Monday, December 27, 2010

Another one down and done!

Not really, but it is time to get ready for the new year. Generally many people you want to meet with aren't around now yet there are still some. Even if you don't meet with them you can begin lining up next year. You may even be able to help others out that are in the same boat as you. Remember that this networking "thing" isn't all about you but connecting with others and seeing how you may help or assist them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Go ahead and relax a little more and take in the atmosphere and conviviality of everyone. Don't forget your neck scarf when you do go out. Have you seen any of the "white" stuff? Are you approaching the world with a positive attitude? As hard as it may seem be sure and count your blessings and remember how good you actually have it as compared to many others.
There won't even be a new post until after Christmas.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


It is almost that time already. The Jolly man in the red suit just may be heading to your house. Some have a lot of excitement abounding and others await the New Year.
NO matter your mood it is advisable to continue connecting, lining up next year's schedule and getting out of the house.
Remember that every contact you make is just that much closer to your success.It is a great time to keep a few candy canes in your pocket to give out. It is the spirit folks.
It's not too early to think about what you'll be doing next year. At the same time enjoy your time with your family and/or friends. Christmas Holiday season only comes around once a year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ice and Snow

Some of us in the Pacific Northwest can remember back to 2009 at this time of year. We had more ice and snow than most of us had ever experienced in this area. We became home bound.It went on for two weeks. What a perfect time to sit at home and do research on the Internet. Write letters and gain new friends on LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter.

Resourcefulness is a splendid avocation for us to have. Talk about thinking outside the box. Get together with your fellow associates and share what you have learned and how you are successful. These changes and transitional transformations will get you to your next opportunity.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Have you been shopping yet? You realize Christmas is just around the corner? How could you forget. Remember that it is the thought that counts.

As you ponder over the thought of presents and no money. How depressing it can be to be without full time employment at this time of year. There are many far worse off than you. Now is the time to put on that other face and see how many folks you can meet in the mall. Both the retail clerks and fellow shoppers. There are always opportunities that are just awaiting your keen eye and ears.

As my mantra goes, "Have fun, Meet people, Learn something" you can make it work for you. Keep that positive attitude and you'll be surprised how many folks you'll meet.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Preparation 2010

Thanks Giving has passed, winter is upon us and the Christmas holidays are soon to be here. Both a time for rejoice, happiness and concern. The concern because it is harder to gain interviews, of any kind, and for us to get motivated to ask.
This is a good time to also be laying out your plans for next year. It will be here before you know it. Always be working to the future along with living for the day, Carpe Diem.
As you make your visits and calls include the season where appropriate and be joyful for what you have and not always about what you don't have.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Finding your voice

What is finding your voice? It isn't taking a lozenge to soothe a sore throat. It is more in finding out what you stand for then voicing it in a manner that others will understand. Ergo the value in interviewing so others get to know you and your value to them.

Your knowledge and work ethics are wonderful assets. Yet if you are unable to sound confident in your delivery of these they may go unnoticed. Finding ones voice can take time to develop so it is a smart idea to work on that skill. Yes, Toastmasters will assist you most in this endeavor.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanks Giving

Today is a day of rest and refill. Be with family and/or friends. It is more than food as food is merely the conduit. It is of enjoying those close to us or those that cherish friendship.
Happy Thanks Giving to all.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Second opinion

Have you ever gotten a second opinion? From your doctor or dentist? What about an interest rate or auto insurance? Normally it is smart to get three bids for contractual work before you buy.

Why would you not get opinions from others about companies you have in mind. You are ultimately responsible for the final decision but why not ask others. Besides, you may have some tidbit for them too. You won't know until you meet.

Second opinions are not required but if available why wouldn't you utilize it?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Contact cards

Do you have contact cards, business cards or calling cards? If you don't it is highly recommended that you get some. Your first batch should be a minimum of 500 as the first 250 go very fast. You have many uses for them: Fish bowls at restaurants, business shows, job fairs and even people in line at the grocery store.

You need your name, E-mail and phone number. Talk with your friends about titles but usually my recommendation is to leave them generic, no title. Let the other person write what caught their attention.

It is far easier for people to retain a business card than a resume. They are much simpler for you to carry around. Most of all never leave home without them.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is this what I went to school for?

After the frustrations of being unemployed have settled in many folks have asked the question "Is this what I went to school for?" A legitimate question for sure. Then of course there is always the ability to go on for another degree. In addition to all the social reasons to go to college one must also remember that like a carpenters tool box we need to sharpen and clean our tools. Having been a mechanic/welder once I found some tools needed to be sharpened or even replaced. When new and better tools come out they may be more useful.

Your education can be like that. It is a fantastic tool to have in your toolbox and you have to keep adding newer tools or sharpening old ones. There are many ways to learn and a college setting isn't always the only one.

Reading is great along with seminars, associations, networking etc.

Never question the value of your education, just keep adding to it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Where are those opportunities ?

A very common question for so many folks. The common place to look are the newspapers, state employment department and friends. Yet so many times these lead to a dead end. So the question once again is where are the opportunities.

They are right under your nose, but many times not in the format you are looking for. Not in the color you thought they would be or at the locations you thought of. Being creative can be most helpful to you in your quest. You do need to search and research and find out what people need. Then see where you would fit in. Next you need to sell that point to them.

It isn't an easy task to learn new ideas, yet if take the time to make changes in yourself, then transition and on to a transformation of yourself you will a new beginning for you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

"To Do" list

Do you have one? A to do list. If not why not? Your brain can handle it but why clog your mind with items that can be delegated to a piece of paper or on your smart phone? You'll find you have more items to do than you can keep track of.

Besides, the holidays are fastly approaching and there will be even more to do. It was once said that a high level executive paid a consultant $10,000 to tell him that if he made a to do list everyday he'd accomplish more every day. It worked.

Your list should include those small incidentals such as haircuts/hairdo's, present buying, important phone calls etc. Seven has been considered a fair number and they normally shouldn't be carried forward.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"I never promised you a rose garden"

That was an awful book in my opinion. A very good friend and work associate suggested I read it since she had just finished it. I began reading the book and would have put it away as I found it most depressing and not very good. But, since my friend suggested it I presumed that it would get better. It didn't and once done I asked my friend what she liked about the book. She then revealed that she didn't like it at all. We both had a great laugh and went on with life.

