Websites For The Week of February 12th

February 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Job Search, Weekly Readings | Leave a comment
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Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

I’ve noticed recently that I’m having more and more problems with job scams as I continue my search.  I don’t like the idea that people take advantage of others that are getting desperate to find income. So this week’s theme is about avoiding those scams and recognizing fraud.

  • Career Builder as a great page about job scams along with the reminder: “If it seems to good to be true,then it probably is”
  • Check out your privacy rights and how to avoid having them infringed upon by job scammers.
  • There’s nothing like examples to help you recognize the scams, see them here.
  • Many of the scams involve work at home schemes, recognize them here
  • And finally, the Federal Trade Commission has many resources about job and job hunting scams.

This week’s meditation

That’s it for this week. See what you like here. I’d love to hear from you about it. This week’s list is on a subject that I really think people can contribute to. Remember you can submit a website for the Sunday Readings on my How-To/Forum page.




Websites For The Week of February 5th

February 5, 2012 at 10:07 am | Posted in Resume, Weekly Readings | Leave a comment
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Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

Change sometimes can be a very good thing, especially these days.  This week’s theme is about career change.  Administrative Assistants have a variety of skills that can be transferred to another career.  I’ve actually thought about being a professional organizer lately.  These sites may help to satisfy your curiosity and get you started down another road.

The first step is to answer some questions and evaluate what change will mean.

Maybe the career change isn’t just for economic reasons, but as you look for work you realize that your current job doesn’t ‘fit’ anymore.  Find one that fits your personality better.

If you can stay optimistic and want to build your own business, read about entrepreneurship.  (*This is the Mind Tools website.  I get the newsletter and have the iPhone app from them.  It is a wonderful resource, set up a personal toolkit and explore on the site.)

Then you’ll need advice on how to write a resume for a career change.

If you’d like to look at information, courses, assessments, and tips just for women making career changes, try here.

Finally, there is a set of Field Guides to New Careers available in a series at amazon.

This week’s meditation

That’s it for this week. See what you like here. I’d love to hear from you about it. This week’s list is on a subject that I really think people can contribute to. Remember you can submit a website for the Sunday Readings on my How-To/Forum page.


November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Positive, unemployed | 2 Comments
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I had an interview this morning with my state’s highway administration at 11:00 am.  Around 3:00 pm I got the word that they wanted me to start tomorrow.  So starting at 8:00 tomorrow morning I will again be a member of the workforce.  One thing to understand here is that I have moved from being unemployed to underemployed.  I got this job through the Jones Network staffing agency.  It’s considered an indefinite temp job.  I work a 40 hour week.  I’ll eventually get benefits through the staffing agency.  I’m hoping that they like me well enough that they will hire me full-time.

This will put a temporary stop to my search for a full-time job, but that’s fine with me so far.  Getting this job is good on many levels.  It’s getting me working and making money for myself.  That makes me feel better about myself.  It will look better on my resume, I get off the government pay check, and I feel better about myself.

I sent out 234 resumes since I became unemployed in March. I had about a twenty phone and face to face interviews.  Six of these interviews were with Johns Hopkins alone. Although it would have been great to work with them, I didn’t have the luxury of waiting.  Not in this economy and out of work for as long as I’ve been.  I took about a half-dozen of tests from Word to applied mathematics. I had about 25 rejections before an interview, just looking at my resume.  The rest of the employers did not get in touch one way or another.  I signed up with 5 temp and staffing agencies. Jones Networking was the only one that came through for me.  They are a professional, well-known agency and I recommend them highly.

Finally, the status of Debbie’s Desk:  I am going to keep writing on the blog.  I’ll be presenting my skills as an admin just as before.  I’ll be looking for ideas and feedback from my readers, just as before.


A Busy Week and Another Update

November 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search | Leave a comment
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I was busy throughout the first part of the week, involved in interviews and assessments again.  I like the feeling of having to get up by a certain time, get dressed in business clothing and get into a business mindset.  Sometimes when I have so much to do, it makes me miss employment even more.

One assessment, for a local university, took me a bit by surprise, something I try to avoid as a job seeker.  I was tested on Word, filing, proofing, editing, and typing.  I thought that would be it, I’d go home and wait hopefully by the phone.  This wasn’t the case at all.  I was told to wait as they checked my tests.  Then a woman from HR came out of her office and cheerfully asked me to come and speak with her.  It was then that I realized I was only dressed in business casual and had no copies of my resume, letters of recommendation, or references with me.  This made me more self-conscious.  I was told, “Congratulations you passed the tests”.  A mini interviewed followed with many of the same old questions.  I was thanked and told all information would be passed on to the appropriate department and I would be contacted.

