Edward Lai, currently the Vice President of Business Development at Bensonhurst Rehabilitation Center, Hopkins Center and Fairview Rehab discusses the types of job opportunities that are trending in today’s healthcare industry, shares his own career insights and how candidates can best prepare for those career prospects.
Audience: Job Seekers — those looking to pivot their careers into healthcare or even just considering to begin their career in healthcare.
What is the Trend?
America is aging. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Population Projections, in the next few decades, 1 in every 5 residents will be older than age 65, a number that’s projected to outpace those younger than 18 for the first time in history. By 2050, the senior population will have doubled to 90 million. More specifically, the number of adults ages 85 and older will nearly quadruple.
According to a study by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, as the population ages, 8% will have cognitive impairments, 60% will have mobility limitations and 20% will have high needs.
According to Edward, “Cognitive impairments means that mental status will be down, they may not know what they may be doing at times and it happens a lot. We see a lot of these kinds of patients in nursing homes. Mobility limitations are from strokes, from surgery, and a lot of different types of effects on the patient’s well-being as they get older. I suspect the high needs are bed down patients which we will be caring for. So this is the trend in America which is why healthcare is blooming.
Ten Reasons To Consider a Healthcare Career
This is the reason why Edward ended up with this career path.
- You’ll enjoy job security. “During Covid lockdown, there have been unfortunate events that happened like being laid off and companies going out of business — but I have not missed a day of work. I was here everyday serving the patients.”
- You will do work that interests you. “You will get to pick the field that you find most interesting to you to pursue your work in.”
- You can live and work anywhere you want. “Once you have that profession, like a nurse, nurse practitioner, physical therapist — you name it, technically you can work in all states and everyone needs your service.”
- You can find a health career that fits your educational plans. “What that means is that if you don’t want credentials that require a lot of schooling. For example, you don’t want to do 4 years of nursing school but you only want to do 2 years, then studying to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) would be the best option for you. You are still a nurse, but a lower grade nurse — in this case that fit your needs.”
- You can learn by reading and doing. “Healthcare is pretty straightforward.”
- You can get help to pay for school. “Definitely true. My sister went to nursing school. There’s a lot of scholarships and grants. You want to pay for your schooling so you can hurry up and get into position to serve the population in the hospital — so there are actually a lot of opportunities.”
- You’ll have a clear path to advancement. “You go in as entry-level and in several years, you may be offered a higher level position, whether it is a nurse manager, a rehab director, you name it.”
- You will earn a good salary. “Definitely true, but it depends on what you consider a good salary though because most of us won’t earn $1 million a year. In general, it is a pretty good income for many folks.
- You can work with people, or you can choose not to work with people, “because once you have the credentials, you can do a lot of things in your liking.”
- You can make a difference in people’s lives. “This is my favorite part because this is what I do on a daily basis.”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections
Employment is projected to grow from 162.8 million to 168.8 million over the 2019–29 decade, an increase of 6.0 million jobs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. This reflects an annual growth rate of 0.4 percent, slower than the 2009-19 annual growth rate of 1.3 percent, which was bolstered by recovery from the 2007-09 Great Recession. The healthcare and social assistance sector is projected to add the most new jobs, and 6 of the 10 fastest growing occupations are related to healthcare.
Fastest Growing Occupations
Listed at #2 in job outlook growth rate 52%, a Nurse practitioner-requires a Master’s degree and extensive nursing experiences, its 2020 median pay is $111,680! These medical professionals are highly sought after because they are working in every medical settings and although they can only work under MDs and DOs; they are practitioners and can perform like a doctor rather independently.
On your #4, the OTA has a growth rate of 35% with a median pay of $62,940. The job requires an OTA license. They work with the occupational therapist.
A very familiar job to many of us, the HHA/PCA is coming in at #6 in job growth at 34%, this is due to population is getting older and the need for home care is in the raise. HHA is averaging a little over 27K in 2020. It is based by the State.
The PTA (#7) is also highly sought after by hospitals and nursing home at a growth of 33% and a median pay of 59K. PTA requires a PTA license and works closely with the physical therapist.
Edward’s profession — and folks in management positions like #8 Medical and Health Services Managers earns an average of just over 6 figures. These are folks like me in management positions, like medical site managers, facility administrators, office managers, marketing executives etc.
Rounding the top 20 growing jobs according to BLS are #9 PA which makes 6 figures and the Speech-Language Pathologist making on an average 80K.
U.S. News Ranked #3 Out of 100 Best Jobs
Nurse Practioner (NP)
“They are seen in hospitals, nursing homes and normal medical practice. They examine and treat patients independently. They don’t need the doctor to stand next to them. They make those determinations on their own. They can ensure proper illness and injured care and disease prevention. They can do treatment and recovery. They can also provide medications. Nurse Practitioners are something I know a lot about because that is what my younger sister wants to become, so she is starting as a Registered Nurse. After a few years of becoming an RN, then you can become a NP once you have all that experience, expertise and higher educations, etc. It is a very good career to have and the salary is also high.”
U.S. News Ranked #70 Out of 100 Best Jobs
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA)
“They work very closely with the rehab team in nursing homes. They can also work in hospitals. Very good pay. This job does not require a 4 year degree. basically you just need to get the license. It’s roughly about over 1 year. A lot of people get an Associate’s Degree within 2 years. It is a very easy occupation to enter. The salary range is $55K-$67K annually. Based on this compensation and work environment, this is a very rewarding profession. You basically work in a rehab gym — it is very safe, quiet and this position typically has its own schedule. It is very flexible and spaced out. You normally would work with each patient for about 45 minutes to 1 hour at a time. The COTA helps patients perform activities of daily living as they recover from their illness and injury. The COTA basically works under the Care Plan.
In case you are not aware, Occupational Therapy is not like Physical Therapy. OT focuses more on the upper body like using your hand movements, getting up from your bed, etc. PT focuses more on the lower body.”
U.S. News Ranked #28 Out of 100 Best Jobs
Home Health Aide (HHA)
“It is pretty surprising that the HHA position is ranked so high in the BLS Projections and U.S. News 100 Best Jobs. You may think working as an HHA is so simple since there is no specific educational requirements. You can just obtain a license from many places fairly easily. Many HHA agencies do not require you to pay. You just go to school, they pay for your license or they reimburse you, and you get the job.
HHAs spend a lot of time with their clients in their own home and assist them with their daily living and activities such as cooking for them, cleaning up the house and accompany them to medical appointments, etc. This job is very high in demand right now and it doesn’t seem to stop anytime soon. They have fringe benefits as well and typically in NYC I would say the salary is about $35K to begin with.”
U.S. News Ranked #13 Out of 100 Best Jobs
Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)
“The national average salary for this role is $63K. The PTA prepares the patient and equipment for therapy and implements the treatment plans. They do exercivses, stretching, maneuvers, and they help the patient to increase their mobility. Being a PTA requires an Associate Degree. It’s a pretty satisfying job.
In senior year of high school, I went to a rehab hospital in Texas and this hospital basically opened my eyes up. I was volunteering for about 3 weeks. Everyday I was there and I saw how they worked and performed; the way PTAs assisted patients with walking them to see them get better.”