The upshot of this lessen is sometimes even friends may give you some advice that isn't always the best. They had the best of intentions and sometimes it doesn't pan out. You will find you did learn something new and you'll be more careful next time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Is that all there is?"

That was a hit song by Peggy Lee back in the '50's. Sometimes it seems that with all our research, networking and soul searching that it was for nowt. We've used the skills we have acquired through school, life and associates. Yet no matter how hard we try it feels like we are moving back down the hill.

I've often wondered if this was all a big test in life for us. If we can survive this we can do anything. Some people don't do very well and wind up taking some menial position then they just stay there. One very large point to remember is never lose sight of your ultimate goal. Continue to strive to attain it. You can actually do it if you are persistent.

"Is that all there is?"---only if you let it be.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Who needs me, anyway?

Sometimes in our frustration of searching for that next opportunity we begin to feel no one wants us. We may feel we are outdated and not as valuable. This can happen for sure. That is why we need to continue our education. Read, talk to others, take a class and stay up to date. You don't have to be an expert yet you need some familiarity with new technology.

You are capable to learn and put to use your background and knowledge. You have more to offer than you know. That is one big reason to communicate and get together with others while you are in between. In ten years more than 50% of what folks will be doing is not known to us now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More to come

It ain't over yet folks. There have always been and will continue to be layoffs. A lot needs to happen before a continued growth. So what can you do?
Be innovative, talk to more people, find reasons to be positive. What? He said be positive? Yup, you have that control. Remember that a mere 50 years ago normally it was a one person working family so when one lost their job they had to find something immediately. We didn't save that much, had no such thing as a buy out package, not cobra, nor erisha.

Be on the outlook for your own gig. Project work is a great way to test a company out for viability and to see if you would fit in. Offer to help out and work on contract. Remember the only real security is YOU. You are your own security.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Ever been hit with that question that scared you? You know, " why did you leave your last employer?" Even if the reasons were definitely for the best of reasons we may hesitate for fear of being negative or wondering if this is a trick question.

This is a great reason to be an excellent "listener" then a question or two can help clarify the question. Remember that the interviewer is only trying to get to know you and recognize if you will fit with the group. All the perfect education and skills aren't the only prerequisite to getting the position. If we are a round peg trying to fit a square hole it just isn't going to fit.

How can we eliminate this fear and/or possible rejection. Not sure we can always get rid of the rejection part but we can do research on a company. Talk with others that are familiar with them and see what the news media has to say. Look for stats on the company if they are available. Unfortunately many times they are not , and that is where your interviewing skills will come into play.
You need to listen for clues, unanswered questions, darting eye movement. Remember this is always a two way interview.

Don't be afraid of the "Boo" factor, just be sure you listen, pay attention and good questions.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Listening versus hearing. All of us "hear" yet do we really "listen"? Where did you learn to listen? Did you take a class, or read a book, or go to a seminar. Maybe your parents told you to "listen" or else!!!!

Listening is an acquired skill, it can always be improved upon. Your ability to actively listen rather than just hearing is essential to your future accomplishments and personal growth. Listening is the act of listening and not preparing your next statement or question before the other person is done speaking. It does take practice to get good at it and the results are well worth the investment of your time. Listening will assist you in all aspects of your life.

When you are out connecting, interviewing and just plain communication pay attention and see if you are really listening.

If you want more help in building on your listening skill you may want to look into Toastmasters.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What am I worth?

Many times people are stumped at what they are worth or how much will they work for. There are many variables involved so let's talk about a few.
1. What does it take to pay your bills and survive, the bottom line number?
2. How much farther can you take that number if you were to give up a few perks?
3. What have I made before?
4. What are the long term opportunities at this new place?
5. Do I really like the atmosphere and people?
6. Would I be comfortable doing this new position?
7. Is the salary negotiable with other perks?
This is only a beginning and questions I have heard many times over.

A statement made by numerous folks after a long exhaustive search is "there is more to life than money".

Monday, October 4, 2010

Are you in the mood?

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you aren't in the mood to search or interview? Not uncommon for that to happen especially when we are depressed or getting a lot of No's.
The dangerous place is when we allow not being in the mood to overtake our task and do nothing. My mantra to "Have fun, Meet people, Learn something" can help with this phenomena. When you find you aren't in the mood then find a way to make it fun. There is no one way to accomplish this. Use that creative mind you have.
When I go to an event and find my shy side emerging I will engage others in conversation and see how long I can go before ever asking where they work or what they do. When I do this it is odd on how many times that questions gets answered without any prompting.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

As it Falls

As the season Falls upon us and we see colors changing, feel a briskness in the air and begin changing our clothing attire what are you doing to change with the times? Flexibility is a useful tool to have in your toolbox. Your ability change to the surroundings.

Maybe that means a new look at what you want to do or where you want to be doing it. Sometimes we need to change locations. Although I feel it can be dangerous to move in anticipation that the grass will be greener elsewhere we can't overlook the fact we may need to move. If we are not willing to move for a specific opportunity then sometimes we need to change our sights on what we will be doing next.

In either case our ability to change as the seasons do will help us to move forward.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why not check them out?

Have you been to a leads group, chamber of commerce group, business after hours, professionals meetings? Why not?

If you don't find any start one yourself. Why might you attend such a meeting of PEOPLE? There is the answer...people. Remember people know people. You also have the opportunity to help others. You'd be surprised of how much information and knowledge you have that can be shared.

You'll find most groups, not all now, are open to new visitors because they usually need new members from time to time. Even if it isn't a perfect match for you in time you may know of someone else that would be a good fit. It is such meetings and you sharing them that makes you valuable. You bring something to the table.

Why not try it soon?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Strive for excellence

Many times people relate that they have an interview with a company that actually doesn't fit their own criteria. That being the case they are not too worried about blowing the interview.

My suggestion is to strive to do your very best every time. Let your problem be that you are offered a position and you have to politely decline the spot. You could even be so good as to refer someone else you know for the spot.

Why do your best no matter what? It is great practice. You will learn something. You could be a valuable resource for them. You can be a valuable resource for those that you know and are looking too.

You never know who the interviewer might know and if you don't work out for them they may have another source for you when you do a great job.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


When you get to an interview do you brag about you and your talents? Some of us were told by parents that it wasn't nice to brag. While I preached that to my children also, I'd differ when it comes to an interview. Who else is there to extol the virtues you possess? When you have a passion and love doing it then you'll have to toot your own horn.

