Job Search Q&A

Episode 18 May 03, 2024 00:18:00
Job Search Q&A
Stimulating Stuff
Job Search Q&A

May 03 2024 | 00:18:00


Hosted By

Rich Vogel

Show Notes

Rich answers listener questions about navigating a job search.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:11] Welcome back to the stimulating stuff podcast. I'm your host, Rich Vogel, and today I'm answering your questions. After my last episode about navigating a job search, listeners wrote to me with fantastic questions and comments, so I'm going to answer them today. Let's jump in. The first one is a comment, not a question. But this listener wrote and shared that he reached the apex of his career after ten years in the field of intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring. He noticed the phasing out of higher paid employees in favor of inexperienced hires at lower wages. He reported no upward mobility with the positions all being full. He has a doctorate and despite reaching the apex of his career he still lived with a roommate and couldn't get ahead with all of the student loan debt. He said, and I quote, after much soul searching I threw out the scrubs and said if I can't do this professionally I'm not going to do it at all. [00:01:06] So the person changed careers and tell me he couldn't be happier. He says, I will always have a strong passion for neuromonitoring. It's so damn interesting and rewarding, but I deserve to have growth in my career and I'm not sure that would have ever happened staying in neuromonitoring. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sorry to hear that you left the normal monitoring field. But I'm glad to hear you found happiness. You also touched a nerve, so to speak, when you mentioned student loans. So I'm going to go off for a minute here. Student loans are one of the greatest scams the US government has ever pulled on the american public. Look, I know we consider 1718 year old kids legal adults. We let them smoke, gamble, own guns and go to war. But 99% of kids that age are incapable of fully understanding the financial repercussions of borrowing to fund their education. Think about it. These kids own nothing and have no income. But the government hands them a mortgage sized sum of money to fund their education while they simultaneously allow university tuition to increase at more than twice the rate of the consumer price index which is a measure of what people pay for common goods in the marketplace. Young people have no understanding of the fact that they're taking out a mortgage at four to 8% interest in exchange for zero physical, tangible assets. Do you think that these students who graduate from college with education mortgages of $100 to $200,000 and a salary of $59,000, which is the average starting salary of a college graduate in 2023 do you think that a bank is actually going to let them take out another mortgage for a home? Hell no. Young people today are the first generation in the US history, the first in us history to be worse off than their parents and have a worse outlook than their parents. And one significant reason is these predatory government loans that are designed to keep borrowers in debt for 30 years, wiping out their ability to save for retirement, own homes, or even have children. But these same student loans cost taxpayers a fortune. What do I mean by that? A recent report from the US Government Accountability Office found that the United States Department of Education miscalculated the cost of federal student loan program when it was initiated. And taxpayers have been carrying the burden of this program to the tune of $200 billion. From 1997 to 2021, the Education Department estimated that payments from federal student loans would generate $114 billion for the government. But the Government Accountability Office found that as of 2021, the program actually cost the government an estimated $197 billion. And y'all are paying for it. At the end of the day, the federal student loan program loses about $0.09 for every dollar borrowed. And that's according to the Wall Street Journal. The average borrower will pay back two to three times what they borrowed, and it's the only type of loan in the United States that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. [00:04:31] I funded my education with $185,000 in student loans. I've paid back over $400,000 and I still have ten years of payments left. The whole thing is a scam to borrowers, and it's a twelve figure tax burden to the working class. The skyrocketing cost of college tuition and the federal student loan program that supports it both need massive overhaul by the government. But I'm not sure what the answer is. In any case, I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with this issue too, but I'm glad that you found happiness in a new career. Okay, next question. This next one is actually a question the listener says, I'm in the middle stage of my career and I feel like I'm experiencing a crisis. I don't know where my profession is going, and I feel like it's time to make a move. Is it common to experience this kind of crisis? And what recommendations do you have? You and me both, brother. Preach. Yes, it's definitely common to encounter a career crisis. A recent poll found that only 10% of our workforce does not experience one during the course of their career. About 20% of people experience a crisis early in their career. 