U.S. News Ranked #4 Out of 100 Best Jobs
Medical and Health Services Managers
“Including me, these are administrators, executives, directors, planners, coordinators that works behind the scenes to keep hospitals, nursing homes, group therapies and other healthcare facilities running. We are pretty organized individuals. We are administrators, we work with Department of Health, we hire the staff to provide the care to our patients.
The unemployment rate for this group is just 1.1% and the average salary is about six figures. The average number of jobs in this field are about 133K. In order for you to work in a hospital or nursing home, the minimum requirement would be a Bachelor’s Degree. If you are highly experienced in a certain area like Marketing or Healthcare Management, they can always look at other options. There is no certification per se, basically a lot of us are just providing opportunities somehow because we have been doing this for a while.
For example, I have been working in this field for 9 years in home care setting. After a while if your boss trusts you, you get more responsibilities and from there — you just grow. I am very fortunate that I was provided that opportunity.”
U.S. News Ranked #1 Out of 100 Best Jobs
“This profession is needed for medical practitioners to see patients — diagnose and treat. Normally when a doctor comes in the room to see patients, they are not really MDs (allopathic doctor) or DOs (osteopathic doctor). Those are the big doctors. In most cases, it would be the Physician Assistant that would come in to see you. The average for a Physician Assistant — they earn well over six figures and they are very important in the hospital settings because when the patient discharges, they have to be approved by the physician, but most of the time — the Physician is not available so the PA would approve most of those discharges. They would go in to talk to the patients and families to explain different procedures that they have to do and care plans, etc.
Very valuable profession, highly respected in the industry. And one of the reasons why this job is so popular is because the Physician Assistant completes their education in a short amount of time. On the other hand like in medical school, you have to go through 4 years of undergrad, and you have to have 4 years of medical school — after the 4 years, you have residency, internships… it’s just a ton of time that you have to put in and I know many people that went to medical school that failed and it’s just not too pretty.
But for Physician Assistant, some schools offer a Bachelor’s program and the most would be a Master’s program that most schools now require. In New York, I think there’s 1 or 2 schools that allows a Bachelor’s program for the Physician Assistant. So if anyone is interested in this #1 job in the U.S., you guys should take a look since there is a lot of opportunities out there for this profession.”
U.S. News Ranked #7 Out of 100 Best Jobs
Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
“Basically for this position, they work in schools. They work for non-profits. They are also in nursing homes as well as hospitals. The average pay is $84K.
They basically access and treat speech and language disorders. They use a lot of cards and games to help people use their speech accordingly. They are wonderful people. A lot of them have their own practice so they can help people regain their speech.
Normally, they would have a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. And most of these SLPs that I know have some Science Degree. But the ones who work in nursing homes, normally have a certification that allows them to do the swallow test as well — because a lot of times after the patient get a stroke, they would request a test so that we know that they can swallow. It is very important because if they can’t swallow, they can’t eat. If they can’t eat, then we might have some intensive procedures to do the feeding, etc.
A Speech-Language Pathologist does more than just speech. They would help us with these swallow tests. They do need to have a certification — that is required.”
Jobs Not Ranked But Highly In Demand
Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) are a few of the many highly demanded jobs. Edward mentions that “these are not ranked by the BLS, but it is ranked as one of the 100 Best Jobs as you can see.”
Registered Nurse (RN)
“The RN position is ranked #37. Why is the RN position so popular? This is actually my recommendation to everyone. I actually missed that opportunity when I was young. I was working as a CNA in college just X amount of years ago. I was working in a nursing home and that was one of my very first jobs, actually.
When I went to college, I went to visit this nursing home in Abilene, Texas and I just feel drawn. So I started working for them as a CNA — the nursing home offered me the opportunity to go to nursing school for free and I turned it down. I was young and pretty naive and I didn’t want to get tied down because they wanted me to sign a 3 year contract.
Now if someone offers you a nursing school education, an opportunity to be and you just spent 3 years of commitment, just take it. I did not.”
So Edward answers WHY? for RN. His personal recommendation is “if you really do have the time, the investment to do this, go for the RN. Basically RNs are the first ones to access the patients. They record the patients’ medical history, symptoms. They work in hospitals and nursing homes — and they basically set up plans for patient care. They operate more into medical equipment. They have to run a lot of tests. They provide a certain comfort in a medical setting because doctors don’t really have times to explain that many things. But when the nurses are treating you, that is the frontline of care. So I believe that nursing is the most important especially since I work in a nursing home — and who’s the most important? Of course it’s the nurses.”
“The opportunity for nursing is tremendous. You start off as an entry-level RN and you start to move towards a different capacity like a Unit Manager, a Floor Manager, you know, like.. very specific units. Like the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), they pay more critical care nurses. Then you can become the Director of Nursing.”
Edward provides a personal touch to this story.. “Recently, I helped this lady from Beijing. She worked at another nursing home. She worked so hard and I can see it. She has such passion for patients so I spoke with the Fairview administrator and we were able to offer her a position as an Assistant Director of Nursing. These are great examples that if you put some hard work into things, you get rewarded. It just happened yesterday that she was able to get this position and she was very happy about it.”
“So what is the earning potential for an RN? You start off as around national average $70K? If you move up to let’s say, an Assistant Director of Nursing over here in my group, then it would be around $140K-$150K. For Director of Nursing, it would be around $180K (this is for nursing homes). If you work in a hospital setting, you are talking about high-level nurse administrators — and those would be over $200K.”
“I think that as a nurse you obviously, especially with COVID — a lot of people say that it is a very dangerous occupation and it is no fun, but that is not the case. A lot of times, you have your PPE; it’s a pretty safe environment to work in. They don’t just throw you in a dangerous (position) for no reason; you will have your protection — and as you move up, it’s pretty much going to be an office job setting. For example, I see a lot of Nurse Managers in an office setting. They are no longer on the floor. As you move up, you are more like a manager, sort of speak.”
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
“The LPN won’t have that much opportunities, but as an LPN — it takes fairly little time for you to complete your education and start working so potentially you can start working for hospitals, nursing homes… Nursing homes mostly, because you will be doing medication and some treatment. Not a lot though, because a lot of the assessment is done by the RN.
However, as an LPN — you have an opportunity as a lower level manager that supervises all the CNAs on the floors as well.”
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
“A CNA is what I started off as and in this position — it is very frontline. You care for the patients, you bathe them, etc.”
Edward emphasizes the importance that “all in all, these 3 positions are highly in demand. After you get out of school, get your license, you will get a job right away — and get a job in my group.”
Top “Entry Level” Healthcare Openings
Edward asserts that, “a lot of 2 year colleges, career schools, Allied Health schools have programs for you to complete your education and be onto a career.”
Allied Health professionals are involved with the delivery of health or related services pertaining to the identification, evaluation and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; rehabilitation and health systems management, among others. Allied health professionals, to name a few, include dental hygienists, diagnostic medical sonographers, dietitians, medical technologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, radiographers, respiratory therapists, and speech language pathologists. Many of these professions are ranked by US News, including dental hygienist at #32, medical sonographer at #33 and respiratory therapist at #57.
Think Outside The Box
What Edward wants everyone to do is to think outside the box.
“A lot of times, people will think that all you have are doctors and nurses as healthcare jobs. But that’s not the case with a lot of stuff going on. I want everyone to put some thinking caps on to see what’s out there for them.. really. Do some research and find something that is to your liking.”
