Tag Archives: job hunt

Where are the Jobs?!? (Part 6 of 7) A Green Light for Green Jobs

Environmental awareness is no doubt a hot topic, and one that we all have a stake in.  Jobs in this field promise excellent growth over the next 10 years. Because of the explosion of interest in all things green over the last decade, unique “green-collar” jobs are starting to become part of the main stream. In January of this year, the Obama Administration awarded $2.3 billion for the Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States. The White House press release stated that it will lead to “183 projects in 43 states…tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs and the domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind and efficiency and energy management technologies.” Regardless of your political perspective, there is no denying that the “green” industry is poised to produce a substantial number of jobs over the next decade and beyond.  


The Pew Charitable Trusts stated in a 2009 report that “clean energy economy jobs” grew by 9.1% between 1998 and 2007, compared to a growth of 3.7% for all jobs, a fact that points to the sustainability of an industry that is all about… well… sustainability.

As further support, the number of job postings including the term “green” on Indeed.com, which searches thousands of job sites, has grown 120% since 2005. And job postings with the term “environmental” have grown more than 50%. This shows a clear rise in interest in this industry.

What’s more, on CNN Money’s list of the “100 Best Jobs in America” (in terms of pay, growth and quality of life), environmental engineering ranked #5 with a projected growth of 31% over the next 10 years. This is a great example of a “green collar” job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, our go-to source for job trends, received funding this year to collect data on green jobs, which shows the growing presence of the industry. The BLS is still compiling all of the statistics and profiling for the field, but the information on careers in wind energy is now up.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks green jobs down into two categories: positions in which workers create green goods or provide green services and positions where employees are there to make their company more environmentally friendly. Here are some great options in both categories:

  • Sustainability coordinators
  • Carbon brokers
  • Environmental educators
  • Eco tour guides
  • Urban/land-use planner
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Interface designer
  • Interior/exterior designer (LEED standards)
  • Construction of solar thermal plants
  • Forester
  • Solar panel installer
  • Wind turbine fabricator


Here are some green-only job boards and resources:


The credentials for green jobs are still being developed and debated, but familiarize yourself with the various certifications and requirements that currently exist. Not all green jobs require them, but they could set you apart.

Key green credentials:

  • USGBC LEED Certifications
  • BPI Individual Building Certification
  • NABCEP Solar Thermal Installation Certification
  • RESNET Certified Energy Auditor or Rater
  • AEE Energy Certifications
  • Green Advantage Certified Practitioners


If green is your color, consider going green in your job search for a stable, rewarding career. Why not help the environment while making a good living?

Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan and is an executive coach trained in organizational psychology. 

Where are the Jobs?!? (Part 5 of 7) HealthCare Jobs, Growing!

The next industry my team decided to cover for the “Where are the jobs?!?” series is healthcare. It probably doesn’t surprise you that it is on our list of booming fields, as the need for healthcare is rapidly rising with the aging baby boomers entering their retirement years. Even with the uncertainty of healthcare reform there is still projected growth in many healthcare occupations.

Many find careers in healthcare rewarding and take great pride in helping others make their way through tough physical and mental challenges. It also doesn’t hurt that the healthcare profession has some of the highest-paying positions in the country, even when you factor out those that require medical degrees! Of the jobs on CNN Money’s “20 Highest-Paying Jobs” list, almost half are in healthcare.


According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook wage and salary employment will increase in the healthcare industry by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is substantially greater than the projected 11 percent growth for all other industries combined. More specifically, the BLS projects employment growth of 41 percent in home health care services, 39 percent for outpatient care, and 21 percent for nursing during the next decade. To amplify matters, a 2009 article in Health Affairs by Dr. Peter Buerhaus and company found that even in the face of the Great Recession the nursing shortage in this country is projected to grow to 260,000 registered nurses by 2025. This is a strong signal that there is definitely high earning potential here!


The following is a list of some of the hottest healthcare positions out there:

  • Patient advocates
  • Health informatics technician
  • Physical therapy assistants
  • X-ray technician
  • Fitness nursing (similar to dietician)
  • Holistic nursing
  • Gerontological nursing
  • Medical and public health social worker
  • Lab technician
  • Dental hygienist
  • Occupational therapist


Where can you go to find these positions? Here are some options:


After researching this industry, there is no doubt some potential for solid career paths here. So if you’re in a rut and have the urge to go back to school or get a certification, it’s never too late in the name of job security. But if school isn’t an option, they have lots of administrative jobs that range from human resources to billing and even jobs in maintenance. Growth in the healthcare industry is going to require a lot of non-health related jobs because these are complex operations which will require a lot of support. Definitely keep your eyes open for opportunities in healthcare!

Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified professional coach who holds a PhD in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is founder of the consulting firm HCI and author of the new book: The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy.

Where are the Jobs?!? (Part 3 of 7) Wanna Work for the “Man”, Consider the Federal Government

The Federal Government is the second industry my team and I researched for the “Where are the jobs?!?” blog series. Although state and local governments across the country have been severely hit by decreased property and income tax revenues, there are opportunities at the Federal level. A number of the Federal opportunities we came across are in the law enforcement sector. Agencies such as the FBI, TSA, and Border Patrol either have openings or will in the near future.   


The Partnership for Public Service predicts the Federal workforce will expand to 2.1 million civilian employees from now through 2012. According to their estimates, 384,000 of these new openings will be the result of baby boomer retirements. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Career Guide to Industries” predicts the continued retirement of baby boomers in the Federal government will likely last through 2018. Although many boomers in the private sector have been forced to delay their retirements due to the financial crisis, Federal pensions tend to kick-in earlier and pay-out fairly well in comparison.


Many of the open positions we came across tend to have a security-related focus both on financial transactions and national security. However, there are opportunities in other sectors as well. Here are a few spots to look for government positions and also get support in your Federal government job search.

  • USAJobs – Official government job search engine—special section for students
  • USA.gov – Tips for applying to government jobs
  • Partnership for Public Service – Connects the right talent to the right government jobs
  • Making the Difference - Find helpful information on how to obtain a federal job
  • Fedscope – Research which agencies are in your state and whether they hire people with your background


The following is a list of some of the hottest federal government positions out there:

  • Detectives/criminal investigator
  • Claims adjuster
  • Compliance officer
  • Security officer
  • Federal marshall
  • Budget/program/intelligence analyst
  • IT specialists/cyber security
  • Legal professional
  • Border patrol agent
  • Emergency management (terrorism/mass casualty)


Follow Directions: Make sure your resume and application are complete. The Federal application process can be very lengthy, so be ready for this. Also, be ready to fill out a comprehensive background questionnaire that will require information on at least 7 years of your residence and work history.

Be Patient: The application and hiring process for Federal positions can take a long time. For some positions it may take up to a year. Apply for positions that don’t require major security clearances about four months prior to your target start date and at least six to eight months in advance for national security-related positions.


Federal government positions are all over the country. In fact, only 10% are in Washington D.C. And, there are positions that require all levels of education and experience. So, if you haven’t considered this career path before, expand your horizons!

Where are The Jobs (Part 2 of 7) Social Media: The New Marketing Vehicle

The Upward Trend in Social Media Jobs

The first stop on this 7-part blog series titled “Where are the jobs?!?” is going to be social media. The world of marketing has changed dramatically with the rise of social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. These days, companies are looking for people who know how to create an online buzz and reach the masses as efficiently as possible!

So, if you have a respected blog, consider yourself a well-loved “Facebooker,” or have the right mix of writing and marketing skills, this may be the route for you. And if you have an educational background or experience in marketing, copywriting, or journalism, you have an even bigger edge in landing a Web 2.0 job.


Consumer product marketing has always been at the forefront of American pop culture and is continually evolving. Keep in mind, the concept of mass media marketing was born during the Great Depression when radio was in its golden age and cinema was the latest innovation. During this time companies such as Procter and Gamble were desperately seeking opportunities to reach the most people possible, as inexpensively as possible. Radio seemed to be the innovative way to go. It provided a great new vehicle for reaching the masses!

So, it’s no wonder that the Great Recession has spawned an entirely new marketing vehicle in social media. Just as during the Great Depression, companies are seeking out innovative and cost effective ways to reach the masses. Social media is today what radio was nearly 100 years ago, a vehicle for reaching the masses. Consider that for the first time in 23 years, Pepsi did not run a commercial this past Super Bowl. Instead, they invested in a social media marketing campaign, a trend that is continuing to grow.


According to a 2009 study of social media marketers, 95% of respondents said they were going to increase, or at least maintain, their social media spending in the coming year.

A quick glance at Indeed’s job trending tool shows that job postings including the phrase “social media” have grown almost 2,000% over the last four years (see imbedded the chart).

If you’re still not convinced, The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook” predicts that “the recent emergence of social media in the public relations is expected to increase job growth as well. Many public relations firms are expanding their use of these tools, and specialists with skills in them will be needed.”


