Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years Eve.

Here we are again, the end of another 12 months, 365 days or a year. Yet we are about to embark upon a new year. Fresh, a new decade with all kinds of excitement.
What? You don't see the excitement? You must be looking in all the wrong places or reading the wrong books or papers.

Look for what is right, as hard as it may seem sometimes. Be careful of your daily periodicals and TV. They broadcast what sells and unfortunately that's not usually positive. Mix and network with folks that are positive. If you find negative people just be positive with them too, it will help them.

Enjoy your evening and ring in the New Year with "What's Right".

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"How is Life Treating You?"

Or is it? If you are like me you have to pay for everything. Isn't that life though. Like they say though "The best things in life are free". Life can be as good as you want and make it. Attitude plays a large part in this mix.

See yourself being successful and it is amazing how the world changes for you. When you run into a wall just find ways to get around it. The fun part is expanding your mind to overcome adversity. It makes you a better and smarter person.

Go out there and have fun with life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Almost here

That time of the year is almost upon us. When I write next Christmas day will have passed, presents will have been opened and you'll be wondering what's next. You still have News Years and your goal setting, if you do such things.
The numbers tell us that we are growing, ever so slowly. Numbers don't always tell the whole story. Why don't you write your own numbers, find companies needing your talents then presenting them in a business plan way. You have plenty of time to be planning your strategy. Now get with it.....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is the tree trimmed?

Have you cut your tree? Is it trimmed yet? Now is a great time to get in the mood for giving. You can also give to your fellow opportunity seekers and not cost you a dime. As you do your travels, interviews and networking you may hear of a contact for someone else. Make note of it and pass it along.

Remember, it is the season for giving.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's cold outside

Is it cold out to you? Do you ever give thought to just staying in today and maybe go out another day when it warms a little? Nothing wrong with thinking along those lines but it certainly isn't too productive.
First you won't get much done and second you'll be upset with yourself later. You do need to set up your plan and work it. If you are staying in to stay warm then at least be reading something. Do your blog or update your social media for you.
You now have the ability to communicate via the internet and social networking. Make it fun.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Have you ever sold anything by running an ad in the paper or on or Craigslist? I hate it.

A recent note to me of late:

"Have you ever sold anything by running an ad in the paper or on or Craigslist? I hate it.

I recently had a set of snow tires and wheels to sell. A few weeks ago, I posted an ad on Craigslist for $325 for a set of 4 snow tires and wheels, I had 1 inquiry, but it turns out the wheels apparently would not fit the callers car. A pilot would probably call that a near-miss.

I posted an ad on Craigslist again last week. I had at least 3 responses and I thought I’d be showing the tires Wednesday evening, but no one called back to get directions. How frustrating. Will I ever get these things sold?

On Sunday, I posted the ad on Craigslist for the third time. I sure hope they sell soon. I don’t have time to sit around waiting for the phone to ring; I have other things to do. Since I had interest last week, even though no one actually showed up to see the tires, I raised the asking price to $350. If one of Wednesday’s callers called-back, sorry, the price has gone up. At my new, higher asking price of $350, I had one caller, and the person actually showed up and paid what I was asking, without trying to negotiate a better deal!

What did I learn?

I can influence the process, but not necessarily control it.

Remain persistent, even when I’m not seeing concrete results.

People wanted what I had to sell. There was a market for my goods.

I can’t control or predict the process. Sometimes there are buyers; sometimes just tire-kickers.

Ask for what you want. You might just get it!

I only need 1 buyer to say yes!

Selling my snow tires kinda reminded me of looking for a job! Just like when selling my tires, my job-search persistence eventually paid off when I found a buyer (job offer)."


Monday, December 7, 2009

Making a List

Are you making your list and checking it twice? Well Santa is because Christmas is moving in on us. Just as Santa checks his list you need to be doing the same thing. Be sure sure that resume if letter perfect in all forms. Your shoes are shined and clothes pressed and clean.

Are your contacts current and do you have the latest info on your target companies? Is there some late breaking news you need to know. The more you know the more interested you sound. Are you sharing information on other companies with your fellow searchers? Remember that as you research your target companies you are bound to run across more info on other companies. Share the wealth.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Job fairs

A few weeks ago there was the Engineers Employment Symposia. A well put together and handled event.

While walking about and chatting with folks it was good to see and hear the upbeat attitudes. That is one of the first steps to becoming re-employed if that is your goal. If you are contemplating your own business that may take a little longer as there is a little more work to do.

When you are feeling down be sure and seek out larger groups of people, ie: Job fairs, Chamber events, Business shows and be with others.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dealing with Rejection

November 7, 2009 The Miracle Minute

Dealing with Rejection
Chazz Palminteri, American actor, playwright, and screenwriter said, "Great reviews are the worst. They mislead you more than the bad ones, because they only fuel your ego. Then you only want another one, like potato chips or something, and the best thing you can get from those is fat and bloated." Every action is either an example of what should be done or an example of what not to do. Since all of us began with trial and error awareness, mistakes are made. Yet, mistakes are never a sign of who we are. Mistakes only point toward lessons we should learn. The real error, if there ever is one, is in not learning from the mistakes we've already made. The first thing to consider when rejection occurs is the source. When the source involves honest caring people who know what they're doing, you've got a great chance to learn. When questioned, these people will openly share their reasons and your awareness can grow from the experience. In other cases, when the person or persons involved offer weak excuses, dance around questions and avoid solid answers, hidden agendas are evident. So what can be done with a hidden-agenda person? Listen intently, don't dig deeply into anything they say, and once they've finished thank them. They are not going to suddenly become real. They are not going to share their real reasons. And, attempts to reason with unreasonable people always fail. Once the dust has settled, forget everything they have said and let go of any remaining anger. Self-centered people do self-centered things. Rejection is a good thing when we know how to deal with it.

Dick Warn
Copyright 2009 Richard S. Warn & Associates

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving is tomorow. It is time for you to take a break and gather with family and friends. Count your blessings and share your love.

You may want to reflect back on our ancestors and think what their job search may have looked like. Not at all like what we have today. When you are feeling down and out reflect back to a time when survival was definitely more than a job.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way."— Wayne Dyer: Self-development author and speaker .

Once again a quote, caught by me, made me think of other ways to use it in life. In this case you can see how it would work in the search for your next opportunity. Remember my mantra to "Have fun, Meet people, Learn something.

As you go about your search do be sure and make it fun for you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What have you done for another?

Have you referred a fellow opportunity hunter to a company or hiring manager? Why not? Just thinking of you?

This is what networking is all about, what you can do for others. The more you network the more you learn and the more people you know. Why not share that with others.

The worse that may happen is some of them won't do the same for you. Remember Mom always said it is better to give than receive.

Now get busy with reticulation and see what you can do for others.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Every morning as you swing out of bed you can say to yourself "There is something out there for me and today I will listen, watch and see if it is today. That one slot that fits both me and them. There could be a spot that fits your talents yet you don't fit their culture so be sure and watch out for this.

Folks have always been let go and recover and return to the work force, it is just a matter of time.

Once again look for what is right. If you find the spot can use your talent yet you aren't comfy with them look for a replacement. You then become and asset.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Are you enhancing your education?

Education comes in many forms, and it relates to learning new material. Learning new information also allows you to be a great resource for referring others. Instead of just learning to be better in a specific field you need to be expanding your landscape of knowledge.

The longer I hear the stories I find that some people lose out because they haven't continued to be versatile and flexible and be able to take on new and different tasks.

Networking is a great start. Now get out there.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The colors are gorgeous, shapes of the falling leaves are great. As you walk the streets pick one up once in a while and press it between the pages of a book. Leave it for your heirs.

At the same time in your search for that next opportunity be sure and keep your eyes open and ears turned on to find those metaphorical leaves we spoke of. Find what is right out there and move with alacrity to enjoy the positive and share with others. As you share with others you'll find yourself in a more positive mood which will pay you dividends.

So before you leave a conversation be sure you have something right and acknowledged it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's November already

OK...OK....So you just finished Halloween and next is Thanks Giving. Nov. 26 will be here before you know it. In addition to making those plans you need to be summing up your year with end of the year meetings, interviews, cards and events to attend.

Don't put off meetings with friends that invite you over. Now is the time to be sure and go. Just work on your answer to that forever question you don't like "What are you doing now" or "Are you back to work yet". You can do it, listen to others you are around.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat

Sometimes your opportunity search feels like an evening during Halloween where it is "trick" or "treat". Then it seems more like trick. Remember that Babe Ruth struck out more times than he hit home runs. You are playing a numbers game here. The more people you see, talk with and meet the closer you are to your next position.

When out trick or treating we like to fill our sack with all kinds of sweets. Once we get home we tend to sort through it and pick our favorites. Some will eat the rejects first and keep the favorites for later. Some will do just the opposite.

Whatever you do be sure and follow up with the favorites right away. Do not delay. Thank you cards, return calls, sending something promised.

Now go out and have a great Halloween.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be a Shark in a Sea of Applicants

Job Search 2.0: Be a Shark in a Sea of Applicants By Dawn Rasmussen, CMP

In a sea of applicants, if you aren’t a shark, you’re chum. The job search and unemployment can be two of the most discouraging and ego-smashing experiences that a person endures. Rejection is common, and you end up depressed and unsatisfied. If you’ve worked most of your adult life in a full-time position, you’re used to the structure and routine of each day. Being out of work, you find yourself in a drifting miasma of what-do-I-do-today’s. Someone once told me: Looking for a job is a full-time job. Adopt that mentality. To create a sense of direction, develop a specific job search plan. Here are some suggestions on how to chart your course, add structure to your day and create definable goals to give you that sense of order you miss.
1. Appoint a job search buddy. This person will be someone you report to on a weekly basis. It’s going to be a lot more compelling for you to get off the sofa when you know you need to call this person on Friday and report back on your weekly activities. This person will hold you accountable and be your cheerleader at the same time.
2. Read a set number of industry articles every week. When you are unemployed, it is easy to feel that you are getting left behind on industry trends and issues. It makes sense to keep yourself informed and abreast of current events—not just so you can interject a useful bit of information in an interview, but also so you can have something to talk about when networking. It’s amazing when you have a clear command of what’s going on in the world how easy it is to find opportunities to talk about what you’ve read or learned.
3. Attend a set number of networking events every week. Shy? Get over it. The ocean is full of sharks, and you need to be one of them. That means getting out of the house, and getting out to networking events. Take a completely different approach. My friend Cleon Cox, founder of the Portland Job Finders Support Group, has this mantra: Meet people, learn something and have fun. If you go into a networking or business meeting with that attitude, the pressure is off and you are just there to find out about the world. Think of yourself as an explorer…you never know what you might uncover!
4. Keep up your education monthly. You fear you have fallen off the merry-go-round and have lost ground to competitors. Continuing education can be a great path to a new career, enhanced professional credentials or honed skills.
5. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. Volunteering can provide exceptional opportunities to network, learn new skills, become a known quantity within an organization and even find out about industry or company job openings before they are posted. Plus, you’ll feel good while doing it!
6. Hang on to your association memberships. If you have a target industry, chances are that there is a related trade association (or two or three) that you can join. The benefit of these organizations is that they add to your professional credentials. Put your memberships on your resumé and take advantage of industry events to volunteer, attend educational sessions, gain industry certifications or network to meet other people.
7. Conduct a set number of informational interviews every week. Part of the getting-out-of-the-house aspect of this job search plan is to meet people—one-on-one in informational interviews. Many people mistakenly believe and take the approach that informational interviews are all about finding jobs. Wrong! Informational interviews are precisely about finding information. Tap into your network, and see if your friends and colleagues can connect you to people they know.
8. Talk to your friends daily. Who do friends know? People. Employed people. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your entire network. Circle back to people you haven’t spoken to in a while—maybe that close friend who dropped off a few years ago. The key is to tap into your social circle and refresh your connections. You never know what might happen.
9. Follow up on all sent applications. One of the biggest failures of job seekers is that they are constantly looking for the next job opening and they don’t follow up on the positions for which they’ve already applied.
10. Focus your resumé(s) on key themes. You probably have several themes that could develop into different resumés based on your background. During this downtime, explore how you might have different incarnations of your resumé, and take the time to develop these fully. You might be pleasantly surprised at how you can reinvent yourself and create new flexibility in your employment search. This seems like a whole lot of homework, but the goal is to provide structure, stability and goals in a time where there is a lot of chaos, unclear objectives and confusion. By structuring yourself and your time while unemployed, you will achieve the sense of purpose you need and a boost to being productive.

DAWN RASMUSSEN, CMP, is the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Careers, which specializes in hospitality/meeting professional resumés. She has been a meeting planner for more than 15 years and an MPI member since 2001. Tags:dawn rasmussen job advice job searching resumes

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Do you have enough degrees?

Or do you have sufficient letters following your name? Sometimes people feel if they have another set of letters behind their name it will make them more saleable. (MBA,PhD,CFU,CFP,CPA ad nauseam) There is not a thing wrong with advanced education or training. It can be a boon to your success in your opportunity search.

In speaking with numerous employers many still say it is the person that counts first. They want to get to know you and see if you fit the team. Many times they offer to teach you the position. The more education you have just makes it easier for you to ramp up faster many times.

If you are thinking of getting another degree to make your search easier be sure you also talk with potential employers to be sure your degree will make you more appealing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Candy time

Have you bought candy for next week? Better get busy. You can't always wait for the exact cheapest price discount or you may find them out of candy then you may get your windows soaped.

The same principal applies to your contacts to visit and talk with. You need to be working ahead and lining up informational meetings with others. Remember that some of those are just like you and in the search. You may actually have some help for them too. Nothing feels better than helping others.

You might even want to carry some treats with you in the next week and hand them out as you make your rounds.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Who Let the Dog's Out?"

NO! I'm not going to sing. (wooof...wooof) Have you checked the gate lately? Did the dogs get out? In this case those dogs might be your referrals, leads or contacts.

What? Yes, you've been working hard to develop your leads, contacts and referrals then all of a sudden they don't seem to be around. They are usually around. Your job is to keep in touch. You can do this via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter and many others for sure. It doesn't require letters or phone calls anymore. All you need to do is touch them once in a while.

Always send clippings regarding your conversations to them along with a contact card. You are a resource to them. See what you can do to help them.

Keep up the front folks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Looking for a job? Study Shakespeare

By-Zac Bissonnette

Soaring unemployment has plenty of people wondering how to improve their odds in today's ultra-competitive job market -- and do something constructive with all of their extra free time.Laid-off workers who think that taking the latest computer training course or getting a fancy new certification in marketing will help win over prospective employers are in for a surprise, however. While such courses can indeed prove valuable, the truth is employers would much rather hire someone who excels at reading, writing and speaking effectively. The National Association of Colleges and Employers' Job Outlook 2009 report found that among the traits that employers want the most in a job candidate, communication skills top the list (other prized attributes include a strong work ethic, ability to work in a team, and initiative).

Rest of the story-

Monday, October 12, 2009

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.