Healthcare Jobs That Typically Do Not Require a 4 Year Degree
EMT: No degree or even high school diploma required!
“I have so much respect for them. Just imagine our world without EMTs. What are we going to do? They are usually the first ones there if we need help. They perform CPR, they stop the bleeding, things like that.
To become an EMT, you just go to EMT school. Its about 3-4 months of night school or full-time day hours and you can get the license to start practicing. The average salary is around $36K. Although not a lot of money, they are highly respected.”
LPN: No degree required!
“Most LPNs already have Associate Degrees although no degree is required at this point. Certifications are necessary though.”
Pharmacy Technician: No degree required!
“When you go into Walgreens for example, they all have their license. If you go to your local Chinese pharmacies, many of them do not have their license because you don’t need that to become a Pharmacy Technician.
Medical Coding and Billing: No degree required!
“You have schools to study for medical coding and billing, and there are certificate programs for it but it is not required. Basically after Physicians treat their patients, they don’t bill them. Physicians would just hand over to the medical billers, and the billers according to what procedure is being done — they would submit those coding for payment — to the insurance companies
Medical Assistant: No degree required!
“They have a certificate program and they would have to go for an internship. Most of them are seen at medical clinics. They assist the doctor with a ton of responsibilities from the paper work to medications, to finding he right equipment, etc.”
Surgical Technician: Obtainable within 2 years, AOS degree
“You don’t really hear people talk much about surgical technologists. They basically prep the surgery room, the operation room and they prep it based on what the Physician directs them to do.. For example, if they are performing heart surgery — they will tell them it’s for heart surgery, to prepare equipment like knives, scalpels, cotton balls, etc.”
Licensed Health Insurance/Benefits Advisor: no degree required!
“Typically, you see these types of workers assisting clients with their Medicare applications/enrolling into Medicare programs or other health insurance programs. You actually need a license in order to be able to do that. Medicare programs. They have a base salary and comes with a very nice commission. You can make around $90K.”
CNA: No degree required!
Dental Assistant: No degree required!
“Certification required though.”
How To Prepare for a Career in Healthcare
- What specific role within the healthcare industry is most suited for you? As Edward suggests, “Just because it is suitable for me, doesn’t mean it is most suitable for you. So you need to find that passion and know what you want to do.”
- Figure out the time and money investment aspect because as Edward asserts, “some people are willing to spend 6 years of their time to pursue their dreams/goals, while some don’t have the means or patience to do so since they have to provide for their family, etc. We are all in different situations.”
- Know your own strengths and weaknesses. “I’m bad with science, I’m bad with math so I didn’t pursue being a PA, MP, all those medical professionals. I know I’m very good with selling stuff so I did marketing and I carved out my own path based on that. Slowly but surely, I moved to this level” (now as a Senior Vice President for Business Development at Bensonhurst Nursing Home).
- Volunteer to get a feel of the industry. “A lot of hospitals, nursing homes and social sectors allow you to volunteer. Get a feel of people. Get a feel of healthcare professionals.”
- Have commitment towards the credential/degree requirements. “You have to be committed to be able to succeed at a high level. I truly believe that. Once you are committed into something, then you can do it.”
Q&A from Interested Job Seekers to Edward
- Q: If I want to be a Chinese interpreter, do I have to get licence or certificate? Where can I take them?
- A: Being an interpreter is an excellent career choice. Being certified definitely gives you a leg up. You should look into being certified as a court interpreter and/or becoming a medical interpreter, I have enclosed the website: https://www.certifiedmedicalinterpreters.org/
- Q: I am currently in my gap year after a 16-month post-pandemic. I am an administration, office, community support, and data entry specialist. Can you advise what is the benefit as per diem basis administration position for a hospital for someone like me moving from the retail sector into healthcare/hospital? My passion is learning and helping people in the communities. I’ve left NYC for good and now living in the capital state region exploring this much-needed job market.
- A: Don’t stay away too long from action. Basic administrative role at hospitals are highly competitive. You seem to have a lot of experience from previous jobs, but you are not standing out… so my approach would be to build some relationship via volunteering in the hospital settings and then use those relationships to help you gain entrance. Benefits for working in hospital administrative roles are great benefits and longevity.
- Q: How long will it take to study LPN? How much is the salary range? Is it possible to take that course even if I am not a nursing student? I am an Engineer from the Philippines. Which is better to study health care aide, LPN or business management? My age is 61 but I look younger than my age and am strong. Which path would you think best suits me with a good salary and demand?
- A: Good choice! LPN vacancy is expected to grow 11% through 2028. National median pay is 65K, but do not expect that amount especially as a fresh grad. 45K-56K in NY, with nursing home nursing supervisor also as potentials. Great job prospects. NYC schools also hires a fair share of LPN. You do not require any previous nursing school education, but you should have a high school diploma and be able to pass the NCLEX-PN to practice in New York. I would suggest you working as a HHA to start while you attend LPN school, that way you can have some income for the time-being, and that course is super short you can complete with breeze. LPN school takes about 14 months or less. It’s never too old to pursue a dream. My father earned his doctorate at age 60. Here’s a link to one of the nursing schools: https://www.amg.edu/lpn-program/
- Q: Can I take a LPN course even as an engineering grad? How long will it take?
- A: Yes you can take LPN course as a engineering grad, any grad, as long as you have a high school diploma and is proficient in English and math.
On Wednesday, May 26th — there was an panel conversation between business and community leaders about how conversion to employee ownership can help NYC restaurant and hospitality businesses survive and thrive in our post-pandemic future.
“There is no question that this past year has been one of the hardest in recent history for small businesses and workers alike, particularly NYC’s nightlife and hospitality sectors who typically thrive — and residents and tourists can be out and about in all five boroughs and can engage in close quarters together.”
“We also know when there is an economic recession in tending the labor market, not to mention a lingering public health crisis that often small business owners are the first to contract. They are no longer able to support their talent, and they are no longer able to contribute their valuable goods and services that they typically have to their communities.”
“In New York City, according to the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development report — there are 220,000 small businesses in New York and 98% of them has less than 100 employees and 89% of them has less than 20 staff. Moreover, half of the private sector of the workforce is with small businesses. That means when small businesses falter, so do our workers. Over the course of the last year, we have seen 600,000 jobs loss. We’ve seen thousands of businesses temporarily or permanently shutter. This disproportionately impact low-income workers, communities of color and young adults.”
“It is important for workforce development professionals to support those who lost jobs (laid off or furloughed) during the pandemic by connecting them to benefits, essential jobs if possible, and continue to do so as the City opens up.
During this time, it is very important to offer as much resources and tools as possible to small businesses and workers – as this is imperative in our economic recovery as well as an equitable recovery.”
According to Senior Executive Director Ariel Palitz —
“Before the pandemic, the Office of Nightlife was dedicated to making sure we were supporting nightlife businesses, helping to elevate nightlife culture, promote safety, harm reduction, equity, as well as improve quality of its life. And while those are still our priorities, the pandemic really did obviously shift our energy into crisis management mode to ensure that this industry not only survives this, but comes out stronger than ever before. What the Office of Nightlife is hearing and learning from the industry is that this is still a very dark time, even though we are so grateful to see the light coming and the opening, and the return to sociability.
