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Tables 1 & 2: National Statistics Office Data on the Workforce, April 2010

(Originally published on Sunday, June 20, 2010)

Data on the unemployed:

Jan 2010 Apr 2010 Difference
Labor force 38.8 M 38.5 M 300,000
Jobless 2.8 M 3.1 M + 300,000
Unemployment rate 7.3% 8%* 0.7%

April 2010 NSO Survey highlights

  • Employment rates: Highest, Zamboanga Peninsula (96.9 percent); lowest, National Capital Region (NCR) (88.2 percent)
  • Unemployment        8.0%
  • Underemployment              17.8%
  • 35.4 million people were employed in April 2010
    • 52.0% Services sector (with the wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods sub-sector comprising the largest sub-sector or 19.4% of all employees).
    • 32.5 %: Agriculture sector (with the agriculture, hunting and forestry sub-sector making up the largest sub-sector with 28.4% of all employees).
    • 15.5%: Industry sector (with the manufacturing sub-sector making up the largest percentage with 8.6% of all employees).
    • Among the various occupation groups, laborers and unskilled workers predominated at 32.2 percent of the total employed persons in April 2010. Farmers, forestry workers and fishermen were the second largest group, accounting for 15.6 percent of the total employed.
    • More than half (54.5%) of the employed persons were wage and salary workers, while more than one-third (33.7%) were own-account workers, and 11.8 percent were unpaid family workers.
    • Among the wage and salary workers, those working for private establishments comprised the largest proportion (40.2% of the total employed).
    • Full-time workers are those who work for 40 hours or more during the reference week while part-time workers work for less than 40 hours. The number of full-time workers in April 2010 was recorded at 21.7 million while the number of part-time workers was 13.0 million in April this year.
    • More males (62.5% of total unemployed) were unemployed than females (37.5%).
    • By age group, for every 10 unemployed persons, five (51.2%) were in the age group 15 to 24 years while three (29.6%) were in the age group 25 to 34 years.
    • By education, 44.5 percent of the unemployed had reached at most high school level while 41.6 percent had attained college level.

(Source:  Income and Employment Statistics Division, Household Statistics Department, National Statistics Office, Manila, Philippines)

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Creating Opportunities in Adversity

(Originally published on Sunday, June 20, 2010)

By C. F. BOBIS

Make your own good news by adapting your job search

If you’ve kept an eye on the news, the April 2010 Labor Force Survey (LFS) recently released by the National Statistics Office tells us that the unemployment rate has increased (see charts included with this article). But remember that there is always a way to turn things to your advantage.

Take the LFS results. If you read carefully, you’ll see that the jobs are in the services sector (making a culture of good customer of vital importance—something we’ll tackle). They will tell you that you have a better chance of being employed as a full-time laborer or unskilled worker at a private company, and if you’re a woman and/or you have a college degree.

So how can you increase your chances of getting a good job? Over the two years the Classifieds have been around, here are the best tips that have appeared on these pages:

1. Finish your education. Though over 40% of those unemployed have college degrees, remember that the survey includes fresh graduates. The jobs with higher starting salaries and greater room for promotions are most often open to those with college degrees.

2. Approach your job search differently and learn to be both flexible and creative. Be prepared to have to do more to find a job, and be willing to take a long hard look at your options. Remember, if you aren’t flexible and creative, there’s always someone else out there who is willing to be, and who will land the job ahead of you.

3. Now is the time to network. Why not let your Facebook, Multiply, and/or Friendster connections know you’re searching for a job? (Just be sure your account isn’t filled with photos and/or comments that make you look silly, unprofessional, or cast you in a bad light.) Don’t forget alumni associations for your school, past bosses and colleagues, even the people you interned for in your last year of college. Just two things to remember: Make a personal connection; be prepared to help the other person in turn, and be sincere.

4. Be armed. Improve your resume by updating it with job-oriented achievements instead of a mere list of work experiences, and reformatting it, if necessary. Ask for letters of reference now, and inform other references that you have listed them as such. Tailor your cover letter to specific companies you’re applying for, the better to show your suitability for a particular job. And why not get your employment requirements now? (See list of pre-employment requirements below.)

5. Be willing to work outside your comfort zone and to train in new skills. The good news is that new jobs in different growing fields, particularly in the BPO sector and in IT, are opening up to those who are willing to work outside their comfort zone and learn new things. Richard Nelson Bolles, author of “What Color Is Your Parachute?’’ He advises jobseekers to be receptive to the idea that in the future they may be working “in the service of new technologies,’’ he said. To prepare for this, why not take advantage of free training offered by institutions like the Philippine Trade Training Center or PTTC hold free training sessions (the last Friday of the month, and it’s listed in the Classified Calendar) to upgrade your skills?

5. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude. Consider jobs you weren’t sure you wanted to apply for. Take a few risks. Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer for Adecco, a staffing company, suggests that jobseekers make a list of what you need to do each day (see the sample list on this page), and “try to keep your emotions separate from the tasks of the day… This is not the time to say, ‘Well, there aren’t any jobs out there, so I won’t look,’ ” she says. Bolles adds that with the right attitude, job seekers “can often turn this crisis into a real advantage for themselves” by moving their life in a new and more fulfilling direction” so that they can look back and realize that “this is the best thing that ever happened to me.’’

6. Be willing to go outside your comfort zone. Don’t just look for the same job over and over. Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer for Adecco, a staffing company, advises jobseekers It is time to think harder about transferring the skills you have or acquiring new ones to move into a new type of job or industry.

(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin and C. F. Bobis. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of copyright holders.)

Biz Maker: The Tale of Two Salespersons (Part 3, Conclusion)

(Originally published on Sunday, June 20, 2010)

By MARK SO

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog for Part 1 and 2. For those of you who have not yet read those, please go to http://www.markso.wordpress.com.

In Part 2 of my blog, I wrote that 25% of the commenters were undecided as to whether they were Yin or Yang salespersons, and about 2% of this group (a very small number) felt that a great salesperson should be a balance of both. I totally agree: Yangs must learn from the Yins, and likewise, Yins must learn from Yangs but honestly, it is easier said than done.

Just learning skills from each other and developing these would be the obvious way to reach a balance, but I believe that having a deeper understanding of sales is the real answer.

So here I will explain that being a great salesperson is NOT just about developing a skill or transforming yourself from Yin to Yang or vice versa. Instead, evolving as a salesperson is simpler than you think.

Let’s begin. In my sales and marketing seminars, I ask my students what their motivation for selling is. Can you guess what their three main answers are? They were: 1. money; 2. recognition; and 3. more money.

To which I say, “That’s very honest of all of you, but you see, you don’t need to sell to get money and recognition. You can inherit wealth (money), or you can learn to Invest and grow your money. You can invent a new gadget or write an article for a newspaper for recognition. In other words, what you mention are motivations, but not really motivations to make you sell better.”

And the room gets very quiet. So I continue, “You see the best salespeople in the world, whether Yin or Yang, are motivated by only two things when they start selling. They are: 1. excited and motivated by the product itself; and 2. They absolutely care about the people that they sell to, their customers.”

You Can’t Sell What You Don’t Believe In

My wife Jhoanna is, as I mentioned earlier, a Super Yin; she absolutely gets freaked out when she needs to do the selling herself, but not when it comes to our seminars and our real estate properties.

Jhoanna absolutely believes in practical education; she has read self-help and how-to books all her life and has become a maven of information. The seminars we hold at Businessmaker Academy are the product of her beliefs (and mine, of course); she is very proud of them and is willing to sell them to anyone who inquires about them. When she is in the office and she answers a phone call inquiring about any of our seminars, her face lights up and she can sell very naturally and easily. (She closes 99% of them!)

The same goes for real estate; yes, she loves real estate. In fact, ever since she was seven years old, she would regularly encircle with a red marker the properties for rent or sale in the Classifieds section of the Manila Bulletin and ask her parents to call and inquire how much it was. She would even insist on going with her family every Sunday to see some of the properties they owned at that time. She was and still is obsessed with real estate, so when one of our condominium units was turned over to us, she was able to rent it out on the first day we opened the door (I am not exaggerating). This is the power of believing in your product.

You Should Not Sell If You Do Not Care For the People You Sell To

Notice that I said “should not,” and not “cannot” because you can sell to people you don’t care about, but your customers will know that you are not selling for their benefit but for yours only. This is the other must-have ingredient when it comes to selling very well. You must love your customers for you to be able to gain their trust and their loyalty. It is very hard to fake sincerity, and without sincerity, there can never be trust. If the customer trusts you, the customer will buy from you; it’s that simple.

I really care about my customers, and they know it. It is not about what I say; it is about what I do that makes my customers understand that my businesses and I are here for them. In my seminars I tell my students that I am sincerely excited to be here today to teach them, and indeed I am excited and thrilled. I always am, because at the end of the day, I love the feeling of being able to help, inspire, and provide a means for a better life for all of them.

After my seminars, they come up to me and say “thank you” and the next time they come over, I shake their hands and ask about their families or how their startup business is doing, I mention the details of our meeting several weeks ago and they are surprised that I remembered. These small things, these sincere things that I do over time, show my customers that I care.

But I go several steps further. I don’t just sell to my customers, I build businesses around them to provide them with what they need. And my customers gladly buy almost any product that I offer them because: one, I believe in and trust the product that I’m selling, and two, all my long-time customers know I am selling something that I believe can be used for their best interests.

I am not perfect, and neither is my wife, but in my examples above, Jhoanna and I, together with our growing businesses, continue to strive to be better salespeople using these two very simple truths in selling. I hope it will help you too in your quest to be even better as a salesperson now and in the future. Good luck and God bless!

(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin and Mark So. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of copyright holders.)

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