Can you help Save Teens from Lame Jobs?

How do you encourage high school students to take the ACT WorkKeys® assessment seriously? The marketing team at The Orchard Foundation decided that a hero could best capture the attention of busy and distracted high school students. The Jobinator, a caped superhero who, “By day, saves teenagers from lame jobs. By night, predicts the future, namely which jobs will be the hottest,” soon came to the rescue.

To date, this initiative has helped Central Louisiana residents earn over 18,474 National Career Readiness Certificates™. The Orchard Foundation also provides ACT Career Ready 101® courses to prepare students to take the ACT WorkKeys assessments and is presently working to implement the ACT Work Ready Communities initiative in nine parishes in central Louisiana. Learn more here.

FREE Webinar to Help ALL Students and Educators realize the value of WorkKeys and the NCRC


This webinar shares practical strategies for helping deepen students, parents, and educators realize the real value and potential of WorkKeys and the National Career Readiness Certificate. The session includes information on student and educator resources to prepare for the WorkKeys assessments, soft skills enhancement, and re-taking the WorkKeys assessments to earn or upgrade a student’s NCRC. Additionally, information on South Carolina’s, best in the nation, Work Ready Communities Initiative is included:



What Problems Do you Want to Solve?

This is a re-blog from the ReigningIt blog:

“Did you catch the mindshift in education recently? It started when a casappicture from a conference where Google Chief Education Evangelist Jaime Casapspoke.

“Rather than, What do you want to be when you grow up? Let’s ask, What problem do you want to solve? … This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, to what do I need to learn to be able to do that.”

Mind blown.

Educators, parents, those working in corporate all united in a wave of re-tweets, FB re-posts, and re-sharing on Google+. Everytime I saw this quote, I flashed back to my childhood when adults would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Once I gave a standard response (librarian was my dream job, in case you are wondering), the conversation ended. As a school counselor, I am guilty of asking that same question to my students as I get to know them. Each time I read that quote, I feel an inner voice telling me that I can and MUST do better for my students.

A few days ago I was meeting with a student for the first time. We chatted easily, but I couldn’t shake the sense that she heard my voice as the adult Snip20151203_8voice in the Peanuts cartoon: “Wah wah wah.” Before I knew it, the question came out of my mouth. “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” Ugh. I cringed inside.

“An astronaut,” the student replied quickly. Clearly this question had been asked before. I paused for a moment, thinking of how to phrase my next question.

“What unresolved questions about space or problems do you want to solve as an astronaut?” I asked. She opened her mouth to respond and then hesitated. Silence ensued as I watched her think about her response for the first time since we met.

“We’ve only just begun to explore what life forms exist on Mars,” she began. “I am curious to know what types of microorganisms live there and how they have evolved to withstand the climate. I also want to marslearn more about life on other planets and how those organisms have evolved.”
I was stunned by the response. Oh, did I mention this is an eleven-year-old? I literally felt chills as I listened to this student talk about excitedly about space exploration. I felt honored to listen to her articulate questions she never realized she had about our universe. I held back tears, thinking to myself, “This conversation would have happened had I not learned to reframe a question I’ve asked hundreds of times.””

See the original post at: 

How to nail the dreaded phone interview

This is a re-post from Dan Miller’s 48 Days blog at:

by: Dan Miller (

Studies have shown that 90% of communication is nonverbal.  So how do you shine in the increasingly popular phone interview?  You can’t take advantage of your good looks, great wardrobe, firm handshake, eye contact, and JLo perfume. Job Hunter

But there are unique elements of a phone interview that you can use to your advantage:

  • Stand Up.  Standing changes your breathing and your tone of voice.  It makes you sound stronger and more confident.  (I stand and walk when doing phone coaching so I don’t risk sounding tired or too casual.)
  • Have a Mirror Handy.  Yes, be looking yourself in a mirror.  Your smile and facial expressions come through more than you may realize.  Respond physically like you would in person and much of that enthusiasm will be translated via the phone anyway.
  • Have Your Answers Written Out.  This is an open-book test.  You can have your answers to all of the expected questions written out and actually sound much more polished than you may be able to in person.  “What are your three greatest strengths?  What do you look for in a supervisor?  Why did you leave your last job? Be ready with clear responses to these and many more.

Don’t see the phone interview as just a preliminary step of little importance.  It’s the real thing.  Put yourself at the top – it’s fairly easy to outshine the competition.

Here’s just a sampling of the kinds of questions being asked in today’s workplace: 

  1. What would your previous employer list as your greatest strengths?
  2. What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  3. What have been some of your most significant accomplishments? How were you able to achieve those accomplishments?
  4. What are you looking for in a new position? Why do you want this job? What do you find attractive about this position?
  5. What important changes or trends do you see in this industry? How do you think those changes will affect the way we succeed in this company?
  6. What do you look for in a supervisor? Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and his employee. What do you see as your most difficult task as a manager? What is your management style?
  7. Do you prefer working alone or as part of a team? Are you better working with things, people, or ideas? Are you better at creating or doing?
  8. What kinds of things outside of work do you enjoy? What magazines do you like to read? Name three books you have read in the last year. Are you achieving personal goals you have set?
  9. What does a typical weekend consist of for you? What do you do to relieve boredom?
  10. What other kinds of positions have you been looking at? If we do not select you for this position, would you be interested in another (office, sales, administrative, etc.) position with this company? How does this job compare with others for which you have interviewed? What makes this job different from your current/last one?
  11. Why should we choose you for this position? What can you do for us that someone else cannot do?

If you have the new edition of 48 Days To The Work You Love, you can see an extensive list of questions you can expect on pages 164-167.  I also list unusual questions and 17 questions you should be prepared to ASK.

Is LinkedIn getting into College Match-Making?

I received an email this morning from LinkedIn titled, “Introducing a better way for your students to find the right university.”

Is LinkedIn really getting into the College Match-Making game?

This seems like a great business move for LinkedIn to build relationships with students early.

Is this a good thing for students and parents?  Would you use LinkedIn to help your student or even your own kids do their college search?

Check this out and see what you think…

LinkedIn College Search


Please share this with friends and colleagues if you think it a good idea or post a comment here.

Have a great week!

%d bloggers like this: