BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY MAGAZINE: ''Q-A'' FORMAT 1.

For someone who has been unemployed for many months or even years, what advice do you have to inspire that individual to take advantage of the opportunities coming to the region?
The job market has been nothing short of a jungle. A perilous unknown, thick with overwhelming competition and the smell of fear. Those who dare enter have tread lightly-- awaiting disaster in the form of rejection. Others, fearing such rejection, have stayed out of the jungle altogether, convincing themselves that the "game" is too scarce, the "hunt" too challenging.
This fear of failure has left many job hunters stranded in the Land of Pessimism. The fields and streams are being re-stocked, but this will be of little comfort to those who do not believe themselves capable of "bagging" a job. Most people who seek employment make a conscious effort to be successful in their search. However, often times an unsuccessful campaign is the result of a failure to recognize and acknowledge one's resourcefulness! Your resourcefulness begins with "effective thinking." That is, a series of related thoughts and actions that lead to a successful outcome such as securing a job. To take advantage of new opportunities: 1) Begin by telling yourself, picturing and feeling your most cherished skills and attributes acquired through schooling and life's experiences. Then write a brief sketch of those skills and attributes-- how and when they were acquired.
Second review your work history. Develop a document that describes your most outstanding achievement, accomplished by applying your cherished skills (above). What was the purpose of the task? What strategies did you employ in your successful performance? If certain obstacles developed, indicate how you flexibly evoked new choices. What was the importance of this achievement? And how does it relate to your cherished skills? This is your secret weapon in the job hunt: To an employer, an important achievement is comprised of several applied skills; and the more you can cull in your performance, the greater the job opportunities!
Third create a "targeted" resume", using your major achievement and skills to illustrate how you meet criteria specifically related to the hiring of people in your industry. The more focused, the better your aim. Forth aim your above preparation at the target: A job interview. The more you prepare, the more confidence you will feel as you present your resume and ask, "By what criteria will you select someone for this position?" 2. How can someone actively and effectively assess whether he or she should pursue a career change? A persistent, recurrent thought that surfaces periodically in our lives is knowing whether or not we are doing the "right thing." And if not, deciding what to do instead. Selecting a career path presupposes the ability to organize oneself internally toward the formulation of a clear goal, as well as acting in ways that will lead to attaining that goal. To evaluate both your present and desired career paths, it may be useful to ask yourself several questions: (1) What would you like to be able to accomplish through a particular job? (2) Is your present career representative of that desirable direction? (3) Is it something from which you derive pleasure? (4) Is it one in which you are adequately able to utilize your existing skills? (5) Does it provide for the acquisition of challenging new skills? (6) Is there opportunity for growth? (7) In your current position, are you able to "make a difference" in ways you deem important? (8) Can you experience yourself engaged in this career in the future? Should you discover that your present situation fails to adequately reflect a well-formulated goal, consider what specific activities would do so.
Design what would you like to do instead? Write in as much detail as possible how you would perform, with whom, the environment in which this would occur, your working hours and income. Then identify other employment opportunities that are most representative of your redesigned criteria. 3. How much of a role does self-confidence play in getting a job? What advice do you have for bolstering self-esteem? Self-confidence is your own personal trophy case. Each item contained within represents a time you were able to resource- fully accomplish something of value, thereby allowing you to feel positive about your ability to do it again! And one of those items undoubtedly represents a position you were able to secure in the past. Thus, among the various roles in the job-search act, "self- confidence" occupies center stage! In effect, if you believe you can accomplish something, you probably can; and if you don't, you probably won't. Self-confidence, a chronology of personal success experiences, is a crucial element in the formation of self-esteem. The latter is our own personal report card-- the manner in which we evaluate ourselves that determines whether or not we accept who we are.
Self-esteem represents the extent to which we consider ourselves capable of learning, deciding; and creating or engaging in something deemed valuable. Positive self-esteem is not inherited-- there is no known chromo- some for it's existence. Rather, it is conditioned through the reinforcement histories of family members.
To improve your self-esteem, consider the following: 1) Recognize yourself as the "master of your destiny." You are the artist, author and sculptor of your choices. And the reservoir of reinforcement for success experiences. Re- call a time you were able to successfully perform in some fashion, despite the circumstances. How did you experience the results? Think of others. 2) Strive to be self-assertive. Open that trophy case and examine your accomplishments. Pay attention to feelings of confidence that emerge and consider where you are now, where you would like to be and what changes in your behavior you need in order to get there. How do you express yourself now? What consequences result? How could you modify your manner of presentation in order to achieve a more useful outcome? 3) Think positive...for a change! When a behavior is not working-- when it fails to produce a useful outcome-- reject IT, not your SELF! Relating negative outcomes, such as failing to secure employment, to some aspect of you as an individual is futile, illogical and damaging to your self-esteem. 4. What role can family members play in helping an unemployed relative find a job? Having graduated from childhood, each of us, in effect, is an alumnus of a family. A background replete with a learning history that contained successes and failures, praise and punishment, and significant milestones. Just as an institution may be a valuable resource worthy of support from an alumnus, so is the Family.
When one is parched with frustration and despair, the family can be a fountain of emotional support and encouragement. Individuals can help the unemployed relative reconnect with more positive feelings through their reassurance and recollections of more successful times in that person's life. Of utmost importance is the role of listening. Rather than jumping in with both feet by offering the quick-fix, that is poorly-deliberated advice, family members who listen are actually communicating something at the same time: They are concerned and supportive.
If as a concerned family member you feel the need to say something, ask: 1) Is there anything that you (the individual in question) deem worthwhile that has not yet been considered in your efforts to secure a job? 2) What specific tasks can I perform that would assist you in your quest? 5. What is the most important quality an individual must put on display during a job interview? A job interview is not an "ordeal." Rather, it is an "opportunity to offer the performance of your life! The ability to reframe negative experiences as positive ones is an essential aspect of remaining positive and confident. A positive, confident demeanor telegraphs a highly favorable communication to a prospective employer. Many job hunters have credentials. Although these are valuable resources that are often expected pursuant to interviewing for a job, the supply and demand of the job market often dictates that skills alone are not enough. Consequently, many a skilled individual is turned away. As in the case of the interviewee, a prospective employer's life contains a reinforcement history of successes and failures. There are times where he (she), too, is burdened by uncertainty, regarding a decision that needs to occur. To the extent that the interviewee is confident about his (her) ability to perform he is helping to relieve that uncertainty by replacing it with feelings of comfort. To be sure, a well-written resume focusing on targeted skills is important. But alone, verbal (or written) behavior is just a lot of talk! Display a sense of "congruence." Be sure your posture, voice, words and written material communicate the same message: I believe I can...so I will.