Category: Careers at 50+
September 20, 2011
Cool Jobs of the Week: Emmys Edition
Last Sunday's Emmy Awards may have got you daydreaming about a career that'll land you on the red carpet -- but there are plenty of great jobs behind the TV scenes, too. In honor of the Emmys, here are this week's cool jobs -- just a handful of the more than a million jobs posted on Monster.com.
1. Publicist, Nickelodeon (New York City)
If you've got "three or more years of TV industry publicity experience," you might just get to work with SpongeBob! MTV Networks is hiring a publicist to "manage and execute media relations activity for Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids & Family."
2. Senior Assignment Editor, ESPN (Bristol, CT)
If you've got strong editorial skills, a love of sports, and eight or more years' experience in TV or a related field, you might just be ESPN's next most valuable player.
3. Talent Acquisition Recruiter, NBC Universal (New York City)
Help cast the company's new stars at NBC: the person in this role is responsible for "identifying top tier talent, maintaining proactive sourcing activities, and ensuring qualified and diverse applicant pools."
4. Producer - Corporate Presentations, Home Shopping Network (St. Petersburg, FL)
If you're someone who can "creatively write, produce, and direct visually compelling presentations for internal and external executives," act now to nab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at HSN.
5. Senior Director, Online Marketing, Golf Channel (Orlando, FL)
Fore! If you've got a college degree and 8 to 12 years of relevant work experience in marketing new media brands, this job could be your hole in one.
Your dream job not on the list? Well, we've got a million more job posts on Monster.com. Use our intelligent advanced job search features to pinpoint the perfect job for you. And for daily career advice and more cool-job updates, follow @monstercareers on Twitter.
August 18, 2011
Is It Possible to Keep a Positive Attitude in Tough Times?
As we discussed in a previous blog post, "Going the Distance in Your Job Search," a lengthy job search can make maintaining a positive attitude (which is key to staying active and productive) very difficult. We spoke to motivational author Karen Okulicz and asked her for tips on keeping a positive attitude in the face of challenging employment situations.
Monster: What would you say to someone who's facing long-term unemployment (and getting very discouraged) that can start helping him or her regain a positive attitude?
Karen Okulicz: Go back to the basics and review. What have you done to create new work, and where do you need to go next? Any movement forward will create a positive attitude. Are you looking for the right position? You may not be able to go back to what you once did. So rethink your work search.
(For tips on making a career change, see Monster.com's "Life Changes" series.)
Also make sure you're taking advantage of all that's offered at your state's Workforce Development program or your local jobs center, library, church-based groups, and so on. They are there to help. Go. People who are in these types of programs are employed quicker. You can join others to network and gain new skills for new work.
Monster: What are a couple of daily, broadly applicable steps a job seeker might take to maintain a positive attitude?
Okulicz: Exercise is the magic pill for self-care, clearing you mind, taking care of your body, and maintaining a great attitude. Before, you may have not had the time. Now you do. This does not take money. There is no need to join a fancy or expensive gym; this takes a mental decision and a little of your time. You have that now. Every day, get out for a walk or bike ride.
Use your time wisely. Structure the day. Take a walk, send so many resumes, make so many phone calls, research on the Internet, read a book, write five letters, attend a workshop, and so on.
Stay with positive people. You do not need to have any self-doubters by you. It may mean you get out of the room quicker and off the phone sooner. Read something positive every day.
Create and keep a gratitude journal. Write in it every day. Write the three to five things that you did accomplish. Accomplishments acknowledged help grow confidence and good attitude.
Monster: You've published "Try! A Survival Guide to Unemployment." Can you give me an example or two of a piece of advice you think many job seekers might not be aware of?
Okulicz: Save every rejection letter or email -- no does not mean no forever. You will be working again, and this contact from the rejection letter may be an entry into that company when you need a contact there.
