What Motivates You?

In a constantly growing work force how do we keep up with the growing pains of life around us? Many times it is those who cross our path that motivate us into what we need to do. Or maybe it is motivation based on responsibility of supporting a family or our lifestyle. But, my favorite kind of motivation is by example of others. I have been lucky to have been surrounded with a handful of highly driven professionals in my career who have motivated me to do well at my job and push me to where I am today. But, it started way before that with a driven young father who was motivated by family and survival.

His perspective and story – In the early 1990’s a young father of six children worked an average job that barely paid the bills working as a janitor. He enlisted into the United States Air Force Reserves to pursue more opportunities for himself and his family. Even having a great work ethic and dedication to take care of his family, it was still not enough. Looking ahead he knew that his barely above minimum wage job and a small military reserve paycheck would not continue to pay the bills as his growing children had more needs and as daily living continued to become more and more expensive. So, in his late 20’s with four school age children and two infant children he enrolled into college to further his education and broaden his opportunities for growth in his career. This was only the beginning. After attending classes for about two years he attained his AA degree from a community college, continuing to work a full time job and serve in the Air Force Reserves. He then enrolled into a bachelors program at a college in the city. In effort to keep cost low he took the train system into the city taking along both infant children with him. He was surviving and pursing his dreams at the same time. Two years later he completed his bachelors degree and attained a job working at a local department of the city. He begin to move his way up in both his military reserve and civilian career. Not stopping there, he enrolled into a MBA program to better his chances for movement into management, working his way to retirement. He had a goal and a responsibility, he also needed to survive, so he made it work. He managed his time. He managed his resources. He brought his family along for the ride and held up his responsibility as a father.

My perspective, the infant child – In the early 1990’s I was around 5 years old, loving life. Two of my favorite things were riding on a huge train into the big city. I loved crossing the bridge and I LOVED all the city lights. My dad was in the military and every time he had to leave he ALWAYS brought me back a Polly Pocket (not the kind they have now but the good ones from back in the day that had a million little pieces). I remember when we go into my dad’s classroom he had my baby brother and I sit in the back with our coloring books. Sometimes one of his classmates, whose parents owned a Chinese restaurant in the city, would bring us fortune cookies. Another one of the classmates was a police officer, she did a presentation on child seat safety, I thought it was the coolest presentation ever and wondered when the kind of car seats she was talking about would be developed (they are now). The professor was always so nice, he even gave my brother and I a real permanent marker to draw with. When class was over we’d walk back to the train station, it was always dark and the city lights were beautiful. It was always freezing and I remember being so thankful my mom made me where my flower cotton stockings under my skirt. On the long ride home each week my baby brother and I would cuddle up on my dad’s lap and watch the city lights disappear as we got closer to home. When dad finished school I remember going to a ceremony (it was a little boring), but, my grandparents came and took us to a really nice dinner to celebrate my dad’s accomplishment. Our home was always warm, we were always fed and taken care of. I watched my dad go to school, get certificates and start new and exciting jobs in the military and civilian workforce.

Fast forward to the summer of 2008, I had a three month old baby at 19 years old and I knew I needed to start planning for my future career. I took the first step by enrolling into school. Over the course of the next 9 years. I had two more babies, completed three degrees including an MBA, joined the United States Army serving two years active duty, one deployment to Iraq and transitioned into the National Guard on part time status, became a federal employee working for the Department of Interior and started an accredited non-profit organization that provides career services to veterans. Now, I am 29 years old and I am a dedicated full time mother, devoted partner, soldier, entrepreneur and mentor. One question that I always get asked, “How do you do it?”. I just do it! I don’t stop. I find a way even when obstacles arise and I push past or jump over them. These are all true answers. But, as I enter in my last year in my 20’s I realize there is something way bigger than me that motivated me to be where I am today.

Every day that I watched my dad pursue his dreams and goals, even better I watched him reach them and complete them. Developing himself more and more as a professional, respected human being. That is what motivated me. He didn’t know it, I for sure didn’t realize what was happening. But, he was leading me by example, setting a foundation for my future life choices. We all know kids repeat what they see and hear. Let it be something good. Motivate those around you with positivity, leading and mentoring them by example. I wouldn’t know how to balance, manage time and multi task if it wasn’t for him. I’m hear today because I had an outstanding example as a child of someone who embraced responsibility and was committed to professional growth and development.

