Sunday, April 20, 2014

What is the real economic problem: Unemployment … or Employee Disengagement


I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we’re lead to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear, and it’s worse than fear – it’s active disengagement. – Ken Burns
This is an often posed question and one of relevance today given the fact that the concept of what we call work has changed – really changed.
We hear from political leaders and the media about the need to create jobs, to get Americans back to work and to reduce unemployment – and I agree 110%. The job market is recovering but even at this level of recovery, the number of jobs available in the US are around 50-60% lower – yes lower – than before the recession took hold. Prior to the recession, on most any given day there were 1.2 to 1.4 million jobs being advertised on the market in the US. Today, we hover around 575,000 to 650,000 – way off from the market highs.
In our region, arguably one of the best regions in the country for jobs today, we see about 2,000 jobs in the market in any given day. That was 3000 to 3500 prior to the recession, so while not as dramatic a drop as the national job picture, still a haircut for sure.
Job growth is critical. However, in my opinion (and in the opinion of many who live and breath this market), there is a much more significant problem in the employment market that has the potential – and it is beginning to occur – to derail companies that are trying to recover:

The number of workers in a job who are disengaged – going to work to collect a paycheck; not charged, motivated or liking what they do.
This number is staggering …
We look to Gallup to give a picture of the mood of today’s worker and the results of their employee engagement study are at best mind-boggling and concerning. In their 2013 State of the American Workplace Report (http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/163007/state-american-workplace.aspx), Gallup reports that 70% – yes 70% of workers are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work. This is scary. Take ten workers in a company; seven do not want to be there, may not be doing their job or can be hurting the company in some other manner. Gallup and other analysts peg the cost of lost productivity between $300 and $500 billion annually. That holds back growth and economic recovery.
I see it every day in my practice. A once-great employee comes in and due to a myriad of factors, feels disengaged from their work and as a result, disenfranchised, under motivated, unproductive and disconnected. The reasons are many and seem to be centered around:
… Not feeling valued or heard
… Not recognized for a job well done
… Unrealistic expectations
… Poor or no communication
… Lack of relationship with leadership
… Unclear direction
… Lack of relationship with co-workers
… Unachievable workload
… And the list goes on and on …
The result? Good workers become disengaged workers and they leave the company (best solution) or worst yet, they stay (not good solution). Having a majority of disengaged workers in a company affects morale, communication, results and will affect customers. Customers sense that the campers are not happy, and they bolt – maybe just a few at a time, and the business leadership might not notice it (and if so, shame on them).
What happens – “leaders” recognize this is occurring in their company, and they seek to “fix” it:
… They throw money at the problem in salary increases— does not work
… They add workplace perks – no they doesn’t work either
… They fire those disengaged – no that doesn’t work either; the remaining employees see this, and join the ranks of the disengaged.
They miss the problem: It is the leadership and the systemic operations of the company that cause the disconnect. It is the “soft” things that count and can be fixed, with commitment:
… Communication
… Defining expectations
… Rewarding for performance
… Clarity in direction
… “Community” within the workplace
… that count.Yes these are harder to fix, but can be fixed over time
Is it unemployment or employee disengagement that is critical? …
It is both. Unemployment is more difficult to fix and is a macro economic issue. Disengagement is a problem that is more “in the neighborhood” … It is local, it is right in front of business leaders, and it can be fixed with short-term results. But the leaders and the organization as a whole must be committed to fixing the problems, and righting the wrongs.
You one of the disengaged?
Perhaps – and I know – I am describing a fair number of people who will ready this.
You have two choices:
1. Continue to be disengaged, unhappy, unproductive, spiteful and let it affect negatively all aspects of your life: family, relationship, social, community.
2. Be done with it – take control, commit to be happy and engaged and find your way top a new job, a new company or a new career. If you second 80% of your waking time either getting ready for work, being at work, thinking about work – why would you allow 80% of your life to be in a state of disengagement.
I think the choice is clear. I hope you do too. And I hope you will take control and act.
As always, thank you for reading this. – -Dan
Dan Moran
President & Founder
Next-Act, Division of DVG, Inc.
Career Management & Transition Specialists
Corporate Management Services
Celebrating 26 years providing career & corporate management services in 2014!
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: 518-641-8968
dmoran@next-act.com
Register for Reinvent Yourself 2014 – Media Sponsor: Capital Region Living Magazine, May 3rd, 8:30 – noon, Hilton Garden Inn, Troy. In a few short hours, craft your mission statement and learn how to reinvent your life, career and leadership qualities. I will be there with experts in life coaching, leadership, entrepreneurship, finance. To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reinvent-yourself-14-tickets-9289540265 or if you wish, call me at 518-641-8968 or email to dmoran@next-act.com .
Author: Accept-Commit-Permit: Three Essential Steps to Achieving Happiness &
Success in Career (and Life!) … Exclusively at Amazon.com:
http://tinyurl.com/lluzsyd

