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  1. Whether you work in the medical field, a theme park, or perform manual labor or construction, there are many reasons to take a California OSHA training course. You may not be required to take one for your current job, but having an OSHA card is an asset to those working in any industry and to have on your resume. OSHA Courses Online OSHA training makes it easier for workers to get training fast and efficiently. While classroom courses are offered throughout the state, online OSHA hazard recognition training guarantees high-quality, interactive education for every student, with downloadable lesson reviews, course trainer access, and 24/7 live customer support. These courses are offered through the American Safety Council and can be completed on your time, stopped and resumed as often as you want. Choose from the courses below to learn more about OSHA training available for your area. What You Get Instant Downloadable Certificate Completion Certificate and Wallet Card Email Access to OSHA-Authorized Course Trainer Money-Back Guarantee California Labor Laws The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly called Cal/OSHA, covers almost all public and private-sector employees, with a few exceptions for employees involved with the federal government in a variety of ways, the United States Postal Service, employees on Native American lands, and workers in maritime activities on navigable waterways. These are some of the many diverse sectors that Cal/OSHA oversees to ensure public safety: Elevators Amusement rides Ski lifts Pressure vessels, like boilers and tanks One of the main features for Cal/OSHA is their partnership program, which was the first of its kind in the nation. Recognizing they can't ensure worker safety and health standards all on their own, they offer various partnership opportunities for industry and labor to work together in a cooperative attempt to benefit everyone. Featured Cal/OSHA safety programs include the following: Ebola Virus Information Adult Film Industry Heat Illness Prevention Confined Space Safety Safe Patient Handling Partnerships to improve workplace safety Work-related Valley Fever Advice
  2. Employee Rights to Documents and Records You have the right to receive copies of written information about hazards in your workplace. Exposure Records and Medical Records: You may access exposure records that show your own exposure to toxic substances and harmful physical agents as well as exposures to other employees doing similar work. Your employer must provide you the records within 15 days after receiving your written request. Exposure records include environmental workplace monitoring, biological monitoring results, and safety data sheets. You may access medical records if you are the subject of the records or have the subject’s written consent. Medical records include medical questionnaires and histories, examination results, medical opinions and diagnoses, descriptions of treatment and prescriptions, first aid reports, and employee medical complaints. Safety Data Sheets: These sheets contain information about hazardous chemicals in your workplace. Your employer must keep these sheets readily accessible and must provide them to you upon request. Electronic access is allowed as long as there are no barriers to immediate access. Records of Occupational Injury or Illness: You have the right to receive copies of the following records: Log of WorkRelated Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300); Annual Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300A); and Injury and Illness Incident Report (Form 301) describing an injury or illness that happened to you. In most industries, your employer must provide you copies by the end of the next business day. Written Health and Safety Plans: You have the right to review your employer’s written plans for certain Cal/ OSHA-required programs, such as hazard communication, respiratory protection, and permit-required confined space entry procedures.
  3. Requirements for an employer’s injury and illness prevention program All California employers must create and carry out an effective program to meet the requirements of Cal/OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) regulation. The employer’s IIPP must be in writing and must specify in concrete terms the employer’s ongoing activities in each of the following areas: • Responsibility: Name or job title of the person or persons authorized and responsible for implementing the program. • Compliance: Written system for ensuring compliance with safe and healthy work practices. • Communication: System for communicating in a form readily understandable by employees about safety and health matters. This can include meetings, trainings, postings, written communications, and a labor-management safety and health committee. Employers must encourage employees to report hazards without fear of reprisal. An employer using a labor-management committee to communicate health and safety matters with employees must meet certain requirements specified in the IIPP regulation. • Hazard Assessment: Procedures for identifying and evaluating workplace hazards, including periodic inspections. • Accident or Exposure Investigation: Procedure for investigating occupational injuries and illnesses. • Hazard Correction: Methods and procedures to correct unsafe or unhealthy working conditions in a timely manner. • Training and Instruction: Effective program for instructing employees on general safe work practices and hazards specific to each job assignment, in a language that the employees can understand. • Recordkeeping: Written documentation of the steps taken by the employer to establish and implement the IIPP. Investigation Cal/OSHA investigates complaints of hazards in different ways. Sometimes, the fastest and most effective way is for Cal/OSHA to notify the employer and require the employer to correct the hazard. Other times, Cal/OSHA conducts an on-site inspection. On-site inspection When Cal/OSHA conducts an on-site inspection, the inspector arrives without advance notice. • Upon arrival, the inspector holds an opening conference with the employer and union (if there is one) to explain the purpose of the inspection and how it will be conducted. • The inspector walks around the site, observes hazards, interviews employees and supervisors, reviews written records, and takes measurements and photographs as necessary. • A representative of the employer and a representative authorized by the employees may walk around with the inspector. • You have the right to be interviewed in private without the employer present. The Cal/OSHA inspector will make every effort to arrange for interpreter services if needed. • You may ask the inspector to give you his or her business card so you can contact the inspector away from your job. • The inspector may visit the site again to collect further information, especially if the inspector needs to speak with employees who were not available during the first visit. After the inspection: Information that Cal/OSHA collects during the inspection may show that your employer violated health and safety requirements. If this happens, one or more citations will be issued to your employer. Cal/OSHA issues citations to employers only, not to employees. If you gave your contact information when you filed the complaint, Cal/OSHA will send you a letter describing the results of the inspection. Your employer must “abate,” or correct, the violations by a specified deadline. You may contest the abatement date by filing an appeal 15 days after the citations are issued. But if the employer appeals a citation, abatement may not happen until after the appeal is resolved. You may participate in any appeal filed by the employer by filing a motion to be added as a party in the appeal process. In any case where Cal/OSHA issues citations, the employer must post in the workplace a copy of the citations, a description of how the hazards have been corrected, and a copy of any appeal that is filed. You may also call Cal/OSHA to request a copy of the results of the inspection, including any citations.
