Some say that after 55 (I’m 66!!) you are “set out to pasture” to graze for the rest of your life.  I take issue with that.  The question really is what’s in that pasture?

I see a pasture with 3 distinct sections.  Section one has an abundance of grass.  The “Senior Citizens” (SC) there are grazing to their hearts content, loving it.  They are making money, they are relaxing doing what they really want to do and don’t care what their age is.

The second section of the pasture is sparse.  There is some grass and the SC who have “settled” there are complaining that there is some grass there, but they want more.  They are working on a “Plan B” because during their prime (before they were set out to pasture) they were making a salary and loving it.  Now they have to work, and work harder so that they can eventually meander over to “Section one” where there’s an abundance of grass.

The third section is sandy.  It has no grass.  There are a few SC over there, but they are constantly complaining that there is absolutely nothing out there (do I hear apathy?).  They have worked hard and now they are standing there trying to find SOME grass to graze on, but they are just not finding it.  They are not prepared for this eventuality.  They have been given advice by dozens of people and have opted to take the wrong advice as those people didn’t have a clue as to what they were talking about but felt comfortable just  “giving advice”.  These are people who are “doubting Toms”.

Now, let’s revisit that second area.  What led them to the path where there is some grass?  Preparation?  Great advice from those “in the know”?  Networking with the right people?  A high quality resume and LinkedIn profile?  The answer of course is yes to all the above.  Will they (or can they) meander quickly to the dense grassy area and make something of their life?  The answer is a definite YES. 

Preparation is the key word.  There is no genetic or DNA issue here.  There is no magic formula.  There is no large bank account.  There is no large “silver spoon”.  It takes hard work to get to that middle patch.  Yes, we all want to be in the far left grassy patch (Section one).  We can do it….won’t happen overnight….it may never happen, but we can’t say we didn’t try.  We all went to bed those nights saying, “we did the best we could all day and into the night.  We are being paid what we are worth. We are not being paid what others feel we are worth.    If we took a tablet and put two columns, we’d see something like the following:

Plan A (a paid position) Versus Plan B – The alternative

Plan A – The job we love to hate or hate to love

Plan B – I’ll do my own thing and make the best of it

A paycheck each week

A commission check saying this is what you accomplished


The boss tells me what hours I must work

 
I work the hours I must work to make some money


You are assigned to work on a team full of like skills and you must work as a team or be told you are changing teams


You are working independently or your team mates (aka downline) are doing their best under your guidance


You must be available evenings or weekends when assigned by your boss


You work whatever hours it takes to get the job done

 This chart depicts the difference between working for someone and working for yourself.  As the “new crop of senior citizens, we all want to have a weekly pay check.  We all want to have our bills paid on time.   We want all stores to have “senior discounts”.  This is a new age for us.  We are used to working in our comfort zones, that “box “ called 1980 when we saw life a lot easier. 

Newsflash, this is the 21st century and we are (by our own admission) BabyBoomers or “Boomers” for short.  We were born post WWII.  We didn’t have a choice!!!  Now we have children and grandchildren.  We are in the same or similar boat that our grandparents and parents may have been  in during the 60’s and 70’s.  Only the economy IS NOT the same.  It is terribly different.

A
re your skills where they should be?  Should you go to school to update those skills?  There is a mountain of questions to be asked and, yes, answered.  Should you seek help?  A resounding YES is in order here.  What kind of help should you seek?  Help comes from those who either “have been there” or from those who ARE there and are struggling just like you.  The word NETWORKING comes to mind.  These could be your peers and (yes) even your competition. 

The biggest selling point YOU have is YOU.  That’s right.  Walk up to someone and smile.  Stand on a street corner and look up.  How many will stop and look up right beside you?  Your “soft” skills are just as important as your “hard “skills.  Soft skills are that grin or smile you always display.  That sense of humor.  Having “people skills” is over used. 

The next selling point is your resume.  Does it tell the whole story?  Although I am an expert resume writer, I will not sit here and tell you to meet with me.  This is not my time to self-promote.  I will say this though, and that is that your resume is not an android.  YOU are not an android!    There are rules and rules governing how a resume should be written.  I am not going to expound on ANY of them at this point.  I will say, however, that if you talk to 12 different people, you are going to get 12 DIFFERENT ANSWERS.  Some may be the same, some will be different.  Who makes the decision ultimately?  You do!!! 

