When looking for talent, there is so much more that you need beside a certificate or degree. Skill sets go beyond what you learn in a classroom, or even what you learn on the job. Some if it comes does to your personal beliefs and character. Here are 10 things that you can put into practice now that will either help you to get the next great job, or propel you forward in your current position.
1. Being on time; No one wants to babysit their employees, showing up on time let's your employer know you respect them and the job that you have to do.
2. Work ethic; doing your best on your current task, it shows!
3. Effort; Going above and beyond with put you in the top ranks quickly!
4. Body language; know what you're saying without words, being approachable will bring you more opportunities.
5. Energy; Excitement is contagious, give it a try!
6. Attitude; Try being a glass half full person and see where it gets you!
7. Passion; For one day pretend like you own the business that you work at and see how much it changes your perception of things.
8. Being coachable; Having someone share areas you can grow in will only help you be a better person, be open to hearing this and changing what you can!
9. Going the extra mile; You will impress and inspire everyone around you!
10. Be prepared; Coming into a situation with a little background on what's going on or knowing how to move forward, it will shine above the rest!
Good luck to you all as you try and implement some of these in your work lives this next week! You won't be disappointed with the results!
Girl Power applications are due next week for the girls nominated to participate. Women are under represented in many lucrative professions across the globe, but also right here in our own Ponca City, Oklahoma! You can see, even from my pictures, that most of the time it is men leading the training or tours for this GIRL camp! While we are working to remedy that for this next year, it does illustrate the seriousness of this issue.
I have employers pounding my door and the pavement to find employees to fill their spots, qualifications are generally low as well. Showing up every day, being able to pass a drug test, these are the main points of interest. Employers are even ramping up their pay schedule, in many cases, to entice more people. These are the jobs that make Ponca City go round. These are the companies that provide economic security for our city.
While those jobs go unfilled, a receptionist position will get 5 times as many applicants by female job seekers. Women with skills and creativity are selling themselves short by keeping an antiquated view on the jobs that they would be successful in. This is what Girl Power was created to counteract.
By exposing girls to more career options and how to get training for them we hope to combat those thoughts and hurdle the small percentage of women in manufacturing and technology positions. Looking forward to the 2018 class of Girl Power!!
This week as Ponca Works was doing what Ponca Works does, we came across in interesting predicament. An employee of a local company came by the office who is soon going to be part of a layoff for that specific project, and this young employee was hoping for a new career in a new area. Ponca Works loves when experienced people with a good record want to find a good, permanent position in Ponca!
We started writing out their experience to work up a great resume. Looking through the open positions that they were interested in, they found the perfect one! As we finalized the resume and sent it in to this perfect job, the excitement was rising. Within one afternoon and with one email, those dreams and hopes went all down the drain. It all came from one phone call to a reference who didn't recommend that employee for hire.
Yikes! The work of searching for a good fit, the work of going through and refining a resume all came down to one bad reference. That should paint a portrait for you on what importance it is to ensure that you have a reference that will speak well of you, who knows your work ethics, who knows about your skill set, and WHO KNOWS TO EXPECT THE CALL!!
A few guidelines for setting up references for you are to:
This week Ponca Works taught a resume workshop at the University Center. It was a class open to the public but most of the participants were University Center soon-to-be grads. Many have been retooling themselves for a new career because the one they originally started with either stalled or failed.
I began the workshop with sharing a few tidbits about resumes that I'll share with you all sometime soon! But then we just walked around helping the individuals one on one, hearing the stories of the students and helping to craft how to tell it best. It's really all about how to spin it!
If you don't have direct experience in your desired career field - what have you done or learned or or unlearned that will give you a leg up in that field? There is so much overlap in the career world, and so many employers are really just looking for reliable, passionate people to be a part of their businesses. Soft skills like communication and critical thinking can often trump direct career field experience.
Experiences are important in life, but evaluated experiences are really where it's at. Life can, and often does, throw us curve balls that leave us less then happy about where we have ended up. The only thing we can do at that point is to choose our reaction to it, evaluate how we got there and move forward!
I'm so proud of each of the individuals that showed up, brushed off their past failures, and worked hard to spin their stories into the success that they are and will continue to be. They will all make some lucky employer in Ponca City very happy.
To all our employers who showed up early, and had a smile on their face all day long, even if they didn't feel like "peopling" that day, thank you. To all our employers who spoke to people all day long, and interviewed, and poured over resumes and applications to find a great fit for that person and for their company, thank you. To all our employers that have great jobs to improve the quality of life for this community, thank you.
To the public who came and shook hands, even though their anxiety of selling their skill set to strangers had them in knots, thank you. To the public to put on nice pants and put their best foot forward to make the experience valuable for their future and their family's future, thank you.
To our partners at the University Center who worked tirelessly to make sure that people knew where they were going and that trash cans were emptied, thank you. To our partners at the University Center who marketed so much that Facebook asked them to stop, thank you.
It was a very successful job fair yesterday. Many lives were changed just by showing up, as the job of their dreams became a reality for them. A big thank you to all involved!
When writing a job description, sometimes it seems the task is overwhelming. Everything you want the employee to do and know is hard to keep to a 1 or 2 page description. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you keep your descriptions on track with the type of employee you are looking to attract!
The key to writing effective job descriptions is to strike a balance between being concise and providing just enough detail so that job seekers can self-qualify. Jobs with descriptions between 700 and 2000 words get on average 30% more applies.