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why Apply? They don’t have any jobs posted …


I hear this all the time from those who visit with me – before I work with them. I always ask a number of routine questions to gauge one’s aggressiveness in job hunting. The questions run the course from where they are looking to how they are looking to networking, etc.

What I hear, over and over, is an aversion to connecting with companies that are not posting or advertising positions but might be a good fit for an individual. They may have the skills and abilities to contribute.

But try to get them to reach out “unannounced” to companies? It is difficult as technology has conditioned those in the job market to go to the “easy” source – job postings online. Bottom line: That’s “bottom-feeding”; looking for a job requires that you get out of that box and not just respond but market yourself.

38% - a big number

Just this past this week, in the TU newspaper, within an article on job hunting – and a good one at that. One call-out was to a survey of companies that was telling:

38% of companies continually evaluate job applicants for potential openings with their company – and they do so when they don’t have a job opening. 

In other works, they are continually recruiting. That is your market – companies where you may fit in, not just the one’s that have job opening at an given time that hundreds will apply for.  In years past, this was referred to as the “unadvertised job market”. A bad name in my opinion – better to call it the “opportunity market.  Whatever one may call it, the fact is clear: companies do not need to be advertising or posting a position in order for you to contact them. Rather – if you have a talent you can contribute, reach out, connect and introduce yourself. You will also find that companies that continually recruit and evaluate potential applicants are the companies that tend to be most interested in finding and retaining the best talent. In other words, their culture is more conducive to employee engagement and development. 

Sounds good Moran – but how …

… do I go about his, where and when.

Good questions. It begins with one developing an inventory of skills, strengths and qualifications that they can contribute to an organization:

Skills
Tangible hands-ion practice skills: Technology, mechanical, engineering, managing, planning for example

Strenghts
The “soft” skills: Communication, organization, listening, problem-solving for example

Qualifications
The “meat-and-potatoes: 10 years experience in xxx, experienced in repairing x,y z, customer service, administration, sales for example. Real experience one has done that can be applied elsewhere.  

Create a “sell sheet” - make a list of all the above you identified, show others and get their feedback – the list may grow. This becomes your go-to-market planner – a tool to use to evaluate potential employers where you can contribute.  Next – be a student of the market. Real about companies online and through media. Talk to those you know about companies that might know of where there could be a match.

And then – connect. Through LinkedIn or other resources, identify a potential contact and send your resume with a short intro email. Explain what you have learned about the company and how your skills, strengths and qualifications may be an asset. Ask for the opportunity to have a phone conversation or face-to-face meeting. This is marketing. This is “selling yourself”. This is defining yourself as an applicant who is focused and determined.

Sitting at home shotgunning resumes to online job postings and hoping something “sticks” isn’t job hunting. Job hunting is taking a strategic approach to both the market and yourself and connecting the two. That creates results. That creates opportunities. That puts you in control.

I hope you find this advice helpful. And thank you for reading this. - Dan

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Job Market Report - 4 9 14 - Continuing momentum!