The last selling point is your LinkedIn Profile.  It MUST match your resume.  Again, I am not going to promote my seminars, aside to say that they deal with creating a polished LinkedIn Profile.  If you don’t promote yourself….no one else will.  Remember, if it is to be, it’s up to me.  If you don’t self-promote, someone else will and that person (could be a good friend in the same field) will get the position before you do!!  So you ask, “What’s in it for me”.  Plenty….a job or new position for starters.

Being “put out to pasture” is no fun.  No matter what section of the pasture you end up being in.  Growing up and getting gray, is (hopefully) a time that we are all looking forward to.  Better we are vertical than horizontal.  We read obituaries every day about those in their 60’s who opted to take their own life because they admitted to being (in their own view) losers. 

I heard the statement, “God didn’t make junk”.  We need to regroup, realize that we have peers and we have support groups who exist simply to help.  Are you taking advantage of them?  Leaders of these groups can “lead you to the trough” but we can’t make you drink.

You have to do your part.  What is your part?  Simple, don’t stay in “Section three”.  Meander over to the sparse grass and get used to it for a while.  Build and keep building.  Then, after you’ve built, meander over to the dense grass and START EATING.  After all, we are “boomers” and we are what we make of ourselves.  Plan B DOES exist.  Will you use it?  Or will you simply stay by the fence and watch others go for success?

Written by one of CFEC's Guest Bloggers:

Howie Appel, Executive Director
ProNet Career Resources | Keeping Local Professionals Local!

 

 

You’ve submitted hundreds of applications, filled out countless online “profiles,” read through thousands of job postings and networked with your friends and family.  And now, you’re patiently waiting for a company to call you back to start the interview process. 

 So now what? Are you prepared for the phone call? You only have one chance to “Wow” the recruiter when they call you.  In order to be prepared for this call, there are five common questions you must be prepared for.  No matter what type of position you are interviewing for, there are questions that every job seeker should be prepared to answer on the very first call.

 In The Recruiting Snitch, I provide top secret information on how you can figure out those questions that will be asked in a job interview and the correct format on how to answer each question.

 Here are my top five favorite first round interview questions that every job seeker should be prepared for:

 1.       Why are you interested in working here?

When you apply to a position you are not only showing interest in the role but you are also showing interest in wanting to work for that specific company.  So you should research each company as well as their competitors. 

2.       Why did you leave your most previous position? Or, if you are currently employed, “Why are you looking to leave your current position?

If you are currently unemployed the recruiter will want to know why you left your most recent job and what you have been doing with your time while unemployed.  They are mostly interested to know if you were terminated.  They also want to see if you quit.  If you are currently employed, they will want to know why you are looking for something else.   They want to see what your motives are.  I address acceptable and unaccepted reasons to leave a job in The Recruiting Snitch. 

3.       Why do you believe you are a fit for this role?

This question is your time to shine.  This is also your time to show the recruiter that you feel you are the best candidate for the job.  I also ask this question because I want to know that you remember the position you applied to and you feel you have met all of the qualifications and address to me all of those skills.  In The Recruiting Snitch, I explain in greater detail the science of a job description and how candidates need to only apply to roles where they meet the qualifications for the role. After reading The Recruiting Snitch, you will better understand how to answer this question.

4.       Walk me through your resume.

I’m aware this is not a question, it’s a request.  The recruiter will ask you this because they want to see how you can articulate your work history to them.  They want to see what details you provide and what you chose to leave out. The recruiter is looking for a brief description of what you did at each company, what your title was at the time, how long you were there, and why you left.  I also like to hear how you got the job in the first place. In The Recruiting Snitch, I will walk you through how to answer this question.

5.      What are your short term and long term goals?

I love this question because it receives some of the most interesting responses.  Here’s the secret, your career goal needs to align directly with the position you are applying for.  I was interviewing someone for a Bank Customer Service Representative and I had an applicant tell me they wanted to be a Nurse.   So this is telling me that if I were to hire her she would quit as soon as she started schooling to become a Nurse or that her mind would be on wanting to be a Nurse.  I would rather hire someone whose goal was to move up within my company or someone who wanted a career in banking or a related industry.   This is why it’s important to apply for positions where you see yourself growing.  In The Recruiting Snitch I discuss the importance on selecting a career that you are passionate about.  By doing this, you won’t have to be dishonest when a recruiter asks you this question.

