With the year-end holiday season come introspection and reflection. It’s the time to unwind and remind ourselves to give thanks and express gratitude.
This year has been unusual. Hard to find good when we lost loved ones and dear friends. Hard to find justice with racism and gun violence continuously rearing its ugly head. Hard to find leadership when those entrusted to preserve, protect and defend, pervert the truth and desecrate faith. In times like these it’s easy to give up and wish about fast-forwarding time to erase the current and move to greener pastures. OK fast-forward time and then what?
We’ll get the vaccine. January 20th will come on January 20th. But time? We have a say over our time. It’s what we make of it. It’s ours to use or waste, and the ultimate decision-maker is ourselves.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and smile!
- Appreciate you, your interests and what you like
- Follow your curiosity, ability to think and learn
- Reach out to friends and family members
There’s a lot we lost this year, but the “me, mine, us, and ours,” is yours. Always.
Let’s enjoy the now, before it goes, because it will. Though we may not have much say over things that go haywire, our time is ours to do as we wish. Let’s be grateful for our time and make the most of it. Afterall haven’t we given away enough?
Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season and much Peace and Zen in the New Year.
It’s been 7 weeks since Memorial Day; it’s another 7 weeks until Labor Day.
For those who remained employed, many worked remotely. For others it’s been a summer of cancelled opportunities and internships, rescinded offers, layoffs, and furloughs.
If you’re in the latter category, I’m sure you had many well-intended folks weigh in and encourage you to embark on creative projects, acquire new skills, cultivate your professional network, to get organized and have something to say and show for Summer 2020.
We’re half way through Summer 2020. What have you done?
We had and still have COVID-19, compounded by tragic news and politics to make matters worse. Plainly put, it’s been a hell of a summer, we get it. Unfortunately, that’s not going to cover up the gap in your resume for Summer 2020. The good news is it’s not late… remember we have 7 weeks till Labor Day. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Turn off the cellphone and dedicate a block of time. You don’t have to spend hours, unless you can and/or want to. This may be one of the few instances where frequency matters more than duration to develop mental muscle memory to think and focus in order to act.
- Write a list and keep it short. Max 5 items you want to tackle throughout the week. The number of items on your list is a personal preference. Some claim 7 is the magic number, others say 3.
- Set a deadline and establish a timeline for each one of your items from start to finish. For example, if an item were to take a month (4 weeks) to complete, breakdown weekly tasks to be completed during week 1 through week 4.
- Check in with yourself midweek. What did you get to? What you haven’t gotten to should go to the top of the list.
- Evaluate yourself at the end of the week. It’s OK if you don’t complete all items on your list, but if you notice certain “To Dos” keep getting bumped down, ask yourself why. Did you overestimate your capacity to complete the task for the week or underestimate the amount of time needed. Do you keep tackling the easy stuff and putting off the harder ones. Is your time getting hijacked by others, or are you letting them do so and thus sabotaging yourself.
It’s important for all of us to keep in mind that thinking and getting projects completed take time. There’s no app in the world that’ll complete your “To Do” list for you in a nano second.
Practicing to develop mental muscle memory to tackle your projects is like learning to play a sport, play an instrument, speak a foreign language.
Just imagine, when an interviewer or a professional you’re looking to impress asks “What did you do during that difficult Summer of 2020?” You’ll be rewarded by having something meaningful, productive and proud to talk about.
You don’t need this article to remind you that there are plenty of great sports teams that won after being down at halftime.
Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many more, they’re not the only ones, #SAYTHEIRNAMES !
I’m sharing the link below, an extensive list of resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein in May 2020, brought to my attention by my former colleague Megan DaPisa-Keita. bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES
Meet & Greet: Northwell Health
Project Job recently hosted a virtual Meet & Greet with Mr. Lesly St. Louis, Inclusion Specialist at Northwell Health for candidates with disabilities in the New York City area. We are grateful to Mr. St. Louis for his excellent and engaging presentation on current opportunities at Northwell Health and top job search tips.
Here were some key takeaways:
- Maintain a professional email address
- Spell check, grammar check, proof read resume, cover letters, and all correspondences. You may want to ask someone to look it over.