As Ponca Works was speaking with area employers, the need for qualified staff was stated over and over again. Mertz Manufacturing even offers a training program to teach entry level employees how to weld over several months, so that they can grow their own workforce. This type of action led Ponca Works to realize the need is growing.
As the economy keeps increasing, the need for skilled employees is clearly exceeding current local workforce. Ponca City employers need more people than we are training to fill these jobs in Ponca City. Ponca Works does many ‘grow your own’ workforce programs with our local students to educate our future on the needs of the local economy. Many of these positions require certain skill sets as well as certifications and secondary education.
The grow your own programs and beginning to fill our local workforce as Ponca Works has been in existence for almost six years now. But the need continues to grow. This job fair is proof with 15 large local employers signed up to attend, and the list is growing. The employers have significant numbers of positions to fill, and interviews will be given on the spot.
The job fair will be hosted at the University Center and is open to the general public. Mark your calendars now, polish up your resume, and attend this job fair at 2800 N14th Street on March 29th from 10 am until 3 pm. Find a list of employers and job postings on PoncaWorks.com.
Ponca Works teamed up with Pioneer Technology Center to bring middle school and high school teachers from the area together in a fun day called TechConnectEd!
Teachers from the area public schools were paired with their students in the student's career tech programs. The students became the teachers for the day, what a switch. A little "Freaky Friday" feeling prevailed as students walked their teachers through the new processes they've been learning in theses hands on career training programs. Teachers were able to see how the students applied book learning in their real world professions.
It was fun to walk to all the classes and see the teachers out of their element costumed in welding gear, or with a power tool. The chemistry teachers were dying hair as the students talked to them about the chemical compounds in the hair dye and how to mix it.
To top off a great day, career tech teachers joined the public school teachers for lunch where a mock lesson plan was worked in groups of 2 teachers from each institution. In true teacher fashion the lesson plan was pushed to the side, as teachers really do make the worst students, but the conversation that occured because of it was worth much more! The combination of the 2 teaching styles really helped both sides figure out best practices for teaching basic principles. Tours were scheduled, classroom presentations were offered, curriculum was shared.
The next part of TechConnectEd is industry tours that will take place the end of May. Exciting to continue to open avenues of conversation and knowledge between education and industry and workforce.
Ponca Works spoke to students on various levels this week. 8th grade girls at a career luncheon, senior students at the high school, and STEM students at OSU. The focus is the same for each conversation, although the language and setting change substantially, getting each of these students closer to the workforce is always the goal.
Through these conversations over the years, a personal theory has developed. That every student should be required to work as a waitress and in manual labor before deciding their career field. Many of the students getting ready to graduate with a STEM degree couldn't even tell me what environment they'd like to work in, or their dream job with their brand new degree...because most of them had never worked in the field, they didn't know. They spoke about their favorite class, or the theories that they've learned, but didn't know how it would translate to the real world.
Students are mostly unaware of what the workforce is like. The group of seniors at the highschool couldn't answer how many hours per week is full time work. Getting that group of kids into the workforce right after highschool, in a position of interacting with customers, memory retention, and reward based pay would open their eyes to the skills needed to succeed.
Then transitioning those students to working hard, with their hands. In manual labor you will often use high level skills of problem solving or with pattern reading or coding machinery or doing maintenance to the tools of your trade. These two "trial" jobs will add some of the soft skills that you don't learn in a classroom. They could also provide the motivation for some to work hard in school to make it work in a different profession, or it could be a gateway to what their passion is.
While I don't think that Ponca Works will be able to change federal legislature to make this mandatory, we do preach job shadows, internships, apprenticeships, working through high school. Those experiences could give you a clue as to what the working world is like, what your dream job would actually look like on a day to day basis, or some clues into fields of work that you'd never heard of.
Today Ponca Works was giving a presentation for the students at our local technology school, Pioneer Technology Center. It was a sea of young faces, bright eyed and rosy cheeked, sense the sarcasm - but they were all young! At the table in the back of the room there was a more seasoned crowd watching. After the presentation many from that table came up and introduced themselves as the workforce displaced when Smith Bits closed, there are quite a few of them going to school to learn or upgrade their skills on the TAA Benefits (http://bit.ly/2F3MfNz).
Hearing each of the men share their individual stories of their tenure, their frustration of being one resume in a stack, not getting interviews, etc. The one thing that kept surfacing was the question if I knew a person that worked at a company. The person and the company were different each time, but the sentiment of knowing someone in the organization stayed the same. These employees, turned students, have a strong desire to work, to stay in our community, to improve themselves. This is the type of person most employers are drooling to find! Most have a proven work record, strong company loyalty, commitment, and great skill.
So where is the disconnect? Ponca Works sees many jobs close through their site from internal candidates moving up, from a friend of a friend being referred for the position, or from a personal recommendation of a trusted colleague. It's the relationships that you have that often lead to the opportunities that you are offered. When looking for a job, think about attending more community events, asking your friends to introduce you to the people you'd like to know. Think about how you're presenting yourself online, and how you could create a positive impact through digital networking. Lastly, utilize the services in your community that also have those relationships with employers and prove yourself to be the best that a company could want to those people. Visit our partners tab to find out about those organizations, those connections will serve you well.
Ponca Works director Liz Leaming shares her musings on the state of workforce in Ponca City, Oklahoma.