Using Your Layoff to Change Careers

If you’re among the 40 million-plus people in the U.S. who have been laid off or furloughed by your employer, you may be thinking that if ever there was a good time to change careers, this might be it.

Cerritos careers

And you could be right.

Could be, because deciding to change careers is such a big, life-altering move that it’s definitely not something you should undertake impulsively. This is especially so if the main reason you’re making the switch is because of the trauma of your job loss.

However, if you’ve been deeply unhappy with your career choice for months or years, this time could be the push you’ve needed to take a new plunge.

Career-change strategies during a pandemic

If you’ve looked deeply into your reasons for wanting a change and have decided to go for it, here’s a step-by-step plan to help you successfully transform your life.

  1. If you haven’t yet decided what career you want to pursue, do some soul-searching.

What do you dislike about your current career? We don’t mean about your current (past) job, but the career itself. For example, perhaps you don’t like your co-workers. You will have unlikeable co-workers wherever you work so you need to take a deep dive into why you don’t like them: perhaps the career tends to attract people with whom you just don’t click. This is unlikely, but it’s good to do a gut-check.

What aspects of the career drive you bonkers? Perhaps it’s one that requires long hours and you want to have more time for your personal life? Perhaps it doesn’t pay much and you’re tired of a “ramen noodle” lifestyle.

  1. Will you need to learn new skills to pursue the new career you choose?

For example, perhaps you love practicing law, but you don’t like corporate law and you’d rather work in a human rights organization. (Note: this type of career change will be easier than most because the skills you use in both are the same.)

But if you’re moving from say, human resources to healthcare, you’re going to need to learn new skills (unless you wish to look for HR work in a healthcare setting).

  1. How will your current skills help the new profession?

Remember, employers hire people to solve problems. To make the change you’re going to need to convince a hiring manager that the skills you’ve used in your previous career will transfer easily – and provide value – to your new career.

As an easy example: let’s say you’re a journalist looking to move into marketing. Your writing skills should be relatively easy to transfer to marketing. Still, journalistic writing is different than marketing writing and you may want to put together some marketing writing samples to showcase your skills.

Another example: you’ve worked as a restaurant manager for several years and you’re hoping to move to non-profit advocacy. Come up with examples of how your management skills could help a non-profit. Could you use those skills in volunteer management, for example?

  1. Start networking with people in the new industry.

And now that the pandemic has made in-person networking almost impossible, the place to start networking is on LinkedIn.

A great way to start your networking/job search is to identify companies in the new career at which you’d like to work. Check a business’ company page (and website) and see if you can identify people who might be in a position to hire someone with your skills.

If these people are second connections, you can ask for a connection (mention the person who connects you). Once a connection is accepted, you can then message the person about your interest in changing careers and if they’d be willing to speak with you about opportunities. (Note: we’re not advising at this point that you send a resume unasked or ask if you can send it. Wait until asked yourself.)

When people do agree to chat with you – and at least a few will – ask for information about the career, what they love and hate about it, etc. And then ask them if there is anyone else they could recommend you speak with.

(They may ask for your resume; if so, send it. However – and once again – don’t ask if you can send it).

Continuing doing this and over time you will have people asking for your resume, telling you about job openings, even telling you they would like to interview you for an opening.

  1. Understand that you may need to take a step down the career ladder as well as a pay cut.

Unless your skills transfer perfectly to the new career, you may have to take a position one or two levels “below” your role in your previous career, as well as a pay cut (due to the “lesser” position).

Aim to look at this as the price you pay for a happier work life (and possibly personal life). As you prove yourself in the new career, the promotions and pay raises will come along.

If your job/career has been upended due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, Helpmates has many temporary, temp-to-hire and even direct-hire opportunities available right now. Take a look at our current openings and, if one or more appear to be a good fit, follow directions for applying.

 

Landing Your First Job Out of College – During a Pandemic!

Talk about rotten luck! To be a newly minted college graduate in 2020 means you’re headed to job market unlike anything you, your parents and possibly even your grandparents have ever seen before. Many people are likening the current job market worldwide to that of the Depression in the 1930s, in which one out of four people in the U.S. were out of work. In fact, Forbes in April reported that already 23 percent of the U.S. workforce was out of work.

