WEDDLE’s Research Factoid: Another Set of Evidence

WEDDLE’s Research Factoid: Another Set of Evidence

WEDDLE’s Research Factoid: Another Set of Evidence

WEDDLE’s continuously conducts both primary and secondary research on the Best Practices in job search and career self-management. Typically, we focus on empirical or quantitative data as they often yield especially instructive insights. However, the other side of research-qualitative data-is also important. The comments and opinions of job seekers open a window on their experiences using various job search and career self-management techniques. Those data are equally as helpful in understanding how best to find, apply for and land the job of your dreams.

WEDDLE’s has been conducting an online survey of job seekers since 1996. Over the years, we’ve collected hundreds of thousands of data elements detailing:

  • what they do and don’t do when looking for a job;
  • what they like and don’t like about the various methods of job search; and
  • which methods they think work best.
  • As a part of this survey, we’ve asked them to identify the job search method which enabled them to land their last job and the employment Web-sites that have served them best in their job search. In both cases, they can choose from a list of answers we’ve provided or give us their own. And, when they give us their own answer, they often add a comment that helps us better understand the nature of their experience. We’ve reprinted some of those comments below. They are unedited and unblinkingly candid and honest. In short, they are some of the best qualitative data you’ll find about what’s good and what’s otherwise in today’s job market.

    How did you get your last job?

    “from headhunter who found my resume on Monster”

    “combination of networking & internet searching through a state sponsored website”

    “Company website + networking with employee of that company”

    “Consulting work led to a job offer”

    “Contacted company I worked for in the past.”

    “Job agent identified from company listing on a job board”

    “local paper”

    “Referral through friend”

    “Responded to a window notice”

    “saw an ad for career fair on OrlandoJobs.com web site”

    “Started my own company”

    “through the co-op website at my University”

    “worked an internship there prior to being hired”

    Which employment Web-sites have served you best?

    “All basically are inefficient as a method for job search”

    “collegerecruiter.com – I was in the Army and went back to school – graduate this fall.”

    “For me Hcareers is the best if you want to stay in the Hospitality Field!”

    “HR Ladder is the best site for HR positions”

    “I feel that all these places are very bad. They keep sending job that is not in my legue. Or too far away I wish I could get some help from these job board. I have my resume with 5 different job board and still not one job after 2 years”

    “idealist.org – this is the best for non-profit jobs and is amazingly user friendly. It is great for career change/retirement positions or social service careers”

    “www.techjobsonline.com has had some good jobs, but not as good as dice and vetjobs”

    “I got my job with CSX from VetJobs!”

    Please Note: We’d very much like to have your views and insights about job searching and career self-management, as well. To participate in our online survey, please visit the Polling Station at the WEDDLE’s Web-site.

    Section Two: For Your Consideration

    Peter Weddle has been writing columns for his own newsletter and for the interactive edition of The Wall Street Journal since 1999. The following column has been drawn from that work and updated for 2007. You can also find many of Peter’s tips and techniques in his guide WEDDLE’s WizNotes: Finding a Job on the Web and in his soon-to-be-published book, The Career Fitness Self-Fulfillment System: How to Work Strong in Your Personal Pursuit of Happiness.

    Building Up Your Employment Security

    If you’ve been employed for more than fifteen minutes over the past five years, you know that the workplace is a stressful environment. Corporate America’s addiction to “doing more with less” and downsizing has added more tasks and higher expectations to everyone’s day with very little additional pay. That reality was also confirmed by a report a year ago from the academic community. It found that more than one-third of all workers (34%) had greater difficulties at work because of ever increasing stress. Stress on-the-job was hurting their performance and thus their prospects for the future.

    There are, of course, many reasons why we feel stressed at work. These include worrying about:

  • Meeting current financial obligations,
  • Being able to retire comfortably,
  • Falling victim to the next downsizing or reduction in force,
  • Getting all our work done (and often the work of someone else who was laid off), and
  • Feeling burned out, used up or dead-ended in our career.
  • While all of these stressors are equally as difficult to endure, the first two-which represent income security-are often the result of the last three-which represent employment security. In other words, if we can successfully achieve employment security, it’s likely that we’ll also reach genuine and lasting income security.

    So, how can we avoid employment insecurity? As my long time readers know, I think there’s only one way to meet this challenge: we have to alter our view of what work is and why it’s done. In other words, we have to abandon the traditional notion that work is either a race up some company’s career ladder or a quest for wealth by the age of 30, 40, 50-you pick the birthday. Comfortable as those familiar goals may be, they will not protect us from the triple threats of nonstop layoffs, ever higher performance requirements, and the souring sense that our career has become an endless expanse of ever more dull 12-hour days.

    What will protect us from these stressors? I call it Career Fitness. It is a philosophy of working based on two simple tenets drawn from what we know about physical fitness. A healthy career, like a healthy body, depends on our recognizing that:

  • We are-each of us-individually responsible for the state of our career (not our boss, not our employer, not the Government), and
  • We have to work at protecting the health of our career every single day.
  • Achieving Career Fitness is something that everyone can do. I’ve developed a set of exercises-it’s called the “Career Fitness Work-In”-that you can use to work more meaning and satisfaction into your life. It is the best way to reduce stress on-the-job and strengthen your employment security. I’ll focus on two of the seven exercises here to get you started.

    Employment security is based on a person’s ability to contribute to the success of an employing organization. They may not work continuously in the same job or even for the same employer, but they will be continuously employed. Why? Because they can deliver skills, knowledge and experience that organizations need to achieve their goals. How do you achieve such career strength and endurance? You must:

  • pump up your cardiovascular system, and
  • increase your flexibility and range of motion.
  • Here’s what I mean.

