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Ready or not, here it comes...

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There comes a time in every boy's and girl's life when it's time to find a real job. I would like to do everything within my capacity to avoid that but Mother Practicality has caught up to me. Right now I'm doing some freelance work but it's not really making enough money to live on and so I feel like it might be time to start applying.

 

It's intimidating, however, to go from a student to an employee. In school, you might do well but without an idea of how you'll fare in the professional world. You go from top of the class to bottom of the field pretty much. And I just don't have the confidence to feel prepared. Even entry-level jobs seem to expect talented individuals who know well what they're doing. I'm not sure if I do!

 

And this applies not just to really skilled jobs. I'm actually nervous about applying to ANYTHING, even things that I feel like, logically, I must be fully capable of.

 

So share your stories please -- the sweet and the horror. Also, what do you guys think is expected of an entry-level staffer someplace? Obviously it depends on the field... but are you supposed to be fully passed training and what have you? Everyone gunn hate me if I screw up? Like I've had jobs, but they've always been really simple (though I'm sure I was scared going in), campus jobs, or paid internship sorta deals, where it's expected you're still learning.

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yeah! Go work for Fox.

 

 

Honestly, most companies have an orientation period. 90 days is usual. They dont usually expect you to be fully functional on hire and really dont want you to be so they can train you culture specific. Your going to do great man, honestly.

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5 months as a graduate and i still have no solid job tbh. This is where depression kicks in and i feel useless not getting into the field i studied in. Added pressure of being penniless doesn't help either. So i've been doing some work experience, spent three weeks in the benefits department, boy is it a whole new world in that field of work, i enjoyed working there however it did not give me moneh.

 

i am now currently doing some volunteer work at a islamic school, i think they want to employ me :shifty: but they can only offer to pay me 200 a month, i refused simply because of the amount of work i'll be doing and expenses i have won't cover it, it's not even minimum wage.

 

Personally, i don't think i dread going into employment it's just getting in that is the stressing part. They don't take you on because you lack experience, well! how am i supposed to gain experience if you won't take me in, in the FIRST PLACE! gosh. I guess you have to have the confidence in yourself and an individuals circumstance pushes you to where you need to be, sure it's daunting but in life steps must be taken to move onwards and upwards. inshaAllah.

 

And of Course, Dua's goes a long way. :D

 

Good Luck

With Dua's

Peace :wave:

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If you're in the situation where you don't have too many connections (and have someone to support you financially) I'd say do the free work (internships and all). If anything you can always network and you should also go above and beyond in the work that you do. Keep in touch with the boss and go that extra mile. If they are impressed with you, they may take an interest in hiring you.

 

It's normal to get nervous about a new job and get worried that you may mistakes and all. You just have to be extra attentive and also make sure to take notes so that you don't make as many mistakes. I feel like once you observe the other employees for a while, you can learn a number of things, and once you begin and do something repetitively, you get the hang of it.

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First of all you need to assess what the hell it is that you want to do, once you figure that out do everything in your control to get in to that field. Second, don't be delusional in thinking that you can land your dream job off the bat, it takes time, but stick to it. Third, your going to have to up your game if you want to land a job, you need to be doing at least 50-100 applications a day, and then emailing/calling up the HR department to make sure they got your CV. Don't be afraid to prospect, apply to a company you want to work at even if they aren't looking to hire someone. Use LinkedIn to network, add HR people in the field you want to work in and don't be afraid to message them. But networking is KEY, If you network effectively you won't need to apply for jobs, people will come to you. I haven't sent out a CV in over 6 months and I get job offers all the time.

 

You also need to keep up to date with what's happening in your industry/field so you can 1- discuss the latest developments with companies that you call 2 - post your thoughts on LinkedIn 3 - find gaps that you can develop your skills in and plug.

 

Getting the job is that hardest part, once your in the position your pretty secure as long as you don't majorly screw up. But also do your due diligence, network with people who work at the place you applied and ask them about the 'work culture', if you get an interview ask the interviewer about the 'work culture' and atmosphere. That will help you decide if you will fit in there.

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^^50-100 applications?! Today I applied to 2 weekend positions. I guess I have 48 left to go lol. What kind of email should I send them when showing interest, especially if it's a general job, like office management? And if the company's name is anonymous?

