A Career College and Job-Search Advice Column
Dr. Randall Hansen a nationally recognized career expert is the Career Doctor. Discover more about Dr. Hansen read about the purpose of this column and find previous issues of this column at the home of The Career Doctor.
If you have any college career or job-related questions or comments that Dr. Hansen could provide valuable assistance with please feel free to email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Hansen writes this column on a biweekly basis.
Note: Readers can find other columns from this year in Current Year Archives of The Career Doctor Q&A.
In This Issue (08/27/04):
- Dealing with symptoms of being a workaholic
- Struggling with finding work in electronics field
- Retiring to a complete career change and new job
- Determining best way to send resume to employers
|Q:||Mark writes: I have a problem that is kind of work related but more to do with my family. I love my job and my company seems to really appreciate me. My problem is that my wife complains that I am simply not home enough and calls me a workaholic. She keeps making comments like ‘I think you love your work more than me.’ That’s not true but I have been known to forget some dinners and other stuff when I am deeply involved in a project at work. I don’t know what to do. Any thoughts?|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Because of a number of factors — part societal part financial and part technological — many people are working harder and longer than ever before. Add a longer commute for some workers and you have a situation where you could be away from home more than you’re there’ and that sounds like the situation you face.
But are you a workaholic? Loving your job and working hard at it does not make you a workaholic. But when your job begins to consume you and becomes your main reason for being then you need to distance yourself from the situation and take a hard look at yourself. You must strive for a balance between work and life.
How do you know if you’re a workaholic? If you find most of the following statements to be true then please seek help.
Learn more about workaholics in this article published on Quintessential Careers: Are You — or Someone You Know — a Workaholic?
Are you a workaholic? Take the full quiz found on Quintessential Careers here: Workaholics Quiz: Do You Focus on Work Too Much?
|Q:||Clarence writes: Its been over 18 months since I last held a full-time job in the electronics field. I have placed many many resumes with employers. Many told me they have hiring freezes most have cut back and not hiring at all and the rest are seeking individuals with core experience. Also I’m 50 years old. Question: Do I keep taking the rejections in stride and keep placing resumes hoping for a break. Or should I drop my field and try to get a loan to go back to school and start over again at age 50!|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: Of all the career fields I think technology has been hardest hit during these last few years when our economy has been struggling and some jobs moved overseas — and the outlook for the rest of 2004 is certainly weak at best.
According to a recent poll taken by Robert Half Technology chief information officers seemed cautious about their third quarter hiring expectations. Eight percent of executives expect to add to their IT department while 3 percent anticipate cutbacks and 88 percent plan to maintain existing levels. Additionally 41 percent of those surveyed believe that the most in-demand skill for IT workers is UNIX.
I know you did not plan to be out of work for 18 months — no one ever expects a job hunt to last too long — but what have you been doing all this time (besides looking for a new job)? Ideally besides looking for a new job you have been doing some consulting or gaining some new skills and training. If you want to stay in the field I would immediately get working on both of these areas because employers don’t want to hire anyone — especially someone in the technology field — who has been doing nothing for 18 months.
At your age will you experience some age discrimination? It’s certainly possible especially in the technology field but there are numerous things you can do on your resume and in the interview to deflect some of it.
Are you too old to change careers? Not at all. In fact there is growing evidence that the baby boomers are going to totally transform the stereotypes of older workers and the rules of career change later in life. Read the next Q&A for more on this topic.
|Q:||Kate writes: I’m new to your website it’s a great information source. Here’s my situation. I have worked at the same company for the last 22 years. I’m 54 years old and ready for a complete change in my life. I think I’m about to get a retirement package and so I’m thinking of a change to something related to helping people. I wouldn’t mind going back to school. I don’t know and I don’t know where to start or how to figure out what I want to do? Any suggestions who be greatly appreciated. Help!!|
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: I have enjoyed researching the baby boomers ever since I first worked at People Magazine — where this demographic group was thoroughly loved. And of course I am a member of the cohort.
And now as boomers move toward retirement many experts are predicting that our current views of working and retirement will be totally revamped once these folks put their mark on this next stage in their lives.
For many retirement will indeed no longer signal the end of working but more so a career and lifestyle transition where the retiree has multiple options — such as continuing to work returning to school for additional training or education becoming more involved in volunteer work or simply enjoying leisure and travel possibilities — a mix of working learning relaxing and trying new things.
Dr. Ken Dychtwald author of Age Power describes the transition between working and retiring as middlescence which he says occurs to people sometime in their 50’s to 70’s. Middlescence is a time of growth and reinvention — and this the perfect time for you to consider a career change.
You can start planning for your next career stage by examining your likes and dislikes and strengths and weaknesses. Start researching various ‘helping’ careers. Conduct informational interviews. Consider talking with a career coach or other career professional. Remember to take your time.
Read more in this article published on Quintessential Careers: Working Beyond Retirement: For Money Identity and Purpose
|Q:|| Cathy writes: For the first time in 23 years I am conducting a job search that includes the Internet. I understand the importance of having a resume in text format to submit where requested.
I am also hearing that most recruiters employers etc. prefer resumes now be submitted electronically. Is this true? Maybe it’s the old-fashioned marketer in me but my tendency is to search the web for jobs and then send my resume the traditional way by mail so I can differentiate by different fonts paper style appearance-related factors. Could this be working against me?
If so even when I am asked to attach my resume as a Word document I fear that various PCs will alter formats fonts and spacing — so it’s back to the plain Jane text or is it?
|A:|| The Career Doctor responds: While I totally agree with you about the power of print resumes I have to sadly state that their influence in job-hunting is definitely on the decline. Job-seekers will still need these documents for job fairs interviews and a direct-mail campaign but because the Internet has so dramatically changed how we search and apply for jobs you know need to focus on having a text resume.
Employers want text resumes — especially electronic versions (submitted online or via email) — because they can easily deposit every resume into a massive database and then use keywords to search and find the resumes that most match their needs.
Text resumes are almost completely void of any style — and when printed they look pretty ugly.
So not only are resume formats changing but so is the content. As you work on your electronic resume you must be focused on keyword and keyword phrases for your occupation and industry. Where we often avoided industry jargon in the past now we embrace it. Of course accomplishments are still extremely important but you must now also try to phrase them the way you think a hiring manager might conduct a resume database search.
One final thought though. I always recommend — when possible — to follow-up an emailed resume with a formatted resume sent through the mail. I think job-seekers who use this combination approach have an edge over those who do not.
Read more about electronic resumes in this article on Quintessential Careers: The Top 10 Things You Need to Know about E-Resumes and Posting Your Resume Online. And for a quick review of resume-writing you might want to review this article: Avoid These 10 Resume Mistakes.