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Feedback Q&A on Careers

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 79 comments and questions on Career issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 10 letters

Topic

Title

Country

Getting Fired Fired and worried I that I can't get a job USA
 
General Wants to change careers USA
 
General Benefits of having good communication skills India
 
Using the 5 Powers Seeking to get promoted over bad boss USA
 
General Has to fill out a job application UK
 
Fear in Job Interview Your answer given in job interview is a cliche Turkey
 
Cover Letter Guidelines Wants a sample cover letter for a job India
 
General Wants to send a letter asking for a job India
 
Find Online Looking for new TQM position Saudi Arabia
 
Getting Fired Distraught over being fired USA
 

Next 10

 




First 10 letters


Fired and worried I that I can't get a job

Topic: Getting Fired

Question

March 5, 2009

I was recently terminated from a position, and before that I could not get a job for a long while. I can't get back up. I am so full of fear that any job I could get, I am going to fail, or I can't do.
I am so full of anxiety, all I dream about is knowing inside I just can't do it, I am goung to get fired, I don't know every skill needed, etc. What can I do to get up? I finally have a new job, that I start next week, and I am sure that I can't do everthing on a job description list that was given to me. I keep looking at it and every time I do, I say I can't.

- USA

17388

Answer

This can be a great opportunity for you to find a better position that you enjoy and will give you the job security you need.

You want to take stock in yourself, build up your confidence and have a good plan of action to get a good job.

Take some time to think about what you are good at, what you like to do, and what you have achieved in your past jobs. it is good to write this down, so you can add things as they pop into your mind.

Consider achievements that you can be proud of. Don't take things for granted or compare with other people. Even such things as graduating from school and being reliable at work are things to put down and be proud of.

Gathering this information, you should be able to come up with a job you'd really like to have and something you'd be good at. Employers want to hire people who come in wanting to do something that will help their business. If you feel you are really good at something, they will be more interested than the average person applying for a job.

Also look at the skills you have. Are they important to a company or is there something lacking in your experience? Perhaps you can take some classes to expand your skills. There should be government support for this. Also, companies like go-getters who are trying to improve while looking for a job.

Let people know you are looking for a job--friends, relatives, etc. Most jobs do not come from the want-ads but from word-of-mouth.

Getting fired can be traumatic, but it is not the end of the world. Unless you were fired for drinking on the job or goofing off, you are in the company of millions of other people who are talented and skilled, but have lost their jobs.

It is not going to be easy getting another job, but you don't want to come in expecting failure. Instead, it is a numbers game. But also, the people who do their homework and study the companies where they apply, will have a big advantage, because they know what the company wants and needs. Even someone applying for a janitor job can sell himself as being valuable to the company.

Take advantage of this opportunity to get a better job. Plan and do your homework. Be persistent and patient. You'll get something better and be glad for losing your old job.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in getting a new job, and let me know how things turn out.

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Wants to change careers

Topic: General

Question

December 3, 2008

I have recently become a statistic in a 'Reduction In Force' at National Semiconductor in Maine, where I have worked as an Engineering Technician for 23 years. With regards to pay, it is one of the top businesses in the state to be employed by.

I have survived perhaps a dozen of these "layoffs" throughout my career with National.

I have finally arrived at a time and place in my life where I plan to pursue another direction in my life and (what remains of) my career. No longer do I wish to work in the technical field, dealing with "things", but would much prefer working with or for people. I guess the challenge will be, as I reinvent or perhaps a better word might be rediscover myself, will be to highlight all my transferable skills I have acquired throughout my technical career and how I may apply them in a different discipline.

Over the years, I have been dismayed by the direction the culture has been moving, particularly in light of this past year and one-half. It not only saddens me, but I find it troubling that so many of our children can no longer discern between what's good versus bad or what defines character.

I have read some books by various authors on the subject of Virtues and Fairy Tales, such as Vigen Guroian, G.K. Chesterton, Ronald Knox and of course William Bennet's Book of Virtues.

I am deeply interested in providing an opportunity for the children to learn and develop the virtues either through teaching or demonstration, but I do not know where to begin. I do not have a teaching certificate and since my wife is not employed, going to school may not be an option.