We truly are sorry that you’re graduating into THIS!

La Mirada careers

But….something to keep in mind as you move forward: you are one person. You need just one job. Don’t focus on what you can’t control: how many other people are looking for work, competing with you. Instead, focus on getting you – your singular self – that one job.

Yes, it will be a lot harder this year than it was for your friends who graduated last year. Nothing can be done about that (that’s something you can’t control).

Remember: focus on what you can control…

…your attitude and your actions.

Looking for work now means it should take up most of your time and efforts. Yes, enjoy summer as much as you can, but you really should take up this old-timey mantra: “looking for work IS my job” until you land one.

That means concentrated effort of at least four or five hours a day.

Most of your job search will take place online

There’s no need to worry right now about attending career fairs or networking events in person. Job search sites, asking friends and family for leads and LinkedIn are the three “tools” you’ll use predominately in your search as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s “stay at home as much as possible” guidelines.

A big caveat: Do NOT simply find jobs on job boards and apply there. That really isn’t a job search: it’s merely “hitting send.”

Instead, by far the best thing you can do right now is start connecting and networking on LinkedIn. There’s a ton of great advice about how to do so strategically. Here’s a how-to we really like. (Bonus: it’s written for college grads.)

You not only can apply to jobs on the platform but you should/must start reaching out and engaging with your contacts there.

The right way to engage on LinkedIn

Take a look at your LinkedIn feed: you’ll see that many people link to articles and such. But you’ll also see that they comment on the articles. They also comment on their connection’s updates.

Most importantly, the most successful LinkedIn users tend to post updates on their own profiles that provide value to others. They offer a well-thought-out opinion about something. They provide advice about their industry. In other words, they give to get.

Don’t be shy

You may feel that you have little to offer. You may think you don’t have enough experience to provide information that’s of any value.

You are wrong.

Everyone has something of value to add. Everyone. Whether it’s an inbound marketing tip you learned as a digital marketing major, or your thoughts on an article that predicts when the recession may lift (based on your studies as an economics major), post it.

Regular posting and commenting helps people your connections see your expertise up close. Recruiters also will see your comments and take note.

Speaking of recruiters….

Feel free to follow – and ask for connections with – those who recruit in the industry in which you’re job hunting. Reach out and ask for a connection. Ask if you can send them your resume (don’t do so until you’re an actual connection).

Continue to engage professionally with your connections. Continue to offer value in all interactions, as well as in your updates and comments on other people’s updates.

One last LinkedIn tip: just as we advised re job boards, above, don’t simply apply to openings you see posted on LinkedIn and call it a job search. Instead, most of your time on the platform should be spent asking for connections, posting your own updates and commenting on the updates of others.

Times are tough out there for many job seekers. Here at Helpmates we’d love to help you find your first post-college job. Check out our current opportunities and apply to those that appeal to you. You also can contact the branch office nearest you to register with us.

The Ways Your Job Search Will Change Due to the Coronavirus Crisis

February – even early March – seems SO far away, doesn’t it?

And when it comes to looking for a job? Shaking hands. Heading to networking events or conferences. Heading to a potential employer’s location for a job interview. No more!

Now – and for possibly several weeks or months – your job search will need to be conducted almost completely online.

Brea jobs

Here are the different ways the job hunt has changed now – and probably for several months – due to the coronavirus crisis.

  • You already know you’re going to be interviewing online for the foreseeable future. Yet job fairs also probably will be held online.

Here’s a short peek at how this may look, as provided by a job fair held in Wuhan, China earlier this year.

  • As the “stay-at-home” edicts are staying put, many employers are putting hiring on hold.

Many still are hiring, especially grocery stores, delivery companies, etc. But many others have decided on a wait-and-see process.

  • Temporary positions are growing, but not just at temporary staffing firms.

Many large companies such as Amazon, CVS, Domino’s/Pizza Hut, Instacart, Walmart, and even GE Healthcare are looking for thousands of temporary workers. Good news? Many of these positions could become permanent.

  • Networking has gone completely online.

If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in a while, it’s time. You also should clean up your Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, SnapChat, and Facebook channels. If you’re new to networking on these social channels, here are some tips on how to ace your efforts on LinkedIn specifically and social channels generally.

