Q&A: How Do You Find Out What to Do?

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Q: I am 24 and I am looking for a new job. Where im not sure. I am currently in the army national guard in as a CBRN wich did not help at all and am about to get out in a couple months. My wife is talking about kids and i dont want to be struggling financially when we we do.
I currently fill vending machines as a union teamster but the job is killing me. Constantly changing routes and everyone is a critic.
I have also worked in door to door sales and for a while extruded plastic in a warehouse but both where not what i want in life
I need to get my life in order i have been bouncing around alot from jobs and can not even find one i can stand.
Im having trouble finding out what i want to do for the rest of my life
I love computers video games and motorcycles. I was thinking about becoming a network admin because i have always been fascinated with the internet and wanted to learn about it but i will need time to go to school for that.
What is a good entry level job with i can do where i wont loose my mind every day?
What would be a good first step?
How do you know what you want to do for the rest of your life?
-Mistajumpa

A: Mistajumpa, we can definitely sympathize with your situation. Know that you are not alone in it. Many people find themselves in the same boat. What I would recommend for you is that you identify not only the things you like, but also the skills you have that you would want to use at a job. Perhaps a career assessment could help you with that. The O*NET Skills Questionnaire (https://www.onetonline.org/skills/) might be a good place to start. After identifying the skills you feel most satisfied using in the work place, evaluate the list of corresponding jobs against your interests. I think you’ll find something you love in no time. If you need help through this process, contact the NOE Career Center online or at 504-434-0510. We’d be happy to help.

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Q&A: How Should I Answer the Job Interview Question “Why do you want to work here”?

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Q:  How should I answer the job interview question “Why do you want to work here”?
I want to work for money, the same reason any one else works. If I give that answer, they might not hire me, how should I answer this question?
-Ron Paul 2012

A:  While “to make money” may be the truest response to why you want to work at all, it isn’t really the accurate response to why you want to work THERE, is it?  Let’s explore this a little.  Why did you apply to work at this company, as opposed to any of the places that could possibly be hiring in your area.  Was it because it was close to your home?  Did you hear somewhere that they hire people who resemble you (your age, your style, your interests, your work ethic)?  Is it because you know someone who works there already and they recommended the job as a good fit for you?  Is it because you were attracted to the company’s mission or vision?  Do you somehow identify with the product or service that they offer?  Does the company have a philosophy you admire?  Does it seem like it would be fun?  Do they offer the level of pay or perhaps benefits or perks that you are anxious to have?  Did the wording in the job description or posting pique your interest?  Have you seen how successful the other employees of the company are and want to see that level of growth for yourself?

If you dig deep (or maybe not that deep at all), you can come up with a list or reasons why you chose to apply at the interviewing company.  If by chance, you can’t come up with anything, think about why you have not applied at the company’s competition (for example, because they don’t like young people).  Maybe the opposite is why you chose to apply/work there.

Happy interviewing and best wishes!

Q&A: LinkedIn Interview Problem?

Q:  So recently I filled out an application for a finishline sales associate. We then had a “group interview” with the other candidates and I think I did well. I went home after the interview and was curious about the interviewer. He didn’t give any of his information other than his name, so I simply typed “(first name) (city) finishline” into Google. Linkedin was the top result and it found 6 or 7 results of potential people. I clicked on the one that said “sales manager” and it took my to him, which was indeed him. I didn’t realize but I was signed into my linkedin the whole time, so he got a notification saying that I viewed his profile, and when he clicked back on mine, I got a notification saying that he viewed mine. I don’t know if I should send a thank you letter to his LinkedIn to try to compensate for looking semi-creepy, or what I should do. Opinions?
 
A: There’s a way to look at this that you may not have considered. You have been doing your homework! What an excellent way to affirm your interest in the company and the position.
 
I definitely agree that you should send a thank you letter to him, whether via linked in, or otherwise, to thank him for the interview and reiterate your interest in the job. If there was something in the profile that stuck out with you, perhaps you could mention that in your note.
 
For example:
 
Dear Mr. John,
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me on XXX date to interview for the Sales Associate position. I am very interested in working at Finishline and hope that we get the opportunity to work together. I found your Linked In profile very inspiring. Your movement in the company in just XXX years is impressive. I hope to mirror the success you have had at Finishline in my own career there.
 
I look forward to hearing from you soon with the results of the interview.
 
Thank you again.
 
Sincerely,
XXXXX
 
Not at all creepy, by the way. Best wishes with your interview!
#noecareercenter

Q&A: How Do I List Temp-to-Hire on My Resume?

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Q: How do I list temp-to-hire on my resume? I started working for a company though a temporary assignment but was hired on six months later. How do I list that on my resume?
-Jenn

A: Great question, Jenn. There are a couple of ways that you can do this, but the answer for YOU lies in your intent – what you are trying to convey to future employers.

If you are trying to convey the length of time you have worked at XYZ company, for example, I would recommend something like this, where you count your starting date as the date that you began working for the company, no matter who paid you directly:
XYZ COMPANY Position Title From-To
Job description

If you are trying to convey the fact that you were hired on quickly, perhaps because of your talents/skills, I would recommend something like this, where your last sentence, perhaps in italics or as a bullet reads:
XYZ COMPANY Position Title From-To
Job description
• Promoted from temp in ### weeks.

