Interviews! New Strategy is Working or?

Well, well, well, guess what I have interviews this coming week. I also have Jury Duty the week after. Of course.

One of the interviews is in an area I desperately want to be in, you know what it is, Education. It’s an admissions associate for a private college. The pay is fine, the benefits are great, and it’s the foot in the door I need. I actually applied for this job several times over the past two years so this is not an interview obtained by my new strategy of downplaying my education.

The other interview I got is also from an old application, but I am not qualified. It was to teach MS Office at a local college as an adjunct. However, she did kindly tell me how to become qualified. I remember in the past asking about the MS Office certification courses and most people told me I did not need them since I have a Bachelors and a Masters but, well, that isn’t true. So, now I will be studying, regardless of what happens with my interview on Tuesday so that I can get certified in MS Office as an expert. This shouldn’t be difficult, only expensive. But, I do think it’s worth it.

It kind of goes back to what I said the other day about being specific and targeted in your degree. If you really want to do something, you need to have the right degree and the right certifications. So, I’m going to follow that advice I gave myself. I’m going to get specific. I’m still going to apply for administrative positions in the meantime without talking about my degree or my business much in order to see if that works. But, my ultimate goal is still to work in academia.

I know that I will be awesome working at a college or university and that this is where my passion lies. I know that deep down that’s where I’ll be most happy and most productive. I love talking to people about their education plans, and I love school myself. I can’t wait to further my own education earning that Doctorate that I so desperately want. But, I am putting all further education that doesn’t offer immediate gratification in terms of certs on hold until I’ve been working in the right position for a few years.

I’m also going to stop apologizing for being middle age. I’ve been practicing my interviewing technique and lately I admit I’ve been doing a bad job. I have been so bogged down and disappointed about not getting certain jobs that I have let it really get to me in a personal way. To the point I say asinine things during an interview and practically talk the person out of hiring me. That’s not the image I want to portray and honestly it’s not who I am.

 

Posted in Another day, Interviews | Leave a comment

The benefit of a Masters

I’m glad that I have my Masters degree. It gave me a lot of confidence, and the experience earning it is something I would not want to have missed. But, does it really help one find a job? I think the answer is: It depends.

Is the Masters specific enough? 

Choosing a Masters that is very specific that people understand is an important aspect. Masters in Accounting. Masters in Financial Planning. Masters in Cyber Security. Masters in Math. Etc… Mine is Masters in Human Environmental Science with a concentration in Interactive Technology.

You don’t know what this is do you? No one else does either. Time and again I have to explain what this degree is. Human Environmental Science is the study of how humans act /react in their environment. Since mine is a a specialization in Interactive Technology then that means I’m an expert on how humans interact in the environment of technology or using technology such as text messaging, emailing, social media, Skype, etc…

Yea, no one still understands what this is or what good it is. I do know that it was interesting and is still interesting to me and I also have many skills that would be super useful to an employer. But, it’s difficult in the 20 seconds they look at your resume, or cover letter to explain.  And, in spite of what some believe, it’s even harder explaining it during an interview.

Do you have substantial experience in the field?

That’s right, you really need to have substantial experience in the area that you plan to earn your Masters in. Otherwise, it can be difficult to get job interviews as a career changer. This can be especially true if you’re really just starting your career, as a former stay at home mom. Granted, the education you receive can be used to help you run your own business instead of working for someone else, that’s what I do now. But, what if you want a job? Well, get a Masters in something only after you have experience doing the entry level variety of what you want to do after your Masters degree.

Getting a Masters is a wonderful thing to do for yourself. If it’s something you really want to do, do it. But, unless you know for certain that it will help you advance in your current career, give it a lot of thought considering the substantial debt you will likely have to take on.

Here is another article I read recently about a person with a Masters who is applying for administrative assistant positions, like me, who also can’t seem to find a job. He is still of the thought that more education is better. But, when it comes to entry level, or lower paying jobs this just isn’t the case, IMO.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/get-a-job-the-craigslist-experiment/

I am going to do my own experiment. I’m going to apply for positions and leave off my Masters degree. I want to see if that gets me ore interviews. I am also going to leave off one of my jobs which I quit suddenly due to the behavior of my employers. I was justified, morally, but in the world of career this doesn’t work out. I shouldn’t have done it. But, I do believe this one job is probably affecting me in a bad way. Let’s see if this helps at all.

