Holiday movies? If Back to the Future, Forrest Gump or Cast Away are on your must-watch-again list, read on. What might be as entertaining as those movies is the bio of their Academy Award-winning director Robert Zemeckis…
As a new year begins, have you given thought to changes that may be in store at your place of employment? How is your company preforming in the marketplace? What has changed or should change in your department? Is your job secure?
12 ways to tell someone is really intelligent and not just faking it. As job coaches, we often talk about interviewing from the applicant’s point of view. Here’s a perspective from the interviewer’s….
Growing up, I spent every day after school from seventh grade through my sophomore year in high school delivering papers. During my junior and senior year I worked part-time in the produce department of our local grocery store to earn money toward college. These after school jobs taught me the importance of showing up on time, following through on tasks and responsibilities, spending and saving the money earned and I developed a sense of pride in my work.
Today, for many teenagers, after-school activities or club sports have usurped those part-time jobs. Fewer and fewer young adults experience the character-building responsibilities a job can instill. Has this change been for the better or not? Click this link and read on…
What’s that? A mid-life awakening is when you realize that working toward what you want out of life is more important than achieving some arbitrary set of objectives cascading upon you from someone else’s mountain top.
If thoughts about focusing on your goals, rather than what someone else wants from you is on your mind, the following article is for you. If “what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life” is still on your mind after this article, drop me a note. I’d like to hear your story.
Nick Synko nsynko@SynkoAssociates.com
The following article posted by Lori Buiteweg, JD, President of the Michigan Bar Association, highlights Career Coach Nick Synko’s tips for your first job search after graduation (whether from law school or not). Synko Associates provides Outplacement Career Transition Services to corporate outplacement clients and individuals of all backgrounds.
ATTENTION MICHIGAN JOB SEEKERS
Did New Year’s Day find you thinking, “This is the year I’m going to get my dream job?” Or maybe, “I’m almost done with law school! Now what?!”
I hear a lot of general lamentation over the inability of lawyers to find jobs. “Glut” is the word I hear used to describe unemployed and underemployed lawyers. But is there any truth to that? Well, let’s look at the facts. Out of approximately 35,000 active members of the State Bar of Michigan, 1.6 percent were unemployed and seeking employment in 2015. According to the ABA the 2014 figures break down as follows:
- 26,248 graduates of the class of 2014, or 59.9 percent, were employed in long-term, full-time positions that require bar passage.
- 4,912 graduates of the class of 2014, or 11.2 percent, were employed in long-term, full-time "J.D. advantage" positions where a law degree is preferred.
- 8 percent of the class of 2014 were unemployed and seeking employment.
With law school debt often resulting in monthly payments the size of a mortgage (and sometimes a mortgage plus day care), it is obviously important to land a job immediately upon passing the bar, if not sooner. While contemplating the gravity of this reality, I decided to survey a small, medium and large firm to find out their dos and don’ts for job hunters.
The Small Firm
I chose the Reed Law Group because I know the principal, Steven A. Reed, well and he just hired a Cooley Law School grad who was an extern of mine about a year ago. It makes sense that a small firm is looking for someone who can hit the ground running...... Read more click here
The Medium Firm
I chose Conlin, McKenney & Philbrick, P.C. in Ann Arbor. Elizabeth M. Petoskey answered these questions. Elizabeth said these are what she finds most important on a resume:
- Experience and/or interest and prior success in the practice area we are looking for
- Legal education
- Interest in our community ....... Read more click here
The Big Firm
I chose Bodman PLC in Detroit. Thomas P. Bruetsch answered these questions. Thomas said this is what he finds most important on a resume: A candidate needs to know his or her audience. Most hiring partners are also busy practicing lawyers, and they receive many, many resumes. Different positions require different skills and backgrounds...... Read more click here
Advice from a Career Transition Coach
I also interviewed Nick Synko of Synko Associates, a career transition coach extraordinaire. I asked him what kinds of questions he would ask a client who came to him complaining about not being able to get a good full-time job.
Nick said he would ask:
- What is your job search strategy? Are you making online applications only? What are you doing to take a more comprehensive, aggressive approach to finding a job?
