Friday, May 30, 2003

A Different Kind of Bar Exam

I needed something "punny" to go with this post. I had a meeting with the president of the local bartending school here in Dayton yesterday. I think I would make a good bartender -- mixologist, to be more accurate. I have an outgoing personality, and I had a chemistry set when I was growing up. Well, I never got the $300 microscope when I was 7 years old (that was in 1977 dollars, by the way). Alas, I digress.

The meeting went very well, up until she mentioned the tuition. See, trying to live off unemployment has been hard to begin with. Then laying out several hundreds of dollars up front for tuition... well, the bubble went "pop". I went away, feeling a little bit downhearted.

But I think that the school might be able to work with me on the tuition. After all, it's a two-week course, and the tuition is based on what an average weekly take-home pay for a bartender would be. So, in two weeks, I'd theoretically be able to make up the money I spent toward tuition.

We'll see. I'm going to talk with her again on Monday afternoon. Hopefully, I'll be able to start the class that Monday, too.

Stay tuned!

West Virginia Unemployment Drops

So reports WTOV9, the NBC affiliate.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Bush Signs Jobless Benefits Extension

"President Bush signed legislation Wednesday making federal unemployment benefits available through December."

"Only people who exhaust all their state aid — generally 26 weeks — will be eligible for the 13 weeks of emergency benefits. Jobless Americans who live in the high unemployment states of Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania will get 26 weeks." read more...

Bush Signs Tax Relief Into Law

"The president's signature will within weeks start speeding refunds to parents and fattening paychecks and investor earnings."

I hope it does what we job seekers would like for it to do: create jobs.

link via NewsMax.com.

Cover Letter Refresher Course

"Your cover letter presents your intentions, qualifications and availability to a prospective employer in a succinct and appealing format. As your first chance to make a great impression, a personalized letter indicates you are serious about your job search. Your resume can give the nitty-gritty of dates, places of employment and education, but your cover letter must entice the reader to consider you amidst hundreds, or even thousands, of candidates for any one job opening." read more...

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Reminiscent of my job search

My mom emailed me this Dilbert cartoon. It reminded me of my job search.

Effectiveness Tip of the Week via email from the folks at FranklinCovey

On the Road Again

Whoops, I think we took the wrong road. I turn left, right? Where is your roadmap to your destiny in life taking you? Take some time out to seriously identify what really matters most in your life and what you really want to be and do. To really begin your journey with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you're going so you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.

  • Find your passion. What do you care about most? Allow your passion to take more priority in life.
  • Follow the big picture of your life. Allocate your time more efficiently and don't waste time on things that aren't important to the big picture.
  • Spell out to yourself a dream version of your passion. How does it feel? What does it look like? Where would it take you?
  • Get a move on. Don't wait until a better time to move toward what you want. There is no better time. The time is now.
  • Stay open to changes. Just because things aren't going exactly to plan doesn't mean they are not in alignment. Trust the process.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Get Rid of Negative Thoughts

"Negative thinking and speaking can derail your job search." Find out what you can do to get a positive attitude.

Cultivating Connections: Networking Tips for Techies

Excerpt from the article:

Techies, like everyone else, often land jobs through colleagues, friends and other acquaintances. But how do you cultivate connections if you believe what you know -- rather than whom you know -- should determine whether you're hired?
This article offers some answers to this question.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Breaks for Workers, Parents in Tax Cut

Some excerpts from the article:

The $330 billion tax cut will provide bigger paychecks for some workers, breaks for married couples and parents and investment opportunities for businesses. It also may make filing tax returns next year more complicated...

Two provisions will give small businesses an opportunity to recoup equipment purchases and other investments this year, encouraging businesses to expand and entrepreneurs to start new ventures.

The items allow small businesses to write off $100,000 in investments this year. All businesses could depreciate half their assets this year, recouping their money faster. For example, Luscombe said, a small business that spends $150,000 on new equipment this year can write off $100,000 immediately and recoup half of the remaining expense through depreciation this year. As a result, a business can immediately write off as an expense at least $125,000 of its equipment purchases. read the full article...

Thursday, May 22, 2003

It's Not Entirely Doom And Gloom

This one will encourage you.

Newsweek reports:

This year’s college graduates are entering the toughest job market in more than a decade. But you’d never know it if you visited one job fair in Kansas City earlier this week. read more...

