Free course to help employees with the ‘job puzzle’

April 14, 2009 | UToday
By Kim Goodin

The motto “be prepared” doesn’t apply just to the Boy Scouts anymore. Experts say it’s solid advice in times of occupational uncertainty.

Members of UT’s faculty and staff can get a jump on their preparedness with a free course, Solving the Job Puzzle, offered by the Office of Quality and Continuous Learning on consecutive Wednesdays, April 22 and 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Dana Conference Center on Health Science Campus.

The seminar has been created for employees seeking to refresh their skills and learn about current employment methods.

“Everyone can benefit from basic skills such as time management practices and interviewing techniques,” said Dr. Sheri Caldwell, course instructor from the UT College of Business Administration. “Now interviews are much more behavioral-based, with questions about how interviewees would respond to specific situations.”

Analyzing your response to such questions is key, Caldwell said, in assessing your skill sets, behaviors and attitudes.

Negotiation skills also are important in everyday office settings. “Negotiating is a very powerful skill that many people are afraid to learn,” Caldwell noted. “Sometimes, they’re afraid to ask for something, or they don’t know how to ask.”

The seminar also focuses on transition to a job market that has markedly changed.

“Many job seekers go back to an era when they looked in the classifieds and responded to ads in newspapers,” Caldwell said. “Those traditional methods don’t really apply anymore.”

She named social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and craigslist, as innovative tools in the modern job search.

“The Office of Quality and Continuous Learning has expanded the scope of its educational courses in tune with the changing demands of today’s employment outlook,” Bill Logie, vice president for human resources and campus safety, said. “Continuous education is an important part of our self-improvement goals within the University. And with today’s challenging economy, it’s a good idea for everyone to re-evaluate their occupational goals.”

To register for the Solving the Job Puzzle course, go to or e-mail

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