Category: Career Wise

3 Things That Lead To Promotion


Being promotable is as easy as ABC.  As with interviewing for a new job, you want to show that you already have the soft skills needed in the new position.  Employees who are creative, innovative and who have a history of solving problems are considered more valuable.

A.  The ambitious person will actively seek problems to solve.  A problem you can attack could be as simple as making certain that there is fresh coffee all day or as serious as revision of the on-boarding procedures for new clients.

B. The upwardly mobile employee seeks projects and responsibilities beyond the current job description.  Join a team effort. Lend a hand when a co-worker is overwhelmed.  Volunteer to lead a project.  Beginning early in your tenure in a position get to know the other employees (or in a large company  meet the key players in each department), their responsibilities, and how your job impacts theirs.  Knowing how the parts of the company function positions you to work smoothly with everyone.

C. Let your boss know that you are open to expansion of your duties and are actively looking forward to consideration for a promotion.  If no one knows of your interest you may not be considered.  Needless to say, how you approach the chain of command and co-workers is vital.  Avoid brown-nosing, being the office know-it-all, don’t step on toes or appear to be trying to replace your boss!

Need to talk about office politics or how to position yourself to be noticed?  I can help. stephanie@accessguidance or 610-212-6679.  Lets talk soon!

What Makes A Good Professional Reference?

If you aren’t actively job hunting you probably aren’t thinking about your references.  Now is the best time to lay the ground work for excellent recommendations.

Be nice to the people you work with.  Everyone: your team mates, people above you (even if they aren’t in your direct chain of command) and those you manage.  Someone at a company you will approach later may know your colleagues and give them a call for an opinion.What will they say about you?



Ideally, you want to have your co-workers, and especially those you select as references, say an enthusiastic “YES!!” when asked if given the opportunity they would work with  you again.  Hopefully, the yes will be backed up with lots of anecdotal evidence of your worthiness.

Choose your references for their knowledge of how you could perform in the new role, ie, not your BFF from your last job.

Advise the references that you are interviewing.  When you are ready to be asked for references, let these folks know.  Tell them the name of the company, who will call and a little about the job so that they can frame their comments around your ability to successfully complete the tasks.

The most effective way to get a high recommendation is to be a reference yourself.  When someone you work with leaves the job, contact them and tell them how much you enjoyed working with them, wish them well.  Make it known that you will be happy to act as a reference if needed.  Stay in loose touch with people who can attest to your capabilities.

If you have pursued college applications with me, you will immediately see that this advice is similar to and built on the work we did for your high school teacher recommendations.  References shouldn’t be left to chance, they should be a work in progress.

Did you know that many companies will only verify your dates of employment?  you need to prepare for great references of your choosing.  Lets talk about how to do that. or 610-2120-6679

From The Muse: 53 Ways To Get A Job By Graduation

The job search plan you create should cover these bases:

Under Pressure

1. Create and refine your job search plan

2. Strategize your networking

3. Keep adding the most-needed skills in your field

4. Expand your job search criteria

5. Polish your professional online presence


I’m not going to recount all 53 things you should do if you are a college student looking for your first post-graduation job but you can read them all in the following post.

You Really Must Negotiate Job-Offer Salary!

The Muse offers these suggestions for negotiating the salary when you are offered a new position.  Read the article below:

Negotiations are often nerve-racking for candidates because they don’t want to ask for too much and have an employer withdraw an offer.

But I want to give you reassurance that as much as you fear losing out on an opportunity, companies also fear losing great talent (like you!) by coming in below expectations. That’s why companies and candidates often have an open discussion to meet somewhere in the middle.

With that said, what can you do if the job description clearly states a salary—yet you want more? Are you still even entitled to that attempt to find some middle ground?

If you’re applying to the public sector (government jobs), the pre-determined salary range is usually close to the final offer. However, if you receive an offer, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a number that falls within the range displayed. As with any negotiation, focus on objective facts of why you believe you’re worth more (for example, the job description asks for two years of experience and you have four).

If you’re applying to the private sector (non-government jobs), I would absolutely recommend negotiating despite what was displayed on the job posting. Most companies work with a compensation benchmark system and have a low, mid, and high end of a salary range. Typically, the salary advertised is the median compensation, so it never hurts to ask for more—especially if market research data shows that your title, skills, and experience are worth a higher salary in your geographical market.

Again, you will want to remain objective in your approach: What specifically about your background adds value to the company and justifies why are you worth more? You should use measurable and tangible facts instead of subjective, loose opinions.

It might also help to know that employers expect employees to negotiate. Employers typically don’t withdraw offers because a candidate starts that conversation. However, they do withdraw offers based on how a candidate asks.

