Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here it comes----2009

Can you believe it? 2008 is just about over, but it just began. As you reflect back on your year you can identify all kinds of good and bad. As Robert Schuller said "Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost".

Now is a good time to measure what you have done extremely well and worked best so far. As you begin laying your plans for the new year, new adventures, and especially new opportunities. Work hard to listen out there. As hard as it seems to do, when you are in a hurry to satisfy that need, just listen to others. Meet those friends and get out to new venues, networking opportunities and the pursuit of Happiness.

Many have told me that they have realized that there is actually more to life than money. There's a big statement, particularly if you have outstanding bills. I am talking about the bigger picture. You'll take care of the small stuff one way or the other. Allow that creative brain of yours get to work.

Go forth, lay out plans and be sure to include Having fun, Meeting people and Learning something.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How was it?

Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? Silly question, right? It's really not what's in it for me but more of what we can give.

As children we couldn't wait to see if Santa brought our wish list. Only to find that sometimes everything we wanted wasn't there. Then to grow up and find there is more than material gifts too besides what can we give others.

So it goes in the Opportunity hunt. We may think the potential employers may have something for us yet in all reality we need to see what they need. What can we do for them, whether it be offer our services or that of another that we know. You become an asset to employers in that way. Sometimes your paybacks may be not where you expect.

This is a great time to do research, help others and Karma will come back to you.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you.
Today is a good day to sit back with family, friends and memories. Relax and just enjoy the time. All those pursuits will still be waiting next week.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Memories of the past

With more and more seniority, here on earth, I find there are more and more memories from the past. Currently we have had some inclement weather, requiring chains or traction devices. That took me back to a memory, of being a child, at the mountain cabin in the High Sierras. Being at about 7,200 feet elevation at Echo Summit, California we saw lots of snow in the winter. As that child I always wanted it to snow. I learned early on that if I heard the whirring of those metal chains on vehicles it meant there was usually snow on the roads and we may have received some new snow. I can still here that clinking sound in my head.

So as I am driving around now most folks have cable chains or other new kinds that don't make that same noise. Yet my brain hears it.

Does that happen to you as you are on your quest for that next opportunity? Are you waiting to hear them say "We'd love to have you join our firm"? It sure seemed easier back then. So what has happened? Simply you have gotten older and more picky. That's not all bad though. You need to be picky. Remember what is worse than being unemployed? It is working where you are not happy.

So, just as I won't hear those old style chains, very often, anymore you may not hear the offer as often as you used to. The challenge to you is to keep your spirits high and trudge forward until you uncover the right one for you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We've been here before

Are you beat up yet? Do the headlines have you down? Has it been dark and gloomy everywhere you go? Do you find your net worth is a lot less that a year ago?

On and on we can go. Oddly enough we have been here before. Maybe you haven't been here like this before or maybe you have. Either way this to shall pass. It doesn't seem that way at this time. As I look back it seems that each time this happens it feels worse than any other time. Maybe so and maybe not, the fact is we are here. No need to wait for times to improve, your objective is to make opportunities happen. Research, networking and helping others. Get out there and have a little fun, meet some new people and definitely learn something.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are you on auto pilot?

This morning, after showering, I was squeegeeing down the tile. Normally I have a routine but a week ago I changed the pattern for a more efficient one. I noticed that when I began I almost finished before being done because my body and mind were used to that spot being the end. It interested that we could be on auto pilot so easily.

So, what has this got to do with you? Do you find that by innate ability or instinct you always go about a task in the same way? As you perform your search, gather info, do an interview, introduce yourself the same as always? Obviously it happens easily.

Next try a new, different way just for the fun of it, no telling what else you might learn.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Self Esteem

In a recent Job Finders meeting an attendee related his story of something unexpected. I had invited everyone to attend The Leadership Forum, in Beaverton OR., and he showed up on that Sat. The speaker was good and opened our minds to some new thinking.

In the interactive part of the meeting, after the speaker, we had a panel discussion and Hathaway was invited to be part of the panel. In the panel he was to describe his role that was assigned to him. He related to us that that experienced opened something up to him. It made him think out of the box to start with. It gave him a feeling of worth again, something never expected. From that experience he looked across the table and told a fellow attendee today that he would be joining him at his Toastmasters meeting to see what that would do.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Crabby Old Man-Something to think about

Crabby Old Man

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital Near Tampa, Florida, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that Copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest To posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation Has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, Is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet.
Crabby Old Man
What do you see nurses?
.....What do you see?
What are you thinking
......when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, .....not very wise, Uncertain of habit
........with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food.......and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice....."I do wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice ..the things that you do.
And forever is losing .............. A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not
...........lets you do as you will, With bathing and feeding
....... The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse......you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am ....... As I sit here so still, As I do at your bidding,
......as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten......with a father and mother, Brothers and sisters
.......who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen
...........with wings on his feet Dreaming that soon now.
..........a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty
.........my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows........that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now ........ I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide
..... And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ....... My young now grown fast, Bound to each other
........ With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons ........have grown and are gone, But my woman's beside me
........to see ! I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .......... Babies play 'round my knee, Again, we know children
......... My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me
......... My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ............I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing ........young of their own.
And I think of the years...... And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man.........and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age .......look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles..........grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone........where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass ....
A young guy still dwells, And now and again
.......my battered heart swells. I remember the joys.
............. I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living.............life over again.
I think of the years ...all too few......gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact........that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people ..........open and see.
. Not a crabby old man. Look closer....see........ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you Might brush aside without looking at the young soul within.....we will all, One day, be there, too! PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM The best and most beautiful things of this World can't be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart. God Bless. GROWING OLD IS NOT FOR SISSIES! ! !

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Three essential questions when meeting someone

Rob Saxton, Superintendent of public schools in the Tigard/Tualatin school district, shared the following precepts when meeting a potential employee:

1. Do I trust you?
2. Will you respect me as much as I will respect you?
3. Are you committed to excellence?

If there is a no answer here it isn't going to work.

Rob spoke recently (12/6/08) at our Leadership Forum in Beaverton, Or. and delivered some really great information from a public employees stand on leadership. Some of his education formed from his parents, some teachers and a football coach in college.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So! You just got your pink slip!

This is a topic I speak on periodically. Not a fun thought for sure. Many of you have experienced this loss. When it happens do you find yourself all prepared and ready to hit the street running? Of course not. It doesn't work that way.

When we experience life altering experiences (Birth, death, marriage, purchase of large monetary object) we grieve. Sometimes we don't think about it yet we do. So when you lose your job why would you not have to grieve? It may have been an extended family for you, it is your loved career and what you educated yourself for. Now it has been taken away.

