Sunday, February 11, 2018

Older Workers Should Watch for these Trends

by Eric Titner

Attention baby boomers — not all trends are created equal. Each year, we see a variety of new workplace trends take hold, which often vary by industry, geography and even individual demographics. One of these factors is age — simply put, there are factors in the job world that affect older individuals differently, based on their level of experience, personal needs, comfort level in a rapidly changing work environment and longevity in the job market.

Baby boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964), face some unique issues and challenges in the work world. This aging population possesses a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise, but is growing older in a workplace that increasingly prizes youth and vitality, and many are approaching the age where retirement is a consideration. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, approximately 29 percent of the workforce in the United States — which represents approximately 45 million workers — is part of the baby boomer generation. Although this number continues to shrink each year, it’s still a significant amount of people. Therefore, it’s worth taking a closer look at the trends these older workers can expect to encounter in today’s workplace.

More flexible work arrangements

Although this may not seem like much of a departure from the norm for younger workers, older workers who are typica! lly more used to the traditional Monday to Friday, 9-to-5 office arrangement may need some time to get used to the changing notion of what it means to be "at work." Advances in technology have made it easier than ever before to work remotely and telecommute — and older workers will get the opportunity to take advantage of the flexibility this allows.

Baby boomers who work in fields in which telecommuting is a viable option and possess the technical knowhow can expect to encounter more flexible work arrangements. This is often a good thing, allowing for a faster, easier and less expensive commute to the office — which might just mean walking into another room in your house.

Rise in contract employment

Another trend that may hit baby boomers harder than their younger counterparts is the change in how employers are hiring individuals to meet their needs. Many companies are embracing leaner approaches to staffing by using technology to get more work done with less people on their payrolls.
Companies are also increasingly relying on unorthodox work arrangements, relying more on contract, freelance and part-time workers to get things done.

These new workplace arrangements typically don’t include benefits like medical and dental insurance, which usually become more essential as workers get older, so workers are going to have to get creative and seek out alternative means for coverage. Another element missing from most forms of contract employment is retirement benefits, which will impact how workers prepare and save for retirement in the future.

Delaying retirement

A growing trend that many older workers are facing is the notion of having to delay exiting the workforce for as long as possible.

According to a recent article by U.S. News & World Report, this can be attributable to a wide range of factors, including older workers not having enough money saved, needing health insurance, desiring to stay active and productive and simply enjoying working and passing on their knowledge and skills to a new generation of employees.

These are the biggest trends older workers can expect to encounter in 2018. Those employees who will prove most successful in coping with a rapidly evolving workplace will stay one step ahead of these shifts and strategize accordingly.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Greenville Receives Top Honors from National Geographic!

National Geographic Travel is the latest to honor Greenville.

The travel magazine released its list of the best small cities in the U.S. this week, naming 29 "Cities on the Rise.

The list was sorted into 10 categories that the magazine said influence both residents and visitors.
Those categories are:

Most Hipster Friendly (coffee shops, tattoo parlors, record shops, vintage stores)
Musically Grooviest (music venues, live music, instrument stores)
Most Instagrammed (hashtags) 
Most Artsy (art galleries, art supply stores, art schools)
Best Groomed (barber shops, hair salons, hair removal services, cosmetic dentists)
Meatiest (butchers, delis, steakhouses) 
Sudsiest (breweries)
Most Dog Friendly (pet sitting, pet stores, pet groomers, dog friendly restaurants) (breweries)
Most Caffeinated (coffee shops) 
Greenest (parks) Greenville earned its spot as! one of the "meatiest" locales.

The city’s feature in the magazine notes Greenville’s number of butchers, delis and steakhouses, with a shout-out to Halls Chophouse.

Naturally, the feature also highlights Greenville’s Falls Park, the downtown spot that has become the face of the city.

See the full list at nationalgeographic.com 

What NOT to include on your Resume...


We’re not telling you anything you don’t know when we say that today’s job market is intense, across industries and professions, every job opening is met with a rush of talented and qualified applicants from around the country, all vying for the same spot.

With hundreds of people applying for open positions, you’d better be sure that every aspect of your job-hunting game is razor sharp, including your resume.

