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

October YouTube Video Roundup

We’ve been fairly busy this month on our YouTube channel – we’ve uploaded more seminars and application walkthroughs, we’ve posted a video about a new offering from Microsoft, and we’ve started a new playlist for our Spanish-speaking patrons! Read on to see just what we’ve been up to in October.

Resumes and Cover Letters

special resume rules for ex-offenders

If you have a criminal record, creating your resume may be especially challenging. Certified Resume Writer Lynnette Lee talks you through the best approaches in this video, including choosing a template, handling an unstable work history, and disguising your incarceration.

ATS: Avoid the black hole

When you apply for a job, you’ll usually be entered into what’s known as an Applicant tracking system, or ATS: software that companies use to store, sort and search through applicants. Sometimes, it can feel like a black hole – but not if you know how to avoid the pitfalls. In this video, Certified Career Coach Anne Nowak talks about what ATS is, how it works, and how to structure your resume to ensure you’re seen.

Videos in Spanish / en Español

Contreseñas buenas

For our Spanish-speaking patrons, Career Specialist André de la Fuente has translated the Creating good passwords video. It covers the basics of password usage, and gives tips on how to think of strong, easy-to-remember passwords.

Para nuestros usuarios de habla hispana, el especialista en carreras André de la Fuente ha traducido el vídeo titulado Creating good passwords. Parece que cada aplicación de trabajo tiene requisitos diferentes para las contraseñas. El proceso puede ser confuso. Pero no te preocupes – este vídeo te guiará a través de los pasos para crear una buena contraseña.

Career Success

Advance your career with MOOCs

Career Specialist Rick Wright’s seminar on popular Massive Online Open Courses, or MOOCs, shows you how to learn new skills for free or a much lower cost than traditional education, but with many of the same benefits. Rick covers four of the biggest MOOC platforms in this video: CourseraEdXUdacity, and Udemy.

Advance your career with Microsoft and LinkedIn Learning Certifications

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of us are out of work or looking for a new career that’s more remote-friendly. Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub have put together a new resource that’s free or reduced-price for a limited time, which provides training and certifications in a number of tech-related and remote-first fields that have been growing recently. Career Specialist Case Duckworth takes you on a short tour of the portal in this video.

Job Search Basics

Email etiquette for the job search

Everybody uses email nowadays, especially hiring managers. If you want to be hired, you’ll need to know and execute good email etiquette. In this video, Certified Resume Writer Lynnette Lee provides tips on everything from creating a good email address to formatting and writing emails to make the best e-impression.

Common Job Application Tutorials

How to apply for a job with the US Postal Service

In this video, Career Specialist Cynthia Payton walks you through the surprisingly involved application process to the USPS. Be sure to watch it if you’re interested in a pretty stable career in a quasi-governmental organization.

How to apply for a job with Target

Career Specialist Cynthia Payton walks through the process of applying to retail giant Target through their website in this video.

Written by Case Duckworth

Get Help Filing for Unemployment with These How-To Videos

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has started, we’ve been receiving a lot of questions about filing for unemployment benefits with the state of Louisiana. While the Career Center is focused more on helping patrons look for work and apply to jobs, we were recently made aware of a resource by the Workforce Commission that might help you file for unemployment.

The LAWorks.net Video Page is full of videos, including public service announcements, as well as tutorials on how to file the different parts of your unemployment with the state. We’re going to focus on the how-to videos in this post.

  1. How to File a Claim walks you through the process of initially filing for unemployment, using the Louisiana Workforce’s web portal called HiRE. It’s a pretty quick video, so you might want to watch it more than once — but it’s also a good beginning resource if you don’t know where to begin. One warning: the video says that, due to the pandemic, you do not need to look for work in order to be eligible for unemployment. That was true when the video was filmed, but it is no longer true. The fourth video in this series will tell you more about this requirement.
  2. How to File Weekly Certification will help you out after you’ve filed a claim, when you need to fill out a weekly certification form to continue receiving benefits. This video isn’t narrated, but has screenshots and helpful green arrows to help you figure out where to click to proceed through the form. It might be a good idea to pause the video on each frame to read the explanatory text at the top, because that tells you what to do.
  3. How to Upload Documents in HiRE Account is similar to the Weekly Certification video in that it doesn’t have any narration. However, it’s also useful in that it walks you through how to upload supporting documents to your HiRE account, such as your Social Security Card and other documentation you’ll need to complete your claim.
  4. Completing the Work Search Portion of Weekly Certifications is a narrated video about the return of the Work Search requirement of unemployment insurance, after the end of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation in July. Basically, to continue receiving unemployment benefits, you need to prove you’ve been looking for work when you renew your claim each week. This video explains the importance of doing so and will show you how to fill out the form. Toward the end of the video, the exemptions from the Work Search requirement are also enumerated.

Written by Case Duckworth

September YouTube Video Roundup

Ah, the beginnings of fall. There’s a crisp in the air, leaves finally falling on the ground, pumpkin spice in our coffee, and new videos on the Career Center’s YouTube channel. Here’s a rundown of what we added this month.

Career success

Website Walkthrough: Career Planning

If you could use some assistance in choosing a career path, exploring an industry, or learning new skills, we have resources to help. Our website has some great career planning tools, which Lynnette Lee shows you in this video.