The Post That Used To Be Here

I couldn't find the URL for the story to which I had referred, so I had to delete the information that was in it. No hard feelings, okay?

Professional Bartending Schools of America

I'm seriously considering this. I'm glad that they have a couple of campuses in the Greater Dayton area, among other places. One thing I cannot find anywhere is how much the tuition is. The course is a 40-hour course, and they offer flexible class schedules. It would be a little cool to make money while at a bar instead of spend it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

It's All About Me!

Rasmus, a fellow blogger from Denmark, shares about something a friend and fellow job seeker is doing to try to make himself stand out from his competition. Worth a look-see.

Want to Be a Teacher?

This appears to be a big information source for anyone who may be looking at teaching as a career. Link via Teacher Circle.

Monday, May 19, 2003

CareerMoves

I just saw an RSS feed listed for this German Career and Job Portal. I have not yet visited it.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Unemployment Again an Issue for Congress

"About 80,000 jobless workers per week will become eligible for federal unemployment benefits after May 31, but the benefits won't be there unless Congress acts." more...

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Job Hunting Success - Dan

It's been awhile since I've been off work. I completed a temporary assignment for a local IT company last February. While I've been able to do some web development since then, I haven't had anything substantial or consistent or otherwise. In addition, my temporary unemployment compensation has been due to expire at the end of next month.

Last week I contacted the company I used to work for, just to touch base, and I spoke with someone who said he believed that there was another opportunity at the same site where I had worked previously. I told him I was interested and available, and he promised to get back with me.

This morning he called me and told me that the job was for software testing, and that it was to last for the entire year. While it doesn't pay as well as I was getting previously, others have used it to springboard themselves into other opportunities. After I told him I was interested, he advised me to email him an updated copy of my resume so that he can present me to the company at his meeting with them tomorrow.

I'm rather optimistic that I could get this work.

Job Hunting Success - Jennie

My wife Jennie completed a short course recently to become a nurse's assistant. After getting her certificate, she revised her resume and began looking intently for employment in that field.

She spotted one of her former classmates at the Job Center, who mentioned that she'd recently been hired by a nearby nursing home/assisted-living facility, and she urged Jennie to apply.

Jennie applied two weeks ago and received a rejection letter by mail this past Monday. Coincidentally, this past Monday another woman from the same facility called to ask Jennie to come in for an interview, which they scheduled for this afternoon.

Jennie wasn't really expecting much from the meeting based on her recent experience with the organization. My mom and I encouraged her to give her best anyway and to simply be herself.

Four hours later Jennie returned home with a very encouraging story about her meeting with the nurse. Aside from taking care of some logistical things, Jennie got the job! Whoo Hoo!

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Montgomery County ODJFS Streamlines Operations

I received this letter from the director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services a few weeks ago. It states as follows:

Dear Customer:

In an effort to serve customers in a more efficient manner, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is streamlining unemployment compensation claims processing, as well as changing employment service delivery methods.

Effective Friday, May 2, 2003, at 5 P.M. the ODJFS office located at 1111 Edwin C. Moses Blvd. in Dayton will become the Dayton Processing Center. Please note that your unemployment compensation file will not be relocated as a result of this change, [sic] however, the ability to register in person for unemployment compensation will no longer be available.

To file a new or bi-weekly claim for benefits, inquire about the status of an existing claim, or obtain information about a previous claim, please call 1-877-OHIO-JOB (644-6562). This toll free telephone number can also be used to restart unemployment compensation benefits after a period of not claiming benefits. In order to access some options within the telephone system, a personal identification number (PIN) is required. If you have not received a letter providing you with an 8-digit PIN, or it you need additional information, please call 1-888-582-0133.

ODJFS has joined forces with other employment and training partners in your area to ensure that in-person assistance is provided to those seeking employment opportunities, such as job referrals, training, and veteran's services at The Job Center located at 1111 Edwin C. Moses Blvd., Dayton, Ohio 45401-1822. Please note that specific information related to umemployment compensation claims will not be provided by ODJFS staff in this location. For more information regarding employment and training services, please call 1-937-224-1416.

We look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Hayes Director

Monday, May 12, 2003

Effectiveness Tip of the Week via email from the folks at FranklinCovey:

Get SMART!