Sometimes, just sometimes, when history repeats himself it is simply amazing….

Family
Dad, Me, and Brother

My father, myself and baby brother when they welcomed me home from Iraq. My dad is now happily retired from the Air Force Reserves and continues to advance in his civilian job. My little brother is a devouted father, MBA graduate, CPA and entrepreneur.

 

 

Family
Family Picture

My dad, brother and his son, myself and my three babies. My dad is a loving and dedicated father and grandfather.

 

Deployment & Refugees

In 2015 I moved with my three babies from California to North Dakota to start a new job as a federal employee.

In August of 2015 my son entered 2nd grade in Bismarck, ND. He came home after his first day and with deep concern he says “Mom I don’t understand this school and the kids, they told me I’m welcome here because I’m white, but they made this boy in my class sit alone during recess because he looks brown.” With sadness I told him that was very unfortunate and regardless of color or nationality we treat all people the same with love and kindness. “Mom I want to go back to California, we have all colors there and no one cares what color you are”.

September 2015 I sat in a coffee shop in Bismarck, ND and listened in on some locals talk in horror of the possibility of refugees coming from Syria to Minnesota and North Dakota. They made comments like “What will happen to our nation?” “What will happen to our state?” “What will happen to our kids?” “They should die in their own country.” “Send them somewhere else.” “We don’t have room here.” “They will sneak ISIS personnel in.”

I just listened and wondered if they were right or not. Do we help out? Is everyone in Syria part of ISIS? Will they sneak in the bad?

In October 2015 my Army unit was activated to deploy. In May 2016 I boarded a plane with over 400 Soldiers to deploy to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Yes, we trained leading up to the deployment, but in reality no one knew what to expect on the deployment. It wasn’t bad, it was a lot of hard work… but the experience… that was unforgettable.

In October 2016, five months into the deployment, I stood in line at a pizza/coffee shack (yes it was a shack) on a military base in the middle of Iraq. I got to the front of the line and the Iraq gentleman says “Madam we are closing”. I smiled and said “that’s alright, I should have came sooner”. He says “Madam you look so tired.” I laughed “I am, but I shouldn’t be, I have three kids back home, this should be nothing.” He smiled “let me put some pizza in for you and your friends and make you a Turkish coffee, it will wake you up.” I expressed my deep thanks for him staying late. Not knowing at this time what it meant for him to stay late.

The next morning I went back to the shop for more Turkish coffee (if you haven’t had one, find somewhere in the states that makes it). The same man smiled and asked me if I had talked to my kids last night. I explained I had not because by the time I got off work they were heading to school on the other side of the world and I’d have to stay up late tonight to talk to them when they got home from school. He says to me “yes I understand that”. He looked very sad. So, I sat down by the counter with my coffee and asked him if he had a family.

His story – “I have three kids and a wife. They live in India. We used to live together. Two years ago our town kept getting attacked. I sent my family away to be safe. I get to see them once a year. I stayed here because my aunt refused to leave and she owns a bakery, I didn’t want her to be alone. I was able to get a job on the military base helping the people who come from America to help us. I get up early every morning to come here and run this shop. I have to leave before dark or I can’t leave base and I have to sleep in my car.” I stopped him “last night when you stayed to make me coffee and pizza where did you sleep?” I asked. He responded “In my car, but it’s ok, you were sad and you needed some comfort and I understand that feeling.”  He went on to say “You and I are the same, my family lives in India so they are safe, you come here from America to help defend our country, your family stays behind and waits for you to come home, I come back to serve coffee and food to those who come to protect our country.”