You may be able to work part time and still collect your unemployment benefits. Every state is different. You will have ask the amount of money that can be made. This will help you get moving with working. A part-time job may turn into a full-time employment.
Monster: You've also published "Decide! How to Make Any Decision." At what stage in an important career-related decision (say, to change careers) do you recommend seeking other people's advice?
Okulicz: Good question. I am a believer of constantly taking courses or volunteering while you're working. If you want to make a change to a field that you don't know, you'll have to do some research first. If you are employed, you may have to research quietly without telling anyone you are doing this -- you may want to take a night class or volunteer on a weeknight or weekend. Every interaction with new people creates unexpected opportunities.
I had a client who loved crafts. So she worked one night a week in a craft store. After six months she knew this was for her. She eventually became a part owner in the store she had worked in.
Monster: In your career of helping people in their careers and in dealing with employment issues, what are some common errors (of thinking or practice) you see people making?
Okulicz: The biggest mistake I see is that people wait to look for work. People think not looking for a job in the summer or around the holidays or until their unemployment money runs out is OK. This is not OK. If you are unemployed, you have to start looking immediately. Companies are always interviewing. You want to jump into the process immediately. Your new job is to look for work.
Do not believe that just sending in a resume is the right way to get a job. It's not. Looking for work requires a new type of approach. You may have to work for free as a volunteer to prove your value and worth. If you can work there for a day or half day whatever, then that is a gift that may turn into a job.
Saying that you want to work is not as powerful as doing work. Actions speak much louder than words. Deliver the value and create a situation where helping you back is the proper thing to do.
You have to be willing to tell everyone you are unemployed and ask everyone for assistance. Do not feel like there is a stigma about being out of work. It's more prevalent than you can imagine. You have to be brave and ask for what you want. You may have to start small and ask for something small -- but unless you ask, you will not receive anything helpful or useful. Keep asking for what you want and what you need. Persist.
How have you kept a positive attitude during a job search? Share your comments and stories in the Comments section.
August 15, 2011
9 Tips for Workers in a Turbulent Economy
Doug Dennerline, HR expert and president of SuccessFactors, a global employee-management software company, has the following tips for employees who want to make themselves invaluable and less vulnerable to job cuts at a time when confidence among U.S. employers is shaky:
1. Remember the Basics. Now is not the time to miss a deadline, show up late, try a risky ensemble or be seen gossiping at the water cooler. It may not seem like managers are watching you, but staying professional at the workplace will serve you better than you think.
2. Know Your Priorities at Work. Make sure the work you're doing is aligned to the company's goals and initiatives. Make sure that you're working on strategic projects. You'll make your work invaluable by focusing your efforts in the right direction.
3. Ask for More Responsibility. Many of us are overworked, but having a positive attitude while asking how else you can chip in goes a long way to impress the boss and makes you stand out from the coworkers loudly grumbling complaints at their desks.
(Get more tips in "Getting on the Boss's Good Side.")
4. Merchandise Yourself at Work, Humbly. Make sure you're seen as a top performer at work, and have your accomplishments recognized -- especially when speaking with your manager and other influential folks at your company.
5. Broaden Your Skill Set. Being an expert on a specific topic is nice, but when positions are being cut, the workers who can do their jobs as well as others' jobs are more likely to be kept on the payroll.
(Read "Five Ways to Be a Good Team Player" for more advice.)
6. Join a Professional Networking Group. This is a great way to meet new contacts, as well as to keep up with your industry. The best time to network is before you need help in your job search.
7. Get Involved in Your Community on Behalf of Your Company. If your company will sponsor you for a charity or fundraiser event, take advantage of highlighting yourself as a company representative. You'll not only stand out among the management team, but also be seen as a contributor to the company.
8. Stay Abreast of Latest Industry Developments and Technology. Make sure you set yourself apart from the crowd by keeping up with news and technology, so that you can make credible recommendations at your company that make sense, and potentially save your company money.