Friday, October 9, 2009

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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The 10 Commandments for Finding Work

The 10 Commandments for Finding Work when the Economy Sucks
#1 Admit you need help
#2 Allow for miracles
#3 Become a learning machine
#4 Think marketing not employment
#5 Don't do what others are doing
#6 Get super connected
#7 Give to get
#8 Kiss your limited mindset goodbye
#9 Don't buy your fear
#10 Act - be unstoppable

Douglass Dixon

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Get out of the way

Sometimes we need to get out of our own way. We can be our own biggest stumbling block. Sticking with our own ideas and listening to no one else. Just lose a little of that pride and at least listen to others and their ideas. Some won't work, parts of others may work yet best off all you get to have fun listening.

Listening is an art and we can never listen enough. There is more information and ideas out there than you will ever be able to take in. Try to take some of it in.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Can you believe it is that time of year already? You were just thinking how fast the summer went by and now the leaves are changing and the mornings are cooling. Not time for you to cool your search though. You must be diligent if you want to smell the sweet smell of success.

It is a numbers game for you and the more numbers(people) you see the closer you will be to your next opportunity. There are numerous opportunities out there. You task is to search, pay attention, talk with many people and develop many of the opportunities. There are many companies that need people yet don't know they need someone.

By staying current on technologies and new inventions you'll be able to offer more. Get out there and have a great day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Happiness if the result of learning"

As smart as you are and as many degrees you may have there is nothing better than continual learning. We all learn in different ways. Reading, viewing movies, attending seminars, attending classes and many more.

When we don't learn and grow we become stagnant. Get into a rut and sometimes blame others for our circumstances. Your job is to make sure you are current, even when you are employed. Reading is definitely one of the best ways to stay current and learn.

However you continue your education it is imperative that you do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leave a People Trail

Ed Burpee once said to "Leave a people trail, not a paper trail". Those words are still espoused today and so very relevant. When referring back to my tennant to "Have fun" we find people are far more fun than paper. It is easier and simpler to shove paper around and file it, but that is where it stops, usually filed. As you traverse your daily spectrum and get out to see people, no matter where, be sure and make acquaintances and dispense any wisdom you may be able to.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Job Finders

Job Finders is definitely the more positive view of "Job Seekers" and that is meant to be. Many people have been in the hunt or looking for work in their life. The odds now are that everyone will experience unemployment, between assignments, downsized, rightsized, re-engineered, let go, quitting, resigning and even fired. It just happens and will continue.

We are currently doing much more outsourcing and projects. Projects will definitely continue to grow, it makes sense in todays vast competition and growing technologies. This is another reason to continue to hone your education and add to it. That comes in many forms, such as school, classes, reading, seminars, speakers, webinars, and even TV once in a while. Another great way to grow your learning is joining Toastmasters. Besides growing your self confidence you'll be learning something new every week plus growing your communications skills.

As you wind you way through this ongoing maze always remember to "Have fun, Meet people and Learn something".

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Who said this was going to be easy?

When we first enter into the land of unemployment, no matter how you get there, many thoughts cross our minds. With our knowledge, ability to use a computer and education we usually feel this should be a piece of cake. Oddly enough it can be, only if we change our minds though.
It never happens or goes the way we think it will. There is a lot of learning that will take place.

One of the best pieces of advice I would offer is you must get out of the house. Get out and see people, communicate, socialize, just get out of the house. This is where networking really comes in handy. Attend events that catch your fancy, associations you belong to, close events that don't interfere with scheduled meetings or appointments.

Remember, unemployment is not terminal. It is better to leave a people trail than a paper trail. Most of all, have fun.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What next? You've lost that job.

Sit back and reflect. See friends and people you enjoy. Don't move to fast on taking another position. Like rebound marriages, rebound jobs can be dangerous.

You need to take a break and begin your grieving process. Until you do you'll find yourself at odds with yourself. Talking is a part of this process. Reading books can be helpful but not the only way. Read for pleasure.

Start lining up and finding places to network. There are many calendars out there. Check out local chambers of Commerce, job fairs, seminars on using social media in your search

Get connected in LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter.

And most of all get out of the house.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Have you thought about what you really want?

Many times in the Job Finders Group folks come to a realization that aren't sure what they really want to do next. This comes about for many reasons. Items such as exposure to new opportunities and finding out that we really don't like what we are still doing.

The good part of being unemployed now is you get to find out what you want to do. Finding that out is more important than landing that next opportunity. If you don't you'll likely be back here again.

Now the question is how do you find out. One easy way to start this process is to see and network with other people. In group settings and in networking settings. Read books on the topics and start discussion groups or participate in them. The objective is to find out all you can.

Only you can make this decision and an important part of the process is to also listen to your "gut". Some call it intuition, whatever it is pay attention to it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Labor Day is when we take off from laboring and play, have fun do whatever. Instead I sit here laboring of topics to write about so they can be posted. I complain not as this teaches me to think and put down the words I think.

Hoping you are having a grand day today and enjoying as best you can. There are opportunities on the horizon, you job is to keep your eyes and ears peeled so you spot them when they come along.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


In seeking wisdom,
the first step is silence,
the second listening,
the third remembering,
the fourth practicing,
the fifth teaching others.

Ibn Gabirol, poet and philosopher (ca. 1022-1058)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Social Media

Are you using social media networks yet? The most common reason why folks aren't using them is "TIME" or lack of. The second is the uncertainty of the value or how to use it.

The fact is this new phenomena is here to stay. Not only stay but change and grow by the days. You needn't become an expert, just start using them and become familiar.

Your results will appear in time just like many other tasks you've taken on and seen results later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Oh yes! It is summer and on same days it is hard to get out there. I hate to sweat anymore as it is uncomfortable, tiring and makes a mess of my clothes. Ergo it is easier to stay inside an air conditioned house and mope around or kill time.

Don't make as many appointments, go out and remember there are some people that would love to be able to even get out but they will never be able to. We still have it good. The weather is a great topic to discuss and start your conversations with.

When you get home take a quick shower and cool off, then you can sit and reflect. You'll be happier that you got out. Remember feeling good about yourself is preferable to being mad at yourself.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


We all know we will have one at the end of the trail. Whether we write it or others do for us. When I see most resumes I think of an obituary. Most actually read like one. Here is what I have done in the past. I find resumes are one of those necessary evils. Everyone wants them yet they actually work more as a rejection tool.

The game for you is to try and be proactive with your resume. Get across what you can do for the potential employer. When that catches their attention then you can follow up with how and why you can.

This is definitely one good reason to pay someone to help you with your resume, get that impartial input. No matter how you handle resumes remember that the important function here is to get in front of people.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's George's Birthday

Who's George? George is my younger brother. He was named after our Great Grandfather and the Doctor that delivered us both (Dr. George Hall). Today is his birthday.

Life's dreams are all in our head. Many years ago in our early careers George came out of the military and landed a job at a prestigious up and coming high tech company. Good pay, benefits and territory. He couldn't be happier. Meanwhile I had changed jobs several times in my quest for my destiny. Dad told me it was time to settle down and stay at a job and quit job hopping.

As the years went on George and I would talk. I envied him because he was building seniority, retirement and has peace of mind by being satisfied with his job. As it turned out he was envious of me for moving up the ladder, able to talk to anybody and trying new things. The old proverbial grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

The years are past now as neither of us actually work a regular job. George was retired after 34 years at the same company and I don't punch the time clock for many companies.

The take away is we have to what is best for us. Not what others think. We have control of our destiny and it is up to us to act on it. Not wait for others to make those decisions for us.