Deployed

One year later in December 2017 we started reading a book to our three kids called “Refugee”. It’s a book about three kids that escape to America. One from Germany in the early 1900s. One from Cuba in the late 1900s. One from Syria in 2015. Last night we got to the part in the book where the little boy and his family from Syria had their entire house blown to pieces and they start to make their long journey to America. I had to pause every other word to try and maintain my composure wanting our kids to grasp every detail. But, all I could think of was my friend the barista from Iraq and his family and how they had to escape. In such a short time my knowledge of refugees from Syria went from not knowing if there were any good people left and wondering if the locals in the Bismarck coffee shop were indeed right to actually hearing first hand from a Iraq local and how his family had escaped.

I don’t blame anyone who thinks that refugees coming to the states is scary, they simply fear the unknown. I’m lucky to see and hear first hand. But, when in doubt think of this. America was founded in 1776. Refugees have been coming to America since then and continue to come. We are a diverse nation because we are not made up of one type of person or country but of all nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. Making us the best nation. We can’t stop now. America was built on freedom and will continue to be a place where those being mistreated can seek refuge.

  • Chris Angle, Mother, Soldier, Veteran Advocate

Upcoming Fundraiser Events!

Veterans’ Job Resources is pleased to announce the coming of many fundraisers.  First, we want to give a huge thanks to those who are hosting the fundraisers.  That includes Sushi Unlimited, California Pizza Kitchen, Chipotle, Brickyard Kitchen and Bar, and Vitality Bowls.  Thank you so much for your support!

The fundraising events are as follows:

Sushi Unlimted:  12/18/2017 – 4-9pm – 6693 Folsom Auburn Rd #A,  Folsom, CA 95630

California Pizza Kitchen:   12/21/2017 – All day – 1190 Roseville Pkwy,  Roseville, CA 95678

Chipotle:  12/27/2017 – 4-8pm – 781 Pleasant Grove Blvd,  Roseville, CA 95678

Brickyard Kitchen and Bar:  12/29/2017 – 12-7pm  – 1475 Eureka Rd #120  Roseville, CA 95661

Vitality Bowls:  12/30/2017 – 9am-7pm – 3988 Douglas Blvd #130  Roseville, CA 95661

If you go to any of the fundraising events, please announce that you are there to support Veterans’ Job Resources so we get credit.  The money raised goes to supporting veterans looking for civilian work by us helping with resume writing, interview skills, and job placement.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at  vetsgetjobs@gmail.com and I will get back to you.

Thank you so much!

Who are you remembering this Veterans Day?

Today, we observe Veterans Day in the United States. I remember how important this day was to my grandfather, a very proud Navy veteran, who served aboard the U.S.S. Porter (DD-356) during World War II.

My grandfather, a charismatic country boy from the deep South with a sharp tongue and ability to turn any phrase into a song, was often described as being incredibly lucky. After joining the Navy, he was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Believe it or not, the U.S.S. Porter set sail from Pearl Harbor on December 5, 1941. just two days before the surprise attack that killed approximately 2,400 people. If that’s luck, it was certainly on his side.

The crew aboard the Porter saw their share of battles, including the Battle of Santa Cruz, in which the Porter was lost. My grandfather, again with luck on his side, survived the sinking and was picked up by the U.S.S. Shaw (DD-373). Ultimately, he was mustered out in November 1942. Later, taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, he bought a home in the suburbs and raised a family.

As a child, I remember being captivated by the memories my grandfather would share around the a restaurant dinner table. If accompanied by my grand-uncle, also a WWII veteran, the conversations would last long into the night, typically until the host or hostess gently nudged us out the door. Today, those stories are no more, but the memories survive.

While my grandfather numbers just one of many veterans in my family, Veterans Day was especially important to him. It was a chance for us and other Americans to honor him and others like him for their service to our country.

Today, I remember my grandfather, the other veterans in my family, and honor their service for our country.

Who are you remembering this Veterans Day?

Our unsung heroes – military spouses

When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released their study of military spouses in the workplace in June of 2017, the results were jaw-dropping. The most significant challenges for military spouses in the workplace are unemployment or underemployment (underemployment would be like a general doing KP duty).

Furthermore, the study indicated that 92% of military spouses are women.

The study goes on to state that the spouse unemployment rate is 16%, which is four times greater than all adult women (4% in May 2017) and three times greater than woman aged 20 to 25.

The study does go into greater detail, including reasons why this problem exists. If you are interested, see the full study here.