The truth be known a huge factor is your money supply got cut off and now you have to find a replacement. That is down and dirty the truth.

The point is remember you must grieve. We all do that differently yet we must do it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Do you Twitter? I certainly don't , yet anyway. After a long discussion the other night I may have to rethink of Twittering. I know this isn't what many of you wanted to hear.

Just remember a personal philosophy of mine. "When I stop learning I die" I feel that more now than ever. You can read what Guy Kawasaki has to say about it.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The pill

Have you found the pill yet? No, I don't mean the little blue one silly. That magical pill that will cure your ills. Many times we wish we could find one to lose weight, take away our personal problems or financial losses.

The fact is you actually have the "pill". Yes you already have the pill. You've always had it with you. It's form and shape may be different for you than someone else. It isn't always as obvious as we want either. It isn't particularly in the medicine cabinet.

YOU are the pill. Yes YOU! You actually have the answers you need, with a little introspection and and calmness you too can find it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Check that list twice

As we are now into December you'll want to check that list twice. The list here is your calendar and the events you'll be attending. In addition to familial gatherings be sure and include outside events. There are so many to attend and you will find them in your local papers, bulletin boards, churches and even on the Job Finders Support Group website.

As you make your list be sure to include events different than normal. Places you read about but push off to the side. Spread your wings and try something different. Remember that your life changes when you change.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's on your shopping list?

Have you made out your list yet for Christmas? No, not for you silly. For those close to you. Whether it be family or friends. Time is moving faster than you think. As you are out looking for your next opportunity you still need to continue with life.
The irony here is that if you pay attention and listen you may even find a new lead or idea. The worst that will happen is you will be on your way to get your Christmas shopping done before Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2008


This time of year there are many gatherings. Parties if you want. Now is not the time to stay away from them. Natural tendencies are embarrassment and not wanting to talk with friends because they might ask what you are up to or have you found a "job" yet. They care and sometimes just don't know how to ask or are fearful it could be them next.

Get out there and accept as many invitations as you can and are comfortable with. Go to local networking events, practice your elevator speech. Take your contact cards and be lining up meetings through the month. Stay busy and help others, you have a lot to offer.

Remember that events seem to change when we change.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Two weekends ago, while attending our Fall Toastmasters conference, someone shared a great idea. When folks say they "can't", no matter what it is, you can add "yet". So they mention that can't make it to your meeting you follow up with "yet". As we learn most things aren't forever.

When I think of all the tasks my grandchildren will tell me they can't do I can just tag on "yet". Until we take the time to try it is always easier to say we can't.

So when you tell me you just can't find to start a blog and keep it up I say "yet".

Go out there and try something new. Stretch yourself, feel those muscles hurt and move to the next level.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Have you had enough turkey yet? But it was so good especially with your trimmings. Oh and those desserts, Mmmmmmmmmm yummy.

You've been reading the papers and listening to all that bad news on the media. Loans, unemployment, bailouts. What next? Just remember it can always be worse.

People and companies are still forging ahead with plans for continued growth. No matter the ramifications of what our government is doing we, as a people, will make it happen. We always have and will continue to. We are too big to fall down now and not get back up.

Be sure and volunteer this season, you will feel better.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Bail Out

Now what does this have to do with you? If you work at one of the Big Three it just might affect you. Otherwise only in a trickle down effect. The news media is certainly having a hayday of late. There is so much news coverage anymore they have to make stories out of everything that is negative. Remember that we have been through similar times before. Only now you are directly involved so it seems.
Now is the time to prepare for the rest of your future. Do good research. Meet lots of people. Have lots of fun. Your future lays in your hands.

Will the bail out affect you personal. More than likely not.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Look for 7,800

Back on Wed. 11/19/08 the stock market broke below 8,000. Look to 7,800 now and see what happens. We are in for some new times. Remember that as these markets dive down any of you with re-investment plans will be getting more for your dollars than you have in a long time.

Unemployment has moved up to about 7.3% and undoubtedly has a ways to go. Next stop 8.0%. In 1982 we crossed the 10.0% mark remember. Does all this make your search harder or easier?

Part of it will depend on your attitude. Part will depend on your ability to move if need be. There are more opportunities for you now even though it doesn't seem that way. Your competition will be more intense for sure. Have you ever let competition hold you back before? Just go for it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Networking revisited

The other day my friend Sean Harry was speaking on a favorite topic of mine, Networking 101. As he was wending his way through his topic, which I have heard a few times to say the least, he would strike a note with a hint of passion. My ears would pick up on it and reminded me of techniques I already know.
The point here is we can all learn more from the same material if we either pay attention or be sure we have our "listening" ears on. By the same token you will be more successful in your interviews when you allow your passion to come out.

Remember that you can achieve both these traits, listening and passion, at any Toastmasters meeting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Equivilant time to become re-employed

The other day someone asked if it was true that it usually takes one month, for every $10,000 in salary earned, to become re-employed. That was a figure I had read years ago and have heard it bantered about of late.
That set me to thinking that the figure is for those looking for an excuse to take their time. There is nothing wrong in taking ones time as it can be worse to accept an offer that isn't right. As I set about thinking about that formula it occurred that the number was a great number. It seems to me that it may be more of an effort formula. The more effort one extends the better the odds of recovering sooner.
Of course that effort entails careful planning, interviews and most of all knowing exactly what we want to do. There can lay the delay.

Your success still depends on you meeting new people everyday and learning and helping all you can.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are you hungry yet?

While speaking with a young professional today he revealed that he was becoming disenfranchised with this whole job search ordeal. He wasn't being as successful as he anticipated and was beginning to worry, would he ever find something.

A few suggestions:

Continually work on having a positive attitude, look at all the good occurrences that have happened. What do you have to be thankful about. Think hard now.

Begin a blog, write about what you know. Have fun with it. This in turn will help you release new ideas from your own mind.

Once you are hungry enough you will find your next opportunity. Not being hungry can be good as it forces you to look for the best fit.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Thanksgiving is just around the corner. A great time for family and friends. Don't miss out on this opportunity to engage in friendly visits. Be with people that care. You can put this search on pause. Many times you will find that when you step back and relax and relieve some of that pressure your brain will kick in and work behind the scenes. You may even come up with some new ideas without much thinking about it.