In the meantime, I continue with my business. I got a new client, plus I am almost done with my second book I will publish on Kindle. So, life goes on.

 

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Definition of a career

I looked up “midlife careers” to see what I’d find. I usually find some stupid advice that doesn’t help anyone that someone obviously pulled out of their ass. Today I found this gem:

10 New Careers After Age 50

When I read these I had hoped to see some real career ideas but all I saw was Jobs. Jobs that people will do because they have no choice and need the cash. The only one that might have promise is the one I do: Ghostwriting. But, not everyone can do that. I was just really surprised about some of these.

Let’s go through them.

Career Coach — Hmmm I don’t know if this is a good idea. If you weren’t happy with your own career how in the hell are you going to help others find a good career. And, does this actually pay?

Medical Assistant — Really? I don’t know. I’m old. I don’t want to stand on my feet all day, in an uncomfortable bend over position. Do people KNOW what a medical assistant does. It’s more like urine cleaner or diaper changer. No thanks. I do admire people who do that, but I did that enough as a mother.

Custom Garment Maker — OK, that sounds kind of interesting. If someone can sew, and is creative, that’s perfectly good. It’s very hard for someone to break in at any age, so you better be able to live off your savings if you’re going this route.

Assisted-living Facility Professional  — Yea, these jobs pay about 8 bucks an hour in my town. No thanks. I also hope like hell my kids keep me out of one of these places when I need assistance.

Financial Adviser — Well, you do have to go to school for this.  A degree and license is required. I don’t see many jobs for this right now. Most average people don’t have money to invest.

Tour Guide — Really? This could be fun, if you live in a tour-able place and you have the start up funds.

Private Investigator — Yea. Sure. Someone watches too much crime TV.

Sustainability Coordinator — I think someone made this up.

Ghostwriter — This can be lucrative, I won’t lie. But it can also be brutal. I get offered wonderful pay from some, to the tune of 1 dollar a page. No kidding. It can also be brutal on the wrists.

Home Care Assistant — Yea, 8 dollars an hour.

While the article seems well researched with quotes from actual people, I just wonder about the feasibility of most of these careers for the over 50 set. They just seem to “job like” to me and not “career like”.

So, what is the definition of a career as opposed to a job?

To me a career is something that:

  • Pays enough to live and plan for the future
  • Is intellectually stimulating
  • Makes me excited to get up in the morning
  • Requires some planning and moving up to obtain
  • Something that gets better with hard work

I’m not sure how many of those careers for the over 50 set fit in with that.

Wikipedia says: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

I still don’t think most of these choices qualify for the word “career” to be in the title of this article.

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The silence is deafening

I don’t know what’s worse. Going to interviews that are a waste of my time, or not even getting one call. I’m starting to think getting a Masters degree has ruined any chance I have of ever getting a good job. Seriously, I am no longer getting calls for even the most basic of jobs.

I was getting calls for academic jobs, but no longer. I guess they interviewed me, hated me, and that’s that. Maybe I’m stuck up, but I just don’t think I’m that bad. I am dedicated, educated, and determined. I am a great employee. All I ask for is to be treated with some humanity and be paid a fair wage. I guess in today’s world this makes me some sort of freak of nature.

I graduated with my Masters in August of 2011. It’s now 2013. I am probably going to start leaving it off my applications and resume for certain jobs in the future. It’s depressing. I am proud of my accomplishments, but apparently none of them mater in the world of work.

My business doesn’t matter. The fact that I work from home online making money is something to be proud of. I have managed to put myself through school, and take care of my kids when I was a single woman. I’ve never had to use public assistance because of my ability to figure out how to make money. This job hunting isn’t just about money though, it’s about starting a career that I have always wanted.

We are so lied to. Women, I mean. The entirety of society believes that women can just start over. Divorce courts demand women get jobs that haven’t had jobs for 20 years. Alimony is a thing of the past, except in Hollywood. I got child support and a small alimony check for five years while I went back to school. It was fully expected that when I received my business degree I would make more than I was getting from child support, alimony, and my work from home career. I believed that, my ex believed that, and obviously the judge believed that.