The following is a list of some of the hottest social media positions out there:

  • Social Media Strategist/Digital Strategist
  • Community Manager
  • Blogger
  • Social Media Marketing Specialist
  • Search Engine Marketing Associate
  • Online Customer Service Representative


Where can you go to find these positions? Here are some options:


Do Your Homework: Read up on your target companies and don’t just go to their websites. Research any relevant news, press releases, and industry publications that will help you understand their pain. Your job is to show them what you can do to make their pain go away. Companies are looking for problem solvers, so your job is to show them how your social media savvy will help make them stronger.

Engage Your Targets: Comment on their blog to get their attention. Be sure to provide thoughtful insights that also show your knowledge. Get your name out there and show that you know their brand. Here’s a real social media success story about a job seeker who used social media to land a job as marketing manager.


As the facts show, social media is a growing sector in the marketing world. So, if you want to change careers or you’re a recent grad looking to leverage your on-line skills, consider social media as a potential vocation! One perk to this industry is that you can often work remotely. On the flip side, make sure you can do more than just talk the talk, because your on-the-job results are very measurable and companies will be looking for actual results!!!

For more on Career Planning in the New Economy check out Dr. Woody’s new book: The YOU Plan on Amazon.com

The YOU Plan: Career Intrinsics – What You Bring to the Table

In my previous post I wrote about the importance of introspection in the career planning process. I laid out a model for taking personal accountability (VIPER) and then focused on how starting out with your values (the “V” in VIPER) can play a role in the career choices you make. The next step in the introspective process is examining your intrinsics (the “I” in VIPER).

I use the word intrinsics as a catch-all to describe what you bring to the table as a unique individual. We all have our own mix of personality, experiences, training… that combine to create a unique value proposition in terms of what we are able to accomplish in the marketplace.  

In my newly released book, The YOU Plan, I describe intrinsics in the following way:

“Think of your intrinsics as a deck of cards. All of our lives are shuffled differently, which means our cards are all spread across our life decks in very different ways. Some of your cards are close to the top and readily accessible whereas others are buried somewhere near the bottom and haven’t been played in a while.”

In other words, your intrinsics are that which you have within you that can be leveraged for value by potential customers, partners, or employers. For the sake of simplicity, I have broken intrinsics down into six factors. I believe these six factors impact the pace of your career development, thus I refer to them as your career PACERS.

  • Personality
  • Affiliations
  • Contributions
  • Experiences
  • Relationships
  • Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities (KSAs)

Career success requires really knowing the value you bring to the table and how to leverage and communicate that value in a way that helps others want to utilize it. Your intrinsics are what you arrived on this planet with and everything you have gained since.

Consider the first PACERS for example, your personality. Personality is a critical part of who you are and how you operate. Think of personality as your natural disposition or tendency to want to express yourself in a certain way. Because this is such a part of who you are, you must understand how to harness this element of your intrinsics for positive gain in the career search.

Before you can successfully get out of the career hot seat and back on the market, you must have a good handle on what you bring to the table! Knowing your intrinsics is the first step.     

In the next blog I will begin to address each of the career PACERS in more depth, so stay tuned!


To find out more about my new book, check out The YOU Plan on amazon.com 

The YOU Plan: Values and Your Career Search

As I mentioned in my first blog post, any good career plan starts with introspection. You have to know yourself, before you can effectively pick a direction, market yourself, and get back on track. As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am a big believer in introspection as a starting point. All too often, I come across transitioning professionals who have jumped out ahead of themselves only to outrun their coverage. If you want to stand out from the herd, you are going to have to be thoughtful and deliberate in your actions. This requires knowing yourself first.

When it comes to knowing yourself, you have to start with values. The values you espouse are vital to the choices you make and ultimately dictate the way you live. Values can be thought of as the principals you hold near and dear. Your values are the code you live by. They are the rules you follow and the ethics you adhere to when dealing with others.    

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming book The YOU Plan:

“Who you are drives how you work, play, live, and ultimately shine. Your experiences, upbringing, and culture have acted to shape the person you have become and the values you espouse. The values you espouse ultimately influence the decisions you make and the path you choose to follow. Your values are the lens you view the world through… There is no doubt that our personal values play a critical role in the choices we make and the careers we pursue. Yet, the unfortunate reality is that most of us can’t articulate our values. Often this leads us to making bad decisions. These bad decisions tend to land us on career paths that aren’t truly fulfilling and sometimes, even toxic.”