Beware the mind is a strong tool, often surpassing your greatest expectations. Remember the old cliche that it often seems easiest to find a job when you are working. Think about why that happens. You are relaxed and not worried about being successful.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Interesting on how we have been discussing the failing weather, you know, clouds, overcast, rain and cold. Now (Thursday 11/14/09) we have bright beautiful sunshine. It is so bright it is blinding me and I am out buying a piece of yard machinery to get some yard work done.

Just like the weather is subject to change so does the employment scene. As you pursue your next opportunities dream you also want to be flexible, able to change direction. Finding that next opportunity is not quite a simple as highlighting a map with your proposed itinerary. You must always be open to new ideas, directions and joys. Your positive attitude and energy/passion you espouse will overshadow your shortcomings.

At this time in history you have many opportunities to try out your brain and devise ways to stand out in the crowd.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How's your tune-up coming along?

Are you getting a tune-up? Who is doing it? What results are you looking for?

Remember that you are not alone in this quest. There are folks all over the world going through your same strain. Unemployment is as much emotional as it is financial. Are you keeping your spirits up and I don't mean the ones in that cabinet.

How many new people are you meeting each day? It is important to meet new people all the time so you can help them one day. Remember that helping comes in many forms.

Finally- volunteering is a good thing, both for you and those you help out.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Wasn't that close? You were so afraid the elections ads would never go away. Well, they won't. Just a matter of time. Your new opportunities are boundless, your job is to listen and pick up on them.

In the wake of the recent elections companies are making more decisions. The Wallstreet debacle always lends itself to the quagmire. You opportunity lies in your ability to learn more about your target companies and see who you serve and how you serve them. You'll need to offer them relief to their pain. It is certainly more than application to them.

Talk to people!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


While watching a movie last night, "A Good Woman", it was interesting to hear one person asking if the other would be so kind as to introduce them. Back in those days it was done face to face and now we can do the same, worldwide, via the Internet. Back in the time era it was the rich and famous, now you have the same opportunities.

If you're not aware it is really a matter of "who you know" as opposed to "what you know".

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can you smell it?

Life!!!! Of course you can smell it. Just think of that cool fresh air in the morning when you step out to pick up the paper, or take out the garbage. Can you hear those leaves crunch under your feet? What about the sounds of young children at a playground or in back yards playing.
The roar of the crowd at a sporting event, OK that is a sound.
So whether it is smell or hearing we have so much to to be thankful for. As you continue your search keep that in mind. Attend a Toastmasters meeting and listen to the stories, you'd be surprised what you will learn and at the same time see more to be thankful for.

That in turn can help you to show off your positive attitude more genuinely and all of a sudden you will see more results from all your work.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How's your driveway ?

As I was blowing the leaves from my driveway last night it occurred to me that I have done this before. Has that ever happened to you before? It is actually pretty mundane work yet I find it rewarding because the results of my work are seeable as I complete it.
Wouldn't it be great if you could see the results of all your work immediately upon completion?

Not always the case though, is it? You put in research, phone calls, e-mails, networking, meetings and at the end of the week you wonder if it was worth all the effort to maybe get a rejection letter.
The simple anecdote here is think of how many times Babe Ruth went to bat only to strike out more times than he hit home runs. Yet most people remember the homers.

So as you are out blowing your driveway or doing all that other work to find that next opportunity don't lose sight of the fact that it is the long term goal you are working towards.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Upcoming Opportunities

OK...OK...so the news is doom and gloom. If you don't believe it just read the papers or listen to the news on the radio or TV. Remember that on October 19, 1997 we had a 22% drop in the DOW in one day. Devastating, tears, heart papitations. The end was near.

Yes, that was different and the times are different now. That is true yet the same facts were true back then. One of my worries now is will I live long enough for my value to return to the past value.

I notice folks are still going to the coffee shop. Now gas is dropping in price, will we all refrain from going back to the way it was. For me it needs to get back to $0.35 a gallon to spur me to just take off.

Now you have all kinds of new opportunities to look at. Companies need people that know how to budget, be frugal and be productive. You have those qualities, keep working on your own marketing plan and see who out there needs your help.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bird feeder

Have you ever watched the activity at a bird feeder? You may want to try it sometime. Those cute little birdies fly back and forth, picking through the food to find the best. Many times they discard what appears to be fine food. Oddly enough later the squirrels come by and pick up the discarded food and have found a treasure.

Have you thought that sometimes you do that too, only yours if with possible opportunities. You sift through the list and discard what you think is not "you" and move on. Later someone else runs across it and cultivates it for themselves. Sometimes we come back to an old possibility and refresh it and turn it into a winner.

Why is that? Part of it is you are human. You are smart, creative, knowledgeable and feel you can figure this out. Time has taught me that no matter how smart I am sometimes I still make a mistake, then I gain new knowledge and move forward. Through my mistakes I learn more and become more successful over time.

Think about it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Have you updated your profile lately? Have you checked out the groups? Have you joined any appropriate groups? Do you have your photo up. Have you included all e-mails in your account setup? You may be able to liken social networking to the PC back in 1980. Not many people saw the value of it. They even tried to stay away or deny it would grow. Some even thought it was merely a fad.

We know different now. Personal relationships are very useful and quite frankly better than non-personal. A bigger part to the social networking is what you can do for others. While I was in Washington DC last week I was able to connect a new contact with someone back in Oregon.

If you're not in LinkedIn, you should be. If you are in LinkedIn be sure you are keeping it updated and current. You might even become involved in some of the other social networking programs.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Winter Preparation

As I was preparing the house and yard for winter a thought crossed my mind. Are you preparing for winter. No, not the weather or season. What are you doing to prepare for this long winter this year? Have you made that "List of Achievements" for yourself?

Do you have your contact cards? Are you getting out and networking? How many people are you meeting each day, that's new people, folks?

Are you having fun, meeting people and learning something?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Meeting people

How many new people have you met today? How many do you intend on meeting tomorrow? This is a most important question as much of your success in any endeavor you do depends on how many folks you meet.

You may want to re-think your productivity from how many appointments and resumes you have gotten out to how many new people you have met each day. Remember folks this is a numbers game. The more people you meet the closer you are to closing that gap between today and your next successful opportunity.

Have fun, Meet people, learn something.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bad News?

Is the news getting you down? Are you worried there may be nothing out there for you? Does it look gloomy?

Actually it is what you make it. If you feel all the above it just may be affecting your attitude and the way you come across in meetings with others. It is hard to stress the importance of a positive attitude.

I know..I know, you're saying "but Cleon you don't understand". Maybe I don't but chances are that I do, as I've been there and done that plus I have seen thousands of folks in your same boat. Guess what, they have all survived. Was it easy? Not always.