- Have you invested in a career coach? If not, who is mentoring you in your job search and what are their qualifications?
- Have you had your resume evaluated by a qualified career counselor? How many resumes have you sent out? If your efforts have been unsuccessful, what have you done to upgrade the impact or market presentation of your resume?
- Which companies would you identify as high priority target employers? What have you done to understand their business and mission to identify who to contact and how to construct an introductory letter that may draw attention to your candidacy?
- What industry or professional journals and websites do you pay attention to? What related professional meetings or tradeshows have you attended to increase your professional knowledge?
- What courses have you completed during your period of unemployment to demonstrate you are up-to-date professionally and a continuous learner?
- What you are doing to take an organized, systematic approach to networking? What have you done to network in the last few weeks? Have you attended networking events? Have you attended professional association meetings?
- Are you using social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to advance your job search strategy? How are you continuously improving the use of social media to reach your network? Have you evaluated the LinkedIn profiles of your competitors? What do you uniquely offer compared to them? What do you lack?
- When asked about your expected salary requirements, what number or range do you state? How have you researched that number to know if it is high or low, and competitive?
- Who have you used to coach you through mock or practice interviews? How have you prepared for scheduled phone interviews? Provide a list of a few standard interview questions you expect. How do you answer those questions?
A few months ago, a coaching client was trying his best to land the next job. In fact, he was very good at generating interview opportunities. However, after completing multiple interviews at various employers he had not received a job offer. All he was told each time was that another candidate was selected. The only exception was an agency recruiter (a headhunter) who told him the last company’s impression was that he did not have a high enough energy level. That was hard to understand because our client clearly wanted this job.
What was particularly disturbing is that all the jobs for which he had applied had clearly communicated selection criteria checklists and he was very well qualified for these assignments. On paper, he was THE candidate for the job.
In frustration, he came to see me. One day we were discussing yet another new job opportunity and his body language and facial expressions were definitely upbeat and different. There was an interest level, an excitement and energy, an enthusiasm that was different from anything I had previously witnessed. I asked him, “Why? What is different here?” He responded, “Honestly, my heart just was not in the other jobs; this one has a “heart factor” that clicks on all levels.”
His heart had never so clearly surfaced until that particular occasion. Therefore, I asked the obvious, “What is on your heart checklist?” We flip charted an entire page (about ten factors or so) that were his heart factors. As a side note, it was interesting how focused he was and how quickly the heart list developed.
Should you also have a list of heart factors posted on a flip chart? Some would say this is your list of goals. Many times it is. Other times we have seen critical additional information come forth when we move our conversation from goals to heart.
Checkpoint – Today’s exercise requires you to avoid looking at your target goal. For now, look within your heart, reach your deepest buried wish list, connect with your dreams and create a brainstormed list of your thoughts that develop. We suggest you dream beyond the boundaries, limitations and restrictions that society or others place upon you. Consider Einstein’s words, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” As I personally mature, I find that often times the mediocre mind I need to get past is my own.
My boundaries, limitations and restrictions hold me back just as tightly as those of others.
Next, return to your goal target and see if anything needs to be added. If so, add these items and highlight anything there that connects with your heart. Our coaching experience has revealed that most experienced recruiters are able to discern individuals who say they want the job from those who clearly display I WANT THIS PARTICULAR JOB BECAUSE IT MATCHES EXACTLY WHO I AM.
Nick Synko- Principal Partner at Synko Associates, LLC
Our Top-Ten List Of Considerations
Are you facing unemployment and still paying child support at the same rate as when you were employed? Are you receiving child support and facing a request from the payer to reduce child support because the payer has lost their job?
If so, you are likely facing a Friend of the Court Child Support Review. What should you bring up during review? With career and job transition coaches at Synko Associates, we have developed this list:
What is your job search strategy? Are you making on-line applications, only? What are
you doing to take a more comprehensive, aggressive approach to finding a job?
Have you invested in a career coach? If not, who is mentoring you in your job search and what are their qualifications?
Do you have a resume? Have you had your resume evaluated by a qualified career counselor? How many resumes have you sent out so far? If your efforts have been unsuccessful, what have you done to upgrade the impact or market presentation of your resume?
