Presidents Day is February 19, 2018. Initially, the federal government set aside this day to honor George Washington on his birthday because of his determination during the American Revolution and as the first president of the United States of America. However, that day has evolved into the popularly known holiday it is today because of the 1971 Uniform Monday Holiday Act which created more three-day weekends for our nation’s workforce. Many states observe this day for all presidents both past and present.
If you find yourself unemployed during this holiday, you too can use determination during your job search much like President Washington did during the American Revolution. I am not saying being unemployed is in any way like war, but you are fighting an internal battle to obtain employment. The following are some tips that can effectively help you overcome unemployment:
A Targeted Plan
- During this period, it is important to develop a job search plan and identify your employment skills. Remember, your job search is all about you, and no employer knows you better than yourself. Identify your specific job preferences and requirements. For example, what salary do you want/need? What shift are you willing to work? What benefits do you need/desire? Then, you should list the skills, knowledge, and abilities that will help you reach your employment goals.
- With those employment goals in mind, it can be quite daunting to find an employer that fits the bill. Fortunately, labor market information can help you locate potential employers that align with your employment goals. Workforce Solutions provides this information for you on their website: www.wrksolutions.com
- During the “targeted plan” phase, it is essential to sharpen your networking skills. A survey conducted in 2016 by Linkedin, a professional networking site, revealed 85 percent of all jobs are filled via networking. Wow, 85 percent! You may never know who you encounter, and what questions may be asked. Today, many employers love to ask behavioral type questions. For example, “Tell me about a problem you had at work, and how you handled it?” Everyone loves these questions, right? Don’t worry; a simple method to answer this type of question effortlessly is by using what is called a CAR statement (Challenge, Action and Result). For example, a CHALLENGEfor the previous question may be, “at my last place of employment, when I was new to the job. I did not fully understand where to direct customers appropriately based on their need. The ACTION I took to resolve the issue was to network with the different roles to learn more about their position. As a RESULT, I became more proficient at my job, and I effectively routed customers based on their need.” Just remember this simple method, and you will succeed in answering the question.
- Another way to effectively communicate with employers is by using the “30 second commercial.” This tool gives you an opportunity to make the most impact in a short amount of time. It is quite simple to use, but it is important to practice it before meeting face-to-face with an employer. The basic structure is as follows:
You can access the 30 Second Commercial example for your own use.
Now, keep in mind, this example is a template for creating a “30 Second Commercial.” Once you have mastered its structure, you are free to revise it as long as you stay within the parameters of the activity. Just remember it should be roughly 30 seconds in time frame, and it must summarize your skills, experiences, education.
I agree that George Washington was a great man. His determination has greatly influenced the United States of America. He once said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” I believe if you begin your job search with the previous tips, you too can be prepared for your job search which can result in obtaining employment and preserving your piece within.
Daniel Mabry is a member of the Workforce Solutions Regional Navigator team in the Houston-Galveston region. After serving in the United States Marine Corps for over 9 years, he connected with Workforce Solutions for career guidance and ended up becoming an employee. This position allows him to utilize his training and personal experience to help people experiencing homelessness.