Try to find your best ca­reer op­por­tu­nity to achieve suc­cess

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - CAREER SEARCH - By Mil­dred L. Culp Mil­dred Culp, Ph.D., may be reached at workwise@com­

The job mar­ket has changed. Your car ra­dio broad­casts a lo­cal largechain store’s need for lo­cal driv­ers, no overnights re­quired.

Whizzing be­hind huge trucks on the high­way, you see signs posted on rear doors call­ing for owner­op­er­a­tors and driv­ers them­selves to life on the road. Restau­rants ad­ver­tise for servers, bussers and de­liv­ery driv­ers.

Other re­tail­ers re­port even more needs with Help Wanted signs. These are signs of em­ployer des­per­a­tion.

While you may be look­ing for an­other kind of job, you can be sure that if road­ways are lit­tered with job post­ings, you’re see­ing only part of a trend.

Com­pa­nies are hav­ing more dif­fi­culty than they can re­mem­ber fill­ing po­si­tions by ap­pli­cants who may be a lit­tle more par­tic­u­lar than in the past. A sur­vey of ap­prox­i­mately 1,500 work­ing Amer­i­cans finds that 51 per­cent are “over­all sat­is­fied with their jobs,” ac­cord­ing to The Con­fer­ence Board, which con­ducts busi­ness re­search.

Re­mem­ber the re­ces­sion of 2009? If you could even find an open­ing, you’d won the first part of the bat­tle. To­day’s chal­lenge is to find work you re­ally want to do and be paid for it.


Don’t as­sume there are so many open­ings that you can use a generic re­sume.

“There are many job op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able, but there are also many peo­ple re­spond­ing to them,” said Gene Brady, di­rec­tor at Search Con­sult­ing Net­work, a dba of SC Novi Inc. in

Novi, Michi­gan. “Read the po­si­tion de­scrip­tion. Un­der­stand what the com­pany is look­ing for. If you have it, make sure it’s ad­dressed in your cover let­ter and easy to find on your re­sume.” The best em­ploy­ers will rec­og­nize your work be­hind the words.

Up­date your per­spec­tive on the hir­ing process some em­ploy­ers use. It can be much more than a se­ries of in­ter­views.

“Some de­sir­able com­pa­nies hire peo­ple on a tem­po­rary ba­sis,” said Joy Mont­gomery of Struc­tural-In­tegrity

in Liver­more, Cal­i­for­nia, a vol­un­teer for tran­si­tion­ing vet­er­ans at Re­boot Camp. “Find­ing the right fit for the team is as im­por­tant as find­ing the right skill set.” Iden­tify com­pa­nies that in­ter­est you and pur­sue the ones that pass your test.

Re­cruit helpers in the process.

“At­tend meet­ings of as­so­ci­a­tions of your peers; con­nect with those a bit more se­nior in their in­dus­try; ask for ad­vice; and con­nect via

LinkedIn and/or email,” said Lynda McKay of HR Ex­ten­sion LLC in Phoenix, Ari­zona. “Com­mu­ni­cate with them. Let them get to know you and what you can do.

“When some­one al­ready within the hir­ing man­ager’s net­work can vouch for your skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the po­ten­tial for an in-per­son in­ter­view goes way up.”

Once there, “be con­fi­dent and hum­ble,” said Laurie Battaglica, CEO and Work­place Strate­gist, Aligned at

Work, a dba of Scotts­dale’s Liv­ing the Dream Coaches LLC. “Don’t be­come part of the ghost­ing trend — dis­ap­pear­ing af­ter the hir­ing process. You never know when you’ll see the in­ter­viewer or hir­ing man­ager in a dif­fer­ent role later in your ca­reer. Do the right thing and keep look­ing for that dream job.”

When some­one al­ready within the hir­ing man­ager’s net­work can vouch for your skills and ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the po­ten­tial for an in-per­son in­ter­view in­creases.

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