Sunday, March 8, 2009

Be Your Own Censor

There is a serious amount of negative news these days about the employment picture. Job less rate is rising, employers have hiring freezes, it is tough to not read or hear something about it anytime you tune into TV or pick up a newspaper. Here is a word of warning. Be careful what you plug into. Some media outlets will go out of their way to find the good news or positive stories. Others will focus on the doom and gloom because bad news sells.

When things get a little down or tight, it is good time to become your own censor. Be aware of what you are reading, watching or listening too. If you continue to gravitate to the negative you will BE in the negative. Let’s face it, a person needs listen to a little news on the radio, or wherever, so they have some clue as to what is going on, just don’t over due it. If you are focused on the positive aspect of being on a job search for that fresh new career to revitalize you as a person, you don’t need the negative energy that can assault your senses through the media.

Your comments are welcome

Glen Slingerland

Saturday, January 31, 2009

An Effective Salutation

Today’s job search tip; Instead of addressing your cover letters with To Whom it may concern, we recommend you try:

To whom I can’t be bothered to figure out who this letter is going to due to the fact that I am mass mailing out résumés at this moment and know it would be impossible to keep of track of names anyway and besides I have no idea what positions you have open or if I am able to meet the qualifications you seek however I am confident that the lifetime resume I am sending you will demonstrate that somewhere in my twenty years in the workforce I have worked in an environment where I knew someone who has a relative that worked in an industry exactly like yours:

Any questions?

Your comments are welcome.

Glen Slingerland

Friday, January 30, 2009

Where is the fun?

There is a fish market in Seattle with job applications stacked to the ceiling from people eager to work there. Yes, a Fish Market. Why? Because the people who work there, have fun. Not only do they have fun, they put on a show for every customer buying a fish. Who would have thought that buying fish for dinner could become an unforgettable event? They believe that through their work they can improve the quality of life for others. Corporations now hire the Pike Place Fish Market to come in and show their employees how to have fun at work. These same corporations pay big money for this service. Having fun at work has made the employees who work in a fish market world famous.

I think the underlying message here is “attitude”. What is your attitude about work? What is your attitude about the place that just let you go? What is your attitude about the next place you want to work? It is impossible to find a job that will be fun when you are angry or resentful. Be fun; reflect fun and you’ll attract fun.

Your comments are welcome.

Glen Slingerland

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Three Types of Jobs

There are basically three types of jobs in a job search. First you have the job/job. Job/jobs are just that, jobs. Often, they create cash flow. They are sometimes known as a plan B job. Plan B jobs, are jobs that meet an immediate need. We usually take a plan B when we need to generate cash to put food on the table and pay a few bills, nothing more. These job/jobs may, or may not be a lot of fun and one may have a difficult time getting out of bed in the morning to get motivated. In other words, you exist.

Secondly, there is the Great Job/Career. This is the type of job that you enjoy doing. You look forward to getting up and going to work. It may not pay you as much as you would like, but then money isn’t everything, right? You make do. You love what you are doing and you can’t wait to get to work in the morning and do it. The interesting thing about the Great Job/Career is how different it is for each one of us. For some people, working in a supermarket is a great job, and for others it might be a plan B job, or job/job. I have met forklift drivers who make $16.00 and hour and absolutely love driving a forklift. They look forward to going to work each morning and if you asked them what they would like to be doing in five years, they would tell you they will be driving a forklift.

Thirdly, and this is the big one, there is the Passion job/ Career. What’s the difference between the passion career and the great job career? The passion career will bring you COMPLETE ABUNDANCE, spiritually and financially. An example of someone who has a passion career, Jim Carey, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey to name a few. Often people in a passion career will make huge sacrifices, but that’s because they have such a passion for what they are doing that nothing else matters. For them work is a way of life, a holiday. It offers them complete total fulfillment.

Your comments are welcome.

Glen Slingerland -

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Interviews. What, me nervous?

