Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

April 21, 2017

Janie Bates

Making a Living

Everyone wants a job that will allow them to earn a good salary. And there are many sources of information on the subject—some not so good! Avery popular adage goes “Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Anyone who has ever worked knows that is not true! It’s called work for a reason, even if you love it most days.

Another fallacy is that a college degree will guarantee you a job. There are many unemployed or underemployed college graduate who would disagree with that statement. The good news in Texoma is that you don’t need a 4-year degree to get a great job with benefits. Both manufacturing and healthcare occupations have many job openings that require less than a 4-year degree.  For high school students in Sherman and Denison, there are manufacturing programs available and tuition is free.  If you are thinking about to pay for your child’s college education, consider checking out these programs. Videos about manufacturing in Texoma are available at this link: http://madeintexoma.com

Visit one of our Workforce Centers for assistance with your job search.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

April 14, 2017

Janie Bates

The Big Interview Mistake

According to an article by Sam Becker in the Money and Career Cheat Sheet, the thing employers hate most in an interview is when a candidate is extremely nervous and it shows! We all know that most people are going to be somewhat nervous during an interview but we can usually hide it fairly well.  I interviewed a woman who twirled her hair constantly, and another who crossed her legs and swung her foot so hard her shoe almost came off. Those two definitely didn’t do well at hiding their anxiety.

Becker offers some tips, such as speaking slowly, sitting up straight and making eye contact to avoid the appearance of anxiety, taking a deep breath before entering the interview.  Additionally, the better prepared you are, the less anxious you will be. Research the company thoroughly, know your resume data and be prepared to tell your story. And of course, the old stand-by advice of be on time and dress appropriately is always applicable.

To read the article in its entirety click on this link: http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/the-one-thing-employers-hate-during-job-interviews-and-how-to-fix-it.html/

Visit one of our Workforce Centers for assistance with your job search.

 

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

April 7, 2017

Janie Bates

Surviving in the Workplace

Everyone dreams of the perfect job, you know the one–where you love your boss and all your co-workers and there are never any stressful days or difficult customers.  You may be dreaming a long time because it doesn’t exist. The workplace environment is much like a family environment, there are days when all is good and days not so good.  So, how do you manage from day to day? Here are a few tips to consider.

  • Make up your mind each day to be the positive influence in your workplace
  • Respect all your co-workers regardless of your differing opinions
  • Be sure you have facts when dealing with co-workers about problems
  • Talk to your co-workers and try to work out differences before they become big issues
  • Ignore bad behavior whenever you can—it may resolve itself
  • Consider that the other person may be facing adversity you know nothing about—it may not be about you
  • Try to be kind and find out what the real issue is
  • Don’t act on feelings and quit your job over petty differences
  • Difficult times build character—your boss may be watching and how you handle adversity usually speaks louder than how you handle the good times

You may be thinking, “but, you don’t know how bad my workplace is!” Actually, I had one of those terrible jobs early in my career.  I left work every day and cried all the way home.  I wanted to quit so bad! My husband kept telling me it would get better and to just hang in there.  The truth is, we couldn’t afford for me to quit work so I had no choice but to hang! I stayed with the job by telling myself every day that I only had to make it through one day and it would get better.  At the end of 3 weeks my boss came back from vacation and straightened everything out.  She thanked me for staying the course and taking care of business in her absence. That was my first job in the employment and training field—my first job outside family owned businesses. It has been 40 years and I’m still working in the same field.  That experience taught me a very valuable lesson about sticking to the job through the good and the bad. The things we worry so much about today probably won’t matter next month or next year.

Visit one of our Workforce Centers for assistance with your job search.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

March 31, 2017

Janie Bates

Unemployment

The unemployment rate for Texoma is currently just over 4% while the Texas number is 5.1%.   However, there are interesting demographics within Texas.

  • The highest unemployment rate is among the 16-19 age group at 14.7%
  • Ages 20-24 is 8.5%
  • Ages 25-34 is 5.2%
  • Ages 35-44 is 3.4%
  • Ages 45-54 is 3.2%
  • Ages 55-64 is 3.3%
  • Age 65+ is 4.1%
  • Less than high school is 5.6%
  • High School Diploma is 5.0%
  • Some college or Associate Degree is 3.4%
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher is 2.9%
  • People with disabilities is 7.4%
  • Females 4.4%
  • Males 5.0

Education and age have a significant influence on employment. This chart makes a good case for getting education beyond high school.  It also shows that any type of advanced education beyond high school is a positive factor, not just a four year degree.

If you need career advice or assistance with your job search, visit one of our Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

March 24, 2017

Janie Bates

Labor Market Information

The Texas Workforce Commission released the latest employment data for Texoma today. The unemployment rates for Grayson, Cooke and Fannin Counties have ticked up a bit since last month. Grayson stands at 4.2%, Cooke at 4.2% and Fannin at 4.1%. When the unemployment rate is around 4% we consider that full employment which means that most people who want a job can find a job.

I have had people disagree, saying they or a friend cannot find a job.  Notice, I said “a job”, not your dream job, not the highest paying job you have ever had. The high paying, dream jobs usually take time to develop.  You may start at entry level and work your way up—most of us have had to do that.

This is the perfect time to start a career; there are over 1000 jobs available and employers are willing to train workers who will show up every day and work hard. Many of our employers are offering tuition reimbursement as well as great benefits and pay. If you always wanted to go to college but couldn’t afford the tuition, check out your local employers and find out which ones offer this benefit.

Workforce is partnering with the Denison Development Alliance, Sherman Economic Development Corporation and Grayson College to bring you another job fair on April 13th, 10 AM to 4 PM at the Texoma Event Center at the Denison Hilton Garden Inn. Dress up, bring your resume and pen and be prepared to interview. Many of the employers will be hiring on the spot!

If you need a resume, visit one of our Workforce Centers for assistance.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

February 17, 2017

Janie Bates

Mentoring

For those of us who have been in the workforce for any length of time, it’s easy to think of someone who helped us with our career goals along the way. It’s also easy to remember the people who seemed to hinder our progress.

On my second “real” job—one that didn’t involve working for family—I encountered a woman who did everything to teach us “young ones” a lesson. My job entailed doing stacks of paperwork, several legal size forms per customer.  She was supposed to teach me how to do them and she did give me a 5 minute overview.  I worked hard on those forms and with a great deal of pride placed them on her desk an hour later, just before I had to attend a meeting.  Imagine my surprise when I returned from the meeting to find the stack back on my desk. It seems she didn’t tell me everything that had to be done.  After the second return of all the folders, she finally got around to telling me all the details.  Needless to say, I went home feeling very deflated that day, even doubting my ability to do the job. The next day, multiple people dropped by to tell me she had done similar things to them.

And then I remember the people who took that extra time to share their secrets of success on the job, the people who were willing to step back and allow me space to design a program or change a process.  Those people who demonstrated a trust in my ability to learn and to adapt to the situation at hand taught me more about leadership than the micromanagers.

Being a mentor at work doesn’t mean you have to be the boss to help others. Every employee has something to share and the ability to encourage others. Think about your skills and how you can help others be successful in their jobs. Whether it’s the high school intern or a mature worker, no one knows everything about your workplace and everyone needs a mentor. The woman who returned my paperwork didn’t intend to help me but she did!  I learned to ask other people how they did the paperwork and I always tried harder to make sure my forms were accurate.  She would have been surprised to learn that 25 year old ended up being the department director and eventually the director of Workforce Solutions Texoma.

Next time you are looking for a job, you might want to ask other employees of the company why they want to work there and if they had someone who mentored them.  Or if you need a job, check our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

February 10, 2017

Janie Bates

10 Ways to Improve Your Workplace

We all have an idea of what our “perfect” workplace looks like but we don’t often do much to make that happen.  In fact, we usually think it is someone else’s problem to work on.  Here are some things you can do to make your workplace a better place to spend your time.

  1. Be Polite. Saying “thank you and excuse me” goes a long way toward making your co-workers respect you.
  2. Respect. Treat the janitor with the same respect as your supervisor. Over the years I have always practiced this and as a result, I have always had many people who were willing to help me with whatever task.
  3. Show interest. Ask your co-workers about their kids, their hobbies and their accomplishments.
  4. Apologize. Admit it when you are wrong. There is no better way to earn respect than to be human.
  5. Brag. About others, that is.  Point out their accomplishments and give kudos when appropriate.
  6. Acknowledge. When you arrive to work, speak to your co-workers with some enthusiasm. Don’t be grumpy even if you aren’t a morning person.
  7. Help. Offer to help others when you know they are sinking. They will be grateful and might just help you some time.
  8. Do Your Share of the Grunt Work. Never use the phrase “that’s not my job” when things are crazy at work and everyone needs an extra pair of hands. Step up and do a little extra. Even if it’s cleaning the floor or the breakroom when you don’t even use it. It will be noticed!

Making any work environment a great place to be requires everyone pitching in and going beyond the job description.  Make a resolution to be the change at your workplace.

