Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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DR.JOB Q & A: Right Way to Find Jobs


(Q.1) I'M TRYING TO AVOID DEPRESSION but it's hard. I was fired last week. The company was sold at the end of last year, and we knew there would be cuts. As each department was downsized, I kept thinking I was safe because I'd been there a long time, and I got along with everyone. But the new owners are more interested in the bottom line, and we old-timers cost more with higher salaries and benefits than a new entry-level employee does. So what do I do? I've had years of office management and am fairly good with computers. I haven't written a resume in years and don't know where to start. Also, I feel it would be overlooked in the "clutter" of them out there.

(ANS.) IF EVERYONE GAVE UP THAT EASILY no one would ever find work. As the economy shows improvement, and people are beginning to hire in certain sectors, buck up and try and be more positive. Instead of deciding no one will look at your resume, be proactive, and take steps to make people notice you. Kathleen Brady, who wrote Get a Job! 10 Steps to Career Success, gives these resume tips: It should be brief, but instead of keeping to one page, as many suggest, she advises you shouldn't eliminate relevant information but expand to a second page if necessary to include it. Make sure the second page is at least half full with your name, address, phone and email numbers again at the top. Simple descriptive language is key. Computers will read it first and software is designed to search for specific words, so tailor it to special positions and use language in the job postings online to tell your experience. Instead of a "job objective" write a career summary that highlights your experience, skills and credentials that will work in this job. List experience with most recent job first, then work back. No personal information is necessary, says Brady, and have personal references on another page ready if asked for them.

(Q.2) I RECENTLY COMPLETED MY RN training and work in a large medical center. One afternoon last week, during a downtime, when all was quiet, I stood in the hall texting to my Facebook page. Suddenly my supervisor came over and reprimanded me. I don't see why she was angry since I had nothing else to do and was where I could hear anyone that needed me. I didn't say anything to her and put away the phone. But I was angry because everyone everywhere uses cell phones at work. Shouldn't I have responded somehow?

(ANS.) YOU DID THE RIGHT THING by remaining quiet. As your mother probably told you, no matter what everyone else is doing you must do what's right, and a hospital is not a place for personal business. Cheryl Djellasega and Rebecca L. Volpe, authors of Toxic Nursing: Managing Bullying, Bad Attitudes, and Total Turmoil, add that the nature of patient care never is finished. If all tasks are completed, that gives a good nurse time to spend a few minutes talking with a patient who is alone and fearful and has no visitors, is facing a frightful diagnosis, or just needs attention. The authors also believe in waiting to make personal cell phone calls until you're off the floor on break unless it's urgent. In the latter case, they add, the calls should take place on the hospital desk phone and be limited to three to five minutes.

(Q.3) FINALLY I'VE BEEN PROMOTED to middle management and for the first time have a team of about ten people reporting to me. I'm supposed to "lead" them and want to motivate and inspire them but I've never had an opportunity to learn to do that. Any quick tips? I start next week.

(ANS.)NO ONE CAN TEACH THE WHOLE BIBLE while standing on one foot, but Brad Karsh and Courtney Templin, authors of Manager 3.0, A Millennial's Guide to Rewiring the Rules of Management, say some behavior patterns to help you are: clearly establish your expectations, set strong team and individual goals and give feedback; hold yourself accountable for failure. Search and find ways to communicate, including your style of work; listen critically and give opinions while staying open to other points of view; get to know your people as individuals and somehow get some fun in. Teamwork happens if you play to each team member's strength. DR.JOB adds: keep your sense of humor.

 (Q.4) I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE IN THE HEALTH care field but know I don't have the stamina or the ability to go through pre med then medical school and internship and a residency to become a doctor. But I do believe I can be a very good nurse and have done some preliminary research and interviews and found that's a viable career for me. The only issue I have is the lack of male nurses in the industry. I wouldn't enjoy being considered an anomaly, or something weird for my entire career. Do you see more men coming into nursing? Should I just rise above this issue?

(ANS.) YOUR RIGHT, MALE NURSES STILL ARE a minority in that workplace. But don't let that stop you from choosing a career you and your advisors feel you are qualified for and have the right attitude and aptitude to succeed in. Rather, look at this as an opportunity for you to help change that stereotype. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports men comprise just 7 percent of U.S. registered nurses, 5 percent of nursing faculty teaching from the baccalaureate to the PhD, and 4.5 percent of school of nursing deans (2012). Although men have been trying for decades to push past gender biases, they obviously still exist. But finally, male nurses are speaking out, extending a helping hand to all men who might need some encouragement to follow their dream and you may take advantage of that and join them. A helpful guide is Man Up! A Practical Guide for Men in Nursing by Christopher Lance Coleman with some of the most successful male leaders in nursing today as contributors who are attempting to shake up the very wrong status quo.
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