networking

Let’s talk about work…

I am curious…what is your work culture like? Do you have a workplace that is casual, casual dress, casual-sort of personal conversations, employees hang out together, talk about what a great family you all are together, and get along without trying to hurt each other, the boss is in with the crowd, or at least gets involved in things like company parties? Do you know the names of your coworkers family (partner, children, grandchildren), or do you know that they have children or grandchildren but don’t really know much about any of them? Connected on social media?

Or

Do you have a workplace that is all business all the time, business attire, no chit-chat on company time, people don’t really get to know each other off work, the boss is separate as much as possible and if there is a company function (let’s say lunch-time Halloween get-together since it is October) makes an appearance, maybe has a small plate but doesn’t really socialize? Do you know anything about your coworkers family or at the very least see pictures on a desk and maybe make a comment? Are you connected on Linkedin or any other social media site?

Maybe

Do you have a workplace where you get to do your own thing…you wear what you want, you are able to work hours you want, spend time out and about doing company business, be creative if you want or need to be? Can you bring your kids to work if needed? Do you know any personal things about your coworkers lives? Are you connected on social media?

Let me think….

How about…do you have a workplace where it is a combination of things: you dress in business casual attire and maybe have a casual Friday thing happening, you are friends with coworkers, sometimes you hang out but not on a regular basis, at work you can take time to chit-chat with coworkers, the boss is friendly and approachable, participates in parties, allows time for people to plan them and attends, the boss doesn’t make a fuss if people chit-chat at each others desks as long as all the work is getting done? Are you connected on social media and do you comment on pictures or endorse coworkers?

What is the norm? What should it be? Should there be people saying we are a family? If you do say it, should you mean it in a real way, or is it just a figure of speech and you should not take it to heart? Please go to my blog post and give me  your idea of your work, tell me how you feel at work, how do you think it should be, what is acceptable and what is not?

I am just wondering how people see and feel about the workplace, either where you work now or where you have worked in the past, even your ideal workplace would be great to hear about. I am thinking of doing a more formal study and I would like to start with you and if I do write an article or possibly and ebook…sharing your ideas will be important to me since you are my first participants.

Use different name if you feel better doing so…but please give me some feedback on this question that I am trying to answer…how many people are working in the environment they would choose if they ran that business and are you happy where you are?

Thanks for the help…

Coach LPD

Customer Service

I think that most people know how I feel about customer service…good and bad. That being said, the other night we had to make a trip to the laundromat in Napa. I remembered on from many years ago so we decided to go there. It is still there and under new ownership. We were having trouble with a washer and a young man came up and asked if we needed help. He turned out to be the owner. The place is remodeled and is called Laundryland and we spent almost the whole time we were there talking to the owner. As it turned out, he went through my workshop series at WIB way back before I become a case manager…so it had to be before 2010…and he remembered me.

But the reason I am here today is that he provided great customer service by noticing that we were irritated and coming right over to make it right.  It was great to see that even though he is not in the training field that he studied, he is still doing really well for himself. Great going Mark…keep up the great customer service. We don’t often need to go to the laundromat but we will come there if we need to use those giant washers again. he spent the time to communicate how is working to make the business a success and how he wants to communicate with and treat his customers.

http://www.careercreate.com/services/communication/

Time to begin a new chapter

I was inspired today; inspired by a person who reads and listens to the same motivational speakers that I have always listened to. I closed off my website for a while due to personal reasons but those reasons no longer apply so I will be posting and working again to help others with their career needs.

I think that taking a break and working on my “day job” was what I needed to do but now it is time to get back to the heart of what I do and that is to use my life and training to motivate and guide others in their journey. Whether is is cover letters, resumes, interviewing, motivation, attitude, customer service or other needs I am back and ready to help.

I have decided to now take a Life Coaching course to take my training to a new level so I can extend my assistance to more people.

Look for new blogs coming regularly now that I am back.

Namaste

Loretta

Networking- important for your career

I was at work today and got a call from a person that I worked with over a year ago but she remembered my work ethic, how hard I work for my clients, and my knowledge base and contacted me to help her put a group of workshops together. In return…I have a chance at getting to know more of her federal employee coworkers and bosses so maybe if an opportunity comes up…she would recommend me for a job if I decide to be in the market.

Then I got home and saw a facebook post from my daughter that said “Just chatted with someone from my 2nd grade team for an hour and twenty minutes! It’s nice having such a supportive team and building such good relationships!” 😀

Yes, Jen it is awesome building such great relationships and having a supportive team and that is where keeping up on your networking can be so beneficial. I must have made a very good impression for this person to want to contact me and remember me all this time later…I actually worked with her prior to my hip replacement which was in October of 2012 so it has been more like a year and a half. I guess my next blog should be about making a great impression since that is part of this conversation.

On another networking note…contacts that I have from a previous job have contacted me to let me know that a job that I would probably like is going to open soon and that I should be the one to apply. I have stayed in touch with all of these contacts and cultivated great working relationships as well as friendships and they are paying off with job assistance…and I am not even actively looking! Imagine what would happen if I was looking and started calling all those networking contacts that I have spent years cultivating?!