As you can see, there are common interview questions you should know how to answer when a recruiter or company gives you a call.  These questions are relevant for all types of positions and will get you prepared for the first round.  To sum up, you should be prepared to answer why you are interested in working at the specific company, why you left your most recent job or looking to leave, and why you feel you are a fit for the role you applied to.  Lastly, you should be able to “walk” a recruiter through your resume and identify your short and long term professional goals.

To learn more about phone interviews, onsite interviewing tips and more, order The Recruiting Snitch at www.recruitingsnitch.com 

Check back regularly for more insider knowledge on how to land the perfect job.


Written by one of Central Florida Employment Council's Board Member GUEST BLOGGERS:

Alysse Metzler, Author of The Recruiting Snitch

Are you being told you’re “overqualified?”  Focus your résumé on exactly what the employer needs.

By #1 Best-Selling Author Scott Vedder

 

“I keep hearing I’m overqualified for jobs.  What can I do?”  The best way to overcome a perception that you’re “overqualified” is to focus your résumé and your interview on explaining precisely why you’re qualified for that particular job.

 

Your résumé should cite examples from your experience which showcase the results you’ve achieved.  Be sure to include only the experience and skills which are directly related to the desired and required qualifications listed in the job posting.  Don’t list lots of unrelated accomplishments, achievements and experience.  By focusing your résumé only on the skills and experience called for in the posting, you’ll help an employer understand exactly what makes you a great candidate for the job.  The employer will not be distracted by all the things you “could” do.  Instead they’ll be pleased to see that you’ve got skills which are perfectly suited for their open position.  When you connect your experience directly to the job posting, your résumé will speak for itself.

 

Be sure you use specific examples to quantify what makes you a great candidate for the job.  I like to say that your résumé should be full of !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé:

 

! - Any part of your experience that was "amazing!"

@ - Defining points, places, dates and things in your experience

# - Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes

$ - The dollar value of your contributions

% - Figures that easily show growth and results

 

A customized cover letter is also a great opportunity to explain why you’re a great fit for a particular job.  You can address your level of qualifications in a cover letter by tactfully explaining why you want to work for the company, what you bring to the table and how your experience will enable your long-term success in the position for which you’re applying.   When you customize your cover letter to the job posting and you write a résumé that’s full of !@#$%, your résumé will speak for itself and you’ll earn the interview you deserve.

 

So, why don’t employers higher the people who seem overqualified?  Recruiters like me typically don’t want to hire candidates who will “take anything” just to get a foot in the door.  Employers may be worried that candidates who possess significantly greater qualifications than are needed in a role will quickly leave a position if something better comes along.  Both turnover (people leaving a company) and churnover (movement within a company from one position to another) can result in increased costs for employers.  When employees leave, a company has to pay to train a replacement and the on-boarding of a new hire almost always creates a loss in productivity.  Candidates who are perceived as overqualified can be considered a “flight risk” and as such might not be the best fit for a role.

 

When you explain to a recruiter exactly why you’re qualified for the open role and you clarify that you want that job for the right reasons, it will be easy to understand why you’re a great match.  It’s ok to have aspirations for advancement, but you should only apply for jobs you really want and which you can imagine yourself performing for some time.

 

Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 recruiter and the author of the #1 best-selling résumé book, Signs of a Great Résumé.  He has taught thousands of students and job seekers in résumé workshops at high schools, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations across the country.  Scott’s book has been endorsed as “Recommended Reading” by groups including the Central Florida Employment Council and recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management.  Scott has been featured as a career expert in nationally-syndicated newspaper columns and on international blogs and he’s been interviewed live on dozens of radio programs and television news.  For free résumé and interview tips, visit http://scottvedder.com/freestuff.html

 

Workshop Overview

Psychology of the Interview

-Emotional Intelligence Basics

-Self Assessment

-Peeling the Onion

-The W’s of the interview

-Development Plan

The Interview

-types

-Timing

-Image

-Parameters of Communication

-Elevator speech


The Journey to Whoville

-Who is here?

