.  They will get it!

4. As a business person looking to expand your client base as the economy begins to recover, start with your clients from the past three years before trying to earn someone’s trust you’ve never worked with before. 

     o   A check in call is a powerful thing.  Find out how they are doing and how your services may be of assistance in their economic recovery.

Even if you aren’t an old dog, it is never too early to pick up on what the slightly wizened canines have to offer! Visit my website www.carolynthompson.net for webinars on these topics!

Carolyn Thompson

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The Rainforest Rivers – Economic Indicators

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Aug 18, 2009 in Thinking Positive

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Tropical rainforests have some of the largest rivers in the world. These mega-rivers are fed by countless smaller tributaries, streams, and creeks. Tropical streams and creeks are even more variable than tropical rivers and can change from a virtually dry river bed to a raging torrent 30 feet deep in a matter of hours during a heavy rain.

While the recent national economic news is trending positively, like more rain for the forest, each of us has a responsibility to help support our local economy.  The larger rivers of the rainforests are pretty steady through even the worst droughts, but it is the strength of the smaller rivers and streams which are the truest indicator of whether the droughts are over.  

Small businesses account for over 80% of the employers in our country.  Whether that’s a locally owned restaurant or café, a clothing boutique, a government contractor, or auto dealership, businesses in your area depend on your patronage for their survival. 

Consciously supporting small businesses in your own community is a direct path to economic recovery for everyone. 

Small Businesses:

  • -Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • -Employ about half of all private sector employees.
  • -Pay nearly 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • -Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.
  • -Create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • -Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer workers).
  • -Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
  • -Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 28.9 percent of the known export value in FY 2006.
  • -Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

Support your local economy and help out the smaller rivers of the rainforests by investing in the small businesses.

These statistics provided by SBA about small business and its direct correlation to employment supports this – http://www.sba.gov/advo/stats/sbfaq.pdf

Tropical Rainforest facts found at http://rainforests.mongabay.com

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on Amazon.com!
and TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB…available on Amazon.com!  

 

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Quicksand – Don’t Panic!

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 1, 2009 in Executive Coaching, Job Search, Thinking Positive

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Last week, I attended a Hay Group presentation in Tysons Corner, VA where I was able to speak one-on-one with a variety of DC area Human Resources professionals.  While we all came to the event from different companies and backgrounds, we had one major commonality last week:  companies are struggling with decision making in the quicksand of our current economy. 

Hiring authorities in many fields feel they are dangling by a vine in the quicksand.  Many are scared to make too quick a decision, which may cause the sand to collapse around them, eventually smothering their career and/or the company.  Others have jobs that they just can’t locate qualified people for (like nursing and engineering) and are grasping at any and all available vines hoping candidates they find hanging there will ultimately pull them out of their understaffed situation.

The general consensus was that this analysis paralysis is the direct result of executives now being forced to bear an unlikely double burden.  Leading an organization in an uncertain economy forces them to make the best choices they can with the information they have available.  But that information is changing at the speed of light.  One day the stock market is up, one day it’s down.  One day their best client is signing a new contract, the next day the best client is being bought out. 

These leaders are struggling just like everyone else is with loss of retirement savings coupled with concerns about job security. Yet, for the good of the company, they are forced to put up a good front for the employees that report to them, making them feel safe, secure and ensuring productivity increases with fewer resources.  It’s a tough position to be in; hanging on a vine, hoping the quicksand will fill in beneath their feet, eventually buoying them above the danger back into business as usual.

According to a study published in the current issue of the journal Nature, it is impossible for a person immersed in quicksand to be drawn completely under. The fact is, quicksand is heavier than water so humans float in it. At rest, quicksand thickens with time, but it remains very sensitive to small variations in stress. At higher stresses, quicksand liquefies very quickly. The higher the stress the more fluid it becomes. This causes a trapped body to sink when it starts to move.

The problem is that we panic. We’re fearful of drowning and we do anything we can to prevent it, when, if we trusted general physics (and mother nature), we’d ultimately rise above the danger.

At the Hay Group event, I discovered most companies are still hiring, but they are inundated with applications, thus making them feel they have plenty of choices so they don’t need to be in a rush to hire someone.  Digging a little further, though, I found that the truth is that companies really are still seeing very few exceptionally qualified people in those piles of resumes.  Essentially, the inbox is full, but not with a high quality workforce, so they are unwilling to move forward until the perfect candidate surfaces.

As a job seeker, how can you rise above the quicksand to meet the executives on the vines?  For one, make sure you are only applying to positions you are qualified for.  My recent book TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB discusses creative, unique strategies for navigating the new economy and conducting a well planned job search.  You can locate those executives, just above the quicksand, that need your help.  Get your resume right in front of them before they get sucked under by the pressure around them and convince them YOU are the person they should hire.
 
Watch a webinar on Job searching at: http://www.carolynthompson.net/jobsearchwebinar.htm

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on Amazon.com!
and TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB…available on Amazon.com!  

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