All Articles Tagged "career development"
Searching for jobs can be work in and of itself which is why so many jump for joy when they encounter the ideal job opportunity. This is exactly the type of position that will utilize your skills in an awesome way and pay the right amount! With great excitement you begin to fill out the application, press send and pat yourself on the back. You got this.
Well what happens if you don’t?
Have you ever applied to a position that you felt in your spirit was yours, and yours alone? Yet you never heard anything back aside from the automated, “We received your application” response? It’s a sinking feeling that unfortunately happens to so many of us.
So what’s the deal with recruiters anyway? What about me didn’t they like? While no one will have all the answers, here are nine reasons why you probably didn’t hear back from the job.
Have you ever had a gut feeling something was about to happen at your job… that involved you? Hopefully it’s bad indigestion or just you being paranoid. But you should still pay attention to your gut. If Ann Curry’s dramatic departure from the Today show taught us anything, it’s to always be on our guard and pay attention to the writing on the wall.
According to reports, the former morning show anchor may have known her days were numbered prior to her involuntary exit. An abrupt shake-up like that should make everyone take a hard look at their own position. Maybe you can’t help the inevitable, but you sure can begin crafting a plan B if things go south.
Here are nine unspoken signs your time at work might come to an end.
The capitalist economic enterprise known as the United States was built off of free labor. In 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act was implemented to prevent companies from exploiting individuals for industry benefit. The new slaves are not in the heart of Mississippi, but can be found in major corporations working long hours with no paycheck to show for it at the end of the week. These slaves go by the new names of “entry-level employees” or “interns.”
The topic of unpaid work is controversial. Forbes recently outlined why you should never work for free. The writer makes a valid point, arguing that you are helping the company make money and with student loan debt at an all-time high, you can’t afford to not get paid. The New York Times gives examples of cases where interns are taking a stand against companies and have gone as far as filing suits for being exploited during an unpaid internship.
The fashion industry is depicted on television as one filled with thankless, low-paid jobs for entry-level workers. Most times, the female character is supported by rich parents or a wealthy husband and doesn’t really need the income. You may remember watching Lauren Conrad carting around designer clothes during her fabulous summer internship at Teen Vogue on The Hills. It has been reported that over three-fourths of the unpaid workforce are women and, in real life, many of them don’t have a large amount of financial support. They go without pay at the expense of their quality of life.
We also hear a lot in mainstream media about video girls and models working for free for the benefit of being in the latest rap video, allowing the industry to marginalize models that demand a check. Also, there are debates about immigrants working for below minimum wage and taking jobs from able-bodied Americans. In any setting, unpaid work hurts the economy as potential job candidates run the very real risk of being replaced by unpaid workers. That can lead to increased unemployment and decreased household spending that could boost the economy.
On the other hand, unpaid work can give the eager intern an edge on the competition by allowing a newbie to the workforce the chance to build a work history in industries where they have no experience. There are a large number of college grads working for minimum wage, so it’s good to have a plan to set yourself apart from the rest. But are you willing to make a deal with the devil to do it?
Although we are in a recovering economy we still have the benefit of residing in a country with arguably the greatest opportunities in the world. If you work hard enough, you can find numerous companies willing to pay you for your expertise, or at least offer you minimum wage while you fetch coffee and build your resume.
Just fed up with your job. Well, it might be time to make a change. According to Huffington Post financial columnist James Altucher, Managing Director of Formula Capital, the are “10 Reasons To Quit Your Job This Year.” We take a look at a few of them.
Is your job obsolete? It might be time to move on and find a new field or learn a new skill. “Most jobs that existed 20 years ago aren’t needed now,” notes Altucher.
You just aren’t appreciated by the corporate higher ups. You are loyal to the company, do your best to promote yourself and the firm but it is not appreciated. Your branching out is seen as an affront rather than an asset.
Money really won’t buy you happiness. Just because you make a lot of money, it doesn’t mean the job is for you. “In other words, don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time. That will never get you where you want — freedom from financial worry,” writes Altucher. “Only free time, imagination, creativity, and an ability to disappear will help you deliver value that nobody ever delivered before in the history of mankind.”
Not finding that your job fulfills your needs? Then it might be time to find one that does. Altucher advises to ask yourself: “Are your physical needs, your emotional needs, your mental needs, and your spiritual needs being satisfied?”
Your retirement plan won’t give you enough to, well, retire. With 401(K)s, according to Altucher, no matter how much you set aside due to inflation you will have to sacrifice many luxuries in your retirement age. “The only retirement plan is to Choose Yourself. To start a business or a platform or a lifestyle where you can put big chunks of money away,” he advises.
In other words, if you can find a reason why a job isn’t for you that speaks to your financial or emotional well-being, it’s time to start making moves.
When it comes to your career, what are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish? One goal that should be at the top of your list is to get better and better at what you do. After all, it would be kinda odd to want to be at the same place you are at in the next 10 to 20 years without growth or advancing your skill set.
In life, you always want to set the standard and strive for excellence. We only have one life to live so it’s important we make the most of it and work to be the best we can be. Maximize your potential in what you do to inspire others to achieve success. Should you need a push to get you started, here are some ideas you should consider.
Social networks aren’t just for socializing. Increasingly, there is a mandate for using one’s social network for professional advancement. Unfortunately, African Americans are reluctant to do that. Or their social networks lack the power to help the unemployed find a job.
According to the National Journal, these weak networks create “concentrated disadvantages.” There are some who simply don’t use their networks to their advantage. And others who try, but face hurdles.