What to do now? Count your blessings, list your achievements then go out and talk with more people. Research what you really want to do then find fun ways to talk to people about it.

Keep your chin up because there are some people that won't get that chance again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

“S” Curves

Have you ever noticed that searching for those opportunities sometimes seems like traversing “S” curves? Seeing those rivers below, as I crossed the country recently, reminded me of this. One can travel in one direction, then make a complete “U” turn on the river and head in the opposite direction. You can make a series of these and really wonder if you are going anywhere. You are actually going somewhere, it just doesn’t seem that way. As the river traverses back and forth it still makes headway. The same with your job search aka Opportunity search.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Traveling across the US lately, at 30,000 feet a thought crossed my mind. Viewing the great expanse of this beautiful country, seeing the different terrain, roads and rivers got me to thinking. There are many rivers and roads down there going to so many places. We can just jump on one and go see new towns, mountains, rivers, you name it.
Kind of like looking for our next opportunity. So many out there that we can grab any one of them. Yes that isn’t how it works, does it? In order to select the right road, river or street we need to have an idea where we are going. Then we can look it up on the map to see the best way to get there. As you look for your next opportunity it is most important that you know what it is otherwise you may well take the wrong road.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Have you made your list yet? It is very important to do that.

With the current goings on, in the financial markets, many folks are really feeling scared. If you have recently lost your job you probably are really scared. I'm including a piece written by a very good friend of mine to shed a little light:

The Miracle Minute The Old Apathy Trap October 8, 2008 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is easy for a driven minority to get their way when the silent majority doesn't step forward. If there were several planets to ride on it wouldn't matter. But spaceship Earth is all we've got, and no person, place, party, elected official or nation is an exception to the laws governing life. Shortcuts weaken people and eventually surface.
Governments cannot give us health, happiness, or peace of mind. These must be earned by the people who want them. The keys to achieving these rewards include self-honesty, self-discipline, service to others, respect for life, belief in a higher power, and the willingness to do what's right, even when the right way is painful and scary.
Anyone running for office who claims they can create jobs, give us health care, and fix our economy is lying. The only people who can make our world a better place is us. We the people must make it happen. Expecting something for nothing is childish insanity.
Haile Selassie, a positive-change agent who understood the cosmic laws and timeless truths, said, "Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; and the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most that has made it possible for evil to triumph."
Isn't it time that "we the people" said "enough is enough"?
Dick Warn

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Do you have your list of achievements made up? On October 4,The Leadership Forum hosted Larry Dennis of Turbo Systems as a speaker. Of the many points he made was the value of making your list of achievements in your life. We tend to reflect on our failures when we should regard our achievements as positive parts of our lives.

We all have the ability to do more than we realize. We are responsible for our being. Go out and make your list of all accomplishments you have achieved then push yourself to do what you have always wanted to do.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why me?

Why does everything happen to me? A question asked by my daughter of me the other day. She is going through an awful lot including the potential death of her children’s father at an early age. Needless to say she has her hands full.
Have you ever felt that way? All of us have at one time or another and when we feel that way it is the “worst”, right? She then asked why Dad? As have you. If life was an easy task and all problems definable and easily workable then we could be robots. That isn’t the case though. Time, tenacity and toughness can help you to sustain this time. “Things” do happen for a reason as my father used to say.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What next? You've lost that job.

This has been happening for a very long time. Most of us never plan for the lay off, right sizing, down sizing, re-engineering or whatever name you call it. It isn't something you want to plan for. Many times after the hurt goes away we find this was actually a Godsend. This allows you to pursue new opportunities. There are so many out there now.

Here are a few suggestions of places you can go when you are first let go:
Local support groups
A walk
A vacation
Local employment office
Local colleges
Chamber of Commerce
Any organization you have an interest in

Friday, August 29, 2008

Selling yourself

As I was traipsing around jewelry stores in New Mexico I noticed an interesting phenomena. Sitting on a bench resting my old back and watching I saw the game being played. Before the sales clerk tried to sell you anything they start with small talk. Where are you folks from, what brings you hear etc? They then listen and pick up on what you have to say and respond accordingly. They tell stories about themselves, their store or the jewelry. It goes back and forth. As I observed this it made me think about us in this transitional time in our lives. We should take note of how the game is played. We need to listen also, pay attention to our talking partner and relate. Stories work well, information we know well can go along way. Yet don’t over elaborate and bore them. Try it out in your next networking event.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Summers almost over

Well not quite, but it seems that once August ends we are preparing for the
fall. Did you enjoy your summer? Did you make use of some of the warm weather, go anywhere, enjoy the outdoors?

That is one way you'd make your search fun. Yes, you do need relax time even though searching for your next opportunity is a full time job. Don't you remember how hard you can and have worked, took little time off and later said "never again". Don't let the fear of not working overwhelm you and not take some time off once in a while. Remember that all work and no play makes one a dull person!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"To Do" list

Do you have your "to do" list? It seems so simple that we don't need one. Yet businesses for years have given away these blank lists for folks, your computers, PDA's and cell phones have them. There is a reason for this.

We can become overwhelmed of what we have to do. I have found even mowing the lawn will get on my to do list. It seems pretty obvious that it needs cutting yet I seem more prone to get it done so I can run a line through it.

As you go about your search you may want to consider your own list. Seven items is a good number, no transferring to the next day over and over again. Get in the habit of making one out for each day, either the night before or first thing in the morning. You'll learn what needs to be on there and what doesn't.

When you don't feel as productive you'll be able to see what you have done and not feel so bad.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Are you having fun yet?

When I ask this question the look on peoples face's are always fun to observe. Many say "Are you crazy?" This is not fun. Of course my retort is "Then it is your place to make it fun". "But Cleon, you don't understand, this is miserable."

The basic problem is your cash flow has been cut off and now you have to search to find a new source. As you search and receive rejections it just seems to get worse.

Re-focus, give new thought to having fun. Rather than look for a "job" look for opportunities. Talk to people and companies learning more about them. You'll have more fun this way and fewer rejections.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Social Networking-Outside Mirrors

Many of you don't remember when we didn't have outside mirrors on a car. We just has one inside in the middle. As folks began putting their own on the outside left others had no need or desire, couldn't see the value in it. Over time more people put them on and soon the factories began offering them. Next was the right side outside mirror. Once again we began to install them and some would have no part of it.

Fast forward now and both outside mirrors are a mandatory item from the factory. Are they useful? Are they a great safety device? Yes to both.

The point is as time eclipses so does technology and even ways to do business.

