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.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Elevator Speech- 30 second infomercial

What do YOU do that can help ME? (The elevator speech)

A short, snappy answer to the question, “What do you do (that can help me)?” is the universal icebreaker for networking. It’s your most important brief business speech whether you are looking for a job or looking for business.

Common business jargon for this is the “elevator speech” or “elevator pitch” – something short enough to introduce you or your business during a ride on an elevator. A brief version might take only 15 to 30 seconds. A more detailed one might take a minute (or even two) and it might instead better be described as an escalator speech. Your elevator speech should discuss the benefits that you or your product can provide, not just features.
The speech should be free of jargon, so lose those TLAs (three letter acronyms).

Where can you find examples of elevator speeches? Craig Harrison presents six brief examples in an article on Elevating Your Consulting Practice with Your Elevator Speech.
Jay Roy displays an excellent longer job search speech in his article on The gift of the Gab: Becoming a Better Networker. Katharine Hansen shows five examples in her article on how The Elevator Speech is the Swiss Army Knife of Job-Search Tools.

Is it easy to write an elevator speech? No, it is both hard and time consuming. After all, it’s almost like writing a radio commercial about yourself or your business. Chris King ends his article on How to Craft an Effective Elevator Speech by giving his own speech as an example.

Terry Dean’s article on how to Create Your Elevator Speech also includes his own speech as an example.

Originally posted on the Joyful Public Speaking blog by Richard Garber, January 27, 2009