Book Review: The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide

Do you find you struggle to land a job because you’re introverted? If so, you may benefit from the book The Introvert’s Complete Career Guide, which you may place on hold through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.

“even wallflowers can blossom”: thoughts on introversion

In her Introduction, Author Jane Finkle immediately states that introversion and extroversion are not etched in stone, but mere moving preferences–ideal “situational” comfort zones.  Finkle declaratively confides she is an introvert, yet touts the fine balance between extroversion and introversion equally.  She characterizes her older brother’s extroversion as demanding of Mom’s “attention with nonstop chatter” yet speaking “freely to any stranger in his path.”

She continues that balancing act:  “My grandmother’s entrepreneurial spirit was supported by my quiet immigrant grandfather, who was content staying behind the scenes.  And my socially timid father chronically complained of upcoming social gatherings, though in the end he thoroughly enjoyed such events despite his reticent nature.”

Jane Finkle’s long familial line of introversion includes her own willingness to listen to stories and come up “with ways to solve their problems” then “helping them rewrite a chapter in their lives that would lead to a happy ending” which led her “to a career in counseling.”  As a result, she toots the proverbial “introvert’s” horn saying “listeners by design, introverts prefer to take in all pertinent information before speaking, but then often surprise their audience by making relevant, thoughtful contributions.”

The elephant in the room, according to Jane Finkle, is that “In America, we live in a culture that favors extroversion” which leads to many introverts questioning “their personal value and ability to compete in the face of market changes.”  In contrast, introversion does not impede success.  Although “Asian cultures and some African cultures identified more closely with introversion” related to “tradition, conservatism, and compliance…Asian Americans are the best educated, earn the highest incomes, and constitute the fastest growing racial group in the United States.”

Introverts may feel invisible like a wallflower, but Finkle notes that “even wallflowers can blossom!”  Author Jane Finkle encourages introverts to assess themselves to discover their values and put their strengths on display.  She ultimately prods all readers to strive for “rewarding” work where “your daily tasks and work environment are aligned with your career values.”

How introverts can succeed in the job search

In Chapter 3, Finkle encourages introverts to tell results-oriented stories using the résumé, even if they are uncomfortable blowing their own horn.  Listing achievements and personal brand using short-and-sweet descriptions along with keywords are résumé writing trends, she continues, and of course we can help you at our Career Center.  We have downloadable templates here to trigger your résumé’s starting line which the author defines as “focusing on your industry/field and target audience.”  She then dives into achievements which makes me think of specific goals met that enhanced your organization’s effectiveness.  For example, did you compose new manuals to maintain consistent training, or develop a website or brochure, or simplify Frequently Asked Questions?  These are essential to making any organization function better and if you are a change agent, then toot that horn, because these accomplishments should not go unnoticed.

Chapter 4’s Promote Yourself in Real Time delves into examples, such as creating blogs like this one or updating your LinkedIn page to make it more current?  Jane Finkle demonstrates that social media “is a perfect marketing tool for introverts” since it allows “exposure to support your professional development while respecting your need for adequate privacy.”

Talk to Strangers, as Chapter 5 encourages, might seem audacious at first, but in reality stepping out of your comfort zone might be the best thing ever.  I remember first presenting at a local conference after the organizer stated quite frankly that she was always looking for an opportunity to state her thoughts, even though she was polite and thoughtful and did not come off as pushy.  Now I am not saying you must go out and present at the next convention, but as Jane Finkle states, “use your inquisitive nature” to “consider what truly matters to you and what you want to say” and “form solid relationships”.

Eventually you will get The Interview (see Chapter 6), Navigate a Job Offer (Chapter 7), Onboard (8), then finally Survive and Thrive (9) by setting short-term goals then achieving them using your talents and interests to solve problems, commit to learning, and meet experts and leaders, which, in my opinion​, you were already doing from the beginning.  She aptly closes:  “Embrace your introversion as a familiar friend, and challenge its nature now and again by periodic bold moves.  In time these won’t seem so bold at all, just another variation of your theme.”

Written by Andre de la Fuente

December 2020 Video Roundup

In the last month of 2020, we here at the Career Center put together another stellar group of videos to help with your job search. Let’s see what they are.

Interview Questions

How to Answer, “Tell me about your greatest achievement.”

“We should all be aware of our own accomplishments,” says Career Coach Anne Nowak in the beginning of this video. Resume Coach Lynnette Lee helps Anne show you how to choose and frame what you’re proud of to an interviewer.