If you’re sending out resumes with any of the following things on them, stop what you’re doing and make some changes — fast.

Salary requirements
Unless you’re responding to a job ad that specifically asks for your salary history and requirements (and if it does, include it in your cover letter), save the salary talk for the negotiation once you’re offered the job. Your first impression and your resume should be all about what you can offer a prospective employer, not what you require from them.

Personal social media links
Save your limited resume real estate for professional accomplishments and experience, not your social media activities. In fact, it’s much more likely that there are things on your social media pages that could dissuade potential employers from hiring you than convince them that you’re the perfect person for the job.

"Creative" fonts and images
Sure, it makes sense that you want to stand out from the job-hunting crowd and make a lasting impression on prospective employers, but using a magenta-colored font or embedding photos of you and your dog won’t bring you the kind of attention you’re looking for.

Hiring managers are busy people with limited time, and won’t sift through a maze of creative flourishes to get to the heart of your resume and figure out whether you have what it takes to handle the job. Help them by making your resume as professional and easy-to-follow as possible.

A boilerplate objective statement
A generic, objective statement is typically a waste of space on your resume, as it likely just repeats the messaging you have in your cover letter, and often is full of tired clichés (more on that later).
Besides, hiring personnel know that your primary objective is to get this particular job, or you wouldn’t be applying for it.

Outdated skills
Are you proud of your Word-Perfect wizardry or your ability to operate a fax machine?
That’s great, but keep it to yourself — shining a light on your mastery of outdated office technology will not only fail to impress potential employers, it will make you seem out of date.

Also, don’t bother talking about your skills with obvious office tools like Microsoft Word, telephones or email.

In today’s job market, your ability to navigate basic office technology is a given, not a bonus.

Resume clichés
Are you a "team player," your office’s "go-to person," or a "passionate self-starter"?

While these may all be true, these tired and worn phrases come off as weak and meaningless on resumes — they’re simply overused, generic clichés that have long since lost their ability to impress hiring personnel and make you stand out from the crowd.

Save your bullet points for targeted, measurable, results driven facts that drive home your perceived value as a prospective employee.

Typos
This one seems obvious, right? Well, you’d be surprised by how many people think that too, and then send out resumes with glaring typos on them. A nationwide survey released by CareerBuilder found that 58 percent of resumes received by those polled had typos. Sloppiness is not a good way to introduce yourself! to prospective employers!

After crafting your resume until it’s just right, be sure to check it carefully for errors — and then check it again.

Better still, have someone you trust review it as well. Only when you’re absolutely, positively sure that your resume is free from typos and mistakes should you even think about sending it out.

Along with your cover letter, your resume is going to serve as your first impression, so there’s simply no room for error. Make sure that the things mentioned here are as far from your resume as possible, and you’ll be sure to make a better impression on hiring managers and prospective employers.

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.

Monday, January 8, 2018

How to Best Answer the top 4 Phone Interview Questions

BY ERIC TITNER
THEJOBNETWORK.COM

You’ve submitted your resume for a job opening, and now you’ve got your first bite — a phone interview. You might encounter the phone interview for two reasons: You’re currently far away from the hiring company, or the company wants to do a preliminary screening.

Either way, it’s likely a precursor to some kind of physical meeting. The main goal is usually to see if you meet certain requirements and would likely be a good fit for the job. If a company has a lot of great-on-paper applicants for a single position, phone interviews are a way to narrow the candidate pool.

How do phone and sitdown interviews differ?

There’s the obvious format difference, for starters. Instead of physically sitting face-to-face and being able to read body language cues, you’re sitting by yourself. That can be a benefit, but also a drawback. You’re in a bit of a void, counting on your conversational skills to get you through to the next round.

Also, while an in-person interview is usually with the hiring manager, you may be talking to a human resources representative or a recruiter for a phone interview. It’s important to know who the interviewer is upfront. If it’s a recruiter or HR person, you can be a little more general.
If it’s the hiring manager, you should be more detailed about your qualifications.

How to prepare

Make sure your voice is calm, confident and conversational. It may help to to dress up in your normal interview clothes and call a friend or family member right before the interview to get into a conversational mode.

You want to come across as friendly and competent. Make sure you’re allowing the person to finish speaking before you answer, and don’t feel like you need to fill in any brief silences with nervous chatter.

