Archive for the ‘ajcjobs’ Category

Small businesses find target audiences

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

Three years ago JoAnne Nelson was a real estate agent who saw many beautiful custom-made draperies and upholsteries in clients’ homes and decorated model houses.

But having custom drapes made for her own home proved to be a tedious process. Locating a shop, communicating her needs and wondering about the quality of the workmanship made her think there had to be a better way. She bought an established upholstery workshop in an old house in Smyrna and revamped it into Atlanta Custom Interiors.

JoAnne Nelson (left) owner of Atlanta Custom Interiors, talks with Marsha Peterson, owner of Trade Secrets Interiors, about window treatment designs. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

JoAnne Nelson (left) owner of Atlanta Custom Interiors, talks with Marsha Peterson, owner of Trade Secrets Interiors, about window treatment designs. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

“Friends thought it a bit extreme — to buy a business because I wanted drapes made my way, but I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think I could make a profit,” said Nelson, owner and operating manager.

Last year she knocked down the old house to rebuild the …

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Working Strategies: Choosing a job target and getting started

With so many job seekers losing unemployment benefits this fall, it’s a good time to review the principles of career development and job search — particularly for those in transition to a new field.

Last week’s column discussed the fundamentals of developing a career plan. Today’s looks at choosing a job target. The following weeks will explore steps for building skills, revising your resume and conducting a job search outreach.

If you feel as if you’ve been hitting your head against the wall in your job search, you may be right.

Job searches that rely on online postings are doomed almost from the beginning by one of these two failings: Either you know exactly what you want and you’re being very selective, or you’re very open and you’re responding to everything.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

In the first situation, you probably won’t find enough jobs to beat the odds and get chosen from among all the candidates for an interview. And in the second, …

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Companies need a recovery game plan

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

With small but distinct signs of life in the economy, companies are plotting their recovery strategies for 2010.

“Recovery will not be restoration of the pre-recession market. Trying to get back to where we were will be like chasing a red herring,” said Jean Martin, executive director of the Corporate Leadership Council of the Corporate Executive Board, a global business research network.
It’s a whole new ballgame.

Dana R. Hermanson is a professor of accounting at the Kennesaw State University's Coles College of Business. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

Dana R. Hermanson is a professor of accounting at the Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

“Sixty-seven percent of the employees we surveyed [in more than 5,100 leading companies] said that they had seen significant organizational reconstruction and changes during the recession that had thrown the normal drivers of companies off balance,” Martin said.

In its “Executive Guidance 2010” report, the Corporate Executive Board identifies six hidden enemies that could …

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Working Strategies: To get ahead, you need to plan ahead

November is Career Development Month. With so many job seekers losing unemployment benefits this fall, now is a good time to review the principles of career development and job search, particularly for those in transition from one field to another.

The five columns in this series will cover the fundamentals of developing a career plan, choosing a job target, building skills, revising your résumé and conducting a job search outreach.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Did you choose your career and build steps to achieve it, or did you tumble into it backward? Some days I don’t know what the word career means. But there is a point inherent in the concept that I think is important: Planning.

Whether it is at the onset or later in the process, one must engage in planning in order to build a career. Dumb luck and hard work will carry you only so far.

In the old days, a career plan meant something like this: Go to school, get trained, work your way up in a company, retire. …

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Tough time for small business owners

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

We know the recession has not been kind to big business. We’ve read about the layoffs, bankruptcies and plant closures. “It’s not been good for small business either,” said Karen E. Ervin, inspirational speaker, author and founder of Entrepreneur Enterprises, which offers online courses to help entrepreneurs plan and start a business. “People are working harder than they were last year, struggling to meet payroll or taxes and watching as their colleagues’ businesses fold up.”