If you demonstrate that you’re polite, professional, and perceptive, an employer’s often eager to consider your requests. It’s the requests that come off as aggressive, demanding, and non-compromising that breaks the deal.

That’s why it’s never a bad idea to practice several times before the real conversation to make sure you know exactly what you want to say. You can even run through it with a friend to confirm that you’re coming off the way you intended.

Finally, if the company says they have given you the best offer, remember there are a lot of other benefits and perks you can negotiate aside from your salary.

For example:

  • Sign-on bonus
  • More vacation days
  • Telecommute perks
  • Tuition reimbursement or ongoing education and training allowance
  • Timing of next raise
  • Stock options
  • Competitive commission structure (if in a sales-related role)
  • Relocation bonus (if applicable)

Negotiating might always make you a little nervous (that’s normal!). But, in the end, remember this: You won’t get what you don’t ask for.

Let me add my own comments.  Women are earn less than men doing the same work.  One reason is that men are far more likely to negotiate starting with the first offer while women tend to accept the first offer.  To close the gap, women must adopt negotiation as the first step in getting paid what they are worth.  As the article points out, HR expects negotiation.

If the starting salary is lower for women, each raise that is a % of current salary will also be lower.  The gap gets wider with each salary bump.  Close the gap by asking for what you want.

In addition to the perks listed as alternatives to a starting salary, you can ask for a 90 day review with specific benchmarks that, if met, entitle you to a raise.  You can also ask for a performance bonus, an extra check for meeting specific performance criteria.

If you’re a little hazy on what you’re work is worth, lets figure it out together. , 610-212-6679

Business Casual? What To Wear

Business casual is a puzzle that confronts each of us from time to time.  We worry most when dressing for an interview but the question also arises with regard to restaurants, networking events, parties, business meetings, or sales calls.

Know before you go.  Call and ask.  The reservationist at the hot new restaurant will tell you what most patrons wear and if there are specific requirements like a collared shirt or jacket.   Interview?  Call your contacts  or the secretary of the interviewer and ask.  If there is any doubt, look at the social media of the company, restaurant, your contacts there and any publicity shots.  Here are a few cues….

There is a rule of thumb that states that when making an impression you should be slightly more polished than, say,  an interviewer.  Show respect for the person, her job, the opportunity.  Dress for the position you want, not the one you have.

Is it OK to wear denim?  Yes, if its dark washed and paired with a blouse, shirt, sweater or other nice top and covered with a jacket, nice jewelry, and good shoes for women.  Men also wear denim pants with a button-down shirt, shirt and sweater combo, or perhaps a sport coat; include a nice watch and appropriate shoes.

Khaki and soft cotton are also good fabrics for trousers, dresses or skirts.  Linen is OK, too, although it wrinkles quickly.  Add a blazer and you will be good to go.  Under a jacket or dressy sweater, silk or up-scale T shirts pass muster; a crisp white cotton T from a  designer or JCrew is acceptable unless this is a first impression situation, (please, no Hanes underwear out of the  bag).

Give sneakers a rest and in a business setting leave sandals at home.  I’m not in favor of open toe  (or back) shoes for women unless they’ve had a pedicure the day before.  Its too easy to shove calloused feet with dry skin or chipped polish into sandals or backless shoes, a sight that says you are lazy and unaware.

Shoes should be appropriate for the outfit, clean, polished, and free of mud or street debris.

Update on footwear: an interviewer was asked what makes a LAST impression on interviewers.  The backs of the candidate’s shoes!  Polish out scuffs. Check for worn down soles/heels and sinking sox!

No matter what you wear, it must be clean, ironed, and fit properly.  No loose threads, missing buttons, uneven hems, lining extending out of jacket sleeves.  If you are layering, be certain that the top layer is big enough to cover what’s underneath without turning you into a sausage.

How do you build a wardrobe?  Set a budget and shop sales.  Begin before you are ready to network or job hunt.  Begin with a few pieces that can be worn in different ways with various other pieces.  A blazer, a couple of tops and bottoms that coordinate is a good place to start your casual wardrobe.  You might choose  a color pallet at the beginning and build around that.  Navy is good and coordinates with khaki, red, green, white, cream, yellow and light blue.  Consider pieces that can carry you through 3 seasons: fall, winter spring or spring, summer, fall.  Add one or two pieces each season.  Buy what you can afford; shop sales to stretch your dollars.  Avoid trendy pieces and impulse buying.

Accessories no longer need to match.  A smallish hand bag and a portfolio in which to carry your resume, business cards or other papers is just right.  Add a couple of statement pieces of jewelry, a pocket square, professional looking watch, clean well fitting glasses, to complete your look.