  • While companies ARE hiring, it’s going to take longer to land interviews…and jobs.

How we wish this weren’t the case, but it is. With millions of people applying for unemployment benefits as of early April and thousands of businesses closed, this outcome is inevitable.

  • Negotiating salary and benefits may be more difficult, meaning you may not get what you want.

The huge numbers of closed businesses and people laid off means the tide has turned – for now, at least – toward employers. It’s no longer a candidate’s market: it’s an employer’s market.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for more in either salary or benefits when offered a position, it just means you should be aware that you may not get more.

In other words, this isn’t the time to be really picky. This may be hard to hear after months of companies being desperate for workers and offering all sorts of perks and hiring bonuses. But forewarned is forearmed.

Bottom line: you have your work cut out for you as you search for….work. This in no way means you won’t find any. It means instead that if you need to find a job, you should do little else right now than look for one.

How can we help you find work?

The Job Search Has Changed: Now and for the Foreseeable Future

If you’re in the midst of a job search, you’ve no doubt learned that all interviews now are being conducted via video.

Fullerton jobs

While this will remain the status quo for the foreseeable future, we also believe video interviewing will remain a large part of the job search process even after the pandemic wanes and social distancing/stay-at-home restrictions begin to lessen.

What’s more – and this truly is unfortunate – as tens of thousands of employees have been let go in recent weeks from Southern California employers, job seekers are going to be competing with a considerable amount of other people looking for work.

Many people – used to having recruiters beat down the door to get to them during the recent (as in February!) war-for-talent era – have never looked for work during a recession and the “new normal” definitely will take some getting used to. (Not to mention the considerable extra work it will take to land a job.)

Times are tough, but so are you

Yes, the above is quite a saccharine ditty. But what’s your alternative? Falling into a puddle of woe for months? Yes, have a terrific wailing wallow for a few days, but the longer you stay there the harder it will be to get up.

You must get tough! And soon!

How the job search has changed and how you – tough guy – can make it work for you

You will need to stand out more than ever now

Because you’ll be competing with so many others for jobs, you need to sit with yourself and figure out how you’re better than other candidates. Are you the sales person with a fantastic close rate? Are you the distribution selector with the fastest selection rate? Are you the customer service rep with the above-average customer satisfaction rating? Have you won an award for the project you completed?

You need to place that fact at the very top of your resume! (And make sure you can back it up with actual statistics or data.)

You must show intense interest in the job. Intense!

You don’t want to grovel or plead. That’s not what we mean. Instead:

  • Research a ton about the company so that you can say something like “I heard you were planning on purchasing such and such. Has that been put on hold now?”
  • Show true excitement when you talk about the opportunity. (Especially how your particular skills will help the employer reach its goals.)

 

You need to understand that responses from employers will take a lot longer. And they may not be as “nice” to you.

Whether you’re waiting to hear from them about an interview, or waiting to hear if you got the job, hiring managers and recruiters are overwhelmed right now. In addition, the “power” now lies in their hands, not yours. No more “war for talent” for the foreseeable future (unless you have skills that remain in great demand, such as in healthcare).

And with this power, unfortunately, comes some unpleasant behaviors: ghosting, rudeness, etc. Just be prepared for it – it usually doesn’t happen – and never “give as good as you got” yourself.

How can we – the really nice – recruiters at Helpmates help you find work?

Looking for Work While Following “Safer at Home” Guidelines

Life sure feels and definitely looks different here in Southern California than it did just two weeks ago. Many of us started working from home just a few days ago and, as the days passed, more and more of us lost our jobs. And others among us soon may lose ours, as a recession already is here.

There IS hope; Jobs ARE available!

Right now (the last week of March) not only are some companies such as Amazon (to handle the increased need for workers in their distribution centers), Walmart (people are shopping for more food for at-home meals) and Domino’s Pizza (it needs more delivery drivers as people practice social distancing) actually hiring thousands of workers, many employers of all types are still hiring.

The vast majority of these jobs are either those that can be performed remotely, or are for what are deemed “critical” jobs that can’t be performed at home.

