Dig Deep: Work, Work, Work Edition

By Leslie Veliz

Dig Deep’s third week tackles work-related tips and issues. Looking for work is something we all will have to do eventually, but we’re here to make it a little less intimidating and help you succeed! Remember to submit your questions every Friday to Dig Deep to be answered the following Wednesday. Now let's get this bread! 

Is it okay for bosses and supervisors to say the company is a family?

When looking for a job, it’s important for you to visualize if you will be comfortable in your new surroundings. There is nothing worse than working in a toxic environment. Ideally, a work environment should be collaborative and reasonable. Even if you don’t get along with someone, there should be mutual respect. 

That being said, I think it’s okay—even reassuring—if your boss or supervisor says the company is family. In the end, how close you get to your coworkers is your choice. However, you should always try to go into a job being positive and a team player. You will be seeing your coworkers daily and for several hours; treat them how you would like to be treated and ask for help if you need it. Coworkers can become long time friends, and yes, even family.

Tips on creating a cover letter?

A résumé and a cover letter are crucial for landing jobs and interviews. Your résumé can be great, but if your cover letter isn’t, they might skip you. Design wise, your cover letter should have a similar color scheme as your résumé. I have mentioned Canva in a previous Dig Deep post; it is a great site to design both cover letters and résumés. They have several pre-made options that you can customize! 

Before we get into the body of your cover letter, your cover letter should have your name at the very top of the page. Besides your name, you should include your address, phone number, and email address. Remember to use an email that sounds professional. If you don’t have one, make one! Also, make sure to set up a voicemail or one that you wouldn't mind a future employer listening to. These are small things that can make a difference. It’ll show that even if you are still a student or recent graduate, you are mature and capable. 

Now, let’s get into the body of your cover letter. To start, address the letter to whoever specifically posted the job description. This could be the name of someone or the name of the company. As a student looking for an internship or a recent graduate looking for a job, your cover letter should emphasize the skills and roles you acquired as a student. Talk about why this makes you an ideal candidate for the job you are applying to. Mix in your personality while you’re at it. Remember, this is the employer's first impression of you. Be enthusiastic and tell them you are eager to show what you could bring to the table if you are hired. A cover letter is relatively short (three small paragraphs tops), so really emphasize these points! 

If you need more help writing a cover letter, I suggest using My Perfect Resume. This site helps you step by step in creating résumés and cover letters, including what to put in the body of the letter. You do have to pay to actually download the cover letter, but I suggest you use this as an outline. Copy and paste it on your own designed cover letter. Good luck and happy writing! 

I'm trying to make it as an artist, but getting noticed is hard. How can I get out there? 

First of all, I want to applaud you for wanting to put yourself out there. Artists work incredibly hard and in my opinion, don’t get enough credit! Whichever type of artist you are, you should create an Instagram page where you can post all of your work. Follow other artists you like, see what they are doing, and even message a few of them to ask for advice. They were once where you are now! I would also recommend contacting local art walks to see if you can display your art. San Pedro has an art walk every first Thursday of the month, and Santa Ana has one every first Saturday of the month. Every artist struggles at some point; it’s part of the journey. Keep trying! It won’t be easy, but don’t give up! 

How do workers organize unions? 

I must admit: This is something I am not really educated in, but I will try to help nonetheless! First, you and your coworkers should gather and discuss why you want to start a union. Most likely, you’ll want to start one if you are having issues in your workplace. This could be anything including wanting higher wages or just an overall improvement of working conditions.

When you and your coworkers are ready to take the next step, I suggest contacting UE. They have a step-by-step guide on how to create a union, and they can send a representative to help you answer any questions you might have about organizing! Another great source is the California Labor Federation. Their website has plenty of information, including why you should join a union and even more information about organizing. They also have several resources at hand. I hope this helps if you have plans of forming your own union!