February 18, 2018

There Are Options

Posted in Career Options, Job Search tagged , , , , at 9:06 pm by Yvonne LaRose

As 2017 was about to close and as we approached the anniversary of the new administration, it became apparent that some were going through various forms of anxiety to the point of considering drastic alternatives. Some motivation, encouragement, and support were the ingredients needed. So I began making videos on YouTube for the sake of that population.

The early installments anticipate being a mirror of where the low point has brought us. We begin with some basics about rising from the ashes in order to get refueled and back to doing the positive things aimed at making new entrances through those doors of opportunity. (They really do exist, you know.)

Some folks have been knocking on the same types of doors for so long that they now have blisters. Some have resigned themselves to the concept that they will never get in and they should accept the notion that they’re not qualified. Nope. I’m not buying that idea. There are options. In “Another Door,” we discover there are other ways to get inside and even some things we were blind to that we’ve been nesting for a very long time.

Do you know someone who can use a shot in the arm? It’s easy to subscribe. Leave your comments here or at Yvonne LaRose, Lively Voice on YouTube.

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September 11, 2017

Using a Temp Agency

Posted in Career Options, Job Search tagged , , , , , at 4:26 pm by Yvonne LaRose

There are so many options for job search other than collecting unemployment. There’s working for yourself via the gig economy. There’s doing a full-blown job search (which may become protracted). And then there’s seeking interim employment through an agency.

As with any type of employment, there are qualifications and requirements in order to get started. Getting started can be full of surprises if you’re not aware of how to go about using one. Things are different these days. Here’s some advice about Getting in the Temp Agency Door.

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March 3, 2017

Requirements for the Job

Posted in Career Options, Job Search tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:30 pm by Yvonne LaRose

Are you ready to apply?

Are you ready to apply?

A job posting from Monster crossed my desk this evening. The firm is seeking a family law legal assistant and calls for an “experienced family law legal assistant for CFLS”. (Do you know what CFLS stands for? No, it isn’t fluorescent light bulbs.)

In addition to understanding what type of family law is being practiced by this AV-rated firm, it’s important to comprehend the scope of what the work involves. This position is not for a newcomer but there is room to grow. The candidate needs to have 3 to 5 years of this type of family law experience.

The ad goes on to set forth some of the standard things one would expect for this type of role and firm: “knowledge of filing procedures and court forms, excellent grammar and proofreading skills . . .” Even a legal secretary needs to have these skills.

But the legal assistant or paralegal is another step along the professional spectrum. What’s the difference between the two? A legal assistant and a paralegal are simply two different names of the same fruit. Which is used depends on the preference of the speaker. Standard requirements for this type of work are easily found and are universal in application. However, the scope and breadth of the work can grow depending on the amount of trust, ambition, and accuracy the person has demonstrated and the willingness of the attorney to allow them to do more.

Also called for in this ad and also part of the standard expectations of the position are “detail oriented, reliable.” You want your case to get the correct consideration. You want all the pertinent information. You need to know what applies and which is the most relevant. Typos are not allowed. Poor grammar says the case was done in slap-dash manner and doesn’t carry a lot of meaningful weight. Furthermore, there are a lot of people depending on the paralegal to show up for work on time and ready to work. They are also expecting someone who will get their work done on time with no excuses.

There is an incentive for allowing the paralegal to do more because their time is billed to the client just as is the lawyer’s. The difference is that the paralegal’s time is billed at a lower rate than the lawyer’s, making legal services more affordable for more people. In addition to making legal representation more affordable, the paralegal’s assistance allows the lawyer to devote more focus on their caseload and strategies for winning the cases or having a favorable outcome for the client. The more responsible and challenging the work, the higher the paralegal’s rate will be.

Communication is important in any work setting. It’s important when people are dealing with others. So the requirement to have the “ability to communicate and interact with clients . . .” is to be expected. There is a need to communicate as a professional, of course. But there is also a necessity (because this is a family law situation) to be able to keep emotions from exploding, to be able to do an excellent job of explaining things in a manner that is easily understandable to the client (who may be in a very agitated state or in shock) as well as with others involved in the case and court or administrative agency personnel.

What is important in this ad is the call for technical skills in certain areas and ability to use certain types of tools. It calls for people who are “proficient in WORD, Abacus, and Martin Dean’s Essential forms.” Notice that it says proficient in WORD, not Word Perfect. Do you know what Abacus is?

Reading a job ad and the job description seems like a walk through the park on the face of it. There’s a lot more to going through ads in order to determine whether you have the talents, knowledge, and skills necessary to be a viable candidate (as compared with just an applicant). It takes parsing through the language to make certain what the employer seeks is what you have to offer. If not, applying for the job is essentially a waste of your time and resources as well as a waste for the one reviewing the applications that are submitted.

