Volunteering to Get a Job – Guest Post

Volunteering to Get a Job

VolunteeringThe advice to “volunteer to get a job” when you’re looking for employment shows up everywhere. It’s one of those pieces of advice that sounds easy when it’s on paper, but job seekers who have actually tried to follow the advice discover that it’s anything but. Often, the non-profits you’d like to volunteer for, don’t have volunteer positions. Even if they do, they’re often for low level jobs like envelope stuffing that wouldn’t help you even if you did put it on your resume.

In this post, I’d like to show you what those other books and articles simply don’t talk about: The nitty-gritty of how to actually get resume relevant work through volunteering, using a process I call the skill-bridge technique.

Step 1: Decide What Skills You’d like to Develop

The first step to getting resume relevant work is to figure out what skills you’d like on your resume. Make a list of all the skills needed for your desired job title, and find the weak points on your resume. What skills are critical for the job but for which you don’t have much (if any) experience?

Step 2: Figure out what the organization needs

The next step is to do a bit of networking. This can be through volunteering at the organization in the low level jobs mentioned earlier, or through going to events that people from the non-profit will be at in high attendance. The goal is to have conversations with people who work there, and figure out two or three issues that are on everybody’s mind. What are the top problems, challenges, and opportunities that the organization is facing?

Step 3: Show the organization how your skills can solve their problems.

The final step takes a little bit of creativity. The goal is to figure out how you can use your desired skills to tangibly effect the problems, challenges, and opportunities that you identified. Then, ask one of your contacts at the company for the email address of a decision maker. Send them a short email saying that your contact gave you their information, and create a crisp, clear proposal showing how you can help solve their problem using your skill (for free).

Conclusion

If all goes well, you’ll take on a relevant project that will not only fill in the gaps on your resume, but also give you passionate advocates and connections who know you can solve problems, and will assist you in your job search.

Interested in seeing how a real life job-seeker used this strategy to go from administrative assistant to business analyst? Listen to the original interview here!

About The Author:

Matt Goldenberg is the creator of the Skill Bridge Technique and the founder of Self-Made Renegade, a website for liberal arts grads and career changers who’d like to get their dream jobs.

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for July 12

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Social Media

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career

Career Pivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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The Career Playbook Series: Boomers + Second Half Plays

PlaybookCareer Playbook

Do you have a playbook for your career? I wish I’d had a playbook when I started my career!

What about now?

Do you feel a little lost and not sure where to go next?

For many of us who are over 50 years of age, the concept of career has changed. It is now just about making enough money to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

The work world has changed. The concept of being hired for a full time job and receiving a steady paycheck is rapidly disappearing.  For most baby boomers, this is really scary.

(More : Over 50 and long term unemployed – What do you do?)

What if you had a Baby Boomer Career Playbook that laid out your options going forward?

I was recently introduced to Carleen McKay who is with Ageless In America and the San Diego Mature Workforce Coalition.

Carleen has launch the first of a series of playbooks. It is called The Career Playbook Series: Boomers + Second Half Plays.

The concept behind this playbook is to give you real life examples of what you could do if you exited the traditional world of full time employment.

The book contains real stories from real people (names were changed to protect the innocent!).

You do have options rather than going to work full time for an employer! For many, going to work full time is no longer an option.  This book provides powerful stories and lessons about baby boomers who have taken a different path.

  1. Portfolio Workers – Juggling preferences
  2. Starting Over – When the job you once held no longer exists
  3. Starting Out – Entering the workforce for the first time at 50+
  4. Learners – Repositioning through learning
  5. Virtual Workers – Working from here, there and anywhere but an office
  6. “Freelancers” – Temps, free agents, contractors
  7. Interim Executives – Leaders of change
  8. Global Workers – Working from everywhere
  9. Job/Work Cyclers – Managing multiple changes
  10. Barterers – Collaborating and gain-sharing
  11. Good Workers – Doing what matters for others
  12. Subject-Matter-Experts – Focusing on expertise
  13. The Buyers – Small businesses or franchises
  14. The Innovators – Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs

Download it now! It is free!

Other Playbooks

Carleen is helping others create playbooks. Here are two playbooks that are in the works:

The Playbook for The Young Women of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math)

Less than half of young people entering STEM careers are young women.  Role models and the stories of successful Millennial women in these careers are, in my opinion, the prime motivator to encourage women into the careers that will dominate the future.

 The Playbook for Interns

It’s intention is to encourage internships in order to ensure employ-ability upon college graduation.  While written primarily for anticipated graduates; all stages of internships will be addressed.

Take a moment and download The Career Playbook Series: Boomers + Second Half Plays and let me know what you think.