Which companies would you identify as high-priority target employers? What have you done to understand their business and mission to identify who to contact and how to construct an introductory letter that may draw attention to your candidacy?
What industry or professional journals and web sites do you pay attention to? What related professional meetings or tradeshows have you attended to increase your professional knowledge?
What courses have you completed during your period of unemployment to demonstrate you are up-to-date professionally and a continuous learner?
What you are doing to take an organized, systematic approach to networking? What have you done to network in the last few weeks? Have you attended networking events? Have you attended professional association meetings?
Are you using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn etc. to advance your job search strategy? How are you continuously improving the use of social media to reach your network? Have you evaluated the LinkedIn profile of your competition? What do you uniquely offer? What do you lack?
When asked about your expected salary requirements, what number or range do you state? How have you researched that number to know if it is high or low, and competitive?
Who have you used to coach you through mock or practice interviews? How have you prepared for such scheduled phone interviews? Provide a list of a few standard interview questions you expect. How do you answer those questions?
Remember, you must continue to pay court-ordered support until a new order is entered changing the support amount. Unless your agreement or judgment states otherwise or a party fails to disclose income to the Friend of the Court, support is retroactively modifiable only to the date of the petition to modify support and not before.
Lori Buiteweg is a principal with Nichols, Sacks, Slank, Sendelbach & Buiteweg, P.C. and is the incoming 2015-2016 President of the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners.
Nick Synko is the Founder and Principal Partner of Synko Associates LLC, a career transition and executive coaching firm in full-time operation since 1992. He is the co-author of 100+ Career Transition Tips and is also the author of Future@Work, An Employee Survival Guide for the 21st Century
Find this article in the latest issue of the Res Ispa Loquitur (Page 23) Click this the link to download
Here is an interesting article about where are the best and worst states to find a job. We highly reccomend giving it a read, and if you have a personal favorite U.S. State that you would love to find a job in, tell us why in the comments section. http://aol.it/1TOI9VU
Just as a politician wants to be elected, the job seeker wants to be selected. You need to campaign for a job just like a politician campaigns for office.
A political candidate will develop five to six key messages about themselves that will differentiate them from the other candidates. He or she will weave these messages into every aspect of their campaign. Just like a politician, you can use brief statements about yourself to set you apart from the other candidates applying for the job. Target the five or six differentiators that will set you apart from everyone else; then one sentence for each differentiator. Keep revising each sentence until you arrive at a clear, concise thought for each differentiator. Once you develop your differentiators, integrate these key statements into networking, business cards, resumes, cover letters and interviews. Remember, you are in control of your message; discover your unique qualities and how they can illuminate your current career path.
As you begin to write your resume and to prepare for interviews, you market your uniqueness with these differentiators which enable you to stand out in a sea of qualified candidates. Your resume will also contain qualifiers, such as educational background and work experience that will get you an interview like all the other qualified candidates. But it is the differentiators you communicate about yourself that generates the job offer. Just as a politician’s differentiators make the candidate rise above the other candidates to get voted into office, your differentiators make you rise above the other candidates to receive the employer’s vote of confidence.
Need help defining and refining your differentiators? A Synko Associates' career coach can help. Call 734-332-8800 x 212.
U.S. Employee Engagement Flat in May
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The percentage of U.S. employees engaged in their jobs averaged 31.5% in May. This reading is on par with 31.7% recorded in January, March and April, but is the lowest monthly average for 2015. The May 2015 estimate is based on Gallup U.S. Daily tracking interviews conducted with 6,976 adults working for an employer. Gallup categorizes workers as "engaged" based on their ratings of key workplace elements that predict important organizational performance outcomes. Engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work. Gallup's extensive research shows that employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes essential to an organization's financial success, such as productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees drive the innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need.
Active Disengagement at Record Low
While employee engagement has been flat for much of the year, there has been recent movement in the percentage of "actively disengaged" employees. From April to May, active disengagement fell by one percentage point, from 17.5% to 16.5%. The latest percentage is the lowest for 2015 and ties December 2014 as the all-time lowest monthly figure for actively disengaged employees. Gallup began its daily survey of U.S. workplace engagement in January 2011 and has measured active disengagement as high as 21.8%.