Perhaps the cover letter will allow you to pause and consider what to say as you work on distinguishing yourself from your competitors by describing why you’re the best. Even in your darkest hour, this is the part that should bring you back into soaring toward your goals because you’ve done your own self affirmation.

Finally, consider whether being a paralegal is the right path for you. There are so many job titles that fall from the lips that related professions are seldom even considered but may be a better fit.

Read the ad carefully to know what is sought. Do your research. Then apply so you can get the interview for the job.

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March 9, 2016

Good Intentions

Posted in Career Options, Personal Image tagged , , , , , , , at 2:44 pm by Yvonne LaRose

After striving month after month and year after year, the proposal to speak was finally accepted. No, the actual content was not prepared in advance. No, not even the bullet talking points had been collected. It seemed as though the priority was to get accepted and know something about the special focus of the group before doing those things. But now there are fingertips on the gold ring. All that’s necessary is to use the lead time to pull things together.

When is it due?

When is it due?

Are you the type whose fortune is predicated on “If it can go wrong, it will”? That’s the time when your equipment falls apart and you don’t have budget for doing the repairs for another three months. Or you fall ill with some exotic ailment that has you bedridden for three weeks (or maybe until two days after the deadline date). Maybe it isn’t any of those things but it is the spontaneous demonstration that has all routes to the venue blocked for five hours. What about that earthquake? No matter what it is, you got prepared but you couldn’t deliver. Is that an omlette on your face? It looks like eggs.

So you’re back to submitting more proposals for what feels like eternity. With the number of polite rejections, it feels like the word is out that you talk big but can’t (or routinely do not) deliver. No, it isn’t fear of failure. That bugaboo has a repellent in your house that works really well. You also have a very long, but also very old, history of great deliveries.

Maybe the picture has changed in the interim. The old track record was when you were doing presentations for fraternal or charitable venues where everything was a volunteer (free) effort. You already knew the nature, personality, and needs of the audience. The audience was already aware of the quality you strove to (and did) deliver. That was the past; this is now. Now, you’re on your own. You’re looking forward to re-establishing your credibility and you realize part of that credibility is being compensated as a professional for presenting your knowledge.

Well, there are a few things you need to do before submitting your proposal.

  • Work out a framework, a skeleton, of your presentation
  • Determine who needs to know that information and why
  • Research what organizations are part of that target market and come up with contact people
  • Draft your proposal
  • Include a speaker’s fee in the proposal, and any expenses you want covered
  • Include a contingency clause in your proposal (unexpected, unforeseen circumstances that vitiate against performance)
  • Start tailoring the skeleton framework to meet the needs of your audience
  • Stay focused on finalizing that presentation

About one to two weeks before you’ve done the finishing touches and rehearsed for the fifth time, begin the process anew for the next proposal.

There’s a bonus to doing these things in order to prepare for your presentation. They are extremely similar to the steps that should be taken to search for a new job and prepare for the interviews (screening, preliminary, in-person, final and negotiations). But we can talk about those dynamics on another day. Meanwhile, consider this. Failure is such a difficult word (and concept) to swallow. Yes, there’s a lot to learn from that cactus, but there’s so much to savor from being able to deliver (on time as expected) on your promises.

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August 27, 2015

Fitness Career Alternatives

Posted in Career Options, Job Search tagged , , , , , , at 10:34 pm by Yvonne LaRose

Welcoming the Newcomer

Charging into the newness

Yes, the degree has been earned. But to gain clients or break into the market, it’s necessary to have experience or show it. That can be a challenge but it isn’t necessarily insurmountable.

Sometimes you can get a first interview or engage in a networking conversation wherein you discuss the successes you had in your performance classes or tutoring your classmates. Then there are situations in which you did volunteer work, whether in a corporate, educational, or nonprofit situation. The results of the work in those situations can also serve as examples and references for getting started.

Then there’s the school Career Services Office (CSO). Even though we tend to think of the CSO as a place for white collar opportunities, it is actually a venue for all industries. It’s just necessary to connect with the correct counselor.

Meanwhile, you’re still looking for a place to put your foot in the door and then get started on your career. In this instance, you’re looking for opportunities in the areas of health and physical fitness.

One thing I would strongly suggest is visiting your library and taking a look at the content being published on the subject. Take note of who are the advertisers. In the articles, pay special attention to those who are interviewed for quotes in the articles as well as those who are highlighted for their expetise as coaches or trainers.