Do your homework on the company, the job and the interviewer. The beauty of the phone interview is that you can have notes right in front of you, without the interviewer knowing you’ve got a crib sheet, or the talking points about your resume that you want to emphasize.

Lastly, make sure you’re settled in a quiet spot where you can conduct your interview in peace.
Here are some common phone interview questions, and how to approach them:

"Tell me about yourself."

Limit your answer to a few highlights about your career, especially those relevant to the job for which you’re interviewing. An elevator pitch comes in very handy here.
"What interested you about this job?"

This is where your preinterview research comes in handy. Talk about one of your goals that this job would help you achieve or mention something you like about the company.
Make it clear that this job is an opportunity you didn’t want to miss. The more specific and authentic your answer, the better.

"Tell me about your current/most recent job."

The interviewer isn’t necessarily interested in every one of your daily tasks, thoughts and opinions about the work.

Instead, focus on the parts of your job that relate most directly to the job you want, and highlight the accomplishments.

"Why are you leaving your job?"

Part of the phone interview process is weeding out people who aren’t a good fit. They want to know you’re not a flight risk or unable to work as a member of a team. The answer shouldn’t focus too much on what dissatisfies you about your current job. Instead, emphasize your goals and this new job.

A phone interview may not be the main interview in your hiring process, but it’s such an important first step that it should be treated every bit as seriously as any other kind of interview. Being prepared will help you be read! y to answer any question that comes your way.

Eric Titner is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Questions You Should Ask in an Interview

It's game time — the interview is here. You prepped well. You aced the handshake. anticipated the questions they asked and wowed them with your smooth, competent demeanor and relevant work anecdotes.

Or maybe it wasn’t your best interview (it happens) and you need a way to salvage the whole thing. Either way, as the interview is wrapping up, it’s time to close strong. This is your chance to leave a valuable impression on your way out.

At this point, most interviewers will open the floor to you by asking if you have any other questions. Before you simply shake hands and say "thank you for your time," consider asking these four questions! to finish strong: 

1. "How would you describe the culture here in the office?’* This question shows that you’re already thinking about how you can fit in and add value to this company. It also gives you an unofficial glimpse into what the company is like — information that you can’t necessarily get from online research.

The interviewer is unlikely to tell you the "warts and all" version, but it’s a good way to get an initial feel for whether the job will truly be a good fit for you.

2. "What’s been your favorite part about working for this company?"
This engages the interviewer’s personal side, letting them give an opinion that isn’t necessarily based on the c! ompany motto or the job description. The answer can be even m! ore revealing about the day-to-day life at the company than asking, "What’s the dayto-day like here?"

For example, at one interview I asked this question and was pleasantly surprised to find out that once a month the company throws a pizza party for employees and holds regular events like employee bake-offs and craft fairs. That told me that the company valued employee morale, and was a deciding factor when I accepted the job.

If the interviewer seems stumped by this question and has to think a while before answering, that may be a red flag, which is also good information to have.

3. "What experience best prepared you for working here?"
Again, this engages with th! e interviewer and gets him or her respond candidly without being too intrusive or personal. It also tells you about the kinds of skills that will serve you best in this role, regardless of what’s in the job description.

For example, if the interviewer tells you that working for a chaotic small company prepared her for the "all hands on deck' attitude of this place, it tells you that teamwork is prized here. You can respond by saying something like, "I thrive in that kind of atmosphere too. Working at a small mom-and-pop store taught me how valuable it is for everyone to pitch in to get the job done."

4. "How would you describe the leadership style here?"
Up to this point, it’s likely that the interview was focused on the job itself and your qualifications. This question opens it up a bit and tells you more about t! he expectations of the company for this job — whether it’s a hands! -on management kind of company (or potentially micromanaging), or a leadership style that relies on employees being more independent.

It also tells the interviewer that you’re thinking about creating a productive, in-tune relationship with your potential manager.

As with all interview questions, it’s important to read the flow of the interview. If you’ve covered any of these topics earlier, no need to rehash them at the end — it could look like you weren’t paying attention.

But making sure you have a potential list of thoughtful, engaged questions ready to go will help you finish the interview in a polished, professional way.

