Job Action Day, Better Late than Never!

Job Action Day logoQuintessential Careers declared November 3rd as Job Action Day.  But even if, like me, you missed this great event, turn any day in the future into Job Action Day for yourself!

What is Job Action Day? “Quintessential Careers has declared Nov. 3 Job Action Day 2008 worldwide — a day for job-seekers and workers to confront the current economic crisis head-on and take action steps to improve their careers.  Quintessential Careers will mark Job Action Day 2008 with service-oriented articles and blog entries to provide workers and job-seekers with information, ideas, and concrete steps that they can take to secure their futures — both in the short-term and the long-term. The articles, to be introduced in a special Job Action Day edition of Quintessential Careers’ newsletter, QuintZine, include:”

Also, check out all the bloggers who participated in Job Action Day, they’e got some excellent useful and clever tips, tools, and techniques to help anyone in any stage of their career:

In addition, the Quintessential Careers family of blogs, including the Quintessential Careers Blog, Career Doctor Blog, Quintessential Resume and Cover Letter Tips Blog, and A Storied Career, will feature Job Action Day entries.  

Career News Galore, All In One Place. Simple. Useful. Clever.

More career advice exists on the internet than I can even begin to comprehend. So how do you access it in a way that simplifies your life?

Enter http://career.alltop.com/

Alltop.com lists, you guessed it, all the top information sites for any topic you can imagine, more or less.  So if career advice isn’t your thing, consider visiting http://alltop.com/ and finding what is.  I happen to love http://good.alltop.com/ and http://green.alltop.com as well as the career page.

It’s an amazing concept- an online magazine rack of hundreds of topics.  Get the information you want, all in one place.  Simple and Simplifying.

Simply Complex – Changing Your Contact Info

When I recently got married, I made the choice to change my last name to my husband’s.  And while I’m quite satisfied with that decision, I am also going to openly confess that it’s a giant pain in the tookus.  Because of it, I needed to change my e-mail address, which then got me thinking of my total reliance on e-mail’s subfolders to store critical info related to my bills, bank accounts, etc… and the seemingly endless number of places my last name exists.  And those places include a LOT of job-related places.

So here is a handy check-list for those of you in my position, or those of you who might need to change something relatively similar. 

Where to change your name (or phone number or email address or mailing address) so that potential employers don’t miss out on your professional prowess:

  • Your resume – the paper version
  • Your resume – anywhere it exists online (uploaded onto Monster.com, LinkedIn.com, etc.)
  • Job search websites – those you’ve set up accounts with
  • LinkedIn.com – because it’s often the first return in a google search for your name, make sure it’s aways accurate!
  • Listservs – autmatically receiving updates, newsletters, discussion board messages?  Make sure they still know how to find you!  (actually, this could be a prime opportunity to cut the clutter!)
  • Professional Organizations of which you’re a member
  • Bank Accounts (they house your paychecks!)
  • Retirement Accounts (same reasoning- anyone who controls your money oughta know how to reach you!)
  • Professional and Networking contacts that you keep in touch with.  This is also an EXCELLENT time to give them a brief update on your life and let them know that you appreciate your continued relationship with them…
  • Alumni Office at your Alma Mater
Guess the reference  (its one of handiworks favorite movies!)
Guess the reference (it's one of handiwork's favorite movies!)

And if you’re pressed for time, patience, and sanity (all of which I am extremely pressed for now that I’m knee-deep in name change madness), a couple companies have actually been born out of the need people have to change their names.

Miss Now Mrs

Legal Name Change Kit

KitBiz Name Change Kit

BrideKit.com Wedding Sense Name Change Guide and Kit

Transferable Skills – Even presidential candidates need them

If you’re conducting a job search at the moment, you might learn a thing or two from the presidential race.  No matter your political affiliation, every politician touts an important list of SKILLS that they bring to the table.  Most of these skills were gained in positions outside the presidential arena, but they are TRANSFERABLE because they can be used in many settings.  These are, aptly, called TRANSFERABLE SKILLS.

Why are transferable skills important?
Transferable skills are what help people with little or no specific experience in a particular career break into that career by using their outside experience.  So if you’ve found a job that you just know you are perfect for, but there’s the small matter of your never having done that job before, transferable skills can help get you in the door.