I would be forever greatful for any guidance you may provide me. Thank you.

regards,

James - USA

16897

Answer

Many people start looking for a new direction after many years in a job that may no longer be satisfying. With 23 years at National Semiconductor, hopefully you have some compensation to allow you to get by for a while. It may be a good opportunity to make a career change.

If you are in need of income, you might try to go back to National Semiconductor as a temporary worker, perhaps even at a reduced pay. At least it will give you time to pursue other interests.

You might even look into a training position at the company to train other technicians. This would also give you experience in teaching that you could apply to teaching children later.

You need to do some soul-searching or self-analysis to find your new direction. List things you enjoy doing, including projects at work, hobbies, vacations, and even books you enjoy reading. Also make a list of things you are good at and achievements you have had. Add things to these lists as the ideas come up. You may see a trend of certain areas that you not only enjoy but are also good at.

Check out books about finding your true calling in the career section in the library or bookstore. A good book on teaching character to children is "The Family Virtues Guide" by Linda Popov. Also check the site Character Counts for material on teaching character to children.

A big problem is finding places to teach. You can start by volunteering to teach children in your church Sunday School. You may not be able to find a real job teaching character to children, but even if you do it on the side, it can be gratifying.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in your new endeavors. Let me know how things turn out.

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Benefits of having good communication skills

Topic: General

Question

October 16, 2008

whaT what are the career options for a person with good communication skills?

siddharth - India

16653

Answer

A person with good communication skills can often excel in sales. But also having communication skills along with knowledge in a specialized field will allow you to advance and get promotions better than a person without good communication skills.

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Seeking to get promoted over bad boss

Topic: Using the 5 Powers

Question

December 6, 2007

Hello,
I have a head boss that is talking retirement in a few years. The second guy in charge was once head boss but stepped down, he is an overweight and stressed out guy. I am the third shift supervisor and I have hopes of being the head boss of the department.

The second in charge overweight guy always criticizes my work and he likes to bully and use favortism with staff. I brought up favortism to both my bosses in a meeting and they told me they do use favortism on staff that do good work. My overweight, stressed out boss uses favortism on employees that don't do good work, for instance he allows his "favorites" call in sick on his voice mail but the rules are people must call the operator when they call in sick.

Should I pursue talking to him about this or leave it alone? Should I go to Human Recources and tell them I am interested in the head job? I have already expressed to my head boss that I am interested in his job. I think the overweight stressed out boss does not personally like me and I feel he may stand in my way to advancement. Any suggestions would greatly be apprieciated. Thank you,

- USA

14918

Answer

I think you probably said enough about the second guy. First of all, you don't want to sound like a downer or someone negative to your bosses. They might think of you as someone who complains or whines. If they ever bring up the second boss in a conversation, say something positive about him. In this way, they will look at you as a team player.

Don't worry about the favoritism that the second boss uses. I am sure the other bosses are aware of it. Having you bring it up just makes you look bad in their eyes. Even though it bothers you, your best bet is to leave it alone.

Another thing to consider is that the second boss may become the head boss, so you don't want to alienate him. That is why it is never good to criticize any of the bosses to your fellow workers. Word gets around, and you can make enemies.

Note that they reason the second boss criticizes your work is because he sees you as a threat. He also wants to build himself up by tearing you down. I've found that trying to befriend such a person or dealing with him in a cordial friendly manner will actually soften his view of you. It is worth finding out about his hobby or interest and then asking him about it sometime. Being slightly friendly can result in him not trying to stop your advancement.

You've got a couple of years until the head boss retires. It is premature to show you hand and go to HR about the job. Instead, work on building up a reputation with your bosses, as well as the second boss, that you are a hard worker and a team player. Then the bosses can recommend you for the job.

Best wishes on advancing in your career.

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Has to fill out a job application

Topic: General

Question

November 29, 2007

Hallo!
My name is Monika.I have big problem with application form. I am applayng for teaching assistent at school.The quastion is;

Explain how your skills,ability,knowlegde and experience match each and every indiviual requirement in the Person Specification.Give evidence/examples wherever you can in supportof your application.
All relevante experience may include paid work or other activities such as college,leisure,family or domestic,community and voluntary work.It is not sufficient for you to simply say that you have done or can do this job.Please addres all the criteria in the Person Specification.If you do not, you my not be selected for interview.