9. Have a Backup Plan. If your company is really in dire straits, there may be nothing you can do to keep yourself immune to layoffs. Keep your online professional profiles up-to-date. Also, search for yourself onilne sure the results are positive and double check social profiles like Facebook and Twitter to make sure they reflect you positively.
What are your tips for making yourself indispensable at work? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
March 04, 2011
Advance Your Career with Daily Feats
Having a successful career or a great job isn't a one-step goal. Like living healthily, being a good friend, or raising a family, it's a process--a series of small choices and small successes that add up to a better way of life.
DailyFeats is an online social platform that understands this. Powered by users' energy and commitment to doing good, for themselves and others, it's a community where people share and earn rewards for their positive actions. Markus Kolic, DailyFeats' director of content and marketing, says the idea for this community was sparked by the rise of micro-investing websites: "We started thinking of 'micro-actions,'" he explains. "Small events on the Internet can have a big impact."
As an example, one of the many feats a person can complete is taking the stairs. Performing the feat earns you points that are redeemable for coupons and various other goods and services in your area--and it can also earn you praise from other members of the DailyFeats community (and that praise also earns points). It's a win-win: you take a small step toward a healthier way of life, you inspire others, and you receive positive reinforcement and tangible rewards.
There are currently more than 125,000 rewards--available nationwide--that anyone can earn for doing good. New sponsoring companies come on board every month. Markus says, "The beautiful thing about this idea is that it almost sells itself--it's such a win-win. … It allows a brand to connect to something that's essential to what they're trying to do."
Monster.com has joined with DailyFeats; now members of the DailyFeats community can better themselves by strengthening career-related skills or completing tasks on the job.
"At Monster, we want to encourage seekers to do away with the status quo, always aspiring to reach new career heights," says Monster.com chief marketing officer Ted Gilvar. "By teaming up with DailyFeats, we are encouraging them to better themselves--within their careers but, perhaps more importantly, within their everyday lives, too, all while earning rewards along the way."
The new Monster.com feats include:
!yourpotential (work toward a great accomplishment) !newskills (learn new abilities, through classes, training or research), !makeconnections (reach out to someone who might help your future), and !updateresume, among many others.
Check out all the Monster.com feats (and start earning points!) today.
Also check into DailyFeats at South by Southwest (SXSW, March 11-20, 2011, in Austin, Texas). Conference attendees can explore the world of positive actions unlocked by DailyFeats, and use them to navigate all the good things converging on Austin, including special one-time-only SXSW feats like !inspired@SXSW and !network@SXSW.
Using the new DailyFeats app for Android and iPhone, or by visiting DailyFeats.com on their mobile browsers, SXSW attendees can access Monster's slate of feats related to career goals, and connect with other people in Austin--and around the world--who are also pursuing positive goals.
November 12, 2010
The Monster 5 for Friday--Careers Edition--November 12
We honored our country's veterans this week, on Thursday, Veterans Day. At the same time, there was far too much in the news about the difficulty that returning veterans are having in their job searches: in October, the unemployment rate for veterans who have served since September 2001 was 10.6 percent--a full percentage point above the national average.
If you are (or if someone you love is) a veteran who's hunting for a job, take a look at Military.com--a great one-stop resource for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Also check out VeteranEmployment.com, Monster.com's Military Transition Center, and G.I. Jobs' new list of the top 100 military-friendly employers.
Thank you, veterans. We are all in your debt.
And here are five of our favorite career-advice articles (for veterans and civilians alike) from the past week:
5. One of this week's big stories in the world of employment was reported by the Huffington Post (among other publications): "White House Fielding Questions from the Unemployed on Facebook." Join the conversation now on Monster.com's Facebook page.
4. Many people overlook a simple job-interview step that influences 88 percent of hiring managers surveyed. Read more in "Say Thank-You for Your Interview."