Check out our website for Cool Jobs!  These videos highlight some of our local industries.  Also, check out the website: www.madeintexoma.com for more manufacturing videos. Also visit one of our local Workforce Centers

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

March 3

Janie Bates

Career Connection

On April 13th, Workforce Solutions Texoma and our partners will host the Annual Career Connection job fair.  This year, we have a new venue—the Texoma Event Center at the Denison Hilton Garden Inn. There will be a number of local employers who have job openings available immediately. If you are looking for a job, this is the place to be on April 13th from 10 AM-4 PM.  Here are a few tips to get the best results from this event.

  • Dress for work—no ragged jeans, no flip flops, tanks tops or t-shirts with inappropriate printing
  • Be sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle free
  • Bring a resume—if you don’t have one, visit a local workforce center and develop one (see links below)
  • Bring a pen and pencil in case you need to fill out a paper application
  • Bring all your data, including your work history, social security card, driver’s license, reference information such as phone numbers and addresses in case you need to complete an online or paper application
  • Go alone—do not bring your children or friends
  • Visit with every employer, never assume that you can learn about their jobs without actually visiting with them
  • Smile and be positive
  • Be respectful of the employers’ time, don’t linger
  • Be prepared to interview on the spot. Many employers need workers now and they may want to do interviews on the spot

For more job hunting tips or resume assistance, check out our local Workforce Centers.

Career Connection partners include Denison Development Alliance, Sherman Economic Development Corporation, Grayson College and Workforce Solutions Texoma.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

Job Hunting Tips

Janie Bates

February 24, 2017

Spring is approaching and a new class of graduates will soon be looking for jobs. Becoming a great job seeker requires some skill and a lot of common sense. If you are a regular reader of this column, you have certainly read many of these tips before but they are worth repeating.

1) Make sure you follow directions when completing the application. If the application asks for information provide it, do not write “see resume.”

2) Research the company so you can be knowledgeable about their products or services.

3) Dress appropriately for the interview to make a good first impression. Do your homework to find out what the proper attire is for the job you are seeking.

4) Be nice to everyone you meet during the application and interview process. And continue to be nice if you get the job!

5) Send a thank you email to everyone you interacted with–send it immediately. It never hurts to follow up with a handwritten note.

These are just a few basic tips to help you stand out from the applicant pool! For more job search assistance, visit one of our local Workforce Centers

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

February 17, 2017

Janie Bates

Mentoring

For those of us who have been in the workforce for any length of time, it’s easy to think of someone who helped us with our career goals along the way. It’s also easy to remember the people who seemed to hinder our progress.

On my second “real” job—one that didn’t involve working for family—I encountered a woman who did everything to teach us “young ones” a lesson. My job entailed doing stacks of paperwork, several legal size forms per customer.  She was supposed to teach me how to do them and she did give me a 5 minute overview.  I worked hard on those forms and with a great deal of pride placed them on her desk an hour later, just before I had to attend a meeting.  Imagine my surprise when I returned from the meeting to find the stack back on my desk. It seems she didn’t tell me everything that had to be done.  After the second return of all the folders, she finally got around to telling me all the details.  Needless to say, I went home feeling very deflated that day, even doubting my ability to do the job. The next day, multiple people dropped by to tell me she had done similar things to them.

And then I remember the people who took that extra time to share their secrets of success on the job, the people who were willing to step back and allow me space to design a program or change a process.  Those people who demonstrated a trust in my ability to learn and to adapt to the situation at hand taught me more about leadership than the micromanagers.

Being a mentor at work doesn’t mean you have to be the boss to help others. Every employee has something to share and the ability to encourage others. Think about your skills and how you can help others be successful in their jobs. Whether it’s the high school intern or a mature worker, no one knows everything about your workplace and everyone needs a mentor. The woman who returned my paperwork didn’t intend to help me but she did!  I learned to ask other people how they did the paperwork and I always tried harder to make sure my forms were accurate.  She would have been surprised to learn that 25 year old ended up being the department director and eventually the director of Workforce Solutions Texoma.

 

Next time you are looking for a job, you might want to ask other employees of the company why they want to work there and if they had someone who mentored them.  Or if you need a job, check our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

February 10, 2017

Janie Bates

10 Ways to Improve Your Workplace

We all have an idea of what our “perfect” workplace looks like but we don’t often do much to make that happen.  In fact, we usually think it is someone else’s problem to work on.  Here are some things you can do to make your workplace a better place to spend your time.

  1. Be Polite. Saying “thank you and excuse me” goes a long way toward making your co-workers respect you.
  2. Respect. Treat the janitor with the same respect as your supervisor. Over the years I have always practiced this and as a result, I have always had many people who were willing to help me with whatever task.
  3. Show interest. Ask your co-workers about their kids, their hobbies and their accomplishments.
  4. Apologize. Admit it when you are wrong. There is no better way to earn respect than to be human.
  5. Brag. About others, that is.  Point out their accomplishments and give kudos when appropriate.
  6. Acknowledge. When you arrive to work, speak to your co-workers with some enthusiasm. Don’t be grumpy even if you aren’t a morning person.
  7. Help. Offer to help others when you know they are sinking. They will be grateful and might just help you some time.
  8. Do Your Share of the Grunt Work. Never use the phrase “that’s not my job” when things are crazy at work and everyone needs an extra pair of hands. Step up and do a little extra. Even if it’s cleaning the floor or the breakroom when you don’t even use it. It will be noticed!

Making any work environment a great place to be requires everyone pitching in and going beyond the job description.  Make a resolution to be the change at your workplace.

Check out our website for Cool Jobs!  these videos highlight some of our local industries.  Also, check out the website: www.madeintexoma.com for more manufacturing videos. Contact Us

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

February 3, 2017

Janie Bates

How Will You Pay for College?

College costs continue to go up every year creating a bit of anxiety for parents who have plans for their kids to attain a degree.  There are several options available in Texoma.

There are always grants and loans.  Grants are the better option if you qualify because they do not require repayment.  The PELL is usually the first one we think about but not everyone qualifies.

Loans are the second option but I would caution anyone about using this method.  I tend to agree with Dave Ramsey, the financial planning guru, that it’s best to pay as you go rather than incurring long term debt.  If you or your child are considering a student loan, seek some financial counseling first.  Those loans are easy to obtain but hard to repay.  We see way too many people who accumulate massive student loans and then get low paying jobs after graduating.  Making those student loan payments becomes a huge burden on their finances.

My daughter attended a private university that strongly encouraged students to study abroad or take Jan Term trips.  Many of her classmates took those trips using student loans and they are still paying for them.

In Texoma, we have some better options! Grayson College in cooperation with Sherman ISD and Denison ISD are offering manufacturing classes that will lead to a Level I Tech Certificate by the end of 11th grade and if the student continues in their senior year, they will be 3 classes away from a Level II Tech Certificate when they graduate.  The best part?  Tuition and books are free thanks to the schools, Denison Development Alliance, SEDCO and several local manufacturers.  And, the students who complete will be given priority for manufacturing jobs in our area.  Manufacturing offers great careers with opportunities to advance and gain more education at the employer’s expense. Manufacturing workers usually make %15 more than other workers.

Check out our website for Cool Jobs!  These videos highlight some of our local industries.  Also, check out the website: www.madeintexoma.com for more manufacturing videos.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

January 27, 2017

Janie Bates

What’s More Important than Salary?

The first thing most new job seekers think of is salary.  They can hardly wait to start earning money and of course, they want to earn a high salary.  Who could blame them? However, more seasoned workers might tell a different story, focusing on things other than salary.

  1. Work Environment: My office only has 9 employees and my staff often refer to our team as “family”. Because we are small, we spend a lot of hours together and we are like family. We care for each other, we look out for one another and we help our co-workers when they are overloaded. Coming to work is a pleasant thing to do.
  2. Fulfillment: People like to think they are making a difference in their world. If they can see a benefit of their work in terms of changing lives, they may go home tired but happy because their work is worthwhile.
  3. Recognition: Although most people won’t admit it, they probably enjoy being recognized for their work. Even the smallest token of appreciation can make an employee happier in their job. I know a guy who regularly hands out miniature candy bars to the support staff in his office. They are not his staff but yet they are willing to help him anytime he needs help. I have observed managers who gave out lottery scratch-off tickets, silver dollars or time off coupons. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that shows appreciation.
  4. Benefits: Many people work for insurance, salary is secondary. Insurance, days off, flexible hours and telecommuting are all perks that make happier employees. On-site healthcare, massages and exercise rooms are also favorites. Not every business can offer all these, but workers often look for their favorites

Next time you are looking for a job, you might want to ask other employees of the company why they want to work there. Or if you need a job, check our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

January 20, 2017

Janie Bates

Jobs for Older Workers

Many workers look forward to retirement for a variety of reasons. For some it’s the lure of free time to pursue hobbies or travel or spend more time with family.  Others look forward to starting a new business or new job.  In the forty years I have been involved with employment and training services, I have observed way too many people who planned their retirement for years and then when they were able to retire found themselves bored and unhappy, regretting their decision to retire.