If you're not using a social networking tool, ie: LinkedIn, you will be in time. I doubt it will be mandated by anyone except yourself. There are so many social networking tools now that I won't even begin to list any others. I currently use more than six and find it keeps taking up more of my time.

It is part of the way "things" are done anymore.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

Are you enjoying your summer? Are you complaining about the heat? Are you helping your neighbor, fellow career searchers? Are you blogging, reading a book, going to the beach?

So many question I could ask you. As you continue your search be sure you also do something for you too.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who do you serve, how do you serve?

How do you introduce yourself? What words do you use? Do you ever stumble of what to say when someone asks you "What do you do?" Not uncommon at all. As we try to put our best image forward we become lost. Not wanting to look or sound awkward we seem to be able to do just what we don't want to do.

As you conjure up your elevator speech, 30 second infomercial keep the above in mind. Who do you serve and secondly how do you serve them.

Social Capitalist

The other day a new friend and true champion of people called me a "Social Capitalist" to which I asked "Is that good or bad?" His reply was it is good. Whew!!!!

You are all social capitalist right now. Some more than others. Your ability to connect to others for your own good is useful in your search. More important is your ability to help others connect. The more you connect and the more your connections connect makes you exponentially bigger every day. If you watch your third level connections you can see the results of others in your group.

Networking and connecting reach far beyond our sights.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Do you know?

Do you know what you want to do next?

Do you know where you want to work? (position and location)

Do you know what salary you want?

There's nothing wrong in not knowing at this time, it just means you need to investigate, study and decide before entering into a contract at this time. Be careful of grabbing that first offer because is fulfills your original goal of finding another job.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

News Media Doldrums

For many in their journey to the next opportunity it can seem fruitless (in our search) if we read the papers or listen to the news. Not that they don't dispense the news with accuracy. Yes unemployment statistics are up and companies are laying people off.

Having been through these cycles many times now keep in mind that there are many positions unfilled. Those are the ones printed. Yet still about 85% of the job market is hidden. Your job now is to read, research, investigate, listen and determine what companies need. In time you will locate companies that have pain and you can assist them to relieve it.

Another fact is everyday there are positions needed that haven't been positions before. We didn't used to have environmental engineers once, nor did we have green energy. The list can go on and on. That's another great reason to network, so you can learn more about the new opportunities.

Once again I read that we are actually approaching a time when we won't have nearly enough people to fulfill the needs of employers. The article was talking about remembering the value of the older worker.

Your positive attitude can help you to weather the storm, keep a smile on your face and make life less stressful.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Are you really ready?

What if you get an offer tomorrow? Are you ready to answer? No! I mean really answer. Have you asked all the questions? Many times we will accept an offer because that was our goal, to get an offer which will lead to a position.

We need to be careful and pay attention to the big picture. Some of you know what's worse than being unemployed. Yes that's right, working where you hate it or don't like it. That eventually leads to being unemployed again.

As you do your interviewing, whether for a position or for an informational interview it is imperative that you listen. That means active listening where you do nothing but listen then formulate your questions once the other person is done talking.

For some this is not easy because our brain is engaged in formulating our next question and we stop listening and miss the "rest of the question or information".

Learning how to listen is an art and an asset to you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Personal Development

What are you doing for you personal development? Our lives are full of surprises, both good and could be better. Remember that life is a learning proposition and we need to continue learning.
In 2004 I met a young man in Reno, Nv. at a Toastmasters International Conference. We met by chance at a cafe as we were both having breakfast. A greeting and a few words of exchange, you know-small talk, led us to realize we were both Toastmasters. He from Las Vegas and me from Oregon. He had been through a few transitions and was continuing his journey to bigger and better things.
The other day I saw he had signed up for LinkedIn and of course I invited him to join my connections. He accepted. That led me to recheck his website.
Upon checking I found he has the most visited website on the above topic. He has a plethora of information on there.
One that caught my attention was How to discover your life purpose in about 20 minutes .
We all need to have an idea of our life's purpose since we all affect others, sometimes knowingly and other times unknowingly.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Are you focused? Why are you focused? Do you need to be focused? What's all the beg fuss over being focused? If you don't know where you are going you'll get to anywhere. Sometimes that works but most of the time it just puts us in another place to find our way out of.

Heard about one of the Support group's attendees of late. We were all excited as he had accepted a position and began work. Now on to the next one. Oooooops.....STOP! We all just got word that he was out of work again. Whatever happened?

Maybe he was more focused on getting a position than paying attention to what the position was. As it turned out the position was not at all what he was expecting and he very soon resigned. Being focused is great but let's be sure we are focusing on the right object.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Do you ever get frustrated because you don't get what you want? It has surely happened to all of us. Of course when it is an opportunity (job) we wanted not only are we frustrated for not getting it we can get depressed for being rejected. Not a good combination.

Did you ever think that maybe you weren't really ready though? None of us think that at first. Stories have told me that many times we aren't ready for an opportunity. Of course we'd like it and want it yet we aren't ready yet and don't know it. Sometimes it really isn't the right opportunity but we don't know that till after the facts.

What I've learned and heard from others is to never stop the hunt. When rejected pull back, reassess and move forward again. Once employed again you need to keep your ears and eyes open for new opportunities. Always give 110% while employed and you'll feel all the better.

Friday, June 13, 2008


We are all leaders, whether we know it or call it that. Just look at your life. As a child you tried to be a leader by getting your way with your parents. Then some of us were leaders of our friends or wanted to be. If we weren't the so called leader we might lead by not following the assumed leader.
Leadership is a desired trait for many jobs or positions. People that can lead can get "things" done. How do they do this. By inspiring and encouraging others to do their best and be all they can be.
When you are in an interview and asked that question of "What kind of a leader are you" dig deep into your knowledge bank and just think of all the ways you are or have been a leader.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Are you getting behind or losing ground?

As I talk to different folks I find I am not alone here. As much as I plan, organize and plan to get deadlines done ahead of time something happens many times where I am pushing and struggling to get it done on time. Ever have that happen to you?

What can we do? There are probably as many answers are there readers of this blog. So many ways. Do you notice that when it get's to crunch time it is amazing how we seem to do what is needed to complete the task.

My take is we are creatures of habit. We learn our limits then push them. When I was younger I was always in a hurry and found I exceeded the speed limit a fair amount. With maturation I have slowed down and find I still get there with much less stress.

Time is a critical element...and as the term goes "Carpe Diem".

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"How is Life Treating You?"