At 31.5%, the latest employee engagement figure reflects a workforce in which less than one-third of employees are engaged in their jobs. While the nation's employers reduced their percentage of actively disengaged employees in May, they did not increase their percentage of engaged workers. Instead, more employees moved to the "not engaged" zone. Here, employees are essentially "checked out." They sleepwalk through their workday and put time -- but not energy or passion -- into their work. These employees are less destructive and disruptive than actively disengaged employees, but they are not helping their organizations grow. To engage their workers, companies need to focus on putting high-performing managers in place and creating development strategies that maximize employees' strengths.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 1-31, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 6,976 employed adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of employed adults, the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.
Each sample of employed adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.
Learn more about how the Gallup U.S. Daily works.
Choosing a place to live where you can find good, well-paid work and stretch your paycheck to cover your costs can be difficult.
To help you out, the personal finance site MoneyRates used several data sources, including the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine the best and worst states for making a living in 2015. The ranking is based on five factors: average wages, state tax rates, cost of living, unemployment rates, and incidents of workplace injuries.
The number one response I hear from individuals who lament plodding through each week in a nasty career path is some version of "I have no idea what else to do." When questioned what they have done to invest time in earning career “fitness,” they sound more like a career “fan” than a career “athlete.” The # 2 factor I observe comes from author Seth Godin. “Going faster doesn't make you less lost. It's okay to ask for directions.” Sum it all up, Nike is wrong; “Don’t Just Do It.” Ask for directions…
Nick Synko- Principal Partner at Synko Associates, LLC
After the end of the fiscal year, many companies ask employees to complete self-evaluations. These self-evaluations are then reviewed by the employee’s manager and, often times, included in the employee’s annual performance appraisal and personnel file in HR.
While many people scoff at this process and don’t take it seriously, it can actually be a great opportunity to increase communication between you and your boss and improve your career development. Just like with most things in life, the more effort you put into your self-evaluation, the more you’ll get out of the entire performance appraisal process.
This year, try taking a new approach with an invigorated attitude:
Carve out “me” time to contemplate your career.
Sure, you could write your self-evaluation sitting at your desk at work. But if you’re like me, you’ll likely get interrupted many times, making it almost impossible to focus.
Instead, try sitting down with a cup of coffee (everything’s easier with coffee) outside of work, such as on a weekend morning when you’re energetic and clear-minded. Your career and personal development is well worth the effort, so don’t skimp on the amount of time you allow yourself to write your self-evaluation.
Honestly consider your strengths and weaknesses.
Brainstorm a list of your strengths and the tasks or skills you enjoy the most. Feeling good? Then take a few deep breaths, let go of your ego and emotions, and take an honest look at areas where you could improve.
Improvement areas might include time management skills, speaking in front of groups, leading projects or even improving processes. Consider feedback you’ve received from others during the year and think about any areas where you’ve struggled or felt you could have done better.
Think about where you’d like to be in five years.
Define your career aspirations. What’s the next job or promotion you’d like?
Research what it will take to be successful.
Once you know where you’d like to be in five years, go find out what it will take to be successful in that position. What knowledge, skills, education and experience are necessary?
Determine your gaps and create a career development plan.
Analyze and determine any gaps between where you are now and where you want to be. Do you need any additional training or education? Are there any other skills you’ll need to acquire? Write these down, as these will become the actions within your career development plan.
Is a Cover Letter Important?
A frequently asked question among job seekers remains, "Is a cover letter important?" In fact, it's not unusual for job seekers to treat the cover letter as an afterthought. They've put so much time and thought into their resume that they may view the cover letter as nothing more than a required but unimportant attachment. In actuality, this introductory document can be instrumental in helping your resume leap to the top of the pile. The importance of a cover letter cannot be overstated.
According to a survey from our company, 91 percent of executives polled said cover letters are valuable when evaluating job candidates. And even though the job application process has mostly moved online, the importance of a cover letter is still paramount. Seventy-nine percent of managers surveyed said it is common to receive cover letters even when applicants submit resumes electronically. So, is a cover letter important? Most definitely – especially if you want to be in the running against those who are taking the initiative to submit one.