Rochester NY Stake Employment Center

October 24, 2011

10 Things I Learned From My Layoff

Filed under: Attitude — Larry @ 10:02 am

Good article on what one person learned during unemployment, including

Unemployment is temporary

Don’t mess with the unemployment office

You just can’t spend all day looking for work

Choose your daytime television wisely

Don’t take your joblessness out on your figure

The pity party helps no one

Time is relative

Idle hands really are the devil’s playground

A little bit of humor goes a long way

– I am not my job, and neither are you


5 Ways to Botch a Job Offer

Filed under: Attitude — Larry @ 9:49 am

After the Job Offer: What Not To Do

There’s a viral video that probably everyone has been e-mailed: A cyclist nearing the end of a race raises his arms in excitement … then falls off the bike, struggles to get back on and watches someone else cross the finish line first.

The tumble is a real-life example of counting your chickens before they’re hatched and putting the cart before the horse. Basically, make sure you’ve done everything you’re supposed to before claiming a victory.

When you’re in the final stages of landing a job, keep those arms down and your brain thinking. As excited as you are to receive a job offer, you still have plenty of work to do before the first day of work.

Here are five mistakes you want to avoid once the employer has extended an offer:

1. Not negotiating salary

Chances are you avoided detailed salary talk until this moment. Now’s the time to discuss it. Remember that many employers extend low offers with the expectation that applicants will negotiate, so don’t feel pressured to accept immediately.

Compensation encompasses other perks, such as vacation days, telecommuting options and flexible schedules. If you’re told the salary can’t be increased, don’t forget to mention these other options. Also, ask the hiring manager if you can revisit salary negotiations after six months. You don’t want to sign on the dotted line, only to think you didn’t ask for all you could.

2. Showing your split personality

Every employer knows you’re on your best behavior when you interview. The impeccable attire, punctuality and excitement about the position — that all fades to some degree after you’ve been on the job long enough. If it shows up the day after you’ve been offered the job, you’ve just sent a parade of red flags to your new boss. This includes suddenly calling your future boss by a nickname, talking about how trashed you’re going to get tonight in celebration of the job or talking about the terrible breakup you’re experiencing.

Your boss can rescind an offer for a variety of reasons, so don’t act as if you’re a professor who’s made tenure just yet. Continue to be the driven professional who was at the interviews. Let your casual side show after you’ve settled into the position.

3. Badmouthing the company in a public forum

Hopefully you haven’t already grown bitter toward your new employer and don’t already harbor resentment of the company for some reason. (Why take the job if you do?) But don’t say "Yes!" to the job one day and run off to Twitter to express how dumb your boss is the next. Posting on Facebook that "Jessica Jones just conned her new boss into paying her way too much!" is just plain foolish.

4. Looking like a liar

For a past job, I was offered the position after a lengthy interview process. I thought it was weird that they never bothered to call my references even though I had gone through several rounds of tests and meeting with the team. The day I was offered the position, my references were called to verify my work history.

If you’re lying about anything, especially references or salary history, you can still get caught even after you’ve accepted the position. In fact, many offers are contingent on all of your information checking out. You should never lie during the hiring process, but if your application has false information (whether on purpose or accident), make sure you hand the employer the proper information before you look like a liar.

5. Playing games

Negotiating salary is one thing; dragging your employer along is another. You have every right to think over an offer and review the terms and conditions, but people have better things to do than wait while you twiddle your thumbs. Many job offers will come with a deadline that requires you to respond within days.

One reason you might be tempted to delay giving an answer is because you have another offer you’re waiting on. Choosing one over the other is hard when the situation is so uncertain, but you do need to pick one or you could end up losing both.

– MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – 15Aug2011

June 13, 2011

Are you slacking in your job search?

Filed under: Attitude — Larry @ 11:57 am

According to Michael Farr, author of "The Quick Resume & Cover Letter Book," the average job seeker spends fewer than 15 hours a week looking for work. Although 15 hours may seem like a great deal of time, it’s quite minimal in comparison to the 25 hours or more that Farr recommends job seekers devote to their search for employment each week.

"The average length of unemployment varies from three or more months, with some being out of work far longer," explains Farr. "There is a clear connection between how long it takes to find a job and the number of hours spent looking on a daily and weekly basis. The more time you spend on your job search each week, the less time you are likely to remain unemployed. Of course, using more effective job search methods also helps. Those who set aside a solid amount of time for their job search activities and use this time wisely generally secure jobs in half the average time; and they often get better jobs, too."

Farr suggests that job seekers create a specific daily schedule that keeps them on task and accountable for how their job search progresses. Here is a sample schedule provided in his book.

7-8 a.m.
Get up, shower, dress and eat breakfast.

8-8:15 a.m.
Organize workspace, review schedule for interviews or follow-ups and update schedule.

