Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hold Yourself Up

We’re facing a lot of challenges in 2017.  The world is becoming more and more dangerous with each passing day it seems.  The earth is retaliating against its most destructive inhabitant.  Politicians are talking but not leading.  Racism is rearing its head at every turn.  Unemployment and job dissatisfaction adding to the daily frustrations life throws at us.  Through all of this, we have to remember something very important.  Something very personal and done on an individual basis even if we are married or in a relationship with someone else.  Hold yourself up.  Love yourself completely and fully.  Not only for what you are today and what you have accomplished but also what you can and what you are striving to become.  Holding yourself up will allow you to help those around you, especially those who need you.  Do whatever you do to remain positive, confident and powerful.  Make it a habit to have everything you need to keep yourself up and ready to take on whatever life has in store for you, because you never know when things will turn left and then it is too late.  do to get started.   Treat yourself as well as you possibly can with more experiences and fewer things.  Treat your body and mind like your most cherished possessions, because they are.  Drink lots of water.  Eat something for breakfast every day.  Whatever uplifts your spirit: practice it as much as you can.  Forgive those who need forgiving and apologize when you know you should.  All the excess baggage you can get off your shoulders do it as soon as you possibly can.  You will be so glad you did, and it will allow you to move forward and leave the past behind you. 
You are strong enough to handle anything, even on your worst, most trying day, as long as you constantly hold yourself up.  Doing kind things for others (including strangers), driving without road rage, spending quality time with the people you love are all things you can do to keep the positive energy flowing!  Spend as much time as you can doing the things that make you happy, it will help you get through all of the swirl going on around us every day.  Hold yourself up.

Preparing for the Workforce

The American dream has always included the “go to college and further your education” statement as part of the blueprint for as long as I remember.  We are told a college education is the key to living a prosperous life, and whether we believe that or not, there is one thing for certain, and that is not everyone is destined for college.  So what about them?  What do we do about the group of people who are going to enter the workforce with a high school diploma and compete with experienced adults for jobs?  If you or a loved one falls into this category, the answer is simple: preparation.  Once our students have finished their formal education, we MUST prepare them to enter the workforce regardless of the position they are trying to land.  If they are applying for an office position they will need a resume, the question is what does someone put on a resume with no paid work experience?  Hiring managers will take a look at any candidate who can demonstrate on paper that they are capable of filling their open position.  Someone with no previous work experience can demonstrate that using the right words and provide good sound examples.  “Enthusiastic”  “Quick learner”  “Team player”  “Take initiative”  “Proactive” will always grab attention and they can use any and all experiences to fit the bill.  Experience with Microsoft Office (especially Excel) is a plus, involvement in high school activities (Yearbook committee/sports teams/drama club) community organizations (Boy/Girl Scouts, mentorship programs) religious activities (church groups/choirs/ushers) can all be used on a first resume.  Once you have decided on the content and found a template you like, make sure you have someone proofread the finished draft before you submit it.  Nothing will get your resume ignored faster than a bunch of typos and bad grammar.  Having a practice interview can also go a long way in getting through the first job interview without crashing.  Everyone is nervous but if you have done it before you have an idea what to expect.  Sit them down and take them through it as best you can.  If you don’t feel comfortable, find someone who is so that it is meaningful.  Make sure they are dressed properly for the job they are applying for and when in doubt overdo it.  It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed, and it may be one of the things that separate them from the other candidates.  Pass them the interview tips from the Volume 1 DEES newsletter, if you don’t have your email copy they can see it for free on the website blog or the blog site.  There are a variety of websites that provide sample resumes for people with no work history, and if you email, we will send you one free of charge that you can customize.  If they need help getting through a phone screen from HR, you can, and we will set up a prep session so they can advance in the process to the hiring manager interview. 

Once they have landed the job, getting through the probationary period is the next step to securing and maintaining employment.  Because there are some similarities to high school, it can be easy to fall into some of the workplace traps in those first three months of employment that can be prevented with the right preparation.  Falling in with the wrong work clique is the quickest way to falling out of favor with the person who just hired you.  Most people aren’t open about their disciplinary situation at work so coming in late, leaving early, not taking lunches/breaks on time, inappropriate dress, being unprofessional are all things that may not seem so bad if it appears to be a group of co-workers getting away with it.  Coach them to stay away from that negative energy.  Nothing good ever comes from negativity, and if you can’t demonstrate the ability to handle the simplest levels of professionalism like showing up on time dressed properly for work, there is no need to wait and see if it gets better after probation because it normally never does.  Let them know there will be people who will label them for being good at their job and for being a good professional but the more positivity they demonstrate the further they will go on the job and in life.  Do your best, don’t be afraid to ask questions, be friendly enough and always be a team player even if you think others on the team are not and you will get through the probationary period and establish yourself as an employee who should be valued.

Sending our young adult loved ones out to “get a job” has to come with more than just that order.  If we want them to succeed both short and long term we have to invest the time and resources to help them.  Providing them with the tools and guidance to separate themselves from the other candidates will give them the necessary confidence to overcome the nerves and successfully navigate the interview experience.