- Resumes should be clear and concise; quantify your accomplishments and articulate impact on the department and organization
- List hard skills (i.e Microsoft office, foreign language, programming software,etc…)
- Soft skills are expectations, embed them into your accomplishments to articulate impact
- Objectives should speak to the job description
- For virtual interviews – confirm your IT connection, camera, audio, are in working order; sharpen your virtual interview skills, as they have become increasingly necessary and popular
- Arrive 15-20 minutes before an in-person interview; for virtual interviews,10 minutes.
- Maintain eye contact, be mindful of body language, sit up straight, avoid hands and gesticulating in the picture
- During virtual interviews have a professional background
- Research organization and have at least 5 questions to ask
- In expressing your interest for the job, speak to the job, cite personal interest, and then the organization
- Last but not least, always send the interviewer a thank you email within 24 hours!!! Not sending one is a deal breaker.
Our eternal thanks to Northwell Health and to all healthcare workers for their hard work and dedication during these times.
Ace your virtual Interview
Who would have ever thought hiring an employee would be done without meeting the candidate in-person? Businesses may have shutdown requiring many to work remotely and from home, however the need to meet competitive demands and to adjust and excel in this environment are mandatory in order to keep their doors open. Even if it’s a virtual one.
Today, meeting with clients, sealing deals, and collaborating with colleagues via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts has become a standard. The ability to communicate persuasively and virtually without an in-person meeting is a necessity and has increased in value. For job seekers virtual interviews are here to stay. Therefore, it’s imperative to develop an awareness of how we look, sound and are perceived virtually.
The basic steps to preparing for an interview will always be the same:
- Research the employer
- Rehearse articulating your skills and experiences in order to demonstrate qualification and fit
- Have a list of questions for the interviewer that reflect your research
Virtual interviews have added layers to the preparation process that also require thought and practice. To best understand and analyze these added layers let’s go through the various stages of the interview process:
What do we typically do when we first meet an interviewer? We shake hands, introduce ourselves and say “It’s nice to meet you!” In a virtual interview, we don’t have the benefit of shaking hands. Look straight at the camera, smile, introduce yourself and say “It’s nice to meet you!” then ask if they can hear and see you ok.
- Know your interviewer’s meeting software of choice. (Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype)
- Double check your internet connectivity well in advance of the meeting
- Know where your camera is on your screen
- Position your screen so the camera is at eye level otherwise you will appear to be looking down at them, or if the screen is set high, they will only see the top of your head
- Make sure they can see your entire head and shoulders
- Dress appropriately, avoid clothing with busy patterns
- Have a clean and appropriate background
Sharing your computer
What’s the next thing we typically do after initial introductions? We bring extra resumes, and may hand them a copy. In a virtual interview you may want to email your resume in advance of the meeting. Ask them if they would like you to share your screen to show your resume.
- Have your resume file ready and available on your desktop, you don’t want to be seen fumbling through files in search of your resume
- If you’re asked to give a presentation as part of your interview, have the Power point slides and other materials open and ready on your desktop
- Keep your desktop clean, what you have is what they see
Communicating your actions
During an in-person interview, it’s not unusual to take notes. During a virtual interview, you can do the same. Unlike an in-person interview, keep in mind the interviewer can only see you from your shoulders up and doesn’t have the benefit of seeing and knowing why you’re looking down.
- Explain “I am jotting some notes, on my pad”
- Communicate to avoid your body language from getting misconstrued
- Avoid keyboarding, the sound is distracting
It’s always important to have at least three questions to ask the interviewer. It reflects your research on the employer and your intellectual curiosity about the work they do.
- What is their timeline for hiring during COVID-19 and even after reopening?
- How does the team communicate with one another? Microsoft Teams, Google chat, Beehive? There are multiple meeting and collaborative software programs utilized by organizations, ask which one they use
- Familiarize yourself with the most popular ones and communicate your knowledge and ability to navigate the platform
- If you’re not familiar with their platform, it’s OK to say so and let them know you’ll check it out
After any interview whether it’s in-person, by phone, or virtual, write a thank you note. Not writing one is a deal breaker.