There is going to be a struggle coming back. This virus hit the heart of social gathering, the heart of this industry and so the recovery — the financial recovery is going to be a long road ahead. We know that we’re hearing that it’s very difficult to find employees, trained employees to lure them back into the workplace — and we know that is a real struggle that we’re working with.”
Ariel Palitz also highlights the importance of mental health — that “the mental health issues are underlying not only for the owners and workers but for patrons — and these are all the things that we are going to have to address, continue to address in a very thoughtful manner. But I bring all of this up because it’s also a real opportunity for creative solutions and to see what was a near collapse, and perhaps, even a not guaranteed return that we have an opportunity now to really look and see how can we do things that are not like before but better.”
“And so what the Office of Nightlife has done in the past 12 months was to see where are those opportunities where we can make those types of improvements — one of which was an initiative that we created called, MEND NYC. It is a five-borough initiative. It stands for Mediating Establishment and Neighborhood Disputes. Everyone in the hospitality industry knows that much of their enforcement is complaint driven. At times it could just be one person upstairs calling 311 anonymously and you don’t know who that person is or what the complaint is until you have a visit at the door.
What we created was an opportunity to mend relationships between the residents and the owners through free mediation and to find compromise through communication, and to establish direct contact — and so next time when it is a little louder they call you, and not necessarily an enforcement.
That is one creative solution I encourage everyone to check out as we start to get more and more vibe through both indoors and outdoors.
We help to launch curtains up with our partners at SBS (NYC Small Business Services) to help you through your application processes through the federal grant programs so you don’t have to figure this out all on your own.”
“We also are starting a new mental health initiative with the mental health community — new mental health community office called ELEVATE for the nightlife industry to preserve and protect venues that foster connection, creativity, and personal expression through programs to support cultural spaces and the New Yorkers who work and perform in them.
The real question: How do we innovate?
There is a willingness in small businesses to innovate all the time. And the pandemic brought on a need to innovate and to think what’s next and what’s different. Restaurants and many other businesses in the hospitality industry had to rethink about how to continue doing their business in the city. So how do we leverage that and go into more change in a way that can really help?
With small businesses and restaurants, people will always need to eat and will always need to have these establishments. How do we have them in a way that strengthens our community’s wealth and each other’s livelihood? How can we make it an experience that everybody can enjoy?
According to Rafael Espinal, the Executive Director of a non-profit called Freelancers Union mentions that — “the challenges that the hospitality industry and nightlife faced during the pandemic were rising rents, real estate playing a role in shaping which small businesses would survive or continue to exist in our communities. There was a lack of sensitivity from our neighbors on these establishments, which led to over enforcement — posed another challenge. For decades, when we talk about New York City and the overall ecosystem, night life which helped create our city’s identity/brand, was never really part of that conversation.
If we look at the numbers, there are over 300,000 jobs and over 25,000 businesses across the city. They have a huge economic impact, not only financially but also culturally.”
“Housing, infrastructure, roads fits into the overall equation — nightlife has to be part of that conversation in order to ensure that NYC continues to succeed. The pandemic has created a whole different challenge — a lot of employees have lost their jobs because of the fact that businesses had to operate at one point — at zero capacity, then at half capacity and now everything is opening up. A lot of folks are out of work, a lot of businesses had to close completely because they couldn’t make the economics to work in this time.”
“We can all agree that having a conversation around the work-cooperative model — where the employees have a stake in the business where the employees become owners of the business, it really will create a stronger foundation moving forward.
When you have more than one person who has an interest in the viability of that business, you’ll have more resources to pull from.
When there is a common goal as they open, when there is a common goal to ensure that you are producing the services to the community, when there is common goal in ensuring that all of the workers are being treated equally, there is a lot of energy there that will create a strong foundation.”
“Real estate will continue to be a question in the background. It is a little tougher to control — but we can control what the business model is going to look like moving forward. We can also control the laws/impacts that are coming out from City Hall. There is a lot to unpack here and I am excited to know what the future of nightlife and hospitality will look like.”
Disclaimer: Content in this article was obtained from NYC Employment + Training Coalition’s (NYCETC) NYC Workforce Weekly and the Center for New York City Affairs (CNYCA) to serve as a resource for job seekers and those who are curious/interested in learning more about the current economy of the workforce.
We’ve all seen the “Help Wanted” signs in the windows of our neighborhood businesses. It’s a reassuring sign that business is coming back, and that our sequestered days might be waning. On the other hand, how can it be that jobs are going unfilled when we know that three-quarters of a million New Yorkers are jobless or have exited the labor market over the past year?
Many businesses are right to ask whether the extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits available through September 6 is keeping workers home. But as journalist Greg David noted in a recent article in The City on this issue, “it’s complicated.” David cited a recent Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce survey in which 42 percent of businesses felt that federal unemployment benefits were discouraging return to work. Yet, the Brooklyn survey, according to a report in the Post, also found that 41 percent of businesses said they couldn’t provide enough hours to employees, 28 percent said employees had moved on to other jobs, workers had safety concerns in 12 percent of the cases, and employee health issues were cited by five percent of businesses. And several businesses also noted that lack of child care was keeping some workers home.
Clearly, a multiplicity of factors is influencing job market behavior as pandemic business restrictions are eased, Covid case rates decline, and vaccinations become more widespread. It is not so clear cut that unemployment benefits are the primary cause for some jobs going unfilled, although the availability of benefits likely does make it possible for many of the unemployed to exercise greater latitude in making decisions in the best interests of their families, personal health, and career choices. But isn’t that appropriate considering that the unemployed lost their jobs due to a public health emergency not of their making, and that the pandemic has upended livelihoods and family circumstances for millions?
Beyond survey perceptions there are various economic indicators that reinforce the notion that there are no simple or easy answers on this question. Even though an earlier $600 weekly federal unemployment supplement ended at the beginning of August last summer, there was no local job surge in ensuing months. Rather, the second wave of Covid infections beginning in October kept the city’s overall job level flat for several months. Jobs didn’t start to rebound strongly until February and March (NYC added 90,000 jobs over those two months), even though the new $300 weekly federal supplement began in early January.
Employment in restaurants—where unfilled job openings are most common—rebounded some in the fall, fell off again during the winter, and started hiring again in February. This erratic pattern may have signaled an instability that deterred workers from returning. (April payroll data for New York City will be released on May 20.)
The fact that employment in child care centers has not risen appreciably since November also supports the notion that the lack of child care capacity has been preventing some parents from returning to work. The March 2021 employment level was still 21 percent below the pre-pandemic level, and there was a severe crisis in child care accessibility and affordability before the pandemic. The very slow pace with which the State has been moving to disburse emergency federal child care funding has further exacerbated the child care situation.
Since most neighborhood businesses are not back to full capacity, many are not able to offer their employees full-time schedules. Unlike other states, New York State’s partial unemployment system is particularly antiquated and confusing for workers to navigate. There are “cliff effects” as the figure below indicates, where an additional hour of part-time work can dramatically reduce partial unemployment benefits, unduly complicating a worker’s decision about returning to work part-time. State legislators and the governor have had proposals to remedy the problem since January but have not yet reached agreement on a resolution. Meanwhile, an estimated 25 percent of the two million-plus UI recipients in New York State are receiving partial benefits.
