Monday, December 30, 2019

Tips for Getting a Job When You Have a Criminal Record

I wrote the following story on how those with a criminal record can get a job, but these tips apply to any job seeker -- highlight transferable skills, network and be prepared to talk about what you can bring to an employer....

While more than two dozen states and 150 cities have adopted initiatives to give people with criminal records a fair shot at employment, that doesn't mean those who were formally incarcerated won't have to eventually address the issue in an interview or explain why they have an employment gap on their resume. estimates that the unemployment rate for the formerly incarcerated is about 27 percent, which is higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including during the Great Depression. As a result of such a high percentage, legislation collectively known as "Ban the Box" prevents (read more here)

Monday, December 23, 2019

Employers No Longer Disqualify Those With Criminal Backgrounds

From July 2007 to July 2008, more than 10,000 people left Las Vegas as the unemployment rate in the metro area skyrocketed to more than 12 percent and home prices plunged by 30 percent. It was a grim time. Thousands of workers who filled construction jobs left the state in search of a way to survive the Great Recession.
Fast forward to 2019, and Las Vegas is once again experiencing a construction boom. Unfortunately, many of those skilled workers who left have not returned, putting employers in a tough position as they scramble to fill construction jobs that can pay up to $40 an hour.
Enter Jon Ponder. A former convict who founded Hope for Prisoners, Ponder has formed an organization that supplies construction companies and other employers (read more here)

Monday, December 16, 2019

4 Interview Tips to Help You Get the Job

If you want to be successful in finding a job after you graduate from college, be prepared to do some homework.
What? You thought your homework days were over? Not so, say hiring managers and other experts.
First, you need to make sure that you craft your resume and cover letter for each job so that you're highlighting as many of the skills as possible that the employer is seeking. Second, do your research on the employer so that you can mention in your cover letter that you're inspired (read more here)

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Greatest Gift to Give Workers This Year

By now, most people have heard of the Secret Santa.

He's the guy who passes out $100 bills to those in need. He often finds these folks at thrift stores, bargain aisles or anywhere else there is someone just trying to make ends meet. He knows they need some extra kindness at holiday time.

This year, he recruited Milwaukee bus drivers to help him pass out the money. Why? Because these bus drivers have a reputation of helping others. He thought they would make great elves, and he was right.

These bus drivers handed out thousands of dollars and raved about what a wonderful experience it was for them. They were there to see the difference they made in people's lives.

How many employees can say that about their jobs? How many go to work each day knowing that the world will be better because they swept a floor or entered data into a computer or drove a bus?

The cofounder of Fast Company, Bill Taylor, recently wrote an article called, "Do You Give Employees a Reason to Feel Proud of What They Do?"

He writes: "Everywhere you look, the competitive environment is more demanding than ever, which means that people at every level, and especially those on the front lines, have to be at their best, their most determined, every day. There’s no doubt that giving people raises can up their game, and I’m all for it. But I’m convinced that if you truly want people to elevate their performance, you first have to build up their pride. It’s much more likely that people will do things in exceptional ways if they believe deeply in what they do."

I've interviewed many experts over the years, and the one thing they can agree on is that everyone's job adds value. They may not realize it, but it's true. The person who works in a canning factory adds value because she's helping to ensure the quality stays high so that no one gets sick from the product. The bus driver adds value because he ensures that an elderly woman safely makes it to her doctor's appointment on time. The school janitor adds value because he keeps a school in good condition so that it's a positive learning environment for children.

The problem is, we often lose sight of why our jobs matter. That's why every boss should spend time throughout the year reminding each worker about why his or her job makes the world a better place. Why what they do matters, even if the job is sometimes dumb or boring.

As Taylor says, giving people more pay or bonuses at the end of the year is certainly nice, but the most meaningful gift may be simply telling a worker that what she or he does matters.

Monday, December 2, 2019

5 Holiday Gift Ideas for Co-Workers

It's that time of year again -- trying to figure out what to get a colleague for the annual gift swap (besides that giant bottle of booze in your grocery's discount aisle). Or, perhaps you want to get something for that great co-worker who has helped you out more times than you can count.

Here are some ideas for that team member on your gift list:

  1. Memberships. If your co-worker loves the local museum or zoo or wombat rescue park, you can't go wrong getting a membership so they can enjoy it whenever they need a wombat cuddle.

2. Office stuff. In a bit of irony, why not give the person in the office something from The Office? How about this Clue version of The Office:

3. Travel. Whether it's for work or pleasure, people often need something to keep all their stuff secure -- and dry. This Yeti bag may be just the thing for that co-worker who traverses the wilds of the Amazon or just needs somewhere to keep all his or her stuff while attending a conference on wombats.
4. Plants. It's been shown that greenery reduces stress, but it can be a bit difficult to go outside and enjoy nature when there's a blizzard outside. This plant is easy to grow (I have one and it has survived for the last five years with little assistance from me). It makes a great desk plant because it doesn't care who stares at it all day.

5. Charity gifts. If your co-worker makes it clear that he or she does not want anything for sustainability reasons (or simply because she is super picky and doesn't trust anyone else to choose a good gift), then think about doing good while also showing appreciation for the co-worker. A charity gift in a co-worker's name can "give back" through gifting a dairy goat or clean water to those in need.