- Thank them for taking the time to meet with you, mention that you wish it could have been in-person, but given the circumstances, you’re grateful for having had the opportunity to meet with them virtually
- Keep it short and mention one thing about the interview that you appreciated
- If you checked out their particular collaboration software after your interview, let them know that
- Invite them to view your Linkedin profile, they may take a look and who knows if they like what they see they may connect with you!
- Record yourself
- Recruit a friend, relative who will provide honest feedback
- Avoid waiting till the last minute
With practice, your comfort level, confidence and competence will show through. Good luck!
As many states start to reopen and others contemplate the timing of their reopening, we’re left to wonder how the workplace and our personal habits will be forever changed. Whether one agrees with the reopening or not, changes to the way we seek work and get work done are inevitable. Same old same old is gonzo.
What will the new normal look like? Will we have staggered shifts as we take turns working remotely or commuting to work wearing masks, gloves with disinfectant wipes in tow. Whatever the transformation may be, the ability to present ourselves virtually and address preceptions will be key. Virtual meetings, presentations, and interviews are here to stay and will become increasingly valued.
Change is hard. It requires us to confront ourselves, reevaluate our own capacity, retool and pivot. Often we realize our perceptions of ourselves are not what we actually see, and the truth hurts, it stings. The sure thing is no longer, and venturing into the unknown is scary and causes anxiety. History shows we’ve made remarkable changes after major crisis. The way we travel, the paradigm of work and financial regulations, how we view and care for our environment are just a few examples of changes made within the past 20 years. Though some may debate their efficacies, most would agree on their intentions – to provide safety and to preserve quality of life.
NYS Governor Cuomo announced subways will shutdown from 1am-5am starting May 6 to disinfect each and every NYC subway car on daily basis. Yes the hardy and early morning commuters will be inconvenienced, but wow perhaps the homeless will finally get the attention and care they desperately need. The city that never sleeps may finally get the rest it needs to rejuvenate. Change is hard, change is good and change can be productive if we embrace it.
P.S. Project Job Zooms presents: The Art of Virtual Interviewing is coming soon, so please stay tuned!
How many times have you heard, “It’s not the problem you have, or are dealing with, but how you handle it.”
In the past month, we’ve seen an epic shift from a world of mass transit commutes, Starbucks, Broadway shows, to working remotely, Instacart deliveries, and virtual happy hours. Different people have reacted differently. For some, the onset of back to back Zoom meetings in the remote workplace made them realize time is at a premium, requiring intentional and selective action about their schedules. Others seemed to be lost in paralysis. Caught up in the world of social media to play inane games to bide the time, complain, or assign blame.
For job seekers, today’s employment landscape is in flux. Internships are cancelled, job offers rescinded, on hold, or with delayed start dates. However, there are websites with remote internship opportunities, sites for seekers to connect with businesses looking to hire those whose offers were rescinded. Some organizations are posting again after having reassessed need and hiring capacity. Telephone and virtual interviews via Skype and Zoom are taking place.
Opportunities are out there. They may not be what you’re looking for, but they’re out there. This is an important time to: Reassess, Pivot, and Fill the void.
- Your dream job may not be in demand at the moment. What opportunities are there currently where you might utilize a skill you have already or might learn a new one? That is of interest to you, or related to a hobby?
- How are you going to fill your time? If your dream job at XYZ is not available will you consider volunteering at XYZ? Identify a contact on Linked In who works at XYZ and ask for a 20 minute exploratory chat/Zoom?
- Do you want to learn a new skill – to code, paint, speak a foreign language? Is there a book, a piece of literature you’ve always wanted to read? Is there a period in history you were always interested in looking up?
Doing something is better than doing nothing. Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, keep moving.” Keep moving, keep adding to your resume. When the virus is gone, you will be asked to look back on this time and talk about what you did. Have answers and remember, it’s not about the problem and what you’re dealing with, but how you handled it.
Everyone wants to predict the post-pandemic future, trying desperately to figure out when things will go back to normal. Though none of us have a crystal ball, it seems inevitable that the new normal would reflect a recalibration of standards on how we view and value working remotely, our concept of space whether it’s at home or in the workplace, and how we interact with one another socially and professionally.
