Monthly Archives: November 2011

Changes to Careers in the New Economy

Though some financial advisers say that the economy is beginning to pick up, many qualified American’s still find that it is exceedingly difficult to find a job. Many have found it so difficult that they ended up changing fields all together. In the Asbury Park Press, Chris Scott talks about how he switched gears completely in order to find a job and pay his bills.

Chris Scott had a sales-executive job at Fox Sports before they eliminated his position three years ago. He searched for a new job for nearly a year and ended up only pulling two interviews that ultimately led to no job. Of those two interviews, one was a “Marketing group looking for experienced sports-minded person” and turned out to be a sales job selling vinyl siding door-to-door. “In a lot of ways, it’s demoralizing,” said Scott, 50, of Middletown, who had a six-figure salary at Fox and plenty of perks, including an expense account, free passes to PGA golf tournaments and other major sporting events and annual trips, reports the article. For an experienced worker trying to find a new job, the frustrations were surely mounting. Instead of continuing to come out empty-handed in the job market, Scott decided to switch gears and apply for jobs he normally would not have.

It is something a lot of American’s have had to do in order to find work. Pamela Mitchell, the head of the Reinvention Institute stated in the article that “being an outsider isn’t an insurmountable obstacle to breaking into a new field; in fact, she says, it can be an advantage.” She also stated that, much like job seekers, businesses must also reinvent themselves in order to stay competitive. As a result, they seem to be hiring a larger variety of workers than before in order to find fresh ideas and new talent, as long as they have the needed skills to get the job done.

The 180 degree shift Scott made in his job search process landed him the position as manager of guest relations at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. Though he has taken close to a 15 percent pay cut from his last job at Fox Sports, he is gaining valuable experience in the health care industry that may lead to more opportunities in the future. In the article Scott admitted that the interview process for his current position was grueling, spanning over several months. Though it was not his learned field, he stated that he “focused on the strong work ethic and interpersonal skills that helped him foster good relationships with his clients in the broadcast industry.”

Once he was offered the position, Scott admitted that he was afraid he wasn’t 100 percent sure he know what he was doing. “I have to tell you, I woke up a lot of nights and thought, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing,’ ” he said. However, after Riverview provided him with intense leadership training, he felt more comfortable in his position and boosted his confidence. His story of a 180 degree career change offers many struggling American’s the hope that although the market may be difficult to navigate around today, there are still possibilities and opportunities out there. It may just take a little extra effort and imagination to get to them.

SOURCE: The Asbury Park Press
IMAGE: Courtesy of Catalogs.com

Small Business Saturday after Black Friday

The retail craziness of ‘Black Friday’, where countless American’s line up in front of big box stores after Thanksgiving dinner to get a good deal on a new LCD television, is always a big shopping day. Even the online equivalent ‘Cyber Monday’ where online retailers offer their deals spikes spending. Even after these days, American Express is now promoting Small Business Saturday for the day after Black Friday where they encourage supporting small businesses that provide jobs, preserve neighborhoods and feed local economies.

SOURCE: AMEX
IMAGE: Courtesy of AMEX

California Global Warming Laws Hurt Job Market

The Heartlander recently published an article that discussed how California businesses are being forced to buy expensive equipment in order to comply with global warming laws. This, in turn, hurts job creation and hiring in the state.

California company Land O’ Lakes, Inc reported in state legislative caucus hearings on Oct. 18 that they spent $4 million on a low-emission boiler that only reduced their carbon dioxide emission by 5 percent. With such a small reduction in emissions, companies and businesses in California have questioned whether the amount they are spending on new equipment is truly worth it. Especially with the job market as weak as it currently is. If companies did not have to spend such large amounts of money on new equipment they could use that money towards job creation and new hires.

On the contrary, California Air Resources Board member Dorene D’Adamo states that the laws and purchasing of new equipment is beneficial for these businesses because global warming is a “serious environmental threat” mainly to crop production and causes more drought. In regards to her argument though, the Heartlander stated that “national and global production of all important food crops has been steadily rising during the past several decades as global temperatures have increased, with nearly all crops setting production records during the past few years.” Various scientific studies have also showed that there has been ongoing improvements in soil moisture for the United States and across the globe. If that’s the case, then the purchase of new equipment during such weak economic times doesn’t make sense to California business owners right now.

Dairy Farmer and Assembly Member David Valada argued that the expensive laws aimed at global warming raise the cost of conducting business in California which may force jobs out of the state and hurt their long-term investments.

SOURCE: The Heartlander
IMAGE: Courtesy of Arths Blogspot.

Black Friday Sales Surge

This year’s Black Friday sales were 26 percent higher than last year, according to Comscore. This is a good sign for the US economy and job market. Stores like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple all saw banner sales days. What was most interesting was the use of mobile apps and social networking in the promotion of Black Friday and cyber Monday deals. Mobile device purchases rose to 9.8 percent of online sales, up from 3.2 percent last year.

SOURCE: BBC
IMAGE: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Tax Breaks for Veterans May Not Help With Jobs

There was recently a bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama that grants companies and businesses tax breaks for hiring military veterans. Under the program, companies could receive up to $5,600 per veteran under the Returning Heroes tax credit, or $9,600 for a veteran who qualifies as a “Wounded Warrior,” reports the Tennessean. Many believe this is a good place to start, but do not think it is truly going to help the cause.