If you are approaching the retirement decision, plan carefully. Aside from the financial planning, consider what your life will be like after retirement.

  • Do you need to be able to socialize with friends and family? Will they be available to spend time with you?
  • Do you need to feel needed? If so, are there opportunities for you to help others?
  • Will you need some extra income? Do you have a part-time job lined up?
  • If you plan to continue working somewhere else, do you have the skills to do so? This would be a good time to upgrade computer skills so you can function in a new job.
  • If you like your current job, perhaps you could arrange to only work part time.
  • It’s also a good idea to take a couple of weeks off to find out how you would spend your days. Most people have a few projects they never seem to get around to do doing, but do you have enough to keep yourself busy?
  • If you plan to travel, see a travel agent and find out how much money you need, where you can afford to go and determine if you need or want a traveling companion.

Taking a few hours to plan now could help you prevent a bad decision concerning retirement. If you are looking for a great job, check out the services at our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

January 13, 2017

Janie Bates

New Year, New You!

Two weeks into the New Year and we have all had time to make those resolutions and to determine if we are going to keep them! Among the many things we can hope to accomplish should be the goal of improving in some way.  Everyone wants to be happy and successful.  Being happy is certainly an obtainable goal.  Here is a list of things happy people do every day;

  1. They are grateful! Grateful for the small things as well as the big ones. They are grateful for family, friends, jobs, a place to live, a car, a pet. They are grateful for the things others do for them and they express that gratitude by saying “thank you” often.
  2. Happy people are content with themselves. That doesn’t mean they have no goals, it means they find happiness in the moment.
  3. Happy people focus on helping others and finding a way to improve their community.
  4. Happy people smile and act happy. Even when things are not going so well, they choose to act happy.
  5. Happy people have their faults but they focus on improving themselves rather than blaming others.
  6. Happy people don’t compare themselves to others. Unhappy people compare themselves and always see themselves as lacking something. Happy people can be happy for the success of others.
  7. Happy people hang out with other happy people! There is truth in the adage that says laughter is the best medicine.
  8. Happy people at work see challenges as opportunities! They try to find solutions and overcome obstacles.
  9. Finally, they know when to say “no” to obligations that would create stress or strife in their lives. They prioritize obligations to make sure the most important people and things in their lives get top billing.

Try these tips next week and see if you can be a happier person and a happier employee! If you need a job, visit one of our Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

January 6, 2017

Janie Bates

Manufacturing and healthcare are the two top employment sectors in Texoma.  These two sectors offer more jobs and higher paying jobs on average.  Many job seekers don’t think about the many different jobs offered in these fields.  The more obvious jobs in healthcare include doctors, nurses, radiologists and therapists. In manufacturing we think of engineers and technicians.  However, both healthcare and manufacturing offer jobs in business management, accounting, maintenance, sales and marketing to name a few.  Jobs in these sectors offer long term careers.

Local community colleges offer training programs to prepare job seekers for these careers.  Now is the time to get enrolled to start your journey to a new career.  Contact Workforce Solutions Texoma’s workforce centers for more information.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

December 30, 2016

Janie Bates

Time for Those New Year’s Resolutions

So what’s on your list of resolutions? Losing weight is always among the top resolutions but few of us follow through on that one. During the holidays, one of my co-workers gave each person in our office a journal.  He challenged us to set goals, write them down and diligently pursue them.  At the Christmas services, my church also gave everyone a journal. So now I am thinking I might try this way of approaching my goals.  Here are a few tips for keeping your resolutions:

  • Start with 2-3 goals, don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed.
  • Write down those goals along with some smaller steps. If you want to lose 40 lbs, set a goal of 10 lbs per month or 1 lb per week. This allows you to realize success quickly and encourages you to take the next step.
  • Enlist the help of a trusted friend or relative who will hold you accountable.
  • Imagine the end results—will it make you happier, healthier?
  • Use visuals. If your goal is weight loss, post a picture of your thinner self on the bathroom mirror.
  • Whatever the goal, use those small steps to get started. Set timelines and stick to them.
  • If you need professional help such as an online group, a doctor, a life coach, find one quickly while you are motivated.
  • If you have toxic people in your life who want to sabotage your efforts, cut them loose.
  • If you want a new career or training for a new career, visit one of our local Workforce Centers to find the help you need.

Workforce Solutions Texoma wishes you a Happy and Prosperous New Workforce Solutions Texoma wishes you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

December 9, 2016

Janie Bates

Are You Suffering From Burnout?

We all have those days when we feel overwhelmed with our jobs–too much to do and too little time. Sometimes I complain of information overload! In our digital world, it is so easy to get overwhelmed with data, email, surveys and articles to read.  Here are a few tips to help you recover from burnout.

  • Take that lunch break! Working through lunch or eating at your desk may seem like a good way to get caught up but your brain and your body need a break. Take your lunch outside on nice days, treat yourself to a lunch out occasionally.
  • Take a health break by getting up and walking around the office or the outside the office. This will have great benefits for your back, neck and feet.
  • Use that vacation time. 75% of American workers leave their vacation time on the books.  Even if it’s just a day or 2, vacation time can recharge you! And leave the work at the office.
  • When you leave work, turn off the phone unless you are on call. Let email wait until the work day.
  • Find a relaxing hobby that you can look forward to at the end of the day. Build some excitement.
  • Use a priority list—do the things that really matter. Take time to evaluate how you do your job.  Are you doing some things just because that’s how you have always done them?  Can you eliminate some steps and finish the project with less stress.
  • Ask your supervisor for a new project that would renew your excitement about going to work. But, be careful not to take on too much work which will only make your burnout worse.
  • Ask your co-workers if there is something you can help them with, something unlike what you usually do.

If you need a job or job training , visit one of our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

Earn the Respect You Want at Work

 Janie Bates

December 2, 2016

Every employee has experienced times when they felt as if they were getting no respect at work.  Here are some tips to earn that respect and resolve issues regarding your feelings.

  • Make sure you give respect to others
  • If you feel that someone has been disrespectful calmly ask to discuss the situation. Chances are, your co-worker has no idea he hurt your feelings
  • Listen to others with no interrupting, you will get a chance to speak eventually
  • Leave that cell phone on your desk when you are visiting with others. And definitely leave it out of meetings.
  • Be on time. Arriving late sends a message to your boss and coworkers that there time is less valuable than yours
  • Don’t talk too much—in meetings or on the phone
  • Keep your work area clean, clean up your mess in the break room
  • If you need to take a call, business or personal, speak softly. No one wants to hear your conversation.

Think of other annoying behaviors and realize if they annoy you, they probably annoy others.  Try to make yourself the most positive person in the office and the easiest to get along with.

For more tips or assistance with your job search, visit your local Workforce Center.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

Five Things You Should do to Interview Well

 Janie Bates

November 25, 2016

Interviewing is stressful under any circumstances but these five tips can make the process just a little easier.

  1. Dress for the occasion: Do some research about the company and find out what people wear who have jobs similar to the one you want.  Never dress too casually.  Jeans are rarely appropriate for an interview, neither are capri pants. If the company has a casual dress code, wear nice pants or a skirt with a nice shirt, suits are not required.  If the environment is more professional, definitely wear that suit.  Always make sure the clothes are clean and wrinkle free and well fitting. Clothes that are uncomfortable will make you uncomfortable and add to your stress. The best plan is to try on the clothes the day before you need them in case you need to change plans.  Keep jewelry to a minimum.
  2. Arrive on Time: Don’t arrive 30 minutes early or if you do, wait in your car until about 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time.  Arriving too early may cause problems for the office staff.  10 minutes early is perfect.
  3. Be Friendly: Smile and acknowledge the front office workers.  I will not consider hiring a person who is rude to my other employees. Remember, they already have a job with the company and their vote counts.
  4. Know the Company: Most companies these days have a website.  Make good use of the information you can find online.  Although you will not be able to find out about the company culture, you can learn many details that will help you to ask good questions during the interview.
  5. Relax: Do your best to relax and don’t let your anxiety show.  If the interviewer throws you an unexpected question, repeat the question and give yourself time to formulate an answer. When the interview ends, be sure to thank the interviewer for their time.

now playing

For more tips or assistance with a resume, visit your local Workforce Center.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

Note:  This regulation will not be implemented December 1st due to a Federal injunction which places it on hold until further notice.

November 18, 2016

 Janie Bates

Overtime Changes

New overtime rules go into effect December 1, 2016.  Below is an article that has some great information to use when informing your employees of the changes.

How to Tell Your Salaried Employees They Are Now Hourly

The new salary rule putting the overtime threshold at $47,476 per year goes into effect on December 1, 2016. You have to tell your employees.

suzanne-lucas By Suzanne Lucas

Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers.

Some of your salaried employees are about to become hourly employees, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Starting on December 1, 2016, the minimum salary needed to qualify for a salary exemption will jump from $455 a week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). If you have employees who are currently exempt from overtime who earn less than $47,476 per year, you’ll have to change the way they are paid.