Job Application Walkthroughs

How to Apply for a Job at FedEx

During the holiday season, employers like FedEx hire a lot of extra temporary help. Though the high-volume days may have just ended, a job at FedEx can still be fairly secure and well-paying. In this video, Career Specialist Richard Wright walks you through how to apply.

How to Apply for a Job at Home Depot

Since so many of us have been staying at home, we’ve had more chances to do some much-needed work around the house. If you think helping people with their home improvement would fit you professionally, this video might help. In it, Richard Wright will show you how to apply for a job at Home Depot.

Job Search

The Seven Deadly Sins of Job Searching, Part 1

There are really only seven “deadly” mistakes you can make while searching for a new job – and in this series of videos, Anne Nowak will show you what they are and how to avoid them. In this first video of the series, she talks about one of the most common mistakes: only searching for jobs that are posted in online boards or classifieds.

Top 10 Reasons You Did Not Get the Job

No matter how good your résumé is, how passionate your cover letter, or how eloquent your interview, there will be times when you don’t get the job you’ve applied for. In this video, Anne Nowak discusses the Top Ten reasons they might’ve said, “No,” and gives advice on how to get a “Yes!” next time.

Social Media Etiquette for the Job Search

If your social media accounts make you look unprofessional, it may be costing you job opportunities. In this video, Lynnette Lee gives tips for presenting a professional image online and avoiding common social media mistakes.

Reviews

edX: an In-Depth MOOC Review

MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – can be a fantastic way to get valuable job skills and training at a low cost. In this video, Richard Wright discusses the popular MOOC edX.

Written by Case Duckworth

Our Top 5 Work-from-Home Job Boards and Websites

Working from home is the name of the game at the moment. But often, looking for remote jobs leaves job seekers open to scams and shady leads. So, let’s look at our favorite websites to find safe and legitimate work-from-home/remote opportunities and resources.

As with job searching in general, your most efficient way to find a remote job is through networking. Since in remote roles there naturally has to be a higher trust level between employer and employee, hiring someone that comes recommended makes even more sense for an employer than in a traditional office-based role.

Now let’s look at our top 5 websites that specialize in listing remote or work-from-home opportunities. Links to all these sites are available on our website, and you can find more detailed info on our YouTube channel in our work from home playlist.

Our top 5 are:

  1. Our number 1 website has the funky name Rat Race Rebellion.  It is one of the oldest websites dedicated to finding safe remote jobs and still one of the best. It gives you a good overview of all different kinds of remote jobs available, from high level specialist and manager roles to taking surveys, mystery shopping and everything in between. Since all content is free and you don’t need to sign up or create a profile, the website features a lot of ads. If you stay clear of those and keep to the actual content, this website will be of great use.
  2. Next in our top 5 is Remote Planet. Remote Planet is an entire community for people who want to lead a location-independent or digital-nomad lifestyle. While it features job boards and links to many companies who mainly work remotely, it also contains lots of information on tax issues and other special topics relating to a remote lifestyle. One of its prime assets is that it provides links to a lot of small remotely working companies that might be hard to find otherwise.
  3. Our #3 pick is Flex Jobs, probably the most well known flexible-work job board, as it has had a lot of national media exposure. Two words of caution about Flex Jobs. It does not only feature remote opportunities but has a lot of part-time and project-based jobs that are actually tied to a specific location. And, it charges you a fee to access contact information for the specific job opportunities. So, before you pay, make sure that they have jobs that are a good fit for you. Check out our Flex Jobs video on our YouTube channel to see how you research their open jobs before you pay.
  4. Next on the list is Power to Fly.  Like Remote Planet, this is much more than just a job board. It is an online community with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, led by women and mainly created for women. Power to Fly features lots of openings at Fortune 100 companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, or Dow Jones. It is a general job board, and you will have to use the term “remote” in the location field to find the work-at-home roles. Besides listing jobs and linking to companies’ job openings, it also features virtual events such as live chats, webinars about career and job search related topics, panel discussions, and virtual job fairs.
  5. Last but not least there is good old Indeed.  Most of you will be familiar with Indeed as a “regular” job board. But if you type “remote” into the “where” field, you will find a lot of remote leads. Read the job postings carefully though, as a number of them will want you to live at a certain location although the job itself is remote or it is only partly remote.

If you have any questions or would like help with your remote job search, the Career Center is here to help. Contact us at 225-231-3733 or at www.careercenterbr.com.

