Saturday, January 14, 2012

Are you a leader?

In my own informal surveys I sometimes ask someone how they got their job when they were hunting. Quite often it is the same things, confidence, optimism, a carefully written resume, etc. There are a few companies however that will ask something different like Walmart does. They want to know during the interview if you have ever been in a leadership role. It actually comes up often enough, about 5% of the time that I recommend that you prepare for it.

Once the question is asked you need to be ready with an already prepared answer. Don't do like I did at a Walmart interview and stumble over that question. Although I am a success most of the time when I am looking for a job that time I was not. Usually that kind of a question will come up for any kind of supervisory role you're applying for. It's to be expected for those kinds of positions though I talking here about the unexpected. Always be prepared wherever possible for the unexpected it will go better for you in every job search and guarantee you greater success.

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Friday, January 13, 2012


Having your timing right is always important on a job search. Along with having your timing right you also need to set aside specific blocks of time. What I mean by this is for you to try to set aside specific times for resume editing, job searching. You only then focus on that specific task during that time frame. It will make you more efficient in the long run and with efficiency will come job hunt success. This is something I discovered and have successfully lived in my own life.

Today there many things that can very easily be a distraction if you let them take over. If you are stopping your resume edit because you are also paying attention because of your social network it won't work well. Since your attention is divided you probably won't get a lot of editing done. That applies while I'm writing also, I won't be as efficient writing. The Zen maxim applies here:

When you play, play
When you eat, eat

Etc, you get the point I'm trying to make here. Have a great day and I wish you every success in your job hunt.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012


When it comes to writing when you're looking for a job neatness is everything. Your writing has to extremely readable, especially your handwriting. If the reader has to try to figure out what you have written they will go to the next candidate. That's just a sad fact of life when there are a lot of candidates for the same position. So, be neat on applications also because they have to be as good looking as your resume is.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Job requirements

One thing that will be changing is requirements for getting the job. I'm thinking about this right after reading an article on ZD Net, one of the news sources I like best. You can expect employers to less often provide smart phones and laptops when the job requires it. This means that you have to provide your own in order to do the job or even to get the job. While this has been common in sales positions it will now be a deciding factor for IT positions. It also may be hitting the restaurant industry of all things for at least a few positions.

There's someone that I know that happens to be a cook at a restaurant. All of his orders come through his smart phone from the wait staff, they are also required to have cell phones. In fact it works so much better that they don't use an order printer now or require hand writing orders. This will be coming to other restaurants I think we can expect though maybe not all of them. Anything that helps a business become more efficient and cuts costs will be looked at. The equipment you're required to provide will be one of them.

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A memory of mine

Several years ago I was in Las Vegas, Nevada walking down the street from downtown to the strip. It was fairly early in the morning and it wasn't very hot yet like it can get there. A few days earlier I had gotten to Las Vegas from one of my many hitchhiking trips. This one had taken me through the Grand Canyon and a few other national parks including Zion. My memory tells me that it was a great hitchhiking trip but that diverges from this story. It turned out to be a very interesting morning that morning for me.

There was an old man putting some furniture out on the sidewalk in front of the store. Since he looked like he needed help I offered to help with what he was doing. After finishing that little task I was offered a position with the store on the spot. This I accepted and so began working for the store that day. It worked out pretty good for me even if the job didn't pay very much but I had no place I had to be at the time. Also, the job included living in a pickup out behind the store, something like $10 and lunch daily. Living in a pickup may not sound very great until you realize that I was a homeless vagabond then.

This shows that doing a good deed can pay off once in a while and get you a job. Of course it does also involve being in the right place at the right time for such an opportunity. You also have to be open to those opportunities when they come. It requires also to be observant to what is going on around you at any time. Opportunities like these can't be scheduled in advance ever, they come up on their own. You have to be open to them or they will never happen.

Another odd event that occurred in my life was one day at about 3AM in downtown Los Angeles, CA. There was someone washing the windows of one of the stores there. We got to talking for a few minutes and began to kind of connect. Soon, he asked me if I would get him a cup of coffee at the donut shop around the corner. He gave me the money after I said yes and I went to get his cup of coffee. Once I returned with the coffee I was offered a part time job with his cleaning company. It also offered a roof over my head in Highland Park, CA.

While neither of these jobs paid very much they prove one thing. You have to be open to opportunity when it comes your way. It also proves that not all jobs are gained from submitting resumes all over the place. In both of these cases it was while I was walking along with nothing to do. What gained me the job in one case was being helpful with no thought of receiving anything. In the other position it was because of a conversation that happened. Don't be afraid of getting out and meeting people, it can really pay off.

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Monday, January 9, 2012


In 2002 I remember well waking up about 4AM with my wife of time, Patricia was dead next to me. Over the next few hours the ambulance came, the coroner and there were a lot of questions asked. A few days later I went to live on the ranch still lost in shock, I could barely feel anything. As I recall I was barely aware of any of my surroundings. It was like a part of myself had died also that morning. I really don't know how anyone could search for a job when something like that happens.

Going to live on the ranch was probably the best thing that I could have done at that time. Taking care of horses, repairing fences and other various ranch tasks are great therapy. You really have time to think about what you want to do with your life from that point forward. It also gives you a different point of view about everything that you've done. As I came out of the severe loss, found my way out of the darkness I began to come to life. Soon I took up photography and I began writing a lot of poetry.

I'll admit a lot of the poetry was very bad and no one will ever see it. There is a few pieces that I have published in "Into Renewal" however that are pretty good. Writing poetry of all things teaches how to write very efficiently, say a lot with a few words. This is something necessary for a great resume, one that gets you interviews. Living on a ranch also teaches you perseverance and persistence. Both of these traits are also necessary to find a job, to find a career. These are things that I stress because they have helped me to succeed to the present day.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bright Spots

One of the biggest bright spots in the US job market the last few years has been farming and farm jobs. These jobs usually do mean that you will be moving to a farm of course as the job is on site. I will tell you though it isn't for a lot of people having done it at one time. There was a horse ranch that I was employed at for 2 years from 2002-2004. Every morning and evening I had to feed the horses, also had to make sure that the horses had water. It was also a part of the job to make sure the horses were healthy to an extent. Also you have to check and repair the fences on a regular basis, I used to do that at least once per week.

Probably the best part of the job is there are no time clocks, you don't ever punch in or out. Of course, there wasn't any days off either which most people aren't really fan of. Though there aren't any days off there are days that there is less to do so they do seem like they are off. There's also a different type of scheduling, you begin to look at everything in a seasonal context. Time changes for the average person on a farm or a ranch, time seems to slow down a bit and no longer runs as fast. There are times this really appeals to me again when my own schedule gets hectic.

As I mentioned, these types of jobs are not for everyone but they can be a good choice for someone who wants a stable job. Just don't expect a lot of pay from the job, a lot of your pay is room and board. You also won't have to worry about paying for utilities, they come with the job. Just imagine, you can eliminate most of your stress with the job. This kind of job can be a great choice for some people, I'm glad that I did it for a while.

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Into Renewal

Into Renewal