This last week, I was able to catch up with a long-time friend and talk about his situation. In our initial contact email, one of the things he mentioned is a manager who is "a piece of work." This is not an infrequent occurrence in the corporate work environment at all.
This past weekend, my youngest daughter Melissa traveled with me to visit our friends Steve and Jody a little ways outside Washington, DC. It was a wonderful time to be visiting with another couple pursuing the dream of becoming solopreneurs and taking charge of our lives. Steve and Jody have a plan in place to get their business of 90 Revolutions up and running. With this company, Steve will be pursuing his passion of working with athletes to "train without pain." I totally love Steve's passion and was very inspired by our visit.
With the Internet and Web 2.0 coming of age, there are new job search strategies available for the job seeker. There is not enough data available to determine the effectiveness of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites, but we do know about other more traditional strategies.
The job market today is more competitive than ever for the job seeker. There are things you should be doing to help yourself become more competitive if you are looking for a job. You can bypass other job seekers who have more education or work experience when you know how to do an effective job search. The major difference between successful and unsuccessful job-hunters is not skill, education, age, or ability, but the way they go about their job hunt.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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