So when you are job searching remember to call everyone you know to let them know the type of job you are looking for…but also let them know that for the right pay and benefits package, you might take another type of job. You always want to look flexible and open!

Please also remember that no matter how you feel make sure that if you go out of the house and you are actively searching for work…you are clean and well groomed. I don’t mean that you need to be in suit or skirt but rather make sure you are showered, hair combed, and your jeans are clean because networking can happen anywhere. I have gotten job leads in the grocery store checkout line and at the local coffee house. Making a great impression, especially a first impression, is key because you never get a second chance to make a first impression and it takes a long time to change an opinion of a bad first impression.

See you next time.

Coach

CUSTOMER SERVICE…ALWAYS IMPORTANT…this one is in Vallejo, CA

I have taught customer service workshops for many years of my career as a Career Coach/Employment Specialist so when i get great customer service I feel that I should let people know about it. We recently had to purchase a new vehicle because both of my(fully paid for) cars were wiped out in my driveway by a drunk driver! Thankfully no one was injured…just my pocketbook!

But back to the customer service…Vallejo Nissan! 😎 We have been taking cars there for many years, I think since about 2004 and have always received great service and when I took my new Nissan Rogue in for the oil change last week I was reminded as to the reason I continue to go there…they are HONEST…and they are very friendly and pleasant to be around but honesty is so very important. We took our car to the dealer where we purchased the car for the first oil change and they said we needed the more expensive synthetic oil and we paid quite a bit more than we were used to paying for an oil change…but this time we took it to Vallejo because we dropped the service contract with the other shop so we could go back to Vallejo Nissan…

This is where the customer service and honesty real showed…imagine my surprise when Scott Schlattman came out and said…I was mistaken…you don’t need synthetic oil for this car because it is a 2013 and it wasn’t until the 2014 that they started using the synthetic so it will be $30-$40 less than we thought!!! That is honesty…we would not have known the difference because we had already been told and paid for a synthetic oil change at another dealership!

Thank you Scott and Vallejo Nissan for being an honest and fair…not to mention excellent mechanic shop where a female who knows nothing about cars feels safe bringing my car in! I can’t say enough about Vallejo Nissan because they are amazing in all aspects but since I teach Customer Service…I am qualified to make a statement that says…If you want to see what great customer service is really like…go to the shop at Vallejo Nissan and talk to Scott or Teri! I give Vallejo Nissan 5 stars…and think I will post this on my facebook page to share it even further!

Until next time…remember that when in the world of work you have both external customers and you have internal customers which are your coworkers and supervisors and they should be treated equally great so if you are out there job searching…treat everyone you meet with your great customer service skills and it just might help you get hired!

Happy Labor Day!

The Law of Attraction

Yes I do believe that when you put positive energy out into the world…positive energy and good things will come back to you…I am going to begin a course tonight to become an Advanced Law of Attraction Coach so I can expand the great info that I want to pass along to you…stay tuned and I will get back here as soon as possible with the new information.

Coach Loretta

Unfortunate accident kept me away

Hello Everyone:

I have been gone for some time due to an accident that caused an injury. I am fine but since I

was not able to work full-time at my job and was on workers comp; I had to refrain from

doing my own business so as not to compromise my need for a surgical procedure and some

time for physical therapy and rehabilitation…but I am on the mend and am looking forward to

coming back and giving all of you the most current career information that I can provide.

May your day be blessed.

Coach Loretta

Best Customer Service ~ Outback in Pinole, CA

As a Career Coach/Workshop Facilitator one of the main things that I have taught is how to

give great customer service. It seems to me that customer service is often lacking even

though the customer is putting out good money for services. I don’t usually go out of my 

way to say much about the customer service I receive because most of the time, it simply is

not worth mentioning! However, my husband and I went out to dinner the other night at the

Outback Steakhouse in Pinole, CA and the customer service was off the charts in customer

care and satisfaction. I am not going to go into the details but I am going to say that there

was an aspect of the dinner that was not up to my standards and when I told our server, he

immediately offered to make it right. I accepted his idea for a resolution and within a few

moments, a young man came over and introduced himself as “Ian” and really went out of his

way to find out exactly why I was not happy, and then proceeded to go into the kitchen and

cook my new food himself…to my specifications. He was gracious and customer oriented

and left me wanting to tell as many people as possible that they should go to Outback in

Pinole, CA and enjoy the experience because the customer service is the best! I will say it

one more time…”Ian, you are one of the best customer service representatives that I have

encountered and I have posted it on my facebook page and now my blog and I have told

several people that Outback, Pinole is the place to go!” Thank you for the best dinner out we 

have had in a very long time!

