Will You Admit You’re Biased, Have Preferences And Discriminate?

Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Discrimination: the ability to discern what is of high quality; good judgment or taste.

Sure you discriminate; so do I for that matter. You and I we have our preferences and they are revealed when we pick up one brand over another in a shopping trip. Why sometimes we’ll pay more for something we see as having higher value. We might stand in a longer line than another if we feel we’ll have a better experience dealing with the ticket taker, the Airport Security or the Cashier at the check out. Why to be a discriminating buyer is a compliment isn’t it; you don’t just, ‘settle’ for things, you have impeccable taste and exercise discriminating judgement. So can we both agree that you and I discriminate? I think so.

Ah but then there’s our first definition of discrimination up there at the top of this piece. This is the definition of discrimination we are likely to want to distance ourselves from; well most of us. We could argue that someone like the current President of the United States is discriminating when he puts forward an, “America first” agenda, or proposes legislation that bans people of certain countries from flying and of course there is his plan to build a wall separating his country from Mexico. Discrimination? Absolutely, yet there he is at the very pinnacle of power and influence. So holding such a polarizing view can get you to the top and apparently allow you to stay there too; at least for a while.

Like you I hope, I’m not in favour of discriminating on the basis of race, age or sex. This being said, there are situations where I do agree one should. Take for example the staff who work in a safe house for women who have been abused. I could be the most empathetic, kind and supportive Crisis Counselling Support Worker out there, but for some woman who has just fled an abusive relationship, all she might see upon entering that safe domain is a male in a position of authority and that could trigger fear, alarm and prevent her from even wanting to be accepted in. No, I agree there are jobs that should still discriminate based on gender.

Now some jobs that in the past were exclusively reserved for one gender or the other have or are in the process of opening up. Nursing used to be a female-only dominated profession. Now of course we see male nurses and I applaud the men who have committed to the profession and aren’t necessarily angling to become Doctor’s; who have reached their goal of working in the medical health field and perform their work with skill and dedication.

Soldiers used to be exclusively male; women were once limited to working in factories to support the war effort, or as I say in the health care field, treating the wounded and dying. Now we’ve reached the point in many countries where women have the option to serve. If that is their wish, and presuming they can match and pass the standards that have been set to keep soldiers trained and ready for battle, than why not?

But it’s this other blatant discrimination that gets most people upset and rebelling against. You know, the employer who denies employment because their skin is of a certain colour, the applicant is too young or old, has no experience at all or is overly qualified. Maybe it’s a person’s sexual preferences, their lifestyle, religious denomination or faith, choice of clothing, height, weight, health etc. There are any number of things we find and hear about where someone is certain they’ve been discriminated against.

We hear hateful discrimination in comments like, “Why don’t you go back where you came from!”, and not only is it hateful, it’s hurtful. Ironically, the victim of such comments isn’t even from a foreign country as the person talking suspects.

Collectively, I believe we have to do better. Isn’t it all about inclusion and not exclusion? Isn’t what we’re striving for really is to be better at choosing to hire people based on their skills and experience? And as for experience, how do people acquire that valuable experience unless somewhere along the line someone gives them that first break; that first opportunity to gain the experience we’ve come to value?

Yet, I know as I suspect you do, that there are employers who favour local experience over experience gained elsewhere. While that can mean a Canadian employer prefers Canadian experience, on a micro level, it can mean an employer prefers to hire someone with work experience in the same city, town or who went the to same school they did. We often hear that people like to hire people who look like them, talk like them, act like them.

Be careful though I say; there is a risk that some excellent people with different backgrounds and different experiences could bring an infusion of energy, better ideas, more innovative methods and practices. If you or I discriminate against these same people, then the opportunities are lost.

So think before we speak, consider before we reject, pause before we act, and make sure we treat others as we’d wish to be treated ourselves.

That’s how I see it anyhow.



LinkedIn: How To Get Started

I see a lot of people who started a LinkedIn profile and after spending what looks like 5 minutes on it, apparently gave up. Of those I’ve actually asked about their undeveloped or underdeveloped profiles, the most common response I get is that they joined because somebody said they should, but they didn’t really know why so they never went any further.

Fair enough. To these people; (you perhaps?) I say that if and when you turn up in someone’s search, they will see this poor reflection of you and that then becomes their first impression. If they are an employer, recruiter or potential business partner, they may just believe that if this is you putting in your best effort, maybe you’re actually not worth theirs. After all, if you can’t be bothered to put in the bit of work to present yourself professionally on what is a professional networking platform, you’re hardly likely to put in the effort on the things that are of most importance to them; namely working with them in some capacity.