  4. Information you should provide to district office staff: • When you call Cal/OSHA, the information you provide may be critical to the success of Cal/OSHA’s investigation of the hazard. You should give the staff person the following information: • Name and address of your employer. Include the job site address if it is different from the mailing address. • Where the hazard is located at the job site. Example: “The table saw in room 12.” • When the hazardous operation or condition occurs. Example: “We use this solvent to clean every Friday afternoon.” • Description of the hazard. You do not need to know the legal requirements. You only need to state the problem. Examples: “Bad brakes on forklift,” or “no fall protection.” Right to Refuse Hazardous Work In addition to filing a complaint, you have the right to refuse hazardous work. It is illegal for your employer to punish you for refusing to perform hazardous work if both of the following are true: 1. Performing the work would violate a Cal/OSHA health or safety regulation. 2. The violation would create a “real and apparent hazard” to you or your coworkers. When these conditions are met, you have the right to refuse to perform the work. But before you refuse, you should take the following steps: • Tell your supervisor about the hazard and ask that it be corrected. • Explain that you are willing to continue working if the hazard is corrected or you are assigned other work that is safe. • State that you believe a health or safety regulation is being violated. • Contact your union shop steward, if you have one. If the problem is not fixed, call Cal/OSHA and file a complaint. Protection Against Retaliation It is also illegal for your employer to threaten, discharge, demote, or suspend you for reporting hazards to your employer, filing a complaint with Cal/OSHA, or otherwise exercising your rights to a safe and healthful workplace. If your employer discriminates or retaliates against you for exercising these rights, you have the right to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner, also called the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The Labor Commissioner may be able to recover wages owed to you and help you get your job back. In most cases, you must file your complaint within six months of the retaliation. View a listing of Labor Commissioner offices and contact the office nearest your workplace.
  5. Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace? Discrimination against women in the workplace is when an employer treats a female employee less favorably than the employer would a male employee specifically because of the employee's gender. Examples of discrimination against women in the workplace are when a woman is rejected for employment, when a woman loses a promotion to a less-qualified male employee, or when a woman is harmed in any way because of her gender. Workplace Discrimination Definition Workplace discrimination is when an employer treats either a male or female employee differently specifically because of his or her gender. Workplace discrimination is more commonly called gender discrimination or sexual discrimination. Gender Discrimination Definition The terms "sex" and "gender" are often used interchangeably in everyday language. But they actually have very different meanings. The term "sex" is based on anatomical identity. Social scientists use it to identify a person as male or female. The term "gender" is a cultural term for the characteristics that are generally associated with maleness or femaleness. Discrimination can be based on sex, gender, or both sex and gender. But no matter which way it is labeled, discrimination is illegal. Federal Laws Prohibiting Workplace Discrimination Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, and national original. Title VII applies to all private employers, state and local governments, and education institutions that employ 15 or more individuals. Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This law essentially applies the standards of Title VII to the federal government as an employer. Equal Pay Act (EPA). The EPA prohibits sex-based pay discrimination between men and women who perform under similar working conditions. The EPA applies to all employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The PDA, a part of Title VII, prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA prohibits discrimination against pregnant women and parents as well as employees with serious health conditions. In 2008, two new types of FMLA leave were created, which gives job-protected leave for family of the armed services members. Workplace Discrimination: Promotions In the past, qualified female employees have often been prevented from advancing to management positions in companies because of their gender. This term often used for this artificial barrier is "glass ceiling." If this is the case, it is considered workplace discrimination against women and protected by Title VII. Workplace Discrimination: Sexual Harassment When a person in an authority role asks for sexual favors from an employee in exchange for a workplace benefit, it is called Quid pro quo sexual harassment. Some examples of a workplace benefit include a promotion, an increase in pay, and protection from being laid off. It is also considered sexual harassment when a male co-worker or authority figure tells inappropriate jokes, makes threats, or exhibits any form of behavior that could intimidate a female employee or affect her ability to work. This type of sexual harassment falls under the label of "Hostile Work Environment." Workplace Discrimination: Breast-Feeding Currently, there are no federal laws that protect nursing mothers. But some states have laws that make it illegal to discriminate against breast-feeding women. Some states take it a step further and require employers to give proper facilities for breast-feeding in the workplace. Workplace Discrimination: Enforcement of the Law The federal government agency responsible for investigating workplace discrimination complaints in workplaces of 15 or more employees is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition to federal laws against discrimination, there are also state laws against discrimination in most states. These states have their own agencies to enforce the laws. Legal relief for victims of workplace discrimination may include: Reinstatement Back pay Promotion Compensatory damages (emotional pain and suffering) Punitive damages (damages to punish the employer) Payment of attorney and expert witness fees Payment of court costs To reduce the chance that discrimination will occur again, an employer may be legally required to take corrective action against the source of the discrimination and to stop the discriminatory practice involved in the case. If you would like more information or advice about discrimination against women in the workplace, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.