Several news reports indicate that some restaurant businesses have raised pay offers or enhanced benefits to attract workers back. That is what labor economists would expect to happen when recruitment problems persist. The need for higher pay is particularly warranted given that New York State pay regulations permit a “subminimum wage” for tipped restaurant workers of $10 an hour whereas the wage floor for most New York City workers has been $15 since the beginning of 2019. Since most restaurants are far below pre-pandemic business levels, tips are likely a fraction of what they previously were.
“What’s the best way to follow up with an employer after a job interview?” Recruiters like Lee Ann Chan and I personally receive this question a lot from job seekers that we coach and place, and according to Lee Ann, “most candidates don’t want to come off as desperate or annoying (their words, not mine!) but they also don’t know the best way to approach employers for their interview updates.”
Below are the recommended follow-up emails and templates from Lee Ann to use when you want to check on your status and keep establishing a professional presence.
Job searching in the middle of a pandemic has been the most challenging for job seekers. Job seekers have been blindly applying for 10 months or more and building their network. Some have been plugging away and applying to jobs since March and have had little success with interviews and no offers with no feedback. And some have been forced (by the pandemic) into starting their own businesses/side hustles to pay off student loans, rent, debt, etc.
Whatever the case may be, job searching has always been challenging. However, the best way for it to be a success is to remain positive, and to not give up. Giving up is not an option. Show employers that you are willing, wanting and able to work!
Here are some New Year’s resolutions to help jump start your motivation and pave way to a successful job search.
- Connections can help a great deal. Spend more time talking to people than submitting your application to posted job ads.
- The quickest way to get back into the job market will be your network and your referrals. Who knows that a 30 minute coffee chat could turn into an opportunity of a lifetime.
- You would be surprised that you will have connections in your circle who know about the existing job vacancies that aren’t posted on job boards. In other words, the hidden job market.
- When reaching out to your connections, you may want to follow the email template below:
- “Hi [Connection’s Name],
I hope this email finds you well. How was your holiday season and New Year’s? It is shocking how 2020 flew by.
I wanted to reach out because things have changed at [Current Company] and am specifically looking to transition to [Job Title] at [Industry/Sector/Company] where I can utilize my [Insert Relevant Skills] to be able to do [Insert Desired Activities].
I wanted to reach out to see if you know of anyone who could connect me to such an opportunity. I understand that this is a big ask and your time is valuable. If it is too much right now, don’t feel any pressure as I totally understand.
Either way, I hope you are staying healthy and safe. I look forward to catching up with you soon!
- “Hi [Connection’s Name],
- Update your resume.
- Your resume should always be different and tailored based on the job description. Study the job description carefully and proofread your resume before uploading it on the job board because you want to get past the Applicant Tracking System.
- Education: Don’t just focus on the schools and institutions that you have attended. Include organizations that you were involved with as well! If you had a GPA that is higher than a 3.0, showcase it and be proud of that achievement!
- Work Experience: I mention this all the time but make sure your duties are not only duties, however make it into an accomplishment by incorporating quantifiable metrics using numbers and percentages. Also, tailor it towards the field that you are interested in.
- Leadership Experience: This is important whether you are looking for a job or internship. If you were active in many organizations and clubs, list it and highlight that leadership because that is always going to be a plus.
- Skills and Projects: Again, just like your work experience, tailor your relevant skills towards the field of interest. If you have worked on special projects that were tailored towards the specific field of interest, include that as well.
- Have your peer, mentor, career coach or a professional critique your resume.
- Your resume should always be different and tailored based on the job description. Study the job description carefully and proofread your resume before uploading it on the job board because you want to get past the Applicant Tracking System.
- Hone your interview skills.
- Have a friend or family member interview you and provide feedback.
- Participate in mock interviews. Especially during this pandemic, many virtual platforms are partnering with big companies (such as Moody’s, Google, McKinsey & Company, Credit Suisse) to connect with nonprofit organizations and social ventures to give back and provide these free services to job seekers.
- Sharpen your skills.
- If there is a specific field you are looking to go into or a job that you want to apply for, study the job description closely and discover if your educations and skills are going to be a good match.
- If you do not have the skills that the employers are looking for, you should look into taking online classes that will help you move forward in your intended field.
- Map out what you are looking for.
- Don’t just randomly apply for jobs because you need a job. Seek purpose in the kind of job you want. Make sure your job search has a path. What is it that you really want in your job? Do you want to work entirely remote? Do you want to work on-site? Do you want to work flexible or set hours?
- Follow the SMART goal outline via FlexJobs.
- (S)pecific: What industry or sector do you want to work in? Do you want to stay local, or are you willing to move? How much do you need to earn?
- (M)easurable: To meet your goal, how many resumes will you send out per week? How many networking events will you attend each month?
- (A)ttainable: Do you understand the difference between your dreams and your goals? Keep in mind that some things are beyond your sphere of influence. You cannot control how many interviews or offers you get, but you can set a goal for the number of business connections you’ll make each month.
- (R)ealistic: What can you achieve in this moment? If you have little experience, it’s unlikely you can move directly into a C-level job. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve right now, but also plan for bigger and better goals in the future.
- (T)imely: When is your deadline? This aspect of goal setting is often overlooked, but deadlines—even arbitrary ones—are important motivators. Since you can’t control when you’ll get hired, you may find that a resolution such as “I will find a job within the next six months” is less effective than “I will apply to at least five vacancies this week.”
- Target specific companies that you are interested in working for.
- Make a list of your top target companies
- Research, research, research them!!! Anything you can find such as articles, interviews with executives, surveys, podcasts, etc.
- LinkedIn is a valuable platform for you to use in landing your dream job at your target company. From there, you may want to locate contacts who can refer you into your target role such as a hiring manager, team lead, recruiter or a friend who was hired there.
- Reach out and cold email them.
Emily Chan is a Talent Sourcer for Engineering and Operations at Microsoft. In Emily’s role, she pipelines top engineering talent through various online sourcing methods (her favorite one being LinkedIn) and find these candidates a home at Microsoft.
During her free time, you can find Emily drinking coffee, buying (too many) plants, and working on a passion project called Sparkline! Sparkline (formerly CEO Mindsets) is an initiative that focuses on empowering students to secure their dream jobs and internships through practical resume, interview, and networking tips. Recently, they have been hosting different workshops on personal branding, LinkedIn, etc. at different colleges and it’s really great to have the opportunity to interact with their audience.
Sparkline is looking forward to expanding their reach to more colleges in the new year! If you’re interested in collaborating with them, feel free to reach out at email@example.com and they’ll work together to bring your idea to life!
Now, we will delve deeper into the Q&A below where I have asked Emily to provide her input for those who are looking to pursue a career in tech or those who are interested in heading into tech. Emily is excited to share a bit about the tech industry and offer some insight for those who are interested in breaking into this dynamic industry!
※ What are the kinds of careers that Microsoft offers for those who are interested in applying for a tech role there? What are the specific digital skills needed?
Microsoft offers a lot of different kinds of careers in tech – some examples are software engineering, mechanical engineering, hardware engineering, etc. You name it, Microsoft probably has a role. I specifically focus on recruiting for software engineers. In terms of skills needed for it, most of my roles require working knowledge of an object-oriented language like Java, C++, or C# and experience working with highly available and scalable distributed systems. There aren’t too many hard requirements because we recognize everyone has a different story and we want to focus on hiring engineers with a growth mindset and good potential!