Using Values to Reset

When resetting your career focus and re-engaging in your career journey, you have to be mindful of how your values play into your decisions. Every organization has its own unique culture driven by a set of core values. It’s up to you to understand what these values are and determine how well they match with yours. However, before you can do this you must be sure to have a good handle on your values. 

Values Checklists

So, how do you assess your values? Doing a quick web search for values checklists will provide a lot of results. For a quick values checklist you can try out the career-test on-line values assessment.

The key to using any adjective checklist effectively is taking the time to narrow down your values to your top five. This is a much tougher challenge than it seems because it requires making tough choices. Whenever I have taken groups through values exercises they always struggle with this, so take your time.  

Regardless of the checklist you use, you really need to ask yourself if the values you chose are really yours. A good way to test whether or not you truly value something is to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you willing to fight for it?
  • Are you willing to sacrifice for it?
  • Are you willing to pay for?


Any good career plan starts with introspection. A critical component to the introspective process is assessing values. Keep in mind, values are a major driver in decision making. We are in uncertain times and successfully navigating the New Economy will require using your values as a compass. When it comes to stepping back and creating a YOU Plan, be sure to start with assessing your values.

Good luck,

To learn more about my new book check it out on amazon: The YOU Plan

The YOU Plan: Career Entrepreneurialism in the New Economy

The Great Recession has fundamentally altered the employment landscape in this country. The rules of the game have changed and your success in The New Economy will depend on your ability to adjust to these new rules. I truly believe we are entering into an age of career entrepreneurialism, an age where careers aren’t pursued they are created.

Whether you are a battle-tested workforce veteran or graduating college senior, you are going to have to start thinking differently. The number of defined job slots available is continuing to dwindle – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment has gone up from a year ago! This means that you are going to have to start getting more creative and ultimately more competitive.

Yes, you are going to have to start thinking like an entrepreneur. In one way, shape, or form, every entrepreneur has their own YOU Plan and so should you.   

The YOU Plan

As a coach trained in the field of organizational psychology, I am firmly against the notion of one-size-fits-all. I believe in guiding people through processes as opposed to prescribing specific rules. Hence, The YOU Plan concept of self-coaching was born.

Creating a YOU Plan starts with taking stock of who you are and the assets you have at your disposal. Although this sounds simple, it’s not. Both transitioning professions and students alike tend to struggle with this. Developing a YOU Plan is about asking yourself five fundamental questions (I remember them as VIPER):

  • What are my Values?
  • What are my Intrinsics?
  • What are my Passions
  • What is my Essence or personal brand?
  • What is my Roadmap for making it happen?  

 Know Yourself – You are a VIP

When I talk about understanding who you are and the assets you have, I am really talking about focused introspection. The first three questions really focus on looking inward and getting a sense of who you are, what you are about, and what you bring to the table. Before you can make a series push to get out there and make your next career move, you need to have a firm handle on your Values, Intrinsics, and Passions or what I like to refer to as your VIPs. Consider the fact that:

  • Your Values are what drive your decision making
  • Your Intrinsics are what you bring to the table
  • Your Passions are what generate your energy

 Essence – Who You Are and How to Project It

If you can answer these three questions you have answered the basic question of what is your Essence. Your Essence (or who you are as a job candidate) is a great thing to have a handle on, but like any great product or brand, if nobody knows about it, who cares. Turning your Essence into a brand that can be effectively marketed to potential employers and customers is a critical step in the YOU Planning process.

Draw a Roadmap

After establishing your brand, the final step is to determine your targets and lay out a Roadmap for finding them. The process of introspection and branding is all academic without a Roadmap for getting out of the career hot seat and making it happen.

In the coming weeks I will discuss each of these five questions in more depth, beginning with Values in my next blog post. 

Creating a YOU plan isn’t easy and it shouldn’t be. However, it is a critical first step in creating a successful career. Keep in mind, would an NFL coach field his team on Sunday afternoon without a game plan? Would an airline pilot take off with a plane full of passengers and no flight plan? Would a general take to the battlefield without a strategy? I think not.


To learn more about my new book check out The YOU Plan on amazon.com

How Do I Step-up To the New Job Market?

This morning President Obama delivered a speech in Columbus, Ohio marking the ground breaking of the ten thousandth roads project funded by the Recovery Act (otherwise known as the stimulus package). In his speech President Obama said “I’m under no illusion we are where we need to be” echoing the concerns expressed by Fed Chief Ben Bernanke last week. In his testimony before congress, Bernanke stated that there will be a “slow reduction” in unemployment as the recovery begins to take effect.