Typical Transferable Skills:

Continue reading

Simplify Your Life and Your Job Search

Are you stuck in a job you don’t like?  Maybe it’s something you fell into after college because you needed SOMETHING and weren’t planning on sticking around?  Or life’s thrown some other priorities at you- kids, parents, debt- and you just can’t seem to find the time to job search?  Job searching does take time, sometimes LOTS of time, and it’s an easy thing to put off when you’ve got a reliable, albeit unlikable, gig already.

So how can you break your “no time” excuse and find the job you’ve been dreaming about? 

THE LONG STORY:

  1. Set aside time.  I’m talking 10 minutes to start- you’ve got 10 minutes, don’t you?  On your lunch break, in the morning before the kids get up, at night after dinner- there has GOT to be 10 minutes in your schedule. 
  2. Use that 10 minutes to set up Job Search Alerts on these job sites: www.simplyhired.com, www.indeed.com and www.hound.com.  What’s a Job Search Agent?  It’s a function that allows you to sign up for a free account with a job search website, tell that website exactly what you’re looking for, and then go about your business while that site finds and e-mails you jobs that match your criteria.  And why those 3 websites?  They are meta search sites, so they search ALL other websites to find what you’re looking for, and compile the results in a neat list for you.  See my first post for more details on meta searches.
  3. Follow up on Job Search Agent e-mails and actually APPLY to those jobs.  You’d be amazed how much time you find in your schedule when employers start calling to schedule interviews!  BUT you don’t get interviews if you don’t apply.
  4. With another 10 minute moment, sign up for a free account on www.linkedin.comYour profile on LinkedIn connects you with lots of networking contacts AND usually comes up first in a google search for your name.  It’s an easy way to get positive recognition on the web.  And YES, employers are googling you as they decide whether or not to consider your application. 

THE SHORT STORY:  If you just can’t seem to find the time to job search, you will never build  momentum for your professional success.  It takes 10 minutes to begin building momentum.  10 MINUTES!!!  An object in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force, right?  Sometimes that “outside” force is actually IN your head.  There’s only one way to get over your excuses- take the plunge.  10 minutes.  Momentous results.

 

Ask handi!

***NEW PAGE ALERT!!***

Do you have a career related question?  Maybe you can’t find the information you need about resumes, cover letters, salaries?  Or you just haven’t found any good websites for your particular job search?  Or maybe you’re just wondering how to word something on your resume, cover letter, or Thank You note?

handiwork wants to help you find the best, most useful, and hopefully clever resources on the web to aid your quest.

How can you “Ask handi?”  Simply submit your question as a comment on this page and I will post answers daily.

**It should be mentioned, in the interest of full disclosure, that I rather enjoy a challenge- so even if you think your question is unanswerable or just plain silly, I’ll give it my best shot.

Radical Careering = Rad Resource!

I like inspiring things.  Inspiring things are, well, inspirational.  Once resource that I’m particularly inspired by is the “theory” of radical careering, introduced by Sally Hogshead.  I first came across the concept through her book of the same name, but after visiting her website, I am convinced of its rad-ness.

Radical Careering centers around the shocking and unbelievable idea that, GASP, we should love what we do for work, and that in order to feel that love, we need to fight for it.  I know, I know- I’ll give you a second to contemplate it fully.  Now, the concept and materials surrounding Radical Careering can be a bit, um, intense.  But Hogshead admits it herself in her first “Radical Truth” – “Welcome to the age of intensity.”

And I suppose that’s a great way to describe the feeling of truly loving your work- it’s intense. 

PROS OF THE WEBSITE:

  • Self Induced Whiplash- a quiz that introduces the momentum equation: goals+attitutude+skill set+action+network.  What’s your career momentum like and how can you improve it?
  • Portable Equity- the sum of all the skills, talents, experiences, and networks that you have built in your current career and can TAKE WITH YOU into a new career.  How many suitcases will you need?
  • Please-and-Thank-You.com.  Professional manners revisited- now that’s something we could all brush up on!

CONS OF THE WEBSITE:

  • Some of the activities are more useful than others, but I do give props for cleverness!
  • There are so many websites connected to Radical Careering (that are part of the main website), that it’s difficult to remember what you’ve already visited, and even where you are in the site.  But it’s not a bad place to get lost.
  • Some of the links lead to unfinished pages or “coming soon” notices, after you’ve already gotten all excited about what you’ll find.  Try remembering to check back later :(