Loretta Perry-Dawson

Communication ~ In General it is a skill to build ~ Listening is a communication skill

I have spent a lot of time working on communication information because so much of what we do when we are job searching is about communication and it is so very important that we put our best foot forward and communicate effectively. I was working with someone recently and I asked him to tell me what communication means and he sat for a minute and then broke it down pretty succinctly in four words, well actually four if you want to be technical because one way to communicate has 2 words, those words are: talking, writing, listening and body language. Those are the primary ways to communicate, of course we have other ways such as sign language, volume, tone, etc…but they fall under the 3 categories because if you use sign language it is words in body language, so to speak. Tone comes under talking and of course writing covers all kinds of communication whether you are providing it or taking it in because you are reading it.

Let’s take a look at the importance of being a good listener. Listening is a skill that can be learned and should be learned because most people don’t listen,  people are often thinking of what they are going to say next and very often this causes them to miss significant points in a conversation. So what does that have to do with job searching? It has lots to do with job searching because if a prospective employer gives instructions or asks a question, you better listen so you can follow the directions or answer the question(s) correctly.

I want you to think back and honestly try to remember a time or times when you missed a point or answered something sort of off topic because you weren’t paying attention. Well, you certainly don’t want that to happen when you are talking with a prospective employer. People speak at about 125-175 words per minute but most people can listen intelligently at about 800 words per minute so it is fairly easy to see why a person’s mind would wander. Also people usually change about 75-80% of what you say into what they want to hear because people are not taught to listen. We hear things all the time, the sound of a train or siren, traffic going by, a dog barking outside, or children playing just out of sight…think about it…we hear things all the time but how often do we stop to really listen to what we hear? Our minds work very quickly and so it can be quite easy to let your mind wander into other things.

Also it is a stressful time when we are in an interview or talking with someone we want to work for and our minds can be running through many ideas, thoughts, fears, or statements we want to make sure we say, thus we might not be paying as close of attention as we should. It is critically important that we listen carefully to everything that an employer wants or says so we are on the same track.

So how do you become an active listener? Repeating back what you hear (or think you hear) is always a great way to make sure that you heard correctly. Asking questions in between a persons statements to you will help you stay focused. Inquiring if you understand them correctly by restating what they have said, in your own words, so they have a chance to let you know if you have gotten off track or if they maybe aren’t explaining things correctly. Of course nodding your head in agreement or using sounds (uh huh, oh, yes, mmmhmm)  or words to convey that you are listening is a good idea too.

We will talk more about listening skills in communication next time…see you then…

Communication ~ Interviews

The 45 second to 2 minute “elevator speech” is your way to give the employer a snapshot of you when they ask the most commonly asked interview question ~ Could you please tell me something about yourself?

This snapshot should include a bit about your traits:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • punctual
  • flexible
  • hard-working

It should contain information about your skills:

  • skilled in MS Office Suite (all programs)
  • Coordinated and scheduled events for 50-100 participants
  • Answered multi-line telephone systems, transferred calls, and took messages
  • Worked closely with Executive Director to create employee manual

You want them to know about your work history and accomplishments:

  • While working at XYZ Company I was promoted from Cashier to Lead Cashier in less than 6 months
  • I supervised between 4-8 people depending on the day and shift
  • I was trained in bank deposits, scheduling, time card preparation, and monthly reports
  • My manager chose me as employee of the month for 3 months in a row, which is the limit each person can have in any 6 month period
  • And working as a team we streamlined our work stations and created a more timely service rate for our customers and created greater turnover and profit margin for the company

You simply need to know what you do and then put each part down on paper and practice saying it so you think it sounds good…and then practice saying it to someone else. The more you practice, the better it will sound when you are talking to an employer.

This “Tell me about yourself” speech can also be used when you are talking to anyone about yourself and your career. It is a very common question at social events, or business events, or even family reunions where not everyone knows each other…”So, what do you do for a living?” You already know the basics of what you want to say, so you just change it to a more casual version and give a great picture of who you are and what you do for a living.

Networking is an important part of job search or career changing and you want your answer to come evenly and smoothly when you are meeting new people and hoping to gain them as allies in your career endeavors. Networking has gotten me 2 different jobs because I was able to articulate my skills, my traits, and my future plans to someone that had the contacts to help me go further. Future posts will have more on networking but I want you to start thinking about it now because it is something you should be doing every day. Every day you should tell  people what you are doing and where you want to end up. Are you a student? What are you studying? Your instructors have been in the business you are entering so they are your first point of contact…get to know them and let them see the best of you. Are you a dislocated worker? Tell everyone that you know and everyone that you meet what you do and the type of work you are seeking. 80% or more of jobs are gotten through networking with other people, so you can see why you can’t be shy or timid when you are job searching or changing careers.

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Non-verbal communication is still communication
You have made it to the interview and now you need to make a great impression. What are your nervous habits? Do you really sit as straight as you think you do? Are you making eye contact? Watching the clock? Read more to ensure you are communicating what you want... Career Blog

Colleague Statement
“Loretta is a highly experienced and productive professional in the field of Workforce Development, Job Readiness, Career Counseling, Workshop Facilitation, and Job Search Preparation. I have worked with her closely for over six years, and she has consistently been a valuable, key resource in the employment community. For three of those years, she was at Napa Valley College as a resource specialist in their career center... 
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