I also had to live with condescension and bad treatment the entire time I collected that money. I had to do whatever I was told by my ex and his lovely wife. If I questioned one thing, or gave any sort of critique it was the end of the world. Nothing was better than the end of all that. Trust me. So no, I didn’t want it, but I had to have it. I had the kids and there was no other choice about who would have the kids. It had to be me. Believe me, I earned every last penny of that money.

Anyway, I did believe I could finish school as an “older student” and find a good career rather than a job. But, apparently it’s not realistic. I’m not the ONLY one who has this problem either. Many women all across the USA have issues with getting jobs due to family responsibility, or due to having put family first for many years.  One day, they wake up divorced, or their husband is dead, and what happens? If they can’t make enough money they’re told they are lazy, and they are definitely not regarded well if they get alimony or want alimony.

Don’t yell at me, I do understand the problem when the husband, ex or not, is also laid off and having serious financial issues too. Because, I do realize that we have a serious problem with men also in their 40’s and 50’s who’ve been laid off and not cannot find jobs and those that they do find pay a fraction of what they made prior to being laid off. I am married today to such a man. He’s in his 50’s and he is earning what he did in the 1980’s. It’s sad, he deserves so much more. It makes me crazy that some people want to end social security, knowing how it is for the boomers out there. It’s not good, that’s for sure. Without social security, many people in our age group will be completely ruined.

I really did believe I could get married, have kids, raise them, and then start my career. I am still pretty young for midlife. I know that I can and should be able to have a career if I want to. I think employers are stupid who don’t hire me. Well, not the ones who want to yell at me, and throw their arms around, and act like jerks… no, they are smart not to hire me, I won’t lie… but the honest ones who need someone to do their job and more. The good employers who need someone who will go above and beyond and be happy each and every day to walk into the door… those people should be begging me to work for them.

I do know that I have screwed up.

  • I quit jobs that sucked.
  • I walked out on people who are jerks.
  • I raised my kids and then went to college and then tried to start a career.
  • I started my own business.
  • I worked from home.

Yes, these are all screw ups in the eyes of the world. Well the world that would employee someone. I guess I should have went straight to college out of high school, worked, had kids while working, put them in child care, and that would be OK in the world of work and career.  Some people make that choice, and I’m happy for them. But it was not possible for me.

My husband was in the military. Do you know how hard it is for a military wife to ever get a decent job? I would try, and it was impossible. So, I resigned myself to being a stay at home mom. Eventually, I was really glad to be one.I loved raising my kids. They are the world to me. But they left me! They are grown. They are on their own now. I am on my own now and I don’t get why people overlook employees like me. But,they do.

I still remember my first day back to college in 2000. I was so excited about all the possibility. I have to say that I would not have gone back to school if I knew what I do now. Honestly, I don’t need the 80K and rising debt. I made MORE at jobs before I went to college. Manpower generally offered me between 10 and 15 an hour in the late 80’s and early to mid 1990’s prior to going back to school. Now, if I work for Manpower, assuming they can get me any type of job at all, it’s 8 to 10 an hour. And, they don’t call me either.

I promise you, I’m not an irresponsible person who doesn’t show up to work. I don’t get on the net during the day at work, and I don’t send text messages or talk on the phone. I work. I am that way. I work my butt off. I take responsibility for whatever job it is, as if it’s all mine and I work every moment I’m being paid to work. It’s just my personal make up. It’s why I do well in a career from home. I am self-motivated. No one has to tell me what to do.

I know others going through what I am, and it makes me really sad. If I ever win the lottery I’m going to create many businesses and hire midlife people at fair wages.

Posted in Another day | Leave a comment

New Year and New Job Applications

2dRWtoRToday I have applied for 7 jobs.

As the rejections or interview requests come in, I’ll tell you all about them. But, know this: Not one job pays more than 11 dollars an hour. I think I’ve finally accepted the fact that if I want to get a job, I will need to prove myself first. I’ll need to take a low paying job for a couple of years, then apply for the jobs that will make my pursuit of higher education and a Masters of Science degree worth it.

