Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hidden jobs

Several people have commented that they went in for an interview for a specific position only to find it was filled or the company didn't think they were the one for the spot.
Upon further discussion they are pleased that the interviewer mentions a more appropriate position. Through good listening skills and sometimes good timing such occasions are out there.

This is also known as the "hidden job market".

Don't go looking for them but do be sure and listen just in case you run up on one.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Is that all there is"

An old song title that a few may remember. Peggy Lee used to perform it a few years back.

We work hard to scour for interviews, companies that can use our talents, and a way to replace that "cash flow". You make resumes, search, network and at the end of the week you find yourself still unemployed. Is that all there is, you ask yourself. It almost seems fruitless.

Yet by not doing all this you miss out on more connections, learning new pieces of information, and best of all having fun. Even if it feels it is for naught you are making progress. Think of a Boeing 747 salesperson. They prospect all the time, in a limited pool of buyers and have few takers yet when one signs on the dotted line it is time for joy.

Your hard work will pay off for you and you'll know that there is more.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Do you have your calendar filled yet?

By now you should have your calendar filled with networking events. You'll still have some room for a few last minute ones too. You have the time so fill the slots, get out there and meet some new folks.

It doesn't hurt to pick out a pay for meeting, at least one or two. Once you make the commitment and pay the money you are far more inclined to attend.

Check your local papers calendar or a local Business Journal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Have you ever watched a squirrel ferret out food and eat it? When I sit at The Beveland, in Tigard OR., and watch them it is interesting how it is similar to looking for our next opportunity.

As the squirrel searches and looks for the seeds they poke around everywhere. They know the general vicinity where the food is but it isn't always in a plate or dish for them. Then they pick it up and eat it. Sometimes they find they have a piece of bark dust and once they realize this they spit it out.

You do the same thing as your search and hopefully when you find a piece of bark dust you spit it out and move on. If you don't you could wind up with splinters where you don't want them.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Have fun, Meet people, Learn something

Some of you know the above as my personal mantra. Like any mantra, the more we use it the more effect it has. Whether you utilize mine or another be sure it fits for you.

When we are in the "hunt" for that next opportunity it is imperative we have a positive outlook. It can't be a make believe one or a fake one. Your job is to make it fun. People are and can be fun. When we learn more about others and become interested in them we wind up having fun and start building relationships. It is the relationships that are the essence of this journey.

In order to build relationships we must listen intently and pay attention to what they are telling us. From the listening we are able to articulate good questions which in turn lead us to learning and formulating solutions for them that may or may not require your skills.

Just think about it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interesting questions

While perusing LinkedIn the other day I came across a profile. At the end they had a few questions for one to articulate on before requesting a connection. They are not totally in alignment with opportunity searching yet I found them quizzically interesting to pass along to you.

Contact Settings
Unfortunately, I'm extremely busy, so articulate (as they apply):
(1) why this request will improve the world in some way (as i have a strong interest in these projects)
(2) why my expertise is particularly needed for this (not just that I happen to be around)
(3) what my interest might be in the particular project
(4) what makes this connection useful or important to you.

Thx - hope that's helpful. Good luck!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Would you rather get a job or find an opportunity?

Jobs are actually harder to find than opportunities. On your journey to find a job people are more likely to tell you NO they have none. Opportunities are everywhere. You've heard of the hidden job market. Those are the opportunities hiding in the bushes.

You task is to listen, listen and listen more then pursue the opportunities once you have uncovered them. Remember that many employers don't really know what they need. Your job is to help them decipher what they are doing and how you may be able to assist, even if that means referring a friend rather than you.

Finding opportunities is far more fun and easy to do. You also get to meet more people along the way and in the end learn something.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Catastrophe or Opportunity?

What an inspirational year 2008 was. Some of you are wondering if I am still hung over from New Years. Not the case, only had one (small) glass of champagne.

You can dwell on all the debacles, money bailouts, and maybe you also lost your last employer. When we look back in history we find we have been here before. Some worse and some not as bad. It really has meaning though when you are in the middle of it.

Remember a definition for recession and depression: When your neighbor is laid off then we are in a recession but when you are laid off then we are in a depression.

As you begin this new year be sure and remember, as you go out there, to Have fun, Meet people and Learn something.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Who's life is this, anyway?

Be sure that you are in control of your destiny and not let others control it for you. That is one reason we talk about looking for opportunities instead of looking for jobs.

When we ask for a job we open ourselves up for failure, that of having the other person tell us no. That is a negative, not what you wanted to hear and you haven't accomplished your original goal of becoming re-employed.

We need to cultivate personal relationships and meet people. From there opportunities can be explored. When we listen we will hear of opportunities that are hidden. Remember that it is better to leave a people trail rather than a paper trail.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What's in your toolbox?

Are you sharpening your tools? Looking for any new tools you can use? It's a new year so why not take this moment to check your toolbox.

You probably have a resume, so why not check it for accuracy and possible updates. There is always lots of debate whether to use a cronological or functional resume. Why not have both and check with friends for input on them.

Do you have your contact cards, calling cards or business cards. These are a small cost item that go a long way. The basics are to have your name, e-mail and phone number on them. It is so much easier to hand out cards than resumes.

Do you carry a pen or two with you along with a tablet or note pad. Do you keep reading material with you for those times you are early and have time to wait and read. If you are visiting someone that has authored a book it wouldn't hurt to have that with you.

Are your shoes in good looking shape. Whether or not if they are leather polished shoes and any of the new brands of more comfy shoes. Remember your dress should be appropriate for the company and you.

Do you have your calendar or daytimer? Whether it be paper or electronic.

Your job is to be prepared, listen well and ask useful questions for you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Here it is, can you believe it is 2009? Some of you can remember the big deal about 2000, a whole new millennium. Now we are nine years into that new millennium. For me it recognizes that it was nines years to the day than Mom passed away. She held out for the new millennium even though she appeared comatose. A most memorable occassion for me.

Mom's love of English and proper use of it is what I took from that day. It was hard for me to see her passing as an opportunity or any joy for sure. As the years have moved along though I have come to understand that her passing is just another part of our lives and for me it was to take something from it. Manners and better use of our language is what I TOOK AWAY.

Today you get to think ahead and think about what's next. Start a blog, set up your own website, join other social networking groups ie: LinkedIn, maybe begin to Tweet. You say what is the value in wasting my time doing such non-productive chores. You may be surprised. You will find your networking will expand, you will learn new information and you just might be able to have a little fun.

Remember we are doing a lot in many different ways than we did 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Don't be affraid to explore and find new ways.