  6. Gender discrimination, sometimes referred to as sex-based discrimination or sexual discrimination, is the unequal treatment of someone based on her (or his) sex. A civil rights violation, it's illegal in the workplace when it affects the "terms or conditions of employment." It's addressed by federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, as well as other legislation. Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment falls under the umbrella of gender discrimination. A woman might be entitled to the same perks, advancements, pay, and other benefits as their male counterpart according to company policy, but behavior toward her in the workplace is untenable and it's related to her gender. I am sure you're familiar with the 2017 #MeToo movement birthed by sexual harassment claims made against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein when actress Ashley Judd bravely gave her story to major news outlets. Years earlier, Weinstein had threatened Judd if she didn't agree to a sexual act. Hollywood's examples are extreme but this would be the case if Judd were subjected to unwelcome touching or even offensive jokes aimed at her sex or sexual identity. And while one joke might be OK, repeated jokes on a daily or frequent basis constitute harassment. Harassment can also involve promises of advancement in exchange for sexual favors. Not Just Men The woman's harasser does not necessarily have to be a male. Women can be just as guilty of sexual harassment toward other women. Likewise, the harasser does not necessarily have to be the woman's boss or supervisor. It's still harassment if a coworker or client is the source of the behavior and the company's management does nothing to put a stop to it. What Constitutes Discrimination The proverbial "glass ceiling" is a classic example of workplace gender discrimination–the unwritten code that women cannot hold certain senior positions and are prevented from advancing beyond a certain point because of gender despite their skills, talents, and qualifications. Promotional Bias The glass ceiling situation falls under the category of promotional basis. There are various reasons for this basis; having children being the main one. The glass ceiling movement, birthed in the late 1900s, was supposed to shatter the barrier (i.e., ceiling) that prevented women from moving up the corporate ladder. And, although women have come a long way, they're not there yet. In 1990 there were six women on the Fortune 500 list of CEOs. In 2017 there were 32 women. More women, but not enough, considering we're talking about 500 CEOs. But sexual discrimination goes further than that CEOship. A man and woman might hold the exact same position and perform the same duties within a company, but the job title is different. The man may also be paid more, or he might be entitled to raises or promotions on a different schedule, and at a faster pace, than the woman. Interview Questions The interview process should be similar (if not the same) for both genders, but women are frequently expected to field different types of questions. Women are often asked if they have children or if they intend to have children. These types of family questions are illegal, and more importantly, have no bearing on a person’s ability to do a job well. However, many employers predicate hiring potential employees on the notion that they might need to utilize maternity leave. Employers need to consider that fathers (whether straight or gay) may need to take paternity leave. Neither gender should be asked the question. Terminations All too often, terminations are handled with gender bias. It can be especially prevalent in male-dominated industries (such as manufacturing) where sexual harassment is not taken seriously. There are cases of women who have complained about gender bias and found themselves unemployed. A female engineer at luxury car manufacturer Tesla, AJ Vandermeyden, accused the manufacturer of ignoring her complaints of sexual harassment and paying her less than her male counterparts. Then, she was fired in what her lawyer alleged was an act of retaliation. Vandermeyden, who went public, also claimed she was taunted and catcalled by male employees and that Tesla failed to address her complaints about the harassment, unequal pay, and discrimination. This is just one example. Most people aren't as brave as Vandermeyden was to speak up for fear of a blemished work record and/or a bad reputation in their industry. How to Report Discrimination If you or someone you know is a victim of gender discrimination in the workplace (male, female, bi, or trans) first, tell your company's human resources department. Or, speak with your supervisor if your company doesn't have a human resources department. If the situation persists, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and file a charge of discrimination—a first step before you resort to suing your employer. But, before you sue, meet with an attorney to determine what the requirements are where you work. You may have as little as six months to file a charge and the EEOC typically must investigate your complaint first before you're permitted to take other civil action.
  7. Men are not supposed to be paid more for performing a particular job just because they are men. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it a legal federal requirement that pay scales for identical work be the same regardless of whether the employee doing the labor is male or female. If a woman works the same hours, performs the same tasks, and has to meet the same goals for her employer as a man does, she is entitled to equal pay. When women are paid less than men based on their gender, it is a form of sex discrimination and it is illegal. The following statistics show how women are often underpaid in the United States. Pay Inequality - Women Earn Less Than Men Across the Board Today, on average, a woman earns 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, and women's median annual earnings are $10,086 less than men's, according to data from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage increases somewhat for female workers between the ages of 25 and 34, indicating that older women and young women fare worse when it comes to pay equality. Women in this age demographic earned 90 percent of men's salaries and wages, although this is still significantly less than equal. Women must work on average an additional 44 days to earn the same annual salary as their male counterparts. Even in jobs categories such as child care that are predominantly occupied by women, they still only earn about 95 percent of men's wages for performing the same jobs. While progress has been made toward pay parity between the sexes over the past 55 years, the Institute for Women's Policy Research estimates that it will not be reached until 2059. What Pay Inequity Looks Like, State by State According to data from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, the average gender pay gap in the United States is around 19.5 percent, meaning that, on average, a woman earns 80.5 percent less than her male counterpart. That gap can be larger or smaller depending on the state someone lives in. Most states have implemented laws against gender discrimination, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects women at the federal level, yet disparities persist. In Louisiana, for instance, the gender pay gap is 30 percent, the biggest wage gap in the nation. Twenty-nine states in the country currently have gender pay gaps that are larger than the national average. New York has the smallest pay gap at 11 percent, with full-time, year-round women over 25 there making a median salary of $47,358, while men make $53,124. The Equal Pay Act The Equal Pay Act does not mandate that jobs held by men and women must be identical for purposes of receiving the same pay, but that they should be "substantially similar"—which is the government's way of saying that each performs much the same duties regardless of job title. The Equal Pay Act does permit aggrieved workers to take their complaints up directly with the state or federal court system without having to first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It's also important to note that employers are not permitted to equalize pay in the face of a complaint by reducing the wages or salary of the higher paid employee.
