The CYC Spot

Walking the Walk: Grit beats Glamour

Posted on June 25, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

Most mornings the alarm goes off, I hit the snooze once, wakeup, start making coffee, walk my dog, get ready for work, pour my coffee into a mug, and then go to work. I call this my morning ritual. By all means it is not glamorous; I wouldn’t post these actions on Facebook nor would […]

Most mornings the alarm goes off, I hit the snooze once, wakeup, start making coffee, walk my dog, get ready for work, pour my coffee into a mug, and then go to work. I call this my morning ritual. By all means it is not glamorous; I wouldn’t post these actions on Facebook nor would I have the urge to reveal my morning patterns to an unsuspecting conversation. However I love it. I love having a morning ritual. I know that when I wake up, I am starting my day with goals to accomplish. Even the mundane task of getting ready for the day, I’m still doing something with it.

The difference between becoming a zombie and becoming successful is the attitude you set for yourself. My parents came to America to have a better future. They started with less than 10 dollars in their pocket and the only housing available to them was federally funded. Everyday my dad knew when he woke up he needed to provide for his family. He started working as a janitor in a donut shop, he didn’t know English, he didn’t know business, but he knew how to sweep floors. My dad, in his country, had a little college background, his family was middle class. That didn’t matter, here in America he needed to work with whatever work he could get. Mornings turned into month, then years. In all that time he was saving, learning the donut business from literally the ground up, until he had enough money to open his own donut store. Looking back at what he has accomplish he shocked himself.  He is a small business owner, he has his own house, he put two kids through college, his little girl is a doctor and married to a doctor, and has a little grandson playing around the house he bought.  Success isn’t given, success doesn’t have a time limit, success is being proud of the life you live; living each day with a purpose.

Most nights when the day is slowly disappearing, I set the alarm, put on my pajamas, and get ready for the day ahead. Reassured that every morning I wake up, I’m slowly making progress, in this way I am my dad’s son.

By: Michael Sir

Finding the Perfect Summer Job!

Posted on June 21, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

Summer is literally around the corner, graduations, vacations and beach days are about to begin. But what about a summer job? Where should you start looking? What type of job should you be applying for? For those of us who have very little or no experience at all, finding a summer job might be a […]

Summer is literally around the corner, graduations, vacations and beach days are about to begin. But what about a summer job? Where should you start looking? What type of job should you be applying for?

For those of us who have very little or no experience at all, finding a summer job might be a little challenging. Plus you have to outshine those who had a summer job last year, or who have experience under their belt.

But there are MANY summer jobs available that we sometimes overlook.

Where should you start looking?

Looks for places that population increases during the summer;

Amusement parks have a huge spike in hires during this time.  Their amusement park visitors increase due to summer vacation.

Also, when I was in high school, I knew a lot of friends who looked for summer jobs at ice cream shops and yogurt locations. It a simple yet busy job, where they are always hiring.

Do you swim? If so, why not apply at the local park as a lifeguard.

Most malls or outlet locations hire on students for the summer due to consumer increase.  These are usually temporary positions. But remember, if you outshine the other employees by going above and beyond what is required, you might just make that temp job permanent.

What types of jobs should you be applying for?

I want to remind everyone that even though you might not be too excited about working in a theme park or food establishment, that only because it is a summer job , doesn’t mean that you will be in it all of your life. Most of the summer jobs work at a stepping stone to a greater and better job opportunity.

Think of the price, you will have more money to spend time at the beach with your friends.

By: Corina Coronel

Perseverance

Posted on June 3, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

The year is 52 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar Rome’s greatest general is in a fierce battle with the Gallic Tribes led by Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia. The Gauls outnumbered the Romans 7 to 1 and defeat looks likely to the Roman Republic. Caesar seeing that his front lines are breaking and his men […]

The year is 52 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar Rome’s greatest general is in a fierce battle with the Gallic Tribes led by Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia. The Gauls outnumbered the Romans 7 to 1 and defeat looks likely to the Roman Republic. Caesar seeing that his front lines are breaking and his men starting to retreat, personally gets on his horse and leads the cavalry to the fiercest part of the battle. Caesars Legions see this and without thinking twice, push forward to crush the Gallic Tribes. After all the dust had settled, against all odds, Caesar and his Legions had claimed victory.

The victory at Alesia by many historians is considered to be one of the greatest victories of antiquity. Roman victory would have not been possible if it weren’t for the months of planning, patience, and most important perseverance.