Karen E. Ervin

Karen E. Ervin is the founder of Entrepreneur Enterprises and an author and inspirational speaker. Ervin has advice for small business owners on navigating the recession. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

As the area director of Kennesaw State University’s Small Business Development Center, Lydia Jones sees the toll of the economy daily. “There’s so much stress out there,” she said. “Money is tighter. Lines of credit have been decreased or been …

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Working Strategies: A guide to pursuing nonprofit ambitions

Of all the conversations I’ve had with people about choosing a career path, those who seem the most sheepish are the ones drawn to nonprofits. There’s something about the frank admission that you want to help others or that salary isn’t your primary motivator that makes people feel like they aren’t measuring up when they’re at the career counselor’s office.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

But change is in the air. There’s some combination of our current domestic and global problems, paired with the grass-roots activation of citizens in our recent presidential campaign, that is creating a renewed sense of interest in nonprofit careers. I believe the recession is a driver as well. There’s nothing like being kicked out of a job you didn’t like anyway to help focus one’s attention on more rewarding work.

Shelly Cryer, author of “The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to Land a Job That Makes a Difference” (Fieldstone Alliance, 2008, $18.95), has this to …

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Now is the right time to develop talent

Laura Raines, for the AJC

It’s a familiar cycle to corporate educators and trainers. In good times, companies often expand their corporate learning programs. In belt-tightening times, training is usually the first thing to go.

“The demand for corporate training has dropped dramatically in the last 18 months,” said Kim Groves, marketing director for continuing education at Kennesaw State University, which offers professional management courses and customized programs for individuals and organizations. But she knows that when companies can fund it, business will pick up.

“Most companies realize that not developing their talent isn’t good for the long-term health of the organization,” she said. “Education is power.”

Tough times are when companies should maximize their employee training, said Gary Cruze, a senior instructor with Emory Corporate Learning.

“People like to be developed, and companies that provide those opportunities generally find their …

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Working Strategies: Six steps to securing holiday employment

If you’d like a holiday job this year, you need to get hopping. For all the reasons you already know — bad economy, weak retailers, excess labor — there are fewer jobs available and more people seeking them.

Is it worth the effort? That depends.

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren

There’s the potential benefit of making contacts or opening the door to a permanent job.

The trick is to nail down the holiday job quickly, to keep from diverting too much energy from the main employment effort. Here are some tips:

1. Pinpoint your likely targets and the skills you want to use. Are you strong and healthy? Maybe your target will involve transporting packages or stocking shelves. If your strength is customer service, retail or catalog sales might be the right fit.

2. Go beyond the big-name places. If you follow Tip 4 on this list and avoid online applications, you won’t have much luck in these places anyway, as they generally require electronic apps. Also, they are …

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Negotiate carefully in today’s market

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

“There’s no harm in asking,” Mom always said.

But in today’s economic climate, employees and job candidates are thinking twice about negotiating for more money, benefits and perks.

“In tough times, many companies tighten their belts. Managers aren’t going to offer workers more out of hand. If you don’t ask, they aren’t going give it to you,” said Erin Wolf, managing partner of Suite-Track, an Atlanta leadership development firm for female professionals.

Erin Wolf is owner and managing partner of SuiteTrack, LLC, a company that “focuses on leadership development for women.” Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

Erin Wolf is owner and managing partner of SuiteTrack, LLC, a company that “focuses on leadership development for women.” Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

“The first step is to assess the timing. If jobs are being eliminated and no one is getting raises in your company, this isn’t the time to ask, but if others are being compensated better for similar work or getting the best projects, you should go for it.”

In the booming ’90s, employees held the upper …

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Businesses hiring again – in a new way

By Laura Raines, for the AJC

Hiring — that’s the practice of employing a person for a wage or fee, in case you haven’t heard the term lately — is making a comeback.

“Clients who have been on hiatus for more than a year have started calling us in the last month,” said Randy Hain, managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search, a 40-year-old Atlanta search firm. “The most common thing we hear is, ‘We cut way too many people, and now we need some back.’ ”

Randy Hains – managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search, an Atlanta search firm – said companies are adding more consultants to the payroll. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

Randy Hains – managing partner of Bell Oaks Executive Search, an Atlanta search firm – said companies are adding more consultants to the payroll. Photo by Leita Cowart, for the AJC.

Sustainable manufacturing, wireless, software and innovative technology are a few industries that are adding workers. Many companies are upgrading new sales teams.

As you might suspect, post-economic-disaster hiring is not business as usual. There are new trends in the marketplace. Savvy job seekers will take note and …

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