A few other suggestions for opportunity venues are:

  • Nursing homes and assisted living environments need fitness activity coordinators and leaders.
  • There are rehabilitation programs through hospitals (kinesiologist)
  • There are fitness centers such as CrossFit (or any other sports/fitness environment), which is actually a franchising proposition but they do hire trainers
  • Consider looking into local government entities associated with parks and recreation departments
  • Schools, at any level, including colleges and universities (although universities will probably require an advanced degree) are also an option
  • There’s also the possibility of becoming a consultant for a transportation service. There, it is possible to provide guidance about patron services, especially when there are emergencies and all passengers of diverse abilities need to be moved.
  • Coaching / training for active shooter situations will be developing as a service need and people who have reliable expertise about managing abilities
  • Self defense studios are another option. The drawback there is that the studio may have the same limitations as a gym in that the trainers are independents who set their own hours and rates and develop their own client list.
  • There is the possibility of providing regular services to domestic violence shelters
  • Don’t rule out fitness services at homeless shelters. Just because the latest hurricane or disaster has ripped away your home doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need to be maintained.
  • No matter what age, people need to learn to stay fit, even from the earliest age, as in nursery schools
  • And then there’s specialized training, e.g., bicycle safety, for something to get started while paying the bills.

Although these suggestions are primarily focused on health and fitness options, the same basic resource, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, will serve any industry’s specifications.

The possibilities are out there. You just need to look for them. Just because you may be thinking about health and fitness as it relates to humans, doesn’t mean you should rule out the health and fitness of animals. In that regard, there are zoos, animal “entertainment” venues, and preserves.

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April 2, 2006

Nontraditional Career Options in the Arts

Posted in Career Options, Job Search tagged , , , , , , at 8:22 am by Yvonne LaRose

April is a busy month for girls and women. It was recently (historically speaking) designated Women’s History Month. For approximately 10 of the past 13 years, it was the month that Take Our Daughters to Work Day was celebrated across the United States.

The latter originally began in order to make girls aware of the fact that they do have a place in the workplace other than the traditional support staff roles to which women had been restricted. The fourth Thursday of April was set aside by the Ms. Foundation as the date girls could shadow someone in business for a day, to learn more about the type of work that person does, what the real day-to-day activities are, how to act in a business-like manner, prepare for meetings, be involved in business decision making.

As time passed, the cry of equal opportunity rose in objection to just girls having one day away from traditional school in order to learn about career options. So in 2002, the first Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day evolved. And as the years leading up to that inclusion passed, nontraditional careers began being examined as possible career paths.

Last month I discovered an Arts calendar that shows the various displays and special events in Southern California. As I examined the entries, the thought occurred to me that the special events and dates also represented ideas for career options in the Arts. So I tore out the pages for March and April to share some career options in the Arts with you based on that calendar.

March 1 and 2: Admission to the Craft and Folk Art Museum is free on he first Wednesday of each month. For those who enjoy crafts, quiting, and folk arts, a career can be made in using and preserving these traditions. Consider handmade furniture for boys or girls, pottery making, glass or surface decorating as occupations that create art but also have functional bases.

The Hammer Museum has free admission on the first Thursday of each month and features contemporary art. Maybe because it’s based on UCLA’s campus is why this museum features things that can appeal to a person with diverse interests and drives where Art is the underpinning. It’s displays range from classic to cutting edge, historical to contemporary in addition to master works. Those who enjoy history may be able to develop some ideas on how to integrate their second love of art into a career by viewing this. Art gallery sales and appraisals may be options that require skill in public speaking, negotiation, persuasion, math. Has anyone considered a writing career as an art critic or the person who writes the description of the event coming to a particular venue?

What about teaching some form of art to others? Teaching is more than just talking and demonstrating. Lesson plans need to be written for each day of class. And then there’s evaluation of learning and class papers.

March 4 and 5: Orange County Museum of Art features Landscape Confetti as part of its contemporary art exhibits. But that brings up yet more career options. Landscaping architects determine what shape the yard will take and what maneuverings will help create it. The type of medium to be used is also part of this decision making – all the way from the type of earth to the height of the tree and everything in between.

Has anyone ever picked up a gardening or landscape picture book, or a gardener’s encyclopedia? Someone had to know and understand plants in order to write about them. Someone needed technical writing skills in order to explain how to tend and care for the plants and describe them adequately enough that we consumers will understand the unique qualities of each plant.

Just because one is in writing and publishing doesn’t necessarily mean they are the one who scribes the words. Publishing has multiple branches for career paths. Still in editorial are occupations such as copywriters, proofreaders, fact checkers – the people in the library who go through the files and double check information to make absolutely certain it’s true and accurate.