Workplace survival guide

Congratulations! You just snagged a new job. Make sure to start off on the right foot by following the tips laid out in this seminar, by Lynnette Lee.

Reference Ready: Choosing and Presenting Your References

Choosing, vetting, and preparing references can be one of the hardest parts of the job search. Case Duckworth shows you the basics in this presentation.

Common job applications

Albertson’s

In this video, Career Specialist Cynthia Payton walks you through submitting an application in the Produce department of the popular grocery store chain, Albertson’s.

Walmart

Career Specialist Case Duckworth walks through the process of applying to an hourly position in a Walmart store in this video.

Job interview questions

“Tell me about a difficult boss”

This question can be awkward to answer. Luckily, Resume Coach Lynnette Lee and Career Coach Anne Nowak show you the Dos and Don’ts.

“Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a coworker”

Although this question is only slightly less awkward than “Tell me about a difficult boss,” Lynnette Lee and Anne Nowak help you handle it with aplomb.

Work at home websites

Remotive.io Review

Anne Nowak reviews the good parts, and the not-so-good parts, of work-from-home website remotive.io.


Hopefully you’ve found some useful videos on our channel this month. Keep checking for more new content in October!

Written by Case Duckworth

Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, Part 1

Staying organized is an important part of searching for a job. There are so many individual pieces of information you need to keep track of. What was that job opening you saw yesterday? And where was it? Which jobs have you applied for? What was the username and password you created for that job website? In January, one of our Career Center staff led a seminar on how to power your job search with Google Tools. This post is a quick introduction on how to do that.

  • 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’re signed in, go into your Google Drive (drive.google.com).
  • On your Google Drive page click on New in the upper left. Then on Google Sheets. This will create a new Google Sheets.
  • Let’s take a moment and get oriented to what a Google Sheet looks like. Each sheet contains little rectangles called Cells. Cells are organized into Rows (which have numbers) and Columns (which have letters). Each cell also has an address based on its Column and Row, such as A1. You can click on a cell to add text, formatting, functions, and formulas.
  • Let’s add some headings to your sheet. You can use these or make up your own: Job Position, Company Name, Job Location, Salary or Hourly Rate, Website URL (so you can go back to that job listing), Notes, Progress. You can click on each cell to add text. You can also hit Tab to move to the next cell on the same row.
  • The next step is pretty cool. You can use your sheet to track the status of each application in your job search. One good way to do this is by using data validation. Data validation helps you control what kind of data you enter in your sheet. Data validation can create a drop-down list of items for each cell so you do not have to type in the same data every time.
    Click on the G above Progress. This selects that column. Then click on Data > Data Validation.


  • In the Data validation window next to Criteria click the box and choose List of items. In the box that says Enter items separated by a comma type a list of options separated by commas. For example Have not started, Resume in Progress, Submitted, Interview Scheduled, Offer received. Then click on Save. Congratulations! Now every cell on that column will have a little drop down menu.
  • As you enter on each row a new job opening, you can choose the status of your progress. Everything from Haven’t started to Offer received. Click on a cell in that column and try it.
  • Finally give your sheet a name. Click where it says Untitled spreadsheet and enter a helpful name for this sheet. Something like My Job Search 2020.
  • Your job search sheet is now ready for you to put some information in each row. So click on the + on your web browser  to open a new tab and look for some jobs.

    Continued in Power Your Job Search with Google Tools, Part Two

Written by Richard Wright

Here’s What’s New on Our YouTube Channel!

Happy September, everybody! Last month, we uploaded a bunch of new videos to help you with your job search. Let’s see what they were.

Seminars

Remote Job Interviews

In these unprecedented times, more companies are opting for job interviews over the phone or by video conference. In this video, Career Coach Anne Nowak talks about best practices and things to avoid when interviewing remotely.

Intro to Cover Letters

Sure, you’ve got a killer resume – but a cover letter is what brings your job application over the edge. There’s just one problem: you don’t know where to start! Resume Coach Lynnette Lee is here to help with this recorded seminar.

Job Search Basics

We started a new playlist that will help you with the very basics of searching for work in 2020, including tutorials on using a computer and the Internet.

Creating an email address

Career Specialist Case Duckworth walks you through creating a new email address at the ever-popular Gmail.

Creating good passwords

Passwords are like keys … well, sort of. Career Specialist Richard Wright shows you the dos and don’ts of good password creation in this video.

Job Application Walk-throughs

Dollar Tree

Lynnette Lee walks you through an application at the popular convenience store.

Lowe’s

If you’re interested in a career in retail or home improvement, Career Specialist Cynthia Payton will walk you through an application at the big-box store Lowe’s.

Job Search Resources

The Career Center’s website has a ton of job search resources, which Resume Coach Lynnette Lee walks you through in this video.

Job Interview Scenarios

Tell me about your computer skills

Anne Nowak and Lynnette Lee discuss good – and bad! – answers to this interview question, which is only getting commoner.

Website Reviews

Power to Fly

Power to Fly is a woman-led company that specializes in helping women land technical roles, with events, career coaching, and job boards. Anne Nowak reviews the site’s pluses and minuses in this video.

Conclusion

That’s all the videos we posted in August. If you have an idea for a video, or would like to request one, drop us a line, give us a call, or come in and see us!

Written by Case Duckworth