For Immediate Release
For Information: Dan Moran 518641-8968

Job Market In Region again shows  continued momentum

(Albany, NY, April 9, 2014) The Region’s job market remained consistently stronger this past seven days – the  third week in a row - and is continuing to maintain over 2,000 job postings on average the past seven days. “ This is what we want to see as we start the 2nd quarter, the strongest quarter of the year for hiring.  This past week’s national job report was good and this bodes well for the market overall”, stated Dan Moran, President and Founder of Next–Act, a career transition management firm in Colonie.  

The regional job market has been strong after a bit of a lull in March. “Many believe it was the weather and I tend to agree that this was an impact. Others believe it was the beginning of the full impact of the Affordable Health Care Act and employer confusion which leads to lower hiring activity, which I believe as well. In short, I do believe it was a combination of factors”. Moran also added that he is beginning to see some early signs of seasonal hiring as the weather breaks which should have a stronger impact on the numbers the next few weeks. 

A new category of growing jobs sector


In March, the market produced gains in the category of Professional  & Business services. This category covers technical (IT, engineering, etc.) management as well as service –related and administrative jobs, a category that has been rather anemic over the past few years. “ Companies need these jobs to continue growth and in the most recent years, relied on present staff to do the work – often the work on two people – but that has caused turnover necessitating the need to expand to handle the business requirements, which is good news for those seeking jobs in this sector”, continued Moran. 

Job postings in the Capital Region were 2,046 compared to  approx. 2,040 a week ago – flat  Most markets in NYS saw similar results as well.   The Capital Region still outpaces Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse for jobs in the market and the Capital Region is much smaller in population and employment than other NYS markets.which renin


National Job Market

Nationally the market was up.  Postings were 654,400, up from 630,450 the week before. 
  
About Next-Act


Next-Act, a division of DVG, Inc. is a career management & transition firm directed by Dan Moran, the Founder & President of the firm. Moran contributes over thirty years experience in career consulting, business and human resources management. In 2013, his firm will celebrate 25 years in business. Moran is noted for his expertise in helping today’s “boomers” move on to fulfilling second careers, while helping executives and professionals achieve their career goals. The firm also provides human resources consulting and corporate services to companies. Moran is also a certified facilitator for C.J. Hayden’s Get Clients Now! &  Get Hired Now! programs.





Dan Moran
President & Founder
Next-Act:
Career Management & Transition Specialists
Corporate Management Services
Celebrating 25 years providing career & corporate management services in 2013!
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212
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Visit the Assessment Centernext-act.com/assessment-center.cfm
Manage Performance & Achievementnext-act.com/prescriptive-performance-analysis.cfm


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Oh Crap - Another Change ...



For many, Change is a naughty and bad “C” word. It is a thing that many avoid and many – yes so many – dread.

Change is often viewed as taking one off their balance – or their routine. Change puts a new way of doing something front and center and frankly, many are just resistant to change in their career and life.

Unfortunately, given what we have experienced this past several years with a whole new paradigm of what we once knew as work – and in life as well – being resistance or unable to manage change may leave you in the dust.

Change is really fear – in another disguise.

If you think about it, it isn’t the actual process of change that causes some to become unnerved. It is the associated fear or the “what of”.  Fear plays havoc on one’s mind and body. Fear associated with change can result in:

    Tiredness or lack of sleep
    Lack of concentration
    Feeling pessimistic
    Feeling overwhelmed


… or other mental or physical result. This is often caused by one’s unique ability to assume – assume – assume – themselves out of sleep and concentration.  One assumes that this or that will happen – and it may or may not – and that causes even more fear.

I am a big fan of the book and thoughts around The Four Agreements (http://www.amazon.com/The-Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal/dp/1878424319). In this bestseller, Don Miguel Ruiz cites making assumptions as a real deterrent to growth. He believes (as so do I) that making assumptions causes the mind to wander and not focus and leads one down a path of the unknown and unproven and that sucks energy.

So then how do you best handle change – when you don’t embrace it?
Accepting and managing your life and career through change requires new mindset, a deep breath and an open mind – key requirements for successful change.