Happy Birthday George, thank you for your service to our country.
You can send George a Happy Birthday if you care.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Can't talk too much about listening. A skill we need, have and are told to do yet who teaches it?

When we "really" learn to listen proactively it is amazing what we learn. Besides learning what the other is saying to us it is also good for asking pertinent questions to further our knowledge. Half of knowledge is asking useful questions. Questions are good for us and it also assists the person talking how to be more effective.

Remember that listening is much more than "HEARING". You know you are listening well when you get those a ha moments. Besides hearing the noise you also comprehended the meaning.

This is so appropriate for interviews Grow your listening skills and you will be more successful in being offered that next opportunity.

Where to learn more about listening: Attend a Toastmasters meeting.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"The Art of Reticulation or Networking 101"

This is the title of my upcoming talk at Portlandia on Aug. 20, 2009. Portlandia is a business group mainly designed for women in business yet is open to all. If you'd like to expand your circles and meet some new faces please be sure and sign up and attend. It is a great group of folks.

This talk will encompass networking, how it came about and my involvement. Some tips for how to better "reticulate", why to do it and the value. You'll hear how I became a "maven" of networking as someone called me.

If you're not reticulating you may find you're alone.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Reticulation is nothing more than networking, yet it is a different word from our vocabulary. Why does it catch our attention at first? Because it is different.

As you go about your search for that new opportunity what are you doing to be different or better yet to stand out? Not show stuff, or fancy schmancy but truly different that makes someone need to learn more about you. You need to be interesting, you need to always be listening for the signals and most of all have that ability to to project and sound confident and knowledgeable. Where would one receive this kind of training?

You knew it, you knew right where I was going. Toastmasters, yes Toastmasters is the place. This is no cheap sell folks, it is something that will be fun, assist you in all aspects of life and extremely affordable.

Ask me sometime.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Promptness can be a factor in what others think of you. My guess is when someone asks for your resume you get it to them within a day.

Yet! When someone asks you to connect with them on a social networking sight do you promptly invite them? One way I can see into ones sincerity is when they either send an invite promptly or not.

Think about it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Heat- 108 now you can say it was hot. Very hot, right? ...and? As you persue your new opportunities you'll find some days feeling like this. Whether it be the weather or your frustration. Some of you were lucky enough to have an AC to stay comfortable. Some bought or tried to buy a fan.

Do you ever notice until the day of the heat we don't or can't realize we may need a fan? Then when it hits, bingo! and everyone else has bought all the cooling devices. So we grumble, complain and say that won't ever happen again.

The same kind of opportunities are passing you daily in this searching process. This is another great reason to be out every day to meet others and share knowledge, information and ideas. You've already learned many tricks, why not share them and others will share with you too.

It definitely works better with a team effort over an individual effort.

Enjoy the cooler weather!

Friday, July 24, 2009

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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Should you Tweet?

Maybe asking if you should get a cell phone is a better question. We don't need them as we had phones before. We even had payphones on many corners to make calls from. Remember when we were on the road we'd pull into a service station and make phone calls.

But we broke down and began buying the "bricks", first cell phones, until today we have "communicators". So why wouldn't you Tweet and join the social revolution? You can think of many reasons why not to. That will just put you behind the curve though. Remember that none of have any time for these new fangled time "wasters" but we need to make time for them. Since business and friends are using them we need to at least try it.

People all use them for many different reasons as you should. so before you just write it off you may want to begin getting versed in them and give them a shot.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Ideas !

Everywhere I go ideas seem to surface. Whether to the store, coffee shop, movies, Toastmaster's meetings, support groups, you name it and ideas are right there. The more we listen the more our mind conjures up ideas and opportunities.

Through these ideas people develop new products or services or job opportunities.Going to networking events, seminars, local events are excellent ways to utilize resources right there with us.

Who knows, you just might come up with a business idea on your own and follow it to fruition. Sometimes it may be easier to start your own business rather than looking for that perfect job from an employer. Build your own job.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

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!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You can Change Your Beliefs

In a recent keynote speech "Eight Keys for Thriving in a Down Economy" by Jeff Schneider he mentioned the above.

This is very likely easier to say than to do. For some reason we humans say we are for change and certainly understand it. Yet many of us fight it or try to avoid it. That makes it hard to change our beliefs.

I find many folks look at an ad for a position and will ignore it because they are missing one , or more, of the qualifications. Yet we know we can do the job. Why do we do this? We forget that many, not all, ads are wish lists. Many times we can do the job yet we believe we will be rejected. What do you have to lose? If you sound confident and share your scope of ability you could end up the ideal candidate. Remember that some people have all the exact requirements as posted yet they don't fit in.

Remember that you can change your beliefs about many things if you will just give it time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Stay Behind the Pendulum

In a recent keynote speech "Eight Keys for Thriving in a Down Economy" by Jeff Schneider he mentioned the above.

Many times when the pendulum is swinging it can be to easy to get in front of it and run very fast. Sometimes we may want to think about getting behind it so we don't get crushed. The weight of that big ball can be overwhelming. I think of the one at the Oregon Convention Center. We watch day to day and year to year and see situations take hold and/or change. Sometimes we say the pendulum has swung too far or is about to turn the other way.

Therefore you may want to stay behind it and keep your ears and eyes open for the change in direction of the swing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth of July !!!

Time to celebrate again. Can you believe it is July already? We do have a lot to be thankful for. Isn't it interesting that on July 4 both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed away in the same year, 1826.
For two men who did so much together, were political foes, quarreled and disagreed then later in life reunited. I find it amazing what our forefathers went through, created, fought for and died for.
As you sit back and relax and enjoy this wonderful holiday please take a moment to remember those that have gone before us and have left us so much.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Remain unattached to the outcome

In a recent keynote speech "Eight Keys for Thriving in a Down Economy" by Jeff Schneider he mentioned the above.
No getting around it, this is easier said than done. You've put in all this research, work, arranging for and then aren't successful. Why the effort you say. I have all the criteria requested yet I was looked over or is that overlooked?
Your energy and effort needs to be doing your very best. If they didn't see that or weren't impressed then it isn't your fault. It may not be a good fit anyway. Now on to the next opportunity.
Just because we have the degree(s), time on the job, great referral letters doesn't mean we will be successful in our endeavor.
You can only achieve your desired outcome by being the very best candidate.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Face the Brutal facts

In a recent keynote speech "Eight Keys for Thriving in a Down Economy" by Jeff Schneider he mentioned the above. It is especially valuable to you as you go through these trying times of transition.
You know how to search for the facts and statistics and make decisions based on that. If you find there are too many people applying for the same slot as you, what will you do? Doing what you have been doing may not be a good answer if you aren't being successful. The brutal fact may be that you don't stand out, don't have the correct degree or background. If that is the case you may to remedy that. The other fact is maybe you aren't up to doing that. That is when you know you need to change directions.

Facing the brutal facts can assist you in your next transition and make your try fun when you go where you love to be.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


By now you've heard of "netsucking". Netsucker is not what you want to be known as. Networking is what it is about and in time you'll realize you've been networking all your life. You never called it that. It probably started back in the sandbox when you introduced one friend to another.
Back then you were interested in the new acquaintance. You wanted to know where they lived and if they could play some more.
That premise hasn't changed. When you meet people your job is to learn about them and listen very carefully and intently. From those good listening skills you'll learn about them and what they may need from you. The game isn't what's in it for me but what about you. At first it may be strange and in time you'll do better.