60% experience it in the middle stages of the career, and I guess I would count myself as one, and 10% experience it later in their career. Only 25% reported they were successful in getting through the crisis in some way and reinventing themselves. [00:06:06] Many people stick with their job or career because they feel like they have no other option. My advice? Pursue happiness at all costs. Jobs pay bills, but if you aren't happy, you gotta go do some soul searching. Figure out what you love to do, then go after it. [00:06:25] The next listener asks, how do you know when it's time to leave a job? Well, this question is timely because I subscribe to a daily email from Harvard Business Review called management tip of the day day, and this question came to me at about the same time that I got an HBR email entitled ask these questions to determine whether your job is salvageable. [00:06:49] So here's what it says. Bad days at work are inevitable, and frustration is bound to be part of almost any job. But if your dissatisfaction is pushing you to consider quitting, how can you assess whether your job is salvageable or a sunk cost? Start by asking yourself these questions. Question number one, is the workplace toxic? If you feel as though your workplace makes you feel afraid, intimidated, demoralized, or like you're compromising your values, it's time to plan your exit strategy. Alright, I'm going to go on a little bit of a tangent here. I'm going to devote a future episode, not sure when to workplace culture, but I'll take a minute to share some signs of a toxic workplace culture. So sign number one, high turnover rates. Look for frequent reorgs, revolving leadership and frequent employee departures, all of which are big red flags, a lack of transparency. So that's number two. When communication channels are murky and decisions are made behind closed doors, it fosters distrust and uncertainty among employees. Number three, micromanagement, overbearing supervision and micromanagement stifle autonomy and creativity, leading to disengagement and frustration among employees. Number four, negative office politics, gossip, favoritism and office politics create a topic, a toxic environment characterized by mistrust and division among team members. Fear of speaking up. In environments where employees fear retaliation or dismissal for voicing concerns or offering suggestions, innovation and collaboration suffer. [00:08:36] And the last one? Absent unclear or inconsistent mission and vision. Or if the company has not defined guiding principles and core values so that everyone understands how they're supposed to function in their work environment, which includes how they treat and interact with each other and with customers. Some companies have a defined vision and mission, but stop there and that's a concern because it's also important to define those guiding principles and core values because they help to define your strategy, which in turn defines goals, objectives, action plans and deliverables. When these things are missing or unclear, the business is on a path to implosion because the workforce isn't aligned. Okay, that's the end of my tangent there. The next question to ask when considering if you should stay in your job is, is your job temporary or permanent? I'm sorry, is your problem temporary or permanent? Before making any rash decisions, consider whether your issues are temporary. Big, stressful projects will soon wrap up, new, engaging projects will soon start, or are they likely to persist for a long time? The next question to ask is, are you miserable or just bored? Work can feel deeply draining when you're not creatively engaged, your tasks don't resonate with you, or your responsibilities are simply mind numbing. Look for ways to expand your role or learn new skills on the job. If you're simply bored with your current role, look for ways to expand it and learn new skills. Okay, so you know that that question there was, how do you know when it's time to leave a job? That came from. [00:10:23] All those answers came from Harvard Business review. Now, I hope that was helpful. But if those things, if you get the answers to those questions and you seem to think, well, it's a toxic workplace, or we don't have a clear mission and vision, there's a fear of speaking up, there's negative office politics, there's micromanagement, lack of transparency, high turnover rates, all of that kind of stuff. [00:10:46] Yeah, it's probably time to go. [00:10:49] All right, the next listener asks, I know you're in the job searching phase right now. Any idea how long it takes to land something? Well, it all depends. By the account of most people that I have talked to, people are telling me to plan to be out of work for six to twelve months. Months. I gotta tell you, this scares the shit out of me. But I'm staying positive and trying to do some consulting in the interim to at least have some income. You see, my thing is, I want my next move to be my last. I'm not about job hopping. So I'll search until I find the right thing that could, you know, that could take a while. That being said, if you're willing to take anything, I think you could find something quickly. But you know the upper end? When people say plan to be out of work for six to twelve months, that means plan for it doesn't mean it's actually going to be that long. But you know, I, I've spoken to some people who were out of work for, for, you know, 810 twelve months. So it happens. [00:11:50] The next listener asks, you mentioned there