  8. Discrimination against women starts at birth. Gender lines are drawn early, and exclusions for women continue throughout adulthood. These constant messages may lead to a false belief that women do not belong in the corporate world. We Are All Born Into a World Filled With Stereotypes From the moment we are conceived, both boys and girls are subjected to stereotypes. The baby aisle in stores is filled with blue blankets and clothes for boys, while adjacent aisles are filled with pink for girls. A few stores (for example, Target) are slowly starting to steer away from gender-focused marketing, but stereotypes still persist. Challenges in the form of discrimination for women begin in childhood as young girls may be brought up to believe that they are only suited for certain professions or, in some cases, only to serve as wives and mothers. Gender lines are drawn early, and exclusions for women continue throughout adulthood. Elementary School Studies show that teachers still give more time and attention in math and science to boys while giving more to girls in language arts. Since math and science are vital skills for many male-dominated professions, like medicine, engineering, and architecture, does this encourage little girls to focus on other areas of learning? The divergence in academic path girls and boys choose after elementary would seem to indicate, yes. Middle and High School Years In middle and high school, girls are more likely than boys to be discouraged from participating in sports, and clubs like debate, math, and science. But girls are more likely to be encouraged to participate in after-school volunteer work, social programs, and more passive activities. College Years After childhood, young women are often encouraged, or even pressured, into pursuing an education in more stereotypical female-oriented professions, like teaching, nursing, caregiving, retail, and office administration. Women are now earning more degrees than men at every level, and with higher grades and honors. But women starting their own businesses are less likely to have a college degree in their specific industry or first-profession degree, than are male entrepreneurs. They are also less likely to get a job in a Ph.D.-related field. Statistics Show Trends Haven’t Changed Much, Yet More women are starting businesses than men, more women are in the workforce than men, and the majority of degree-holders are now women. Yet, according to the Department of Labor 2007 statistics, women are still only dominating fields and industries that are often seen as “female.” According to CNN Money, in 2006, there were only 10 women running Fortune 500 companies, and only 20 in the top 1,000. But it’s a start.
  9. The question of, "What do you know about us?" is asked to gauge your real interest in the job and the employer. They are not interested in you if you are not interested in them. If you fail to have a good answer to this question, the interview is effectively over. So, demonstrate that you are really interested -- that you didn't just hit a the "apply" button on a random job posting. Smart job seekers are well prepared for this question to so their interest in the employer and the job are clear. So, What Do You Know About Them? If you don't know much about them, the assumption will be made that really you aren't very interested in the job. Because, if you really were interested, you would know enough about the company to answer this question well. Preparation is in two parts: 1. Be prepared by researching the employer. Researching the employer is a very smart thing to do for a number of reasons. Research will help you answer this question. Find out all you can about the job and the employer. First, read that job description sentence-by-sentence to be sure you understand what they seem to be looking for and how you match the requirements. Then, Examine the employer's website: About Us, Mission, Products (or Services), People, etc. Google the employer's name to see what you discover. Clients? Competitors? Raves? Slams? Look for a LinkedIn Company Profile where you can examine the profiles of employees you may be connected to (networking!). If it's a publicly-traded company, law requires an annual report to be published, so check AnnualReports.com which will be full of facts on sales, profits, key executives, locations, and much more. 2. Make notes about what you find. List key facts about the organization like: What they do. Their products or services, pay particular attention to the names of those products and services. The key employees. General size - small, medium, or large, both in terms of revenue as well as number of employees. Their locations (if they have more than one). Their major competitors, and how they compare with those competitors in terms of size (total sales), profitability (maybe), how/where they are better (and worse), and anything else you can find. Have you used any of your products or services? Was it a good experience or a bad one? Look for reviews of their products or services. Is that part of the organization growing or declining? Do you see anything that is particularly interesting to you -- maybe you are a long-time user of one of their products or you know a key employee of one of their clients. Add that to your notes, too, but be very careful of negatives (like you hate one of their products). Make note of anything related to the job or the employer that looks very interesting or raises concerns for you. Search for answers, and carefully ask related questions. 3. Practice answering the question. As you prepare, practice tying your answer to benefits for them of hiring you. Assuming that these connections or accomplishments are relevant to the job you are seeking, you could say something like the examples below. Sample Answers For a job with a company that provides information technology software to the local healthcare industry, a job candidate could answer -- "I see that your company has been in business for over thirty years, with an excellent reputation for reliable employee records management software, specializing in systems which can handle both unionized and non-union employees effectively. "Your clients range from small practices to the major healthcare providers in the country, and also include assisted living residences and nursing homes. "I'm very interested in learning more about the mobile apps you have developed to support collecting data from home healthcare suppliers. My experience in this field has shown me that we need to understand this work better both to provide better service and also to retain the best employees." Or, a job candidate could provide this answer when interviewing for a job with an accounting firm -- "This accounting firm was started in 1990 by Jane Whatever and Robert Example to provide auditing and corporate reporting services as well as Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory compliance and reporting. Your firm now has over 300 employees as well an excellent reputation. "Your clients include the top companies in this state. You have offices in the three largest cities in the state, and you seem to be consistently growing. "I read a recent article by Jane Whatever in Important Website about the results of your research into effectively reporting accurate data via mobile app. This research is very interesting to me because I know how important collecting and accurately reporting such data is to helping management be most effective." Don't exaggerate or over-do the compliments. Demonstrate that you have done enough research to know that you are truly interested in working for the organization, but avoid seeming like a stalker -- e.g., don't track down where people live or mention what cars they drive (even if you are a big fan of that location or car). Bottom Line By being well-prepared, you can successfully and confidently answer an employer when they ask, "Why should we hire you?" Go get ‘em!
