Posted on: September 17th, 2019 by
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Some very interesting research has come out of  Take a look.


Jobs with high compensation and low unemployment rank the highest because the supply of candidates is low and the demand for talent is high.

  • Naval/Marine Engineering median income is $90,000 1.6% unemployment rate
  • Nuclear Engineers median income is $98,000 with a 1.8% unemployment rate
  • Pharmaceutical sciences median income is $100,000 with 2.2% unemployment rate
  • Genetics median income is $85,000 with a 1.2% unemployment rate
  • Electrical engineering income is $99,000 with a 2.7% unemployment rate


Jobs with low compensation and high unemployment rank the lowest because the supply of candidates is high and the demand for talent is low.

  • Fine Arts median income is $37,000 with an unemployment rate of 4.8%
  • Literature/linguistics median income is $40,000 with an unemployment rate of 3.9%
  • Composition/rhetoric median income is $37,800 with a 4.4% unemployment rate
  • Visual/performing arts median income is $32,000 with a 4.1% unemployment rate
  • Drama/theater arts median income is $35,500 with an unemployment rate of 5.2%

According the Data USA, in 2016 there were only 500 students to graduate as Naval/Marine Engineers, while 11,000 students graduated with theater degrees.  Not surprising that technology, engineering, mathematics and science were the top earning majors, while the humanities were at the bottom, according to Bankrate.


So, what are the implications for you?  When choosing a change of career direction or a college major, consider these three factors as you make your choices;

  • If you have a passion for a career direction, it must be balanced with the two other factors. You may be star-struck for Hollywood, but 1-in-a-million chance of success.
  • The earning potential in your career must be factored in, not only now but in the next 10 years. Some jobs top out below the average for all jobs, which may not change.
  • The current and future trend for your job opportunities is critical. Jobs that are the rage in today’s world may not continue after graduation or in your first 10 years.


Potential solutions?

  • Consider a career track that has multiple alternatives.  Example:  If you are an accountant with few options to move ahead, get a certification in forensic accounting which is in high demand, higher pay and is sought after by employers
  • Choose an undergraduate minor that provides an alternative career route. The income for performing arts and potential is small, but a videographer job is in demand.
  • Continue to develop relationships with people already in the profession from which you may find a helping hand. Many job changes occur through people you know and are willing to move your resume and name forward within their organization.


I wish the world could accommodate your dream job.  However, reality says you need a backup plan.


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Posted on: September 10th, 2019 by
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There are many kinds of interviews.  Big differences exist between how you prepare, develop strategies and conduct telephone interviews, Skype interviews and person-to-person interviews.  If you don’t understand how to succeed in each one, you’ll fall short at the end. The success factors for a Skype interview are summed up below:



  1. Play the role and look the part. Your resume got their attention, now it’s time to impress them with your confidence, get it done attitude, demeanor and transferable results
  2. Find a good location to Skype: Quiet, no distractions, neutral surroundings and no pets
  3. Practice interview questions and answers with someone who have interviewed candidates on Skype before. Find a mentor to help you frame positive responses
  4. Keep your resume handy. Post key messages and put them on the computer screen prior to your interview. These are items you want to make sure you cover. The interviewer can see you, not your screen.



  1. Make sure the connection is working. If you can’t hear or see, make it known so the problem can be corrected and not negatively affect your interview
  2. Dress professionally as if you’re in the office of the hiring manager.
  3. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Look at the camera (red light) and not the screen. You lose the personal connection by watching the screen
  4. Relax as best you can. Put your hands in your lap and relax your shoulders
  5. Make sure your LinkedIn and Facebook information is positive and supportive. The interviewer will probably have the information in front of them.
  6. Non-verbal communications are important. A smile is a positive sign and a head nod once in a while indicates either you understand with what is being said or you agree
  7. Watch the interviewer’s eyes. If they drift or close slightly, shift subjects or modulate your tone of voice.  If you’re boring, it will show on the interviewer’s face


Usually the interviewer will ask if you have any additional questions.  This is a great opportunity to make a very positive impression with the quality of your questions:

ASK:  “What are the results expected for this position in the first year?”