A lot of people ask me why I keep applying for jobs when I have my own business.

I’ll try to explain.

I make enough money from home to support myself. But, I don’t make enough to pay for health insurance, plus to be completely honest, I started my business because I could not find a job that I liked. While I’m good at my job, it’s not really my calling. I’ve been a stay at home mom or wife my entire life. I want to try something else. I will likely always work from home via the Internet as a side venture. I love making money online. But, I want more.

I want a “real job” that I go to each day, get benefits, vacation pay, etc… and I want to do my online business too. And yes, I have time to do both. Plus, if I had a regular job I would have more money to invest in a few online business related things that I really want to do. Currently, my main money making activity is content writing. This takes an enormous amount of time away from my other love, affiliate marketing.

If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, essentially it’s recommending products for a percentage of sales.

Many blogs and websites offer products and services and earn money as a way to support their efforts on the website or blog. I do that on some of my other blogs, not this one, so far. Mainly because I don’t actually recommend any of the products I’ve seen that are supposed to help with finding jobs. I find that most resume help is irrelevant due to the fact that you have to post your job history via online forms or online applications rather than simply send a resume.

Also, a few years ago my husband was laid off. He makes about 1/3 of his former salary. I would like to eventually earn enough so that I can let him quit his job. He takes such good care of me, and I would really like him to be the stay at home spouse instead of me. It’s the way I thought it would always work.

Anyway, I hope you all had a great holiday and have a happy new year.

I really do think this is the year I find a job. I mean, I am setting my sites a little lower. I have even put in apps with temp firms. If you’re reading this, do you have experience with being an older mom who left the workforce?

 

 

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Why advertise how rich you are if you’re so cheap?

I’ve noticed a lot of advertisements on the job boards that include how wealthy the company is, such as: …… a 22 billion dollar company, doing this that and the other, is looking for someone to work for barely over minimum wage, long hours are required, standing for 8 to 10 hours a day, and multiple abilities are required, that have nothing to do with the job…… then the job pays squat, often not even 10 dollars an hour.

What’s up with that? Just saying.

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You can be a substitute teacher

A friend of mine told me yesterday that I should apply to be a substitute teacher. I’ve toyed with the idea for over two years now, and done nothing to move forward with it. So, today I moved forward with it. I am collecting the required three recommendations, filling out the applications and then I will get my finger prints, pay for my background check, and send in the application and see what happens.

I think, considering what I’d like to do that it’s a good idea. If I actually get hired I can call this teaching experience. I am not sure how much teaching I’ll get to do considering it’ll probably be more about trying to keep the class from self-destructing, but who knows, it could prove promising. I hope. I just feel like, if I can’t even get hired as a sub, I’m pretty hopeless. The pay is, of course lousy. 60 dollars a day. I don’t have a clue how many days I would get to work, but I suppose that’s something.

Wish me luck.

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Of course I want you to work for free

In the course of my business life, I often reply to job postings on the Internet. I don’t know why I continue doing that since 9 times out of 10, it’s spam. But, if I have a few minutes to send information or get information from an advertisement that looks promising, I go ahead and take the chance.

First, I’ll explain what I do. I write custom content for websites, and on occasion for a really good client, I will be a virtual administrative assistant and do other tasks such as upload content to their website, edit content, write and send correspondence, and pretty much anything a secretary can do. I will, even answer calls forwarded to me at specified times. And yes, I charge for every hour I am to be on call, not just phone time.

For all of these services I charge money. I mean, imagine that. I need money to live and pay my bills. Yes, I also need money to go on vacations and buy shoes and purses. My fees can range between 65 an hour, and 30 an hour depending on how many hours the client buys, or whether they pay per service via package rates, or whether I’m managing others or not. There are many factors that go into the fee, but again, I charge for my time — a fair rate for the type of service I offer.

The other day, I sent my resume to an advertisement I found on WAHM.com. The advertisement claimed I could make up to 20 an hour, and even though this is below my rate, I responded.  I’m posting portions of our email conversation below.

From me, 1st inquiry.

From him, is first answer

From me, 2nd response — feeling miffed. Answering from my phone, even though I don’t normally do that.