Does this help you along in your career journey?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Should Baby Boomers Care About Their Personal Brand?

Personal BrandBaby Boomers, should you care about your Personal Brand?

I have written a couple of posts on this topic in the last few months:

Each time I have posted links to these posts on a variety of LinkedIn groups.

I have received comments like:

Why do I have to post on social media? Face to face communication is far more important.

You cannot build real relationships on Social Media!

First, that’s actually not true. I know many people who have met clients, customers and collaborators on social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn. They begin by commenting on one another’s posts, having online discussions and getting to know one another. Then, after a period of this, one or the other recommends they meet off line. Frequently, the relationship they built online proves to be something fruitful for both of them.

I also have many clients who work on large multi-national teams. They rarely meet face-to-face with their teammates. One of them has been running worldwide events for a large multi-national corporation from his man-cave for the last several years. His only interaction with his teammates was over the phone. And, like many people who get entrenched in a company, his business relationships were entirely with people who worked for the same multi-national corporation. It was an all-consuming culture.

He is now looking for employment. He knows his stuff. The problem is no one knows that he knows his stuff.  Had he been interacting with other people who do similar things in other companies, he would be a known entity. He would have connections outside of his own company.

Now he has to start promoting his skills. He has to be a salesman where he is the product.

Does this sound familiar? Had he been building relationships, reputation, answering questions for peers on social media, he would have a personal brand as an expert in this field.

That’s why Baby boomers should pay attention to Personal Brands!

We, baby boomers, were raised to be employees and were expected to go to work for father like corporations that would take care of us.

Those days are gone forever!

Dan Schawbel’s new book Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success is counter to the way many baby boomers were raised. Promote yourself? Many of us were taught that our work should speak for itself. Or we should let others speak for us. People who promoted themselves, unless they were really, really good at doing it subtly, were seen as arrogant.

The world has changed.

You now need to look at yourself as a product. A well-defined product that can be promoted worldwide!

That well-defined product is defined by your personal brand.

Can you afford to ignore developing and promoting your personal brand?

If you want to stay employed for the next twenty years (which many boomers will need to do) your personal brand cannot be ignored.

Should baby boomers care about their personal brand?

You tell me!

This post is part of a new regular series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Forbes Top 100 Career Websites List Dissected

Forbes Top 100 Career WebsitesForbes Top 100 Career Websites List

Ever since Career Pivot appeared on the Forbes Top 100 Career Websites List I have wanted to closely dissect this list to better understand the industry and trends. Here is what I found!

I created my own categories and I placed each website in one and only one category. Therefore, my analysis is strictly subjective!

General Career Coaching/Services

The largest category with thirty websites on the Forbes Top 100 Career Websites list were those that provide general career coaching or provided a career related service. This included websites:

I selected the websites somewhat at random but it gives you a good flavor for the wide variety of services they provide. Most contain a free component but every website is intended to sell some career service.

The thing that I found interesting is most, if not all, of these websites did not exist prior to 2006. This is an industry that has grown up in the last ten years to service the growing population that need career related services.

Job Boards

This category really surprised me!! I fully expected to see CareerBuilder, Dice.com, Monster, SimplyHired, Indeed, TheLadders, and USAJobs. There were over 25 websites on the Forbes Top 100 Career Websites list that fit this category. Some were really interesting:

  • CareerBliss - CareerBliss empowers you to choose happy with company reviews and ratings, salary info and jobs
  • CoolWorks – Summer Jobs and Seasonal Jobs in Great Places
  • FlexJobs – Telecommuting Jobs and Professional Part-Time Jobs
  • Modern-Day Nomads – Top Travel Jobs & Inspiration for Globetrekking, Creative Professionals
  • Startup Hire - Search thousands of jobs at the world’s best startups and find your place to shine

Above is just a sampling of some of the really interesting job board websites. There are many more specialty job boards.

Gen Y/Millenials

A significant number of websites targeted the Gen Y or Millenial generation. I have a son who is a very early Millenial and he graduated college in 2006 exactly four years after graduating from High School. (Very unusual for this generation!!) The great recessionstarted in the fall of 2008 with the collapse of Lehman Brothers. He has grown up to be a fine young man and he is off my payroll!

In thinking about this generation, the vast majority are graduating into the worst job market since the great depression.On top of that, their baby boomer parents told them to follow their passion. The jobs and careers would follow.

Boy did that not happen!