Ever heard that question? My normal response is "It's not, I have to pay for everything". Isn't that how it goes though? We would love for someone else to pay our way or buy that object for us.
Yet we know, deep down, that we never really appreciate it the same as when we work to pay for it. The same goes for finding those opportunities. When we put forth the effort, work, slave and sweat it seems to have more meaning. At the same time we many times find that we learn something new along the way.

There you go, another way to learn as we follow that path through life. As Napoleon Hill once said: "There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Success !!!

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing." — Abraham Lincoln

This just seemed so appropriate to many aspects of our lives.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The ability to interview

Lately I've either heard about folks interviewing or talked directly to a few young relatives in the throws. Some have education and some don't yet I find most all have the same problem of not being successful in their endeavor to land an opportunity. Upon talking with some I find they just don't understand how important it is to be able to interview well.

What might define "well". Having some of the prerequisites certainly helps. More importantly thought is to sound confident. Make pertinent sentences and smile. Be involved with the conversation, not just answer. One definitely needs to listen well also.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Are you Toasting your Link in your Network?

Are you Toasting your Link in your Network?

So, what am I saying? Are you using your communications skills to assist you in linking up with folks in your network. All three are essential to doing good business and opportunity searching. Your skill to listen (communications) is so paramount in connecting with folks. Once connected you can use your LinkedIn tool to build your network. As you build your network you have more people to draw and share information with.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

At what price?

At what price do you spend time networking ? At what price do you spend time blogging? At what price do you rest on your laurels? ...and on and on.

As Harvey Mackay discusses in his book "Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty " it is best to be prepared as you are living your life. Sort of like driving defensively. One must be on the alert for potential danger then take appropriate action to prevent a crash.

As my friend Sean keeps telling me "you're not blogging enough". My reasoning is I am so busy I just don't have the time. The truth be known none of us ever has the time for anything, we make the time.

The price one pays for inaction may be more expensive that doing nothing at all.

Monday, May 5, 2008


My personal disdain has nothing to do with you having a resume. To me most resumes look like an obituary, here's what I've done. On the other hand they are necessary in many instances when trying to land that next opportunity.

A resume is supposed to work to land you an interview. I still prefer making personal contacts to handle that. So when you do have to have a resume you'll find numerous boos on the subject. All are excellent.

For your starters though I have selected a brief intro to resume writing. From here you can expand any way you like.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Have you smelled the squirrel poop lately?

Yes, it was written to catch your attention. Most of us haven't really smelled squirrel poop but the point is have you gotten away lately? As much as looking for that opportunity is a lot of work and much be approached as such we still need to get away and refresh.

Even with the price of transportation we need to get out. Take a drive or ride to the beach, mountains, an old friends, a relative you haven't seen in a while. Clear your thoughts and you'll find you get new ideas. Don't look for the new ideas, allow your brain to work and it will spot them, trust me.

Solitude can be inspirational.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Have you changed your oil lately?

You've all heard the story from a friend that buys a new car and drives it 50,000 miles and never changes the oil, they just trade it in on the next new car. Then there is the other friend that changes the oil with regularity every 3,000-5,000 miles.

So what's the difference? The obvious is one saves on all the oil change costs and the other doesn't. In today's world though the one that doesn't get the oil changed misses out on the possibility of free updates or recalls by the manufacturer. They also miss out on some safety feature being missed which could lead to a crash or in-opportune malfunction.

So if the non-oil changer never encounters any problems then they have saved money all those years. Yet one crash or malfunction could toss all those saved dollars out the window.

As you go about your search the same theory applies to attending group meetings, networking and meeting new people. You will become refreshed (oil change) and find new ideas or opportunities (updates, recalls or potential failures) to put into place to make this journey easier.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Elevator pitch- 30 second infomercial

Whether you use a seven word intro or a 30 second elevator pitch you need to be cognizant of change. In order to get new information or referrals you need to also change words. After many years of helping folks it has become evident that when folks hear the same intro they think the same ideas.

Yet if we change a few words and topics maybe we'll find that some of the same people will have newer ideas. So to help us let's help them by telling them the same thing with new words.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is there a book in your life?

As I attend my monthly Publishers Group it is interesting to hear so many of the tips for selling books correspond to finding one's next opportunity (job). At the same time it comes to mind that many of you may be writing your own book or may in the future. As you traverse this opportunistic road make notes. Sometimes we make dramatic changes that we never expect. If you are in the Portland area be sure and check out the NorthWest Association of Book Publishers or others in your own area. You may just have fun and meet people and that always leads to learning something.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do you know what you really want?

Sounds simple and should be simple. It isn't always simple though is it? One reason is you have more choices than ever before.So many of them look so interesting too. But you didn't go to school for that or have never done that before. Right?

You're smart, you've prepared for this, so what's the big problem. It is probably you. Hard to focus and find that "one" position that is the perfect fit, pays the right amount, is close to home, has a great feel and ethics and on and on.

The game is to dig into your head, weigh all the alternatives and find what fits YOU, makes you feel good and you accomplish something satisfying to you.

There you go, just the answer you were looking for.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

They only want people with specific skills

Do you ever feel that way? You have all the skills and background they ask for except for one or two. When placing ads one is faced with getting as much in the ad as one can afford. At the same time we are always looking for the "perfect" employee, just like you are looking for the "perfect" employer. When placing the ad then we make out a wish list.

Some ads do shoot for the moon. With many occupations if you interview well you have the opportunity of overcoming the ad. You job is to be able to sound confident in your interview or conversations. Don't forget to add your touch of passion to what you do well.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Moving- for a new opportunity

One of the first questions that interests me; are you willing to move. Some folks know the answer immediately and others have never given it thought. As we pursue our next opportunity or endeavor we need to keep this in mind. The facts of life are there are more opportunities, by volume, in locations other than the Pacific Northwest.

That being said you need to clarify this for yourself. There is nothing worse than snapping up an offer in fear there will be no others and have to move. Then upon arrival find you are not happy at all or the company isn't what you thought and you become unemployed again.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Caught In the Crosswalk

From a friend:
So much of life is like crossing a busy street. Options fly passed us in both directions, and the game we're playing is a game of choices.
American journalist, Gabriel Heatter, said, "Mere longevity is a good thing for those who watch life from the sidelines. For those who play the game, an hour may be a year. A single day's work may be an achievement for eternity."
Why do so many people stand on the sidelines? Many do it because they think it is safer. Others do it because they are afraid of making a wrong decision. No decision is still a decision. It is a "decision" by default.
Research into the lives of our world's most effective people has proven that most of their decisions were wrong. What made these people so effective? When unsure, they tested. Only through application can we discover how something works.
It's like hiring a new employee. It isn't their resume, how they appear, or what their friends and family say. The rubber meets the road when a new hire is given something demanding to do.
We can talk about a possible decision for months and even years, yet nothing is known until we begin. Once we begin, we will be tested by the unexpected.
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian spiritual leader, said, "Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle, and a victory."
Don't get caught in the crosswalk. The truly victorious -- in terms of self-confidence, happiness, and peace of mind -- are people covered with scars.

