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TMFBigFrog (97.78)

So -- you want a job, eh?

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July 16, 2009 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: HIRE , ME.DL2 , NOW.DL2

Even in this economy, there are job opportunities out there. To get them, though, you need to show your prospective employer that you excel in at least one of these three areas:

1) You can help the company save money. The more, the better, of course. At minimum, you'll want to show the company how you can save it at least three times its cost of hiring you (salary + benefits + overhead services + mandatory costs like unemployment insurance). That lets you show you can carry your own weight, gives the company a decent return on the risk it's taking by hiring you, and lets you have room to negotiate salary increases later, once you've proven your worth to the company.

2) You can help the company increase its revenue. Again, the more the better. This time, at minimum, you'll want to show how you can bring in at least ten times its cost of hiring you. Unfortunately, revenue isn't free. There are transformational and operational costs of doing business that need to be covered before the company sees a return above and beyond the costs of hiring you. In addition, if you're driving revenue, chances are that you'll be facing the customers in one way or another, so it's literally putting its reputation in your hands. As a result, the company has additional risks and costs associated with hiring you, and it'll want to see a larger legitimate potential return on its investment before it'll take such a risk.

3) You can help the company cost-effectively comply with regulatory burdens. In this case, direct experience and/or certifications will go a long way towards making the case that you're worth hiring. Companies don't want to deal with the costs of non-compliance, which in total (including the costs of defending themselves, the costs of scrambling to bring themselves into compliance after learning of their transgressions, and the costs to their reputations of public humiliation) often dramatically exceed the penalties or fines they'd pay. Compliance is an area where companies are obligated to spend money, even in a lousy economy, so if you can show a prospective employer how you can do it better, faster, and/or cheaper, you'll look like a hero.

There are still no guarantees these days, of course. But as you go up against the competition for whatever jobs you're looking at, the more clearly you can articulate how you will add value to the company, the better shot you have.

6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 16, 2009 at 11:02 PM, jatt22 (40.83) wrote:

yea if u r going for an interview  for   C EO  posistion  then probably  u  can  show  all  those  qualities  an  can execute them but a person who is just working for company like  hunderds  or thousands  others that person cant do dat . an yea if some body is really having  all  dat  smartness in him or her that person probably   running  some kind  of  buisness  already  ( an must be doing fine ) .

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#2) On July 17, 2009 at 12:29 AM, TMFBigFrog (97.78) wrote:

Hi jatt22,

I think you've touched on the key point... If you want a job -- even an entry level one -- you need to think like the CEO would. In many parts of the country, unemployment is over 10%. With the minimum wage set to go up amid an economic meltdown, it's becoming harder for those CEOs (and other hiring managers) to justify hiring entry-level employees who don't think in those terms.

Even in companies that aren't actively laying people off, most of the ones I've seen are replacing fewer people than the number who leave their workforce. To land even an entry-level spot in this kind of job market, you've got to be willing and able to prove your worth before you even get told that you're hired.

It ain't easy, but it's the unfortunate reality these days.

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#3) On July 17, 2009 at 9:57 AM, lemoneater (71.35) wrote:

I'm taking the liberty of simplifying TMFBigFrog's good advice from the perspective of what an entry level employee should do.

1) Help the company save money. When you interview show your potential boss that you are energetic and able to follow instructions. Pay attention and be prepared for the kind of question you might get asked. A lazy or dull employee always loses a company money no matter the economy. Look alive. Now is not the time to look like you don't care about anything.

2)Help the company increase its revenue. Be friendly and helpful to customers and co-workers. Customers can spend their money elsewhere if the service is bad. Also if you have a good attitude you can encourage your co-workers to do a good job and make your life easier. A pleasant work environment make everybody more productive.

3)Help the company comply with regulatory burdens. This may not be as much of a concern for entry level work, but I still can see some areas which are common needs in service and food industries. Be smart about job safety and even be first aid certified. Be sensible about keeping your work area clean and get trained to handle chemicals safely if it applies to the job. If you know another language let your employer know.Show that you can be flexible enough to fill other positions when needed.

All the best!

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#4) On July 17, 2009 at 10:08 PM, TMFBigFrog (97.78) wrote:

Hi lemoneater,

Thanks for translating that into entry-level terms. That's an awesome way of looking at it.

Also, as an American Red Cross First Aid and CPR Instructor, I really appreciate the suggestion that folks get certified.

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#5) On July 22, 2009 at 8:25 AM, lemoneater (71.35) wrote:

You are welcome! Wow, thanks for the work you do! I was just thinking about how in demand first aid skills were in the workplaces I have been.

I didn't reply until now, because I should take my own advice. I know some basics of first aid, but I should learn more. 

Save a life and maybe even save your job--a secondary consideration.

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#6) On July 23, 2009 at 10:02 PM, TMFBigFrog (97.78) wrote:

Hi again, lemoneater --

thanks for the work you do! 

Truth be told, these days I don't teach much; mostly just enough to keep my instructor certification active. I'm still an active volunteer with the Red Cross, but these days, it's mostly behind the scenes with the local chapter's Health & Safety Department & a little bit of public speaking during the United Way campaign.

I owe the Red Cross my career, and probably my life itself, so I try to give back what I can. In truth, I wish I could give more, but there are only so many hours in the day and dollars in the checkbook...

I know some basics of first aid, but I should learn more. 

Click here to find the First Aid course listing for the Greenville, SC chapter. (Your fool.com profile lists you as being in Greenville.) The classes seem to indicate the year is 2006, but it just might be an artifact of the web page design, rather than the courses being way out of date.

Take care --

-Chuck

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