14 Jul 2015
in Employees, Job Seekers
Tags: 10-panel, 5-panel, Drug screening, Drug test, employment, Hemp cosmetics, Hemp foods, Job, Legalized marijuana and employment, Medical marijuana and HR, Poppy seed bagel, Poppy seed bun, Poppy seed pastries, Pre-employment
Is it true that eating a poppy seed bagel can cause you to fail a drug test? It’s my favorite breakfast!
Dear, Positively Negative,
Rumor-busting website Snopes says TRUE! Back in 1998, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that oversees federal workplace drug test regulations upped the threshhold for opiates (drugs produced from poppy plants) from 300ng/ml to 2000ng/ml. But not all drug testing companies that serve the private sector use this higher threshhold.
Employers use drug screening as a tool to maintain a safe workplace. I, for one, am glad drug testing is federally required in certain industries where safety is imperative. In addition to pre-employment drug screening, tests can be performed when there is reasonable suspicion of drug use by a supervisor, after an accident at work, before returning to work after substance abuse treatment, and when the company has a policy of random or periodic testing.
Most employers request the standard 5-panel urinalysis drug screen that detects street drugs such as cocaine, PCP, opiates (heroin, codeine, and morphine), amphetamines (including meth), and THC (found in marijuana, but also in lesser quantities in hemp foods and cosmetics). A 9- or 10-panel screen additionally tests for prescription drugs such as oxycodone, benzodiazepines (mood elevators like Valium, Librium, Xanax), barbiturates (downers), propoxyphene (Darvon), or methaqualone (quaaludes).
Many drugs stay in the system 2-4 days, though some drugs may linger longer. Chronic marijuana users may test positive up to 3-4 weeks after their last use. And for chronic bagel-eaters? MythBusters TV show hosts tested positive just half an hour after gorging on poppyseed pastries – all in the name of science.
What about that Medical Marijuana card? Even in states that allow marijuana use for medical purposes, the legal protection is generally construed to be from criminal prosecution, and is not considered a free pass for any positive employment drug test results. Recent court rulings seem to favor employers over employees, so you may want to switch to a cinnamon raisin bagel and avoid hemp milk for your morning meal.
Readers: Have you ever failed a drug test for non-drug use? Tell us about it.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Disclosure of a DUI
Drug Testing – Necessity or Discrimination?
29 Oct 2013
in Job Seekers
Tags: career, cover letter, cover letter examples, cover letter writing, cover letters, editor, employment, employment advice, entry level, entry level jobs, experience, find a job, free resume examples, gaps in employment, getting a job, how to become employed, how to write a resume, improve resume, interview tips, job change, job search tips, job seekers, jobs, objectives, profession, professional, professional resume services, professional resume writers, professional resume writing services, proper grammar, Reference Check, resume, resume example, resume examples, resume format, resume help, resume services, resume writers, resume writing, resume writing help, resume writing service, resume writing services, resume writing tips, résumés, sample help, service, template format, unemployment help, work, write a resume, writer
Good Morning, Readers!
Ever wonder if your résumé is up to the tough challenges of the current job market? With a large amount of top talent, like you, on the hunt for a new career, people are beginning to get a little creative with their résumés and cover letters to spark excitement.
While some spunk may grab the attention of the hiring manager, others are a downright no-go. Today, I couldn’t resist sharing a very interesting and rather baffling CareerBuilder survey I found called “Common and Not-So-Common Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You the Job.” Here are the unforgiveable blunders they discovered:
- Résumé was submitted from a person the company just fired
- Résumé’s “Skills” section was spelled “Skelze”
- Résumé listed the candidate’s objective as “To work for someone who is not an alcoholic with three DUIs like my current employer”
- Résumé included language typically seen in text messages (e.g., no capitalization and use of shortcuts like “u”)
- Résumé consisted of one (run-on) sentence: “Hire me, I’m awesome”
- Résumé listed the candidate’s online video gaming experience leading warrior “clans,” suggesting this passed for leadership experience
- Résumé included pictures of the candidate from baby photos to adulthood
- Résumé was written in Klingon language from Star Trek
- Résumé was a music video
- Résumé didn’t include the candidate’s name
- On the job application, where it asks for your job title with a previous employer, the applicant wrote “Mr.”
- Résumé included time spent in jail for assaulting a former boss
Do your résumés have any of these formidable faux pas? If so, time to do a serious round of editing to get it up to snuff! Take a look at my post, Reasons for No Résumé Responses, for more helpful hints.
Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.
24 Sep 2013
in Job Seekers
Tags: applicant, attitude, career goal, certification, college degree, community college, educational credential, employment, entry level, further education, GED, General Educational Development testing, get a job, good enough diploma, high school diploma, hiring manager, job opportunities, online education, positions, qualified, stigma, vocational school
Due to an illness in my family when I was younger, I wasn’t able to finish high school. But I recently got my GED! I’m excited, but I’m afraid I still may not get as many job opportunities as I would if I had graduated with a high school diploma. Is my GED enough?