Kate Lopaze is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com, where this article was originally publishe! d. She investigates and writes about current strategies, tips and trending topics related to all stages of one's career.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Effective Networking Skills Key in Today's Job Market!


Here's a Summary of the Event Ever wondered how you could make yourself more comfortable with the mechanics of networking? Or if there was a way to strengthen the connection with your network contacts? Speaker Elizabeth Kunze's topics included:
  • Increase your comfort level in networking
  • Explore ways to make authentic connections with network contacts;
  • Examine your network strategically to determine if, where and how you may want to take proactive action to modify your network.
Speaker is Elizabeth A. Kunze, an Executive Coach and Corporate Trainer with more than 15 years’ of leadership development experience working with clients ranging from hourly employees and plant managers to senior leaders and CXOs. In her role as Executive Coach and Corporate Trainer, she has facilitated many seminars and workshops on Executive Presence, Networking, Entrepreneurship and Career Navigation. 
Elizabeth Kunze
Her Leadership Development practice entails working closely with leaders and organizations competing on a global scale in manufacturing, research, engineering, and technology. Prior to her current role, she spent more than 20 years in strategic marketing and business intelligence across a wide range of industries and organizations, mostly technical or engineering based. 
Elizabeth combines broad-based analytical and strategic thinking skill with extensive cross-cultural experience – including working with expatriate leaders on global and domestic assignments – as part of her Leadership Development practice.
UWIT is held monthly at City Range on Haywood Road.  Networking starts at 11:30 and lunch is served at 12:00.  Please register online  for future gatherings at www.uwitsc.com.   Walks-ins welcomed with cash or check payment of $20.  Contact Jill Rose at 864-908-0105 or uwitsc@outlook.com for more information. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

That Salary Question!

Without a doubt, the "What is your desired salary?" question is one of the hardest to answer — either on a job application or in an interview situation. An online application doesn’t usually offer a box to tick for "I’d be willing to negotiate, within reason."

Don’t just make something up.

If you’re faced with a dropdown application box, remember that you have two tools available to you. First, do your research. Find out what the industry standard would be for that role in that geographical area, and ask for that (or a little higher or lower depending on your particular skills and experience). This is vital for not being weeded out based on asking for far too little or far too much.

Most companies have hiring policies that dictate they will pay new hires the midpoint of the stated salary range they are prepared to offer. Negotiation technique would suggest you ask for just a bit higher than the midpoint, in order not to be offered less than policy would get you.
Use your application to explain your reasoning.

A good use of your cover letter is to justify the number you selected. This is where you can add in that important sentence about being open to negotiation. Or explain, with numbers, why you feel a percentage increase from your former salary is called for — based on performance appraisals, market trends, new skills or experience, etc.

How to figure out and verbalize what you want.

There are different ways to go about this. You can ask for a flat salary number per year, which is usually negotiated and standard across a wide variety of industries and careers. Or, you might be looking for a job where you’re asked to state what you would expect to make per hour. In both cases, it’s important to ask for just a little more than you expect to be offered — usually 10-15 percent above what you really need to make.

In the case of hourly pay, make sure you’ve done the calculations to figure out exactly how much you need to make per hour to make ends meet. Most workers can expect to work about 2,000 hours per year. Don’t forget to factor in sick days and vacation time — for which you will often not be compensated in an hourly wage job. Don’t accept a job for less unless you absolutely have to!  And don’t forget to ask about overtime and bonus pay, if applicable, so you can factor that into your calculations as well.

Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where you don’t particularly care what you make for salary, as this number might be standard or nonnegotiable in your industry, but there are specific benefits you’d like to negotiate towards. If there are any deal breakers for you in the benefits package, make sure to focus on these when asked about your salary requirements.

The bottom line.

Make sure you know the minimum you need to make. You can always use that as your answer, "I can’t accept this position for anything less than [AMOUNT]." And be prepared to hold to it. (These calculations are important and should be done with care.) If you prefer a softer touch, you can always answer, "I think [AMOUNT] would be a fair salary for this position."


Peter Jones is a career advice journalist for TheJobNetwork.com, where this article was originally published. He investigates and writes about current strategies, tips, and trending topics related to all stages of one’s career.