Think about it, how else would a prospective employer really know that you are passionate about what you do. It is one thing to know how to do a specific job/task vs. loving to do it and being passionate about doing better than anyone else.

Your ability to highlight your best virtues could be just the difference between success and not getting what you desire.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Schools back in session

Where did the summer go? Kids are back in school and here you are. Out searching for that next opportunity. Still some more hot weather around the corner and you need to get pumped. Pumped for what? More rejection, that awful word NO?

Attitude my friend, your attitude plays a magnanimous part of how good this journey can be for you. Of course it is not always easy but neither is life.
By following my mantra you can ease the load:
Have fun,
Meet people,
Learn something.

As you set up appointments, attend networking events, go to the store, library or anyplace keep in mind that you are going to have some fun. In the process as you meet people you will find that if you listen you'll also learn something.
Every no is one step closer to a YES.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Making time for what is important

Many times folks tell me they don't have time for social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the list goes on. A fact one needs to understand is it isn't going away. It is becoming a part of life and business. It will continue to grow and morph into more than we can imagine now.

Another fact is we make time for what is important. If you doubt this think about tasks and events you attended or did 20 years ago and tell me you still do each and everyone of them today. You will find some go away and new ones take their place. The same goes with social media. You will be involved sometime.

Your ability to make time for events is up to you. I have found in my own life I am slow to move or change sometimes and can see the results later. I'm still trying.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What is your USP?

Do you have a USP? Do you know what it is? Why do you need one?

USP= Unique Selling Proposition

We all have them and probably more than one. We need and use them in different situations. When in the hunt for that next opportunity we need to be aware of what makes us unique. Why someone might need us or better yet compelled to hire us for some uniqueness. We all have a lot to offer, the question is this the right company or venue for our talents to be utilized?

A fact to not overlook is sometimes no one company needs all of our talent all the time so this is an excellent time start your own business of offering our services to a multitude of companies that will pay for it.

Never overlook your own business.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Labor Day 2010

Labor day is on September 6 this year. Summer is over and school is back in or will be soon. It is time to get back in the swing and get serious about this opportunity search.

Where to start first? Get in touch with you. Have you grieved and come to an understanding of where you are. Have you visited the Employment office in person or on line? Have you contacted all your close friends and business associates. Are you setting up coffee appointments and filling your calendar with networking events?

Have you thought about a coach? Why not, you'd probably call a plumber to help you with a plugged drain or to hook up a new appliance so why wouldn't you use a coach?

Get with it and get busy and most of all get out of the house.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Uh Oh!

Where did Summer go? School is almost to start in most of the country. What have you been doing? Doesn't really matter because that is the past. Today is here and what are you doing?

Traffic will pick-up with the commuters, kids will be back in school and you need to reset your plan and get busy. No need to cry over what you didn't do, just start from today and move forward.

Just as kids new some new school clothes and school supplies maybe you need some new books, or a laptop or smartphone etc...etc...etc.

In this time off are you volunteering, reading, helping others, connecting with new folks and making use of all this free time? Why not, you may not get this opportunity again for a while. Never overlook your current situation and make the most of it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Man!! It's hot out there

Sometimes when the heat seems unbearable and we are cool in the house we really don't want to get out there and meet up or be productive. This is the time to push yourself because it has been found that sitting at home isn't very productive. You need to be with other people. Your brain and juices work much better in the company of other people.

Take a book, or your laptop and get out of the house. Go to where others are and get busy. Listen to the chatter around you. Pay attention, you may even be able to assist someone else.

A secret to you, there are unemployed people all over. Many don't "look" unemployed yet I've never seen the description of "unemployed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Birthday George

George happens to be my younger brother and today is his birthday. We've had many birthdays now and probably don't see them like we did as kids.We still send a card each year to celebrate the others birthday. Remembering loved ones is essential to our own being I think. We all like to be acknowledged or recognized and most of all by family.

What might this have to do with your opportunity search? You probably always send a thank you card to persons you have an interview with or an informational interview with. Mainly for their time and input. Yet it goes further than that. Acknowledgement and recognition comes into play.
Never forget that you also are contributing to the conversation just by listening and feeding back. You don't always have to share earth shattering information. Listening plays a large part in all this.

Acknowledge and recognize others.

Monday, August 16, 2010

No need to look back or ahead---

Nope, just focus on today or as the Romans might say, Carpe Diem. What are you doing today? Goal setting is good, planning is good and for the most part crying over spilt milk isn't too productive. Hopefully when we err we know it and realize that isn't the way to go next time.

An idea for you: We can always be looking for a better way to do it next time. Growth has many positive aspects and can lead us on to bigger and better outcomes. Try it sometime.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Proper questioning

The other day my wife asked a question/request at work. She got an answer back that appeared a bit ambiguous. That brought about a discussion about how could this have been done better.

This same scene happens all over everyday. When we pose the wrong question or not enough information then our answer may be lacking something.

The game is to think about our question, just a little, before spouting it. Did we give sufficient information to the other person so they can give back an intelligent answer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

So! What's with the economy and all the news pundits?

You're frustrated, befuddled, confused of what to do. First they say the economy is picking up, then it is protracted or slower than expected. What to do.

Be careful what you read and even more be careful what you believe. You can believe what you want. While you worry that there are no positions available for you others are landing a spot. That's the way it has always been. Until you make your final transition and become re-engaged in the working world you'll be troubled.

It is a process and your best way through is to work the process. Meet with others, join a support group, start a support group, attend networking functions and be sure to help others.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where are all these networking events?

EVERYWHERE!!! Make your own, look at the calendar pages in your local newspaper, check with your local Chamber of Commerce then the adjoining cities Chambers. Check with your church, neighbors, library and friends in general. Look at bulletin boards and get ideas.

As stated above start your own group. Learn to utilize others to assist you in your search. You'll wind up helping others which will give you a feeling of joy and in turn boost your own ego.

Get out of the house folks.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Are you staying cool?

Seems like a silly question at this time of year. Think about how you might stay cool when it is hot outside. You can always stay indoors in the air conditioning, remove some clothing, drink cool beverages and the list goes on.

You can look at your opportunity search similarly, when it seems to be uncomfortable and not going your way then remove some of the obstacles. Get down to the nitty gritty. Take it apart and reconstruct your approach.

Remember to "Have fun, Meet people, Learn something". Your team of others can be very beneficial, never overlook them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When will you get it right?