Below are two articles from The Muse on business casual for interviews.  Knowing how to dress before you leave high school will add confidence and polish to your college and internship interviews.

Want to talk about how to carry off the suggestions above?  I have great ideas that will help you pull together you own style.      610-212-6679.

This Is The Way To Answer Interview Questions

The following excerpt comes from Alan Carniol’s blog, Daily Success Boost.  It’s a letter from one of his clients…..

[T]here was a job that I really wanted, and  researched their website, I researched their vision, their mission, their core values, their board, and every single sentence in their job description – as well as prepping every possible question on your interview formula program; and this is why what you say works.
When the director started interviewing me, I didn’t just answer her questions, I didn’t just tell her what she wanted to hear, I was able to relate everything I answered to something directly in their mission statement or their core values.
At the end of the phone interview, she was silent for a moment. And then she said, “I am just really moved.”
Because I was able to answer the question you warned me about in the best way possible… “Why should we hire you?” And when I was done answering, she said: “I’m really moved.”
Because I told her that I believed I was the ideal candidate not only because my skillsets fit A, B, C, D, and E, that you have listed in required duties, but because you and I believe in the same vision (listed in their mission statement): that information should not only be accessible and available to the public but that its access is crucial for our community and our social development as a society.
I then brought their attention to the fact that I had won a cultural preservation grant to publish my undergraduate research in cross-cultural studies to show how important cultural and informational preservation is for me.
After a 2-month process… I got the job.
Keep in mind that this formula is also used when you have a college interview!-  Stephanie

How To Sell Yourself Without Bragging

How to talk about yourself without bragging!  Diane Carver 8/9/17 Career Enlightenment

If you are in a job search, wanting to move ahead at work, or trying to get clients for your business, you have to learn to talk about yourself in a way that informs people authentically about what value you create. I like to think about this as educating people on what I do best, what I want to do, and why.

Elevator speeches are not for me

I’ve never liked the concept of an elevator speech because the last time I was in an elevator no one spoke and no one dared make eye contact. So I don’t do elevator speeches, and no one can make me.

There does however come a time when you must talk about yourself and you need to know what to say & how to say it. Here’s my process: authenticity, brevity, and passion.

Be honest about the value you create

Just be honest about how you create value. I like to think about this as educating people on what I do best, what I want to do, and why.[ Reread your]performance reviews, survey your clients, or ask people who would tell you the truth. Take a few days & make a list without editing anything – just keep the flow going. Be sure you focus on what value you Fromulaing your  create because no matter what you like to do, you have to find a buyer.

Keep it simple, keep it brief

Let the fun begin and start editing. Get some help if you need it. Think about finishing this sentence, “I’m at my best when…”

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it – not true

Well, actually it IS what you say … and it’s how you say it. Think about how you would talk about what would motivate you to get up every day and do that thing you do so well. What will you say to inspire others to ask you for more? What will you say to help them remember you?

It’s the thought that counts … and the gift

You’ve put a lot of thought into what you do best and what would motivate you to do it every day. Think of what you say about yourself as a gift you give to others. Your message is sincere and content rich, and even inspiring. Paint a picture for people so they see you succeeding. Also, if you need help, people need to know how to help you.

Want an example? Here’s mine:

I am a career coach. I’m at my best when I’m helping people connect their strengths, values and passions with the organization or business. I use a creative process to help them get really clear about what they want so they’re motivated to take action. Our careers affect every component of our lives; I consider it an honor to help people find work they really enjoy and make a positive impact.


Talking About Your Accomplishments  

by Alan Carniol  10/21/17

Let’s talk about accomplishments.

Earlier in the week, a Daily Success Boost reader emailed me with an interesting question. The gist of it is this:

Bragging about your accomplishments is easy if you worked in a revenue-generating role, like sales or marketing. But what if you worked in an “overhead expense” role, like administration? How can you brag about “streamlining office procedures” or “creating a file system” without it sounding trite?

This is a good question.

And the answer is quite simple, though not necessarily easy.

In a sense, just about every role in an organization – especially a commercial one – is “revenue-generating”. Why? Because every organization has a limited amount of resources with which to achieve its mission – and no organization can afford to employ people who do not create value.

That’s the key word, here: “value”.

Every role you ever had was a “value-creating” role. And if you were successful in those roles, then you must have created value in some way.

So, you didn’t “streamline office procedures”; you “saved an estimated 40 team hours per month by optimizing procedures for time-intensive tasks”.

You didn’t “create a file system that eliminated the need for duplication”; you “reduced the amount of paperwork your boss had to manage by 64%”.

These accomplishments created value.

But here’s the rub: value is a subjective notion.

