Senate and House Examine Renewing Unemployment Benefits

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Apr 092014

So for 2.8 Million Americans the question looms…will my benefits kick back in?Unemployment Claim Form

The unemployment numbers dropped significantly a few months ago based on people dropping off of unemployment benefits. Although the Senate voted in favor (59-38) to take action the House looks to be a bigger challenge to get cadana casino the legislation passed. You can see the entire article here from the Washington Post.

Feb 012013

Writing blogs and putting out your own material is a great way to get noticed in your industry. But what should you keep in mind before writing something that hits the internet for everyone to see? Should you take anything in to consideration?

Oct 192012

In a report released by the Department of Labor this morning, unemployment claims jumped by 46,000 to reach a staggering 388,000 people filing for initial unemployment claims. The entire report can be read here, but the key points are:

  • The 4-week moving average was 365,500, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 364,750. There were 357,562 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011
    • Meaning more layoffs are happening more frequently – GigSpire Comment
  • The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending September 29 was 5,001,985, a decrease of 42,664 from the previous week. There were 6,694,493 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2011.
    • Unfortunately most of the decrease in these numbers is due to people no longer being able to claim unemployment benefits vs. finding work – GigSpire Comment
  • Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,942 in the week ending October 6, an increase of 397 from the prior week.
    • Government work is not as “safe” as many would think – GigSpire Comment
  • There were 3,462 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 949 from the preceding week.
    • As troops are brought home from overseas and released from service the number of heroes in our workforce that are unemployed continue to increase – GigSpire Comment

The most important takeaway is that unemployment is a big deal and it can happen at almost any time. The solution is being prepared.

What are you doing to make certain if unemployment finds you, you can find work?

Sep 082012

Ask professional poker players what the hardest part of their job is most of them will emphatically reply, “knowing when to walk away.” There often moments in our lives where we know walking is a must but we’re torn and many times even haunted by the choices we’ve made because none of us have the gift of seeing the future. Leaving many people paralyzed with having tough make a tough choice. Take the job offer or continue to search until the right opportunity comes along

In this economy we might feel like we don’t have a choice. If our backs are against the wall and we’re giving up more by continuing to be unemployed does it make sense to pass on a job offer? What considerations should you be making? How do you take into account the different aspects of the job to objectively see how it will fit into your life?

First things first, you need to evaluate what the job brings to the table. Make a list of pros and cons. This will get all the ideas, insecurities, and potential threats out of the way.

Ask yourself these questions:
○             Is the job engaging enough?
Are you the type of person that needs lots of ongoing projects or maybe you’re the type that needs to be organized and plugged into a desk at all times. How important is it that the work not be too hard or too easy? Is it important that your brain is tasked and challenged each day?

○             Is the commute reasonable?
Are you going to be driving more than the national average to get to work (25.1 minutes) and will this work with your out of work schedule  (kids, school, sports, second job, etc).

○             Are you going to be able to grow with this job and be promoted inside the company?
Do you care about quick promotions and leadership within a company or is that not a concern to you?

○             Will the compensation allow you to live comfortably?
What can you afford to be paid? Does it make sense to take a pay cut for enjoyment of the work or vice versa?

○             Is the work stable?
Will the threat of being jobless loom over your head the entire time you’re there?

Next, ask yourself a few remaining things:

  • Can I fit in with the culture?
  • Are there other job offers on the way?
  • Am I going to take issue with the ethics of this organization?
  • Are the terms of the offer reasonable?
  • Are you nervous about taking the job because you’re afraid of something new or risk?

The answers you give to the questions about should be taken into account and thought over for a couple of days.  The information received and feelings of excitement/fear at a job offer need a little time to even out before you should make a decision one way or another.

The reason we teach people how to properly search for jobs and find a satisfying career is so that they don’t wind up in a job that isn’t a good fit and then go back to searching for a job all over again a year later.

Jul 242012

More bad news for people in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. According to the Chicago Tribune “Gov. Pat Quinn’s office has issued layoff notices to nearly 600 workers.” You can read the entire article here but once again it is important to realize you must protect yourself from layoffs. No job is safe.

Protect yourself and your family by constantly updating your resume and always keeping your ears open for an opportunity. Try to go on at least one interview per year. Control your career!

Job Search Tip – 5 Job Posting Scams to Avoid and How to Spot Them

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Jun 262012

How to spot scam and avoid jobs that cost you time and money

In this day in age there are a lot of job vacancies and postings peppered throughout the internet that ultimately result in wasting time, energy, and even money. These notices can take many different shapes and it is important to be able to identify something as a “time waster” and move on to avoid straying from your future career. In this blog, we’re going to identify five of these leaches and show some of the language to look out for and how to identify a company’s legitimacy.

SCAM: Work from home:
Many companies in today’s world are taking a closer look telecommuting but moreover there are very few companies that are going to pay someone with few required skills a fulltime salary, benefits, and a healthy commission for sitting at home on their computer. This is not to say this job doesn’t exist, it’s just the reality is most jobs that look too good to be true almost always are. The worst of these scams ask for bank information, require you to pay for certifications, or they farm out personal information from your resume to potentially steal your identity.

How to spot it:

If the job vacancy includes language like “Be your own boss!” or “Work from home!” in title or first line then something is fishy. Look at the required experience, if there is almost nothing in the way of specific skills and most of what they’re looking for is ambiguous and vague then chances are you’ve found a scam.