We go to school to get smart and learn. We do learn and sometimes even realize that with all we know there is so much more that we don't know yet. IT NEVER ENDS.

Is it really as much to getting it right every time or to find out how to get to the answer. Sometimes it isn't even the answer that is as fun as the journey. We need to learn to listen, pay attention to all that is around us.

As we learned in math the many times the instructor wasn't as interested in us getting the right answer as they wanted us to work through the process.

You will find that a lot of your opportunity searching is similar to the above. If it doesn't work one way or the other just try another. Open your mind to thinking differently.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Are you ready?

Many times we feel we are ready for a position or a chance and we are not successful. We then beat ourselves up wondering just what went wrong.

Sometimes we actually shoot our self in the foot unknowingly. I know a young man that is very good at what he does and feels he is "making" it. When asked when he might join a group of like minds and be part of it he always has an excuse why he can't. Sometimes I read into it that he sees no necessity in joining with them as he doesn't really need "them".

The point isn't that he needs them nor do they need him. The fact is both sides can grow with the affiliation and prosper larger than the individuals.

So what is the answer here? My comment is he isn't ready yet for the next step. This happens to many of us in our quest for growth and prosperity. When he is ready, one day, he may change his mind and make the next step forward.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Have you ever?

Have you ever wished this would be over? Have you ever wished you had chosen a different career? Have you ever wished you could just retire and be done with this? And the list can go on.

Wishes and wishing aren't all bad. Are they productive though in this environment? Why not make it fun? Are you focusing on the best and correct career for you? Have you thought of opening your mind to check out what else is available?

You've heard of midlife crisis, well what about mid-career crisis. As we mature sometimes we feel there may another calling. How many people do you know that retire from one career then say now they are going to do what they've always wanted to do?

Now that you have that opportunity why not at least investigate?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What makes you stand out?

One clear fact is that the person who stands out best in an interview can very likely be the recipient of an offer. Have you ever known anyone that received or took a position you didn't think they were qualified for? Did you ever think that maybe they stood out more than someone else.

Let's not debate whether it is right or not, the fact is it happens. How and and why does this occur? Stand out interviewer. When we allow our passion to flow through and our confidence shines the interviewer has more interest usually. When you have this naturalness you will find you are experiencing more fun.

Don't believe me, try it. Need help with feeling more natural and sounding more confident, try Toastmasters.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Are you tired of this?

NO! Not a fun word at times. As you prepare, research and practice for those interviews one of the worst words we can here is "NO". It certainly doesn't help our attitude and person. Remember that you are a sales person right now and sales people hear far more noes than yeses. Each session may be a practice session for the next one.

Your positive attitude can help you get through this period. What can even help more is your support team. That is why you want to be building your support team. When are feeling down you have others to call upon to talk with. You are also there for the others too.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Reading Material

When you go on appointments do you carry along reading material? Sometimes you are either early or your appointment is running late. That is an excellent time to catch up on your reading. It can also show the other person that you know how to make use of your time.

In today's world you can also use your smart phone or I-Pad. The problem with that is the other person doesn't know if you are playing or actually learning something. Even if it is one of the electronic reading devices some folks won't know that unless you happen to clarify it.


Thursday, July 1, 2010


Yes, it is almost the 4th of July, a great day of celebration for us as a nation. The odds are this will be a three or four day weekend. This is a great time for you to rest and relax. Just kickback and visit friends and family. Don't forget to carry along several of your business cards just in case, but don't actively search. I don't consider keeping your ears alert as searching.

Once Tuesday rolls around then it is time to get back to work. Kind of like cleaning up the mess after all the fireworks. Time to lay out your calendar and continue with connecting events along with one on one meetings.

Enjoy your holiday period.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Passion again

Can't say enough about passion. We all have it, the question is when do we use it. When it comes to that opportunity(job) search, passion will catch the interest of the interviewer. When a prospective employer can hear and feel your passion (excitement) they are more inclined to listen to you.

Think of the people that inspire you, many times it is a person that evokes their passions that catch your attention and you will listen to them. So why don't you allow your passion to bubble out of you? There are too many reasons to list. One might be fear or another may be your personality. Either way when you are able to include your passion, naturally, others will sit up and take notice.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How does one sound confident?

Over the many years of assisting others be successful in the endeavors to become re-employed we talk about sounding confident. So, just what is that sound?

Some noticeable traits of sounding confident might be:

Speaking clearly-Not stuttering
Pausing-No ah's or um's
Expanding ones vocabulary-Not repeating the same adjective over and over
Making good eye contact-No darting our eyes or looking away
Using good vocal projection-Not speaking weakly or without volume
Speak in complete sentences-Not babbling on and on

These are but a few traits to get you started. Remember that Toastmasters can assist you with this.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

When did summer arrive? it is another day yet. But who is counting. No matter the season your efforts need to continue. Even once you are back in the saddle.

But what? We need to continue to keep the connecting ongoing. As you attend specific associations that apply to you or just another networking meeting. One needs to continue to learn in addition to sharing some of your knowledge with others.

We are all teachers in one form or another. Sometimes we don't consider ourselves as teachers but you know you do. Whether it be with our children, siblings, neighbors, parents, associates or perfect strangers. This is always a two way dialogue.

Summers arrive and depart so be sure you make the very most of each and every day of your summer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Customer Service Again

Customer Service is still king. Think of any business you have dealt with with no satisfaction and you quit using them. You may have even dissed them.

When performing your connecting functions are you giving the best "customer service" you can. Are you returning calls promptly? Do you get information back to them in a timely manner? Are you connecting promptly with them on social networks when you say you will?

Are you really listening? I mean "listening" not just hearing? So many folks have returned to the group and admitted they really blew an interview and felt they had failed to listen. Their awareness was when the other party informed them "....that isn't what I asked..." That is most embarrassing.

You can easily grow your listening skills in Toastmasters.

Monday, June 7, 2010

5 Ways to make a great second impression

This article was sent by David S. You will get those second chances and the worst thing you can do is to blow it. Here are a few secrets to make better of it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Change to Transformation

As you journey through this time of your life you will learn much. About yourself and as much as about others around you.

Change is paramount in our growth and forward movement. Yet many of us say we like change and don't really. We muddle through and make the changes we must and push forward. In time we get to where we want to go.

You will find that from the time you begin this new journey until you are successful in getting to where you wanted you will have changed. I have observed this for over 18 years now by seeing it and hearing it back from others. Change is an occurrence which moves to transition and finally to transformation. We all move at different paces so no specific time frame can be given for any one person.