- STAR Approach

-Pre-and post questions

-GOAL

-the Dance

-Communication and Language 101

-It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

 

Re-Charge and Re-Energize your Job Search Seminar, Orlando, FL Thursday Evening, April 4, 2013 at College ParkBaptistChurch / Fellowship Hall, 1914 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL32804. This Seminar will have two adjoining professional presenters to help you with your job search. You will not be disappointed, but instead you can expect to be re-charged, encouraged, and engaged. Help another unemployed friend by inviting them too. Reserve your seat below, mark your calendar, bring a few resumes just in case, and we will see you there! All Central Florida job seekers are invited to Rsvp for this event. 

For more details and to RSVP for this event on April 4th please click here.





More information about this speaker:

"Farnaz Namin-Hedayati, Ph.D., is a doctor of corporate psychology, strategist, peak performance executive and leadership coach. She is the founder of Center for Work Life, a career and performance coaching and global human capital consulting boutique firm here in Orlando. Throughout her career, she has been the constant driver of key business results, such as increased revenues and profitability through decreased employee turnover, and peak performance for her coaching and corporate clients. She has more than 15 years of professional corporate experience in human capital consulting, leading top performing teams in the U.S. and abroad. She holds key roles on regulatory governing panels involving effective workforce planning and serves on various expert panels involving current workforce trends, leadership and career conflicts, mental health and healthy employer practices on networks such as FOX and CNN. She is a contributor to scientific and mainstream business publications such as The Huffington Post, and Orlando Business Journals.  She conducts regular workshops and seminars on areas such as talent acquisition, career planning, leadership development, employee and team effectiveness, succession planning and work-life balance."


FUTURE EVENTS BY THIS COMPANY:

Career Planning Sessions

It’s difficult to be on a budget and hire a quality a career coach.  At the Center for Work Life, we have made the choice to make that not be an issue.  We offer career planning sessions free of charge once per month on the third Tuesday of every month at 4:00 pm at the Orange County Public Library located on Della Dr. in Orlando, 32819.  http://www.centerforworklife.com/career-planning-sessions/

Next Career Planning Session

Tuesday, April 16th at 4:00 pm

Here you can have a 15 minute critique of your resume, obtain detailed tools on how to use social media, learn job search strategies including networking tips and learn interviewing tips to wow your audience.  Whether you are looking to revamp your career, change it, or return to it after a change in your life, you can get great tools at these sessions to propel you forward.

At the Center we believe if someone is interested in landing the job of their choice, nothing should stand in their way.

 

Doctor of Corporate Psychology | Strategist & Peak Performance Coach
Center for Work Life
7009 Dr. Phillips Blvd Ste #260 | Orlando, FL 32819
http://www.centerforworklife.com

"Scott Vedder is a Fortune 100 Recruiter and #1 bestselling author. Scott will share his expert insight and answer your résumé questions in a lighthearted, interactive presentation at the CFEC Job Seekers Seminar on Thursday, April 4th. Scott will give you the inside scoop on what recruiters are really looking for on a résumé. Learn how to write a résumé that speaks for itself. Find out why your résumé should be full of !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé."


If you are job searching in Central Florida, we have the privilege to hear Scott’s presentation on this topic at our Re-Charge and Re-Energize your Job Search Seminar, Orlando, FL Thursday Evening, April 4, 2013 at College ParkBaptistChurch / Fellowship Hall, 1914 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL32804. This Seminar will have two adjoining professional presenters to help you with your job search. You will not be disappointed, but instead you can expect to be re-charged, encouraged, and engaged. Help another unemployed friend by inviting them too. Reserve your seat below, mark your calendar, bring a few resumes just in case, and we will see you there! All Central Florida job seekers are invited to Rsvp for this event.

For more details and to RSVP for this event please click here.



Additional Information about this speaker:

"As a Fortune 100 recruiter, Scott conducted over 5,000 interviews. Scott’s
book, Signs of a Great Résumé became the #1 best-selling résumé book on
Amazon.com. Scott has helped thousands of job seekers in presentations at
college and universities, networking groups, non-profits, chambers of commerce
and more! Scott’s expert insight has been featured in syndicated newspaper
columns and blogs and he’s been interviewed on national television and radio.
Put Scott’s experience to work for you!"

