The Bullseye - October 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

In This Issue:
Tips for Career Advancement,
Send Us Your Alumni Update,
Employment Situation Summary,
Congratulation's to This Month's Winner,
Mortgage Mistakes to Avoid,
Connect with Orion

Tips for Career Advancement

Do you ever find yourself wondering why your co-workers are passing you by, moving up the corporate ladder while you are stuck? Perhaps the only difference is that your co-workers have asked for what they want. Career experts agree that if you are ready for the next step in your career, today’s workplace demands that you make your desires clear. It is up to you to take control of your professional future. The following are strategies to help you achieve your goal of career advancement:

1. Keep the lines of communication open. Be sure to let your boss know exactly where you see yourself and when. Put together a plan for achieving that goal, and make sure that the plan you’ve outlined aligns with the company’s goals and objectives.

2. Ask for more responsibility. Volunteer to help out another department or team. Ask to be part of special projects and help with any extra work in your department. This shows not only a commitment to your team and/or company but also makes you more valuable to them.

3. Work on your interpersonal skills. Gaining respect from your boss and co-workers will go far in your desire for career advancement. It doesn’t mean you have to be the office’s social butterfly, but keeping the lines of communication open will help your cause.

4. Think outside the box. Yes, you’ve heard it before. Being innovative and providing creative solutions will show that you are able to take things to the next level.

5. Find a mentor. Develop mentoring relationships. This can be with someone inside your own company or within another. Walk through various challenges and problems at work and ask for their guidance.

6.  Practice self-promotion. Learn to “sell” the skills that you have. If you have had major successes or accomplishments, make sure people know about them. Remember though, to do this subtly and try not to appear arrogant.

7. Continuing education. Keep on top of the latest trends and skills in your industry. Be sure to seek out continuing education and keep your resume up-to-date.

8. Networking. In the business world, networking is everything. The more people who know the value you bring to the company, the better chance you’ll have an opportunity to advance.

While practicing the above tips, remember to always keep your reputation up. Don’t fall into the trap of office politics, relationships, and gossip. Getting involved in these things can be detrimental to your career. Your reputation needs to be stellar if you are going to rise to the top.

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Employment Situation Summary

The Employment Situation Report was released for the month of August by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through the U.S. Department of Labor. It compiles surveys to monitor the labor market and determine unemployment, payroll, average workweek hours, and average hourly earnings and is generally seen as a key indicator of the health of the U.S. economy.

During August 2011, nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. Employment in most of the major industries saw little difference over the previous month. Health care continued to add jobs, and government employment continued downward.

The number of unemployed persons was 14.0 million. There has been little change in the unemployment rate since April. The number of long-term unemployed (those without a job for 27 weeks or longer) was almost unchanged at 6.0 million and accounted for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.

The labor force rose to 153.6 million during August. The number of people employed part-time increased from 8.4 to 8.8 million.

Total nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged at 131.1 million. Employment was little changed in most major private-sector industries.

Health care employment increased by 30,000 in August. Over the past 12 months, health care employment has grown by 306,000. Employment in mining also continued to move upward at +6000. Professional and business services, computer systems design and related added 8,000 jobs in August. Information industry employment declined by 48,000 in August. Manufacturing employment was almost unchanged in August. They lost 3,000 jobs following a gain of 36,000 in July. Employment in construction; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; and leisure and hospitality remained essentiallly unchanged.

Government employment sank by 17,000 jobs, and employment in local government continued to decline. Since September 2008, local governments have lost 550,000 jobs.

The average workweek for private nonfarm payrolls was down by 0.1 hour to 34.2 hours. The manufacturing workweek was 40.3 hours for the third month in a row, and factory overtime increased by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employess on private nonfarm payrolls went down to 33.5 hours in August.

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 percent, to $23.09. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 1.9 percent. In August, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees decreased by 0.1 percent, to $19.47.

Congratulation's to This Month's Winner



Eric Rose won the Job Seeker Referral monthly drawing and is the winner of a $50 gift card.  
Ready for your chance to win a $50 gift card? You’ll receive an entry into our monthly drawings for Client and Job Seeker referrals for each referral that you submit – good luck and thank you for the referral!

Mortgage Mistakes to Avoid

A potential homebuyer has many bases to cover. Getting a mortgage secured can be a very long and painful process. And financially speaking, it is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. That being said, there are major pitfalls that should be avoided when securing a mortgage.

1. One of the first things that should be done (well ahead of applying for a mortgage) should be a credit check. Homebuyers should know what their credit score is, so that they can work to improve it before securing a loan. The lower the credit score, the higher the interest rate.

2. Look at the total housing payment. A mortgage payment generally consists of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (otherwise know as PITI). Many potential homebuyers make the mistake of not factoring in property taxes and insurance premiums into their overall budget.

3. Make sure there is money in the bank for a period of time prior to applying for a mortgage. Lenders like to see “seasoned” assets. If money is transferred into a homebuyers account right before the application process, the lender will be able to figure that out.

4. Don’t apply for any other credit during the mortgage application process. A lender will look at that as a potential credit risk.

5. Be sure to shop around. Applying for a mortgage is no different than shopping for a car. Look for the best interest rates, and don’t forget to factor in closing costs.

6. Perhaps the most important thing to do is lock in your interest rate. Once you are satisfied with the number, be sure to have the bank lock it in for a period of time, so that it doesn’t change before you sign on the dotted line.

Don’t forget that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use common sense when applying for a mortgage and always read the loan documents thoroughly. It is always wise to have a trusted financial advisor, attorney, or realtor review the documents.

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