Article: Rev Up Your Search During the Holidays

First I wanted to wish you all a wonderful end of  ’09 and an even better 2010.  It’s been a difficult year for many of us, but we cannot let our fears get the better of us.

Anne Fisher’s  article from the Job Seeker Weekly gave me a boost and I thought I’d share with you.

Peace and best of luck in your search!

Article: Rev Up Your Job Search During the Holidays

By Anne Fisher, Fortune Magazine

Seasonal hiring is well under way, but it’s not too late to get a temporary job – or a job opportunity that turns into a full-time gig!

Many companies are still hiring in December and January to replace people they took on earlier who didn’t work out. Other companies have drafted out their new year business plans and are looking for qualified candidates now.

No matter which sectors you target, employers can afford to be pickier than ever because there are so many applicants for each available opening.

To maximize your advantage, here are four assets to take with you during your interviews:

1. Flexibility. This year even more than in the past, it’s essential that you be available to work whenever you’re needed, including nights, and weekends. If you aren’t willing to take on inconvenient hours, the person behind you in line for the job will be.

2. Enthusiasm. You need to show a genuine upbeat attitude because interviewers want you to pass that along to customers and co-workers.

3. Knowledge. Study up on each company and its products or services, especially if the job requires you to deal directly with customers.

Around the holidays, with the crowds and the stress, customers tend to get impatient, and if you can’t answer their questions, they get even more irritated than at other times of the year. Job interviewers are well aware of this, so go in knowing your stuff.

4. Experience. As with any other job interview, applying for a job you’ve done before gives you a real leg up. If not, look back over your work history and try to find something similar. That part-time job waiting tables, for instance, might have taught you a thing or two about mollifying dissatisfied customers, so be ready to talk a bit about that.

If your goal is to stay on after the holiday season and beyond, say so during the interview. It’s important to express your interest in a full-time position up front, to give the employer a chance to evaluate your performance in that light.

Then do a great job and be proactive. Ask for extra work, and keep an eye out for what you can do that’s above and beyond the job description.

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Dilemma – What to do when things change

This is probably a little more of a ramble than usual.  I felt the need to write about this and get feedback from others who may or may not be in a similar situation.

I was a fairly active member of a wahm community that I liked a lot.   More of a lurker since the kids went back to school, but before lurkdom I would read and comment on member posts and blogs, search out members when I wanted to shop, and so on.  It is a supportive group for the most part, and I liked being a part of it.   Recent group changes have changed my feelings on it.

I tend to keep religion out of business for the most part.  I don’t scream about my path from the rooftops, but I don’t hide or pretend to be something I’m not either.  I tend to stay away from groups with religious undertones because the focus tends to stray from business to religion.   I personally believe that the two should not necessarily mix, but there is something comforting about the common bond.  But what if a group starts one way and becomes another?

When I joined, the group was not religion-based, just wahm-based.  Over time, however, the change became clear and became part of the group description and mission.  While I enjoyed my time there, I could not in good faith remain a part of it.  I was not excluded or made to feel unwelcome; I felt somewhat like a fraud for being there.  I did not feel comfortable in a group that gave me a  label that did not fit.

Before anyone sees this as an attack on religion-focused groups, let me assure you that it is not.  This is about my take on the subject.  If one chooses to make religion a factor in how one advertises, so be it.  I’m fine with that.  I have issue with someone refusing to do business with a potential client or customer because of religion, but that’s another story.  It’s a question of character for me.  I will continue to be the person that I am and treat my fellow man as I wish to be treated.  I will continue to network and shop with other independent business owners, both on and offline.  I will market my business as I have in the past.  I will not knowingly participate in these activities under a label that does not reflect my true beliefs.

If leaving the group affects my relationships with the wonderful women I met there, then it will happen. I would rather lose contact with them than live a lie and lose respect for myself.