The act of doing something un-does the fear.
Another month, another round of YouTube videos! This month, in addition to our YouTube videos, we also have a very busy schedule of in-person events. If you’d like to be notified promptly about our upcoming events, consider subscribing to our newsletter. And if you’d like to learn about our YouTube videos as soon as they post, please subscribe to our channel.
The final Deadly Sin of the Job Search occurs after you’ve received a job offer. Don’t accept it immediately – first, it’s important to negotiate your salary to make sure that you’re fairly compensated. Simply accepting their first offer could potentially cost you millions in lost earnings. In this video, Certified Career Coach Anne Nowak will discuss some good strategies for salary negotiation.
If you’re a budding barista, check out this application walk-through for coffeehouse chain Starbucks, so that you’ll know what to expect when you apply. Career Specialist Karla Stewart will demonstrate the process step by step.
this month’s spotlight: the everything interview playlist
This playlist is a one-stop shop for all of our job-interview-related videos, including full-length seminars, demonstrations for answering common interview questions, and specialized topics such as video interviewing and interviewing for teens.
Written by Lynnette Lee
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
In celebration of Black History Month, we’d like to showcase some books from our collection which have African-American authors. These books offer advice from professionals who have the perspective and experience to discuss the job-search and career issues that affect minorities.
Double Outsiders: How Women of Color Can Succeed in Corporate America
by Jessica Faye Carter, J.D., MBA
“Women of color make up 15 percent of the US population, but only 1.7% of the Fortune 500.” This book discusses the unique challenges that non-Caucasian women face in the corporate world, as well as how to overcome them. Meticulously researched, this book pulls from several sources, including academic research, statistical reports, human resources managers, senior executives, and of course, women of color who have succeeded professionally. The information within is useful both to jobseekers in this situation, and to companies seeking to grow a more diverse workforce.
The Calling: 3 Fundamental Shifts to Stay True, Get Paid, and Do Good
by Rha Goddess
“Every single one of us has a calling. Your calling is that thing that only you can do. And it will always compel you – but it will be up to you to decide whether or not you’re going to answer.” This book’s goal is to enable readers to discover and successfully pursue their calling in life. The book contains exercises to help readers identify their motivations, values, beliefs, and fears, as well as techniques for changing negative mindsets. The author also includes client stories from her work as a life coach, providing examples of how her methodology works.
She Makes More: Inside the Minds of Female Breadwinners
by Dawn DeLavallade, M.D.
As her medical career blossomed and she started out-earning her husband, Dr. DeLavallade began to experience struggles related to being her family’s primary breadwinner. When she interviewed other women in similar positions, she found common themes of stress, lack of communication, and resentment between these women and their husbands. Those interviews have been compiled into this book, to provide perspective into these problems and ideas for solving them.
The African-American Jobseeker’s Guide to Successful Employment
by Rebecca Enyia
This book is intended as a one-stop shop for the entire job-seeking process, from career goal-setting, through applying and interviewing, to negotiating salary and succeeding in the new job. This thorough compendium includes skills assessments, sample resumes, networking tips for finding job leads, information about employment agencies in each state, and more.
How Exceptional Black Women Lead: Unlocking the Secrets to Phenomenal Success in Career and in Life
by Avis Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D.
“To be a black woman is to exist in a constant state of navigation. In facing the dual challenges of both race and gender in a cultural context that privileges all that you are not, you must learn how to overcome both internal and external challenges.” In addition to statistical data about black female leadership in America, this book presents tips and advice from 70 black women who’ve thrived as leaders and want to share their techniques for success.
The Episodic Career
by Farai Chideya
“We live in a globalized economy where not just jobs but also entire career tracks are created and destroyed in front of our eyes.” In this time of rapid change, author Chideya posits, the traditional stable career has been replaced by episodic careers that have multiple phases. This book aims to assist workers in managing those phases, whether that be through evolving within their field, changing careers, or recovering from job loss. The book includes diagnostic tools to help jobseekers define their career attitudes and goals, profiles of jobseekers who have overcome career upheaval, and data about the changing world of work.
If any of these books caught your eye, you can put them on hold on the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.
Written by Lynnette Lee
Life isn’t perfect; any failures you have are actually learning moments. They teach us how to grow and evolve.
We’ve started the new year off with a bang. In addition to our new YouTube videos, we’ve also stepped up the pace of our in-person seminar schedule. If you’d like to register for one of our in-person seminars, please visit our Events page. But if videos are more your speed, check out our latest offerings:
Behavioral interview questions like this one ask you to use stories from your past work experience – but if you have no work experience, it may be challenging to come up with an answer for this question. In this video, Career Specialist Lynnette Lee and guest presenter Aaliyah Newton demonstrate how you can use a story from a non-work setting, like school, to answer this question.
Our state government has positions available in a variety of fields, including education, administration, transportation, accounting, health services, and more. In this walk-through, Certified Career Coach Anne Nowak shows how to navigate the Louisiana State Civil Service application process.
this month’s spotlight: the professionalism and business etiquette playlist
We’ve recently re-organized our playlists to group certain topics together better and make everything easier to find. One of our new playlists, Professionalism and Business Etiquette, is designed to help jobseekers present a polished image in the professional world, make a good impression on hiring managers, and succeed in the business world. Video topics include Social Media Etiquette for the Job Search, How to Succeed at a Job Fair, The Workplace Survival Guide, and more.
Written by Lynnette Lee
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.