being a lot of fake job postings out there. Why would a large, reputable company post a job that isn't real? Yeah, I didn't really understand this either until the Wall Street Journal published an article just this morning entitled a strong Job market. [00:12:12] Try telling that to these workers. The direct answer to the question is this fake job postings are designed to give the impression of company growth or build a reservoir of resumes to tap at a later date. It is one thing not to get a job, but it's another to feel like you're being gamed and it's wreaking havoc on people's self worth and belief in their career paths. That's a quote from the Wall Street Journal article, but yeah, giving the impression that there's significant company growth. So they'll post fake jobs and then they put jobs out there just to get a reservoir of resumes. So the article notes that job seekers say getting hired is deceptively hard and recruiters agree that qualified candidates are often passed over. Job seekers complain about hiring managers who ghost them and draw out the interview process. [00:13:06] They say job listings linger on company career pages and never get filed, or they get posted repeatedly. You know, one of the questions these companies ask when you complete the application form is what your anticipated salary is. They use this information to collect data and determine the low end of the pay scale that they can get away with paying for a position. Some of these job postings are simply there to collect data. I think there's a lot of pearls in this article, and while I'd love to read it to you, I have to move on. If you're interested, check out the Wall Street Journal, may 2, 2024 article entitled Astronomical Job Market. Try telling that to these workers. Alright? The next listener asks, what part of the resume do hiring managers focus on the most? [00:13:58] A recent survey of more than 10,000 hiring managers found that 67% focus on work experience, 17% focus on a summary or objective statement, 11% focus on skills, and just 4% look at education. [00:14:13] Personally, I look at all of these things closely, but my process is this. I give a resume, a quick overview to get a sense of whether the applicant has any relevant experience at all. Then I really examine the resume for attention to detail. If there are spelling, grammar or punctuation errors or inconsistencies, I just toss the resume right there. Why do I do that? I like to surround myself with people who are attentive to detail and understand the importance of of optics. How things look, how they sound are extremely important. I like people who are good written communicators because quality communication builds confidence and trust. How can I trust someone with big responsibilities if they can't or won't check spelling, grammar, punctuation on a resume or cv? If the candidate has some relevant experience and they are highly attentive detail, then I'll move to an interview because that's where you find the really important information. Look, resumes are just one page snapshots and it's rarely the case that you get anything meaningful from them. I'm going to extract that in the conversation. [00:15:25] All right. The next listener asks, what do you think is most important when deciding on a job? I thought about this for a while and it really comes down to three things, and you're going to ask me what's most important, but we'll get to it. And the three things are salary and position, opportunity for growth, and company culture. On the surface, I would weigh them equally, but I'd probably work for less money if the company had a great culture. And companies with great cultures tend to empower their employees, support their professional development and growth, and pay them well. But you can also have a terribly toxic culture that pays well in support professional growth. In this case, there are great opportunities, but you hate going to work and the money doesn't seem worth it. So I think the thing I would value most above all else is culture. But the other factors have to be there. It seems like others agree. [00:16:19] In a recent employee survey asking thousands of people, what's the most important factor when siding on a job offer, 45% said base salary, 27% said culture, 21% said growth opportunities, and 7% said a benefits package. And so remember, that's what's most important factor when deciding on a job offer. A second question asks, what's the biggest factor that gives you happiness in your work? 40% of respondents said culture, 32% opportunity for growth and 27% said salary. So people care most about base salary when choosing a job, but their happiness in the job tends to come from culture. I would agree. [00:17:07] Well, thanks to everyone who submitted questions. That's it for today. [00:17:12] I am going to follow this episode up with an episode that I'm going to dedicate to Scott Moore, who posted something on LinkedIn asking me to make a comment on the FTC's new ruling on non competes. So look for that coming up real soon. I might even post them the same day if I can get it done. But that's it for today. Thank you so much for listening. Please continue sharing this podcast on socials and through word of mouth. And please continue sending your comments, insights, and thought provoking questions to stimulating I always love hearing from you. I'm rich Vogel and that was stimulating stuff.

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