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.