Posts Tagged ‘job search’

Positive stories wanted

Monday, March 9th, 2009

“It’s my birthday and I cry if I want to, cry if I want to…” But I didn’t want to! Friday, March 6th was my birthday (no, I’m not telling how old!) and I had an awesome party at home with many of my good friends.

We had a great time, ate empanadas, drank wine and shared stories into the wee hours. It was the best antidote to weeks of hearing bad news. And here’s my point: doing things you enjoy, even if they are small, is a great way to increase your energy. With a good level of energy you can be creative and think of ways in which you can take advantage of the bad economy. You can spend more time with your family and friends, you can think of a new business that makes sense right now, you can figure out how your skills can be used in a different industry.

None of these things are possible if you’re glued to the TV or the Internet reading all the reports about layoffs and the market collapse. Few positive thoughts will come out of hearing depressive story after depressing story. Most likely, it will make you feel depressed and paralyzed.

Let’s all rebel against this gloom and doom environment and start sharing our stories of positive contributions to our families, our friends, our communities. Things we are doing that we didn’t use to do and that makes us happy. Creative ways in which you are surviving this downturn and helping others along the way. Successful business launches.

It will take a lot of positive stories to start changing the downward spiraling path we are in, so we should start really quickly. Celebrating my birthday with a nice party despite the bad economic times, is one way to stay positive. Launching my initiative www.latinosincollege.com is certainly a bet on the future.

Reinvent yourself

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

With the economy getting even worse, what is one to do to find a job? Well, it really depends on your skill set and the industry where you work.

Many of my friends who work in the media business and in the financial markets have lost the jobs. Unfortunately, these are jobs that are unlikely to return. At least, they won’t be exactly the same and I’m sure there will be less of them than before the crisis. So in some cases, it makes sense for you to re-think about how smart it really is for you to try to get another job in that industry.

If you’re a journalist and have both English and Spanish skills, you can branch out into other areas, such as writing consumer market research reports for companies such as Mintel www.mintel.com or Nielsen www.nielsen.com.

Or you can work at the public relations or communications department of a large company that is currently doing well such as Walmart http://jobs-walmart.icims.com/jobs/intro

Or McDonald’s http://sh.webhire.com/Public/491.

You can also try to start your own business, something that Latinos are naturally prepared to do. As immigrants and children of immigrants we still have that great entrepreneurial gene that makes us great entrepreneurs. Look beyond what you were doing before you got laid off and come up with a business plan to make it happen. It may be the fastest way to getting back on your feet and you may be much happier than you were before.

There is no lack of great opportunities out there that you can take advantage of: from repairing household appliances (people will be less inclined to throw them out and buy new ones!), to buying and selling brand name-used clothing, to providing financial advice to families sending their kids to college or who need to refinance their homes, to coaching people on how to improve their resumes, to tutoring adults on using the Internet to improve their skills. The list is endless. Just take a deep look at your skills and experience, match it with one of the opportunities available in the market right now, and you will be on your way to a new career path.

There are plenty of online universities where you can acquire additional skills to help you in the new field of your choice such as Kaplan http://www.kaplan.edu or University of Phoenix http://www.phoenix.edu and you can also check your local community college.

Don’t let the general gloom and doom environment get you down. There are always diamonds hidden regardless of how tough the economy gets!

We are all in this together

Monday, August 4th, 2008

    You can’t avoid it. Everywhere you look, regardless who you talk to, people are being laid off, or fired, or losing their businesses… it’s a pretty bad state of affairs.

    And maybe you still have your job and are doing fine, thank you very much. But the truth is that we are all in this together and sooner or later, the crisis will affect you too. Whether it is because your friends won’t be able to afford going out for dinner with you or because you loose several of your contracts due to cutbacks in your client’s company, there is no way of avoiding the crisis from touching you in one way or another.

    In this interconnected, smaller world we live in, we all share in the pain and success of others. That should give us something to think about. If you are lucky and you have a job, cherish it, and find ways in which you can bring more value to your company. At the same time, make sure you help your friends and colleagues land new opportunities: organize events where they can meet others, introduce them to your contacts, brainstorm career options, etc.

    “Practical empathy” is something we should all try at times like this. It strengthens our bonds to each other and it makes harder times a little easier to deal with.

    The positive side of losing your job

    Saturday, January 5th, 2008

    handshake.jpgWe’ve all heard the phrase “when one door closes, another one opens” and I think there is truth to that. Even in the worst of circumstances, there is opportunity when something ends.

      When it comes to losing your job, it may be a good time for you to do some introspection and find out if you really like what you are doing, the industry you are in or even the city or state where you live. You may be surprised at what you may discover!

    It’s possible that a few years ago you liked your industry or your job and now things have changed (whether with the industry itself or with yourself). Or you may realize that you were following your family’s mandate and it’s time to follow your own desires and goals.

      So try not to jump right back into the market without giving some thought to where you are, where you want to be in a few years and what you would really like to do with your life. Once you figure that out, it may take some planning to get to where you wish to be, it may even entail taking courses, networking or getting a specific certification.

    But even if you can’t do it all right now because you need an income and you find another job right away, make sure you register for those courses or you join a professional association where you can network, and set a target date in your calendar by which you wish to be working in your dream job. It’s a great way to turn the loss of a job into an opportunity for change!

    Can´t get a job?

    Monday, December 17th, 2007

    audiencia-ge.jpg

    There is a higher level of unemployment in Argentina than in the US and although the two countries are very different, lack of proper education, is one of the reasons why some people can´t find a job in either country.

      It becomes evident when I talk to employers who have been looking for employees for a long time and can´t fill their openings. “We´ve been interviewing for sales people for our upscale clothing stores for the past six months to no avail. There is a severe shortage of suitable candidates,” a human resources director tells me.This seems to be the case for a wide range of positions. In an attempt to prepare the future workforce, more and more companies are offering training programs for college students and graduates who wish to enter a particular industry, evidence that the global talent war has not spared this southern country. Parents may have part of the answer to this growing global concern. Patricia Veiga, the mother of a 14 year old says it best: “Teenagers are not interested in school and failing certain number of courses is in fashion. Many parents don´t get involved in their kids education, they don´t ask ´”how´s school,” they don´t tell them to prepare for the tests, etc. And with less kids going to college, there will be a less prepared workforce.”Nothing could be more true. In the US for instance, about 80% of new jobs require some college. So, the best you can do if you´re looking for a job and you´re having trouble finding one is to ask yourself if you have enough preparation for what jobs require nowadays or if you´d be better off going back to school.