Monthly Archives: October 2015

2015 Holiday Season: Who’s hiring?

Posted: October 30, 2015 at 7:52 pm

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Every year, the big retailers bulk up their seasonal workforce to meet the demands of the holidays. We’re happy to say that this year is no exception! Companies such as Target, Macy’s, GAP, Walmart, JC Penny and Toys R Us have thousands of positions open for both full and part-time work. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to make some much needed cash. And if you’re lucky, some of these part-time positions may lead to full-time employment. Here’s a complete breakdown of where the jobs are this upcoming holiday season.

  • Amazon: +100,000 seasonal jobs. +25,000 full-time workers.
  • Macy’s: +85,000 seasonal workers. That number includes hiring at its other flagship brand Bloomingdeals. Roughly 12,000 of these positions will be in fulfillment centers.
  • Wal-Mart: +60,000 holiday workers. That number includes department managers in more than 3,500 stores. In 2014, the company claims it retained 50%+ of those workers for full-time positions.
  • J.C. Penney: +30,000 seasonal employees. Don’t expect these jobs to turn into full time work though as this retailer has been having a tough go of things, closing many of its stores over the past year.
  • Nordstrom: +11,800 seasonal workers this holiday primarily at both Nordstrom “proper” and their discounted Rack locations. Fulfillment centers will account for about 1,600 of those jobs.
  • Toys R Us: +40,000 seasonal with the opportunity for overtime.
  • Kohl’s: +69,000 seasonal workers.
  • Target: +70,000 workers in vorh its stores and warehouses.
  • Burlington Stores: +10,800 seasonal workers.
  • Sports Authority: + 3,500 seasonal workers. This may be a promising prospect for those of you seeking full-time employment as hundreds of these jobs will transition into permanent positions after the holiday season.
  • GameStop: +28,000 seasonal workers. The company is seeking sales associates, consumer electronics technicians and warehouse workers.
  • Belk: +5,800 seasonal employees, primarily in sales.
  • The Bon-Ton Stores: +13,000 seasonal employees in their retail stores; +500 employees in distribution.
  • UPS: + 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal workers.
  • FedEx: +5,000 more seasonal worker.

 *Data compiled by CNBC.

Say It Loud, Say It Proud: Bragging at Work

Posted: October 23, 2015 at 10:10 pm

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Bragging at work seems, on its face, like a bad idea. Nobody wants to look like an attention hog! Unfortunately, laboring away in silence is an equally terrible idea. There’s no point in going the extra mile if nobody is going to notice. It’s critical that the people you report to know exactly how hard you’re working, and it’s up to YOU to tell them. That way you can reap the rewards of hard work in both salary increases and recognition.

Make sure you get credit where it’s due.  It’s a given that most people work as part of a team, and you don’t want to take all of the credit for a team effort. However, you shouldn’t let your contributions go unnoticed. The tactful way to speak up is to first praise the entire team for their role in a successful endeavor, but then make sure your specific contributions are recognized.

Articulate your contributions clearly. Vaguely indicating that you were somehow responsible for the success of a project isn’t a very effective way to build your brand at work – be clear about your role! Describe the nature of a project, any hurdles you encountered, and how you helped move a project forward in spite of those hurdles.  Let them know if you worked long hours, and where you went above and beyond as an employee. Those are the kinds of details that impress an employer.

Document your achievements. Time might erase an employer’s memory of all that you’ve done over the weeks, months and years. Your own memory might be fuzzy! That’s why it’s important to document all of your contributions as an employee. Create a written record of your hard work so everybody is on the same page. If you increased revenue, make sure you indicate by how much. Maybe you trained a sales force, or spearheaded an important new marketing initiative. Write it down!


5 Ways to Make A Job You’re Overqualified for Worthwhile

Posted: October 16, 2015 at 11:16 pm

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Job Prospects for GraduatesWhen somebody tells you that you’re overqualified, it almost sounds like a compliment. The implication is that you’re too smart and skilled for your existing job. However, the reality of the situation is much more insidious. It means you’re working in a job that isn’t challenging or engaging. You’re probably “checked out” much of the time, and frequently feeling discouraged, resentful and underutilized. However, the situation doesn’t have to be so bleak. This job may not be your dream job, but a savvy worker will work hard to turn it into a stepping stone for the next phase of their career. Let’s look at a few ways to make the best of a less than ideal situation.

1. Ask for More Responsibility. Approach your supervisor and request additional duties or responsibilities. You might be pleasantly surprised at the types of projects management sends your way. Push for projects that allow you to tackle new challenges, develop new skill sets, and network with other people at the company who can help you further your career – or at least provide a valuable reference.

2. Help out your co-workers. Let’s say you asked for additional responsibilities, but management turned you down.  Don’t throw in the towel yet! Look around you to see if any of your co-workers need help. While you might be underutilized, there is probably somebody else in your office who is completely overworked. Offer to help them out! You’ll gain valuable experience, a reputation as a team player, and again – another valuable reference from a colleague.

