Karen Speaking at March 29 Hiring Pittsburgh Expo

Even if you feel a job fair may not be worth it, I propose that it is valuable even if you just have face to face conversations with two to three employers that you are interested in.  Even if they advise you to apply on-line, at least you have a name for the first sentence in your cover letter.  Even if the company is not currently looking for positions that you are seeking, at least you could do some networking to learn about company culture and organization and perhaps get a name for follow-up.

I invite you to…

HiringPittsburgh 2018 Career Expo

Thursday, March 29, 2018, 11 AM to 2 PM

Duquesne University Power Center Ballroom

Click HERE for details, registration, employer lists and a quick 5 tips to prepare.

I will be speaking at 11:30 on:

Get Out From Behind Your Computer…

…..and Get a Job Through Networking.  Whether you like it or not, it is “who you know” that gets most people hired. Research shows that big Internet job boards have a success rate of only 4-10%. Networking is not asking people you know if they know of any open jobs! And please don’t get caught in the reactive, but tempting, offer of “I’ll pass your resume.” Come to the workshop to find out what you should be doing and saying instead.

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Work Launch Free Programs through Carnegie Library

A way to jumpstart a job search or supplement career coaching is through the four days of programming at four branches of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.  It will include job search strategy sessions, such as tips on LinkedIn and on-line applications, and employer information sessions, including with FedEx, Rivers Casino and Duquesne Light.  The last day of the event is a Career and Community Resource Fair, featuring 20 employers and service agencies.

Registration is not necessary, but recommended.  So even if the registration period ends, you likely can still attend, but you may want to call the branch first to check.

Tuesday, March 20 – Friday, March 23

Click HERE for a link to the four branches and detailed program schedule.

Litzinger Career Consulting can help you use the information with personalized job search and networking coaching, reviews of cover letters and resumes, and video mock interviews.

Passion: An Ingredient for Career Happiness and Job Search Success

A person can succeed at almost anything for which they have unlimited enthusiasm.” Charles M. Schwab, American Steel Magnate

The happiest and most successful people usually are pursuing something passionately. Employers want an employee with “fire in their belly.” Your job search could be a crossroads to pursue a “calling” which is actually the root word of vocation. Often we made early career and job choice with little guidance. A career change can be complicated, yet the rewards can be vast.

Reflect on trends in what you read, what you do when not required, and what gives you energy. Think about your past and notice patterns. Get help from a career counselor if your mind is spinning. Ask yourself, if not now, when?

Perhaps you’ll decide you can’t or don’t want to explore a new career passion now for financial or other reasons. At least bring that passion into your life whether via a class, hobby or community activity. It may be fulfilled in many ways whether for yourself or as an offering to the world.

I honor my passions whether in a career or personally.

Copyright 2018, Karen Litzinger, excerpt from in progress book, Inspiration for Job Seekers. Feedback is welcome at Karen@KarensCareerCoaching.com.  This excerpt may be shared with the entire credit blurb, www.KarensCareerCoaching.com.

The Gig Economy: Insights and Library Programs

Remember when gigs mostly referred to music jobs or other cool, hippie-like short-term engagements? Investopedia defines a gig economy, as one where “temporary jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.” Many experts note we are in that economy with approximately one third of our workforce as independents per a recent NPR report. Last year CNN reported that that 44 million Americans make money outside of their job with side jobs.

Read on for a new series sponsored by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh called “Side Hustle” featuring several gig economy programs.

Sometimes a person chooses entrepreneurship or contract work for freedom and independence. Sometimes it’s a part-time gig to supplement retirement income or a low wage job with an employer. And sometimes it is all a person can get whether due to ageism, lack of skill or other barriers.

Prudential conducted a research study which illustrated some of the plusses and minuses of the gig economy. The research showed gig worker income at $36,500 per year compared to $62,700 for full-time employees, but people were working a median of 25 hours per week as compared to 40. Maybe that’s why they are happy with their choice with only 19% wanting to move to a traditional work arrangement. Of boomers in the gig economy, 75% said they are “extremely satisfied with their work situation”. Click here for more on the research about the pluses and minuses of working in the gig economy.

For four Wednesdays in February and March the Carnegie Library in Oakland is hosting a series called

Side Hustle

February 14: Selling on Etsy

February 21: Online Earning with YouTube, Podcasting, and Air BnB

February 28: Consulting and Freelance

March 7: Driving for Uber or Lyft

Click here for information on all four and to register.

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You Did What? International Business Etiquette

I’m excited to offer this program at the Downtown and Business Branch at the Carnegie Library. Although oriented to business travel, the information is relevant to any international travel. Please pass the word, especially to people who work downtown.

You Did What? International Business Etiquette

Thursday, April 19, 2018

12:30-1:30 PM, Carnegie Library, 612 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh 15222

Have you ever said or did something in another country and received a look that made it clear you made a mistake? How do you gracefully proceed and better yet avoid that situation in the first place? Etiquette cultural norms vary widely across countries and a business traveler needs to be savvy. Etiquette trainer, Karen Litzinger, will share insights into cultural differences in greetings, body language, corporate culture, business entertainment, dress and gifts.

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Darkness to Light Inspiration and Winter Greetings

Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety, after all it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.” -Hasrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A. S.

If we didn’t have darkness we couldn’t experience and appreciate light. Of course, we don’t want stay in the darkness that may come with aspects of career transition, nor would we wish it on anyone.  Yet it is an understandable reality.

