Monday, May 15, 2006

New York Times Job Market Article

The New York Times ran an article on 5-14-06 in the job market section titled Training to Work in the Home (Someone Else's). The article said that the occupation of home health aide is the fastest growing occupation and that the growth predictions for this position will remain strong as the baby boomer population ages.

Monitoring business, social, economic, and demographic trends is an important component of a successful job search strategy. Rather than spending time on job boards trying to fit yourself into a job description, job seekers should focus on trends to uncover which industries are growing and which are contracting. Healthcare is a strong example of a growth industry and there's ample evidence that its growth is fueled by the increased demands of the baby boomer population. Consumers between the ages of 40-65 command exceptional buying power and they are spending their money on ways to improve their health and well being and protect themselves as they age. By identifying trends, job seekers can stay ahead of the curve during their search and create more opportunities for themselves within the hidden job market.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Career Journal Article-Business Schools Target Stay-At-Home Moms

I just finished reading an article from titled Business Schools Target Stay-At-Home Moms. Business schools including Harvard University, Baruch's Zicklin School of Business, and Babson College are targeting stay-at-home moms who are ready to return to the professional world. The goal of the courses is to help women overcome the gap in their resume with job-seeking strategies and help bring them up-to-date on changes in their field while they were gone. Such programs are great, but I recommend incorporating networking strategies into your life with children so when you are ready to return to work you've already built up an abundance of contacts that can assist you in your search moving forward.

Below are some tips for expanding your network and staying connected to your business community while you’re taking care of your children. Start networking for business opportunities now and you’ll have more viable options available to you when you are ready to return to work.

The Playground
You’ve all heard the expression that most deals are sealed on the golf course. A close second to the golf course may very well be the playground. The same principles of networking and schmoozing work with a small child in tow. It’s easy to strike up a conversation at the swings or the sandbox. Bring some toys that work best in groups like jump ropes, balls and bubble fluid and you’re bound to have a captive audience of both kids and adults in no time. If many of the children in your neighborhood are with caregivers during the week, it still makes sense to build these relationships. Chances are that the nanny’s current employer or their friend’s employers are people that are connected to others that you might like to know.

Group Classes/Sports Teams
By the time your children are three years old, many classes are “drop off” and parents are asked to wait outside the class area. Use that hour to network with the parents in the class. Try to schedule at least one class on the weekend to maximize the chances of communicating with a parent directly. When your kids get older, consider being the team parent for your child’s sports teams. This enables you to have ongoing contact with the parents of the team members and positions you as an effective organizer or leader.

When you volunteer for a position in your child’s school or your local community you are broadening your range of contacts since members of these groups represent multiple professional backgrounds. You are afforded the chance to network with people that you might not meet at work or through a professional organization. Volunteering in your school/community allows you to 1. Position yourself as an insider or expert in a particular area 2. Gain access to other members of the community that may be useful professional contacts in the future 3.Develop new marketable skills that you can apply to your future job search

When you volunteer, chose a leadership role, such as chair person for an event or member of the school’s executive board. These types of opportunities provide you with much greater visibility and decision-making power than you would receive if you just offer to bake cupcakes for the school picnic.

As mothers, we spend a great deal of time nurturing our children’s passions and developing their unique skills and attributes. We become so immersed in the amazing process of watching our children grow, that we often forget that we still need to plant professional seeds now so that our careers can grow in the future.