How should you tell your employees? Some of them won’t take it very well. You should have managers sit down, one on one, to deliver the news. But you’ll also want to follow up with written communication. Here is a sample letter to get you started. You will need to modify it for your specific situation. Please pay attention to local laws as well.

Dear Employee,

As you may have heard, the Federal Department of Labor has made some changes that will affect you. Starting on December 1, 2016, you will become eligible for overtime pay. This means that you will no longer be paid a straight salary, but will be paid by the hour.

Your new pay rate:

Hourly rate: $20.00 per hour.

Overtime rate: $30.00 per hour. You will receive this rate of pay for any hours over 40 that you work in a single week.

Frequently asked questions.

What will my new pay look like?

Your pay will now be dependent on how many hours you work each week. If you work a regular 40 hours a week, your paycheck will look almost exactly like your current paycheck. If you work more than 40 hours a week, you’ll receive overtime pay. If you work less than 40 hours in a week, you’ll have the option of receiving pay for only the hours you worked or using some of your PTO in order to make up the full 40 hours. If you have no PTO available, you’ll receive a smaller paycheck.

Will I have to punch a time clock?

Yes, under the new regulations, all time has to be recorded. We will train you on how to record your time in meetings scheduled over the next few weeks. Whether you work in the office, or at a client’s location, or at home, all time must be recorded accurately.

Can I work overtime whenever I want?

No. All overtime work must be first approved by your supervisor. Our company goal is to keep overtime at a minimum. If you work overtime without permission, you will be paid for it, but you will also receive a warning. Please ask your supervisor before working more than 40 hours in one week.

What if I want to work more hours? I’m willing to do it without extra pay.

You may not do this. Federal law prohibits you from working unreported hours. All work must be reported on your time card. This includes any work you do at home, including any work-related phone calls. Failure to report your time correctly will result in disciplinary proceedings up to and including termination. We realize that you are used to working until you get the job done, but the law is changing and this is no longer allowed. The company can face steep fines if you work off the clock–even voluntarily.

Is this a demotion?

No. The only reason for the change in your pay calculation is a new rule from the federal government. Your job title, level, and responsibilities remain the same. If you have difficulty completing your tasks during normal working hours, please speak with your supervisor. Your supervisor will be happy to work with you to prioritize your workload so that things can be accomplished in a timely fashion.

Can I still work remotely?

Yes. If your boss currently allows you to work from home, you may continue to do so. You will be required to track your hours, just as you would if you were in the office.

How will this affect things like doctor’s appointments?

As an hourly paid employee, you will have to either make up the time you are away from your desk or use your PTO to cover things like doctor’s appointments, school meetings, or a long lunch.

Can I take comp time instead of overtime?

If you work 50 hours one week, you cannot just work 30 hours the next week and receive a paycheck for a normal 80-hour pay period. Federal law requires that you receive overtime pay for the 50-hour week, even if you work fewer hours the next week. Comp time is not allowed for non-exempt employees.

Please let us know if you have any further questions. We are happy to help you through this transition.

Sincerely,
The HR Department.

Hopefully, this letter gives you a bit of a start on writing your own. You will have to make adjustments for your company.

https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/faq.htm#1

https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.pdf

Workforce Solutions Texoma

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

November 11, 2016

 Janie Bates

Seasonal Jobs

Christmas is only 43 days away! (my granddaughter keeps me posted on this important date) If you need some extra money for the holidays or if you have just been thinking about returning to the workforce, this is your season!  Everywhere you look, there are Now Hiring signs in retail stores and restaurants.  Often, there are jobs at the delivery services for extra drivers.

One requirement for these job is flexibility.  You must be ready to work strange hours and 7 days a week.  But for those who are willing to put in the time, these jobs often lead to permanent jobs.  The seasonal jobs give employers the opportunity to “try out” new workers and determine if they are really interested in becoming a part of the team.

If you need a resume or tips for interviewing, visit one of our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

October 28, 2016

 Janie Bates

Part IV- Disability Etiquette Tips by guest columnist, Julie Penn White.

When talking to a person with a disability, look at and speak directly to that person, rather than through a companion or attendant.

When referring to a person with a disability, make reference to the person first, then the disability. Use terminology such as “a person with a disability” rather than a “disabled person.”

To accommodate individuals with learning disabilities and vision impairments when using presentation slides, be sure to explain what is on the slide. Highlight points and convey enough information to describe pictures to someone who has no vision. Also provide information in several types of alternative formats (tapes, Braille, diskette). Watch for inadequate lighting, which inhibits communication by persons who have hearing and learning limitations.

Do not touch a service animal, or the person the animal assists, without permission. Noises may distract the animal from doing his/her job, and feeding the service animal may disrupt the animal’s schedule.

Listen attentively when talking with a person who has a speech impairment. Keep your manner encouraging rather than correcting. Exercising patience rather than attempting to speak for a person may be helpful. When necessary, ask short questions that require short answers or a nod or a shake of the head. Never pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so.

To get the attention of a person with a hearing impairment, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, naturally, and slowly to establish if the person can read lips. Not all individuals with hearing impairments can lip-read. Those who can will rely on facial expressions and other body language to help in understanding. Show consideration by placing yourself facing the light source and keeping your hands away from your mouth when speaking. Shouting probably will not help but written notes may. To facilitate conversation, be prepared to offer a visual cue to a hearing impaired person or an audible cue to a vision impaired person, especially when more than one person is speaking.

When talking with a person who uses a wheelchair or scooter for more than a few minutes, use a chair whenever possible in order to place yourself at the person’s eye level; this facilitates conversation. Do not move a wheelchair, crutches, or other mobility aid out of reach of a person who uses them. Also, do not push a mobility aid without first asking the occupant if you may do so, lean on a person’s mobility aid when talking, or pat a person who uses a wheelchair or scooter on the head. Make sure that audiovisual equipment does not block the view of people who use accessible seating; clearing the aisles of excess debris for the use of mobility aids may be useful. Be alert to the possible existence of architectural barriers.

Source: http://askjan.org/media/etipresent.html

Workforce Solutions Texoma

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

October 21, 2016

 Janie Bates

Part III – Resources by guest columnist, Julie Penn White.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

JAN’s trusted consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities. Assistance is available both over the phone and online. Those who can benefit from JAN’s services include private employers of all sizes, government agencies, employee representatives, and service providers, as well as people with disabilities and their families.

JAN represents the most comprehensive job accommodation resource available. From Fortune 500 companies to entrepreneurs, JAN has served customers across the United States and around the world for more than 25 years. Its consultants are thought leaders and innovators on disability employment issues, and all have earned at least one Master’s degree in their specialized fields, ranging from rehabilitation counseling to education and engineering.

JAN is one of several services provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Its development has been achieved through the collaborative efforts of ODEP, West Virginia University, and private industry throughout North America.

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is a multi-faceted initiative to foster collaboration and action around accessible technology in the workplace. Guided by a consortium of policy and technology leaders, PEAT works to help employers, IT companies, and others to understand why it pays to build and buy accessible technology, and how to go about doing so. PEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)  and is managed by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA

Workforce Solutions Texoma

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

October 14

Janie Bates

Part II – The Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities by guest columnist, Julie Penn White.

Did you know that Siri, the helpful voice on your I-phone was developed to assist disabled users and is now used by the masses? This technological advancement serves as an example of how the need for an accommodation can lead to positive change. In fact, change can often yield benefits beyond our expectations; hiring people with disabilities can allow companies to capitalize on opportunities that will benefit the bottom line. The benefits of hiring people with disabilities are significant, and one major benefit is the attraction of new markets. Roughly 18% of the American population consists of potential customers with disabilities and according to the U.S. Department of Labor this equates to about $200 billion in discretionary spending power, not including the customer’s family or friends.  Employers need innovative ideas in order to grow, and studies show that employing workers with disabilities allows for a competitive advantage in this respect. It increases diversity, which leads to an influx of new ideas, perspectives, and solutions. Employers also value stability and various statistics show that hiring people with disabilities increases worker retention, which generates longer tenures and reduces training costs. In addition, this workforce is adaptive and flexible, which often elicits lower absenteeism rates. Studies have shown that the quality of the work does not suffer, as people with disabilities have nearly identical job performance ratings. As an added benefit, companies have found that providing for accommodations promotes an inclusive culture that leads to improved morale.

Most accommodations are not costly and can provide a great return on your investment. Examples of low cost common accommodations include dress code allowances, more breaks, or flexible scheduling. The Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration even offers grants to employers to help with training and employing workers with disabilities: www.doleta.gov/grants/. Various tax incentives exist to help minimize any financial impact. The IRS provides several ways to assist employers with costs, both in terms of credits as well as deductions. These include: The Disabled Access Credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction. There is more information available on these incentives at www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/tax-benefits-for-businesses-who-have-employees-with-disabilities. The TWC website also provides additional information on the Work Opportunity Tax Credit at: www.twc.state.tx.us/businesses/work-opportunity-tax-credit.

