U.S. Department of Labor Launches “My Next Move” Website for Job Seekers

A new online tool will help young adults, students, first-time workers and those returning to workforce explore careers and find jobs. It can also be useful for those of us wanting to Escape Retail Hell.

My Next Move, is intended to assist all job seekers, but may be especially useful for students, young adults and other first-time workers as they explore potential careers based on their interests. The new tool complements the Department’s “mySkills myFuture” site at http://mySkillsmyFuture.org, which is designed to help those with previous work experience match their existing skills to new occupations.

The new website allows users to search for jobs by occupation, by industry and using the O*NET Interest Profiler, which matches an individual’s interests with suitable occupations by asking 60 questions. Users can also search for jobs in three categories: careers with a “bright outlook” in growing industries, jobs that are part of the “green” economy and occupations that have a Registered Apprenticeship program.

Each occupation that a user selects has an easy-to-read, one-page profile, including information about what knowledge, skills and abilities are needed; the occupation’s outlook; the level of education required; technologies used within the occupation; and other, similar jobs. In addition, each occupation page includes direct links to local salary information, training opportunities and relevant job openings.

Source: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20101786.htm

Escape from Retail Hell to What?

Steven Slater’s cathartic and humorous escape from flight attendant hell inspired me to get busy writing again about escaping retail hell. Over the ten-plus years I worked in retail and fast food, I must have fantasized hundreds of times about telling off rude customers and hitting the door. There are few people working in retail hell who haven’t had that wish, but they don’t have the luxury of just quitting.

If your goal is to make a less dramatic escape and not burn any bridges, you’ll need to plan ahead and take it one step at a time. The first step and one of the most challenging obstacles to escaping Retail Hell is deciding what to do next. If you are lucky enough to know which career you want to pursue, I envy you, and this post is not for you (I’ll cover your next move in a later post). This article is for the rest of us who still don’t know what we want to be when we grow up.

First, get a clear objective:

When I was planning my escape from Retail Hell, I had no clear objective. All I knew was that I wanted a “real” job, any real job. At one point, I tried out for police academy and passed all the required psychological and physical tests, except for the sit-ups. They were willing to work with me on the sit-ups, but I knew it wasn’t my calling, so I declined their offer. Still, the knowledge that someone offering a “real” job was interested in me was a significant boost to my confidence going forward in the job search.

Having a clear objective would have made my escape much easier and it will yours too. A clear objective allows you to create a targeted resume and focus your time and efforts on a compelling goal rather than grasping at straws that you’re not even sure you want.

So how do I get clear on my objective?

No one can tell you what you should choose as a career path. It has to be your decision. However, there are tools and resources to help you make that decision.

If you can afford it, hire a career coach. I didn’t know career coaches existed when I was attempting my escape. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure it out on my own. A career coach can guide you in uncovering your skills, interests and personality traits which lead to a successful career choice. You can find certified career coaches through Career Coach Academy. Or ask for referrals from successful people you know who have benefited from a career coach. If you can’t find a coach in your area, no problem, most offer coaching services by phone now.

Assessments are another way to identify your skills, interests and potential careers. Some assessments must be administered by licensed professionals such as career coaches while others can be taken on your own. Some are skills based while others are personality based. There are too many good assessments available to go into detail about in this article, but here are two that you can take on your own:

Keirsey Temperament Sorter

Campbell Interest and Skill Survey

If you prefer to go it alone, read books and explore the O*NET and the Occupational Outlook Handbook  (OOH) online. The O*NET and OOH are databases that contain well researched job descriptions and other job information for both government and private jobs. They offer a broad range of job information, such as specific knowledge, skills, education and other requirements.

There are hundreds of books at the library and in bookstores that address career choice. One of my favorites, I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What it Was by Barbara Sher, helps you identify what inspires you. And my e-book, Escape Retail Hell, offers advice and resources on getting out of front line retail and into a job you love from someone who successfully made the escape after ten years in retail preceeded by four in fast food.

What if committing to only one career sounds as unfulfilling to me as retail?

If no job or career sounds appealing enough that you would want to do it for the rest of your working days, you might be a “Scanner.” Those of us who are Scanners are genetically wired to be interested in many things according to Barbara Sher, author of I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What it Was. Go ahead and pick something that sounds interesting with the knowledge that you don’t have to do it forever. Try it out for awhile and then you can move on to the next thing that interests you.

I hope these resources will help jumpstart your Escape from Retail Hell. The process of choosing your career or next job can be an interesting journey of self discovery. Take your time and enjoy it!

One-Day Job Search Tele-Summit March 21st

Learn the latest, cutting-edge job-search strategies from the nation’s leading career-services experts. Jumpstart Your Job-Search Tele-Summit is a one-of-a-kind program that provides you access to the industry’s top coaches and thought leaders.

They will show you everything you need to know to stand out from the crowd, develop a value-focused job-search campaign, and get hired. Learn what you need to know about:

Job Search Planning
Resume Writing
Salary Negotiations
Social Networking
Personal Branding
Goal Setting
Career Transitions
Hidden Job Market

And you don’t even have to leave your home or office!

Saturday, March 21, 2009
11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Eastern


Learn more and register

FedEx Office is offering free resume printing March 10th

On Tuesday, March 10, the FedEx Corp. subsidiary (formerly FedEx Kinko’s) will offer up to 25 free copies of resumes submitted and picked up inside a store for customers currently job hunting.

The resume can be submitted as a digital file or by hand during regular business hours to any of the more than 1,600 FedEx Office Print and Ship Centers in the U.S.

The resumes will be printed in black-and-white and on single-sided resume-quality paper.

Find more detailed info on FedEx Office locations here.

Source: Houston Business Journal

The FBI is hiring agents and support staff

According to CNN, the FBI is hiring 850 new agents and 2100 support staff, including finance and accounting, security, intelligence analysis, training and education, nursing and counseling, physical surveillance, electrical engineering, physical and social sciences, and auto mechanics. 

The present job postings expire on January 16, but a new, possibly smaller set of openings will be posted shortly thereafter, the agency said.

To find an FBI field office near you, check here.

Procedures for applying and a full listing of available positions are posted on the Web site fbijobs.gov.

Get the inside scoop on employers

Check out www.glassdoor.com to get reviews and salaries on over 11,000 companies. Reviews and salaries are posted by employees. It’s free but requires registration.

With their “give-to-get” model, just give them your review of a current or former employer (your post is anonymous — you don’t even need to include your job title) and get full access to all reviews for all companies.  

It’s a fairly new website. So far we like it.

I got out of retail

After 13 years working in retail and fast food, I got out! Some people enjoy working retail – they enjoy working with the public and not being tied to a desk. Some retailers pay well and treat their employees with respect.

My employer and I fell into neither of those categories.

GetOutofRetail.com is under development

GetOutofRetail.com is currently under development. In the mean time, get a free report titled, “Seven Disastrous Mistakes Job Seekers Make When Transitioning Out of Retail and How to Avoid Them.” Simply fill out the Free E-Book form on this page.

After requesting the free download, please take a moment to answer the 3-question survey to help me determine what you would like to see on the website.