Tag Archives: self-help

Stress Free While Looking For A Job

Looking for a job in today’s economy is enough to stress anyone! If you’ve been laid off, and the bills keep coming, you are feeling like you want to pull your hair and disappear there are some things that you can do to stay mentally and physically healthy while you are looking.

Keep Breathing-
Looking for a job is stressful! When we are feeling stressed we tend to hold our breath subconsciously. A good first step to relieving stress is to take a deep breath and hold it for 3 seconds, and then release it slowly for 3 seconds. Do this three times. Soon you’ll feel more calm and ready for a productive job search.

Get Up-
It’s very easy to fall into the habit of sleeping in, staying home watching TV or playing games. Instead, get up at the same time you did when you were working. Shower, get ready, get a healthy breakfast and GO!!!. Do this every day because finding work is an every day job.

Exercise-
Something as simple as walking around the block can “clear your head,” and give you fresh start every day. It will also make you feel physically better, and it’s important that you keep your health up when you are searching for employment.

Set daily achievable goals-
Your ultimate goal is to get a job. But if you set small goals for yourself each day, you’ll have a better chance of reaching that final goal. For example, try sending at least 3 applications per day or sending out 5 resumes each day.

Stay involved-
Look for volunteer opportunities that are related to the jobs you are interested in. This helps in three ways. First, it gets you out of the house and interacting with other people. If you are used to working in an office atmosphere, being home alone all day can be incredibly stressful. Second, it is a great way to network and make contacts with people in the industry. And third, it gives you more experience — further strengthening your resume. This is important in today’s competitive economy.

Remember DO NOT STAY HOME, looking for work is can be a very difficult job so you need to keep yourself motivated. The unemployment benefits help alleviate the financial stress but do not last forever. The more applications you put out there, the better chance you have to find a job…and remember to visit our Career Centers we will help to make your life less stressful.

Mayra Rice

Career Connections Coordinator

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Filed under Attitude, Self-Improvement

Responding to an Inappropriate Interview Question

By now most people know they’re not supposed to ask questions about age, race, religion and whether a woman is planning to have children.  But beyond the illegal questions I’ve found clients sometimes confronted with the occasional inappropriate question.

These usually occur when the employer is a smaller one or a family-owned business.  In other words, larger, more structured companies typically operate in a more standardized setting.  But less structured interviews, particularly if they involve a lunch or supper meeting, can occasionally stray into question about public issues of the day.  I don’t necessarily think the employer is trying to catch the candidate as much as the inquiry is simply born of ignorance.

Politics and pop culture can be dangerous topics if not handled properly.  Imagine sitting there during the height of the Iraq War and being asked your view on President Bush and our nation’s strategy?  Or President Obama and healthcare?

On the one hand you’re thinking, “What does that have to do with my ability to do my job?”  And you’d be correct.  Yet, how should you handle that inquiry without appearing rattled, confrontational or evasive?  How can you convey that, well, it’s none of that person’s business without somewhat alienating the interviewer?

A simple technique I’ve found effective is to use a verbal cushion to acknowledge the question, but to then turn things around and ask the employer their thoughts on the subject.

For example, “I’m not sure there’s any easy answer on the war.  There are certainly passionate opinions on both sides.  I’m curious, Mr. Employer, what you think about it.”  And if the interviewer doesn’t respond, change the subject.  If they do respond while giving their opinion, at least you know whether what you might have said would have matched your with your potential employer.

If the employer responds, then further asks you your opinion, I think you’re within your rights to respectfully refuse to answer.  Try, “While we both know it’s a hot topic, I hope you’ll appreciate my desire to separate my personal views and interests from my work objectives.”  Be careful not to impugn the employer’s motives for asking or verbally slap their wrist too harshly.

Awkward, inappropriate or even illegal questions can easy rattle many candidates.  How calmly you respond under such circumstances could help separate you from your competition.

Learn more about us at www.woodengroup.com.

Randy Wooden

The Wooden Group

As founder and president of The Wooden Group, Randy brings over 25 years of experience in a number of human resource areas including outplacement, career coaching, executive recruiting, in-house staffing and training. Additionally, Randy has served as a college adjunct instructor, teaching classes on interviewing and the overall job hunting process.

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Filed under Courtesy, Interview, Unexpected

Job Fair Survival

Kenny Beck from WXII-12 in Winston-Salem has some great timeless tips for job fair attendees that were broadcast before last year’s Goodwill of Northwest North Carolina’s Employment and Resource Fair.

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Filed under Initiative, Network

The Value of Workshops

Do you ever wonder why it is worth attending workshop after workshop?  What could possibly be the importance of hearing an individual talk about a topic with which you are already familiar?  Because it’s just that, IMPORTANT!

There’s nothing better way to learn than through repetition.  Hearing topics over and over again helps to retain all of the valuable information that is presented.  This information becomes part of you.  The topics and tips taken from workshops become a habit and routine in your endeavors for success.  You can never get an overload of good information.  Although instructors may inevitably be saying the same thing, there are different ways to apply the information to your job search.

Search the community calendars, job posting websites and workforce development centers for employment workshops.   Go into each one looking for “new ways” to implement “old knowledge.”

Bryant King

Career Connections Specialist

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Filed under Initiative, Self-Improvement