※ Last month, Microsoft announced that they want to help create millions of tech jobs in the UK. How do you think this will help shape the industry?
This is an amazing initiative that will not only boost the tech industry, but help the UK’s economy as well. Technology is the future and businesses will only be able to sustain themselves if they include tech in their business strategies. This initiative will not only help expand and accelerate the path into the tech industry but will also aid in creating a more diverse talent pipeline in tech.
※ Is training offered for those who are looking to pivot their career direction or those with zero experience in tech?
Although Microsoft offers extensive training for new employees to learn our tech stack, we do expect candidates to know the fundamentals of computer science and to have some experience working in tech.
If you are a recent graduate with no experience in tech, I encourage you to apply to our amazing internship programs! That’ll help you get your foot in the door for full time opportunities.
If you’re in the middle of your career looking to switch into tech, I recommend either 1) going back to school to learn the basic fundamentals of computer science and then applying for our internships/full time roles or 2) taking a coding boot camp and gaining some industry experience at smaller tech companies before applying to Microsoft.
※ How do you get your foot in the door?
Network, network, network! LinkedIn is a great place to get in touch with people working at your dream companies. Do some research about them and reach out for a coffee chat to learn more about them, the role, and the company. Build and maintain that relationship and more often than not, they’ll be happy to give you a referral.
One disclaimer I want to make for this is that you want to make sure you meet all the basic qualifications first! If you don’t, you can network all you want, but it’ll be very hard to land the role. This is because those are the basic skills you need to succeed in that role and companies are not going to bring a candidate into situations where they won’t succeed.
※ What should a job seeker be aware of when working at a tech company?
Be comfortable with ambiguity and be able to adapt quickly. Things are always changing whether it be a customer requirement or a new technology.
※ How does the job market look currently for tech?
More now than ever, the tech space is growing at an increasingly fast rate. Especially with the pandemic, everything has shifted to virtual and people are relying more and more on tech. Companies are working on innovative products to adjust to the modern workplace and modern society so there is such a high demand for good engineers in the tech industry. It’s a really exciting time to be in this space!
※ Technology is one of the top growing industries currently. How much has it grown compared to pre-pandemic? What are the most in-demand careers and skills right now?
As I discussed earlier, tech is in demand now more than ever. Everything is virtual now and even after the world goes back to “normal,” a lot of things will remain virtual.
I can’t speak for different companies since the tech stack varies, but overall, Microsoft looks for working knowledge of an object-oriented programming language and industry experience with highly available and scalable distributed systems.
- Eight months later, we are still at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Job seekers WILL appreciate the opportunity to hear the much needed feedback on their interviewing skills. It is certain that there are questions that job seekers had since the start of the pandemic, that they awaiting for. This is a good time for interviewers to schedule a virtual interview using platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, especially career experts and coaches to patiently and holistically give job seekers their answer and provide them with insight on the job prospects.
- You have another person (such as a career expert) who can give you so much insights on how to answer behavioral or situational questions, how to outline your strengths/weaknesses by providing some good examples and key takeaways, how to be more structured in your answers, etc. You can use those tools and their constructive feedback to practice on — before going on your actual interviews, such as telling good examples or stories with answers and telling stories in a concise and easy way to digest.
- Job seekers will be able to gain more perspective on what they had initially perceived as impediments, such as their employment gaps and lack of professional experience. With the interviewer’s feedback, not only will the job seeker be able to gain more confidence with what experience he/she already had, but he/she will also have a better understanding on how to present their strengths (plural here!) and weaknesses.
- You can always practice with a professional (like a career coach or a friend/family member who is very well rounded with the interview processes) who is great at giving constructive feedback that’s also actionable! Job seekers would appreciate this as they would love to hear more of the in-depth perspective from their interviewer’s side on why some of their answers weren’t as successful. One of the areas that interviewees often get stuck on is where specifically they can pull back or delve deeper into… and this depends on the type of questions they are asked and how they formulate their answers.
- Job seekers will find it very helpful in their answers to questions where they lack confidence in themselves. They will most definitely use their interviewer’s ideas going forward in their job search. (Note to interviewer: Make sure your input is valuable and gives meaning to the job seeker!)
- Obviously, mock interviews offer job seekers/interviewees this opportunity to practice with their interview skills. It is definitely going to be a wonderful/life changing experience for them to learn more about the things that they should be doing and not be doing in the actual interviews. When they have someone to practice with, it allows interviewers to catch things and point out mistakes that the job seekers did not catch or notice — and this is where their suggestions come in handy for the job seeker’s interview and resume. And this begins with the interviewer’s patience in answering all of the interviewee’s questions and concerns to set them up for success.
- Many job seekers need that guidance and help with acing their actual interviews! To make it as informative and helpful as possible to the job seeker, interviewers should take their time to explain where the interviewee did well, where he/she needed to improve, and provide some examples/situations of how to handle certain interview questions.
- Mock interviews allow job seekers to learn something and walk away with new knowledge and tools to use for their future interviews (for example, they may learn a new way of answering questions when it comes to identifying a problem and being able to articulate how they solved it). In a nutshell, job seekers will gain that valuable experience which felt “real”. More importantly, it should help the interviewee self-reflect. Not only does it help improve the way the interviewees answer questions or ask questions, however it will allow the interviewer to provide excellent critique of their resumes and body language, as well as tone. This will certainly help job seekers with future prospects, boost their confidence/speech as it will allow them to prepare more professionally.
How do you know when you are in good shape to make a case for your candidacy with employers?
- You’re thoughtful and well spoken about your experiences and skills.
- You’re creative and solution-oriented and offered a great example of such an instance.
- You’re succinct and articulate in framing your experiences.
- You prepared a number of stories and situations from your previous experience to concisely demonstrate skills and capabilities that the interviewers will be looking for.
- You developed a strong pitch outlining how your experiences and strengths match the role’s job description.
- You did a wonderful job in walking through your past work experiences in showing concrete and numeric examples of how you succeeded by training your storytelling muscle, as well as getting into the nitty-gritty of your projects.
- You focused not only on your soft skills, but you strongly infused your responses for your hard skills/technical abilities.
- You discussed about your strengths and weaknesses.
Suggestions on how to be more ready and how you can improve:
- When describing these scenarios to your interviewer during the mock interview, you could definitely insert just a touch of levity to the story so that it would resonate that much more with the prospective audience.
- If applicable, you can emphasize your past leadership experiences more, where you have led teams. This is a hard to come by skill and you have one or more instances that you can speak to. Be more assertive in announcing this experience. If you add more humility, you could advocate more for yourself by calling this out. You can also highlight your listening skills as having developed when you were leading teams, but also highlight that team leadership.
- When providing examples from your past experience/s, you should outline the challenge or problem that you have faced, and then key levers that you used to resolve it. This framework will help the interviewer understand the situation from the outset and ensure the main points are lost in the story.
- With more preparation, you can select examples that better demonstrate the challenges that you have previously faced and how you overcame them.
- For example, managing deadlines. This example can be shaped to show the actions that you implemented and how you established visual tracking of work to confirm on time completion rather than focusing on frustration at missed deadlines.