SCAM: Get RICH quick
Did you know that you can make $2,500 every week forever while only working part-time?! Right that’s because you can’t. It’s rather unrealistic considering making those kind of numbers would put you on track to make $130,000 being a spammer for guestbooks, blogs, and other social media. For a job that is only explained as “internet marketing,” you have to really see the descriptions of work for what it is- a scam. The fast cash scams usually take a few different forms but they all have the same pay structure. They’re 100% commission and promise so much while delivering so very little.

How to spot it:

In most cases the wording here uses a lot of great adjectives like, “competitive, fun, great, interesting, awesome, etc.” There is nothing in the ad that actually tells you what you’ll really be doing. In many cases the company will avoid giving out its name or any information in regards to its services. These can be extremely dangerous just like the “work from home jobs” because they often ask for bank account information to transfer you money to you and they will clear you out before you know you’ve been duped.

SCAM: The paid recruiter
While there are legitimate recruiters and head hunters they will never ask you directly for money to represent you.  There are a select few companies that think they have an innovative new approach to recruiting by asking that you purchase a membership with them or pay a one-time upfront fee to do the job search for you. These companies seldom place people and often continue to ask for money.

How to spot it:

If a recruiting company is advertising a position and asks that you provide them with any sort of money prior to even meeting anyone, then you know you’ve found yourself a scam. Don’t ever give out credit card information over the phone much less if you have to be doing so to pay for someone to do the job search for you.

SCAM: Credit Report
The job posting in question will likely have very little prestige usually is something to the effect of a secret shopper, paid surveys, or even lead generation. When you’re in the application process after you’ve sent in a resume, you might receive and e-mail asking you to fill out an odd document that might ask for a credit check, background check, or direct deposit. All of this sensitive information is being asked for without you having even met anyone from the company yet.

How to spot it:

While it is very normal for a company to do a background check they generally do one prior to interviewing and won’t ask you for your social security number via e-mail. These companies often don’t lead you to an actual site that can be tracked and much of this scam will take place via e-mail. But there are also surveys and third party sites that are in business for nothing other than snatching up sensitive information.

SCAM: Entry Level Jobs
Of course there are entry level jobs that aren’t scams and everyone certainly needs to start somewhere. These ads often contain flashy text like “***IMMEDIATE HIRE***” or lofty promises such as “Work With PRO Sports! We Will Train! FRESH TALENT NEEDED – Entry Level Marketing. Start your Career in Sports and Entertainment Marketing!!!” All of this extra junk in a job description is designed to attract younger people and what they often turn into is a door to door coupon book selling business. Many times they will pull people out of smaller towns and bring them long distances from home and force them to work unreasonable hours. These things have a tendency to be dangerous and border the line of legal.

How to spot it:

Look for flashy font and lofty promises of travel for being young. Many times they won’t explain the work and will hide the name of their company. Just like the other ads, if it’s too good to be true, then it often is.

How do we avoid this junk?!
The easiest way to make sure you’re not getting taken advantage of is using the powers of a search engine and a little bit of intuition.

  • Do a quick search on the company
  • Do a quick search on the company and include the words “fake” or “scam”
  • Put the company name in,,, or
  • Find the company or individual you’re corresponding with about the job on LinkedIn then look for other people who also work there
  • If it sounds too good to be true it is

Job Search Tip – Plug Into Professional Videos

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Jun 252012

Did you know you can find job leads by watching videos on YouTube or other video driven websites? It’s true, the important thing is understanding how.

So you are on the job search and finding it difficult to discover opportunities, video can be the answer. Now we are not talking about the latest funny, gross or other viral video. We are talking about professional videos.

So what do we mean by professional videos?

These are videos that are created by people who are passionate about their industry. The enjoy the subject matter, are knowledgeable and are interested in teaching others, showing off how much they know…for what ever reason they have decided to create a video or many videos around a topic. These videos may be short or long but often they are full of powerful content.

The first step is to go find videos like this, professional caliber videos, around your skills or industry of choice. The next step is to look through the comments, if there are any, and notice who participates in the discussions. These people as well as the creator(s) of the video are all possible leads to a new job opportunity. Reach out to them, let them know you are looking to get their thoughts on the subject matter, industry trends and companies that are players in the space. These people may even be hiring managers.

Present yourself professionally, ask intelligent questions, contribute your knowledge and you may find yourself in a job without even trying…!

Job Search Tip – Odors – Hygiene is Important…duh!

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Jun 232012

So many people think, Of course you need good personal hygiene. You don’t need to tell me that.” You would be amazed how many people don’t understand that simple rule.

Personal hygiene is critically important to avoid offending a potential interviewer or someone at a networking event.

Ensure that you have bathed recently and are devoid of any body odor. Also, avoid heavy colognes or perfumes as the people you speak with may be chemically sensitive.

Are you a smoker? Have you brushed your teeth today? How are your flossing habits?

There is some bad breath in the world.

Ever try to have a conversation with a person who is sending some jacked up smell in your direction? Very difficult to focus on what anyone is saying when all you can do is smell their funky breath.

Be mindful of your breath and practice good dental hygiene. Use a mint or stick of gum 5 to 10 minutes before you begin your conversations. Don’t be that person! Be sure to get rid of the gum though…

Best of luck! Spread the word and lets rid the world of body funk!


Research in Motion – Mass Layoffs Begin affecting up to 6,000

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Jun 232012

The massive release of staff from Blackberry manufacturer is about to begin according to the Associated Press and Yahoo news. Up to 6,000 people, over a third of the corporate workforce, is slated to be released as part of an aggressive $1B cost saving measure.

For the article, click here.