Anaheim careers

Job Hunting during “Safer at Home”

The City of Los Angeles’ emergency order is called “Safer at Home, Stay at Home,” yet no matter whether you live in LA, Orange County or anywhere in the Golden State, you’re no doubt hunkering down at home now because many employers’ brick and mortar locations are closed to the public.

Rest assured, employers want to hire people as much as you want to be hired. Businesses still up and running are exceptionally focused on ensuring their operations remain steady. Yet with employers still hiring but not being able to meet candidates in the office, at job fairs, etc. what does that mean for you, the job hunter?

Virtual job hunting and interviewing!

And while that may “seem” really new and, well, odd, it’s not really, because you will – and should – continue emailing with recruiters or hiring managers who have reached out to you, just as you did before. (Tip: While we know you’ll no doubt really, really, really, really want to, we recommend that you don’t email or call a company to make sure it received your application. Contact an employer only after its reached out to you.)

  • If you’re just starting your job search, the rules still apply: if possible reach out directly to a hiring manager when you see a job opening and send your resume directly to their email address. (Make sure you’ve sent your application in online, as well – most companies require this today.)
  • If you were scheduled to come in for an interview before the stay-at-home orders took place and if you haven’t heard from the recruiter or hiring manager, it’s perfectly OK to email and ask if the interview is still on (the employer may have put things on hold for a bit). If the employer does want to postpone, ask them when it would be good time for you to check in again and place the date as a reminder on your calendar.
  • If you don’t have video conferencing on your own computer, laptop or smartphone, don’t worry: most recruiters do on their end and will send you a link you can use to have the interview via video.
  • Make sure your clothing and grooming looks job-interview appropriate for the video interview (at least from the waist up). Set up your computer in a spot that’s quiet and ask family members to be quiet themselves while you’re online.

Finally, don’t worry if you don’t have a laptop or computer at home: we can interview you via video on your smartphone!

Also, because our Helpmates offices are closed right now, we’re interviewing everyone via video: even people who will be working at an employer’s physical location.

We’ll all get through this together

Employers still need you. If you’re looking for work, take a look at our current opportunities and follow application instructions for those that appeal to you and for which you are qualified.

We look forward to hearing from you. Stay well.

Getting Through Challenging Times

So. Things now are, shall we say, a tad dicey. The coronavirus pandemic has caused the stock market to decline precipitously, and now many economists are predicting a global recession.

Fun times, right?

Irvine recruiters

You may be worried that your employer will cut back. You may be an employer and worried that you’ll have to let people go. You may be an employer worried you may have to shutter your entire business. This has, after all, already happened to many enterprises: many restaurants, clothing stores, gyms, hair salons, concert halls, amusement parks, and more already have closed. The idea is that they will reopen once the emergency has passed, but it’s common sense to understand that many may never open again.

We understand your (possible) panic

First, please know that we’re in no way minimizing or scoffing at your concerns. They are legitimate and you have every right to worry or even dread what may be coming. In fact, if you’ve already lost your job/livelihood, it’s perfectly acceptable to collapse in a puddle of “woe is me.” Really. Wallow and wallow some more! For at most two days.

Then, here’s what you do:

  • Reframe your thoughts.

If a negative thought goes through your mind push it out and replace it with a positive one. Even if the negative thought is catastrophic (“We’ll lose our home!”) and the only positive thing you can think of is so minor in its positivity that you feel it can’t possibly “overcome” the negative thought (“We have peanut butter in the cupboard and I love peanut butter”), switch it for the positive one.

Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones really is a minor miracle: it truly DOES help you stay positive and functioning in chaotic times because it shifts your energy.

Once you’ve done that and calmed your mind, you can look back at the negative thought and label it a “negative thought.” Doing so lets you see the thought as something “to either ‘look at or to look from.’” It’s just a thought: it’s not a real thing.

  • Channel your energy in positive ways.

Exercise (with gyms closed, try some bodyweight exercises at home or at least go for walks, if possible). Aim to eat as healthy as possible. Rest and sleep (and don’t take your smartphone to bed with you). Don’t be afraid to ask friends and loved ones for support. (And, instead of texting friends, call them or even Zoom/FaceTime them.)

  • Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t.

If you had to shut your business due to social distancing, you had no control over that decision. If you get laid off due to cutbacks during the (more-than-likely coming recession), you’ll have little control over that (although you may have more control than you think).