What would the workplace look like? Will there be new restrictions limiting the number of people in any given area. Will employees work in staggered shifts, while others work remotely. Will virtual Zoom meetings make in-person staff meetings obsolete. How will we hold ourselves and each other accountable at work in this new normal. How will job seekers need to modify their job search process in this new and changed world. We may not have all of the answers right now, however virtual interviews which were utilized during pre-pandemic times are key today, and here to stay.
Get IT fluent.
Confirm your internet connection, know the employer’s choice of virtual meeting software e.g. Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, and become familiar with how to navigate them.
Clean up your desktop. When you share, what you have is what they see. Make sure the desktop image is appropriate, and hide any files/folders you don’t want anyone else to see.
Some experts advise to keep the background bare or neutral. I’m of the opinion that it’s ok to stylize your background, to show your personality, just make sure it’s neat and organized, appropriate, apolitical, and non-controversial.
Get dressed, but don’t overdo it; ensure the focus is on you and your face.
Keep a notepad and pen next to you to jot things down. Avoid typing and keyboarding during the interview. The sound is distracting.
Body Language. Get an understanding, appreciation for what you look like, how you come across and sound like. Many are often surprised at what they actually sound like, or what they look like when they’re speaking. Practice by using the software, record yourself, then observe and listen to your recording. Are you making eye contact, blinking too much, saying “um” or “you know” excessively.
Save the water break for later. Avoid taking a drink of water during the interview. Watch the news on TV. Do you see Anderson Cooper chugging his water when he’s delivering the news and the camera is fixed on him? I don’t think so. Remember when Marco Rubio took a sip of water during his post- State of the Union speech? He got a lot of heat for it and became the butt of SNL’s jokes.
Turn your cellphone off! Even if you know the interviewer can’t see your hands, leave the cellphone alone. You wouldn’t check your cellphone during an in-person interview, right?
Take notes. If you have to look down to do so, explain to the interviewer quickly and briefly that you’re jotting down a few words.
Practice makes perfect. Imagine yourself as an actor preparing for your show. You need to rehearse and know your lines, read your audience, and envision how you’re coming across to your audience. Your virtual interview is your time to shine. The interviewer is your audience. The spotlight is on you, you’re the star of the show, make the most of it. Lights, Camera, Action!
I just finished reading What Happened, Hillary Clinton’s book about her 2016 Presidential bid and loss. Two sentences on page 398 stuck in my mind. “When people are angry and looking for someone to blame, they don’t want to hear your ten-point plan to create jobs and raise wages. They want you to be angry, too.” Those 2 sentences got me thinking. Got me thinking because we all want validation.
We are bored. Bored of the lockdown, self-quarantine, the news. Bored of back-to-back virtual this and a that. Even virtual cocktails and happy hours get old after awhile.
We are anxious. Anxious of listening to Coronavirus Breaking News 24-7 and ambulances screeching all the time flying up and down the streets. None of us like being told of a virus for which there isn’t a test, therapy or vaccine. None of us like being locked up indoors, and having our freedoms curtailed. I hate it too!
OK I got it out, posted it, and desperately want to move on. Let me know when you’re ready, the more the merrier. Stay safe and healthy!
Last week was packed with Zoom sessions, Google Hangouts, FaceTime Videochats, and other meetings using all of the hi tech’s latest and greatest apps. There was one common underlying theme to each and every virtual meeting and phone call last week. With life relegated to Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services, many reported feeling lonely, isolated, bored, and less engaged.
The Museum Arts Culture Access Consortium has compiled a wonderful trove of resources available for all to tap into. www.macaccess.org features links to over 30 New York Citywide museums and cultural organizations’ websites, as well as links to virtual tours, podcasts, online courses, learning and teaching resources for parents and students, and many more. Simply said there’s something here for everyone. My personal favorite is the Smithsonian Learning Lab. I really enjoyed watching the video of Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135 Astronauts (including one female astronaut) talk about their mission that took place in July 2011.