Here in the Career Center, one of the services we offer is one-on-one assistance with filling out job applications on the computer. Over the years we’ve helped hundreds of people apply for jobs online, and more recently we’ve filmed step-by-step walkthroughs for many common applications. During the course of all this, we noticed certain common threads: confusing features that kept coming up on applications, tricky questions, common mistakes, etc. We decided to create a guide to assist jobseekers with this process. Here then, is the accumulation of our wisdom (Part 1):
- Know your employment history, including dates. If the work history you provide is incomplete or incorrect, that will be a major strike against you. If you’re uncertain of your starting or ending dates, find out before you start applying — call the company or your state employment office.
- Keep track of things with a Job Search Notebook. This will contain all the information you need to complete applications, such as your work history, references, supervisors’ contact info, etc. It will also contain the list of what jobs you’ve applied for where and when, your usernames and passwords, and the other details you’ll need to keep straight. It can be a physical notebook, or a computerized database such as MS Excel or Google Sheets.
- Have all documents saved on a USB drive or in the cloud. Scan any documents you may need, such as transcripts, certifications, letters of recommendation, etc., and upload them onto a USB drive. Save your resumes and cover letters on this device as well. Alternately, you can upload all of these documents onto Google Drive, MS OneDrive, iCloud, etc.
- Every jobseeker should have a resume. Some applications cannot be completed without a resume. Others will use your resume to auto-fill the application so that you don’t have to do everything manually. Take the extra time and effort to make a resume first, and it will save you time and effort down the road.
- Keep your resume in both PDF and Word format. The MS Word version is for you, so that you can make changes to the document and update it as needed. The Adobe PDF version, which is much harder to make changes to, is the one that you will upload to job applications.
- Keep the formatting pretty simple. Try to avoid using tables, text boxes, and graphics. They may make your resume look beautiful, but the online application may have trouble reading them, which means your application may not be completed properly.
- You need a functioning email address. Email is the primary method by which employers will contact you, so make sure yours is easily accessible. Make sure you know your password and can check your email anywhere, not just on your phone. (What if the phone breaks?) Do not use someone else’s email address.
- You have to create a new account for every single company. The application will start by asking you to sign in, which can be confusing – because until you’ve registered with this company, you can’t sign in. If this is your first time applying for that company, look for something that says “Create Account,” “New User,”, etc.
- Keep track of your login information. Different applications have different security requirements, so you may end up with lots of user ids and passwords. If you don’t remember which password you used for which application, you can’t sign back in, which means you can’t apply for more jobs with that company. So every time you create an account, write it down in your Job Search Notebook, or on your phone’s Notes section.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Written by Lynnette Lee
I always try to start out with some type of goal. Then I work backward and think of what I need to do to get there, and give myself smaller goals that are more immediate.
“Age is no barrier”, prolific author and successful CEO Robert Dilenschneider writes. He wants this book to be a guide for 50+ seekers, who are either seeking a new job out of necessity or who are seeking new challenges, because they feel unfulfilled.
how to stay relevant in a changing world
There is a stark contrast in yesteryear’s work force and today’s ever changing kaleidoscope of opportunities. The new landscape is that of frequently changing jobs, many times out of necessity. An employee is expected to add immediate and continued value to the organization.
To stay relevant, Dilenschneider recommends:
- Develop a five-year (or ten-year) plan.
- Be technologically able to utilize a computer, phone, tablet, social media, email and texting.
- Intentionally bridge the age gap. Where applicable assist the younger person by sharing your knowledge and experiences in a casual and informal manner, if receptive.
- Recognize the younger generation’s need for instant gratification. Young people are often in a hurry.
- Listen. And listen without judgment. Never betray confidences.
- Keep up with the latest media, ideology, movies and social movements. If you have been out of the game, get back into it.
- Determine a focus or specific direction. Set goals and maintain a constant resolve.
- Take action, then celebrate small and large accomplishments. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
what to do if you’re being let go
If you see proverbial “hand writing on the wall” that change is imminent, you should, according to Dilenschneider:
- Be honest at all times.
- Know your own motives. Try to understand those of other people. And be suspicious.
- Be respectful. Control your anger.
- Be aware and protect yourself.
- Contact supportive friends, family and colleagues, and seek advice from a therapist or job counselor.
- Always keep your resume updated!
- Take inventory of your strengths and recognize your weaknesses.
general job-seeking tips:
- Have a plan A and a plan B.
- If you lose your job, don’t get bitter, get busy. Rather than accepting defeat, you may launch out and start your own company, or become an independent contractor or consultant.
- If you have a job but are dissatisfied, you should be developing options.
- Don’t quit your present job unless you have to. It is easier to get a job if you already have one.
- Pay attention to changes in your relationship with your supervisor or subordinates and respond in a proactive manner. This may include changing departments or changing companies.
- Utilize the people in your network. Get them to assist in your job search – ask for their advice and strategize with them
- When interviewing/networking, make the interviewer feel good about you and great about himself.
communication and interpersonal relations
Since Dilenschneider spent his entire career in communications and public relations, no book of his would be complete without some advice on the topic.
Develop your message: write down 3 major points you want to make. Put together two examples for each point. If you interact with the public, PR should be important to you. Take control of your own message. Building a network in the right way means being willing to go beyond yourself. Follow up. Respond to e-mails. Return your phone calls. Write thank-you notes. Reciprocate and do it quickly. Finally, remember: everyone judges a book by its cover, so make sure you make an excellent first impression as a professional.
This book may be placed on hold through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.
Written by Cynthia Payton