3. Expand your professional network. Here’s the thing about careers. You never know who’s going to help you down the road. It might be the founder of your company, or it might be the secretary. Lay the foundation for future relationships with everybody in the office. Wrangle your way into meetings and company events so you can get to know clients and co-workers. Bring a coffee over to a colleague’s desk, or ask them out to lunch. Whatever you do, just don’t hide behind your desk. It’s easy to disappear into the fabric of a company, but it will get you exactly nowhere.

4. Keep your chin up. There really are no small jobs, only small people. Even the most mundane task is important to the successful operation of a business, and your ability to do it well is valuable. Remember that when you’re feeling small, and try to find your smile. If you’re doing a good job with a positive attitude, your employer likely notices and appreciates that immensely. Ditto for your co-workers.

5. Organize Your Exit. You’ve been working, networking, and exercising that smile. However, there may be a point in time where it becomes clear that this job is going nowhere. Don’t quit. Sit tight, get your work done, and organize yourself for your next job opportunity. Create documents that detail exactly what needs to be done for the next person stepping into your position, and of course – get that resume ready. Hopefully, the experience and goodwill you created in this job will greatly benefit you as you move onto the next position.


6 of the Most Common Interview Mistakes

Posted: October 9, 2015 at 4:04 pm

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Broken girl during an interview

It can be a long journey from searching job classifieds on your computer to meeting with an executive to discuss an actual job. That’s why stumbling during a job interview can feel absolutely excruciating. However, most people have suffered a misstep in a job interview before. If you stay calm and keep cool, you can absolutely rebound. Here are some fairly common interview mistakes, and how to get things back on track.

1. Taking a jab at a your current employer. The company you work for might in fact be a gulag run by terrible people who rejoice in your misery. However, it’s never a good idea to bring that up in an interview. Ever. You’re not the first person to make this mistake though. Redirect the story back to what an awesome person you are for thriving in what was likely a challenging situation.

2. Drawing a blank. Interviews are nerve wracking for most humans, and sometimes our brains just short out on us. Don’t freak out if an important piece of information or a common industry term evaporates from your memory.  Acknowledge the slip up, and find a way to make the larger point that needs to be made.

3. !@#$%, you cursed. We’re not gonna sugarcoat this one. Cursing is a major faux pas, so apologize and move on quickly. Dive right back into answering the original question, and hope your interviewer is either extremely forgiving or has a short memory.

4. Talking too much. Awkward silences might feel stressful, but try to get comfortable with them in a professional setting such as an interview. Avoid the need to fill the silence with mindless prattle which can leave an unfavorable impression. Your interviewer might just be gathering their thought or taking notes.

6. Your phone is ringing, buzzing or beeping. Before walking into an interview, you should always take a moment to turn your phone off. If you forget to do so, don’t ignore it. The sound or vibration is an enormous distraction and will pull attention away from where it belongs which is on you. Apologize, turn it off, and get back to the business at hand.

How To Find a Mentor

Posted: October 2, 2015 at 6:34 pm

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What is a mentor?
Why do I need to find one?
Who cares? I’m going to go shop for shoes on Zappos.

Ah, mentorship! It’s the career advice topic that we all love to ignore. However, anybody who is serious about their career needs to stop running from this topic. Mentors can be an indispensable guide along your career path providing advice, making valuable introductions, and lending a hand when you’re in need. Of course, many of us discover that it’s not so easy to find a mentor. It’s not like you ask somebody to be your mentor the way you would ask somebody to go to the prom. So what do you do?

1. Approach somebody you know. Ideally, this is somebody that you respect in your field. Somebody knowledgeable. Somebody who is a few steps ahead of you along your career path. Somebody who knows and likes you. That last one is really critical. You might be tempted to approach an industry titan you’ve never met before. However, their dance card is probably full. Stick to your network for now while you work on cultivating a relationship with those you have yet to meet.

2. Don’t be so formal. There’s no formal ask. Don’t do that! It’s weird. Just cut to the chase, and ask your mentor for feedback in regards to whatever ails you. If they like you, they’ll help you out. If they don’t, they’ll ignore you or make up an excuse. It’s normal to feel weird, angry, stressed or disappointed in the event that you’re rejected. Go ahead and feel those feelings, and then move on (quickly!) to the next person.

3. Groom future mentors. Most of us look up to a handful of people in our fields whom we we respect for their accomplishments. They are frequently well regarded and unavailable. However, you can attempt to get on their radar. If they are published, share their work with others on social media. Perhaps they blog? Leave comments on their latest post. And lastly, don’t forget to check your LinkedIn and social networks for any existing connections. You might be surprised at who you have in common. There might be an old school friend or gym buddy who can help you out by making an introduction.

4. Show gratitude for their help. Don’t just take a mentor’s advice, connections, time and then run! It’s important to show appreciation for their time and efforts, or this valuable relationship might disappear before your very eyes. Be thoughtful, considerate and kind in return. If you can refer a new client, that will always be appreciated. Connect them with a journalist who can cover one of their products or services. It might be as simple as offering to walk their dog while they’re on vacation. Just do something, anything, that lets them know how much you value their advice and time.