Dear, Good Enough,
Congratulations on receiving your GED certificate! As you know, it takes effort to complete the General Educational Development testing, but there may still be some stigma associated with a GED over a traditional high school diploma. Comedian Chris Rock jokes that GED stand for “good enough diploma.” But is a GED good enough to get you a job?
The answer is: it depends. You will obviously not be qualified for a job as a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, but for some entry-level positions, having your GED will show that you did, eventually, finish what you started. For yours truly, a candidate who completes his or her GED represents character traits like ambition, resilience, and just plain turning lemons into lemonade.
Most employers – approximately 96 percent, according to the GED Testing Service – accept GED certification as a valid educational credential for employment. Frankly though, when faced with two equal candidates, one with a GED and the other with a high school diploma, some hiring managers may not want to take a risk on the GED applicant. Make sure you shine in your interview, and if the subject comes up, explain the circumstances that prevented you from graduating with a traditional high school diploma.
Depending on your employment and career goals, you may want to use your GED as a launching pad for further education, either online, at a traditional community college, or through a vocational school. Once you attain a college degree or certification, a GED versus the traditional high school diploma becomes a moot point.
In my many years, I’ve seen many a job candidate with nice, shiny college degrees who turn out to be lazy, unprofessional, or difficult to work with. I would choose a candidate with a GED and a great attitude any day. You’ll find an employer who feels the same.
Job Seekers: Have you ever felt you lost out on a job because of your GED? Hiring Managers: Is the GED equivalent to a high school diploma in your eyes?
Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.
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26 Feb 2013
in Home, Job Seekers
Tags: advice, Career Services, careers, College, collegian, Community Service, cubicle, current events, employment, employment advice, entry level, expectations of unemployment, find a job, first job, gaps in employment, goal setting, grads, help, Job hunting, job interview, job loss, job search, job search tips, job seekers, jobs, Layoffs, new graduates, office, outplacement, placement, planning, reduction in force, reductions, salary, search, spare time, strategies, student, students, things to expect when you become unemployed, time management, tips, tools, unemployed, unemployment, Unemployment Activities, unemployment benefits, unemployment help, unemployment rate, Volunteering, what to do when unemployed, What to do when you are unemployed, work, workday
A reader writes:
I have been unemployed for 2 months and try as I may, I still am having trouble finding employment. I am starting to get extremely bored and the excess hours of the day are beginning to get to me. With the large amount of free time on my hands, what can I do to during the day that will have a positive impact on my job search and my day-to-day life?
Dear, Stuck With Too Much Spare Time,
Being unemployed and having nothing to do are not as much fun as many people make it out to be. I bet for the first week or two, it feels like a nice vacation full of sleeping in, leisurely breakfasts, watching television all day, and kicking up your feet. But after a short while, those things you wished you could do while you were working are becoming unbearable and boring. If you are starting to feel down about yourself or feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I ask you to turn that frown upside down. It is time to start being proactive and getting your life back on track.
The first thing you need to do is set a schedule out for yourself. No more sleeping in until noon and watching television until the wee hours of the morning. Most people who are employed are up and out the door in time to be at work by 8 a.m. Now that you do not have a job, what do you think your full-time position is? You guessed it, JOB HUNTING! Immediately, go see my friends at Select Staffing and fill out an application. Chances are they will be able to enter you in their database and offer you advice on how to proceed with your search. You must dedicate at least 6 hours a day to searching for a job. That doesn’t mean just scouring the Internet; get out there and sell yourself. For tips and tricks on becoming a very successful networker, check out my post Networking Know-How.
Try to find a class in your area that will build your résumé and your skills. If you work in a warehouse, look into getting your certification in forklift driving. If you are in administrative or executive support, brush up your grammar and proofreading skills. Do something that will benefit you in the long run and help keep your brain from turning to mush.
Build your résumé while doing something good for others. Locate a charity whose cause is near and dear to your heart and start volunteering. This will give you satisfaction and look great to potential employers. Here you can gain professional and life skills, meet people that could help introduce you to new job openings, and also earn a great recommendation from your supervisor that can only shed a better light on your unemployment. I once volunteered at a local charity and after a few months of dedicated service, I was offered a paid position in their Career Center.
Surround yourself with positive EMPLOYED people. This is a very important piece of advice to follow. Typically, people who are unemployed will not be happy with their situations and will inevitably bring you down. They will be more likely to engage you in activities that do not mesh well with job hunting activities. People with jobs will be able to share advice and connect with other professionals, possibly resulting in your next job lead.