In April of last year national unemployment was at 9.4%. Currently, national unemployment is at 9.7%. The unemployment rate in Ohio, the site where the President showcased this “shovel ready” project, is nearly a full percentage point higher than this time last year.

Unemployment is continuing to rise and the number of American workers out of work for longer than six months has grown to 6.7 million. This accounts for nearly half of all unemployed workers in this country.

Welcome to the New Economy!

Making your way in this new environment is going to be a challenge. Blasting resumes into cyberspace, brushing up on your interview skills, and trolling job fairs isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s no longer about chasing down existing opportunities, it’s about cultivating new ones. This is going to require adapting an entrepreneurial mindset!

Any good entrepreneur will tell you that success comes from opening your mind and seeing the world of possibilities that lay in front of you. Entrepreneurs are not big believers in happenstance, they tend to create their own luck. Take for example the June 2010 issue of Psychology Today where the featured article was on the notion of serendipity and success. The article noted that differences in personality and approach to life tend to impact perceptions of luck. When it comes to personality, one study cited by the article found that those who report being more lucky tend to be more extraverted, open to experience, and more tolerant of stress. With respect to differences in how one approaches life, the message was simple, take a step back and relax. Those who are more “present” in what they are doing and engaged with those around them, tend to have more luck.

Although personality is not something you can change, you most certainly can change the way you approach life. In particular, when it comes to dealing with the uncertainty of career transition, it’s critical that you begin by looking inward first, then outward. You must be present in the moment before considering where to go next. Uncertainty can produce a great deal of anxiety. The less control we believe we have over a situation the more anxiety we feel. The best way to take control of this anxiety and position ourselves for serendipity is to create a plan.

Personal planning is the key to taking charge of your career, reducing the impact of uncertainty, and generating your own luck. It’s all about creating a YOU Plan, a plan custom tailored for you and by you. I firmly believe that any good YOU Plan starts with introspection. You can’t build a strong plan without a solid foundation. When it comes to creating a YOU Plan you must ask yourself five fundamental questions that I remember as VIPER:
• What are my Values?
• What are my Intrinsics?
• What are my Passions?
• What is my Essence?
• What is my Roadmap?

To learn more about creating a YOU Plan go to www.TheYouPlan.com

Good luck,

Dr. Woody – www.DrWoody.com

Transcend in Twenty-Ten: Rise Up and Forge Your Own Career Path

As the Great Recession comes to a close it’s time to wave goodbye to the dark days of 2009 and start thinking about the brighter times ahead.

In 2009 we saw a 26 year peak in the national unemployment rate. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and all out corporate collapses hit all time highs.

There is no doubt the year 2009 exposed a lot of perpetrators and created a lot of victims. In one way, shape, or form we all felt the pain, some of it caused by others, and some of it caused by ourselves. Regardless, it’s now up to you to take the next step and rise above it all. It’s time to start thinking about thriving in the New Year.

The New Year is always a great excuse to reset and start anew. I can’t think of a year where there has been more incentive to do just that. Twenty-ten is your chance to take the reins and transcend the madness of ‘09. It’s time to transcend in ten!

So, what can we do to leave 2009 behind for good?

First and foremost, you must accept that the old rules no longer apply. For those of you feeling secure in your jobs, keep in mind that being a diligent worker and following the rules is no longer a safe haven. For those in transition, the days of pounding the pavement and chasing those great job opportunities are gone.

The New Economy is about creating opportunities, not chasing them. It’s about being innovative and demonstrating your value. It’s about being your own brand. I truly believe we are entering into an age of career entrepreneurialism, an age where it will be up to you to determine your path and then go out and make it happen.

Second, you will need to create a plan. And not just any plan, but a YOU Plan. Without a destination in mind and a roadmap for getting there, success will always be a challenge. To be fair, there is no simple straight line to any destination and life often requires detours. However, without any kind of path in mind, your actions will always be driven by those around you. In other words, when it comes to living your life, you can lead or you can follow. If you want to lead, you will need a YOU plan.

Thoughtful planning and deliberate action are the foundation for any successful endeavor. Your success is up to you; and you alone. Take the reins and start thinking like an entrepreneur. Every Monday and Thursday I’ll be posting tips, tidbits, and simple steps or creating a YOU plan, so stay tuned!

Welcome to the New Year. Good luck and transcend in twenty-ten!

Dr. Woody

To learn more about Dr. Woody and his upcoming book The YOU Plan, check out www.TheYouPlan.com