Jan McKeel, executive director of the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance, is one person that thinks the tax breaks are a good start, but doesn’t think that tax breaks will really incite anybody to create jobs. “Making it easier for a veteran to find a job is the right thing to do,” she said in the Tennessean. “But while tax credits are great, I don’t think anybody’s going to create a job just for a tax break.” And in relation to some businesses, she’s right. Sabre Construction Co. of Nashville is a startup that will not be hiring anyone new until the economy picks up, tax breaks or not. “I’m a new entrepreneur trying to get my business going, and the economy hasn’t helped me in that regard,” said Mark D. Cashio, the firm’s president and chief executive, adding that he supports job benefits for veterans as a concept and will at least look at the tax incentives being offered. “It’s important to give veterans jobs, period.” He himself is a veteran as a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.

Ex-Marine Shawn Passwaters stated in the article that in past times, after a war there was always some sort of industry veterans could fall back on for a job when they returned. Today, though, that’s not really the case. “After every war, there was always some sort of industry,” he said. “Veterans came back and could work in the factories and the steel mills or build skyscrapers. Even after Vietnam, there was the car industry. Now, we don’t really build anything anymore.” This in combination with a weak job market has made it extra difficult for veterans to find work.

Only time will tell if the program Obama passed will truly help veterans find jobs when they return, but for many -veteran or not- it is still increasingly difficult to find a job.

SOURCE: The Tennessean
IMAGE: Courtesy of Whitehouse.gov

Tips For The Job Hunting College Student

Fox Business News recently posted an article listing tips college students could use to aid their job hunt when they graduate. Earlier, SparkNews posted an article discussing college students that were unsure about their future because of the weak job market. Perhaps with some of these tips, college seniors and juniors that will soon be entering the work force can get a head start on their job hunt.

1. Start Making a Game Plan Now
Students shouldn’t wait until they graduate to start thinking about finding a job. If students start hunting for jobs when they are juniors, they will have a leg-up from their classmates who will likely start looking for jobs when they graduate. “Many organizations are identifying top talent very early on. You can really increase your chances of landing a job that you have in your sights by engaging them sooner rather than later,” said Caroline Paxman, the president of the Americas for SHL. In addition to starting off early, students should tailor their resumes and cover letters to the specific job postings. It is very easy to reuse the same resume and cover letter, but without tailoring your application and documents to the job posting, you will most likely not get the position.

2. Change Your Job Prospective
The article in Fox Business News suggests that students keep an open mind when it comes to post-graduation jobs and to not limit themselves to one specific position. It is not realistic to think that once graduation hits you will find your ideal job. In this market that is very difficult to do. Paxman says though that “any experience that can be applied later in a career can be beneficial in the long run.” For example, if you are set to graduate in 2012 with a Journalism degree and have your mind set on landing a position at Rolling Stone Magazine as a writer, that’s fine. Don’t be discouraged, though, if snagging a job as a copywriter for a publication that focuses on tile flooring comes first. It may not be your ideal position, but it is a means to an end, and chances are you will gather the experience you need as a writer while working there to make it to your ideal position later.

Even positions that are not in your desired field can lead to a career that you may have never thought of. Paxman says, “especially people with particular, quite focused degree programs, they think of a very narrow universe of jobs that they think they would go into next. There are lots of great jobs that may lead to a long and rewarding career and it might not be in the initial industries that you would expect or maybe that you had thought about when you picked your particular major.”
That said, always remember to keep an open mind while searching for your first position.

3. Plan For the Long Haul
The article stresses how important it is for soon-to-be graduates to stay on track and stay persistent when looking for their first post-graduate job. It is important to note that rejection is almost inevitable. It is highly unlikely in this current job market that the first position you apply and interview for will be offered to you. If it is, that’s great. If it’s not, you shouldn’t get discouraged or give up.

“This is very much a two way process of the graduate determining if they’re a fit and vice versa, using each opportunity as a learning experience and not being dismayed through that rejection process because you may not have been a good fit anyway at that organization,” said Paxman. “It’s very easy to take these kinds of things personally, but keep at it.”

Hopefully, with these tips soon-to-be graduates can get a leg-up on their job hunt, stay confident and keep that confidence as they search for their first position post college.

SOURCE: Fox Business News
IMAGE: Mind Treasures

Startup Saves the Image of Other Blossoming Companies

What is a company to do when their rival company boasts slanderous comments and reviews about their business? They can lose customers and money if they do not act fast. That is precisely where one of the hottest startups right now comes into play: Profile Defenders. As Market Watch reports, their services are designed to repair the images of companies both small and large and is quickly becoming one of the hottest startups in the country, both fiscally and through their glowing, growing reputation.

With easy access to a company’s profile and the effortless ability the internet gives to anyone who wants to hide behind an alias, competition between companies has taken a very different turn. Companies can easily go onto a rival company’s profile and post slanderous comments about their service or product that are untrue or unwarranted. As Market Watch states, “usually the accusations are unjust and designed only to deface the company, outraging the victims of bad press and prompting them to fight back.” For fresh, new companies, image is everything and when you are investing most of your money into your startup and place most of your hopes on its success, a destroyed image can ruin everything.

According to the article, Profile Defenders has a 100% success rate so far in restoring and maintaining a company’s image. Once slander is detected, it is their job to address and fix it, but their work doesn’t stop there. Once the initial restoration of the company’s image has been restored, Profile Defenders keeps a close eye by monitoring the internet for any false, negative comments and fixing them when they do arise. Unlike most startups, Profile Defenders has maintained a great image while also being financially successful. That startup has locations in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

SOURCE: Market Watch
IMAGE: Courtesy of Marketwire