There are also the photographic editors and photographers. Someone needs to take the pictures or choose the images used in the publication. The people who handle cover art for books need to have a sense of what’s happening in the story or written piece so that the artwork blends into the work and is in consonance with the context. We still haven’t gotten to the typesetting and printing departments, nor legal with its concerns about copyright and contracts.

Oh, that’s right. Back to the calendar of events for the Month of March!

The Mingei International Museum is in San Diego and features folk art and paintings from around the world. Just because you’re a local of your city or state doesn’t mean you’ll never in your life have any dealings with any other part of the world. As we keep talking about diversity and inclusion, it would be good to have someone become versed in world relations through artistic expression. The more one understands the traditions, the easier comes appreciation and acceptance.

March 19 – 25: Storytelling is a form of oral history. At museums, the guides (there’s another entry-level career option) need to be able to relate the story of what’s being displayed. Those guides learn their script from the endeavors of the person who wrote out the display description, complete with history of the period, a few traditions tossed in for interest, and some cultural input to lend appreciation of what’s there.

The Museum of Tolerance, renown for its Holocaust display, features “Once Upon a World” story hour, the story of Cesar Chavez. One important aspect of storytelling is appreciating the best way to convey the information so that it is memorable. The need for accuracy is paramount. Thus, a solid knowledge of history goes with this career. If pictures will help make the recitation more memorable, it’s important to have a knowledge of where to obtain the images. Integrating actual photos and images or clip art is another determination that needs to be made with some degree of enlightenment. And still another factor important to the presentation is knowing whether a PowerPoint, slide, or tactile instrument (the actual photograph) presentation would be proper. What’s the person who does this called? Choreograhper?

Both the Long Beach Museum of Art and The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), are featured sites during this week of Fine Arts Appreciation. The Long Beach is noted for having over 5,000 paintings, sculptures, and drawings. All that art that needs to be organized, catalogued, inventoried, and displayed in such a manner that the appreciation of the art will be completely savored rather than merely throwing non-uniform pieces willy nilly because there was space for it on a shelf. So there’s a need for display artists, people with a sense of history, color, balance, continuity. Isn’t the curator the one in charge of the entire collection? There must be titles for the other players in creating a cohesive presentation.

The San Diego counterpart of the Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on art from 1950 to the present. Biographers are needed in order to write notations about the artists and convey to the public the various factors that influenced the artist. Now here’s a case of integrating an interest in writing with history and genealogy.

Closing out the week is The Getty Center‘s Family Festival, a presentation of crafts, performances, and “fun surprises.” The Getty is known for its research, conservation, and grants. Here, again, are many careers associated with The Arts. Those interested in environmental issues, history, preservationists, those who love learning more about things (researchers), and contracts and grants administrators would be wise to look into places similar to The Getty for types of entry-level opportunities available.

March 26 – 31: In addition to notes about the National Gallery of Art‘s KidZone (which is an online site for game playing and making computer art) two museums are featured. But let’s consider the KidZone before wrapping up. One of the burgeoning industries at this time is computer games. Types of workers are computer programmers, simulators, equipment handlers, physical therapists, artists, cartoonists, graphic artists, quality assurance workers, quality controllers, testers. Who said art and computers don’t go together? Additionally, for each game produced, there’s a story that goes with it and someone who’s worked out and written up the story map and strategy. There’s been someone to evaluate the levels of difficulty and appropriateness for certain ages.

Hmm. This calendar isn’t specific. I wonder if they meant that KidZone or this one or this one.

The two featured museums are Santa Barbara Museum of Art which is featuring huge sculptures of everyday objects by Claes Oldenburg. Okay, someone needs to be able to describe this.

One of the more fascinating entries on this page of the calendar is Museum of Jurassic Technology. Here there’s an integration of art, Jurassic history, knoweldge of how to depict things in a contextual manner. If you’re creating the display labels, there’s still a need for good writing skills. In addition to the live venue, there’s also the Radio Documentary by Sound Portraits, which is writer Lawrence Weschler’s profile of this singular institution, home to spore-inhaling ants and bats that can fly through walls. So here, we have a need for some talent in broadcast and audio arts such as sound mixing, controlling a sound board, dubbing, editing, as well as timing.

Believe it or not, this page of the calendar does end. There are references to two online resources for additional information and resources. Ah-ha! Writing career coupled with web content writing, web page creating, HTML coding. Anyway, consider the entries for LAartsEd, the arts education programs offered in Los Angeles County. Also noted for gaining more art appreciation is discovering Los Angeles through its Walking Tours presented on the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar. Oh yes, yet another occupation – scheduler, not to mention calendar keeper.

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