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Phoenix job seekers should consider growing sectors

Transitioning from one career to another should involve research and evaluation of what job sectors have the greatest needs and growth in the near future.  In Phoenix, healthcare continues to be a healthy and growing sector for employees.  This is such an important industry to Phoenix that more than 150 leaders in business, education, and the community have created a forum to have ongoing discussions about the workforce needs of healthcare.  Even though dynamics have changed in corporations - Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln are now Honor Health - the needs for talent haven't changed.  If healthcare is an industry you would consider, here is some information to help you make the move.

  • Soft skills are crucial. No matter what position you want to secure in healthcare, you need to have strong communication, problem-solving, and organization skills. Healthcare professions require flexibility and adaptability too, so be prepared to talk about your experience in these areas.
  • Get the licensure or training you need. Phoenix is known as ‘post-secondary training heaven'. Drive down Dunlap Road near I-17 - there are educational institutions that have healthcare programs from medical assistants, to dental assistants, to radiological technicians. And, if you are balancing education with a full-time career, there are many online options until you get into the externship part of your program.
  • Market your willingness to continue professional growth. Transitioning into a new career, depending on your timing, your past training experience could appear like a lack of willingness to continue learning in your next career. Once you enter the interview process, it's important to explain your desire to expand your skills in your next position and throughout your new career path. Healthcare is a constantly changing industry, so the candidates who are willing to consistently learn in their jobs will be the most successful in the long term.
5:30 pm          Comments

Jump starting your job for the new school year

School-aged parents are either in the process of entering the second month of school.  If you do or don't have school aged children, you may be considering a possible jump into the job search candidate pool.  Regardless of your situation, it is a great time to evaluate how you can make the most of the remaining months of the year in your current work situation.  If you want to make a change, check in for the next four months on how to make the greatest impact, but if you don't, here are some ways to maximize your job's value to you and your current employer.

  • What didn't you learn last year? School kids need to get a ‘refresher' on the skills that they needed to learn last year. Are you evaluating the skills that you may need to brush up on or learn based on changes to your department's goals and objectives? Take an objective look at how you can provide value to the team by learning something valuable and sharing it with the team.
  • What did you do during the summer to add value to your job? Maybe you volunteered somewhere and strengthened your leadership, organization, or problem-solving skills. Perhaps your summer involved a vacation where you found a situation similar to work where you can offer productivity, efficiency or revenue generating ideas. Now is the time to share them.
  • Have you established a plan in the next year to develop your skills? Look at the timeline your company has for formal performance evaluations and then determine how you can maximize your experiences between those times. Don't forget that you can always ask for a ‘'midterm evaluation" if you have strategically planned to learn new skills or get crucial experiences or training.

The employees who are consistently planning their career steps and consistently learning and expanding professional experiences will be the most successful.  Taking the time to plan, strategize, and then execute will help Phoenicians to achieve their short and long term career goals.

3:48 pm          Comments

Leverage your afternoons into your next career move

The temperatures are starting to move into ‘Fall' - triple digit temperatures are a thing of the past and children are back in school.  It may be budgeting season, planning season, hiring season, or ‘wait and see' season for your current employer.  This is a perfect time to re-evaluate your current role and determine how you want to develop your skills professionally in this position or move into a different job opportunity with another company.  If you feel like you can't move forward in your current job, there are steps you can take to assist in moving into a company that will leverage your skills and allow you to continue your professional and personal development.

  • When did you last ask how you can help the team? Employers want to know that you are willing to assist your teammates, help your manager, and collaborate cross-departmentally. If you were able to do any (or all) of those things over the summer - it's time to update your resume before you enter the job search process.
  • Are your technical skills ready for a ‘move'? Depending on your industry, technical skills may be a moving target that you need to be aware of and ready to take classes or training in order to stay relevant. Review job descriptions of positions you are interested in and pay special attention to technical skills that are at the top of the list of qualifications/skills for the job.
  • Have you asked to learn something new lately? Before you jump into the job search process, determine if there are skills that you can learn in your current role with your company. Managing your career and professional development is something that you need to not only own, but control. If you know that the next step in your career path requires certain training, shadowing, mentoring, certification, licensure, then you need to establish a timeline of how you will make that happen.
5:38 pm          Comments

Four criteria to select a job search engine that works for you

Phoenicians will most logically use a job search engine to find possible opportunities in the market.  The days of reading the classifieds in the Sunday paper are pretty much gone.  There are more than 30 different large job search engines - so how can you choose?  Here are five criteria to consider before you sit down and surf for hours with few results...

1.      Determine what your industry could have to support your search.  Depending on your industry, it may make more sense to go to a specific website such as for government positions, for real estate jobs, etc. instead of using a large general search engine.

2.      Establish how specific you will be in your search.  The larger search engines require that you have as specific job titles and keywords as possible in order to narrow the results.  Be sure to also narrow the timeframe for the postings down to past 7 days and then be consistent in checking again every 7 days to see what new opportunities are available.

3.      Newer may not be better.  There are new ‘compiled' search engines popping up frequently, such as  These engines profess to take all of the postings from the larger engines and put them in one place for ‘one stop searching'.  Unfortunately, not all of the postings may be collected, so it's always best to use a couple of search engines to ensure you are getting the best selection of possible matches for your skills.

4.      Find one with other tools to maximize your time.  Some of the search engines have other career search resources that can be very valuable.  Look for salary calculators, job market trend information, and links to other job sites in order to build your job search skills and speed up your time in front of the computer.

4:48 pm          Comments

How prepared are you to win an award at your job?

Residents of Phoenix who are considering a career transition should be ready to evaluate and explain how their value to their current company will translate into results for the employer they are interviewing with.  If you are ‘thinking about' making a move, it is crucial to understand what you have done to perform exceptionally recently and how you can impact the company you want to work for.

  • "What have you done for me lately?" Not the Janet Jackson song - what have you done to provide more value to your company/department/team? If you want to get recognition from your supervisor, it's important to identify how your actions are individualized from your peers.
  • When did you learn something new? Companies want people who are willing and interested in continuous development. Winning awards will happen when you commit to going outside your zone, trying to be more valuable in cross-training, and searching for external experiences and skills that will build the team's value to the organization.
  • Who can you mentor or shadow to gain knowledge and skills? The smartest employees identify people on their team (or others) who can teach them things they need to know to be successful. Every Emmy speech identifies the people who ‘were so important in my career'. So if you haven't found those people and taken advantage of their expertise, you are missing the boat. Be strategic, honest and direct and let them know how much you appreciate them sharing their skills with you!
11:51 am          Comments

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