Archive for May, 2010

For PNWers & Lovers Of Writing

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Working Girl will be one of the writers holding forth on all things literary at this weekend’s “Readon Writeon Vashon“– A Celebration of Books, Readers & Writers.

If you’re in the neighborhood of Vashon Island (west of Seattle) this weekend, stop by. 

In addition to yours truly, there’s an opportunity to meet thriller writer Robert Dugoni, religion writer Lesley Hazleton, romance writer (actually, he writes a lot more than romance and is also the conference organizer) Will North, and many others.

If you are an avid reader, aspiring writer, or just like to talk about books and meet authors, this is a fun way to spend an afternoon.  Also,Vashon Island is lovely this time of year.

Are We Taking Risks Again?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

US World and News Reports Just saw this WSJ piece on the new economic numbers from February: For the first time since October 2008 more workers voluntarily quit their jobs than were fired or laid off.

Perhaps another mini-sign that the job market is getting less dire.

Since folks are considering more risk-taking, that means it’s time to explore the finer points of how to do so intelligently

(However, risk-taking may still not be that popular, as this post has been up since Wednesday and garnered no comments.  People still probably want to talk about how to get a job, or hold on to the job they’ve got…..)

Find The Job Before It Even Exists

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Now truer words were never spoken: The best way to get a job is to hunt it down before a company advertises it.  Here are some super tips on just how to do that from Mario Schulzke of CareerSparx.  Check out Mario’s bio; it’s inspiring.  CareerSparx is aimed at new college grads but good career advice is good career advice.  Works for all sorts of job hunters.  Thanks, Mario, for the guest post.


According to the Wall Street Journal, 80 percent of all available jobs are never advertised.  This is because companies do not need to make the position public; they already know who is going to take the job before it ever becomes available.  This hidden job market—far larger than the public job market—is easy to tap into if you know how to set yourself up as a potential candidate for future availabilities and recommendations.   So, what can you do to find the hidden job market and make the position come to you?

Here are some tips:

Make your network aware of your job search.  It’s important to let your network know what industry you’re entering and the type of work you would like to be doing, so they can let you know when they hear of any potential leads or availabilities.  After all, they cannot help you if you do not let them know how.  Most people are willing to recommend you, too. (Given they like you, of course!)

Find companies you want to work for.  Take the time to identify companies where you would like to hold a full-time position and conduct research on the type of skills, backgrounds and personalities that are valuable to the company.  Use websites like to find corporate and recruitment process reviews by actual employees. (The service is free if you still have access to your college’s .edu email address.)  Or use your network to personally get in touch with employees at the company.  A well-developed LinkedIn account is especially helpful for identifying connections.

Set up informational interviews.  An informational interview gives you the opportunity to receive firsthand knowledge and ask questions of someone in an industry or—even better—at a company you are interested in.  It is not a typical formal interview because it is more about you learning from them than it is about them evaluating you.  Not only does this provide the opportunity for you to ask questions about the hiring process or desired skills in the business, but it also makes the person aware that you are looking for a job without you directly asking for one.  If the informational interview goes well and you make a great impression, the person you meet is more likely to recommend you or let you know of availabilities at his or her company before they are advertised to the public.

Leave your resume or business card.  Whenever you meet someone in your industry or a potential company you’d like to work for, always finish by leaving your contact information in the form of a business card or resume so that they can reach you or review your information in the future.  Since this isn’t a formal interview, you should never begin by giving them your resume or asking for a job, but you can politely ask if they would like a copy of your resume for future reference.  If a resume seems too forward, leaving a business card is a great option, too.

These tips should get you on the right track to locating the hidden job market and getting hired where you truly want to work.  Continue to build relationships and always leave the impression of a motivated, hard-working professional, and a you’ll be more likely to hear about new opportunities before they’ve been officially announced.

About Mario Schulzke

Mario Schulzke is the creator of CareerSparx (, an online course that helps recent college graduates begin their careers.  For more information, download a free 61-page guide on how to start your career (

Career Tips For New Grads

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

US World and News ReportsIt’s hard finding a job.  It’s even harder if you don’t know what kind of job to shoot for.

Today, over at U.S. News, see 15 tips for choosing a career.  Meant especially for new grads, but there’s some stuff there that could apply to more experienced workers too!