The good news is, services offered by Veterans Job Resources are also available for spouses or partners of veterans, regardless of gender. We can help you polish your resume or with job placement. Don’t try to do it alone when you can have a nonprofit fighting on your behalf, free of charge. Contact us today.

Why military hard skills matter

Hard skills matter more than you might think in your job search. If you don’t have the hard skills required by potential employers, your job search will suffer.

What is a hard skill?

A hard skill is one that can be learned. For example, a hard skill for a warehousing worker might be 3PL Warehouse Manager or Asset Panda. Not to be confused with a soft skill, which is more like behaviors, such as persuasion or collaboration.

Why hard skills matter

When you apply for a job, many employers first filter applicants by hard skills. In fact, most companies have an application tracking system (ATS) that does just that, without any human intervention at all. If your skillset doesn’t match those in the job posting, it’s the equivalent of your resume going straight to the trash.

Even if a company doesn’t use an ATS or prefers to involve a human along the way (perhaps even meeting a hiring manager at a career fair), one of the first professional evaluations to occur is a review of your hard skills. If you have what they need, your chances of getting that job just increased.

Let’s say you get that interview and are a top candidate. Who will get the offer? Most likely, the person with the closest hard skills match.

Converting military hard skills

Your time in the military gave you many new hard skills – perhaps even with products not available outside the military. It’s just knowing how to translate them to your advantage in the civilian job market.

First, find a military skills translator, whether on the Web (Google it) or with a skilled resume writer who specializes in veterans resumes. Even if you have someone do the paperwork, you still need to commit similar products to memory so you can talk about it in an interview. If you are asked if you know a particular product, you can respond with “no, but I’ve used a similar product, and since they are so similar, it’ll be easy for me to learn quickly.” That answer showcases your soft skills, such as confidence and ability to learn. Soft skills that employers desire!

Conclusion

While most employers have told me they seek specific soft skills, the entry to barrier will be your hard skills. Without the hard skills employers need, your job search will struggle. Make the most of your career by staying on top of industry trends and taking advantage of any opportunity to add a new product to your hard skillset.

Don’t miss out! Register to attend the free resume writing seminar at the YMCA

Don’t forget, on Saturday, September 30, 2017, between 10 AM and 12 noon, Veterans Job Resources will be hosting a free resume writing seminar for veterans at the Sacramento Central YMCA on W Street.

You will learn how to:

  • Write a resume to get a Federal Government job
  • Navigate the USAJOBS Federal Government employment site
  • Write resumes to get you noticed in the civilian job market
  • Find the right job with personal branding

By attending this event, veterans will learn how to market themselves effectively to get their dream job in the Federal Government or civilian corporate world.

Sacramento Central YMCA is located at 2021 W Street, Sacramento, between 19th and 21st streets. The event runs from 10 AM to noon on Saturday, September 30th.

Register to attend at EventBrite or on Facebook/veteransjobresources.

Write a targeted resume to get an interview

Writing your resume is tough enough, but with the odds of your resume being seen by hiring managers so slim, you’ll need all the help you can get. Eventually, the job of your dreams will finally be posted and you’ll want to go the extra mile to get an interview. So now what?

Customize your resume for the position!

Sounds easy enough, but to get past the applicant tracking system (ATS), you’ll need to learn the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is how journalists and other writers get their work seen by search engines (Google, Bing, etc.). That way, their articles will display in search results. ATS’s work in the same manner. They scan your resume like a search engine and if your resume matches the search criteria, your resume will be selected as a top match. The trick is, knowing how to align your resume with the search criteria. So how do you do that?

Match their job posting requirements!

Although there are multiple methods to do that, I’ll focus on just one to get you started: Keyword optimization. Keyword optimization involves researching and selected the best keywords (hint, they are in the job posting), so that your resume is seen by the ATS. Thankfully, there is a handy free tool available that can provide information to guide you.

How TagCrowd can help

With TagCrowd, you can cut and paste the job description and requirement into the appropriate box. Under Options, next to Show Frequencies? click Yes. After a quick visualization, you’ll get a list of the top keywords used in the job posting.