But you definitely can control over what you do now.

As some examples:

  • Look for part-time or temporary work (staffing firms are still hiring temporary workers, for example). Restaurants may need delivery people.
  • Start networking. You’ll have to do so remotely/online of course, but if you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile lately, now’s the time. Reach out to former co-workers and supervisors to let them know you’re available.
  • If you were laid off, check with your employer’s human resources department: there’s a good chance you will qualify for unemployment monies.
  • If you ran a business, what aspect of it could you run yourself? Were you a yoga instructor at a gym? Perhaps some of the gym members would be willing to pay you for instruction via Zoom? Did you operate a clothing store? Could you sell some of the items on Poshmark or Ebay?

In all things, be honest!

If you’re a business that might have to close or lay people off, be honest with your workers as soon as you understand that it could happen. Even if layoffs won’t happen, your employees no doubt are extremely stressed: keep them in the loop on everything and shut down any rumors as soon as you hear they’re circulating. Thank them for working even while they’re no doubt worried about the future – and possibly the health of some loved ones.

People here in the U.S. – and even around the globe – have been incredibly kind and supportive of each other in these last few weeks. It’s uplifting and gratifying how willing many people are to work at home (with children home from school, no less!) and how understanding businesses that have had to close for social distancing purposes have been regarding this critical step in controlling the coronavirus’ spread.

We can hope this continues, and it has the best chance of doing so if all of us are honest and above board about the challenges we face.

These aren’t easy times and they probably will get much worse before they get better. If you need staff to replace employees who have contracted COVID-19 or if you’re looking for work, we hope you’ll consider reaching out to the Helpmates branch nearest you.

We wish you good health, calm, hope, and love.

When the Boss Has Unreasonable Expectations

Most bosses have high expectations – as well they should. But sometimes a manager can be unreasonably demanding. There is nothing that raises stress levels more quickly, and nothing that pulls down morale and productivity more readily.

Brea Jobs

The stress it induces can also lead to health problems. Studies have shown it significantly raises the probability of a heart attack. So, if you find yourself in such a situation, how do you handle it? Here are some strategies to help you change the dynamic for the better.

  1. Take a different perspective

An assignment your boss has given you may appear to be extreme to you, but take a moment to look at the task from your manager’s viewpoint. It could be that your supervisor sees a way of doing the work that is not as onerous as it appears to you, or that you are misinterpreting what your supervisor wants.

Or it could be that your supervisor is intentionally giving you a challenging assignment because he or she is looking to push you into a higher level of performance, to help you reach your potential. Or it could be that you are selling yourself short, that you are underestimating your ability.

  1. Propose solutions

On the other hand, if your boss is continually dumping an inordinate amount of work on you, or otherwise asking too much in the way of results, then you have a real problem. Your first step should be to arrange a meeting with him or her.

The purpose of the meeting obviously is to work through the situation, but going in simply to complain about the workload or expectations and to say you cannot accomplish the assignments will not go over well. You need to prepare what you are going to say, and you need to focus on how to solve the problem.

You need to explain what the problem is, and what needs to change in order to accomplish the task. You may, for example, need more time to do the job or more people. But the focus here again is on getting the job done.

It also helps to get more information, such as the purpose or goal of the project, what obstacles you are likely to encounter, and if there have been any similar projects undertaken in the past that might help to provide some guidance.

  1. Consider why your supervisor may have such high expectations

Try to put yourself in your supervisor’s position to understand her behavior. He or she may be getting pressure from higher ups to boost performance, or she may be positioning herself for a promotion. It could also be that she is considering whether to give you increased authority and responsibility and is monitoring how you handle it.

  1. Check with coworkers

You probably aren’t the only person who is having difficulty handling the demands of your supervisor. Talk to your coworkers about their experiences with your boss and find out how they handled the situation. Find out what they know about your supervisor and her background and motivations.

Try to find people in the company who have had a good working relationship with your boss and learn what you can from them.

  1. Try stress-reducing activities

If you are going to perform at your best, you need to stay healthy and keep stress to a minimum. There are a number of different ways to do that. Make sure to get enough sleep and exercise, eat a healthy diet and maintain a good social life.

