|Careers & Employment Information|
Youre Fired Isnt The Finale
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, March 2004 had the largest gain in hiring in nearly four years. But as of then, there were still about 8 million Americans without jobs, and almost 23% of those had been unemployed for six months or more.
Many of those who are unemployed were laid off, terminated, downsized or let go ("fired") through no fault of their own.
In this era corporate mergers, dot-com disasters, and a struggling economy, we've all come to realize that job security is quite rare these days.
While losing your job is still very painful, it is no longer considered a career-ending experience.
So when you're interviewing and that question about a gap in your employment comes up, there's really no need to lie.
Keep your answer brief, state what you've learned from the experience (if anything positive), and express your desire to move on. It shouldn't be the focal point of your interview.
Employers want to know about your talent, skills and capabilities, so emphasize those, assure them that you can help solve their problems, and convince them that you will be a hard-working, loyal and dedicated employee.
You may reprint/republish this article if you include my name and a link to this website.
Bonnie Lowe is author of the popular Job Interview Success System and free information-packed ezine, "Career-Life Times." Find those and other powerful career-building resources and tips at her website: http://www.best-interview-strategies.com.
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The Chicken or the Egg?
Even before I checked my calendar on Monday morning, I knew the appointment would be there. Passed over for promotion again, Ralph wanted specifics on why I hadn't chosen him for the position. This was not a new conversation. I thought of Ralph as my chicken and egg dilemma. Ralph was the chicken. He believed he would make a great Team Leader, and when I promoted him, he would step up and show me how well he could lead. My position was that of egg. Prove to me you have leadership skills by demonstrating leadership in the job you have now, and I'll consider giving you the next position. Here's the question: is it better to do the work, knowing you will ultimately be rewarded for having done it, or should you wait until the reward is there before you do the work? Like the proverbial question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, people differ widely on the answer and run their careers accordingly. Here's the way I see it - one has more to lose by taking the position of the chicken and waiting for someone else to anoint them, than by being the egg and anointing oneself. If I had waited to be a leader until someone offered me a leadership position, I might still be wishing and hoping for someone to notice me. When I wanted to be a manager, I did the work of a manager by taking on more and more responsibilities. And, I got promoted. When I wanted to be a director, I did the work of a director, without questioning compensation or title. After proving myself, I got the job, the title and the compensation. Same with being a vice-president. Doing the job first, gave me the job. It's the same now that I'm out of the corporate arena. Take my dream of being a writer. Changing careers after twenty-something years in management, I could have waited to write a column until I secured a writing contract for one. But, why would someone pay me to write without reading my words and knowing I can. Chicken and egg again. What works for me has been consistent. When I do the work first, the rewards follow. I think of it like exercising. Doing it gives me better results than thinking about it. No one likes to be called a chicken, so ... be the egg. (c) 2004 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
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