  10. The question of, "Why do you want to work here?" is not limited to job interviews. You’ll find it knocking on your door in networking, informational interviewing, and even at job fairs. When you are asked this innocent-sounding question, you must have a strong, relevant answer. Your answer should demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the skills, talents, experience, and strengths you have that are a match for their culture and the targeted position/department. It's Not About You Until you get to the point of receiving an offer, employers are just looking for reasons to eliminate you. Here are some answers you never want to find coming out of your mouth: "For the money." "It seems like a nice place to work." "My cousin Fred works for you, and he says the benefits are great." All three of these answers are similar, and may be absolutely true. However, they share the same problem – they are all about what you want. However, they do not make the employer interested in hiring you. Generic answers don't make you stand out either: "Because I know I can make a really good contribution." "Because I know you have an opening for ______________, and I am qualified." While these may seem better, they err in the similar manner of being vague, "vanilla" answers that anyone could give to any employer for any job. What's Wrong with Those Answers? The answers above don't stand out to the employer because they aren't about the employer. They make one of two mistakes: Those answers, above, focus on the benefit to you of the job. While the employer probably wants you to be happy in the job, they don't care about the benefit to you at this point. They want to know the benefit to them if they hire you. Those answers don't demonstrate your understanding of the employer's needs. The employer wants to know that you are really interested in this job, and a vague or self-focused answer doesn't show that interest. With these answers, you fade into the woodwork and get lost among the other job seekers who have not done their homework either. These answers will never get you far with an employer. Do Your Homework When I say, "homework" I am referring to research and preparation in four key areas: Know yourself Know the company Know the position Know the interviewers and hiring manager (if possible) Let me walk you through these: 1. Know Yourself Before you talk to employers, or even network for positions, you need to have a strong grasp of what you can offer them. (What’s the return on investment you provide to the employer? Why are you the person they should hire?) Analyze the job description, point-by-point. What are they looking for? Write down the job requirements, one by one. Then, determine how do you match -- or exceed -- those requirements. Write down your matching accomplishments or skills for each requirement. 2. Know the Company Get to know the companies you will be talking to (or talking about, if networking). When you know details about them, their culture, their goals, their products, and their challenges, you are then able to talk about yourself and your fit into the company. Google the company, and read all you can. Visit their company website to learn more about them. 3. Know the Position Don't appear to be shopping for "any job you find me qualified for." Instead, you need to know where you would fit into the company, whether there is a current advertised opening or not. Again, resources like LinkedIn will let you search profiles for staff in target departments. Use the information to learn more about their job responsibilities and to identify LinkedIn Groups they belong to (and join them). Also, using Google and viewing the company website will allow you to learn more as well. 4. Know the Interviewers Hopefully you know the name(s) and job title(s) of the person or people who will be interviewing you. If you do know their names, you can Google them and also check out their LinkedIn Profiles to learn more about them. Perhaps you share something with one or all of them, from a previous employer to a school, certification, professional association, hobby, or home town. Any information you learn can help you build rapport with the person by mentioning it. Or, the information can help you be prepared for the person's approach or reputation, without disclosing the commonality you share. Sample Answers: Putting it All Together Once you have done all your pre-interview homework, the reasons you want to work for this employer should be more clear to you. If appropriate, you can reference your research, which should impress the interviewers. The quality of the employer's products, for example -- I have used your software products for many years, and always been very impressed with the innovations and consistent concern for helping your customers learn how to use them effectively. With the high quality of your products, marketing them almost feels like a public service. I would greatly enjoy helping you to continue to innovate and to increase your market share. The quality of the employer's reputation as an employer, for example -- This company has a wonderful reputation as a great place to work. You place high value on your employees and encourage them to learn, grow, and innovate inside the company. This means that employees happily work here for many years, far beyond the average length with one employer. And, according to your customers, the high quality of your products and services reflect your high employee satisfaction, which is not surprising. This feels like a win-win-win for stockholders, employees, and customers, and I would be very happy to join this organization. The employer's business reputation, for example -- This firm has the reputation of being one of the leading accounting firms in this state, with a list of impressive customers as well as high customer satisfaction rates. Your partners are frequent speakers at national conferences, advocating strong security measures to protect financial transactions and information. These are signs that this firm is a leader, not a follower. With my background in cybersecurity, I'm very interested in applying the newest technology plus common sense practices to keep this sensitive information as safe as possible. Put your answer together based on your research and your interest in the job. Don't be insincere, but do demonstrate both your interest and your research. Bottom Line Play the game, and realize that even if this job is not a match, if they like you and want to hire you, they may find the right place for you (at the right salary) in the long run. As long as you've done your homework in advance and demonstrated your