If, no matter what you do, you’ve decided it’s time to leave your boss for another one, check out our current job opportunities here at Helpmates. Find one or two that look interesting? Then follow application instructions or call the Helpmates location nearest you.

How to Network at an Event

There’s an art to good networking, especially in a social setting. Some of us have a natural curiosity and enjoy the opportunity to meet new people, while others view it with a sense of dread, a necessary but tedious chore. However you look at it, there are good ways to network and not-so-good ways.

Long Beach careers

Networking is about meeting people, but with a purpose. You are seeking something from the other person, but it is important to remember that networking is about giving as well as getting. The relationship needs to be mutually beneficial if it is to work.

Here are some tips on how to do it.

  1. Have a plan

You have to take some care in choosing the events you want to attend. Consider which types of events you feel most comfortable at, how they are organized, the time of day they are held, and the location. You need to also consider who it is you want to meet and what events they are likely to attend.

Decide what you want to accomplish at the event. For example, you decide to talk at least four people and follow up with one or two of them.

If you receive a list before the event of the people who will be attending, you can determine who you would like to meet and do a little background research on them.

  1. Greetings

You also need to plan what you’ll say when you approach someone, to try and make it as engaging as possible. Opening with your name and job title is not the best kind of greeting. To make it more interesting, say your name, but make sure you ask questions about your new acquaintance rather than about yourself.

It may help to arrive at the event a little early because there will likely be fewer people at that point, making it easier to join a group or make an introduction. But it is important to remember that you shouldn’t immediately jump into work related topics, but make an effort to establish a rapport first, making small talk and discussing topics of interest to the other person.

Even if you have had a bad day, put it behind you and be sure you take a positive, upbeat attitude into the event. No one wants to hear about your troubles. Smile.

What Not to Do

  • Pile food on a plate.

Avoid immediately making a beeline for the appetizers and stocking up. Grab a drink and circulate first. It is very awkward trying to schmooze while holding a plate of food and trying to eat. Also, if you wait for food, going to get it will give you an excuse to end a conversation.

  • Push into a group.

Don’t try to force your way into a conversation. Look at the signals. If you see a group that is engaged in earnest conversation, it is not likely they will be pleased if you insert yourself and ask what they are talking about. If, on the other hand, you see a smaller group talking casually, this may be a better opportunity to approach and introduce yourself.

  • Looking impatient.

Even if you think the person talking to you is a crashing bore, you need to look interested. Even if the person talking to you doesn’t notice your boredom or impatience, others may, and that will not make a good impression.

  • Forget business cards.

There really is no excuse for this. You are there to make connections, and not having business cards won’t help.

  • Talking too much.

Again, you are there to make connections and establish a rapport with others. You cannot do this if you are dominating the conversation. Do more listening than talking, showing an interest in what the other person has to say.

If you’re looking for new job opportunities, contact Helpmates. Take a look at our latest job openings and either apply for those that interest you or contact the branch nearest you for an interview.

The Most Sought-After Skills in 2020

What are the skills employers are looking for now? Do you need to know how to write up an algorithm? Use computer code? Analyze big data? Not exactly. Although the skills companies are looking for do involve some type of analytical thinking, they are not as techy as you might think.

Los Angeles jobs

According to the World Economic Forum, the top skills that companies want, in order, are complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, service orientation, negotiation, and cognitive flexibility.

Creativity

Creativity clocks in at number three on the 2020 skills list, compared to number 10 on a similar list in 2015, showing that it’s a skill rapidly increasing in value among employers. Negotiation skills, which appeared at number five on the 2015 list, fell to number nine on the 2020 lineup, a sign that employers are expecting new technologies, such as AI and big data, to reduce the need for such skills. In fact, a World Economic Forum survey among companies revealed a widespread belief that AI will eventually have a presence on many boards of directors.