His answer, trying to dodge the idea he wants someone to work for free.

Me saying — no thanks!

Note: I regret this was by my phone’s voice to text, lol since it has errors. But hey, I knew I wasn’t getting the job anyway, since no job existed. But still, I won’t do that again! lol

His response

My final response

Was I harsh? Did I just have PMS? Did I just throw away a good client? I don’t know. I do know that I deal with a lot of crap like this. I get at least one email a day suggesting I write for free to get experience. Once I got a request to write an ebook for a client, do all the work, including research, etc… upload it to Kindle Direct and get only a percentage of sales. LOL, NO Thank you!

I am going to be paid for my time, all of it. Period. Of course I will edit work to a point… even editing has a point of end. I will also give a refund if the client is not happy. I won’t however, let them keep the work if they don’t pay for it!

If I hire a contractor to design my house, I still pay for his time, even if I ultimately choose someone else’s design. That’s why you research people you hire.

Do you like their example work?

Do you like the terms of their contract?

Pay people for their work!

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Women probably can have it all, we just don’t want it

After having a day or so to think about it, and then reading the article that the discussion was about (you can read it here: Why Women Still Can’t Have It All), I’ve received a bit of feedback.

I want to say that I think the writer makes a lot of good points. Especially to women like me who thought she could do things in a certain order and that it would be fine. I figured I could have it all, just one thing at a time. Children, then education, then career. I just didn’t realize that people in positions to hire me would see me as a lazy slob who has done nothing with her life.

Never mind that I successfully raised girls without dropping out of school who are productive members of society.

Never mind that I went back to college and graduated while I had children at home as a single mom. I even have a Masters degree.

Never mind that I am a hard worker who never gives up. I always find a way to earn the money I need, even when I can’t find a traditional job I have started my own business and pay my bills via that business. Each year my work at home income goes up by 12 to 15 percent.

Never mind that I would be a great asset to anyone who hired me, respected me, and let me use my skills.

Never mind….

Parenthood is not a job skill-set

I really did believe I could take jobs on to earn extra money, whenever I wanted to, then quit whenever I wanted to, since my main priority in life was raising my daughters. I was completely oblivious to the idea that my resume would forever be a record of my working life. I bought the idea that you can re-frame your resume based on each job. I didn’t realize that we’d someday have these crazy online applications that make you put in every single last job you’ve ever had, even if its not relevant. Electronic systems that throw out your application if it’s not perfect.

I just did not even think about how my resume looks to others. I believed mothering was more important. I still do. Honestly, at this point  sometimes I think that I would have been better off never having gone to school, never having had a business, and perhaps then I could get one of those fast-food jobs.

The truth will set you free

It’s good for younger women to hear the truth. And the writer says the truth, which isn’t exactly what the headline says.

Women can’t have it all, not because they really can’t, but because they don’t want to.

In general, women don’t want to give up time with their kids. In general, women are the ones who deal with sick children, car pool, and a myriad of other child issues, more than men. Why? Because many women are single parents. And, because it’s what our current society expects.

Yes, I too hear the stories of great fathers who are equal. But, I’ve never actually met one in person. I hear about them. I even hear friends of mine praise their husbands for being that way, when they’re not really. We do that to avoid fights with our spouses, honestly. In our society the fact is that most women are expected to be the nurturers and men are expected to be the bread winners. We praise men who take on parenting rolls even 30 percent of the time, where as women we penalize harshly for not wanting to, or even for wanting to and thus blaming them for ruining their careers. I have to wonder how many women would still be married if we stopped letting men get away with this.

We can fix this for future generations.

For starters, if you’re lucky enough to have a spouse, and that spouse isn’t helping out equally, well, it’s time you demand that they do if you want to succeed in a high powered career. Hell, if you want to keep a crappy job because you need it to pay your bills, then you need your spouse to help with that too. We have to place a high importance on child care and home care. We have to make men see its importance, as well as other women see the importance of making men stand up. We have to stop giving them an out.

Subjective experience

I used to be a director for a preschool, just for a year. It was amazing to me to watch the working women who picked up their kids. Yes, 99 percent of the time it was women dropping off and picking up kids. Most of these women happened to be married. It was an expensive private preschool.