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Something generic is usually fine, along the lines of:

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

I am applying for ... I have x,y,z experience (sell yourself). I can start ...

 

I am keen to discuss how my skills and experience can fit in to your organisation with you.

 

My phone number is ...

 

I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

 

Sincerely,

 

x.

 

 

Attach your most up to date CV and send. You won't hear back from 9/10 people you email, but its all about getting that 1.

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Lolololololololooopolololol... Very funny Ray Ray.

 

Here's a good (short) article I came across on linked in regarding cover letters:

 

'The traditional cover letter is dead'

 

In my many years of recruiting I hardly ever read cover letters. Why you ask? Well, most of cover letters are very predictable as they are typically a short-form of the resume, and dont add much value to the information already provided on the resume. While many job seekers spend hours preparing a dedicated cover letter, it is a fact that most of the time it goes unread, and moreover, not even uploaded in to employers database.

 

My suggestion is to use your cover letter as an opportunity to confirm your qualifications not by using a short bullet lines or generic statements but by giving several samples of your work accomplishments, your work success stories. They will serve as your testimony of having the attributes required by the job you are applying for.

 

Here is the punch line: each case should project a specific quality about you, without you actually saying it. In other words, instead of saying: Im a great leader, as candidates often state on their traditional cover letters, give a work-case which will position you as a great leader. Or, instead of saying: Im passionate about helping people, give an example where it shows how passionate you are. Provide a short illustration that leads the employer to the desired conclusion. The impression you will create about your candidacy, will be much more powerful, credible and memorable.

 

The structure of each case should be: situation-problem-solution-consequences. Offer two to three success stories. The personal details header should be the same as on resume. Have an opening introduction and a closing contact-me statements. It should not go beyond two pages, preferable one.

 

Have the courage to be unique and utilize this cover-letter opportunity to justify being a top candidate by proving why you are and not by saying that you are.

 

Thank you for taking the time, and if you have any comments/questions, please dont hesitate getting in touch, Elie

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Another good article I cane across on linked in. Aside from all the hippy dippy mumbo jumbo, it makes some good points about being proactive, networking, creating oppurtunities and not allowing yourself to become swallowed by despair. Its a letter and a response, for anyone on LinkedIn I would reccomend following Liz Ryan, she normally has some good articles.

 

Dear Liz,

 

I wanted to write and share my story in case it could be useful for someone else in my situation. I'm an electrician. I worked as a union electrician for twenty years and then moved into a management job running electrical construction and maintenance for my local school district.

 

I must say I loved my school district job. The people there are great and unlike some general contractors I could mention, they have very high standards for electrical work and every aspect of managing school facilities. I loved visiting schools and working with the rest of the Facilities staff. I thought I was going to retire from that job.

 

 

Budget cuts eliminated my job in 2012, putting an end to my plan to retire from the school district. My boss was sorry to see me go but there was no money to keep me on board.

 

I knew I was going to have a tough time getting a new job.

 

How many people compete for the few Facilities jobs that come open in city, county and state government? A lot of people are going after too few jobs.

 

I sent out over 200 resumes, not just in my state but across the Midwest. I have to work so I took a retail job and they were very good to me there. They talked about promoting me but I didn't want to lead them on since I was committed to getting back into my field. I job-hunted with hardly a nibble for two years.

 

Every single week, no matter what, I sent out a few resumes. I'd estimate that I got one reply, usually an email auto-responder saying "No thanks," for every 50 resumes I sent out. I had a few first interviews and no second interviews - not one.

 

I'd never heard of you or Human Workplace until my wife turned me on to you. I didn't have a LinkedIn profile. I started reading your columns and I got hooked. Now I read everything you write. I felt like you were talking directly to me.

 

 

I knew from experience that the Black Hole recruiting system was broken, but I didn't know what to do about it. I started to follow your advice and change up my job-search approach.

 

You showed me how to take my career under my own control. My wife says I'm a control freak anyhow so the taking-control approach suited me perfectly!

