Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Your Job Search

You may want to quit your job search, but what happens when you actually do?

The job search isn’t easy. It’s the internet equivalent of cold calling: knocking on doors and hoping someone is interested in your product. Except the product is you. Every time you fail to get an interview or don’t make it to the next round, it can feel like a personal insult.

All of that makes it tempting to quit—to stop searching for a while and dig into your savings, maybe get started on a few hobbies. If you can afford it, that’s fine! However, if the job search turns into months that turn into years, you might have a problem.

Here are some other things to consider before giving up the job search.

You Need Money and Purpose

This is the most obvious reason, but we felt it warranted mentioning anyway. If you stop looking for a job, you can’t find employment or collect unemployment.

You may plan on using the time to pursue other interests or hobbies. However, if you do decide to do this, plan things out far in advance. How long can you afford to live off of savings? Is this pursuit worth having a gap on your resume? Will you be able to explain that gap in future interviews?

Mooching off of family members or friends isn’t a good plan, especially if you’re not looking for a job. Any time spent out of the job search is time not spent furthering your career. It might seem fun at first, but once the money runs out, what will you have to show for it?

Your Skills and Personality Are Valuable

According to a September USA today article, “[since] employers [are] struggling to find workers in an ever-tightening labor market, many are hiring job candidates for both white- and blue-collar jobs who lack skills or experience deemed essential just a few years ago.”

What does that mean for you as a job seeker? It turns out that all those jobs you avoided applying for because of their lofty qualifications might actually be a good fit for you. As noted by the author, Paul Davidson, “candidates with some rough edges are becoming more attractive because employers have little choice. The low, 4.4% unemployment rate means there are few uncommitted workers. There was a record 6.2 million job openings in July, the Labor Department said [the week of 9/11/17]. And nearly half of about 2,000 companies said they couldn’t find qualified candidates for their job openings this year, up from 41% in 2016, according to a CareerBuilder survey.”

If you stop looking for work due to frustration with the process, you won’t end up applying for these jobs. The economy is close to full employment, with unemployment just under 5%. There’s always some amount of unemployment due to people switching jobs, and right now that makes up the majority of the statistic.

This means there are more open jobs than candidates to fill those positions. As noted in the USA Today article, employers are willing to take on employees they can train and bring to the level needed to do the job. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to apply.

Change Your Perspective

If the traditional job search isn’t working out, consider job searching differently instead of giving up entirely. If you’re tired of spending hours filling out online applications, try spending more time networking. Join civic groups (volunteer groups) or professional organizations.

But don’t start out by asking every person you meet for a job. Get to know them, and build a relationship organically. Become friends. After that, you can mention that you’re looking for a job.

Try to think about the job search differently. Keep things interesting. Remember how employers are now accepting applicants with “rough edges?” Realize that being hired for jobs like that might mean taking a pay cut. You may also want to consider a change of industry or types of jobs you haven’t worked before. Look at your skills and figure out which ones are transferable.

How do you keep up with the job search?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

4 Tips for Surviving the Work Commute

Getting to work can be dull. Here’s how to be productive while you drive.

According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average United States employee has a 26 minute commute to and from work each day. And according to the National Household Survey, Canadians aren’t getting to their jobs much quicker with an average 25.4 minute commute.

That’s more than 6,000 minutes spent driving per year! Although it can be tempting to spend all of that time zoning out and thinking about lunch, we recommend taking a more proactive approach.

Topical Podcasts

Podcasts are informative audio files that can be downloaded on your computer or mobile device, usually as part of an ongoing series. Think of them as audio books, but for a wider range of topics. These can range from recipe ideas and writing tips to murder mysteries and love advice.

Basically, if a topic exists, there’s a podcast for it. Some are available on iTunes, while others can be downloaded from SoundCloud. Many podcasts also have their own native app. Your favorite search engine is also a great podcast source—just search for “best ____ podcasts” and a list of the top podcasts in your area of interest will show up.

You can also listen to our Express Employment Professionals podcast, On The Job! It’s a great way to learn about other people and their job search experiences.

But how do podcasts help your work commute? They allow you to learn while driving. Writers can hear about the latest writing techniques and how they can improve their writing style or blog. Construction workers are given an opportunity to absorb information about new apps and how they can be applied to their next project. Office workers can learn about workplace etiquette and the latest computer programs. You can even acquire personal finance knowledge!

News

Sometimes listening to the news can be disheartening, especially when it’s about the same political or viral story over and over. However, if you perk your ears a bit, you might be able to learn useful information. When you know more about current events, you can better understand how those events affect your industry. These events also make great talking points for small talk with coworkers.

Learn a Language

There are many podcasts and apps that you can listen to in your car to learn a language. These include Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, and Pimsleur, among others. Although you probably won’t be mastering a language from the front seat, the morning or afternoon commute is still a great time to learn new vocabulary or grammatical constructions. Foreign languages look great on resumes and open up a whole new world of job opportunities.

 Set Your Work Agenda

As you sit behind a driver who refuses to go even one mile above the minimum speed, resist the temptation to honk angrily and speed past them. Instead, turn on your favorite song and relax. If this is your morning commute, try to organize the schedule for the day. Mentally preparing yourself for the workday (or even the workweek) can make it much easier to get work started once at the office.

