Monday, December 22, 2008

Eggs. Bread. Milk. Check!

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed this time of year. There’s often so much to do that it’s pretty common to look around and not know where to begin. Looking for ways to increase your income (finding a job, finding a new job, finding a second job) is not that different from getting ready for a special holiday or event. For some people, the details can seem really overwhelming.

I’m a list person. You hear people joke that they know they’re old when they can’t go anywhere without a list. (This reasoning would mean that I’ve been old since I was about 10!) The truth of the matter is that we lead busier lives and maintain schedules that are packed far beyond those of our grandparents’ 40 years ago. It used to be that a monthly calendar in the kitchen was all that was needed to keep track of an entire family’s scheduled events. Today, most people need at least a weekly calendar to track one person’s whereabouts. And have you ever arrived at the grocery store only to realize your shopping list was home on the kitchen table? “Eggs, bread, peanut butter… oh there was something else.”

Trying to find a job is so much more overwhelming than trying to remember a shopping list. Many people don’t know where to start. And then there are the detours out there… the advice columns that say nothing! I Googled “job advice” and came up with this to-do list that I THINK is aimed at someone looking for a job. The advisor says: “Be aware of industry trends. Educate yourself by reading trade publications and conducting research on the Internet. Attend conferences. Participate in local trade associations and other professional groups that will enhance your knowledge and networks.” What does any of this have to do with finding a job this week or creating a position that supports long-term job security?

Be aware of industry trends. Which industry?
Educate yourself by reading trade publications. Huh?
And conducting research on the Internet. Again, huh?
Attend conferences. “Yes, operator, I’d like to order a conference, this week, free since I have no money, and preferably within 50 miles of where I live.”
Oh, and love this one - participate in local trade associations and professional groups to enhance your knowledge and networks.

The thing is, if you are “looking for a job” this is bogus advice.

If you need to find additional income ASAP, you need 1) hot job resources. You need to know who is hiring. You also need 2) to be prepared for what a potential employer will ask from you as part of the hiring process. Does that mean you’ll need to complete a questionnaire? Does that mean you’ll need to go through three levels of interviews? And 3) you’ll need to be prepared to standout in a good way and convince an employer that you really need, and want this job -- and that you will stay in this position for at least a year.

Once you’re hired, then you can attend conferences, read trade publications, network with industry colleagues, and do all the other things to increase your knowledge of the products, trends, competitors, and customers. (These are all good things, just not for job seekers.)

A list can help you develop a step-by-step plan to get from point A to point B. And if you need a little extra help with that, Creating Job Security, The 2009 All-in-One Workbook can walk you through the process, step-by-step -- without sending you on any wild goose chases. For more information visit

Wishing you and yours a merry Christmas, happy holidays and prosperous 2009 ahead.

1 comment:

Moon_Organics said...

This is easier said than done. We want to believe that we don't care what other people think of us, but we do. Ultimately, they don't pay our mortgage, gas, credit cards, etc. Still, we care.

Specializing in CSR initiatives, I am able to work with clients to help them make a difference in the communities they serve and for people in need. But it's not just businesses and organizations that are looking to make a difference. A lot of people are seeking employment opportunities where what they do can substantially help someone in need.

A lot of very talented people don't mind taking a cut in pay to work in a field like corporate social responisbility or for a non-profit organization where they know they are making a difference every day.