Here is a challenge for you. The next time you are out networking and meet a new person see how long you can go in conversation before you ever ask "what they do" or "who they work for". Try it, you'll learn something.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Affirmations come in many forms. They can be very useful for your brain. When you can see where you are going or what direction you will find your brain is assisting you all the way. As I look back to my youth and remember a few goals or items I wished I had done or had, it amazes me how many have come to fruition.
You've heard of the task writing your goal on a piece of paper, hanging it on the mirror so that every morning you'll see it first thing. After a short while your mind might begin to ignore it yet it is actually triggered to know what it is about and lays in rest in your subliminal mind.
Like many sage philosophers have said "You are what you believe or think you are." You can do what you think you can do. If you don't believe that you can find thousands of books in the library that will tell their stories of success because they knew they could do it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The "Touch"

How often do you touch others? Besides the physical touch, what about on line touches, or a phone call or even a hand written card. The purpose of the Touch is multi faceted. The basic idea is to communicate and stay in touch with others.
In person is best of course. A phone call is good but it can take up a lot of time. A card is good and something the other party can touch. E-mails are good but what all do we write about.

Many times my touch revolves around the social networking tools ie: LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter etc. When I see a change in another's status, or a new picture, or a question it allows me the opportunity to drop them a quick note. No requests or needed replies, just a note of recognition. That also brings me to their attention ever so slightly.

Think about it, try it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Have you changed your oil lately?

This so important for you and your car. As you know your car engine will break down your oil in time to the point it isn't lubricating well nor cooling as well as it should.

You are no different. You need to cleanse your mind once in a while. There are many ways to accomplish that. Reading is an excellent source. Doing the crossword puzzle is useful. Going away and taking a vacation away from your living abode is an excellent way. Going to listen to a speaker, seminar or even a play. Some way to allow your mind to see something else.

Many times your alternative mind cleansing will even lead you on to new ideas or perspectives. If your oil change gets you closer to your goal you have benefited in more than one way.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Power of networking

We've seen companies that spawn other companies. Where employees leave the mother ship and form their own smaller company. Sometimes one of those will spawn more later. This phenomena is is quite healthy and can be lucrative in the business world. Time after time we seem to get back to what we do best and let others do what they do best. We don't have to do everything.

The same occurrence happens in networking groups. A few folks will form a specialty group to fit their passions or specialties or both. As you go about your daily routines and networking circles keep your mind open. Whether you form the offshoot or suggest it to another you will be working for the group as a whole.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Will your resume pass the 10-second test?

Will your resume pass the 10-second test? (Courtesy of Connie Dorigan)

6 Vital Tips

1. Keep it short!Initially, Human Resources personnel spend approximately 10 to 20 seconds on a resume, so the shorter your resume, the more desirable it is. Aim for one page.Of course, it is not always possible to create a short resume, especially if you have a great deal of relevant information about your work experience or accomplishments. If that is the case, list the most relevant and important information within the upper half of the first page so that it will be noticed immediately.

2. Spelling, Spelling, SpellingIt is not enough to run the word processor's spell checker on your document. Proofread your resume at least 3 times, once backward (sometimes that is how you notice mistakes).

3. Power Statement/SummaryStart your resume with a Power Statement. Many resume writers suggest an objective. My suggestion is that you start your resume with a power statement such as: "Award-winning, highly accomplished Operations Manager with successful track record of consistently increasing revenue and slashing operating costs." An objective tells the employer only what you want to do, the power statement goes further. The Power Statement highlights the job you are seeking, your major achievements AND most importantly, what you can do for their company.

4. Begin your sentences with action verbs for added punch and to express a sense of accomplishment. Use words such as: accelerated, accomplished, achieved, bought, briefed, broadened, cataloged, caused, changed, chaired, delegated, delivered, demonstrated, identified, implemented, improved, incorporated, etc. A passive approach is a defeatist approach. Take control!

5. Use numbers, percentages, figures and facts." Exceeded sales quotas by 25% within 1 year." Numbers stand out and clearly communicate not only the results you produced, but what you achieved for the company.

6. Answer the "what's in it for me" question.Every employer is asking that question while reading your resume. Employers are looking for people who will solve their problems. You have to present your case accordingly. How? By answering these questions: What kind of problems did you solve on the job? How did the company benefit from your performance? How did you do the job differently and better than the person before you? Did you introduce a new program or system? If yes, what were the results? Did you save or earn money for the company? What were you most proud of in your job? What would your supervisor and co-workers say they would miss most about you when you leave? How did you make a difference in your job? How did you affect the company's bottom line?

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Is this your D-Day? Actually everyday is your D-Day. For you it isn't an invasion or battle. It is your day to be proactive, to listen and pay attention to your surroundings. You'll put your plans into action, just different actions for different days.
You need to be prepared at all times for impromptu questions. Have the ability to respond to others question at the drop of a hat. In addition you'll want to have the sound of confidence.

Your D-Day is your day of reckoning, just be prepared.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's in a Birthday?

Birthdays seem to come and go each and every year. As youngsters we usually can't wait for the next one. Then we move to teens and for many it is either 18 or 21 that we want in the US. Some people dread some of the ten year intervals (30,40,50 etc.) Then later on some folks keep pushing to be older or of the elders only t find there are still many that are much older than us. Seems when folks hit their late 70's or 80's they even refer to 1/2 years or months.

So what does this have to do with finding that next opportunity? If we allow age to be a determining factor in our ability to be hired then let's use it to our advantage. It is to your best interest to not let your own age stand in your way. You have so much to offer, ie:timeliness, punctuality, how to run a project, who to call, where the local PO is maybe. You want to be sure and sound positive and confident. Pull your shoulders back and look them in the eyes. Be proud of your "seniority" on this planet and workplace.

Remember you are in control of your own destiny, make the most of it and Happy Birthday next time.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


You're not a professional speaker, you don't present in your career position and you don't even give sermons. Why should you even give thought to Toastmasters?

Now just think about that. Have you ever tried to convince someone to buy something from you or for you. Have you ever tried to convince someone that you were not the culprit. Maybe they said you didn't do the task correctly yet you knew you did. How did you convince them or did you?

Have you ever tried to get your children to mind, pick up their toys, do their homework? How did that go? We can always blame the other person yet do we ever think if we could have presented that better? Have you ever left an interview knowing you could or should have done it better?

These are just a few reasons you may want to consider visiting a Toastmasters club and see what all the buzz is about. Your ability to sound confident in any of the above situations could just have a different outcome for you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Calling Cards

Long, long ago the only people that had business cards were of a certain rank or level of management. There are no more prerequisites anymore. Everyone needs to have business cards, calling cards or contact cards to identify who they are and trading for future contact. It is far easier to leave a card than a resume.All that is really needed any longer is: name, e-mail and a phone number. There are numerous ideas as to what belongs on the card. Check with friends and associates and get their input. Then make your own decision.Normally my suggestion is to leave it generic, meaning no title.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Have you ever watched the flow of traffic or the non flow of it? Sometimes it is like your search for your next opportunity. If map out your trip it can be much easier or you can just meander through the streets hoping you will arrive there.

As you search for that next position you do need to do some research then lay out your plan or map. You also need to be flexible in case you encounter a roadblock. There are roadblocks everywhere and usually they are not where you expect them. Like most roadblocks there is a solution and alternative route.

Keep your distance and keep moving forward.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


While at an I Take the Lead leads group meeting the other day our speaker, Abilgail Dougherty, mentioned "see you, sell you". So I shortened it to CUSELLU.

When it comes to networking you don't want to be labeled this way. Similar to a "netsucker". We need to take the time to get to know someone, make personal relationships.