  11. This is a critical question because it will show your success, self-confidence, and preparation. Employers take this question very seriously, and you should, too. In this answer, do double-time by selling yourself and by demonstrating your knowledge of the company. Start by doing your homework on the employer before the interview, even if it is "only" a telephone interview. That research will likely include visiting their website, Googling their name, and performing an advanced search on LinkedIn long before you ever find yourself in the interview! Bad Answers to This Question An answer that focuses on the benefits to you is a bad answer. So, answers like: I need the money. I need a job. This location is very close to where I live (or go to school or want to move or whatever). I've always been interested in (whatever they do). As important as those reasons are to you, they are not the reasons the employer will hire you. Frankly, nice as they might be, they really don't care about the benefits to you if they hire you. Your answer to this question should focus on them, not on you! You are the seller in this situation, not the buyer. So, you need to focus on the benefits (more than one!) to this buyer. Remember that the goal here is to entice this employer to offer you this job. Connect the Dots Between the Job Requirements and Your Qualifications Do a careful analysis of the job's requirements so you know the requirements you meet, the requirements you exceed, and the requirements you don't meet. In today's job market (2019), employers reportedly find candidates who are a 50 percent "fit" with the job's specifications to be acceptable, although they prefer candidates who exceed the requirements. The best strategy is to analyze the job and your fit with it before applying. Emphasize Your Knowledge and Experience to Demonstrate Your Value Embrace that this question as an opportunity to emphasize your value and to demonstrate your knowledge as they work together to show how well you could do the job. For example, someone applying for a position as an administrative assistant might say: "I have been using Word, Excel, and Outlook since 2001 to maintain both financial and administrative records, create and distribute internal reports for management to monitor employee activity and asset usage which was received by 4 senior managers including the CEO and COO, and create and distribute the internal organizational newsletter which was sent to over 200 staff members twice a month. "The financial reports were created and maintained using Excel, and both newsletters were written using Microsoft Word, using templates that I developed, and distributed using Outlook. "I have taken several workshops on Microsoft Office products, and have worked with the newest version and previous versions, going back to the 1997 version. So, I am very comfortable with the Microsoft Office suite of products." Or, in a more traditional situation, here’s what you might prepare to say as a new graduate of a medical transcription training program applying for a job with a cardiology practice: "I believe that I will be successful in this position because I have 900 hours of hands-on training in medical transcription in a classroom environment at the XYZ Institute. (Get out your portfolio, and open it to a print out of a sample of your work). "Here you can see several examples of medical records, dictation, and reports I have produced in MS Word. "I have also excelled in my terminology courses, gaining a strong base in numerous disciplines. "However, I have always been interested in Cardiology and made it a personal goal to focus on that area. Because of that, I read the Journal of Cardiology to stay up-to-date with changes in the field, names of new pharmaceuticals, and other innovations. "I have an excellent basis in the discipline to transcribe the records of your Cardiologists with ease. Also, I recently joined the American Association of Medical Transcriptionists and am already taking steps to pursue certification." When I share answers like this, most people react by saying, "That’s so good; I could’t do that." But, that’s not true - crafting answers like this is just getting to know yourself in advance. Advanced Preparation You need to plan to answer questions about why you are qualified and know how to sell yourself above the other applicants. Realize that you may have the same skillset as other applicants, but much of job interview success revolves around who does the best job at communicating their expertise in the interview! So, spend some time doing the following: Listing your skills and strengths. Writing CAR stories (Challenges, Actions, and Results) about accomplishments for each of your jobs. Documenting your accomplishments. Uncovering what makes you special by reviewing letters of recommendation and/or other testimonials you may have from work, school, and volunteering. Writing down concrete answers to questions like this that give a concrete example to prove you fit the bill! Bottom Line By making getting hired your job and putting in the time to prepare, you can successfully and confidently answer an employer when they ask, "Why should we hire you?" Go get ‘em!
  12. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years? Most job seekers jump into this question without truly having set any personal career goals. Developing your answer to this question can help you get more purposeful about the direction of your career. View this question as an opportunity for you to do a bit of career planning as well as answering the question. Considering the average length of time people stay with a company or in a job is 4.6 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it seems a little silly that employers will still ask this question. However, a bad answer to this question can derail an opportunity for you. Avoid Giving a Non-Answer Keep your answer somewhat general since a lot can happen in 5 years, but don't be too vauge since a non-answer will make you look like you don't take your career -- or your job -- very seriously. And, very few employers will be interested in you then. A common mistake is trying to name a specific position that may or may not exist in the company, like "I hope to be promoted to an executive assistant position within 5 years."If that job doesn't exist, you could look out-of-touch or uninformed. On the other hand, a vague response such as, "I would hope to be able to progress into a senior level position," could backfire if the position doesn't offer any advancement. And a flippant response, like "I'd like to have your job," could be a complete disaster. Taking the time to provide a thoughtful answer will ultimately be helpful both to you and to the employer. What the Employer Is Trying to Discover Before answering this question, it is helpful to understand that the interviewer is looking for five primary things in your answer: Do you have a solid grasp of the position and what it entails? Do you have the right attitude? Are you going to be dependable? Are you a good cultural and social fit for the organization? How are you going to use your strengths to achieve success in this job? Qualifications and experience being somewhat equal among candidates, the decision maker(s) wants the candidate who is the best fit culturally. The candidate who takes time to prepare a list of personal goals in advance of the interview will be able to communicate his/her strengths and potential fit best. How to Prepare Your Answer Try using these three strategies to prepare for this question in advance, as well as examine your own personal career goals. 1. Focus on what you are grateful for regarding this position. Consider the personal feelings that swell up inside you as you consider working in this job and for this employer. Will you have more of a work-life balance? Will your commute be easier? Does it seem like the kind of environment where you can leverage your strengths and be valued? Will you have a greater opportunity to learn new things? Will your value in the job market increase? Take time to name your feelings and strengths, and write out how an employer could make you feel valued. 