If you’re on the way home, think about what happened that day. What did you do well? What could have used improvement? What’s still left for tomorrow? Questions like these can help you pinpoint personal strengths and areas for improvement. You can even download a dictation app and say your thoughts out loud. That way you’ll have notes to review later.

How do you make your work commute more enjoyable?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Go-To Social Network for Finding a Job?

Finding a job is hard. Finding a job without any connections is even harder. You can only spend so many hours online sending out resumes before the entire process makes you batty.

You should pair any online job search efforts with networking in the real world. Go to industry events and meet people. If there are any professional organizations that match your career interests, join them!

However, even after all that work, finding a job can still seem impossible. That’s when you turn to the major social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These platforms allow you to link your online and offline job search pursuits. Find people you have connected with in person and make them part of your online professional network. Now, you’ve laid the foundation to connect with them when a job opportunity pops up at their company.

Recruiters are also on social media. If you have professional profiles on each major network, you improve your chances of being contacted by recruiters.

However, many job searchers prioritize one social network over another. Are you a Facebook fan? A LinkedIn loyalist? A Twitter tweeter?

Let us know by voting in our poll!

What Type of Boss Do You Have?

And what does that mean for you, as an employee?

Throughout our lives, we’ve all worked for a variety of bosses. Some are compassionate and inspire us to excel in a number of ways. Others are independent leaders who have a tendency to be more assertive.

Daniel Goleman, of the Harvard Business School Press, outlines six basic boss types, illustrated below in an infographic by the Quid Corner, an online financial resource center. Although we all have our own ideal management type, the graphic also outlines the optimal ways to get along with each type of boss. So even if your manager isn’t naturally compatible with you, you’ll have some idea of how best to get along with them.

 

National Staffing Employee Week: What Was Your First Job?

All year long, American workers are doing incredible things. Whether you’re a builder, welder, construction worker, office worker, researcher, doctor, lawyer, healthcare worker, social worker, retail salesperson, cashier, receptionist, or any other of the wonderful types of workers in this country, you have the potential to do something great.

At this time every year, from Sept. 18 – 24, the American Staffing Association “celebrates the contributions of millions of individuals across the U.S. employed staffing firms.”  This celebration is known as National Staffing Employee Week.

Since Movin’ On Up is a blog focused on job seekers, we wanted to spotlight workers this week who have had incredible careers that started with one seemingly simple job. For some it was working in the fast food industry, for others it was in a busy office, and still others were construction workers or train operators. But those great jobs led them to the wonderful careers they have now.

We’ll kick things off with Kathy Hefton, Client Marketing Manager of Express Employment Professionals.

“I actually got my first job out of college from a temporary service.  I was placed at a local company as a data entry clerk. It was my first office job, so it built the foundation for the rest of my office career.

I learned the ins and outs of Microsoft Office because of my great supervisor. She encouraged me to seek out training, and made sure that I got it.

In the end, every job I had led to the next one, even though I didn’t always know what that next one was. I learned about computers and spreadsheets in that first office job and used those skills to get another office job. At that second job, I worked closely with hotels and decided that was where my future was. Fast forward 20 years or so, and now I’m at Express.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you don’t always know where your current job will take you. So make sure to excel and learn as much as possible. “

Have a first job story of your own to share? Let us know in the comments below or post on Facebook with the hashtag #MyFirstJob.

 

 

Tell Us About Your First Job!

Whether it was during or after high school, we want to hear about it.

Chances are your first job wasn’t exactly glamorous. You waited tables or sacked groceries. But humble beginnings are necessary for an epic adventure. What’s important is how those jobs led to your current career path. As noted by the Harvard Business Review, “no matter what [first] job you chose today, you build skills and create options for the long-term.”

What did you learn about the working world? About your preferred management style? About yourself?

Perhaps you don’t consider those early jobs as your true “first job.” You may think of your first “adult” job as your first career job—your first professional position or the first job you held in a particular industry.

We want to hear about those early days in your career. That’s why we’re using the hashtag #MyFirstJob on social media. Feel free to let us know about your first job on any social media platforms or right here on Movin’ On Up!

So what was your first job?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Poll Results: What’s the Worst Food Your Co-Workers Bring for Lunch?

Spoiler alert: microwaved fish isn’t a favorite.

Last month, we held a poll asking all of you, “What’s the worst food your co-workers bring for lunch?” It was one of the most popular polls we’ve ever held.

Why? Bad smells are bad. Bad for our minds and bad for our noses. A fiendishly fishy aroma or the undesired scent of an undercooked egg can ruin a workday. It’s distracting! But we can’t always blame the person that brought the smell in—frequently, they don’t even know how their food affects the rest of the office. But when you share this blog, they can! Here are the results:

“Fish of Any Kind” took the top spot, earning over 50% of the vote. So stay away from salmon, tuna, flounder, catfish, and anything else with fins. “Other” came in second with 9% of the vote. The biggest alternate answer? Broccoli, especially if it’s steamed.

“Eggs” was next with 8%, and “Raw Onions” followed at 6%.  “Reheated Chinese,” “Kimchi,” “Popcorn,” and “Fast Food” squared off at around 5%. Everything else ranked 2% or lower.

So play it safe and don’t bring any of those high-ranking items to your workplace!

Any other lunch smells that bother you? Let us know about them in the comments below!