3. It's a nightmare predicament: You quit your job for a new one. Then the new one doesn't work out. And you have to go crawling back to your old boss to ask for your old position back. We hope it never happens to you, but CBSMoneywatch.com has some tips in "The 'Oh $#*!' Moment: How to Beg for Your Old Job."
2. Ageism (real and subconscious) can be a real problem for job seekers on the mature side of 40. But there are simple (and non-surgical) ways to give your resume a face-lift--read "Rejuvenate Your Resume."
1. Don't blow your job interview by using language that puts hiring managers to sleep (or, worse, ticks them off). Read "10 Overused Phrases Interviewers Can't Stand."
What kind of job-seeker-focused content would you like to see? Let me know in the comments section, or find me on Twitter and send me a message.
July 26, 2010
How to Use Technology to Switch CareersToday's post is by Matt Charney, Monster Social Media Engagement Manager:
There’s no reason why work has to feel like, well, work. While it’s a tough market out there, the good news is there’s no better time than now to reinvent yourself and your career.
You’re probably well-aware of the ways job seekers are using technology to find and apply for new positions. But you might not know that the same tools can be leveraged not only to find a new job, but also to plan for a new career.
The prospect of switching careers can be downright scary for many job seekers; like all major changes, it requires a little planning and a lot of courage. Of course, incurring this short-term risk creates some long-term rewards, namely a long-term, rewarding career doing something you’re passionate about.
Here are five simple steps for using technology to research potential paths and find out which career is the right one for you.
1. Get the Official Story: After identifying your strengths and natural talents, you’ll want to apply these as a filter to start researching which careers are the best fits for you.
Monster’s new Career Snapshots tool provides official details, such as qualifications, skills and duties, for more than 2,500 careers, ranging from accountants to fashion models and everything in between. Career Snapshots also provide industry forecasts collected from thousands of job postings, offering valuable data on current and anticipated job market trends.
2. Get the Unofficial Story: Online professional networks are a great way to learn more about a specific industry or function. Once you determine what you want to do for a living, you’ll need to prove a commitment and dedication to your chosen field, or else your dream job will remain just that.
While most job seekers use social networks as professional marketing vehicles to connect with people in a targeted field, they also provide a great way to pick up industry knowledge, terminology and trends.
Monster Communities feature a variety of unique professional networks aligning with various job functions and industries, such as marketing, human resources and healthcare to help connect better. Participating in online communities provides opportunities to learn more about industry and professional trends, engage with influencers and employers, and expand your network simultaneously.
3. See How You Compare: Monster recently introduced Career Benchmarking, a cutting-edge resource that shows job seekers how they compare with their peers. Featuring a wide variety of topics, ranging from compensation to commute times, Career Benchmarking compares your information against local and national averages for thousands of unique job titles. The data provided is priceless; fortunately, Monster offers this powerful tool for free to all job seekers.
4. Read Job Listings: Using a job board like Monster to access and read job descriptions also provides valuable insight into building a long-term strategy for your new career. Browsing for postings in a targeted function or industry helps give a good sense of the experience, training and skills you’ll be expected to have as well as the recurring responsibilities involved in day-to-day work.
5. Make a Choice: Be sure you have strong, valid reasons to change careers; doing so might mean drastic changes in self-perception, working environment, income, work-life balance, healthcare benefits and a myriad of other considerations.
You have to be able to state your case effectively, clearly and passionately as to why you’re picking a new career and what you hope to gain from the change. Incorporating this message into your social profiles and personal brand is critical, and an easy way to advertise your decision (and availability) to your network, both online and off.
If you’re having trouble creating a compelling case about why you’re making the move, you might be better off exploring another path or focusing on advancing your current career. While technology can help with exploring new careers, it can’t decide which path is right for you. That’s your job.
July 24, 2007
Career Change: Is That a Bend or a Crossroads Up Ahead?
What does pursuing a second career mean? For me, it means more than just changing jobs. I've had a number of different jobs over the years, working for various companies and handling a wide variety of tasks, but I still think I'm pursing more or less the same career path. It hasn't been straight, and it certainly hasn't been smooth, but it still feels like I'm going in the same direction. I'm very lucky.
Other Baby Boomers face more drastic career change issues. Changing technologies, downsizing, offshoring, "wage management initiatives" and even plain old boredom can all force someone to make significant career changes.
I see a lot of questions about midlife career changes on Monster's Age Issues message board and in our email feedback. Some questioners want to know how to pursue a specific kind of career change; other inquiries are more open-ended. Some are upbeat and positive; more than a few sound discouraged and disappointed by the frustrating and seemingly endless search for a second career. Some even say they feel stuck.
But there are others for whom a career change is an invitation to "head out on the highway" (audio link) and try something new. In fact, some Boomer couples have gone out on the highway in a big way -- driving an 18-wheeler together as a second career.
Piloting long-haul trucks may not be your career change choice. But knowing the road you've traveled thus far is a big help. One benefit that age confers is self-knowledge. If you are at a crossroads, forced by circumstances to take a new career direction, pay attention to what you know about yourself and look for guidance and advice from your circle of contacts and resources like Monster. If you are lucky enough to have the freedom to choose a new career path, use that self-knowledge to select your new direction wisely, and remember what you learned along the way.
Here are some additional resources for your consideration:
- "Jump-Start Your Career Change"
- "The After-50 Career Change"
- "One Person's Career Change from Advertising to Counseling"
- "Resume Dilemma: Career Change"
- "Career Change Cover Letter Sample"
- Evolution Shift: "Midlife Career Change"
- Brazen Careerist: "Career change Is Inevitable, So Plan for It"
May 15, 2007
Please, Boss, Please -- Don't Promote Me!
Sounds a little fishy, doesn't it? Sort of like Brer Rabbit telling Brer Fox, "Please don't fling me in that briar patch!"
But according to this BusinessWeek item, "Please Don't Promote Me," research from Development Dimensions International (DDI) shows one in five managers ranked getting a promotion their most challenging life event, ahead of bereavement, divorce, moving and raising teenagers.
The DDI research suggests the stress is due to poor support from employers for the managers who are taking on additional responsibilities. Not only does it get lonely on the way to the top, there's less help along the way.
My personal work experience includes both managing dozens of people and working as a solo contributor. I would have to agree that the responsibility that comes with a promotion, from managing more people to greater emphasis on bottom-line performance, is pretty stressful. Not as stressful as raising teenagers -- the people who didn't rank that first probably don't have any -- but those career demands are relentless.
And, yes, it's hard to find meaningful support along the way unless your company has fairly sophisticated management development practices. That's why so many companies want to recruit senior executives from companies with highly-regarded executive training programs like GE and Proctor and Gamble.
Another factor to consider is just where you are in your career. A 20- or 30-something may be looking for the chance to advance. A 50-plus employee who is not on the executive track may not want to take on the pressures -- there are other issues involved. That was certainly a conscious choice I made along the way.
But there are a lot of different viewpoints on this issue, such as:
- The Smart Lemming blog
- "Why Minorities Distrust Employers' Promotion Policies and Practices"
- "Visibility vs. Self- Promotion"
- "Benefits and Drawbacks of Phased Retirement"
February 20, 2007
Can Old Dogs Teach You New Tricks at Work?
Word up -- that gray-haired geezer in the cubicle down the row? He (or she) may be on the fast track as a problem-solver, thanks to a better cognitive template than younger colleagues.
As more scientists focus on how the brain ages, seeking to mitigate the effects of Alzheimer's and other illnesses, there is also news that older brains work better in some important ways. Wall Street Journal science columnist and author Sharon Begley documents a number of these studies in this upbeat item: "The Upside of Aging" (subscription required).
According to these studies, expert knowledge gained over time does not necessarily wither away. Semantic memory -- the recollection of facts and figures -- is "resistant to the effects of aging," says psychology professor Arthur Kramer. Vocabulary is one example of semantic memory, which I learned as a smartass college student when my 80-plus-year-old grandmother beat me handily at Scrabble.
Other examples includes tests on air traffic controllers, which show older plane handlers can juggle more aircraft than their younger and presumably more mentally agile colleagues. The FAA is currently reexamining its mandatory retirement rules for pilots (the Age 60 Rule) and air traffic control personnel, who face mandatory retirement at 56.
All this is good news for both older and younger workers. If employers can adjust to hiring and retaining more older workers, those firms will benefit from their employee's expert knowledge. Those older employees generally want to keep working anyway. And not only might their younger colleagues learn a few tricks along the way, keeping older workers on the job could postpone those Social Security tax increases needed to support all those old dogs sitting on the sidelines in unwilling retirement.
Get more information on working longer here:
- "Benefits and Drawbacks of Phased Retirement"
- "Career Change and the Seasoned Worker"
- "For a Longer Career, Become an Older but Wiser Worker"
- "How Old Is Too Old?"
- "Online Resources for Older Workers"
- "Still On the Job: Oldest Workers Seek to Keep Working"
October 31, 2006
Life -- and Work -- at 50+
I attended the AARP's Life@50+ annual member event in Anaheim last week both as an AARP member and as part of Monster's exhibit team. Last year's event in New Orleans got cancelled due to an uninvited guest named Katrina, but this year everything went very smoothly. The hotels were convenient, the convention well-organized, and the speakers and shows from Raquel Welch and Ruby Dee to Bill Cosby and Elton John -- even yours truly -- were enjoyed by the attendees.
While I don't even register on the Raquel to Elton scale, I was invited to give a series of presentations about online job searching and building a resume online, with an eye toward the specific needs and concerns of 50+ job seekers. I don't mind saying I was a tad nervous -- it's no secret that many people fear public speaking more than they do death or a disfiguring accident. But with a lot of help from my AARP and Monster colleagues (thanks to Marcie, Tim, Mark and Nancy), the presentation content came together and so did my shaky speaking skills. Even though my first presentation was programmed at the same time as Raquel's event-opening remarks, I was grateful to the 20 or so souls who came to hear me instead. In fact, I was so grateful I walked around the room and thanked each one individually -- just to make sure they were in the right place.
Over the event's three days, I presented to more than 125 people, nearly half of whom were conducting a job search. You could tell right away who the job seekers were -- engaged, attentive and a little anxious. While I did my best to summarize a lot of material about job searching, resume building and Monster's "find the right match" strategy, there was still too much to cover. I'll need a longer time slot, or less material, the next time around.
Here's some of what I learned from attendees at my sessions and out on the show floor:
- Everyone who makes it to 50+ has LOTS of experience, knowledge and accomplishments. Be sure to mention the accomplishments when you're looking for a job.
- Learning to create a resume that is relevant and focused on a specific job opportunity is hard work and takes time.
- The most common phrase I heard was, "I'm not sure what I want to do when I grow up." Career change is a constant; get used to it.
- We all have to do a better job keeping in touch. For 50+ job seekers, this means building and maintaining contacts with younger colleagues, not just our peers.
- Job searching is very hard on the self-esteem, yet everyone I met had an abundance of reasons to feel proud and accomplished. Be sure to let a prospective employer see that positive energy.
- A message for employers: A lot of talent is going to waste if you pass up older candidates. Ignore them at your peril -- your competitors won't.
Finally, I'd like to extend a special thank you to a few of the individuals who asked me for advice and then, in turn, left me with more knowledge than I gave them: Ann from Brooklyn, Claudia from Cleveland, George from New Mexico, Harvey from Whittier, Isaac from Fort Lauderdale, Jessie from Chicago and Lenore from San Jose. Hope to see you all at AARP's event in Boston next year.