Short of a new position, what can California Job Journal give readers for the holidays? How about a package of our best job-searching advice compiled from editions published throughout the year?
It is, after all, safe to say that more people are hunting for work today than were looking a year ago.
With all the layoffs, timely job-search advice is all the more valuable - particularly if you are new to the job hunt. Here, then, are some highlights from articles you might have missed earlier this year:
Jumpstart Your Job Search
If your job search has stalled, here are five steps to get back on track, as offered by the Kennedy's Career Strategist.
- Do a reality check. Ask yourself if you are pursing the right targets.
- Adapt your resume. Redo your job objective and add new supporting data. E-mail to everyone on your list.
- Be consistent in your search activities. Five calls a day is better than 25 in a month.
- Update your research. Without current information, you can say something in an interview that will embarrass you.
- Rekindle your network. Prune the deadwood. Jettison contacts and leads that don't work.
Finally, "The most important thing you can do for yourself is to try something new. Any one of these strategies could provide the spark needed to jumpstart your stalled job search."
Know Your Direction
Career Columnist Carole Kanchier asks much of jobseekers:
"What are your long-term career goals? Are these compatible with your mission? Can you define your purpose?" She advises that "incompatibility
between the mission and values of
employees and organizations is a major reason for job dissatisfaction and job change." The answer is to devote time to defining your mission. "When you know and follow your mission, you'll have a more satisfying, productive personal and professional life. You'll be more energetic, enthusiastic, confident and decisive. You'll have less stress and greater meaning and direction."
How to Pick a Career Counselor
Career expert Robin Wortley Hammond offers some criteria to use when seeking a professional career advisor. "You should feel confident that they are knowledgeable, professional, ethical, and most of all, you should feel comfortable talking with them." She also recommends contacting a professional organization such as the California Career Development Association to verify credentials. Call 714/871-6460 or visit the CCDA website at ccda-career dev.org.
When You Lose a Job
Author and career expert James Challenger warns the newly dismissed from taking rash action - like arguing with your ex-boss, suing the company, or dumping on your family. Instead he recommends the newly jobless "find a close friend to whom you can vent your feelings." He also recommends taking a cooling off period from the job market for a few days. His other advice: Train yourself to be positive, establish a daily routine, keep up your normal social contacts, avoid taking a vacation, and draw up a budget that conserves your assets.
When You Lack a Skill
Hiring a coach is one of the more expensive but timesaving ways to acquire a skill set, reasons the Kennedy Career Strategist. "A good coach can cut the learning curve from months to weeks, especially if what you need to learn involves technique." Since there is not a clearinghouse for coaches, you need to network to find the right person to match your needs.
Job Advice for the New Grad
Working Wounded columnist Rob Rosner has some key points for graduates who have landed a new job. He advises you "Be on time . . . dress appropriately . . . use proper business language . . . be discreet . . . be courteous, pleasant and positive . . . and be concerned with others, not just yourself." A contributor to his column also adds that "The best strategy is to start before you start out. That means you should take every opportunity to do internships, summer jobs, etc."
Free Career Training
Need to retool your skills for a new job, but can't afford the education or training? Think again and take a fresh look at the options available to you. Billions of dollars are made available each year through federal, state and local programs to provide job training for those in need. So read our article that outlined the various programs offered through Regional Occupation Programs (ROP), Adult Education, the Urban League and the Department of Rehabilitation. For details on these programs, go to our website, jobjournal.com, click on article archive and search under "Job training." Then click on "Job Training Free for the Taking."
Nine Months to a Biotech Job
One of the best CJJ tips this year appeared in an August edition of JobWire. It reported that while other industries are cutting back, biotech is expanding. Foothill Community College reports that all the graduates from this year's nine-month biotech certification program have jobs. "They're offering bonus programs, stock options and . . . pretty attractive starting salaries," one instructor remarked. Those interested in pursuing a college program should check out City College of San Francisco, Laney College in Oakland, Solano Community College in Fairfield, and any of the regional UC campuses (Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Davis.)
Protect Your New Job
If you are among the fortunate to have landed a new job, James Challenger has a few suggestions on how to make sure you remain invaluable to your new company. First, find ways to save money. Next, be flexible with changing job requirements. Another good strategy is to keep your boss informed about the work you do, keep a personal checklist on your job, work at being liked, and avoid criticizing the company or anyone in it. "Finally, one of the best ways to increase security at a new job is to be there when you are needed," Challenger urges. "You may not consider attendance an important factor, but it is to most employers."
Finally, some of the best advice we produced appeared in our July editions. In our Quest for the Best, we provide some guides to the best books, websites, and career centers. We reproduce them here and on page 10 in hopes they will shorten your job-search journey when 2002 rolls around.
Online Resources for Occupational Exploration
stats.bls.gov - Portal to the US Dept of Labor's treasure chest of information about jobs - duties, skills, degrees required and average salaries.
ca.gov - Click on "Labor and Employment" for information on occupational outlooks, training, labor markets, etc.
collegegrad.com - Options for anyone with a college degree.
tts.uwosh.edu/career/Pages/Career_Services.htm - Name a degree and get a list of career possibilities at this University of Wisconsin site.
Career Testing Online
If you're unsure of a career path, several tests are available online to measure your self-interests. For those considering online career tests, Richard Bolles offers the following caveats (for more, visit JobHuntersBible.com):
- Remember you are unique. Treat all tests as suggestions.