If you want to make your accomplishment sing when you list them on your resume (or talk about them during an interview), you need to understand what the hiring manager values – and you need to communicate your “brag” in a way that talks to this value.

 Me again,

Did you recognize Diane Carver’s personal example as an elevator pitch?  It is!

Whether you are looking for an offer from a college or from an employer, you need to be clear about your value and know how to talk about yourself with confidence, not braggadocio.  I can help you discover and highlight what your target wants to find in you.  An exploratory session with feedback can be exactly what you need.  For an appointment call or text 610-212-6679 or email me at

You Don’t Need To Read Beowulf To Get A Job in Michigan

I’ve talked positively about technical education in the past.  Getting certifications isn’t less than a 4-year college degree.  Its OTHER than: another way to become educated and employed.

Most of the unfilled jobs are in technical fields, principally computers and health care.  I talk to students everyday who are looking for a college where they can study computer science or a subject that leans heavily on data analytics.


Why not take the most efficient road to job security by beginning with a certificate in one of the computer sciences?  Or in radiology?  In two years you can be earning the same $35,00 salary (or more) as the guy with a 4 year college  degree who is racking up $10,000 in debt each year!!

Technical education leads to jobs in green industries, jobs in clean rooms, jobs that require flexibility, persistence, and problem solving.

You can complete your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree when you have the time.  Or the money. Or the motivation. Or your employer pays you to do so.

Please read this article on what’s needed in Jackson, Michigan to fill 1000 jobs, a drop in the 150,000 available in Michigan. Jackson is west of Ann Arbor in west-central Michigan.

Call me if you are one of the smart students who is looking for an education with a job waiting and little or no debt getting there!

Stephanie Welder,                                                                                                                            Access College and Career Consultants, LLC                                                                     610-212-6679                                                                               


Spring is Job Fair Season 7 To-Do’s

Job fairs can be very helpful to someone on the hunt for a position, either full time or as an intern.   Even if you aren’t quite ready to take the leap, prep as though you are and check out the companies who might be interested in you.


1.Take the opportunity seriously.  Bring a positive attitude along with your resume.  Don ‘t bring a friend.

2. Start by finding out which companies will have reps at the fair.  Investigate their websites, read their blogs. research their products or services, reputation, place within the industry.  Discover their mission, budget, price on the stock market and organizational structure.  Its a lot of information to uncover.

3. Prepare your resume and have someone else proof for errors and content.

4. Dress for success.  Choose shoes that are comfortable, polished, scuff-free, and match the formality of your outfit.  No athletic shoes, please!

5.Practice your introduction and your elevator pitch.  Have a firm handshake not a death grip.

6. Be strategic.  Choose a few booths you want to visit.  Start with a couple from your B list for practice before you head to your main targets.  Be on the look out for companies that no one is checking out: they could be a hidden gem that no one has heard of yet.

7. Gather information by picking up business cards and company literature.  Leave the gadgets on the table.  The more you learn the more you’ll earn.

Job fairs are networking opportunities as well as meet-and-greets.  Often the people behind the table are the very ones who make hiring decisions.  Making a good impression can set up an opportunity for an interview for a different role later.

Most of the companies who recruit at job fairs also have internships.  Getting on the radar early could help you land a paid student position.

Be sure to send thank you notes to everyone you’ve talked to: its polite and will jog their memory of your conversation.   Best of luck!

Put your best foot forward by prepping for the job fair.  I have an hour-do you? or 610-212-6679.

The One Phrase You Need For Job Success

What do you need to succeed in you job and other in other regions of interpersonal space?   “Prioritize people over tasks,” says Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte.  As the head of 80,000 professionals she has a 94% approval rating from her employees.

Her secret to success? “Building a team that brings you solutions instead of challenges, listening to and collaborating with them—that ultimately prioritizes your focus on issues where you can have the most impact, not just scratch items off the to do list,” Engelbert tells Glassdoor. “To me, productivity is directly related to the personal relationships you are able to build.”

“[I]t’s about relentlessly pursuing the best interest of our people, clients, and community. And it’s impossible to lead well unless you know what’s on the minds of clients and professionals.  So, I spend a lot of time in the in the field with clients and with our teams serving those clients.”

When Glassdoor asked what type of people she likes to hire and why, Engelbert replied, “Among other things, we look for curiosity and agility—people who are committed to what they do and have a mindset of never graduating. With the innovation and disruption today, there’s never a point in time when we can stop learning. And the job you want—the job Deloitte will need someone to do—may not exist yet today. So we look for people who always stay curious, ask questions, and never stop learning.”

To read the entire interview go to

Do you know how employers regard your major?  Want to learn how to translate what you do in college to the needs of an employer?  We should talk sooner rather than later! or 610-212-6679