Visit TagCrowd at https://tagcrowd.com/

(no compensation was paid for my recommendation)

Next step

Your next step is carefully match a few of the top keywords in your resume (I generally aim for the top 5 meaningful keywords). This can be tricky. If the job posting is written poorly, you’ll discover some of the top keywords have nothing to do with the accomplishments on your resume. You’ll have to determine if the open position will actually be a good fit for you. If it is, you may also want to see if anyone in your professional network can put your resume in front of the hiring manager’s eyes.

Just a warning, don’t get too carried away with matching all the keywords exactly. This process, known as “keyword stuffing,” will be recognized as such by the ATS and you’ll be rejected.

Nevertheless, TagCrowd can be an important tool to use in customizing your resume to get your dream job. Use it wisely and you will get that interview!

1 tip to get seen by hiring managers

Recently, one of my resume writing clients vented his frustration with his job search over the last few months. “I feel like I have the skills and qualifications, so why isn’t anyone interested in me?” he disclosed to me. Let me break it down for you.

Initially, hiring managers want someone who can walk in the door and be familiar with their technologies and methodologies right away.

Corporations have applicant tracking systems (ATS) in place to screen out candidates that do not meet this requirement, so this is where it gets complicated. In fact, some of the most perfectly qualified candidates will never be seen by hiring managers. So what can you do?

First, you need to state the exact name of every technology that you’ve ever used on your resume. Call out the full product name and it’s descriptor, if possible. For example, my client said that he had used Remedy for four years when he worked at a call center. Remedy, itself, is a company name and, in fact, no longer in existence. What did the ATS see? Nothing.

I rewrote the accomplishment with the product name as it is known today, which is “BMC IT Service Management.” Many modern ATS’s are smart enough to know current product names and now will call him out as a candidate with 4 years’ experience in service management software. Some of the older systems aren’t as smart, but you have to keep looking forward.

In summary, do the foot work and research every product name you’ve ever used. Visit corporate websites to find out actual names and use it wisely on your resume. Not only in your “skills” section but also once (just once, not more) under each position that you’ve held in the past.

YMCA of Superior California resume writing event for veterans

PRESS RELEASE

Veterans Job Resources presents: YMCA of Superior California resume writing event for veterans.

Sacramento, CA – On Saturday, September 30, 2017, between 10 AM and 12 noon, Veterans Job Resources will be hosting a free resume writing seminar for veterans at the Sacramento Central YMCA on W Street.

Chris Angle, founder of Veterans Job Resources, will be discussing:

  • How to write a resume to get a Federal Government job
  • How to navigate the USAJOBS Federal Government employment site

In addition, guest speaker, Scott Parsons, will be discussing:

  • Writing resumes to get you noticed in the civilian job market
  • Finding the right job with personal branding

By attending this event, veterans will learn how to market themselves effectively to get their dream job in the Federal Government or civilian corporate world.

“As part of our mission at Veterans Job Resources, we are really excited to offer this seminar for veterans” explains Chris. “we hope veterans will walk away feeling empowered with their job search, knowing they are a step up from other candidates.”

Sacramento Central YMCA is located at 2021 W Street, Sacramento, between 19th and 21st streets. The event runs from 10 AM to noon on Saturday, September 30th.

Register to attend at EventBrite or on Facebook/veteransjobresources.

About Veterans Job Resources

Veterans Job Resources by PreciseAngle is an accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides career advancement services and job placement to veterans. For more information, visit www.veteransjobresources.org

About Scott Parsons

Scott is a professional writer and career advancement enthusiast with over 20 years’ experience working as a writer in the civilian corporate world. For information, visit scottwrites4you.strikingly.com

About YMCA of Superior California

Inspiring all people to a healthy life – in spirit, mind and body is the mission that guides the work of the YMCA of Superior California. More than a pool or gym, the Y is a cause dedicated to the positive development of youth, healthy living for people of all ages, and social responsibility in addressing the critical needs of the communities we serve. With programs from athletics to advocacy, dance to disease prevention, and cycling to child care, the Y doesn’t just strengthen individuals, we strengthen communities. For more information, visit www.ymcasuperiorcal.org

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