8:15-9 a.m.
Review old leads for follow-up and develop new leads (want ads, Internet, networking lists and so on).

9-10 a.m.
Make networking or direct employer phone calls, establish Internet contacts and set up meetings and interviews.

10-10:15 a.m.
Take a break.

10:15-11 a.m.
Make more new calls and Internet contacts.

11-12 p.m.
Make follow-up calls and send emails as needed.

12-1 p.m.
Lunch break.

1-5 p.m.
Go on interviews and networking meetings, make cold contacts in the field and conduct research for upcoming interviews.

5-8 p.m.
Attend networking events.

from MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – 23May2011

May 16, 2011

How to triple your chances of getting a job

Filed under: Attitude — Larry @ 8:43 am

As a job seeker or someone trying to flourish at work, ever wonder, out of the hundreds of "expert" tips, which ones are actually proven to work? Here’s what 98 percent of top employers worldwide say and groundbreaking research studies prove makes all the difference.

Mindset trumps skill set
Give employers what they want. When forced to choose, "Who would hire, A) the person with the perfect skills and qualifications, but lacking the desired mindset, or B) the person with the desired mindset, but lacking the right skills, 98 percent picked mindset over skill set.

Mindset means money
When forced to choose, 91 percent of employers say they will grant a pay raise, as well as a promotion, to the person with the right mindset over the person with the right skill set. And, an independent study shows, those who score the strongest on mindset make the most money.

Use a winning mindset
Mindset is not about attitude. It’s deeper. It’s the lens through which you see and navigate life. It therefore affects all that you think, believe, say and do. Breakthrough research reveals that there are 72 qualities that make up a winning mindset, or "3G Mindset."

Global mindset — think big picture!
It’s not about multicultural sensitivity (which can’t hurt). It’s about time and distance. It’s about pulling your head out of the weeds and tapping the horizon. Global is your vantage point, or how well you lift your eyes beyond the immediate here and now, employ curiosity and openness to reach out, connect with and draw from a broad array of ideas and people to arrive at superior solutions.

Good mindset — good guys finish first!
Turns out integrity and kindness — doing what’s right and being good to others — pays off, big time. Good is the bedrock of a winning mindset. When the news is packed with mounting immorality and ethical implosions, employees with a good mindset are gold.

Grit mindset — take on the tough stuff!
This is the fuel cell of a winning mindset. It powers all the rest. See, it’s all about adversity. Employers want people who flourish even in the worst weather. Good news is, in most jobs, there’s plenty of it. Your capacity to not merely survive or cope, but grow with and harness the tough stuff really sets you apart. Grit fuels pay, promotion, retention, performance, engagement, energy and more.

Tap the top hits — mindset matters more
Open, curious, big-picture, connecting, considerate, agile, adaptable, resilient, growing, focused, tenacious, moral, honest, trustworthy, authentic, kind, compassionate, generous, other-minded, contributing, tenacious, improving, fair, courageous, creative and determined is a short list of winning mindset qualities. Embed them in all you say, think and do.

The 3X factor — give your résumé the mindset boost
Which résumés win and which ones lose? Mindset gives you the edge. An independent study of 30,000 résumés shows A) the conventional wisdom (standard tips) do nothing. In some cases they backfire! But, the "Mindset-in-action" formula does.

Here’s how it works:
Mindset quality>>>>put into action>>>>>to achieve a specific outcome.
Example (tenacity): Pioneered, piloted and proved a new customer response system and cut complaints by 87 percent.
Example (generosity): Volunteered to mentor new hires before and after work hours and cut first 90-day turnover by 72 percent.

Triple (or better) your chances with 3G mindset
Here’s the breakthrough finding: Résumés with one "Mindset-in-action" statement are three times (3X) more likely to win the job. Those with two or more are 7X more likely to get the offer! The proof is in. Mindset helps you stand out from crowd, get paid more, be promoted sooner, be retained when others are cut and win the best jobs, even over people with better qualifications. Remember: skills matter, mindset rules!

From MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – 16May2011

April 25, 2011

6 Job Search Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

Filed under: Attitude — Larry @ 8:54 pm

In any economic climate, job hunting is nobody’s idea of fun. And with the growing number of folks hitting the bricks these days, it seems the task is getting even harder. But that’s not precisely true, because the actual job-hunting strategies and techniques remain the same in any climate. What is bothersome, however, is that the process is likely to take longer. This leads to increased stress: financial stress, physical stress, emotional stress and family stress.

Most people do not perform at their best in stressful situations. They get tired more quickly, they get frustrated and run out of patience, and they make mistakes. Here are six job-hunting mistakes frequently made during a recession.