On rare occasions when the wives went on a trip and the man had to pick up the kids, that’s when they were often late there and late picking them up too! I was shocked to see infants as young as six weeks in childcare from open to close so that women could work who had husbands making six figures. I tried not to be judgmental, but I admit I couldn’t understand it.

I even witnessed a case where the woman worked, but the man was unemployed but the children still went to childcare….. but if the woman lost her job, she quit the child care. Of course, I did meet my share of single dads, dads who were doing it all. But, it was interesting watching how the teachers treated the single dad compared to the single moms or the married moms. Everyone bent over backwards to help the single dads. No one helps single moms or moms.

My experience

As a mostly single mom ( I say mostly because even when I was married to the father he was gone due to being military), I was used to doing it all myself.  After I started that job, which was the first time in my life where I HAD to work to make ends meet, I realized how hard it would be to keep doing it. I had children who needed rides to school, our town had a terrible school bus system that did not pick up at our apartments.I had zero help as the father was in another country.

The job was overwhelming because I could not ever just leave. Even if my child hurt herself, I could not leave. I realized pretty fast that I needed a different job as a single mom.  I tried really hard to keep it. I actually liked that job a lot. I loved the work, the kids, the staff. Everything about it, although it’s a low paying career choice. I paid someone to drive my daughter to and from school, and to deal with emergencies, but it cost a lot on my salary. I made $910 dollars twice a month. Yea, for about 70 hours a week of work. Yay me!

Plus the toll on my emotions or my child’s emotions was not worth it either. I finally quit. I went back to working from home like I have done for ever, because even though I put my kids first, I’m still career minded. I still love to earn money, and I will find a way to do that, even from home.

Societal problems

Yes, our society sucks. They don’t pay women the same as men for the same job.  Jobs that are traditionally filled by women women pay lousy  too. (Like childcare) They don’t value our contribution to child rearing, and it’s really hard, if not impossible to start over at midlife after the kids leave the nest, no matter how much education you have. Did I mention that I have a Masters degree?

But, if you have a husband, who also has a great career, and you have a great job that pays you well, you’re a lucky minority. You have actual choices. Don’t mess it up. But if you do choose to “mess it up” by putting your family first, accept the fact that you’re ruining your career. That you probably won’t make it through that glass ceiling. But, like most women, especially women of means who have high powered high earning husbands too, you have that choice. Personally, I’ll be honest, and maybe sound judgmental, I don’t get it when a parent chooses career over children if it’s not a monetary imperative.

We can fix this problem

I have a little theory that if we women made men live up to their 50 percent responsibility on child care, things would change real quick. We’d see more family leave laws, more flexible work schedules, more understanding of managers when interviewing former stay at home moms for good jobs. So for me, the key is not really in telling women why they can’t have it all, we already know — but telling women to stop letting men have it all without consequences. Once we put men where we are, things will change drastically and it will change fast.

The question though is can we as women do that? I’m not sure I can. I like taking care of my kids. If I had more kids today, I’d want to do it the same way. I would still want to be a stay at home mom with the lions share of the responsibility. I just would.

It may not really be too late for me

My children are grown and out on their own, and I am remarried to an awesome husband who I do believe would help me out equally in child rearing. The only reason I’m not in a box is because of him. Well, okay also because I make a living working from home too. I should be satisfied with that, but I’m having a real hard time getting out of my head my dream before I went back to college in 1999.

My dream was to get my degree and work at a community college or university in an administrative capacity. To continue my education and possibly teach part time. Hardly the stuff of glass ceilings. Because of that, it may not be too late for me. I might yet find one of those jobs. I will keep applying and see what happens. I’m not asking to break the glass ceiling, I’m simply asking for a decent job in a place that I like where I can shine for the next 20 or so years of working life.

In the meantime I’ll keep running my business.

Barry Publishing

I Write Custom Content

Posted in Being a woman | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hard to fill jobs, tips to employers

I just finished reading an article about hard to fill jobs on Monster.

One of the hard to fill jobs is Administrative Assistants.

Well, as someone who has applied for numerous administrative assistant positions since oh, forever, both before and after finishing college I have some idea of why these jobs are hard to fill.