    Pump Up Your Cardiovascular System.

    The heart of your career is your expertise. It is the knowledge you have and can use on-the-job. Now, expertise is often misunderstood.

  • It’s not unusual for recent graduates (and many hiring managers) to believe that expertise is based on one’s education, on having the latest knowledge in a particular field. It is, in their view, all about being at the state-of-the-art.
  • Those who’ve been in the workplace for awhile, on the other hand, often believe that expertise is grounded in experience on-the-job. It is, in their view, all about knowing how to apply skills in the workplace.
  • The reality, however, is that expertise is a function of both education and experience. One is not a substitute for the other. Both are required. And because the world of work is a dynamic and ever-changing place, the education and experience required for success are always changing, as well. That’s what this exercise is all about. In order to be able to contribute to your employer’s success today and to the success of your employer (whoever it may be) tomorrow, you have to stretch and strengthen your muscles of expertise all of the time and without let up.

    Increase Your Flexibility and Range of Motion.

    The reach of your capabilities defines your (current and potential) value to an employer. In other words, the more you can do in and outside your job, the greater your contribution will be to an organization. To extend the reach of your capabilities, you should:

  • add skills that will enable you to take on a broader array of assignments in your current job. These might include the ability to speak a second language, to make public presentations, or to use a specific software program. The goal is to enhance your ability to adjust and respond effectively to an ever wider range of circumstances and/or requirements as they emerge in the workplace.
  • add skills that will enable you to expand the scope of your job beyond the limits defined in its official position description. These might include your ability to take on a subset of a coworker’s responsibilities when they are out with an illness or to manage a special task force. The goal is to extend your (real and potential) contribution beyond the confines of what you are required or even expected to do in the workplace.
  • This exercise will enable you to play both a larger role and a greater array of roles in your employer’s organization. That flexibility and range of motion make you a more versatile and, therefore, a more valuable employee.

    Stress can endanger our career health as much as it can undermine our physical well being. While there is no single way to alleviate stress, exercise can have a significant and positive impact. For your physical health, that exercise must promote strength and endurance; for your career health, it must build expertise, flexibility and reach.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    P.S.S. Don’t forget to send us your new e-mail address if you move. Lots of people are changing jobs these days, and we want to be sure you still have the information in WEDDLE’s to help you perform at your peak. All you have to do to keep your WEDDLE’s newsletter coming is send your change of address to pwj@weddles.com.

    Section Three: Site News You Can Use

    Business 2.0 published an article on how best to nurture creativity in your organization. As the competition for the best jobs heats up, the key to success will increasingly depend upon the innovation we bring to our on-the-job performance. According to Paolo Lugan, who’s been described as the “Father of Innovation,” there are seven secrets for creating creativity. They are:

  • Banish brainstorming meetings. Creativity is spontaneous, not planned.
  • Practice da Vinci’s code. Eliminate all assumptions and begin with a tabula rasa.
  • Play nice with others. Creativity is collaborative so there’s no room for prima donnas.
  • Burn the corporate policy manual. To think freely, you have to act freely.
  • Rule out “degree-it is.” There is no hierarchy in creativity so titles don’t matter.
  • Master the art of indiscipline. The best ideas often come from a cross-disciplinary approach.
  • Trash your Outlook calendar. Creativity isn’t produced by time management tricks and busy schedules, but by a culture of innovation.
  • Author Stephen M. R. Covey, son of Stephen R. Covey, has explored an important topic in his recent book, The Speed of Trust. He believes that trust is the single most important factor in business success. It is the essence of our personal brand, our reputation and standing in the world of work. How is trust established? Covey argues it is the product of 13 specific behaviors. They include:

  • Talking straight-Covey argues that trust is damaged by beating around the bush or withholding information. We earn the trust of others when we are open, honest and candid in expressing our opinions and views.
  • Delivering results-Covey argues that trust is damaged by focusing on process rather than outcomes. We earn the trust of others when we worry less about doing things right and worry more about doing the right things.
  • Clarifying expectations-Covey argues that trust is damaged by guessing or making assumptions about someone else’s situation. We earn the trust of others when we take the time and make the effort to understand their desires and needs.
  • Listening first-Covey argues that trust is damaged when we pretend to listen or concentrate on our own agenda. We earn the trust of others when we stop answering e-mails and phone calls or otherwise multi-tasking during our interactions with others.
  • Towers Perrin released the results of a survey of what employers are doing to reward their high performers. In other words, what kind of recognition will you get when you go above and beyond for your employer? Here’s what’s being done and by how many organizations:

  • Promotion (72%)
  • Training opportunities (65%)
  • Special projects (45%)
  • Non-monetary recognition/awards (32%)
  • Monetary recognition (29%)
  • Bonus participation(29%).
  • In other words, when it comes to acknowledging superior performance, fewer than three-out-of-ten companies reward their line employees the way they typically reward their senior executives. CEOs and others in the c-suite put cash in their pockets, while employees get to take on additional projects and attend training sessions so they can do more work.

    WEDDLE’s publications are a smart way to give yourself a competitive advantage in the race for a new or better job. They include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the occupational fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden job market” online, it details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • WEDDLE’s WIZNotes: Finding a Job on the Web. Called the “CliffsNotes to career success on the Internet,” this short publication is jam packed with the secrets to effective job searching and career advancement online.
  • So, make sure you’re at the top of your game; get your WEDDLE’s books today. Click on the appropriate link to your left or call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768.

    N

    N

    N

    N