The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS


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Seek to understand! If you are new to the workplace, your co-workers could be feeling you out to see if you can be trusted or gauge if you are a threat or how adaptable you will be to the workplace culture. If you are a tenured employee, keep in mind that your behavior and how you treat everyone should be the same and consistent.

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If you do have a genuine conflict in personality with a co-worker, get your manager to help you work through the relationship to keep the perceptions neutral and show that you are a problem solver instead of contributing to the tension in the workplace. Keep things professional and positive!


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Your image is comprised of a total package that contains how you speak, communicate, your attitude, how you treat others and yes, how well groomed you are. Whether you like it or not you are judged by your appearance. The reality is black women are often stereotyped in the workplace and need to strategically consider how our professional image is being perceived vs. Although natural hairstyles are accepted in some workplaces, other companies accept it with resistance and hidden discrimination. A young woman shared with me recently that her manager explained the reason why she could not attend an offsite conference was because of her natural hair, keep in mind this company promotes diversity and inclusion within their environment the nerve of corporate America, right?

Keep in mind that your attire should also reflect the kind of image your employer may want to project in addition to your own. Therefore, try combining the two.

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If you are teaching people how to dress for job interviews, your attire should reflect the part and set the example, not reflect an image of someone who is dressed and ready to hit the club right after work. The bottom line is image does count and you should stay mindful of your physical appearance. After all, it is also part of your overall imag e.


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Searching for a mentor is not easy to find for black women, so when you do find one; make sure they can be both a mentor and sponsor. If not, find one of each. Your mentor or sponsor should be someone who can relate to the challenges and complexities during your career journey. Each has unique benefits that you can leverage. Although a sponsor can do those things as well, they typically are a person of influence within your workplace or industry that can be a spokesperson or cheerleader on your behalf and talk you up to their circle of influence.

Cultivating a relationship with a sponsor can put you on the fast track to reaching your career goals. Black women need each other. Therefore, offer to share your lessons and experiences by mentoring a peer or a young black woman in your industry.

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Passing your knowledge on to others is how we build strong black career women. When you know better, you do better! Believe it or not, everyone is not out to get us in the workplace. It becomes easier to just do the work and go home. Sometimes you have to play the game to win if you want your career to flourish especially in Corporate America.

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But playing the game at some point is critically important to survive your workplace culture and the hidden rules that apply. These investigators also noted that substance abuse treatment is not similarly successful for everyone with respect to employment gains. Evidence indicates that substance abuse disorder treatment increases both employment and earnings Legal Action Center, b ; Young, In these studies, the welfare rolls were reduced resulting in substantial savings , cost offsets were produced for other health care e.

Other data from Minnesota, Colorado, Florida, and Missouri reveal increases in employment rates for welfare recipients who completed a substance abuse treatment program. A study in Kansas showed that earnings for clients were 33 times higher after completing treatment, compared with before treatment Young, A similar study in Oregon found that clients who completed treatment earned 65 percent more than counterparts who terminated prematurely Young, Substance abuse treatment also improves job-training effectiveness, according to a report issued by the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community Rector, All three sites saw increases in effectiveness i.

If work is to be sustained and enduring lifestyle changes made, the vocational services provided must focus on pathways into careers, on job satisfaction, and on overcoming a variety of barriers to employment, as well as on the skills necessary for maintaining employment. A number of changes affect today's workforce and must be taken into account when delivering vocational services to substance abuse treatment clients. Because the world of work is dynamic and job obsolescence is a well-documented phenomenon, vocational services must reflect these changes.

Particularly noteworthy are shifts from a manufacturing to a service economy and advances in communications and other technologies that make computer literacy a valued and necessary skill.

Job growth has occurred in two areas at the opposite ends of the occupational spectrum: high-wage, high-skill technical and professional occupations, and low-wage, low-skill service jobs without many opportunities for advancement Hanken, Few middle-income jobs have been created in recent years, and this overall wage inequality has been increasing in the United States for both men and women since the mids.

Real wages in terms of buying power have fallen substantially for workers with the fewest skills, education, and experience, whereas those of professionals at the top of the pay scale have skyrocketed. Wages for entry-level jobs are low and declining; moreover, they are likely to decrease further as more unskilled work is conducted in foreign labor markets and as more welfare recipients are required to enter the labor force Burtless, In the U.