Programs exist to assist employers from beginning to end, Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides outreach, technical assistance, training, and help with recruiting, hiring, and retention of people with disabilities. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) National Network (https://adata.org/) provides information on the ADA as well as training and technical assistance, similar to that of the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers: www.disability.gov/resource/disability-business-technical-assistance-centers-dbtacs-the national-network-of-americans-with disabilities-act-ada-centers/.

So leave assumptions at the door and focus more on ability over disability; there are benefits to employing people from the valuable workforce. It is an opportunity for growth that if embraced, could improve business as well as quality of life.

Source: Texas Business Today- Third Quarter 2016

Workforce Solutions Texoma

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

October 7, 2016

Janie Bates

Today, we have a guest columnist, Julie Penn White, to help us celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This is the first of 4 articles.

Reflecting the important role disability plays in Workforce diversity, this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is #Inclusion Works; observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates employers about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

The return of service members with disabilities from World War II sparked public interest in the contributions of people with disabilities in the workplace. On August 11th, 1945, President Truman approved a congressional resolution declaring the first week in October” National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week”. In 1962 the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.

In 1961, President Kennedy created the President’s Panel on Mental Retardation and called upon America to address the significant needs of people with intellectual disabilities and their desire to be part of everyday life in America. Future administrations continued the effort, expanding its goals to include training in academic, vocational and social skills to enable children with intellectual disabilities to reach their potential. In 2003 President George W. Bush renamed the committee, the “President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities”.

In 1968, The Architectural Barriers Act mandated the removal of what was perceived to be the most significant obstacle to employment for people with disabilities; the physical design of the buildings and facilities, by requiring that all buildings designed, constructed, altered or leased with federal funds be made accessible.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 marked a major step forward in legislation impacting the employment of people with disabilities, extending and revising state vocational rehabilitation services and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability by federally funded and assisted programs, federal employers and federal contractors. After major demonstrations in 10 U.S. cities including a 150 person sit in in San Francisco led by Judith Heumann and Kitty Cone, lasted 28 days, US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph Califano signed regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These regulations extended civil rights to people with disabilities covering any program or activity, including employment services, receiving federal financial assistance.

In 1998, President Clinton established the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. The Task Force was directed to evaluate existing federal programs to determine the changes, modifications and innovations needed to remove barriers to employment faced by adults with disabilities. Following a 1999 recommendation from the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, Congress established the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), a sub-cabinet level agency within the US Department of Labor. This landmark occasion created, for the first time ever, a permanent entity to focus on disability within the context of federal labor policy.

In 2009 the Campaign for Disability Employment is launched, funded by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, this multi organization initiative used positive messages and images to encourage employers and others to recognize the value and talent people with disabilities bring to America’s workplace and economy. The centerpiece of the campaign was the “I Can” Public Service Announcement, which received significant airing on television and radio stations nationwide.

In 2014, the first update to the nation’s workforce development system since 1998, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) reauthorized and amended critical programs to help job seekers access the services they need to succeed in employment and match employers with skilled workers. The law included a specific focus on improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In 2015, the US Department of Labor announced the public members of the Advisory Committee on increasing competitive integrated employment  for individuals with disabilities ; a key provision of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Reflecting a movement toward an “Employment First” philosophy the committee was charged with making recommendations to the Secretary of Labor on ways to increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.

Source – https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/

Visit one of our Workforce Centers

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

September 30, 2016

Janie Bates

Manufacturing Day

The month of October is traditionally the time for highlighting manufacturing.  Workforce Solutions Texoma and our partners have hosted 3 Manufacturing Days plus one Parent Tour Day. Over 1,100 students and parents participated!  This year we will host a Manufacturing Day in Cooke, Grayson and Fannin Counties.

Manufacturing is one of the top occupational clusters in Texoma.  There are jobs for everyone from the assembly line, to engineers, sales, administrative, accounting, shipping and receiving, inventory, technology, human resources and more. Most people have no idea what is made in Texoma!

Our local manufacturers will provide guided tours of their plants for area middle school and high school students. Students are given safety orientations and tours and then have lunch with the employees of the host plant.  Parent tours will be given in the evening to accommodate work schedules. Check out our video below to hear from business representatives and students who participated earlier this year.

http://www.workforcesolutionstexoma.com/2016-manufacturing-day/

If you or your student would like to participate in the tours, contact Terrence Steele at Terrence.steele@wfstexoma.org for more information.

Grayson County – Students only October 7th
Cooke County – Students Only October 14th
Grayson Parent Tours October 18th
Fannin County TBD

If you have an interview coming up and need a resume, check out our past Career Corner tips or visit a local Workforce Center to ensure your success.  Register with our online system www.workintexas.com

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

September 23, 2016

Janie Bates

Twenty years ago, our Board made the decision to form a new agency when new legislation was passed creating workforce boards.  The transition looked easy to our customers but it was far from easy for the three staff who led the charge.  I want to take this opportunity to thank all our partners in the community who have worked with us to create Workforce Solutions Texoma.  Special thanks to our amazing staff in all three counties and to our customers who make all this work worthwhile.

Every day our staff serve hundreds of families who need assistance paying for child care and hundreds of job seekers looking for the right job, our training graduates work in many of the local industries and healthcare organizations, and our Board works to set policy and govern the work of this agency.

Our partnerships with all of you give us an advantage in serving our customers.  Workforce professionals in other states often remark about the great collaborations we enjoy in Texoma. I know we could never have accomplished so much without the help of all of you!

It has been a great 20 years and we hope to serve you for another twenty!

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Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

September 16, 2016

Jane Bates

Habits of Success

Have you ever looked at a very successful person and made the comment to yourself: “Wow, she sure is lucky!”  We all know the secret to her success is really not luck at all.  Success is always the result of much hard work.  Along their path to success, most successful people develop some really good habits that make them successful.

A few habits that will make you successful, too:

  • Work hard but leave time for a personal life. This is where you get recharged and often find more creativity.
  • Manage your finances. Life will be much less stressful if you minimize debt.  There are lots of good financial training programs such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace.
  • Listen to other successful people. Learn from their successes and failures.
  • Invest in improving yourself. Read self- help books, listen to webinars, take a class.  There are many free resources in your community. Reading improves your vocabulary and broadens your knowledge.
  • Be disciplined—about everything! Be on time to work, meet deadlines, don’t procrastinate on projects, work or personal.
  • Tackle the hard stuff first. I always return the difficult calls first, get it over with so I can move on to the positive parts of my day.
  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Give credit where it’s due. Share the limelight.
  • Set goals and continually work toward them.
  • Keep a “to do” list. It will keep you on track and make you feel good when you get to check them off.
  • Learn to be proactive, not reactive. Keep opinions to yourself and never vent on social media.
  • Be positive.
  • Protect your social media presence. Never post anything you wouldn’t want your family or boss to see—for the rest of your life! Once on social media, it’s there forever.
  • Keep your technology skills up to date.

Becoming successful is a journey, not an “overnight” sensation.  Many athletes work years to achieve their goals. Their days are filled with activities that make them stronger.  Doctors spend years working to earn that title. Be prepared to work your whole life at being successful—make the journey count!

If you have an interview coming up and need a resume, check out our past Career Corner tips or visit a local Workforce Center to ensure your success.  Register with our online system www.workintexas.com

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

September 9, 2016

Keeping Your Job!

If you live in the Texoma Region, you know there are Help Wanted signs in most businesses these days.  Jobs are plentiful, all types of jobs.  Our employers are constantly telling us they need qualified workers who are interested in a career, not just a job.  Employment is cyclical and we have observed that these cycles don’t usually last too long. At this time, many workers feel free to leave jobs for almost any reason or no reason at all because there are plenty others waiting.  And employers are more lenient about hiring “job hoppers” because they need people.

So what happens when the cycle swings the other way? You may find yourself in a situation that is not very secure.  You have a record of job hopping, you haven’t given the job your best and now the company is considering a lay-off. Here are ways to avoid being the first person laid off:

  • Be on time, every time! Being late is rude and inconsiderate to your employer and co-workers. If you have trouble being on time, set that alarm a little earlier.
  • Drop the excuse, “that’s just the way I am.” Anyone can learn a new habit.
  • Be a team player, help your co-workers when you can.
  • Be willing to take on new duties.
  • Volunteer for new assignments.
  • When you see something that needs to be done, do it.
  • Help your co-workers be successful. Promoting the welfare of fellow workers is a good way to be recognized.
  • Be polite and courteous.
  • Look for ways to be positive even when things aren’t going your way.
  • Smile and be friendly with your co-workers and customers. Smiling will make you feel better and improve your work environment.

Even if you have a job that is less than good, do your best until you can make a change.  Always leave a job on a positive note.  You never know when you may encounter that supervisor again.