We are currently living through one of the hardest recessions in American history. Finding a job isn’t going to be easy. And it’s not supposed to be.  You will be outnumbered when applying for a position, you will want to retreat and give up your job search, but what will cement your legacy in history is how you perceiver in these difficult times.

As Julius Caesar did at the Battle of Alesia, anything is possible. When you tell yourself you can you will come out victorious. As the great Wayne Gretzky one said, “You will miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

Remember this when job searching, Believe You Can and You Will.

By: Ben Sandoval

Cover Letter!

Posted on May 24, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

Our young job seekers are frequently asked to send a cover letter along with their resume or application for employment.  Most of the time, they come ask, “What is a cover letter?” A cover letter can be described as something very simple; however, it might not be as simple when you don’t have any idea […]

Our young job seekers are frequently asked to send a cover letter along with their resume or application for employment.  Most of the time, they come ask, “What is a cover letter?”

A cover letter can be described as something very simple; however, it might not be as simple when you don’t have any idea what to write or where to start.  Basically, a cover letter or application letter is a letter that responds to a known job opening.  It is an excellent way of introducing yourself to potential employers and explaining your suitability for a desired position. When you are first applying for a job there is so much you want to tell an employer, but there is only so much you can include in your resume.  Well guess what?  The cover letter is a great way to tell them about yourself, why you qualify for this position, and where you obtained all this excellent work experience that you can now use at their location.  Employers may receive tons of resumes when there is an open position.  According to Wikipedia, employers may look for “individualized and well written cover letters as a method of screening out applicants who are not sufficiently interested in their position or who lack necessary basic skills.”

Writing a cover letter is fairly simple if you stick to this technique:

Introduction – Describe the position you are applying for and where you found the listing.

Body – Let the employer know how enthusiastic you are in pursuing this position.  Think about the company’s needs and relate your skills and attributes as best you can.  Use examples from previous work history.

Closing – Politely ask for an interview and clearly state how you plan to follow up.

Simple, right?  There are many websites and work readiness curriculums that can teach you more about cover letters and how to properly write them.  At Community Youth Corps (CYC), you will learn about and write your own cover letter when you complete our work readiness workshop; Blueprint for Workplace Success.  Remember if you need us, CYC is here to help.

 

 

By: Mabel Meza

 

 

Cover Letter – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_letter

Denise Bissonnette , et al.  Blueprint for Workplace Success: Employment Preparation Program.  South Bay Workforce Investment Consortium, 2004. Print.

Don’t be a fool stay in school

Posted on May 17, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

Did you know that in Los Angeles County alone for 2011-2012 there was 8,764 drop outs? According to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, without a high diploma the chances of you finding a career that actually pays well is very low. Getting your high school diploma will open more doors and will allow you […]

Did you know that in Los Angeles County alone for 2011-2012 there was 8,764 drop outs? According to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, without a high diploma the chances of you finding a career that actually pays well is very low. Getting your high school diploma will open more doors and will allow you to make a higher salary, something you wouldn’t be able to do without high school diploma or GED.

In high school, I was very careless. I didn’t care about doing my work, doing projects, or homework. I would basically just go to hang out with my friends and end up leaving at lunch time, which got me in a lot of trouble. Now one of the things I dreaded the most was the constant nagging of my parents and also some school teachers who actually cared about me graduating. As youth what we fail to realize is that our parents and teachers know more than we do, and they do it because they know how tough it is in the real world and how much harder life would be without a high school diploma or GED.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average yearly income of a person without a high school diploma over the age of 18 is $21,023 as of 2008. The person with a high school diploma earns an average annual salary of $31,283. (Layla Norman)

Read more: Pay Scale for High School Diploma vs. Without One | eHow http://www.ehow.com/info_8354061_pay-school-diploma-vs-one.html#ixzz2TZt6Xvkv

So take it from me, it is not fun breaking your back for a minimum wage job not knowing if you’re going to have a job the next day.

 

By Alex Dominguez

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things we can think of if only you try.” -Dr. Suess

Posted on May 14, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things we can think of if only you try.” -Dr. Suess Have you even seen a child figure out a problem? There is something magical about how a child explores the world. Before failures, before success, before years of accumulated experiences, the […]

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things we can think of if only you try.” -Dr. Suess

Have you even seen a child figure out a problem? There is something magical about how a child explores the world. Before failures, before success, before years of accumulated experiences, the world in a child’s eyes is a wondrous place full of endless possibilities and outcomes. It is a place where anything can happen, no matter how practical or unlikely it may seem to be.