Mistake No. 1: Feeling entitled
In the new economy, your stellar background, great track record, prestigious degree and glowing references guarantee you nothing. The new employment paradigm is, "What have you done for me lately?" You must be constantly developing your skills and talents, broadening your interests and driving your career development. If you don’t, you may well be left behind.

Mistake No. 2: Focusing on yourself, not the employer
Spend your time finding out which of a potential employer’s needs are unmet instead of touting your brilliance. Saying, "I need a job" is irrelevant and depressing; that’s your problem and has nothing to do with why this organization is hiring. Uncovering an employer’s problem areas demonstrates your bona-fide interest, and offering your solutions demonstrates your critical thinking, creativity and approach to problem solving. This is how to get hired.

Mistake No. 3: Taking rejection personally
Face it; there are a lot of jobs you are not going to land. Use rejection as an opportunity to assess and build your job-hunting skills. Evaluate what you could have done better in your research or interview or with your follow-up. If you aren’t getting rejected regularly, then you either aren’t working hard enough to get your foot in the door or you’re applying for jobs beneath your capabilities. No employer makes a decision not to hire you; they make a decision to hire someone else who did a better job of selling himself or herself into the position.

Mistake No. 4: Focusing on your age
It is human nature to focus more on one’s perceived weaknesses as opposed to one’s strengths. This is especially true for people in the job hunt. Younger folks worry about not having enough experience; older folks worry about looking overqualified. If you don’t want a potential employer to focus on your age, make sure you focus on what strengths you bring to the party: energy, track record, endurance, patience, technology skills, people skills, creativity and work ethic. Sell yourself based on what you have.

Mistake No. 5: Looking for a silver bullet
Some job hunters swear by recruiters; others by online job postings. The latest buzz is that social networking sites are making all other job-hunting techniques obsolete. There is no one best way to job hunt. If you want to increase the effectiveness of your job search, you must spend more time on it and use every technique in the book. This means answering print ads, responding to online job postings, contacting recruiters, cold-contacting potential employers, networking your brains out and using social networking sites to pursue all of these strategies. Sorry, there are no silver bullets or genies in a bottle.

Mistake No. 6: Absorbing too much news
Yes, there’s a recession. Yes, a lot of folks are out of work. And, yes, finding a job is a hard job in and of itself. But, no, the sky is not falling. And yes, if you work hard and long enough at it, you will land a good job. The media’s motto is, "If it bleeds, it leads." Bad news is their stock in trade. You will never see a story about company hiring back 10 workers or a person who landed a great job after a rigorous job hunt. A regular diet of bad news will convince you that no one is hiring (untrue), that you should avoid employers that have had layoffs (bad strategy) or that maybe you should just move to China (bad idea unless you speak Mandarin). Get out, have some fun, work at keeping your energy and spirits up, and network with optimistic people.

Eventually this recession — like all recessions — will really be over and you’ll be better prepared for (gulp) the next one.

From MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – 01Mar2011

April 23, 2011

First Jobs of the Rich and Famous

Filed under: Attitude — Larry @ 9:00 am

Though your aspirations may be ambitious, chances are your first job(s) will be humble. But just remember: everybody has to start somewhere — even the rich and famous. Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Computer Corporation was a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant earning $2.30 an hour; Bill Gates was a Congressional page in the Washington State Capitol; William Watkins, CEO of Seagate Technology, worked the night shift at a mental hospital restraining people who got out of control, while Sidney Kimmel, CEO of Jones New York, worked as a shipping clerk for Morton Manufacturing.

"It was hard work, but I loved the opportunity," Kimmel recalls.

Dell also is grateful for his early experience: "The best part was the wisdom of the restaurant owner, which I could capture if I came to work a little early. He took great pride in his work and cared about every customer who came through his door."

Michael Krasny, chairman emeritus and founder of CDW Computer Centers, says he learned a lot from his first "job" at age 10: clearing scrap wood from the house being built next door to him. "I got a few kids on the block to help me," Krasny recalls. "When we were done, I took them to 31 Flavors for ice cream. I learned you can’t do it all yourself. You need to have a team around you."

Many of today’s celebrities showed an early entrepreneurial spirit as well. Bill Murray stood outside a grocery store selling chestnuts; Rush Limbaugh shined shoes; Robin Williams performed as a street mime, and when no stores were interested in carrying his jeans, designer Tommy Hilfiger sold them to buyers from the trunk of his car.

Most did whatever it took to pay the bills while pursuing their passion. Early in their careers, Jerry Seinfeld sold light bulbs by phone; Demi Moore worked for a debt collection agency; Van Halen’s David Lee Roth fluffed pillows and emptied bedpans as a hospital orderly; Madonna worked behind the counter at Dunkin’ Donuts; Jennifer Aniston worked as a waitress; Brad Pitt moved refrigerators, and just months before he set world records in country music, Garth Brooks was still working as a salesman in a boot store.