Job interviews can be nerve wracking, and not just for the person being interviewed. Often, the interviewer experiences anxiety prior to a meeting. There may be more on the line for the interviewer. If the wrong person is hired, it could end up costing the company money, or worse costing someone their job.

Interviewing is an art and doing it properly goes beyond asking scripted questions. Today’s serious job seeker prepares specifically for that type of interview. They have rehearsed answers and possibly taken workshops or received coaching to help them get through the tough interview process. Yet very little coaching takes place for the person interviewing candidates. Often the only training they received was from the person who interviewed them for the job they now hold.

To interview properly you have to get to know the person you are interviewing. You need to determine if you trust and respect them enough to want them working for you.

Start by disarming them. Your first priority is to get them relaxed. True personal qualities do not come through while under stress. Talk to them about anything and everything, except the position or company. For example, their trip to the interview, how far did they have to drive? What part of town do they live in? Do they enjoy living there? How long have they lived in the area? How are the real estate prices in that part of town? Did they grow up there?

It’s amazing how much you can learn with the right small talk. You might find out how connected they are to their community, or if they pay attention to the world around them. Messages might start to come through they don’t really care about a lot of things. It might take ten or fifteen minutes of small talk and conversation before getting into the meat of the actual job interview. During this exchange you begin to detect attitudes, friendliness (or lack of), openness, sense of humor, communication skills and qualities that don’t always come through with the typical “ tell me about a time when you had to overcome a huge obstacle at work” type questions. The more talking they do, the easier it will be for you determine their character, and pay attention to the questions they ask you. This will also tell you a lot about the type of person they are.

Slowly segue into the employment portion of the interview. It should happen with the same ease and grace as your small talk. Done properly, they won’t even realize the interview is underway.

Of course every job requires skills and abilities to be able to do the job and standard interview questions may be required for confirmation of those skills and abilities. Getting to know someone beyond the nice resume, the list of references and rehearsed interview questions requires a true desire to want to get to know them. Remember, you can always train someone how to do the job, but you can’t train him or her to be a nice person.

As for the nervousness experienced by interviewers, well, it’s hard to feel sorry for the person who already has a job.

Your Comments are welcome- Glen Slingerland

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is the Writing on the Wall?

The first step to getting over the emotion of job loss is to take ownership of your part in it. You might be saying to yourself “ I don’t have any control over company takeovers or change of ownership!” Maybe not, but you do have control over your life and where you chose to work. Remember, you are there by choice and everything you do, every job you take, every move you make is a result of a decision you made. So if the axe falls, and your neck is in the way, take a long hard look at what was going on in your world at the time. Did an evaluation come and go without anyone saying anything? Has management seemed uninterested about projects you are working on or other events in the work place? Does morale seem low? These can be signs something is immanent. Nobody likes to think about the prospect of their job being eliminated, so we often ignore the signs.

When economies are tight, downsizing can occur and people can loose jobs through no fault of their own. Now more than ever it is important to pay attention to what is going on around you, continually build your network, keep those skills updated and watch for the signs.

Your comments are welcome.

Glen Slingerland

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Practice, practice, practice

There is a saying that goes like this; the résumé gets you in the interview and the interview gets the job. If you worked hard to perfect your résumé and target it specifically for a desired position then same thing needs to happen for the interview.

There is another saying that goes; how do you get to Carnegie Hall. Answer; practice, practice, practice. The best way to practice is with a friend. Have someone ask you questions about your work experience as it relates to the job you are going after. Something I used to do prior to an interview was find a quiet place to write out the answer to the question – Tell me about yourself. I had this belief that if I got through that question smoothly right off the top, the rest of the interview would go well. There are other things you can do prior to your big interview such as popping into your local library and picking up any one of the hundreds of interview question and answer books. Just taking an hour to go through one of those books gets you into the interview mind set.

If you are unemployed, book an appointment with an employment counsellor. They can work one on one with you on your interview technique or register you for a job search workshop that includes mock interviews.

Your comments are welcome - Glen Slingerland