It’s fitting and appropriate that a career coach blog on Labor Day weekend. Holidays are often looked at just for the extra day off from the weekly grind, instead of having a significant meaning to our lives, so I thought I’d give you some background on how Labor Day actually became the holiday we know and love.
Our friends at Wikipedia write the following: Labor Day is observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union (of New York City) sought to create “a day off for the working citizens”. The form for the celebration of Labor Day was a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” followed by a festival for the workers and their families. Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. All fifty states have made Labor Day a state holiday. Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer.
So for those of you who are working at the job that you love – enjoy this holiday and get the rest you need! For those that are still looking, it just takes a bit of work (aka labor) and I’ve listed some tips below that you can labor over this weekend:
Wetfeet.com and Vault.com: both of these sites are exceptional sources of information for job seekers. As a disclaimer, I serve as an on-line coach at www.Wetfeet.com so you can submit any question regarding your search if you are a student (undergrad or grad) or an experienced hire.
If you are a student, here are some basic things you should be doing to get internships and full-time jobs:
- Use your Career Services Office to help you get on track to find terrific internships that lead to wonderful full-time job opportunities. Internships are vital to your success so start asap. You should explore this come Freshman year but no later than Sophomore year. When I ran campus recruiting at Merrill Lynch and Warner-Lambert, we were seeking exceptional Sophomores with great internships on their resumes. It will only be a matter of time when Fortune 500 companies reach back to High School students and begin building relationships with them!
- Network, network, network with your peers and find out what they are doing, and anyone else in your world to ensure you have as much information as possible regarding the companies out there that are hiring. Perhaps your parents have friends who work at companies you would be interested in and hopefully they can set up an informational interview.
- Speak to your professors as many of them have come from the working world and have great contacts.
- If you are specifically looking for an internship, and haven’t had any luck, consider University of Dreams. For a fee, they will guarantee you an internship, cover your housing and meals for the entire summer, and arrange for career coaching along the way … in addition to arranging for some fun baseball outtings to watch the Yankees and Mets.
If you are an experienced hire candidate who wants to either change your job or find a job, here are some things you could do this weekend:
- Network, network, network with experts in your field at other companies. Networking is about building relationships and not about asking for a job. Perhaps you can take advantage of attending a conference in your field … you will meet a ton of people! I’ve gotten many job offers this way, and I’ve made contacts that I’ve kept throughout the years as well.
- Consider switching jobs at the company you are currently working at. Internal mobility is valued at many companies. If it’s a smaller company, however, this may not be possible.
- Check the on-line openings at the companies you are interested in. Many people feel their resume goes into a black hole, but know that this is the database that recruiters search through. I know because I used to run experienced recruiting at various firms and this was our process. Just don’t expect the company to get back to you other than receiving an automatic “we have your resume and will be in touch if there is a match” kind of message.
- Get your hands on an alumni database from your school (just call them and they should send it to you). Then, start reaching out and making contacts. You’d be surprised at the number of good, solid contacts you can make. I remember that whenever I met an NYU grad, I felt a connection because we spent 4 years at the same school. I always extended myself for someone I met this way.
- Visit www.theglasshammer.com which lists many articles about a job search and how to network.
- Get your resume on the top job search sites like Monster, Careerbuilding, Ladders, etc.
There are many other ways to get started as well so you can read our past blogs and visit our website at www.sixfigurestart.com. But this is a good start! Happy Labor Day everyone!