When you are completing an application, however, for the second scenario, started with the hired on position as the most recent, listing the respective address, position title, manager and salary, and the temp company as the next position in reverse chronological order, with its respective information.

Best wishes on your job search.

If you are in need of Career Coaching or resume writing service. Contact us. 504-434-0510 or info@noecareercenter.com.

Q&A: What About my Sketchy Job History?

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Q: I am 50yo with sketchy job history due to abusive marriage and PTSD after divorce.

I’m in therapy, moved out of state and ready to get on with my life and back in the work force. Suggestions, tips, advice?
-Tia

A: Good for you Tia, you have taken the steps that you need to get on with your life. I’m sure that this has been an extremely challenging process for you. It wouldn’t be odd for you to be feeling some anxiety right now about what putting yourself back out there will entail. Just know that you can get through this as well.

One of the first things we need to settle is your resume and how it presents your job history. If you have several gaps in your employment history, you may wish to consider a functional resume instead of a chronological one. The functional resume will tell the employer about your skills and experiences, instead of emphasizing dates and
longevity on the job.

After you rework your resume, you will want to strengthen the references you will use when applying for jobs. Be sure your list of references includes former supervisors, co-workers, and other personal and professional references who will sing your praises. Their testaments of your experience, skills, and worth ethic will be invaluable.

Third, I highly recommend thinking through the spiel you will use in interviews and call backs about the gaps in your employment. Make sure that whatever you decide to say, that you do not appear apologetic or ashamed of your time away or need to switch employment. You once lived in a very volatile situation and your safety and that of your children (if you have any) was paramount. Rehearse what you will say with a friend to gain feedback about how it comes across.

Lastly, I recommend that you spend time networking with employers and friends who work at places that may be hiring. When people like and care about you, it expands the list of what they what be willing to do to help you.

Best Wishes.

Q&A: Interview Question for UPS Package Handler Job?

proud-10Q:  Interview question for UPS package handler job?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years? People tell me it’s a tricky question.
-Junior

A:  Although this may seem like a relatively simple question to ask, Junior, you’re right, it is a loaded question. The interviewer is asking you to begin with the ending in mind.

According to UPS job postings online, the company actively promotes from within. As a matter of fact, it has been said that “more than 70% of UPS management started as hourly employees.” Is management something that interests you? Are you ultimately interested in being a full-time route driver? Do you want to stay on the warehouse side and become a full-time dock worker? Do you want to go into a retail location and deal more with customers  on that end?

What you answer to the “where do you see yourself question” is all of a function of what you want today.

Let’s suppose that you applied for UPS hoping that you’d one day be able to drive a truck delivering packages. Here’s an example of what you could say:

“In 5 years, I see myself employed by UPS, working as a full-time delivery driver. I can envision myself driving my truck daily, throughout my assigned area of the city, enjoying my route and getting to know the customers who live on it, as I deliver their packages. I can see my customers knowing my name, and getting a sense of fulfillment everyday from knowing that I played some small role in making their day.”

While this is a bit fluffy, the example shows forward thinking, it tells what your ultimate desire is for your employment at UPS, over the given time frame, and how you feel about that.

Best wishes.

Q&A: Should I Quit My Job or Stay and Wait?

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Q&A: Should I Quit My Job or Stay and Wait?

Q: I love my job, but it’s only part time. I’ve waited all year to get moved up to full time status and it’s not happening quick enough. They have great benefits, hourly pay, etc. but the full time hasn’t opened yet. I’ve gone to over 15 job interview and none of them hired me except the job that I have now. So I know interviewing won’t be fun, any ideas?
-Anonymous

A: Let’s recap:
• You love your job.
That’s a good thing. There aren’t many people who are able to say that. Kudos to you.
• It’s only part time.
OK. What have you been doing for the past year when you weren’t on the schedule there? Are you taking advantage of this time to work on you? Are you in classes? Are you working another part-time job?
• It’s not happening quick enough.
Is this common for this job? How long does it usually take to go from part-time to full time there? Are you on the slower end or has your “progression” been about the same as others’?
• I’ve gone to over 15 job interview and none of them hire me.
Why is this? Have you sought the assistance of a career coach or other career services professional to get to the bottom of this? How are your interviewing skills? Have you practiced with someone you trust to obtain beneficial feedback?

Our advice: Stay at your job. Make sure that your appearance, work ethic, level of productivity, and overall attitude at work are up to par so that your boss will see you as full-time potential. Express to your boss that you love your job and are interested in becoming full-time as soon as the opportunity arises. Ask when full-time positions will become available and if you could have some notice so that you may apply. Continue to seek other employment that may be close or identical to what you are doing now. You may also consider professional development courses, webinars, etc. Work on your interviewing skills with a coach or a friend and accept feedback from them. Be willing to work on your interviewing skills to better your chances for hire.

Best Wishes to you.