Next time you’re bored or know of someone who is, why not visit https://macaccess.org/home-new/at-home-activities/. There’s alot here to keep you busy, plus it’s fun, and you’ll learn a lot!
Congratulations on completing what is for many the first week of shutdown. What a week!
I was in back-to-back virtual meetings via FaceTime, Google Hangout, Zoom with smatterings of phone calls, and conversations over texts. Checked Facebook and Instagram first thing in the morning to see who had birthdays and wish them a happy one, and in the early evening to stay in touch and like pictures and posts. I noticed a fair number of posts that joked about how there’s no need to color one’s hair since no one would notice, or referred to pajamas as work-from-home attire, or indicated there’s no need to upgrade a wardrobe since there’s no one to impress. Have to admit, they gave me a chuckle or two, but it also got me thinking. All joking aside, if you are a job seeker, or if you’re working from home, how you dress and look will have an impact on how you feel about yourself. Working independently on your job search and working remotely does mean you have someone to notice and impress.
Y O U !
You are important. You are impressive and deserve notice. It’s OK to like your friends and family, social media posts and tweets, but like yourself too.
Exercise and get those endorphins going! If you go outside, just keep that 6 foot distance between you and the other person. If you choose to hunker down, you can stretch, do sit-ups, crunches, and planks, and you don’t have to subscribe to fancy and expensive Zoom yoga classes. You can find plenty of self-proclaimed exercise gurus that would only be glad to have you view and like their DIY exercise youtube videos.
Get dressed! (take a shower first please) Yes that’s right, get dressed for you. Get dressed for work. Get dressed for your job search. In case you haven’t noticed that’s work too. A lot of work.
The proactive bird gets the worm. Did another interview get cancelled? Take the initiative and suggest an interview via FaceTime, Google Hangout, or Zoom. Don’t know how to operate Google Hangout, or do you need to setup a Zoom account? Invest your time now to prepare for tomorrow.
As you get ready for the upcoming week to tackle your work, job search, or pet projects, please know we are rooting you on and wish you great luck.
Above all, R-E-S-P-E-C-T yourself!
Working from home offers flexibility and has its benefits. It reduces dreadful commutes ridden with delays and jams. It also empowers us to design our schedules and define productivity according to who we are and how we operate. Working remotely also requires self-discipline, the ability to internalize structure to complete tasks on hand, and to hold ourselves accountable and not cheat or shortchange ourselves. For many people with or without disabilities the ability to create and stick to a schedule is a challenge. How many times have we heard of individuals who required support around time management, or who lack executive functioning skills? Managing time is a skill which can be acquired through repeated practice over a period of time. Here are some suggestions…
Create lists. Break them down into 3 categories: (Below are just examples).
- Things that must get done: School work, job search, prep meals
- Things I’d like to get done: Workout, household chores
- Things to do during break: Call/text friends and family, email, social media (FB, Instagram), Watch TV
Ask yourself the following questions: (everyone is different). Am I a morning person, a night owl, somewhere in between, or really don’t know? What kind of day do I want. 9-5? 10-6? If I absolutely need help from others, what time of the day can I reach them? What distracts me – phone, notifications, certain people?
Create your schedule by filling in the blanks: (this is merely an example)
6:00 am Wake up and have coffee
7:00 am Crossword puzzle, workout
8:00 am Get ready for work
9:00 am Schoolwork – reading, homework
10:00 am Schoolwork – study for exams
11:30 am mid-morning break
12:00 pm Job search – update resume
1:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Job search – research websites
3:00 pm Job search – draft cover letters
4:30 pm mid-afternoon break
5:00 pm Review day’s work and create To Do list for tomorrow
Tackle the list by turning off or silencing your phone. Minimize distractions by turning off notifications. If certain people have the habit of distracting you, have a chat with them beforehand show them your schedule and ask them politely to hold off till your break. If you work in a separate room, put up a “Do not disturb” or “Concentrating right now” sign and on the sign indicate your break time.
Keep track of what you’ve accomplished. Tasks you weren’t able to complete or get around to tackling should go to the top of your following day’s “To Do” list.