I go to many networking events and talk to newbies and the one complaint is they attend a meeting or two and haven't reaped anything yet. It is because it doesn't happen overnight. Take your time...LISTEN to others then get to know them. If you make connections and immediately go for the sale you may be at the losing end.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Summer is just around the corner

Right now you're saying you aren't even sure if Spring is here. He's talking about summer already. Summer will be here before you know it. What does that have to do with you finding your next opportunity? Time waits for no one.

Don't slow down. Breaks are fine but keep your momentum going. Be busy, listen well, read and have fun. When you feel the search is over think again. Keep the search and prep work going until you are punching the time clock. Restarting this process is not very rewarding and can be depressing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Continue to learn

Something that keeps rearing it's head while talking with folks, that have lost their jobs, is "change". People go to work and forget about changing themselves. Many times we get caught up in the daily routine and fail to continue learning.

When the company looks at their current model and makes a few changes all of a sudden we don't fit in.The fault is ours for not looking ahead. Part of our requirements are to not just do a good job but we should be looking ahead and get a feel for where the company is going. Ask questions, be part of the team and help make those changes. That in turn will force you to continue learning.Most people seem to be blind sided after many loyal years.

Unfortunately companies now have to make fast, quick decisions and that can and will affect you.Don't be caught unaware. Listen, learn and live. Join Toastmasters as an added learning vehicle to your tool box.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Netsucking-Karen Kaye

It's Networking - Not Netsucking!

I was just about to write a handy little post on networking when I "accidentally" wrote "Netsucking" instead. I'm sure this has already been coined, but if it hasn't... I'm going to make this my claim to fame. First step: a definition.

Netsucker: People who network with the sole goal to suck as much information from you on how you can help them.

This has become the culture of most networking meetings today. We don't network. We netsuck.

The classic netsucker wants access to all your connections. They want your opinion on their resume and their portfolio of work. They may chatter away in non stop run-on sentences for the duration of the networking event; thus preventing you from meeting anyone else who might actually interest you. Sometimes they turn you into their therapist while they regress mournfully down Unhappy Lane where they once had a wonderful little job and a perky little dog they took to work every day. Neither of which they have anymore. If you listen kindly enough, they may call you a week later to ask you to be their mentor.

This person has no interest in you. They came to the event with the sole goal to GET.

There is a lot to be said for giving. Whenever possible, seek to give first.

Contribute to the other person BEFORE asking them to turn the next 20 minutes of their life over to you.

When you meet people, ask them what they are working on, what their interests are, or perhaps uncover the magical dream they have always wanted to explore. Most importantly, let conversation unfold naturally. You can start with, "What brought you to this event?" or "Did you try these pot stickers?". You never know. Their magical dream could be owning a Pot sticker restaurant.

The art in networking is in knowing how to segue conversations to get to what you want to talk about. You want to segue FIRST into talking about areas where you can help them (i.e., if you like Pinot Noirs, you must try..." or "I have a friend who specializes in doing corporate Tai Chi classes - would you like her contact information?". Once you've contributed meaningfully to the other person, then you can begin to segue to things that YOU are interested in, i.e., "So tell me what you do?" or "How is your industry holding up these days?".

If you are forcing conversation, or when it starts unfolding like bad origami, you are likely giving off the Netsucker Vibe. While it may get you some good information the first time, it likely won't result in long term relationships with those you meet. Not only do people feel they are being used, but it can be exhausting having all your expertise, knowledge, resources and connections sucked right out of you in a timeframe existing only in speed dating.

Most people LOVE to help others. Just don't take advantage of it the very first time you meet them.

If you are at a networking event, one of your goals is to meet people. They probably have the same goal in mind. So help them meet one of their goals by setting them free to go meet other people.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Five Tips for Job Finders

1. Get out of the house & see people- network
Sitting at home can be very depressing and uninspiring. By getting out and seeing other people you will learn more, get ideas and even be able to help others in their endeavors.

2. Have contact cards
It is far easier for others to keep your contact card (business card) than a resume. They are easy to carry and hand out with basic info: name, phone number and e-mail. Don't worry about a title. Be sure others can write on one side of the card.

3. Join Toastmasters
Your ability to listen, communicate effectively and sound confident is paramount to landing that next opportunity. To articulate what you want them to hear is most important in a succinct manner.

4. Learn to listen better & think outside the box.
Listening is what sales people must do in order to land the sale. When you are looking for your next opportunity you are all sales people, no matter your education. The ability to listen to the other person totally can be the difference between success and no success. Thinking outside your norm is required in order to uncover that next opportunity and find where you can fit and help them out.

5. Have fun, Meet people, Learn something
My personal mantra. If you aren't having fun then you may not seem happy, or confident so when you encounter that chore you don't like make it fun to do.(Think outside the box) By meeting people you will expose yourself to more people to hear your story. You will learn from them and make more connections. You are playing a numbers game, the more people you meet the closer you are to success. We must always be extending and enhancing our education. School, reading, seminars and Toastmasters are a few great ways to do this. Staying current is extremely important to your next opportunity.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Day

Did you dance around a pole this year? May Day used to celebrate with a pole dance and not what we now see on TV and/or movies. Some of you will remember the tall poles with streamers hanging from the top. Children each taking one and dancing around the pole.

Now that we are definitely in Spring and it is a bit warmer out you should be jubilant. When not searching for that next opportunity get out and enjoy the weather. You could wind up inside again and won't see the flowers, blossom and sun.

A positive attitude is as important to your interview as are all the right answers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pack your pipeline

Many times people ask me how I bring in so many new members to my Toastmasters club. One way is I am always packing my pipeline. Like any salesperson I recognize that everyone isn't interested right now. So I work more on building personal relationships. Sometime they will actually come back and ask about Toastmasters. Sometimes when we meet again the topic may come up.

After attending a chartering party for a new club we started it was apparent to me that several of the folks in that club have know me for 5-10 years. When the time was right they happened to join a club.

As you continue your pursuit of your next opportunity work first to build a relationship. As you progress through life you may cross paths again. You may even become a resource for others. You all just may have another chance in life to be out there pursuing a new position again and you can stay in touch with these folks in your pipeline.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mother's Day (5/10/09)

In about a week and a half is Mother's Day. Your mother brought you into this world and probably never thought of you working at that moment. You were her baby. Through her tutelage you grew, learned and matured, some may question the last.
Now you are on your own, probably through school and have worked. Your cash flow has been cut off and you now need to replace it. Now comes that nasty task of hunting for your next opportunity.
You have the ability to make it a nasty task or a fun filled event. Which would you rather do? Here is where talking with others, attending events and networking can assist you in making it fun.
As your Mom may have said, you can do anything you put your mind to, now get out there and just do it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Have you ever?

Have you ever seen so many opportunities? Everywhere you look a new opportunity that never existed before. Surely you are scratching your head wondering what I am babbling about? Oh! You were looking for a big sign that maybe said "HERE" or something. In the world of the "hidden job market" there are no signs posted. Not even hints. That is what can make it so fun. For you to get out there and ferret them out. By meeting people and learning about what they do you in turn will learn more. Once you understand more of what others do you are free to contemplate a better way to do it or a more efficient way. That is how new businesses are started everyday.

While talking with a friend the other day they are and have been looking for another job. In the meantime they connected with another then another and before they knew it they had a small consortium of like minded folks. As this group has grown there are now rumblings about forming their own company to fill in the gaps for other companies needing their services but not on a full time basis. A small example of how this new evolutionary process can take place.