If you have an interview coming up and need a resume, check out our past Career Corner tips or visit a local Workforce Center

to prepare.  Be sure you have registered with our online system www.workintexas.com

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

September 2, 2016

Janie Bates

Resumes

Every week we see many resumes come through our offices.  If you register in our online system, www.workintexas.com it will automatically generate a resume. To ensure a quality resume, you must look at the online version and tweak it for accuracy.  I often see mistakes on resumes that job seekers generate themselves.  Tips for a better resume:

  • Proof your document, accuracy is a must
  • Ask a friend to proof it also
  • Use spellcheck but be aware that spellcheck is not foolproof
  • Make sure you use the same tense of verbs such as; produced, demonstrated, etc. This is a mistake I see on most resumes.
  • Be consistent with formatting
  • If you have had many jobs, only list the past 10-15 years, no need to go back to high school jobs. If you have some very unique skills that were learned in your first job, list those under skills rather than going back for 20 years.
  • Always include a reference page
  • Use quality paper in subtle colors
  • Avoid using acronyms—some of the people who screen your resume may have no idea what they mean
  • Use bullet points, not long paragraphs
  • Ask someone at your local Workforce Solutions Office to review your resume.

 

Keep in mind that most HR professionals see many resumes and have very little time to review them.  Make yours concise, make yours stand out!

If you have an interview coming up and need a resume, check out our past Career Corner tips or visit a local Workforce Center to prepare.  Be sure you have registered with our online system www.workintexas.com

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

August 19, 2016

Janie Bates

Interviewing

Over the years we have posted sample interview questions to help you prepare for your interviews.  Last week I noticed an article on Yahoo regarding emotional intelligence written by Mark Murphy.  He stated that 86% of new employees will fail within 8 months of hire and 89% of them will fail due to attitude.

Mr. Murphy suggested a couple of questions that would test an applicant’s emotional intelligence.  Interestingly, we have used a variation of those 2 questions for years. It is always best to use open ended questions rather than those that can be answered with “yes” or “no”.   Here are the 2 questions we use:

  1. Tell me about a time something didn’t go well at work such as a project that failed, and how did you handle it?

Answers we are looking for: The interviewer wants to know how you personally reacted.  Did you look for solutions, enlist the help of co-workers or place blame.  We look for people who are willing to learn from their mistakes, people who want to improve.

  1. Tell me about a time that your work was criticized and how you handled that.

Answer we are looking for:  We want to know if you are able to handle criticism, both from internal and external sources.  Your answer will give insight into how you will treat an unhappy customer, an unhappy co-worker or your supervisor.  Will you see criticism as a learning opportunity?

If you have an interview coming up, check out our past Career Corner tips or visit a local Workforce Center to prepare.  Be sure you have registered with our online system www.workintexas.com

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

August 12, 2016

Janie Bates

Time for a Career

Summer is almost half over for the kids!  I see school supply lists posted everywhere—a sure sign that summer break is drawing to an end.  If you are a recent high school graduate, this is the time to start thinking about your plans for Fall.  Workforce Solutions has many great training options for those who qualify and numerous job openings for anyone looking for a job.

You can find out if you qualify for training by visiting a local Workforce Center and applying.  Our friendly staff are ready to assist you with making a career decision.  However, you need to move fast because enrollment deadlines are coming up. You will find assessment tools in our centers as well as career guidance concerning Demand Occupations.

Demand occupation information is valuable in determining your educational and career goals.  You want to be sure the training you are receiving will help you get a job that will be viable for many years. Our Workforce professionals will be able to provide information that will assist you in making the best career decision possible.

Also, check out our website for more information on job training.

If you need a job, contact one of our local centers for assistance in preparing a resume or registering in www.workintexas.com

Workforce Solutions Career Corner

August 05, 2016

Janie Bates

Manufacturing in Texoma

Texoma is home to many large and small manufacturers that ship products all over the world. Did you know Bonham is the home to a company that ships products to Florida, New York, Kuwait and Turkey? Or that Denison has a company that makes parts for spacecraft and military equipment? Or that Sherman is home to a manufacturer of large oil field valves?

Each of these companies offer a wide variety of jobs from janitorial, to shipping, to sales, research, design and assembly. Some of them pour metals to shape into auto parts, others use wood products and even elk horns to produce their products. Others package the foods we eat every day.

Each summer, we place more than 30 teachers with various Texoma employers for a week of job shadowing. One of those teachers commented, “everything we use every day, that we just take for granted, has to be made by someone.” It is an exciting career to be a part of making products that are used all over the world.

August 11th, Sherman will host a manufacturing job fair featuring 10 local employers that are looking for people who want to be part of this exciting career field. Bring your resume and visit with human resources professionals from these companies from 10 AM—5 PM at the Sherman Municipal Ballroom.

Also be sure to register in our online job matching system at www.workintexas.com If you need assistance with a resume, visit one of Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

July 29, 2016

Janie Bates

What are Targeted Occupations?

Each year, Workforce Solutions Texoma is required to prepare a list of Targeted Occupations. Our staff go through a lengthy process of analyzing employment data, job openings, prevailing wages and future employment needs of local employers to determine which occupations will be placed on the targeted occupations list.

The occupations that make the final cut have to meet a certain wage requirement and must show promise for future job openings. Workforce wants to make sure the training you pursue will result in a job in that field.

Plan your career

If you need help planning a career path, visit our website to access free assessments and occupational data:

http://www.workforcesolutionstexoma.com/plan-your-career/

You can access the latest Targeted Occupations List for Texoma at the link below:

http://www.workforcesolutionstexoma.com/targeted-occupations/

You can also visit one of our local Workforce Centers for more information.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

July 22, 2016

Janie Bates

Time for a Career

Summer is almost over for the kids! I see school supply lists posted everywhere—a sure sign that summer break is drawing to an end. If you are a recent high school graduate, this is the time to start thinking about your plans for Fall. Workforce Solutions has many great training options for those who qualify and numerous job openings for anyone looking for a job.

You can find out if you qualify for training by visiting a local Workforce Center and applying. Our friendly staff are ready to assist you with making a career decision. However, you need to move fast because enrollment deadlines are coming up. You will find assessment tools in our centers as well as career guidance concerning Demand Occupations.

Demand occupation information is valuable in determining your educational and career goals. You want to be sure the training you are receiving will help you get a job that will be viable for many years. Our Workforce professionals will be able to provide information that will assist you in making the best career decision possible.

Also, check out our website for more information on job training.

If you need a job, contact one of our local centers for assistance in preparing a resume or registering in www.workintexas.com

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

July 8, 2016

Janie Bates

Job Fairs

Each week Workforce Solutions Texoma hosts multiple job fairs in our local Workforce Centers. These job fairs are usually held for a single employer. In addition to these, Workforce participates in larger job fairs attended by multiple employers.

Recently, we were part of a job fair for Denison manufacturers. Each November, we partner with Grayson College to present the Hiring Red, White and You job fair for Veterans. This fair will be held at Grayson College on November 10th.

Why are job fairs important? Job fairs provide an opportunity for job seekers to meet with numerous employers in one location. They are the One-Stop Shop for job seekers.

How can you get the best results from a job fair?

  • Come dressed for success
    • No flip flops
    • No T-shirts with logos
    • No PJs or house shoes
    • Hair combed
  • Bring several copies of your resume
  • Bring all the information you need to complete an application
    • Social Security Card
    • Driver’s license
    • List of former employers
    • Addresses, phone numbers, and names of references
  • Bring a pen
  • Smile and be friendly
  • Don’t bring your kids or friends who are not job seekers

If you need a job, contact one of our local centers for assistance in preparing a resume or registering in www.workintexas.com or visit one of our Workforce Centers

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

July 1, 2016

Janie Bates

Unemployment Rates

Recently, there has been much press about the low unemployment rates in Texoma. Both Texoma and Texas have been fortunate to have lots of jobs when other areas were experiencing high unemployment. Currently, Grayson and Fannin Counties have a rate of 3.5 and Cooke County is 3.6. So,  how is the data collected? Most people are surprised to hear the methodology.

Because unemployment insurance records relate only to people who have applied for such benefits, and since it is impractical to count every unemployed person each month, the government conducts a monthly survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure the extent of unemployment in the country. The CPS has been conducted in the United States every month since 1940, when it began as a Work Projects Administration program.

There are about 60,000 eligible households in the sample for this survey. This translates into approximately 110,000 individuals each month, a large sample compared to public opinion surveys, which usually cover fewer than 2,000 people.

Every month, one-fourth of the households in the sample are changed, so that no household is interviewed for more than 4 consecutive months. After a household is interviewed for 4 consecutive months, it leaves the sample for 8 months, and then is again interviewed for the same 4 calendar months a year later, before leaving the sample for good. As a result, approximately 75 percent of the sample remains the same from month to month and 50 percent remains the same from year to year. This procedure strengthens the reliability of estimates of month-to-month and year-to-year change in the data.

Each month, highly trained and experienced Census Bureau employees contact the 60,000 eligible sample households and ask about the labor force activities (jobholding and job seeking) or non-labor force status of the members of these households during the survey reference week (usually the week that includes the 12th of the month). These are live interviews conducted either in person or over the phone.

A sample is not a total count, and the survey may not produce the same results that would be obtained from interviewing the entire population. But the chances are 90 out of 100 that the monthly estimate of unemployment from the sample is within about 300,000 of the figure obtainable from a total census. Relative to total unemployment the possible error resulting from sampling is not large enough to distort the total unemployment picture.