First, look at change in a new light. Change can bring:

    New experiences and opportunities
    Stimulation of new ideas and ways of thinking
    Development 0f new strengths such as more self confidence
    Improved ability to prioritize and problem solve

If you can accept this, see below for recommendations on how to better handle and cope with change – practices you can start today:

    Be flexible and not rigid in your approach
    Care for your physical and emotional health to be better conditioned to accept change
    Maintain your life  & work flow by keeping some kind of ‘routine’
    Communicate - be in touch with friends and social networks and don’t become a hermit under “attack”
    If you are experiencing stress, incorporate stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, etc. Me – I take to the slopes or hop on the treadmill!
    Change your focus and start a new wish list of new plans and goals to fit your new circumstances
    Embrace change and the challenges or opportunities that may be presented.
    Take a deep breath - take it one step at a time and pledge to yourself not to be overwhelmed.
    Smile – and keep your sense of humor.

If you are still finding it difficult, talk to someone – perhaps a counselor – who can help you through this change. Of course, the type of change you are undergoing would dictate the type of counselor.

Embrace and accept change – don’t resist it. The ability of one to morph and change their life and career with changing economic and social conditions defines leadership. The inability of one to morph and change leads to stagnation.

Your choice – and I hope you embrace change. 
And thank you for reading this - Dan 
Dan MoranPresident & FounderNext-Act, Division of DVG, Inc.Career Management & Transition SpecialistsCorporate Management Services
Celebrating 26 years providing career & corporate management services in 2014!125 Wolf Road, Suite #128Albany, NY 12205Phone: 518-641-8968  dmoran@next-act.com

Register for Reinvent Yourself 2014 – Media  Capital Region Living Magazine, May 3rd, 8:30 – noon, Hilton Garden Inn, Troy. In a few short hours, craft your mission statement and learn how to reinvent your life, career and leadership qualities. I will be there with experts in life coaching, leadership, entrepreneurship, finance. To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reinvent-yourself-14-tickets-9289540265 or if you wish, call me at 518-641-8968 or email to dmoran@next-act.com .

Author: Accept-Commit-Permit: Three Essential Steps to Achieving Happiness &Success in Career (and Life!) ... Exclusively at Amazon.com:http://tinyurl.com/lluzsyd

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Job Market Report - April 2nd - Still holding stronger ...

For Immediate Release
For Information: Dan Moran 518641-8968

Job Market In Region shows  gain again

(Albany, NY, April 2, 2014) While small, the Region’s job market grew again this past seven days and is maintaining at over 2,000 job postings on average the past seven days, which is healthy for this market. It appears that seasonal hiring has yet to start as well, so there should be stronger increases over the past few weeks. “ We are seeing consistency and job levels higher than the past few months which is a good sign for this time of the year. March was a rather flat month and may have attributed this to the weather which has been reported nationwide as well. We should see job counts continue to hold or gain as we enter the prime months for hiring – April through June”,     stated Dan Moran, President and Founder of Next–Act, a career transition management firm in Colonie.  

Most hiring occurs in the second quarter of the year both in this region as well as nationwide. This quarter normally accounts for 35% of new hiring for the year. “last year the quarter started strong and then fizzled – we will need to see what occurs over the next 6 weeks as a barometer of continued market strength”. 



Job postings in the Capital Region were 2040 compared to  approx. 1990 a week ago. Most markets in NYS say a flat seven days while Metro NYC saw healthy increases. . The Capital Region still outpaces Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse for jobs in the market and the Capital Region is much smaller in population and employment than other NYS markets.


National Job Market

Nationally the market was up.  Postings were 63,400, down slightly from 639,750 the week before. 
  
About Next-Act


Next-Act, a division of DVG, Inc. is a career management & transition firm directed by Dan Moran, the Founder & President of the firm. Moran contributes over thirty years experience in career consulting, business and human resources management. In 2013, his firm will celebrate 25 years in business. Moran is noted for his expertise in helping today’s “boomers” move on to fulfilling second careers, while helping executives and professionals achieve their career goals. The firm also provides human resources consulting and corporate services to companies. Moran is also a certified facilitator for C.J. Hayden’s Get Clients Now! &  Get Hired Now! programs.