“What are the short and long term issues this position is expected to problem-solve?”

“When will a decision be made for 1-on-1 interviews?”

DON’T ASK: “What’s the salary for this position… vacations… benefits… Do I have to move to Detroit?  Work on weekends?  Travel a lot? (You’ll get answers later as a finalist).


Skype interviews are better than telephone interviews but not as effective as face-to-face interviews.  The key to Skype interviews is to relate with the interviewer through eye contact and the answers to questions around results the hiring manager needs in the short to middle term.


Your objective is to get invited to interview in person. Position yourself through Skype.


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Posted on: September 4th, 2019 by
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Three dynamics are currently shaping the marketplace.

  1. Salary increases have been low over the past few years and have dampened merit increased to the 1-3% range. Outstanding performance may be in the 4-5% area
  2. The open job market has been brisk, but the skill sets, education or experiences come up short by those who have not kept up with the technological advances
  3. The shift in the supply/demand equation by industry has caused an imbalance. Declining jobs like retail, banking, journalism, and those that become automated are incompatible with high demand jobs like Occupational or Physical Therapy, Home Health Aide, Commercial Divers, Nurses, Physician Assistant, and those that are technology-driven.The skill sets are entirely different.


The factors above have caused a reaction in the marketplace:

  1. High performers in high demand industries can mandate promotional increases of 15 to 20% or more in compensation. Some hospitals award hiring bonuses of $20,000 for nurses, plus relocation costs and help with housing.
  2. There is financial support and incentive pay given for qualified employees to learn new skills, upgrade proficiencies and obtain certifications in needed functions. Most are in technologies that are needed to backfill unfilled jobs.
  3. Up to one-third of current employees say they plan to apply for a better job within 12 months. Some will look for an internal move while the majority will find new prospects outside of their current organization.
  4. Younger employees switch to a new company with tenure of two years or less. Over half will move within that 2-year time-line. Millennials seem to be more confident of opportunities in the future than Generation X employees.
  5. The economy is expanding at a higher pace than for the past 10 years. That means that the higher skilled, in-demand professionals move up the food chain, which in turn creates a job opportunity with the job they just vacated.
  6. The unemployment rate is currently at 3.7%, a low number by historical standards. The pressure for talent pushes compensation numbers higher as the pool of qualified professionals shrinks.
  7. Beyond compensation, working at a new job for a different organization can mean a higher title, additional responsibilities and an expanded decision-making role. This makes a new job in a different organization more attractive to the ambitious.


The downsides are obvious:  You may become a job-hopper if you have four or five 2 year stays and then move on.  You also become a liability as a flight risk:  Someone who will leave, after the company has invested training, experience and opportunity.  Quality reference may not follow.  So be wary of how you are perceived.


Summary:  Changing jobs and companies need to be considered when looking at career strategies. The upsides are accelerating compensation, responsibilities, opportunities and marketability for the future.  However, these positive outcomes must be balanced with your professional reputation, relocation considerations, family issues and the possibility of a new assignment that doesn’t working out.


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Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by
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Not all interviews, questions or responses are alike, but most questions are predictable. The interviewer is most interested in what you have done, how you did it and what were the results.  The closer you come with your answers to fulfilling the needs of the hiring manager, the closer you are to becoming a finalist candidate.


Some questions are looking for how you think and respond to the question, and not the answer itself.  These can be the most difficult questions.  Here are some from my past clients:


WHAT ARE YOU “NOT?” – Sounds strange, but it’s the reverse of the question, “Describe yourself”.  The easiest way to answer this question is to think about who you ARE and give the opposite answer.  If you are modest and understated, you’re NOT a braggard or showoff; a team-player, not a loner; an achiever, not a slacker; a participant, not a spectator.  The interviewer is trying to ascertain how you handle the stress and difficulty of a curveball question.