Because these interviews are the basic source of data for total unemployment, information must be correct and consistent. Survey respondents are never asked specifically if they are unemployed, nor are they given an opportunity to decide their own labor force status. Their status will be determined based on how they respond to a specific set of questions about their recent activities.

And now you know the real story—which might be an interesting bit of trivia at some point!

Looking for a job? Visit one of our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

June 24, 2016

Janie Bates

Retirement Mistakes

Are you getting close to your magic retirement age? Most people have a magic number they are aiming for and usually have an idea of how they will spend retirement. Every morning, when that alarm goes off at 6 AM, many workers dream of the day they can go to sleep without the expectation of the annoying alarm.

However, for many retirees the joys of being retired soon wear off. I have interviewed numerous candidates who had retired and after 6 months realized they no longer enjoyed all the free time, even if they had plenty money. Free time is wonderful, but we all need a purpose to truly be happy.

Some things to think about before leaving that job:

  • Will you have enough meaningful work, volunteer or paid, in retirement?
  • Would a part time job make you happier?
  • Will you have purpose in your retired life?
  • How will you satisfy your need for social interaction?
  • Will you still feel useful?
  • Will babysitting the grandkids be enough?
  • Will you have enough money to be comfortable?
  • Will you feel needed?

Retirement planning coach, Larry Jacobson, reports he has coached many retired people who feel they have reached their peak and no longer feel needed. “I used to be somebody important”, is a common frustration. Jacobson states that even people who have filled their lives with busy work and pleasures may still be unhappy because their lives are void of true fulfillment and purpose. Fulfillment and purpose are harder to come by than pleasures. Finding fulfillment is a process more than an event, and is often elusive. That’s why many people are willing to “wait and see what comes along” and have fun in the meantime.

Jacobson suggests a few ways to find new meaning and purpose:

  • Study and learn something new. Be curious and interested. Observe and absorb.
  • Look at your retirement years as an opportunity for a new start.
  • Keep moving forward toward new goals.

 

If you are thinking about retirement or if you have already retired and need a new career, visit one of our Workforce Centers in Denison, Bonham or Gainesville for career guidance.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

June 17, 2016

Janie Bates

Do You Have Rich Habits?”

“Rich Habits”, a term coined by Thomas C. Corley, describes the habits he believes makes rich people successful. Corley spent 5 years researching daily habits of rich people and here is what he found.

“From my research, I discovered that daily habits dictate how successful or unsuccessful you will be in life,” he writes in his upcoming book, “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.”

Every day, rich people spend 15-30 minutes just thinking! Thinking is key to their success,” Corley observes. Each morning, they usually spend 15 or more minutes alone.

  • “They spent time every day brainstorming with themselves about numerous things,” he explains. He identified 10 core topics the rich think about during this time:
    • Careers
    • Finances
    • Family
    • Business Relationships
    • Health
    • Friends
    • Problems
    • Charity
    • Dreams and Goal Setting
    • Happiness
  • They question everything, “How can I make more money? Does my job make me happy? Am I taking care of my health? What community initiatives can I get involved in? Do I have good friends? Which business relationships should I spend more time on and which ones should I pull away from?”
  • The richest, most successful people are curious. They desire continuous improvement and innovation, both internally and externally. As self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, who has also interviewed over 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people, says: Rich people are problem solvers. Think about all the inventors.
  • “When the rich need money, they don’t wonder if it’s possible, they simply begin creating new ideas that solve problems,” he writes in “How Rich People Think.” “They don’t waste mental energy worrying or wondering about their ability to produce cash, they direct their concentration towards creative thinking.” Again, think inventors!
  • “The rich aren’t any smarter than us,” Siebold writes. “They are just more strategic.”

If you need a job or job training to get you started toward “rich habits”, visit one of our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

June 10, 2016

Janie Bates

What is a Workforce Board?

Texas is divided into 28 local workforce development boards. The role of the Boards is to administer child care and employment and training dollars. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, “Workforce Development is an economic program that, in the process of helping businesses grow, can affect the greater welfare of society. Business-led local workforce boards lead the system through strategic partnerships with industry, education, community organizations and labor, resulting in greater effectiveness and efficiency in serving businesses and job seekers in our communities.”

The Texoma Workforce Development Board was established in 1996 and serves Cooke, Fannin and Grayson Counties. The Board is made up of 34 members with 51% representing private sector businesses. Workforce Centers are located in Denison, Bonham and Gainesville. In each of the centers, customers can list job orders or go online to list, use computers for job search, attend classes to discover more about services and access information about child care.

The goal of the workforce centers is to fill job openings, offer opportunities for training and generally remove barriers to employment. The role of the Board is to do strategic planning, exercise oversight, evaluate and monitor services. Boards are responsible for obtaining grants, administering those grants according to the grant criteria and insuring performance is met.

Staff at the Board level are prohibited by law from delivering direct services to customers. Their role is planning and oversight which also involves gathering stakeholders to address the needs of employers and job seekers.

If you need an employee or you need a job, contact one of our local Workforce Centers for assistance.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

June 3, 2016

Janie Bates

Gratitude

Are you a grateful person? Do you take time to thank others when they do things for you? Saying “thank you” costs you nothing but makes others feel appreciated.

I’m often surprised at how many people never acknowledge gifts or acts of kindness. My mother always required us to send thank you notes for gifts, no matter how small. Her advice was this, ” if someone takes time to shop and send a gift you should take time to thank them.” I have a 7 year old granddaughter who already sends thank you notes for birthday and Christmas gifts. Even though they are brief and written by a child, they are sincere and much appreciated.

Thanking people also plays a big part in your career success. Every day, your coworkers do things to help you–from making coffee, answering the phone, helping you find things, helping move things, proof reading or opening a door. Each of these acts deserve an acknowledgment. Think what your life would be like without all the assistance you get from others.

The people who have hired you, worked with you, mentored you, all deserve your gratitude. We often get caught up in daily life and forget to take a minute to thank our parents, spouses, partners, kids and friends who make our lives better. Frequently, we hear people express regrets at funerals and it usually goes something like this—“I never got to tell my friend/relative how much they meant to me.” Starting today, try to be a more grateful person, be thankful for what you have and see how much happier you will be. When you express gratitude, it changes the way people see you.

When you are looking for a job, thanking people also matters. Thank the person who answers the phone when you call, the receptionist who greets you, and the interviewer who takes time to visit with you. Follow up with an email or note to the interviewer. This will insure they remember you. Marshall Goldsmith describes gratitude as an asset!

Need a job?   Visit one of our Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

May 27, 2016

Janie Bates

Working with a Disability Part 2

Last week I discussed some of the issues experienced by people with disabilities. This week I have listed a few tips for making your workplace friendlier to those with disabilities.

  • Automatic door openers are a tremendous help to anyone who uses a walker, cane or wheelchair or those with limited use of their hands
  • Remove loose rugs or other obstacles in the floor. If you need rugs, be sure they are properly taped down.
  • Keep walkways clear.
  • Enforce the requirement of a permit to use handicapped parking spaces.
  • Wait staff should always ask a person with a cane, walker or wheelchair where they prefer to sit. They may wish to transfer from the wheelchair to a regular chair but most prefer to be closer to the front of the restaurant.
  • If a disabled person drops something, ask if you can help instead of just grabbing the item. Some people are very independent and prefer to do things for themselves.
  • Never lean on another person’s walker or wheelchair
  • Don’t hug a person on a walker or cane unless you ask. You may cause them to lose balance and fall.
  • It’s great to open doors for the disabled but stand clear of the door, not in the doorway, otherwise we may run over your toes with our chair or walker.
  • Don’t ask the person why they use a walker, cane or wheelchair. If you know them well enough, chances are they will tell you when they are ready to do so.
  • When remodeling a public restroom make sure it meets code for both manual and power chairs.
  • To make sure your workplace is ready and your employees understand the challenges of a disability, borrow a wheelchair and let employees take turns navigating your building. They will have a better understanding why certain rules are in place.
  • Remember the Golden Rule—treat everyone, disabled or not, the way you would want to be treated.

If you have a disability and you are looking for a job, call or visit one of our accessible Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

May 20, 2016

Janie Bates

Working with a Disability

Today’s job market is much more open to hiring people with disabilities, but there are still many misconceptions and fears regarding hiring and working with the disabled. In this post I am going to address some etiquette for interacting with a disabled co-worker or customer.

I used a cane, then a walker and now I use a power chair and I have encountered many prejudices and misconceptions during the past 8 years. Taking just a few minutes to think about the other person can change your beliefs.