- Take several tests. An online test is not likely to be as effective as one administered by a qualified professional.
With that in mind, here are some of the more popular sites:
review.com - Click on "Career Assessment" to take a free career quiz on The Princeton Review's website.
keirsey.com - Determine if you are an Artisan, Guardian, Idealist or Rational - and find a career to match.
career.missouri.edu/holland - Career interest game assigns you one of six personality types, and lists potential careers.
mentoru.com/pro/platinumrule.com - Personality tests determine if you are a Director, Relater, Socializer or Thinker.
money.com - Money magazine test helps find your strengths.
emode.com/emode/career.jsp - Fun-filled, free site offers dozens of person- ality tests, from serious to silly.
queendom.com/tests/career/aspiration.html - This free career testing site is better than its name.
personalitypage.com - The Myers-Briggs personality test, $5.
careerweb.com/inventory - How career-ready are you?
careerfitter.com - A complete report on your personality and career suitability is $10.
acareertest.com - Reports identify your personality traits, work styles and best career matches. Priced from $8 to $60.
careeradvantage.com - $25 for an initial 30-day subscription, which provides access to a host of career tools and aptitude assessments.
career-planning.com - $25 test helps outline your game plan.
Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes
by William Bridges (Perseus Publishing, 1982)
Whether it's the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a career change or a job loss, everyone goes through predictable emotional cycles. Understanding the process can help you move through such experiences with greater confidence and awareness.
Discover Your Passion: An Intuitive Search to Find Your Purpose in Life
by Gail A. Cassidy (Tomlynn Publications, 2000)
Those looking for personally satisfying work are invited on a journey of self-discovery which utilizes your past, present and projected future to lead you to your passion.
Living Your Best Life: Work, Home, Balance, Destiny: Ten Strategies for Getting from Where You Are to Where You're Meant to Be
by Laura Berman Fortgang (J P Tarcher, 2001)
Ten strategies that lead to discovery of your "best life" - one which honors your true desires and individual talents rather than mindlessly pursuing a traditional model of achievement.
Finding a Career That Works for You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Career and Finding a Job
by Wilma R. Fellman (Specialty Press, 2000)
Filled with personal stories of people who love their work, this book by a career and life planning counselor offers a systematic approach to career development, helping readers better understand their interests, aptitudes, personality, and goals as the first steps in choosing a career.
Coming Alive from Nine to Five: The Career Search Handbook
by Betty Neville Michelozzi (Preface, 1999)
The essentials of career-change decision making for anyone searching for meaningful life activities. Helps readers examine the career search process as it relates to their whole life.
The Best Work of Your Life
by Pat Alea and Patty Mullins (Perigee, 1998)
A fresh approach to looking at your career that incorporates every aspect of your life in a continuous process of refocusing to integrate values, goals, and new opportunities.
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2001: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
by Richard Bolles (Ten Speed Press, 2001)
The all-time king of the career bookshelf, Bolles' down-home approach to the issues faced by jobseekers has made this a must-read for anyone serious about life and career.
High-Tech Careers for Low-Tech People
by William Schaffer (Ten Speed Press, 1999)
An insider's view of how people without technical skills can break into the high-tech industry.
Listed are some top career centers:
One-Stop Career Centers
To find one near you, go to California WorkNet at sjtcc.cahwnet.gov/sjtccweb/one-stop
The One-Stop Career Centers sprouting up across the state provide some of the best job-search bargains, by far. Here you will find free counseling, free resume critiquing, free faxing, free postage - even free phones to make toll calls required by your job search.
Forty Plus of Northern California
101 West Atlantic Ave, Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 337-0790, fortyplus.org
Cooperative helps midlife job hunters, primarily middle-income white-collar workers, with job-search skills.
Bay Area Urban League
303 Hegenberger Rd, Suite A, Oakland, CA 94621
Career training and assistance to the needy of all races and creeds. Helps clients acquire skills in new fields and provides job placement assistance.
Career Action Center
10420 Bubb Road, Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 253-3200, careeraction.org
This nonprofit organization provides counseling, workshops and networking resources.
The Learning Annex
291 Geary St, #510, San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 788-5500, thelearningannex.com
Pick up new skills or enhance the ones you have. "The Learning Annex is an alternative adult-education organization offering short, inexpensive courses on personal growth, business and career opportunities, showbiz and media, health and healing, sports and fitness, spirituality, relationships and high tech," explains its website. Over 800 seminars are offered each month, some online.
Some recommended websites for finding employment information include:
JobStar.org - This comprehensive site, supported by the Bay Area Library & Information System, includes directions for creating your resume, locating a career center to meet your needs, and finding work. With an index of all the major newspaper help-wanted ads online, it is the website of record for the employment arena. A must-see for the serious jobseeker.
craigslist.org - Easy-to-access job listings and a resume-posting service.
eastbaytechjobs.com - Good site for the technically talented or those looking to work for a technology firm.
northbeach.about.com/cs/employment - An excellent portal with general info on the area and links to other helpful websites.
411bayjobs.com - Includes a feature listing Bay Area employers with jobs posted on their company websites.
bajobs.com - Regional job-search site.
sfgate.com - Website for the SF Chronicle.