Friday, December 28, 2007

2007/2008-now what?

Yes ladies and gentlemen we are about to enter a new year(again). Can you remember back a few years ago when all the talk was about Y2K and the new millennium? Seems like only yesterday to me. Now we are talking about 2008, where does the time go.

No matter what you remember or don't remember the time is now. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. This phenomena of being unemployed, out of work has never been fun. Your job is to make it as fun as you can to help make you more productive in your search. As once said by Sir Winston Churchill " Never give up, never give up, never give up". As hard as it seems.

Find a group, friends or even a Toastmasters group to help you keep your spirits up and plod forth with a positive attitude.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"How Starbucks Saved My Life"

"How Starbucks Saved My Life" is a new book out by Michael Gates Gill. This is not an endorsement as I haven't even read the book. The point for this lead was seeing Gill interviewed Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007, and hearing his plight.

It was a good piece and brought to light what all of you know. Being fired, downsized, re-engineered, right sized etc. is devastating when it happens to you. You go through depression, wonder what you did wrong, are you human, wonder why you got an education. None of these thoughts or feelings helps at this time.....or does it?

Many of us find our way through life and the next obstacle in ways we never considered. This was portrayed by Gill's interview as he talked about being a Yale grad and his job at Starbucks showing him the way.

Sometimes your pain and suffering actually show you a new path to your next future. All this points to my credo of "Have fun, Meet people, Learn something". Time is the healer and your persistence is your momentum to your next opportunity.

Friday, December 21, 2007


You've had plenty of time to hear about, see and even participate in blogging. There is the surreptitious blogging, spilling our guts blogging, flaming blogging, informative blogging, political blogging and on and on infinitum. Why should you blogg or not blog?

No reason not to blog!!! (fine) Numerous reasons to blog.Sharing ones ideas, explanations, imparting wisdom, making oneself known to others. These are but a few reasons to blog. You will find that others can and will learn about you through blogging.

One can set up a blog for free so there is no excuse. This is a free blog. (Hint: Google(verb) "free blog")

Think about it......try it...move forward.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Networking!!! Everybody is talking about it. Some are doing it. You've actually been doing it since you were a child. We just never called it networking.

LinkedIn has been written about in many of the business magazines, business section of most major newspapers and with over 16 million folks joined in why aren't you checking it out? LinkedIn is an excellent tool for keeping track of your connections, finding old contacts, friends, work associates. You can search and find potential contacts.

If you are already in LinkedIn please feel free to invite me to join your network, include a note that you ran across me on this blog.

If you are new and want to linkup please feel free to do so and let me know where you found me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What's in your stocking?

Thank you Sean, one needs to write more in these blogs if they are to be effective.

So!!! What are you expecting in your stocking this year? In my father's youth if he got an orange and a few walnuts and pecans he felt overwhelmed. It was about joy and love, not quantity.
As you know by now there is a good chance you won't find your next opportunity in your stocking this year. Then again that may depend on how you view the contents. Having a positive outlook and remembering how lucky we are can make a difference. Many times we are used to having our way or be in control of our lives.

You can be in control of your life (destiny) if you keep your chin up and walk proudly. Everyday when you awake just remember that there is something out there for you and by golly you're going to watch and listen in case that opportunity surfaces today or tomorrow.

Remember to Have fun, Meet people, Learn something. Seems trite so just try it. Too many people have returned to the support group to report how it has worked for them.

Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Upcoming holidays-2007

As we now approach Thanksgiving and Christmas is reminds me that many people, out of work, tend to not attend such functions due to embarrassment. That should not be the case. Socializing with your friends and family at this time of year is good for you and them. It is a time for family and gathering. Never lose sight of the fact that most people want to help others, sort of a natural phenomena.
If you find yourself hibernating, staying in, keeping clear of gatherings---Don't!!! Get out there and join in, have fun, meet people and learn something. Don't allow depression to set in.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sharpen your saw

I was invited to be an evaluator at the National Management Association's annual student speech contest. Not only was this inspiring to hear young people talking about the free enterprise system but so thrilling to hear them speak so well.

One speech was talking about what life was about and she used the phrase "Are you sharpening your saw?" That brought forefront to me how important it is to always be "sharpening your saw". So never lose sight of the value of continually learning everyday.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

People Trails

The age of the computer has made it so easy to sit in front of the computer and make up as many resumes as we want. Search the web for opportunities. Send off resumes to the found possibilities. Write friends and brag about how many we sent out. Search LinkedIn for more potential contacts. We can track all this in spread sheets, made up forms, store bought programs. Much of this is called a paper trail. If you are an accountant or taken a few accounting classes you know the value of this.