Heck there are five websites on the Forbes Top 100 Career Websites list with Internin their name! A few examples of these websites include:

  • Boredom to Boardroom – Helping young professionals build successful careers with an inside look into HR and the corporate
  • Levo League – Levo League is a social good startup designed to elevate young women in the workforce by providing the career resources needed to achieve personal and professional success
  • The Branding Muse – The Branding Muse provides actionable advice and resources that eliminate confusion and helps students, working professionals and entrepreneurs develop their personal brand

Communities

There were eleven websites on the Forbes Top 100 Career Websites list that I classified as community websites. Their purpose was to create a community that would help itself. Some of these are free and some have a monthly charge. This includes websites:

General Resouces

There quite a few general resource websites that you will recognize like Salary.com, Glassdoor, Recruiter.com and About.com Careers section.

What about Baby Boomers?

Well, this is what surprised me. There were only two websites on the Forbes Top 100 Career Websites list that are explicitly dedicated to Baby Boomer issues. Career Pivot and My Lifestyle Career.

There is Encore.org where their focus is on encore careers for social good. You could bundle them into this category and say three websites. None the less, it appears to be an under served market.

I want to pose the question – why are there so few online services focused on the Baby Boomer generation?

Let me know what you think? I will be writing about this next week!

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out theBoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

BoomerJobTips – Curated Career Content for September 22

BoomerJobTipsBoomerJobTips Update

Welcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Job Search

Social Media

Baby Boomers

Career Pivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Is Full Time Employee an Oxymoron? (Infographic)

Full Time EmployeeFull Time Employee – Is it an oxymoron?

Are you a full time employee? If you are,  you will soon be in the minority.

If you have not heard but Kelly Services is now the second largest employer in the United States behind Wal-Mart. That is right a temporary services company is #2 employer in the US.

I wrote last year that working for yourself would become very common in the next ten years.

In fact, there are predictions that half of the workforce will be contractors or freelancers by the start of the next decade.

We are see a structural change in the economy. The New York Times referred to this as The iPhone Economy. Over the last fifty years we have shifted from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. In fact, a lot of manufacturing is returning to the US but not the jobs. Most of the gains have come through automation.

Are you ready for the new reality?

Most baby boomers will be working long past the traditional retirement age but it will unlikely be as a full time employee.

We are in interesting times. Entrepreneurship is collapsing in the traditional 20-34 age group due to student loan debt but entrepreneurship is booming among baby boomers. The Kaufman Foundation has a report titled The Coming Entrepreneurship Boom.

Whether you are a traditional entrepreneur working for yourself or an intrapreneur working for someone else the world is changing.

What spurred me to write about this topic was a article on Entrepreneur.com titled Everyone Will Have to Become an Entrepreneur.

The article referenced the following infographic from FundersAndFounders.com

Entrepreneurship

Everyone is not cut out to be an entrepreneur. However, the world is rapidly moving to a contract based employment model. Many of you will want to look at building a portfolio career. This is where you perform a variety of services to provide an income. You definitely are not a full time employee but rather having multiple part time positions.

The term full time employee may soon be an oxymoron.

What are you going to do?

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Baby Boomers and Social Media, Still an Oxymoron?

Baby Boomers and Social MediaBaby Boomers and Social Media

When will baby boomers and social media become synonymous?

The answer will probably be never but we are getting better.

Pew Research Center just came out with a report Pew Internet: Social Networking that shows there is a gradual adoption of social media of the 50-64 age group but it is well below people under 50 years of age.

As you can see from the table below only the 65+ demographic has a lower adoption rate of Social Media than the 50-64 demographic.

Why is adopting Social Media so important?

The career world has been turned 180 degrees in the last decade. We have gone from a world where employers posted positions and candidates vied for those positions to now where most positions never get posted.

Companies are sourcing candidates via the Internet and Social Media. They are not searching for people looking for a new position, but they are searching for anyone with the right skills match. If you do not have a presence online then it is much more difficult to be found.

With the rise of social media, it is much easier to meet and interact with current employees of prospective employers but also employees who have left. I wrote about this earlier this year in a post called How to check out a company before….

You can seek out and interact with people who have left to find out why!

Have you taken a job and it turned out to be different than you expected?

Are we getting better?

The answer is yes!

We are not adopting social media as fast as the younger generations but we are moving in the right direction.

What about mobile?

Baby Boomers trail the rest of market in adopting social media on mobile devices!

This really does not surprise me! I own a iPhone 4 and I have problems with the teeny tiny fonts on the device.

What the Pew Internet: Social Networking report showed me is Baby Boomers and Social Media is no longer a complete oxymoron!

What do you think?

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Talents versus Skills – Do you know the difference?

Talents versus SkillsTalents versus Skills

Do you know what talents you have? Do you know what skills you have? What are your talents versus skills?