So here’s a few LinkedIn profile thoughts to get you going. First, add your picture and make it a clear head shot; preferably with a smile on your face and without any distracting background. How do you want to come across to a potential employer? You’re looking to create an image; an emotional connection with whomever looks at it.

Write a summary that tells people who you are, what motivates you, what you’re passionate about or believe. Unlike a résumé, yes go ahead and use the word, “I”, and use first-person language not 3rd person. After all, you want people to believe you wrote this, it wasn’t made by someone else.

When you move into the Employment History or Experience area, don’t just cut and paste your résumé. Whereas your résumé may have bullet points under each job, write in sentences. Consider sharing in each position what you learned, how you improved, what accomplishments you achieved and were proud of. If you’re one of those people who sees this as tooting your own horn, put down what others have said you do exceptionally well.

Start connecting! Begin with those you know such as past or present co-workers, supervisors, friends, customers, associates, peers etc. Now expand your network by searching for others who do similar work to what you do – even if you’ve never actually met. After all, you don’t want to limit yourself to only those you already know. You can learn a lot from reading and thinking about what others in your profession have to say.

As for people who work outside your profession, you may get invites to connect and I’d urge you to do so more often than not. If you limit yourself to only people you know and only people in your profession, you’ll develop a very narrow stream of contacts and by way of those contacts, a limited view of things. Who knows where your future opportunities exist?

Now when you add the endorsements to your profile, consider carefully what you’d like others to endorse you for. The things you choose should be consistent with the skills that are desired in your line of work. You may be good at using Microsoft Word, but is that something that will push your chances of working with others forward? Is that something unique that will impress others? In my case, I’m an Employment Counsellor, so I’ve elected to be endorsed primarily for traits associated with the profession. Helping others with “Job Search” skills is a key thing I do, so that’s what I’ve elected to have on my profile and it syncs with what I do.

Now, think about recommendations. Remember those letters of recommendation from years past that you might have received? They meant something once upon a time, and you’d show up at an interview with them as part of a portfolio; a testament to your abilities. The impact of these is still valuable, so you’d like to get some; I know I value them highly! So it stands to reason others value them too.

Okay, now add your education. Where did you go to school and what courses did you take? Add anything you may have authored or awards and certificates you hold. You’re building up your credentials.

Write a recommendation for a colleague who is on LinkedIn; someone you admire for their skills, support or positive impact on you. How did or do they help you? Taking the time to recommend someone is always appreciated, and they will likely thank you, perhaps even by writing you a recommendation in kind!

Now expand your connections by searching for people who may now work in the organizations you’d like to work at yourself one day. Communicate with them every so often and develop a professional relationship. Don’t connect and 2 minutes later ask for a job. Show some genuine interest in them, ask about what they do, how they got started, trends, insights etc.

This is just a thumbnail sketch of how to get going without delving into the many other features of LinkedIn. Still, if you have a weak profile, using the suggestions here will at the very least get you headed in the right direction. Another tip? Sure. Check out the profiles of others in your line of work and learn from the good ones. You’ll know the difference between the good and the poor ones – believe me.

Dear Employer: On Behalf Of Your Applicants

If you read all the blog posts I’ve penned – yes all 1,197 of them; you’d find that the majority are directed at the people looking to get or keep their employment. The minority of the posts I write are directed at the people who represent the companies that applicants approach for employment. This post is one of them.

So hello there! Whether you’re the owner/operator or an employee yourself tasked with finding the best talent out there to fulfill your needs, I implore you to read the 900 words I’ve put down here and then reflect a little. Please do add your comments from your perspective as that would be very helpful to others.

Okay, so you need a person or people to join your workforce. That’s great news for you and great news for those who are looking to make a contribution and start working with your organization. Understandably time is money and you’d like to get a hold of the best people to choose from in the least amount of time. You and I both know you’ll get applications ranging from highly qualified and professional to hardly qualified at all and desperate.

Sure it would be nice if you only received applications from the cream of the crop out there but there’s a lot of people looking for fewer jobs than exist in our tight economy. Still, behind every application, resume and cover letter, there’s a real person offering up their skills, experience and education to work with your firm. Let’s remember that; those people are…well…people. They’ve got hopes, dreams, and feelings just like you and me.