Once again, you will first begin to make a change, slowly yet forward. Next you will realize that you have made a change and take on another and soon realize there is a transition taking place. In the end you will make a transformation resulting in a paradigm shift and success will occur.

Never give up.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

A good day for reflection, thanks for those before us and to rest. We all need some rest time. We all have different meanings to Memorial Day and I will pay homage to my forefathers that gave of themselves for me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What next?

May has come and gone, almost. Soon it will be June. What have you been doing to further your journey and quest to find that next opportunity? Laying out your plans, follow ups, and keeping your attitude positive may have proved harder than you anticipated.

Now is not the time to lose faith. Now is the time to regroup, make a list of what went wrong. As for those items that didn't seem to prosper take a look at what or how you could have done it better. Just because it didn't work this time it doesn't mean it couldn't work later.

Remember how many times Edison attempted to make the light bulb work. It was 10,000 times.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

....and the winner is.......

In a speech the other day the speaker talked about some folks speaking to win and even win a medal or trophy. Whether it be a speech, marathon, swimming contest or you name it the question came up "So what?".

When you win who did you win for? After you are gone who will cherish the trophy(s) as you did. What will they really remember? It isn't what we say but more in what we do/did for others.

When you make those applications, send out resumes be sure the recipient knows what you can do with/for them. How will you fit in with the team. Your education and accolades are great and how do they translate to further making our goals foreseeable.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Have you fertilized yet?

Have you fertilized your contacts and potential contacts? Not the kind of fertilizer you put on the garden. One needs to be seen in order to be successful. Using social media is an excellent way to be seen and noticed. You can have a blog, website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many others.

Whether you post news, information and helpful tips for others. You can also re tweet or share others information when pertinent or germain to you or your career or even avocation.

Get out there and be seen.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Have you experienced disappointment? Of course you have, we all have. Is/was it fun? Probably not. It isn't a feeling most of us cherish. Yet without it how would you know what good is? To put feelings and life in perspective we need let downs and disappointments. It assists us in brushing up and putting on our game face.

We tend to correct what we thought was OK. We need to stand out in order to be successful and disappointments help us. Next time you are feeling disappointed or down try and think what is the lesson here.

Keep in mind that we are always learning even when we think we know the answers.

Monday, May 10, 2010


The sound of confidence is a skill we all can use to our benefit. No matter what you use it for. It is one thing to be able to espouse words of wisdom, knowledge and emotions. Yet if we don't have the sound of "confidence" many people don't believe us.

As you are speaking with people or interviewing it is in your best interest to have that sound of confidence about you. You already have education and knowledge and probably know how to work. Now let's let them know we mean it.

How would one develop or improve these skills? In a nutshell you will find Toastmasters to be a great place to develop and improve these skills along with many side benefits.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day (5/9/10)

What might Mom say as words of encouragement at this time. All kinds for sure and the bottom line is "Do your best and keep a positive attitude.". Pretty good advice for sure.

Now it is your turn to thank your mom for all the positive points in life she shared and taught you. Through her encouragement you are where you are today.

Don't forget to thank mom this Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April showers bring May flowers

All that work you did in April just may be paying off in May. As you were out watering your opportunities be prepared to harvest your new Spring crop. Continue sprinkling more water, also known as contact, on your contacts and keep them apprised of your interest.
Some of your new flowers will be ready to be picked and looked at and others will want to know more.

Eventually all your hard work will pay off for you. Just watch out for the weeds though.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Have you watched the waves come in?

When I watch the waves crashing onto the sand of the beach it reminds me of life itself. The waves come at different intervals, intensity and size. The same as your opportunities come into your life.
Some opportunities are larger, some more intense and some very fast. Many come fast, more intense and some very big. Sometimes we miss one and only realize too late. Just as the waves come and go there is no reason to whine and cry over the missed opportunity as more will come along. Although sometimes we don't think so.
Every opportunity is your's to act on. Whether or not that you do act on them is in your hands. I can guarantee that you'll never be able to take advantage of all the opportunities.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring is about to sprung-or did it?

Do you hear the Robins in the morning? Maybe other birds or sounds. As the seasons change you may also change part of your approach to your search. Nothing wrong in being spontaneous. Change with the times. Change your colors. BRIGHTEN YOUR SMILE.

Just as we see and feel the season change we can put on that new smile and approach others. People like to hear what you have to say. Don't be afraid to brag a little.

Spring your sprung.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do you know anyone that is "down"?

We all know folks that are down, bummed out, depressed or just not up to it lately. It is not uncommon to get burned out when we have gotten an education, worked, want to work and are being told NO or that we came in second. That's just down right depressing.

How do we keep our spirits up and have a positive outlook? Much easier said than done, right? First of all remember it can always be worse, there are too many stories to tell. Second is to remember how lucky you are to be free. Thirdly is to get out of the house and see other people. Meet them, talk with them, see what you can do for them.

Get into Toastmasters. Why do I keep bringing up Toastmasters? You will find people with positive attitudes and inspirational speeches. You will learn something new every week. You will get to network with people that even become friends.

This also fits my mantra:
Have fun
Meet people
Learn something.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Do you really have a passion for that opportunity you are searching for? No! I Mean a real passion? Would I hear it in your voice, see it in your eyes. Do you think I would feel your passion if we met.

Remember that if that potential opportunity can't feel or hear your passion they won't know either.

To find your voice and passion visit a Toastmasters Club.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How long to wait before following up.

Once you have any kind of interview, informational or job, you'll always want to US mail a thank you card. This card should be hand written and hand addressed. Yes, you can still send e-mails but it isn't QUITE as personal. Up to you.

If there was a textbook answer as to how long to wait to follow up with a call one could write a script for your computer and it would all be executed perfectly. There comes a time when the human element must be relied on. Did you ask when you could call back before you left the meeting? Did you listen to the other party and were you given a clue?

Other peoples schedules vary and their way of handling them vary. Some people may be leaving for vacation or been assigned a new project. Subsequently they never get back to you. That is why it is important to determine when you may make contact next. Don't wait too long.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Are you really ready for that interview?

In your quest to find your next best opportunity have you given thought about preparation for an interview? You need to always be practicing because you don;t always know when it may occur. As well as you plan there is always that last minute one that pops up out of nowhere.