P.S I will be so apriciate if you could help me.

Monika - UK

14872

Answer

Usually, the application form list certain skills that are requirements for the job. In applying for a teaching assistant position, skills may be how well you communicate with children and knowledge of subject matter. They may also want to know if you have ever taught children before, whether in a job, in church Sunday school, or other activity. Also, what is your education background.

Think of courses you have taken in school and jobs you have had where you did the requirements they are asking for. Then explain in a few sentences exactly what you did. For example, if being able to communicate with young children is a question, you can explain something like how you helped your sister take care of her children and spent time reading to them.

Think of anything you have done that relates to teaching children. Then describe that experience.

Note that you should write out your answer to the questions before writing them on the application. Then make sure that your spelling and grammar is correct. If you have an application with many spelling errors, your chances of getting the job are greatly reduced.

Best wishes on completing the application and in getting the job.

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Your answer given in job interview is a cliche

Topic: Fear in Job Interview

Question

November 16, 2007

> Note that a common question asked in an interview is: "Tell me your weaknesses." You need to prepare to answer that question with a positive remark. An example may be: "One weakness is that I try to do a perfect job. I may even do extra work to make sure the job is excellent."

This is one of the well known cliche lies. I suppose at a site giving career advices, you should do better than advising to reply this question with one of the worst cliches. What I usually say is "Sometimes I forget names", and continue with "that's why I write down the name of the person I'm talking to on the phone at the start of the conversation and cheat from there when I need it". So now it is not a lie, it is still one of my weaknesses, and it is not a big deal, you can even call this a fun moment to relax the interviewer. Referring to this monumental cliche (I'm a perfectionist) would make you look stupid, and worse you would be seen to think the interviewer is stupid enough to believe that. I think this is one of the worst mistakes that you can do in a job interview, that is to play the interviewer for a fool. You lose all your chances immediately, if any.

Even if you are lucky enough to find such a dumbass interviewer to really believe that you are indeed a perfectionist; you should know that this is not a good personal trait, either. A perfectionist is perceived to be running away from responsibility by sticking to something he already knows pretty well; while he should move on to something new. Perfectionists are usually afraid of responsibility and are usually good low-grade office workers; while as you go up the management ladder, people become more and more of venturers, they like to take responsibility, make hard decisions, and once they make sure something is on the way to get solved, he passes it to somebody lower, and moves on; and do not meddle anymore with something already solved.

These are my humble 2 cents on this subject.

Serkan - Turkey

14789

Answer

Thanks for your feedback on this subject. I think your example is a better one than the one used in this article, unless the person actually was a perfectionist. Note that this essay was not about how to handle questions in interviews. That is taken up in a different area. This one was mainly about being nervous and fearful during an interview. The idea was to be prepared for such a question. Needless to say, I will take your advise and change it.

Another point not mentioned in our article is that such a question as, "Tell me your weaknesses" is usually given by Human Resources interviewer, whose job is mainly is to screen potential employees with some standard questions. The actual hiring interview is typically giving by the manager seeking a new employee.

Anyways, I appreciate your input.

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Wants a sample cover letter for a job

Topic: Cover Letter Guidelines

Question

June 2, 2007

dear / sir,

thanking you for your earlier reply & consideration to the letters.-
i read your cover letters , i have some doubts.
first of all iwant to write an application letter not for a ad at news papers. i just want to introduce me to that company & try to get any job ( with my qualification) at that company , then how can i start my covering letter?

if iam writing letter for a telephone opereator job , can you draft me a good covering letter/ show me a format.

if i have an experience of working as an office assistant how can i introduce my experience for a telephone operator.

kindly give me reply immediatly . i expect a reply today itself , because its an urgent matter.

Gayathri - India

13868

Answer

You should first have a one-page resume that tells your address, what job you want, your education, and your experience.

Then your cover letter that goes with the resume should say:

Dear Employment Manager:

I am seeking a position as a telephone operator with your company. I have experience working as an office assistant, and I feel that this experience working in a business environment will help my capabilities as a telephone operator.