I was watching my nephew Zack, who is a little older than one, play with a new toy I got him; a stuffed animal, about as big as he is, shaped as the Disney Character Nala, from the movie The Lion King. Watching Zack play with his newly founded toy as he was discovering and exploring every aspect of Nala was truly eye-opening. Nala must be tasted for the slight possibility of being delicious. Nala must be squeezed, pressed, and contorted in different ways for the possibility of lights and sounds charming his senses. Nala must be hugged and shown to mommy for her reaction, shown to me for my reaction, and tossed on the floor for Nala’s reaction. Understanding Nala became a game, Zack’s project. Exploring became fun; understanding became fun; wanting to know became fun; thinking became fun.

The more I watched Zack. The more I realized Zack is getting to know Nala in as many ways as he could think of. With 5 mins of playing, Zack knew more about his new toy than I do about any of the object in my possession.

As we get older, we gradually loose our awareness to different possibilities. We tend lean heavily on our past experiences without thinking maybe there is a different path to take. We lock in to a view of the world that is narrow and in one direction, “this is how you get there”, “this is what you need to do”, “this is how things are supposed to be done”. I know I get focused on a goal without reexamining if there is a different possibility to achieve that goal.

Before I started working for SELACO WIB, I was unemployed for about a year. I thought to myself the only way to get a job is to apply, apply, apply. Every day I spend hours applying online. Months have gone by with little or no progress. Everyone said it’s a numbers game, to get a job you need to apply to as many openings as you can, you will eventually land that job you want. So I did.

One day, I decided I’m not going to apply online. This day I’m going to have some fun and meet up with friends. Maybe I charming that day, maybe they saw my desperation, or maybe it was luck, but that day two friends offered me to interviews for a job. They called up their friend and said, give this guy an interview. I was amazed after months of applying online with no result, just from one night hanging out with friends I got two interviews.

One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Suess where he says, “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think of if only you try”. To me this quote sums up my lesson learned from watching my nephew Zack and my job search. The world is full of possibilities and different ways to achieve a goal. We have the ability to think about different solutions, but the best way of getting our goals accomplished is to have fun doing it. By rediscovering the child-like curiosity and eagerness we all have the tools to achieve anything we set our minds to.

By Michael Sir

Looking for a Job when you have a Mis/Felony charge on your record

Posted on May 3, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

Since the first day I started working at Community Youth Corps, I realized that finding a job was more difficult than I thought. I had been very fortunate when landing most of my jobs. Every job I had was either because someone referred me or after submitting one application and completing my interview. Bam, I […]

Since the first day I started working at Community Youth Corps, I realized that finding a job was more difficult than I thought. I had been very fortunate when landing most of my jobs. Every job I had was either because someone referred me or after submitting one application and completing my interview. Bam, I was hired! But, what about those students who have felonies or misdemeanors in their records? This is where my challenge came about:

How do you find a job when you have a felony or misdemeanor in your criminal record?

I looked for various resources that will help me assist students in need. I was faced with this challenge of trying to find my students employment. But many of them had various counts on their juvenile and adult record. I learned that expunging your record had become a more difficult and challenging task.

I realized that volunteering at certain programs sometimes can lead to employment.

Volunteering is probably the most effective method.

Think about it, a lot of employers might judge you based on your “application” and “criminal record”. By investing time, not only are you building relationships, but you are showing the employers that your past does not determine the quality of your work.

There are also programs build around the foundation of helping those with a criminal record.

There are countless amounts of programs that are designed to assist those who are having difficulty being placed in employment. One that stands out from the rest is Homeboys Industries. This facility embraces those individuals who might have a criminal past, and invest all of their resources to help them get off the streets and find an honest job.

http://www.homeboyindustries.org/

So what do you do when you have a criminal record? VOLUNTEER!! And find programs that will not frown upon choices made in the past. But will assist you in finding a place that will judge you based on your work ethics.

By Corina Coronel

STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE

Posted on April 26, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

The reality is that stress is everywhere, and work can be a major source of stress.  This is especially apparent when work becomes dominant, and begins to take over our whole life.  Work stress is experienced at all levels, for management and workers.  Factors causing stress may be reward restrictions, technological change, the fear of becoming […]

The reality is that stress is everywhere, and work can be a major source of stress.  This is especially apparent when work becomes dominant, and begins to take over our whole life.  Work stress is experienced at all levels, for management and workers.  Factors causing stress may be reward restrictions, technological change, the fear of becoming obsolete, new methods, layoffs, evaluations (performance appraisals, promotions and demotions), telephone interruptions, deadlines, and overload conditions.