Dick Warn

Friday, April 11, 2008


While attending a Toastmasters contest last night a friend was sitting next to me. She is a relatively new member to Toastmasters and wanted to see what this contest stuff was about. As the contest progressed she would make a comment about the content of the talk. She found them to be inspirational and motivational in one manner or another. She exclaimed that there was so much learning just by hearing all these speeches.

What does this mean to you? You too will not only learn how to improve your current communications skills but you will also learn more about yourself and in turn how to present yourself, especially in the "hunt".

Friday, April 4, 2008

Design your own opportunity

Today I heard two separate stories depicting design of their own jobs. This is what is called the hidden job market. Let's look at the first story.

John had been let go from his previous employer due to restructuring and cost cutting. This happened just prior to his preplanned and paid for vacation. The good opportunity here is he had already paid for it and no money back so he had to go. Had he cancelled and got his money back, since he definitely may need it while unemployed, he may have stayed home, been depressed and not very positive as he went about his search. As it turns out he came home all refreshed, had the time to grieve while having a great time and a fresh approach to his search.

A former acquaintance called him and asked he stop by just to talk, the acquaintance was aware of the layoff. After John visited he put together a proposal for a growth opportunity at his friend's company and wound up being hired. There wasn't a position previously and now there was one. Two brains are better than one.

The next story is Lance, he has been doing consulting. He had found a great consulting job with one company and had actually been hired for a huge project. He was elated. About eight weeks into the assignment he was let go as they lost another big contract. He wasn't feeling to good now. He began the search again and found a small contract. As he works that contract he is able to ascertain whether this current company could really afford another full timer of if it should stay as a contract position. All the while making more and new contacts.

Your job when out there looking is to really listen, research and use your basic intuition to spot opportunity creating positions then act upon them with recommendations.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Customer Service

What does customer service have to do with "opportunities"? A lot really. Good customer service seems simple enough. Be flexible, don't play call center tag, hire friendly people and reward them well.
Yet many times it seems to be hard to get and/or give.

You may want to look at the current champs as described in the March 3, 2008 issue of Business Week:
2. LL Bean
3. Fairmont Hotels
4. Lexus
5. Trader Joes
6. Starbucks
7. Jetblue
8. Edward Jones
9. Lands End
10. Ace Hardware
11. Lincoln
12. The Ritz-Carlton
13. Amica
14. Enterprise Rent-A-Car
15. Publix Super Market
16. Nordstrom
17. Southwest Airlines
18. Wachovia
19. Smith Barney
20. Cadillac
21. Apple
22. Chick-Fil-A
23. Amzon.Com
24. Marriot Hotels
25. True Value

Check any of these firms out. Listen and watch to see what makes them champs. You'll find if you give good customer service in your networking and interviews you'll see growth and results.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Words from others

Over two years ago a gentleman attended the Support Group. Being a CFO he wasn't very used to networking except in a few select venues. As I traveled and attended meetings I would spot him. Within a few short months he became re-employed.

Please feel free to read his words and let them ruminate in your mind.

Friday, March 28, 2008


How about coffee Sean, could we meet and have a cup of java and just talk? Why would you ever do this? Why Not!

Meeting people to talk and share, learning about them will lead you to new places. We don't always want to have a specific goal in mind, like a "job". As has been professed here before go ahead and have fun. meet people and learn something. When we show interest in others, genuinely we learn about them. They feel good that we care. Have you ever felt good when someone asks you about you, or what you like etc?

Whether you are seeking a "job" or an opportunity, new business or sales it is always good to meet new people.

Meeting over a cup O'Joe or water and just talking will be fun and interesting.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


What does marketing have to do with getting to your next opportunity? Some will say none and others will say a lot. Simply stated marketing is how to present a product or service in a manner that interests others.

When you are in the job hunt, or as I like to say "Looking for opportunities", the game is to get in front as many people as you can and build relationships. You do need to market yourself in addition to filling out applications. You need to be talking to as many people as you can, not always for the purpose of applying for a position.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Personal relationships

Seeing a question on LinkedIn the other day made me think. The question had to do with "...have you gotten any business from your social networking on LinkedIn?" That made me wonder what others think "social networking" is and for.

Relationship building is all about networking and getting to know others. There are certainly degrees of knowing someone. Some people we know intimately and others not so much. Normally we prefer to hire people we know, work with people we know and buy from people we know. Even if it is knowing them a short time. Degrees!

LinkedIn is a great tool, just like websites. Some websites are more suited to sell a product or service. Most are for information and letting people get to know you.

Learn more about other people and you will learn more about yourself.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Social networking is here. If you haven't noticed you may want to. Why use LinkedIn or any other social networking medium. You may want to read Guy Kawasaki's Ten reasons to join LinkedIn.

These phenomena are becoming more than just a time consuming event on the computer and web. It is growing as a very useful tool for more people everyday. The best part is it is an excellent way to stay in touch with more people. Being in contact with more people makes you more valuable to yourself and others.

Whether you are searching for your next career opportunity, looking for past contacts or doing business you will find this tool very helpful.

Several people have contacted me commenting how they were very reluctant to use LinkedIn and have now began using it and finding the virtues of it's value.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Chris came to the group several months ago. Chris had graduated from college with an engineering degree, moved west and took employment in Portland. After seven years Chris was downsized, then decided to take a trip around the world for a year. Upon return
Chris came to the Support Group. During the meeting, Toastmasters was discussed. Chris decided to check Toastmasters out.

Fast forward a few months to this week. Chris and I were sitting next to one another at a meeting. After the meeting Chris looked at me and said "thank you", to which I thanked Chris. Chris said "No, I mean thank you for getting me into Toastmasters". I was almost embarrassed from pride. Chris could feel the growth in just the first four speeches. The ability to communicate even more clearly and be heard. Even personal conversations had improved.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Another cycle

As we can all read the headlines and get prepared to worry, have excuses, get depressed you need to remember that we have always gone through these cycles.Since starting this group in 1991 we have seen several already.

What does it mean? More scary stories, people worrying and in time folks will be back working or adjusting their lives.