Again, these are only suggestions. Just like our fingerprints, we are all wonderfully unique. What works for one person, may not work for the other. Embrace this time to discover how you like to work independently and what works best for you.
First and foremost, Project Job hopes you and yours are safe and healthy. These are highly unusual times wrought with anxiety and stress, and the continuous stream of headline news does not help.
For job seekers like yourself, the cancellation of job fairs, the delays in response to your resume submissions, the postponements of interviews only feed into insecurities and exacerbate a fraughtful process. However, the disruption to the flow of your employment search, and the added loneliness in a world that is temporarily working remotely, can be used to your advantage today to get a job tomorrow. Here’s a few ways to grab the gloom and doom by the horns and start making lemonade out of lemons.
- Catch up. How many times have you felt you didn’t have enough time to for your job search “chores?”
- Review and update your resume
- Create or polish your LinkedIn profile
- Create that excel spreadsheet and enter jobs you’ve applied for
- Reconnect or stay in touch with former colleagues
- Research a new list of prospective employers
- Get curious. Learn a new skill, listen to a TED talk, check out a new podcast. Here are some suggestions: LinkedIn learning, Grow with Google, TED talks, How I Built This podcast with Guy Raz.
- Stay connected with your circle of support and friends, by using the phone, facetime, google hangout, skype, or other modes of communication that you’re comfortable with. Network with professionals by connecting and communicating via LinkedIn.
- Exercise your mind and body, go outside, do a crossword puzzle, take pictures, listen to music.
- Reflect and hear yourself think. Jot your thoughts down.
Yes be mindful of your surroundings, be safe and careful, wash those hands, embrace the solitude to tackle your “To Do” list, and please stay in touch.
Best, Mariko firstname.lastname@example.org
Greetings, we hope this note finds you well. Given the current state of circumstances, the Theatre Intern Fair, originally scheduled for Saturday, March 14, has been cancelled. We will continue to keep you posted on any further developments. Please contact us if you have any questions, and please stay safe and healthy!
Looking for a theatre-related internship? Here’s your chance! Event takes place on Saturday, March 14th, AND registration closes March 12. So sign up now and break legs!
The A.R.T./New York Intern Fair is being held in a physically accessible venue, with elevator access and accessible restrooms on the same floor as the event space. Additionally, A.R.T./New York is working with the Museum, Arts and Culture Access Consortium (MAC) to make our annual Theatre Intern Fair accessible to candidates with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Registrants will receive an advance list of participating theatres, and a quiet room will be available onsite for anyone who needs to take a sensory break. A visual story will also be provided in advance of the Fair, which will include directions to the venue, a map of the event space, and photos of the venue, including the entrance, lobby, hallways, quiet room, and event space.
Representatives from MAC’s Supporting Transitions program will be on hand at the Intern Fair to offer two prep sessions specifically for attendees with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities—ensuring that the Intern Fair experience is accessible and fruitful for everyone.
For accessibility information, special circumstances, or other accommodations please contact Kirsten Sweeney at email@example.com. Interpretation services are available by request; requests must be made at least 7 business days before the event.
The A.R.T./New York Intern Fair is being held in a physically accessible venue, with elevator access and accessible restrooms on the same floor as the event space. Additionally,
A.R.T./New York is working with the
Museum, Arts and Culture Access Consortium (MAC) to make our annual Theatre Intern Fair accessible to
candidates with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Registrants will receive an advance list of participating theatres, and a quiet room will be available onsite for anyone who needs to take a sensory break. A visual story will also be provided in advance of the Fair, which will include directions to the venue, a map of the event space, and photos of the venue, including the entrance, lobby, hallways, quiet room, and event space.
Representatives from MAC’s Supporting Transitions program will be on hand at the Intern Fair to offer two prep sessions specifically for attendees with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities—ensuring that the Intern Fair experience is accessible and fruitful for everyone.
For accessibility information, special circumstances, or other accommodations please contact Kirsten Sweeney at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Interpretation services are available by request; requests must be made at least 7 business days before the event.
If you have any questions about the 2020 Intern Fair, please contact Membership Coordinator Jeannely Lopez at email@example.com or (212) 244-6667 ext. 231.
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