Is College For Everyone?

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Occasionally Working Girl likes to tweak conventional wisdom by wondering if a college degree is the be-all and end-all for every single person on the planet. 

Specifically, is it always worth what can be considerable debt?  Isn’t there room in the economy for non-college graduates?  (Hint:  There is!  Check out this list of Occupations with the Largest Job Growth.) 

Yes, statistics show that college grads earn more than high school grads.  But what causes what?  Who’s to say that people with the resources and smarts to earn a four-year degree wouldn’t end up earning more either way, with or without a degree? 

WG is not saying no one should go to college.  Far from it.  The question is does everyone need to go to college and should people incur huge debt to do so.  Maybe there are faster, cheaper ways to get the skills and certifications you need to get a decent job.  Maybe we should stop looking at “going to college” as a button everyone has to automatically push.

For more insight and info, check out this thoughtful piece from today’s NYT.  WG’s fav quote:  “College degrees are simply not necessary for many jobs.”

Meanwhile, if you want to and can go to college, go for it!  Even if you don’t end up working in the field you majored in (this happens a lot), knowing a little something about history, art, geography, literature, etc. is wonderfully enriching.

Best Surprise Of The Week

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Top 50 Career Advocate Award - Online Colleges
New entry for the Department of Good News: Working Girl was just chosen as one of eCollegeFinder‘s top 50 Career Advocates.

Now there’s something that doesn’t happen every day.

Apparently, WG’s “dedication to fostering career building and professional advancement deserves to be recognized.”

How very very cool.  Thanks, eCollegeFinder.  You put a smile on WG’s face, and that is not easy.

Why You Are Not Getting A Job

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

US World and News ReportsThere are tons of reasons behind the unsuccessful job hunt.  Here are seven lesser-known issues that maybe you haven’t thought about.

Over at today’s post on U.S. News & World Report.

Twitter Tips For Job Hunters

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Q & A for Friday morning:

Q-What is the most common job-hunting advice? 

A-Network!  And network some more.

Q-And what is social media? 

A-It’s just another way to network.  Some jobhunters are afraid of social media.  They hear horror stories about Facebook privacy settings, or think SM (not to be confused with S&M) is just for fun, or for kids, or a big old waste of time.

That’s why this recent post from OnlineCollege is such a gem.  It’s 20 Simple Twitter Tips for Your Job Search.  Well worth checking out if you’re job hunting.

And even if you’re not.  Because your network can never be too large or too wide.  Truly.  The more contacts and connections you have the better.  And the nice thing about social media is that it makes maintaining a lot of connections easier and less time-consuming than ever before in the history of human kind.  Truly.

WG’s fav tips:

  • Don’t just expect an opportunity to fall into your lap–seek it out!
  • Follow your target companies.
  • Don’t blatantly self-promote.  (Related to this:  Be worth following.)

Great post, OnlineCollege.  Great tips.

New Rules For Job Hunting & More

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

First things first:  If you are mid-career (this is actually a polite way of saying “middle-aged”) and job hunting, you may get some use out of these 10 New Rules for Today’s Job Hunt, today’s column over at the lovely U. S. News & World Report site. 

Basically, these are just new ways of doing old things.  But they’re important!  Style from time to time trumps substance, and job hunting is one of those times.  At least partly.

In other news–yes, yes, yes, it’s been a l-o-o-ong time since this blog was updated.  Hanging head in shame right now.  But Working Girl has been out of the country, doncha know, for weeks and weeks.  Many adventures in Iceland and England (no, we didn’t see the volcano), and now life is getting back to more or less normal.

However, in a fit of industriousness, WG wrote four U.S. News articles in advance so they could run as usual during the month of April.  She had grand plans of logging on to the old blog and linking to them but managed to actually do it only once: “10 Ways to Ask for the Job at the Interview.”  WG was so far off the grid she did not, most of the time, have Internet access.  Which was kind of cool.  And most refreshing.

What did we miss?  Three items:


P.S.  Just noticed that Suzanne Lucas, who also blogs at U.S. News and is the genius behind the fabulous “Evil HR Lady” blog, succeeded in updating her posts while travelling through Transylvania.  Hmm.  Suzanne managed to write from Romania.  WG could not log on from jolly olde Englande.  Please feel free to draw your own conclusions.