Stay in touch with friends and family and keep your spirits up. Continue to have fun, meet people, and learn something.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Who wants/needs me?

Do you ever wonder who needs you? Who needs/wants to hire someone with my talent or skills? The quick answer is a lot of folks do. But where are they you ask? They may be right under your nose, in front of you. That's easy for me to say. Doesn't answer that question you have/had.

There are numerous ways to find these opportunities. The most fun and efficient way is networking. Talk to others. Really "Listen" to them and you'll be so amazed to what surfaces.

As Benjamin Disraeli once said "The secret to success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes".

Listening will get you more opportunities than talking!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The "R" word

The talk has begun. The "R" word meaning recession. Many are worried, scared and anxious over the possibility of a recession and the loss of jobs. For numerous years this has gone on, and people worry, fret and get back to work. It just isn't easy because of the stress we get over it.

This quote was used in a speech by an associate of mine. It is very appropriate to these times:

Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises from 1959-1994 Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends, and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Where are those jobs (opportunities)?

Right there in front of you. Remember that 85% are in the hidden market. What does that mean? It means it is up to you to uncover them, find them, exploit them and assist the owner in finding someone to fill it (you maybe). The papers and Internet are great places for ideas. Yet one still must search and apply there too.

It is far more fun to get out and network, meet people and learn something.

Get out of the house and see people, talk to people and LISTEN!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Do I need a resume? What style should I use if I choose to have one?

Ugh!!!! Personally I am not a fan of resumes! They generally appear as an obituary, what I have done. Not what I can do and will do for you. That being said, resumes are pretty normal. A necessary item if you will.

I feel a good one page cover letter can be more effective but we don't always have the option.

My suggestion is to get all the input you can. From potential employers, friends, resume writers, support groups, other unemployed folks. Anyone you can get input from. Find a book or two and look at them. Remember that you can craft many different ones.

If you do as Peter Pasgill and Pam Gross recommend, you'll get to the hiring manager and when asked for a resume ask what they want to see in it then craft one especially for them.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Value of networking

"I'm Energized", she said! Several weeks ago a new attendee to the Job Finders Support Group, in Portland, was listening and watching. At first she wasn't sure she even wanted to attend. As it turned out a former attendee had recommended she attend. She voiced that she saw no value in such a group.

During her first attendance she heard a recommendation to attend a local entrepreneurial meeting , that meets monthly. She decided to go the next week and did attend.

This past week she returned to the group and exclaimed how energized she was. She was glad she stepped out and git back to networking. She voiced the fact that not only did she meet some new people, learn something new, she also felt anew.

People like people-

Friday, February 15, 2008

What do I want to do?

Or in other words, "What do I want to do when I grow up?" Ever hear that one before. That statement is probably more used that any one question. ...and why shouldn't it? There are far more opportunities out there than ever before. You have been exposed to far more than our ancestors.

We school ourselves for one career or occupation only find out there are so many others out there that catch our attention. We are so lucky today because of the great variety of availability.

Before immediately settling down with one idea my suggestion is to talk with many people. Whether it be informational interviews or just casual conversations. Remember that making it fun, meeting people and learning something is what can make it fun and learning.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Listening- what did you say?

Listening!!! So, what did I say? Did you hear me? You never listen. Not sure I understood you. Listening is so crucial to life in general. Not just hearing, but critical listening. What is critical listening?

Listening totally, intently on what is being said. Not formulating an answer or comeback before the speaker is done. We are usually never taught to listen. We are certainly Told to listen as children, or else. We are told in class to be quiet and listen. Some have been known to say that children are to be seen and not heard.

What does all this mean? Until we learn to really listen we just may miss the sale, point, introduction, job opportunity. When networking and we ask a question then don't actively listen we will usually miss the best part. When interviewing it is so important to really listen to the interviewer.

You'll never where you can go and actually grow your listening skills? For those that don't know me I'll elaborate. Toastmasters is a place you will grow your listening skills exponentially. Need I say more.

Monday, February 4, 2008

How should I present myself?

So many answers here, so let's talk in generalities. When we are in the hunt for potential opportunities we should be neat in appearance. A smile on your face is very handy along with confidence and enthusiasm.

Knowing all you can about the potential company when possible. Filled with curiosity and a positive attitude. Your approach is very important so pay attention and listen.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

People Trails

This past week there was ample discussions about leaving people trails instead of paper trails. Accountants like and want paper trails and that makes excellent sense. Yet people tend to like people. When we are out there looking for the next opportunity, what better to do than to meet other people. Not for the purpose of finding that opportunity but more so to build more personal relationships. That in turn can and will turn to opportunities if we pay attention. Along the way you will meet some fantastic folks and in turn learn something.

On the other side of this is that you in turn leave your knowledge and sharing with the "people" you come into contact with. This is a two way proposition so don't feel you have nothing to share. Remember to "Have fun, Meet people, Learn something".

Walk Good

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bumper Stickers- Savvy networking

Networking has always been around. For a long time we never called it networking. Building personal relationships is what matters. The networking will follow. Liz Ryan put out an article on Savvy Networking, you should find it worth reading. Networking is changing as we write.

Your Confidence

" You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... The danger lies in refusing to face fear, in not daring to come to grips with it....You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do" Eleanor Roosevelt

Confidence crosses many paths, in many forms. This quote suggests we face those fears and in turn we will appear and sound more confident. When in the interview situation it is imperative that you look and sound "confident" so the listener feels comfortable that you can do what you say you can do.

Monday, January 14, 2008

LinkedIn revisited

Why should you spend your valuable time partaking in social networking (LinkedIn in this case)? The world is changing and social networking is a valuable tool. Not just a fad but a usable tool. Take it one step at a time, filling your profile then poke around. You needn't fill the profile all at once. Take your time and look at others, they will give you some great ideas. Look for your friends and business associates and connect with them. Don't worry about your count, just work on one at a time.

LinkedIn continues to add new features all the time. Your ability to search and connect gets better all the time. Forwarding profiles to another is a useful feature. Be sure and make use of the recommendations. Don't ask others to recommend you, you recommend others you feel are deserving of your personal words. Amazing what will happen in a short time.

How about ten reasons why you should consider LinkedIn by Guy Kawasaki.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year !!!

Welcome to 2008!!! Eight years past Y2K, the new millennium, new laws and regulation and best of all the rest of your life.
So what is your plan? You're asking the same question? Get out of the house. This is one of the most advised statements from attendees. Sitting at home and filling ones time on the computer tends to lead to depression. Get out, see people, attend group meetings. Attend business events and learn something new and meet more people.

Happy New Years !!!