Now for reality. In my travels I find that most folks like people, to talk with them, meet with them. See the whites of their eyes so to speak. This would be called leaving a People Trail.

When out searching for that next opportunity it is better to leave a People Trail than a paper trail.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Procrastination!!!! Amazing how this malady increases with age. This is all too funny now. My mind was screaming with ideas and what I was going to write. Got interrupted and deviated and the next thing I know it has been several days. I know that never happens to you?

Having read books on procrastination, discussed with many friends and laughing that will never happen to me. Yet in reality it awaits all of us, just different implementation times. As an excuse just remember that as we mature and gain new knowledge our brains are increasingly challenged to handle all the material.

So bottom line, what can we or do we do? My suggestion is just be aware of this terrible malady and be ever increasingly observant to go back and complete those projects, whatever they might be.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Who's fault is it, anyway?

One thought that seems to permeate the loss of a job is who's fault is it anyway? In today's society it seems so many folks play the blame game. We tend to find excuses or blame others for our current situation. Did you ever think that maybe it just wasn't in the stars for you? Unfortunately many people accept a job for the wrong reasons and never realize that until we leave, whether at their behest or our own.

One suggestion is to spend some time grieving then say to yourself that this has opened an opportunity for you. Allowing you to move to your next opportunity in life and usually much better anyway.

Dad used to say that "everything happens for the best". Now that is a simple statement but why look for a more clever or wordier statement. Move on, step out and see what is awaiting you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Loss of Job

Let's be frank here. The loss of a job, whether by your choice, or their choice is a traumatic event in your life. Even when you know it is going to happen it ranks right up there with a death in the family, marriage, newborn, buying a house or catastrophic illness. In order to pass through this phase you need to grieve. We all do it our own way. Don't overlook this important part of the job loss.
Hint-Talking about it to friends is a great start, get it out of your system.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Positive Attitudes

This is a topic that arises all the time. One's attitudes is directly connected to ones success. We may think we are being positive and put on our best smile. I have found humans ability to see beneath the surface is extraordinary. As a matter of fact it is amazing that we don't always realize that we have that ability.
When we are speaking to others we emit signs of our feelings. A major way to have that positive attitude is to think positive. Talk with others and work towards positiveness. We all have negative events occurring in our lives. The game here is to look for the positive and and be thankful for what we DO have. Remember the old cliche of the half full glass of water.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mackay on networking

Mackay Maxims

Words to build a network -- and a life by...

Mackay Maxim -- People aren’t strangers if you’ve already met them. The trick is to meet them Before you need their help.

Mackay Maxim -- If everyone in your network is the same as you, it’s not a network, it’s an anthill.

Mackay Maxim -- In networking, you’re only as good as what you give away.

Mackay Maxim -- Cream doesn’t rise to the top, it works its way up.

Mackay Maxim -- 2am is a lousy time to try to make new friends.

Mackay Maxim -- Your network is the best, most empathic, and most credible reflection of your success and your talents.

Mackay Maxim -- If you network hard for thirty-five years and build pivotal contacts in strategic areas of business, you can become an overnight success.

Mackay Maxim -- Most people think they can get by on charm alone. I wouldn’t advise it.

Mackay Maxim --Networking is not a numbers game. The idea is not to see how many people you can meet. The idea is to compile a list of people you can count on.

Mackay Maxim -- The wise person isn’t the one who makes the fewest mistakes. It’s the one who learns the most from them.

Mackay Maxim -- When God closes a door, somewhere God always opens a window.

Mackay Maxim -- You can’t always be an expert. You can’t always know an expert. But you can always hire an expert.

Mackay Maxim -- Your best network will develop from what you do best.

Mackay Maxim -- Prepare to win -- Then prepare to dazzle.

Reprinted from...
Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty
The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need
Harvey Mackay

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's all about You !!!

It's all about you! Having just returned from a Toastmaster's Regional conference this weekend and hearing many motivational speeches, there was a thread that ran through many of them. The thread was "YOU". No, not you, but them. Now you're confused.. When we interview we want to be sure and address "them", the person you are speaking with. When you include them, and ask them and address them they will feel warmer. They will feel you care.
They are much more inclined to listen to you. Of course this happens from your inner depths

Thursday, May 24, 2007

So! What troubles you in this quest for your next opportunity?

Why don't you post, in the comments section, what you find most troublesome or painful about this period in your life. Feel free to post what you like.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Web Sites and Blogs

Do you have your own Website and/or Blog? If not why not? Visibility and access are paramount to you being seen by others, especially when you are looking to find your next opportunity. This is like customer service, make it as easy for the customer (your future employer) to find you with as little effort as possible.