- With more preparation, you can select examples that better demonstrate the challenges that you have previously faced and how you overcame them.
- Show that confidence when providing examples of your experiences. You can practice to be more confident, and show that — that you own your attractive skill set to prospective employers.
- An example can be, how you conducted data analysis. Expand on it by highlighting your achievements and accomplishments, and not just mentioning what you did.
- Sometimes job seekers may dilute these examples or apologize to their interviewer for lack of complexity, however you should remain confident in your experiences and present them as such.
- You may have great experiences and past roles that position you well for upcoming interviews, but you will need to refine the way you deliver the examples to better demonstrate why you are the best candidate for the role.
- Example: You may have experience on building pages during your tenure at Deloitte, but this example can be enhanced to demonstrate your executive communication development and experience, your ability to summarize complex issues as well as outcomes from your analysis and modeling.
- Using the STAR Method could help you build your base and hit home on the results of your past work experiences/projects.
- Tying this in with the concrete and numerical examples into your responses for the behavioral questions, could really drive home your skills and successes.
Have you been laid off, permanently furloughed or looking to pivot into a new career in 2020? You may want to consider a career in cable because Spectrum is always looking to building a bright future in spite of change. They build it with their products and services, however they can’t build them unless they have people like you.
Below are Q&A’s that a recruiter has answered on behalf of the job seekers.
- Suppose you come in as a Customer Service Representative, with minimal experience from at least 6 months to 1 year. If you are looking to go into another department, do you offer training for that?
⦾ In fact, the customer service job posting only says you need 6 months of experience working with customers. It didn’t have to be from a call center and you don’t need to have a tech background. Once you go onboard, and generally after 6 months you go on an internal career progression.
⦾ There will be courses that you are required to take to move up. For example, in customer service – there are 4 levels of customer service. During your tenure, you do get merit increases but your bigger jumps in pay come as you complete the industry courses that we pay for and have you assigned to, so it’s really up to you where you go.
⦾ The key here is, once you get to Customer Service Level 4, that’s where you can start applying for let’s say a Floor Coach — which is lower than a Supervisor or you can decide whether you want to move over to the Quality Assurance Department, another department — but those are not internal progression roles. So for folks that are in the Customer Service Level 2 for two years, the company doesn’t prevent you from applying for a Supervisor — but in many cases, those who applied for the role, have already completed Customer Service Level 4, they’ve finished all their courses, and they’ve already moved over to Quality Assurance or something like that … so your internal competition tends to be as strong as you coming in externally, because you are competing with everybody who has the same and higher skills.
- What percentage of Spectrum jobs require a college degree?
⦾ I will not be able to give you a specific percentage however, I’ve went through the number of departments I’ve been in — Sales, Customer Service, IT, Engineering, Field Operations, etc., but in all of those I can only recall where it’s a Manager or Director role where a degree is required.
⦾ Most of the other departments will say that they prefer an Associate’s or Higher, except for the Entry-Level roles. In their case, they prefer a GED or higher.
⦾ But remember, “prefer” doesn’t mean you can get the role without it because they will appear on every job you look on the website. It will either say “A degree is required” OR “With a degree OR equivalent experience”.
⦾ By enlarge, most people aren’t bringing in a degree when it’s lower than a manager or director. They’re bringing some technical certifications with them, they’re bringing a high school diploma/some college, because we are focused to train you ourselves. We’ve got so many courses that we want you to take, that the department offers. You’ll be trained to become an industry expert sometime within the first 5 years.
- Does the Spectrum Careers page indicate the salary range?
⦾ No they don’t. However, I suggest that you check O*NET OnLine because Spectrum is a federal contractor and our jobs are linked to that website. So if you see a job title, let’s say 70,000 technicians and you see that their average salary is $30,000 a year. It gives you an idea.
- I come from a Graphic Design background and I want to go into a career change — possibly heading towards becoming a future technician? Are there any trainings that Spectrum offers?
⦾ Yes and no. If you’re going for a different career, there’s going to be some minimum qualifications there. You will hear that you can create a Functional Resume that focuses on your career skills as opposed as to where you work.
⦾ Look at the job description as it’s posted and you’ll see all the skills on that job description that you know that you can do.
⦾ Once you craft that resume, you can show those skills and how long you’ve used them. And your work history will be on the bottom.
⦾ Once you upload that resume, the recruiter will go through that folder and the system will flag you (to have your resume looked at) because you have the skills that the job has posted. That is how you get your foot in the door, I’ll be straightforward as a recruiter; we are required to look at every single resume. We have to interview those who are the most qualified first.
⦾ Once you have those crossover skills that you have listed on your resume, it will increase your chances of getting noticed and that phone call for the interview since you are showing them that you can bring that talent, those skills, those tools to the table.
⦾ You will then fall into the range of 1-100 of being the most qualified because you are still competing with how many people applied to that position — how much experience and skills they have. There’s a little bit of luck in terms of changing roles as well.
- Are there any trading schools for skills training related to what Spectrum is looking for in Field Tech? For example, if I want to become a low voltage technician?
⦾ Absolutely. Thankfully, there is the Workforce Investment Act that is funneled through the U.S. Department of Labor and the Workforce 1 stations where you can get training for those specific skills. You are capitalizing on what the federal government has already put in place.
⦾ So when we post a job for a technician, I’m going to be looking for someone who has about 6 months of technical experience where we typically find folks in that minimum range who graduated from APEX Technical School. Let me be specific. So a person who has graduated with a certification in low voltage from APEX Technical which is a 900 hour course, they may come in as Tech Level 1 if they have no other technical experience. But they are still considered because they have the minimum experience. So we interview that person. Again, don’t forget — it depends how many jobs that are there and how many people that applied at the same time.
But I am the one who usually call those candidates myself — to bring folks in from Tech Level 1 so by the time they are in Tech Level 5, we train them up from the beginning. Generally, it would be $17.50 for this role.
⦾ However, if a person graduates with their Network+ certification, that’s going to start at $26.50 since they will come in as Tech Level 4. Now, you would have made a difference of starting at $17.50 an hour to $26.50 an hour — just by doing that on your own. We also pay for the courses. However, if you paid for them yourself you will now just start at a higher level.
- If I do not have any experience. Will any trade school experience be credited? Are low voltage cable installer courses helpful?
⦾ APEX Technical, Comptia Network+, Comptia A+ Certifications, NEW (Non-Traditional Employment for Women), BICSI – are all certificate programs / providers we like to interview for the entry-level Field Tech. They will come in with only their Technical training cert between $17-$26.50 (depending on several variables).
⦾ Workforce Investment Act will pay for many of the training programs on your behalf through a Workforce 1 Center and their “training voucher” program. Stop by your WF1 office for details.
- How much of a hindrance would something like a very long period of unemployment be in getting hired? No one would hire me because I have been unemployed for a while and my unemployment just keeps getting longer and longer because of this. It’s a vicious cycle.
⦾ It is, and I understand that 100 percent. Good thing I will tell here is, that answer will vary depending on what company you go to – but as of 2013, you might see on our website – that we do not discriminate against anyone based on their employment history.
⦾ Now, it’s not uncommon for people to be a Director and they’re applying for an entry-level role. Many employers will say they would be overqualified. However, Spectrum doesn’t do that.