Remember that in a Wall Street article a few years back it stated "...80% of the people over 40 and out of work wound up in their own business." All I say is don't overlook your own business.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Whew!!! Now that's over

Another dreaded tax day here and past. Another year of surprises under the belt. How did your year go. I'll bet for most of you if you look back one year you never thought you'd be where you are today. Where might that be? In a state of turmoil, discomfort, anxiety?
The real question now is, what are you doing about it? Are you finding events to attend? I don't think I saw many of you at the last YPOP event on 3/31. Are you looking to go to Schmooze, OEN or a raft of other networking events. Remember the Portland Business Journals annual "Women in Business" Expo will be Thu. 4/23. If you are not in the Portland area just check your local papers for events. Your Chamber is always a good venue for events and happenings. Be sure and keep your ears open from people you are meeting and/or networking with.

Remember that networking is something you've actually done all your life, just never called it that. It is quite harmless and can actually add a lot of satisfaction to your life. You'll be able assist others at the same time. Networking is all about giving.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


You certainly haven't forgotten to do and pay your taxes have you? If so you do have a little time yet. Yes, they always hurt especially if we have to pay. But you have those friends tell you that the more taxes you pay the more money you made.....right?

Looking for opportunities is a little like taxes. You need to keep good records to pay only what you should and to be able to prove the facts are correct. As you are out there searching it is good to keep records of where you've been and what you learned. Journaling can be useful. Never under estimate your ability to learn from past knowledge.

From all your note taking and contacts the taxes you are paying were in your time and effort. The more time and effort you put in the more successful you will be. Don't expect any refunds though.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Spring has sprung now. Easter is tomorrow. The eggs should be boiled soon. Is your basket full? Have you filled another's basket?
Be sure and check your in baskets for outstanding mail you've lost. Respond to everyone and get a move on in your search. Get out of the house and see people. Whether it be friends or new friends. Be sure and share some candy with others and smile as you share.
Remember that just as Spring comes around every year people are finding new opportunities all the time. You job is to be aware and grasp your opportunity when it appears.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ebb and Flow of the tides

While watching the ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean I found how it reminded me of the job search. It goes back and forth on the sand. As the tides rise and come in further and later recede and go farther out where we can see the treasures that were covered by water. We scramble to find those new treasures only to have the tides return and cover them.
It may feel some articles were lost yet on the next ebb there will be even newer prizes to check out.
So goes your search for your next opportunity. First you see them and before you know it they are gone or so seem. Don't give up hope, for on the next cycle we never know what will appear. Your job is to keep your eyes and ears pealed for a hint. Then upon discovery do something with it. Find new places to hang out and new people to talk with. Also never forget your friends as they always appreciate your consul.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Put on your boots and spurs!

Time to put on your boots, spurs and hat for the ride. Times, they are a changin'. If you haven't noticed there are more changes taking place, more opportunities available for you. They don't look like what you are used to.
A fact you should know from the Wall Street Journal a few years back. 80% of people, over the age of 40, who are unemployed wind up in their own business. So my caution is don't over look your own business, especially if it keeps rearing it's head.
Your best bet is to learn to listen even better than you have, ask questions and be helpful.

Look into Toastmasters !

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Riding the train

Have you ridden the train lately? Looking for you next opportunity can be likened to riding the train. If you don't look up once in a while you may miss the sights or "opportunities" . Although it is a nice ride, comfy and quiet I see nothing as I write on here.
You need to look around all the time while you ride your train to your next big opportunity. Then again don't be overwhelmed by all the sights you may see.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's raining-but not cats and JOBS!

While watching the rain in Oregon I was thinking of the phrase "It is raining cats and dogs". Remembering how that phrase came to being (cats and dogs used to bed down in the old thatched roofs and when it rained hard they would fall through) it reminded me that it rarely rains "jobs" when we want them.

Sometimes we wish too hard or even look to hard only to find out later on that we opportunities right beside us. Or we couldn't see the "jobs" for the "opportunities. The game is to be out and about, seeing people, making personal relationships, helping others. In doing so we tend to be more inclined to look around and see more than when we stare directly.

Ever notice that when you stare directly at a star sometimes you can't see it yet when you look to the side in comes into your peripheral vision. The same phenomenon can happen when looking for those hidden opportunities,

Friday, March 27, 2009

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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Lately some folks have been returning to the Support Group. Their story is they had recently obtained an opportunity then the economy has continued to sink. Thereby requiring the new company to make layoffs. Those folks have seen first hand the reason why we must continue to network albeit not as much as when not working.

We need to make the most of all our events, travel and gatherings. It isn't always about looking for the opportunities but once again making those personal relationships.

Once again:
Have fun
Meet people
Learn something

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time change

By now you have reset your clock for daylight savings time (DLT). you have been readjusting to the new found light in the evening.
Have you thought about readjusting your approach to your search? You may want to give it some thought. Others have returned to the group and shared that "things" changed when they changed.

Just a thought!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hitting the Wall

Have you ever hit the "Wall". It seems all your work, searching, return calls aren't going anywhere. You work hard to develop your next opportunity and you feel you aren't going anywhere?

Welcome to the reality of life. While talking with a friend of mine, that indulges in Psychology, it seems that many times we need to hit the wall. Maybe even fall down and feel bad or hurt. It seems to jolt our brains and when we get back up we can see a different side to the situation. Once that happens we can move forward.

You've heard the adage that when you can't solve the problem to go to bed and sleep on it. I can remember in my youth when I was learning to tie down loads on trucks. My mentor was showing and teaching me how to do the tie down knot. I just couldn't quite get it. The day was over and home I went. Went to bed and slept. Upon returning the following morning I walked up and immediately tied the load down. As though I had been doing it for years.

When you find yourself in that dilemma and can't seem to move forward that may be your signal to take a break, a total break and stop thinking and worrying about it.

If that doesn't work seek out a friend and talk with them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Current Fiasco

Is it looking bad to you? Are the papers and news media telling you how bad it is? Do you believe them?
You should, it is an ugly picture. Yet we have been through rough times before. They are never exact duplicates but they cause havoc. As a nation we always get through with lots of hard work and perseverance.

A big change over the "better" times is you need to be more focused, work a little harder and look for more rocks that need to be turned over. Think outside the box. Each week I hear interesting and new and innovative ways to look for contacts or opportunities.

Don't forget all your friends and those like you that are also unemployed, get together with them and have coffee and talk.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mindfulness - Connecting to Excellence in the Moment

No generation of people has had more things available to get in the way of finding excellence in the moment.
We are so busy and distracted by our lifestyle that we are never in the moment. We are always somewhere else.
When we are at work, we are thinking about dinner. At dinner we are thinking about the game tomorrow.
On vacation, we are thinking about work. Watching TV we are thinking about vacation.
Our cell phones and iPods and game stations all create a pseudo-reality around us and take our attention away from where we are and what we are doing. we don't attend to the food we are eating, and jam calories down our throat. On the exercise bicycle we are distracted by earphones and TV screens so that our heads are effectively disconnected from our bodies.
We talk AT our children like objects at a distance, and are advised by experts to schedule time for family meetings and get together's.
Should I need an agenda to talk to my kids about anything?
I was in line to get a sandwich when I experienced excellence in person in a very visceral way today. It reminded me to seek connection in each and every moment to what is going on, to turn off the chatter and the attention traps that divert the senses.
The nice lady at the counter in our college cafeteria was not very well educated, nor very polished in appearance. She was surrounded by movers and shakers of higher education studying deep, profound theory. They were so caught up in thinking elsewhere they had no time to see her and the quality of her work. She was eager to please and was committed to providing the best customer service she could possibly provide. She was fully engaged and committed to her task. She knew what questions to ask and wasted neither words or motion in preparing sandwiches. Her skill and economy of motion were art in motion.
Not wanting to engage with a member of the great unwashed, the ladies in line in front of me made it a point to blurt out their order in a single complex thought-paragraph, fighting to get their words in edgewise so that the lady would not have an opportunity to intrude into their head space. They couldn't wait to get back to their own conversation. The sandwich maker was un-fazed and was perfect in creating their sandwiches which they took without a hint of acknowledging they just shared time and space with another human being. They never saw her.
When it was my turn, she had the opportunity to ask me every questions she want ed to ask. I let her guide me through our process of building a sandwich together. When it was done I thanked her and remarked that she'd done one heck of a job during this lunch hour madness and that I appreciated her service. We shared a smile.
I never enjoyed a sandwich as much as I did this afternoon. I turned off the monitor, unhooked the phone, and just ate the sandwich and attended to every bite and taste. It was perfect.
The nice lady in the sandwich shop reminded me today about where to find excellence in the world. It's all around you, if you will look. Where is your excellence? How do you express it everyday and in every way? Are you open to it in the here and now or are you planning to get it tomorrow or wherever else your attention has wandered?
Ken Long, Chief of Research, Tortoise Capital Management, finance:, essays:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Grieving-suggested movie