Written by Anne Nowak

November YouTube Video Roundup

Another month, another Video Roundup for the Career Center’s YouTube page!  While you were busy cooking for your (socially-distanced) Thanksgiving holiday, we were cooking up some helpful and delicious videos to help you in your career!  Let’s have a look.

common job applications

How to apply for a job at circle k

Career Specialist Case Duckworth walks you through applying to the convenience store chain in this video.

how to apply for a job at whole foods

If you’d like to try your hand at organic grocery stocking, cashiering, or food preparation, this walkthrough, by Career Specialist Richard Wright, is for you.

how to apply for a job at popeye’s

If fast food is more your speed, Career Specialist Cynthia Payton has you covered.  In this video, she’ll walk you through the steps of applying to a job at Popeye’s Chicken.

work-at-home job boards

we work remotely: a Work-from-home website review

In this video, Career Coach Anne Nowak talks about the good and the not-so-good about working from home through We Work Remotely, a job board site that focuses on remote and work-from-home jobs.

resumes and cover letters

Cover letters 2.0

In this follow-up video to her [Introduction to Cover Letters] video, our Resume Coach, Lynnette Lee, shows you advanced techniques that will really make your cover letter stand out to employers.

moocs (massive open online courses)

coursera: an in-depth mooc review

In this first of his In-Depth Look at MOOCs series, Rick Wright walks you through Coursera, one of the more popular MOOCs on the Net.

udemy: an in-depth moc review

Udemy is a great online learning portal that’s free with your East Baton Rouge Parish Library card.  Rick shows you how to sign up and what goodies await in this video.

job interview questions

how to answer, “tell me about a time you went above expectations”

Job interviewers will routinely ask about your previous professional life, both the good and the bad, and you should be ready.  In this short role-play video by Anne and Lynnette, they show you good and bad answers to this question.

job search basics

how to file for unemployment in louisiana

During the pandemic, we at the Career Center have been seeing more and more people come into our office to apply for unemployment benefits.  While that’s not *exactly* our mission, we’ve been doing our best to help, and Anne has made this video walking you through the basics of filing for unemployment in Louisiana.

Written by Case Duckworth

Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, Part 2

In January, the Career Center led a seminar on how to power your job search with Google Tools. This post is part two of our introduction on how to do that. Part one can be found here.

The Career Center website has a page that lists several job search websites, and we encourage you to check out some of them. Google is not yet on that list. However, you can use a not-so-old-fashioned Google search to look for and keep track of different job opportunities.

  • In order to use Google Tools to power your job search you first need a Google/Gmail account. If you have a Google/Gmail account then go to Google.com and Sign in. If you do *not* have a Google/Gmail account then go to Google.com and Create account.
  • Once you are logged in to Google/Gmail go to Google.com. Type a search phrase such as jobs near me. You can try other search phrases such as warehouse jobs in baton rouge.
  • Be careful where you click next. There are scams and fake job postings on the internet. Do not click on anything marked “Ad.” Instead, click on the blue bar that should say something like Jobs near Baton Rouge, LA.
  • This opens up a new feature by Google which is snapshots of jobs. You will see:
    • Options to apply
    • Salary information
    • Company reviews
  • This is where you have some tools available to you.
    • You can use filters to narrow the search. You can click on one of the bubbles under Title such as Warehouse associate, Warehouse worker, and so on.
    • You can save a job and apply for it later. Click on the little bookmark symbol next to a job you want to save. It should turn blue.
    • You can turn on email alerts for this job search. Click on the little slide switch symbol so it moves to the right and turns dark blue.
  • The way you go back to saved job opportunities is simple. After you have logged in to Google do another quick search for jobs near me or the like. That brings up the jobs snapshot. Now click on SAVED under the search box. There they are. You can also use something like Google Sheets to keep track or job opportunities as described in Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, part one.
  • You can make changes to alerts. Click on ALERTS in the blue bar under the search box. Do you want to receive an email alert about jobs Instantly, Daily, or Weekly?
  • There is a way to filter for jobs working from home. Go back to the job search snapshots. Click on Location then Work from Home.
  • If you are a veteran you can search for jobs according to MOS code. Go back to Google.com and type veteran jobs near me or the like. Click on the search box and you can search for jobs in your area according to MOS, AFSC, NEC, or rating.

Again, we encourage you to check out other job search websites. However, not many people are aware that Google has added some tools that make a Google search for job opportunities more useful and better organized.

Written by Richard Wright