Your website is a great place to post several resumes if you care. Place your hobbies or charitable causes on there also. No personal data for contact besides e-mail is suggested. Free websites are available as are free blog sites. Blogs are great for championing your cause, posting useful information for folks With a little research you can find many possibilities.

The goal here is to be visible for those that are looking for you. Potential employers or clients are using the search engines more and more to look you up, so why not make it easy for them.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

When should you pay to attend a networking event?

A familiar question. If we are not gainfully employed, bringing in a cash flow, the question arises to whether or not you want to expend valuable cash.
You may want to look at it from another view point. First, can you have fun? Second, will you meet people?
Your ability to network or reticulate with as many people as you can is paramount in your success in attaining your next goal. You may want to look at paying, to attend an event, as an investment in your future.

Business letters

Many years ago I went through a letter writing course for management. As it turns out the lessons learned still apply when writing business letters, which includes thank you notes. The format should be as shown below:




Another words start with "you" statements, then move to "we" statements and conclude with "I" statements, using as few "I" statements as possible.


Dear Ms. Jones:

Thank you for your time today and your sharing of information. You certainly have built a fantastic team and strategy.
We have many common ideas that would lead to further growth.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Are you really listening?

Listening is an art. We are not taught how to listen. As children we are "told" to listen, remember the "You better listen or else" or "How many times do I have to tell you?" You have the opportunity to learn to improve your listening by attending Toastmasters.
Your ability to listen will determine your growth, accomplishments, success in life. To actively listen and pay attention will empower you to respond with full understanding and an accurate response.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When will things change for me?

Attendees rarely ask the above question, at least in those words. Yet with listening it is apparent that some are wondering just that question. The answer:
When we change! That seems to be the resounding feedback from previous attendees when they return and share. You say that sounds familiar, do you? It should as psychologists have been telling us forever that things change as soon as we change.
Is it easy for you to change so you can speed this process up and get on with your life? Are you reading a book right now? Attending a seminar or a class? Networking and talking with others? Attending a support group or a leads group? You have so many opportunities at your fingertips.

The big obstacle for many is to get out of the house and get busy. Don't forget to have fun.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Attitude- You can find it in the dictionary for a definition. Let's talk about how it applies to the everyday world. Your attitude is how others see you, even if you try to cover it up. Humans can sense attitude as well as emit it. Have you ever encountered someone in a room and not felt comfortable with them? You know you are supposed to be cordial so you put on your smiley face and give your best attitude. Yet you notice they have an attitude towards you. They sense your covered person.
I've also noticed that some people will tell me about all those terrible drivers on the roadways, then someone else talks about the same drivers as being so courteous. Leads me to question the first person's attitude when they are out driving.
What I do know, is when you have a positive attitude you exude that positive attitude. Others in turn feel more comfortable and can feel it. In turn you sense they have a great attitude. One literally plays off the other.
When we look for what is right and not dwell on the negative others tend to smile and try harder. It is so easy to find what is wrong, our news media, both print and TV seems to find what's wrong. Some of us in turn do the same thing.
Next time you see what is wrong try looking at it closer and see if there isn't something right or done well, even if it is a smile. Comment on the positive part and see how you feel.
I'd be interested in your feelings on this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"I don't have time to network"

When chatting about the values of networking and the fun in reticulating it is amazing how many people claim they don't have the time. The truth be known many don't want to make the time and blame it on "No time".

None of us actually have time for anything, we make time for what we deem necessary or really want to do. Just reflect back on your life and you will notice some tasks you used to do you no longer do and on the other end some items you currently undertake you never did before.

So then! What is the value of this task of "networking (reticulating)"? Is it a waste of time and superfluous in real life? Will you really gain anything from it?

First off, you've always networked. Just never called it that. Second of all most humans like human contact and networking is a great platform that encourages human contact. Cultivating all these allows us to GIVE, not always take, have fun, meet people and thereby learn something. The affiliations, connections and friends we make are mere residual effects of good networking.

So! Go out and spread the wealth and remember "The secret to success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes." B. Disraeli

Saturday, March 24, 2007

"What Do I Want to do When I Grow Up?"

This is probably the most asked question/statement made when it comes to people trying to either get back into their next job or opportunity. It even happens to folks while they are working and find they are unhappy in their current position.

In listening to this constant statement/question, several observations, by me, come forward. In over 15 years between 30 and 50 percent of attendees will make the statement that they "...aren't sure what they really want to do".

First we have so many more options and opportunities than ever before. The books tell us today's grad will have at least seven distinct careers and who knows how many employers. No doubt that technology has a lot to do with this. Everyday it all happens faster. Software is obsolete as soon as we download it, computers are cheaper and faster the day after we buy one. Products often go down in price in time due mainly to competition. I just refilled my business card supply after a year and paid less for the exact same product from the same company.