On behalf of those applying, thanks first of all for including what you’re really looking for in your postings. That saves you and the job seekers time trying to figure out which jobs need what skills and experience. You’ve done your part if you’re clear about these; oh and including a bit about the environment and what the person would actually do is much appreciated. Now it’s up to those applicants to target their applications to your needs.

When you do get applications, I imagine like so many other employers I hear from, you’re a little overwhelmed. It’s flattering actually isn’t it to think so many people were attracted by your advertisement that they applied? On the other hand that’s a lot of applications to go through, especially when you assume you’ll have everything from near perfect candidates to very poor ones. Still, it’s a nicer problem than having too small a number apply and wondering what you have to do to attract the best talent.

I can’t tell you how much just acknowledging you’ve received someone’s application means to those who took the time to apply. The discouragement and disappointment people feel when they pin their hopes on getting an interview and not even getting contacted is extremely distressing. You see it’s not just you they applied to but many jobs with many organizations. It’s pretty hard to consistently be that happy, positive person putting their best foot forward over a prolonged job search.

Just promise to acknowledge all those who apply and you’ll get a reputation for being a compassionate and respectful employer. That would be a good thing wouldn’t it? You know, the kind of employer that really gets it; that empathizes with the applicants they attract. That line in the posting that says, “We appreciate all the applications but only those qualified will be contacted for an interview” wears a little thin when very qualified people apply and don’t even get verification you got the application in the first place.

That takes time of course and someone’s time to respond. That one could argue is the cost of doing business though. You both have needs; you an employee to do work and they a job where they can contribute and produce income.

Everyone knows you can’t hire all the applicants. They get that. What every applicant hopes for though is to be recognized for the effort of the application. Sure you get applications from some that are too general and don’t address your needs. Maybe however those people are doing what they think is right. How will they ever learn what they need to know if they get zero feedback though?

Oh, and could you please stay open to hearing people in interviews and resist the urge to measure them up against your personal prejudices. By prejudices, I mean assuming young people have no maturity or older workers can’t learn anything new and will drain your health care plans. I tell you this; give these two groups of people your open view and you’ll find some real gems.

You wouldn’t believe how appreciative some people with gaps in their resumes will be if you give them a chance. Maybe they cared for a dying parent, raised a family or coped with a broken marriage but now have taken the steps to ensure these factors are no longer a barrier. That would be precisely why they are applying now…they are ready.

Look, you want good people; the best in fact. We all get that. All I’m saying is while you’re not a charity, you can be respectful. Don’t become jaded and just another faceless, uncaring organization. You don’t want that reputation or you’ll attract more of the wrong people.

So, how about your side of things? Comments?


Dear Recruiters, Interviewers And Those That Hire

If you are one of the people who advertise for help, decides who makes the short-list to interview and ultimately hires people based on their interview performance, this post is primarily for you.

Let me first share my Employment Counsellor title; so you know the perspective from which I write. I’m not a job seeker, but would really like to have your take and feedback after reading this blog for the benefit of those readers who are searching for employment.

It must be challenging for you as you go about your job these days; what with all the professionals providing job seekers with resume assistance and interview coaching. I can imagine that as you receive so many applications whenever there is a job posting, you must be quite overwhelmed trying to narrow things down, looking in the end to hire that one best candidate. I suppose in the end you hope to decide amongst several excellent candidates; for this way no matter who you choose, you’re getting a strong employee.

What would you like people who are applying for jobs to know about the application process to make your job easier and their chances of being selected better? Do you have any advice from your side of the table during an interview that in your position either enhances or detracts from a person’s chances of getting hired?

As the writer of a blog focusing on providing helpful advice for those looking for work – or looking to keep the work they have – most of my writing is addressed to and focuses on the employee and the applicant. You can see however that here I am opening up a discussion (and I do hope you take the time to express some of your own thoughts however brief or lengthy) to get your perspective first-hand. Even if you don’t identify the company you are employed with, it would be most helpful to job seekers and you of course, to chip in with your thoughts.

Now were I in your role, I’m sure I’d wish people who were best qualified to answer my job postings. It takes time and money after all to go through the process of hiring someone in an organization. There’s the job posting itself – which before it even goes up has to be reviewed to be up-to-date. There are conversations with the actual Supervisor of the potential person to determine their needs. Then the gap of time between the posting and the closing where applications come in and from those that do you must rank them in order to end up with your list of potential interview candidates. How many applications would you receive by the way?