For many baby boomers,the answer will be I do not know.

Most of us have forgotten what talents we have. They have been blurred into building our career, making money, paying the mortgage, putting our kids through college, saving for retirement,……

Talents

Lets look at the definition of Talent. According to Dictionary.com

tal·ent [tal-uhnt]

noun

1. a special natural ability or aptitude: a talent for drawing.
A talent is something we do naturally. It is something that we do not think about we just do it.
Think back to your childhood. What did you just love to do? What did you do that it required little thought? What did you do that left you energized?
Think back to when you entered adulthood. Ask yourself the same questions.
Is this hard?
Make a list of all of your talents. Hmmm… can’t think of any or only a few? Let’s move on.

talents versus skillsSkills

Lets look at the definition of Skill. According to Dictionary.com

skill1 [skil]

noun

1. the ability, coming from one’s knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well: Carpentry was one of his many skills.

A skill is something that we learn. Skills are developed. You might attend training to learn a skill. You will practice that skill. You can master a skill such that it appears to be a talent.

This might be a hard skill like programming, hardware design, technical writing, web design, content marketing,…..

This might be a soft skill like negotiating, project management, people management, …..

Make a list of all of the skills you have. This will take a while.

What talents enabled you to learn these skills?

Again, I ask what are your talents versus skills? Getting any easier?

I previous wrote a blog post titled – Larry Bird, Winners, Talents and Skills

I quoted the great basketball player Larry Bird – A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals

What are your God-given talents?

(More: What are your natural talents?)

The Crux of the Problem

If you have been working for thirty plus years like me, you have developed a lot of skills. I have been paid a lot of money to produce products and services using those skills.

The crux of the problem is many of us are now saying we are sick and tired of using those skills.

Why did we develop some of those skills? Many times it was because our employer paid us to develop those skills? Did we like using those skills? Many times using those skills was okay!When were required to use those skills over and over and over and over….. it got old real fast.

When we say, we have had enough you may hear:

  • You are so good at it, why would you want to quit?
  • They pay you a lot of money, why would you want to quit?

Sound familiar?

The problem is the over use of those skills that were developed because someone else wanted you to learn those skills.

Over the last twenty five years, I have inhaled many complex technologies and spit them back out in culturally neutral stories, analogies, pictures, animations and other adult learning formats. I am really good it. I enjoy the design and creation of the materials but if I have to inhale one more complex technology that has no real social value well …….

I am really good at the inhalation process, but that is a skill that I have developed. I do not want to do it anymore!

What about you? What are your talents versus skills.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out theBoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Workplace Stress – What are the consequences? [Infographic]

workplace stressWorkplace Stress

What are the consequences for workplace stress for most baby boomers?

What brings this up is I have been having discussions with a variety of IBMer’s who were laid off, errr,…. uh,… subject of a Resource Action. Most had twenty five plus years with IBM.

A common theme has been the physical and emotional aspects of working for IBM in the last few years. They were stressed out, and it was showing up physically.

I had lunch with an old friend, well he is younger than me so maybe he is not an old friend! He told me he was working 12-14 hour days 7 days a week. He had a variety of serious aliments that could be directly related to stress. All of these ailments had long term consequences.

When do you say enough is enough!

When I left my last corporate position, my blood pressure was extremely high, I was suffering from a variety of other physical ailments similar to my friend.

At the same time, I had multiple friends die well before their time. I had one dear friend who suffered from a massive heart attack while on a bicycle, only to have a good samaritan get out of their car within a minute of him going to down to start CPR. My friend’s heart was not restarted for 10 minutes. Except for a multiple bypass operation my friend has minimal ill effects from the incident. We have no idea who the gentleman was who got out of his car. This had a dramatic effect on me! Life is too short to let it be effected by workplace stress.

I remember telling my boss, I needed to slow down because of health issues. His response was “go out for a run we got to keep going!”. Real sympathetic response!!!

That was the impetus to start the planning process for what is now Career Pivot.

It was only after I went home miserably one day with sky high blood pressure that I said enough is enough. The consequences of workplace stress were a much shortened life and reduced quality of life.

When my friend was told he would be part of the latest resource action, he did not look for a job within IBM. He knew he needed to move on with his life. Sometimes we need a kick in the appropriate anatomical part to get us to take care of ourselves.

What are the consequences of workplace stress for you?

Check out the following infographic from Top10OnlineColleges.org.
The Cost of Job Stress

Have you ever said enough is enough!

Should you be saying this now?

Will workplace stress shorten your life and reduce your quality of life?

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest  curated content relating to baby boomers.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist