I had a great time delivering a full day of mini-workshops for job seekers at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) annual convention here in Philadelphia this past weekend! I met with lots of very passionate and dedicated language teachers and administrators who were excited to learn some new job search techniques, resume and CV tips, and interview strategies. There's nothing quite like being in a giant building full of people who are enthusiastic about their careers!
With an attendance of about 7,000, and more than 600 educational sessions, the Philadelphia Convention Center was buzzing with activity (plus the streets outside were packed in preparation for the marathon). In the exhibit hall, there were over 250 booths set up by language companies, universities and schools, non-profits, and other organizations there to spread awareness and hand out free pens.
ACTFL brought me on board to host sessions on The Resume and the CV, How to Conduct an Effective and Efficient Job Search, and Interviewing - each workshop wound up standing room only. In between workshops, I met with convention attendees one-on-one and in small groups to discuss their resumes and personal questions. I was really impressed with the diversity of the convention attendees - so many languages, interesting programs and courses people developed, varied educational backgrounds, and ideas. If you were at the convention, drop me a line and let me know how it was for you!
I'm quoted in the Career Advice section of the December 2012 / January 2013 issue of Working Mother magazine with some tips on how to find a new job while you're still employed. The overall theme is to keep it quiet until you're actually ready to give your notice - and specific tips include making sure you don't set off any flags by suddenly coming to your consistently casual workplace in a power suit, minimizing the amount of time you're mysteriously out of the office, being careful to avoid telling your coworkers about your plans to leave, and holding back on broadcasting job search updates on social media.
NPR recently ran a series called "Success Factors: Rich, Poor And Everybody Else" that took a look at people who are in different economic classes. It's an interesting look at the types of jobs different people work, where they come from and family circumstances, and whether they believe in natural intelligence or luck.
The three-part series began with the story, "Want To Be Rich? Be Lucky, Know The Right People", focusing on two entrepreneurs who now value their wealth in the multi-million dollar ranges.
The next segment, "Paid In America: The Road To The Middle", offers interviews with four individuals and families who are in the middle class.
The series closes with "At The Economy's Bottom Rungs, Striving To Climb Up", about
This is a great article appearing on cbsnews.com - "Stop Spamming People With Your Resume" offers a really useful breakdown for a prospective job seeker on why her approach is so, so wrong, and what she ought to be doing instead. There's nothing wrong with sending out unsolicited resumes - it just needs to be done the right way!
Forbes.com recently ran an article on "10 Ways to Become Better at Your Job Today," and I'm happy to see that "stop multi-tasking" comes in at #2. As I've said before, there's a big difference between having strong organizational skills that enable you to manage multiple concurrent projects and being the type of person who is actually doing (or trying to do) several things at the same time.
Tip #6 - arrive 15 minutes early - is a great way to get a jump start on the day. And even though getting up a little earlier can feel rough at first, it almost always feels better than sticking around an extra 15 minutes at the end of the day. It can give you time to organize your day and knock out the tasks you really wish you could just put off.
I also really like tip #8 - to aim for clarity. The article uses the example of making a phone call or an in-person visit instead of shooting off an email when handling a delicate situation (though, of course, there are certainly times when an email might make more sense than a phone call). It's often easiest to try to handle several different communication tasks by banging out a few emails or phone calls in a row, but different situations and clients/coworkers/friends might best be handled as personal conversations.
What are some of the things you do to perform as best you can at work?
Don't forget to get out and vote today!
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Last week's jobs report indicated a hiring trend as the economy added 171,000 new jobs, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics released revised numbers for September and August showing improved hiring for those months, as well. The Employment Situation Summary also showed a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 7.9% (as a result of increased labor force participation - more people actively seeking work).