Once that short list is made of people to approach, you have to contact these people and set up interviews; all the time knowing there is still a vacancy and your organization isn’t as productive as it should be without someone doing the work you are looking to have done. How many of the people you do connect with and offer an interview to actually take you up on it? I mean, do you have people who decline an interview because they’ve accepted jobs elsewhere, changed their mind or just don’t respond to messages you’ve left? I wonder too how many times you find yourself impressed with someone and want to interview them based on what you found on paper, but then when you call them, you either can’t leave a message because there is no space to do so, or you find the number not in service.

It must be frustrating at that point, wondering if you have the time to call back a second or third time to offer someone an interview that came across on their resume as an excellent possibility. Do you? I mean do you call back two or three times or do you just move on for the sake of time to another person?

I bet you’ve seen all kinds of behaviour when it comes to interviews too. What for you are the keys to a successful interview that would lead you to extend a job offer? Oh and conversely, what are the behaviours or comments that in your view cause a person to remove themselves from the hiring process? Remember please that you’re the expert my readers would love to benefit from hearing from first-hand. I know that your time and job requirements would be best spent interviewing strong candidates. I’d like to think that reading the thoughts of Recruiters, Interviewers, Human Resources personnel and Hiring Managers would be mutually beneficial for you and for them.

In our times, do you feel overwhelmed with job applications and therefore appreciate and use applicant tracking software or do you have a preference for scanning all those resumes personally? What kind of layout do you prefer? What makes a terrific resume or cover letter – and speaking of cover letters, do you read them? What if you do, are you looking for in a good cover letter?

Beyond these questions, feel free to pass on your thoughts, advice, suggestions and ideas as they pertain to the job application process. Job applicants would love to hear how to improve their chances of getting hired, and you of course would love, I’m sure, to get better quality applications from which to choose.

Thanks for your anticipated input and comments. The floor is yours.


Anticipating A New Team Member

At the present moment, the team I’m working on is down a person since last week. There was an unexpected departure when someone resigned their position and so as of now those remaining on the team are stretching ourselves a little bit more than usual until a replacement is hired.

I find myself kind of thinking of this process like an expectant father actually; wondering what kind of person will become part of the family. Some parents hope for a boy or a girl, some start imagining what it will be like to help them grow, anticipating the person they’ll grow into and eventually become.

Likewise, I find myself wondering about this future addition. In all likelihood in this case, the individual will be hired internally as the posting will go this way first and being a unionized environment, I would be shocked if one of my peers doesn’t make the decision to slide from another team to this team. Failing this, there is the strong possibility of another internal employee from another location who will interview and possibly take the job. This is the way things work in unionized organizations, and with every single move, another opening occurs, and someone else takes on a different job until eventually all the internal movement is over and some position goes external.

I find like I said that I’m imagining the kind of person who will join us. Do you do the same when an opening comes up in your workplace? You know, picturing perhaps not the actual person but rather, the desired qualities you’d like to see in your new co-worker?

In my musings, I’d like to see someone who is mature, flexible, creative, genuinely invested in serving those who use our services, and of course dependable. The single most important thing I suppose is someone who is enthusiastic in their work; a genuine team player who understands the inter-dependency of being on a team.

Our team for example, provides front-line employment workshops as well as staffs a drop-in Employment Resource Centre. If you’re not running a workshop, you’re either planning one in the future, meeting with people who have just completed one, or you’re taking your turn helping those in the Centre who drop-in for any number of reasons.

At any time when someone is not available, the rest of the team is required to stretch and determine how best to cover off on whatever role the missing person had for the day. It’s not like we just let that person’s work pile up and it awaits them upon their return.

It’s for this reason that being here is essential. Being ‘here’ by the way has a double meaning; you need to be both physically present and mentally invested; in my opinion anyhow. For me personally, I enjoy working with others who are genuinely focused on – dare I say it – the same things I find important; namely those we serve. How we do that can be different of course but, I do think it’s natural to want to work with people who are all pulling in the same direction.

One thing I also look forward to in a new teammate is someone who brings ideas. Those ideas may stir things up, may initially seem unworkable or too ambitious, but I do enjoy the mental stimulation of entertaining some thought I hadn’t previously considered and hearing it defended or at least explored. This is one way I grow.