⦾ Some of them who are out of the workforce for 4 or 5 years, many employers would say they are unreliable. Spectrum doesn’t do that. We only go based on the job description and your qualifications.
⦾ So if you apply for something within Spectrum that you’ve done or did in the past, you will get a call. You just have to be ready to perform and bring up those skills in you. You wouldn’t get declined based on your length of unemployment. You will get the offer or not, based on how you perform on the interview.
- I saw a Customer Service position in a Spectrum store. Are they salary based or just commission based?
⦾ The Retail Store / Cable Store rep has both part time openings and full time openings. There are two types of roles.
⦾ One is a Customer Experience Rep – that will be the title when it’s posted. It’s entry level and is wage based. No sales. You might also see it posted from time to time as a “store greeter”.
⦾ The Retail Store Rep is the other (so titled; in some areas of the country its called simply “Cable Store Rep”. NYC its called “Retail Store Rep”. This is also hourly wage. No upselling is a requirement for the role, however, should you upsell and close the sale, you would get commission on the upsell. So, in this case it’s “base + Commission” in practice, but technically, its just hourly wage.
- Will AI automation take over all customer service jobs? I always prefer people to people.
⦾ Great question! And your suggest of preferring “people to people” indicates there will be in person service reps for the foreseeable future for us.
⦾ Remember, Spectrum needs customers to be able to connect with their services and with the company in a way that best benefits the customer experience.
⦾ A number for customers are not tech savvy and still mail letters at the post office, and some are “customer service savvy” and would rather not wait in line for a chat or a phone call, so its easier for them to just go into the store, since they know that will be the solution to their problem anyway. And some are very Tech saavy, and would not want to speak with anyone in person, or via phone – they get their need met via chat only.
⦾ So for now, Spectrum Stores and store associates are an important part of the Charter organization. Additionally, we have the Customer Help Desk who uses both phone and Chat to manage customer needs.
⦾ Spectrum Store employees help the Sales & Marketing organization drive sales, retain customers and provide personal interaction and knowledge through exceptional customer service. With more than 3,500 retail employees and nearly 700 stores nationwide, Charter has more locations than many top retailers. To find a Spectrum Store near you, click here. You can also find some details on Cable Store Reps.
⦾ That said, while Call Center, and Cable Stores and the in-person experience are an essential customer link for us right now, as noted in the presentation, the future changes due to changes in consumer tastes and interests. For sure we will anticipate the change, and adapt to it as need dictates in order to relevant.
- Will they train and field technical without any background experience?
⦾ It’s not out of the question; and it has been done frequently in the past. However, the key factor here is how many spots do we have open when you apply.
⦾ Let’s say we have 100 Field Tech spots available. We fill 80 of them with people with some experience. If we still have open spots and no new candidates with experience apply, then, the hiring managers start to look at “cross-over skills”… that is what OTHER skills do you bring as shown on your resume? Does your resume show a history of consistently sticking to your goals; do you stay on jobs for a long time or short; during the interview, did you come across as teachable and focused on success, or “just need a job” attitude.
⦾ So, technically, the answer is YES, but in practice, usually we don’t post so many Techs spots that we run out of candidates with “some” experience.
- What if someone has over 20 years experience in customer service not call center experience?
⦾ That’s a win-win for us – depends how it works for you.
⦾ The customer Service – Video Repair rep is hourly pay; no commission or sales. It currently pays $20/hr.
⦾ If you have 20+ years in customer service, customer account management, resolving customer concerns. You’ll do well on the interview.
⦾ But, there is a computerized assessment you would have to first pass to get the interview. The test is designed to answer the question, “Has this applicant the aptitude and / or experience to work in a call center?”
⦾ If you’ve worked in a call center (like 311, Geico, Telemarketing, Survey Center), for certain you’ll pass the assessment based on your experience alone – but if you’ve never worked in a call center but have the aptitude for it, you’ll still pass the assessment. But, if that really just isn’t your thing, for sure you wouldn’t pass the assessment – then, the system will notify you your application will not be moved forward.
⦾ If all of those factors work for you, then, you should give it a try and apply.
- Is Spectrum currently hiring for interns in marketing/communications? If so, how much training is provided to assist new hires?
⦾ Yes and no.
⦾ We have an annual internship program across the country. The internships post the first week of February, and interns are selected for the summer internship by May. They start their paid internships in June and continue until the middle of august. This year’s internship ended on Friday, August 14th, 2020. We did have Marketing interns this year.
⦾ However, how the program works, is, in December, each department that WANTS to have an intern will submit the request for an intern at that time (to ensure it gets costed into the budget for the next year.)
⦾ Then, when budget review is complete, those departments whose budget allowed for an intern will then send a request to the Talent Acquisition department to secure an intern for the program.
⦾ So, while its very usual to have Marketing interns each year, it’s not ALWAYS the case, and we don’t actually know yet what departments will request interns. So, best bet is to wait till February, then visit the website and search for the word INTERN. All internship roles will be posted. Apply to the one you meet the job requirement. (Generally, there is a lot of competition because very little experience is required – instead they are looking at educational goals, volunteer experiences, what you major currently is in school… that sort of thing. Obviously having some prior experience related to the Major will be a plus).
⦾ The only other option is Spectrum Networks usually has a 1 year internship. But, its not paid. You work in the Broadcast media division for 1 year as an apprentice – kind of, I should say. Then, a job full time job is offered to you after you graduate in the department you’ve been working in. It’s a lot of work, and not everyone’s cup of tea. But, it can work for the right person. It will also post usually in February when they have it.
⦾ In either case, though, training is part of the internship – its designed to give you real work experience in a role / department related to your degree.
- What the hourly rate are for Customer Service Representative? How many hours per can you work? What are times for work schedule?
⦾ If you apply to the NYC locations for example, the CSR is $18.50/hr base pay + $0.75 for Night Differential base on shift
⦾ Current Training Schedule Six (6) weeks
⦾ 100% attendance mandatory
⦾ TUESDAY – SATURDAY 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
⦾ After Training Work Shift: 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm (anticipate having this shift for at least 6 months or more before having a chance to change shifts.) | (Two consecutive weekdays off, will be required to work Saturday & Sunday as part of the work schedule and most holidays)
⦾ Normally a 40 hr work week; but overtime is available at times. Generally, floor leadership will seek volunteers for overtime and Exceptional Employees sign themselves up for it.
- How should I apply & what are recruiters exactly looking for on resume or cover letter?
⦾ Apply here: General job applications are found at the website : jobs.spectrum.com. Once they apply, they can let you and I know, and I’ll take a look and offer advice or make connections deemed appropriate.
⦾ In general, a good resume must have : 1) Contact Section 2) Chronological Experience Section (covering at least the last 7 years), and 3) Education / Additional Skills, Certifications section
a. I advise to read the job description first. Each job will have a section that shows “required qualifications/skills” and possibly a “preferred qualifications” section as well.
b. The Resume MUST list how your job experience matched those hiring manager requested skills and experiences. (other sections will include education and training as well.)
c. Remember to list accomplishments as well on your resume – they should tell us
i. What you did
ii. How well you did it
iii. Its impact on the business / project
So, the resume is the first chance the hiring manager gets to see if you can perform the duties of the role. Use it as your marketing tool to highlight how you’ve done what they’re requesting.