Ever find yourself lamenting, "I missed it by that much!" when you don't reach a goal? You think your plans are executed with precisions, and you avoid any covert obstacles that might be placed in your path, but you still come up short. Your self-confidence wanes and you lose to the desire to make more goals. Careful! Chaos is right around the corner. Be an agent of change and get SMART with your goals. Here's the secret:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear and definite.
  • Measurable: There should be a quantifiable standard against which to measure results.
  • Achievable: Are your goals realistically doable with the time and resources available?
  • Relevant:Is what really matters most to you reflected in your goals?
  • Time-Dimensioned: There should be clear and specific deadlines. You'll be back in "control" sooner than you know it.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Heraclitus said it well

"A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one."

Any good job seeker knows the truth of that statement. Courtesy of QuotesBlog.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

President Bush's Remarks to the Tax Relief Coalition

I know I referred to the President's remarks in an earlier post, but after reading them in their entirety, I had to post the link. This is one reason why I like him. He wants to help me find a job. He wants to remove obstacles that stand in the way so that we can "Go Get That Job!"

GDITA

I just posted my resume to the Greater Dayton IT Alliance web site. Let's see what happens.

Feng Shui -- Positioning Your Career For Success

I of course was skeptical about this article, but as I read through it, I thought, "Hey, there may be something there after all." Check it out for yourself...

The Hazards of Hiring in Hard Times

This alliterative title comes to us via Businessweek Online. David E. Gumpert reports:

Innocence is no protection if a laid-off employee charges discrimination. Recruiting with care is the best antidote to big legal bills.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

MSN Careers | Desperately Seeking Organization

Thad Peterson writes: "There are people out there who, like me, yearn for organizational greatness -- or even adequacy -- but always seem to fall short. Is there any hope for us?" Apparently so. Read more...

That's Funny!

I have my browser set up to prompt me when a website wants to store a cookie on my computer. I just browsed to a page, and I received the following message:

The Web site "cookie.monster.com" has requested to save a file on your computer called a "cookie." This file may be used to track usage information. Do you want to allow this?


Cookie Monster? There's actually a utility available called Cookie Monster. Even Microsoft has a Cookie Monster! Too funny!

By the way, I blocked the cookie from "cookie.monster.com".

IT Start-ups Still Hiring

"Some information-technology start-ups continue to hire despite the economic downturn, according to Deloitte & Touche's Technology Fast 500 CEO survey, set for release Monday [May 5, 2003]." read more...

Friday, May 02, 2003

U.S. jobless rate jumps in April

"The nation’s unemployment rate jumped to 6 percent in April and companies slashed jobs for the third straight month — particularly in manufacturing, airlines and department stores — as the fragile economy continued to quash hiring prospects." read more...

This probably explains why there were so many people at the Job Fair this week.

Bush urges tax cuts to create jobs

"Citing the 6 percent unemployment rate announced Friday, the president said the rising figure should 'serve as a clear signal to both political parties of the United States Congress that we need a bold economic package so that people can find work.'" read more...

Thoughts on the Job Fair

I attended a job fair at the Dayton Job Center this past Wednesday, April 30, 2003. I've spent a lot more time at the Job Center lately, searching for a job and getting set up with other services. Last fall, I attended another job fair at the Job Center as well.

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. I knew from attending the job fair last fall that there were sure to be a lot of people there. I also expected that there would be a lot of organizations looking for people in the health care fields. Both of these expectations were met.

I felt that there were so many people at the job fair that it was hard to be in a one-on-one conversation with any recruiter for very long. I noticed a long line of people waiting to talk to recruiters from one company in particular.

Since my wife Jennie has been ill lately and was not able to attend the job fair, I used the opportunity to network a little bit with the health care companies that were looking for nurses asisstants.

I also went to see which companies would be looking for people in my field. I saw a few of them. Yet, when I talked to company representatives in person, their recommendation was still to send my resume via the company's website or via email.

I still wonder why these companies were present at the job fair at all if they were just going to ask me to send my resume to the company electronically.

As I left the job fair, I was encouraged to chat with another job seeker who was looking for a job in accounting. We used the opportunity to network and share our thoughts on the job fair.

I still believe that job fairs are great ways to meet companies and network with other job seekers, and I look forward to attending others in the future.