The team I’m part of has some pretty strong personalities; I being one of them. That we have at least a few of these types shouldn’t come as a surprise; we’ve got talented people who have had to develop strategies for dealing with a huge range of people that we work with daily. Striving to establish and nurture a working relationship with those we serve is challenging but oh so stimulating!

Now if you were making out your lineup for your own, ‘dream team’, who would you want to work alongside? This is actually a really good exercise to undertake and I highly recommend you do it for real. Taking some time to really think about it, who would you include and why? Who would you remove from your team that you currently count as a team member and why would you remove them?

When you think about people that you work with at present that you’d like to replace with someone else, commit yourself to saying why. Is it just a chemistry thing (“we don’t see eye to eye”) or are there specific actions they take or don’t take that either go against what you’d do personally or what your organization expects. These are important things to think about. Sometimes this can lead to a discussion with that person or have you re-assess your own view of how you see them.

Remember that in sports when some athlete is asked to put together his or her dream team, they pick players from different teams and yet they are still happy to play alongside those on their team they didn’t select. The relationships trump the ‘dream team’ exercise. Likewise you should be able to pick your ‘dream team’ and not insult or feel bad about not including current team members.

I’m looking forward to some future announcement identifying the new arrival. Their arrival will be welcome news for our team, and I’m excited!

Job Interview Anxiety

Many people experience unwanted anxiety when they are told they have successfully applied to a job and have been granted an interview. What they feel often becomes crippling; the mounting pressure building until it is almost paralyzing making the person incapable of making a genuinely good first impression.

For those of us who actually look forward to job interviews and don’t feel this same apprehension, try equating the fear and anxiety experienced by others as the same dread you might feel yourself in some other part of your life. Suppose you opt to renovate your bathroom, need your fan belt and brakes replaced or even having end-of-life discussions with your own parent. There are undoubtedly areas in your own life where you feel anxious, stressful and some kind of mounting pressure.

The key difference between all those other examples I listed above and a job interview, is that while you could get someone else to fix your car, renovate the bathroom or address end-of-life issues, you have to enter the interview room by yourself and succeed in it by yourself. So is it this feeling of performance some fear and in that performance the dread of failing that is at play? Perhaps, but not entirely.

Some other issues that cause anxiety have to do with being judged. You are judged to have performed well enough to get the job, or perhaps to get a second interview – ironically in this situation as having performed well but now having additional anxiety over a second interview and feeling increased pressure to perform a notch higher. And while some people think the level of anxiety rises when the importance of the job itself is higher, there are a great number of people who feel immense anxiety when going for what are generally considered to be entry-level jobs. To them, their anxiety is just as real as the high rollers going for corporate executive jobs.

I hear many people say they wish they could by-pass the job interview entirely and just apply for a job and be told when they start. Wishing and hoping for this to happen however is more fantasy than reality. Employers look at the interview as their chance to meet a potential employee, hear them speak, visualize them in the workplace working alongside other employees, checking for the chemistry that will exist if they are hired etc.

One piece of good advice to consider is to be genuine in the interview. Sometimes you might hear this expressed as, “just be yourself”. If you can be genuine in the interview but at the same time ratchet up your professionalism, you stand an excellent chance of finding the right fit. By ratcheting up your professionalism, I simply mean that there are times when you are on your best behaviour in life but true to who you are, and the job interview is one of those times. If the employer likes you for who you are then you’ve found a good fit. If you are genuine but the employer passes you over for someone else, it may be that the job wouldn’t have been a good fit for them, for you or both.

Now back for a moment to fixing your car, renovating your basement or having that end-of-life discussion etc. mentioned at the outset of this piece. Were you in any of those situations, good advice would be to do a little reading, (possibly a lot of reading!) on the subject you were about to tackle. You might want to experiment on cutting a piece of pipe and soldering it back together before you shut off the water and cut your bathroom sink lines for the first time. That experimental run through builds one’s confidence to repeat that success on the important job. In your mind, you can easily recall the success you had earlier, and so you go at it with confidence.

Job interviews are much the same. Reading up on the company, knowing the job you are applying to, and having a few mock interviews to build your confidence has the same impact; your confidence rises and your anxiety decreases. The mechanic who has installed thousands of brakes is confident and feels very little apprehension and anxiety when compared to the rookie apprentice doing it for the first time when the customer is in the waiting area.