Cut out the junk food and take some time to get your body moving. Exercise is a great way to spend an hour of your day. Getting your blood pumping will increase your energy level and spread those happy endorphins through your body. It is proven to relieve stress and ward off depression. Healthy foods will give you more energy and make you feel much better, both physically and mentally. Remember if you put good in, you will get good out.
As tempting as it maybe, try to avoid reading the bad news about the job market and the economy; it will only bring you down. Switch over to reading uplifting books and inspiring stories to keep you in a chipper mood. Go by yourself to see movies that bring a smile to your face. It actually gives you a greater sense of independence. I definitely suggest you give it a try.
Set daily and weekly goals for yourself. These do not need to be huge or intricate. Day one can be as simple as waking up at 8 a.m. and apply to 3 viable jobs. If you do that every day for a week, you have 15 job applications and résumés out in the world. Now that is an accomplishment! As you achieve more, you will begin to feel better and more confident in your abilities. Just remember you won’t get anywhere without putting one foot in front of the other.
Now that I have given a few tips, I want to hear from my readers what they find to be the most important advice for keeping your sanity while seeking employment. What things did you do while you were searching for a job?
Take care until next time,
22 Jan 2013
in Employees, Job Seekers, Managers / Supervisors
Tags: alone time, anti depressant, body language, demeanor, employee advice, employees, employer advice, employment, employment advice, energetic, Find your strengths, goal setting, happiness, happy, Happy at work, Have a great day, Health, How to be happy, HR advice, human resources, job seekers, jobs, management, managers, Mental Health, mental health and productivity in the workplace, mental health at work", mental health in the workplace, mental health problems affecting work, mental health problems in the workplace, Personal time, personal well-being, positive attitude, positive environment, positive results, positivity, Productivity, psychological health, selfesteem, Smiling, stress relief, stress relievers, Well-being, workplace, workplace etiquette
I have started to notice that when I am in a fantastic mood I tend to have a much better day at work and get so much done. My positive attitude even has an effect on the rest of the team. From now on, I want to set a positive and proactive tone throughout my office. How can I send my staff and myself down the happy path from the start of the day to the end?
Hello, Happiness Helper,
Thanks for the great question. Nothing makes your day go by faster and better than a good mood. I think it is the number one determining factor of how we act, feel, and present ourselves. Even if we do not verbalize how happy or upset we are during the day, it is easily communicated through our reactions to stress, body language, and overall demeanor. I have seen my share of up and down days during my long life but have come up with a strategy of my own to overcome almost anything in my way.
Every night, I set my morning alarm to go off 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I use this extra time for what I call “positive reinforcement.” It is the time when I can do something positive for myself without any interference. I will usually read some selected positive affirmations, look at the nature outside of my window, or spend some time playing with my cat, Clew-cifer, before any outside nuisance can sour my mood. Choose an activity that takes little effort and gives you something to smile about as the day progresses. Coffee or your favorite breakfast meal can be added in here as well. Doesn’t breakfast in bed sound good to anyone else?
Many people view their commute to and from work as a daunting and unpleasant task. Being behind the wheel, navigating through traffic, and steering clear of worldly hazards sounds stressful. What I have done is switch my mentality on the commuting conundrum. Instead of dreading it, I look at the drive as 30 minutes of ME time! I put on my favorite mix tape (created by yours truly) and get myself excited for the day ahead. It is where I only focus on myself and the things I look forward to accomplishing today.
When you get to the office, be sure to get your work day started with a big smile. Smiling is contagious and will spread like wildfire. Even if you don’t feel happy or in a great mood, research has shown that even fake smiles have a positive effect on how you feel. When someone asks “How are you doing this morning?” or “How is your day treating you?” respond with something positive. I try to stick with responses like “I am great! How about yourself?” or “Today is going great so far!” Be sure to add in that smile! Refrain from telling others all about your troubles or how awful you feel. I’ll bet that 9 times out of 10, a positive response is better received.
Most employers allow their staff two 10-minute breaks throughout the day on top of a lunch break. Get your blood moving and the endorphins pumping by taking a short walk outside. This is and has been a great stress reliever for me for some time now. I find that I am much more productive and more alert, which contributes to my overall sense of happiness and well-being. It gives your brain a break and lets you refocus your energy on the positive.
As the closing bell rings, be sure to leave your work at the office. The evening hours are there for you to partake in non-work activities and do something you enjoy. If that is reading a book on your couch, grabbing dinner with a friend, or catching up on the latest football game, be sure you allow yourself time to indulge in simple pleasures. Before calling it quits for the day, try your best to remove all negative thoughts from your mind and think of what was positive during the day. What were you able to accomplish? Remember a few things that made you smile. It can be as small as enjoying a candy bar after lunch or seeing an improvement in your productivity. Just end your day on a positive note!
A friend of mine shared this great video that I can’t help but smile at. We should all try to be this happy and cheery in the morning.
What do you do to make your days pleasant and positive? I would love to hear them!
Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.