The manager can be is the major source of stress at work, especially if he/she lacks consideration. This becomes evident from a low morale of his/her staff.  Other sources of stress, are office politics and poor communication that can affect the overall function of the organization.

The assessment of your  particular job stressors and your response to them can be completed fairly quickly.  However, learning how to respond more effectively to job stress can take some time.  The habit of effective job stress management may take between two months and a year to integrate into your daily life.

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) most recent statistics show:
• 69% of U.S. adults surveyed reported experiencing physical symptoms of stress during the previous year.
• Of those Americans reporting extreme stress, 20% reported extreme stress levels of 8, 9 or 10.
• Young people are more stressed — 39% of Millennials say their stress has increased in the last year, compared to 36% of Gen Xers, 33% of Boomers and 29% of Matures.

Although stress is among us many people are dealing with it better.  Making better choices, eating better, and not looking to their old habits as an escape goat.

By: Jose Marez

 

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Posted on April 26, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

Finding a job in today’s economy is not the most pleasant of things. To be successful in your job search, you must have a game plan. For example, when a football team takes the field there are eleven players on the field per team. All of those players have to find a way to play […]

Finding a job in today’s economy is not the most pleasant of things. To be successful in your job search, you must have a game plan. For example, when a football team takes the field there are eleven players on the field per team. All of those players have to find a way to play as one. Before the team takes the field, there are months of preparation and planning. If the football team does not plan, they plan to fail.

Searching for a job takes planning and preparation. Have a game plan. Searching for a job now in days is equivalent to a full-time job. Set a schedule for yourself and follow it until you strike gold and find a job. You must be patient when job searching. It may take you a week or up to a year to find a job, but never put yourself down or lose track of what your mission is.

One of the most important things in job searching is preparation. First, you must find a career you want to pursue. Second, find companies that are currently hiring or will be hiring in the upcoming months. Third, apply to the positions that interest you. Fourth and one of the MOST IMPORTANT steps, you must follow up with an employer. If you applied to a position, you want to make yourself known to the employer. How do you do that? You follow up with a simple email or phone call to make sure they know you applied for the position. Remember, you are not the only one who applied to the position. There could be hundreds of people who applied. Making a simple phone call can give you an edge over the ones who did not.

Have a game plan when job searching. Remember the key components to job searching. Do not lose hope if you don’t get a job offer right away. At the end of the day remember one important thing; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

By: Ben Sandoval

Applying in Person vs. Applying Online

Posted on April 5, 2013 by Maricarmen in The CYC Spot

Although most job postings will actually TELL you how to apply, there are a few out there that are left up to you to decide…What to do? What to do? Well, both options have pros and cons.  If you apply in person, they can now attach your face to a resume.  However, what if you […]

Although most job postings will actually TELL you how to apply, there are a few out there that are left up to you to decide…What to do? What to do?

Well, both options have pros and cons.  If you apply in person, they can now attach your face to a resume.  However, what if you show up at a bad time? Now you may be intruding.  Or what if you spend all day applying online? You can get quite a few applications in, which can be considered a very productive day.  But have any of those companies called you back?

I guess there is no right or wrong way to apply.  What we do know is that every company is different.  Some may tell you specifically who to send your resume and cover letter to.  Others will specifically tell you not to call.  When the instructions are listed, make sure you follow directions.  The last thing you want is for the employer to think you can not follow simple instructions.

Now, if there is a company you are dying to apply to, it does not hurt to try and walk right in.  If you do so, be prepared! Look presentable, have your resume ready, be ready to meet with the hiring manager, and be ready to fill out an application if need be.  You should first try to make an appointment and do some research on the company and hiring manager to make sure you know who to ask for.  If you do get the opportunity to meet with someone, send a thank you card.

If you decide to apply online, be prepared to wait around for a call back.  If there is a follow up number or email address, make sure you call or send a thank you card.  No matter what, you should always follow up! It shows how interested you really are and may put you at the front of that resume line.

Remember! Be prepared, give accurate information, and follow up.  If you have any questions, you can always ask your Career Development Specialist, they can walk you through any application process.  Good Luck and Happy Job Search!

By: Mabel Meza