HOW DO I KNOW YOUR NOT A SHORT-TERMER?  Both a real issue and a curveball question.  If your history of jobs is 5 years or more, you can say, “Look at my record.  I have always committed to the job to be done”. If you have a history of short-term moves, take the approach of saying, “I’ve been looking for the right job, organization and work team in order to commit to a longer-term career.  I believe this position is the right one for me.”.  However, you have to believe it yourself.


WHAT KIND OF SUPERVISOR DO YOU NEED?  This question needs an honest answer.  Don’t try to outguess what you believe the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate. If you know what you need to become an outstanding performer, and your supervisor can’t provide them, the job won’t get done and your career may stall.  This is one question that you need to prepare with complete candor: Level of support?  Freedom of action? Team engagement? Decision making? Expanded responsibilities? Need for direction?    


HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH NEGATIVE CO-WORKERS?  This is a question about conflict.  There will always be issues around the work to be done.  Sometimes it becomes office politics, but more often it may be interpersonal.  Always suggest that employees try to work out  problems by themselves.  If that doesn’t work, try an objective third-party peer that you both can work with and respect.  If the solution doesn’t affect results, just let time take care of it.  If the solution does affect performance, you may need to sit down with the supervisor.


Interviewing is like most skills.  The more you do the better you become, especially if you prepare and practice before the interview.  After the interview, critique your answers.


For tough questions, pivot toward familiar or more comfortable areas:  Your expertise or your pursuit of results.  That’s what the hiring manager is most interested in.


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Posted on: August 20th, 2019 by
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First off, how do you define “success” in your career?  Money? Title?  Fame?  Achievement? Power?  Satisfaction?  Or do you see a combination of factors?  Each one of these factors drive you in a different direction, so make sure you’re going after the right one.  If your career goal is money, your strategy is much different than if it’s satisfaction.


And what about personal “success” as apposed to career success?  Is your primary goal meaningful relationships, friends, love, family?  How do these factors integrate with your career success?  As you can see, the answer isn’t a simple one.  I know of several highly successful executives who have a number of ex-spouses.


Maybe a better question is, “What are the strategies for success?  Here’s a list of 5 steps for you to consider in thinking about success in your function or career:


VISION:  How do you visualize your ultimate goal, both professionally and personally over the next 5,10, or 20 years?  How do you envision the future outcome?  What will it take to achieve that vision?  Are you willing to preserver to attain your vision?  Unless and until you can answer these fundamental questions, the road to success will be undefined.


PASSION:  The things that you are passionate about are the things most likely to bring you success, if pursued.  The reverse is also true.  The earlier you can identify your passion the better.   You can then create a pathway to your professional and personal goals over a longer period of time.


CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND AN OPEN MIND: Continuing to grow as a professional and individual can only help you over time, whether it be a degree, certification, new language, new friends, and so on.  Try to learn something every day, and over time you’ll obtain skills, knowledge or ability to move closer to your vision. Continue to look for better ways of doing things.   Approach issues with no preconceived bias to see things clearly.


STRENGTHS, COMFORT ZONE, and RISK:  Develop a list of strengths:  Those things that you can do better than most.  These are your differentiators.  Identify the areas that you are highly confident and those areas where you fall short.  Reduce your weaknesses and you’ll expand your comfort zone. You can accept a higher level of risk when you’re more prepared.


RELATIONSHIPS and APPRECIATION TO/FOR OTHERS: Maintaining a wide circle of friends and supporters will help you over time.   These are the people who know you best and can be there for you when needed, and visa versa.  Make a list of “good friends” who are part of your network.  Make another list of “others” who can’t be counted on for support. Which list is longer?   What does that tell you?


Success isn’t automatic, it’s earned.  The steps to “earned success” can be planned and implemented, once you define your vision, strategy and timeline.   Without those elements you’re taking a random walk through life, both professionally and personally.


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