his is more or less a newsletter for job seekers like myself. I try to find good job search strategies, bad job search strategies, pure BS and job related articles every week. So far I’ve never run short. Please pass this around. I’m not doing this for any reason other than the desire to help and communicate with other job seekers. If you have any good links or stories, especially stories please comment. If you want the story private, just put that in the comment and I will trash it and not let it post.
The Three top interview mistakes? Plan ahead, get there on time, turn off your phone, know your stuff.
On the other hand the people on the other side need to understand that shit happens no matter how well you plan, sometimes the call IS important, and nobody ever remembers every little detail no matter how much they try.
Another good piece from Mike Rowe.
I caught up with Mike recently to learn more about five of the damaging myths we’re taught today about blue collar work and workers. These myths include:
• There are no good jobs left in America
• The best path to a good job is a four-year degree
• Trade jobs are dead-end jobs
• You can’t make six figures
• There’s no room for women in the trades
The nasty secret of the job market.
It sucks. Not that much of a secret.
Do you work for a stupid company?
1) If your company closes—ever—you might be running a stupid company.
At many companies, customer service and support is provided only during certain hours: if you call after, say, 6 p.m. Pacific Time, technical support is closed. Seriously? Does the firm really expect that none of their products are installed or used after 6 p.m.?
One of us has a medical condition that requires regular testing, with weekly calls to the global medical device manufacturer to report results. Following a recent call, a fancy brochure was sent which extolled the convenience of their new web service. Imagine our surprise when we logged on for the first time—their online service only accepts results when their East Coast U.S. offices are open. This from a firm whose tagline is “We Innovate Healthcare” and operates in nearly every country worldwide.
These sort of time-based restrictions are going to disappear at companies that successfully embrace radically changed expectations of customer service and experience.
This is not because it suddenly becomes profitable to stay open 24/7. It’s because when you compete with firms like Zappos, which operates its warehouse 24/7 even though it is not the most efficient way to do so, the notion of being “closed” will be competitive suicide.
2) If you don’t incent managers and divisions to cooperate, you might be running a stupid company.
Stupid companies reward managers and employees for competing with each other, paying a few employees for their “best” performance. By doing so, they cause many unintended consequences, including siloed databases and product offers that sell what each division wants to sell instead of what the customer wants to buy.
Customers want seamless service, no matter how they interact with you. They don’t know it, but they really want all your divisions to have access to the same databases, so their information is easy to access.
From the customer perspective, it can be schizophrenic and annoying when the experience of working with the call center or a sales group is completely different from the experience of dealing with accounting, customer service, or installation.
Rewarding your employees for finding ways that both your customers and company profit—and giving them the tools to do so—is a critical element in keeping up with the needs of your smart customers.
But this is not how most companies operate. In most companies, employees aren’t clear on which customers drive value, what touchpoints and experiences are most important to them, or what their roles and responsibilities are when it comes to delivering better customer experiences.
This is a problem.
3) If you forget anything your customers tell you (or do), you might be running a stupid company.
Every time we use a digital device, we create a record of our actions—a trail of digital breadcrumbs that create a complex and comprehensive tapestry of our life. They reveal where we go, with whom we interact and what we’re interested in, and in many ways, who we are.
These records, stored in databases around the world, document not only what is happening in your life, but also in the lives of most other people in the world. We call this “pervasive memory.” The more digital devices that exist, the more pervasive memory will become. In fact, most companies have the ability to remember everything about their customers—but they don’t.
Most companies force customers to spend significant time repeating the most basic information: name, account numbers, passwords, and more, every time they transact on the web, over the phone and in person. Their websites don’t remember what you’ve purchased, what you did, where you looked, or what interests you.
Smart companies remember everything and know how to access and use it.
Stupid companies think: that sounds really hard. Or they don’t think about it at all. Which leaves a huge opportunity for smart, entrepreneurial competitors.
Most companies are stupid.
Advice for laid off engineers. Startup your own company?
That’s frequently easier said than done especially if what you want to do involves a long development period and hardware.
Five things you can do if you aren’t getting interviews?
It’s well documented that unemployed applicants find it much harder to get jobs than their employed counterparts do. It can also be a struggle for people returning from extended career breaks. Meanwhile, ageism is making it hard for older workers to get interviews, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, many first-time job seekers face similar problems.
To help these embattled applicants break down the walls that are keeping them out of the interview room, I’d like to offer the five following tips:
Basically, if you are not a purple squirrel, you’re still screwed.
Age discrimination not based on age. Of course not. It’s based on false preconceptions that far too many people in HR and management have developed.
Bad day at work? It could be worse. Language warning.
Yup, that’s about it.
How many lives have been ruined by arbitrary decisions made by people who made opinions based on very little information.
It took me a long time — over a year — after moving into HR to realize that I had access to my own personnel file as well as the rest of the personnel files, and maybe I should take a look to see what various people had written about me!
I found my job application in my personnel file. On my application, a long-gone HR Manager had scribbled “job-hopper” in the margin. Really?! I was 19 years old. I had waited tables and done a little temp office work in New York. I laughed out loud when I saw that I had been labeled a job-hopper in my very first grown-up job search.
This is how business weenies think. They don’t think in context. They see a string of short-term jobs on a resume or job application, and they are thrown into fear. They don’t stop and say, “Wait. This applicant is a teenager. Of course she has short-term jobs on her resume.
I suppose it’s inevitable, but how many careers have been destroyed by snap judgments that the candidate doesn’t even know about or can’t counteract. The candidate has no way of looking at their application file and no way of knowing what’s going on.
Then there’s the fact that job hopping may not be entirely the candidate’s fault. All too often the candidate is forced to leave their job because of somebody else’s bad decisions. yet the candidate is held responsible for those decisions by people who have no desire to find out the facts.
The Job Stuff Series.
Job Stuff 34.
Job Stuff 33
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