Whereas this is frightening to many, we should look at the opportunities. For one you don't have to worry about being bored in your job. Every time to move onto another opportunity you gain new knowledge, friends and business associates which in turn expands your network. This is cause to be involved with On Web networking such as LinkedIn.

Should you find yourself saying "What Do I Want to do When I Grow Up?" do not fret. Just go out and increase your reticulation, talk with people and learn something new.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Networking or Netweaving

Networking or netweaving is far more than reticulating. Richard Garber introduced a term he found of "netweaving". However one refers to or says building a base of others to integrate into your sphere we need to do it.

We've been networking since we were small children. We had our friends, family, neighbors or school mates. Once we reached high school we had a sphere of friends and classmates. Sometimes those were cliques. We then moved into college, families, and/or work. Our methods of acquiring these connections or friends vary.

The point is we've always done it. Yet when someone mentions the thought of networking now many tend to shiver, look the other way, and even feign to not understand what it really is. The best solution I can think of is get out there and have fun, meet people, and learn something. You'll find you have a lot of knowledge for many other folks.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Value of Websites and Blogs

Recently another person mentioned me in their blog. We tracked it and in less than three days the search engines had found it. As you traverse through this part of your life you need to give weighted thought to your own website and blog. Why you ask? Because it allows you to be seen and heard. More and more hiring managers will search you out on line before your meeting. With the advent of blogging the way marketing is being done will change form.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

You Can't Handle it All !!!

The opportunity market is hot. Employers everywhere are searching for people. The employer isn't sure where to look and those looking for their next opportunity are scratching their heads wondering where are all these positions.

They are everywhere folks. Get out of the house and start attending events where there are people. Job Fairs, Chambers of Commerce, Business shows, Trade Associations, Recognative events, Business luncheons, Training seminars, Sporting events, Wine and cheese shows, and the list goes on.

I'd love to see some suggestions from you out there, even if it is one idea. Go ahead and click on comment and add one.

A caveat for you, be careful when listening to the news or reading it because they must make headlines and the economy doesn't make the same kind of news as someone laying off folks. Having watched this for over 15 years now I have found companies have been laying off all the time so what you see now is nothing new.

Have a great day...Have fun, Meet people and Learn something.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Confidence= Trust or faith in a person or thing.

Your ability to sound, look and feel confident is paramount to your next opportunity. The definition above is short yet sums up what I want to stress. The person in this case is you!

All of your schooling, degrees and past work experiences are great, yet if you don't speak, or in this case interview with confidence you may find someone else has taken your coveted slot.

Communication with confidence doesn't mean sounding arrogant or pompous, it is more sounding passionate about your topic. Have you ever had a teacher, motivational speaker, minister, or coach speak in a manner that motivated you to do something? Did they sound like they knew what they were talking about? Were they passionate?

You will find hiring managers are impressed by someone that not only has the technical skills but also knows what they are doing and likes it. Self confidence is definitely a character trait you should seek to emulate.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Attitude=A state of mind or a feeling; disposition
That is one, of numerous definitions, for attitude. How does attitude affect your job search?

In many ways actually. Having the proper attitude is probably the single most important element of moving on to your next opportunity. The ironic part of this is when your attitude changes you'll find everything else changing.

This reminds me of two stories: When my son was about to come home on his first leave after boot camp, in the Marine Corp., he was reminded by his Drill Sargent that when they got home they'd be noticing how everyone was different. When in all reality it was them that had changed.
Number two is when I teach a safe driving class we talk of frustrations. Normally the first frustrations discussed are cell phone drivers, trucks, and people doing stupid and/or dangerous maneuvers on the roads. Having watched the roads for years and paying even closer attention now, due to the class, I have found that the majority of folks drive decently and that includes trucks. We get extremely frustrated when someone cuts in front of us, or tailgates etc. As humans we seem to remember those and not all the courteous drivers. Pretty soon we find ourselves thinking all drivers are dangerous, stupid and rude.
The flip side is I pay attention to good deeds and don't dwell on the irritating ones, rather I use the acronym FIDO, forget it and drive on, to relieve stress. Since I won't be able to correct the miscreants and rude drivers there is no reason to stress over it. By looking at the positive side I find my attitude has changed. Now that my attitude has changed it sometimes seems as if others have changed too, on the road.

Over the years some folks have stopped by the group and shared the same fact, they found things began to changed when they changed. Ergo the idea of Having fun, Meeting people and Learning something, when we change so does everyone else.