In many places, new immigrants, unskilled and undereducated workers, and ethnic minority groups face daunting challenges. In making vocational decisions, these clients, unless counseled otherwise, may have widely discrepant expectations about what is desired and what is possible. These discrepancies can lead to treatment and job failure, especially if the client underestimates or overestimates his abilities, is not realistic about costs of employment and the challenges of financial independence, and is not prepared for ongoing work and additional training beyond the immediate satisfaction of having a job.

Moreover, in today's work world, few employees can expect to remain with one company for a complete career. Low-wage workers are particularly vulnerable in this new world of work as other publicly funded safety nets weaken. Going back and forth between work and welfare or other subsidies is no longer a long-term option for the chronically underemployed Hanken, Lack of financial security can produce anxiety and substance use relapse unless clients are trained to be flexible and assertive in regard to work.

Because most workers will change jobs and occupations several times in the course of a career, retraining and adaptability are critical. Work must be seen from the perspective of developing and advancing personal goals.

Diversity and the Workplace | Experience

Vocational counseling and guidance can play a vital role in defining one's career path and making difficult work-related decisions. The combined effect of the new welfare reform requirements and changes in the child welfare laws greatly pressure parents involved with child protection service agencies to quickly comply with multiple demands for compliance with public system requirements. To avoid losing parental rights to their children, parents may be required to enter substance abuse treatment and achieve sobriety as well as meet other expectations of the child welfare system, all within a limited time period.

At the same time, under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families TANF , welfare authorities may impose work requirements and sanction those who fail to comply. Those with substance abuse disorders, minimal work experience, and dubious parenting skills may feel overwhelmed by all these demands.

Maintaining sobriety, by itself, is a difficult achievement for many.

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Complying with work requirements and parenting responsibilities at the same time may seem impossible. For some people, the response may be to deny that "the system" has changed.

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Others may be overcome by a feeling of hopelessness and the inclination to give up. Still other parents will relapse into substance abuse. As welfare reform and changes in child protection laws are implemented, alcohol and drug counselors will see increasingly stressed parents in need of supportive counseling and services. Providing support while conveying to clients the urgency of their attaining or maintaining sobriety will be the challenge in the years ahead. These laws must be monitored closely because they signal time periods when financial support will be terminated for clients and delivery of vocational and employment services will be drastically modified.

These changes will heighten the urgency for integration of treatment and vocational services as a means to provide clients with maximum opportunity for full rehabilitation. Although Medicaid has not been a major source of funding for substance abuse treatment, many States have negotiated coverage for screening services, inpatient detoxification, intensive outpatient day treatment, and some medical, methadone maintenance, counseling, and therapy services Strawn, Most States now require that Medicaid recipients enroll in State-directed managed care programs.

However, in many places, moving Medicaid reimbursements to managed care programs has created new obstacles to financing substance abuse treatment. A primary tenet of managed care is based on "continuum of care" principles in substance abuse treatment. This concept argues that treatment needs change over time, often in a predictable fashion.

Managed care plans typically require the use of a comprehensive program having several levels of care, such as detoxification inpatient, outpatient, or residential , hospital rehabilitation, nonhospital residential rehabilitation, structured outpatient rehabilitation, and individual or group outpatient rehabilitation Anderson and Berlant, Matching the proper intervention with current patient needs should lead to more effective and cost-efficient service delivery. Although the emphasis on cost efficiency is commendable, there is concern that the emphasis on savings might curtail treatment effectiveness.

A focus on improved fiscal outcomes that ignores more satisfactory and enduring client outcomes could be counterproductive Young and Gardner, Treatment barriers imposed by managed care programs under Medicaid in some States include refusal to approve appropriate treatment placements, failure to accurately diagnose substance abuse, referral to geographically inaccessible facilities, and retroactive denial of benefits Legal Action Center, Providers should remain abreast of changes in Medicaid rules and regulations in order to access such financial reimbursements for their clients.

An existing Medicaid requirement has also complicated reimbursements for residential care for substance users. The Medicaid rules prohibiting reimbursement for residential services provided in a facility with more than 16 beds to anyone between the ages of 22 and 64 years have often discouraged special residential treatment for women and their dependent children.

There are numerous concerns regarding the effects of the aforementioned legislative and policy changes on several populations. These populations include women on welfare, their children, noncustodial parents, former Supplemental Security Income SSI beneficiaries, and clients in the criminal justice system. Women on welfare have been the primary targets of reform efforts particularly at the Federal level , which reflect changing societal attitudes about the expanded roles of women, their place in the workforce, and their capabilities for self-reliance.

The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS
The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS
The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS
The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS
The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS The African American Employment Guide: FINDING AND KEEPING A JOB - INTERVIEWS—NETWORKING—CAREER GOALS

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