“One is just numbers: Few blacks are in top positions empowered to make hiring decisions, notes Algernon Austin, director of the race, ethnicity, and the economy program at the Economic Policy Institute,” the article says.
Add to that the racism and stereotypes that exist and you have a situation where the high black unemployment rate (about double that of whites) could stick around until 2015, a half-century trend for the black population.
“[E. Faye] Williams reminds members of the National Congress of Black Women to broaden their networks and to not discount anyone, even those in entry-level positions, when developing professional networks,” the article says.
Just recently, we offered these tips for getting the most out of your LinkedIn account. National Journal also suggests a proactive approach to the job search; having resumes at the ready and submitting them, even if there explicitly isn’t a job opening available.
We’d also suggest that you make the most of industry groups. Many professions have an organization that hosts networking events, mixers, and classes that offer the opportunity to meet people and get your name out there. Oftentimes, there are even more than one that you can join — one for the profession as a whole and others for ethnic groups within the profession. Even if it costs a little bit, the annual fee is worth it. And be sure that you’re using your face time to push your professional credentials. Making friends is fine, but the reason you (and everyone else) is there is for career advancement. In this case, it’s totally acceptable to be all business.
There’s still a little more time before college students head back to class. And while the holidays are a time for rest and catching up with family and friends, Black Enterprise suggests that it’s also a good time to work on building that post-graduate career.
“To fully benefit from your vacation, you must come up with a winter break game plan that will keep you on track with your socialization AND career goals,” the site writes. Among the things you could be doing are preparing for the next semester and look for internships.
Don’t worry! There’s time for some fun too. But keeping your eye on the prize will help you stand out from those who simply lounged around during their time off. For more, visit BlackEnterprise.com.
I became business editor here at Madame Noire on July 16. Since then, we’ve been working to bring you the most important and interesting stories about black businesses and entrepreneurs, the economy and politics, technology, and entertainment and media.
Here’s our look back at the hot stories and topics that affected the bottom half of this eventful year. Of course, we’re constantly looking for story ideas and feedback. So feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet us @MadameNoireBiz, and Facebook us on our page here (which will be hosting a chat about budgeting and money-saving tomorrow at 3pm).
Thanks readers for joining us this past year… Happy holidays!!
Unemployment Numbers Get Better… Sort of
Unfortunately, unemployment is a big problem for the black community. The latest jobs numbers show that things are slowly on the upswing, but we’re still dealing with joblessness among blacks that far exceeds the national average. In an effort to get people back to work, there are programs like this. And on the topic of jobs, people around the country are asking whether workers need unions. In Chicago, the teachers union went on strike and has spoken out about what they see as racism in the public education system.
For most entrepreneurs it’s after deep thought or swift realization that a business is launched. For Rachele Simmons, the inspiration came about when she took her son on an East coast college tour in 2009. Having then been a nurse for 20 years, Simmons’ attention drifted to the many hospitals and medical facilities she’d see on campuses in Washington DC and Maryland.
“I wondered if they had a lot of nursing programs or programs for people who wanted to get in on the ground floor. As a nurse I knew you could get a job pretty quickly as a nursing assistant. Depending upon where you live you could make $12 to $20 bucks an hour,” said Simmons, a St. Paul, MN native who’s always wanted to usher minorities in her home state into the healthcare field.
A Different Kind of Business License
By the time she returned from the East coast, Simmons had researched all of the information needed to open a training facility of her own.
“I had looked up nursing assisting programs, how to start one in St. Paul, what credentials I needed and business information on how to own one,” she said.
Gearing up to establish a nursing assistance certification school, Simmons registered at Minneapolis Community and Technical College to earn a license to teach and learn basic business skills. As Simmons’ program correlates with community, she linked up with a neighborhood entrepreneurship program.
Just two months after deciding to create a certified nursing assistant program, Simmons unveiled Foundations Health Career Academy. The accredited school would offer a month-long (80-hour) course that would graduate certified nursing assistants (CNA) and home health aides. Using curriculum approved and outlined by the state of Minnesota — and used in any other CNA program — Simmons would serve as the sole lecturer and clinical skills instructor. Following three weeks of lectures, students participate in a clinical externship. After clinicals, students have to pass a state competency exam.
With the exceptions of a few natural socialites and conversationalists, being popular at work and in networking events isn’t always easy. Dr. Earl Taylor, president of Dale Carnegie Training’s North Carolina practice tells Inc.com that the trick is effective rapport building in the initial conversation. Once you master the art of building relationships at first contact, the benefits will follow for years to come.
Taylor’s first instruction: imagine people you meet for the first time are your honored guests in your home. Although the conversation will most likely differ from business associate to house guest, the attitude you carry won’t. When you have an honored guest in your home, you are glad to see them and you do your best to make them feel welcome and comfortable. Express your gratitude to have been able to meet and speak with this person.
Once you’ve welcomed this person as an honored guest, if you can, attempt to hold a conversation with a comment that lets them know you’ve thought about their concerns and issues. Then follow the comment with a question. For instance, if you know about the person’s previous experience with human rights or a business venture, mention this and ask them about their experience or the response to their most recent work. If you’re sincerely interested, the person will remember the value you placed on getting to know them and their work long after the initial conversation.
Most importantly, in order to effectively build rapport, it is important to take ideas from experiences in your own life where rapport-building comes easily. When you can draw upon topics that genuinely interest you, the conversation will naturally flow.