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Career Feedback

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 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

My heartbeat increases before I speak to a group Fear in Meeting India
 
Can't get hired because past employer says she was fired Getting Fired USA
 
Where to look for a job? General Philippines
 
I want to know what is my choice of job Three Motivations India
 
Want to be a computer engineer but weak in math General Nigeria
 
Nervous and desperate to get a job Fear in Job Interview USA
 
Sometimes good talkers are poor workers Fear in Job Interview SA
 
Worried about having to run meetings at work General USA
 
What to do with assignment worksheet? Getting Fired USA
 
Ambition is to be an animator General India
 
Fired and worried I that I can't get a job Getting Fired USA
 
Wants to change careers General USA
 
Benefits of having good communication skills General India
 
Seeking to get promoted over bad boss Using the 5 Powers USA
 
Has to fill out a job application General UK
 

Next 15 letters

 




First 15 letters


Fear in Meeting

My heartbeat increases before I speak to a group

October 14, 2010

Question

Hi to all!
it's really interesting, I've a question that when I try to speak in a meeting or somewhere else before a group or morethan that...My heartbeat increases and sometimes I forgot what to say and I get sore throat so please can you advise me how to solve this problem...
I really like to be a good speaker/communicator but this problem is bothering me everytime... SO please please I'm waiting for feedback..
Thank you very much!

Asad - India (20533)

Answer

You must always be well-prepared before speaking to a group of people, including rehearsing your speech or presentation. Note that a stage actor does not perform without many rehearsals.

Everyone gets a little anxious before speaking. However, the more confidence you have in your material, the less the anxiety.

For more on overcoming the fear of speaking, see:
http://www.school-for-champions.com/speaking/fear.htm
Also look over the reader feedback on this topic.

I hope that helps. Best wishes in becoming a good speaker and advancing in your career.

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Getting Fired

Can't get hired because past employer says she was fired

July 8, 2010

Question

I was fired from my job October 2008 and I have not been able to find full time work yet.

My question is Why won't the employers speak with the immediate managers that you have worked with on the job, instead they are verifying general employment with the Human Resources Department that does not know anything regarding your work skills nor your personal skills. They just know you were fired and what was put in your file.

I have talked with my lead administrator and she said she would be fair, regarding a reference however she never gets a call from an employer because the human resources department is being contacted.

How can I get around this dilemma? I have a credit score of 751, educational background of 137 college credit hours toward a teaching degree and can pass criminal record check.

Cleola - USA (20028)

Answer

When you interview for a job, you could tell the hiring manager up front that you were let go from you past job due to "personality conflicts" with a manager at the job. Give the name and number of the lead administrator and say that she was the person with whom you worked. If they are interested in hiring you, they will understand.

That happened to me once, so the new company bypassed my old boss and checked with my immediate supervisor.

Most companies will not tell that a past employee was fired, due to fear of a lawsuit. You could check with an employment lawyer and have him send the company a "cease and desist" letter. That will typically stop them from giving you a bad reference.

Another issue is that you need to explain why you haven't been able to get a full-time job since 2008. Certainly don't tell a future employer about your problems. Instead, say you have been thinking of a career change or such.

Best wishes in getting a good job soon.

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General

Where to look for a job?

February 26, 2010

Question

i am now a graduating student but i don't have that exact knowledge as to where to work whats the technique? tell me more

justin - Philippines (19293)

Answer

You need to define your area of interest and skill. Usually, that concerns the major subjects studied in school. Any type of job experience that you have also shows your skills.

Before you even look for a job, you should write up a resume. See: http://www.bestsampleresume.com/ for sample resumes.

When applying for a job, you should send your resume with a cover letter:
http://www.school-for-champions.com/career/cover_letter_guidelines.htm

Pick a specific type of job you want, according to your interests and skills. But also look in the newspapers and online for which related jobs have the most openings.

When you find a job to apply to, customize your resume to match the job requirements.

It is a lot of work, but worth the preparation time. Best wishes in getting a good job.

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Three Motivations

I want to know what is my choice of job

December 23, 2009

Question

i want to know what i want in life.
i want to know what is my choice of job.

feroz - India (18916)

Answer

Think of all the things you are good at. Also think of all the things you enjoy doing. Often you enjoy doing what you are good at.

You want to get a job that you would enjoy doing. Think of various jobs that would be enjoyable or even fun. Getting such a job can be a goal to achieve.

However, you also need to earn a living, so you can compromise to get a job that you enjoy but also pays well and has some security. It takes some creativity and research to find such a job.

Look around you. Find people who have the type of job you would like and ask for advise.

Life is a journey. You want to grow in skills and experiences. You want to improve your circumstances. It takes an effort to do those things.

Best wishes for a successful career and life.

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General

Want to be a computer engineer but weak in math

November 19, 2009

Question

I want be computer engineer and i have mathematical problem, what to do?

Babatunde - Nigeria (18698)

Answer

Some areas of engineering require a strong knowledge of mathematics. However, there are other technical jobs where you do not need such a background.

If you are weak in mathematics and the requirements for a degree in computer engineering require much math, then you might consider other areas of technical study. The other choice is to take easier math courses first to build up your skill in that subject.

The best job to have is one in which you are interested, have good skills and which pays well. Often you need to search around for the best combination.

Best wishes in your studies and your career.

