Workplace Rights

Weekly (5/3/10)

Topic of the Week  Just Like the First Time - Reentering the Job Market:

• DON'T assume what's worked before will save you.
• DO know what makes you unique.
• DO look from the inside out.
• DO keep your spirits up.

Looking for work is always challenging, especially tough if you haven't looked for a long time. Which reminds me of a friend who recently lost all of her hair from cancer treatments. She said, "My wig saved my life." It preserved her feelings of self worth, reduced the amount of time she had to spend explaining what was going on to acquaintances and made her feel normal despite what was happening to her.

Cosmetic changes can play a huge role in fighting any challenge. But don't forget, the wig wasn't a replacement for her cancer treatments, it just helped her to maintain her humanity during a difficult time. You've got to focus on the substance and the cosmetic stuff during a job hunt and I've included three Do's and one Don't to do just that. For more ideas, check out's "Create a Career" section.

DON'T assume what's worked before will save you. The workplace is changing so your job hunt must change too. For example, today computers often do the first scan of a resume, so you've got to be sure that yours is chock full of jargon concerning the job you're interested in. You've also got to be more sophisticated about doing online research before the interview. Finally you've got to be current on new technology, luddites won't find a lot of opportunities today.

DO know what makes you unique. Maybe you're a technology person who started in sales, or you worked for a competitor, or a flexible schedule isn't a problem for you. Be sure to know how you can distinguish yourself from the other people applying for the job. And remember to highlight those characteristics from your first contact with an employer.

DO look from the inside out. Most job seekers start their job hunt by going to a job board or newspaper want ads. Both are perfectly fine ways to find jobs. But they're terrible ways to figure out what kind of job you should be looking for. That's why I believe it's so important to start your job hunt from the inside out, rather than the outside in. What is your passion? What are you doing when you lose track of time? What was the best job you ever had? I know the job market is tough right now, but I'd always bet on someone who really cares about what they're pursuing than someone just chasing any McJob that they stumble across.

DO keep your spirits up. Would you hire someone who is trailing blood as they walk in for the interview? Of course not. That's why it's so important to work to keep your spirits high. Your wig, remember my friend above who went through chemotherapy, can be exercise, volunteering, taking a class, whatever will boost your spirits and energy so you're ready when the right opportunity comes along.

Have a plan for both the heavy lifting of a job search, but don't forget your wig and how it can lift your spirits.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via


Thought of the Week

"To succeed in life in today's world, you must have the will and tenacity to finish the job."

–Chin-Ning Chu

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from From "I Hate People" (Little Brown, 2009)

    Say it isn't so…What bugs you the most at work
    5. Foul personal hygiene
    4. Lousy manners
    3. Talking on speaker phone
    2. Annoying cell phone ring tones
    1. Loud talking


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