2. Think about how you would like to spend your day and the kind of actions you will be performing. Don't focus on the specific job duties. Instead think about how you will interact with your co-workers, customers, and anyone else who crosses your path. How would you like to feel at the end of your workday? What new skills or information will you learn? What do you see yourself doing in this job that is different from your current or previous jobs? Take a moment to write down those thoughts and think about what it would feel like to love your job and the company where you work. 3. Try setting some goals as you visualize yourself in this new position. Even if you can't specifically determine where you see yourself five years from now, consider: What possibilities seem to develop for you by having this job? What seems new? How would things be different for you? Take a moment to focus on your personal and professional values, write them down, and formulate a response to a modified version of this question such as "What is going to be important to you in your career in five years?" or "How would you like to see your life/career differently in five years?" 4. Research the employer to see what options might be available to you there. Go to the employer's website to see if you can explore a "Careers" section which describes the organization or, at least, lists their job openings. Worst case, check out their job postings on a job board or Indeed. Do they have numerous jobs open? Can you see a progression in the job titles and job descriptions, like: Assistant Branch Manager, Branch Manager, Senior Branch Manager, Regional Branch Manager, etc. Do you see other parts of the organization that look interesting to you? Maybe you are interviewing for an administrative job, but the sales jobs look interesting. Don't make the mistake of mentioning an option that's not available with this employer. You will impress them when you share that you have actually learned about the organization enough to mention specific job titles and parts of their organization. Develop Your Answer As you develop some personal career goals as well as a strategy about how you want to achieve those goals plus understanding of the employer's organization, you're now in a better position to be able to answer the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" without saying something that doesn't sound believable. Better yet, you won't blurt out something that will completely turn the interviewer off. Hopefully, the more you really think about your career in this manner and take time to visualize how things could improve for you personally and professionally, the clearer things may become -- both for your career as well as for this interview. Don't worry about making your answer 10 minutes long. A short, simple answer may be the best one. Sample Answers Entry Level Job For an entry-level job in a bank which has a formal job structure including several progressive levels of the job you are interviewing for -- "My hope is to learn as much as possible about banks and banking services. My short-term goal is to become an excellent cashier and then, possibly move on to jobs with more responsibility in the bank as I gain experience and knowledge about banking. Longer-term, my goal is to become a supervisor, possibly in customer service, loan processing, or another aspect of banking. My hope is that this is the beginning of a long career working for this bank, which progresses logically." Mid-Level Senior Job For a more senior position in a company with a less clear organizational structure -- "My long term goal is to grow professionally, eventually to have the role of go-to person for questions on topics like content marketing for nonprofits and online reputation management for nonprofits. I want to be viewed as a top performer, an expert who is a key contributor inside the organization." Career Changer When you are changing careers, you can tie your "old" expertise to the new job -- "I see myself growing in my understanding of social media marketing to the point where I can take on additional responsibilities and tasks, leveraging my knowledge of more traditional marketing. Once I gain the experience, I would like to progress to the point where I am managing the social media marketing for specific clients." Bottom Line By focusing on your personal and professional values, you will be able to formulate a believable response that will give the interviewer a positive impression of your strengths, attitude, dependability, and potential for success.
  13. While this is often among the first questions asked at the start of the interview, the reason they ask is not to become best friends. Avoid answers that give away personal information about yourself! Some of that information might take you off the top-candidates list. An employer isn’t going to hire you because you have such cute children (causing you to miss work), a wonderful husband or wife (causing you to miss work), or interesting hobbies (causing you to miss work). Nor are they going to hire you because your current job is terrible and the organization is an awful place to work. Be cautious if you are interviewing with a competitor of your current employer -- the interview may be a session to collect confidential information about the competition. The best way to answer this question? Focus on this employer and opportunity! Tell them about your accomplishments and experience that make YOU an ideal candidate for the job you are seeking. The Two-Part Answer to Tell Me/Us About Yourself Put yourself in the employer’s shoes -- what would you want to know if you were them? Emphasize what will make you stand out as qualified for the company and for the job. Break your answer to this question into two parts: 1. How/why you are qualified. Summarize what you have done that qualifies you for this opportunity. Don't recite what is on your resume or job application, but don't assume that the interviewers, who may have been interviewing several candidates, remember your qualifications. Present the most significant highlights, the ones that would be most relevant to this job. These are the qualifications that make it clear that you are a very good candidate for the job. 2. Why you have applied. Focus on advancing your career. Stay away from reasons that are not clearly career-related. Emphasize the opportunity to move forward in your career without saying that you are dead-ended in your current job or hate your incompetent boss. Focus on this opportunity and your career. Avoid the purely personal reasons. Do NOT say: You want to work closer to home because your kids sometimes get out of school early and you want to be able to be there with them, or The location is convenient to your church, synagog, or place of worship, or You are too tired from the long commute to enjoy life, or Your boss is a jerk and you want a better job. This is where you must tread very carefully and not say anything that might be interpreted as trashing your current/former employer. DO tell them how well you fit, using the 2-part answer, below. But, don't spend more than 30 to 60 seconds answering this question. Sample Answer Someone seeking a management position with a local branch of a transportation company might say: (Why You Are Qualified) “I was born and raised in XYZ County and have an excellent knowledge of the area as well as Central and XYY counties. During the last 9 years with the ABC Freight Company, I have progressed through positions of Package Loader, Courier, Dispatcher, and Team Lead." "In my most recent position, I have had the opportunity to complete numerous management training programs, provide supervision and leadership to all positions within the station, and participate in special projects in conjunction with Senior and District Managers. I enjoy being a Lead and the opportunity to empower and motivate my team. Last year I was awarded 'Lead I' for greatest team gains in productivity." (Why You Applied) "I believe this experience and training