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Fear in Job Interview

Nervous and desperate to get a job

October 27, 2009

Question

I feel nervous because I am so anxious to get a job because I need one bad. I am Desperate to get a job or I will loose my house. this is my first interview in 8 months and I cant tell you I am so nervous about having maybe an opportunity I cant even be excited. Help me to relax and not worry what do i do???

Thank you

Andy - USA (18576)

Answer

Before your job interview, you need to do some thorough preparation.

Do some research about the company. Find out what they do and what type of things they need. Google them to find their website, as well as anything about them. Also, examine their want-ad carefully to get clues as to what skills they want. You want to come in their familiar with their company and business, so that they will feel you are a good prospect.

Do some practice interviews with a friend who is willing to ask some tough questions: Why did you leave your last job? Why haven't you found work? What have you been doing in the meanwhile? Why do you want this job?

You need to have good answers for such questions. Don't make excuses. Don't bad-mouth your past employer. Have a positive spin on what you will say.

Go over your work experience and write down some examples of how you saved your employer money or helped out. You can use these mini-stories or examples to show your potential to the new employer.

Having a thorough preparation should make you more confident in your interview, as well as help you make a good impression.

As soon as you get home, send the person or persons who interviewed you a hand-written note, thanking them for the opportunity and telling them you are really interested in their position. (Remember to write down their names during the interview.)

I hope these ideas help. Best wishes in getting a job.

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Fear in Job Interview

Sometimes good talkers are poor workers

October 21, 2009

Question

I found this very educative and true. These are the basics of really preparing for an interview. However my experience tells me that sometimes great talkers are less doers. When given the work to do they sometimes do not deliver. At the same time one must not loose the sight of the fact that an interviewee needs to give positive impressions to the panel of interviwers. I learnt a lot from this passage. Thank you.

Howard - SA (18542)

Answer

Thoroughly preparing for an interview will reduce the applicant's anxiety. However, the person must not be seeking to impress the hiring manager will his knowledge as much as try to appear to be the type of person that would fit into their team.

It is true that some people seeking a job will be very good at talking but end up not being good at doing the work. The worst thing to do is to interrupt the manager in order to try to make an impression of knowledge.

Being interviewed by a panel is a real challenge, because you can be dealing with a range of personalities.

Certainly, the more opportunities you get to be on an interview, the better you can get at being interviewed.

I'm glad the material was useful to you. Best wishes in your career.

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General

Worried about having to run meetings at work

October 20, 2009

Question

My boss wants me to start running small meetings with my co workers of about 9 and my bosses boss will also be there . I am to a point that it worries my all the time when the next meeting is and am i going to freeze up. I get to a point before a meeting that i know i have to start that my heart is beating so fast and im sweating and i just cant do it . Its almost to a point that its not worth taking the job because it boters me so bad .Now i can talk in a meeting if someone else starts it a calls on me for something that doesnt bother me to bad . But when i know i have to present something and my turns is comming up i almost have a heart attack i feel like this is the only thing i cant do in my life and it makes me made . Thanks for your time and hope to hear from you soon Mark

Mark - USA (18540)

Answer

What you have to realize is that when you run a business meeting, you are not giving a speech or required to put on a show. Instead, you are simply facilitating the meeting and coordinating things so that it runs smoothly.

Before the meetings, check with your boss concerning what items he wants to be covered and who should give what reports. Then write up an agenda and give everyone a copy before the meeting. It is good to both email the agenda and also distribute hard copies at the meeting. Or you can have a PowerPoint slide of the agenda.

Then, you can call on people and coordinate any discussion. The burden is on the others to provide input. If you need to give your status report, it is easy to do once the initial butterflies go away during the meeting.

This is a great opportunity to get "face time" with your boss' boss. If you set things up in a professional manner, the meeting should run itself.

Best wishes in running some successful meetings. Let me know how things turn out.

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Getting Fired

What to do with assignment worksheet?

September 17, 2009

Question

when my daughter is done with a assignment worksheet does she have to scan it and send it to you?

Jennifer - USA (18330)

Answer

Our website is used to help students understand their school assignments, as well as to explain things to people. We don't grade material.

If she has an assignment worksheet, it must have been given by a teacher and should be given to that teacher.

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General

Ambition is to be an animator

May 2, 2009

Question

Hi,

I am kranthi working in e-learning company. but my ambition is to become a worlds toppest earning animator.

Now i cont have time to learn and practice animation i am always at office doing work. I can't even resume my job and start practicing about animation. then how can i become the successful animator.

Can u please suggest me any tips to achieve my goals.

Waiting for your reply.

Kranthi - India (17685)

Answer

You must set aside at least one hour each day to study and practice your animation, even if you must get up an hour early in the morning or stay up later at night.

If the e-learning company where you work has animations in their products, let them know about your interest in the field. Talk to the people who do animation and ask questions about it. Some companies encourage their workers to improve their skills.

Your goal should never to be the highest earning animator. It should be to be the best in what you love to do.

I hope these ideas help you. Best wishes in your career as an animator.

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Getting Fired

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

March 5, 2009

Question

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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General

Wants to change careers

December 3, 2008

Question

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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General

Benefits of having good communication skills

October 16, 2008

Question

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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Using the 5 Powers

Seeking to get promoted over bad boss

December 6, 2007

Question

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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General

Has to fill out a job application

November 29, 2007

Question

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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