Another part of my week consisted of the epic of applying to a large hospital in my area.  I started writing about this process in my October 11 post.  It is still in process.  This week was with another unit and even included me shadowing one of my bosses on the floor of the unit as the second part of the interview.  This would be my dream job.  I don’t mind jumping through hoops for it, but I’d like to stop the constant meetings and just be hired there!
Now, I’ve saved the best and most interesting part of the week to last.  I was interviewed over the phone by a reporter for MacLean’s Magazine in Canada.  The reporter I spoke with found my blog via Google and was doing an article about unemployment in America.  Admittedly, I was wary at first, but I researched him at the site and on Linked In and everything checked out.  It was great having a chance to voice my opinion and let others know what it’s like to be unemployed for 8 months.  Many aspects of being out of work were discussed from how I’m saving money and my job seeking process to my faith in Washington and support of OWS.  It lasted about 30 minutes and I had a feeling of satisfaction after I hung up for two reasons, the first I already mentioned, getting a chance to get my circumstances out there and the idea that my blog can be found and used productively.

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Potential Employers-Update

October 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Positive | Leave a comment
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  This post updates the one below

I am still being kept busy interviewing and testing.

The job that required one of the tests moved to a phone interview and then a face to face interview for a “behavioral assessment”.  I did that this Monday.  It consisted of only six questions that when I answered full notes were made.  They included, ‘What would your last boss say is your greatest weakness’, ‘Give me an example of how you dealt with a difficult co-worker’, ‘Give me an example of a policy that didn’t agree with and how did you handle it’, ‘Give an example of how you handle frustration at work’.  The last question was a work scenario and I was asked how I’d handle it. It involved being on the phone while a client needed you and at the same time the manager dropping work on my desk and telling me it needs to be done in one hour.  The reason for these questions is pretty obvious and I’m sure common.  I think everyone looking for a job has gotten some version of these questions.  It gives the chance to showcase many of your skills including interpersonal/co-worker relationships, prioritization, personal insight, and problem solving.  I was called the next day and told that I was “successful” and they wanted to do an interview with the director of the department I’d work for on Friday.  This will be my fourth interview/test.

That interview was in the morning, a few hours later I had a second interview about 30 miles away.  I already had a phone interview with this company and I was brought in for a face to face panel interview, and Word and Excel test.  I felt it went well. They wanted to make a decision within about two days because the person being replaced was leaving at the end of the month and they wanted to be able to do some cross-training.

I have another interview tomorrow with a non-profit organization.

Now, for the first time, I’m actually presented with a new situation. What if I get more than one offer?  What if one company makes a decision faster than another?  The company making the choice within the next 48 hours has great benefits, in fact the best I’ve seen, but the commute is long. The place I’m going to for my fourth interview is known for taking their time in the hiring process, but it’s my first choice, it’s where I want to work the most.  The interview I have tomorrow is still a wild card. I’ve been out of work for over seven months now and the bills are getting tougher to keep up with.  I suppose I have to take the first offer.  I’m assuming that I’ll get any offer at all!  That’s what I call remaining confident.

My next update will be next Monday, if not before.

Two More Interviews

September 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Opinions | Leave a comment
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I just got back from my second interview of the week.  Yesterday my interview was with a local prep school for the position of administrative assistant to the Director of Finance and Accounting.

Today’s interview was with a local hospital for an ‘as needed’ medical records clerk.

I severely sprained my ankle last Friday and I still can’t put my full weight on it.  I’m limping along using a cane.  I didn’t want to cancel my interviews so I gritted my teeth and went to both, chauffeured by my husband since I can’t drive yet.  What better way to look dependable!  In both interviews I was asked about  my attendance at work, which has always been excellent, I stressed that and then said, “I even come to work with a sprained ankle”.

The interviews this week both were panel ones, three and four people.  I’ve heard this is becoming more and more common, but hadn’t experienced it before.  At first I thought it would be more daunting, but in the long run I think I like them.  I’ve dealt with the Human Resources person, the direct supervisor, and the department head or director all at once.  I like dealing with the different personalities and different types of managing.  I like the different types of questions I got from the different points of view of what may become my working relationship with the panel members.  I think it’s good for the prospective employee because more than one opinion is used in the final hiring decision.  I suggest to anyone who knows this type of interview is coming up to prepare by thinking of the typical interview questions, then think about the different ways they may be asked depending on which management person you may be dealing with.  For example: one person may ask “Tell me about one of your weaknesses at work”, another may say, “What are you doing to correct your weaknesses on the job?”  There is a difference here between recognizing a problem and solving one.

At least for the next 48 hours I’ll rest my foot, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

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