has prepared me to take the next step and pursue a management position with XYZ Trucking. This company has a reputation for excellent management, this opportunity looks perfect to me, and I look forward to working with the best.” Yes, this person prepared and practiced his response in advance. Smart move! As you can see from this sample answer, this individual: Emphasizes the tangibles that qualify him for the job, from his knowledge of the local area, long-term tenure with the employer, and recognition for management results within the industry. He does not focus on fluffy stuff or personal information, but paints a picture as to why he is a perfect candidate for the job. He also looks forward to advancement in his career, seeking a management position with this new employer. Perhaps, Ask for Clarification To ensure that you provide the information they want, you might wish to start your response with a question of your own, like this -- "I would be glad to. Could you give me an idea of the type of information you would like to know?" By starting this way, you can direct your answer better and be more conversational. What You Don't Tell Them I call this question a "spider web" because if you simply tell someone about yourself without planning or context to the target job for which you are there to interview, you could give away all kinds of information that you should not be sharing. This is not an invitation to tell your life story. Don't confess any personal problems with your kids, spouse, or parents. Don't complain about your aching feet or any other health issue. Don't trash a current or former employer, boss, co-worker, client, customer, or supplier. Don't share any secrets about your current or former employers. Nor is this the time for you to explain how the job will benefit you (they don't care, and you will look clueless) Talking too much leaves them with the impression that you are: Over-qualified Under-qualified Ditsy or naive Unprepared for the interview (so not really very interested) Simply a risk for the company Remember, THIS IS A JOB INTERVIEW. How to Prepare for This Job Interview question Before you ever go to an interview, you need to KNOW YOURSELF in terms of qualifications for the job and match for the company. To know this you should: Carefully review the job description to note where you meet or exceed the requirements, and Research the company, and Identify, catalog, list, and review your expertise, strengths, and unique value, and Practice, practice, practice so you sound natural and confident. Then, you will be ready to put yourself in the employer’s shoes, and... Emphasize what will make you stand out for the company and for the job. The Bottom Line: With advanced planning and practice, you can know your target employer and how to sell yourself for the job. "Tell me about yourself" then becomes a positive and fun exercise in demonstrating your value and getting one step closer to winning that great new job! .
  14. 2. Sell Products Online If you ever dreamed of opening a retail store, that doesn't have to be put on hold because you're a stay-at-mom. The Internet has made it possible to sell products from any location, including your house. The United States Postal Service even offers Carrier Pickup services that will pick your packages at your house making it simple to run a retail business from home. Your children can even help out with the work from home business by packing orders and getting them ready to mail. As far as products, you can sell products you make, or buy wholesale or used items for resale. Getting your store online is easier and more affordable than ever. Building an ecommerce website doesn't require a great deal of expense or coding knowledge anymore. Or you can tap into commerce services such as Amazon and eBay. 3. Sell Information Products Online Millions of people go online everyday to find information. In many cases, they're willing to pay for it. You can tap into this by creating your information products and selling them online. Information products come in many forms. One of the easiest to create is an eBook or print book, and sell it online. If you're interested in book publishing but aren't sure about writing, you can hire ghostwriter. Selling eBooks, in particular, is ideal for the busy mom, because purchase and delivery can be done automatically, saving you the hassle of shipping. But you can even sell print books through Amazon and other online retailers if you use a print-on-demand service. Other information products include online course, seminars, trainings, printables (i.e. planners), and more. 4. Start a Niche Blog A blog is a fun and great way to make money from a topic you know and/or love. This is especially true if many others know and love it as well. While you offer the information for free, there are many options for making money, including Google AdSense and other ad feed programs, that will place ads on your site, and then you can get paid when people click on the ads (but don't you click on them or that will violate the Terms of Service). Other money-making options include affiliate products, selling ad space, or selling your own products. The trick to success in blogging is through internet marketing to build traffic. The more targeted traffic you get to your site, the more likely you'll make money. 5. Market Affiliate Products and Services Marketing affiliate products and services is basically getting paid to make referrals to other business. It's word-of-mouth marketing that can make you money. One great aspect of affiliate marketing is that you don't have to sell or deliver products. The most highly paid affiliate marketers either have a niche blog (see above) or use a squeeze page and email newsletter funnel system to promote special affiliate links. When your link is used, you can earn a commission or flat rate from the referral. Affiliate marketing only works if the people you're making the referral to know and trust you. To do that, your blog readers, newsletter subscribers, and even social media followers, need to get more than just ad links from you. Instead, you need to also share helpful tips and resources.
  15. Busy moms who want to stay home to raise their children, but also want to contribute to the family income, have many options for building a flexible home based career. Even so, for many moms, the initial search for work-at-home options can be daunting and discouraging. In past, moms had limited options for making money at home, such as doing child care, ironing services, or direct sales. Today, the Internet has made it easier and more affordable to start a flexible business around raising children. If you are a mom wanting to work at home, here are 5 Internet-based home business ideas to consider. 1. Offer a Service Online The amount of services that can be done from your own home is unlimited. Review your personal and professional talents, and interests to determine if any can be turned into a service that you can provide virtually. Some service ideas include writing, editing, and proofreading, reviewing legal documents, bookkeeping, graphic design, virtual support, and more. In fact, in many cases you can take duties you did in a job and turn it into a home business. You can focus on offering services to the general public (B2C), such as tutoring, or to other businesses (B2B), such as web design or marketing. Here are a few service ideas you can check out: Freelance Writing Personal Service Ideas Start a Social Media Management Business Home Business Idea - Internet Marketing Services
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