 

My wonderful wife bought me a bundle of Human Workplace services for my sixtieth birthday. What an eye-opener! I was halfway out of the box already, and I saw that I was only hurting myself by trying to stick with convention. When it comes to job-hunting, the traditional way is the worst way to go.

 

I started writing Pain Letters. i put a human voice in my resume like you write about. I got a consulting business card. I wasn't sure what to put on it, so I just used my name and cell phone number, the title "Facilities Management" and the sub-title "Electrical Construction and Maintenance."

 

I went to every networking event I could, even though I hate those things. I figured I'd be the guy talking to the other people who hate networking events. I made some coffee dates.

 

I got a consulting job through one of my coffee dates. It was a Chamber of Commerce that has a historic building that hasn't been well maintained. I ran a small renovation project for them and they were pleased. They asked me to consult on some other projects.

 

 

Actually this was the first time I've consulted but it felt very natural. The Chamber of Commerce people referred me to the city. They needed someone to take a look at their annual facilities plan.

 

This was pure consulting with no actual construction to manage. I wasn't sure what to charge them. They asked for my hourly rate.

 

I asked myself "What would Liz Ryan tell me to say?" and I said "I don't have an hourly rate, but I have a day rate of fifteen hundred dollars."

 

They didn't blink. In my old job I got paid ninety thousand dollars a year. At my new consulting rate I would make ninety thousand dollars in sixty days. I can see why you always recommend that job-hunters become consultants!

 

It wasn't just the money. I felt like myself again on those consulting projects. I remembered what I'm good at. I felt like a professional person again, which frankly is not how I felt at my retail job when someone asks me to get a comforter down off the top shelf.

 

The city people introduced me to a guy who was on the City Council for years. He has a new business designing low-energy lighting systems for factories and offices. I met him once for just a few minutes.

 

I figured, Why not send him a Pain Letter? I did. We talked on the phone and then set up a face-to-face meeting. Together he and I designed my job as Director of Installation in the company. I started the job three weeks ago.

 

 

Liz, I couldn't be happier. I'm back to my old self again. My mojo flame is re-lit, as you would say.

 

I love the people I work with and I almost whistle going to work every day.

 

I owe so much to you and your columns for giving me my mojo back. I felt angry, confused and hopeless before I started reading your blogs. Now I know where I'm headed and I know what pain I solve. If you ever need new lighting in your office, allow me to take care of that for you!

 

All the best,

 

Doug

 

 

Dear Doug,

 

My Buddhist friends say that everything happens for a reason. No one would have wished those two years of frustrating job-hunting on you, but look how well it all turned out!

 

You and your wife are the heroes of this saga! You, for stepping out of a box and trying something new, and she, for nudging you to stop beating your head against the wall. After your two years of painful job-hunting, you'll never go to sleep on your career again.

 

You'll never let your network languish and lose track of the pain you solve. That's the key -- not the job hunt itself or even the wonderful new job, but the muscles you've built for yourself!

 

 

I have two assignments for you, Doug. One is to get that LinkedIn profile up and running if you haven't already. Send me a connection invitation!

 

The second assignment is to write to everyone you met in your job search, and thank them. Tell them where you landed and thank them for their support, even if they didn't really do anything.

 

That's okay. Tell them that you appreciate having them in your network. Maybe your note will be the spark that grows their mojo just enough to do something nice for the next person they meet, or to take a step for themselves.

 

Hats off to you, Doug! You are a superstar, and I don't doubt that your story will inspire other job-seekers to give up on the broken traditional approach and step into their power!

 

Thanks for sharing your story -

 

Liz

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This is still a problem. I'm no longer freelancing and am now working a job that doesn't really utilize my skills. There are a few jobs I'm thinking to apply to but it's all very intimidating. There's no confirmation I won't suck and get fired after week one!

 

If a position is "entry-level", would you assume there is some sort of training and/or extra tolerance for errors and questions?

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This is still a problem. I'm no longer freelancing and am now working a job that doesn't really utilize my skills. There are a few jobs I'm thinking to apply to but it's all very intimidating. There's no confirmation I won't suck and get fired after week one!

 

If a position is "entry-level", would you assume there is some sort of training and/or extra tolerance for errors and questions?

Yes there should be. What type of experience do you have? Send me a PM if you'd like I can try to help.

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