Barbara Seifert, Ph. DBarbara Seifert, Ph. D., CPC

You may have heard that there are people "out there" who can help you find and land a job, but you may be wondering exactly who 'those people' are and what exactly do they do. Well, this article will explain what a career coach is, what they do, and how you could benefit from working with one.

In the broader context, a coach can best be defined as "a person who guides and supports other people on their life and work journeys to create more of what they are wanting; coaches act as partners with clients to discover what they want and how best to achieve it" (Levine, Kase & Vitale, 2006). According to Coach U, Inc., coaching works due to synergy – becoming a team with the client and helping them get more than they would alone; structure – helping the client take more action, think bigger, and get the job done; and expertise – helping the client make more money, make better decisions, set the best goals, and restructure their personal and professional lives for maximum productivity. Most people find that, even though they are reading self-help books or tapes, they wind up going back to their old ways so they need someone to give them the "push" they need, as well as the accountability – and that is what the coach is there for. While they help the client to set goals, develop the action steps, and then help them clear out the 'blockages' that may deter them from reaching the goal, it is the accountability system that helps clients to achieve these goals.

There are many areas and populations that coaches work with, but one of the major niches is career coaching, which is aimed at helping people to find a job, change jobs, phase into a new career, or to start their own business. A career coach can work with clients who fall into several developmental phases, including: high school students, who are unclear about college or a major; college students who are not sure about their chosen field of study or still question what they want to do; people who are in-between jobs or are unhappy with their job and want to find a new one, and older workers who are looking to reinvent themselves or retire from the workforce. A career coach can help you to discover your purpose and passion, define and set your career goals, and develop a strategy for getting there; they also assist with interviewing skills, resume review and writing (not all), salary negotiation, and business etiquette skills. In addition, they can help you develop professionally to enhance your skills and move up in your career.

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the role and benefits of working with a career coach and will consider finding one to aid you. Coaching can help you be the best you can be and find the success you've been looking for!

Dr. Barbara Seifert, LCSW, CPC, NLP is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting in Orlando, Florida. She helps individuals to take charge of their careers, find the work they love and enhance their professional development to reach their peak performance. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and leadership development. Dr. Seifert is an adjunct professor, a certified coach and certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. You can learn more by visiting www.cyscoaching.com and Your Career Success Blog at www.allaboutcareerssite.wordpress.com.

Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC, NLP

In order to be recognized and noticed in the business community, it is important to have your own 'brand', or a catchy way for people to recognize and remember you. This could be done either through a motto, a phrase, or a logo, but it should be something that identifies you and your company or service. It also should peak someone's interest so they say, "tell me more." This personal branding also applies in your job hunt. It doesn't mean you have a fancy title or even a catchy phrase, but it does mean that you have a way to describe yourself - in a career perspective - so that a prospective employer will ask, "tell me more." This can be done in your 30, 60, or 90 second elevator speech, that is clear and concise, but lets people know the extent of your skills, talents, or experience.

To find your personal brand, the following steps may be helpful:

1. Write down all the skills, abilities, experiences you have in one or two words; be clear and brief; your brand statement should create immediate interest in you and get the listener asking questions.

2. Identify and include a benefit, such as reduce, enlarge, create, eliminate, which will make people listen; avoid verbiage, such as I sell, or I manage.

3. Don't use jargon that is too technical or slangy to your profession - others will not understand and it will prevent them from asking you more.

4. Avoid negative talk, such as "I helped my company increase sales by 50%, but it was really nothing". Showcase your achievements and accomplishments; after all, you are selling you.

5. Avoid boasting or bragging - this is the opposite of negative self-talk. While you are trying to get others interested in you and hearing more about you, overstating your talents and accomplishments can have a negative effect that can be long-lasting.

6. Make your introductory statement unique so that when people hear it they will remember you.

7. Practice, practice, practice so that you will feel comfortable saying it at any time or in any environment. Say it in front of the mirror and get feedback from friends or family.

Dr. Barbara Seifert, LCSW, CPC, NLP is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting in Orlando, Florida. She helps individuals to take charge of their careers, find the work they love and enhance their professional development to reach their peak performance. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and leadership development. Dr. Seifert is an adjunct professor, a certified coach and certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. She is a writer for The Work at Home Woman and Forbes. You can learn more by visiting http://www.cyscoaching.com/ and Your Career Success Blog at http://www.allaboutcareerssite.wordpress.com/