Enclosed is my resume, giving my education and work experience. I look forward to hearing from you concerning this position, since I am anxious to be working in such a job.

Sincerely,
Gayathri Nambiar

A letter like that should be effective. Good luck in getting the job.

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Wants to send a letter asking for a job

Topic: General

Question

May 30, 2007

Dear sir

I am Gayathri Nambiar want to write an application letter to a famous construction company namely Malabar Groups.they have not declared any vaccancy but i want to ework with that company. so i have to request to them that if they have any vaccancy there please inform as a special contestant.

I have to impress them with my letter. so please draft me a good application with the above details. consider it as an urgent request and give me an earlier reply today itself.


thanking you in advance.

Gayathri - India

13852

Answer

Before you can send a letter to this company, you need to have a specific job in mind. You also need a resume that will summarize your education and experience to show that you are qualified for that job.

Although you can send your letter and resume to their Employment Office or Human Resources, what really works best is if you can find a manager in the area where you want to work. For example, if you want to work in their Quality Assurance area, you would contact that manager. If you wanted to work on a construction crew, you would contact that manager. It is worthwhile to do some research on the company, if you really want to work for them.

For this letter, see our lesson on Cover Letters at:
http://www.school-for-champions.com/career/cover_letter_guidelines.htm

Good luck in getting your job.

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Looking for new TQM position

Topic: Find Online

Question

March 13, 2007

Hello
my current job now is TQM coordinator of one of militry hospital in saudi arabia,i am looking for more great job
i am TQM prof.AUC 1998,TQM diploma AUC 2001
i am Nephrologist
my nationality :Egyptian

Neamatallh - Saudi Arabia

13357

Answer

If you are interested in a position in Egypt, it would be good to check with the Egyptian Organization for Standards and Quality at http://www.eos.org.eg. That organization could have the latest quality and TQM activities in Egypt.

Quality Control jobs in Egypt are listed at:
http://www.jobsinegypt.com/Job/Last_Posted_Jobs.asp?FieldName=Quality+Control

You can check for similar organizations in other countries, but it is easiest to get a job in a country where you have a background.

Not many hospitals are not known to be concerned with TQM, quality issues or such. Often large companies, especially those in competitive markets seek expertise on ways to increase their profits through quality. You can check with companies you are familiar with and try to talk with their Manager of Quality. Often they may be looking for good people.

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in your job search

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Distraught over being fired

Topic: Getting Fired

Question

October 10, 2006

I was fired a couple days ago at a job that I loved and all my coworkers were my friends. I had a couple instances at work where I had some disagreements with managers who were new and didnt really know what they were doing, I guess I felt I could never be fired and was "untouchable" because I was so good at my job. My boss when letting me go said he would give me a great reference and i was the hardest person hes ever had to fire. Ever since ive been fired ive gone into a complete depression I cry all the time. When I wake up I feel im in a nightmare. I got a new job the next day but hate it, its only been two days but im so overwhelmed and depressed. I dont like this new place but need to have income.. What should I do????

- USA

12122

Answer

Getting fired can be very traumatic, because it can make you feel like a failure. It makes it worse when you liked your job and your coworkers. Feeling that you never could be fired because you're good at what you do perhaps made you overconfident.

There are several lessons you should learn from this experience. First of all realize that anyone can get fired. Second is to realize that a manager, even one who doesn't know what he's doing, still has power over you. At the very least, you need to learn to use a lot of diplomacy when disagreeing with a manager.

Now, what you need to do is to create a whole new outlook on your career and what you are going to be doing. Perhaps getting fired was a blessing in disguise, because you were getting complacent with your job. Consider your present job just a temporary situation. Take stock in your talents and seek a position that will make the most of what you can do.

The shock of getting fired. In such a situation is very similar to breaking open a good relationship. But you need to move on, sometimes things work out better than before. You might think of a career change or even a location change. The big thing is to make some career plans and start working toward achieving your goals.

You obviously have some talents, and hopefully you've learned some good lessons from this experience. Try to make the most of your present situation, and will toward landing on your feet.

Best wishes on starting your new career.

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