  • If a person uses a cane, do not crowd them. Give them enough space to maneuver without bumping into people or things.
  • Don’t talk louder and slower to a person who uses a cane, walker or wheelchair—just because they have mobility issues, it doesn’t mean they are hard of hearing.
  • Don’t grab the walker or lean on it, you many cause a fall.
  • Don’t refer to a person in a wheelchair as “honey, sweetheart or darling.” Would you do that to someone who can walk? It is very offensive.
  • Offer to open doors but let the person tell you how best to help them. Help is usually appreciated.
  • Don’t assume the disabled person “could walk if they wanted to!” I have heard this one many times.
  • If you are helping a disabled person with a cane or walker to find a seat, try to find one closest to the door, not at the back of the building. Restaurants are the worst offenders on this one.
  • Don’t assume the disabled person is unemployed. I can’t tell you how many times people have been shocked to learn that I work a full time job and drive myself to and from work.
  • Don’t ask a disabled person why they don’t “get on disability.”
  • Don’t ignore the disabled person because you are uncomfortable dealing with their disability. I have encountered people in the business world whom I have known for years, but now that I use a power chair, they refuse to even look my way.
  • Be mindful of keeping aisles and offices clear of stuff that blocks access. Do periodic checks of your workplace to make sure it is accessible. I have left many stores because their aisles and dressing rooms were piled with boxes of merchandise that prevented access.
  • Don’t create your own parking space by using the area painted with hash marks next to an accessible parking spot. Van drivers and passengers may need 6-8 feet to unload a power chair. And the driver or passenger may need a fully opened door to gain access to the vehicle.
  • And a personal pet peeve—do not park in a handicap parking space without a proper permit, not even for a few minutes. And if you drive a truck, don’t back into parking spots where your bumper will extend over the sidewalk. A person with a wheelchair or walker may not be able to pass your truck. I have had to backtrack to a ramp and then drive down the parking lot behind cars to gain access to restaurants and stores. It’s a scary thing to drive behind all those vehicles knowing drivers can’t see me unless they have back-up cameras.

If you have a disability and need assistance with job search, visit one of our Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

May 13, 2016

Janie Bates

Customer Service

It seems customer service is a lost art these days. At least once per day, I find myself thinking someone didn’t do a good job with customer service so last week, I decided to keep up with all the incidences of poor customer service that I encountered.

First, I had an appointment with a service person at a specified time. I got busy and an hour after our appointment, I realized I had been stood up! I called and was told there had been an emergency and he could come the next day. My question was this—“why didn’t you call me?” Good customer service would have involved him calling me and rescheduling. I’m willing to be flexible, especially when someone has an emergency.

Second, the same guy was an hour late the next day with no explanation.

Third, we had a new appliance to be delivered. Like most deliveries and utility companies, they gave us a window between 8 AM and 12 PM. As always, they arrived closer to 12 PM so I wasted an entire morning and half a day of leave time.

Fourth, we had a contractor lined up to do a job and when he didn’t show, we called and he wanted to reschedule the next week.

Fifth, I took my car to be repaired and although the new part was installed, no one made sure it worked before releasing the car to me so I had to make another trip.

As you can see, each of these incidents could have been easily turned into good customer service, 4 of them with just a simple phone call in advance to keep the customer updated. At any workplace, there are opportunities to provide excellent customer service every day if we just think about how we would like to be treated.

Do your own research this week and see how you can improve your customer service to your co-workers and customers.

If you need assistance with job search, visit one of our Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

May 6, 2016

Janie Bates

Job Hunting in a Job Seeker Market

You have probably heard the unemployment rate in our area is one of the lowest in 30 years. For the month of March, Cooke County was 3.9, Grayson 3.8 and Fannin 3.7. Most economic development and workforce experts consider 4% unemployment, full employment. What does that mean? It means there are more jobs than available workers. I’m sure many of you are thinking “that’s not true! I can’t find a job!” Higher level management jobs are not as plentiful as entry level but there are some.

If you are in the market for a job, consider the following:

  • You may have to take an entry level position for now but if you work hard, do a great job and go to work every day, you may be promoted to a better position.
  • Now is the time to get in the door of a new company. Employers need workers and they may relax some of their requirements at this point. Once you get there—see the bullet point above!
  • If you get in the door of a new employer, you may be able to start accruing leave time and you may have other benefits such as insurance.

Now really is the time to think about launching a new career. Your local workforce centers are the best place to get started. You will find people who will help you update your resume, give you pointers on completing applications and give you interviewing tips. They will also help with your online application for www.workintexas.com

Visit one of our Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

April 29

Janie Bates

Leadership

Do you consider yourself to be a leader? Or do want to be a future leader? Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a simulcast on leadership. The first speaker was Executive Coach Marshall Goldsmith. He has several books on the topic of leadership and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills.

Here are just a few things from the book What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There. Mr. Goldsmith suggests leaders try to avoid these behaviors.

  • Starting sentences with “but”, “however” or “no”. Even if you initially agree with someone, starting your sentences with these just tells the other person you don’t really agree with them. It’s the same as saying “you are wrong.” This behavior is a tough one to break for most people who are in leadership roles.
  • The need to win at all costs. Competitiveness can be good in moderation, but it can also destroy relationships when you always have to have the last word.
  • Speaking when angry. Emotional tirades seldom produce positive results
  • Withholding information. Some people believe knowledge is power, especially if they have it and you don’t.
  • Taking credit for someone else’s work. Enough said—we have all experienced this one.
  • Not listening. Many leaders have this problem because they are always thinking ahead and don’t live in the moment.
  • Blaming others for mistakes.

These are only a few of the tips in Mr. Goldsmith’s book. If you are currently in a leadership role or hoping to be there in the future, get this book! Although these behaviors may be difficult to change, Goldsmith offers techniques for change and his book is filled with stories of leaders who made the decision to tackle these problems.

If you need assistance with your job search, visit one of our Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

April 22

Janie Bates

The Greatest Challenge for Employers Today

We just hosted a job fair with Grayson College and there were 50 employers on site. We followed up with our employers to see what their experience had been. Several companies required drug tests. And you guessed it—their greatest obstacle in hiring people was drug testing! Many people who applied were not able to pass the drug screening.

Society today has a more relaxed attitude toward drug use but employers do not. I have interviewed job seekers who just couldn’t understand “the big deal” about drug testing. Often, people refuse to believe they have any degree of impairment due to drug use. However, for an employer any drug use can cause huge problems. For example:

  • Drugs may cause delayed reactions which result in damaged products
  • Drugs may make a person drowsy and around dangerous machinery this could cause injuries or death
  • Truck drivers on drugs have caused many serious wrecks resulting in loss of life
  • Drug impaired decisions can cause a machine to malfunction and shut down production

As you can see, drug use (prescription or illegal) can cause many problems for employers and other workers, both in personal injury and monetary loss.

Think twice before you take that first drug—either legal or illegal! The consequences could last a lifetime. If you or someone you know has a problem with drug or alcohol abuse, there is help available. Four Rivers Outreach in Sherman offers free services to those who want to enter a recovery program. They are located at 210 Rusk, Sherman, 903-870-4000.

For assistance with your job search, contact one of our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

April 15

Janie Bates

How to be Successful at Work!

Career Coach Mika Brezinski offers the following advice to make your boss happy. She advises employees to always be on time and don’t keep the boss waiting. If you are late to a meeting you have just told everyone there your schedule is more important than theirs.

Treat all assignments as important! If you do a good job on the small stuff (and is there really any small stuff when it comes to your job?) then you may be trusted to do the bigger jobs.

Always take a notepad and pen or your tablet to meetings. This makes you appear interested, insures you are prepared to take notes and guarantees you will remember valuable information so the boss doesn’t have to repeat it. Co-workers will take you more seriously because you look professional and focused.

Always tell the truth! If things go wrong with an assignment, don’t lie and don’t blame others. Getting caught in a lie can cost your job. People make mistakes so admit it, have a plan for fixing the situation and moving forward.

Sometimes, even your best efforts fall through and you find yourself looking for another job. Workforce Solutions is your one-stop shop for all things related to finding a new job or training to prepare you for a new career. Visit one of our local Workforce Centers.

Workforce Solutions Texoma Career Corner

April 8, 2016

Janie Bates

I Have Nothing to Wear!

The clothes you wear have a great impact on your interview and on how co-workers and supervisors view your work abilities.

Recent workplace surveys reveal the following:

  • Most supervisors say your clothes reveal a lot about the type of worker you are
  • Wardrobe is second only to communication skills
  • Sloppy clothes cause supervisors to think your work will be sloppy
  • Proper clothes can help you get a promotion because you are viewed as more professional
  • Professional clothes cause people to view you as successful
  • Trendy clothes may indicate you care more about fashion than your job
  • Casual is fine if the dress code permits it, but clothes must be neat, clean, pressed and well fitted
  • Clothes must be modest—you don’t want to be known for your short skirts, tight pants and skimpy tops
  • Wear good shoes that are clean and in good repair. Avoid high heels, flip flops and open toe shoes. You should wear shoes that allow you to walk whatever distance is required and be able to keep up with others. Flats are always good.
  • Don’t go crazy at the holidays, wearing Christmas Sweaters or sequined shirts at Valentines. Seasonal colors are OK but avoid too many whimsical clothes
  • Don’t over accessorize. Too many bangle bracelets that rattle every time you move are annoying to your co-workers. Choose only one or two pieces of appropriate jewelry. Understated is always best.

For assistance with interviewing or resume writing, contact one of Workforce Centers.