Does it make much sense then to put off practicing and going through a few dry runs before going to the interview you place so much importance in? Probably not if we are being honest. The people who tend to, ‘wing it’ usually do poorly. Charm and good manners might get you past the, “Tell me about yourself”, question but that’s it. Without practice and confidence, we’d see that same person grow increasingly anxious under scrutiny; and that anxiety tends to manifest itself in sweating, fidgeting, finger-tapping and losing good eye contact.

So, read up on the company, go over the skills and qualification in the job posting, practice your interview with someone who will give you honest feedback. Breathe! View this interview as a conversation you are having about an opportunity. You have needs and so do they. You need a job, they need a qualified employee.

Build your confidence on small successes. Smile. And the more interviews you get, the better you’ll perform.

All the best to you today!

Why Job Search In January?

When your blog and subsequent post in discussion groups is read around the globe, one of the key things you have to understand is that when it’s the dead of winter for some readers, it’s mid-summer for others. So me commenting on job searching when it’s cold, snowy, icy and there isn’t a great deal of daylight might seem off to many readers.

Of course I’m writing this from Canada; from the Province of Ontario. My home is set in a community about an hour and a half north-east of the City of Toronto. While I live in a town, I work an hour away in the City of Oshawa which gives me both the rural and urban, small town big city perspective. That perspective often rolls into the blogs I write.

So today is January 25; a month ago it was Christmas day, and a lot of unemployed people were putting off their job search until the start of 2015 under the mantra that nobody hires in late December. Now in 2015, many of those same people have barricaded themselves in their homes and apartments, sheltering themselves from the dead of winter and promising themselves that they’ll start job searching when things warm up a bit, the streets aren’t as dark and the roads to travel on are less treacherous.

When you are looking for work, one of the most obvious things one has to deal with is the competition; the number of people you are up against for those positions you are applying to. Wouldn’t you normally jump at an opportunity to get an edge up on that competition? Take advantage of a situation when you could compete against fewer applicants? Welcome to January in the northern hemisphere.

Okay so for starters, there are many people who are giving themselves a month or two to kick back and sit on the sidelines as far as job searching goes.

Now here’s another advantage for you if you are wise enough to realize it. Some of the jobs you might want badly in the summer are in fact doing their resume collecting, interviewing and hiring right now. The prudent job hunter who for example is seeking a job as a Youth Counsellor in a residential summer camp would be wise to be sending their resume to all the residential camps they are interested in working for right now. In fact, you may already be too late to submit your application for some of these camps even though you wouldn’t start the job until late May or early June.

Now let’s stay with this particular profession for another suggestion. Suppose as a late-twenties to mid-forties Youth Counsellor, you are finding your resume lacks recent experience. Your concern is that while you have recent education and perhaps even great references, those references are 4 or 5 years old and becoming a great deal less impressive because of the widening gap in time. How can you quickly get 2015 experience on your resume?

One option could be to get into a situation quickly where you are working with youth. Although it’s nearing the final week of January, you could be one of the smart ones who has applied for a job with some Recreation organization supervising March Break programs. Here in my part of the world, some of those positions have already been advertised for and the application deadlines past.

“Ah”, you might counter, “I didn’t go to school and become a Youth Worker, Teen Counsellor, etc. just to take a 5 day job over the March Break.” On the surface I see your point. However, consider this: we’re only 25 days into 2015 and comparatively few people have 2015 experience and training on their resume or CV. Even if you were working up to early December last year, to the mind’s eye, a quick scan of your CV makes it look like you were last working in 2014 – over a year ago. Getting 2015 experience on that resume and quickly going about it should be your prime goal.

Here’s more incentive for the wise among you: It won’t be that long until the University and then College crowds will be released from school classrooms and another entire generation flooding the job market with all their youthful enthusiasm, drive and far more recent training than you have. In 4 or 5 months, the high school kids are out too. And of course if you are a parent of a child who isn’t in school full-time, you will have a child to impede your job search come June.

So the overall message I’m sending you? GET GOING NOW! The worst snowy days are the very ones to ramp up your job search not shut it down. Just Friday I had one of the people I am working with of late decide to get out to a store and apply for a retail sales position; this despite the fact that many people are assuming no hiring goes on in January in the retail world, just Christmas lay-offs. Turns out she made a great impression and not only has a job offer to become a Sales Associate, but was first told that another location was actually interviewing for a senior role and her application would be forwarded there first. She got a call later on Friday and had an interview for a Leadership role in the 2nd location yesterday afternoon which I’ll hear about on Monday.

Yes people, get out there; they’re hiring!