Sometimes anxiety or depression can overwhelm us.  Allow yourself to loosen the grip of dark times to enable you to move through it.  See and greet it as a visitor who will eventually leave. Perhaps even ask powerful questions, such as “what can I learn from you” or “how can I lessen your impact?” Listen quietly.

Often energy can be shifted by taking a small step of action.  Perhaps it could be sending a networking email or hitting the apply button on a vacancy.  Equally as important are steps for self-care, such as exercise, an inspirational reading, a favorite song or a warm bath. Or take a small step to bring light to someone, even if simply a caring word to a cashier or a thank you note for a networking meeting.  That may help invite light in and lift some darkness.

If you are in that dark space too long, then consider professional assistance to help shift your heart, mind, and spirit to enable continued healing and career progress.  Eventually the light will shine again and then you can shine your own light to help others. And just maybe your darkness will add depth to allow you to better help others whether in your career or personal life.

 

I accept darkness as part of the human condition and take steps to move forward.

©2017, Karen Litzinger, Pittsburgh, PA. May be reproduced or linked to with this statement and where possible a live link. Litzinger Career Consulting provides career coaching and speaking services. Info at KarensCareerCoaching.com

Gratitude Inspiration for Job Seekers and Others

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” — Buddha

You may wonder “How can I be thinking about gratitude when I’m in a cloud of career confusion or buried in rejections or deafening silence from applications.”  This is when you need gratitude the most as a coping tool and to help give you perspective. When we focus on lack, it creates negative energy that can paralyze our actions and repel people who may be able to help us.

Each day look for things that are positive.  It could be something small like a beautiful sunset, a favorite food, an email from a friend, or a special moment with your child or pet.  Maybe there could be things about your search process you can be grateful for, such as an email reply, a job prospect, or a networking meeting even if only 5 minutes of it was helpful.  Perhaps there is even something to be grateful for about being in the midst of the search itself, whether getting to spend more time with family due to a job loss or recognizing your courage to explore a new direction.

Consider starting a gratitude journal writing down five short bullets about what you are grateful for each night before you go to bed.  If you’re stuck, then write down that you have a bed to sleep in or a roof over your head.  The next morning before getting out of bed think of one thing you are grateful for, and that can change the course of your day.

Each day I notice things and people I am grateful for.

Civility Affects Workplace Performance

When I went to my first college reunion last year and peered in the window of the Residence Life office, a poster caught my eye.  As a business etiquette speaker, I loved seeing the message of civility hanging prominently.  On and off during the year, I thought I’d love to get a copy of that poster.

This year when I was invited to a Residence Life reunion as part of Homecoming, I took the opportunity to ask about the poster.  Many thanks to Megan Julius for researching it and sending it to me with permission to share.

This inspired me to share about a new book published this year, Mastering Civility by management professor Christine Porath. She makes a case quoting research studies that the workplace would be more effective with more civility rather than the tough and aggressive corporate culture our society often supports.

Multiple research studies demonstrate how rudeness and bullying have a negative impact on performance. After being belittled as a group, participants in one experiment had 39% fewer creative ideas in brainstorming and did 33% worse on an annagram-type puzzle. Another experiment showed that even observing incivility decreased performance on two tests, 20% and 30%, compared to a control group.

An excellent summary of the book and great links to research is in the article How to Reduce Rudeness in the Workplace at Greater Good Magazine.

I hope the art and research inspire YOU.  Please pass them on.  Goodness knows we need civility more than ever!  Thank you Duquesne for getting the word out. Makes me proud!

Be Inspired by Adrienne in her 80’s

While hanging out on the porch of Angel House in Lilydale, I enjoyed striking up a conversation with Adrienne who was vacationing with her daughter.  While I naturally didn’t start the conversation with the typical “what do you do” somehow chatting led to her sharing a bit of her work history (I guess that’s not uncommon that a career counselor’s conversation goes in that direction).

It turns out she recently retired now in her mid-eighties. [Full disclosure is that although I wrote down some notes, in my unpacking I can’t find them, so some editorial license here.]

She had actually retired already as an office worker. Then through conversation at a church activity with the Catholic Daughters of America, she started up again part-time though she wasn’t actually looking to. (Remember NETWORKING happens at all ages, and actually is the best strategy if you have a challenge such as age or gap in work history.)

I think she said she had been retired for seven years when she went back to work. I asked her why she decided to come out of retirement: She said she likes to keep busy!  Well, maybe that’s what keeps her so active and alert!  We met as she was doing a crossword puzzle and shared that she does a 40 minute walk daily.  I think that was the answer to my question of what keeps her so young!

May you be inspired to stay active and young at heart like Adrienne! And if you’d like some help doing that happily at a job, please contact me.

Karen’s Five Favorite Newsletters

Welcome to the first blog entry of my completely revised, spiffy website! Thank you for your interest in my take on career planning and business etiquette to help people be more confident and competent in this aspect of life. Besides practical tips and information, I also like to share stories that can educate and inspire. So I would like to share links to five of my favorite older newsletter posts that are important to me or don’t quite lend themselves to be rewritten, yet still could be useful.

Take Your Passion and Make it Happen

Thank You Notes: My Etiquette Take on a Post Office Sign

Student Loan Forgiveness

Is a Degree Worth It?

Perfection Reflection and Intuition Insights