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While the government hurriedly announced an end to the recession yesterday, the proof has yet to manifest itself in the NC job market. The unemployment rate for the Charlotte region is currently at around 12.4%, maybe higher. Employment is considered a lagging indicator, as jobs always return later than other recovery indicators. But what does this number really mean?

Published in Career

I find it interesting to talk to people about their perceptions of their job. This past weekend I was talking to a neighbor while our children were performing at a band show. A little over a year ago, he had changed jobs and gone to work for a competitor because it would provide him better promotional opportunity. He's a high-level manager, so I was somewhat surprised whenafter asking him how his job is going, his response was "It pays the bills." No enthusiasm whatsoever. I do realize that 70% of people dislike their jobs but I'm surprised that people seem to settle for that.

Published in Career

It never ceases to amaze me that we will accept work in areas that we are not a good fit. Consider the story of Jim Nicholson, teller extraordinaire at Key Bank in Seattle. Jim was fired from his job after stopping a bank robbery and successfully chasing down the thief.

Though he had worked as a teller for two years, Jim let his passions override what he knew to be bank policy regarding bank robberies. According to Jim (not the TV show), "They tell us that we're just supposed to comply, but my instincts kicked in and I did what's best to stop the guy." As a result, Jim was fired from his job.

Published in Career

Why Bother With An Elevator Speech?

It helps a conversation continue

Starting off with a standard boring description will kill the conversation. People make assumptions based on what you say. If you start off with "I'm a project manager", then folks will automatically decide what you do, and move on in their mind.

It can help with your "œTell me about yourself" interview question

Having a killer elevator speech can feed well into the typical first interview question you likely receive a "Tell me a little about yourself". If you are interesting, and solve a problem, the person you are talking to will want to know more.

Published in Career

In light of the continuing bad news about the economy, it is time to look at it from a new perspective. We know that bad news sells, but there really is opportunity out there if one looks.

The current unemployment rate here in North Carolina is 10%. That is awful if you compare it to the 5.5% rate not too long ago. But let's not forget that 5% is considered full employment as people are constantly in transition between jobs, returning to school, etc. The good news out of this is that 90% of people are employed. That may not be comforting if you're part of the 10%, but let's see what the news is, and is not, telling us.

Published in Career

It is important that folks who want to eliminate their debt to not fall for gimmicks.  It's easy to fall prey to consolidation products that show you how you can pay off your debt, including your home, faster and for less.  While they may look good, they often can end up costing you more, and deny you the victories you need to keep pressing on.  Let me explain.

Published in Personal Finances

Last week while on a trip, I was contacted by a local TV reporter to help with some questions he wanted to address in the Sunday paper. Here are the questions and the answers I provided. You can also see the article published by the Charlotte Observer

Published in Career
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