Several did poorly at their first jobs: Danny Devito only became a hairdresser to meet girls and Mariah Carey was fired as a coat check girl and many times as a waitress for having a poor attitude.

Still others credit their first job with their eventual success: actor Jack Nicholson was "discovered" while working in the mailroom at MGM and author Stephen King, who worked as a janitor, was cleaning a girl’s locker room when he became inspired to write the novel Carrie.

What advice do the wildly successful offer to those who are just starting out?

"Do the best you can at any job you have and be willing to work your way up," suggests former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who started out as a secretary at a financial services company after graduating from Stanford University with a degree in medieval history and philosophy.

"You have to be willing to sacrifice in the short term in order to reap long-term benefits," adds B. Grant Yarber, president and CEO of Capital Bank. "The folks who are truly successful are those who have been willing to take jobs that aren’t in glamorous places. They make a good show of it and then get offered those plum opportunities."

Bill Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Progress Energy says he told his grown daughters, "If there’s something you have a passion for, pursue that, because you’re going to be working a long time, and it’s better if you’re doing something you like."

Or, to quote a proverb Michael Dell learned in his days working at the Chinese restaurant: "Do work you love and you’ll never work a day in your life."

From MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – 14Feb2011

April 21, 2011

Three Persistent Job-Search Myths

Filed under: Attitude — Larry @ 12:20 pm

In good times and bad, some people struggle to find jobs, while others seem to succeed almost effortlessly. What’s the difference? I submit that successful job seekers aren’t hamstrung by any of the following three myths. Are you?
Myth 1) “Nobody will give me a job.”

Would you walk into Wal-Mart and expect them to just give you a sack of potatoes, a new computer, or a set of luggage? No. First, you must give them something of value, which is money in this case. Only then can you get what you want. It’s the same when shopping for a job. Before any employer will “give” you a position, you must give them something of value, to convince them to enter into an employment transaction. What can you offer? In 99% of all cases, it’s proof that you can make or save more money than you’ll be paid in salary.

What’s your offer? How much money can you save or make for employers, specifically? Stop waiting for someone to give you a job and start figuring out the value you can offer. Only then can you expect employers to exchange a paycheck for your work.

Myth 2) “I’m getting interviews, but no job offers. Guess I need more interviews.”

That’s like a basketball player saying, “I’m missing all my free throws. Guess I need more free throws.”

What you need is to practice interviewing now, to improve your performance later. Just like in basketball or any competitive pursuit. The simple solution is to study, practice, review, and improve. Study by getting a book on job interviewing from the library or (just look for the perennial best sellers). Practice by asking a friend to sit down and pepper you with real interview questions. (Don’t do this with a family member — they can’t be objective.) Review by capturing your practice session on video. Then analyze your performance like a football coach watching game film. Finally, look for ways to improve. Did you hesitate here or ramble there? Is your body language undermining your verbal language? You get the idea.

Myth 3) “I’ve looked, but there are no jobs out there.”

This is a cousin of “Nobody will give me a job.” And it can be just as damaging to your bank account. You can quickly dispel this myth, however, when you analyze how you’ve “looked” for jobs “out there.” First, let’s examine how you’ve been looking for jobs.

Answer these two questions:
1. How many networking conversations did you have yesterday?
2. How many of your neighbors, friends and relatives know exactly what kind of job and employer you’re looking for?

If the answer to either question is “None” or “Less than 20,” you can be doing more to look for jobs. A lot more. And where exactly is the “out there” you think you’ve been searching? If you’re like most folks I meet, you’ve spent 80% of your time searching job listings online or in the newspaper. But that’s like confining your search for a mate to just one singles bar that you visit over and over.

In reality, there are hundreds of potential matches “out there” not found on employment web sites (or in singles bars). So, how can you locate those unadvertised positions in the “hidden” job market?

Here’s a thought experiment to get your creative juices flowing and help you find the answer.

Ready? Imagine that, instead of looking for a job to stave off bankruptcy, you’re looking for an organ transplant to stave off death.

In other words, how would you search for a new kidney?

Wouldn’t you first find out how others have solved the same problem? You’d turn off the TV and start reading books and Web sites, you’d call up experts, you’d talk to friends and relatives. In other words, your all-consuming passion would be to learn all you could about the “kidney market.”

After that, how many phone calls would you make every day? Where would you get in your car and drive to? Whom would you seek out and meet? What would you say to them? How convincingly would you state your case for a new kidney, with facts and passion to back it up?

There. Did you just feel a sense of determination? Resourcefulness? A conviction that you’d succeed, no matter what?

Don’t let those feelings slip away. Harness and apply them to your job search. Today.

From MONROE COUNTY DHS Weekly Employment Bulletin – 10Jan2011

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