What is practice? Knowing your topic, sounding confident, being succinct and don't bloviate. Your goal is to connect honestly and learn about them. From this you will know if you are a fit or not.

Ask your friends and do the same for them by short interview questions.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How cold is it?

Looking outside at the serene white snow, in all it's beauty, I am reminded that it is also cold. As pretty as it looks to my eyes and mind the other part of my brain says to touch it might be cold.
You might find the similar paradigm when searching for those opportunities. It looks or sounds so good from the outside yet upon further inspection there is that other side, as in the cold side, that isn't what we expected or wanted. You must be cognizant of these facts as you make your determination to do what you have to do,

Intuition always plays a part in such matters so be sure and include that intuition in your decisions.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Focus on "them"

Networking has always been around. We just never called it that or haven't paid attention to the fact of how often we do it. Today it is definitely more prevalent than ever, talked about more and being utilized by more people than ever.

One big problem is how to do it properly and get results. All those concepts are open to conjecture. There is no "one" way to do it. How do we measure it. More details on that later.

A very good friend tells the story of his beginning days in Toastmasters. All he knew was that he couldn't wait for his speech to be done as he was a nervous wreck. His goal was to finish fast then sit down.
A Life changing event happened when his evaluator mentioned to him "If you will focus on the audience instead of yourself you will eliminate your fear" How profound that statement is. It even works while out networking.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What's in your Easter Basket?

Have you filled your Easter Basket with goodies yet? If not you may want to get busy. Remember that April 4 is Easter this year.

But why wait till Easter, once a year. You should be filling your basket every day. You need to be putting goodies in all the time, not just once a year. As you continue your search for your next opportunity you need to also be planning for the one after that. It's not that this next one won't be the best and last forever. It is more in staying in the loop as to what is going on. When you are searching for that next opportunity you continue to learn about new ideas, new technology, new services, new businesses etc. Why would you not do that during the best of times.

The more you know, can do and care about may just help stave off being blind sided with an unexpected layoff.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You shall overcome

Listening to the attendees, at the Job Finders Group, it is apparent there are many individual feelings about how the economy is going. Some see it dead, nothing on the horizons and others feeling much more positive, even though no position yet.

One matter that shines through to me though is being around more positive people than negative folks. There is nothing wrong in being with some negativity as you may be able to help them see good through the maze. We all need that extra boost once in a while.

What do know from history is we always come back. I have no doubts we will once again turn this around and hit some new highs. Now just get out there and have some fun.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Off into the wild blue yonder

IT is March now and from time to time we have some strong winds. As irritating as wind is to me, I also find that the skies are very clear on those windy days. The mountains are clear as a bell and almost look close enough to reach out and touch.

The clarity is magnificent and a joy to view. Yet when I step into the wind I remember how uncomfortable I am. Now I also know some folks like the wind.

Just as the wind may affect some of us so does the hunt for your next opportunity. Your job is to make it less uncomfortable and an enjoyable experience. One way might be to remember you have an opportunity to meet someone new, learn something during the interview and maybe even get a referral to another opportunity.

Go out and soar like an eagle.

Monday, March 15, 2010

People Trails

A wise man once told be that it better to leave a "people trail than a paper trail". As we build in our social networks it becomes more obvious what he meant. It is simpler to make paperwork, categorize it and file it. What lasts though are those personal relationships we build with people. Our brains can do much more than we give it credit for. Oddly we are able to meet with someone, one on one, and talk and learn and our brain will make attachments for future use.

Never underestimate your brainpower. Meet with people with no more in mind than to learn more about them. In turn you may become a resource for them and sometimes they may be able to reciprocate.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife

Today happens to be my wife's birthday. It seemed appropriate to pen something to her today in recognition.

Birthdays represent many ideas to many folks. Depends on your perspective and how you are or are not affected by it.

My dearest Wife:
As each birthday rotates around it becomes apparent to me of the time we have spent together.
We have had rough times yet we tend to remember the better times.
We've camped together, drank wine from a brown paper bag before.
Broken down in the middle of nowhere in Idaho.
Slept in the van in zero degree temp.
Viewed the Grand Canyon as the sun arose.
You've come home to find the garage door open and me no where to be found.
We enjoyed Ralphie for 20 years.
You've tried to steady a tree I was cutting down.
We have eaten at the top of the B of A building in SF.
You have put up with me and Toastmasters.
You've put up with me.
You look more beautiful every year to me and my love for you grows far deeper than I ever imagined it could.
Sometimes I could just eat you up I love you so much. Then other times I wish I had eaten you up.
Happy Birthday my love and may you have many more.

Love you,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Calling Cards

Time to revisit this topic. Yes, you need cards!

Money can be an issue yet remember this is an investment in "you". People retain business cards and they are easy to carry around. Keep a supply in the car, your jacket pockets, purse, wallet. Never leave home without them.

Having a card is good and having a good card is better. You might try sitting with Karen Lewis and discussing the values of a card that fits you. Remember that people look at cards later and the question would be does it leave a lasting impression for future reference?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In like a lion out like a lamb

That is the old adage about March. It either comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb or vice versa. Either way your March can be beneficial to you.
As March is a harbinger to Spring you should be sprucing up the resume, ask others their thoughts about it. Look for new contacts and new ways to find them.

Maybe you should come into March like a lion and exit like a lion, nothing says you can't.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring is just around the corner

You've heard of Spring cleaning. Are you planning on any Spring cleaning? Maybe you should give some thought to it. Not just the house but your desk, files, and materials for your opportunity searching.
Clean out those old files, papers, and napkins. Make sure you have your supply of pens and pencils and a tablet or two. Clean your laptop up, both inside and out.
If you have polish shoes what about putting a coat of fresh tax on them.
Be sure your jackets and sweaters are clean and presentable and any threads hanging down are trimmed off. Sometimes it is the little things people notice and we are just used to them.

Now you can work in the yard.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Politics and political groups

Many people don't realize that politics have a direct relationship to jobs and business. Not that it is supposed to yet many political decisions will affect business, which in turn affects jobs or opportunities.

Business leaders must be involved somehow and so must those looking for the opportunities. We should all pay attention to and participate somehow.

When you are searching, you always hear that volunteering is a good way to meet people. Volunteering to help your party of choice and it's constituents is just as worthy and keeps you clued in.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The word is out...

Interviews are picking up fast. People are being hired. The stock market seems to be ascending slowly upward. Is it all better now?