From time to time I talk about grieving. The need to grieve and the act of it. We all grieve in different ways and it seems two common ways are to cry and talk.
Having learned that we all need to grieve when we enter a traumatic circumstance from my mother. The circumstance can be either positive or negative. The negative could be job loss, a death in the family or losing some monetary item.
The positive would be a birth, wedding or college graduation. Have you ever seen someone cry at either of these.

If you are not sure how to grieve, feel you are worn out or depressed, I have a suggested movie for you to watch:

For an inspirational movie about grieving see "Closing the Ring" Be sure and bring Kleenex for the final scene.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The ability to interview

Is this an area you excel in? Why not? You have the past experience, the education and the desire to become re-employed. So why not improve your ability to interview even better?

Since we never plan on interviewing then we don't study or really practice. Sometimes we feel our degrees will suffice. NOT! You need to be able to convince the interviewer that you can do the job and why they need you over the competition. Hopefully the position you really want and are competent for is your passion. If not you may not come across as the best candidate.

Check out your local Toastmasters club and make a visit. Listen well and if the group doesn't fit your cup of tea then find another or you could even start one. You may always contact me on how to do this.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thinking out of the box

Below is a recent note I received from an opportunity finder. The names have been changed for obvious reasons. It shows how we can think outside the box.


I took your feedback from Friday to visit WebTown and see where people hang out. I went to the cafeteria in the WebTown building and then I just peeked in the lobby of the WebTown office. What a stuffy place! Apparently the WebTown employees run around with white coats and can sometimes be found in the cafeteria (I bet they are eating at their desks because I did not see them in the cafeteria). I ended up eating lunch with some folks from Twochuck and then stopped by at the Valunine table (There are many companies in that same building). The Twochuck people were pleasant. We had a nice discussion about food and the Oscars. I passed along my business card(they did not have cards). Then I introduced myself to some Valunine folks and passed along my card.I went to peek in the lobby of WebTown (7th floor). It struck me as very sterile and decorated in a New York wanna be fashion. There was a white,Anglo-Saxon woman, of course young and pretty, behind a granite desk.The reception area was surrounded by orange chairs and magazine racks.No one was in the entry way. After 5 seconds I went down the elevator. To me, WebTown screams pretentiousness, almost like Harvard.I called the HR person, Jennifer. There may be an opportunity to look at the QA operations. She will call back if there is someone interested. I doubt it though.So, WebTown is of low interest to me.

However, I like going out for lunch to various work place cafeterias or lunch spots. It makes the day pleasant. I prefer to do that over going to coffee spots in the afternoon. Since I get shy, it would be helpful to me to be asked at Job Finder's what companies I have been visiting for lunch. That way I can relay some of my impressions and lunch ideas to other job seekers. But, also it will keep me on track.I have compiled a list of companies and I am planning to go to one each week for lunch . Are there others I should be considering? What do you think? Would you glance over the spreadsheet?


Saturday, February 21, 2009

What next? You've lost that job.

In today's world this could/can happen at anytime. There are numerous articles and books on this topic. Take your pick.

My quick prescription would be:

-Take a break and preferably go away for a week.
-Take care of any outstanding chores or time related deadlines.
-Find groups to attend and network. These can be Job finding groups, networking events, trade shows, business events, awards functions, church events. Anywhere there are people.
-Remember that networking is giving to others first, be concerned or interested in others.
-Get into social networks if not already in them, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo and so many more.
-Have fun, Meet people, Learn something
-Join Toastmasters

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


On Sat. Feb. 7, 2009 Marv Serhan spoke with the Leadership Forum. The title of his talk was “A view from the trenches; why we follow.” He spoke of "Arete" which actually has some marks over letters. It;s basic meaning is "goodness", "excellence" or "virtue" of any kind. and it is pronounced "air-a-tay". It derives from the Greek and basically was spoken about to mean "Always do your best".

When we go out there in search of that next opportunity we need to do our very best at searching, qualifying, preparing and interviewing. Even if you later decide it may not be the spot for you do your very best in the interview.

We want to always do our very best at all the positions we work in, for ourselves. We need to know we did our very best no matter the company.

Let you live with Arete.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Late appointments

Have you ever gone for an appointment and either been stood up or the other party is late?

Hopefully you have brought a magazine, book or paper to read. You can even have your laptop of communicator phone and work. One must always be prepared so we can make the best of out time.

When someone gives you an opportunity for free time might as well take advantage of it.

In my case I wrote this as my appointment didn't get my e-mail about when and where to meet.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Available events to attend

Now is a great time to attend local events. Check your papers, bulletin boards, schools, friends, business associates for meeting and networking events taking place. People always enjoy meeting other people.

Remember it is better to leave a people trail rather than a paper trail. Now is also a great time to volunteer. Although anytime is a good time now is a definite time. Find something you can have a passion about and become involved. You can even assist other folks that are in the hunt. Just because you may not be working doesn't mean you can't help fellow searchers.

Don't forget to be sure and check out your local Chamber of Commerces and leads groups.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being seen

While you are in transition and searching for your next opportunity you need to get out of the house every day and see and be seen. That will also entail evening functions also. Besides being seen by others it is also therapeutic for you to get out.

Talking to others about anything adds to your education, social skills and sanity. You'll even cross paths with others in your situation and you'll be able to share with them and even assist them. That in turn gives you a great feeling of giving.

Go out there and Have fun, Meet people and Learn something.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Your attitude is King or Queen. How you view your situation is paramount on how others view you. As hard as it may seem, your positive attitude will do far more for you than sadness. Your ability to look for the positive will actually take you farther in your quest.

While reading an article in an issue of Bottom Line magazines there was discussion about staying low key in ones personal job. Not to be a whiner or complainer as those will be the first to be let go when cutbacks take place. As I thought about that I find it chimes right in with having a positive attitude. When we are out there applying for opportunities or just doing informational interviews we need to be looking at how to make it better. Not what is wrong.

When potential employers hear you talk about positive ways to make it happen they are far more inclined to listen to you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Have you read the paper lately?

If you've read the paper lately it can scare you to death. One answer is to not read the paper. Along with printing the news sometimes they have been know to sensationalize things.

Are we in a down market? You bet we are. Have we been here before, yes we have. Did we come out of it? Of course we did. You just may have to be a little more creative and persistent to get through this one.

I'm still talking to folks that are getting employment opportunities and going to work. They have been looking, building personal relationships and staying persistent. There are always opportunities for our own businesses.

Just be careful about allowing the news media to influence your energy, positive attitude and perception. Be aware of what they say yet always be looking for alternative opportunities in such times.