A skill that fell off the 2015 list is active listening. However, emotional intelligence, which makes an appearance at number six on the 2020 list, was absent from the 2015 tally, showing the increasing importance of soft skills in the workplace today.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is generally defined as being aware of your emotions and being able to manage them, as well as understanding and managing the emotions of others. People with emotional intelligence, for example, can recognize when they are feeling angry or frustrated and are able to control and direct the emotion. They are also more sensitive to the emotions of others and are better able to cope with them. Emotional intelligence has gained significance because it is generally believed that people who are better able to recognize these emotional signals, both from themselves and others, are more productive employees and leaders.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking and problem solving continue to hold top positions on the list, as they did in 2015. According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking, it’s the process of effectively forming concepts, as well as applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information that is produced through observation, experience, reasoning, or communicating with other people, and using the results of the analysis as a guide for what you believe and how you act.

It’s based on the criteria of clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth and fairness.

The need for such skills is driven by the advance and pervasiveness of technology, which is affecting almost every industry around the world. Change is occurring more rapidly, and for companies to keep up, they need people who understand the change and how to manage it.

Other Skills

Another highly valued skill is the ability to learn. This in turn involves skills such as knowing how to learn, reading intelligently and taking notes. Reading is something that must be done continually in order to learn and to keep up with expanding knowledge.

Reading widely on a routine basis also helps you analyze information and recognize trends and patterns, as well as improving your written and verbal communication skills. Reading also helps improve soft skills, such as cultivating an appreciation and empathy for others.

Communication skills, both written and verbal, are more important than ever. These skills include things like listening effectively, being able to persuade, explain and work with others, as well as providing useful feedback.

If 2020 is the year you plan to move up the career ladder, let Helpmates help you do so. Take a look at our current career and job opportunities and contact the branch nearest you if you see something that interests you.

Never Refer to Yourself as Unemployed. Here’s Why.

Most of us will be unemployed at least once in our working lives. Employers are aware of that. So it should be okay to describe yourself as unemployed on LinkedIn or on your resume and cover letter, right?

Anaheim recruiters

Well, no! Unfortunately, there is still a stigma that is attached to the word “unemployed,” a stigma that still prejudices hiring managers, even if they have been unemployed at some point themselves.

It shouldn’t be that way.

The fact is that many people these days have gaps in their work history for a variety of reasons. Employers are always looking to streamline their workforces and so layoffs have become more common. Those who remain are expected to shoulder more of the workload, and companies are filling the gaps with contingent labor.

In this day and age, according to some career experts, people can have multiple careers and multiple jobs within those careers. It has, in fact, become much more commonplace for people to have gaps in their work history.

But old ways of thinking die hard, and the prejudice against the unemployed still exists, although it may not carry quite the negative connotation as in the past. But research has shown that it doesn’t matter how someone lost their job, whether they were fired or laid off, the stigma still attached to his situation.

The unemployed are looked at less favorably than those who have a job, even if their skill levels are the same.

For this reason, some career experts advise people to avoid using the word “unemployed,” instead substituting something such as “between jobs.” The word unemployed has too much negative psychological baggage, denoting defeatism. Because of this it can even affect the job candidate’s self-image and self-esteem, impacting their job search.

What to do If You Are Unemployed

If you are unemployed and looking for work, don’t try and hide it. Many job candidates try to disguise the fact or equivocate about it, but they don’t fool employers and they only come across as dishonest. The fact is, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about it.

Explain what happened, and then focus on how you have been using the time since you became unemployed, how you have maintained your skills and knowledge. For example, have you volunteered your time doing work-related projects, taken classes or attended conferences, traveled, or something else in the meantime?

This will help to achieve two things – the first is showing your tenacity and resilience in the face of adversity, as well as your dedication. Even though you have lost your job, you have continued to work to advance your career and prepare for the time when you are rehired.

Lessen the Fears of the Employer

One of the main concerns companies have about the unemployed is the erosion of their skills. By emphasizing the work you have been doing during your unemployment, you also help to reassure the employer that you have maintained your skills.

Another way of keeping up your skills if you don’t have a full-time job is through temporary work. Working as a contingent employee has several benefits. As mentioned, it helps you maintain your skills. But you also will be working at companies that could be future employers if they like your work. And you get to meet new people in your profession who may also be able to offer leads on jobs.

So if you now find yourself between jobs, contact Helpmates as part of your job search. We can help you find temporary work while you look for full-time employment. We also can help you find full-time work.

Take a look at our current openings and apply to those that interest you.

© Year Helpmates Staffing Services. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Statement | Site Map | Site Credits.