Here are 11 tips to future employers:

1) If the pay is lousy the employee won’t care — Most of the time the employer requires a tremendous amount of skill, yet wants to pay fast-food wages. Personally, if I am going to use my brain, (and believe me, I want to) I would like to be paid a living wage, thank you very much. Honestly, I got paid more in the 1980’s and early 1990’s for administrative assistant work via Manpower, than is often offered to me today. (I do live in Alabama, but it seems to be par for the course elsewhere too)

2) Hire older people — From my experience, most employers want to hire young people, which is fine, except — there are plenty of older people like myself who are more qualified, and more dependable than a younger person. Employers should not overlook people in midlife for these positions. We are really organized, and will do wonders for your office. Even a Mom who has all the right skills, who has mostly been a stay at home mom, is a good choice. Look harder at her.

3) It’s the economy stupid — Don’t penalize people if they seem to have job hopped or have a break in career due to child rearing or because they took bad jobs.  Consider skills over longevity in any one job. Remember, the economy has been in turmoil the last few years. It’s not the person’s fault. Offer them a stable position, with a living wage, and fair treatment, and you’ll be shocked at how loyal your Administrative Assistant will be.

4) Consider giving tests — If you’re not sure of a candidate’s experience why not give them a test? There are plenty of tests you can purchase that test a candidate on their knowledge about office equipment, standard office procedures, and more. I’d be happy to take a test to show you that I can do what I say I can do. I realize my job history is sketchy due to being a stay at home mom and a business owner.

5) References are questionable — Some women who have taken a break in their careers might not have as many references as you’d like. But consider this, who is going to put down a reference that would give them a bad review anyway? Can you really trust anyone’s references? Try going outside the box and talking honestly to the candidate about their experience and why you question it. You might be surprised at the answers you get.

6) Don’t interview everyone — If you’re interviewing a college graduate for a position, and then decide not to hire them because they are a college graduate and because you think they’d be bored, um — why the hell did you waste their time in an interview anyway? Seriously, don’t waste my time. If you don’t like my resume, please, don’t call me. If you do call me based on my resume, or cover letter, now it’s time to hire me based off my interview, not off my resume or cover letter any longer.

7) Be honest — If you interview someone and you have a real reason that is not illegal, not to hire them — please tell them. It helps them if you tell the truth about why you don’t want to hire them.  I don’t care what the reason is. You don’t believe them about their skill level, you didn’t click with them, they dressed poorly, whatever… Maybe you have a wrong impression, and maybe the candidate can get better at future interviews if given the honest, hard truth.

8) Don’t ask for the stars and the moon — If you’re hiring an administrative assistant for 10 dollars an hour, is it really fair to ask them to do everything under the sun including graphic design, letter writing, accounting, bookkeeping, receptionist duties, cooking, cleaning, etc…? No, it’s not! Create a fair job description of the primary responsibilities of the Administrative Assistant, and then if you need more than that, hire someone with those skills. Alternatively, and I say this again to make a point, consider actually paying someone for all the learned skills that you desire.

9) Teach me — You know, I have a masters degree, I am teachable. As long as it’s not brain surgery, I can learn.  Plus, learning new skills on the job makes the job that much more exciting. As long as an employee feels useful and keeps learning you’re going to keep them longer.

10) Keep me — Finally, if you hire me, treat me well. I expect to work hard, and impress you. I expect to be trained in the expectations of my position. Throwing someone in a position with no training, no discussion of expectations, with work that changes on a daily basis with too many bosses, and no standard operating procedures, is asking for a lot of job turn over.

11) Don’t micromanage — Finally, once you’ve trained me, trust me to do my job. I have skills, I have education, and I might know a better way than you do to do my own job. Even if you don’t like my way, at least consider it. People like to feel valuable to their employers and listening to us helps a lot. Oh yea, don’t yell and throw your arms around, it’s abusive. I’m not your wife. I’m your employee.

And while this isn’t exactly a tip, if you can afford it, please pay people a living wage based on your location. Also, give them the benefits you’d want to have too. A yearly vacation, a few holidays off, yearly bonuses, retirement plan and some flexibility if possible. There is nothing better than having a long-term employee who loves their job.

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