Not quite yet. Some aspects of business have changed, we have to grow slower and cut faster. The swings are horrible on the down turn yet much slower on the upswing. Your job is to watch, analyze and ascertain what your skills can do for them. Whether as an employee or a contractor.
Read your local periodicals, attend seminars and networking events.
Get out there and rub elbows, have your calling cards with you and remember that you have a lot to offer besides being an employee. Sometimes you may just have some helpful info for them.

Never give up....never give up

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Leadership everywhere

There are so many definitions for "leadership". However you define it there is a definite need for it. Whether in business, civic, governmental, non-profits, political ad-infinitum. As the general public becomes more aware of their surroundings, what is really happening and it has to change there is a larger demand for leaders.
One excellent leadership training availability is at your local Toastmasters clubs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Did you almost forget? As I almost did. There is still time you know. This is a good time to share with that or those special people in your life. It is a small token yet something to be appreciated. Even if this is a late notice for you, your feelings can be transmitted in numerous way.
Make it special, make it sincere and most of all make it from the heart.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The "Touch"

I use the term "The touch" when speaking about social networking. The social networking media is a great spot to use this tool. When using these mediums you watch and see many others lives. Sometimes more than you ever wanted to.

Yet for many they reveal happenings in their lives, accomplishments, and notifications. These are opportune times to acknowledge them ( a touch) with a word or two and be on your way.

You are up to date and have spent very little time finding out what is going on. It makes you more knowledgeable. You are in communications with your resources and friends.

Give it a shot!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Election time will soon be upon us. As you look around for volunteer opportunities you'll find a plethora of political groups looking for volunteers to help out. Find your preference of issues and become involved. You never know who you'll run into.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pecking order

You've heard of pecking order? Birds are a great example as are many other animals. But do we have a pecking order? As I was watching the nuthatches, great name, feed the other day it struck me that as those little birds were fighting over the available perches to eat from we sometimes do the same thing.
Sometimes it appears that some have manners and feed a bit then leave so another can have some. Then there are those that swoop down, knock others off the perch and chow down. They won't even give up the perch until they have gorged themselves or until a meaner one comes along.

When we are out searching and interviewing I like to remember to have some manners and share when possible. Of course you have to take care of you first. As you "listen" you may realize that this one isn't for you yet you may know another it fits well.

You move up the pecking order as you assist others. There will always be those that only look out for themselves and those that share. The best you can do is your very it!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blogs and blogging

Those that know me know that I suggest everyone should have their own blog and secondly need to blog. Those that don't know me personally can take the previous sentence and apply it please.

So who reads these things? An interesting question. A year ago I was contacted by the editor of Marie Claire magazine. She mentioned that she had been reading my blog and wanted to talk. We talked.

You say "SO". I had never heard of Marie Claire magazine before. Why would they be reading my blog? This pointed out to me that people do use the Internet for research, and they are constantly searching today. I would have never guessed that they were looking at me. It also allowed them to inform me of another periodically.

Today as I opened up my blog I found a note to me suggesting I write new articles and not recycle older ones. They suggested it in a positive manner and I took it to heart.

We never know who will find us or if it will be of value. Part of that depends on how you define value.

So why blog: It forces us to write and improve our writing skills, always a good thing. It exposes us to be found by some we'd never expect.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Your networking calendar

Did you plan and fill your networking calendar for January? If not you have another chance for February now. You will find out from the successful hunters that they include several networking events each week. There are numerous resources to find them. Just ask, fill in your calendar and get busy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where are all the opportunities ?

A common question with variable answers. It is a question that has been asked for decades. One needs to remember that it isn't like going to the mall to find that opportunity.
You job is to research and come up with position that you would love to do. As long as it makes money for the company it is viable.

That is another reason to network with your colleagues, you can bounce the ideas off them. They may have ideas or contacts for you, the process is never ending actually. Sometimes just change your position and think about making your own position.

It's a new year, go for it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's 2010

Wow! Seems just like yesterday we were lamenting over "Y2K". Now it is 10 years later and we have had at least two major downturns in the job market. Actually three. If we go back in history we find many downturns and each was followed by a recovery. Did it happen automatically? Of course not.
Someone got busy and improved an idea. Someone invested their hard earned money into a new venture. One crisis spawns another new idea. And so it goes. A major difference is the time frame it happens. Some longer than others.
As you go about your hunt why not be on the lookout for ways companies can improve, expand and/or make more profits. You never know what you could spark.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Being on time and showing up

Have you ever had someone not show up for a scheduled appointment? Worse yet have you ever failed to show up? Being late is bad enough but not showing is the worst. Over the years I have found to hold my judgement because once in a while there was a legitimate reason.

If we do our work right we should be able to contact our appointment if it appears we may be late because of cell phones. It is just common courtesy to apprise them of our lateness so they know whether or not you plan to show up.

Just let people know!

There is a young man that scheduled three appts. with me and either cancelled at the last minute or no showed. A few months later we crossed paths in a networking event. He approached me and began talking. He wound up totally apologizing and said he has heard from others that he wasn't too reliable. From there he went on to ask if we could try again to meet. I agreed and he would let me know via e-mail.

He made contact, we tossed dates and times back and forth and arrived at an agreeable time and day. On the assigned day I showed up ahead of time and proceeded to wait. After 30 minutes he is a no show. I'll hold my judgement as there was no e-mail or phone call to me.

My gut feel is he just isn't ready to really get busy.

Bottom line, communicate and don't miss appointments.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Social Media

Are you utilizing it yet? Is it overwhelming, daunting or of no value to you? Who wants to know what you had for lunch or worse yet them telling you what they bought at the store.
There are numerous stories of wasteful energy and time about this phenomena. Yet the facts are that it is around to stay. If that doesn't put a knot in your shorts then consider that as you are reading this they are working on new and better ways to use it.

The point here is to get yourself familiar with this new craze, learn how it works and become participative so you will survive the latest and newest way of doing business.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Opportunities or Obstacles ?

In my travels, networking and meetings some people will tell me about the obstacles for them in achieving their goals. When we start with a negative outlook it pretty much stays there. Attitude is incumbent on you being successful. When you can set your mind to look at the positive, think in the positive all of a sudden you feel better and even become successful faster.

Sound too simple? Remember that this isn't just an instant gratification exercise. Sometimes it can be faster than others. When you find yourself depressed, down and/or in the funk find someone who has a positive attitude. Share with them your feelings.

Like Mom used to say, people in other parts of the world are far worse off than you are.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Business Cards

No matter what you call them (business cards, calling cards, contact cards) you need to have a pocket full of them. As the old commercial used to say "Never leave home without it". In this case never leave home without them.

The basics needed on the cards is your name, phone number and e-mail address. You are free to put other info on there. Be careful not to clutter though. As for titles, be careful because when you give your cards out others will opt to leave what you indicated even if you talked about other skills you have. You do have many other skills.

My suggestion is to order at least 500 for your first order as the first 250 disappear fast. If you opt for the online services that are available. You will use these cards everywhere you go. So ordering 1,000 is not uncommon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Secret to Finding a Job When "There Are No Jobs"

The Secret to Finding a Job When "There Are No Jobs"
Advice from Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?
Richard Nelson Bolles
Special from Bottom Line/PersonalSeptember 1, 2009
F inding a job is tough enough in this economy, but many job hunters reduce the odds of their success by using common job-search strategies that often fail. Here’s what doesn’t work so well -- and what does...
Five popular job-search strategies that do not work for the majority of those who try them...
Mailing out résumés/submitting or posting résumés online.
Odds of success: 7%*
Problem: Employers receive huge numbers of unsolicited résumés. Virtually all of these are filed away without a second look.
Might work if: Your résumé is handed to an employer by someone the employer knows and trusts -- particularly if this individual adds a personal recommendation.
Responding to ads in professional or trade journals.
Odds of success: 7%.
Problem: Employers tend to place ads in these journals only for low-wage jobs and other positions that they have had trouble filling. Also, because most trade journals are national, jobs listed there often require relocation.
Might work if: You have a specific skill set that is difficult for employers to find and you are willing to relocate.
Responding to ads on Internet jobs sites.
Odds of success: 10%.
Problem: Employers tend to post jobs on Internet job sites only as a last resort, because such ads tend to bring a flood of responses from mostly inappropriate or low-quality applicants. A significant percentage of jobs posted on employment Web sites are outright scams, and competition tends to be very fierce for the legitimate openings.
Might work if: Your field is information technology (IT). Attractive IT jobs often are advertised online because employers know that tech-savvy employees tend to use the Internet for everything.
Responding to ads in the local newspapers.
Odds of success: Between 5% and 24%, depending on your salary requirements.
Problem: Most employers consider newspaper classifieds an out-of-date way to find applicants. Few bother to list attractive jobs there anymore.
Might work if: You’re willing to work for close to minimum wage. Many low-paying jobs still are listed in local newspapers.
Working with a private employment agency or search firm.
Odds of success: Between 5% and 28%, depending on your salary requirements.
Problem: With the economy struggling, employers don’t see the need to pay search firms to find qualified applicants -- there are more than enough coming to them. Also, there is little evidence that agencies do a particularly good job of finding work for clients.
Might work if: You are looking for a low-wage office position, such as a secretarial or clerical job.
Five job-hunting strategies that offer excellent odds of success, ordered from least to most successful...
Networking for leads.
Odds of success: 33%.
Advantage: Employers love to hire based on personal recommendations from employees and trusted contacts -- it vastly improves the odds that the applicant will be talented and suitable.
Limitation: The success of your networking depends on the size and quality of your network. Don’t give up if at first no one you know has heard of a job. Continue to expand your network when you are unemployed by asking your contacts to put you in touch with their contacts... and remaining active in your community.
Knocking on doors unannounced at employers of interest. Express an interest in the company or sector, and ask for five minutes of the boss’s time.
Odds of success: 47%.
Advantage: It’s more common than you might think to find an employer who is about to list an opening, and he/she might hire you without even interviewing other candidates. Small-business owners tend to be go-getters who respect the moxie of those who knock on doors and ask if there is a need for their skills and experience.
Limitation: You must anticipate that you likely will be rejected to your face. Also, this knock-on-doors strategy doesn’t work well at large companies, where it is hard to get a meeting with an executive without an appointment. Stick to smaller companies with 50 or fewer employees. Midafternoon is the best time to do this. Dress in attire appropriate to that business.
Calling companies of interest that are listed in the local Yellow Pages (or white pages business section). As with the strategy above, ask for the owner, very briefly explain your background or relevant skills, then ask if he/she knows anyone in the industry in need of someone like you... or if you could come in and talk with him about the industry. To present yourself in the best light, review your skills before each call and remind yourself that you would be a productive, useful employee.
Odds of success: 69%.
Advantage: This is a great way to get to know businesses in your region. You could be hired for a job that has not yet been advertised.
Limitation: This is ineffective with large companies that have computerized phone systems and operators who make it difficult to reach those in charge.
Partnering with other job hunters. Put together a group of job hunters who agree to keep an eye out for opportunities suitable for others in the group. Meet at least weekly. To build your group, team up with job hunters you know or go to job fairs to meet attendees.
Odds of success: 70%.
Advantage: More eyes looking for opportunities means more opportunities coming your way. And working with a group makes it harder to slack off on the job search.
Limitation: This works best when members are looking for employment in fields that call for different skills and career goals, so they are not in competition for the same jobs.
Taking inventory of yourself, then targeting the employers where you ought to be working. Spend at least a weekend considering which of all of your skills you most enjoy using... in which fields you would most enjoy putting those skills to work... which organizations have these jobs to offer... which people at those organizations have the power to hire you... and how best to approach them.
Odds of success: 86%.
Advantage: Job hunters who use this systematic process tend to appear more confident to employers, which makes them more appealing hires. They also are better able to explain why they would be an asset to the organization.
Limitation: It takes time to do this properly. The secret is to define your skills and the type of work you wish to do in as much detail as possible. In poor economies, many job hunters assume that they must cast a broad net and look for any available job. These people come off as desperate. The most successful job interviewees write a detailed inventory of what they have to offer an employer and analyze times when they were successful before they actually go to an interview.
*The "odds of success" percentages cited in this article are based on industry studies and other sources. They reflect the percentage of job hunters who eventually found work by pursuing the strategy.
Bottom Line/Personal interviewed Richard Nelson Bolles, a leader in the career development field for more than 30 years. He is author of What Color Is Your Parachute?, the best-selling job-hunting book of all time (revised annually). His latest book is The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide: How to Find Hope and Rewarding Work, Even When "There Are No Jobs" (both published by Ten Speed). He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.